The Thunderbolt 072513 Roll Call

AA TB Poster Purple

Action Alert Calendar

Action Alert:

 

1)  FYI Section:

   1A)  Deadline for Green Pages Approaching

   1B)  Kickstarter Campaign for Coal Export Documentary:  Things of Intrinsic Worth

   1C)  Localize This Action Camp Training

   1D)  Update on using Eminent Domain for Foreclosure Resistance

   1E)  Google Doing Evil

   1F)  News Source of the Week:  Making Contact

2)  Learn the Science behind Genetically Modified Foods

3)  June Bug Reunion Campout

4)  Hemp Fest Olympia

5)  League of Women Voters Treasure Sale

6)  Author Discussion:  A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism with Geoff Mann

7)  CELDF Kai Huschke’s Two-Hour Workshop in Olympia on Community Rights

8)  First Annual Friends of Public Power Summer Picnic

9)  Community Potluck and Film Screening:  War on the Whistleblowers

10)  Bonus Tip of the Day

_______________________________________

_______________________________________

 

Hey Kids!

 

So a couple of folks noticed that while I had the TC ProNet Picnic on the calendar in the email newsletter last week, I did not mention them in the radio broadcast; I want to assure everyone that this was unintended.  Yes, I have been hyper-critical of the liberals lately — and I will continue to do so as long as they continue supporting the Democratic Party — but if there was any intention on my part to leave their event out, it was purely subconscious.

 

*****************************************

 

The War on Blacks Redux

 

At the top of the news this week is the acquittal of George Zimmerman, a fully grown armed man who stalked and then killed an unarmed and completely innocent teenager.

 

Concerning the verdict in the case:  Everyone is predictably outraged.

 

Concerning the target of their ire:  Also predictably, they are aiming their wrath at the wrong target.  Florida’s ‘stand your ground law’ merely makes it unambiguously legal to defend yourself.  In and of itself that is a very good thing; the problem is not the law, the problem is that like everything else, by the time the law has been filtered through our sick racist culture, ‘stand your ground’ becomes merely another excuse for white people to get away with shooting black people — and not vice-versa.

 

In this particular case, though, the defense didn’t even use the ‘stand your ground law’; they resorted to the tried-and-true age-old method of scaring all the nice white ladies on the jury and they put Trayvon Martin on trial.

 

As was the case with gun control, the laws are not the problem; the people are the problem.  The carefully inculcated ignorance is the problem.  The carefully inculcated racism is the problem.  The carefully inculcated dehumanization of other people is the problem.

 

The fact that everyone who watches TV has been brainwashed by a bunch of murderous sociopaths for their own twisted purpose is the problem.

 

We really need to stop wasting our time on irrelevancies and fix the damned problem.

 

******************************************

 

Speaking of brainwashing, I also note that the Media Machine has been heaping much praise upon black people for remaining non-violent in their response to the verdict.

 

I myself engage in strictly non-violent tactics — I am especially fond of non-violent civil disobedience.  You have heard the aphorism that the ends justify the means?  Well, my experience has been that the ends usually closely resemble the means.  Non-violent movements force themselves by the very tenets of non-violence to maintain the moral high ground.

 

In addition, they are statistically the most effective method of bringing about real change.

 

However, what many in the non-violent movement fail to acknowledge is the vital role that the violent wing of the movement plays — and in the case of black people, the only times the white power structure ever takes them seriously is when they start burning shite down.

 

Most give the major credit to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the successes of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s.  What many forget is that both Dr. King and the other central icon of the non-violent movement, Mahatma Gandhi, had ultra-violent nationalist movements operating contemporaneously with their own work.  It seems to be rarely mentioned these days but during the 60’s the blacks started burning all the cities down — and as much as they would like to, the Machine cannot just ignore it when people start burning the cities down and so they were forced to make accommodation.  Their choices in negotiating partners were either the Black Panthers or Dr. King.

 

All of this led to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act and many other major advances in civil rights for non-white people.

 

Yes, so please, black people, just listen to the Media Machine and don’t start burning the cities down again!  Just keep non-violently protesting the outrages in a manner that they can fairly easily ignore as the police and now even the vigilantes continue their mass-slaughter of black youth without consequence!  All of you just keep being ‘good’ black people who don’t rock the boat too much, not those ‘bad’ black people who burn things down and give all of you black people a bad name!

 

****************************************

 

Obama’s War on the Whistleblowers

 

And now, we have a cautionary tale:  This is the story of Barrett Brown.

 

Mr. Brown is a member of Anonymous, and as such he was involved in the breaching of the computers of some private security contractors — and discovered lots of the usual nastiness that those people seem to invariably be involved in.

 

Acting as a spokesperson for Anonymous, Mr. Brown granted an interview to Michael Isikoff of NBC News during this period:

 

MICHAEL ISIKOFF:  Are you worried you’re going to get prosecuted?

 

BARRETT BROWN:  I’m not worried about it, but I am going to get prosecuted at some point, yes.

