Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.
While my lilac bushes aren’t very thick
It’s hard to mow the grass underneath them
Or to rake the leaves surrounding them as
Their branches fork at odd angles and each
Branch will sprout many shoots — and because the
Bushes aren’t very thick at a glance it
Seems that nothing is in the way — but when
I approach them suddenly I am stopped
Tangled and scratched and held at a distance —
And if I can reach the leaves under the
Bushes the rake is caught in a stubborn
And interlocking net of sinewy
Defiance as I encounter the wild
And resourceful life of lilac bushes.
I imposed order
on the periphery
with a ladder a saw
and a hedge clipper.
When I close my eyes when facing the sun
I see a marvelous red light that is
The sunlight filtered by my eyelids — and
My face is bathed in the beating of the
Sun and after a few minutes I am
A little dizzy — and the red sunlight
Warming my face helps me to imagine
Myself a tomato under the sky
With nothing to do all day but listen
To the drone of cars and machinery
In the distance and absorb the force of
The persisting sunlight enveloping
And tranquilizing me in unceasing
Dissolving forgetful meditation.
A boy on a walk in Iowa was
Curious about an odd looking stone
And the stone fit snuggly in the palm of
His hand and the stone had been chipped and flaked
And it was weighty and edged and fashioned
For cutting and scraping and maybe the
Stone had laid on the ground for a thousand
Or ten thousand years — was buried under
The dirt and unearthed or was exposed to
Unnumbered starry nights obdurate to
The wind the snow the rain and the glare of
The sun until a boy in Iowa
Noticed an odd stone on the ground — and its
Weight and shape within his palm was perfect.
The bee hummingbird is an exquisite
Native of Cuba with fluttering wings
Iridescent feathers and a pointy
Little beak and the bird and its nectar
Are coincident because one could not
Exist without the other — just as I
Could not exist without the sky the rain
And the earth — this is what the earth has come
To with hummingbirds and flowers and rain
And people — as we are emerging out
Of the trillions and trillions of degrees
That was coincident with the little
Space that was expanding rapidly that
The scientists are naming the big bang.
The bee hummingbird
and me are a
the big bang.
What does the air do to a butterfly
As it emerges from a Chrysalis
Not having been a butterfly before
And discovering that it has wings — and
Does it fall and flutter as it falls or
Does it arouse itself and beat the air
With its wings to rise into the air for
Its initial flight — and is it a strain
On a butterfly’s heart to push down on
The air as its beating heart is in sync
With its sashaying manner — and is the
Air the same air the gliding eagle or
The acrobatic swallow knows or is
It living in a different cosmos?
What does the
butterfly think as
it encounters drops
of rain and a
Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free individuals.
Our Mission is to uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.
The Impetus of Accusation and the Rock of America
Barry MacDonald — Editorial
How can we defeat the people who are brazen and destructive enough to turn gender identity into a political weapon?
The Left manipulates the emotionally vulnerable who are confused about their sexuality, and counsels them that though they may have been born a man or a woman, if they really do perceive themselves to be of the opposite gender, then they should identify as the opposite gender — in spite of biological facts.
That the Left would seize upon emotionally vulnerable people to advance a political agenda reveals that the Left is exceedingly cunning and unscrupulous.
And the Left proclaims that anyone who doesn’t fully agree with their upside-down agenda — and more than that — that anyone who isn’t enthusiastically supportive of their agenda, is therefore hateful and oppressive.
The Left is exploiting vulnerable people, using fragile people, as wedge to attack the cohesion of the entire American culture. Leftists pose as sensitive and compassionate, and they portray opponents as indifferent and depraved — and by the way, white, male, and hierarchical.
The Left gains impetus with accusation. Through the brutality of repeated accusation, magnified by media and entertainment, the left barrages their opponents, demonizing and delegitimizing them — their opposition, according to them, is beneath contempt, the threat is existential, and all means are permissible for victory.
The Left relies on the force of accusation, and the accusation is like a magician’s trick: all the attention is focused on the target and away from the accuser. In the media the accused is presumed guilty and the accuser is elevated as a martyr. The motives of the accuser are not questioned.
The Left has been succeeding because it has perfected the art of accusation. American’s news reports and political discourse are saturated with the bitterness of accusation. Accusation is so pervasive in our political discourse it is like the oxygen we breathe — we hardly notice that we are enveloped in it.
It’s the genius of the Left that they are unpredictable. Ten years ago who could have guessed that gender identity would be fashioned into a political weapon? Who knows what institution or tradition will be assaulted next?
