1. says

    I really don’t get his comparsion of Ken Lay to George Hearst. After all, the mines that George owned were legitimate; they actually were profitable without dishonest accounting. Plus, George Hearst was a Democrat. Lay certainly wasn’t. Yes, George’s son was the vile yellow journalist who got America into a pointless war with Spain, but I don’t see the problem with the father.

  2. says

    In a way, I am actually kind of disappointed. I feel like the Kenster got off easy by going and dying like that. He wont get to experience the pleasures of being incarcerated and thnking about how he screwed the pooch big time. He got to dye in his own plush digs in the mountains of Aspen, Colorado instead. At the same time, I am kind of glad to see that the stress he faced was apparently so much it caused the ol’ ticker to give up the ghost.

    See ya! Been nice seeing one of the crooked mighty fall.

  3. BlueIndependent says

    The conspiracy mill is already at full steam regarding this story. Apparently Ken Lay was of inordinately good health, so some are obviously thinking the heart attack story is bogus, and that he did everyone a favor and decided to hasten things by his own hand.

    Others are saying it’s a cover story and that he’s already on a yacht in South America, outside the reach of domestic American law.

    I of course hope it’s not the latter, but these are the two stories being proffered in response to his death.

  4. says

    Boy, that sure is irritating about the link being Bloggered. I have no idea what’s gone wrong; it worked fine this afternoon.

    I really don’t get his comparsion of Ken Lay to George Hearst.

    I can’t speak for him, Jon — he doesn’t take kindly to it — but I believe Al might be referring more to the Deadwood character rather than the historical figure on which he’s based. The Hearst of the show is about as thoroughgoing an indictment of everything that was wrong with Gilded-Age capitalism as you could imagine. Most recently he’s had his henchman hold Al down while hacking off his finger for refusing to take orders, and late last season he sanctioned the summary shooting of fractious Cornish miners who were caught with pilfered gold-nuggets. Body-cavity searches. Now he’s engaged in replacing them with imported Chinese labor, who work for a pittance. Nasty thing, that nineteenth-century exploitation of a powerless labor force. Surprised nobody did anything about it.

  5. Neddie Jingo says

    !!! In the midst of all that gassing on about capitalism, I forgot to thank PJ for the link!

    Thank you for the link, Peedge!

  6. barstoolcadaver says

    Uh yeah, sure. Anyone seen the body? The raving nutter in me thinks the peanut isn’t under any of the shells, but is probably island bound with new id and a few sacks of pension money. But thats just silly…

  7. says

    There’s always the hope that it was painful beyond all comprehension, and that as his brain began to fold he was tormented by a Christian vision of demons rising through the floor and clutching at his tortured flesh.

    I didn’t like him much, either.

  8. compass says

    Yes indeed, that good old time atheist charity is showing itself in spades.

    Yes, Lay was a modern privateer; yes, he deserved prison. No, he doesn’t deserve the gloating over his death that the Rabid Left is showing in all its fetid glory.

  9. Rey Fox says

    Say, compass, do you hear that? It sounds like the world’s smallest violin!

  10. MartinDH says

    No, he doesn’t deserve the gloating over his death…

    He most certainly does. He, and now his family, have escaped financial responsibility for his actions. He has avoided spending the rest of his life as the “girlfriend” of a white-supremist. All that remains is a gloat over his current condition.

    Or he’s evaded even this (as BlueIndependent posits) and is catching up on his guilt-free suntan.

    …that the Rabid Left is showing in all its fetid glory.

    Oh come off it. The US doesn’t have a left, let alone a rabid one. The only people I see frothing at the mouth are the neo-cons and their far-right partners in crime.

  11. says

    Ken Lay was a guy who ripped off ordinary, working families in order to live a life of extravagant luxury. He was a guy with such an arrogant sense of entitlement that he could gleefully erect a shell of a company that did nothing but skim off buckets of money, with little guilt, gouging millions to pay for his nice big house in Aspen and his habits of greed.

    I don’t take joy in anyone’s death. I don’t feel any remorse about kicking the bloated corpse of a parasite, though.

  12. Ed Darrell says

    Tom Peters used to say (may still say, for all I know) that no corporate vision neatly framed on a wall is worth a damn — the only one that counts is one that is engraved on the hearts of the people who make the company go. It was such a vision that saved Johnson & Johnson during the tylenol tampering crisis — and perhaps a few dozen lives.

    But it’s clear that, at best, Enron and Lay failed to live up to that vision. At worst, the officers cynically avoided doing anything close to the corporate vision.

    High ideals are not folly by themselves. Nor are they folly when people don’t live up to them. The folly is in the hypocrisy, in the intentional frustrating of the dreams ideals may hold.

    Gloating over Ken Lay’s death? As usual, the knee-jerk conservatives (emphasis on “jerk”) miss the point. Lay will spend no time in prison; under the law, he is now clean as a whistle, and under the criminal law it is extremely unlikely his estate will pay a dime in restitution to the thousands of good people made paupers by Lay’s misdeeds. It is those knee-jerkers who are cynical, and wrong, for defending a rip-off of so many. Ken Lay was no Pretty Boy Floyd — Lay stole from little guys to give to the rich, and Lay put into foreclosure more properties than Pretty Boy Floyd saved. The contrast should give one pause to defend Lay.

    Gloat? Over a bad guy avoiding justice? That’s for the Bushies, for the Cheneys, for the DeLays, who have made such gloating a way of life, a legacy to warn our grandchildren with.

  13. PaulC says

    I’m with everyone here who says that Lay evaded justice. There’s clearly nothing to gloat about. Putting him in jail would have been an object lesson that white collar theft is still theft. A sixty four year old guy dying of a heart attack doesn’t prove anything.

  14. Jake B. Cool says

    Well, it almost makes me wish I wasn’t an atheist, to contemplate the natural-gas flames that would be roasting Kenny Boy . . . .

  15. Azkyroth says

    Heh. Read the lyrics link I posted above. It’s not simply “celebrating his death,” it’s actually a very fitting eulogy, given his actions in life.