Nuclear Weapons

Reason Morning Links: Survivors' Edition


• Rhode Island's fired teachers won't stay fired.

• Michael Bellesiles comes back, and so does Kaavya Viswanathan.

• The Euro continues its slide.

• The Greek government might sue American banks for speaking frankly about the country's ability to repay its debts.

• A Chinese historian claims that Beijing and Moscow came close to nuclear war in 1969.

NEXT: How to Save Cleveland, Non-Reason Version: Force Parking Lot Operators to Provide Bike Racks, Spend Money on Public Showers

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  1. Check out the graph of Community Reinvestment Act commitments, and how they spike just before the crash:

    NCRC Documents Trillions of CRA Dollars in Communities since 1977; CRA Commitments: 1977-2005

    Fake photo used in Science article

    1. Here’s a pdf w/ a graph going out to 2007:…..-brown.pdf

  2. From an article written by a Clinton admin/Fannie stooge:

    CRA in the 21st Century.(Community Reinvestment Act still motivates mortgage bankers)

    …Second, the 1995 revisions to the CRA regulations introduced investment and service tests to the evaluation of an institution’s CRA performance. These additions have spawned a new market for investment in affordable housing and economic development securities. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, investment bankers and mortgage companies are offering targeted, mortgage-backed securities that enhance liquidity and increase the capital available for community development. Investors are finding that these securities–particularly the targeted, mortgage-backed securities–have very attractive characteristics. Yet, without CRA as an impetus, this market would likely not have developed….

  3. “The Greek government might sue American banks for speaking frankly about the country’s ability to repay its debts.”

    Trying to quell the paranoia coming off of this entire clusterfuck but I have to ask, does anyone else get a tiny, potentially very ominous vibe when reading about this whole Greece thing and what it may spiral in to? Like World War type ominous?

    Tell me I’m just being paranoid and idiotic.

    1. You’re not crazy. I have seen some people say similar things lately, in particular about the resentment among the German population at being “humiliated” by being forced to bail out the Greeks.

      A lot of other stuff would have to happen first – the collapse of the Euro and the re-militarization of every country in the world besides the U.S. (and maybe China) – but no, you’re not crazy. Especially if Iran were to get a nuke and threaten middle eastern oil supplies, etc etc. First there would be another (worse) economic collapse, then things spiral from there.

      One thing that is definitely going to happen is that the Euro is going to eventually collapse because of this stuff. A common monetary policy without a common fiscal policy (and, correspondingly, shared political beliefs), now seems to be a silly idea. The Greeks were free-riding the Germans and the responsible states and borrowing at artificially reduced rates relative to their credit-worthiness, and now the Germans are having to bail them out for their own irresponsible behavior lest all the banks in Europe collapse. If I were German, I’d be pissed, much like, as a Texas resident, I would resent bailing out California or Michigan with federal funds, too.

      1. Maybe not world war but another European war is not out of the question. The thing is that Europe no longer rules the world and thus can’t drag the rest of the world into its wars. But I can’t see how it would be surprising if the Europeans start killing each other. In the mean time, the death of the Euro means cheap vacations. Woo Hoo.

        1. The thing is that Europe no longer rules the world and thus can’t drag the rest of the world into its wars.

          We had no problem getting you involved with our little skirmish.

        2. I agree that it would start in Europe, obviously, but wouldn’t be so sanguine about the U.S., and then China and Russia, getting drawn in, too.

          All that said, it’s very very remote that any of this happens, aside from the Euro collapsing or reorganizing in some way.

        3. Fuck it, let’s take their islands now. They can keep the broken crap on the continent.

      2. If I were German, I’d be pissed, much like, as a Texas resident, I would resent bailing out California or Michigan with federal funds, too.

        As a Texas resident, I can assure you that (1) precisely such a bailout occurred with the stimulus bill and (2) I’m pissed about it.

        1. Since Texas hasn’t marched on Louisiana recently and got its ass kicked back in the 00s when it marched on Oklahoma, your rage is not quite as worrisome.

    2. Tell me I’m just being paranoid and idiotic.

      “Just keep telling yourself: It’s only a *movie*.”

      1. “The debt monster is calling from *INSIDE THE HOUSE*!”

