Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Give Thanks

In a testy exchange during cross examination by D.A. Mike Nifong yesterday, the defendant repeatedly answered, "Gobble, gobble." Some media outlets, the ASPCA, and increasingly venomous internet "bloggers" have questioned Nifong's decision to proceed with the case in face of scientific proof that a turkey is anatomically incapable of wielding an axe. ~ Mortimer Stevenson

Dear Reade, Collin and Dave,

Our beliefs are founded not on our experiences, but on our reactions to those experiences. It has been said that nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it. In other words, our thoughts, our beliefs, are but made up stories, fictions instantaneously crafted from the deeply rooted core files comprising our conditioned personality "blueprints."

Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions lead to results.

Have you ever awoken feeling lousy, or in a bad mood, and found that the entire day seems to take on the cast of your initial waking thoughts? I have. Assume that, on first look in the mirror, I think that I look terrible. I'm getting fat. Again. And look at all that gray! The crow's feet! The...age. Those thoughts make me feel terrible walking out the door to face the world. That feeling will imbue my posture, demeanor, carriage and interactions with those I meet during the day. My actions, thus, prompted by those sneaky feelings, determine the results I achieve during the course of the day. Did those I met find me dynamic? Compelling? Worthy of their friendship, belief, time or business? Of course not.

If, however, I awake, look in the mirror and think, "I am a sexy bitch, baby, yeah!," I'm going to bound out the door feeling like the cock o' the walk, act like I can bend steel with my bare hands, and compel the results I desire through sheer force of will.

Since nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it, since our thoughts are just made up stories that might be instantaneously cast in a positive or negative light, it is up to us to choose the positive alternative. Remember, beliefs are founded not on our experiences, but on our reactions to those experiences, and we each have the power to choose our reactions. On experiencing your visage staring back at you from the mirror, choose to think, "I'm great!" Because you are.

No mopey faces on Thursday. No woe-is-me self pity. You are not what others think of you. You are what you think of yourselves. And so, give thanks.

Give thanks that you were chosen to bear this cross instead of another teammate. The universe only gives us that which we are strong enough to overcome. Give thanks that you are that strong. Give thanks that this ordeal is, daily, making you stronger still.

Give thanks that this surreal nightmare has made you more fully realize the deep love of family.

Give thanks for your dads, mobilizing on your behalf like sentinels protecting platoon mates under siege. Give thanks for their love and unwavering support. Give thanks for their unquestioned belief in you. Give thanks for the strength of character they have instilled in you. Give thanks for the strength to conquer adversity that they demanded of you as children and are so proud to see you calling upon in this time of crisis.

Give thanks for your moms, ever there with a hug when you need one, and a reassuring word in moments of despair. Give thanks for their inherent strength. Give thanks for their remarkable grace under pressure in the face of that which would make lesser women crumble. Give thanks for their love and unwavering support. Give thanks for their unquestioned belief in you. Give thanks for the strength of character they have instilled in you. Give thanks for the look you see in their eyes. Give thanks that they, too, know the truth.

Give thanks for your siblings. Give thanks for their individual talents and successes. Give thanks for their encouragement, love and support. Give thanks, on looking at the younger ones, in the knowledge that they will grow up to be quality adults who bring value to others' lives, just like each of you.

Give thanks for your friends, girlfriends and loved ones. Give thanks that, owing to the quality of your character, others are drawn to your positive energy and surround you with their own. Give thanks for their love. Give thanks for their shoulders. Give thanks for their ears. Give thanks for their knowledge of the true you. Give thanks that they have never doubted your innocence. Give thanks that they, too, know.

Give thanks that your personal trials have shone a bright light on how far we yet have to go as a nation and species to achieve harmonious coexistence and true equality under law. Give thanks that your endurance of this travesty will effectuate real change.

Give thanks for your counsel and all others working tirelessly on your behalf. Give thanks for those who champion your innocence and seek to illuminate truth in the face of ignorance, deception and lies.

Give thanks for the recognition that one who tells the truth has nothing to fear.

Give thanks that this, too, shall pass and that you will each be the richer, that is, a better man, for having gone through it.

Give thanks for those millions who have never met you but pray for you nightly.

And give thanks when Tampa Bay kicks the Cowboys' asses.

Happy Thanksgiving, Guys.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You, Mike, for gathering and sharing these thoughts. We are blessed by your wit and presence of mind. And let us all give thanks also for K.C., Joan, JinC, JN, Bill, Mike G, Freep, and Talk Left bearers of truth. May God bless the boys and their families and see them safely through this ordeal. Happy Thanksgiving. sic semper tyrannis

7:10 AM  
Anonymous kbp said...

Thanks Mike,
Those are some comforting, warm thoughts for all to consider on this coming holiday. It is best to focus on the positives in life and be thankful to all.

We'll worry about that other turkey after Thanksgiving!


9:59 AM  
Anonymous DukeLaxMom said...


As the mother of an unindicted lacrosse player, I'd just like to say Thank You and God Bless You. No one asked you to take up this cause. You didn't have to commit to giving so much of your thought, time and effort on behalf of people you've never met. That you chose to do so says much about the man that you are. You have touched us all with your insight, passion, sensitivity and humor. You always bring our focus back to that which is right, and wrong. Other bloggers might be looked to first for hard data or breaking news. If, however, KC and Liestoppers be the "brains" of the operation, you and Joan are most definitely its "heart." You will be in our thoughts tomorrow, as you have again redirected ours to what is truly meaningful and important. I intend to read this post at our table gathering. Thank you, Mike McCusker, for caring, for giving a damn. Thank your own mom and dad for raising the man you've become. I wish a most blessed, happy and love filled Thanksgiving for you, your beautiful wife and family tomorrow.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous emmy said...

