Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Monday, 24 May 2021 12:02

The Plight of Black America

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

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

The Plight of Black America

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

Blacks in America are in crisis today. But the trouble has nothing to do with white supremacy, or systematic racism, or police bigotry. The people who created these denigrations of present-day America are cleverly and cynically using the leverage that these smears generate to advance a leftist political agenda.

The Democrats, the mainstream left-wing news media, Critical Race theorists, Black Lives Matter (a self-admitted Marxist organization), Antifa, propagandists masquerading as school and university administrators, teachers and professors, profane Hollywood loudmouths, and “woke” corporate indoctrinators are using the misery and deaths of black Americans to enrich themselves and to advance their careers. The heartless people who make up the Left in America today are using the misery of black Americans to intimidate and silence the Republican Party, and to intimidate and shame good-hearted Americans into submitting to a left-wing, statist, domination of society.

The Left uses the art of accusation to intimidate its opponents, and so far, its efforts have been successful. Racial animosity over the years has paid off hugely for the Democrats. The Democrats have perfected the community-organizing techniques of Saul Alinsky — to demonize the opposition and keep a pressure campaign going. Starting with the Twana Brawley hoax, and continuing with the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddy Gray, and George Floyd, the political force of the Left has taken advantage of events to exacerbate racial tensions, and with inciteful rhetoric it has cemented in the minds of black Americans, and in the minds of much of the American public, the detestable lie that America remains a racist nation today. Every police-related death of a black person is a pretext for yet another riot in some other American city.

Heather MacDonald, the renowned Manhattan Institute scholar, has pointed out that police shootings of blacks account for only 3 percent of black homicides (see essay below). In 2019, according to Statista, there were 7,484 black homicides in America. Who is killing the other 97 percent of black Americans? Are white civilians intruding into black neighborhoods and killing such a huge percentage of blacks? There are no news accounts of such killings.

How do we Americans find our way out of this terrible state of affairs? The Left would have us submit to its intolerant, dictatorial, anti-Constitutional rule. We good-hearted Americans must not submit to the Left. The Left is unworthy of authority. The Left is hiding behind its accusations — white supremacy, systematic racism, police bigotry. Isn’t it obvious that the Democrats have no answers and no solutions for failing urban schools, for corrupt big city governance, for street violence and gang warfare, and for the large number of black children who grow up without the presence of a father in the home? The Left is very good at insinuating a victim mentality into people and at fostering resentment, but when it comes to inspiring people to become independent and productive American citizens, the Left is a total failure.

Here is what a commanding and enduring majority of Americans must do before American society can achieve a state of racial reconciliation: When the agitators of racial tension — the politicians, Black Lives Matters, Critical Race theorists, newspeople, etc. — pretend to care about black people, we must resolutely come to disbelieve them. The agitators of racial tension do not care about the plight of black Americans; they are using black people to advance their cynical agenda. Black Lives Matter is aiming for political power — and it is using the lives of black people as cannon fodder. To put it simply, the Left doesn’t care about what happens to most blacks in America — they are lying when they say that they do.

Hopefully, once the ploy of using black deaths for political advantage has been broken and discredited, black Americans will liberate themselves from their bondage to Democrats, and they will gain self-confidence and self-reliance. In the meantime, Republicans should take pains to reach out to the black community, touting messages of economic prosperity and school choice, and to recruit as many courageous, passionate, and articulate black Republicans who are in the timeless tradition of Booker T. Washington as possible.

Heather MacDonald presents the truth in the article “A Grim — and Ignored — Body Count, the Problem in the American Inner City Is Not Racism but Drive-by Shootings of Blacks by other Blacks,” published in City Journal, on November 2, 2020. She reveals a nightmarish reality that Democrats and leftist agitators don’t want to talk about — because they don’t care to do anything to address the problem.

Below is a listing of shooting and killings, that took within four months — July through October — in 2020. The list is ignored by Democrats and the media because it doesn’t advance the leftist agenda:

On October 23, a 3-year-old boy was shot twice in Southwest Philadelphia.

In Baltimore, a 12-year-old boy was shot on October 21; the man standing next to him was killed. That same afternoon, a 16-year-old boy was killed and the 12-year-old boy with him was shot. The 16-year-old was the fifth teenager killed in Baltimore over the previous two weeks.

On October 13, a 35-year-old probation officer who was eight months pregnant was fatally shot in the back outside of her home on the far South Side of Chicago.

On October 10, a 16-year-old boy turned Lake Shore Drive in Chicago into a “shooting gallery,” according to the police, shooting out the eye of a 19-year-old girl in a nearby car.

