Judas Receiving the Thirty Pieces of Silver by Simon Bening (public domain via
Judas Receiving the Thirty Pieces of Silver (Simon Bening)

Once upon a time it took thirty pieces of silver to sell out a man. Now, in the electronic age, when all precious metals have been replaced by paper or electric currencies, millions of people, some not yet born, can be sold out for next to nothing. That’s progress.

Some people work to conserve the environment and to prevent further pollution and degradation of the organisms that make up the basic web of life. Others are content to simply exclude their fellow man. Still others promote financial interests by making some lands inaccessible, thereby increasing the market value of what’s left. The latter are the new face of segregation, providing evidence that exclusion is both not necessarily sectarian and may well, as Goerge Wallace promised in 1963, last forever.

Or as long as men walk the earth. “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” retains its potency, mainly because it isn’t about who’s being selected, segregated and sold out, but about exercising dominion. It’s the strategy of the predator, to segregate and isolate an object of desire and make it easier to destroy.

Human predators don’t have to eat what they kill or even kill their fellow man. The segregation and isolation of individuals from the public are destructive enough. The exercise of dominion destroys our liberty and mobility, the very characteristics by which we the people are defined. Exclusive areas, whether they are designated as gated communities, reservations, conservation easements, “Exclusive Resorts” or private industrial enclaves, segregate and destroy the social cohesion humans require to thrive.

The evidence is all around us, especially in the South. Our people are not thriving. Their degradation and the destruction of our environment go hand in hand. Sometimes, as we see in the disposition of the southern tip of Sea Island, also known as the “Spit,” self-styled “environmentalists” (GreenLaw, the Altamaha Riverkeeper, Surfrider Foundation and the Center for a Sustainable Coast), are complicit, not just bought off. In exchange for “donations” to the Saint Simons Land Trust, the environmentalists get to exercise stewardship and monitor land disturbance and construction projects for residential purposes and to counter Mother Nature’s efforts to reclaim some of the land mass for other purposes.

Sea Island's disappearing spit approved for development (facebook)
Sea Island’s disappearing spit approved for development (facebook)

The Land Trust will accept a one-time contribution from SIA for stewardship and management services.


The Land Trust works with willing property owners to purchase property outright or to place conservation easements on the properties to restrict any future development of the property. The organization monitors all easements.

No doubt, if Judas Iscariot were alive today, he’d tout having “worked” with the powers that be to identify that public “nuisance,” the Nazarene.

The wholesale attack on our public assets, whether they be on land, in the sea or in the marshlands, is not a happenstance. Ever since we the people got the vote and, even more important, access to public information, privatization, with the connivance of some of our public servants, those who prefer not to serve but to rule, has aimed to subvert the public interest. The extent to which our eleemosynary “friends,” the non-profits and non-governmental organizations, have been complicit in selling us out will be revealed when they file their tax returns.


Image: Judas Receiving the Thirty Pieces of Silver by Simon Bening (public domain via; aerial photo of the spit at Sea Island, Ga from the Save the Spit facebook page.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."

One Comment
  1. Lee Leslie

    Hard to be surprised of a deal to allow development – it is still Georgia and the Sea Island owner is a group of investment bankers. Getting the 80 acres in a permanent conservation easement in exchange for what they are going to do to 7.3 acres sounds on paper like a good trade, and sounding good is all they need for cover. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

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