Monday, January 31, 2005

Iraqi Elections: If you look on the far left part of the sky, I think there's a cloud up there somewhere ...

It's easy indeed to be pessimistic about human endeavors. I mean, all human endeavors and indeed all humans fail, and usually often. When you look for such failure and reasons to be dour, there is no doubt you will find it.

Imagine, for instance, if the world press took a critical look at France over a year's time. Recall that the French lost hundreds of people when the temperature got over 90 degrees last year. Now, if we wanted to, some of us could say some negative things about the French.

But on election day, the images from Iraq were pretty positive, in spite of the anticipated deadly terrorist attacks. We recall the long line of Muslim women in black burkas waiting to vote ... the Iraqi troops dancing in the streets ... voters braving suicide bombers, not mere rain or lines, simply to be heard ... the Iraqi policemen hugging in Basra ... the Iraqis weeping over just the opportunity to cast their ballots ... there was Geraldo Rivera stepping outside a polling place for a moment of solitude and some tears ... there was the young American troop on patrol, seeing some tangible results for the blood, sweat, and tears.

It's hard not to be pretty upbeat and proud upon seeing these images.

Yet, some try. Sen. John Kerry warned on "Meet the Press" yesterday that we not "over-hype" what happened in Iraq. (By the way, did he say if he still thought the vote should be delayed ... or has he changed his mind on this now, too?) The Democratic Underground, wasn't as guarded as their candidate, however, and simply went berserk ... or maybe "berserker". What do you call it when the crazy go even more insane, any way?

The critics notwithstanding, freedom won a major battle in Iraq over the weekend, and it did so in spite of its foes. Most of the formidable foes of freedom are political -- namely the Left and its MSM allies. Let's be honest: Most of the Left has been talking down our mission in Iraq, demeaning the commander-in-chief, incessantly focusing on Abu-Ghraib, arguing that a legitimate vote could not occur, and essentially minimizing every success. Some have even been openly cheering for American defeat in Iraq. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but this is true.

Can there be any good explanation for Ted Kennedy's disgraceful call for a troop withdrawal timetable -- comments that could have emboldened the insurgency -- just days before the historic election? How else do you explain Zarqawi's quoting of Kennedy's "Iraq is Viet Nam" speech chapter and verse? And why didn't Kennedy immediately denounce Zarqawi's embrace of his remarks? And where are the John McCains of the Left, standing up to Kennedy and calling his election-eve remarks disgraceful? Ah, but the silence has been deafening. Recall, too, that Sen. Kennedy made his remarks last week on the heels of the deadliest day for American troops in Iraq (36 killed) with terrorist violence on the rise. Was the Left hedging its bets, or did they agree with Sen. Kennedy? Put another way, were they cowardly or pessimistic, or both?

The most "positive" things we have heard from the Left leading up to the Iraqi elections were purported statements of concern for our troops, namely sorrow that the troops had been sent to Iraq for such a no good reason and for a hopeless mission. Yet, the troops have sought no such sympathy. Most all of them believe in the mission, love their commander-in-chief, and they all volunteered at any rate. To the military and its friends, such statements of "compassion" have sounded much like the white guy who proclaims, "I've got lots of black friends."

If you love this nation's military, then you stop criticizing what they are doing when they are being shot at. It's pretty simple, and ironically this is one of the great lessons of Viet Nam. Apparently, Sen. Kennedy doesn't care to recall this one, though.

Also, if you love this nation's military, you call Michael Moore the disgrace that he is. This miscreant has called the murderous terrorists we are fighting the equivalent of our own "minutemen." Moore is no friend of America or its military. Within days after 9/11, he was blaming America for this tragedy, egotistically droning anti-Americanism into his taped diary. Yet, the Left at most has only politely distanced themselves from Moore, when they did at all. Then, Moore nestles up to Pres. Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention, and nary a Democrat blushed or even complained. Makes those who think wonder.

In spite of the incessant negativism and opposition from the Left and its MSM allies, the Iraqi election was indeed a "resounding success." Most people are pleasantly surprised. And many wonder what the President must have known to have believed so deeply in the prospects for elections in Iraq.

I think the President's faith was based on two things. First, he knows and has complete trust in our military. Those who know the professionalism, skill, and courage of the U.S. military are confident when it encounters a seemingly daunting task. Indeed, only American politicians have ever been able to stop the American military. The President knows the situation on the ground, shall we say, a bit better than the MSM. As I posted on Saturday, our troops have been dismantling the insurgency with great success. Those of you who treat the MSM as prophets have no idea that this has been occurring. But alas, even the most adept spinning ultimately collides with facts.

Second, the President has an abiding faith that the Iraqis, like all people, are up to freedom. This is because Iraqis, just like Americans, are created in the image of God. The President believes this with his whole being: "Freedom is the gift of the Almighty to mankind." Thus, he believed, candidly more than I did, that the Iraqis would brave the suicide bombers, bullets, and rockets and vote.

And vote they did, and in larger numbers than our recent "high-turnout" election. How weak, how vacuous, how cowardly do the Democrats' complaints of "long lines and rain" look now? To the Iraqis, simply getting to the ballot box was a great victory. The spontaneous celebrations over the weekend were launched without knowledge of the victors' identity.

So, I suppose you could be pessimistic about the Iraqi elections. Perhaps you could ... how do I say this? ... have it both ways on pessimism like Sen. Kerry by "avoiding getting over-hyped". But remember: A coward dies a thousand deaths, and a pessimist has a million bad days. But a hero lives for a purpose greater than himself, and an optimist always has reason to go on.

With that said, inspired by the heroes around me, I press on.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

A Marine's Thoughts on the Iraqi Insurgency

"I am tired of hearing the crap, the whole, well, 'We are barely hanging on, we're losing, the insurgency is growing.' All that. We are doing fine. It's just a small, a small amount of people out there causing the problems. I mean, it is a small number, and we’re killing them."
-- Marine Sgt Kevin Lewis , to Dan Rather during his recent visit to Iraq.

h/t to the Coalitition Provisional Authority Hugh Hewitt and our friends at Mudville Gazette.

God Bless America, our troops, and the Iraqi people as they vote this weekend.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Ye Olde Ping Pong Tale: The Grand Finale

Okay, where were we? Yes ... the Ph.d. ....

Well, recall that son goes off to Harvard for the Ph.d., on his way surely to an academic career ... I mean, where else do you put some one like this? And the amazing streak of straight A's is still alive? Did I tell you these people were from California? Well, they are. At any rate ...

Son wraps up the first year of the program (3-year program, I understand) and, well, he did it again -- straight A's. Dad, not surprised at this point, calls and says, "Well, son, what will it be? 200,000 ping pong balls? Ha! Ha!" Son: "No, Dad." For a second, Dad's spirits lifted and he could suddenly see the light at the end of the tunnel. Son: "Dad, actually, I would like a quarter of a million ping pong balls. 250,000." Dad: "Oh."

Well, the son blazed through his second year, but struggled mightily with advanced anthropological studies of Texas rednecks (just too broad of a subject area for meaningful study) and still managed to bring the ol' academic ship to a perfect landing: straight A's ... again. Dad, both perplexed and proud, called the son to say, "Son, congratulations. I really don't know what to say. But, I would really appreciate the opportunity to buy you something better/different than ping pong balls, if you don't mind." Son: "Dad, I don't mind." Dad: "Really?!" Son: "Dad, I don't mind, but what I really want is 500,000 ping pong balls." Dad: (Sound of gasping for air.)

I know this may not surprise you, but it surprised a lot of folks in the small northern California hamlet where these good people are from ... yes, the lad did it. He made it all the way. He finished his thesis: A. All of his grades: A. He had done it. From K through Ph.d. and not even a solitary B. Remarkable.

