Thursday, June 21, 2012


Nope, I can't take it any more. I could post twenty items a day, as the outrages keep adding up; but several things are clear, and it's not as if they never were: It'll never stop, and there's nothing I can do about it. Americans have become stupid and selfish and more than willing to accept lies to justify it all. Reading about it drives me nuts, I run to this blog to say something, but writing about it only helps for a moment or two. And it makes not a dime's difference, especially since we've happily turned our politics over to a handful of billionaires, who've made people look away from what they're doing by creating, very successfully, a phony image of President Obama. (Who's far from perfect, anyway. But, unlike teabaggRs, at least he's trying.)

It's like what a friend said about the lottery: it's the only game where the odds of winning are the same whether you play it or not. Only in this instance, it's losing. Except for those who rigged the game and need it the least.

Judy says I shouldn't delete this blog, so I won't. For now. I like writing, for its own sake, and I need to find an avenue for it. It'll be hard to keep my fingers shut, because the urge to vent is strong. Maybe I'll post an essay once in a while, about stuff unrelated to politics. I might have a couple of letters to the editor left in me. As November approaches, I'd like to implore readers of local papers to look into their hearts before voting to deny marriage rights to same-sex couples; ask them to ask themselves how it hurts their own marriages, to place the humanity of their fellow men and women above their own prejudices. Or something. I'll try to make it inoffensive. Do-unto-othersy.

Perhaps at some point I'll risk having my point missed and write a sarcastic letter, saying "I got mine. I'm old, my kid got his public, then Ivy-League education, I got my Medicare and Social Security, my wife's about to. Since my elders in Portland have died off, I don't drive there as much as I used to, so I don't mind a few potholes. I have fire insurance, and my house is paid for. So's my car. There'll be enough oil to last my lifetime and I'm too old to care if the air becomes unbreathable or the water causes cancer. I've always thought I'd rather die of cancer, anyway: give me a little prep time. I fought my war, did my part, I figure I deserve everything I have and if there's nothing left for you, so the fuck what. So, yeah, who cares if the Romney/Ryan budget eliminates our ability to pay for what we need? Let me keep my money and let the country rot. But not before we fling a few nukes into the Middle East. I got mine, so go to hell, USA, USA, USA."

[Meanwhile, since I took down an earlier uplifting post, I've heard some people liked it. It was just a link to this. Wish it were that simple.]


Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised. Write another book; you are an insightful writer, thinker, person.
I wish you well Dr Schwab.


Anonymous said...

I hate to hear that you're thinking of quitting. I don't read that many blogs but I do like the tone of yours.

CSM - just South of the middle of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Don't do it. There are too many of us who enjoy reading your blog regularly.


Cory said...

How bout this: If the supreme court comes back with a ruling ANYTHING OTHER than the traditional 5-4 party line split, you'll consider a return to the keys to prolifically document your sense of political right and wrong. Some of us need your affirmation- to know a kindred spirit, your voice- to say what we cannot so sensibly communicate ourselves, your credibility- to attract the attention some of us cannot. Oh... my, perhaps your writing has turned into a responsibility. If you get to feeling really dismal, think of me and you shouldn't feel so frustrated. On the other hand, I'm taking a new drug called Fukital and it'll probably work for us all.

ROF said...

I've been reading your blog for, at most, 6 months & since the day I found it, I haven't missed a day (when computer wasn't broken) checking in to see what you have to say.

It's as if there's an alter ego out there saying things I feel, but in a much better fashion. And I'm going to miss that.

We're about the same age w/backgrounds similar enough that it's almost eerie, & I totally feel the lack of power to move or do anything that would affect the preposterous situation this country finds itself embroiled in.

We have grown children who are so taken by the right wing bs, yet who cannot give a cogent argument for believing what they do. Their beliefs just "are," in exactly the same way they believe Christianity is the "one true . . . blah, blah blah."

They are not open to reason & if we wish to have a peaceful family get-together, politics & religion must not be brought up ~~ ever.

