Rethinking the American “Revolution”

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Patriot tho’ I consider myself, I am slowly coming around to the idea that the American “Revolution” was more an assertion of the colonialists’ rights as Englishmen than it was a true revolution against the existing social structure. As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s: The English who emigrated three centuries ago to found a democratic society in the …

Prop 8:  A Lesson on DEMOCRACY! from the Left

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The following is brought to you as a public service from the People for DEMOCRACY! and Other Things Republicans Hate: My fellow American peoples.  We’d like to share with you how important DEMOCRACY! is to the future of DEMOCRCACY!. Despite what Donald Trump says, elections and voting are very important.  We especially take elections and voting seriously in California, which …

Maybe I was right

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Back in August of last year, I wrote that the country was already in a constitutional crisis. Was beginning to think I might have to eat my words.  Guess not: “It may just seem like a circus now—akin to the OJ trial or the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal—but make no mistake; America is staring into the abyss. Our constitutional crisis will be …

Epilogue

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(Author’s note:  Over the past two-plus years, I’ve been writing a series of essays (titled “Fragments”) that I have posted here and on my Substack.  Below is the Epilogue to that work. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit my Substack and read the entire series.  I think it will be worth your time.  And it’s free!) April …

This Is the End

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I don’t not know if the 2024 presidential election itself will be the great historical earthquake that many are predicting, but the election is coinciding with the denouement of certain undercurrents that have long defined America’s political environment.  In other words, we have reached the end of an epoch. That epoch, making up much of the past 80 years, has …

Elections in California Are a Farce, Part III

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Lo and Behold!  Here I am opining on the farcical nature of California elections and Governor Newsom goes and makes the case for me. Two Fridays ago, Politico reported that Newsom was embarking on a “post-election ballot mobilization” in an effort to save Prop 1, his effort to address homelessness in California.  That maneuver entailed reaching out to Democratic voters …

Elections in California Are a Farce, Part II

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There are several comments to my piece “Elections in California Are a Farce” that deserve a response: A common critique was that I am merely experiencing what progressive voters in some Red states experience, but in reverse, so stop my whining.  To this I disagree—at least in part—on several counts. For example, Texas is—in theory—still a competitive state.  In 2018, …

Elections in California Are a Farce

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As another primary season wraps up, it is becoming ever more apparent that voting in California has become a form of playacting where we collectively pretend that The People participate in a legitimate system and thereby choose their rulers and get the laws they prefer. While it’s certainly true that The People, myself included, go through the motions of considering …

What is to be done?

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Below is an excerpt from “Fragments,” my book of essays available at J.S. Scifo on Substack | Substack.  This was written in February/March 2023. So what can save us from the obvious conclusion of my rantings, i.e., the near total collapse of a coherent, sane society.  People seek a plan.  A way forward.  Sadly, like Churchill, I have nothing to offer …

California’s Post-Totalitarian Moment

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California has become world renowned for its epic failures.  And yet there are somehow never any repercussions, political or otherwise for these fiascos.  Or to quoteth myself in commenting on the same phenomenon within the broader context of American politics: “We are left with a state of affairs [in California] where no matter how burdensome and idiotic the regulation, no …

A Conservative Reflects on January 6

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Below is an excerpt from “Fragments,” my book of essays available at J.S. Scifo on Substack | Substack.  This was written in January 2022. Well, the first celebration of the January 6 Insurrection has come and gone.  For as much as I love the holidays—the lights; the tinsel; the music; the sanctimonious political grandstanding; the histrionics; the vilification of one’s fellow …

The Nature of the Threat

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Below is an excerpt from “Fragments,” my book of essays available at J.S. Scifo on Substack | Substack.  This was written in December 2022 and January-February 2023. These are dark times indeed.  From pot smoking to cross dressing, behaviors that would once have been considered aberrant have been normalized.  Perversity is so commonplace that the word has almost lost any …

Nightmares of Californication

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Below is an excerpt from “Fragments,” my book of essays available at J.S. Scifo on Substack | Substack.  This was written in November 2022. For decades, political observers could rely on certain truisms, or maybe rules of thumb is the better term, to prognosticate likely political outcomes.  For example, that midterm elections favor Republicans because turnout is lower and Republicans …

The Limits of Christian Charity

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“If only one man dies of hunger, that is a tragedy. If millions die, that’s only statistics.” Or so said Josef Stalin.  The same can be said of the undocumented and the homeless. As the federal government dumps thousands of people who have crossed the border illegally in San Diego County, I find myself contemplating that sentiment. It’s easy to …

Understanding the Current State of Affairs

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Below is an excerpt from “Fragments,” my book of essays available at https://jsscifo.substack.com/ September/October 2022 Talk of civil war is in the air these days.  Elements of the Right see action, perhaps even violent, against the federal government and the ruling Left elites as necessary to protect individual rights and the Constitution as written. The Left views such notions as an …

The Unheavenly City

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Although California faces many crises—housing, energy, affordability generally, public disorder bordering on mayhem—none is more vexing than homelessness. It is no accident that most of the problems referenced above have at their root some misguided government policy. However, unlike those problems, homelessness has the additional misfortune of resulting, to a large degree, from the dysfunction of an individual human. In …

The Guns of August

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The president and his Department of Justice have unleashed forces they do not understand and cannot control.  It will not end well. Having just finished watching the BBC miniseries 37 Days about the month or so leading up to WWI, I am newly reminded of how miscalculations, ambition, and “good intentions” can lead to calamity of biblical proportions.  Barbara Tuchman’s …

Tyranny—California Style

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We are constantly being told that California is a place of endless possibilities where a person can choose his identity, his gender, and who he loves all while living off the state’s generous social welfare, even if he (or she or ?) is in the country illegally. Or as Gavin Newsom said in his second inaugural speech: “Whether your family …