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And Say What? January 28, 2023

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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What Should I say?

Five BLACK cops beat a young BLACK man to death in Memphis. And they liked it! Oh yes they did. No one could commit this act with such gusto if this wasn’t a fantasy come true. Just wailed on this young man until they wailed the blood and breath right out of him. And they liked it. Was I there and do I KNOW they liked it? No. Did I hear them say they were in the midst of an orgasmic group event. No I did not. But just as you can see the joy on the face of a kid at a theme park or the enthusiasm of an angry person screaming at someone they really dislike; the energy and group spirit was present the entire time I saw the tape on video. I wonder if this would even be considered in a courtroom??

Do you wonder how they felt afterward? They appeared soaked with sweat and exhausted. After all a beating rakes it out of you. Never been beaten? That really takes it out of you. But usually the person who does the beating is angry afterward and blames the beaten one for “making them do it”. So I suspect this was Five Angry Men who had been driven to beat one man to death. With clubs. Clubbed one. man to death with batons or billy clubs or, wait, I know: lethal weapons. Have I listened to any news to see if excuses, provocations or a bad act prompted this unbridled act of ugliness and violence? No. I can’t get the video out of my mind. I don’t really care why they did because they did it.

The next question is obvious isn’t it? Does it matter the cops were Black? Sure it does. And this is because we have come to expect such hatred and viciousness from some White cops. Yes, I said it.

And I personally do not believe that race or gender should figure in; but that is just wishful thinking or denial or some kind of delusion. But this? Could it have been planned? Perhaps not with a specific target in mind or maybe it was. Folks like to say ‘the truth will out”, but the dead man cannot present his point of view, so we are left at the mercy of the killers or the media or the clergy to TRY and debate this into logic. There is no logic. My own personal sense is after the first wallop, this got good to them and they just went for it. One wallop led to another and the rhythm set in and what should I say?

This is just one opinion. One speculation. One theory of the act. I wasn’t there and I didn’t see it happen first hand. I was not an eyewitness. I have no credibility. Just an opinion.

So this is what I want to say. What I know should be said.

Metaversed? January 29, 2022

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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Human beings are not ideally suited as candidates for the “Metaverse” and this is a concern due to the fact that humans are not very suitted to rapid change. Resistance can be substantiated by the reaction of far too many to a pandemic – Covid – and how suddenly humans made decisions based on pure crap.

Humans are gullible. Very gullible. And they resist change unless it is delivered by trusted other humans. This is part of the rub. Informed individuals stay informed and see facts and evidence as guideposts to further understanding. I see this as a fairly small group of people whose open minds opens doors to further learning. The “truth” – as established by demonstration, authority and willingness to debate the pros and cons with others whose minds are also curious and , in my opinion, polymathic to some degree or another. Who want to know more and judge the value of the more based on provable concepts and practical application.

I see the metaverse being slipped insidiously into our existence by those who will benefit the most. History should have taught us this. Clearly it hasn’t. And whilst those sitting in their bitcoin counting rooms ; the only place in the known cosmos, where we can live, is disintegrating and we know it. And the metaverse will not fix this problem

The Three Stooges Conquer Outer Space July 17, 2021

Posted by voolavex in outer space, outer space, Social Issues.
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It is said that 'you can tell the men from the boys by the price of their toys'.  There is a germ of truth to that adage.   I look at thrift and Etsy sites online and  consider the prices I will pay; my husband looks at $$$$$ audio tubes and equipment.  Our "saved lists" reflect this in full.

Meanwhile down at the launch pad, three bizillionaires are going to outer space.  Whoooo-hoo.  And when I say bizillionaires - I mean exactly that.  And their intelligence and drive and great innovations earned them all this money in plain site. I will not name them - you likely know who they are. When I say 'outer space' -  I mean the place where there is no atmosphere and humans can breathe.  I am not a scientist. That's the part I do know.

It is a fascinating endeavor to me, but not for the reasons you might imagine. These junkets are VERY expensive. Doing it to prove it can be done is redundant on the whole.  We know humans can be launched into space and land on the Moon.  QED.  The latest efforts however are meant to bravely go where no man has gone before (sorry - they said it best).  And then what? 

Their rocketships are being launched from the planet Earth - so far the only known inhabited planet in the Universe.  So far.  And this planet is in desparate need of serious help.  Humans - or Earthlings, if you prefer, have used it and abused it and its flora and fauna since time immemorial.  If you follow Darwin, creatures evolved, eventually stood up and, lacking sense or sensibility, started the damage toute suite. They have not stopped. QED that too.

So my question is this: "WTF"?  Climate change, rising sea levels, extreme weather. Dried up rivers, rivers overflowing, eroding shorelines and the ever present cries for money and help to SAVE THE PLANET. Overcrowding,lack of adequate care for same. Political oppression, political expression.  Hedge funds, market prices and the thread is of course manipulation; grift, graft and greed.  Did I mention RACISM?  We got it and we got in every color of the spectrum.  Lotta' hate on Earth.

Why don't these chaps with nothing but money fix us first?  Address Earth's emergencies and issues and stop planning their escape.  Why not fix it first - or at least try - in a devoted, direct effort rather than perfect a clean getaway? 

It may be valid, as some say, that many geniuses malfunction in other ways.  History has proven this to be more than speculation.  And I am certain that the three bizillionaires have indeed invested in the welfare of this planet as well. But there is so much that needs fixing; not to mention the conflicts around the planet that are meant to destroy.  Those are not easily or instantly solvable, butjeez guys, while you are fooling around lost in space consider that the money you have spent could be put to a better use.  And that while imagining the terraforming of Mars or the Moon and blasting into outer space, you may realize that there's no place like home.   

Our Broad Stripes and Bright Stars. March 30, 2021

Posted by voolavex in American History, freedom, Golden door, guilt, Idiots in Government, lamp, loss, Random thoughts, Washington Post.
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I think we should consider flying the flag at half mast for the foreseeable future.

What Got My Goat. March 28, 2021

Posted by voolavex in Food, Foodies.
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As part of the original “Foodie” world that started in the late 70’s and continued into the 80’s and early 90’s, your list of disgusting “Baby Boomer” food is insulting and wrong.  My partner and published both LA ala Carte newsletter and then – LA ala Carte,the Food Magazine of Los Angeles in 1988.  We created the “Foodsource Hotline”, the first live food and restaurant referral service in  California – that served even the Pope. My partner and I were in the food biz in the early 80’s and I can assure that most of us were in fact, Baby Boomers. This junk may have been set before most of us in the early 50’s, but it was not “our favorite” food.   The generation of BBs that were born in 1945/46 + and still exists were the original foodies in America.  My colleagues were Colman Andrews, Ruth Reichl, the late Jonathan Gold, the late Ed La Dou, Patrick Terrail, Wolfgang Puck and the many others who taught America how to eat REAL FOOD.  Alice Waters in Berkeley, Laura Chenel in Northern California, Jonathan Waxman,  Michael McCarty and the entire cover of our Premiere Issue were the faces of the Baby Boomers who rocketed  ‘FOODIE”into everyday speech in America.  While all the nauseating food you featured in your slide show was in fact eaten by my generation as kids, it did not follow us into adulthood.  You might want to consider a slide show featuring the actual Baby Boomer foodies who balked at these creations and mention the stars who brought California Pizza, Mesclun Salad, free range chicken and the taste of sorbet into  the mouths of Americans.  I can supply you with all the information you need.  Actual facts and names. Your slide show on Daily Choices was insulting.  Actual facts and names. Your slide show on Daily Choices  (March 28, 2021) was insulting. You may want to take it down.

This is the original ‘slide show”.


Tragically Gross Foods Baby Boomers Wont Let Die

Thanks for nothing, baby boomers Thanks to baby boomers, we were able to come up with a list of the worst foods of all time. “Baby boomers” are people born in the..

The Unwinding: A Book Report March 26, 2021

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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The Unwinding by George Packer

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America
by George Packer
Chloe Ross‘s review Mar 26, 2021  ·  edit
it was amazingbookshelves: currently-reading

Not at all what I expected but words escape me to describe the author’s insight, brevity and the knowledge this book impart; in 2013. Before Covid-10, before #45, seven years before. It could easily have been subtitled “How It Happened While We Watched”. Every chapter describes, with accuracy and elegance, the inelegance of how this country unwound. And unwind it did and continues and yes, it is depressing and sad; but we all participated; we all played a part in this insane ‘carpe diem’. The level of hypocrisy revealed and a nation of willing accomplices point the finger at everyone of us. I am not yet finished and I don’t really want it to end. Each chapter or vignette peels another stinky, slimy layer of ugly truth that needs to be known. Disillusionment is mostly the emotion I feel at this point, about my own years of US history. And it explains a great deal of the men and women who have come after me – generations with cute names and not much else. It’s all there. How and who and why. Read it. I can’t honestly say it’s like hearing “The Last Rites”read. Perhaps more like hearing the last gasp before they are read.

When I am finished I suspect I will be satisfied to realize I knew some of was on the way, but so much more and so much, worse than even I had imagined. Read it.

The Casual Bigot October 16, 2020

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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You are likely to have one or more in your family. Close family. People who use ethnic slurs all the time always followed by – “no offense”. These people may have grown up hearing the same words used by parents or family members or on the schoolyard and repeat what they heard. No one corrected them so they assumed – and rightly – it was okay. (It isn’t). Some of them were corrected and they stopped. Most of them said “it doesn’t mean anything” and kept on. (it does). These are what I call the “Casual Bigots”.

The “Casual Bigot” may not have called all “others” bad names – sometimes it was a certain group – likely one that was in a community nearby. Some were ill-raised and mimicked their close family and friends. And a percentage of them actually “hated” the ethnic group, but had no idea why. Some had experienced unfortunate events with someone within the group and therefore called all of them by the slur. Many will gladly say ‘they have lots of _______friends”. (they don’t). Some think it’s just slang (it’s not). Many will have met a person from the ethnicity and commented on their fine manners (a doctor or a lawyer or a nice clerk in a store or a schoolmate) and insist this is an indication they are not bigoted. (it’s not).

Many imagine their group is superior. If they were shown it wasn’t true, this caused distress and usually epithets that were unneighborly even for the ‘casual bigot’ . Casual Bigots get agitated if a person of an ethnic difference moves on their street. Why? Because it will change the things they say in casual chatter and this will infringe on their comfort zone. How? It could set up a competition (conscious or subconscious) in their mind that would impact almost everything they did. The newcomer will never fit in because the Casual Bigot can’t allow themselves to even consider that. It will be useful however when remarking – “oh I have ______neighbor”.. smile. Or “we have one of THOSE down the street” ..eye roll. But be aware that Casual Bigots do not burn crosses or wear sheets. They do not graffiti synagogues. They don’t even call names. And if their kids do anything bigoted they will get a very stern talking to – but they will continue to hear adult Casual Bigotry at home.

Casual Bigots also form hierarchies for their ethnics. Dark people are not as okay as light people. Ever. Sadly this is common within the ethnicities themselves. My opinion is that this type of “intra-ethnicity” bigotry originates in countries that white people colonized. And i has become so ingrained, for so long, it doesn’t go away. I am not sure if it ever will.

And my own feeling is that dealing with a Casual Bigot is harder than a serious one. Serious bigots hate and maim and kill and brag about their hate and it is easy to spot them. They too exist everywhere but they are so proud of themselves they don’t care if you don’t like it. The casual ones are hypocrites. If you mention that a certain word is offensive to you, they will act very surprised and you will wind up explaining your position and not stopping theirs. They will fraternize “to be nice” and so they can say they tried, then slur the ethnicity when they are gone. They will laugh at home about the differences.

I won’t list the terms and comments they use – you have all heard them. And if you are a Casual Bigot – and you know who you are. You have used them too.

PS Many non-white ethnicities do use slurs among themselves. I emphasize the difference mainly because I have not come across any ethnic slur that white folks use in general to denigrate each other. White people are a caste based culture. And there is nothing casual about it either.

About the author:

I am a white woman of a certain age. I was fortunate to have a father who did not support bigotry AT ALL.

The Sorceror’s Apprentice 2020 December 30, 2019

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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When I was a girl – about twelve, I discovered science-fiction.  Always a skeptic as far as presumed wisdom and dogma was concerned – even at a younger age, the  sci-fi authors I loved were Theodore Sturgeon, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.  Alas I did not find Arthur C, Clarke until later ; when I did read and re-read 2001, 2010 and 2030 several times.  My mindset was simply if they could think it up and write it- it could come to pass or already be so.  I still feel this way.

Which brings me to the brink of 2020. The very number hints at perfect vision, but I see it as anything but. Technology seemed to be a blessing for humankind and I would reckon most of us cautiously embraced it as we sent our first email and shouted “Eureka”.  “Everybody, dance now”.  It was the “FAX” only much, much better.

Instant messenger, love songs, angry responses, data, mega data, dumbest – data. Push a button and with far less effort than a phone call, it was there.   I loved it. And as a former constant dialer, I traded my dialing for a keypad and emailed.

Then I encountered Instant Messages.   Not mine, but those from friends who KNEW I was online.  Rude if you don’t say hi, yet annoying because you really have to say hi.  You can ignore a phone call easily. IM – not so much.  But since all this was happening at binary speed, before an etiquette had been established, it was difficult to know how to reply.

Then eBay arrived. I loved (do still) eBay in it’s early days.  Buying and selling anything; EVERYTHING!!! We even took personal checks and I frankly did quite well.  So did many others and the search to “find stuff for eBay” was a daily challenge.  Watching your auctions was like checking your lobster pots (I am from New England) and it could be thrilling with a buzz that lasted for weeks.  And the checks came in and it promised a fun and challenging way  to scavenge and coin some money.  It also offered an entire  new world of shopping.  So I did that too.  I dare not show you what that became.  Suffice it to say you could you could replace lost childhood, recreate memories and fill up a room really, really fast.

And then came Amazon.  Resistance to betraying the bricks and mortar book stores lasted about as long as it took to find some obscure title you just remembered you had wanted at the local bookstore but didn’t have the money.

And then Dot.Coms.  Domains you needed just because it was cyber real-estate and cheap and the ones you created were better than any of the others.  They weren’t actually,  but your chuckle-bait portfolio let you sleep with a smile on your face.  Some re-sold for lots of money.  The others float around, cluttering up cyber-space.  With mine.

Wikipedia was faster than the Funk & Wagnall’s and the info was free and cited well.  Hard to argue with that – and I don’t.  As a kid who read the F&W from A to Z – I appreciated Wiki for its convenience and it did not take up shelf space.

So where I am heading?  I bet you can guess.

First let me ask if you saw Walt Disney’s  Fantasia?   I cried when the dinosaurs died.  But the part that stays with me and endures was “The Sorceror’s Apprentice”.  A cautionary tale set to music and fully illustrating what happens when what seemed to be a boost in productivity went terribly wrong.

When Mark  Z. and his chums were trying to find a way to keep up to date at Harvard for the purpose of socializing and rating women, here was Mickey all dressed in his sorcerer’s outfit.  I like to imagine he had no idea what he was about to unleash on the planet (and I often wonder what the Winkelvoss twins might have done differently).  But unleash it he did into the lives of a species known for murder and mayhem, sectarian wars and bigotry and everything recorded history has shown us.  Clearly a species that has veered into a nether world of non-evolution to something better and brighter on a small spinning rock – presumed to be the only one of its kind.    And beside the obscene amount of money he made from this loosing of the beast the things he has taken –  perhaps without intent – are so hideous and vile that we cannot unlearn them because the hits just keep on coming.  The need to know it all. ufettered, unconfined, uncensored.  Ungraded for good or bad. You decide.

Curiosity; prurient interest. The supposed wisdom and stupidity of the world is as close as your electronic device.  WOW.  Privacy?  You are being watched, listened to and tracked all the time.  Siri and Alexa, the evil twins, do as they are asked; but they can also listen in.  They haven’t nailed dreams yet – but I reckon they will.  You hadda’ have a cell phone (I didn’t, but many did) and that little device (in its cute little case) knows exactly where you are most of the time.  Many folks have their entire life history, pictures, account numbers, phone number and  passwords stored somewhere on that cute little genie in their pocket or purse.   Love to text?  Admissible as evidence in many courtrooms; if you lie it’s there and if you don’t, you’re unique.  I don’t text.   The damn thing does everything but fly.  A worse catastrophe than maiming or death is the loss of the cell.  A new level of panic ensues and it ain’t pretty.   Muscular thumbs may also change glove size.  Parents who won’t let their kids watch TV  love baby iPads. Start them early not learning.   Eliminate curiosity, discovery and amazement.   Someone far more intelligent and educated that you are will make sure they learn  everything right away.  And if you have a curious, life-like child – they may very well try to find out things, on their own, as they grow. But I can promise  you that what we called curiosity will be replaced by instant gratification.  Shopping.  All kinds of shopping.  Attention  Lunch Ladies  Browsing, giggling with friends, trying on clothes, squeezing the produce and  finding the last one at a sale is fading into legend.  Summon Proust.   Now you can sail your boat up to some stores and the ‘bosun’ will deliver it dockside. ( this and carry to the car may create new jobs, but they won’t pay much and will surely teach folks to pander for tips).  Faster service.  In some businesses an algorithm evaluates your efficiency –  you are screwed if it finds you a sloth and out you go.  Likely to soon be replaced by AI – they work for nothing and don’t have families to feed.

