The Thunderbolt 151127 Key Assumptions

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The Thunderbolt

News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes




1) FYI Section:

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

1B) Police Accountability?

1C) Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Event Calendar

2) Protest for the Workers

3) Bannering for the Climate

4) Friendsgiving Potluck

5) Women of Color Speak Out: Climate Change and Systems of Oppression

6) Book Discussion Group: Recruiting People into Grassroots Movements

7) 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




Key Assumptions




Nomination: The Official Thunderbolt Most Totally Frigging Awesome Human on the Planet Award


Hey Kids!


You know your culture is in trouble when telling the truth becomes a subversive act.


On September 11th, 2001, Jesselyn Radack was a Legal Adviser to the Professional Responsibility Advisory Office of the United States Justice Department. When the ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh was arrested, Ms. Radack learned that Mr. Lindh’s father had retained an attorney for his son.  Thus, when Ms. Radack heard Attorney General John Ashcroft tell the public that Mr. Lindh had not retained an attorney she knew that he was lying.


Then, the prosecutor working on the Lindh case told Ms. Radack that he had only received two of Ms. Radack’s emails concerning the Lindh case and that he wanted to make sure he had all of them.


Ms. Radack had sent dozens of emails concerning the Lindh case, so she informed the prosecutor that he did not in fact have all of the relevant emails.


For instance, he was missing all of the emails wherein Ms. Radack had advised the FBI that interrogating Mr. Lindh without his lawyer was unethical and illegal and that any confessions he made whilst being interrogated without his lawyer would be inadmissible in court.


Since this ‘confession’ was the entire basis for the case against John Walker Lindh, this caused concern amongst interested parties.


This turned out to be a non-concern though — because all of Ms. Radack’s emails had been purged from the Justice Department’s system.


Unfortunately for the government, Ms. Radack was able to retrieve several of them. Radack recovered 14 emails from her computer archives, gave them to her boss — and then she resigned.


She took copies of the emails home with her in case they ‘disappeared’ again.


Three weeks after Radack’s disclosure of the emails became public, Lindh pleaded guilty to two relatively minor charges. The surprise deal avoided the evidentiary hearing that would probe the facts surrounding his interrogation and whether his statements could be used against him at trial.


Commentators widely agreed that the Lindh prosecution had “imploded.”


This was thanks to Jesselyn Radack.


The government responded by declaring war on Ms. Radack. The Justice Department placed her under criminal investigation (though she was never told what charges she was facing) and — based upon a secret report she was not allowed to see — the Justice Department also referred her for discipline to the state bar associations where she was licensed to practice law.


They also placed her on the ‘No-Fly List’.



Ms. Radack currently assists whistleblowers in their attempt to shed light upon government corruption, fraud, and abuse.


It is not a thankless job; I thank her here, in fact.


Thank you, Jesselyn Radack!




American Precedent


Turning away desperate refugees is not a new development in the United States. In 1939 a ship-full of Jewish refugees escaping Hitler’s Germany was turned away from the United States. The ship sailed all over the Atlantic Ocean trying to find a safe place to offload them. Cuba and Canada also turned them away.


This journey later became known as the ‘Voyage of the Damned’.


They eventually ended up in Belgium — which was soon thereafter engulfed in the Nazi expansion and a large number of the survivors of the ‘Voyage of the Damned’ ended up dying in the Nazi death camps.



Turning away these refugees enjoyed wide public support at the time.



There is absolutely no difference whatsoever between turning away the Jews during the Holocaust and turning away the Syrian refugees now. ISIS murdered the families and friends of these Syrian refugees before stealing their homes and everything they owned. I think that the Syrian refugees are much more aware of the dangers posed by ISIS than some privileged white armchair critic who is safely sitting 9,000 miles away.


(Concerning calling them ‘ISIS’ again — I found out that all of the names currently being used for the Islamic State include reference to Islam, so I guess it doesn’t matter what I call them.)




