Results 1 to 62 of 62
  1. #1
    MK_
    MK_ is offline
    carpe mañana
    Reputation: MK_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7,258

    Listen! Let's give this man a hand

    Posing as a Bidder, Utah Student Disrupts Government Auction of 150,000 Acres of Wilderness for Oil & Gas Drilling

    27-year-old Tim DeChristopher posed as a potential bidder and bid hundreds of thousands of dollars on parcels of the land, driving up prices and winning some 22,000 acres for himself, without any intention of paying for them.

    Full story here:
    http://www.democracynow.org/2008/12/...r_utah_student

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    8,290
    Too bad he didn't win bids on the entire auction and stall the whole thing!
    Who's in charge, the thinker or the thought?

  3. #3
    Now with 20% more fat!!
    Reputation: JSD303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,031
    Way to take one for the team! Hope he doesn't get too much crap from the authorities. Wonder what the punishment for something like that is...

  4. #4
    pain intolerant
    Reputation: jradin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    745
    Incredible story. This guy's got guts.

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_11274601

  5. #5
    enlightened.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,494
    Awesome.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    73
    This is great! I think we should have more people acting outside the law, or at least dishonestly, to prevent people who are acting within the law from doing what they want, and have the legal right, to do. I know I can't wait for gas prices to get back up to $4.00 per gallon.

    Maybe some hikers and equestrians can learn from this to help keep bicycles off open space and National Forest trails.

    Things like this are just great until it's your ox that's getting gored.
    What, me worry?

  7. #7
    Stiff yet compliant
    Reputation: Moustache rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,895
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    Things like this are just great until it's your ox that's getting gored.
    Please spare us the melodrama, nobody was wronged by this act of civil disobedience.
    First of all the legality of some of these sales is in dispute, a lawsuit has been filed.
    If you want to look at it from a moralistic point of view, these lands don't belong to Bush or Cheney or the BLM to do with as they please. They belong to us.
    The amount of oil these sales would create is a tiny drop in the bucket of the world supply and would have little to no effect on gas prices.

  8. #8
    MK_
    MK_ is offline
    carpe mañana
    Reputation: MK_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    I know I can't wait for gas prices to get back up to $4.00 per gallon.
    Hmm. Are you trying to say that drilling in Arches is going to influence the gas prices?

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: timroz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    339
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    This is great! I think we should have more people acting outside the law, or at least dishonestly, to prevent people who are acting within the law from doing what they want, and have the legal right, to do. I know I can't wait for gas prices to get back up to $4.00 per gallon.

    Maybe some hikers and equestrians can learn from this to help keep bicycles off open space and National Forest trails.

    Things like this are just great until it's your ox that's getting gored.
    I totally agree, I think everyone should fall right in line with whatever the administration thinks is best for the little people.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    What's the most suspicious about this sale is the timing. You don't go out and try and sell 360,000 acres (later trimmed to 145,000 acres) of public land to oil and gas companies right before your term in office is up. It's basically comes off as, my term is almost up, let me give one last gift to my friends in the industry who donated millions of dollars to my campaigns, and probably will help me buy my next house. He's trying to get this rushed through while still in office, then let the next administration deal with it or try and stop it. Once these things have started moving, it's very difficult to stop them. Once the land has been sold, it's sold. It's going to be a pain in the ass to reverse the sale of these lands. It also comes at a time when the economy is in shambles and everyone has eyes on the stock market and auto makers. This little sale is conveniently provided very little attention by the mainstream media. Bush is a snake, and is just showing his true colors more openly now that he doesn't have to worry about being re-elected.

    There's so few remaining untouched pieces of nature in our country. Everything is already developed beyond recognition. We have to act to preserve what we have left, unless your idea of beauty is made out of concrete and steel.

  11. #11
    MK_
    MK_ is offline
    carpe mañana
    Reputation: MK_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7,258
    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1
    ...unless your idea of beauty is made out of concrete and steel.
    Would that make you communist?

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  12. #12
    I can't ride 45!
    Reputation: jasonb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,158
    I have a new hero.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,699
    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1
    What's the most suspicious about this sale is the timing...
    Nevermind it's timing with the recent spike in oil prices

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,221
    way to work the system for the greater good instead of lining pockets

  15. #15
    holding back the darkness
    Reputation: subliminalshiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,734
    Sale of public lands to private companies for private profit is theft from the people of the united states of america.
    This man did the only "right" thing that occurred at that auction.
    **** censorship

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    This is great! I think we should have more people acting outside the law, or at least dishonestly, to prevent people who are acting within the law from doing what they want, and have the legal right, to do.
    It's called civil disobedience and it's as integral a part of our country's history as corruption and special interest in government.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    This is great! I think we should have more people acting outside the law, or at least dishonestly, to prevent people who are acting within the law from doing what they want, and have the legal right, to do. I know I can't wait for gas prices to get back up to $4.00 per gallon.

    Maybe some hikers and equestrians can learn from this to help keep bicycles off open space and National Forest trails.

    Things like this are just great until it's your ox that's getting gored.
    So I take it you either
    a) work for an oil company,
    b) live in C Springs,
    c) hate the environment,
    d) hate moab because it's too technical for you, or
    e) all of the above

  18. #18
    ...
    Reputation: Porchsong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    603
    I commend this young mans selfless action. I say good job brother!!

    Porch
    "If we were Vikings, Rocky Mountain aspen stands would be our Vahalla and its singletrack our bounty" - Mtn Flyer Mag #14

  19. #19
    Heads up Flyboy!!
    Reputation: mountaingoatepics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,164
    That's awesome. Hope he wins the case. The Bush administration actually did the same thing on the east coast a few years back. Locals caught wind and inundated the Forest Service with letters of opposal which led to instead of hundreds of thousands of acres of land being sold off, only a couple of thousand. Still the land is ours and was set aside for us and for our future generations to enjoy,it should be kept that way as was intended.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by erictw83
    So I take it you either
    a) work for an oil company,
    b) live in C Springs,
    c) hate the environment,
    d) hate moab because it's too technical for you, or
    e) all of the above
    How about f), none of the above. c) I'm willing to bet I'm a better "environmentalist" than most of the people who contribute to this forum. I earned one of the first minors in Environmental Science ever offered by CSM. a) I do not work for an oil company. b) Golden. d) I'm probably a better technical rider than most of you. I can ride up the rock garden at Hall with one, maybe two forced stops and down with zero. I'll admit, while I've spent time around Moab and truly love the landscape, I've never ridden there.

    I just feel there is a right way to get things done and a wrong way. I feel this person is a self serving egotist and should not be rewarded for his actions. As I said, when folks start doing such things to keep us off National Forest and open space trails, and they've been trying to do just that, y'all are not going to think they're "heroes".

    I don't care for George W and don't support destroying national treasures. Like most, if not all, of you, I have no idea exactly where these lands are and what the plans are and I'm willing to bet your "hero" doesn't either. He stated himself that he had no idea what leases he had purchaed. Until I have more information, I'm not going to just assume the worst. There are ways of exploring for, and extracting, oil from the ground without wholesale environmental destruction. Furthermore, these are leases, not sales. The land will still be ours.

    I'm just sayin.
    What, me worry?

  21. #21
    MK_
    MK_ is offline
    carpe mañana
    Reputation: MK_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    7,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    I'm probably a better technical rider than most of you. I can ride up the rock garden at Hall with one, maybe two forced stops and down with zero.
    Until you can do it without stopping, you really shouldn't brag.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    Like most, if not all, of you, I have no idea exactly where these lands are and what the plans are and I'm willing to bet your "hero" doesn't either. He stated himself that he had no idea what leases he had purchaed. Until I have more information, I'm not going to just assume the worst. There are ways of exploring for, and extracting, oil from the ground without wholesale environmental destruction. Furthermore, these are leases, not sales. The land will still be ours.
    The "kid" spent several years volunteering around various national parks in Utah before going to college in Salt Lake (hence why he's 27 and doing his B.S. degree). The reason he didn't know what he was bidding on is because the lands were referenced by numbers not locations and the kid didn't have time to prepare.

    The oil won't be extracted until the price per barrel goes up, so the effect on the price will be none, especially since the current economic slow down and the lack of demand for oil is saving more oil than what's down below.

    And to go further; we should focus on alternative energy rather than beating the pretty much dead horse.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  22. #22
    Heads up Flyboy!!
    Reputation: mountaingoatepics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,164
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked

    I'm just sayin.
    Guess you weren't a fan of the Revolutionary War or the Boston Tea Party(just two examples of many) where normal citizens had to take matters into their own hands when governments overstepped their bounds.

    I'm just sayin.

    By the way the land in question is part of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). Its only a 27 million acre collection of the lands considered to be the “crown jewels” of the American west.

    The NLCS was created in 2000 to "conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations."

