The Thunderbolt 041714 Climate Convergence





The Thunderbolt!!!


News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





1) FYI Section: Earth Day to May Day! People, Planet, Peace over Profit

2) Easter Baskets for Safe Place

3) Yet Again as Captives: Mass Incarceration in the US and Palestine

4) KOWA 106.5 fm Volunteer Meeting and Potluck

5) Poetry: For Lack of a Better Month

6) TEDx Evergreen 2014: Living in the Anthropocene: Free Event

7) Earth Day at the Port of Olympia

8) Oly Community Media Convergence

9) Rally at City Hall for a Car Free City

10) Non-Violent Direct Action & Blockades Training for Earth Fest!

11) Bonus Tip of the Week:



Olympia Climate Convergence




Olympia Climate Convergence: Earth Day to May Day


Hey Kids!


If you have ever wanted to plug into activism, next week is your chance to do so in a big way because there will be a whole series of events throughout the ten days from Earth Day to May Day. Pretty much every social justice and environmental organization in town will be up to various subversive activities so whatever your issue may be, you can come do something concrete and meet the other local folks who are working on these things.


Several of these events is only a few people carrying the load so if you have any expertise or want to help with logistics or whatever, don’t hesitate to volunteer.


I have listed all Convergence-related activities in green on the calendar for easy identification. I have everything that people sent me but I also saw several events that no one told me about, so I’ve also included the Climate Convergence calendar from their website with links to info about everything. There are also likely to be last-minute changes, so you can stay up-to-date by visiting the central website:




Thunderbolt Scoop — NOT


Last week I received some information about city officials engaging in secret back-room deals with land developers and I thought that I was the first one to break the story.


Turns out that Olympia Power and Light not only beat me by a day, but they had a substantial and researched story by a very credible reporter [Matthew Green] whereas I just repeated something that a credible person said. I hadn’t done any further research, and in fact my report included a plea for someone else to look into this further as I barely have time to use the restroom these days.


Thanks to OPL, that is no longer necessary.


This is highly suggested reading:


There is a lot of very interesting stuff here, but I want to highlight one of the comments by OPC member Roger Horn:


[Land developers] also said the rents property owners receive in downtown are not as high as in larger cities or at nearby malls. Lower rent “makes it hard to make things pencil out here…”


Being someone who cannot afford downtown rents as they are, I took note. Evidently the land developers think that we should sacrifice all of our long-time low-income downtown residents and throw them out onto the streets so that the developers can import a bunch of privileged white people with money thus allowing them to ‘pencil out’.


Does anyone want to take any bets upon whether our city government will serve the people who actually live here, or will they sacrifice us in order to assure that the land developers can make more money?




Getting Old


I was selling Real Change at the CoOp the other day when a gentleman about my age came walking out. With a heavy Eastern European accent he asked me if I thought the CoOp would hire him. I told him that they did occasionally hire people and that they sometimes hired people that other people might not.


Then he said, “I aint got no money and I aint got no place to live and this is really getting old.”


There was nothing I could say and nothing I could do.


This is everywhere. If you would like to prove this to yourself then go walk around downtown at 6 am on any given morning and see all the people hanging around everywhere who do not have anywhere else to be.


This is really getting old.




Homeless Jesus


Last week I pointed out that the political inspiration for the libertarian wing of the right wing — Ayn Rand — was a totalitarian, a sociopath, and an atheist.


I also mentioned last week that it is now becoming déclassé to dehumanize homeless people.


There has been another development related to both those things: I have considered one of the great ironies of our age to be the fact that the spiritual inspiration for the right wing — Jesus — was a homeless far-left radical revolutionary who, were he to appear today, would probably be classified as a ‘terrorist’ and renditioned to a secret black site where he would be tortured by the CIA — especially if he were to start throwing over the tables at Goldman $achs.


Anyway, a local church in a wealthy community in North Carolina has unleashed a controversy by unveiling a statue that depicts Jesus as he actually was: Homeless and sleeping on a park bench.


He is covered in a blanket. Only his feet — complete with nail-holes — are showing.


Someone has already called the police to report the statue for sleeping on the bench.


Others are coming, sitting on the bench, and laying their hands on the exposed feet as they pray.


Watching right-wingers try to spin this is hilarious. Here is one of the more ironic responses:


“My complaint is not about the art-worthiness or the meaning behind the sculpture. It is about people driving into our beautiful, reasonably upscale neighborhood and seeing an ugly homeless person sleeping on a park bench.”


Yes, we need to keep ugly homeless people out of reasonably upscale neighborhoods and make sure they stay in their proper place — even if they are the Son of God.


