Look who’s asking for work/life balance

by Rhode

So Paul Ryan did something I didn’t expect – he asked for work/life balance.

Paul Ryan’s Remarkable, Personal Demand For Becoming Speaker

While he is known as the “family man”, he’s also considering a position that will require a lot of dinners with donors, hand shaking, and kissing babies. A powerful position requiring more career and less family time.

If the Republicans accept his terms, and he becomes Speaker of the House, do you think his family-time request will become mainstream? Could this change our national view on work-life balance?

And because I have to ask – what does this mean for the Republican party?

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171 thoughts on “Look who’s asking for work/life balance

  1. “I say more power to him.”

    +1.

    I also agree with Rhett’s comment about getting a tailor.

  2. +1 to Rhett. Seriously, why can’t the man find a tailor?

    I think it’s like any time you have some power at work (i.e. your boss wants to keep you more than you need the job), you can negotiate better terms.

  3. I’ll be the troll of the day: I think someone who really values family time would live in the same time zone as them. He has been in Congress for 17 years, he has kids that are 10,12, 13 and they still live in Wisconsin. I don’t think it is realistic to expect someone in high public office to be commuting every weekend. Speaker is a job that might be expected to leak into the weekends.

    I think this is a ploy to make the Republican party seem more family-friendly. Maybe even a concerted effort (with Rubio’s plan) to plant that seed.

    I also think this is related to people critical of Marissa Meyer and her in-office nursery at Yahoo. Her choices are not everyone’s choices, her responsibilities are in a different realm than the rank and file employees.

  4. I think it is great that Ryan mentioned the stuff about his family, but it isn’t really work life balance. He will still be working around the clock during the week, but he wants the weekends back to see his family. It sounds like the speaker, and other leaders used the weekends for fundraising for the party. It reminds me of the hours that some of the lawyers on this site have mentioned when they go “part time” and it is just 50 hours a week.

  5. Ada – I’m surprised to hear those criticisms from someone who maintains the work and travel schedules that you and your DH keep up.

    Also, I would say that assuming either party right now is capable of a concerted effort to put out a subconscious message like that is giving them way too much credit.

  6. Argh — L, can’t read that article without registering or subscribing — no matter how I get there, it blocks the page with a pop-up.

  7. “I like this article with the juxtaposition of Ryan’s political views (no paid parental leave! no sick leave! no child care subsidies) with his personal views (I go home on weekends and won’t fly around to fund-raise)”

    Yes, it’s almost like being opposed to school choice and sending your own kids to expensive privates.

  8. Milo – I’m not. Ada has a home base – her home. Paul Ryan’s home base is not his home. It’s Washington. And as Speaker, he’ll be further from his home and more entrenched in Washington. And while I like the idea of work/life balance, I want a Senator who’s going to fight for me. That means he can’t be in my state kissing his kids goodnight – he’s got to be in Washington.

    With the Freedom Caucus saying “we’ll deal with Ryan”, and Ryan getting his demands, yes, the Republicans “look” like they are becoming more family friendly. This sets Rubio up well. My conspiracy theorist imagination can believe this was all a giant ploy to get voters.

  9. Hmm. I have ublock so maybe I’m not getting the same pop-ups? What if you open in an incognito window?

  10. “Yes, it’s almost like being opposed to school choice and sending your own kids to expensive privates.”

    Or buying a house zoned to excellent public schools and opposing school choice.

  11. I get the disconnect with his policies and think that’s worthwhile calling him out on. But to me, the criticism is “why is this good enough for you and not everyone else” — not “why aren’t you devoted enough to your job to spend weekends at it, too?” It’s less like the lawyer going “part-time” at 50 hrs/week, and more like a partner being offered the chance to be managing partner — I think it makes total sense to lay out your boundaries and say, ok, I’ll take the job if it’s 2200 hrs/yr, but not if it’s 2400. Then it’s their decision whether they want you on those terms or not.

    The reality is that people have been negotiating like that for, well, ever — it’s just that the things men negotiated about were money, status, and power. If you ever heard someone talking about taking time off to spend with their family, then you knew it was one of three people: (1) someone who just got canned; (2) someone who was just diagnosed with a deadly disease; or (3) a woman.

    To my mind, adding “time off” to the list of things that men negotiate for (short of imminent death) can only be a good thing.

  12. While I’d love to see Ryan’s request turn into a larger discussion about what everyone deserves, I have little hope that will happen. I do, however, think that when people with those choices actually choose to live a more balanced life, and by doing so force companies or government to facilitate it, it sends the right message. I hope that it becomes so common that the needle will have to move politically in a way that benefits those who don’t have the luxury of negotiating.

  13. My conspiracy theorist imagination can believe this was all a giant ploy to get voters

    Even if it were, and I tend to agree with Milo that’s it’s a subtlety beyond the reach of either party right now, so what? If you have to move to the center to get voters, and it works, isn’t that what politics is? Bill Clinton veered way to the center during his 2nd term, and it was very effective for him in terms of governance.

    I’d like to see more centrist views by both parties, so that government can get on with the business of actually governing.

  14. Ada has a home base – her home. Paul Ryan’s home base is not his home. It’s Washington.

    My understanding is that to get reelected you need to spend a lot of time in your district.

  15. To me his parameter to not work weekends = he’s not going to be fundraising, which is really between him and the Republican Party. It doesn’t sound like he’s missing actual time during the work week doing his job. There are a few people I know that travel every week for work and then fly home on weekends to be with their families so I don’t think this is that odd.

  16. Milo – let’s ask the people of Wisconsin. If he’s able to be Speaker and make it home for the Saturday soccer game, great. But, on the whole, I think the people of Wisconsin want him in DC advocating for them. He chose to run for Senate. He chose to accept the nod for Speaker. He chose to be a father. While all three are awesome choices, sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

    It goes back to the tail end of yesterday’s discussion – drive and the choices couples make for one person to go for the gold while the other makes sure there’s a place to land if failure occurs.

    If he can make his home base Wisconsin and fulfill his duties such that his constituents are happy, then more power to him.

    Now, as others have pointed out – why is this good for him and no one else? And now that the party’s (almost) most powerful representative has requested a modification of his duties, will that change the national view on family time or care?

  17. I put my kids in bed about 50% of the time. Of the nights I miss, 5% is due to (voluntary) work travel, 25% is due to required local work, and 20% is (voluntary) social commitments. I do the morning routine more often than that (which, in our house, is a solid 2 hours of high-quality time, yelling at the kids to hurry up). I am also frequently the adult in charge during daylight hours (I go to school parties, field trips, library story time, etc.). So, I think that is a very different picture than a parent who comes home late Friday night and leaves Sunday afternoon. I think that describing the latter as “good work-life balance” is a bit disingenuous.

