Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.
The New York State Legislature and Abortion
Barry MacDonald is the Editor of The St. Croix Review and President of Religion & Society.
After watching politics for many years I have adopted of a rule of thumb: However outrageous the forces of the political Left are today, without determined opposition, they will move even further left tomorrow.
In January 2019 we have witnessed the New York state legislature allow the aborting of unborn babies up to moments before a natural birth.
The new law is the Reproductive Health Act (R.H.A.), and it sanctions abortion under three conditions: (1) if it is performed earlier than 24 weeks of pregnancy; (2) in an “absence of fetal viability”; or (3) if necessary to “protect the patient’s life or health.”
The inclusion of the health of the mother, which is not restricted to a physical definition, and includes the mother’s psychological and emotional health, is broad enough to cover any possible late-term abortion.
Also, according to America, The Jesuit Review, the R.H.A. removes protections for infants born alive during abortions. Sam Sawyer, writing for America, writes:
“The R.H.A. repeals section 4164 of New York’s public health law. That section had provided that abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy had to be performed in a hospital, and that for abortions after 20 weeks a separate physician had to be on hand to provide medical care for any infant born alive during the procedure — which is a possibility, even if an unlikely one.”
“The now-repealed section also specified that a child born alive during an abortion procedure immediately enjoyed the protection of New York’s laws, and it required medical records to be kept of the efforts to care for the infant. Without section 4164, the public health law is now silent on the status of an infant born alive during an abortion.”
The new law also stipulates that to perform an abortion a license to practice medicine is no longer required in New York. A “health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized” under New York’s medical licensing laws can perform abortions. This means that licensed nurse practitioners, or physician assistants, can perform abortions.
The New York State Senate celebrated their progressive advancement with a standing ovation — they honored themselves. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, authorized the lighting of the Freedom Tower in Manhattan, with a joyous projection of pink light — in celebration of a woman’s right to end the life of her unborn child.
The Freedom Tower is the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack, where thousands of people died. The tower is, presumably, sacred American ground — at least the location and the building have been consecrated and memorialized.
But for progressives, apparently, there is nothing sacred about life and death anymore. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic Party in New York are introducing the undisguised diminishment of human life into American culture.
The New York law would have been unthinkable during the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton. Almost twenty-five years ago, Bill and Hillary Clinton said that though abortion is a “fundamental constitutional right,” abortion should be rare. In her opposition to a proposed ban on partial-birth abortion in 2008, Hillary clarified her position: She wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.”
Kermit Gosnell, M.D., spent nearly four decades running his clinic, The Women’s Medical Society, in Philadelphia. The grand jury case against him states:
“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it. . . .
“The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment — such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff — was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house. [The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the prosecutors cited dozens of jars of severed baby feet.]”
James Johnson is the common-law husband of Gosnell’s wife’s sister. He worked as a janitor, maintenance man, and plumber at the clinic. He testified at trial how he threatened to quit work, because when the staff flushed remains down the toilets (into Philadelphia’s sewage system) the toilets would back up once or twice a week. He would open the outside clean-out pipe to see babies’ arms and other parts come spilling out. With a shovel he scooped up the baby parts, put them in bags, and took them to the basement.
“The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them were licensed physicians. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.
“. . . the real business of the ‘Women’s Medical Society’ was not health; it was profit. There were two primary parts to the operation. By day it was a prescription mill; by night an abortion mill. A constant stream of ‘patients’ came through during business hours and, for the proper payment, left with scripts. . . . The fake prescriptions brought in hundreds of thousand of dollars a year.
“. . . As with abortion, as with prescriptions, Gosnell’s approach was simple: keep volume high, expenses low — and break the law. That was his competitive edge.
“. . . Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere — because they were too pregnant. Most doctors won’t perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal. But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged.
“. . . Babies that big are hard to get out. Gosnell’s approach . . . was to force full labor and delivery of premature infants on ill-informed women. The women would check in during the day, make payments, and take labor-inducing drugs. The doctor wouldn’t appear until evening. . . . Many of them gave birth before he even got there. By maximizing the pain and danger for his patients, he minimized the work, and cost, for himself and his staff. The policy, in effect, was labor without labor.
“There remained, however, a final difficulty. When you perform late-term ‘abortions’ by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. Most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. . . . Gosnell had a simple solution . . . he killed them. . . . He called it ‘ensuring fetal demise.’ . . . by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that ‘snipping.’”
On May 13 Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder of infants born alive, and one count of involuntary manslaughter of a woman, Karnamaya Mongar, who died of an overdose of anesthesia given by an unqualified assistant. He was also found guilty of conspiracy, of performing abortions beyond the legal limit in Pennsylvania, and over two hundred violations of the state’s informed consent law. On May 14 Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison.
Also four former clinic employees have pleaded guilty to murder, and four more to other charges. They include Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, who helped perform abortions.
