News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes
1) FYI Section:
1A) CREDO Net Neutrality FCC Comment Page
1B) Backbone Campaign ‘Localize This’ Action Camp Coming in August
2) Candlelit Vigil for Palestine
3) Chalk it Out Olympia: Solidarity with the LV Sunset Five
4) Bonus Tip of the Week
Amazon Over America
Major Advance in Women’s Rights
In a striking advance in equality for women, according to Marissa Alexander the incarceration rates for women increased by 600% between 2008 and 2010.
Right vs. Wrong
In another example of right-wing activists acting with impunity while left-wing activists are brutally oppressed, whenever people block a bus that is taking immigrants away for deportation, arrests are invariably made, the road is opened, and the bus gets through.
When right-wingers block a bus from bringing immigrants in, the bus turns around and no one is arrested.
No Comment Part One
While I don’t hesitate to express personal views in the Thunderbolt, I far prefer simply stating facts and allowing them to speak for themselves.
Israel is claiming that Hamas is the aggressor in the latest round of fighting. Israel has one of the largest and most advanced armies in the world. The Palestinians have rocks and a few crappy rockets that can’t hit anything. It is not like this is some kind of fair fight or anything — and in the latest round there have been 172 Palestinians killed while not one Israeli has been killed — yet Hamas is the ‘aggressor’.
And besides all that, Israel is the one that is doing the occupying around here.
My favourite sold-out piece of putrid feces — John Kerry — said that Israel has a right to defend itself. Evidently the Palestinians do not have the same right even though it is their frigging country and even though several hundred Palestinian children have been killed for every Israeli child that has been killed.
Israel claims their air strikes are narrowly targeted to avoid civilian casualties. Of the 172 Palestinian deaths (as of Tuesday, July 15th) 140 were civilians including 30 children and 18 members of one family alone. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights says the targets of the Israeli bombing campaign have included charities, parks, sports clubs and a mosque. The United Nations Humanitarian Affairs Office estimates thousands have been displaced in Gaza. Almost a thousand homes have been destroyed.
Now Egypt has proposed a cease fire. The current Egyptian regimé is a sworn enemy of Hamas. The Egyptians came up with this cease fire without bothering to even consult Hamas and the conditions of the cease fire are completely unacceptable to Hamas’ stated conditions for such a cease fire — but Israel can now say, “Look, we are ready to accept this cease fire but Hamas isn’t! This proves that Hamas are the aggressors!
And Fox News will certainly report it in this manner.
As for the fact that Hamas offered a cease fire on the second day of the current conflict if Israel would release the Palestinians they had seized, I figure that Fox News will completely ignore that fact now just as they completely ignored it then.
As long as the Palestinians just sit waiting for something to happen, then nothing happens except continued brutal oppression and the continued theft of their land. The only time anything happens in Palestine is when the Palestinians rise up…
No Comment Part Two
Matt Taibbi has documented that Goldman $achs was the head conspirator in the largest criminal fraud in human history (i.e. the Great American Bubble Scam of 2007).
Goldman $achs first put Barack Obama into the Senate.
Then Goldman $achs put Barack Obama into the White House.
Here is a partial list of Goldman $achs apparatchiks that either has or who now occupy positions on Obama’s White House team:
Lael Brainard: Brainard is the United States Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs in the administration of Obama
Gregory Craig: Former White House Counsel, Recently hired by Goldman Sachs
Thomas Donilon: Deputy National Security Adviser(despite having a career that is mostly involved with domestic politics). Donilon was a lawyer at O’Melveny and Myers and made almost $4 million representing meltdown clients including Penny Pritzker (of Chicago) and Goldman.
William C. Dudley : president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, partner and managing director at Goldman, Sachs and was the firm’s chief U.S. economist for a decade
Douglas Elmendorf: Obama Director of the Congressional Budget Office in January 2009, replaced Furman as Director of the Hamilton Project (Note that the Hamilton Project was funded by Robert Rubin and Goldman Sachs)
Rahm Emanuel: Obama Chief of staff, on the payroll of Goldman Sachs, receiving $3,000 per month from the firm to “introduce us to people,” in the words of one Goldman partner at the time.
