Archive for the 'Personal' Category

Return To Regular Posting Soon

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Dependent care issues.  Return to regular posting soon.  Thank you.

In the mean time, read this (and this, and this and this).  Contemplate the list of survival equipment I have recommended you take even on a day hike.

Light Posting And Prayers

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

Very light posting lately, many family issues, and work up to my eyeballs.  Simply no time to do it well.  Thank you for your patience.

But if you think about it during your daily prayers, my oldest son Joshua has back surgery on the 27th.  Say a prayer for him.

Mike Vanderboegh Update

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Most of my readers also read WoG and WRSA (or you should), so you know about Mike Vanderboegh being admitted to the hospital for observation.  Just a quick note to request that you remember him and his family in your prayers.

God Bless Jim Foley: A Man I Know Has Been Beheaded By ISIS

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Journalist James Foley (he corresponded with me as Jim) has been beheaded by ISIS.  I choose not to remember him from the recent photographs, but as the wonderful young man he was.  As a note to ISIS, I don’t believe a word he had to say while under duress.  I knew him better than you did.  You wasted your time with his confessions, or charges, or whatever you forced him to say.

We first corresponded during my blogging on the war in Afghanistan.  I initiated the conversations with him, but he was very warm in his effusive praise and kindness towards me.  He worked primarily for the Global Post, but did a good bit of embedded independent work.  He was in Kandahar at the time, and politely recommended that I link his blog, A World Of Troubles, which redirects now to Free James Foley.

Jim was kidnapped in Libya early in 2011.  I had also made significant use of his fantastic work in The Five Hundred Meter War.  The U.S. Army later contacted me wanting the rights to use this video in training and analysis, and I directed them to Jim who (I hope) made some money from the work.  He told me that he would gladly sell the rights for a small fee.

I have since reconsidered my position on long distance warfare, and concluded that it isn’t necessarily that the 5.56 mm round is all that ineffective at long distances, but that based on subsequent conversations with various officers, no one (Army or Marine Corps) teaches their men to shoot uphill.  All of their ranges are flat.  Then again, the 5.56 mm round does tend to yaw in flight, which causes problems at long distances.  But Travis Haley has shown us that the 5.56 mm can be effective to beyond 500 yards, and my son qualified at 500 yards as a Marine.

But I digress.  Suffice it to say that Jim was an important voice in bringing this feature of the war to our attention.  Jim called me “an important voice in the war” in one e-mail exchange, but Jim’s voice was far more important.  His reporting was at the same time fact-filled and accurate, and personal and engaging. Jim was the consummate professional, but a genuinely nice person.

I have long since left analysis of the war(s), given that we failed to negotiate a reasonable SOFA in Iraq and proved that we wanted to continue the social sciences game in Afghanistan rather than prosecute a war.  I recommended that we leave without another drop of American blood spilled, and never looked back.

Sort of.  I have often thought of Jim and what might be happening to him.  There aren’t many folks from those days I know only electronically to whom I feel such a kinship.  Tim Lynch and Michael Yon are a couple, but the list is short.  People like that are the sort where if you met up with them somewhere it would be like meeting a long lost brother, and the conversation would flow without any effort at all.

It was hard to be accepted in military blogging with such parochial and hierarchical (even if unofficial) structure, and with the desire for control by a few.  Jim’s acceptance and warmness was welcome, as it is with the folks whom I engage in my current interests of gun and gun rights (like David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh).

I will miss Jim.  I give my warmest, most sincere and most heartfelt condolences to his family.  Your family gave us a good and wonderful man.  We are worse for this loss.

My brief note to ISIS is this.  You screwed up.  I’ve previously been told how good you are, how savvy, how connected to social networks you’ve been and how you’re coming for us.

I can’t speak for the folks up North since the collectivists may have disarmed my fellow countrymen by now, but I dare ISIS to come South and bring your brand of sharia to North Carolina or South Carolina.  I dare you.

You don’t scare me in the least and you didn’t impress me by harming my friend Jim.  Come to the land where the American insurgents beat up the best that Lord Cornwallis had to offer.  Come try to plant your damn ISIS flag in my front yard, or try to force my wife or daughter to wear a burqa.  The result will be swift and brutal, involving magazines full of 5.56 mm rounds and 230 grain fat boys.  I have guns too, and mine still have their buttstocks unlike your dumb ass rifles that can’t be aimed.  Mine can shoot 1 MOA, and I can do about the same.  I see your stupid videos where you waste ammunition by shooting at the air.  I’ve laughed at them.

I had previously lamented the plight of the poor Christians in Syria and Iraq, pleading with them and Christians around the world to arm themselves before it is too late.  I have ridiculed the Christian church worldwide for its sloth, arrogance and self centeredness in refusing to help fellow Christians or even pray for them.

But this isn’t just a world away.  It’s personal, for I knew Jim.  You killed a friend, and I owe you.  I pray that you end in hell, and that very soon, screaming out in agony from thirst while you suffer in the lake of fire for eternity.  My only regret is that in all likelihood I won’t be the one to send you there.  I don’t think you’ll ever get to my doorstep.  You’ll die before you make it here because my armed fellow countrymen won’t tolerate you.


