Convict Skilling

I love this photo. It’s a nice portrait of Jeffry Skilling – yet another self-important elitist, before his post-career retirement at Sing-Sing. What I would pay for an “after” shot 20 years from now. Vaya con Dios, dickhead – you’re FIRED.

Update from Wikipedia:

Jeffrey Keith “Jeff” Skilling is the former president of Enron Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas. In 2006 he was convicted of multiple federal felony charges relating to Enron’s financial collapse, and is currently serving a 24-year, four-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado.[1][2] The Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in the appeal of the case March 1, 2010.[3][4] On June 24, 2010, the Supreme Court vacated part of Skilling’s conviction and sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings. In April, 2011 a three judge 5th Circuit Court panel ruled that the verdict would have been the same despite the legal issues under discussion, and Skilling’s conviction was upheld.[5] Skilling appealed this new decision to the Supreme Court,[6] but was denied certiorari.[7]

DaVinci Hoopla

Marcom RULE #360: If you can’t write enough convincing superbole then piss off a group of people, stand back, and let the resulting hoopla shower you with free promo.

Dumbshit Christians.

Okay. I’m a Christian too, but I’m not a dumbshit. DaVinci Code is a stupid novel based on a stupid premise that has every stupid priest and church lady on every continent convinced that it’s the greatest insult to the faith since God knows what. Here’s some perspective: an anthropology professor of mine (way way back) had two timelines that were literally wrapped around the classroom – one illustrated the history of the cosmos; in the other, the history of man. Each tallied up the long string events that leads us to the present time, represented by a very small dot.

Consider that each line represents the whole shebang – evolution of the human mind, the creation of literature, the rise of critical thinking, all our wars, the rise and fall of civilizations, and all our religions. The events that brought about this novel and the subsequent movie deal do not even amount to a light shade of grey in the dot that represents present day.

DaVinci Code is not an insult to Christianity – it’s an insult to your intellect to even worry about it! Unless, of course, you believe that the movie needs a little more help at the box office – in which case, pine on. Dan Brown is laughing all the way to the bank.

Chairman of the Boredroom

What of those high-rolling CEOs who are fond of saying, “You journalists have no idea what it’s like to run aKen Lay Fortune 500 company.”  Those hefty salaries are to compensate them for managing all the risks they take, they say. No big bucks, no big dividends.

Kenneth Lay must have thought that… once.

But, Ken buddy, you can rationalize greed any way you want, but what you did at Enron is still a crime. If you claim ignorance or if you knew every detail, what you did was a crime. So suck up, pal. You’re going to the slammer. And if you write a book, may it be about your grief over the misery and anguish you allowed to happen.


Kenneth Lee “Ken” Lay, an American businessman, best known for his role in the widely reported corruption scandal that led to the downfall of Enron Corporation. Lay and Enron became synonymous with corporate abuse and accounting fraud when the scandal broke in 2001. Lay was the CEO and chairman of Enron from 1985 until his resignation on January 23, 2002, except for a few months in 2000 when he was chairman and Jeffrey Skilling was chief executive officer (CEO). He took a regional natural gas pipeline business and turned it into a energy conglomerate with a market capitalization of $70 billion, betting the future on unregulated energy markets.[1]

On July 7, 2004, Lay was indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts of securities fraud and related charges.[2] On January 31, 2006, following four and a half years of preparation by government prosecutors, Lay’s and Skilling’s trial began in Houston. Lay was found guilty on May 25, 2006, of 10 counts against him; the judge dismissed the 11th. Because each count carried a maximum 5- to 10-year sentence, legal experts said Lay could have faced 20 to 30 years in prison.[3] However, he died while vacationing in Snowmass, Colorado, on July 5, 2006, about three and a half months before his scheduled October 23 sentencing.[4] Preliminary autopsy reports state that he died of a heart attack caused by coronary artery disease. As a result of his death, on October 17, 2006, the federal district court judge who presided over the case vacated Lay’s conviction.[5][6] There have been conspiracy theories surrounding his death.[7]

Viva México

Finally, some real balls where personal freedom is concerned.

According to the Associated Press, the Mexican Congress approved a bill Friday that will legalize drug possession for personal use. Got that Dumshit? The Mexicans have decriminalized getting high in your own damn home! After el Presidente Fox signs the bill (which he is expected to do) folks toting around small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin will be free, high, and happy. And get this… they passed this legislation despite the wasteful and entirely useless war on drugs – the last remaining relic of the Nixon years and a product of the 1930s prohibition-minded nabobs who sought to control industries (hemp) and personal liberties. What a proud American accomplishment that’s turned out to be.

I’ll be damned if I can find this news item on the majors – even BBC seemed to miss this rather significant development. Meanwhile, news that did get headlines included Dubya’s indignation over the Spanish version of the US national anthem, a former Abu-Ghraib officer is charged with cruelty (OMG!), and the bill for the war in Iraq (which is far from ‘mission accomplished’) may hit $811bn.

You know? Maybe it’s time that we all sing the Spanish Spangled Banner – the Mexicans seem to have a hedge over most Americans on the concept of freedom and liberty for all.

UPDATE, 2009: After several fits and starts, President Felipe Calderón signs the law into history.

Farewell Tom

Tom DeLayPoor Tom DeLay. His legacy is a certain brand of ultraconservative Texan politico, susceptible to pitiable insight, arrogant oversight, near-sighted ambitions, and general myopia. I’m certain he sees his accomplishment worthy of praise. I’m sure that there are quite a few fellow ultracons who share that view. But as these gadflies of history die off, what will fill the void? Compromise? Willingness to reach across ideological boundaries? OMG… statemanship?

