Tuesday, October 18, 2016


                                To The Munchkin's

I heard that "Boris" the rare, unique, reliable, ever trustworthy, 1996 Volvo 850 who never let any of us down in over 250,000 plus miles of driving over a period of over 20 years, has been abandoned by you its current owners. 

Let me tell you a little about Boris that you may not know.

Boris was so radical for his time, far ahead of all the other cars, proudly one of his kind.

All Volvo 850's like Boris came equipped with standard equipment such as 4 disc brakes, dual front airbagsanti-lock braking system, head restraints, three-point seat belts for all passengers, power windows, door locks, mirrors, cruise control, dual zone climate control, traction control, leather interior, power glass sunroof, power seats, heated seats, automatic climate control, and automatic transmission.

There were hardly any other options to order because most everything was included as part as part of the regular price.

Boris was the first 5 cylinder car ever made, the first front wheel drive car sold in North America and the first all wheel drive car manufactured by Volvo.

Boris was launched by Volvo with the slogan "A dynamic car with four unique innovations" which referred to the newly developed five cylinder transverse engine, the Delta-link rear axle, SIPS which is a specially structurally designed protection for side impact crashes, and the self-adjusting seat belt reel for the front seats.

I always admired and worshiped Boris because he never gave up. 

Sure when I gave him to you several years ago he was falling apart cosmetically, a fender here, a window there, the leather worn out, but not mechanically. His engine so powerful, smooth, purring like a race car, always ready to move at the tap of his accelerator pedal.

There also was that distinct engine sound so that you hear Boris coming down the street even before seeing him. Such a special, wonderful sound of someone coming home safely with him.

And oh what fucking amazing brakes. I have never had a car, ever, that had these legendary brakes stopping power in the world, that could stop literally on a dime in nano seconds, at any speed.

It is sad, to hear that Boris has been "rewarded" for his ever loving loyalty to all of us by no doubt (don't believe what that car donation Organization said about someone will take good care of him) they will soon chop up, crush Boris into pieces in a junk yard for a few pennies of his scrap metal value.

You know, that I know, we all know that Boris is human, not "just" a car. We have all spoken to Boris, thanking him for getting us safely to wherever we asked him to take us. 

Unlike that ego maniac, attention seeking, endlessly gabbing "Herbie the Love Bug", Boris was particularly shy he never said anything, but he had a personality, a beating heart, anyone who drove him could feel him taking good care of us.

Did Boris ever complain that his paint was prematurely peeling off after only a few years, or that grandpa was racing down the street at 90 miles an hour and making wild u turns in front of your house? 

Did Boris whine about not being washed, left alone in all kinds of places, no he never complained and was always there to welcome you when you needed him, regardless of what time it was, day or night.

They "broke the mold" when Boris was made and there will be no more cars made to replace that red looking, blushing hero who literally gave his very best to all of us.

I hope you were not there to see them tow Boris away today, because if you were, I know that he was crying and never expected to be dumped like a piece of garbage. 

I know you loved him and understand it was time to let go, even taking him out last night for a goodbye ride.

It has to be painful for you to look out your window, go outside and Boris is not there waiting for you.

Sure we still have Wanda, but she will never be a Boris, he is irreplaceable.

Boris was a victim of his time, built to last, not part of the modern planned obsolescence mind set,  always obedient, stylish, sort of the Superman of all cars. 

He did his job superbly for all of us and just outlasted his aging cosmetic flaws & the real uncertainty of his parts suddenly breaking, that comes with becoming very old. 

When you are very old, we want to have a young, pretty, new car, with that addictive new car smell.

You did well Boris, we will all miss you.

Rest In Peace.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Hillary and Donald met today to discuss the ugly personal attacks that have become the bizarre low life Presidential campaign of our great nation.

Thankfully they have both wisely decided (see above music video) to bring back civility, stop the polarization, of our citizens, discuss the real problems facing America, and to end their 3rd grade blame game behavior that has been just so silly stupid.

Hillary & Donald agreed to release the music video above as a way of showing us as a Nation, that it's time to be serious, join together, and discuss the long list of real issues in the very screwed up world we live in. 

After last nights disgusting 2nd Presidential debate which showed how our election campaign for president of the United States keeps sinking to new lows, even beyond that which a Banana Republic would tolerate, it's finally time to get down to the real business of electing the best qualified candidate for President.

I think this is great for all of us, no matter what our political persuasion or not.

I would be remiss not mentioning another concern I have about what's with the endless Trump "sniffles", snorts, snuffling" sounds coming from his nose during both debates. Sort of more like an anxious twitch coming from his nasal area when he is debating. Very distracting and potentially a serious problem for him. The music video doesn't seem to have the nasal sound but the music is loud and blocking us from hearing it.

