"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

Nonpayment, of course

One wouldn’t have thought that there would have been any question at this point that organizations which engaged in contracts with Enron Corporation – contracts for purchases executed at times when Enron’s activities were outright unethical at best – would be held to payments to the corrupt company.

But just that has been hanging over the head of the Snohomish County Public Utility District, which has been on the hook for more than $120 million to Enron.

No longer. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled, in one of a long string of Enron-related cases this week (one of them covered some of the fallout from the Portland General Electric spinoff) that Enron could not collect.

What lessons exactly we may draw from this, however, are less clear.

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