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Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Monday, 15 August 2022 12:13

August 2022 Summary

The following is a summary of the August/September issue of the St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in the “America’s Challenge,” presents the mission of The St. Croix Review.

Derek Suszko, in “The Problem of Libertarianism,” compares and contrasts Libertarianism, Marxism, and Conservatism.

John A. Sparks, in “The Dobbs Case: Justice Alito Leads the Court Back to the Constitution,” summarizes the case that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and returned the public debate over abortion to its rightful place: state government.

Paul Kengor, in “What Reversing Roe Really Means,” looks at the consequences of the deeply flawed Roe, and he predicts the likely outcomes; in “1776 and Slavery,” he provides an accurate historical accounting of the Founder’s attitudes and written words about slavery, and the immense cost in blood of eradicating it in America; in “Ukraine’s Freedom Fighter,” on the occasion of the visit to America by the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, he remarks on the transcending importance of an American principle: “all men are created equal by a loving God who has blessed us with freedom.”

Mark Hendrickson, in “The Supreme Court’s Principled Decision in West Virginia v. EPA,” is grateful the Supreme Court prevented the EPA from making overarching decisions that only Congress has authority to make, and he wishes the court had gone further concerning the classification of CO2 as a pollutant; in “Washington’s Corn-based Ethanol Mandates Are Poorly Timed,” he castigates the President and the EPA for mandating that American refineries produce an increase of ethanol fuel at a time of high inflation, which will reduce the available supplies of corn needed for food in America and abroad; in “Congress Is Going After the Alleged Price Gougers — Again,” he explains what congressional Democrats refuse to contemplate — the law of supply and demand — and he points out that the Biden administration is purposely restricting the supply of available fuel.

Allan Brownfeld, in “The Decline of Civility Threatens American Democracy,” notes the increasingly violent political rhetoric in America and warns of dire consequences; in “Assaults on Thomas Jefferson Ignore His Complexity and His Contributions to American Freedom,” he presents Jefferson as a flawed but fierce advocate for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery; in “What Did the Framers of the Constitution Really Think About Church-State Relations?” he writes: [The Founders] broke new ground in providing religious freedom and ensuring religious neutrality, but did not intend to remove God, whom they viewed as the author of our liberty, from society.”

David Ayers, in “What Is Another Word for ‘Pride?’” offers a meditation on the meaning of the word.

Carl R. Trueman, in “Do I Teach at a Woke School?” defends the honor of Grove City College, and he highlights the ideological warfare taking place at American colleges, including at Christian colleges.

Joseph Laconte, in “100 Years Ago, ‘Following the Science’ Meant Supporting Eugenics,” recalls the dominance and high regard eugenics enjoyed by the respectable intellectuals of the day.

Philip Vander Elst, in “‘Social Liberalism’ Versus Liberty,” exposes the totalitarian aims that accompany the progressive movement’s insistence on ridding itself of traditional, Christian values in the name of “sexual liberation.” He asserts that a free society needs to be founded on “true values.”

Francis P. DeStefano, in “The Declaration of Independence,” elucidates the essence of the grievances of the Founding Fathers that moved them to rebel against the British government.

Francis P. DeStefano, in “Foreign Film Favorites,” reviews eight classic foreign films from Australia, China, Denmark, France, Japan, Italy, and Taiwan; in “Barcelona,” a 1994 American film, two Americans in Barcelona — both cousins, one a salesman, the other a naval officer — encounter anti-Americanism from the city people until a sudden turn of events.

Jigs Gardner, in “The Diogenes Club,” identifies the beginning of the loss of self-confidence and the brutalization of Democrats and the Progressive movement.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives: 3, J. F. Powers,” reviews the work of the American author of short stories and novels who won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1963.

Unhelpful Accusations Follow

The School Shooting in Uvalde

Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald is the editor of The St. Croix Review.

Our culture has turned toxic in many ways. The Left has been successful in fashioning news narratives into dynamic tools of propaganda. A tragic event happens, such as the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and an emotionally charged attack is instantly composed.

Demons are specified and targeted: in this case it is the AR-15 “assault” rifle, the “gun lobby,” Republicans, the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association, and “toxic masculinity.” The accusations are cast with sickening predictability. All forms of media are saturated with hysterical harangues and tearful outrage against the usual scapegoats.

The news business has evolved into a daily assault of Saul Alinsky dirty tricks. Saul Alinsky was the clever community organizer of the 20th century who invented modern methods of seizing power through means of effective propaganda. His manual, Rules for Radicals, spells out the techniques: target the opposition, polarize the argument, demonize the opposition, rub emotions raw, and keep the pressure on with repeated assaults.

Alinsky’s methods are now an American institution for the political Left. All the facets of the intellectual, managerial, ruling class have memorized the playbook. It is really very simple: accuse, accuse, accuse, and the nation’s attention fixes on the scapegoat and ignores the ignoble motives of the accuser.

