The Thunderbolt 082114 Water Wars

Force of Nature


Action Alert Calendar


The Thunderbolt


News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





1) FYI Section:

   1A) Update on Heron Rookery

   1B) Pacific Northwest Peoples Movement Assembly

   1C) Mike Savoca Running for Congress

2) Movies in the Park Meaningful Movie Series: “Economics of Happiness”

3) Reach Out at the Well

4) The Power of One; a Two Day Interactive Workshop from Partners in Prevention Education

5) POWER Southern Kitchen Secret Café

6) Ferguson: We See the Truth

7) Love Our Local Fest

8) Bonus Tip of the Week




Water Wars




Noble Causes


Hey Kids!


Glen Greenwald said something concerning American justifications for imperialism that I’m going to reprint here because this is very important:


…this trick, this tactic of pretending that aggression and violence and a war are really being done for humanitarian reasons, is not unique to the United States. I mean, you can look at Napoleon and the invaders of the early 20th century and, as I said, al-Qaeda and Gaddafi and a whole range of people. The writer Jonathan Schwarz has compiled a really long list of some of the worst warmongers in history, who have used identical humanitarian explanations as the one the U.S. government gives. And I think one big reason is that because no population, no country, likes to think of itself as an aggressor, as an empire, as warmongers. We all like to think that we’re good people. And so, one of the ways that you get a population to acquiesce to a permanent state of warfare, which is obviously what the United States government is in, and has been in for decades—how do you convince the population to continue to acquiesce to the continuous slaughter of people around the world, to the bombing of multiple countries, in a way that no other country would contemplate? Really, the only way that you can do that is by continuously telling them that it’s being done because you’re benevolent, because we just love humanity and love freedom and love democracy so much that we constantly bomb people in pursuit of those goals. And I think the combination of how adept this propaganda is, when it’s done by the U.S. government and U.S. media jointly, combined with the desire that we all as human beings have to think good things about ourselves, makes it so that, even contrary to all evidence as it is…




NPR for the CIA


I know I piss off liberals when I make fun of NPR, but I’ve gotta say, NPR does mix some really good stuff amidst all the corporate and government propaganda that they throw out like a farmer throwing swill to his pigs…


National Public Radio is a monolithic interwoven conglomerate of highly diverse people with highly diverse agendas, so NPR has a highly diverse portfolio of programming. The corporate propagandists at NPR must walk a careful line because the listeners to NPR tend to be more educated and tend to give more credence to facts and less to ‘beliefs’ in their various political analysis. The typical media appeals to base emotional jingoism just don’t work with the latté-swilling BMW-driving NPR crowd, let me tell ya!


However; if craven emotionalism doesn’t work then howz about trashing Edward Snowden by uncritically repeating propaganda concerning the security ‘threats’ that Mr. Snowden’s revelations have caused? Yes, NPR reporter Dina Temple-Raston reported a story that came directly from the horse’s ass without attributing said equine’s back-side even though Ms. Temple-Raston knew full well that her ‘source’ for the story was a CIA front since she had previously reported upon that very fact!

Again, Glen Greenwald sums it up beautifully:


This was such a pure and indisputable case of journalistic malpractice and deceit. I mean, NPR radically misled millions of people with this report. To sit there and present this firm as though it’s some independent big data company, as she called it, that just listened to news reports, heard this claim that Snowden had helped the terrorists and then set out earnestly to investigated it, without telling their listeners what they—Dina Temple-Raston herself knew, because she had reported two years earlier that the CIA itself had invested millions of dollars in this company, that the investment arm of the CIA, In-Q-Tel, sits on the board of this company and that the researcher on whom they relied himself is the head of a company in a strategic partnership with the CIA, that is about as journalistically indefensible as it gets. She misled NPR’s listeners into believing that this was some independent, credible source, rather than what it is, which is a government-loyal firm. And that’s to say nothing of the huge numbers of fallacies in the report itself. They gave Bruce Schneier 42 seconds at the end of the story, in two sentences, more or less, to say, “Here are a couple questions I’d have about this report,” but the first three-and-a-half minutes were as Dina Temple-Raston uncritically and mindlessly summarizing the report. It’s press release journalism on behalf of the Pentagon that she covers. And it’s the reason that the U.S. media has collapsed in terms of the trust and esteem with which the American public holds them.




