Remembering 9-11

 Years ago, when the Twin Towers were hit with those planes, I was still a kid sitting in my middle school French class. I remember the day with absolute clarity for many reasons. 

The first thing I remember is the computer teacher from across the hall running into our classroom and yelling that one of the twin towers had been hit by a plane in New York. My French teacher paled and dashed to the tiny TV in the corner of our classroom and turned it on. We sat captivated as we watched the smoke billow. My Teacher turned the volume all the way up on the TV. With our classroom door open we could hear other teachers doing the same. It was an echo of panicked reporters down the hallway. 

We watched as the second tower was hit. The classroom erupted in anger. Teachers and kids alike demanded retribution. Cries of war and revenge echoed down the hallways. I sat in the sea of angry faces and thought not of war but the costs of war. From reading, I had a decent idea of what happened in wartime. I was reading at a college level in middle school. I tore through every single book I could get my hands on. I sat in the midst of all that hate and thought of the people in those buildings. I thought of the people that were in those planes. I thought of how each person must feel while faced with their death. I thought of the horror of choosing to burn or jump. I watched as people did jump and I imagined the feel of their last seconds. The sight of the ground as they fell closer to it.  About the time people were jumping from the buildings my teacher turned off the TV. When she turned around I was the only one not yelling. I was the only one not balling my eyes out. I had silent tears down my face as she looked at me. She and I locked eyes. I could see the anger in hers. I could see that she agreed with the others that war was needed. I stared at her until she looked away. 

War quote 1

A few hours later the school closed early and parents came to pick up their children. My father refused to leave work so I walked to my siblings elementary school and we all walked the 3 miles home. No one noticed that we didn’t leave with our parents. I think everyone was in shock.

That evening I got a call from one of the few friends I had at school. She was shouting about how we were going to blow them to smithereens. She told me how her dad (who was in the Army) was going to kill every single one of those sorry bastards and make them regret ever messing with the US. I listened to her for awhile and when there was a lull in her tirade I asked her if she thought killing all those people and destroying their homes would stop this from happening again. She said it would. She said people don’t attack what they fear. I asked her why she thought they attacked us. She said her father thought it was because we weren’t Muslim. I scoffed. I asked her if she thought in some way that our country was responsible for this attack. If others had had enough of our bombs and were taking a stand. She screamed at me that the USA is the best country in the world. That we give people freedom. I hung up. I lost one of my only friends because I dared to admit fault on both sides. I still lose friends over it. I have been advocating for peace my whole life in a sea of violent people.

War quote 2

From reading, I’ve learned to see everything in ripples. Every action has a reaction and I think deeply on everything. My heart aches for the people who lost their lives that day. My heart aches for the people who lost everything and everyone to our bombs of retribution. You can’t bomb a populace into respecting you. Fear will never breed the loyalty you want it to.

America has a nasty habit of invading other countries and I know full well that we aren’t there to give them freedom. We don’t even have that ourselves. As much as it’s claimed, we don’t. 

war-1920-1080-wallpaper

You want to know why ISIS and the rest of the extremist groups exist? Ignorance and desperation. If you steal a person’s ability to critical think they become violent and primitive. Without the ability to understand the world and it’s complexities humankind becomes tribal and small thinking. Religious fervor takes over as people attempt to find a greater meaning to their suffering.

Today, as we all remember the horror of watching those people burn alive or jump to their death I want everyone to remember that hate breeds hate. Division and anger solve nothing and create only more horror. We are all human. We all bleed red and might does not always equal right.

All human quote

I want you to open your eyes and see the division around us. The extremist groups we harbor right here in our very own US of A.  I want you to see the huge gap of opportunities for the poor and the desperation of a mother who must choose to pay an atrocious amount for rent or feed her children. I want you to think long and hard of the humiliation laid on those who seek government assistance to feed their kids. I want you to see people die of treatable illnesses because of our healthcare inequality. I want you to ask yourself if you think we really are the greatest nation in the world. Because, that’s one hell of a title to live up to and if you ask me, we are most definitely not living up to it in the slightest.

Love one another my friends. Care for those who are down no matter their skin color. No matter their differences. Let us learn and grow together to make a world that’s a great place for everyone. Let us be fair. Let us seek justice that is not unjust to those who have no say in their fate. 

It’s time we evolved beyond hate and violence. 

peace quote 1

 

 

Advertisements

Nasty Comments & Crazy People

 

       I would say that this must be the week of the crazies but honestly I seem to draw a fair amount of them most of the time. Usually the nasty comments are mostly on Twitter but it seems they’ve migrated to my blog. Damn it Yay! 

giphy

Wondering why you haven’t seen them? BAN HAMMERED those bastards I don’t approve nasty comments. If you just disagree with me on a book or a subject I won’t censor your comment but if it’s advocating violence or you cussing me out….yeah, I’m probably not going to let it post. 

