The Thunderbolt 150521 Unintended Consequences

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The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes

 

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1) FYI Section:

1A) Video of Citizens Confronting County Council on Title 26

1B) Petition to Restore Moxlie Creek

1C) Stand Up for Truth: An International Week to Support Whistleblowing

1D) Weekly Peace Vigils at Percival Landing

2) Spring Into Action: Mission Showcase

3) March Against Monsanto

4) Meat and Greet with Slow Food Greater Olympia

5) Benefit for Queer Rock Camp: magic electronixxx show

6) No New NAFTA: Learning About and Stopping the TPP

7) Stacey Wakefield Report on New York Squatting Movement

8) Bonus Tip of the Day

 

A detailed description of all events is located after the News and Commentary section

To go directly to an event description just type the index entry above into a search box

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Unintended Consequences

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Perfect

Hey Kids!

Once in a while I come across something that is perfect. I was watching a video series about three Australian vagabonds who traveled around America filming a wide variety of our alternative cultures. They were in an abandoned trashed graffiti-strewn building in the worst section of Detroit and the most prominent message was this:

“At least Katrina was quick.”

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Killer Dinosaurs

The good news is that the Republican Party is the equivalent of a herd of dying dinosaurs.

The bad news is that it appears they are going to take the rest of the planet down with them.

The recent Amtrak crash represents a perfect metaphor:

There was a massive train wreck in Philadelphia last week that killed a lot of people. A National Transportation Safety Board member said that this accident would have been preventable if Amtrak had installed a technology called ‘positive train control’ on that section of track. Federal rules actually required the national rail network to have an operating positive train control system by the end of the year — but ironically, just before this crash the Senate voted to extend the deadline for implementing the new technology until 2020.

That evidently wasn’t bad enough. Just a few hours after the crash, the House Appropriations Committee not only rejected an amendment to offer $825 million to speed up implementation of the positive train control system but they actually voted to cut Amtrak’s overall budget by $250 million!

This is something only a dying dinosaur would do. This would seem to take tone-deafness to a new level — but remember the Thunderbolt adage about anytime anything happens then look for who is making money by that thing happening and you will have also found the person making that thing happen?

The main senator pushing for the delay was Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. According to David Sirota, over the years Mr. Blunt has taken a total of $290,000 from the railroad industry.

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/5/14/as_train_crash_death_toll_reaches

Surprise, surprise.

I’m sure Mr. Blunt has a very practical reason for his votes and I’m sure he will assure us that there is no quid pro quo happening here.

If so, then you can use that old Thunderbolt adage about what to assume anytime any politician ever says anything.

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Frack You

Speaking of the Republicans, they believe that there should be local control of local affairs — except when they don’t. The people of Denton, Texas voted by 59% to ban fracking within their city limits. The oil industry freaked. They insisted that the City of Denton was violating their right to make money — and it turns out that in our Brave New Corporate World the rights of the citizens of Denton not to have their water and air poisoned are subservient to the oil company’s right to make money: The Republicans in the Texas legislature just voted to ban localities from the ability to regulate fracking.

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Custom Definitions Continued

Here are a couple more definitions to assist you in translating what the Media Machine says into actual reality:

American Ally: A country that operates for the benefit of Wall Street rather than for the benefit of its own citizens.

American Enemy: A country that operates for the benefit of its own citizens rather than for the benefit of Wall Street.

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Good News or Bad News?

I heard a policeman say that as a result of all the bad publicity, police across the country these days are now hesitating before they shoot people.

The problem is that this policeman said this as if it were a bad thing.

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Unintended Consequences

Who can anticipate unintended consequences?

That would be a good question to put to Monsanto as they play with the most basic building blocks of life even though there are numerous possible catastrophic results that can’t be taken back once they are imprinted into the genome…

Anyway, that wasn’t what I want to write about this week. Since we are well along into the Sixth Great Extinction (officially called the ‘Holocene Extinction Event’ — though some think it should be referred to as the ‘Anthropocene Extinction Event’ since the cause for this one is not in doubt.)

Anyway, I think it would be wise to look at the first five major extinction events and see what useful household tips we may be able to discern from the mistakes of past extinct species.

The fact that we are omnivorous and highly adaptable is to our advantage — which is good because once that old extinction wrecking ball gets to swinging good then complex organisms who are at the top of the food chain generally tend to be the first to go.

During the last Great Extinction — the so-called ‘KT Event’ about 66 million years ago —— and which was not even the biggest one — during the KT Event all land-based animals that weighed more than a kilogram disappeared.