  23. #23
    friend of Apex
    Reputation: WKD-RDR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,976
    All free thinkers should be locked up, end of story
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    How about... I'm willing to bet I'm a better "environmentalist" than most of the people who contribute to this forum. I earned one of the first minors in Environmental Science ever offered by CSM.
    As we all know, getting degrees from colleges makes one an expert. This is a non-argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    I'm probably a better technical rider than most of you. I can ride up the rock garden at Hall with one, maybe two forced stops and down with zero.
    Jesus, you must be God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    I just feel there is a right way to get things done and a wrong way.
    If you're going to espouse your personal beliefs in public, you should at least present them with some kind of argument to back them up. You're not convincing anyone by stating, "I just feel...".

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    I feel this person is a self serving egotist and should not be rewarded for his actions.
    How are his actions self-serving? How is he going to be rewarded? I would argue that the little notoriety he gains from this will be far out-weighed by any possible jail time and fines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    As I said, when folks start doing such things to keep us off National Forest and open space trails, and they've been trying to do just that, y'all are not going to think they're "heroes".
    You're attempting to argue that the two actions are morally equivalent, which they are not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    Like most, if not all, of you, I have no idea exactly where these lands are and what the plans are and I'm willing to bet your "hero" doesn't either. He stated himself that he had no idea what leases he had purchaed.
    How does this matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    There are ways of exploring for, and extracting, oil from the ground without wholesale environmental destruction. Furthermore, these are leases, not sales. The land will still be ours.
    There are ways. Do you expect anyone attempting to make money out of oil will be using the most environmental methods to extract it when there is little oversight? If you owned a house, and rented it to a tenant who signed a lease that didn't make him responsible for any damages he caused, and he rendered it unlivable, would you care that you still owned it?

  25. #25
    ~Disc~Golf~
    Reputation: highdelll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    16,492
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    This is great! I think we should have more people acting outside the law, or at least dishonestly, to prevent people who are acting within the law from doing what they want, and have the legal right, to do.
    maybe Rosa Parks should've moved to the back of the bus
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  26. #26
    zrm
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,574
    Lots of folks here are speaking of the government selling land to the oil companies. Land for oil and gas is leased, not sold. There is no transfer of title for the land.

    PS: Acts of civil disobedience have a long and honored roll in this countries history. Of course different people will have different opinions on those acts.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Until you can do it without stopping, you really shouldn't brag.
    _MK

    I'll work on that.

    Sorry. I guess there's no room for a difference of opinion on this one.

    Merry Christmas (or should I say Happy Holidays) to all.
    What, me worry?

  28. #28
    flowcus
    Reputation: fcrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    153
    This guy deserves a medal!

    With respect to impact, mountain biking on slickrock (or on a posted trail) can hardly be considered in the same ballbark as erecting drilling rigs. Most of the lands that are up for grabs are pristine and have been somewhat preserved for thousands (millions?) of years. As mountain bikers we should be interested in continuing the preservation of these lands so that our children and their children will be able to experience them just as they are. The Bush-Cheney legacy will go down in history as the biggest land grab for the oil barons we will ever see.

    Next time you're in Moab Sked get out of your car and ride some of the areas that are on the auction block and perhaps you'll get a better perspective on what is happening. Of course there is a balance to where we decide to drill and where we don't, but the pendulum has swung so far to the right that its laughable. When the public has no say in what PUBLIC lands are raped for private benefit -- thats the real tragedy.

    FR

  29. #29
    Dude...
    Reputation: Jessep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,309
    b) live in C Springs,
    hey!

  30. #30
    Your retarded
    Reputation: Nickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,085
    I see no hero in that story.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258

    No environmental impact?

    Disclaimer: The views expressed below are solely the OPINION of myself and are based on my limited knowledge of things how they are. I do not profess to be an expert on the environment, the economy, oil drilling, corporate greed, or anything else mentioned below. These are merely my views as I see them. I feel the student in the article went a long way in trying to prevent (what I see as) a great injustice. I hope that whatever sentence is imposed on this man, that he will be pardoned or granted clemency by the next administration. But, alas, it is an imperfect world....

    Everyone is a fan of saying that methods for getting oil are vastly improved, you can go in at an angle, etc....but one only need look at the recent Tennessee coal disaster to see how these things can go horribly wrong. I know it's coal, not oil, so it may be an apple and an orange, but all it takes is one accident, one careless screwup to see the same kind of disaster. And if a major incident occurred, it wouldn't be kept to just the leased lands. Look at the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the impact that had on the ecosystem there. Since no environmental surveys were really done, the government can't assess the potential impact the drilling would have. Also, keep in mind, there are "best practices" and there is the "cheap, easy way to do it." These rarely go hand in hand, and many businesses only care about the environment as long as it doesn't cost them any more money to do so.

    There are better ways to do business. There shouldn't be a red-light special on public lands before Bush gets out of office. Any oil gotten from this area (even if you drilled the sh*t out of the entire area) would probably last our country a few months at best. The main thing is oil companies would be incurring very little overhead cost since they could refine oil that belongs to them without going through everyone else. Do they really need another 10$ billion in profits? Are they hurting so bad? Everyone wants to make it out like it's about "reducing our dependency on foreign oil." That's a joke. The only thing that will reduce it at all will be a viable alternative energy. But alternative energy needs money to research, and it doesn't pay for political campaigns.

    We'll never have the capacity or the means to meet the incredible demand we've created for oil without external sources. When every mom driving to the grocery store is driving a massive SUV that gets 11 mpg, and Hummers are the cool kids car to drive, no wonder gas prices sky rocketed. And even when the crunch drove prices down, and large vehicle sales down, OPEC will cut production to try and increase demand and get those prices back up. If you think a few oil leases in the US are going to keep gas prices down, you're delusional. What it will do, is allow a select few to get rich quick, while potentially destroying some of the last great undeveloped land in our country.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    Don't forget that Bush pardoned Texan Daniel Figh Pue III, so his concern for the environment should be self evident.

    Pue, who is the former superintendent of production at Conroe Creosoting, pleaded guilty in 1996 to two counts of illegally transporting and dumping more than 1,500 gallons of hazardous sludge in a ditch.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    438
    Perhaps of some interest:

    http://www.bidder70.org/

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    394
    Quote Originally Posted by perioeci
    Perhaps of some interest:

    http://www.bidder70.org/
    That is a great idea. This guy has balls and a moral backbone.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    73
    I'm glad to see there's a way to support this cause. I assume that all of those who have shown such passion in this thread have already put their money behind their words. I'm curious to know who's donated and how much.

    I've also been trying to find a map to show the actual locations of these leases. Rather than take someone else's word for this, I'm interested to see where the leases really are. Can anyone help? My efforts have turned up nothing of use.
    What, me worry?

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    I'm glad to see there's a way to support this cause. I assume that all of those who have shown such passion in this thread have already put their money behind their words. I'm curious to know who's donated and how much.

    I've also been trying to find a map to show the actual locations of these leases. Rather than take someone else's word for this, I'm interested to see where the leases really are. Can anyone help? My efforts have turned up nothing of use.
    There's this thing called Google ...

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/20...map.ready.html

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2953341...7608984946845/

    http://www.redrockforests.org/Moab%2...%2011%2013.pdf

    You're other request isn't worth responding to. I hope you know why.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Sked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    73
    Quote Originally Posted by perioeci
    There's this thing called Google ...

    You're other request isn't worth responding to. I hope you know why.
    Wow! This thing you call Google is really cool.

    Thanks for the links (seriously), as I stated, my efforts were unsuccessful and there was some useful information at those sites.

    Concerning my other request: No. I don't know why. Perhaps you could explain. After all, as many of you have pointed out, I'm pretty brain-dead. I just figured with all the passion displayed in the posts, there would be many of you willing to donate to this cause and eager to let others know of your good deeds.

    P.S. That should be your, not you are.
    What, me worry?

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    P.S. That should be your, not you are.
    OH SH*T! Somebody call the grammar police...

  39. #39
    Your retarded
    Reputation: Nickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,085
    Quote Originally Posted by BaeckerX1
    OH SH*T! Somebody call the grammar police!
    Actually, it's spelled "<script language="javascript">var str = "HIT";document.write(str.replace(/H/, "SH"));</script>".
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    438
    Quote Originally Posted by Sked
    Wow! This thing you call Google is really cool.

    Thanks for the links (seriously), as I stated, my efforts were unsuccessful and there was some useful information at those sites.

    Concerning my other request: No. I don't know why. Perhaps you could explain. After all, as many of you have pointed out, I'm pretty brain-dead. I just figured with all the passion displayed in the posts, there would be many of you willing to donate to this cause and eager to let others know of your good deeds.

    P.S. That should be your, not you are.
    "I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." -Mark Twain

    You're asking private citizens to disclose what they do with their own money. Seems very un-conservative to me, and your inference is disingenious. Not donating to DeChristopher's particular cause does not make one a bad environmentalist, nor does it make one who believes in his cause a hypocrit. Also, you're asking people who in most cases participate on this forum anonymously to answer such a question honestly. That seems a little naive to me. Finally, I'm usually not here to self-aggrandize. You may confuse my contrariness with that, but that probably has more to do with the way you view the world than with my intent. Passion for environmental conservation is not necessarily an act of selfishness, despite what a Conservative-Objectivist might believe.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Nickle
    Actually, it's spelled "<script language="javascript">var str = "HIT";document.write(str.replace(/H/, "SH"));</script>".
    Heh, I thought there was a swear filter. Smartass.

