• Summary of August 2018

    Summary of August 2018

    The following is a summary of the August/September 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review: Read More
  • Editorial

    Editorial

    We uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.                   The American Spirit Barry MacDonald Read More
  • Animadversions — Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Nativism

    Animadversions — Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Nativism

    Animadversions Michael S. Swisher Michael S. Swisher is chairman of the board of Religion and Read More
  • Kengor Writes

    Kengor Writes

    Kengor Writes . . . Paul Kengor Paul Kengor is a professor of political science and the executive Read More
  • Five Nights and Eighty Thousand Steps in Paris, France — Day One

    Five Nights and Eighty Thousand Steps in Paris, France — Day One

    Five Nights and Eighty Thousand Steps in Paris, France — Day One Judy Appel Judy Read More
  • Writers for Conservatives, 71: The Wolf by the Ears — Thomas Jefferson and Slavery, by J. C. Miller

    Writers for Conservatives, 71: The Wolf by the Ears — Thomas Jefferson and Slavery, by J. C. Miller

    Writers for Conservatives, 71: The Wolf by the Ears — Thomas Jefferson and Slavery, by Read More
  • August 2018 Poems

    August 2018 Poems

    1. The winding St. Croix River valley is Perfect for hot air balloons and they Read More
  • A Word from London

    A Word from London

    A Word from London Herbert London Herbert London is president of the London Center for Read More
  • My Harvey Weinstein Moment

    My Harvey Weinstein Moment

    My Harvey Weinstein Moment Jigs Gardner Jigs Gardner is an associate editor of The St. Read More
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Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 13:53

August 2018 Poems

1.

The winding St. Croix River valley is

Perfect for hot air balloons and they are

Up in the afternoon and the early

Evening on the clearest of days and I

 

Often don’t see them until the whoosh of

Burners firing alerts me they are

There — and they look so odd hanging in the

Air floating who knows where — and the festive

 

Yellows and reds and greens complement the

Sky like the Christmas ornaments do for

The trees but of course the balloons are the

Epitome of a care free summer day —

 

Seeing the balloons floating I wonder

How the valley looks and sounds from that view.

 

It is one of those

things I intend to

do — take a ride in

a balloon — when

there is time.

 

2.

I didn’t feel the heat of the morning

Until the little black fly with green eyes

Landed on my arm and walked about with

Little legs over the fine hair on my

 

Arm — and I discovered not wanting to

Expend the energy necessary

To flick it away so I just watched it

Instead and noticed the slightest tickle —

 

And a little while later a tiny

Black ant proceeded to explore my arm

Too and I noticed the tickle again —

And the ants and the flies have as much right

 

As I do to enjoy the summer air

But I won’t give the mosquitoes a pass.

 

As the air becomes

hotter even in the shade

of a tree I start

to feel a little dizzy

and warmer inside and out.

 

3.

There is a video available

On the Internet of a couple of

Little rascals and a bicycle — with

One of them putting on swimming goggles

 

And kneeling on the muddy ground by the

Back tire — and with a face full of joy and

Expectation he exclaims to the friend

On the bike and gripping the brakes — "let-er

 

Rip" — a spray of mud spatters the laughing

Boy — which is quite an improvement of the

Jackson Pollack style because Jackson was

Dripping paint on a canvas by himself

 

And he could not escape depression but

The urchins together were jubilant.

 

It is a shame that

eventually

sophistication

spoils

spontaneity.

 

4.

This is not the time for cherry blossoms

And the cherry trees already produced

Their cherries for the season — so I do

Not know why I am thinking about the

 

Cherry blossoms — while we are entering

The mild and lazy ending of summer

Except that the beautiful flowering

Of spring is so beautiful because it

 

Marks the release from the cold of winter —

And we are on the verge of colder days

And grey clouds moving precipitously

Are dominating the sky and the wind

 

Is tossing about the leaves and I am

Remembering and anticipating.

 

The apples on my

apple tree are almost ripe

and this is the first

year I sprayed the apples to

keep the insects away.