        1. It’s HEEERE!!

  4. The agreement, which must still be ratified by [rehired] teachers, includes measures to improve student achievement, including a longer school day, targeted professional development for teachers and more after-school tutoring


  5. Good thing the Russia is our bitch!

  6. I don’t see another European war on the horizon, simply because there aren’t any meaningful European militaries or any way to build them in less than a generation (absolute minimum).

    I do see think the Euro is doomed. The trillion dollar Euro rescue package fell flat on its face. Before much longer, the odds are good that countries will start exiting the Euro and re-establishing their own currencies, as the only way to manage (read: inflate away) their unsustainable debts.

    1. You don’t need the Wehrmacht to have a war. And they do have some military. And a conventional military is easy to build. Certainly not today or next year. But next decade? I wouldn’t be shocked.

      1. But who attacks whom, and why? Germany gets really, really pissed? Wouldn’t they just pull out of the Euro in that case? Greece isn’t going to attack Germany.

        1. Agreed. It’s fun to speculate because, let’s face it, chaos is exciting. But when it comes down to it, no one really wants or can reasonably expect a war to break out over this.

          1. As for the Euro, it’s certainly on its way out, and after that I wouldn’t doubt the European Union to dissolve or become null within the next five years. When the club gets filled with losers, the cool kids quit or start a new one.

          2. Giacometti was once run down by a car, and he recalled falling into a lucid faint, a sudden exhilaration, as he realized at last something was happening to him.

            1. A self-destructive man feels completely alienated, utterly alone. He’s an outsider to the human community. He thinks to himself, “I must be insane.” What he fails to realize is that society has, just as he does, a vested interest in considerable losses and catastrophes. These wars, famines, floods and quakes meet well-defined needs. Man wants chaos. In fact, he’s gotta have it.

              Depression, strife, riots, murder, all this dread. We’re irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state…created out of death and destruction. It’s in all of us. We revel in it.

              Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things, painting them up as great human tragedies. But we all know the function of the media has never been…to eliminate the evils of the world, no. Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them. The powers that be want us to be passive observers.

              Hey, you got a match?

              And they haven’t given us any other options…outside the occasional, purely symbolic, participatory act of voting. You want the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left?

              I feel that the time has come to project my own…inadequacies and dissatisfactions…into the sociopolitical and scientific schemes, Let my own lack of a voice be heard.

              1. “Depression, strife, riots, murder, all this dread. We’re irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state…created out of death and destruction. It’s in all of us. We revel in it.”

                This reminds me of the accounts of frequent and large orgies during the plague.

                Also, what is that from? It sounds familiar, but I can’t place it.

    2. You don’t need the Wehrmacht to have a war.

      Actually, you do. Invading another country, even one you share a border with, can’t be done (effectively) without a major military establishment and (more importantly, and what will take at least a generation) a culture that will staff the military and support it.

      Right now, there isn’t a single European country with a military capable of projecting power (hell, if the Argentines were to take the Falklands again, the Brits would just have to take it unless we pitched in). I don’t think there is a single European country with the culture, today, to support such a military.

      1. You are sadly mistaken. You can invade a neighboring country with a small military. You need big establishment to project power. If the UK wants to invade Greece, they will need a big establishment. But if Germany wants to go to war with Poland, a few divisions will do the trick.

        1. You’re overlooking other countries joining in the fray. Germany attacking Poland would bring in a couple other countries. Or at least I’d like to think humanity has learned SOME sort of lesson. In any case, the possibility of having to fight other countries is enough of a hazard to keep even good-sized militaries from being deployed. Ultimately, though, the costs far outweigh the benefits for any military engagements over the present issue. Then again, this could be the beginning of resentments that could be played out in a decade or so under the guise of some other issue, so perhaps you’re on to something. I wouldn’t bet on it, though.

          1. Time will tell. I agree that any return to European militarism is at least a decade away. But, I think it is at least possible.

  7. Lazy, shiftless Greece pathetically attempts to pin the blame on American banks for their situation.

  8. If Greece collapses, it won’t be Europe that attacks it, it will be Turkey.

  9. Well, fuck me. really sad news:

    Gonna spend the rest of the day searching for a rainbow in the dark.

  10. I was thinking, just this afternoon, if I had two shitloads of money and wanted to turn it into three shitloads, I’d be shorting the Euro like a mofo.

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