Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:06

April 2018 Poems

1.

It’s convenient to parcel out my life

In days and weeks because the rising and

The setting sun is easy to go by —

And if there weren’t day interspersed with night

 

It would be much harder to remember

What I did last week — and I am really

Grateful for my eyes to see bare branches

In a blue sky and grateful for my skin

 

And body so I can know what the cold

Of winter is — and also there is my

Marvelous mind that reminds me while a

Chill is rising from the snow on the ground

 

In several month the roses bloom again

And in summer I may wear a t-shirt.

 

 

I see the moon in

the morning and in

the afternoon too —

It’s an everyday

Presence to go by.

 

2.

When I understand nothing moves faster

Than light and that the light from distant stars

Traveled billions of years to reach the earth

Then I appreciate immensity

 

And when I understand that during the

Passage of the light the stars radiating

The light have imploded and no longer

Exist then I encounter mystery —

 

And when I consider that the forces

Of gravity are whirling galaxies

And everything that exists is moving

In relation to every other thing

 

Then I have to put my life and efforts

In context with a sobering cosmos.

 

I have questions

and would like

solutions but

also I love

a rising sun.

 

3.

The light a star generates radiates

In all directions and on earth we see

The cosmos from a limited point of

View and I believe it’s necessary

 

To question where we are going and to

Grasp purposes worthy of our living

Because we have the curiosity

And the wherewithal to comprehend so

 

Many of the facts about us and we

Know immensity and minuteness and

We understand our tininess within

The universe but no one can explain

 

How our molecules and electrical

Impulses create thought and emotion.

 

 

The immensity

of the cosmos is nothing

compared with the

everyday miracle of

ordinary consciousness.

 

4.

The iron in my body came from an

Exploding star billions of years ago

And my body is composed of atoms

And molecules and strands of DNA

 

That testify to an origin I

Share with every living being on Earth

And within my body there are layers

Of organization where cells behave

 

Independently and for the good of

The whole also so that I can sit at

My table and cut an orange into

Pieces and taste the taste of an orange

 

And I can speculate from this table this

Moment is moving to infinity.

 

There are billions

and billions of stars

in space and atoms

in my body — there is

also consciousness.

 

5.

Scientists uphold a prism of glass to

Separate the light into colors and

They aim spectroscopes to see the colors

Of starlight and thereby they deduce the

 

The age and chemical composition

Of the most distant stars and in a few

Thousand years by working together they

Have exposed the swirling cosmos and the

 

Inescapable fragility of

Humanity too and yet our human

Comprehension resembles a super

Nova bursting and seeding the empty

 

Spaces with a consciousness that will not

Be satisfied with lingering questions.

 

Even before the

questions could be

formulated there was

cooperation — there were

words.

Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:09

Remembering What Made Us Good

Our mission is to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.

Remembering What Made Us Good

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

Please look above and read the mission statement of The St. Croix Review. Usually it is presented in a shorter version: Our mission is to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit. . . .

Progressives would read the above sentence and scoff, or become sarcastic and scornful. Let them. We have work to do — to assert ourselves productively.

The Left has taken over our education system. After the Parkland shooting in Florida, how did the students so quickly organize themselves into a protest movement with a narrow focus on gun control? See the encouragement teachers and administrators gave them, allowing them a day off from schoolwork to mount a ’60s style march. Notice the full-time attention the news media gave the students. The students are children. It appears they have been trained beforehand to think and behave in a scripted direction.

Thinking gun control is the only solution to school shootings is like looking at the problem through a straw.

Suzanne Venker, of the Fox News Channel, presented a wonderful report “Missing Fathers and America’s Broken Boys — the Vast Majority of Mass Shooters Come From Broken Homes.” She based her report on a study published by Family Studies on Dec. 16, 2013, titled “Sons of Divorce, School Shooters.”

Suzanne writes that boys and girls react differently to the dissolution of their families, with girls being more likely to hurt themselves or behave promiscuously. But the girls do have the more frequent advantage of staying with mothers, while the boys are often separated from their fathers. Suzanne makes the point that boys need their fathers for nurturance and role models.

In America today, fatherhood is neglected and pundits use the term “toxic masculinity” to scorn and condemn men.