His debate microphones are not "defective" again. It ain't post nasal drip. Clearly during the debates,Trump about every 40 seconds is a sniffler, snuffler, snorter.

Perhaps he has a disability which we shouldn't make fun of, or an illness, or a nasal anxiety twitch, or just are relaxation techniques of breathe in breathe out the good, bad air. 

I worry about his health & his stamina if elected President, his potential ability to function with all of the stress in that job.

I am concerned about Donald as a fellow American because he also cares so much about all of us as human beings.

He needs to see a good Dr. to get a diagnosis as it could be serious and we as the the American public have a right to know that all is well with Donald

Enough of this "love one another" for now on my part, the worlds complex, real problems wait for us and it's time to unite as Americans.

There is so much division in America among our citizens. I think it's time for all of us to stop the war of words and love one another, no matter our political differences. 

It would make "America Great Again" as Donald says and "Stronger Together" as Hillary proclaims. 

god bless America.

Friday, September 23, 2016


My older son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff would have been 39 years old today.

What can a parent say on the birthday of their dead child?

A living child asks for a birthday party. 

As they become older, you, as the parent, ask them what they want for their birthday. There’s dialogue. 

It’s tradition to remember your child's birthday, to not do so ignores that they lived.
But what exactly is a parent supposed to do on the birthday of their child when he is gone? 

Not gone, as in out of town or at the beach, or out of the country. Gone as in, no longer alive.
A dead child doesn’t want. 

A dead son asks for nothing.
What does a mom or dad do? 

Where’s the rule book for recognizing birthdays of a dead child?

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

There something odd to me 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.

Steven lies dead in a grave because of the negligence and indifference of those who killed him, stole his life at the age of 30, and have tried to erase that he ever lived.

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. 

Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff: 

I will Love and Remember you Forever. Love-Dad

Monday, September 19, 2016


                     UPDATED SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc has received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of their Sarepta’s eteplirsen injection drug today,September 19, 2016
Here's Why Sarepta Therapeutics Inc Is Up 80% Today (SRPT)Eteplirsen, otherwise known as Exondys 51, has been approved for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, particularly in patients with a rare form of DMD.
The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director, Janet Woodcock, had this to say:
“Patients with a particular type of Duchenne muscular dystrophy will now have access to an approved treatment for this rare and devastating disease. In rare diseases, new drug development is especially challenging due to the small numbers of people affected by each disease and the lack of medical understanding of many disorders. Accelerated approval makes this drug available to patients based on initial data, but we eagerly await learning more about the efficacy of this drug through a confirmatory clinical trial that the company must conduct after approval.”
The clinical trial Woodcock is referring to is a condition of the FDA approval where Sarepta will have to hold a randomized two-year trial to determine just how effective the drug is as a treatment. From the Department of Health and Human Services:
“If postmarketing clinical trials fail to verify clinical benefit or are not conducted with due diligence, we may, following a hearing in accordance with 21 CFR 314.530, withdraw this approval.”
Winning FDA approval had been an uphill battle for SRPT, as the efficacy of the drug was hotly debated for months leading up to today’s decision.
Mainly, opponents of the treatment questioned the drug’s ability to produce the protein dystrophin, needed to keep muscle fibers from degenerating. Also in question was a 12-patient clinical trial used by SRPT, as the company did not test the treatment in a larger, placebo-controlled group per the FDA’s requests. For these reasons, the drug was deemed ineffective and failed to meet approval in April of this year.

