1. Worse Than a
Democracy, Corporations Pouring Millions
into Local Ballot Fights
3. Rapid Burnout, Dissatisfaction of U.S. Doctors
Threatens Public Health Crisis
4. Important Anti-War Films That Reveal the Uncensored
History of the United States
5. The One Psychological Characteristic That Online Trolls
Tend to Share
This is a Nederlog of Friday, September 30, 2016.
is a crisis log with 5 items and 5 dotted links: Item 1
is about the horrible situation in Syria (but it seems to have been a
wrong choice by me); item 2 is about how democracy
is being beaten by the few rich: they have more money, and can corrupt
most; item 3 is about the fact that some 50%
of American doctors are "disengaged,
burned out, and demoralized"
(which may not be a crisis item - but half of all American
medical doctors is very many doctors); item 4
is about no less than 23 anti-war movies that are listed, with
links to Youtube (which is an iniative I welcome enthusiastically); and
item 5 is about the one psychological
characteristic that identifies trolls: They are sadists (as I
have been thinking for 20 years now).
constant part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need
to click/reload twice or more
to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for
possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my
In any case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. And
it was yesterday still or again the case. Indeed, this also
holds for the opening pages: These too are not renewed at
"xs4all", or at least: Not for me.) 
C. In case you visit my Danish site: You may
have more luck than I have. The Danish site has been almost
completely destroyed for me because of the actions of its
providers: My own e-mail access was terminated; the good
statistics I had from 2004-2015 were completely terminated; it
is also impossible for me to get access as a guest; and
yesterday I had for most of the day no access with FTP
to my site, whereas today started with having no access
with Firefox to my site. (It now works again (!))
I have no idea who does this. It may be - in the Danish case -
that this is related to some changes they are making there, but I do
not know this (and if so, they seem to know less about
computers than I do).
I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
1. Worse Than a Slaughterhouse:
item today is by Amy
Goodman and Nermeen Shaik on Democracy Now!:
This starts with the following introduction:
The Obama administration is
threatening to cut off diplomatic talks with Russia on Syria in the
wake of a devastating bombing campaign by the Syrian government and
Russia in the city of Aleppo. On Wednesday, the two largest hospitals
in East Aleppo were forced to close after being hit by airstrikes. The
Russian-backed bombing of Aleppo intensified after a ceasefire
collapsed 10 days ago. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the
situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo has become worse than a
One of the reasons Ban Ki-Moon probably spoke
the truth is a news item that is now several days old:
About a quarter of a million inhabitants of Aleppo have no
more water. This is because of two generators of water one has been
bombed and the other has been shut down.
This means that they cannot drink, cannot wash, cannot clean, cannot
use toilets, cannot cook, and will die with three or four days without
any water. Incidentally: Those effected are almost all civilians.
Also, I have neither heard much about this situation since (but I admit
that I read hardly any Dutch papers, because these now all mostly offer
amusements and interesting news about the life of Dutch
Media-Personalities, all of whom seem sick overpaid and morally
degenerate bores and liars to me).
I thought I would get more news from Democracy Now! but I did not pick
the right item, it seems, for those interviewed seem mostly
propagandists. In any case, here is one more bit:
GOODMAN: Video footage
from Aleppo has emerged showing Syrian Civil Defense forces digging a
young girl out from under the rubble. Five-year-old Ghazal Qasim was
reportedly the sole survivor from an airstrike that killed 24 people in
the Aleppo neighborhood al-Shaar. Her entire family, including four
siblings, were reportedly killed in the bombing. According to aid
groups, children in Aleppo have made up a large proportion of the
casualties from the bombings. At least 100,000 children remain trapped
in the eastern part of Aleppo.
So a mere 100,000 children are being
killed, it seems, either by constant
bombardments or by lack of water.