Divorce is commonplace. The ideal of a mother, and father, each of whom has an irreplaceable role in raising children, is devalued.

Apart from the few boys who become shooters, who can guess how many boys are harmed because they don’t learn healthy masculinity from their fathers? How do we promote the importance of fatherhood? Perhaps we should begin talking about the importance of fatherhood.

America is suffering because we have absorbed too many toxic progressive falsehoods. One of the most pernicious narratives is that a prosperous American economy is poisoning the earth. It speaks well of Americans that we want our economy to be as harmless as possible, and it should be noted that American emissions of CO2 have been declining year after year — more greatly than many signatories of the Paris Accord. Americans are big-hearted people and we want to live in a clean environment.

Yet Leftist politicians and intellectuals have implanted the idea that broad-based prosperity and growth is self-centered and evil. We are told that the “profit motive” is evil. We are being directed to aim for a “sustainable” economy instead of a growing economy. We are being regulated to death under the assumption that free enterprise is destructive. We are advised that living in single-family homes in the suburbs is selfish, as we are creating “sprawl.” Instead, we are told, we should be renting high-rise apartments in large cities. And it would be nice if we gave up our cars and took a train to the office.

Modern life has become difficult because the costs of higher education, housing, and healthcare are rising dramatically, while wages have stagnated or declined. Blue-collar men are losing jobs to technical innovation and are facing daunting and dispiriting challenges. The middle class is shrinking and the working class is struggling to survive.

College students are graduating with burdensome debt; they can’t find well-paying jobs, and often they settle for part-time work. Many graduates are living with their parents instead of getting married, buying homes, and starting families. And conditions are even worse for high school graduates, as their jobs are taken by frustrated college graduates.

America must be allowed to grow again. We must not heed the Leftist pressure to limit our economy. We must break the unaccountable power of bureaucrats who are strangling free enterprise. Any politician who speaks of sustainability in preference to growth should be voted out of office.

Donald Trump is absolutely correct in wanting to “make America great again.” It is remarkable how such a simple, laudable, statement sets him apart from every other politician. Any American politician who wants a hobbled America should be ashamed of her- or himself.

We must have faith that the return of broad-based prosperity, that promotes upward mobility again, will lift America up and out of the doldrums — and many of our social pathologies will dissipate.

And we should notice that the billionaires and millionaires (Tom Steyer, Leo DiCaprio, and Al Gore) who say that Americans should settle for humble circumstances, have no intention of living humbly themselves — they are already living large.

This latest $1.3 trillion spending bill, which the President mistakenly signed, takes as much money from the American people as President Obama took when the Democrats controlled the House. Shame on the Congress and President Trump! The President should have vetoed the bill.

The Republican leadership played the same trick the Democrats got away with: dumping a 2,200-page bill at the last minute, and leaving no time for the public to discover what’s in it. Who knows how many secret payoffs are in it?

Every dollar seized by a crony is unavailable to an entrepreneur who could have used it to create wealth. Every dollar borrowed and spent today is an extra burden of debt heaped on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. How can people in the middle and lower classes become upwardly mobile if the seed money they need is given to cronies? This is the first time in American history when the young face a diminished future because their parents have been dissolute.

Our mission statement asserts that we are a “good” and “great” nation. “Good” comes before “great.” Napoleon Bonaparte was great, but was he good? We could have a lively debate about the supposed “good” he did.

America is a great nation. Among other things, we put astronauts on the moon. But more importantly the American people are good people, because our freedoms allow us to blossom into enterprise and independence, which, in turn, affords us the opportunity to be compassionate.

We are also good because of our religious faith. We know that are born not only for ourselves, but also for the benefit of our families and communities. We were not born to be selfish.

We should remember what makes us good. And we should remove every selfish politician. Republicans need to primary out a good number elected Republicans.     *

    

Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:04

Summary of April 2018

The following is a summary of the April//May 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “Remembering What Made Us Good” introduces the mission of The St. Croix Review: to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “With Its Swift Embrace of Massive Deficits, the Republican Party We Once Knew Is Gone,” cites the differences in behavior and attitude of Republican politicians when they were not in leadership, and now that they are; in Donald Trump Thinks “Trade Wars Are Good and Easy to Win” — He Should Think Again,” he demonstrates the risky game President Trump is playing; in “Russia Will Surely Interfere with Our 2018 Election — Will We Be Ready?” he reports on Russia’s international meddling, and questions whether the Trump administration is prepared.

