culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Monday, July 10, 2006
Deathstyles of the rich and famous. At his memorial, convicted CEO felon Ken Lay was compared to
John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus (Shelby Hodge, Houston Chronicle):
Among those attending the private memorial was Jeff Skilling, Lay's co-defendant, who quickly slipped into the chapel with his wife and his defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli.

Security was tight at the chapel. Access was granted only to those whose names appeared on the guest list, and when the Lay family arrived in a caravan of black sport utility vehicles, security personnel surrounded the group with umbrellas, obstructing photographers.

The Rev. Bill Lawson, pastor emeritus of Houston's Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, officiated the 90-minute memorial. Joining Lawson in eulogizing the former Enron chairman were longtime family friend and former Enron executive Mick Seidl, Linda Lay's brother Ray Phillips and the five Lay children.

The portrait they painted of the man who once ran the nation's seventh largest company was that of philanthropist, father, grandfather and friend. Little mention was made of Enron, guests said. [...]

While Lay had numerous detractors, many in Aspen remained his friends and fans. Lawson told the gathering of almost 200 that those who are vilified in life — John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Jesus — often become heroes in death.

Lawson recited the Lord's Prayer.

Then he read Psalm 18:1-3 and read from the New Testament's Second Corinthians. [...]

Family members coming in from Houston for the service included Ken Lay's children — Elizabeth Vittor with her husband, José Luis Vittor, and Mark Lay with his wife, Natalie — and Linda Lay's children — Beau Herrold with his wife, Heather, Robyn Vermeil and David Herrold. The service was followed by a catered reception on the chapel deck and in the garden.
The catered reception (with an open bar [!], according to the Chronicle's video clip) was involuntarily paid for by Enron's 401(k) plan participants as an unfortunate and unwelcome side effect of their employment.

The writer of the article, Shelby Hodge, is not the Chronicle's business or political reporter, but its society columnist. At the core of the story, Ken Lay was newsworthy not because he was smart or ethical because he was rich and famous.

Here's a guy who had an affair with his secretary (Linda Lay nee Herrold) and screwed his employees. I am baffled why people find such cads as Lay so fascinating when their crimes are about as interesting as convenience store holdups, albeit on a much bigger scale.

The only reason I have followed this story for five long years is not because Lay is intrinsically fascinating in the least, but because this commonplace piece of shit played a pivotal role in delivering the Bush administration into the White House — one of the biggest frauds in the world's formerly great democracy, the USA.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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