  42. #42
    pedaller
    Reputation: Noelg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,400
    Dude gets 2 years in the pokey....

    http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/th...s-to-jail.html

    "Nobody ever told me not to try" - Curious George Soundtrack by Jack Johnson

  43. #43
    !Vamos, flaco!
    Reputation: Pabs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,362
    Thread Revival Thursdays!
    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    Quote Originally Posted by Noelg View Post
    Dude gets 2 years in the pokey....

    http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/th...s-to-jail.html

    2 years seems awfully steep for something so minor. DUI, assault, and several other more dangerous acts will get you less prison time.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  45. #45
    zrm
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,574
    Abzugnizations
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Code of the Eco-Warrior

    Rule Number One

    Nobody gets hurt. Nobody. Not even yourself.
    Corollary: The eco-warrior hurts no living thing, absolutely never.
    Corollary: The eco-warrior is strong, lean, tough, hardy. The eco-warrior can hike twenty miles overnight, over any terrain, in any kind of weather, with a fifty-pound pack on his back. Maybe sixty pounds. And do it night after night, through brush and swamp, cactus and rattlesnakes, mountain and forest. The eco-warrior does not chain-drink beer or chain-smoke cigars. The eco-warrior takes care of himself, herself, bounces back from injury and exhaustion, never gets sick or if sick carries on despite sickness. The eco-warrior is tough, the eco-warrior is brave, taking on the risks of a soldier in frontline combat, the dangers of a commando behind the lines. The eco-warrior is a guerrilla soldier fighting a war against an enemy equipped with high technology, tax-extracted public funds, legal privilege, media protection, superior numbers, police and secret police, communication police and thought police. Fighting them all, the eco-warrior cannot even carry a weapon; his own Code of Honorable Conduct forbids it.
    Corollary: The eco-warrior does not fight people, he fights an institution, the planetary Empire of Growth and Greed. He fights not human beings but a monstrous megamachine never seen since the days of the Late Jurassic and the carnivorous dinosaur. He does not fight humans, he fights a runaway technology, an all-devouring entity that feeds on humans, on all animals, on all living things, and even finally on minerals, metals, rock, soil, on the earth itself, on the bedrock basis of universal being.

    Rule Number Two

    Don't Get Caught.
    Corollary: The eco-warrior avoids capture, passing all costs on to them, the enemy. The point of his work is to increase their costs, nudge them toward net loss, bankruptcy, forcing them to withdraw and retreat from their invasion of our public lands, our wilderness, our native and primordial home.

    Rule Number Three


    If you do get caught you're on your own. Nobody goes your bail. Nobody hires a lawyer. Nobody pays your fines.
    Corollary: The eco-warrior works alone, or with one or two old and trusted comrades that he's known for years. The eco-warrior forms no network, creates no club or party or organization of any kind. He relies on himself (or sometimes herself) and on his little cell of two or three, never more)a small circle of trusted friends, a tiny felonious conspiracy to commit non-felonious misdemeanors against the perimeters of the techno-industrial ordnung. The eco-warrior must also be a man or woman of heroic dedication to the work, avoiding organization and all forms of networking, operating strictly on anarchic principles of democratic decentralism. Not fanatic dedication (no place for fanatics here)but heroic dedication. Because the eco-warrior must do his or her work without hope of fame or glory or even public recognition, at least for the present. The eco-warrior is anonymous, mysterious, unknown, is awarded no medals, is granted no privileges of rank. Not only does he win no taste of personal fame, he must expect the opposite, namely and to wit, public obloquy, vilification, and verbal abuse. He must expect that certain elements of the power structure will murmur against him. Editorial writers will denounce him, anonymously, from the safe security of their editorial offices. Commerce chambers will burn him in effigy?or in person if they catch him. Congressmen will fulminate, senators abominate, bureaucrats denunciate and all the vipers of the media vituperate. Those who should be his admirers will also denounce him. The official conservation societies and wilderness clubs and wildlife federations and defenders of fur-bearers and national resource defense councils will scramble and scurry to place maximum distance between themselves and him, insisting that they deplore his work and even going so far as to offer monetary reward for information leading to his capture and conviction. Not only does the eco-warrior work without hope of fame and praise, not only does he work in the dark of night amidst a storm of official public calumny, but he works without hope of pecuniary recompense.
    Corollary: The eco-warrior does his work out of love, the love that dare not speak its name, the love of spareness, beauty, open space, clear skies and flowing streams, grizzly bear, mountain lion, wolf pack and twelve-pack, of wilderness and wanderlust and primal human freedom and so forth.

    Rule Number Four

    No domestic responsibilities. The eco-warrior does not marry, if he marries he does not breed. Better not to marry. She does not marry or bred. The eco-warrior, like a priest or priestess, like a samurai, like a dedicated revolutionary, forgoes he personal pleasures of ordinary life, forgoes ordinary life, for the sake of the great case. For a time only, naturally. When he reaches the age of forty, or she of thirty, if they?re still alive and not in jail, then they retire from the war against goliath and rejoin the natural, evolutionary mainstream of organic life. The eco-war is only for the young.

    Extracted with admiration and without permission from Hayduke Lives!, Estate of Edward Abbey. Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1990. pp.110-114

  46. #46
    killin clear creek
    Reputation: backcountryislife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    759
    ZRM.. I think you & I would agree on a lot (as long as we didn't talk about recreational land use)

    It disgusts me how much they tried to prove a point with this guy. 2 years in jail seems VERY excessive to me.

    He made a sacrifice for us though... from what I understand they were never able to bring those areas back up for lease, so what he did saved tons of land.

    I'd prefer to see Hayduke style tactics... but I think this guy accomplished more.
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cmoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    130
    "If you scream at the top of your lungs and nobody seems to hear you, what else are you supposed to do." The guy's a monkey wrench. Good on him for standing up to the man.

  48. #48
    zrm
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,574
    Quote Originally Posted by backcountryislife View Post
    ZRM.. I think you & I would agree on a lot (as long as we didn't talk about recreational land use)

    It disgusts me how much they tried to prove a point with this guy. 2 years in jail seems VERY excessive to me.

    He made a sacrifice for us though... from what I understand they were never able to bring those areas back up for lease, so what he did saved tons of land.

    I'd prefer to see Hayduke style tactics... but I think this guy accomplished more.
    Oh c'mon, let's talk recreational land use

    To me the thing is this. Although this guys actions only apply to a small part of Abbey's eco-warrior code, (He' not a middle of the night saboteur) what I see is if you really believe in whatever act of civil disobedience you're doing, you should without complaint accept the consequences. Stand up, state you're beliefs, don't lie about your motives. While I may not agree with a particular action, I can at least respect honesty and the willingness to take the consequences of you actions.

    This guy did all that. He stood up, told why he did what he did in a respectful and honest manner and took the penalty like an adult which it sounds like some of his supporters did not. (Yelling and screaming slogans has it's time and place but is greatly overused)

  49. #49
    Almost Human
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,813
    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Oh c'mon, let's talk recreational land use

    To me the thing is this. Although this guys actions only apply to a small part of Abbey's eco-warrior code, (He' not a middle of the night saboteur) what I see is if you really believe in whatever act of civil disobedience you're doing, you should without complaint accept the consequences. Stand up, state you're beliefs, don't lie about your motives. While I may not agree with a particular action, I can at least respect honesty and the willingness to take the consequences of you actions.

    This guy did all that. He stood up, told why he did what he did in a respectful and honest manner and took the penalty like an adult which it sounds like some of his supporters did not. (Yelling and screaming slogans has it's time and place but is greatly overused)

    [TROLL]
    What about the costs to the public for his trial? or the costs of his incarceration for 3 years?

    And for what? He only slowed the inevitable and further stereotyped conservationists as loons, as did his supporters at the sentencing.

    Seems like any true conservationists would balk at this type of activity and the negative image it creates for their cause.
    [/TROLL]

    Screw jail. Send him to the fields to pick vegetables and fruit for 3 years. Or better yet. Make him build bike trails on a chain gang.

  50. #50
    Almost Human
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,813
    wrong thread srry

  51. #51
    zrm
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,574
    Quote Originally Posted by cmoney View Post
    "If you scream at the top of your lungs and nobody seems to hear you, what else are you supposed to do." The guy's a monkey wrench. Good on him for standing up to the man.
    So who exactly is "the man"

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    So who exactly is "the man"
    I'm the man. 100% pure awesome. Didn't you know?
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  53. #53
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
    Reputation: SkaredShtles's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    12,216
    I thought The Man was the dude that blocked U-Toob at work??

