The Thunderbolt 150108 Hocus Pocus

Crossfire Hurricane

TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes





1) FYI Section:

1A) FCC to Rule Soon on Net Neutrality

1B) Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Annual Homeless Census

1C) Update on West Central Park Project

1D) Coyote Needs Cash

2) Film Screening: Pay 2 Play

3) Film Screening: Bringing It Home

4) On the Brink: Book Reading with Alice Rothchild

5) Film Screening: Take Back Your Power

6) The ABC’s of Capitalism

7) Bonus Tip of the Week




Hocus Pocus



Official Thunderbolt Philosophy of Life

Hey Kids!

I have a constant battle betwixt my desire not to repeat things too much and the fact that I constantly gain new readers who are unfamiliar with the overall philosophical landscape contained (if sometimes hidden) within the lunatic framework of the Thunderbolt.

That philosophy can be summed up thusly: I joke — therefore, I am.

Imagine the Thunderbolt a cross between a somewhat demented Lone Ranger and a slightly saner version of John Belushi.

(Microsoft Word just red-squiggled John Belushi’s name, by the way.)

(Shame on you, Microsoft Word!)



Business As Usual

The latest from the news is that a report was just issued accusing the Mexican government of being directly involved in the disappearance of those 43 school-kids in Guerrero.

With ‘friends’ like this, who needs Thunderbolts?

Obama was having a meeting with Mexican president Nieto the very day that this report surfaced — but Obama said he wasn’t going to talk to about this at this meeting.

I guess they have more important things to talk about.



Shameless Self Promotion

I don’t know if I’ve made clear that, basically, I now have my own radio station. There’s a board of directors and there’s sort of a general manager and any of those folks could overrule any decisions that I might make should they so choose to do so — but they aren’t going to do that unless I do something truly off-the-hook — and having my own radio station is such over the top coolness that I have every intention of staying right on that hook — so feel free to tune in to the best public affairs programming in the State of Washington! (In my unbiased opinion!)

I have boasted a few times about the quality of the information sources I have collected over the years. Well, I am here to tell you that Matt Fu is the Grand Master of finding the folks who know the real skinny and Matt Fu is responsible for almost all of KOWA’s programming selection. I have added a couple of things on the periphery as shows we air go off the air or whatever and I am much more fond of Harry Shearer than Matt is — but ultimately KOWA is Matt’s baby and he has raised her well.

I know that almost everyone is familiar with KAOS. KAOS kicks ass and Olympia is blessed to have such a station. We air a lot of the same programs that KAOS airs (though we go to lengths to make sure we don’t air the same show at the same time) and I personally consider KAOS as an ally rather than as any kind of competition or such.

I will say this: KAOS is mostly music with some public affairs. KOWA is the other way around — and to be honest, I generally prefer the music selection on KAOS. (KOWA refuses to pay the extortion fees that ASCAP wants to play music to which they have rights and so we do not play copyrighted music at KOWA.)

Our broadcast signal comes in at 106.5 fm but it pretty much dies outside the downtown Olympia area. You can get it at the westside CoOp but not at the eastside CoOp, for instance. With some money and time and effort and expertise we could theoretically start broadcasting from the Capitol Forest at a full 100 watts and reach the entire metro area.

That would be the absolute ultimate coolness.

The biggest roadblock to broadcasting at full power is that we need a self-powered set-up since our location is a lengthy walk and in the winter that walk is through deep mud and thus hauling generator fuel in the winter is problematic. If anyone thinks that the truth should be broadcast in Olympia from a local source and you have any money expertise materials or love that you can send toward KOWA then as soon as I find out exactly how one goes about giving things to KOWA then I’ll let you know so you can do that.

And remember: You are not limited to downtown if you want to hear our most-excellent programming! Never fear! Thanks to our modern technological wonders you can stream KOWA from anywhere in the entire world that has Internet access!


Go here:



Hocus Pocus

Depending upon your point of view I am probably either one of the most or one of the least ‘mystical’ people that you might want to meet. I view most mystical-type beliefs with open scorn — yet I have lived my entire life on my karma. I have no idea of how or why it works; I just know it does work because it has been working for the entire 40 years that I have been aware of its existence.

To my mind that is the test of any philosophy or framework: Does it work?

