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Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald

Editor & Publisher of the St. Croix Review.

Monday, 17 October 2022 13:02

The Lasting Impact of the 2022 Summer Riots

The mission of the St. Croix Review is to end the destruction of America by reestablishing the family as the center of American life, restoring economic prosperity to an independent middle class, and reviving a culture of tradition.

The Lasting Impact of the 2020 Summer Riots

Barry MacDonald, Editorial

One wonders what would happen now if America suffered another terrorist assault similar to that of 9/11. In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans by and large did join together in shared patriotism, at least for a brief time. Six months later, we fell to bickering over who was responsible for our lapse of defense. By November 2002, when the congressional 9/11 Commission was underway, the blame game was in full swing again.

Twenty years is not a long time in the history of a nation, but within such a short span of time it seems that our political divisions have become dangerously exacerbated. If there were another diabolically effective attack, carried out by terrorists who infiltrated our porous southern border, it is easy to imagine that America would not unify, but would shatter — with some Americans shamelessly taking sides with the terrorists.

On September 1 this year, President Biden gave a vitriolic speech in Philadelphia, in which he castigated MAGA Republicans. He said:

“Equality and democracy are under assault . . .

“Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our Republic. . . .

“They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fanned the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country. . . .

“MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live, not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies. . . .

“. . . there are public figures today, yesterday, and the day before, predicting, and all but calling for mass violence and rioting in the streets. . . .

“And this is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool. We do not encourage violence. We are still an America that believes in honesty and decency and respect for others. Patriotism, liberty, justice for all, hope, possibilities — we are still at our core a democracy. . . .

“MAGA Republicans are destroying American democracy.”

President Biden’s speech pivots upon the art of accusation, even as it espouses commonly held American beliefs and ideals.

It is sad and frustrating to see the words “honesty,” decency,” “respect,” “patriotism,” “liberty,” “justice,” and “hope” so misused and drained of meaning. Personal rights, the pursuit of justice, and the rule of law were referred to with the assertion that these are ideals that are cherished and upheld by the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party today.

President Biden says that America’s foundations, its equality and democracy, are threatened by MAGA extremism, and that Republicans promote “authoritarian leaders” who “fan the flames of political violence.”

Given the 500-plus riots that spread over America in the summer of 2020, the dozens of deaths, the billions of dollars of destruction — of property, and of livelihoods — the toppling of statues — including those of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln — it’s impossible to take Biden’s words at face value. A federal court in Portland, Oregon, was assaulted nightly for over a hundred days by Antifa thugs, while Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler and Democratic Governor Kate Brown did not enforce the law and put down the riots. Hundreds of police officers have been murdered and injured, demonized and defunded, throughout America ever since the George Floyd incident — all while Democratic members of the “Squad” in the House have continued to call for the further defunding of the police.

An entire section of downtown Seattle, Washington, was held hostage for a month by a mob who terrorized residents and businesses owners. A police precinct was emptied of officers and abandoned by the city government, and the rule of law was given over to thugs who fancied themselves outside the jurisdiction of the United States. These thugs perpetrated a genuine insurrection. A young man was shot and died, as emergency personnel were prevented from rescuing him by the mob. Democrats were in charge of the Seattle City Council. The mayor of Seattle was Democratic Jenny Durkan, and the governor of Washington was Democratic Jay Inslee — they turned their backs on the rule of law.

Vice President Kamala Harris said of the death of George Floyd and the summer riots “. . . It’s no wonder people are taking to the streets, and I support them . . .” She said:

They’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.”

The George Floyd incident was a catalyst for an explosion of crime throughout America. The riots of 2020 were followed by the purposeful non-prosecution of criminals. The streets of New York City, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle are overcome with the dread of violence as criminals are released, due to the dubious “no-cash bail” innovations of progressive city and district attorneys and Democratic state legislatures. Every day in America the numbers of carjackings, assaults, and murders are rising. Innocent children are shot to death by the stray bullets of rampaging gangs.

Added to the neglect of law and order within our big cities is the purposeful surrender of our southern border to the Mexican drug cartels. The drug cartels control who enters our country, as every illegal immigrant pays the cartels a fee. The immigrants suffer immensely as children and women are raped, and people die along the way into America. Democratic governors and mayors have accommodated this illegal traffic of human beings by establishing sanctuary cities and states. Fentanyl, an extremely dangerous drug that enters America through the southern border, poisoned to death more than 100,000 Americans in 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden have the effrontery to say that the southern border is closed and secure.

Homelessness has been a problem in Democratically run major metropolitan areas for years now, but in the last two years these unfortunate and desperate people have become more violent and dangerous. In the suburbs of Portland, homeless encampments have begun to drive people out of their homes. Democratic mayors and city councils have no effective means of alleviating the misery of either the residents or the homeless — more importantly, they lack the will to act.

