As another Presidential election season is upon us, we are faced with challenges that haven’t been seen in close to a hundred years. A country ravaged by a virus that is wreaking havoc on all aspects of American life. A nation rattled to its core trying to navigate a fledging economy while figuring out the safest way to return children to the classroom in the Fall. Then there the issue of race that has ignited a revolution for a new generation of activists. Finally, there is a President who seems to toil in the arena of divisive rhetoric and seems to be more concerned with saving his own political future than the wellbeing of the American people for which he took an oath to serve.
With all of this being said, there is room for optimism in these dark days. As a nation built on an idea, it will ultimately be the marketplace of ideas and the diversity of the American spirit that will draw us out of these shadowy times towards a brighter future. We can hear the echoes of past leaders from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to William Jefferson Clinton who believed in the simple truth that the politics of shared purpose is the framework that the country needs to be better. We as a collective share an obligation to our fellow citizens to see opportunity, responsibility, and community to be the key tenants of that success. This not only holds true in civic engagement, but in the world of business as well. In these moments of complexity, where do we as a nation find a way to take pause and become a more perfect union?
As we recognize the need for greater solidarity, one of the greatest illustrations of that can be found within the disability community. The community by definition highlights the very fabric of diversity representing every race, religion, gender, ethnicity sexual orientation, and socio-economic stripe. Not only that, but it is also the only minority group anyone can join, and millions of people are touched by someone with a disability. It is because of this that we need to acknowledge that we as a nation need to rethink the disability community’s role in shaping the reality of the 21st Century.
In Al Etmanski’s timely book The Power Of Disability: 10 Lessons For Surviving, Thriving, And Changing The World he writes that “the time has come to recognize people with disabilities for who they are: authoritative sources on creativity, resilience, dealing with adversity, and living a good life.” Etmanski recognizes that the history of disability needs to be rewritten, and it is in this dire moment that we need to embrace this reality. The book goes onto present five effective disability advantages that offer a new perspective to a broader audience.
There are two disability advantages that Etmanski sites that will be fundamental to our growth as a nation, first is The Power of Authenticity. While the American spirit has always valued this sense of rugged individualism, the pandemic has revealed an alternative narrative that should be welcomed. Rather than the image of the singular hero, usually, a man, overcoming overwhelming odds, the disability community sees it another way. As Etmanski so aptly writes “… justice emerges from the bottom up, not the top down, and always in the company of so-called ordinary people who disrupt the status quo in big and small ways.” We are searching for meaning, and in a country that is struggling, we are looking for stories that we can relate to. We value that authenticity, and those with disabilities offer a tapestry of hope and a sense of renewed imagination.
The second advantage cited is The Power of Unity. In an increasingly divided and acrimonious time, the principal power of disability is the capacity to unify people across social, religious, cultural, and yes even political lines. Yet again, as Etmanski writes “The disability community has the power to bridge our divides and bring us together. After all, disability is the world’s most common condition. It encompasses diversity, exudes ingenuity…” and can be the backbone for real change in America if we choose to embrace it.
In these times of complexity, we as a nation must look towards our people and see the beauty in the mundane. The disability experience provides a leading example of a framework that can be harnessed for the good of all. Innovation and growth take time and finding simplicity is often more complex than we imagine. We have to do our part as citizens to understand what is needed and act upon it with meaning and purpose.
End 'Wild West' for political ads, campaigners say – BBC News
A surge in online political advertising spending during last year’s general election shows the need for greater transparency, campaigners say.
The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) estimated the three main UK-wide parties spent more than twice as much on online adverts as on 2017’s poll.
A lack of regulation was creating a “Wild West” in need of stronger oversight, it added.
The government called its efforts to reform advertising “world-leading”.
Last month, minsters published plans for a “digital imprint” on social media ads, promising “the same transparency” for voters as for election leaflets and posters.
The ERS welcomed these, but said they were “unlikely to be sufficient”.
In a report, the campaign group said providing more information to voters about political adverts online represented an “urgent challenge for democracy”.
It argued claims over their accuracy were becoming “increasingly prominent” online, where it was easier for pop-up campaigners, as well as established political parties, to influence debate.
The ERS added there had been “several high-profile examples of dishonest or misleading claims” across the political spectrum during the 2019 campaign.
It pointed out existing accuracy rules on commercial adverts did not extend to political campaigning, while donations laws provided only a “minimal” snapshot of how much parties spent online.
What did the report find?
- The study, compiled by academics Katharine Dommett and Sam Power, estimated party spending using the transparency archives of social media firms
- It found the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems combined spent around £6m campaigning on Facebook and just under £3m on Google
- The analysis suggested the Conservatives spent comparatively more on Google, backing claims it sought to reach voters through YouTube
- The researchers said 64 non-party groups had registered as official political campaigners for the election, with 46 registering after the poll was announced
- They calculated a total of 88 non-party campaign groups placed 13,197 adverts on Facebook, at a combined cost of £2.7m
The report made recommendations requiring political campaigners to provide more detailed spending invoices more quickly after elections to the Electoral Commission, the UK’s elections watchdog.
