News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes
It is crazy to want too much. A man cannot possess more than his heart can love…
—Excerpted from Deadly Code, 2013 Movie Release
Joe Slides Through…
It might seem as if Joe Biden ‘contradicted’ himself back in 2011 when he said that American troops would be out of Afghanistan by 2014 “come hell or high water” since just recently Mr. Biden enthusiastically joined all of the other Obama-bots in a unified chorus of war, war, and more war in general — and more war in Afghanistan in particular. This would seem to be another example of Mr. Biden ‘misspeaking’ back then — though apologists would probably say something about no one back then being able to predict something like ISIS — though many others — including myself — were predicting something exactly like ISIS in 2011.
Those familiar with deciphering legalese and politick-speak, of course, will immediately note the word ‘or’ in Mr. Biden’s statement. This provides Mr. Biden with a technical out since, due to the fact that we had both hell and high water, then Mr. Biden’s ‘or’ as opposed to saying hell ‘and’ high water means that Mr. Biden is not guilty — if only in a purely technical sense.
And believe me: Every politician knows very well the difference between ‘or’ and ‘and’. (From whom do you think that I learned to watch out for them?)
I was thinking for a minute there that maybe the Thanksgiving turkey should be pardoning Joe Biden — but maybe Mr. Biden is not as stupid as he seems.
I heard a few people wondering why the Democrats did not seem to gain any ‘credit’ in the last election for our allegedly improving economy.
I guess they don’t read The Thunderbolt. I give them full credit for our economy all the time.
For instance: I credit the Democrats (with notable assistance from the Republicans) for the fact that, according to Professor Richard Wolff, while deliveries of so-called ‘light’ jets — the smaller cheaper models — were down 17% last year from what they were the year before and down 67% from 2008 — but deliveries of the big luxury mega-jets went up by 18%! It is a similar story for yachts: Sales of boats longer than 300 feet are at a record high but prices for boats between 100 and 150 feet long are down 30% to 50%, depending upon your region.
Wealth vs. Value
Someone who takes something and then adds value to it produces actual ‘value’. For instance, if someone takes a piece of wood and carves a soup-spoon out of it, then he has created something that actually has value out of something that had little if any value; thus, this person has created ‘value’.
Wall Street banksters, on the other hand, produce almost nothing and do almost nothing except manipulate paper. They create virtually no useful products and they add virtually no actual value to nearly anything. They ‘create’ ephemeral and unreal ‘wealth’ that exists only on paper and that has minimal correlation to any actual value. This creates a truly twisted set of values and worldviews that have nothing to do with reality.
Consider: Say you own some land. Did you ‘produce’ that land? Did you ‘manufacture’ that land? If you make improvements then you are creating actual value, but the land represents ‘wealth’ no matter what you do with it.
What that means is that under our system, it is not what you produce or create that matters, it is what you own…
And a message for those of you who think you can become part of the Machine and ‘reform’ it from within: To extend your logic, then all good Americans should be joining ISIS in order to reform them from within…
The Department of Perpetual War
John McCain — who’s never met a military intervention that he didn’t advocate — will soon be heading the Senate Armed Services Committee.
It might as well be renamed the ‘Senate War Committee’.
They should take all of the recent enthusiasm for more ‘efficiency’ in government and just combine the Senate Armed Services Committee with the Defense Department, the White House, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and all of the various numerous ‘security’ agencies contained within the aforementioned departments — and just wrap all of them up into one big fun conglomeration and call it what it is:
The Department of Perpetual War.
Climate Change Not Committee
On the all-important climate-change front, the news is equally grim: James Inhofe — arguably our nation’s premiere ‘climate change denier’ — will soon be heading the Senate Environmental Committee.
It might as well be renamed the ‘Environmental Destruction Committee’.
While all of this is cause for liberals to tear out their hair, I am of the ‘let them hang by their own petards’ school of thought. I maintain that since the only time Americans actually become activated is when the Machine pushes the envelope too far — and considering that when given free reign they always and invariably end up pushing the envelope too far — and considering that they now have pretty much free reign to push that sucker about as far as they wish to push it — then I maintain that this is actually good news.