UPDATE – Wikipedia’s first paragraph says it all:

Thomas Dale “Tom” DeLay (born April 8, 1947) is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas’s 22nd congressional district from 1984 until 2006. He was Republican Party (GOP) House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of money laundering charges in connection with a campaign finance investigation. He was convicted in January 2011 and sentenced to three years in prison but is free on bail while appealing his conviction.

Pause for a Cause

Abbie As far as causes are concerned, one must always be concerned about PR. I’m not so sure that the pro-immigration protesters did themselves any good by wrapping themselves up in the Mexican flag. At least the Yippies had the good sense to wear American colors – damn commies. It kinda pisses me off tho – I have to admit. You can’t toke a harmless weed in your own damn home, but the Mexicans want a new law to let illegal trespassers traverse around the fucking country like they own the damn place. Is that right? Abbie? Are you listening?

Blog Bias?

I’m being asked to write for blogs as a PR activity. Well… it’s good money and I’m a good little prostitute… so off I go. But I think that blogs are turning some PR practitioners and marketers into tech junkies and making them lazy (especially a particular unnamed firm). Blogs still cannot compete with good-old fashioned ink (or video). People still turn to traditional news sources for their facts.

Yet, blogs do serve a purpose and I disagree with the growing suspicion (of some cynics) that blogs may threaten critical thinking of the public-at-large. They also worry that over saturation from blog-debates could harm the credibility of traditional news sources and – God forbid – taint public discussion with erroneous speculation (oh, you mean like Rush Limburger, Ann “blowhard” Coulter, et al?).

Blogs have made nitwits like Limbaugh and Coulter irrelevant by extending public debate to anybody with some bandwidth and a server. Of course there is some junking up to deal with, but now the selection is so diverse and the scope so deep that just about every opinion and point of view under the sun is fully represented and broadly explored. It reminds me of the gaggles of soapbox orators that once adorned the entrances of county fairs across the nation, spouting rhetoric and reason to gawking crowds. But oh what a selection of soapboxes – pro and con ad nauseum – all at one time, 24/7/365 and no shooting. The emerging “blog-slog” is as a healthy byproduct of democracy and our growing lust for ‘watchdog’ transparency? And we could use a whole heck of a lot more transparency at all levels of governance these days.

PIC_sharp_edges_21.jpgAt any rate, blogging is a far less insulting demonstration of the 1st Amendment than the talkshow hacks of the previous media age – ala Limbaugh and Coulter whom I think presented a far dire threat to civic debate. If anything, blogs encourage critical thinking and they help enlarge our constitutional entitlement for free speech. And you know what? If any one of those blog-nabobs becomes the least bit myopic or irrelevant there will always be plenty more soapboxes to gawk at.

Nazi Sneetches

Anderson Cooper (CNN) recently reported on the apparent rise of American NAZIs – white supremacists; vulgar little Sneetches all of them.

My experience is that American racial supremacists are mere social malcontents (superbole whoo-ya) who don’t fit anywhere else in society, so they have a club where they can blame their troubles on other cultures and races. How easy it is to use hate as a motive for satisfying underlying discontent! How tragic that people would use race (or religion) to rationalize their overarching purpose – to destroy everything that they don’t understand and that they cannot control.

But our proud American Nazis are not alone. No siree! With so few examples of racial, cultural, or religious purity left on this planet; certainly none of them exists anymore in the American melting pot; that people feel compelled to go off and invent their own brand! Mutts all around the world are inventing their own concept of nationalistic supremacism. The bowel movement is so easily found in nearly every culture, country and society that one must conclude that Sneetchism is really a lingering vestige of tribalism that is so pernicious that it pulls us back from the brink of realizing global humanism (peace in our time, where the only war is between idea-makers and their words). Yeah. That’s all we need now is a bunch of little ‘Hitlers’ running around to turn this whole planet into a living hell.

“Oh, but Cliff, I’m not a little Hitler,” say you? Okay. Let’s see if you pass this test: when people hear my intellectual masturbations about religious intolerance they get pretty ticked off because I often include Christian inflexibility over homosexuality (as one example). “Hey, we’re just doing God’s work,” they say. Yeah, but where did God say, ‘persecute the sinful’? Who among us – mere human sinners – are equipped to judge? So tell me – oh righteous one – what urge motivates ‘purists’ to vanguard social isolation and legislative fiat against those who do not live as you say they should? Ah yes, my weary little Sneetch, supremacism is hard at work right here in good old gentrified Americana-suburbia – just ask Ann Coulter who toils every day with supreme supremacist fervor.Sneetch

The Wiki definition of Supremacism(just so that you know that I’m not making this up) is the belief that a particular race, religion, gender, belief system or culture is superior to others and entitles those who identify with it to dominate, control or rule those who do not. Examples include supremacism based on ethnic or anthropological origins (white supremacy, black supremacy, ethnocentrism) and gender or sexuality (male supremacy, female supremacy, straight supremacism). Therefore, a supremacist is any individual or group that vouches for the isolation and restriction (via terrorism or legislation) of another individual or group just because they don’t (or do) have “stars on thars.”

So check your bellies. Counting time is a-comin. Oh, and sorry about all the superlatives and hyperbole – just couldn’t help myself.