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Out d’Coup Podcast

Jul 2020

Out d’Coup ARCHIVE Edition | We’re on vacation, so we’ve dipped into the archives. We’ve got Episode 52 from July 2017

Out d'Coup | GOP Senate Health Bill 1.1; Battle for the Net; Police Tear Gas Anti-Fascists in VA; Harrisburg Police and Surveillance; #PABudget mess; PASSHE report; Teleportation; and, Mars Housing

You can check out the full description of this show from July 13, 2017 RIGHT HERE

Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | COVID-19 Surge; Jamaal Bowman; Primary Wins; Nunes’s Cow Wins; NYT Exposes Philly Cops; PASSHE Reopen Plans; PA Stands Up; NASA Mary Jackson Headquarters; Free Will and Beer

We’re back in record territory when it comes to new COVID-19 cases. New cases are rising in 27 states with Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida showing some the most alarming increases. The enormous Texas Medical Center in Houston reached 100% capacity yesterday. The CDC now says that more than 20 million Americans could have contracted the virus - 10 times more than the official counts. 

Unlike the initial explosion of COVID-19 cases that saw older Americans accounting for most cases, younger people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s

The Voice of America is now Trump Radio. 

Jamaal Bowman ousts Warhawk, Eliot Engle, in the Democratic Party Primary in New York’s 16th district which spans parts of the Bronx and Westchester County. Bowman won the nomination by 25 points

In another huge exclamation point in growing progressive power in the Democratic Party, AOC blew out her corporate-backed challenger in New York’s 14th district by 51 points. 70% v. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera’s 19%. AOC took to Twitter following her victory to say: “Wall Street CEOs, from Goldman Sachs to Blackstone, poured in millions to defeat our grassroots campaign tonight. But their money couldn’t buy a movement. Thank you #NY14, and every person who pitched in for tonight’s victory. Here’s to speaking truth to power.”

Charles Booker pulls ahead of Amy McGrath in the fight for the Democratic Party nomination to challenge Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Senate race. 

In New York’s 17th district, Mondaire Jones looks to be heading to Washington after blowing out a three-way race for the Democratic Party nomination. If his twenty-point lead holds, he’ll be one of the first openly gay black men in Congress. 

Tik Tok and KPop help sink Trump’s great hope of sell-out crowds in Tulsa. 

Bad news for Devin Nunes. A judge rules that he can’t sue Twitter because fake cow hurt his fufus on the platform. That’s a win for Devin Nunes’s Cow and Devin Nunes’s Mom

There’s a giant dust cloud racing across the Atlantic.  I bet none of you had that on your 2020 bingo card?

And...here we go...My Little Pony fans are kicking out the white supremacists from their fan pages. Yes. That My Little Pony. 

New York Times releases a damning video that reconstructs the I-676 tear gassing and toruture the Philadelphia Police unleashed on protesters on June 1st.  The Philadelphia Police Department and the City of Philadelphia’s statements on the incident were discredited the day following the event, but the city and the police department drug their feet for 24 days before apologizing and banning the use of tear gas.  Mayor Kenney and Commissioner Outlaw were hoping that an internal investigation would have kept this in the dark.  

Move over Bill De Blasio, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney still thinks his political career has any relevance.  He launched a statewide PAC that are leading many to believe that he’s gearing up for a 2022 run at the Governor’s seat. 

Christopher Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza in Philly is coming down because the people defending the statue caused so much bullshit attacking black lives matter protesters that the city is removing it. 

In a PA Grand Jury report released yesterday slams the PA Department of Environmental Protection for failing to protect people from the effects of fracking. The grand jury said the natural gas industry should bear the expense and risk of fracking, but the DEP “did not take sufficient action in response to the fracking boom.” 

PA Stands Up held its 5th The Crisis and The Opportunity Virtual Forum last night featuring Shanna Danielson, Nikil Saval, Summer Lee, Elizabeth Fiedler, and Sara Innamorato. I got to listen in to most of the discussion. It was a great space and you can watch the recording at PA Stands Up Facebook page.  

The State Senate passed on Wednesday a major plan that clears the way for the restructuring of the PA State System of Higher Education. The plan will give more power to the Board of Governors and the Chancellor to consolidate schools, eliminate programs, turn existing schools into branch campuses, create new schools, and share administrative services.

