“…on many sides”– then, ‘April’ in August!!


Preface: Hatred, bigotry, violence –what a horrible way to start a weekend — and a nice late summer’s weekend at that.  I have not blogged for over a week — but this last weekend aroused such animosity, such venom, such hatred in me — I had to take “pen to paper” or truthfully, “fingers to keys” and vent my wrath — as if it would do any good …….

It all started the night before. This extremely large group came marchin’ onto the university campus — in formation — they were carryin’ tiki torches and some kind of shields — others had red and black banners with Nazi symbols — some wore helmets — and they all were chantin’ epithets against blacks and Jews. It was reported that they stopped in front of an on-campus church and chanted — disruptin’ services and confrontin’ the folks who came out to find out what was happenin’.  Whatever happened that night did not compare to the violence that occurred the followin’ day — there just had to be a counter-group on Saturday — “high school physics” dictates that for every action there must be a comparable reaction —  that group was later described as “counter-protestors”!! For God’s sake, they are the “good guys” — “protestor” should not be part of their “i.d.” — even if it was modified by the word — “counter”!! This label is what must have confused our president when he gave his Sunday comments followin’ that horrible confrontation on Saturday in Charlottesville, VA — on the college campus– one death and many wounded was the result. He used the term “on many sides” as if everyone involved were equally responsible and caused the problem!!

So let me equalize it for you readers — let’s say !!balance the scales!! thusly: neo-Nazis, counter-protestors, white supremacists, counter-protestors, domestic terrorists, counter-protestors, Klu Klux Klan (the KKK, for God’s sake), counter-protestors. white nationalists, counter-protestors, etc., etc., etc., and counter-protestors! I could say the ones I have denoted in “RED” — those white guys from all over these United States were: hooligans, enemies of the state, gangsters, murderers … I could go on and on. As it turns out, some of ’em actually lead decent, normal lives — but were “outed” when the cameras rolled — and photos began to show up on social media. It’s horrible that they had so many from all over come to cause harm — “to protest”. They are made up of diverse groups but have one thing in common — they are simply “haters” — whether it’s blacks, or Jews, or Muslims, or any non-whites, or Yankees (not the baseball team), or Mexicans, or etc., etc., etc. They were born to hate somebody. It’s just hard for me to understand how men can hate so much — notice, there were no women with tiki lamps or Nazi banners — and all the faces were white — very, very, very white.

I am sure that our “alt-right” White House staffee, Stephen Miller, must have written the comments for him, since Trump should have used the term Nazi or Nazi-like protestors — they were carryin’ Nazi symbols, Nazi colors,  chantin’ Nazi “blood and soil” My God, they are white supre- macists — domestic terrorists!  Even if their fotos were in a child’s colorin’ book, one would color them black!! The two sides were not equivalents!! And yet, that’s exactly how our so-called POTUS has treated the incident — no it was not an incident — it was a melee!! And remember, these thugs are part of that 33% block of voters who will stand by Trump — no matter. He omitted identifyin’ them as “white supremacists” verbally and equated them to the “counter-protestors” — and so he defined these criminals as  “on many sides”!!

This morning — a whole 48 hours later — Trump is quoted as statin’ the followin’: “Racism is evil …[there were] criminals and thugs including KKK, neo-nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” These are the parts of “on many sides” — he spewed forth on Sunday morning — but on this Monday mornin’, his “baby-sitter” told him to leave out the term — “counter-protestors” — and I am sure he is saddened by that forced acquiescence. Yes, it took our POTUS 48 hours to finally and regretfully correct (?) his innermost feelin’s. Just re-look at the Saturday mornin’ comments he made — it is obvious that he inserted the words “on many sides” which he re-stated for emphasis. He wanted to let his 30-ish-percent-base know that he was includin’ those “counter-protestors”. But, note how many females — young women — are part of the white-supremacist  group — none, zero, zip, nada, no females!! While the thugs were only men with very, very, very white faces — and very, very, very tattooed bodies. And the very unfortunate irony is that the only person who did not survive the counter-protest was a young female.

And can you believe it — the Trump folks just released a “campaign ad” (yes, he’s already runnin’ for President in 2020 — it is obvious that our current president — Donald Trump — does not want to be POTUS — he just wants to continue to run for President!! I’m a 92+year-old guy, I have lived through many presidents — actually, since Calvin Cooledge. I don’t exactly remember him — the first one I can recall is Herbert Hoover and the ’32 presidential race — when FDR became our President — and Roosevelt was our President until I was told on the U.S. Naval Academy soccer practice field that our president had passed– it was April 1945 — not too long before the end of WWII. My point is that I have never witnessed a sittin’ president openly runnin’ for his next term as president within the first year of his presidency. First year, Hell, this buffoon of a president has been runnin’ for his next term since he was inaugurated (even before he took the oath). This has to be part of his psychological make-up — like a child at Disneyland — Trump relishes the cheers and screams every time he holds a rally — I would guess he has held (my estimate) over 12 rallies in the less than the 8 months he has been president. And always in his “battle-ground” states so he can relish the cheers and the praise as he calls out “drain the swamp” and even brings up his original nemesis — Hillary!! He’ll never quit campaignin’!!!

Why in the world does the Trump campaign (in 2017) want to pick on a black female journalist — APRIL Ryan??  Are they singlin’ her out as the “enemy of the White House”!! [aside: Actually, her facial image shows up along with a number of other press folks and Democratic politicos — flashed briefly as the ad calls the whole lot — “enemies of the president”! No, she is not “singled out”– but she is included with a very limited number of press folks causin’ her to tweet that she was bein’ “singled-out”. And who’s to say that she wasn’t!!] That is part of a campaign ad released on the first workin’ day after the Charlottesville melee!! The ad states: “Let President Trump Do His Job!” And it’s a damn CAMPAIGN AD!! The country is tryin’ to recover from one of the worst weekends of the Trump presidency — and they are campaignin’ for his presidency in 2020. No, maybe I’m wrong — but, they are campaignin’ — requestin’ that the press act nice and are specifyin’ photos, includin’ April, as examples!! How do they have the nerve to make such a request when they are saturated with the likes of Breitbart Bannon, with his lackeys — “scary” Stephen Miller, “strange” Sebastian Gorka and “alternate-news” Kelleyanne Conway!! Stop, stop, stop!! How in the world does any sane, respectable, patriotic human bein’ — who has the slightest common decency — permit this kind of “trash” to be employed in our sacred White House??