  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation: BaeckerX1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,258
    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    I thought The Man was the dude that blocked U-Toob at work??
    That's also me. I work in IT Security. I'm accepting bribes though.
    Gotta get up to get down.
    LMB

  55. #55
    Gaa-zee-raaaa!
    Reputation: Godzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2,433
    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    So who exactly is "the man"
    "I'm the man and you're the man, and he's the man as well..."
    Now with more vitriol!

  56. #56
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    73
    If you guys are up for a long but inspirational read, check out what he said before sentencing yesterday... Dude has some balls.
    http://www.peacefuluprising.org/tims...aring-20110726

  57. #57
    Almost Human
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,813
    Quote Originally Posted by rudeboybl View Post
    If you guys are up for a long but inspirational read, check out what he said before sentencing yesterday... Dude has some balls.
    http://www.peacefuluprising.org/tims...aring-20110726
    It appears in hindsight it's easy for Tim to sit back and try and morally justify a stupid act with pontifications about how "evil" the energy industry is and how they "steal" land from the public, while at the same time preaching the worn out mantra "A renewable energy economy is a threat to that model.".

    Renewable energy economy.... what the hell is that Tim? is that where we subsidize energy companies with tax money? Just like we subsidize fossil fuels with cheap oil/gas leases on public land? what's the difference? If windmills and solar panels are so low impact then why are they NOT permitted on conservation easements?

    Now that he has a FELONY conviction on his record. I wonder how he feels about his job prospects for the rest of his life?

    Hell of a way to learn a lesson about who runs this country.

  58. #58
    banned
    Reputation: KarateChicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,865
    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    So who exactly is "the man"
    doi, miss mullins is the man


  59. #59
    DWF
    DWF is offline
    Non Dual Bliss
    Reputation: DWF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,240
    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Hell of a way to learn a lesson about who runs this country.
    So what you're saying is that we should all sit back and let those "who run this country" run the country? How's that working for us? I got news for you, we run the country and it's high time we remember it and quit letting those elected & paid to serve & represent us serve corporate interests instead. Tim DeChristopher is a true patriot and a highly respectable citizen of this country. They should have given him a medal and not a sentence.

    His statement:

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the court. When I first met Mr. Manross, the sentencing officer who prepared the presentence report, he explained that it was essentially his job to “get to know me.” He said he had to get to know who I really was and why I did what I did in order to decide what kind of sentence was appropriate. I was struck by the fact that he was the first person in this courthouse to call me by my first name, or even really look me in the eye. I appreciate this opportunity to speak openly to you for the first time. I’m not here asking for your mercy, but I am here asking that you know me.

    Mr. Huber has leveled a lot of character attacks at me, many of which are contrary to Mr. Manross’s report. While reading Mr Huber’s critiques of my character and my integrity, as well as his assumptions about my motivations, I was reminded that Mr Huber and I have never had a conversation. Over the two and half years of this prosecution, he has never asked my any of the questions that he makes assumptions about in the government’s report. Apparently, Mr. Huber has never considered it his job to get to know me, and yet he is quite willing to disregard the opinions of the one person who does see that as his job.

    There are alternating characterizations that Mr Huber would like you to believe about me. In one paragraph, the government claims I “played out the parts of accuser, jury, and judge as he determined the fate of the oil and gas lease auction and its intended participants that day.” In the very next paragraph, they claim “It was not the defendant’s crimes that effected such a change.” Mr Huber would lead you to believe that I’m either a dangerous criminal who holds the oil and gas industry in the palm of my hand, or I’m just an incompetent child who didn’t affect the outcome of anything. As evidenced by the continued back and forth of contradictory arguments in the government’s memorandum, they’re not quite sure which of those extreme caricatures I am, but they are certain that I am nothing in between. Rather than the job of getting to know me, it seems Mr Huber prefers the job of fitting me into whatever extreme characterization is most politically expedient at the moment.

    In nearly every paragraph, the government’s memorandum uses the words lie, lied, lying, liar. It makes me want to thank whatever clerk edited out the words “pants on fire.” Their report doesn’t mention the fact that at the auction in question, the first person who asked me what I was doing there was Agent Dan Love. And I told him very clearly that I was there to stand in the way of an illegitimate auction that threatened my future. I proceeded to answer all of his questions openly and honestly, and have done so to this day when speaking about that auction in any forum, including this courtroom. The entire basis for the false statements charge that I was convicted of was the fact that I wrote my real name and address on a form that included the words “bona fide bidder.” When I sat there on the witness stand, Mr Romney asked me if I ever had any intention of being a bona fide bidder. I responded by asking Mr Romney to clarify what “bona fide bidder” meant in this context. Mr Romney then withdrew the question and moved on to the next subject. On that right there is the entire basis for the government’s repeated attacks on my integrity. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff, your honor.

    Mr Huber also makes grand assumptions about my level of respect for the rule of law. The government claims a long prison sentence is necessary to counteract the political statements I’ve made and promote a respect for the law. The only evidence provided for my lack of respect for the law is political statements that I’ve made in public forums. Again, the government doesn’t mention my actions in regard to the drastic restrictions that were put upon my defense in this courtroom. My political disagreements with the court about the proper role of a jury in the legal system are probably well known. I’ve given several public speeches and interviews about how the jury system was established and how it has evolved to it’s current state. Outside of this courtroom, I’ve made my views clear that I agree with the founding fathers that juries should be the conscience of the community and a defense against legislative tyranny. I even went so far as to organize a book study group that read about the history of jury nullification. Some of the participants in that book group later began passing out leaflets to the public about jury rights, as is their right. Mr Huber was apparently so outraged by this that he made the slanderous accusations that I tried to taint the jury. He didn’t specify the extra number of months that I should spend in prison for the heinous activity of holding a book group at the Unitarian Church and quoting Thomas Jefferson in public, but he says you should have “little tolerance for this behavior.”

    But here is the important point that Mr Huber would rather ignore. Despite my strong disagreements with the court about the Constitutional basis for the limits on my defense, while I was in this courtroom I respected the authority of the court. Whether I agreed with them or not, I abided by the restrictions that you put on me and my legal team. I never attempted to “taint” the jury, as Mr Huber claimed, by sharing any of the relevant facts about the auction in question that the court had decided were off limits. I didn’t burst out and tell the jury that I successfully raised the down payment and offered it to the BLM. I didn’t let the jury know that the auction was later reversed because it was illegitimate in the first place. To this day I still think I should have had the right to do so, but disagreement with the law should not be confused with disrespect for the law.

    My public statements about jury nullification were not the only political statements that Mr Huber thinks I should be punished for. As the government’s memorandum points out, I have also made public statements about the value of civil disobedience in bringing the rule of law closer to our shared sense of justice. In fact, I have openly and explicitly called for nonviolent civil disobedience against mountaintop removal coal mining in my home state of West Virginia. Mountaintop removal is itself an illegal activity, which has always been in violation of the Clean Water Act, and it is an illegal activity that kills people. A West Virginia state investigation found that Massey Energy had been cited with 62,923 violations of the law in the ten years preceding the disaster that killed 29 people last year. The investigation also revealed that Massey paid for almost none of those violations because the company provided millions of dollars worth of campaign contributions that elected most of the appeals court judges in the state. When I was growing up in West Virginia, my mother was one of many who pursued every legal avenue for making the coal industry follow the law. She commented at hearings, wrote petitions and filed lawsuits, and many have continued to do ever since, to no avail. I actually have great respect for the rule of law, because I see what happens when it doesn’t exist, as is the case with the fossil fuel industry. Those crimes committed by Massey Energy led not only to the deaths of their own workers, but to the deaths of countless local residents, such as Joshua McCormick, who died of kidney cancer at age 22 because he was unlucky enough to live downstream from a coal mine. When a corrupted government is no longer willing to uphold the rule of law, I advocate that citizens step up to that responsibility.

    This is really the heart of what this case is about. The rule of law is dependent upon a government that is willing to abide by the law. Disrespect for the rule of law begins when the government believes itself and its corporate sponsors to be above the law.

    Mr Huber claims that the seriousness of my offense was that I “obstructed lawful government proceedings.” But the auction in question was not a lawful proceeding. I know you’ve heard another case about some of the irregularities for which the auction was overturned. But that case did not involve the BLM’s blatant violation of Secretarial Order 3226, which was a law that went into effect in 2001 and required the BLM to weigh the impacts on climate change for all its major decisions, particularly resource development. A federal judge in Montana ruled last year that the BLM was in constant violation of this law throughout the Bush administration. In all the proceedings and debates about this auction, no apologist for the government or the BLM has ever even tried to claim that the BLM followed this law. In both the December 2008 auction and the creation of the Resource Management Plan on which this auction was based, the BLM did not even attempt to follow this law.

    And this law is not a trivial regulation about crossing t’s or dotting i’s to make some government accountant’s job easier. This law was put into effect to mitigate the impacts of catastrophic climate change and defend a livable future on this planet. This law was about protecting the survival of young generations. That’s kind of a big deal. It’s a very big deal to me. If the government is going to refuse to step up to that responsibility to defend a livable future, I believe that creates a moral imperative for me and other citizens. My future, and the future of everyone I care about, is being traded for short term profits. I take that very personally. Until our leaders take seriously their responsibility to pass on a healthy and just world to the next generation, I will continue this fight.