Paul Kengor, in “Imagine if Stormy Daniels Were Bill Clinton’s Friend Gennifer Flowers,” writes about the double standards the media apply to friends and enemies; in “Obama’s CIA Director Would Sooner Vacation in North Korea Than at Mar-a-Lago,” he presents John Brennan’s commitment to Communism; in “Let’s Not Forget Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, and the Four-Finger Salute,” he uses the occasion of the death of Charles Manson to highlight a miscarriage of justice; in “Remembering Fidel Castro’s Death,” he details the Communist oppression of Cuba — an island without privately owned boats.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Another Budget Deal Bites the Dust,” recites the history of presidential and congressional failure to curb deficit spending, and concludes that the pressure for increasing federal spending on both parties is irresistible; in “Proposed Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum: President Trump’s First Major Economic Mistake,” he demonstrates why tariffs are counterproductive.

Herbert London, in “Reliving the Lessons of the Free Market in the Trump Era,” credits President Trump’s use of unhindered markets for America’s revival; in “Due Process Circa 2018 Is in Dire Trouble,” in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault, he defends the due process of law.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Populism,” redeems the word “populism” by putting it within a modern contex.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Capitalist Technology Sustained the Failed Economic Experiment of Soviet Communism,” imparts the lesson that Communism and all the various forms of socialism create poverty and misery.

Thomas S. Martin, in “The Amazoning of the University,” shows “a good teacher breathes life into a student.”

Stanley Keehlwetter, in “Billy Graham: My Personal Reflections,” shares memories of the great evangelist.

Gary S. Smith, in “A Tribute to Billy Graham,” highlights Billy Graham’s life and influnce.

David Hein, in “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Irony of American History: Still Vital at 66,” examines a perceptive and enduring message from a giant American intellectual.

Gary Scott Smith, in “Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.” reminds Americans of the passage of a great civil rights leader.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: The Consequences of Class,” remarks on the ways we misunderstand each other.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 70: Tales of Adventure,” reviews the successes and failures of several writers.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 11:37

February 2018 Poems

1.

It comes in the windows and even through

The walls the second the furnace takes a

Break from heating the home as we have drawn

The curtains and locked the doors but there is

 

No mitigation of the weight of the

Cold on a winter night in December

In Minnesota even though we passed

The solstice and daylight will get longer

 

Gradually we face the coldest days

Of the year so it not just tonight that

Is bearing down it’s the burden of our

Knowledge of the months coming and there is

 

No use in grumbling so I put on my

Thick socks and pile up the heavy blankets.

 

While walking around

during the daylight only

a little oval

including my mouth eyes and

nose is exposed to the cold.

 

2.

When I think about the people who were

Airbrushed from the photographs of Joseph

Stalin because they fell in disfavor

With the Soviet Union I wonder

 

Whether the brush dispersed a very fine

Spray of paint or whether in fact color

Was brushed over the person erasing

His personage and I am sure that the

 

Work was meticulous and demanded

Dexterity — and then I think about

The millions of people who disappeared

Who were airbrushed from the earth in brutal

 

Fashion erasing their existence in

The service of an ideology.

 

The reality

is people are capable

of such monstrous

evil while professing the

utmost benevolence.

 

3.

I was driving through Stillwater doing

A chore turning on familiar streets and

I noticed the sun appearing with a

Right turn and with a left turn there was

 

The early morning moon — and I was in my

Working mind following the streets and the

Turns of the city but the sun and moon

Kept popping up around a corner and

 

Seemed to follow me — the moon was looming

White but yesterday it was yellow in

The dark — and there in a window was the

Lively reflection of the sun shining

 

Gold and my eyes didn’t hurt in lingering

Over the sight — and then I was driving.

 

The sun and moon are

unearthly beauty

everyone can see —

they enliven the

sky everyday.

 

4.

The Accident

 

As winter is dragging on and darkness

Is dominating morning and evening

I became frustrated being stuck in

The little rooms within my little house

 

So I was blasé this morning in the

Bathroom when I opened the cabinet

And the trimmer fell out into the sink

And I didn’t care and I didn’t think

 

Until I trimmed off half my beard and I

Realized the fall had changed the settings

And then what could I do but shave the rest

Even though I was watching the daily

 

Progression of my winter beard and now

I have to begin all over again.

