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Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , havana syndrome , mass hysteria , microwave weapons , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

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Old 25th September 2021, 09:50 PM   #961
Bob001
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I don't know why so many seem so eager to dismiss this as "all in their heads." Sure, some people might attribute their random pains and illnesses to "Havana syndrome." But the original reports were from intelligent, educated, responsible professionals with a lot of overseas experience, and apparently many of them were affected in their scattered homes, not in the embassy, and they displayed conditions that were medically confirmed.

Here's one theory that the problem is not sonic weapons, but pesticide exposure.

Quote:
Between 2016 and 2018, about 40 Canadian and US diplomats and their families stationed in the Cuban capital mysteriously became sick. The so-called “Havana Syndrome” caused headaches, dizziness, loss of balance, nausea and difficulty concentrating and falling asleep.

The initial fear was that the Cubans were triggering the symptoms with some kind of sonic weapon.

Research conducted by Dr. Alon Friedman of Ben-Gurion University and colleagues at the Dalhousie University Brain Repair Center in Nova Scotia, Canada, points to a different culprit: overexposure to pesticides — in particular, fumigation to stop the spread of the Zika virus prominent around that time.

They found a correlation between the individuals most affected and the number of fumigations that were performed at their residences. Both the Cuban and Canadian authorities were fumigating more frequently than usual, according to records from the Canadian embassy.

By conducting brain scans on the affected individuals using MRI and magnetoencephalography (a functional neuroimaging technique for mapping brain activity), the multidisciplinary research team of 15, led by Friedman in Israel, concluded that exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors in organophosphorus insecticides was the probable cause. Cholinesterase is an enzyme required for proper nervous-system functioning.
https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-re...vana-syndrome/

Maybe that's not right either. But medicine has been notorious for telling people who couldn't be easily diagnosed that they need a shrink, and who then turn out to be real victims of rare but real illnesses and conditions.

Other reports seem to have extensive detail.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58396698
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/arti...ms-causes.html

Last edited by Bob001; 25th September 2021 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 26th September 2021, 12:09 AM   #962
dann
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I don't know why so many seem so eager to dismiss this as "all in their heads."

Many people don't dismiss this as "all in their heads", many journalists are willing to write whatever they are told to write, but most skeptics do 'dismiss', i.e. explain, the 'Havana Syndrome' as being 'all in their heads'. Why do you think that is?

Quote:
Sure, some people might attribute their random pains and illnesses to "Havana syndrome." But the original reports were from intelligent, educated, responsible professionals with a lot of overseas experience, and apparently many of them were affected in their scattered homes, not in the embassy, and they displayed conditions that were medically confirmed.

It only took a couple of minutes after the OP before your idea about the invulnerability to mass psychogenic illness/mass hysteria of "intelligent, educated, responsible professionals with at lot of overseas expertise" was presented.
I think that you should go back and start there because you appear to think that you are presenting a new idea that hasn't already been discussed:

Quote:
Here's one theory that the problem is not sonic weapons, but pesticide exposure.

https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-re...vana-syndrome/

Maybe that's not right either. But medicine has been notorious for telling people who couldn't be easily diagnosed that they need a shrink, and who then turn out to be real victims of rare but real illnesses and conditions.

Other reports seem to have extensive detail.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58396698
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/arti...ms-causes.html

Yes, that is one theory, and like with all the others there are extensive details to back it up and they have all been presented and discussed in the thread, the one about pesticide exposure by me when I heard about it.

I was open to it because diplomats (and CIA agents, apparently) at the time had asked the Cubans for more fumigación because of the fear of Zika, and from my experience in Cuba, I know that the dwellings of most Cubans aren't exactly airtight, i.e. the cloud of fumigation disappears very quickly, removed by ordinary drafts, whereas diplomats and CIA operatives tend to live in air-conditioned and thus insulated houses and hotel rooms where the pesticides might stay longer. This is important because no Cubans seem to have been affected.

Another argument against the idea is that only (very few, but still ...) American tourists seem to have been affected, so if you want to stick to the pesticide idea, you would have to argue that the hotel rooms of U.S. officials and their families were deliberately swamped with this poison, but the rooms of other foreigners weren't, which I haven't even heard the CIA claim. In fact, the U.S. investigative commissions seem to have agreed on the microwave idea (after the recordings of the noise from the sonic weapons were shown to be of crickets), except, of course, the initial FBI group, which came up with mass psychogenic illness as the explanation.

But read the thread, it's only 25 pages long, and present us with your arguments against mass psychogenic illness as the most likely explanation for the 'Havana Syndrome'. Educaton, intelligence and experience don't protect you from mass hysteria even though teenage girls seem to be more susceptible to it. You should also read up on the atmosphere of hysteria at the Ground Zero of the 'Havana Syndrome' as described by the people who were there, a hysteria that has been reproduced on a global scale in recent weeks by declarations from the State Department.

And let me give you a brand new argument against the pesticide idea:
How were the two affected security officials in Washington poisoned with pesticides? How did CIA operative Smithers in India get poisoned? And what about the recent 'incidents' in Berlin and Vienna? Based on my experience with Vienna and Berlin, I don't think they spray very much against Zika. I can imagine that they might fumigate against Zika in India. I don't know about Washington. I have only spent one week there, but that was before Zika.
I have seen fumigators in action in Havana. They are pretty conspicuous. I think they would cause quite a stir in Washington!
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Old 26th September 2021, 12:39 AM   #963
dann
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
As I said before, it's quite telling that only US diplomats are being targeted, in so many locations all over the World that the idea of a foreign power being behind it seems remote.

It has actually occurred even to the State Department that it can no longer be merely a foreign power, singular.
Remember this from the NYT:
Quote:
Officials have considered that intelligence services from multiple countries could be involved, each with varying motives and equipment causing the illnesses, according to some U.S. officials.
Officials stress that the possibility of multiple adversaries remains only a theory, and that intelligence officials have yet to draw hard conclusions.

It has now become a conglomerate of all kinds of foreign powers, plural. It has grown exponentially since 2016-17 from Castro, in Havana, with supersonic crickets, to now in 2021 everybody, everywhere, with everything.

Quote:
Sadly this clear evidence of who is to blame will probably be swept under rug due to the political impossibility of owning up to the fact that we have met the enemy, and they are us.

