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Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:58

December 2020 Summary

The following is a summary of the 2020 December/January issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “America Is at a Turning Point,” restates the continuing editorial principles of The St. Croix Review.

Paul Kengor, in “Pennsylvania Bombshell: Biden 99.4 Percent V. Trump 0.6 Percent,” documents overwhelming and ghastly evidence of voter fraud in the presidential election; in “Fifty Years Ago Solzhenitsyn Received the Nobel Prize for Reminding Us of a Forgotten God,” he demonstrates how an all-powerful state is jealous of power and conducts war against religious institutions.

Matthew B. Wills, in “Robert E. Lee, Virginian,” provides insight into a decent, a principled, and an exceptionally able general of the Civil War who was forced to make agonizing decisions during a period of American history that was fraught with complexities.

Michael S. Swisher, in “What Do Conservatives Wish to Conserve?” offers comprehensive and historical answers.

William Bonner, in “Relating to the Pilgrims after 400 years,” presents the transcendent meaning of “Thanks Giving.”

Allan Brownfeld, in “Rediscovering American Uniqueness at Thanksgiving: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Compact,” celebrates American immigration and heritage as the land of opportunity and liberty; in “Democratic Societies Are Fragile — They Can Break,” he warns against the constant danger of would-be-tyrants who hide among our people; in “Moving Toward a Color-Blind Society,” he shows how much progress has been made, warns against cancel culture, and believes there is more to do to overcome racism in America.

Mark Hendrickson, in “More Mischief About Income Inequality,” exposes the underlying fallacies of those who decry income inequality in America, and he explains the virtues of a market economy; in “Why Fracking Is a Big Issue,” he explains the humane, geopolitical, health, environmental, and economic reasons why developing natural gas is important.  

John A. Sparks, in “Court Packing — Destabilizing and Unnecessary,” provides a history and an assessment of the qualities of the Supreme Court, and explains why he thinks increasing the number of justices on the court is a bad idea.

Earl Tilford, in “History and War: A Veterans Day Reflection,” writes about living for 40 years in both Sparta and Athens.

Thomas E. Wilson, in “Legacy of Lies,” reviews a novel written by Henry G. Gole about the waning days of the war in Vietnam. Henry Gole served two combat tours in Vietnam as a commander in the Special Forces.

Tim Goeglein and Craig Osten, in “Restoring Virtue in America,” name four virtues that promote the healthy cohesion of society.

Al Shane, in “The Way I See the Swamp,” decries the nastiness as well as the phony and scurrilous charges that President Trump, his family, and his associates endured during the entire length of his presidency.

Francis DeStefano, in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” reviews a classic film that critics dismiss as “sentimental,” and he provides details of the life of the legendary and pioneering Hollywood film director Frank Capra; in “The Third Man,” he reviews a film regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, starring with “a great writer, a great director, a magnificent cast, a great setting, innovative black and white cinematography, and a wonderful music score.”

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — The Old Red Mill,” writes about the joys of cider pressing, boiled cider, and boiled Cider Pie.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 84: Thomas Sowell’s Personal Odyssey,” writes that “Thomas Sowell has gone his own way, uncompromising, making a place for himself as a brilliant thinker and writer.”

Monday, 05 October 2020 12:45

American Ingenuity

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free-born individuals.

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

American Ingenuity

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The St. Croix Review and its readership are a fellowship of people who believe that America is the home of free-born people. We want a good education for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren. We want to choose professions that suit our abilities and our independence. We look forward to bettering our economic circumstances through the unhindered application of our talents and energy. We believe it is our birthright to live in a location and to associate with the people of our choosing. We expect that as long as America remains America we, with our families, will be able to worship God as we are called to worship God — without interference from the government.

The St. Croix Review and its readership cherish religious faith. We believe in ordered liberty with the prescription that we conform our conduct to a moral code that gives meaning and dignity to our lives. Material prosperity is not an end unto itself, but instead leads the way to freedom from poverty and despair. Raising a family; nurturing and educating our children; engaging in civic institutions; attending a church — these are the durable satisfactions of our lives. Our relationships are based on love, compassion, empathy, tolerance, mutual aid, and shared strength.

One of America’s great strengths is to have a numerically large, adaptable, intelligent, and energetic middle class. Small businesses throughout America have created the ferment and cross-pollination responsible for our prosperity. Individual Americans who live anonymously and far from the limelight of celebrity are tending to their own shops and acquiring the technical sophistication necessary for success. They are hiring and training competent employees. They are creating the goods and services that their fellow Americans desire — these individual Americans are the heroic engines of American prosperity! American wealth arises from the unfettered ability of free Americans who exercise their God-given talents to the furthest extent possible.

