The Thunderbolt 121913 Ambiguous Conclusions

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The Thunderbolt!!!

 

      News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes

 

Thunderbolt Action Alert:

 

1)  FYI Section:

  1A)  Olympia FOR Calendar Update

  1B)  Crazy Faith Urges Olympians to Contact the Olympia City Council about Criminalizing the Feeding of Homeless People

  1C)  POWER Requesting Financial Assistance

2)  38th Annual Peace Vigil

3)  Mi’kmaq Resistance to Fracking and Dessert Benefit

4)  Bonus Tip of the Day:

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Ambiguous Conclusions

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Hey Kids!

 

After the famed partisan gridlock, they have finally reached a bi-partisan solution!  Senator Patty Murray, the senator from Boeing, just teamed up with Tea Party Favourite Paul Ryan to introduce a budget that totally screws everyone except the Wall Street War Machine!

 

Surprise, surprise!

 

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/16/makes_absolutely_no_sense_david_cay

 

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When the prison doors open

The real dragons emerge…

                        — Ho Chi Minh

 

Black or White?

 

First off, I know that Malcolm X went off on associating ‘white’ with ‘good’ and ‘black’ with ‘bad’ saying that this was racist.  I think this is one of very few instances where Malcolm was full of it; white is pure and black is dark; I’m not saying this hasn’t been used in racist ways, but I suspect the racist aspects came along much later.  The references are universal and universally understood and I suggest people who want to mount some campaign to stop doing this could use their energy in much more productive ways by taking on something that actually matters.

 

And besides, white people are actually mostly light brown or pink, so calling us ‘white’ is misleading in more ways than one.

 

I’m kind of glad, though, because my job is tough enough without trying to convince people that a pink-male conspiracy is trying to take over the world…

 

 

The point is also somewhat mooted by the fact that — as if dealing with the Universe weren’t already confusing enough — whatever theme that this week’s Thunderbolt may contain lies in pointing out how things are very rarely either purely black or purely white anyway.

 

It would also be inaccurate to refer to them as shades of gray.

 

I think that the accurate metaphor for the colour of the Universe would be to describe it as a multi-hued rainbow of almost infinite variety…

 

Anyway, there is no racist intent and I hope none is taken.

 

The fact is that many things that are almost universally considered to be ‘good’ can often cause very bad things to happen as a result and vice-versa.  When I said last week that my tongue was half in my cheek whilst I was advocating the slashing of funding for social programs in order to create the necessary outrage for manifesting our revolution, I was — as I indicated — only half kidding.  Adversity brings the test; you either rise to the occasion or you give up.  You either beat it or it beats you — and the choice is usually yours.

 

At the risk of cliché:  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

Most people need challenges and adversity in order to become strong and wise and compassionate — and in fact, I could make an argument that peace and contentment can very easily lead to stagnation, ignorance, and complacency if measures are not taken.  It is very easy for happy and contented people to experience ‘tunnel-vision’ and fall into a rut.  Under such circumstances they may classify vital information as irrelevant or their personal growth-curve may become stunted.

 

 

On its face, going to prison for six years over a marijuana charge would seem to be pure black.  There would seem to be nothing to recommend it.  However, since my release I have found that not being in prison is so utterly awesome that — at least in my personal life — I now experience difficulty finding very many things to become very upset about.  I now find that a lot of things which used to seriously mess me up and/or I have found that dealing with situations that in my past life would cause me severe angst — I now find that these things don’t even register on my radar anymore.

 

I’m not in prison; that other thing that used to seem so vital and important is now revealed as completely insignificant and irrelevant.

 

As a result I am now enjoying my life as much as I ever have — and unlike during past good times that I have experienced, this time I am not looking over my shoulder waiting for the karmic hammer to come down for the payback because now I have paid my dues; I earned this and now I’m gonna frigging enjoy it to the fullest.

 

Going to prison for six years is not a therapy I can recommend to others — but in the end it sure worked out well for me.

 

Black or white?

 

 

The darkness of The Holocaust wouldn’t seem to have much light attached to it— yet the Holocaust led directly to the establishment of a Jewish Homeland.

 

Black or white?

 

That’s a little more problematic — especially when you consider that the establishment of the Jewish Homeland led directly to a brutal Apartheid Police State and the brutal dispossession of millions of Palestinians.

 

Yep, you’d better get your athletic wear ready because everywhere you go and everything you do there are always slippery slopes galore that you must watch for and negotiate.  Remember that Adolf Hitler was fanatically convinced that what he was doing was for the ‘ultimate good’ of humanity’; he felt that killing all those Jews and other various ‘inferior’ lines would remove pollutants from the human gene pool to the ultimate benefit of humanity.

 

The deadliest and most pernicious aspect of this argument, of course, is that there is just enough merit there to actually make this obscenity acceptable to some; culling the herd of its weak members is as old as life itself.  That is a service that wolves provide for elk, for instance.

 

However, Adolf Hitler was not a wolf.  The obscenity is not contained in the idea itself; the obscenity is contained in the fact that Mr. Hitler felt that he was qualified not only to personally make such judgments but to carry them out on a truly epic scale — especially since his judgments were so incredibly misguided by his own personal ignorance and hatred.

 

That’s the problem with allowing human judgment to trump the wisdom of the Universe.