Teach Your Children Well


The US military wants your children. The US military has been developing video games and they are aggressively marketing these games to your children. The military uses these games as recruiting tools for drone operators. If your child likes to play video games then they are of special interest to the military and your child is directly in their crosshairs.



Prepare your children. Ask your child’s school about their policies toward military recruiters.




Chickens Roosting


Concerning the recent attack on a luxury hotel in Mali: I just listened to an NPR report wherein they reported the deteriorating situation in Mali as if it were just some organic chain of uncontrollable events.


They didn’t mention that Muammer Kaddafi of neighboring Libya was the leading bulwark thwarting fundamentalist Islamic domination of northern Africa and that the Islamic route to Mali was opened wide when the American-backed forces removed Kaddafi from the presidency of Libya.


They didn’t mention that the current ruler of Mali was trained at whatever they are calling the School of the Americas these days and that he is thus most likely a CIA operative.


They also failed to mention that the current ruler of Mali came to power when — yes, you guessed it — he overthrew a democratically elected government in a CIA-backed military coup!



At least they are consistent.




Key Assumptions


Many people make the key assumption that the American government wants to bring peace and stability to the Middle East.


I would first point out the fact that this is what our government says they are trying to do — and then I would remind you of that ancient tried-and-true Thunderbolt maxim about always assuming that anything that any government official says is a lie.


These government assertions concerning the intent of their policies are further belied by the indisputable fact that for the last several decades your tax dollars have been used to inflict PTSD upon an entire generation across a wide swath of our planet.


These government assertions concerning the intent of their policies are further belied by the indisputable fact that every move that the American government has made in the Middle East for many decades now has been guaranteed to utterly destroy even the slightest chance of peace and stability in the Middle East both now and for decades to come.



Almost like it was planned that way…



When chaos and violent anarchy rule, whoever controls the guns controls the play.


The United States of America is by several orders of magnitude the largest exporter of weapons on the planet.



Children in areas where drones operate are afraid to play outside. We have fried the brains of a generation.



The Islamic State represents our imperialist chickens coming home to roost.



It’s time to get to work…




The Thunderbolt Calendar

Week of November 26th thru December 2nd, 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) Police Accountability?


This message came from Mike:


I encourage folks with interest in police oversight to always look first at the steps that the City of Eugene has taken with regard to oversight.  The departments and communities are similar in some ways, both are northwest communities and of course, there are significant Cascadia ties between Eugene and Olympia.  Finally, there is the fact that the Oly police chief did years of work in Eugene department, so police agency culture between the two is mingled now.

Mark Gissiner is the police auditor for Eugene and is probably as good as they get when it comes to tackling that job.  As you can see below, Eugene may have some problems with use of force and department actions.

If anyone involved with Oly police oversight would like to take over or get involved with the facebook page for Oly oversight, just say the word.




For more info contact Mark Gissiner:






1C) Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation Event Calendar


The Oly FOR calendar is out! While there is a lot of overlap, we do have a slightly different focus on activism, so Oly FOR covers things that I don’t cover and I cover things that they don’t cover — so subscribing to both will keep you on top of everything!


You can find the Oly FOR event calendar here:



2) Protest for the Workers

Thursday November 26th at 3 pm @ Chuck E Cheese Entrance to JC Penney


This message came from Matt:


Dear friends,

Tomorrow at 3PM, people will be meeting at the Chuck e Cheese entrance to the Olympia J.C. Penney to protest their treatment of workers.


They are opening their stores on Thursday at 3PM because “families like to shop together on Thanksgiving.” I work there and no one had any say at all about what their schedules would be or if they’d rather spend time with their families or by themselves instead. I start a Thursday shift that day (Thursday) from 11PM – 7AM (Friday).


Please bring a sign and handout the flyer to workers and managers.

Invite a friend!





3) Bannering for the Climate

Friday November 27th from 4:30 to 6 pm and Sunday November 29th from 3 to 4:30 pm @ Boulevard Road Overpass over I-5


This message came from Oly FOR:


Fri-Sun Nov 27-29: Olympia FOR organizes bannering and vigiling as our local part of Worldwide Climate Actions November 25-29: The biggest UN Climate Conference to produce Climate Protection Treaty will occur in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec 11.


