The Thunderbolt 081414 Ghost Army

Super Cell T-Storm


Action Alert Calendar


The Thunderbolt


News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





1) FYI Section:

   1A) Update on Heron Rookery

   1B) Update on West Central Park Project

2) Movies in the Park Meaningful Movie Series: “Inequality for All”

3) Transfused Sing-Along at the Well

4) Community Rights Group Meeting

5) Confronting the Climate Crisis

6) Block the Boat! Blockade of Israeli Zim Ship in Tacoma and Seattle

7) Reach Out at the Well

8) Bonus Tip of the Week




Ghost Army




If you are not at the table then you are on the menu…


—Common Saying in Diplomatic Circles




What Our Problem Is


Hey Kids!


Our problem is that American parents have been too busy taking their children shopping to help them with their homework. Our problem is that American parents have been too busy trying to force their children into becoming what the parents think they should be rather than joining their child in discovering who that child actually is and then helping them to be whatever that turns out to be.




Official Thunderbolt Question of the Week:


So, here is the Official Thunderbolt Question of the Week:


Does shite happening in the woods have an odour if no one is there to smell it?


(Since shite always happens to someone then shite happening would seem to imply a shiteree even if there is no shitterer — but perhaps the gods make shite happen spontaneously for mysterious inscrutable reasons of their own? If no one is there how can we ever know?)


(Ah, the Universe is such a mysterious place!)




Marshall Plan II


The United States has spent a LOT of money rebuilding Afghanistan. ($103 billion according to an inspector general report.) We spent more on reconstructing Afghanistan than we spent on the Marshall Plan after World War II. Amongst other things we paid to implement a soy bean growing program in a country that does not eat soy beans. (Soy beans evidently make good poppy mulch, though, so it wasn’t a total loss…)


The outcomes between the Marshall Plan and the rebuilding of Afghanistan have been quite different: We’ve built schools that are falling down on top of children and we’ve built hospitals for which there are no doctors. (Actually a bunch of very highly corrupt contractors did all of that, but you paid them to do it, so it’s ‘we’ that did it…)


And evidently we’re still not anywhere near done with the spending of the very big bucks there, either. The Obama people have budgeted $8 to $10 billion per year “for the foreseeable future”. However, since the 40 members of the Inspector General’s staff will be leaving with the troops — then after that there will be no oversight of these funds of any kind. This is even worse than the current system of completely inadequate oversight that the Inspectors General do their best to provide.


According to the Inspector General, Afghanistan cannot afford the government we provided for them. They cannot afford police or armies or roads or anything, so we need to keep dumping cash their way or they’ll collapse. The Inspector General has pointed out that they should already be putting in place contingencies for overseeing these funds — but he expressed surprise at the lack of urgency in doing this that he has detected. “Oversight has to be mission critical”, he said. “It can’t just be a black hole”.


Actually, black holes are very popular with our government these days. They love black holes, in fact.


And by the way: According to the New York Times, the Taliban are enjoying “significant military successes in areas near the capitol”.


So we have spent all of that money in order to lose?




I don’t think this is a war between Jews and Arabs,

I think it is a war between insane people who are full of hate


—14-year-old Jewish Israeli child who attends a mixed Jewish Palestinian school in Israel — I heard her speaking on the radio but never heard her name…




Double Standards


According to Barack Obama when Christians face genocidal slaughter in Iraq then that is reason to call out the air strikes.


When Palestinians face genocidal slaughter in their own land, on the other hand, then our president arms the people who are doing the slaughtering…



And as for Iraq, the fact that it has become routine for the president to call out air strikes without consulting Congress — in direct contradiction to the Constitution — I guess just represents the new normal. Don’t worry. You can just go back to sleep now…






Speaking of Iraq: That cluster-f>#k has become about as serious a disaster as it is possible to imagine. The Americans have a new puppet to replace their old used puppet (many of their puppets start thinking that they’re real little boys) (there is also speculation but no evidence so far that the new puppet’s string-puller may actually be in Iran, but whatever) and all of that may be moot anyway because the ISIS forces (or whatever they are calling them today) are in position to take over in Iraq.



Consider these two facts:


The United States military has won every battle it has fought since World War II.


In spite of that fact the United States policy makers have managed to lose every war we have fought since World War II.


Did anyone ‘win’ the Vietnam War? The Iraq Occupation? The Afghani Occupation? Even the frigging Grenada invasion — check out the details of that little fiasco sometime in the Counter Punch archives.


Who benefits?




Cui Bono?


That is actually a very good question! Who benefits indeed?