Dad wanted to use the occasion to reflect a bit and also to get to the bottom of this mystery. I mean, he was proud. His boy was a tad eccentric, but he was brilliant. That was something to be proud of. Still, the mystery of the ping pong balls haunted him. So, Dad just decided on the direct approach. Plus, he thought it might shake his son into telling the truth -- why ... I mean, why all these years? So, Dad called up the son in Cambridge: "Son, I know you have always asked for ping pong balls when you've gotten straight A's, and this year ... well, I won't be surprised. So, what'll it be?" Son: "Dad, you're right. I have. I have been working toward a goal. And I have reached it, and things will become clear shortly for you and many others. Dad, I would like 1 Million ping pong balls." Dad fainted and was out for some time, perhaps an hour. He awoke, though, and put the phone back on the receiver. He called his son back. When the son answered, Dad said, "Son, I think I just dreamed that you asked me for 1 Million ping pong balls." Son: "Dad, you were not dreaming." Dad: "Oh, my. Oh, my gosh. ... Well, listen, will you at least tell me why, why all these ping pong balls ... all these years?" Son: "I will, Dad. I am actually excited about it. I will fly out there tomorrow to tell you in person. You won't believe it."

Well, the son's plane landed in San Francisco the next day and he rented a car and headed to Dad's house. Dad waited anxiously for his son's arrival. He was starting to make sense of the whole ordeal. Knowing why would put and end to the angst. Ah, sweet closure. Just then, he heard the sound of screeching tires, a loud crash, and the sound of flying glass. It didn't sound good. He ran outside, and there was a wreck at the intersection just a block from his Sauslito cottage. Oh, no!! It was his son. Rushing to the scene, the Dad found the son. Thank God he was still alive. It was bad, but he was still alive. Dad: "Son, are you okay?!!" Son: "Dad, I don't think so. I don't think I am going to make it. Man, the car came ..." Dad: "Son, be quiet. You'll be okay. We'll get help. All that matters is that I'm here and you're okay. ... Just sit there. And while we're waiting ... let's talk. I mean, just one thing. You gotta tell me: Why did you want all of those ping pong balls all these years?" Son: "Dad. That's why I came here to tell you. I wanted to ... I mean, I want to tell you that I wanted them ... because ... I .... aahhhhhhhh .... oh I wanted them because I was ........ ahhhhhhhhhhhh." And with that, sadly the son died.

The End.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

In the midst of fun and freedom here in the greatest land on earth ... we get the news of 31 Marines killed this a.m. when their CH-53 went down west of Baghdad. Pray for the families and for the Marines who are left behind. The Marines will get on with their jobs and lives ... and will expect you to do the same. And rest assured ... they are getting the job done. Semper Fidelis.

White Trash Wed. Exclusive: Goomba fan in Texas jail. Faces death penalty.



Pretty interesting news report just released in my neck o' the woods. Apparently, an elderly gentleman from California (pictured in the jail photo above) who is also a regular reader of my good blog friend Nickie Goomba, was arrested at a WalMart yesterday in western Montgomery County, Texas. The store is just down the road a piece from my trailer park. According to authorities, the 72-year-old man, who would only identify himself as "Old Blue", was charged with destruction of property and lewd conduct. Both of these crimes carry the death penalty in Texas. Here is the report from the local Tomball, Texas newspaper:

"According to witnesses, the man identified only as "Old Blue" was apparently hiding just inside the sliding doors at the local WalMart and startled several female shoppers by jumping out, dressed in only WalMart bags and shouting, 'California rules ... DC drools!! Nickie owns the internets!!!'

The third victim, 68-year-old Mrs. Ellie Mae Wiggington, was in no mood for such antics, however. Wiggington removed her .38 caliber hand gun from her purse and pistol-whipped the man in front of cheering onlookers. The crowd included five of Wiggington's children, ages 11, 13, 28, 40, and 51, and also nine of her grandchildren, ages 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 24, 34, 35, and 38. According to law enforcement officials, Wiggington quickly sized up the confrontation applied the proper amount of force to bring the situation under control. After "Old Blue" climbed on top of a soda machine and begged her not to shoot, Wiggington shook the machine until he fell. She then grabbed the muzzle of the weapon proceeded to beat the dazed and confused Californian. Witnesses said that Wiggington taunted the injured "Blue", saying 'You ain't related to no Sen. Boxer, huh boy?!!!!' Law enforcement officials praised Mrs. Wiggington's actions. Texas DPS Sgt. James Givaration said, 'Just because we're all packin' don't mean we can't fight conventional. She done good.'

Apparently, the situation was complicated and potentially made more violent because, according to a WalMart spokesman, Wiggington's strong reaction to the man may have been fueled in part by her belief that "the internets" was a reference to her undergarments.

As part of a widening probe, authorities also sought to question the notorious California blogger, Nicholas Goomba, to determine what involvement he may have had in putting "Old Blue" up to the stunt. Goomba's lawyer, Mark Geragos, could not be reached for comment. However, Geragos later released a written statement that simply said, "My client Nickie Goomba did not have a relationship with that man, Mr. Blue."

As for "Old Blue's" fate, Texas authorities painted a grim picture. Sgt. Givaration said, "We have standards here. A couple of things we don't tolerate are defacin' property and lewd conduct. To do such things at a WalMart is really, really bad." Tearing up a bit, the 21-year DPS veteran said, 'And to go after DC like that ... I just can't ... I'll bet the old man gets death.'"

News reports courtesy of dCNN (daisy Cutter News Network) ... All people taking such reports seriously are directed look at themselves in the mirror while in the deep-snap position ask why their head is lower than their posterior ... and then to proceed to Goomba's site and comment 100 times: "DC rules the internets."

Okay, I admit it. This story is completely bogus.

Check out the other participating WTW blogs: Beautiful Atrocities, CrankyNeocon, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Nickie Goomba, Rachael Ray Redux , Riehl World View, Six Meat Buffet, and Vince Aut Morire.

Coming tomorrow ... the dramatic conclusion: Dr. Ping Pong Ball.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


The evil Jenna Bush ... see below
You may have heard that the Norwegians were upset when Jenna Bush flashed the "Hook 'em Horns" sign at an inaugural ball last week. For those of us in Texas, we recognize this gesture as simply being a sign of support for the Texas Longhorns, Jenna's and DC's alma mater.

The Norwegians were offended because apparently some devil-worshipping heavy metal types who terrorized Norway use the sign, as well. Well, if this doesn't give credence to the European state religion of anti-Bush/anti-Americanism, I don't know what does. "See, Sven, he's of the devil." Oh, well ...

I do need to explain something, though.

Although Jenna did flash the "Hook 'em" sign at an inaugural ball, it is a bit more complicated than that. You see, when she turns left and places her left hand up to the shoulder, as shown, it actually means, "DC rules the world!!". Right before giving the gesture, Jenna had just told her dad about her thoughts about DC's rulership of the blogosphere, and the President reportedly remarked, "If that ain't true, I ain't the 43rd prez." How do I know? I was there and Jenna told me she was going to give the sign about two minutes before this pic was taken.

In a related note, retired Austin judge Harley Clark (the inventor of the "Hook 'em" sign and a former UT cheerleader) remarked, "At least our mascot isn't the unicorn."

Now this .... especially with that impish grin ... this one is a bit more sinister. This one, properly translated is ... "Hey Europe. Proceed directly to the Hot Place." No foolin'.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Roe Anniversary Reflections: The Right to Talk ... about the Right to Life

This night I write on the issue of abortion. I hope these thoughts are received in the spirit in which they are intended, for I have learned that this most-contentious issue is indeed viewed differently by people of goodwill. I understand this, and even though the Supreme Court has essentially barred the subject from any meaningful legislative debate, we must still discuss it. Ironically, Roe v. Wade means that the nation must confront the issue even more.

It is indeed true that the views of most pro-lifers stem from their religious views. This is nothing new, and it certainly shouldn't disqualify the views from getting a hearing in the public square. What is not understood is that the other side also draws its firmly held convictions often from its view of God and morality, as well. The question then is: Who is right? As for me, I believe that life begins at conception and that every human life is sacred. This belief has been cemented by watching my four children grow inside of my wife, feeling them move inside her, seeing them on film before they were born, and being there in the delivery room when each was born. Life is a miracle, a precious gift. Some of you don't agree that life begins at conception, and I understand that. I respect your right to hold that belief.

However, do people who call themselves "pro choice" respect my choices and beliefs on this issue? I haven't met many. And does our political system respect those who hold pro life views? Sadly, it does not.

My pro-life views stem from my Christian faith. You need not share my faith to respect the pro-life position, however. You certainly need not share my faith to at least acknowledge that the issue is worthy of discussion and debate. There is much to be said for allowing our legislative process to address the issue of abortion.