Well put!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2021, 02:55 AM   #964
Planigale
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
I don't know why so many seem so eager to dismiss this as "all in their heads." Sure, some people might attribute their random pains and illnesses to "Havana syndrome." But the original reports were from intelligent, educated, responsible professionals with a lot of overseas experience, and apparently many of them were affected in their scattered homes, not in the embassy, and they displayed conditions that were medically confirmed.

Here's one theory that the problem is not sonic weapons, but pesticide exposure.


https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-re...vana-syndrome/

Maybe that's not right either. But medicine has been notorious for telling people who couldn't be easily diagnosed that they need a shrink, and who then turn out to be real victims of rare but real illnesses and conditions.

Other reports seem to have extensive detail.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58396698
https://nymag.com/intelligencer/arti...ms-causes.html
I think you misunderstand the nature of mass hysteria. Being educated, intelligent, responsible, does not prevent people becoming subject to mass hysteria. Indeed some of the skills expected of a diplomat or spy, being a close listener, carefully considering what is said, even a degree of empathy, may make people more susceptible.

Right at the beginning I pointed out the symptoms including subtle neurological damage could match chronic pesticide toxicity. The two hypotheses are not exclusive, there may have been a trigger event, pesticide toxicity, that then led to a mass hysterical event because of the poor way it was handled.
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Old 26th September 2021, 04:19 AM   #965
dann
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Don't leave out the crickets! Everybody does, at this point. The weird sounds heard by many of the first victims were the most obvious trigger event, and many of the people suffering from the 'Havana Syndrome' confirmed that the recording made public by the AP was the sound they had heard. You don't need more than that.
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I AGREE

It would be interesting to know if the (senior, if I remember correctly) CIA official dubbed Patient Zero, the guy who also spread the rumor and thus the hysteria to his Canadian neighbors, was one of those diagnosed with brain damages or if he was one of the cases that were dismissed, but I don't think the CIA wants to reveal this.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 26th September 2021 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 26th September 2021, 04:41 AM   #966
dann
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The role of Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen:

Quote:
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joins Andrea Mitchell to discuss the State Department firing the Havana Syndrome coordinator and why she considers it to be an important step in getting employees at the Dept. of State who have suffered from these directed energy attacks the help they require. "I thought that was an action that was positive in terms of providing the care that people need," says Shaheen. "Unlike some colleagues that work for CIA or Department of Defense they have not gotten the same care."
'The State Dept. sees there's a problem': Sen. Shaheen reacts to the firing of Havana Syndrome response coordinator (MSNBC Video, Sep 23, 2021) Begins at 3:30
Quote:
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in an interview with MSNBC, suggested that Spratlen had been fired due to inaction.

"I thought that was an action that was positive in terms of providing the care that people need," Shaheen said. "Sadly what we're still hearing from employees at the Department of State who have been injured by this syndrome, these directed energy attacks, is that unlike some of their colleagues that work for CIA or Department of Defense, they have not been able to get the same care at Walter Reed and other hospitals so that needs to change."
CIA Removes Vienna Station Chief Amid Havana Syndrome Criticism (Newsmax, Sep 24, 2021)
Shaheen Unveils New Bill to Help Americans Affected by Directed Energy Attacks (ICYMI, Aug 6, 2021)

Shaheen is a true believer. There is no doubt in her mind that diplomats and agents have been attacked. She only hesitates about claiming outright that Putin is the perpetrator:

Quote:
Andrea Mitchell is joined by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D- NH), who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, to discuss her new bill to help Americans affected by directed energy attacks. Sen. Shaheen says that this bill will assist those affected by Havana Syndrome by assuring that "everybody who has been affected is being treated in the same way.“ Sen. Shaheen also says that "Russia is at the top of the suspect list” as they investigate reports of Havana Syndrome.
Shaheen: Russia At The Top Of Suspect List For Energy Attacks On Americans] (MSNBC on YouTube, Aug 4, 2021)

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 26th September 2021, 11:05 AM   #967
Bob001
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Many people don't dismiss this as "all in their heads", many journalists are willing to write whatever they are told to write, but most skeptics do 'dismiss', i.e. explain, the 'Havana Syndrome' as being 'all in their heads'. Why do you think that is?
.....
You're giving away a lot if you think there is some massive conspiracy that tells journalists what to write.

A lot of people are claiming to be sick or injured. What would it take to prove they're not?
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Old 26th September 2021, 11:06 AM   #968
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Havana Syndrome: shell shock in a different cultural guise?
Quote:
In light of the inconclusive and contradictory findings in studies on the embassy patients, and the tendency for physicians to reframe illness to reflect expectations, it is notable that most of the reported symptoms are commonly encountered by general practitioners and neurologists in their everyday practices. However, one conspicuously stands out: concussion-like symptoms.... There is a growing consensus in the psychiatric community that the fear and uncertainty that accompanies these events give rise to outbreaks of psychogenic illness. A characteristic feature of combat syndromes over the past century is the appearance of an array of neurological complaints from an overstimulated nervous system that are commonly misdiagnosed as concussions and brain damage...

There is a long history of embassy staff suffering harassment at the hands of Cuban agents. They soon began to hear alarming stories of sonic attacks. New staff were not only being briefed on the likelihood that they may become the next targets, they were primed for ‘attacks’ as they were played recordings of the sounds captured by employees in Havana, before taking up their posts. Several of these recordings were later identified as the mating calls of Anurogryllus celerinictus (the Indies short-tailed cricket) and Gryllus assimilis (the Jamiacan field cricket). As a result, between late 2016 and much of 2017, staff in Havana were living in a cauldron of stress and uncertainty, amid rumours of an enigmatic sonic weapon. As one worker who lived through this ordeal told us, they were afraid to even retire to their beds at night, fearful that they and their families would be attacked in their sleep...

Once the JAMA team had published their findings in early 2018, there was a swift response by specialists who pointed out the psychogenic features of the outbreak...

