The Thunderbolt 051514 A Tale of Two Cites

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The Thunderbolt!!!

 

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes

 

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1) FYI Section: Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Newsletter Deadline

2) Move to Amend Meeting

3) Nakba Day 2014

4) Rally Against the “Pay to Play” Legal System in Thurston County

5) David Spring at Traditions

6) Mobroll Olympia: Bicycles, Music, Film, Art

7) Movie Screening: Coal Road to China

8) Free Ice Cream for I-1329

9) Catching Fire Screening and Discussion on Social Justice

10) Bonus Tip of the Week

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A Tale of Two Cites

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Hey Kids!

 

Let’s start on a hopeful note this week: Always remember that no problem is ever so bad that it cannot be made worse by an American military intervention…

 

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Department of Ignorance

 

The only reason for a security state is to provide a tool for a small minourity to control the masses. The real purpose for the phrase ‘national security’ is to provide an excuse to keep the public uninformed. The security state exists not only to let them know what is going, but even more importantly it exists to intimidate people in order to keep them from knowing what is going on. Anyone that says anything they don’t like — especially if what they are saying is true — becomes a ‘national security’ concern.

 

 

The actions of neither the Earth Liberation Front [ELF] nor the Animal Liberation Front [ALF] has never so much as injured much less killed anyone — yet Kids from ELF and ALF are called ‘terrorists’ and several of them are doing 10-year prison sentences for damaging property — charges for which they would have received 3-year prison sentences had they damaged the same property for purposes of scamming an insurance company rather than having done it for political reasons.

 

Two years ago some idealistic kids broke some windows during a May Day march in Seattle and one of the windows they broke was on a federal courthouse. This elicited a massive expensive no-holds-barred nationwide investigation in which small armies of armed federal agents invaded neighborhoods intimidating and scaring people and involved throwing three kids into prison for several months for no crime whatsoever but instead for refusing to snitch on their friends and if they ever manage to convict anyone for anything then that person will probably be given many years in a federal prison.

 

All of this seems evidence that violent direct action for political purposes is a very risky thing to do. However — as noted last week — this is evidently only true for left-wing political people as a couple of weeks ago a hundred right-wingers faced off the Bureau of Land Management — and the BLM backed down. I would also note the numerous Tea Party gatherings wherein large numbers of participants were fully armed with nary a cop in sight whilst the non-violent and unarmed Occupy Movement had a massive police escort everywhere that we went. Right wingers that murder abortion doctors or blow up buildings or fly airplanes into buildings are not called ‘terrorists’ but the anarchist kids and the kids from ELF and ALF are.

 

 

Seriously though, while our government is for sale to the highest bidder, I often joyously note the fact that our public mobilizations are still fully capable of trumping their money. There have been several instances lately of some corporate-sponsored outrage that was all ready to fly through Congress with super-majority support — yet was subsequently stopped in its tracks by a large public outcry. There are several issues that enjoy 60% or 75% public support but that cannot get to first base in Congress. It was a real eye-opener for me a few years ago whilst watching a corporate news program about one of these issues (I forget now which specific issue they were addressing) and the commentator commentated that while the issue enjoyed broad public support, there was no political support for it in Congress.

 

Rarely does a corporate shill so freely admit that Congress does not support the will of the public — though he failed to question whose will they do support.

 

Another hopeful aspect of our situation consists of the fact that protest is much more effective than public opinion in getting things done. There have been numerous instances lately wherein a relatively small number of people have staged some kind of large public protest over something and suddenly Congress could not pass or kill a bill fast enough. This means that we can actually affect public policy even on the federal level. It’s just that every individual instance requires a mass-mobilization and they counter us by wearing us out with so many outrages that we simply cannot keep up with all of them.

 

I think the lesson there is that we need to carefully choose our battles.

 

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Death of an Institution

 

I have long been a critic of the way American big-business destroys small businesses. The wiping out of the small family farmer by the Corporate Farming Machine is fairly well known as is Mal Wart’s practice of opening a new store and then selling products for under-cost until they can run all the local competition out of business before raising their prices back to near-normal retail. These companies are so big that when they sneeze, the entire country gets a cold and when they roll over they crush masses of people.

 

Well I just had a personal front-row seat to these tactics in action.

