Monday, February 23, 2015




You can make a difference. Give a day.

My Son Steven's Story

My son Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff was killed in a horrific multi-car crash on the Pacific Coast Highway on June 21, 2008 at the age of 30 (Click Here).

Multiple people and entities also killed Steven that tragic day, the two California paramedics who negligently botched a medical procedure thereby ultimately killing Steven while he was alive for 50 minutes after the collision, CALTRANS, and others, all cowards, never taking a nano bit of responsibility about the suffering Steven felt and for stealing my sons life from him (CLICK HERE).

Our family has also agonized in unbelievable and excruciating ways; a reality that we will carry with us for a lifetime.

Steve grew up riding his bike and playing kick-the-can in Wantagh, NY; was a trumpet player, golfer, writer, and stand-out student in high school; became an honors program graduate of SUNY Albany; and eventually found his way into the technology boom on the west coast.

He loved so many things: ultimate Frisbee, reading pretty much anything, playing bass in his band, hanging out in Dolores Park in San Francisco, friends, sarcasm ... and he was always the smartest person in the room.While his sense of time was, well, a bit slow, it didn’t matter. He was always worth waiting for.

He had two younger siblings and was a pretty typical older brother—obnoxious and loving in equal measures. He was a son who said what was on his mind, challenging his parents (in a good way!).

He was a devoted partner, a loyal friend, the coolest cousin, a fun/funny nephew, and a loving grandson. He was a gift we could have not imagined having; a gift we cannot imagine life without.

One way to keep Steve alive in our hearts and continue his life's momentum was to start the Steven Nathaniel Wolkoff Foundation.

The SNW Foundation was formed within weeks of the tragic loss of Steven Wolkoff on June 21, 2008. The foundation is an opportunity to honor Steve’s name and keep his voice alive by supporting organizations and programs that represent issues that were most important to him.

With passion, sophistication, and an unparalleled ability to add sarcasm into just about every conversation, Steve asked a thousand questions you never thought of, found beauty in the mundane, and fought for the betterment of society.

The mission of the SNW Foundation is therefore, to support the diversity of interests that compelled Steve every day of his life especially in the areas of education, music + recreation, and environmental causes.
Dedicated to supporting the things he loved (and there were many), the Foundation counts on the donations received to support the activities and issues that, for Steve, were both important and fun.

Your donation allows us to give a day to a life cut short and to give something more to someone who has less.

We thank you for the kindness and thoughtfulness and hope the grants we have awarded inspire you as they have us.

To Make a Tax Deductible Donation to Steven's foundation (CLICK HERE)

We are a 501 [c] 3 organization, allowing all donors to declare their gifts, for tax purposes, to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Some of the many projects supported through the SNW Foundation:
826 Valencia (CLICK HERE)is a nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to supporting students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Their services are structured around the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success. Steven lived around the corner from 826 Valencia and was excited about their programs (and their pirate themed store).

Contributions 2008 - 2014

The mission of the San Francisco Free Clinic as a non profit organization is to provide free, accessible medical treatment to those without health insurance and to advance the field of primary care by providing educational opportunities for future medical practitioners. Our grant will help provide free direct medical care for patients who do not have health insurance.

Contributions 2009-2014
The Fender Music Foundation (CLICK HERE).

The Fender Music Foundation is a non profit national music charity that provides instruments to music education programs across the country, including schools. Our grant will be used to buy instruments for schools to have for children that need them most, so they, too, can develop their love of listening to and making music.

Contributions 2009-2014
Pie Ranch (CLICK HERE).

Their mission is to effect positive change in cultivating a healthy and just food system from seed to table through food education, farmer training, food justice,and regional partnerships.

Contributions 2009-2014

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


This CHILD beat cancer. Don't make him face measles too.

                          Rhett Krawitt, 6 Years Old

Rhett Krawitt, age 6, fought leukemia for 4 and 1/2 years.  
Now, his cancer is in remission, but he won’t be healthy enough to be immunized for another several months.

Marin County, where he lives, is one of the newest areas to be hit by the current measles outbreak in California, with two children infected this week.

But Rhett lives in Marin, a county with the dubious honor of having the highest rate of “personal belief exemptions” in the Bay Area and among the highest in the state. This school year, 6.45 percent of Marin’s kindergarteners have a PBE which allows parents to lawfully send their children to school unvaccinated against communicable diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and more. 

This petition (See Below) will be delivered to:
Steven Herzog, Superintendent, Reed Union School District-Marin County, California.

Join me in signing this Petition (Click Here) 
This is  about asking the Superintendent of his son’s school district to require that all children be vaccinated so that kids like Rhett, who can’t be vaccinated, can benefit from ‘herd immunity’ that will keep them protected from the dangerous disease.