European neurologists and psychiatrists concluded that shell shock had a psychological origin. The public health physician for the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Thomas Salmon pointed out that soldiers’ symptoms often mirrored their war experiences. This is a longstanding feature and telltale sign of psychogenic illness. In some cases, soldiers developed blindness after witnessing a traumatic event or became deaf after hearing unbearable cries for help from wounded comrades. In a similar vein, contemporary mass psychogenic illness outbreaks in the general population typically reflect the exposure scenario.
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Old 26th September 2021, 11:21 AM   #969
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Quote:
In 2019, the State Department requested that the National Academies of Sciences research the symptoms to determine how to collect data on future cases. The resulting report was frustratingly inconclusive.
Part of the problem, report co-author Jeffrey Stuab told BuzzFeed News, was that the NAS team "didn't have information about individual people, including who was first affected, who was later affected, what their connections were." However, he added: "Even if we had all the security clearances to see everything about everyone, there would be holes in the information." While the report did determine that a microwave attack could cause dizziness and depression, one author described this idea as "science fiction."
The Havana Syndrome Mystery and How the U.S. Plans to Solve It (New York Magazine, Sep 23, 2021)

The timeline of the 'incidents' would have been essential in an investigation of an outbreak of mass hysteria.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 27th September 2021, 08:52 AM   #970
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I highly recommend this article from today!
I don't know anything about the site other than what I can read in a short Wikipedia article in German and on MediaBias/FactCheck, which calls it "least biased" with "High Factual Reporting":

Quote:
With no new case of a dramatic attack by an invisible enemy to report in the past week, the newspapers of record offer us a story with a different twist. Instead of health issues or revelations about the mystery itself, this story points toward institutional intrigue.
(...)
John Hudson and Shane Harris at The Washington Post note the strategic implications of this move: “The sidelining of the station chief in one of the largest and most prestigious CIA posts is expected to send a message that top agency leaders must take seriously any reports of ‘Havana Syndrome.’”

Today’s Daily Devil’s Dictionary definition:
Take seriously:
Comply with an authorized stance or policy at the expense of objectively reasoning about the existing facts

(...)
“The ouster of the Vienna station chief,” The Times reports, “came as Pamela Spratlen stepped down this week as head of the State Department’s task force studying the episodes.”
What ties these two events together? An astute reader may notice that Spratlen’s crime was identical to that of the CIA officer: skepticism. “Victims’ groups said Ms. Spratlen viewed the health incidents skeptically,” The Times reports. When, in the coming weeks, both personalities will be effectively replaced — one in Vienna and the other in Washington — we can reasonably assume that skepticism will be absent from their intellectual profile. Anyone guilty of that crime will understand the risk of being immediately canceled.
(...)
The Daily Devil’s Dictionary has been following the story these past few years, with articles that examine various features of the phenomenon here, here, here, here and here. We continue counting on The New York Times and other outlets to keep it churning over until either the mystery is solved or simply runs out of fuel.
Surprise, the Havana Syndrome Is Back in the News (Fair Observer, Sep 27, 2021)

The here, here, here, here and here articles with titles and dates:
US Diplomats Attacked in Cuba… by Crickets (Fair Observer, Jan 9, 2019)
How Reasonable Are Suspicions Promoted by the Media? (Fair Observer, May 13, 2021)
Who’s Afraid of Directed Energy Attacks? (Fair Observer, May 6, 2021)
Media: How Debunked Stories Continue to Thrive (Fair Observer, May 19, 2021)
The Media Is Suffering From the Havana Syndrome (Fair Observer, Sep 23, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 28th September 2021, 03:20 AM   #971
dann
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Quote:
CIA-Chef aus Wien abgezogen, weil er Havanna-Syndrom verharmlost hatte. Wien immer noch Drehscheibe für internationale Spionage.
Eine Geisterkrankheit entlarvt Wien als Tummelplatz für Spione (Kurier.at, Sep 24, 2021)
CIA chief pulled out of Vienna because he played down the Havana Syndrome. Vienna is still the scene of international espionage.
A ghost disease reveals Vienna as the playground of spies

Eine Geisterkrankheit is a disease caused by ghosts, but in this case I think it may also be a pun on the word Geisteskrankheit, mental disorder.


Havanna-Syndrom: Der Ton wird giftiger, und die ersten Köpfe rollen (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Sep 27, 2021)
Havana Syndrome: The tone is getting more toxic, and the first heads have started to roll
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 28th September 2021 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 28th September 2021, 05:05 AM   #972
dann
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The comments section of this article didn't stay open for long:
What to know about ‘Havana Syndrome’, the mysterious illness affecting U.S. officials around the world (WP, Sep 21, 2021)
"Comments are now closed."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th September 2021, 02:02 AM   #973
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Opinion: The source of the ‘Havana syndrome’ must be found. National security demands it.
(WP, Sep 28, 2021)

The Post's view is that
Quote:
The attacks — and they do seem to be deliberate attacks — now total more than 200 cases.
(...)
Eventually, the culprits must be found and held to account.

The opinion piece completely ignores that Pamela Spratlen and CIA's station chief in Vienna appear to have been removed because they were skeptical of the idea of an attack:

Quote:
The State Department’s top official overseeing the issue, Pamela Spratlen, has stepped down after six months on the job, following friction with some of the victims. The department says her permitted time serving as a retiree was up.
(...)
John Hudson and Shane Harris of The Post report that the CIA has recalled its station chief in Vienna for insufficient attention to the problem.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 29th September 2021, 11:28 PM   #974
dann
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Still no attackers and no weapons but more attacks:

Quote:
The cocktail of symptoms, the root cause of which remains unexplained, includes persistent dizziness, memory loss, and others consistent with a neurological disease or injury. The CIA officer in the Balkans is the latest in a widening series of attacks on American diplomatic personnel.
Mystery Havana Syndrome Hit CIA Officer in Serbia (The Daily Beast, Sep 28, 2021)

Havana Syndrome Attacks Widen With CIA Officer's Evacuation From Serbia (WSJ, Sep 28, 2021)

Quote:
Current and former US officials told The Journal that the evacuation took place in the last few weeks, as the unnamed agent was experiencing what The Journal described as "serious injuries.
(...)
Symptoms include nausea, headaches, vertigo, and memory loss.
More than 200 Americans across the world have been infected, according to both the Journal and The New York Times, in locations including Cuba, China, Russia, and the US.
The CIA evacuated an officer with 'Havana Syndrome' symptoms from Serbia, report says, as the US intensifies investigations into the mysterious illness (MSN, Sep 29, 2021)

Infected is a new development, but I suppose it was meant to say affected.

From the same article:
Quote:
The Department of Defense has asked millions of military service members, civilian officials, and contractors to come forward if they have any symptoms in an effort to understand the scale of the attacks, and their source.

FTFY version:
Quote:
In an effort to scale up the number of imaginary attacks, the Department of Defense has told millions of military service members, civilian officials, and contractors to come forward if they have any of a list of very common symptoms of everyday ailments hardly ever caused by attacks.

