News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes
1) Four-Part Bannering Along I-5
2) Green Party of South Puget Sound Monthly Meeting
3) Bonus Tip of the Week
War and Circus
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion
War and Circus
For this week’s War and Circus, the Thunderbolt brings you: THE UKRAINE CRISIS!!!
Actually, I really really really hate it really a lot when something like the ‘Ukraine Crisis” happens. Really. There is nothing else on the frigging news except this farcical manufactured passion play that is being ginned up like a choreographed Broadway show. When I try to enter news gathering mode I find myself constantly having to change sites or stations because I have absolutely no interest in listening to or reading about any BS concerning the ‘Ukraine Crisis’. With breathless solemnity the talking heads will predictably report on what he said, what she said, and what they said. Though people will likely learn a few things about the Ukraine that they didn’t know before — otherwise the Media Machine says absolutely nothing that is in any way enlightening or even anything that is truly relevant. Russia did something that would be business-as-usual if the Americans were doing it but since Russia did it then Putin has suddenly become the latest evil threat to civilization that we must arm ourselves to the teeth to defend ourselves against. It’s time for Obama and Putin to face each other and engage in the ancient ritual of the Wagging of the Penis as everyone in the United States and Russia gets all hot with the foreplay. Putin is now a national hero in Russia for standing up to the Great American Bully. Being on Obama’s ‘sanction list’ has become a status symbol of which Russian officials boast and being on Russia’s ‘sanction list’ has become an status symbol of which American officials boast. Here in the US of A every news outlet right and left and nearly every politician Democrat and Republican are donning their codpieces and tights and getting ready to once again bravely send other mother’s sons into danger in order to boost the sacred Bottom Line at Goldman $achs!
Now they can send other people’s daughter’s too!
Maybe Obama can get away with another war if the people that we’re ‘saving’ this time are white?
Here is the official Thunderbolt take on the ‘Ukraine Crisis’: When we rose up en masse and prevented Obama’s Syrian Madness in its tracks, the War Machine was taken aback — for a minute. Typically, this did not last long; they simply dusted off and resurrected a tried-and-true bogey man from the past to instill new terror into the hearts of Americans so as to justify spending lots and lots of money on guns and bombs and terror and death — which is by far our largest and our most profitable export these days. Now we must support the Ukrainian people’s freedom! They bravely used Western cash to rise up and overthrow a democratically elected government! Then they installed an unelected ‘interim’ government that consists of Western puppets! Then — with amazing speed and alacrity — this unelected government signed the ‘trade agreement’ with the EU that was the cause of this whole ‘revolution’ to begin with! Wow! What a happy coincidence for the Western powers! Evidently signing this ‘agreement’ just could not wait for a few months until another democratic government could be elected and/or until there was some education and debate about the costs and benefits of this ‘agreement’ to the people of the Ukraine…
According to the Media Machine, though, with the signing of this agreement the Ukraine has now been saved! They have narrowly escaped the financial chains with which the arch-evil Putin wished to enslave them!
Now they are going to be enveloped into the cold steel embrace of the International Monetary Fund instead!
How happy for the Ukraine! Yippee!
Those bad boys at the IMF is gonna lay some ‘austerity’ love on the Ukraine’s ass now!
I’m thinking that after a dose of that infamous IMF austerity fire, then memories of that old Russian frying pan may soon begin to grow fonder in the eyes of some Ukrainians…
Irony of the Week: Barack Obama
This week’s Irony of the Week is brought to us by our president, Barack Obama, who accused Vladimir Putin of committing international war crimes when Obama is ordering the murder of civilians all over the world! Obama is accusing Putin of interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation when the United States has military bases in 160 of the world’s 190 countries!
This has to be one of the most outrageous examples of a pot calling a kettle black in all human history!
One feature of the history of old Russia was the continual beatings she suffered because of her backwardness. She was beaten by the Mongol khans. She was beaten by the Turkish beys. She was beaten by the Swedish feudal lords. She was beaten by the Polish and Lithua¬nian gentry. She was beaten by the Japanese barons. All beat her because of her backwardness; military backwardness, cultural backwardness, political backwardness, industrial backwardness, agricultural backwardness. They beat her because to do so was profitable and could be done with impunity
Imperialism is the final phase of capitalism
The War to Begin All Wars
For some reason Stalin forgot to mention both Alexander and Napoleon in his tirade against the astonishingly long list of powers that have beaten up on Russia over the centuries.