It will be interesting to see whether our famed adaptability will be up to dealing with the collapse of our civilization and with the famines and the mass-extinction of nearly every species that we are familiar with and with rising sea levels and to see how well we deal with super mega-storms becoming the norm and with nuclear power plants going critical all over the planet once the power grid collapses and so on and so forth ad infinitum.

So here are some relevant facts:

In the past 540 million years there have been five major events wherein over 50% of all animal species died.

  1. Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event (End Cretaceous, K-T extinction, or K-Pg extinction): 66 Ma at the Cretaceous (Maastrichtian)-Paleogene (Danian) transition interval.[8] The K–T event is now officially called the Cretaceous–Paleogene (or K–Pg) extinction event in place of Cretaceous-Tertiary. About 17% of all families, 50% of all genera[9] and 75% of all species became extinct.[10] In the seas it reduced the percentage of sessile animals to about 33%. All non-avian dinosaurs became extinct during that time.[11] The boundary event was severe with a significant amount of variability in the rate of extinction between and among different clades. Mammals and birds emerged as dominant land vertebrates in the age of new life.
  2. Triassic–Jurassic extinction event (End Triassic): 201.3 Ma at the TriassicJurassic transition. About 23% of all families, 48% of all genera (20% of marine families and 55% of marine genera) and 70% to 75% of all species went extinct.[9] Most non-dinosaurian archosaurs, most therapsids, and most of the large amphibians were eliminated, leaving dinosaurs with little terrestrial competition. Non-dinosaurian archosaurs continued to dominate aquatic environments, while non-archosaurian diapsids continued to dominate marine environments. The Temnospondyl lineage of large amphibians also survived until the Cretaceous in Australia (e.g., Koolasuchus).
  3. Permian–Triassic extinction event (End Permian): 252 Ma at the PermianTriassic transition. Earth’s largest extinction killed 57% of all families, 83% of all genera and 90% to 96% of all species[9] (53% of marine families, 84% of marine genera, about 96% of all marine species and an estimated 70% of land species, including insects).[12] The evidence of plants is less clear, but new taxa became dominant after the extinction.[13] The “Great Dying” had enormous evolutionary significance: on land, it ended the primacy of mammal-like reptiles. The recovery of vertebrates took 30 million years,[14] but the vacant niches created the opportunity for archosaurs to become ascendant. In the seas, the percentage of animals that were sessile dropped from 67% to 50%. The whole late Permian was a difficult time for at least marine life, even before the “Great Dying”.
  4. Late Devonian extinction: 375–360 Ma near the DevonianCarboniferous transition. At the end of the Frasnian Age in the later part(s) of the Devonian Period, a prolonged series of extinctions eliminated about 19% of all families, 50% of all genera[9] and 70% of all species.[citation needed] This extinction event lasted perhaps as long as 20 million years, and there is evidence for a series of extinction pulses within this period.
  5. Ordovician–Silurian extinction events (End Ordovician or O-S): 450–440 Ma at the OrdovicianSilurian transition. Two events occurred that killed off 27% of all families, 57% of all genera and 60% to 70% of all species.[9] Together they are ranked by many scientists as the second largest of the five major extinctions in Earth’s history in terms of percentage of genera that went extinct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_event

Not surprisingly, a high diversity of species leads to an increase in extinction rates while a low diversity of species leads to an increase in origination rates. I think it noteworthy that extinction rates were low before the rise of large complex organisms. I also think it noteworthy that most of the extinctions did not result directly from the asteroid strikes or volcanic eruptions or whatever; while these disasters surely killed many creatures directly and immediately the resultant mass extinctions were actually due to the climate change that these disasters wrought rather than directly from the disaster itself.

Mass extinctions are thought to result when a long-term stress is compounded by a short-term shock. Most of the past extinctions seem to be associated with what is called a ‘flood basalt event’, which is when massive volcanic eruptions cover large stretches of land or sea floor with basaltic lava. There have been 11 major flood basaltic events and all of them were associated with significant extinctions including a couple of the biggies, but many scientists insist that the extinctions were already happening and that the volcanic eruptions merely exacerbated an already serious situation. This argument is enhanced by the fact that every major extinction event — including all of the Big Five — was also associated with large drops in sea level, though the causes of these sea level changes were certainly due to other factors.

The impact of mass extinction events varied widely. After several mass extinctions, only weedy species of plants survived, for instance. (Good for pot smokers — no so much for fruitarians.) There were many smaller and narrowly targeted extinction events also, including one that targeted only grazing animals. Most mass extinctions don’t have much effect upon insects — but a couple of them did.

Don’t worry too much, though. Biodiversity usually only takes about 5 to 10 million years to recover after a mass extinction event — but we may need to be patient because in the most severe cases it can take up to 30 million years.

