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.

Don’t Fauci my Florida

A quiet, peaceful Sunday morning.

Exchange programs usually bring students together from far flung, exotic places. You know, like Texas, Louisiana and Massachusetts. But apparently not Russia.

Florida is now leading the nation on Covid infections, with an average of 6,500 new cases a day. Are we surprised? Arkansas is giving Florida a run for its money. Across the country, but particularly in places resistant to taking reasonable health precautions, cases are up almost 70%. The head of the CDC calls it “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Darwin is just shaking his head.

The Phoblographer features 6 really good street photographers. Check out Ale Ruaro, especially.

Google Maps is recalculating the route to the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland, to avoid sending people over a cliff.

And youse guys will be happy to know that there are over 300 new words added at Dictonary.com. You-uns and y’all will be pleased as well.

A one-way mirror

Friday. Let’s just call it a week.

Travel site Matador writes about how great the North End is. But from an alternate reality. They insist on calling it Boston’s Little Italy. Very annoying.

The Legislature continues to mask its committee votes. Members insist that the normal sausage making requires it. They worry that how they vote on issues in committee might be misconstrued. Maybe, but aren’t these also the people that made the rules that require the official actions of all of the other public employees in the state be open for review – misconstrue or not? What’s good for the goose, right?

There are two sides to every story. But in this situation, only one side passes the smell test for Christopher Muther.

Bill Forry, editor of the Dorchester Reporter, has some thoughts about the current governing situation in the city.

And Heinz wants to know why buying hotdogs and buns always ends up in a mismatch. (I want to know why people think putting ketchup on a hot dog is an acceptable thing in a civilized society.)

Three star review

The Fourth of July. Burgers and dogs.

French bureaucracy can be tough. Especially if you’re dead.

Rate a Cop. It was only a matter of time.

I use the Starbucks app to order ahead all the time. When it works as designed it can be incredibly efficient, but when it doesn’t, especially in a very busy store, things can go haywire.

The Verge has a list of seasonal things that you didn’t know you needed, and probably don’t.

And as tourists are returning to San Francisco, so are the criminals. Car breaks are up a whopping 753%.

Fit to print

Monday the 21st. If it seems like a long day, that’s because it is.

Boston to New York in an hour and a half and a train to Revere Beach. Now that’s what I call infrastructure.

The mayor of New Bedford believes that every city needs a functioning local newspaper. So he helped to create one – with a little help. Welcome to the New Bedford Light, a non-profit online paper not driven by click-throughs.

The Verge has a few good TV deals for Prime Day.

Some Catholic bishops are cautioning the president on abortion rights, appearing to threaten his ability to take communion. Karen Tumulty provides a history lesson on mixing politics and religion. In any case, this won’t go anywhere.

And running an airline is hard. Booking a flight on American this weekend was even harder.