The Thunderbolt 150903 Cotton to This

Explosive Discharge

TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes




1) FYI Section: Controversy over End Citizens United PAC

2) Justice for Andre and Bryson: Responding to the Report

3) Running the Risk: Washington’s Fight against Oil by Rail

4) Move to Amend Monthly Meeting

5) Media Island Monthly Benefit Brunch: Freedom Farmers

6) 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




Cotton to This




Hey Kids!

Last week I wrote that the current government in Guatemala replaced a corrupt left wing government.

Actually, while they have occasionally mounted coups against each other, the fascists in Guatemala have more or less continually held power ever since being installed by the CIA back in 1952.

(I sometimes confuse all of those banana republics.)

(That was a joke.)

Indonesia should take note.

(That was not.)


Guatemalan Update

Speaking of Guatemala, that populist wrecking ball just struck another major blow against the fascists: The Guatemalan legislature just voted 132-0 to strip Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina of immunity from prosecution, clearing the way for his arrest.

The fact this major historical event is going down in Guatemala is especially satisfying.

Amy Goodman conducted a most excellent interview with Allan Nairn on the situation there if you want further information:


The End of Poverty

In addition to all that, I have even more incredible news for you this week! Yippee!

I am proud to officially announce that after decades of research into the foundational problems that lead to widespread poverty and after taking into account all of the financial social and political considerations that all interact in such complex and dynamic fashions both historically and contemporarily — I have unleashed my powerful intellect upon this seeming impenetrable web of confusion and chaos—

—and I have figured it out!

(Cheers, fanfares, parades, & wild celebrations, etc.)

Not only that, but I am now going to reveal the secret to you in an explosive Thunderbolt exclusive!

(Even wilder cheers, fanfares, parades, & wild celebrations, etc.)

And here is the Great Master Thunderbolt Plan to End Poverty Everywhere Once and for All: Simply make everyone in the world start giving me money!

(Go ahead and take a breath for a moment as you absorb the awesomeness of my pure genius…)

Here is the plan: If everyone in the world started giving me money then I would very quickly have enough money for myself and after that I could start giving money to other people who need money — and then pretty soon everyone will have enough money!

I sense a Nobel in this…


Why Everyone in the World Should Read the Thunderbolt; Volume #1:

Everyone else is wondering how our Dear Leader can sign off on Arctic drilling one day and then fly to the North Slope of Alaska to bemoan climate change the next.

Our president has now definitively proven his environmentalist cred by changing the name of our highest mountain — named after a late 19th Century presidential imperialist fascist piece of shite named William McKinley — to ‘Denali’, which is the original Native American name and that means something really cool but I am forgetting exactly what (or even vaguely what) that meaning of ‘Denali’ might be right at the moment.

However — even if Thunderbolt readers suffer from confusion over the meaning of the word ‘Denali’ — you don’t suffer any confusion whatsoever over the fact that what Mr. Obama says usually turns out to be the exact opposite of what he actually does.

Thunderbolt readers expect nothing less from our president.


Protect Your Country from its Protectors!

The problem with going to extraordinary lengths to ‘protect your country’ is that you run the risk of turning your country into something that is not worth protecting.


New Orleans: Gentrification on Steroids

Our Dear Leader went to New Orleans for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He lauded the amazing comeback that New Orleans has experienced.

The level of awesomeness that the Great New Orleans Comeback has attained is wholly dependent upon whom you ask. A large majority of local whites agree that the New Orleans Comeback has been a success. On the other hand, a large majority of local blacks say it has been a complete disaster — in addition to the disaster wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane Katrina accomplished the first and most difficult process of gentrification: The storm effectively emptied New Orleans of poor people whereupon both the Bush and Obama Administrations assisted the local power structure to take advantage of the destruction to conduct one of the most outrageous and thorough gentrification projects in American history.

There were mega-billions of dollars available for New Orleans reconstruction.

Guess what colour the people who got virtually all the federal recovery money was?

Over 100,000 New Orleanians have never been able to come home.

Guess what colour virtually all of them were?

They are making sure there is enough affordable space for a few select black musicians and such to live so that they can pretend that New Orleans is still New Orleans — but New Orleans has been transformed from a gritty dirty but enchanting and thoroughly interesting place into what is reportedly a staged and managed playground for privileged white yuppies.

Another note on Obama’s touted New Orleans ‘recovery’: In the great ‘race to the bottom’, New Orleans is second only to Atlanta for the honour of having the highest rate of wealth inequality in the United States.

Mission accomplished.


Cotton to This

Cotton is considered to be kind of the working class of fabrics. It is cheap, comfortable, durable, easily coloured, and very versatile. Every cheap t-shirt that you see at the discount store probably has some cotton in it.

How many of you know that cotton was actually one of the great engines of both capitalism and imperialism from earliest times? How many of you know that cotton was right there fueling the growth of global capitalism? How many of you know that cotton was the number one cash export for the United States of America from 1800 thru 1930-something — and that cotton thus largely financed the American Empire?