But the Left is vulnerable. Because the Left isn’t moored to core principles their fury and energy always propels them further and further to the extremes, and presently, their perversity and fanaticism is becoming obvious. Leftists are becoming more and more transparently nonsensical and poisonous.
Conservatives are defending the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, and American liberty. We are promoting the freedom of our economic choices. And we are champions of broad-based economic prosperity. We love our nation and we are defending stalwart institutions — like motherhood and fatherhood and parenting. If we retain our faith in God, and if we continue to defend our constitutional liberties, we will be preserving our strength of character.
As the Left becomes more and more strident and intolerant of opposition they are revealing themselves as the totalitarians that they are. And at the same time we conservatives are gathering the strength and resolve that comes from defending worthy American virtues. *
The following is a summary of the June/July issue of The St. Croix Review:
Barry MacDonald, in “The Impetus of Accusation and the Rock of America,” summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the Left and Right in America.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Political Correctness Out of Control: The Strange Assault on Singer Kate Smith Who Introduced “God Bless America,” comments on intolerance dressed up as high-mindedness; in “The Founding Fathers Feared Excessive Executive Power — So Should We,” he reminds Americans that the Framers feared the tyrants, and sought to promote representative democracy; in “Can Congress Reassert Its War-Making Power? Yemen Is Now a Test Case,” he cites the current example of U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen as a usurpation of Congress’ war-making authority by two Presidents; in “Are Conservatives Becoming Comfortable with Growing Executive Power?” he reminds conservatives of the supreme difficulty involved in preserving liberty from the corrupting effects of centralizing power.
Paul Kengor, in “Joe Biden and the Democrats’ Racist Abortion Position — They Couldn’t Be Prouder of Their Genocidal Commitments,” exposes the cruelty and indifference underlying Joe Biden’s flip-flop on the Hyde Amendment; in “The ‘Today Show’ Celebrates Communist Holiday,” he reveals the history of International Women’s Day, and of Clara Zetkin, who as an active comrade of Lenin and Stalin. She was a German socialist-Marxist who is buried in the wall of the Kremlin, near Vladimir Lenin; in “What ‘Deep Christian Convictions’ of ‘Democratic Socialism’”? he applies his expert knowledge of socialism and Communism to refute a professor who attempts to meld Christianity and socialism.
Mark Hendrickson, in “The Evolving Social Context of Parenting,” provides a historical and comprehensive look at the challenges and joys of parenting; in “Educational Malpractice on a Massive Scale: The Exploitation and Indoctrination of Children,” he writes: “Teaching the green agenda of climate alarmism in schools is child abuse. It’s diabolical, wrong, and un-American. It must be stopped.” In “Was Last Weekend a Portent of Things to Come?” he considers a week’s worth of headlines and sees unrestrained Leftism verging on violence.
Rev. Kenneth L. Beale, the Senior Chaplain at Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel in St. Paul, Minnesota, offers a “Prayer for President Donald J. Trump.”
Alan Duff, in “One Nation, Under God,” writes that our nation’s religious values are founded on proven principles that liberate the “human spirit,” and they have produced our unprecedented prosperity.
William Adair Bonner, in “What Is American Education Focused On?” reports on the direction academic leaders taking when they gather for conferences.
Thomas Martin, in “What Would People Do, if They Could Get Away with It?” asks his students how would they use a ring — a magic ring.
Robert L. Wichterman, in “A Growing Divide in America,” writes about America’s dangerous cultural and political fractures.
Richard Doyle, in “Civilization — Evolution and Devolution,” writes that civilization is precarious, and depends upon marital fidelity and the stability of the family.
Judy S. Appel, in “Garden Gloves,” writes about gardening and the sharing of duties.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: My Vegetable Gardens,” passes on the lessons of a lifetime of raising gardens.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 77: Thomas Sowell,” reviews Black Redneck and White Liberals, by Thomas Sowell.
Ray Sinneck, in “Where Are We Heading?” comments on the introduction of the wealth tax into political contention — he believes we are heading towards “democratic totalitarianism.”
The apple blossoms were in the puddles
On the pavement after the pelting of
The rain — looking like the confetti on
The street after a parade — but we missed
The parade this year as the blooms were just
Starting to appear when an overnight
Downpour broke the connections of petals
With the trees and I feel a little sad
That the joyous parade of my driving
By the flowering trees has passed me by
This year because I love seeing the blooms
As a celebration of beauty that
Always accompanies the return of
Spring and the resurrection of the trees.
But now I see
many of the trees
have yet to reach
their full flowering and
I’m just being gloomy.