Much of the deterioration of the rule of law and safety can be laid at the doorstep of the Democratic Party and the Biden Administration. Instead of squarely acknowledging and addressing these problems, they choose to blame their political opponents.

President Biden gave an angry speech denouncing anger. He accused Republicans of being authoritarians while using the rhetoric of an authoritarian himself. He invoked the rule of law and justice while his party has busied itself undermining law and justice. He lauded “decency” in a most indecent way.

President Biden did himself and his party no favor, by offering such a bitter speech. His words are saturated with accusation and hatred, and his characterization of Republicans is outrageously at odds with the facts of law and order and justice as they are in America today under his and Democratic Party leadership.

President Biden is relying on the precarious assumption that a majority of the American people are enormously naïve and forgetful of our recent, and profound, national trauma. There is an air of berserk lunacy about President Biden’s speech. Does he really expect that most Americans believe that the 2020 riots were justified, and that the Democrats were innocent bystanders?     *

Monday, 17 October 2022 13:00

October 2022 Summary

The following is a summary of the October 2022 issue of the St. Croix Review:

Barry MacDonald, in “The Lasting Impact of the 2020 Summer Riots,” compares an angry speech by President Biden in Philadelphia with the results of the riots of 2020.

Timothy S. Goeglein, in “We Are Reliving the Lord of the Flies,” remarks on the devastating impact broken families have on children, especially on boys who lack the presence of a father in the home.

Paul Kengor, in “Remember the Cold War’s Witness,” tells the moving story of Whittaker Chambers, the once-Soviet spy who broke from Communism and who testified against another American who was a Soviet spy, Alger Hiss; and in “Mikhail Gorbachev Meets His Maker,” gives a summation of the last leader of the Soviet Union, where he addresses a most surprising question — was Gorbachev a “closet Christian?”

Mark Hendrickson in “Children Are Less a Cost Than a Blessing,” responds to a study that says “It Now Costs $300,000 to Raise a Child”; in “The Orwellian Inflation Reduction Act,” he exposes the many dishonesties and distortions to the economy in the latest tax-and-spend bill coming from Congress; in “Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Newest Version: ESG,” he comments on the foolish and harmful effects that result when CEOs allow outside political activists to bully corporations into assuming controversial political positions.

Allan C. Brownfeld in “The Growing Threat to American Democracy Will Not Be Reversed Until We Recognize Its Reality,” warns of the danger of government by brute force; in “Fears Grow of a Society Coming Apart; Some Even Predict the Possibility of Civil War,” he details the many ways Americans are at odds with each other; in “Ending Race-Based Affirmative Action Programs: A Chance to Move Toward a Genuinely Color Blind Society,” on the verge of a Supreme Court ruling on the race-based admissions policies of American universities, he examines the differences between color blind verses quota-based systems.

Derek Suszko, in “The Fall of the Roman Republic: A Narrative and Analytical Comparison with the Contemporary Conditions of the United States of America — (Part 1 of a Series), launches a detailed account of two abiding republics for the purpose of determining how great republics fall to ruin.

Henry Alley, a recent graduate of Beechwood High School, in “Manipulation,” exposes the means by with clever narcissists perpetrate abuse and exert power over people — on an individual and societal basis.

Francis DeStefano, in “Income Inequality: 1950-2022,” uses William Buckley Jr.’s God and Man at Yale to expose the dominance of socialist ideals among economists at Yale at the time — a dominance of thought that still exists among “democratic socialists” today.

Francis DeStefano, in “The First Churchills,” reviews a British film about Winston Churchill’s ancestors, John Churchill and Sarah Jennings, who rose from the fringes of high society to be the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough; in “The Painted Veil,” he reviews both the film adaptation and the novel of the same title. The Painted Veil is a story about an English socialite wife who travels with her husband (whom she doesn’t love) to China, where she encounters the faithful and self-service of Catholic nuns in a convent orphanage.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Greenism vs. Mankind,” compares the sensibility and practicality of environmentalism with the leftist ideology of “Greenism.”

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives: 4, Scott Nearing,” examines the writings of one of the original Communists in America who posed as a smug Green apostle.

Monday, 15 August 2022 12:15

America's Challenge

The mission of the St. Croix Review is to end the destruction of America by re-establishing the family as the center of American life, restoring economic prosperity to an independent middle class, and reviving a culture of tradition.

America’s Challenge

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The Marxist Left, going by the name of the “Progressive” movement, has been on the march for over a century in America, and it now dominates many of our precious institutions. Our liberties are at risk. The St. Croix Review is sharpening its message. You will note that we have an evolved mission statement at the top of this page.

