The civil war in Syria still rages on with approximately 60,000 dead, according to the United Nations. Almost half the dead are civilians, the other half armed rebels and Syrian soldiers.
Members of the Santa Clarita chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, were saddened to learn of the death of Dick Bongard, loyal member since 1992, past treasurer and catalyst behind completing the very complicated paperwork that moved the group from its position as a satellite of PFLAG LA into becoming its own nationally affiliated entity.
"Hi, I'm Stacy, and I'll be your server. Can I get you something to drink while you look at the menu?" she yelled over the high-decibel music. Over Stacy's shoulder I could see seven large-screen TVs, each showing a different sports event - football, basketball, soccer, skiing, snowboarding, hockey and pingpong. Many more were scattered around the restaurant out of my line of sight.
A funny thing happened during the tumult of the past few years. Economic heat and pressure have morphed us into "Post Recession Americans."
Each year my wife and I host a little holiday party to raise awareness and funds for the SCV Winter Homeless Shelter.
"It's no wonder many Americans are uneasy about the way President Obama is growing our government and eroding our liberties. Aren't most Americans conservative?"
Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and influential Democrat, drew no gasps of surprise or shocked response from his fellow liberal travelers when he recently articulated the left's position that "the good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific that I think it galvanized Americans to a point where the intensity on our side is going to match the intensity on their side."
This is a tale of two speeches. They occur three weeks apart. One is outdoors, one indoors. In one the president faces West, where he was born, reared, came of age, and where his outlook - great possibilities, new beginnings - is rooted.
Note from the author: In the first of a two-part series on gun control, Steve looked at the possibility of opening the discussion on controlling assault-type weapons. In part two, he was going to look at what can be done to prevent young men from turning into shooters. Of course, President Obama heard about the series and had to interject his own two cents. Now Steve has to make it a three-parter.
If you have been keeping track of our national conversation over the past few years you are probably keenly aware of the current drought in reasonable thinking in our country. At the center of this decay is the erroneous belief that differences of opinion amount to bigotry.
In grade school in the rural county seat of Bloomfield, Iowa, I delivered the daily Des Moines Register, the newspaper of record in the entire state of Iowa, and in the 5th grade I began reading the newspaper before school.
In recent months, Santa Clarita has welcomed thousands of new residents into the city through the annexation of several areas, including: North Copper Hill, Copperstone, Fair Oaks Ranch, Jakes Way, South Sand Canyon, and the future Vista Canyon.
In September of 2012, I submitted an article entitled "California's education tax battle" that discussed the merits of Proposition 30 and 38.
What do Al Hunt of Bloomberg News, David Gregory of "Meet the Press" and President Obama have in common - besides their liberal politics?
Republicans, and many Democrats, are upset by the prospect of so-called sequestration cuts to the nation's defense budget. Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is so alarmed that the day before the Senate took up what became the "fiscal cliff" agreement, he called a key Republican lawmaker, Sen. Lindsey Graham, to express deep concern that the cuts might go into effect. As it turned out, Congress put them off for two months.
Put on your tinfoil hats, everybody. Or didn't you get the memo? It's paranoia time in America again.
Picture a modern-day Adonis with flowing, jet-black hair and rugged features for which women swoon. Picture an entrepreneur – a master of his own high-tech business.
My wife and I forgot to have children. We are so busy going to movies, plays and concerts, buying nice things for the house, taking long vacations without looking at a school calendar, reading all the latest best-sellers and going to restaurants with nice white tablecloths that it simply slipped our minds.
Your 9 year-old daughter runs out of a public swimming pool shower, crying because a 45 year-old naked man is lounging in the sauna, "full monty." You call the police. The police arrest you for violating the man's rights and send both you and your daughter to "behavior modification counseling."
The basic question in the study of ethics has always been that of determining right and wrong, moral and immoral. Some find right to be that which aligns with authoritative truth or standard, while others base morality on the consequences of individual actions. The former - deontologists - and the latter - consequentialists - have argued back and forth for centuries, and the battle rages on today in academia.
One of my coworkers during my time working for Ernst & Young found himself working for KB Homes during the middle of the residential real estate boom, putting together the analyses or so-called "land packages" for the acquisition of property for the building of tract homes.
Our backyard is filled with the pleasing sounds of spring created by birds, frogs, crickets and teens down the street testing their new cars. But lately there are also the haunting sounds of raccoons laughing at me.
For the past few months, the city of Santa Clarita has hosted a series of local town hall meetings in Saugus, Canyon Country and Newhall to share important community information and hear from community members regarding issues of importance to them.
Rights, as established by the Constitution of the United States of America, are greatly misunderstood.
When our veterans come home from war, they are greeted by "welcome home" signs, banners, applause, hugs and cheers. The popular line "Thank you for your service" is heard time and time again.
Get this: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of cigarettes - now legal to people at age 18 - to people younger than 21.
Given California's chronic problems, it's hard to imagine anyone sees our state as a model - but it's clear the Obama administration does.
The 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, was recently honored with the dedication of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
New polls show that George W. Bush is not as unpopular now as when he left office. That bodes well for a public examination of his legacy, but it's difficult to look back on his presidency as something other than a preventable catastrophe.
Remember when TV used to sign off for the night? No infomercials, no reruns, no experimental public-access foolishness - nothing at all but snow. Or, if you were lucky, a test pattern.