November 14th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The making of an American Nazi, big brother in pill form, and a thrilla from Mozilla.

“I’d spent months reporting on Anglin, trying to understand who he was and how he’d built such a following, as well as how serious a threat he and the rest of the alt-right actually posed. Anglin’s path to white nationalism was disturbing, and more circuitous than I could have imagined. But it fit a pattern that scholars have identified, in that he seems to have been driven, at least initially, more by a desire for status and belonging than by deeply held beliefs. Anglin wanted to be somebody, and the internet gave him a way.” The Atlantic’s Luke O’Brien with a detailed and disturbing look at the making of an American Nazi. Part of the story is about timing: “Anglin and his ilk like to talk about the Overton Window, a term that describes the range of acceptable discourse in society. They’d been tugging at that window for years only to watch, with surprise and delight, as it flew wide open during Donald Trump’s candidacy. Suddenly it was okay to talk about banning Muslims or to cast Mexican immigrants as criminals and parasites—which meant Anglin’s even-more-extreme views weren’t as far outside the mainstream as they once had been.”


Pill Bug

“Many of those patients don’t take meds because they don’t like side effects, or don’t think they have an illness, or because they become paranoid about the doctor or the doctor’s intentions. A system that will monitor their behavior and send signals out of their body and notify their doctor? You would think that, whether in psychiatry or general medicine, drugs for almost any other condition would be a better place to start than a drug for schizophrenia.” The age of digital pills is upon us. And its wasting no time thrusting the privacy issue to the center of the discussion. The first use-case approved by the FDA is a sensor that tells doctors if and when a patient has taken their medicine. First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother.


Raqqa Bye Baby

“The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.” Raqqa’s Dirty Secret.

+ After six years of war, much of Syria has been reduced to rubble. Here’s a view from a perspective we rarely think of when reading these stories: Photos of Syria’s Students: Going to School in a War Zone.



“I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at the Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended. After reading his account and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government or any other foreign government for that matter.” Jeff Sessions was back testifying in Congress, and his story about campaign contacts with Russia changed once again.

+ “Looks like is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.” Politico: Sessions dampens GOP hopes for Clinton special counsel.

+ “If he or his deputy authorizes a new investigation of Mrs. Clinton, it would shatter norms established after Watergate that are intended to prevent presidents from using law enforcement agencies against political rivals.” Peter Baker: Trump Shatters Longstanding Norms by Pressing for Clinton Investigation. (The next time a norm returns to the scene, all of America will sound like an episode of Cheers…)

+ Here are some video highlights of the latest Jeff Sessions.

+ Sessions’ latest appearance before Congress comes in the wake of Julia Ioffe’s blockbuster piece on Wikileaks and Jr: The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks. (If you’ve ever felt like you were a disappointment to your dad, Donald Jr is the gift that keeps on giving.)


A Thrilla From Mozilla

Imagine a browser made by a company that has your best interests at heart. Now imagine that browser is great. Imagine Firefox Quantum. The completely rebuilt and blazingly fast browser from Mozilla is a welcome addition to an internet landscape increasingly controlled by a handful of a mega tech companies. Experience a great browser from a dot org that’s on your side — and on mine, since Mozilla is our fearless sponsor — that’s fast, has great add-ons, and some really cool Pocket integration that NextDraft readers are sure to appreciate.


Fresno’s State

“I’d bet every 16-year-old girl in Fresno has received a message that they didn’t know was from a recruiter. They’re recruited while sitting next to their parents in the living room. Mom or dad may be reading the newspaper or watching TV while she’s on her phone.” The Fresno Bee with a special report on sex trafficking in their backyard: ‘Every 16-year-old girl in Fresno’ has been targeted by sex trade recruiters.


Death and Taxes

“Repealing the health care provision, known as the individual mandate, could free up more than $300 billion in government spending over the next decade, but it could also lead to 13 million fewer people having health insurance over that span.” WaPo: Senate GOP to add repeal of Obamacare insurance mandate into tax bill.


Sugar Rush

“At dusk one day last December, Dr. Esperanza Cerón, the head of the organization, said she noticed two strange men on motorcycles trailing her Chevy sedan as she headed home from work. She tried to lose them in Bogotá’s rush-hour traffic, but they edged up to her car and pounded on the windows. ‘If you don’t keep your mouth shut,’ one man shouted, she recalled in a recent interview, ‘you know what the consequences will be.'” That sounds like an all-too familiar Bogotá scene, but this story is about another white powdery substance. NYT’s Andrew Jacobs And Matt Richtel: She Took On Colombia’s Soda Industry. Then She Was Silenced.


Staked Alaska

“Our goal is an America that is the strongest energy superpower that this world has ever known … the road to energy dominance goes through the great state of Alaska.” And that road will take you places that you probably never knew existed. In the NYT, Chris Solomon takes you to the far reaches of Alaska where a battle for America’s environmental soul is being waged: America’s Wildest Place Is Open for Business.


Bottom of the News

“Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers: These classifications are a failed way to categorize people. Perennials march to the beat of their own drum and find connections between themselves and the world around them, based on interest not age.” The Perennials movement is catching on all over the place. Courtesy of my wife Gina and the team at 7×7: Meet the 2017 Cast of Perennial Bay Area Innovators. (A really cool group, no matter where you’re from…)

+ There’s one thing that repeats itself every time I hit the NextDraft publish button. I’m always wearing something from Cotton Bureau, a site that has become my exclusive stop for T-shirts. They just launched their 2017 All The Tees holiday campaign. You can buy any shirt on the site (and there will be some new NextDraft ones in coming days).

+ Next month, the CompuServe forums will be shutting down. (Yes, that CompuServe…)

+ Speed Freaks: Meet the People Who Listen to Podcasts at Super-Fast Speeds.

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