And speaking of PASSHE, the state-owned universities are rolling out their “return-to-campus plans” this week. Kutztown University’s COVID-19 Public Relations campaign - I mean “Fall 2020 Planning COVID-19 Response” plan - is just loaded with goodies. Students will be required to come up with their own “Safety Plan;” students working in dorms as Community Assistants will now be responsible for the “emotional wellbeing, physical health, and social support,” of students living in their newly establish “KU Family Pod Area” (can’t make this shit up); students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report suspicious COVID-like behavior to the administration; and, the university will use the pandemic as cover to increase the use of online teaching “even after the current COVID-19 crisis has abated.” 

NASA names its headquarters after Mary Jackson, the first black woman engineer. You might remember her as one the three leads in the film Hidden Figures. 

I’m on to the second book in Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series: The Parable of the Talents, published in 1998. It was more than freaky that Parable of the Talents takes place during the rise of a right-wing zealot - Senator Jarret from Texas - who whips up racism and promise to “make America great again.” I mean...those exact words. 

It was Father’s Day this past weekend which means I got a chance to sample some awesome beer. The highlights from Free Will included the AMAZING Wild Blueberry Cobbler Mash and of course one of my favorites, Safeword

Free Will also came out with a new release this week: Walk Awhile With Me - English style Pub Ale brewed with a base of Maris Otter and a bit of Crystal malt, hopped with Golding and Chinook. Notes of crispy toffee, biscuit, and herbs of the earth. 4.2% ABV

I was also gifted two crowler’s from McAllister Brewing Company based in North Wales - Mandated Introvert, an “IPA Sour” and Shovel Buddy, a really nice New England IPA.

Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | Rayshard Brooks; Pressure to Kick Out Police Union; NY Primaries; U of Cincinnati Austerity; Florida Metcalfe; Bye Turzai; Wooder ISIS; PASSHE Reopening; Free Will and New Trail

Rayshard Brooks is murdered by Atlanta police for falling asleep in his car in a Wendy’s parking lot. That Wendy’s later burned to the ground. The autopsy concluded the killing was a homicide and the officer who murdered Rashard Brooks is now charged with felony murder and ten additional charges. The same cop who killed Brooks was previously disciplined for use of force involving a firearm.

Workers United in Upstate New York - a union that represents more than 9500 workers in the state, joined the call to kick the police union out of the AFL-CIO. That branch of Workers United joins the Writers Guild of America, East, the Labor Council in Seattle, and the Association of Flight Attendants and other unions putting pressure on the police union and the AFL-CIO in light of the national uprisings. 

Big primary elections in New York on Tuesday. AOC is fighting for reelection against another establishment plant. And, and Jamaal Bowman is looking to unseat Eliot Engle. Bowan got the call from Bernie this week too. 

The University of Cincinnati is calling for 12% permanent cuts, using COVID-19 as the excuse. Brian Bailie from the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College was on this program a couple of weeks ago warning that this was coming. Completely unrelated, the University of Cincinnati’s president, Neville Pinto, is paid $660,000 a year, which includes a house and a car.

Florida man Daryl Metcalfe - yes you heard that correctly, Florida Man - Filed 5 impeachment counts against Governor Tom Wolf because of how the governor handled the coronavirus outbreak. And, say what about Daryl Metcalfe’s house in Florida?   

Mike Turzai officially resigned as House Speaker this week & then took a job with Peoples Gas and as their head of General Counsel.  Peoples Gas recently merged with Aqua America and this job falls right in line with Mike Turzai’s desire to privatize utility as possible

Black Lives Matter protests are still going strong in rural Pennsylvania. Over 300 protesters showed up in support of the black lives matter movement in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania over the weekend. 

Gravy Seals, Wooder ISIS, Gaba Goons, and Provolone Boys and other white vigilantes take over South Philly’s Marconi Plaza in order to defend the Christopher Columbus statue.  Yes, it was like a parody of the Soprano’s but this time the Philly Police were enabling and allowing the crowd of neighborhood fascists to attack and pummel Black Lives Matter protesters. 

Kutztown University and other PASSHE schools plan to announce a return to campus plans this coming week. Oh, and Kutztown has hired robot owls at around $1,000 a pop for classrooms. I kid you not. 

We’ve got a slew of new beer at Free Will this week as they ramp up for the summer. 

