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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:14 PM
Original message
Sole Survivor Sitting On A $5 Billion Fortune, Says No Thanks Keep Your Money
Sole survivor sitting on a $5b fortune

Sydney Morning Herald
July 14, 2007



JEFFREY LEE is not interested in the soaring price of uranium, which could make him one of the world's richest men. "This is my country. Look, it's beautiful and I fear somebody will disturb it," he says, waving his arm across a view of rocky land surrounded by Kakadu National Park, where the French energy giant Areva wants to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium worth more than $5 billion.

Mr Lee, the shy 36-year-old sole member of the Djok clan and the senior custodian of the Koongarra uranium deposit, has decided never to allow the ecologically sensitive land to be mined. "There are sacred sites, there are burial sites and there are other special places out there which are my responsibility to look after," Mr Lee told the Herald. "I'm not interested in white people offering me this or that it doesn't mean a thing. I'm not interested in money. I've got a job; I can buy tucker; I can go fishing and hunting. That's all that matters to me."

Mr Lee said he thought long and hard about speaking publicly for the first time about why he wants to see the land incorporated into the World Heritage-listed national park, where, he said, "it will be protected and safe forever". The Koongarra deposit is only three kilometres from Nourlangie Rock, one of the most visited attractions in Kakadu. "There's been a lot of pressure on me, and for a very long time I didn't want to talk or think about Koongarra," Mr Lee said.

"But now I want to talk about what I have decided to do because I fear for my country. "I was taken all through here on the shoulder of my grandmother I heard all the stories and learnt everything about this land, and I want to pass it all on to my kids." This week Mr Lee took the Herald to a rocky outcrop overlooking the Koongarra deposit, a sacred place where, according to his clan's beliefs, a giant blue-tongue lizard still lurks and should not be disturbed.

Here it is, painted on a rock hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of years ago, its jaw apparently bitten off in a mystical fight. This is what Mr Lee calls a djang, or place of spiritual essence, which he has closed to the 230,000 tourists who visit Kakadu each year. "My father and grandfather said they would agree to opening the land to mining, but I have learnt as I have grown up that there's poison in the ground," he said.

more: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/07/13/1183833772710...

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Adsos Letter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sad to say but Mr. Lee probably should think about hiring a "food taster"...
:(
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. That immediately came to mind.
Edited on Sun Jul-15-07 11:30 PM by DeSwiss
But the land is "slated" to be placed in the World Heritage Trust now. So maybe he'll be a little bit safer...

:shrug:

on edit: correct tense
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
21. Yeah, really.
How old are those kids of his? Old enough to be coerced into signing away the land?

It's good he's so connected to protecting both ecology and heritage.
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never cry wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:55 PM
Response to Reply #21
45. No kids.... yet
From the end of the article:

Mr Lee, who works as a ranger in Kakadu, said incorporating Koongarra into the park would allow him to see that the land was protected.

"Being part of the park will ensure that the traditional laws, customs, sites, bush tucker, trees, plants and water stay the same as when they were passed on to me by my father and great-grandfather," he said.

As the sole surviving member of the Djok clan Mr Lee does not have any children to pass the land on to.

"I'll have to see what I can do about that," he said.
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
30. Somehow I think he'll receive the
Chico Mendes treatment.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
42. I was thinking a known pilot for his small plane ...... but yeah!
Money almost ALWAYS trumps principle.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. please sir stay off airplanes and away from Negroponte!! eom
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. see, it can be done
what a great example of a human being with real integrity!
:applause:
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #3
46. Our hero du jour. Thrilling. A thrilling and inspirational read. n/t
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. a true guardian and custodian of the land
I will support him 100%

thanks for posting :)
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VP505 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Perhaps Mr Lee
knows about the problems many native Americans who worked and lived around the Uranium mines in New Mexico have experienced. Regardless,its good to see someone having the integrity to just say NO!
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. This is why I love DU
thanks so much for the post. K and R
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. You're welcome....
...I'm just glad that I found a news article that shows that there are still people whose whole life isn't consummed with amassing wealth.

He knows what's really important and people like him give me hope.

:hi:
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Its off to Gitmo for Mr Lee.........
can you say Extraordinary Rendition?
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PetrusMonsFormicarum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-15-07 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
9. Would you
fight for an environmental cause? I mean really fight? How about a cultural cause? A lot of people say they would.

But the planet keeps getting trashed, and indigenous cultures either assimilated, or wiped out.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
10. His is the logical position
Frankly why spend time living (i still haven't figured out that question's answer, YET)

We all are going to be pushing up daisies one day but to despoil it for others that come after is going to be the humans biggest collective mistakes.