Exondys 51 is specifically indicated for patients who have a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping, which affects about 13 percent of the population with DMD.
DMD is a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle deterioration and weakness. It is the most common type of muscular dystrophy. DMD is caused by an absence of dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. The first symptoms are usually seen between three and five years of age, and worsen over time. The disease often occurs in people without a known family history of the condition and primarily affects boys, but in rare cases it can affect girls. DMD occurs in about one out of every 3,600 male infants worldwide.
People with DMD progressively lose the ability to perform activities independently and often require use of a wheelchair by their early teens. As the disease progresses, life-threatening heart and respiratory conditions can occur. Patients typically succumb to the disease in their 20s or 30s; however, disease severity and life expectancy vary.
Exondys 51 was approved under the accelerated approval pathway, which provides for the approval of drugs that treat serious or life-threatening diseases and generally provide a meaningful advantage over existing treatments. Approval under this pathway can be based on adequate and well-controlled studies showing the drug has an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit to patients (how a patient feels or functions or whether they survive). This pathway provides earlier patient access to promising new drugs while the company conducts clinical trials to verify the predicted clinical benefit.
The accelerated approval of Exondys 51 is based on the surrogate endpoint of dystrophin increase in skeletal muscle observed in some Exondys 51-treated patients. The FDA has concluded that the data submitted by the applicant demonstrated an increase in dystrophin production that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit in some patients with DMD who have a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping. A clinical benefit of Exondys 51, including improved motor function, has not been established. In making this decision, the FDA considered the potential risks associated with the drug, the life-threatening and debilitating nature of the disease for these children and the lack of available therapy.
Under the accelerated approval provisions, the FDA is requiring Sarepta Therapeutics to conduct a clinical trial to confirm the drug’s clinical benefit. The required study is designed to assess whether Exondys 51 improves motor function of DMD patients with a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene amenable to exon 51 skipping. If the trial fails to verify clinical benefit, the FDA may initiate proceedings to withdraw approval of the drug.
The most common side effects reported by participants taking Exondys 51 in the clinical trials were balance disorder and vomiting.
The FDA granted Exondys 51 fast track designation, which is a designation to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs that are intended to treat serious conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address an unmet medical need. It was also granted priority review and orphan drug designation.
Priority review status is granted to applications for drugs that, if approved, would be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness in the treatment of a serious condition. Orphan drug designation provides incentives such as clinical trial tax credits, user fee waiver and eligibility for orphan drug exclusivity to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.
The manufacturer received a rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, which comes from a program intended to encourage development of new drugs and biologics for the prevention and treatment of rare pediatric diseases. This is the seventh rare pediatric disease priority review voucher issued by the FDA since the program began.
Exondys 51 is made by Sarepta Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

                           Updated April 29, 2016             

                                 Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

    I have written previously about Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and fatal, genetic muscle disease that affects children (CLICK HERE TO VIEW PREVIOUS POSTS).

    Saturday, August 20, 2016


    It is 3 days now since the story above went viral on the news, given the attention span of the world, it is now mostly forgotten. 

    After all the little boy who can't cry is just another horrific story about small children who are being brutalized every day, all over the world in acts of hatred, politics, and money.  

    The world is so beyond saving that it doesn't put any value, on any human life no matter how ugly the killing of innocent victims are, it just doesn't matter at all. 

    Those people that care, take a day or at most three for the usual crocodile tears of feeling bad and then forget about it all. That is what comprises the limits of compassion in our sick society.

    People are starving to death, dying all over the world. 

    Why are we not as excited about doing good or saving lives as we are about running fast, swimming fast or seeing who's the best at running around after a ball?

    I write about this little boy who can't cry because he is the world. Silent in spite of unbearable agonizing pain, cruelty, and stunned into being mute.

    Look into this little boys eyes, his face, there is nothing there, he is alive but there is no life coming from him, he is seriously injured, but there is no awareness coming from him, he is lost, gone, existing in another place that no-one wants to know about.

    His name is Omran Daqneesh. The image of him, bloodied and covered with dust, sitting silently in an ambulance awaiting help, is another stark reminder of the toll of the war in Syria.
    He is young, one witness puts him at five years old, as old as the Syrian war itself.
    He lived with his mother, father, brother and sister in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
    He and his family were injured when their house was destroyed by an air strike Wednesday. Activists blame the Syrian regime and Russia for the bombings.
    Aleppo, in northern Syria, has been besieged for years during that country's civil war. Thousands of people have been killed there, including 4,500 children, and many lives have been upended.
    Omran's family is among them.
    The video above shows a civil defense worker carrying the little boy to an ambulance. His cartoon character T-shirt is covered in dust, the left side of his face is bloody. He is silent despite the chaotic scene around him.
    He was not crying at any point during the rescue.
    He is in shock, looking dazed as he sits on the vehicle's orange seat, his hands on his lap, as he waits to be treated, as he waits for somebody to help him.
    He raises his left hand to his eye and feels the area around his temple as if he has been hit there. He wipes his face and looks down at the blood.
    Omran's story is repeated every day, all over the world.
    The doctor who treated him said his physical injuries were light compared to the others wounded in the bombing.
    The traumatic injuries he received will last a lifetime, if he lives much longer.

    We don't like talking about these kinds of things, we don't want to see these scenes, so they don't get very much attention because it's not happening to you.

    The world is silent, nothing changes, nothing will change, until it might happen to you or your family.

    The truth is that the killing of victims happens all of the time, in your Town, State, Country, not only in the rubble of bombs, but in the the wreckage of the human spirit, the lack of compassion, the complete indifference to the suffering of those all around us.