Let me declare the obvious: The Republican Party is not responsible for the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and gun control is not a workable solution to America’s epidemic of violence, because gun control doesn’t address the underlying psychological factors that prompt violence.

Narrative focus is a key element of control for the Leftist media and Democrats. Saturation coverage is lavished on mass shootings when Republicans are easy targets, and so President Biden will visit Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, where he may disparage “white supremacy” and gun makers.

But notice how scant the news coverage is when the perpetrators don’t fit the left-wing formula: When Darrell Brooks Jr. deliberately drives and smashes a suburban vehicle through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six, and injuring many more; or when Frank James shoots and gases 10 people on a subway in Brooklyn, New York. Both Darrell Brooks and Frank James are career criminals with a documented animus toward white people. The media coverage in both these incidents were brief and perfunctory.

President Biden didn’t visit Brooklyn or Waukesha because those killings don’t advance the Left’s agenda.

What is also ignored is the burgeoning gang violence in our major metropolitan areas. Every weekend dozens of people, including innocent bystanders and children, are shot, maimed, and killed in Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York. The continuing slaughter in America’s big cities far surpasses the numbers killed in school shootings, and the victims are often black, killed by black criminals — these tragic deaths and injuries are ignored by the media because the details don’t make for useful, hysterical, weaponized narratives.

The violence afflicting America is perpetrated by disturbed young men. What isn’t being attended to is the long-term effect of fatherlessness, and the absence of positive male role models in the lives of these young men. One can only imagine the depth of brokenness and prolonged isolation that warps the souls of the men who commit these heinous atrocities. The devaluation of American men is part of our modern American pathology. Fractured families and castaway children are at the root of America’s social malaise.

America is sick, but not beyond redemption. We must have faith in the continuing presence of good-hearted Americans who permeate our nation from shore to shore. The news media and the Leftist ruling class are capable of brainwashing a large portion of the American public. If you pay attention to the daily propaganda, you are bound to be discouraged and dispirited.

Nevertheless, we must put our faith in God and remember, that as mischievous and arrogant as Leftist agitators are, they are not almighty. We must have faith in the decency of the majority of the American people.

We must have faith that a good-hearted, stalwart, open-eyed majority of the American people are not hypnotized by Alinsky-style tricks.

Please put your faith in God’s justice, attend to your business, and don’t be fascinated by the news.     *

Monday, 13 June 2022 13:37

June 2022 Summary

The following is a summary of the June 2022 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Derek Suszko, in “Defining the Mission of The St. Croix Review,” stresses the importance of the American family (with a husband and a wife), of a prosperous and independent middle class, and of American traditions.

Barry MacDonald, in “Unhelpful Accusations Follow the School Shooting in Uvalde,” asks readers to “put your faith in God’s justice, attend to your business, and don’t be fascinated by the news.”

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Commemorating a U.S. Victory in Italy, as Parts of Europe Are Again in Flames,” reviews U.S. and world history as a vantage point for considering the current war in Ukraine; in “With American History the Subject of Debate, It Is Good to Recognize Its Uniqueness,” he speaks to the heart of why America is an enduring beacon of liberty; in “Freedom Is in Retreat at Home and Abroad,” he cites examples in America and around the world.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Problems with Disney Taking Sides Politically,” writes about the baleful consequences of Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s ill-considered decision to take political sides on controversial issues; in “Florida Enacts Law to Highlight the Evils of Communism,” he provides a history lesson on why educating children on the tyranny of Communism is necessary; in “The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act: Cynical and Revealing,” he explains the law of supply and demand and the irrational socialistic madness of Progressives; in “Mankind Versus Climate: The Humans Are Winning,” shows how the Progressives’ dreams of imposing socialism through climate alarmism are impossible ventures guaranteed to crush human lives and that, in fact, global deaths due to climate change have dramatically decreased in the last few decades.

Paul Kengor, in “The Abortion States of America,” previews the likely outcomes following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by a ruling of the Supreme Court; in BLM Founder’s Mansion Marxism — Patrisse Cullors Is Yet Another Example of Marxist Greed,” he points out the monstrous, bloodthirsty hypocrisy that has always epitomized Marxism; in “The Allegations of Wartime Rapes Are Nothing New for the Russian Army — They Are a Commonly Sickening Feature of Russian Wartime,” he presents \historical and present-day details.

Leonard Friedman, in “Parallel Lives: The Final Speeches of Presidents James Monroe and John Quincy Adams,” quotes Presidents Monroe and Adams in their last State of the Union addresses to Congress on the views of international relations, on the balance of powers between the various states and the nation, and on the pressing challenges and issues of the day.

Thomas Drake, in “Elections Matter,” imparts the many lessons he learned from volunteering to be a precinct captain for precincts in Illinois and Indiana.

Jerry Hopkins, in “Christian Abusers,” takes so called “Christians” to task when they don’t live up to the faith they espouse.