           I got one the other day on my post about Oklahoma Turnpikes from forever ago (way to creep my page weirdo) that called me a bitch and told me if I didn’t like how things worked I should start ‘slaughtering politicians’…… Uhm…. holy shit this guy has lost his fucking mind Wow that guy is unhinged. I do not now or ever suggest that anyone “slaughters” anyone else….ever. He went from 0 to ape shit immediately.  Calm the heck down bro! Take a chill pill ( do people still say that?). I’d rather just vote out politicians whose policies I don’t agree with. Killing them is a bit harsh…I mean…if I killed every person I didn’t agree with….there wouldn’t be many people left. Plus, I’m a lover not a fighter. Peace is an actual solution people. Oh, and as of now, I’m still legally allowed to complain when politicians do stuff I don’t like. So, I think I’ll raise my voice and not a weapon because murder is a big fucking deal and I’m not about to take someone’s life over the dollar or so I have to pay to drive on a road. I mean, get perspective. 

giphy1

As if that wasn’t crazy enough, I’ve received about 20 emails from some guy pervert  asking me to review his graphic erotic novel……NO means NO fella. Just….read my damn review policy and these types of crazy situations won’t happen. When I said no he got his panties in a bunch upset and said it’s my fault his book can’t get any reviews…..dude, I’m not responsible for what other reviewers are telling you. 

To top all of that off, when I was mowing my backyard yesterday a rabid probably rabies infested tiny mouse ran up my BARE LEG till he got to the edge of my shorts and ran back down and away. So, I’m probably going to die thankful he didn’t decide inside my shorts looked like a path he wanted to take. 

giphy2

Oh, and I found a dead mole on my doorstep this morning. So, yeah. Good times.

 

Book Review “The Junkyard Capital”Jak Locke

Senator Aphid only wanted to improve his country, though after four years in the District of Laws he really should have known better. He’s removed from office and soon grudgingly finds himself paired with Frog Dell, the reckless and self-indulgent hermit of the junkyard. As the two evade the wrath of a government run amok with corruption, dissension spreads through the public, and conspiracy reigns. What role does psychiatrist and part-time inventor Weasel McKenzie play in the upcoming Archministry election? How does front-runner candidate and acclaimed playwright J. Thomas Capra plan to fix the broken nation? Who’s being stalked by merciless bounty hunter Jack Dingo? Why is Dead Fish wandering an empty version of the world? The pressure escalates quickly in this twisting, zany, fast-paced and subversive satire that, like real politics, requires (and prefers) absolutely no prior political knowledge. NOTE: This book is the heavily revised second edition of the now out-of-print book Frog Dell’s Junkyard.

the-junkyard-capital-cover

Amazon Buy Button

I’d like to start this review with sharing some of my favorite passages of this book. “The Junkyard Capital” is one of those books that you could basically highlight from cover to cover. It’s probably the most quotable fiction novel I’ve read in awhile. I hope you enjoy the few I’ve selected for you.

“Well that’s a bit rude, but then again, genius is never understood by the layman, so why the lawman?” 

“I’d be interested in your package that includes just leaving me be, that was nice. How much is that? Is that a thing we can do?”

“Ahh Good, more like Ahh Stop. Have you considered working in corrections?”

“What kind of person thinks to run to be Archminister? The idealistic fool, the strict careerist, and the sinister. In short, the only sorts the job description’s not revolted, are unqualified to do it or the type that shouldn’t hold it.”

“All must awaken eventually; for even the sweetest dream is just that”

“The Junkyard Capital” begins by dropping the reader right into the mind of a few characters that really appear to be way off their rocker. Have you ever heard the saying “He/she has the attention span of a nat”? There’s a couple characters in here that definitely fit the bill. 

Just as I was about 40% into the book, a lot of things started to come together in really unexpected and very clever ways. Once you get passed the  assumed madness of their minds and the full picture comes into view, I promise it will all make sense and will blow your mind. I especially enjoyed the “News Debate” sections. There’s a lot going on and the updates help to keep events in order without boring the reader by rehashing the whole ordeal. Very clever strategy from Locke.

While “The Junkyard Capital” is definitely a fictional story, it was also eerily similar to current events. I’ll admit there was more than once that I looked up from the pages and pondered the similarity.

