Disability and Elderly Issues


“We do need to do something. And it all starts with showing we give a shit about what happens to the elderly and people with disabilities in this country. Cause evidence points the the fact that we absolutely don’t.” –John Oliver

APRIL 12,2023

8.66M subscribersSUBSCRIBEJohn Oliver explains the industry behind nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and why long-term care needs fixing. Connect with Last Week Tonight online… Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight YouTube channel for more almost news as it almost happens:

Disability and Elderly Issues

1971 birthday letter to my father

Disability and Elderly Issues

If by Rudyard Kipling

In 1964 my mother Miriam met a man at a convention in the Catskills for Hebrew educators. They fell in love instantly and decided to marry

.Oscar shortly after became my third stepfather. At the time I was a sophomore at Cheltenham High School in suburban Philadelphia. As seemed typical of my development toward adulthood ( and through nearly all my adulthood) I encountered each stage of growing up as a distraught soap opera character.

Oscar had a brilliant mind and was fluent in many languages including French, German, Yiddish, Hebrew and Aramaic. When it came to people, however, he was not so good. Mother and I had lived in Elkins Park, PA. During Mother and Oscar’s courtship, Mother and I drove in her red Ford from suburban Philly to Yonkers where Oscar was educational director for a nearby synagogue.

My first trip to Yonkers was with Oscar and me alone where we disliked each other immediately. On the wall of his apartment was a framed version of If by Rudyard Kipling. Although the Nobel Prize Committee of Literature regarded Kipling well, my first and forever view of Kipling was / is contempt. I immediately expressed contempt which Oscar did not share. Oscar bet me five dollars that I could not memorize If by the end of the weekend visit. Fortunately or unfortunately ( the poem still haunts me at dark times) I won the bet. It was a Pyrric victory.

Disability and Elderly Issues

Grandfather (that’s me) relocating to NYC to save my life at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


It is New Year’s Eve. I am now a resident in room 822B of the Queens NewYork Regal Heights Nursing Home and Physical Rehab Center. I am freaking out a bit. Writing about architeture.

Meanwhile, in the bed next to me is a 90 year old man who cannot speak.The good news is I will not die of the coronavirus in rural Williamsport The last time I checked on October 20th my primary care physician had not been tested. The good news is that I have escaped whqt is now a major hot spot and am in NYC.Despite the lingerng remembrance of New York City as the most dangerous spot in the US, there are now empty hospital beds here.

Physicians and hospital aides who are gloved, masked, and sheilded beyond recognition are tested daly. In the two weeks I have been here, I have received 6 Copid tests all negative. One due tomorrow. Next week there is a good chance I will receive the vaccine. Pfizzer. I need money to be safe. Please send $18 or more.Right now, I am awaiting surgery to remove a tumor over my left kidney at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The odds are decent that when Dr. Russo removes it the tumor will be benign.Eight years ago, Dr. Russo removed a cancerous tumor over my right kidney and put my kidney back together. Better be safe than sorry.My fourth grandchld is due at the end of March. Apparently (who knew?) I am the kind of guy who will go to great lengths

Disability and Elderly Issues

Why I relate ending hunger in US America to writing about my cancer survival for The New York Times

The current shameful problem that children are starving in US America because they are poor is easily solved

Ending hunger in US America is easily solvable

Hunger in America was easily solvable 44 years ago when I published “Food Stamp Program, As It Is, Has Very Few Friends” in the NYT News of the Week section on April 18, 1976.

The current shameful problem that children are starving in US America because they are poor is easily solved.
Give poor families money. Not some money. A lot of money.

That year, I published two other pieces in The New York Times. One on my radiation treatment for cancer. The other, “The Sheep Squadron” described the US Labor Department certifying the importation of sheep herders from the Basque Region of Spain to herd sheep thousands of miles away in Idaho.

Bizarrely relevant to my country’s failure to feed children was  “A New Lease on Life” my report on the worst of radiation treatment to cure  a form of cancer largely and incorrectly regarded as a death sentence.  

” I am 28 years old and I have cancer. Anger comes before anything else. There are times that the anger becomes overwhelming, turns to frustrated rage because there is no one to be angry at. I can curse God, which I’ve done many times, but it is unsatisfying because God doesn’t shout back. Crying helps.”

My experience with cancer combined (for want of a better word) with  my expertise with The Politics of Food (title of my book in the subject) has made clear: Life is too valuable not to feed every human being on the planet (which we have the ability but not the will to do).

Even before my hair grew back at the hideously unattractive radiation caused bald spot at the back of my head, I published the following: “Supporters of these bills maintain that the hungry can best be served by taking those not truly poor off food stamps. They argue that the program, which now has no limit on the gross income that can be earned by recipients, is subject to abuse. They are particularly irked because about 5 percent of the recipients are students, whom they contend should not be eligible. ‘If Congress wants an income transfer system,’ one Congressional aide remarked, ‘it should have the opportunity to vote for one.’” 