 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 13:06

Editorial

We uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.                  

The American Spirit

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

My Dad, Angus MacDonald, published the first issue of The St. Croix Review in February, 1968. In 2018, The St. Croix Review is continuing to express his vision.

America was turbulent in 1968. Through many long years the Left in America was sowing seeds of revolution, and in the 1960s, in the midst of racial tension, riots, assassinations, and the Vietnam War, it emerged as a formidable foe.

Angus MacDonald was moved to defend America from the power craving, rapacious, unrelenting forces of the Left. The St. Croix Review and the foundation, Religion and Society, are the continuing expression of my Dad’s character. After 50 years of publication, the St. Croix Review and Religion and Society are fighting the same battle and are following in the original tradition of the Americans who wrote the Constitution.

Too much of the Republican Party and too many conservative intellectuals have lost their moorings. The bitter struggle against emerging tyranny in America is exhausting. When the Republican Party temporizes on basic issues the effect is terrible: the Left is emboldened and we are diminished.

Too often, intelligent conservatives become policy wonks, writing sophisticated and profound papers, of minutest detail, that will have little influence on the culture. A retreat into sophistication and minuteness isn’t enough. We should be clear and bold, and we should use intelligence to advance basic issues.

Americans who want to preserve liberty should boldly promote the free economy, property rights, the sanctity of contracts, Constitutional protections, the rule of law, the separation of powers, federalism, and orderly immigration. We should be promoting a rich civic life that is separate from government control. And we should be unashamed to be people of religious faith. These are the basic issues from which we gain independence and strength. These are the foundations that support healthy families.

We need to hold up the ideal of humble government. The assertion that America is a nation of free individuals, and that government is a necessary evil, is what distinguishes America from every other nation. The fruits of humble government are entrepreneurial innovation, broad-based prosperity, and an economy that fosters upward mobility. We should be promoting the importance of a growing economy.  

Angus MacDonald arrived in San Francisco on the steamer S.S. Marine Lynx in 1946. He came from Australia, where he was born. He came to America because he wanted a better education than he could achieve in Australia. A few years after he arrived he became an American citizen. But, in a sense, he was already American before he arrived, because he embodied a free spirit seeking adventure and betterment.

The following is the foreword written by my mother, Rema MacDonald, to Angus MacDonald’s autobiography, A Straight Line. Rema described her husband five years ago, after he passed away.

* * * * *

Angus MacDonald, at age 23, was a one-of-a-kind personality. He graduated from the College of the Bible in Melbourne, Australia in May, 1946, right after World War II.

Because he saw greater opportunity in the United States, and thought he would fit in better in America, and wanted a higher education, he decided to emigrate to America. There was no intercontinental air travel, and he decided to come by troop ship with a three-week crossing. In those days America seemed far, far away. All his family came to the dock to see him off. He didn’t know if he would ever see them again. His three-year-old nephew clung to his legs and cried, “I don’t want you to go, Uncle Angus!” With a little money from his father and a box of favorite books he boarded the ship, as did others. His family waved until the ship was out of sight. It was a heart-wrenching leave taking.

That was the kind of person Angus was. If he wanted to do something he did it. To him nothing was impossible. As he traveled by train across this country he was surprised by how large the country was. He had a strange feeling as he looked around: he knew no one. His aim was to go to Butler University in Indianapolis. He enrolled and managed to complete his requirements for a bachelor’s degree in one year.

Angus had an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and taking classes in philosophy at Butler helped him form his beliefs. He decided to apply to the Graduate Department in Philosophy at Columbia University in New York. After being accepted he spent several years studying and living in the New York City area, a special time in his life. His parents also visited him at this time from Australia.

He completed all his work for his degree, except making corrections on his lengthy dissertation. He eventually did this and received a Doctorate in Philosophy degree. He could now become a university teacher, but he thought he might tire to teaching the same subject year after year as a professor. He was a natural born pastor. He loved interacting with people, giving sermons, visiting the sick and the church members, so he decided to continue as a minister.

