From the Left

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Politics

Putting the pieces together

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I live in a city with 88,000 residents and 17 dollar stores. I also work for the local newspaper, and my desk is next to the police scanner. I hear everything first.

On a Tuesday, the day before the first really cold day of the year, the scanner's screechy garble told me a man had overdosed outdoors, on the bit of grass surrounding a local ...Read more

Cashin' the Checks

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I'm a saver, a working guy who puts money in the bank. If you do that, and you stay continuously employed for 46 years, and you work way up to a middle-class wage, you end up with a solid rock of money in the bank.

And it's not that I'm a financial genius, either. I just lived on 85 percent of my salary for nearly half a century. At first, ...Read more

Jesus Christ Akbar!

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

It wasn't just a good newspaper story; it was a great newspaper story.

On a Sunday night, the owner of a small off-brand convenience store was working behind the counter of his store, which has a big sign in the window reading "EBT CARDS WELCOME." The store is in a poor neighborhood, seven blocks from a housing project, three blocks from the ...Read more

Are my socks gay?

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I was sitting on the edge of the bed this morning, on my wife's flowered bedspread, happily pulling on a new pair of socks.

It's fall in New England, and the temperature's been kind of snappy in the mornings. I'd been waiting for this day.

A few months ago, I bought a pair of brown socks online, brown with red and gold leaves printed on the ...Read more

Trump should take the rap

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Despite my age, which is 60, and my wardrobe, which is tweed, plaid and khaki, and my color, which is white, I like rap music. Oh, I still like country music, my first favorite, but something has always drawn me to the beats and the rhymes, and the "urban" station is a preset on my old-school car radio.

So I wasn't completely out of the loop ...Read more

The management trouble with tips

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Dispatches from America these days tend to be either soaked in tragedy or soaked in Trump, which means they're soaked in the same thing.

Still, you can't forget those of us who haven't been shot, aren't high on heroin, or have not just become the newest member of President Donald Trump's whack-a-mole White House staff. We're still trying to ...Read more

The man who wouldn't pledge the flag

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

For 25 years, I've been a reporter on a midsized daily newspaper. For a few years, my beat was a nearby town, a small place that was rapidly making the transition from farm town to suburb.

It was a good beat. It was a 26-mile round trip from the newspaper office. There was no interstate way to get there, and the drive out and back was scenic. I...Read more

Have an American beer, you sap!

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I went out to dinner the other night, to a local place, a Portuguese-American social club with a restaurant. Servings are large, prices are low, and the dining room is luxuriously paneled in circa 1970 fake pine. It's a good place. I ordered the baked stuffed shrimp and a Budweiser. I don't drink a lot of Budweiser, but I've always liked it with...Read more

The Boss Is a Weasel

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

I don't want single-payer health insurance.

You know why?

Because I think the company you work for ought to give you health insurance. I think it's your employer's responsibility.

There, I've said it.

I've said the great forbidden thing in 2017, which is that your employer owes you something other than a paycheck.

It's forbidden to say ...Read more

Dreaming of straight talk

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

Donald Trump, United States president and international punchline, wants to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, sometimes called the "DREAM Act." Well, he wants someone else to repeal it for him, since he can't change laws all by himself, not until he becomes president for life.

And you can't agree with that, can you? My ...Read more

Abandoning Houston

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

We ought to just let the grass take Houston, the grass and the bayous. Same thing with New Orleans, a city that was born on life support. It's a big country. Those people can find somewhere else to live. Maybe they can refugee up to Canada. We could give every Houstonian $100,000 to make a new start. The poor and the meth addicts will take it,...Read more

Making an Afghan with No Pattern

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

One of my aunts and my grandmother both made beautiful afghans, those cozy, crocheted lap-warmers that remain popular. I don't think as many women crochet or knit as in that day, but there's more than you'd think. Like stamp collecting, afghan-making doesn't make a lot of noise in the world, but it always has it's congregation.

I remember ...Read more

There goes Colonel Sanders

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

One of the worst advertising flops I've ever seen has been the effort to replace the original Colonel Sanders, the portly, white-suited gent who invented, and later advertised, Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The first Colonel Sanders replacement was teenage-girl-chained-in-the-cellar creepy, and the newest guy is vaguely threatening, plus, in the most...Read more

 

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