A Ride Down the 5 - Mexican Style Amber Lager; Wild Blueberry Cobbler Mash - Sour Ale brewed with 3,400 lbs. of wild blueberry purée, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and milk sugar; and, Pineapple Enrobed - West Coast IPA brewed with pineapple purée, and hopped with Citra, Simcoe, Columbus, and Chinook. Gotta give another plug for delicious summer feature, Strawberry Lemonade Radfahrer, a Radler with Strawberry that's a collab with Imprint Beer Co.

Shout out to New Trail Brewing up in Williamsport. They've moved into their new brewery and have some great offerings. Kevin picked up Ascent - Hazy Double IPA and Heliocentric Ale this week. New Trail looks like they've got some winners releasing this week with Bomb Pop - a Hazy IPA brewed with oats and conditioned on vanilla and raspberries. Hopped bombastically with Azacca and Citra; and, Heat Lightning - a Hazy Double IPA brewed with a mixture of oats. Shockingly hopped with Galaxy, Citra, & Mosaic. 

Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | Defund Police; Return of Trump Rallies; Statues Come Down; Return of Janus; Summer Lee’s Stand; PASSHE Plans for Fall; Bye-Bye Turzai; Space Force; Just Reads; Free Will Stands Up

Calls to defund police departments across the country gain traction. Alex Vitale, the author of The End of Policing and a professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, has been making the media rounds making the case for divesting from policing and reinvesting in our communities. While defunding the police is freaking out failed state extremists on the right, we’ll talk a little about what defunding the police actually means. When you consider the U.S. police budget is bigger than nearly every other nation’s military budget - $115 billion - you begin to see the kind of funding we’ve channeled to police while cutting community investment. 

And the statues came tumbling down. Statues of Christopher Columbus, John Colston, slave traders, and confederate soldiers were toppled all over the US this week. And, and, and...even NASCAR has outlawed the confederate flag

Go get your shine box because all three NYPD cop unions went on a media blitz this week asking Trump to bring in the troops to stop the peaceful protesting. And they were also advertising that these white cops are willing to be Trump's fascist street fighters in order to suppress the Black Lives Matter movement and protect the Trump regime.

Trump announces a return to in-person mega rallies. The first will be held in Tulsa, OK on June 19th. That’s right, Trump’s first rally since the COVID-19 quarantine is being held on Juneteenth - the holiday to commemorate the day the Emancipation Proclamation was read out in Texas to newly freed black Americans. Texas was the last Confederate state to announce the proclamation. This year is the 99th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre in which white mobs burned and looted black-owned businesses on Tulsa’s Black Wall Street. Over 6,000 black Americans were hospitalized and at least 36 people were killed. What do you think the chances are that Trump chose that city on that day so that he could offer a message of racial reconciliation?

Chicago police were caught on tape lounging around U.S. Representative Bobby Rush’s district office as the streets outside the office were being looted and damaged. At least 13 officers were caught making popcorn, brewing coffee, taking naps, and lounging with feet up on desks. Oh, did I mention they did not have Rush’s permission to be in Rush’s office? He only found out after he got a notice of a break into his office. The security tape revealed the truth. Bobby Rush was co-founded the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers in the 60s and had to go into hiding after Chicago police assassinated Fred Hampton. Coincidence, huh? 

Activists declare an autonomous zone in a six-block area in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle, declaring it a “no-cop zone.” Trump looks to be gearing up to militarize the repression, calling the activists “domestic terrorists.” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tells Trump to “go back to your bunker,” even as she faces calls by activists for her resignation. 

Remember Janus? You know, that Supreme Court decision that took aim at gutting public-sector union? Yeah, well, the guy who brought the suit, Mark Janus, now works for the right-wing Liberty Justice Center, and he’s got a new case moving through the courts. This time, Janus wants public-sector unions to make the Court’s 2018 Janus decision retroactive, forcing public-sector unions to refund millions of dollars of fair-share fees collected before the 2018 decision. The Court will decide next week if it will hear the case. 

And today is the 4th anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando. 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded. The shooting stands as the deadliest attack against the LGBT community in U.S. history.   And yet another sober memorial. Medgar Evers was assassinated on this day in 1963 by a member of the Ku Klux Klan. 

While large Black Lives Matter protests in Pennsylvania’s large cities made national news, this past week saw more than 100 protests in at least 61 of the state’s 67 counties

The Pennsylvania House Legislative Black Caucus pulled a coup at the start of the session on Monday. They took over the House Speaker’s rostrum out of protest and shared their feelings on the House Republicans’ inaction on police reform since Antwon Rose was murdered by an East Pittsburgh cop. Turzai promised the Black Caucus a special session to combat police violence, but...

