News — Commentary — Calendar of Activist Events — Dumb Jokes
1) FYI Section:
1A) Newsbud in the Bud
1B) Update from Flush the TPP
2) In Search of Monsters to Destroy; Islamophobia, the War on Terror and US Imperialism
3) Gathering to Protest Police Violence
4) Peace Vigil at Percival Landing
5) OlyEcosystems Second Annual Benefit and Celebration
6) Book Discussion Sponsored by Olympia FOR
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
Matters that Matter
I am most happy to announce that the Thunderbolt is now being sent to a new list serve that has over 2,000 members! That means that the circulation for the Thunderbolt has just more than doubled! Yippee!
Anyway, the Thunderbolt is a weekly email newsletter aimed at the Olympia activist community. As the little masthead explains, I have news, commentary, a calendar of activist events, and dumb jokes.
The Thunderbolt is also produced in conjunction with a radio program also called the Thunderbolt that you can listen to on KOWA at 106.5 FM within the city limits and/or you can live-stream KOWA at http://kowalp.org/listen/ every Friday at 8 am and 7 pm and every Saturday at noon.
Also: KOWA broadcasts 24-7 and KOWA has the best public affairs programming in the State of Washington. Check it out.
You can also find past shows from the Thunderbolt archive here: www.radio4all.net
Search for ‘the thunderbolt’, click on the show you want to listen to, and then scroll to the bottom of the page.
So I hope you’re ready because here we go! Welcome to the Thunderbolt!
Election season! That grand circus extravaganza held every four years wherein a few rigged voting machines in a few key states will determine which of two lying corporate fascists that Wall Street will install in the White House!
In addition, this election cycle is already providing such an amazing overabundance of fodder for comedic comment that I am starting to feel overwhelmed! How can I possibly keep up with such a never-ending torrent of such incredible folly?
So much ignorance! So little time!
Glen Greenwald has been warning us for years now that the ultimate goal of the US government is to completely eliminate all privacy for everyone everywhere in the world. Nicholas Rockefeller revealed that Wall Street’s ultimate goal is to implant everyone with RFID chips and then keep all of your personal information — bank accounts, health records, police records — all of it. Their goons can then just scan you and instantly know everything about you.
They want to create a world where they can literally monitor every move word and action that you make say or do. If you have information that they want — if you are saying and doing things they don’t like — if they need a patsy to take a fall for something — they know where to go, who to see, and what to do.
Whenever you purchase something in this Brave New World, rather than bothering with cards or cash, the merchant will simply scan your chip. The government, of course, will instantly note what you just purchased.
This system would also allow them to ‘turn off your chip’ if they decide that they don’t like what you’re doing or saying. Then, you would be completely dependent upon handouts from friends and/or family — and since the Machine will know that these friends and/or family are helping you then if they really want to mess with you they can also punish them simply for helping you.
I mention this because the Obombers just made their latest power play toward achieving that end: The FBI wants Apple to build a back door into your iPhone.
This is serious. Edward Snowden has called this the most important privacy issue of the last decade.
To their very great credit, Apple is fighting back.
Let Apple know you appreciate this. (Since contacting actual humans at any of these mega-corporations seems to be an esoteric art that I have failed to master, I’m not sure exactly how you would do that, though…)
Let the Obombers know that you don’t appreciate that. (There are numerous varied effective (and not so effective) methods of doing that. Phone calls to the White House are easy and they do pay attention when lots of calls come in. The same with phone calls to your federal legislative reps.)
FYI: The cyber community is utterly united on this and they have Apple’s back — EXCEPT FOR BILL GATES! Mr. Gates has criticized Apple for their stance.
Fuck Bill Gates. (What do you want from the offspring of an eugenicist?)
In addition to Bill Gates the Obombers also very much want this to happen.
The fact that some Americans can still keep secrets from them drives them crazy.
This is going to be a battle of titans.
“Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”
There is debate over the worst Supreme Court decision of all time. Dread Scott is usually cited — though Bush v. Gore represents a formidable challenge to Dread Scott for the title. Citizens United also deserved dishonourable mention — and the fact that the same court decided both Citizens United and Bush v. Gore will be noted in the history books. (That is, if we survive long enough to need history books…)
Wherever you stand on this debate, I firmly hold that the quote above represents the most outrageous ‘opinion’ from a supposed ‘juror’ in all human history. It is excerpted from a concurrence that Antonin Scalia wrote in the case of Herrera v. Collins wherein a defendant who had been convicted for killing a cop later proved his innocence — but he missed a 30-day filing deadline for his appeal and thus Texas insisted upon executing him anyway.
(I have described at length in past Thunderbolts the rule wherein anytime a cop gets killed them someone will spend the rest of their life in prison for it — and if they can’t figure out who did it then they will ‘make a case’ against whomever is convenient.)
The Supreme Court agreed that procedure takes precedence over innocence.
Evidently procedure also takes precedence over sanity.
They not only agreed but they agreed by a 6-3 vote. *
Mr. Herrera might have been innocent — but he had not followed proper legal procedure and so he could be legally executed in spite of his proven innocence — and he was indeed subsequently executed.
Scalia simply ruled that Mr. Herrera’s factual innocence did not matter legally. Ms. O’Connor’s concurrence, on the other hand, was in some ways even more disturbing: She maintained that Mr. Herrera couldn’t be ‘innocent’ no matter what he ‘proved’ because he had been found guilty in a court of law with all the ‘protections’ that procedure provides (and we all know that those protections are infallible) and thus the question of ‘innocence’ did not even enter into the matter.
Any time public or religious leaders start taking on the mantle of ‘infallibility’ then you really need to start covering your ass…
Justice Harry Blackmun, in his dissent, said “executing someone you know to be innocent comes perilously close to murder…”
Really? Do you think?
Herrera v. Collins [506 U.S. 390]:
- Majority: William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas
- Minority: Harry Blackmun, Paul Stevens, and David Souter
More ‘Legal’ Matters
Never fear, though! If they can’t get away with killing them, they can instead just lock them away incommunicado incognito and forgotten into a small cement hole to just sit there by themselves forever and ever after!
It is a thoroughly established and irrefutable empirically proven fact that locking people into conditions of solitary confinement literally drives them insane.
The United Nations classifies any more than two weeks of solitary confinement as torture.
Solitary confinement is still common practice throughout all of the state and federal prison systems throughout our country.
It is now the next day — and in a great example of serendipity I just learned this morning that Albert Woodfox has just been released from Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison.
Mr. Woodfox spent 42 years in solitary confinement.
42 years in solitary confinement.
42 years in solitary confinement.
Mr. Woodfox has the dubious distinction of spending more time locked up in solitary confinement than any other documented case in human history.
Not only that — but this morning (Monday, February 22nd) I watched Mr. Woodfox give an interview on Democracy Now. He was not the most coherent or loquacious interviewee — but I find it amazing that he is not gibbering incoherently whilst wrapped into a ball on the floor, so whatever.
Congratulations, Mr. Woodfox. Welcome back to the world.
Other than that, I would be unable to think of a single fucking word to say to you, so I think I’m glad that I probably won’t need to.
42 years in solitary confinement.
42 years in solitary confinement.
I received an inquiry after last week’s Thunderbolt asking exactly who are these Democratic Party ‘super delegates’ that appear poised to steal the nomination for Hillary Clinton?
They are governors, senators, house reps, and high-ranking DNC members.
If you care to peruse the list, you can go here:
With very limited and specifically spelled out exceptions, I think that criminal defendants should be able to present whatever the hell defense that they may wish to a jury.
Not surprisingly, the United States government feels the complete opposite. One of several practices that allow federal prosecutors to maintain their 97% conviction rate, in fact, is that the judge will impose severe limitations upon the defense that you are allowed to present to a jury.
