Monday, June 6th, 2022


Duty Calls

"It was hardly unusual for a jury to struggle to come to an agreement. What made this case unusual was the context provided by the victim's identity. Clanton was an actor on The Wire and is now appearing on We Own This City, the new HBO miniseries produced by the creators of The Wire and based on Baltimore journalist Justin Fenton's nonfiction book about an eye-popping police corruption scandal exposed five years ago." It's rare that a journalist is selected for a jury in a case involving a serious, violent crime. But in Baltimore, it can be tough to find any 12 people who don't have some bias due to being the victim of a shooting, having had an extremely negative experience with the police, or both. In ProPublica, Alec MacGillis chronicles his experience as a jury foreman in a shooting case, providing access to jury deliberations in a city that has been a gun violence warzone and experienced some of the most extreme, and most well-documented, cases of police corruption. Trial Diary: A Journalist Sits on a Baltimore Jury. (I once missed a couple weeks of NextDraft while I sat on a jury in a trial for a violent crime in San Francisco. A few of my fellow jurors might still be subscribers to NextDraft. If so, I haven't forgiven you for nominating me to be foreman!)

+ It's the 20th anniversary of The Wire on HBO. And sadly, the story is as relevant today as it was back then. And for a new Baltimore show from David Simon, watch We Own This City. The corruption depicted in this series will seem too extreme to be real, unless you're from Baltimore.

+ And if you missed it on Friday, I wrote about some of my experiences with school violence and use of metal detectors. What Defund Were You Thinking?

+ While we're on the topic: Police still searching for Philadelphia gunmen in one of a dozen mass shootings over the weekend.


Revenge of the Nerd

"We live in an era that has been profoundly warped by the headstrong impulses of men who are technically sophisticated but emotionally immature. From the whoopie-cushion antics of Elon Musk to the Panglossian implacability of Mark Zuckerberg, a particular personality profile dominates these times: the boy emperor. While reporting this article, I often wondered how the C.I.A. could have missed the obvious combustibility of this profile when it hired Schulte and gave him a security clearance. In order to get an agency job, Schulte had been subjected to a battery of tests—but, when his lawyers tried to obtain the psychological profile that the agency had produced on him, the C.I.A. would not turn it over." The excellent Patrick Radden Keefe in The New Yorker: The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker's Revenge. A hot-headed coder is accused of exposing the agency's hacking arsenal. Did he betray his country because he was pissed off at his colleagues? (And will he get off because of the government's allegiance to secrecy and his own in-your-face legal strategies?)


Strike That, Reverse It

"Dr. Luis A. Diaz Jr. of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an author of a paper published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine ... said he knew of no other study in which a treatment completely obliterated a cancer in every patient ... Dr. Alan P. Venook, a colorectal cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved with the study, said he also thought this was a first. A complete remission in every single patient is 'unheard-of,' he said." Well, hear this from the NYT: A Cancer Trial's Unexpected Result: Remission in Every Patient.

+ "If we reverse aging, these diseases should not happen. We have the technology today to be able to go into your hundreds without worrying about getting cancer in your 70s, heart disease in your 80s and Alzheimer's in your 90s ... This is the world that is coming. It's literally a question of when and for most of us, it's going to happen in our lifetimes." The ‘Benjamin Button' effect: Scientists can reverse aging in mice. The goal is to do the same for humans. This is exactly why, when it comes to personal achievements, I'm pacing myself.

+ Kenichi Wha? Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie isn't waiting around for his miracle mice cure. At 83, he just became the oldest person in the world to complete a solo, nonstop voyage across the Pacific Ocean — and he says he is still 'in the middle of my youth' and not done yet."


Shark Weak

"Longtime associates say Norman's most remarkable skill is neither golf nor business. It's his ability to repeat something with enough conviction that it becomes true. It's his best and worst trait, those close to him say, the one that both pushed him from No. 100 in the world to No. 1 and made him successful in real estate, Wagyu beef, even water parks. It's now justifying his partnership with the Saudis, associates say." (Aside from the actual success in real estate, steaks, and water, this personality sounds a little too familiar.) WaPo (Gift Article) on Greg Norman and the highly controversial new Saudi-backed professional golf league. The Shark is on the attack again.

+ Money can move people to make bad decisions. Norman is not alone. Rebel Saudi golf tour struggling to shift tickets for inaugural event - even for free.

+ LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London to be streamed on YouTube and Facebook.


Extra, Extra

London Britches Falling down: Boris Johnson will find out the results of the no-confidence vote against him tonight. He's expected to barely survive. Watch this space.

+ Watch Your Sixes: June 6 marks an important day in American history. The allies landed on Omaha Beach in 1944 representing a country largely united in the fight for world democracy. Meanwhile, this week we'll begin public hearings on January 6, the day the insurrectionists desecrated our Capitol and our democracy while tens of millions of Americans, including a sitting president, looked on approvingly.

+ Summit Descent: "Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed Monday that he will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week, citing concerns over the exclusion of leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela."

+ Bot Feeder: "Elon Musk says that Twitter is in "clear material breach" of their $44 billion acquisition deal and that he could 'terminate' the agreement in response. In a letter sent to Twitter this morning, Musk's legal team claims that Twitter has failed to provide him with information on the service's spam bot problem." (It's easy to identify the bots on Twitter. They're the accounts that are supportive of Elon buying the company.)

+ Rolling Garros: Nice guys finish last? There's an exception to that rule. Make that 22 exceptions. Rafa Nadal just won his 22nd major and his 14th French Open. He is 112-3 at Roland Garros and 14-0 in the finals. Even a Humanities major like me can find the words for numbers like those. Rafael Nadal Wins Historic 14th French Open. (Add one more quirk to Nadal's famous on-court OCD. He has to win every final in Paris.)


Bottom of the News

A man has been arrested at the airport in Charlotte after being stopped in the city's airport with more than 23 pounds of cocaine concealed in the seat cushions of a wheelchair. (It was a dead giveaway that the wheelchair was going about 70 mph.)

+ How a 15-year-old Ukrainian drone pilot helped destroy a Russian army column.

+ And I'm getting a new laptop this summer.