The Progressive movement includes politicians, public intellectuals, entertainers, artists, writers, academics, lawyers, news organizations, cartoonists, think tanks, bureaucrats, educators, churches and synagogues, corporations, and the tech barons of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Progressives behave as an exclusionary ruling class, and they manipulate the United States through the government and bureaucracy centered in Washington, D.C., using: The institutions of law; the education of children and adolescents; the selection and matriculation of future leaders through entrance into the nation’s so-called elite universities; the messages communicated in news and entertainment; the instructions imparted by some of our religious institutions; the presentation of content to be viewed in museums; the enticement, management, and sanctuary given to illegal immigrants; and the abandonment of rigorous scientific method that subjects findings to trials of disproof, in favor of agenda-based “science.”

The ruthless Progressives have adopted revolutionary means to manipulate mass consciousness, to grasp power for themselves, to maintain a system of control, and to undermine and overthrow liberty-enhancing traditional American values, using:

  • Unaccountable bureaucracy
  • Cronyism
  • Unsupported accusation
  • Systematic deceit
  • Perverted science
  • Academic malpractice
  • Class warfare
  • Gender warfare
  • Identity politics
  • Corruption of intelligence agencies
  • The defunding and demoralization of law enforcement
  • Preferential treatment of criminals over the law-abiding
  • Racial incitement
  • Poisoned news narratives

The ruling class is hostile to:

  • Traditional religious values
  • The Founding principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights
  • The enforcement of the rule of law and justice
  • A due appreciation of rights in private property, and in the sanctity of contracts
  • The unhindered operation of the free economy
  • A fair-minded presentation of history that upholds achievement, justice, and goodness
  • The self-reliance of the American individual, family, civic institutions, churches and synagogues, immigrants
  • A health care system based on the free exchange of information and service between patient and care provider
  • The management of an immigration system geared toward the liberty, prosperity, and the health and welfare of American citizens who live under the protections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Religion and Society, and The St. Croix Review, oppose Progressives by means of:

  • Editorials and essays
  • Reasoned argumentation
  • Fair-minded presentation of facts
  • Historical essays
  • Inspirational essays
  • Religious values
  • Commentary on current events
  • Poetry
  • Satire

Religion and Society, and The St. Croix Review, uphold:

  • The Christian faith, among others, embodied in the Founding documents of the United States of America
  • The principles of law, justice, and governance embodied in our Founding documents
  • Ideals of truth and goodness
  • An emphasis on the exercise of liberty in the economy, and in civic institutions
  • The promotion of the virtues of self-reliance of individuals, families, and religious faiths
  • The diminution of the influence of the exclusionary ruling class, the bureaucracy, and the federal government
  • An immigration system designed for the preservation of liberty, the Founding principles of American governance, and the prosperity of American citizens.

The progressives have become so brazen as to suppose that they have the leverage to impose gender ideology and “drag queen” shows, on kindergarten students in public schools.

When the Florida Legislature and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis opposed them with a prohibitory law, these crazed Progressives believed they could win the battle by smearing the “Parental Rights in Education” bill with a vitriolic label: the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Unlike so many of the laws that issue from Washington, D.C. (for example, The Inflation Reduction Act and The Affordable Care Act), the wording of “The Parental Rights in Education” bill is a fair rendering of what’s in the law. The law prohibits the imposition of gender-identity propaganda on students from kindergarten through third grade in Florida schools. The bill protects “the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of the children.”

That such a law is necessary today is a measure of Progressive hutzpah and delusion and wickedness. It’s also a measure of how far the Progressives have gone in dominating our institutions.

We should be grateful. For many decades, the Marxist Left took such calculated and exquisite pains to disguise their lust for power with the subterfuge of fair-seeming rhetoric. But now the essential ugliness of their motives and programs is exposed for all to see. Progressives underestimate the intelligence and resolve of the good-hearted American people — that will be their undoing.     *

Monday, 15 August 2022 12:13

August 2022 Summary

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

Barry MacDonald, in the “America’s Challenge,” presents the mission of The St. Croix Review.

Derek Suszko, in “The Problem of Libertarianism,” compares and contrasts Libertarianism, Marxism, and Conservatism.

John A. Sparks, in “The Dobbs Case: Justice Alito Leads the Court Back to the Constitution,” summarizes the case that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and returned the public debate over abortion to its rightful place: state government.

Paul Kengor, in “What Reversing Roe Really Means,” looks at the consequences of the deeply flawed Roe, and he predicts the likely outcomes; in “1776 and Slavery,” he provides an accurate historical accounting of the Founder’s attitudes and written words about slavery, and the immense cost in blood of eradicating it in America; in “Ukraine’s Freedom Fighter,” on the occasion of the visit to America by the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, he remarks on the transcending importance of an American principle: “all men are created equal by a loving God who has blessed us with freedom.”

