Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

When Crocodiles Cry

Enron. It’s been five years since Enron turned the economy upside down, stole billions of dollars from customers and investors and then pulled the rug out from under thousands of employees.

If you live in one of the Left Coast states, the name Enron will probably be burning in your mind for decades. If you live near Houston, you probably know a former Enron employee who lost his/her job, pension and life savings. People in other parts of the country are probably thinking “Enron? Who?”

Enron’s CEO, Kenneth Lay is in the middle of his trial right now. He’s pretending he didn’t know about the Enron scandals, that his subordinates “betrayed” him. Uh huh. And Richard Nixon didn’t know about Watergate, and George W. Bush is just shocked that somebody in his administration might have leaked Valerie Plame’s name to the press.

Yesterday Kenneth Lay told the court “Uh oh, I need to act all concerned and pretend I care I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing in my life, including the loss of life of many of my loved ones, that even comes close to the same level of pain, and the same enduring pain, that has caused.”

Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap…

Compare that with the millions of people who suffered power blackouts during winter snowstorms and triple-digit heat waves. Or the Enron employees who lost everything. Oh that’s right, Kenneth Lay didn’t know anything about that.

During the height of California’s fake “energy crisis” in 2001, California’s then-Attorney General said he’d like to personally escort Kenneth Lay to his prison cell and introduce him to his 300-pound cellmate.

May he get his wish.


Blogger Snave said...

"Clap. Clap. Clap. Clap…"

While I suspect the clapping would be out of sarcasm, I think the sound of crickets chirping might be more appropriate.

I'd like to know just how good of friends Bush really is with Kenny Boy. There are undoubtedly some rather sleazy connections that could be dredged up, in a highly constructive and informative manner.

Gee, didn't that "energy crisis" in California help spur a gubernatorial recall election? The GOP WAS pretty anxious to get Arnold into office, after all.

That's probably just a lot of conspiracy-theorist speculation, but I do know that energy prices have gone way up here in the Pacific NW. I will do some research into how Enron was involved, but I believe they were.

April 25, 2006 at 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment moderation, huh? Here's an idea, fuck you fascist, let people post what they want.

April 25, 2006 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I think Bush and Lay were very close for a long time, but Bush has distanced himself in the last few years. No honor among thieves, etc.

It's ironic that Gray Davis got recalled because of the energy crisis. He didn't handle it very well, but he inherited the situation from his predecessor, Pete Wilson, who signed the contracts with Enron.

Anonymous: There you go, Asshole; I printed your comment. You can run home to Mommy now.

April 25, 2006 at 11:55 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

How anyone can have sympathy for that "man" is beyond me!

April 25, 2006 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Is comment moderation really such an inconvenience... I mean, other than to the person who has taken on the responsibility to approve comments? Geez! This isn't a government site; freedom of speech doesn't apply.

Besides, Tom's a lib, not a fascist.

April 25, 2006 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Stephanie: Yeah, it's beyond me too. Unfortunately, time is on his side. The further we get from Enron, the easier it'll be for Lay to pretend he "didn't know" and get sympathy as a religious family man. He deserves a long prison sentence, if anybody does.

As far as comment moderation goes, I don't usually censor comments. I only have it because of this one wacked-out looneytune that was plaguing my site last summer. I had my comments turned off for awhile until I found out that Blogger offers comment moderation. I hardly ever click on "Reject" (except for spam) but it makes a nice safety net.

April 25, 2006 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I understand. I just don't see what the problem with it is. Perhaps the anon who complained was the loon?

While, I recognize that some people are going to forget about Enron, it's not going to take much of a reminder for people to go, "Oh, you mean that's the guy, then no, I don't like him!" At least, it shouldn't.

April 25, 2006 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

I remember the rolling blackouts that we had here in Southern Calif. I remember people on TV who had had their power shut off because on fixed incomes they could not afford to pay the outlandishly high increases. Some of these people were unable to run the medical machinery that their lives depended on, some had medications like insulin go bad when their refridgerators weren't running due to turned off power. There was considerable hardship because of ENRON'S crimes!