As part of these local actions, the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s vigorous “Confronting the Climate Crisis” group is organizing several public presences:


 FRI NOV 27: Hold climate-related signs from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation’s regular weekly peace vigil at the 4th & Water corner of Percival Landing by the kissing statue in downtown Olympia.


 SUN NOV 29:   Hold banners from 3:00 to 4:30 pm on the Boulevard Road overpass over I-5. We’ll also provide signs for people to hold along Boulevard Avenue for local traffic.


For information contact: Bourtai Hargrove at (360) 352-6327 or



4) Friendsgiving Potluck

Saturday November 28th at 4 pm @ Media Island, 816 Adams St SE


This message came from Abby:


Let’s have an a day where we don’t have to be on our best behavior and let loose. On this day there will be no judgement on the amount of food you eat. I hope that this day is a day we can make new friends, and nurish the ones we have already created.

Bring yourself, and a friend if you wish. And bring your favorite dinner dish, bottle and/or dessert to share.



5) Women of Color Speak Out: Climate Change and Systems of Oppression

Monday November 30th at 7 pm @ Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW


This message came from Rochelle:


Women of Color Speak Out & Art Forces invite you to our upcoming event: Climate Change and The Systems of Oppression at the Traditions Cafe, Olympia WA on Monday, November 30th 7pm.

Women of Color Speak Out is a collective of activists in Seattle, who are working to educate and inform communities on the climate crisis. Their presentation ties the systems of oppression to climate change. The range of their experience and backgrounds makes them an interestingly varied group — they speak from their personal truths and share unique perspectives on demanding climate justice and collectively creating a new, just future for us all.

This upcoming discussion highlights how systems of oppression have led to worldwide ecological disaster. We’ll explore capitalism, colonialism, racism and the prison industrial complex and how they lead into climate change, which impacts mostly people of color, poor people, and especially poor women of color. Touching on subjects such as war, corporations, banks, slavery, private prisons, and white supremacy, we’ll go deep into the causes of climate change and how we can combat them.

Margaret Wheatley reminds us to, “be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.”

We invite your support to help us continue to host these important conversations.

Women of Color Speak Out works in collaboration and connection with Cascadia Climate Collaborative, a program of the Whidbey Institute. Cascadia Climate Collaborative’s mission is to strengthen, deepen, and broaden the bioregional climate movement. Learn more at

Art Forces works in the intersection of trauma, memory, creativity, resilience and resistance, making visible the connections between struggles for social justice globally and histories that have been obliterated or forgotten. The project aims to engage the public on multiple levels to create potential spaces for critical thinking and action that advances progressive social change.

Art Forces works across movements- using culture to create alliances as well as perceptual ‘ruptures’ or ‘disturbances’ wherein people have the opportunity to see connections that they had not seen before, and to imagine new possibilities. Art Forces works in partnership with a wide range of organizations, from mental health programs in Gaza, to environmental organizations, to organizations providing material aid, to those organizing non-violent resistance. Our ultimate goal is to use culture as an organizing tool to bring people together across movements. Our cultural products are then used by activists and organizers in their work to touch and move people. Learn more at or

The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project is a collaborative project of Art Forces.

This event is endorsed by Full Circle United and Olympia SURJ: Showing Up For Racial Justice.

Message Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project if your organization would like to endorse this panel.



6) Book Discussion Group: Recruiting People into Grassroots Movements

Tuesday December 1st at 6 pm @ 1515 Tullis St NE


This message came from Oly FOR:


Tues Dec 1:  Olympia FOR’s book discussion group will discuss books about recruiting people to join grassroots movements:  We have been meeting on the first Tuesday of each month for several years.  Our host is Jim Bellinger, (360) 359-2212,   Read a relevant book and join us at 6:00 pm at his home, 1515 Tullis St NE, just a bit north of San Francisco Street NE.



7) Bonus Tip of the Day:


Never assume anything when it comes to politics.








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