Mark Hendrickson, in “The Supreme Court’s Principled Decision in West Virginia v. EPA,” is grateful the Supreme Court prevented the EPA from making overarching decisions that only Congress has authority to make, and he wishes the court had gone further concerning the classification of CO2 as a pollutant; in “Washington’s Corn-based Ethanol Mandates Are Poorly Timed,” he castigates the President and the EPA for mandating that American refineries produce an increase of ethanol fuel at a time of high inflation, which will reduce the available supplies of corn needed for food in America and abroad; in “Congress Is Going After the Alleged Price Gougers — Again,” he explains what congressional Democrats refuse to contemplate — the law of supply and demand — and he points out that the Biden administration is purposely restricting the supply of available fuel.

Allan Brownfeld, in “The Decline of Civility Threatens American Democracy,” notes the increasingly violent political rhetoric in America and warns of dire consequences; in “Assaults on Thomas Jefferson Ignore His Complexity and His Contributions to American Freedom,” he presents Jefferson as a flawed but fierce advocate for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery; in “What Did the Framers of the Constitution Really Think About Church-State Relations?” he writes: [The Founders] broke new ground in providing religious freedom and ensuring religious neutrality, but did not intend to remove God, whom they viewed as the author of our liberty, from society.”

David Ayers, in “What Is Another Word for ‘Pride?’” offers a meditation on the meaning of the word.

Carl R. Trueman, in “Do I Teach at a Woke School?” defends the honor of Grove City College, and he highlights the ideological warfare taking place at American colleges, including at Christian colleges.

Joseph Laconte, in “100 Years Ago, ‘Following the Science’ Meant Supporting Eugenics,” recalls the dominance and high regard eugenics enjoyed by the respectable intellectuals of the day.

Philip Vander Elst, in “‘Social Liberalism’ Versus Liberty,” exposes the totalitarian aims that accompany the progressive movement’s insistence on ridding itself of traditional, Christian values in the name of “sexual liberation.” He asserts that a free society needs to be founded on “true values.”

Francis P. DeStefano, in “The Declaration of Independence,” elucidates the essence of the grievances of the Founding Fathers that moved them to rebel against the British government.

Francis P. DeStefano, in “Foreign Film Favorites,” reviews eight classic foreign films from Australia, China, Denmark, France, Japan, Italy, and Taiwan; in “Barcelona,” a 1994 American film, two Americans in Barcelona — both cousins, one a salesman, the other a naval officer — encounter anti-Americanism from the city people until a sudden turn of events.

Jigs Gardner, in “The Diogenes Club,” identifies the beginning of the loss of self-confidence and the brutalization of Democrats and the Progressive movement.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives: 3, J. F. Powers,” reviews the work of the American author of short stories and novels who won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1963.

Unhelpful Accusations Follow

The School Shooting in Uvalde

Barry MacDonald

Barry MacDonald is the editor of The St. Croix Review.

Our culture has turned toxic in many ways. The Left has been successful in fashioning news narratives into dynamic tools of propaganda. A tragic event happens, such as the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and an emotionally charged attack is instantly composed.

Demons are specified and targeted: in this case it is the AR-15 “assault” rifle, the “gun lobby,” Republicans, the Second Amendment, the National Rifle Association, and “toxic masculinity.” The accusations are cast with sickening predictability. All forms of media are saturated with hysterical harangues and tearful outrage against the usual scapegoats.

The news business has evolved into a daily assault of Saul Alinsky dirty tricks. Saul Alinsky was the clever community organizer of the 20th century who invented modern methods of seizing power through means of effective propaganda. His manual, Rules for Radicals, spells out the techniques: target the opposition, polarize the argument, demonize the opposition, rub emotions raw, and keep the pressure on with repeated assaults.

Alinsky’s methods are now an American institution for the political Left. All the facets of the intellectual, managerial, ruling class have memorized the playbook. It is really very simple: accuse, accuse, accuse, and the nation’s attention fixes on the scapegoat and ignores the ignoble motives of the accuser.

Let me declare the obvious: The Republican Party is not responsible for the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and gun control is not a workable solution to America’s epidemic of violence, because gun control doesn’t address the underlying psychological factors that prompt violence.

Narrative focus is a key element of control for the Leftist media and Democrats. Saturation coverage is lavished on mass shootings when Republicans are easy targets, and so President Biden will visit Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, where he may disparage “white supremacy” and gun makers.

But notice how scant the news coverage is when the perpetrators don’t fit the left-wing formula: When Darrell Brooks Jr. deliberately drives and smashes a suburban vehicle through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six, and injuring many more; or when Frank James shoots and gases 10 people on a subway in Brooklyn, New York. Both Darrell Brooks and Frank James are career criminals with a documented animus toward white people. The media coverage in both these incidents were brief and perfunctory.

President Biden didn’t visit Brooklyn or Waukesha because those killings don’t advance the Left’s agenda.