Ferguson Follies


I have several times honoured Ronald Reagan with bottom-lining the destruction of the United States. In addition to beginning the policies that have resulted in the most massive redistribution of wealth in history, that brain-dead zombie was also responsible for both the militarization of the police and the police-ization of the military.


The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri had just happened when the Thunderbolt went to press last week. At first it seemed like business-as-usual so I didn’t report or comment upon it.


It has since become a major incident, so now I am going to report and comment upon it.


I have several times mentioned that Barack Obama is installing a police state. Therefore, it took me for a loop when Attorney General Eric Holder stated ‘concern’ about the strategy that the police were using in dealing with the disturbances. Mr. Holder actually criticized the ‘military tactics’ that were being used on civilians!


The obvious question — where was Mr. Holder while the police were brutally oppressing the Occupy Movement — comes immediately to mind, but I guess better late than never.


Mr. Holder also failed to mention the fact that all of that military hardware was given to those police forces by the federal government. They say these robo-cop outfits and armoured vehicles are necessary to fight the ‘War on Drugs’. Many wonder whether the ‘War on Drugs’ is itself necessary, but if this is necessary, then welcome to your government’s brain on drugs…


However, breaking all protocols and blasting standard procedure, this time the government provided an incredible demonstration of solving a problem rather than exacerbating it! The governor of Missouri took control of the situation away from the local police and gave command to the State Police Captain Ron Johnson who, rather than having his men dress like robo-cops whilst tear-gassing and beating people, instead Mr. Johnson had his men dressed in plain uniforms and he himself joined the marchers — and the scene in Ferguson magically transformed from violent riots into a ‘party-like’ atmosphere right there in front of the national press!


Wow! This makes it obvious that the Machine is just as effective at doing the right thing as it is doing the wrong thing!


Think of the implications!


It was obvious that there was serious pressure coming right from the Big Bad Obama Hisself to resolve this situation. Since these strategies seemed completely counter to everything Obama has ever done and since this demonstration of the efficacy of non-confrontational policing is completely counter to what you wish to demonstrate whilst attempting to install an effective police state, then I must admit that I was utterly baffled by Obama’s action until…


…until I realized that having black riots breaking out across the country a la 1960’s is possibly absolutely the LAST thing in the frigging universe that Obama wants to have happen on his watch. Besides the incredibly bad press, the fact our first Scottish president has done almost nothing to address racial disparities in our culture would very embarrassingly come to the surface…


…and the only reason I don’t say that Mr. Obama has done absolutely nothing to address racial disparities in our culture is because he did push to have the disparities between crack and powder cocaine reduced in the federal sentencing guidelines — NOT to 1-to-1, which is what it should be, but from 100-to-1 down to 18-to-1.


While this was a completely inadequate stripped-down flea-fart of an accomplishment — it was a step in the right direction and it was very important to the numerous mostly black people who were directly affected by the change.


I found this interesting mostly as a rather unusual anomaly in Obama’s near-perfect record.


Obama Care helps us a little and helps Goldman $achs a LOT, but I am convinced that Obama Care is a direct result of the fact that Obama’s mother died of cancer whilst still in her 40’s because she was uninsured.


