The Thunderbolt 100914 Macs Debut

Explosive Discharge

TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt
News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes

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1)  FYI Section:
1A) TC Pro Net Taking Action on Climate Change
1B) Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness Soliciting Ideas for Workshops in May
2)  Buffalo Field Campaign Olympia:  Stories and Songs for the Last Wild Buffalo
3)  Workshop on Community Rights Ordinance
4)  4th Annual Northwest Unitarian Universalist Justice Summit
5)  Get Out the Vote Phone Banking for YES on I-594
6)  Bonus Tip of the Week
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Mac’s Debut!
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Mac’s Debut!

Ladies, gentlemen, and various permutations thereof!  This week’s Thunderbolt presents a momentous historical event — for this is the very first Thunderbolt that is being produced wholly by my fancy new $1,000 Macintosh computer!

Welcome to Mac’s World!

The reason this is the first Thunderbolt to come from the new Mac because my old trusty Vaio  is now completely infested with viruses.  The reason my old trusty Vaio is completely infested with viruses is because one of the things I needed to purchase before making Mac my everyday computer was an external sound card so I can plug my microphone into it.  However, the UPS man couldn’t deliver my new sound card so he left it on the front step at Media Island where, of course, someone stole it.

I would have told him/her not to do that had I known that he/she might.

I reported the loss to UPS.

Then, this morning I received an email that said it was from UPS.  The email said that they had tried to deliver my package and that if I would just print the attached receipt and then bring it to them then I could come retrieve it.

Since I actually did have a UPS package missing, and since I was very happy to hear they had found it, I didn’t even think about it before clicking on the ‘print receipt’ button in the email…

Yep — you probably already guessed that it was a phishing attack from someone who had somehow found out that I had a missing package from UPS.

What’ll they think of next?

My tried and true and trusty old Sony Vaio that gave birth to the Thunderbolt is now a sick and diseased old man.  When everything fails and when the instructions start including changing settings in the bios then I know I am in way over my computer-head and that it is time to wipe the drive and sell old Vaio into a good home…

As to why all this insanity is happening, everything that has been happening has been happening in relation to programs and files that I need for the radio show.  I need a sound card so I can use the mic, I need an external hard drive so I can store all my audio archives, and I need my graphics program mostly so I can make CD’s.

I am beginning to suspect that, for some mysterious reason, the karmic gods don’t want me to produce my radio show right now.

Okay.  This doesn’t make logical sense but probably because I just don’t get it.  I guess the radio version of the Thunderbolt will be airing reruns on KOWA again for a while.

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Dead Babies

‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier is dead.

Good.

It is considered to be highly gauche to speak ill of the dead much less express joy over said death, but when it comes to Baby Doc Duvalier I plan to enthusiastically indulge in both.  For younger folks who don’t personally remember this history, Baby Doc Duvalier and his father ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier spent many decades as thoroughly brutal dictators of Haiti and who enthusiastically assisted various Wall Street firms in thoroughly exploiting the resources of Haiti whilst simultaneously making sure the people of Haiti received a ridiculously small share of the bounty.

In other words, they were just your typical American-backed butchers who committed many truly heinous crimes against humanity for the benefit of their Wall Street War Machine patrons.

The current president of Haiti — another American backed dictator that yet again overthrew a democratically elected president in yet another American-backed military coup — is considering giving Baby Doc a state funeral.

Scream.  Beat head on wall.  Foam at mouth whilst uttering complete gibberish.

Something kind of weird and kind of scary that I didn’t realize until I heard coverage of Baby Doc’s death:  I have been aware of Baby Doc Duvalier since the early 70’s when I was in my early twenties, and thus it was kind of weird when I learned that he was only two years older than I am.

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Neo-Neocolonialism

You know, I got to thinking that sexism is sort of like neocolonialism by proxy — which I guess is kind of redundant — but whatever…

It’s all of a piece.

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The Colour of Oppression

A lot of people don’t realize that the environment is the most important issue of our times.  Said lack of realization of this fact is a very serious problem if you accept the analysis that climate change is the most important issue of our times.