As bad as Gosnell’s conduct was, the evil goes beyond him. The grand jury reported several agencies responsible for oversight should have stopped Gosnell years ago. Gosnell was caught when police raided the clinic to stop the selling of illegal prescriptions. Police saw the revolting conditions, dazed patients, and baby parts.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) examined the Women’s Medical Society when it opened in 1979. It didn’t conduct a review again until 1989, ten years later. Violations were apparent in 1989 but Gosnell promised to fix them. The PDH did reviews in 1992 and 1993, and again recorded violations, but failed, again, to enforce the law. After 1993 the clinic wasn’t examined for 20 years. The grand jury found that:
“. . . the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey [a pro-life Democrat] to Governor Ridge, [a pro-choice Republican], officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”
Kermit Gosnell’s business model was clearly outside of the law in 2011. Governor Cuomo, the New York state legislature, and the Reproductive Health Act have given Kermit Gosnell’s practice a claim of legality. *
The following is a summary of the February/March issue of The St. Croix Review:
Robert Russell, in “The Great Freedom Robbery — American Immigration 2019,” exhorts Americans to reevaluate and promote the high value of American citizenship.
Donald Lee, in “Immigration and Self-Governance,” calls on Americans to cherish America’s foundational ideals.
Al Shane, in “Strangers in Our House,” writes that American citizenship should be earned.
Barry MacDonald, in “The New York State Legislature and Abortion,” writes about the denigration of human life that the New York state government his introduced into America.
Allan Brownfeld, in “Promoting Infanticide: An Indication of Indifference to Human Life,” he comments on the passage of a law in New York, and on proposed laws, in Virginia, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, that allow abortion up to the moment of (and even after) the birth of babies; in “Identity Politics: A Threat to the Unity a Diverse Society Requires,” he sounds a warning over the poisonous nature of identity politics, and reminds us of our multi-ethnic and unique American heritage; in “Republicans Used to Oppose Huge Budget Deficits — What Happened?” he laments the Republican Party’s abandonment of central principles.
Paul Kengor, in “Marching for Life: Countering Rove v. Wade’s Escorts,” reveals the daily encounters outside Planned Parenthood clinics — pro-abortion activists “escort” pregnant women past the pro-life activists who attempt to dissuade the women from having the abortions.
Michael S. Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Anti-Americanism,” present evidence of virulent animus directed at Middle America by the “soi-disant intelligentsia.”
Gary Welton, in “Eugenics Is Alive and Flourishing in Modern America,” points out the origin of eugenics, it implementation in America, by Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, and its continuation today — minority fetuses are twice as likely to be aborted than white fetuses.
Mark Hendrickson, in “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A Force to Be Reckoned With,” spots a media-savvy talent for power in her, and he hopes she is naïve and not fanatical; in “‘Justice’ Is the Word of the Year, and ‘Social Justice’ Is Its Orwellian Opposite,” he demonstrates how “social justice” is unjust; in “Understanding ‘Democratic Socialism,’” he reveals how our brazen new crop of American socialists take guidance from Marx and Lenin, seeking expropriation and domination; in “Bill of Rights Day 2018: A Time to Reflect,” he illustrates the Founders’ intention to uphold the primacy of individual rights with the Bill of Rights, and he points out their modern-day erosion.
Earl Tilford, in “Angela Davis and the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award,” notes that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has declined to honor Angela Davis — he recounts Angela Davis’ long history of campus radicalism and violent entanglements.
Richard D. Kocur, in “Healthcare Spending and the National Debt,” demonstrates the folly and impossibility of the latest leftist promise: “Medicare for All.”
Thomas Martin, in “Desiring to Know and Choose and Harmonize,” deploys Aristotle to show students how to bring out the best of themselves.
Judy Appel, in “I Love the Person I Became When I Was with Her,” writes about her daughter, and her daughter’s friends, who spent a year living together and working for the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Baltimore.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: A Bizarre Episode,” relates his and Jo Ann’s brief stint teaching at a queer and abusive boarding school in the Berkshires.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives 75: The Riddle of the Sands,” reviews a novel, The Riddle of the Sands, which is a sailing adventure, written by Erskine Childers in 1903.
The African elephants have floppy
Ears while Asian elephants have tiny
Ears but both the African and Asian
Elephants can detect the lumbering
Presence of far away elephants by
“Listening” to the plodding of thudding
Elephant feet emanating in the
Waves from every elephant foot that stomps
On the earth — but the elephant doesn’t
Hear elephants thumping with its ears but
It measures the distance of its plopping
Cousins through the bottom of its feet as
It stands in place tickled by vibrations
Stimulating its marvelous flatness.