    The government has made the claim that there were legal alternatives to standing in the way of this auction. Particularly, I could have filed a written protest against certain parcels. The government does not mention, however, that two months prior to this auction, in October 2008, a Congressional report was released that looked into those protests. The report, by the House committee on public lands, stated that it had become common practice for the BLM to take volunteers from the oil and gas industry to process those permits. The oil industry was paying people specifically to volunteer for the industry that was supposed to be regulating it, and it was to those industry staff that I would have been appealing. Moreover, this auction was just three months after the New York Times reported on a major scandal involving Department of the Interior regulators who were taking bribes of sex and drugs from the oil companies that they were supposed to be regulating. In 2008, this was the condition of the rule of law, for which Mr Huber says I lacked respect. Just as the legal avenues which people in West Virginia have been pursuing for 30 years, the legal avenues in this case were constructed precisely to protect the corporations who control the government.

    The reality is not that I lack respect for the law; it’s that I have greater respect for justice. Where there is a conflict between the law and the higher moral code that we all share, my loyalty is to that higher moral code. I know Mr Huber disagrees with me on this. He wrote that “The rule of law is the bedrock of our civilized society, not acts of ‘civil disobedience’ committed in the name of the cause of the day.” That’s an especially ironic statement when he is representing the United States of America, a place where the rule of law was created through acts of civil disobedience. Since those bedrock acts of civil disobedience by our founding fathers, the rule of law in this country has continued to grow closer to our shared higher moral code through the civil disobedience that drew attention to legalized injustice. The authority of the government exists to the degree that the rule of law reflects the higher moral code of the citizens, and throughout American history, it has been civil disobedience that has bound them together.

    This philosophical difference is serious enough that Mr Huber thinks I should be imprisoned to discourage the spread of this idea. Much of the government’s memorandum focuses on the political statements that I’ve made in public. But it hasn’t always been this way. When Mr Huber was arguing that my defense should be limited, he addressed my views this way: “The public square is the proper stage for the defendant’s message, not criminal proceedings in federal court.” But now that the jury is gone, Mr. Huber wants to take my message from the public square and make it a central part of these federal court proceedings. I have no problem with that. I’m just as willing to have those views on display as I’ve ever been.

    The government’s memorandum states, “As opposed to preventing this particular defendant from committing further crimes, the sentence should be crafted ‘to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct’ by others.” Their concern is not the danger that I present, but the danger presented by my ideas and words that might lead others to action. Perhaps Mr Huber is right to be concerned. He represents the United States Government. His job is to protect those currently in power, and by extension, their corporate sponsors. After months of no action after the auction, the way I found out about my indictment was the day before it happened, Pat Shea got a call from an Associated Press reporter who said, “I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow Tim is going to be indicted, and this is what the charges are going to be.” That reporter had gotten that information two weeks earlier from an oil industry lobbyist. Our request for disclosure of what role that lobbyist played in the US Attorney’s office was denied, but we know that she apparently holds sway and that the government feels the need to protect the industry’s interests.

    The things that I’ve been publicly saying may indeed be threatening to that power structure. There have been several references to the speech I gave after the conviction, but I’ve only ever seen half of one sentence of that speech quoted. In the government’s report, they actually had to add their own words to that one sentence to make it sound more threatening. But the speech was about empowerment. It was about recognizing our interconnectedness rather than viewing ourselves as isolated individuals. The message of the speech was that when people stand together, they no longer have to be exploited by powerful corporations. Alienation is perhaps the most effective tool of control in America, and every reminder of our real connectedness weakens that tool.

    But the sentencing guidelines don’t mention the need to protect corporations or politicians from ideas that threaten their control. The guidelines say “protect the public.” The question is whether the public is helped or harmed by my actions. The easiest way to answer that question is with the direct impacts of my action. As the oil executive stated in his testimony, the parcels I didn’t bid on averaged $12 per acre, but the ones I did bid on averaged $125. Those are the prices paid for public property to the public trust. The industry admits very openly that they were getting those parcels for an order of magnitude less than what they were worth. Not only did those oil companies drive up the prices to $125 during the bidding, they were then given an opportunity to withdraw their bids once my actions were explained. They kept the parcels, presumably because they knew they were still a good deal at $125. The oil companies knew they were getting a steal from the American people, and now they’re crying because they had to pay a little closer to what those parcels were actually worth. The government claims I should be held accountable for the steal the oil companies didn’t get. The government’s report demands $600,000 worth of financial impacts for the amount which the oil industry wasn’t able to steal from the public.

    That extra revenue for the public became almost irrelevant, though, once most of those parcels were revoked by Secretary Salazar. Most of the parcels I won were later deemed inappropriate for drilling. In other words, the highest and best value to the public for those particular lands was not for oil and gas drilling. Had the auction gone off without a hitch, it would have been a loss for the public. The fact that the auction was delayed, extra attention was brought to the process, and the parcels were ultimately revoked was a good thing for the public.

    More generally, the question of whether civil disobedience is good for the public is a matter of perspective. Civil disobedience is inherently an attempt at change. Those in power, whom Mr Huber represents, are those for whom the status quo is working, so they always see civil disobedience as a bad thing. The decision you are making today, your honor, is what segment of the public you are meant to protect. Mr Huber clearly has cast his lot with that segment who wishes to preserve the status quo. But the majority of the public is exploited by the status quo far more than they are benefited by it. The young are the most obvious group who is exploited and condemned to an ugly future by letting the fossil fuel industry call the shots. There is an overwhelming amount of scientific research, some of which you received as part of our proffer on the necessity defense, that reveals the catastrophic consequences which the young will have to deal with over the coming decades.

    But just as real is the exploitation of the communities where fossil fuels are extracted. As a native of West Virginia, I have seen from a young age that the exploitation of fossil fuels has always gone hand in hand with the exploitation of local people. In West Virginia, we’ve been extracting coal longer than anyone else. And after 150 years of making other people rich, West Virginia is almost dead last among the states in per capita income, education rates and life expectancy. And it’s not an anomaly. The areas with the richest fossil fuel resources, whether coal in West Virginia and Kentucky, or oil in Louisiana and Mississippi, are the areas with the lowest standards of living. In part, this is a necessity of the industry. The only way to convince someone to blow up their backyard or poison their water is to make sure they are so desperate that they have no other option. But it is also the nature of the economic model. Since fossil fuels are a limited resources, whoever controls access to that resource in the beginning gets to set all the terms. They set the terms for their workers, for the local communities, and apparently even for the regulatory agencies. A renewable energy economy is a threat to that model. Since no one can control access to the sun or the wind, the wealth is more likely to flow to whoever does the work of harnessing that energy, and therefore to create a more distributed economic system, which leads to a more distributed political system. It threatens the profits of the handful of corporations for whom the current system works, but our question is which segment of the public are you tasked with protecting. I am here today because I have chosen to protect the people locked out of the system over the profits of the corporations running the system. I say this not because I want your mercy, but because I want you to join me.

    After this difference of political philosophies, the rest of the sentencing debate has been based on the financial loss from my actions. The government has suggested a variety of numbers loosely associated with my actions, but as of yet has yet to establish any causality between my actions and any of those figures. The most commonly discussed figure is perhaps the most easily debunked. This is the figure of roughly $140,000, which is the amount the BLM originally spent to hold the December 2008 auction. By definition, this number is the amount of money the BLM spent before I ever got involved. The relevant question is what the BLM spent because of my actions, but apparently that question has yet to be asked. The only logic that relates the $140,000 figure to my actions is if I caused the entire auction to be null and void and the BLM had to start from scratch to redo the entire auction. But that of course is not the case. First is the prosecution’s on-again-off-again argument that I didn’t have any impact on the auction being overturned. More importantly, the BLM never did redo the auction because it was decided that many of those parcels should never have been auctioned in the first place. Rather than this arbitrary figure of $140,000, it would have been easy to ask the BLM how much money they spent or will spend on redoing the auction. But the government never asked this question, probably because they knew they wouldn’t like the answer.

    The other number suggested in the government’s memorandum is the $166,000 that was the total price of the three parcels I won which were not invalidated. Strangely, the government wants me to pay for these parcels, but has never offered to actually give them to me. When I offered the BLM the money a couple weeks after the auction, they refused to take it. Aside from that history, this figure is still not a valid financial loss from my actions. When we wrote there was no loss from my actions, we actually meant that rather literally. Those three parcels were not evaporated or blasted into space because of my actions, not was the oil underneath them sucked dry by my bid card. They’re still there, and in fact the BLM has already issued public notice of their intent to re-auction those parcels in February of 2012.

    The final figure suggested as a financial loss is the $600,000 that the oil company wasn’t able to steal from the public. That completely unsubstantiated number is supposedly the extra amount the BLM received because of my actions. This is when things get tricky. The government’s report takes that $600,000 positive for the BLM and adds it to that roughly $300,000 negative for the BLM, and comes up with a $900,000 negative. With math like that, it’s obvious that Mr Huber works for the federal government.

