I did not like this article on Tom Kivisto ("Unlikely Typcoon" in the May 8-14 issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. Find it online at urbantulsa.com), because of the way he talks about single mothers. I actually happen to work with a lot of single mothers in a company that does business with Semgroup. I find his characterization insulting and ignorant and down right unintelligent. Mr. Kivisto said that single mothers need a second chance in life. They are working, so they can't go back to school. Let me introduce Mr. Kivisto to reality. A lot of the single mothers are already going to school. Either that, or they have gone to school and it has failed to impact their job prospects.
Now as to whether they need a 'second chance', that implies that they made some sort of mistake. What mistake did they make, pray tell? Leaving an alcoholic husband? Not joining a university basketball team, an option which is rather limited for women in the first place? Not being 'discovered' by some bigshots at an oil company - would he have been 'discovered' were he female?
Would the Bank of Oklahoma given him that loan if he were female, especially considering their recent trouble with sexual harassment litigation? I think that perhaps Kivisto is the one who needs a second chance. After a decent basketball career, he fell in with a bad crowd. The greedy and cruel oil barons, who destroy the environment and mistreat workers.
While the oil industry has reaped the biggest profits in human history, the single mothers, and all the other common workers who are helping Mr. Kivisto build his empire, have not seen meaningful raises in many a year. Food prices go up, gas prices go up, energy prices go up, everything goes up, and wages stay still. Meanwhile, the lucky few, such as Mr. Kivisto, who got discovered on a lark, preach the gospel of hard work, and find fault with those who are falling behind, claiming the only possible explanation could be that they are simply not working hard enough.
And yet, I have seen these single mothers, and other workers, work 2 jobs, sometimes even three jobs, and go to school, and go to more school, and raise their kids, and at the end of it all, be told that they are falling behind because they simply do not work hard enough. I find that not only illogical, I find it repugnant and disgusting.
I have no doubt that the numerous charity acts of the local oil industry would be better put to improving the treatment of it's workers. However I feel that this battle would be like teaching a horse to dance the hula...and so I place my hope for the future of this society, and civilization, in alternative energy sources, that do not require massive, exploitative bureaucracies and the destruction of our planet. Mr. Kivisto is perhaps the one who needs a second chance. Perhaps he can see his way clear of his destructive and negative lifestyle, his prejudice against single mothers, and his condescending attitude towards the workers that have created his fortune.
Editor's Note: There's a lot of bitterness here and maybe a chip on the shoulder, but a lot to think about. Rich dudes like Kivisto, who happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right idea, can still make a killing in business like this, but some have enough heart to give something back, though mostly out of excess and tax write-offs.
You know, I don't understand Tulsa drivers around bicyclists. Is it that hard to slowly drive past us if we are riding in the road? Technically bicyclists have the same road rules as any other vehicle so get over it people. If there is a cyclist turning left across traffic the right thing to do is wait for them like you would any other car, not scream curse words at them.
Honking or yelling just startles someone on their bicycle which could cause them to fall into the street and get hurt. If that happened think about how inconvenient it will be when you have to wait for the ambulance to come and help this person you just caused wreck.
Tulsa, we are a bicycle city and it's only going to get worse with rising gas prices and pollution. Be polite, respectful and for heavens sake safe. Please.
Rain on the Parade
Isn't it kinda stretching it by saying that American Idol winner David Cook, who hails from Blue Springs, Missouri, is from Tulsa?
Similiar to how it was misconstrued last season when Memphis, Tennesse girl Melinda Doolittle, was also allegedly from Tulsa (sigh).
I have a hunch that next season-even if the front-runner is from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tulsa will lag on to them and somehow try to convince the city (and the world) that they, too, are from Tulsa.
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