It is a bubble of a thought that burst
A moment before its proper time or
You could say it’s a hiccup or even
An interruption of a really good
Inspiration that led to something quite
A bit better than itself later on
But as it is doesn’t cohere into
A complete package that elicits a
Sense of satisfaction — as it looks like
A compendium of nonsensical
Elements that are fine enough if they
Were separate but together they are
Ridiculous — so I have to remark
Who could imagine the platypus?
And yet it swims
gracefully and waddles
along on land — and lays
its eggs and deploys
venom and growls.
It can’t be seen by only looking at
A person but once the conversation
Begins and honest words are exchanged then
I can see the battered appearance and
I can sense the depth of sincerity
In the selection of words and the in
Quiet and measured pace of expression
And then I know here is a kind and a
Well meaning person who has suffered and
Has determined to use intelligence
And experience and whatever pride
There might have been is washed away and now
There is a poise and a readiness to
Respond with a wealth of humility.
There is a sweetness
that only arises
from suffering and
to be helpful.
Michelangelo was fired with a
Conception of God surrounded by his
Angels in heaven reaching out with his
Index finger to touch the finger of
Adam on Earth and perhaps in the act
God effected a transference of a
Tinge of divinity and a freedom
Of choice allowing for a growth into
The humane or for a dissipation
Into evil and by the Renaissance
In Italy evil was already
Old in the world and people needed their
Consolations and inspirations and
We really aren’t much different today.
Did Adam feel like
I did when opening
a tin of cat food
and slicing the tip of
my index finger?
I don’t begrudge the critical voice its
Imposing place within my awareness
Because I need a check on selfishness
And a sense of justice and decency
But it’s easy to belittle myself
And to disparage the things I have done
And nothing is more destructive of my
Peace than persistently negative thought
And the daily tenor of my thinking
Has the capacity to destroy my
Chances for happiness if I give my
Punishing monologue too much power
But I don’t believe I’m alone in thought —
In the quiet the divine emerges.
Barry MacDonald — Editorial
The following is a brief statement of the editorial vision and principles of the foundation, Religion & Society, and its publication The St. Croix Review.
A political and cultural movement has established itself in the United States that includes politicians, public intellectuals; entertainers; artists; writers; academics; lawyers; news organizations; cartoonists; think tanks; bureaucrats; educators; churches and synagogues; corporations; and the new tech barons consisting of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
This political and cultural movement behaves as an exclusionary ruling class that dominates the United States through the government and bureaucracy centered in Washington, D.C.; the institutions of law; the education of children and adolescents; the selection and matriculation of future leaders through acceptance into the nation’s elite universities; the messages communicated in news and entertainment; the instructions imparted by religious institutions; the presentation of content to be viewed in museums; the enticement, management, and sanctuary given to illegal immigrants.
The presumptuous ruling class has adopted revolutionary means to manipulate mass consciousness; to grasp power for themselves; to maintain a system of domination; and to undermine and overthrow liberty-enhancing traditional American values, using:
The ruling class is hostile to:
Religion and Society and The St. Croix Review oppose the ruling class by means of:
Religion and Society and The St. Croix Review upholds:
Our Vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free individuals.
Our Mission is to uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government. *
The following is a summary of the April/May issue of The St. Croix Review:
Barry MacDonald, in the editorial, “America’s Challenge,” summarizes the editorial and vision and principles of the foundation, Religion & Society, and the publication, The St. Croix Review.
Thomas Martin, in “Who Is an American?” describes the technique he uses in introducing his college students to the Declaration of Independence.
Paul Kengor, in “The New Socialists — The Green Red Deal,” reveals the stark-raving-mad, socialist underpinnings, of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s environmental program; in “Abortion Racism in Pennsylvania — Where Abortion Wears a White Hood,” he exposes the hypocrisy and sheer meanness of Democratic state representative Brian Sims.
Mark W. Hendrickson, in “The Green New Deal: Welcome to a Command Economy,” is grateful that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s presentation of The Green New Deal is exposing the Democrats for who they are: totalitarians. In “Open Letter to a Journalist About His Paper’s Position on Climate Change,” he asks probing and comprehensive questions challenging the consensus of journalists on the science of climate change.
Allan C. Brownfeld, in “The Assault on American History Is Growing and Represents a Rejection of Our Common Past,” questions whether we can preserve self-governance and American liberty while American history is being erased; in “Four Hundred Years Ago America’s First Slaves Arrived — Now a Debate Over Reparations for Their Descendants Is Growing,” he shows how the call for reparations by Democratic presidential candidates would be unjust and divisive; in “The Bladensburg Peace Cross and the Meaning of the First Amendment,” he brings historical context to debate whether the cross memorializing fallen veterans of World War I violates the Constitution.
