Pluralistic: 03 Sep 2021

Today's links

A child's report card with a crosshairs and the Remington logo superimposed over it.

Gun-maker demands Sandy Hook children's disciplinary records (permalink)

It's not clear to me whether running a company like Remington makes you into a fucking monster, or whether depraved assholes seek out companies like Remington to work for.

In 2012, a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT, and murdered 20 children aged six and seven, and six staff members.

Since 2014, the families of the dead have been suing gun-makers, a distributor, and a retailer for their role in promoting military weapons to civilians. Remington is a defendant in this case, and has distinguished itself with its callous, depraved conduct in the suit.

In July, the company responded to a discovery request for its internal communications related to the marketing of assault rifles with an 18,000-file dump of random memes, ice-bucket challenge videos, and videos of go-karting and gender-reveal parties.

But Remington's latest courtroom stunt beggars the imagination for pure sadism. The company has demanded the attendance records, report cards, and disciplinary records for five of the murdered children of Sandy Hook.

Remington has also demanded the employment records for the four teachers murdered in the mass shooting.

As the plaintiffs write in a brief seeking protection from further such requests, there is no conceivable nexus between these documents and Remington's defense.

It's clear to me that the only reason to file these requests is to torment the families of murder victims.

Again, it's hard to understand how this company's executives can look themselves in the mirror, how their families can tolerate their presence at the dinner table.

I don't know if they arrived at Remington as sociopaths without a shred of empathy, or whether the company's culture is so vicious and terrible that it made monsters of them.

But monsters they are.

The logo for ALEC with an 'I Voted?' sticker over it.

ALEC pushed voter suppression bills (permalink)

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) solicits fortunes from corporate donors, then produces "model legislation" that formalizes corruption and impunity for companies and lobbies states to adopt it.

For years, companies that prided themselves on their progressive public image got a pass for their involvement with ALEC.

Somehow, Apple, Amazon, the Gates Foundation and others could promote "conscious capitalism" while backing stand your ground laws, ag-gag laws, homophobia, immigration bans, anti-public-education campaigns, tobacco-cancer denial.

And a suite of energy policies with three pillars: pro-fracking, pro-pollution and anti-solar.

But the Trump years – where it pushed hard for the Trump agenda – provoked a reckoning for ALEC and members have been bailing on it.

It was particularly wounded by a divestiture campaign citing ALEC's work on voter-suppression laws. ALEC's CEO Lisa Nelson published editorials and sent desperate letters to her funders denying that ALEC had any involvement with voter suppression.

"ALEC does not create or promote policy models on election reform/security."

She lied.

ALEC has done extensive voter suppression work (of course they have), but they did it through a cut-out, the dark money-funded Honest Elections Project.

As Nelson told an audience of swivel-eyed right wing neo-Birchers, she and her group outsourced their voter-suppression work to Honest Elections, working "through them" to develop a "model policy" on voter suppression.

100 of the top ALEC-affiliated GOP state legislators have sponsored voter suppression laws.

Heritage Action for America's leaked $24m voter suppression plan reveals its strategic partnership with ALEC:

As David Armiak writes in The American Prospect, Nelson's remarks leave no doubt as to her organization's voter suppression plans: "Remember, it is only about 10 or 11 states that need to be focused very heavily on what their election reform efforts look like…"

Nelson's desperate lies notwithstanding, it's clear that ALEC is in the voter suppression business. Their remaining members should be on notice that the days of giving corporations a pass on their ALEC membership are done.

This day in history (permalink)

#15yrsago Sudo make me a sandwich

#1yrago Corporate spooks track you "to your door"

#1yrago Hedge fund managers trouser 64%

#1yrago Rest in Power, David Graeber

#1yrago Coronavirus is over (if we want it)

#1yrago Snowden vindicated

#1yrago Algorithmic grading

#1yrago Big Car says Right to Repair will MURDER YOU

#1yrago Amazon's weird, terrible Flex

#1yrago Russia didn't hack Michigan

#1yrago Chevron's dirty tricks against environmental lawyer

#1yrago Amazon drivers hide phones in trees

Colophon (permalink)

Currently writing:

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  • A Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. PLANNING

  • A nonfiction book about excessive buyer-power in the arts, co-written with Rebecca Giblin, "The Shakedown." FINAL EDITS

  • A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause." FINISHED

  • A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues." FINISHED

Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.

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  • The Shakedown, with Rebecca Giblin, nonfiction/business/politics, Beacon Press 2022

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