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Indications That the Captain Is Missing

Psychics and Big Oil

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, May 12, 2010.

A psychic was arrested for fraud in Boulder County this week. The incident has given rise to some rather obvious queries, not helped by our otherwise sane District Attorney. DA Stan Garnett, who is running for Attorney General of Colorado because the partisan Republican now in that office joined the idiotic suit against Health Reform revved up by his professional peer in Virginia, said: "he allegations in the case involve financial improprieties that go far beyond expected psychic services." <

'Expected psychic services.' That's one of those phrases that make lawyers, in general, so much fun. Nothing approaches their all-purpose use of the word "indicate," of course, which can mean anything, which is to say, mean nothing. They will suggest in court or deposition that a witness 'indicated' something, trying to leave the impression it was in the form of a screamed oral confession in detail when it could have been no more than a raised eyebrow like that of the listening judge. Or, if there is such a thing as actual psychic ability, without which there could be no legal 'expected psychic services', one could, I suppose, indicate by psychic means, could one not? Yes, one could. At which point western civilization crumbles and we go back to reading portents in the sky and consulting coagulating blood in a bowl. But, there are generally two lawyers at work, and such malarkey is countered by opposite indication.

But, this case apparently involves financial theft and deception of the not terribly bright, or the gullible, or emotionally distraught, because who else would pay money to be told a story by a psychic?

We're tolerant of such idiocy. After all, if people were held to the meaning of words, we'd have to hold the CEO's of Big Oil responsible for outsourcing work to sub contractors - although some will claim there is a difference between out sourcing and sub-contracting - as we witnessed this week. Yet again, smug Titans of Industry - whose stock hit record lows after Big Tobacco lied to Congress and yet served no time over a decade ago, and had that record shattered by the sleaze buckets in Big Finance before Congress ever so recently - our Oil Barons established hitherto unimaginable lows this week with Satan in their highest attic. These bigwigs are more oily than their product, but under the weight of the horror in the Gulf of Mexico, their attempts to slide away from culpability is not a scene to install them in the American Pantheon of Heroes. Just like the CEO's of the financial sector, these guys were caught and exposed as cynical incompetents who always assumed the federal government would bail them out if things got bad. Really, the Too Big To Fail motif is an admission of actual corporate socialism.

What's both funny and infuriating, given their panic and their need, is the attempt - a story, really - to claim that other corporations further down the food chain were responsible for the oil spill, and BP, the former British Petroleum, is not responsible. They hired sub contractors and this somehow excuses them. No New Age idiot smothering children during rebirthing or roasting elderly obesities in a sweat lodge has ever seemed more criminal or irresponsible than these Titans of Industry.

When the Titanic went down, the culprit was Captain Smith, above whom at sea was only God by law and in reality. If the owners ordered him to risk disaster, he could have had them shot, legally, and held in chains in the hold. There was only one person responsible for going into known ice fields at top speed. It was not the lookout's fault, or the officers or the crew. It was Captain Smith's alone.

The Gulf of Mexico begins to resemble a parking lot on a hot day with the stench of rotting organisms recent and Mesozoic. BP indicates that they will be responsible for all 'substantiated' claims, already in the billions of dollars. There's money for that, but not for doing it right the first time with the clearly understood dangers? You'd think, in the Gulf with thousands of wells, that there would be a ready team to plug any leak within 24 hours, and easy and rugged shut offs.

Under contract, anyone you hired or outsourced is your responsibility. Their screw ups are yours. Whatever outside pressures existed were accepted. Are Big Oil's expected contracted services as bogus as those of psychics? Who's the captain, here?

Well, us. As it turns out. And we paid a lot for this story.