Roe v. Wade: Judicial legislation inside a constitutional mirage

Abortion rights were certainly not intended or contemplated by the framers of the Constitution. I have heard a number of constitutional scholars discuss the issue, and I have never heard one argue that abortion rights were intended by the framers. Indeed, all of the states outlawed the practice when the Bill of Rights was ratified. Further, all of the states continued to forbid abortions when the 14th Amendment (through which the Bill of Rights has been subsequently applied to the states) was ratified. In fact, the absence of abortion rights in the Constitution led the Supreme Court to incredibly resort to looking to the "penumbra" of the Constitution to find this right. Roe v. Wade is a terribly-written opinion that amounts to seven justices forcing their view of abortion rights upon the nation as a whole. The decision further created a collision course for itself, as the Court found abortion rights in the "penumbra" only until an unborn child is "viable". Medical science thus will eventually all but eradicate this "right".

Pro-abortion constitutional scholars sheepishly and understandably defend only the result of Roe. Further, all who support Roe as a matter of constitutional jurisprudence must do so only by viewing the Constitution as "living and breathing". In other words, the inanimate Constitution "lives" or changes to fit the views of those who would not afford the same right to the unborn. Abortion rights as a matter of constitutional law cannot be defended in an intellectually honest manner. Let's face it: Abortion rights advocates didn't like what the Constitution said. So, they ignored the Constitution and said it "breathes" or changes to suit their legislative predilections. Roe is the Dred Scott of the 20th century; it amounts to systemic suicide in which the judicical branch unconstitutionally seized power from the legislative branch. As such, Roe has spawned all manner of legal and political problems. For one thing, it stands the legal system on its head.

Should the innocent get the benefit of the doubt?

Our legal system is predicated upon granting the benefit of the doubt to those accused of a crime. Indeed, those who face the death penalty are given, in fact, every possible chance and benefit of the doubt. This is as it should be. That is, we want to to do our best to ensure that we don't condemn an innocent person to death. So, we on occasion err on the side of the guilty to protect that one potential innocent person. In the case of the unborn, you and I must admit that we honestly can't say exactly how God views that little being. As previously stated, I have my thoughts. You have yours. But since we don't know on this side of heaven, innocent life should always get the benefit of the doubt. Why do we give criminals the benefit of the doubt but not the unborn? How can a criminal's rights be treated as sacred when life is not?

Roe has poisoned American politics

Through Roe, the Supreme Court has injected a poison pill into American politics that can not be digested. In Roe, the Court nationalized its view of abortion rights. As a result, Texas and California were decreed to, a practical matter, view this issue the same. New York and Georgia were declared ideological clones. This is the practical result. As we know, however, the nation has diverse and strongly-held views on this subject. Abortion is a 50-50 issue. It is certainly no more a violation of conscience for a woman to be unable to have an abortion in a particular state than for the residents of a state to be forbidden from protecting innocent life. The question is: Whose conscience is being violated? As a result of the abortion pill being put in the stew of American politics, each presidential election features a debate (albeit generally shallow) on the subject. The issue is part of each presidential election and the partisans all line up on their respective sides, but nothing changes because the Supreme Court does not change.

Abortion has led to the politicization of the judiciary

The judicial branch of the federal government was intended to be exempt from political pressures. Hence, federal judges are not subject to elections and serve for life. Now, with abortion and the potential review/limitation of Roe, each judicial nominee is subjected to a rigorous screening process that in fact focuses on one central issue: Is that judge pro-life? This is wrong, but this what the systemic suicide of Roe has wrought. So, now we must ask: Can a practicing Catholic judge be confirmed to the federal bench? If not, why then can a Unitarian be confirmed? Or a liberal Methodist?

So bad is the political polarization that the Democrats will not even let a pro-lifer speak at their national convention. Republicans at least tolerate different viewpoints on the issue. Yet, the truth is that a pro-abortion rights Republican can not make it through the primaries. Of course, if abortion rights hadn't been declared sacred by the Supreme Court, the political parties would be freed to address issues such as national security, economics, and the like. This is how our founders envisioned the national political debate. Smart men, they were. A national debate on morality and religion every four years will drive a nation to drink, so to speak.

The social infrastructure is in place to help women and welcome the unborn

Virtually every one agrees that abortions should be "rare". At least that's what people say. If so, then no one should object as we try to limit the number of abortions. Adoption is a real option that offers hope to the birth mother and the adoptive parents. The truth is that there are very few, truly "unwanted" children. Untold thousands of couples wait for many months to adopt a child.

Also, crisis pregnancy centers are flourishing, providing real help and support in a non-judgmental environment. For many years, abortion-rights advocates said that women with unwanted pregnancies had no options. This criticism has led the pro-life community to respond. This is critical, because most women have abortions because they think their lives will essentially be over if they have an unwanted child without the means of supporting the child. We in the pro-life movement do such women a disservice by preaching to them about the sanctity of life. The best thing for such women is to provide them with the hope of options and help in the case of an unwanted pregnancy. That is, women need to be shown that there is hope for their lives and there are options other than abortion. This has happened on a massive scale as crisis pregnancy centers are now available in virtually every area of the country.

Abortion rights advocates have effectively conceded this debate

People who argue exceptions (i.e., "back alley abortions" and rape/incest) to make a rule are in trouble in a debate. And any time some one comes up with an excuse to take a subject off the table completely, you know their argument is in real trouble. As mentioned above, almost all abortion rights advocates have conceded that abortions should be "rare". Abortions are not a good thing. Why? Well, our conscience tells us that abortions should be rare because they end an innocent life and alter another one forever.

Some people want the opportunity to continue the practice. I want the opportunity to at least be heard on limiting it. We should at least be able to have the debate. How can abortion rights be sacred if life is not?

Programming Note ...

Coming this week:

Monday night -- DC speaks out on the Bush "Hook 'em Horns" controversy, which has created perhaps the biggest strain on U.S.-Norwegian relations since the Vikings fired Denny Green;

Wednesday -- DC makes a cameo appearance in White Trash Wednesday ... I know, it's hard to imagine, but Dan is a friend and fellow member of "the Unit", so I oblige; and ...

Thursday -- The thrilling conclusion ... Ye Olden Ping Pong Tale reaches a zenith of excitement and comes to a hilarious, amazing end. You don't want to miss it.

Update: And Saturday ... 1/22/05 ... I feel compelled, so some thoughts on life.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

DC soaring above the clouds this Inauguration Day ... Get your ping pong paddle and come fly with me

Greetings, all. Just finished listening to most of the President's brilliant and inspiring speech. My soul rejoices when the beauty of the English language intersects with truth ... particularly with the truth of freedom and the dignity of each person on this earth. The benediction by another great Texan, Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, might have been even better. Made me whoop, in lieu of an "Amen". Although it's not hard to make a whoopin' twit like me do that, but still ...

If you read what I've got below, then there's a continuation of the ping pong joke. I have installed a device that will delete the joke if you don't read all the stuff above and shower me with praises for composing it. So, we press on ...
Here's a quick thought/bit of advice for Demos ... Note: if you keep losing 80% of the military vote ... DURING WAR TIME, no less ... you will keep losing presidential elections. Note, there is no time limit on this rule. It's a fact. So, deal with it. The military, who is fighting for America, perceives (rightly or wrongly) that the Democrats are not its friends. Me? I think some Democrats are friends of the military. But Demo policies are disasterous to the military and national security. The military, on the front lines of freedom's defense, knows this and knows it from personal experience. Convincing them otherwise is no small task. Demos must deal with this or perish ... at least until there is peace on earth.
We have a new leader ... Actually, we don't. Goomba rallied last week to edge out JulieB in the updated "Comments of the Year" standings. The "Willie Wanker" comment could be in the top five for many months. It's good to see that Goomba finally stopped pouting about Julie deleting all of his comments and jumped back into the fray.

I would give links to these two, but they're linked all over the page, so ... heck with 'em.

Seriously, it's going to be a tough race for Comment of the Year, but ... who knows? We may have a surprise along the way. The contest is rigged (as previously disclosed here) and I do reserve the right to accept bribes, particularly all-expense-paid trips to Australia. The prize for the COY winner will be unbelievable. So, keep the great feedback coming.
One of my very favorite West Virginians, Gaye Hager, comes through ... very unsurprisingly. So, now I have the Diva-autographed oval "W '04" sticker on the bookshelf. And a sWeet sticker, too. Thanks, Gaye, for coming through and for being a great American ... and raising the next generation to be great, too.

