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Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

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

Conservatism Is Soiled by Scowling Conservatives

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The purpose of conservatism is to promote a humane society. Conservatism is no good otherwise. If conservatism doesn’t uplift Middle America, conservatism is worthless.

The uniqueness of America from its Founding was that ordinary people had the opportunity to exert themselves and make their dreams reality.

Conservatives should tirelessly promote the virtues of the free market, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the separation of powers, the rule of law, property rights, the sanctity of contracts, freedom of religion, and assimilation.

The culture war we are fighting with progressives has reached a frightful state, and American traditions are in peril. One has only to watch American colleges to see the rule of law, the free market, and the freedoms of speech and assembly threatened — colleges are imparting poison.

Donald Trump has given America a gift. His rise as people react has allowed us to discern among American leadership who are patriots and who are parasites.

George Will has written an essay that drips with contempt, titled: “Conservatism Is Soiled by Scowling Primitives.” Will doesn’t say who the “primitives” are but we can assume they are Donald Trump and his supporters.

Will writes about the life of William F. Buckley and his “high-spirited romp” through America’s political and cultural controversies. He writes that Buckley infused conservatism with “brio” and “elegance.” He writes that liberalism not only dominated mid-century America, it was the “sole intellectual tradition” before Buckley founded National Review. He cites Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s opinion that the Republican Party became the party of ideas because of William Buckley. He quotes Lionel Trilling who wrote that before Buckley conservatism was expressed in “irritable mental gestures.”

Then Will writes “Today, conservatism is soiled by scowling primitives whose irritable gestures lack mental ingredients” meaning I suppose that Trump and his supporters are crude, rude, and stupid.

He remembers Buckley saying he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the Boston telephone directory than by Harvard’s faculty. And he says that Buckley walked a “tightrope between elitism and populism” and never resolved the tension between them. Will writes: “If only he had.”

George Will comments on Whittaker Chambers, whose autobiography, Witness, “became a canonical text of conservatism.” Will writes that Chambers infused conservatism with a “sour, whiney, complaining, crybaby, populism”:

“ . . . It is the screechy and dominant tone of the loutish faux conservatism that today is erasing Buckley’s legacy of infectious cheerfulness and unapologetic embrace of high culture.”

Will writes:

“Chambers wallowed in cloying sentimentality and curdled resentment about ‘the plain men and women’ — ‘my people, humble people, strong in common sense, in common goodness’ — enduring the ‘musk of snobbism’ emanating from the ‘socially formidable circles’ of the ‘nicest people’ produced by ‘certain collegiate eyries.’"


George Will is impressed that William Buckley was a

“. . . Bach aficionado from Yale and [an] ocean mariner from the New York Yacht Club, was unembarrassed about having good taste and without guilt about savoring the good life.”


What I remember from reading and listening to William Buckley was that he was a decent and humane man who was very much concerned with the promotion of American traditions and freedoms because he cared about Middle America and ordinary Americans.

George Will is an articulate writer and has done “yeoman’s work” for conservatism. But it’s a curious fact that when writers are off base they sometimes infuse their writing with unintended irony.

Donald Trump is confronting the entire Washington establishment almost by himself (with the support of his loyal voters). He is taking on the snobs of the left and the right. He’s doing a good job of defending American traditions, and rolling back the excesses of the bureaucratic state.

George Will is offering “irritable mental gestures.” He is “sour, whiney, complaining, [a] crybaby.” George is “screechy.” He is expressing a “loutish faux conservatism” while patriotic Americans are looking for leaders.     *

Friday, 07 July 2017 10:11

Summary for June 2017

The following is a summary of the June/July 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “Conservatism Is Soiled by Scowling Conservatives,” responds to an essay written by George Will.

Allan C. Brownfeld in “The Attack on Robert E. Lee Is an Assault on American History Itself,” asks what other nation in 1787 was freer or more equitable than America, and where else was religious freedom to be found in 1787?; in Free Speech Is Not Only Under Attack at Our Universities, but ‘Objective Truth’ Itself Is Referred to as a ‘Racist Construct,’” he points out that only our Western heritage asserts the rights of individuals against the prerogatives of the state, and champions representative democracy as a proper form of government; in “The Russian Revolution at 100: Remembering the Naïve Westerners Who Embraced It,” he documents the deceptive commentary of liberal intellectuals in praise of Stalin, Mao, and Communism.


Paul Kengor, in “Two Presidents and Two Popes,” compares the meeting of the minds of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II with that of Donald Trump and Pope Francis; in “Remembering the Rohna: A World War II Secret and Tragedy,” he reveals a heroic story that’s been secret for too long.