On October 8, a 51-year-old bus driver in Baltimore reprimanded a couple for getting on his bus without paying. The female grabbed the driver’s backpack and ran off. The bus driver gave chase; the male opened fire and continued pumping bullets into the driver as he lay on the ground, killing him.

In Sacramento, a 9-year-old girl was killed on October 3 during a family gathering in a park. Her 6-year-old cousin and aunt were also shot. Two hours later, a 17-year-old crashed into a pole after being fatally shot. Shortly thereafter, a 17-year-old girl was shot.

On October 2, a 14-year-old girl was shot from a passing car in the West Englewood section of Chicago while standing on a sidewalk. The 35-year-old man standing next to her was killed.

On September 26, a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot in the head on the Far West Side of Chicago.

A 3-year-old boy in Orlando was fatally shot in the head while playing in his living room on September 22, when a passing car sprayed bullets at the front door and windows of the home. The day before, a 14-year-old boy in the same neighborhood was killed with a shot to his head while he was sitting on his front porch. A 15-year-old next to him was critically wounded.

On September 21, a 1-year-old boy in Kansas City, Mo., was killed when someone walked up to the car in which he was riding and riddled it with bullets. The victim, Tyron Patton, was among the 13 children who had been killed in shootings through late September in Kansas City.

Five people were shot on September 19 when two cars sped down a street on the South Side of Chicago, spraying bullets across a sidewalk, onto a porch, and inside a home. That same day, a gunman opened fire on a group of men in West Englewood before escaping down an alley. Four people were hit.

A 15-year-old girl was shot to death in St. Louis on September 15.

That same day, gunfire broke out on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago; the suspects fled in a car, then crashed into three other cars.

A man on house arrest for a gun case opened fire on September 12 at a family he had just met on the West Side of Chicago. He killed two people and wounded another three.

On September 11, a 14-year-old boy was killed in a drive-by shooting in Northeast Baltimore, part of a burst of violence that killed 12 people and wounded another 45 over six days.

On September 10, a female mail carrier on the Far South Side of Chicago was fatally shot in the head, abdomen, legs, and buttocks by occupants of a car speeding down the street.

On September 9, an 11-year-old girl in Bethlehem, Pa., was shot in the face as she answered a knock on the back door of her home.

A 6-year-old boy was shot on September 7 at the annual J’ouvert party that opens the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn (both the party and parade had been officially canceled, to no avail.) Five other people were shot that night in what is a longstanding West Indian Day Parade tradition of deadly weapons violence.

Also on September 7, a young girl and three adults in a car were seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting on the South Side of Chicago.

A 7-year-old girl was killed on August 29 while at a family birthday party in South Bend, Indiana; the assailants shot from a passing car.

On August 31, an 11-year-old girl was shot in the hip in Wilmington, Delaware, while playing outside in the morning.

August 22: A 25-year-old woman was killed with a bullet to her head in the Bronx. Twelve hours later, a 33-year-old man playing basketball in Queens was shot in the head. Four days before, an 18-year-old was killed and a 33-year-old man was shot in the spine in a Brooklyn gang shooting.

August 19: A 9-year-old boy was shot in the lower back on the West side of Chicago when gunmen got out of a car and started shooting at a group of men on a sidewalk. The boy’s mother was also hit in the back.

August 18: A 4-year-old girl in Asbury Park, New Jersey, was shot outside an apartment complex.

August 17: A 9-year-old was shot in the head in a car on the South Side of Chicago.

August 16: A 46-year-old man at a vigil in Brooklyn for a man killed two days before was fatally shot twice in the head. A day earlier, a man in Canarsie, Brooklyn, was shot in the face, one of three shootings within 15 minutes. The day before, four people were killed, including an off-duty corrections officer at a party in Queens, and another 11 people wounded, bringing that week’s shooting toll in New York City to 14 fatalities and 48 wounded.

August 12: A 14-year-old boy opened the door of his mother’s apartment in St. Louis in response to a knock and was fatally shot in the head.

On the morning of August 11, an 11-year-old girl was shot in the head in an SUV in Madison, Wisconsin; two days later, her family took her off of life support.

August 11: A 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were hit in two separate afternoon shootings in Philadelphia.

August 9: Over 100 shots were fired into a block party in Southeast Washington, D.C., killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring another 21 people.

August 5: A 6-year-old girl in West Philadelphia was shot while playing outside her home.