The wrinkles around
an elephant’s eyes suggest
wisdom but with its
wrapping and grasping trunk it
I was watching a video on my
Phone of a juvenile elephant in
A creek with muddy and slippery banks —
The youngster wanted out and came to a
Spot not so high and sloping — and thrusting
Upwards and flopping sideways onto the
Bank the elephant reached a tipping point
Several times but just couldn’t get over —
Looking like a chubby kid struggling
Up the wall on an obstacle course and
Failing — in befuddlement and distress
The adolescent wavered in the creek
Until an adult ambling over
And stepping into the creek helped him out.
used his massive
head to push
from behind and
It’s perplexing that in the transition
Into winter there is a blooming of
Vibrancy when the white and grey of a
Cloud rapidly blowing in the blue of
The sky makes a stunning contrast — when just
Moments ago the finest flakes of snow
Were descending — and I question why when
The leaves of each tree are revealing the
Brightest yellows oranges and reds they
Are capable of that the spirit in
Me responds with joyful celebration
As if today were a festival of
Natural beauty — while my bare hands are
Chilled to the bone by a persisting wind.
It happens that the
severity of winter
is proceeded by
a reverberation of
The river keeps flowing in the winter
Under five feet of ice on the surface
And water is moving consistently
And doesn’t dawdle and doesn’t hurry
And snow falling in the hollows and on
The limestone bluffs of the river valley
And on the streets and the homes of the town
Of Stillwater is snow for a season
But eventually the snow becomes
The river and then the river becomes
The ocean and then the ocean becomes
The clouds collecting and dispersing in
The sky until eventually the
Water drops and touches the earth again.
As I am drinking
water I am absorbing
the clouds the rain the
snow and the ice the river
and even every ocean.
What is the red of the cardinal for?
What purpose does the scarlet serve beyond
The attraction of its mate? Does it live
Only for itself and its progeny?
Because I remember from my childhood
Taking such joy from the sight of the bird
As if its brilliant color transformed the
Drab gray skies the bare branches and the snow
On the ground into an enchanted land —
I would as well ask what is the winter
Solstice for that marks the passing of the
Longest nights and the turning to brighter
Days even though there are many dark days
Ahead when only the cardinal shines.
from the sight of a
cardinal in winter is
Words of remembrance on the passing of
A friend are surprising gifts that we give
Each other and I knew Herbert as a
Writer in New York City and could not
Have known a lot about him and the list
Of his accomplishments was welcome but
It took a day for a story to emerge
From the bulk of information and to
Resonate that Herbert was scoring at
A pace surpassing the high school and league
Record when the basketball coach removed
Him and Herbert was outraged for many
Years until he absorbed the lesson of
Humility the coach had given him.
was founded upon
Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free individuals.
Our Mission is to uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.
Farewell, Herbert London
Barry MacDonald is the editor of The St. Croix Review, and President of Religion and Society.
We lost a warm, generous, modest, brilliant, moral, and patriotic American on Saturday, November 10. Herbert I. London died of heart disease. He was a husband to Vicky and a father to Stacy, Nancy, and Jaclyn.
Herbert London’s essays have appeared regularly in the St. Croix Review since 1995. Ten years ago he came to Stillwater to speak at our annual meeting in November. I met him at the airport. He was a towering fellow of six feet, five inches, tall. He, my father Angus, and I, had a lively two days together. Herbert was engaging and easy to talk to.
On a trip to New York, my son and I visited Herbert in his office in New York City in 2006. He was welcoming and gracious. He didn’t go into detail but he touched on the experience of living through the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. He expressed his appreciation for the valor of his fellow New Yorkers.
I will always be grateful to Herbert because he recognized the worthy intellectual caliber and the patriotism of The St. Croix Review, whose operation arose in Middle America. I do regret not having had the opportunity to know him better.
He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and earned a doctorate in history from New York University. As a founding dean of the Gallatin School for Individualized Study at New York University, he taught the Great Books of Western Civilization from 1972 to 1992. Herbert was the President of the Hudson Institute from 1997 to 2011; was a senior fellow at the Center for the American University at the Manhattan Institute; and was chairman of the National Association of Scholars and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Herbert founded The London Center for Policy Research in 2013, and directed the center until his death.
Herbert London ran for mayor of New York City in 1989, and for Governor of New York in 1994, and afterwards for comptroller of New York. Running as a Republican in New York was daunting, and he did not win. While New Yorkers lost the possibility of enlightened governance, right-thinking intellectuals gained a powerful and determined leader.
Herbert wrote thirty books, most recently, Leading from Behind: The Obama Doctrine and the U.S. Retreat from International Affairs. He also wrote three plays and countless essays. His commentary was featured in National Review, The Washington Times, Commentary, Fortune, Newsmax, and numerous other publications.
For a year Herbert was a host on CNN’s “Crossfire,” and he co-hosted the series “Myths that Rule America” on NBC, and “The American Character” on CBS. He was often heard on talk radio in New York.
Herbert was multi-talented. If not for an injury he might have made his living in the NBA — he was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals. He was also a musician who sang a hit rock and roll song called “Sorry We’re Not Going Steady” in 1959!
