The Thunderbolt 011614 When Right is Wrong



The Thunderbolt!!!


News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





When Right is Wrong






I believe that justice always takes precedence over the law

            —Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Society




Un-Profound and Un-Revolutionary Changes in the Thunderbolt Format!


I recently mentioned how it is easy to allow magic to become routine and how easy it is to fall into ruts that you don’t even realize are there.


I have always placed the Calendar Index at the beginning of the newsletter — but then placed the actual calendar several pages away.  For years I have done it that way just because I started doing that way and then just kept doing it out of thoughtless habit.


A few minutes ago I finally realized how inefficient and inelegant that is.  Thus, while this is hardly a profound or revolutionary change, from now on the Calendar Index will be found — of all places — with the calendar!


On second thought, I don’t know.  Maybe that makes too much sense?




Who is the Intelligent One Around Here?


Good people do bad things because they don’t think they’re bad.


I just watched an Animal Planet series on Paul Watson vs. the Faroe Island Whale Killers.


The series gave full-time to the locals, and in fact the show opens by presenting the Faroese as the jolly happy family and culture centric people that they are.


Then, they show these people mass-murdering a highly intelligent and highly social creature.  A wall of boats herds a school of pilot whales into a dead-end fjord, whereupon dozens of people who have been waiting on the beach wade in and begin butchering the terrified whales by hand.  They have been doing this for literally centuries.  They allegedly kill the whales quickly in a ‘humane’ manner.  They utilize the whale carcasses efficiently and there isn’t much else to sustain them in their neighborhood.


To Paul Watson, though, they are murdering his friends.


One of the Faroese compared the lives of whales to the lives of commercial chickens and cows, with the implication that eating whales was much more humane than eating chickens or cows.  Chickens and cows are higher life forms and thus deserve all the respect that such a designation confers.  The cruelty to those species is definitely an issue and there are people working on that issue — there are several people who are spending over a decade in federal prison over that, in fact — but the fact remains that modern chickens and cows are largely  human-created bastard species that natural selection had little to do with.  In addition, both species are almost too stupid to remain alive.  If chickens and cows are capable of any higher emotional reactions or if they experience any profound bonds with their fellow chickens and cows then they are completely undetectable.


Whales and dolphins, on the other hand, not only have a frontal lobe that is nearly as developed as ours is, but they also have an additional lobe on their brains that does not even exist in ours.


It was once documented that an entire pod of pilot whales — the species that the Faroese target — took turns for over a week supporting and holding up an injured whale on the ocean surface so that he could breathe as he healed from his injuries.


I’ve never heard of chickens or cows doing anything like that.


Whales and dolphins are nothing like chickens and cows.


Kudos to the Sea Shepherd Society.




Ariel Sharon Goes to Hell


It is supposed to be bad form to speak ill of the recently dead.  I think that Ariel Sharon makes a great exception to this rule; I am pretty sure there is no such place as Hell, but when a vile mass-murderer and war criminal like Ariel Sharon dies, I find the thought of such a man roasting to be rather appealing…


If you want a lengthy factual and accurate accounting of Sharon’s career (as opposed to the sanitized sound bites and sycophantic crap that is playing on the Media Machine) then go here:




Accidental Truths


An executive at Ford Motor Company accidently let the cat out of the bag.  He said, “We know everyone who breaks the law, [and] we know when you’re doing it.  We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing.”




TPP News:  Obama Sells Out the Environment


Wikileaks has released documents revealing that Barack Obama is pushing to gut environmental protections as part of the negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP].


Surprise, surprise!




When Right is Wrong


Reader Alert!


The Thunderbolt is about to use a personal story to make a political statement.  If you are someone that is uncomfortable with this, then you may wish to skip to the next segment.


If I may slightly oversimplify, basically we are dealing with two competing worldviews.


Continuing now in oversimplification mode, the ‘right wing’ view is this:  “Let Everyone Sink or Swim According to Their Ability — Me and my Family First and Screw Everyone Else”.


Then we have the even more oversimplified ‘left wing’ view:  “Build a Society that Benefits Everyone”.


Lately, though, both sides seem to feel that ‘security’ takes precedence over ‘liberty’.


If you feel that ‘security’ should take precedence over ‘liberty’ then I have a suggestion:  Go spend some time inside a federal prison.  There you will see little ‘liberty’, but you will see near perfect ‘security’.