 

Another service provided by Mr. Hitler:  We now have a personification for pure evil that we can actually point to.  Hitler gave an actual human face of evil.  When other people start doing Hitler-esque things you can immediately point that out.  I scare myself when I consider all the truly scary similarities between 1930’s Germany and the current state of affairs right here in the good ole’ US of A.  Pointing out that a politician is doing the same thing that Hitler did can be problematic for that politician; I am convinced, in fact, that the Machine — aware of this fact — has had their lackeys out for several years now comparing anything to the left of Genghis Khan as ‘being just like Hitler’ — and I believe that they are intentionally running the ‘just like Hitler’ meme into the ground.  I believe that their tactic is to overuse the analogy in order to rob it of its power because it is so effective.

 

I believe they are trying to dilute true awareness of their fascistic tactics by consciously trying to rob us of this highly effective tool for exposing them.

 

 

My mother was killed by a drunk driver when I was 11 years old.  On its face there doesn’t seem to be much lemonade that can be squeezed from a lemon such as that — and indeed, I spent pretty much all of my teenage-hood either under the influence of drugs or looking for drugs to be under the influence of — but with hindsight I now see that this was an all-important event in turning me into the person I have now become and since I am well pleased with the person I have now become then — what can I say?

 

Black or white?

 

Almost all memories of my mother are deeply buried so I cannot even speculate about what she might have thought about this or whether she would have considered her sacrifice to have been worthwhile — however, one more strange little twist to this story is that shortly before her death, my mother — who died at age 29 — wrote lengthy and detailed instructions upon how she wanted things to be in the event of her unexpected early demise — including the instruction that neither I nor my younger brother were to attend her funeral if either or both of us were under 12 years of age at the time of her death.

 

How many 29-year-olds do you know that even think very much about death much less anyone that took such extensive and thoughtful measures to prepare for it just before actually dying?

 

 

The Rainbow Gathering is held annually over the week of the 4th of July on United States Forest Service land.  (i.e. OUR land.)  It is held in a different state each year.  In 1988, the government declared open warfare upon the Rainbow Family and made serious effort to shut down the Gathering, which that year was to be held in the State of Texas.

 

The United States Forest Service has a police force — of course — and the head of the regional force in 1988 was a gentleman named — I swear — Billy Ball.  Billy Ball was a colourful local with a pure Texas accent and a pure Texas attitude.  He literally became the subject of many an impromptu Rainbow ballad.  One of his more notable quotes from a local newspaper was this:  “I hate to think of these people being around my poor old mama.”

 

Anyway, I could go on and on about the details of that experience and of the role that I played in this weeks-long drama — at the Seed Camp there were more cops than there were Rainbows, for instance — but for current purposes it is enough to say that the whole situation was FUBAR.

 

However:  One result of this harassment was that the Rainbow Family was front-page news all over Texas for over a month.  Reporters were literally arriving in helicopters to interview us.  (Keep in mind that the Seed Camp usually only has 100-200 people.)  Several of us became temporary local media celebrities.  I was quoted thusly:  “The only way they can stop the Rainbow Gathering is to haul 20,000 naked hippies out of the woods one-by-one.  If that’s the case, then we’ll just have our gathering in your jail and at your county’s expense.”

 

Then, after the Gathering was — yet once again — declared by a federal court to be constitutionally protected peaceful assembly — and after the Rainbow Family had once again come together in this annual ritual of indescribable awesomeness — I personally thanked Billy Ball for single-handedly making us so famous.  I pointed out that he had done more to help us spread our word than any of us had ever managed to do.

 

To his credit, he just wryly laughed and twanged, “Yeah, I guess I did just that, didn’t I?”

 

And by the way, that legal judgment was the result of the story that I described in the Thunderbolt a few months ago when I related a story about a gentleman named Stephen Principal.  If you missed that, Stephen Principal was the biggest asshole that I have ever suffered encountering in a long life wherein I have met some quite notable assholes — yet I also watched Stephen Principal spend three months putting in 20-hour days performing unrecompensed legal work for the Rainbow Family in preparation to totally kicking the federal government’s ass in a federal courtroom — and doing so whilst dressed in a court jester’s outfit…

 

…and thus, in his suit of many colours, Mr. Principal demonstrated the efficacy of my adage about not much in this world being black white or gray…

 

 

I’m trying to remember, but I don’t think I have ever said anything positive about a large corporation in this newsletter.  In the spirit of Black or White, I will even go there concerning them:  I would point out that if you have a massive construction project — like a dam or a highway or some such — then there is nothing like a large corporation to gather the resources, expertise, and man/woman power to get the job done and to get it done quickly and efficiently.  There is no other structure known to humanity, in fact, that can even come close.

 

However:  When it comes to making the decision upon whether or not that dam or highway should be built — then that corporation is absolutely the last entity that should have any say.

 

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Ambiguous Conclusion

 

Author Stephen King was once asked why he wrote such weird books.  Mr. King looked puzzled and replied, “Do you really think I have a choice?”

 

I am afraid that the conclusion of this week’s Thunderbolt is just as ambiguous as the subject matter was; I’m afraid that this week the Thunderbolt does not have any conclusions, in fact.

 

It also lacks an overarching theme or ultimate destination.  Unlike my usual format, this week I am not going to wrap up the News and Commentary Section in a profound and/or surprising and/or pretty and/or ridiculous package that neatly and cleverly ties everything together in the end…

 

…this week I am simply doing a ‘stream-of-conscious’ sort of meditation considering some of the wider aspects of life, the universe, and everything as I think this is a good thing to occasionally do — and I decided to invite all of you to come along with me!

 

I hope you enjoyed the ride!

 

…but now…

 

…it’s time to get to work, Kids!

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The Thunderbolt Calendar
Week of December 19th thru December 26th, 2013

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1)  FYI Section:

 

1A)  Olympia FOR Calendar Update

 

On November 25 I sent a list of COMING EVENTS.  I published many of these and some others in the calendar on pages 17-23 of the  Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s December-January newsletter, which appears on www.olympiafor.org

 

Here are a few new items and some updates to the ones I sent you then.  (I’m not repeating items that already appeared on either of those lists, unless there is new information about them.)