After coming to a Minnesota church, some years later, he felt he could extend his ministry to a wider “audience” by starting up a journal. His vision would be called The St. Croix Review, because he lived on the St. Croix (rhymes with “boy”) River, and would be published six times a year. By subscription only, it would consist of submitted articles of interest in the conservative view — which he thought was lacking in the country. He would write only the editorial himself.

Angus started an incredible task. Angus had one employee, himself. Amazing! Computers were not in common use. He began with five hundred subscriptions and a typewriter. There wasn’t money to have the journal printed so he bought a printing press for the basement, and printed the pages himself. He had no knowledge of printing, he taught himself. The retyping of submitted articles, printing, folding, stapling, collating, labeling, mailing, and all the other publishing chores he did himself for years. Later on he hired a secretary to type for three hours a day. The advent of computers was a great breakthrough, but the journal still was more than a one-man job. He also wrote an editorial each issue. He had a way with words — his style was clear and concise. “Never use a big word when a small one will do” was his motto. Of the authors he never asked about their sex, race, religion, or background. “If they say something sensible that is simple and constructive, I shall publish them,” he said.

And he did — for forty-four years! This is a remarkable record considering there is no advertising in the journal. Subscriptions and contributions from individuals and several foundations are the journal’s life-blood. A pool of wonderful authors has been built up, but submitted articles are always welcomed for review. Angus’ son, Barry, has worked with him twenty years and is carrying on his legacy.

His autobiography, A Straight Line, was written twenty-five years ago. Its title refers to his lifelong quest for the truth. This is the fourth printing. The wording is the same, but we have enhanced this edition with pictures as a fitting memorial to Angus. We believe his ability to carry difficult tasks to completion is a noteworthy achievement and an inspiration to others. He was one-of-kind.

—Rema MacDonald

(Angus’ wife)     *

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 12:43

Summary of August 2018

The following is a summary of the August/September 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Thomas Drake, in a “Letter to the Editor,” provides an example of political dysfunction in Chicago.

Barry MacDonald in, “The American Spirit,” reviews the founding of The St. Croix Review, and presents Angus MacDonald, the founder, as the embodiment of the genuine American Spirit.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Animadversions — Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Nativism,” presents the arguments of those Americans who favor unlimited immigration into America. He answers their arguments and exposes their motives.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Remembering Our Long History of Misunderstanding Russia’s Goals in the World,” compares President Trump’s mistaken attitude with historical follies; in “Fueled by an Army of Lobbyists — Crony Capitalism Is Alive and Well in Washington” he explains the virtues of a free economy, and he shows how politicians are purchased; in “‘Charm City’: A Gripping Film about Violence in Baltimore and the Response of the Police and the Community,” he presents Baltimore as an example of American ingenuity coming to grips with difficult circumstances; in “New York’s Specialized High Schools Are Under Attack by Identity Politics; Asian-Americans Are the Victims,” he makes the case for returning to a goal of a “color-blind” society.

Paul Kengor, in “Today’s Progressives Have Completed the Takeover and Destruction Communists First Started Calling for More Than a Century Ago,” cites one hundred years of Communist assaults on the Boy Scouts of America; in “Fifty Years Ago: An Assassination That Shook America,” he provides overlooked details of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy; in “A Victory for Freedom and the Pro-Life Movement,” he reviews a recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a California law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion; in “With God and Richard Pipes,” he celebrates the life of Cold War warrior who opposed Soviet Communism.

Herbert London, in “The U.S.-North Korea Summit: The Devil Is in the Details,” explains the critical issues involved in the transformation of North Korea; in “Decertifying the Iran Deal,” he reveals that President Obama’s faith that Iran would limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions was mistaken; in “Traditional Liberalism Under Unprecedented Pressure,” he asks questions about whether Western democracy can adapt to present-day challenges from a historical perspective.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Trump on Trade: The Latest on the Tariff Strategy,” considers President Trump’s crazy-like-a-fox trade strategy; in “‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor,’ A Review of the Mr. Rogers Documentary,” he places emphasis on the kindness and decency of Fred Rogers.