ETA: It occurs to me that with millions being asked to come forward, they must be pretty healthy specimens when only 200 have been found so far!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 30th September 2021, 12:24 AM   #975
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Quote:
The CIA also created a task force last year to investigate the mysterious attacks that occurred in Havana. A year-long FBI investigation failed to find a cause. Another investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to identify a cause for the injuries.
What to know about Havana Syndrome, the illness affecting U.S. diplomats, CIA, staff (Miami Herald, Sep 29, 2021)

What the FBI failed to find was evidence of a sonic attack, which is what they went to Havana to find but didn't:
Quote:
Following months of investigation and four FBI trips to Havana, an interim report from the bureau’s Operational Technology Division says the probe has uncovered no evidence that sound waves could have damaged the Americans’ health, the AP has learned.
Tillerson tells AP Cuba still risky; FBI doubts sonic attack (AP News, Jan 9, 2018)

Quote:
But the FBI, which traveled multiple times to Havana to investigate, later issued a report that found no evidence of an attack and determined the staffers were most likely suffering from mass psychogenic illness, or mass hysteria.
In tense Blinken meeting, 'Havana Syndrome' diplomats complain of skepticism (NBC News, Sep 21, 2021)

The whole investigation could have ended then and there, as could the 'Havana Syndrome' if the CIA weren't so determined to deny that their secret agents are as susceptible to mass hysteria as ordinary school girls are. They would rather spread the 'syndrome' to "millions of military service members, civilian officials, and contractors" in every corner of the Earth than admit to the truth, making themselves more and more ridiculous and evidently unreliable in the process.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 30th September 2021, 01:14 AM   #976
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Quote:
Officials in the US are continuing to investigate cases of the so-called ‘Havana Syndrome’, a mysterious health condition that has reportedly led to hearing loss and brain damage.

The most recent case is a US intelligence officer who travelled to India with the CIA’s director, William Burns, earlier this month. Some say the illness is linked to “sonic attacks” but others have suggested the condition is no more than mass hysteria.

Guest: Dr Robert Bartholomew - a medical sociologist from the University of Auckland and expert in mass psychogenic illness.
Serious illness or mass hysteria? Havana Syndrome continues to be investigated (ABC News, Sep 26, 2021)
16min 34sec

Bartholomew calls the U.S. State Department's alert to diplomats and intelligence officers all over the world "a global experiment in mass suggestion."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 1st October 2021, 04:11 AM   #977
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My transcription of three minutes of the interview with Dr Robert Bartholomew.
It begins with a recording of Marc Polymeroupoulos, the former "acting chief of clandestine operations in Europe and Eurasia" and the most outspoken of the CIA operatives and diplomats with the alleged syndrome. He claims that he was the target of a Havana-Syndrome-style attack in Moscow in December 2017:

Quote:
Marc Polymeropoulos (9:40 -->): - I woke up in the middle of the night because I had this incredible case of vertigo. It felt almost as if I was in, you know, some kind of carnival ride. And I tell you, after I have spent years in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan - I put my life on the line - this was the most terrifying experience of my life. I had no control.
And they diagnosed me with a traumatic brain injury. It's on paper. I have it.

Interviewer (10:01 -->): - So what's going on in your view, Robert Bartholomew, with an individual there describing things that clearly he believes happened to him and were caused by some .... caused what he describes as a traumatic brain injury?

Robert Bartholomew (10:14 -->): - Look, somebody had a health incident. People have millions of health incidents every day all over the world. Now, if you are in the intelligence community or you're an American diplomat, and now you are on the alert for any health incidence now can easily be labeled as Havana Syndrome. You gotta remember something very important here, and that is, it has been widely reported in the media that there were mysterious white matter tract changes to the brains in some of these patients, and brain damage and hearing loss.

And people say to me, they say, 'You don't know what you are talking about: concussion-like symptoms, white matter tract changes, brain damage! That can't possibly be mass psychogenic illness!'

But that's not what happened. The white matter tract changes never happened!
In December of 2017, information was leaked to the media that doctors examining a number of Havana Syndrome patients had discovered the significant white matter tract changes to their brains. This was big news, and for the next year, there was headlines about doctors finding brain anomalies in many of the diplomats. And then nearly a year later, in early 2018, the study came out, and in 21 patients only three had white matter tract changes. Two were mild, one was moderate.

If you walk down the streets of Melbourne or Sidney today and randomly pick 21 people, that's exactly what you would expect to find because white matter tract changes are common in everything from migraines to depression, to normal aging. So the claims of white matter tract changes are a myth as were the claims of brain damage. There was reports leaked that they had brain damage. When the studies came out, they were inconclusive.

And lastly, you have the study of hearing loss: In 2018, the results of a forthcoming study of 25 U.S. diplomats were leaked to the media. It was plain that about a third of the patients had hearing loss. This was reported for months and months and months in 2018. Once again the headlines: 'Diplomats suffering from hearing loss.' But when the study was published that December of 2018, they found that only two of the subjects had hearing loss. And both of them had hearing loss before they went to Cuba. And what had happened was: When they were interviewed, the subjects had expressed disbelief that they had hearing loss, but when they were given a standard hearing test, the others returned normal results.

So this is the problem that we're dealing with. You know, it's not what people don't know that hurts them so. It's what they know that's just not so - to paraphrase a famous quotation
(...)

Robert Bartholomew (15:50 -->): We need to follow the facts. People on the internet, there's all kinds of theories and claims out there, but you have to follow the facts. And when you do, I am confident that science comes out in the end, and that in the future, this will be used to teach medical students about how not to investigate a case of mass psychogenic illness.
Serious illness or mass hysteria? Havana Syndrome continues to be investigated (ABC News, Sep 26, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st October 2021, 04:47 AM   #978
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And just in case everybody hasn't heard it yet: Officials still at risk of ‘Havana syndrome’ (The Iola Register, Sep 30, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st October 2021, 06:15 AM   #979
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New article by Robert Baloh, one of the two authors of the so-far only book about the alleged attacks (the other author is Robert Bartholomew):
Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria

Quote:
I am an emeritus professor of neurology who studies the inner ear, and my clinical focus is on dizziness and hearing loss. When news of these events broke, I was baffled. But after reading descriptions of the patients’ symptoms and test results, I began to doubt that some mysterious weapon was the cause.

I have seen patients with the same symptoms as the embassy employees on a regular basis in my Dizziness Clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles. Most have psychosomatic symptoms – meaning the symptoms are real but arise from stress or emotional causes, not external ones. With a little reassurance and some treatments to lessen their symptoms, they get better.