If it does take that long, though, then at least we can take comfort from the fact that this will give time for new oil reserves to form — meaning that we will be able to do everything all over again in only about 30 million years!

Yippee!

It’s time to get to work…

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The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of May 21st thru May 27th, 2015

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1) FYI Section:

 

1A) Video of Citizens Confronting County Council on Title 26

This is a video recording of a county council meeting wherein several citizens speak about Title 26.

Amongst the more memorable quotes:

“[Title 26] puts citizens in a complete disempowered state. You think we only exist to pay revenue and taxes and to be criminalized for things that are not a problem. [Title 26] is a mean spirited extortion racket meant to maximize a revenue flow to the county”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrzPOvoz_l8&feature=youtu.be

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1B) Petition to Restore Moxlie Creek

This message is from Gillian:

Here’s the petition to appeal to our community leaders to restore Moxlie Creek. Please read and sign and pass it on!

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/restore-moxlie-creek.html

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1C) Stand Up for Truth: An International Week to Support Whistleblowing

As you probably know, reporting crimes has become a crime while actual crimes go unpunished.

This is an organized week of supporting whistleblowers.

This came from Glen:

On June 1 to Sun June 7:  Stand Up For Truth: An International Week to Support Whistleblowing:  Democracy needs truth-telling.  People in many countries are creating Stand Up For Truth activities during the week of June 1-7, 2015.  Join with them in moving toward a culture of openness and truth as well as security for those who take the risk of disclosing information that authorities want to keep hidden.   Events will happen in several places, and you can participate in some online.  Info:  StandUpForTruth.org

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1D) Weekly Peace Vigils at Percival Landing

These have been happening every week for many years. Come speak for peace with the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation.

This message came from Oly FOR:

Every Friday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm:  Peace Vigil at Percival Landing’s south end, 4th & Water, downtown.  Please join us for whatever length of time you can.  We provide plenty of signs.  The Artesian Rumble Arkestra street band (www.oly-wa.us/artesianrumble) joins us at 5:00 with lively music to support our vigil!  Sponsor: Olympia FOR.  Info: 491-9093 glen@olympiafor.org    www.olympiafor.org/vigils.htm

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2) Spring Into Action: Mission Showcase

Thursday May 21st at 5:30 pm @ Red Lion Inn, 300 Evergreen Park Dr. SW

Radical women! The best kind!

This message is from TC Pro Net:

Spring Into Action: Mission Showcase
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM
Short Description: Join us for an evening of mission engagement, food, wine/beer and fun!
Location: Red Lion
300 Evergreen Park Dr SW
Olympia, WA 98502
 

We invite you to become part of a very special evening of mission engagement as we present interactive program exhibits that allow YOU to experience our efforts to eliminate racial & gender inequity and advance the social & economic status of all women and girls.  Each interactive exhibit is created and staffed by program participants and includes an activity for our guests. One suggestion? Bring your phone to the Girls Without Limits exhibit.

Mix & mingle in a casual setting with friends & colleagues while enjoying great food, wine & beer and meet participants from Girls Circle, The Other Bank, Girls Without Limits!, the Women’s Economic Empowerment Program, Kathleen’s Closet and Girls For A Change and experience these critical programs in action.

Purchase tickets

http://www.huntcal.com/cal/eventview/tcpronet/tcpronet?vm=s-L&yr=2015&pf=1&id=431053933&d=21&m=5

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3) March Against Monsanto

Saturday May 23rd at 11 am @ Washington State Capitol, 416 Sid Snyder Avenue SW

Monsanto bad. Monsanto very bad. This was huge the last time and a lot of fun to boot.

This message is from Bruce:

Gather at 11:00am on the front lawn of the State Capitol Campus off Capitol Way, as we’ve done in the past. Metered street parking is free on Saturdays in Olympia. Intercity Transit’s DASH Shuttle is free – runs up and down Capitol Way on Saturdays:

http://www.intercitytransit.com/traveloptions/dash/pages/default.aspx

BONUS: The sales manager of The Best Western Plus Lacey Inn & Suites has offered Olympia March Against Monsanto attendees a discount of 15% if you wish to stay at their facility. All you have to do is mention “March Against Monsanto” to get the discount. Their phone number is 360-456-5655 Their Fax is 360-456-5255.

http://bestwesternwashington.com/hotels/best-western-plus-lacey-inn-and-suites

Also, you can find Marches Against Monsanto in other cities and countries around the world here: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/events/

https://www.facebook.com/events/210704385756792/

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4) Meat and Greet with Slow Food Greater Olympia

Saturday May 23rd from 11 am to 2 pm @ Location TBA Upon Ticket Purchase

This is an attempt to make our food system more efficient, more nutritious, and more enjoyable.

