Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Remembering Mike Vanderboegh

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

Mike Vanderboegh has passed away.  We knew this was coming, but it’s still bracing and reflective at the same time.  Since I’m going to link a number of articles and commentaries at the end, I see no point in recapitulating what’s already been said.  Instead, I have some (what I hope to be) unique reflections to make about Mike.

I’ve heard it said that such-and-such a man had “redeeming qualities.”  Hogwash.  Men don’t have redeeming qualities.  Men are themselves redeemed, or they are lost.  The God-man Christ Jesus saves men or they perish without Christ but with all of the punishments due to them, and all men are under judgment.

That’s the sweet thing about Mike.  He knew this, and he believed it.  Mike didn’t do a single thing to redeem himself, but he trusted Christ and the vicarious atonement for his very life.  That means that it was a life well-lived.  Everything else is wasted.

But if man cannot redeem himself, that doesn’t mean he cannot redeem what’s around him by taking dominion of the world for God’s glory.  Mike did exactly that, and today he is in heaven with his Lord.  I don’t believe in the phrase “rest in peace” (and Isaiah 57:2 isn’t discussing ethereal floating of one’s spirit for eternity).  I also don’t believe that man’s body cools to ambient temperature and that’s the end.  Mike didn’t believe that either.

In heaven there is worshiping, and there is work.  It’s just that work won’t be done by the sweat of our brow and we won’t be fighting sin, either in ourselves or others.  No, Mike is active, and you can bet your soul on it.  Thankfully, his son, Matthew Vanderboegh, told me that his friends should call him, and gave me the direct line into where he and Rosie were.  Mike was too weak to speak, and Rosie sounded exhausted, so the conversation was one way and very short.

But I told him that they were planning a party in heaven, and he was wasn’t a guest, but the newest resident.  He was almost home, and he would soon see our Lord.  “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants” (Psalm 116:15).  That party is now underway, and Mike is casting his crowns down at the feet of his savior, giving Him all of the glory.

In case you haven’t gotten the picture by now, I am claiming that Mike did the Lord’s work.  I advocate a Calvinian world view, in which, following Christ, redeemed man is prophet, priest and king.  What we do during the day, how we work, the attitudes we take to our calling, is as holy a practice and activity as administering The Lord’s Supper (communion) or baptizing a newborn.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I view liberty and proper government a function of our calling before God, and that when covenants are broken, the Biblical justification for separation is clear.  Thus is was with the American war of independence.

Mike saw what he did as a calling as well, and so he took it very seriously.  So I took his acceptance into the community of bloggers as a sign of both affirmation and his good judgment.  When I left military blogging (for reasons I’ve outlined before but won’t here), I began advocating duty of self defense, liberty and constitutionally limited government.  It wasn’t long before I ran across Mike.  It didn’t take Mike long to start linking my work, and when he did, I always looked forward to his clever titles, his pithy observations or his lengthy analyses.  Seriously, with a cup of coffee, it was first on my list every day.

I say good judgment about Mike’s acceptance of me and my work because Mike has his detractors, and the liberty movement has its imposters who fly fake flags.  I pay no attention to those men, and I’m not one of them.  When I advocate something, you can bet I’m being serious about it.  This is a labor of love for me.  Mike knew that in short order, and he was right.  He was a good judge of character.

And concerning the detractors, I mock them to myself and my close friends, and I ignore them on the pages of my blog.  They want attention, and I studiously avoid giving it to them.  I’ll offer up one final observation.  Mike traveled, wrote, spoke and blogged under his own name and true identity, just like I do.  The liberty movement is filled with men who are a former spook, former special forces or special operations, former lawyer, former dish washer of ditch digger (you continue the list yourself), and while I don’t really know whether these men are who they say they are, I suppose I get a little from their writing from time to time, but I mostly ignore them too.

I mean no offense, I just don’t give much credence to someone who tells me the world is going to hell, I have to plan and train, I have to do my part to save my piece of it, and oh by the way, you don’t even know my real name because I’m using a nom de guerre.  So maybe I don’t really believe it after all, or maybe I’m just running my mouth, or maybe while the world goes to hell and I want people to save their piece of it, I’ll be hiding.

You know them.  They blog, write and comment anonymously.  They are “gray man.”  Matt Bracken had some words for gray man.

Same here. If everybody goes “gray man,” the tyrants win by default. We need to stand on the roof and be seen by everybody, on all sides. Others can go gray man, that’s fine, their choice. But we all can’t hide forever.