    After most of those figures were disputed in the presentence report, the government claimed in their most recent objection that I should be punished according to the intended financial impact that I intended to cause. The government tries to assume my intentions and then claims, “This is consistent with the testimony that Mr. DeChristopher provided at trial, admitting that his intention was to cause financial harm to others with whom he disagreed.” Now I didn’t get to say a whole lot at the trial, so it was pretty easy to look back through the transcripts. The statement claimed by the government never happened. There was nothing even close enough to make their statement a paraphrase or artistic license. This statement in the government’s objection is a complete fiction. Mr Huber’s inability to judge my intent is revealed in this case by the degree to which he underestimates my ambition. The truth is that my intention, then as now, was to expose, embarrass and hold accountable the oil industry to the extent that it cuts into the $100 billion in annual profits that it makes through exploitation. I actually intended for my actions to play a role in the wide variety of actions that steer the country toward a clean energy economy where those $100 billion in oil profits are completely eliminated. When I read Mr Huber’s new logic, I was terrified to consider that my slightly unrealistic intention to have a $100 billion impact will fetch me several consecutive life sentences. Luckily this reasoning is as unrealistic as it is silly.

    A more serious look at my intentions is found in Mr Huber’s attempt to find contradictions in my statements. Mr Huber points out that in public I acted proud of my actions and treated it like a success, while in our sentencing memorandum we claimed that my actions led to “no loss.” On the one hand I think it was a success, and yet I claim it there was no loss. Success, but no loss. Mr Huber presents these ideas as mutually contradictory and obvious proof that I was either dishonest or backing down from my convictions. But for success to be contradictory to no loss, there has to be another assumption. One has to assume that my intent was to cause a loss. But the only loss that I intended to cause was the loss of secrecy by which the government gave away public property for private profit. As I actually stated in the trial, my intent was to shine a light on a corrupt process and get the government to take a second look at how this auction was conducted. The success of that intent is not dependent on any loss. I knew that if I was completely off base, and the government took that second look and decided that nothing was wrong with that auction, the cost of my action would be another day’s salary for the auctioneer and some minor costs of re-auctioning the parcels. But if I was right about the irregularities of the auction, I knew that allowing the auction to proceed would mean the permanent loss of lands better suited for other purposes and the permanent loss of a safe climate. The intent was to prevent loss, but again that is a matter of perspective.

    Mr Huber wants you to weigh the loss for the corporations that expected to get public property for pennies on the dollar, but I believe the important factor is the loss to the public which I helped prevent. Again, we come back to this philosophical difference. From any perspective, this is a case about the right of citizens to challenge the government. The US Attorney’s office makes clear that their interest is not only to punish me for doing so, but to discourage others from challenging the government, even when the government is acting inappropriately. Their memorandum states, “To be sure, a federal prison term here will deter others from entering a path of criminal behavior.” The certainty of this statement not only ignores the history of political prisoners, it ignores the severity of the present situation. Those who are inspired to follow my actions are those who understand that we are on a path toward catastrophic consequences of climate change. They know their future, and the future of their loved ones, is on the line. And they know were are running out of time to turn things around. The closer we get to that point where it’s too late, the less people have to lose by fighting back. The power of the Justice Department is based on its ability to take things away from people. The more that people feel that they have nothing to lose, the more that power begins to shrivel. The people who are committed to fighting for a livable future will not be discouraged or intimidated by anything that happens here today. And neither will I. I will continue to confront the system that threatens our future. Given the destruction of our democratic institutions that once gave citizens access to power, my future will likely involve civil disobedience. Nothing that happens here today will change that. I don’t mean that in any sort of disrespectful way at all, but you don’t have that authority. You have authority over my life, but not my principles. Those are mine alone.

    I’m not saying any of this to ask you for mercy, but to ask you to join me. If you side with Mr Huber and believe that your role is to discourage citizens from holding their government accountable, then you should follow his recommendations and lock me away. I certainly don’t want that. I have no desire to go to prison, and any assertion that I want to be even a temporary martyr is false. I want you to join me in standing up for the right and responsibility of citizens to challenge their government. I want you to join me in valuing this country’s rich history of nonviolent civil disobedience. If you share those values but think my tactics are mistaken, you have the power to redirect them. You can sentence me to a wide range of community service efforts that would point my commitment to a healthy and just world down a different path. You can have me work with troubled teens, as I spent most of my career doing. You can have me help disadvantaged communities or even just pull weeds for the BLM. You can steer that commitment if you agree with it, but you can’t kill it. This is not going away. At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on. Tim DeChristopher July 26, 2011.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  60. #60
    contains quinine
    Reputation: Debaser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,635
    Are there Cliff Notes for this? I'm too distracted to read through it all.



    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    So what you're saying is that we should all sit back and let those "who run this country" run the country? How's that working for us? I got news for you, we run the country and it's high time we remember it and quit letting those elected & paid to serve & represent us serve corporate interests instead. Tim DeChristopher is a true patriot and a highly respectable citizen of this country. They should have given him a medal and not a sentence.

    His statement:

    Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the court. When I first met Mr. Manross, the sentencing officer who prepared the presentence report, he explained that it was essentially his job to “get to know me.” He said he had to get to know who I really was and why I did what I did in order to decide what kind of sentence was appropriate. I was struck by the fact that he was the first person in this courthouse to call me by my first name, or even really look me in the eye. I appreciate this opportunity to speak openly to you for the first time. I’m not here asking for your mercy, but I am here asking that you know me.

    Mr. Huber has leveled a lot of character attacks at me, many of which are contrary to Mr. Manross’s report. While reading Mr Huber’s critiques of my character and my integrity, as well as his assumptions about my motivations, I was reminded that Mr Huber and I have never had a conversation. Over the two and half years of this prosecution, he has never asked my any of the questions that he makes assumptions about in the government’s report. Apparently, Mr. Huber has never considered it his job to get to know me, and yet he is quite willing to disregard the opinions of the one person who does see that as his job.

    There are alternating characterizations that Mr Huber would like you to believe about me. In one paragraph, the government claims I “played out the parts of accuser, jury, and judge as he determined the fate of the oil and gas lease auction and its intended participants that day.” In the very next paragraph, they claim “It was not the defendant’s crimes that effected such a change.” Mr Huber would lead you to believe that I’m either a dangerous criminal who holds the oil and gas industry in the palm of my hand, or I’m just an incompetent child who didn’t affect the outcome of anything. As evidenced by the continued back and forth of contradictory arguments in the government’s memorandum, they’re not quite sure which of those extreme caricatures I am, but they are certain that I am nothing in between. Rather than the job of getting to know me, it seems Mr Huber prefers the job of fitting me into whatever extreme characterization is most politically expedient at the moment.

    In nearly every paragraph, the government’s memorandum uses the words lie, lied, lying, liar. It makes me want to thank whatever clerk edited out the words “pants on fire.” Their report doesn’t mention the fact that at the auction in question, the first person who asked me what I was doing there was Agent Dan Love. And I told him very clearly that I was there to stand in the way of an illegitimate auction that threatened my future. I proceeded to answer all of his questions openly and honestly, and have done so to this day when speaking about that auction in any forum, including this courtroom. The entire basis for the false statements charge that I was convicted of was the fact that I wrote my real name and address on a form that included the words “bona fide bidder.” When I sat there on the witness stand, Mr Romney asked me if I ever had any intention of being a bona fide bidder. I responded by asking Mr Romney to clarify what “bona fide bidder” meant in this context. Mr Romney then withdrew the question and moved on to the next subject. On that right there is the entire basis for the government’s repeated attacks on my integrity. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff, your honor.

    Mr Huber also makes grand assumptions about my level of respect for the rule of law. The government claims a long prison sentence is necessary to counteract the political statements I’ve made and promote a respect for the law. The only evidence provided for my lack of respect for the law is political statements that I’ve made in public forums. Again, the government doesn’t mention my actions in regard to the drastic restrictions that were put upon my defense in this courtroom. My political disagreements with the court about the proper role of a jury in the legal system are probably well known. I’ve given several public speeches and interviews about how the jury system was established and how it has evolved to it’s current state. Outside of this courtroom, I’ve made my views clear that I agree with the founding fathers that juries should be the conscience of the community and a defense against legislative tyranny. I even went so far as to organize a book study group that read about the history of jury nullification. Some of the participants in that book group later began passing out leaflets to the public about jury rights, as is their right. Mr Huber was apparently so outraged by this that he made the slanderous accusations that I tried to taint the jury. He didn’t specify the extra number of months that I should spend in prison for the heinous activity of holding a book group at the Unitarian Church and quoting Thomas Jefferson in public, but he says you should have “little tolerance for this behavior.”

