The Thunderbolt 150820 Virtuous Atrocity


TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes




1) FYI Section:

1A) Olympia Village Building Convergence Summer Schedule

1B) Update on the TPP

2) People’s Open Mic Feat: Cecily Shuler and and IWPS Finals

3) Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Meeting

4) Neighborhood Intersection Repair Design Gathering

5) PiPE Benefit: Love is the Key

6) Community Coffee Chat with Commissioneer Sandra Romero and Special Guest Assessor Steve Drew

7) Studying Medicine in Cuba: A Seven-Year Journey

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




Virtuous Atrocity



Sesame Street Moves to Wall Street

Hey Kids!

Unfortunately, the headline for this piece is not one of my jokes. Sesame Street has been privatized. The Muppets will now be airing on for-profit HBO rather than on non-profit PBS. Sesame Street’s top priority will thus shift from producing the best possible children’s programming to maximizing profits for HBO’s shareholders.

If you can afford HBO, your child will still be able watch Sesame Street.

If you cannot afford HBO, then they won’t.

Sesame Street — like everything else that is worth anything — will thus come under the almost exclusive purview of privileged white kids.

I expect Bert and Ernie to start wearing bling soon. I figure Big Bird will start pushing Pepsi now.

Has anyone checked Jim Henson’s grave yet to see if there are any detectable rolling motions?

Is nothing sacred?


Baker’s Dozen

There is one firearm for every 12 people on our planet.

The only question for firearms manufacturers is: “How can we arm the other 11?”


RIP Pacifica?

I have been reporting with increasing urgency that alternative media in the United States is under a full covert assault. The Machine is operating behind the scenes marginalizing everyone and everything that stands in the way of the New World Order.

The Pacifica Radio Network — the first and original public radio network in the United States — is legendary. They have been the voice of the revolution for over 70 years. They have spawned nearly every famous anti-establishment radio program that has ever hit American airwaves including Democracy Now. The Pacifica Network produces over half of the programming that we air on KOWA.

The Pacifica radio network is now experiencing serious difficulties. There is open rebellion amongst the programmers against the boards of directors and this rebellion is being broadcast right on Pacifica’s shows. I just heard Margaret Prescod from Sojourner Truth openly accuse the Pacifica boards of killing the network. Ian Masters says he has not seen morale this low in the whole 20 years he’s been there and he also blames the boards of directors. Their fund drives are bringing in less than half the amount they used to — while their costs, of course, continue to climb — and if the problem is with the boards of directors then sending them more money will not fix the problem anyway.

Pacifica’s history is long, proud, and effective. If Pacifica goes under, that is all she wrote for alternative media. We are toast. The Machine wins — and, in fact, I suspect that the Machine is almost surely responsible for Pacifica’s problems. I don’t know how, but I’m thinking they probably employed their standard practice of placing their agents into positions of power. The Pacifica Network recently changed their management structure, supposedly to bring about a more ‘democratic’ method of making decisions — but their new ‘democratic’ management structure means that decisions are simply no longer being made. As further evidence, rather than trying to figure out what is wrong and fix it, evidently the boards of directors at Pacifica are implementing draconian austerity measures. They now want to fire all paid staff. They evidently expect a massive operation like Pacifica to be able to operate with an all-volunteer staff.

If so, they are either insane — or they know exactly what they are doing. While it isn’t unheard of for activist organizations to engage in circular firing squads, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that agents of the Machine had somehow orchestrated implementation of the new management structure at Pacifica and I’m thinking that there are probably still people in the thick of things that are making sure that nothing continues to not happen on that front except further badness.

Stay tuned.


You & Me & the NSA & AT&T!

According to documents released by our hero Edward Snowden, AT&T is basically acting as a subsidiary of the NSA. Leaked government records laud AT&T’s “extreme willingness to help” the NSA to spy on us. AT&T supplied access to billions of emails on our domestic networks — and they also provided technical aid in carrying out a secret order allowing the wiretapping of all Internet communications at the headquarters of the United Nations — an AT&T customer.

You may remember Obama’s claims at the time that the NSA was only collecting meta-data, and even then they were only collecting it on calls and emails that were international?

You may or may not remember that at the time I called him a liar in the Thunderbolt.

Well, I hate to shock you but these new documents now prove that indeed, every word Barack Obama said about them collecting only our meta-data and nothing else was a total frigging lie.

