Call me paranoid, suspicious, pessimistic, whatever, but the whole Kenneth Lay dying thing just seems…….wierd. Is it totally unreasonable for me to even consider that Lay, with all his vast wealth, cooked up an easy (undetectable?) exit for himself? That the thought of even one day in prison for such a rich, rich man was too much for him to handle? I don’t know. Then again, I’m the guy who was convinced that we had Bin Laden captured in 2003 and the administration was going to wait to unveil it until right before the election, so who am I to say?
Anyway, I don’t believe for a single, solitary second that Lay wasn’t aware of what was going on at Enron. His actions and the actions of his cronies rippled through Houston and the U.S. economy like a heavy stone thrown in a small pond, doing damage to thousands of people just like you and me. Or: is it what it is? (Hi, Matt). A 64 year old man dying of the most common ailment known to males? Just…..math and science. I, for one, would have liked to have seen him do some time. Or, as I mentioned previously, have him completely stripped of his wealth and employed at WalMart making $5.15 per hour until he physically couldn’t do it anymore. I’m with my friend over at The Fort when he says “rest in no peace.” But that’s just me.
It is a very rare occasion that I get to watch a Red Sox game in its entirety, but that was my goal tonight. Settling in with dinner (Trader Joe’s lightly breaded Alaskan cod, a serving of corn, peas and some spinach, with a Red Hook ESB to wash it down), I proceeded to watch the Red Sox fall asleep against Tampa, the highlight of the game being Carl Crawford’s steal of home. Now, if you click on that link and watch the video, you will clearly see that someone has slipped Sox pitcher Jason Johnson several valium. I honestly thought for a second while I was watching that Crawford would be able to order and eat a pizza, then cross home plate doing back handsprings before Johnson even released his pitch. Two things come out of this: Johnson should be released for his ignorace (and terrible showing thus far) and watching someone steal home base in a baseball game is a rare and extremely exciting event.
All that said, I turned the game off at that point and switched over to PBS-HD’s “Victory in the Pacific,” a documentary detailing the steely and barbaric resolve of the Japenese in the last months of WWII. Stunning. It could easily be said that the Allies, particularly the Americans, were equally barbaric, though, especially the fire bombing of Tokyo, which killed 100,000 civilians.
Between this documentary and the Truman book (page 738 now), it’s surprising how little the U.S. thought about the horrors of an atom bomb – they seemed to have matter-of-factly looked at it as a means to an end and as a way to avoid further casualties, not to mention that they didn’t think it would do the same damage it did to the 100,000 innocents they had previously incinerated in Tokyo. I really had thought that a lot more struggle and mind-wringing had gone into that decision.
They were a little off in their math, though: 140,000 ended up dead in Hiroshima and roughly 115,000 in Nagasaki. The book and the documentary do make you think, though, about how many more would have fallen had that war gone on. Tough subject.