The Thunderbolt 151119 Africa in the Crosshairs


TB Clndr

The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes




1) FYI Section:

1A) I-735 Getting Close to Goal! Signature Gatherers Needed!

1B) Submission Deadline for Oly FOR Newsletter

1C) Kids Suing Governments

2) Anti Refugee Counter Protest

3) QYIET Youth Poetry and Open Mic

4) 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




Africa in the Crosshairs




True Confessions of a Happy Revolutionary

            Or: Maintaining Sanity in an Insane World


Hey Kids!


My civilization may be about to collapse into a fiery apocalypse at the same time that my personal life is as rewarding and enjoyable as it has ever been.


For instance, on mornings when I write Thunderbolts, I waken, I drink coffee and meditate — and then I comb my usual sources for some Thunderbolt-worthy item to get outraged about — and since it would appear that I am in no danger of running out of Thunderbolt-worthy material anytime soon then this never presents any problem whatsoever.


Then — just as the rage from the latest outrage peaks and I feel ready to explode with indignation —I unsheathe my trusty word processer with a dramatic flourish and I begin catapulting fusillades of verbal abuse at a bunch of thoroughly despicable and perfidious people!


I get to experience the thrill and emotional release of throwing a creative temper tantrum! I get to spend my morning bashing deserving villains with linguistic barrages of furious pique!


I even get to call them names!


Shish, bam, BOOM! Take that, you vile evildoer!


And then…


… I usually end up with a creation of which I can stand proud and all the anger has been purged…


…and now I can have a nice day, thank you!




All You Need to Know


I care about law and order. I’m a businessman and you can’t have organized crime without law and order.

       —Fictional Mafia Gangster


Here is all you need to know to discern the farcical nature of contemporary politics in the USA: Barack Obama is pulling out all stops to pass the TPP while Donald Trump is against it.




Why I Find Liberals to be Annoying #257


Leaked emails have revealed that both The Nation and The Center for American Progress have a policy to censor any negative information about AIPAC, Israel, or any other pro-Zionist organization in their publications.




Why I Find Fascists to be Loathsome #12,349


Michael Bloomberg — the anti-smoking crusader and mayor of New York — has just made a large financial contribution to Uruguay because Uruguay couldn’t afford to defend themselves against the legal onslaught that the American successors to the Phillip Morris Tobacco Company are leveling toward them over Uruguay’s move to label cigarettes with warnings about the dangers to health involved in smoking.



A country needs help from a private citizen to defend itself against other private citizens.


Who needs frigging armies anymore?



By the way: If the TPP were to pass, then rather than being adjudicated in government courts, this dispute would instead be decided in a TPP tribunal where both the judges and the prosecutors would be Wall Street lawyers who would be taking turns playing prosecutors and judges in such proceedings.


No, that is not the plotline from an Orwell novel. That is baked into the TPP.


Speaking of the TPP…




Secret No More!


After years of Super Squirrel secrecy, the details of the Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP] have been released!


And actually — we must always keep in mind that the details of the TPP have only been kept secret from us. Not only were they were not kept secret from the large multi-national corporations, but indeed, the large multi-national corporations appear to have written the damned thing.


The details have turned out to be even worse than the many leaks that the Thunderbolt has been reporting on for over a year now.


Surprise, surprise!



This is big and it’s not going to be easy to defeat. I have noted that activists have received a big boost in morale over killing the Keystone pipeline. We can indeed take heart from the fact that the Keystone pipeline has been stopped. It would appear on its face that activism actually worked in this case — but a few things on that…


First, the Saudis and the Americans are basically trying to screw Russia and Venezuela by cutting the bottom out of world oil prices, so the very expensive tar sand oil from Canada that the Keystone was meant to transport has become economically unviable. Second, the only alternatives to pipelines are rail cars and trucks — and both those methods are actually much more dangerous than pipelines. If they want to move that oil they will move that oil so stopping Keystone was largely a symbolic victory as far as the actual real-world outcomes are concerned.


Symbols are important — but they are still only symbolic.


In addition, at this point stopping Keystone was a very easy thing for Obama to get away with politically.



The TPP is going to be a whole different thing. The Wall Street Machine has been diligently working on this for decades and this is the next step in their complete takeover of the few parts of the commons and of the economy that they don’t already completely dominate. They are going to be pulling out all stops, twisting arms, kicking asses, lying, intimidating, promising, pushing, coercing, begging, extorting, shoving, threatening, blackmailing, and spreading cash around like hotcakes at a church breakfast in their push to pass the TPP.


We need to fight it with equal zeal (if not the same tactics and strategies…)




Je Suis Paris Non!