Speaker Turzai announced he was resigning on Wednesday and while failing to follow through on his promise of a special session. However, the House Judiciary Committee will meet next week to potentially vote some of these bills out of committee.

PA State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors announced plans to return to “some form of” face-to-face instruction in the fall. Chancellor Daniel Greenstein says that plans will be finalized in the coming weeks. Who’s making those plans? Based on what criteria? It would be good to know, right? 

The Senate Armed Services Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that established a Space Force National Guard

And, remember when we told you that the Space Force was seeking over 7,000 volunteers to transfer from their Air Force commission to the Space Force? Well, this week Space Force officials announced that they far exceeded expectations, More than 8,500 airmen and women volunteered to join the Space Force. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force said the new volunteers “made the bold decision to volunteer to join the U.S. Space Force and defend the ultimate high ground.” 

Speaking of the Space Force, did you check out Netflix’s Space Force? We’ll have a little breakdown. 

Mahoney just finished Station Eleven, and it was freaking awesome. He’s on to rereading Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, from her Earthseed series. 

Free Will Brewing joins the wave of voices speaking on in support of the protests following the police murder of George “Perry” Floyd. They said, “In the past, we have always kept our message about beer and stayed out of social and political issues. We told ourselves we should only be judged by our actions.⁣ No more being quiet.⁣” We’ll have their full statement for you. 

And the people have spoken and Free Will has responded - Safeword is back in stock, ready for pick up or shipping to your door. Safeword is an Imperial IPA w/ Mangoes & Habaneros coming in at a big 10.2% ABV. It’s one of my favorites. You can get 4 packs of Safeword and several other selections - including Haymaker Mead - at their online store https://freewillbrewing.store/

Jun 2020

Out d’Coup | George Floyd Protests; Trump Autocracy; Protest Crackdown; Defund Police; Progressive PA Primary Wins; Frank Rizzo Statue; Opening PA; SpaceX and NASA; Menzingers; Free Will Releases

Trump threatens to call out the military to suppress protests demanding justice for George Floyd and an end to run-away police violence. In a speech from the Rose Garden, Trump called protesters “terrorists.” In a call to the nation’s Governors, Trump urged them to crack down hard on protesters. In a surprise move, Trump told journalists that he has put U.S. Army General Mark Milley “in charge” of ending the protests. 

Former Defense Secretary General Jim Mattis - the guy that Trump used to love to call “Mad Dog” to boost his testosterone levels - issued a scathing rebuke of Trump’s desire to call out the military to “dominate” protesters. Mattis wrote, "Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens —much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside."

George Bush came out after Trump this week. He beat Nancy Pelosi to the punch. Why? Oh, yeah, the Democrats are on vacation. 

Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced that the Los Angeles Police Department will see a budget cut between $100 and $150 million instead of an increase. The money from the LAPD cuts will be invested in communities of color instead. The city will invest in “jobs, education, and healing,” according to Mayor Garcetti. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most prominent member of the White House COVID-19 task force, told the American Medical Association that the U.S. should have 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the beginning of 2021. 

Protests to end police violence and systemic racism exploded across the state. Hundreds of people marched through small towns like Souderton, PA and thousands flooded the streets in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other larger cities across the Commonwealth. 

This week showed that pigs can actually fly. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney took down the 2000 lb Frank Rizzo statue. 

In a huge win for Philadelphia progressive activists, Nikil Saval defeated Democratic Party establishment-backed candidate Larry Farnese in the primary for Pennsylvania’s First Senate District. Nikil Saval is the cofounder of Reclaim Philadelphia, a community activist, a DSA member, and an editor for N+1. Saval ran a campaign right out of the Bernie Sanders campaign platform and is now looking at a double-digit win of Farnese who has held the seat since 2009. 

Bernie Sanders pulled in 20% of the vote in Pennsylvania. 

But Nikil Saval was not the only big news. It looks like six other incumbents were shown their walking papers in Tuesday’s Primaries.