Many activists try to present a ‘necessity’ defense, for instance. This means they wish to argue to the jury that while they technically broke the law, they did so to bring about a greater public good. The government absolutely hates this because first, it presents the opportunity to the defense to prove why they were working for the greater pubic good (and proving that usually does not present a problem) and second, the government absolutely hates this defense because it takes the law out of the hands of the Machine and puts it back into the hands of the people.
It takes little imagination to imagine what authoritarians think of juries finding defendants ‘not guilty’ because their law sucks.
Tim DeChristopher tried to use the ‘necessity’ defense. The judge said no. That meant the jury had no idea why Mr. DeChristopher fraudulently bid on a federal gas lease.
This has contemporary significance now because famed author/activist Terry Tempest Williams just did exactly the same thing; she just attended a gas-lease auction and purchased the rights to over 1,700 acres of land meant for fossil fuel extraction.
Prosecuting Terry Tempest Williams — a famous author with a truly amazing life story that is beloved and admired by millions — will be a completely different matter than prosecuting Tim DeChristopher.
If you think being gay or transgender is a sin then don’t be gay or transgender.
What I am wondering here, though, is where the hell you get off thinking that you can use the power of the law to force your bigoted religious superstitions down everyone else’s throats?
Black Lives Matter
I would imagine that having the president of the United States dressing you down could be quite intimidating. I once watched a clip wherein after asking a perfectly reasonable question, George W Bush responded to the reporter who asked the question by asking him, “Who do you think you’re talking to?”
The reporter turned white and sheepishly looked at his shoes.
Mr. Bush is lucky that wasn’t me. I have proven throughout my life that not only am I not subject to being intimidated by powerful people but I thoroughly enjoy calling them out. Had Mr. Bush asked me that question, I would have responded thusly: “I am talking to a public official, which means that I am talking to my employee which means that you are talking to your boss.”
Amy Goodman obviously shares this characteristic with me. It is Democracy Now’s 20th birthday; the DN! broadcast for Friday, February 19th is an historical retrospective that I highly recommend watching.
One clip that I had never seen before features Amy Goodman sharply questioning Bill Clinton after his presidency. Her questions concerned East Timor. What she did was to allow Mr. Clinton to respond to criticism — which, in true Bill Clinton style, he did quite ably — but at the end of the interview Mr. Clinton accused Ms. Goodman of being “hostile and disrespectful” when she had been neither. She had merely been questioning him about widely reported incidents. Ms. Goodman herself had been beaten and arrested in East Timor, so she knew of which she spake. She had simply been doing what actual journalists actually should do (as opposed to what the spinners of propaganda that they call ‘journalists’ on the Media Machine these days do) and Mr. Clinton very obviously didn’t like it at all.
Amy Goodman was a reporter for a small niche public radio show and she was speaking to the recently ex-president of the United States — and she wasn’t intimidated in the least. She dug in relentlessly.
Watching that clip greatly increased my respect for Amy Goodman.
In another profile in courage, I have described many times how the Machine always tries to coopt the leaders of insurgent organizations and shower them with compliments and ‘credibility’ in an effort to envelop them within the Machine and thus transform them from revolutionaries trying to change the system into ‘reformists’ trying to bandaid the system (without really changing things very much)…
After almost completely ignoring the concerns of black people for eight years, now that election time has rolled around again (did it ever really leave?) Obama is trying to portray himself as a champion of civil rights. He tried to coopt the Black Lives Matter movement into his charade by inviting the head of the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter, Aislinn Pulley, to come to the White House for an opportunity to meet with the president.
To her very great credit, Ms. Pulley told Mr. Obama where he could stick it.
Among other things she said this: “I was under the impression that a meeting was being organized to facilitate a genuine exchange on the matters facing millions of Black and Brown people in the United States. Instead, what was arranged was basically a photo opportunity and a 90-second sound bite for the president. I could not, with any integrity, participate in such a sham that would only serve to legitimize the false narrative that the government is working to end police brutality and the institutional racism that fuels it.”
