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Essay: The Wall Street Whistle Blower and the Deeper Reality, DC’s Environmental Film Festival, udate from Occupy Armenia

March 15, 2012

Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein, "Why is everybody always pickin' on me?" Washington Post, March 15, 2012, Photo Gallery

WALL STREET ESSAY:  Thank goodness for folks like Greg Smith. He’s the guy who shocked Wall Street yesterday by resigning from Goldman Sachs. Smith’s reason — his conscience would no longer allow him to work there due to the firm’s treatment of its clients (investors who pay a brokerage fee to Goldman).  According to Smith, Goldman tried to sell troubled stocks to its clients, in order to maximize profits. Smith’s disclosure in a New York Times Op-Ed hit like a tsunami. Immediately, Goldman saw its market value shrink by $2.15 billion.

As Smith said in his op-ed, “I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all. It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail.”   To see our broader analysis click here. 

Environmental Film Festival Comes to DC: See it here.   For calendar of events click here. Some examples of the dozens of films to be shown from March 13-25, 2010.

People of a Feather:  Travel through time into the world of the Inuit on the isolated Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay in a film capturing the peril that the Sanikiluaq people are facing due to environmental and ecosystem devastation…Continue Reading, March 17, 2 PM, National Museum of the American Indian. (Free, no reservations needed).

Symphony of Soil: World Premiere Drawing on ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance that is soil. By understanding the elaborate connections and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, including the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. March 25, 4 PM National Museum of Natural History. Free, no reservations required.

OCCUPY COMES TO ARMENIA:  Mashtots Park – Police Move in!  The Yerevan mayor and council are allowing commercial kiosks to move into Mashtots Park, a trend that could lead to one of the capitals enduring treasures – its beautiful parks. Environmentalists and “rule of law” advocates have occupied the site and have called for the dismantling of the Kiosks, shown below. You can see from the photo why those who love the parks would protest the kiosks. We have been following this situation for several days. Last night, Armenian Time, police moved into the occupation zone to clear out the encampment of occupiers.   

RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan stated today that the commercial stores constructed in Mashtots Park would be dismantled within the next three years. However, 3 years is a long time, perhaps, forever.  The occupiers are now planning to march to the government building. They have collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition urging the city to dismantle the kiosks. To see more go to this link. 

Why the kiosks don't fly with those who love Yerevan's parks.

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