I am now wondering if maybe he also has a crack-addict hidden in some federal woodpile somewhere or something…





Whew, that was a close one! I wrote all that a couple of days ago and — just as I thought I was going to actually be forced into the unprecedented step of praising Barack Obama in the Thunderbolt — cooler government heads prevailed! The horrific sight of the police and the People joining together in common cause was evidently much too much for the fascists to stomach. (In fact, the police and/or military joining a revolution is more often than not the sign that the revolution has won…)


The State Police Captain Ron Johnson was replaced and now the local police and the National Guard are once again intimidating and threatening people. The predictable riots, burnings, and chaos have once again ensued!


Back to business as usual! Sigh of relief!hat was a close one!




California Water Wars


The Thunderbolt hereby officially predicts that soon humanity is going to graduate from oil wars to water wars.


As you probably know, Thurston County does not suffer from a lack of water.


Let’s hope Thurston County does not suffer the same fate in the upcoming water wars as befell all of those countries that had oil during the oil wars…



In a piece a few weeks ago I described my home town of Ridgecrest, California, and I mentioned that the area cannot be developed because Los Angeles stole all the water back in the early 20th Century.


I am going to expand on that now because this was literally a shooting war complete with guns and bombs, it was fought over water — and it provides a cautionary tale:


In the late 1800’s the Owens Valley (whose southern end begins just 20 miles north of Ridgecrest) became a mini-agricultural powerhouse due to the runoff from the adjacent Sierra Nevada mountain range. Mount Whitney, which is the highest mountain in the contiguous United States, drops directly from its summit straight down to the Owens Valley — and it does so rather precipitously at that.


Then, just as precipitously, the White Mountain Range rises to form the eastern wall of the Owens Valley. The White Mountains are nearly as high as the Sierras are and they are also the home of the oldest trees in the world, i.e. the Bristlecone Pine. Some of these trees are 5,000 years old. This means that they were already 3,000 years old when Jesus was walking around.


The largest trees in the world are just west of Mount Whitney.


This is a truly spectacular area.


However: Agents of Los Angeles were already buying bribing and stealing water rights in the Owens Valley by the late 1800’s. When Owens Valley farmers bitched about this there was a move in the United States Reclamation Service (now known as the United States Bureau of Reclamation) to construct irrigation canals in the Owens Valley both to provide water to the farmers and to thwart Los Angeles’ efforts to take it.


However, as with every good story, there is an Effective Villain and the Effective Villain in this case was a gentleman (using the term lightly) named Frederick Eaton, who was elected mayor of Los Angeles in 1898.


Thus was sealed the fate of the Owens Valley.


Mr. Eaton had no use for rules or laws or fairness so he succeeded spectacularly under capitalism’s dog-eat-dog rules — or lack of same (for rich people, anyway…)


He used inside connections with the relevant regulatory and legislative bodies. Eaton was both an agent of the United States Reclamation Service — thus had inside access to privileged government information about water issues — and a gentleman named Joseph Lippincott was both the Regional Engineer of the United States Reclamation Service whilst simultaneously being an employee of Mr. Eaton.


How handy.


Using the inside knowledge that the City of Los Angeles was about to literally invade Inyo County and conduct a hostile takeover, Mr. Eaton first came to the Owens Valley pretending to be a rich Angelino looking to buy land for retirement — and he was willing to seriously over-pay.


Owens Valley residents soon began wondering why Mr. Eaton needed so many acres in so many widely scattered locations in order to retire.


By 1907, Eaton was busy acquiring key water rights and traveling to Washington to meet with advisers of Theodore Roosevelt to convince them that the water of the Owens River would do more good flowing from faucets in Los Angeles than it would on Owens Valley fields and orchards.


In time, the Bureau’s irrigation project was cancelled.


Construction of the infamous Los Angeles Aqueduct began in 1908.


In the Owens Valley, after witnessing the life-blood of their lush paradise sucked away to Los Angeles and as they watched their spectacular valley slowly transformed into a desert and after watching Owens Lake simply disappear — open rebellion finally came in 1924.


This rebellion was both encouraged and financed by Wilfred and Mark Watterson, two brothers who happened to own the Inyo County Bank.