 

If you’d like to receive future issues of our newsletter on paper by postal mail – and/or electronic copies by e-mail – contact glen@olympiafor.org  or (360) 491-9093.

  

FOR  “How to Resolve Conflicts” (featuring the methodology of the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County) is airing three times a week on TCTV, cable channel 22 in Thurston County, and you can watch it at any time on your computer through www.olympiafor.org.  It airs every Monday at 1:30 pm, every Wednesday at 5:00 pm, and every Thursday at 9:00 pm

 

.  Information about the DRC is at  www.mediatethurston.org.   You can get information about this TV program and about many dozens of our previous TV programs – and watch any of those – at www.olympiafor.org/tv_programs.htm.   Info: Glen Anderson 491-9093   glen@olympiafor.org

 

Sat Dec 14:  Rally at Capitol to demand action for Gun Sense in America:  Let’s mark one year since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and 6 educators. And in that year, more mass shootings have transformed our schools, shopping malls, and streets from safe spaces into battlegrounds.  But Congress and state legislatures have been grossly negligent in stopping the violence and protecting the people.  Organizations including “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America” and “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” are organizing more than 50 remembrance events all over the country.  They are working to break the silence on gun violence and to recommit ourselves to making all communities safer.  A 1:45 event will occur at the Washington State Capitol – inside the Rotunda – at 1:45 this afternoon.  Sign up at this link:  http://act.demandaction.org/event/nomoresilence_attend/603/signup/?t=2&akid=1192.1433144.aZnHtk  or simply show up at 1:45 today.

 

FOR  Sat Dec 14:  Watch DVD with a great speech about active nonviolence:  On July 5, 2013, the young activist Kazu Haga delivered a powerful and well received keynote address about applying Martin Luther King’s nonviolence to struggles we work on nowadays.  This was at the FOR’s NW 55th annual regional conference at Seabeck in Kitsap County.  Susan Watkins, an Oregon FOR member and skilled videographer, produced a DVD of Kazu Haga’s powerful keynote.  Watch it at 7:00 pm tonight at Glen Anderson’s house in Lacey with light refreshments.  Space is available for tonight’s showing.  Please RSVP so Glen will know how many people to expect:  (360) 491-9093 glen@olywa.net   This repeats at 6:30 pm NEXT TUES DEC 17.

 

Fri Dec 13 to Thurs Dec 19:  FILM:  “Inequality for All” is a feature-length documentary about the widening gap between the rich and everyone else.  Robert Reich is much more progressive now than when he served as President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor.  He is also a dynamic, witty, impassioned advocate of facts and analysis who has put together engaging and memorable graphics.  If you suspect that the middle class and everyone else are getting squeezed, this film will provide the facts and analysis to support you.  Now we can announce the dates and times it will show:  5:00 pm on Sun Dec 15, 6:30 pm on Mon Dec 16, 9:00 pm on Tues Dec 17, 6:30 pm on Wed Dec 18, and 4:00 + 9:00 pm on Thurs Dec 19 – all at the Olympia Film Society at the Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave SE, downtown.  www.olympiafilmsociety.org

 

Sat Dec 14:  Meeting to plan to strengthen democracy by passing a Community Rights Ordinance (CRO):  Several kinds of organizing and work are underway now.  Several CROs that have passed elsewhere are posted at http://celdf.org/resources-ordinances   Today’s meeting will focus on what to include in a CRO for our local community.  2:00 pm at Mixx-96 meeting room at SW corner of State & Washington, downtown.  Info:  Mary Abramson  360-400-2844  mehath1@aol.com  and Janet Jordan janetjordan@fastmail.fm  (360) 232-6165  and South Sound Community Rights  (http://cr-southsound.org)   More info:   www.celdf.org   and  www.readthedirt.org  

 

Sun Dec 15:  Teach-In on Border Militarization and Solidarity for Immigrant Rights:  What do you know about the U.S./Mexico border?  Come join the discussion from 2:00 to 4:00 at Media Island, 816 Adams Street SE, Olympia.  The teach-in will begin with a short presentation and panel of speakers, and conclude with a collaborative public art activity for the Immigrant Rights Rally and vigil in Tacoma the same week.  (See Wed Dec 18 below.)  Info:   bwildleaf@gmail.com and Nora Mahto Knutson (651) 788-0142  noraknutson@gmail.com

 

Sun Dec 15:  FILM”  “Hit and Stay:  The Continuation of the Catonsville Nine” is a new documentary about resisting the Vietnam War:  Olympia’s Bernie Meyer participated actively in that resistance.  Bernie will share insights about this and about the federal trial that will not occur tomorrow for resisting nuclear weapons, because the US government is dropping those charges.  (See Mon Dec 16 below).  Watch the film’s trailer at  www.kck.st/bzq.D69  6:00 pm at Traditions Café, 5th & Water SW, Olympia. Info:  Bernie 570-0975  berniemeyer2001@gmail.com

 