 

Back in the mid 70’s Earl Wellman founded the Kurbstone Flower Company in Denver. Kurbstone sold flowers on street corners and during its heyday it provided jobs for several dozen mostly low-income people. In the early 80’s I spent several years as a Kurbstone route manager, i.e. I hired usually around a dozen people to go stand on street corners in Denver and sell flowers. I drove around setting them up on the corner with their flowers, and then in the evening I drove around closing them down, collecting their money, and paying them a percentage of the take. Back in the day, it was a fun and interesting way to make a living and while it was a feast-or-famine type operation, overall the money was good.

 

In the mid-80’s, one of my employees named Peter Mort expanded Kurbstone into Seattle.

 

After Safeway, Mal Wart, 7-11 and several other big-box stores started selling flowers, Kurbstone took a big hit and both Kurbstone Denver and Kurbstone Seattle eventually shrunk from operating every-week into holiday-only operations. Still, there are many people who have been depending upon the few hundred dollars they can make working over the Mother’s Day and Valentines’ Day holidays for many years now, including myself.

 

No more. This year all of the big-box stores decided to celebrate Mother’s Day by having themselves a flower war and they bought every single rose in the Northwest at a premium price all so that they could turn around and sell them for $10 per dozen — which is below the wholesale price. Thus, while everyone got a really good deal on flowers for Mother’s Day this year, Peter literally could not find any flowers and after over 40 years in operation the Kurbstone Flower Company has now effectively been put out of business.

 

While I have taken a personal financial hit (I need a new computer and I was counting on Mother’s Day to make a down payment) many others are in much worse shape and I imagine this is going to cause a few people who were depending upon Kurbstone income to pay their rent to now become homeless.

 

This sucks.

 

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Death of a Nation

 

I am convinced that future historians will point to the Reagan Administration as the beginning of the end of the American Empire. As one would suspect of such a singular accomplishment, Ronald Reagan had a very long list of singular undertakings: He ran up a record national debt, increasing it from $400 billion to over $3 trillion in only 8 years — more debt than all other previous presidents in all American history combined! In a mere eight years he took us from being the world’s leading lending nation to being the world’s leading debtor nation. Thanks to his policies we have gone from the world’s leading importer of raw materials and the world’s leading exporter of manufactured goods into being the world’s leading exporter of raw materials and the world’s leading importer of manufactured goods. More members of his administra­tion were indicted on criminal charges than all other 20th Century American administrations combined. Reagan defunded HUD and when thousands became homeless as a result he closed down hundreds of homeless shelters. To top even that, he then emptied the mental hospitals out onto the streets and thus thousands of the mentally ill joined all the other thou­sands that had already been driven there and many have been there ever since. Reagan raised taxes several times after promising to lower them and he vastly increased the size of the government after promising to decrease it. He attacked any and all programs designed to help the poor and racial minourities while vastly increasing military spending and tax breaks for the rich. The gap between rich and poor became greater than at any other time during the 20th Century. Many dubbed him as ‘Reagan-Hood’: He robbed from the poor and gave to the rich.

 

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No Comment

 

Speaking of big-box stores, our president, Barack Obama, just engaged in a photo-op at a Mal Wart store to commend the Big Wart for their ‘sustainability’.

 

Mal Wart gets 3% of its energy from renewable sources.

 

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Cultural Backfire

 

There is no doubt that the phenomenon of anti-social and criminal behaviour is cultural in origin, i.e. that madness and rebellion is a cultu­rally programmed paradigm; that a person’s leave-taking from conven­tional real­ity almost always takes a form prescribed by his culture. For instance, mass murder is yet another phenomenon that is almost uniquely Ameri­can. Ojibwa culture taught that persons could be possessed by spirits that would cause the victim to have uncontrollable desire to eat human flesh — and when Ojibwas went mad, this ‘Windingo Psychosis’ was almost invariably the form that it took. In many Inuit cultures, madness took a special northern form known as ‘Arctic Hysteria’, in which sufferers would rip off their clothes and race out upon ice floes. Ojibwas and Americans rarely race naked across ice floes; Inuits and Americans rarely eat human flesh; Ojibwas and Inuits rarely commit mass murder.

 

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The War of 1811

 

America’s largest slave revolt happened in 1811. It was called the German Coast Uprising and virtually no one has ever heard of it even though it had far-reaching implications. This was not a rag-tag seat-of-your-pants rebellion. It was headed by experienced military leaders (some of them were ex-warriors from Africa) and it was a full-on carefully planned and executed military operation that almost succeeded in its short-term goal of seizing control of New Orleans. The rebelling slaves wore uniforms, flew flags, and marched in formation.

