March 25, 2013

The 10 Commandments Of Politics For People With Disabilities | The Jewish Week

The 10 Commandments Of Politics For People With Disabilities | The Jewish Week

The 10 Commandments Of Politics For People With Disabilities
03/21/2013 - 08:18
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
President Barack Obama is in Israel. Our television screens are re-running Charleston Heston’s “Ten Commandments”and we are cleaning our kitchens for Seders. Soon, even Obama will celebrate Passover with Jewish members of his staff. It’s the perfect time to learn lessons from the original disability activist -- Moses -- on how to impact public policy.
Moses had clear goals to fight for: freedom. He organized his priorities, mustered his courage and went to the government (in his case, Pharaoh) to demand action. So how can you, without a rod and a burning bush, make a difference on the issues you care about?
1. Understand the value of the ‘first-born’
Pharaoh did not give the Israelites freedom until a plague affected Pharaoh personally.  To politicians, losing an election is like losing a first-born. Thus, you need to be able to show an elected official specifically how the issue you support will help them get re-elected (or defeat them, if they oppose it). If your issue and constituency are not popular or powerful enough to cost a politician their job, you need to re-evaluate your plan and build the genuine grassroots support you need to succeed. Fully twenty percent of Americans have a disability and 51 percent of likely voters are either disabled or have a loved one with a disability.
2. Find an ‘Aaron’ to deliver your message
Moses had a disability. He did not speak well, so Aaron spoke for him. This phenomenal example of teamwork is the earliest record of both an accommodation and strategic communications. Today, polls and focus groups enable us to learn what people know about key issues, and what facts will build support from swing voters. Building your base with partisan “feel good” messages that preach to your “amen choir” may be good for fundraising in the short term. However, it will not be enough in battles where you need bipartisan support and meaningful results. You need to focus on facts and messages that resonate with the majority of voters and remember to find the right messenger to deliver what matters most.
3. Get your people to the Promised Land
“Helping kids with disabilities” has a nice ring to it. It’s sweet — but get real and get specific. Washington (just like state capitols) is a town that operates by rules and systems. Define specifically who you want to help, how you want to help them, how much it’s going to cost, how you will measure success and which special interests are going to place a black mark by every congressman who votes for or against your favorite bill. If your goal costs U.S. tax money, be sure that the Congressional Budget Office or a similar state-level body has scored it and that you can identify “offsets.” Call upon organizations and elected officials most allied with your vision for help.
4. Remember the fall of the Second Temple
Many blame the fall of the second Jewish Temple in Israel, thousands of years ago, on infighting among the Jewish people. Today’s leaders in Washington evoke that time. Moses may have been one guy with a speech impediment — but in modern times we have the ability to create our own “miracles” with coalitions. After all, almost no issue succeeds in Washington with only one backer. Broad and bipartisan coalitions can be forged around common interests. Every good issue needs a team. 
5. Don’t overlook unlikely heroes
In today’s TV-centric environment, Moses, with his disability, would not be the first choice as a political leader. But again, 51 percent of likely voters either have a disability or a loved one with a disbility, and not everything in Washington happens in a soundbite. Look for good people, regardless of their race, gender or disability, with solid ideas and records. Leaders like Governor Jack Markell, Chairman of the National Governor’s Association and Senator Mark Kirk show the power of being a workhorse over a show horse.
6. Don’t let the complaining get you down
The Israelites were quite a bunch of kvetchers when they came out of Egypt. Politicians today are very much the same way. The blame game and finger pointing among elected officials goes on and on. Moses had tools in the form of water, manna and quail. Today’s citizen activists need training, empowerment and thanks so they know that they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
7. Help people do the right thing
It’s not cynical to say that Washington politicians only do what is in their own interests — it’s the truth. The American system was created to make our leaders beholden to the people. When you are on the side of good, show elected officials that being on your side can only help them. Help your elected friends achieve “the three P’s of every successful politician” -- power, prestige and popularity. Help them get on TV, raise money and look like heroes in front of opinion leaders back home. Remember, the majority of likely voters have a loved one with a disability, and elected officials work for the voters.
8. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
Most Americans can remember at least of few of the Ten Commandments, but most (including myself) would fail at reciting chapter and verse from the Bible. Don’t just flash leaders with a slew of facts and issues. If you really care, make sure it comes across loud and clear in what you say and do. Focus on the big picture. Don’t nickel and dime them with small priorities that clutter up their plates and dilute your clout.
9. It was a woman who rescued Moses from the river
There is a lot of talk about Hispanic voters and other demographic groups coming out of the last election.  But women remain the ultimate swing voters. They define the outcomes of most close races. If you can’t explain how your issue will improve the lives women with disabilities or mothers, grandmothers, daughters or spouses of people with disabilities, don’t go public until you can get it right.
10. The plagues didn’t all come at once
One of the biggest mistakes leaders and organizations make is trying to do too much at once. Washington and state capitols are the ultimate towns for proving that you have to walk before you run. In an environment that hates radical change, incrementalism is the surest path to victory. That doesn’t mean you have to move slowly, it means you have to move strategically. Pick your stages and get going.
No matter if you are interested in providing more opportunities for people with disabilities to get a decent job at a fair wage, or curing Alzheimer’s, or reducing the budget deficit (and I believe that America can do all three at the same time) — don’t leave politics to a few pros. It’s our country and we need to stand up and make a positive difference. Take inspiration from Moses. Using proven techniques, we can create our own miracles in our own time.
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, a winning veteran of many political battles, is the Founder & President of She has dyslexia and knows what it means to be the proud parent of a child with a disability.
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March 08, 2013