I recently mentioned that the Koch Brothers are funding people like Joe Arpaio and Kris Kobach.
I also recently revealed the literal Nazi origins of the modern American ‘security’ agencies in general and of the CIA in particular and that the nazification of the CIA was done largely under the aegis of the head of the CIA, Allen Dulles.
The Koch family actually goes way back — and as is invariably the case with über-wealthy people — they have a truly horrific and criminal history — and I hate to shock you, but the history of the Koch family is very intimately intertwined with all of that Nazi/Allen Dulles stuff! Shock! Gasp!
A few weeks ago I did a major Thunderbolt on some of the foundations and ‘think tanks’ that the élites use as tools in furthering their various plots of world domination.
I just learned some things on that issue that I didn’t know before and I wanted to share them with you now!
Most Americans labour under the false impression that Congress, the president, and the secretary of state determine American foreign policy. That is not true except on the most surface of levels, for the reality is that Congress, the president, and the secretary of state all actually have foreign policy dictated to them by the Council on Foreign Relations.
According to Laurence Schoup, an ex-French intelligence officer once told him that the CFR is listed in official French intelligence documents as the “true shadow government of the United States”.
The Council on Foreign Relations — founded in 1918 by John D. Rockefeller — is definitely the alpha-wolf of Foundation World. You may remember my depictions of the Brothers Dulles, Averill Harriman, Prescott Bush, and all of those other prominent Nazis from our recent American past?
Every one of these men was a member in good standing with the CFR.
Mr. Schoup (who just wrote a book on the CFR) relates an anecdote wherein just after World War II Dwight D. Eisenhower was evidently complaining to Allen Dulles about the conditions that Harry Truman had placed upon him when appointing General Eisenhower to be the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe. Mr. Dulles reportedly told General Eisenhower no problem — that the CFR would put the word to President Truman and the conditions would be lifted.
In this case the CFR was represented by Averill Harriman — who also just happened to be Harry Truman’s chief of staff. First thing the next morning Mr. Harriman simply placed a memo on Mr. Truman’s desk and suggested that he sign it, which Mr. Truman did without question, and thus were General Eisenhower’s concerns addressed.
That’s how the CFR does things.
Timothy Geithner said of the CFR: “You don’t go to speak to the Council, you go there to get advice…”
In 2009, the CFR set up a second headquarters in Washington DC. (Their main headquarters, of course, is near Wall Street.) Hillary Clinton said of this new headquarters: “It’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here just down the street from the State Department. This will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.”
Their print magazine — Foreign Affairs — is considered by many to be the most influential media source in the world.
Some may retort, “But the smartest and the best should be the people who run the world!”
I feel that I can completely marginalize that argument by suggesting that one simply scrutinize the results of their administration of our world over the last century.
Another very important development in the history and the influence of the CFR came just after World War I when a bunch of academics that had participated in the Paris Peace Conference got together to form an academic organization to study war and peace. This organization didn’t really do much — until 1921, when it was simply incorporated into the CFR. The CFR then used that platform to begin exerting major influence over academia in the United States. Before long they were secretly dominating major portions of the curriculum of universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and Stanford amongst others.
Thus, the CFR came to represent a merging of the nation’s leading intellectuals with the money and influence of the plutocrats. The academics were showered with cash and prestige in return for providing academic, ideological, and philosophical fodder to help in fostering amongst the general public a tolerance for — or even an embracing of — fascism.
The Media Machine is also well represented at the CFR. Judy Woodruff and Margaret Warner are both CFR members as was John Stewart’s head writer for the Daily Show.
(When it comes to the actual directorship of the CFR, though — that post is invariably manned by one of the plutocrats.)