That is, in fact, the question to ask almost anytime that almost anything happens! When pretty much anything except a natural disaster happens (and they are immediately right frigging there as soon as the danger posed by the natural disaster has passed because there is looting to be had…)


Anyway; when virtually anything at all happens then you just need to look for whoever is benefitting from that thing happening and you will almost certainly have also have found the person that is making that thing happen!


The Afghanistan/ Iraq occupations have cost a lot of people a lot of things including millions of lives, untold inconceivable anguish, and over a trillion of our dollars (and still counting depending upon what level of care will be provided to the veterans who fried/ mutilated/ disabled themselves in the effort) — but these occupations have been a windfall for war profiteers, many of whom also own our major media outlets, many of whom also own our government.


It has also been a great boon to authoritarians.


Cui bono?






Speaking of cluster-f>#ks, you won’t hear about this one because the western Media Machine is completely ignoring it — but the refugees from the South Sudanese civil war are now trapped on the border with North Sudan — and thus they are now literally caught between two civil wars.


Go to for updates on this great secret war and for a detailed history of these conflicts and for a detailed view of the current players.




Argentinean Revolution!


There are hopeful signs though!


Paul Singer is the ultimate prototype of the greedy predatory capitalist. He runs a hedge-fund that specializes in purchasing the defaulted debt of Third World countries for pennies on the dollar and then using cutthroat heavy-handed unethical slimy back-stabbing-back-rooming-dirty-deals-done-dirt-cheap in order to force the country in question to pay the full amount of the loan back no matter that the country is in seriously dire financial dire straits and no matter that Paul Singer did almost nothing to actually earn this money and no matter that paying Mr. Singer the full amount would devastate the lives of millions of people who work their asses of for the nothing they have…


…in other words, Mr. Singer is conducting business-as-usual — American style!


Well, Argentina is not conducting business-as-usual as their president just told Mr. Singer to stick it where the sun don’t shine. She literally called what Mr. Singer is doing ‘extortion’. She said she is not going to destroy her country for the sake of a single predatory shark. (I paraphrased that part.)


An American court recently ruled against Argentina, though. The court said that Argentina must pay the many-multi-billionaire Biggest A-Hole in the Whole Universe Paul Singer the full amount of the debt that had been taken out many years ago even though Mr. Singer only paid pennies on the dollar for this debt and even though nearly everyone else that Argentina owed money to negotiated a settlement with Argentina wherein they took a ‘haircut’ but nothing that was too devastating in order that they not devastate Argentina…


…yet the American judge ruled in favour of Mr. Singer even though doing so would destroy the Argentinean economy.


The president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has filed suit in the World Court against the American government for acting as a toady of Mr. Singer. (Again, I paraphrase.) (Politicians are always so boring and so diplomatic!)


Ms. Kirchner makes her outrage clear, though.


Here is a quote from my newest hero: “Today a demand was brought before The Hague, which is the international court of the United Nations, against the United States of America for the activity of its judicial power. This is not an action against the country. It simply means that dependent powers or dependent employees of that country have provoked damage or have acted outside of the law, considering the expressions and resolutions of a municipal judge who wants to trample sovereignty.”


Americans acting ‘outside the law’? No! Say it aint so, Joe!




Ghost Army


When I was a child everyone was either a good guy or a bad guy.


When it comes to politics and the Machine, though, what we actually have are really bad guys and much worse guys.


As far as soldiers who have fought in wars, the soldiers who fought the Nazis probably fought one of the best Machines that there has ever been to fight in all human history — even if the Americans weren’t really all that much better.


(Question: Who conducted the largest slaughter of innocent civilians in European history? Answer: The United States. Google the ‘Bombing of Dresden in World War II’ — or read Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut, who happened to be an American prisoner of war in Dresden when it was napalmed. Mr. Vonnegut survived because his prison consisted of a literal meat locker that was buried deep beneath the ground.)


As bad as the Americans were, though, the Nazis were even worse and I am very glad that Hitler lost — and I think most people don’t realize that this wasn’t a sure thing until the very end. Hitler’s people were working on an atomic bomb of their own and they were actually ahead of us in the race until a bunch of American commandoes went on an almost certain-death mission to blow up the plant where the Germans were producing the ‘heavy water’ (i.e. water with an extra atom of hydrogen, or H3O) that is necessary to construct an atomic bomb. While most of them did indeed die, they did indeed blow up the plant, and thus Hitler didn’t get his bomb.


This week, though, I have another World War II story that is much less famous and that I personally find much more interesting, i.e., the creation of the ‘Ghost Army’…



How many of you know that just after D-Day, the Americans conducted a dragnet search across America for artists, set designers, producers, and various other show biz types — all in order to put on a show for the Germans?