Mark Hendrickson, in “President Trump’s Schizophrenic Tax Proposals,” points out the good and the bad in the president’s tax plans, and Mark offers his own dramatic proposal; in “Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard: A Young Idealist Undercut the System That Has Blessed Him and Us,” he defends the free market, the value of work, and the division of labor in response to Mark Zuckerberg’s proposal in a commencement speech of a guaranteed minimum income, provided by the government, for all Americans; in “Remembering Three Great Athletes (and the Way Sports Used To Be)” he tells stories about three talented but mostly forgotten sports figures who died recently, and he shows how the games have changed.

Herbert London, in “War, Peace, and Stability,” writes that the opposite of war is not peace but stability, and demonstrates how the principle applies with North Korea; in “The French Elections,” he writes that the French are undertaking the “dismemberment of political tradition,” Macron’s victory is a stop-gap, and the future belongs to the party that can capture populist sentiments; in “They Want to Kill You,” he points out that the Trump administration is being tested by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, and by a progressive movement in America that is delusional; in “Remaking World Affairs,” he considers America’s pivotal relationship with China after the Mar-a-Lago summit.

Dwight D. Murphey, in “The Lost Context of ‘American Racism,’” provides a comprehensive look at historical slavery, and he places Americans among those who were first in seeking to abolish it.  

Philip Vander Elst, in “Freedom and Community: A Conservative Perspective,” reacquaints readers with two wonderful classical liberal philosophers, and writes about how our modern society is destroying communal values outside the State, and subverting the virtues, values, and traditions upon which freedom depends.

L. John Van Til, in “Will Christians Survive in Today’s Secular World? A Review of the Benedict Option,” reviews a new book that offers guidance for Christians living in a mostly secular America.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 65: World War II Again,” reviews two books of history, Overlord and Armageddon, by Max Hastings, who writes that the Germans were superior soldiers because of tradition, culture, ideology and training, while the British and American soldiers were civilians in uniform.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Grassroots Patriotism,” presents the initiative taken by a small-town woman to honor America’s soldiers.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 13:00

April Poems 2017


It was cold again overnight so I

Wore a warm shirt and put my phone in

A pocket for convenience and I was

Crabby because I had to scrape the ice


Off my windshield my nose was running and

I felt a cold coming on and moving

Was difficult and then my phone started

Ringing and I grumbled — who’s calling me


Now and I’m not unzipping my coat to

Get to the phone — and then I realized

Because my ringtone is the singing of

A robin — I was wrong — it wasn’t the


Phone but a robin I was hearing on

A chilly morning on the verge of spring.


And with a woozy

head a sloppy nose and moving

with difficulty

I felt a little foolish

and a little happier.



I don’t consider there’s more computing

Power in the phone I carry in a

Pocket than in the Apollo rockets

That took astronauts to the moon — when I


Routinely talk to people across the

Country while walking along the street or

Get directions by using satellites

Or download wisdom accumulated


Through centuries by connecting with the

Internet — all by using a phone — I

Don’t give technology a second thought

And even become frustrated with a


Slow connection as I’ve grown accustomed

To the magic people have provided.


And it’s easy to

forget separate from

the wind in the leaves

and beyond the sky

another star’s exploding.




Even if I’m driving down the same streets

Everyday there’s a chance I’ll discover

Something I’ve never seen before if I

Pay attention to the flowing world as


I believe there’s always more than I can

Absorb in the moment as my habits

And preoccupations get in the way

And today I saw the willow trees at


The chilly beginning of spring and the

Profusion of drooping limbs were hanging

Limply looking like yellow strings with leaves

Emerging and my imagination


Jumped with the sight of willow leaves flowing

In the resurgence of summer breezes.


I’ve seen the willows

for almost sixty years —

nothing resembles

the flowing world better than

willow leaves in summer wind.




Roses in poetry have become trite

As everyone has written of the folds

Within folds within folds and contrasted

Petals with thorns as if the beauty and


The sharpness had a point but during most

Of the year the rose bush consists of stems

And little leaves and yes the bloom in spring

Is lovely emerging in a shower


Of sunlight within a season bursting

With growth and for some reason poets do

Keep writing about roses — more so than

Chrysanthemums — as if a rose were a



Sight to behold like the sun and the moon

And in beholding a rose I am caught.


So there is something

about the bloom of a rose

like the sun and moon

captivating enchanting

eyes capable of seeing.



I won’t say it’s age as I remember

It happening in my thirties and I

Rely on my memory but sometimes

I would enter a room and realize


I’d forgotten why I came — and I think

It’s the result of an active mind that’s

Processing too much information and

There’s calculation going on and as


My mind is juggling several things at once

Such as the immigration policy

Of the United States and my desire

For toothpaste — naturally my mind would


Drop the ball concerning the paste and that’s

OK because my capacity for


It was inspiring

scintillating even and

I was on the verge

of a pronouncement but then

the brilliant point escaped me.