Earl H. Tilford, in “Summit Asymmetries,” looks at three summits between American Presidents and Soviet and Russian leaders.

Judy Appel, in “Five Nights and Eighty Thousand Steps in Paris, France — Day One,” shares a letter from Red Cross nurse, written in 1918, who treated her great uncle after he was wounded in W.W. I.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Maids,” relates childhood memories of a long-vanished America.

Jigs Gardner, in Writers for Conservatives, 71: The Wolf by the Ears — Thomas Jefferson and Slavery by J. C. Miller,” uncovers startling facts and attitudes of early American history.

Jigs Gardner, in “My Harvey Weinstein Moment,” conveys a humorous story.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 12:11

June 2018 Poems

1.

I am awash in waves this morning with

The windows of my car open with the

Warmth coming in and I am bombarded

With the vibrant blue and white of the sky

 

And I am absorbing an explosion

Of tiny green leaves on the browns of the

Trees and an exhibitionist in a

Purple shirt is walking with his dog and

 

There is a sprinkling of dandelions

Already and a red wing blackbird is

Flying and when I get to the office

To play with words a yellow and a red

 

Tulip by the garage are reminding

Me cresting waves of light are everywhere.

 

Waves of light rippling

in the air enveloping

me separating me

from winter are exactly

what I wanted.

 

2.

It is deplorable that a straw was

Discovered in the Marianas Trench

And perhaps to rescue the earth from the

Dispersal of disposable items

 

It may be helpful where possible to

Turn our implements of convenience

Into fashion accessories and I

Imagine a boutique establishment

 

 

Selling remarkable straws with perhaps

Titanium for a military

Gentleman with a tortoise shell case or

Elongated simulated ivory

 

Or tastefully bejeweled silver or gold

For a status conscious mademoiselle.

 

We would favor the

planet and engage

ingenuity massage

egocentricity and

boost employment.

 

3.

The blue sky is exceptional and the

Earth appears blue from the vantage of the

Moon and there is not another planet

With breathable blue air in the cosmos

 

We are aware of and we are searching

The fourteen billion light years of space and

Set among the brilliance of stars planets

Are almost impossible to find so

 

Given the impersonal and immense

Nature of reality there is no

Reason why the sound of the wind in the

Leaves should be reassuring and peaceful

 

And inspiring but year after year

There is the resurrection of sighing.

 

The breath of

life is visible

and audible

in the wind

in the trees.

 

4.

From the vantage of today the Pueblo

People who lived in the hollows of the

Cliffs who built adobe homes and worshiped

The sun seem simple and innocent as

 

The sun was determinate of so much

Drenching their lives with light and imagine

The contrast of the day with the night filled

With stars and the comfort of a small fire

 

But perhaps they shared our frailties and

Were as prone to anger and fear as we

Are and they needed to ascribe meaning

To what happened by considering the

 

Constellations and by retelling their

Ancestral stories about courage.

 

Even with our

knowledge of the

cosmos have we

outgrown needing

stories about courage?

 

5.

A black hole that can whirl a trillion stars

About itself is not something that can

Be safely ignored and where do the stars

Go that disappear into the hole — and

 

It is said that vanished stars are compiled

On themselves to a point of infinite

Density inside the hole and said that

Millions of light years is not far enough

 

To escape the vortex of the hole and

It is speculated even space/time

Collapses inside the hole and time is

Instantaneous and so a word is

 

Used to describe the inconceivable —

The black hole is a singularity.

 

The hole where things

go to vanish is an

organizing factor

creating motion

and direction.

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

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

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leverage Points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 10 July 2018 11:11

Summary of June 2018

The following is a summary of the June/July 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “We Uphold American Liberty, Prosperity, Constitutional Law, and Humble Government,” describes the rapacious and unrelenting nature of leftist politics, and he points to America’s uniqueness.

