Happy Sunday, OptersOut!

Welp, the Senate decided to endorse future fascist insurrections and a Trump 2024 nomination if he wants it. I’ll be honest, between my own reporting on the far right and everything else that’s going on in the U.S. and the world, I’ve had to step back a bit from the constant stream of news and social media. We all need a break sometimes. I know I’m not the only one.

Whatever you want to call this phenomenon (fatigue, doomscrolling, the nadir of COVID-19, etc.), it speaks to something we want to accomplish with the OptOut app. Our app is designed to give you a respite from profit-driven social media companies, clickbait sites, and, of course, the corporate media narratives that dominate the news space. We don’t intend for our users to spend all day scrolling through our app, devouring mountains of content each day. What we are working towards is a clean, non-stressful experience where you can go to get your news and analysis from exclusively independent voices without anyone’s hot takes or dunks and no one sliding into your DMs uninvited. Let’s face it: Social media is an addiction, and it’s driving a lot of people insane.

I’m not going to delete Twitter any time soon, and neither are many of you. It’s an important tool for journalists and news consumers. But OptOut will be an alternative that you can use a little, sometimes, or quite frequently. And did I mention there’s a podcast player?

We’re getting close to our beta release, and that means there is a lot of work to do. These newsletters may get shorter and perhaps less frequent as we spend our nights and weekends doing things like developing policies, designing a marketing plan, and applying for grants. I hope you’ll understand this as we get closer to launch, when you’ll have, essentially, a constant newsletter in the form of a curated news feed.

Thank you for following our work at OptOut. If you haven’t become a paying supporter, please consider doing so now. It will help us pay news curators, developers, communications staff, and other people who will help OptOut and the OptOut Media Foundation move forward smoothly.

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Jewish Currents: How the ADL’s Israel Advocacy Undermines Its Civil Rights Work

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via ADL

Jacob Hutt and Alex Kane have an important investigation about the Anti-Defamation League in the Spring edition of Jewish Currents.

Interviews with eight former ADL employees found that CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has repeatedly chosen to support crackdowns on criticism of Israel over protecting civil liberties, putting him in conflict with his own civil rights office.

Read the article

Related: Check out The Katie Halper Show’s interview with Nathan Robinson about how The Guardian ended his contract because he joked about U.S. military aid to Israel on Twitter.

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Since its founding last year, The Daily Poster has persistently called out the corporate media for its fealty to the wealthy. This dissection of its latest agenda item—whittling down what was once a promise of $2,000 checks for people making $75,000/year or less—is a must-read.

Millionaire pundits paid by billionaire media moguls are once again trying to protect millionaire politicians bankrolled by billionaire donors. Marshaling studies produced by billionaire think tanks, they have a goal: denying survival aid to middle-class thousandaires now facing an economic apocalypse.

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The American Prospect: Return to Sender

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via DonkeyHotey

“President Biden should replace Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, but first he must fill open seats on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors,” argues The Prospect’s Gabrielle Gurley.

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Bad News: Evidence becoming clear: Trump wanted the insurrection to work

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Ryan Grim cites new evidence about Trump’s actions on January 6 that sure makes it look like the ex-president really did want a violent coup to succeed.

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Africa Is a Country: The workings of extremism

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via milkmaidmovie.com
Nigeria’s 2021 submission to the Oscars probes the psychology and propaganda of militant jihadism through the eyes of two sisters.

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Injustice Watch: Deaths in custody: Under Illinois’ criminal justice overhaul, prisons must notify families

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via Davon Clark

Very happy to welcome Injustice Watch, a non-partisan, not-for-profit journalism organization that conducts in-depth research exposing institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality, to the OptOut network!

As part of the sweeping criminal justice overhaul now awaiting Governor J.B. Pritzker’s signature, state correctional facilities must investigate deaths in custody and report them to immediate family members, as well as the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, a state agency that conducts research and analysis.

Read the article

Related: Listen to Citations Needed’s episode, “Covid in Prisons: No One Cares Until Things Start to Burn,” with guest Patrice Daniels, an activist currently incarcerated in Illinois state prison in Joliet, Ill.


Counterspin: Ending the Forever Wars: Phyllis Bennis on Afghanistan, Hyun Lee on Korea

Media are soberly reporting a congressional panel’s warning against an “abrupt” or “precipitous” withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, because that might lead to “civil war” in the country. If “spinning in the grave” imagery were real, George Orwell will have screwed himself to the Earth’s core by now.

Listen to FAIR's podcast

Related: The Empire Files’ Abby Martin on “Biden's Doublespeak About Ending Yemen War.”

RIFT Radio: 7 Common Capitalist Myths Debunked by Economics Professor Richard Wolff

RIFT Magazine interviews Professor Richard D. Wolff, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the host of the weekly radio program Economic Update, and the co-founder of Democracy at Work.

Listen to the episode

The Red Nation: Seven Generations of Red Power

This episode of The Red Nation’s podcast highlights several generations of Red Power activists from its founders to its present-day participants, who comment on its legacy in New Mexico.


Tim Black TV: Medicare For All, Covid-19 Vaccines & More with Dr. Victoria Dooley

The Nomiki Show: WTF Happened To Kyrsten Sinema?!

Nomiki Konst talks about something very puzzling to me and probably everyone else who knows who Sen. Sinema is.

In 2014 Krysten Sinema said raising the federal minimum wage was, "a no-brainer." Today, the Arizona Democrat joins notorious centrist Joe Manchin in opposing the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage raise in the coronavirus stimulus package.

Gravel Institute: Why America Throws the Poor in Prison

America built mass incarceration: the wholesale imprisonment of entire populations. Why, exactly, are so many people in prison – more than the entire population of New Mexico? That’s our focus for this week’s video: how a crisis of capitalism created a surplus population of former workers concentrated in declining cities, and how politicians and capitalists – instead of helping those people, and building a better and more just economy – built a prison system larger than any other in the history of the world to warehouse them. Chase Madar, professor of law at NYU Gallatin, explains.

The Bitchuation Room: Could California Pass Statewide Medicare For All?

Could the American health care nightmare end, at least in one state? Francesca Fiorentini digs in.

Organizer and activist Michael Lighty joins Francesca, and they discuss the possibility of California passing Medicare for All at the state level. Gov. Gavin Newsom would have to put forward a waiver request in order for California to be exempt from federal Affordable Care Act mandates. Michael’s hopes for California politicians at the moment are low because the healthcare industry bankrolls them — and the healthcare industry would most definitely not benefit from Medicare for All.