Otherwise, when it comes to the plethora of popular mystical and/or spiritual type things that are floating around our world these days I can pretty much always find serious flaws and outright holes in their various artificially created paradigms. I find the mere thought of even trying to codify spirituality to be ludicrous beyond words. I personally place astrology, all organized religious beliefs, tarot cards, channeling, alien abductions, and American history in the category of ‘hocus pocus’, i.e. ‘myths’ and ‘legends’ i.e. not to be taken too seriously except when they start burning your sister at the stake or something.


My theory about ‘mystical’ type things is that while the things themselves always have some kind of serious crap leaking out of numerous holes — I think that there are magic people who — in order to unleash their magic — need to work within some kind of framework — and so if someone is practicing some serious good-magic — then I am definitely willing to give props to whatever tool they use to spread their light. Until I met my current lady-friend a few years ago, my ex-wife — who I’ve known for over 35 years now — was my favourite person that I have ever known. This is in spite of — and in some ways because of — the fact that my ex-wife is a born-again evangelical Christian. (And no; not only was she not and evangelical Christian when I was married to her but her becoming an evangelical Christian was the icing on a very large cake and the straw that broke the camel’s back and the point at which it became obvious that a mess even uglier than my mixed-metaphors was in the cards since my ex-wife knew full well my heartfelt views upon such things). Anyway, that was the point at which we finally parted ways. She remained my favourite person I have ever known for over thirty years because in her case her ‘beliefs’ give her peace and strength and they give her great assistance in dealing with a sometimes harsh world. (She was ‘born again’ the day after her beloved nephew was killed in an accident.)   In addition to that, her religious beliefs have now become an integral part of what makes her such an admirable human being — and she knows me well enough to avoid the subject of religion in our conversations — so power to her. I am very good at totally trashing religious beliefs and I don’t hesitate to do so when accosted by less pleasant members of my ex-wife’s religious persuasion — but when it comes to my ex-wife and to other Christians who practice powerful magic — then I just refuse to discuss their religion with them.

I do this out of respect for them.

In that context I now ask you to consider this: The chances of even a simple protein forming spontaneously on its own is about as close to impossible as it is possible to be — something like one in more than all the stars in the known universe…

…yet it happened.

And that is not only not the only astounding thing that happened, but it is not even the most astounding thing that happened. Not only do we have simple proteins but we also have the large number of highly complex proteins that are uniquely adapted to do exactly what us higher life forms need them to do.

The chances of that happening by random chance are exponentially even less likely than the virtually impossible chance of a very simple protein forming by random chance.

If for every intent and every purpose it is statistically as near impossible as is possible for this to have happened by random chance — if it is impossible by several magnitudes of not-ness — then this means that all of this didn’t happen by random chance. If you would like to contest that assumption and accept the far less than one in all the stars in the known universe possibility that all of this just happened to happen by accident one fine day — then I am now here to tell you that the seemingly miraculous existence of proteins — even that is not the only nor final nor even ultimate mind-blowing factoid in our little contemplation here!

Here is the frigging star of this show; here is the final ultimate mind-blower in this already mind-blowing story: Like all other things proteins slowly ‘die’ (i.e. turn into something else) and so — however they got here in the first place — for these impossible proteins to continue existing they needed to be able to reproduce — which they absolutely couldn’t do then and still can’t do now.

Wow.   Serious Sucksville. A miracle happens but then just slowly withers away to Ultimate Nothingness with no impact — leaving no trace — as if it never happened.

But they do reproduce! They are downright prolific in that area, in fact.

How was this seemingly insurmountable obstacle overcome?

Voila! Almost like magic the Universe provided our intrepid proteins with the mystical mysterious substance known to nerds as ‘deoxyribonucleic acid’ — but that is more commonly referred by us common folk as…


[Fanfares with blaring trumpets and pounding drums!]

It turns out that dna seems custom-made for proteins to use in reproducing!

How fortunate for the proteins!

But you see: The thing about dna is that it doesn’t do anything else. dna has absolutely no other observable use in the entire universe other than allowing proteins to reproduce — yet dna is also an insanely complex organism and as with the proteins there is an almost absolutely for sure several thousands of trillions of a percent ofchance that dna — like proteins — could never have formed on its own by mere chance.

