Saturday, October 3, 2015


Everyone forgets the dead victims in tragedies, except those who loved them.

As I stated in my previous post, so far there are nine innocent human beings who died in the Umpqua (native indian translation is "thundering waters") Community College massacre ranging in age from 18 to 67: Lucero Alcaraz, 19 Rebecka Ann Carnes,18; Jason Dale Johnson, 33; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Lucas Eibel, 18;  Lawrence Levine, 67;  Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; and Sarena Dawn Moore, 44.

They all had dreams, aspirations, goals to be the very best they could in life, now none of what they hoped for will ever come true for them and their families.

These dead human beings are the sons, daughters, father's, mother's, relatives, friends, lovers, and innocent victims whose lives have been stolen forever from them and those who loved them.

                                             Lucero Alcaraz, 19

She hadn’t picked a major yet, but was hoping to become a nurse or a pediatrician.

Rebecka Carnes, 18
Carnes’ cousin, Lisa Crawford, posted a message on her Facebook account, calling Carnes “vibrant” and said she was “loved fiercely.”According to the post, Carnes has just started school and a new job.

                                                  Jason Johnson, 33           

Johnson’s mother, Tonja Johnson Engel told NBC News her son had just started classes on Monday.
“He started Monday and he was so proud of what he had accomplished and rightly so,” she said. “The other day he looked at me and hugged me and said, ‘Mom, how long have you been waiting for one of your kids to go to college?’ and I said, “Oh, about 20 years.”                                         

                                                                 Quinn Cooper, 18

Cooper was originally from Roseburg. He had graduated from high school in June and died on his fourth day in college, according to a statement from his family.
“Quinn was funny, sweet, compassionate, and such a wonderful, loving person,” the statement added.
Cooper had been planning to take his brown belt test next week, and also enjoyed voice acting and dancing, according to the statement.
“I don’t know how we are going to move forward with our lives without Quinn,” the statement added. “Our lives are shattered beyond repair.”      

                                               Treven Anspach, 20
Anspach’s family described him as a “one of the most positive young men, always looking for the best in life,” and as “a perfect son.”
The 20-year-old was from Sutherlin, Oregon.
                                                  Lucas Eibel, 18

According to a statement from his family, Eibel volunteered at a local wild animal park and at an animal shelter. He had graduated from Roseburg High School with “high academic marks” and received a scholarship.

Eibel was studying chemistry.

“We have tried to figure out how to tell everyone how amazing Lucas was, but that would take 18 years,” the family statement added.

                                                 Lawrence Levine, 67                            

Levine, 67, taught at Umpqua Community College, authorities said Friday. He lived in Glide, Oregon.
His Facebook page include a photo of him fly fishing, and he appears to have written for a fishing organization. In one entry described diving into the river near his home.
“As I gazed into the depths, I saw my shadow and rays of light emanating around my silhouette,” Levine wrote in 2013. “The light danced to the rhythm of the breeze on the water; it was all in one and magical, and that was what I dove into.”
     Kim Dietz, 59

Dietz was 59-years-old. She lived in Roseburg. According to a post on Facebook, Roseburg had worked as a caretaker at an Oregon vineyard and had a daughter who attended Umpqua Community College.

                                    Sarena Moore, 44

Moore, 44, lived in Myrtle Creek, Oregon, authorities said Friday. 

According to Moore’s Facebook page, she attended Reno High School and worked for the Oregon Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.

Countless others have been wounded both physically and emotionally.

These people above are the most important realities to remember as those who loved them will never see, talk, or touch them ever again.

Unless you have lost a loved one to violence as they and I have, do not even try to imagine what these people are feeling. It is beyond your comprehension to walk in their shoes.

As always, there are these ironic, side stories that pop up, in particular the ones about the law enforcement community whose sworn job is to fairly enforce the laws, treat the dead with compassion, and above all to be honest in doing their jobs.

Now that this massacre is in his jurisdiction, I wonder how the Sheriff feels about his ignorant prejudiced statements re "actors hired by the Federal government that were part of the Sandy Hook Massacre as part of a conspiracy".

No wonder he immediately tried to hide it by deleting his post off of face Book about "the conspiracy", after all, these are now his dead friends, his community, and it really happened.

