Bait and switch

Today is Thursday, September 17, Constitution Day.

In Minneapolis, where local politicians were calling for eliminating police earlier in the year, those same politicians are now asking, “Where are the police?”

Northern Ireland was always the sticking point for a functional Brexit and at this late date it still is. With a January deadline for the UK to leave the EU, Boris Johnson is reneging on the previous agreement for border controls along the Irish Sea. Businesses are not happy with the lack of a clear plan. The alternative to the previous agreement is, potentially, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, something few want. What a mess.

The president has a secret health plan. (That’s all you need to know. It’s secret.)

Daniel Sheehan profiles Ashmont Cycles amidst a biking boom and a neighborhood relocation.

And Olga Massov wants to rehabilitate the reputation of tiramisu. She has her work cut out for her. A good tiramisu can be wonderful but most are really very bad.

A common understanding

Monday once again. What is it about Monday?

Ennio Morricone has died. He made some amazing and very memorable music. Peter Bradshaw recounts his accomplishments.

In the Columbia Journalism Review, Jack Herrera writes about confusion over what the slogan defund the police really means. He thinks journalists are watering it down because they aren’t familiar with the purist interpretation or because they’re afraid of the political implications of promoting the actual elimination of police departments. But isn’t that how slogans work? No one owns them. They’re just memes open to interpretation. They take on meaning as they spread. The less we know about what they actually mean the quicker they catch on.

Murders are up in cities nationwide but crime is down. OK. Experts chalk this up to it just being a weird year.

Britons have a dilemma as things are opening up. Where should they go first, the hairdresser or the pub?

And with a shortage of live sports, ESPN is bringing us The Eagles pre-recorded. The ones from Los Angeles, not Philadelphia. A concert from 2018.

No flight plan

Tuesday. It’s the last day of June and the anniversary of the Tunguska explosion.

Jim McBride reviews the recent history around the Cam Newton trade. It’s a calculated gamble for the Patriots, but I’m looking forward to the season – barring any early injuries. Adam Kilgore considers the Belichick/Newton combo and likes what he sees. Excitement is in the air once again for Pats fans.

Just in time for a potential coronavirus vaccine, here comes a new virus from China. More here. (Maybe that mid-2020 Mayan ‘end of the world‘ thing was spot on.) Also, James Fallows does an NTSB style investigation into how the US government handled the Covid outbreak and determines the cause to be pilot error. It’s a long article but worth the time to read. And many good links are provided.

CNN looks at the rise and fall of the British cheddar cheese empire. (Make mine Vermont cheddar, please)

Did we really need a mathematical model of political hyper-polarization? I’ll go out on a limb and say no.

And 57% of British people polled recently want to rejoin the European Union. Only 35% still support Brexit. What a surprise.

A glass jaw

A warm Thursday. It’s the 115th day of the year and it’s 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 tells us, 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.

Proceeding as planned

Sunday, March 1st. It’s #DadgumThatsGoodDay.

Utah is reducing polygamy from a felony to a misdemeanor to bring the communities that practice it back into the mainstream. OK, I guess that makes sense.

The Boston Marathon is still on but just the fact that there are discussions about cancelling it shows the uncertainty hanging over the coronavirus. This year’s Tokyo Marathon is restricted to elite runners. Usually more than 40,000 athletes and fans show up. This is what it looked like today. St. Patrick’s Day parades are coming up. Boston is on track, as is Dublin, but other places are still assessing their plans to go forward. In Rhode Island, a person who recently returned from Italy has tested ‘presumptive positive‘ for coronavirus and is under quarantine. There’s another new case in Chicago. Local companies, universities and hospitals are cancelling travel and ramping up teleconferencing capabilities. First responders should be extra vigilant by wearing gloves and washing their hands frequently so as not to expose themselves or become a vector. And in China, some good with the bad.

New York’s plastic bag ban takes effect today. That’s a lot of bags.

$2k a month for a bedroom that’s also bathroom? Actually more like a bathroom with a bed in it. Housing prices are a real problem in London and also in Ireland, where scarcity is reshaping politics.

The New Yorker interviews Pam Grier.

And email is how you reset your passwords for other accounts, from Twitter to online banking. If it’s easy to get into your Gmail account, it’s easy to get access to all of your accounts. Make sure it’s a solid first line of defense.