5 min read

OptOut Picks: Corporate Power, Monarchs, and Socialist Sex Ed

Here's what our participating outlets have been up to this week.
OptOut Picks: Corporate Power, Monarchs, and Socialist Sex Ed

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Here’s a quick rundown of some content from last week from the independent media outlets participating in OptOut.


The Nomiki Show: Davarian Baldwin + Alex Kotch & Jordan Zakarin

OptOut participants unite! After an interview with author and professor Davarian Baldwin about how policing and universities collide, Nomiki Konst had Jordan Zakarin, author of Progressives Everywhere, and I on her show to discuss the latest developments in U.S. politics.

Check out Jordan's entry on progressive victories in New York state, including, finally, a tax increase on the wealthy and big corporations...

The Blueprint for Progressive Victories, Worked to Perfection
NY nailed it

...and my co-authored story for Exposed by CMD about scores of ALEC politicians who are sponsoring voter suppression bills around the country.

ALEC Members Lead Voter Suppression Efforts in 2020 Battleground States - EXPOSEDbyCMD
Nearly a decade after losing scores of major corporate sponsors due to its support for controversial voter ID and “stand your ground” laws, one thing is clear: ALEC is back in the voter suppression game.

Speaking of the wealthy and big corporations

The Daily Poster has a scoop about coal millionaire Sen. Joe Manchin and his centrist Democratic kindred spirit Kyrsten Sinema, who not only blocked the $15 minimum wage proposal this year but will headline an event on Tuesday organized by the anti-labor National Restaurant Association.

Sinema And Manchin Headlining Event For Anti-Union Group Fighting $15 Wage
The pair will discuss “finding bipartisan solutions” at the conference of the major lobby group fighting Dems’ minimum wage and labor legislation.

Jewish Currents: On the Nose

The cover of the Spring 2021 issue of Jewish Currents features a photograph that has proven controversial, eliciting a wide array of reactions, from disgust to accusations of antisemitism to schnoz pride. Editor-in-Chief Arielle Angel, Publisher Jacob Plitman, and Managing Editor Nathan Goldman sat down with Rachel Stern, the artist behind the photograph, to discuss the image, the response, and what it all might mean.

Read the transcript.


The Tearing Down of Social Media Has Begun
People are realizing that posting is a terrible idea. What comes next?
Pundits sometimes describe “cancel culture” in a way that implies that society (or just the political left) is getting more censorious or hostile to free speech. But history is full of examples of people trying to restrict speech they don’t like; everyone has always been hostile to everyone else’s ideas, and many employers have always been hostile to ideas in general. What’s changed is that a random person can now type into a text box and broadcast their thoughts to the world. By now, we should all know that that is a terrible idea. Every post is a time bomb sent into the future.

Why Is Clarence Thomas Attacking Google?
Republicans are increasingly caught between big business and social conservatives. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in turn has started making anti-monopoly arguments.

Matt Stoller analyzes Justice Thomas' recent statements on Google's monopoly and situates them within the current conservative movement.

The Republican Party is realigning, but it is still institutionally captured by big money, so there’s frustration at the status quo by its leaders but reluctance to do anything about it. The strain is evident across the GOP, which is trying to figure out how to address the problem of dominant big tech monopolies, but coming from a tradition of deep deference to their power.

This monarchy stuff is weird.

I mute very few terms on Twitter, but I did mute the names of some members of the British royal family a while ago.

Read Passage on how the media reinforces monarchy worship:

Canadian Media Is Working Hard To Celebrate Our Colonial History
Like any good former colonial subject, our state media and its private counterparts have been pumping out praise of Philip since his death.

See also in Jacobin:

Stop Trying to Make Us Worship the Royals
The last week has seen wall-to-wall praise for the royals across the British press, with Prince Philip painted as everything from a military genius to a trailblazing feminist. But the compulsory cap-doffing isn’t just a bit of ceremony inherited from the past — it’s part of a very modern deference t…

These Companies Claim to Support Expanding Voting Rights. Their Actions Say Otherwise. - The Brick House Cooperative
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned U.S. senators against voting for the Democrats’ election reform bill.

Donald Shaw of Sludge and Brick House writes that some major companies that signed a pro-voting rights statement "are also members of the powerful business lobbying group the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that recently put out a 'key vote alert' against a bill in Congress designed to enshrine federal voting rights, protecting voters even in states where partisan legislatures have attempted to restrict voting access."


The Jacobin Show: Sex and the State w/ Kristen Ghodsee

Kristen Ghodsee, author of Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism, joins us to discuss socialist sex education and how Eastern European state socialism helped women gain more independence from men and, by extension, have better sex lives.

Space Madness

In another OptOut participant collab, Struggle Session host Leslie Lee III has this piece on sci-fi horror films for Blood Knife.

Read Blood Knife.


Ok, have a good week, all!