CHARGES DROPPED, so NO TRIAL:  Mon Dec 16:  Bernie Meyer will NOT be on trial for the Mother’s Day action at the Trident nuclear submarine base in Kitsap County (Sub Base Bangor) that had been scheduled for this afternoon in downtown Tacoma.  Bernie Meyer was charged with Trespass at Sub Base Bangor for his nonviolent action on May 11, 2013.  This Navy base in nearby Kitsap County houses the Trident and one of the largest inventories of nuclear weapons on earth.  Each of the eight Tridents subs based there contains 24 Trident (D-5) missiles, and each missile can carry up to eight nuclear warheads.  Each warhead has an explosive force of between 100,000 and 475,000 tons of dynamite.  The Trident is a “first strike” nuclear weapon designed to begin a nuclear war.  On Mother’s Day weekend Bernie crossed the blue line at the base entrance carrying a peace flag while reading Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation in honor of his mother who had died nine days before.  Bernie was thrown to the ground by Navy security officers, arrested, and charged.  If convicted, he could be fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned for six months.  Bernie is a longtime member of the FOR, and a longtime participant in the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.  He has resisted nuclear weapons for 36 years.  Bernie had prepared a powerful statement that he had hoped to read at the trial.  Instead of reading it there, he and Glen Anderson are converting it to a TV interview program for the Olympia FOR’s TCTV series, which will air on cable channel 22 in March, and will also be available on  www.olympiafor.org after it has debuted on TCTV.  Bernie’s powerful statement connects the dots between nuclear weapons, nuclear power, the climate crisis, and the unwillingness of governments and human society to stop those, which amounts to humanity’s suicide.  Background info:  Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action  www.gzcenter.org

 

Mon Dec 16:  Hear Yoram Bauman talk about a carbon tax to relieve the climate crisis: Recently this young Ph.D economist spoke to an enthusiastic audience in Olympia, and now he’s coming back to talk again.  This time he will be hosted by the Carnegie Group at 5:15 pm in “Buck’s Loft” on the second floor above Anne Buck’s spice shop (Buck’s Fifth Avenue) across 5th Ave from the Capitol Theater.  Consider bringing some light refreshments to share.  Yoram Bauman and others are organizing a statewide initiative to let voters choose to tax carbon pollution as a practical way to discourage carbon pollution and ease the climate crisis.  While practical and positive, we can be sure that the big oil and coal companies will spend many millions to frighten and confuse voters into defeating the initiative.  Info:   www.carbonwa.org.  Local info: 352-1346

 

FOR  Tues Dec 17:  Watch DVD with a great speech about active nonviolence:  See description for Sat Dec 14 above.  Please RSVP so Glen will know how many people to expect:  (360) 491-9093glen@olywa.net   

 

Wed Dec 18:  Stand in Solidarity for Immigrant Rights!  Rally and candlelight vigil for International Migrants Day:  Gather at the Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center at 1623 East J Street on Tacoma’s industrial tideflats at 7:00 pm.  Join the carpool from Olympia to go to this rally.  Gather at 6:00 pm at Media Island, 816 Adams Street SE, Olympia for the carpool.  Info:  bwildleaf@gmail.com and Nora Mahto Knutson (651) 788-0142  noraknutson@gmail.com

 

Fri Dec 20:  FILM: “FEEDING FRENZY” is about the food industry, marketing and creating a health crisis:  This 60-minute 2013 film by Kate Geis documents what has been happening to our food – and to us – in recent decades.  Over the past three decades, the US’s obesity rates have more than doubled for children and tripled for adolescents.  Now a startling 70% of adults are now obese or overweight.  The result has been a widening epidemic of obesity-related health problems, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.  While discussions about this spiraling health crisis have tended to focus on the need for more exercise and individual responsibility, the film “FEEDING FRENZY” focuses squarely on the responsibility of the processed food industry and the outmoded government policies it benefits from.  It lays bare how taxpayer subsidies designed to feed hungry Americans during the Great Depression have enabled the food industry to flood the market with a rising tide of cheap, addictive, high calorie food products, and offers an engrossing look at the tactics of the multibillion-dollar marketing machine charged with making sure that every one of those surplus calories is consumed. This is part of the amazingly good series titled “Friday Night at the Meaningful Movies,” which has been running weekly in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle for a decade.  It runs from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Keystone Congregational Church, 5019 Keystone Place North, Seattle (4 tenths of a mile west of I-5 on the NE 50th Street Exit and on Metro Bus Routes 16, 26 and 44).  See directions at  www.meaningfulmovies.org  The organizers invite people to arrive at 6:30 pm to visit with friends, and to stay after watching the film to enjoy a facilitated community discussion until 9:00 pm.  This is free and open to the public.

 

FOR Sat Dec 21:  Olympia FOR’s 38th Annual Holiday Peace Vigil:  The public is invited to participate in Olympia’s 38th Annual Holiday Peace Vigil on Saturday December 21 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. along West Fourth Avenue, along the south side of Percival Landing and in front of Heritage Fountain.  The annual vigil is an Olympia tradition.  Signs are provided, but participants may bring their own.  Children are welcome.  Members of the Artesian Rumble Arkestra will perform.  Participants may enjoy free refreshments nearby after the vigil at the Family Support Center.  Here is a change from previous years:  Instead of entering from State Ave and going upstairs as we have done in recent years, we will proceed farther on State, turn left onto Capitol Way, go past the big old doors where the fire trucks used to be, and enter through a door north of those big doors on Capitol Way.  “During this holiday season of joy and good will, let us set aside all violence and militarism, which are the opposites of joy and good will,” said Glen Anderson, vigil organizer.  “The vigil gives participants and passersby an opportunity to pause and consider choosing peace instead of violence.  Peace is so much more consistent with the holiday spirit.”  The vigil is sponsored by the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).  The Olympia FOR has worked nonviolently since 1976 on a variety of peace and social justice issues.  It is the local affiliate of a very broadly interfaith, international pacifist organization founded in 1914.  The Olympia FOR has also sponsored a weekly peace vigil in Sylvester Park at the corner of Legion and Capitol Way, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday since March 5, 1980, and another vigil at the south end of Percival Landing from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. every Friday since November 1998.  The vigil is free, but the Olympia FOR will gratefully accept donations to support its persistent work for nonviolence, social justice and peace.  For information contact Glen Anderson at  (360) 491-9093  or  glen@olympiafor.org   or visit the Olympia FOR’s website,  www.olympiafor.org