 

No one has ever heard of it because the powers that be in New Orleans played it way down. “Nothing to see here, just move along now…”

 

The lie to this statement can be told by the fact that they very brutally murdered and dismembered all of the black participants and then hung their heads from poles all over the German Coast section of Louisiana. The leader of the revolt — Charles Deslondes — had his hands chopped off and his thighs broken as a prelude to being roasted alive on a pile of straw. When the legality of summarily executing and dismembering people and then hanging their heads on poles was called into question, they gave the few remaining survivors ‘trials’ — and then they executed and dismembered them before hanging their heads upon poles too.

 

They sought to write these brave and resourceful slaves out of history — and their strategy totally worked. Hardly anyone ever heard about the German Coast Uprising either then or now. This is true even though this revolt was responsible for the majority French and Spanish populations of New Orleans — who had previously been openly hostile to the Americans — to suddenly start kissing up to them and encouraging them to begin stationing more troops in New Orleans which means that this revolt was also directly responsible for the militarization that did indeed subsequently happen in New Orleans and this militarization then directly affected the outcome of the War of 1812. This revolt also directly affected Andrew Jackson’s mass-murderous attitude and policies toward African and Native Americans.

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/01/09/new-orleans-forgotten-slave-revolt-by-dan-rasmussen-american-uprising-author.html

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/16/132839717/american-rising-when-slaves-took-on-new-orleans

 

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A Tale of Two Cites

 

This is a factually accurate fictional portrayal of two legal cites:

 

Jim and Jason were both arrested for passing bad checks. Both checks were for exactly the same amount and both men faced exactly the same charge.

 

That was where the similarities ended. Jim was relatively wealthy whilst Jason was a minimum wage worker.

 

Jim posted bail and was out of jail in hours. Jason did not have money for bail and was thus forced to sit in jail for the three months that it took to adjudicate his case. Jim hired a lawyer and dealt with his case moneta­rily. His lawyer swung a plea deal wherein he paid for the check and received probation. If Jim successfully completed his probation and paid all of his fines and resti­tution then the incident would be erased from the record and in the end Jim wouldn’t even have a criminal record.

 

Jason was another story entirely. Since he was in jail for months, Jason lost his job, his apartment, and his car. In addition, his family became homeless and his children were placed in foster homes. Jason was also charged $30 per day for his time in jail and by the time he finally got to court he had not only lost everything that he had but he now faced a $2,000 bill from the county for his time in jail — in addition to the fines and restitution payments. Unlike Jim, Jason could not immediately pay off the bad check so he pled guilty to a felony and received five years of probation. However, without a car a job or a home Jason could not meet the requirements of probation and thus he ended up in prison.

 

Thus, the situation turned into an expensive and embarrassing inconvenience for Jim while for Jason the exact same situation brought about the complete destruction of his entire life.

 

The only difference was that Jim had money and Jason did not.

 

However: The fact is that anyone is subject to having their lives destroyed by a low-level prosecutor or police officer. You can be a paragon of virtue intelligence morality decency and industry — but none of that confers immunity to the complete destruction of your life resulting from prosecution for relatively minour crimes whether or not you are eventually found guilty of anything. In many cases simply being charged with a criminal offense is enough to ruin your life.

 

These people have way too much power…

 

It’s time to get to work…

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The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of May 15th thru 21st 2014

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1) FYI Section: Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Newsletter Deadline

Oly FOR also has a most excellent newsletter. While they cover a lot of the same things as the Thunderbolt does, we have slightly different focuses and they have things the Thunderbolt doesn’t have and the Thunderbolt has things they don’t have.

 

From Oly FOR:

 

The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s newsletter publicizes news, announcements, calendar items, etc., related broadly to peace, social justice, nonviolence, the environment, economic justice, human rights, and related issues. I will mail hundreds of people our JUNE-JULY newsletter on approximately May 30, so local people will receive it on about May 31 or June 2.

 

Please send your announcements and calendar items BY MONDAY MAY 19 or very soon after.

 

The vast majority of events we publicize will occur in the greater Olympia and Thurston County area, but we also publicize a few very special ones in nearby counties, Seattle and elsewhere. Because we are a 501(c)3 organization, we cannot publicize any partisan political activities.

 

I’ll check several of the local websites that offer many calendar items (e.g., TC Pro-Net, Interfaith Works, and Traditions Fair Trade & Café, but please provide any newer or more complete information than what you have posted there, and please notify me of additional activities.

