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Go To Jail, Go Directly To Jail

Friday, May 26, 2006 1:44 AM

"I firmly believe I am innocent of the charges against me," said former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, whom a jury found guilty on six counts of fraud and conspiracy pertaining to the collapse of the energy company.

Ahem. You mean you don't know that you're innocent?

Both Lay and co-defendant Jeffrey Skilling will remain free on bail until their sentencing in September.

And that's all I have to say about that.


On several occasions since the revelation of the NSA's secret (and illegal) surveillance program, I've heard folks crow about how, because they use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) instead of regular phone service, they don't have to worry about being snooped upon.

Bzzzzzzzt. Wrong! Thanks for playing.

"Anything that comes through (an internet protocol network), we can record," says an executive at Narus. "We can reconstruct all of their e-mails along with attachments, see what web pages they clicked on, we can reconstruct their (VOIP) calls."

Unless, of course, you're using zFone, a program created by Phil Zimmerman, who brought public-key cryptography to e-mail with PGP (Pretty Good Privacy).

That is, until the dunderheads in Washington decide to make cryptography illegal in the name of fighting terrorism.


In a joint news conference, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush admitted to a number of errors in their handling of the occupation of Iraq, even while maintaining that the war itself was a good thing.

Bush finally said his macho declaration of, "Bring 'em on!" had been inappropriate. And he acknowledged that the biggest mistake was the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

None of which explains why Bush reserved the right to ignore the prohibition against inhumane and/or degrading treatment of prisoners of war that was sponsored by Senator John McCain and promptly made law.

Both leaders emphasized that Iraq is finally turning a corner, the tired phrase that brings to mind the damning assurance from the Vietnam War that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

Let's be clear. We're not leaving Iraq; don't kid yourself. We've built bases that show every indication of being permanent facilities. Iraq is ideally placed for military action in the region at large, as opposed to staging from Riyadh or Turkey.

And I don't really see Iraqi police and military lining up to take the brunt of insurgent attacks that have been carried by our troops.


And in the functional equivalent of setting up a meth lab in your basement because the pusher downtown is raising his prices, the House voted 225 to 201 yesterday to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling.

New domestic production is supposed to ease the energy crunch.

"Once again, the House has voted to put Americans to work producing more of our own energy," said Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), who authored the bill. "And, once again, liberals defied the common-sense principle of supply and demand by voting no."

Oh, that's right, Dick. It's plain vanilla supply-and-demand. There's no evidence of price gouging – or so says the Federal Trade Commission, which is headed by a former Chevron executive.

Consider that there was 'no evidence' of price gouging by Enron during California's energy crisis ... but conspiracy and fraud are the modern-day scarlet letters hanging 'round the necks of Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

The Senate has yet to approve the measure.

May I suggest, once more, that we engage in a program no less daring than the Manhattan Project or Project Apollo? We need to innovate – create an alternative energy technology that is efficient, clean, and economically feasible for consumers as well as production – and put Made In America all over it.

Or does someone want to tell me that America isn't up to the task?


The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.



ska-t - 2006-05-26 10:08:45
have you heard anything regarding how Iraqi companies are barred from reconstructing their businesses by American "interests" aka Halliburton?