Mixed Feelings in Singapore

First of all:  do I have an excuse for two months of silence?  No.  There’s been little worth remarking on.  A dead-end governor’s race (I’d like to congratulate Lt. Governor Todd Lamb on his inevitable victory) a marijuana question that will probably be successful but is also bogged down in regulation, and so on.  Joe Exotic can’t even run a zoo (seriously, have you been to that place?) but thinks he can run the state.  Worth writing about?  I’m not convinced.

However, Singapore has caught everyone’s attention and perhaps their imagination.  What does the future of that region look like?

I think that a lot of people are impressed, myself included, by the historical magnitude of the moment.  I think we were underwhelmed by the vagueness of the agreement signed, and the mystery of what was discussed behind closed doors.  We were hoping for something a little more substantive than the “goodwill,” “potential for future talks” and the “momentum.”  Seems like diplomatic hot air, but you have to start somewhere.

It is certain that they have blisters from shaking hands so much.

It is also certain that this would not have happened if it weren’t for Donald Trump.  However, I think it will be the relaxing of cultural regulation that brings North Korea back to the rest of the world, as happened with the Soviet Union.

Already there is a hunger for capitalist/foreign goods and culture among the upper class of North Korea.  These goods are sold on an open black market.  Build a McDonalds in Pyongyang and start showing western movies and the swing of the pendulum will be unstoppable, no matter what politics will have to say about it.

So while I think we’re underwhelmed by this particular meeting, it was never destined to be very substantive to begin with.

Don’t even begin to whine about how Trump can be all friendly with the murderer Kim Jong Un.  Changing things requires diplomacy.  The prior administration met with all sorts of communists and dictators;  and that’s fine.  What, you want them to get into a boxing match?  You think that’s going to de-escalate things?

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