The climate is — frankly — not a very sexy issue.  It is not in-your-face obvious and it is easy to ignore — at least for awhile…

One of the big problems here is that activists in other fields feel — with ample justification — that environmental activism is the purview of privileged white people.  For decades people of colour have watched wealthy white people trying to save everything from whales to snails whilst they ignored if not participated in the oppression of racial minourities.  During Occupy Olympia I read an article by a black female columnist from Seattle named Sable Verity who suggested that the Occupy Movement should be asked about its distinct lack of colour.  Since I knew that people of colour would be welcome with open arms at the Occupy camp, I suggested that Ms. Verity that rather than asking white people why people of colour were not there that she should instead be asking people of colour why they were not there.

I received and answer to this question from a Thunderbolt reader:  She said that Occupy was made up mostly of privileged white kids and that when people of colour see middle class white people they see their oppressors. While many if not most whites do not and did not actively sin by acts of commission, many if not most did sin by acts of omission.

And in many cases it was by acts of commission:  For decades organized labour was one of the leading supporters of the Great American Apartheid State and they systemically discriminated against all unpopular racial minourities.

So a message to my fellow white people:  We need to build some bridges.

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Perception vs. Reality

And here is yet another example of the Machine’s amazing to manipulate people’s perceptions of reality:  The common perception is that heroin is one of the ultimate evil bogey-drugs of all time and ‘junkies’ are considered to inhabit one of the lowest rungs on the social ladder.

Alcohol, on the other hand, is considered to be a perfectly acceptable beverage in most social circles and alcoholics are not afforded anywhere near the social stigma that users of heroin are subjected to.

Alcoholics get ‘treatment’.  Junkies get jail.

This is the dominant paradigm in spite of the fact that alcohol is far worse than heroin in any and every manner or aspect that you may wish to consider — except, of course, the legal implications.

For instance:  People under the influence of alcohol daily wreak havoc across every nook and corner of our country.  Every year they kill tens-of-thousands in automobile accidents and there is no other single factor so associated with violence and domestic abuse in our culture than alcohol.

The main problem in dealing with people under the influence of heroin, on the other hand, is that they get in the way when you are trying to clean the house.  Junkies are pretty much the opposite of aggressive and/or violent.

Withdrawing from alcohol addiction often kills people, and those it doesn’t kill often wish that it would.

Withdrawing from heroin addiction very rarely kills anyone.

Alcohol abuse does serious damage to every organ in your body except your inner ear.

Heroin addiction has no negative medical effects whatsoever.  If you can manage to find clean measured doses of heroin (a feat that is nearly impossible due to its illegality) then you can take heroin every day of your life without suffering any negative health effects.

Another factor is that if they survive into middle age, heroin addicts often experience a phenomenon called ‘leveling off’ wherein their drive to take heroin just slowly dies away — and Jerry Garcia is just the latest of many heroin junkies that I know of who died in late middle-age of a heart attack shortly after they stopped taking heroin.

Alcohol has no such corresponding ‘leveling off’ effect; the longer you consume alcohol the worse the addiction becomes and the more serious the plethora of negative health effects manifest…

…yet thanks to a massive propaganda campaign brought to you by War on Drugs, if anyone says that — other than the legal implications — heroin is far preferable to alcohol — then nearly everyone will think that this person is crazy.

And while we’re on the subject, I am SICK of people comparing alcohol to marijuana.  There is not only absolutely NO comparison of any kind, but in most ways marijuana is the complete opposite of alcohol!

If anything, someone is going to smoke a joint so that they WON’T beat their wife.

Marijuana is NOT physically addictive (no matter what the drug warriors try to tell you) and the federal government has been desperately trying to prove that marijuana is harmful for almost 80 years now; except for a couple of things so minour that I forget what they are right now, they have completely failed in this effort (no matter what the drug warriors try to tell you).

Marijuana has different effects upon different people and different strains of marijuana have different effects upon different people.  Evidently some people become psychologically addicted.  That means — by definition — that it’s all in their heads.  As for myself, during periods wherein I either cannot afford marijuana or cannot find marijuana, while I will occasionally really wish that I had a fat doobie to toke, and while sometimes I am willing to go significantly out of my way to obtain some marijuana — I don’t start climbing walls or robbing grandmothers or anything like that.