“Herb was a Renaissance man’s Renaissance man,” said The London Center’s Vice President, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer: “In all aspects, he was a peerless scholar and a visionary leader who knowledgeably and comfortably could discuss history, philosophy, art, science, and the latest baseball scores.”
“Herb was not only a spectacular leader, he was a good man,” said Laddyma Thompson, his long-time secretary and treasurer: “An amazing father to his three daughters, Stacy, Nancy, and Jaclyn; an effective instructor to young people; a brilliant mentor to professionals, both fledgling and venerated; and a devoted husband to his wife, Vicki.”
Deroy Murdock describes Herbert:
“The three of us met at a now-kaput restaurant called Bayamo on Broadway near NYU. Herb and I became instant friends and subsequently enjoyed countless lunches, dinners, and conversations. We often ground our molars marveling at the idiocy of Big Government.
“Under the aegis of the delightfully unspecific Center for the Study of Society, Herb organized lunchtime meetings of the New York Discussion Group. This usually involved an author or thinker who presented a topic for about ten minutes at a local club, restaurant, or high-rise conference room. Then, about fifteen to twenty of us journalists, academics, attorneys, and entrepreneurs would pepper the speaker with challenges and grill him with questions. This was like a doctoral defense, but with better food. At one such gathering, we pondered “teleological vs. ontological cosmology.””
“ ‘Deroy, it’s time for one of our Cassandra Brothers lunches,’ Herb occasionally told me by phone. We sat down in a local steakhouse or Italian spot (he was a confirmed Italophile) and, like the princess whose ignored prophecies sealed the doom of Troy, we feasted on the topic of how much better things would be if our many warnings to leaders in Gotham City, Albany, and Washington had not gone unheeded.
“Like many polymaths, Herb had his eccentricities.
“He never lacked for words in person. He could address any subject with facts, figures, perspective, and historical context, often going on at considerable but enjoyable length.
. . . .
“Since childhood, Herb was fascinated with hippopotami. His credenzas, bookshelves, and coffee tables overflowed with glass, stone, and ceramic hippos. A bartender once served me a beer bottle whose label showcased such an African amphibian. I proudly presented it to Herb who received it with a smile as wide as a hippo’s.
“Herb also had a stunning facility with names and faces. At his 75th birthday party, he stood inside a friend’s living room. He spent about twenty minutes methodically introducing his fifty or sixty well-wishers — not just those he knew well, but also the friends and even dates of his guests. He greeted and welcomed everyone by name, adding a humorous anecdote, intriguing detail, or quote about a recent column or TV interview by each of us there. This was the height of graciousness and a mentalist feat worthy of the Amazing Kreskin.
“Herb was dapper, too. His suits, sport coats, crisply folded pocket squares, and colorful ties were reliably exquisite.”
Herbert’s friends and colleagues, Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon write of him:
“. . . We prefer to focus on something more important, something often forgotten.
“For above all else — above Herb’s prowess as a thinker, a teacher, and an institution builder — Herb London was a mensch. In an era of bitter divisiveness, of ever coarsening discourse, of scorched earth politics, Herb was always gracious, always open, always decent.
“Herb would certainly have been forgiven had he been taken with himself. He was enormously gifted, accomplished in so many arenas, imposing, dashing, elegant, and urbane.
“But Herb’s accomplishments never overpowered his modesty.
“In Judaism — and Herb was very proud of his Jewish heritage — Moses represents the pinnacle of human achievement. The Torah testifies that there will never arise another prophet who will attain Moses’ greatness in communing with G-d.
“The Torah also tells us that Moses was unmatched in one character trait: Moses was the humblest of all men. Humility — not a quality generally associated with leadership in our culture. And of all the titles Moses earned: prophet, leader, lawgiver, and more, the one by which Moses is known best is ‘Rabbeinu’ — our teacher.
“Herb London's greatness was inextricably linked to his modesty.”
Sam Roberts, in an Obituary for The New York Times writes of Herbert:
“Herbert Ira London was born in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, on March 6, 1939, a grandson of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father, Jack, a lapsed socialist, sold fabric, leather, and vinyl for upholstery. His mother, Esta (Epstein) London, was a homemaker. He once described his upbringing as ‘Jewish Calvinist.’
“‘I always think about my dad because I think there are a lot of people like my father who could never understand why there were a growing number of people in our society who were feeding out of the public trough,’ he told The New York Times in 1994. ‘He paid his taxes and never derived any benefits from government. That’s why I refer to him as the quintessential forgotten New Yorker.’
“Dr. London was raised in Forest Hills, Queens, and graduated from Jamaica High School, where a teacher instilled in him a lifelong habit of writing at least one page a day. He helped lead the school’s basketball team to a city championship in 1955. Years later, he recalled a game in which he had scored 19 points by the end of the first quarter, with his team leading by 20.
