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Out d’Coup Podcast

Jan 2022

Out d’Coup LIVE | listener mail, organizing in our communities, and more

Welcome to this week's episode of Out d'Coup LIVE. What's on YOUR mind? I received quite a few tips and articles from listeners over the past few days. We'll take a look what was in the mailbag!

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Jan 2022

Out d’Coup LIVE | Amy Knecht and Ross McLennan - A Bucks County Roundtable

Bucks County continues to be at the center of some disturbing politics. School board races in Central Bucks , Pennridge, Palisades, and Pennsbury made national news for right-wing, extremism rallying against sensible COVID mitigating strategies, diversity in our curricula, and inclusivensss in our classrooms. Organizers across Bucks County did amazing work on school board and municipal campaigns. But as we enter the 2022 election cycle, organizers are continuing the work of building power. 

Tonight I welcome three Bucks County activists Amy Knecht, Emily French, and Ross McLennan. All three of them were active in this past fall’s school board elections. They are also active members of our Raging Chicken community.  Amy, Emily, and Ross join me for a roundtable discussion about "what's up with Bucks?" We'll reflect on this past year's election and look forward to the organizing ahead.

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Dec 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Dr. Christopher Rodkey - Public Theologian and UCC pastor on Religion & Politics

On today’s show, just in time for Christmas week, I welcome Dr. Christopher Rodkey to the program. Chris is the Pastor of St. Paul's UCC in Dallastown, PA, and a public theologian who engages in three publics: the church, the academy, and society. He also just announced his candidacy for State Representative in PA's 93rd District, the seat currently held by Republican Mike Jones. We'll be talking about religion, politics, and the struggle for justice. 

Chris Rodkey is originally from Columbia in York County and attended St. Vincent College in Westmoreland County. After earning a master's degree at the University of Chicago, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in philosophy and religion at Drew University. Prior to his current position at St. Paul's UCC, he pastored a church in Lebanon County, after moving back to PA. He is the author or editor of nine books including Too Good to Be True: Radical Christian Preaching, Year A and The World is Crucifixion: Radical Christian Preaching, Year C. He also owns a small publishing business, Barber's Son Press, is an outspoken activist in the area, especially for religious tolerance, and is a judge of elections for his district. For the past 10 years, he has been an adjunct professor of Philosophy at Penn State York. He is married and has four children in public schools. 

Chris Rodkey will be holding a press event for his candidacy in the PA-93 on January 16h in Jacobus, PA. 

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Dec 2021

Out d’Coup | Build Back Better; Dems Coming Apart; Kellogg’s Strike; bell hooks; PA Democracy Not OK; PA Maps; Philly Proud Boys Arrested; NASA James Web Telescope; Last Show of 2021; Thank You!

The FDA has permanently lifted a restriction on access to abortion pills. This will allow patients to receive the medication by mail instead of requiring them to schedule an in-person appointment with specially certified health care providers. The decision will not change state laws that ban the pills, but it’s one piece of positive news in an otherwise dark future for abortion rights. 

President Biden indicates that the Build Back Better bill will not be passed before the Christmas break, despite Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer’s assurances that it would. The Senate had no problem, however, of passing a $768 billion, one-year defense spending bill on a vote of 88-11. So, we won’t get critical climate action, paid family leave, universal preschool, or hearing aid coverage, but we will get more, shiny nuclear weapons this holiday season. 


1,400 Union workers at Kellogg’s may have an agreement that would end their 10-week strike. But don’t celebrate yet. While negotiators said they have an agreement, workers still need to vote on the agreement. Workers voted down the last tentative agreement after workers refused a two-tiered workforce that would have sold out newer workers. 

Schools in Pennsylvania and several other states have increased police presence around schools today in response to national TikTok trend to threaten school shootings and bombings. Generally, officials are saying the threats are not credible, but are taking no chances. 

bell hooks, one of the most important black feminist writers, scholars, and activists has died at the age of 69. She began writing her ground-breaking book, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, when she was a 19-year-old undergraduate. Her long collaboration with Cornell West provided some of the most important dialogic books for a generation of public intellectuals and activists. 

Democracy in Pennsylvania is not ok.  Pennsylvania House Democrats stood up to the GOP’s attacks on voting rights and the democratic institutions protecting those rights this week.  Progressives, led by Emily Kinkead and Chris Rabb, held a press conference Wednesday morning bringing attention to the GOP’s efforts to undermine democracy and weaponizing constitutional amendments aimed at those institutions while leadership used the House Floor to air their concerns.

