Friday, September 13, 2002

I've been meaning to get back to this recent post but I've been so busy playing devil's advocate at Sand in the Gears, a very nicely designed & very conservative blog with a lot of participants. Lately I've been trying to understand why someone would hold some of the opinions that are so diametrically opposite of mine, beliefs that so many conservatives hold onto. I thought a good place to start was SitG because of this heart breaking post of the author losing his daughter to a brainstem tumor. It helped humanize the author and soften the cold hard opinion that I think the net helps to foster. When you have all these angry posts of people who say whatever they want with little/no fear of retribution because they never have to face the person they are antognizing I don't think it's healthy. The net is an amazing thing, but there are definitely negative affects and this is one of them.

I've learned a little on SitG, but it's been mostly vocabulary, for I have been accused of prevaricating by another poster. That's just a really fancy way of saying I lied, when I made an honest mistake of referencing the wrong act thwarted by Congress. Actually there are a lot of problems with the facilities that are supposed to oversee what goes on in the business world, and it seems Congress tied up a lot of hands not allowing the SEC to do it's job.

Taken from Frontline website;
"The trail leads to Washington," Smith reports, "where Congress weakened the protections and tied the hands of regulators, making it easier for aggressive companies like Enron to push the envelope." During the past decade, the accounting industry has flexed its lobbying muscle on Capitol Hill as never before, and Smith examines the three major political battles of the decade's accounting wars: the fight over stock options, the fight over tort reform, and the all-out war over SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt's attempt to rein in conflicts of interest by forcing accounting firms to separate their auditing and consulting practices.


And my mistake doesn't even change the fact that these things happened, I referenced the wrong motion in Congress. Actually I dont even know if it is the wrong act, I just know that the law passed in Congress was supposed to alleviate frivolous lawsuits against Corporations in regards to accountability in defrauding investors. I'm not sure if this is the exact law that relaxed oversight of the accounting industry. But you can see for yourself the whole debate (when I posted this link there were 6 entries, and mine were numbers 3 and 6. It may not be the right act, it's just one of many reasons why we are in this mess with Enron, Worldcom etc.

There was an amazing program on PBS, specifically the episode on Frontline titled "Bigger than Enron". Why the hell can't all American media be this good? Why aren't more people watching it?

The program discussed some of the problems that immediately arose after Congress deregulated the accounting industry. If Enron had been Aurthur Andersen's only real violation I might have more sympathy for the company (AA not Enron). But they covered in the program that there had been numerous, literally hundreds, of counts of fraudulent accounting by all of the Big Five (Is it the Big Four now?) after this act of deregulation. A few other violations by AA include Waste Management (the biggest corporate profit restatement incident pre Enron), and Lucent, a company I own stock in. It's not that much stock, and right now it sure aint worth a damn thing.

What bothered me the most about the post is the finger pointing at former employees trying to sue the company that wronged them and the animosity that SitG's keeper has for these people. Genuine animosity for the people that got screwed. What the hell is going on here? What am I not seeing? I really want to understand where some conservatives are coming from.... Clearly I am failing at this one. Please, tell me, I'm listening (email palmerhaas@yahoo.com).

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