If Jesus is planning on a comeback then someone had better warn him that Olympia now has a sit-lie ordinance and that he would not be welcome here — indeed, he would be arrested if he tried any of that ugly homeless person crap in our town!




Sustain Olympia!


On a happier note, I am most pleased to inform you that our community is blessed with a wondrous organization called the Community Sustaining Fund! This is an organization that exists solely to give money away to local progressive causes!


Here is the CSF mission statement:


The Community Sustaining Fund (CSF) provides grant support for progressive, community-oriented projects in Thurston County. Our funding is aimed at creating and sustaining a democratic, just, nonviolent, and ecologically sound society.


The CSF has provided funding for such diverse organizations as the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, Media Island, and Safe Place — and full disclosure here — since my computer is four years old and since it is showing signs of an imminent crash and since I can’t do what I do without a computer and since I can’t afford a new computer — then the Thunderbolt has just applied for a grant to help purchase a new one! (I have been saving for over a year yet I still only have about half the purchase price of the high-performance computer that I need to do the audio and graphics work involved with publishing and producing the Thunderbolt.)


The CSF is partly funded by people ‘rounding up’ when they make purchases at the Olympia Food CoOp, i.e. if you’re charge at the CoOp is $1.50 then you ask the CoOp cashier to ‘round up’ your charge to $2 with the difference going toward the Sustaining Fund. CSF is also supported by businesses, cottage industries and individuals.


Check them out…




Frack You!


In a new advance on the fracking front, land developers who are selling homes on land in areas where natural gas is known to be have also figured out how to cash in on the fracking boom! They have been including in their contracts — in very teeny tiny highly obscured print that is buried under three subsections of never ending legalese obscurant that therefores and ipso factos you to insanity — the land developers have been keeping the mineral rights underneath the homes that they are selling for themselves without specifically mentioning this fact to the people that are purchasing the homes. Thus, many homeowners are now waking up only to find a fracking well in their back yard — and there is nothing they can do about it and they don’t get a penny from the deal.


Ingenious! Ayn Rand must be cheering from the grave! That’ll show those parasites who think they should get paid for nothing just because they didn’t hire a good enough lawyer or buy enough politicians!




Talking the Talk


Obama regularly spouts off about the inequities of our society. A while back, he gave a passionate series of speeches to make a bid for the Hispanic vote by saying that the feds would thereafter stop deporting undocumented immigrants who weren’t otherwise criminal or dangerous and that from here on they would focus only upon deporting the dangerous people.


Well, the New York Times recently reported that two-thirds of those deported by Obama’s people had at most committed minor infractions, such as traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.


Thus, as usual, Obama’s passionate and flowery speeches meant absolutely nothing.


His newest spouting point — in a bid for the racial minourity vote — concerns the threat to our ‘right to vote’, i.e. our right to decide which of two lying corporate fascists that Wall Street is going to install in the White House every four years. Using his trademark sincerity and passion, Obama has taken to the airwaves to demonstrate his commitment and compassion for the common people of America.


As usual, he had no concrete policy suggestions and he said absolutely nothing about actually doing anything that would actually accomplish anything in this area or in any other area.


I cannot even begin to describe how sick I am of hearing Obama always saying all the right things and then doing all the wrong things.



On a related note, I hereby predict that Obama will stay true to form and that he will approve the Keystone Pipeline.




McCutcheon Citizens Are United


In a ruling that directly affects only the few hundred Americans (I use the term ‘Americans’ lightly here) i.e. those few hundred who can afford to spend millions of dollars on political campaigns, the Supreme Court has just ruled that we are infringing upon the Constitutional rights of these few hundred people by limiting their ability to purchase our government. Thus, in their wise benevolence, the Supremes just removed most of the few remaining tattered shards of laws meant to prevent these few hundred people from purchasing our government.


Both Senators Bernie Sanders and John McCain (McCain providing evidence for the ‘stopped clock theory’ by being on the right side of this issue and favouring campaign finance reform) generously believe that the Supreme Court is making these decisions out of naïvety.


I find myself wondering instead if Senators Sanders and McCain are really that naïve.


Since I’m not a politician then I don’t have private views that are the opposite of my expressed public views and since I don’t have to worry about political calculation or saying the right thing then — unlike Senators Sanders and McCain — I tend to be rather ungenerous when it comes to the fascists.


Concerning the Supreme Court, here are the facts: All five of the reactionary Supreme Court justices are ex-corporate lawyers. All five of the reactionary Supreme Court justices are members of the Federalist Society and the Federalist Society is a front organization for Wall Street.