The ending completely blew my mind. Like, total head explosion. I did a double take and yelled WHHHAAATT???? at my Kindle. My whole family whipped their heads around and eyed me like I had lost my mind. Which I did because it’s rare I don’t catch onto the climax before it happens. Well done Locke, well done.

I even reread a good portion of the book to see if I could catch it and even knowing whats to come, I still couldn’t see it. It amazes me that this is Locke’s first novel. It’s incredibly well staged and boy has he set the bar high! 

One thing Locke has excelled at with this story is his complex character building. Locke also impressed me with his writing ability to “show” the reader instead of “tell” the reader. This isn’t as easy as it sounds and I was duly impressed with Locke’s skill. This book is cleverly crafted and masterfully written. I am absolutely blown away! For lovers of politics and all it’s intricacies, this is definitely the book for you.

Solid 5 stars!

5 stars

Amazon Buy Button

The Technical Data:

Title: The Junkyard Capital | Series: N/A  |  Author(s): Jak Locke  |Publisher: Amazon Digital Services  / Publication Date: 2-1-2017 |Pages: 200 (Print) | ISBN: 978-1542836135  |Genre(s): Political Satire / Fiction  |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 2-25-2017 |Source: Copy from author.

jak-locke-author-pic

Jak Locke is an entertainer, filmmaker, and programmer obsessed with exploring every form of expression. The Junkyard Capital is his first book and gives his degree in political science some relevance to his life for once. He is a lifelong New Orleans area resident.

Book Spotlight “The Junkyard Capital” Jak Locke

Senator Aphid only wanted to improve his country, though after four years in the District of Laws he really should have known better. He’s removed from office and soon grudgingly finds himself paired with Frog Dell, the reckless and self-indulgent hermit of the junkyard. As the two evade the wrath of a government run amok with corruption, dissension spreads through the public, and conspiracy reigns. What role does psychiatrist and part-time inventor Weasel McKenzie play in the upcoming Archministry election? How does front-runner candidate and acclaimed playwright J. Thomas Capra plan to fix the broken nation? Who’s being stalked by merciless bounty hunter Jack Dingo? Why is Dead Fish wandering an empty version of the world? The pressure escalates quickly in this twisting, zany, fast-paced and subversive satire that, like real politics, requires (and prefers) absolutely no prior political knowledge. NOTE: This book is the heavily revised second edition of the now out-of-print book Frog Dell’s Junkyard.

the-junkyard-capital-cover

Amazon Buy Button

About The Author

jak-locke-author-pic

Jak Locke is an entertainer, filmmaker, and programmer obsessed with exploring every form of expression. The Junkyard Capital is his first book and gives his degree in political science some relevance to his life for once. He is a lifelong New Orleans area resident.

 

Book Review “The Poverty Industry” Daniel L. Hatcher

synopsis

Government aid doesn’t always go where it’s supposed to. Foster care agencies team up with companies to take disability and survivor benefits from abused and neglected children. States and their revenue consultants use illusory schemes to siphon Medicaid funds intended for children and the poor into general state coffers. Child support payments for foster children and families on public assistance are converted into government revenue. And the poverty industry keeps expanding, leaving us with nursing homes and juvenile detention centers that sedate residents to reduce costs and maximize profit, local governments buying nursing homes to take the facilities’ federal aid while the elderly languish with poor care, and counties hiring companies to mine the poor for additional funds in modern day debtor’s prisons.
 
In The Poverty Industry, Daniel L. Hatcher shows us how state governments and their private industry partners are profiting from the social safety net, turning America’s most vulnerable populations into sources of revenue. The poverty industry is stealing billions in federal aid and other funds from impoverished families, abused and neglected children, and the disabled and elderly poor. As policy experts across the political spectrum debate how to best structure government assistance programs, a massive siphoning of the safety net is occurring behind the scenes.In the face of these abuses of power, Hatcher offers a road map for reforms to realign the practices of human service agencies with their intended purpose, to prevent the misuse of public taxpayer dollars, and to ensure that government aid truly gets to those in need. 
The Poverty Industry Cover
Amazon Buy Button
What you read in this book will definitely make you mad. That inherent distrust most people have for their governing bodies exists for a reason. Well, it exists for many reasons and this book details a whole pile of them.
Hatcher has done his research and his findings are incredibly shocking. This book is aptly named. Those in poverty are being systemically farmed for sympathy money. When you drive around your town and you see homes falling apart, insanely skinny kids wearing faded clothes covered in holes you feel horribly for those suffering people. This elicits a emotional response that is a factor in your voting ideology. You vote and approve of measures to help lift those poor souls from their poverty prison. You don’t realize that those policies are actually keeping the poor …well poor. The farming bit I was talking about..well they are farming your sympathy which really translates to your taxes.
Hatcher outlines these atrocities in easy to understand detail. He introduces these scenarios with real people and  elicits a personal connection from reader to cause.
Most of what I read in this book was enlightening and very upsetting. I know that it will for sure change the way that I vote. I think it is for reason’s like this that the idea of Democratic Socialism looks better and better. We are not a great country if we allow those who are vulnerable to suffer.  
Hatcher has illustrated the issues plaguing the poor and outlines a plausible array of solutions to these issues. 
Excellent book. 5 stars.
5 stars
Amazon Buy Button