They are collecting EVERYTHING, and they are collecting it both internationally and domestically.

It would be much more satisfying to be right all the time if the stuff I was right about didn’t always suck so much.

You may remember that Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress later granted retroactive immunity from prosecution to AT&T for illegally spying on us?

You may also remember that even later at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, the delegates were first given plastic bags full of free schwag — said bags featuring a large AT&T logo on the side — and you may remember that biggest and most lavish party of the entire convention that year was sponsored by — AT&T.


Yes, it’s a match made in that other place that isn’t heaven!

You may also remember that when the NSA spy scandal blew up, Barack Obama was right on it! He called a press conference wherein he explained that he was implementing ‘reforms’! Yes, never fear, white America! Our Dear Leader is taking decisive action! He has announced that the NSA will no longer be storing our private phone records!

Wow. Sigh of relief.

No — those records will now be stored by — AT&T!

Boy, what a relief! Now I can sleep at night!


Distractions Within Distractions

I would maintain that our elections these days are not only completely useless as far as bringing change but I am pretty sure that the Machine consciously uses the elections themselves as yet another distraction. Note that — in spite of the fact that everyone but complete idiots realizes that our electoral system is utterly corrupt from top to bottom — our country is still more election obsessed than any other country in the world. Between the midterms and the full-terms we are pretty much in perpetual campaign mode anymore and when we are in campaign mode then sound bites get all the press while the real issues are ignored. As long as we’re in campaign mode then the non-issues associated with the horse race distract everyone from the real issues that actually matter.

As long as we have perpetual elections then no one needs to actually govern.


Virtuous Atrocity

Slaughtering other people is not a ‘natural’ instinct. It is not something most people would choose to do. Most people, in fact, I think would go to great lengths to avoid slaughtering other people; especially if it involved slaughtering families with children and such.

Therefore, every atrocity requires a claim of virtue. Every invasion requires justification. Every genocide requires dehumanization. These ‘other’ people are ‘savage’ and ‘uncivilized’ and they aren’t ‘developing’ their natural resources. We are bringing them a ‘better way’ and therefore they ‘deserve’ what they get when they resist our benevolent attempts at ‘civilizing’ them.

This requires the unquestioned assumption that your way is better in every way and that you have nothing whatsoever to learn from these ‘savages’.

Considering that our North American ‘savages’ had been living sustainably on this continent for tens of thousands of years while in only 400 years our vaunted ‘civilization’ has rendered large parts of what was once a verdant paradise into a poisonous chemical sewer leads me to maintain that this contention is highly debatable — but even if one concedes this point, the second assumption required for conducting genocidal slaughters in order to enslave people and steal their resources is that their ‘savagery’ justifies these slaughters. They have used this as a justification over and over: “They did not have any concept of ‘private property’.” “They did not respect ‘property rights’.” “They did not ‘develop’ their property.”

First, I don’t see how you go from there to a justification for slaughtering them and taking all their stuff.

Second, I would point out that this whole concept of ‘private property’ and ‘property rights’ is strictly an imperialist meme. It does not exist except in economies where the few exploit the many.

When white people first proposed ‘buying land’ to the natives of North America, the very concept of ‘owning land’ was utterly alien to their worldview. The land was just there. How could a man claim to ‘own’ it? Asking a Native American to ‘buy land’ received a similar response as if should someone ask you or me if they could buy our air.

This was before Native Americans learned about fences and walls and guns.

Sanctifying ‘property rights’ is a necessary step in depriving other people of their property. They justify seizing other people’s property because those other people don’t ‘respect’ their ‘property’. (Evidently, the evidence for this is that they don’t destroy their vital environmental infrastructure for short term profit.)

I present the fact that the United States is both the biggest respecter of ‘property rights’ in the world whilst simultaneously being also the largest stealer of other people’s property in the world as evidence in support of my theory.

It also seems to me that disagreements over these ‘property rights’ are the major cause of nearly every major war that humans have ever fought. Even the Crusades were wars for property; they were merely conducted under a religious mantle as opposed to a purely political one.

‘War’ was virtually unknown amongst hunter-gatherer tribes. Even when they fought with other tribes, except in extraordinary circumstances it was often more like a ritualized if rather dangerous game. It served mostly as a showcase for demonstrating how brave their warriors were. Casualties were relatively few and utterly destroying your enemy was virtually never the goal.

