Wednesday, August 25th, 2021


The Master of Your Domain

Love always wins in the end. When it comes to the internet, that applies mostly to self-love. Adult content on the internet appeared about five minutes after the first modem was booted up, it has driven many technical innovations, and it is the one form of bipartisan, cross-cultural social media that has never gone out of style. Just days ago, OnlyFans announced that it would be banning explicit content from its site, mostly due to banks refusing to do business with them. Faced with the prospect of being LonelyFans, the site's customers went ballistic. OnlyFans heard the grunts and groans (angry, not satisfied) and reversed course. Either that or they found banks willing to do business with them. Whatever it was, adult content on the internet remains undefeated. NPR: Reversing a Planned Ban, OnlyFans Will Allow Pornography on Its Site After All.

+ "It was only six years ago that the NFL forced the cancellation of scheduled appearances by then-Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo and other players at a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas. The nation's most popular and prosperous pro sports league wouldn't allow even that tenuous link between its players and bettors, citing a policy prohibiting appearances associated with gambling establishments." Times have changed. So have laws. And so, most importantly, have revenue streams. WaPo (gift article or ND readers): The NFL once viewed sports betting as a threat. Now the league wants the action. (Gambling has a win streak almost as consistent as adult content. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?)


Playing Our Tune?

"On one part of the sidewalk, longtime antiabortion demonstrator Coleman Boyd belts out a steady stream of Christian music, with lyrics about Jesus's love for the unborn. 'Your precious baby is going to be murdered in this place,' Boyd, a physician, preaches between songs. Nearby, supporters of the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, turn up their own playlist of 'Jagged Little Pill,' by Alanis Morissette, and other female empowerment anthems. The struggle on the sidewalk will soon play out at the Supreme Court, where the Jackson clinic — known as "the Pink House" for its bubble-gum color — is at the center of the most consequential women's reproductive rights case in decades." WaPo (gift article for ND readers): The Mississippi clinic at the center of the fight to end abortion in America.


Let’s Help

When it comes to the Afghanistan story, the one thing every decent person can agree on is that the refugees fleeing for their lives deserve our support. The NextDraft community can help by donating money to Obodo. The program is run by a friend of mine. All the money goes towards getting supplies to those evacuees who need it most. I donated. I hope you will too.

+ "Take your wife and kids. Hide your documents, bring no luggage and pass the Taliban checkpoints. And this time, go to a different entrance to the airport." NPR: The Story Of How An Afghan Interpreter And His Family Escaped Afghanistan.

+ An NYT video mini-doc on How the U.S. military response to the 9/11 attacks led to decades of war. The video features my friend Jeff Eggers. He has served at every level (from Navy Seal to presidential policy advisor). Here's a piece he recently wrote. We chose not to win in Afghanistan.

+ "Prince, who faces U.N. sanctions over his sketchy work in Libya and whose Blackwater guards were convicted of murder in 2014 while providing security for Americans in Iraq, told the WSJ he is charging upwards of $6,500 a seat on a private charter out of Kabul." Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Charging $6,500 for Seat on Flight Out of Kabul. (At least he's consistent.)

+ 82,300 have been evacuated so far. Here's the latest from BBC.


Getting Into Foreign Territory

"With three liberal justices in dissent, the high court refused to block a lower court ruling ordering the administration to reinstate the program informally known as Remain in Mexico."

+ "One of the most foundational principles of court decisions involving foreign policy is that judges should be extraordinarily reluctant to mess around with foreign affairs. The decision in Texas defies this principle, fundamentally reshaping the balance of power between judges and elected officials in the process." The Supreme Court's stunning, radical immigration decision, explained.


Ordering In

At this point, wouldn't it be sort of nice if we could just order people to get vaccinated? Well, the military can. And just did. Pentagon: US troops must get their COVID-19 vaccines ASAP. Oorah!

+ "More than 80 school districts or charter networks have closed or delayed in-person classes for at least one entire school in more than a dozen states. Others have sent home whole grade levels or asked half their students to stay home on hybrid schedules."

+ Johnson & Johnson says booster shot provides 'rapid and robust' Covid antibody increase.

+ Washington County sheriff confirms use of ivermectin at detention center. (Covid politics are so exhausting and crazy. But it's worth noting that 71% of Americans over 12 have had at least one dose of vaccine. In a country where you can't get a majority to agree on anything, we're getting there.)


Not Truckin Around

"Nauto's technology underpins sophisticated safety systems for hundreds of the world's top large-scale fleets, and customers are achieving up to an 80% reduction in a collision loss. The company estimates that has translated into over $300 million in savings." Autonomous driving might be a ways away, but using AI to make driving safer is coming at us like a Mack Truck. Here's how driving becomes safer.


It’s a Fry Heat

"In June, Kuwait recorded a temperature of 53.2 degrees Celsius (127.76 degrees Fahrenheit), while Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia all recorded over 50 degrees (122 degrees). A month later, temperatures in Iraq spiked to 51.5 degrees (124.7 degrees), and Iran recorded a close 51 degrees (123.8 degrees). Worst of all, this is just the start of a trend. The Middle East is warming at twice the global average." The Middle East Is Becoming Literally Uninhabitable.


That’s Quite a Racket

"About $130 million of Federer's earnings has come from official prize money, a figure that puts him second on the all-time list in tennis to Djokovic's $152 million. The rest has come through sponsorships, endorsements, appearance fees at tournaments and lucrative exhibition events around the world. Federer's performance in this domain has been every bit as impressive as his performance on court — perhaps even more so." NYT Mag: Roger Federer's Biggest Legacy? It Might Be His Billion-Dollar Brand. That won't be his biggest legacy. But it's a big ass bank account. (And I don't mean that as a backhanded compliment.) The best deal of all. Thirty million a year from Uniqlo for ten years. In the words of one of his forebears: "You Cannot Be Serious!?"


The Ball’s in Your Court

"Lawmakers say kicking a ball over the hedge to look around is not allowed, neither is taking anything you fancy." If you live in Belgium, the law will soon allow you the right to retrieve lost ball from your neighbor's yard. You can already do that in my yard, if you've got the guts to face my beagles. (It's not that they'll attack. They'll just want a few hours of petting and positive reinforcement.)


Bottom of the News

"Elden has repeatedly recreated the pose as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (with swim trunks on) on the occasion of the album's 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries." Man Photographed as Baby on ‘Nevermind' Cover Sues Nirvana. (His lawyers should say, "never mind.")

+ Tony Hawk Is Selling Skateboards Infused With His Blood.

+ Norman Lear said, "I can't recall a more engaging read." Former CBS News President Andrew Heyward called it, a "smart, funny, compelling and uniquely personal journey through 2020 with one of America's smartest (and funniest) commentators." I love them both. But you shouldn't need anyone else to convince you pre-order my book. You've been reading my stuff for free for years! Let's go! Order Please Scream Inside Your Heart today: IndieBound | Amazon | Apple |