Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Enemy Next Door (not the movie)

Yes, I will be taking a break, but this is too good to pass up, a local example of fake news extruded onto the internet by people too lazy or ill-equipped to recognize it. Or purposefully. In any case, this one involves me.

Perhaps the reader is aware of the information-exchange website, “Nextdoor.” It’s nationwide, with regional subsets of local groups (“Everett Conservatives,” in this case) and neighborhoods, like “Nextdoor Boulevard.” A better name would be “Nextdoor Nosy,” as there’s a surfeit of complaints about loud cars, unkempt yards, teenagers, dogs, and warnings of people walking funny.

A few days ago, I was sent screenshots from a thread on the site, asking for my thoughts. It was approximately hilarious, but definitely sad. Not for myself, but for what passes for information on right-wing sites nowadays. 

Informant Jan writes, “You can google Sid Schwab and you’ll arrive at a writeup written by him. [She surmises.] He entitles himself as Doctor Schwab. He claims he received his surgery training in San Francisco but doesn’t name the institution… Then practiced for five years in Salem. Where in Salem? … 20 more years at the Everett Clinic. As what? He also said he was a flight surgeon in Vietnam during the war. How does he confirm that? … I think the Herald should vet his credentials.”

Co-conspirator Amanda chimes in: “I think I just watched his story a few days ago. A really bad doctor who maimed and killed his patients. I really did just watch a documentary that sounds a lot like this guy.”

To which Jan replied, “Amanda, I’m going to write the Herald re this creep. Think you should, also.” Then, “The Herald did not publish my letter re Sid Schwab… I will not renew The Herald.”

“Creep” was a nice detail.

There followed input from a lady who’d actually looked into it – something the outrageously outraged had chosen not to; placing, it must be assumed, righteous indignation above truth. The nicer lady posted easily-found documentation and verifications, which seems to have brought the “discussion” to a close.

Lacking admission to “Everett Conservatives,” I'd guess there were posts that preceded what was sent to me. Whatever documentary rattled around between Amanda’s ears can’t have “sounded like” what Jan said, if that’s where the deliberations began. It didn’t seem especially creepy, nor had she cited maiming and killing, the avoidance of which I’ve always considered kind of a personal credo.

The point is not to argue I am who I am, or to suggest I’m not a creep, because, well, the definition is admittedly squishy. It’s to point out how easy it is for online ill-wishers and/or the uninformed to spread falsehoods, deceive those lacking critical minds, trash reputations, and, tragically, propel narcissistic incompetents into high office.

Brewing in a “conservative” coven, it’s probable the exchange arose from enough intellectual residua to have secerned my subtle misgivings about Trump. Likely, it went no further, but it’s instructive nevertheless. Someone saw something she assumed was written by me (the publicist for my book, more likely) which didn’t include the address of UCSF or The Salem Clinic, or proof I served in Vietnam. Therefore, suspect. Also, I was born in Kenya.

A co-conspirator saw a “documentary,” which she concluded was about me. Really? Was the subject unnamed? Had he been in SF, Salem, and Everett? Otherwise, we must conclude not all bulbs in Amanda’s chandelier are LED.

Charitably, I’ll assume it wasn’t deliberate dishonesty, but just the lazy credulity Russian and other foreign entities count on when they plant their pro-Trump propaganda

Which is perfect fodder for homegrown grift, too, like Trump’s calls for “stop the steal” donations and scammers selling suckers overpriced “Freedom Phones.” 

And it mirrors what people who value truth are up against: a malignant mélange of mendacity, gullibility, sloth, and skillfully-cultivated inability to recognize falsehood. Or preference for it. Especially if it supports inaccurate beliefs that are more comfortable than accepting hard reality.

Whether I lied about Vietnam (wanna see my DD214 or Purple Heart Medal, Jan? Email your address and I’ll drop by) or being a doctor (I’ll bring my degrees, too), is minuscule solanum tuberosums compared to whether the election was stolen, climate change and Covid-19 are real, or Trump is a sociopathic liar. But, on a smaller scale, it validates the confidence of those who, capitalizing on strategically-produced right-wing ignorance, spread misinformation to the willing, to maintain power and wealth while hurting the very people they’ve deceived into voting for them. 

It’s hard to see a way out of it.