There are still hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa and South America who don’t even have a word for ‘war’ in their language.

I think the unquestioned ‘superiority’ of our ways over the ways of others should be questioned.

Imperialism requires atrocity done in the name of virtue.

That is the problem with imperialism.

It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of August 20th thru August 26th, 2015




1) FYI Section:


1A) Olympia Village Building Convergence Summer Schedule

This message came from Oly VBC:

Great Places Happen When People Like You Get Involved!! —— Volunteer! Enjoy! Share meals!

Projects and Events:     OlyVBC Aug. 15-23

Aug. 15 Goats Eating Blackberries to Clear the Way for Heritage Fruit and Nut Trees Behind the Bigelow House – Bigelow Neighborhood Association (all week) – 918 Glass Ave NE

Goats provided by Skip Rock Services will be eating blackberries behind the Bigelow House for the week of the Olympia Village Building Convergence. The Bigelow Neighborhood Association received a City of Olympia Matching Grant to pay for the goats to clear the way and for the purchase of heritage fruit and nut trees that were contemporary with the Bigelow House when it was built before 1860. Come and watch the goats munch blackberries! Yum!
Top Bar Beehive Making at Capital Vision Community Garden 2-4 pm – Bigelow Highlands Neighborhood Association and Urban Evergreen Bee Sanctuary – 1701-1749 Yew Ave NE
Arts Splash – Artists and Musicians, food  12 to 5 pm – West Central Park
Movie in the Garden – BBQ 6:30 pm Hot Dogs and Chips provided, potluck –  8:00 pm Movie “Do You Believe” –  Capital Vision Community Garden, corner of Fir and Yew

Aug. 16Rain Garden at West Central Park installation 10 am to 2 pm – Division and Harrison St. NW
Top Bar Beehive Making at Capital Vision Community Garden 1 – 8 pm
             – Meal with a Story Potluck at the Commons@Fertile Ground  5 – 7:30 pm – 911 Adams St. SE – Slow Food Greater Olympia and the Commons@Fertile Ground

Aug. 17Top Bar Beehive Making at Capital Vision Community Garden 10 am – 8 pm
Bamboo Mason Bee House Making and Neighborhood Composting  6 pm – 9 pm  302 X St. SW, Tumwater,

Aug. 18Top Bar Beehive Making at Capital Vision Community Garden 10 am – 8 pm
               – Taste of the Market 5:30 pm – Olympia Farmers Market  – $60 – Pre-register at

Aug. 19Top Bar Beehive Making at Capital Vision Community Garden 10 am – 8 pm

Aug. 20Top Bar Beehive Making at Capital Vision Community Garden 10 am – 8 pm

Aug. 21Beer, Pizza and Natural Building – Joseph Becker will talk about ways local natural materials bring people together, while building connections to ourselves and our natural world. Brighida will share Upper Eastside Neighborhood Association’s “Edible Hedge” project. See the film “Bringing it Home” about building with industrial hemp – 6:30 pm – 10.00 pm – Eastside Urban Farm and Garden  2326 4th Ave E

Aug. 22 – Neighborhood Intersection Repair Design Session 10 am – 12 noon, Corner of Hawthorne and Mountain View Place, near Olympia High School – Carlyon North Neighborhood  Association
First Annual Downtown Neighborhood Block Party – 1-6 pm – Live @ the Olympia Library Block Party is an outdoor live music event featuring Calvin Johnson, Arrington and Geography in celebration of the library’s new local music collection! 9th Ave. behind the library will be closed off for a Skateboarding Jam, Food Trucks, Beer Garden and other activities. Co-sponsored by the Olympia Downtown Neighborhood Association, Olympia Timberland Library, and The Commons@Fertile Ground

Aug. 23 Love Our Local Fest  – 1 pm – 9 pm – Corner of San Francisco and Bethel, NE – Northeast Neighborhood Association

Aug. 30 West Central Park Work Party at West Central Park 10am to 3pm

Late August/early SeptemberClay/straw building camp and wall filling work-party at  the Calliope Farm in West Olympia led by Joseph Becker and others –



1B) Update on the TPP

Movements are Creating Fragility in Negotiations:

There is strong resistance to TPP, TTIP, and TiSA in Europe, Latin America, North America, and Asia that is already creating fragility in the deals. TPP negotiators failed to reach a deal at the most recent negotiations in Hawaii and are struggling to reconvene. Instead, there are lots of backroom conversations happening bilaterally between negotiators and they are trying to figure out a way forward while the deals keep getting more and more secret.