  • Daylin Leach is behind by nearly twenty points to Amanda Cappelletti, a candidate endorsed by Elizabeth Warren.
  • Summer Lee crushes her primary opponent Chris Roland by a 75-25 margin.  It looks like the building trades owes Summer an apology for wasting over a hundred thousand dollars to run someone against her out of spite.
  • Progressive Emily Kinkead looks like she is going to oust conservative Democrat Adam Ravenstahl in House District 20 in the Pittsburgh area. Ravenstahl has frequently voted with conservative Republicans, especially when it comes to restricting women’s access to abortion and necessary medical care.
  • Rick Krajewski, a West Philadelphia organizer, is narrowly ahead of Jim Roebuck in PA House District 188. Roebuck has held the seat since 1985. Krajewski was backed by Bernie Sanders, the PA Chapter of the National Organization for Women, National DSA, Sunrise Philadelphia, and the AFT Local 2026 among a long list of endorsers. 

And as of today, all counties in Pennsylvania have moved into either the Green Phase or the Yellow Phase. Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties were the last counties to remain in the Red Phase. They move to Yellow today. 

Whitey’s on the Moon...OK, not the Moon, but the International Space Station. SpaceX and NASA successfully launched two astronauts to the ISS from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center last Saturday. It was the first crewed launch from U.S. soil since the Obama administration scrapped the Space Shuttle program in 2009. The fact the launch took place during some of the biggest civil rights uprisings in nearly a century has us relistening to some Gil Scott-Heron

Looks like the whole 2024 Moon settlement plan hit a bit of a setback as SpaceX’s Starship Prototype exploded during a static-fire test of the massive rocket’s engines. 

The Menzingers just released a new song, America Pt. 2. All proceeds from the song go to community bail funds. You can listen to and buy the song at bandcamp.com

And, while we’re at it, Bob Mould just released a new song called “American Crisis.” It show that the anger from Gen X runs deep. Thanks to my friend Stu Ross for sending me that. 

Free Will Brewing is opening up outdoor seating at their main Perkasie location and at Peddler’s Village tomorrow, Saturday, June 6. They had to push back today’s opening due to storms and flood warnings. They are turning a field next to the brewery into a beer garden with a pop-up bar, bathrooms, and sanitizing stations, in addition to our usual front yard space and courtyard. 

Free Will also has a new release for the first time in a while. This one is a collab with Imprint Beer Company. It’s the Strawberry Lemonade Radfahrer - They took their Cream Ale base and mixed it with some slightly tart lemonade before a hefty addition of strawberry purée to top the whole thing off. 3.9% ABV⁣⁣.


May 2020

Out d’Coup | Minneapolis Burns; Police Murder George Floyd; Trump Incites; 100K U.S. Dead; Jamaal Bowman Challenge; Brian Sims; PA GOP COVID Cover-Up; Space Force; SpaceX Delayed; Free Will Reviews

Minneapolis burns, including a police station, as the demands for justice in the police murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd. Four white police officers involved in the murder have been fired, but the video of one officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he cried out “I can’t breathe” have the community calling for more widespread justice. Protests have started to spread across the nation as well. 

Trump took to Twitter to help insight violence against Minneapolis protesters calling them “THUGS,” suggesting that the military should be brought in to suppress the protests, and threatening “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

And it’s official. More than 100,000 Americans are dead from COVID-19. That horrific milestone was reached as states are planning on or have already opened up. Yet, as the Washington Post reported this week, rural areas are increasingly becoming the areas hit hardest by the coronavirus. And while those states hit hard by COVID-19 early in the outbreak are beginning to flatten their curves, the rest of the country’s numbers are continuing to skyrocket up. 

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri was the place to be, apparently. Thousands of people flooded pool parties and resorts in violation of the state’s and county’s COVID-19 restrictions. The Governor of St. Louis County had to issue a travel advisory after videos of the parties went viral urging “those who ignored protective practices to self-quarantine for 14 days or until testing negative for COVID-19.” What are the chances of that, do you think? 

After aggressive efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, South Korea made the decision to reopen its schools. Now more than 500 schools have had to shut their doors again after spikes in new cases. 

New York Rep. Eliot Engle, the hawkish Democrat who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee and who has ties to defense contractors, may just lose a primary challenge to Jamaal Bowman, a progressive champion for the district representing parts of the Brox and Westchester. 

PA Republican leaders in the House were exposed for a COVID-19 cover-up in the Capitol.  House Representative Andy Lewis came down with the virus and tested positive on May 14th.  When he told leadership that he tested positive, leadership only told other Republicans to quarantine.  Who cares if the House Democrats get sick.  