This message is from Ali:

Slow Food USA is gearing up for their second annual Slow Meat Conference and we want you to share thoughts on how to change meat production, processing and preparation with our Slow Food Greater Olympia delegate Deston Danziel Finlaystoun Denniston (Vets Cafe Program) and board member Joel Hansen (Olympia Meat Collective). To entice you, we offer a potluck that will feature incredible pork raised by Deston and prepared by several local chefs.

What: “Meat & Greet” Potluck Lunch and Meat Discussion: Come meet with Deston and Joel, two Olympia folks invested in the local meat scene.
Where: Address provided with ticket purchase*
When: May 23rd from 11am-2pm – arrive by 1:30 for the meal.
How to sign up: Brown Paper Tickets http://slowmeatandgreet.brownpapertickets.com/
Suggested donation – $15 to cover venue cost. Bring a potluck item to go with the meats (side, beverage, dessert).

Sharing information on your meat: We would like to feature information about your meat and how those attending can purchase good, clean and fair, local meats. Can you bring brochures, posters, etc. about your meats?
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What is the Slow Meat Conference?
Farmers, ranchers, butchers, cooks, food policy experts from across the country meet to discuss how to help consumers move from choosing industrial meats to eating better quality meats that fit with the Slow Food concept of good, clean and fair food. The conversation is about poultry and cattle of all types – https://www.slowfoodusa.org/slow-meat-2015 . Help Deston & Joel prepare for the early June conference by sharing your ideas at our Meat & Greet event.
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**If you can’t attend May 23, but want to share your brochures or give Deston input, here is how to do that:

– Mail or drop of 20 brochures – Loretta Seppanen 2919 Orange Street SE, Olympia WA 98501

OR

– Email Deston at abundancepc@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/1858977524327440/

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5) Benefit for Queer Rock Camp: magic electronixxx show

Sunday May 24th at 7 pm @ Le Voyeur, 404 4th Ave E

Come watch an awesome show and benefit Queer Rock Camp at the same time!

This message is from Sylo:

its SPRING everyone feels WEIRD and wants to DANCE
come here//listen to alien sounds//u know u don’t want to miss ~cheoreographed dancing~ and ~space sounds (its not impossible promise)~ tender electro jams ~ spring fever witch feels

FREAKY PUP ()() tenderpop solo jams that will make u want to kiss a fern

NIGHTSPACE ()() darkwave pop nightmares for ghosts

GAYMOUS ()() “emotionally scissoring with audiences” in tiny outfits and choreographed dancing no less

AEON FUX ()() an alien bringing sounds of the cosmos to the Earth

THIS SHOW IS ALL AGES AND WILL END BY TEN and START BY 7:45 B THERE OR B SAD

BRING $$ TO MAKE QRC AS MAGICAL AS IT CAN BE
YOU CAN EVEN BUY QRC SHIRTS and PINS

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

BE WARNED//if u suck you will get kicked out, no bs/oppressive behavior tolerated//

can’t wait to see you all there ♥ ♥ ♥

https://www.facebook.com/events/704647579662411/

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6) No New NAFTA: Learning About and Stopping the TPP

Wednesday May 27th at 6 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW

This is a very important issue. If you aren’t already onboard then you need to attend this event so you can learn about the TPP.

This message is from Matt:

Gillian Lescasio from Washington Fair Trade will briefly present on what the Trans Pacific Partnership will mean for us locally, nationally, and globally. The bulk and remainder of the workshop will be a facilitated discussion of what we can do to stop it.

https://www.facebook.com/events/940338826009629/

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7) Stacey Wakefield Report on New York Squatting Movement

Wednesday May 27th at 7:30 pm @ Timberland Library, 313 8th Ave SE

The ‘squatting movement’ is a little known but widespread phenomena.

This message came from Jody:

Stacey Wakefield: Wed, May 27 @ 7:30

Join us for an evening with Stacy Wakefield <http://stacyerinwakefield.com/> to enjoy a rare, first-hand look at the largely undocumented New York City squatting movement of the 1990s.

Stacy Wakefield has worked as design director for Index magazine, Artforum, and Bookforum.

Best known for her seminal nonfiction book “Not for Rent”—one of the first to chronicle squatting in the modern era, and an underground classic — Stacy will be talking about her new novel, The Sunshine Crust Baking Factory <http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23281970-the-sunshine-crust-baking-factory>, a riveting coming-of-age story that follows a young woman’s experience with squatting NYC buildings in the 1990s.

http://events.trlib.org/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp

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8) Bonus Tip of the Day:

Assess the consequences of your actions — if you can.

Peace.

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