“‘I felt confident of breaking the school scoring record and perhaps the city record as well, but to my dismay the coach took me out of the game,’ Dr. London wrote in 2012 on mindingthecampus.org. ‘I was furious. Yet in retrospect, he was right. Had I broken the school record, it would have come at the expense of a marginal team. Moreover, it would have embarrassed the other players. My coach understood what I did not.’
“He went on to Columbia College, where he played on the basketball team. There, originally enrolled in a pre-med curriculum, he was transformed by a course in contemporary civilization and humanities. Influenced by the professors Jacques Barzun, Samuel Huntington, and Daniel Bell, he pivoted toward an academic career.”
We readers and writers of the St. Croix Review will miss you Herbert London! *
The following is a summary of the December/January 2018/9 issue of The St. Croix Review:
Barry MacDonald, in “Farewell, Herbert London,” memorializes the life of Herbert Ira London.
Mark Hendrickson, in “Ready for Some Good News?” cuts through the depressing news and offers genuine reasons for optimism — hint — optimism is founded on the free economy; in “Good News, Bad News about Divorce,” he shows that marriage leads to prosperity; in “Spending More on Debt Than Defense,” he postulates on the baleful results of the endless deficit spending by the federal government; in “One Judge’s Role in Sabotaging the Keystone XL Pipeline Project,” he deplores the usurpation and injustice of a federal judge intervening where he has no business; in “The Politics of E15,” he shows how the politics of ethanol-supplemented gasoline are negative for the environment and prosperity; in “Remembering Soviet Dissidents and the Weaponization of Psychiatry,” he reveals the perverse and evil essence of Marxism.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Thanksgiving: A Time for Americans to Come Together,” shows that America is a nation where every race and ethnicity has found a home; in “Remembering George H. W. Bush,” he shares insights into our gracious and sincere former president; in “Making a Place for Christmas in a Chaotic World,” he reminds us of the genuine Christian spirit, and points out that our society is far from the mark; in “As Political Passions Rise, Knowledge of American History and Government Declines,” he demonstrates that most Americans are ignorant of our history, and could not pass the U.S. Citizenship Test immigrants are given; in “Do Those Who Promote ‘Socialism’ Have Any Idea of What It Means?” he cast doubt on whether those promoting socialism know what socialism is, and he shows that our elected politicians are not supporters of a free economy either; in “The Green Book — The Travails of Traveling While Black During the Years of Segregation,” he reveals how Black Americans adapted to difficult circumstances.
Paul G. Kengor, in “A Point of Light: A Tribute of George H. W. Bush,” reveals the deep religious faith that pervaded our forty-first president’s entire life; in “George H. W. Bush’s Final Words,” he relates touching personal stories of the Bush family; in “George H. W. Bush and the Call That Surrendered the Soviet Union,” he recalls President Bush’s greatest moment; in “Death at the Tree of Life Synagogue,” he relates the experience of having his daughters at the scene of the massacre; in “Teaching God at Thanksgiving,” he laments that American publishers for children are forgetting to promote gratefulness to God on Thanksgiving Day.
Michael S. Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Egalitarianism,” places the words from the Declaration of Independence “all men are created equal” within their proper historical and philosophical context.
Earl Tilford, in “Losing Sight of the Great War in American History,” lists the many profound effects or World War I on America.
Richard Doyle, in “Our Devastating Welfare System,” identifies broken homes and fatherlessness as the origin of social malaise in America — and welfare is part of the problem.
David L. Cawthon, in “Leadership and the Love of God,” describes St. Augustine’s division of humanity into the “City of Man” and the “City of God,” in a continuation of Cawthon’s series of essays about the meaning of “leadership” to the philosophers of Western culture.
Judy Appel, in “Christmas Bird Count,” writes about living the good life and birdwatching.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: My Rocky Scholastic Trail,” writes about the high jinks that made him who he is.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 74: The First Western,” relates the thrust of The Virginian, by Owen Wister.
The light on the leaves in the morning is
Golden in September and the air is
Crisp and if there were a time within the
Seasons that I would like to extend it
Would be September because the sun is
Not glaring and the afternoon heat is
Gentle — there are a few trees in town that
Are turning yellow and red but green is
Predominate and throughout the day when
A breeze is in the trees the light on the
Turning leaves is golden — that serves as a
Signal that now is the culmination
Of growth and a harvest is approaching
And then the days will become desolate.
I remember how
wind tosses leaves
in spring — there is a
The season for roses has passed this year
But when thinking about you roses come
To mind — because you are blooming in the
Sunny springtime of your life and you do
Approximate the velvet folds within
Folds that constitute a rose — and the moon
Has a mysterious allure because
Of its various shapes and colors and
Its movements — and the sun is marvelous
Because it is the resplendent source of
Breath and life — but you as you are now are
The epitome of beauty and love
Forcefully drawing me to you as if
I were under a spell and mesmerized.
and thorns are
The cherry in September is just such
A humble little tree surrounded by
The taller and broader trees reaching up
And outspreading their leaves — taking so much
More sunlight — and here is the maple in
Pioneer Park beginning to show the
Touches of orange that will become so
Brilliant in October — and Pioneer
Park is just a tiny area of
Stillwater on a bluff overlooking
The valley with a southward view of the
Turning river with the Crossing Bridge in
The distance — and Stillwater is just a
Modest town in a boisterous nation.