It’s not like there’s any shortage of petards or anything…
As far as what is going on in the Middle East, don’t even bother trying to keep a scorecard of who the ‘good’ guys are and who the ‘bad’ guys are; these days those designations often switch around literally overnight. Just to further confuse things, the enemy of our enemy is often also our enemy and the enemy of our friend is often also our friend.
As I believe I have mentioned maybe a few or maybe 764 times now, there have been banksters financing both sides of major wars for hundreds of years. They have been loaning both sides the money to fight each other — usually at extortionist interest rates — and then they turn right around and take all that money that they just loaned right back by selling both sides all of the guns and shoes and bombs and stretchers they will need whilst butchering each other — also usually at extortionist rates.
They also use their money to manipulate the governments into these wars.
This thing of governments directly financing both sides of a foreign war — while not new — has never before been practiced on the epic scale to which the United States has now taken it. (Remember what I said about the mileage they are able to obtain from their pushed envelopes whenever they are able to act without restraint?) There are so many documented instances of US tax dollars funding both sides of a wide variety of conflicts everywhere all over the world all the time (the Iran-Iraq War that killed millions during Reagan’s heyday in the 80’s comes immediately to mind, for instance) that it would almost be banal if it were possible for mass-death and violent chaos to be ‘banal’.
Only from our own unique little Machine-manufactured ‘All-American’ branded perspective could such things ever be considered to be ‘banal’.
I am quite certain that most of the dead people would not have considered it in such a manner, for instance.
It’s a pretty sure bet that their families don’t, either.
This all reminds me of an old saying that starts out, “With friends like these…”
And by the way: How the hell does one ‘push an envelope’ anyway? What the hell does that even mean?
No Species is an Island
And finally, I have mentioned several times that we are in the beginning stages of the 6th Great Extinction — and this extinction event is only being partially caused by climate change. Archaeologists are discovering that ever since humanity has been migrating, in fact, that large animal species have been going extinct everywhere than humans have gone and our ability at wiping out species has grown exponentially over the last century. Even without human-induced climate change we have killed over 90% of all the large fish in the ocean, and I forget what percentage of land animals have gone extinct, but that number is also huge and that number is also fixing to grow exponentially.
Consider this: One of the premiere aspects of the Endangered Species Act is an attempt to preserve habitat for endangered species. This has resulted in little islands of natural environments where these species can live that are completely surrounded by concrete, freeways, and industrial parks.
What happens when these islands become uninhabitable due to climate change?
Where will all of those animals go?
When we have killed all the other species, does that mean that we win?
It’s time to get to work…
The Thunderbolt Calendar
Week of December 4th thru December 10th, 2014
1) FYI Section:
1A) Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Seeks Funds
Oly FOR does all kinds of awesome work. Help them continue.
If you like what the Olympia FOR is doing, we warmly encourage you to support our work. The Olympia FOR does not charge dues or have paid staff. We rely on volunteer labor and voluntary contributions. We trust that each person will help in whatever ways they can.
Contributions to Olympia FOR are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
THANK YOU for helping us stay active in working for social justice, nonviolence, and peace.
Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s Mission Statement
The Olympia Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation works for a nonviolent world, a healthy environment, social justice, economic justice, and peace. We bring together people of diverse ages, races, and faiths who are committed to active nonviolence as a transformative way of life and as a means of profound social change. We model these principles by personal example. We collaborate and dialogue with the larger community for mutual education and to engage in nonviolent and compassionate actions.
(360) 491-9093 firstname.lastname@example.org www.olympiafor.org
1B) Olympia Old Growth Poetry Collective Weekly Open Mic Series at Café Love
This is a reminder that the OGPC has poetry — some of it very political in nature — every Thursday at 7 pm at Café Love, 205 4th Ave E.
This week’s reading features Lennée Reid:
Back from break! We’ve been touring, but it’s time to hear from Olympia! As always, $3-$7 for the featured poet, this week straight from Olympia. Check it out! Invite your friends!