The available data on Havana syndrome matches closely with mass psychogenic illness – more commonly known as mass hysteria.
Havana syndrome fits the pattern of psychosomatic illness – but that doesn’t mean the symptoms aren’t real (Deccan Herald, Oct 1, 2021)

I have mentioned this a couple of times, but it can't be repeated enough:
Quote:
A former CIA officer who was in Cuba at the time later noted that the first patient “was lobbying, if not coercing, people to report symptoms and to connect the dots.”
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st October 2021, 11:56 AM   #980
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Crickets! Nothing But Crickets!

BuzzFeed News has delivered excellent investigative journalism since the reports about the 'Havana Syndrome' began to appear. This new article is no exception.

Notice that this is a separate study, and not the study by the two independent academics who analyzed the AP recording of the alleged sonic attack in Havana and concluded that it was the sound of "lovelorn crickets". The JASON team "was given eight recordings of incidents linked to injuries." Notice also that "the panel’s findings were never made public or provided to the NAS."

Quote:
Noises linked to mysterious injuries among US diplomats in Cuba were most likely caused by crickets — not microwave weapons — according to a declassified scientific review commissioned by the US State Department and obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The State Department report was written by the JASON advisory group, an elite scientific board that has reviewed US national security concerns since the Cold War.
(...)
“JASON puts to rest the ‘microwave attack’ theory,” University of Pennsylvania biomedical engineer Kenneth Foster told BuzzFeed News. “While we can’t rule out the idea that somebody might have been trying to harass the US officers, the idea that these were attacks intended to cause injury is supported neither by a smoking gun nor by clearly identified victims.”
(...)
A mainstay of the national security arena for decades, JASON contains the nation’s brightest technical minds. “This is a high powered group of expert scientists examining this question,” said former Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist Cheryl Rofer. “This appears to be a very thorough scientific analysis, the kind which wasn’t done in the National Academies of Sciences report.”
(...)
The scientists also noted that, while “the suffering reported by the affected individuals is real,” mass psychology can also trigger neurological injuries in people. “JASON believes such psychogenic effects may serve to explain important components of the reported injuries.”
A Declassified State Department Report Says Microwaves Didn't Cause "Havana Syndrome" (BuzzFeed News, Sep 30, 2021)

This should put an end to the idea that diplomats and CIA agents were the victims of attacks. And it should have put an end to it in November 2018 when the report was completed. That it didn't then and that it won't now is obviously because it doesn't comply with the policies of the State Department and the CIA. It didn't in 2018 under Trump, and it doesn't in 2021 under Biden.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd October 2021, 12:53 AM   #981
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The JASON report in other media:

Quote:
The JASON advisory group was provided with audio and video recordings captured from the time the symptoms occurred. While cross-referencing the recordings with sound clips provided by various insect species, scientists determined with “high confidence” that the offending noise had come from the noisy Anurogryllis celerinictus cricket.
“No plausible single source of energy (neither radio/microwaves nor sonic) can produce both the recorded audio/video signals and the reported medical effects,” wrote authors of the JASON report, retrieved through a Freedom of Information Act request. “We believe the recorded sounds are mechanical or biological in origin, rather than electronic. The most likely source is the Indies short-tailed cricket.”
They’re not the first to blame the cacophonous critters. In 2019, an unpublished analysis of recordings made by US personnel in Cuba surfaced in the media, also pointing to Anurogryllis celerinictus. “The recording is definitively a cricket that belongs to the same group,” said University of Lincoln biology professor Fernando Montealegre-Zapata in a statement at the time of the study.
Havana syndrome culprits may be crickets, scientists say (New York Post, Oct 1, 2021)
The authors of the JASON report were actually the first, but their report was kept a secret until now. But this thread was even earlier!

This attempt to save the idea that spies and diplomats were attacked is hilarious:
Quote:
Still, the JASON team did suggest that the alarming noise that seems to prompt Havana syndrome could have been “introduced by an adversary as deception,” misdirecting physicians and investigators while using “an entirely unrelated mode of causing illness.”
I guess the evil adversaries trained the Cuban crickets to make the noise to cover up the sounds of microwaves. Or they may have used both directed microwave energy guns and super-sonic guns at the same time, one in each hand in the case of lone-wolf attacks.

Quote:
The report goes on to say that JASON could identify "no plausible single source of energy (neither radio/microwaves nor sonic) [that] can produce both the recorded audio/video signals and the reported medical effects.
Instead, the scientists wrote that the most likely source of the sound heard in the recordings is the Indies short-tailed cricket, whose call, it says, "matches, in nuanced detail, the spectral properties of the recordings from Cuba." Still, the report hedges, saying that "other hypotheses are possible," including that the sounds were created by a mechanical device or "structure-borne vibrations."
"While we can't rule out the idea that somebody might have been trying to harass the U.S. officers, the idea that these were attacks intended to cause injury is supported neither by a smoking gun nor by clearly identified victims," the report says.
'Havana Syndrome' Noises Were Likely Crickets, Not Super Weapons, State Department Report Says (Rolling Stone, Oct 1, 2021)
Man, they are tricky, those lovelorn crickets! Not only do they harass the U.S. spies and diplomats with their mating calls, they also hump so hard that whole buildings start vibrating!

Quote:
The US government said it’s probably the short-tailed crickets that make the American diplomats around the world sick, according to a newly declassified report.
Microwaves not to be blamed for 'Havana Syndrome', a State Dept report says (TRT World, Oct 1, 2021)
No, no, no! That's not what the report says.
1) It is from 2018 and about the cases in Havana, not about the cases "around the world".
2) It doesn't say that the crickets made anybody sick.
This title also gets it wrong: Crickets named as cause of mysterious 'Havana syndrome' (The Independent, Oct 1, 2021)
Crickets made the sound. They didn't make anybody sick.

According to Wikipedia, the recent State Department decision to call on U.S. personnel all over the world to report symptoms of the alleged attacks has been very successful, making the number of cases rise from 130 four months ago to now more than 200, not including the most recent ones:
Quote:
The U.S. government has not released the number of affected persons, but media reporting indicated a total of 130 possible cases by the end of May 2021, rising to more than 200 possible cases by mid-September 2021. The cases variously affected CIA, U.S. military, and State Department personnel, and their family members.
Havana syndrome: elsewere (Wikipedia)

It is worth remembering that the mating calls of crickets had nothing to do with this. The new cases were all due to the calls from the State Department.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 2nd October 2021, 04:20 AM   #982
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Business Insider has also picked up the story:
Quote:
Cheryl Rofer, a retired chemist from Los Alamos National Laboratory, previously told Insider that if a microwave weapon had been used, there would be physical marks of the attack.
"The evidence would be on the outside of their body," she told Insider's Aylin Woodward, adding: "It would be like a thermal burn."