PA State Representative Brian Sims, unloads on Republican State House leadership after learning that House Majority Leader, Mike Turzai and other members of the House Republican leadership covered-up the fact that several Republican members had tested positive for COVID-19. Rep. Russ Diamond, who has been the biggest loudmouth about how everything is safe and that that Governor Wolf is a tyrant, was one of the Republicans who tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID coverup didn’t stop House Republicans from voting on Russ Diamond’s resolution to suspend Governor Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration. Oh, 8 Democrats voted for Russ Diamond’s bill to open up PA. This is AFTER the news broke of the PA GOP COVID-19 cover-up.

Bernie Sanders endorses Daylin Leach’s Primary challenger Amanda Capaletti & endorsed Nikil Saval who is the editor of N+1 and running against Larry Farnese.  

In another chapter of “you just don’t get it, do you,” Pennsylvania’s department of education is working with the Data Recognition Corporation to find ways of getting parents to give their kids standardized tests in the event that schools remained closed in the fall due to the pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I was really disappointed when my kids’ PSSA’s and other standardized tests were canceled this year. The good news is that Pennsylvania is not the only state attempting to push high-stakes testing into students’ homes. 

Oh, and who’s Matt Brouillette again?

Netflix’s Space Force starring Steve Carell premiers TODAY! 

Wednesday’s attempt by SpaceX and NASA to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil for the first time in almost 10 years had to be postponed due to weather. The new launch date is set for tomorrow, Saturday, May 30 @ 3:22 pm.

Sean bought a desk fan. Big news. He needed it after going down the YouTube rabbit hole on Nicholas Cage.

If you’re looking for some excellent sci-fi pandemic reading, check out Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel

I’ll report back on some of the new offerings at Free Will’s online store. I’ve had a chance to check out Haymaker Meadery’s Dandy - Sparkling Mead with Plum and Jasmine Green Tea - 6.5% ABV. And I also picked up a 4-pack of Relax and Chill, a hazy IPA Hazy Pale Ale Brewed with oats and hopped with Simcoe, Calypso, and Centennial- 5.5% ABV. You can check out all their stuff to pick up or get delivered at https://freewillbrewing.store/.

May 2020

Out d’Coup Interview | Brian Bailie on Higher Ed Cuts, COVID-19 Disaster Capitalism, and Organizing for the Fightback | May 27, 2020

It’s Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Welcome to Raging Chicken’s Out d’Coup podcast. This is Kevin Mahoney, editor, and founder of Raging Chicken Press. On today’s show, we’ve got a Raging Chicken interview with Brian Bailie. Bailie is an Assistant Professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash College. He’s got some new articles that hitting the interwebs in the weeks ahead: “Are We an Academic Journal? Editing as Ethical Practice for Change,” in Reflections: A Journal of Community Engaged Writing and Rhetoric. That’s authored with Steve Parks and the article, “So, Richard Spencer is Coming to Your Campus. How He was Allowed on, and How You Can Confront Him,” due out soon in Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society. I wanted to talk to Brian today about the ways COVID-19 is giving cover for the wholesale destruction of public higher education. 

What’s happening at Ohio University? Since the beginning of the month, OU has eliminated the jobs of at least 340 people coupled with the retirement of another 88. 74 of those retiring are faculty members. The cuts have included layoffs of 53 instructional faculty and the elimination of 149 administrative positions. Most recently, OU announced cuts to 40% of the faculty at their regional campuses. All these cuts have been done with the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s like Margaret Thatcher has returned from the dead to remind us “there’s nothing we can do.” Is this just a force of nature or are we seeing disaster capitalism on steroids?

At the University of Cincinnati, we see similar patterns of cut, gut, and punish with one significant difference. While faculty members are discouraged from using the copier for class handouts in the name of saving money, the university has been on a spending spree when it comes to NCAA Division I athletics. According to an excellent investigative report by UC’s student newspaper, The News Record, records show that while UC had an athletic deficit of $5.6 million in 2005, in 2019 that deficit increased five-fold to $29.7 million. What’s that meant for faculty teaching on the University of Cincinnati’s campuses? We’ll ask Brian about that. 

UC’s budgeting schemes will sound like they come from the same playbook that we see right here in PA’s State System of Higher Education. Maybe because it is. 

And in a time when the most vulnerable are the most at risk, Ohio’s labor laws are double jeopardy for adjunct faculty. 

Bailie highlights the fightback coming from AAUP:UC and discusses how important it is to have collective bargaining rights and an active union. He also clues us in on an awesome student organizing effort at UC called Boldly Bankrupt

And on today’s last call, we’ll look for temporary diversions from COVID-19 and the disaster capitalists to see if we can get Brian to give us some beer recommendations from his neck of the woods. I’m wearing a Rheingeist Brewing hat in his honor! Here’s some of Bailie’s recs:

We close out looking at signs of hope and resistance.

