Nov 2

Why I voted for Obama

Posted by Mrs. M

What it boils down to for me is civil rights. I thought I had the same rights and privileges as everyone else in America. But it turns out there are a lot of people who don’t think I am capable of making my own decisions. Not about family planning anyway. And what is really terrible is when I hear people making decisions based on their own prejudices. Religion has no place in political or government discussions. The values of your religion should be applied when you make decisions for yourself and your children, not your neighbors. Making abortion into this all or nothing football is the worst kind of politics. Making an amendment to the United States Constitution to take away rights from half the public is atrocious. It is completely against the spirit of the nation. It also backdates all civil rights gains to the 1950s… I believe this is a slippery slope… A next thing you know people will start questioning the 15th and 19th amendments (those are the suffrage amendments). The only power that the constitution limits is that of the federal government. It should never limit the power of its people.

Those on the right are voting to take away rights from women (the is no amount of ‘except in the case of…’ that makes this right). These people on the right will vote to limit the rights of their own Mothers, sisters, and daughters in order to keep the LGBT community from enjoying equal rights. This is wrong. We are ALL Americans. We are all treated equally under the law. Anytime we see that a group is in-equal, we make laws that equalize that deficit.

On the left and in the middle we don’t agree with abortion. Who would say that? We are saying the the government has no business making medical decisions for anyone. The government has no business limiting access to ANY FDA approved prescription medication. The government has no business limiting access of citizens to fertility intervention. We as individuals make our own health decisions. NOT the government. What I would say about abortion is we need more funding for education for young men and women. We need more places like Planned Parenthood so men and women have access to birth control and education. Sex education should not be taught in schools from a religious slant. It should be taught as biology. There is no amount of magic, will, crazy vagina chemicals that will stop human biology. Young people need to understand that if a sperm and an egg meet, they will done the one thing they a meant to do… So lets teach our kids how to be responsible. Education is so vital for controlling unplanned pregnancy. I think with more education and access to birth control we can bring the abortion rate down to nothing! Lets all work together on the social issue, let’s not make it a national religious issue.

Obama understands that government has no role in individual liberty. Obama understands that the federal government need to be limited where possible and expanded only where necessary. Romney would destroy our social system and leverage the US government to the point of collapse, once it’s on the verge he’ll sell it off to his buddies and turn America into a Plutocracy or worse.


Oct 21

Job sharing. Most people when you say that kind of look at you like you just said something in Danish. How can you share a job? Isn’t that the point, you take a job with a list of responsibilities and you complete those responsibilities in return for compensation? Is there room for sharing? I think there is.

The concept of job sharing is not new. There have been opportunities for sharing jobs for decades. Yet the concept has not caught on in the USA or in my industry, Advertising and Print. I personally would love to find a part-time or shared job opportunity. As the “second income” in our household I don’t have the burden of carrying our large living expenses (mortgage, car, insurance, etc). With that second income status comes a very complex calculation. How can I earn an income, that despite my best efforts our household cannot go without, take care of our children and make time for all my non-work responsibilities? A big part of this equation is the cost of child-care. Luckily we are in a situation where we have a family member living with us who is able to watch our daughter in our home. But if I had to pay for daycare, I would need to be making more than is possible to make with traditional, anyone-can-do-it part-time jobs. Right now, even the so-called “high-paying” part-time jobs like UPS and the Apple Store wouldn’t even equal my unemployment compensation, much less pay for child care (daycare for 3 days a week is over $200 in our area – a part-time job at UPS pays about $120/week). And for me to land a full-time job now seems unlikely. Between the economy, the coming holidays, and my growing belly, somehow I feel I wouldn’t be a seriously considered candidate. (Not that I haven’t been trying!).

So what is the answer? Unfortunately it is an answer I cannot give. Prior to leaving my former employer I was in the process of drafting a proposal recommending that my position be cut to part-time or opened up as a job share with another designer/web developer. To me, it seemed like the best of both worlds. I knew there wasn’t enough work to keep me busy all the time, and I could see an empty spot that possibly having a web person around part-time could fill. I myself can do web edits and simple coding, and I figured we could find a candidate that could help out with print production if work of the day called for it. Unfortunately before I could give this presentation my position was eliminated. Nothing personal, there just isn’t enough work to do to justify your salary. Great, just great. So now I find myself with a 1-year old child, a second (and final) child on the way, with no job and no prospects for a job, aside from the occasional freelance opportunity (ironically enough, at my former employer).