The Technical Data:

Title: The Poverty Industry  | Series:  N/A  |  Author(s): Daniel L. Hatcher |Publisher: NYU Press / Publication Date: 6-21-2016 |Pages: 288 (Print) | ISBN:  978-1479874729 | Genre(s): Non-Fiction / Government / Poverty |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 9-10-2016 |Source: Copy from Netgally

birds banner

There is also a documentary that was done to bring awareness to these issues. Check it out on Netflix! It will blow your mind.

 

 

Labor Day – Discussion Topic

Labor Day Meaning:

The United States Department of Labor gives the following explanation.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


Labor rights in the states are a shaky thing. Sure, we have a holiday and I believe that’s meant to make us feel appreciated and respected. Truth is, we are neither. 

You often hear people discussing job growth in relation to politics. What most people don’t mention is the quality of these so-called new jobs. Most of the jobs available are minimum wage jobs that don’t pay enough to live. 

But, we’re supposed to be appreciative of those new businesses and new jobs. Even though they contribute to the overwhelmingly large number of people who try to survive below the poverty line. 

Quality of new job creation is key. Obviously. 

Let’s talk about workers for a minute. Let’s say you are being treated poorly at your job and the lot of you want change. Say you strike. Say you stand outside with signs and refuse to work until your demands are at the very least acknowledged. Very few workers are part of a union anymore so that protection is gone. Most states are “at will” states. This means that an employer can fire you from your job without reason or notice at any time. 

So, you strike. As protesters, you will most likely be arrested. Now, not only are you most likely out of a job, you also have fines to pay for protesting. The company who is treating you unfairly; yeah, no fines for them.

Oh yeah, and now you have a criminal record. Which you have to now list on any resume you fill out.

This day pisses me off. My husband works in a shop that in the summer regularly hits over 130 degrees. Because he is commission, they can require him to be at work even if they aren’t paying him to be there. As long as his total weekly wages equal at least minimum wage….that’s all that matters. He also doesn’t get overtime pay. At all.

This holiday is meant to make workers feel like they still have rights and power to make change.

Truth is, you don’t. In this Oligarchy we exist within, only those who have money have power. 

discussion image

What are your thoughts?

 

 

Trauma, Shame & The Power Of Love

synopsis

Bronze Medal Winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards.

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2015).

There is a reason books that recount the regrets and advice of the dying strike so deep a chord: people who have nothing left to lose can tell their stories with a sincerity and unpretentiousness we crave but that is all too rare. In “Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love,” Christopher Pelloski relates his own downfall from a prominent physician-scientist in the field of radiation oncology in a similarly candid way.

Without fear of losing society’s good opinion—having lost it already—Pelloski has the freedom to be sharply honest in his observations of himself and the world around him. To the question “Why would someone with so much going for him risk, and then lose, everything, by sinking so low?” he offers a gut-wrenching, soul-baring answer that dissects his decades-long downward spiral and examines it from perspectives that range from the historical to the molecular.

Pelloski chronicles the evolution of his devastating legal battle alongside his concurrent journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. He shares with us the lessons he learned from these experiences in the hope they can serve as both a warning and an invitation: a warning to abuse survivors not to follow his dark path of silence, and an invitation to society to deal more openly with the multitude of painful issues that have shaped not only his life but also, tragically, the lives of so many others.

Those brave enough to set aside their prejudices and preconceptions will be richly rewarded and challenged by this work.

trauma shame and the power of love Cover

Amazon Buy Button

birds banner

This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We felt it brings much needed awareness to the “War on sex crimes”! To see the review, click the title below.

Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love

Arrow Border

Review Stats

Amazon: 4.4 Stars!

Goodreads: 3.8 stars!

Amazon Buy Button

About The Author

Chris Pelloski Author Pic

CHRISTOPHER E. PELLOSKI earned his medical degree from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago in 2001. He was accepted into the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program and eventually joined the faculty at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, one of the top cancer centers in the world. After his recruitment to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2010, he ran a full clinical practice, supervised his own basic-science research laboratory, and served as his department’s Residency Program Director and as the Director of Pediatric Radiation Oncology.

