Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I agree with the President

It is about time that we had a president in this country that is for same sex marriage.  The anti gay marriage feelings in this country are no different than the anti minority or anti women ones we had to deal with decades ago.  The United States is discriminating against a whole demographic of people and somehow this is suppose to be okay. 

I live in the land of the free.  We are suppose to have freedoms in this county, not oppression.  The government has too much control in our lives already without them telling us who we can and cannot marry.  I don't expect the government to be able to tell me where I can live, so why can they tell me what I can and cannot do with my roommate.  After all that is all marriage is, two people who love each other, most of the time, cohabiting in the same household.

There is no sanctity of marriage that the right wing shouts about.  The ones screaming that the loudest are usually the ones that are on their 4th marriage with the 10th mistress on the side.  The Republican party is horrible about sex scandles, both straight and gay ones.  They are the last ones that should be saying that same sex marriage will ruin marriage for everyone.

We are suppose to have a separation of church and state in this country.  For those of you who are bible thumping scripture quoting bigots, I'll break it down into terms you can understand.  Anything that you think should be a law based on something that is in your book, that you of course follow everything in not just select things, you cannot do that due to freedom of religion.  Our freedom of religion is suppose to protect us not only to be free of persecution for practicing our religion of choice, but also against laws based on beliefs of religions not our own.

Some people in our country need to take a long look at the Bill of Rights for our country.  They could learn a lot by taking a look at the whole bill of rights and not just the pieces that they want to look at.  There is nothing saying it's okay to discriminate against a demographic of people because we don't agree with their lifestyle.  Our politicians would do good to remember that, and to remind the voters of the same.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Modern Parents are Crazy

My kids know the classic fairy tale stories.  They have heard me read them the 3 little pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and countless others.  When they were younger they asked me to read them these stories as often as the modern children books that we own.  They have also watched the Disney version of the classics such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Robin Hood.  I remember these stories and movies from my own childhood and saw nothing wrong with my own children listening to, reading, or watching them.

Monday, February 20, 2012

We shouldn't need "Gaming Laws"

Wii, Playstation3, and Xbox Gaming Systems

South Korea has introduced another "Gaming Law" proposal due to their citizens addiction to video games, internet, and technology.  In this law gaming consoles would turn off after 2 hours of play in a 24 hour period, and the user would have to take a 10 minute break before being able to turn the game back on.  Also you can only turn it back on once in 24 hours.  Another part of this is that game consoles would have a chip in them rendering them expensive paper weights between the hours of midnight and 6am.  The black out hours are geared at the 16 and under crowd, but would be in effect for all citizens.  Some United States lawmakers have wanted to get a similar measure passed to help with Americans' addiction to technology.

Gaming laws shouldn't even need to be a thought in our lawmakers minds.  If a parent wants to let their kid play a video game on their gaming system, computer, or even cell phone then that is their right living in a free country.  I would hope that they have more important things to do, than worry about how much time the Wii in my house is on, or how much time my family spends total on the internet.  Knowing how our current government works, I'm sure that they won't spend time on important things and will eventually introduce a Gaming Law though disguised as a lame attempt at ending childhood obesity.

With childhood obesity rates the highest they have ever been, parents do need to encourage their children to get more active and eat better.  But placing chips in a gaming consoles to make them shut off when the government determines that they should is not going to help the situation any.  Kids will just find another sedentary activity to do instead of playing video games.  Some communities playing outside is dangerous and cannot be done.  Other areas the changes in weather make it impossible for children to be outside for an extended period of time during cold months or when the weather forces kids indoors.  On those days they are going to play more video games.  Also there is a point where you stop wanting to play and start wanting to be an adult, no matter what you do you aren't going to be able to get your children outside to play once they have hit this stage.

Americans do have a technology addiction.  I know that I feel naked without my smart phone, and would be lost if I had to go back to a normal phone.  I'm not alone in this feeling either.  Most websites have a mobile view option so we are not having to wait till we are on a computer to log on to the internet, and you can access them from wifi hotspots located in just about every business you visit.  New apps link your smart phone to your laptop to your Kindle so you can access anything and everything at any time you wish.

There are midnight release parties for new games, where gamers stand in line for hours outside a store waiting for the newest version to finally be released.  These games we have been hearing about for months as they are finished being debugged with previews of them online and on tv driving the hype before they are released even higher.  As soon as a gamer has the game in their hand they are going to want to spend hours playing it till they have it beat, bragging to all of their friends how many hours it took them to beat it.

When our children are still at home we can curb this addiction somewhat, unless you have a husband who is a gamer and then you might be looking at a lost cause.  We can set up time limits on games, make them turn off their phones that we are paying for, even censor what tv channels they have access too.  Should we set up all of these limits though?