The Pentagon has asked its 2.9 million service members to come forward if they have felt symptoms consistent with the "syndrome," according to a memo seen by The New York Times.
(Business Insider, Oct 1, 2021)

RT's title is exaggerated. The 'Havana Syndrome' may be a delusion, but it is not a psychosis.
Quote:
“This is a high powered group of expert scientists,” former Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist Cheryl Rofer told BuzzFeed, adding that the declassified report “appears to be a very thorough scientific analysis, the kind which wasn’t done in the National Academies of Sciences report.”
“What is available in the report is pretty dubious about directed energy weapons, and pretty positive about crickets,” Rofer added.
Crickets and psychosis account for ‘Havana Syndrome’, says newly declassified report by US scientists (RT, Sep 30, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 2nd October 2021, 10:44 AM   #983
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The BuzzFeed News article about the JASON report mentioned in post 980 has not gone unnoticed in Cuba:
Como no hubo ataque sónico, no podrá existir evidencia (+Video) (Granma.cu, Oct 1, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd October 2021, 10:54 AM   #984
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A new article in Washington Times focuses on how the Obama administration is handling the 'syndrome':

Quote:
The State Department has since dismissed the 2018 study, according to a spokesperson who said the report exhibits several shortcomings, including reliance on scant data and a lack of “broad access to information and effective personnel necessary to fully understand such a complex issue.” The researchers behind the JASON report interviewed only one person who had reported symptoms commonly associated with anomalous health incidents.
“And it was because of the flaws and shortcomings in prior studies including this one, that we have focused on sharing information across departments and agencies and making all of that data available to the [intelligence community’s] expert panel,” he said.
The State Department spokesperson said the JASON report is not “aligned with this administration’s understanding” of the anomalous health incidents and has not “informed” the government’s more recent inquiry into the matter.
Havana Syndrome continues to baffle U.S. officials (WT, Oct 1, 2021)

So the CIA prevents researchers from getting all the data (for security reasons, of course) and talking to all the alleged victims of the 'Havana Syndrome', and the researchers are then criticized for their lack of "broad access to information"! And since the State Department doesn't like the conclusions of the report, a new one is commissioned, and then another one, and another one, this time leaving it to the 'intelligence community' itself because it has access to the information that it won't allow any others to see.

In other words, the CIA will be allowed to produce a report the 'incidents' that it mishandled spectacularly with the conclusions that both the State Department and the agency itself desire while everybody skeptical of this procedure is being removed from the playing field.
That is how it was done under Trump, and that is how it is done under Biden:

Quote:
“These attacks, there’s certainly many of them that seem quite deliberate and what the causes and what the motivation is, what the intent is — I think these are still very much open questions,” he said. “But I do think that we are getting closer to some of the answers, and bringing new tools to bear to help us get those answers.”
Mr. Schiff said he is still open to the possibility that Havana Syndrome is not a result of targeted attacks.

Yes, it is obvious that Mr. Schiff is open to the possibility that 'Havana Syndrome' is not a result of targeted attacks. In order to make this perfectly clear, he calls them attacks and wonders aloud about the intent behind those alleged attacks ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd October 2021, 02:26 AM   #985
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
A new article in Washington Times focuses on how the Obama administration is handling the 'syndrome'

It should of course have been the Biden administration, which continues Trump's Cuba policy instead of Obama's.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd October 2021, 02:52 AM   #986
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
A new article in Washington Times focuses on how the Obama administration is handling the 'syndrome':




So the CIA prevents researchers from getting all the data (for security reasons, of course) and talking to all the alleged victims of the 'Havana Syndrome', and the researchers are then criticized for their lack of "broad access to information"! And since the State Department doesn't like the conclusions of the report, a new one is commissioned, and then another one, and another one, this time leaving it to the 'intelligence community' itself because it has access to the information that it won't allow any others to see.

In other words, the CIA will be allowed to produce a report the 'incidents' that it mishandled spectacularly with the conclusions that both the State Department and the agency itself desire while everybody skeptical of this procedure is being removed from the playing field.
That is how it was done under Trump, and that is how it is done under Biden:




Yes, it is obvious that Mr. Schiff is open to the possibility that 'Havana Syndrome' is not a result of targeted attacks. In order to make this perfectly clear, he calls them attacks and wonders aloud about the intent behind those alleged attacks ...
Obviously it is immensely useful to have a casus belli immediately available. This is ideal, it can be pointed at anyone* the intelligence community or politicians want. They may have moved on from blaming Cuba, but noticeably the actions taken as a response to Cuban attacks have not been reversed. My guess is that it may be pointed at China next, or possibly Iran.

Since the WMD justification for the second iraq war has shown that no real evidence is required to justify a war, the lack of real evidence here is not relevant. Unlike the WMD justification this has the advantage that Americans have been attacked and harmed.

*Probably has to be a nation state with some infrastructure, it would be a stretch to believe some multinational criminal / terrorist organisation like SPECTRE** could come up with this sort of technology.

**It would seem tailor made for an 007 mission though, SPECTRE have a mysterious energy ray they are using to disable intelligence operatives across the globe, and an 00 action is authorised.
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Old 3rd October 2021, 04:43 AM   #987
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Originally Posted by Planigale View Post
My guess is that it may be pointed at China next, or possibly Iran.

I don't think so. The suspicions seem to be almost exclusively focussed on Russia, which makes me wonder why this sophisticated, discrete weapon was never used against other enemies of the (Russian) state: 6 Prominent Russians Who Suffered Poisoning Attacks (Moscow Times, Aug 20, 2020)

There are now more than 200 U.S. victims of the alleged attacks, and yet no traces have been found of weapons or a perpetrators. The Russians usually leave plenty of traces behind. I think the 'Havana Syndrome' story gives Putin too much credit for having committed the perfect crime.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 3rd October 2021, 07:07 AM   #988
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Another Cuban newspaper, Juventud Rebelde - I think it is the second-largest after Granma - has a new article about the 'syndrome': El síndrome del absurdo (Oct 2, 2021)

It is pretty long, but I have picked some of the most 'colorful' paragraphs. The translation is by Google:

Quote:
"Another diplomat stated that he had had an incident at his residence. No one else reported feeling anything, not his family or his employees. Among the symptoms, the man says that he suffered from lack of balance and dizziness, and in those same days he was seen driving a modern motorcycle at high speeds through the streets of Havana."
(...)
“An official said that the sound came from a truck that had later been hidden in a nearby building. We went quickly and it was found that the vehicle belonged to a neighbor who always parked it there to take advantage of the shade of an almond tree."
(...)
"The studies at the Hotel Nacional showed that the only noise that day was unusual was the music from the carnivals held on the Malecón."
Hotel Nacional has a great view of el Malecón. One of the best places for watching the Havana carnival. I recommend it!

