Author Archives: hessd

About hessd

Here is all you need to know to follow this blog. I am an old man and I love to think about why we say the things we do. I've taught at the elementary, secondary, collegiate, and doctoral levels. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. I have taught political science for a long time and have practiced politics in and around the Oregon Legislature. I don't think one is easier than another. They are hard in different ways. You'll be seeing a lot about my favorite topics here. There will be religious reflections (I'm a Christian) and political reflections (I'm a Democrat) and a good deal of whimsy. I'm a dilettante.

Please have your mask on for us

“Please have your mask on for us.” That’s what they say at the Starbucks Drive-through where I get my coffee in the morning.   I really like it and I’d like to think about it a little today. [1] I … Continue reading

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Trumpism and Greater Appalachia

Here is the first paragraph of Colin Woodard’s examination of the “American nation” he calls Greater Appalachia. [1]  “Nation” is a cultural reference in Woodard’s usage and Greater Appalachia is the culture where I was born and raised.  (See the … Continue reading

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Did anybody remember to bring the boxes?

Like a lot of people, I spent most of yesterday watching television.  I learned as lot from the commentary.  The video, not so much.  All day, they showed the same protesters coming up the same stairs their progress being retarded … Continue reading

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Eggs and Omelettes

As I write this, it is getting dark in Washington D. C. There are still pro-Trump rioters inside the Capitol and darkness does odd things to riots.  On all the channels I have watched, the reporters and commentators are asking, … Continue reading

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Balance of Power?

The government of the United States was built to be a balancing act.  Just what elements of this mechanism are supposed to be “in balance” have changed from one time to another.  Early ideas were that the largest states were … Continue reading

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“Give me a break”

Trump’s recent phone call to Georgia is iconic.  It puts on display nearly all the things that are most characteristic of Trump [1] and most dangerous to democracy. Here is the account of the call as it appears in the … Continue reading

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“The” Christmas Story

“The” Christmas Story I have never been a fan of “the Christmas story.”  I honestly don’t know why.  I know why I am not a fan of it now and it is a real temptation to project those reasons back … Continue reading

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Naughty and Nice

This is the kind of post I think I had in mind when I started all this in 2010.  Yesterday, the words to “Santa Claus in Comin’ to Town” came to my mind and I noticed something I had never … Continue reading

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The most lied about President

It was a professional conversation.  About long-term financial planning, mostly.  We had done all the work and the comments being made were “on the way out the door comments,”  In some way, the topic of President Trump came up and … Continue reading

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Performative Behavior

I got this paragraph from Ross Douthat, the New York Times columnist, this morning. The Republicans behaving radically are doing so in the knowledge — or at least the strong assumption — that their behavior is performative, an act of … Continue reading

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