Dianna Farrell: Obama Administration: Deputy Director, National Economic Council, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Financial Analyst
Stephen Friedman: Obama Administration: Chairman, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Board Member (Chairman, 1990-94; Director, 2005
Michael Frohman: Robert Rubin’s Chief of Staff while Rubin served as Secretary of the Treasury and an Obama “head hunter” according to “Rubin Protégés Change Their Tune as They Join Obama’s Team” in the New York Times.
Anne Fudge: appointed Fudge to Obama budget deficit reduction committee. Fudge has been the PR craftsman for some of America’s largest corporations. She sits, according to the Washington Post, as a Trustee of the Brookings Institution within which the Hamilton Project is embedded.
Jason Furman: directed economic policy for the Obama Presidential Campaign, served as the second Director of the Hamilton Project after Peter Orszag’s departure for the Obama administration
Mark Gallogly: Sits on the Hamilton Project’s advisory council. He is also, according to Wikipedia, currently a member of Obama’s President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
Timothy Geithner: Secretary of the Treasury, a former managing director of Goldman Sachs
Gary Gensler: Obama Administration: Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Partner and Co-head of Finance
Michael Greenstone: the 4th Director of the Hamilton Project. Just as attorney Craig went from advising Obama to defending Goldman Sachs against the SEC complaint, Greenstone has used the revolving door to go from went an economic adviser position to Obama to one of the Goldman Sachs outlets, in this case its think tank embedded in the Brookings Institution and funded by Goldman and Robert Rubin. All 3 previous Directors of the Hamilton Project work in the Obama administration.
Robert Hormats: Obama Administration: Undersecretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, State Department Former Goldman Sachs Title: Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs Group
Neel Kashkari: served under Treasury Secretary Paulson and was kept on by Obama after his inauguration for a limited period to work on TARP oversight, former Vice President of Goldman Sachs in San Francisco where he where he led Goldman’s Information Technology Security Investment Banking practice.
Karen Kornbluh: (sometimes called “Obama’s brain”) Obama Ambassador to the OECD, was Deputy Chief of Staff to Mr. Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin
Jacob (AKA “Jack”) Lew: the United States Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. According to Wikipedia, Lew sits on the Brookings-Rubin funded Hamilton Project Advisory Board. He also served with Robert Rubin in Bill Clinton’s cabinet as Director of OMB.
David Lipton: now at Obama’s National Economic Council and the National Security Council. Lipton -worked with Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, on the US response to the Asian financial crisis of the 1990’s. MergeFoundations reports that Lipton worked closely with Robert Rubin:
Emil Michael: White House Fellow, former investment banker with Goldman Sachs
Eric Mindich: Former chief strategy officer of New York- based Goldman Sachs, started Eton Park in 2004 with $3.5 billion, at the time one of the biggest hedge-fund launches ever. …..Hank Paulson Tipped Off The Goldman-Led “Plunge Protection Team” About Fannie Bankruptcy 7 Weeks In Advance (2007): Goldman operative Eric Mindich in the hierarchy of the Asset Managers’ committee of the President’s Working Group on Capital Markets, better known of course as the PPT (in 2009)
Philip Murphy: Obama Administration: Ambassador to Germany, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Head of Goldman Sachs, Frankfurt
Barack Obama: Obama owes his career to Goldman Sachs which was not only his biggest financial contributor when he ran for the presidency but also his biggest contributor when he ran for the Senate
Peter Orszag, Obama Budget Director, founding director of the Hamilton Project, funded by Goldman Sachs and Robert Rubin. Wikipedia indicates that Robert Rubin, Goldman’s ex-head, was one of Orszag’s mentors.
Mark Patterson: Obama Administration: Chief of Staff to Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Lobbyist 2005-2008; Vice President for Government Relations
Mark Peterson: Chief of staff to Timothy Geithner, Goldman Sachs vice president and lobbyist
Steve Ratner: the shady billionaire financier who Obama appointed as his “car czar” and who resigned after it was revealed that his company, the Quadrangle Group, was apparently involved in “pay to play” for a billion dollars or so of New York State pension funds, and was under possible indictment by the New York AG and the SEC, also sits on the Advisory Council of the Goldman funded Hamilton Project
Robert Reischauer: a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2000-2009 and was its vice chair from 2001-2008. He too sits on the Hamilton Project’s advisory board.
Alice Rivlin: Obama named Alice Rivlin to his so called deficit reduction commission.
