Welcome to the inaugural "Interview With a Blogger". Today, I am with GM Roper of GM's Corner.
Say Hi, GM.
Hi Jeffery, thanks for having me on. Or should I have said Hi GM?
LC: Ha ha. Let's start with your blog
LC: How did you get started blogging?
GMR: I was an avid fan (still am) of a number of blogs and got introduced to Marc Cooper's blog. After lurking there for several months I started commenting about the conservative viewpoint to his liberal one and soon we became friends. Marc encouraged me to start blogging in September of '04 and I started my blog in November of that year.
LC: Have you been at your current location ever since you started?
GMR: Oh no... I started out with blogspot, then moved to my own dot com and was there for a little over a year. When I got lung cancer early this year, it looked like my blogging days were over because of the expense and I was invited to join the Munuvian's. I moved to mu.nu in March or April of this year and have been there ever since.
LC: Blogs do have a tendency to move don't they? I notice that you often blog about politics, but what specific issue that really gets your adrenaline going more than any other?
GMR: Well, I try to mix in some photography and humor, but conservative politics has always been my forte. I guess if any one issue were the one that claims most of my attention it would be the war against the islamofascists. I'm currently working on a post I've tentatively titled "I Am A Warmonger."
LC: I know it may seem like an obvious answer, but what makes that issue more important?
GMR: Well, it is both obvious and subtle. Obvious in that we are at war, not with a state, but with an ideology. One that cares not for anyone or anything but their own pitiful point of view that you are either with them or you will die. The subtle part comes from how do you fight an ideology? That is one of the reasons I think why we in the United States have sort of lost our will. We can't see progress like we could see in WWII or even in Korea.
LC: It does seem kind of odd that we call ourselves the 'home of the brave' while we act so scared of everything.
GMR: I'm not sure if it is scared of, or an unwillingness to "offend" others. It is almost like political correctness is an ally of islamofascism. For example, the 6 imams that were taken off the plane a week or so ago. They castigated us for not "understanding" but the reality is that we did understand their actions, they didn't want to be passangers, they wanted to cause a scene.
'there is absolutely no evidence that we are benefitting from the control of Iraqi oil. If we were, do you think that gas prices would have shot up two dollars a gallon or so after Katrina?'
LC: I'm going to play the devil's advocate here. I'm a peace advocate. Respond to my allegations
GMR: Go for it
LC: Bush started this war for oil because he has a personal vendetta for his daddy
GMR: First off, typically like a peace advocate, the words you chose are indicative of the left. Bush doen't have a personal vendetta for his daddy, though he may have a personal vendetta for Saddam for plotting to kill his daddy. That is the difference. Besides, if the issue were truly about oil, which it patently is not, we could get a lot more oil by buying it... it would have been much cheaper. Two, there is absolutely no evidence that we are benefiting from the control of Iraqi oil. If we were, do you think that gas prices would have shot up two dollars a gallon or so after Katrina?
LC: "Iraq had no connection to 9-11"
GMR: No connections except for training Al Qaeda, no connections except for supporting terrorism, no connections except for attempting the assasination of a United States President and of course, with Al Q. in Iraq, they have no connection with Iraq.
LC: "Iraq is America's biggest blunder."
GMR: Along side with the USS Cole, the Twin Towers, Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the Kohbar towers and the Marine Barracks. How long does the United states have to allow terroristic acts against it's interests to strike back. Have we made mistakes? Sure, name one war where we haven't. No war plan survives first contact with the enemy. Lastly, I might mention that although the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so is the road back. We have a duty, difficult though it be, to see this through to fight islamofascism down to the wire.
LC: "Well the whole world hates us now for our go it alone policy."
GMR: Color me worried about what others think. Look, if Germany doesn't like what we do, let's pull our troops out [of Germany]... whoops, when we talked about that all of a sudden we were their best friends. The world is flat out wrong and if we allow "opinion" to dictate how we act in our own best interests, we deserve what we get. Besides, we aren't alone.
LC: No Liberal argument would be complete, of course, without "I still think George Bush is the dumbest President in the history of the United States."