And I am emphasizing the word ‘patriotic‘ to make the point that the Ivanka’s, the Jerod’s, the Kelly’s — just anyone that can possibly get through to the Donald — please, please do so!!  How in the world are they not able to convince the President that these alt-right people are anti-American — anti-decency — pro-Nazi — pro-white supremacist. Trump’s base simply has to begin to deteriorate — I just cannot believe that 1/3 of these United States are Breitbart fans — they have just been mesmerized by Trump himself — remember, he’s gonna “drain the swamp” and folks hate Washington and everyone associated therein!! This whole exercise just proves the point of some out-spoken psychiatrists — that there is somethin’ wrong in our president’s head.  How can anyone who has any “common decency” — in the words of Joseph McCarthy’s opposition — permit such trash to dwell in “our White House” — it is  “our house”!  We are approachin’ the time when we overthrow our leader — either by legal means or ????  I’m too old to commit treason — but if overthrowin’ Trump as POTUS, and gettin’ rid of the Breitbart bunch, is treason — let me be first in line!! What a wonderful way to end — bein’ a blogger!!  ‘nuf ……

Post Script 8/19/17: A week has passed since the horrible event took place in Virginia. Trump spoke later in the week and condemned the “counter protestors” in no uncertain terms. Our president sided with the Nazis — with the KKK, with the white supremacists — I am ashamed of our president. He committed a horrible sin in my mind. I just had to add this post script — just in case anyone reads it later!! I had to point out what a horrible person resides in our White House!! Finally, nuf ……..   

LILLIAN — QUEEN of the DESERT … ed!!!

Preface: Lillian Koslow will have her 99th birthday on July 28, 2017. Her daughter Mollee is plannin’ a wonderful party on August 6th — and the wife and I along with Lillian’s family and friends plus her East Coast kin are plannin’ to attend. We wouldn’t miss it for the world!! We plan to spend a lot of time with Lillian durin’ her 100th year — here at the newly anointed “residential hotel” at 947 Tiverton Ave.  Most of our neighbors have departed — all those folks deserted us and moved away — when trouble was brewin’ — and those “eviction notices” were pasted on our doors! [aside: I recalled the title of a very odd, but funny movie — “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” — thus, the title of this blog. Other than my bein’ cutesy, it does not relate in any way! It’s about three people, alone on a bus-trip in Australia! Two lesbians and a transgender had named their bus, “Priscilla” — so forgive my silliness with the title of this blog!!] So, back at home here at “947”, we remainin’ ole folks wonder what our future has in store — but this is about Lillian, our friend and neighbor, so read on ……..

The day just seems brighter with she comes moseyin’ in to breakfast — somewhere between eight and half past — I like to guess what the color of her outfit will be — cause that’s how my mornin’ will begin! When it’s yellow — a very bright yellow — I just jump right into it, and we begin a chatty conversation with her, the wife and me. When its that mellow lavender — or is it a dreamy purple — we won’t begin our conversin’ until she’s settled in with her slivers of orange and raisin bread. But if it’s that black and — or is it the white with black — that’s when we may be in for a 3-way debate about the mornin’ news or last night’s movie.[aside: But the folks runnin’ that Chico’s store in Santa Monica on Manhattan Ave at 14th Street — must have their ears burnin’ — because everyone that sits with or passes by Lillian, talks about her outfits and style!!] Unfortunately, Lillian is not a Dodger fan so that subject never comes up — it’s summer, you know — and we keep those wonderful thoughts of our Patriots and last year’s Super Bowl win in the back of our minds. Why is it that her eyes light up at just the thought of Boston —  that section known as Newton — and “Mitch”!!

Talk about eyes lightin’ up — I have requested some info from four of my lady friends, includin’ Lillian, of course — and she willingly answered the questions, filling in all the spaces of my questionaire. But, it took a later inquisition on my part to witness a real touch of excitement — that gleam in her eye –l was askin’ about her “courtin’ days”!! So, she brought up Winthrop Beach — where her family would spend some summer days. I had asked when and where she had met her ‘true love’ — Myer Koslow, always known as “Mitch”. As her eyes sparkled, she said her cousin was datin’ Mitch’s brother, and both young Bostonians had come to the beach to spend the day and join the Witten family. Lillian could hardly restrain herself as she described the situation. Mitch was speakin’ to one of the family — not too close to where she was standin’ — but near enough for her to overhear. And, Mitch, knowin’ full well that Lillian could hear him, asked “Is she datin’ anyone?” or words to that effect. I don’t know what the answer was to that question, but it was all Lillian needed to know — that good-lookin’ guy had shown interest in her. Mitch may not have known it immediately, but his fate was sealed — Lillian would make her conquest — and Mitch never knew what hit him!