So get this: They formed a super-secret corps that for most of its existence consisted of a few hundred men and their job was to convince the Germans that their few hundred men were actually an entire division consisting of tens of thousands of men. They were called the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops but they never wore any special insignia — and in fact, whatever insignia they did wear (and it constantly changed) was often for divisions that they either didn’t actually belong to or that didn’t actually exist…


Their missions were kept secret until 1996 — and certain elements of their actions remain classified to this day.


Their job was to draw German forces away from wherever an actual attack was going to happen. The Ghost Army would set up a fake headquarters in a French town complete with fake generals and fake staff and they would have a bunch of guys drive trucks back and forth through the towns for the benefit of the German spies. The trucks would have two troops seated at the very back of the truck to make it appear as if all of the trucks were full of troops.


However, their specialty was fooling the actual soldiers in the field, and this required three different tactics all working together: They would fake radio transmissions of an imminent attack, they would mount a series of massive loudspeakers a few hundred yards from the German lines and play the sounds of an army moving in to kick some ass — and most incredibly, they created entire armies of inflatable rubber trucks, tanks, and even airplanes that were good enough to fool distant observers and spy planes. They made canons out of wood and fabric. They constructed the tanks so that two guys could get underneath them, pick them up, and start running thus making them move around for the benefit of prying German eyes. They even had bulldozers carve ‘tank tracks’ into the ground to fool aerial surveillance. They could create dummy airfields, troop bivouacs (complete with laundry hanging out on clothes-lines) motor pools, artillery batteries, and tank formations within a few hours.


And it worked. Their first show, in fact, worked entirely too well for they not only convinced the Germans that there was an armoured division about ready to start rolling over their positions, but they convinced an American general that they were there too, and so this general decided to join them — and thus he sent his tanks straight into the jaws of a massive German force that had been assembled for specifically for the purpose of wiping out a division of American tanks — which they proceeded to do.


However, the Ghost Army went on to stage more than 20 battlefield deceptions — most of them carried out very close to the front lines — and the rest of their operations had happier endings.


At one point in Patton’s advance, there was a huge gap in his lines. The Ghost Army moved into this gap and convinced the Germans that there were 30,000 soldiers there when actually there were only a few hundred. The Germans eventually figured it out and attacked this gap (the Ghost Army was extracted four hours before the German offensive) and thus began the Battle of the Bulge, wherein the Germans almost turned back the American advance.


I don’t know if the few days that the Ghost Army gave to the American forces made the difference in the Battle of the Bulge, but it helped immensely one way or the other.


Now this may seem like a fun way to fight a war — but keep in mind that these men were quite literally decoys; they were a few hundred men who were intentionally trying to get tens of thousands of men — men who by this point were all very accomplished killers of other men — to attack them…


…and they often succeeded at this goal in a highly spectacular manner.


Amazingly, they suffered very few casualties, though — and most of those were during their Grand Finalé, when the American troops finally crossed the Rhine River successfully and thus entered Germany itself…


…and they did this while the Germans were attacking a bunch of rubber toys that were 20 miles away.



You can read about the Ghost Army here:


Or, if you prefer video, Netflix also streams a very good PBS documentary about them:


It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of August 14th thru August 20th 2014




1) FYI Section:


1A) Update on Heron Rookery


Note: Daniel is looking for volunteers to man a table at the Westside Food CoOp Saturday to educate people about this issue. Drop me an email if interested and I’ll put you in touch.


From Daniel:


There are some concrete things that the City Council CAN do. This is important because they will tell you that their hands are tied. They are not tied.


1) revise the Oly City’s Critical Areas Ordinance to include WA State priority species including the GBH. Currently, the CAO only protects endangered and threatened species. While this sounds nice, there are practically no endangered or threatened species in Olympia anymore, except for the salmon, which are already protected under the shoreline regulations. Thus, the CAO actually protects NO wildlife. This needs to change.


2) Use eminent domain to acquire these woods at fair market price, working with local conservation groups whose involvement WE will marshall to raise the funds.


If you could please add these points to your email and draft letter, the message will be stronger.




1B) Update on West Central Park Project


From Alicia:


Hey Guys!