American ingenuity and optimism and genius arise as often as not from the ranks of the middle classes and from people who come from humble and disadvantaged circumstances: Oprah Winfrey is an entertainment star; Steve Jobs founded Apple Corporation; Larry Ellison founded Oracle Corporation; Michael Dell founded Dell Incorporated; Michael Bloomberg is a billionaire businessman; Thomas Boone Pickens, Jr. is the chairman of BP Capital Management. All of these people arose from humble circumstances in America.

America is a good and great nation. When we are able to apply our unhindered talents to our own self-interests, the nation, as a whole, benefits. Our American freedoms have propelled our prosperity. Our religious faiths have enabled us grow into good-hearted, strong, moral people. The exercise of our liberties and our faiths have prompted the fortitude and the energy necessary to achieve great accomplishments. What kind of world would we be living in today if America’s ingenuity and determination hadn’t been marshalled and directed against the fascist forces of World War II and the Communist menace of the U.S.S.R?

It is the mission of The St. Croix Review to defend the American liberties that were gifted to us at the birth of our nation. The charter of our American liberties are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Amendments to the Constitution. Americans enjoy a unique foundation compared with the nations of the world: Our nation was designed to protect the individual citizen from the despotism and tyranny of a too-powerful government.     *

Monday, 05 October 2020 12:42

October 2020 Summary

The following is a summary of the October/November issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “American Ingenuity,” asserts that our freedoms have propelled our prosperity, our religious faith has made us a good-hearted people, and the exercise of our liberties and faiths have prompted the fortitude and the energy necessary to achieve great accomplishments.

Allan Brownfeld, in The New York Times 1619 Project: Revisionist History That Doesn’t Belong in Our Schools,” points out that the latest assault launched upon the character of the United States unjustly reduces the complex issue of slavery into a “blinding moral certainty”; in “The Dangerous Assault on Free and Open Discussion and Debate,” he reproves leftist intolerance occurring on campus, in newsrooms, and in society; in “We Need Police Reform — Not Defunding or Abolition of the Police,” he points to polling evidence that shows a majority of black Americans would like to see more, not fewer, police on the street; and he asserts that fewer police officers results in increased levels of crime.

Paul Kengor, in “Why Not Cancel Karl Marx?” reveals that the leftist icon was a seething racist and anti-Semite; in “Marx on Christianity, Judaism, and Evolution/Race,” he debunks the association of socialism and Marxism with Christianity, and he describes Marxism as atheistic, materialist, and Darwinian at its core; in “Remembering and Teaching 9/11/01,” he expresses his surprise and sadness that the students he encounters in class appear uninformed about Osama Bin Laden and the terrorist attack on 9/11; in “Tear All the Statues Down?” he has a simple visceral proposition for those who want to destroy monuments.

Mark Hendrickson, in “The Paradox of Prosperity,” laments and explains why capitalism has often been misunderstood and villainized compared with socialism since capitalism’s inception in the late 18th century; in “Jimmy Lai, Billionaire Freedom Fighter,” he tells the story of a rags-to-riches young man who fled Communist China for Hong Kong, where he rose from factory worker to be the owner of a factory, and to be the founder of a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, the Apple Daily; in “The Problem with Inheritance Taxes,” he exposes the inherent we-know-best arrogance behind any scheme to leverage government confiscation to enact socially engineered goals; in “Self-Exposure: The Left in Their Own Words (and Deeds) he exposes public figures by republishing their ugly and vicious words.

Earl H. Tilford, in “Antifa: A History Lesson from the German Street,” compares some similarities between Antifa and the Nazi SS; in “September 11: Nineteen Years On, A Remembrance,” he recalls the events of 9/11/2001 and on the day that followed on the campus of Grove City College; in “Confessions of a Draft Dodger,” he explains how he avoided the draft during the Vietnam war by volunteering to serve in an Air Force intelligence unit in Thailand that oversaw the top-secret air war in Laos.

Philip Vander Elst, in “C. S. Lewis: Political and Cultural Conservative,” illuminates the Christian thinking of a 20th century British literary gaint.

Jerry Hopkins, in “Corrupting Others,” uses Socrates and Plato to bring the genuine relationship between our society and government into focus.

Tim Goeglein and Craig Osten, in “Restoring Virtue in America,” name four virtues that promote the healthy cohesion of society.

David L. Cawthon, in “Rousseau on Leadership: Guiding the Wills of Men,” delineates the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

William Adair Bonner, in “Constitution and Citizenship Day,” takes the occasion of a national holiday to present how the charter of our liberties, the Constitution, is under assault today.

Francis DeStefano, in “Pinocchio,” reviews Roberto Benigni’s 2002 film — dismissed out of hand by American critics — and finds magical qualities within it; in “The Leopard,” he reviews Luchino Visconti’s 1963 masterpiece, starring Burt Lancaster, involving the civil 19th century turmoil for unification in Italy, called the “Risorgimento.”