So, Miss Witten became Mrs. Myer Koslow. Lillian continued to work for the Boston Elevated Railway where she had been hired as a Boston University (B.U.) grad. In the meantime, Mitch had graduated Harvard University; and from his dad, he had taken over the distribution of an Italian newspaper in the Boston area — the paper was shipped from Brooklyn by his uncle. Mitch had originally wanted to go into medicine at Harvard — and he had the grades to make it into the university’s med school — but as Lillian describes it: he was told by the dean that his grades and record were acceptable, but the school had met its “Jewish quota”. The dean wanted more grads to go and practice in the rural areas of America — and typically, Jews would more likely want to practice in the large cities. Even though Mitch was ready to sign up to practice anywhere, the dean refused.  So, Mitch, upon graduation from Harvard, had joined his uncle in the newspaper distribution business. Then, with Lillian, the two settled into married life in a 3-room apartment in the Roxbury area of Boston. After a couple of years of togetherness, they started raisin’ their family — first, Mollee arrived — followed two years later by Francine. They made a happy foursome — look out world– they were especially ready to “paahk yaah caah in Haahvud Square!!

After Lillian’s widowed mom died, the Koslow foursome moved into her mom’s house in Matapan — another part of Greater Boston. The 3-floor home was already occupied by two of the Witten children’s families — so it was the third floor for Lillian, Mitch and the two girls. And that’s where they lived until they bought the condo in Newton. Ultimately, Mollee had found her way to Los Angeles where she met and married Doctor Ed Share– and Francine earned her PHD and married Mark Miller — remainin’ in the East, settlin’ in Andover, MA. Somewhere along the line, Lillian and Mitch would leave Newton and spend those frigid winter months in Florida. It was a typical way of life for folks who live in the northeastern United States. Mitch, however, passed in 2008 after 64 “wonderful years” with his true love, leavin’ Lillian alone in Newton.

After about four years, she became sufficiently lonely, livin’ alone in her condo in Newton — and even though she hated to leave Francine and her family in the Northeast, Lillian decided to move West to be close to Mollee and family plus a couple of nieces in the Los Angeles area. She arrived at Vintage Westwood Horizons in March 2012 — a little over 5 years ago — and it must have seemed like a ray of sunshine had penetrated 947 Tiverton Ave — the inhabitants were in for somethin’ special!! This white-haired lady sparkles wherever she goes and never fails to get an “ooh” or an “ahh” when she enters the dinin’ hall here!! She’s just one classy dame!!

The wife and I arrived at the CAN in 2014 (Casa de los Ancianos del Norte) — my nickname for our home. We had lived in Mexico — in the quaint town of San Miguel de Allende — for 24 years!! And it didn’t take us long to notice Lillian. At the time, she would sit mostly with petite Evelyn (over 100) and Esther (approachin’ 100). Lillian was the “spring chicken” of the bunch.  I recall one time, when Lillian had arrived early and was sittin’ alone, I had asked if the wife and I could join her — “no”!! — her friends would be there shortly. We were disappointed — she seemed like a very classy gal! But after a year or so, Evelyn passed and somehow, some way, Lillian began to sit with us along with her caregiver. And, if Esther came in late — we made it a five-some (to heck with the house rules) — and so began a wonderful friendship. Three beautiful gals and fat ole me — we laughed through many fruit platters and/or matzo ball soups — with Esther always complainin’ about the food — and Lillian, the wife and me payin’ absolutely no attention. Unfortunately, Esther passed last December — just after her 100th birthday — and the three of us still miss her.

Lillian will reach her 99th this current month on the 28th of July. Unfortunately, it is a mixed bag for her since her beloved daughter — Dr. Francine Miller — passed on that same day two years ago.  So, birthdays for Lillian are bittersweet — and that’s probably why Mollee scheduled a big ‘blow-out’ for her mom — 9 days later on August 6th. The wife and I wouldn’t miss it for the world — and our mutual friend Bernice will have her daughter chauffer the three of us to the event. Kin folks will be arrivin’ from the East — along with a bunch from here in Los Angeles. Not sure if the three great-grandchildren will attend — it may be past Maisy’s, Emily’s and Ryan’s bedtime. But their parents along with Francine’s daughter Rebeca — plus nieces and cousins and friends — it should be a fun evenin’for all. I am sure that Lillian will have a blast. The wife and I are just wonderin’ what that beautiful lady will be wearin’!! She’ll look like a million dollars — that’s for damn sure!! She’s one classy dame!! ‘nuf …..


Our Three Pals — Sadie, Dorin and Lillian!!

Preface: In order to have a semblance of accuracy in this blog, I gave the three women who I appreciate the most — a questionnaire. [Early aside: This, of course, excludes the wife! Geez! I had to get that in!] I was a bit surprised by how soon each was returned to me (from within an hour to no more than a couple of days)! So, with that in mind, I pledge to be as accurate as possible with any descriptive passages — and I hereby express my sincere thanks to each of them for spillin’ their “beans”.    So, read on ………

In August 2014, the wife and I arrived at the CAN (Casa de los Ancianos del Norte) directly from our 24-year stint in Mexico — that wonderful and celebrated town of San Miguel de Allende. We had been a pair of ex-pats — among a whole bunch of other folks from the U.S., Canada — and many, many other countries. There were all ages and backgrounds — quite a variety to say the least. So, it was quite a change for the two of us to suddenly be surrounded by so many elderly people — and I would guess — over 90% Jewish. Yes, the wife and I profess the Jewish faith but we fall into the category of non-practicin’ Jews — we have not visited a synagogue nor a temple since we had moved out of Dallas, TX in 1963. We always professed our faith — we had Jewish mothers, ya know! — we just had never practiced Judaism in our married life. And even though services were held here on both Friday night and Saturday morning, we still chose not to attend. We have to be honest to ourselves. But, I guess you might say we had returned to our roots — even if we didn’t choose to attend services. No, this is not a catharsis — I am only mentioning this because the three women I am gonna blog about are practicin’ jews. So, here goes …