    As an aside, I think it is interesting to imagine Mrs. Ryan’s life – she has been on her own every week for nearly her entire marriage. Not what I would choose. (And unlike a military spouse or others with high-travel jobs, it is clearly a choice – she could have relocated to D.C.). Do most Rep/Senator families stay in the home state?

  18. “let’s ask the people of Wisconsin.”

    Just his district. They’ll get a chance to weigh in next November. It wouldn’t be unheard of for them to decide that he’s become too slick and big for his britches–they kicked Cantor out for that. But I suspect they’ll be fine with this arrangement.

    “He chose to run for Senate.”

    He did? That’s news to me.

    “While all three are awesome choices, sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it to.”

    And sometimes you can. I suspect he’ll see his kids at least as often as Obama saw his when he was a senator running for President.

    “why is this good for him and no one else?”

    That’s not the question as I see it. The question is whether the federal government should be in the business of mandating additional employment policies, and weighing the inherent costs and downsides with doing so.

    “will that change the national view on family time or care?”

    It may change slowly, but I doubt it will be because of this. This is a intra-Party decision that 99% of voters neither care nor even know about.

  19. A tidbit – the day Paul Ryan was named as a vice presidential candidate he attended mass at the same service we go to. The secret service was there and his presence was very low key but a few people did say hello to him. We did not see him but heard that he was present.
    I think like Marissa Meyers, Sheryl Sandberg (after the loss of her husband) – it is a powerful individual negotiating the terms of their employment that is more public than other high profile figures. Over the years, there probably have been some trickle down benefits of these negotiations but I feel technology has changed things faster.

  20. I think someone who really values family time would live in the same time zone as them.

    This seems unusually judgmental from you. I know plenty of families where one spouse travels Monday – Friday. I would never describe them as not valuing family time, but it’s what the job called for and the parents decided it was better to make home base be in one place rather than try to follow the traveling spouse around.

    There’s no formula where if you put your kids to bed a certain # of nights you value family time, and if you don’t, you must not.

    I admire Ryan’s stand on this.

  21. I think someone who really values family time would live in the same time zone as them.

    In his defense, I assume he works Monday to Thursday in DC and congress is only in session (I think) 26 weeks a year. It’s possible he sees his family more commuting to WI than if they all lived in DC*.

    * Given DC traffic from homes in good school districts you can afford on $175k a year**.

    ** Mrs. Ryan is heir to a rather substantial trust, which complicates the numbers.

  22. Also, I think it’s very politically savvy to send a message to the House Republicans that they need him more than he needs them. That detachment can be a very powerful tool. I admire that aspect of it, as well.

  23. “Over the years, there probably have been some trickle down benefits of these negotiations but I feel technology has changed things faster.”

    I agree. Somehow I don’t think Paul Ryan’s deal for a better work/life balance will have that much effect on the masses. Like Marissa Meyers and others, It’s more about how a powerful person can negotiate for what he wants.

    I also think that many “big” jobs will continue to require one parent to devote most time to his career while the supporting spouse holds down the fort.

  24. This seems unusually judgmental from you.

    She did preface it with: “I’ll be the troll of the day:”

  25. My understanding is that to get reelected you need to spend a lot of time in your district.

    No you don’t. Most districts are non-competitive, so all you have to do to get re-elected is not be involved in a scandal of some sort. And even in a competitive district, I’m sure the amount of time the rep has spent in the district is very low on the decision factors for most voters. Most people just vote party line, and the rest are interested in how the person voted in congress, where they stand on the issues, etc.

  26. “’While all three are awesome choices, sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it to.’

    And sometimes you can.”

    I’m with Milo on this. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. If you ask and they want you enough, maybe they’ll look at their criteria to see whether they really need all that stuff or if there’s another way to do it. And that’s how change happens.

    When I was a kid, there were very very few female obstetricians, because childbirth is unpredictable, and so conventional wisdom was that if you wanted to be married and have kids, choose something else. Somehow over the past 40 years, someone figured out that a bunch of women could go in together into a practice and have predictable hours and schedules. Now there are a lot of female obstetricians.

    I think Maya Angelou is the one who said when you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always gotten. Or, as my demotivational poster says, Tradition: just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.

    I am in no way a Paul Ryan fan politically. But I respect him for this. It’s the people who dare to ask the question who might just change the game. Or not — no guarantees. But if people like him don’t push the conversation, then the people without that kind of power have zero chance of anything different.

  27. I feel technology has changed things faster

    I’ve noticed an interesting trend where “face time/being in the office” has come to mean showing as available or in a meeting on IM.

  28. “Do most Rep/Senator families stay in the home state?”

    Did Al Gore grow up doing chores on the farm in Tennessee, the farm where he kicked off his Presidential campaign in front of a few mules he had rented for the occasion, or did he grow up living in a fancy hotel suite attending St. Albans as the son of a senator?

  29. I don’t think it is unusual for the spouse to not relocate. This can be for any number of reasons from home prices, to interrupting the kids’ educations.
    I know of a case where an executive got paid relocation to London and his spouse agreed to relocate with their kids for two years. In a couple of months she didn’t like it and returned to the U.S. He was forced to commute frequently to see his family though there was the unspoken feeling that she could have stuck it out for two years.

  30. or did he grow up living in a fancy hotel suite

    In his defense he was 9 when the first 707 went into commercial service.

  31. “Like Marissa Meyers and others, It’s more about how a powerful person can negotiate for what he wants.”

    The important part is the fact that stuff like this goes on the list of “what he wants.”

    Re: residence: well, doesn’t he have to maintain his home base in his district in order to keep his job? Presumably, he could ship his family east when Congress is in session, but given school-age kids + the funky Congressional schedule, that means yanking the kids in and out of school. Since most people want to keep their kids in one school for the school year, and since he has to have a home in his district, it makes total sense to me that the family stays in WI and he commutes.

    Also, even without kids in school, pols do need to go home on weekends to press the flesh and meet constituents, etc. (which, I think, is what the M-Th schedule is designed to enable). Ryan is just being asked to step into a different situation, because the Speaker is a national role vs. a local one — so instead of flying home for rubber chicken, he’d be expected to fly to CA or TX or wherever. And that’s the “add-on” part that he said no thanks to.

  32. Ryan is in a very competitive district, so he needs serious face time there. No way he could move to Washington and get re-elected.

  33. Maybe he was so inspired, he joined the movement and is too busy to comment. He’s wearing his red cap right now.

  34. ““’While all three are awesome choices, sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it to.’