These are  both the more important and pedestrian things that will fade away.  They will soon ‘what we all do’.  We haven’t even explored the really bad stuff yet.  Social Media.  Invasive Cyber Warfare might describe it better. Learn to hack and rule the planet (or destroy it faster – could go either way, neither of them very appealing.) Pref-schoolers may one day CODE.  It cannot be that hard because so many idiots can do it – but it is more lethal than the Black Mamba, Ebola and plague (choose your favorite).  Hackers are not given enough credit for the havoc they have wreaked.  “Oh, it was hacked”.  Ho-hum. Seriously – the relatively easy ability to code with malicious intent should scare humanity to death.  You read the headlines.  No one is exempt, immune or safe from malware.  It topples political systems, thus nations, spreads lies, encourages bigotry and all this at breakneck speed.Coupled with drones – practice finding places to hide.  Luddites take a lot of razzing, but they also may survive.

Time out for my own favorite:  Our friend the ALGORITHM.  Here is a definition I like:

An algorithm is a step by step method of solving a problem. It is commonly used for data processing, calculation and other related computer and mathematical operations. An algorithm is also used to manipulate data in various ways, such as inserting a new data item, searching for a particular item or sorting an item.

The last sentence is particularly important.  ‘Manipulate data” is essentially where the future lies.  Add it to instant transmission and subject to interpretion by human beings – it is control.  And this folks, is what is happening. This is the point of the entire essay.  We have given up control, minute by minute, everyday we relinquish our independent thoughts to information sources as honest or dishonest as the humans and their algorithms can create.

So your cellphone is NOT secure.  Your decisions are not all your own and your actions are being influenced every second by power disguised as memes, cute little toys, convenience items, chat rooms for friends to meet and chat, dating sites and standbys like your doctor, the post office, the Fed, voting booth and things we don’t even know about.  Money, power, control, indoctrination are just a few ways it works.  Religion, politics, your town hall and the list just goes on and on.

It cannot be stopped because it has made us so dependent we can’t imagine life without it.  We cannot unknow it nor unsee it..  And it may have been intended for a future better equipped to utilize and exist  But it is now,  It is incurable, viral and despite Elon Musk’s race to Mars – all my sci-fi reading convinces me – we won’t be relocating anytime soon.  We are so entranced with destroying our planet – and while it may be sooner than you think – there really is no place to start from scratch.

Jonathan Gold July 24, 2018

Posted by voolavex in loss, Social Issues.
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Jonathan Gold, my friend and the voice of food in Los Angeles died on July 21, 2018.  He was 57 years old.  His more famous associates have been heard from in glowing tributes from all over, but without Jonathan, my partner and I would not have been foodies and writers and publishers in the 80’s, when food was first reimagined in Los Angeles.   Rita Garlington and I were  (and are) best friends who decided to brave the waters of Los Angeles public relations and by accident, we found ourselves with food clients. What started as a boutique PR firm in West Hollywood became LA ala Carte and The Food Source Hotline.  The PR business was already staked out by more established publicists (and better-heeled) and it was a very hard world to crack.   In retrospect, I am not sure if we ever did crack it, because we are never mentioned in the many memoirs of the first foodie wave – but in a short span of a few years in the 80’s – we too were voices of food. But this is not our story as much as it is a memory of Jonathan Gold, without whom  – we would never been – even for a few years, part of the original food fame of this city.

I thought this would be easier to write.  I imagined the words would flow because writers write.  I am a fine eulogist but there are some losses that take the words away.  What I do remember is the Hyperion offices of L.A. Weekly and Jonathan, my partner Rita and I writing The Best of L.A.  (the two of us who had no clue about computers).  I remember Jonathan in his British army trousers (wool) and his bare feet. We had a very good time.  I remember a pizza panel and tasting at his apartment near Vermont Avenue.  A distinguished panel we were – but the only person whose name I remember was Robin Green.  I remember both Rita and me speaking to Jonathan on the phone often and he always answered his end with a “yo”.  Long before “yo” was part of our vernacular. They had both been from the same neighborhood. I remember his wedding to Laurie at Campanile.    And my fondest memory of Counter Intelligence,  his column in the Weekly, was the one written entirely in the style of Gael Greene.  I suspect we had recently been discussing ostentation in food writing, but as I read it, I was laughing too hard to care its source. As he wrote at the end:  “I was truly transported”.   Rita and I have been trying to remember exactly how Jonathan came into our lives. Likely the Foodsource Hotline. But I suspect it doesn’t matter much. He was our friend, our inspiration and always our cheerleader.  He won the Pulitzer Prize – damn skippy he did.  And deserved it. He married his true love, Laurie Ochoa and had two lovely children.

And then he was gone.  Suddenly.  Leaving us bereft and hungry for much more.

For Whom the Yarzheit the Glows June 8, 2018

Posted by voolavex in Jesus, Jews, Jews, Social Issues, Tributes, Yarhzeits.
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Yesterday a friend posted this moving tribute and memory of his late sister Jill who died one year ago June 7th. breast cancer.  

Our tribe lights candles called yarzheits every year to remember, with love, those who have passed on. He told me I could share it and so I have done here.  This stopped my heart for its shining light and the love he felt for his sister.  Here is his memory of  Jill Kogen Arons, from the heart of her brother Jay Kogen. 

‘It’s been a year since, my sister, Jill Arons died of breast cancer. And, now, with 12 months to reflect on what she meant to our lives, it can be boiled down to one thing: Jill was weird.

Growing up in an upper-middle-class Jewish house our parents exposed us to what you’d expect — sophisticated movies, literature, TV shows, the great American songbook, and the higher end of culture. Occasionally they liked to dress up and go to fancy restaurants in Beverly Hills and socialize with funny comedy friends. They liked trips to New York and Europe. As a kid, Jill liked none of those things. She liked Chocolate Frosted Pop-Tarts, Monopoly, KROQ, needlepoint, symmetrical rainbow art, and boys with long hair. She liked bowling and bingo and the Saugus Speedway to see stock car races and the Demolition Derby. My parents were shocked and baffled. Instead of a Jewish American Princess, they were raising a Hillbilly and I hated having her for my big sister.

How could someone so different and be a Kogen?  Jill preferred Disneyland to New York. McDonald’s to Chasens. Las Vegas to, well, anywhere. When the rest of the family was into “A Chorus Line,” Jill loved “Jesus Christ Superstar” about the death and resurrection of Jesus. My parents were concerned that she wasn’t getting the Jewish cultural indoctrination they hoped. But it wasn’t Christianity she loved. I think she thought Ted Nealy was hot. Still, she wasn’t that into being Jewish either. That was clear the year she begged for and got my parents to put up a Christmas Tree.  Jews didn’t have Christmas Trees but we did. Jill insisted. We put an odd spiral cone at the top instead of a star but everyone knew it was not a Hanukah Bush. People don’t put presents under the “bush” and open them on Christmas morning.

Jill was big on presents. Giving and getting. She liked them wrapped and plentiful. This may have stemmed from her birthday is three days before Christmas and she often got one gift for both days from people. She wanted two like everyone else. She didn’t care about big-ticket items. She just wanted the present to reflect her. The best thing I ever got her was a case of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese when she was 13 because that is all she ever ate for years. She LOVED that gift because that’s who she was. Her all-pasta and fake cheese diet was a deficit to others, but she wore the badge of picky eater proudly. If she got Jewelry or a fancy sweater she’d smile politely but we all knew that wasn’t really for Jill. That was for another imaginary Kogen daughter who didn’t exist. Jill didn’t like shopping or designer clothes. She liked the LA Kings and Magic Mountain and dating a guy who was almost 30 when she was 16. Some people march to the beat of their own drum.  Jill River-danced to the whine of her own bagpipe.

Jill was fearless, and unstoppably her own person. She dropped out of Cal-Arts, got married and had a kid at a ridiculously young age, ran a typesetting business and eventually went to work at the Bingo Bugle. That was a life path attempted by no one else from Encino, ever. I, of course, took the safe and pre-approved path of going to UCLA and then getting a job in show business. While I was bending to the mold my parents unconsciously created for me, my sister was breaking the mold. She was a pioneer. And if you knew Jill, you’d know she didn’t make a big deal about doing her thing. She just did it, stubbornly moving forward. Jill’s dreams just happened like they were inevitable. And on the few occasions when they didn’t work out, like her first marriage, she dusted herself off and moved forward.

Jill was goofy. Little things made her happy. Literally. She collected tiny bottles of ketchup and other miniature stuff. She also loved items that had “AS SEEN ON TV!” on the box. Snuggies and Hallmark Collector Sets and knickknacks were her jam. I think she also collected small bottles of jam. Admittedly she wasn’t the most motherly of mothers but somehow she managed to raise one of the best people of all time, her daughter Samantha. This may have to do with one of her greatest super powers. Jill was honest… very very honest. If I gained weight she’d asked why I gained so much weight. If I lost out on a Job she’d never beat around the bush. She’d asked if I was sad I didn’t get the job. Good or bad, Jill called it like it was. It was never said with malice or jealousy, always with love in her eyes, but she wasn’t putting up with anyone’s bullshit. If you had a zit or a divorce it was going to get talked about. If you had a victory, that was going to get some airtime too. And in her honesty, she was one of the funniest people I ever met.

Comedy in my family is highly prized. It’s a big deal. It was so big I went into the business and my style was formal and calculated. Jill was naturally funny because she saw the truth and talked about it. She knew it was a little crazy so she laughed and that made the rest of us laugh. She had hope and joy.

She moved to Canyon Country because that deep suburban world was the good life to her. She met and married her amazing husband Rich on J-Date, (maybe the only time she identified as Jewish) and it was a great match. How could it not be? Rich knew exactly who he was getting from the first date. Maybe this is why he fell in love. Jill was always Jill. She had the clear-eyed authenticity I was never brave enough to employ.

Our relationship had twists and turns. When I was a baby, Jill adored me. She loved my little fingers and toes. She liked to dress me up in weird outfits. She liked to play games with me. She thought I was a cute toy. I was kind of shy and didn’t speak much. I was kind of like a cute toy to her. But then, at some point, maybe around 5, I started talking. And from that point on we started fighting and didn’t stop until she moved out when she was around 18. I know why we were at odds. I was the goody-goody to my parents, which made her seem more out of step. I made it harder for Jill to be Jill and part of me knew what I was doing. She liked to claim I was secretly bad. She said I pushed her out of a moving car on the way to Camp Fun Time. She did fall out of the car but I didn’t push. My bad was more covert. I might tell on her or act out in ways that were just short of the line where I could get in trouble. She always compared me to Tad Martin on “All My Children.” If you know the show, he wasn’t a nice guy. One day when I was 16 she chased me out of the house with a steak knife in her hand, which I’m sure was a fight I started. I thought we’d always be like prisoners in a family chain gang, uncomfortably forced together for our entire lives. But then once she moved out we suddenly became friends. I’m not sure how it happened. Our differences seemed to melt away. I finally saw Jill for the fearless warrior she was and she liked me because I still had stubby fingers.

She finally took an interest in show business when I went into it. We took a few excursions together. Went to concerts. We watched our hometown hockey team, the Kings, finally win the Stanley Cup. (Jill was a fan since she was 10. And one year, my parents arranged to have some of the Kings including Butch Goring sing her happy birthday and bring out a cake at the Forum Club.) We rented a boat on July 4th a few times to watch fireworks. We talked about taking other trips together in recent years but it never happened because I couldn’t find the time and part of me didn’t want to spend a week at “The Biggest Loser” camp.

In the last half of her life, this rebel was the rock of our family. Jill took care of all of us, especially my mom and dad. She would find tricks and coupons and the best life hacks for all situations. If you were going to Istanbul she’d tell you where to go even though she’d never have been there. She’d find a website or forum and get you the coolest tour for the Hagia Sophia that includes snacks. There was nothing she couldn’t become an expert on fairly quickly. She became the keeper of technology and finance for my parents. She knew all the passwords and had trackers on everyone’s phones. When she wanted to learn something new, she took charge and did it. One year, she decided she hated paying someone to do her taxes so she took classes on doing taxes and did it herself. (I think she was even a notary.) And she took pleasure in the things she loved: her family, husband, Samantha’s dog, and online coupons. And she did all this with clear-eyed Joy. One of her greatest qualities was being able to see the good in the simple fun things in life. She didn’t need to exaggerate what was happening to make anything seems cooler or more impactful to make it worth doing. No drama. Just reality. Real sorrow when things sucked and real joy when things were good. Mostly there was joy.

Even when the breast cancer came, she kept her spirits up. She did what the doctors said and waited for good news, which ultimately never arrived, but she plowed ahead anyway. Through painful surgeries and chemo and radiation that ravaged her body she somehow got through it hoping for new treatments to save her but the disease beat the cure. The day she decided to start hospice she met it with the usual combination of complete honesty, humor, and a determination to get on with the journey. She talked about hoping there was a heaven and joked about how embarrassing it will be to see some of the relatives we didn’t like but how great it would be to see the people we loved and missed. In those last days, we watched movies and game shows when she wasn’t sleeping or trying to move to a position that wasn’t painful. She didn’t go out of her way to be anything more than what she was, a person who loved us who was dying. She was honest about that too.

So it’s been exactly a year since Jill left us. The hole in my heart is as big as ever. We all miss her. But her legacy remains. She’s a beacon of truth and joy and beauty that I will forever hold up as a role model for how to live — free and daring and authentic. She became one of my best friends. I could never ask for a better big sister.

This is a week of yahrzeits for me too.  I wish I had the eloquence of Jay Kogen to say how I feel about those I have lost  But he allowed me to share this and it is exquisite.  As the Boston Irish say – “Gawd love ya”.

And I must add – Jill,  your brother is one of my favorite people.  Rest in peace, look down from the cosmos and know he is still being loved as he loved you and Gawd, this is starting to sound Jesusy.  Thank you, Jay.

Folding Shoes. April 27, 2018

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Nothing is Wrong with Apu April 15, 2018

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This is a response to the recent Apu stereotype campaign. I put it on “contact me/write something” available on his website.  Hari Kondbulo has not replied.  I think he did for the publicity.  Talk about Apu being exploited.  I am a long time Simpsons fan – since they were “bumpers” on the Tracey Ullman.  Hari Kondabulo was a baby then or simply not even born.  Anyway, this is my own take.

I know a pretty fair amount about India. Spoken and written, history and humor. I also know that Apu’s accent is how many Indians sound when they speak English. Is it demeaning and (buzz word alert) racist?? Isn’t it funny that when a character (live or in a cartoon) is French or British it’s okay to voice or portray the accent as charming and often funny? And it doesn’t have to be a native-born actor. Yet the accent is often authentic and correct. Russians can have very thick accents very often – and they are imitated in the media (and my neighborhood) that’s okay too.  Voice actors are invisible.  It is only lately we know the name of any.    It is only lately we know the name of any. Just like regional accents in America – this is how many people sound. Suppose Apu was voiced by a South Asian – the same accent but one that is “real” and not an imitation by an American actor? Would that be okay? And a larger question exists as well: What should South Asians sound like.  Call center slaves?  Should they bleach their speech so other South Asians will not be offended?

Here’s the skinny:  Many mini-marts are owned by South Asians. Many motels are run by South Asians. (The name Patel was and is a term for a parcel of land.)?  Lots. Run well, profitable and a business that hires other South Asians and helps them make a living. Many sound like Apu;   Should they not? The characters on the Simpson’s are satirical. Snake sounds like a cultured street thug. Mr. Burns sounds like many old white men I have been around especially in  Ivy League areas. Mr. Smithers is a gay stereotype.
Wiggum is an Irish cop.  Milhouse is a whiny nerd.  Should actors and millions of fans BDS Apu’s accent? Should all beer guzzling, overweight numbskulls rise up and protest? (You may be married or related to one? ).

The Simpsons is satire at its very best.

But hooray for the documentarian/comedian that questions all of the above. And hooray for the publicity and fame and money it is making him. I suspect this: The Simpsons for its long run and delighted audiences and guest voices will remain funnier long after Hari Kondabulo and “The Trouble with Apu” has heard hits last laugh.



Just Say NO. SOTU. Solutions January 30, 2018

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Election 2016, Idiots in Government, nose picking, Putin, serial monster, sexist, snot, Social Issues, Social Media, solutions, The 45th, Washington Post.
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Tonight, the Asshole in Chief.  Thief of the Truth.  The Rotten Orange Who Spoiled A Nation, is going to spew some falsehoods speciousness, deliberate lies and fantasies over broadcast TV.  The Social Media participants are raving and roiling and cursing and nasty and demeaning this farce – as they should be.  You know who you are.  I join you in your disgust.  But I have come up with a BRILLIANT solution. Bigly.  Yuuuuuge. Cheap – Free actually, no special skills needed.


No frills solution.  Those who decide to view it.  DO NOT REHASH it to those who took my sage advice.  It will be just as bad as you think and editorializing is for the media.  Don’t even listen.  


That is all.

#Metoo. Now What? (Edited) December 7, 2017

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Domestic Violence, Genital Matters, guilt, Guilt relief, Halter tops, Harvey Weinstein, illegal, marriage, murder, serial monster, sex, sexist, sexy, sins, Social Issues, solutions, The 45th, vagina.
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I have been informed that I have made some errors in this post.  There are 51 sets of sexual assault laws in this country.  They can be found on findlaw.com.  These are the 50 states and Federal law.  I did not check all of them and I did not include territories or possessions, however each body of laws regarding sexual crimes have various types, sentencing recommendations and those that cross state lines become federal. What I sensed in those I read was that various degrees of these crimes exist but I also think – only my opinion – that they should be codified better throughout the various legal systems.  And I hold to the idea that the accused and the abused should both have due process.  I should add that sexual crimes are very complicated and very much disagreed upon globally.  But indeed they are, in this country, set down by each state and  the federal government and guidelines, statutes and many laws exist. I apologize for not researching this better and I hope that simply by searching  a state’s sex crimes law on the Internet these resources will answer questions I cannot. I am not in law enforcement nor am I an attorney. This post has been edited to reflect my errors.