 

Or maybe not but

I will certainly

go to a barber

to get a haircut

and restore balance.

 

5.

I gaze at the perpetrator in the

Mirror every morning and start with the

Left side of my chin with downward strokes and

Then I go under my nose and it does

 

Become apparent when it’s time to change

The razor because a dull blade will drag

Above my lip were I am sensitive —

I could be thinking about politics

 

Or the Academy Awards — while on

My right side next to my ear I begin

Stroking down against the grain to my neck

Until I reach my chin and when finished

 

I like to put the razor down and with

My fingers I like to feel smoothiness.

 

I’ve just discovered

an oddity that’s

taken forever

to notice — my right

side is hairier.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 10:30

Endless Revolution

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

Endless Revolution

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The Vietnam War was a turning point in American history after which it became fashionable to be unpatriotic. Today the Left has almost succeeded in aligning patriotism with racism and bigotry.

For most of our history Americans looked up to symbols of national greatness. Achievements like the Berlin Airlift, the Marshall Plan, the landing on the moon, were sources of pride. The Hoover Dam, the Empire State Building, and the California Aqueduct were national monuments just as much as the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and Mount Rushmore.

Evel Knievel was self-destructive, reckless, boastful, and garish, but he was also uniquely courageous in a way that evoked American heroism. Americans admired him as they might have admired the daring of the frontiersmen of the 19th century. He was wild, undaunted, and uncontrollable. Evel Knievel today would be disparaged for his “toxic masculinity” and his “whiteness.”

Perhaps Donald Trump trumps exhibits a bit of Evel Knievel’s allure.

What does a nation look like once its self-confidence and pride is lost? Once the ideal of American goodness has been trashed, what remains of its morale, and where do we find a sense of civic virtue?

Our university campuses are beginning to look like Maoist schools of fanaticism, where deviation from leftist orthodoxy is put down with violence.

America’s genius at Google, Facebook, and Twitter is allied with leftist ideology and is censoring conservative opinion. The technological magic that is doing so much in freeing people from drudgery is also being used for political advantage.

The most powerful bureaucracies in Washington D.C. — the IRS, the Justice Department, the FBI, the NSA, and the State Department — are behaving as if they are accountable to no one. They are secretive. They stonewall congressional oversight. Attorney General Eric Holder was held in Contempt of Congress to no avail.

There are questions whether the Justice Department, the FBI, and the NSA were used by the Obama Administration to spy on the Trump campaign, and after the election, to undermine the legitimacy of the Trump Administration. If the Justice Department has been turned into a political weapon, whom can we trust to uphold Justice?

The Attorney General of California, Xavier Becerra, recently threatened that if California businesses follow federal immigration law they would be prosecuted. It has been reported that the California government will give illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses, and at the same time, register them to vote.

California is rebelling against the laws of the United States. If there is an election in California in which illegal immigrants vote — as a result of California’s rebellion — then the representatives and senators from California should not be seated in Congress, and all the votes of Californians for the presidency should be thrown out.

It is important to understand what motivates the Left. As David Horowitz writes — the issue is not the issue. The Left is always aiming for a goal beyond any transitory issue. The furious energy and accusatory rhetoric of the Left is always seeking to destroy what is. The Left is a battering ram. The goal of the Left is revolution.

The Left does not really care about gay or transgender people. The Left is using gay and transgender people as tools to destroy the traditional family, because a healthy American family is a powerful transmitter of traditional American values.

Abortion is being used, in part, as a tool to minimize the traditional role of fatherhood. If only the mother may choose whether to have an abortion, then the father’s responsibility in raising children is diminished. Men need to be civilized by assuming the responsibilities of fatherhood. If men don’t become reliable husbands and fathers they lose an important part of their humanity.

Also, the Left does not really care about the impoverished people migrating to America. They pretend to be warriors for social justice, but in truth the Left needs a new base of dependant and reliable voters to replace the working class voters they have betrayed with their radical ideology.

