I’m Going To Talk About Inequality – Die Mad About It

I’ve spent the better part of my life being belittled for having the audacity to have actual feelings and….get this…showing them. I know, how dare I inconvenience the world with my empathy. How dare I think it’s ok to cry at a sad part in a book in public. I mean, what if someones kid sees me. I might ruin someones $5 coffee for god sakes. I MIGHT BREAK THROUGH THEIR EVERYTHING IS FINE FACADE IF I DARE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE HOMELESS PERSON ASKING FOR CHANGE OUTSIDE THE STARBUCKS. How could I be so insensitive?

giphy4

I know you’re all sick of hearing about inequality and how some people can’t afford food or a house to live. I mean, do we really have to talk about it so much? It’s only children going hungry. If they really wanted food they’d go get a damn job. They would work hard for what they want just like the rest of us…..wait…oh yeah, you went to a posh private school and had college paid for by your folks. So, other than that you earned…oh yeah, don’t forget that down payment your folks gave you for your first house. Oh, and the car they gave you and and and the phone bill they still foot or the insurance they still pay. Let us not forget the healthcare your folks have had covered since you were but a bright spot on an ultrasound. 

asshole meme

Turns out you didn’t gain your rank in life off your own merit. Have the balls to admit it and the rest of us won’t have to keep shoving your face in it. MMMMkay.

Check out this link to see how your privilege gives you a head start in the race of life.

RACE OF LIFE

 

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.

 

Why should you read book reviews?

Why should you read book reviews?

For most of us deep in the trenches of the book world this kind of question has a pretty obvious answer. Our books are our lives and we live and breath each part of every story. We well know that each person’s reading experience is unique and having an intimate view of our favorite stories from all angles is what dreams are made of.

giphy

There’s also a practical side to book reviews. For the prospective buyer, it’s a great way to try before you buy. Most reviewers are careful to avoid spoilers so it’s a great way to know that the book you’re buying is the book you thought it was. Summaries can be tricksy sometimes and I’ve been burned more than once by them. Like most people, I am on a tight budget and nothing makes me more angry than using my few funds to buy a book that was nothing like the summary said it would be. Ever seen the movie “Inside Out”? I look a whole lot like “Anger” as he melts the window. 

Anger inside out character

Checking Goodreads or Amazon and having the ability to read a plethora of reviews brings me all kinds of happiness. 

giphy1

Another great thing about reviews is that when you’ve read a book that hits you so hard it changes the landscape of who you thought you were you get to brag to everyone about it in your review and help a great book gets loads of attention. 

Should people get paid to write a review and if they do should you see that review as tainted?

I probably have a less than popular opinion on this because I think that paying someone to write a review is fine. I don’t see that the author of the review earning money for their work is a disqualifier for honesty. Some of the most in-depth and thought provoking reviews I’ve read have been from people paid to write them. I love when someone puts time and effort into a review to shape it into this beautiful opinion on a story that deserves it. I’ve read paid reviews of books that got horrible reviews. Turns out, those horrible reviews came from more than just that paid reviewer. Sometimes, a book sucks. Sometimes an author tries to put out a crap product that they try to pass off as great and that sucks. It really does. When I read your review of a book, I don’t care if you were paid to write it or not. I am looking for how the book moved you…or didn’t. I want to know about the book….not your income. As a reviewer, I base my opinion on the content of your reviews. That’s it. If your reviews are wildly opposite to others, my opinion of your honesty is based on that alone. 

Why is someone earning a living from their writing even an issue? I mean, there is a clear divide on it and I can’t figure why so many people are against paying someone for their abilities. Not everyone can write a great review. Not everyone has the ability to decipher meanings or explain why a book just doesn’t work. It’s not helpful to an author to get a review that just says “your book sucks”. How does it suck? What exactly has gone wrong? You want authors to turn out a great product but they need guidance like the rest of us. With the rise of the self-published movement, authors could use more back-up. I see reviewers (paid or not) as a great way to get that back-up. 

giphy2

Let’s empower writers of all kinds to come together and build great worlds with great heroes! 

 

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?

 

 

Being a Workaholic is NOT Something To Admire!

MEME about money and time

All my life I have been told over and over that working hard will get you what you want in life. I have been told to get there first and leave last. Work as much overtime as they will give you. I have been shamed for wanting to use my earned vacation days. I have been told to go to work when I was sick as a dog.

I have been encouraged to work weekends…every weekend. Work as much as possible and that will impress your boss who will give you a raise or a promotion.

I have watched women get fired for taking off to go to the hospital to have their baby. I have watched women go back to work two days after having a baby. My husband was told he was crazy when he asked for some time off to help me the first couple of weeks after our children were born.