Also, I would point out that there is not only no evidence of any kind that marijuana impairs people’s ability to drive a car, but a few years ago I read of a study (which I can no longer find — I believe it was conducted by the University of California at San Diego but I’m not even sure about that — but if anyone is good at finding stuff like this and if you can indeed find it then I would appreciate it if you could send me links) anyway, this study indicated that while the response times of people under the influence of marijuana are indeed slightly slowed, at the same time they also tend to drive much more slowly and carefully, with an end result of fewer overall accidents by people who were driving under the influence of marijuana.

I can anecdotally confirm this:  I spent most of my adult life as a professional driver.  I did everything from local delivery truck driving in big cities to over-the-road trucking.  I have logged well over one-million miles of driving over the course of my life — and I was stoned out of my gourd for most of those million miles — yet I have never once been involved in any kind of serious accident of any kind.  I did take out another trucks’ rear-view mirror whilst backing up once, and I once hit some black ice on a freeway offramp and slid into a ditch.  Neither of these accidents caused any injuries and both only caused slight damage to vehicles and property.

I will also mention that for a four-year period I rode a motorcycle all over North America several times — and I never once fell down.

To this day I am the only person I have ever met that can both say that I rode for years and that I never fell down — and yes, I was also stoned out of my foodiblia for most of those miles too.

Almost any other activity that hurts no one that someone wishes to indulge is usually protected by all kinds of rights and legal protection.  If a government tries to make a law prohibiting some harmless activity there is almost invariably a hue and cry, even from people who don’t personally engage in said activity but for the principle involved.

The fact that no one even questions the new laws about driving under the influence of marijuana without a single shred of evidence that driving under the influence of marijuana is dangerous merely provides further proof that our society has accepted insanity as normalcy.

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Insanity as Foreign Policy:  Redux Ad Infinitum

“US policy has been its own worst enemy…  We’ve created the very threats we claim to be fighting.”
—Jeremy Scahill

And insanity as public policy goes far beyond the War on Drugs.  Americans continue plugging along conducting business-as-usual seemingly unaware and/or unconcerned with the enormity of the disaster into which our situation in the Middle East has devolved.  It is difficult to even imagine more disastrous outcomes to America’s Middle Eastern policies of the last couple of decades than what is currently unfolding.

Unless you are insane, you would think some policy changes would be in order.

Well, never say that the O-Bomber didn’t step up to the plate when policy change is in order!

For instance:  The stated policy of the United States government concerning all of their drone and missile strikes is to first assure with ‘near certainty’ that there will be no civilian casualties in any such attack.  What this means they have some boiler-plate formulaic ritual that they perform wherein before dropping missiles on some wedding or drone-striking some grandmother’s ass, someone will first ask, “Are you ‘nearly certain’ that there will be no civilian casualties?”  To which the respondent will say, “Yes, we are ‘nearly certain’ there will be no civilian casualties.”

In spite of all this ‘near certainty’ these strikes have managed to kill many hundreds of civilians.

Now, in this newest phase of the ‘War on Terror’ even this token rule is being suspended; they will no longer bother with ‘assuring with near certainty’ that they are not killing any civilians.  Evidently the newest enemy du jour is so evil that any civilians who might also happen be in the same area also deserve to die.

As if Iraqi and Syrian civilians didn’t already have enough to worry about.

Is evil contagious ?  Can non-combatant civilians catch it?

That’s another war crime, by the way, but who is paying attention to such things anymore…

They have also created an official method wherein they can claim that they aren’t officially killing any civilians, i.e., they are merely classifying anyone killed in a drone strike as an enemy combatant unless they can prove otherwise.  Since proving a negative is more often than not impossible (exactly why prosecutors are required to prove you are guilty during any criminal proceedings rather than you having to prove you are innocent) and since most of these drone strikes are not even reported by the locals since there is no one to report them to, then this fixes the problem of killing civilians; there simply are no civilians in Afghanistan or Yemen or Iraq or Syria or any of the other places where Obama is conducting his campaign of mass-murder.