Pelloski is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and subsequently suffered throughout most of his life with undiagnosed and untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, with Dissociative Features.

In the summer of 2013, his personal, public, and professional life came to a painful reckoning.

Find out more!

Author’s Website

Sneak Peak Image

Pelloski is currently working on a second book!


This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

stamp of approval

Telling The Truth

Orwell Quote

If there is one thing in life that I have learned, it is that people will always attack those who tell the truth. This is something that has baffled me for a long time. The older I get, the more I see this happen and the more perplexed I become. 

Often, that person who is telling the truth is doing so to protect others. This, of course, does not diminish the backlash. Whistle blowers are shamed, attacked, threatened and persecuted with alarming speed. 

Few people stop to question the risks the truth teller has taken. Most assume dark intentions and never stop to think….could this be real?

I’ve watched people rally behind the worst of people simply because they saw them as being attacked. Those people never stop to think if the allegations are true. They don’t look beyond the surface. The liar will put on a face and deny everything.

This is another thing that baffles me.

whistleblower quote 1

People expect a liar to admit if they have done wrong. I’ve heard people say, well why would he keep lying? Why would he/she say this or do that….and on and on. 

My counter to that is why would he tell the truth?

Why would a liar out themselves?

It is the burden of the liar to prove that they aren’t lying. If they don’t do that…then…isn’t that confirmation in itself?

It’s one thing for the liar to point to the truth teller and claim they are the liar. But, if the liar really isn’t lying…why not provide proof and be done with it?

When a person relies on grandiose flippancy in the face of a serious accusation instead of showing transparency with proof that the accusation is false…..it’s time to ask questions.

It’s time to ask a lot of questions.

Gandhi Quote

Workers Rights – We Need Them!

Change Quotes

Growing up I’ve often heard those around me lament about their terrible work places. I’ve heard of incredibly unsafe working conditions. I’ve seen unfair wage distribution. I’ve watched as my government passes law after law to protect the corporations over the people. 

Perhaps you have heard of these bad policies?

“Right to work”

“At will”

These sounds like they should help the common worker don’t they? Clever really. They name these rules in the most misleading of ways. 

Let me tell you a story. A true story.

We all have cars. They break down and we take them to a dealership or a mechanic shop. Do you ever stop to wonder about the people working in those shops? What about when it’s 110 degrees outside? Did you know that it’s most likely 130 degrees or more inside that shop? They have fans, sure. But, no air conditioning. They pour sweat all day long. Their job is physical. Constant movement while you wait in the air conditioned lobby flipping through the magazine selection. I know you console yourself by thinking that they are well paid. I know you look at the thousand dollar bill your paying and you scoff at the high cost. I know you probably think the tech gets a big cut of that.

They don’t. They get paid more than minimum wage sure. But they aren’t getting a very big cut of what you pay. On top of that, every single person in that shop gets a cut off what that tech worked on.

This is why we need real regulations for workers. We need laws that will protect the worker and not the company. 

Working conditions should be safe. 130 degrees is not safe. 

workers rights human rights

The Poverty Industry – Foster Care

There seems to be no end to the systems in America that are tainted by the stain of corruption. Have you seen the movie “Poverty Inc”? Did it tick you off? Were you shocked? Dismayed? Disillusioned? Disgusted?

Poverty Inc Diagram

Are you now extra careful on where you donate your items or money? Perhaps, you have given up donations all together.

Charities are supposed to do good.  “Supposed” being the operative word. The fact is, they do great harm beyond short term emergencies.

Like you, I was angry and shocked at how the Poverty Industry destroys the societies  it claims to protect.

Now, I am irate. Because I have stumbled upon a whole new facet of this corruption.

What if I told you that the most vulnerable of us all; those who have already been abandoned, neglected and abused are being preyed upon by the very organizations who are supposed to protect them?

Does that get your hackles up?

It should.

Because it’s true.

The foster system routinely steals from kids. They hire consultants to help them steal every asset or monetary benefit they can. They can even steal someone’s burial plot. 

Additionally, this stolen money…it in most cases doesn’t even go to help the kids. It’s typically funneled away from anything that directly helps the children. Including pay for those consultants who found it to steal in the first place. 

To add to the outrage, a lot of that stolen money….it was once yours.

Your taxes that is.

Want to know more? Check out the book that I learned it from!

The Poverty Industry Cover

Amazon Buy Button