The great apostle of Leftism, Saul Alinsky, wrote in Rules for Radicals, that his mission was to take power from the powerful and give it to the powerless. And when those who were previously powerless are comfortable and privileged, Alinsky’s enduring mission remained — to bring them down in turn. There is never an end to the revolution.

How do we combat the Left? Where is America’s strength? It is in the rule of law, and in impartial justice. It is in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is in our federal system of government, balanced with states’ rights. It is in the separation of powers. It is in the careful assimilation of immigrants. It is in the preservation of the free market, giving opportunity for enterprise and individual initiative. It is in healthy American families. And most of all, it is in our belief in God.     *

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 10:27

Summary of February 2018

The following is a summary of the February/March 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “Endless Revolution,” exposes the evil nature of Left, and he points to the enduring strength of America.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “The Deaths in the Washington Train Crash: Was Corporate Money in Politics the Real Culprit?” shows that campaign donations are more important than public safety to some politicians and he names the politicians involved; in “Ken Burns’ Vietnam — and the Vietnam War I Remember,” he relates how the Vietnam War taught him to embrace skepticism and constitutional safeguards; in “Constant Combat Without a Congressional Resolution — Not What the Constitution Had in Mind,” he makes a neglected conservative argument that the power to declare war properly belongs to Congress.

Herbert London, in “Trump’s National Security Strategy Shows He Is Willing to Champion American Values Around the World,” writes that President Trump’s sees China and Russia as disruptive and rival forces to the U.S., but they are not necessarily enemies; in “Congress Is Finally Pulling Funding from Palestinian ‘Pay-to-Slay’” he describes a bill in Congress that reduces funding for Palestinians until Palestinian officials stop subsidizing terrorist killings; in “Putin Seeks to Drive a Wedge Between the U.S. and Egypt,” he sees the Russians gaining influence in Egypt due to uncertain American commitment.

Mark Hendrickson, in “President Trump: His First-Year Economic Record,” gives the President a B-plus; in “The Three Most Economically Significant Stories of 2017,” he demonstrates the humanity of a society based on choice and the free market, and he points out the brutality of socialist economics; in “The Cynical, Perhaps Sinister, Side of Bitcoin,” he applies common sense, and a trained economic perspective, to the buying and selling of Bitcoin.

Paul Kengor, in “Winston Churchill’s Darkest Hour,” reviews the recent movie and a pivotal point in history.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Do Cuts in Tax Rates Cause Deficits?” looks at rates of federal taxation, deficits, and spending; in “Is Trump Really a Protectionist?” he shows how Trump is using leverage to America’s benefit; in “New York Still Above Water!” he examines the art of “apocalyptic prophecy.”

Philip Vander Elst, in “The Communist Holocaust and Its Lessons for the 21st Century,” reveals the hideous nature and the monstrous crimes of Communism.

David S. Hogsette, in “Thoughtful and Sincere Critiques of the Nashville Statement: Honoring God or Fearing Man?” comments on The Nashville Statement, which is a new doctrinal statement composed by a coalition of Christians on the subject of human sexuality.

David Hein, in “Frederic Manning’s Her Privates We: a Mystery of the Great War,” reviews a classic novel of the First World War.

Ray Sinneck, in “Racy Times at the University,” offers a facinorous perspective on current events at American universities.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Thanksgiving Reflections,” considers the passing generations in America.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 69: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45,” reviews a comprehensive and masterful history of the Asian half of World War II, written by Max Hastings.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:53

Summary for December 2017

The following is a summary of the December 2017 issue of the St. Croix Review:

Angus MacDonald, who founded the St. Croix Review in 1968, fifty years ago, in “Under God,” offers a simple message.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Christ Church Turns Away from George Washington — and American History,” comments on the decision of Christ Church to remove plaques honoring George Washington and Robert E. Lee; in It Is an Appropriate Time to Review Race-based Affirmative Action Programs and Return to the Goal of a Color-blind Society,” writes about university admissions policies; in “An Inspiring Memoir: Kate Mahoney Is with Us Today Because of a (Vatican Decreed) Miracle,” tells an inspiring story.

Mark W. Hendrickson in “The NFL’s National Anthem Fiasco,” considers the roles played by the players, the owners, the commissioner, President Trump, and the media and he offers a simple solution.