James Rubin: Son of Robert Rubin. Served as a headhunter for Obama per the New York Times article, “Rubin Proteges Change Their Tune as They Join Obama’s Team”
Gene Sperling: advisor to Timothy Geithner on bailouts, Sperling paid by Goldman Sachs for one year of consulting work.
Adam Storch: Obama Managing Executive of the Security and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement Vice President in the Goldman Sachs Business Intelligence Group
Larry Summers: Obama chief economic adviser and head of the National Economic Counsel, Worked under Robert Rubin at Goldman Sachs
John Thain: Obama Administration: Advisor to Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, Former Goldman Sachs Title: President and Chief Operating Officer (1999-2003)
And here are some other notable niches that are occupied by Goldman $achs people:
Mark Carney: Current Title: Governor, Bank of Canada, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Managing Director Goldman Sachs Canada until 2003
Mario Draghi: Current Title: Governor of the Bank of Italy (2006- ), Former Goldman Sachs Title: European Deputy Chairman/Partner until 2006
Edward Liddy: Current Title: AIG CEO, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Board Member (Chairman, 1990-94; Director, 2005-)
Duncan Niederauer: Current Title: Chair/CEO NYSE, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Managing Director – 2007
Romano Prodi: Current Title: Prime Minister of Italy (1996-1998 and 2006-2008) and President of the European Commission (1999-2004), Former Goldman Sachs Title: Paid adviser/consultant 1990 – 1993
Massimo Tononi: Current Title: Italian Deputy Treasury Chief (2006-2008), Former Goldman Sachs Title: Partner 2004 – 2006
Malcolm Turnbull: Current Title: Federal Leader, Liberal Party, Australia, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Partner (1998-2001)
David Watson: Current Title: Monetary Policy Committee, Bank of England, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Chief European economist
And in case you think Goldman $achs is partisan, here is a list of Goldman $achs people that were in George Bush’s White House (note the number of people that served both presidents):
Joshua Bolten: Bush II Administration: White House Chief of Staff (2006 – 2009), Former Goldman Sachs Title: Executive Director, Legal & Government Affairs (1994-99)
William C Dudley: NY Federal Reserve: Current President/CEO, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Partner and managing director – 2007
Edward C. Forst: Bush II Administration: Advisor on setting up TARP to Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson 2008 Former Goldman Sachs Title: Co-head of Goldman’s investment management business
Stephen Friedman: NY Federal Reserve: Former Chairman of the Board – 2009, former Goldman Sachs Title: Board Member (Chairman, 1990-94; Director, 2005-)
Gary Gensler: Bush II Administration: Undersecretary, Treasury (1999-2001) and Assistant Secretary, Treasury (1997-1999), Former Goldman Sachs Title: Partner and Co-head of Finance
Reuben Jeffery III: Bush II Administration: Undersecretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, State Department (2007 –2009) Former Goldman Sachs Title: Managing Partner Paris until 2002 Security Investment Banking Practice
Dan Jester: Bush II Administration: Advisor on setting up TARP to Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson 2008, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Deputy CFO
Neel Kashkari: Bush II Administration: Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability, Treasury (2008 – 2009) Former Goldman Sachs Title: Vice President, San Francisco; led Information Technology Security Investment Banking Practice
Eric Mindich: Former chief strategy officer of New York- based Goldman Sachs, started Eton Park in 2004 with $3.5 billion
Henry Paulson: Bush II Administration: Secretary, Treasury 2006 – 2009, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Chairman and CEO (1998-2006)
Robert Rubin: Bush II Administration: Secretary, Treasury 1995-1999, Former Goldman Sachs Title: Vice Chairman (1987-90)
Robert Steel: Bush II Administration: Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Treasury, (2006 – 2008) Former Goldman Sachs Title: Vice Chairman – 2004
Steve Shafran: Bush II Administration: Advisor on setting up TARP to Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson 2008 Former Goldman Sachs Title: Private equity business in Asia until 2000
Kendrick R. Wilson III: Bush II Administration: Advisor on setting up TARP to Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson 2008 Former Goldman Sachs Title: Chairman of Goldman’s financial institutions groups
Robert Zoellick: Bush II Administration: United States Trade Representative (2001-2005), Deputy Secretary of State (2005-2006), World Bank President (2007 – ), Former Goldman Sachs Title: Vice Chairman, International (2006-07)
A Second Look at First Look
I reported recently that Glen Greenwald had left the Guardian because they were trying to censor him and that he has subsequently started his own online magazine called The Intercept, which is published on a new news aggregation website called First Look.
