ZERO PLUS 1058 DAYS, New York, NY, August 3, 2004--Corporate
Terrorism is about as common as cough. Almost every citizen
in America has been subjected to it in various forms and degrees--from
being humiliated by a boss in front of other employees, to having
some top executive of a major financial company stripmine the
savings of people with barely two nickels to rub together. But
Olympic Terrorism--now, that's a new twist.
Gold rules both forms of Terrorism.
In Corporate Terrorism, the end goal of the Terrorist
is power and money, usually linked like Siamese Twins. A group
of people in a company conspire to line their pockets with gold.
In some cases it is just negligence--the utter mismanagement
of finances and tasks. But, in most cases, it is conspiratorial.
That is, a group of people in a company, by design or default,
either set out purposefully or by default, to make decisions
that abuse and harm those "below" them in an effort
to fatten their own purses with gold.
raiders end up with more and consume more than anyone
The key to corporate abuse, or "Corporate
Terrorism" is the attempt to look like everything is on
the up-and-up to the outside world while cooking the books or
setting about unfair and damaging policies internally that boost
the company's stock or bloat executive's bonuses without detailing
them in stock offerings or mergers. Skirting the law at the
expense of the people is called Corporate Survival 101. The
end result is that the corporate raiders of the people's assets
end up with more piles of gold than anyone else...and sometimes,
they consume it all.
Now, shift to the Olympics.
Here, the idea of pure competition for competition's
sake is supposed to be sacrosanct. My younger daughter once
was on her way to the Olympics, and was under intense Olympic
training since she was ten years old. She won a Silver Medal
at the Junior Olympics in volleyball, and then a terrible accident
happened. She blew out her knee, dashing her goals for the Gold.
jump champion Mary Rand (Toomey) was the first British
woman to win the gold medal (Go
The children were taught to compete for competition's
sake. Mary Rand Toomey, the first British woman to win an Olympic
gold medal, was one of her coaches. There was a saying Mary
drilled into the heads of the kids spoken by many before the
Olympic events: "Let me be Victorious or my attempt Glorious!"
I thought that was as pure as you can get. The
idea was the competition not necessarily the victory. When one
sets out to "win" then one will see everyone and everything
in the path to victory as obstacles and will do whatever to
achieve the final result.
As a Marine, I was trained in that approach. My
training was to "kill anything that moved." Mine was
not Olympic training. I was trained as an Olympic Terrorist,
that winning was the great victory, and death went to those
who "just competed."
In corporate business I found myself applying
the same skills I did as a Marine--"survival of the fittest."
The goal was always money and power, and anyone or anything
that stumbled into the cross fire was mowed down. I forced myself
to leave that world despite the fact I was earning hundreds
of thousands of dollars, had unlimited power and was, by any
measure of external success, "at the top."
What haunted me in my fall from "corporate
elevation" were the words my daughter had learned and I
had absorbed as her secondary coach: "Let me be Victorious
or my attempt Glorious." I had been Victorious without
any doubt, but my victory had not been Glorious. I was not proud
of many things I did or had to do, or the games I played to
maintain my position at the top of the corporate pile, or watching
all the hungry wolves below me waiting for me to stumble so
they could rip and shred me and take over the spot on the game
board I occupied.
The Olympics always seemed to me that last bastion
of purity--or innocence from the afflictions of money, power
and prestige for their sake alone.
But the Olympics has its own Beat of Terror, just
as the corporations do. This one is called "doping,"
where an athlete injects into his or her body certain drugs
to enhance performance for the sheer and ultimate purpose of
being "Victorious" rather than "Glorious."
As the 2004 Athens Olympics nears, the news headlines
are flooded with reports of "doping." The most current
of them is today's report in the New York Times regarding the
use of of the stimulant modafinil at the U.S. track and field
championship in 2003 by Calvin Harrison, a sprinter for the
U.S. Olympic team.
The athlete had a previous charge against him
in 1993 at the U.S. junior indoor championships for using the
stimulant pseudoephedrine. He received a three-month ban then,
and the second charge supported under appeal, bans him for two
Ironically, Harrison was part of the 1,600-meter
gold relay team at the Sydney Olympics. The relay team faces
the loss of its gold medal at the 2000 Olympics because of a
positive drug test by Jerome Young, a member of the current
U.S. relay team with Harrison.
In dealing harshly with "Olympic Terrorism,"
the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)
has nullified all of Harrison's results from the time of the
positive drug test--two months before the world championships
in Paris. The IAAF is considering stripping the entire team
of its Gold Medal and awarding it to France, the Silver Medallist.
Sprinter Harrison's twin brother, Alvin, faces
a lifetime ban after being charged by the USADA with steroid
Then there is Marion Jones, who won five Gold
Medals in Sydney. She is facing doping charges also, despite
the fact that in the long jump last week, she made the second
longest jump in the world, 23 feet, 4 inches. She has been accused
of using drugs by her ex-husband C.J. Hunter whom she defended
from drug allegations during the Sydney Olympics.. She is under
intense investigation. Whether she will compete or not in Athens
is still in the air.
Montgomery, 100-yard dash world record holder,
also faces doping charges, a lifetime ban from the Olympics,
but failed to qualify.
Marion Jones is not alone in the finger pointing
of "Olympic Terrorism." One of her fierce rivals for
the 100 meter dash, Torri Edwards, is also under doping charges.
If Jones escapes and Edwards is banned, then Jones will qualify
for the 100-meter. She already has for the long-jump.
