The start of a Wednesday week. And a royal happy birthday to The Queen.
The verdict is in. But the problems with policing and race are far from resolved.
The Boston Public Library and U-Mass, Boston – both publicly funded – paid thousands on large ads in the Globe to bid a fond farewell to Marty Walsh as he headed to Washington. As reported by Commonwealth Magazine (not the Globe, obviously) both were quick to try to justify the expenditures. I imagine they even had straight faces when they did so.
This type of use may be an example of why Charlie Baker refused to jump on the ‘ban all facial recognition by law enforcement’ bandwagon.
Apple announced some new products yesterday. Very colorful computers. I’ll wait for the larger screens coming, presumably, later in the year.
And Ted Nugent somehow managed to catch a fake virus. We should all wish him a fake speedy recovery.
A terrific Tuesday. 110 days down, 255 to go until 2022.
Pat Robertson is no Walter Cronkite. But his recent remarks might indicate a shifting of opinion by middle America on unconditional support for law enforcement, similar to the country’s shift on Vietnam after Cronkite’s report on the Tet Offensive.
I think it’s time to reconsider the need for outdoor masks. On my walks, I still put my mask on when people with masks approach, out of politeness if nothing else. But if they don’t have a mask on I don’t bother. Inside is a different story. Here are takes on the issue from Dr. Paul Sax, infectious disease specialist at Brigham and Women’s and Dr. Ashish K. Jha from Brown University School of Public Health. Shannon Palus, writing in Slate, rounds up additional expert opinion on the mask question.
In Louisiana, 60 kids were gathered at a party. An argument broke out. Nine people were shot. In Chicago thirty shots were fired in the middle of the afternoon at a McDonalds drive-through. A 7 year old girl was killed. W.T.F.?
It was an obscure race but what happened with the Boston recount? The numbers were small but the discrepancies weren’t. Actually, maybe in the grand scheme of things they were. For once I think I might agree with Galvin.
And I would go on record saying that Philip Roth was by far the greatest American novelist of the last century. He was a powerful writer of fiction and he wrote a lot of books. Which one should you read? The Times has some suggestions for newbies. They’re all good. But go for American Pastoral (breathtaking), Operation Shylock (intriguing), or, if you’re open to being shocked, Sabbath’s Theater (shocking). Remember, it’s fiction.
A Monday. Today is Elliot Ness‘s birthday.
Scientists at MIT can tell you what happened a millionth of a second after the Big Bang but they can’t tell you when it’s going to snow in Inman Square. Marc Levy suggests that the eggheads on Mass Ave should focus less on the big questions and more on the little, local ones.
I’ve lost two vaccine cards so far. I may be careless but I’m still vaccinated. It’s no big deal.
Andrew Yang is up in the polls for mayor of New York, at least among older Democrats. His Republican opponent is likely to be Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa.
A Globe story by Sean Murphy asks, ‘Is a CarShield extended car warranty worth the money?’ I think you know the answer, especially for the one being pitched by Chris Berman and Ice-T.
And there’s a helicopter flying around on Mars. Quite a thing.
It’s a bright, sunny, spring Sunday morning.
The New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006, is now over 5 billion miles from earth. It just cleared the orbit of Pluto and it’s still taking photos and sending them back to us. Amazing.
The Showtime series City on a Hill, starring Kevin Bacon, was given a $3 million dollar tax break in 2018. Since then they’ve mostly been filming the series set in Boston somewhere other than Boston. What’s supposed to be Bromley-Heath looks a lot like New York. Without the local scenery all we’re left with is the overacting, over-the-top accents, bad writing and cartoonish portrayal of an important chapter in Boston’s history. I look forward to it each week.
Matthew McConaughey for governor of Texas? The polls say yes. Could be the role of a lifetime.
Prince Phillip was carried to rest in a Land Rover rather than a hearse, per his wishes. He was a big fan of Land Rovers. But his original car was a British Standard that he bought for 12 pounds in 1940. It still runs.
And according to Zoe Carpenter, misinformation is destroying our country. As they say, the remedy for misinformation is more misinformation. Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall.
Saturday. April showers. Today’s word is purloin.
SpaceX has a contract to go to the moon. One of these days, Elon, one of these days.
William Galvin wants to take away your Robinhood account. Apparently he doesn’t like the confetti. Galvin wants to revoke the company’s broker-dealer license in Massachusetts, citing the ease in which it allows people to trade. Robinhood shot back with a lawsuit calling Galvin an “elitist,” and saying that his actions reflect “the old way of thinking.” I’m rooting for Robinhood on this one.
