First, I would like to start out saying that I have finally gotten the chance to start reading the news again in earnest. So far, all of the articles that I'll be either posting below or linking to are from the New York Times. They publish a lot of the stuff that I consider thought provoking even though I know I must keep in mind the fact that depending one source of news can lead to a myopic view of the world.
That said, let us get on to the articles, commentaries, and (hopefully) conversations.
My favorite part of the following article is the bit about 401K plans and the importance of employer matching contributions. Calling those contributions "in effect, an instant 50 or 100 percent “return” on your savings"
and "Consider this an optional raise. Turning it down would be a real shame. Nor will it cost you as much as you think. Saving 3 percent out of an annual salary of $36,000 amounts to roughly $20 a week."
which made me go make a calculation: $2,750. Nice. I am surprised that he didn't mention the possibility of more of the benefits package premiums being taken out pre-tax. It made me appreciate even more what I know to be a very well set-up and extremely generous benefits package. As Crush would say: Righteous!June 14, 2008Your Money
A Primer for Young People Starting Their First JobBy RON LIEBER
To the hundreds of thousands of young people who have landed entry-level jobs that come with health insurance and a retirement plan, I offer my congratulations. Things are tough out there right now, so you must be doing something right.
To the employers who are about to put them to work, however, I urge you to take another look at the pile of employee manuals that detail all your fabulous benefits. They’re boring. They’re confusing. And they start in the middle instead of defining things from the beginning.( Read more... )
This also makes me very thankful that life has turned out the way it has and that I came out of college as a "returning adult student" who has a completely different situation than the typical graduate. I have CoB - that is the most important of the differences (he's my rock) - and I already have a wealth of experience in the "Work Force" (as the Pitt of Hell
would call it).
Another resource that I think might've been a good addition to the article would have been a link to the Motley Fool personal investment
On another note - which may also be applicable to recent graduates - is this amazing, and very long article about the concept of "shared-care-parenting"
where the model for relationships and parenting styles morphs into a form where the couple "would create their own model, one in which they were parenting partners. Equals and peers. They would work equal hours, spend equal time with their children, take equal responsibility for their home. Neither would be the keeper of the mental to-do lists; neither of their careers would take precedence."
This is IMHO one of the primary reasons that the women's movement was created. In actuality, this whole situation seems to epitomize the ideals that the women's movement was founded on. The only caveat is that the article (I am assuming, I haven't read it in its entirety yet) doesn't address those couples (regardless of gender or sex, pairings or groupings) who decide not to have children but who also embrace the relationship of equals
is an article that I had mentioned to a coworker the other day (oooh, I love being able to say that) after being told that the company considers annual leave a mandatory event. They must have done their own research, or just used common sense. Just like the reason they based their decision on getting the dual monitor set up for their credit analysts, it results in an increase in productivity and happiness in the workplace environment. So here's to increasing evidence of the importance of the "respite effect"
- which does not involve butterflies causing tornadoes, hurricanes, or any other form of natural disaster.June 7, 2008
ShortcutsVacations Are Good for You, Medically SpeakingBy ALINA TUGEND( Read more... )
vacations are not simply a luxury. There is increasing evidence that they really are necessary for good health.( Read more... )
got me to thinking just how scary, end of the world like scary, a McCain presidency could be. It also made me think of the need for a change in POW training. You could be given two options as to how you would act in the situation: 1) Name, rank, serial number, silence. Refusal to cooperate. Stoic. and 2) Cooperate in some ways and covertly gather information so that when you are released you can then brief your superiors about what you learned. and finally, an option only the masochistic will choose 3) Bitterly resist and taunt your captors so that you are tortured night to death, hoping that while you are enduring this crap you are increasing the morale of the men and women who have to hear you scream through the night during those "sessions" with the torturer.
I have listened to many stories and watched many television shows and movies about different POW situations, and I say the above with the utmost respect to any who have had to endure a brutal hostage situation. We can not all be John McClain's nor should we be expected to. And I think McCain's 'veiled' hints of brainwashing as training rather than teaching different methods according to disposition is appalling. I'm not surprised that many parents across the nation are considering the different ways they can get their children out of the country to safety if another draft is initiated. Hell, and those adults, too, who are now affected by the increased age limit that was slipped in a while back. *Nods to CoB* (If this article becomes unavailable, I do have it saved as a PDF.)