Sadie Smolev nee Goldstein: I met Sadie just after the new owners — Watermark — told us that we had 120 days to leave the premises — yes, we were bein’ evicted! –! I had jumped in front of the group at our first in-house meetin’ followin’ the receipt of our eviction notices — the meetin’ was to be with — the new owner’s representative, our City Councilman, our pro-bono lawyers, etc.  — so before any of those folks arrived, I had asked the group to meet with me the next morin’ in front of the CAN — I would furnish signs and we would have a “protest march”. So, besides the wife and I — that next mornin’ — a bunch of folks came out — and there was Sadie with walker in tow — right up front and ready to march. I think she was the first person to be interviewed by the NBC/TV news reporter Angie Crouch. She was tellin’ the world that she was 101-years-old and was bein’ cast out on the street. We couldn’t have had a better spokes-person to kick off our protest! And from that day on, every time I would come in contact with Sadie — she would tell me she was ready to march and “protest” again! She will be 102 years old next Tuesday ( the first of August)! One would never know it, though. But her answer when my questionaire asked what she was famous for:  — “old age“!! Truthfully, however, to me — Sadie is a young warrior at heart!! She would much rather to still be livin’ in her condo in Florida — but that ole nemesis, an unexpected “fall” — convinced her son that she had to move into a senior facility — so the Florida entrepreneur son shipped Sadie to her California doctor son — thus she has lived here at the CAN since September 2011!!

Sadie says she was a “depression-baby” (the one brought on durin’ Hoover’s presidency); she worked at odd jobs durin’ high school, and later, went to night college while holdin’ down a day-job. So, to me, she’s one tough lady — plus, she had three different husbands along the way!! Needless to say, she’s a very independent woman and has no problem speakin’ her mind — which at almost 102 years of age — is still on top of most every thing. But, deep down, one can readily discern that she misses her independent lifestyle which she had in Florida. Damn that broken hip, anyway!! [aside: Endurin’ a fall seems to be the norm around here. Most folks, not in wheel-chairs, who are over 85, have a walker or a cane, and probably have had a serious fall in the recent past!! That event, in almost every case, has changed their outlook on life — and it completely impacted Sadie!] So, Sadie, I am glad we met — and I was proud to march and protest — that damn eviction — with you at my side!!

Dorin Mathis: I met Dorin in the elevator on our way down to a meal — maybe two years ago. She’s wheelchair-bound and lives on the same floor with me and the wife. I had noticed that Dorin seemed to have a far-away look — and mostly a frown on her face. I looked down and asked her to smile. Her quick response was: “Life is sh*tty!! Why should I smile!” — but she did give me a better look. When I asked her name — I thought she said Corinne (with a “C”) — so, for about 3 months when I would come in contact, I would call her name and smile at her — but, one day, all of a sudden, she stopped and looked at me with a bit of a glower and said, “it’s Dorin — with a ‘D'” and gave me the semblance of a smile. Now, I call her name, and we smile and wave at each other. To top it off, earlier, I became aware of her birthdate in April (tax day, no less) and have sung “Happy Birthday”, solo, handin’ her a See’s lollipop on the past two occasions. She let me give her a peck on her cheek each time. I consider her a friend — I think she considers me a bit of a damn fool — and she may be right!!

Dorin is a holocaust survivor! The Germans had taken over her town in Poland and put all the jews in a concentration camp. At one point in time, they started movin’ their prisoners to Germany, and Dorin described it to me thusly: “I was walkin’ in a line with my mother, holdin’ my brother’s and sister’s hand, when a German soldier told me to step aside. I looked at my mother, grabbin’ her hand! But, then she said to me: “Go, go … go and live! [aside: At that moment I saw a tear in Dorin’s eye, and there were some in mine too. I immediately changed the subject to her husband.] Dorin lights up when she mentions her husband — Sam!! When they had married and worked together in Germany after the war, he took what she called an O.R.T. test (part of a rescue and resettlement plan for holocaust survivors) — offered by the Americans re: aptitude — this seemed to be required for those wantin’ to emigrate to the United States. His results were so good that they were put “in the front of the line” — and she sure lit up when she told me that –“he was the smartest man ever”!! After a brief stopover in a town near St. Louis, MO, they were sent to Los Angeles — to Hollywood.  “He made wonderful suits”, she told me — “the stars in Hollywood loved his work. He made suits for Henry Fonda and other stars!” It was easy to see how much she loved and had pride in her husband Sam!! Recognizin’ this now, it’s easy for me to understand why life here is not the least bit “smile-worthy for Dorin!! But, when we wave at each other from across the dinin’ hall — I can tell she’s not frownin’ — even if it’s not a broad smile, she waves back. And here in Los Angeles, at the CAN since 2008, she’s close to her daughter Tina and her family. There are three other daughters in the San Francisco area — but not as close as Tina. She says she misses lots of the folks that have deserted us after that horrible “eviction” notice, but she, along with the wife and me, are plannin’ to stick it out. And guess what she’s famous for — as stated on her questionnaire?? — “MY SMILE”!! Who am I to argue?!

Lillian Koslow nee Witten: The wife and I sit with Lillian at all our meals now.  She arrived at the CAN from Newton, MA, over five years ago. We became close when she noticed my Shake Shack tee-shirt with “BOSTON” emblazoned  across its front. That’s where she hails from. We all live on the 4th floor, and she passes our room when she heads for the elevators. Even though she has her daughter Mollee and grand- and great-grand-children and a couple of nieces — nearby in L.A. — you can tell she misses her beloved Boston area — and Newton, MA in particular — that’s where she spent most of those 64 wonderful years with Mitch. He had graduated Harvard and she, the same — from Boston University. The first and foremost item that you notice about Lillian is her “looks” — with that shock of beautifully quaffed white hair. Plus, she is by far — the best dressed person in the place! And when you mention her clothes, she gives credit to Chico’s — but, it’s really Lillian with that ever-present smile and very carin’ manner!! She’s a winner from inside-out-and-in-between!!