I heard a piece on KOWA last night that put some dominoes into line:  The man explained how people much prefer to be entertained than to be educated.


This came into play on a personal level recently, along with an anecdote about those competing worldviews that I just mentioned:


Another Real Change vendor showed up a few months ago and since the CoOp is the only place in Olympia that will allow Real Change vendors to operate, then he asked if he could share my space.  I could have said no and Real Change would have backed me since the CoOp is my registered turf.  However, I agreed to share the space even though this costs me quite a few sales on a regular basis.  What I receive in return is legion, though:  I build goodwill and a sense of mutual respect and togetherness in my community rather than sowing anger and dissention.  I felt much better about myself as a person because I helped out another down-but-not-out person who’s trying to make an honest living doing meaningful work.  And last but not least, doing things like that maintains my karma at a level that has successfully protected me from the world for several decades now.


That is worth more than any amount of money.


Anyway, about four times over the last couple of months a young man with a guitar has shown up and busked in front of the CoOp for about two hours during Prime Time Friday afternoon.  Every time he does this he takes in around $40-$50 for that two hours whilst my sales completely die.  In addition, the guy is a very bad singer and a very bad guitar player and he does both very loudly — and I very famously have zero-tolerance for bad music.  Thus, for that two hours I am forced to either listen to music that drives me up the wall or listen to some crap I don’t want to hear turned up full blast on my portable walkman radio as I watch everyone almost completely ignore me as they shower money down upon him.


Evidently even patrons of the CoOp people prefer entertainment to education.


After five years of working every Friday, then having some fly-by-night kid suddenly show up and start regularly gutting my Friday afternoon sucked and I made clear that his presence was displeasing to me but he obviously cared not a fig.


Then, last week my daughter was in danger of being evicted and so I took a calculated gamble:  I purchased the maximum number of papers I can usually sell in an average week.  This meant that all I needed was one bad day and I could very well end up eating newspapers, which is a highly counterproductive and undesired outcome.  (They don’t taste very good either.)


Then, of course, the Bad Music Kid showed up Friday afternoon.  I explained to him the situation with my daughter and I explained that I really couldn’t afford to have my Friday afternoon gutted ­and I offered to pay him $5 to go away and come back tomorrow.  He laughed in condescending derision and he told me that $5 was crap and that it was a free country and that he could do whatever he wanted to do and my daughter could sit on it.  (I am paraphrasing there…)


He is evidently a practitioner of the ‘me first and screw everyone else’ school of human relations.


I’m pretty sure that this young man was unaware of the fact that in one of my past lives, had he spoken to me in such a manner I would have caused him serious bodily harm before he even realized anything was happening.  Fortunately for both of us, I no longer conduct my business in that manner.  I am sure he was also unaware that many of the CoOp staff are personal friends of mine who know and respect my work and who I am certain that, should I ask them to do so, would be glad to tell the young man that he wasn’t allowed to busk whilst I was vending.  I also do not conduct my business that manner, though; I shudder at the mere thought of calling in some outside ‘authority’ to deal with my personal problems and I just think it is incumbent upon people to personally deal with their personal issues.  In addition, I would not disrespect my friends on the CoOp staff by placing them into such a situation.  Plus, as the young man himself pointed out, it’s a free country.  That means he is free to collect his own karma and build his own reputation and his own place in our community.


Then came a classic instance of Instant Karma:  As the young man was packing to leave I felt the need to school him, so I approached him and stated that since he could make even more money panhandling than he did by busking, then I actually respected the fact that he chose to busk anyway — which is actually true.  Then, just as I got that out, a friend of mine suddenly popped up from nowhere.  She saw me talking to the young man and saw his guitar case stuffed full of money and asked me if the guy was any good.  I informed her that actually he pretty seriously sucked but that my reaction to his music was my problem, whereupon the young man sneeringly said that I just hated it because he got all of my action.


Evidently he was proud of his ability to screw my day.


I replied that I did indeed hate that, but the point I wanted to make was that when I explain that this was an emergency situation concerning my daughter and yet he tells me to stick it — then I just wanted to say that I was very glad that I didn’t have his attitude because that would mean that I would also have his karma, which he was more than welcome to keep.