What happens when you unleash predators and dump them into a big cage with room for  many, many more?  Some are misdemeanor predators with only one egregious  act to their name and others are serial predators who would still be doing it if they had not been exposed.  It’s a valid question because every crime on our books has degrees of offenses.  Sexual crimes do as well (see above) – I would guess because it has been ignored, not believed, excused or just plain denied by the offenders or the legal and LE systems these laws may slip through the cracks.  It has a statute of limitations in some states so if you got assaulted 26 years ago – time has run out and the offender walks.

For many reasons – that of shame, trauma and fear of not being believed,what are considered criminals among us who don’t get charged and we have #metoos who do not get their day in court.  All  these particular offenses  are are not equal and herein lies the rub  (sorry).  Is a pinch on the butt equal to a rape in an alley?  Is workplace harassment comparable to a gang rape in a fraternity house or at a party.  Is substance abuse a factor?  Is domestic abuse with rape the same as rubbing up in subway car?  Can a husband rape a spouse legally.  Is flirting frought with danger.  Is it an invitation or is it so complicated a message it can be a crime to even do it? You know the variations on this theme and you also know that the acts themselves are not all the same.  They may make us feel violated and threatened and dirty; but they are not all the same.

Those accused – whom we so readily name and those who are not named but pointed at  – areoften not charged and therefore not proven guilty.  The millions of #metoos are still only  making accusations.  And while these offenses include the murdering of the souls and psyches of the women and male victims who have been abused and violated,  there  are still  very broad interpretations of such crimes by judges and juries. Frequently the evidence in any court would be one word against the other. I suspect even lawyers on both sides have issues with this problem.

How could you apply a statute of limitations on better defined degrees or would all sexual high crimes and misdeanors be treated exactly the same.  Anthony Weiner provided proof of his own aberrations – and he made himself the villain because he was the villain.  He is in the fedslam.  He has been disgraced and he is being punished through the legal system.  Due process.

Because a culture of fear and shame denied the violated, the violated were denied due process.  I think if I were so  inclined, I would sue those who perpetuated this.  And if I were in the legal arena, I would collect all the evidence available and bring causes of action in each case that could be a cause of action.  I would not favor the race or age or gender of the accused or their value to a college or a career or a future.  Let Justice be blind. We are a nation of accomplished finger pointers.  We use reputations to defame and extol many people who deserve neither.  But I am more concerned with the way in which these crimes or alleged crimes (because people do lie) are handled and have been handled. And I speak personally; that not all people violated have their lives ruined.  Many do, but many don’t. There are those of us who can relegate memories to a place where #metoo no longer has a daily impact or incessant pain.  We are the fortunate ones.

While members of the Congress and commerce are resigning in droves and without due process we are committing further injustice  and a rush to judgment outside the courts of law.  This is wrong too.

I do not claim to have answers that are effective in the moment.  But the crimes of a sexual nature; the rapes, the rubs, the feel-ups, the date rapes, the marital rapes, the campus rapes the injury, the accused who do go on trial, the anger, the retaliation all have to be placed in a context that other crimes against society and people are placed.  This body of crime has existed for all of humanity.  Some sought power, some sought satisfaction, some went nuts in war and kept on abusing.  But in any context – this  is not new.  And as such we need to make it fit into our legal system better and be adjudicated as we do many other offenses.

And please remember that women and men can be #metoos.






Ancient Astronaut Theorists Missed This November 27, 2017

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I love the UFO station – Discovery, I guess and I absolutely LOVE Hairguy.  And even though they have many reruns – it’s not a subject (if you are intrigued) you can opt out  casually, just in case someone reveals something that starts you  thinking.  I notice many of the commentators are Ph.Ds from real universities and I actually believe many astrophysicists are primed for that AHA moment too.    It’s just as plausible as religion – I say if you have a place for Occam’s Razor – sharpen it and think outside the sphere.

I happened to flipping stations and Hairguy was on an episode about “Secrets”.  (They are all about secrets actually )but the astrodocs and their colleagues were expounding on the images of “star beings” in so much of ancient art and   on the similarities.  Which I find fascinating.  Of course the came in on the dreaded Akhenaten – misshapen and heretical – but  I started to look not at him – although he is mesmerizing – but at the tomb art.  Especially the 18th Dynasty’s radical changes . I love the art itself, but it is strange.  I once knew someone who could decipher the glyphs (with the help of Wallis Budge) and it’s meanings were hard for me to fathom.  (Assuming the Rosetta Stone was a true translation.) However what caught my brain was their immediate comparisons to Aztec and Mayan, Chinese,  Sanskrit Inuit, Viking (etc) art that -carried  a common theme  and seemed to be saying the same thing in other “languages”.  Which led me not to think that “ancient aliens” made a round the world tour but essentially told the same story in (maybe) holographic visits and the art of the cultures were more like directions. or a Fodor Guide. “How to” manuals with arrows and pictures and directions on just what they had to say and wanted done.  Not art.  But information translated into the vernacular of these various cultures so they could absorb and use it.  And not too long after, whole peoples disappeared and in some cases left no trace of anything.  And some died and got the full Monty of funerals, but it happened world wide.  Assuming (and of course ancient astronaut theorists assume this) these visiting travellers had the ways and means to figure out there was a here here, surely they had some powers that were – well – other wordly and far more advanced After all, why make the trip if you weren’t going to either kill us all or share the info. Sightseeing came later. So if you think then about our attempts to rove Mars or photograph Saturn or go to the moon; how is this any different – except for us, it’s on a far less advanced scale.   But we buy it.

So many discoveries  and we continue to hold onto our position of “no this can’t be”; we know the only way it could be.  What have we missed by not viewing the “art” as something far different that just religious scribbles.  And consider this – we didn’t figure out the Double Helix until 1952 – anyone dropping by thousands of years ago could have done anything to us.  Maybe what we swab is not ours at all.  Science has developed CRISPR and bionic and genetic engineering.  Maybe all we are just late to the table.  The simplest answer is usually the right one – being married to science is wonderful and necessary for some – but Carl Sagan thought further; Neil Tyson may, the rumblings of Asimov, Arthur C, Clarke, even Gene Rodenberry have evolved into reality and who knows – maybe that whoosh through the wormhole will have us believing ancient astronaut theorists.   Open minds work best.  They really do.







Who Killed JFK? Hasn’t Trump Heard Yet? October 21, 2017

Posted by voolavex in despicable, Election 2016, Idiots in Government, murder, Politics & Religion, Putin, sins, Social Issues, The 45th.
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So the 45s have turned into the Borgias. This may be one of the best examples of diverting attention from the now to events in then.  Instead of concentrating on the immediate issues at hand; the lack of action in the Congress and the White House, the lack of intelligence in the government, the never-ending suspicions – yea – beliefs that the 2016 Election was a joint effort by The US and Russia, the lies, high crimes and misdemeanors that rouse no anger or suspicions, we dig up the good old “Who Killed JFK” tamasha. This one never crossed my mind, but the plan is brilliant and evil.

Those who still remember that day in Dallas – 54 years ago(!!!!!) are still fascinated by the entire story. Theories, conspiracies, facts, lies, the size dress Mrs. Kennedy wore,  the grassy knoll, the unanswered questions, Jack Ruby and the weeping are a never healing suppurating wound in the side of this nation.

Is this the fiddle that the 45’s have found to accompany the nation’s perpetual dirge? Gone are the perps ; their due process null and void. The people in the painful images of those days are mostly dead. The last child standing is a grown woman. Does he want really yearn for this “history” to be further told. Why not just disinter the corpses and have them be questioned. Or preserved under glass and laid in the rotunda? Was this one of “promises” and did I miss it.  No wonder he stays up all night.  Stephen Miller at his finest hour (his folks must be so proud).  Or maybe he had never heard of it before?

I must note that of all the dirty, nasty red herrings the 45’s have tossed, stinking, into the last 22 months – this one defies description.

Opioids? Opiates? A Pandemic? October 16, 2017

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We have an “Opioid Pandemic”; so says the media – all the media of the English speaking world ( English,simply because I do not read too many languages as well as I’d like).  It is out of control!  It has created fear and loathing and lots of talk.  Oh so much talk.  Unlike the Spanish Flu – a pandemic of 1918 that took out ‘ 20 to 50 MILLION, this new epidemic is one essentially created by Big Pharma.  Sorry – but they do make the stuff and they do send “detail men” – often blondies in very chic, dark suits a size too small, to cold call doctors; they buy them lunches and give out samples.  This too may have changed since our “War on Drugs” began (and persists).  In the 60’s doctors got the samples through the mail slot. I had no idea but I did discover Darvon as a result.  The samples and the detail men are part of how Big Pharma sells medications.  Medications that are beneficial, but not limited to beneficial.  Psychotropic drugs – another form of mind alteration, sleeping medication, another potential addiction and oodles of others.

Ever wonder why those Pharma ads on TV and in magazine are so wordy.  Federal law.  And my favorite of every single one is “and may cause death”.  So I reckon we have a public relations, ad-promoted prescription epidemic that includes opioids.  I recall an old response in narcotics talk in the days of yore in the Haight- Ashbury “take two – they’re small”.

Those of us who are not medical professionals (and hint:  Web MD is not an online personal doctor) have taken the Rx with a grain of salt for eons.  Second guessing is not a valid second opinion, but when in doubt – take two – it will be twice as good.

JAMA has it’s own online page (s) on how to fight this not so new “war” and as I read a bulletin of theirs today, I was prompted to make a note of it and offer my suggestions. So this is it.

“First I would lose the words Opioid Epidemic.  It is not a call to arms – people simply don’t see it as a threat if they are not opioid users.  People in serious pain fear the words.

Rein in Big Pharma.  Rein it in.  Research by Big Pharma may lead to better treatments, but in the larger picture Big Pharma is a cash cow for politicos and insurance companies and  government and every damn body I have left out. It is a revenue stream. Funding for Big Pharma should not be tied to politics.  Sounds drastic but if it is indeed an epidemic – then drastic measures need be used.

And why must this country find a solution when other countries have already done it?  Look at what other countries are doing and learn.  Poach their solutions or ask nicely.

Redefine and revamp rehab.  Rehab is another excuse -creating revenue stream.  Thirty days is not enough rehab and neither is prison.  If it is a medical problem – deal with it medically.  With real medical experts.

Decriminalize marijuana  across the board*.   I am sure that the GOP and the conservative (paranoids) of all stripes can figure out a way to make lots of money fast from the many aspect of this plant.  It is a very viable win-win.  Reflect on the Opioid Epidemics of previous centuries and see what started them and what stopped them.  Demonizing anything we don’t like in this country is the go-to first.  We must stop this.  We must also face that as well as killing pain, opiates make us happy.  We like to demonize that too, unless it  is from a federally taxed bottle of booze.

And not last – but as an important note – these are the times that try our selves.  We seek relief from these trying times.  It has been noted by  researchers in the field of intoxication and addiction that during the heavy shelling of the Vietnam War – water buffaloes slept in poppy fields.  I am certain that the state of the world has contributed to our need for more relief, more often.  We may need to stop the rhetoric and get real.  And we must stop the terms – drug Lord and drug Czar.  Not only do they sound very stupid – they send out a confusing message.  Don’t they?

*Fact:  Marijuana use and posession and sale is a Federal Crime.  As a result military veterans cannot use it period.  No matter how much it may work for their conditions or injuries. No matter how much the federal government could save money and benefit from faster cures.  Random drug tests insult our vets and if weed shows up in the test – you lose the whole enchilada and could face arrest.  Hardly what I would characterize as a benefit.  But true.  Think about it.

I must add a suggestion.

The October 30, 2017 New Yorker has a remarkable and thoroughly researched article on the subject of opioids that is a MUST read.  The author has done more than due diligence to his subjects and it is the iceberg below the tip I wrote of above.  It was written by Patrick Radden Keefe and is entitled “Empire of Pain”.  Reading it, in my opinion, is almost required for a deep, informative and scathing portrait of how this opioid addiction scheme was crafted in pills and in promotion.  It is an indictment of Big Pharma and the lack of boundaries, numerous conflicts of interest and the dope dealing they treasure and promote.  El Chapo seems mild.  It speaks of unconscionable greed and utter lack of responsibility initiated by one family and their heirs. By their names you will know them – on buildings such as the Met, university chairs, charity functions, endowments and dozens of others.  Where their name is not is on any funds that could reduce addiction and the drug that started it all.  They do not care.  They are greedy and their name is Sackler.   Read Mr. Keefe’s article.  Please. It should be nominated for a Pulitzer.

Harvey Weinstein and The Quid Pro Quo October 11, 2017

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Just Tell Me What You Want (1980), a provocative comedy about a ruthless business mogul and his TV-producer mistress (Ali MacGraw).

Sidney Lumet cast Alan King as the Harvey Weinstein type in this movie in 1980 with Ali McGraw. It was and should have been for Harv, a cautionary tale. Jay Allen Presson wrote the book (which I read) and as soon as Harv hit the headlines – this is what I remembered about King’s character saying, “Okay, what’s the quid pro quo?” Harv had one that he didn’t even have to mention.

I sat a Friar’s Club table at some event years ago, with Jesse White, Maytag washer man – an aging Borscht Belt comedian who sat next to another of the same ilk. Jesse (who coughed and cracked wise and told filthy jokes about tits, ass, dick, )had a “personal assistant “with him – maybe 23 or 24.  T&A, Big Hair.I wondered then what the quid pro quo was for her – Friar’s Club events with old Borscht Belt comedians. I was called “Doll” by the lot and I was very amused – not funny amused – but amused at the leers, and eye rolls coming from these nasty, old men. My date was not amused and we left. I was suppressing laughter the more I thought about them.

I realize that Harv has thrown the world of fantasy and the silver screen into a tizzy with the reveal of his sexual aggression to many women. But look at this man. Was he ever going to get the girl on his own? When you don’t have a prayer, power becomes your tool. And he’s a fool with a tool. And look at him. Think about how he acquired the beauties he used as arm candy. The self-loathing and neediness he carried inside. Look at this slob. He could well be in a grimy undershirt, his gut hanging over the top of grubby shorts wearing flip-flops with a can in his hand. Can you imagine this creature coming on to you, naked out the shower? I wonder what he saw when he looked in a mirror? I wonder if he called his prey “Doll” ? Honey? And I wonder how much power he DID have for NO ONE to say a word about it. And then someone did and powerful, rich  Harv got The Long Drop.

I do not doubt a word of accusations flying in formation.   I cannot wait for my New Yorker to hit my mailbox.  And I  do not expect to shocked or even disgusted by the story. It is not limited to Hollywood or Harv.  it is happening in a high-rise office, near you, right now and possibly (but not for sure), even The White House.

Patient Zero September 16, 2017

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“The thing I really care about is the mission, making the world open.” Mark Zuckerberg. Wired 2010.

Thus spake Zuckerberg.  And with a certain amount of youthful naiveté, he and his colleagues unleashed upon this planet something so alluring, so fascinating, so innocent that not a soul could have imagined, as did J. Robert Oppenheimer, post A-Bomb, that they had become death.

Does that sound harsh?  I don’t believe it began harshly.  Zuckerberg is a genius and has a good heart by and large – not bad attributes to possess. And because he seems to also possesses a healthier moral compass than many of his generation, I am trying to envision how he could have envisioned Facebook as anything but an asset to the world and a force for openness and harmony for the planet Earth. And I wonder if he still believes this or has suddenly realized, as the mushroom cloud of social media blotted out the sun, that he had weaponized  the world at the same time. Facebook has placed that little angel on one shoulder and that little devil on the other.  Both are multi-lingual and each ones single job is to persuade.  I think I would be harsh to characterize “social media” as a pathogen, yet it begs for this descriptor too.  Some folks catch it and others seem immune.

On this very day,  this man and his creation are being named as the villain in the Russian US 2016 election debacle.  What if it had been MySpace or another social media site?  I suspect Zuckerberg did not stop to think about the balance of good and bad on this lonely plane; anymore than Bell did when he got a dial tone.  Or a HAM Radio Operator when he first smelled the bacon.    Yet, because, as a species, we have been created with very bellicose instincts  and lots of greed, it might have been examined.  And those clubs that cavemen wielded were not for show.  And dragging women by the hair is a gender based tradition. We wage war constantly. We do not wage peace.  Religion short-cons the species to hope for peace – but it has never actually said we would get it.  But we got war; maiming, murdering, torturing, raping and pillaging.   Nobody human ever wanted to buy the world a Coke. Still, I don’t think Zuckerberg realized that the monster he had created would metastasize like those brooms and buckets in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Or the Spanish Flu. Or AIDS.

So now we have a very small whirling planet, beaten and pimped by anyone who can figure a way to get more from their own “brand”. ( FYI – a brand is a hot iron poker that burns an ID on the skin of animals (and people). You can have your logo tattooed  onto your own skin. In my mind they are very similar). Does anyone truly imagine Mark foreseeing this?  Do you think he created an algorithm for this?   Of course not.  Even J. Robert could see what he had unleashed.  I truly do not believe this was on Mark’s mind.