Lillian’s 99th birthday is this comin’ Friday (July 28th) — but we’ll celebrate on Thursday — the folks at the CAN celebrate everyone’s birthday on the last Thursday of each month. A bunch of us are gonna celebrate with her — includin’ daughter Mollee, a niece with husband, and few other CAN inhabitants — a table for ten, please!! Her family is close in every way — the wife and I have met all of Mollee’s family — even the three great-grandchildren — Emily, Ryan and Maisy — the latter havin’ been named after her great-grandpa Mitch. We’re also invtited to Lillian’s birthday bash on August 6th — Mollee has invited the two of us — and lots of kin are comin’ from Boston to mingle with the L.A. bunch.  And what does Lillian state when asked what she’s famous for — “my smile” — but that’s only on the surface. She’s famous for somethin’ so much deeper — you may not see it; but you sure can feel it!!

That does it!! — I’ve been anxious to acknowledge our friendship with these three wonderful women ever since I started bloggin’. You must understand — that even when we were at our max here at “947 Tiverton Ave” — the ratio of women-to-men I would estimate at about 5 to 1. It’s still about the same. So, there were well over 100 women here when the wife and I arrived in 2014. Even then, with that many females from which to choose, these three gals would still be at the top of our list of friends. Yep, I don’t hesitate to state — these three gals are included in my short list of BFF’s! ‘nuf ……..



Accentuate positive, eliminate negative … just, don’t mess with the L. A. Times!!

Preface: I have ordered subscriptions to three big city newspapers in my lifetime. However, born and raised in Memphis, TN, I have to admit readin’ the Memphis Commercial Appeal each day as a kid — I had to keep up with the Memphis Chicks (short for Chickasaw Indians) our Southern League baseball team. But as a young adult, at the U.S. Naval Academy, the Washington Post was delivered to our 4-man room — to our livin’ quarters! And later, at my duty station at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, MD, the wife and I received that same WaPo newspaper daily. While livin’ in Westport, CT, at the end of my long attachment to IBM, we read the New York Times every day. But, now, here in Los Angeles — and earlier while livin’ in Northridge, CA for 17 years, while doin’ my management stint with IBM, the Los Angeles Times was extremely important in order to keep up with my Dodgers!! Obviously, the sports section of a newspaper is very important in my life, but we do read other sections of the paper (not just the headlines) — so read on ……

As I retrieve my Los Angeles Times each morning — from outside my door here at the CAN(Casa de los Ancianos del Norte) — I have only time to check out the front page headlines before we head down to breakfast. I was taken with a mornin’ edition of the Times almost a week ago and every day since — about the former USC Medical School Dean — actually, he had resigned his ‘dean-ship’ over a year ago — in March ’16!  He had been discovered, no less, doin’ drugs and carrousin’ with a prostitute, some druggies, even some criminals — and this mornin’, all I had time to read was what was under a front page photo and boy-o-boy did it sound salacious!!

[aside: I must confess up-front — that I have a “thingey” about USC — the University of Southern California!! Let me briefly explain: When we arrived in L.A. in the summer of ’66, while livin’ in the valley, I became enamored with the UCLA basketball team and the “Wooden era” — from ’64 to ’75 — the UCLA Bruins were NCAA champs (10 times) — a feat that will never be duplicated. That allegiance — that feelin’ exists to this day — I patiently follow UCLA basketball and on top of that, our youngest — Susan — is a proud 1983 graduate, where she later obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health. But, before that, our older daughter Jody — graduated Stanford U. (durin’ her 4-year stint,  the “Indians” became “The Cardinal”) and we have rooted for that footaball team — and its hysterically funny band ever since. In our case, it’s Stanford football and UCLA basketball — allegiances, that is.  So, those are two very important reasons that we “boo” those Trojans and that damn “Chancellor” every time it circles the football field. And we have watched it gallop that oval — quite a number of times. Included with that stallion over the years were O.J., Haden, Marcus etc. — we have a number of reasons to dislike — no, hate! — USC, and the Trojans! One final example, causin’ my angst,  happened while we were tail-gatin’ — with a blanket on the grass — alongside the Coliseum before a Stanford/USC football game. I had obtained a pass from IBM to enter the stadium and park. We were joined by a couple of our son’s friends who were Stanford rooters plus a few of Jody’s classmates — we had a nice before-game spread and were laughin’ and mindin’ our own business!! Then, a somewhat haughty older couple (USC alums), easily recognizin’ that we were not USC backers — stopped and rudely questioned our access the area. That took a lot of nerve — and in my mind, represents that underlyin’ trait that exists with USC alum!!  But, one or two folks since, have proved otherwise, includin’ a young sales employee who worked on my IBM marketing team — he and his bride used the USC fight song followin’ their “I do’s”! He wore USC colors on his forehead and he was a helluva nice guy and by the way — a very good IBM saleman!! I admire that!!]

But, back to the issue at hand, and this sad and embarassin’ tale has been on the front page of the Times for the last week with photos no less — usually with two full pages inside. I have read more about Dr. Carmen Puliafito than I ever wanted to. But the trashy reasons for his current fame is not what I am bloggin’ about; and it’s not why the Los Angeles Times has headlined the situation for so many continuous days. This matter reflects on the lack of attention to a significant issue by the folks that run this educational institution known as The University of Southern California (USC). You can retrieve any of the articles online by just googlin’ Dr. Puliafito’s name — and you can read and re-read all about the trashy things for which he is accused (and is guilty) of doin’. The underlyin’ issue for our wonderful news organization — the Los Angeles Times — is the lack of attention to the matter since the salacious acts were discovered 15 months ago. [aside: I purposely used the word “salacious” — let me list for you the synonyms for “salacious” — listed by google: pornographic, obscene, indecent, crude, lewd, vulgar, dirty, filthy, lustful, lecherous, licentious, lascivious, libidinous, prurient, livid!  Am I becomin’ carried away? I don’t think so — and that’s why the Times won’t take the story off the front page — it continues to be the lead article — it’s not the “defrocked dean” at all — it’s the greed and obvious holier-than-thou attitude at the very top of the school. The university took no action — even though the medical school dean resigned (as dean), he continued holdin’ classes and was employed by the university for over a year!! Read today’s Times — as it points out their continuous attempts to discuss the situation. Let me stop for a moment here  –and re-read where reporters’ emails and phone calls were never answered; and a letter to the USC president was returned by courier unopened. What a stupid bunch of folks runnin’ the university. You just don’t want to “piss off” the folks at the Los Angeles Times or any news organization — particularly, with such a “salacious” issue!  Actually, a week or so after discoverin’ the misdeeds of their precious medical school deanthe folks in charge of so, so, so many young students at the university — should have swallowed their pride — if for no other reason than for the sake of their academic and student-oriented reputation. To hell with the fact that Dr. Carmen brought in so much money with grants!! This actually reminds me of someone askin’ Senator Joe McCarthy — “where’s your common decency?” And not one of the folks in command acted like a leader — an educator — a father-figure!! The only word that comes to mind — no, it’s not “salacious” again– it’s one of the seven sins — simply greed! And they lacked the one that every university is usually known for — pride! So, with that bit of my “holier-than-thou” attitude, I’ll end with: ‘nuf …………

