New Civilization News: Enron: A Scandal So Good That It Hurts    
 Enron: A Scandal So Good That It Hurts2 comments
picture18 Jan 2002 @ 20:14, by Flemming Funch

As the article below, from today's Los Angeles Times talks about, the scandal surrounding Enron, the failed giant energy company is just so good that it hurts. Now there's really somebody who got caught with their pants down their heels. They have apparently bribed everybody in sight, including the current and past U.S. president, the press, their accounting firms, etc. They've gotten special treatment all the way, haven't paid any taxes for 4 out of the last 5 years, they have hundreds of foreign "subsidiaries", and still they couldn't hold it all together, and last minute calls to all their friends made no difference.

Published on Friday, January 18, 2002 in the Los Angeles Times
Enron: A Scandal So Good That It Hurts
by John Balzar

"This just keeps getting better and better," Liisa sputters. By that, my wife means worse and worse. Which is what we're all thinking, isn't it?

Before dawn, we are up and tearing into the newspapers at my household. This is terrific, heart-racing stuff.

"Look, Enron paid no income taxes four out of five years!" "Forget Enron, Andersen is being paid by the Justice Department to reorganize the FBI!"

"Get this: Enron had 881 offshore subsidiaries!"

"Wow, a professor who became a New York Times editorial columnist was paid $50,000 as an Enron advisor!"

We're trying not to talk over each other. I'm scribbling notes all over the paper and Liisa is warning me not to make the story illegible. We subscribe to four newspapers. Suddenly it's not enough.

This is the juiciest scandal of our lifetime.

Why? Because this is not about personal indiscretion, not about sleazy partisan politics, not about runaway foreign policy, not about "gotcha."

This rotten barrel of apples is all encompassing. Down at the bottom, in the really contaminated slime, Enron/Andersen/et al. is about what we have allowed our nation to become.

It's about us. It's about winning at any price--not just winning but trouncing--about seeing what you can get away with. It's about greed and the glorification of greed. It's also the football player who deliberately tries to injure his opponent. It's about parents who beat each other up at their kids' sports matches. It's about the hand-to-hand combat of getting your children into the best colleges so they will be the dog that eats instead of the dog that gets eaten. It's about the ugly edge that has crept into our language, so that words such as "intimidation" become virtuous and "honor" a quaint laughingstock. It's about the blue-ribbon professor-cum-economics columnist who acknowledges taking $50,000 from Enron for serving on "a panel that had no function that I was aware of."

Awhile back, we lost sight of the principle that hard work, diligence and some luck made the man.

Inexplicably, we veered from the root ideal of civil in civilization. We took what we could and called it ours. We created the lottery for the instant chance at more. We demanded that every business "grow" rather than serve--which sounds a lot less benign than it became, as we watched ourselves transformed into jackals feeding from our own wounds. We watched as our political system was co-opted for pennies by wheeler-dealers who hollowed out the laws with fancy regulations and hidden legislative favors until our vaunted democracy became the instrument of our own oppression.

We saw simple and honest things devalued. Like the passbook savings account. And employee loyalty--or loyalty of any kind, for that matter.

You could wish you were high-minded in this age, but weren't you looking for 25% gains on your retirement holdings too? It didn't matter if a company made something, only if it made something happen. It mattered less whether a deed was right than whether you were "in" or "out."

Where is the smoking gun?

It's in our hands.

Yes, George W. Bush is culpable: This freight train crashed on his watch. These were his back-slapping buddies. These are the people he entrusted with government. This is the way-of-life philosophy he championed.

Let's not forget that just a few weeks ago he denounced Democrats for stalling on a multimillion-dollar, retroactive tax break for Enron and other giant companies.

Let's remember that his top economics advisor, a former Enron retainer, views the collapse of the company as "a triumph for capitalism." Let's not overlook that his Treasury secretary sees Enron as evidence of the "genius of capitalism." Let's not overlook that his choice to run the GOP has decided to stay on the payroll of a law firm retained by Enron and reserves the right to moonlight as a strategic advisor for the company.

But Bush didn't create the scandal. It's been in the works for years. He's no more guilty than the people who voted for him, or for those many millions who were suckered into this vision of a cutthroat America where values--that shopworn word--mean nothing at all when measured against the bottom line.

Perhaps all boats float on a rising tide. But reach down. Tastes like sewer water now, doesn't it?

I can hardly wait for tomorrow's papers. This is a terrific time. Maybe, finally, at long bloody last, things will get bad enough to make them right.

Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times


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20 Jan 2002 @ 23:07 by finny : Enron
Good stuff! Haven't heard much over here in NZ.  

21 Jan 2002 @ 02:43 by shawa : ENRON
Hi, there, everybody!
Not a few of us Non-Americans are glad that at least something forces America to look at its own shadow. In the wake of 9/11, this was not possible, as Americans, not just New Yorkers, were taboo - the VICTIMS, that was IT.
Lots of people around the world thought - but could not say it - that the Law of Karma exists - and that it was not pure coincidence that it was the World Trade Center that had been targeted. Someone - somewhere - was trying to make a point, had been for many years. This does not - repeate: does NOT - condone the assasin(s). He (they) should be "brought to law". Perhaps the Law (spiritual) has already been brought to him, through kidney failure or whatever; the "evil one" looked really sick in his last Nr. 1 Hit Video Clip. The point "somebody" was trying to make - albeit in a very sick way - was : WHAT ABOUT "THE REST OF THE WORLD"? - not just "God bless America", for "God" blesses the whole wonderful - wonder-full - planet, as He/She Blesses the whole Uni-verse that is His/Her body...
In this sense, the Enron "scandal" looks, too, as some sort of spiritual justice (Karma) - the tricky thing being that the "martyrs" will now go happily on, feeling JUSTIFIED in throwing around their OWN Shadow, dynamite included, in shopping malls, planes, trains.

Do we - or donĀ“t we, really - WANT a "New Civilization" ??? - and are we ready to pay the price for it (the price of PEACE being PEACE, period) ? I do think we should all - "us", "New Agers" - stop to THINK, really deeply, here. Or was the Internet only created, and NCN too, to just give another outlet to the Great God "BUCK-FAME-SEX AND VIDEO LIES" ????...

Just asking, eh?

From Spain, with Love,
The Lady Moonshadow, of Avalon of the Heart.  

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