When armed resistance began and when the seizure and destruction of property began — and when it became clear that this armed resistance was being supported by local law enforcement officials — the Angelinos learned from local turncoats that there was some shady stuff going on at the Inyo County Bank and the Angelino officials thus convinced federal regulators to look into matters wherein said federal regulators discovered that — so dedicated to their cause had they been — that the Watterson Brothers had seriously scammed their own bank in order to finance said rebellion…




The Wattersons went to jail. The Inyo County Bank dissolved. Along with the bank went much of the personal fortunes of a goodly portion of the residents of the Owens Valley. Many lost their life savings and/or everything they owned.


And thus, the City of Los Angeles won the Owens Valley Water War.


The Wattersons said they had done it for the Cause. The locals accepted this and believed it and most didn’t blame them.


The Owens Valley thereafter became almost literally a colony of the City of Los Angeles. To this day many Inyo County residents pay their rent to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. By 1928, Los Angeles owned a good deal of the land and 90 percent of the water in the Owens Valley. Agriculture interests in the region were effectively dead.


And FYI: The Owens Valley is over 200 miles from Los Angeles.


Finally, Los Angeles — like all soulless heartless Machines — pushed the envelope too far: They constructed a second aqueduct to drain even more Owens Valley water to Los Angeles. Then, when Los Angeles’ insatiable Quest for Water extended even further north into the Mono Basin and when they began drying up a spectacular high-mountain salt lake called Mono Lake — finally a whole bunch of legal resistance and a whole bunch of non-violent resistance (and not a little bit of violent resistance) ensued.


Ironically, much of this resistance is coming from rich liberal residents of Los Angeles who can afford to vacation in the northern Sierras and thus see the devastation first-hand.


The courts have recently said that Los Angeles must return the level of Mono Lake to some percentage of its former glory.


Half a victory is better than nothing. I guess.


In the 90’s, Los Angeles was finally required to begin partial mitigation for the damage they have done to the Owens Valley too. Los Angeles has subsequently and very diligently missed every single legal time requirement and they were required to be sued again to do what they had already been sued to do once before — but slowly and way behind schedule, things are now slightly better.



It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of August 21st thru August 27th 2014




1) FYI Section:


1A) Update on Heron Rookery


I had a friend tell me that the herons had been taken into account in an ‘environmental impact statement’, that the proposed site had already been logged, and that the development would not harm the herons. i.e. everyone was freaking out over nothing.


Daniel Einstein disagrees. This is his response:


First, let me respond to the no-harm point. In 2009 the road was logged. That logging opened up the forest canopy with the result that the herons were greatly stressed and vulnerable to predation by eagles. This is a heronry that we have been following for some time. From 2009 to 2013, no chicks survived the summer.  The population of the herons dropped from about 35 to about 23. They were no longer replacing themselves, facing collapse. This year, for the first time a few chicks fledged. Studies show that 69% of fledged chicks will die, but maybe some will survive and become adults. What changed between 2009 and today of course is that the herons were left alone. The project was pulled, back in 2009, due to a combination of community pressure and the market crash.


There is more. The Great Blue Heron in Olympia are a unique non-migratory subspecies, Ardea herodias fannini, found only in the Salish Sea that stretches from Prince William Sound to Puget Sound. As far as we know, the herons in Olympia represent the southernmost colony of the fannini subspecies. According to testimony from Elizabeth Roderick of the Audubon Society, in 1976 there were ten nesting colonies of fannini in Thurston County. At last counting, in 2009, there were only five. In 2006, the last comprehensive survey of fannini in the Salish Sea, there were only ~9000 individuals left. Let me be clear on this point. That means there were only ~9000 fannini left in the entire world. We do not have an accurate account for 2014, but various sources have put the population at about half that number. Thus, the herons in our woods are part of a bigger picture of a systematic disappearing act. Temperamentally,  I try to be even handed and avoid terms like genocide, but as you can see there is some truth to the words you have chosen.