A new tool in Google Earth, called Timelapse, allows you to see how the world changes over time. In their promotional video you can see how the sand banks of Chatham shift and flow with the currents.
Rumours have been circulating for the past few days that Rachael Rollins is leaving the DA’s office and that a Boston city councillor has been tapped by Charlie Baker to take over as Suffolk County District Attorney. Then there’s this strange Trump-like tweet from Rollins. Who said local politics is boring? Inscrutable, sometimes, but never boring.
And at the end of the day, there’s nothing like a nice hot cup of cocoa. Have two, or three, or five.
A rainy Friday. Of course.
It’s a Segway that goes 93 mph. Looks pretty cool, too.
Some Massachusetts businesses worked hard to avoid laying off workers during the pandemic. But now, a much higher than expected federally mandated unemployment fee is putting some of those businesses into a situation where they may have to lay off workers just to be able to afford the unemployment fee. It’s a crazy situation. Jon Chesto reports that the Governor’s office is pushing the payment deadline back, but only by about a month.
Another day, another mass shooting. Here’s a list in case you’re counting.
Reagan National Airport was always weird but it seemed to work surprisingly well. I’m concerned that’s going to change. Previously, you could jump on the Metro downtown and be through security and at your gate within 40 minutes. (Then, once there, you had to deal with the crowds, lack of places to sit and flight delays, etc. But still.) The new layout might make things better – or worse. We shall see.
And Adrian Higgins encourages us to plant a tree, particularly an oak tree. Add water and wait.
Today is Thursday. April 15th.
Substack local. I’m very interested is seeing how this turns out.
Kim Janey is in charge now and the annual budget that she’s presenting to her former colleagues in the City Council reflects the realities of being mayor and running a city. That sets up a conflict with some members of the council who take a more rhetorical or aspirational approach to how they see government working. It doesn’t help that some are campaigning in place for her job. I give Janey credit for standing up to unrealistic expectations.
A Dixie cup is something you drink water out of. A Hoodsie cup is ice cream. Why is this even a question?
“Defund the police or defang the gangs?” Commonwealth Magazine has a brief discussion of the complicated issue of police reform in today’s highly charged political environment. But the bottom line is that defunding the police is like throwing away the baby with the bathwater. Here’s a key takeaway: “Asked whether regular police patrols in their community would make them feel more safe or less safe, 65 percent of black respondents said more safe, while only 22 percent said less safe. There was a bigger gap among white respondents, with 81 percent saying regular patrols would make them feel more safe and only 10 percent saying less safe. But the broad message seemed to be that Americans want better policing aimed at real public safety dangers in their community.”
And the FBI is reaching into privately owned Exchange servers around the country to remove malicious code. They have court approval to do so but it’s still kind of a big deal.
Wednesday. Today is the day Lincoln was shot.
People are flocking to that active volcano near Reykjavik, including many photographers. But lots of people are just there to watch and reflect on nature.
The attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment plant wasn’t just planted software. It seems that actual explosives were smuggled into the facility and placed strategically. The level of infiltration was deep and now the Revolutionary Guards, who are responsible for security at the plant, are looking pretty ineffective.
Bill Forry talked to Secretary Walsh about his commute and about being the ex-mayor of Boston.
It will be at least a year before the chip shortage eases. Meanwhile, automakers and medical equipment manufactures are scrambling. Bipartisan support is growing for moving chip fabrication to the US and having the government subsidise new facilities to make chips here.
And how does Massachusetts rank in terms of general popularity among Americans? Not as good as I would have thought. People. What do they know?
Happy Tuesday. It’s a birthday for Beckett and Heaney.
Starting this week, the Sagamore Bridge will lose a lane for maintenance work. Just in time for early-spring travel to the Cape, although the plan is to finish the work before Memorial Day.
Boston needs its police department and the department needs the support of the people of the city. But today, going into the summer, the relationship is dysfunctional. As Ally Jarmanning points out, we’ve been in this situation before. We worked our way out of it. It takes time and effort to rebuild trust and there’s no time like the present to start that work.
Half of Massachusetts residents have had at least one shot. So we’re getting there.
The MBTA is pushing ahead with a one year, $2 billion dollar capital spending plan. Why one year instead of the typical 5 year plan? Mostly funding uncertainties, which doesn’t bode well for any kind of real strategic planning at the T.
And Apple, the company, is very secretive about upcoming events and products. When someone inside Apple gets caught leaking information they usually get fired. So what’s going to happen to Siri?