 

Some events occur on a regular basis, but I want to make sure the information I have been using is still valid and accurate, so please notify me to confirm date, time, place, and the contact information for the key person.

 

Please send brief information to me as soon as possible – preferably by Monday May 19– so I can include them in our newsletter calendar. (Sooner is better!)

 

You can reply to this e-mail address (glen@olympiafor.org)or phone me at (360) 491-9093.

 

If you don’t receive our newsletter but would like to, please contact me at glen@olympiafor.org. You may choose to receive the print version and/or a .pdf version. Also, you can see our current and recent newsletters at www.olympiafor.org.

 

Thanks!

 

I dream of a world where chickens can cross roads without having their motives questioned.

 

Glen Anderson   (360) 491-9093   glen@olywa.net

 

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2) Move to Amend Meeting

Thursday May 15th at 6:30 @ Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW

 

Come help take our government back from the Machine.

 

From M2A:

 

Hello to all

 

 so far, we have  70,000 petition signatures to put I-1329 on the november ballot…we need 200,000 more by the 3rd of july

 

can you help ?  …….just a little?

 

 just drop by our meeting this thursday, feel no pressure to stay for the meeting…. and take one petition….20 spaces for signatures….whether you get 5 signatures…or fill in the page…all help is welcomed !

 

you can stay for as much or as little of the meeting as you like

 

chocolate and healthy snacks proved!

 

there is no such thing as being late to our meetings.

 

there is no such think as leaving early.

 

please help to take back your government from the 400 families that own more than half of everything…and own our government too.

 

meeting location :  2000 lake ridge drive s.w. 98502 olympia Washington

 

.                                 building #1, room 152,  6:30 pm till 8:30 pm

 

 for a detailed map, just  google, the address…..  2000 lake ridge drive s.w. olympia 98502

 

help change the world…for the better

 

best wishes

michael savoca

chair

olympia move to amend

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3) Nakba Day 2014

Thursday May 15th Online Event

 

Come stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

 

From Byrd:

 

Take a stand for Nakba Day 2014 – Palestinian Rights!!

#Nakba14 #PalestinianRights

 

This day May 15th we commemorate the Palestinian Cause!

 

On the Nakba Day This event will become a Social Media Campaign and spread information about the Palestinian Cause!

 

Please attend and INVITE all your friends so that this campaign can reach as many people as possible around the world!

 

Together we can make a difference!

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/625106604250843/

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4) Rally Against the “Pay to Play” Legal System in Thurston County

Friday May 16th at 3 pm @ Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW

 

Come protest money’s influence on our legal system.

 

From Sam Miller:

 

On Friday May 9th Thurston County Judge Christine Schaller and prosecuting attorney James Powers agreed to allow Shaun Goodman a man with no less than 7 alcohol related charges to serve 1 year of work release. After leading police on a drunken chase in his Ferrari through Downtown Olympia all while holding a man hostage. We will meet at the corner of Lakeridge Drive SW and Descutes Parkway SW. and march to the courthouse Bring Noise (drums, megaphones, elephants, trumpets, loud neighbors) and signs (Anti-corruption, pro-justice)

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/273342256181758/

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5) David Spring at Traditions

Friday May 16th at 7 pm @ Traditions, 300 5th Ave SW

 

David Spring is an expert on staying below the NSA’s radar.

 

From Anne:

 

David Spring, author of “Free Yourself From Microsoft and the NSA” will be presenting at Traditions, May 16, 2014 at 7 p.m.

 

Free presentation, no cover charge.

 

Everyone invited to attend and learn more about the paradigm we live in and learn the freedom of Linux Mint and LibreOffice.

 

Also check out: http://www.freeyourselffrommicrosoftandthensa.org/

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6) Mobroll Olympia: Bicycles, Music, Film, Art

Saturday May 17th thru Sunday May 18th @ Various Times and Locations

 

Its radical bicyclists! Only in Washington!

 

From Koyote:

 

BICYCLES, MUSIC, FILM, ART (please invite, share, host)

 

FULL TOUR SCHEDULE HERE:

https://www.facebook.com/events/636463753094511/?source=1

 

Come mob with us this may! (scroll yo)…

 

SATURDAY MAY 17

 

Firstly,

the ROLYPOLY OLY

Alley Cat Race

a bike scavenger hunt w/prizes!

3pm @ Sylvester Park. $5

 

Then,

MOBROLL HOUSESHOW

an evening of homegrown nw hiphop & folk

Free graffiti wall

Bombus custom bike frame raffle!

