The Thunderbolt 070413 Activist Burn Out

AA TB Poster Purple

Action Alert Calendar

Activist Burnout Syndrome:


1)  FYI Section:

   1A)  Localize This Activist Training Camp

   1B)  Peace Vigil at Percival Landing Every Friday

2)  Stop the Surveillance State!  Fight Back!

3)  Tamale Fusion Soft Opening Party

4)  Media Island Benefit Brunch:  Light on the Corridor

5)  Green Hill Youth Prisoners Strike

   5A)  Noise Demo in Solidarity with Green Hill Youth Prisoners on Strike

   5B)  Call In or Fax In to Support the Green Hill Prisoner Strike

6)  Bonus Tip of the Day




Hey Kids!


Let’s not start off with too much of a bang this week because I like to touch upon an occupational hazard known as ‘activist burnout’.  I like to do this because too many times I have watched dedicated activists throw body heart mind and soul into the cause and charge forward full speed — only to crash and burn soon thereafter and thus make themselves ultimately useless as far as the cause is concerned.  I have long lectured activists here about taking care of their personal stuff.


Well, it’s time for the doctor to take his own medicine:  I have run out of gas.  I usually write the commentary on Sunday; I cruise my favourite news sites where egregious outrages are not uncommon and I usually quickly spot one — and then I’m off!


Now that the radio show has turned into a full-on production I no longer have time for a life and I haven’t had time to hang out with my girlfriend for three weeks now.  That is not cool.  Thus, this Sunday my brain ceased to function.


Thus, as chief administrator of my life I have made an executive decision that henceforward with all due speed I plan to publish the commentary section of this newsletter and record the commentary section of the radio show every other week.  The calendar and all the events will still be there — I am just reducing the bloviation.  While there will be less, I will have more time to improve the quality of what is still there, so I don’t think this will seriously effect anything except that I will be able to hang out with my girlfriend once in a while now.


This also means that if possible you need to get your event info to me a little sooner.


For the radio show I am now recording the calendar as separate files for each day anyway so it is much more versatile — and thus a whole new show every week is not really necessary.




Media Island and KOWA 106.5:

The Great Olympia Secret


Media Island Mission Statement:


Media Island International is a resource and networking center for individuals, organizations, and movements working on Social Justice, Economic Democracy, Ecological Sustainability, and Peace.  We gather, evaluate, and distribute under-published information on critical issues at strategic times.


So lately I have been distributing CD’s of my radio show and I’ve learned that almost no one in this town even knows that we have our own radio station, KOWA 106.5.  While many have heard of Media Island, due to some bad management over the years MI has gained an unsavoury reputation and many people now avoid it.


Well, I’m here to tell you that that was then and that this is now — and just to prove I can agree with Barack Obama on occasion, I believe we should look forward rather than backward!


Media Island now has the ass-kickingest crew that has been there in many years and we have been getting down and cleaning and tearing down and building up and we have now cleaned up Media Island’s act and we are building up resources so we can do what we’re really here to do.


[See Media Island Mission Statement — which also happens to me my personal Mission Statement]


Media Island’s open house hours are 12-5 Monday thru Saturday and sometimes on Sunday.  If you want to get involved we can likely point you in the right direction.


And now we can ROCK because it’s looking like KOWA is about to receive some grants and other funding so that we can finally start broadcasting at full power from the Capitol Forest and reach the entire metro area — and Media Island is about to get some serious upgrades to the equipment including video and recording hardware and software to make anyone drool in joyous anticipation.


We also host a benefit brunch on the first Sunday of every month in partnership with various other social justice organizations.  This month we will be sharing the proceeds with fellow Media Island caretaker Matt Fu for his project, Light on the Corridor, wherein he will be spending September walking the coal train route from Montana to the Washington coast — and talking to people all along the route in that unique Matt-Manner that manages to engage and educate without threatening.


Ironically, while the volunteers and the equipment are pouring into KOWA and Media Island, the cash situation around here is becoming somewhat scary — and since that always tends to complicate life a great deal then please now more than ever come help support Media Island and KOWA — and this month you can also help support Matt’s walk.


The monthly brunch is good food and good people and you can help support a unique and invaluable local resource.  If you have $5 to throw our way that’s great but if not then if you are interested in what we do you should still come anyway — no one turned away due to lack of funds.




Justice Department Classifies the Constitution Top Secret


Doesn’t seem as crazy as it once would have, eh?