Lennée Reid is a spiritualist, poet, environmentalist, and survivor who is just trying to make sense of it all and find peace. She is a member of the Olympia Poetry Network and lives in Cascadia. She has performed on stages from Seattle to Montana and beyond including The G Funk Stage, Icarus/Daedalus art show, Rainingman, and The Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle. Her work has been published in “Works in Progress” and in two anthologies: “Swords of Words; We Cry for Peace” and a Maya Angelou tribute: “The Phenomenal Woman Poetry Collaboration”, and 6 chapbooks. With her poetry she paints a multicultural narrative, shines a light through darkness, and speaks of spiritual harmony.
1C) Update from the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance [WLIHA]
I haven’t included a WLIHA update in awhile, so here you go:
This year, we protected funding that will keep 32,000 people from becoming homeless.
|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|
2) Dine Out for the Deschutes
Saturday December 6th from 10 am to 6 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW
Come help restore Olympia’s abused river and estuary!
This is from Eva:
On Saturday, December 6, join us at Traditions for a bite to eat! 20% of the profits will benefit our education, outreach and advocacy for Deschutes estuary restoration.
Come down and enjoy the delicious and wholesome foods in their cafe, all house-made, including lasagna, paninis, enchiladas, quiches, veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, soups and salads. They also have espresso beverages, house-made chai, herbal teas, Italian sodas and other specialty beverages. Enjoy a tasty bite in full view of the past and future estuary!
You can also grab something on the go, like a bagel or pastry. Or maybe some Olympic Mountain Ice Cream if the cold weather isn’t too much for you!
Also, don’t forget to support Traditions by spending some time doing your holiday shopping in their store. We’ll even have Yestuary! t-shirts and bumperstickers for sale!
3) West Central Park Project Toy Drive
Saturday December 6th from 11 am to 6 pm @ West Central Park, SE Corner of Harrison and Division Streets in Westside Olympia
This is from Alicia:
Mark your calendars for next Saturday, December 6th from 11-6 when there will be a toy drive, a visiting horse named Dood, two burros named Henry and Pearl, a visit from Santa and the Elves AND the WCP tree lighting at 5! There will be hot cider and cocoa and a decoration making table and carol singing too! Come on out to the Park next Saturday from 11-6 and help us warm up the winter with you!
In other Park news, strides have been made with new designs for the Parkside Cafe. A plan is developing that I hope will be charming as well as functional for the neighborhood. The 500 square foot commercial kitchen will serve not only the Parkside Cafe , but food trucks that operate in the Park as well. If there is empty time at the kitchen, there could be community rental opportunities. There will be a 550 square foot cafe with a deli counter and espresso. There will be a stairway leading to a second floor which will be a venue for rent, that will include a bar and a small stage. When not in use, this area will have extra seating area with expansive Olympia views and a gas fireplace to bring a coffee on a rainy day and surf the net. One more set of steps will lead to the roof top with additional seating, stage, and garden boxes that drain to rain barrels below. I target our opening about a year from now. See you at the Parkside!
As always the West Central Park counts on your participation to survive. Your help is the very reason the Park has survived for a year and a half so far and has very shiny prospects of continuing in the same way for a very long time. The Board of the West Central Park, and I think its safe to say that the Park itself, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
4) ArtPower Opening Weekend
Saturday December 6th at Noon thru Sunday December 7th at 5 pm @ POWER, 309 5th Ave SE
ArtPower — which proceeds benefit Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights [POWER] — is now open full time! Come check out the opening weekend!
This is from Monica:
ArtPower is now OPEN ALL YEAR!
Come check out our new gallery space “gallery@POWER” where we showcase new work by our members monthly.
Enjoy live music by Vince Brown, Jenny Jenkins, and Yodelady along with TASTY DESSERTS by Hello Sweetie!
Proceeds benefit local artists as well as POWER’s work in the community.
gallery@POWER is the front room of the POWER office, conveniently located at 309 5th Ave SE in downtown olympia next door to Rainy Day Records. See you there!