People started weaving cotton into cloth over 5,000 years ago in the area of Asia that is now Pakistan — and, rather amazingly, a little later or perhaps even contemporaneously, the art also emerged on the coast of Peru in South America and spread from there throughout what is now South and Central America.

Some historians make the claim that the manufacturing of cotton goods was probably the most important manufacturing industry for humanity as a whole for nearly a thousand years, when most of humanity was dressing themselves in cotton — and ironically, the Europeans were just as late to the cotton market as they were to most of the other finer aspects of civilization. They had been trading small amounts of cotton for many centuries but they didn’t start serious involvement in the industry until the Crusades opened up some Middle Eastern land for European land development and the Europeans didn’t jump fully into the cotton game until they invaded Asia and the Americas. In many of the places the colonized they discovered mass trade in cotton and, as was their wont, once the Europeans got the hang of the cotton trade they took it off the charts. They began dominating the cotton market during the 17th Century and when they started mass-producing cotton cloth at home they suddenly found themselves in need of massive shipments of raw cotton to supply their profitable new industry. At first they obtained their cotton through the Ottoman Empire but they seemed always to need more supply than was available through these sources — and besides, the Ottomans were powerful and the local cotton merchants were powerful and they couldn’t completely control and dominate the market, which was the preferred European method of conducting business — and so they soon began invading and occupying cotton producing regions such as India (though that came later).

Thus — and this is is very important — one of the main reasons that the institution of slavery was introduced into North America and the Caribbean was to enable them to start mass-producing cotton on stolen indigenous land thus giving them complete control of the entire supply chain.

The Caribbean came to dominate the cotton trade during the late 18th Century and Brazil became a big player in the 1770’s — however, a decline in Asian production combined with the Industrial Revolution really kicking in after the 1780’s and thus causing the demand for cotton to skyrocket — and all of this combined with the Haitian Revolution in the 1790’s which cut off yet another major supply of cotton — and all of this led to the production of cotton being moved to the good old United States of America just as the 18th Century was becoming the 19th Century — and our dear country soon completely dominated the market.

India could have supplied Europe — but they had to pay the Indian farmers and they had to pay the Indian merchants who marketed the cotton. (The British did not completely dominate India until the late 19th Century.) They did everything they could — but when it came to the actual production of raw cotton, the Europeans were outside looking in.

When they began practicing slavery on stolen lands, those problems were greatly mitigated.

Thus, cotton became king.

For the most part, our nation was built by slaves — and the entire legacy of slavery and racism that has so infected our culture for so many centuries largely rests upon the humble cotton plant.

Think about that the next time you wear a cheap cotton t-shirt.

It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of September 3rd thru September 9th, 2015




1) FYI Section: Controversy over End Citizens United PAC

I got this message from Mike at Move to Amend and I thought it worth spreading around:

I would like to draw your attention to an article you published from “Zander” regarding “ending” “Citizens United v Federal Election Committee” and how this organization imho actually siphons off support for ending corporate personhood  and regulating big money in elections.

under 1 (e)

Zander asks for support for a PAC named,  “End Citizens United”

This PAC, “Ending Citizens United” asks for signatures and money

But the organization which is so called “end citizens united” is a political campaign PAC that is seeking to defeat one of the most anti “citizens united” congressman we have…Allan Greyson…he was one of the first members of congress to condemn the supreme court decision, “Citizens United v F.E.C”

It seems to me “end Citizens United” is playing on peoples feelings against this terrible supreme court decision, hoping to get money to fund several “blue-dog” democrats to defeat more progressive democrats in the primaries.

see for yourself

best wishes

michael savoca




2) Justice for Andre and Bryson: Responding to the Report

Thursday September 3rd at 6 pm @ Cherry and State Streets

This message came from Koyote:

Thursday, September 3rd

6 PM

Cherry & State


The Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office has just announced that they will not be pursuing charges against Officer Ryan Donald in the May 21st shooting of Andre Thomspon and Bryson Chaplin. They will instead be pursuing assault charges against both of the brothers. We have been preparing for this day and are both saddened and outraged by this decision. Please join Full Circle United Thursday, September 3rd on the corner of Cherry St and State Ave at 6pm.

Black Folks: Your Safety and your Voices are our priority. We invite you to the front of this action. There will be a stage and a microphone set up for y’all to speak if you choose. Black People will be the only people speaking at this action.

People of Color (POC): We are asking you to show your solidarity through your visibility and active listening at this action. We ask you to hold signs and create a barrier around Black Folks.

Anti-Racist White Allies: We ask for your active listening. We need you to hold the street silently.


On the morning of May 21, 2015, brothers Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin were shot multiple times by OPD Officer Ryan Donald. Andre and Bryson, thankfully, survived the attack but are currently awaiting the release of the official report and details on any charges being sought against either Officer Donald or the brothers. Almost three months later, the independent investigation conducted by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and South Sound law enforcement agencies has been concluded and was passed on to the Prosecutor’s Office just this last week. As the Prosecutor’s decision on charges could be released at any moment, we as a community need to prepare ourselves for a critical and organized response.