May 2020

Out d’Coup | Michigan Floods; Climate and COVID-19; Fruit Worker Strikes; QAnon 4 OR Senate; Public Higher Ed; ReOpenPA; Daryl Metcalfe; Wolf Vetoes; NASA Shake-Up; Net Trail; Free Will and Friends

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency this week as two dams collapsed following days of exceptionally heavy rain. Thousands of residents had to be evacuated and the floodwaters were comingling with containment ponds at a Dow Chemical plant near the town of Midland. Parts of Midland and other areas were under 5 feet of water. The company that owned the dams - Boyce Hydro - was chronically noncompliant with the State’s demands to maintain and update the dam.

On the other side of planet, Super Cyclone Amphan devastated parts of India and Bangladesh. The storm was the strongest cyclone ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal with sustained winds of 165 mph. The Indian city of Kolkata was devastated, killing at least 84 people as of last night. 

At least six fruit packing worksites are on strike in Yakima County, WA. The county has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases on the West Coast and workers are striking over safer working conditions and an additional $2/hour in hazard pay. As we’ve seen in the meatpacking industries, immigrant workers work at high-speed, shoulder-to-shoulder in less than adequate working conditions. The companies have not addressed testing issues or safety conditions. 

Oregon Republicans nominate Jo Rae Perkins as their candidate for U.S. Senate. Perkins is a QAnon conspiracy theorist. In her primary victory speech Tuesday night, Perkins said: ““We’re in this together. It’s all for one, so let’s make it happen. As all of us Q people like to say: ‘Where we go one, we go all.” Perkins beat her closest opponent by more than 50,000 votes. She’ll face Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley in November. 

In a video posted to Twitter earlier Tuesday, Perkins looks into the camera and says: “I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons and thank you patriots, and together we can save our Republic.” That tweet is now removed. 

Georgia Republicans cancel election for the state Supreme Court. Now, Republican Governor Brian Kemp gets to take his pick of right-wing justices to fill the seat. 

The VP guessing game has begun! We’re glad cable news will have something to obsess over and give them a little break from having to cover the impact of COVID-19 and our decimated public infrastructure. 

Cambridge University won’t return to face-to-face lectures until summer 2021. On the flip side, NYU is all gung ho about getting back on campus this fall. 

With COVID-19 as cover, Kean University will eliminate majors in music, sustainability sciences, theater, and economics. Ohio University announces it will cut 53 faculty, 94 administrators, and about 140 AFSCME workers. 

And Trump says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine. Who knows if that’s even true. 

Sean took some pictures last week. ReOpenPA was reenacting Sweeney Tood outside the Capitol. 

Daryl Metcalfe was pretty busy this week.  First he continued his storied tradition of introducing impeachment resolutions against any Democratic official he hates.  This time it’s Governor Wolf.  And he is promising to hold his yearly gun rally on the capitol steps on June 8th with or without Wolf’s permission.  This year’s theme is to Stand Your Ground Against Socialism.  

Governor Wolf vetos a bill that would have stopped any new regulations in PA until after his COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration expires. The bill was proposed by Republican State Senator David Argall seemed designed to stop any environmental regulations impacting the oil and gas companies and other corporations. 

Some good news coming out of Harrisburg!  Republicans living in competitive districts are warming up to the idea of legalizing marijuana in the Commonwealth due to the impending budget shortfall. 

Kutztown Univerisity is plowing ahead with plans to return in the fall. As details of the plan begin to leak, it’s that much more important to pay attention. Wait until you hear one of the administration’s student housing plans. We’ll get to that in a little detail. A faculty union task force is developing an alternative plan that would take students, faculty, and staff’s health and safety into account. Imagine that.  

In the best space news of the week, someone at the National Museum, of the U.S. Airforce at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, taped a picture of Steve Carell over the official picture of Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond. The trickster also replaced Raymond’s bio with that of Gen. Mark R. Naird, Carell’s character in Netflix’s new series “Space Force,” which premieres May 29th. 

A little over a week before Space X is scheduled to launch two NASA astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the Obama administration scuttled the Space Shuttle program in 2011, the head of human space flight at NASA, Douglas Loverro, abruptly resigned. According to reporting in the Washington Post, apparently the resignation came after Loverro broke a rule in the process of awarding contracts to Blue Origin, Space X, and Dynetics to get humans back to the moon. 