At the same time, protests are growing in many countries. Just last week, over 25,000 people took to the streets in New Zealand for massive protests across the country. The protests targeted both the New Zealand Parliament as well as the US consulate. Under pressure, the US warned US citizens to stay away from the action.

Upcoming Action:

This fall people in many countries will be taking action to stop the corporate “trade” agenda. From October 10-17 there is an international week of action. There will be actions in D.C. and across the US. Join the calls to start planning!

In mid November, global elites will gather for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in the Philippines. This is another important time for action.

We must take advantage of the weaknesses in negotiations right now. We should not retreat at this moment and allow them the space to complete the deal. Rather, we should escalate to push the TPP over the edge and, in the process, keep building the independent grassroots movement to create a political crisis making it impossible to pass the TPP, TTIP, TiSA.

TPP, TTIP, TiSA Take us in the Wrong Direction:

We are in a critical moment in history on so many fronts of struggle. There is an ongoing war against people of color in the United States, expanding US military empire around the world, the greatest income inequality in human history, continued privatization of government functions, ongoing deregulation of transnational corporations, and climate and ecological crises that are already killing millions of people annually and hundreds of species daily.

Three new “trade” deals, the TransPacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) threaten to expand and lock us into this system of US and financial elite-backed global corporate domination. See wikileak’s new video about why these three treaties are really a part of the same thing: a massive transfer of power to transnational corporations and big financial institutions.

The TPP, TTIP, and TiSA take us in the wrong direction, taking power further away from people and making it more difficult for us to create the solutions that we desperately need. These treaties need to be stopped so we can work towards new systems that put people and the planet first.

To get involved email

To donate click here.



2) People’s Open Mic Feat: Cecily Shuler and and IWPS Finals

Thursday August 20th at 7:30 pm @ Been Moore’s Restaurant, 112 4th Ave W

It’s radical poetry from radical people! The best kind!

This message came from Daniel:

It’s IWPS FINALS! Some of these poets will still be fresh and returning from the National Poetry Slam. Some of these poets will be fresh and rehearsed from being other places. All of them are competing to represent to Olympia in the Individual World Poetry Slam this October in Washington, DC. The competing poets all have names, they are:

Brian Koyote McCracken

Daniel Georgeson

Sara Callif

Tim Johnson

Alex Loret De Mola

Scarlett Pedersen

Angelia Saplan

We also have Cecily Schuler featuring! Cecily is one of our features and we’re super stoked for another one!


Cecily Schuler is a 2016 MFA candidate at the Pratt Institute in Writing and Social Activism, in Brooklyn, NY. A 2013 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference contributor in non-fiction, Cecily’s work has been published or is forthcoming in Fairy Tale Review, Ellipsis, Duende, and Fire Stories: Further Thoughts on Radically Re-thinking Mental Illness. Since 2009, Cecily has been teaching, collaborating and performing on stages across the country. Cecily acted as co-slammaster of the Seattle Poetry Slam for the 2013-2014 season, repped Seattle at the 2014 National Poetry Slam, and is the current slam manager at Union Square Slam in the heart of every New York City Monday.



3) Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Meeting

Friday August 21st at 6:30 pm @ Eastside Urban Farm and Garden Center, 2326 4th Ave E

Build a new sustainable world, anyone?

This message came from Joseph:

NW EcoBuilding Guild meeting
Date: Friday, August 21, 2015
Time: 6:30PM – 10:00PM
Short Description: Talks on Natural Building and an Edible Hedge Project, plus the film “Bringing it Home” about building with industrial hemp.
Location: Eastside Urban Farm and Garden Center

2326 4th Ave E,

Olympia, WA

Join us for free beer and pizza at the Eastside Urban Farm and Garden, for the Olympia Village Building Convergence.




Natural Building That Builds Community 

by Joseph Becker


Joseph will talk about ways local natural materials bring people together, while building connections to ourselves and our natural world. Some recent and current projects will be highlighted, including an upcoming clay/straw wall stuffing work-party at the Calliope farm in west-side Olympia.