Philip Vander Elst, in “Evil and God: Reflections of a Former Atheist,” makes a reasoned and passionate case for the existence of God and a moral universe.
Francis P. DeStefano, in “The Spanish Inquisition,” brings the light of knowledge to a much-misunderstood portion of Western history.
Ray Sinneck offers another excerpt of his satirical fiction in “Senatorial Pandemonium.”
Judy S. Appel, in “Accidental Gardeners,” describes her family’s history of gardening.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: Romantic Utopianism,” identifies a literary movement that emerged at the end of the 18th century that continues to afflict modern society.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 76: Black Lamb & Gray Falcon,” reviews a novel written by Rebecca West, set in Yugoslavia before World War II. Rebecca West is a skillful and imaginative writer of the Romantic Movement.
The New York State Legislature and Abortion
Barry MacDonald is the Editor of The St. Croix Review and President of Religion & Society.
After watching politics for many years I have adopted of a rule of thumb: However outrageous the forces of the political Left are today, without determined opposition, they will move even further left tomorrow.
In January 2019 we have witnessed the New York state legislature allow the aborting of unborn babies up to moments before a natural birth.
The new law is the Reproductive Health Act (R.H.A.), and it sanctions abortion under three conditions: (1) if it is performed earlier than 24 weeks of pregnancy; (2) in an “absence of fetal viability”; or (3) if necessary to “protect the patient’s life or health.”
The inclusion of the health of the mother, which is not restricted to a physical definition, and includes the mother’s psychological and emotional health, is broad enough to cover any possible late-term abortion.
Also, according to America, The Jesuit Review, the R.H.A. removes protections for infants born alive during abortions. Sam Sawyer, writing for America, writes:
“The R.H.A. repeals section 4164 of New York’s public health law. That section had provided that abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy had to be performed in a hospital, and that for abortions after 20 weeks a separate physician had to be on hand to provide medical care for any infant born alive during the procedure — which is a possibility, even if an unlikely one.”
“The now-repealed section also specified that a child born alive during an abortion procedure immediately enjoyed the protection of New York’s laws, and it required medical records to be kept of the efforts to care for the infant. Without section 4164, the public health law is now silent on the status of an infant born alive during an abortion.”
The new law also stipulates that to perform an abortion a license to practice medicine is no longer required in New York. A “health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized” under New York’s medical licensing laws can perform abortions. This means that licensed nurse practitioners, or physician assistants, can perform abortions.
The New York State Senate celebrated their progressive advancement with a standing ovation — they honored themselves. The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, authorized the lighting of the Freedom Tower in Manhattan, with a joyous projection of pink light — in celebration of a woman’s right to end the life of her unborn child.
The Freedom Tower is the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack, where thousands of people died. The tower is, presumably, sacred American ground — at least the location and the building have been consecrated and memorialized.
But for progressives, apparently, there is nothing sacred about life and death anymore. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic Party in New York are introducing the undisguised diminishment of human life into American culture.
The New York law would have been unthinkable during the presidency of Democrat Bill Clinton. Almost twenty-five years ago, Bill and Hillary Clinton said that though abortion is a “fundamental constitutional right,” abortion should be rare. In her opposition to a proposed ban on partial-birth abortion in 2008, Hillary clarified her position: She wanted abortion to be “safe, legal and rare, and by rare, I mean rare.”
Kermit Gosnell, M.D., spent nearly four decades running his clinic, The Women’s Medical Society, in Philadelphia. The grand jury case against him states:
“This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it. . . .
“The clinic reeked of animal urine, courtesy of the cats that were allowed to roam (and defecate) freely. Furniture and blankets were stained with blood. Instruments were not properly sterilized. Disposable medical supplies were not disposed of; they were reused, over and over again. Medical equipment — such as the defibrillator, the EKG, the pulse oximeter, the blood pressure cuff — was generally broken; even when it worked, it wasn’t used. The emergency exit was padlocked shut. And scattered throughout, in cabinets, in the basement, in a freezer, in jars and bags and plastic jugs, were fetal remains. It was a baby charnel house. [The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the prosecutors cited dozens of jars of severed baby feet.]”
James Johnson is the common-law husband of Gosnell’s wife’s sister. He worked as a janitor, maintenance man, and plumber at the clinic. He testified at trial how he threatened to quit work, because when the staff flushed remains down the toilets (into Philadelphia’s sewage system) the toilets would back up once or twice a week. He would open the outside clean-out pipe to see babies’ arms and other parts come spilling out. With a shovel he scooped up the baby parts, put them in bags, and took them to the basement.
