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Updated on October 11, 2011

Solyndra has turned sunlight into darkness

An ambitious solar technology has been buried in the sands of time by intellectual corruption, pride and simple politics. And, along with its technological promise Solyndra has lost more than one billion in private capital and one half billion dollars in taxpayer money. Solyndra is, however, just the tip of the iceberg sliding noislessly through the waters of our culture, our history.

It bears mentioning that while the administration of George W. Bush refused to back Solyndra, despite their reputation in the press for cronyism and even incompetence, it fell to the succeeding administration of Barack Obama to approve what will surely be recorded for posterity as one of this nation's worst decisions. Still, Solyndra seems not to have exhausted our national patience. Only God knows why. If Solyndra defines what President Obama meant when he promised change, give me the good old days and keep the change.

Lurking in the shadows of our nation's greatness there always seems an unpleasant spectre, a beast whose appetite for folly and evil is never satisfied. As a friend in our local indian tribe cautions, "Beware the man with the green heart." Green is, of course, the color of greed. The collapse of our and indeed the world's banking and investment systems shows once again that we must never allow greed to be disguised as fruitful growth, healthy ambition. Rather, we must see corruption and wrongdoing for what they are; corruption and wrong doing. At the very least let us not shy away from calling those who consitently do stupid things what they are - stupid people.

Worse yet, we seldom see those who knowingly commit crimes against us prosecuted. the shadowy figures in their expensive suits and white shirts who lie about what they know and about what we should know, the profiteers and the so-called growth advocates, the bankers and investment managers - the pimps of Wall Street - and the indolent regulators who go along to get along...when will we see them hauled before the courts to face justice? Why have the credit rating agencies who lied about the quality of loans bundled into securities packages not been called to task? While virtually everyone in the world pays the price for the mortgage disaster of the first decade of this new century these true criminals remain nearly unscathed. In fact, Standard & Poors, one of the offending three (the others are Moody's Investor Services and Fitch's Ratings) had the hubris to lower the credit rating of the United States, but did not reveal to investors the presence of sub-prime mortgages in portfolios of securities offered to investors on our financial markets.

Are we so accustomed to these crimes that we no longer feel it necessary to call for action? Are these private entituies now so strong that they are immune? Why has the press not persued these demons? While it is certainly true that various actions by various administrations, all catering to vested interests whose money is needed for campaigns and all claiming to be working for the betterment of us all, have led to a regulatory environment where reason is left at the door it is also undeniable that without the coopperation of the three major credit rating agencies the mortgage meltdown would have been more difficult to achieve, if even possible.

Important people lied to us, all of us. Now we pay for the resulting disaster, all of us pay...except those whose deception caused it. Why is this, Mr. President?

Copyright 2011 by Peter A. Kenney


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