The Banality of Evil


There are 14 separate intelligence agencies within the federal government and it turns out that they almost constantly fight with each other and often work at cross purposes.  Democracy Now for Monday July 1 had a very interesting interview with a couple of intelligence insiders.  It turns out that the infamous Benghazi Attack wherein a US ambassador was killed came about because JSOC killed a local CIA asset which caused one of the local militia groups to turn on the US and attack the embassy.


And I am telling you, this kind of stuff happens constantly.  In addition to being sociopathic human-mutant hybrids they are like a bunch of spectacularly lethal little kids playing with hand-grenades.


Check it out.




Dodging the Gun Control Bullet


This issue is pretty much a dead horse by this point but I would like to touch base once more…


I really wish the left would stop trying to push gun control.  Besides my own personal misgivings there is the fact that there is no other issue that does our side more harm for less good than trying to subvert the Constitution and restrict citizen’s right to defend themselves.  We could and should do it a hell of a lot better than we do but that is beside the point when we get to the core of the issue:  The Second Amendment was written to provide for citizen militias and part of the reasoning was that having organized and trained militias would serve as a very effective check upon federal government overreach.  Since our current president is incarcerating and executing people without a trial and since incarcerating and executing people without a trial is the very definition of a police state then I think the Second Amendment is more important now than ever.  I understand that rather than organized and trained militias, what we have instead is a bunch of psychopaths and untrained amateurs shooting the crap out of everyone and that is indeed a very serious problem — but rather than focusing upon a policy that wouldn’t work even if it were possible to get it implemented and disarming the American public just as the Machine is fixing to clamp down drop pretenses and say that we’re officially a police state now and that they’re going to start filling all those shiny new prisons that Halliburton has been building over the last decade (right after the next ‘terrorist attack’ is what I’m thinking)…


…this is not the way to go, Kids.  There is no other issue that is more successful at uniting the right in righteous indignation than the thought of liberals trying to take their guns away.  Donations and membership in the NRA explodes along with gun sales — and the sickest thing is that in this case I find myself on the same side as the nutcases.


My father was not political at all but he did have a bumper sticker on our family car that said:  “I’ll give up my gun when they pry my cold dead fingers from around it”.


And he was a Democrat.


And I agree with my father on that one.  I would in fact love to see a rocket launcher on every block along with a trained and responsible people to wield them.


A few rooftop M-60 machine gun emplacements would be nice too.


The question should not be how do we disarm the American public; the question should be what is it about our culture that turns out so many homicidal maniacs?




And, I have a new occasional feature making its Thunderbolt premiere!


Please give a hand for…


The Irony of the Week


There is an organization called the National Organization for Marriage that is trying to prevent people from getting married.




Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for original material this week and so I’m going to finish the radio show with some reruns.


In fact —  since Poppy Seed Street Lesson Two was banished from KOWA, maybe I’ll play Poppy Seed Street Lesson One again!


Uh oh!  Look out now, Kids!




It’s time to get to work…



1)  FYI Section:


1A)  Localize This Activist Training Camp


This is intensive activist training from the pros.  If there is any way you can do this I highly suggest doing it.


This from the Backbone Campaign:


REGISTER for Localize This! 2013 – Contribute – AND Spread the Word!

$5? $10? Share & Tweet? Frequent Flyer Miles?  What Will YOU Do?


Now in it’s 5th year Localize This! has become a tradition of the northwest activist community and tremendous offering towards progressive movement-building work.


As impressive as the experiences our trainers bring with them to Localize This!, so is what participants spanning the country have gone on to do after the camp.


Check out the media some participants have earned!


At last year’s camp SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction) In Seattle benefited by an influx of 25 organizers from camp joining them to organize homeowners facing eviction and foreclosure. Backbone brought in 2 community organizers from Boston’s City Life Vida Urbana who have been pioneering a tremendously successful model of empowering distressed homeowners to resist banks stealing homes and the wrecking of their communities.  After mobilizing light projections declaring their community an “Eviction Free Zone” and affirming that they “Will Not Be Moved,” and delivering a demand letter that the Sheriff cease evictions, S.A.F.E. has gone on to be a force to reckon with.


After earning tremendous media attention at their recent eviciton blockade, prompting the Sheriff to hold off executing the eviction notice, they’ve closed down multiple bank offices culpable for attempting to steal their members’ homes.  Now, SAFE is continually utilizing creative tactics to draw attention to the insanity of Vulture Capitalists preying on families, homeowners, and the communities affected by the economy the Wall Street banks crashed.