But when the cherry
is blooming in spring
its beauty is just
The following is a summary of the October/November 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:
In a “Letter to the Editor,” Ronald Everett emphasizes the importance of healthy immigration, Christian faith, sensible gender roles, and manners.
Robert Russell, in “We Owe Immigrants Our Gratitude and Homage — for Their Unique Gifts,” reminds us why American is a good and a great nation.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Socialism and American Politics: The Strange Involvement of Both Parties,” writes that the left’s advocacy of socialism and the right’s embrace of corporate welfare lead toward a government-managed economy; in “What Would the Founding Fathers Think of the Growth of Executive Power?” he writes that as years go by, executive power — whether Democrat or Republican — has grown, contrary to the intentions and warnings of the Founding Fathers; in “An Epidemic of Child Abuse in the Catholic Church: What Would Jesus Say?” he details an enormous extent of abuse over a long period of time.
Mark W. Hendrickson, in “The Kavanaugh Accusation: A Defining Moment for #MeToo,” proposes that #MeToo has a choice — either to pursue justice or to squander credibility on partisanship; in “The #MeToo Movement’s Blind Spot,” he applauds the bringing of retribution to predators, and he urges the movement to strengthen its purpose; in “Heroes, Sacrifice, Collusion, Capitalism, and the Nike-Kaepernick Ad Campaign,” he regrets that Nike’s ad campaign reflects a coarsening of American culture; in “Serena Williams, Umpire Abuse, and American Culture,” he considers Serena Williams’ on-court rant to be symptomatic of increasing disrespect of authority in America; in “An Open Letter to the Players of the National Football League,” he encourages the athletes to broaden their perspectives.
Herbert London, in “The Economy of Mass Prosperity,” describes the next evolutionary phase of capitalism: the privatization of infrastructure; in “A New Diplomacy Shapes Foreign Policy,” he considers whether President Trump’s unique approach to diplomacy will change the rules permanently or temporarily; in “How to Win the 21st Century Space Race,” he welcomes President Trump’s push to develop a new Space Force; In “NATO Needs to Be Fully Financed and Nimble Going Into the Future,” he is cautiously optimistic that President’s Trump’s heavy-handed insistence that European nations pay their fair share will produce good results.
Paul G. Kengor, in “Women Who Lied About Sexual Assault,” adds historical perspective to the travesty of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court; in “Brett Kavanaugh’s Abortion Critics and Hypocrites,” he considers the motives of Senate Democrats and progressive activists who drove a furious assault on the Supreme Court nominee; in “George Cahill’s New Constellation,” he memorializes the life of a heroic W.W. II veteran and a supporter of conservative causes.
Earl H. Tilford, in “When Girls Were Girls and Men Were Men,” considers sixty years of change in America; in “The Unwarranted Storm Over Security Clearances,” he writes that security clearances should be surrendered when government service ends.
Al Shane, in “Where Would the Democrats Stop?” he believes that the Democratic Party has gone beyond loyal opposition.
David L. Cawthon, in “Aristotle on Leadership — Free from the Tyranny of Passion,” reveals who Aristotle believed should, and who should not, lead.
Judy Appel, in “Ownership,” writes about the prospect of selling their Wisconsin farm land.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: A Government Favor (for Once),” chronicles a government-sponsored fiasco involving oysters.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 73: A Book to Sample,” presents: American Social History as Recorded by British Travellers — a description of early American society, as seen through the eyes of British travelers, from the colonial period and on.
With the whoosh of the burner firing
I look up and see a hot air balloon
Floating in the air and it looks so odd
Suspended in the sky and there is the
Burst of flame and the rise of the balloon
And the gradual drifting and there are
The other balloons too peopling the
Sky but the people are too far to see —
Only on the cloudless days of summer
Do balloons appear in such festive colors
And I imagine the bouncing ride and
The view of the river on a sunny
Afternoon and there is no purpose for
The ride except for the effervescence.
What does the
valley look like with the sun
sparkling on the river
and reflecting off the windows
of the moving cars?
I didn’t feel the heat of the morning
Until the little black fly with green eyes
Landed on my arm and walked about with
Little legs over the fine hair on my
Arm — and I discovered not wanting to
Expend the energy necessary
To flick it away so I just watched it
Instead and noticed the slightest tickle —
And a little while later a tiny
Black ant proceeded to explore my arm
Too and I noticed the tickle again —
And the ants and the flies have as much right
As I do to enjoy the summer air
But I won’t give the mosquitoes a pass.
As the air becomes
hotter even in the shade
of a tree I start
to feel a little dizzy
and warmer inside and out.