So in short, I strongly rebut the notion that people are freaking out over nothing. The situation is very serious. 


Herons are known to be very sensitive to human disturbance and can abandon a colony for what seem like a minor disturbance to us, used as we are to chaos. Increasingly, the question is, where do they go? Herons are picky. They chose those woods because it works for them. They prefer alder, they prefer to be left alone – no one goes in those woods – they prefer to be within site of their feeding grounds at the waters edge. Not too many years ago, there was a heronry at Mud Bay and one in Eld Inlet. Both are gone.


Lastly, these woods are not only home to the heron. That I know of, there are three bucks a doe and a fawn in there. There is red fox, raccoon, possum, coyote … Maybe not all as “iconic” as the heron, but all equally deserving of a place to live.




1B) Pacific Northwest Peoples Movement Assembly

Friday September 26th thru Sunday September 28th @ First Unitarian Church Sanctuary, 1211 SW Main St, Portland, OR, 97205


It’s this year’s regional gathering of the radicals! Right down the road in Portland!


(If you remember, the very first ever one of these was right here in Olympia during the Occupy Occupation!)


This isn’t until next month, but they want as many early registrations as they can.


This from Oregon Jericho:


Welcome to the web site of the Pacific Northwest Peoples Movement Assembly.

The Assembly will take place September 26 through September 28, 2014 at the First Unitarian Church, Sanctuary: 1211 SW Main St., Portland, Oregon 97205.


  • Friday, September 26th, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm: Benefit Concert with Mic Crenshaw and Friends. Will benefit the Social Forum and the Burundi Computer Center supported by Global Fam.
  • Saturday, September 27th 9:00am to 9:00pm: People’s Movement Assemblies and Developing our Pacific NW Plan of Action Together.
  • Sunday, September 28th 12:00-2:00: Taking Direct Action Together for Social, Economic and Climate/Environmental Justice- location to be determined.


Register Link:


Home Page:




1C) Mike Savoca Running for Congress


Mike Savoca, who has been working on our local Move to Amend actions and he is running for Legislative District 20, opposite Richard DeBolt. He would like to have and he should have your help support.


From Mike:


I’ve been campaigning in Centralia….shook the hands of over 500 people

in the past 6 days and handed them my campaign brochure


I’dd like to ask for  some help:  two afternoons in mid October, from 4

to 6pm, to banner over I-5


The banner will read  “Savoca runs for free!”


This is my slogan as I accept no money from corporations, PACs

Lobbyists, Unions or any organizations.


And maybe a second banner to be decided.


Need 6 people.


best regards


michael s.



2) Movies in the Park Meaningful Movie Series: “Economics of Happiness”

Thursday August 21st 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:


Economics of Happiness

Thursday August 21st at 8 pm @ Sylvester Park


A call for systemic economic change and the growing chorus from around the world demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance into ecological, localized economies based upon a new paradigm.


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) Reach Out at the Well

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


This line-up includes all the rock-stars of the Olympia service provider community. Come learn about Olympia’s ‘Downtown Ambassador’ program and many other outreach programs.


From Renata:


Reach Out at the Well!

Friday, August 22nd from noon-2pm

Artesian Well in Downtown Olympia (4th and Jefferson)


Over a dozen nonprofit organizations and community projects are banding together for “Reach Out at the Well,” a street outreach and volunteer recruitment fair.


It’s a chance to chat with folks doing outreach work, learn about available resources for coping with homelessness, illness, violence or job loss, and find out how you can make a difference in the community through street outreach.