Its time to get to work…
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The Thunderbolt Calendar
Week of October 9th thru October 15th 2014
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1)  FYI Section:

1A) TC Pro Net Taking Action on Climate Change

This is from TC Pro Net:

It’s time for bold, local action on climate change!

With political gridlock at the national and state levels, this is the time for our local communities to get things moving.  We can create jobs and help solve the climate crisis with a major push for local clean energy investments.  The Sustainable Thurston plan calls for 25% reduction in carbon pollution by 2020.  It’s time to get moving!

Thurston Climate Action Team is organizing opportunities to let our local elected officials know that the people of Thurston County want local action on clean energy and reducing our carbon pollution.  One important way to do this is by speaking at the public comment periods during city council and county commissioner meetings in October and November.  This is an key time because they are deciding on their 2015 budgets now, and need to include money in them to support clean energy.

If you’re willing to speak yourself, or to show support by your presence while others speak, contact Tom Crawford of TCAT at tom@thurstonclimateaction.org or at 360-280-0242, by Tuesday, October 7.   He’ll help organize groups to speak to each of the city councils and to the county commissioners, including sample talking points.

Danielle Westbrook
TC Pro-Net
Our mailing address is:
Thurston County Progressive Network
120 State Ave NE, #303
Olympia, WA 98501

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1B) Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness Soliciting Ideas for Workshops in May

This is from WLIHA:

We are currently accepting workshop proposals for the 25th Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness, which will be held in Tacoma, Washington on May 13 and 14, 2015. Next year’s conference will bring over 600 people together from across the state who are working to end homelessness.

Do you have a workshop idea for direct service providers, advocates, clinicians, administrators, or board members?

If so, we want to hear from you!

Sharing your innovative and creative new ideas and best practices are what make this annual conference a successful learning and networking opportunity. We are seeking proposals that address the following issues:

Learning opportunities for clinicians and direct service providers to advance and expand their skills.
Enhanced understanding of public policies and how best to communicate the importance of ending homelessness to a variety of stakeholders.
Advance racial equity and address oppression by creating opportunities for analysis, reflection, and discussion of the housing and service needs of diverse communities.
Share information regarding innovative and emerging models and promising practices from our field.

All workshop proposals are due by October 31, 2014. Proposal submission forms and additional background information can be found at wliha.org/COEH

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Best,
Kate B.

Kate Baber, Homelessness Policy & Advocacy Specialists
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

206.442.9455 x200  |  http://www.wliha.org |  fb @wliha  |  tw /wliha
Our vision is that all Washington residents have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy, affordable homes in thriving communities. Help us make this vision a reality: click here to donate.

Keep the Housing Alliance out of your spam filter. Add wliha@mail.democracyinaction.org  to your safe sender list.
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2)  Buffalo Field Campaign Olympia:  Stories and Songs for the Last Wild Buffalo
Friday, October 10th at 7 pm @ the Evergreen State College Longhouse

Come experience the culture of the only true Americans.

From Jesse:

BFC’s Campaign Coordinator Mike Mease will be hitting the road in September and October for a road show to Washington, Oregon, and California to share music, stories, video, and activism inspired by the Yellowstone bison.  He’ll be joined by musicians Goodshield and Mignon Geli for what promise to be a handful of very special events.  Please join BFC if you live in or near the following towns.

Friday, October 10, 7:00pm
Olympia, WA
Evergreen State College
Olympia, WA 98506
Evergreen Longhouse
Contact Jesse jesse_drescher@yahoo.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/777306322336554/?ref=6&ref_notif_type=plan_user_invited
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3)  Workshop on Community Rights Ordinance
Saturday October 11th at Noon @ MIXX 96 Meeting Room, Corner of State and Washington

Come learn about a strategy for taking power away from corporate special interests and returning it to humans.

From Janet:

Workshop on a Community Rights Ordinance (CRO), 10/11/14, 12 Noon at MIXX96 Meeting Room.  Help draft a Community Rights Ordinance that will give us the tools to reclaim civilian rights and dignity from a police system that elevates police control over citizen rights.  Help us iron out the details.  Bring a mug.