    But here is the important point that Mr Huber would rather ignore. Despite my strong disagreements with the court about the Constitutional basis for the limits on my defense, while I was in this courtroom I respected the authority of the court. Whether I agreed with them or not, I abided by the restrictions that you put on me and my legal team. I never attempted to “taint” the jury, as Mr Huber claimed, by sharing any of the relevant facts about the auction in question that the court had decided were off limits. I didn’t burst out and tell the jury that I successfully raised the down payment and offered it to the BLM. I didn’t let the jury know that the auction was later reversed because it was illegitimate in the first place. To this day I still think I should have had the right to do so, but disagreement with the law should not be confused with disrespect for the law.

    My public statements about jury nullification were not the only political statements that Mr Huber thinks I should be punished for. As the government’s memorandum points out, I have also made public statements about the value of civil disobedience in bringing the rule of law closer to our shared sense of justice. In fact, I have openly and explicitly called for nonviolent civil disobedience against mountaintop removal coal mining in my home state of West Virginia. Mountaintop removal is itself an illegal activity, which has always been in violation of the Clean Water Act, and it is an illegal activity that kills people. A West Virginia state investigation found that Massey Energy had been cited with 62,923 violations of the law in the ten years preceding the disaster that killed 29 people last year. The investigation also revealed that Massey paid for almost none of those violations because the company provided millions of dollars worth of campaign contributions that elected most of the appeals court judges in the state. When I was growing up in West Virginia, my mother was one of many who pursued every legal avenue for making the coal industry follow the law. She commented at hearings, wrote petitions and filed lawsuits, and many have continued to do ever since, to no avail. I actually have great respect for the rule of law, because I see what happens when it doesn’t exist, as is the case with the fossil fuel industry. Those crimes committed by Massey Energy led not only to the deaths of their own workers, but to the deaths of countless local residents, such as Joshua McCormick, who died of kidney cancer at age 22 because he was unlucky enough to live downstream from a coal mine. When a corrupted government is no longer willing to uphold the rule of law, I advocate that citizens step up to that responsibility.

    This is really the heart of what this case is about. The rule of law is dependent upon a government that is willing to abide by the law. Disrespect for the rule of law begins when the government believes itself and its corporate sponsors to be above the law.

    Mr Huber claims that the seriousness of my offense was that I “obstructed lawful government proceedings.” But the auction in question was not a lawful proceeding. I know you’ve heard another case about some of the irregularities for which the auction was overturned. But that case did not involve the BLM’s blatant violation of Secretarial Order 3226, which was a law that went into effect in 2001 and required the BLM to weigh the impacts on climate change for all its major decisions, particularly resource development. A federal judge in Montana ruled last year that the BLM was in constant violation of this law throughout the Bush administration. In all the proceedings and debates about this auction, no apologist for the government or the BLM has ever even tried to claim that the BLM followed this law. In both the December 2008 auction and the creation of the Resource Management Plan on which this auction was based, the BLM did not even attempt to follow this law.

    And this law is not a trivial regulation about crossing t’s or dotting i’s to make some government accountant’s job easier. This law was put into effect to mitigate the impacts of catastrophic climate change and defend a livable future on this planet. This law was about protecting the survival of young generations. That’s kind of a big deal. It’s a very big deal to me. If the government is going to refuse to step up to that responsibility to defend a livable future, I believe that creates a moral imperative for me and other citizens. My future, and the future of everyone I care about, is being traded for short term profits. I take that very personally. Until our leaders take seriously their responsibility to pass on a healthy and just world to the next generation, I will continue this fight.

    The government has made the claim that there were legal alternatives to standing in the way of this auction. Particularly, I could have filed a written protest against certain parcels. The government does not mention, however, that two months prior to this auction, in October 2008, a Congressional report was released that looked into those protests. The report, by the House committee on public lands, stated that it had become common practice for the BLM to take volunteers from the oil and gas industry to process those permits. The oil industry was paying people specifically to volunteer for the industry that was supposed to be regulating it, and it was to those industry staff that I would have been appealing. Moreover, this auction was just three months after the New York Times reported on a major scandal involving Department of the Interior regulators who were taking bribes of sex and drugs from the oil companies that they were supposed to be regulating. In 2008, this was the condition of the rule of law, for which Mr Huber says I lacked respect. Just as the legal avenues which people in West Virginia have been pursuing for 30 years, the legal avenues in this case were constructed precisely to protect the corporations who control the government.

    The reality is not that I lack respect for the law; it’s that I have greater respect for justice. Where there is a conflict between the law and the higher moral code that we all share, my loyalty is to that higher moral code. I know Mr Huber disagrees with me on this. He wrote that “The rule of law is the bedrock of our civilized society, not acts of ‘civil disobedience’ committed in the name of the cause of the day.” That’s an especially ironic statement when he is representing the United States of America, a place where the rule of law was created through acts of civil disobedience. Since those bedrock acts of civil disobedience by our founding fathers, the rule of law in this country has continued to grow closer to our shared higher moral code through the civil disobedience that drew attention to legalized injustice. The authority of the government exists to the degree that the rule of law reflects the higher moral code of the citizens, and throughout American history, it has been civil disobedience that has bound them together.

    This philosophical difference is serious enough that Mr Huber thinks I should be imprisoned to discourage the spread of this idea. Much of the government’s memorandum focuses on the political statements that I’ve made in public. But it hasn’t always been this way. When Mr Huber was arguing that my defense should be limited, he addressed my views this way: “The public square is the proper stage for the defendant’s message, not criminal proceedings in federal court.” But now that the jury is gone, Mr. Huber wants to take my message from the public square and make it a central part of these federal court proceedings. I have no problem with that. I’m just as willing to have those views on display as I’ve ever been.

    The government’s memorandum states, “As opposed to preventing this particular defendant from committing further crimes, the sentence should be crafted ‘to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct’ by others.” Their concern is not the danger that I present, but the danger presented by my ideas and words that might lead others to action. Perhaps Mr Huber is right to be concerned. He represents the United States Government. His job is to protect those currently in power, and by extension, their corporate sponsors. After months of no action after the auction, the way I found out about my indictment was the day before it happened, Pat Shea got a call from an Associated Press reporter who said, “I just wanted to let you know that tomorrow Tim is going to be indicted, and this is what the charges are going to be.” That reporter had gotten that information two weeks earlier from an oil industry lobbyist. Our request for disclosure of what role that lobbyist played in the US Attorney’s office was denied, but we know that she apparently holds sway and that the government feels the need to protect the industry’s interests.

    The things that I’ve been publicly saying may indeed be threatening to that power structure. There have been several references to the speech I gave after the conviction, but I’ve only ever seen half of one sentence of that speech quoted. In the government’s report, they actually had to add their own words to that one sentence to make it sound more threatening. But the speech was about empowerment. It was about recognizing our interconnectedness rather than viewing ourselves as isolated individuals. The message of the speech was that when people stand together, they no longer have to be exploited by powerful corporations. Alienation is perhaps the most effective tool of control in America, and every reminder of our real connectedness weakens that tool.

    But the sentencing guidelines don’t mention the need to protect corporations or politicians from ideas that threaten their control. The guidelines say “protect the public.” The question is whether the public is helped or harmed by my actions. The easiest way to answer that question is with the direct impacts of my action. As the oil executive stated in his testimony, the parcels I didn’t bid on averaged $12 per acre, but the ones I did bid on averaged $125. Those are the prices paid for public property to the public trust. The industry admits very openly that they were getting those parcels for an order of magnitude less than what they were worth. Not only did those oil companies drive up the prices to $125 during the bidding, they were then given an opportunity to withdraw their bids once my actions were explained. They kept the parcels, presumably because they knew they were still a good deal at $125. The oil companies knew they were getting a steal from the American people, and now they’re crying because they had to pay a little closer to what those parcels were actually worth. The government claims I should be held accountable for the steal the oil companies didn’t get. The government’s report demands $600,000 worth of financial impacts for the amount which the oil industry wasn’t able to steal from the public.

    That extra revenue for the public became almost irrelevant, though, once most of those parcels were revoked by Secretary Salazar. Most of the parcels I won were later deemed inappropriate for drilling. In other words, the highest and best value to the public for those particular lands was not for oil and gas drilling. Had the auction gone off without a hitch, it would have been a loss for the public. The fact that the auction was delayed, extra attention was brought to the process, and the parcels were ultimately revoked was a good thing for the public.

    More generally, the question of whether civil disobedience is good for the public is a matter of perspective. Civil disobedience is inherently an attempt at change. Those in power, whom Mr Huber represents, are those for whom the status quo is working, so they always see civil disobedience as a bad thing. The decision you are making today, your honor, is what segment of the public you are meant to protect. Mr Huber clearly has cast his lot with that segment who wishes to preserve the status quo. But the majority of the public is exploited by the status quo far more than they are benefited by it. The young are the most obvious group who is exploited and condemned to an ugly future by letting the fossil fuel industry call the shots. There is an overwhelming amount of scientific research, some of which you received as part of our proffer on the necessity defense, that reveals the catastrophic consequences which the young will have to deal with over the coming decades.

