Food For Thought
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Enron Is Not The Only Thing That Needs To Be Cleaned Up
February 2nd, 2002
by columnist
David Lawrence Dewey
"Reading provides knowledge...
knowledge leads to answers."
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America is in a crisis hitting on many fronts. First and foremost, we have terrorism showing its' ugly head in a very potential dangerous way in America for the first time. Our homeland is not as secure as we once thought. Most important, have we asked this question to our politicians? How was this allowed to happen in the first place? Politicians and government officials are avoiding answering that question like it was anthrax itself. The bottom line, America was sleeping on the switch. It has been disclosed that certain government agencies that were suppose to be protecting Americans in this area were very well aware of this potential threat as far back as 1994. Did you know that the Immigration Services has a list of over 5,000 Arab linked names that have pilot licenses that they cannot find in this country?

How many security incidences is it going to take for the government agency responsible for security at airports to realize that the company that U.S. taxpayers are paying is doing a very poor job. And again, it seems like certain government officials are sleeping on the job. The recent incident where a man that tested positive for explosives on his shoes at an airport somehow was allowed to "disappear" into the crowds, and then it took the security at the airport nearly two hours to report the incident. Hello...anyone there?

Defense spending has already been increased by 80 billion and now President Bush is asking for another 120 billion. The military efforts in Afghanistan is costing over 30 million dollars a day. That is expensive, but we cannot abandoned the Afghanistans that are trying to rebuild their country. We did that back in the early 1990's and if we had not, we most likely would not have had the World Trade Center Attack. President Bush said, "We will spend what it takes." However, what else will suffer or be cutback to do what we must do in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism?

Both President Bush, Democrats and certain Republicans have promised reforms concerning the other serious matters facing our country. Matters such as prescriptions for elderly on medicare. Education reforms are promised although it looks like Headstart programs in this country may be cut back because there just isn't enough money. The tax cut that President Bush and Republicans pushed through should never have happened. Instead of having nearly a 4 trillion dollar surplus over the next ten years, we will have nearly a 3 trillion dollar deficient. Where does the buck stop? What will have to be cut to insure the defense of our country? I am trying to make a very serious point here. What the politicians are saying, promising is just not going to happen. Americans need to realize that some every tough times are before us. They will not tell you the truth, when is the last time that you truly felt a politician actually told the truth or answered a direct question honestly?

Take the Enron mess. This is nothing but greedy executives that left Enron bankrupt and the little guys in the lurch.

Certain insiders within Enron cashed out stock to a total of over 1 billion 1 hundred million dollars. Chairman Kenneth Lay, $37,683,887 million. Jeff Skilling, former CEO, $14,480,755 million. Lou Pai, Unit Ceo, $62,936,552. Andrew Fasto, the fired Chief Financial Officer, 30 million. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. For example, on August 20th, 2001, Lay exercised options to buy 25,000 shares at $20.78. The next day he exercised another option of 68,000 shares at $21.56. Already just with these transactions he netted nearly 1.5 million dollars after selling the stock at $36.00. As late as September 26th, Lay told his employees, "our liquidity has never been stronger". Then on October 16th, the company announced a $618 million dollar third quarter loss and a $1.2 billion dollar reduction in shareholder equity. How did Enron manage to hide this debt? What I'm about to explain can still be done legally and probably has already been done by other corporations.

Enron created a new corporation called Z. They gave corporation Z a certain amount of Enron stock, say $100 million. Enron then loaned corporation Z cash $10 million. In addition, Enron then gave corporation Z certain property worth say $10 million. These are all assets, the stock, the cash the property. This means corporation Z's assets on paper are worth $120 million now. What happened next was this. Corporation Z went out and borrowed, took out loans against these assets of $120 for $100 million, which the corporation then turned around and gave back to Enron as cash. Now this created a debt liability on corporation Z's books of $100 million in loans although they did not have the cash. Enron had the cash, which then inflated the stock price of Enron. The problem here is that Enron never reported the stock that was given to corporation Z as a liability, nor reported the debt of corporation Z's loans. Enron treated the $100 million cash as payment for the stock, listed it as a cash gain. However, they did not report the debt of the $100 million of corporation Z. Enron did this many times, creating a debt like this of over 1.2 billion dollars. The actual names of two of these corporations were JEDI and Chewco, taken from the Star Wars era. I wonder who thought these up?

