Saturday, 19 November 2016

Previous about post

Hello. I'm Tim Abbott, I am a media guy. 

My most cherished beliefs are peace and equality, and that those are the foundation of humanity, if left free of coertion.

That also pretty firmly puts me in the Anarcho-Pacifist corner of politics.

I was born by the banks of the River Thames, with Cerebral Palsy. I wear my scars with pride. I am a #spoonie. I used presented a Disability rights show on Resonance 104.4 FM in London. That show, Technical Difficulties, returned after I got married and emigrated.

Fridays between noon and 1pm Central Time on 88.1 FM KPPP-LP in Fargo-Moorhead.

I also have engineered on radio, and will probably return to that.

I grew up by the River Douglas in Lancashire and now live by the banks of the Red River of the North in Moorhead, MN.

I graduated from Nottingham Trent University, and in a round about way have eventually found my major - Broadcast Journalism - to be quite useful.

I am a romantic immigrant - that is, I moved here to be with my wife and our cat. We are infertile.

I am a proud bisexual man.

I am not romantic about the country to which I have moved, built as it was through theft and misappropriation from Mexica.

I work for a couple of radio stations (KKWE & KPPP-LP) , mostly working to restore recordings which have been recorded in sub-optimal circumstances but whose cultural value makes restoration essential.

I am a white, European or "Gichi-mookomaan", to use the Ojibwe phrase.

Despite the disturbingly, forcefully mainstream politics of much of modern sport, I grew up as an all-sports guy (local favorites included soccer, cricket and two different types of rugby) and remain one.

Also, as an experienced traveler, I have rooting interests in most sports and most regions but am most at home watching (any) basketball or (Manchester United) footy.

I am least comfortable trying to help run such organisations.

Any other questions, feel free to ask. Although I may not answer.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

American sports and geography fails

Can somebody please help me out?

Sports league operators in this great country of ours don't apparently know their compass directions.

Dallas is in the West for every sport but in the East for the NFL.

Chicago is East for MLS and NBA but West for NHL, Central in MLB and North for NFL.

Minnesota is NFL North, MLB Central, NHL West and MLS West.

Memphis is the furthest easterly of the NBA's Western Conference whereas Milwaukee is the furthest west in the Eastern. Call me a bias Grizz fan, but that doesn't seem fair.

Not that they are alone in that last respect...People here don't know whether they are Midwest, North, Red River Valley, Upper Midwest or just plain Minnesotan/North Dakotan.

I'm just gonna leave this here. It might even be better off on my soccer-driven Wanderer blog

Friday, 11 November 2016

President Trump is coming

Boozhoo, this week saw the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Politics is not my beat, however I believe the following things are possibilities from a Trump White House.

Approval of the pipelines Keystone XL (waiting on a State Department permit) and DAPL (waiting on permission from the Army Corps of Engineers)

Repeal of marriage equality (although in his first interview he backtracked on opposing this)

Removal of Roe v Wade

The end of Obamacare (A key plank of his platform, although he has suggested reforms too)

The end of Minnesota HCP (The state provider of subsidised health plans is under threat from a Republican Party now in control of both houses of MN congress)
A wall between the US and Mexico
A ban on Muslim immigration
The end of NAFTA/TPP (declared positions)
The end of NATO (which would fail if the US pulls out - a Trump position)

A detente with Russia (implied, if not yet planned)
Dispute with China over currency manipulation (stated position)
Tariffs on imported goods (stated position)

I will add, nobody outside of the Transition Team really knows what Trump/Pence/Bannon will do.

After all, this is a vibrantly anti-Semitic administration which now has a stated aim of supporting the state of Israel.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Privilege, intersectional identity and the US election #Cripthevote

This week's #cripcast was canceled after an hour long chat with Alice Wong and Andrew Pulrang was lost to a technical issue on my recorder.

They were two of the three founders of the #Cripthevote campaign, along with Gregg Beratan

It airs every Friday at noon Central Time on 88.1 FM in Fargo-Moorhead and everywhere

It is repeated at noon on Saturdays.

Alice suggested that I blog about our chat. I didn't take notes and my memory is unreliable so having recovered from frustration and anxiety, I decided to blog on the recurrent themes I remember.

Firstly, the majority of the press coverage of disability themes in this election has devolved into Trump's treatment of Serge Kovaleski versus the appearance of Anastacia Somoza at the Democratic National Committee.

It, and disabled people, are more complicated than that.

I am a white, male journalist and all three of these traits entitle me.

Kovaleski is also all three of these and in fact privileged by being a professional employee of one of the most well-known media organizations in the world in the guise of the New York Times.

This brings me on to the next theme.

My guests told me that what has emerged during the campaign is a picture of disabled people as individuals - people of different races, genders and political preferences.

Andrew and I are white men and therefore we benefit from such privilege. Alice is an woman of color and therefore has different experience.

What also emerged was the appetite and need for disabled people inside the political system, shaping policy rather than just voting on slates of policies fully formed by non-disabled people.

In all my observations, which I believe were echoed by Alice and Andrew, Obamacare was a rare point of almost complete agreement amongst disabled people - especially those of us with a pre-existing condition. The one dissenter to that view is a Twitter acquaintance known as Fracking Test Subject who has seen increases in her premiums reach levels which would undercut her finances. The solution to the problems most evident in Obamacare's workings right now are something no one has really addressed. Democrats are on the back foot and most Republicans are only calling for repeal,which would destroy the pre-existing condition protection with apparently no parachute whilst a new law is formulated.

I don't know if this recollection is from our chat or elsewhere but it has been pointed out that the way forward for insurance companies complaining about the cost of providing insurance could be the model that Romney developed in Massachusetts - mandatory insurance but entirely based on the market place, with public subsidies on a sliding scale linked to income.

I became aware that the US system presents an opportunity for people to work their way up from school board or sanitation commissioner through state parliaments to national politicial offices and this pyramid offers disabled people the chance to test out their stamina before it becomes a focus of attack advertising.

The UK on the other hand leaves the vast majority of parliamentarians experiencing their first experience of the details when they step into parliament the first time.

This blog post was posted rough to reach you before the show slot (this week, a repeat). Let me know about any inaccuracies.

Thanks for reading,

Wear your scars with pride.