What is also ignored is the burgeoning gang violence in our major metropolitan areas. Every weekend dozens of people, including innocent bystanders and children, are shot, maimed, and killed in Chicago, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York. The continuing slaughter in America’s big cities far surpasses the numbers killed in school shootings, and the victims are often black, killed by black criminals — these tragic deaths and injuries are ignored by the media because the details don’t make for useful, hysterical, weaponized narratives.

The violence afflicting America is perpetrated by disturbed young men. What isn’t being attended to is the long-term effect of fatherlessness, and the absence of positive male role models in the lives of these young men. One can only imagine the depth of brokenness and prolonged isolation that warps the souls of the men who commit these heinous atrocities. The devaluation of American men is part of our modern American pathology. Fractured families and castaway children are at the root of America’s social malaise.

America is sick, but not beyond redemption. We must have faith in the continuing presence of good-hearted Americans who permeate our nation from shore to shore. The news media and the Leftist ruling class are capable of brainwashing a large portion of the American public. If you pay attention to the daily propaganda, you are bound to be discouraged and dispirited.

Nevertheless, we must put our faith in God and remember, that as mischievous and arrogant as Leftist agitators are, they are not almighty. We must have faith in the decency of the majority of the American people.

We must have faith that a good-hearted, stalwart, open-eyed majority of the American people are not hypnotized by Alinsky-style tricks.

Please put your faith in God’s justice, attend to your business, and don’t be fascinated by the news.     *

Monday, 13 June 2022 13:37

June 2022 Summary

The following is a summary of the June 2022 issue of The St. Croix Review:

Derek Suszko, in “Defining the Mission of The St. Croix Review,” stresses the importance of the American family (with a husband and a wife), of a prosperous and independent middle class, and of American traditions.

Barry MacDonald, in “Unhelpful Accusations Follow the School Shooting in Uvalde,” asks readers to “put your faith in God’s justice, attend to your business, and don’t be fascinated by the news.”

Allan C. Brownfeld, in “Commemorating a U.S. Victory in Italy, as Parts of Europe Are Again in Flames,” reviews U.S. and world history as a vantage point for considering the current war in Ukraine; in “With American History the Subject of Debate, It Is Good to Recognize Its Uniqueness,” he speaks to the heart of why America is an enduring beacon of liberty; in “Freedom Is in Retreat at Home and Abroad,” he cites examples in America and around the world.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Problems with Disney Taking Sides Politically,” writes about the baleful consequences of Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s ill-considered decision to take political sides on controversial issues; in “Florida Enacts Law to Highlight the Evils of Communism,” he provides a history lesson on why educating children on the tyranny of Communism is necessary; in “The Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act: Cynical and Revealing,” he explains the law of supply and demand and the irrational socialistic madness of Progressives; in “Mankind Versus Climate: The Humans Are Winning,” shows how the Progressives’ dreams of imposing socialism through climate alarmism are impossible ventures guaranteed to crush human lives and that, in fact, global deaths due to climate change have dramatically decreased in the last few decades.

Paul Kengor, in “The Abortion States of America,” previews the likely outcomes following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by a ruling of the Supreme Court; in BLM Founder’s Mansion Marxism — Patrisse Cullors Is Yet Another Example of Marxist Greed,” he points out the monstrous, bloodthirsty hypocrisy that has always epitomized Marxism; in “The Allegations of Wartime Rapes Are Nothing New for the Russian Army — They Are a Commonly Sickening Feature of Russian Wartime,” he presents \historical and present-day details.

Leonard Friedman, in “Parallel Lives: The Final Speeches of Presidents James Monroe and John Quincy Adams,” quotes Presidents Monroe and Adams in their last State of the Union addresses to Congress on the views of international relations, on the balance of powers between the various states and the nation, and on the pressing challenges and issues of the day.

Thomas Drake, in “Elections Matter,” imparts the many lessons he learned from volunteering to be a precinct captain for precincts in Illinois and Indiana.

Jerry Hopkins, in “Christian Abusers,” takes so called “Christians” to task when they don’t live up to the faith they espouse.

Mary Jane Skala in “From Kicking Tires to Embracing Philosophy, Tom Martin Taught the Essential Things,” writes about the life and retirement of Thomas Martin, a longtime writer for The St. Croix Review.

John Lyon, in “Life on the Mississippi,” reflects on the mighty river as Mark Twain knew it, and in the light of modern technology.

Francis DeStefano, in “The Golden Door,” reviews an Italian film that tells the story of the hardships of the poor uneducated Italian immigrants who made the passage to Ellis Island and America; in “Film Noir Favorites,” he harkens back to the Golden Age of Hollywood and reviews a series of film masterpieces involving classic actors, actresses, and directors.

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 Conservatives, 2 — the Culture of Conservatives,” makes the case for fiction: “Man does not live by politics alone. The mind and heart are developed and enriched by fiction that accepts and enhances our common life.”

