What happened to manners? Have etiquette and common decency gone away? Where did all the considerate people go?
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 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.
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.
My late father, a European-trained physician, did everything himself without benefit of nurses, clerical staff or drafty assembly-line consultation cubicles.
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.