First Look is owned by Pierre Omidyar, who is the founder of E Bay and — even more problematic — he also owns Pay Pal.
I didn’t say anything at the time but I found this to be really weird; I had cut off Pay Pal when Pay Pal cut off funding for Wikileaks — and the last time I tried to purchase something on E Bay the only two payment options provided were using either credit or Pay Pal. Since I don’t do either, I informed E Bay that I would no longer be able to do business with them unless I could charge it directly to my debit card or unless they started using an online payment service other than Pay Pal.
I tend to trust Glen Greenwald and I had never done any research on Mr. Omidyar at the time and knew very little about him so I didn’t say anything about Glen working for a publication owned by Mr. Omidyar even though Mr. Omidyar’s involvement totally freaked me out. However, I couldn’t see Mr. Greenwald leaving the Guardian because of censorship for a new and untested format unless he had rock-solid guarantees from Mr. Omidyar that there would be no censorship of Mr. Greenwald’s publications.
Well, Amy Goodman interviewed Julian Assange on Democracy Now last Wednesday [July 9] and evidently my concerns are shared by Mr. Assange — and according to Mr. Assange, First Look is indeed censoring itself due to Mr. Omidyar’s influence.
From Julian Assange:
I have a lot of respect for Glenn. Glenn has defended WikiLeaks from the attack by the U.S. grand jury over a long period of time. And he’s been very brave in the Edward Snowden publications, and, you know, quite forthright. He left The Guardian, in part because of that reason, because The Guardian was censoring the material that he was trying to publish. But he entered into First Look. And unfortunately, First Look is not just Glenn. First Look is actually the big power. All the money and organization comes from Pierre Omidyar. And Pierre Omidyar is one of the founders — is the founder of E Bay and owns PayPal and goes to the White House several times each year, has extensive connections with Soros, and can broadly be described as an extreme liberal centrist. So, he has quite a different view about what journalism entails. For example, he [Pierre Omidyar] has said this year, and also in 2009, that if someone gave him a leak from a commercial organization, not from the government, then he would feel it was his duty to tell the police.[Emphasis added by the Thunderbolt] So that’s a very different type of journalism standard that comes from Pierre Omidyar. And unfortunately, some of that, or perhaps a significant amount of it, has gone into First Look and created some constraints there.
And that was seen most — seen most disturbingly when First Look knew from the Edward Snowden documents that all of Afghanistan was having its telephone calls recorded. The National Security Agency had corruptly installed mass surveillance inside Afghan telcos, saying to the Afghan government that they were doing — installing this monitoring just going after drug dealers, not mass surveillance but targeted surveillance after Afghan opium dealers, and in fact they were recording the phone calls of every single Afghan. And that’s as great an assault to sovereignty as you can imagine, other than completely militarily occupying a country, to record the intimate phone calls of every single Afghan citizen. And Afghanistan, as a country, and its people have the right to choose their own destiny, knowing what is actually happening to them. And First Look decided that they would censor the fact that Afghanistan was having all its telephone calls recorded.
I guess we need to wait and do a look-see on this one.
This piece was excerpted from Part 2 of two interviews that Amy conducted with Julian on a wide range of subjects. The first part aired on Tuesday [July 8]. The whole interview is fascinating and enlightening and I highly recommend viewing it or reading it.
Amazon Over America!
You wouldn’t know it from the news coverage (or lack of same) but some truly astonishing information was revealed this week.
This concerns Jeff Bezos. In the August 18th 2013 edition of the Thunderbolt I published a major piece on Mr. Bezos and for purposes of establishing context for this newest news from the Land of Bezos I am going to republish that piece now for those of you who might have missed or skipped it:
For some reason everyone has warm fuzzy feeling s for Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. This is especially true with the hometown crowd here in Washington State. Mr. Bezos brings lots of economic activity to our state and he likes gay people, so he must be a good guy. They have these feelings even though Jeff Bezos actually is exactly the kind of sociopathic cut-throat slime-ball that is destroying our world.