August 1: A 7-year-old boy was shot in the head while sitting on his family’s front porch in West Philadelphia. A shootout had broken out when a man drove onto the street and unloaded his weapon at a group of people standing outside. The boy died two days later.

August 1: A 9-year-old was fatally gunned down on the near the North Side of Chicago while playing with friends. The gunman had fired into a parking lot at a group of males standing nearby. As of August 1, the number of shooting victims 10 or younger in Chicago was three times that of 2019, according to the Chicago Tribune.

July 31: A 17-year-old in Chicago was killed on a sidewalk in a case of friendly fire. His companion had started shooting at a passing car whose occupants were flashing gang signs.

July 22: 1-year-old Ace Lucas was killed in his bed in Canton, Ohio; his twin brother sleeping next to him was wounded.

July 14: 9-year-old Devonte Bryant was killed with a shot to his head in New Orleans; a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were hit in the same shooting.

July 12: A 1-year-old boy in a stroller was killed by a shot to the stomach at a cookout in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn; three men were also hit. That same night, a 12-year-old boy was shot in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section and a 15-year-old boy was shot in Harlem.

July 8: A 12-year-old boy was killed inside his home in a drive-by shooting in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

July 5: A 6-year-old boy was fatally shot in a drug hot spot home in Northeast Philadelphia.

At least eight children were killed in drive-bys nationally over the Fourth of July weekend: 8-year-old Secoriea Turner was in a car with her mother in Atlanta trying to inch past a barricade illegally erected by Black Lives Matter protesters. Two people opened fire on the car. Michael Goodlow III, age 4, was fatally hit in the head on July 4 in St. Louis. In Hoover, Alabama, a gun battle broke out between three males in a mall. Royta De’Marco Giles Jr., 8 years old, was caught in crossfire and killed; the other innocent bystanders were wounded. In Galivants Ferry, South Carolina, a 4-year-old boy was killed on July 4. Davon McNeal, 11, ran toward his aunt’s house in Southeast Washington, D.C., to get a cell phone charger and was killed in gunfire between a group of five males. In Chicago, Natalia Wallace, 7, was playing in a yard when three males exited a car and opened fire at a group standing on the street. Wallace was fatally hit in the head. A 14-year-old boy was also killed playing basketball on the Fourth of July. In San Francisco’s Bayview district, a 6-year-old boy was shot and killed.

July 2: An 11- year-old girl and a 12-year old girl were killed in a drive-by shooting at a birthday party in Delano, California.

June 30: A 3-year-old girl was shot while playing in the front yard of her Englewood, Chicago, home.

June 29: 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro was killed while sleeping in his father’s apartment in Kansas City.

June 27: In the Englewood section of Chicago, 1-year-old Sincere Gaston was killed in his mother’s car as it was returning from a laundromat.

A 3-year-old girl was shot on June 22 playing outside her home in Chicago Lawn.

On June 20 in Chicago, 3-year-old Mekhi James was killed in his father’s car. A 13-year-old, a 16-year-old, and a 17-year-old were also fatally shot that day.

On June 19, a 23-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant was killed in her car in Southwest Baltimore. Her 3-year-old daughter was also killed. Both were left in the car for 14 hours.

In South-Central Los Angeles alone, nine children under the age of 10 have been shot in 2020, and 40 children under the age of 18. In Philadelphia, as of early August, 11 children had been fatally shot, six of those victims under the age of 10. One in 10 shooting victims in Philadelphia have been children.

At least 17 children have been killed in St. Louis this year. St. Louis hospitals have treated 114 children, including an infant, for gunshot wounds through October 8, according to the Washington Post. The average age of drive-by victims in St. Louis is dropping and the wounds are more serious, due to gangbangers’ increased firepower. The number of homicides in black St. Louis neighborhoods rose 800 percent over the summer, from one every four days to two a day. “It’s like it’s no big deal. They’ve accepted homicides, too,” the mother of two males killed in 2014 told the St. Louis Post Dispatch in September 2020.

The killers have not been identified in many of these shootings, despite ample witnesses, because of the ghetto code against “snitching” and cooperating with the police.

In the weeks immediately following the Floyd riots, homicides were up by 100 percent in Minneapolis, 200 percent in Seattle, 240 percent in Atlanta, and 182 percent in Chicago. The violence continued over the summer and into the fall. In a sample of 27 big cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Milwaukee, Nashville, and Louisville, homicide rates rose an average of 53 percent between June and August.     *

Monday, 24 May 2021 12:01

June 2021

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

Barry MacDonald, in “The Plight of Black America,” reveals a nightmarish reality of present-day America that Democrats and Black Lives Matter don’t want to talk about.