Favorite Word

Don’t you love . . . really just love-love-love the

tactile words . . . those you need to repeat

because they make your tongue and palate tickle,

make you lips quiver, your whole mouth grow

huge as a wind tunnel while they bounce around and resound . . .

words like marshmallow or bamboozle . . . words

to make your ears twitch and your feet flutter up and

off this stick-mud world, words to let you hum

and hover-hover-hover awhile?

Today my favorite word is

epididymis: an epic word, manly word to stash

under one’s breath or utter while your eyes blur and

turn to heaven . . . to enjoy for its drummy-yummy

rhythm. It’s not a party-talk word, not available for How’s your

epididymis today? So I sing it alone in my kitchen,

whisper it while thumping for ripe melons, say it

fast — epididymis-epididymis-epididymis

as I jump up, jump down, jump out on this limb.

— Bev Bonn Jonnes

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 12:08

Summary for April 2017

The following is a summary of the April/May 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Jigs Gardner, in “The Dualism of Donald Trump,” presents one key to Donald Trump’s success in the election — his assault on politically correct speech.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Assaults on Free Speech Continue as Many Young People Seem Indifferent to Permitting Dissenting Voices,” believes the violence of protesters to a speech given by Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont demonstrates the fragility of free speech in America; in “Conservatism May No Longer Have a Home in the Republican Party,” he criticizes the Trump administration and offers examples of conservative thought; in “Nat Hentoff, 1925-2017: An Eloquent Voice for American Freedom,” he remembers the life of his friend who was a fierce defender of free speech.

Mark Hendrickson in “Medicine That Hurts,” writes that no matter what Republicans do, there is no avoiding massive upheaval in America’s healthcare system — millions will lose coverage; in “Globalization, Not Globalism, Improves Human Lives,” he defines his terms and identifies “Globalism” as the connivance of international bureaucrats and global élites; in “Five Ways the Minimum Wage Isn’t as ‘Moral’ as Some Claim,” he reveals the negative incentives and burdens on the poor imposed by minimum wage laws; in “The Inestimable Importance of Econ 101,” he points out that many of our political problems are founded in the denial of basic economic fact.

Paul Kengor, in “Going Red for International Women’s Day,” reveals the Marxist-revolutionary history of the Women’s March on March 8; in “Neil Gorsuch on Life, Liberty, and the Natural Law,” a question posed to Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation hearings set the stage for an exploration of natural law: in “Socialism Attacks the Family, Just as Its Inventors Intended,” he reveals the long history of leftist assaults on marriage and the family.

Herbert London, in “Weighing Aspirations, Trump Argues for Increased Defense Spending,” lays out complex considerations in formulating a defense budget; in “Change in Our Time,” he suggests that advancing technology added to social media added to crumbling institutions presages unpredictable change; in “Revanchism and Crisis Management,” he notes the difficulties involved when nations make claims on other nation’s territories based on history or falsehoods; in “What Social Epidemiology Means for Foreign Policy,” he considers how the unraveling of healthy American institutions and the rise of narcissism will effect American leadership in the world.

John Anderson, in “Health Care at the Brink,” considers how American health care came to its precarious condition.

Timothy Goeglein, in “How World War I Changed America, 100 Years On,” he marks the consequences of America’s entry on the world’s stage.    

Philip Vander Elst, in “Revolutionary Socialism and Sexual Politics,” shows how the political left for decades has been using “gay rights,” feminism, “sexual equality,” and abortion as methods to undermine the free economy and advance socialism.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Comedies of the 60s,” describes the way-out characters that only the 1960s could have engendered.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 64: Thomas Sowell: A Great Teacher,” provides a splendid example of Thomas Sowell’s incomparable insight.

Monday, 27 March 2017 15:00

February Poems 2017


June is a memory in November

As I remember the roses and the

Lilacs blooming and the persistence of

The rain the fresh air and the insistence


Of the sun coaxing the season of growth

Along and all the leaves are pristine the

Birds are melodious with the dawn and

The roots of the grass are absorbing the


Rain but now a bitter wind surges through

The trees that stand starkly bare a frosting

Has hardened the ground and the night has grown

Wings and is overshadowing daylight


But none of it matters to me because

Your ebullience overcomes the darkness.


The overcast sky

in November is glowing

because the sun is

always dispensing light and

every day you’re radiant.



There are moments of awakening that

Aren’t altogether enjoyable in

The winter months of Minnesota and

When walking on the asphalt or concrete


After a drizzling that froze into

An almost invisible layer of

Ice we learn to look for a glint of light

Reflecting off the walkway because a


Second’s carelessness leads to a quirky

Jerk to discombobulation to an

Impactful connection with a very

Hard surface after which we’re completely


Awake realizing penetrating

Insight into the quality of now.