It’s far cry from the “Harvard Face Book” to the lethal air it has become. The air that is pumped into our lives every single second. But it is an entity of many minds and voices.  A hydra. Or even simpler, swamp scum.  We  now know about too much and now we know about too little and there is no fix either way.  Don’t blame Mark Zuckerberg.  Do not shoot the messenger.  He did not invent us.  He did not program us;  we each relied on our basest and best instincts – as we saw fit – and stirred the pot.  If anything Mark is Patient Zero. His simple idea created the plague that has engulfed the planet. But remember this.  Just like Marie Curie for example, he did not create immunity for himself and I rather think he must realize it by now.  As much as I reject the idea of “changing the course of history” his  creation has raised questions for me.

Consider an old saw, but absolutely true today.  Once the genie is out of the bottle – he truly cannot be put back.


A Book Blog Needs Tech Help August 29, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Book Blog, books, Social Issues.
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Hello – it is about 100F in my area and humid.  I am enjoying our new small air conditioner and  our fans – they do work.  This is not about that.

I want to create a blog to reflect my love of reading.  I sort of did but then realized my blog title choices were not great and that I had jumped the gun.  I have asked WP twice for support and help to no response.  Yuk.  I suggest to WP – they include an  OOPS function in their “Create a Blog” instructions because I sure do need it.  Years ago it was far less complicated.  If anyone has some SIMPLE advice – please comment.

In any case there will be a Book Blog  from Voolavex.com shortly.  I read LOTS of books on very varied subjects.  I want to share the titles, the authors, the comments and all the fun with those who read my blog and those who love to read. Anyone who considers themselves a “reader” is included.  I play (and it is  such fun) on “Goodreads”, a great Amazon generated site, but I want to share my peculiar and very wide list of subjects in a larger, more personal way.

Stay tuned.  I am sure to sort out the tech mess shortly.  And if you are a reader of books and/or a writer of books– in any form; please accept my invitation to check out the new Book Blog from Voolavex.

Senior? Elder? AARP? Me? June 4, 2017

Posted by voolavex in common sense, marriage, Random thoughts, Social Issues.
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I grew up in the Baby Boomer years that began in 1945/46, I went through the usual “phases” that parents like to excuse or accuse their children of entering and leaving.  I never lived anywhere long enough to actually develop phases that are memorable now.  Food oddities that came and went and too many schools and angst and I suspect it was basically just getting to being “of age” and then it simply moved forward from there.  Once I achieved “of age”, I didn’t give it much thought until recently.  Now I realize that I never got the directions on how to be “a certain age” nor the final pamphlet that covered “age”.  I am neither crochety nor am I enfeebled.  My hair is a good combination of white and mostly dark brown, I am tall and still at a fine weight for my frame.  No tweaks,  no shots, no lifts – living in the heart of Hollywood can put a smart and still looking good person in morbid fear of the “better face”.  It is not better and here you see the sad results of just why it’s not really great idea. I do have crepey skin.  Lack of exercise, DNA or too many parties of yore.  Leggings, tights and long sleeves  are all useful for this condition.  I suspect I am getting a bit of arthritis – and it runs in both sides of family and I waited for years to join the clan.  A few twinges but nothing that makes me groan or complain.  When asked about my age I am usually thrilled with the reaction, as much as I  am startled myself when I think about it.  I have two adult children and several important friends.

I was raised as a little kid by the “aunts” and my grandmother.  When I sat down recently and realized how old they were when I was born,  these role models may have brought me to where I am right now.  These were old ladies.  Two widows and a “maiden” aunt.  And their embrace of being elderly was  epic.  Steel gray hair, blue rinsed hair and touched up hair.  Housedresses – the real deal.   Corsets.  Salmony pink lace-up, hook- up and lift-up boned custom made corsets.  And yes I knew how to lace them from any early age.  Huge undies, garters, hair nets – from the dime store to contain their always permed hair.  Always.  My grandmother was the youngest of the three and she was a tad more casual but it was not a visible tad for me. Two of them wore a little lipstick and a bit of rouge – but only on occasions.  One never did.  Stocking – one wore lisle and the other two wore daytime deniers (January was when they bought them) and each one had a secret place to hide their break luck money.  The most memorable was the”budge” neatly folded bills tucked  between ample bosoms and the bank, a garter pouch of fine suede where the real money was carried.  The other two had change purses or wallets.  And they all lived to old age – two past 95.

I realized early on what I had no intention of becoming.  I might have become many things but an old lady was not one of them.  So as I sit and realize that I do in fact qualify for that term, I have no idea what I am supposed to be.  Not a clue.  I curse like a sailor, pass comment on everyone and everything, speak my mind (that can be excruciating too) and still want to know more and more about more and more.

I am vain.  I improve the landscape with cosmetics and despair of my difficult hair – but I hate to go to the hairdresser.   I wear what I have always worn – and it still keeps me au courant  style no matter what the courant of the moment is. I cannot wear stilettos. It breaks my heart. And because I am not a French woman I fail at scarves.  I must have 100+.  Lots of good jewelry I seldom wear – but no bling.  Shoes and bags need to be leather, fabric has to be grown fiber and I realize it hasn’t ever been otherwise.

So here I am, entering a phase; dazed and annoyed at things like AARP. Especially AARP.  I hate AARP.  I hate their condescending advice and presumptuous codified ads that scream “YOU ARE OLD”.  We have a wildly unruly source of information now called the Internet – so I do know how to find glasses and Depends and ear trumpets and  canes and I’ve fallen buttons. I also have a full-time husband. I hate senior communities.  I hate oldster casino trips.  Dances for the Decrepit. (or Senior Mixers as they call them or did). I do like Bingo – but not enough to seek it out.

I suspect because I have no grandchildren I can still buy myself toys and play alone.  I can frolic as others have babies and grand babies and buy memorable gifts and get photos in return.  Is it the life I imagined for myself?  The one where I didn’t get old and feeble.  Not really, but since I have no idea how to prepare for it (just as I didn’t know how to prepare for marriage, pregnancy, toothaches or nearsightedness).  I suspect I will figure it out.  But not today.



Memorial Day 2017 May 29, 2017

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues, Technology.
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We have allowed the negative aspect of technology to rewrite our own thoughts and actions. It is much easier and makes killing – one or thousands -a viable pastime. And we cannot undo it. Buy a car. Soon it will drive itself. All you need to do is choose a color. Don’t have a clue? Ask Siri or Alexa. Why think at all? Bored? Don’t read a real book. Kindle or Nook it – they even help you with the hard words. Education? Sit at home and do it at your own pace. GPS? Damn Skippy. Never have a shot at playing at hide and seek. Pointless. Going shopping. The retailers already KNOW what you like and they know what you buy. The bank? No right to privacy there. And once we thought heat seeking missiles were scary. The Drone. Now you don’t even hear it coming. Do you doubt you will one day microchip your newborns? You will. Do you doubt that soon the act of creation will happen in a petri dish or worse. DO you doubt the Handmaid’s Tale (she wrote it ages ago). Orwell and Huxley imagined this world. So why not maim, kill and hate.
Once a person I knew (now deceased) accused my best friend of “softly massaging my brain” so I would leave him. Not true. I had my own brain and my own ideas and nothing much to persuade me to stay the course with a bastard, violent, liar.  What would happen now as we sit and happily ALLOW our brains to be massaged – the message is the massage is the message. and we eat it up. Think outside the box?  It’s just a bigger box.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a reset button? There is none. There is only an endless, but ever-morphing loop that has put us where we are today. I am not sure we got what we asked for or deserved; but it’s here.

My Mother’s Birthday April 26, 1923 -1978 April 26, 2017

Posted by voolavex in birthday, mother, serial monster, funeral, life baggage, loss, dead, death certificate, despicable, Domestic Violence, guilt, Mann & Mann, marriage, murder, My Mother, serial monster, Social Issues.
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Back in the days when domestic disputes were shameful and unreported, my mother was the dead body in a domestic murder.

In a small blue-collar town in Massachusetts. On January 24, 1978.  It was a long time ago and it was a moment ago.  It was the tragic finale to many phone calls and plane ticket reservations and telephone commiseration for a mother who simply couldn’t.  She fought back, she screamed, she saw a doctor, she drank, but she could not leave with my two much younger siblings, or the pony or the house or the lingering affection she carried for a man who was a serial monster.  Bigamist, philanderer, narcissist, sociopath and murderer.  One sib says many calls of service were made to the local police – their hands tied by 1977/1978 concepts and legalities.  Another sib tells of death threats  made to them on the night of my mother death.  I did not know anything about this part.  I only knew my mother wrote and cried and simply said “he” had a girlfriend and she was confused and didn’t know what to do.  At 54 she was probably menopausal. Not much to go on.  She didn’t want to move out with the children or leave the pets and the laundry list of excuses women have conjured for time immemorial.  I was in Los Angeles and not welcome in her house. (Actually on February 10, 1958 I was no longer welcome in her life.  At 12, I thought it was because he really loved her.)  I blame myself for not listening harder and asking more questions.  And I had no idea that physical violence was part of the picture.  Neither of my siblings (19+ and 15) called me to ask for help. My mother had pride that went before all else.  Including her funeral.

Her death certificate from that time reads  COD: undetermined.  A residual fear stops me from requesting a new one.  She will still be dead.

She was only 54. Today is her 95th birthday. May I say she was beautiful and gentle and kind? May I say by the time I arrived at her house, anything of sentimental value that had belonged to her was gone?  That her grieving husband knew I knew and it was not pleasant?  That I swallowed my rage, stepped back and stayed for the children ( I am my mother’s daughter)? That I drank and sobbed and that the tables overflowed with funeral meats and that 200+ attended her funeral in Boston? That mourners continued;  people I never knew, arrived in tears? That it was the same funeral home by her high school best friend’s parents? Mann & Mann. That I had played as small child in their huge house upstairs? That my family went back as close friends of the Manns? That the grieving husband read a sickening tribute?. And that my own father wept with me in stunned sorrow?

In 1978,  it was simply another domestic dispute. Perhaps still in the local police records – on paper in a box; with so many others of the time.  

There was no investigation.  I knew of no interviews with siblings. That police never asked me anything.  My grandmother thought it was a heart attack.  She had just lost her only child.  Was it mine to reveal?  Information continued to seep through and very long after  I found out the history of the man she had married in 1958.  From his children; who loved my mother.  I should have wondered more about the words of my dear step-brother who walked in, in 1978,  crying, and said to me, sotto voce, “what did he do to her?”

 I have always known it was murder.  I have always known he patiently waited.  I knew she did not wash down 40 or 50 pills with vodka.  She didn’t ever take Darvon and that’s what they found. I know he sat beside her and watched. I have no idea how he managed to make it happen.  He died five years later; alone  in a rented apartment in Lawrence; the other woman long gone.  He was soup when they found him.  Dead five days of a heart attack in a fall from the up high liquor shelf. One he needed a step stool to reach.  In a closed apartment on a sweltering summer day.


He was short and bald and had good teeth.

I could kill him again and again for his crime but she would not have wanted that.  And dead never ends. They would have been married twenty years on that February 10th.

She has been gone 39 years. Since the day my  broken heart and endless anger met all at once.  And no one of us leftover has ever been able to move on.  We try to unpack that valise, only to realize that some things travel with you forever,  in your life luggage.

Ben Carson, M.D. – The Dreamlife of a Fool March 7, 2017

Posted by voolavex in American History, Idiots in Government, Race and the Law, Social Issues.
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(Originally posted as “Won’t You Let US Take You on A Sea Cruise?”)

A little-known part of  American History has been revealed to us recently. And since it came from the mouth of an African-American – it should have been received with gratitude because it finally cleared up a long time argument in this country. – But some of us caught the comments and it bears further inquiry.  Oh that Dr. Ben Carson had expanded his words to include a timeline for the advent of Africans into this not yet country?  Even before this land became a new one conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men were created equal – Africans from the west coast of that great continent were pushing and shoving to board ships to take them to a better life in as early as 1444.  Spain gave “The Asiento” to Britain for the exclusive transport of these happy immigrants who sought a better life in the New World (no, I didn’t forget Pope Nicholas V who added his imprimatur.  in that same decade). You didn’t know that?    And who welcomed these dark-skinned human beings and granted them lifetime citizenship?  Why Maryland of course and it was a reversal of a previous law that allowed them access to Christianity and the freedom to move about the land. Yet by 1725 Virginia did see the founding of an African American Baptist church. Nonetheless, African religious customs of many countries were incorporated in that faith;  no Eurocentric Jesus as their savior.  By this time, there are estimated to be 75,000 brand new citizens – with guaranteed jobs,  in the colonies.  The creation of jobs appealed to the newcomers and despite the language issues – they increased the colonies’ profits enormously. (An aside about language – just as the wave of refugees in 1908 were a polyglot, so too were the Africans – despite the idea that these first “African-Americans”  all communicated in a sort of “lingua franca” – they didn’t.  The language on those ships was a linguistic Babylon; Hausa, Ibo,  Yoruba, Wolof and to some degree Swahili [although it is an Eastern African language] and small subgroups influenced by travel agents (mostly Arabs)  and other Europeans tongues who facilitated these voyages to a better life.   Are you as surprised at this hidden history as I was when I heard it – from the mouth of a descendant of those very immigrants?


Why have these facts not been in play for so many years?  Why did we just learn, from a Cabinet member, of this body of the events in the year 2017?  Who perpetuated this horrid scenario of “slave markets”, crowded ships and mistreatment when these Africans were, in fact, simply humans seeking a better life in a free land.  Why have we been exposed to the ugly propaganda of “slavery”.  Was the entire Civil War a hoax.  Alt-fact?  Fake history?  Were the “slave owning” Framers of our Constitution ( an aggregate of about 1400 “captives between them) a myth?  Why did we even invent a Civil War.?  “A house divided among itself shall perish” – a fiction?


When a physician – a man of medicine – reveals something that may actually be called a “bombshell” – who are we and who are the African-Americans to protest?  The so-called enslaved and stolen humans of Africa were no different than the wave of Europeans flooding New York Harbour – with their families searching for the streets paved with gold.  According to this revered man of medicine – we – as Americans – have been fed a bill of goods.  How will this nation absorb this news?  You tell me because I am well and truly confused.  I had a dream too.


Ref:  Kevin  C. Davis.  Ali A. and Alamin M. Mazrui

For Those Who Imagine It Gets Better Post Election…… November 6, 2016

Posted by voolavex in Election 2016, Politics & Religion, Putin, Social Issues.
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For those who imagine it gets better post-election;  I believe it is just the start of worse. The GOP obstructionists have now honed their cones on the eight years of Mr. Obama.  They have perfected roadblocks,  diversions, subterfuge, lies and blackmail to an art and if that’s what we get – then we have also done it to ourselves.  Democrats talk the talk but they don’t always walk the walk. Dealing with a con man (more accomplished than Mr. Madoff at that) requires more than we could or should have done. We relied on experience, professionalism, common sense and dignity.  What were we thinking ?

 The GOP are so fucking focussed it scares me.  Tunnel vision unfettered by those tiresome and ridiculous socially important agendas .  And the rank and file buy into the fast talk of a Three Card Monte dealer.He repeats their worst nightmares in every GOP speech.  Ignorant, stubborn, religious, too white?  Bigots. Urban poor.  DJT/the GOP’s finest doesn’t speak with a forked tongue he speaks with a forklift encompassing so many groups of citizens  whom, by the way, all hate each other, it’s damn near simultaneous translation  time at the Tower of Babel.  But they let him loose.

I do think the GOP could have stopped DJT;  but confused, they refused.  They couldn’t dredge up a single appealing candidate to run. A name picked from a hat would have been better.  Are they humiliated?  I doubt it ; because if DJT wins – they win (in their tiny minds) and we reap the fouled fruit of their techniques.   And this is the year, lined up and ready the true believers pay to slide down the razor blade ride of the 2016 Sideshow and Snake Oil Offers. The Year of the Bigot, Bias and Buffoon.

Top kudos, though, should rightly go to social media as the fountain from which this swamp of slime and sleaze oozed. Bi-partisan rock throwing,  braid pulling, pussy grabbing, deniability; because we too – every person, every opinion, every tweet and post have enabled this to happen. BOTH SIDES.  Oh and the entire world.  Surprised – don’t be – turns out we have proven – beyond a doubt that the pen is mightier than the sword.  It simply has been upgraded to a keyboard and send button.




Trump? November 4, 2016

Posted by voolavex in Politics & Religion, Social Issues.
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He could win

As we near the day of decision the fear – for me – becomes very much a possibility.  I say this because on my FBPage I sing with members of the choir.  We are bright, erudite, informed humans with an ability to dig until we have read and discussed all the angles.  We have weighed the words and the pantomime and the evasive answers and the performance art of Donald J. Trump..  We are not the folks to whom he preaches.  Those folks are scared too – but they are scared of things they have always held in anger and contempt.  Foreigners, Dark skins, women, Jews and dozens and dozens of offshoots of these same targets of anger, violence and hate.  To be in 2016 and watch this unfold is beyond bizarre to those of us who have lived somewhat longer and have the ability to compare and contrast.  But we are heading for heaven’s door and one day the Social Media will name the last Baby Boomer and their end..  We all know that.  We are not smarter or better – we just have an ability that only time provides – reflection, experience and for many –  plain old common sense.  Electronics and Technology have not dulled that.  In a sense we are at devolution – not moving forward but – at best – running place – at worst – running amok.  If we could run backwards we might kickstart our evolution again.  But there will never be another generation that has lived and seen both forks in the road.  And the road more travelled is crowded.  Trump’s message does not have to have substance.  The listeners don’t have substance.  He is a brilliant huckster but unlike PT Barnum he is fooling more of the people more of the time.  And I hardly need mention that great civilizations rise to glory and fall in hubris and despair.  I am fearful that Barack Obama was our last President.  I fear for the United States of America – because today – we are anything but.