From my perspective 44 years later Congress should be ashamed of itself for not urgently sending money to the poor.

Then and only then:

#Eliminate food stamps.

#Stop spending an unnecessary fortune on a backdoor method of increasing the birth weight of infants through the cumbersome Women Infants and Children program.

#Provide our Native Americans living in desolation money rather than continuing to use a separate inefficient food distribution system.

# End food banks.

 Wonderful as are the employess of food banks, supermarkets and grocery stores do a far more efficient job of distributing our country’s agricultural abundance.

Let me single out here Giant Foods at the shopping center in rural Lycoming County PA where abundance is mind numbing and which is the shopping destination of my electric wheel chair.

Trust me, there are very few Jews here in Williamsport PA, a town of 28,000. Yet,  my Giant has a plentiful supply of borscht. 




[email protected]

This is Part II of my Hate and Love The New York Times Series with appreciation to Catallus who wrote in circa 65 BC “Odi et Amo.”

Disability and Elderly Issues

My love hate relationship with The New York Times 2018

Civility in public discourse

When I came home from the hospital 70 years ago, The New York Times was delivered to the door of my parents’ apartment on East 88th Street and read religiously. Ever since then, despite frequently moving from one end of the country to the next, the Times has remained my hometown paper. 

Photo by Second Studio State College PA

When I was arrested in student demonstrations at Columbia in 1968, the Times published my name. When I married in 1981 in Alexandria, Virginia, the Times published the details—the social editor calling to double-check the ceremony was taking place. When I arrived late for a Passover seder, my unsympathetic family was sympathetic that the News of the Week in Review editor kept me late rewriting. My first trade book began as a NYT Magazine piece. When my kid sister published an op-ed piece, it represented her coming of age. 

My relationship to the paper of record is much like my relationship with my children. I am not always pleased with their behavior, but no matter what, I love them. I did not like it when the Times published Nixon’s transcripts substituting his obscenities with “expletive deleted.” 

As a reporter on agriculture policy, I condemned the Times for failing to publish in 1976 the exact words of the obscene “joke” Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz told which resulted in the removal from office of the longest-sitting cabinet member in the Nixon-Ford Administrations. And yet…

I was shocked to read repeatedly in the Times the obscene words the President uttered at the Oval Office when negotiating an agreement on immigration policy. The editorial decision to publish language previously not published is to my mind a Rubicon. So completely has President Trump debased civil discourse in our country that even here in my family paper, his obscenity must appear in print.

Nearly every night at 9 here in the euphemism for a nursing home where I live in Downtown State College, PA, my neighbor John Harris, a devoted Times reader, discusses with me the news of the day. John has only been reading the paper for 30 years. I regard him as a parvenu coming as he does from Westport, PA where—despite condemnation from his parents– John faithfully read “that New York paper.” 

Frequently, I complain about our paper, detailing what you have done wrong or should have done better. John’s view is that in the environment where the Times is condemned as fake news, I should withhold criticism because, “When it is under attack, you are obliged to defend it. regardless.”

Nonsense, The New York Times is my hometown paper. With family, I do not pretend.


Joel Solkoff is the author of The Politics of Food.


Joel Solkoff

State College, PA 16801

Disability and Elderly Issues

Radio hate monger of the 1930s Father Coughlin returns to Fox News

Charles Edward Coughlin (/ˈkɒɡlɪn/ KOG-lin; October 25, 1891 – October 27, 1979), commonly known as Father Coughlin, was a Canadian-American Roman Catholic priest who was based in the United States near Detroit. He was the founding priest of the National Shrine of the Little Flower church. He was one of the first political leaders to use radio to reach a mass audience: during the 1930s, an estimated 30 million listeners tuned to his weekly broadcasts.

Father Couglin returns to America not wearing his customary frock…

Wikipedia: Tucker Carlson, Father Coughlin redux:

An advocate of U.S. president Donald Trump, Carlson has been described by Politicoas “perhaps the highest-profile proponent of ‘Trumpism‘ and willing to criticize Trump if he strayed from it.”[ He is also said to have influenced some key policy decisions by Trump. As of 2020, Tucker Carlson Tonight is the most-watched cable news show in the United States. Carlson’s controversial statements on raceimmigration and women have led to advertiser boycotts against the show.

A vocal opponent of progressivism, Carlson has been called a nationalist.[11]Originally a proponent of libertarian economic policy and a supporter of Ron Paul, Carlson would come to criticize the ideology as being “controlled by the banks” and became an active adherer to protectionism.[2][12] He has also espoused anti-interventionalist views, renouncing his initial support of the Iraq War the year after it was declared.[

Disability and Elderly Issues

A fine romance with no kisses

A Fine Romance

Frank Sinatra

A fine romance, with no kisses
A fine romance, my friend this is
We should be like a couple of hot tomatoes
But you’re as cold as yesterday’s mashed potatoes
A fine romance, you won’t nestle
A fine romance, you won’t wrestle
I might as well play bridge
With my old maid aunt
I haven’t got a chance
This is a fine romance