 

Fri Dec 27 to Thurs Jan 2:  FILM:  “The Fifth Estate” is a feature-length documentary about the Wikileaks.  It goes behind the scenes and tells how Julian Assange and a German backer started the whistleblowing project.  Assange describes Wikileaks as a utopian hacker community devoted to tearing down the barriers that allow lies to be perpetrated.  Private Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning provides early and powerful information for Wikileaks to share.  This documentary is timely and powerful.  We knew it was coming to Olympia, and now we can announce the dates and times it will show:  6:30 pm on Fri Dec 27, 4:00 + 9:00 pm on Sat Dec 28, 5:00 pm on Sun Dec 29, 9:00 pm on Mon Dec 30, 6:30 pm on Tues Dec 31, 9:00 pm on Wed Jan 1, and 6:30 pm on Thurs Jan 2 – all at the Olympia Film Society at the Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave SE, downtown.  www.olympiafilmsociety.org

 

Sun Jan 5:  A very high tide will occur at Percival Landing at 8 am this morning.  The worsening climate crisis will be raising sea levels and making high tides even worse.  A year ago people gathered at Harbor House at the north end of Percival Landing (just north of the playground) to discuss this and share light refreshments. Perhaps something like that could occur this year.  Look for publicity, especially through e-mail lists dealing with environmental and climate-related concerns. 

 

Tues Jan 7:  Karen Litfin will talk about her new book, Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community:  In a world of dwindling natural resources and mounting environmental crises, who is devising ways of living that will work for the long haul?  To answer this fundamental question, the author embarked on a journey to many of the world’s ecovillages, intentional communities at the cutting-edge of sustainable living.  From rural to urban, high tech to low tech, spiritual to secular, she discovered an under-the-radar global movement making positive and radical changes from the ground up.  This event is free and open to the public at 7:00 pm at Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E, downtown Olympia.  Info:  (360) 352-0123  events@orcabooks.com

 

Fri Jan 10:  Heartsparkle Players – Playback Theatre – Playback Theatre is a spontaneous collaboration between performers and audience.  People tell moments from their lives, then watch them re-created with movement, music and dialogue.  We have more information now than when we published our newsletter.  Each month the Heartsparkle Players invite a community organization or other entity to be a part of their performance. This collaboration lifts up and honor the work individuals and organizations do in our community.  In January Heartsparkle will collaborate with the YWCA of Olympia, whose mission is to strive to eliminate racism and empower women, girls and families through education, advocacy, service, and leadership opportunities.  7:30 pm at Traditions Fair Trade & Café, 5th & Water Street in downtown Olympia.  A donation of $5-$10 is suggested, but nobody will be turned away for not donating.  Info:   www.heartsparkle.org

 

Mon Jan 20:  Lobby the Legislature for poor people and related social & economic justice concerns: Every year on the Martin Luther King holiday, Statewide Poverty Action (www.povertyaction.org) organizes hundreds of people from around the state to gather for a day of information-sharing and lobbying at the Washington State Capitol.  The organizers are planning workshops, training, legislative appointments, and more.  Info:   www.povertyaction.org

 

ALSO LOOK FOR THESE AT VARIOUS DATES AND TIMES
IN DECEMBER AND JANUARY:

 

FOR  TCTV Airs Some of Olympia FOR’s Old, Interesting Programs:  As you know, the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation has been producing and airing TV programs on Thurston Community Television (TCTV) since February 1987.  (See our December-January newsletter pages 12-15.)  For the next few months TCTV will air some of the old programs on a special “TCTV Time Machine” series on channel 77 (for cable TV subscribers in Thurston County), instead of on channel 22, where our current programs air on the usual schedule.  Visit  www.tctv.net and click on the Channel 77 schedule to see when these programs will air:

 

“The Power of Non-Violence” with guest Richard Deats originally aired in September 1995.  Nonviolence is often misunderstood.  Some people think it is passivity – doing nothing when action is needed.  Other people think nonviolence sounds nice in theory but is not really practical.  This program corrects those misunderstanding and shows that nonviolence is not only practical but also powerful.  The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s TV program from September 1995 features one exceptionally knowledgeable and inspiring guest, Richard Deats.  For decades Richard Deats worked for the national Fellowship of Reconciliation and traveled all over the world organizing and training people to practice effective nonviolence, even in very difficult situations, and against heavy odds.  Watch this program to learn about how nonviolence is grounded and how people have practiced nonviolence successfully around the world.

 

“Successful Grassroots Organizing” with guests Letitia Flynt, Scarlet Tang, Pat Boutin Wald, Ryan Warner, Lisa Smith originally aired in November 1994.  Election campaigns often irritate and frustrate people.  Many people feel relieved when that mess is done with.  But instead of merely voting, people can work more effectively by organizing at the grassroots of our local communities to make practical progress on real issues.  Grassroots organizing is a more profound kind of democracy, and it often succeeds in making our community and the larger society much better.  This program originally aired in November 1994, after a contentious election.  The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation invites you to enjoy watching this program, in which five persons from Olympia share their insights for how to organize at the grassroots level to make real differences locally and worldwide.  Their insights are wise and practical, and their stories are inspiring. 

