Tuesday, June 12th, 2018


K-Pop Psychology

Note: NextDraft will be off on Weds.

"Before the summit, Trump had said he would know whether the affair would fly or flop in the first minute. 'My touch, my feel—that's what I do,' he'd explained. The touch and feel must have been good, for one minute later, before they'd exchanged a word beyond small talk, Trump told reporters he was 'honored' to be in Kim's company and predicted their meeting would be a 'tremendous success.'" Slate's Fred Kaplan on why the Singapore Summit was a very good day for Kim Jong un.

+ The Atlantic: "Kim has gone from an international pariah, a brutal dictator who rules over what is essentially a personal fiefdom, to something closer to a legitimate member of the international community."

+ In addition to providing a stage and setting that lifted a murderous dictator to the level of world statesmen, Trump repeatedly said it was an "honor" to meet with Kim Jong un, who is a "very smart" and "talented" man with "a great personality" with with whom he shared a "very special bond." Trump added: "I think he might want to do this as much or maybe even more than me ... My whole life has been deals ... I know when somebody wants a deal. … I just feel very strongly — my instinct … — they want to make a deal." WaPo: In Kim He Trusts.

+ "The remarks contradicted countless previous declarations by U.S. political and military officials over the years that the drills are routine, defensive and absolutely critical." AP: Trump's vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region.

+ This freeze for freeze is what China has been calling for.

+ NPR: Trump Wins Pledge From Kim To Return Remains Of Americans From Korean War.

+ The New Yorker: "There is hope today, among South Korea's fifty-one million residents, in the strange chemistry of Trump, Kim, and the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in; there is a belief that a peace treaty to officially end the Korean War, and a stepwise plan for North Korea's nuclear downsizing, if not total disarmament, could be imminent."

+ "A story about a special moment in time, when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated. What will he choose: to show vision and leadership, or not?" Like all epics, the summit had a movie trailer.

+ Rebound Relationship: "Wearing a Make America Great Again baseball cap and a T-shirt bearing the name of his sponsor Potcoin, Rodman sobbed as he described his feelings about the summit."

+ "They have great beaches. You see that whenever they're exploding their cannons into the ocean. I said, 'Boy look at that view. Wouldn't that make a great condo?'" BBC: Six odd moments from the day.

+ Why Did Kim Jong un Bring His Own Toilet to the Trump Summit? (If you were a dictator, wouldn't you?)



There's no doubt that America's relations with North Korea have improved and that the world is a safer place than it was when Kim and Trump were exchanging nuclear threats over social media. But it's worth reminding ourselves who we're dealing with in North Korea. "Prisoners are starved, forced to work, tortured and raped. Reproductive rights are denied through forced abortion and infanticide. Some are executed — sometimes in public. Hundreds of thousands of political prisoners have died in the camps." Atrocities Under Kim Jong un: Indoctrination, Prison Gulags, Executions.


Van Damn

Since we're on the topic, NY Mag goes deep on what a nuclear bomb attack in the US would probably look like (think less of bombs raining from the sky and more of an unmarked van parked in Times Square). If America is attacked, the strike probably won't come from North Korea. And it will be even scarier than we imagine. "A ten-kiloton nuclear bomb detonated on the ground in Times Square would explode with a white flash brighter than the sun. It would be seen for hundreds of miles, briefly blinding people as far away as Queens and Newark. In the same moment, a wave of searing heat would radiate outward from the explosion, followed by a massive fireball, the core of which would reach tens of millions of degrees, as hot as the center of the sun." (Full disclosure: I am opposed to this.)


Glad Hombres

"The decision means that the US can now begin to turn away tens of thousands of women who arrive in this country every year, seeking safety from violence and abuse at home. 'He could be repealing sixty to seventy per cent of asylum jurisprudence. Its ramifications are extraordinary.'" The New Yorker: Jeff Sessions and The Trump Administration Are Completely Unravelling the US Asylum System. (This is a big win for bad hombres.)

+ "Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems — even all serious problems — that people face every day all over the world." NPR: Attorney General Denies Asylum To Victims Of Domestic Abuse, Gang Violence. (Feel safer?)


Life is But a Stream

"Next year, for the first time, we'll spend more time using the internet than watching TV." (Editor's Note: We spend a lot of our internet time watching TV shows.)

+ Daniel Pink on the meaning behind how we watch what we watch: "At first by circumstance, and now by design, this is how I organize my television diet: couch shows and phone shows." (I organize my television diet into couch shows, bed shows, and curled up in a fetal position shows.)



"While many Americans tended to see benzos as harmless chill pills that even old folks used, the number of benzodiazepine overdoses rose by a factor of nearly eight between 1999 and 2015. And they have been a factor in more than a third of recent fatal opioid overdoses ... Worse, even when taken daily as prescribed, they can lead to dependence and, in some patients, a lengthy and vicious withdrawal syndrome." Vice: This Is Why Xanax Is Blowing Up in America.


Playing the Red Card

"What emerges, as the World Cup nears kickoff in 11 Russian cities, is the story of FIFA and other sports governing bodies repeatedly kowtowing to Russia despite evidence of widespread doping, computer hacking and allegations of bribery of sports officials. And it's the story of how those actions have fueled an unrelenting effort over the past decade to speed Russia's return to sporting superiority, from the Olympics to soccer to a range of minor sports." (Think of how unreal it is that Russia is hosting the World Cup.) From ESPN: How some inside FIFA battled Russian influence, and lost.


Does Your Dog Byte?

"Only one out of every 50 dogs tested qualifies to become an electronic storage detection, or ESD, dog ... That's because it's a lot harder to detect the telltale chemical in electronics than it is to sniff out narcotics, bombs, fire accelerants or people." CNET on the dogs trained to sniff out cybercrime.


Bird Feeding

"This would be just weeks after it raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation, and only three months after raising at a $300 million valuation." Scooter startup Bird is seeking a $2 billion valuation. (It seems like it was only yesterday when they were doing their Bird seed round...)


Bottom of the News

"The Talmud describes it as a 'three-pronged tongue' that kills three people: the teller, the listener, and the person being gossiped about." But Talmud could be wrong. The Atlantic on the surprising virtues of talking behind people's backs.

+ When does hungry become hangry? (Knowing the answer to this is the key to any successful relationship.)