I then apologized to my friend for catching her in that crossfire, but that the kid had seriously pissed me off and I needed to say that before he left.


My friend then gave me $40, which saved my daughter’s day.


Like I say, I am very glad I have my karma rather than that kid’s.


Next week, I am going to bring my own guitar and set up my own busking operation, along with flyers explaining that evidently I’ve been in the wrong business this whole time.  Rather than trying to educate people, financial necessity was now forcing me to entertain them instead.


Thus, weather permitting my first public musical performance in over a year will be happening in front of the Eastside Food CoOp at around 2:30 tomorrow [Friday].


No charge, but donations gladly accepted.


If you prefer education to entertainment, though, you will also have the option of purchasing a copy of Real Change.



Getting back to the meta-level:  One of the problems here is that the reality is so magnificently unbelievable that most people don’t believe it.  When I said that it blew my own mind that I turned out to be right on the Syrian Chemical Weapon Attack I meant that quite literally.  We are talking about mass-murdering thousands of women and children in the foulest manner imaginable so that they could frame Bashar al-Assad for the crime and gin up yet another of their vile imperialistic counterproductive power-manipulation wars.  Even as I was pretty sure that this was exactly what had happened, I was still screaming to myself:  “No one could possibly sink so low!”



There is one more thing I want to stress that I think has not gotten nearly enough attention and that the Media Machine has intentionally played down, and in fact I will indulge in some cheap theatrics and inject some fancy font-work here to further stress this because I think that this is very very important:


We stopped a frigging war in its tracks, Kids!


Barack Obama and John Kerry and Diane Feinstein and all of the other Usual Suspect Front Line War Machine Cheerleaders were pushing hard for jamming Syria.  They were twisting the old arms and issuing the old threats and applying the old pressure…


…and we just said NO!



I think that stopping a war is much bigger news than starting one.


Things seem to be shifting.



However:  While we have the facts and the numbers, they still have the money and the bully pulpit.  The sociopaths that invariably rise to the top in any dog-eat-dog type reality always without fail push the envelope as far as they can get away with.  How much they can get away with is dependent upon us.  The problem now is that the media has succeeded in normalizing insanity.  They have made this Through the Discount Looking Glass reality seem ordinary; what just a few years ago would have precipitated over-the-top-off-the-charts outrage has now become business-as-usual.


Local activist Drew Hendricks recently blew the lid off the fact that the DEA has been lifting every phone call that used an AT&T switch for over a decade.


Not long ago there would have been universal outrage over such blatant police state tactics and token heads would have rolled.


Now?  Nary a twitter nor tweet…


They have ‘normalized’ fascism, which is the scariest thing of all.


It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of January 16th thru 23rd 2014







1)  FYI:  Contact the FCC about Net Neutrality

2)  State Senate Committee Hearing on Washington State Bank

3)  Special Meeting of Housing Task Force:  Preparing for Homeless Census

4)  Skype Call to Gaza:  Not Afraid to Look

5)  8th Annual MLK Redeeming the Vision Event

6)  Annual MLK Day March on the Capitol

7)  The Free Olympia Project Community Assembly with Really Really Free Market

8)  Bonus Tip of the Day




1)  FYI:  Contact the FCC about Net Neutrality


“Net Neutrality” means that companies like AT&T and Comcast cannot censor your web access.  Evidently a panel of federal judges just struck down the FCC’s rules about net neutrality.


This is from Free Press:


Bad news: Three judges in Washington, D.C., just dealt a huge blow to the open Internet.


An appeals court struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order because of mistakes the agency made when it adopted its Net Neutrality rules.


Translation: This court just killed Net Neutrality. This could be the end of the Internet as we know it. But it doesn’t have to be.


This decision means that Internet users can expect companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to block or slow down any website, application or service they like. These companies will rush to change the Web and line their own pockets at our expense — creating new tolls for app makers, expensive price tiers for popular sites, and fast lanes open only to the few content providers that can afford them.


Here’s the Thing: The FCC Could Stop All This Right Now.


Yup, you heard us: The FCC could make all this go away by simply reading the law right and reclaiming the authority it already has to protect Internet users for good.


During the tenure of former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the agency made a grave mistake by failing to put its open Internet rules on the most solid legal footing. Internet users will pay the price of that decision unless and until the FCC fixes the problem it created for itself.