Republicans are pushing constitutional amendments that would immediately dissolve and gerrymander Pennsylvania’s supreme court, change the court’s 10 year term limits to 2 years, change the Secretary of State’s appointed position to an elected position, allow fraudits and give the legislature more control in overseeing elections. 

The Legislative Reapportionment Committee released their preliminary house and senate maps yesterday and Republicans are upset at the House maps calling them a Democratic Gerrymander.

Water is wet and the New York Times recently reported that Scott Perry and other friends from the Freedom Caucus attended key meetings with Trump to overturn the 2020 election. 

Philadelphia Developer Ori Feibush uses scab labor and someone died at his worksite. The worker, Siarhei Marhunou, was employed by a company called DBCI LLC. DBCI had been subcontracted to work on the project by the Huntingdon Valley-based construction company Hammers Contractors. Hammers had, in turn, been contracted by the Fitler Construction Group, which was managing construction for OCF, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Three more Proud Boys from Philly were arrested Friday and charged in connection with the January 6 insurrection. Isaiah Giddens, Brian Healion, and Freedom Vy decided taking pictures of themselves flashing the white supremacist “OK” sign inside Senator Jeff Ferkley’s offices was a good idea at the time. Time to pay the piper. 

NASA’s James Webb telescope is set to launch as early as Christmas Eve, December 24, according to Space.com. The James Web telescope is NASA's next "Great Observatory" and is set to launch from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. 

SpaceX is looking at sexual harassment allegations from five former employees. 

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter crossed the 30 minutes of flight time threshold.

Dec 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Diana Leygerman - Teacher, Writer, Former CBSD School Board Candidate

Tonight on Out d'Coup LIVE, I welcome Diana Leygerman to the show. Diana is a teacher, writer, and former Central Bucks School Board candidate. We'll be talking about the ongoing political and cultural battles that have erupted in the Central Bucks School district and districts across Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and the nation. Last month, The New York Times's podcast, "The Daily," ran a two-part story on the increasing tensions in the Central Bucks School District. Following that podcast, Diana Leygerman's article "Central Bucks is Not OK," filled in some of the holes and contexts in the Times's story. Her personal and critical account of what happened in Central Bucks should be required reading for all of us.

Diana Leygerman is a teacher, writer, and a former CBSD school board candidate. She lives in Warwick, PA with her husband and their two children. She is the recipient of the Anne Frank teaching award and was honored at the SAFA Gala in 2018. Her work has been published in The Week, Smercornish, The Independent, Women’s Health, and several other online and print publications.

Leygerman wrote of experience being honored at the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards on her Medium page. She concluded: "My grandmother grew up surrounded by war and death and dictatorship. My parents fled from anti-Semitism. At 11 years old, I came to the United States as a Jewish refugee. I live my life every day trying to create a better world for my children and, as a teacher, for the children of others. In our world today, when basic human rights are once again threatened, I refuse to fall short of teaching the lessons I know my students must learn if they are to grow up in a world my grandmother could only dream of. In our world today, in a world that is eerily Orwellian, I know I must be a voice of progress, change, and protest."

If you want to call into the show, you should join the show on Riverside.fm using this link: https://riverside.fm/studio/out-dcoup-live

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Dec 2021

Out d’Coup | Democracy Summit; New German Chancellor; Starbucks Union; UAW Members Win Union Democracy; Gerrymandering and New Legislative Maps; Street’s Fumble; Yass; COVID Spikes; Huge New Planet

President Biden presided over the launch of his virtual “Summit for Democracy” on Thursday. Biden warned the more than 80 leaders of democratic nations that the threat to democratic forms of government is pressing and all “the date we’re seeing is largely pointing in the wrong direction.” The statements may have fallen a little hollow as the U.S. is one of the nations that has been newly placed on the list of nations considered democratic backsliding nations. While the White House put out a list of actions it says its taken to protect the vote, one lawyer from the Texas Civil RIghts Project told The Guardian, “you have to be kidding me,” the actions are nothing but “minor tweaks on the edge of the problem.” 

Angela Merkel’s 16 year reign as German chancellor came to an end this week as the new chancellor from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Olaf Scholz, took the oath of office. He will lead a coalition between the SPD, the Greens, and the libertarian inclined Free Democrats. Scholz will be the first chancellor to lead a cabinet to include as many women as men. The coalition also has ambitious plans to fight climate change by phasing out coal and prioritizing renewable energy. 

