Echo Chamber?

On social media, I am now breaking ties with some people. Some of these are people I have “known” for years. Online, of course. I have cheered for them, been cheered on by them, encouraged and been encouraged by, felt badly and congratulated one another.

However, there can come a time that one has to part ways with toxic and damaging people. That is true online and in real life. Ever broken from a toxic relationship? An abusive relationship? Abuse does not have to be physical or overt, it can mean a manipulative relationship where the other person tries to shame you, use false information or gather a group to oppose you. The goal is not to convince you but to exhaust you, wear you down, leave you with no strength to raise your own voice, leave you with no pride or self respect and ultimately surrender to their will.

The need to separate myself from toxic relationships becomes even more true in my own case. For one thing, like I recently wrote, the influence of certain cultists and extremists has led to extreme stress, resulting in chronic anxiety. Personally, this is harmful to me, seeing that I have ulcerative colitis, making stress my worst enemy (after specific foods and medicines).

On a larger scale, the same people are harmful to all of us. These are the people who do more harm than good. They are unwilling to part from their own echo chambers, prejudices, preexisting biases, the dictates of others thinking for them from religion to political party elitists to corporate “reporting” and corporate-friendly “fact checkers”.

Interestingly, these are the same people who will accuse you and I of retreating to our own echo chambers when we are ultimately forced to ignore their voices as they insist that you must be part of their cults or you are not informed. You can strictly oppose parties, religions, all forms of elitism, promote the demand for answers to reasonable questions, offer all forms of evidence available and adamantly defend equality across all boundaries. Yet if you do not believe (worship) as they do, you are not a “true believer” and must be shamed, attacked, invalidated and ultimately sacrificed on their altar.

Sorry, folks. I refuse to be your martyr, sacrifice or tied to your whipping post. You will never break me.

I have made clear what it would take to “recruit” me. Chief among the criteria is opposing war and corporate influence in all forms. These in addition to religion are the greatest influences we face in the fight for social progress. Anyone who does not oppose these first and foremost is offering only platitudes, bandages on gaping wounds, promises they cannot deliver. Those bandages are not progress, they are roughly the same as donating to a food bank rather than fixing the source of widespread hunger.

If we want true progress, we have to address the root causes of our problems. Those who sow dissent and use ad hominem, swallowed and regurgitated advertising tropes do nothing to solve actual problems.

So, fine. I have gone through the weeding out and expulsion of Fauxgressives from my friends lists on numerous occasions. Guess it’s time for another round of it. Some people, especially writers, try and gain large followings and boosted numbers. I don’t do that. In real life, I have always kept a small social circle of those whom I trusted. Online I’m the same way. I’d rather have a list of people whom I trust, respect and can converse with rationally, as opposed to some impressive digits next to my name representing strangers I don’t know and who show no respect to me or anyone they cannot recruit to their cult.

Call it an echo chamber. I prefer an echo chamber with many voices, all working toward permanent solutions. Real voices with no auto-tune. I can always hope those voices form a choir open to an ever-expanding list of voluntary members until the chamber must be expanded and ultimately outgrow any structure. All languages, ages and genders singing the same song. A song of healing, of strength, of trust, of sharing, of caring, of sorrow for the past, of hope and plans for the future.

Chronic Anxiety

In many ways, I think it should be obvious that I put every effort into being brave, even objective. I place a lot of effort into examining and researching the topics I cover here. Many of my articles are the final result of prior drafts, revisions, fact checking. Yet still presented in an accessible form that almost anyone can understand.

I know that in some cases where I try to be objective, I come across as far more biased. That’s because I must continually confront blatant, mindless, brainwashed bias. As I have said many times, the cult mindset. I never hide the fact that I am a Progressive, yet find being such to be the most objective and truthful way to be. After all, in many cases it involves standing for policies which do not benefit me directly. Though I try and express how issues which may not seem to affect us always do in some ways.

I have explained how universal healthcare benefits the economy, while our current system damages the entire economy. I have done the same with “free” college and capital gains. I could go on but that’s a short list of examples. In all, I show how capitalism and elitism consistently do more damage than good to our society.

It may not appear to some that I have researched subjects for the fact that I generally intentionally omit sources. I have said since early on in this blog that this is on purpose. When providing sources, I have watched too many other writers spend more time defending sources or comments which divert to attack the source material. I leave it to the reader to do their own research. I will continue moving forward.