I will miss reading you, but I will check in from time to time. Even we old coots can change our minds from time-to-time.

clack53 said...


I just found your blog about a month ago. It's excellent and I wish you would carry on.
The vast majority of Americans are simply clueless.
Good luck to you.


Anonymous said...

Totally understand. I could sense the building frustration, even though I had some fun posting a few comments.

A couple of things. First, the Republican goal is to undermine faith in government, while discouraging as many people from participating in the political process as possible by rendering them totally disgusted by that process. Essentially undermining democracy, and they do a bang-up job at that. But they suck big-time at actually governing.

So It looks like we are headed for another gilded age, and probably another depression if Romney gets elected. But the progressive era followed the last gilded age, and most likely will this time too. We'll need folks like you to help put the pieces back together in some rational and humane fashion.

The body politic is pretty sick, but it's impossible to get better if it won't take the cure, and at this point I'm not sure it even knows how sick it is. Citizens United is pathognomonic. When enough of us come to our collective senses, someone better be ready with a plan, or we just might have a little fling with totalitarianism, and that won't be pretty.

I'm going to keep the home fires burning because, like you, I'm pretty well set, and mostly self-sufficient. I'll throw some spitballs from the cheap seats, maybe even participate in genuinely democratic institutions, if I can find any. But mostly I'm going to laugh my ass off every chance I get at the sheer stupidity of the situation. Right now, the only advantage I can see of being genuinely well-informed is that you can laugh when no one else sees anything funny. If you can't do that, you're better off hanging it up until you can.

Adios, amigo.


Anonymous said...

I hope you will just take a sabbatical, and eventually mount some more enthusiasm for the blog. You have consistently found the best links, with the most enjoyable and lucid commentary, and I assure you many of us will miss your insightful perspective on the political scene. THAT scene being as ugly as it is, I hope you stare at something more lovely for a few weeks.......
Mark V

AlisonH said...

You write well. You have a need to write. What is the thing you most want to write about? It sounds to my ears like a yearning for more positive things--and thank you for the link to those pictures, I really enjoyed them.

Frank Drackman said...

Dr. Washy, meet Dr. Wishy, Wishy-Washy..
So are you quitting or not?
When I killed my Blog, I did it right, Jim Morrison style, OD'd in the bathtub of a sleezy Paris motel room, with just a touch of mystery, i.e. no autopsy, no suicide note. and deleted more than EICOTUS's Fast & Spurious e-mails...
My prediction, 2, 3 weeks tops, you'll be back, with a Bill Maar or John Stewart clip of Mitt stepping in Dog Crap or singing "Hambone" in Blackface...
Actually, make it NEXT week when Obama-Care goes down like Frazier in Manilla...
"Frazier goes Down!" "Frazier goes Down!!"

Frank "ONE elected Black official in the whole State?" Drackman

Xicano2nd2 said...

My life has been a constant struggle, and it is the connection of others who have fought for our rights through generations after the Southwest was invaded and occupied by creating a reason to attack Mexico. We were given a taste of rights by the Warren Court and I am not about to stop my efforts now that the Roberts Court has all but removed them. Hell, I am 62 and stronger than ever!

Anonymous said...

Sid, I was a regular reader of Surgeonsblog; I stumbled across it one day and I was hooked by the clarity and style of your writing.

I thought, yes, that's how a good surgeon would write - with focus and dexterous precision, with knowledge, logic and insightful penetration - coupled with the courage, willingness, and ability to cross lines and innovate to save his patient.

Reading your posts is like viewing a teaching procedure. The instruments are carefully laid out in order, clean and sharp; each step is planned in advance - keeping in mind a fallback for possible contingencies.

The incision is made, the malignancy is revealed and explained to the students, then excised; the wound is cleaned and sutured and postoperative instructions are given.

So it is with each of your posts, each sentence and paragraph is carefully planned, honed and burnished with logic and truth. The problem is defined, solutions are explored, logical remedies are offered, and the consequences of inaction are clearly stated.