    And sometimes you can.”

    I’m with Milo on this.”

    LfB & Milo – I do agree with both of you. I’m just taking the other stance on this issue. Personally, I don’t think Ryan’s request won’t change a damn thing, but the press it got was pretty substantial. And if he thinks he can do it, more power to him. Truly. Obviously it’s worked so far.

  35. This Ryan thing and negotiating terms of job positions is hitting home. A friend posted on FB how upset she was she received a small raise (she felt she should have received more). Of course people came with the “well at least you got a raise” counter. But then she writes “I don’t know how companies expect to keep workers when they aren’t fairly compensated”. Oh Lord, she needs the Totebag…

    I kept out of it, but she missed all the non-monetary benefits she has (and she praises to high heaven online all the damn time), and she missed that she had the ability to negotiate when she took the job. I know she took a pay cut to get a better commute and more family time, but if she didn’t ask for more money on the onset…

  36. I’m no fan of Ryan’s politics, but I think he is a good guy and like that he is doing this. Some families move to DC, but I think more stay in their home state. Biden used to take the train back and forth every day. Not an easy thing to do. Definitely took time away from his job. He could have moved the family to DC, but thought it was better to keep his kids in their house. Reps and Senators aren’t in DC all of the time and probably can spend more than half their time in their home state if that is what they want.

  37. Adding on to Cat’s point, I think that’s what we want, ideally, as voters. We want representatives who are still familiar with the districts they represent and the issues their constituents face (as much as possible, at least). That’s why I was surprised to hear the sort of criticism that says “Who the Hell does he think he is, telling other politicians that he’s not going to spend so much time traveling around fundraising for his party, and that he’d rather spend more time in his home district? And why hasn’t he moved his whole family inside the Beltway? He’s got some chutzpah, I tell you!”

  38. “I’d like to see more centrist views by both parties, so that government can get on with the business of actually governing.”

    Preach!

    I also agree with Laura that this is a negotiation, and that it is only good to see a powerful man standing up for balance, even if it is just that he doesn’t want to attend fundraisers in DC on Saturday nights. Even if it were an elaborate conspiracy, that means that the Republican party actually believes that the way to win is to nod to work/life balance and work/family issues. Isn’t that progress?

  39. I didn’t think it was unusual to read about his schedule because I know people that routinely are not home during the week. My DH often travels for a week at a time. He was away 50% of the weekdays this month, but it usually averages about 25%. I use to do this too – at least once a month. I know it would be different if my DH were away all of the time instead of an average of just one week a month. I have friends with spouses that work for Accenture or McKinsey, and they aren’t usually home during the week.

    The people I used to work with in investment banking were sitting in NYC, but they rarely went home at night before 9 or 10, so they didn’t see their families at night during the week.

  40. I find the lifestyles of senators and reps, especially junior ones, fascinating. A friend of mine (who was in law school at the time) lived next to Obama when he was a junior senator. Obama’s rental definitely wasn’t his home base. It was a flop house where he stayed as little as possible. I guess it makes sense, particularly if there isn’t a lot of family money or money made in business prior to entering politics, but one would think these jobs would be a little more glamorous. But in reality, they seem like not a lot of fun. I have a hard time understanding why anyone is drawn to that sort of thing other than for the ego stroking.

  41. Ivy – if they turned that into a reality show, I’d watch it. Multiple houses,different sets of reps in each home. It’s almost like who you’d get to vote onto the island…

  42. “There are a few people I know that travel every week for work and then fly home on weekends to be with their families”

    E.g., someone here we all ‘know?’

  43. “why is this good for him and no one else?”

    Because he made it a priority, to the point of not taking the job if he didn’t get it.

    Obviously it helped that he put himself in the driver’s seat to dictate job conditions, but his willingness to not take the job if the conditions weren’t satisfactory to him separated him from candidates willing to do whatever it took to get the job.

  44. Rhode, you should be watching Alpha House then, because its premise was inspired by that news item. It is fictionalized rather than a reality show, though. But it’s very funny.

  45. I think putting it out into the public sphere that work-life balance is an issue for men as well as women is good for everyone. I don’t think it will bring about a dramatic change, but it may, at lower levels, make people more accepting of the idea that it is okay to ask for it.

    And does anyone else find it odd that someone would complain about raises on FB? I’m subjected to pics of people’s roast beef or whatever, so my feed is not more exciting. That just seems like something many people would consider private. Or is my concept of private a marker of my age?

  46. I assumed that Ryan was throwing his whole kitchen sink list of conditions in the hopes that the Freedom Caucus wouldn’t agree to get behind him and he could gracefully turn down a job he didn’t want with the appearance that he offered to serve but the party wouldn’t unite behind him. But it didn’t work — they were desperate enough to mostly accept his conditions.

  47. HM – that was my thought as well. That was my ploy to avoid moving when my husband’s company wanted to transfer him to Houston.

  48. “And does anyone else find it odd that someone would complain about raises on FB?”

    Nope. Very odd. I am more open about finances here than IRL (including FB) because I have some anonymity. But this is also the same women who loves to tell us how great she is because she breastfeeds and uses cloth diapers. So I think this was her way of trying to relate to us hooligans.

    HM – just read this article today. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-winship/the-paradox-of-paul-ryan_b_8402648.html I wonder if now that he has the job, he’s at the point of “you asked for it”

  49. I think some people use FB as their own personal diaries. It is both horrifying and awesome. And much better than the women (always women, never men) with their stupid MLM “businesses.” No, I don’t want your Plexus, or wraps or spider eye lashes. And I know that you are #blessed because you can stay home with your kids and not have them in a dirty daycare while still not being a SAHM (a/k/a Sick of Asking Husband for Money), but please STFU with the 3 posts a day about your life changing conversion of joining a pyramid scheme.

  50. “Or, as my demotivational poster says, Tradition: just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.”

    Love it!

  51. The second paragraph of the article in Rhode’s link suggests why Ryan’s suits don’t fit. It describes him as ‘body building,’ which suggests that perhaps he used to fit his suits, but he has not been able to maintain his size, perhaps due to a lack of time dedicated to maintaining that.

  52. I don’t see much difference between the politicians for the two parties. Virtually all politicians are the statistical upper middle class and they disproportionately have a background in law (vs. engineering in China) and family wealth. Paul Ryan appears to be young and likable- that’s probably a good thing for the Republicans.