PPB, Part Whatever: The Penultimate Installment

Okay, so the son ... he goes off to grad school. I know some of you will be relieved to hear that it was a two-year program. He struggles a bit during the first year, but ... amazingly ... yes, I know this story is amazing ... he makes straight A's again his first year of grad school. The wear of the grind of all of these straight-A gift years has worn on Dad. He's lost a bit of the ol' spring in the step, you might say. So, he just calls up. By the way, these people are from California. The son was going to Berkeley. Figures. So, Dad just says, "Okay, what'll it be ... 50,000 ping pong balls?" Son laughs, "Dad, I understand you have always wondered about me, and that would be what you would expect. ... This year, though, I would like only 40,000 ping pong balls." Click. But ... Dad sent the ping pong balls. Next year, after his graduation from grad. school, Dad decided to pay the son a visit in person, to finally get down to ... what was this ... this dreadful mystery. So, Dad pulled up at the apartment and just went into the son's apartment unannounced, thinking that perhaps he might get a small gander at something, anything that would shed some light on this mystery. So, Dad flung open the door, and came in. Son, was at his desk, reading mail. Nothing was there, though. No table. No paddles. Not even any sign of the balls. Dad: "Son, this year ... I have got to do something for you, anything really but ... I mean, I can't do enough. Could you ..." Son: "Dad, I understand. You've been great. I mean, I couldn't have gotten this far without you. The gifts each year. The support. I mean, would it be too much to dream big, to go for the limit, to try for, indeed, to ask for something new, now that I have a master's degree and have yet to feel the sting and stain of one solitary "B"? Dad: "Absolutely not, Son. Anything." Son: "Great, Dad. Because this year, I would like to break the six-figure threshold, and ask for 100,000 ping pong balls. Great, huh?" Dad stares in stunned silence. Son: "Dad, I know it's a bit much, but ... I really would appreciate it." And then, turning to his mail, the Son says, "Hey Dad, check it out. Been accepted to the Ph.d. program at Harvard!".

Next week ... Please tune in for the thrilling conclusion: "Ph.d?!?!!!! What the *#@#*#!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

For those of you feeling "blue" this week, please be advised that we will have a continuation of Ye Olde Ping Pong Ball Tale ("The Grad School Years: The Saga Continues") and other assorted brilliance ... soon. For those not depressed and wanting even more reasons to love GWB, please see the post below.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

I see my President is being inaugurated this week ...

for the second time, that is. The second has been far more satisfying than the first, and it has caused me to reflect upon where it all began … here in Texas. I love him now, but I recall I time when I just liked him.

I went to a luncheon/fundraiser for a Harris County judge in the fall of 1995. They let little fish into that one, so I was there. There were at least 500 people who attended that day, and our first-term governor was set to speak. He had come to Houston to campaign for Judge Dwight Jefferson, who at the time was the only black judge in Harris County. Then-Governor Bush had appointed Judge Jefferson to fill a court vacancy, and the word was out that Judge Jefferson might draw an opponent in the upcoming election for the full term. Our governor, though, felt pretty strongly about Judge Jefferson, and he made a special trip to town for the fundraiser, to, as he put it, serve notice to any would-be opponents of Judge Jefferson that he would be on the campaign trail with the judge, if necessary.

At the time, I honestly did not know a lot about our governor. I had voted for him. This was easy, though, because his opponent was Ann Richards, a woman who represents the stereotypes of Texas far more than the state’s heart. I liked Gov. Bush, and he seemed like a good guy. However, it didn’t appear to me like a lot was happening. At least, there wasn’t a lot of discussion in the media, press conferences and the like.

At this judicial fundraiser, Gov. Bush spoke, appropriately enough, about judicial reform. He appeared to use no notes, and he effectively railed against the damage done not just to business but to average, hard-working people by a legal system run amok. He gave lawyers the business, so to speak, but in a respectful way. I liked it. I love it when lawyers get it. I know he had to have given the speech many times before, but it was still impressive.

The governor finished, and we resumed eating lunch. After a few minutes, I looked up and saw him talking to some people on the other side of the room. He seemed at ease. I watched him, and I swear it looked like he knew every one there but me. Later, he was a few tables over, and I wondered to myself, “Is he meeting every one in this room?” There was at least 500 of us, and it would take forever. But that was exactly what he was doing.

About 45 minutes or so later, the governor and some guy who I think was named Rove wound their way around to our table. I got up to shake his hand, and he looked at me with the look of a man on a mission. He had a penetrating look of honesty, of a man going to a specific destination. Rove introduced him to me, and then he just simply said, “Rick, thank you for being here and supporting my friend, Judge Jefferson. I really appreciate it.” I said, well, I don’t remember what I said, but I am sure it was eloquent.

We finished lunch and I watched him finish the rounds. I leaned over and spoke to the fellow next to me, and I said, “You know, I think this guy is going places.”

It turns out that Judge Jefferson didn’t get an opponent, after all. And Gov. Bush cut a wide swath through Texas politics. The Texas Democratic Party is still reeling and will probably never recover, at least not in my lifetime. Gov. Bush said he would do certain things ... he was passionate about education, tax reform, seeking real opportunites for minorities, legal reform, working with Democrats, knocking down artificial walls that kept private and religious insitutions from meeting needs. He tried bold things and did what he said he would do. He acted as a man with "a charge to keep", a mission. He doggedly pursued and ultimately made significant inroads into the hispanic community. He made friends and supporters of prominent Democrats, even the state's most-prominent one, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who ultimately even campaigned for him. Sound familiar?

When I heard Pres. Bush's victory speech on Nov. 3, I got a little emotional because this predictable man surprised me when he thanked us ... his many friends in the great state of Texas. It is hard to overstate the degree of love and loyalty that many of us here feel for the President.

And on Nov. 3, he promised that when his term as our 43rd President is over, he will return home to Texas, where it all began. I look forward to that some day, because I know that he will do exactly what he has said.

In the meantime, we will sit, watch, pray for him and smile as he very unsurprisingly does exactly what he has said he would do in his second term. Jihadis and leftists quake. The U.S. military, conservatives, and many other people of goodwill rejoice.

God bless President George W. Bush.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

PW, DC warmly embrace. PW vows not to poison DC in exchange for continuation of ping pong ball joke.

Okay ... so, I wrote my pal PW an email to try and diffuse the tension between us ... over my dogmatic Christian worldview. To his credit, PW says ... "Call me." So ... I did. A grand conversation ensued. We laughed. He thought I was a "happy" guy. Imagine that. He made some generous comments. Thanks, PW.

Bottom line(s) from our conversation are ... But first, would somebody fire up the Cumbayah, please? There, that's better. Some of you know what a "sucker" I am for Cumbayah.

Okay, here are the punch lines: 1) In spite of our disagreements, I believe PW loves this great land. He has a different vision than I do, and I think his views are dead wrong. He thinks I am a knuckle-dragger; 2) I think PW is wrong about Jesus, and I think his view has serious consequences in this world and the next; 3) I knew I would like PW; 4) He is doing something right, because he has a very pretty wife who seems pretty normal (spends little time blogging, for instance); and 5) the most important thing is ... PW is every bit as precious in God's sight as I am and I want him (and you) to know that this enterprise is not about attacking any one personally.

And ... a reminder to all ... if it's not my comment, it's not my comment. Okay? There.

So ... drop by his place and nicely tell that raving lunatic PW that you love him.

And keep reading through all of my gripping stuff to get to the next installment ... perhaps a turning point, I don't know ... of YE OLDE PING PONG BALL JOKE. Pls continue ...

Pls note the very tight competition for Comment of the Year. Of course, to make it fair, I am not eligible to win. Standings are revised/updated weekly. Goomba is currently narrowly leading JulieB. Frankly, the comments have been lame this week, with mainly some whining for the ping pong joke resumption. (See below.) I expect DC's peeps to pick it up. There will be a prize of some sort, but please be advised that the contest is rigged.