Becoming A Singularity July 16, 2016

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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We know a singularity is not unique in the cosmos, but it is clearly unique to this world.  We have no event horizon to compare, therefore no directions or exit strategy exist to fix it.  Or even try.  In our existence – for all practical purposes, it is one of a kind. And because we truly believe history repeats itself*, it becomes an accelerated waiting game. Momentum is building faster than we imagined and like momentum it simply goes on until the end.  Imploding. A black hole. Ask a physicist all about it. But chaos has begun, in my eyes, to ensue.

The world is panicking.  If you describe it in terms of “hotspots”, we have created a new circle of hell.   If you are a firefighter, we are engaged in a global inferno and if you are an American you are becoming more and more afraid.  I think it’s an understandable reaction.  As we have established America as the place on the planet from whence all things come – good and bad (and might I add, in error).  We are ill-equipped for the bad part.  American pride has been worn as a badge for 240 years.  And just as we exported ourselves as champions of freedom, justice and the American way – we have also exported bad habits, excess, precedents that should never have been, propaganda, and just about everything we could to inculcate ourselves into the collectives minds of the world.  It seems to me that we did not export any brains, morality or genuine goodwill, because all we thought we sent was all we thought was important.  The lapses in judgment of our history are far too serious to ignore; but ignore them we do.

We have a world in which flags stay at half mast – as if with electronic media one needs a reminder. And electronic media surely bears some of the blame; lots of the blame.  It is not better to know it all , all the time.  Perhaps millennials believe they can handle it but I think it’s bravado.  They can’t imagine they can’t.  The app genius that created instant access to every damn thing did not  have the time to  experience or posit all the ramifications.  If there is a world left; we will soon not have to ever think for ourselves.  Every sci-fi scenario you have read will be an app. And this can be a game of sorts – a sad game – add your comment to the list of

 Some things one will not have to learn:

How to drive and park a car.

How to actually search for information w/o

the Smartphone (where the only thing that is smart IS the phone)

How to start a coup.

Methods of mass murder

All the words to all the songs

Having an opinion


How to humiliate, shame and possibly drive to suicide, a peer.

How to lie effectively (excellent news for hatchling politicians)

How to hate.

The new kids will never have to worry about keeping a secret.  The gender of their baby.  Which politician is being indicted.  Time to learn knowledge that forms human experience.  Because when you live “in the moment” – it starts to become the tunnel of life.  They will have things that do things for them.  And because the ones who came before will reach their out of code date and soon expire; there won’t even be a memory to be  had. But there will be an app for that.

Life on Mars.  Elon – stifle yourself.  Read Mary Roach.  Ask an astronaut.  It sounds like a fun idea – but I wouldn’t count on that. And if we fuck up this planet – how dare we start on another?

Peace is a construct – we have never had it.  We are a bellicose species.  We LIKE blood and death.  If we didn’t we would try very hard not to do it.  We are trying it with “companion animals”, trials on humans will not happen soon.

Money is the root of all evil. But it has been upgraded to a revenue stream – like the Granta or the Charles or the Seine.   If you accept greed as a virtue there will always haves and have nots.

BIGOTS.  Like cockroaches, they may inherit the remains. Racial hatred is alive and well and online. Quick fixes have not worked for centuries and those who may be able  think outside the box will likely try to find an app to fix it soon.  It may not be Jews or Black people – but it will still exist.

Do you worry about your online info?  I hear so many folks who won’t do somethings, yet offer their info up for others.  Get a clue – THEY know.  The way you blithely microchip your pet will one day be the way you do the same to your baby.   I am surprised it isn’t done to convicts in the privately owned, for profit, prisons today.  Or dementia sufferers.  Your naughty pix online?  If you did it and posted it – it is always there.  Yup Kim Kardashian’s ass and twat will forever appear in two shakes of a nano.  Oh Aldous, George, Arthur how did you know? (Were they a warning  or how-to guides?).

And in closing – The Almighty? Those who choose “yes” should stop praying and start being very angry.  The Deity appears to prefer hate and bloodlust very well and is hypocrite.  For others.  Is it, as alien astronaut theorists suggest, them? If so, then it is clearly evident that whoever did it,  is disgusted.  Is it simply the cosmos, as Carl Sagan insisted, then it is completely strange to seem to be a one-off in the universe.  All votes are not in.  But the Giant Fan of Life on Earth is definitely being hit.  Will anyone see this and turn it off?

*History seems to be repetitive but it does not set any examples we absorb.  Therefore it is an exercise in futility whose course cannot be changed. So we don’t bother.


Let’s Pee in Public Toilets Like Adults May 13, 2016

Posted by voolavex in Genital Matters, LBGT, Politics, Social Issues.
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Let’s go to the public toilet.  Right now and while you are doing your business – think about public toilets you have  used in your lifetime.  My mother used to line the seat with toilet paper.  Then seat covers.  We used the stall and locked the door, we flushed, washed outr hands and kept on going.  In school we used the stall, tried not to hit the seat while squatting on tiptoes.  Nice people flushed. Some people got caught smoking (that was then) and people said Pee-ewww (or worse) if it smelled.  Some schools had cases (seriously) and some called it the basement, the bathroom, the girl’s room but we all went and we all used it.  I don’t know much about urinals.  Actually I think it’s kind of odd to pee standing next to another person – but I have been in places where there were no doors and that took getting used to. But by and large the idea is to get in and out – relieved – as quickly as possible.  I have peed standing up in Paris pissoirs.  At the British Museum I peed and used toilet paper marked “Property of British Museum”.  It was so stiff and waxy one could imagine writing the Magna Carta on it.  Somewhere I kept a clean sheet as a souvenir.  I stole it.


My family owned a restaurant in a resort town and it had only one rest room and was called the rest room.  No one complained.  I have used the men’s room when I hadda hadda go because the women’s line was too long.  I hadda go – gender considerations were not an issue.  And now we are  in the throes of a controversy about transgender and restrooms.  What is the matter with us?  It is my assumption that transgender individuals have the same needs  as others.  They are humans and peeing and pooping are something we all do.  Some trans folks have full trans surgeries and thus it is no ones business which bathroom they use publicly nor should it be an issue. (is it?  maybe it is).  Others who are in the process  – dressing to gender identity, don’t wear signs saying – “hey I am trans and still need to pee – am I ALLOWED to do it here.  Why would they?  And every public restroom does have a stall or two.  Some people of all genders don’t like to be watched while in the toilet.  Husbands and wives included (fact). So my question is:  what’s the big deal?  If you have a penis and wear a dress, why not go to the ladies room and close the stall door.  If you have a vagina and dress as a male, why not go to the men’s room and use a stall.  I reckon peeing at a urinal without a penis is messy and silly anyway. But anyone can use a stall.  If you are a trans person and announce your genital business in the peeing or pooping process, then I would say you are probably inviting issues to arise.  But I can see no reason for the brouhaha.  I have never been asked about my gender in a rest room.  And asking a person that question strikes me as rude, nasty, looking for a fight or just plain stupid. And reveals a bigotry that is even uglier.


I applaud and support anyone who has gender confusion and moves to resolve this personal matter.  If those folks speak of it – then I am listening and I am happy they have the confidence and self-esteem to do so.  But it  is NONE of my business.  And it certainly is no one’s business what anyone uses to void when in a public toilet with a closed door.


Why are we suddenly the Piss Police?  What is the severe preoccupation with genital matters in this country.  Other countries are not where I live.  A public toilet is a public toilet.  And segregating humans who have to go by personal choices or gender issues (or color – remember Jim Crow – who hadda go too?).  And I suppose I would add – if women all sat at a troughs and peed – like men do at urinals (Ick) – it wouldn’t have lasted long anyway. Attire dictated certain customs.  Little girls practice peeing standing up, I know (I did) but it is messy and a few tries quickly ends the experimenting.


Using the rest room should not be political.  My suggestion is if you are in a place where this controversy is ongoing or you may go to toilet jail,  do it on the floor outside the restroom.  If the new arbiters of human functions don’t like it – then they should realize they need to cleanup their act or keep their legs crossed.

But here is a reminder to everyone who uses the toilet – at home or in public don’t forget to flush and  please wash your hands.

No Matter Who April 10, 2016

Posted by voolavex in common sense, Election 2016, freedom, Horse Racing, Politics, Social Issues, solutions.
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No Matter Who
Here is a screed from the Screeder in Chief – just a heads up for my Blue Buds. Many of you have heroes in the race. Many of you shout the names and wear the shirts and rally at the rallies. There are two choices that I can see. Each one speaks different things to each of us. We hear what we want and we decide based on what we perceive are truths. Remember that politics consists of wish lists and promises by the candidates that cannot always be realized without many others horning in on the deal. “She is stupid. He is stupid. He lies. She lies.” You forget that this is how the game is played. I love your loyalties and arguments but I remind you that we MUST put Democrats back in charge. We MUST vote Blue. No matter who. We cannot abdicate our responsibility to this country by declaring for a candidate who may not wind up in the running. We are running for our lives. We cannot pout.
Support your choice and stay loyal right up until he or she is nominated. Then allow common sense, self-preservation and unity kick in. When the candidate is declared -if you must grit your teeth – grit them. But when you enter that private voting booth – consider all that your vote can do to change the morass the Loyal Opposition has created in the last 16 years. How they wasted the efforts of a good, decent and honest man because he was a good, honest, and decent BLACK man. How the Loyal Opposition released the bigots from the trees and hills and streets and police stations of this country and incited riots and violence and misogyny. How some were chosen – but most were excluded. Because of race, color or creed.
Speak your minds, support your choice, expound, extol and put forth your favorite but allow this fact stay in the mix: This is NOT a personality contest. This is not a nitpicking bee. This is not a horse race  ‘place or ‘show are not options.  This one is for the Rose Garden. So please, when election day arrives, VOTE BLUE. NO MATTER WHO.

Punishment for Abortion -Donald Trump Can Kiss My Ass March 31, 2016

Posted by voolavex in Elections, freedom, guilt, Health, Medical, Politics, Politics & Religion, sex, sexist, Social Issues, vagina.
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Donald Trump can kiss my ass. How dare anyone – man or woman – imagine a punishment for an abortion? What could be worse than the entire situation itself. Somehow the self-righteous right (and many others, sacred and profane) think women have abortions when there is nothing good on sale at Bloomingdales or K-Mart? Is that what they imagine. Well imagine this – you are pregnant and it is not a thrilling fact of your life. Rich,poor, any ethnicity and no one is faced with this truly except women. Casual sex, marital sex, oops sex, rape, you are knocked up. And you had no intention to become a parent – actually – a mother. Your choices should be unlimited in a normal society. But in the eyes of mostly men – you are so low and foul – even in Chanel – you not only are a slut to be shamed but you should be punished if you can manage to make a personal choice. Hoe dare he. How dare they? I will not face this decision again in my life but I have in another time of my life. I have chosen and if you do not think that choice was a difficult and emotionally wrought one – then you are ducky. Women may be relieved after this choice – but they carry it inside them forever. In their minds, their hearts and their body’s memory. I do.


So despite this being a medical decision for the doctor and an emotionally medical one for the woman what more is there to exact? A fine, probation, stay 30 feet from a penis for the rest of your life, have it stitched shut, have a tattoo on your face like Hester Prynne? Community service in a creche or nursery? Lose the children you have and love because you didn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t have another that you did not want to bear. Birth defects – how dare you – you MUST have a baby with no quality of life – including yours and that of your family? That would be an agony that covers a lot of ground.


Was he quick to retract his statement? WOW. You betcha’ because he knew he had crossed a line of voters who do not play that period. And I suspect he actually was sorry about the pressure he bore for it. I think he believes all his pompous, dangerous demagoguery. I’ll bet he had a laundry list of nasty punishments for bad women who chose choice. But Donald is not alone. He just bleats his ideas (?) more easily. I suspect this is the stance of most GOP men and some women. And I also bet they have paid for numerous terminations about which they have no guilt, whatsoever.

Men. Stay out of our vaginas unless you are invited in. Men. Stay out of our wombs unless your opinion is requested. Men. Worry about your frequently out of control dicks and refrain from making medical decisions for females. It is not your right. You have no standing to do so.


And this:  Back once more – hectic few months. Hating this Election Season 2016


Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel – The Magic Words October 5, 2015

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel.  Yet this has to start with South Africa and Apartheid. America and other nations used these ideas to force the Union of South Africa to end apartheid.  It worked.  But what it basically did was restore to the whole of non-White South Africans was equality.  It allowed a non-white man to become president, ended the BDS and South Africa joined the world as a different but better (in my opinion) country. It ended a system that was used by the Afrikaaners, and given a new name; it was vigorously endorsed, installed and enforced in that country.   But this is not about Republic of South Africa.

BDS is a movement founded in 2005 by 171 Palestinian NGO’s to essentially isolate Israel economically from the world, bring it to its knees and take over.   Some like the idea; others do not.  If you read the Balfour Declarations and subsequent “mandates” for the Holy Land – you may be as confused as the Holy Land is about; drawn lines on maps, geography partitioned and the belief by some that “Palestine” should have been part of Transjordan.  Logically the last sounds right in terms of actual land and location but it didn’t happen that way and from the end result – in 1947/48 when the UN decided they should be the administrator of this issue  (this is the ultra short version), they created the two entities and then it hit the fan.

I suspect folks reading this will know the whole story of the Roman Occupation and their choice of names for the area that is now Israel.  In brief it was named by the Roman emperor and the name stuck.  It is not in any way to name the residents – any resident – a Palestinian except to designate what part of Empire they lived in.  Jews, Arabs, others who lived in what the Romans called Palestine were ALL Palestinians.  The name stuck.  And then – as centuries passed it became not just a name but a battle cry for Islamic Arabs who lived in the area.  Their “right” to the land was equal to the Jews and others who lived there.  In light of whose land was it – it was no man’s land and everyone’s land and the land of the conquerors who invaded it. History lists them all. And this is NOT a history lesson.  Look at the maps that show how it was and how it is and you will see the boundaries are very fluid.

This is about what the leftovers could be if BDS prevailednot to change an unfair system, but to snatch back landthe group wants, thinks its deserves and owns. Choice not  an option.  As an aside – the media has all but underwritten terrorism as a just and reasonable way to behave in this century and I include all of the media and their reporting.  The Israeli Arabs have great spin doctors.  And people largely still hate Jews. And if Israel is truly treating “others” as dhimmis – they picked this up from the Islamic communities throughout history.  Bombs speak louder than truth however.

Lets see what has to go in BDS done right:  You can go to their website and see them all with logos, free information and a chance to throw good money down a rat hole by simply clicking http://www.inminds.com/boycott-brands.html.  Call me lazy – but there are so many I resist the pick and choose.  They range from fast food, produce, beverages, Sodastream, tech, electronics and the list just goes on.  Starbucks. Nestle (well I cannot argue about Nestle), parts of goods (you have to figure this out – small computer items), software – it promises new items daily.  Oh and life saving medical inventions that are used in worldwide is most hospitals. I suspect it would like to boycott The Nobel Prize but hasn’t figured out yet exactly. (The prize itself is lots of money.).  TEVA – the largest generic Rx company in the world is going to be tough – countries worldwide prescribe them and they are how medicine is made affordable for those with disease and no money to fix it. ( FYI Israel provides free medical care to all its citizens) and if BDS hasn’t found something – they will keep looking.  It could take years.

So what does this movement accomplish?  It is designed to engender sympathy for the poor Israeli Arabs who throw rocks at Jews, invade shuls and create bloodbaths, blow up themselves to blow up Jews at weddings, cafes and at random.  They want to dismantle and remove the Kotel, dismantle and remove the Jews and other infidels, sneak attack Israel on religious holidays and complain about hard treatment to anyone who will listen.  And just in case you think it will be sorted out through BDS – peacefully and equitably – I will direct you to this link: http://Mahmoud al-Zahar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_al-Zahar Wikipedia His son, a member of the Hamas military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam …. Jews in History and Promises and De…..Hamas is a completely Palestinian organization.  Gaza is its location.  Ending the Jews is their mission.  They are dead serious.

In closing then – if you think BDS is a great idea – I suggest you check out the information and ask yourself – “what the hell am I thinking“.  That’s all this post is about.   I suggest you buy or check out a book by Alon Contini titled “A World Without Jews” and see what can happen.  And then use your own knowledge and your own mind to decide what to do. This post is simply one POV.   You have choices.  

Why Do You Hate the Jews? Who Will Take The Test? September 8, 2015

Posted by voolavex in Anti-Semitism.
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Before I post this blog (or post this blog) I want to acknowledge and thank Bart D. Ehrman, historian, Bible scholar and Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  I have been enlightened by and borrowed  liberally from his book: ‘How Jesus Became God’.  If I had footnoted this post the op cit would  have been Professor Ehrman and this title.  His book is footnoted extensively and there is a Scripture Index.  My best advice would be to obtain a copy and read it more than once. Some of his material has been paraphrased and others quoted.  I must also thank Alon Contino for “his shattering book “A World Without Jews”. Indescribable and researched intensely as well.  It sheds light on more recent acts of Jew hatred.  


I shall be quite surprised if anyone accepts the challenge, but it is a revealing test and it could yield revealing answers.  As people (some people) Support BDS – I have to ask why in a broader sense.  But I can see that Jew hating today in other, newer ways, is still alive and well.   Rosh Hashonah – 5776,  sees hating Jews and Israel become a global issue and people have taken sides and I am not sure they even know why.