“The people who ran this sham medical practice included no doctors other than Gosnell himself, and not even a single nurse. Two of his employees had been to medical school, but neither of them were licensed physicians. They just pretended to be. Everyone called them “doctor,” even though they, and Gosnell, knew they weren’t. Among the rest of the staff, there was no one with any medical licensing or relevant certification at all. But that didn’t stop them from making diagnoses, performing procedures, administering drugs.
“. . . the real business of the ‘Women’s Medical Society’ was not health; it was profit. There were two primary parts to the operation. By day it was a prescription mill; by night an abortion mill. A constant stream of ‘patients’ came through during business hours and, for the proper payment, left with scripts. . . . The fake prescriptions brought in hundreds of thousand of dollars a year.
“. . . As with abortion, as with prescriptions, Gosnell’s approach was simple: keep volume high, expenses low — and break the law. That was his competitive edge.
“. . . Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere — because they were too pregnant. Most doctors won’t perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal. But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged.
“. . . Babies that big are hard to get out. Gosnell’s approach . . . was to force full labor and delivery of premature infants on ill-informed women. The women would check in during the day, make payments, and take labor-inducing drugs. The doctor wouldn’t appear until evening. . . . Many of them gave birth before he even got there. By maximizing the pain and danger for his patients, he minimized the work, and cost, for himself and his staff. The policy, in effect, was labor without labor.
“There remained, however, a final difficulty. When you perform late-term ‘abortions’ by inducing labor, you get babies. Live, breathing, squirming babies. Most babies born prematurely will survive if they receive appropriate medical care. . . . Gosnell had a simple solution . . . he killed them. . . . He called it ‘ensuring fetal demise.’ . . . by sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that ‘snipping.’”
On May 13 Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder of infants born alive, and one count of involuntary manslaughter of a woman, Karnamaya Mongar, who died of an overdose of anesthesia given by an unqualified assistant. He was also found guilty of conspiracy, of performing abortions beyond the legal limit in Pennsylvania, and over two hundred violations of the state’s informed consent law. On May 14 Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison.
Also four former clinic employees have pleaded guilty to murder, and four more to other charges. They include Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, who helped perform abortions.
As bad as Gosnell’s conduct was, the evil goes beyond him. The grand jury reported several agencies responsible for oversight should have stopped Gosnell years ago. Gosnell was caught when police raided the clinic to stop the selling of illegal prescriptions. Police saw the revolting conditions, dazed patients, and baby parts.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) examined the Women’s Medical Society when it opened in 1979. It didn’t conduct a review again until 1989, ten years later. Violations were apparent in 1989 but Gosnell promised to fix them. The PDH did reviews in 1992 and 1993, and again recorded violations, but failed, again, to enforce the law. After 1993 the clinic wasn’t examined for 20 years. The grand jury found that:
“. . . the Pennsylvania Department of Health abruptly decided, for political reasons, to stop inspecting abortion clinics at all. The politics in question were not anti-abortion, but pro. With the change of administration from Governor Casey [a pro-life Democrat] to Governor Ridge, [a pro-choice Republican], officials concluded that inspections would be ‘putting a barrier up to women’ seeking abortions. Better to leave clinics to do as they pleased, even though, as Gosnell proved, that meant both women and babies would pay.”
Kermit Gosnell’s business model was clearly outside of the law in 2011. Governor Cuomo, the New York state legislature, and the Reproductive Health Act have given Kermit Gosnell’s practice a claim of legality. *
The following is a summary of the February/March issue of The St. Croix Review:
Robert Russell, in “The Great Freedom Robbery — American Immigration 2019,” exhorts Americans to reevaluate and promote the high value of American citizenship.
Donald Lee, in “Immigration and Self-Governance,” calls on Americans to cherish America’s foundational ideals.
Al Shane, in “Strangers in Our House,” writes that American citizenship should be earned.
Barry MacDonald, in “The New York State Legislature and Abortion,” writes about the denigration of human life that the New York state government his introduced into America.
Allan Brownfeld, in “Promoting Infanticide: An Indication of Indifference to Human Life,” he comments on the passage of a law in New York, and on proposed laws, in Virginia, Rhode Island, and New Mexico, that allow abortion up to the moment of (and even after) the birth of babies; in “Identity Politics: A Threat to the Unity a Diverse Society Requires,” he sounds a warning over the poisonous nature of identity politics, and reminds us of our multi-ethnic and unique American heritage; in “Republicans Used to Oppose Huge Budget Deficits — What Happened?” he laments the Republican Party’s abandonment of central principles.
