The Thunderbolt 071014 Brainy Conjecture

Action Alert Calendar
The Thunderbolt


News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





1) FYI Section:

1A) Net Neutrality Comment Period Ending Soon

1B) Web Browser that Instantly Reveals Campaign Contributors

2) Gaza Needs Your Voice: Emergency Vigil for Palestine

3) Green Party Monthly Meeting

4) Olympia FOR 100th Anniversary Outdoor Pizza Party

5) TC Pro Net Annual Progressive Town Hall Picnic

6) Stand Up Economist Yoram Bauman

7) Confronting the Climate Crisis

8) Bonus Tip of the Week




Brainy Conjecture




Facts You Will Not See in Any History Book


Hey Kids!


Did you know that both World Wars I and II were fought over oil? Franz Ferdinand was a pretext: World War I started for many reasons, but the central reason was that the British were totally freaked about a German plan to construct a ‘Berlin to Baghdad’ railway to transport Middle Eastern oil to Germany — and German soldiers to Baghdad, if necessary.


After World War I ended, Iraq was the single biggest spoil of that war.


John D. Rockefeller was the one who originally established relations with the Saudi royal family.


Last week I mentioned that prior to the American invasion Iraq had several top-notch universities. These are remnants of a program wherein John D. Rockefeller established numerous universities throughout the Middle East. He considered this to be the second most important investment that Standard Oil could make. These universities were specifically designed to win local hearts and minds and they did just that; after the oppressive British colonial system of direct political control, the Americans instead controlled certain locals who did their dirty work for them. Thus, while the Americans were still calling the shots it appeared as if they were allowing locals to run the show — and the locals loved America for many decades for this very reason.


Educating an élite class amongst the locals was necessary to implementing such a system of ‘indirect control’.


The Rockefellers and the Bushes have a decades-long rivalry, by the way; Cheney and Rumsfeld made a major effort to prevent Nelson Rockefeller from becoming vice-president under Gerald Ford, for instance. Barack Obama is a Rockefeller man. He was groomed for power by the Trilateral Commission — a Rockefeller institution — and that is why the Iraqi oil is now controlled by the central government in Iraq rather than by Exxon Mobil — so the Bushes lost by the Iraq Occupation in more ways than one.




Brainy Conjecture


I’ve been here before but I’m going here again…


Intelligence is a weird thing. There are completely different kinds of intelligence that operate from completely different parts of the brain. How all of these different parts are wired together — or in some cases how they are not wired together — is what makes you into who you are — and into who you are not.


Most people have a more-or-less balance of all the different kinds of intelligence while some have lots of some kinds and little if any of other kinds. A ‘genius’ is usually someone who has heavy gauge wiring to a certain part of his/her brain — but it is often at the cost of another part.


At the extreme you have the ‘savants’, such as the 12 year-old kid who was one of the best piano players in the world but couldn’t dress himself.


When someone is exceptionally ‘intelligent’, then what kind of intelligence are we speaking of? Even exceptionally intelligent people can have major blind spots — and in fact this seems to be the rule rather than the exception.


For instance: My favourite author I have ever read is hands-down no-one-else-even-comes-within-a-light-year-no-bout-a-doubt-it Tom Robbins, author of such works of epic insanity as Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and my personal favourite Skinny Legs and All. No other author — even Joseph Heller — has so mastered the Profound Revelatory Joke as the one and only Grand Master of the Profound Dirty Joke Tom Robbins.


However: My mother had a brother who was a Mensa-level genius and who scored off-the-charts on all standard intelligence tests — yet Tom Robbins was the equivalent of gibberish to him. Upon questioning him about this, he first pointed out the complete idiocy (in his mind) of a female protagonist whose most notable characteristic was that she had giant thumbs. He just couldn’t get past that. I slowly understood that — as impressive as my uncle’s brain was — his circuits for both irony and metaphor were either constricted or missing altogether. Since blistering ironic metaphor is about the only language that Tom Robbins ever speaks — then my uncle just didn’t get it.


He also completely failed to get me, but unlike Tom Robbins he liked me anyway.


Considering that he also had a habit of killing people that he didn’t like — literally — then this was probably a good thing. He asked me once if I was worried about the fact that he was a mass murderer. I told him that I figured that if he was going to kill anyone that it probably wouldn’t be me, so that no, I wasn’t all that worried about it.