The Australian Regulatory Landscape for Online Gambling Operators in 20131 - Media, Telecoms, IT and Entertainment - Australia

The Australian Regulatory Landscape for Online Gambling Operators in 2013<SUP>1 </SUP> - Media, Telecoms, IT and Entertainment - Australia

Australia: The Australian Regulatory Landscape for Online Gambling Operators in 2013
Gambling Law & Regulation: March 2013

07 March 2013
Article by Jamie Nettleton 
In early 2013, Australian gambling law is in a state of flux, particularly given that, first, it is a Federal election year, and secondly, the Federal legislation which prohibits online gambling remains under review. Given these two factors, it is difficult to predict how or whether the law affecting online gambling will change in 2013.
The Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (Cth) (IGA), which prohibits the provision and advertisement of online gambling services (other than wagering and lotteries services, save to a limited extent) to Australian residents, remains the subject of a review by the Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy (the Department) (which is responsible for overseeing the IGA). Whilst the Department published its Interim Report in May 2012, its final report has not been released.
Until the Department's review is completed, whether through the publication of a final report or otherwise, it will be difficult for the recommendations contained in the Interim Report to receive any serious consideration from Australian lawmakers. These recommendations include proposals that the IGA be amended to liberalise online tournament poker for a five year trial period and that online in-play bets be permitted (subject to a prohibition on microbets).
Social Media Gaming
This is one area on which we expect significant headlines this year. The legal position in Australia (which is recognised in the Interim Report) is that games which utilise virtual currency are not prohibited under the IGA because the IGA's definition of "gambling service" is not satisfied, on the basis that virtual currency is not able to be exchanged for real currency.
In early January 2013, anti-gambling politician, Senator Nick Xenophon, announced that he would introduce draft legislation for consideration by the Australian Parliament to amend the IGA to ensure that virtual currency games are prohibited. Senator Xenophon referred to Slotomania in his comments. Senator Xenophon's indicated that his concern is, broadly speaking, that Slotomania and games like it are similar to electronic gaming machines and therefore normalise gambling to their players, who may be children.
However, whilst this concern has been given extensive publicity, it remains to be seen whether any changes will be made to Australian law.
Sports Betting: New Entrants
Irrespective of whether changes are made in 2013 to the IGA to remove the prohibition on online in-play betting in relation to sports, it is likely that the sports betting market in Australia, which in 2012 saw the entry of bet365, will continue to grow.
It is likely that other established offshore operators are considering entry into the Australian market, either by seeking their own licence and introducing their brand to the Australian market, or by acquiring an existing operator. (The most recent change relates to the announcement of the proposed acquisition of Sportingbet (which also conducts business under the Centrebet brand) by William Hill.)
It is also possible that other gambling operators that operate in different gambling sectors may also be looking to enter the online wagering space.
Whilst the advantages of the Australian market are clear, and the most often-cited of these advantages are the regulated Australian market as well as a demographic famous for its love of sport and racing, existing and future competitors will be vying for market share and profitability in an increasingly crowded market. Also, difficulties will be faced due to the limited significant marketing opportunities that remain as a result of recent high-profile exclusive sporting sponsorships entered into by local wagering operators (see below).
Advertising/Live Odds
While there has been an increasing amount of media commentary (see "Sports and Sports Wagering" below) about the possible negative consequences of the reported increased advertising spend of Australian licensed wagering operators, few formal legislative measures have been enacted.
This concern was alluded to in a statement by the Prime Minister in January 2012 that, if the wagering sector did not self regulate to prohibit the promotion of live odds during sports coverage, the government would introduce legislation to this effect by June 2012. Wagering operators have since, as an industry, ceased promoting live odds during sports coverage.
There remains extensive media commentary which seeks further controls on the advertising undertaken by wagering operators. As a result, we anticipate that further controls on the manner in which wagering is advertised will be introduced in 2013, whether by way of industry agreement or governmental regulation. Unless the government takes further action in respect of advertising by wagering operators, and/or unless a recommendation in this respect is made by the Department in its final report, we expect that this issue will continue to be regulated at the industry level.
Sports and Sports Wagering
The recent sponsorship of Cricket Australia by bet365 (in place of Betfair), as well as the recent announcement of Tom Waterhouse's sponsorship of the NRL (in place of the TAB), appear to have, perhaps unsurprisingly, prompted considerable commentary during the Australian cricket season criticising the relationship between, broadly speaking, sport and wagering operators.
Not only does this criticism target the promotion of wagering operators' brands on the sports ground and the broadcast of live odds during breaks, but it also focuses on the promotion and availability of "exotic bets". Exotic bets include, for example, in a cricket match, a bet on the team that will win the toss. The argument often made is that, in general terms, promotion of the availability of these bet types will normalise gambling, and, in particular, children will grow up thinking that certain sports simply exist for the purpose of betting.
Given the steady growth of expenditure on sports wagering (whilst expenditure on race wagering is in decline), wagering operators will continue to invest in their relationship with sports. This will no doubt attract criticism expressing concern at the interdependence between sports and gambling. Given that it is an election year, it is likely that continued commentary on these issues, in some cases for perceived political gain, will continue. However, it is difficult to predict whether the government will intervene to introduce further restrictions.
2013 will give rise to substantial press coverage in Australia relating to online gambling, much of which will be negative. However, there is considerable doubt this will give rise to a significant legislative response.
The imminent Federal election will cause the Department's Interim Report and its recommendations to be the subject of public discussion, particularly at the political level. However, despite the Interim Report demonstrating clearly the ineffectiveness of Australia's regulatory position relating to online gaming, the proximity of the Federal election is likely to delay the consideration of the necessary legislative changes required to implement these recommendations.
The assistance of Jessica Azzi, Solicitor, of Addisons in the preparation of this article is noted and greatly appreciated.
1 First published in January 2013 issue of the World Online Gambling Law Report and reproduced with their permission.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Specific Questions relating to this article should be addressed directly to the author.