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 18:54

Farewell, Jigs Gardner

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit — of self-reliance and prosperity.

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

Farewell, Jigs Gardner

Barry MacDonald — Editorial

The St. Croix Review, and its readers, have lost a prized writer. Jigs Gardner has died. He was a benevolent cranky person. His essays always appeared in the last pages of the Review — his placement never meant that he was the least among us; rather, it meant that we were saving the best for last.

Jigs first appeared in our journal in the August 2004 issue. Jigs was a passionate seeker of the truth long before he came to us. His was a life in search of weighty and lofty significance and satisfaction. He found his treasure in his marriage, in his family, in his love of excellent literature, and in the tenacity of farming — he had to discipline himself to absorb the hard lessons that nature meted out to him.

When I first read Jigs’ writing, I recognized the quality of a genuine American. His stubborn self-reliance was prominent from the beginning. He did not sugar his opinions. He told us exactly what he thought, and he did it with vigor and detail.

The readers of The St. Croix Review went on a journey with Jigs. We experienced his youthful dabbling with socialism, involving the ’60s myth-making of a return to “the country” for societal renewal. We watched his, and his wife, Jo Ann’s, disillusionment with leftist nostrums, as the Gardners were hard put to wrest a meager living through farming a small homestead in Vermont. Jigs and Jo Ann found that they had to learn skills that were unsuited to a faculty lounge. The Gardners cleared forests, plowed with horses, canned vegetables, made maple syrup, slaughtered livestock, managed cattle, and did a dozen other chores. They ennobled themselves by turning these chores into forms of art.

Along the way with Jigs, we encountered all sorts of people who thrived in the backlands of America. These were people who were unused to the vaporously wordy, commercialized, sophisticated, and cynical ways of city people. Jigs brought to life not the middle-class strata of fly-over country but the people who struggled with the rigors of the country. They were self-reliant because they have had to be. Nature demands respect and adaptation to her ways. Too many Americans nowadays behold the people that Jigs presented with contempt. Country people are uncouth in the eyes of sophisticates.

Jigs recognized in rural communities the genuine heritage of America. Country Americans embody the virtues of simplicity, practicality, endurance, intelligence, and resilience. These plain folk are the roots of America. As “globalizing” Americans turn their backs on our heritage, we lose touch with the qualities that have brought our prosperity.

Jigs Gardner also wrote 91 essays on literature under the title “Writers for Conservatives.” There is plenty of criticism in these essays — Jigs revealed shoddiness and human frailty — such as dishonesty, fraudulence, nastiness, and conceit. Jigs had an acute sense of what a “culture” is. He well described the strengths of people who live in out-of-the-way places. He chronicled the slow dissipation and disintegration of these communities due to the dispersal of generations as children are absorbed into the larger culture. There is a sorrow that runs through Jigs’ essays. Jigs wrote about what it means to be sincere, honest, well-intentioned, and hardworking — and he showed that these virtues are always endangered. Jigs demonstrated what it means to be conservative.

Jigs has passed away, but his writing deserves to live. Both of the titles that he wrote under, “Letters from a Conservative Farmer,” and “Writers for Conservatives,” are separate from the daily news cycle. Jigs epitomized enduring American themes. Jigs inspired and elevated. The majority of our readers haven’t read his early essays; and I guess those who have will appreciate a re-reading of them.

We will republish his essays from the beginning. After this issue his essays will return again to their accustomed place in the rear of the Review. The material is as fresh today as it was originally. The essays are timeless. Jigs reminds us of what it means to be American.   *

Wednesday, 20 April 2022 18:51

April 2022

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

Barry MacDonald, in “Farewell, Jigs Gardner,” memorializes a prized American.

Jo Ann Gardner, in “John Ingraham Gardner (Jigs), September 14, 1933 — February 24, 2022” writes a moving obituary for her husband.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters From a Conservative Farmer — A New Series,” writes about his childhood attraction to the countryside.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 1 — Evelyn Waugh, 1903-66,” reviews the comic satire of the British novelist.

Derek Suszko, “Trump and DeSantis: A Comparison,” highlights the pivotal issues of our times and compares the strengths and foibles of our two foremost conservative leaders.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Throughout the Country, Progressive Politics Is in Retreat as Crime Grows and Schools Are Politicized,” uses the attempted murder of a BLM activist, and his subsequent release, and the successful recall elections of some of San Francisco’s school board, to make his points; in “Charging ‘Cultural Appropriation’: A Strange Assault on Diversity and Creativity,” he quotes many artists and authors who object to the latest assaults of cancel culture; in “Vladimir Putin’s Contempt for Democracy — and for Opposition of Any Kind — Has a Long History,” he provides plenty of evidence; in “Ukrainians Have Been Victimized by Russia Before: Remembering the Enforced Famine Imposed by Stalin — and How the World Looked Away,” he reminds us of world history, and the history of the malpractice of journalism at The New York Times.

