IT'S HOWDY DOODY TIME - Protection From Those Who Serve Us

(01/13/2002)

Opinion and Comment: Bob Weaver "Hey there, boys and girls, it's Howdy Doody time, it's Howdy Doody time." The strings of the puppets have been pulled and the little people in the "Peanut Gallery" are stupefied, using phrases from one of American TV's earliest kiddy shows.

Enron - The world's largest bankruptcy at $61 billion is in progress and the golden parachutes are afloat. That doesn't count hundreds of smaller companies who had their eggs in the Enron basket, some of whom will belly-up.

Lots of cash (Republicans received over 70%) and fuzzy money has been sprinkled on Washington, both parties, campaign finance be dammed. Ken Lay and Enron has been George Bush's biggest financial supporter for years, but not to fear Bush announced "I have never discussed the financial problems of the company."

Seems like half the state of Texas have recused themselves, according to the Houston Chronicle, and now the recusing has begun in Washington and the Justice Department is circling their wagons to "coordinate" the investigation.

Enron got excused from some government oversight in 2000. Too much oversight would hinder the companies ability to conduct business, said Congress. Meanwhile, insiders got rich selling Enron stock, the pension funds are gone and now, thousands of records have been destroyed.

Clarence Page, writing for The Houston Chronicle, is asking the major news media to accompany every news story about Enron with a profile of a victim, so we don't forget what this scandal is about. The attack by this giant corporation and its political allies should strike as much terror in American hearts as the evil ben Laden.

The Howdy Doody's who did the favors and turned their backs are now empty headed, pockets filled with cash.

Enron investors and employees can comfort one another in the crying game. American citizens can openly whine about Washington's morals, ethics or lack of campaign finance reform, or they may complain about the millions of jobs lost through NAFTA and world trade, mostly blamed on 9/11. Who has time to think about such things or constitutional freedoms in the middle of the War on Terror.

Another national travesty begins with its denying, lying and blaming, making Bill Clinton's sex habits and paltry Whitewater deal pale in comparison. Here the broken commandment is greed and the losers are the little folks in the "Peanut Gallery," or average hard-working Americans who gave their trust.

Most Americans support the President in the current troubling crisis. He is telling the American people to spend, spend, spend; fly, fly, fly; drive, drive, drive - to bolster our faltering economy. He is also telling us "We must go about our business," just like the Enron money changers and their political supporters went about theirs.

During World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt, a statesman, said we must have the humility to sacrifice in order to defeat the enemy. American people went to work for the war cause, and gasoline, food and clothing became rationed. The messages and the times have certainly changed. Homeland vigilance becomes more than protecting ourselves from terrorist bombs and anthrax.

It is protecting us from ourselves and those who serve us.

Details and an archived list of stories on Enron can be found in TheHoustonChronicle

Stories are archived under the title, Section: Enron.


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