It is so easy to pontificate about the violent death of others that you don't know, but when he saw this happen in his Town, one of the first  things he thought of doing was to protect his own ass by removing the stupidly, moronic Face Book post.

Good job Sheriff, your a real piece of work, little children in Connecticut murdered along with Twin Towers human beings supposedly murdered by the government, but now when it hits you in the face, run to erase your ignorant mumbling.

Am I pissed at him, yes, because to those such as him, it never is about the victims who have died, it always is about the politics, egos, protecting ones job, and saving face of those who are so cruel as to judge others who have suffered tragedies.

As the national debate over gun control raged online after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College on Thursday, comments on the subject posted on Facebook by Sheriff John Hanlin of Douglas County, whose force responded to the latest rampage, came under scrutiny.

The sheriff, who has made no secret of his strident opposition to tougher gun laws, made his views clear in a letter to Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. posted on his department’s Facebook page on Jan. 16, 2013, after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Mr. Hanlin urged the vice president to treat his letter as “a formal request that you NOT tamper with or attempt to amend” the Second Amendment.
“Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,” he wrote, adding that efforts to restrict gun ownership “would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people.” 

The sheriff also warned the vice president that “any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Douglas County Oregon.”

Ok, he's entitled to his views on gun control but......

Three days before that letter was released, Mr. Hanlin shared a link on his personal Facebook page to a YouTube video, which suggested that the shootings at Sandy Hook and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 might have been staged by the federal government to provide a pretext for “disarming the public” through gun control legislation. 

In a comment imploring his Facebook friends to watch that video, whose producer claims that the parents of children “allegedly shot” at Sandy Hook were actors, the sheriff wrote, “This makes me wonder who we can trust anymore.

A screenshot from the Facebook page of Sheriff John Hanlin
 in Douglas County, Ore..Creditvia Facebook

After that update attracted criticism, 
it was removed from Mr. Hanlin’s 
personal Facebook page on Friday, 
but not before numerous screenshots 
were made and shared online.

Shame on Mr. Hanlin, trying to score points on the unknown innocent dead 
with his complete indifference of a 
fantasy tale, now he sees real 
mass killings in his own backyard.

This is what Americans do, 

distancing themselves from 
ugly reality by weaving their 
webs of self denial, indifference, 
that tragedies happen only to 
others, and will not visit them 
with the horrors of killings.

The "safety bubble' of "not here 

where I live", and "it's a government 
conspiracy killing people 
elsewhere", doesn't work 
any longer to protect us.

Perhaps, but I doubt it, he and 

others will learn some humility 
that the innocent dead in his town 
are precious human beings, 
just as those he casually dismissed in 
other town's killings as somehow
being actors conspiring to fake the 
horrific losses of those they loved.

Where will the next mass murder 

happen, and it will, seemingly 
out of nowhere,the cycle 
will continue because we refuse 
to do anything serious to stop it.


Another mass shooting, this time at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

The nine innocent human beings who died in the massacre ranged in age from 18 to 67 are: Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18; Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 34; Lawrence Levine, 67; and Sarena Dawn Moore, 44.

There are countless additional wounded victims as well shout by this monster.

The familiar usual arguments for and against gun control laws, hand wringing by politicians, endless, now ritualistic blood feasting by the media, buzzing social media arguments, vigils, and soon the funerals.

The media response is routine. 

Whoever is the President gives the same speech, 

The politicians tweet their condolences, 

The Nation feels helpless, very numb after so many similar mass killings.
Politicians give the same answers because the debate hasn't changed in all these years. It's politicians who blame the guns, versus politicians who blame everything but the guns.
We the people agree it's a terrible thing, we all send our thoughts and prayers, and we all salute the ordinary people who step up and who become heroes. 
Truthfully, most of us should be ashamed that when we first saw the latest initial news on this shooting, we didn't have the sense of shock that all of us used to have.
I felt sadness, but no surprise. Even worse, and I hate admitting this too, I couldn't feel outrage. Because what's the point of raging against what always turns out to be some form of lunacy and is now a "normal" occurrence.

Social media is filled with intellectual arguments, rhetoric, and the usual meaningless words.