Workshop will be moderated by knowledgeable activist Drew Hendricks, as well as local police victim Scott Yoos.  Interview with Pierce Murphy, head of Seattle’s Citizen Complaint Review Board, will be shown.  Kai Huschke will introduce the Community Rights movement via Skype.

An earlier workshop focused in an environmental CRO (securing the right of nature to exist and thrive), and a later workshop will focus on banning genetically modified organisms in Thurston County.  We will, of course, also welcome your original idea for a CRO!

All CRO’s extend the rights of communities to legislate their own well-being in an environment typically controlled by State and Federal governments.  In this case the Police Union must be considered as well.  We’re trying to craft the right Ordinance for our community:  one that will significantly change the power balance and help us achieve goals we care about.


Janet Jordan
janetjordan@fastmail.fm
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4)  4th Annual Northwest Unitarian Universalist Justice Summit
Saturday October 11th from 7:45 am to 5:30 pm @ Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 2200 East End St NW

This is a regional gathering of the Unitarians.

From the Unitarians:

4th Annual NW UU JUSTICE SUMMIT
Date:  Saturday, October 11, 2014
Time:  7:45AM – 5:30PM

Short Description:  Meet with UUs from the PacNW to collaborate on justice issues. Share and learn effective ways to organize, advocate, and influence legislation.

Location:  Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
2200 East End Street NW
Olympia, WA 98502
Contact Information:
DD Hilke at NWuuJN.Exec@gmail.com

The Northwest UU Justice Summit is a vital, growing gathering of Unitarian Universalists and and others who are working to make the world a better place to live.

Come for inspiration, camaraderie, empowerment & transformation.

•    Connect with others who are working on the issues that concern you most.
•    Discover new allies and refine techniques for working effectively with legislators, as well as across cultures, faiths, and our ever-changing secular world.
•    Join us to learn more about emerging issues and create plans for action.
•    Explore and share techniques to advocate effectively locally, or nationally for the issues that concern you and matter in the world we live in:  economic justice, immigration, homelessness, climate change, institutional racism, getting money out of politics, and many other topics…

Co-presented by:  Northwest UU Justice Network & Unitarian Universalist VOICES for JUSTICE
For more information and to register:
http://www.nwuujn.org/topics/view/53efd5340cf2541de6d03f6f/

Basic registration is $25 per person. We encourage you to pay less if that makes it easier for you to attend and to pay more if you can support others’ attendance. We will not have childcare at the summit. We encourage participating youth and those parents who will be paying for childcare to give themselves a full scholarship.  We also suggest that those traveling significant distances consider reduced fees as well.

Local members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense will have a table at this event.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – WA State Chapter

http://www.facebook.com/MomsDemandActionWA
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5)  Get Out the Vote Phone Banking for YES on I-594
Tuesday, October 14th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm @ Location TBA

I personally think this is a counterproductive waste of time but I understand a lot of Thunderbolt readers feel otherwise so I am listing it.

This is from the Yes on I-594 folks:

Get Out the Vote Phonebanking for YES on I-594 in Olympia
Date:  Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Time:  5:30PM – 8:30PM

Short Description:  Help make phone calls to get out the vote for I-594 for the expansion of background checks for firearm sales.

Location:  Olympia, WA

Contact Information:
Diana Schwartz, dianasgs42@gmail.com

Help local members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense make phone calls to voters on Tuesday evenings in Olympia to get out the vote for I-594.   It is vital that all of us who support this initiative take action to make sure we pass 594.  Background checks save lives.
Please RSVP here:  http://doodle.com/byxrvx4mx97kc8v3

When you sign up, we will get back to you with more detailed information about the location. Please bring your laptop for auto-dialing and cell phone if you have them (they’re not required, but are helpful).

About Initiative Measure No. 594:

Initiative Measure No. 594 concerns background checks for firearm sales and transfers.
This measure would apply the currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.

The initiative makes sure anyone buying a gun in Washington State passes the same background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter whom they buy it from.
Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility

http://wagunresponsibility.org/about-594/

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – WA State Chapter

http://www.facebook.com/MomsDemandActionWA
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6)  Bonus Tip of the Week:

Ditch Microsoft.

Peace.

Dana

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