This is all perfectly legal. You can thank the 1984 Bank De-Regulation Act under President Reagan for this. The changes in banks laws gave bank corporations to set up holding corporations that would "own" other banks and left loopholes for them to not report debt. This left the doorway open for greedy executives in corporations in my opinion, "steal" from the little guy. This has happened time and time again since 1984 with corporations and stocks. The question is, where are the politicians in Washington that are suppose to watching over this and protecting the little guy. The answer, they are part of the problem.

Here is what Enron has contributed to certain government and elected officials.
$413,800 dollars to President Bush's presidential campaign. Its' employees, more or less through subversive and forced payroll deductions, $312,500 to his campaign.

Attorney General John Ashcroft has recused himself from the Justice Department's probe into this matter because the company gave him $57,499 for his unsuccessful Senate run.

Lindsley Lawrence, a White House Economic Adviser, made $50,000 as a consultant to Enron in 2000 before moving to the White House with Bush.

Karl Rowe, White House Senior Adviser waited five months after taking office to sell more than $100,000 of Enron stock

Vice President Cheney met with Enron officials six times in crafting a new national energy policy. He has refused to show the minutes to Congress. Is anyone asking? Cheney can't hide behind the excuse he can't disclose these minutes for national security reasons. What national security issues could there be with executives from major corporations sitting around setting the energy policy of this country?

Senator Phil Gramm from Texas, his wife Wendy Gramm was a member of the board of Enron and received $50,000 for a special charity of hers shortly before all this hit. Ms. Gramm who was a former securities regulator, the same people that are trained to watch for things of what happened to Enron, joined Enron's board in 1993 after helping to get new rules written exempting some energy trades from government oversight, particularly the type of energy business that Enron was doing.

Chairman Kenneth Lay has known former President Bush, the present President Bush's father for many years.

In July 1985, Houston Natural Gas merges with Internorth to form Enron, and interstate natural-gas company pipeline company. Trying to find out what politicians and or former politicians owned stock in Internorth or Houston Natural Gas is a question that should also be asked.

Is this a witch hunt on my part listing these contributions to these politicians? Am I just a dirty journalist attacking a Republican President. No I am not. I am trying to explain what the problem is. This problem in a way is not their fault. We have allowed this to happen. However, by being able to accept these type of contributions do you truly think they can ever be objective or impartial regarding anything that may come up with the companies that contribute to them?

This whole thing smells dirty, looks dirty and has been shown dirty in my opinion by the actions of the executives of how they duped employees and other shareholders while making billions for themselves. Every executive of Enron that made millions using these deceptive practices should be forced to return every last dime to the company. This is in fact what bankrupt the company. And Arthur and Anderson, the accounting firm that should have caught this much sooner should be held liable as well. Accountants must not think they can get away with being able to play with the big boys as they chose. If these executives will most like take the fifth or what they will probably do is use the excuse, didn't know or can't remember before Congressional Hearings. That has nothing to do with the bottom line of this fraud. If these executives are truly honest people and after finding out that these billions they made are ill gotten gains by downright stealing from their own employees, then these executives should turn over every red cent back to the employees retirement fund at Enron for those employese that got the shaft. Are our elected officials in Washington simply going to sit back and let the little guy be screwed again while these people walk away with billions? These executives should be charged with fraud and made to give back every last cent they made. This is the bottom line and if our politicians in Washington do not see that is done, then in my opinion these politicians need to be replaced as soon as possible. And they won't do this unless you, the American voter let's them know of your outrage concerning this. Laws must be changed to prevent corporations from doing this "tricky" book work to create wealth when there is not. It is up to you, the American voter.

Some Good News...

There is some good news. A potential breakthrough for HIV treatment has been found. Here are the facts. I hope this brings some light and hope to those suffering from this dreaded disease and their loved ones.

The Coulston Foundation, a not for profit biomedical research laboratory in New Mexico has announced what they termed a major breakthrough in the treatment of persons infected with HIV, the source of AIDS.

The Foundation according to Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Frederick Coulston has been working with a scientific team from the People's Republic of China for sometime. The Chinese team is headed by prominent Chinese researchers, Dr. Yi Zeng and his wife. The couple have been able to compound an oral treatment made up of a number of Chinese herbs. The compound is produced in China. The Coulston lab is a research facility that has been conducting various possible vaccines/cures using chimpanzees over the last several years. The compound was shipped to the Foundation and tested in a controlled environment on the Foundation's chimpanzees. Based on the preliminary results, the formulation was approved for testing on humans in China.