Ever since 1918, the vast majority of our presidents and with but two exceptions every one of our secretaries of state were members of the CFR. (Ironically, Hillary Clinton is one of those two exceptions — though both her husband and her daughter are CFR members.) (Chelsea Clinton qualifies as a member because her husband is a hedge fund manager at Goldman $achs — though the fact she is the daughter of Bill and Hillary surely didn’t hurt.) (The other non-CFR secretary of state, by the way, was Cordell Hull, who served in the Roosevelt administration.)
I was already familiar with the Bilderbergers, — but what I didn’t know is that about half of the membership in the Bilderbergers consists of CFR people (over 92% of the American attendees at the annual Bilderberger conference are members of the CFR) and the other half consists mostly of various members of the European royalty — i.e. the Bilderbergers were formed so that the élites of Europe and the élites of the United States could coordinate their efforts.
Then there is the Trilateral Commission. Formed in 1973 (again, by David Rockefeller) the Trilateral Commission came about because when Japan started becoming a major world power and David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski suggested to the Bilderbergers that they should start inviting some Japanese élites to join them. The European élites demonstrated their ignorant and self-defeating racist attitudes by replying that absolutely no way no how were a bunch of Nips gonna crash their private party.
Thus, Mr. Rockefeller and Mr. Brzezinski (never ones to let racism interfere with profits) formed the Trilateral Commission so they could coordinate their efforts with those of the newly emerging Japanese élites.
It is not often noted, but virtually every foreign head of state that visits the United States includes a visit to the CFR in their itinerary. This even applied to Fidel Castro when he came to address the United Nations in 1959. During this visit he was also invited to address the CFR — and he evidently knew that this was an important stop because he accepted the invitation.
It did not go well. President Castro ended up saying to them, “I can see that I am not among friends”.
Then he walked out on them.
I think I tend to agree with Mr. Castro’s assessment.
It’s time to get to work…
The Thunderbolt Calendar
Week of February 25th thru March 2nd, 2016
1) FYI Section:
1A) Newsbud in the Bud
Sibel Edmonds and some others are trying to form an alternative media network called Newsbud. They have a Kickstarter campaign going and could use your contribution.
1B) Update from Flush the TPP
This message came from Flush the TPP:
Corporate Greed Resisters!
This week President Obama said that he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ that he can finish the TransPacific Partnership this year.
This good news is that the votes are currently not there in Congress to pass the implementing legislation. That is because of all of the great work that people across the country are doing to pressure their representatives.
Last week, hundreds protested outside the ASEAN trade summit in Rancho Mirage, CA. In Washington State, the Rebel Alliance marched to their members’ offices in protest and the entire Seattle City Council signed an open letter opposing the TPP. About 100 people gathered in Bismarck, ND to tell their members of Congress to oppose the TPP.
But, we saw during the fight to stop fast track, that the Obama administration can be very persistent in twisting arms in Congress to get votes. We need to keep up the pressure!
Our job is to make sure that the TPP implementing legislation is never sent to Congress.
How do we do that?
- Keep the pressure on your member of Congress, especially if they voted for Fast Track. Click here to find out how your House Representative or Senator voted. You can contact them through the Congressional switchboard at 202 224 3121or plan a local action. The next time they will be at home is the week of March 7.
- Spread the word to others. Join the Tuesday night Twitter storms at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific. Click here for more information. You can also gather some friends to hand out leaflets. Presidential candidate rallies are a great place to reach hundreds of people waiting in line to get in. Candidates who oppose the TPP are Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jill Stein. You’ll find flyers on the Tools for Education page.
- Join the TPP Resistance call on Wednesday nights at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific each week! The next call is February 24. We are planning the next large mobilization.
And finally, if you are able, please donate to support this work. Click here to donate. Thank you!
Unite for Global Justice,
Our mailing address is:
402 East Lake Ave. Baltimore MD, 21212
Click here to donate.
