As a kid, I was skinny and short, a physique that was less than intimidating in the country school I attended in the ‘40s.

Even back then, there were discriminating groups, the country kids and the town kids. I was considered a town kid even though we lived a mile from town on five acres with some stock and few crops, most for personal use.

Like most youngsters, I didn’t like to fight although such Donnybrooks were the most popular events during recess. I can’t count the number of times the combatants would sneak to the rear of the building and proceed to whale the daylights out of each other.
Oh, we always kept lookouts at the corner, but more than once as a lookout, I spotted teachers looking our direction, then turning away.
I finally figured out they knew what was going on, and since boys were boys, the youthful pugilists would rid their bodies of all those raging hormones and return to class docile as kittens.

More than once, I was a proponent of the battle, and more than once, I ended up with a bloody nose or a scraped chin and a black eye.

When the battle was over and the dust had settled, we shook hands and then arms draped over each other’s shoulder, strolled back to class.

But, like every class in every school, we had our bullies. Take my word, some of those farm boys were big, especially those who had repeated the fourth grade three times.

That was way back in the days when schools insisted kids learn or fail. There was no kissy-kissy, bleeding hearts worrying about the kid’s self-esteem. If he failed, his father applied the self-esteem with a boot to the miscreant’s posterior.

A horrible act today. If the father weren’t tasered, stomped on, or run over, he would be convicted of child abuse, sexual deviancy, and if nothing else, driving without a license.

Our bully was named Doyle. Even today, every time I meet someone named Doyle, I think of our Doyle. Three years in the fourth grade, two heads taller than us, twice as wide, three times as strong and mean as the dickens.

I wasn’t the only one he picked on. He found a new victim daily so his old classmates who were now in the seventh grade would still consider him one of them. We couldn’t whip him. He was too big. All we could do was try to talk him out of whipping up on us too much.

I learned quickly not to go home crying when I got beat up. Dad didn’t care for whiners. One day when I was pretty much torn asunder by Doyle, Dad told me to pick up a club. That’s all bullies understand, a club.

A club? I would never have thought of that. Gene Autry never used a club! He always whipped the bad guys with his fists in a fair fight at the Saturday afternoon picture show.

At recess sometime later, Doyle started pushing me around, laughing and waving to his seventh grade friends. We were playing softball, and a ball bat lay nearby. I told him to stop, but he pushed me down.

I cracked two of his ribs with that ball bat, and fat Doyle never bothered me again. You know, he wasn’t as mean as I thought.

Think about it. America has a bunch of ball bats lying around. What we need now is someone with the guts to swing those bats, because right now there are half-a-dozen Doyles coming out of the woodwork, their mouths watering at what appears to be the old timey 98-pound weakling named America.

The national columnist Cal Thomas is right. Bullies like Doyle fear one thing and one thing only – strength and the knowledge it will be used against them.

Like him or not, Bush used strength. Now, after a few months of our present administration, terrorist cells are beginning to grow once again. Is it because those Doyles don’t believe we’ll do anything about it? The answer is obvious.

I don’t know what will happen. All I know is that kissy-kissy never won the bully over. Never! But, now, on the other hand, you take a big bat …