The Federalist Society has been packing the federal courts for decades — i.e. throughout the administrations of Reagan and both Bush’s i.e. for 20 of the 28 years betwixt 1980 and 2008 i.e. every time Republicans have been in the White House for the last 34 years. Michael Avery, a professor at Suffolk University Law School, and Danielle McLaughlin, an associate at the law firm Nixon Peabody, studied the Federalist Society and they estimate that over 45,000 lawyers and law students are involved in Society activities. According to Avery and McLaughlin, “every single federal judge” appointed by the two Presidents Bush “was either a member or approved by members of the society,” including Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito.


Therefore, I think that all five of the reactionary Supreme Court justices suffer no illusions at all. I think that all that five of the reactionary Supreme Court justices are part of a decades-long right-wing conspiracy to pack the federal courts with fascists and that all that all five of the reactionary Supreme Court justices are fully conscious co-conspirators in Wall Street’s takeover of our government.


This is in everyone’s face and a lot of people have been figuring all this out lately. Do Senators Sanders and McCain really think that the Supreme Court justices are more naïve than most of the common drunks down at the corner bar?


It’s time to wake up and do something, people, lest you wake up one morning to find yourself wondering where you are going and wondering why you are in a hand-basket…




Diversity of Tactics II


So, let’s finish up this week’s Thunderbolt considering what we can actually do about any of this…


The Black Flag kids view non-violent civil disobedience with complete contempt. They consider non-violent tactics to be playing the Machine’s game by the Machine’s rules. They compare non-violent protesters to tame sheep following the instructions of the shepherd whilst the Black Flaggers are in the shadows doing the real and effective work of true revolution.


This view is compelling because this is indeed often the case. I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated by the fact that we’ve been doing the same crap for over 30 years now and that we have been totally getting our asses kicked the entire time.


I also maintain that you can gauge your effectiveness as an activist by the lengths that the Machine is willing to take in order to silence them. I note that non-violent protest rarely results in lengthy prison sentences whilst violent direct action often results in nationwide federal dragnets and very expensive no-holds-barred investigations that in turn often result in ten-year prison sentences for people who did nothing but cause some property damage.


The problem with this view is that it is not always true. My experience has been that non-violent civil disobedience — done correctly and under the right circumstances — is the most powerful form of revolution that there is. I think that public disgust over pictures of southern police fire-hosing and unleashing vicious dogs upon sitting unarmed non-resisting protesters during the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s were as responsible as anything for the successes that movement achieved.


The Black Flag kids will point out that the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement were mostly on paper and that racial minourities are now in nearly as bad a shape as ever — but again I maintain that this is only partially true. There have actually been major advances in those areas and the mere passage of those laws was a major achievement in and of itself. While the legislation has fallen very far from its promise, it has still provided a great boon.


Plus, the laws are now there. Maybe someday we will start enforcing them in both letter and in spirit.


I would also note this: Under Obama, the Tea Party has been free to attend political rallies fully armed yet they very rarely experienced police harassment of any kind. On the other hand, the non-violent and unarmed Occupy Movement was brutally suppressed, illegally spied upon, lied about, vilified in the press, and harassed almost out of existence.


My view is that both violent direct action and non-violent civil disobedience tactics can be highly effective in the correct contexts. I also maintain that both tactics are even more effective when they are being done simultaneously — but only as long as they are kept completely separate from each other.


Non-violent tactics require maintaining the moral high-ground and they require public support. They also require mass-numbers of participants and everyone always needs to know everything that is going on.


Breaking windows and trashing property, on the other hand, usually loses public support. The effective organization of such tactics requires a cellular structure and information needs to be shared only on a need-to-know basis. Thus, the two tactics are both philosophically and logistically incompatible.


Here is some more food for thought on that subject: In a recent incident, a right-winger in Nevada named Cliven Bundy has been grazing his cattle on Bureau of Land Management land for over 20 years without paying his grazing fees — even though these fees are so miniscule as to be a token.


Mr. Bundy refuses to pay these fees because he says that he does not recognize the authority of the US government. After years of legal wrangling and threats, a few days ago the Bureau of Land Management finally began rounding up and confiscating Mr. Bundy’s cattle.


Mr. Bundy put out a call-to-arms.


Around 100 armed right-wingers responded and — under threat of armed violence — the BLM backed down and returned Mr. Bundy’s cattle.


I am thinking that this is not yet over — but what do you think the response would be if 100 black radicals or 100 Occupiers showed up with guns and threatened armed violence against a federal agency?



It’s time to get to work…



The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of April 17th thru April 23rd 2014




1) FYI Section: Earth Day to May Day! People, Planet, Peace over Profit

Tuesday April 22nd thru Thursday May 1st in Olympia


It’s ten days of activism!