Because I’m spry I

jerk discombobulate but

sometimes I’m able

to catch myself before the

fall discovering balance.



Circumstances coordinate outcomes

Not always to my satisfaction as

I encountered the invisible ice

While driving down a sloping street and if


Only I hadn’t tried to turn I’d have

Been OK but I did and the car slid

As my frantic gestures with the steering

Wheel were operatic but quite useless


So I smacked into a parked car leaving

Minor damage on both vehicles and

Though it’s not catastrophic I’d rather

Have nothing to regret but that’s life as


Once in a while I fall through a trap door

Of an uncontrollable circumstance.


The spitting freezing

rain is no excuse said the

insurance agent

as the fact remains I lost

control of the vehicle.



Like a basset hound with droopy skin and

Ears baying so mournfully at the moon

And disturbing my sleep I’ve tossed about

With worry and during the day the hound


Gets his teeth into a rag and won’t let

Go no matter how I pull to free myself

From cogitating over offensive

Words and it’s useless to ruminate with


Sad eyes with my hound’s head between outstretched

Paws on the floor because wherever my

Thoughts go my paws are sure to follow so

I’ve learned to throw the dog a bone to let


Myself chew joyfully on projects that

Channel enthusiastic energy.


When I’m searching for

the appropriate words and

images to fit

an emerging line of thought

I don’t know my tail’s wagging.




The Jogging Birder


I was jogging,

and the push had

given up,

was hanging onto my heels

and croaking like a frog,

and while I was begging the uphill

to pull me

to greater heights

(where near the crest

I could see a grassy bank

that looked more and more

like a bench)

over the hill flew a

tall, bald,

beaky and goggled biker

with shoulders hunched and arms

akimbo — buzzard

on bicycle wheels —

and a bubble of laughter

lifted me,

carried me over the hill

headed for home.

Bev Bonn Jonnes

Monday, 27 March 2017 14:22


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

The Story of Dino Casali

Editor’s Note: Dino Casali was a long-time subscriber and supporter of The St. Croix Review. He died several months ago at the age of 87. This biography was sent to The St. Croix Review by Dino’s friend Thomas F. Wall who wrote: “I enclose a short biography of Dino’s life prepared, by his home city’s Torrington [Connecticut] Historical Society, which is most inspiring and shows how many older U.S. citizens accomplished so much in the old-fashioned way of working for it.”


Thomas Wall writes of Dino Casali: “He had a distinguished career, although his quiet demeanor would not indicate this. He made a deep impression on me.”


It is the mission of The St. Croix Review to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit of Living in a Good, Great, and Growing Nation as Free Individuals. The writers — and the subscribers — of The St. Croix Review cherish our American freedoms and we are ingenious and industrious people who are capable of solving whatever difficulties we encounter. We find strength in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in our faiths.


The bond that holds America together is a belief that ordinary people of whatever ethnicity or faith can accomplish extraordinary feats as long as American freedom is preserved. To preserve America as the land of opportunity it is necessary to oppose and reverse the growth of the federal government, including the onerous bureaucratic regulations of the various agencies, intended to render individuals subservient to the state.


America was founded as a nation of immigrants who arrived in America legally, who wanted to become Americans, and who were willing to play by the rules. That Dino Casali was a long-time subscriber to The St. Croix Review was not an accident — his story embodies the ethos we promote. Indeed, Dino Casali’s father immigrated to America from Italy, just as my father, Angus MacDonald, came to America from Australia following W.W. II — Angus founded The St. Croix Review in 1968.


Immigrants who come to America, and who want to become American, are able to see America with fresh eyes — they are able to appreciate this nation as a land of opportunity — because they can compare America to wherever they came from.


I would never have learned of Dino Casali’s story if his friend Thomas Wall hadn’t sent me Dino’s biography. I’m grateful for Thomas Wall and for the Torrington Historical Society. And I’m grateful for all of the subscribers of The St. Croix Review. I haven’t been able to meet very many of you — though I have been typing your names over and over again in thank you notes year after year. I suspect we all have much in common.


If you, the subscribers to The St. Croix Review, would send us memoirs or biographies we will reserve a place for you within our pages — we’d like to foster a sense of community among us.   —Barry MacDonald


Carlo Casali emigrated to the U.S. in 1907 after hearing stories of great opportunity there. Upon his arrival in 1907, he was refused admission because of a hernia. He returned to Italy, had the hernia corrected and promptly returned to the U.S. [and was admitted into America].

He had to return to Italy in 1914 because of World War I.

After arriving in Italy in 1914, he married and established a family. Carlo Casali and Giovanna Guarnieri Casali were born in the province of Piacenza, Commune (town) of Mofasso in 1885 and 1890, respectively. Morfasso at that time had a population of about 3,000, now about 6,000. They were married in Morfasso on February 13, 1915 and made their home in a section of Morfasso called Sperongia. They farmed the land in an area owned by Carlo called Brandolino. To this day, the heirs may still own the title to this property, but they have allowed their relatives to occupy the property, farm it, and probably have title to it.

