It’s not about left and right, but right and wrong.

Brian Kilmeade

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

I love the sound of the word potpourri as it rolls off the tongue. The word derives from French and means a miscellaneous collection of things. Such are my thoughts as I begin this essay.

Who would have thought that there would be support for the Hamas “Devil-savages” who slaughtered 1400 people in Israel? Antisemitism has been around for thousands of years, but who would have thought that it is alive and well in the halls of oh-so-tolerant Ivy League universities and among “enlightened” academia? I guess we can be thankful that these people have come out of the closet, and identified themselves as true racists.

Americans certainly didn’t need another point of disagreement. However, this overt racism and bigotry may be the wake-up call we need. Leftists, across the country and around the world, have linked arms with Hamas, BLM and ANTIFA types to rail against Americanism, Jews and anyone who opposes their neo-Marxist ideology. And Progressive Democrats just exploit any controversy that furthers their power. Doubt me? Just ask AOC’s squad or watch MSNBC; they’ll tell you what they are. And Hamas does the same.

A pogrom is the “organized persecution or extermination of an ethnic group, especially of Jews.” The term derives from Yiddish which is an amalgam of Hebrew and German and historically used by Ashkenazi Jews of Central Europe. Jews were expelled from Israel after their defeat by the Romans in 70 AD (before there was a Palestine). In the resulting diaspora, Jews fled to Central Europe and became the Ashkenazi and to Western Europe and became the Sephardic (Spanish) Jewish communities.

Pogroms were launched against Jews during the Middle Ages and by Nazis in Germany. However, pogroms are now on American college campuses, in cities around the world and are the instruments of terror by the Hamas savages.

I watched the new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s acceptance speech and then an interview with Mr. Johnson. I was impressed, but I’ll hold my opinion for outcomes rather than verbiage. Politicians always promise the moon, but less often deliver much of anything worthy. Kevin McCarthy was removed as speaker because he didn’t live up to the promises he made. Tim Burchett and others called his bluff, and now we have perhaps a more conservative speaker who understands the McCarthy lesson that business as usual in Washington, D.C., is unacceptable. Apparently, our former mayor cannot comprehend this basic truth.

Liberals are already bashing Speaker Johnson’s pro-life stance and that he’s a Christian who believes in the wisdom of the Bible. But no one should be surprised. Anti-American, neo-Marxist leftists hate anyone with an R beside their name and certainly anyone who identifies as a Christian. Johnson is a Constitutional lawyer who “believes in the rule of law,” is married and has a beautiful family.

Years ago, Johnson and his wife brought an at-risk teenager into their family. Much has been made of the fact that the now-grown young man is Black. Johnson stated his belief that Blacks have a tougher journey than whites. And while that may be true, I doubt that I would have had an easy time growing up in Africa. And if I were to move to France, I would never be a “Frenchman” in the eyes of those born in France. Unfortunately, humans are tribal, and too often consider the color of one’s skin or religion rather than someone’s character as Martin Luther King advised. Harper Lee once observed that men are prone to “nurse their hangovers of hate.” This hatred drives Hamas and sorrowfully elected Joe Biden.

I read that people in Maine are rushing to buy guns after the recent murderous rampage and that Israel is in the process of arming all citizens after the Hamas slaughter. They need to arm themselves because a Hamas representative said they would “attack civilians again and again.” One wonders about the mental state of someone who refuses to take Hamas at their word.

Speaking of Maine, Mr. Johnson says the problem is not about guns, but the human heart and mental health issues. I agree. He said, “The hour is late and the crisis is great, but God is not done with America, yet.” I hope he’s right.

October is done and Becky and I have just finished putting up our firewood for the winter. We live in a mature forest and trees, like people, get old and die. Some years ago, I wrote that winter is hard for animals in the wild. Winter is also hard on humans, especially the aging and infirm.

We’ve had many struggles in the Ferguson clan of late. An elderly family member has been living in an “independent living” facility for many years after being unable to manage her home. Unfortunately, time has taken a toll and essentially “renting a room” in a facility that provides meals and some activities is sometimes not enough. You’re on your own in such a facility which is not licensed to pick you up if you fall. I learned that Knox County has a program with the fire department to pick you up in the event of such a fall.

When independent living is not enough, the next step is “assisted living” (AL). As an internist and geriatrician, I understand that AL is for people who need minimally skilled nursing, but need assistance with ADLs, activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating and getting around safely, as well as taking medications correctly. Rehabilitative services like physical and occupational therapy are often needed to keep people going and engaged with life. Memory care is a subset of AL. But none of this is cheap and rarely covered by standard insurance or Medicare.

Last on my cornucopia of thoughts is the so-called cancel culture which has descended on some liberals for their support of Hamas. For years the cancel culture has been a cudgel for conservatives. I’m a proponent of free speech, even to say stupid things. But there may be consequences. Now, university students are losing job offers because organizations don’t want to hire racists or bigots. Doctors and dentists and others are losing their jobs because of “hate speech,” once reserved for those with conservative perspectives.

As a Christian, I am charged to love, but also to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15). So, it is a balancing act. I can forgive, but I cannot “unsee” or forget some things. Yes, it’s about love, but also truth with consequences.