A living wage

Monday, Monday. That day you can’t trust.

Planet Money tackles inflation.

A Globe story on government benefits for workers during the pandemic has a point of view. In the print version it concludes right at the beginning that there’s “Little evidence extra cash is keeping most recipients from returning to work.” This, of course, is in opposition to a GOP narrative. I happen to agree with the Globe’s POV in general terms. People in low paying service jobs need to be paid a sustainable wage. And in the meantime, it’s appropriate that the government help fill the gap. But despite the many anecdotes provided by the Globe, the underlying data contained in the story suggests that for many, the extra cash is keeping them from returning to work. So what? This doesn’t mean that the Republicans win. It means that the system is screwed up. We shouldn’t feel that we we need to stretch the truth merely to defend partisan talking points.

In 1972, researchers at MIT predicted that society would collapse sometime this century. Looks like we’re right on schedule.

Saudi Arabia is asserting itself in Tunisia by providing funding for vaccines. There’s a modern commercial neighborhood in Tunis that was developed by the Saudis. The deal was that in that neighborhood, no alcohol could be served. I don’t know if there’s are any such restriction attached to the vaccines but I do know that despite the prohibitions, you could still easily get a drink in Berges du Lac.

And apparently, an “awkward get-together” occured between Aerosmith and Donald Trump detailed in this very awkward article. Steve Tyler was Trump’s personal guest. Joe Perry muscled in and ended up being offended by Trump’s crudeness. Throw in a threat of lawsuits over using the group’s songs. It’s all just very bizarre.

Meet the new boss

Monday. Shark Week commences.

A billionaire goes to space and guess who takes the credit?

Lily Huang and Alicia Fleming wrote a piece in Commonwealth Magazine on how Henry-led Globe management treats its employees. Not ideal.

Apple is threatening to leave the UK market if a judge rules against them in a patent infringement case. That would be kind of a big deal. Are they bluffing? The company’s lawyers say no, it’s just a simple cost / benefit decision. In reality, it would be a very complex CBA.

Axios rounds up woke / anti-woke news.

And we all miss SkyMall. For Clive Thompson, Instagram is the new SkyMall. For me it’s Kickstarter ads during YouTube videos.

Real fake news

Today is Thursday. It’s Marty Feldman‘s birthday.

The most recent Kaseya ransomware attack was billed as the biggest ever. They all seem to be the biggest ever. Who decides what’s big and what’s not? Scott Rosenberg and Ina Fried try to sort it out.

When did the Globe get so sleazy? I know it’s hard to make money in the news business but there should be some standards. As a paid subscriber, I chafe at prominently placed ads on the website. But I get it. What’s not acceptable is the dark pattern placement of ads that purport to be news. For example, under the masthead and main menu, there was this: “Grandma attacked outside store in [insert local town name based on IP lookup]. It links to an infomercial (don’t click) for a security device. The ‘news’ part appears to be completely made up. I know it’s all done algorithmically behind the scenes but at the end of the day the Globe owns it and their aging readership deserves better.

Spencer Buell has suggestions for making the T more fun to ride. Something about Jerry Seinfeld, Easter eggs, t-shirts and free samples.

Dorchester and Mattapan have a significant Haitian population. The Dorchester Reporter staff rounds up local reaction to the assassination of president Moïse.

And not only are we getting stupider, we’re also getting less creative. -I got nothing.

Vox populi

Thursday, July 1st. It must be summer.

The City Council finally passed the budgetyesterday afternoon. It takes effect today. That was close. Lydia Edwards had the best line going into the process. “I think this budget will pass—like a kidney stone.”

Joan Vennochi looked a little deeper at that Globe/Suffolk poll. The Globe has been pillorying the police department and Marty Walsh but voters still like Walsh and approve of the job police are doing. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a mishandling of the commissioner transition or that there weren’t serious incidents of corruption in the department over the last decade. But as voters seem to understand, it’s a matter of proportion. Of all the issues on voters minds, the poll shows that police reform is at the very bottom. As Vennochi puts it, “These poll results […] may also say something about the media not seeing the political forest for the scandalous trees.”

After an international manhunt they finally nabbed the Tour de France sign holder. They should give her a very stern talking to.

There were some crazy clouds last evening as the heat wave broke. Of course John Tlumacki captured an amazing image. Speaking of Tlumacki and heat waves, check this great image from 1985 with a recounting of how he caught it.

And Fortune favors the online fortune tellers. I have to assume that they saw this coming.

Survey SAYS

Happy Wednesday. A birthday for Mike Tyson and Dave Van Ronk.

It’s hot. It’s too hot. Another record breaking day. There may be some big thunderstorms this afternoon as well.

A majority of likely voters of all races think the police in Boston are doing a good job. The Globe and Suffolk University commissioned the survey. Faced with the results, the Globe questioned the methodology of its own poll and downplayed the implications. Sounds like some serious cognitive dissonance going on there.

There’s a narrative going around that resturants can’t get help because government stimulus checks are disincentivizing workers, not because employers were offering too little in wages. Missouri decided to remove the disincentive to see if that would bring workers back. So far it hasn’t.

In this recorded call, JFK was a little angry with the General. Send that furniture back to Jordan Marsh!

And since Trump left office, web traffic and general viewership is down for both right and left leaning media. Twitter is probably having a slump as well. It’s bad news for media bean counters but I’ll take the peace and quiet any day. Totally worth it.