Hitler’s beating had not yet happened at that point.
If you discount Poland, then if there is any other country on this planet that has as good a reason to be paranoid as Russia does — I can’t think of which one it might be.
This history almost certainly explains why Russians are so fond of their ‘strong-men’.
My generation was born in the shadow of World War II. I have not queried the current generation about their level of awareness concerning World War II, but since popular culture continues with its Nazi/Hitler obsession then I am thinking most of the modern crop of youngsters is at least aware of the broad outlines.
On the other hand, neither my generation nor I suspect the current one have much knowledge or concern about World War I.
The Thunderbolt would like to take this opportunity to suggest that this is a major mistake. The Thunderbolt, in fact, here makes the claim that World War I was several magnitudes more significant than WWII in nearly every way shape form and manner in which you may wish to compare the two except in the extent of the actual butchery made possible by the great leaps in the technology of butchery. Both wars, in fact, could and I think should be considered to be the same war with a 20-year break in the middle to regroup.
WWI saw the first widespread use of chemical weapons. WWI saw the first use of dropping death from the sky from aircraft. With the disaster represented by this war, several dynasties that had ruled major portions of the planet for many centuries simply ceased to exist, i.e. the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire — and in the case of the Russian Empire, not only did the Romanov Dynasty cease to exist in name, but all of the individual members of that sad family that the Bolsheviks could get their bloody little hands on also ceased to exist, including the Czar, his wife, their five children, their personal doctor, their personal maid, and a couple of other civilians who chose to remain loyal and stuck with them to the very end.
Most importantly, WWI saw the birth of Big Government and its attending security state that helped lead to WWII and WWI was directly responsible for the formation of the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States that also helped lead to WWII.
The fate of the Romanovs and all of the liberal and Communist ideologies that were proliferating and their inability to keep things under control during the war — all of this in whole and in part seriously shook up the fascists. Amongst many other reactions, right after WWI was when the Industrial Machine began funding their studies on manipulating public perceptions.
Even without a major propaganda Machine, though, one thing that struck me powerfully in researching the lead up to WWI was how naïve ignorant and foolish people were in 1914 — both the leadership and the public. No one seemed to have even the smallest beginning of the slightest comprehension of what was about to happen. No one even dimly foresaw even the broad contours of the disaster that lay before them. Most welcomed the war as a great patriotic adventure. Most thought it would be over soon with minimal inconvenience. They had expe¬rienced decades of relative peace and they had forgotten what horror total war is — and the technology of war had meanwhile advanced greatly, thus multiply¬ing the horror exponentially.
Everyone expected this war to be quick, clean, and decisive.
It was anything but. It quickly lost whatever glory it had ever possessed after millions of terrified men were butchered with terrible omnipotent machines that human reason had devised but could no longer seem to really fully control. Once the true nature and scope of this war became apparent it didn’t take very long at all for most folks to have some serious second thoughts about their ‘patriotic adventure’. The government and the wealthy had to resort to ever more vitupera¬tive propaganda in order to generate enthusiasm. In the process truth was destroyed, life was devalued, and the propagandists poisoned minds with paroxysms of nationalism. Vilification of the enemy mounted. When you read headlines from the beginning of the war and then read headlines from the latter part of the war you note a distinct shift in the theme of the rhetoric; it transforms from ‘love your country and defend it’ into ‘hate your enemy and kill him’. Germans were eating Belgian babies. The English were intentionally starving women and children. ‘They shall not have died in vain’ became the monstrous slogan used to justify sending millions more to die in vain.
The war fed upon itself and the various governments soon became prisoners of their own propaganda.
What I think is the most insidious side-effect of this war is this, though: This war also gave birth to a terrible new leviathan called the Modern State.
During the late 19th Century, every European country except Russia had greatly circumscribed their various Machines from their normal mischief because for several decades they had been practicing liberal theory in public affairs. What this means is that during this period of European history our side was winning — which is surely why you never hear much about this period.
That all changed with World War I. Everything changed with WWI; this brand new Monster State had, under the ‘necessity of war’, assumed power over realms that had hitherto been immune to its control. By necessity, the State became a mobilizer of men and property, the commander of economic life, the censor of human expressions, and the manipulator of human minds. Dissent was denounced as unpatriotic. The State imposed rationing. The State controlled prices. The State allocated labour and resources. Parliament lost power to dictatorial executives. Individual liberty was squashed. It was assumed that these measures were temporary — but the prewar balance between individual liberty and public authority would never again be restored to its late 19th Century levels.