It also urged parties to work with regulators and the advertising industry to develop a code of practice for political adverts.
The Electoral Commission says it does not have the power or resources to monitor the truthfulness of political advertising.
But it has previously echoed calls for greater transparency, adding in its review of the 2019 election that rules needed to be updated.
Constitution Minister Chloe Smith said: “People want to engage with politics online. That’s where campaigners connect with voters, so naturally political parties across the board are increasing their digital campaigning activity.
“This government is already making political campaigning more transparent for voters, with new, world-leading measures that will require campaign content promoted online to explicitly show who is behind it.”
Democrats also play politics with Supreme Court seats – CNN
Don Martin: The prime minister talks turkey in a political address to the nation – CTV News
What. Was. THAT??
A prime minister calling for time across Canadian airwaves is a BIG DEAL and thus very rarely done.
It’s not allowed to be political posturing. It’s supposed to be a five-alarm siren on a matter of national significance from a prime minister who believes urgent information must be fed directly into Canadian ears.
So what does Justin Trudeau do when his demand for 15 minutes of unedited access to the airwaves was granted under the assumption it NOT be political?
In that weird breathlessness he saves for his most dramatic conversations, Trudeau warned Canadians their Thanksgiving turkey is likely cooked by the coronavirus and they might as well cancel the family feast now. Then he dangled the faint hope of Christmas salvation IF we wear masks, download the government COVID-19 tracking app and get a flu shot.
That glum scenario hardly qualifies as news-bulletin material being released by a leader with unique insights to share. It barely rates as a news story, being the parroting of what public health officials have already said about the second wave being upon many of us.
And then Trudeau dived into an overtly-partisan listing of government actions already taken and those to come, provided the throne speech gets passed by Parliament.
It was political grandstanding masked as a public service message, a transparent and shallow attempt to paste Trudeau’s face over the throne speech highlight reel instead of leaving all the television clips to a disinterested reading by scandal-tainted Gov. Gen. Julie Payette.
Not to be outdone with this flexing of prime ministerial power, Trudeau’s opposition rivals jumped on the free political advertising bandwagon with highly partisan televised reactions of their own.
Clearly the last week or two have given Canadians an ominous preview of COVID cases building into a tsunami-sized wave on case projection charts.
It’s an emerging emergency which could’ve justified a national address, provided Trudeau’s 6,000-word action plan had not been read to rapture-level media coverage just four hours earlier.
All he did in the prime-time address was echo the throne speech’s pandemic as priority one and repeat the ways his government will help millions of Canadians through the approaching winter of self-isolation discontent.
To be fair, the government did launch a flotilla of lifeboats aimed at keeping COVID-displaced Canadian workers, ravaged retailers, vulnerable seniors, disadvantaged women and daycare-dependent families afloat in the second wave. (The resulting deficits which will confront post-pandemic taxpayers are going to be truly staggering).
But to flesh it out with a hodgepodge of less-urgent, undelivered or oft-repeated priorities dilutes an agenda which should be almost solely fixated on the medical and economic trauma this country is facing.
For example, it’s a safe bet Canada will be two billion trees shy of the two billion trees this government again promised to plant in the Wednesday speech by the time we head to the polls. That and most of the other non-pandemic initiatives will be quickly moved to the back-burner.
But, getting back to the address, for Trudeau to graft his message onto the throne speech was blatant duplication for purely political purposes.
Trudeau and the other party leaders will get their opportunity for an official Hansard-recorded reaction to the throne speech in the House of Commons on Thursday.
What more Trudeau can say after his urgent national address the day before is hard to imagine, unless he’s about to scare off Hallowe’en as well.
Here’s hoping the next time Trudeau demands access to the nation’s airwaves, the networks will say his turkey was cooked in 2020 when he deemed a threat to Thanksgiving worthy of a national broadcast alert.
Then they should tell Trudeau they’ll wait and air his Christmas greeting instead.
That’s the bottom line.
Epic, Spotify, Tile and more form Coalition for App Fairness – 9to5Mac
Manitobans waiting more than 2 hours to speak to Health Links – CTV News Winnipeg
Teenage British activist stages climate protest on Arctic ice floe – SaltWire Network
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours Vancouver Is Awesome
- Tech12 hours ago
Why were the PS5 and Xbox Series X pre-orders so chaotic?
- Science23 hours ago
ISS forced to move to avoid collision with space junk – Sky News
- Health18 hours ago
Code Red for COVID-19: Ottawa's top doctor warns COVID status "close" to most severe level – CTV Edmonton
- News17 hours ago
Highlights of today's speech from the throne – CBC.ca
- Business21 hours ago
Shopify fires 2 employees for stealing customer data from up to 200 merchants – CBC.ca
- Sports14 hours ago
Lightning, Stars resume punishing Stanley Cup Final as Stamkos nears return – Sportsnet.ca
- Tech18 hours ago
Why is so hard to order a PS5, Xbox Series X, or RTX 3080? – The Verge
- Business22 hours ago
Huawei Has Sufficient Inventory of Communications Equipment – Yahoo Finance