Also, don't forget to check out "DC's Library of Very Thin Books", posted on the still very cool left sidebar. We have a post-bowl sale in the Sports Section. Thanks to all for the overwhelming email response ... ahem ... with additional entries. How about 1-2, for crying out loud? Mine are better any way. Moonbats, please don't send in something spiteful like, "Conservatives that aren't Big, Bad Meanies" or ... "Anti-right-wing-Christian-zealot slurs we aren't addicted to saying" .... by Moonbats Anonymous. Try something light, like "Howard Dean and other Great Vermont Centrists" ... C'mon, you can do it.
I was found by an old friend recently. And he has a blog. Check out Rogue Sun. Go by and say "hello". Rogue Sun has gone from fire-breathing Republican to I think he voted for Kerry ... Yikes. Must have gotten confused. But he and I have some mileage. And we're both black. Templates that is. Actually, we're brothers. I know some of you get confused by this stuff. Don't hurt yourselves. Here's a sampling of his always thought-provoking stuff:
So that there is clear understanding, I claim the right to live. It is not granted to me by international charter or international law. Hell, we can't even get 9 justices to agree to grant it to the littlest of us. But I claim it nonetheless. I do not recognize the right of anyone to take it, not the terrorist and not the mugger. It is the mugger who says, 'your money or your life,' and it is the terrorist who says 'your life because it is the will of Allah,' or something along those lines. I say the mugger and the terrorist have miscalculated. It's my money and my life and both men would best preserve theirs by being somewhere else. I respect the mugger over the terrorist. At least he does not claim divine inspiration for his actions.
Nice job, RS. Good to be back in touch. Blog on. Keep the faith.
Liberalism lessons. Before the holidays are so distant of a memory ... an anecdote. Okay, the Cutter family loves the Salvation Army, especially this past Christmas when we had Target kicked the SA off the premises. When we see a bell-ringer, I generally clean out the Starbucks' change and we all put some in. Good fun. Well, we were a little shy on this day after every one dipped into the till, and my oldest was going to pitch in himself. But alas, he only had a bill ... and a 20 at that. He looked at me with that forlorn look. I want to, but ... not this much. My response? Well, being the good father that I am, I snatched the Ol' Hickory and headed for the pot. "Hey, Dad. What are you doing?" DC: "I am donating this for you. You will feel better and make a difference. Whatsamatter? Don't like liberalism?" With the charitable impulses now sufficiently squelched, I did return the bill. My oldest smiled that knowing, smart-aleck smile. Gosh, I wonder where he gets it. His mom is a pistol. Any way, he'll be ready to vote in '08.
Well, I must say ... The girls dig the new truck. I am pretty cool stylin' in it, no doubt. The girls are happy just to ride around the neighborhood. I mean, they beg to ride around in it. And ... they really get me when they wave at me (I see them in the mirror) while riding in the bed, and say, "Hi, Daddy." Pitter-patter. Swoon. Swoon.

Here's the payola ... have you read all the other stuff before dessert?

Warning: The following is a continuation of an excruciatingly-funny joke ... Ye Olde Ping Pong Ball Tale ... Commenters/Bloggers ruining my fun by telling the punch line will be summarily banned and scorned ...

Okay, where were we? That's right, college. Well, the kid rolls right into college, and I think he got 10,000 after the freshman year, right? Yeah, well ... You'll never believe it, but he aces all of his classes as a sophomore in his advanced microbiology program. . Straight As ... again. Dad offers the obligatory gift, and well, this time the son takes a bit of a different tack (1.5 multiplier) and he orders up 15,000 pp balls. Dad is stunned, bordering on numbness. But then, things turned a bit and it was the closest call yet to making a "B". But ... son has another perfect academic year in the tank. Dad then approaches son, "Son, well, you have almost done the unthinkable, and you only have one more year of college left. How 'bout you let me buy you a car this year?" Son, clearly shocked ... says, "Wow, Dad, that's incredible. I'll take the 20,000 ..." Dad excitedly interrupts, "Horsepower? I don't think they've got that kind of engine, son." Son: "No, Dad. I'll take 20,000 ping pong balls." Dad: "I think I am feeling dizzy." Well, this little puzzle was about to be solved, though, as the son charged into his final year of college. His academic focus was as strong as ever, and ... he did it. Straight As, all the way through college. Dad, this time, sensed a breakthrough and an end to the mystery. Dad: "Son, look you don't even have a paddle, much less a table. I will buy you anything you want. What'll it be?" Son: "Well, Dad, you have been generous all these years, and I know I may have wanted things that you didn't want to give ... maybe it's seemed a bit eccentric. But, I do understand where you are coming from. I have sorta turned over a new leaf." Dad: "Really?" Son: "Yeah, well, I have decided that this year I would like 25,000 ping pong balls." Dad sits in stunned silence. Son: "And I have got great news." Dad: "What's that, son?" Son: "I've been accepted to grad school."

To be continued next week ...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Coming tomorrow ... You absolutely will not believe who I talked to ... I mean a real human conversation

Greetings, all. It is I, your faithful observer/correspondent/whooping twit. I will have some stuff up tomorrow about, among other things, a very interesting conversation that I had last night. No, it was not Laurie Dhue. I am talking about something really big.

Also, we are going to promo the blog of an old friend who tracked me down from another life. And ... I will give you some insight into DC's anti-liberalism training at my house over the holidays. Let's see ... what else? We'll have a bonus segment, too.

What's this? I see the inauguration is going forward next week, in spite of the recounts. Imagine that. My invitation came from John O'Neill, and he thanked me for my "whopping contributions that helped sink the USS Kerry." Is this proper? I don't know.

I think the mudslides and just continual bad news in this gloomy time of year (I hate Jan. and Feb.) means that WE NEED TO HAVE OUR NEXT INSTALLMENT OF YE OLDE GRAND PING PONG BALL TALE, as well.

So, it could be big. Then again ...

See you around tomorrow.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Perspective ...

Recently reunited with an old USMC friend. I miss him and I miss my other compadres from another time and place, a lot. Especially in these times. Maybe you have seen this. If you haven't, then take a couple of minutes, watch it, cry if you need to. I did. (The little girl with the sign for her dad really got me.) Then thank God for the United States Armed Forces and their families, and pray for our troops' success and speedy return.

Heroes in my (Red)neck o' the Woods

I live in what I think they call the "exurbs", something like that. I don't know. I just know it's kind of out in the sticks. This is the part of the world that is growing away from the blue-landers. Some of y'all ought to come on down and see why the country is getting redder. It's a little different from what you might think. Well, any way, I am driving in from the trailer park, and I have to stop at the dry cleaners. And there I meet my first hero ...

Business Owner and Servant

Rick is his name. I like people named Rick. I had noticed he and his family working there. Well, it turns out they bought the place. I think I hear ... no, I know I hear Christian music playing. Oh, one of those. Guy is always friendly. His wife works there, and his teenage son is there occasionally. The son blew me away one time with his politeness and professionalism. Any way, on this day, I asked Rick how things are going. He says it's going pretty good. Then he tells me he got into the business because he likes serving people and dealing with them. Huh? My mind wonders if Rick is for real. He says he and his family are really happy out in my neck of the woods. There are a lot of people like them, people that they can identify with. I know he has seen my W and military stickers, but he still seems to like me. The guy enjoys working at a dry cleaners with his family and living in my corner of the world. He likes serving others. Oh, I almost forgot ... Rick is black.

Rescuer of the Lost Boys

Later that morning, I am in a Starbucks (they have those out here, you know) trying to get some work done while fending off emails from angry moonbat readers of this blog, when Katie appears. This amazing lady has single-handedly rescued 19 Sudanese boys and brought them to our neck of the woods from inner city Houston. Her efforts in finding education, employment, and housing for these boys has kept them from facing deportation. These boys are completely devoid of life skills. Katie tells me how she had to teach a number of them (approximately ages 17-19) even to ride a bike. She also goes into inner city Houston weekly to deliver supplies and donated goods. Her kids are really getting into it, too. She asks if my oldest, who also has a keen interest in the Sudan, wants to go. I tell her it sounds great. Katie just lights up when she starts talking about rescuing these lost boys from the Sudan. She has basically become a mom to a number of these Sudanese boys who are now growing up in freedom. An amazing woman meeting a need and changing the course of lives.