    I don’t view the difference between the parties as their level of support for work-life balance on an individual level. They may differ in their view of the role that government should play in mandating a minimum level of work-life balance. Should city bus drivers be entitled to an adequate lactation break schedule by law, or will their babies have to use formula? If they are entitled to pump by law, can they use a hands-free pumping option and still drive the bus or is that an OSHA violation? (A pediatrician of my acquaintance pumps during her commute through Portland with the auto adapter.) If they can’t pump hands-free while driving the bus, do all the people who want to ride the bus have to wait till the driver’s lactation break is over and be late for work? Or, when Mr. Ryan is in Washington, is our world a better place because Mrs. Ryan has to pack up all the kids and load/unload them while she picks up a gallon of milk, because the best possible use of our tax dollars is to fund CPS agents to threaten anyone willing to leave children alone in a vehicle with a criminal record. Such a reprobate should never chaperone a school field trip again.

    I want to support a party that won’t pass any new legislation until all the outdated/broken/no longer enforced laws are fixed. There are too many laws already and their implementation is too convoluted.

  53. Complete off-topic — I am co-lead on a project with a guy (a peer, same level as me, different area of expertise, so we teamed up). We did some work on a fixed fee, used about 2/3 of the budget on the initial investigation and writeup, then I had to step out for other stuff while he did a few follow-up things we couldn’t do on the first visit. He just sent out an email saying, hey, the client wants a new budget for next year’s work — and btw, we’re about 50% over on the fixed fee and still haven’t wrapped it all up yet, so what do you want to do, bill her for it, or split it 50/50, or what?

    I am livid. Somehow I managed to get 90% of the work done within 70% of the budget, and then he goes off unchaperoned and spends the same amount in “wrap-up” work — and doesn’t tell me, or the client’s “keeper,” or, God forbid, the CLIENT. How big of an idiot do you need to be? That was a discussion for August — gee, we’d love to do this extra work you asked for, but that’s outside the scope of the fixed fee, so do you want us to set up a new matter for it? Now we’re F’d. AARRGGHHH.

  54. “Do most Rep/Senator families stay in the home state?”

    I think so. The rep doesn’t want to look like he is part of the DC establishment – he is an outsider only coming to Washington to fix things! And think of those stories about reps living in their offices, or sharing apartments with other reps.

  55. “To me his parameter to not work weekends = he’s not going to be fundraising, which is really between him and the Republican Party.”

    That raises a good question. What IS the job description of the Speaker? Is it written down?

  56. LfB– was that a Venusian rant, i.e., just venting, as opposed to asking for suggestions on how to proceed?

  57. Cat, I’m always stunned when people I thought were well-educated join MLM businesses.

    I’m just glad I haven’t run into anyone selling a plexus, because I have no idea what that is.

    As for Paul Ryan, good for him. I assumed it was an effort to avoid getting the job, though.

  58. “was that a Venusian rant”

    LOL.

    I think I ran into that issue with DW yesterday morning. She was having a Venusian rant about something work-related, and I said “Well, why didn’t you just ask him to ____ in your email?” And she read me the email she had just sent which had a very Venusian way of beating around the bush, and I said “But you didn’t actually ask him to____” to which she responded “He should understand that when I keep saying _______, clearly he should know not to _______” and I said “And clearly he doesn’t, so why don’t you just ask him to _______”

  59. @Finn, yeah, Venusian. As far as I’m concerned we eat the overage, because we didn’t manage it appropriately with the client up front, and you nevereverever surprise a client after the fact with something like this. I’m just really angry at the cluelessness — it’s an entirely avoidable loss.

    Damn I hate lawyers.

  60. @Milo — that’s an excellent way of turning her annoyance from him to you. :-)

    With engineer-DH-who-exists-only-to-solve-problems, I had to learn to say “I need to vent, so please just listen, I don’t need advice.”

  61. LfB, it’s just lucky you’re at the same level, because that’ll blunt his inevitable attempt to write off your time instead of his time.

  62. WCE,

    What is your proposed solution?

    Pumping while driving the bus or stopping the bus to pump isn’t a reasonable accommodation. Is your objection that the term reasonable accommodation isn’t more clearly defined?

    I assume you agree the law should get involved if someone leaves a carload of kids parked outside a casino for 12 hours. Is your objection that we don’t have a firm number?

    It seems to me your primary objection is that human systems engineering isn’t as cut and dried as chip fabrication engineering. Making laws (aka human systems engineering) would be like doing your job when each chip is sentient and his its own agenda.

  63. Cat- What – no one who has had all their ills cured by essential oils?

    LfB – the same thing happens in other lines of work with billable hours. I feel your pain.

  64. “With engineer-DH-who-exists-only-to-solve-problems, I had to learn to say “I need to vent, so please just listen, I don’t need advice.””

    Male engineers tend to be very manly.

  65. And yet they went with a cowboy for the Marlboro Man instead of an engineer, go figure.

  66. “that’s an excellent way of turning her annoyance from him to you. :-)”

    yeah, it was good that I just left for work. And I’m far, far, FAR from being a good source of advice on work politics, but God, why not just SAY what you actually MEAN there?!?!

  67. Ivy – oh yes! Mainly cancer, but sleep apnea and measles, too.

    And then the other half of my facebook friends clamor for the FDA to really nail DoTerra. It is like a battle of good v evil.

  68. Rhett, I would leave the accommodation up to the employer, the way it is now in practice. One of my frustrations about these types of laws is that unless you have the resources to sue your employer (or your landlord for housing discrimination, etc.), they don’t really protect you. Refer to the NY Times article on parents of kids with diabetes whose public schools are not accommodating. If you’re going to pass a law, it needs to have funding for implementation and enforcement. So I don’t think these laws protect the vulnerable and create hassle for good employers who try to follow them. Bad employers just ignore them.

    I’m grumpy because Mr. WCE wouldn’t let me leave the kids in the minivan while he was returning a battery for the core charge and I needed to pick up an avocado for Baby WCE, because he’s afraid of losing our kids to CPS. The risk (90% of our police blotter is noise complaints about drunken, partying college students) is minimal, in both our opinions.

  69. Rhett, I would leave the accommodation up to the employer,

    Most people don’t want that. That being the case how would you deal with it assuming it was your job to resolve it and you wanted to keep your boss (i.e. your voters) happy?

  70. “Virtually all politicians are the statistical upper middle class and they disproportionately have a background in law (vs. engineering in China) and family wealth.”

    I disagree. My perception is that some politicians who, as you mention, come from family wealth, are wealthy beyond UMC, and that more than 1% of politicians at the national level are from the 1%.

    Locally, we have the excessive representation of the legal profession, but we also have a lot of people who come from labor. Of course, many of the politicians who are lawyers are also connected with labor. My guess is that many politicians also have strong ties to big business.