Mary Jane Skala in “From Kicking Tires to Embracing Philosophy, Tom Martin Taught the Essential Things,” writes about the life and retirement of Thomas Martin, a longtime writer for The St. Croix Review.

John Lyon, in “Life on the Mississippi,” reflects on the mighty river as Mark Twain knew it, and in the light of modern technology.

Francis DeStefano, in “The Golden Door,” reviews an Italian film that tells the story of the hardships of the poor uneducated Italian immigrants who made the passage to Ellis Island and America; in “Film Noir Favorites,” he harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and reviews a series of film masterpieces involving classic actors, actresses, and directors.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Significant Knowledge,” launches a forceful refutation against the ignorant and simplistic views of “green” environmentalism.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 2 — the Culture of Conservatives,” makes the case for fiction: “Man does not live by politics alone. The mind and heart are developed and enriched by fiction that accepts and enhances our common life.”

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 18:54

Farewell, Jigs Gardner

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit — of self-reliance and prosperity.

Our mission is to uphold American liberty, Constitutional law, and humble government.

Farewell, Jigs Gardner

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The St. Croix Review, and its readers, have lost a prized writer. Jigs Gardner has died. He was a benevolent cranky person. His essays always appeared in the last pages of the Review — his placement never meant that he was the least among us; rather, it meant that we were saving the best for last.

Jigs first appeared in our journal in the August 2004 issue. Jigs was a passionate seeker of the truth long before he came to us. His was a life in search of weighty and lofty significance and satisfaction. He found his treasure in his marriage, in his family, in his love of excellent literature, and in the tenacity of farming — he had to discipline himself to absorb the hard lessons that nature meted out to him.

When I first read Jigs’ writing, I recognized the quality of a genuine American. His stubborn self-reliance was prominent from the beginning. He did not sugar his opinions. He told us exactly what he thought, and he did it with vigor and detail.

The readers of The St. Croix Review went on a journey with Jigs. We experienced his youthful dabbling with socialism, involving the ’60s myth-making of a return to “the country” for societal renewal. We watched his, and his wife, Jo Ann’s, disillusionment with leftist nostrums, as the Gardners were hard put to wrest a meager living through farming a small homestead in Vermont. Jigs and Jo Ann found that they had to learn skills that were unsuited to a faculty lounge. The Gardners cleared forests, plowed with horses, canned vegetables, made maple syrup, slaughtered livestock, managed cattle, and did a dozen other chores. They ennobled themselves by turning these chores into forms of art.

Along the way with Jigs, we encountered all sorts of people who thrived in the backlands of America. These were people who were unused to the vaporously wordy, commercialized, sophisticated, and cynical ways of city people. Jigs brought to life not the middle-class strata of fly-over country but the people who struggled with the rigors of the country. They were self-reliant because they have had to be. Nature demands respect and adaptation to her ways. Too many Americans nowadays behold the people that Jigs presented with contempt. Country people are uncouth in the eyes of sophisticates.

Jigs recognized in rural communities the genuine heritage of America. Country Americans embody the virtues of simplicity, practicality, endurance, intelligence, and resilience. These plain folk are the roots of America. As “globalizing” Americans turn their backs on our heritage, we lose touch with the qualities that have brought our prosperity.

Jigs Gardner also wrote 91 essays on literature under the title “Writers for Conservatives.” There is plenty of criticism in these essays — Jigs revealed shoddiness and human frailty — such as dishonesty, fraudulence, nastiness, and conceit. Jigs had an acute sense of what a “culture” is. He well described the strengths of people who live in out-of-the-way places. He chronicled the slow dissipation and disintegration of these communities due to the dispersal of generations as children are absorbed into the larger culture. There is a sorrow that runs through Jigs’ essays. Jigs wrote about what it means to be sincere, honest, well-intentioned, and hardworking — and he showed that these virtues are always endangered. Jigs demonstrated what it means to be conservative.

Jigs has passed away, but his writing deserves to live. Both of the titles that he wrote under, “Letters from a Conservative Farmer,” and “Writers for Conservatives,” are separate from the daily news cycle. Jigs epitomized enduring American themes. Jigs inspired and elevated. The majority of our readers haven’t read his early essays; and I guess those who have will appreciate a re-reading of them.

We will republish his essays from the beginning. After this issue his essays will return again to their accustomed place in the rear of the Review. The material is as fresh today as it was originally. The essays are timeless. Jigs reminds us of what it means to be American.   *

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 18:51

April 2022

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

Barry MacDonald, in “Farewell, Jigs Gardner,” memorializes a prized American.

Jo Ann Gardner, in “John Ingraham Gardner (Jigs), September 14, 1933 — February 24, 2022” writes a moving obituary for her husband.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters From a Conservative Farmer — A New Series,” writes about his childhood attraction to the countryside.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 1 — Evelyn Waugh, 1903-66,” reviews the comic satire of the British novelist.