I don’t use a nom de guerre, and Mike wasn’t gray man.  If I put myself on the line every day I write, Mike did in the superlative.  He did it with humor, grace, and wisdom.  I will miss him, truly I will.  He leaves behind quite a legacy, but you again I say, you can bet everything that he is busy today.  There is no rest for Mike, there is just rest from a sinful world.

Other:

SSI

WRSA

WoG

Ammoland

The Kansas City Star

 

Interview With Mike Vanderboegh

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 1 month ago

David Codrea has the scoop.  The video is non-functional, but the audio works fine, and it’s very good to hear Mike again.  Mike and I had reached a tentative agreement that the upcoming trip to Connecticut would see him spending a day at my place on the way back.  I am sad to say that it won’t happen.

Listen to the whole interview.

Mike Vanderboegh Speeches

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 1 month ago

This is a post you will want to bookmark for potential future patriots.  Mike’s most recent speech is here.

And of course, don’t forget the best extemporaneous speech I’ve ever heard.

Valediction Of A Three Percenter

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 1 month ago

Sipsey Street Irregulars, Mike Vanderboegh:

For many years I have introduced myself as a Christian libertarian who believed in God, free men, free markets, the rule of law under the Founders’ Republic, and that the Constitution extended to everyone regardless of race, creed, color or religion. As I take my leave from this existence, I must admit that the Constitution, as the Founders crafted it, is now or soon will be dead — killed by corruption and collectivism and mostly by our own sloth and moral cowardice in opposing its enemies.

Yet if the Constitution is dead as an organizing and unifying force in this nation, the principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights can never die as long as there remain free men and women who believe in the Founders’ vision. This is the essence of the Three Percent, that no matter how small our numbers are — if we remain armed and determined — we may yet preserve the flickering flame of liberty.

However principled, you must still be clearheaded about the realities facing us. We are on the brink of chaos that will make the agonies of the former Yugoslavia look like child’s play. Anyone who believes otherwise is whistling past the graveyard of history. There will be no deliverance from the rigged game of national politics. If any of our traditional liberties are to be saved it will be on a local basis of community, county and church, secured by your own efforts, your own organization, with your own friends and neighbors according to the principles enunciated by the Founders. I envisioned the Three Percent movement with that local focus in mind, as a philosophy, a discipline, of the armed citizenry. I enunciated some of these in the Three Percent Catechism. The growth of the concept has been startling. Yet many of those who claim to be “Three Percenters” haven’t a clue about the principles upon which the movement was founded.

 

It’s with very mixed emotion that I read these words.  I’m happy to see Mike still with us, but I’m apprehensive about what this “valediction” means.  I would like to think that Mike will always be there writing prose, making speeches, leading us in thought-mining the current scene, and in general crafting phrases that no one else seems to be able to create.

But I know that’s not the case, not with Mike, and not with me either.  Not with any of us.  No man knows the day or hour.  But what we do know is that for Mike, he had various and sundry regrets about earlier exploits and wanted to contribute as much as he could since then.  But what’s true of Mike is true of any of us – without God’s salvific intervention, none of us will live.

Life is granted as a gift, a free gift based on the vicarious atonement, so none of Mike’s works serve towards redemption.  They are works of love for his savior, and I know that not only because of Mike’s belief system, I know it from his actions.

Read this entire commentary, pray for Mike, and be thankful that we had him for a short while.

David Codrea On Being Good Brothers

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 6 months ago

David Codrea:

Understanding that no activist can take the hard line Mike has without ruffling feathers and making enemies — including within the Second Amendment community — the appeal was specifically made to those who consider themselves his friends, and to readers who have received value from his work. As such, Mike’s readers are not being asked for charity — they’re being asked to make gratitude offerings acknowledging that they have regularly personally benefited from Mike’s work.

Those people who don’t appreciate Mike aren’t being asked for a thing. Those who do can show their appreciation by sending contributions to him at PO Box 926, Pinson, AL 35126, or by transferring funds to georgemason1776@aol.com via Paypal, and also by spreading the word to notify other gun rights activists.

I had initially intended to send a check (periodically) to Mike.  But my wife convinced me that Paypal would be a better approach, and I have to admit, it is fairly straight forward and also a very fast way to get money where you intend it to go.

Give it a shot.

