From the Left



Christmas Spice

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I write columns about politics, and about governing, and about Pres. Donald Trump, who is politics but not governing, and about poverty, which is always the result of politics but never the result of governing.

And, after retiring from a 36-year career as a newspaper reporter, I took a job with a local talk radio station. Callers sometimes call...Read more

We're treating veterans like dogs

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Canines have had an up-and-down kind of month. Pres. Donald Trump noted some similarities between the death of a terrorist and the way a dog dies. That's an insult to every red-blooded American pit bull who ever went down snarling in an illegal dogfight sponsored by a professional athlete. That's why Trump gets booed at ball games.

But he did ...Read more

Getting your values by the pound

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

In the grocery store, they got the cheap hamburger, the good hamburger and the ground sirloin.

I come from a ground sirloin family. If we were eating the good hamburger, or (shame of all shame) the cheap hamburger, it meant my father was out of work. By the time I was 11, my father had traded the nightlife thrills and uncertain income of the ...Read more

Everywhere you look you see a noggin of despair

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

An Irish immigrant friend of mine once told me that, in the Ireland of his youth, the word "noggin" was, as he put it "the most elastic word in the language."

"If my uncle said he had a 'noggin of whiskey,' that meant anything from a swallow to a quart," my friend said."

That kind of word is handy to know.

In America today, the most elastic ...Read more

White privilege fails me

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Because I am old in the ways of sin, I dropped the butt of a $5 cigar onto the rain-darkened blacktop of a convenience store parking lot. I was going in for coffee, black, no sugar.

The owner, an immigrant American citizen from a former British colony, saw me from the front window of his small, but sincere, store. When I came in, he told me I ...Read more

Sleeping beauty overdosed

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

The Brothers Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm, were a pair of 19th-century Germans whose "fairy tales" often involved the cooking of children. Disney cleaned that up quickly, and the whacky brothers' fairy tales were a childhood staple until we forgot them in favor of British-accented pigs.

Always, in the tales, the princess sleeps or is in some kind ...Read more

Living in a dear little lost place

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I live in Fall River, Massachusetts, a dear little lost place. It's dear if you're from here. It's lost to everyone else. And it's much more little than it was 100 years ago, when the great gray granite cotton mills were lit up for the third shift. During the mill years, 120,000 people lived in the city. Now, it's 86,000 and, if it weren't for ...Read more

Defending the right to bear vapes

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

The vaping industry, tragically unrepresented by the National Rifle Association, is in danger of seeing its profitable berry- and s'mores-flavored business go up in smoke, or at least in vapor. The doctors say vaping kills you.

I'm an old-fashioned pipe smoker. Not so long ago, I was sitting outside at my job, peacefully puffing a pipe, when I ...Read more

Straight Pride and Witchcraft

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

There was a "straight pride" parade in Boston last week, maybe 50 miles from my house. I skipped it, and went out for pancakes instead. Then, I came home and did some laundry.

About 300 people marched in the parade. Maybe the other straight guys do their own laundry, too.

And several days later, my wife, Deborah, continued her effort to gain...Read more

It's Labor Day, So Start a Riot

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

It's Labor Day, when we celebrate by studiously not celebrating in hopes that the folks "at corporate" won't think that we're thinking of ourselves as "labor."

Instead of thinking of ourselves as "labor," we are encouraged to think of ourselves as individuals, gun-owning frontiers people who just happen to have central air conditioning and ...Read more

Trump's Prison Colony

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

President Donald Trump wants to buy the island of Greenland from Denmark. Denmark won't sell, and they turned him down rudely. Trump said he won't go to Denmark because they turned his offer down without even giving him a chance to borrow the purchase price from the Russian mob. In addition, he turned them down because he is a petulant child. ...Read more

Shortbread and the love of a woman

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I had to buy birthday presents for my wife. Her birthday was last week.

I'm not bad at present buying. I specialize in scarves, perfume and jewelry. None of those items come in a specific size, so there's less room for error.

This year, I took a jump off earth's flattest edge and bought her a sweater. It fit, too, and she liked the color, so ...Read more


Social Connections



Ed Gamble Lee Judge Steve Kelley Chris Britt John Branch Paul Szep