Paul Kengor, in “Marching for Life: Countering Rove v. Wade’s Escorts,” reveals the daily encounters outside Planned Parenthood clinics — pro-abortion activists “escort” pregnant women past the pro-life activists who attempt to dissuade the women from having the abortions.
Michael S. Swisher, in “Bugaboos of the Chattering Class — Anti-Americanism,” present evidence of virulent animus directed at Middle America by the “soi-disant intelligentsia.”
Gary Welton, in “Eugenics Is Alive and Flourishing in Modern America,” points out the origin of eugenics, it implementation in America, by Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, and its continuation today — minority fetuses are twice as likely to be aborted than white fetuses.
Mark Hendrickson, in “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A Force to Be Reckoned With,” spots a media-savvy talent for power in her, and he hopes she is naïve and not fanatical; in “‘Justice’ Is the Word of the Year, and ‘Social Justice’ Is Its Orwellian Opposite,” he demonstrates how “social justice” is unjust; in “Understanding ‘Democratic Socialism,’” he reveals how our brazen new crop of American socialists take guidance from Marx and Lenin, seeking expropriation and domination; in “Bill of Rights Day 2018: A Time to Reflect,” he illustrates the Founders’ intention to uphold the primacy of individual rights with the Bill of Rights, and he points out their modern-day erosion.
Earl Tilford, in “Angela Davis and the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award,” notes that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has declined to honor Angela Davis — he recounts Angela Davis’ long history of campus radicalism and violent entanglements.
Richard D. Kocur, in “Healthcare Spending and the National Debt,” demonstrates the folly and impossibility of the latest leftist promise: “Medicare for All.”
Thomas Martin, in “Desiring to Know and Choose and Harmonize,” deploys Aristotle to show students how to bring out the best of themselves.
Judy Appel, in “I Love the Person I Became When I Was with Her,” writes about her daughter, and her daughter’s friends, who spent a year living together and working for the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Baltimore.
Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer: A Bizarre Episode,” relates his and Jo Ann’s brief stint teaching at a queer and abusive boarding school in the Berkshires.
Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives 75: The Riddle of the Sands,” reviews a novel, The Riddle of the Sands, which is a sailing adventure, written by Erskine Childers in 1903.
The African elephants have floppy
Ears while Asian elephants have tiny
Ears but both the African and Asian
Elephants can detect the lumbering
Presence of far away elephants by
“Listening” to the plodding of thudding
Elephant feet emanating in the
Waves from every elephant foot that stomps
On the earth — but the elephant doesn’t
Hear elephants thumping with its ears but
It measures the distance of its plopping
Cousins through the bottom of its feet as
It stands in place tickled by vibrations
Stimulating its marvelous flatness.
The wrinkles around
an elephant’s eyes suggest
wisdom but with its
wrapping and grasping trunk it
I was watching a video on my
Phone of a juvenile elephant in
A creek with muddy and slippery banks —
The youngster wanted out and came to a
Spot not so high and sloping — and thrusting
Upwards and flopping sideways onto the
Bank the elephant reached a tipping point
Several times but just couldn’t get over —
Looking like a chubby kid struggling
Up the wall on an obstacle course and
Failing — in befuddlement and distress
The adolescent wavered in the creek
Until an adult ambling over
And stepping into the creek helped him out.
used his massive
head to push
from behind and
It’s perplexing that in the transition
Into winter there is a blooming of
Vibrancy when the white and grey of a
Cloud rapidly blowing in the blue of
The sky makes a stunning contrast — when just
Moments ago the finest flakes of snow
Were descending — and I question why when
The leaves of each tree are revealing the
Brightest yellows oranges and reds they
Are capable of that the spirit in
Me responds with joyful celebration
As if today were a festival of
Natural beauty — while my bare hands are
Chilled to the bone by a persisting wind.
It happens that the
severity of winter
is proceeded by
a reverberation of
The river keeps flowing in the winter
Under five feet of ice on the surface
And water is moving consistently
And doesn’t dawdle and doesn’t hurry
And snow falling in the hollows and on
The limestone bluffs of the river valley
And on the streets and the homes of the town
Of Stillwater is snow for a season
But eventually the snow becomes
The river and then the river becomes
The ocean and then the ocean becomes
The clouds collecting and dispersing in
The sky until eventually the
Water drops and touches the earth again.