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Critical Race Theory’s Assault on Teaching the History of Western Civilization,” articulates the enduring value of Western civilization to all the nations of the earth; in “China’s Tyranny Is Clear to All — Something Which Was Not Always True,” he reveals China’s present-day and historical crimes against humanity, and illustrates the long-practiced naiveté of the U.S. government and the media; in “First Principles: What the Founding Fathers Learned from the Greeks and Romans,” he reviews the book First Impressions, by Thomas E. Ricks, which documents the intense interest that the Founders of the United States had in the ancient world.

Mark Hendrickson, in “The Big Green Lie,” he exposes the lies involved with climate change hysteria, one of which is the implication that prosperity is sinful; in “Guilt, Condemnation, and Totalitarian Punishment,” he comprehensively takes on the entire leftist agenda; in “Urban Emigration: A Worrisome Outlook for American Cities,” he believes that, unless city leaders provide safety and order, big cities are heading towards decline; in “Raise the Corporate Tax Rate? Economic Obtuseness in High Places,” he demonstrates how man-made economic policies cannot overcome natural economic principles; in “Washington’s Bi-partisan Fiscal Folly,” he notes the alarming trend where big-government spending far outstrips government revenue, and he states the timeless truth: people should support the government, but the government should not support people.

Paul Kengor, in “The Early Church Was Not Socialist,” quotes the Bible, Pope Pius XI, Lenin, and Marx to make his point.

Earl H. Tilford, in “From the Dawn of the American Twilight,” recalls with regret a battle of the Vietnam War that epitomized dishonest American military leadership.

Thomas Martin, in “The Ideology of Sex Ed Passing for Health,” considers a new draft proposal from the State Health Education Standards which is to be debated by the Kearney (Nebraska) School Board, involving “gender identity” and “gender-role stereotypes.”

William Adair Bonner, in The Culture War: Have We Entered a New Phase?” writes that Americans are now “assaulted by political and ideological forces . . . which enforce censorship, political correctness, cancel culture, conformity, and acquiescence to the most aggressive forces seeking to dominate society.”

Jerry Hopkins, in “Lying Rights,” explores what it means in America to exercise “rights.”

The life — January 7, 1923 - April 15, 2021 — and distinguished military service of John A. Paller is celebrated in his obituary.

Francis P. DeStefano, in “Monsignor Quixote,” reviews a film about an elderly country priest living in a Spanish village who fancies himself a descendant of Cervantes’ famous hero and who behaves accordingly; in “A Foreign Field,” he reviews a film performed by an ensemble of famous film stars near the end of their careers who play men and women who either fought in or were impacted by the D-Day invasion of Normandy — they assemble in Normandy on the 50th anniversary of D-Day; in “American Literature on Film,” he reviews four excellent novels that were adapted into stupendous films: “Moby Dick”; “The Red Badge of Courage”; “The Magnificent Ambersons”; and “Dodsworth.”

Thomas E. Wilson, in “The Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,” writes about the great American poet’s accomplishments and his sorrows.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Can the GOP Survive Trump?” asks whether the Republican Party has the good sense to adopt for itself the beneficial policies and accomplishments of the Trump administration.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 87: Memoirs of a Cape Breton Doctor by Dr. C. Lamont MacMillian,” reviews the memoirs of the hardships of doctoring to five thousand souls on the island of Cape Breton during the time of the Depression.

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Wednesday, 10 March 2021 12:16

You Will Be Missed, Rush Limbaugh

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

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

You Will Be Missed, Rush Limbaugh

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

I remember the first moment I heard Rush Limbaugh. I had returned to America in 1996, 25 years ago, after having lived in Japan and taught English there for nine years. I was driving around the Stillwater, Minnesota, area, trying to obtain job printing to supplement my income from The St. Croix Review. I had a habit of switching through the AM stations looking for the music I liked. I was arriving back at our combination office and printshop when I heard Rush’s voice. I stayed in the garage for 10 minutes with the engine off and the radio on because I was captivated.

Rush was confident, wickedly funny, and he was an America-loving patriot — this much was clear from the first moments that I heard him. I was reacquainting myself with America after a long absence, and Rush had a colossal impact on me. He was impetuously brash and courageous. He was like a stand-up comic, with expert political insight. If you were a nationally recognized, nasty, and crooked politician, Rush Limbaugh was a fearsome menace.