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — COVID-19 Comes to the Countryside: A Hoax?” he shares the experience of the virus at the local county nursing home, and he addresses whether he thinks the virus is a hoax.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 83: Science Under Siege,” reviews Michael Fumento’s book, Science Under Siege, that debunks climate alarmism perpetrated by the Left.

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free-born individuals.

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

America Needs the Police,

America Needs Leaders

Barry MacDonald, Editorial

Amidst the ongoing contagion and resurgence of COVID-19 infections, there has been a cascade of terrible news in America. The tragic and unjustifiable death of George Floyd triggered an awful series of events. The manner in which George Floyd died was horrible, and he certainly didn’t deserve the treatment he received. America grieves for him and for his family.

Since George Floyd’s death on May 25, chaos has been unleashed across America, and we have witnessed widespread violence. The mayhem has been spiraling out of control and into madness that is transforming the nation. The initial impetus was a protest of police brutality, but within days riots and lootings arose in Minneapolis and have spread to other major metropolitan areas. A conflagration of rage has been set loose that has become entirely untethered to the memory of George Floyd.

Jacob Frey, the mayor of Minneapolis, made a catastrophic display of weakness in the face of rioters when he ordered the Minneapolis police to abandon the third precinct, which was subsequently burned to the ground. Mayor Frey signaled that there would be no response to mob violence.

Also, at a moment of culminating crisis, Bill De Blasio, the mayor of New York City, made a needlessly inflammatory statement that was broadcast nationwide. De Blasio said: “George Floyd was killed because he was black” — thus De Blasio exacerbated an already volatile situation. De Blasio’s words poured gasoline on a fire.

In Minneapolis, peaceful protests during the day were followed in the evening by the actions of a more determined sort of people who intended wanton destruction. Rioters burned and looted local businesses and restaurants, the very businesses that local people depended on for services. After several days of dithering confusion, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz finally deployed the National Guard to disperse the mob with a show of force and with tear gas. However, a conflagration had been sparked by the governor’s waffling: his vacillation did not appease the mob, but instead only indulged and encouraged the mob.

What has followed has been a month of copycat riots erupting across America, in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, and in many other cities. More than 300 hundred police officers were injured in two weeks of riots in New York City. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio responded with confusion and indecision, as neither the governor nor mayor were moved to deploy the National Guard, even though it was apparent that the police were outnumbered and incapable of quelling the mob using only the limited techniques they were allowed to use. The New York City Police Department is reputed to be one of the best in the U.S., and perhaps the police could have controlled the streets, but under the mayor’s orders they were not allowed to exert the full measure of force they are capable of.

Also under the “no bail” policy in effect in New York, many of the rioters were released back onto the streets almost as soon as they were arrested — which must infuriate and dispirit both the police and law-abiding citizens.

There has been a long history of animus between Mayor De Blasio and the New York City police, whom the mayor has repeatedly branded as racist. Taking advantage of the intense anti-police emotion of protestors and rioters, Mayor De Blasio and the New York City Council decided to defund the police by $1 billion a year, redistributing the money to other social services. This gesture of appeasement did not mollify the mob, as evidenced by the statements made by a gathering of agitators who are presently camping on the streets near City Hall, and who are calling themselves the “Occupy City Hall” protestors. The “City Hall” occupiers are complaining that the $1 billion funding cut is not enough.

This summer, all across America we are seeing repeated standoffs between the police and rioters. Lines of police are standing in riot gear — in the summer heat — composedly and bravely absorbing the vilest verbal abuse that the mob can hurl at them. It is a sad and a frightening spectacle. The police en mass are living up to the highest of ethical standards. They are following orders and showing restraint. They are quiet and strong under seemingly unendurable pressure. They have the ability to quickly quell any disturbance, but they are following orders. They are absorbing abuse from a motley assortment of arrogant louts and criminals.

And hardly any elected officeholder in America is willing to support them or to praise their heroic efforts. The police seem to be on their own, with very few defenders. Is it any wonder that there’s a surge of retirements among them?

Seeing the police facing the mobs alone is frightening, because it seems that they are all that stands between civilized society and the mob. What would happen to America if the police were stretched to a breaking point, and they began to lose faith with their fellow citizens? What would happen if they began to walk off the job? What would we do if we couldn’t enlist enough young recruits to replace them?

With the exception of our bellicose and resilient President Donald Trump, few politicians are defending the rule of law, equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, the ideal of a colorblind society, the right to hold private property, and the right to the security and safety of one’s property and person. All of these precious American ideals are up for grabs in the coming election in November. If we want to preserve our constitutional republic, and if we believe we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights — the rights to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness — we have no choice but to dominate and defeat these mobs.