    I agree with you that this narrow representation is not a good thing. In our state leg, there is one CPA , and the leg seems to lean very heavily on him during budgetary deliberations, giving him a disproportionate amount of power, which could be mitigated by having other CPAs in the leg. Similarly, the one MD has disproportionate power WRT legislation affecting health care.

  71. “And yet they went with a cowboy for the Marlboro Man instead of an engineer, go figure.”

    Perhaps because they wanted a broad appeal, not just to the very manly men.

    Or perhaps even back then, engineers tended to not smoke. As WCE might say, they determined that cigarettes were a non-optimal deployment of financial resources.

  72. Rhett, I would leave the accommodation up to the employer, the way it is now in practice. One of my frustrations about these types of laws is that unless you have the resources to sue your employer (or your landlord for housing discrimination, etc.), they don’t really protect you

    Sure they do – the implied threat of a lawsuit and all the general hassle and risk that entails results in employers taking the far easier road of letting you pump in the telecom closet.

  73. I would make it more like an EEOC claim. If you think your employer is screwing you, you file a claim with an agency and let them investigate. They then decide whether there is a viable claim or not. Guidelines for what is reasonable can be issued (nursing mother gets 30 mins/2x/day for pumping during an 8 hour shift). Employee’s burden to prove unreasonableness if guideline has been met. And throw in some treble damages for non-compliance.

  74. WCE, I initially read that to mean you had to get the avocado or lose the baby to CPS :)

    Obviously I need a nap!

    Cat, I’ve made a list of things that qualify people to be hidden on my feed:
    – MLM schemes
    – more than one post per week with a picture of a meal, unless on a very exotic vacation or a professional chef
    – essential oils
    – political posts of the “and everyone who disagrees with me on this is evil” variety
    – more than one post per week that is whining, unless about the first newborn or a life-threatening illness.

  75. Sky, please add “Daughters hold a special place in your heart for all your life. Share this post if you have a daughter who means the world to you.”

    and

    “Cancer is a terrible disease, and it’s a horrible thing to watch someone suffering from it. Most people who read this don’t give a damn, but if you do, re-post this as your status.”

  76. I totally think this is just to make the Republican party seem more warm and fuzzy. It is a ploy to attract women voters. See! They have a family friendly Speaker!

  77. Cat, how many complaints with the EEOC get a legitimate investigation? I filed a complaint with the state about a fetal genetics company that is violating medical billing contract guidelines and I’m pretty sure it went into a black hole.

    I’m not an attorney, so my opinions are not well-grounded. I appreciate the corrections/feedback.

    I suppose laws about children in a car should involve the outside temperature, duration the child(ren) was observed in the car, time of day and location. An elementary school child in no evident distress with an outside temperature between 40 and 80 F for up to 30 min should be ignored. No record of the complaint should be kept unless the complaint is determined to be a legitimate violation, which puts the burden of proof on CPS, not the parent.

  78. “The risk (90% of our police blotter is noise complaints about drunken, partying college students) is minimal, in both our opinions.”

    It depends on how you define risk.

    If you look at expected cost (including emotional cost) of losing kids times rate of losing kids (i.e., in probability terms, expected value), even a 10% chance could be quite risky.

  79. An elementary school child in no evident distress with an outside temperature between 40 and 80 F for up to 30 min should be ignored.

    At 30:01 a full investigation?

  80. WCE: “I want to support a party that won’t pass any new legislation until all the outdated/broken/no longer enforced laws are fixed. There are too many laws already and their implementation is too convoluted.”

    Rhett: “Sure they do – the implied threat of a lawsuit and all the general hassle and risk that entails results in employers taking the far easier road of letting you pump in the telecom closet.”

    And here we have the west coast rural denizen and east coast urbanite having no common frame of reference.

    As will surprise no one, I am in agreement with WCE.

  81. “I suppose laws about children in a car should involve the outside temperature, duration the child(ren) was observed in the car, time of day and location.”

    No, that’s way too complex. When I was in college, if you were part of the group that was running the summer fun for the incoming freshmen, every day had a certain WBGTI rating (wet bulb globe temperature index) that determined how strenuous you could make their physical activities. They’ve since air conditioned the dorms.

    There should just be one age at which the child can be left alone (which would presume the ability to open the door or lower the windows in hot weather), and another slightly older age when a child can be responsible for a younger child. This age can also work for being home alone, or walking to the park, or walking to school. Keep it simple and clearly defined. There’s too much that’s left open to the interpretation and discretion of unelected bureaucrats.

  82. From my understanding, if there is jurisdiction, all claims get some type of investigation/response. Not my legal bailiwick, though. Maybe someone here knows more? I have dealt with them only from the corp angle when there is a takeover going on, and no one is very happy when there are multiple outstanding claims that seem similar.

  83. Milo, I think leaving a child alone for a few minutes, while you pick up a gallon of milk or a pizza, is different from leaving a child alone for hours at a casino. In Oregon, I think CPS does a pretty good job of focusing on the important stuff, in part due to lack of funding. But like the schools in poor areas receive the fewest dollars, the CPS in neediest areas often gets the least funding. This results in an overly aggressive CPS in Silver Springs and heartbreaking stories in rural Alaska.

    When I disagree with Ada on government policy, I think of the levels of abuse she probably is exposed to and feel (with my ever-so-unfeeling engineering heart) where she’s coming from.

  84. “they determined that cigarettes were a non-optimal deployment of financial resources.”

    Snort.

    “how many complaints with the EEOC get a legitimate investigation?”

    @WCE — all of them get reviewed, because they have a very specific process for handling them that Cat laid out. Which in the end means I think both of you are right — the problem is vague, prohibitor laws without either detailed standards/guidance or a clear process to investigate/enforce problems.

  85. Rhett – 8 and 11 for generally being alone in the Target parking lot or staying home alone. But I’m going to revise my earlier statement in recognition of what WCE said about running in for two minutes to pick up a pizza or a gallon of milk from 7-Eleven or dry cleaning, or to use an ATM, all when the car is generally in sight. In such cases, there would be no age minimum.

  86. Cat – these still seem too convoluted in their distinctions:

    “9 to 10 years : Should not be left alone for more than 1 ½ hours and only during daylight and early evening hours.”

    So it depends on the month, and status of daylight savings time? 5 pm is good today, but less so next week? What’s early evening? 5? 7? 8?

    “•11 to 12 years : May be left alone for up to 3 hours, but not late at night or in circumstances requiring adult supervision.”

    Seems like a perfect example of begging the question. When can they be left alone? When they don’t require adult supervision.

