At the moment, I'm in the middle of reading Al Franken's book, Giant of the Senate. I put off reading it until I was past the angst and felt up to making it through. The book is absolutely wonderful. Serious, hilarious, open, honest and thought. It's also heart-breaking, knowing that he's no longer in the Senate for what was most-definitely a transgression, but what I don't think should have been a career-ending one. Especially since it occurred in another part of his lifetime before the Senate as a comic satirist, and was not intended to hurt, but be a joke that went wrong. And it was wrong. But there are levels of "wrong," which life should be able to differentiate. (For instance, the Senate could have voted to censure a member. Or a party could have stripped a member of valuable committee seats. Or taken away critical funding for a re-election campaign. Or...well, you get idea -- depending on one's transgression, there are a lot of options between "Having a Job" and "No Job.") And it most especially should not have been career-ending most especially when we see who became President of the United States and who almost became a U.S. Senator from Alabama, for starters.
But that alas is the past, and the book as I said is terrific. And it's also good timing, because only yesterday, Al Franken posted on Twitter a link to his first public speech since leaving the Senate. It was given at the Privacy Xchange forum in Lisbon, Portugal, and his talk is on "Privacy, Competition and Russian Election Meddling." Much of it deals with privacy issues that were exploited on Facebook by Cambridge Analytica. Don't expect jokes. It's a serious, thoughtful talk. And with questions at the end, it lasts almost 50 minutes.
He starts at around the 18:30 mark. Even if you don't watch the whole thing, it's worth watching at least some. And to just see him again dealing so thoughtfully and meaningfully on such an important public issue.
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