Best Of The Web
“Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump tweeting that his “Nuclear Button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong-un’s. That was in response to the North Korean leader warning in his 2018 New Year’s address that the United States should be aware that “the nuclear button is on my office desk all the time.”
It’s almost hard to remember now that the prospect of nuclear conflict between the United States and North Korea seemed very real and imminent a year ago. At the dawning of this new year, we’re in a much different place. In his 2019 New Year’s address, Kim affirmed that he is “ready to meet the US president again anytime,” to which Trump responded, “I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!”
On the other hand, maybe things haven’t changed so much. A New York Times headline today suggests that Trump and Kim are “back at square 1.” After all, despite the historic meeting in June between the two leaders in Singapore, North Korea has not dismantled its nuclear program. In fact, analysts believe it is still building weapons and expanding facilities related to the program. Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have been intermittent and tense, with few signs of any potential for a breakthrough on either the nuclear issue or on North Korea’s main aim: a peace treaty formally ending the 1950–53 Korean War. Kim’s speech this year wasn’t all sunshine. It also included the threat, which Trump seems to have decided to gloss over, that if the U.S. continues to “unilaterally enforce something upon us and persists in imposing sanctions and pressure against our Republic, we may be compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula.” He didn’t elaborate on what this “new way” might be, but it’s consistent with North Korea’s long history of vague and empty threats of violence.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"