Rush had a penetrating intellect and a humane and compassionate heart. This is an aspect of his personality that people who never heard him — and who judge him, based solely on the disparaging opinions of his political opponents — will not understand. Rush would often ask his new listeners to wait for three to six weeks before judging him, especially if they held contrary political views. It would take time for some people to comprehend him and to come around to his way of thinking. Over my 25 years of listening to his program, I can testify that Rush had tremendous success in converting people to the Conservative cause, because I heard them say so repeatedly on air.

I didn’t need six weeks to understand Rush — I loved him immediately.

During the days following his death on February 17, 2021, the guest hosts on The Rush Limbaugh Show played many segments of Rush speaking on-air. A few days ago, while I was driving about the Stillwater area and conducting my business, I heard Rush say again what I had originally heard him say years ago: That people may forget the exact words that a prominent person said to them, but they will always remember how that important person made them feel.

My experience of living through the political drama of the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama presidencies proves Rush’s statement. There were so many events involving an almost incomprehensible amount of contradictory detail that happened over the years. I read the news reports, editorials, and essays, and watched the broadcast news as I was diligently processing articles and writing for The St. Croix Review. And I listened to Rush Limbaugh. There were so many scandals with complicated and conflicting narratives, with the facts slowly coming to light. There were so many pivotal turning points of American history: President Clinton’s re-election: the Clinton-Gingrich duel; the Lewinsky scandal and Clinton’s impeachment; the first attack on the World Trade Center; the contested Bush election, with hanging chads in Florida; the 9/11 attacks; the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq; . . . you get the point.

Of all the news sources I have consumed to gauge the direction of American politics, touching on the motivations, techniques, and the personalities of national politicians, Rush Limbaugh has proven to be an outstanding and invaluable source of insight and analysis. From my perspective, Rush’s opinions were consistently validated by the outcomes of events over 25 years.

Rush Limbaugh shared vital attributes with Ronald Reagan, whom Rush nicknamed in admiration, “Ronaldus Magnus.” Both men were starkly different from the other public figures of their times. Both were optimistic and depended upon their faith in God. Reagan perceived Soviet weakness while the experts of both parties were intimated by Soviet propaganda, ideology, and missiles. Reagan based his policies upon the ingenuity and reliability of the American citizen and worker, and he believed in the underlying strength of the free American economy. And Reagan was right — the economy revived and prospered under his governance, and the Soviet Union dissolved soon after Reagan’s presidency.

Likewise, Rush Limbaugh extolled the ingenuity, independence, and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. His entire radio career was a crusade dedicated towards the freeing of the American people from the arrogant, dispiriting, disparaging, and burdensome meddling of corrupt government. Rush was a solutions-oriented guy. He wanted the American worker to be left alone, so that the worker’s native talent and intelligence could be unleashed for his own and his family’s benefit. He didn’t suppose that Americans were better than people of other nations, but he did believe that Americans were gifted with a rich legacy by our enlightened Founders and our unique Founding documents. Americans are born into a nation that cherishes individual liberty — it was Rush’s mission on Earth to preserve American liberty and prosperity.

Like Ronald Reagan, Rush never tired of celebrating the Founders, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the American people, American history, the American dream, American generosity to the nations of the world in tragic times, the rule of law, justice, free enterprise, and the American military. Both men were unapologetically patriotic. Both saw America as an exceptional one-of-a-kind nation. To them America was a good and a just nation. They thought that American history should be celebrated and truthfully taught in American schools.

How did Rush make me feel? He made me feel proud and lucky to be American. Rush instilled enthusiasm and energy in me. He motivated me to watch the events and the contest of American politics carefully. He guided my understanding and deepened my perspectives. I placed my faith in God, like he did. I have come to distrust and have aversion for the endless barrage of accusations directed against innocent good-hearted Americans by the Left. Rush Limbaugh helped me to understand the deceitful ploys of Leftist politicians, media, and Hollywood stars.

I believe conservative intellectuals make a great mistake when they assume that they can inspire and direct a movement strong enough to counter Leftist propaganda and the Leftist agenda solely by making superior intellectual arguments. Our spokespeople must establish a heartfelt connection with the American people. Our conservative leaders must be living examples of courage, intelligence, enterprise, and patriotism, as Rush Limbaugh was. Compare Rush Limbaugh with the condescending personage of George Will.

Americans listened to Rush Limbaugh while they were driving in cars, working in shops, loitering in garages, gathering in restaurants, sitting in specially arranged “Rush Rooms,” or serving in the military and stationed overseas. Rush Limbaugh’s message reverberated at the grassroots of American culture, with an impact that the likes of George Will can never dream of equaling. Rush could persuade blue-collar workers to become Republican voters.