Mostly it looks to be too late, but at least many of us saw it coming :shrug:


Petri Dish: the book, the movie.
by Burnt at both ends at All poetry
http://allpoetry.com/poem/666653
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. I'm afraid that I have to agree with you. n/t
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
12. Please marry me, Mr. Jeffrey Lee!
I promise I will not sell the land to the White man. :-)
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #12
62. You might have to sign a serious pre-nup...
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 08:38 PM by file83
Just a guess!! :rofl:
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
13. This reminds me of a great movie "Where the Green Ants Dream"
Check it out. Fantastic film. Same kind of thing.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Got it.
Thanks for the tip. :)
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FourScore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. You're welcome. I know you will enjoy it.
K&R
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:44 AM
Response to Original message
14. He's so dead.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Or worse...
...he could find himself with a bunch of "long lost" relatives. And some of them would probably even be white. :D


Uncle Jeff?

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joeunderdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #14
33. I'm thinkin the exact same thing. Just a question of what "accident." n/t
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
19. He should NOT donate that land to the national park
Protected? When it's subject to the control of politicians who'd have five billion reasons to violate the trust he placed in them? Oh, please.

I hope he finds some Aussie lawyer who'll volunteer the time to set up an ironclad private land trust.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #19
32. That's exactly what I was thinking. He's handing his henhouse to the foxes!
"Private land trust"= much better way to safeguard it.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
20. He must have national health care to turn down 5 billion.....
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MiniMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:22 AM
Response to Original message
22. Don't ride in small planes Jeffrey
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Dinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:30 AM
Response to Original message
23. Thank You Jeffrey Lee
The world needs more people like you.
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sellitman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:45 AM
Response to Original message
24. Not many people could
do what this man is doing. I don't honestly know if I could?

Bless him
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Ganja Ninja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
25. Bravo!
:applause:
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soothsayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
26. What a great soul. Bravo!
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
27. Kakadu is the head of Boamie - a sacred site, just like Black Mesa in Arizona
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 07:39 AM by SpiralHawk
But Black Mesa is already massively exploited -- the republicon mindset to rape the Earth run amuck. republicons are anything but "conservative." They are radical short-term profiteers...

Hopi and Navajo teachings have warned explicitly about the dangers of disturbing this sacred site, so crucial to the wellbeing of life on Turtle Island (North America)

Read all about the ongoing desecration Black Mesa here:
http://www.8thfire.net/Day_178.html

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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:15 AM
Response to Original message
28. How long before world leaders strip World Heritage sites of any meaning or
protection? If there are billions of dollars in profits involved, I have to wonder.

Kudos to Mr. Lee. He is a wonderful human being.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. I'm thinking.....
...a curse. That might be what it takes. A real one where things start falling off if they break their word.

Otherwise, I sadly must agree. Trust or no trust, I never trust the money grubbers....

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roxnev Donating Member (194 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #28
55. The same amount of time
It took for the Republicans to over take ARP :evilgrin:
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
31. Whose taking bets on how long this guy remains alive?
In one hand you have a guy with ethics, morals and a deep soul and in the other hand you have 5 billion just in the price of the ore, not to mention what it will be worth once it's refined and developed...

My advice is for this guy to stay away from small airplanes, get a food taster, and never ever sleep without a 24/7 guard.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. and carry a gun
I'm just in awe of this guy.

Thing is, he's seems bright enough to figure out, just as we have, that he's worth more dead right now. Man's got a lot of guts.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #34
35. At least one gun...nt
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plantwomyn Donating Member (779 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
36. THE LINKED ARTICLE SAYS HE HAS NO CHILDREN!
He should go adopt kids immediatly. The more the marrier. There's not enough time to wait the 9 months! And yes, put the land in trust. Educate the kids like his Gramma taught him. Goddess knows the Earth needs more like him. A gang of kids taught by him won't let their heritage be spoiled.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
37. Don't fly on small planes Mr. Lee.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 12:44 PM by Vinca
Oops - I see minime posted a nearly identical post. Sorry.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
38. Bravo, Mr. Lee. Get that land under the Heritage or in a will to go to the
Heritage now.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
39. I nominate this guy for president of the world.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #39
50. As in the case of the African bushmen, tens of thousands of years
of living on the edge of existence has made them one of the most congenitally spiritual people in the world. It's caused immense problems for them and for the Caucasian incomers. But we must become much more like them, while they continue to struggle to compromise with us. Something of an uneven struggle for them, despite the Australian populist tradition, still prevailing to a remarkable degree, given the nature of Howard's Liberal Government, and in the teeth of the racism that seems to be natural to us.
Unfortunately, pornography and alcohol have wreaked havoc among them, though Howard has now prohibited their recourse to them.



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Raejeanowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
40. Where Did Everyone Go?
Where's the rest of the Djok clan and how does Mr. Lee support his own claim of who he is? Who appointed him "senior custodian" of Koongara? And at age 36, no children? I deeply admire and support the prima facie stance taken here, but if it's really legit, I wonder why Australian heritage or ecological groups haven't already gotten to him long ago about protecting this land and the tribal claim.