From Together Olympia:


The Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet and Peace over Profit is an education and direct action campaign beginning this spring, with “10 days to change course,” running from Earth Day to May Day. It provides coordinated action and collaboration across fronts of struggle and national borders to harness the transformative power we already possess as a thousand separate movements. These grassroots justice movements are sweeping the globe, rising up against the global assault on our shared economy, ecology, peace and democracy. The accelerating climate disaster, which threatens to unravel civilization as soon as 2050, intensifies all of these struggles and creates new urgency for collaboration and unified action.


The Convergence creates a unifying call for a solution as big as the crisis barreling down on us – an emergency Green Economic Transformation through a Global Green New Deal including universal jobs, health care, education, food and housing security, economic and political democracy, demilitarization, an end to deportations, and 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. Clearly the time for action is NOW.




Schedule of Events:


22nd: Tuesday, Earth Day
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (Media Island International, MII)
12-2PM: Seed Bombs and Guerrilla Gardening (MII)
1:30PM: Port Plaza Earth Day Rally!
2-5PM: Bee at the Procession Studio!
5-6:30PM: Oly Community Media Convergence (MII)
6:45-7:15PM: Rally at City Hall for a Carfree City!
7:30PM: Kickoff Earth Day to May Day! (MII)
9PM: KOWA show (MII)


23rd: Wednesday
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
12-5PM: Evergreen Earth Fest 2014
4-6PM: Banner Making (MII)
6:30-8PM: OMJP Spokes Meeting on Global Climate Convergence, POWER Office


24th: Thursday
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
4-6PM: Street Theater Rehearsal (MII)
6-10PM: Grand Strategies (MII)
5-8PM: Climate Solutions Annual Reception


25th: Friday: ARTSWALK
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
3-10PM: Bil Fleming art opening (MII)
5:30PM: Critical Mass, converge West Side Park
7PM: Revolutionary Street Theater & Spoken Word, Rafah Mural


26th: Saturday: ARTSWALK
10:30-12:30PM: Solar Power 101, S. Sound Solar, Lacey Timberland Library
11-4PM: Anti-oppression workshops (MII)
1PM: Food Not Bombs (Library)
4:30PM: Procession of the Species
8PM: Potluck Celebration of the Species! (MII)


27th: Sunday
11-2PM: Global Climate Convergence Benefit Brunch/ Media Island Past, Present and Future (MII)
2-4PM: Green Party presents “Why we can’t have the Congress we want (and do something about climate chaos).” (MII)
4-6PM: Earth Day to May Day Mural Painting (MII)


28th: Monday
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
10AM: Energy healing (MII)
5:30PM: Port Commissioner Meeting, Tumwater
5-7PM: Womyns Tea Circle (MII)
7PM: 6th Extinction potluck, movie and discussion, (Traditions)


29th: Tuesday
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
3-5PM: Good Meetings Training (MII)
5-7PM: Banner Making (MII)
7PM: Reflections and Art on Occupy Olympia & OWS (Sylvester Park)


30th: Wednesday
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
Noon: Free Yoga (MII)
4PM: Chalking Dissent, Bank of America
5-6PM: Anarchist Art Market: Zines, Buttons, Patches and More (MII)
7PM: “Fighting for a Living Wage”, Traditions


May 1st: MAY DAY
9-11AM: Coffee and CommuniTEA (MII)
12-3PM: May Day Festival
3PM: Bus to Seattle May Day (MII)
7PM: IWW Movie, potluck and discussion, Traditions
9PM: KOWA, IWW sing-along (MII)

OFS Environmental Film Fest April 18-20
May 7th: 6:30PM: OMJP, Wrap Up and Reflections, POWER office




2) Easter Baskets for Safe Place

Friday April 18th at Olympia Barber School, 2747 Pacific Ave. # A-2


Come help benefit Safe Place and have fun too!


From Oly Folks:


Last year collectively from friends, students and Oly Folks we collected items to fill 30 baskets for safe place. This year our goal is 50. We have the 50 baskets and are looking for donations of items to fill them. Olympia Barber School is a donation site. Bring bubbles, candy , scarves anything you feel a child could use and enjoy. Thanks in advance.



3) Yet Again as Captives: Mass Incarceration in the US and Palestine

Saturday April 19th at 9 am @ The Evergreen State College


Keynote Conversation Featuring Angela Davis and Noura Erakat

7 pm @ Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St SE


It’s a double header from the Rachel Corrie Foundation.