As I am drinking
water I am absorbing
the clouds the rain the
snow and the ice the river
and even every ocean.
What is the red of the cardinal for?
What purpose does the scarlet serve beyond
The attraction of its mate? Does it live
Only for itself and its progeny?
Because I remember from my childhood
Taking such joy from the sight of the bird
As if its brilliant color transformed the
Drab gray skies the bare branches and the snow
On the ground into an enchanted land —
I would as well ask what is the winter
Solstice for that marks the passing of the
Longest nights and the turning to brighter
Days even though there are many dark days
Ahead when only the cardinal shines.
from the sight of a
cardinal in winter is
Words of remembrance on the passing of
A friend are surprising gifts that we give
Each other and I knew Herbert as a
Writer in New York City and could not
Have known a lot about him and the list
Of his accomplishments was welcome but
It took a day for a story to emerge
From the bulk of information and to
Resonate that Herbert was scoring at
A pace surpassing the high school and league
Record when the basketball coach removed
Him and Herbert was outraged for many
Years until he absorbed the lesson of
Humility the coach had given him.
was founded upon
Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free individuals.
Our Mission is to uphold American liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.
Farewell, Herbert London
Barry MacDonald is the editor of The St. Croix Review, and President of Religion and Society.
We lost a warm, generous, modest, brilliant, moral, and patriotic American on Saturday, November 10. Herbert I. London died of heart disease. He was a husband to Vicky and a father to Stacy, Nancy, and Jaclyn.
Herbert London’s essays have appeared regularly in the St. Croix Review since 1995. Ten years ago he came to Stillwater to speak at our annual meeting in November. I met him at the airport. He was a towering fellow of six feet, five inches, tall. He, my father Angus, and I, had a lively two days together. Herbert was engaging and easy to talk to.
On a trip to New York, my son and I visited Herbert in his office in New York City in 2006. He was welcoming and gracious. He didn’t go into detail but he touched on the experience of living through the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. He expressed his appreciation for the valor of his fellow New Yorkers.
I will always be grateful to Herbert because he recognized the worthy intellectual caliber and the patriotism of The St. Croix Review, whose operation arose in Middle America. I do regret not having had the opportunity to know him better.
He graduated from Columbia University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and earned a doctorate in history from New York University. As a founding dean of the Gallatin School for Individualized Study at New York University, he taught the Great Books of Western Civilization from 1972 to 1992. Herbert was the President of the Hudson Institute from 1997 to 2011; was a senior fellow at the Center for the American University at the Manhattan Institute; and was chairman of the National Association of Scholars and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Herbert founded The London Center for Policy Research in 2013, and directed the center until his death.
Herbert London ran for mayor of New York City in 1989, and for Governor of New York in 1994, and afterwards for comptroller of New York. Running as a Republican in New York was daunting, and he did not win. While New Yorkers lost the possibility of enlightened governance, right-thinking intellectuals gained a powerful and determined leader.
Herbert wrote thirty books, most recently, Leading from Behind: The Obama Doctrine and the U.S. Retreat from International Affairs. He also wrote three plays and countless essays. His commentary was featured in National Review, The Washington Times, Commentary, Fortune, Newsmax, and numerous other publications.
For a year Herbert was a host on CNN’s “Crossfire,” and he co-hosted the series “Myths that Rule America” on NBC, and “The American Character” on CBS. He was often heard on talk radio in New York.
Herbert was multi-talented. If not for an injury he might have made his living in the NBA — he was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals. He was also a musician who sang a hit rock and roll song called “Sorry We’re Not Going Steady” in 1959!
“Herb was a Renaissance man’s Renaissance man,” said The London Center’s Vice President, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer: “In all aspects, he was a peerless scholar and a visionary leader who knowledgeably and comfortably could discuss history, philosophy, art, science, and the latest baseball scores.”
“Herb was not only a spectacular leader, he was a good man,” said Laddyma Thompson, his long-time secretary and treasurer: “An amazing father to his three daughters, Stacy, Nancy, and Jaclyn; an effective instructor to young people; a brilliant mentor to professionals, both fledgling and venerated; and a devoted husband to his wife, Vicki.”
Deroy Murdock describes Herbert:
“The three of us met at a now-kaput restaurant called Bayamo on Broadway near NYU. Herb and I became instant friends and subsequently enjoyed countless lunches, dinners, and conversations. We often ground our molars marveling at the idiocy of Big Government.