The initial results exceeded their expectations according to Dr. Coulston. So much so, that Dr. Zeng has informed Dr. Coulston that the Chinese government has approved its use in another round of human trials in China. These human trials will be the final round before approval of the Chinese government for public use in that nation. China is facing an explosion of HIV cases in the years to come.

The Chinese government would not have approved this compound for human testing without the data that was derived from the initial trials on the chimpanzees at the Coulston Foundation. Dr. Coulston is hopeful that the compound will also be tested outside of China.

This is an inexpensive treatment that, has thus far, demonstrated itself in trials to be highly effective in reducing the viral load of the infection without all the serious side effects of present day medications. If the next rounds of testing are as promising as the initial ones, the Coulston Foundation will go through the final steps of bringing it to market and worldwide availability.

The formulation has been shown to be effective against both major strains of HIV, -1 and -2 and shows some promise for other life threatening diseases such as malaria. This is certainly a promising sign that a huge breakthrough just might be around the corner for the treatment of AIDS.

Years ago, a fairly prominent famous politician was asked this question. "Is Washington corrupted and can it be cleaned." The politician's answer was, "It is so corrupt that the only way it can ever be cleaned is by the American voter starting at the local level and elect nobodies to Congress, but you first must get big business out of politics." That politician was Senator Margaret Chase, the first woman ever elected to Congress. Evidently she already saw back then what has only gotten worse. The Enron mess only proves the point that campaign reform must be done, big business and lobbyists for big business must vacate Washington. A sign must be put up that says, "no vacancy." Corporations should not be allowed to politicians campaigns. Executives of corporations should be limited to only $100. A percentage of every tax, both state and federal dollars that is collected should be deposited into state a federal campaign funds that are available to anyone that can garner enough voter signatures to place them on a ballot for election. Only when this is done will the part of the corruption begin to die in Washington. The complete federal tax system needs to be completely shelved and a flat federal tax for individuals and corporations needs to be put in its' place. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be saved by not having an IRS. Take for example, Enron. Did you know that because of all this hocus pocus accounting that Enron did not pay one dime of federal income taxes four out of the last five years. And that nearly 75% of all corporations are able to avoid federal taxes similar to this. What's wrong with this picture? The rest of the cleanup will take Americans standing up and saying enough is enough. If what I have not shared with you concerning the immoral acts of Enron even though they may be considered legal has not outraged you, then I do not know what to say. If this does not stir within you a calling once and for all to end once and for all such practices, then all I can say is, continue being the little guys that keeps being screwed by Washington and bought politicians. Will you be that voice to make that difference?

Hopefully as mankind moves forward into the 21st century, that which has mankind sees written on the wall that needs to be changed, they will changed it. Failure to do so will only bring about further pain and suffering in the future.

Speaking of taxes. There has been added a TAX CENTER on my website. You can find links to all federal forms and state forms for filing your taxes. Look for the link in the right frame or CLICK HERE.

Last, but not least. Are you eating right for your blood type? There are four blood types, O,A,B and AB. Do you know there are certain foods you should be eating and some foods you should be avoiding because of your blood type?

For example, if you have type O, your risk factors for ulcers and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis increase if you eat incorrectly for your blood type. If you are type A, your risk factors for cancer and heart disease increase if your eat incorrectly. If you type B, your risk for slow-growing viruses that attack your nervous system increases if you eat incorrectly. If you are type AB, you have the friendliest immune system of all blood types and have most of the intolerances of type A and B.

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Leanne Ely, C.N.C., Certified Nutrition Counselor, author of "Healthy Foods" and who provides some delicious recipes in The Recipe Korner on my site has started a new service called Menu-Mailer. Don't know what's for dinner. Too tired to figure out what to cook and to tired to know what to pick up at the grocery a store. Leanne will provide you with menus, recipes, and even a grocery shopping list for pennies a day. For more about Leanne and her Menu-Mailer service, CLICK HERE. You can also order her new book, "Healthy Foods" from this page.

If you have not read my column on Hydrogenated Oils-Silent Killers and Aspartame, Sweetness or Death, also known as Equal, make sure you do.

David Lawrence Dewey

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