In their dithering confusion, what are Republican senators doing? They seem to be like Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey when he abandoned the third police precinct to the whims of the mob. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. But Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) are concerned about the extra expense and the loss of productivity that comes with adding another federal holiday to the calendar. Senators Johnson and Lankford have proposed an amendment to the bill to eliminate Columbus Day and add Juneteenth. The senators believe that Columbus Day isn’t much celebrated anymore — so why not forget it?

Instead of defending hallowed American institutions, Republican senators are hoping to mollify the mob.     *

Thursday, 23 July 2020 09:49

August 2020 Summary

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

Barry MacDonald, in “America Needs the Police, America Needs Leaders,” describes the cascade of terrible events that has followed the tragic death of George Floyd.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Animadversions,” looks at the devolution of American culture from old America, to the riots of the 1960s, and to the riots of today.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Cops, Protesters, and Weeding out Bad Apples,” offers American commonsense suggestions for reform for both the nation’s police departments and the organization of protests; in “Three Lessons from the Pandemic and the Lockdown,” he warns us of the malevolence of the Chinese Communist Party, the inevitable incompetence of big government, and the hostility of the Green movement toward economic prosperity; in “Why Has Three Percent Economic Growth Been So Elusive?” he believes that too many idle males of working age, accumulating debt taken on by individuals, businesses, and governments, and nonsensical government interventions are putting a long-lasting strain on the U.S. economy.  

Allan Brownfeld, in “American History Is Complex: Its Critics Are Ignoring Its Extraordinary Achievements,” explains the glories that the Founders accomplished, and the dilemmas they faced; in “Slavery Was a Great Evil — But It Is Important to Get the History Right,” he reviews the world history of slavery; in “Police Reform Should Be A Compelling Issue for Both Conservatives and Liberals,” he considers the difficult issues involved in the dangerous profession of policing and makes suggestions on reform; in “Thomas Sowell at 90: A Prophet in His Own Time,” he celebrates Thomas Sowell’s insights into race relations, the immigrant experience, and the importance of individualistic effort in achieving success in America.

Paul Kengor, in “Burying Memorial Day 2020,” relates the sad forgoing of Memorial Day parades this year due to the Coronavirus; in “Astronauts, Riots, and Pandemics: 2020 vs. 1969,” he compares the heartbreak and turmoil of two similar years and point out events worthy of celebration.

Earl H. Tilford, in “Antifa: A History Lesson from the German Street,” compares some similarities between Antifa and the Nazi SS.

William Adair Bonner, in “Celebrating the 4th of July Weekend,” reviews the sacrifice of American Soldiers at Valley Forge and their long odds for success; and he also comments on the Marxist subversion of America’s schools and universities.

Don Lee, in “Why Is Leftism So Appealing? Why Do Leftists So Hate Conservatives?” suggests: Leftists want Easy Answers.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Two Prophetic 19th Century Anti-Socialist Satires,” presents imaginative an imaginative and a chillingly accurate depiction of what living under a socialistic system would be like.

Francis DeStefano, in “The Best Years of Our Lives,” reviews the film made in 1946 about three veterans returning home from World War II; in “Hidden Figures,” he reviews the 2016 film about the young, intelligent, and skilled black women who were vital at NASA in doing the calculations necessary for astronaut John Glenn’s first mission to succeed — he also shares some thoughts on the segregated schools of the ’50s and ’60s.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 82: Lincoln’s Rise to the Presidency, by William C. Harris,” writes about Lincoln’s education, his “sketchy” jobs, his sociable personality and insight.

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

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 12:49

A Reckoning Very Much Needed

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free-born individuals.

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

A Reckoning Very Much Needed

Barry MacDonald, Editorial

The editorial decisions that shape The Croix Review are made in Stillwater Minnesota, far apart from the powerful cities that influence America. We have the point of view of intelligent Americans who are grateful to be American because we know that outside the United States most people are living in economies that are rigged for the benefit of the few who have all the power. We also know that outside of America, “justice” is the word that the corruptly powerful use, as an excuse, to jail their political opponents simply because they can.

The rule of law — and not of men — and the presumption of innocence, and the separation of powers that we patriotic Americans hold so dear in America are fragile. If ever a corrupt ruling class were to grasp hold of the justice system in America and turn it into a political weapon to use against their political foes it is possible that the rule of law — and not of men — could dissipate in America forever.

Such a scenario has already happened. It will be a test of American resilience to discover whether we can reestablish the rule of law. If the truth were ever told, the Obama administration would be recorded as among the most corrupt in American history.