“Under the aegis of the delightfully unspecific Center for the Study of Society, Herb organized lunchtime meetings of the New York Discussion Group. This usually involved an author or thinker who presented a topic for about ten minutes at a local club, restaurant, or high-rise conference room. Then, about fifteen to twenty of us journalists, academics, attorneys, and entrepreneurs would pepper the speaker with challenges and grill him with questions. This was like a doctoral defense, but with better food. At one such gathering, we pondered “teleological vs. ontological cosmology.””
“ ‘Deroy, it’s time for one of our Cassandra Brothers lunches,’ Herb occasionally told me by phone. We sat down in a local steakhouse or Italian spot (he was a confirmed Italophile) and, like the princess whose ignored prophecies sealed the doom of Troy, we feasted on the topic of how much better things would be if our many warnings to leaders in Gotham City, Albany, and Washington had not gone unheeded.
“Like many polymaths, Herb had his eccentricities.
“He never lacked for words in person. He could address any subject with facts, figures, perspective, and historical context, often going on at considerable but enjoyable length.
. . . .
“Since childhood, Herb was fascinated with hippopotami. His credenzas, bookshelves, and coffee tables overflowed with glass, stone, and ceramic hippos. A bartender once served me a beer bottle whose label showcased such an African amphibian. I proudly presented it to Herb who received it with a smile as wide as a hippo’s.
“Herb also had a stunning facility with names and faces. At his 75th birthday party, he stood inside a friend’s living room. He spent about twenty minutes methodically introducing his fifty or sixty well-wishers — not just those he knew well, but also the friends and even dates of his guests. He greeted and welcomed everyone by name, adding a humorous anecdote, intriguing detail, or quote about a recent column or TV interview by each of us there. This was the height of graciousness and a mentalist feat worthy of the Amazing Kreskin.
“Herb was dapper, too. His suits, sport coats, crisply folded pocket squares, and colorful ties were reliably exquisite.”
Herbert’s friends and colleagues, Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon write of him:
“. . . We prefer to focus on something more important, something often forgotten.
“For above all else — above Herb’s prowess as a thinker, a teacher, and an institution builder — Herb London was a mensch. In an era of bitter divisiveness, of ever coarsening discourse, of scorched earth politics, Herb was always gracious, always open, always decent.
“Herb would certainly have been forgiven had he been taken with himself. He was enormously gifted, accomplished in so many arenas, imposing, dashing, elegant, and urbane.
“But Herb’s accomplishments never overpowered his modesty.
“In Judaism — and Herb was very proud of his Jewish heritage — Moses represents the pinnacle of human achievement. The Torah testifies that there will never arise another prophet who will attain Moses’ greatness in communing with G-d.
“The Torah also tells us that Moses was unmatched in one character trait: Moses was the humblest of all men. Humility — not a quality generally associated with leadership in our culture. And of all the titles Moses earned: prophet, leader, lawgiver, and more, the one by which Moses is known best is ‘Rabbeinu’ — our teacher.
“Herb London's greatness was inextricably linked to his modesty.”
Sam Roberts, in an Obituary for The New York Times writes of Herbert:
“Herbert Ira London was born in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, on March 6, 1939, a grandson of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father, Jack, a lapsed socialist, sold fabric, leather, and vinyl for upholstery. His mother, Esta (Epstein) London, was a homemaker. He once described his upbringing as ‘Jewish Calvinist.’
“‘I always think about my dad because I think there are a lot of people like my father who could never understand why there were a growing number of people in our society who were feeding out of the public trough,’ he told The New York Times in 1994. ‘He paid his taxes and never derived any benefits from government. That’s why I refer to him as the quintessential forgotten New Yorker.’
“Dr. London was raised in Forest Hills, Queens, and graduated from Jamaica High School, where a teacher instilled in him a lifelong habit of writing at least one page a day. He helped lead the school’s basketball team to a city championship in 1955. Years later, he recalled a game in which he had scored 19 points by the end of the first quarter, with his team leading by 20.
“‘I felt confident of breaking the school scoring record and perhaps the city record as well, but to my dismay the coach took me out of the game,’ Dr. London wrote in 2012 on mindingthecampus.org. ‘I was furious. Yet in retrospect, he was right. Had I broken the school record, it would have come at the expense of a marginal team. Moreover, it would have embarrassed the other players. My coach understood what I did not.’
“He went on to Columbia College, where he played on the basketball team. There, originally enrolled in a pre-med curriculum, he was transformed by a course in contemporary civilization and humanities. Influenced by the professors Jacques Barzun, Samuel Huntington, and Daniel Bell, he pivoted toward an academic career.”
We readers and writers of the St. Croix Review will miss you Herbert London! *