Paul G. Kengor, in “Marx at 200: Classical Marxism vs. Cultural Marxism,” reveals the source of the revolutionary fervor that is roiling American culture today; in “Marx’s Apologists Should Be Red in the Face,” he puts the lie to those who assert that Marx didn’t advocate force and violence; in “Remembering Barbara Bush — and Robin,” he shares a poignant story about the Bush family; in “John Kerry: Reporting for Duty . . . From Vietnam to Iran,” he exposes John Kerry’s long trail of betrayal.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Fifty Years Ago, Washington Was Burning; Despite Continuing Problems, Advances in Race Relations Have Been Dramatic,” provides a large and hopeful perspective on a persisting concern; in The Strange Criticism of the Movie ‘Chappaquiddick’ — A Seeming Defense of Ted’s Kennedy’s Admittedly Bad Behavior,” he reviews an important event in American history; in “Whatever Happened to American Conservatism: Remembering Russell Kirk,” he presents the insights of a gentleman and scholar.

Herbert London, in “America Can Meet the Challenge of China with Education and Innovation,” asserts that America needs a “Sputnik moment”; in “Israel and Saudi Arabia — A Secret Middle East Alliance,” he describes an emerging strategy to oppose Iran; in “Due Process Circa 2018 Is in Dire Trouble,” he makes the case for the rule of law for those accused of sexual misconduct; in “The Russian Chessboard,” he considers the role Russia is playing in the Middle East.

Mark W. Hendrickson, in “The Passing of Two Great Americans,” marks the passing of the “greatest generation” with faithful memories; in “High-Priced College Textbooks: Uncle Sam to the Rescue,” he uses a new government program to teach an economics lesson; in “Memorial Day Reflections, 2018,” he explains the meaning of “mast-and-a-half”; in “The Big Picture: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change,” he details the crippling costs and small benefits of political solutions to climate change; in “1968: A Year of Lost Innocence,” he recalls the shattering events of a historical turning point.

Mike Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Nationalism,” presents a broader historical interpretation of nationalism to demonstrate how misguided our present views are.

Francis P. DeStefano, in “Battle of Midway,” describes the sudden change of fortune that turned the battle in America’s favor.

David Ayers, in “Advice to Orthodox Protestants and Catholics: ‘Just Stand,’” supports Christian orthodoxy.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: An Explosive Issue,” addresses an newly discovered victim group in America.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 71: Medieval Technology and Social Change by Lynn White,” presents a writer who identifies the forgotten innovations that transformed Medieval society.

Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:06

April 2018 Poems

1.

It’s convenient to parcel out my life

In days and weeks because the rising and

The setting sun is easy to go by —

And if there weren’t day interspersed with night

 

It would be much harder to remember

What I did last week — and I am really

Grateful for my eyes to see bare branches

In a blue sky and grateful for my skin

 

And body so I can know what the cold

Of winter is — and also there is my

Marvelous mind that reminds me while a

Chill is rising from the snow on the ground

 

In several month the roses bloom again

And in summer I may wear a t-shirt.

 

 

I see the moon in

the morning and in

the afternoon too —

It’s an everyday

Presence to go by.

 

2.

When I understand nothing moves faster

Than light and that the light from distant stars

Traveled billions of years to reach the earth

Then I appreciate immensity

 

And when I understand that during the

Passage of the light the stars radiating

The light have imploded and no longer

Exist then I encounter mystery —

 

And when I consider that the forces

Of gravity are whirling galaxies

And everything that exists is moving

In relation to every other thing

 

Then I have to put my life and efforts

In context with a sobering cosmos.

 

I have questions

and would like

solutions but

also I love

a rising sun.

 

3.

The light a star generates radiates

In all directions and on earth we see

The cosmos from a limited point of

View and I believe it’s necessary

 

To question where we are going and to

Grasp purposes worthy of our living

Because we have the curiosity

And the wherewithal to comprehend so

 

Many of the facts about us and we

Know immensity and minuteness and

We understand our tininess within

The universe but no one can explain

 

How our molecules and electrical

Impulses create thought and emotion.

 

 

The immensity

of the cosmos is nothing

compared with the

everyday miracle of

ordinary consciousness.