Post Script: I consider this case as the “cover-up” bein’ greater than the crime (and the crime was pretty bad)! I just have to include a list of people in “executive” postions at USC and individuals from their outside law firm — who were made aware of the issues described in this blog — up and includin’ today. Many were contacted by the Times and/or mentioned in the today’s (Sunday) front page Los Angeles Times article!! And in some cases there were multiple attempts to gain some form of response to this serious matter. For well over a year, Times’ reporters have been seekin’ clarification and/or answers to the issues/questions involvin’ the former mercurial dean of the USC Keck School of Medicine — Dr. Carmen Puliafito — who was replaced as dean last April ’16. I’ll list the people in order of mention and date of involvement: USC Provost Michael Quick (3/16); President C.L.Max Niklas (3/16); new Dean of Keck School of Medicine Dr. Rohit Varma (4/16); Sr VP for University Relations Thomas Sayles (5/16); VP for public relations and marketing Brenda Maceo (1/17); Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Debra Wong Yang (7/21/17); Managing Partner at Gibson, Dunn — Kenneth M. Doran. And with that list I’ll conclude!! Again, ‘nuf ……


EPIPHANY! … epiphany! … for God’s sake ……………………….. have one, will ya!!

Preface: This blog is a total, and silly, fantasy!! There is no way that the current POTUS could possibly think such a thought — that I have described herein. And that’s a damn shame! It just ain’t in his “xxxxx”, his i.d., his lexicon, his etc. So, at your own risk, read on ……..

The unexpected and excitin’ news came last night!! Two additional Republican senators had joined two fellow Republicans in votin’ NO on an important bill!! Earlier, last week, these latter two had voiced their negative vote as soon as the bill had been released from caucus — but, now — about 9pm EDT on Monday night, July 17th — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow could hardly restrain herself with the news. Four Republicans were votin’ “NO”!! The Republicans had failed again!! It was the latest attempt at the “Repeal and Replace” — that was the Republican goal with regards to the A.C.A. — the Affordable Care Act — our current healthcare law.  That’s what the world has dubbed “Obamacare”!! Repeal/replace has been a top priority item with Republicans ever since the law was passed in October 2009. And, during Obama’s presidency, from the time the House turned Republican in January 2011, they had passed such a bill over 50 times — but the Senate always ignored ’em!! They knew it was useless with Obama in the White House.

However, now, with a Republican in the White House, it would be easy sailin’!! And that staunch, never-say-die, Senate Majority Leader — Mitch McConnell and his select caucus group — they had come up with a replacement bill!! And this was their second try — havin’ failed miserably a couple of  weeks prior. They had originally thought it would be smooth sailin’ — they had a 52 to 48 advantage over the Democrats. This Republican Senate had made it their #1 priority when Trump became president!! It had been talked about; many had run on that so-called platform!! All they had needed for years — was a Republican president.

But today — Tuesday — it’s not a red-letter day!! it’s a red-, white--, and blue-letter day!! [aside: Excuse the fact that I cannot make “white” show up in this blog, no matter how hard I try!] Mitch McConnell and his Republican cohorts have gone down to defeat!! Hip-hip-hooray!! The bill to replace the Affordable Care Act needed 50 Republican votes and then Vice President Pence could cast the decidin’ vote —  and, then it would be “ain’t no mo’ Obamacare” But, stop and think!! What if the White House didn’t have their heads up “you know where”!  And as of today, what if President Donald Trump had an epiphany!! What if he had the ability to stop and think for a change (instead of tweetin’ immediately)! I haven’t taken the time to check on his reaction but I am sure you blog readers will agree that he’s “pissed“!! And with that reaction — he may be missin’ an opportunity to go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever. If he would only have an epiphany!!

And that sudden realization — that sudden intuitive and sudden thought into “how he would be remembered” as President!! These fools — these elected foolish officials couldn’t even carry his golf bag — much less write a health bill that he could sign!! He had told them he was ready to sign it — any bill — that replaced Obamacare. He had pen in hand!! He wouldn’t even read it — why should he — he knew he couldn’t understand it anyway!! He just wanted to eliminate that thingey that the black president had passed — and it now had his name on it. Remember, Obama wasn’t even a citizen — and should not have been president — havin’ been born in Kenya!! But with that epiphany …..