Derek Suszko, “Trump and DeSantis: A Comparison,” highlights the pivotal issues of our times and compares the strengths and foibles of our two foremost conservative leaders.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Throughout the Country, Progressive Politics Is in Retreat as Crime Grows and Schools Are Politicized,” uses the attempted murder of a BLM activist, and his subsequent release, and the successful recall elections of some of San Francisco’s school board, to make his points; in “Charging ‘Cultural Appropriation’: A Strange Assault on Diversity and Creativity,” he quotes many artists and authors who object to the latest assaults of cancel culture; in “Vladimir Putin’s Contempt for Democracy — and for Opposition of Any Kind — Has a Long History,” he provides plenty of evidence; in “Ukrainians Have Been Victimized by Russia Before: Remembering the Enforced Famine Imposed by Stalin — and How the World Looked Away,” he reminds us of world history, and the history of the malpractice of journalism at The New York Times.

Paul Kengor, in “Russians Know Death Unlike Any Other People,” tallies the categories and immensities of tragedy committed on the Russian people by the Communists and dictators.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Economic Ramifications of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” writes, in view of the interconnectedness of world markets, that world economies will suffer surging prices of wheat, oil, natural gas, neon (used to make semiconductor chips), fertilizer, nickel, and financial markets; in “Inflation: Who or What Is the Culprit?” he identifies, the Fed, Congress, and Presidents Trump and Biden, who resorted to panic-driving spending due to COVID-19; in “What Is the Proper Policy Response to Today’s Inflation?” he warns us that there is little to do other than to curtail deficit spending — and it’s a bad idea to raise taxes; in “The Biden Administration’s Cynical and Unconstitutional Proposed Tax on Wealth,” he writes: “The unfair, inefficient, unconstitutional proposal for a tax on phantom income is likely a harbinger of increasingly destructive proposals yet to come.”

Timothy S. Goeglein, in God and Man at Yale Turns 70,” remarks on the foresight of William F. Buckley, who anticipated so much so long ago.

Gary Scott Smith, in “Strength for the Fight: The Faith of Jackie Robinson,” tells the full story of the Major League Baseball star.

Gary L. Welton, in “Yes, I Am My Brother’s Keeper — And So Much More,” sees a silver lining in the dreadful impact of these COVID-19 years.

Richard D. Kocur, in “To Stupidity and Beyond,” writes about the possible consequences of the Walt Disney Company’s decision to alter the portrayal of its television and film characters to advance “woke” LGBTQ+ agendas against the interests of the majority of American parents.

Francis DeStefano, in “Was Shakespeare ‘Shakespearian,’ ” presents probing theories on the identity of the author of the famous plays; in “American Film Renaissance,” he reviews more than six films and a dozen actors and actresses from Hollywood’s glory days.

Monday, 14 February 2022 13:34

Leftist Agitators Aren't Fooling Americans

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit — of self-reliance and prosperity.

Our mission is to uphold American liberty, Constitutional law, and humble government.

Leftist Agitators Aren’t Fooling Americans

Barry MacDonald

It is characteristic of our time that so many people who are in positions of authority cannot be trusted. Our laws, traditions, and ideals are being trashed. Government officials are arrogant, accusatory, hypocritical, dishonest, and incompetent. They are unconcerned about the suffering their policies are inflicting on the middle and working classes of America.

The rule of law has been upended. Illegal migrants are pouring across our southern border, and federal government contractors were caught red-handed transporting migrants from the southern border to White Plains, New York. From there, the migrants were being dispersed to the tri-state area in the middle of the night. The reporter who exposed the story, Miranda Devine, estimates that two million illegal immigrants have entered America in 2021, with the connivance of the Department of Homeland Security.

Who knows how many illegal migrants have crossed our borders? Where are they being taken by the Federal government? Who are these people? We can’t get straight answers from Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Think of the irony of the name of the bureaucracy he’s in charge of. Government titles are often dishonest in practice: Mayorkas is undermining American security.

These migrants are impoverished, unvaccinated, and untested for COVID, and enter they without background checks. People from Bangladesh, Somalia, Yemen, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Eritrea, Haiti, Cuba, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, India, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have been caught crossing the border. The smugglers are being paid $9,000 per person. The Biden Administration has turned the control of the southern border over to the Mexican drug cartels.

There were so many negative developments in 2021.

  • Gang violence is taking over our major cities, such as New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle. With few exceptions, the media ignore the innocent minority victims of minority perpetrators. Black children are being shot and killed in their homes, backyards, and in their parents’ cars — and their names aren’t reported.
  • Progressive district attorneys in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Milwaukee are refusing to keep career criminals in jail, and criminals are released with no or low bail. Darrell E. Brooks is such a case. He is a career criminal who killed six and injured dozens by driving a vehicle through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, after having been released on a $1,000 bond.
  • School board meetings are scenes of contention. School systems are short-changing children by refusing to teach in-person in classrooms in some places; by imposing harmful mask mandates; and by espousing racist theories and warped gender programs. Public and private schools from elementary schools to universities have become indoctrination factories. It is a good sign that parents are confronting and organizing against teachers’ unions, school boards, and education bureaucrats. The question is: Whose children are they — the government’s or the parent’s?