Then there are other factors that are not usually considered as ‘intelligence’: Emotion, for instance, is a form of intelligence. Again I point to a savant to highlight this: There was a child who could figure out insanely complex mathematical equations in his head — but that was absolutely ALL that he EVER did. He NEVER showed ANY emotion whatsoever because the circuitry simply did not exist in his brain. He was literally incapable of love, joy, hatred, or any other complex emotion. I have read that being a mother to such a child is a particularly cruel hell; can you imagine raising a child and NEVER receiving any emotional feedback of any kind whatsoever?


‘Vibes’ are another form of intelligence. Last week I mentioned my childhood friend Eddie Adams, whose older brothers were members of an outlaw motorcycle gang. Eddie and I were purchasing drugs once and it was completely obvious to me from the very first vibe that the guy selling the drugs was up to no good and was certainly about to rip us off. When the guy said that we had to front our money I waited for Eddie to tell him where he could stick it.


Instead, Eddie gave the guy our money. As soon as he left I ripped into Eddie and, especially since Eddie Adams was definitely the Dominant Male in our herd, and since I normally said little if anything at all in those days much less intense critiques of something that Eddie had done — then Eddie was not only surprised by my outburst but he was also surprised because, it soon became obvious to me, he was incapable of ‘vibing’ people. He just hadn’t seen it coming.


A few years later I was with a girlfriend named Kim when we visited the home of another couple. The vibe was very intense between the other couple. While we were there the male half of the other couple had blared ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ by Led Zeppelin at full volume whilst he glared at his female half. To me, this was a dominating oppressive atmosphere that I was not enjoying at all.


Eddie Adams wasn’t the brightest light bulb in the house — but Kim was. She had been a straight-A student and a valedictorian. When I expressed my relief at escaping that situation, Kim was shocked. Surprised, I questioned her and learned that Kim had completely failed to notice the ‘vibe’. When Eddie failed to see the rip-off coming I had just figured that I was smarter than he was (and to be honest, that was a pretty low bar) but I knew that Kim was a lot smarter than I was, so that indicated that the ability to ‘vibe’ people wasn’t connected to intelligence — or at least to that kind of intelligence.


I have also learned over the years that there are some disadvantages to being hyper-sensitive to vibes: I have a hard time being around people experiencing emotional distress, for instance, and I absolutely cannot be around people who are mentally as I find mental illness to be contagious.


Then there is the factor of how you use your intelligence; is your intelligence channeled into narrow streams, for instance, or are you capable of thinking outside the box?


Part of my training during my brief collision with the United States Army consisted of running a two-mile course through the woods at night while a bunch of Special Forces dudes were trying to ‘capture’ you. My strategy was obvious to me as soon as I understood the exercise: Thus, upon signal that the chase had begun, I immediately found the first bush that was big enough to hide me and I crawled under it. I lay there for about ten minutes listening to people being ‘captured’ all around me. Then I lay there for another half-hour as I listened to the action move down the course away from me. Then I lay there until there had been total silence for a long time.


Then I casually strolled through the two mile course without incident. I didn’t see anyone until I walked into the destination camp and checked in. It had been a really nice night for a walk.


This was back in the days of the draft and a lot of my fellow soldiers were highly intelligent — yet in listening to them speaking later, the strategy that had instantly fallen into my head and that had seemed so obvious to me had not crossed a single one of their minds. A couple of them even said, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?”


Why indeed?



There is a lot of research going into brains these days. There are a lot of truly wondrous possibilities in such research — along with formidable dangers. As with all complex systems — and the human brain is the most complex system in the known universe — everything is all tied together and altering one part also changes everything else. Eliminating undesirable brain-wiring circuitry can have unpredictable and undesired consequences in other parts of the brain.


However, with exceptionally problematic behaviours, perhaps the risks would be acceptable to sufferers?


For instance: Virtually all violent criminals were abused as children. Their reaction to this abuse is actually completely predictable and even ‘normal’ — if highly problematic. What if it were possible to subtly alter their brain-wiring jobs to eliminate just certain problematic neural paths?


Child molesters are particularly sad cases because they literally cannot help their sexual proclivities anymore than the practitioners of any other sexual proclivity can — yet child molesters absolutely cannot be allowed to operate freely in our society.


What if sexual proclivities could be rewired?


The profound dangers are obvious. A lot of this research is being done by for-profit entities rather than for reasons of pure science, and a lot of those guys are likely to use whatever they learn in nefarious ways rather than for the betterment of humanity.