So we not only had twin miracles, but we had twin miracles that both had attributes that were vitally necessary to the continued existence of both.

Proteins can’t reproduce without dna yet dna is completely useless without proteins…

…so which came first? The egg or the omelet? Did the impossible proteins just happen to spontaneously form at the exact same time as the impossible dna also spontaneously formed so that they could both get together and start the Great Cosmic Party of Life the Universe and Everything?

It must be noted here that extremely complex self-organization is common in the universe. Look to crystals or to the rings of Saturn or to a rainbow…

…but this dna-protein thing goes several astronomical units beyond any of that.


Again: This did not just happen by chance — which means that this was all intentional — which means that as far as I’m concerned you can just forget all that mystical hocus-pocus. I find that the actual facts produce a sense of profound awe much more effectively than any religious fairy tale. I find the actual universe as it is to be many levels of magnitude more mind-blowing and several levels of profundity deeper and almost infinitely more spiritual (since it is based upon actual reality rather that upon anything that their alleged gods ever created) yes, I find that actual reality blows my mind far more than any religious myth or astrological chart of which I have ever heard…

…so is there a Church of Actual Reality out there that anyone knows about?

Actually, I’m cool after all. I get along just fine just making up my own theories as I go…

It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of January 9th thru January 15th, 2015




1) FYI Section:


1A) FCC to Rule Soon on Net Neutrality

This is a big important thing that absolutely must be killed and flooding the FCC with emails and phone calls seems to be effective.

If net neutrality is killed then the Machine will take control of the Internet just like they already control everything else.

This is from Fight for the Future:

We just got word that the FCC is planning THE vote on new net neutrality rules on February 23rd. This is the one we’ve been waiting for. We’ve got less than two months before the decision.

Every second counts. Click here to tell Congress not to kill net neutrality.

Just when we have victory in sight, Congress is trying to pass a shady law called “Title X” that would undermine all the amazing work we’ve done. Basically it would pre-empt the FCC’s rule and prevent us from getting real net neutrality. Instead, we’d have a weak law in Congress that leaves the door wide open for monopolies like Comcast to abuse their power.

We need to act fast to show Congress that we see through the lies. We know they’re taking huge campaign contributions from companies like Comcast and we won’t be fooled.

Your signature is needed! Click here to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they drop “Title X” and keep the Internet free.

There’s such overwhelming public support for the free and open Internet it shouldn’t be hard to defeat this, but we need to move fast. Please sign and share the petition widely.

For the Internet,

-Evan at FFTF

P.S. We decided to cancel our year end fundraising email because, well, everyone hates year end fundraising emails. So… give us $5?



1B) Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Annual Homeless Census


This is an important action as the annual homeless census largely determines how much federal funding we get for homeless services. A lot of the homeless kids think that the census is a plot by the police to help the police to further oppress and terrorize the kids — but I know the people who organize this and that is not the case. This is not to say the police won’t use some of the knowledge garnered in the census for nefarious purpose, but there is absolutely no collusion of any kind between the census team and the police and overall the census represents a lot of upside with very little down.

Please plug in if you would like to help.

This is from Renata:

The 10th Annual Thurston County Homeless Census is rapidly approaching, and we could use your help in this unique service opportunity!

The 2015 Homeless Census starts on Thursday January 29th and continues until January 31st with activities all across Thurston County.

The annual county-wide Homeless Census is how we learn who is homeless and why. This information helps guide funding and other resources to critically needed programs and projects. Volunteers also help staff the popular “Homeless Connect Event,” a 1-day drop-in warming center with free hot meals and coffee, clothing/commodities giveaway, haircuts, medical services and referrals to shelters and other services.

Many shifts & volunteer activities are available all across Thurston County.

Please sign up to join us here:

Once you sign up, we will get in touch to provide more information and training opportunities.

Thank you for your help and service, and for making this a better community for all!

Renata Rollins

Volunteer Coordinator





1C) Update on West Central Park Project

Our People’s Park is becoming amazing. It already was amazing, but it’s now becoming even amazinger.