Paul Kengor, in “Russians Know Death Unlike Any Other People,” tallies the categories and immensities of tragedy committed on the Russian people by the Communists and dictators.

Mark Hendrickson, in “Economic Ramifications of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” writes, in view of the interconnectedness of world markets, that world economies will suffer surging prices of wheat, oil, natural gas, neon (used to make semiconductor chips), fertilizer, nickel, and financial markets; in “Inflation: Who or What Is the Culprit?” he identifies, the Fed, Congress, and Presidents Trump and Biden, who resorted to panic-driving spending due to COVID-19; in “What Is the Proper Policy Response to Today’s Inflation?” he warns us that there is little to do other than to curtail deficit spending — and it’s a bad idea to raise taxes; in “The Biden Administration’s Cynical and Unconstitutional Proposed Tax on Wealth,” he writes: “The unfair, inefficient, unconstitutional proposal for a tax on phantom income is likely a harbinger of increasingly destructive proposals yet to come.”

Timothy S. Goeglein, in God and Man at Yale Turns 70,” remarks on the foresight of William F. Buckley, who anticipated so much so long ago.

Gary Scott Smith, in “Strength for the Fight: The Faith of Jackie Robinson,” tells the full story of the Major League Baseball star.

Gary L. Welton, in “Yes, I Am My Brother’s Keeper — And So Much More,” sees a silver lining in the dreadful impact of these COVID-19 years.

Richard D. Kocur, in “To Stupidity and Beyond,” writes about the possible consequences of the Walt Disney Company’s decision to alter the portrayal of its television and film characters to advance “woke” LGBTQ+ agendas against the interests of the majority of American parents.

Francis DeStefano, in “Was Shakespeare ‘Shakespearian,’ ” presents probing theories on the identity of the author of the famous plays; in “American Film Renaissance,” he reviews more than six films and a dozen actors and actresses from Hollywood’s glory days.

Monday, 14 February 2022 13:34

Leftist Agitators Aren't Fooling Americans

Our vision is to reawaken the genuine American spirit — of self-reliance and prosperity.

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

Leftist Agitators Aren’t Fooling Americans

Barry MacDonald

It is characteristic of our time that so many people who are in positions of authority cannot be trusted. Our laws, traditions, and ideals are being trashed. Government officials are arrogant, accusatory, hypocritical, dishonest, and incompetent. They are unconcerned about the suffering their policies are inflicting on the middle and working classes of America.

The rule of law has been upended. Illegal migrants are pouring across our southern border, and federal government contractors were caught red-handed transporting migrants from the southern border to White Plains, New York. From there, the migrants were being dispersed to the tri-state area in the middle of the night. The reporter who exposed the story, Miranda Devine, estimates that two million illegal immigrants have entered America in 2021, with the connivance of the Department of Homeland Security.

Who knows how many illegal migrants have crossed our borders? Where are they being taken by the Federal government? Who are these people? We can’t get straight answers from Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Think of the irony of the name of the bureaucracy he’s in charge of. Government titles are often dishonest in practice: Mayorkas is undermining American security.

These migrants are impoverished, unvaccinated, and untested for COVID, and enter they without background checks. People from Bangladesh, Somalia, Yemen, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, Eritrea, Haiti, Cuba, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, India, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have been caught crossing the border. The smugglers are being paid $9,000 per person. The Biden Administration has turned the control of the southern border over to the Mexican drug cartels.

There were so many negative developments in 2021.

  • Gang violence is taking over our major cities, such as New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Portland, and Seattle. With few exceptions, the media ignore the innocent minority victims of minority perpetrators. Black children are being shot and killed in their homes, backyards, and in their parents’ cars — and their names aren’t reported.
  • Progressive district attorneys in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Milwaukee are refusing to keep career criminals in jail, and criminals are released with no or low bail. Darrell E. Brooks is such a case. He is a career criminal who killed six and injured dozens by driving a vehicle through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, after having been released on a $1,000 bond.
  • School board meetings are scenes of contention. School systems are short-changing children by refusing to teach in-person in classrooms in some places; by imposing harmful mask mandates; and by espousing racist theories and warped gender programs. Public and private schools from elementary schools to universities have become indoctrination factories. It is a good sign that parents are confronting and organizing against teachers’ unions, school boards, and education bureaucrats. The question is: Whose children are they — the government’s or the parent’s?

It is a tell-tale sign of the time that people in places of authority, from the local to the national level, are being squeezed by good-hearted opposition, and in response they are deceitful, dismissive, condescending, obstructive, and nasty. Hard-left officials can’t be honest about their intentions and about the impact of their policies.

