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.
We are fortunate that the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt rendered both radicalized 26-year-old Tamarlan Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokar no longer any threat.
Besides aliens with eyes in the back of their heads, a possible interracial baby mix-up at the maternity ward and "Bet he'll laugh if I say 'shoehorn,'" one of my most indelible memories of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" has proven strangely prophetic.
As of this writing, we know the fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, killed at least 14 residents and injured 200 others with many still missing.
A co-worker the other day made an interesting comment. She said "I think its amazing that you are a scientist but still be a Christian. That must be very difficult to do."
A Boston firefighter, one of many who rushed in to aid bomb victims last Monday, told a TV interviewer, "We will win. I promise you, we will win."
On this 43rd anniversary of the first Earth Day, several recent good news events for the environment are worth celebrating:
During the recent edition of college basketball's championship tournament I took great pleasure in cheering for my team. And, we did pretty well, but lost in the Elite Eight round.
What if you had to choose between making insurance more affordable for Americans with pre-existing conditions or funding lobbyists and political hacks? That's the decision the House will face when it considers H.R. 1549, the Helping Sick Americans Now Act, sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania. It should be an easy choice.
I often utilize the term "geography" partisan. The definition of a geography partisan? An elected official or someone who aspires to elective office who adopts a party label pretty much solely because that party stands dominant in the particular area where the individual lives.
I am a wavering Republican. By that I mean I am at the crossroads of going to the right, left or just canceling my participation all together.
In Santa Clarita you know you can shop for the latest styles or eat at a terrific restaurant, but did you also know that you can enjoy some of the best hiking in the region on oak-shaded trails with creeks and waterfalls?
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority has plans to place a carpool lane on Interstate 5 northbound from Highway 14 to Parker Road in Castaic. In fact, a Metro committee approved the plan - as a toll road - this week.
In a rare display of solidarity, the California Assembly approved AB 182 by a vote of 73-0.
The bombings in Boston are beyond what I ever thought I would see in an American city.
Pop quiz: How often do you use algebra, trigonometry and calculus as an adult? Most of us would say "never"! The folks who do use advanced math would say that without it, you wouldn't have cellphones and Wi-Fi and TV and weather satellites and GPS and Google and nuclear power and a gazillion other things that make modern life worth living. And for a change, both camps would be right.