New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler must correct the agency’s past mistakes and truly protect our nation’s communications infrastructure. The agency must ensure that broadband communications networks are open, accessible, reliable and affordable for everyone. It needs to stop fulfilling the wish lists of the big phone and cable monopolies — and start looking out for Internet users.


Let’s Get It Right This Time. Tell Chairman Wheeler to Protect the Open Internet — and All of Its Users — for Real.


Millions of people have fought for Net Neutrality. Together we can fight back against these greedy Internet service providers. Together we can save the Internet we love.




Josh, Candace and the rest of the Free Press team

Free Press


P.S. This isn’t the end of the open Internet. It’s just the beginning of a long fight to save the Internet we love. We don’t take money from business, government or political parties and rely on the generosity of people like you to fuel our work. Please donate $15 (or more!) today. Thank you!



Free Press is a nonpartisan organization building a nationwide movement for media that serve the public interest. Learn more at

Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.



2)  State Senate Committee Hearing on Washington State Bank

Thursday January 16th at 1:30 pm @ Senate Hearing Room 2, State Capitol Building


Hah!  Just last week I mentioned that a Washington State Bank was at the top of my political wish list and I complained that the campaign seemed dead.


Molly just informed me that the State Bank is not dead after all!  Yippee!


Long live the Washington State Bank!


From Molly:


This is to notify you that SB 5955 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance Committee on January 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm in Senate Hearing Room 2.  This bill creates the Washington publicly owned trust to act as the sole depository for in-state marijuana producers, processers, and retailers and to use taxable earnings from those deposits for the benefit of the people and economy of the state.


Please check the legislative web site for the text of the bill 5955 and also to verify that the hearing has not been moved to another time. Please send your comments to the committee members and your own Washington State Representatives and Senator.  The Cannabis Industry is forced to use cash because of the fear of charges of money laundering by the Federal Government if private banks process the money; This bill would fulfill basic banking needs for  the Cannabis industry, give less opportunity for corruption and  an accounting of moneys for tax purposes.  The state is awaiting a memo clarifying the Feds position, however a memo does not change the Federal law making Marijuana an illegal substance.

SB  5955 would help in the implementation of Initiative 502 passed by Washington voters last year. 


If you  click on the name of the Senator below, you will go to their page, click on email, fill out your address and then you will be able to send an email to them and comment on the bill whether you are in their district or not.


Committee Members





Hobbs, Steve (D) Chair

JAC 239

(360) 786-7686

Mullet, Mark (D) Vice Chair

LEG 415

(360) 786-7608

Benton, Don (R) *

LEG 409

(360) 786-7632

Fain, Joe (R)

LEG 404

(360) 786-7692

Hatfield, Brian (D)

JAC 237

(360) 786-7636

Nelson, Sharon (D)

LEG 316

(360) 786-7667

Roach, Pam (R)

INB 112

(360) 786-7660


Cindy Cole

Washington Public Bank Coalition



3)  Special Meeting of Housing Task Force:  Preparing for Homeless Census

Friday January 17th at Noon @ Olympia City Hall, Room 207


This is the city organization and they actually do good work.  Go to this meeting if you wish to participate in this year’s homeless census.


From the Housing Task Force:


Housing Task Force – Special Meeting


Prep for the 2014 Homeless Census


Noon – Friday, January 17th

City of Olympia

Room 207


Overview of the 2014 Homeless Census


  • 2014 Homeless Census Forms
  • Review of Homeless Census Reporting
    • Transitional Housing – HMIS “Snapshot”
    • Emergency Shelters – Paper Surveys & HMIS Data Entry
    •  Unsheltered – Paper Surveys & HMIS Data Entry




M. Anna Schlecht  / Housing Program Manager

City of Olympia Housing Program

City of Olympia / 601 4th Avenue East  /  Olympia WA 98501

(360) 753-8183  /


City of Olympia Website:


Please NoteThis message and any reply may be subject to public disclosure.



4)  Skype Call to Gaza:  Not Afraid to Look

Saturday January 18th at 7 am @ LTBA


Come show solidarity with the Palestinians.