The writers of The St. Croix Review have not covered in detail many of the scandals that occurred during the Obama administration, such as the abuse of the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFE) in allowing the drug cartels in Mexico to get their hands on American-made weapons; the abuse of the IRS in the harassment and denial of tax-exempt status to Tea-party groups preceding the 2008 presidential election; and the abuse of the pay-for-play and self-enrichment scheme that Hillary Clinton engaged in with the Clinton Foundation, while she was secretary of state, as documented in Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer.

We haven’t covered these abuses, because to get to the bottom of the truth takes determined effort by well-placed reporters prizing out secrets from the equally determined corruptly motivated bureaucracies of Washington D.C., which is exceedingly difficult and time consuming.

The St. Croix Review performs its mission and vision by upholding the precious ideals of liberty and justice enshrined in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We remind our readers of the inheritance our Founders have left us, so that our children may enjoy American liberty and American prosperity as we have.

The against-the-grain reporting of Sara Carter and John Solomon over years, document by document, has revealed the corruption of FBI director James Comey and deputy director Andrew McCabe. Radio show host and Fox News commentator Sean Hannity has been dogged in pursuit of the truth. He has given Sara Carter and John Solomon, as well as many other informed reporters, the venue they need to reach the American people. Gregg Jarrett, Mark Levin, Victor Davis Hanson, Mollie Hemingway, Andrew C. McCarthy, and Kimberley Strassel have also provided liberty-defending commentary.

Journalists disparage talk radio by conflating the wild conspiracy theorist Alex Jones with what Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin are doing. To disparage talk radio is to ignore the fact that the day-to-day battle for the direction of American politics among ordinary Americans is being led by supremely well-informed, articulate, and highly motivated talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, who may be the best.

We have witnessed a four-year, no-holds barred insurgency, attacking every detail of the Trump administration, consisting of non-stop accusatory and vicious coverage by the majority of the American media. The media have been operating in concert with the Democratic Party, the Washington D.C. bureaucracy, and the progressive intelligentsia. At the same time, the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, Judicial Watch, a select few journalists, talk radio show hosts, and now Attorney General William Barr have been carrying out a counter insurgency.

We are reaching a turning point, in the case of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who was pressured into pleading guilty to a charge of lying to FBI agents. Michael Flynn was ensnared by James Comey and Andrew McCabe because they aimed to remove a savvy intelligence officer who could have detected and foiled their scheme to undermine the presidency. Michael Flynn was President Trump’s National Security Advisor. The attack on Flynn was part of a broader assault on the Trump administration carried out by leftover Obama officials and by a cadre of anonymous bureaucrats.

Gregg Jarrett tells the story in “Targeting Michael Flynn — Here’s How the FBI Entrapped and Prosecuted an Innocent Man” (Fox news, April 30, 2020):

“Despite all of their scheming and calculating, the perjury trap failed miserably. Flynn told the truth. . . . The subsequent FBI report stated that Flynn gave no indication of deception. It concluded that ‘Strzok and (redacted FBI agent) both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying.’. . .


“But truth and honesty were alien concepts to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of ruthless prosecutors. Utilizing the full force of the federal government and its unlimited resources, they intimidated and bullied Flynn into pleading guilty to a crime they knew he did not commit.


“All of the exculpatory evidence of his innocence was suppressed and concealed. The Mueller team, according to Flynn, threatened to prosecute his son unless the father capitulated to their demands. That aspect of his coerced plea was also hidden from the court when Flynn finally threw in the towel. Destroyed financially, he was forced to sell his home.


“Flynn’s only crime was going to work for President Trump. He became an unwitting pawn in the FBI’s quest to find evidence of a non-existent ‘collusion’ conspiracy with Russia to steal the 2016 election. It turned out to be the greatest mass delusion in American political history.”


It is frustrating to bear a four-year disinformation campaign perpetrated by the left-wing American media, with the media covering an odious attack on the rule of law and justice. Whatever one thinks of the merits and demerits of Donald Trump, the arrogance and lawlessness of deceitful bureaucrats must be countered and exposed.

James Comey and Andrew McCabe should be exposed as the malefactors they are, and prosecuted and convicted if possible, because if these erstwhile enforcers of justice are allowed to get away with the persecution of an innocent Michael Flynn, others could do the same to any American citizen.     *

Tuesday, 19 May 2020 12:45

June 2020 Summary

The following is a summary of the June/July 2020 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “A Reckoning Very Much Needed,” presents the case of Michael Flynn as a travesty of justice and an affront to our American sense of decency and justice.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Donald Trump and COVID-19,” takes a wide view of how governors are handling the pandemic, and he considers the arguments of Never Trumpers.

James Thrasher in “The Life-Changing Love of a Mother,” writes about the person who made all the difference in his life.