That is why the first thing I read every day, for years now, your writing has been the catalyst that inspires me to get off my ass and work with the progressive people in my community. Your blog; is my daily reminder and warning that evil never sleeps and that for evil to succeed, it requires only that good - men and women - do nothing.

Every day you have committed valuable time and energy to slow the metastasizing cancer that is killing our politics and our country.

You have certainly done far more than your share to empower that vital goal.

Is it enough? Yes, it is enough, and if you are tired, and would put down the burden you have so honorably borne these many years, you have more than earned that right.

If you must go, then there will be others to fill the wide gap you leave. But, it will take many others to do that; for while there are people who can write with precision and clarity, it will be hard to find the love and humanity you bring to your writing.

Thank you!


I must say, however, that it would seem very unlike you to step away and leave the patient to die on the table. Am I right?

Sid Schwab said...

Rapier-like postscript, Eugene. Ponderable.

Anonymous said...

Your words will be missed Sid. Through all the frustration and seemingly lose of rationality about, they truly mean so much.
To reiterate what Judy said, don't delete this blog. Just in case, please know that there are quite a few of us who are paying attention!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Sid, this is the first time I've done this.
I just wanted to let you know the comment just sent was from Donna, as in the song you posted a while ago.

Anonymous said...

Hell. I miss your updates. I don't comment much because I don't have much to say but have been reading for a while, starting with your surgery blog.


Wild-Ivy said...

What Eugene said...I agree wholeheartedly. And I totaly understand how discouraging it must be to have our dysfunctional political system (and absolutely crazy, irrational, and heart-breakingly selfish and ignorant right-wingers) be the subject of daily rumination. I hope you will find another topic to blog about that will keep you writing. Regardless of the subject matter, you are a skilled, insightful writer. And I love your humor. Please come back.
(I sent a comment yesterday too, but I forgot to do the "I'm not a robot test" so not sure it got anywhere. If it did, this is sort of a duplicate. Sorry).

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Stay strong. We need your voice.

Sid Schwab said...

All of these comments are much appreciated.

Frank Drackman said...

even mine??

(Bro Hug)


Sid Schwab said...

Sadly, yes.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Schwab,

While I don't comment often, I find your writing thoughtful, forceful, trenchant, and necessary in an age of GOP demagoguery.

I can understand being discouraged - recent SCOTUS decisions reflect a GOP political alignment far more than careful review for constitutional muster - but silence is used by the GOP right to assert that there is no dissent, and equals widespread assent.

In any case, thanks for writing and I hope we have the opportunity to read more of your writing.


Anonymous said...

How much do you like my rhubarb pie? If you stop you know what's gonna happen.
As a matter of fact I think you should keep your blog AND write essays AND letters to the editors.
Seriously Sid, we rely on your research, your insight and your pen.
You should listen to Judy.


Sid Schwab said...

A hollow threat, if ever there was one.

Anonymous said...


Before I was drafted, I was pretty much like the other young men of that time. I was a nationalistic, "America Fuck Yeah" kid, a member of the NRA and a John Wayne fan.

I hated our designated enemies, I believed everything I was told, and had no notion that I had any right to question decisions from on high.

The army cleared that all up for me. I experienced the arbitrariness of the government power that made me powerless, took my freedom and informed me that my life was theirs to use or lose as they saw fit; and they called this my “Patriotic Duty.”

It made me begin to think and ask questions; first the Big Why, closely followed by the big Why Not!

When Kennedy was killed, all troops were confined to barracks; the officers ordered the noncoms to make everybody sign loyalty oaths. I asked why, we had all taken the oath upon induction so why did we have to do it again. We all signed it. Then, in just a few days they came around again with the same oath and demanded that we sign again. I asked, would this one make us twice or three times as loyal now.

The answer was always the same: “Sign it because we say so.”

That was where I learned that “Say So” is where the face of evil begins to show.

Evil says “Obey, or we will kill or imprison you and destroy everything dear to you - starve and perish while I prosper - bear children to make us slaves – kill, on our command, those who never did you harm.