From the Rachel Corrie Foundation:


Jan. 18th: Not Afraid to Look


Join the Rachel Corrie Foundation’s kick-off on Martin Luther King memorial weekend, Saturday, January 18th, with an (early) 7 am Skype call with comrades in Gaza City, Edinburgh, and London!  The three cities are concurrently displaying a photo exhibit, Not Afraid to Look: In Loving Memory of Tom Hurndall and Rachel Corrie, and they’ve invited Olympia to their event!


Saturday, January 18th, marks the five-year anniversary of the end of “Operation Cast Lead,” a three week long military assault on Gaza.  January 13th, the day the exhibit opens, marks the ten-year anniversary of the death of Tom Hurndall in 2004.  Tom was an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist wounded on April 11, 2003, in Gaza by an Israel Defense Forces sniper.


The photo exhibit, Not Afraid to Look: In Loving Memory of Tom Hurndall and Rachel Corrie is organized by the Network of Photographers for Palestine.  The compilation of photographs Rachel and Tom took while in Gaza in 2003, and recent photos highlighting the current situation in Gaza, are being displayed simultaneously across the world.


The 7 AM Skype Call in Olympia will connect our community and the three cities currently displaying the exhibit (Gaza City, Edinburgh, London).  The intention is to forge solidarity and connection across borders.  At 7:10 there will be a series of musical and spoken performances, followed at 7:40 by discussion between the four hosting communities.  The call will end at 8:30 a.m. with opportunity for local groups to debrief among themselves.  Bagels and coffee will be available!


To be a part of this early morning, international conversation, please RSVP to or call the Rachel Corrie Foundation office at (360) 754-3998 by Monday, January 13th, so we can make accommodations for all interested.  We look forward to honoring the memory of Martin Luther King by raising our voices for justice and freedom in Gaza.



5)  8th Annual MLK Redeeming the Vision Event

Sunday January 19th @ Urban Grace Church, 902 Market St, Tacoma


This is out-of-town (Tacoma) but it’s big and it’s good.


From the organizers:


Our mission is to recapture, reinvigorate, and redeem the prophetic vision of Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We want to present his vision with its sharp searing insight within the context of everyday life in contrast to what we see as an ongoing effort to render it as benign, anemic, antiseptic, allusive, and static.  We want to bring it back to the streets, to the people, where it started, where it belongs.

For more info visit



6)  Annual MLK Day March on the Capitol

Meet at at 9 am @ Capitol Theater, 206 5th Ave E


This is a massive annual march on the state capitol building to lobby legislators for working people and poor.  Numerous organizations, both local and statewide, will be participating.  Thousands of people are bussed in from all over the state representing all of the major social justice organizations.  There are workshops and legislative trainings available.




6A)  Washington CAN Action


Hello Friends!


Coming up is our Annual MLK Lobby Day!  It is an exciting opportunity for you to join fellow members from across the state to convene on the capitol and advocate for important issues.


This year some of the issues we are focusing on are; passing a Basic Health Option in Washington, a DREAM act for high achieving undocumented students, Paid Sick Days for everyone and Dental Access that we all can afford.


The day will start at 9 am on January 20th at the Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia.  We will provide breakfast, lunch and transportation if needed, and please feel free to share this opportunity with anyone who supports our goals.  Join us and celebrate Dr. Kings legacy in a powerful way!


Register here:


See you there!


Malon Kelly

Community Organizer

Washington CAN!

Phone: (360) 319-1496




6B)  Poverty Action Network Action


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 ( 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:




7)  The Free Olympia Project Community Assembly with Really Really Free Market

Wednesday January 22nd from 7 to 9 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW


Looking to set up a hub for radical community building.


From the organizers:


→Bring stuff for Really Really Free Market ♥

→Bring food for a potluck ♥


This is the third assembly of the Free Olympia Project


The Free Olympia Project seeks to act as a hub for radical community building projects in Olympia.  We want to help create community assemblies, free food networks, guerrilla gardens, really really free markets, radical literature distribution, free shelter, and any other projects working towards the goal of a community of horizontal abundance that can improve our material conditions and increase our autonomy from capitalism and the state


This is a space to gather face to face and share projects and ideas, tell people what you’re working on and how they can plug in, and find others with similar ideas. There are already tons of great people working on great projects in Oly.  Let’s get together!



8)  Bonus Tip of the Day:


Be right without being wrong.







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