Concerning the Paris attacks — first of all, I’m getting tired of keeping up with the latest name de jour for what I was going to start calling the Islamic State since that is what they call themselves and I figure that pretty much anyone has a right to name themselves — except in this case it turns out that many Muslims very justifiably object to calling them that and since these guys are some of the nastiest pieces of work on the planet then I can’t blame them and I will respect their wishes.


I guess they’re being called DASH in the Media Machine these days, so I guess I’ll go with that for now just to avoid confusion…


Second of all, this was definitely not a false flag attack (though the western leaders lost no time at all to demand yet more draconian police state powers for themselves) and since this represents their first attack outside their own turf then this means that DASH has taken a page from the al Qaeda playbook as they take a major turn in their strategy.


You can count on it that the United States is also in their crosshairs. Since the western powers in general and the United States in particular are very justifiably the most feared loathed and hated powers on the planet in general and the Middle East in particular, and since DASH is effectively spitting into the eyes of the western powers in general and the United States (and now France) in particular — enthusiastic recruits to DASH cause are pouring in from all over the world.



The chickens appear to be coming home to roost.




Africa in the Crosshairs


Meanwhile, the Machine has been very busy in Africa — and unlike events in Syria, the Great Pivot to Africa is happening almost completely under the radar.


Over the last decade the Chinese have been vastly expanding their influence in Africa. They are doing this by building roads and dams and hospitals and things that Africans can see in their everyday lives.


The American government considers these new Chinese roads and hospitals in Africa to be a threat to American security interests.


America itself, of course, has military forces operating in 147 of the 191 nations on our planet — but we are ‘exceptional’, so we can do that kind of stuff while China is not ‘exceptional’, so they can’t do that kind of stuff.


Rather than building competing schools and hospitals of their own, the Americans are countering this Chinese ‘threat’ by flooding Africa with guns, drones, and Special Forces. According to journalist Nick Turse, the Americans now have military ops going in 52 of Africa’s 54 nations.


The Thunderbolt has been warning the Africans about this for several years now — ever since I learned of the formation of AFRICOM, the brand newest American military command that was created just for Africa and Africa alone! (Lucky Africa!)


They had to build the actual headquarters for AFRICOM in Germany because no African country would touch it with a 100-foot pole. AFRICOM claims that they are operating only one single little lonely American military base on African soil — a place called Camp Lemonnier, located just outside Djibouti City. However, concerning this claim — always keep in mind the valuable lessons that you have learned in the Thunderbolt concerning interpreting anything those military spokespersons say, i.e. almost every word they say to the public is either misleading or an outright lie. This time is absolutely no exception: AFRICOM is operating drone bases all over Africa and they have a drone base just a few miles from Camp Lemonnier — so Camp Lemonnier is not only not the only AFRICOM facility in Africa, but its not the only AFRICOM facility even in just the Djibouti City neighborhood!


(Maybe they didn’t bother to look out the window before they said that…)


Anyway, with the formation of AFRICOM I told the Africans that that they’d better cover their asses and head for the hills — especially when I learned that simultaneously with the increase in American military activity in Africa that they were also bringing the War on Drugs to Africa! (After all — the War on Drugs has been working so well in Central and South America for so many decades now! After a mere 30 years the War on Drugs has resulted in more drugs at cheaper prices than ever!)


Yippee! Africa is gonna get the Special Deluxe All American Double Whammy!


Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any readers in Africa and I suspect that my warnings have produced minimal impact there.


I suspect that most Africans can see what is happening for themselves anyway — so they probably don’t need some privileged white guy in the United States pointing out the obvious to them.


(It tends to be Americans that need someone to do that.)


The spokespersons at AFRICOM itself, of course, say they plan to leave a very small footprint and that they are only there to help the Africans battle terrorists and drugs. Their website shows them giving away food and shoes to orphans and such.


Once you run this statement through the filter of the fact that virtually everything they say to us later turns out to be a lie — and that seems especially true of AFRICOM — then this means that they are actually there to leave some very large and very heavy footprints of lead and death and that they are there to sow chaos, drugs, and violent anarchy.


For several years now the Americans have been constructing a large logistical network in Africa. You don’t start building roads and transportation corridors unless you are planning on moving some serious personnel and equipment.


And yes sirree bob — those American imperialists are already actively engaged in their special deluxe service: We’ll choose your government for you so that you don’t have to!


Yippee! Now Africa is truly joining the rest of the world!