GMR: Yep, dumb enough to graduate from college, dumb enough to learn to fly one of the most difficult interceptors in the Air Force inventory and dumb enough to get a master's degree. I get so damn sick of hearing that. When the Democrats think he is dumb, but he turns around and whips them at most every situation, they obviously don't get it. Like many liberals, they mistake the ability to speak with erudition and is further evidence of their intolerance. Of course, Bush has done some awfully dumb things, but so has smarty pants Kerry. Kerry acts awfully dumb for being so damn "smart".
LC: Let's not forget that this President was dumb enough to steal two elections from the Democrats. But let's shift gears here. Let's talk about the darkest moment of your life.
GMR: There have been several dark moments.
LC: The most recent one, your bout with Cancer.
GMR: Oh, that one... ok, fire away!
'I have a strong desire to live, not at any cost you understand, but to live and my docs told me that surgery and chemo was the route to go. It was tough, I'll not kid you on that point'
LC: First off, how was it discovered and what was your reaction?
GMR: Reaction = OH SHIT!!!! Having said that, I injured my left knee in February of '05 and had several appointments with the docs before finally deciding to get surgery in January of this year. During routine chest X-Ray and other lab work prior to surgery, they found the tumor.
LC: Isn't that how most cancer is found, through other examinations?
GMR: Yes it is, if I had had the surgery in the summer of '05, it would have been too soon, in the summer of '06 too late. I am one lucky fellow... I guess God isn't done with me yet.
LC:Well I am one who agrees with God on this one.
GMR: Thank you.
LC: I often hear people say that if they get cancer, they won't go through radiation or chemotherapy. What would you tell them?
GMR: It depends, everyone has their own tolerance level. I have a strong desire to live, not at any cost you understand, but to live and my docs told me that surgery and chemo was the route to go. It was tough, I'll not kid you on that point. The chemo makes you weak, you lose your appetite, lose weight, get nauseated etc. But, it was only 6 months of misery. I've had college professors that were harder to take for four months and I survived that too.
Then, I had a terrific support system in place, family, co-workers, friends, church members and of course bloggers like you who helped raise some dough to help offset the cost of the chemotherapy. At the time, your sermons were a God-send and I mean that truthfully.
LC: Thank you. Many people don't like to think of Cancer. In fact, I think most people think Cancer is going to happen to the other guy. Why is that and what would you tell people about Cancer?
GMR: Cancer is a disease, nothing more. One oncologist told me that if you live long enough, you will have cancer of some type. This is especially true of men and prostate cancer. We all have, from childhood on, a myth of invincibility, that we are "bullet proof" as it were. In psychological terms, this myth is really necessary or we would never go out of doors. There is, unfortunately, a large number of diseases etc., that we are prone too, many we cause ourselves. I smoked for almost 40 years thinking it would happen to the other guy, only to find out that I was one of the "other guys." But you can also be a health nut such as Dr. Helen Smith, Glenn Reynold's wife who exercised daily, watched her weight etc and still had an almost fatal heart attack at age 37.
By the way, Dr. Helen took the time to make several comments on my blog when I did my cancer posts. She is quite a lady.
How long have you been in remission?
I finished my chemo-therapy in August of this year, a CT scan 10 days later showed no cancer as did a P.E.T. scan a month after that. But, the doc's said that they think they got all of the cancer with the surgery and so I'm going to say tumor free since February 6, '06 which was when they took out half of my right lung. SO, cancer free, but only 3/4's lung power. Not a bad trade if you think about it. I've been told that I have an 80-85% chance of making the official 5 year survival time (after which you can consider yourself "cured") so, I've got a little more than 4 years to go. I had a CT scan yesterday morning and will get the results next week.
LC: I know I'm not alone when I say you're in my prayers.
GMR: Thanks my friend. That warms my heart in ways that others not in the same position can never know. You have been both a friend and a big part of my recovery and I am greatful you are in my life.
LC: You're welcome. Let's talk about blogs.
GMR: You bet!
'I read about 30 a day... every day [blogs] are a significant part of my reading pleasure.'
LC: Other than your own blog, who's blog stands out the most to you?
GMR: Oh, wow, there are so many... I read about 30 a day, every day and not always the same one. Michael Totten, Marc Cooper, Dr. Sanity, Instapundit, Stop the ACLU, Big Dog, Cao, the Kossacks (just for laughs of course), your blog, Publius Pundit, Gates of Vienna, The Anchoress, Ogre's Politics and Views, The Real Ugly American, Texas Fred, Euphoric Reality, so, so many. Not all every day, but every day all are a significant part of my reading pleasure. I seldom read my own entries... I put too much into writing them. I read Woody's though.