  87. To be guilty of a vague CPS complaint, maybe you need to be tried by a jury of your peers. :)

  88. Since I am a rule follower, I would err on the side of caution.

    But, really, I think it is tough to craft airtight guidelines when talking about the welfare of children. There is too much gray area.

  89. It’s no wonder children are lacking in outside time, if parents in Arlington can’t leave them in the yard alone until they are 8. We fenced our yard mostly for the dog but partly to keep our young children out of the (one-lane) street.

  90. Busy all day, but here are my thoughts on the original topic.

    1. Paul Ryan’s life is no different from the life of many consultants who are out of the house 5 nights a week and whose families stay anchored in one congenial place, almost always in a large home with a stay at home or part time work from home parent and a fair amount of household help/outsourcing. Adding the traveling/fundraising duties traditionally associated with Speaker of the House would change that life considerably.
    2. Paul Ryan lost his father as a young teenager (IIRC). His commitment to seeing his kids regularly within the context of his chosen profession is confirmation of the general impression he has made that he is not in her personal life a douche and has sound values. So are most of the people I know IRL, but politicians don’t have that reputation.
    3. Paul Ryan has some family money, (and possibly earned some on his own before joining Congress – he is pretty young), which means that he has resources other than his government salary to cover the costs to maintain his chosen lifestyle.
    4. I agree with HM that he really didn’t want the job, but accepted the call and negotiated the terms. I expect he was 50-50 on whether the Freedom Caucus caved in. That is also unusual for a politician.
    5. I doubt there is any grand plan to woo women generated by Republican strategists. If one wants to assume that strings are being pulled, the puppet masters of all ideological stripes, who often work to the same ends if not in actual concert, want a US government that functions well enough to preserve commerce and banking. Ryan is a good interim choice as Speaker. He might just have to run for the Senate to get out of the job if no suitable candidate can be groomed quickly.

  91. So it’s fine to leave an 8 year old in a car in the Target parking lot all day while you drink at the bar across the street?

  92. Oh — @Milo: thought of you — recently saw a tiny house hunter episode that was awesome — her options were the cute/modern/trendy “tiny house”; the alternative cute/trendy DIY yurt concept; and a ’70s-era 5th wheel, with the earth tones and plaid and all that. And she chose the 5th wheel!

  93. Rhett – I would expect that truancy laws would come in to play in that case.

    If you’re going to talk about during summer vacation, while it’s not ideal, is it any worse than leaving them home to watch TV all day while you are at the bar? Maybe, maybe not but in any event I don’t think it’s a matter for the government at that point.

  94. Rhett – I would expect that truancy laws would come in to play in that case.

    It was a Saturday and in the summer.

  95. I know that fifth wheels are great for maximizing space and distributing load, but they always look so ugly to me. I hope I did not insult to many total baggers with that comment.

  96. but in any event I don’t think it’s a matter for the government at that point.

    When does it become a matter for the government? 24 hours, 48 hours? You said an 11 year old should be able to watch younger children. For a day, a week, a month, a year?

  97. Rhett – What would your objection be based on? I don’t think that it’s unsafe. Obviously, it’s not something we would want for any kids, but do we want the kids of the Chinese takeout place owners hanging out there for 10 hours a day? Should CPS take them away?

  98. Reasonable standards for duration are fine, as long as they leave them in very specific terms of hours, not mucking them up with vague caveats.

  99. What would your objection be based on?

    What would my objection be to a mom running off with her new boyfriend and leaving an 11 year old to take care of 2 year old twins for several month?

  100. Reasonable standards for duration are fine,

    What would your reasonable duration standard be?

  101. Right, you said it wasn’t a problem. And I asked at what point, specifically, you feel it would become a problem?

  102. “What would your reasonable duration standard be?”

    How about, for an 11-year-old, no more than eight consecutive hours between the hours of 5 AM and 7 PM. No more than four consecutive hours between 7 PM and 2 AM. Not at all between 2 AM and 5 AM.

  103. Why not? Republicans like strictly defined limits on government, and Democrats don’t like bureaucrats harassing disadvantage minorities. It should go through just fine.

  104. LfB – Maybe you just want to vent about neighbor’s dog but one of my neighbors put a “Curb your Dog” sign on his lawn. There was also a rumor brought home by my kids that the yard was being watched for any offenders. After a maybe two weeks the problem being solved, the sign came down.

  105. Milo,

    Let me get this straight. 8 year olds can be left alone in a parked car for 8 hours a day every day? And you think most people are fine with that?

  106. If I had acreage and a walkie-talkie, I would let an 8 year old leave my line of sight for, say, the four hours from breakfast to lunch to go play with friends. Most of us were allowed to do that.

    Maybe there could be some standard specific to vehicles to avoid the overheating death risk, but the gamblers who lock their kids in the car here just switched to locking the kids in the house or hotel room, and get caught less often.

  107. but the gamblers who lock their kids in the car here just switched to locking the kids in the house or hotel room

    Isn’t that vastly superior to being locked in a car?

  108. Rhett – there are a lot of things that I’m not “ok with” that I don’t think the government should restrict. I’m not ok with 14 yo’s having sex, but I don’t think the government should intervene. They should intervene when 10 yo’s are engaging in sex acts.

    If I’m ok with an 8 yo staying home for 8 hours alone, or walking to the library alone, or walking to Math Camp alone, then how can I say that they can’t be at Target alone?

  109. I will say this – our friends, two upstanding citizens with Totebagger jobs left their 10 yr old in charge of younger siblings ages around 7 yrs and 5 yrs in a hotel room in New Orleans while they went out not only to dinner but after as well. They were the same parents who were berated by doctors for not bringing their eldest to the emergency room when he had a lot of trouble breathing after a field trip. Turns out he had a pollen allergy.
    In the home country, I did walk home from school but I was followed by perverts a couple of times and was terrified.
    While, I am all for more freedom for kids, I do believe in laws to protect kids from unintended consequences.

  110. Milo,

    Two points:

    1. It’s a public nussiance.

    2. Given the choice would you like to be confined to your home or locked in the Acura?

    At least for me, watching The Price is Right all summer while your parents work is great. Locking them in a car crosses the line into something that should be prohibited by law. If we’re talking about likely voters, I’m certain at least 80% of them would agree wi me re: an 8 year old. 50% of them (at least) not at all comfortable with leaving an 8 year old in a comfortable missle class home with a full fridge and ample cable package, all day, all summer.

  111. I don’t think any child of any age should be forced to stay in a car on a regular basis for more than the time it takes to run a quick errand (something like running in to the post office to mail a package). But I am certain I can be convinced that it is ok under certain circumstances for a child to be left for a longer period. I think that is the challenge with writing these laws/recommendations/enforcement. Ideally, the investigation threshold should be fairly low to catch most causes of abuse/neglect and the conviction threshold should be high. How you write a law/guidance that does this is really difficult.