Faithful Worker Bee and Family Man

The next day, I am looking for a birthday present and I am walking out of Barnes & Noble. There's Doug. He gives me his usual greeting, the obligatory salute. I return it, as always. Always great to see Doug. He tells me he is planning for a pretty big shindig for his 26th wedding anniversary. On the 25th, he took Mrs. Doug to Chicago, but he is still doing a pretty good deal this time. Hotel and a 5-star restaurant. Has a French chef, but I am impressed nonetheless. We talk. Doug is a squid, but he is good people. He is a former Sea Bee. He signed up in response to the Iranian hostage crisis. We talk about how his recruiter lied to him. They all lie. We laugh. We talk about our kids and the modern work ethic. Doug recounts how he likes to work. Imagine that. The conversation then turns to world events. Panties on the head don't seem too drastic to save the 7 American kids killed yesterday. Appropriate language inserted for the situation. Now, I am getting mad, thinking about it. But my older comrade cheers and encourages me with his very spirit. And I am reminded of how I got to know Doug. This retired Navy Captain directs traffic and helps people across the street at our church.

Mother of a Marine

On the way home on Friday evening, I am directed to stop at Blockbuster by Mrs. Cutter to get a DVD for my sons to watch. A cell phone consultation results in a search for "Field of Dreams". Lost ... where is it? Then I see my fourth hero, actually heroine ... Jeanne. This small, wiry woman is always smiling, always upbeat. Her husband is a former Green Beret. She does not look old enough to have a 21-year-old son. But she does have a 21-year-old son named William. William is a Marine lance corporal serving his second tour in Iraq. William volunteered for the second tour, and he is hopefully coming home in another couple of months. She talked to him at Christmas, and he sounded good. He was low-key about the intensity of things. They are getting shot at frequently, she says. But William says it's really not a big deal. He is growing weary of MREs and is ready to come home, though, she says. That's great, I think. The MREs are taking a toll, not the jihadis. Jeanne laments that the MSM is not reporting how well things are going. Also, we talk about the Marine lance corporal who supplied the two security rounds to the jihadi feigning death in the mosque. Jeanne says, "I would have done the same thing." I suspect that she could take a few bad guys herself. I love Marine families. Jeanne lifts me with her spirit.

There are so many people like this, all around me. I could go on and on and on ... These four are just some I ran into over a couple day period. Bottom line: It's a little different here in the red exurbs than the raw prejudice you hear from a lot of the MSM types and their moonbat kinfolk. The truth is that most of the critics haven't seen and don't know the "whoopin' twits" out here. Indeed, the real twits are riding on the shoulders of these good people.

I get mad when my friends and heroes get "group-demonized". But you know what? They generally laugh, and then prove 'em wrong with kindness and grace. It's good to be surrounded by so many exceptional people that are making it happen. We are all -- red, white, and blue -- richer for it.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Guess what I am talking about tomorrow ...

Rednecks I recently ran into, I think. It could be huge ... Maybe not. But ... I did get a an incredible email from an old Marine friend with a slide show that you need to see. See you soon.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Can we smile today? There's a ping pong ball in there somewhere.

Greetings, all. Well, how do we put this? The news is hard to read, at best. The tsunami death toll may ... double? Relief efforts continue, with Americans of course heavily involved. The world criticizes us, and frankly this just depresses me. So ... why don't we put bumper stickers on our cars ... "I gave $42.75 to tsunami relief. That's 75% of my weekly income." Enough of all of this.

Click on the World Vision link to the left to do something right now ... But, we must persevere and try to smile. Why? Well, maybe I will talk about that next week. Or maybe I will write on unexplained suffering ... wait, come back. Or maybe I will write on the unexplainable. Or maybe laughing in general.

But, we press on. One time, some guy appears out of the thin 'sphere and berated me for saying "press on" too much. I do say it a bit, but I have tried to cut back (in light of his thoughtful, one-time comment). So ... keep reading below. As for me, I am pressing on ...
I see that the deserter "Marine" has apparently been convicted in absentia. From what I know of Marine courts-martial, I predict he'll get a fair hearing. Actually, though, they may call him by his official military title in the proceedings, in spite of his alleged offense. Oh, the title? That would be "dirtbag". Pressing on ...
And ... now this. Calling all sane people, especially sane Democrats. Even though it is meaningless, I see that some Demos are planning a "contest" to the presidential electors today. Check out David's take. Apparently, Sen. Kerry is ... trying to have it both ways?

Listen, such things ultimately hurt us all. Endless challenges to elections are becoming the norm, and we will all suffer. For those who think it's only when my guy loses ... I think Washington gubernatorial candidate Rossi should give it up, too.

If your currency is valueless, it doesn't matter who holds it. Unfortunately, I think that some behind the endless, baseless challenges to the presidential election know this.
Okay, enough news ... a personal story instead. Over the holiday break, I reluctantly and sadly had to say goodbye. It was time to trade in my ol' trusted vehicle. I get emotional at times like these. Because it all happened so fast. It's hard. I just didn't have the proper time to adjust and save memories. I'm going to miss it. I know it seems strange ... But I am going to miss my oval W '04 bumper sticker.

But, my oldest son gave me a magnetic yellow "Support our Troops" ribbon. Better already. Pressing on ... I hate stubborn people. Don't you?
Okay, now the moment many of you have been waiting for ... The other night, Julie was trying to get some leaks about the big presser, and I was holding my ground. To stall ... and maybe make a point ... I commenced one of the grandest tales of all time -- Ye olde ping pong story/joke.

Check out the first installment ... Julie's comments are funnier than the progresssing tale, but ... it's getting there.

Now ... there was some follow up, but I think we were at 11th grade. Well, the kid is rolling, and you won't believe it, but ... he aces all his classes again. Straight As. Dad says, 'Son, you are amazing. I want to buy you something, but I just want to tell you, it doesn't have to be ping pong balls." Son: "Thanks, Dad. I appreciate that. And what I want this year is 2,500 ping pong balls." Dad: "Oh." Well ... son blazes into senior year and survives a scare in advanced calculus ... runs the table. Dad: "Son, you have done the unimaginable. You have gotten straight A's all the way thru HS. I'd really like to get you a car, a trip, something really nice. What will it be?" Son: "Well, dad. I have been reflecting after all of these years. I know I have been asking for ping pong balls every year, and this is probably bugging you ... I know it has been strange at times. And now I'd like to tell you that I'd appreciate your knowing how much I have appreciated it, and that I would like 5,000 more ping pong balls."

Tune in next time as son heads for college. This could be huge.

Update: Any one trying to "skip ahead" or tell purported "punch line" will find that it is suddenly hard to comment here. Banned. Yes, I believe in free speech, but ruining a good story ... that's where I draw the line.

Why USC won ...


Better informed players. Even reading Hugh's book during the game. Amazing. Oh, well. At least the scholar athletes from OU have their academic careers to "fall back" on.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Press Conference Q&A ...

Programming note: This is the last of three posts from today's press conference. See two earlier press conference posts of today for recap of intro/Thomas incident as well as opening statement by DC.

(Press conference resumes, with Nickie Goomba asking the first question)

Nickie Goomba -- http://nickiegoomba.blogspot.com: DC, sir. Happy New Year to you. We missed you. Also, I would like to congratulate you for finishing second in Meathead's 2004 Best Blog Award. As for my question, having attended some White House functions with you, I know a bit about you, like you're from Texas, you wear "string ties" and such. But, a lot of people are wondering if you might give a bit more information, and if not, why not?

DC: At ease, Goomba. It's not necessary to stand at the POA when addressing me. I appreciate the gesture, but ... what can I tell you? I would like to say, too, that since you are actually at this press conference, I am hoping that we can get some accurate coverage. (Audience laughs. Goomba does not.) And listen, about the recount I requested on your little blog award deal, it's just to protect the integrity of the process. I am not trying to change the result.

As for your question, I have a bunch of kids. I have had them from the eastern seaboard to California. I finally figured out what was causing the deal. At least one of them is a teenager now. Let's see, I met my first wife in college. I am a Christian. I have a journalism degree. I am a former Marine, but I am certainly no war hero. What else? I should say that it really shouldn't be necessary to say much more. I am from Texas. I am an American. I like laughing, loud music, Aussies, the British Royal Marines. What else? This site is about ideas, not me. Sure, they are my ideas, but ... I could tell you certain things about me that would make you more favorably disposed to some of my opinions, and other personal information may have the opposite effect. So, it's a wash. I will probably come completely clean some day. Yes, Nickie, you have a follow up ...