There is a video on Facebook of a
Couple of kids after a down pouring
Of rain who have goggles for swimming and
And a bicycle and some muddy ground
And one of them gets on the bike and grips
The brakes and the other kneels behind the
Back tire and while wearing the goggles with
Much joyful expectation he says “go”
And he is covered by a spattering
Of mud — which is an improvement of the
Jackson Pollack style — because Jackson was
Dripping paint on canvas by himself and
Jackson never did escape depression
But the boys together were jubilant.
This is not the time for cherry blossoms
And the cherry trees already produced
Their cherries for the season — so I do
Not know why I am thinking about the
Cherry blossoms — while we are entering
The mild and lazy ending of summer
Except that the beautiful flowering
Of spring is so beautiful because it
Marks the release from the cold of winter —
And we are on the verge of colder days
And grey clouds moving precipitously
Are dominating the sky and the wind
Is tossing about the leaves and I am
Remembering and anticipating.
The apples on my
apple tree are almost ripe
and this is the first
year I sprayed the apples to
keep the insects away.
We uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.
The American Spirit
Barry MacDonald — Editorial
My Dad, Angus MacDonald, published the first issue of The St. Croix Review in February, 1968. In 2018, The St. Croix Review is continuing to express his vision.
America was turbulent in 1968. Through many long years the Left in America was sowing seeds of revolution, and in the 1960s, in the midst of racial tension, riots, assassinations, and the Vietnam War, it emerged as a formidable foe.
Angus MacDonald was moved to defend America from the power craving, rapacious, unrelenting forces of the Left. The St. Croix Review and the foundation, Religion and Society, are the continuing expression of my Dad’s character. After 50 years of publication, the St. Croix Review and Religion and Society are fighting the same battle and are following in the original tradition of the Americans who wrote the Constitution.
Too much of the Republican Party and too many conservative intellectuals have lost their moorings. The bitter struggle against emerging tyranny in America is exhausting. When the Republican Party temporizes on basic issues the effect is terrible: the Left is emboldened and we are diminished.
Too often, intelligent conservatives become policy wonks, writing sophisticated and profound papers, of minutest detail, that will have little influence on the culture. A retreat into sophistication and minuteness isn’t enough. We should be clear and bold, and we should use intelligence to advance basic issues.
Americans who want to preserve liberty should boldly promote the free economy, property rights, the sanctity of contracts, Constitutional protections, the rule of law, the separation of powers, federalism, and orderly immigration. We should be promoting a rich civic life that is separate from government control. And we should be unashamed to be people of religious faith. These are the basic issues from which we gain independence and strength. These are the foundations that support healthy families.
We need to hold up the ideal of humble government. The assertion that America is a nation of free individuals, and that government is a necessary evil, is what distinguishes America from every other nation. The fruits of humble government are entrepreneurial innovation, broad-based prosperity, and an economy that fosters upward mobility. We should be promoting the importance of a growing economy.
Angus MacDonald arrived in San Francisco on the steamer S.S. Marine Lynx in 1946. He came from Australia, where he was born. He came to America because he wanted a better education than he could achieve in Australia. A few years after he arrived he became an American citizen. But, in a sense, he was already American before he arrived, because he embodied a free spirit seeking adventure and betterment.
The following is the foreword written by my mother, Rema MacDonald, to Angus MacDonald’s autobiography, A Straight Line. Rema described her husband five years ago, after he passed away.
* * * * *
Angus MacDonald, at age 23, was a one-of-a-kind personality. He graduated from the College of the Bible in Melbourne, Australia in May, 1946, right after World War II.
Because he saw greater opportunity in the United States, and thought he would fit in better in America, and wanted a higher education, he decided to emigrate to America. There was no intercontinental air travel, and he decided to come by troop ship with a three-week crossing. In those days America seemed far, far away. All his family came to the dock to see him off. He didn’t know if he would ever see them again. His three-year-old nephew clung to his legs and cried, “I don’t want you to go, Uncle Angus!” With a little money from his father and a box of favorite books he boarded the ship, as did others. His family waved until the ship was out of sight. It was a heart-wrenching leave taking.
That was the kind of person Angus was. If he wanted to do something he did it. To him nothing was impossible. As he traveled by train across this country he was surprised by how large the country was. He had a strange feeling as he looked around: he knew no one. His aim was to go to Butler University in Indianapolis. He enrolled and managed to complete his requirements for a bachelor’s degree in one year.
Angus had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and taking classes in philosophy at Butler helped him form his beliefs. He decided to apply to the Graduate Department in Philosophy at Columbia University in New York. After being accepted he spent several years studying and living in the New York City area, a special time in his life. His parents also visited him at this time from Australia.