Paul Kengor, in “Forgotten Conservative: Remembering George Schuyler,” celebrates the memory of a stalwart anti-communist newspaper columnist in the middle of the 20th century who happened to be black; in “Birthday of a Bloodbath,” he tallies the murders Communist butchers perpetrated on the 100-year anniversary of Communism; in New York Times: Communism ‘Made Life Better’ for Chinese Women,” he points out that Communist China has 20 percent of the world’s women and over 50 percent of world’s female suicides.  

Herbert London, in “Radicalism Challenges American Tradition,” describes an alliance between Islamists and Marxists in an attempt overthrow constitutional America; in “The Really Big Threat,” he believes America, Europe, and Western heritage are imperiled by low birthrates and massive immigration; in “Putin Seeks to Drive a Wedge Between the U.S. and Egypt,” he see the Russians gaining influence in Egypt due to uncertain American commitment; in “Withdraw from the Nuclear Deal Now,” he makes the case the nuclear deal with Iran is not a deterrent and is not in U.S. interests; in “The Emerging New World,” he describes a dark revolutionary force rising in America.

Frank Boreham, a columnist for Melbourne Age from 1936 to 1959, wrote “The Logic of Laughter.” Frank Boreham was an inspiration to Angus MacDonald when Angus was a young man living in Australia. This essay was published in The St. Croix Review, in June, 2001.

Anthony Harrigan, in “The Changing Human Landscape,” reminds us of how much we each depend on each other for stability and peace of mind.

Thomas Martin, in “The Curse of ‘Culture’” castigates pop-theology, and reminds us that the human soul has a built-in capacity for growth.

Harlow A. Hyde, in “The Slow Suicide of Western Civilization,” uses demographic trends as a warning for Western nation of the consequences of falling rates of births.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Landscapes of My Past,” writes about the impact of seeing cultivated fields reverting to wilderness.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 68: Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946),” presents a storyteller with flair of making readers care about personalities of animals, such as a wolf a crow, a rabbit, a fox, a mustang, and a partridge.

Thursday, 14 December 2017 13:43

December 2017 Poems

1.

Galveston — 1900

Galvestonians had no warning of

The hurricane howling and impending

And six thousand were lost on Sunday night

And debris covered the ground three miles long

 

And two stories high while the bodies of

The missing were swept out to sea but the

Survivors were left with the question of

Staying or abandoning the island

 

Fleeing the sticky sweltering summers

Saying good riddance to the mosquitoes

And mostly who would abide in a place

Where God had swept with a mighty hand and

 

Destroyed years of careful habitation

And they decided somehow to rebuild.

 

 

Starting over

someplace new

couldn’t be done

because their roots

had taken hold.

 

2.

The Seawall

Logs of yellow pine from Beaumont Texas

Were driven through the sand forty feet down

Into the clay and concrete composed of

Crushed granite was layered over as a

 

Foundation reinforced with steel rods and

Before the seawall was built giant blocks

Of granite from central Texas were placed

On an apron as a buffer from the

 

Bay and granite of diverse sizes made

A riprap breakwater extending out

Twenty-seven feet and a concave wall

Was raised in sections with the curve facing

 

The water and a tongue and groove system

Connected pieces allowing movement.

 

Galvestonians

asserted a wall

seventeen feet tall

above a low tide

against coming storms.

 

3.

The Galvestonians determined that

Five hundred square blocks of the city had

To be raised seventeen feet so they dug

A canal behind the seawall for the

 

Dredge boats from Germany and they lifted

Two thousand buildings onto stilts and the

Boats scooped the fill from the bay and by means

Of capacious pipes a mix of water

 

And sand was pumped into place while the pipes

Were continuously repositioned

And people moved about on hoisted

Boardwalks and by street cars running on rails

 

That were doggedly reconfigured and

Finally Galvestonians were done.

 

The engines of the

dredge boats pumped mostly water

but grain by grain of

sand settled in place until

the town was elevated.

 

4.

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church had the panache

Of a European cathedral — a

Stone structure of monumental heft with

A tower and stained glass windows — that had

 

To be raised so the Galvestonians

Employed one hundred laborers who turned

Seven hundred jackscrews one half inch at

A time and over thirty-five days they

 

Raised the church five feet and poured a concrete

Foundation and the feat was accomplished

Without cracking the walls while services

Continued without an interruption

 

Showing that faith and ingenuity

Can in deed move a mountain of limestone.