Philip W. Gasiewicz, in “1918: When Another Pandemic Struck Close to Home,” he describes first-person witnesses of the catastrophe.

Paul Kengor, in “Trump’s Manhattan Project for COVID-19: Operation Warp Speed,” compares the president’s unrelenting push for solutions with the media’s poisonous opposition; in “Carrying the Cross of COVID-19 This Good Friday,” he considers the somber ritual of the Way of the Cross, held at the Roman Colosseum in Italy; in “Why Not Thank God? Andrew Cuomo and COVID-19,” he considers differing perspectives on the pandemic afflicting America.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Gasoline Prices in the Era of COVID-19,” he explains the “merciless forces of supply and demand” that do come at a cost of human suffering; in “After Afghanistan and Iraq, What?” he questions the rationale for the extended U.S. military occupation of other nations; in “Huge Stakes in the Proposed NFL Labor Agreement,” he assesses the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and players from both points of view.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Jon Utley, 1934-2020: He Learned History’s Lesson and Was a Gracious Friend,” remembers the life of a vigorous anti-Communist and an honorable American patriot; in “When Politicians Claim That God Is on Their Side,” he writes: “American politics cannot work if one party believes that God is on its side and all who disagree are sinners”; in “Telling the Truth in Today’s Washington: The Case of Captain Brett Crozer,” he supports the forthright courageous actions of an embattled naval captain.

Earl H. Tilford, in “COVID-19: Yes, This Is War,” he considers the essence of conflict and strategy; in “Making Adversity the Way to Success,” he writes about the rigors of becoming a professor of history.

William Adair Bonner, in “The Impact of Faith in our Battle with COVID-19,” recounts the many times America has had to rely on faith to get through difficult times.

David L. Cawthon, in “Locke on Leadership: The Abolishment of Privilege,” demonstrates that many of our underlying assumptions concerning just government come from John Locke, for example the right to life, liberty, and personal property; natural law; the consent of the governed; representative government; the separation of powers; equality; inalienable rights; etc.

Gary S. Smith, in “The Faith of Troy Polamalu,” on the occasion of Polamalu’s being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, writes about his intense Christian faith and his basic goodness.


Francis P. DeStefano, in “‘The Lives of Others,’” reviews a German film that exposes the dark realities of Socialism.


Jigs Gardner, in “Versed in Country Things — Spring and Summer,” shares several of his experiences while living “the simple life” farming in Vermont.


Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 81: Earnest Haycox: An Important Western Writer,” reviews a novel he has been compelled to read four times: Bugles in the Afternoon.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 13:28

America the Beautiful, Part II

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free-born individuals.

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

America the Beautiful, Part II

Barry MacDonald, Editorial

“O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!”

These lyrics were written by a poet, Katharine Lee Bates; and the music was composed by a church organist and choirmaster, Samuel Augustus Ward. The two never met. The poem was originally written in 1893, was revised in 1904, and revised again in 1913. The lyrics were sung to many tunes for a time until they were combined with Ward’s melody. Ward wrote his tune for the words of a 16th century hymn: “O Mother Dear, Jerusalem” in 1882.

The inspiration for the vision of “America the Beautiful” can be found at the Library of Congress. Katharine Bates writes:

“We strangers celebrated the close of the session by a merry expedition to the top of Pike’s Peak, making the ascent by the only method then available for people not vigorous enough to achieve the climb on foot nor adventurous enough for burro-riding. Prairie wagons, their tail-boards emblazoned with the traditional slogan, ‘Pike’s Peak or Bust,’ were pulled by horses up to the half-way house, where the horses were relieved by mules. We were hoping for half an hour on the summit, but two of our party became so faint in the rarified air that we were bundled into the wagons again and started on our downward plunge so speedily that our sojourn on the peak remains in memory hardly more than one ecstatic gaze. It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind.”


The poet’s words are from a bygone era, when many American were proud of America, and when Americans were vigorous and confident. They were innocent of the corrosive and pervasive anti-American spirit that we are inundated with today. They could not have imagined the attacks on American initiative and enterprise coming from our universities and politicians. They would not recognize America in the various portrayals of dystopia that Hollywood dreams up, often projecting our nation after its collapse — the consequence of American aggression and nuclear warfare. And today the words “Make America Great Again” emblazoned on red baseball caps provoke some Americans — poisoned by propaganda — to violent reaction.

The vast landscape of America, encompassing prairies, salt flats, river valleys, everglades, deserts, mountains, costal inlets, beaches, and the cultivated fields of farming country, is not the flyover country. Americans of all political persuasions are in love with our extraordinarily varied and bountiful countryside. The environmental movement campaigning for clean water and pure air has indeed righteous motivations — it’s just a shame that socialistic radicals are hijacking our love of nature to assault America’s prosperity, as if a technologically sophisticated nation couldn’t also grow its economy and protect the environment at the same time.