 

“A Death Penalty Survivor Speaks Out” with guest Sonia Jacobs originally aired in July 2000.  In the late 1990s public opinion was starting to shift toward skepticism about the death penalty.  In 1999 the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation conducted a scientifically valid survey of public opinion within Thurston County and found that – even among people who supported the death penalty – the risk of executing innocent people was the greatest concern. So in April 2000 we brought to Olympia a woman who had spent 16 years in prison – including several years on death row – for murder.  She was completely innocent.  The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation arranged for her to speak to a large audience and videotaped it for our July 2000 TCTV program.  You’ll find Sonia Jacobs a compelling speaker as she tells her powerful story.

 

“Star Wars – A Search for Security” with guests John Finnan, Dr. Lisa Johnson, Cyrus Appell originally aired in April 1987.  In 1983 President Reagan foolishly let the father of the hydrogen bomb, Edward Teller, talk him into developing weapons for use in space, and Reagan announced the program in a nationwide speech without even consulting his scientific advisors.  He called this scheme the “Strategic Defense Initiative,” but many people spoke of it derisively as “Star Wars.”  The scheme was to use missiles to shoot down incoming missiles.  From the outset, critics explained why this would not work and why it could actually provoke nuclear war.  Shortly after the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation began our TCTV series in 1987, we produced this program to inform the public about the serious dangers.  This April 1987 program was the third program in our series – and the oldest program for which we still have a viewable copy.  TCTV did not yet have a studio, so we conducted the interview in someone’s living room. This program begins with a 30-minute documentary film, and then we follow up with an interview of three persons working in Olympia to stop “Star Wars.”  The 1987 criticisms of space weapons are still valid, and the US has aggressively pursued even more reckless and dangerous weapons for making war in space over the past 30 years, with support from both of the big political parties in Congress and the White House.  Weapons manufacturers finance their campaigns and fund aggressive lobbyists, so American taxpayers have spent many, many billions of dollars on this reckless and fraudulent scheme of escalating space weapons.  Since 1987, we have produced and aired several additional programs updating the viewers about this dangerous topic.

 

“Soviet and American Teenagers” with guest host Lucia Burns (Carol Burns’ daughter) and approximately 24 teenagers as guests – half from the USSR and half from the Olympia area – originally aired in July 1990.  While the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union treated each other as enemies for decades, the Fellowship of Reconciliation refuses to let governments turn human beings into enemies.  Instead, since its beginning in Europe in 1914, the Fellowship of Reconciliation has always reached across national boundaries and created friendships.  In 1990 the FOR brought about a dozen teenagers from the Soviet Union – the USSR – to the United States for a week in each of three different communities.  The Olympia FOR hosted them here and organized a number of activities to build international friendships.  The Olympia FOR’s July 1990 TCTV program features these two dozen teenagers – half from the USSR and half from greater Olympia – along with a special guest host, Lucia Burns, daughter of Carol Burns, one of TCTV’s founders.  Lucia had an impressive background already in US/USSR reconciliation work.  This program is fun to watch, and offers a lesson that our nation needs to learn over and over again, whenever our government fails to make friends with other nations.

 

“Nonviolence, Faith and the Real World” with guests Nancy First, Rev. Randall Mullins, Rev. Eido Frances Carney, Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948, portrayed by Bernie Meyer) originally aired in January 2003.  Nonviolence is widely misunderstood.  And so is religious faith.  Both nonviolence and faith are often perceived as impractical.  This program “connects the dots” with people of different religious faiths who draw upon their respective faith traditions to see common ground and inspire them to work nonviolently for peace and social justice.  The Fellowship of Reconciliation welcomes people of all faith traditions – as well as people of no particular faith – to draw upon their deepest values to help them work nonviolently for peace and social justice.  This episode of the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s TCTV series is deeply insightful, rich and warm as it “connects the dots.”  It also shows that – in addition to being ethical – nonviolence is also practical in the real world.  This program originally aired in January 2003.

 

Glen Anderson for the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation

(360) 491-9093   glen@olympiafor.org   www.olympiafor.org

 

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

 

1B)  Crazy Faith Urges Olympians to Contact the Olympia City Council about Criminalizing the Feeding of Homeless People

 

Olympia City Council to Consider Criminal Penalties for Feeding Homeless in Public Parking Lot

 

My name is Ben Charles, Jr from The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. I am a enrolled tribal member. Native People’s have always helped others in need. My wife Denise and I and I have a outreach called Crazy Faith. We are being targeted for helping others. I believe it is a discrimination on so many many levels. 

 

For the past several years Crazy Faith Ministries has regularly gathered in downtown Olympia once or twice a week to provide food and love to hundreds of people sorely in need of both. We currently meet every Thursday night and Saturday night as well as Thanksgiving night and Christmas night. We meet with our “street family” in a public parking lot directly across the street from a bus station, a location chosen because it is easy for needy people to get to and allows Crazy Faith to do the greatest good for the largest number of people. Crazy Faith has received support and encouragement from many within the community for our efforts, and each week we go to great lengths to ensure that their gatherings are peaceful, that they pose minimal inconvenience to anyone who parks their car in that lot, and that we leave the parking lot cleaner than it was when we arrived. There is not currently any city law that prevents citizens from peacefully assembling to pursue the common good of sharing food and fellowship on this public property.

 

We have insisted all along, that we and our street family are not breaking any laws and we are peaceful assemblies actually promote the public health and safety for many who otherwise would have to go without physical and spiritual nourishment. Olympia city officials should NOT treat Crazy Faith and its street family as second-class citizens.