 

4.

The iron in my body came from an

Exploding star billions of years ago

And my body is composed of atoms

And molecules and strands of DNA

 

That testify to an origin I

Share with every living being on Earth

And within my body there are layers

Of organization where cells behave

 

Independently and for the good of

The whole also so that I can sit at

My table and cut an orange into

Pieces and taste the taste of an orange

 

And I can speculate from this table this

Moment is moving to infinity.

 

There are billions

and billions of stars

in space and atoms

in my body — there is

also consciousness.

 

5.

Scientists uphold a prism of glass to

Separate the light into colors and

They aim spectroscopes to see the colors

Of starlight and thereby they deduce the

 

The age and chemical composition

Of the most distant stars and in a few

Thousand years by working together they

Have exposed the swirling cosmos and the

 

Inescapable fragility of

Humanity too and yet our human

Comprehension resembles a super

Nova bursting and seeding the empty

 

Spaces with a consciousness that will not

Be satisfied with lingering questions.

 

Even before the

questions could be

formulated there was

cooperation — there were

words.

Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:09

Remembering What Made Us Good

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

Remembering What Made Us Good

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

Please look above and read the mission statement of The St. Croix Review. Usually it is presented in a shorter version: Our mission is to reawaken the Genuine American Spirit. . . .

Progressives would read the above sentence and scoff, or become sarcastic and scornful. Let them. We have work to do — to assert ourselves productively.

The Left has taken over our education system. After the Parkland shooting in Florida, how did the students so quickly organize themselves into a protest movement with a narrow focus on gun control? See the encouragement teachers and administrators gave them, allowing them a day off from schoolwork to mount a ’60s style march. Notice the full-time attention the news media gave the students. The students are children. It appears they have been trained beforehand to think and behave in a scripted direction.

Thinking gun control is the only solution to school shootings is like looking at the problem through a straw.

Suzanne Venker, of the Fox News Channel, presented a wonderful report “Missing Fathers and America’s Broken Boys — the Vast Majority of Mass Shooters Come From Broken Homes.” She based her report on a study published by Family Studies on Dec. 16, 2013, titled “Sons of Divorce, School Shooters.”

Suzanne writes that boys and girls react differently to the dissolution of their families, with girls being more likely to hurt themselves or behave promiscuously. But the girls do have the more frequent advantage of staying with mothers, while the boys are often separated from their fathers. Suzanne makes the point that boys need their fathers for nurturance and role models.

In America today, fatherhood is neglected and pundits use the term “toxic masculinity” to scorn and condemn men.

Divorce is commonplace. The ideal of a mother, and father, each of whom has an irreplaceable role in raising children, is devalued.

Apart from the few boys who become shooters, who can guess how many boys are harmed because they don’t learn healthy masculinity from their fathers? How do we promote the importance of fatherhood? Perhaps we should begin talking about the importance of fatherhood.

America is suffering because we have absorbed too many toxic progressive falsehoods. One of the most pernicious narratives is that a prosperous American economy is poisoning the earth. It speaks well of Americans that we want our economy to be as harmless as possible, and it should be noted that American emissions of CO2 have been declining year after year — more greatly than many signatories of the Paris Accord. Americans are big-hearted people and we want to live in a clean environment.

Yet Leftist politicians and intellectuals have implanted the idea that broad-based prosperity and growth is self-centered and evil. We are told that the “profit motive” is evil. We are being directed to aim for a “sustainable” economy instead of a growing economy. We are being regulated to death under the assumption that free enterprise is destructive. We are advised that living in single-family homes in the suburbs is selfish, as we are creating “sprawl.” Instead, we are told, we should be renting high-rise apartments in large cities. And it would be nice if we gave up our cars and took a train to the office.

Modern life has become difficult because the costs of higher education, housing, and healthcare are rising dramatically, while wages have stagnated or declined. Blue-collar men are losing jobs to technical innovation and are facing daunting and dispiriting challenges. The middle class is shrinking and the working class is struggling to survive.

