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Anti-Dickhead of This Moment – Tim DeChristopher

I haven’t given out an Anti-Dickhead award for quite some time, as the Dickhead/Anti-Dickhead feature has gone mostly the way of the archives here at B&E.; But I still like to keep my ears and eyes open for total Dickhead moves (with Blagojevich and Madoff getting recent shout-outs), with the occasional Anti-Dickhead move thrown in (anyone out there remember my frequent expressions of love for Russell “Oh, So” Feingold?)

Anyway, over in Utah, there’s been a little last-minute Bush Administration oil industry gift happening in the form of an auction hosted by the Bureau of Land Management. Who wants oil drilling rights to wilderness land? Come and get it!

But then Tim DeChristopher, a student at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, finished his final exam and went to the protest outside the auction. Except that Tim didn’t join the protesters. Instead, he walked inside and joined the bidding.

You see, because this whole thing has been put together so quickly by the Bush Administration, no one had time to do any bidder vetting. And boy, did Tim bid. By the time people figured out he was a fraud, he’d purchased more than 22,000 acres of wilderness and driven up the prices on thousands more.

Tim has brilliantly thrown the whole thing into chaos. The US Attorney is figuring out what to charge him with. Fraud? Maybe, but if he comes up with the $45,000 for the first payment, he hasn’t actually committed fraud. He’ll be showing that he meant to buy it.

But he’s also confused the proceedings enough that the auction can’t be reorganized for another month or so. Perhaps the Bureau of Land Management can have the auction then, but here’s the kicker…

In a month, we’ll have a new president. John Podesta, who heads up the transition team, has spoken out against the land sale. An Obama Administration may stop it altogether, if they can.

It’s really amazing what this University student has done by simply raising a bidding paddle. No destruction of property, no violence, and no standing on the sidelines yelling about it. Instead he perpetrated a perfect little act of civil disobedience. And although he’d really prefer not to go to prison, he’s willing to, if it comes to that.

That makes Tim DeChristopher my Anti-Dickhead of This Moment.

[Thanks to Democracy Now! for reporting on the story, even if I'm way late on it (lost in the holiday fun) and didn't hear about it until more than a week after it aired.]

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