 

Unfortunately, the Olympia City Council is undertaking a sneaky maneuver to try to force Crazy Faith out of the area. A newly proposed “parking ordinance” includes a statement (in section 10.16.140) that “City parking lots may only be used for parking, unless an activity is expressly authorized by a City-issued permit, lease, or unless the activity is conducted by the City.” Violating the new ordinance would make a person “subject to a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), and/or to imprisonment not to exceed ninety (90) days or to both such fine and imprisonment.” In other words, the Council is planning to make Crazy Faith’s peaceful gatherings a serious criminal offense! 

 

This is completely unjust and unconstitutional. The City’s existing laws are perfectly adequate to protect the public health and safety, and Crazy Faith works hard to ensure that we are abiding by those laws while still providing for those who cannot currently provide for themselves. But this new ordinance is plainly intended to give the City the power to decide whether citizens may gather peacefully on public property. This power the City does not – and should not – have. The Washington State Constitution guarantees that the right of the people “peaceably to assemble for the common good shall never be abridged.” This right includes assembly for political purposes, such as was recently exercised by Occupy Wall Street, but it also includes the opportunity for people who do not have any property of their own to gather for “the common good” of sharing food, faith, and fellowship.

 

We need any and all to join Crazy Faith in opposing the City’s unjust effort to prevent their peaceful gatherings.

 

Below will be a list of people to contact via phone and email. Please be respectful yet direct and to the point that you oppose what they are attempting to do to place restrictions on the city parking lots. Below the list of names is a suggested template to use when calling or emailing. You can add to it as well but that gets some of the basics complete in each email and call. 
Please cc CFMChangesOlympia@gmail.com and forward any responses from anyone that emails you back. 

 

If you wrote the list below last week can you please forward your email and any responses to CFBChangesOlympia@gmail.com as well so we have records of your emails and the response back to show the city that they received many many emails and sent responses as well. 

 

City Hall Manager Steve Hall

360.753.8447shall@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #1 Stephen H. Buxbaum – Mayor

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: sbuxbaum@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #2 Steve Langer 

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: slanger@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #3 Nathaniel Jones 

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: njones@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #4 Karen Rogers

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: krogers@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #5 Julie Hankins 

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: jhankins@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #6 Jeannine Roe

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: jroe@ci.olympia.wa.us

 

Position #7 Jim Cooper 

Phone: 360.753.8447 (City Council office)

Email: jcooper@ci.olympia.wa.us 

 

Correspondence to a Councilmember, including email, is a public record potentially eligible for release.

 Script may look like this:

 

“Hello _______, my name is __________.

 

(if you are a business owner please state “I am a business owner at _____”)

 

I am (calling or writing) in regards to what is on the city hall agenda, specifically with the city parking lot uses you are attempting to change. I want to inform you that I am against the changes you are trying to set in motion. Especially when it comes to groups like Crazy Faith that are peacefully gathering for the greater good. Take note that I am speaking against what is trying to be done and act accordingly as you are to be a servant to the public not a dictatorship. You should find a way to peacefully resolve this instead of underhandedly making laws to squash the greater good. Have a nice day.”

 

When and if they respond to you or say that they have attempted to meet with Crazy Faith to resolve this or that they have offered solutions you can let them know directly that those are lies. Not one person has contacted Crazy Faith from the city of Olympia. Especially since last Tuesday. The last words from Steve Hall city manager was, “We will be in contact”. And there has been no contact whatsoever. I was very clear with the city in October 2013 that all communication will be done via email and yes they have our email and have used it so it is in their mail already. Yet not one email has been sent. 

 

Please take the time to start with Steve Hall and the Mayor to call and email them. Again if it is in email it will be avail via public record so please go and share with love. 

 

Folks we have a serious serious issue at hand here. Please show your support and not only call before Dec 10th 2013 by 4:30 but send a email as well. 

 

Just know that there will be alot of calls and last week they just sent to voicemail so they would not have to answer to you in person. Not all emails were responded too but the ones that were stated the lies I listed above. 

 

Please Press Share. 

 

Love you. 

Ben and Denise Charles

Crazy Faith Outreach

 

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

 

1C)  POWER Requesting Financial Assistance

 

Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights exists and thrives with your generous support.  We are reaching out today asking you to help us continue our great work. 

 

We all live in a system that harms us and is so good at what it does – we believe we are responsible. In this system, we are each given an assigned level of value that is reflected by those around us – depending on our skin color, citizenship status, gender, wealth, religious status, sexual orientation and other factors like how attractive we are and whether or not we have visible disabilities. Poverty is an institutionalized structure that sets people up to fail.  So how do we survive and continue working to be seen? How do we remember all of those who are silenced, unseen and who do not survive? Well, it’s hard and exhausting work. Thankfully, when we work together, it can be empowering and nourishing, too.

 

POWER is a place to show up for ourselves and for each other.  POWER is a place we come to be seen and to experience the feeling of being seen as worthy.  It is a rare and impactful experience – an experience that once it starts to deepen into our beings, we find we want and need more of it.

 

Every day we have to come to terms with all of the identities we hold.  We are parents of young children and of children who have grown up.  We are grand and great grandparents.  We are parents of babies who are no longer alive.  We are people who determined and made the choice that it wasn’t the time to be a parent.  We are parents who have had our children taken from us by CPS.  We are allies who know how to nurture in creative and loving ways.  We are people who want things to get better for others and ourselves.

 

We come together at POWER to be seen.  We come to grow the feeling of being worthy.  In the face of systemic inequities, we do what we can to not be afraid; we fight harder, we are challenged and we are empowered, time and time again.  It is a continuous journey and it has saved some of our lives.  It is a political act to decide that people are valuable, and to take our power back and to experience power from within. 