As to Mr. Bezos’ business policies: Mr. Bezos conducts his business by driving everyone else out of business. While Jeff Bezos is one of the richest men in the world, Amazon.com itself has never made a profit because their business model is to sell products at a loss until everyone else in the field is driven out of business.
Take book sales: Until Mr. Bezos came along small retailers were rampant all over the country. These people were almost unanimously in the book-selling business not to make a fortune but because they loved books. Mr. Bezos drove nearly all of them out of business by selling books for below cost and with no sales tax. Mr. Bezos came along and saw a business filled with people rather than machines and took over with his no-holds-barred cut-throat cost cutting efficiency measures and now has a near monopoly on book sales.
Now, only ‘name’ authors have an outlet for their material. Unknowns or unusuals or cutting edgers need not apply.
He did exactly the same thing with music sales.
As to Mr. Bezos’ business policies: Mr. Bezos was the one who made the decision to pull the plug on the Wikileaks website thus marginalizing and crippling our best source for information about crimes in government. Mr. Bezos just inked a $600 million deal with the CIA for cloud computing. Mr. Bezos was the leading funder of the anti-income tax movement that defeated our last initiative to establish an income tax here in Washington — and in fact, Mr. Bezos has never met a tax that he can’t avoid. Amazon is supposed to collect sales tax on everything they sell. They never have and they continue to not do so. Mr. Bezos originally wanted to found Amazon on an Indian reservation because he thought he would be immune to local taxes but he finally settled on Washington because there is no income tax. Our president spoke the praises of Amazon recently at an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee even though Amazon has yet to pay a single penny in taxes to the State of Tennessee.
Evidently Mr. Bezos is perfectly copacetic with letting other people pay for the infrastructure that made it possible for Mr. Bezos to accumulate and maintain his fortune.
Now, in a highly alarming move, Mr. Bezos has purchased the Washington Post.
Mr. Bezos has never had anything to do with journalism or media before.
It is hilarious to watch all the talking heads conjecturing as to whether Bezos might be just the palliative that the Post needs to rise from the economic ashes and become profitable again.
The unquestioned assumption amongst the talking heads on the Corporate Propaganda Machine is that Bezos bought the Post to make money.
An interesting question is this: Are they ignorant, are they stupid, or are they conscious collaborators?
Believe me; I can just about guarantee you that Jeff Bezos did not buy the Washington Post to make money. The Washington Post is worth approximately 10% of what it was worth in the late 90’s and investors have been bailing like rats off a sinking ship.
So why would someone like Jeff Bezos purchase an economic dinosaur?
How about this: While the Post is not economically viable it still carries a great deal of political clout.
It seems pretty obvious to me that Mr. Bezos bought the Post not to make money directly from the Post but to have a propaganda outlet for his right-wing business policies — and thus gaining the ability to use the Post to make much more money by leveraging the Post’s influence to buy more laws and tax breaks for himself.
This is why Rupert Murdoch was happy to lose tens of millions of dollars per year on Fox News for the first five years of its existence. This is why Sun Myung Moon is more than happy to lose bundles of cash on the Post’s cross-town rival the Washington Times ever since the Times has been in existence.
Buying the Post cost Mr. Bezos less than 1% of his personal fortune. I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy to lose money on the Post.
But Amazon creates lots of jobs! Just ask Barack Obama, who just gave a speech at an Amazon warehouse praising Mr. Bezos for all the jobs that Amazon is creating!
Right. Democracy Now recently aired an interview with Mac McClelland who went undercover and got one of those famous minimum-wage jobs in one of Mr. Bezos’ Amazon warehouses. Here is her description:
I stopped by a warehouse that one of my ex-girlfriends from college was running and my friend, who is a really nice person, was being sort of a monster. I was there for 20 minutes, and she was firing people for going to the bathroom and for talking to each other even though they were continuing to work while they did it. Those were the orders that she had from up top, and she just — if she wanted to keep her job, she had to enforce them.
So, basically, [when Ms. McClelland obtained a job at an Amazon warehouse for her story] from the moment I arrived in town, even before I got to the warehouse, I stopped by the local Chamber of Commerce, and they told me, “Don’t start crying, and don’t take anything that happens to you personally, because it’s a very ugly scene in there. And there are lots and lots of people who would be willing to take your job because the economy is so bad, so basically put up with whatever they throw at you and, you know, leave your dignity at the door.”