5) Coffee Strong Annual Celebration with Dahr Jamail
Saturday December 6th from 5 to 7 pm @ Coffee Strong Office, 15107 Union Ave SW, Lakewood
Coffee Strong is a coffee house just outside JBLM that engages in activism on the behalf of soldiers and veterans. They are awesome.
This is from Coffee Strong:
Saturday, December 6 – Coffee Strong Annual Celebration with Dahr Jamail
Don’t miss out on celebrating Coffee Strong’s 6th Anniversary as we:
- Celebrate our victories and accomplishments from 2014 and transition to an all-volunteer organization
- Unveil our repainted and much improved military and veterans rights center
- Welcome an address from Dar Jamail
- Eat snacks and drink home-pressed apple cider
The event will be held at the Coffee Strong office, 15107 Union Ave SW, Lakewood, from 5 to 7pm. RSVP by calling (253) 581-1565 or by email to email@example.com.
6) Dana Lyons Concert at Traditions Café
Saturday December 6th at 7 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW
Dana Lyons is a local legend. Come check out some hilarious political musical styling’s.
This is from Scott:
Cost: $15 (students/low income: $5)
Info and advance ticket sales: 360-705-2819
7) Media Island Monthly Benefit Brunch: SPEECH
Sunday December 7th from 11 am to 2 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE
Every month Media Island teams up with another social justice organization to meet, teach, and learn about each other’s work. This month the brunch will benefit MI and South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse [SPEECH], publishers of the Green Pages.
This is from Media Island:
This ongoing First Sunday Brunch features Media Island International (MII) partnering with a different local non-profit org to raise their visibility and raise funds for them. Enjoy a tasty brunch for a worthy cause each month.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at MII, 816 Adams Street SE (just east across Adams Street from Olympia’s downtown library). If you need a handicap entrance, use the alley behind it, accessible from 9th Ave SE.
On the first Sunday of December (the 7th), the beneficiary is the South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH), which publishes South Sound Green Pages, our excellent local publication about environmental issues which is about to celebrate their 25th Anniversary.
This benefit brunch relies upon voluntary donations, rather than a fixed price. Come help launch SPEECH onto another 25 years!!
For info about SPEECH and South Sound Green Pages,
8) Open House Skill Share
Sunday December 7th from 2 to 6 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE
Come learn skills that are very likely to become invaluable in the near future.
This is from Media Island:
Open House Skill Share
A Learning Network of the South Salish Sea
December 7th from 4 to 7 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE, Olympia, 98501
A new coalition of free skools or otherwise autonomous learning projects in the southern Salish Sea area (aka Puget Sound) is hosting a series of people to gather for our collective self-determination. We will share our visions, dreams and current activities, and expand our capacity to work together in creating all that which education has suppressed. This is a long-term and multi-generational project for those of all levels of capacity.
No money will be charged to attend any of these open houses or for any activities connected to this network/coalition. Free means FREE. Food will be provided, potluck style. Please refrain from wearing strong fragrances to facilitate a fragrance-free, accessible space. Wheelchair accessible.
These projects are taking place on contested lands that have been stolen from the indigenous peoples of this region by individual invaders/settlers, public and private corporations, and the US government. It is the intention of organizers of these gatherings to act in solidarity and joint struggle with native/tribal nations of the region and for the return and protection of their ancestral lands. Seattle is occupied Duwamish and Suquamish land. Olympia rests on occupied Nisqually territory. Memory is power.
9) Survivor Council
Thursday December 9th from 6 to 7:30 pm @ New Safe Place, 521 Legion Way SE
Come discuss surviving sexual assault with the survival experts.
This is from Safe Place:
This meeting is a space for survivors to tell their stories of healing. We talked about various ways that we could employ arts-based practices and the possibility of sharing our healing stories with the community, if that felt right. All survivors are welcome to attend this group and participate at whatever level feels comfortable. This next meeting will be focused on continuing to develop our plan for this group. Please join us at the new SafePlace building on December 9th from 6pm to 7:30 for our fifth session.