Quote:
"In 2018, based on a joint work protocol, Canadians installed sensors to record various events, and the first report of an event that affects health has not yet appeared."

It makes you wonder why Americans have recorded nothing but crickets, doesn't it?!
But apparently they have:
Quote:
“In August 2017, the FBI provided us with 14 samples of noise recordings made at locations where incidents were alleged to have occurred. Our experts found that they were manipulated, they had erased data necessary to specify time and space, and the audible sounds were the horn of a car, an almond tree, birds, crickets; but nothing that affects human health.
For those of you who wonder what an almond tree sounds like, it is the Google translation of "un almendrón", Cuban slang for an old, rusty (thus almond-colored), usually American car whose exhaust pipes aren't always up to scratch. As in the song Mi amiga Chichi (not rusty, though):
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Quote:
"Then we learned through articles in the US press that as part of the investigation into the incidents in Cuba, the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit carried out a psychological evaluation of the alleged victims and concluded that they were suffering from a kind of psychogenic illness, which they informed the State Department, which, however, has remained silent regarding what the FBI has raised.
... as they remained silent about the JONAS report until it was made public by BuzzFeed News this week.

The conclusion:
Quote:
After February 17, 2017, the walls returned, the aggressiveness against Cuba, the cruelty in the application of the economic, commercial and financial blockade like never before; facts that lead us to think that it was all a political operation to accompany the reversal of the policy of rapprochement and dialogue promoted by Barack Obama.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th October 2021, 02:50 AM   #989
dann
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I overlooked this one:

Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
You're giving away a lot if you think there is some massive conspiracy that tells journalists what to write.

You don't need a conspiracy for that. All it takes is that the government makes some kind of claim - preferably, but not necessarily, based on a quasi scientific study. Most journalists will simply repeat whatever the government claims. It is the easiest thing to do, and you know that the government won't bother you if you do that. You can write an article in ten minutes based on the government's press release if you don't do any fact-checking. And the majority of journalists don't.
It is not even a question of journalists being lazy. Most of them probably don't get paid for doing any research and investigation. Getting paid for independent investigative reporting is a privilege. I think that it is very fulfilling on an emotional and intellectual level, but I don't think you get rich doing it.

Quote:
A lot of people are claiming to be sick or injured. What would it take to prove they're not?

I don't think anybody is claiming that they aren't sick or injured. The question is how they got sick and injured. See (and/or listen to) the interview with Robert Bartholomew (post 977) and the article by Robert Baloh (post 979).
The symptoms of mass psychogenic illness are very real and not to be dismissed. And the people who claim to be looking for the cause of 'Havana Syndrome' are the ones causing it, at this point.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th October 2021, 03:09 AM   #990
dann
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Sadly this clear evidence of who is to blame will probably be swept under rug due to the political impossibility of owning up to the fact that we have met the enemy, and they are us.

Quote:
"I'm certainly persuaded that what our officers and some family members, as well as other U.S. government employees, have experienced is real, and it's serious," Burns said. "I am absolutely determined ... to get to the bottom of the question of what and who caused this."
CIA Recalls Vienna Station Chief In Move Related To Handling Of 'Havana Syndrome' (NPR, Sep 24, 2021)

You did, Mr. Burns! And you are still doing it!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th October 2021, 10:44 AM   #991
dann
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It's uncanny!

May 26, 2021:
Quote:
The Pentagon is drafting a memo to the entire military and civilian workforce asking personnel to report any so-called anomalous health symptoms that might indicate they have been victims of a mysterious illness that has struck US diplomats, spies and military personnel around the world, according to two defense officials.
No final decision has been made on whether to issue the memo, but the fact it's being considered underscores the growing concern at the Pentagon's senior levels that they need to gather more information on what has become known as "Havana Syndrome."
"There's a sufficient amount of concern that with the number of cases that could affect our workforce that this might be a prudent step," a senior defense official told CNN.
The State Department issued a similar memo to staff earlier this month asking them to immediately report symptoms, according to a copy obtained by CNN.
Pentagon considering telling troops to report suspected 'Havana Syndrome' incidents (CNN, May 26, 2021)

Sep 28, 2021:
Quote:
The attacks have happened at multiple locations overseas and in the U.S. and have become more common.
Dr. James Giordano, a Georgetown University professor of neurology and adviser to the government, said in "the past 60 to 90 days, there have been a number of other reported cases" on U.S. soil and around the world.
"They are seen as valid reports with verified health indicators," Giordano said.
The attacks can cause symptoms such as dizziness, memory loss and a range of other issues, resulting in a drop in morale within the State Department and the CIA and causing some officials to be reluctant to take overseas assignments.
CIA and State Department officials face increased Havana Syndrome attacks (Fox News, Sep 28, 2021)

It's almost as if the two things are ... dare I say it? ... connected!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th October 2021, 07:48 AM   #992
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↓↓↓↓↓↓Super secret Russian sonic weapon↓↓↓↓↓↓



******' Putin!


There is a not-surprising correlation between government agencies and media outlets on stories like this, Russian gate, Hunter's laptop being Russian disinformation etc. No story is outlandish enough for them to not promote when it comes to certain subjects, I blame it on "orange man bad syndrome."
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Old 7th October 2021, 08:41 AM   #993
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The more warnings the government sends to U.S. personnel, the more the number of 'attacks' seems to grow. What on Earth could be causing them?!

Quote:
A growing number of U.S. diplomats and their support staff are reportedly hearing strange sounds, steady pulses of pressure in their heads and a number of other bizarre physical sensations with hallmarks of the “Havana syndrome.”
(...)
The White House reportedly sent a warning to U.S. personnel that Havana Syndrome is serious, widespread and poses a real danger to American diplomats and intelligence officers both at-home in the U.S. and abroad.
(...)
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of it, we’ve got to have discernible medical records that say, yes, you were attacked, and we need to lay hands on who’s doing this,” Figliuzzi said.
(CNBC, Oct 6, 2021)

Who is doing this, Figliuzzi?! You are!