  1. Sid, while you are on break, could you spend a little time working on a vaccination against Virulent Republican Brain Rot?


  2. Ahhh...You've discovered the hornets nest that is gang stalking. "Nextdoor" is the modern day Stasi. It's N. Korea 'mercan style. This is how it starts. Just wait till it spills over into real life. The harassments never ends and the cops seem to be totally keystone about it all. Neverminded of course it is the cops revving up old folks at the old folks home to be busy bodies. Allowing a select few whom I affectionately call the "Uptight Geriatric White Brigade" you may know them as "Citizens Patrol". They are people who get old cop cars to ride around in and their own utility belts and badges and everything. If you carry a gun, just carry it out of sight or whatever I guess?

    AKA "The Good 'ol Boys Club"...These are the folks who run the show. They are highly organized and have their focus on local power. If it's a thing, they run for it. They show up. You don't have to be too bright. Just organized and show up. It's fueled by anger, mistrust, misinformation and feelings of hopelessness and desperation.

    The intent is to ruin peoples lives. That's it. One goal. Ruin the life of a person. Until people get wise, crap like this is weaponized.

    With voice and facial recognition software you can pretty my dox people on the fly if that's your thing. "Nextdoor" is one of the tools they all use and it can destroy peoples lives.

  3. https://sidschwab.blogspot.com/2021/07/the-enemy-next-door-not-movie.html#comment-form

    “To me, the danger with these apps is it puts the power in the hands of the individual to decide who does and doesn’t belong in a community,” Renderos said. “That increases the potential for communities of color to come in contact with police. Those types of interactions have wielded deadly results in the past."

    “Look what happened to Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman was the watchdog. He saw someone who looked out of place and decided to do something about it.”

    "These apps can also be psychologically detrimental to the people who use them."

  4. Enjoy your well deserved break, Dr. Schwab. Any loyal democracy-loving patriot should honor you for your courageous service to our great country. It is not surprising to see the evil attempts by the local cult of Drumpf to discredit your courageous career. They live by lies and character assassination.

    Your defenders know of your patriotic devotion to truth and integrity. I can't think of one of them that is more worthy of praise than you. When you return we will eagerly await your column, not as cultists, but as true seekers of wisdom and truth.

  5. Take a well earned break Sid; but if you are in the mood, maybe you could maybe formulate a vaccine against VRB: Virulent Republican Brainrot!


  6. Well, if you, venerable physician, are a creep--you're just the kind of creep we need more of in the world. Geez, I guess liars gonna lie, cheaters gonna cheat, and morons gonna be moronic. We who like/ love and admire you know the cesspool of ignorance from which those sorts of persons spring.

    How have I never heard of Nextdoor? I shall investigate, and then from the sounds of it, need to take a shower. Happy Break to you, Doctor. Oh, and FYI, I don't need to see your medical license or read your CV to know you're the real deal.

    1. Thanks, MEH. Of course, your extra-insightful thinking has been evident for some time.

  7. Just last Thursday at Barnes Jewish in St. Louis, a surgeon removed a large laryngeal mass that was ball-valving in my airway with the help of a da Vinci robot. The day prior to that, a neurosurgeon supervised the embolization of the hemangioblastoma via a small artery in my arm. My surgeon did two undergrad degrees at MIT then proceeded on to Harvard for the MD/PhD program. I am so fortunate to experience the best humanity has to offer. When I'm home, it's a short look around to see the worst humanity has to offer, exposed, encouraged and enabled by politicians and faux pundits, who are simply subhuman salivating, vicious, angry, scorn filled animals. The contrast is unfathomable to me and irreconcilable. It seems so evident that our society is collapsing. Folks don't want recognize or admit that our democracy has already collapsed. I think to myself that if there was empirical evidence the world would be destroyed by an asteroid next week, many if not most folks would still show up up at work the next day, not knowing really, what else to do. Well, as far as we know the asteroid isn't coming, but society is collapsing and our democracy is dead, and most folks are still going to work in hopes it'll all somehow work out. Clue: it won't. Hell is coming. In the form of environmental catastrophe and rising autocracies. But we've not choice to put one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. In doing so, on Monday I'm going to give my surgeon my grandfathers distinguished flying cross medal he earned during WWII flying 208 missions in China. It's a little token of my appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to help others. Sid, if I had two of those medals, I'd give the second to you. Folks like you restore my dwindling faith in humanity. Fuck the rest those assholes. Illegitimi non carborundum!!