March 07, 2013

Obama's Timetable - Op-Eds - Israel National News

Obama's Timetable - Op-Eds - Israel National News

Op-Ed: Obama's Timetable
Published: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 11:50 PM
You can save the price of your ticket, Mr. President, if you are coming to get a timetable.

Paula R. Stern
Paula R. Stern is the Founder and Documentation Manager of WritePoint, a technical writing company.
► More from this writer

Just before his visit to Israel, apparently the Obama administration has leaked that Obama is coming here not for a photo opportunity, but to seriously move the defunct peace talks forward. He wants, among other things, a timetable of when Israel plans to withdraw from Yehuda and Shomron, Judea and Samaria...the "West Bank".

Mr. President, according to my math and some websites, Abraham was born 1,948 years after creation (yes, Israel was re-established in 1948 and doesn't that bring a smile to your face?). When he was 55 years old, Abraham was commanded to go to Canaan...modern day (and ancient) Israel. So, the first Jew to enter Israel was 2,003 years after put it in more familiar terms, 1758 BCE.

So that makes our presence here in the land of Israel...oh, about 3,771 years, give or take a few (very few) when the Jews left for famine or whatever, and certainly, there have been Jews here continuously, for 2,000 years plus.

That is longer than any other nation alive today, certainly longer than any Arab/Palestinian Arab/Muslim - or even Christian claim to this land. It is documented, substantiated, proven. It is in the ground, buried deep and rediscovered regularly by anyone who digs deep enough to find the history waiting to be uncovered.

But that isn't what you asked, was it? You asked about when we'd be leaving. I did some calculations, using common sense, the current political situation, my own knowledge and research, and figured out that we'll be pulling out of Yehuda and Shomron (what you call the West Bank),  etc. - about one week before never; two days after the end of the world.

We'll be here, Mr. President, long after you have turned to dust, your memory not even a breeze in the wind.

We'll be here, Mr. Obama, until the end of time. This is what God has promised and this is what we promise ourselves, our children, our grandchildren and theirs.

You want a timetable for when we'll withdraw - I've given it to you.

Now, let's talk about that other timetable - the one for peace in the Middle East.

It will happen, Sir, when the Palestinians want it, and not before. When they learn to stop dancing in the streets when they succeed in murdering children and exploding buses.

Peace will come when they have no desire to fire rockets at us and no interest in demanding one thousand Arabs at a value of the life of one Jew.

In other words, Mr. Obama - not in your lifetime, sorry.

So, really, if that's why you are coming to Israel - perhaps you can save the gas, save the time. Unless, of course, you are bringing Jonathan Pollard home which is, as our Prime Minister said recently, long past due.

Assuming you still plan on coming, if I were you, I'd go back to Plan B and begin working on what pictures you want.