Why do so many hate the Jews?  Is there a reasonable answer?  It cannot be that you have had a bad experience or that you had loud Jewish neighbors or you can’t stand gefilte fish.  People hate Jews.  Really hate them. Some say they don’t, but in secret they do.  No one wants to simply say “I am an anti-Semite”.  Slay them, smite them, slaughter them, set fire to them, gas them, starve them and I still have no idea why?  Why do so many people HATE the Jews?  I dislike some Jews as individuals, but this goes for any religious or ethnic group. And it is personal.   Not everyone likes everyone.  Admittedly there are some people who don’t – the people of India have no issue with them – it is my opinion that when India’s Jews left for Israel, the Indians were not delighted to see them go.  Surprisingly Albania had no problem with Jews. And this in the 20th century.  Many individuals do not.  History will show us that for brief uneasy moments Jews were not hated and shunned but by and large – people seem to have enjoyed and actively cultivated Jew hatred.  Habitually.  Why?

The Romans  in the Middle East didn’t hate the Jews anymore than they hated their other subjugated subjects who didn’t fall into line during their era.  But the business in Jerusalem on that fateful Pesach weekend was not really about “the Jews” – it was about a Jewish rabble-rouser and the disruption of the daily life of the Roman occupation religion (it was trending subject in those times).  It wasn’t Easter weekend.  There was no Good Friday and believe it or not Crucifixion was the approved execution method of the Roman times (before they decided to toss Christians in with large cats) for criminals. The Romans were what we now call “pagans” and had their own worship they hoisted from the Greeks.  The Romans named their province “Palestine” – not the Jews or anyone else.  There were no Muslims because it was long before Islam.  The land had been occupied and the Jews angered most of the conquerors by not knuckling under to their prevailing religions or gods – but I suspect it had to do with faith and not just singling out the Jews for this dislike.  Anyone who didn’t fall into the party line was not considered a really good subject. If you want a subsequent history of the Jews and their treatment by Christians it’s out there in many incarnations.  I will not revisit it nor will I revise it.

For me it is that the early Jews who began their deification of Jesus had a small problem in the light of scriptural writing. The business of the Messiah.  Remember there was no “new” testament while Jesus lived; nor was there electronic media.   Jews were and continue to be believers in the concept or idea of a messiah or savior.  He is called “Moshiach” and he is the anointed one from the line of David who will come to overwhelm the enemy and set up God’s kingdom. There is no “Second Coming”.  No Jew until Christianity was ever considered to be the messiah.  Despite claims to the contrary the Hebrew bible does not once mention the word “messiah”.  There is no mention in Jewish scripture of dying and rising from the dead as a messianic indicator. It was not a condition or factor. It is perhaps a good idea to understand that Jesus was proclaimed messiah by his apostles during his lifetime, although he never called himself that and nothing about his death or “resurrection” would have all of a sudden indicated that this alone made him the messiah.  The Messiah had to conform to conditions set down ages before and none of them included death and rebirth.  And the Jewish people were not buying it.  Consider too that the Romans were running the show and the Roman Emperor was worshipped as a god. So either worship the pagan gods or keep your own heathenism quiet.  The Jews did not worship Roman emperors; why would they worship a poor schlub from Galilee who was crucified as a traitor and enemy of the state?  And why in future would they worship Jesus who did not fulfill the requirements set down in antiquity for the presence of true Messiah.  Remember that Jesus and his friends were all Jews and knew the  Torah and the drill.

The anti-Semitism that has evolved probably started about at the end of the second century in the city of Sardis in Asia Minor in  a sermon delivered by a bishop named Melito.  In it he places the blame for the crucifixion on the Jews.  Period.  And because Jesus had attained the status of God – the Jews had killed their own God; their own Messiah.  He concludes by saying that ‘God has been murdered, the King of Israel has been destroyed by the Right Hand of Israel (that would be Jesus who was sittething on the right hand of God”).  To a small group of believers this would be wild rhetoric, but the Church had already become a majority and Constantine, born again in 312 CE (or so) and created the Holy Roman Empire.  Constantine started with a gusto by railing against the Jews as enemies of “GOD” and laws were passed to constrain Jews in their activities.  Jews had done a bad, bad thing and they were going to suffer for it.  Christianity spread.  So did anti-Semitism.  Jews suffered. And so we come back around to the question:  “Why Do YOU Hate the Jews”.  Now, right now?  An invalid choice is “Because They Killed Our Lord”.  My purpose is to find actual reasons that might sound realistic but are incorrect in the light of explanation and  proven facts.  No one has to soften it.  No one has to sugar coat.  I am interested in honest answers.   And I will be interested to see who will take the test.

This post is dedicated to a person with whom I share a birthday and who is a Muslim and whom I consider my brother.  It is for a sweeter, kinder New Year – the one my tribe celebrates and for every other human who would rather talk than shoot.  Shalom.

Oskar Groning: The Comfortable Life of the Morally Guilty April 23, 2015

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Meet Oskar Groning SSUnterscharführer.  Perhaps the last of the participants in the Final Solution devised by the Nazis to rid the Reich (the 1,000 Year Reich) of Jews, Gays, Infirm, Romany, Disabled and a laundry list complete with designations and badges that were essentially tickets to death.  Just a bookkeeper – he committed no crimes but he was fully trained to do so and he was armed.  And he watched.  As he collected from the walking dead their belongings – money, jewelry, anything of value and recorded it neatly in a ledger so that the Reich would be able to balance its assets as it completed its war to own the planet.

You can read Oskar’s boring early history at Wiki and see that he was bright and destined for better things than being a foot soldier.  He believed in the fight and wanted to join the ranks of the elite who could strut and swagger in their SS uniforms complete with insignias, lightening bolts and boots and britches.  Clean and turned out as a highly placed man in a position of authority and doing meaningful and important work.  What could be more meaningful than being a bookkeeper in a busy death camp, stealing from innocent people about to be gassed and burnt to ashes?  Who needs to shoot prisoners to destroy them?  And how such a mundane assignment relieves the burden of guilt.  His description of his own job, in his own words, makes it sound so routine and clerical one might almost believe that’s all it was.  But it wasn’t and he knew that.  Not for humane or guilty reasons,  He knew what he was doing and why.  He did it because he was a Nazi and a true believer.  And his recounting of the circumstances of his work left me literally sick to my stomach.

I have read all my life –  and since I was very young, as early as JHS, countless of books on the Nazis.  Not an obsession but an attempt over and over to understand why my tribe and 5 million others were so dangerous and lethal to the Nazis they would expend money and energy to make the world free of them.  I should also mention that I read everything on every subject that interested me and this was by no means limited to Nazis but it was of great interest and I simply couldn’t establish any reason for the acts and atrocities that justified or even explained them to e. or made it just a war thing.  The plan was the central leitmotiv for the SS and it did, in many ways, cost Hitler the war.  His loyal foot soldiers starved and froze while Adolf kept the ovens burning and the aktions moving briskly along.

Reading about Nazis is not light reading.  But missing from the entire body of work were the observations of those who worked on their side.  Denials were invented and documents burned to erase this massive murder plot; war trials were held and the convicted hung or locked up for life but there was another them in those events – those poor SS men were only following orders.  Orders they signed up to follow.  And judging from their job enthusiasm; the orders were followed to the letter and with gusto.  But in the main our knowledge comes from the survivors or the liberators.  The survivors who escaped death but not the memories of their devastating ordeal.  The stories are many things – and each story is part of an homage to human spirit and strength and reading them brings grief and redemption because we know such bravery and honor exists among our species.

So meet Oskar Groning who sat on the other side of the desk.  Who willingly did his job and lived to tell about  it.  Too little too late because despite his accurate and honest descriptions of this savagery, he  said it became routine and he stayed at it for at least two years.  When he was sent to the UK as a laborer and subsequently released he went back to a good and comfortable life and thrived to the grand old age of 93.  Should he get a pass for his self-claimed moral guilt and having “to live with his memories”.  Has he “suffered enough?”  I don’t think so. Nor do I believe he suffered at all.  Read his own words and you decide – I am sure there will be reams of quotes and millions of comments but for me, finally hearing it reported from a live  SSUnterscharführer; in the tongue of The Fatherland; an uniformed officer who saw it happening and kept writing down the numbers.  Three hundred thousand souls vs. 70 years of a clean and comfortable life they never had.  Keep this quote in mind before you excuse him.  There is no excuse.

…a baby crying. The child was lying on the ramp, wrapped in rags. A mother had left it behind, perhaps because she knew that women with infants were sent to the gas chambers immediately. I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs. The crying had bothered him. He smashed the baby’s head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.[4]

After witnessing this, Gröning went to his boss and told him that he was not able to work at Auschwitz any more, stating that if the extermination of the Jews is necessary, “then at least it should be done within a certain framework”.[3]:138 The superior officer denied Gröning’s request.[3]:138  The framework had already been built.

Crappy Earth Day 2015 April 22, 2015

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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I skipped March. It was in like lamb and out like a lamb and I did not hear the Baaa. I woke up very angry. Earth Day. Wow. I remember the first one – now we talk more and still fuck up. Everyday should be earth day on earth. Every single day. And we know it but we are small minded, greedy and wasteful and there is a tipping point. We are teetering. When it first became a day of “Saving the Planet” I was very excited because my generation tried hard. We did more than talk – but talk is cheap. We are a cheap species. We have created more and more waste and crap and bad stuff and we are not even imagining an end to it.. What will stop eventually is us. And I doubt it will be a single thing that happens – I simply think we will tip and stay tipped. That was one thing I was angry about. I also am going to try not to rag on the GOP handlers about greed and hating the less moneyed folks; the 1% who are using the planet like they own it. I suspect they do in large parts. They do not want to give up a penny of their money and this is a given. If the other 99% of us starve, rot, shoot, stab and cheat each other – they do not give a good goddam. They are playing the Jesus Card because it is there. They are the folks who have enabled the rest of Religion Card players to sit down at the game. My tribe – will find itself becoming crypto-Jews (think Inquisition) because they are too embroiled in money politics to see what is happening. Muslims of real faith should practice real love for their almighty. Everyone should be free to believe or not and the rule of civility is about ten things and the rest is commentary. The balance of power and money for the Muslims is so skewed I can almost see why they are angry and commit murder. Almost. And their 1% can fix it but they won’t. This country is a shame, a snare and a delusion. We are NOT going to leave the planet and colonize Mars. We are going to dissolve in our own filth, waste and murder. There will be no Lord to help and there will be no Rapture. It is looking pretty bleak. And guess what – even those in “power” will be powerless. All their money will be useless and that is a tragic irony because all that money could fix many problems and still create revenue streams for them. If you have no customers, you will make no money. Enabling the 99% is the cost of business. Growing the consumers is what grows the business. I will continue to sinle out GOP members who piss me off. I am angry and not even started – but this is how I feel right now on Earth Day 2015. Comments are welcome. Stream of consciousness is about all I can say for my screed. Feel free to screed too.

Is That A Gun in Your Pocket – A Little Look At Rape February 21, 2015

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Social media has put rape on people’s minds. For which women and girls, for the most part should be very grateful. No, that isn’t right. No woman should be grateful about any kind of rape –  it is a nasty word; long whispered – that is now in capital letters. It was never discussed in the presence of children when I was one. It was shameful and ugly and dirty but it was always the woman who had done something, anything , to make it happen. Consequently raped women were soiled, whores, sluts, dishonored, used, unmarriageable (horrors), no better than prostitutes, unclean and a laundry list of other denigration that drove these women and girls to hide in shame and in many cases, commit suicide. Enslaved women were beaten and raped.  Sex trafficking is part of a very old profession.  Most went unreported, children of rape were pariahs and rapists – well -they just couldn’t help themselves. Oh sure they were animals and monsters but it was women who made this behavior occur and therefore, men were worse victims of this invasion of body and soul than the cheap women who deserved what they got. Let me tell you , it is going to take more than social media, DNA and rape kits to make it stop.

Here’s the disclaimer: I like men.  I am married to a male – and not the first; I have a male child and a father whom I adored. This is the best part in some ways because I have loved and been loved by men that left me sad when they were gone, happy when they weren’t and angry when they took what I had not given freely. But it makes me a sort of expert.   Women surrender themselves in the back seats of cars, the picnic blanket, the football stadium after dark, in their own rooms when no one else is home and it is often forcible surrender.  And I suppose the crux of the matter is that last phrase.    But for me the issue almost always excludes the one thing that no one seems to address (and it may be not be addressable – [I suspect it is]);  the nature of the men who rape; the date rapist, the frat boy, the boss, the lover (yes, the lover), the relative, the stranger, the man is very much a product of nature not nurture.  The gun has been in his pocket all his life and this gun has always had a mind of its own.  Not every man is a rapist – not every man has this drive in his heart or soul or mind; but every man has the weapon and instructions come with it.  And it’s okay because to them;  just as women “get themselves pregnant”, they also “get themselves raped”.

Cultural differences are usually not included in the war on rape.  We would like it all to be the same and in the end it is all the same, but it is not seen or done the same way.  Raped is raped; but customs – whether they are good or bad are part and parcel of the crime.  Questions of whether any woman has essential equal rights to the sovereignty of her being form part of the basis of how the act is regarded.  If you come far enough to those endless local and federal government and legal debates, in this country alone, you will see that the very Solons and lawmakers, in their suits and ties, who run the show, regard rape in as many ways as there are ways to think about it.  And apparently men think about it a lot.  The lure of a woman’s body appears to be unmanageable for a large number of men and judging by the thousands of reasons they concoct to excuse what they did, thought, wanted, were entitled to have; they are not entirely comfortable with any of it or some don’t even believe it was actually wrong  Whatever emotions or appeal men have for women – ours seems less fraught with confusion and much more emotional.

There is the age old (and I mean eons old) fact of “pillage and rape”.  After the angry hordes have decimated their adversary – almost as an afterthought or a reward for the pillaging, they rape.  And you might imagine they would be exhausted after the destruction and murder and mob violence – it seems logical – but adrenalin and testosterone and sexual assault are not the things of logic and victims (male and female) get raped.  In some ways ending war is the twin brother of ending rape.  Or not; having endured marital rape and date rape and having said “no” and meant it, to no avail; I suspect that freedom from rape is just as much an imaginary construct as peace on earth.  Sad, but this is what I think.

Now you may be thinking.  Eee-oo, what a nasty  look at some of the rape issue – but this is how I see it now. But more than these self-evident truths is a  larger and much more pressing  question.  How does the world in this century undo eons of thoughts, attitudes and the act itself.   Talk is so cheap and support groups are so superficial and the courts are so backlogged with cases in this country alone, it defies the issue and that is  just one part of it – but look at recorded history.  Rape has been for many men – an entitlement and for many more – an expected part of war.  And I suspect in many, many cases it is almost a reflex.  Yes, that’s what I think.  After all – sex is a very basic act and one can argue about whether rape is a crime of a sexual nature or of power – but does that really matter if you have been raped?  I think it is a tiresome debate because I think it is both and we waste too much time debating which one it is.

A recent article in the NY Times Sunday edition of January 25, 2015, entitled “Searching for Sex” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz includes a survey.  “Of the top ten questions about “my penis” nine involve size” Average monthly searches (derived from anonymous and aggregate web activity) are telling and size is a source of insecurity if the numbers are even close..  Just as it is good to be king, it appears good to have big dick.  Touching briefly on the male Gay community; it is also an issue there and a peek at “Grindr” is informative and a little scary.   I will let you decide on your own.

Answers?  I am not convinced there are any. Rape is not new.  It is being dealt with at this point as if it is – but that is a Sisyphean position.  Zero tolerance on campuses, asking permission for hot sex that is consensual is absurd.  Yes.  These are both very PC but very unproductive and not practical.  Alcohol fuels sex and as a woman I can attest to that.  Do men take advantage of this?  Yup.  Do they memorialize it on smart phones and social media? Yup.  Do they brag?  Certainly.  And do they expect a pass when it is reported?  Yup.  They have always gotten a pass (and by always I mean historically) – this has been a part of having a penis and may be a serious reason why men believe they are in charge and control.  To some degree they are.  I don’t understand gang-rape well; the same men who insist on female purity accept sloppy seconds + when presented with the chance.  But shame?  Not much.

Can you teach a male to not rape.  Some men simply never will.  It will be abhorrent to them.  But just as some people will never use a gun even if they have one, the inherent problem in the case of sexual force, abuse or rape, is that the means are stuck on the front of men’s bodies.  And this organ responds without permission. Women who are skin and bones get raped, women who are very overweight get raped, nuns get raped, pregnant women get raped, mothers with children in tow get raped, disfigured women get raped, disabled women get  raped, mothers and grandmas get raped, children get raped. They are beaten, subdued, unconscious, in burkas and “modest” apparel. They are raped by one; they are raped by gangs and they are raped by turns.  This has always been part of human history and in last few years of the 20th century and in the 21st we have decided to fight a war which is so entrenched and so widespread it makes me despair. And  in the end we tend to ignore a simple truth that confounds us.  Boiled down to the  its essence; since the basic tool for the rape is attached to the rapist, the rape is on the rapist. It is on their person. It is part of them. And that is the entire source of the problem. Until men do not see rape as a viable or opportune act – there will always be rape and the raped will continue to bear the shame and the blame.