And so, that’s what I did, and that’s what everybody else there did every day.
I was what is called a picker, which is the person who actually retrieves the items that you order online. And these are hundreds of thousands of square feet, these warehouses, just absolutely enormous. And you have a little scanner that tells you where in the warehouse you have to go. There’s a map on you ID badge. And it tells you how many seconds they want you to take to get there. So, you know, a Barbie will pop up, and you have 20 seconds to traverse this ground, and you run to where the place is on the shelving, and you’re, you know, picking through items as fast as you can, and you grab the Barbie, and you scan it, and you put it in a tote. And then your next thing pops up, and you have 15 more seconds. And that is just relentless. We had minimum 10-hour shifts when I was there. And there’s people walking around telling you how close you are to making your numbers, or not making your numbers in a lot of cases. And so, someone comes up to you every couple hours and says, “You’re making 70 percent of your goals. You’re doing a bad job. You’re going to have to pick it up.” And so you’re counseled sort of incessantly on your pace. And so you run back and forth to the lunch room. You have to go through metal detectors. You have to wait in line to go to the bathroom, eat some food really fast, and run back to your station. And that’s it, just over and over and over again.
During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who [were] dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn’t quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time.
The people who had to load trucks were standing in these tractor-trailer containers, just baking in the parking lots under the sun for hours and hours at a day. They had like a couple little fans blowing on them. They won’t air-condition the warehouses because it’s too expensive. They don’t heat the warehouses because it’s too expensive.
So, the good news is that — in confirmation of one of the few factually accurate statements that our president has made lately — Amazon is hiring!
The bad news is that you will be treated and paid like a slave.
Hey, Barack, since you think that these McJobs are so wonderful then I just thought of a way that you can personally demonstrate your enthusiasm! You can have your daughter Natasha work a summer job in one of Mr. Bezos’ 100○+ warehouses!
And never fear! You can rest assured that if she passes out from heat exhaustion then the good Mr. Bezos will have an ambulance standing by!
(Actually Mr. Bezos was forced against his will to have ambulances standing by outside his warehouses as a concession to avoid more humane — but more expensive — methods being forced upon him in order to avoid having his employees dropping like flies during summer months.)
Hey, it’s good enough for us, eh? Think of the public relations opportunities of having Natasha photographed lying on a stretcher next to all the other happy Amazon employees who just passed out and thus lost their jobs!
Yes indeed, Kids, folks like the good Mr. Bezos are certainly cashing in on the financial crisis that folks like Mr. Bezos created, let me tell you!
As the workers are being hauled away in ambulances — there are others literally lined up at the warehouse door waiting to take their place…
Jeff Bezos! Bringing us the economy of the future!
You can read all about it in the Washington Post!
Now for the new news: Bezos has revealed that Amazon has a secret laboratory in Seattle where he claims that over the last few months Amazon has worked through and developed an eighth generation of drones that can carry five pound packages through the sky at 50 miles per hour.
He is asking permission of the FAA to unleash them.
The most amazing thing about the coverage of this event is that it is barely there, and what is there seems to be accepting this as some sort of novelty or joke or something. Ironically, the most extensive coverage I could find was in the local Seattle weekly the Stranger.
And here is NPR’s coverage:
There was recently a Seattle woman who spotted a tiny drone hovering just outside her bedroom window as she was changing.
Ms. Surveillance State herself, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, spotted a drone inches from her face just outside her window.
A woman in Sydney Australia recently found a drone hovering just outside her kitchen window. The police explained that it was a “real estate agent drone”.
A ‘real estate agent drone’? Just what we needed…
Now the mad scientist Jeff Bezos announces that he has been developing several generations of drones in a secret undercover laboratory in Seattle — and he is now ready to unleash his swarm of drones into our skies…
…all of this coming shortly after inking his $600 million contract with the CIA?
Really? Does that completely creep out anyone besides me?
This seems like the plot of a very bad B-grade movie — except it is for real.
The reason the surveillance state exists is not because the government cares about what granny gave her grandson for his birthday — it exists because people who know they are under surveillance are much more timid and much more compliant.
