The long (and short) arm of the law

Good Tuesday. National Night Out, which would have been tonight, is postponed until October 6.

Is Congress broken? There doesn’t seem to be any political reward for consensus and compromise. And it’s showing.

Homicides are up significantly in many big cities, according to the Wall Street Journal. Boston isn’t mentioned in the story but we’re up as well. Are the spikes related to the pandemic and protests or is it just the normal socioeconomic factors that tend to drive crime? That’s the question. In Minneapolis, residents are finding they can’t live with the police and they can’t live without them. That’s also the case in Springfield. The Massachusetts police reform bill is in a conference committee on Beacon Hill. Those are always slow going but in this case that’s sensible. And Chuck Lovell, the police chief in Portland, speaks out about what his department has had to deal with during the protests. It wasn’t pretty. Nor was it productive.

The still-closed MFA is laying off workers. 100 jobs have been cut so far.

Update your priors! This is a great article on the basics of Bayesian analysis from Siobhan Roberts. It’s useful for assessing coronavirus models but also for everyday life.

And it’s official: we boomers are idiots.

Echos in the canyon

Monday. Another hot humid day is forecast. Bring it on.

John Hume has died.

In Boston, nightlife seems to be active in some parts of the city but when the sun comes up there’s a sense of emptiness in business district. I wonder how much remote working will end up being the new normal.

The Space X astronauts splashed down safety yesterday. The way this year was going I was prepared for the worst.

Apple is now the world’s most valuable company. And there’s a stock split coming at the end of the month.

And all he wanted to do was turn off his windshield wipers but this Tesla driver ended up having his license suspended for using a computer screen while driving. That’s not how it was supposed to work.

Out in the cold on a hot day

Sunday. The first anti-matter particle, the positron, originally theorized by Paul Dirac, was discovered on this day in 1932 by Carl Anderson, who won a Noble Prize for it.

Did photographer David Ryan get into the dryer to take this photo? Is the woman loading the dryer so caught up in her work that she doesn’t notice a camera inside pointing at her? So many questions.

Retail, car rental, airlines, restaurants and communications are some of the major sectors that have been hit by bankruptcies due to the pandemic. The employees affected have been surviving economically through a federal unemployment supplement, which ended this week. Now Congress is bickering about what to do next. When our representatives deliver results, we like them. These days we don’t like them very much. I suppose that’s especially true if you’re out of a job.

Red Auerbach’s record of all-time wins has been eclipsed by Doc Rivers, another one-time Celtics coach, now with the Clippers. “Any time your name is with Red, you feel very fortunate,” he told ESPN.

There’s more drama around TikTok. Apparently the Microsoft deal is being reviewed by the White House pending any action on a potential US ban. Tic. Toc.

And at least Americans aren’t the only idiots in the world. The AP reports crowds marching in Berlin without masks demanding an end to the pandemic.

A question of legitimacy

It is a splendid Saturday morning. July is in the rear view mirror. And despite the heat it was the worst month yet for Covid.

Brian Krebs looks at the state of credit card fraud in 2020 and wonders why it’s still even a thing.

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian attorneys are concerned enough about the President’s tweets on delaying the election that they’ve composed a statement to encourage Americans to be prepared for trouble. And it could very well be trouble. The ‘base’ is lining up to challenge any result other than victory. How this will all play out is still unclear. But the signs of trouble are already starting to show.

On the same topic, Jonathan Turley takes a swing and a miss.

The US deficit has ballooned beyond the point of reasonableness, which is hurting the country’s credit rating, now bumped down a notch from stable to negative. To add insult to injury, Congress and the White House still could not hammer out a plan to support people unemployed by Covid.

And you may not know the name William English, but he changed the world. English invented the computer mouse. He died this week.

High marks

TGIF. On this day in 1973, a Delta DC9 crashed on approach to Logan, killing all 89.

The election is postponed for one year because of the coronavirus. That just happened in Hong Kong.

Although Governor Charlie Baker is a Republican, he’s held in high regard by by both parties in Massachusetts -but especially by Democrats. On how he handled the coronavirus, 74% of Republicans in a MassINC poll approved of his leadership. That’s a pretty respectable number. But it pales in comparison to how Democrats think he did. They give him an approval rating of 91%. Ninety One!

The Trump campaign has suspended buying ads. Does this mean that the notoriously cheap Trump is going to pull an LBJ? Unlikely, but then again, lots of unlikely things have happened during this administration.

I called it a couple of weeks ago. The MA legislature is going to extend its session. There’s that little matter of the state budget that still needs to get done.

And it’s a butterfly! In space!