That article has direct bearing on the two Op-Ed article that I found at the same time. One
is about the rumors being spread by the neocon talking heads concerning Senator Clinton's supporter being bitter, angry bitches and taking a stereotypical self-defeating revenge upon the Senator Obama candidacy by planning on voting for McCain... The other
is an article detailing how by electing Senator Obama, we as women would
be making strides toward gender equality. Because he refuses to conform (or contort) himself into an image of the macho-manly-man stereotype in order to be seen as electable.June 15, 2008
Op-Ed ColumnistAngry Clinton Women ♥ McCain?By FRANK RICH
TEN years ago John McCain had to apologize for regaling a Republican audience with a crude sexual joke about Hillary and Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno. Last year he had to explain why he didn’t so much as flinch when a supporter asked him on camera, “How do we beat the bitch?” But these days Mr. McCain just loves the women.( Read more... )
------------June 15, 2008
Op-Ed ContributorThink the Gender War Is Over? Think AgainBy SUSAN FALUDISan Francisco
FOR months, our political punditry foresaw one, and only one, prospective gender contest looming in the general election: between the first serious female presidential candidate and the Republican male “warrior.” But those who were dreading a plebiscite on sexual politics shouldn’t celebrate just yet. Hillary Clinton may be out of the race, but a Barack Obama versus John McCain match-up still has the makings of an epic American gender showdown.
The reason is a gender ethic that has guided American politics since the age of Andrew Jackson. The sentiment was succinctly expressed in a massive marble statue that stood on the steps of the United States Capitol from 1853 to 1958. Named “The Rescue,” but more commonly known as “Daniel Boone Protects His Family,” the monument featured a gigantic white pioneer in a buckskin coat holding a nearly naked Indian in a death’s grip, while off to the side a frail white woman crouched over her infant.
The question asked by this American Sphinx to all who dared enter the halls of leadership was, “Are you man enough?” This year, Senator Obama has notably refused to give the traditional answer.
The particulars of that masculine myth were established early in American politics. ( Read more... )
Progress is measured in small steps not big leaps. And another measure of progress for humanity (notice I did not say women, because the shaping of our society is made up by all members of our species) is the story of how rape is slowly becoming a more important issue on the global stage than pirated DVDs
. At least for some of us... Finally.Warning - content may be triggering.June 15, 2008
Op-Ed ColumnistThe Weapon of RapeBy NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
World leaders fight terrorism all the time, with summit meetings and sound bites and security initiatives. But they have studiously ignored one of the most common and brutal varieties of terrorism in the world today.
This is a kind of terrorism that disproportionately targets children. It involves not W.M.D. but simply AK-47s, machetes and pointed sticks. It is mass rape — and it will be elevated, belatedly, to a spot on the international agenda this week.( Read more... )
Painfully slowly, the United Nations and its member states seem to be recognizing the fact that systematic mass rape is at least as much an international outrage as, say, pirated DVDs. Yet China and Russia are resisting any new reporting mechanism for sexual violence, seeing such rapes as tragic but simply a criminal matter.
On the contrary, systematic rape has properly been found by international tribunals to constitute a crime against humanity, and it thrives in part because the world shrugs. The U.N. could do far more to provide health services to victims of mass rape and to insist that peacekeepers at least try to stop it.( Read more... )
On a slightly lighter note (compared to the previous article): Whoever says that "Freedom Isn't Free"
should take a page out of the new book internet providers are trying to write. In which they are running test programs to see how receptive people are to getting metered
internet access.“As soon as you put serious uncertainty as to cost on the table, people’s feeling of freedom to predict cost dries up and so does innovation and trying new applications,” Vint Cerf, the chief Internet evangelist for Google who is often called the “father of the Internet,” said in an e-mail message.
The companies who are proponents of the caps say that their actions are only fair
and are using this as an end run on those who engage in file-sharing
. Yeah. I wonder if RIAA is sponsoring any of these ideas? With all of the online content that is being pushed on consumers, there is no way any of THOSE companies will allow the ISPs to start this crap. Because it would
limit people's interest and usage of the internet. Because when it comes down to brass tacks, the people who are band-width hogs
are far outweighed by the people who just use the internet to check their email and browse the internet for information. Even now, with usage rates going up because of more content offering live, buffered feed of their favorite show... Well. They aren't going to offer DOWNLOADS because then they can't control their product. Sheesh. Maybe the content providers should be the one paying the ISPs for clogging the lines?
Note: I started this post at around 8 AM, took off for a Father's Day brunch, went to see the Hulk, and am now finally finishing up the final touches. It's been quite a day. So, please, talk amongst yourselves if you have to here because I may be going to bed early tonight.