Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The Swamp Fox and other things

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OK, so a couple of important pieces (I think!) regarding national defense and military history:
First, our review of Frank J. Gaffney's War Footing over at Townhall.com.
Second, our piece about one of my boyhood heroes, Francis Marion, and Columbia man John McCabe who is committed to a Marion monument in D.C., also at Townhall.com.
Many thanks to all those chatting it up, including Michelle Malkin and the folks over at Blackfive, others.
Oh, and we'll be publishing some reader mail, later.
Then, thanks to friend, writer, and fellow ASJA-er Sandra Dark who interviews me for a piece in the March issue (available now) of Writer's Digest magazine.
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Also, thanks to friend Dan Cook, the editor of Free Times, here in Columbia. Last week, Dan spoke to my students at the University of South Carolina's J-School. The students loved it.
OK, back to work.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Two fine young men

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My nephews, Maxwell and Michael Fowler, at the Mr. L-E contest where Michael was a contestant (see previous post).

Monday, February 06, 2006


Quick comments then back to work

Saturday night, we enjoyed watching my 17-year-old nephew, Michael Fowler, participate in the Mr. L-E (Lugoff-Elgin High School) pageant. He didn't win, but to be up there was enough to qualify him as "a winner" in my book. Plus, he was clearly the best-looking, most articulate kid on the stage... takes after his Uncle Tom ;-)
Kidding. Kidding.
Seriously, the competition was keen, and the whistles and cheers for Michael when he swaggered out onto that stage in his tuxedo (pictures will be hopefully forthcoming) were, well, beyond exciting for my family and me.
Speaking of excitement, many thanks to my editor at National Review Online, Kathryn Jean Lopez, who took time to share editorial experiences with my magazine writing students at the University of South Carolina's J-School, last week.
Kathryn chatted with the class from National Review's offices in Manhattan via telephone speaker-phone. The students loved it.
Slated for later in the semester are Gordon Witkin, my editor at U.S. News & World Report, and Kathy Sena, who interviewed me recently for Woman's Day and who penned this week's My Turn column at Newsweek. Here 'tis.
Close Call: I’ve forgiven the girl I was back then. While she made a frightening mistake, she taught me a lesson that has stuck with me.
What else? Oh yeah, check out our latest piece on a "prep-school" for Navy SEAL candidates at NavySEALs.com, and then part II of my interview with Brig. Gen. Dan Bolger, commanding general of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq, at Townhall.com.
OK, gotta scoot.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


"Some of your mail"

Hi all,
Been receiving so much mail over the past several months that I can't possibly respond to it all. But I do read every piece, and I enjoy it all - good and bad. So, as a weekly feature of
wthomassmithjr.com, we will share with our readers "some of your mail," and we will specify which stories generate the featured
feedback and from which publications.
Each featured piece will be unedited.
This week, I include a couple of letters from two recent Townhall.com columns. First is a 'lovely' missive from an obviously disgruntled American (and an all-around unhappy person), who claims to be a Navy veteran, but who apparently did not read my piece, Annapolis' Marines go to war, in its entirety.
Here we go:

I am a Navy veteran. My ex-husband was a retired Marine officer.
I personally witnessed something new being tried and becoming an instant tradition with the Corps, and was bored to tears by the manly welled-up eyes when The Halls of Montezuma was played. YAWN.
During WW II, my father served in the US Navy; now my son and daughter do. It's a family tradition, and has been for more generations than I care to count. But does it MATTER who guards the portals? No, it only matters that SOMEONE does.
Were I you, I would be far more concerned about the fact that the current Commander-in-Chief, George Bush, aka Mrs. Vincente Fox, (really, he is so far in bed with Fox that I am surprised he's not pregnant) is letting our border be overrun with illegal aliens (who now have more rights, apparently, than US citizens do) and has embroiled us in war we cannot win while rendering asunder just about every alliance we had in the world, excepting our pals in England. And don't think the English wouldn't drool at the chance to take back what George III squandered.
The Prince of Wales would LOVE to be King of the World (sorry, James Cameron).
Those issues are far more important than whether or not a couple of hoo-rah boys in dress blues are standing a post as ornaments, serving a tradition that never was. Get a grip.

OK, then we have this one responding to The Saddam-Al Qaeda Connection:

I don't know if you read an article in the Scotsman in the UK back in October or November about King Abdullah of Jordan telling the article writer about Saddam giving Al Zaqhiri, Al Queda number 2, $300,000 at the Pan Arab meeting in Baghdad in 1999. There were 22 countries there at this meeting.
I have been reading all I can on the web about the connections and have always belived that there were WMD and that Iraq was involved with Al Queda.
All I can say is it gives me the shivers after reading all that I have and my first impulse is to say pull everybody home and let the Middle East explode on its own, but I know that is not the way to go.
Thank you for reading my e-mail and I just thought you might not have seen that article in the Scotsman.com.

Look for more letters each week.

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