A glass jaw

A warm Thursday. It’s the 115th day of the year and Bruce Dern’s 83rd birthday.

Should the city buy all the liquor licenses and then lease them back to businesses? It sounds like a good idea but as the head of the licensing board says, the devil is in the details. Katie Trojano fills us in.

Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins took out the broad brush on police use of force and her remarks caught the attention of the BPPA, who released a statement criticizing her rhetoric. But Rollins’ response, asking the union about their silence on the Floyd killing, underscored her point. Police unions have been an important driver for raising wages for the city’s middle class public safety workers, helping to promote professionalism and ensure safe working conditions, things I have personally benefited from. But too often in my (and others) experience, they get in the way on necessary discipline. You can’t be hard on crime for citizens and soft on crime for yourselves. And police unions across the country seem to be tone-deaf to the political environment that they operate in, antagonizing people by circling the wagons and opening themselves up for the kind of punch Rollins was easily able to land.

If Cannes hadn’t been cancelled because of the coronavirus, here are the movies that would have been screened.

I always saw the generals as the canary in the coal mine on the whether we should be worried about who’s running the country. I think what they’re saying now is, we should be worried.

And who says British television is boring. Poor Rudy.

Complete domination

It’s a nice Wednesday morning. Another sleepy, dusty delta day.

If you like cheese, now is the time to buy from New England cheesemakers. Their sales have been hit hard by the pandemic. France is having the same problem and has declared it a patriotic duty to eat cheese. I’m on board with that.

Policing, and especially using coercive force, requires hard-earned legitimacy and local knowledge. The feds don’t have that, nor does the military. The TSA certainly doesn’t. Chuck Wexler is right, this overuse of federal assets is a recipe for chaos.

In a Globe Ideas piece, a couple of “old guys” with policing experience dating back to the 70’s write about the problems with policing today. And in the Wall Street Journal another op-ed takes the view that there are no problems in policing today. Maybe that’s the problem.

Thomas Friedman is not optimistic that leaders in government can keep the country together and functional through the next election. Everyone seems to have a vested interest in division, except, maybe, business leaders. But not the ones who run social networks. For them, division is where the money is.

And in what might be the last chapter in the Tiger King saga, Carole Baskin has been awarded ownership of Joe Exotic’s zoo. Well, rustle my mullet.

A surfeit of ignorance

Tuesday today. It’s the anniversary of the anarchist bombings of 1919.

Office buildings were cleared to open up for workers yesterday but where are the workers? Still at home.

A report from Italy suggested that the coronavirus had mutated to a weaker version. Scientists and experts aren’t buying it. Human behavior is much more adaptable than the virus is at this point and that’s more likely to be responsible for any changes in infection rates. But even with six months of scientific scrutiny, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the coronavirus. The Times summarizes our ignorance.

Who’s instigating the rioting? It’s tempting to look for a simple answer but reality is always more complicated. That said, the involvement of young white guys like Bartel, at the core of the violence, is more common than people may think.

To raise taxes or not to raise taxes. That is the question for Massachusetts as revenue has shrunk and spending has accelerated during the crisis. Actually it’s not as simple as only raising taxes. Service cuts and layoffs are also in the mix and it’s all against a backdrop of seeding future economic growth. A group of economists have a recommendation for state leadership. The president of the Beacon Hill Institute rebuts.

And Troy Hunt looked into the data breach of the Minneapolis Police Department attributed to Anonymous and found that it wasn’t what it seemed.

An inflection point

Monday, June 1st. The morning after.

It was a rough night in Boston. Waves of looting and destruction. A long night for the police. (The Dig has some on-the-ground photos taken by Keiko Hiromi.) There’s a community cleanup going on this morning.

It was the same story across the nation. Minneapolis, the starting point with the killing of George Floyd, was relatively quiet last night, but in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago and Portland, violence escalated. More than 4000 people were arrested across the country over the weekend. Crowds in Washington DC gathered outside the White House and then moved into surrounding areas where they vandalized property and looted stores.

There was one nice moment in Birmingham, Alabama, though.

So this is what a politically divided America looks like. We’ve seen riots and looting before but it seems different this time. The national government is dysfunctional and can’t rise to the occasion. The media is amplifying tension on both sides. The president, when he weighs in at all, is making things worse, not better. There is no touchstone. It’s a difficult time for the country. The future is cloudy.

And we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. Imagine that.

The plot against America

It’s Sunday, May 31st. Covfefe is 3 years old today.

Can your Fitbit tell you if you have Covid-19? Maybe. They’re working on it.

The FBI has reportedly uncovered a new Al-Qaeda plot: The terrorist group is planning to sit at home and watch the collapse of United States on TV. Yes, it’s from The Onion, but this one stings a little bit.

Boston-area photographer Elsa Dorfman, whose photos hang in the Museum of Fine Art, has died.

A lot of people have had enough. They’re over it.” You know, the masks, the lines, the Clorox wipes, the “tragic hair, the diminished hygiene, the endless construction next door, the Zoom meetings from hell…”. But even when it is over, you still have to wash your hands.

And if you’ve ever mocked the poor wording and misspellings in those Nigerian prince emails, then you’ve been successfully sorted out of the process. Apparently the scammers are smarter than you think.