One night while sleeping in their home with their two children, August and Domenica (Mae), [Carlo and Giovanna] were frightened by a loud crack in the walls (which was a continuing problem). An investigation determined that the house was unsafe. Having had a favorable experience in the U.S. during his 1907-1914 residence, Carlo decided to return with the objective of paying off debts accumulated in the building of the house which was now a big liability. He, therefore, decided to return to the U.S. in 1919. From 1919 to 1928, he worked in the construction industry and worked for Perini Bros. in Framingham, Massachusetts, for about seven years. He was able to earn enough to pay his debts in Italy and move Giovanna and the two children to the U.S. in 1928. They rented a home on Laurel Hill in Torrington, Connecticut, where Dino was born in 1929. Then in a typical display of courage and confidence for the future, Carlo built a large two-family house at 250 Hillside Avenue in 1932, at the depth of the Great Depression. It was a struggle to maintain the house and provide for his family, but Carlo and Giovanna lived there until their deaths in 1950 and 1974, respectively. His search for permanence was completed on Hillside Avenue but not until the children, August and Mae, were required to leave school at early ages, of necessity, to work and contribute vitally to insure that the house would not be lost. The home is now owned by Carlo and Giovanna’s grandson, Alfred Bonvicini.

Dino went to the East School grammar school (now the Glass Building) where his classmate was his future wife, Corinne Zoli. Starting at age seven he delivered the Torrington Register six days per week door to door to the residents of Hillside Avenue. This early experience of dealing personally with customers, keeping track of their payments and paying the Torrington Register weekly for his newspapers introduced him to the basics of business and laid the foundation for future business achievements. At age fifteen he got a break that would forever change his life. He was hired by Fahnestock & Co. (now Oppenheimer & Co.) by Bob Bligh, manager of the Torrington office and future mentor, as an office boy. His duties varied from marking a blackboard holding 120 stock abbreviations, whose price changes he had to mark with every quarter point change (no computers) to washing and waxing the floor every Friday afternoon. However, in this environment he became fascinated with the stock brokerage business and he decided rather quickly that his life work would be dedicated to this business, a decision that he has never regretted.

Having saved his earnings, and, encouraged by his family and Bob Bligh and his wife, Alice, he was admitted as a freshman to the School of Commerce and Finance of New York University in 1947. He went to daily class from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and walked the ten blocks to the Loft’s Candies store off Union Square where he worked from 2 p.m. Because of this grueling schedule, and because NYU had no dormitories, he enrolled at Babson College in 1949, and was graduated in 1951. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force (during the Korean War) and served until February 1956. On March 5, 1956, he started work (thanks to Bob Bligh’s influence and efforts) with the New York office of Fahnestock & Co. as a security analyst. He learned about the securities industry in depth, but he yearned to be back in Torrington with his new family (he married his childhood classmate, Corinne Zoli on April 30, 1955, and their first child, David, was born on July 26, 1956). They eventually had three more children: Paul, Dina, and Carla. With Bob Bligh’s encouragement, and subsequent help, he made the move [to Torrington] and has never experienced any doubts. As proof of this, not counting his high school employment with Fahnestock, he has, as of March 5, 2014, been continuously employed by one company: Oppenheimer and its predecessor Fahnestock for 58 years. Upon his discharge from the Air Force, he realized that he was eligible under the GI Bill for further education and proceeded to enroll at NYU for the MBA program and completed the requirements in 1961. In accomplishing this feat, he drove to New York from Torrington three nights a week for classes and made a late night return to Torrington, all while working full time for Fahnestock.

Looking back on his 84 years of life, as the sole surviving member of his original Casali family, with appreciation and gratitude for his parents’ dedication and sacrifice, it is evident that whatever success Dino has had in life can be largely attributed to his parents. Their courage in starting a new life in a foreign land with a different culture and customs, with a strange language, in successfully confronting unforeseen challenges and financial difficulties, inspired in Dino an indestructible faith of optimism and confidence for the future.     *

Monday, 27 March 2017 14:20

Summary for February 2017

The following is a summary of the February/March 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

In introducing “The Story of Dino Casali,” a biography of a long-time subscriber of The St. Croix Review, Barry MacDonald points to American liberty as the foundation of the American dream.  