Feelings, sure many people have feelings about what happens, but this is a Country where  20 Kindergarten and First grade children, plus 6 adult staff members were murdered in their classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, on December 14, 2012, then left in a pile of bodies, and NOTHING has changed in the way we as a Nation refuse facing up to the epidemic of senseless killings, culminating in eventual indifference to this and each and every murder afterwards.
Politicizing these killings to further agendas of pro and anti gun laws that polarize will not stop the killings. I am not sure what will reduce the carnage but the shooters do not live in a vacuum, they are visible.

I do know that their visibility seen by friends, family, neighbors of the person who snaps can, if recognized, and confronted can potentially stop these massacres. They have to connect the dots, the anger, the rants, online postings, the collecting of weapons and then do something.
Otherwise, all that's left is to say to ourselves, "Well, at least it isn't my family or someone I know."
Just like we said a few weeks ago, and a few weeks before that, and it's what we will say a few weeks from now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Reprinted from the Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff Foundation page (Click Here) with a Post written by Jess.

"Happy Birthday!

Happy 38th Birthday! (Wow. That's old!).

Today would have been Steve's 38th Birthday and I am certain he would be doing something super fantastic to celebrate. 

Steve loved spending these special days with his friends (he had so many, how did he do it?) and finding the right balance between party and not-party.This picture was taken at Steve's last birthday. The big 3-0.

We went kayaking at Stinson Beach, CA. He wore his goofy glasses and I guess it was a little cold.

Steve was born on the first day of Fall and died on the first day of Summer. 

There something oddly satisfying (and I'm sure Steve's OCD would agree) about the the significance of the equinox and solstice in his life and its parallel meaning to the Earth. 

If the autumnal equinox represents balance, then the summer solstice was most certainly the day we felt our world come to a deafening halt on the longest day of the year.

Here we are. 
Another birthday. 
Another equinox. 
Another day. 
The SNWF is always looking for ways to celebrate Steve's life and your donations are one amazing way we get to do that. 

We get to give life to the days lost. 

Thank you to everyone who has given to the foundation and let's keep this momentum going for a very long time.-Jess"

You can donate your fully tax deductible contribution to the SNW Foundation at: CLICK HERE TO DONATE.


I had a reoccurring nightmare last night that you were dead.

This morning, as it often happens when I awake, there are always a few seconds of hesitation for me where I think Steven is alive and my nightmare was just a bad dream.

Quickly I realize the agonizing reality that Steven is really dead, forever.

Today is Steven's birthday.

My son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff would have been 38 years old today. 

Most others don’t think about Steven anymore, but our family and some of his friends miss him every second, of every day.

I mourn what was, what could of been, and what will never be.

You deserved so much better my son, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Such fear in the darkness.

I am sorry that It was you

And Not me.

I will always love and remember you Steven. 

Love, Dad.

Thursday, September 3, 2015



He's maybe 3 years old, maybe a little older. 

Lying face down, his head to one side with his bottom slightly up, the way very young children like to sleep.
But the water is lapping around his face and his body is lifeless.

The boy, in a red T-shirt, blue pants and tiny shoes with Velcro straps, was one of 12 people who drowned off Turkey and washed up on a beach Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

I do not typically publish graphic images of dead bodies. 

I decided to use the photos of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, because I believe the emotional value of these photos outweigh my deep reluctance to publish such pictures.

I believe in respecting the dignity of this child more by publishing the photos of his body, than by not publishing them. 

Words intellectually sanitize horrific scenes while photos capture the insanity of what has happened.

If the pictures move a single politician, a single person holding an unhelpful position, his death would not have been completely in vain.

Do not look closely at the photographs here. 

Do not look at them at all. 

They will, in an instant, inspire pity, revulsion, perhaps anger, and then it will drift away from your mind in a few hours.

There is something obscene here. Tragedies are all too common in today's world and hardly hold the attention span of most.

The daily tragedies outdo the prior days horrors, making people immune to feeling anything real about the plight of other human beings as victims.