Rush had a tremendous impact on the course of American history. Newt Gingrich doubts that the Republican party could have won the House majority in 1994, for the first time in 40 years, without Rush’s influence. At the end of his 33 years on air promoting American liberty and prosperity, he was affiliated with 650 radio stations nationwide. He pioneered and paved the way for the entire Talk Radio industry — which is a working-man’s conservative movement. Talk Radio is a medium of communication that conservative intellectuals would do well to appreciate, respect, and promote. I don’t believe the conservative movement can succeed without Talk Radio.

One of the greatest accomplishments of his life’s work is that Rush inspired a multitude of talented imitators to carry on his mission: Dennis Prager, Buck Sexton, Todd Herman, and Mark Steyn are good examples — there are many more.

I listened to Rush Limbaugh for many years while I was operating a printing press. The mission and vision statements above the title of this editorial were inspired by Rush Limbaugh and Ronald Reagan. Rush Limbaugh will be remembered — and greatly missed.     *

Wednesday, 10 March 2021 12:14

April 2021 Summary

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

Barry MacDonald, in “You Will Be Missed, Rush Limbaugh,” on the occasion of Rush Limbaugh’s death, describes the radio personality’s lasting impact on American culture.

Paul Kengor, in “Death of a Defector: Ion Mihai Pacepa, R.I.P.” reveals many Cold War secrets, along with the astounding successes of a determined Soviet disinformation campaign to divide and weaken the West; in “Warping the Credit for Trump’s Operation Warp Speed,” he gives deserved credit to President Donald Trump for the production of a vaccine for COVID-19 in record time; in “Pagans for Biden,” he forcefully refutes The New York Times, and breaks down how religious affiliation played out in the 2020 election.

Allan Brownfeld, in “The Assault on Teaching the Classics: Identity Politics Replaces a Color-Blind Society,” he makes the case that such prominent blacks as Martin Luther King and W.E.B. Du Bois would consider today’s “identity politics” to be an anti-intellectual form of racism; in “Changing the Names of 44 San Francisco Schools: An Assault on American History,” he offers rebuttals from historians to the hasty actions of the San Francisco Board of Education; in “Attack on the Capitol: What Would the Founding Fathers Think?” he quotes the words of our Founders, reflecting their opinions of the difficulties of government and of freedom.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Wall Street Outsiders Versus Hedge Funds,” explains the esoteric Wall Street games of “short squeezes” and “short selling” with an incident in January when the big-boy hedge funds got caught flatfooted; in “The Problematical COVID-19 Relief Legislation,” he details the outrageous overspending of the Washington, D.C., mindset.

John A. Sparks, in “On the Impeachment and Conviction of President Trump,” looks at the case against the former president and finds it lacking in merit.

Timothy S. Goeglein, in “Why Oval Office Art Matters,” informs us of President Biden’s choices of portraits — and their implications.

Ronald Everett, in “Family Memories,” describes the harsh conditions his relatives endured living under the tyranny of East German Communism.

Matthew B. Wills, in “General T. J. Jackson — Better Known as “Stonewall,” describes a great Confederate general of the Civil War.

T. David Gordon, in “Why ‘No Justice, No Peace’ Is an Unjust Slogan,” reveals what separates Marxist movements, like “Black Lives Matter” from other, more humane systems of governance and justice: violence has been from its origins, and is today, an essential component of Marxism.

David L. Cawthon, in “Marx on Leadership: Necessity Abhors a Vacuum,” he outlines the governing ideas of one of history’s most pivotal philosophers.

Francis DeStefano, in “Marty,” reviews the “sleeper” hit-movie, “Marty,” that won the 1955 Academy Awards with four Oscars, fronting Ernest Borgnine as a second-generation Italian American looking for love in the Bronx; in “Betsy’s Wedding,” he reviews another movie concerning third- and fourth-generation Italian Americans as they grapple with pride and “mixed marriages,” class and generation conflicts, and a complicated mish mash of differing expectorations.

Thomas E. Wilson, in “The Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,” writes about the great American poet’s accomplishments and his sorrows.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Significant Knowledge,” launches a forceful refutation against the ignorant and simplistic views of “green” environmentalism.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservative, 86: Jane Austen,” reviews the interwoven family drama of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021 12:50

Holding Republicans Accountable

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

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

Holding Republicans Accountable

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

President Trump has been given too little credit for his tireless efforts in making the United States the good and great nation it is capable of being. He has been tarred by slanderous press coverage throughout his presidency. The Democratic Party and the bureaucracy of Washington, D.C., have been fanatically hostile from his inauguration day, mounting a years-long bogus investigation, founded on a fabricated Russian collusion narrative and a fanciful charge of abuse of power concerning Ukraine, which culminated in his impeachment.

