Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:26

Summary for October 2017

The following is a summary of the October/November 2017 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald finds reason for optimism in “Perspective and Motivation.”

The essay “Editorial,” by Angus MacDonald, is the inaugurating editorial of volume 1, number 1 (February 1968) of The St. Croix Review.

In celebration of the 50th year of The St. Croix Review, we are republishing “What Is Religion?” by Angus MacDonald (published in April 2002).

Henry Hazlitt, in “The Task Confronting Libertarians,” in a clarifying essay written in 1962, offers inspiration, and a plan of action, for people who want American liberty preserved.

Anthony Harrigan, in “The Ciceronian Example,” describes the famous orator of the Roman Republic warning Roman citizens of the Catiline conspiracy. This essay was published in February 2001.

David L. Cawthon’s “Leadership and the Coding of Our Souls,” is the first essay of a series on great Western philosophers; he describes Plato’s view of leadership. This essay was published in December 1999.

Allan Brownfeld, in It Is an Appropriate Time to Review Race-Based Affirmative Action Programs and Return to the Goal of a Color-Blind Society,” writes about university admissions policies; in With a New Academic Year, the Assaults on Free Speech by Antifa and Others Must Be Resisted,” he chronicles the actions of this violent group.

Mark W. Hendrickson, in “Hypocritical Environmentalists Destroy Wildlife Habitat,” makes the case that environmentalists should be made to justify the costs of their policies.

Timothy Goeglein, in “The Fate of the American Family,” reminds us America depends on the health of the American family.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Politically Incorrect Truths about Colonialism and the Third World,” takes a broad perspective on the influence of Western culture in the world and discovers much that is admirable.

Al Shane, a long-time subscriber to The St. Croix Review, explains his life-style in “My Conservatism.”

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Memory,” shares poetry and memory.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 67: Anglo-Saxon Attitudes,” reviews Angus Wilson’s novel Anglo-Saxon Attitudes.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:47

August 2017 Poems



Once the idea was accepted that

All means necessary should be taken

For the protection of the earth with the

Support of technological magic


Designers could offer proposals based

On equality and harmony so

Many thousands could live in a single

Sky Tower and the magnificence of


A building in which everyone would be

Given everything necessary and

The elegance of the suggestion that

People would rise above their squabbles and


Hardships to live peacefully in the clouds

Who could resist the enthusiasm?


Designers would need

to discourage obvious

comparisons with

beehives and ant colonies —

who would choose to be a drone?



The idea supporting Sky Towers

Is love of nature and the knowledge that

People tend to despoil the earth so in

Devotion to Gaia people would be


Willing to minimize their destruction

And gather together and the walls of

Their rooms could be pixilated with views

Of a forest a prairie a mountain


And the sensations of outdoors could be

Recreated with the seasons with sun

And stars and frogs in spring and crickets in

The summer nights and there would be no need


For people to roam about the landscape

And everyone could be safe and happy.


And the designers

could monitor the movement

of many thousands

and we could all celebrate

a sky of changing colors.



I’ve been following descriptions in the

News of architectural miracles

Of towers of steel and glass extending

A mile in height amounting to cities


Containing homes businesses indoor parks

And entertainment centers and what a

Dream for designers of an expertly

Controlled community — but I’d prefer


To live on the ground listening to the

Peeper frogs again in the spring and a

Fountain and a collection of trees on

The eighty-first floor wouldn’t be enough


And if there were birds sequestered within

Steel and glass they would be a mockery.


A mile high tower

would make a lovely target

for a terrorist —

with ingenuity he

could detonate a city.



If people chose to live in Sky Towers

The designers would have discretion to

Apportion living space by applying

Flexible standards according to the


Population’s preferences and perhaps

An equal distribution of room would

Prevail regardless of merit but some

Would have sunlight and scenery and some


Would live in boxes — some would be high and

Some low and as the disparity of

Property could be narrowed quality

Of life issues would remain because in


Comparison some people always do

Finagle better than most of us can.


How many things do

people really need and if

constrained within a

limited space wouldn’t we

be happy with less clutter?



Even though people could be cloistered in

Sky Towers some would refuse to be —

Minerals would continue to be mined

And oil would be drilled and piped and with


The best technology the earth would be

Farmed and the animals slaughtered for our

Consumption — so it’s dubious that the

Designers would establish a perfect


Separation of people and nature

But once the bulk of humanity sees

The wisdom of cooperation it’s

Possible that we could achieve the dream


Of sustainable communities and

Limit contamination of the Earth.


Because it won’t do

to have everyone doing

just as they please — we

need to assure our children

will have oxygen to breathe.

Friday, 07 July 2017 11:00

June Poems 2017


I am a driving animal who sees

Nature going by who stopped on a road

While mommy and daddy geese with goslings

Decided to cross which made me ponder


Dignity as I recalled the day I

Gazed at a goose and it looked at me and

I wondered what could it think with such a

Pinched little head and then it hissed which was


Discourteous and as the family

Ambled sedately on attending to

Their business unconcerned with impatient

People I granted them admiration —


Without a smidgen of embarrassment

The caravan waddled majestically.


Sometimes a goose is

Unflappable and

Sometimes a goose is

Irascible — who

Am I to quibble?



There’s a fire in the sky today and the

Newly grown leaves are attuned to the fire

And the grass is rising up and as I’m

Turning in a circle there’s the sparkle


Of the sun everywhere among the leaves

Turning in a breeze and the blue of the

Sky without a cloud appears as a dome

Lit by a disk so bright I can only


See it in glimpses and I imagine

Myself as a leaf buoyant in the wind

Absorbing warm energy but as I

Don’t have ability to turn off my


Thinking I can only aspire to

Momentary poise — then go back to work.


There are mornings when

the sun is drenching the earth

making everything

appear fresh as if time stopped

and beauty is eternal.



I meet my friends in the morning and for

A laugh I’ll pretend to be limping with

My left leg and then I’ll limp with my right

Just to see if they’re paying attention


Or I’ll stand behind one of them and lean

One way and then the other and I don’t

Need to use words to enjoy myself — I

Don’t even know I’m smiling — but when I


Have to take a photo of me and I’m

manipulating my cell phone trying

To capture the perfect spontaneous

Smile I’m more likely to smirk or even


Grimace because suddenly it’s very

Difficult to put on a happy face.


I stretch my lips and

narrow my eyes and

raise my cheeks and

make the final effort and

Lift the corners of my mouth.



Thunder before dawn is a drum without

Melody and lightning is a crack in

The dark revealing a fracture in the

Sky at odds with the sounding of the rain


On the roof that lulls and soothes and I’m not

Awake and not asleep but in a trance

Of childlike wonder absorbing the force

Of the night unpredictable and sharp


With clamor and fire as if I’m on the

Edge of battle and doom were in the air

As if violence were imminent and

The covers and the roof aren’t protection


As if nothing could shield me from the spears

And the animosity of strangers.


There’s not a hint of

my childish fear this morning

as the day is bright

and all that’s left of the night

are puddles reflecting sky.

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.

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