He should call in Bannon, and Kellyanne, and Miller, and Priebus — and tell them all — “You’re Fired!”!! [aside:He has certainly had practice doin’ that!!] He should then call in to the Oval Office — the Republican and Democratic leaders from both houses of Congress. He should tell them to formulate a bill that is as close to “single payer” as is possible. Yes, he definitely will want to repeal Obamacare because he wants the new bill to be called “Donald’s Unbelievably-fantastic Health Plan”!! It would be commonly known as the  “DUH” Plan!! Just think — children of future generations would rise and salute the front wall — every time his name would be mentioned — everyone would so appreciate the man who made healthcare available to all — he will demand that a framed portrait (not finished yet) be at the front of every classroom in America!! And at such a fair price — it would be the “best health plan ever”. It would be better than “Medicare-for-all” — and all those rich Democrats and rich Republicans and rich Independents  — yes, all the rich folks — would pay even higher taxes to cover the cost of the DUH plan!! That’s one of the big reasons he’ll be smilin’ when he’s laid to rest!!

Of course, I have only described a “bare bones” concept of a law that would make the Donald’s name a “blessed-household-word” in the lexicon of American heroes. He would definitely get his likeness on that mountain in South Dakota. His portrait could be placed on the “bring-it-back” two-dollar bill (since you won’t be able to buy anything with a dollar bill any more — and he would be responsible for gettin’ rid of that g-d copper penny!). Folks would rename our nation’s capitol “The Donald on the Pot” [aside: Get it? Potomac River!!] Trump Tower would be turned over to the government — all the Russian apartments would be confiscated — it would become a first-class government medical research institute with its goal to find a cure to cancer, Alzheimer’s and other major illnesses. In fact, fifty of its 58 floors would be turned into 50 specialized research centers for the 5o most prevalent diseases known to man (and children) — but emphasis on the first eight floors would be for cancer and Alzheimer’s!!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Donald did have an epiphany — and he could get enough dems and ‘publicans to work together and finally come up with a “medicare-for-all”!! His ego is such that he just might do it if he could keep his son, his son-in-law, and himself out of prison. But I am jumpin’ way ahead — maybe deep down he wants to be remembered as a hero — the way he’s headin’ right now — I don’t think I can come up with a name that would be appropriate or would be permitted online. I just hope I don’t lose any blog-readers with all this “mish-e-goss”!! ‘nuf …..

How Do You Say “Go Fishin'” in Russian??

Preface: I have been writin’ this blog for a week. There’s a post-script that represents an earlier version that I have included. I think it fits well as a P.S.!! “Comment” if you disagree!! I wanted to take a different tack and look at the June ’16 meeting and events leadin’ up — from the Russian point-of-view. They had to put some planning into it — at least, more than what the three Trumpsters did!! So read on ……

Back to the blog’s title (re: Go Fishin’): I might be able to respond to the question, if someone would just tell me how to say it. I googled it — requestin’ a Russian translation — and up came the translation usin’ the Russian alphabet! And I have no idea how to read or “trans-literate it”. Anyway, to the point, it is my contention that the Kremlin decided to go on a “fishin’ expedition” — they knew what to use as the bait (?) — now all they had to do was find the reservoir with some “target fish”!! It was — maybe June — Trump had just won the primary — all he needed now was to be declared the official Republican nominee for the Presidency of the United States!! He was gonna “duke it out” with Hillary Clinton — the Democratic nominee. The Trump campaign folks knew they could swing the convention — their candidate had won the nomination over at least 16 Republican ‘wannabes’ — it had been a long and gruelin’ slugfest down to that last opponent standin’!! Now, they wanted to set their sights on that delicious morsel — the Democratic nominee — they were hungerin’ for any and all the salacious, available information on Hillary. Remember the “emails“, etc., rang forth as much as “remember the Alamo” had durin’ the Texas Revolution in the 1830’s.

So the Ruskie’s developed a plan. They would use as bait the notion that they possessed “dirt” on Hillary. That so-called target fish would tantalize the Trump forces. And so they decided on their prime target — the ever-gullible older son-of-Trump — Master Donald Trump, Junior. But they needed a fishin’ line to lure him in — they wanted to communicate with him by sendin’ a tantalizin’ email — one that he could not ignore, but they had to find a “sender”– the so-called fishin’ line and tackle. Ah!! — their search connection!! — it would be the 2013 Miss Universe Contest which was held in Moscow. It was produced under the auspices of a person very close to Putin.

The Donald himself — along with Jr.– had partnered with Putin’s close friend and ally, the well-known Russian oligarch and businessman — Aras Agalorov. The Kremlin recalled that he had co-sponsored the popular event with the Trumps. It was rumored that the main reason papa  Aras did it — was to publicize the talent of his son Emin — the crooner — a Russian songbird (well known within Russia — but nowhere else!). So, his talent would be on full display as the world, and particularly the U.S. of A., would be tuned in to watch the ever popular Miss Universe Contest. And Agalarov, Senior, would use as a conduit — his son’s music publicist — British Rob Goldstone — well known to Junior — the so-called “British Gift to the U.S.” [aside: I could have done a full blog about this character alone. He particularly brings to mind the ole Keystone Kops — a group that most young blog-readers might have to google to recall. Goldstone is quite the character (visually and otherwise) with professional connections to Michael Jackson, Quentin Tarentino, Harvey Weinstein, Betty White — and even the Russian Tearoom has been a client. It was there that he held the U.S. launch-party for Emin Agalorov — with “Emin-tinis”! Need I say more?!]

So, Goldstone sent an email to Trump, Jr., which suggested a meeting with a female Russian lawyer (Natalia Veselnitshaya)  — it was at the behest of the Kremlin — she had “dirt” on Clinton — and they wanted to share it with the Trump team. It was probably answered in a microsecond — with the term “I love it” — included by Junior!! There was quite a few email exchanges before the date was set — and finally, a meeting was to be held in the Trump Tower. Junior had copied his brother-in-law Jared Kushner (Trump, Sr,’s eyes and ears) [aside: The latter bein’ my own description and insertion!] plus a 3rd person — the newly-crowned Campaign Head — Paul Manafort — and, it was those three from Team Trump who attended the meeting!! The three of them were present when the lady lawyer and her translator arrived along with Goldstone, the email originator. Also, but not initially mentioned by Junior when he had finally reported on the meeting (after the recent discovery of the emails by the NY Times), was a thought-to-be former USSR counter-intelligence agent — Rinat Akhmetshin. (Remember: this meeting occurred in mid-June 2016, and it only came to light last weekend, when Donald, Jr., released a whole bunch of emails, just before the Times was set to release their copies.)