A majority of Americans are feeling the effects of inflation and the high price of gasoline. We are noticing that the president and governors and mayors aren’t following the mandates they promulgate — they aren’t wearing masks when photographed in public. Americans understand that the vaccines aren’t preventing the spread of COVID-19, and that the forced closures of private businesses in 2020 and 2021 failed, harming people unnecessarily. The flood of illegal immigrants into America isn’t being concealed. Parents and decent Americans don’t want children taught in elementary school that they are either oppressors or hopeless victims of an inherently racist society. We expect district attorneys to prosecute criminals — we want violent offenders off the street. Americans are disgusted by the swelling encampments of homeless people in our big cities, and we are outraged that city councils and mayors aren’t cleaning up their cities. The vast majority of Americans support the police, abhor the assassinations of police officers, and oppose the defunding of police departments. Americans haven’t forgotten that President Biden and his “woke” generals abandoned large numbers of Americans, and American allies, in Afghanistan; and that he lied in doing so.

The truth is that Leftist agitators have nothing to offer America but division and misery. A majority of Americans see through their dishonesty.     *

Monday, 14 February 2022 13:26

February 2022

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

Barry MacDonald, in “Leftist Agitators Aren’t Fooling Americans,” exposes the many deceptions and failures of hard-left anarchists.

Allan Brownfeld, in “Affirmative Action vs. a Color-blind Society: Now the Supreme Court Will Decide,” he comments on an upcoming ruling by reviewing the racial discrimination against Asians in admissions to top universities; in “The Chinese Olympics Bring Back Memories of the 1936 Games in Nazi Germany,” he points out the institutional indifference on the part of prominent officials, which mirrors deplorable world history; in Violent Crime Is Escalating as Our Criminal Justice System Is in Crisis,” he reports on the change of heart public figures are having in regard to the too-lenient treatment given to criminals by progressive D.A.s and the “Defund the Police” movements in big cities; in “Distorting American History: A Growing and Destructive Enterprise,” he exposes the corrupting technique of twisting historical facts at New York City’s Tenement Museum, and in the 1619 Project; in “At His Death, Bob Dole Feared for the Future of American Democracy,” he memorializes a decent American statesman; in “Remembering Desmond Tutu: An Advocate of Racial Justice and Non-violence,” he memorializes a world figure of dignity and poise who advanced justice and liberty.

Mark Hendrickson, in “More Fluff from the Economic Establishment,” is peeved about how “establishment” economists assist politicians by endorsing economically harmful policy — he uses Princeton professor Alan S. Blinder’s advocacy for the Build Back Better bill as an example; in “Chile Veers Leftward,” he compares the brutality of Cuba’s Marxist policies to the hitherto free markets of Chile, and he regrets the election of a leftist president in Chile; in “The Biden Administration’s Ongoing, Ill-timed Battle Against Fossil Fuels,” he shows how the Biden Administration has purposely curtailed much-needed American energy production just when the world is facing a shortage of energy this winter; in “When Humans Don’t Procreate: An Update,” he offers three explanations for the decline in birthrates: ideological indoctrination, stunted psychological growth, and alienation from God; in “Five Favorite Christmas Movies and the Hope of Renewal and Redemption,” he reviews heart-warming stories to offset the dreariness of politics.

Paul Kengor, in “Teach MLK, Not CRT,” shows how civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and others pull Americans together, as opposed to the Marxist advocates of Critical Race Theory, who purposely pull Americans apart; in “COVID and Conscientious Objections,” he comments on the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to halt New York Governor Kathy Hochul’s denial of the First Amendment religious rights of health care workers.

John Sparks, in “The Supreme Court Renders Mixed Decisions on the Vaccine Mandates,” shows how the OSHA decision reins in the administrative state, and the Medicare/Medicaid opinion turns loose the potential for administrative excesses.

Gary L. Welton, in “I’m a Privileged American . . . Please Put Race Aside,” explodes a common accusation made by American activists.

Derek Suszko, in “Dialogue of the Two Founders in Limbo Concerning the Present State of the Nation,” presents a conversation between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton on the present state of American politics and culture.

Francis DeStefano, in “Deanna Durbin: America’s Sweetheart,” reviews the career of an actress who began as a singing prodigy, matured during Hollywood’s “Golden Age,” and retired early; in “Remember the Night,” he reviews a romantic comedy in which a thief, Barbara Stanwyck, and a prosecutor, Fred MacMurray, fall in love. DeStefano provides wonderful, behind-the-scenes information on the actors, supporting actors, directors, and writers.

Jigs Gardner, in “Letters from a Conservative Farmer — Woke at Williams: The Death of Education at Another Elite Institution,” presents the sad spectacle of a fine college that has gone to pot in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Jigs Gardner, in “Writers for Conservatives, 91: Ernest Haycox, 1899-1950 — the Writer Who Created the Western as We Know It Today,” reviews The Border Trumpet, written in 1939.

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