LC: Those are some good blogs, of course I'm a little biased towards mine.
GMR: You should be. As I am, towards mine that is.
LC: Texas Fred is really becoming a blog to read, he's up for nomination as Best New Blog of 2006?
GMR: That's right. Doc Sanity is up for best individual blog, Stop The ACLU is up for best first 250 blogs... lot's of good blogs up for voting and I urge all my friends to vote daily, just like the democrats.
LC: It's legal to vote early and often.
GMR: In fact, I'm going to post on that first thing in the morning.
LC: What makes Texas Fred's blog stand out most to you?
GMR: Fred is a very good friend of mine, we have been friends since he started blogging and he has been a guest on my internet radio show GM's Corner airing at 9:00 PM Central Time on Wide Awakes Radio (thanks for the opportunity for the plug). But, I digress. Fred has a unique point of view that is just an enjoyable read, even if you don't always agree with him. He was born in Louisana and raised in Texas and that makes it unique if nothing else
Texas Fred really does deserve a round of applause for becoming a finalist. I remember when I was a finalist for best new blog of 2004 where I got my pant beat off me, but it's such a wonderful feeling to get that kind of recognition.
It is a neat thing. Of course, no one ever made GM's corner a finalist in the Weblog Awards... on the other hand, I was King of the Blogs three times running and retired as a "Dynasty."
LC: Another Blog that you mentioned was Dr. Sanity, a cute play off of her name. Tell me about the connection between you and her.
GMR: Pat was one of the very first blogs that I read besides Michael Totten and Marc Cooper. I sent her an email once I started my blog and let her know that I too was in the mental health profession and that I shared her outlook on politics. She was gracious enough to include me in her short list of Psych-Bloggers and frequently stops by and links to one or another article in her continuing series "Touch And Goes" in the Psych-bloggers. The Title Dr. Sanity is NOT a play off of her name by her, but was a sobriquet dropped on her by her fellow residents when she determined to go to a psychiatric residency. She too has been a guest on my radio show... as have YOU!!!!
LC: I caught your show when Dr. Sanity was on. She did a fantastic job. One other blog that I want to ask you about is Cao's blog. Tell me about her.
GMR: Cao started the Wide Awakes. I have a "blog son" Mustang who blogs at Social Sense. He was invited to join the Wide Awakes and later, so was I. Cao writes her own blog Cao's Blog (by the way, her name is pronounced "Key") and has been instrumental in helping a lot of blogs get off the ground and recognized as good conservative blogs.
'[Kender]... is a champion in my book.'
LC: I remember her when her blog first started. It always just stood out above other blogs. Finally I want to talk about your radio show. When is it on? (You can click the Wide Awakes Radio link on the side bar of both Gm's blog as well as this one.)
GMR: Thursday nights, 9:00 PM Central time.
LC: How did you get into the radio show?
GMR: Some of us in the Wide Awakes talked about it for a while, but it was really Kender Macgowen who really was the drive behind it and the guy that got it up and running. Kender is fighting his own chronic illness and is a champion in my book. I was invited by Kender, I guess because he liked what I had to say. That and I bribed him. (Laughs)
LC: Kender is definitely one of a kind, a very likable fellow.
GMR: He is indeed. He pulls no punches and says what is exactly on his mind at all times.
LC: What is it that you like most about hosting your own radio program?
GMR: Well, I teach off and on at the University of Texas-Pan American and love hearing myself gab. But mostly, it is something new for me to do, something that reaches out to others in the opportunity to discuss politics, humor and any thing else that touches down even momentarily. Last Thursday night I did a spoof of a counseling session with "Bubba" a red-necked, bigoted fellow from Oklahoma who fixes cars under a tree. It was absolutely hilarious.
Well your show is definitely must-hear radio. Gm, thank you for taking the time out to do this interview.
GMR: Jeffery, this has been absolutely my pleasure. Thanks for having me. And thanks for being my friend.
You can visit GM's Blog at GM's Corner or listen live to his radio show Thursday night's at 9 pm central on Wide Awakes Radio. If you would like to be considered for an interview, please send an email to email@example.com with a short paragraph why I should interview you along with your blog name and link.