Letters: Enron, Immigration and Border Fences

Listeners comment on the Enron trial, the immigration debate on border controls, The Da Vinci Code and season finales.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

NEAL CONAN, host:

It's Tuesday, the day we read from your e-mails.

We're still waiting for a verdict in the trial of former Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, but last week after both sides gave their closing arguments, we took a look at the lessons learned from the collapse of Enron. The moral of the story for Jenny Gardner(ph) in Charlottesville, Virginia, is that CEO's need to be held in account.

(Reading) "They need to be responsible to far more of an extent than they are. It's ludicrous that we aren't pointing fingers in that direction. We would immediately hold accountable any low-level employee for something that goes awry on an assembly line, yet we do not hold the hands to the fire of those mega-rich, pampered CEOs and boards who are just laughing their ways to the bank."

We also talked last week about the debate over illegal immigration as it focused on the border. President Bush says he wants the National Guard to help secure the U.S.-Mexico crossing as part of a broader reform. Scott Brenner(ph), in Apple River, Illinois, doesn't think that goes far enough.

(Reading) "Boosting the border guards while offering amnesty is like locking the brakes with the gas pedal floored", he wrote. "The only way to stem the tide is to put some farmers and CEOs in jail for hiring illegals. We need to fix our window-dressing laws for the prosecution of employers, which have resulted in only cost of doing business fines and a slap on the wrist."

On the other hand, Molinda Ayres(ph) thinks we've already gone too far.

(Reading) "I really wonder what happened to the philosophy of give me your tired, your poor?" She asked. "I think that the assertiveness of these illegal immigrants in coming to the U.S. to better themselves is to be applauded. I really do not like the idea of border patrols or walls. Many of these, quote, 'illegal persons' are very hard workers and have been here for a long time. If they already have jobs and have proved to be a valuable asset to U.S. citizens, then they should be allowed to stay."

Listener Lee Olson(ph) complained about our subject material.

(Reading) "Is there possibly anything at all to talk about 24/7 other than politics? NPR must stand for Nothing But Politics Radio", he wrote.

Another listener named Roy(ph), wrote to us from Salt Lake City to complain about the other stuff.

(Reading) "Why are you wasting your time with this drivel? Please get back to politics. Please!"

Among the other stuff we talked about last week was the spate of season and series finales on TV these past couple of weeks. Some listeners remembered Buffy, Friends, The Simpsons, and, of course, the classic Who Shot JR? season finale on Dallas. Votes also came in by email and there was a clear winner in the in-box poll.

(Reading) "The best series finale I can recall was the second Bob Newhart show", wrote Lee(ph), in Oregon. "As the credits wound down it switched back to the first Bob Newhart show and he was in bed with his wife, Emily, played by Suzanne Pleshette, I believe. He wakes up Emily and says, Emily, I just had the strangest dream, and that was the end of the second series - a finale I still smile when I think of it."

(Soundbite of TV program “The Bob Newhart Show”)

Ms. SUZANNE PLESHETTE (Actor): (As Emily) All right, Bob. What is it?

Mr. BOB NEWHART (Actor): (As himself) I was an innkeeper in this crazy little town in Vermont.

Ms. PLESHETTE: I'm happy for you. Goodnight.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NEWHART: Nothing, nothing made sense in this place. I mean, the maid was an heiress, her husband talked in alliteration. The handy man kept missing the point of things. And then were these three woodsmen…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NEWHART: …but only one of them talked.

Ms. PLESHETTE: That settles it. No more Japanese food before you go to bed.

(Soundbite of telephone ringing)

Mr. NEWHART: (As character in the Bob Newhart Show) Hello?

(Soundbite of music)

CONAN: If you have questions, comments, or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

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