    But just as real is the exploitation of the communities where fossil fuels are extracted. As a native of West Virginia, I have seen from a young age that the exploitation of fossil fuels has always gone hand in hand with the exploitation of local people. In West Virginia, we’ve been extracting coal longer than anyone else. And after 150 years of making other people rich, West Virginia is almost dead last among the states in per capita income, education rates and life expectancy. And it’s not an anomaly. The areas with the richest fossil fuel resources, whether coal in West Virginia and Kentucky, or oil in Louisiana and Mississippi, are the areas with the lowest standards of living. In part, this is a necessity of the industry. The only way to convince someone to blow up their backyard or poison their water is to make sure they are so desperate that they have no other option. But it is also the nature of the economic model. Since fossil fuels are a limited resources, whoever controls access to that resource in the beginning gets to set all the terms. They set the terms for their workers, for the local communities, and apparently even for the regulatory agencies. A renewable energy economy is a threat to that model. Since no one can control access to the sun or the wind, the wealth is more likely to flow to whoever does the work of harnessing that energy, and therefore to create a more distributed economic system, which leads to a more distributed political system. It threatens the profits of the handful of corporations for whom the current system works, but our question is which segment of the public are you tasked with protecting. I am here today because I have chosen to protect the people locked out of the system over the profits of the corporations running the system. I say this not because I want your mercy, but because I want you to join me.

    After this difference of political philosophies, the rest of the sentencing debate has been based on the financial loss from my actions. The government has suggested a variety of numbers loosely associated with my actions, but as of yet has yet to establish any causality between my actions and any of those figures. The most commonly discussed figure is perhaps the most easily debunked. This is the figure of roughly $140,000, which is the amount the BLM originally spent to hold the December 2008 auction. By definition, this number is the amount of money the BLM spent before I ever got involved. The relevant question is what the BLM spent because of my actions, but apparently that question has yet to be asked. The only logic that relates the $140,000 figure to my actions is if I caused the entire auction to be null and void and the BLM had to start from scratch to redo the entire auction. But that of course is not the case. First is the prosecution’s on-again-off-again argument that I didn’t have any impact on the auction being overturned. More importantly, the BLM never did redo the auction because it was decided that many of those parcels should never have been auctioned in the first place. Rather than this arbitrary figure of $140,000, it would have been easy to ask the BLM how much money they spent or will spend on redoing the auction. But the government never asked this question, probably because they knew they wouldn’t like the answer.

    The other number suggested in the government’s memorandum is the $166,000 that was the total price of the three parcels I won which were not invalidated. Strangely, the government wants me to pay for these parcels, but has never offered to actually give them to me. When I offered the BLM the money a couple weeks after the auction, they refused to take it. Aside from that history, this figure is still not a valid financial loss from my actions. When we wrote there was no loss from my actions, we actually meant that rather literally. Those three parcels were not evaporated or blasted into space because of my actions, not was the oil underneath them sucked dry by my bid card. They’re still there, and in fact the BLM has already issued public notice of their intent to re-auction those parcels in February of 2012.

    The final figure suggested as a financial loss is the $600,000 that the oil company wasn’t able to steal from the public. That completely unsubstantiated number is supposedly the extra amount the BLM received because of my actions. This is when things get tricky. The government’s report takes that $600,000 positive for the BLM and adds it to that roughly $300,000 negative for the BLM, and comes up with a $900,000 negative. With math like that, it’s obvious that Mr Huber works for the federal government.

    After most of those figures were disputed in the presentence report, the government claimed in their most recent objection that I should be punished according to the intended financial impact that I intended to cause. The government tries to assume my intentions and then claims, “This is consistent with the testimony that Mr. DeChristopher provided at trial, admitting that his intention was to cause financial harm to others with whom he disagreed.” Now I didn’t get to say a whole lot at the trial, so it was pretty easy to look back through the transcripts. The statement claimed by the government never happened. There was nothing even close enough to make their statement a paraphrase or artistic license. This statement in the government’s objection is a complete fiction. Mr Huber’s inability to judge my intent is revealed in this case by the degree to which he underestimates my ambition. The truth is that my intention, then as now, was to expose, embarrass and hold accountable the oil industry to the extent that it cuts into the $100 billion in annual profits that it makes through exploitation. I actually intended for my actions to play a role in the wide variety of actions that steer the country toward a clean energy economy where those $100 billion in oil profits are completely eliminated. When I read Mr Huber’s new logic, I was terrified to consider that my slightly unrealistic intention to have a $100 billion impact will fetch me several consecutive life sentences. Luckily this reasoning is as unrealistic as it is silly.

    A more serious look at my intentions is found in Mr Huber’s attempt to find contradictions in my statements. Mr Huber points out that in public I acted proud of my actions and treated it like a success, while in our sentencing memorandum we claimed that my actions led to “no loss.” On the one hand I think it was a success, and yet I claim it there was no loss. Success, but no loss. Mr Huber presents these ideas as mutually contradictory and obvious proof that I was either dishonest or backing down from my convictions. But for success to be contradictory to no loss, there has to be another assumption. One has to assume that my intent was to cause a loss. But the only loss that I intended to cause was the loss of secrecy by which the government gave away public property for private profit. As I actually stated in the trial, my intent was to shine a light on a corrupt process and get the government to take a second look at how this auction was conducted. The success of that intent is not dependent on any loss. I knew that if I was completely off base, and the government took that second look and decided that nothing was wrong with that auction, the cost of my action would be another day’s salary for the auctioneer and some minor costs of re-auctioning the parcels. But if I was right about the irregularities of the auction, I knew that allowing the auction to proceed would mean the permanent loss of lands better suited for other purposes and the permanent loss of a safe climate. The intent was to prevent loss, but again that is a matter of perspective.

    Mr Huber wants you to weigh the loss for the corporations that expected to get public property for pennies on the dollar, but I believe the important factor is the loss to the public which I helped prevent. Again, we come back to this philosophical difference. From any perspective, this is a case about the right of citizens to challenge the government. The US Attorney’s office makes clear that their interest is not only to punish me for doing so, but to discourage others from challenging the government, even when the government is acting inappropriately. Their memorandum states, “To be sure, a federal prison term here will deter others from entering a path of criminal behavior.” The certainty of this statement not only ignores the history of political prisoners, it ignores the severity of the present situation. Those who are inspired to follow my actions are those who understand that we are on a path toward catastrophic consequences of climate change. They know their future, and the future of their loved ones, is on the line. And they know were are running out of time to turn things around. The closer we get to that point where it’s too late, the less people have to lose by fighting back. The power of the Justice Department is based on its ability to take things away from people. The more that people feel that they have nothing to lose, the more that power begins to shrivel. The people who are committed to fighting for a livable future will not be discouraged or intimidated by anything that happens here today. And neither will I. I will continue to confront the system that threatens our future. Given the destruction of our democratic institutions that once gave citizens access to power, my future will likely involve civil disobedience. Nothing that happens here today will change that. I don’t mean that in any sort of disrespectful way at all, but you don’t have that authority. You have authority over my life, but not my principles. Those are mine alone.

    I’m not saying any of this to ask you for mercy, but to ask you to join me. If you side with Mr Huber and believe that your role is to discourage citizens from holding their government accountable, then you should follow his recommendations and lock me away. I certainly don’t want that. I have no desire to go to prison, and any assertion that I want to be even a temporary martyr is false. I want you to join me in standing up for the right and responsibility of citizens to challenge their government. I want you to join me in valuing this country’s rich history of nonviolent civil disobedience. If you share those values but think my tactics are mistaken, you have the power to redirect them. You can sentence me to a wide range of community service efforts that would point my commitment to a healthy and just world down a different path. You can have me work with troubled teens, as I spent most of my career doing. You can have me help disadvantaged communities or even just pull weeds for the BLM. You can steer that commitment if you agree with it, but you can’t kill it. This is not going away. At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on. Tim DeChristopher July 26, 2011.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  61. #61
    Almost Human
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,813
    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    So what you're saying is that we should all sit back and let those "who run this country" run the country?
    No. What I'm saying is that he's pretty naive to think that he would get anything other than what he got. Judging by his rant, he didn't learn that lesson, and I hope he puts his 3 years to good use by studying a little more and learning how brainwashed he is. He needs a good deprogramming.

    And no "we" do not run this country. GE, Dow, Monsanto, Google, BP, and other globalist corporations do. They give campaign contributions to some guy's in DC to make sure of that. Probably one you voted for. He raised A LOT didn't he?

    I wish it were different too, but throwing away your career to try and "fight the man" at the prime of your youth, stupid. Been there, done that.

    Last edited by UncleTrail; 07-28-2011 at 10:39 PM.

  62. #62
    killin clear creek
    Reputation: backcountryislife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    759
    After reading that statement... I'd have a very hard time calling it a rant.

    Disagree with his politics as you may, there is a lot of truth in there that most don't want to face. Our government has sold it's soul & without people like him standing up at times & showing people how screwed up it is, most folks will just go about their way & let things just keep getting worse.


    Lucky for us though... decisions like citizen's united guarantee that our government will only get worse... awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.