    1. Let's go!

      Hang in there buddy :O)

      There's a lot to be said for living in a bubble. Buying a home in a very blue part of town. Having neighbors you can associate with and trust. Having differences are certain. But not arguing over masks, Trumpism and other stupid shit. Real discussions about real things. Not wasted time and energy. Not having to look at a shit ton of Drumpfesque political yard ornaments.

      Example...On the bus every time I go by a home with Drumpf flags etc...And directly across the street it's a small BLM sigh in the window. The Drumpf crap showed up shortly after the little BLM sign which literally says "BLM" on a piece of cardboard box. Nobody needs that crap. I don't want to see Confederate flags. Having my last vestiges of mental health is important.

      Up hear in the NW we do things differently. We'll be the last to experience paralyzing drought. The last to be overrun by viruses. The last to feel the worse effects of a lot of stuff.

      We still have a lot of work to do though.

    2. Your writing is so good, and the kind of sledge hammer we all need right now. I haven't said so for a while, but I am still very afraid for our country. I rejoined Snohomish County Indivisible and have been doing postcards for "Tony the Democrat". I call my three DC peeps weekly and email Pelosi, Schumer, and Senate Dems too. I don't know what else I can do to help our cause.

      Your stuff is never easy for me to read Cory, but it is target specific and unavoidably honest. Thanks.

      Oh, and even though I don't know you, I wish you good health and a return to strength. Recover strong, man--we need you.

  8. Sid - enjoy your well deserved break. I look forward to hearing ( or I guess seeing) what you have to say every Friday and will continue when you return. Thanks so much for all you do in this endeavor.

  9. An earlier, now obsolete version of "Nextdoor".


    1. The technology is obsolete. Otherwise, right on.

  10. Enjoy your break Dr. Schwab, very well deserved. Having had the pleasure of working with you, and many more fine md.s. These neighborhood hoods do stir up many rumors and you can hear all kinds of clap trap. You were in VN, you are more of a hero to me. Be well. Linda Schrier

  11. 'I am furious with myself': Unvaccinated Covid patient describes the exhausting illness"


    This is a great reference for the latest information on covid. Who's vaxed and who's not. History's in the last week to all time stats.

    Anyone who's heard me rant. It's the same crap. Point to the shithole states and you'll find the problemo every single time w/o fail.

    Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana. The inbred triangle. The land Darwin forgot. Facts are facts and until someone can prove me wrong. It is what it is. When you are in fact the bottom of the barrel on every horrible statistic imaginable. And you go around calling places "Shitholes". Then expect it back if you resemble the remarks.

    I personally would LOVE for the south to leave the union. It's the fastest way to make a more perfect union imo.

    1. My wife is an ICU nurse in Springfield Missouri. It was THE Covid Delta hotspot a few weeks ago. We’re still making national news. Three weeks ago my county, east of Springfield, had a vaccination rate of a whopping 17%. Smooth you forgot to add Missouri and Arkansas. We will be moving, considering returning to the west coast, but are wary of heat bubbles and fires. As in politics it’ll be the choice of the lesser of two evils. The south has risen again. And as always, be careful what you wish for.

    2. " Smooth you forgot to add Missouri and Arkansas."

      I didn't forget. They are are perennial bottom 10ers though. WV, TN. etc. are among them as well. It just seems Mississippi and Louisiana are uniquely the 49th and 50th at every damn thing it seems. They suck so thoroughly that having the worst life expectancy becomes a plus.

      Washington is the most livable in all the glossy magazines. They are right too, for once. WA. has always been very livable. There's no state income tax. So there's that factored into overall living costs. No food taxes. But to hear the Confederated states of the ignorant describe "the facts" WA. is the boiling fester of the "libs pandemic". Ground zero of the "China Virus" of the "lib scourge". Remember them days a year and a half ago? Now we are the model. Once again. WA. most livable cuz collectively we are brighter than most.

      Come to WA. Cory. It'll be the last to feel the effects of the stupid and unexpected. Pandemic whipping boys to model pandemic response. The weather is gorgeous. Green energy is priority(jobs).