Unfortunately, what has also become apparent during the Trump presidency is the timidity and reluctance of elected Republicans both in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country, to defend the rule of law, constitutional principles, and now voter integrity and fair elections.

It was a great disappointment during the first two years of President Trump’s term that the Republican leadership in the House and the Senate failed to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. If the Republicans had dared to replace the bureaucratic monstrosity of health care in America, they might have been damaged politically in the short term. But once ordinary Americans would have experienced a more market-based and a patient-centered approach, the Republican Party could have earned the long-lasting respect of the American people. And the Republican Party, its officeholders as well as its loyal voters, could have relished what it feels like to be doing beneficial, worthwhile, and morale-boosting work for the good of all Americans.

There were many votes for show when Republicans controlled the Senate during the Obama presidency with Mitch McConnell leading and with John McCain supporting. Republican senators made a great pretense of opposing The Affordable Care Act. But when Mitch McConnell and John McCain had a president, Donald Trump, who had the courage to take upon himself the full weight of the maniacal vitriol of the opposition, Senators Mitch McConnell and John McCain chose to do nothing — the senators enforced the bureaucratic status quo, they demoralized their own voters, and, subsequently, the Republicans lost their majority in the House in the midterm elections.

A pattern that was apparent before President Trump won the presidency has become starkly obvious now. Too many elected Republicans in Washington, D.C., are steadfastly unwilling to oppose and stop the pay-for-play corruption of powerful government officials. The Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation were used as vehicles to enrich Hillary and Bill Clinton and their cronies — this is old news. But last year the self-serving and questionable dealings between Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, and the governments of Ukraine and China came to light. To prove the allegations of corruption against the Clintons and the Bidens, we needed a Republican Party with the willingness and fortitude to launch and complete investigations. Unfortunately, Republicans and Republican officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. were unwilling to uphold transparency, integrity, honesty, and the rule of law in the conduct of public service.

One must ask the question: Why are elected Republicans incapable of defending the compendium of their professed principles? Are they hoping to share in the largess of the tax-collected wealth that accurses to Washington, D.C.? Are they co-opted and corrupted by the allure and arrogance of power? Or are they simply overwhelmed and intimidated?

It is clear now that too many elected Republicans are turning a blind eye toward mendacious government — we don’t know why.

The Navarro Report, “The Immaculate Deception: Six Key Dimensions of Election Irregularities,” makes shocking allegations about the presidential election that resulted in Joe Biden’s “supposed” victory:

  • The weight of evidence and patterns of irregularities of election fraud is worthy of investigation, and yet we hear repeated claims that there is “no evidence” of fraud.
  • The number of ballots in question are more than enough to swing the outcome in favor of President Trump.
  • The battleground states of Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin share a mix of the same or similar election irregularities.
  • There was theft “by a thousand cuts” across these six battleground states.
  • The anti-Trump media and censoring social media platforms are complicit in keeping the truth from the Americans.
  • Journalists, pundits, and political leaders are participating in a “Biden Whitewash” that risks putting in power a presidency that lacks legitimacy and earned support from a large segment of the American people.
  • The failure to aggressively investigate election irregularities is a failure of the mainstream media, censoring social media, and the legislative and judicial branches of government.
  • Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, and Republican majorities in both chambers of state legislatures in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, had the power and opportunity to investigate election irregularities, but under intense political pressure they have failed in upholding Constitutional duties and responsibilities.
  • Both state courts and federal courts, including the Supreme Court, have refused to appropriately adjudicate election irregularities.
  • If the election irregularities are not fully investigated prior to Inauguration Day, the United States runs the “very real risk of never being able to have a fair presidential election again.”

Americans who yearn for honesty, transparency, and beneficence in government are in difficult circumstances these days. The St. Croix Review will continue to publish essays that uphold the ideals of honesty, decency, and Constitutional principles.

For the welfare of the future of America, faithful Americans and Trump supporters must take upon themselves the arduous task of finding officeholders worthy of election.     *

Tuesday, 19 January 2021 12:42

February 2021 Summary

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

Barry MacDonald, in “Holding Republicans Accountable,” questions the fortitude and willingness of elected Republicans and Republican officeholders to uphold their professed principles.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Christmas Comes Just When We Need It,” comments on two great British expositors of Christian ethics, G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis; in Remembering Walter Williams: A Crusader for Individual Freedom and a Color-Blind American Society,” he memorializes a trail-blazing black author and teacher; in “The Strange Case of Jonathan Pollard: Parole Ends for a Spy for Israel Who Was Surprisingly Supported by Many Americans,” he makes the case that Pollard should be viewed as a spy and not a hero.

