In the News

The more you have thought and written…the more you can still write. Thought breeds thought. It grows under your hands.

Henry David Thoreau

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

My schedule was off last week because my daughter’s family from Oregon was with us. And that’s a good thing. As I surveyed my family at dinner one night, I thought to myself what a blessing to have both my daughters, their husbands and all of my grandchildren together around one table.

Understandably, last week was busy and finding time to write a column was a challenge, especially when an impromptu trip to Dollywood was suddenly added to my schedule.

A friend of mine recently asked me if I ever get writer’s block. I thought about it for a minute and told him not really, probably because I’m interested in a lot of things and I read widely. As a result something always turns up. Actually, years ago, the night before my weekly column was due, I began the essay with the premise that I had nothing to write. And as Thoreau observed, an essay appeared “under [my] hand.”

Regarding thoughtfulness and writing, I’ve noticed the appearance of a dearth of what I’m labeling as news commentaries. My favorite is Don Surber’s news analysis, available at When I suggested the site to a friend he told me he didn’t know what a Substack was. It is an “online platform to support subscription newsletters.” In other words, it is an alternative to traditional Mainstream media and similar to Rumble, TruthSocial and other platforms for thought and writing. I find Surber insightful, witty and acerbic. I also like Cut to the News by Rebekah Koffler available at The point is there are alternatives to the uber-liberal group-think mainstream media and what I refer to as the big seven (NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post).

Talk shows and panel discussions are also platforms of thought and have been mainstays of television commentary for a long time. I loved Johnny Carson’s late night talk show. Becky and I have a  modern favorite: Gutfield! The Greg Gutfeld show on Fox mixes news commentary and humor. These days you gotta laugh to keep from crying. We love Gutfeld’s comedic shtick and his regulars, the libertarian, Kat Timpf, and the ex-pro wrestler Tyrus, a Black, conservative man with common sense; a combination which sends chills through Democrat elites and triggers their bigotry.

So, where do you go to stay abreast of current events and news? And who can you trust these days? Once, we only had the filtered reality of major newspapers like the New York Times and major news networks with their Walter Cronkites and Tom Brokaws. Their monopoly is gone as a result of alternative media options, including talk radio. And as for newspapers, we thankfully have The Knoxville Focus.

Greg Gutfeld is conservative. Talk show host Bill Maher is not. Maher recently opined that the economy is great and noted the stock market is surging. But the lady at the supermarket says she’s barely making it, and the credit rating of Americans is plunging because they’re using credit cards to make ends meet, even drawing from their 401Ks. Bidenomics doesn’t seem to be working on Main Street. But I doubt Bill Maher feels the economic pinch from the buying capacity of the dollar decreasing 31% since 2001. Along with Wall Street, Maher is flush. At least Gutfeld presents the facts.

Things settled down one night and Becky and I got to watch a recorded Gutfeld program when the younger generations gathered next door at daughter Jenny’s home to watch the Taylor Swift Eras Tour streaming on Disney. I admire Taylor Swift, although I’m not a Swifty like my granddaughters. It’s hard to be hip at 73. Stay in your lane folks. Remember the adage: there’s no fool like an old fool.

We are blessed to have at our fingertips more information than at any time in the history of humankind. The problem is sifting the information you receive. You will come closer to the truth if you read widely, think carefully and sift everything through common sense and your own observations. This includes this eclectic news analysis column.

I’ve been thinking about big numbers lately. I once wrote a story about big numbers like a googol – not Google. A googol is 1 with a hundred zeros represented as 10100..   .I credit my high school physics and chemistry teacher who taught me how to handle big numbers and balance chemical equations. And this allowed me to do well enough in college to get into medical school. Some years ago, I tracked him down and thanked him for helping me succeed.

When I was growing up I did not know anyone who was a millionaire which is 106 dollars. (I don’t think Thurston Howe on Gilligan’s Island counts.) Now we have billionaires with 109 dollars. And our national debt is over $30 trillion (1012) or 1000 times the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

I have a confession. I’ve been a bit irresponsible. If this column seems a bit disjointed, it is because this essay was begun in the back seat on the way to Dollywood surrounded by family streaming and singing Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors,” and swaying to The Hollies’ classic “A Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” and the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” This writer may be older, but he’s not dead!

It is well-known that I have a disregard for politicians, but some are more odious than others. Schumer the schmuck and Biden distinguished themselves last week by interfering with elections in Israel. Schumer threw his own Jewish people under the bus pandering to Muslim voters in Michigan in an effort to hold onto power.

We are at war with ourselves and the time for pleasantries is long past. The loons are in control of our government and destroying the country. There were never any sane “adults in charge.” We must take power away from these fools, and return to common sense and the policies that were working before the ruinous Biden administration.