By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Though we hear much these days about concussions, football players are not the only victims of head injury. I aver that Americans have had their hearts and souls and minds assaulted for years, and the attacks just keep increasing.

No one knows in what context head injury produces the entity known as CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy. In fact, the condition can only be diagnosed from analysis of brain tissue, as in an autopsy. There is no doubt that severe trauma to the brain is capable of causing permanent damage with long lasting effects. Strokes cause death of brain cells, and have long term effects on thinking as well as movement and speech. Even focused radiation of the brain for cancer treatment produces collateral damage in nearby healthy brain tissue and can produce dementia years later.

Why do some boxers develop dementia pugilistica and others do not? Is this what happened to Mohamed Ali? Why are we not hearing reports of soccer associated CTE from repeated “heading” of the ball? Why doesn’t rugby, which is played without helmets, cause CTE? The answer is, we don’t know and we may never know since the issue has become so politicized. And are all football players at risk for the apparent sociopathy of Aaron Hernandez, the former pro football player convicted of murder and who died in prison? His brain was said to show CTE.

The ancients associated life with breathing because they noted it’s absence led to death. Later, life was associated with a beating heart and pumping blood. And blood came to be symbolic of the “life force.” Postmodern man now defines human life as thoughtfulness which arises in the integrated nervous system of the brain.

What happens in a concussion? The brain is encased in the protective bony skull. The brain is also surrounded by spinal fluid to absorb shock and further protect the delicate neural tissue. A severe blow to the head can cause the brain to strike the inside of the skull by inertial effects analogous to a person being thrown against the steering wheel in a headon collision. Additionally, the brain may rebound and strike the opposing skull wall causing a contrecoup injury. And lastly, a blow to the head produces shock waves which can resonate with such force to cause a massive discharge of neurons and unconsciousness.

Everyone has at some time tapped the “funny bone” and experienced an unpleasant tingling sensation down the forearm to the little finger. Now imagine the same process of sufficient violence to shake the brain and produce neural dysfunction and unconsciousness.

Something that happens once and is short lived is defined as acute. Something that occurs over and over or lasts more than six weeks is defined as chronic. CTE is defined as a chronic disorder of the brain (encephalopathy). Did the condition occur as a result of one injury which persisted and worsened over time, perhaps unrecognized? Is a recognizable concussion or brain injury a prerequisite for CTE? Or can CTE occur from small repeated brain trauma? We don’t know.

I am not a football player; and I’m certainly not one to fancy European football (soccer). My five foot eight inch frame was not conducive to a career in professional sports even if I had the temperament for such. Modern day athletes are giants in comparison to me. Most golfers are even huge when compared to a man born “average” sixty-six years ago. Interestingly, archaeologists have confirmed that modern humans are taller and live longer than at any time in history. Perhaps our descendants will all be Amazons.

Knoxville, Tennessee is an oasis of sanity within the modern culture of America. Nonetheless, we are at risk for injury from repeated assaults on our nervous system by the pernicious media, feckless politicians and their stooges, NFL football players and other illiterati. I’m concerned about our souls, that non-anatomical area where my mind interfaces with the Spirit, Creator and my Saviour.

I find it is increasingly necessary to tune out and avoid the pernicious disinformation campaign of fake news. I’ve also turned off pro football games where millionaire players disrespect our anthem, flag and country. What a shame that Roger Goodell, the football commissioner who makes 40 million dollars a year, and the billionaire owners of football teams are now having to choose between their employees (players) and their customers (fans). This is what appeasement does. Things only get worse when you kowtow to Kaepernicks, while sanctioning touchdown celebrations and pillorying star quarterbacks who allegedly let a little air out of a football.

We live in Babylon, rife with false gods, group speak/PC, immorality and totally dysfunctional government. How did we get in such a mess? I’m reading a book called The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher which offers a compelling explanation and offers a solution to maintain sanity and virtue when “everyone around you is losing theirs,” to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling. This conservative and devout Christian writes beautifully and logically, and I identify with these tenets.

Conservatism is a negative term to those who identify and sympathize with the alt-left who claim a higher moral ground because they “feel” deeply. I assure you that this rational, Christian, conservative likewise feels, and I reject the left’s claim of the moral high ground. And I reject the claim of a Berkeley student who recently said that anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is intolerant. This member of the illiterati doesn’t realize he’s just a useful dupe, and his high priced education has been little more than indoctrination by anti American professors. He doesn’t realize that he’ll be among the first silenced when America’s destruction is complete.

I admit I’m a traditionalist and as a conservative I believe change is best done thoughtfully and slowly with laws rather than with riots or by disrespecting the country and its institutions. Unfortunately, others hate our country and its traditions such as the national anthem. And others like the alphabet media just hate President Trump. The hatred of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer can’t be due to CTE because, to the best of my recollection, he’s never had his ears boxed.