Sorry to be such a cynic under the circumstances.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
41. I'd say 'stand strong Mr Lee'
but it clearly is not necessary this man already is standing strong.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
43. We can make you very rich or we can kill you.
Guess what this guy is going to get.
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cui bono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
44. Good for him! But I think Tucker's already been bought. n/t
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degreesofgray Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
47. how unamerican
this Australian aborigine is! :sarcasm:
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Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
48. Sometimes, someone does something so unselfish
and so good, that it's nothing short of amazing. I'm glad I had the chance to see it, thanks for posting. :-)
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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
49. Jeffrey Lee for President!!
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everydayis911 Donating Member (134 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
51. I think I see
Osama in one of the caves. Yes there he is. Well that's all we need. It's National Security issues and we need to hire Haliburton to excavate Uranium I mean Osama. Don't worry Dick and the blue-tongue lizard have a lot in common. They are both the same age and hide in undisclosed locations. They both breath fire and will kill anyone who crosses them. Hiiisssssss
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
52. But, Mr. Lee, we're talking about MONEY here. Hello-o-o-o!
Your values about having a nice life and protecting the land are plainly wrong when money is involved. You can use that money to buy a bunch of stuff you don't want or need! Sure you're friends won't like you anymore and you probably won't like yourself either, but you'll be rich! Not that it matters to the energy companies like us. Land use laws are written for the rich and to the degree they aren't, I'm sure a few Francs here or there will get us on the right track. Besides, the state will probably take the land if you die. I'm sure they will see things our way. Africa can be a dangerous place to live, you know. Too dangerous to let some local yokel stand in the way of $5 billion.
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proud patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
53. I will send spiritual protection to this Human Being
and all the strength I can .

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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
54. What is the best way for Jeff to protect himself and protect the land?
Suggestions?
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divineorder Donating Member (513 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #54
57. Wife and Kids for Starters
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 07:07 PM by divineorder
Living trust for them while he's alive, and some sort of land trust where they can live on/or off of the proceeds of the land when he goes. Divvy up enough shares so that they would have to buy off thousands to get the land. If not,they will just wait until he passes away (and stuff like that,unfortunately can be arranged) and then do what they like to the land.

He needs to have everything for himself: his own personal doctor, his own cook, everything. He has to be sure that the people who are tending his personal needs are loyal to him alone, and can't be bought off to poison him or to get him into an institution where his rights could be taken away.

Stay totally out of the legal system. Pay your taxes when due, or live on an income low enough that you don't owe anything. Don't even spend a night in jail on any charge if you can help it. You don't want a judge being able to put a lien on the property.

Stay sober. That way, he doesn't sign anything he doesn't quite understand, get lured into a situation where things can happen to him-like the above previous things I have mentioned.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
56. we need that uranium!
how else will we stop climate change? :sarcasm: is all i have left...
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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #56
59. .
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 07:07 PM by BrightKnight
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colorado_ufo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
58. What a man!
A true hero who has his priorities straight. And, there are more out there, and true women, too - each a treasure.
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BrightKnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
60. I hope that he has bullet proof estate planning.
Someone needs to get him some legal help.
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orleans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
61. hope he's careful. n/t
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
63. That loud noise you hear is the collective groan of hundreds of greedy energy executives
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 09:01 PM by entanglement
who'll never get to lay their grubby paws on all that uranium :evilgrin:
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flying rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #63
64. Followed by the noise of
collective conference calls figuring out how to get it.
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
65. And we call them "savages"..... who's wiser now!
The indigenous peoples w/their "backward ways" might just be the earth's salvation.
Now, how do we protect Mr. Lee?
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Bjorn Against Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
66. What a great man.
The world needs more people like him, he will be a hero to many and rightfully so.
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dorktv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
67. someone have babies with that man! he needs to have someone
to pass the land onto who is taught to not sell it.
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zehnkatzen Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
68. FinallySomeone Who Has His Priorities In Order
I'm not interested in white people offering me this or that it doesn't mean a thing. I'm not interested in money. I've got a job; I can buy tucker; I can go fishing and hunting. That's all that matters to me


I'm a subscriber to the "Too Much" e-newsletter, so seeing this attitude in anyone who could stand to make a Metric buttload of money keeps my faith in fellow humans on life-support.

Of course, he also probably understands that if he did sell out he'd wouldn't so much as get paid as some white businessman would also try to screw him out of his due. We white people lurves us a bargain, and if we can get it out of your backside for a song (or for free) that's the way we'll go.

I'm just bein' blunt about the facts here; there are thugs of all skin colors, but I worry more about the thug in a smart, expensive business suit than I do any other kind.

Hell, I'm white and I don't trust white people!
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 12:59 PM
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69. Kick!
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