And this little ditty from The Independent: Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert has called out big businesses for their alleged duplicity on the climate crisis as well as their opposition to the Biden administration’s ambitious Build Back Better Act. 'The [corporate] sector has historically been full of s***, and the sector is still full of s***,' Mr Gellert told Fast Company on Monday."

Workers in Buffalo, NY become the first to get a union at a Starbucks.

UAW workers win the right to directly elect their leadership, bringing new measures of rank-and-file democracy to a powerful union. 

Canada bans conversion therapy and France moves to make it a criminal offense.

All I want for Christmas are legislative maps!  Maps, maps and more maps!  The Pennsylvania House Republicans released their congressional map drawn by former Lehigh County Republican Commissioner Amanda Holt.  It’s a solid GOP gerrymander.  

Then Senate Democrat Sharif Street released a “compromise map” that’s a 6-11 GOP Gerrymander.  Why?  Well, that map places a congressional district in his backyard and would set up a potential primary between Congressman Brendan Boyle and Sharif Street. State and national Democrats are pissed to say the least, calling the map a non-starter.

Lastly, the Legislative Reapportionment Committee, which is responsible for drawing the state house and senate maps, is getting ready to release their maps and vote on them in the coming weeks. 

The AP reported this week that Pennsylvania’s right-wing billionaire Jeffrey Yass is looking to spend $20 million on his endorsed candidate for Governor and all the usual suspects from the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Partners are at the center of it.     

Hospitals in rural PA are facing are sounding the alarm in the face of rapidly increasing COVID cases. According to PennLive, “Geisinger hospitals throughout north-central Pennsylvania are operating at well over 100% percent of their capacities, with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients responsible for most of the strain.” 

The Philly Inquirer reports that COVID hospitalizations are at the highest rate since January - the peak of the last COVID surge. 

Scientists just discovered a planet that is 11 times as massive as Jupiter orbiting a dual star system, the b Centauri system. The discovery is changing scientists’ understanding of the conditions under which planets can form. 

Dec 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Muscular Movements and Organizing for Democracy | December 6, 2021

Tonight on Out d'Coup LIVE we're talking about the essential work of organizing muscular movements in the face of a lackluster Democratic Party leadership. While the last few years has seen a new vitality in local electoral politics from groups like DSA, the Women's March, PA Stands Up, and other like-minded organizations we continue to see generational defeats in pillars of democratic struggle. Witness last week's Supreme Court arguments which seem to indicate that right-wing justices seem poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Or, consider the monumental anti-labor Supreme Court decision in the Janus case that stripped away a union's rights to collect fair-share fees while requiring those same unions still to service those workers who are not members. Or, we can look to the Citizen's United case which granted free speech rights to corporations to contribute unlimited funds to political campaigns.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of growing extremism in our communities. The resurgence of white supremacist organizations,; radical right-wing conspiracists infecting our school boards; and, extremists putting our communities at risk by refusing common-sense COVID protocols.

Tonight I'll be digging into a recent article by Rebecca Traister, "The Betrayal of Roe," and the most recent book by Jane McAlevey, "A Collective Bargain: Unions, Organizing, and the Fight for Democracy." We'll also check out a new article by Talia Lavin, "Abortion, Hypocrisy, and the Will to Power." But I'd also love to hear from all of you. Your comments and calls will take priority!

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Dec 2021

Out d’Coup | SCOTUS Attacks Roe; Omicron Rises; Honduras Elects First Woman Pres; Barbados Boots the Queen; Oz and McCormick Enter PA Senate Race; CBSD; Fitzpatrick Faces Primary; TV

The Supreme Court’s right-wing majority seems prepared to deal a death blow to Roe v. Wade, sending women’s autonomy and equality back generations. Rebecca Traister’s article in New York Mag, “The Betrayal of Roe,” should be at the top of your reading list as we prepare for a protracted fight. 

The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has now been confirmed in five U.S. states: California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, and Hawaii. Strap in, folks. 

No government shutdown after conservatives cave. 

So glad to see that The Daily Beast got it right: “Steve Bannon’s Jan. 6 Legal Strategy: ‘Blowing Up the Whole System.’”

Honduras elected its first female president, Xiomara Castro, from the leftist Liberty and Refoundation Party. Her husband, Manuel Zelaya was president from 2006-2009 and was ousted by a military coup. 