In the United States, after running on the slogan that “he kept us out of the war” one of Woodrow Wilson’s first acts as president was to get us into the war. Once in, laws were quickly passed making it illegal to critic¬ize WWI. Many did so anyway. Eugene Debs polled almost a million votes for presi¬dent in 1920 whilst in prison for speak¬ing out against the war, in fact. The Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, organized a special antiradical division within the Department of Justice and named a young J. Edgar Hoover as the head of it. Palmer instituted raids upon various anti-war groups beginning in November 1919 and arrested thousands. These raids, which probably consti¬tuted the most massive violation of civil liberties in American history, found very few dangerous radicals — but they very successfully fanned the flames of fear and intolerance. These were lessons that Mr. Hoover took to heart and very successfully employed in his lengthy career of blackmail and extortion.
Another thing: More than 20 million Europeans died in WWI. At least twice that number was wounded and millions of mutilated men walked the streets of Europe for decades afterward — that is, those who were still capable of walking.
France lost fully half of its male population between ages 20 to 32. Other countries suffered almost as much.
Even these astonishing numbers fail to tell the full story: First, along with the truly promising advances that the ‘Let’s Learn to Get Along With Each Other’ school of human relations had been making against the competing ‘Let’s Kill All of our Enemies’ view, the promise and flower of Europe’s youth — the potential leaders of the 1920s and 1930s — was devastated. Thousands of men of recognized talent died alongside millions of others whose talents and genius would forever remain undiscovered.
And those that returned were not the same ones that had left. For millions, their collective outlook and their moral expectations had forever been burned and profoundly changed. This war scorched the minds and the character of an entire generation and more. This war was an unprecedented discovery of savagery and violence that nothing in the wealthy genteel and relatively repressed pre-1914 world had ever prepared any of them for. This war not only utterly destroyed the old order; it weakened the forces that could have built the new one as well. Thus, the end of WWI did not even bring peace; quite the contrary. It merely set the stage for an even greater bloodbath twenty years later…
This was the legacy of World War I: Welcome to the Machine.
It’s time to get to work…
The Thunderbolt Calendar
Week of March 27th thru April 2nd 2014
1) Four-Part Bannering Along I-5
Friday March 28th Meet at 4 PM @ Parking Lot between Sears and Petco in South Sound Mall
Provide entertainment and education for those stuck in the Friday afternoon traffic jam!
This is through the local Green Party.
Here’s an opportunity to join a historic event: A four-part bannering over I-5.
The message unfolds in sequence: 1) BIG MONEY BOUGHT CONGRESS; 2) MONEY IS NOT FREE SPEECH; 3) TAKE BACK YOUR GOVERNMENT; 4) PLEASE SIGN I-1329. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that we have ever done a Burma-Shave type bannering. Pretty exciting, huh?
We meet at about 4:00 PM this Friday, in the parking lot between Sears and Petco in the South Sound Mall, and spread out to various overpasses (the Chehalis Trail pedestrian overpass, Sleater-Kinney, Lilly Rd, College Street). Scott and I will go to College Street. Bannering takes place about 4:30 to 6:00. We’d like more people, of course.
The Green Party supports the Move to Amend initiative. It asks our Congressional delegation to propose an amendment against corporate personhood.
We can also use this technique for more specifically Green Party efforts in the future.
Please join us. It’ll be fun, and we can get together afterwards and celebrate.
2) Green Party of South Puget Sound Monthly Meeting
Tuesday April 1st at 7 PM @ Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW, Room 152
Come poke a stick at the Machine! The Machine HATES the Green!
Green Party monthly meeting
Thurston County Courthouse, Room 152
April 1, 7:00 PM
NOTE: Jody Grage (from the state party) will be there and will show us the new line of Green merchandise.
• Bannering: Move to Amend did a 4-piece series; can we replicate that for the Green Party? What would the message be?
• We have plans for an April 27th event, our part of the Earth Day to May Day Convergence. Needs polishing.
• More discussion of which local offices the Green Party should run for. (Port Commissioner is up in 2016.)
• Announcement: GP-US is offering a tele-conference on running Green campaigns.
• Announcements: Merchandise from the state party — look it over. We can offer it at our events.
• General question on how to get the word out: most of the local issues are Green Party issues (reflect our values); most local activists are Greens!
3) Bonus Tip of the Week:
Expose the circus.