Mike, you are the best...a fierce defender of Dave, Collin, and Reade...I am sure that they are very grateful to you for your dedication, as are the other players and their families, as dukelaxmom pointed out...I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family...

Go Chuckie!!!! Kick Tuna's *ss for us Giants fans!!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving!

10:42 AM  
Blogger NDLax84 said...

Thank you all for those wonderfully kind words. I truly appreciate them all. It'd mean more to me, however, if subsequent posters left their own messages of support and well wishes for Collin, Reade and Dave and their families.

Blessings to all.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike and emmy:
Chuckie versus T.O.?? No winners in that one!! I hope it's a tie game!!

12:34 PM  
Blogger TombZ said...

Collin, Reade & Dave - God bless you and keep you through the Thankgiving holiday and the months ahead. You are not alone - we will keep up our advocacy and hope the noise we make (and logic we state) on your behalf builds to a dismissal in the very near future.

NDLax84 - God bless you and yours, too. Keep up the Turkey Hunt. We'll knock his head clean off one of these days. I'll say a prayer for our Jints, too - they need it.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My TG wish for these boys and their families is that this case goes away.

But that is not likley. Nifong is buried deep in this one, by his own actions, but perhaps not by his own choice. It's pretty clear he was fighting for his career and livelihood...and we've seen great men do far worse in the pursuit thereof.

This does not mean I support his actions in any way, however, I believe that if he had any easy out on this one, he would take it. He knows he has no case...why else would he not interview the accuser? This emotional-readiness-to-talk stuff is pure bull which is made clear by her immeidate return to pole dancing.

If he drops it now it surely will reveal his poor judgement and he will face numerous lawsuits filed against him and everyone related to him. He will face severe NC Bar punishment...likely putting him out of office--and a job. At the bare minimum, letting this go to trial in the spring at least assures him of employment to that date and for 6 to 12 months after. And regardless of an acquittal, it lessens the degree of punishment at that point.

There have been many thoughtful and intelligent postings on the various Duke blog sites. Perhaps we shoudl use our collective wisdom to find a way for Nifong to drop this peacefully. Personally my concerns have been with seeing the boys get out of this case and back to their lives. I don't need to see Nifong fried if he found a way to save face while dropping this thing.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who closely follows this case, I am thankful that (1) these boys have strong families to support them, (2) the bloggers named above have devoted themselves to publicizing the facts (and to keep publicizing them until the case is satisfactorily resolved), and (3) various lawyers, scholars and journalists have energetically sorted fact from fiction and published or broadcast accordingly. These people are all heroes. Clearly, many individuals and groups of people remain trapped in ignorance and prejudice when assessing this case. It may take some time to dispel the fictions so wrongly and broadly let loose and redress the gross abuses of constitutional rights, but surely truth and justice will prevail. And in anticipation of a time when truth and justice finally triumph, I am thankful, even as I grieve the many falsehoods currently embraced and the galling perversion of our legal system.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous bill anderson said...


Keep raising hell, kicking butt, and taking names! I'm trying to do the same on my end. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who have supported these guys.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to the Duke 3

We shall continue in our quest to wrest you from the false acusations and hopefully, Christmas will be Nifong free for all of you and your families

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Collin, Reade and Dave - Happy Thanksgivivng to you and your families. Hang in there and know there are many that believe in you and support you.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duke Three:
Please remember you have so many supporters who believe you are all innocent! Please continue to walk with your heads held high. You have nothing to be ashamed of!
God BLess.

5:26 PM  
Blogger johnny-rhetoric said...

I dont think I have ever seen such an outpouring of genuine concern and love from such a wide array of obviously quality people.
GAYNOR, JOHNSON, JinC, ANDERSON. Professionals giving of their knowledge and expertise.

Joan Foster-- clearly a person of bottomless empathy. The love from her posts comes thru the screen. You are a special person indeed.

The Columbos of this case, SOPRANO, EMMY, SKEPTICAL, SKINNER, PHOTIOS, TRINITY,and more that Im forgetting. You have shown such passion and tenacity. Im sure Nifong hears those names in his nightmares.

Lets not forget Bob Bennett. A $1000/hr washington lawyer giving his acumen and resources to fight this travesty.

Also NDLAX and LAXMOM. You are so close to this, your pain is felt through your posts.

There is no way a petty tyrant like Nifong and a Precious the human petrie dish can suceed with all this good karma allied against them.

People like you give me a little hope for the human race.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the cartoon, Praying everyday fOr the Department of Justice to appear like the Lone Ranger.

11:43 PM  
Anonymous gc said...

Wake up and smell the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving. Back to reality Monday.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous fairlending said...

Nifong meet King Kong. These lawyers for the Duke kids are going to ferociously attack Kim, Precious, and Nifong leaving them all bleeding from the nose, eyes, mouth, ears, and anus. Precious will be attacked time and time again on the stand. With each cross-examining question a little flesh will be removed from her body that she has already destroyed until all that is left is bone. She will take a savage beating and Nifong can't do squat.
There are millions of people who don't know these guys but are 100 per cent in support of getting them vindicated and exposing this hoax and Nifong. These kids and their families and their lawyers will go the distance against this evil. The tremendous strength gained by being right is invigorating. Nifong has no clue what he is in for.

3:33 PM  

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