Barbados boots the Queen and becomes a republic. 

And Chris Cuomo also got the boot from CNN this week after it was revealed he worked with his brother, the former and disgraced New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, on a communications strategy following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct on part of the former governor. 

We’re not in Kansas anymore.  Nope! Just Pennsylvania.  Day-time TV show host Dr Oz has officially announced his campaign for the US Senate.  The New Jersey Resident is looking to run as a Republican for Pennsylvania’s open senate seat.

David McCormick, President of the venture capitalist firm Bridgewater, is also getting to run for Pennsylvania’s US Senate.  Expect McCormick to become the frontrunner given his connections to the Trump infrastructure.     

Central Bucks School District is back in the New York Times following their two-part podcast on their explosive school board meetings about mask requirements and critical race theory. In the latest article, we get to see the real crises hitting the district regarding inadequate staffing, overcrowded classrooms, and declining resources - even in this fairly well-off, Bucks County school district. 

In the #PA01 in Bucks County, Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is getting primaried from his right. Last week Perkasie resident and America First Party guy Bradley Lanning announced his challenge to Fitzpatrick. Yesterday, Trumpista Caroline Avery of Bristol threw her hat in the ring because she says Fitzpatrick "ignores the Trump agenda, ignores the Constitution, votes with the anti-American Democrat members, and basically (doesn't represent) anybody or anything but himself" in Congress. It will be a wild ride. 

Could “mushroom leather” be in your future? Could be. 

Diving into the Wheel of Time & the new season of Star Trek Discovery. 

In just a couple of weeks I’ll be jumping into Foundation on Apple+. Thanks one of our listeners, Chris, for letting me know that the series is based on Isaac Asimov's classic Foundation series. Now I’m doubly interested.

Nov 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Nick Marcil on ending K-12 school lunch debt in Bucks County

On today’s show, I welcome Nick Marcil back to the show. Nick Marcil is a second-year Master's Student of Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs at West Chester University. He is a member of the PA Debt Collective Member, and Co-Founder of PASSHE Defenders. The PA Debt Collectives has joined forces with BuxMont DSA and Lower Bucks for Change to form the Bucks Cancel Lunch Debt Coalition. The coalition is working to raise awareness about K-12 school lunch debt and empower local residents to collectively seek ways to end this problem so that no student goes hungry or feels ashamed for needing food.

The Bucks Cancel Lunch Debt Coalition launched its first campaign focusing on the Bristol Borough School District, and for good reason. According to data from the School District, 212 students in the approximately 1,200-student district owe a total of $15,875.31. Seventy-five students owe more than $50. In Bristol Township School District, 922 of approximately 6,200 students owe a total of $113,085. Seven hundred and seventy two students owe more than $50.

As the coalition put it in a recent editorial in The Courier Times, “The BCLDC hopes to organize local students, teachers, parents, administrators, and community members to help free kids and their families from this debt and seek long-term solutions so that no child has to go hungry or be shamed and embarrassed for not being able to afford lunch.”

Info to join meeting Friday, Dec. 3 @ 5pm: https://buxmontdsa.org/events/cancel-lunch-debt/

Email: nolunchdebt@gmail.com

Op-Ed: Bucks County Courier Times


Nov 2021

Out d‘Coup LIVE | Gwen Marshall, Associate Prof. Philosophy at FIU and co-owner of Arcanist Press

On tonight's show, I welcome Gwendolyn Marshall to the show. We’ll be talking about her book, "Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e," that’s the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. You mean THAT Dungeons & Dragons? Yes, that one. As the #BlackLivesMatter movement has brought renewed attention to the centrality of race in American history and contemporary capitalism, fans of tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons have been looking for ways to ensure the games they love don't reproduce exploitative and oppressive discourses on race. During the COVID-19 pandemic, D&D has seen an explosion of new players and a renewed energy to take the rules of the game into the 21st century. "Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e," is a standout example of this work. 

Gwendolyn Marshall is an associate professor of philosophy at Florida international University, where she works on early modern philosophy and feminist history of philosophy. As co-owner of Arcanist Press, she is also a game designer and publisher, having published the award-winning "Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e," and the upcoming "S5E: Superheroic Roleplaying for 5th Edition." She is also a parent, punk, leftist, and all-around geek, as well as a trans woman.

Check out all Arcanist Press publications: https://arcanistpress.com/products


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