Participating organizations include: • Community Youth Services
Rosie’s Place
• POWER (Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights)
Thurston County Food Bank
• PiPE (Partners in Prevention Education)
Stonewall Youth- Olympia, Washington
The Olympia Free Clinic
• Thurston County Needle Exchange
PB&J Project
Family Support Center
Covenant Creatures
The Crisis Clinic of Thurston and Mason Counties
Youth ‘N Action
Olympia Downtown Ambassadors

…and maybe the Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project (better known as EGYHOP)


Learn about resources and volunteer opportunities for housing and shelter, youth services, back to school info, free food options, free health services, low-income pet care and more. Some tables will give away snacks and sandwiches; others will offer free on-site counseling, advocacy, and pet food to those in need.


Organizers will also serve lemonade made with Artesian Well water. See you there!



4) The Power of One; a Two Day Interactive Workshop from Partners in Prevention Education

Saturday August 23rd thru Sunday August 24th @ Partners in Prevention Education [PiPE], 408 7th Ave SE


Come learn from the pros how to prevent violence!


From Rosalinda:


This will be the first in a yearlong quarterly Sexual Violence Prevention Series open to the community. Each quarter we will examine the complex interplay between individual, relationship, community and societal factors that put people at risk for experiencing or perpetuating sexual violence.


This quarter will focus on personal beliefs, examine barriers to prevention and bystander intervention, practice self defense, and explore strategies for self care and social change while providing an opportunity to practice our new skills.


Some of the activities planned for the weekend include: Self Defence Workshop, Bystander Intervention Scenarios, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Aromatherapy, Community Dialog around violence prevention and much much more!!! Most of these activities have been confirmed and we are getting excited about an activity filled weekend!! Our hope is that you will hopefully leave feeling confident in your ability to help prevent violence, and have new skills around self care!


Lunch will be provided both days and there will be opportunities to win prizes throughout the weekend.


Admission is FREE, but donations gladly accepted to support crime victims support services and sexual violence prevention activities provided by Partners in Prevention Education



5) POWER Southern Kitchen Secret Café

Saturday August 23rd at 5 pm @ 2642 State Ave NE



It’s party time with Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights! [POWER]


Come eat mama-food and enjoy a very good time with very good people!


From Monica:


You won’t want to miss POWER’s annual secret cafe this year. We’ll be cooking up a mess of jambalaya, gumbo, greens, grits and barbecued chicken. Mouth watering delights by Saucy Spoon’s Jennifer Witherspoon and unbelievable desserts by Karin Murphy, SPSCC Baking Program graduate. Live music by Jenny Jenkins, Robin Cutler and Yodelady! This is a fundraiser for POWER, but affordable for all wallet sizes. We will have full plates, sides, and more. Starts at 5 pm at Vince, Bryn and Monica’s house and goes until we’re done partying!





6) Ferguson: We See the Truth

Saturday August 23rd at 7 pm @ Percival Landing, 4th and Water Streets


Come protest police murders.


From Yahcob:


Come bring your signs and a few dollars and show your solidarity with the residents of Ferguson. We’re going to collect money to send to the family of Mike Brown. Meet on the pier. Wear black clothes (recommended).



7) Love Our Local Fest

Sunday August 24th All Day @ San Francisco St. Bakery, 1320 San Francisco Ave NE


This is a spectacularly wondrous festival featuring the best of Olympia. Admission is free.


From Daniel:


The 4th Annual Love Our Local Festival in the heart of the Eastside neighborhood of Olympia! Featuring as many of the Olympia area’s finest offerings that we can fit in the streets. Musicians, artists, healers, artisans, great food, children’s activities, dancing, playing, and so much more. And it is a Free event!


There will be no vehicles driving through the busiest intersection on the Eastside – we get to inhabit the streets together as a community and enjoy a beautiful late August day in celebration.




There are still spaces left for artisans to vend, healers to reserve space in the Healing Haven, for non-profit organizations to reserve space, for musicians to perform – and the email addresses are all at the website to connect with the festival in these ways. There are lots of really fun volunteer opportunities as well!


Our 3 fold mission:

Celebrate Our Gifts ~ Cultivate Community ~ Dwell in Possibility



8) Bonus Tip of the Week:


Appreciate your drink of water today.








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