The Americans are already so busy! The Americans are arming brutal dictators that have truly heinous human rights records left and right! A US-trained officer recently overthrew the democratically elected government in Mali and another US-trained officer recently overthrew the government in Burkina Faso! They trained the brutal Kenyan military to act as American proxies in Somalia that produced the usual result: Violence and death have not only increased in Somalia but it has now spread into Kenya as well!


Mission Accomplished!


In addition, it has recently been revealed that the Kenyan military are running smuggling operations in cooperation with various ‘terrorist’ groups that are officially designated ‘enemies’ of the United States.


The Americans also armed the Chadians to act as proxies in the Central African Republic. The Chadians immediately responded by wiping out a marketplace full of civilians.


And South Sudan! Double yippee tie yie yay! That was the Great American Nation Building Project! The United States encouraged and pushed hard for South Sudan to break away from Sudan and become its own country. Then the United States was one of the first to officially ‘recognize’ the new country. President Obama proudly welcomed the new nation to the world as he predicted great things for them!


Actually, of course, the United States figured that a brand new country without any traditions of self-government would be a great little client state that the Americans could completely dominate without much trouble. However, South Sudan had barely reached its first birthday before exploding into a thoroughly savage civil war. As with all other instances wherein the Americans have militarily intervened anywhere for the last 70 years, South Sudan is now a chaotic and ultra-violent hellhole where entire families and villages are being wiped out left and right.


During his recent visit to Africa Barack Obama did not stop in this glittering new Democracy on the Hill. Africans know an imperialist when they see one — even if he has black skin.


Like most Africans, the South Sudanese like the Chinese. Like most Africans, they don’t like the Americans.


The current situation in South Sudan, in fact, is that the Chinese — who have extensive oil interests in South Sudan — have managed — through the auspices of the United Nations — to station a battalion of Chinese troops in South Sudan to protect their oil fields.


The truly ironic aspect to this situation is that since the US helps to fund the UN, our tax dollars are currently being used to pay the Chinese troops to occupy South Sudan.



Ultimately, this is all just more business-as-usual — and that is the problem.


I think it is really important that humanity in general and Americans in particular figure out very quickly that business-as-usual is no longer an option.




Fail Upward


Speaking of the US military: You may or may not have read or heard about that program wherein the US government spent $500 million to arm and train a force of ‘moderate Syrians’ to do battle with Assad. The military promised the American people that this $500 million would produce an army of 5,000 vetted ‘moderate Syrians’ by 2015 (i.e. now) and that it would produce many thousands more in the years to come.


You may or may not have subsequently read or heard about how after spending this $500 million they ended up with a force of 5 to 10 (five to ten) ‘moderate Syrians’.



That’s not all; far from it: When these men were sent into battle they took their fancy American weapons and their fancy American training and they immediately joined the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-affiliate.



Ouch. That’s pretty bad even for the US military.



You will probably be happy to learn that at least the two-star general who managed that fiasco will soon be losing his job.


You probably won’t be so happy to learn that he is being honoured and promoted to an even more senior position.


Along with his new job assignment he is also to be presented with a third star.


Yep! No better way to reward abject failure than to maintain an effective good-old-boy network let me tell ya!



In other words — we have more business-as-usual.


And — as previously mentioned — that is the problem.



It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of November 19th thru November 25th, 2015





1) FYI Section:


1A) I-735 Getting Close to Goal! Signature Gatherers Needed!


This message came from Gabe:


WAmend volunteers had a great week! They have now gathered just under 210,000 signatures to get Initiative 735 on the 2016 ballot! We have reports that Fix Democracy First for I-735 has also received an additional 7,600 through paid signature gatherers! That means that I-735 is 30,000 signatures away from the minimum needed to file and a little over 100,000 short of our goal of 320,000 by the end of the year!


Many people like you have made a difference in this quest to overturn Citizens United. It looks like we can expect clear skies through the weekend so where do you plan to fill your petition? The campaign has people working in all corners of Washington and you can click here to find where to join them in your area.


Please Sign Up to Volunteer if you haven’t already.


Your help is essential as we are relying on individual volunteers like you to collect 80-90% of the remaining signatures. We can do this!


Let’s dig deep and keep up the energy in the final weeks! What is your goal to make sure I-735 qualifies?! Do you have enough petitions to get your friends and family to sign over Thanksgiving? Know the perfect location to gather on Black Friday?


Sing up here to volunteer and help the ongoing effort. WAmend will send you one or more petitions for your friends, family, colleagues, and other Washington voters to sign. We can also connect you with seasoned signature gatherer who work the best spots for success. Campaign staff have identified places that are protected when it rains and have high foot traffic when it’s dry.


Please don’t hesitate to call WAmend’s office at 206-547-9961 with questions or to volunteer.