2. Undermining Democracy,
Corporations Pouring Millions into Local Ballot Fights
The second item is by Lauren
McCauley on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
This election cycle, corporate donors
are not just beefing up the war chests of their most-favored
politicians. According to a new study, industry is flexing its Supreme
Court- approved political power to dominate local democracy, as
In the study, Big
Business Ballot Bullies (pdf), Public Citizen examined eight
state-level ballot initiatives and referenda that have seen an outsized
amount of political spending. According to the research, published
Wednesday, the corporate-backed campaigns have an average of 10-to-1
financial advantage over their mostly grassroots opponents, with total
corporate spending in those races topping $139 million.
"These findings should be deeply
disturbing to anyone who is concerned about the power of corporate
money to distort our democracy," wrote
report author and Public Citizen research director Rick Claypool in a
I agree with Claypool, and I add that this
whole approach, that amounts often to corrupting anyone corruptible
with money, seems to go back to the early seventies' call
of Lewis Powell Jr. to the rich to defend their interests better,
and to systematic policies started by Reagan in 1980.
Here are some examples how the rich
interfere in democracy with big money (which they soon earn back if
they succeed, which they often do):
Big Pharma tycoons Pfizer and Johnson
& Johnson have spent the most, each contributing more than $7
million to defeat California's Drug
Price Standards Initiative, or Proposition 61, which seeks to lower
prescription prices in that state. So far, the industry-backed group
opposing that measure has raised more than $86 million.
69, which would install a universal, Medicare-for-All system for
state residents, has won the ire of the insurance industry, with
Anthem, United Healthcare, and others spending hundreds of thousands to
back the opposition.
Also in Colorado, an anti-fracking
measure that would have set a mandatory setback for oil and gas
development saw millions of opposition spending, including $6.55
million from Anandarko Petroleum Company, before it failed
to make November's ballot.
Again, all of these rich entities can
interfere with real democracy (and can corrupt most players) because
the Supreme Court has determined effectively that (i) Money = Votes and
that (ii) Corporations = People (except that corporations have more
rights than people, and cannot be imprisoned).
And here is the general result:
The reason this works is simply
that in reality there are not very many civilians who are willing to do
something for democracy or for others, and most of the civilians who do
have such interests have little money, and then are met by another
minority, that is funded in major ways by the richest
people in the country, and paid very well.
Beyond the report, there are numerous
other local initiatives—such as a pro-charter
school measure in Massachusetts and Arizona's marijuana
legalization effort—that have also garnered significant industry
"The sheer magnitude of corporate money
in these races undermines the power of ballot initiatives and referenda
to make policy that prioritizes the public interest over private
profits," said Claypool.
And Public Citizen president Robert
Weissman added, "Across the country, and for more than a century,
people have used initiatives and referenda to drive forward social and
economic justice from the ground up. Corporations spending outrageous
sums to defeat ballot initiatives undermine our democracy and cast
doubt on the public's ability to make effective use of this
long-standing American democratic institution."
This is the end of democracy, and the start of the rule of the
rich for the rich, and for noone else.
And this is a recommended article.
Burnout, Dissatisfaction of U.S. Doctors Threatens Public Health Crisis
The third item is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows (and is quite
important although it is less a crisis matter than a health matter):
Half of U.S. physicians are “disengaged,
burned out, and demoralized and plan to either retire, cut back on work
hours, or seek non-clinical roles,” reports MedPage Today, citing a new nationwide
survey commissioned by The Physicians Foundation.
“Many physicians are dissatisfied with
the current state of the medical practice environment and they are
opting out of traditional patient care roles,” said Walker Ray, MD,
president of The Physicians Foundation, in remarks that appeared with
Note that "[h]alf of U.S. physicians" is 1
in 2 of all American medical doctors (who as a rule do have fine
incomes). If as many as half of these think about retiring etc.
then something is seriously wrong (also because medical people
tend to earn very well).
Here is more, quoted from MedPage Today:
These figures show that indeed something is seriously
wrong with at least half of the American medical doctors
(whose pay tends to be quite good).
