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Understanding Fractivism and the Unrelenting Arrogance of Useful Idiots

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

 

The recent sanctioning of CELDF attorneys by a very frustrated Federal judge has helped expose the blind arrogance of those associated with fractivism.

Two weeks ago I reported here on a rather amazing order from Federal Judge Susan Paradise Baxter, an Obama appointee, sanctioning Tom Linzey and another CELDF attorney for their irresponsible lawyering on the Grant Township matter. Tom Linzey has wisely avoided much comment but his associates and some incredibly arrogant and reckless clients have done so. They have done so in the name of fractivism, but that’s not what motivates Linzey. No, Tommie the Commie employs fractivism to further a much bigger agenda and these “useful idiots” have been all too willing to play along in the interest of securing attention and maybe even martydom.

Grant Township scene from Google Earth

I’m not exaggerating. Read the statement just put out by Grant Township, which is signed by Stacy Long, Vice-Chair of its Board of Supervisors, and offers up the following:

The Township is literally fighting for the life of its citizens in this case. PGE’s proposed injection well threatens to subject every resident of Grant Township to a slow poisoning, and threatens thousands more who depend on Grant Township’s watershed for clean water.

During this fight, not one judge hearing the arguments in this case has ever asked any one of us, “why is your township subjecting itself to all this?” It’s assumed that we aren’t bright enough to possibly understand what we’re in this for, and why we have risked everything to protect our community.

We understand that more regulations won’t help us. We understand that our legislators will continue to blame our problems on inadequate, underfunded, understaffed state agencies. We understand that an injection well for frack waste is a very bad idea, not only for the people who live here, but for the natural environment.

We understand that the real problem isn’t the injection well, but the system of law that keeps trying to shut us down, and keeps telling us that we don’t have the right to protect our community from a company with a history of permit violations from dumping toxic frack waste where we live.

We understand that the system of law that we live under doesn’t recognize the right of the people who live here to stop those projects which will harm us. It doesn’t recognize that we have a democratic right to say “no”, which is why we’ve worked with CELDF to advance arguments that we have a constitutional right to govern our own community, and that companies like PGE shouldn’t have more rights to decide what happens here than we do.

We changed our system of government to save ourselves because no one else would or could. The people of the Township voted to adopt a new municipal charter which, again, bans the injection well as a violation of our basic civil rights.

What else do we have to do – light ourselves on fire?

Ms. Long’s over-the-top histrionics tell us a lot about fractivism.

Fractivism is, first of all, an arrogant enterprise. It assumes not only that no one else’s opinions matter; but that its disciples, and they alone, have access to the truth. Facts and science simply don’t enter into the equation. They suppose it’s enough to merely claim a project will “subject every resident of Grant Township to a slow poisoning.” Fractivists simply assert the rightness of their cause without believing they have the slightest obligation to prove it. Indeed, they view any demands for proof as evidence a system stacked against them. They’re always the victims by necessity.

Secondly, fractivism is opposed to any rule of law. It is focused, rather, on mob justice, which CELDF types like to falsely call democracy, as long as they get their way. We saw that in Youngstown, Ohio where one of their off-shoot groups continued to bring forward “community rights” ballot initiatives aimed at fracking, election after election, despite repeatedly losing. These initiatives cost taxpayers big bucks for an anti-democratic campaign aimed at simply wearing down the community, until the Ohio Supreme Court finally stopped the nonsense.

Fractivism

Youngstown skyline

The same pattern is evident in Grant Township, of course. Stacy Long conveniently attempts to turn everything on its head, asking why not one judge hearing Grant Township’s arguments has ever asked, “why is your township subjecting itself to all this?” She then flatters herself with the supposition the courts simply don’t understand how smart she really is, proving they pegged her correctly by not asking that question. They already knew why the township supervisors were acting up; they were poorly led by agenda driven parties with no facts or law to their credit. The courts simply didn’t want to punish the voters. If a judge were to ask a question of Grant Township it would probably be “what makes you think you don’t need any facts or law to prove your case?”

Thirdly, fractivism is attention-seeking. Rhetorically threatening to set yourself on fire is about as extreme as it gets in that regard. But, it’s what fractivists do. They do so to augment the seriousness of their claims—that which they desire to believe but which is countered by the facts. It’s thoroughly childish behavior, of course, but what you get when anyone has the luxury of living in an unreal world and that is the world of most fractivists. Fractivism, in fact, is stuffed with trust-funders and other unemployed malcontents having few, if any, real world responsibilities.

Kathie Jones addressing the Medina County Board of Commissioners. Why is fractivism so populated by lecturing malcontents with no sense of humor?

Finally, fractivism is a matter of denial. Take, for example, Kathie Jones, pictured above addressing the Median County, Ohio Board of Commissioners. Jones is from Sustainable Medina County, a CELDF sycophant group, who, according to this report, told a reporter she was undeterred by Judge Baxter sanctioning of Tommie the commie:

“What it really shows is that the Community Rights Movement has grown large enough to force the industry to lash out this way at our efforts,” Jones said. “Shut the people completely out of the system by going after our lawyers. Well, we’re far from through resisting the oil and gas industry, despite this ruling that punishes the public for asserting the superiority of people’s rights over corporations in our courts.”

Yeah, that’s what it’s all about Kathy. Keep telling yourself that. Don’t bother reading the judge’s opinion. Ignore the law and the repeated rejections of “community rights” ordinances by courts everywhere. Pretend it’s the industry lashing out. Keep believing the CELDF when they tell you these sanctions and a Federal judge referral to the disciplinary board are no big deal. That’ll bring you success, I’m sure.

A little further down in the same article there’s still more denial:

CELDF Associate Director Mari Margil criticized the sanctions as a win for corporations over communities.

No, it’s a win for the rule of law the CELDF simply wants to replace with a new political system. That’s what the CELDF is all about and fracking is but a convenient platform to make the case. Fractivism itself is much the same. It’s arrogant, childish and dysfunctional. And, it’s unrelenting.

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