Allan Brownfeld, in “America Is Exceptional — But Now There Is an Effort to Make It Ordinary,” presents historical visions of American Exceptionalism and questions whether the Trump Administration has gone astray; in “The Strange Assault on Thomas Jefferson at the University He Founded,” he describes the disparagement of Thomas Jefferson by campus progressives who judge historical figures by present-day standards; in “Thomas Sowell Ends His Column, But His Intellectual Legacy Will Only Grow,” he presents a sample of Sowell’s excellent scholarship on the correlation of race, behavior, and economic success, using international data; in “Washington Once Again Shows Us That ‘Congressional Ethics’ Is an Oxymoron,” reveals the first action taken by House Republicans was to eliminate an office that investigates ethics.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Obama’s Shocking Historically Weak Economic Performance,” sizes up the former president’s overall performance; in “President Obama’s Parting Economic Shots,” he faults his removal of millions of acres from energy use, and his taking of millions of acres as a national monument; in “A Salute to Thomas Sowell,” he congratulates a “brilliant economist, erudite scholar, prolific and wide-ranging author”; in “Why Bashing the MSM Is a Win-Win for Trump,” he applauds President Trump’s feisty approach to the media; in “Six Surefire Ways Trump Can Unleash the American Economic Machine,” he identifies stupid government policies and points to solutions; in “Trump on Trade: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” he reveals where our new president’s policies are counterproductive.

Paul Kengor, in “Rating the Presidents — and Obama,” he struggles to explain President Obama’s high ranking in a C-SPAN survey of presidential scholars; in “Women’s Marchers, Unite,” he reveals the hard-left sponsors of the Women’s March in Washington D.C. in January, including the Communist Party USA and the notorious Angela Davis; in “Barack Obama’s Fundamental Transformation,” he writes that President Obama succeeded in revolutionizing sexual orientation, gender, and family issues in America; in “George W. Bush: Deadlier Than Stalin? Our Profound Ignorance of the Crimes of Communism,” he documents American ignorance of and the failure of our schools and universities to teach the murderous history of Communism; in “Remembering Two Christian College Presidents—Charles MacKenzie and Michael Scanlan,” he relates the successful defense of Christian heritage at two universities, by Catholic and Protestant presidents, amidst a radical onslaught.

Herbert London, in “The Swiss Handshake and Muslim Disapproval,” asserts the necessity of Western nations to defend Western culture when confronted by Muslim immigrants who are imposing Sharia law within Western countries; in “Considering the Real Russia Under Putin’s Authority,” he reveals Vladimir Putin’s real character through a detailing of his brutal deeds; in “The Indefensible Obama Policies,” he reviews the many failings of President Obama’s foreign policy; in “The End of Liberal Internationalism: Reductive Materialism and the Will to Power,” he depicts the emerging economic chaos of Europe and the greater assertiveness of China and Russia as post-W.W. II arrangements are disintegrating.

Thomas Drake, a long-time subscriber of The St. Croix Review, in “Why I Am Supporting Donald Trump,” explains his reasoning.

Jigs Gardner, in the concluding half of “Varieties of Religious Experience,” describes the people of faith he encountered in the “Backlands” of Cape Breton.

Jigs Gardner, in “The Forgotten President,” presents the biography of Warren G. Harding by Francis Russell, who reveals a good but flawed person betrayed by officials in his administration.

Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:45

December Poems 2016


This winter I’m seeing the naked trees

And remembering I will be sixty

Years old in November but I’m lucky

Because I don’t feel my age and because


Of my exercise I’m as spry as a

Teenager but I have wrinkles about

My eyes and I have memories also

And as I’m driving and seeing the bare


Branches of the trees overhanging the

Street I remember the cathedrals in

England I saw when I was a student

And realize that the stone tracery


In those churches are meant to represent

The graceful lines of trees in the winter.


I’m sometimes

surprised by



and insight.




Nothing is like an onrushing cold for

Grabbing attention as I felt it in

My throat in my voice when I tried to speak

Especially in my nose which began


To run and mostly in my noggin which

Became seasick and then there were the times

When I rose from bed once the congestion

Had taken hold and my back and shoulders


Felt sore my head throbbed as I went to the

Rest room but there is a lighter side to

Getting sick as it took me out of my

Daily routine separating me from


The hamster wheel of doing the same things

Day after day exertion without thought.


Recovery’s not

quite like returning from a

vacation but it

is a rediscovery

of marvelous energy.



A word carries a meaning and a string

Of words make a sentence carrying a

More composed meaning making a point that

May be worth remembering and saying


Hippopotamus makes me wonder why

This pell-mell collection of syllables

Is stuck to that creature because the word

Hippopotamus can’t be said primly


Or lackadaisily without losing

Dignity and if you’re serious when

You say hippopotamus you have to

Use a neutral inflection and also


The cadence should be a bit quicker than

An ordinary word — so be careful.


Usually I

don’t have to enunciate


or also rhinoceros —

But when I do I’m ready.