 

MICHAEL ISIKOFF:  Because you’re involved in hacking activity?

 

BARRETT BROWN:  Because they could do whatever they want to anyone they want.

 

MICHAEL ISIKOFF:  But you’re not worried?

 

BARRETT BROWN:  No, because, again, like I said, I’m well protected right now.

 

MICHAEL ISIKOFF:  What do you mean, well protected?

 

BARRETT BROWN:  I’ve got a lot of lawyers.  I’ve got a lot of higher-up people.  I’ve got people to talk to who will—who support us.  And if they come after me, they’re going to find that they’re not going to like everything that they see.

 

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/11/jailed_journalist_barrett_brown_faces_105

 

DUDE!  WRONG!  WRONG!  WRONG!  WRONG!

 

What is truly amazing is that right before he showed this incredible ignorance he frigging nailed it; “Because they could [sic] do whatever they want to anyone they want”.

 

Right.  You got it right there, Mr. Brown; they can indeed do whatever they want to anyone they want.  The feds are completely off the hook and all they’ve got to do is call you a ‘terrorist’ or accuse you of breaching ‘national security’ and then they don’t need no stinking search warrants and they don’t need no stinking probable cause and they don’t need no stinking due process and they don’t need no stinking Constitution.  They will frame you they will lie to you they will terrorize your friends family neighbors and co-workers they will threaten custody of your children and they will seize everything you own.  They have the ability to blackmail snitches with 20-year prison sentences if they don’t say whatever the prosecutor wants to hear and the snitches tend to fall all over each other trying to do just that before someone else tells them first — and the feds can then send you to prison for decades with the word of these snitches alone without any other evidence of any kind.  I can tell you this from firsthand experience.  They did it to me twice.

 

I cannot believe that someone as smart and knowledgeable as Barrett Brown could be so clueless about all of this.  Believe me, Mr. Brown:  Your stinking lawyers and your stinking ‘higher-up people’ can’t do doodly squat because the rules don’t matter anymore.  The Constitution itself doesn’t matter anymore and the judiciary always has the Justice Department’s back these days no matter the outrageousness or illegality or unconstitutionality of their conduct.

 

Barrett Brown has now been in federal custody for over 300 days and he is facing over 100 years in prison.  As is almost always the case, the information Mr. Brown shared was classified to cover up criminal activity and embarrassment rather than to protect state security — but with all of the criminal things and with all of the embarrassing things that are in Obama’s closet then that is exactly why he is pulling out all stops to put an end to all of this truth-telling.

 

****************************************

 

In the last newsletter I provided many reasons for hope.  I pointed out how far we have come over the centuries in changing the worldview and I listed some of the rather impressive accomplishments that we have achieved in recent history.

 

Well, I wish to note that we can also take heart from the fact that the Republican Party is experiencing its end days!  Their latest thrashings basically represent the last gasp of a herd of dying dinosaurs.

 

[Applause]

 

Good riddance.

 

We cannot rest yet though, Kids!  Even though the right is now thrashing about in a manner that would be laughingly ridiculous did it not cause so much pain and suffering for so many and even though we can now simply allow these idiots to hang themselves by their own petards and even though their demise represents more evidence that the rule of the racist sexist misogynistic white male slave-master is almost over…

 

… we still need to take down the Democrats, Kids!

 

****************************************

 

The Irony of the Week

 

Yes ladies and gentlemen and various permutations thereof; it’s time for the big event that you’ve all been waiting for!  It’s time for the Irony of the Week!

 

And here it is:

 

Texas governor Rick Perry just signed an anti-abortion law because he said that he believes in the ‘sacredness of life’ — yet this same Rick Perry has personally ordered the killing of over 250 people during his term as governor!

 

(Evidently, once you’re born then you’re on your own…)

 

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/us/one-governor-250-executions-8-rick-perry-lowlights/

 

******************************************

 

Roll Call of Honour

 

As far as activism is concerned we all stand on the shoulders of giants, Kids — and those giants stood on the shoulders of a lot of other people that you’ve never heard of.

 

Untold millions have given everything they had and then some.

 

Many of them have knowingly paid the ultimate price.

 

I think it is occasionally good to consider some of these sacrifices which were made so that future generations — us — could live in a better world…

 

…and our world is indeed a far better place because of those sacrifices.

 

And so, this week the Thunderbolt has orchestrated a Roll Call of Honour

 

…and as we give these folks some props I suggest we also consider the price that we are willing to pay for justice and peace for our future generations.

 

 

And always remember that while these folks deserve all the props that they receive and then some, none of these people ever worked in a vacuum; behind every famous icon whose names are now household fixtures there were thousands and thousands of unnamed heroes unknown to history, so this Roll Call not only honours the giants upon whose shoulders we stand but also in honour of that vast sea of unknown people upon whose shoulders the giants themselves stood…

 

Grand Piano

 

For the grand piano the only choice is Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King’s decision to denounce the Vietnam War in spite of passionate pleadings from nearly all of his closest advisors not to do it was probably the most courageous move that he ever made — and Dr. King stayed right in their face even though he knew full well that it would almost surely cost him his life.