Please make a donation.

The campaign is “all-in” to reach our goal of 320,000 signatures by the end of the year. Exactly 1,100 people have now given to the effort! Donate here and show your support. WAmend needs to raise $5,728 this month to stay on track.


Please give today!


With your help, Washington State will declare that corporations are not people, money is not speech, and all political donations should be regulated and made public. With your help, Washington can become the 17th state to demand that Congress overturns the Citizens United decision.


Please join us! Together, we can get there!


The I-735 Team

Tom Elliot
Field Canvass Organizer

Tiffani McCoy

State Field Organizer


Gabe Meyer

Campaign Director


Pat Stell
Strategic Partnerships Coordinator

Theresa Turner
Phone Bank Supervisor

Steve Zemke

State Field Director


WAmend / I-735




1B) Submission Deadline for Oly FOR Newsletter


If you want to promote an event in Oly FOR’s newsletter you need to submit them soon. This message came from Glen:


The Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s newsletter publicizes news, announcements, calendar items, etc., related broadly to peace, social justice, nonviolence, the environment, economic justice, human rights, and related issues.  I will mail hundreds of people our DECEMBER-JANUARY newsletter on Tuesday December 1, so please send your announcements and calendar items BY NEXT MONDAY NOVEMBER 23 or very soon after so I can try to fit everything into our DECEMBER-JANUARY issue.


The vast majority of events we publicize will occur in the greater Olympia and Thurston County area, but we also publicize a few very special ones in nearby counties, Seattle and elsewhere.  Because we are a 501(c)3 organization, we cannot publicize any partisan political activities.


I’ll check several of the local websites that offer many calendar items (e.g., TC Pro-Net, Interfaith Works, and Traditions Fair Trade & Café, but please provide any newer or more complete information than what you have posted there, and please notify me of additional activities.


Some events occur on a regular basis, but I want to make sure the information I have been using is still valid and accurate, so please notify me to confirm date, time, place, and the contact information for the key person.


Please send brief information to me as soon as possible – by NEXT MONDAY NOVEMBER 23 or very soon after  If I do not hear from you by then, I will NOT be able to include your information in our next newsletter.


You can reply to this e-mail address ( or phone me at (360) 491-9093.


If you don’t receive our newsletter but would like to, please contact me at You may choose to receive the print version and/or a .pdf version.  Also, you can see our current and recent newsletters at




Glen Anderson (360) 491-9093




1C) Kids Suing Governments


This came from Janet:


This interests me:  kids are suing governments for not doing enough to protect their futures.  It’s happened in Washington State . . . .


. . . and the governor responded by tightening climate requirements.  Now that same group is suing the federal government.  The oil companies are taking it seriously enough that they have filed briefs.  Story at


Now a group of kids in Cancun Mexico has sued to stop a development that would have cut down a mangrove forest, and won.


It reminds me a little of the “rights of nature” idea.  Kind of a holistic thing, we aren’t listing specific injuries but we are saying we as kids have a right to flourish.  And they’re winning.


What do you think?



Janet Jordan



2) Anti Refugee Counter Protest

Friday November 20th at Noon @ Washington State Capitol, 215 Sid Snyder Ave SW


A bunch of ignorant people are going to protest bringing Syrian refugees into Washington State.


This message came from Audrey:


ACT for America, a grass-roots group “dedicated to national security and defeating terrorism”, is organizing a racist islamaphobic rally against Syrian refugees.
Will we let that happen? No!
Signs, banners, chants, solidarity, love, peace, anti war… all of it!


If you want to check out the opposition on this one, Laura sent me this link:


I just heard from the Radical Women in Seattle and they are coming too.



3) QYIET Youth Poetry and Open Mic

Saturday November 21st at 7 pm @ the Midnight Sun, 113 N Columbia Ave


This is through Stonewall Youth. This message came from Koyote:



Queer Youth Identity Exploration Tribute!


A group of talented and amazing queer youth have spent the last 10 weeks exploring their identities through writing workshops and will be sharing their written pieces through performance on the 21st!


After the performance, the stage will open up for other queer performers to show their stuff. Come out and dance, sing, perform poetry, even mime!


(Youth age in this context is considered 21 and under)


This event will be sliding scale, suggested donation $5-$10 (but no one will be turned away!)


Please come and show support, invite all your friends and/or perform in the open mic!


-This event is a sober and drug free event-

-This event is ADA accessible-


Hosted by Stonewall Youth Olympia. All proceeds go to benefit Stonewall Youth.



4) Bonus Tip of the Day:


Learn about Africa today.







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