7pm @ The Guesthouse

(1121 4th ave w) $3-5 suggested

FEATURING:

Generifus, Scuffs Mentality, BEZ, Myoclonic Jerk, the Femme Cs, the Rapresentatives, Nabii Ko$mo, Dylan Cliffthorne & More!

 

SUNDAY MAY 18

 

SPOKEN MEDECINE w/ OPEN-MIC an afternoon of poetry & bikes

 

Featuring poets from:

the 2014 Seattle National Poetry Slam Team

OLD GROWTH Poetry Collective

& the MOBROLL MINSTRELS

 

The Commons @ Fertile Ground (9th & Adams)

Open Mic (Signups 1-1:30)

1-4pm

$3-5 suggested

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/229265947271283/

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7) Movie Screening: Coal Road to China

Monday May 19th at 7 pm @ Olympia Center Room B, 222 Columbia St NW

 

Come learn about how they want to trash our Northwest environment so that they can ship tar sands oil to China.

 

From Climate Solutions:

 

WHAT:  A Movie – “Coal Road to China” and panel discussion about coal export

WHEN: Monday May 19th 7:00pm – 8:30pm

WHERE:  The Olympia Center, Room B, The Olympia Center, Room B

222 Columbia St NW, Olympia

 

FREE admission!

 

The film, “Coal Road to China,” was produced by members of MELT (Montana Elders for a Livable Tomorrow).  Harold and Jan Hoem traveled to the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming three times last summer to film the coal country at the center of the coal export controversy.

 

They interviewed ranchers, Native Americans and others who live and work near the mines.  They recorded the people’s concerns about mining, and about dozens of additional coal trains that would travel through their communities and land on their way to Pacific coal export terminals should they be built.

 

Those discussions led to the coal/climate connection, and the Hoems spoke with scientists, physicians, an activist from Beijing and a former Montana coal mine manager.  The landscapes and the people form the story that is told in “Coal Road to China.”

 

The film, produced by Jan and Harold Hoem, novice film makers, is richly textured and visually exciting. 

 

Near the end, a song, “It’s Just a Train,” provides a musical journey through the places that we’ve just seen.  The song was written and performed for the film by local Olympia singer-song writer John Deviny.

 

Please join us for this engaging film on coal and climate that is beautiful, honest and surprisingly hopeful.

 

Locally Sponsored by Climate Solutions

Beth Doglio | Campaign Director

Climate Solutions – 15 Years of Practical Solutions to Global Warming

360.352.1763 x29 office | 360.628.0935 mobile

Facebook | Twitter | Solutions Stories

Washington • Oregon • Montana • Idaho

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8) Free Ice Cream for I-1329

Wednesday May 21st at 12 pm @ South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Rd NE

 

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for free! Support I-1329 while you’re at it! Yippee!

 

From TC Pro Net:

 

FREE ICE CREAM: Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Truck at SPSCC in support of I-1329

Date:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Time:

12:00PM – 2:00PM

Short Description:

Ben Cohen with Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Truck handing out FREE ICE CREAM at SPSCC in support of I-1329!

Location:

SPSCC
2011 Mottman Road SW
Olympia, WA 98512

Contact Information:

Florence Vincent: 360-264-6055, florencev@fairpoint.net

 

Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, and founder of the StampStampede.org, will be at South Puget Sound Community College with a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Truck handing out FREE ICE CREAM in support of I-1329!!!  The truck will be located between the library and the student union building (#27 & #28 on this campus map:  http://www.spscc.ctc.edu/map-and-directions )

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/627310444021488/

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9) Catching Fire Screening and Discussion on Social Justice

Wednesday May 21st at 4 pm @ Partners in Prevention Education, 408 7th Ave SE

 

This is a PiPE anti-violence workshop.

 

From PiPE:

 

Following a screening of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire, PiPE staff will facilitate a discussion on Social Justice. Using methods that encourage us to compare and contract our society to Panem, and to question and discuss issues of power and violence, we will ultimately be asked to consider what we can do to create more equity and justice.

Are you interested in more violence prevention? Do you have a group you’d like to participate in a workshop series addressing multiple components of violence prevention? Contact: rosalinda@youthchangeagents.org to schedule. Or visitwww.youthchangeagents.orgfor more information

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1451726448402948/

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10) Bonus Tip of the Week:

 

Don’t listen to propaganda.

 

 

Dana

 

 

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