One of our most necessary freedoms as Americans is the freedom of speech, as protected in the Bill of Rights. Yet, today, while much is being shouted and written supporting this prized privilege, the fact is the freedom to speak is being taken away.
The city of Santa Clarita is home to numerous nonprofit organizations that benefit residents from all walks of life.
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, is a terminal brain disease that affects children aged 5 to 10 years.
My Uncle Earl was recently invited to give the commencement speech at the Robert Oppenheimer School for Really Smart Kids, a charter school approved by the Newhall School District but located in Lancaster.
Dr. Seuss is among the most beloved in the pantheon of American writers. Ostensibly written for children, most of his stories also carry deeply meaningful lessons for those adults reading along with their kids.
Just when you think Fox News and the right-wing scandal machine can sink no further, they wallow in a new level of filth that just boggles the mind.
A friend of mine surprised me with an unexpected opinion the other day. Like me, he had recently traveled to India and came away stunned by the immensity poverty prevailing there.
By now, most of us have heard of the terrible tragedy that happened in Santa Barbara before Memorial Day. A very confused young man committed a series of violent acts that resulted in the deaths of six college students.
My late father, a European-trained physician, did everything himself without benefit of nurses, clerical staff or drafty assembly-line consultation cubicles.
The official arrival of summer is just weeks away. If you listen closely, you will soon be able to hear kids all over town chanting that classic phrase: "school's out for summer!"
You're familiar with the noise America has heard for a long time. It will continue, but it's easily unmasked.
Pulled out the paper this bright Monday morning and started reading. Of course, I have my bagel with strawberry cream cheese, oat bran cereal and tall glass of orange juice at the ready. I know how to start my holiday day.
While I was not yet living when it was fought, World War II has shaped so much of the world in which I have lived. It framed the whole idea of valor and courage and sacrificial service. And it wasn't only those who served in uniform who experienced the war, and felt that they played a vital part in bringing about a good and swift conclusion to it. In truth, we were a nation at war. Soldier and civilian were on the same team, working for a common goal, with mutual respect and honor.
Memorial Day is almost here and that means a three-day weekend for most Americans. The annual holiday in honor of the brave men and women who've died serving our country to keep us safe and free is also considered the unofficial start of summer! Flags will be raised in honor of those we've lost, while families and friends will gather for backyard barbeques, lawn games, and poolside fun.
I have watched helplessly in recent weeks and months with a growing sense of alarm, fearing that our generation is witnessing the death of one of the most vital pillars of liberty: the freedom of individual thought and the free exchange of ideas. While it's true that the First Amendment only protects people from government reprisals for speaking freely, social media and mass media lynch mobs are just as much a danger in a free society as any oppressive government.
We've all heard of leaders who put their fingers in the wind to determine which way the political breeze is blowing before deciding what to do. And while this smacks of pragmatism, it also describes one theory of ethical behavior.
On this anniversary of 9/11, it seems there is more to be concerned about now than to alleviate us from the wounds inflicted 13 years ago.
It so happened that this last Friday, Carrie and I had a chance to visit the Stonehenge site in England. Stonehenge is, of course, that ancient collection of giant stone pillars all arranged in a wide circle about half a football field wide standing all alone in a vast expanse of farmland in the middle of nowhere.
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Locally, suicide has been a prevalent topic in Santa Clarita for several months now, and with good reason.
We have recently seen illustrative reactions to behavior by Americans with perceived grievances against the government, first in the aptly named Bunkerville, Nevada, and then in Ferguson, Missouri.
There is an old statement that goes like this: "He's picking up pennies and letting the dollars float by." It refers to the tendency of some to pay attention to little things while the big things escape their notice.
Did you get out this summer? "Out" as in outside in some of the great natural areas in the West.
Last Sunday, our pastor asked members of the congregation to raise their hands if they were interested in history.
With just over two months until the mid-term elections in November, it's time to talk about voting choices. No, I won't be endorsing candidates, issues, or parties. What I will do is suggest some strategies for getting factual information and making wise choices before you enter the voting booth.
Three million dollars. It's a drop in the bucket for a $100-plus-billion budget.
"I just don't get it!" Being on the receiving end of many of my Uncle Earl's tirades, I am now familiar with the lead-in to one of his standard diatribes.
"Oops!" Gov. Rick Perry infamously uttered during the 2012 Republican primaries.
I have opposed the high-speed rail project since its inception and am troubled by Gov. Jerry Brown's single-minded pursuit of it since he took office in 2011.
Smoke slinks across pavement in the darkness, cries from gassed citizens fill the air, people break into a McDonald's to provide milk-based relief to a person hit with tear gas, sound weapons pass levels that cause permanent damage, police shoot pellets at journalists.
Recently I read a study on English language clichés that named "it is what it is" as the most annoying.