OPINION > CARDELLA

Stuff and such


By Tom Cardella

Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Mar. 7, 2013

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Marissa Mayer has created a firestorm. The new president and CEO at Yahoo! has announced a ban on employees working at home. 


Working at home (also known as telecommuting) is a relatively new concept. My familiarity with how it works is limited to my time working for the federal government. Some employees are allowed to work from home one or two days a week, assuming the job can be technologically done from home. The concept is very popular with employees, especially working mothers, and those with a long commute. Some firms have designated certain positions as full-time work at home positions, as was the case at Yahoo! before Mayer was placed in charge. Slate.com claims that studies have shown that the scenario is good for both employers and employees. 


Mayer’s explanation for banning work at home is that it is better for employees to work side-by-side and share ideas than to work from the relative isolation. I have mixed feelings about this debate. If I were the new CEO, I might have opted for allowing particularly productive employees to continue working at home, but more likely would have restricted it to a day or two a week. 


But that misses the point. It is not up to me, you, or any journalist to second guess Mayer. Working at home is a privilege not a right. It is Mayer’s neck that is on the line, so she should be allowed to make the decisions that affect whether her company will rise or fall. If Mayer is wrong, she will be gone. She has been placed in charge of a company that was struggling and has decided to make changes. One of those changes is whether to allow her employees to work at home. Those of us who feel that she has made the wrong decision will not lose our jobs because of the decision. Only Mayer will feel the heat. ...


A lot of Philadelphians are upset over their new property tax reassessments. Actual Value Initiative is not perfect, but makes a helluva lot more sense than the old system of assessing property (whatever that system was). There is no real estate assessment system that can deal with the unfairness of long-term residents on fixed incomes who face significant tax hikes because their property increased in value. The reason is the concept of a property tax is unfair on the face of it because it is not based on ability to pay. We are stuck with trying to “fix” the new system so we don’t drive citizens out of their homes. It will take fair hearings and a thoughtful process to do so. It won’t be easy. ...


Once again extension of the Voting Rights Act is coming under fire from those who believe it is time that we stop singling out the South for past sins. Efforts to stop minorities from voting still goes on. As the ill-conceived Voter ID law in Pennsylvania showed, these efforts are not confined to the South. The Voting Rights Act should be expanded to include all 50 states so no group of politicians can succeed in preventing folks from voting will help their cause. The stigma no longer exclusively belongs to the South. ...


It used to be that television was the poor stepchild of Hollywood films. I don’t think it is any longer the case. The best shows on TV in recent years compare very favorably with the cream of the crop from Hollywood. This year’s Oscar winner “Argo” was good, but the Showtime series “Homeland” in the same genre is better. I’m not cherry picking. Recent Oscar winners such as “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech” were good, but I’ll take TV’s “Downton Abbey,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” any day. I don’t think any film has made as big an impact as “The Sopranos” or “Six Feet Under” in the last decade. I don’t think it is even close. ...


That judge who found a cop not guilty after a video clearly showed that he punched a woman in the face at a Puerto Rican Day Parade ought to turn in his robes and get a new pair of glasses. Not only did he ignore the evidence, but he also had the gall to blame the media for showing the video over and over again. I am not pro or anti-cop. My dad was a cop and I have contributed to various police fundraisers. I also have been an American Civil Liberties Union member at different times of my life. Like my late father, I support good cops and hate bad ones. Any cop that punches a woman in the face without cause does not deserve to wear the uniform. He should not get his job back. ... 


It was great to see the City’s transit system honored. SEPTA was selected as the No. 1 mass transit system in the country. As someone who rides SEPTA often, I know the system isn’t perfect. But I have found that for the most part, the drivers are courteous, the buses run reasonably close to schedule, and I was thrilled to hear that SEPTA’s budget is in balance. Yeah, I also ride free.

Contact the South Philly Review at editor@southphillyreview.com.

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1. James said... on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:35PM

“"Efforts to stop minorities from voting still goes on. As the ill-conceived Voter ID law in Pennsylvania showed, these efforts are not confined to the South."

There is not one scintilla of evidence that the Voter ID law in Pennsylvania would "stop" minorities from voting. Your statement simply shows that you think black, yellow and tan people are less capable than white people of going to a government office and filling out an application. That's racial prejudice on your part and a bit smug.”

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2. Tom Cardella said... on Mar 8, 2013 at 09:09AM

“James--We have had this debate before and there are studies that show that voter ID laws would disproportionately affect minorities. That hopes was voiced here in Pennsylvania by a Republican politician and is why those laws are supported, by and large, by Republican s who hope to suppress the opposition vote. i don't think it is fair or effective to just apply the Voting Rights Act to the South anymore.”

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3. Anon Y. Mous said... on Mar 11, 2013 at 07:22AM

“I have a solution to the whole voter ID mess. No ID’s needed and we all just keep voting over and over again until the polls close. Whichever party can generate the largest voter turnout even if they pay, intimidate or coerce people to vote multiple times, wins the election.”

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4. Tom Cardella said... on Mar 11, 2013 at 07:20PM

“Yeah beause the real problem we have in this country is "high" voter turnout.”

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