By Dr. Jim Ferguson

These days, a lot of things mystify me. An old example is dead possums on the road. I realize possums are nocturnal creatures and don’t understand roadway etiquette. However, you would think natural selection would serve as a disincentive to cross highways traversed by other night creatures traveling home from late night watering holes. My mother told me that nothing good happens after midnight, a time when inebriates roam the roads. I learned that lesson, but it seems that possum roadkills didn’t get the message.

Service animals are a more recent puzzler. I’m an animal lover. We have two old dogs, a pedigreed hunting dog, three horses and twenty something chickens on our farm; we gave our miniature pig to a rehab center. Blaze-Arnold is now engaged in, but not leading, therapy sessions; he’s just a cute pet. However, I can’t fathom why so many people who are sighted need an animal’s presence in the grocery, the mall, or even on airplanes. Recently, a woman was denied boarding a commercial flight when accompanied by her “service” peacock. And though I am opposed to “service” dogs pooping on the sidewalk in front of Publix, I wouldn’t ban guide dogs for the blind.

Another mystery are those magnifying mirrors in hotel bathrooms. Perhaps teenagers with youthful skin find these mirrors helpful, but at my age the details of my skin are a bit scary and somewhat like an alien lunar landscape.

Recently, I apologized to my barber who was clipping hair on my ear lobes. My excuse was my male XY chromosomal configuration. Relatively little genetic information is carried by the Y chromosome, the exception being coding for earlobe hair. This only appears on men, so if you are someday confused about your date’s “persuasion,” check he/she for earlobe hair.

Last week the last Democrat died. Republicans have been gone for years. Zell Miller was a former Governor and Senator from Georgia who authored nearly a dozen books. His book “A National Party No More” lamented the transformation of his Democrat Party to its current progressive liberal philosophy. And though the party still carries the Democrat moniker, it is anything but democratic. Just ask Bernie Sanders.

I am perplexed that people thought their conversations and personal data on FaceBook, Twitter and now Google were private. And has everyone forgotten the NSA facility in Utah with quintillion byte capacity for data collection?  How dare Trump hire a company to data mine information sold by FaceBook. Surely, the hoi pilloi realize that FaceBook gave Obama all their data for the eight years of his Presidency. Of course the media is not reporting this, because, as everyone knows, reporting has been politicized and replaced by propaganda.

Actually, I’m perplexed that anyone trusts anything by any media outlet. Fake news has become the reality. Recently, in Malaysia, a bill was offered in their parliament outlawing “fake news.” Those guilty would be fined large amounts of money and be punished by up to ten years in jail. Of course, you’d first have to define fake news. Perhaps anything contrary to group think would be the standard. William F. Buckley once said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other points of view, and are then shocked and offended when they discover there are other points of view.”

Earl Pitts, “Uh-mer-i-kun” is a radio spoof of so-called rednecks. He begins his short polemical satires by asking, “You know what makes me sick? You know what makes me so angry I could teeze a fat man with a Twinkie?” If you’re curious you can sample Earl’s opinions on YouTube.

These days, I sometimes feel like Earl Pitts. I suspect the preponderance of my readers are adults, many of whom have raised children and teenagers. Humans are designed to eventually grow up, think for themselves, move out of their parents’ home and start their own. I survived my teenage years and admit that I was a d*** fool until my mid twenties. As an adult and a parent I listened to my teenagers, but I didn’t respond to demands driven by emotion rather than reason. Quite honestly, most teenagers haven’t lived long enough to have acquired sufficient wisdom to control their passions.

What makes me angry these days is that teenagers are marching and demanding gun control as if this were so simple. Now, the New York Times and nonagenarian and former Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, demand repeal of the Second Amendment. These same teenagers demand safe zones to prevent them from hearing anything contrary to their indoctrinated politically correct opinions. I believe the majority of the marching teenagers are well intentioned, but are largely being used as props by liberal progressive activists and media Pied Pipers.

Personally, I don’t own what has commonly been described as an “assault” rifle, though I doubt many of the marchers could define one. Nor, do I have the need of a high volume clip for my semi-automatic pistol. And a $400 bump stock would be useless for my shotgun. I have no use for dangerous NASCAR race cars, but I don’t believe they should be banned. Cars kill 57,000 people every year, but I don’t believe they should be banned either. In the 1990s Bill Clinton’s administration proved that banning assault weapons did nothing for murder rates. Most murders are done with handguns or knives, but I don’t favor banning my Henckel carving set.

Tattoos, piercings and studs are another mystery for this sixty-seven year old. I once asked a young patient about the delicate daisy chain tattoo around her ankle. Bones are covered with periosteum which is highly sensitive. You’ll recall bumping your shin against a chair. Ankle bones are equally sensitive. As I counselled her about the risk of needle infections and allergic reactions to tattoo dye, I asked her “Did the tattoo process hurt?” She looked away for a thoughtful moment and then replied, “It was just short of agony.”

I’ve about come to the conclusion that it’s not my country any longer. Tommy Lee Jones’ character, in the Cormac McCarthy movie No Country for Old Men, came to the same conclusion. No, I will not give in to evil’s many manifestations. Nor will I be silent, even if my eyes are increasingly fixed on a resurrection reality.