Don’t let the crony capitalists pillage your community with impunity. Come to Localize This! to amp up your fight with an expanded tactical toolkit and strengthen your organizing strategies.




What is Localize This!? Check out this 2 min. video


HERE is how you can help spread the word about the 5th annualLocalize This! Artful Action Camp

  1. Please copy and SHARE/Tweet/email to friends this link
  2. Invite Facebook Friends to our FB event page HERE.
  3. Download 4 per page handbill HERE.
  4. Download poster HERE.





1B)  Peace Vigil at Percival Landing Every Friday


These are the Fellowship of Reconciliation folks and they are there every week rain or shine.


Peace Vigil — Friday afternoon rush hour
Date:  Friday, July 5, 2013

Time:4:30PM – 6:00PM

Location:Percival Landing
4th & Water SW, downtown
Olympia, WA 98501


Peace Vigil from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at south end of Percival Landing near W 4th Ave.


Please join us for whatever length of time you can. We provide plenty of signs. Also enjoy the Artesian Rumble Arkestra jazz band that performs here from 5:00 to 6:00 to support our vigil! 


Sponsor: Olympia FOR. Info: 491-9093   


See information about our vigils at

                        See the Olympia FOR’s website for our many other activities.



2)  Stop the Surveillance State!  Fight Back!

Thursday July 4th at 5 pm @ Percival Landing, Water St and 4th Ave


The name says it all!  Come help try to clip Big Brother’s ears!


This from the organizers:


July 4th has been declared as a national day of action against the NSA and the Surveillance State.  In Olympia we will gather at Percival landing with music, banners and signs.  This is intended as a peaceful event, but we encourage everyone to BRING A MASK, as a sign of defiance against the Surveillance State and of solidarity with all the anonymous fighters and whistle blowers who take a stand and fight back!


We are all Bradley Manning

We are all Edward Snowden



3)  Tamale Fusion Soft Opening Party

Saturday July 6th from 5 to 8 pm @ Fertile Grounds, 911 Adams St SE


It’s time for activist self-care!  Come eat some of Melanie’s awesomific food!


This from Melanie:


So our opening is upon us! We are close close close. Though we don’t yet have an exact date for opening, we may be open before this party, or perhaps right after, so we are setting the date for this opening party to just make it happen.


 We will have music of course, a table for our backers to claim their rewards, as well as merchandise for sale. And food!


 And here is our favorite menu yet.


 -Shrimp Pastel de Tamal with Rancho Sauce and Jalapeno Cilantro Masa. $15/$10 a la carte


 -Sausage and Potato Pastel de Tamal with Wild Mushroom Sage Gravy $15/$10 a la carte


 -Vegan Roasted Plantain and Black Bean Mole Pastel de Tamal (finally a mole for vegans!) $13/$8 a la carte


 -Curried Summer Squash Curry w/ Mango Yoghurt Cheese (Yoghurt Cheese optional, otherwise it’s vegan.) $12/$7 a la carte


 All dishes are served with Seasoned Brown Sticky Coconut Rice and Jicama Slaw


 For dessert- Chocolate Cherry Pastel de Tamal with Port Reduction Sauce. Sugar-free and Gluten-free. $5


 To drink- Oaxacan Squash Tea, Hot Chocolate with Cardamom, Cinnamon and Cayenne with Coconut Cream $3.50


 For those who are new to them, our Pastel de Tamal’s are a deep-dish, baked tamale cake. We always use organic corn for our masa.


 -Musicians TBA


 Backer’s Dinner (pledge of $50 or more) comes with entree plus sides, dessert and both drinks -plus gratitude!


 Pass it on!!



4)  Media Island Benefit Brunch:  Light on the Corridor

Sunday July 7th from 11 am to 2 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE


As I said in the commentary, this month’s brunch will go to benefit Matt Fu and his upcoming walk all along the coal-train corridor from Montana to the Washington coast, a project called Light on the Corridor.




5)  Green Hill Youth Prisoners Strike


5A)  Noise Demo in Solidarity with Green Hill Youth Prisoners on Strike

Monday July 8th from 3 to 9 pm @ Recreation Park, Chehalis

Carpools leave Artesian Well near Corner of 5th and Jefferson at 2 pm


This is another action in solidarity with the Pelican Bay Prisoners Strike.


