Is Independence Still Worth Celebrating?

Contemplating Dependence and Interdependence on the Nation’s Birthday in Remote Independence, California

Why do Californians celebrate Independence Day when we’ve given up on our independence?

That question occurred to me on a recent visit to Independence, California, a settlement of 600 people on U.S. 395, south of Bishop and north of Lone Pine in the windswept Owens Valley.

Spending the day on the streets of Independence, in the shadows of Mt. Williamson and other Eastern Sierra peaks, got me thinking about how much we talk about independence, and how little we cherish independence as a value.

While Independence is the sort of rural, out-of-the-way …

Can Taiwan Teach California How to Thrive Under an Authoritarian Power?

The Island Nation Knows How to Navigate Beijing's Threats. The Golden State Could Do the Same With Washington.

Is California becoming another Taiwan?

In asking that, I don’t mean that earthquakes will turn California into an island. Instead, what California and Taiwan share is a problem—the predicament of the …

California, Let’s Celebrate July 4 by Declaring Independence

With the U.S. Mired in Midlife Crisis, It's Time to Put the Golden State First

Dear America,

I suppose I should wish you happy birthday. But I’m just not feeling it.

You and I, the United States and California, used to be pretty darn close—“indivisible” was your …

California’s Not Built to Become Its Own Nation

#Calexit Distracts From the State’s Golden Opportunity to Counter American Nationalism

California may have the size and economy and independent spirit of a good-sized country. But California is not a nation. Which is precisely why it would be so self-destructive to …

The Quebec Battle That Opened the Door to America

By Beating Back the French in 1759, British Colonials Defeated a Big Obstacle to Their Own Independence

You can go to Quebec City, about 100 miles from the nearest U.S. border crossing, for the spectacular scenery, fine dining, great museums, and strolls through neighborhoods that date to …

Openness Is the Mother of Invention

In America, Curiosity Is Often the Only Qualification You Need

From the light bulb to the iPhone, America has a long history of revolutionary inventions. So what does this ingenuity spring from? What are the conditions that allow for our …