(Wow, it just took Microsoft Word a couple of seconds to lay its ‘Red Squiggle of Death’ under the word ‘amazinger’ and I thought — for just a second — that after all these years of Microsoft Word constantly blanketing my computer screen with variously coloured squiggles because I so often intentionally flaunt the Rules of English as interpreted by Microsoft Word — after so many years of constant nagging and harping and lecturing over every little literary quibble or linguistic quabble — I thought that — finally — I had caught my relentless and remorseless editor napping! I thought I had finally slipped one by the inexorable correctation that Microsoft Word does and does so well. A brief sense of overwhelming joy and satisfaction overtook my soul before — suddenly and without warning — the squiggle appeared after all.)

(Actually, I’m not really prepared for such a shifting of the universe right at the moment anyway, so it’s probably just as well…)

Anyway — at long last — this West Central Park update is fresh from Alicia:

Happy New Year Park Friends!

2015 will be an exciting one for the growth of West Central Park and we hope you can join us to help make the transition happen.  The Park is looking forward to welcoming the West Oly Farmers Market, more food trucks, more gardens, a new summer movie series with more movies, lots of great edible foods to share all in 2015.  Come and visit the Park this year!

We will be holding a regal to do on the beds, the crevice garden and the Christmas tree and decorations will need to be put away.  Stop by and lend a hand to help the Park along. Every one’s help is greatly appreciated!

Currently, the WCP Board is looking for interested community members to serve on the now 8 member body that runs the Park.  The WCP Board decides on all policies and considerations including work party agendas, events and uses, budget decisions and program development. Stop by a work party on Sunday morning or send us an email to if you would like to know more about how you can help steer the Park in the coming year.

Hope everyone will enjoy a Happy New Year, and see you soon!



1D) Coyote Needs Cash

Coyote [aka Brian McCracken] that dangerous Old Growth Poetry Collector Poet Extraordinaire is in need of funds to continue his touring radical poetry show.

This is from Coyote:

Hello Friends, Family, Community and Comrades,

I’m writing to you today as an in-the-works, up-and-coming, driven, dedicated and disciplined working artist. I have taken the plunge to try out self-employment with a small business doing performance poetry, performance poetry education, and graphic design services for performance poets. I am coming to you today seeking support from the communities that have always supported me in my journey as a poet and activist.

2014 was a big year for me taking my craft to a new level. I competed at the National Poetry Slam on the Seattle Poetry Slam team where we made it to semi-finals and ranked #8 in the nation out of 72 teams. Here in Olympia, Old Growth Poetry Collective has been running a weekly poetry open-mic and monthly slam, the Olympia People’s Mic, as well as our free weekly poetry “play shops”. The spoken word community here is growing in a very meaningful way, and we have been enjoying a little bit of press from Thurston Talk, Olympia Power & Light, and Works in Progress. Our multi-voice ensemble has joined Strength of Doves, a mutual aid booking agency, and in November we went on a Cascadia Cross-Pollination Tour, performing in Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Bellingham.

It’s been an exciting year, and I would like to take advantage of 2015 to do more performances, more writing, more publishing, and more education with youth. I have enrolled in Enterprise for Equity, a small business development and micro-lending organization for low-income folks like me to get training and get a chance at this. I already have two contracts in the works to deliver performance poetry education in the South Puget Sound region of Washington, and I want to expand that.

To help me build this business and afford some of the start-up costs of it and my enrollment in Enterprise for Equity I have created a fundraiser on IndieGoGo. Please take a look when you have the time.

If you are one of my rare friends who has disposable income this time of year, please consider donating to the campaign. There are patches, chapbooks, t-shirts and private performances available as perks for your donation depending on the level you can afford.

If you don’t have financial resources to donate I can still use your help! If you could forward this e-mail on to just 3 friends each, this campaign would have a lot of reach, and hopefully find some folks who can help me reach this goal.

If you got to this point in the e-mail. Thanks! If you’ve already donated. SUPER-THANKS! I appreciate you taking the time, and look forward to any support you’re able to give to this project.

Thank you,

Brian McCracken

“Poetry, a life-giving weapon deployed in the killing fields.”

~Laurence Ferlinghetti



2) Film Screening: Pay 2 Play

Thursday January 8th at 7 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW

Money in politics? Sounds like a conspiracy!

This is from Bev:

Money in politics: Has our democracy become a “Pay 2 Play” system? Come see one of the best movies on this issue. We are expecting Aquene Freechild, of Public Citizen and Democracy Is For People Campaign Co-Director to talk about the national campaign for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and related cases.