 

Reed and Pipe Organ

 

For the reed and pipe organ we have Lenny Bruce.  If you think our free speech is inhibited these days, you should have seen things back in the 60’s!  Thanks to Mr. Bruce taking the Machine on head on and challenging their censorship in a fight that eventually burned him out and laterally cost his life, we now have the few freedoms in that area that we do still possess.

 

Glockenspiel

 

Joe Hill, who directly stood in the face of the most powerful people on the planet— and won so often that the Machine, was once again forced to all the trouble of railroading him on a trumped-up murder charge and executing him.

 

Bass Guitar

 

For the real low-down we have Malcolm X — the man who not only told it like it was but who was also able to grow as he learned — and he was a very quick learner.  His career was cut tragically short not because of some white cracker or a government conspiracy but rather because he called out a man that he had once thought represented the Word of God.

 

Vocals

 

Leonard Peltier could use a few more vocals.  In a story that keeps continually repeating itself, because he was an effective activist for Native American issues Mr. Peltier has now been in prison for over 38 years for something that it has been proven he had absolutely nothing to do with.

 

Two Slightly Sampled Electric Guitars

 

A good gauge of your effectiveness as an activist is the lengths that the Machine is willing to take in order to shut you down.  Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were so effective as environmental activists that the FBI blew up their car causing serious injury to both and then tried to prosecute them claiming they blew up their own car…

 

…but instead Bari and Cherney proved that the FBI had actually done it themselves!

 

Venetian Effect

 

That would be Assata Shakur, who — yet again — was railroaded into prison for a crime that she didn’t commit — but who then cheated the hangman by escaping from prison and  gaining political asylum in Cuba where she has been living in peace for the last 30 years.

 

Digital Sound Processor

 

That can only be Anonymous, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Barrett Brown, Edward Snowden, and All the Other Whistleblowers who gave up their lives as they knew them in order to expose the perfidious crimes of the Machine.  Solidarity.

 

Tubular Bells

 

And for the title of Grand Master Radical Revolutionary of All Time

 

…I nominate Jesus Christ!

 

If only his followers would actually listen to what the man actually had to say then I think that this world would be a much better place…

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sermon_on_the_mount

 

All of these people are people that many know of or have heard of, but there are literally armies of lesser-known heroes throughout history who risked just as much and who paid just as high a price.

 

Google any of these names:

Ammon Hennessey

Pauline Whitesinger

Roberta Blackgoat

Harvey Wasserman

Corbin Harney

Bruce Gagnon

Steve Biko…

 

…the list goes on and on and on; uncounted untold others who saw injustice and who fought it even though in many cases they knew full well what the cost was likely to be…

 

So…

 

…in light of all this — what price are you willing to pay?

 

It’s time to get to work…

_______________________________________         

 

1)  FYI Section:

 

1A)  Deadline for Green Pages Approaching

 

This from Hildi:

 

Hello Everyone!

 

It’s Hildi Flores again, the new managing editor of the South Sound Green Pages.  This is a reminder that the submission deadline for the Summer 2013 issue is Friday July, 26.  Thank you to everyone who has already contributed articles for this issue.  We still have space for more contributions, particularly Ecoshorts and community announcements, with relevancy ranging from mid-August to early November.

 

Please submit all articles to greenpagessubmissions@gmail.com with a copy to Managing Editor Hildi Flores at bubblegunk2011@gmail.com by Friday, July 26, 2013. 

To view past issues of the South Sound Green Pages, the quarterly news journal of the South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH), see www.oly-wa.us/greenpages.

 

No edition of the Green Pages can be comprehensive on any one subject.  Each issue is just a piece of the conversation.  So if you want to respond to an article you read in a previous issue, write about an environmental topic, or if you have new thoughts to share, feel free to submit a letter to the editor or an article on any subject.

 

Guidelines for all submissions: Limit your writing to 500 to 750 words maximum total word count, unless you contact the Managing Editor in advance for approval of a longer submission. Include your phone number and email where we can contact you, as well as your full name, and a very short bio. We will edit for length, grammar, and some word choice.  For significant edits (to clarify a piece), we will contact you.  Finally, we reserve the right to determine which articles will be published in which edition.  Due to space limitations and other factors we will sometimes hold articles over for publication in a later edition. Articles submitted timely, but unable to be printed due to lack of space may appear on our website at www.oly-wa.us/greenpages.

 

To submit articles

ß Submit articles within a Word or text document to bubblegunk2011@gmail.com, and greenpagessubmissions@gmail.com.

ß Remember to keep articles under 750 words; longer articles must be approved in advance; 

ß Please cite sources in your article text rather than footnoting, but please do cite sources. You may include a suggested title for your article and contact information, if you’d like it included.

 

To submit announcements and Ecoshorts:

ß Ecoshorts are short articles about community events and news.

ß Ecoshorts can be up to 250 words.

ß Submit as a Word doc, if possible – include contact information, as needed. 