It is a tell-tale sign of the time that people in places of authority, from the local to the national level, are being squeezed by good-hearted opposition, and in response they are deceitful, dismissive, condescending, obstructive, and nasty. Hard-left officials can’t be honest about their intentions and about the impact of their policies.

A majority of Americans are feeling the effects of inflation and the high price of gasoline. We are noticing that the president and governors and mayors aren’t following the mandates they promulgate — they aren’t wearing masks when photographed in public. Americans understand that the vaccines aren’t preventing the spread of COVID-19, and that the forced closures of private businesses in 2020 and 2021 failed, harming people unnecessarily. The flood of illegal immigrants into America isn’t being concealed. Parents and decent Americans don’t want children taught in elementary school that they are either oppressors or hopeless victims of an inherently racist society. We expect district attorneys to prosecute criminals — we want violent offenders off the street. Americans are disgusted by the swelling encampments of homeless people in our big cities, and we are outraged that city councils and mayors aren’t cleaning up their cities. The vast majority of Americans support the police, abhor the assassinations of police officers, and oppose the defunding of police departments. Americans haven’t forgotten that President Biden and his “woke” generals abandoned large numbers of Americans, and American allies, in Afghanistan; and that he lied in doing so.

The truth is that Leftist agitators have nothing to offer America but division and misery. A majority of Americans see through their dishonesty.     *

Monday, 14 February 2022 13:26

February 2022

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

Barry MacDonald, in “Leftist Agitators Aren’t Fooling Americans,” exposes the many deceptions and failures of hard-left anarchists.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Affirmative Action vs. a Color-blind Society: Now the Supreme Court Will Decide,” he comments on an upcoming ruling by reviewing the racial discrimination against Asians in admissions to top universities; in “The Chinese Olympics Bring Back Memories of the 1936 Games in Nazi Germany,” he points out the institutional indifference on the part of prominent officials, which mirrors deplorable world history; in Violent Crime Is Escalating as Our Criminal Justice System Is in Crisis,” he reports on the change of heart public figures are having in regard to the too-lenient treatment given to criminals by progressive D.A.s and the “Defund the Police” movements in big cities; in “Distorting American History: A Growing and Destructive Enterprise,” he exposes the corrupting technique of twisting historical facts at New York City’s Tenement Museum, and in the 1619 Project; in “At His Death, Bob Dole Feared for the Future of American Democracy,” he memorializes a decent American statesman; in “Remembering Desmond Tutu: An Advocate of Racial Justice and Non-violence,” he memorializes a world figure of dignity and poise who advanced justice and liberty.

Mark Hendrickson, in “More Fluff from the Economic Establishment,” is peeved about how “establishment” economists assist politicians by endorsing economically harmful policy — he uses Princeton professor Alan S. Blinder’s advocacy for the Build Back Better bill as an example; in “Chile Veers Leftward,” he compares the brutality of Cuba’s Marxist policies to the hitherto free markets of Chile, and he regrets the election of a leftist president in Chile; in “The Biden Administration’s Ongoing, Ill-timed Battle Against Fossil Fuels,” he shows how the Biden Administration has purposely curtailed much-needed American energy production just when the world is facing a shortage of energy this winter; in “When Humans Don’t Procreate: An Update,” he offers three explanations for the decline in birthrates: ideological indoctrination, stunted psychological growth, and alienation from God; in “Five Favorite Christmas Movies and the Hope of Renewal and Redemption,” he reviews heart-warming stories to offset the dreariness of politics.

Paul Kengor, in “Teach MLK, Not CRT,” shows how civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and others pull Americans together, as opposed to the Marxist advocates of Critical Race Theory, who purposely pull Americans apart; in “COVID and Conscientious Objections,” he comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to halt New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s denial of the First Amendment religious rights of health care workers.

John Sparks, in “The Supreme Court Renders Mixed Decisions on the Vaccine Mandates,” shows how the OSHA decision reins in the administrative state, and the Medicare/Medicaid opinion turns loose the potential for administrative excesses.

Gary L. Welton, in “I’m a Privileged American . . . Please Put Race Aside,” explodes a common accusation made by American activists.

Derek Suszko, in “Dialogue of the Two Founders in Limbo Concerning the Present State of the Nation,” presents a conversation between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton on the present state of American politics and culture.

Francis DeStefano, in “Deanna Durbin: America’s Sweetheart,” reviews the career of an actress who began as a singing prodigy, matured during Hollywood’s “Golden Age,” and retired early; in “Remember the Night,” he reviews a romantic comedy in which a thief, Barbara Stanwyck, and a prosecutor, Fred MacMurray, fall in love. DeStefano provides wonderful, behind-the-scenes information on the actors, supporting actors, directors, and writers.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Woke at Williams: The Death of Education at Another Elite Institution,” presents the sad spectacle of a fine college that has gone to pot in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 91: Ernest Haycox, 1899-1950 — the Writer Who Created the Western as We Know It Today,” reviews The Border Trumpet, written in 1939.