New Trail Brewing is opening a larger brewing space in Williamsport. 

Don’t forget you can order your Free Will Brewing faves at their online store @ https://freewillbrewing.store/. They now have four selections from Perkasie’s growing craft culture Haymaker Meadery.

May 2020

Out d’Coup Live | Episode 0.0 - we test launch our live call in show!

Welcome to the first-ever Out d'Coup Live Call-In Show. We did a full-length test run of our new live call-in show! Call it a soft-launch. On today's show we gave a little background about Raging Chicken and talked shock doctrine for public higher education in the age of COVID-19. 

The full video version of today's show will be available exclusively to patrons at patreon.com/RCPress until Monday. On Monday we'll make the video live stream public for everyone at patreon.com/RCPress

Help support pull-no-punches progressive media today. Become a patron of Raging Chicken for as little as $5/month. You can become a patron today at patreon.com/RCPress

May 2020

Out d’Coup | Elections Have Consequences - WI Edition; Fauci Speaks; Axing Higher Ed; Shanna Danielson in PA31; Make the Road Greets Trump; ReOpen PA Rally; Space News; Free Will Brewing

In the never-ending evidence that elections have consequences, Wednesday evening the right-wing dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Governor Tony Evers’s stay-at-home order unconstitutional. Following the ruling, the Tavern League of Wisconsin told all its members to open their pubs asap. Soon social media was filled with pictures of packed bars with zero social distancing. The grand experiment has begun. Governor Evers could only say, “We’re in the Wild West now.” 

 Dr. Anthony Fauci - one of the few trusted voices on the White House’s coronavirus task force, testified remotely before the Senate this week. Fauci told Senators that a spike in deaths should be expected if states begin to reopen without the proper protocols and protections in place.  

Public higher education is on the chopping block across the U.S. as disaster capitalist politicians use the cover of the COVID-19 pandemic to institute mass layoffs and budget cuts. The deepest cuts so far may be those at Missouri Western State University, which may make it easier for other state university systems to do the same. 

Shanna Danielson, who is running for State Senate in the 31st district, got a big endorsement this week from Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. In his endorsement, DePasquale “Shanna is smart, hard-working and brings the highest level of integrity. She will be a state senator we can depend on to lead, for our families and our community.” Danielson is taking on corporate shill, Mike Regan, and is running strong on her support for working families and a state government that focuses on people first. 

Pennsylvania is not immune from the deep cuts in higher education. Local faculty union presidents at Kutztown University and Cheyney University were notified that their administrations are considering eliminating adjunct, tenure-track, and tenured faculty. Of course, Raging Chicken has been covering PASSHE’s deceptive budget and accounting practices for years. As the state budget battles prepare to heat up, it does not look so good for Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities. 

Trump visited a medical equipment supplier in the Lehigh Valley on Thursday. His landing at the Lehigh Valley International Airport was greeted with a huge caravan of cars protesting Trump’s visit. The action was organized by Make the Road. One of the signs from the caravan summed up the message: “Trump Failed 3,943 Pennsylvanians dead from COVID.” Of course, there were also dozens of Trumpistas lining Industrial Boulevard in Upper Macungie Township. Most were not wearing masks. 

And, of course, today is the big ReOpen PA rally in Harrisburg, underway as I record this. Early images look like every other Trump rally. My favorite sign so far is “Fear is a Liar.” 

A 24-year-old man in Perkasie, PA - yes, my neck of the woods - punched a female store clerk in the face several times after she insisted he wears a mask in the store. 

NASA researchers have identified a string of lava tubes in the Hellas Planitia area of Mars that may prove promising for a future Martian base. Lava tubes would help protect astronauts from the relentless solar radiation. 

One of the largest pieces of space junk landed back on Earth on Monday. The 18-ton empty core stage from a Chinese rocket launched on May 5, passed directly over Los Angeles and Central Park in NYC before landing in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Free Will Brewing rolled out its new online store and began to ship to all PA addresses. Sun Servants - that tasty Helles Lager - is back in stock and ready for shipping. I’ll have a report back on their Sweet Cherry Vanilla Mash. You can check out their story at FreeWillBrewing.store. You can order online and pick up at the main brewery in Perkasie, or have them ship it to you. Get together with some friends and order $125 or more and you’ll get free shipping too.