He completed all his work for his degree, except making corrections on his lengthy dissertation. He eventually did this and received a Doctorate in Philosophy degree. He could now become a university teacher, but he thought he might tire to teaching the same subject year after year as a professor. He was a natural born pastor. He loved interacting with people, giving sermons, visiting the sick and the church members, so he decided to continue as a minister.
After coming to a Minnesota church, some years later, he felt he could extend his ministry to a wider “audience” by starting up a journal. His vision would be called The St. Croix Review, because he lived on the St. Croix (rhymes with “boy”) River, and would be published six times a year. By subscription only, it would consist of submitted articles of interest in the conservative view — which he thought was lacking in the country. He would write only the editorial himself.
Angus started an incredible task. Angus had one employee, himself. Amazing! Computers were not in common use. He began with five hundred subscriptions and a typewriter. There wasn’t money to have the journal printed so he bought a printing press for the basement, and printed the pages himself. He had no knowledge of printing, he taught himself. The retyping of submitted articles, printing, folding, stapling, collating, labeling, mailing, and all the other publishing chores he did himself for years. Later on he hired a secretary to type for three hours a day. The advent of computers was a great breakthrough, but the journal still was more than a one-man job. He also wrote an editorial each issue. He had a way with words — his style was clear and concise. “Never use a big word when a small one will do” was his motto. Of the authors he never asked about their sex, race, religion, or background. “If they say something sensible that is simple and constructive, I shall publish them,” he said.
And he did — for forty-four years! This is a remarkable record considering there is no advertising in the journal. Subscriptions and contributions from individuals and several foundations are the journal’s life-blood. A pool of wonderful authors has been built up, but submitted articles are always welcomed for review. Angus’ son, Barry, has worked with him twenty years and is carrying on his legacy.
His autobiography, A Straight Line, was written twenty-five years ago. Its title refers to his lifelong quest for the truth. This is the fourth printing. The wording is the same, but we have enhanced this edition with pictures as a fitting memorial to Angus. We believe his ability to carry difficult tasks to completion is a noteworthy achievement and an inspiration to others. He was one-of-kind.
(Angus’ wife) *
The following is a summary of the August/September 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:
Thomas Drake, in a “Letter to the Editor,” provides an example of political dysfunction in Chicago.
Barry MacDonald in, “The American Spirit,” reviews the founding of The St. Croix Review, and presents Angus MacDonald, the founder, as the embodiment of the genuine American Spirit.
Michael S. Swisher, in “Animadversions — Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Nativism,” presents the arguments of those Americans who favor unlimited immigration into America. He answers their arguments and exposes their motives.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Remembering Our Long History of Misunderstanding Russia’s Goals in the World,” compares President Trump’s mistaken attitude with historical follies; in “Fueled by an Army of Lobbyists — Crony Capitalism Is Alive and Well in Washington” he explains the virtues of a free economy, and he shows how politicians are purchased; in “‘Charm City’: A Gripping Film about Violence in Baltimore and the Response of the Police and the Community,” he presents Baltimore as an example of American ingenuity coming to grips with difficult circumstances; in “New York’s Specialized High Schools Are Under Attack by Identity Politics; Asian-Americans Are the Victims,” he makes the case for returning to a goal of a “color-blind” society.
Paul Kengor, in “Today’s Progressives Have Completed the Takeover and Destruction Communists First Started Calling for More Than a Century Ago,” cites one hundred years of Communist assaults on the Boy Scouts of America; in “Fifty Years Ago: An Assassination That Shook America,” he provides overlooked details of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy; in “A Victory for Freedom and the Pro-Life Movement,” he reviews a recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion; in “With God and Richard Pipes,” he celebrates the life of Cold War warrior who opposed Soviet Communism.
Herbert London, in “The U.S.-North Korea Summit: The Devil Is in the Details,” explains the critical issues involved in the transformation of North Korea; in “Decertifying the Iran Deal,” he reveals that President Obama’s faith that Iran would limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions was mistaken; in “Traditional Liberalism Under Unprecedented Pressure,” he asks questions about whether Western democracy can adapt to present-day challenges from a historical perspective.
Mark Hendrickson, in “Trump on Trade: The Latest on the Tariff Strategy,” considers President Trump’s crazy-like-a-fox trade strategy; in “‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor,’ A Review of the Mr. Rogers Documentary,” he places emphasis on the kindness and decency of Fred Rogers.
Earl H. Tilford, in “Summit Asymmetries,” looks at three summits between American Presidents and Soviet and Russian leaders.
Judy Appel, in “Five Nights and Eighty Thousand Steps in Paris, France — Day One,” shares a letter from Red Cross nurse, written in 1918, who treated her great uncle after he was wounded in W.W. I.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Maids,” relates childhood memories of a long-vanished America.
Jigs Gardner, in Writers for Conservatives, 71: The Wolf by the Ears — Thomas Jefferson and Slavery by J. C. Miller,” uncovers startling facts and attitudes of early American history.
Jigs Gardner, in “My Harvey Weinstein Moment,” conveys a humorous story.