So what is a girl to do? I am committed to being around for the kids, either by having a 2-3 day week at work, a shorter day at a nearby employer (hello, anyone in Lombard!) or working from home. I would really like to work. But I need to work for a level of compensation that is proportional to my former full-time position. I can’t get by working at Target for $8.25/hr, our cost of living is too high. Is that so much to ask? I think there are a lot of “second incomes” out there that are seeking a similar arrangement. Make less money, but make enough to be there for your family and still pay the county property taxes on time.

Traditionally, I think the resistance has been the “need” to have a butt in the seat. And not just any butt, but a butt that is familiar with the ongoing work, team and process. But 2 people sharing does not mean that you are immune from the expectations of a regular employee. Communication is always key when putting out a quality product. Just because graphic design is such a service-based job, does not mean that 2 people cannot share that service. I would guess that at a printer (or other employer that is open Monday-Saturday) you could have 2 people cover 6 days. And at a traditional ad agency you have a built-in backup person who not only knows your team and process, but is up-to-date on current projects and responsibilities. And between those 2 people you have constant coverage for vacations, illness, or maternity leave. And you have 2 brains on the same tasks, which may lead to more creative solutions down the road.

Here are some resources on job sharing (see below). Maybe you can use this to convince your boss. Maybe you are an employer and you can see the advantage. I really think job sharing should be the wave of the future, 2 people working is better than one!

Study Attempts To Dispel Five Myths of Job Sharing
Week-On, Week-Off Parenting: Does It Work?
Workplace Flexibility Case Study – KPMG LLP and Job Sharing
Alternative Work Options Job Sharing Guidelines
FAQ’s About Job Sharing
Job sharing benefits


Nov 3

November 4th, 2008 is Election Day in the United States of America.

In addition to picking the 44th President of the United States, voters will select the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 33 Senators, and 11 Governors. They also will decide countless local elections and ballot initiatives.

http://www.rockthevote.com/electioncenter
http://maps.google.com/vote
http://canivote.org
http://www.cnn.com/theforum

And most importantly, Don’t Forget to Vote!


Oct 24

Motor Voter my ass

Posted by Mrs. M

Of course, I register to vote at my new address when I got my new license. And I find out now (too late to do anything about it) that the DMV never filed my registration – great. Just great. Illinois has never embraced the Motor Voter Act from 1993. Compliance has always been at the minimum, making more work and more paperwork and more steps for everyone. Now I can’t vote in our local elections, I can only vote in the Federal Election (thank god). But seriously, WTF?


Oct 2

VOTE!

Posted by Mrs. M

Registration deadline is approaching – I think people who don’t vote are INSANE

Video PSA with tons of celebrities


Oct 1

A visual election guide…

Posted by Mrs. M

An easy way to find the right “operating system” for you…


Jul 31

We need another new deal!

Posted by Mrs. M

Ok, so it’s a little after 4, I’ve been at work since 8:30 and I’m supposed to stay till 5:30 (summer hours, we get half a day off on Friday). But my brain is fried and I can’t seem to find what’s wrong with the code I’m working on. I have a feeling this has to do with the fact I’ve been sitting in a chair since 8:30 staring at this fancy device that was going to turn the worlds labor force on its ear. Which brings me to my point, the 8-hour workday. The 8-hour day has been law since 1938 when it was brought in with The New Deal but it was heavily disputed and protested for a long time before that. Back then people were fighting not to work 12 and 16 hour days. The theory was the 8-8-8 rule. 8 of work 8 of play and 8 of sleep. Well if you think about it, when was the last time you got 8 hours of sleep or spent 8 hours with your family? And when was the last time you spent 8 hours at work? Well I know I leave every morning at 7:30 and I won’t get home till 6:30 if I skin out early or 7pm if I leave when I’m supposed to… Hmmm that counts up to almost 12 hours! WTF? Since computers are so good and supposedly we can all do the work of 4 people now, I say we back off the 8-hour day even more and have a 30-hour work week. That would give everyone 2 hours a day for that dreaded chore of commuting. And since we’re all assisted by these wonderful machines, isn’t it about time that we put the larger focus on family? Maybe more kids could get what they need from their parents if Mom got off work around the same time they get out of school. Maybe fewer children wouldn’t be unsupervised for those 3 hours between when you get home from school and your Mom gets home from work (Although I myself never, ever caused any trouble during this time). It’s just my thought that in the last 100 years this country has come a long way, but it seems that technological advances are more important than lifestyle advances. And I think we as Americans need to live more for each other and our families instead of living to punch a clock. It looks like Europe is taking that approach, I found this interesting graph that shows the change in total hours worked between the USA and the European countries.