 

To submit images and photos, including advertising:

ß Submit photos as a jpeg. 

ß Photos, graphics and diagrams may accompany your articles, and will be used as space allows.

ß Credit all photos submitted to the person who shot the image. If a photo is other than your own work, get permission from the photographer.

ß Include identifying information for people and places, especially private property.

 

Current Advertising Rates:

Business card size, black and white – $55; color $75

1/4 page (5″x4″) – $110; $160

1/2 page (5″x8″) – $180; $255

Full page (10″x8″) – $300; $400

 

We look forward to your submissions, and thank you for forwarding this announcement to others.  Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

 

Thank you,

 

Hildi Flores

Secretary, South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH)
Managing Editor, South Sound Green Pages

PO Box 1989

Olympia, WA 98507

(406) 381-0572

bubblegunk2011@gmail.com

www.oly-wa.us/greenpages

 

*****************************************

 

1B)  Kickstarter Campaign for Coal Export Documentary:  Things of Intrinsic Worth

 

This was forwarded to me by Laura but it is from Joelle with Power Past Coal up in Seattle and I know that she does a lot of good work.

 

Check it out:

 

Dear Laura,

 

In the spirit of solidarity in the West and the Northwest around fighting coal exports, we want to share this information about a new documentary.

 

Things of Intrinsic Worth is a feature-length documentary film about the future of energy development, democracy, and the American West.  The film centers around father and son ranchers Clint and Wally McRae (Clint spoke at the Seattle scoping hearing in December), the Otter Creek coal mine in Montana, proposed coal ports in the Pacific Northwest, and coal exports to Asia.  Things of Intrinsic Worth weaves together a story that travels from the grasslands of Montana to the Pacific Northwest to energy hungry Asia.

 

They are currently raising production funds through Kickstarter.  Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects that allows individuals to actively support projects they believe in.  Kickstarter operates on an “all or nothing” model, which means that if they do not raise their entire funding goal before August 11th, then they will not receive any of the funds raised and will not be able to produce Things of Intrinsic Worth.  Donating on Kickstarter is easy.  On their Kickstarter page there is a large green button on the right hand side that says “Back this Project”.  You then enter the amount you want to donate and you will be led to Amazon payments to fill in your information.

 

Here is the link to their Kickstarter page with more information, and a trailer, about the film.

 

Thank you for all you are doing to ensure we Power Past Coal!

 

Joelle Robinson

  Field Director

 

******************************************

 

1C)  Localize This Action Camp Training

 

Come get activist training from the pros!

 

This from the Backbone Campaign:

 

Action & Training Opportunities in Pacific NW:

Columbia River Action July 27 (with lead up events on 7/23 and 7/24)

Localize This! Action Camp July 31- August 5 
(Register for a day, or the entire camp – but do so ASAP at LocalizeThis.org)

 

The Pacific Northwest is under attack. Big coal, oil, and gas plan to transform the NW coastline from Oregon up to Alaska into a vast fossil fuel corridor with over 15 export terminals proposed. 

 

We will defend what we love and we will build a vision for a sustainable future. Backbone Campaign and our allies Portland Rising Tide are providing two excellent opportunities to lock arms with others who share your values, get the skills you need, and take principled, effective, nonviolent direct action.

 

What: Localize This! 2013 is Backbone Campaign’s 5th Annual Cross-Movement Artful Activism, Strategy, Creative Tactics & Community Organizing Intensive Training Camp! 

 

When: July 31st – August 5th, 2013 

(See daily offerings below)

Register for one day or more days HERE

 

Where: BEAUTIFUL Vashon Island, WA 

(15 min. Ferry from Seattle)

 

Suggested contribution: Per day $25-$50 

No one will be turned away for lack of funds

All Camping, Trainings, and Delicious Locally-Sourced Food are included! (Bring a sleeping bag & a tent if you have one.)

 

 

Wednesday, July 31

 

  • Kayaking and Safety for Water-Based Tactics
  • D.I.Y. Silk Screen Workshop
  • Community Building Group Exercises Workshop
  • Anti-Oppression Workshop
  • Mapping the Coal Fight Panel & Discussion

 

 

Thursday, August 1

 

  Strategic Campaign Design Workshop (Grounded in Resistance to Fossil Fuel Corridor)

  Forest and Urban Climb Training by EF! Climbers Guild

  How To Research Your Targets & Power Mapping Workshop

  Artful Activism Show & Tell and Creative Tactics

  • Overview
  • Youth Incarceration Resistance Panel
  • Eviction Protection and Foreclosure Resistance Panel

 

Friday, August 2

 

  Intro to Relational Organizing Workshop

  Non-Violent Direct Action Workshop

  Forest and Urban Climb Training by EF! Climbers Guild

  Artful Activism and Creative Tactics Workshops

  Story-Based Organizing Workshop

  Intro to Blockades (Soft) & Advanced (Hard) Blockades

  • Training
  • New Society Pioneers & Emergent Economy Panel & Discussion

 

Saturday, August 3

 