Yes, there were eight people in the room, countin’ a Russian interpreter. The lady lawyer offered little, if any “dirt” — and immediately brought up the Magnitsky Law by which Obama had placed U.S. sanctions to withhold visas and freeze assets of Russian oligarchs. Russia was ready to remove the “halt-of-adoptions” by U.S. citizens for Russian children that had been enforced when the Magnitsky Law was introduced. Supposedly, Kushner and Manafort left the meeting after maybe ten minutes — they were not goin’ to hear or obtain any useable info against Clinton. So, what was this all about — all the emails, the muffled excitement, the total disappointment — why had these Russia-backed individuals gone to so much trouble to set up the meeting — come on, you know!! It was KOMPROMAT  — KOMPROMAT — KOMPROMAT.! period. exclamation point! The Russians have been playin’ this game all along. Just let me count the ways –1.) ex-General Flynn with his “sanction phone conversation”; 2.) Jr., Son-in-law, campaign head with this June ’16 meeting; 3.) Kushner’s meeting with Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak;      4.) Kushner’s meeting with Gorkov, head of Putin’s bank; and 5.) The ultimate KOMPROMAT — the dossier developed by ex-British spy (MI-6, ala James Bond) Christopher Steele of ORBIS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, LTD for ex-WSJ columnist Glenn Simpson of FUSION, GPS!!

It’s okay if you want to discount that dossier!! Supposedly, it contains some lurid descriptions of the antics of our current POTUS while he cavorted a bit in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in earlier years. You must remember we did clearly hear his comments on that bus he shared with Billy Bush — and he did make some odd and demeanin’ comments about women on shock-jock Howard Stern’s radio show — when he even brought up daughter Ivanka along the way. Further, I have become an ardent fan of the editor (in-chief) of the New Yorker magazine — in fact, I am a relatively new subscriber to the magazine. In one of his comment-laden articles about Trump, he used these descriptive words “amorality, greed, demagoguery, deception, vulgarity, race-baiting, misogyny … and a murky relationship with a hostile foreign government.” I could not have stated it better, myself! ‘nuf ……..

Post Script: [aside: This portion was written earlier, before the above blog. I was trying to connect the reader with a current Vanity Fair article — I have added what I had written earlier as this Post Script! So, excuse any difficulty in continuity; but read on!]  I had tried to make it simple with the ability to click on Vanity Fair article but, this connection brings up a current Vanity Fair edition dated July 14th with the lead article by Abigail Tracey titled no-less: “Ex-Soviet Spy Confirms He Also Met with Trump Jr.” — WOW!! Talk about coincidences! I had better finish this blog before another Vanity Fair edition is published.

As earlier stated, the intent of this blog was to reiterate the issue of KOMPROMAT. The ability of pro-Russian folks to compromise the unwary, the non-thinkers, the obviously stupid members of the Trump team — includin’ our current POTUS!! In my ridiculously childish manner, I particularly wanted to bring up the “yellow shower” incident that was disclosed in the Steele dossier. One of his clandestine information  suppliers was a female staffer at the Moscow Ritz Carlton Hotel where it was so easy to have the Donald’s room equipped for video, sound, and even, still photographs! Can you imagine what explicit items they have “at the ready”!! I am sure that Trump knows it; and he’s aware that all this “blackmail” can be unleashed at a moment’s notice. But, the way things are goin’ — Russia will never have to use their KOMPROMAT — just look at today’s headlines; “Trump Donor Kills Self … He Tried To Get Hillary’s Emails from Russian Hacker” — “Russian Lobbyist Who Allegedly Worked in Soviet Intelligence Attended Trump Tower Meeting with Donald Trump Jr” — “Kushner Wants to Go on Offense over Trump Jr’s Meeting” Please God, save us all!! It’s gettin’ to be a real circus. Oh!! For the days of Republican silliness when they criticized the black POTUS and his family. Even Clinton and Lewinsky somewhat amused us even if it was salacious!! Bush and his VP’s criminal concept of water-boardin’ — as horrible as it was — didn’t make us fear for our country. Today, as long as Donald Trump, his family, and the likes of Bannon, are in the White House — I am fearful for our precious country. How in the world did we let this happen?

KOMPROMAT is the word I was tryin’ my best to emphasize — oh! how horrible it would be to have the leaders of our country beholdin’ to a foreign power!! I have been so caught up with that “K” word that I had not even considered the “T” word. But, now, I stop and think. Maybe, just maybe, in their “self-servin’ manner” — there is a possibility that treason has been committed. Finally, ‘nuf already!  ……

Questionaire for the Women of V-W …………… (the “Fightin’ 947th”)

Preface: Rather than compose an ’email’ I decided to develop this questionnaire as part of my normal bloggin’ — since it will furnish some much-needed material for future blogs and “blackmail”.  (If any of you blog readers have suggestions — please assist me by commentin’!)  So, Diane, will you print this for me — can you exclude this preface — or my lady friends will not respond; but please, keep that original title ……….

NAME: (‘nee’ and married name(s) plus birth date&place [??], etc.)

Pre-Marriage: (Schools, work, etc. — surprise us!!)


Married life with kids (names, etc.):


Arrival at Vintage Westwood: (When, why, etc.)


Things you like most about our home (947 Tiverton Ave):


Who and what will you miss most (since Dec. eviction notice):


Be original: (for what are you famous: your “smile”?, your sex appeal?, everyone is famous for something!! More than one? A “must disclosure“!!)