I am sent an article by Daniel Greenfield, published at Front Page Magazine.  It is entitled James Foley Went Looking to Support Terrorists in Syria, Instead They Cut Off His Head.  I have learned to ignore anything published at Front Page Magazine, but in the interest of full disclosure and openness, I’ll give the link below.

Daniel’s thesis is that he was a terrorist sympathizer.  He knows this based on his Twitter feed where he retweeted the posts others made.  Certainly, based on Jim’s review of my own analysis work of OIF (communicated directly to me), he was no terrorist sympathizer.  He was an independent journalist.  In fact, Daniel’s commeters try to tell him in the comments that Jim was taken to task in his Twitter feed for NOT taking sides.  It’s too late at that point.  Daniel is committed to his thesis and can’t roll it back.  This is one of the hazards of writing.

I think Greenfield otherwise does good analysis, but I think he missed the boat on this one, and badly so.  For me his thesis lands somewhere between highly unlikely and totally impossible.  It is my policy never to link to Front Page Magazine.  I’ll break that policy this one time and give you Daniel’s article in the interest of full disclosure and to show that I’m always willing to listen to all sides.


Tom Rogan:

His death won’t be broadcast many places, but take my word for his final courage. As the terrorist moves his knife downwards, Foley grimaces but does not cry out. This, after all, is the man that he was, a man who faced great danger to bring knowledge to the world. After being imprisoned by Qaddafi loyalists for 44 days during the Libyan civil war, Foley returned to the country to finish his reporting. When asked why he did so, Foley offered a simple answer. “Why wouldn’t I go back? People had done so much for me back home. I was humbled, I felt indebted to them. [We] wanted to connect the dots; we wanted to finish that story.”

Foley did finish that story (the series about his captivity is here). We should always remember his life and his accomplishments. But we must also remember his moment of passing: facing down a murderer hiding behind a black mask.

And from PBS:

… she was worried that I was being forced to say everything I was saying over the phone. And I just wanted to tell her I was strong, I was praying, I could make it. I knew it was going to be more time, but I was doing — physically, I was fine, and I wasn’t being harmed.

And she was worried that they were making me say these things, but she also said, oh, so many people have been praying for you and so many of your friends and family have come to our assistance.


Weekend Fun

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

My daughter (Devon), daughter in law (Ashley) and oldest son (Joshua) shooting in Pickens, S.C.

2014A 198

Me shooting my newest addition to the family in Pickens, S.C.

2014A 202

My newest addition.

2014A 205

Daniel (former Marine) is still serving his country by killing feral hogs and helping to rid America of the blight of ecological destruction wrought by these horrible creatures.  For this one Daniel used a fixed blade Ka-Bar.  This was one of about 40 he saw down below Clemson, S.C.



Is She A Tough Girl Or A Sissy?

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago

I watched this weekend at my son Joshua’s house as Heidi (my Doberman) decided that she wanted to meet the dog next door, and she jumped a four foot privacy fence.  I assumed that the fence would be a barrier to her and I didn’t have her shock collar on.  I assumed wrong.

And you’ve seen the video of bears jumping up and down on their front legs to warn you before they attack?  A couple of weeks ago I witnessed Heidi exhibiting the same behavior.  She barked so loudly that she hurt my ears, while each bark was timed with her paws landing on the floor.  I don’t recall who she saw on the sidewalk, but she was pissed, and I wouldn’t have wanted her outside at the moment.

And then there is this.


She literally arranged the pillows, crashed on the couch, and then pulled the blanket over her.  I kid you not.  At about 85 pounds, her long legs have to hang off.

Shhh! … don’t tell my wife.  Heidi isn’t allowed on the couch, and if my wife knew about this Heidi would be done for.  In a throw-down between my wife and Heidi, Heidi doesn’t stand a chance.

Happiness Is A Doberman, A .357 Magnum And A Good Book

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 2 months ago


2013B 033

The book is Isaac Watts, “Logic: The Right Use Of Reason In The Inquiry After Truth,” with a nice note to me from R. C. Sproul.  The dog is Heidi, an 82 pound Doberman who worships me.  As you can see from the leather chair that she claims as her very own, she’s very uncomfortable and I abuse her regularly.  The gun is a .357 magnum S&W.

S&W M&P R8 .357 Magnum

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 7 months ago

2013C 115

Prayer Request

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

Friend Rick Keyes writes with this prayer request:

My brother the AC130 pilot is in the hospital in Landstuhl with a non combat related sickness however it is serious enough they evaced him as soon as they could.  Any prayers and thoughts that could be sent his direction would be greatly appreciated.

Done.  Actually, send your thoughts to Rick and his brother, your prayers in the direction of God.

Christmas 2011

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.  Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, “God with us.”  [Matthew 1:21-23]

To all my readers, please enjoy this Christmas season and remember and be thankful for the greatest gift of all, God’s only son, eternal, without beginning and without end, without whom we would truly perish.

If you haven’t heard enough good Christmas music, enjoy the King’s Brass below.  All three videos are well worth the time.  I had the opportunity to play a few charts with this group when they came through my city, when original member Doug Warner was with them (the greatest trombone player I have ever known, and with whom I had the chance to play).

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