• Summary December 2018

    Summary December 2018

    The following is a summary of the December/January 2018/9 issue of The St. Croix Review: Read More
  • Farewell Herbert London

    Farewell Herbert London

    Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, Read More
  • Hendrickson's View

    Hendrickson's View

    Hendrickson’s View Mark W. Hendrickson Mark W. Hendrickson is a faculty member, economist, and contributing Read More
  • Ramblings

    Ramblings

    Ramblings Allan C. Brownfeld Allan C. Brownfeld is the author of five books, the latest Read More
  • Animadversion — Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Egalitarianism

    Animadversion — Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Egalitarianism

    Animadversions Michael S. Swisher Michael S. Swisher is chairman of the board of Religion and Read More
  • Writers for Conservatives, 74: The First Western

    Writers for Conservatives, 74: The First Western

    Writers for Conservatives, 74: The First Western Jigs Gardner Jigs Gardner is an associate editor Read More
  • December 2018 Poems

    December 2018 Poems

    1. The African elephants have floppy Ears while Asian elephants have tiny Ears but both Read More
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Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:02

December 2018 Poems

1.

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

behaves mischievously.

 

2.

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.

 

The elephant

used his massive

head to push

from behind and

they escaped.

 

3.

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

exuberant piquancy.

 

 4.

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.

 

5.

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.

 

Childhood joy

and wonderment

from the sight of a

cardinal in winter is

unexplainable.

 

6.

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.

 

I learned

accomplishment

was founded upon

humility.

Saturday, 19 January 2019 13:18

Farewell Herbert London

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

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!     *

Saturday, 19 January 2019 13:15

Summary December 2018

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.

Friday, 09 November 2018 13:36

October 2018 Poems

1.

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

boisterous joy.

 

 2.

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.

 

Passion for

possession

is consuming

and thorns are

a warning.

 

3.

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

unsurpassable.

Friday, 09 November 2018 12:57

Summary of October 2018

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.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 13:53

August 2018 Poems

1.

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?

 

 

2.

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.

 

3.

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.

 

Eventually

sophistication

spoils

spontaneity.

 

 

4.

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.

 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 13:06

Editorial

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.

—Rema MacDonald

(Angus’ wife)     *

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 12:43

Summary of August 2018

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.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 12:11

June 2018 Poems

1.

I am awash in waves this morning with

The windows of my car open with the

Warmth coming in and I am bombarded

With the vibrant blue and white of the sky

 

And I am absorbing an explosion

Of tiny green leaves on the browns of the

Trees and an exhibitionist in a

Purple shirt is walking with his dog and

 

There is a sprinkling of dandelions

Already and a red wing blackbird is

Flying and when I get to the office

To play with words a yellow and a red

 

Tulip by the garage are reminding

Me cresting waves of light are everywhere.

 

Waves of light rippling

in the air enveloping

me separating me

from winter are exactly

what I wanted.

 

2.

It is deplorable that a straw was

Discovered in the Marianas Trench

And perhaps to rescue the earth from the

Dispersal of disposable items

 

It may be helpful where possible to

Turn our implements of convenience

Into fashion accessories and I

Imagine a boutique establishment

 

 

Selling remarkable straws with perhaps

Titanium for a military

Gentleman with a tortoise shell case or

Elongated simulated ivory

 

Or tastefully bejeweled silver or gold

For a status conscious mademoiselle.

 

We would favor the

planet and engage

ingenuity massage

egocentricity and

boost employment.

 

3.

The blue sky is exceptional and the

Earth appears blue from the vantage of the

Moon and there is not another planet

With breathable blue air in the cosmos

 

We are aware of and we are searching

The fourteen billion light years of space and

Set among the brilliance of stars planets

Are almost impossible to find so

 

Given the impersonal and immense

Nature of reality there is no

Reason why the sound of the wind in the

Leaves should be reassuring and peaceful

 

And inspiring but year after year

There is the resurrection of sighing.

 

The breath of

life is visible

and audible

in the wind

in the trees.

 

4.

From the vantage of today the Pueblo

People who lived in the hollows of the

Cliffs who built adobe homes and worshiped

The sun seem simple and innocent as

 

The sun was determinate of so much

Drenching their lives with light and imagine

The contrast of the day with the night filled

With stars and the comfort of a small fire

 

But perhaps they shared our frailties and

Were as prone to anger and fear as we

Are and they needed to ascribe meaning

To what happened by considering the

 

Constellations and by retelling their

Ancestral stories about courage.

 

Even with our

knowledge of the

cosmos have we

outgrown needing

stories about courage?

 

5.

A black hole that can whirl a trillion stars

About itself is not something that can

Be safely ignored and where do the stars

Go that disappear into the hole — and

 

It is said that vanished stars are compiled

On themselves to a point of infinite

Density inside the hole and said that

Millions of light years is not far enough

 

To escape the vortex of the hole and

It is speculated even space/time

Collapses inside the hole and time is

Instantaneous and so a word is

 

Used to describe the inconceivable —

The black hole is a singularity.

 

The hole where things

go to vanish is an

organizing factor

creating motion

and direction.

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

We Uphold American Liberty, Prosperity, Constitutional Law, and Humble Government

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The “we” above refers to you: the readers and writers of The St. Croix Review. Good-hearted Americans don’t believe we are better than the peoples of the world. We are lucky to have been born where it is possible to prosper through effort and industry. We are grateful to have a Constitution and Bill of Rights, the first in history, guaranteeing America liberty — if they are followed.