"It's a risk that shouldn't even be there, and that's what's so emotional for me. This was a disease that was gone," says his father Carl Krawitt.

Join me in supporting Carl and Jodi Krawitt's plea for their son's health and safety at school by signing the petition asking the Reed Union School District to require students to be immunized.

An outbreak of measles that started a few weeks ago at Disneyland continues to spread accross the U.S. I wrote about this in my blog story this week about "There IS NO VACCINE AGAINST STUPIDITY (CLICK HERE).
Katie Bethell started this petition at ChanE.Org stating the following: 

"I live in the Bay Area, and my daughter and I love to take the ferry to Tiburon on sunny Saturdays.  At my daughter's school, and at many schools in the Bay Area, we are asked to keep nut products out of our children's lunches because of other children's nut allergies.  

It's a bit of an inconvenience, how many times have I looked long at the jar of peanut butter on the shelf when trying to assemble a healthy lunch on a busy morning, but it keeps other children at the school safe. If the school can ban nuts to protect a few kids, it can require immunizations too"

We all have a responsibility to the health of ALL OF our children.  

Reed Union School District can help Rhett stay safe and healthy at school by making sure all kids are protected from dangerous and preventable disease.

Join in asking Superintendent Steven Herzog to help keep Rhett healthy by signing the petition.

See video of Rhett and his family here: 

Petition Letter to
Superintendent, Reed Union School District-
Superintendent Steven Herzog,

We are signing this petition in support of the request made by the Krawitt family that students in the Reed Union School District be immunized unless they have a medical exemption.

The vaccine discussion can become heated among parents, as any discussion does when we think about our children's lives and well-being. In the face of an active measles outbreak in California, it seems prudent to ensure the health and safety of all children at the school by ensuring that as many kids as possible are vaccinated, especially when you consider what an outbreak at Reed could mean for kids like Rhett.

Thank you for doing everything you can to ensure the health and safety of the children in your district.


Our Federal, State and Local governments (from all political parties), has over the years passed some really strange and in most cases, idiotic taxes just to try and drain more money from our pockets.

Politicians are good at very few things, however one thing in particular that they do so well is raising taxes. But after all, we are talking about politicians, this is what they do to stay "in business" as the government needs to be constantly fed dollars.

Recently I became aware of some of the most idiotic taxes that we have in the United States. I actually had to recheck several times that they are real since I could not believe these exist.

Below are some of the dumbest, most idiotic, slimy, taxes that might make you laugh, if they weren’t really true.

Card Tax: Alabama is the only state charging a 10-cent tax for decks of playing cards.

Tattoo Tax: Get a tattoos and body piercings; pay an additional 6% state sales tax.

Fruit Tax: California has a 33% tax on fruit bought from vending machines but not fruit bought in a grocery store.
Nonessential Tax: "nonessential" food-related items (napkins, bibs, utensils, and straws) are taxed but paper cups and disposable containers are considered essential and not taxed.
Diaper Tax: Adult diapers are not taxable but kid’s diapers are taxed through the roof.

Candy Tax: Baby Ruth, Milky Way Midnight. M&M's and yogurt covered raisin are all candy which you pay a 5.25% tax, but a raisin covered pretzel, original Milky Way, and Twix you don’t pay any tax.

Soda Fountain Drink Tax: If you are the type of person who prefers fountain soda to can soda, you may want to think again before moving to the Windy City. Chicago taxes can soda at 3%, but fountain soda at three times that amount, or 9%.

Jock Tax: 
Would you believe that 20 of the 24 states with a pro sports team require athletes to pay state income tax for each game they play there. In 1991 when the NBA Finals was between the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers, after returning home the Bulls players received tax bills from California for the three games played there.

Tethered Balloon Tax: If the balloon is tethered for a ride (attached to the ground) it is taxable but if it is not tethered it qualifies as transportation and is tax-exempt.
Blueberry Tax: It's not clear why but Maine has singled out blueberry for a one and one half cent tax per pound. It is on anyone who grows, sells or purchases the fruit.
Toilet Flush Tax-In 2004, Maryland created a tax on flushing a toilet to update treatment plants and protect the Chesapeake Bay, which has experienced a decline in water quality. The tax doubled in 2012.

The Rain Tax: The tax calculates surface area of a property, the bigger the property, the more rain will fall on that property, and the more tax you will pay.

New York:
Bagel Cutting Tax: If you buy a bagel in New York, an 8 cent sales tax to all "altered" bagels will be paid (adding cream of cheese, butter, or getting it sliced).You have this tax on unless you purchase it to go, unsliced, unheated or in the same way you’d find it in a supermarket or grocery store.