For instance: They could rewire a brain to incite ultra-violence. They could eliminate the conscience and morality circuits in soldiers so they can be true sociopathic killers. Or what if someone came to power and decreed that music was evil and mandated that the musical circuits in everyone’s brains must be destroyed? (And yes, there is a special ‘music section’ of your brain. It closely interacts with the ‘mathematics section’.)


Yes, yin and yang seem to be becoming much yinner and yanger these days.


May you live in interesting times.



It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of July 10th thru July 16th 2014




1) FYI Section:


1A) Net Neutrality Comment Period Ending Soon


This is vital. If you haven’t already given support for net neutrality to the FCC then DO IT NOW. It doesn’t take long and this is NOT just another online petition; this is to comment directly to the FCC about upcoming FCC rules on net neutrality.


This is from Democracy for America:


The Federal Communications Commission is taking public comment on their proposal that would destroy Net Neutrality and allow the big telecoms to charge extra for carrying content. The first public comment period ends on July 15.


These public comments matter. The FCC is listening to what the public has to say, and a strong public outcry could force the FCC to abandon this flawed plan.  More than 100,000 people have submitted public comments, overwhelmingly in opposition to the FCC’s telecom-friendly plan.


Today, I’m joining them. I just submitted my own public comment to the FCC opposing their two-tier proposal and urging them to adopt new rules that would protect a free and open Internet. I recorded my comments on video (and I’m submitting them in writing) to help spread the word and encourage others to submit their own public comment.


Will you watch my video public comment and submit your own comment in support of a free and open Internet before the FCC’s July 15 deadline?


The FCC’s focus should be on pursuing regulations that strengthen Net Neutrality, rather than help the big corporations undermine it.


In my public comment, I call on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to embrace what progressives are calling “reclassification.” The FCC has the legal authority to reclassify the Internet as a telecommunications service, allowing them to require that all data on the Internet be carried at the same price without discrimination.


Reclassification doesn’t require Congress to act. It just requires the FCC to do the right thing.  If enough of us weigh in with public comments for reclassification and against a fast lane on the Internet for those who can pay, we can save Net Neutrality.


Now is the time to make your voice heard. Click here to watch my video public comment and submit your own comment to the FCC. DEADLINE: July 15.




1B) Web Browser that Instantly Reveals Campaign Contributors


When it comes to politicians, some are red, some are blue — but ALL are green.


I’ve been encouraging everyone to go to Open Secrets as your first stop in any research into any politician.


Well someone has taken this a step further: In association with Open Secrets, all you have to do now is install this app and then you can hover over any politician on any webpage and a pop-up will give you an instant breakdown of who pays for them. You can also click a link directly to Open Secrets if you want more detailed information.


Check it out.



2) Gaza Needs Your Voice: Emergency Vigil for Palestine

Friday at 4:30 pm at Percival Landing, Corner of 5th and Water Streets


The Israeli apartheid police state is really getting old.


From Nanners:


We will be joining the weekly Fellowship of Reconciliation Vigil on the corner of 4th and Water calling for an end to Israel’s assault on Gaza, attacks on Palestinians and our government’s unconditional support of Israel. Please invite everyone you know.



3) Green Party Monthly Meeting

Saturday July 12th at Noon @ MIXX Meeting Room, Corner of State and Washington Streets


Ditch the sold-out Democrats and come plug in with the Greens!


From Janet:



Hi Group — our regular scheduled meeting date is this Saturday, July 12, at 12:00 noon at MIX96, corner of State and Washington.  I will be returning home from Portland that day so I will probably be a few minutes late.  If you want, we could aim for 12:15 rather than 12:00.


I sent our draft of the Orca Ordinance to Cindy Beckett, a watershed steward, and got this helpful reply (below). The reply suggests several avenues of further research we could take to make our proposed ordinance stronger: 

  • an office of EPA which can offer advice on citizen action;  and
  • the pathway by which CWA directives are supposed to be enforced (and are not enforced, but might be with help from our ordinance).    

Planning for this research to happen would be number one on our agenda.  


Another question:  Will city council welcome giving every citizen standing to enforce local laws? It would make for more action, for sure — would that make their job of governance harder or easier?  Can we make some plans for finding out how city council might feel about it?


We can also update ourselves on how other counties in Washington are doing with their ordinances.  There was a lot of progress earlier in the spring and the Codays are keeping up with it.  The Codays can’t be present at this meeting but I’ll get a report from them and pass it on.


At 1:00 there is a festival for FOR at Fertile Ground.  We can go over as a group when we finish our plotting.  


See you on Saturday!





