Monday, September 17, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR OCCUPY!

Last night I watched the film "Margin Call" quite by accident, without a plan to coordinate with the 1st anniversary of Qccupy Wall Street.  My friends, there's monkey business going on on Wall Street just in case you don't know, and I'm sad to say that a good many people I talk to do not know.  I learned nothing really new from the movie, but it was still a shocker.  Real people make decisions to screw other real people, and when the house of cards is about to crash down, real people do what they must to save their asses at the expense of other real people.

Not a few of those who survived the fall of the house of cards, the survival of the fittest of the buyers and sellers of the junk mortgage bundles, often came out of the crash with huge salaries and bonuses paid for by you and me with our tax money.  Shocking, incredible?  Yes, but that's the way it went.   

From the film review in the New York Times:
If no one in this world is patently evil, no one is innocent either. A young risk analyst named Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) may be as close as the movie comes to a hero, but it is also possible to see what happens to him as a parable of how the system corrupts and exploits its most decent and honest minions. Working late one night Peter (who we later learn has a Ph.D. in physics) glimpses a sign of the apocalypse lurking in a mathematical model. Recent volatility in the market is threatening the stability of the mortgage-based securities that have been generating most of the company’s profits, and the resulting losses are likely to swallow this bank and make trillions of dollars vanish into thin air.
What follows Peter's discovery seems inevitable.
The most chilling and most believable aspect of “Margin Call” is how calmly and swiftly its drama of damage control unfolds. A scapegoat must be found, and a survival plan worked out. The consequences are acknowledged — those we are living with now — and then coldly accepted in the name of a vaporous greater good. “We have no choice.” “There is no choice.” “It’s not like we have a choice.” These phrases are uttered again and again, by people who truly believe what they are saying.
So, on it goes, business as usual, with not much evidence of change even as the major recession has not yet run its course.

Some say Occupy Wall Street is weakened or even dying.  Occupy (or something like it) is not dead. Don't forget that throughout the world, there are many more have-nots than there are haves.  The movement to bring about a greater measure of equality, the struggle of the have-nots and those who sympathize with them to stand against the haves will continue.  Movements can take decades to produce results. Yes, it's discouraging that change does not come more quickly.  Most people in the US are not yet ready to take real risks to bring about change, but it's a mistake to think the movement is dead.
Dozens of arrests were reported on Monday, the first anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as protesters converged near the New York Stock Exchange and tried to block access to the exchange.

Police officers and protesters squared off at various points on the blocks near the Stock Exchange. At various points protesters tried to block sidewalks leading to the Stock Exchange, but were dispersed by the police. Officers had set up barricades on several streets leading to the exchange and were asking identification from workers seeking to gain access.
 Why are people being arrested?  Why are people walking on public streets required to show IDs?

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