      There's lot's of great opportunities here. Especially in the twerk from home sector. Land outside the big city is still cheap. A place like Mount Vernon has everything and is getting bigger by the second, yet still very affordable. I rent a 2 bedroom townhouse for 890.00 a month for example.

      I say these days that politics IS the evil period. Would you live in Mexico or Nicaragua? India, China, Japan, N. Korea? We are in the USA but the politics are deadly serious. We dang near had a massacre at the capitol. I mean there's a chance a dozen politicians or more could have died if the timing was a bit different. they barely got away.

      I live in WA. because of the weather, the people and the politics. You should really consider it.

    3. Your wife is a stud...Teachers and nurses are the real heroes.

      I couldn't do teaching or nursing. All respect given.
      Thank her!

    4. Arkansas is surging towards the bottom!
      They'll kill more per capita than anyone if they have their way. Florida and TX. seem very very determined to stop them though. They are killing people buy the thousands.


    5. "You can see this well in the latest trends in vaccination and case counts. As of Friday morning, more people have taken the vaccine in the last week than have since June. This has happened as case counts and hospitalizations have been rising nationally."

      "Zoom in on the places where cases are the highest: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. With the exception of Florida, all have had some of the lowest vaccination rates since vaccines were made available."

      There's the shithole states currently eating their words. So much for the Seattle pandemic. It looks like the ignorant have shown themselves to be the real problem. As usual.

      I stay away from them and fight against them like it's my last breath.


    6. Here's the other half of the problem. Intensive care units filling up. Are we going to send our professionals and our equipment into these shithole states to make up for their ignorance and hatred? We do realize that we can't simply replace ICU docs and other personnel. We also can't simply unplug machines and take them back when we need them again. Sorry, but no thanks. Maybe enough people will die and spurn some into action. Maybe even more will die and the need will vanish. But for our sakes, don't follow them into the ignorant hole. Cut off federal funding until they get vaccinated. It's a shithole state and that's their shithole solution to everything. "Let it fail". Hold the country hostage every time a Dem POTUS is in charge on the budget. Destroy our credit rating in an attempt to crush the economy for political purposes and personal profits.

      These peoples 'person freedom' stomps all over mine. Stomps it dead. Just like their solutions for everything. "Second amendment solutions". OK, fair is fair. Right?

      The problem with talking is that other people learn that language. Taking over empty national parks with guns is really something. Little fits of rage is terrorism and little else. Terrorists are eventually met with overwhelming force in every instance. I know these idiots didn't think it through with their "second amendment" smack talk. Because they keep doing it. So let them die and keep them away from me.

      1 in 5 males died in the civil war. It's screwed them every since and they clearly have not enjoyed it. Now they are killing off whole swaths of the population. In between they retard their life expectancy by the lifestyle choices and the economic choices and the political choices they make. I'm sure when coal comes back it'll change.

      On Saturday, Florida recorded 13,747 hospitalizations related to Covid-19, with at least 2,753 patients in intensive care units statewide, accounting for 43 percent of the intensive care units beds available in the state.

    Lying, corrupt, anti-American cops are running amok with AI
    Pandora doesn't go back into the box


    This is stuff anyone can use. And it is widely used in different forms.

  13. This is great!


  14. MY BOYS!!!(and girls now) Fighting the good fight...
    Love EVERYBODY...lol


  15. Here's a great way to absorb Drumpfs base w/o feeling too dirty. Just read the snowflakes comments on Obama's birthday party that ended before midnight...lol
    Stuff like..."The tax payers money is paying for this party(secret service) so why can't we see what's going on!?"

    Then there's the tsunami of racist comments.
    And a blizzard of ignorant comments.
    Hypocrisy in literally almost every post.
    Gallons of venom.

    Anyway...Read the comments and you'll see exactly who and what we are dealing with. The sad fact is they are lost. There's nothing we can do about them. But the next generations we can do a lot. We fight for ourselves and we fight for them.

    This is the enemy. The snowflake army of the hatefully ignorant and uneducated.


  16. Cory called it! Arkansas has powered their way to the top!

    "Arkansas has just 8 ICU beds available as the state had its largest increase in hospitalizations"



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