4) Olympia FOR 100th Anniversary Outdoor Pizza Party

Saturday July 12th from 6 to 9 pm @ Fertile Grounds Guesthouse, 311 9th Ave SE


It’s Oly FOR’s 100th birthday! Come celebrate!


From Oly FOR:


Olympia FOR’s Outdoor Pizza Party

Celebrates FOR’s 100th Anniversary


Gather with friends old and new for a delightful summer evening gathering to celebrate the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s 100th Anniversary with home-made pizza hot out of the outdoor cob oven, garden-fresh salads, other tasty treats, cool beverages, stimulating conversations, and more!


The festivity will run from 6:00 to 9:00 pm outside at the Fertile Ground Guest House, 311-9th Ave SE (across the street behind the Olympia library).


This is also an enjoyable fundraiser for the Olympia FOR, so we will gratefully accept donations of $10 to sky’s-the-limit, to help the Olympia FOR carry on our work for peace, social justice, human rights, the environment and climate, and a nonviolent way of being.

Info about this event: Chris Carson (360) 943-2375. Info about Olympia FOR: (360) 491-9093



5) TC Pro Net Annual Progressive Town Hall Picnic

Sunday July 13th at 1 pm @ Thurston County Fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Rd


It’s the annual get together for local liberals!


From TC Pro Net:


You are cordially invited to TC Pro-Net’s 10th Annual Progressive Town Hall Picnic! Along with a delicious potluck picnic and candidate meet-and-greet, we’re proud to have keynote speaker Yoram Bauman joining us!  Here’s a little bit about Yoram:


Yoram Bauman makes a living as “the world’s first and only stand-up economist”, but he is also a PhD environmental economist who is part of the effort to bring a revenue-neutral carbon tax to Washington State. Yoram is the co-author of the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics, the forthcoming Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, and the 1998 book Tax Shift, which was written with Alan Durning of Sightline Institute and helped inspire the revenue-neutral carbon tax in British Columbia. Yoram lives in Seattle and has a BA in mathematics from Reed College and a PhD in economics from the University of Washington. In 2011 he spent 5 months in Beijing as a visiting scholar at the University of International Business and Economics. His website is


Yoram brought down the house at this year’s Thurston Democrats Kennedy Dinner. He’s a not-to-be-missed speaker with an amazing message. And he’s laugh-your-head-off funny, too!


Picnic Details

When: Sunday, July 13, 1pm

Where: Thurston County Fairgrounds, 3054 Carpenter Rd


Contact us at to RSVP, lend a helping hand, and to indicate what yummy dish you are bringing. As always, a $10 per person donation is appreciated to cover event costs. You can donate prior to the event (which helps us out a bunch!) by clicking here.


Thanks, and we’ll see you on July 13!


-Danielle, Nick, Barb, Kendra, and Shabina

The TC Pro-Net Team



6) Stand Up Economist Yoram Bauman

Monday July 14th at 5 pm @ 3240 Centerwood Ct SE (Private Home)


This guy is supposed to be very funny and very informative.


From Zena:


Please join the Carnegie Group to hear Yoram Bauman, the “Stand Up Economist”.


July 14,  Monday 5:15-6:30 (or 7) PM.


Yoram is the leader of CarbonWA, a group working for a carbon tax in Washington State.


The meeting will be held at the home of Zena Hartung & Dennis Rosvall, 3240 Centerwood Ct SE, Olympia, WA 98501.




All are welcome, potluck appetizers and drinks


Posted by: Zena



7) Confronting the Climate Crisis

Wednesday July 16th at 6:30 pm @ Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St NW


This is part of Oly FOR.


From Oly FOR:


Confronting the Climate Crisis


Wednesday, July 16, 2014


6:30PM – 8:30PM

Short Description:

Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s vigorous group is active in four separate campaigns to address the climate crisis.


Olympia Center

222 Columbia Street NW

Olympia, WA

Contact Information:

Bourtai or Ted at 352-6327


We have five working groups. This year, we are active in four separate campaigns:


1) make Washington State the first state in the nation to divest from fossil fuels (the Divestment Working Group); 


2) persuade the Port of Olympia to stop importing fracking proppants destined for the Bakken Oil shale industry (the entire group);


3) start a housing efficiency demonstration project using no obligation public funding and on-bill utility payments (the Positive Visions Working Group);


4) persuade Governor Inslee to declare a moratorium on all fossil fuel infrastructure permits (the entire group).


Click on the “Climate Crisis” link for lots of information



8) Bonus Tip of the Week:


Exercise your brain today.








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