The Park has never received so many compliments and visitors than it has in the past week or two. Park volunteers work hard every Sunday of the year making this spot as lovely as can be. Lunch eaters, resting bikers, photographers, berry pickers, garden harvesters, waiting bus riders, dog walkers and everyone who comes to the West Central Park, are the very reason the project was started. The Park will continue to give itself to this community as a place to rest, gather, learn and share well into the future with everyone’s help.  Find out more about how you can help make sure the Park stays healthy by coming out to a Sunday Work Party or getting involved through email. WCP has continual need for members of the community that want to help lead committees for uses like workshops, events and movie nights at the Park.  Let us know how you’d like to apply your strengths.


You may have noticed some of the projects going at 135 Cushing. The property shares a big border with the Park, and is one I recently purchased.  I will be beautifying and restoring the property for a future plan of leasing it to a local restaurant, with a beer garden in back on the Park side. The house was built in 1900 and the outbuildings are equally as old.  I would like to see their antique features restored and highlighted. The fence that is going up is an imitation of the original picket design and is intended to blend with the era. The back mural building that faces the Park is getting a nice block foundation this week.  There are also surviving Pear, Plum and Apple trees from the orchard days that are over a hundred years old in that yard.  I welcome any comments/ suggestions you may have as the restorations go on. 


This Sunday we will be having our regular work party from 10-1. Come out to the Park with your gloves and a smile and we will provide the rest. We will be moving chips, moving the stage to its final resting place, and continuing to maintain the garden, the beds and the entire grounds.  By moving the stage to its new location musicians and any other performers or speech givers for that matter, can face the entire park, rather than just the pad. 


Don’t forget about our upcoming August Arts and Music Splash, next Saturday from 11-5.  Local artists and musicians will be dazzling you all day while Daniel Gaster and his Hot Box and the Oly Pops will be impressing your palates and tummies with delectable treats. Don’t miss it!



Thanks West Oly, and see you soon!



2) Movies in the Park Meaningful Movie Series: “Inequality for All”

Thursday August 14th at 8 pm @ Percival Landing Pavilion, 405 Columbia St NW at Olympia Ave


This is a series of ‘meaningful movies’ playing every Thursday evening through August.


From the 21st Century Park Coalition:


Inequality for All

Thursday August 7th at 8 pm @ Percival Landing Pavilion, 405 Columbia St NW and Olympia Ave


Examines the widening income inequality in the United States. Presented by American economist, author, and Professor Robert Reich.


Free and Open to the Public!


Music and conversation starts at 8 pm, movie starts at dusk (9-ish)

Bring your lawn chairs and refreshments — These are non-smoking events


For information call: 360-556-2541



3) Transfused Sing-Along at the Well

Friday August 15th at 9 pm to Saturday August 16th at 11 pm @ the Artesian Well, in Parking Lot at Corner of 5th and Jefferson


Singing at the well! Yippee!


This is sponsored by Partners in Prevention Education [PiPE]


This from Rosalinda:


Have you ever been to a film musical and had the uncontrollable urge to burst into song?


The Transfused promises to be the next Campest Cult Classic of all time and now you can enjoy it like never before. Your live host will lead you through a choral warm-up and award prizes but it is YOU, the audience, who are the stars as you howl the night away!


Originally written and produced here in Olympia in 2000 by Nomy Lamm and The Need and featuring many of Olympia’s own in the cast of characters and production staff, this promises to be an evening of fun! The Transfused is the craziest, most action-packed, post apocalyptic party of all time.


It’s packed full of terrific numbers including ‘What Kind of World is This?, ‘The Fix, ‘The PowerStation (Transfused theme)’, ‘Child of Destiny’, ‘Avi Freak Out’, and ‘Seven Will Resist’.


Admission is Free! Donations gladly accepted to support Partners in Prevention Education.


The plot:

It is 100 years after the collapse of the American Empire. In the place of that monster of formal government and economy has risen The Corporation, puppet masters of a new era, whose plasticine forms cast a dark shadow of oppression over the lives of the Transfused. In the world of the Transfused, day-to-day survival means grueling, monotonous work in exchange for the very air they breathe ~ a once-a-day dose of the Fix that keeps them strung out and coming back for more. To the Corporation, the Transfused are filthy mongrels, the underclass, the human surplus whose only worth is in their labor. The Fat-Free-Fat Factory where the Transfused work is only one among many Corporate factories, producing one of many useless and absurd commodities. The Commander and her battalion of Sliders are just a tiny fraction of the military presence which oversees and enforces Corporate rule. This is the story of three momentous days in the lives of the Transfused, as they encounter new ideas, experience devastating loss, and ultimately find that they possess a power far greater than The Corporation could ever hope for.



4) Community Rights Group Meeting

Saturday August 16th at Noon @ MIXX96 Meeting Room, Corner of Washington and State Streets


Come plug in with the Community Rights Movement!