This from the organizers:



Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s Secure Housing Unit have called for a hunger and work strike beginning July 8th.


 Here in Washington, youth prisoners at Green Hill juvenile prison in Chehalis have written and delivered to the prison administration their own list of demands, including better education and treatment programs, better food, more visitation rights, access to legal materials, better healthcare, minimum wage for all jobs, longer phone privileges, and more.  They are going on STRIKE until their demands are met.


 In solidarity, there will be a noise demo outside the prison on July 8th.  A noise demo is a concrete way to let prisoners know that we’re here for them on the outside.  We’ll be hanging out in the park across from the prison playing music, communicating messages of support, and otherwise making LOTS of noise so they can hear us on the inside.


 Bring pots and pans, signs, banners, your friends, and whatever else you need to make lots of noise!


 Carpools will be leaving from the artesian well in Olympia at 2pm.






 1. BAN THE BOX: Stop branding felons as criminals for life. Stop discrimination against felons for Pell Grants, food stamps, welfare, public housing, or job applications. If the box on job applications denies us real work, how can we make money legally?


 2. TREATMENT PROGRAMS: Bring sex offender treatment back to JRA/DOC beyond the ART/DBT programs.  Make a reduction to sex offender treatment payments on parole to affordable prices.  This applies as well to drug and alcohol treatment payments.


 3. EDUCATION: Provide relevant and specialized educational programs to all residents even after they have graduated from High School.  These could include cosmetology, music/multimedia production, library access, law training, culinary arts, and more.  There are plenty of rooms that are currently not being used for anything but storage.  They should be used.


 4. LEGAL ACCESS: Access to updated legal material, updated each year.  This should include: A well-stocked law library in the school available to all, updated regularly.  Books and resources available at anytime.  Access to internet sites with relevant legal material available at all times. Access to resources detailing available legal counsel.  Copies of JRA/DOC employee policy handbooks in every single wing for residents to read.  These must be updated each year.


 5. WAGES: All residents must be paid minimum wage for all positions.  Residents should be free to organize their jobs without punishment.  New jobs should be created that provide real technical training.  Change the 13th amendment allowing prison slavery!


 5. TRANSITIONAL HELP: Provide free clothing upon exiting any facility (DOC/JRA). These clothes must be brand new. We need guaranteed housing 3 months before leaving a facility. JRA and DOC need to help provide jobs or training to every exiting resident and help provide treatment programs.  This needs to extend to parolees.


 6. PHONE CALLS & VISITATION: Increase time limit for calls to 15 minutes. These phones must be fixed and functional.  Visitation and phone calls should be available for more than just family and mentors.


 7. HEALTH: Surgeries must be provided by JRA and DOC immediately even if not an emergency situation. If a surgery is needed, it must be provided in at most 3 months time.  Showers must be available each day.  If parents can provide aids such as glasses they should be allowed inside instead of relying on state supplies.


 8. FOOD: Residents should have input on the menu within reason.  Current portions need to be doubled as they are currently too small.  Religious and vegetarian/vegan diets must be respected.


 9. SPENDING PRIVILEGES: Food and hygiene materials must be more readily available from outside of the facility.  The current limits on how much we can spend are too small, and should be expanded to over $40.


 10. FREEDOM OF SPEECH: The 1st amendment must be respected in JRA/DOC facilities. We have a right to speak our mind and express ourselves with whatever language we choose as long it does not threaten others.  We must also be free to organize without punishment.




5B)  Call In or Fax In to Support the Green Hill Prisoner Strike

All Day Monday July 8th


Main Green Hill Line (360) 740-3400

 Academic School (360) 740-3520 (phone)

 (360) 740-3533(fax)

 Marybeth Queral, Superintendent

 Phone (360) 748-0131


 Prisoners in Pelican Bay’s Secure Housing Unit have called for a hunger and work strike beginning July 8th.


 Here in Washington, youth prisoners at Green Hill juvenile prison in Chehalis have written and delivered to the prison administration their own list of demands, including better education and treatment programs, better food, more visitation rights, access to legal materials, better healthcare, minimum wage for all jobs, longer phone privileges, and more.  They are going on STRIKE until their demands are met.


 Whether you can make it to the noise demo or not you are encouraged to call or fax in to Green Hill starting on July 8th, asking them to meet the demands of the youth prisoners.



6)  Bonus Tip of the Day:


Take care of yourself.








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