    Don't expect anyone to pay attention to your agony for more than a few days if you become a victim or are part of a victims family.

    Syria is far away, a distant part of the world, but evil lurks everywhere.

    The new reality is that no-one really cares, no -one really cries, and silence is what you will eventually end up with, whether you are "there" or here".

    You can hide in your fake bubble of denial but don't think that that will protect you because bubbles often burst.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016


    Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff 
    My Beloved Son,
    Forever Loved and Remembered,

    Wherever I go, Whatever I do,

    Every second in time,

    This necklace is always around my neck, literally touching my broken heart.

                              It Never gets easier.
                              It Never gets better.

    Friday, July 22, 2016


    It has been said that history may not repeat itself, but that it does rhyme.

    With all the massive killing world wide of innocent victims, the polarization of so many people who love to hate, to blame everything on anyone but themselves, culminating in the disappearance of Basic humanity.
    After what happens world wide, almost on a daily basis, the slaughter of human beings, terror attacks, oppression, corruption, cruelty, vile, vindictive rhetoric from our "leaders", there is a complete absence of meaningful responses to the human suffering everywhere that surrounds us. 
    There is zero value given to human lives, a norm of complacency among the populations of the world, disinterest in what is now accepted by many as "normal", resulting in a certain feeling, a stink of rotting smells in the air all around us.
    This rotting smell is the death of Basic humanity. 
    Basic humanity is an innate capacity for interest in the well being of others. In its more developed expressions, it motivates respectful, helpful, valuing, nurturing, protective, and altruistic behaviors. In extreme adversity, it motivates sacrifice and rescue.
    Basic humanity allows us to grow beyond the confines of personal experience and prejudice to recognize the inherent value of other people. The more in touch with basic humanity, the more humane we feel. When out of touch with it, we feel less humane.
    In this Age of Entitlement with its emphasis on "getting your needs met," basic humanity is fast disappearing. 
    The alarming prevalence of resentment and anger/hate in today's world parallels the retreat of basic humanity from the popular consciousness. 
    People largely have chosen to believe and see the world through the way they want it to be, without any regard for the ugly reality of the world we all live in. 
    Lies, distortions, blame, false entitlement, lack of accountability of our own actions, inactions, all comprise the way many blindly, arrogantly view the world around us.
    Within this vacuum of humanity, a bubble of make believe, souless humans exist in a world that is truly out of control. In other words, people don't give a shit about anyone or anything but themselves.
    These feelings for many began with a sense of helplessness and loss of confidence in our institutions. 

    They seem impotent in the face of terrible problems and a growing divide between intensely polarized sides that people have embraced. 

    A growing swathe of American society is both angry and untrusting, fearful and seeking simple one syllable solutions to complex challenges. Where once people wanted leaders who were refined, well educated and capable of delivering a message of hope, today many seek leaders who are common, coarse and corrupt.

    Angry fearful Americans seek to be told precisely who's responsible for today being so unlike yesterday, and don't particularly care what the answer is, as long as it's not the truth and doesn't actually involve them.
    As the current political Presidential conventions in the U.S. unfold, there will be a lot of talk, but no real solutions will be found here. The problems we have as a Country and Society have been a long time building, they won’t be solved by empty words, slogans, demagogues and corrupt politicians.
    America is in a deep abyss of trouble.  

    With the wide division of so many of our citizens, a lot of people out there will continue believing with every fiber of their being that the nation is under attack both from within and without; that its leaders are traitorous conspirators who hate America. They will continue to do whatever is necessary in attempting to further their objectives.

    At the same time there is a diametrically opposite part of the population spectrum that is alienated complacent, detached, and have given up on the system. They no longer care to be involved with what happens to our Country, don't vote, don't get involved, and believe that magically they can somehow exist untouched in this cesspool of a mess that our Country has become.

    All of this will continue wrecking havoc on a Country desperately in need of hope, unity and a sense of common purpose. And perhaps worst of all, this monster of havoc will no doubt contend with the fiery breath that the election of 2016 was stolen by an entrenched left-wing conspiracy or a right wing fascist coup, which depending on who wins, swears eternal fealty to God, or to Allah, to Madison or to Marx, to heaven or to hedonism.  
    As citizens of the United States we have the critically important responsibilities of working together for the common good, survival of our Country, and what we will leave for our children, grandchildren to inherit.
    Sadly there is more interest in Pokemon, Facebook, and the Kardashian's than there is in saving ourselves.
    We are not going to get very far in surviving as a civilization if Basic humanity takes its last breath.
    What you allow is what will continue.