Occupy Wall Street and Santa Barbara

"There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by violence." Charles A. Reich, "The Greening Of America"

Last week I visited the Occupy Santa Barbara daily and talked to the young activists who were there. I also attended a general assembly and voiced my concerns. I was impressed with how the assembly is run, very well organized with the intent being to maximize participation without leadership and without conflict. Well done, young activists! Better than military leadership.

The movement at this time reminds me of the Obama campaign. I was part of the campaign, having traveled twice to Nevada to campaign in that key swing state. I had lots of chances to talk to fellow campaigners. The reason that Occupy reminds me of the Obama campaign is that both serve/d as repositories for everyone's hopes and dreams for change. As in the case of the Obama administration, fulfilling those hopes and dreams will be much more difficult than the protests are.

Perhaps it is a result of the social media revolution? It is so easy to foment a rebellion on facebook and twitter that it seems that revolutions can happen without having a focus.

Having spent part of last week listening to the hopes and dreams, I think that many of the problems to be overcome are a result of the effect of money on our political process. That is what brought us the economic collapse in the first place. Bank of America is not one of the perpetrators of the mortgage backed securities or credit default swaps and was, in fact, a victim of them. They may still fail as all the derivatives or "toxic assets" are not gone, they are still on the balance sheets or hidden within them. The main perpetrators of the scam that brought down the world's economic systems were international financial corporations, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase in combination with Standard and Poors and Lehman Brothers who created and sold Mortgage Backed Securities,Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations around the world:

The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act made it all possible. These were the reason that the banks were bailed out, that the foreclosures are rampant and the reason the economy may still fail. As Goldman Sachs and others peddled these toxic assets around the world, they needed more mortgages to slice and dice and mortgage brokers, realtors and developers got into the game, making mortgages available to those who could not afford them and pressuring homeowners to "leverage up". Likely there is not enough money to cover all these toxic assets but it would be logical to sue the financial institutions, rating agencies, insurance companies, mortgage brokers and realtors that profited off of the creation and sales of the toxic assets.

Respectfully submitted, Rowland Lane Anderson, Lifetime Member of VFW, DAV, VVA and VFP

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