Je Suis Charlie. Are You? January 10, 2015

Posted by voolavex in Terror.
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It is an event that struck not just at Paris, but at the hearts and minds of reasonable humans worldwide. We are all Charlie.  And we should always be Charlie from this moment on because we do not seem to get it without vicious attacks like this one to remind us that we are not safe in our only home.  This is the only place we can be.  There is no default planet to escape to and set up life right now.  And probably won’t be in any reasonable future.  This is it and we are threatened – on every front.  We have raped and destroyed this planet.  Assaulted her and used her and do not yet seem to know we cannot just toss her away.  And this is bad enough to imagine – but the events in Paris are yet another reminder that we are engaged in a conflict that is a clear and present danger – to anyone who is not in line with the agenda of terror.  Why does this shock and stun us every time an attack occurs.  It shouldn’t.

War is a condition of mankind.  Peace on Earth is a construct and an individual desire because it has NEVER been part of history.  In recorded history there has never been peace on earth.  Perhaps peace for a while in some places – but the  planet has been in constant turmoil since history has been recorded.  As a species we like to rape, pillage, murder, enslave and terrorize others.  The  scriptures of almost every faith on this world are dripping in blood – perhaps Buddhism is an exception – but it too came to be in bloody times as well.  Did we crucify, toss to the lions, smite, riot, plague and burn at the stake every chance we got???  We sure did!  About all that changed was the effectiveness of the means.There are few tribes or clans or peoples that have not fought back against something.  And usually with violence.

So why did Paris stun us to the core? Because this is what it takes to keep us awake.  Lost lives and bloodshed.  And because there are some places in our hearts and mind that seem sacrosanct.  Paris is one.  And the invasive attack on Charlie Hebdo was up close and personal. It told all of us that we could be in our work, our homes, our daily lives, in the City of Light suddenly  into darkness and we could BE Charlie. Multiply each lost soul by billions and we are all Charlie – going about our daily business, at the water cooler or lunch or in the park.  This is the world we live in today.  Not much different than any other world except we are in the here and now.  We did not see people burned at the stake or heads rolled in Mayan bowling games – we see this now as hearsay in books.  Today, people are lashed in public for ideas that are not “acceptable” to the some and therefore must be punished as a warning to the many. But bowling games or caning – where is the difference?

France warns the French Jews in particular – but they might also warn the French Muslims who do not support terror as well.  They might point out that cathedrals and chapels are also at risk. They are all Charlie too.  This carnage in no way diminishes the carnage already visited upon the 21st century in its short life, but we should reflect long and hard on what it does accentuate.  We are a planet of monsters and a species who carry this dark capability all the time.  The very good are rare and precious. The Nobel Peace Prize is treasured because those to whom it is given are rare and precious.  Hitler was not an anomaly – he was just single-minded and in a better position to plot his course.  And the media was better.  And now the media is the messenger in an instant of all that is wrong and whatever is right. They do not achieve parity. Mumbai was a siege that last for days not even 10 years ago.  As we coast between slaughters expecting peace to give us a chance.  Imagine.

What I think and don’t say is that – but now I will – is – in the long history of my own faith – and until the 1900’s – despite ongoing plans for annihilation – my tribe did not do this. Current history may be a charged debate by those pro-and con Israel – but that is not the issue – the issue is that my tribe did not rain terror as recourse or payback or spite in more cases of threat and murder than recorded consistently on this planet. If the Christian prophet advised turning the other cheek – we epitomized doing it. Perhaps the hideous lesson in this is to understand how people are punished for what and who they are and think and how terrifying living under those circumstances has been for millennia.  And how some face it  honorably and others murder instead. I would suggest that people of any faith – not just mine,  be careful . This may just be the terror that all the previous terror in history has begotten.

Bill Cosby. I Think He Gets It. I Think He Got Some. December 5, 2014

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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Droit du seigneur is a term from the days when knights were bold and women dropped the cotton(or satin or linen).  The right of the male to screw any women or girl or maiden he fancied without consequences.  He was entitled to much more but sportfucking was part of it.  Rape, assault, forcible sex – all of it.  We just recently realized this is not exactly a right any man has and it is not a good thing at all and now we point fingers and name names of things that latter-day seigneurs thought were their droit. The following is merely a an opinion and based on my own observations.  And the truth is an absolute defense against libel, so this is my opinion.  I do not know Bill Cosby.

However, Mr. Cosby is just one seigneur.  Believe me, there are actors, producers, directors, CEOs and various and sundry other men in dozens of other industries, who are now streak marking their drawers over Bill Cosby and the allegations made by now 20 or more women whom he has been accused of abusing sexually.  Because this cannot adjudicated within the statutes of limitations he cannot be charged criminally.  But it is my belief that he can be sued civilly, possibly as a class action. The basis for a suit that is not classy.  And I do believe the accusations and I say this because it was the “done thing” in my short career as a wannabe MAW (model actress, whatever).  It was not just Bill.

My experiences in the Industry are not sad stories by any means – but oh the big shots tried. Being casting couched was a job application requirement with no yes or no to choose. (now it’s join a shul – but I digress.).  How I avoided it was simply by mentioning it as I walked in the door chuckling.  It  actually did happen once, but it was a woman who tried with a woman who said – forget it.  And no, I never got the parts or the shoots or the jobs.

What did I learn from this in 1972?  Well, I had heard that Bill was man who fooled around.  I never was up for a part in his career sphere, but he was a player and he liked to  it.  Anyway he could.  But so did many others.  Promises, promises – which should show you that there is a gap in many a male mind about honor and lying to get what you want. “I am a man of my word” (except ______ ) is a lie told to get sex. A stiff penis has no brain. And the social media comments  set-up the story because so many folks ask and wonder “why now”.  Why do this to an old, grizzled man who is still married with grandchildren and rides on his reputation as an actor, comedian and sweet goofy guy who loves Jello pudding?  Scroll on and I will tell you why.

Can you think of a better form of payback than sweet revenge by cold-blooded revelations and swept under the rug sex crimes that happened about 40 years ago.  He must have thought he had gotten away with all of it. Here is man who is pushing 80, rich and more than that, beloved and respected, by people here and abroad.  A cuddly, cute, goofy guy whose little twinkling eyes and silly smile – and no nasty curse words – allowed him to work any room almost anywhere.  It worked on me.  I loved Cosby – the various roles in which he basically played lovable, silly Bill. This man was a  role model for African Americans but it didn’t stop there. He was everyman. He was commonsense, honest and outspoken about things he found the naughty and he laughed about things he thought nice.  Like Santy Claus…with a hard dick who won’t take no for an answer. But patience is a virtue and revenge a dish best served cold.  And this is cold – at least to me. And brilliant.   None of his accusers ever made a peep for 40 years or longer. None of them advanced in their media careers due to the sexual demands and favors allegedly demanded.  But they waited and I suspect the person of interest got to thinking – “heh, heh, heh – wanking water under the bridge” and he kept getting gigs and money and went on about his pontificating and stand-up and late night and never looked back.

Think about it.  Forty years.

He got a nice, free ride for all that time

He made a huge amount of money.

And as it is all crumbling, cancellations, disgust, anger and outrage.

It’s still happening too.  So this is a cautionary lesson for aspiring performers in any career.

And for CEO’s.    Time does not heal all wounds.  Watch and learn.

The GOP, the Voters and the Negro in the White House November 9, 2014

Posted by voolavex in Elections, Politics.
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Words will not be minced.  The vote is in.  The shame is apparent for those who voted (those who actually lifted their asses off the couch and voted) and voted blue.  While the GOP laughs its own ass off at the expense of an America I used to know, we need to accept that people of both parties blew it off.  Some of us displayed their colors – loud and true but anyone who whines needs to shut up.  The Democrats royally, bluely screwed up.  But I suspect they tried hard to win.  Just not hard enough.

The  voting majority population of America has revealed themselves to be basically bigots over the last two terms of the Obama presidency.  These folks who cling to GOP antiquated platforms and policy; who cannot seem to get their mouths around the word oligarchy (but apparently embrace it with gusto), are complicit in the worst bigotry I have witnessed in my voting life.   Forget policy, decisions, progress, lack of it, programs, innovations, missteps from the Oval Office.  Forget all that.  We have had many worse jerks sitting there and we all know who they have been.  So jerkishness is not the issue.  Lack of education and integrity isn’t the issue, golf isn’t the issue, sex, drugs and rock and roll isn’t the issue.  Barack Obama’s only shortcoming – right in the door, was being Black.  If anyone wants to pretend it isn’t true, then go for it but it is the unvarnished truth and it has been the real issue driving the GOP since the 2008 Election.  (that, and the pre-oath Nobel Prize,  didn’t help either).  The votes came in and they were counted and Mr. Obama won the election.  Which was such a stunning blow to our aryan nation and other small-minded, pistol packing populace, they spent their holidays trying to figure out how to undo this hideous wrong.  And it wasn’t just Obama, but his Black wife, two Black children and his Black mother-in-law.  And oh the places they went.  That toke, that mosque, that trip to Nairobi, the Hawaiian press, the Halls of Records and eventually the courts.  All that effort wasted on lies and conspiracy theory because no one could say, dared say, would say: “Well, the main issue is that he’s Black”.  So add in hypocrisy to the mix. Because, to my mind, that has always been the one and only issue.  He wakes up in the White House Black, he gives speeches, Black, he is Commander-in-Chief, Black.  (what about that stank salute?) How could this have happened and how can it be stopped?  If the election of Barack Obama told Black Americans one thing, it said, loud and clear – “you do not belong in the White House”.  What should have been inspirational, uplifting and encouraging to this built on slavery nation, should have been the achievement of this election.  Wrong.  What it said in fact was: “watch us make him dance Jim Crow.”  We will screw him in the Congress, will mock him on the golf course, ruin his vacations, whisper about his daughters’ private parts;  we will undermine his decisions, we will schlep repeatedly to the Supreme Court and we will have interstellar media to broadcast loud and clear.  Entrance and exit polls, Silver and Gold to show the United States what a huge mistake they made.  And aren’t they glad that now have a Congress that will do all they can to right this grave wrong.  And watch as we acquire huge amounts of money from corporations who can only benefit from a juicy free market economy government.  Occupy? They occupy. They occupy Wall Street, some of the Supreme Court and the economy.  They are the minions;  Kochs, the Adelsons (bad for the Jews especially), the Walmarts, the Ailes, the Murdochs, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and so many others that lurk in plain view.

Who remembers JFK?  Well, I do and I remember how the nation cringed at the idea that a Roman Catholic was going to run for the Presidency.  Oh damn.  Here comes the Pope, the ornate censers, the holy water fonts and we cannot allow that. Those things never happened, but by God, it was still stopped short. JFK may have died from lack of electronic media.  The poor man was a physical wreck, he was heavily medicated and a skirt chaser.  But it wasn’t “known or shown” due to the lack of technology.  I remember seeing the picture of Lee Harvey Oswald shot by Jack Ruby on the front page, for heaven’s sake!  Who ever thought of that happening.  In public. Those days are gone.

So now for the last two years of this beleaguered man’s administration, the gloating GOP; drunk, sober, felonious, old, male, mostly white and misogynistic will roll like dogs in shit and howl at the moon as they are allowed by popular vote, to carry on their malfeasance. How much better can it get until 2016.*

I simply hope that when Mr. Obama leaves the White House – in these lame duck sessions of Congress, he will go out quacking loud and strong.

*(Hint to Democrats:  Do not nominate anyone who absolutely cannot or will not win due to gender, age, color, creed or decent morality.  Just don’t do it.).

Stealing Our Kurds Away October 8, 2014

Posted by voolavex in WORLDS AWAY AT HOME.
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Why are we allowing Kurdistan to be captured? We all know that Kurdistan  is a very important and they are very much allies. They are threatened by the Terrorist that are besieging the entire area.  We must help them somehow.

Why is Assad not doing something? He is not going to win with the Terror Team.
He is not a Sunni, he is very western and you cannot tell me he is now praying 5x a day and  she is wearing the veil.  Is he being held and it would be worse juju to let that slip out to the rest of the world? He is a very bad guy dealing with even worse guys.
Why don’t we refer to this group as the Unauthorized Illegal Terrorist State (UITS)?
 I am assuming this is a group that attracts serial killers globally.  The chap who does the beheading seems to love his job. And have they no idea how predictable and unoriginal.it has become and how angry it makes us – all of us?  But we are also becoming jaded.  Becoming?  We are,  aren’t we?
Have they never heard of more bees with honey than vinegar?
And BTW – if the Sheikhs of Araby had been dispersing their oil gotten gains throughout the Middle East maybe there would be some sort of contentment.
I know quite a few Muslims.  This behavior does not exactly represent a typical person of this faith. Consider how many there are who are secular. No, is it DISrespectful.  I wonder if the very loud silence from that quarter is fear? These terrorists are washing an entire population with disgrace. Speak up.
What about Jordan?  Where is Jordan on all this?  Yes I know the king speaks Arabic
with an American accent.
Does all this scare you?
And elsewhere around the globe.
The patient with Ebola from West Africa has died.  His fiancée posted a very touching and eloquent message directed to this country.  Some people will not be happy and accuse you know who of creating not only the virus but the spread. Does Ebola scare you?  How on earth did no one assume Ebola would spread.  Why is anyone surprised.?And considering it is mutating by the nanosecond it is going to get harder and harder to try to find a fix.
Why was everyone so disinterested when it was killing West Africans?
Oh wait.  I know why.
And in closing – why does WP keep changing the font type of my posts?  If it annoying me, it must be annoying readers of this blog.  Even AOL has type choices.

Free Apps!!! The Whole Hog. August 31, 2014

Posted by voolavex in Economics, Social Issues.
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I do not own any mobile devices.  Primarily because I don’t need any.  I have a cell phone I hardly use and a nice MAC consoleI use at home.  Would I like an iPad – yes, because I am lazy and like to loaf and be on the computer in bed, but I don’t need one and I am not in any need of a smartphone – although they make photos much easier. I did have a laptop I never used much either. Full disclosure.

I stood with my best friend in line for the first iPhone.  They ran out and we left.  I was fascinated but not compellingly so – I went to events where folks – later on – played AB on their iPads and I was really excited (indication of shallowness).  I hinted and whined but got no offers so I shut up, went home and killed green pigs at the console.

This was just about the time we were all invited to “Like Us” on FB or “Follow” us on Twitter.  Easy.  Great way for biz to collect data but wait…..data.  Collect data?  What kind of data? Oh never mind.  Just press Like..  So we did.  Luddites didn’t but I suspect there will be a time it will happen.  As a former PR person I really admired how fast a business or person could get publicity without much work.  We did the work then; the “social media” does it now.

And then came the APPS.  Download the app.  Get the app.  Use our app.  In the car – try out our app.  The bank app, the grocery store app, the unlock your home app, watch your kids on the sly app, watch anyone on the sly app. Read a magazine on our app.  Order anything on our app. See how easy a colonoscopy is on the free app.  Mobile phone, tablet/pad – wait – there’s an app for that.  The catch – you gotta buy the device.  Oh yea – some things can be used/had/bought for your lame old sit at the desk/console computer, but not the kind of stuff you can get with a “FREE APP”.  And you can “scan” – just wave the mobile device over something and off she goes.  So you get discounts and insider offers and special perks (the now tiresome and mostly data collecting “rewards points”.  OMG – Pavlov was right.  The catch?  You gotta own some device to do all this.  In order to join this mobile app extravaganza – you have to go and get the device.  These cost money and there is no app for that.  And once you succumb, you have to have a plan.  So now you have bought the device and the case (I like Ghurka, Fendi or custom color leather) that you must have to have to flaunt your style and the free apps and wait for it…the plan.  Since I don’t have a plan I have no idea what they start at but $40 sounds about right, for which you get access (use of) to the carrier and a certain amount of data space.  The more space, the more apps you can get FREE but then the meter starts to tick.

Do I have to explain this?  You have been offered yummy, scrumptious candy on a stick (the perks offered by the apps that are FREE) but in order to have them, you must have the device and what good is the device if it has no plan to store data?  So the circle closes and you are chatting and killing pigs and taking selfies (I HATE this word) and giving money to all these vendors of devices and plans (the apps remember are FREE) agreeing to required contracts with fees to opt out and “friends who can’t get one so would you help”, who don’t pay the bill and before you are even old enough to suck back a martini – your credit is ruined and you are facing Judge Judy being called a moron.

Since it is de rigueur for any child over five to tote a cell phone and/or tablet (and in some cases required) this runs into money.  Serious money. So when you see a gaggle of goslings chatting to each other on devices – tack on $40 a month a piece. The cost of living increase con can rationalize it.

For me, however, the best part is that you got all this tech because you were persuaded by the people who profit into getting it.  Without the tech you cannot get the FREE apps.  So the very next time you see an ad for anything at all – offering the FREE app – just remember all the steps you took to have it and buy it and pay for it monthly.  Those apps are not really FREE.


Next blog.  Texting and terrorism.