  • Non Traditional Alliance & Coalition Building Workshop
  • How to Make an Action Video Workshop
  • Forest and Urban Climb Training by EF! Climbers Guild
  • Artful Activism and Creative Tactics Workshops
  • Organizing 101 Workshop
  • Tripod Training
  • Skill Shares & Offerings by Participants
  • Earning Media: How to Get Press & Make Breaking News Workshop
  • Facilitation Skills Workshop
  • Building Power and Leaders Through Community Organizing Panel & Discussion

 

Sunday, August 4

 

  • How To Start a Affinity Group Workshop
  • Artful Activism and Creative Tactics Workshop
  • Know Your Rights Workshop
  • Burn-out Avoidance Workshop
  • Skill Shares & Offerings by Participants
  • Prep for Final Action
  • Projection As Protest – Light Projection Action in Seattle
  • Celebration

 

Monday, August 5

 

  • Day of Final Action
  • Debrief
  • Celebration

 

Register for one day or more days HERE TODAY!

 

Contact Backbone Campaign if you have questions

206.408.8058/ email Eric@BackboneCampaign.org

 

******************************************

 

1D)  Update on using Eminent Domain for Foreclosure Resistance

 

This might be an effective strategy;  check it out:

 

The nation’s worst underwater “hot spots”—disproportionately black and
Latino areas—are places that banks targeted for predatory lending,
often pushing borrowers into high-interest, risky loans, even when
they were eligible for conventional mortgages. Many have lost their
jobs or seen their incomes fall as a result of the recession and are
having difficulty paying the bills.

 

Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Houston, San Bernardino, Tampa,
Jacksonville, Phoenix, Atlanta, Orlando, Stockton, Reno, Modesto and
Detroit are among the most troubled “hot spots,” but there are many
other communities with huge inventories of underwater mortgages and
where home prices are not participating in the recovery.

 

The problem is contagious. Communities with many underwater homes
bring down the value of other houses in the area. Foreclosures alone
have drained at $2 trillion in property values from surrounding
neighborhoods, according to a Center for Responsible Lending study.
The resulting decline in property tax revenues has plunged some cities
into near-bankruptcy, lay-offs and cuts to vital public services.

 

Many economists, including Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Zandi, agree that
the best solution is “principal reduction,” where banks lower the
borrower’s mortgage principal. This is not an act of charity but a way
to reverse the economy’s freefall. If underwater mortgages were reset
to fair-market values of homes, it would help homeowners and
communities alike, and pump about $102 billion into the economy
annually, according to a Home Defenders League report.

 

But homeowners who have asked banks to modify their mortgages
typically get a cold shoulder or a bureaucratic runaround. So far, the
Obama administration and Congress have been unwilling to require
intransigent banks to reset loans.

 

Faced with this quagmire, a growing number of cities—with the support
of community groups and unions—are taking things into their own hands.
Thanks to a legal strategy initially formulated by Cornell University
law professor Robert Hockett, city officials have discovered that they
can use their eminent domain power—which they routinely use to
purchase property for sidewalks, infrastructure, school construction
and other projects—to buy underwater mortgages at their current market
value and resell them to homeowners at reduced price and mortgage
payments.

 

Richmond is the first city to pursue this strategy. Its city
council—with the support of the Alliance of Californians for Community
Empowerment (ACCE), which for years has organized homeowners against
predatory banks—recently voted 6-0 (with one member absent) to make
offers to buy underwater mortgages. If lenders refuse, the city will
take them by eminent domain and work with a group of friendly
investors (Mortgage Resolution Partners, or MRP) to refinance the
loans with the Federal Housing Administration.

 

In this city of 103,000, dominated by a big Chevon oil refinery, home
prices have plummeted by 58 percent since the 2007 peak. Homeowners
lost over $264 million in wealth last year alone. Thousands of
Richmond homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure, and many
others, like the Conways, are just hanging on. About 12,000
families—half of all homeowners with mortgages in the city—are
underwater. The city government, which has lost millions of dollars in
property tax revenues, has cut funds for road repairs and
significantly reduced the number of municipal employees, including
librarians. Meanwhile, it has had to spend scarce funds to deal with
abandoned buildings, crime and drugs, and other problems caused by the
foreclosure epidemic.

 

If banks reset Richmond’s underwater mortgages to fair market value,
homeowners would save an average of over $1,000 per month on their
payments. If those savings were spent on local goods and services, it
would generate about $170 million in economic stimulus and create at
least 2,500 jobs.

 

This situation is particularly bizarre for homeowners whose mortgages
were sold by banks to pools of private investors—an industry gambit
called “private label security” (PLS) mortgages. The trustees for
these mortgages—owed by dozens or hundreds of distant investors as
part of a pool—claim they lack the authority to modify them.

 

Richmond is initially targeting these PLS loans so they can get the
homeowners into sustainable mortgages with reduced principal. MRP,
Richmond’s funding partner, has agreed to a set of community-drafted
principles to make sure that investors don’t exploit desperate cities
and homeowners. It has pledged, for example, that the program won’t
cost taxpayers a dime. MRP will earn a flat fee per mortgage.
Homeowners can voluntarily opt out of the program.