We all know that at some point in time our children will leave our house.  They will be on their own, and all we can do is hope that we have taught them the correct things as they grew. As they spread their wings they are no longer subject to our technology limitations and must regulate themselves.  Maybe by allowing them more access when they are younger, while explaining them why technology should be limited, the generation that we are raising hopefully won't be as addicted as the one before them.  The only problem is actually practicing what we preach, and putting away our smart phones, laptops, and instead read a book.  Although that would probably be read on our Kindle so I haven't gotten all of the details on how this is going to work figured out yet.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pregnancy Discrimination

It has been decades since women gained the same rights as men.  As little girls we are told that we can do what ever we want to do when we grow up.  For the most part this is true, there are still certain things that we cannot do such as be on the front lines of a war, but we have gained a lot of ground in the work place.  Even then we still lose out during our child bearing years because of pregnancy discrimination.

You would think that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have protected pregnant women in the work place, but it didn't.  It was another 14 years before there was an amendment to the original bill to protect us.  It seems that a lot of employers have either forgotten about or don't know about the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and even less pregnant women know about it.  Women in low paying jobs are most at risk for being discriminated against, but even executive moms can see the effects their pregnancy takes on their career.  The amount of women filing pregnancy discrimination lawsuits is rising, which is a disturbing trend.

Employers are worried about women not coming back after maternity leave, being too wrapped up in the mom world after baby, amount of time off for appointments and if the baby gets sick, plus everything that goes with being a working mom.  The United States has no law in place making sick days for employees mandatory,  so for some women just getting the time off so they can go to prenatal appointments can be a job risk.  Low paying jobs are not likely to allow pregnant women accommodations so they are able to work their whole pregnancy, and encourage them to either quit or go on maternity leave early.  Some will even go as far as to fire them just because they are pregnant.  If you are pregnant while looking for a job you are certain to find out that the majority of employers will not hire you, just because you are pregnant.

During all three of my pregnancies I encountered Pregnancy Discrimination first hand.  My first pregnancy I was planning on working until I delivered, but when I was 38 1/2 weeks along I was left off of the schedule and told that they couldn't risk me just calling in because I was in labor and it would be easier for them if I just wasn't on the schedule any more.  My second pregnancy I went into preterm labor at 32 weeks and was put on strict bed rest for 8 weeks.  After a total of 14 weeks off, I came back to find that the woman that had been covering my position while I was on extended maternity leave was now in that position full time, leaving me with my hours cut to the point where it was hardly worth me working anymore.  With two small children at home they cut me more and more until I finally quit.  With my third pregnancy I had been with the company for just over 2 years, I had no quality issues, no write ups, and was even re writing their training manuals for them.  My doctor wanted me to have my FMLA paperwork filed out very early on in my pregnancy due to the bedrest from my second pregnancy.  I went to HR to get the paperwork, and was basically told that I would be going on maternity leave early since he felt that I pregnant women couldn't work til they delivered.  The day that my FMLA paperwork was faxed to them, I was fired.  Since I live in a no fault state, they didn't have to have a reason to fire me, but I knew why it was.

When men announce that they are going to be a dad everyone congratulations them.  When women announce they are going to be a mom they are asked when they are going to go on leave, how long of a leave they are going to take, if they are thinking about not coming back to work, how are they going to take off days for doctors visits, if they are sure that they are going to be able to be a working mom, and some where in there they hopefully will be congratulated by their employer.  All women should be worried about members of their fellow sex being discriminated against for something that is a natural part of the circle of life, but most of us do not know that this action is against the law.  We take the discrimination as something that is a normal part of life and turn our backs on the problem.  It will take all of us to stop pregnancy discrimination, not just pregnant women.

Have you ever been discriminated against while pregnant?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978

Pregnancy Discrimination

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spanking Linked to Aggression

Go to any parenting forum on the web and ask a simple question on what to do about an issue you have with your child and you are going to get a ton of different ways to deal with it.  One of the ways you are most likely to hear is spank them.  A new study may want you to not follow that advice though.

A paper publish on Feb 7th in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says that there is a link between aggression in children and adults and them being spanked as a form of discipline.  Anyone with any amount of common sense would be able to come to this conclusion, yet it is still a primary form of discipline used in the United States by a lot of parents.  Their theory on I was spanked and I turned out fine may not be as true as they think it is.

As adults if another were to hit us, we would be able to file assault or battery charges on them.  If an adult hits a child, it is called discipline.  Broken down that is all spanking is.  An adult hitting a child for something they did wrong.  There are times when they are hitting their child because said child hit another.  To a small child who mimics their parents this can be confusing.

We know that children are sponges and often they do what they see us doing.  They see us hit their sibling for doing something that we didn't like, so they do the same thing.  Then we punish our children for doing the same thing that we had just done.  We tell them that they shouldn't hit, then we spank them for hitting.  If that isn't one of the biggest oxymorons in the parentingverse I'm not sure what is.

Studies are proving that children who are spanked are more likely to be aggressive towards others.  They learn this aggression literally at the hand of their parents.  Any type of hitting is an aggressive act.  These children are being taught aggression by the thing that most parents think is helping them solve the aggression problem in their children.  Some kids won't outgrow this aggression and carry it into adulthood, starting the cycle all over again when they become parents.

I wasn't spanked as a child, at least that I remember, and I don't spank my children.  I never understood how I could teach my children it wasn't okay to hit, then hit them for doing something wrong.  To me it just makes no sense.  Hopefully soon it will make more sense to other parents and this cycle of abuse will be stopped.