North Carolina
Dog Tax: If you live in Durham you  paying a tax for neutered and spayed pets and more for pets that are not neutered or spayed

Air Tax: Purchase of any item that comes out of a compressed air vending machine and it is subject to a sales tax in this state.

Nudity Sales Tax: Utah imposes a 10% tax on any sexually explicit business where someone appears nude or partially nude in any business from selling merchandise to food.

South Bend, Indiana:
Fire Hydrant Tax: Each water customer is charged a monthly fire protection fee, assessed by law to help pay for and maintain the fire hydrants attached to our city's water system. The amount of this fee is determined by the size of your water meter.

Illegal Drug Tax: Known as the "crack tax," it targets possession of illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. Some 20 states have a similar tax. When you pay the tax in Tennessee, you even receive stamps to attach to your illegal drugs as proof of payment.

Belt Buckle Tax: 6.25 percent
Although ordinary belts and cowboy boots are tax free in Texas, be ready to pay extra in the Lone Star State if you purchase a belt buckle, unless you go shopping during sales tax holiday week every August.

Holiday Decorations Tax: 
Holiday-themes placed on walls are taxed.

United States:
Federal Arrow tax: The IRS has long imposed an excise tax on arrows, and since 2012 it’s also imposed on manufacturers, producers and importers an excise tax on arrows more than 18 inches long that may or may not be suitable for use with a taxable bow.

West Virginia:
Glow Worm Tax:West Virginia imposes a 6% tax on glow worms, trick noisemakers and sparklers.

There are no bounds to the creative ways that our politicians develop so many different ways to pick our pockets clean.

As taxes rise and grow, sadly many of the services that are supposedly provided by government from these revenues are being drastically cut.

So where does this tax revenue go, too often it is wasted by incompetence,corruption, diversion to bureaucratic salaries, and patronage.  

Our tax system is modeled after the revenue raising concepts of the 19th century "economist", Jesse James, the infamous bank robber.

When there's a single thief, it's robbery. When there are a thousand thieves and laws they legislate, it's called taxation.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015




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Have you noticed all the recent news about the measles vaccine and those who feel it should never be used on anyone because it's too dangerous?

The anti-vaccination movement is against using many different types of vaccinations and it is spreading across the US on the back of ideas about ‘all-natural’ lifestyles.

They’re right about one thing, there is nothing natural  about dying from measles.

I tend to believe in a "natural" life style buying organic fruits vegetables, whole wheat everything, trying to avoid "unhealthy" foods, always reading the ingredients labels of most things I buy to eat.

Although I can’t quantify, exactly, how much of the "natural/organic/healthy"designation benefits my health and how much is just marketing, I do it because I feel like it’s a more healthy way to live and, for some reason, that feels right.

Honestly, I don’t believe that armpit deodorant aluminium or a non organic banana is going to be the end of me.

Most importantly, unlike the potential repercussions of the current anti-vaccination movement, none of my opinions has ever caused a person with to pointlessly die of an entirely preventable disease.

Personally, I believe that it is good to be sceptical of massive,  government agencies and the way that they exploit people’s innate fears in order to funnel profits to pharmaceutical giants (and the diet industry, Wall Street, defense contractors, banks, and oil companies, etc.).

However, I have never been suspicious of the government’s involvement in educating citizens that they can easily prevent letting an infant baby go blind,develop seizures and mental degeneration, and die of measles-induced panencephalitis.

If anyone needed more evidence that opposing vaccination is an antiquated, bad idea, look no further than the fact that several ass hole politicians in the Republican Party have decided to further toxify the entire issue by politicizing all of this, for their own political gain.

These same politicians as ultimate talent scouts for other antiquated, bad ideas have recently come down on the anti-vaxxer side.

Recently, Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul said, vaguely, that he’d heard of “many tragic cases” of kids developing “profound mental disorders” after being vaccinated.

New Jersey GOP Governor Chris Christie argued that “parents need to have some measure of choice” because “not every vaccine is created equal”.

Neither politician offered any specifics about which “tragic cases” and which disproportionately dangerous vaccines they were referring to, but if citations mattered, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. (Great to hear you 2 conservatives are all about bodily autonomy now, though. I assume you’re going to apply that to women’s bodies, too? … Hello, Hello?)

I've noticed these 2 slime balls are also the same idiots who talked tough about Ebola, and yet are now talking soft on measles.

When Americans thought Ebola was going to burn its way across the contiguous 48 States leaving bled-out bodies in its wake, it was all anybody could talk about, especially the press. Any health professional could’ve told you that the chances of actually becoming infected with Ebola were on par with being struck by lightning while getting attacked by a shark on your way to pick up your lottery winnings, but that hardly mattered. 

