Troubling tweets penned by Donald Trump, Jr. Is it time to recognize ageism as a hate crime?

Screenshot of YouTube video by J. Dean

President Biden’s first two months in office have been a resounding success. Or have they? The nation remains divided on the merits of the American Rescue Plan, border policy, and voting rights legislation pending in the House of Representatives. If you want to criticize Biden, there’s plenty of material available. So why not ignore all legitimate policy debates and seize on Biden’s age?

That’s a low blow, but is what else is to be expected from the ex-president’s namesake son, Donald Trump, Jr.? In a series of tweets focusing on the president’s recent stumbles while boarding Air Force One, Trump…

The Brand is Dead

Photo by Sergi Ferrete on Unsplash

The pending defeat of Trump, accompanied by the blue wave of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, evidences the Republican party’s death. While parties have suffered severe losses in the past, this time it’s real. The party doesn’t stand for anything good anymore. There is nothing left to rebuild. Those nostalgic for the old GOP will find the current one is different. It is rotten, racist, short-sighted, and shrinking.

Why the GOP Won’t Come Back

Last summer’s remarkable Black Lives Matters protests prove that civil rights are not just for African Americans and other minorities. Large contingents of whites, people previously mostly absent from such…

Fouling by fowl is, unfortunately, sometimes unavoidable

My apologies in advance for posting a picture of poop in SNAPSHOTS.

I did not set out this morning on a photo expedition with either doggie poop bag dispensers or bird poop in mind. When I encountered this scene, however, something made me stop and snap the picture.

At first, I thought of the Alanis Morrissette song, “Ironic.” But was it ironic that something meant to keep a park clean had itself become fouled? Was it ironic that the poop bag dispenser was so fouled that it discouraged dog owners, including myself, from using it. …


The New York Times’ Frank Bruni has the answer

Photo by J. Dean

Are today’s editorials undermining democracy? In his final regular editorial for the New York Times, Bruni answers yes. Bruni tells us that today’s editorials, even a few of his own, often are too strident and reinforce readers’ prejudices rather than stimulating thought.

Commenting on the trend in editorial writing, Bruni comments, “I worry, too, about how frequently we shove ambivalence and ambiguity aside.”


The victims of yesterday’s discrimination should not be asked to suffer more

Photo from Fairfax County Times

Growing up, I was a Civil War buff. The war had been fought less than 100 years ago. Civil war veterans were still alive. I went to a high school named after J.E.B. Stuart, a confederate calvary commander known for daring raids on the Union. Our nickname was the “Raiders.” Our mascot was a rebel that waved a confederate flag at our football games. During the annual senior year basketball game, where senior male students competed against the varsity basketball team, the players got nicknamed. One of my teammates was “Klu Klux Kloman.”

Strawberries by J. Dean

A bumper crop gave us jam, bread, and fresh fruit for weeks

If I had a choice between giving up red meat or strawberries, the red berries would win. They are delightful, versatile, beautiful, and, for us, difficult to grow. Until this year, that is.

Over the years, I have tried to grow strawberries several times. It looked easy. Buy some plants, put them in the ground, water and weed them, and wait for the berries. Simple enough.

Photo by J. Dean

A weathered sign raises the question

The road is busy. Cars whiz by with no apparent awareness of the children. There is a sign, but with age, weather, and fouling by birds, does it still work? Does anyone driving by heed its message of caution?

I wonder when the sign was first erected. Over its long service, did it ever slow down a car and save a child’s life?

And of the children whose play was protected by the sign, how many are still playing? Somehow the sign is old and tired. Its work should be behind it.

Yet, the sign continues its lonely work. Perhaps…


The orange-haired would-be autocrat is fast disappearing from the national stage

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

It’s always been a mistake to count Trump out. He survived the release of the Billy Bush- Access Hollywood hot mic incident. He didn’t drown in the cesspool of his own 30,573 lies told during his four years as president. And he survived allegations by Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

This list could go on, but you get the point. Trump probably could have shot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lost the love of his hard-core flock of deplorables.

Fortunately, that flock is thinning. …

Photography, Travel

Pictures of the Disney World of blooms

Photo by J. Dean

We didn’t visit Holland for the “coffeeshops.” Instead, it was to see Keukenhof, the 79-acre “spring park” where around seven million flower bulbs, mostly tulips, are planted each year.

A wet road out on an overcast day

Two days of rain is enough to dampen anyone’s spirits, especially those of us with a predisposition towards the negative. Earlier this month, nature gave us three.

The rain was here when we woke and when we retired for the day. At times it fell as it does in the tropics. A northern version of a torrential downpour.

The grounds did their best to soak up the rain but were overwhelmed by it. The roads, uneven and lightly traveled, collected rain. For a day or two, or until a truck ran through the small pools, mosquitos bred and birds bathed.

John Dean

Writer, blogger, lover of nature, music, photography, and Goldendoodles. Top writer in Government. Editor of Dean’s List.

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