Wednesday, 15 December 2021 13:32

A Jury Speaks in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit — of self-reliance and prosperity.

Our mission is to uphold American liberty, Constitutional law, and humble government.

A Jury Speaks in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

Saul Alinsky, the brilliant and cynical community organizer, has revolutionized American politics many decades after his death in the 20th century. His manual, Rules for Radicals, suggests how to take power from the mighty and give it to the powerless. Several of Alinsky’s rules are: 1) demonize the opposition; 2) exacerbate the bitterness; and 3) keep the pressure on with repeated attacks.

We can see these rules in daily operation in the way that the mainstream media reports the news. The news is no longer the straightforward reporting of events; it has become a propagandistic enterprise for the advancement of a Leftist agenda. The daily news narrative is the tip of the spear. The mainstream media is following the Alinsky playbook.

Politicians set the rules of engagement; Democrat radicals are ruthless heavyweights, and Washington, D.C., establishment Republicans are self-interested and reactive. News commentators and celebrity talkers and showbiz people are clued into the game. Academics, bureaucrats, congressional staffers, lawyers, nonprofits, and left-wing judges provide intellectual muscle and leverage. The education establishment in America is busy with indoctrination in our classrooms. Billionaire tech barons provide media infrastructure. Shady billionaires like George Soros and wealthy foundations provide funding for left-wing causes.

The riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the summer of 2020 were similar to hundreds of riots that followed the George Floyd incident. In Kenosha, riots erupted after Jacob Blake was shot by the police in the course of his arrest. Blake had armed himself with a knife. He admitted on national television that he had a knife. An investigation of the shooting concluded that the police were justified in their actions.

However, the Jacob Blake incident fit neatly into the pattern of the 2020 summer narrative — that another innocent black man was the victim of racist police brutality. The reporting of the news inflamed passions nationwide and a business section of Kenosha was destroyed over several days with riots and looting.

Kyle Rittenhouse was a 17-year-old who lived Antioch, Illinois, with his mother. He worked as a lifeguard 20 miles away in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse’s father and other relatives live in Kenosha. Rittenhouse considered Kenosha to be his community during the riots.

Like everyone else, Rittenhouse watched the mayhem going on in Kenosha, and, as he said on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, he wanted to protect Kenosha. He went to Kenosha to help his community.

In the meantime, the Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, refused to use the National Guard to put down the riot. The local police force was outnumbered, and did not intervene to stop the destruction of property and livelihoods. Kenosha was suffering from mob violence, and the lawful authorities abandoned their duty to protect the city.

In the absence of protection, Rittenhouse was asked by a friend to help defend a car dealership, Car Source. Rittenhouse armed himself with a rifle. He did not bring the rifle with him from Antioch, as the rifle was being kept by a friend, in a safe, in Kenosha. His possession and use of the rifle were legal, as the evidence at his trial proved. On Tucker Carlson’s show, Rittenhouse described the events of the night when he was forced to defend himself. He said that many people that night were armed — both rioters and defenders. This is a fact not reported by the media.

Rittenhouse was surrounded by chaos. Joseph Rosenbaum, one of the rioters whom Rittenhouse was forced to shoot, twice threatened verbally to kill him. As the videos of the night show, Rittenhouse was chased by a mob, attacked, knocked to the ground, battered with a skateboard, and had a gun pointed at his head. As the evidence showed, Rittenhouse did not provoke the attacks — he was retreating. He is certain that if he had not defended himself, he would have been killed. Rittenhouse shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber; he wounded Gaige Grosskreutz.

Each person whom Rittenhouse shot had serious criminal histories — these facts went unreported by the media. Rosenbaum was a convicted child rapist. Each person Rittenhouse shot was white. Kyle Rittenhouse is white.

The media seized on Kyle Rittenhouse and demonized him. He was held up as an object to hate. Rittenhouse was smeared as a “school shooter.” Presidential candidate Joe Biden claimed, (and continues to claim as of this writing) that he is “a white supremacist.” The news narrative omitted the race of those who were shot — the implication being that Rittenhouse shot three black, Blacks Lives Matter, “protesters.” The media accused him of racism. The media downplayed the violence and destructive nature of the riots, portraying the events as “mostly peaceful protests.” The media claimed that his mother “drove him across state lines” (not true), and that he came eager to fight. The media said that he went to a community where he didn’t belong, “because he as a racist who wanted to shoot people.”

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said he was an “active shooter” who took his gun to a riot looking for trouble. He was a “17-year-old kid just running around shooting and killing protesters . . . who drove across state lines with an AR-15, and started shooting people up.” Even after the trial disproved his smears, Scarborough said Rittenhouse was a “self-appointed militia member . . . unloading 60 rounds.” Rittenhouse fired eight shots.