Here’s the thing though, working hard in this country doesn’t mean anything and it never has. Unless you have a degree or a specialized skill…..all that work you do is taken for granted. They will use you up until there is nothing left to use. They’ll throw you a bone of a .50 cent raise here and a .25 cent raise there. Just to keep you thinking that they’re paying attention to your hard work.

They aren’t.

They bet on you not realizing that until it’s too late. When your body is broke down and the meager income you’ve made throughout life wasn’t enough to save much for retirement and you can’t pay for medicare. Your SSI is a joke. You end up in public nursing home hell where they auction your house and your car and anything you ever worked so hard to earn in the first place to pay for your “expenses”.

And you’ll look back on your life and think FUCK, I should have taken those days off. You’ll see the slave they made of you. But, it won’t matter because it will be too late.

America’s work / life balance is shit. It’s skewed way too far in the work column. Stop shaming people for wanting time off. Your entire life shouldn’t be working. We are not slaves or drones. We are human beings who deserve to live our lives.

We deserve maternity leave. Both women and men. We deserve vacation time. We deserve fair wages. We deserve to retire with dignity. No more slavery. No more living in squalor. No more rigged economy. Most of all, no more trickle down economics.

Let the rhetoric stop with you. Tell the world that this crap isn’t going to fly anymore. Let those billionaires know that the jig is up. We are on to them.

 

 

 

 

 

Local News Thursday -Oklahoma Needs To Put Education First!

School quotes 1

Like many Oklahoman’s, I am angry. Our state is in such a horrible financial crisis that the public school system (which has continually suffered budget cuts) is now in survival mode.

This means cutting the school year short. Oklahoma already has one of the shortest school years at 180 mandatory days. Now, they are talking about knocking that down to 175! This, after all that effort to EXTEND the school year due to its academic benefits.

School systems are cutting bus services and knocking the school week down to 4 days. They are doing anything they can to just stay open.

What fucking country do we live in where this is even an issue? Isn’t this America? The place that is supposed to be full of opportunities?

What a joke.

Public education is on par with healthcare for the most important establishments we have. Without a good education, you can literally do nothing with your life. You have NO opportunities to better your plight.

I am angry! I am so angry that Oklahoma’s politicians have created this disgusting situation.

Oklahoma needs a local political revolution. We need to get out and vote these bastards out. We need major reforms! We need change. Change for the better. This is an unacceptable burden to place on our children. They are paying the price for the governments mistakes.

I will be out there voting for people who will help fix this debacle. Raise your voice. Our children deserve an education. They deserve healthcare. They deserve food for fucks sake.

 

I can not believe that in 2016 this is even an issue. What a complete failure.

political revolution

Why Turnpikes Are Bullshit

For those of you who don’t live in Oklahoma, we have a shit ton of toll roads.

Oklahoma has more toll roads than any other state in the nation. The toll roads are operated by the Oklahoma Transportation Authority. They are not elected officials. The governor appoints the director and the board. Both of whom make the big decisions. Decisions like raising the toll rates by 16% in the middle of a state recession.

The money made off tolls goes to the bond holders who bought bonds to build the road plus interest. None of the money made by tolls goes to the state. None. The Oklahoma Transportation Authority must make a certain percentage of money or the bondholders can take over operations.

The bond holders can take over operations. Think about that. They are not required to go through any legislative means to do so. They can raise rates to whatever they want.

The turnpikes were original set up as a pay as you go type situation. It was supposed to be a way to pay for roadways without putting the state in a crap ton of debt.

The most recent numbers I can find about the turnpike debt is from 2010. It sat at 1.1 BILLION then. Bondholders made about a 5% interest on that debt.Which means they will profit some 60 million dollars a year. 60 MILLION A YEAR!

In the meantime, the OTA has 25 new toll roads pre-approved.


 

Ok, now that you are informed, lets talk about why this is bullshit. The middle class is taxed a shit ton. Our taxes are supposed to pay for public programs as well as the income for government workers and officials.

I would say ROADS are part of that. They can’t use the state debt nonsense because that clearly isn’t the case. I’d say 1.1 billion in debt kinda fries that chicken.

They can’t say our tax money is going to education. We are ranked 48th in the nation. They are currently discussing 4 day school weeks and cutting buses.

So, what the fuck?

This is taking something that should be open to the public and making it privately controlled. This is a furthering of the monetary caste system.

Want to get to work? Gotta pay to drive on our road. Oh, don’t have the extra money for that? No, we won’t raise minimum wage. Go to college. Can’t pay for college? Too bad, get 2 jobs.

It’s another bullshit way to punish the poor for being poor. Nickle and dime us to death.

That is why they are bullshit.

Roads should be open to the public. Period. No extra money. Our taxes should fucking cover roads.

Oklahoma road sign

 

Not Santa

Yesterday Daniel and I took Mason to see Santa. Knowing that two year olds can be shy when meeting new people, I had a plan. 

