Books and observations

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

People talk about spring cleaning, but for me fall is a much busier time of the year. It seems that people put off their annual exams as long as possible, and then finally decide to “get’r done.” Fortunately, I now have time to accommodate last-minute requests of my concierge patients, since I no longer have an office and a large medical practice.

One benefit of a concierge practice is the absence of waiting rooms since I make house calls. And another benefit for patients is that I run on time because I no longer balance thousands of patients and a hospital practice. I always hated the necessity of a “waiting room.” Like most Americans, I don’t particularly like waiting for medical attention or standing in the grocery checkout line where magazines are displayed with images of people I’ve never heard of.

I was always interested in the books that patients brought to my office and waiting room. I guess they preferred a good book to worn out office magazines where all the good articles and recipes had been torn out by other “waiters.” My dentist has the best magazine selection in the known universe. However, he’s always on time so I don’t have the opportunity to peruse his literature. Perhaps this is why all his magazines seem to be intact. I won’t share with you my non-scientific observational survey of the doctor with the worst office magazine selection.

These days, I occasionally wait on my patients as they attend to last minute details in their home. This affords me the opportunity to scan their book shelves. In another of my non-scientific surveys, the most memorable book I’ve encountered was not the common and obligatory coffee table book (which no one reads), but a book on aging by the Roman statesman, Cicero (circa 50 BC). You can tell a lot about a person from what they read – or even what they write.

Most of my readers know me far better than I know them. This includes friends who read my stories. I feel strongly that you must write about what interests you or what’s on your heart at the moment, otherwise your words will ring as contrived or hackneyed. I write this opinion column as an avocation, not a vocation. And I write about what’s on my mind in the few days prior to my editorial deadline each Friday morning.

I learned this week that the term sexual harassment was coined by Lin Farley in 1975. Harassment is defined as “aggressive pressure or intimidation.” A synonym for sexual harassment might be coercion of a sexual nature which implies a hierarchy of power. In other words, powerful men can harass women, but can women harass men?

About seven years ago I hustled to the hospital one day during lunch to check on a patient. As I hurried through the nursing station to get the patient’s chart, several nurses called out a friendly, “Hey, Dr. Ferguson.” I waved my hand to them as I hurried down the hall and replied, “Heidi Ho!” The next day the nursing supervisor called me aside to say that one of the nurses alleged that I had called her a whore. I was gob slapped. Apparently, this young white nurse had never seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I was exonerated of course, and the investigation revealed dysfunction in the nurse’s personal life which was transferred to me. In medicine, transference is a common cause for malpractice complaints. And, if used politically it’s even more pernicious.

We’ve seen many recent cases of women teachers who have apparently been harassing students. Apparently, these cougars prowl high school hallways. But, can teachers become victims if trolled by, for instance, large football players or imaginative teenagers? Again, the definition seems hierarchical. As a doctor I was deemed more powerful than the young nurse, but perhaps I was the victim, though I reject this all too frequently used moniker.

What if someone sees himself as unworthy or inferior to someone else and then identifies as a victim? Can this lead to a claim of harassment? When I was a youngster I was bullied by a neighborhood kid who actually looked like the bully in the movie A Christmas Story. Once, establishing a pecking order was almost a rite of passage, and my crooked nose is a testament to the journey. Kids today don’t seem to be learning how to handle a schoolyard bully or a pig like Harvey Weinstein. But I shouldn’t be critical of millennials because few in Hollywood or even the California state legislators know how to handle a bully.

The American media have become bullies and disparage and harass a large segment of the American people. The media display a thinly veiled disdain of Christians and those who identify with Americanism. And their overt hatred of Trump is more than just a difference in opinion or ideology.

Republicans have become the victims of the media to the point that these elected officials no longer represent the 84% of the counties and the thirty states won by Trump last year. Like the NFL leadership who chose their employees over their customers -with disastrous consequences – feckless Republicans have succumbed to bullying and harassment by the media and have chosen to seek the favor of Swamp creatures rather than honor their promises to voters.

Apparently, our leaders never learned the schoolyard lesson that bullies never stop unless they are confronted. Notable examples of this truth are the “Rocket Man” of North Korea and Harvey Weinstein. I admire the pugnacious anti-swamp nature of Trump who apparently learned his lessons well on the schoolyards of Queens. Though I might wish for more decorum, I’ll admit that I’ve spouted invectives in the heat of battle just like my President.

Do you ever get tired of the relentless negativity, the rampant dishonesty and the ruthless anti-American and anti-God cabal? Many people have just quit listening, quit reading and have hunkered down in the hope that they won’t be targeted by the bullies. I assure you that running away won’t work. In the Bible Job, Jonah and the Psalmist all discovered this lesson. And neither can we run away because we are in a battle against evil and against the destructive policies of progressive liberalism.

America is the last great hope of freedom. We The People of Mainstreet must stand against the bullies and destroyers for our sake and our children’s.

 

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