And make no mistake: The Googles and the Facebooks don’t give one doodly of the slightest squat about your privacy. When the government spy program was still secret, Google and Facebook were enthusiastically cooperating with the NSA far beyond legal requirements because there were many benefits and no costs. Do not ‘friend’ Facebook. Now that Edward Snowden has exposed the surveillance state, though, Google and Facebook are freaked; foreign companies can now compete for America business by saying, “You should use us because we won’t turn your information over to the NSA”.
Yeah? That sounds real good to me, actually…
Suddenly, Google and Facebook are all concerned about your privacy.
The government also doesn’t care one iota about your privacy either — or opinion polls or public sentiment, for that matter — but they very seriously care about what Google and Facebook think.
I strongly suggest that everyone include this fact in future strategic planning.
It’s time to get to work…
The Thunderbolt Calendar
Week of July 17th thru July 23rd 2014
1) FYI Section:
1A) CREDO Net Neutrality FCC Comment Page
CREDO kicks ass and they have a webpage where you can very easily comment to the FCC about net neutrality.
On Tuesday, so many people commented that the web site crashed.
Please do this.
1B) Backbone Campaign ‘Localize This’ Action Camp Coming in August
The Backbone Campaign ‘Localize This’ Action Camp will be happening this year from August 5th thru August 12th. This is probably the premier activist training class in the world. Learn tactics, strategies, and hang out with a bunch of magic people out on Vashon Island for a week.
There are grants available and they have crowd-funding sources available also.
Check out the Backbone Campaign!
2) Candlelit Vigil for Palestine
Thursday July 17th at 8:30 pm @ Rafah Mural, NE Corner of State and Capitol Way
Come protest atrocity.
Many of us are mourning the violence in Gaza. Let’s meet on the sidewalk in front of the Olympia-Rafah mural at State and Capitol to be together and to raise awareness of the ongoing violence in Palestine & Israel.
Bring: candles, flowers, and signs. I’ll have a big-ish sign with the current death toll.
**Please ensure that signs are not racist or anti-Semitic**
For ideas about how to talk about Palestine and Israel without acting anti-Semitic, consider reading April Rosenblum’s short pamphlet “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere” athttp://www.scribd.com/doc/81712788/The-Past-Didn-t-Go-Anywhere-April-Rosenblum.
Suggest more ideas for this event in the comments?
For more about the Olympia-Rafah mural, check out their website:
Local Mural Supporting Organizations with Leaves on ORSMP: Stonewall Youth- Olympia, Washington, GRuB, COFFEE STRONG, Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, Works N. Progress, Kowa Lpfm Olympia, SafePlace Olympia, Cispes Olympia, Bridges NotWalls, MEXA de Evergreen, Media Island International, Books to Prisoners: Olympia, Tstsca Thurston-Santo Tomas, Fertile Ground Community Center and Guesthouse, Olympia BDS
This event is happening tomorrow at 8:30. Hope to see you there and work on developing solidarity events with mural participants and others!
3) Chalk it Out Olympia: Solidarity with the LV Sunset Five
Friday July 18th at 5 pm @ Olympia City Hall, 601 4th Ave E
Come protest police intimidation.
Join us on July 18th and say “chalk washes off, injustice never will.”
July 18th will be the one year anniversary since the event that brought the unwarranted charges against the Sunset 5 for “graffiti” and “Conspiracy to place graffiti” with children’s washable sidewalk chalk. Even though the charges for this act which was not a crime were dropped, it caused many people to become afraid to exercise their right to freedom of speech. The sunset 5 were out their letting people know that it isn’t right the police murder people and get away with it. They charged the activists because they wanted to cover up their crimes and silence the dissent. The Sunset five will not be silenced. We want people everywhere to not be afraid to let people in their community know about the crimes that the police commit in this completely peaceful manner of protest that uses a children’s toy. Nationally we want the police to know that chalk is protected and that even if it is made illegal we will do it anyway.
In Olympia we will be chalking our dissent of the Olympia Police Department and city council. They have a lot of insidious anti-homeless ordinances and disgusting gentrification schemes that the community has a lot to say about.
Come out and show solidarity and tell the OPD and Oly City Council how you really feel!
Take back the streets! Get chalk on your hands and feets!
4) Bonus Tip of the Week:
Diss a drone today!