Here's Senator Rand Paul from last October during the Ebola scare: "We've underplayed the risk of this. I hope we're going to only have very isolated incidents of this in the United States. But I also don't think it's that unreasonable to suspend commercial flights."He was ready to suspend commercial flights to West Africa to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Chris Christie, was then insisting that nurse Kaci Hickox be quarantined, even though she had no symptoms."The fact is, I'm not going to step away for a minute from protecting the people of my state and our region. But you can't take chances on this stuff."

Can't take chances with Ebola. Amen. Why? Because there's no effective vaccine.

But there is one for measles! Yet Governor Christie, while he says he vaccinates his own children, otherwise sounds indifferent. As for Senator Paul, he's saying the shot could be worse than the disease.

Well, it's true as many as ten people a year die after getting a measles shot although no research has established a direct link.

Does it make any sense that a politician who talks tough about Ebola would talk soft on measles, which is nine times as contagious?

When I was growing up in the 1950's there were more than half a million measles cases a year, and each year about a third of those patients got lung infections, and 450 died.

Do you really miss the old days, when there were no vaccines to worry about, life was simple, and, in too many cases, unnecessarily short . According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average life expectancy at the beginning of the 20th century was 47.3 years.

A century later, that number had increased to 77.85 years, due largely to the development of vaccinations and other treatments for deadly diseases. Of course, vaccines only work if they're given.

Americans overwhelmingly support vaccination eight in 10 Americans believe that vaccines are safe for children, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.

The poll just released indicates that 83 percent of Americans  answered that vaccination for diseases such as measles, mumps and rebella are safe for healthy children. Nine percent thought vaccines were unsafe for children, while 7 percent did not know.

A clear majority of Americans agree on vaccination safety across the board, regardless of age or political preferences, as 89 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats trust the use of vaccines on children.

A new statistic is circulating in the anti-vaccination corner of the Internet. Two numbers, side by side: zero, the number of deaths caused by measles in the past decade, and 108, the number of deaths caused by measles vaccines in the past decade. To them, this means that Vaccines kill, measles doesn’t.

The first number, which comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is correct. Due to advances in modern medicine, the mortality rate for measles in the United States is exceptionally low, on average, around 0.3 percent from 1987 to 2000, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Not so for other countries, especially in the developing world: In 2000, measles was responsible for 22 percent of deaths of children under 5 in Ethiopia. So although measles remains a lethal disease elsewhere in the world, it is true that it hasn’t killed any Americans in the past decade.

But then there’s the second number: more than a hundred deaths as a direct result of having received a measles vaccine since 2004. This is the one that should strike you as off. And that’s because that figure comes not from the CDC but from the National Vaccine Information Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 1982 for parents whose children suffered brain injury or death, they said as a result of having received vaccines.

The CDC also maintains a database of adverse events, which it shares with the Food and Drug Administration. It is legally mandated to do so. According to that database, there have been 69 deaths following receipt of measles vaccines since 2004. But neither of these numbers,108 or 69, tells the true story. 

This is because the protocol for reporting adverse reactions to vaccines, called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, does not draw causal relationships between vaccines and adverse effects but merely correlations.

Either 108 or 69 people (depending on whom you ask) died sometime after having been vaccinated against measles since 2004, but not necessarily because they were vaccinated against measles. In some cases, their deaths were totally unrelated, or the patient had some undiagnosed congenital illness that meant he or she should never have been vaccinated in the first place. 

There’s one more way in which the anti-vaxxers misconstrue this statistic. While it’s true some people may have died as a result of the measles vaccine, many more would have died without them. 

According to the WHO, the measles vaccine prevented about 15.6 million deaths from 2000 to 2013. Childhood measles remains a leading cause of blindness in developing countries. In places like Haiti, Bangladesh and sub-Saharan Africa, the measles vaccine led to an overall mortality reduction of between 30 and 86 percent from 1970 onward, according to a paper published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases by Drs. Robert Perry and Neal Halsey.

Those promoting this 108 number appear to be uninterested in widely accepted facts, and most don’t seem to understand the difference between correlation and causation. Or they just don’t care.

Ironically, Santa Monica, California was named specifically in a recent Hollywood Reporter investigation into wealthy Southern California cities that have shockingly low vaccination rates. The report declared that some wealthy areas have vaccination rates lower than those in Sudan.

In other words, affluent Southern Californians, who have access to the best health care in the world, are allowing themselves to be as susceptible to disease as those living in the Third World.

In Sudan, it’s poverty that can kill you. Here, it’s just plain stupidity.