Jigs Gardner writes two columns for The St. Croix Review under the headings “Writers for Conservatives,” and “Letters from a Conservative Farmer.” His “Letters” column is a memoir describing his transition away from his youthful and enthusiastic support for socialism towards conservatism. He was inspired with the ’60s “back to country,” hippy homesteader movement. He left his teaching position at college, and he and his wife, Jo Ann, rented a farm in Vermont. Instead of using modern mechanized equipment they decided to experience nature in the raw using only horsepower and brawn. They experienced the essential American frontier life: it is a grueling and lonely business to wrest a living from the wilderness. Jigs and Jo Ann Gardner were forced to summon the utmost of their intelligence and resolve to survive. The hardships of working the farm and of keeping the weeds at bay taught them an invaluable lesson — the steady accumulation of knowledge and technique shared among vigorous homesteaders opened the way to a more prosperous and, possibly, a more humane society.

After farming in Vermont the Gardners moved to Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, where they found conditions vastly different and much more difficult. By this time they had outgrown the sentimental ignorance embodied by the hippy homesteader movement:

“In 1971 . . . we bought the last farm recognizable as a farm off a side road in the heart of the Backlands. Working early and late, reconstructing fences, felling trees for lumber, rebuilding the barn, planting gardens, haying, cutting firewood, it was at least a year before we realized what we were up against. We had not had to build barns to withstand one hundred miles per hour winds, nor had we plowed fields of sour cold clay where topsoil was no more than a dark smear at grass roots; we had not lived is such a wild place where owls, ravens, weasels, foxes, hawks, mink, eagles, and bobcats rioted and feasted on our flocks. We had been spoiled by Vermont; now we would be put through a far harder school.


“Growing in a marginal environment is wholly unlike farming and gardening elsewhere. Weeds, adapted to a low fertility regime, grow much faster than cultivars, which give much but require much. There is hardly any spring in Cape Breton; the cold clay soil barely warms until late June; it can’t be worked when wet and breaks hoes when it’s dry; it tenaciously shelters weed roots and drains very poorly. Pests and diseases find a happy home in marginal environments, fostering slugs and blights and cutworms, hornworm, earworms, and fungi in their thousands and tens of thousands. It took tons and tons of manure, lime, and eelgrass to rejuvenate the fields, but in 1976 our hay had the highest protein content of any tested in the Province.


“And without quite realizing it at first, we were turning an abandoned property into a beautiful farm. The gardens, grown for use — Jo Ann developed an herb business and we sold plants — as well as beauty, were photographed for national magazines, and thanks to the hard lessons she learned there, Jo Ann became a garden writer. But we failed to reverse the local fortunes: the few people here when we came left, and except for our place, the Backlands was empty. Insensibly, we became part of its history, the Last Stand.”


America beckons to the nations of the earth, as a light of liberty amidst a world history that is typified by a depressing chronicle of multifarious forms of tyranny. America has demonstrated how to create liberty and prosperity. Our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights serve as a shield protecting the American people from the arrogant and aggressive agents of a ruthlessly self-interested governing class. The governing class and their partners, the crony corporations, would subject the working and middle classes to crushing taxation and regulation if our Constitutional protections were ever overcome.

Our continuing prosperity depends upon the maintenance of our liberties as established by our Constitutional framework. The American dream appears as a vision of opportunity, enticing the vigorous and enterprising to create for themselves, through the virtue of their own labor, a home, a garden, a farm, a livelihood, a fellowship, a neighborhood, and a city out of wilderness.

American liberty preceded American prosperity. A broad-based and sustainable American prosperity will not long survive the subjection of American liberty.

American liberty is a fragile and precious experiment. American liberty is so fragile because its precious quality is not recognized and given the preeminence it deserves in our educational system. And politicians are constantly tempting the American people to relinquish their freedoms and opportunities in exchange for fraudulent promises and visions that are impossible to fulfill without eventually impoverishing the nation.

The St. Croix Review is dedicated to preserving and honoring the prerequisites of American liberty. Some of these prerequisites are included in the following:

  • The intellectual ferment of millennia
  • Judeo Christian faith
  • Greco Roman traditions
  • Concepts of English common law
  • The European ages of Reason and Enlightenment
  • The courage involved in the American Revolution
  • The exceptional character and intellectual prowess of America’s Founders
  • The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights
  • God-given rights to independence and property
  • The separation of powers
  • The presumption of innocence
  • Free speech     *

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 13:26

April 2020 Summary

The following is a summary of the April/May 2020 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “America the Beautiful, Part II,” writes that American liberty preceded American prosperity, and a Broad-based and sustainable American prosperity will not long survive the subjection of American liberty.