Some Florida Moron May 21, 2014

Posted by voolavex in LBGT, Social Issues.
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These are what I would like to ask him and I would like reasonable, logical and substantiated answers: Describe for me the LGBT “Agenda”. How does it work? How do you “turn” kids gay? Exactly how does it happen? Is it the soft massage of their brains that do it? No? Oh you’re not sure exactly how it happens but you know that LGBT is like a “cult” that preys on kids? Why? I would ask you this – when you were a adolescent, to which gender were you attracted? It is that simple. If your first crush and every subsequent romantic or physical feeling you had was for the opposite sex – you consider that “normal” but it isn’t a question of what is “normal”. It is a matter of attraction, emotions, feelings and it is not learned. If you liked the captain of the football team a bit more than just admiration for his sporting prowess or you wanted to date him – that was “normal” too. It is pretty much a given in history that opposites do not always attract.  But it’s “not normal” to you – so instead of trying to understand why you fear it so much – what about learning about same sex relationships in history, in your family and in your community (and the world).  I would bet some of your biggest “role” models were LGBT.   You might not know they were LGBT but that is pro forma in some political parties.  The ones outed were really vehemently anti gay but oops – I guess they were framers of that “LGBT Agenda” you are so afraid of.  They are now retired or in jail.  Some are even registered sex offenders but not for LGBT issues.  The RSO are child molesters.  Members of other political parties in the US and actually worldwide seems to have made peace with their demons and the world is enjoying the minds and visions of many LBGT politicians who started their careers out by being out.  No shame in their game.  I look forward to a time when no LGBT human has to “come out” or use a qualifier before their name, title, job position or anything else. So moron in Florida in government – driven by fear and loathing, isn’t it about time in our history we start seeing all humans as humans  and stop worrying because IT IS NOT ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. And if you were really concerned about “our” children – you would work harder to create a world class educational system before we imprison our future generations with propaganda and lies that suit really nasty agendas that are non-equal, non-inclusive and bigoted.

In the New Yorker today – HCV News April 24, 2014

Posted by voolavex in common sense, Economics, Health, health care, Medical, Social Issues.
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The day after my post: The Cure. Your Liver.  $84.000.  The brilliant financial author James Surowiecki, wrote a piece on the Financial Page (p23) in the New Yorker. entitled “Biotech’s Hard Bargain”.  I  am most grateful to read a piece on the cost of HCV in such a prestigious and well read publication.  He brings a much needed reinforcement to the arguments of others who find the $84,000 price tag distressing.  In his piece he points out that Medicare is forbidden to bargain for better prices for drugs and that private insurers  are very upset and pharmacy benefit companies are suggesting their customers wait for a cheaper “cure”.  Pharma has tremendous pricing power and this is  one of the lures for investors.  Rather than dropping price, pharmaceuticals actually increase.  Wonder leukemia drug, Gleevac, has tripled since 2001. I would strongly suggest you read Mr. Surowiecki’s piece and see for yourself.  Some people want to wait until it is cheaper, but others simply can’t wait – and are on donor lists in serious need of a fix of any kind.  I am grateful to have my observations reiterated in this post. Thanks James.  The New Yorker is online, on newsstands and in the library – I invite you to read the Financial Page and my own post. And I wish all of you good health – at a price you can afford. 

Their Cure. Your Liver. $84,000? April 23, 2014

Posted by voolavex in Egypt, Health, hippies, Medical, Social Issues, solutions.
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I grew up in the age of “wonder” drugs.  New discoveries for diseases that needed eradication.  Dedicated researchers who  had devoted decades to finding cures.  Period.  In the words of Jonas Salk, when asked about patents for his polio vaccine, he replied, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun” and with those words the Salk vaccine eliminated – for the most part, polio.  Albert Sabin developed the Sabin vaccine with the help of the Russians and it too was given freely – I received both while in grade school.  I have never had polio.  There was time when kids could not go swimming for fear of polio; couldn’t play with others for fear of polio and  people whose lives were lived in a contraption called an “iron lung” that breathed for them.  It was not a good thing.  The moral compass and integrity of Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin pointed in a different direction and they found a cure that was made available to everyone.  Polio is largely gone from the planet and with the efforts of the Gates Foundation may soon be simply extinct.

Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath which includes the words “First do no harm”.  I don’t think it includes the words – do not treat those with no money.  I could be wrong.  I am not certain what Big Pharma swears to do – but one thing it knows how to do is make money.  In my very skewed way of thinking if you are in the business of finding treatments and cures for deadly diseases, your motives should include making sure as many of those afflicted get them.  My first hint of the slippery, slimy slope Big Pharma had chosen were the TV and  print ads for prescription drugs – to the public.  I couldn’t figure out whyBig Pharma  was appealing directly to consumers for medications that had been the sole domain of the prescribing physician.  And the laundry list of side effects – read by a serious voice – was a legal requirement.  And scary.  In print it required pages.  Humans are gullible.  We want quick fixes.  Better, quicker fixes; an app for a cure.  Sneeze?  Wheeze, scratch, fidget, get the runs – watch and listen – an ad will tell you which med to “ask your doctor about”. (One appears to come with two free bathtubs but I am not sure). I have a suspicion doctors do not like to asked about these things. But Pharma spends a lot on consumer ads. Does this expand profit or eat into it.  Someone should ask.

It used to be that Baby Boomers, who were usually old Hippies, had the PDR or the US Pharmacopeia stored away in their heads somewhere.  I did.  In the 60’s we knew who made what and the side effects, the contraindications and the uses to which these meds were put. Words like “sulfate, hydrochloride, spansules, tartrate and indole rings” flowed poetically from many of us who chose an alternative lifestyle. And FYI – the “meth” we spoke of was not the meth cooked in kitchen and garages.  Ours came straight from drug companies; as my son used to say: “Back when drugs were good for you”.  He was not far wrong.  Such was our mindset.  Bad drugs were cocaine and heroin.  For me they still are.

Which takes us to 2014 and BIG Pharma – the profit stream that can mean life or death – your very own.

Recently a small “pharm” created a “cure” for Hepatitis C (for certain genotypes. and not a 100% cure – more like 95%).  It made it through clinical trials, appeared and appears to be very beneficial and was approved for use by the FDA.  Millions of us have this virus which didn’t even have a name before the 90’s.  Millions didn’t know they had it. Millions still don’t.  It is global. It is a slow progressor and can be asymptomatic for some and the virus is only interested in the liver.  Unlike HIV – it does not wreak the same havoc with the immune system but many with HIV also have HCV and this is a horrid situation.  Adding insult to injury.  Unlike HIV (in its early days) HCV is possible to acquire by anyone who might be exposed through blood transfer.  Unlike certain cancers it can afflict males or females equally.  So,unlike many more publicized viral infections it can get lost in the shuffle.  But if you have it – you could be facing cirrhosis, liver cancer or chronic fatigue and for many,  a liver transplant.  It is more complicated than this but that is a nutshell.

Voila!!! Someone finds a really effective oral treatment that can nail and rid many a body of it without the hideous side effects of previous treatments (interferon and ribaviran are two). A ORAL medication that is shown to be extremely effective, short regimen and now what?  Oh, now here’s the price tag for this: $84,000 for an 84 day course.  ACA, Medicare and insurance companies are not happy campers.  I am not a happy camper.  I have the right genotype and I have Medicare – but I am short about $84,000. Which brings me back to Big and small Pharma and their duty of care to cure if they can ,incurable diseases that will hugely reduce organ transplants, hospital care, rejection drug costs and generally better this country, both financially and medically .   Do they even have a duty of care or do they first shun no profit.  A drug company will tell us the costs for developing effective and important new drugs is astronomical – but who ever asks to see a breakdown of those costs?  Seriously.  The company I have in mind is publicly traded so showing investors a HUGE profit is, I suspect, far more important that cleaning up some sick livers.  The Pharm contrasts the $84K spent to the cost of liver transplants but if this drug can reduce dramatically the need for this procedure, it makes more sense to dispense it to more people.  And on the subject of liver transplants:  donor organs are just that – donated.  You cannot go to the doc and say – “okay let’s get me a new liver – when shall I come back” because you may never get one.  So a liver transplant v. a high percentage cure is not a bet I would take to my turf accountant.  I find it a specious argument.


But it gets better.  Oh yes it does. It is perfectly legal for Pharma to sell pricey drugs to foreign countries at very discounted prices.  Let’s say Egypt has a large load of cases of – let’s say – HCV – a pharm with a good product that can achieve maximum results can be had at a 90+% discount. Feeling edgy right about now?  There’s more. Individual state Departments of Corrections can choose to give their felons and bad folks, let’s say, a certain high result drug for about a $3750 per inmate pop.  So let’s say a slammer treats everyone – it could cost up to $315,000,000 to cover them all.  Which takes us back to the duty to heal.  The duty to cure.  The duty to care?  And my question is simply this: when does the humanitarian good exceed the addiction to profit.  For me, right about now.  It gets my goat.

Appreciation and Depreciation April 8, 2014

Posted by voolavex in common sense, freedom, Random thoughts, Social Issues.
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In a blinding epiphany last night, I realized that I am beginning to appreciate my life Accomplishments are not appreciation.  Accomplishments are simply the things you have done and they have a positive aura – but even robbing a bank can be a sort of accomplishment.  It is not so much the “aha” moments – but the number of them that snowball down the side of our individual middens as we careen through the years. And we do careen – I can’t walk a straight line in bare feet anymore.  Sad.  True.

In my case it was like suddenly understanding string theory or hearing the music of the spheres or realizing that all the crap I think is crap IS crap.  I no longer ask why we cling to our 2nd Amendment rights, nor shoot each other or serial kill each other – that’s what we watch on the screen.  Big, little, on demand, anytime – click and kill.  There’s an app for it.  But I now appreciate that this is what is happening and I can see it and despair or see it and know I will not change my direction due to it. For example; I do not own a gun.  The reason is simple.  Fear that I will use it.  Most people don’t actually think of this when they shy away from the gun issue.  They are afraid it will get into the wrong hands, they hate guns,  it won’t make a difference in the long haul.  Not me.  I am simply afraid I will not be afraid, I will be the wrong hands and I will use it.  My feeling is that to own a gun you must be willing to use it.  My fear is that I would.  So no gun.  But it is the appreciation of that knowledge that anchors me and lets me out of the whole argument.  Guns may not kill people, but people with guns do.  I am grateful I am not a bigot.  I like being a Jew.  I do not trust Putin. I know I am being watched. I treasure the right to vote and still get a frisson of joy when I do it. I do not miss having grandchildren (from my own kids).

As I really begin to appreciate these small things, other smaller ones follow.  I hate to go to movies.  Very simple.  I do not like to go. And I get so many arguments (not offers) and find myself using hackneyed phrases like “it’s not my cup of tea” – and this works because everyone knows what a cup of tea is.    I have no desire to own property. I have by and large always been a cliff dweller (as my mother would say) and I like apartment living. It’s not for everyone, but it is for me.  And all this appreciation is not always positive.  I realize that I was a very terrible mother – something two other adults know too.  And in the fullness of knowing comes the reality there is nothing I can do to go back and do better. Even though I know better.  But I do know it and I can say it and I know why it is true.  I don’t want to have a dog.  I do like the way many dogs look, but they are not an animal that lures me. For some this is character flaw – but it’s just what I know.As I know I like red meat. And these shocks of wisdom – as I personally depreciate and time becomes more scarce also allow me to let stuff go.  Like movie theaters, mortgages and dusting.  They allow me to read India (my preferred subject matter), mystery novels, genetics, Jewish history, and anything else whose title sounds alluring.   Because I appreciate that time does flow like a river and we all sink at some point as we float.

Is there a message in all this – kinda.  If you can feel the shocks of appreciation, wait for even more. You will get them and for the fortunate ones who do, they will lighten it up as you drift – the buoyancy will astonish you as it does me and you may even appreciate that our demographic may be the last who can do this and probably because there is no app for it.

IN or OUT September 6, 2021

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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Out Zones or Simply The Outer Limits?

I am convinced the United States is living in dreamland. Without a degree in virology, I still KNOW that Covid is not done with our planet. But… like a playground of 5 year olds, WE want it to be the way it was before. And if you hear foot stamping you are not hearing things.

The media* and government (which are the messengers) send mixed and confusing messages, regularly, as reinforcements. What is wrong with us? My observation: We have gotten bored with Covid is what I think, BORED. And whiny. ‘Why are we suffering a pandemic anyway? Why is it “taking” so long? “They should end it” Why should “I” have to get a shot anyway? “I’m not sick and I am not going to make anyone else sick. That’s not who I am!!!” And my favorite: ‘I have rights you know’. (under my breath – ‘So do I’). It is allegedly a sin or ‘stinking’ thinkin’ or bad karma to not care if idiots get sick and die (If this was true we wouldn’t have wars) . I readily admit I do not have such restraint. And we have now a simple way to define ‘schadenfreude’. (bonus… I have been inside since March 2020 – except to go to necessary doctor visits. A sacrifice? Self-preservation! And regard for others whomust be out for their basic needs.

Informed minds saw this eventuality. No specific time, but it was out there cooking. And when it was ready be served up – it arrived. This is variant on the SARS virus. Deadly, communicable and because as a planet, but particularly as a country– it interfered with us being our authentic selves. You know the rest – and I say: live authentically, but remember that if you get Covid – you will also be sick and/or die the very same way.

*Anheuser Busch is the most recent ad I saw, Medium long shot: Bar room, restaurant scene, un-masked ‘folks’ sitting at tables (up close and not distanced) out for the evening. “Welcome Back” was the tag.

Happy Labor Day Weekend 2021.

And Say What?

What Should I say? Five BLACK cops beat a young BLACK man to death in Memphis. And they liked it! Oh yes they did. No one could commit this act with such gusto if this wasn’t a fantasy come true. Just wailed on this young man until they wailed the blood and breath right out…


Human beings are not ideally suited as candidates for the “Metaverse” and this is a concern due to the fact that humans are not very suitted to rapid change. Resistance can be substantiated by the reaction of far too many to a pandemic – Covid – and how suddenly humans made decisions based on pure…

The Three Stooges Conquer Outer Space

It is said that ‘you can tell the men from the boys by the price of their toys’. There is a germ of truth to that adage. I look at thrift and Etsy sites online and consider the prices I will pay; my husband looks at $$$$$ audio tubes and equipment. Our “saved lists” reflect…

Long Haul Covid March 24, 2021

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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This is a story shared by my friend on FB. The story is Wendy’s. 

Wendy. Your story is the one that should be emphasized.  Not the “I feel great”.  “Covid is nothing to worry about”. stories .

WORRY.  Be very afraid and those who consider themselves above, beyond or better than Covid need to take a long look at “Long Haul Covid”.  This Covid should NOT BE KEPT SECRET.  The global body count should not be kept secret..The ‘snap-back’ and ‘carry-on’ stories may engender hope, but it is NOT all there is .  There is a stark, sad and very present reality in Wendy’s and Sandy’s messages.  One that is casually dispensed with “That can’t happen to me”.  And Wendy and all the people who have suffered as Wendy has, need to step back and realize this. 

The morons everywhere, but most recently in Miami Beach, are now super spreaders and they may be responsible for untold deaths . They have neither the sense nor the experience to even consider this. And yet they bear the reality of becoming killers.  Or dead.

I lived through years of polio.  I was fortunate not to have ever contracted it, but fear was the main reason.  Parents feared for their children. Families and strangers feared for everyone.  Parents believed IT COULD happen and therefore the did not take the risk.  The myriad ways you could become infected – true and false – were all considered possible and so we did NOT swim or go to the beach or play with others; we did not share soft drinks or ice cream cones or candy bars. We did not touch money or utensils or RISK IT!   And NOT just for one summer or one year. It took years.

When Salk created the first vaccine we lined up in droves to be immunized.  And when Sabin created yet another vaccine, we lined up again. I did for both. Neither took a sou or a shilling or penny or kopek from either discovery.  Each man GAVE it humanity. The Nobel Prize is an honor and a monetary gift and while it does endow a winner with some money and much fame – it also recognizes and compensates for struggles and time and energy to achieve such a status. And soon the iron lung began to disappear and kids were let run and play. Another kind of normal came into existence.

And now we have Covid-19. But now we are too damned arrogant and smarter than than our old, parents and grand parents, who had enough sense to be cautious and careful and patient.  We have had one short year of Covid.  Polio existed for a long time.  People died or were paralyzed (including a US president) or spent their lives in machines so they could simply breathe with the loud whoosh of a machine as the sound that never stopped? 

Isn’t there a message in any of this?  Why are we so smug. 

Thank you Sandy – as always a voice of reason and sense. And to Wendy.  I have no words  – you know them all.  My heart hurts for your suffering.

Ask Yourself These Questions. November 15, 2020

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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There is – for me – not a monster worse than Hitler..  That said – how many rungs down Hitler’s ladder do you place Donald Trump for systematically, intentionally and without care or concern placeing the citizens of the USA at risk of death because he didn’t want to lose an election? Millions of people dead and dying from his willful neglect.  What ladder rung do you place him on for his incarceration of immigrants at the border, in cages and the separating of mothers and children, the lack of care and concern for their lives; the abuse and privation of each and every soul in those concentration camps?. And over 600 innocent children whose parents can’t be found.? And may never be found.  The pardoning or known law breakers and criminals?  The lack of due process throughout the land at his behest?  In my opinion this extreme and cruel ongoing 4 years of behavior cannot be described by any words we have so far used.  Despots in countries we mock, sink to these levels.  Trump is not a joke or an orange asshole or a crying baby.  He is a monster.  He has committed crimes against humanity and is still doing it.  What is the matter with us?   If you recall the Nuremberg Trials, people were hung.  Co-conspirators and probably those who simply looked away.  What is the matter with us?

When we encounter this atrocious behavior in other countries we form groups and write letters and demonstrate and insist that America, the Beautiful DO SOMETHING.  Why not here?  Donald Trump aided, abetted, encouraged and condoned racism and hatred that give way to murder by law enforcement.   He gave a voice to every bigot in our 50 states.  He suggested that many were “fine people”.  What is the matter with us?   And he still goes on – on your money and mine living in a mansion, with servants and amenities and people are dying by the minute.  What is the matter with us?  Anybody?

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