The majority of the 17,236 physicians
surveyed (54%) describe their morale as somewhat or very negative, 63%
are pessimistic about the future of the medical profession, 49% always
or often experience feelings of burn-out, and 49% would not recommend
medicine as a career to their children, according to the survey.
Physicians identified regulatory/paperwork
burdens and loss of clinical autonomy as their primary sources of
The survey indicates that only 33% of
physicians now identify as private practice owners, down from 49% in
2012, while 58% identify as employees, up from 44% in 2012.
Here is more:
* 80% of physicians are
overextended or are at capacity, with no time to see additional patients
* 48% of physicians said their time with
patients is always or often limited
* Employed physicians see 19% fewer
patients than practice owners
* 46.8% of physicians plan to accelerate
their retirement plans
* 20% of physicians practice in groups of
101 doctors or more, up from 12% in 2012
* Only 17% of physicians are in solo
practice, down from 25% in 2012
And this is a reaction from a
reader of Truthdig, who - very correctly, in my opinion - sees a
strong parallel in what has happened in the universities:
I merely say: Yes indeed! And this is
from another mail to Truthdig, this time by a former General Surgeon
(who also is named in the article):
One should compare what’s happened in
the medical profession with what’s happened in the nation’s
universities—greed and ideologically driven (rather than empirically
based) business modeling turned control of persons educated to perform
the profession’s real work over to hordes of bean counting
‘administrators’ whose policies and actions deprive doctors and
professors of autonomy, reduce both time to perform and fair reward for
their work, and slash due respect for their hard acquired skills and
the developed judgment needed to effectively use them with patients and
These results follow from privatization,
which is a form of theft consisting of the capitalist practice of
plundering employees and reducing services to the public in order to
leach wealth for owners, managers or both—workers, humanity and Earth’s
future be damned.
I loved being a doctor but my
professional life was literally sucked out of me and according to the
article and conversations with former colleagues it has continued to
get worse, “much worse.” I don’t think this is unique to healthcare and
I have grave concerns about what type of society will exist for my
grandchildren. Greed and Power and the associated Immorality are
corrupting the world.
Again I merely say: Yes
indeed! And this is a recommended article.
4. Important Anti-War Films That
Reveal the Uncensored History of the United States
The fourth item today is by Frank Dorrel on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The following list of anti-war films
spells out the true nature of U.S. foreign policy. These films offer
proof that the United States has killed as many as 20 million or more
innocent people since the end of World War II. Many more millions have
been injured, lost their homes and had their way of life ruined.
Americans who died in these wars died for lies told by the U.S.
government and mainstream media, which are both owned by the same
people who profit from these wars.
This is “The Big Lie,” and it is
When it comes to foreign policy, we
cannot trust that America will ever do the right thing. Whatever
actions the U.S. takes are to benefit the corporations, the oil
companies, the bankers and the war machine, also known as the military-industrial
Yes indeed - as I have explained in some 1300 files about the crisis, so I do
take this for granted.
There is also this, which seems also quite
true to me (for the US has been fighting several wars for 15 years
The United States is “addicted to war.” It is up to
us, the people, to stop this horrible situation. The more informed we
are about U.S. militarism, the more power we have to resist it and the
better our chances to achieve peace.
And next there is a list of no less
than 23 movies, all with links to Youtube! I admit I have seen none
of them (I don't often leave my house, for one thing) but I really
like this initiative.
This is a recommended article.
5. The One Psychological Characteristic That Online Trolls Tend
The fifth and last item today is by Kali Holloway on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
Trolling has literally changed culture,
both online and off. The word is now used to categorize a wide and
varying swath of behaviors, from absurdist contrarian comment posts, to
harassment and abuse disproportionately aimed at women of all races and
people of color, to entire presidential campaigns. There now exist
troll scholars, many of whom have been studying trolls for years, and
an academic area of study, trollology. That’s evidence of just how
widespread trolling is, and how it’s sparked a sort of anthropological
interest in troll behavior and culture.