 

Not everyone

Believed the deed

Could be done but

Some had to be

Optimistic.

 

5.

Electricity was coming and they

Used steam engines for dredging but they lacked

The accumulated industrial

Might that prepares people today to raise

 

Towers in the sky so they relied on

Ingenuity determination

And faith in rebuilding Galveston not

So differently from the Egyptians who

 

Generated the pyramids — and in

1915 a hurricane stronger

Than that of 1900 assaulted

The island and inflicted terrible

 

Damage but only six people were lost

And the Galvestonians persevered.

 

It’s peculiar

and quite human

to put down roots

on a sand island

exposed to hurricanes.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 12:22

October 2017 Poems

1.

Total Solar Eclipse

 

Even though the differences in size and

The distances involved are understood

And the force of gravity propelling

The moon and earth about each other and

 

Around the sun is accurately known

And even though we know nowhere else in

The solar system do the orbs align

So much like hand and glove for the moon to

 

So exactly block the sun in passing

With just a rim of light escaping — the

Miracle is that waves of photons flow

In space into the biology of

 

The eye and somehow sight and consciousness

Come together and comprehend the facts.

 

For me seeing the

sunlight passing through

cottonwood leaves and

making me happy

is a miracle.

 

 

2.

Who could blame Mr. Bean for snoozing in

His folding chair while he was alone in

An empty museum in uniform

As a security guard puffing with

 

His lips fluttering and then his back slipped

Down the metal chair and he almost slid

Out of the chair while his mouth was open

And then he bent forward with his chest just

 

About touching his knees and he wavered

On the edge of the chair on the verge of

Collapse but he found a precarious

Point of balance and then he snorted and

 

Startled and rose back into the chair with

His arms dangling and he was still asleep.

 

Mr. Bean was

a human noodle

who gave himself to

child-like foolishness

to make people laugh.

 

Rowan Atkinson, R.I.P.

 

3.

Mom found it in an envelope box while

Dusting bookshelves and I saw spots of age

On the cover as she hesitated

Because I can be cranky but this was

 

Dad’s doctoral dissertation that he

Came to American to write as he

Wanted an education and in these

Pages remain his youthful pursuit of

 

A rational basis for faith and we

Knew the millennia of scholarship

The culmination of effort these typed

Words are as he tried so hard to be a

 

Messenger of wisdom and a leader

For people who were trying to be good.

 

Mom is a faithful

guardian of each issue

of fifty years of

publishing a journal that

Dad and I did together.

 

4.

Photons are invisible scientists

Say and the brain exists in darkness yet

Somehow energy is flowing in the

Eyes the nerve cells the synapses and the

 

Visual cortex and somehow sunlight

And starlight reveal the vastness of the

Universe and the speed of light and space

Time has been calculated but there is

 

No explanation for how I have a mind

That sees and comprehends the miracle

Of my mother’s motherly concern for

Her gladioli and geraniums

 

And chrysanthemums that expresses a

Nurturance underlying everything.

 

Consciousness expands

until it bumps against its

limitations and

devolves to geraniums

and chrysanthemums.

 

5.

Lascaux Caves

 

Cave art in France from seventeen thousand

Years ago is pregnant with hints as the

Bison horses and lions together

Are believed to be on the plains and the

 

Bulls horses deer and bears are supposed to

Be in forest and there is an ibex

A rhinoceros a feline apart

And artists used scaffolding to reach the

 

Ceilings and they prized yellow red and black

And they swabbed and blotted and sprayed with a

Tube and even as we stand where they stood

Their language is dissipated but were

 

They moved to create by desire and

Pride by their dreaming or perhaps pleasure?

 

Fire in the cave

illuminated rock

and generations

collaborated in

recreating life.

 

6.

Carbon dating the tools pointed to the

Paleolithic era but the age

Of the art can not be determined and

Animals predominate but trees and

 

Grass aren’t depicted and we’ve given names

To the Nave the Apse the Hall of Bulls and

The Chamber of Felines but we don’t know

The words they spoke but the bulls and bison

 

Are stamping the horses’ hooves are pounding

An archer is thrusting a knee forward

Confronting a line of deer charging and

The life presented bespeaks a throbbing

 

Heart and surging blood but their manner of

Greeting and courtesy have disappeared.