It took our family and friends and neighbors months to pay off the inflated electric bills that we faced that summer. We all had to call and go on payment plans even after considerable reductions in household energy use. Ken Lay knew and didn't give a Christian shit!

There were also numerous suicides in Houston as a result of the actions of Ken Lay. Employees lost their savings, retirements, and medical care. Ken Lay can't pray his indifference and greed away. I recommend life in prison at hard labor.

April 25, 2006 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

FUCK him.

Anyone that has seen the Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room will know they are all fucking guilty as hell.
They knew EXACTLY what was going on.

And this is not some liberal "rip on the man" movie. The book the movie was based on comes from a major business magazine writer.

Fuck him, fuck Skilling and Fastow.
If there really was a hell, they all deserve it.
They personally are responsible for ruining a lot of lives.

April 25, 2006 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Stephanie: I certainly hope the Enron rage continues, so that decades from now Lay and Skilling will still be reviled everywhere they go. It's only right.

I don't think the anonymous commenter was the same loon as last summer, but you never know. If things get out of hand I can always click on Reject instead of Publish, so it doesn't matter.

Kitchen Window Woman: Yup, life in prison at hard labor would suit Kenneth Lay just fine; with an abusive husband for a cellmate.

I sure remember those blackouts. We lived in a district (in northern California) that was exempt from rolling blackouts because we were near the fire department. Just the luck of the draw. But those blackouts could be hazardous, like you said -- medication that won't keep, medical machinary that won't run. If Kenneth Lay is supposed to be a "Christian," I don't know what Bible he's using.

Mike V.: Damn right -- Lay, Skilling and Fastow all deserve to go to Hell if there is such a place. I haven't seen that movie but it sounds interesting. Not that I'd need convincing. They ruined a lot of lives and they should pay for it.

April 25, 2006 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger sikamikanico said...

Sounds familiar: the Australian PM, John Howard, was "completely uniformed/unaware" that the Australian Wheat Board (a government body!) was paying bribes, using Australian taxpayers money, to Saddam Hussein's government so it bought Australian wheat.

That same Saddam Australia joined the coalition of the willing to oust, at Howard's insistence.

to echo a familiar sentiment - Can these people get more shameless?

April 25, 2006 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Sikamikanico: Yup, that sounds typical. I'm sure this kind of thing is more common than anyone realizes. Shameless is the word.

April 25, 2006 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

After you get high enough on the ladder you can use "I didn't know" to get you out of anything. I wonder if I could go to court and say I didn't know the speed limit was that low? wouldn't do me a bit of good. We the little people have to be responsible for our actions, if your a CEO your above that. It's time for a change, give him life.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

April 25, 2006 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

and Kitchen Window Woman, it was all done out of greed. they created that crap.

people really need to see that movie to see what they did.

they were literally trading energy on the open "market" back and forth and many, many times were calling power companies and having them SHUT DOWN, thus driving up the "price" of the electricity and then selling it BACK to the grid here in CA for an inflated price because of the so-called demand.

today Lay was on the stand flat out lying about the soundness of the company. they built a complete house of cards and falsified their earnings to jack up the price of the stock.

April 25, 2006 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

David: Yup, that seems to be it. If you're "important" enough that you can say "I didn't know" and it works, this means you've ascended to a certain social level -- you're "in." There has to be a better way to measure people and their actions.

April 25, 2006 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Obviously I'm not on the same level, but I run a small company. Plenty of things happen that I am not aware of, but I make it my business to know what is important.

Why? Simple. Whether or not I am aware of a certain aspect of the business, when the shit hits the fan, it is my ass hanging in the wind.

I'd like to see the court decide that they believe Ken, and throw the book at him anyway.

That would be a wakeup call for all these thieves. If you are going to pull down a 7 or 8 figure salary, you better know what the hell is going on in your company, because at the end of the day, you are responsible.

April 26, 2006 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Praguetwin: That's exactly right. If someone is running a company, it's his/her job to know what's going on. That was the concensus whenever the subject of Enron would come up in conversations. And in California in 2001, that subject came up all the time. Somebody would always say "He didn't know? What were they paying him a 6-figure salary for?" It happened on his watch and he should have the book thrown at him.

April 26, 2006 at 11:36 AM  

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