College students are graduating with burdensome debt; they can’t find well-paying jobs, and often they settle for part-time work. Many graduates are living with their parents instead of getting married, buying homes, and starting families. And conditions are even worse for high school graduates, as their jobs are taken by frustrated college graduates.

America must be allowed to grow again. We must not heed the Leftist pressure to limit our economy. We must break the unaccountable power of bureaucrats who are strangling free enterprise. Any politician who speaks of sustainability in preference to growth should be voted out of office.

Donald Trump is absolutely correct in wanting to “make America great again.” It is remarkable how such a simple, laudable, statement sets him apart from every other politician. Any American politician who wants a hobbled America should be ashamed of her- or himself.

We must have faith that the return of broad-based prosperity, that promotes upward mobility again, will lift America up and out of the doldrums — and many of our social pathologies will dissipate.

And we should notice that the billionaires and millionaires (Tom Steyer, Leo DiCaprio, and Al Gore) who say that Americans should settle for humble circumstances, have no intention of living humbly themselves — they are already living large.

This latest $1.3 trillion spending bill, which the President mistakenly signed, takes as much money from the American people as President Obama took when the Democrats controlled the House. Shame on the Congress and President Trump! The President should have vetoed the bill.

The Republican leadership played the same trick the Democrats got away with: dumping a 2,200-page bill at the last minute, and leaving no time for the public to discover what’s in it. Who knows how many secret payoffs are in it?

Every dollar seized by a crony is unavailable to an entrepreneur who could have used it to create wealth. Every dollar borrowed and spent today is an extra burden of debt heaped on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. How can people in the middle and lower classes become upwardly mobile if the seed money they need is given to cronies? This is the first time in American history when the young face a diminished future because their parents have been dissolute.

Our mission statement asserts that we are a “good” and “great” nation. “Good” comes before “great.” Napoleon Bonaparte was great, but was he good? We could have a lively debate about the supposed “good” he did.

America is a great nation. Among other things, we put astronauts on the moon. But more importantly the American people are good people, because our freedoms allow us to blossom into enterprise and independence, which, in turn, affords us the opportunity to be compassionate.

We are also good because of our religious faith. We know that are born not only for ourselves, but also for the benefit of our families and communities. We were not born to be selfish.

We should remember what makes us good. And we should remove every selfish politician. Republicans need to primary out a good number elected Republicans.     *

    

Thursday, 26 April 2018 12:04

Summary of April 2018

The following is a summary of the April//May 2018 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “Remembering What Made Us Good” introduces 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.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “With Its Swift Embrace of Massive Deficits, the Republican Party We Once Knew Is Gone,” cites the differences in behavior and attitude of Republican politicians when they were not in leadership, and now that they are; in Donald Trump Thinks “Trade Wars Are Good and Easy to Win” — He Should Think Again,” he demonstrates the risky game President Trump is playing; in “Russia Will Surely Interfere with Our 2018 Election — Will We Be Ready?” he reports on Russia’s international meddling, and questions whether the Trump administration is prepared.

Paul Kengor, in “Imagine if Stormy Daniels Were Bill Clinton’s Friend Gennifer Flowers,” writes about the double standards the media apply to friends and enemies; in “Obama’s CIA Director Would Sooner Vacation in North Korea Than at Mar-a-Lago,” he presents John Brennan’s commitment to Communism; in “Let’s Not Forget Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, and the Four-Finger Salute,” he uses the occasion of the death of Charles Manson to highlight a miscarriage of justice; in “Remembering Fidel Castro’s Death,” he details the Communist oppression of Cuba — an island without privately owned boats.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Another Budget Deal Bites the Dust,” recites the history of presidential and congressional failure to curb deficit spending, and concludes that the pressure for increasing federal spending on both parties is irresistible; in “Proposed Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum: President Trump’s First Major Economic Mistake,” he demonstrates why tariffs are counterproductive.

Herbert London, in “Reliving the Lessons of the Free Market in the Trump Era,” credits President Trump’s use of unhindered markets for America’s revival; in “Due Process Circa 2018 Is in Dire Trouble,” in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual harassment and assault, he defends the due process of law.