Edible Hedge 

by Brighida deVargas


Brighida will share Eastside’s vision for an edible hedge that will be created along State Avenue behind the store, a project funded by an Upper Eastside Neighborhood Association Neighborhood Matching Grant from the City of Olympia.

Bringing it Home 

Bringing it Home is a film that tells the story of industrialhemp: past, present and future and a global industry that includes textiles, building materials, food products, bio-plastics, auto parts and more.

Sponsored by

Eastside Urban Farm & Garden Center

Olympia Village Building Convergence

Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, South Sound Chapter

Beer donated by Three Magnets Brewing Co

Pizza donated by Vics PizzeriaLa Gitana Pizzeria and Northwest EcoBuilding Guild, South Sound Chapter



4) Neighborhood Intersection Repair Design Gathering

Saturday August 22nd and Sunday August 23rd @ Corner of Hawthorne St. and Mountain View place, near Olympia High School

This is the Village Building Convergence people once again converting neighborhoods into communities. They really need to work on shorter and more effective sound bites for naming their events, though. While technically accurate, I am thinking that ‘Neighborhood Intersection Repair Design Gathering’ just does not really serve to overly excite people about attending the event even though this is actually a truly awesome event that I highly recommend attending.

(Just sayin…)

Anyway, this message came from Chris:

Come help your neighbors envision and design improvements to the pathway and intersection at the corner of Hawthorne St. and Mountain View Place. We’ve already heard a lot of ideas, this will be another chance to weigh in with creative, practical and community-building considerations before we hire an artist and contractor(s) to finalize the design and plan for installing the improvements this Fall! Project elements include intersection street art, a neighborhood information kiosk, landscape improvements and possibly more depending on your great ideas! The intersection painting project has been delayed until October at the earliest due to complications with our grant.




5) PiPE Benefit: Love is the Key

Sunday August 23rd at 6 pm @ Jakes on Fourth, 311 E 4th Ave

This is a benefit for Partners in Prevention Education [PiPE].

This message came from Carl:

This event is sponsored by Jake’s On Fourth hosted by Connor Inbed and the Outrageous Majestic Angel with special mcee Marlayna McBride from cast of Jake’s on fourth. Sunday August 23 is the official fundraiser of your Beau and Bella of the bar 2015-2016. Doors 6pm show 7:00 pm. All proceeds of door, raffle tickets, sold and tips donated by performers goes to Pipe of Olympia aka partners in prevention education. Raffle tickets are 20 for $10.00 or 2 for $1.00. Suggested donation of $4.00 for door. So please grab all your friend and family and enjoy a drag show to raise money for an amazing charity.



6) Community Coffee Chat with Commissioneer Sandra Romero and Special Guest Assessor Steve Drew

Monday August 24th at 2 pm @ Lacey Fire District 3, 1231 Franz St SE, Lacey

This message came from TC Pro Net:

Monday, August 24  Community Coffee Chat with Commissioner Sandra Romero and Special Guest Assessor Steve Drew
Have you ever wondered how your property taxes are determined, why they change, or how levies are established? On Monday, August 24, join Commissioner Romero and her guest, Assessor Steven Drew, for coffee, and learn about the important work being done to ensure that valuations are equitable on residential and commercial properties throughout Thurston County.

Rainier: 9:30am – 10:30am, Rainier City Hall, 102 Rochester Street West
Yelm:   11:00am – noon, NEW LOCATION: Mr. Doug’s Restaurant, 103rd Ave SE
Lacey:   2:00pm – 3:00pm, NEW LOCATION: Lacey Fire Dist. 3, 1231 Franz St SE



7) Studying Medicine in Cuba: A Seven Year Journey

Thursday August 27th at 7 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW

Come look behind the propaganda about Cuba.

This message came from Rochelle:

David Lavender, who has been living in Cuba since 2010, will give a presentation covering medicine, politics, culture, and personal experiences from the Greater Antilles’ biggest island.

Started in 1999, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) has trained over 20,000 doctors from 110 countries around the world. The training is free, with the understanding that students will go back into their communities, working where access to medicine has traditionally been scarce if present at all.



8) Bonus Tip of the Day:

Call an atrocity an atrocity.





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