From RCF:


 Conference at The Evergreen State College

2700 Evergreen Parkway NW

Olympia, Washington

9:00 AM


Keynote Conversation featuring 

Angela Davis and Noura Erakat 

Washington Center for the Performing Arts

512 Washington St. SE

Downtown Olympia

7:00 PM



4) KOWA 106.5 fm Volunteer Meeting and Potluck

Saturday April 19th at 3 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE


Come plug into Olympia’s radical community radio station!


From KOWA:


Come hang out with your friends at 106.5 KOWA on Saturday 4/19 for this month’s KOWA volunteer meeting! Check out our station and learn about what we’re doing as a community radio station, and how you can be a part of it.


This event will be open to everyone, and is a great way for new people to get involved. We have a lot of volunteer opportunities — you can host your own radio show, organize community events, help out with our website, and more. There are plenty of ways to be a part of 106.5 KOWA


Bring: Snacks + appetite (it’s a potluck), ideas for the station, friends, dogs, questions about radio, open mind, jokes, etc.



5) Poetry: For Lack of a Better Month

Sunday April 20th from Noon to 2 pm @ KOWA Studio behind Media Island, 816 Adams St SE


It’s radical poetry! Come plug in for Poetry Month.


From Koyote:


It’s National Poetry Month!


Meet up at our NEW REGULAR space at Media Island International from 12:00 – 2:00 P.M. in the KOWA studio out back.


Let’s get together for a new-fashioned Old Growth poetry playshop. No experience necessary. All are invited to attend! Bring a friend!


We’ll be using the last half an hour to continue planning for an Old Growth collaborative event with Mobroll on May 18th.


Some other ideas for Poetry Month:



6) TEDx Evergreen 2014: Living in the Anthropocene: Free Event

Monday April 21st from 3:30 to 5:30 pm @ TESC Communications Building


This is information on the ecological footprint that humanity leaves upon the planet.


From TESC:


In our brief existence, humankind has impacted ecological systems with disproportionate force. The permanent imprint we have made on the geologic record of Earth’s past is the demarcation point for the Anthropocene: a period defined by human intervention and a future that will be determined largely by how we reckon with and regulate our power to influence the land, sea, and atmosphere, as well as the planet’s vast network of interdependent life forms.


The third TEDxTheEvergreenStateCollege conference, Living in the Anthropocene, will highlight innovative ideas about living in our current geological human-influenced epoch.


Registration will open in late March. More info available at



7) Earth Day at the Port of Olympia

Tuesday April 22nd from 1:30 to 3 pm @ the Port Plaza


Kicking off Earth Day with a port and a bang.


From Mike:


Not sure yet on the details, but let’s kick off the 10 dayGlobal Climate Convergence Washington Statewith an event at the Port of Olympia. Hopefully we will be thanking the Port for a decision to stop importing fracking materials at that event. We expect a lot of folks from Olympia will be joining the Seattle Earth Day event. Those folks will need to leave Oly about 3 pm or 3:30 to make the Seattle Event.



8) Oly Community Media Convergence

Tuesday April 22nd from 5 to 6:30 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE


Media is very important and we need to take it back.


From Together Oly:


5-6:30PM: Oly Media Alliance is an idea that if all of our various grassroots media organized around principled unity, cooperated, shared resources, developed and shared skills all would benefit. This is a popular education discussion to develop the seeds of future collaboration.



9) Rally at City Hall for a Car Free City

Tuesday April 22nd from 6:45 to 7:15 pm @ Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Ave E


The name says it all.


From Together Olympia:


6:45-7:15PM: Rally at City Hall for a Carfree City!

Let’s make a walkable living city where walking, bikes and public transit are supported and cars become unsupported over time. In honor of Earth Day, we are going to the Olympia City Hall to firmly affirm that they do more to support pedestrians, bikers and public transportation. We also would like to see a city street, for at least a block, permanently shutdown and made into a public boulevard for people.



10) Non-Violent Direct Action & Blockades Training for Earth Fest!

Wednesday April 23rd from 2:30 to 5:30 pm @ The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW


Training! Learn how to throw sand into the cogs of the Machine!


From Steph Cascadia:


Join us for Earth Fest at Evergreen!


This 3-hour training will entail a history of direct action and civil disobedience in the history of social and environmental movements, and how tactics and strategies have helped win campaigns.


The training will include NVDA 101, basic blockade techniques, and folks will have the opportunity to brainstorm and learn the steps to effective action planning through role plays.


@ the Evergreen State College Longhouse.


Co-hosted by EPIC – Evergreen Political Information Center, South Sound Rising Tide, and the Evergreen EnvironmentalCorps



11) Bonus Tip of the Week:


Don’t frack yourself.







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