Nickie Goomba: Yes DC. I mean, sir Mr. DC. Sir ... It has been reported that you have misled some people regarding your identity. Is this true, and if so, do you regret it?

DC: Goomba, please. I told you ... At ease. Yes, I did tell Pusillanimous Wanker once that I was a black mother of five. This was incorrect, and I do regret telling him this. I mean, he was heading out to the open sea with the bait. Had to reel him back in. So yes, this was a lie. I have four children.

...

Jim Angle -- Fox News: DC, Jim Angle. Fox News. This site has had some serious pieces/series, such as the focus on John Kerry's "The New Soldier" leading up the election. Also, there are some occasional light and even wacky pieces. Do you plan to continue this, if so, can the two types of posts co-exist?

DC: Great question, Jim. You must be a Texan. Man. I have done a lot of thinking about this subject, and I think that I can do both. I hope so, because my mind thinks in both ways. This is not a humor blog. It is not a blog a la Belmont Club, either. In expressing my views, I am trying to inform, entertain, inspire, build coalitions, and perhaps motivate to actions and even change opinions. I find that humor can be an effective weapon in the communications arsenal. In looking over the blogosphere, I can't think of many bloggers who are serious and light-hearted at the same time. If I can pull this off, this thing will take off.

Jim Angle: If I could follow up ... then what kind of site is this?

DC: Again, this is not a news site. If something happens, I may not comment on it, for a variety of reasons. This site is an opinion and information blog, with an emphasis on protecting and preserving this nation. Incidentally, a nation is not a government. But that is a post for another day. But as I have said since the election, my efforts are focused on what I have called America's "Coalition of the Winning" -- that is, national security protection, cultural preservation, and liberty promotion. As for me, I am a conservative on all three fronts (security, culture, and liberty issues). However, members of our coalition certainly need not agree on all issues and we will have our sqabbles, for sure. But one thing must hold us together -- we must love this nation and be committed to its welfare.

Also, regarding what kind of site this is, I have got to mention what I have called the "perfect church" crowd. You know these kind of people ... They looking for "perfect churches" and perfect political candidates but can't seem to find either. The problem is that if you find a perfect church, you can't join it because you'll ruin it. Well, these imperfect people nonetheless continue in their dogged pursuit of ideological purity on a whole host of issues ... but somehow can't seem to find an earthly candidate that meets their criteria who can get more than 0.5% of the vote nationally. Then, you look at the champions such folks have nominated, and you find the "perfect" candidates aren't perfect, either.

Thus, I have a question for the "perfect churchers": If a tree in the woods is "standing for principle" and no one sees it ... and it falls ... is it still standing for principle? There. Figure that one out, but don't go pulling a brain muscle on me. C'mon and call me a Communist ... a Bush cool-aid drinker. I dare you. And finally, to those people who take themselves way too seriously (cousins of "perfect churchers") and can not laugh at themselves, here's a warning: You may very well be offended by this site from time to time. I would like to say that this bothers me ... but it doesn't.

John King -- CNN: Why are you calling on only the Fox News reporters here. It seems inapprop ...

DC: I think they're all here, John, for one thing. They're pretty big fans. I did bust them for falling prey to the "Communists for Kerry" deal, but I think they've gotten over it. They're all whooping twit right-wingers like me, so ... But I will give some one else a chance. Let's see. Yes, you in the back.

Les Miserables -- Le Moonbat Presse: Mesieur, you have an ideology of hate and are a vicious dog, a *&^%$, an unbelievable &%$*&*. Iraq is a F*&* mess. Do you now admit you are fascist pig?

DC: No, but I do welcome all such commenters such as yourself to this blog. I take pride that no one has been banned from commenting at the Daisy Cutter. I hope we can keep it that way. The comments, of course, do not represent my opinion, unless they are my comments. Thanks for reminding me of this. I must say that even the hateful venom and lunacy from the moonbats is instructive to people of goodwill. I mean, we've got you people hacking into blogs ... even wiping out Goomba. What is that? And yes, I do know that there are many, many people of goodwill who disagree with me on a whole host of issues. I believe the readers of the blog are capable of telling for themselves whether a commenter is a person of goodwill or not. Linda ...

Linda Vester -- Fox News: I see some different, facially conflicting themes that may be at work in you personally and in your commentary on this blog. What is the dominant influence in your thinking?

DC: Although the bulk of my posts here will not have an overtly religious tone or message, my Christian faith informs all that I do. When I say I am a Christian, that doesn't mean that I was born in America and go to church on Christmas and Easter. Last I checked, I had spent time in a garage, too, but that didn't make me a car. In short, I believe in the truth of John 14:6 and I have staked my life upon it. In fact, the course of my life was changed over 25 years ago. If you are interested, here is what I came to understand about God a quarter of a century ago. But fret not. I don't purport to speak for God. Some days ... every day, actually ... I stumble. Indeed, I am a ragamuffin in need of God's immeasurable grace. My faith makes me more, not less understanding of people's differences.

This leads me to a guiding principle in wrestling with issues here: People are more important than winning an argument. Let that soak in for a minute. And in that regard, this is also why I like a free and open discussion of ideas. It communicates mutual respect. Plus, I think the truth looks better the closer that it is examined. I also honestly think my ideas will win out if given a fair hearing. I may be wrong. If I am, I am sure that some one will show me.

But back to faith ... Here's the bottom line on faith and this blog: I can be friends with you if you don't believe in Jesus. Can you be my friend if I believe in Him?

And a word about Muslims. I certainly support the right of Muslims to live in peace and practice their religion. I do believe, though, that Islam is facing a crisis and is in need of a reformation. Its problems stem both from problematic sacred texts and an unwillingness for Muslims to speak out against terrorism. Yet, nothing here should be interpreted as advocating a "counter-jihad". That said, I do believe the best remedy for those who terrorize Americans and our friends in the name of Islam is an attack with overwhelming force by the U.S. military. E.D. ...

E.D. Hill -- Fox News: Do you have any bloggers in particular that have served as a role model for how to conduct this whole enterprise?

DC: Yes, E.D. And, I must say ... good to see another Texan (and UT graduate) doing so well.

E.D.: Well, if I could just get to where you're ...

DC: Persistence. Hang tough. But back to your question, there a some great blogs out there, but I have really been influenced by Hugh Hewitt, a.k.a. the "Coalition Provisional Authority". Hugh is gracious with his time, and he has really put a lot into helping other bloggers get off the ground. Heck, he even returns my emails. If Hugh can do that, we can all do it, in my view. There's even a whole site of blogs inspired by Hugh. I have ordered his book ... hope to get through it asap. It's must reading for folks interested in the blogosphere.

Wendell Goler -- Fox News: Can you talk about the new look for the site? How did this come about?

DC: Yes, Wendell. I am pretty excited about the new banner and the logo. The concepts are mine, but my friend Bob Winslow brought them to life with graphics and by cracking the dreaded "left sidebar" code. So, thanks to Bob (and David), who did a super job. Now, that I have a left side bar to work with, it's not going to be fair. And I guess that having a logo makes me official. So now maybe I need some t-shirts. We will see. Do I need a "babe" to model the t-shirts, though? Don't know. Let's see ... Who could I ... Yes, Laurie ...

Laurie Dhue -- Fox News: Did you (stammering badly) say that you were married?

DC: Yes. Let's take another question from the foreign press. Yes, Tim ...

Tim Blair -- http://timblair.net/weblog.php -- Yes, DC. Could you explain your affinity for Aussies? I note a number of Aussie links and the presence of your "cousin" ToeCutter in your Unit. What explains this, mate? Are you just sucking up to Australia?

DC: Absolutely. Australians are good friends of America. They are freedom-lovers. They make great music, and they call sharks guppies. They re-elected PM Howard in the middle of the Iraq war. Plus, I believe they realize the weakness of Pac-10 football, as well. Most importantly, I plan to start my world tour on Mooloolaba Beach, where the world's best band hails from. Jeff ...
Jeff Birnbaum -- Fox News: There have been whispers that you are softening, that you are even associating with moderate, left-of-center types from California. Would you like to address these charges?