At his trial there was no evidence presented that Rittenhouse was a racist, a white supremacist, or a member of a militia — these were all lies. There was no racial component to his behavior at all. Rittenhouse was lawfully defending a friend’s property and livelihood.

The Kyle Rittenhouse case is a perfect example of an Alinskyite attack on American society. The Rittenhouse story fits within a broader news narrative that the media is spinning — that America is systemically racist. A continuing result of left-wing media reportage is the incitement of mobs that batter the rule of law and American justice. Innocent people were killed in the riots of 2020. Billions of dollars of property and livelihoods were destroyed. Criminals are now emboldened and the police have been defunded as a result of leftist agitation.

Why are Leftists hell-bent on destruction? In a foreword to his activist manual, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky observed that Lucifer was “the first radical known to man,” which is a revealing comment. The Left in America is fascinated with power — its acquisition, and its use. American society is poisoned and polarized with hatred, because news narratives have been fashioned into propagandistic attacks.

The Left pretends to care about racial justice by demonizing the white middle and working classes. White people are routinely accused of being racists. American history is replete with “white supremacy,” Leftists say. Meanwhile, the Left turns a blind eye to the innocent black victims of black crime. The plight of black families whose children are killed by stray bullets is ignored by the mainstream media because their stories don’t advance the cause of propagandistic news.

On Tucker Carlson’s show Kyle Rittenhouse observed that he wasn’t the one on trial: The American right to self-defense was on trial. Kyle Rittenhouse is perceptive as well as courageous. The right to self-defense in America could have been severely weakened but, fortunately, he was found not guilty.

Liberty-loving Americans should be grateful for the courageous jury in Kenosha. The jury carefully reviewed the evidence and came to a correct verdict — even though they could hear the chants of an inflamed mob outside the courthouse. The mob did not intimidate the jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Now that the Left has taken over so many of our American institutions, how may we patriotic Americans oppose them? Let the Left, with Saul Alinsky, put their faith in Lucifer. We should put our faith in God. And we good-hearted Americans need to support each other.     *

Wednesday, 15 December 2021 13:31

December 2021 Summary

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

Barry MacDonald, in “A Jury Speaks in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” describes the quality of the daily news narrative as a propaganda tool used to attack America — he uses the case of Kyle Rittenhouse as an example.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Challenges Confronting Conservatives in the Coming Year,” sums up the state of the nation as an introduction to the October 14, 2021, St. Croix Review panel discussion.

Linda Stanton, in “Preserving the Legacy of Our Nation for Future Generations,” shares insightful, grass-roots advice on how Republicans can win elections.

Edwin J. Feulner, in “No Permanent Victories, No Permanent Defeats, Only Permanent Battles,” considers modern political history and finds reasons for optimism.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Conservatism and Foreign Policy,” offers seven principles as guidance in support of worldwide freedom and prosperity.

Paul G. Kengor, in “Critical Race Theory: Myths, Marxism, and More,” illustrates what CRT is and isn’t, and clearly shows how dehumanizing it is; in “My Year Without Baseball,” he talks about living without baseball this year because of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s politicization of the sport. He was surprised to discover that his baseball-loving friends had made the same decision.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in a Free Speech Is Endangered — Even in Discussing Climate Change at MIT,” tells the story of the cancellation of a speech by a geophysicist over identity politics (the story has a happy ending); in “Defunding the Police Loses at the Polls, but Police Accountability Remains an Important Issue,” he looks at the reasons anti-police candidates lost in recent elections, and he makes the case for continuing police reform; in “The New York City Council Removes a Jefferson Statue as the Assault on American History Continues,” he examines the complex history and personality of Thomas Jefferson, along with the historical boost that Jefferson gave to the advancement of liberty; in “Will American Freedom Survive into the Future?” he considers the odds of the survival of American history from a view of history.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Specious Theories Concocted to Justify Inflation,” explodes the Biden Administration’s flimflam excuses for bad economic policy; in “Current Tax Proposals: Critiquing Two Promises,” he exposes the shenanigans in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the proposed “Build Back Better” bill; in “Learning to Defuse Anger Through Respectful Dialogue,” he gives suggestions on how to talk about political differences, if possible, and remain friends.

Derek Suszko, in “The Advent of the Cipher Presidency,” advances a theory for how such a feeble President as Joe Biden serves the purposes of the establishment Left.

Francis DeStefano, in “Les Miserables,” compares the quality of music, the direction, the acting, and casting of the movie with the Broadway stage production; in “Pygmalion,” he reviews the 1938 British film, which would later be redone with the title “My Fair Lady”; in “Our Town,” he reviews a filming of an actual stage performance that stars an aged Paul Newman and a cast of unknowns who turn in fine performances. The play is a homage to traditional mores and morality that ennobled ordinary people.

