I took a break from editing articles for the next edition and caught the news on CNN that former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted of conspiracy and securities and wire fraud in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history. If you have any shred of doubt about their guilt, I strongly suggest you rent the award-winning documentary “The Smartest Guys in the Room.” It’s a very persuasive expose of what complete fraud artists these two guys were — Enron was a complete house of cards built on made-up numbers and fabricated businesses. If you feel sorry for these people, remember that their agents were largely behind the manipulation of the California energy market as it tried to privatize, the failure of which subsequently gave free energy markets a bad name, despite the fact that they worked well in the UK. I think these fellows are corporate sociopaths and deserve their future as, how shall I say it, “The Smartest Guys in the Cell Block.”
On another note, some people have emailed me asking how was my trip to Finland and the UK. I’ll report more about it in the days ahead, but let me just share this one “deep thought.” Remember the circumpolar trip by former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson and her irritating husband? Well, at the time I thought it was a terrible waste of taxpayer’s money, and I still do. However, I have to admit that the condescending duo were actually onto something. One of my strongest impressions was of all the things we have in common with the British Isles and the Scandanavian countries due to our being “northern people” with similar climates. On the environmental front, our issues are highly similar. I feel we should develop stronger (very strong!) linkages between Canada and the other countries around the Arctic Circle, and not pay quite so much attention to our neighbors to the south. I don’t mean that as an anti-American jibe. I just mean, there is incredible cultural and geographic commonality among the countries, and there’s so very much we could all do to share information and help one another. Many things they’re doing in Finland would work brilliantly in Canada. And another thing: because of the education systems, almost everyone there is totally fluent in English. People in Finland shift into near-perfect English seemingly effortlessly.
More on all that in my next blog entry.