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Ethics for sale

February 1, 2002 | Page 4

HOW ARE former Enron employees making up for the money they lost when the company went belly-up? A few have taken to auctioning off merchandise from Enron's marketing department--including mugs, pens, golf balls, paperweights and office manuals--on Internet sites like E-Bay.

Items that are "sure to become collectibles" include Enron mugs emblazoned with the corporate logo and the phrase "Ask Why," and copies of Enron's "The Basics of Risk Management."

But perhaps the best seller is Enron's "Code of Ethics" manual, which in some cases has gone for more than $200. One copy was advertised as "never read."

--Chicago Tribune, January 19, 2002

Nazis seek the hobbit vote

MOST PEOPLE figure the recent Lord of the Rings movie is just blockbuster entertainment. But Italy's far-right National Alliance party sees it as a recruitment opportunity, inviting young people to "enter the fellowship" in their new ads.

"We want to use the event as an incredible volcano to help people understand our view of the world," said Basilio Catanoso, head of the youth wing of the National Alliance.

The National Alliance believes that Lord of the Rings embodies fascist ideals of physical strength and racial purity. In the 1970s, neo-fascist summer training camps nicknamed "Hobbit Camps" were run by the National Alliance's predecessor.

--Reuters, January 21, 2002

Heard it through the grapevine

"TO BE sure, right now, he's in great pain, great agony…The last time we met, we did have prayer together. There is this case of Job in the Bible. He had a great fall."
--Rev. Jesse Jackson on former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay after a meeting between the two was called off

"WELL, THEY like to spend a lot of time on their knees anyway."
--Retired Gen. Bernard Trainor, when asked about the treatment of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

"I'M PERSONALLY privileged and we are all privileged to follow in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's footsteps in defending freedom and ensuring justice."
--Attorney General John Ashcroft at the Justice Department's celebration of Martin Luther King Day

"YOU'VE GOT a heritage of…defending Southern patriots like [Robert E.] Lee, [Stonewall] Jackson and [Jefferson] Davis…We've all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we'll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda."
--Then-Sen. John Ashcroft, defending the Confederacy in the right-wing Southern Partisan magazine in 1998

"I DON'T want to 'Enron' the American people. I don't want to see them holding the bag at the end of the day just like Enron employees have held the bag."
--Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), coming up with a new verb

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