Call or email Jen Friedlander for more information at (360) 786-8754 x111 or JenF@safeplaceolympia.org
10) Annual Human Rights Celebration to Benefit the Rachel Corrie Foundation
Thursday December 9th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm @ Abigail House, 1002 Washington St SE
This is a benefit for the Rachel Corrie Foundation.
This is from the RCF:
Annual Human Rights Celebration
To Benefit the Rachel Corrie Foundation
December 9th 2014
1002 Washington St SE
Music, Dancing, Food, & Drink!
Reserve your spot now!
RSVP BY NOVEMBER 30th
2014 has been a year of struggle across the globe. Each day brings new crises, either overseas or in our own neighborhoods. Tonight, as a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, failed to bring an indictment in the case of Michael Brown, killed earlier this year by a member of the city’s police force, we are witness once again to the pain that has engulfed that community and that resonates throughout the U.S. In the face of profound disappointment, Michael Brown’s parents have called for people to “fix the system that allowed this to happen” and to “make a difference.”
In Olympia this year, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, brought people together for a day-long conference: Yet Again as Captives: Mass Incarceration in the U.S. and Palestine to share conversations so necessary on race, oppression, and injustice. With keynote speakers Angela Davis and Noura Erakat we looked at how within Israel’s matrix of control, domination of Palestinians is largely reinforced through policies of mass arrest and incarceration, and how in the U.S. past policies of segregation and domination have continued through mass incarceration of people of color.
As we move forward and soon into a new year, determined to see the connections between all these issues, to “make a difference” and to do our part to “fix the systems” that allow the tragedies to continue, we need your support.
Tuesday, December 9, RCF invites you to Rejoicing for Rights, an event to reflect on the year’s struggles and to celebrate the pursuit of global human rights as a response. The evening of music, dancing, food, and drink is 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Abigail Stuart House, 1002 Washington Street SE, in Olympia. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased through the RCF office or online at rachelcorriefoundation.bpt.me. RSVP by November 30th.
Centaur Midwife, an electric quartet out of Ellensburg, Washington, mixes folk and jazz, and with this appearance makes its debut performance on the west side of the Cascades. To make sure your belly is full before getting on the dance floor, local craft beer supplied by Three Magnets Brewing Co. and delectable, hearty appetizers from the neighborhood food truck All Fed Up will be served.
This annual Rachel Corrie Foundation Human Rights celebration and fundraiser supports our ongoing grassroots efforts in pursuit of social and economic justice. Attendees are invited to purchase silent auction and giving tree items that fund RCF’s numerous projects, including the Maia Water Project, Ramadan Soccer Tournament, and more in Gaza, and education and advocacy here in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Rachel Corrie Foundation is a grassroots, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that conducts and supports programs that foster connections between people, that build understanding, respect, and appreciation for differences, and that promote cooperation within and between local and global communities. RCF encourages and supports grassroots efforts in pursuit of human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice — pre-requisites for world peace. Continuing the work begun and envisioned by human rights observer and activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003, RCF’s current emphases are Israel/Palestine and the broader Middle East.
Put on your dancing shoes!
Celebrate the rights to which all are entitled.
Help us make a difference.
Get your tickets now!
- RSVP and purchase tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets: bpt.me
- RSVP with your personal check for $30 per ticket to the Rachel Corrie Foundation. Put “Rejoicing For Rights” in the memo line. Mail to Rachel Corrie Foundation, 203 East 4th Ave, Suite 402, Olympia, WA 98501.
Need more information? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (360) 754-3998.
11) Capitalism and Racism: From Slavery to Ferguson
Wednesday December 10th at 7 pm @ Traditions Fair Trade Café, 300 5th Ave SW
Come to an informative workshop on how imperialism works.
This workshop will examine how racism underpinned the development of capitalism within the United States and continues to shape the present. It will end with a discussion of what we are seeing in Ferguson and what actions we would like to take.
These economic workshops are an effort to share and facilitate community knowledge and understanding that not only can we understand the fundamentals, but we can change them. Our aim is to encourage economic literacy and invite dialogue and discussion on inequality and the on-going crises of capitalism.
12) Bonus Tip of the Week:
Let’s raise the price of petards!