Leonard R. Friedman, in “Rethinking Robert E. Lee,” reviews an essay on Robert E. Lee and comes to different conclusions from the author as to Lee’s character and his enduring legacy.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letter from a Conservative Farmer, Ominous Signs in the Democrat Party,” is disturbed by the emergence of anti-Israeli policies and of anti-Semitism among progressive Democrats.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 90: The Blue and the Gray, compiled by Henry Steele Commager,” reviews a collection of primary source material that provides a comprehensive, on-the-ground view of the Civil War.

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 12:43

The Biden Bug-out

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit — of self-reliance and prosperity.

Our mission is to uphold American liberty, Constitutional law, and humble government.

The Biden Bug-out

Barry MacDonald

The following two paragraphs are from a transcript of President Biden’s remarks on the day after the United States concluded its two-decade war in Afghanistan:

“Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the most likely longest war in American History. We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity, and the will and ability to do it, and we did it today.

“The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill, bravery, and selfless courage of the United States military and our diplomats, and intelligence professionals. For weeks, they risked their lives to get American citizens, Afghans who helped us, citizens of our allies and partners, and others on board planes and out of the country.”

Further into the speech the President touted the “success” of evacuating 90 percent of the Americans who wanted to leave. The question is: Does he know how many Americans, and how many of the citizens of allied nations, and how many Afghani interpreters, and their families, were left behind? The State Department has provided only vague assessments of the numbers.

Does stranding 10 percent of our people in enemy country qualify as a success?

In his remarks, President Biden neglected to account for the fact that he ordered the withdrawal of American soldiers before American and allied citizens, thus leaving civilians tragically exposed. Americans and allies were forced to run a gauntlet of Taliban checkpoints, only to arrive at the Kabul airport where they had to wait crammed for hours amid a crowd of thousands before they could enter the airport. The crowd of desperate people outside of the gates of the airport made a perfect target for a suicide bomber. The terrorists did not lose the opportunity to kill 13 American soldiers and 200 hundred civilians, when a bomber ignited himself. The responsibility for these death lies entirely on President Biden, because his faulty decisions created the crush of people at the gates.

One marvels at the audacity of the claim that such an obvious fiasco is an “extraordinary success.” Does the president not know how calloused, arrogant, and foolish he seems? Does he not understand how transparently dishonest he appears?

The last months have been painful to watch, but within the tragedy and the outrage. there is hope for a better future — because the incompetence and the arrogance of our so-called elites have been exposed for all to see. Perhaps the American people will wake up to the fact that the president, and fellow travelers, are dishonest and fraudulent.

What we have witnessed in the Biden Administration’s negligent and cowardly withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan is a culmination of failure. It is a failure of the American bureaucracy: Of the State Department, of the highest reaches of military leadership, and of the National Security Agency. It is a failure of President Biden’s, who may be physically and mentally unable to uphold his duties because of his age, and who also embodies the wrong-headed tendency of Leftists to downgrade American interests in favor of a fanciful “global” ethos. It also exposes the habitual dishonesty of elected and appointed Democrats when they defend the Biden Administration’s withdrawal.

Joe Biden’s lies are so transparent that the Leftist media can’t conceal them. President Biden claims that his administration planned “for every contingency.” Does he believe that setting an arbitrary deadline for withdrawal, and sticking to it, even when doing so guarantees that Americans and American allies are stranded behind enemy lines is a good result? How many American and allied deaths does he find acceptable? Is he prepared to ransom American and allied hostages? Does he believe that allowing the Taliban to capture billions of dollars’ worth of American weaponry is acceptable?

President Biden claimed that none of our allied governments disapproved of his plan — even as the British and German governments publicly condemned him. Does he understand the permanent damage he has done to America’s standing as a leading and faithful ally?

The debacle of the withdrawal from Afghanistan is so horrendous that it delegitimizes a wide array of the Leftist agenda. It is easily associated with the willingness of President Biden and the Democrats to allow Mexican drug cartels to overrun and control our southern border. It throws a starker light on the “Defund the Police Movement,” and the willingness of the U.S. Department of Justice, Democrat governors, mayors, and district attorneys to coddle Black Lives Matter, Antifa, rioters, and other violent criminals. And it puts into scandalous context the maniacal drive of Leftists to divide and conquer Americans by introducing Critical Race Theory into our public schools nationwide. It even colors the heavy-handed and ineffective leadership of the COVID-19 crisis.

The culmination of the failure of the Biden Administration is a catastrophe for the Left, because it becomes blindingly obvious, even to inattentive and lackadaisical Americans, that the Democrats have no worthy plans for the future. Every American can understand that elected and appointed Democrats don’t care about the safety of American citizens. Americans can now recognize the continuing debacle of Leftist government.

An enduring symbol of our surrender to the Taliban will be the photos of President Biden turning his back, walking away, and refusing to answer shouted questions about Afghanistan — disgraceful!     *

Page 3 of 13

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Annual Dinner 2023
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Words of Wisdom