Then, there is the long arm of the past when Jim
Thorpe, a Sac and Fox Native American, was stripped of his Olympic
medals when he played semi-pro ball while a student at the Carlisle
Indian Industrial School. Back then, an athlete couldn't be
"commercial." That is, one could not compete for "money"
and qualify for the Olympics. It was truly then a matter of
being "Glorious" for professionals could not compete.
Thorpe's situation was vastly different from today
in many respects. Thorpe wasn't trying to win an Olympic Medal
by playing semi-pro ball. He was trying to pay his rent. Nevertheless,
he was excommunicated from the sport--a warning to other athletes
not to mix the "pure" of competition with the "impure"
of commercializing it for money's sake.
1982, the International Olympic Committee returned Jim
Thorpes's gold medals (to his daughter) - for the decathlon
and pentathlon in Stockholm in 1912
Back then, a winning athlete stopped competing
after getting so many Gold Medals and went directly to the Cheerios
box. The "Breakfast of Champions" had the face of
some great Olympic athlete on it, and all the money that went
The big point of this all is that OLYMPIC TERRORISM
is being dealt with harshly. Athletes are being banned for a
lifetime. They are being branded "Olympic Terrorists"
by the charges and convictions, shunned by their teammates,
and serve as embarrassments to the world rather than heroes.
They have violated the sacred trust of the people who count
on them--they have sought to be "Victorious at any expense
rather than Glorious at any expense."
Corporate Terrorism is not unlike the Olympics.
When a top executive, or a group of them, conspire or allow
the terrorization of the people who have invested great trust
and confidence in their ability to compete in their behalf,
and seek to be "Victorious" rather than "Glorious,"
they are like the Olympic Terrorist who uses drugs to enhance
his or her performance.
Ben Johnson set the world record in his gold-medal-winning
performance in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Johnson was stripped
of his medal and record after testing positive for a banned
and scroll down)
Top executives who use their power to enrich themselves
at the expense of stockholders and clients--the fans who have
vested their trust in their Olympic leadership--should be treated
like Olympic competitors who use drugs. They should be banned
from Corporate Olympic Competition.
There is little difference in the two. America's
economy is based on the trust and confidence people have in
the financial leadership of this nation, whether it be the CEO
of the entire United States, George W. Bush at the present,
or the CEO of a top insurance company with thousands of stockholders
At the highest level, the greatest "purity
of purpose" is expected, not the least.
The purpose of leadership at the peak of success
should be the preservation of principles that made success possible,
not the destruction of them. The difference, for example between
a politician, whom you cannot trust when his lips are moving,
and a statesman is that the politician will do anything to get
elected or reelected, whereas the statesman is more concerned
with what is right for the future of the Children's Children's
Children--that is, how to insure the company or country will
be as strong tomorrow as it is today.
Statesmen do not compete for the Olympic Gold
per se. They compete as Olympians be "Victorious or their
Corporate Terrorists laugh off this ideal, especially
in today's climate where there is little penalty for their abuse
of clients. At the best, they get a hand slap or a fraud conviction
usually bargained down so that their worst penalty may be having
to live in some country club federal prison, or, wear a leg
bracelet around a 153-acre estate.
Corporate Terrorism is far worse a crime than
Olympic Terrorism, and the penalty for such crimes should be
that the "corporate athlete" ends up being banned
from competition in a fair and just way.
Olympic athletes accused of Olympic Terrorism
have the right to appeal and the right of representation. But
the final word is the final word. Some are banned for short
times; repeat offenders for life.
If we are to clean up our "trust and confidence"
in our corporate leadership--especially those who run the biggest
companies in America--we need to look at "banning them"
when they violate the rights of the few or the many.
That's why I am in the process of preparing a
major lawsuit and seeking criminal prosecution against a giant
company that performed what I consider to be "Acts of Corporate
Terrorism" against myself, my wife, my family and the legacy
of the people who died on September 11, 2001.
My success in this case is not an issue of Victory.
I seek, of course, to be "Victorious," but I hope
and strive that my "attempt will be Glorious."
To me, our nation needs the legal label: "Corporate
Terrorist," just as the Olympics have concluded that it
needs to call those who dope or stimulate themselves in competition
need to be labeled an "Olympic Terrorist."
Being charged with doping ones self is the lowest,
most degrading crime an athlete can commit. It is an insult
to the name of "athlete" for it violates the trust
and belief that the individual alone is capable of the impossible
and improbable. It also tells our children that they must rely
on drugs or some outside force to make them capable of success,
when the truth is, that competing to be your best is the best
elixir of all.
is past time to change the laws and label a Corporate
Terrorist a Corporate Terrorist
When companies, by design or default, employ terror
tactics against the public, seeking to lace their pockets at
the expense of those who have vested their trust and confidence
in their Olympic business skills, are just like the Olympic
competitor who uses drugs to win. The penalties should be equal.
By calling a Corporate Terrorist a Corporate Terrorist
you remove the current mask violators wear when they get convicted
of fraud or "bad faith" or some other mollycoddling,
impotent conviction. Corporations, especially the big ones that
juggle people's money under the auspices of "trust"
should be held fiercely accountable for such crimes, especially
the most meager of them.
The IAAF and Olympic Committee have taken a tough
stand on culling out Olympic Terrorists.
Now it is time for us to change the laws, and
label a Corporate Terrorist a Corporate Terrorist so the Olympic
game of business can be played to the benefit of all, and not
the few who seek to be "Victorious rather than Glorious."
To August 2 "Political Terrorists Plot To Bomb Nader's
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