  112. left their 10 yr old in charge of younger siblings ages around 7 yrs and 5 yrs in a hotel room in New Orleans while they went out not only to dinner but after as well

    Under our current system the basic issue is: If the 5 year old falls off the balcony is it considered an accident or are the parents charged with reckless endangerment, manslaughter, etc. Our current system says – it depends. Milo and WCE (no longer allowed to call themselves conservatives) favor a complete overthrow of our current millennia old system.

  113. Louise – you made me think of something I had forgotten about, I was about 12 and walking probably 1/2 a mile to the morning school bus stop and was flashed by a middle-aged man. It was scary as it was at a point in the walk that was a short-cut between two neighborhoods, along a creek. I was stunned and just kept walking as if I didn’t notice and wasn’t followed or anything. My mom called the police that night and reported it. I kept walking that way to the bus stop for the next few years, if you didn’t take the short-cut the walk was way too long. Thinking about it now my mom was a SAHM and could have driven me to the bus stop if not school, but I don’t think it occurred to either of us. Didn’t have another problem but I wouldn’t let my daughter walk that way again if something like that happened.

  114. That said, it’s more than a balcony fall. The issue is: If something gets noticed, how does the issue get escalated? Security, the front desk, the manager on duty, the cops, CPS, the DA, etc.

  115. “Milo and WCE (no longer allowed to call themselves conservatives) favor a complete overthrow of our current millennia old system.”

    LOL!

    You know, sometimes in the competing interests of conversation and brevity, I might stake out a position that isn’t entirely tenable under closer scrutiny. It should be interpreted more in the spirit in which it was offered, if not the legal specifics. :)

    Also, I’m currently listening to Sons of Wichita, so if my sociopolitical stances lean a bit Libertarian (or Bircher) in the next couple weeks, there’s a justification.

    DW’s grandmother passed away today, quietly, peacefully in her sleep. DW is glad we saw her a couple of weeks ago, even though it was only for the day. And there’s absolutely no need to respond with 20 “so sorrys.” DW’s sad, but doing fine. This is the first time I’ve known someone to die when it wasn’t predictable in terms of “they’re really failing now, it’s only a matter of time, just keeping them comfortable.” It was as unexpected a death as one can have at 90, and that’s not a bad way to go.

  116. “With engineer-DH-who-exists-only-to-solve-problems, I had to learn to say “I need to vent, so please just listen, I don’t need advice.” ”

    I am not an engineer, but DW has had to learn to say the same thing. But I am getting better…I think.

  117. When I was about 8, I stayed home sick from school. My mom had some appointment/meeting/whatever and so she left me home alone. We heated the house with a wood stove. At some point, I put more wood into the stove, but failed to close the latch completely. The house filled with smoke. I shut the latch, and opened the doors and windows to get the smoke out of the house. Soon the house was smoky and freezing. I remember crying for my mom, and being old enough to realize that crying for her was useless, because I was home alone. I don’t often think about that day, but today’s conversation brought it up.

  118. Milo, not to be insensitive, but have you really gotten to your mid 30s with no one dying from a car crash, suicide, accident or misadventure?

  119. Oh, a couple. And a couple of military plane crashes, and one Taliban sniper. I guess I meant from natural causes.

  120. From Cat’s link on the Arlington, VA child-alone guidelines:
    English “How young is too young to be left alone?”
    Spanish ¿Soy Yo Demasiado Joven Para Estar Solo En Casa? (translation: Am I too young to be left alone at home?)

    I just always find it interesting that exact translations are so often missing. In this case the Spanish version gets the point across, but someone fluent in Spanish wouldn’t translate it that way.

  121. Fred,

    Is it a fluency issue? The “how young” vs.. “Am I too young ” phrasing seems more cultural.

  122. My sons would prefer to read their library books when I run into a store for a few minutes vs. coming in with me. They can lock/unlock the car at will. It doesn’t bother me if other people think that’s terrible parenting; it’s more the idea that people need to be free to smoke marijuana, have their STD’s/addictions treated at taxpayer expense, abort their fetuses, etc. but the freedom to sit in the car and read a library book is going too far.

  123. Milo, not to be insensitive, but have you really gotten to your mid 30s with no one dying from a car crash, suicide, accident or misadventure?

    I’ve made it to my mid-40s without it.

  124. “I’ve made it to my mid-40s without it.”

    It depends how close we’re talking. No family or close friends.

  125. Attended grandmother’s funeral at age seven. Wake was at home. I’ve attended a few more funerals at home but now things have changed. Funeral homes/directors have entered the picture. Instead of full meals at the house, mourners are now presented with a catered sandwich box. That’s progress.

  126. I agree, Cat. I only watched about 20 minutes of it, and my first reaction was that CNBC had the most biased and hostile panel of “moderators” ever assembled. Cruz nailed them. I also thought Rubio had a strong response to the attendance question, and seeing that and his response to Jeb’s subsequent, related cheap shot, finally made me agree with the point that these things will make the nominee stronger in the general.

    I guess I picked the right 20 minutes, according to this mornings news coverage. I’m happy to see that the press agrees about CNBC.

  127. it’s more the idea that people need to be free to smoke marijuana

    Kids in the car are fine but certain plants in the car warrant prison?

  128. Cat, how many complaints with the EEOC get a legitimate investigation?

    Ha. My DH would argue that the EEOC is ridiculously overstaffed. I was about to add another comment but I think I’ll just leave it there.

  129. Moxie – I could very well be one of the customers for that. I inherited a smoker from someone who was moving to the city; it was the big, drum kind with a firebox on the side. When I made baby back ribs and pork shoulder, it took the entire day–and way too much charcoal–keeping the fire going. I was not happy. I gave the smoker to my neighbor.

    My uncle is a barbecue expert, and when he hosts an event, he takes several days off work beforehand, runs the smoker the entire time, sleeping on the couch with an alarm that wakes him every two hours to check on the fire. Of course, the results are un-f&*)ing-believably good. He also does this for Thanksgiving, smoking turkeys and a few other things.

    Alton Brown’s contraption consisted of a homemade wooden box with a few holes, and two electric hot plates each heating a cast iron skillet filled with wood chips. That did the job, too.

  130. @Moxiemom – I thought a lot of the fun was building all those home made contraptions for BBQ.
    For the record, I don’t like the Carolinas style vinegar based sauces. I prefer Kansas City style.

