Government, News

The 1975 fall of Saigon now has company

The scenes were depressingly reminiscent of April 1975 when Saigon fell. American transport helicopters flew above a city descending into chaos as the enemy invaded, largely unopposed. Terrified nationals feared death from insurgents drunk with the excitement of victory. Smoke rose from the American embassy as diplomats burned documents and computers.


Politics, Government, Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment will remain common until it is better understood and more aggressively prosecuted

We won’t have Andrew Cuomo to kick around in few days. The allegations of 11 women, most of them state employees, did him in. He not-so-graciously resigned, still not admitting his guilt, and cast his resignation as some sort of public sacrifice. The resignation was to free New York of a “distraction” that undermined the government’s ability to govern, the governor said.

Assuming Cuomo’s behavior included the acts of harassment and assault detailed in Attorney General James’ report, Cuomo should have resigned. …


Why don’t people put down their phones and get a life?

Call me what you will, but I don’t do selfies. I also don’t like to see others take them. They are a form of social disease. This is not to say that selfie photographers and selfie consumers (those who view the selfies of others) are bad people. It is to say that the selfies say something about both groups less than flattering.

Part of my distaste for selfies is prompted by personal experience. Selfie photographers have ruined more than a few visits to museums and parks. …


News, Politics

Two excellent articles on the tough, smart, and honest Presidential Press Secretary

Who are the bonafide superstars of the Biden administration? I hear Chief of Staff Ron Klain, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. I share admiration for these appointees, but I put Jen Psaki, presidential press secretary, at the top of the list. Evaluated from the perspective of how well she does her job, she gets perfect scores from me.

With my assessment of Ms. Psaki in mind, I decided to write a piece contrasting her no-nonsense, truth-guided performance to that of her motley crew of predecessors, Spicer, Sanders, Grisham, and McEnany. …


Republicans used the botched Afghanistan exit to justify abusing Secretary Blinken

Seventy-three percent of Americans wanted us out of Afghanistan. The Biden administration delivered, but botched the evacuation. Thirteen service members died, an unspecified number of Americans are still in-country, and thousands of Afghans that supported the American mission live in fear of the Taliban. How should we assess this recent history?

Members of both parties have criticized President Biden for poor planning and execution. He deserves that criticism. But does he deserve to be impeached? Should the president, the Secretaries of State and Defense, and various military leaders resign? I don’t think so. …


Politics, Government, News

An ill-prescribed pushback against President Biden’s actions to fight the pandemic

Last week the “GOP Doctors Caucus” issued a statement in response to President Biden’s six-point plan to fight the resurgence of the pandemic. The plan addresses the problem of over 70 million Americans choosing not to get vaccinated, a decision that jeopardizes the health of the rest of us.

To nobody’s surprise, Republicans are pushing back on the plan. Not just the usual suspects like Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA)and Lauren Boebert (CO), but House members with medical and dental degrees.

Most GOP legislators can cite ignorance as an excuse, but why would medical doctors oppose a plan intended to…


A DC Neighborhood offers photo opportunities

On a warm September morning, I found myself in Chevy Chase, Washington, D.C., and decided to take a walk. With my camera in hand, I was on the lookout for photo opportunities. I found them. Chevy Chase is what they call a target-rich environment.

The main street is Connecticut Avenue, home to apartment buildings of all ages and a diverse collection of commercial establishments, most of which have survived the pandemic so far.

The older buildings are of greater interest than the newer ones—many feature “public art” consisting of intricate stone facades. I focused on those.


Writing, Medium, Photography

Don’t just research your facts; research your whole story

This is about the story I wrote for SNAPSHOTS earlier in August titled “A Haunted House in Sconset.”

Earlier that month, I had spent a week on Nantucket Island and visited the famous ‘Sconset Bluff Walk. While walking the bluff, we came upon an obviously historic house in what appears to be a dilapidated condition. Because I was taking pictures that day, I stopped and took several of the house.

Upon returning home, I decided to write a piece on “the haunted house.” I called it that based on its appearance. Because the article was for a photo essay, I…

John Dean

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

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