Paul Kengor, in “George S. Patton and Christmas 1945,” reviews a recent book and movie about the great American General and he looks into his iconic status and the odd and mysterious circumstances of his death.

Gary Scott Smith, in “I Like Ike,” considers the influence of one of America’s most religiously motivated Presidents — Dwight Eisenhower.

Earl Tilford, in “Looking Back at a Year and Past Christmases — and Toward a Better 2021,” points toward optimism even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Caleb Fuller, in “The ‘E’ Stands for ‘Excellence’: Remembering Walter E. Williams,” memorializes the life of an incisive economics professor who was also a humorous, down-to-earth, equal rights crusading, and, most of all, decent human being.

Paul Suszko, in “Conservatism: What Then Shall We Conserve?” answers by referring to the profound wisdom of the ages, and in consideration of our current controversies.

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

Robert L. Wichterman, in “Memories of the Fun Years in Small-Town America,” penned a memoir about growing up during the Depression and World War II.

Jerry Hopkins, in “What Do We Need?” writes about taxation, limited government, and the seen and unseen.

Francis DeStefano in “Sully” reviews a movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, about the forced landing of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River by New York City on January 15, 2009; in “LaLa Land,” he reviews a love story about a man who dreams of operating a jazz nightclub and exhibiting his talent as a jazz piano virtuoso, and an actress who dreams of being a leading lady in movies.

Jigs and Jo Ann Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — In Memory of Jesse Jenkins Gardner, 1956-2020,” memorialize the life of their son.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 85: An Important Book on Abraham Lincoln,” he reviews Lincoln’s Rise to the Presidency, by William C. Harris (2007).

Wednesday, 09 December 2020 11:00

America Is at a Turning Point

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

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

America Is at a Turning Point

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

At the time of this writing, after a spiteful election season, the outcome of the 2020 presidential election is being disputed. President Trump is contesting the result. President Trump should be granted the opportunity to make his case in an unhindered fashion before the entirety of the American people.

President Trump must be permitted to challenge the results of the election. The American people need to rely on the accuracy of the election; otherwise, a large percentage of Americans will lose trust and faith in the honesty of future elections — the legitimacy of government is at stake.

If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris prevail, and the Democrats gain control of the presidency, the bureaucracy, the House of Representatives, and especially of the Senate, then we may expect an onslaught of hard-left, socialistic, governing policy the likes of which America has never experienced. American conservatives may be facing difficult days ahead.

Regardless of which direction the nation takes, the editorial posture of The St. Croix Review remains steadfast. Our authors write for good-hearted Americans who seek a balanced perspective of America’s best qualities, along with a clear-eyed presentation of America’s real challenges.

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

We reject and repudiate the attempts of leftists to impose a sense of collective guilt upon us for America’s Founding and settling. American history is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, discovery, achievement, excellence, and heroism. Our children should be taught the genuine history of the American people.

America has always beckoned to the nations of the earth as a light of liberty amidst a world history that is typified as a chronicle of tyranny. America has demonstrated how to create liberty and prosperity. Our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights serve as a shield protecting the American people from the arrogant and aggressive agents of a ruthlessly self-interested governing class.

If our Constitutional protections are overcome, an ascendant leftist governing class and its partners — bureaucrats, crony corporations, big tech giants, mainstream media, Hollywood entertainers — would subject the working and middle classes of America to a relentless campaign of disinformation, mal-education, and crushing taxation and regulation.

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

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

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

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

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

The St. Croix Review is on the verge of entering its 54th year of publication! We have no intention of compromising our principles.     *

Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:58

December 2020 Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 05 October 2020 12:45

American Ingenuity

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

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

American Ingenuity

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 05 October 2020 12:42

October 2020 Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Calendar of Events

Annual Dinner 2020
Thu Oct 22, 2020 @ 5:00PM - 08:00PM
St Croix Review Seminar
Thu Oct 22, 2020 @ 2:00PM - 04:30PM
Annual Dinner 2019
Tue Oct 08, 2019 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
Annual Dinner 2018
Mon Oct 15, 2018 @ 6:00PM - 09:00PM
Annual Dinner 2017
Thu Oct 19, 2017 @ 6:00PM -

Words of Wisdom