 

 

POWER is one of the most reliable and loving places where we can show up for ourselves and for each other. It is a place on the map and it is an idea and it is a revelation and most of all,it is us – it is the members, it is the volunteers, it is the Board – it is dedication and commitment.  Together we are guided by the goal of co-creating a world where we are all seen and treated as worthy.  Some of the ways we have accomplished this over the past year include:

  • Providing legal information to 226 families attempting to access social services increasingly constrained by budget cuts and time limits.
  • Leading 30 skill-building workshops with over 800 participants, focused on building knowledge and debunking poverty stereotypes.
  • Visiting legislators on MLK Day to hand deliver our legislative agenda, calling for undoing the TANF budget cuts, increasing access to college for TANF recipients, and cutting corporate welfare to fund basic human needs.
  • Speaking to state legislators at the capitol and through a variety of media appearances.
  • Raising awareness about the City of Olympia’s mistreatment of our homeless population though community events such as our “Community Conversation About Homelessness.”
  • Providing opportunities to define our own lives through POWER Down (Developing Our Welfare Narrative) by meeting weekly to develop skills to share personal stories in a way that will change hearts and minds and challenge prevailing stereotypes. This year POWER Down participants created PSAs that aired on KAOS Radio, performed interviews, and developed our writing and monologue skills.
  • Leading alternative socioeconomic workshops and community meetings advocating an economic model driven by the right to a desirable livelihood and family well-being through our Women’s Economic Collaborative.

 

We strive to undo the ideas and stereotypes that live unchecked inside of us all – about who is capable and who is not, who is worthy and who is not, who has value and who does not. We actively challenge the legitimacy of institutionalized systems of oppression in our work. We seek to create a world where poverty has been eradicated and caregiving is truly valued. In our community we have made great strides and will continue for as long as we are able to uplift one another.

 

POWER is run entirely on the generosity of the community that supports it through volunteer hours and heartfelt monetary donations of all sizes. With this in mind please consider supporting POWER with monthly contributions of $5, $10, $20, $50, or $100, or with a one-time gift of $25 to $5,000, any amount you can give will aid our cause. All donations are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. We vow to carry your generosity forward through our work and welcome you to join us in any way that you can. Thank you for your support.

 

In Solidarity & With Love,

 

Angie Kelly, POWER Board member

 

http://www.mamapower.org/

_______________________________________

 

2)  38th Annual Peace Vigil

Saturday December 21st from Noon to 1 pm @ Percival Landing

 

Come demonstrate for peace!

 

From Olympia FOR:

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 17, 2017

 

INFORMATION:
Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation

5015 15th Ave SE,  Lacey WA 98503-2723

www.olympiafor.org

Glen Anderson

(360) 491-9093

glen@olympiafor.org

 

 

38th Annual Holiday Peace Vigil

SATURDAY DECEMBER 21,  12 noon to 1 p.m.

Along West 4th Avenue at Percival Landing, Olympia

 

The public is invited to participate in Olympia’s 38th Annual Holiday Peace Vigil on Saturday December 21 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. along West Fourth Avenue, along the south side of Percival Landing and in front of Heritage Fountain.

 

The annual vigil is an Olympia tradition.  Signs are provided, but participants may bring their own.  Children are welcome.  Members of the Artesian Rumble Arkestra will perform.  Participants may enjoy free refreshments nearby after the vigil.

 

“During this holiday season of joy and good will, let us set aside all violence and militarism, which are the opposites of joy and good will,” said Glen Anderson, vigil organizer.  “The vigil gives participants and passersby an opportunity to pause and consider choosing peace instead of violence.  Peace is so much more consistent with the holiday spirit.”

 

The vigil is sponsored by the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).  The Olympia FOR has worked nonviolently since 1976 on a variety of peace and social justice issues.  It is the local affiliate of a very broadly interfaith, international pacifist organization founded in 1914.

 

The Olympia FOR has also sponsored a weekly peace vigil in Sylvester Park at the corner of Legion and Capitol Way, from 12 noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday since March 5, 1980, and another vigil at the south end of Percival Landing from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. every Friday since November 1998.

 

The vigil is free, but the Olympia FOR will gratefully accept donations to support its persistent work for nonviolence, social justice and peace.

 

For information contact Glen Anderson at (360) 491-9093 or glen@olympiafor.org or visit the Olympia FOR’s website, www.olympiafor.org

 

James Madison, the main author of the U.S. Constitution and our fourth President, said these things about war:

 

“War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.

 

“In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honours and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

 

“The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manner and of morals, engendered in both.

 

“No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

 

Glen Anderson (360) 491-9093 glen@olympiafor.org

_______________________________________

 

3)  Mi’kmaq Resistance to Fracking and Dessert Benefit

Sunday December 22nd at 6 pm @ the Cusp:  Olympia Anarchist Social Center (on Franklin Street between Old School Pizza and Dumpster Values)

 

Revolution in Mi’kmaq country!  Yippee!

 

From the organizers:

 

Mi’kmaq Warriors and comrades sustained a months-long blockade of fracking equipment this autumn in New Brunswick.  SWN, the fracking company attempting to conduct experimental testing, announced on December 6th that it is suspending its operations in the area until at least 2015.

We will show footage from the blockade, present a timeline of resistance, and discuss what it means for us to act in solidarity with the anti-fracking and anti-colonial struggle in New Brunswick.

There will be desserts for sale to benefit the Warriors’ legal fees.

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/645375632172537/

_______________________________________

 

4)  Bonus Tip of the Day:

 

Watch out for pink people.

 

Peace.

 

Dana

 

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