Evil has always been present in our world, and it always will be. It will not go away if we ignore it. We can't run from it and we cannot hide. We can only resist; if we give ground by quitting, we simply make more space for evil to grow.

After the army, I picked up a banner and joined in a procession that is ages long and grows larger with every generation. As I march, I see good people fall, and as they fall, others pick up their banners and press forward.

When I fall, I know that my banner will be raised and borne again. But until that time I will carry it, as long and well as I can, because I know that evil is not a force that can be defeated; it is a reality that must be faced.


Frank Drackman said...

Hey Eww-Gene, can't yew read?
what are ya, Stew-Pid?
Sid's closed up shop, like the Seattle SuperSonics...
You don't gotta go home, but ya can't stay here, even with your Rapist Wit...
"Loyalty Oath"?? you left out the part where the Catholic Chaplain molested you...


Sid Schwab said...

Hey, Frankie, I guess you slept through constitutional law in those years you spent in law school, huh?

Anonymous said...

The gang of nine did a 180 and actually upheld the Affordable Care Act!!!

Even with Kennedy voting to invalidate the entire law; EVEN with ROBERTS casting the tie-breaker AND writing the majority opinion!!!

And as I type I am listeneing to Romney, he is pointing out all the GOOD things about the ACA that he would keep - after all!

Who could have guessed???

Yeah, DrekMan, too bad Sid has parked his quill and capped the inkwell.

Another time, I'm sure he would have had some choice words to celebrate this singular act of progress, in the face of the evil, racist,and remorseless republican fusillade against the president in particular and the country in general.

But take comfort DrekMan, that commerce clause horse didn't run, but Republicans - and their ilk, will continue to sink the ship in order to drown the captain.

Sid Schwab said...

Yeah, if I were still around I'd probably have published this video.

Frank Drackman said...

Thats what happens when you have an Epeleptic Chief Justice...

When does the Chief Justice come up for re-election? oh yeah, they don't, appointed for life, like the friggin Queen of Eng-a-land...

But hey, its cool, tax the Uninsured/able, and good look findin someone to take Medic-aid.

Umm Sid, does it really count as "Ending" your blog if you let peoples comment forever??


Sid Schwab said...

Thanks for the clarification.

NILBCNU said...


Most of what I would say has already been handsomely articulated by those who have written before me; but I do wish to observe that this space has served many of us as a community where we’ve come to encounter your well formulated, researched, and articulated thoughts, as well as those that arise within the comments and also within the links to which you so have so frequently and generously drawn our attention.

I join the ranks of those who’ve already indicated that they will greatly miss your insightful commentary. What you may not appreciate is that much of what you’ve provided has served in the role of educational materials in helping some of our acquaintances to appreciate the sophistry of their previously held beliefs.

I certainly appreciate the toll this somewhat thankless task has likely taken on you, personally, and can completely understand why you might wish to at least take a breather. Thanks for the generous helping of time and energy you’ve devoted to the blog. We will all welcome your return should you be so moved. Likely even Frank.



Anonymous said...

Good comment Rick!

Many is the time Sid's research and insight have helped me bolster progressive friends and confound Insane Clown Party Tealigithuglicans.

Many wharrrgarbles and puerile "but- but- OBAMA" moans have been evoked by Sid's concise and irrefutable evidence.

When comes such another?


Frank Drackman said...

@ Eww-Gene
You know you're really more stoked about that "Stolen Valor" decision, hey, I support the 1st Ammendement too, but claimin you have THREE Medal's of Honor???
Hey, it beats that Section 8 for Encopresis(google it)...

and it's Insane Clown POSSE, dummy.

and Sid's back, just like I predicted...


Anonymous said...

and it's Insane Clown POSSE, dummy"

Nope, I meant "Party" as in Lewis Carroll's "Tea Party" ...See how you could miss the connection though.

And what's this about "Stolen Velour??"

Did somebody bag your favorite mauve lounge suit - the one with the frilly fronted puce shirt?

I don't think Sid is fully "Back" - more like he's sticking one toe in; but we may still hope for full immersion.


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