I first met trolling twenty years ago,
when I first went on line. At that time, I also was supplied with three
different browsers: One for the internet; one for the mail; and one for
'internet conversations' outside the mail, which turned out to be
mostly for trolls: I never read or heard as much severe
scoldings as I read in an hour of those 'internet
conversations' and I decided (being a psychologist) that (i) those who
loved trolling (very many) were sadists and sick people, and
(ii) I did not want anything to do with sadists, and therefore
immediately removed the whole browser for 'internet
conversations' from my computer (in November of 1996, indeed).
In fact, that has been position for twenty
years now. I also all those years did not
write a single Comment, and I generally avoid reading comments, for
while these are not all written by trolls, hardly any comment ever has
taught me anything I did not know and wanted to know. 
Here is some more on the psyche of trolls:
The question for non-trolls is, behind
the layer of protective anonymity, what lies at the core of the troll
psyche. The findings of a few studies suggest that trolls who are
mean-spirited and manipulative online have offline personalities to
match, and that insecurity drives a fair amount of their trollery.
Case in point are two 2014
studies from Canada’s University of Manitoba that looked at the
personalities of some 1,200 people who engage in trolling, which the
researchers described as “behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or
disruptive manner in a social setting on the internet” for seemingly no
purpose at all. (The trolls would likely say they do it for the "lulz,”
or laughs that come at another person’s expense.)
“Both studies revealed similar patterns
of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality:
trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and
Machiavellianism,” the researchers wrote.
In other words, those who took part in trolling generally enjoyed
watching others suffer, were pathologically self-absorbed and lacked “conscience
“Of all personality measures, sadism
showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the
relationship was specific to trolling behavior,” study authors note.
“Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating,
was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an internet
manifestation of everyday sadism... Both trolls and sadists feel
sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun…
and the internet is their playground!”
In other words: All trolls are
anonymous sadists, and they also know they are anonymous
sadists. Also, the anonymity is what enables almost any troll
to be a sadist: Extremely few would say what they say
anonymously if their full real names and real addresses
would be printed under their messages.
But thanks to anonymity, all sadists can
do as they please, for they are completely unaccountable and can act
completely irresponsibly: "Lulz!"
Finally, I should say something about sadism:
I first got aware that some children were
sadists (without knowing that term then) when I was seven,
and found out that there were quite a few children of around my age who
gathered in free quarters during school to find spiders (of which there
were very many, because there were many bushes around the school) and
pull out their legs, and see how they behaved, which seemed to please
most a lot.
At that time, it seemed to me about 1 in
10 had this inclination (which struck me as cruel, although I
did not like spiders). I think I was too optimistic at age
seven: Nearly sixty years later I conclude from the astounding
amounts of trolls I have seen - while avoiding most of them! -
that it is more like 1 in 5.
Indeed, this was also the reason why I
left Phoenix Rising and will absolutely never return to it:
There too were far too many sadists masquerading as
patients, and far too many patients who - anonymously,
after all - indulged in systematic sadism (organized in droves,
also (!!!)) against the few who were really intelligent
and who did something for patients (and no, I am not
talking about myself here).
This is also why I lost the urge to do anything
for "people with M.E.": If 1 in 5 patients is a sadist, and almost
no patient who is not dares to do anything against sadists,
I give up.
And this is a recommended article.
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
(really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
 Incidentally: I am sorry, but I do not believe in the
academics of trollology. That is utter bullshit as a
special academic subject, and is quite the same as the many
professors in their own pseudo-science
that now work in Dutch universities (inbetween taking governmental
jobs, usually). If trolls need to be studied, they need to studied by
people who know about psychology and sadism, and these tend to be
psychologists. Somebody who got a doctorate in trollology without
studying anything else seems a major academic fraud to me.