 

Wall Street is up in arms. Since several cities began discussing this
strategy last year, industry lobbyists have been fighting back. In a
coordinated effort involving letters, phone calls and meetings, some
of the nation’s most powerful lobby groups—including the National
Association of Realtors, the American Bankers Association, the
National Association of Home Builders, American Securitization Forum,
and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
(SIFMA)—have tried to dissuade local officials from pursuing the
eminent domain strategy.

 

In April, for example, SIFMA officials Kim Chamberlain and Tim Cameron
traveled from New York to Richmond to persuade Mayor Gayle McLaughlin
and her Council colleagues to back off.

 

“We’re not going to be intimidated by these Wall Street folks,” said
McLaughlin, a former teacher who has been mayor since 2006. “It is
pretty outrageous to hear them opposing this. They’re the ones who
caused this crisis in the first place. And they don’t have a solution.
The city has every right to do this.”

 

The Wall Street lobbyists have threatened to mire local governments in
expensive lawsuits if they use eminent domain to take troubled
mortgages. But MRP has agreed to cover the costs of any potential
litigation, so most city officials recognize that this is mostly an
empty threat.

 

The lobbyists have also warned local officials that if they go through
with these plans, banks will increase the cost of future borrowing or
even shut down credit entirely. They couch these warnings as if they
were mere predictions. But they’re threats—part of a coordinated,
industry-wide credit boycott. This is another form of “redlining”
(lending discrimination), which violates the nation’s fair lending and
antitrust laws.

 

A recent editorial published by The Wall Street Journal echoed the
industry line that the eminent domain strategy is both illegal and
ill-advised.

 

To pre-empt local governments, three Republican congressmen from
California last month sent a letter to Housing and Urban Development
Secretary Shaun Donovan on behalf of the industry, asking HUD to deny
FHA financing from mortgages taken by eminent domain. Last year the
financial, real estate and insurance industry topped the list of
contributors to all three politicians—Gary Miller ($366,000), John
Campbell ($484,000), and Ed Royce ($1 million)—according to
OpenSecrets.org.

 

“We are concerned that the proposed use of eminent domain would slow
the return of private capital to the housing finance system, and
threaten our fragile housing recovery,” they wrote Donovan.

 

Sound familiar? Throughout the last century, business lobby groups
have consistently warned that government action to protect consumers,
communities and workers—mandatory seat belts, the minimum wage,
consumer protection laws, workplace safety rules and others—are “job
killers” and business destroyers. Their dire warnings were bogus, but
they repeat them so often that they often sound convincing.

 

Like their predecessors, the bank, securities and real estate lobby
groups are crying wolf. They can file nuisance lawsuits, hire
lobbyists and get the occasional hired-gun economist from a
conservative think tank to peddle their propaganda, but cities have a
legal right to use eminent domain to restore community wealth stripped
by reckless banks.

 

Even so, Wall Street’s intimidation ploy has worked in a few places.
Earlier this year, elected officials in San Bernardino—where half of
all homeowners are underwater—backed down after industry lobbyists
swooped down on that troubled community an hour from Los Angeles. But
in Richmond, Seattle, Newark and other cities—where community groups
and unions have mobilized angry homeowners and their neighbors—local
officials are determined to move forward, aware that they have the law
and economics on their side.

 

“Wall Street is scared and using all its political muscle to stop us,
“ said Amy Schur, campaign director for ACCE, which is working on this
strategy with homeowners and local officials in several cities, “but
we know that David beat Goliath.”

 

”We hope our city provides a model for other cities,” said Richmond
Mayor McLaughlin, “and that this becomes a national movement.”
This story originally appeared in The Nation.
Copyright © 2012 The Nation 2013 distributed by Agence Global.
Peter Dreier

 

Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban and
Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His new book,
The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall
of Fame, was published last year by Nation Books.
Related Stories
Foreclosure and Renters: Banks Break the Law
By Curtis Black, Community Media Workshop | Op-Ed
Foreclosed Homeowners Re-Occupy Their Homes
By Zaineb Mohammed, New America Media | Report
Foreclosure Review Report Shows That the OCC Continues to Bury Wall
Street’s Bodies
By Alexis Goldstein, The Nation | Report

 

******************************************

1E)  Google Doing Evil

 

Google is funding climate deniers.  This is a petition that is gaining a lot of momentum.

 

Encourage Google not to do evil.

 

Earlier this month, Google hosted a $2,500-a-plate fundraiser for one of the world’s most powerful climate change deniers, Senator Jim Inhofe. And just two weeks before that, Google poured $50,000 into the coffers of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank that is also funded by the likes of the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil to put out faux “studies” that are used by policy-makers to deny climate change exists.

 

All this leaves us wondering what happened to Google, a company that had been a corporate leader in fighting for the environment? 