“The Left” indicated below means those Americans who want the Constitution and Bill of Rights undone. They want America to be fundamentally transformed. They are revolutionary in spirit, and are employing techniques that come from overseas. They are hardcore and want to benefit from the polarization of society they are busy fomenting. They are uncompromising and cannot be appeased.

They include independent groups like Media Matters and Black Lives Matter. The leadership of the Democratic Party is Leftist. There are many fellow travelers who are caught up with the fervor of the movement who are not leaders — they don’t comprehend the motives of the leaders.

The leadership understands that the effort is in furious motion, and that any single issue is only a means to an end, and the end is revolution.

The America we grew up in is not the America of today. We receive dispiriting and disparaging messages. We are presented with insoluble problems, and we are informed, subtly and boldly, that America is a guilty nation. We are told American history is a recitation of oppression, injustice, and tyranny.

The onslaught against America is overwhelming. The Statue of Liberty has fallen into disrepute. More often than not, people in positions of power today, those who have formidable platforms from which to dispense their opinions, are Leftists who are disparaging America. And they are furiously energetic.

The educational system, from elementary schools to the university, is converted. The news media, including sports news, is taken over. High art and daily entertainment are perverted. Corporate America is anti-American. Historians, philosophers, and officers of law believe the worst about America, and they want you to despise America, too. Those wearing religious garb are sometimes unreliable. Even science is tainted.

The Left has made the long march through American institutions, and is sowing devastation.

Leverage Points

The following is a listing of where the Left is on offence, and where we are defensive. This is not a complete list. Some of the assertions are established, and more people are being converted. Twenty years ago these points would have been ridiculous, but today they are serious points of contention.

  • Patriotism is “problematic.”
  • We should be ashamed of American history.
  • We should be hostile to American history.
  • Grievance against white people, especially white males, is laudable.
  • Politically incorrect speech should be silenced.
  • Your race and ethnicity are more important than you.
  • Donald Trump is unfit to be president.
  • Donald Trump stole the election.
  • People who voted for Donald Trump are deplorable.
  • America has no right to borders.
  • Constitutional law advances white supremacy.
  • The government dispenses rights.
  • The government should solve your problems.
  • You don’t know what’s good for you.
  • The government is in charge of your health.
  • The government should rescue the earth from industry.
  • The government should manage where you live.
  • It is the government’s land.
  • The profit motive is destructive.
  • Bureaucracy is sacrosanct.
  • Taxes should be raised.
  • The national debt is not a problem.
  • The justice system is racist.
  • Police are hunting black men.
  • Gender is a choice
  • Masculinity is toxic.
  • Men should have no influence on abortion.
  • The American military is evil.
  • Christianity is unacceptable.
  • Movie stars know more than you do.

The above assertions are arrogant and deceitful and yet their insidiousness is not recognized.  

There is no coherent vision of an ideal society the Left wishes to create — they have no idea where they are rushing too. Hollywood movie studios produce various shades of dystopia.

The Left is marshalling furious energy and assaulting American institutions. The people of the Left — the bureaucrats, the media, business executives receiving subsidies, congressional staffers, politicians, lawyers, etc., — benefit from the spoils of political victory, but society as a whole suffers.

Working class Americans are struggling, and the middle class is burdened. The regulations imposed by bureaucracies, and the taxation of private enterprise to finance excessive government spending, are crushing the economy and frustrating the creation of new businesses and jobs.

America should have busy entrepreneurs and a thriving economy. The glory of America is that a person born poor may, through hard work and enterprise, rise to prosperity — this is the American dream. But in present-day America people are becoming discouraged as the costs of education, housing, and healthcare are rising, and fewer businesses are starting. There is less opportunity to rise. It is harder to be upwardly mobile in America — because the Left is tightening its grip and rigging the economy for its own benefit.

We who believe in the goodness of America, and who want to preserve American liberty, should recognize that there are natural disadvantages in our way. We are asking people to take on the burdens of responsibility, and to work harder than necessary just to get by. Not everyone is capable of creating a vision of the good life, and of striving to make a dream reality. It is the mission of The St. Croix Review to present our readers with inspiration for the good life. We aim to motivate those capable of inspiration, and we hope that their industry will engender a broad enough base of prosperity to lift the spirits and aspirations of less amenable Americans.

In the history of nations American ingenuity and prosperity are unique. We have been freed from the common shackles imposed by the usual forms of tyrannies. Our traditional prosperity arises because a much larger proportion of our people, regardless of class, have been free to be productive, and thereby we are prosperous. It is the mission of The St. Croix Review to perpetuate American liberty.

The Left is asking people to give up responsibility. It is inculcating the idea that politicians and bureaucrats are more informed and better able than average people. It wants people to give up the duties that come along with freedom. The Left is willing to subsidize and maintain Americans who are dispirited in a subsistent and subservient lifestyle. In the Leftist scheme of management, the productive are compelled by taxation to carry the burdens of society.

The telltale nature of the Left is obvious. It discourages enterprise with regulation. It divides people based on race and ethnicity and gender, and uses the animosity created to undermine the family, religious faith, and the rule of law.

The St. Croix Review recognizes the enormous challenge of reawakening the “genuine American spirit,” but we believe the effort is worthy. We believe that ordinary American people throughout America are energetic and capable, and will act to preserve their God-given independence.   *

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