Gun Rights In Olympia, Washington

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 5 months ago

Inquisitr.com:

Olympia_Washington

Hoping to get attention by being placed under arrest, about 50 pro-gun advocates gathered at the Washington State Capitol building on Saturday morning. They were protesting the decision against allowing guns to be openly carried into the Legislature’s viewing gallery. However, the doors to the gallery were kept locked by the Washington State Patrol after the capitol was opened to the public at 11 a.m.

 As reported by Yahoo! News, the pro-gun protesters, which included two state legislators, marched down the hallway of the building and were prepared to knock on the gallery’s door and the door of Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington. There were no arrests and no reports of disturbances …

This is emblematic of the bad reporting on the event.  They wanted to send a message, tell the legislators where the line was, and that it had been crossed many times over.  They wanted to demonstrate that this isn’t over – far from it – and that they will not stand for more infringements.  To the contrary, the very ones they illustrated had better be reversed.  Mike Vanderboegh – shown above – gives us a better report.

Briefly told, we gathered on the portico of the building waiting for the rotunda doors to be unlocked, chatted as people gathered (I gave the prefatory talk that is captured in the video post earlier) and then we had the speeches. I thought that the legislator’s speeches were particularly good and WA state is very lucky to have such principled folks representing them. When the doors opened, we trooped in, armed, and went to the gallery doors, which as we had learned the night before were going to be locked. They were. In a spontaneous moment, and I know this to have been completely unscripted, people approached the door and knocked on it, some asking in loud voices to be let in. As they did so, one little girl emulated the adults and went to door and knocked, crying out “Let Freedom in!” I hope that the designated videographer got that moment, because if so it will likely go viral. The protestors, like Martin Luther and his Theses, affixed their petition for redress of grievances to the doors of the gallery and those of the Governor’s office in the Capitol building. We then marched to the mansion where a very nervous gate guard accepted another copy for the Governor. The gesture, and the optics, were striking.

There is more in Mike’s report.  How utterly cowardly.  They passed a law that they now do not now want to enforce, and so rather than doing the hard business of enforcing it or otherwise reversing it, they simply kicked the can down the road and obviated the need for a decision at the moment.  What a bunch of worms.

David Codrea weighs in.

Much is being made of Mike Vanderboegh calling an unsafe demonstrator a “moron” in a preliminary talk he gave before his main speech yesterday at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. Contrary to some of the arguments being made, using that term for someone who ignored specific gun handling cautions is not equivalent to others who have invoked the word “extremist” …

[ … ]

We’ve moved into new territory, or more precisely, been moved into it whether we want to go or not. And the only thing those who disagree with such direct tactics can do about it is side with the antis, the same people who would call them extremists.

Another argument is the pile-on by anti-gun readers and “reasonable” gun owners in comments to press accounts.It should not be a surprise most of those condemn Saturday’s actions. Most gun owners probably will too, at least for now. The defiant ones don’t call themselves Three Percenters for nothing.

There were plenty of good people in 1771, those objecting to heavy-handed disregard of their rights, but still trying to work the system, who thought the similar-sized handful of impatient and angry people throwing tea into Boston Harbor were radical extremists who hurt the cause, and made them all look bad. But looking back, it’s doubtful public sentiment could have been galvanized without such “impatient” patriots setting the necessary tone though actions many disapproved of. And today’s protesters haven’t even approached that level of defiance and resistance — yet.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I believe disparaging and dismissing what we saw yesterday will not serve those doing so well, especially since there is nothing you or I can do about dissuading further such demonstrations.

I have weighed in before on the issue of muzzle discipline among anyone whom I am around.  There is no need for me to do that again.  You point your gun at me and we’re going to tangle.  Regarding working the system to which David refers, I really don’t have a problem with that.  That’s why if any party out there can field a candidate who is worthy of my vote, I’ll go to the trouble to cast it for that man.  I will also engage in political action, send notes, make calls, and engage in protests as I deem appropriate.  Some of my open carry in North Carolina has to do with just that, since I could be arrested for “going armed to the terror of the public.”

What I have a problem with is compromise while “working the system.”  That, my friends, you do not have a right to.  When you speak for the gun community, you speak for a large, non-monolithic group of men and women, many of whom do not acquiesce to your compromises.  If you “work the system,” you can only work towards less restrictive laws and regulations, not more.  There is nothing about my God-given rights that is open to your consideration for negotiating capital.  Do you understand?

Here is Mike’s speech.


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