Mark Hendrickson, in “How Much Should Government ‘Help the Economy’?” makes distinctions between emergency aid, which the American people need in the wake of the coronavirus, and economic intervention to stave off an expected recession; in “After Afghanistan and Iraq, What?” he formulates three principles designed to prevent the United States from becoming mired in unwinnable overseas wars; in “Two Cheers for Capitalism?” he reviews a surprising article by David Brooks in The New York Times.

Paul Kengor, in “A Reagan Message to Bernie and AOC: Here’s Ronnie!” uses an appearance by Ronald Reagan on “The Johnny Carson Show” 45 years ago to contrast Reagan’s vision with the same-old-radicalism current in today’s Democratic party; in “Eerie Echoes of Influenza Epidemic,” he compares the devastating Spanish flu of 100 years ago with the coronavirus.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Socialism and Crony Capitalism: What Would the Founding Fathers Think?” determines that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump favor heavy-handed government management of the economy; in “Ignorance of History Dooms a Democratic Society to Bad Choices,” he writes that American schools are failing to transmit our precious American history and civics to the next generation; in “Remembering When American Politics Worked,” he makes the case for a return to a more civil, principled, and tolerant politics.

Earl H. Tilford, in “Afghan Imbroglio in Context,” lays out the negotiation and the process involved in ending America’s and NATO’s hostilities with the Taliban; he sees parallels between the winding down of the Afghan and Vietnam Wars.

David L. Cawthon, in “The Divine Right of Kings,” examines Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy, postulating that in a “state of nature” every man is at war with every other man, and therefore men surrender their liberty to a sovereign in order to secure peace and security.

William Adair Bonner, in “Freedom of the Press in a World of Good and Evil,” reviews the establishment of the freedom of speech in America, and he traces its challenges and affirmation throughout American history, from the founding to the present. He examines the difficulty of discovering the truth, and he asserts that truth can only be understood through the practice of tolerance and faith in God.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Finding God in Tolkien’s Epic about ‘Middle Earth,’” comments on the Christian themes underlying J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy in the Silmarillion, the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Gary Scott Smith, in “The Character and Conviction of Washington and Lincoln,” reminds us of the noble qualities of our greatest presidents.

Francis P. DeStefano, in “Cultural Ideology” reveals how out-of-touch with hard-working, courageous, and sincere Americans elitist Hollywood movie makers are.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: How the Ivy League Self-Destructs,” relates yet another instance of an elite American university cancelling a course on Western civilization because the course wasn’t sufficiently attuned to identity politics and climate change, and he questions: Who is capable of recovering from such “life-draining decadence” and such “self-repudiation”?

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 3: Israel: Scott Nearing on ‘Living the Good Life,’” explains much of the impetus driving the Green New Deal: vanity and socialism.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020 12:47

America the Beautiful

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free-born individuals.

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

America the Beautiful

Editorial — Barry MacDonald

The authors of the St. Croix Review write for good-hearted Americans who are seeking a balanced perspective of America’s best qualities, alongside a clear-eyed presentation of America’s real challenges.

America has exemplary and humane institutions, and exceptional principles of law, and of governance. We cherish our freedoms of speech, belief, religion, association, commerce, contracts, and livelihoods. We uphold visions of fairness, of decency, of justice, and of law. We defend our right to face our accusers in open court; and we are willing to abide the decisions of juries of our peers. Our self-reliance and independence from the coercive force of government is supremely important to us.

We reject and repudiate the attempts of leftists to impose a sense of collective guilt upon us for the manner and character of America’s founding and settling. On the contrary, American history is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, discovery, achievement, excellence, and heroism. World history would lose much of its modern zest if America were excluded.

From the beginning America has been a uniquely multi-ethnic nation. Legal immigrants from everywhere on earth have been — and are being today — welcomed into America. And immigrants and their children are free to become genuine Americans.

The charity, generosity, and good will on the part of Americans towards the other peoples of the world are unsurpassed. If there is an earthquake, a hurricane, or a tsunami anywhere on the globe, Americans are in the forefront of the rescue. And the U.S. military has proven to be a stabilizing and protective force around the world.

Free speech is one of America’s foundational principles. There is a lust today to suppress, shame, and silence — and even criminalize — speech that does not comport with the aggressive left-wing orthodoxy that is ascendant at our universities and newsrooms, and in our increasingly-bureaucratic government.

Deceitful and hateful speech is best countered by its free expression — and then by its consequent cross-examination and refutation in the open air of public debate.

America remains a land of freedom and opportunity, and millions of Americans are able to rise to prosperity — depending on their determination and energy. And for those who are doing their best to succeed there will always be fellow Americans standing by, eager and willing to give them a hand up.     *

Page 5 of 13

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