BERMUDA - Last night, Carrie and I went out to dinner at the Four Ways in Bermuda to celebrate our 29th anniversary.
Each season awakens within me subtle changes, both psychologically and physically. Summer is no different.
I have now lived through several California real estate boom and bust cycles, but I don't remember one as bad as the current housing crisis. Graded housing pads left to stand empty, new tracts with only a few occupants and a lot of vacant houses are a new phenomena in this valley that I don't recall from past downturns.
Yesterday, June 15, 2008, was the deadline for the California Legislature to constitutionally pass the state budget. Legislators have now missed their obligation for the 21st straight year. It's the "government work" syndrome. Once Article IV, Section 12 of the California Constitution was breached with no repercussions or public outcry, than the breach became an acceptable norm.
Have you hugged your father today? Did you call? Send a card? Write a note? Today's the day to honor the many dandy dads in the SCV. My dad taught me to drive, taught me which wild plants that were safe to eat, taught me to think for myself, taught me how to ride a horse and taught me about honor. I miss him.
On Sept. 19, 2001, then-Fed chief Alan Greenspan, former Clinton treasury secretary Bob Rubin, and Bush economic advisor Larry Lindsey met with congressional leadership to detail the economic fallout from the horrific attacks perpetrated eight days earlier.
The English language is about to lose two more words. On June 16 at 5:01 p.m., say goodbye to "bride" and "groom." It is at that moment that the state of California and all of its 58 counties will change the official State Marriage license. No longer will you see the words "bride" or "groom." When I married decades back, I was the groom and became the husband. My wife was the bride and became ...
Last fall, a U.K. high court judge ruled the global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth" could be shown in schools, but it contains nine scientific errors. Thirty-five errors were exposed by Lord Christopher Monckton, a policy adviser to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in his document entitled "35 Inconvenient Lies."
Every year on this Sunday, as well as on most every other day, I say a quiet thank you to the extraordinary man who was my father.
This year, my Father's Day came early. Sunday, June 8 was a beautiful, almost-summer day. Our family - my wife, Kate, sons Peter, 10, Will, 8, and daughter Kathryn, 6 - and I decided to spend the day at the beach with our friends, the Simpson family. We met at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach. The surf was running a nice 2-4 feet, the water was a warm 64 degrees and the beach ...
Well, our friends the Democrats are at it again. On the same day that the Dow Jones industrials dropped almost 400 points, the jobless rate rose to 5.5 percent, and gasoline prices in California jumped to $4.50 per gallon, U.S. Senate Democrats were busy gathering votes to increase taxes so they could save us from the effects of global warming. In case you haven't heard, legislation known as the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act was pulled ...
My wife and 4-year-old son think I'm crazy. Today is Friday the 13th, a day that rains bad luck on some people, and I don't want to discover that the air conditioner in my house broke again. I don't want to "accidentally" turn up dead. Even worse, I don't want to find out that TCM is canceling its cable programming. Therefore, on this Friday the 13th, I'm staying clear of bad news and bad luck. ...
All of America owes the Democratic National Party a deep debt of gratitude. That's because, after a tough campaign and much soul-searching, Democrats have said, "Yes we can!" and have shut the door on dynasty politics.
Maybe it's an election year, but America-hating still seems to be very popular these days. In recent weeks, it's Barack Obama's ex-Pastor Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity Christian Church spewing his disgust for America.
So maybe you've heard that gas prices are pretty high these days. I guess I was in a state of denial until last Sunday, when I went to my favorite gas station to fill the family van. While diligently cleaning the windshield and checking the tires, I almost didn't notice the pump meter passing $50, then $60, then $70 for my fill-up! I was in complete amazement when the pump finally clicked off at $76.13.
Congressman Buck McKeon recently sent an "E-News Update" to constituents, unsuccessfully comparing the Affordable Care Act standards to an imaginary government-run airline requiring all air passengers to travel first class. It was a horrendously flawed analogy, exposing McKeon's insensitivities to the devastating, bankrupting problems of "old way" medical coverage. It was one more round of Republican weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth without the slightest effort to suggest anything constructive. The gist of Buck's ...
The political tumult and recent media craziness surrounding the rocky start to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act ignore this reality: We already have "universal" healthcare in this country.
Seemingly disconnected things. One spurious. The other more serious. Both point the same way to freedoms lost, never to be regained.
In 2006 I came up against a holiday deadline crunch, so I turned my column over to Turpy, the beloved eight-year-old Golden Retriever/Chow mix who had turned up at our doorstep as a puppy.
When Charles Darwin penned his final draft of On the Origin of Species in 1876 he gave the world a game-changing worldview. Up until that time it was generally held that the only explanation for the reality of things was the intentional activity of a higher power, usually understood as supernatural and divine. Darwin's theory of evolutionary natural selection offered a way out. He declared that he could explain the reality of our world, and everything in it, without God.
Politics is not for the faint-of-heart or easily discouraged. It's a long game with many moving parts and players. It has all the intrigue of a mystery, all the sport of any game, and strategy that would rival most military coups.
If you have children or grandchildren in school in Santa Clarita, I hope you will join me for the Literacy & Arts Festival on Saturday, Dec. 7.
So let's get some things straight right off the bat: Yes, Obamacare's rollout has been an unmitigated disaster. And yes, some people have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama's assurances that if they were happy with what they had they could keep it.
It is becoming more evident everyday. Our society is fracturing into little cliques of discontent. We are becoming a factious people. Cynicism might be nominated as our national hobby, and the criticism it breeds has turned us into a passionate yet mediocre debating society.
We turn up our collective noses at the brutality of Ancient Rome's gladiatorial combat games. These bloody, brutal and deadly contests were decadent displays of an indulgent, yet morally primitive culture, we tell ourselves. Athletes were slaughtered for the entertainment of the Roman citizens-sacrificed for their amusement. Every gasp in disgust at what the ancient Romans did in the Colosseum suggests that we somehow think we are better than that.
I love buying a new car. Yes, I know. Buying a used car makes better financial sense since new cars lose about 30 percent of their value when you drive them off the lot.
It would appear that there is some confusion as to the purpose of the essays that appear under my name on the op-ed page of the Mighty Signal.
Much has been written over the past few months regarding the GOP establishment's attempts to quiet the Tea Party/Conservative wing of the party.
Santa Clarita's community gardens are feeding local families - and not just the families of gardeners. Just like America's "war gardens" and "victory gardens" during World War II, Santa Clarita's gardens are providing pesticide-free, healthy food for families.
When smoke clears on this unfortunate period of American political polarization and congressional debauchery, we will learn the man most responsible for our modern dysfunctional political intercourse is George W. Bush's infuriatingly effective propaganda master, Karl Rove.