We are issuing this notice with the aim of preparing our community to stand with these two men and their family when this report is inevitably released. And with this notice, we are speaking directly to the White people of Olympia. It is time for our White community members to acknowledge the privilege and power their positionality provides them in holding the responsible systems and entities accountable. It is essential for our White community members to now assess the extent of their willingness to support Andre, Bryson, and their family. Are you as willing as you were on May 21st? Are you as willing as you were on May 30th? Be prepared to show it.

When the report is released, there may or may not be direct action. There may or may not be civil disobedience. What we are requesting of from our White community members is to stand up in a way they have not yet been able – to push themselves past the insecurity of learning, growing, and changing to a place of active solidarity with the Thompson-Chaplin family and the Black community of Olympia.

We are asking you to be ready and to stay tuned…



3) Running the Risk: Washington’s Fight against Oil by Rail

Thursday September 3rd at 6:30 pm @ the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St NW

This message came from Sue:

Join us for a free community forum and discussion on the coal and oil industry’s plan to build five new fossil fuel transport processing facilities in our state.

Oil and coal transport threatens our community, our waterways, our livelihoods and our climate. Now is the time to take action.
Most threatening to our community: three oil transport facilities proposed in Grays Harbor and a massive coal export facility in Longview. ,

Solutions and opportunities for citizen action will also be covered as there are lots of ways to get involved. We have a chance here to make the right decision, in the name of health and safety and for all generations to come- please join us for this important community meeting.



4) Move to Amend Monthly Meeting

Thursday September 3rd at 7 pm @ Thurston County Courthouse Building #1 Room 280, 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW

This is Moving to get bit $$$ out of politics.

This message came from Mike:

I-735 Olympia Move to Amend/WAmend Meeting: LET’S GET BIG $$ OUT NOW!
Date: Thursday, September 3, 2015
Time: 7:00PM – 9:00PM
Short Description: Join us and get involved with WAmend’s I-735 to get BIG $$ OUT of politics. 1st Thursday of each month through December 2015.
Location: Thurston County Courthouse Complex, Bldg. #1, Rm 280
2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW
Olympia, WA 98502
Contact Information: Michael Savoca at or Jennifer Sprague at 510-863-4735,

Please join us!  We will be making plans for and gathering signatures for WAmend’s Citizen Initiative 735 through December 2015 (to get I-735 on the November 2016 ballot in Washington).  Come by to drop off filled petition sheets and get fresh blank ones or other materials you need.  You don’t need to stay for the meeting if you don’t want to.  In addition to getting I-735 on the ballot, gathering signatures helps us spread the word about the movement to get money out of politics and educate our friends and neighbors about what we can do to reclaim our democracy and return to a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

See the language of I-735 here:

We meet in Rm #280 of Building #1 at the Thurston County Courthouse Complex.
Questions? email Michael at or Jennifer at

Some of the other organizations that are working toward a similar goal to overturn Citizens United include — and we welcome members of these groups to join us:  WAmend, Wolf-PAC, Fix Democracy First!, RAD (Restore the American Dream) Team, Public Citizen, People for the American Way, Sum of Us, Represent.US, Free Speech for People, StampStampede…

We the People, NOT We the Corporations 

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights. (

“The Story of Citizens United v. FEC”

WATCH and share this short video (under 9 min.) which explores:
>the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy,
>the history of the American corporation and corporate political spending,
>the appropriate roles of citizens and for-profit corporations in a democracy, and
>the toxic impact the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision is having on our political process.
It ends with a call to amend the U.S. Constitution to confirm that people—not corporations—make the decisions in a democracy.


SIGN! Motion to Amend the US Constitution: Reject Citizens United:

SIGN! Corporations are not people:

Priceles$$ The MovieA Call To Action For Campaign Finance Reform
We keep trimming the branches of the tree, but we really need to get at the root of the problem… Watch Pricele$$: (56:15)



5) Media Island Monthly Benefit Brunch: Freedom Farmers

Sunday September 6th from 11 am to 2 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE

Every month Media Island hosts a brunch in cooperation with another social justice organization so that we call all learn about each other’s work. I am going to learn something myself this month since this months brunch is in cooperation with an organization called Freedom Farmers that evidently works with veterans to get them onto farms, but it is an organization that I know absolutely nothing about and I can’t find anything about them online.

Since no one at Media Island seems to be promoting this then I found this at TC Pro Net on the regular monthly schedule; it says nothing about the Freedom Farmers either.

First Sunday Benefit Brunch at MII
Date: Sunday, September 6, 2015
Time: 11:00AM – 2:00PM
Short Description: On the first Sunday each month Media Island hosts a brunch to benefit a local non-profit org, from 11 am to 2 pm.
Location: Media Island International
816 Adams SE
Olympia 98501

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).

Donations, rather than a fixed price.

If you need a handicap entrance, use the alley behind it, accessible from 9th Ave SE



6) Bonus Tip of the Day:

Make a new friend today!




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