Quote:
The only option for the US Government left is to keep trying to solve the mystery of Havana syndrome, and hopefully one day unveil its source.
"No-one knows for sure," Dr Lin said.
"The only people who can tell us and let us know for sure is who did it, and we don't know who has done it."What is Havana syndrome? The mysterious disease that could be caused by chemicals, panic or something more sinister (ABC News, Oct 6, 2021)

Some of us know with 99.999 percent certainty who done it, but this is literally one of those answers that these people don't want to know.

Pentagon issues stark new warning about Havana Syndrome attacks as mystery drags on (Independent, Oct 6, 2021)

This article offers some context to the 'Havana Syndrome' story:
Quote:
Yet more evidence emerges that the so-called Havana Syndrome caused by a “microwave weapon” in US diplomats and intelligence personnel was a psychosomatic illness. Maybe it's time for national security reporters to stop letting anonymous officials make wild claims to stoke conflict and inflate their budgets.
(...)
Despite constant statements from scientists and other experts that the symptoms seemed like classic cases of psychosomatic illness, that the sounds recorded sounded suspiciously like crickets, and that there was no evidence such a microwave weapon had ever actually been invented, mainstream outlets continued broadcasting these unsubstantiated charges from anonymous US officials for the next four years. One particular gem was this NBC News piece citing a report that stated that “nothing like [the symptoms] had previously been documented in medical literature,” then following with a quote that these symptoms were “consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy.”
Will the Media Finally Learn Something from Its "Havana Syndrome" Debacle? (The Jacobin, Oct 5, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 7th October 2021 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 7th October 2021, 02:38 PM   #994
dann
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I forgot the link to the CNBC article in my post earlier today:
Quote:
A growing number of U.S. diplomats and their support staff are reportedly hearing strange sounds, steady pulses of pressure in their heads and a number of other bizarre physical sensations with hallmarks of the “Havana syndrome.”
(...)
The White House reportedly sent a warning to U.S. personnel that Havana Syndrome is serious, widespread and poses a real danger to American diplomats and intelligence officers both at-home in the U.S. and abroad.
(...)
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of it, we’ve got to have discernible medical records that say, yes, you were attacked, and we need to lay hands on who’s doing this,” Figliuzzi said.
Havana Syndrome: ‘Attacks have stepped-up in their brazenness,’ says national security expert (CNBC, Oct 6, 2021)
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th October 2021, 07:25 PM   #995
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Thanks for your posts on this, dann.

It's a good topic for a skeptics' forum.
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Old 7th October 2021, 08:52 PM   #996
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Originally Posted by Bogative View Post
There is a not-surprising correlation between government agencies and media outlets on stories like this, Russian gate, Hunter's laptop being Russian disinformation etc. No story is outlandish enough for them to not promote when it comes to certain subjects, I blame it on "orange man bad syndrome."
Not to mention Novichok poisonings, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the so-called Panama Papers.

But there's one striking difference in this case - a distinct lack of both claims and evidence that Russia is involved. It's almost like government agencies and media outlets only blame Russia for stuff it did do.
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Old 8th October 2021, 12:17 AM   #997
dann
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The Novichok poisoning: Poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal (Wikipedia)
The most obvious difference between the 'Havana Syndrome' and the cases of Novichok poisoning is that in the latter you have both the weapon, i.e. the poison, and actual, real live suspects: Anatoly Chepiga, Alexander Mishkin and Denis Sergeev (Wikipedia).

The Skripals were poisoned in 2018, i.e. while the alleged Havana Syndrome attacks had been going on since 2016; now, in 2021, with more than 200 victims and not a single microwave or actual suspect sighted.
The professional Russian agents couldn't even get away with poisoning two people without being found out.

Two victims versus more than 200 victims. And yet not a trace* of weapons or perpetrators behind the alleged attacks on those 200+ victims, who are presumably surrounded by security measures. As conspiracy theories go, this one has now taken on such proportions that this in itself is enough to make it ridiculous. And the CIA's inability to find any traces at all makes the agency look utterly incompetent.


*That is unless you count the many cricket recordings as evidence!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 8th October 2021 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 8th October 2021, 01:25 AM   #998
dann
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Quote:
Adolescents and children are frequently affected in cases of MPI.[8] The hypothesis that those prone to extraversion or neuroticism, or those with low IQ scores, are more likely to be affected in an outbreak of hysterical epidemic has not been consistently supported by research. Bartholomew and Wesseley state that it "seems clear that there is no particular predisposition to mass sociogenic illness and it is a behavioural reaction that anyone can show in the right circumstances."[1]

Intense media coverage seems to exacerbate outbreaks.[4][6][8] The illness may also recur after the initial outbreak.[8] John Waller advises that once it is determined that the illness is psychogenic, it should not be given credence by authorities.[6] For example, in the Singapore factory case study, calling in a medicine man to perform an exorcism seemed to perpetuate the outbreak.[9]
Mass psychogenic illness: Prevalence and intensity (Wikipedia)

I think that calling in the guy responsible for catching Bin Laden may have had an effect similar to calling in the medicine man in Singapore: 'This is serious!'
CIA probe of 'Havana syndrome' to be led by Bin Laden search veteran (Reuters, July 21, 2021)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 8th October 2021 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 8th October 2021, 03:56 AM   #999
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
I think that calling in the guy responsible for catching Bin Laden may have had an effect similar to calling in the medicine man in Singapore: 'This is serious!'
CIA probe of 'Havana syndrome' to be led by Bin Laden search veteran (Reuters, July 21, 2021)
Given it took ten years to find someone who actually existed, this should see several people safely to retirement.
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Old 8th October 2021, 05:48 AM   #1000
dann
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When CIA operatives were hunting for bin Laden, they managed to turn an awful lot of people into vaccine skeptics.

CIA organised fake vaccination drive to get Osama bin Laden's family DNA (The Guardian, July 11, 2021)
CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden Fuelled vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan (New Scientist, May 11, 2021)

It almost feels like some sort of poetic justice that their attempts to track down the mysterious microwave shooter have now made them the victims of their own delusions, while at the same time delusional Republicans see it as their patriotic duty to spread an infectious disease to their compatriots.

An awful lot of collateral damage in both cases.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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