A crystal glass is weighty in my hand

With the liquid light of the sun and I

Drink and enjoy the water flow in my

Mouth and throat and inside of me with the


Taste of no taste that tastes like nourishment

Like health without anything extra and

Drinking doesn’t have to be something I

Do without noticing just as I make


The slightest effort drawing air in my

Nose and appreciate its expansion

Within my lungs and I can sense a wave

Of clarity throughout my body as


The persisting rhythms of life are like

Wind in the leaves and the waves on the sand.


I know the words

needed to find

direction and

then I savor

needing no words.



I’m grateful for the asphalt because if

My driveway were gravel I’d be blowing

It away bit by bit and I’m happy

To have my sturdy snow blower because

No matter how prodigious the dump it

Plods along spewing the snow to the side

And I can swivel the direction of

The spray by turning a handle because

I don’t want to blow into a fierce wind

Because my face would get crusted with the

Snow and as long as the temperature

Stays well below freezing I’ll be OK


Because if the air is around freezing

The snow blower clogs and then I shovel.

It’s not much fun

thrusting away with

a loaded shovel

with snow sticking

to the metal.



When the wind blows through the bare branches of

The trees on a morning in December

When there’s a chill rising from the snow on

The ground when the sky’s predominately


Cloudy with scattered stretches of blue there’s

A bleakness about the moment as the

Trees epitomize the absence of the

Sun as in stark nakedness they’re swaying


In a fierce wind that’s not leavened with the

Soothing sound of the leaves and yet there’s a

Warmth in my heart and a kind of austere

Beauty about this day that reminds me the


Sun’s not really absent life endures and

I discover fortitude in winter.


Suddenly there’s a

Pileated woodpecker

on the cottonwood

Striking the tree with its beak —

its scarlet head is lovely.


Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:43

A Tribute to Terry J. Kohler

A Tribute to Terry J. Kohler

Editor’s Note: Terry Kohler has been a long-time supporter of conservative causes, and a generous donor to the St. Croix Review, for many years.

Terry J. Kohler, 82, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, passed away Tuesday afternoon, September 20, 2016, at his residence.

Born May 14, 1934, in Sheboygan, Terry Kohler was the only son of the late former Governor Walter J. Kohler, Jr. and Marie Celeste McVoy Kohler. In 1952, Terry graduated high school from the Admiral Farragut Academy. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1955 to 1959 where he earned his pilot’s wings and flew T-33 fighter jets and also B-47 bombers with the Strategic Air Command, including missions over Russia. Kohler achieved the rank of Captain.

In 1962, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in industrial management. A year later, he earned an MBA in the same field from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

On January 2, 1981, Kohler was united in marriage to Mary Stewart Simpson at St. Boniface Church in Mequon, Wisconsin. Together, they were active members of Grace Episcopal Church in Sheboygan.

Kohler started working in the family business, The Vollrath Company, in 1963. In 1976, he became the seventh President of the company. He became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1982, and under his leadership the company expanded dramatically. In July 1984, Kohler purchased North Sails, a leading global manufacturer of racing and cruising sails, from its founder, Lowell North. In January 1989, North Sails and The Vollrath Company became separate corporations under Windway Capital Corp., a holding company. Kohler was President and Chairman of the Board of Windway Capital Corp., Chairman of The Vollrath Company, and past Chairman of North Technology Group.

Kohler loved the outdoors and was a sports enthusiast, racing sports cars in the mid 1960s, and spending six years on the National Ski Patrol. Kohler was a life member and supporter of Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, the National Rifle Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, and the International Crane Foundation. Kohler and his wife Mary were instrumental in the ultra-light led Whooping Crane Recovery Project between Wisconsin and Florida. In 2009, they were awarded the Charles Lindbergh Award, which is given annually to individuals whose work over many years has made significant contributions toward Lindbergh's concept of balancing technology and nature.

Following his service in the U.S. Air Force, Kohler continued his love of flying by owning and piloting many types of aircraft, including helicopters. He was also a founding member of the Aviation Heritage Center of Wisconsin. Kohler and his wife Mary have been advocates for strong families and started several organizations including Great Marriages for Sheboygan County.

Kohler was passionate about conservative politics, and was Wisconsin’s GOP candidate for Governor in 1982, and a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1980. He and Mary helped craft the “Contract with America” with Newt Gingrich and other Congressional Republicans.

Kohler was a man known to many — sailors, aviators, entrepreneurs, leaders of industry, politics and economics. Traveling in these circles of influence he was able to recognize and follow God’s plan for him. “My purpose is to share my wealth by taking an economic role in helping others less fortunate or in need,” Kohler once said.