Michael S. Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Populism,” redeems the word “populism” by putting it within a modern contex.

Philip Vander Elst, in “Capitalist Technology Sustained the Failed Economic Experiment of Soviet Communism,” imparts the lesson that Communism and all the various forms of socialism create poverty and misery.

Thomas S. Martin, in “The Amazoning of the University,” shows “a good teacher breathes life into a student.”

Stanley Keehlwetter, in “Billy Graham: My Personal Reflections,” shares memories of the great evangelist.

Gary S. Smith, in “A Tribute to Billy Graham,” highlights Billy Graham’s life and influnce.

David Hein, in “Reinhold Niebuhr’s Irony of American History: Still Vital at 66,” examines a perceptive and enduring message from a giant American intellectual.

Gary Scott Smith, in “Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.” reminds Americans of the passage of a great civil rights leader.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: The Consequences of Class,” remarks on the ways we misunderstand each other.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 70: Tales of Adventure,” reviews the successes and failures of several writers.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 11:37

February 2018 Poems

1.

It comes in the windows and even through

The walls the second the furnace takes a

Break from heating the home as we have drawn

The curtains and locked the doors but there is

 

No mitigation of the weight of the

Cold on a winter night in December

In Minnesota even though we passed

The solstice and daylight will get longer

 

Gradually we face the coldest days

Of the year so it not just tonight that

Is bearing down it’s the burden of our

Knowledge of the months coming and there is

 

No use in grumbling so I put on my

Thick socks and pile up the heavy blankets.

 

While walking around

during the daylight only

a little oval

including my mouth eyes and

nose is exposed to the cold.

 

2.

When I think about the people who were

Airbrushed from the photographs of Joseph

Stalin because they fell in disfavor

With the Soviet Union I wonder

 

Whether the brush dispersed a very fine

Spray of paint or whether in fact color

Was brushed over the person erasing

His personage and I am sure that the

 

Work was meticulous and demanded

Dexterity — and then I think about

The millions of people who disappeared

Who were airbrushed from the earth in brutal

 

Fashion erasing their existence in

The service of an ideology.

 

The reality

is people are capable

of such monstrous

evil while professing the

utmost benevolence.

 

3.

I was driving through Stillwater doing

A chore turning on familiar streets and

I noticed the sun appearing with a

Right turn and with a left turn there was

 

The early morning moon — and I was in my

Working mind following the streets and the

Turns of the city but the sun and moon

Kept popping up around a corner and

 

Seemed to follow me — the moon was looming

White but yesterday it was yellow in

The dark — and there in a window was the

Lively reflection of the sun shining

 

Gold and my eyes didn’t hurt in lingering

Over the sight — and then I was driving.

 

The sun and moon are

unearthly beauty

everyone can see —

they enliven the

sky everyday.

 

4.

The Accident

 

As winter is dragging on and darkness

Is dominating morning and evening

I became frustrated being stuck in

The little rooms within my little house

 

So I was blasé this morning in the

Bathroom when I opened the cabinet

And the trimmer fell out into the sink

And I didn’t care and I didn’t think

 

Until I trimmed off half my beard and I

Realized the fall had changed the settings

And then what could I do but shave the rest

Even though I was watching the daily

 

Progression of my winter beard and now

I have to begin all over again.

 

Or maybe not but

I will certainly

go to a barber

to get a haircut

and restore balance.

 

5.

I gaze at the perpetrator in the

Mirror every morning and start with the

Left side of my chin with downward strokes and

Then I go under my nose and it does

 

Become apparent when it’s time to change

The razor because a dull blade will drag

Above my lip were I am sensitive —

I could be thinking about politics

 

Or the Academy Awards — while on

My right side next to my ear I begin

Stroking down against the grain to my neck

Until I reach my chin and when finished

 

I like to put the razor down and with

My fingers I like to feel smoothiness.

 

I’ve just discovered

an oddity that’s

taken forever

to notice — my right

side is hairier.

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