 

A global outcry is starting to build now that people see Google moving away from its unofficial corporate motto — “Don’t be evil”. Let’s make sure Google knows that tens of thousands of its own users want it to cut off all support to climate change deniers.

 

Click here to sign our petition telling Google to cease all funding to climate change deniers.

Simply put, Google is actively helping to fund the reelection of a senator who dismisses climate change as a “hoax”, and who even goes to far as to say that global warming, should it exist, is actually good because it adds to our economy. Google’s support of CEI is just as harmful; the institute once ran ads saying that carbon dioxide is a positive factor in the environment and is best known for arguing that global warming is not a concern. CEI also launched multiple lawsuits aimed at discrediting the science behind climate change.

 

Google’s funding is particularly perplexing considering Google has invested heavily in fighting climate change. Google was known to be a industry leader in promoting clean technology and reducing its operations’ carbon footprint. It has spent billions of dollars on carbon offsets and other investments in clean technology. Just last month, Google’s chairman said “You can lie about the effects of climate change,” says chairman Eric Schmidt, “but eventually you’ll be seen as a liar.”

So why the about-face? It turns out that, last year, Google hired a conservative former Congresswoman, Susan Molinari, to head up its lobby shop in DC. Since then, Google has been quietly passing donations to some of the most extreme politicians and right-wing causes.

But word is getting out and Google is on the defensive. It knows its positive brand image will be damaged if more people find out where Google’s donations are going now. Now we need to make sure Google gets the message, loud and clear.

 

Tell Google: Stop funding climate change deniers.

 

Thanks for all that you do,

Angus, Kaytee, Claiborne and the rest of us

 

******************************************

 

1F)  News Source of the Week:  Making Contact

 

There are actually a plethora of alternative news sources who know who to talk to find out what’s going on.  I will start promoting one every week.

 

This week, I suggest checking out Making Contact; this link goes to an MC story about solitary confinement:

 

http://www.radioproject.org/2013/07/solitary-confinement-survivors/

_______________________________________

 

2)  Learn the Science behind Genetically Modified Foods

Thursday July 25th at 7 pm @ Traditions, 300 5th Ave

 

Come learn why genetically altering things at this point is not a good idea.

 

This from the organizers:

 

Thurs July 25: Easily learn the Science Behind Genetically Modified Foods:  Hear Sandra Lee clearly explain why consuming genetically modified organisms (GMOs) endangers our health and environment both now and into the future.  Learn about the concepts underlying the technology of genetic engineering.  Sandra Lee, who used to live in Olympia, returns to present audiovisual information at 7:00 pm (at Traditions Café, 5th & Water, downtown Olympia.  Info:Sandra@MiricaleInspirations.com à Also see the Aug 2-3 international conference in Seattle and the Sunday August 4 training in Seattle.

_______________________________________

 

3)  June Bug Reunion Campout

Friday July 26th thru Sunday July 28th @ Coffee Creek Community and Gardens, 716 W. Carson, Centralia

 

Activist self-care; the June Bug people are having a weekend campout-party at Coffee Creek!

 

This from the organizers:

 

We had so much fun at June Bug Jamboree and meeting all of you, that we want to have you out to our friend’s farm for a camp-out!  Pitch your tent and join us for the weekend at Coffee Creek in Centralia, WA.  Bring meals to share in the ‘Kitchen Bus’ and your music to play by the bonfire.  Hope you can join us!

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/210152695803900/

_______________________________________

 

4)  Hemp Fest Olympia

Saturday July 27th 11 am to 7 pm @ Heritage Park

 

Come celebrate the magic herb!

 

Join us this year as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Olympia Hempfest and become the first legal Hempfest event in the nation. Please spread the word to all your friends and family, we look forward to seeing you July 27th & 28th!

 

Event hours 11:00am-7:00pm

 

Vendor, Volunteer & Sponsor opportunities are still available – Learn more at

 

www.olympiahempfest.com

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/405421539570300/

_______________________________________

 

5)  League of Women Voters Treasure Sale

Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th from 8 am to 3 pm @ 720 Governor Stevens Ave

 

The League of Women Voters do all kinds of very good things.  Check them out if you’re not already familiar with their work.

 

This from the organizers:

 

Treasure Sale –   League of Women Voters

Date:

Saturday, July 27,   2013

Time:

8AM – 3PM

Location:

Bob & Bonnie   Jacobs’ Home

720 Governor   Stevens Ave.

Olympia, WA 98501

The League’s treasure sales have generated much needed income for voter outreach for the past twelve years.  You make this happen through your donations and by volunteering during the sale.

 

And, shopping!  This sale is a great outreach event for the League with people looking forward to the sale and a few even joining the League.

 

Here’s what you can do to make the sale a success:

 

Get the dates on your calendar (items are half price on Sunday so you’ll want to shop both days).

Start identifying items to donate.  Encourage your friends to donate. This can be part of spring cleaning, or donations to a good cause as part of moving or downsizing. Books, CDs, furniture, old collectable items, toys, kitchenware, jewelry, plants and tools will be part of the sale.