We have been reading Christmas books about Santa since December began. We’ve watched Christmas movies about Santa. Mason has colored in Santa coloring books. We’ve sang songs about Santa. I literally immersed him in Santa everything. 

I thought that if I made Santa someone that was familiar then we wouldn’t have the stranger issue. Mason is not a fan of strangers. At all.

Daniel and I thought we had taken this Santa thing and kicked its ass.

We were wrong. Big time.

When we got to the grocery store to see Santa, Mason saw the poster with Santa’s face on it. He was perfectly fine with the poster.

Then….he saw the real Santa.

The look on his face was pure shock and distrust. He looked at Santa like exactly what this Santa was. Some guy dressed up and not the real Santa.

In defense of our grocery store Santa, he did his best. He HO HO HO’d. He Merry Christmased. He talked about his reindeer and the north pole.

Mason was not buying it.

Mason said ” not santa”.

This is the exact moment in my life when I realized just how much my child is like me. 

When I was a kid, even as young as Mason, I did not believe in Santa. I did not buy into the Easter bunny. I scoffed at the idea of a tooth fairy. I told my parents that they weren’t real. I told them they were just stories. I did not buy into anything that seemed magical or veered from my view of reality. Including religion. That’s a story for another time though.

Daniel and I never once told Mason while reading all those Santa stories that Santa was a real person. Both of us felt that it wouldn’t be right. We didn’t tell him he wasn’t real either. We just read the story.

Mason made up his own mind on the subject. That’s how we plan on doing everything. It’s his job to discern what he believe’s is real and what isn’t. As far as myths go that is.

I’ll admit I thought this was a real possibility and I am a little bummed out about it. I have always seen the world for what it is. It’s a heavy burden to carry sometimes. I can not turn it off. I can’t “not see” the injustices of the world. They are there in all their glory. Now my son will see this too.

Being a parent is often a mixed bag of emotions. 

 

 

New Baby Jitters

So, if this tiny daughter of mine doesn’t decide to vacate on her own by the 9th, she is being evicted. This is an attempt to avoid having a c-section. She will be 40 weeks on the 9th and is already measuring bigger than my son was. 

At a whopping 5’2, my size and the the size of this baby is definitely something I have to consider. I ripped pretty good with my first and would really like to avoid being cut open on an operating table.

Amazingly, (insert sarcasm here) I have gotten some flak about choosing to induce and my fear of the c-section. 

I have a pretty one size fits all reply to that criticism.  My vagina is my business. Plain and simple.

We all have fears. Mine is being cut open and having a baby pulled from my abdomen. My dreams have conjured up all kinds of grotesque scenes of this procedure. I would just rather avoid it if at all possible.

So, it’s t-minus baby time here at the Sumner house.

I am fully prepared thanks to the nesting the husband and I have both been enduring. I don’t think there is a single thing out of place in our house.

Of course, I’m already emotional about it. Being pregnant has had it’s ups and downs and I’m ready to meet our daughter but I will miss her kicks.

I have the perfect meme to represent my feelings.

glass-case

That’s all folks. Keep an eye out for baby updates. 

 

Oklahoma Senator Inhofe Urges Denial To Syrian Refugee Acceptance

inhofe pic

Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe has urged Obama to deny entry into the states to any of the Syrian refugees until stricter measures can be taken to assure none of them are members of ISIS. 

First off, I have seen many articles refering to the above mentioned senator as a “leading senator”. 

I just want everyone to remember that this is the same man who held up a snowball and claimed that due to it’s existence, Global Warming can not exist. I don’t know that I would call him the leading anything except maybe leading idiot.

The-Senator-With-The-Snowball-668x426

So, lets add victim blaming to the long list of dumb shit the senator is guilty of.

I am a humanist. I am a liberal. I do not and will not blame the Syrian refugees for the actions of an extremest group they are not affiliated with. 

In light of that, I realize it is the prerogative of ISIS to exploit situations like the Syrian refugee crisis to gain entrance to countries they wish to attack.

However, I also have a bit of common sense. I can’t help but find it a bit fishy that a passport can survive a bombing. Those pesky passports man. They seem to be indestructible. I’m a bit skeptical about the recovery of a small booklet of paper from a bomb. Color me surprised.

In conclusion, I think that punishing those who are fleeing for fear of their lives is barbaric. What does that say about us?

It says that our lives are more important than theirs. It says that because someone falsified information we are going to blame you all.

Is that who we are? Are we the people who stand by and watch others suffer? 

The Syrian refugees are people just like you and I. They are trying to escape an intolerable existence. They are trying to provide a future to their children and their selves. 

We have a moral obligation to assist them. Period. 

Before anyone gets bitchy, I would like to kindly remind you that this site is specifically named “alliesopinions” for a very good reason. I think that reason is self explanatory.