This immunity from feelings lets us compartmentalize the horror and allows us do what we really want to do with it: forget about it. 
A Turkish police officer stands next to a migrant child's
A Turkish police officer stands next to the dead body of 3 year old Aylan Kurdi  off the shores of Bodrum, southern Turkey, on Sept. 2, 2015.  (Photo: AP)

Two police officers carry the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi after a number of migrants died when the boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized, near the Turkish resort of Bodrum on Sept. 2, 2015. (Photo: AP)

This is what we know so far about the young boy who was found washed up on Bodrum  resort beach in Turkey:

The father of a three-year-old boy photographed lying dead on a beach has said all he wants to do is "lie in a grave" with his children.

Abdullah Kurdi, a Kurdish Syrian who also lost another of his sons and his wife, described the moments before he realized his family had drowned.

He said he was forced to take control of the boat after the captain panicked and jumped into the sea in high waves.

"We went into the sea for four minutes and the captain saw that the waves were so high and as he tried to steer the boat we were hit immediately," he said.

"He panicked and dived into the sea and fled.

"I took over and started steering, but the waves were so high that the boat flipped immediately. 

Abdullah described the harrowing last moments with his wife and sons:

“I wish I could transfer my breath to them, to breathe life into their bodies again,” he said. “We spent a whole hour holding on to the boat. 

My children were still alive. The first one died because of the raging waves. I had to leave him to save my second son, who also drowned. I turned around to find that their mother had drowned as well.”

He added: "My kids were the most beautiful children in the world. Wonderful. They woke me up every morning to play with them and now, they are all gone. 

"Now all I want is to lie in a grave next to my wife and children."

“I don't want anything else from this world,” their father, Abdullah, who tried to save his family, told CNN, “Everything I was dreaming of is gone. 

After he spoke through a translator to reporters, TV footage showed him wailing in despair.

The local Coast Guard says the Syrian refugees had crowded onto two inflatable boats which were launched in darkness in the hope of reaching the holiday island Kos.

It's a 12-mile boat journey which thousands of Western tourists enjoy each year.

But as these ugly images reveal, Syrian migrants are paying with their lives.

The cheap dinghies carrying a total of 23 people, launched from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula, disintegrated in the Mediterranean sea, sending those on board into the water.

The confirmed dead included five children and one woman.

The images have been shared widely on Twitter, especially in Turkey.

Seven people were rescued from the disaster and two reached the shore in life jackets.

A Turkish navy official said hopes were fading of saving the two people still missing.

Every day the world ignores the killing of innocent victims lives all over the world, not just"migrants" in war zones.

Every day in civilized countries no one pays any attention to the tragedies of innocent victims murdered, killed, while the media endlessly spoon feeds the public with reports about the daily stupidity coming out of Donald Trump's mouth, or what Justin Bieber has to say about anything, or the latest Taylor Swift "words of wisdom", and meaningless "news" about the other crap of the day.

"Civilized" society spends its time in denial, a deliberate ignorance of the crisis in Europe, plus the zero value of human life in most places of this sick world.

After all, these are not YOUR families, it can never happen to YOU, fed by the denial that is needed to remove any feelings about how far down our world has sunk.

There is nothing but cold blooded indifference by YOU in removing these images of all victims completely from your mind.

In this death of 3 years old Aylan Kurdi, dehumanizing words readily dismiss him  and others as "migrants", somehow that means this child is not as important as your children, not a human being, and that his family is unlike yours.


The innocent victims in your town, country, elsewhere in this world are sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, your neighbors. 

                 They are that dead boy.

Your coldness and acceptance of the killing of innocent human victims all over the world, in your community, your country, whatever your reasons are that create ignorance, lack of compassion, not even a thought about those less fortunate than you, all are the excuses of cowards.

YOU are LOST in your cruelty of ignorance, self denial, self indulgence, and inhumanity to the suffering of others. 

Do not look at these pictures. 

Things could be done to avoid the killing of innocent victims in the future, but those things won’t be done. 

YOU will keep forgetting, erasing the lives of others as cheap because they are not you, and no-one will take care of reducing the suffering in our world. 

YOUR response will be to turn away when the body of a child washes up on a distant shore, or to ignore those innocent victims, their families, in your own community who are killed by injustice, indifference, negligence, and the reality that no one cares. 

Rest in Peace little one, Aylan Kurdi such a waste of a short life.

 My sincere condolences to Humanity for YOU are not human.