  131. There’s a video on youtube of some guy trying to replicate Brown’s homemade smoker. He had lots of trouble. For starters, it’s quite hard to find large enough flower pots that are made of clay rather than plastic. And even the big ones don’t accommodate the heating element well; he had to cut the hot plate apart and rewire it to get it to fit. Overall it seemed more sensible to just buy a smoker. And I was going to do that last spring, until I really started investigating how much of a PITA it is, and how much you have to hover, and decided I’d just stick with my sous vide and my grill.

  132. My uncle is a barbecue expert, and when he hosts an event, he takes several days off work beforehand, runs the smoker the entire time, sleeping on the couch with an alarm that wakes him every two hours to check on the fire.

    That is a man on a mission!

  133. You know, I bought a $50 electric smoker from HD, and it worked fine for my non-competition needs. It had a temperature control, so I just needed to check the wood chips periodically.

    Of course, I am also a total BBQ slut and will happily eat pulled pork from the Carolinas, pork ribs from TN/Alabama, Texas brisket and sausage, you name it. My favorite is probably the NC pulled pork sandwich, with the vinegar sauce and coleslaw on top (and some hush puppies on the side). But, really, none of it sucks.

    I liked the article, too. My favorite method now for an indoor roast is the Alton Brown super-low-heat approach: you take any kind of beef roast, cook it at about 250 for hours, yank it out when the temp reaches I think 117, let it sit for at least 30 mins, then whack it in a super-hot oven for 15-20 mins to get the brown crust, taking it out again at 125. It makes SUCH a tender roast, and it’s evenly-cooked pink throughout (no ring of grey around a red center). So it’s basically indoor BBQ without the smoke, with the low-and-slow.

  134. The homes are very close together in my neighborhood, and my neighbors have a smoker. There is a home in between, but the back of my house filled with a smokey smell. I didnt call the fire department because I went outside and I saw that he was cooking. So many other people called the fire department because it was windy and there was so much smoke. The fire dept asked him to lay off the smoker for a while.

    This is the same family that I’ve discussed before – raccoons in the garbage, no helmets, no car child safety seats etc. They are here from Egypt. This is almost their third year in the US after living in Italy for several years so they should be aware of some of this stuff by now.

  135. Attended grandmother’s funeral at age seven. Wake was at home. I’ve attended a few more funerals at home but now things have changed. Funeral homes/directors have entered the picture. Instead of full meals at the house, mourners are now presented with a catered sandwich box. That’s progress.

    I’ve never been to a wake or funeral that served food at the funeral home. You always go back to the house after to eat.

  136. For the record, I don’t like the Carolinas style vinegar based sauces. I prefer Kansas City style.

    All the Carolina bbq I’ve tried is very mustardy, which is why I don’t like it. I can’t stand mustard.

  137. The mustard-based is more specific to South Carolina. I believe it was the Bessinger family that really popularized this version, and then they had a bitter, decades-long family rift over whether mustard should be the only sauce in their restaurants, or one of a few options. (Also, if you ever get a chance to go to their restaurant in Charleston, the single, enormous onion ring you get is incredible. It’s like a doughnut/funnel cake batter wrapped around an onion.)

    Vinegar-based is more popular, and commonly associated with North Carolina.

    I like both. I particularly like a spicy-ish tomato/vinegar when it’s topped with cole slaw, like LfB said, and that last part seems to be popular in Virginia.

  138. @DD — I think — without researching — that mustard is a SC style (or maybe western NC?). I think when most people refer to the NC BBQ sauce, they are referring to the thin, spicy/tangy tomato-and-vinegar-type sauce — this guy is apparently from GA, but this is more like what I think of: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jacks-old-south-competition-vinegar-sauce-recipe.html. (This is my go-to recipe for pork butt; combine it with a rub with paprika, brown sugar, garlic, etc.)

    There’s even a classic style that is vinegar-only, no tomato sauce/ketchup — they have that at the White Swan in eastern NC, and it’s awesome.

  139. I love that NC vinegar-tomatoey sauce. So delicious. But I love KC/Memphis style sauces too, so I’m probably also a BBQ slut!

    I think the time left alone is more important than the where. I have an almost-8 year old, and I won’t be comfortable leaving him home alone for 8 consecutive hours anytime soon. We are working on him being ready to be left alone for an hour while we run to the store or go for a run. Also important, I think, is how far away parents or other helpers are and what communication device is available.

  140. Rhett, it’s unclear what the affects of marijuana are on driving ability. This article seems fairly balanced. I don’t have strong opinions about marijuana legalization one way or another, but I strongly hold the opinion that people shouldn’t drive while high. Similarly, I don’t care if people get drunk but I don’t want them to drive that way. Because of how marijuana is metabolized, it seems much harder to tell whether people involved in fatal crashes were actually high or had just smoked marijuana. The studies (I’ve read a couple articles on this) don’t distinguish between at-fault drivers, passengers and drivers not-at-fault.
    https://www.thezebra.com/insurance-news/1276/how-marijuana-legalization-has-affected-driving/

  141. Also important, I think, is how far away parents or other helpers are and what communication device is available.

    With cell phones, communication shouldn’t be an issue.

  142. “I’ve never been to a wake or funeral that served food at the funeral home. You always go back to the house after to eat.”

    Around here, the funeral homes all have separate large rooms to eat in after the services, and many of the catering businesses have funeral menus.

    When the dad of a friend died, one of his wishes was that his services be held in the cafeteria of his alma mater, with lots of food served afterwards.

  143. “it’s unclear what the affects of marijuana are on driving ability. ”

    Anectodally, I remember when I was in HS, on weekend nights it was not uncommon to see some pretty hot cars being driven being driven very slowly, often to eating places.

    Based on that, my guess would be that MJ use would lead to as many car crashes as alcohol use.

  144. “With cell phones, communication shouldn’t be an issue.”

    Agreed. But that means that an 8 year old at home alone needs access to a phone. I know some people are very against giving elementary school kids their own cellphone. (I am not one of those people.)

  145. “But that means that an 8 year old at home alone needs access to a phone. I know some people are very against giving elementary school kids their own cellphone. ”

    Some homes still have landlines.

  146. Milo – I want to marry your uncle!

    Lauren, that sounds like a sitcom in the making. Starting taking pictures and making notes.

    “the funeral homes all have separate large rooms to eat in after the services, and many of the catering businesses have funeral menus” I have no interest in eating in the same building where they prepare bodies for burial, none at all. No siree! NO

  147. Oops, Based on that, my guess would be that MJ use would NOT lead to as many car crashes as alcohol use.

  148. Moxie, I have relatives who I have never seen other than at funerals, and would not have ever talked to if it weren’t for the meals after the services.

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