_______________________________________

 

6)  Author Discussion:  A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism with Geoff Mann

Saturday July 27th at 3 pm @ Orca Books, 509 E 4th Ave

 

Come learn what they don’t teach you in school about capitalism.

 

Sat July 27:  Author Geoff Mann discusses Disassembly Required:  A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism.

 

Geoff Mann will discuss his new book Disassembly Required: A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism.  Capitalism is a complex, dynamic, and extraordinarily robust way of organizing human life; it is also a system that achieves prosperity for the few, impoverishes the many, and depletes the commons for all.  We know that capitalism is a broken system, in desperate need of change.  In order to imagine an alternative, we first need to understand how capitalism works today and why change is needed.  3:00 pm at Orca Books, 509 E. 4th Ave, Olympia.  Info: events@orcabooks.com  (360) 352-0123 

_______________________________________

 

7)  CELDF Kai Huschke’s Two-Hour Workshop in Olympia on Community Rights

Saturday July 27th at Time TBA @ MIXX 97 Meeting Room, Corner of State and Washington

 

This is a workshop on passing a Community Rights Ordinance.

 

This from the organizers:

 

Occupy And Protect Our Community 

Workshop on how to pass a Community Rights Ordinance.

Saturday, July 27 – 12:30-3:00pm

MIXX96 Meeting Room – corner of Washington & State Streets

Some communities are speaking out and claiming the right to ensure their own safety, through a Community Rights Ordinance (CRO).  CRO is a statement of what the community needs and what it will accept. The Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater area wants to create its own.

 

Guest Speaker Kai Huschke, 

Washington Community Organizer for Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund  

  http://celdf.org/

 

Kai will join us from Spokane to inspire us and answer our questions on the process and let us know how other communities have done it, and what pitfalls we need to avoid.  

 

SPONSORED BY:

South Sound Community Rights 

 http://cr-southsound.org/

 

Olympia Confronting the Climate Crisis

http://www.olympiafor.org/Climate_Crisis.html

 

 “Occupy (and protect) Our Community”

 “Take Our Power” — “Be The Change” —

“Community Rights is the New Revolution”

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/404372373005698/

 

https://www.facebook.com/SouthSoundCommunityRights

_______________________________________

 

8)  First Annual Friends of Public Power Summer Picnic

Sunday July 28th  at 5:30 pm @ Priest Point Park Shelter #2

 

Public power is not dead!  Long live public power!

 

This from the Friends of Public Power:

 

First Annual Friends of Public Power Summer Picnic!!!                        

(and membership meeting)

 

 

We’re celebrating a big step in our re-focusing, from campaign committee to public education nonprofit: We’re changing our name to Friends of Public Power!

 

And by “celebrate” we mean BBQ and picnic!!!  It’s happening this Sunday at Priest Point Pk.  We hope you can all make it.

 

We’ll hold a very brief meeting of the membership at the start of the picnic, in order to approve the bylaws changes that go along with the name change.  After that, it’s all grillin’ and chillin’!

 

Here are the details:

 

Coordinates

 

Sunday, July 28 — 5:30pm: Meeting; 6:00pm: BBQ!!!

Priest Point Park, Shelter #2

 

 

Fun Stuff

 

Bring your own BBQ fixings and sides and what-not.  This ain’t the Soviet Union, so don’t be expecting any handouts from your leadership, darn it.  It’ll be dog-eat-hot-dog competition to see who can rustle up the best grub, so bring your A game, kids!

 

Extra bonus points: plates, cups, utensils, camping chairs, charcoal.  I mean seriously, do I need to spell this out?

 

Expect a bracing mix of earnest discussions, tall tales and spirited hijinks.

 

 

Business

 

The only agenda item is approving the bylaws.  Mostly it’s just changing the name throughout.  There are a small number of other changes, however:

– Purpose in now explicitly educational
– Quorums and procedures for calling meetings are clearly defined
– Minor language cleanup

(You don’t have to be a member to attend — all are welcome!  But if you want to vote, you have to be a member. If you haven’t joined yet, and would like to, bring your $20 dues and we’ll set you up.)

 

 

See you Sunday!

_______________________________________

 

9)  Community Potluck and Film Screening:  War on the Whistleblowers

Wednesday July 31st from 7 to 10 pm @ Traditions, 300 5th Ave SW

 

Come learn how Obama is trying to shut down all accountability for economic and war crimes.

 

This from the organizers:

 

Wed July 31:  Robert Greenwald’s FILM:  “War on Whistleblowers” —  7:00 pm community potluck and film showing at Traditions Café, 5th & Water SW, Olympia.  www.waronwhistleblowers.com

 

Sponsors:  Media Island International www.mediaisland.org and Olympia Movement for Justice & Peace www.omjp.net

 

A film by Robert Greenwald.

http://www.waronwhistleblowers.com/

https://www.facebook.com/events/605678112799946/

_______________________________________

 

10)  Bonus Tip of the Day:

 

Honour a hero today.

 

Peace.

 

Dana

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s