Where my own research comes in, sometimes it is also difficult to name my sources because I have studied (formally and informally) numerous subjects for at least 30 years. Economics, marketing, psychology, government, business. On top of being a nurse in my 25th year. When writers name specific sources, it often means they are regurgitating material which is not their own. We see reports of reports of reports based on opinions. My content is nearly all original. So, my source is myself based on years of observation. I give plenty of methods where the reader can observe and verify the accuracy of those observations.

To the same end, I also frame many things in the form of questions. Thus encouraging readers to think for themselves, realize what questions they have not been asking. Realize what questions too few people have been asking, no matter how obvious the questions should be. How this is most horribly true with corporate media. For a good example of how I frame issues as questions, see my recent piece on gun rights, hereThe “sources” who always object to you asking questions are the very sources who should always be questioned most. The “sources” who claim to be above questioning are the sources who should be silenced entirely. The “sources” who claim you are not allowed to see/hear evidence or cannot explain their own positions in their own words should be shamed into silencing themselves.

With all the conflict going on, all the fake news, all the propaganda, all the obvious questions never voiced, all the effort of taking complex subjects and explaining them in simple terms, many times this kind of writing becomes stressful. Toss in being a prison nurse, a father with shared custody of my teenage daughter, being single while in an exclusive relationship while maintaining my mundane life.

Of late, my biggest stress tends to be coming not from the right but from the center-left, the Fauxgressives content with platitudes of universal healthcare while ignoring the risk of war with a nuclear power. not concerned in the least with sanctions killing tens of thousands in other countries thanks to their economic structure. Not giving a damn that the goal is selling off Venezuela’s resources to the highest corporate bidder in the US. Willing to completely forget being themselves called “Russian trolls” by their anointed godhead. I have not forgotten, never will forget and have been waiting for a nonexistent apology for 2 1/2 years now.Completely willing to ignore election fraud by the DNC and what that means, while still insisting this to be a “democracy”. Thinking one person or small group of people asking for their hard-earned money is a substitute for completely eliminating corporate money from our electoral and legislative systems. The best these cultists can offer is “nobody’s perfect” or asking what cult I follow.

Fuck every damn one of you, I follow the cult of rational, critical thought, holding elected officials to account and not bowing down to your cult which is buried within another cult and all of you together are willing to sacrifice the entire planet for your own greed.

That is where it all comes together. You criticize other parties, other candidates for their greed and warmongering, while you seek your own gains and ignore millions of deaths, blindly deny the very real risk of complete obliteration of the planet, just as long as you get your piece of the pie. You behave with arrogance and petulance and outright hatred of anyone who refuses to join your cult.

Go ahead, slap each other on the backs and revel in your empty, meaningless, mindless, gutless, heartless insults. Tell yourselves you are somehow different from the very ones you claim to oppose. Greed and arrogance are greed and arrogance, no matter how you look at it. How do you really think you are different from warmongers when you are willing to ignore that your god is promoting the same wars? How do you think you are different from other cults when you make excuses, close your eyes and chant endlessly in hopes of drowning out the cries of reason? How do you think you oppose capitalists when your god walks in their path, himself worshiping at their feet in their temples and congregations?

Yes, thanks to the Fauxgressives who worship themselves, I now have chronic anxiety. Trump, our government in general, our intelligence agencies, MSM, gun nuts and bigots cause me enough stress. I only gain some hope from discussion and camaraderie with those who can see clearly, think rationally, question the narrative and stand independently.

You who worship false gods do none of that. You do not offer hope but diminish hope, strip it away and continue the same cycle which has demoralized this country. You literally worship yourselves.

Hate me. Unfollow me. Ignore me. Attack me. I refuse to drink the blood of the innocent from your chalice. I refuse to willfully pave my streets with the bodies of children in other countries. I will always stand by my values, no matter how you sell your souls for a false pittance.

This is the last chance, make no mistake about it. There are no more chances for incremental “progress”, for party loyalty, false narratives, sheep herding candidates, nationalism, cheering or ignoring wars, blaming “the other”.

I am your “other” and I am not going away or joining you. You will not destroy me or beat me down. You are too weak an adversary and you know your weakness. You can join ME and actually move left or you can stay in the middle and claim it is left. This anxiety discomforts me but will never break me. It takes nothing to break the followers of false gods because you are already broken, shattered, scattered pieces propping each other up.