Kohler is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mary Stewart Kohler; his children, Leslie Kohler, Michelle Kohler, Danielle (Bob Buckley) Kohler, Charlie (Anne) Ferrell, Doug (Mindy) Ferrell, Chris (Isolde) Ferrell and Joseph (Kari) Simpson; 13 grandchildren, Hilary (Nathan Imfeld) Hawley, Winter Kohler, Torri (Charlie Bowe) Hawley, Kashon Kohler, Lilly Kohler, David Kohler, Laura (Grant) Riedesel, Cack (Doug) Wilhelm, Jack Ferrell, Peter Ferrell, Alan Ferrell, Mary Ferrell, and Grace Ferrell; four great grandchildren, Walter Jacob Kohler Imfeld, Freddy Riedesel, William Riedesel and Tobias Ferrell; cousins, other relatives, and many friends around the world. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Charlotte Nicolette “Niki” Kohler.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, at Grace Episcopal Church, 7th & Ontario Avenue. The Rev. Fr. Karl C. Schaffenburg, Rector, officiated.

A memorial fund has been established in his name for the Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan SEAS and Nashotah House Theological Seminary.

“I try to live my life faithfully, quietly doing the job the Lord assigned me. I am not worried or afraid of dying because I am just an instrument. I will be here until my work for HIM is finished.” — Terry J. Kohler

I am standing by the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, “There, she’s gone!” Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spans as when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to their place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There, she’s gone!” there are other eyes that are watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “There she comes!” — and that is dying.     *

Sunday, 22 January 2017 14:10

Thank You, Donald Trump

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

Thank You, Donald Trump

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The Left derives energy and force through accusation. The Left advances their agenda not by winning rational debates but by delegitimizing and dehumanizing people who oppose them. The Left intimidates and silences people.

The Republican Party is the original party of civil rights as it began with Abraham Lincoln’s compassion for the plight of the slaves. If you want a sampling of heartlessness, look at the lengths the Democrats went to justify slavery prior to the Civil War — they resemble heartless Democrats who justify partial birth abortion today.  

There is no reason for Republicans to be lectured to about race. When protestors from Black Lives Matter agitate for the killing of Police Officers they should be denounced by leading Republicans, but usually, elected Republicans keep quiet because they are afraid of being called racist.

The Left wins through force of will and ruthlessness: they will jettison any professed principle, turnabout, and vilify their opponents when they see an advantage to be gained.

If the Republican Party had confronted the Left, had sufficient courage to fight back, perhaps the steady erosion of American liberty could have been mitigated.

One of the most frustrating periods of recent history was the second Bush Administration when the Democrats disowned the support they gave to the invasion of Iraq when it became advantageous to accuse George Bush of “lying” the country into war. Democrats claimed President Bush lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. George Bush and Karl Rove didn’t defend themselves, and thereby they abandoned everyone who supported them.

It’s one thing to make a mistake — in hindsight it appears we might have been better off not invading Iraq — but to allow the idea to take root among large numbers of the American people that Republican leaders purposefully lied about the reasons for going to war was an egregious dereliction.

It’s important not to minimize the power of the Left: Leftists are able to muster an army of propagandists from cultural battlements. Leftists are organized and in a day a multitude of Hollywood know-nothings, Democrat politicians, and media “wise” people will be chattering from the same song sheet. The current accusative narrative is that “fake news” and “Russian hacks” swung the election to Donald Trump — nonsense.

We cannot expect the Left to give up the will to power, and the power of accusative narrative. We will always need to oppose the Left with sufficient energy and courage.

Donald Trump has done America a great service. He has shown everyone how to fight back. The Left could not silence or intimate him. Ted Cruz might be his equal in courage, but could Cruz have gathered the widespread support Trump did?

We can measure the success of the Left and the pusillanimity of the Republican establishment on the issue of immigration. Democrats spin tales of Republican heartlessness and Republicans abandon the need for managed assimilation in a rush to please big donors.

We can measure the success of decades of Democrat narratives in how Republicans poll. Republicans have been on the defensive for too long, and they have adopted too much of the Democrat’s message. Too many elected Republicans believe it’s necessary to craft separate appeals to different segments of the American population — at the expense of neglecting core principles, such as the free market, free expression, property rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers, etc.

It is necessary for Republicans to consider how different segments of the American people are suffering — such as the working class who are losing ground, and the middle class who can’t pay healthcare premiums — but Republicans need to rely on Republican principles — such as free enterprise, freedom from excessive regulation — in crafting solutions to problems.

Who can argue against prosperity? The Democrats. They create accusatory narratives about inequality and climate change. Republicans need to remember their principles and promote prosperity for everyone — it’s a winning issue.

Leftists have painted themselves into a corner; they are becoming more and more obviously perverse. Their narratives are noxious arguments disparaging and despising America. It is against human nature to persuade people to despise themselves.

Donald Trump has seized on the vulnerability of the Leftist message: Americans want to take pride in America. Let’s hope Republican politicians learn from his example.     *  

Page 10 of 13

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