From Janet:


Community Rights Group

Meeting Saturday, August 16

At MIXX96, 12:00 Noon


Draft Agenda:


1.  Logistics for the Community Rights Forum, September 13 at MIXX96.  At this forum we will present the Health of the Salish Sea Draft Ordinance to the environmental activist community — we’ll tell them about the other 2 but focus on this one, and encourage questions and suggestions.  

  • Make sure the speakers are invited — Sue Patnude, Cindy Beckett, Harry Branch
  • Create a flier, make plans to put it up in many locations
  • Put the announcement in all the papers


2.  Refine the Police Accountability Ordinance, which we will present at the next forum in October.  Kai has sent us comments, which we unfortunately haven’t read yet since we can’t open the document, but we’ll get it open bytomorrow.  


3.  Anything else you want to talk about.  


See you there.  — Janet





5) Confronting the Climate Crisis

Wednesday August 20th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm @ the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St NW


Come confront the crisis of our times.


From Oly FOR:


Confronting the Climate Crisis


Wednesday, August 20, 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



6) Block the Boat! Blockade of Israeli Zim Ship in Tacoma and Seattle

Wednesday August 20th @ Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle


Come block goods being imported from the brutal apartheid police state of Israel.


From Matt:








What: Rally and blockade of the ship “Zim Chicago.

Objective is to prevent the unloading of its cargo.

Where: Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle.

Exact meeting places will be posted nearer to the days of the actions.

When: Wednesday, August 20 (Tacoma action), Thursday, August 21 (Seattle action) — THESE ARE ESTIMATED DAYS BASED ON SCHEDULING INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON ZIM.COM. Keep checking back to make sure, ETAs can change!


Both actions will begin very early (exact time TBA) and continue throughout the day.


Why: To refuse to support the Israeli occupation and siege by allowing an Israeli shipping company to conduct commerce in Northwest ports. This is in conjunction with an Oakland, CA blockade of another Zim-owned ship on August 16th.


Who: Everyone who wishes for an end to the occupation and wholesale murder of Palestinians at the hands of Israel.




Oakland action:




When the “Zim Chicago” enters the Port of Tacoma on August 20th and the Port of Seattle on August 21, we will conduct blockades to prevent the unloading of its cargo, starting at early morning and lasting all day. Estimated dates of arrival are subject to change, and we will continue to give accurate updates on We will also give exact meeting places for the actions in the coming days. Keep checking!


These actions are economic sanctions against Zim Shipping, Israel’s largest shipping company, in response to the current siege of Gaza and the ongoing occupation of Palestine. Any international commerce that profits Israeli companies is oppressing Palestinians. Israel could not continue its occupation and genocide without economic and military support of the United States government. To help end this oppression we must block that support in every way we can.


The toll of “Operation Protective Edge” is almost 1,900 Gazans killed (nearly all civilians), 31% of them children, and almost 10,000 injured. We must act in solidarity with those in Palestine who live under occupation and are facing down genocide. Let’s refuse to let Israeli ships use our ports! Blockade til they go away! Oakland, CA will block a Zim ship on August 16th. In Seattle we shut down the Port for a day in December of 2011 — we can do it again and again. Blockades can and must happen everywhere there is a port, as a contribution to the goal of the complete collapse of the economic base of Israeli occupation.


We can’t do this without your presence! Everyone is welcome, young and old. Bring banners, flags, flyers, sound systems, musical instruments, and your friends. If you can’t blockade, you can participate in the supporting rallies — the more people there, the safer we’ll all be.


Comments, questions, or suggestions? Want to work together? Contact



7) Reach Out at the Well

Friday August 22nd from Noon to 2 pm @ the Artesian Well, Corner of Jefferson and 5th


Come learn about Olympia’s ‘Downtown Ambassador’ program and other outreach programs.


From Renata:


Reach Out at the Well!

Friday, August 22nd from noon-2pm

Artesian Well in Downtown Olympia (4th and Jefferson)


What’s going on with downtown street outreach? Stop by and find out at this FREE first-of-its-kind community fair at the Well, in the heart of downtown Oly.


Over a dozen downtown organizations will be sharing info on available services and volunteer opportunities at places like Community Youth Services, Partners in Prevention Education (PiPE), POWER, the Food Bank, EGYHOP, Covenant Creatures, Olympia Free Clinic and many more.


Chat with folks who do this work, learn about available resources for homeless or low-income folks, then find out how you can make a difference and build community through street outreach work. Also, enjoy free lemonade made with artesian well water. See you at the well! 



8) Bonus Tip of the Week:


Watch out for ghosts.







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