 

Light and breath coming

with tourists introduced

fungus and black mold

so scientists are striving

to contain the corruption.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:35

Perspective and Motivation

Our Mission Is to Reawaken the Genuine American Spirit . . .

Perspective and Motivation

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The first issue of The St. Croix Review was published in February, 1968. My father, Angus MacDonald, propelled the course of this journal with fierce energy and determination. As an immigrant from Australia he fell in love with American liberty and believed in the promise of America: that he could become anything he wanted in his adopted homeland by dint of self-propulsion.

He often praised his professors at Columbia University, where he studied in the 1950s to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Being young and earnest, he looked askance at St. Augustine of Hippo because as a young man St. Augustine was dissolute with women and Angus thought when he turned to Christ Augustine infused his Christian faith with too much lusty passion. Angus was upbraided by his professors and directed to reconsider his attitude: Angus said his Jewish professors led him to a better understanding of the Christian Saint.

In describing his studies at Columbia he said his professors never discussed their personal political beliefs. They always confined themselves to presenting their subjects, like St. Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, as well as they could within the context of their times. The professors at Columbia University had no political agendas to advance and wanted to be truthful — how different American universities are today!

Two essays in this issue capture Angus MacDonald’s guiding passions. Angus was a Christian minister for twenty years and he wanted to lead people to contented lives through faith in Christ, and through the practice of decency and purposefulness.  

Angus opposed the sentimentality and falsehoods of leftwing politics and he was impatient with authority that wasn’t based in rationality — what he called common sense. Angus was repelled by the rise in the 1960s of an aggressive, revolutionary, and totalitarian, leftwing movement. He founded The St. Croix Review in opposition to the Left.

It may be helpful to recall what was happening in the 1960s. The Watts riots occurred in 1965 in Los Angeles, from August 11 to 16. There were 3,438 arrests, 1,032 injuries, and 34 deaths. The Detroit riots happened in 1967 from July 23 to 28. Eight thousand National Guard troops were summoned along with 4,700 paratroopers. There was looting, arson, and sniper fire. One hundred square blocks were burned. Seven thousand people were arrested, 1,189 were injured and 43 people died.

During the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City, African-Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos won the 200 hundred meter sprints. During the medal ceremony, while the American national anthem was played, they raised their gloved fists in a Black Power salute.

In December 1965, in Time magazine, Milton Friedman wrote “. . . we are all Keynesians now . . .” when describing the “War on Poverty” and the tax and spend policies of economist John Maynard Keynes and President Lyndon Johnson. In 1971 Republican President Richard Nixon was quoted as saying “I am now a Keynesian” when he took America off the gold standard.

Richard Nixon, a Republican, who was not a conservative, founded the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, giving the growth of bureaucratic power a tremendous boost.

There has been a lot of ruination in America since the rise of the Left in 1968. The continuing protests of the national anthem by NFL players over racial tension shows how shop-worn the Left’s techniques are. The news people, the Democrats, and movies stars are becoming increasingly tiresome in their condemnations of America. And the quietude and timidity of the national Republican Party in defense of American heritage is glaring.

I find hope in hearing the thundering boos of fans when the entire team of the Dallas Cowboys decided to take a knee before the playing of national anthem: it shows the paying customer will not tolerate continuing disrespect for America.

I believe the marketplace of political ideals will reward optimism and a “can-do” spirit, because the grievance politics of the Left is badly corroded. Even though the cries of condemnation of America seem to be reaching a crescendo, the bankruptcy of leftist policies over fifty years is on display.

The Left relies on hate and accusation to motivate people. I believe the time is ripe for politicians who inspire with optimism and visions of prosperity, as Donald Trump is doing. Ordinary Americans want to be successful, and we are tired of the negativity of the Left.

Patriotic American are faced the task of replacing many unmotivated and self-interested Republican congressmen and senators. There is a need for a continuing education of the American people in free-market economics and American heritage. The mission of The St. Croix Review is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation as free individuals.  

It takes a streak of independence to maintain that America is a good and great nation, and that we have prosperous days ahead of us — but independence is central to American heritage. I believe that the viciousness of the Left will be its undoing.   *

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