2) Thursday February 25th
In Search of Monsters to Destroy; Islamophobia, the War on Terror and US Imperialism
6:30 pm @ the Evergreen State College Longhouse, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW
This message came from Oly FOR:
Thurs Feb 25: “In Search of Monsters to Destroy; Islamophobia, the War on Terror and US Imperialism” — Deepa Kumar, Associate Professor of Media Studies and Affiliated Faculty in Middle Eastern Studies, Rutgers University, speaks in the first segment of the 2016 Willi Unsoeld Seminar Series and part of Evergreen’s 2015-16 academic theme, “Thinking Together/Acting Together.” 6:30 pm in the Longhouse at The Evergreen State College, 2700 Evergreen Parkway NW, Olympia
3) Friday February 26th
Gathering to Protest Police Violence
4:30 pm @ Heritage Park, 4th and Water Streets
I’m not sure who is organizing this but I got this message came from Gietto:
There is going to be an action this friday. there has been a call to action since 5 people have been killed by the police this month. The peeps will gather at 4:30 at capital lake.
4) Friday February 26th
Peace Vigil at Percival Landing
4:30 pm @ Percival Landing, 4th and Water Streets
Oly FOR does this every week. Check it out:
|Peace Vigil at Percival Landing|
|Date:||Friday, February 26, 2016|
|Time:||4:30PM – 6:00PM|
|Short Description:||Join us for Olympia FOR’s weekly peace vigil, 4:30-6:00 pm. We provide signs to hold. The Artesian Rumble Arkestra joins us at 5:00.|
4th & Water, downtown
|Contact Information:||Glen Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org (360) 491-9093|
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 joins us at 5:00 with lively music to support our vigil! We have vigiled here since November 1998. The Olympia FOR sponsors this. Info: 491-9093 email@example.com www.olympiafor.org/vigils.htm and www.oly-wa.us/artesianrumble
5) Saturday February 27th
OlyEcosystems Second Annual Benefit and Celebration
7 pm @ Abigail Stewart House-Women’s Club of Olympia, 1002 Washington St SE
This message came from OlyEcosystems:
Please join us to celebrate the many accomplishments
of OlyEcosystems, including the acquisition of the West Olympia Heronry properties. Learn about the remaining threat to the heronry and about our continued work of conservation through community. Our projects focus on improving water quality and preserving urban wildlife habitat in Olympia.
$20 entry fee includes:
NW inspired hor d’oeuvres
Choice of beer, wine, specialty cocktail or non-alcoholic drink in commemorative glass
Live music by Eleanor Murray and Andrew Dorsett
Guest speakers: Jordan Rash, Conservation Director – Forterra
Greg Schundler – Data Wars: The Force Awakens
Daniel Einstein – Where we have been and where we are going
Silent Auction: Local art, massages, weekend getaways and more
An opportunity to connect with community members committed to preserving our urban interface with nature.
6) Tuesday March 1st
Book Discussion Sponsored by Olympia FOR
6 pm @ 1515 Tullis St NE (Private Home)
This message came through TC Pro Net:
|Book discussion sponsored by Olympia FOR|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 1, 2016|
|Time:||6:00PM – 8:00PM|
|Short Description:||At 6:00 pm on the FIRST TUESDAY of each month we gather to discuss books we’ve read in the previous month about topics that vary from month to month.|
|Location:||Jim Bellinger’s home
1515 Tullis St NE
Olympia WA 985-6
|Contact Information:||Jim Bellinger (360) 359-2212 firstname.lastname@example.org|
Olympia FOR’s book discussion group has been meeting for several years on the first Tuesday of each month.
At the end of each month’s conversation we choose the topic for next month. Each person finds a book to read on that topic. On the first Tuesday of the next month we gather and discuss the books we have read on that topic.
This pattern repeats from month to month, with a different topic for the subsequent month and each person reading whatever books we may find on that topic.
Meet at 6:00 pm at the home of Jim Bellinger, 1515 Tullis St NE, just a bit north of San Francisco Street NE. Info: (360) 359-2212, email@example.com
7) Bonus Tip of the Day:
Concern yourself with something that actually matters today.