3) Film Screening: Bringing It Home

Saturday January 10th from 2 to 5 pm @ Tumwater Public Library, 7023 New Market St., Tumwater

This is a film about industrial hemp.

This is from Pat:



Please join the WA Hemp Industries Assoc & NW EcoBuilding Guild from 2:00–5:00 pm at the Tumwater Public Library, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Tumwater, WA for this FREE industrial hemp event as we gear up for a hemp-filled legislative session! Nat’l HIA President Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.GS, P.Ag., along with WA HIA President Joy Beckerman and EcoBuilding Master Joseph Becker will host this fascinating 52-minute award-winning documentary and conduct a Q&A directly afterward. Go to for more info!


Pat Rasmussen

World Temperate Rainforest Network

PO Box 13273

Olympia, WA 98508


January 2015 Pacific Northwest Industrial Hemp

Town Halls & FREE Screenings of the

Award-Winning Documentary Bringing it Home!

Date & Time: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Tumwater Public Library, 7023 New Market St., Tumwater, WA 98501

Cost: FREE

Questions? Contact Joy Beckerman at




4) On the Brink: Book Reading with Alice Rothchild

Monday January 12th at 7 pm @ Orca Books, 509 E 4th Ave

This is a talk about Israel/ Palestine.

From Orca Books:

On The Brink: Book Reading with Alice Rothchild
Date: Monday, January 12, 2015
Time: 7:00PM
Short Description: Join us for a book talk with Alice Rothchild, longtime activist and author of On The Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion.
Location: Orca Books

509 E 4th Ave

Olympia, WA 98501

Alice Rothchild is the author of Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience, as well as her new book On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion.

On the Brink is a compelling collection of blog posts made during a fact-finding and solidarity visit to the West Bank and Israel encompassing the last three weeks of June 2014.

Longtime activist Rothchild turns her powers of careful observation and her deep understanding of the consequences of racism and occupation into a lively, honest, heart breaking, collection of reports from the field. She documents the stories and lives that do not make the evening news, but are essential to understanding the context in which that news occurs.

Please join us at Orca Books for a book talk with Alice Rothchild on Monday, January 12, 2015 at 7pm.



5) Film Screening: Take Back Your Power

Tuesday January 13th at 7 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW

It’s a film about the new ‘smart grid’ technologies. It would seem that they are not what they are being billed as.

Surprise, surprise.

From Ann:

Subject: Showing of Take Back Your Power in Olympia 1/13/15 7pm

Just a “pepper” reminder for the 13th…couple of remarks on film from the website

About the film

“What if there is

a Trojan horse

being installed in

your home… and

no one is telling


‘Take Back Your Power’ is a community-funded, public awareness documentary feature film which exposes the technocratic “smart” grid agenda, by which corporations are currently attempting to quietly assert the basis for further control in the lives and homes of the world’s citizens. The film will also focus on specific solutions – which are presently available – for humanity to leapfrog outdated ideas of control, and co-create a better future.

This undemocratic global “smart” metering program is emerging as a truly massive issue with many areas of focus, such as greatly increased utility bills, decimation of privacy rights, an array of health problems from radiation, hacking vulnerability, corporate fraud, democracy vs. corporatocracy, uninsured fires/damage… and how the entire story fits in with the big picture on our planet. With this crisis comes tremendous opportunity. Human beings everywhere can come together and take back our power.

Questions afterward (schedule permitting ) with Josh Del Sol …See you there!

contact person :

Robin Love 360-539-1747

Pls send to your lists, looking for standing room only ….JOIN US!



6) The ABC’s of Capitalism

Wednesday January 14th at 7 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW

Come learn about our dysfunctional economic system.

This is from Matt:

Despite living in a capitalist economy, many of us have a very poor or incomplete understanding of how it operates and how to distinguish it from other economies—socialism, for instance. The premise of these workshops is that not only can we comprehend economic fundamentals, but if we understand them we can change them. “The ABCs of Capitalism” is in that spirit.

Our workshops aim to encourage economic literacy and invite dialogue and discussion on inequality and the on-going crises of capitalism.



7) Bonus Tip of the Week:

Don’t buy hocus pocus.




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