DC: Well, I assume that you are talking about my friend JulieB. Julie adds a lot to the discussion around here and is a good sounding board. Plus, I introduced her to the Texicans, and they have gotten along famously ... even after the Homeys showed her all their guns, which takes a while. But, to the fundamental question ... is ol' DC softening? Come now. If you think you hear things a bit differently ... look at the substance. I remain firm in conviction, but flexible in approach. I am still in the persuasion business, and I work for the same team that I have for as long as I can remember. You have a follow-up?

Jeff Birnbaum: Yes. But, do you categorically deny speaking French at any time?

DC: Jeff, this is a vicious rumor that got started on the internets. I am not sure which one, but ... I think present company can help with that. But, I guess it depends on what you mean by "speaking French". But wait ... Listen, if you'll excuse me, I have got to get back to the business of the American people ... and that is running this here blog. ...

Brian Wilson -- Fox News: Can you give us an idea about what you might be working on in the future with this site or any related projects that may spin out of it?

DC: Well, I don't want to jinx it, Brian, but I believe in dreaming big. I can't tell you the precise subjects that I am going to be addressing in the coming weeks and months ... into '06? I can tell you this. I think I may get on Sen. McCain's case pretty soon, just for fun. And I am serving notice ... the road to the White House in '08 passes through DC. Remember that. Hey, do we have a ... never mind. For those of you wondering if I have been thinking of this all along, there's no way that a poor trailer park resident like myself could have pulled this off. So, never fear.

As always, if you have any questions about the site or questions for me ... about anything including and between heaven and earth, send an email to dcutter@gmail.com.

Thank you for coming. The rest of the questions will be asked by the commenters and emailers.

Press Conference Opening Remarks ...

DC: Well, thank you all for sticking around after our little incident earlier. (Programming note: This is the second press conf. post today. For description of earlier incident and press conf. intro., see today's previous post.) Events like this morning's somewhat explain the lack of a picture on the site, but I digress ... Starting from the top, my name is Rick. A first name should suffice for these purposes. I posted as Daisy Cutter since June 28, 2004. This site was born out of my desire to speak out on what I saw then and still see now as this nation's most pressing issue -- national security. To me, the Daisy Cutter was and is a symbol of America striking back at the jihadis and going on offense to protect and preserve freedom here and around the globe. The Daisy Cutter = Offense against Evil. I like that.

During the election season, as many of you know, I was heartily behind the President's re-election effort. As I stated on numerous occasions, the principal issue in the '04 election for me was national security. I still think we are in a very dangerous time where protecting America's security remains paramount.

Yet, I have had some reservations about the name Daisy Cutter. For one thing, I have some thoughts on issues unrelated to national security. Additionally, those of you who have read this site know that I am not prone to fire-bombing rants as the name would imply. I am prone to some humor, perhaps some black humor from time to time. Sure. Also, I do use some strong words here ... strong to leftists at least (you know ... truth, God, good, evil, justice, and the like). But still ... am I a big gas bomb?

(MSM contingent nods affirmatively.)

As I was preparing to change the name of this blog, a funny thing happened, though. I put the question to the readers. Nickie Goomba was the first to speak out for keeping the name. Then, the calls for the status quo started to pour in. I frankly was surprised. I figured that if you all like the name and understand where I am coming from and keep reading ... maybe I should keep it. On the other hand, I think that some more mainstream "big-time" bloggers and media might be a little "gun-shy" about linking or quoting me with this blog named Daisy Cutter. Also I find that evangelical Christians don't quite know what to do with it. Being on of those whooping twits myself, I find this particularly ironic. Ah, I love irony. So, I go back and forth ...

But enough of that. I want to announce that I will stop blogging.

(Commotion ensues with mixture of a smattering of cheers and loud cries of despair. The assembled throng looks around in disbelief. Some one, perhaps two people, are down. No one is yet able to utter a complete sentence, the shock and, in some cases grief, is so acute.)

DC resumes: ... at some point, that is. However, that point is not now.

(At this point, bedlam breaks loose in auditorium. Fox News contingent throws thin veneer of "balance" to the wind and begins massive impromptu "happy dance". Incredibly, Fred Barnes and ... Mort Kondracke? belly-bump three times. Across the room, John Gibson does something resembling the "Ikky Shuffle" ... Was he a Bengals fan, and in the 80s? ... CNN and other MSM contingent stand in stone-silence and try to not to hide disappointment. In back, a moonbat reporter tries to get a shot at DC, but the jubilant crowd gets in the way. Then, realizing that he doesn't own a firearm anyway, moonbat reporter resorts to the only weapon he has ever known, the "Profanity-Spewin' Ad-homi-Gun (PSAG)". He begins madly spraying every one in the vicinity with latest curse words gleaned from his favorite porn sites. Meanwhile, Carol Iovanna is out cold on the floor. Goomba hovers overhead but is shooed away by medical personnel. The scene returns to order, however, as Brit Hume incredibly approaches the podium and ... without saying a word ... nods at DC with that look ... that knowing, slight-smiling look ... and then amazingly gives DC a fist-five. No words are spoken, but much is said. Except for the medical personnel loading Ms. Iovanna into the ambulance, the room is in total silence. And the press conference resumes.)

DC resuming: Furthermore, as should be evident by the new look and logo on the site, I have decided to keep the name Daisy Cutter for the time being ...

(Standing ovation in the auditorium. MB reporter sets off another burst from the PSAG)

DC resuming: Please ... Please ... However, there will be some changes ...

(Murmurs in the crowd ... worried whispers ... sounds of papers and reporters' note pads shuffling ... some one snaps a picture.)

DC resuming: Incidentally, I don't photograph and I don't show up in mirrors. As we are doing this before the sun comes up, you can draw your own conclusions.

Regarding changes, the new look is the new look. I will be happy to take questions and comments on that later. But, as for more substantive issues, first I am going to post simply under "DC" going forward. You all (that is long-hand for y'all) can still call me Daisy. That's fine. You can even call me Rick. No big tuna. Just want to make the change. So, my focus is broadening, if you will, from Daisy Cutter (national security) to D.C. (the nation as a whole) ... so to speak. We'll see how it goes.

Next, we are going to have a bit of a format change, as well. As of 1/10/05, my plan is to post an essay/column on late Sunday night or early Monday a.m. on a near-weekly basis. Then, I will have an update later in the week, probably Wednesday night/early Thursday. I need to be disciplined with my time and and tend to personal and other business matters. There are people who really do count on me in real life, and I owe them my time and best efforts. I hope you will understand. Plus, you don't pay me enough to do otherwise.

Concurrent with the new format, I may not spend as much time addressing the various comment threads. I will still be around during the week and will try to hit my usual spots. If you have a question or want me to address an issue, please send me an email. I will try to respond to those.

Finally, I thank you for your patience. I know you have some questions, and I would like to take them. Usually we have the ... how do I delicately put this? .... we try to let some one ... uh ... "who has not been made famous by their good looks" ask the first question, so ... where is Helen Thomas?

Bret Baier -- Fox News: DC, that was Ms. Thomas that passed out when you first came in.

DC: Oh, my word. Well, let's go with Nickie Goomba then ...

(Press conference coverage to resume shortly with questions and candid answers on a variety of subjects. )

Press Conference Begins ...

(DC entering room ... bustle as reporters take seats ... DC takes mike)

DC: Well, I'd like to thank you for coming. Happy New Year to you all. We saw snow all over Texas this holiday season. Very nice. And incredible. As you can see, in spite of some earlier confusion by some, I should say, one or two wayward souls ... I am indeed a man. And my name is ...

Unidentified female reporter in front row: Oh, my!! He's gor ... gorge ... (Loud thud heard.)

Unidentified male reporter in front row: I think she's passed out.

DC: Some one get a doc, quick. Dang, I didn't mean to startle any one. Goomba, get away from her! She doesn't need mouth-to-mouth! For the sake of all things decent, man!! Some one get a doc on the line!

(Programming note: Will return after medical attention provided to reporter.)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

DC scores 4 TDs ... Rushes back from Rose Bowl for Monday (8 AM CST!!!) Press Conference


Had a busy weekend ... but that's not me. Or is it? Who/where is that man? Michigan defense is wondering the same thing. See you Monday a.m..