IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , mass hysteria , psychogenic illness , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

Reply
Old 8th May 2020, 01:22 PM   #721
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
The shooter may be a paranoid schizophrenic, but apparently Cuba has received no official information yet and sees the incident in the light of the general hostile attitude of the U.S. government.
I also wonder about the impact that the accusations against Cuba of having 'attacked' U.S. diplomats in Havana may have had on the perpetrator.

Quote:
Prensa Latina: Minister Bruno Rodríguez in his remarks to the press that same day, said that certain individuals can feel driven to execute such acts within the context of aggressive anti-Cuban rhetoric. What is your opinion about that?
Ambassaor Cabañas: History is witness to that. If you take the date of occurrence of similar events in the past and compare it with the state of the bilateral relations at that moment, you will find that attacks against our embassies and staff took place precisely when the attitude of the United States was most hostile toward Cuba.
The assailants are not only politically driven, they also feel that the moment is opportune and that they can have certain immunity.
When you see every day, absolutely every day, high-level officials of the U.S. government attacking Cuba, reinforcing the blockade, even as we are all battling COVID-19 and the U.S. officials gruesomely and immorally attack our brigades and medical doctors, well, this verbal terrorism only lacked armed terrorism and it happened.
What happened? Jose Ramon Cabañas, Cuban ambassador in Washington, tells Prensa Latina (Granma.cu, May 6, 2020)

Quote:
Mara Tekach, chargé d'affaires of the United States Embassy in Havana, is the only official who has made any kind of statement regretting the incident that Cuba described as a serious terrorist attack.
However, neither the US Department of States nor the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have even made a formal public condemnation, ambassador Cabañas warned in an interview with Prensa Latina.
Instead, Pompeo, referring to Cuba a day after the attack, spoke out against Cuban medical brigades that provide assistance to dozens of countries in the world, the diplomat emphasized.
U.S. congressmen condemn armed attack on Cuban embassy (CubaSi, May 8, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th May 2020, 01:52 AM   #722
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Bruno Rodríguez speaks with the press regarding attack on Cuban embassy in the United States (Granma.cu, May 12, 2020)
Terrorist attack on Cuban embassy is the result of the U.S. government's hateful policy (Granma.cu, May 13, 2020)
Attack on Cuban embassy in Washington brings complicit silence from U.S. government (Granma.cu, May 13-14, 2020)
Quote:
The Foreign Minister noted that Alazo Baró planned the attack well in advance, as he had visited the site for exploratory purposes two weeks before the attack.
According to legal documents to which the public has had access, “Alazo Baró visited a hospital, where he surely expressed his feelings and delusions of persecution by alleged Cuban criminal groups and the Cuban government itself, and subsequently visited the offices of several law enforcement agencies, that is, several United States national security agencies, to make accusations against our government and to denounce its alleged intention to kill him.
“It is the responsibility of the United States government to explain what follow-up was given to these accusations by Alazo Baró and what action was taken when an individual with these characteristics and background makes accusations … against a country with a diplomatic seat in U.S. territory,” Rodríguez continued.
He insisted, “I must say that negligence is evident in the conduct of the United States government, which did not act on information of this nature.”
U.S. government silence denounced (Granma.cu, May 15, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th May 2020, 06:06 AM   #723
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
I guess it was to be expected that the State Department wouldn't share information with Cuba about the attacker's connections in Miami:
Twenty days of complicit silence (Granma.cu, May 21, 2020)


The Nobel Peace Prize is not awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, but by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, so the Cuban medical brigades may actually have a chance of being awarded:
Quote:
More than 40 European organizations are backing a proposal to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Cuban medical brigades of the Henry Reeve Contingent, for their contribution to the global battle against COVID-19.
Launched April 28 by the associations Cuba Linda and France Cuba, the initiative has thus far received the support of solidarity groups, political organizations and unions in France, Spain, Ireland and Italy, and thousands of Internet users on the Facebook page “Prix Nobel de la paix pour les brigades médicales cubaines Henry Reeve.”
Some supporters of the effort to recognize Cuban physicians advocate extending the campaign with an international committee.
Nobel Peace Prize for Cuban doctors continues to gain supporters (Granma.cu, May 27, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th September 2020, 01:39 AM   #724
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Picking up from the post above: Interesting that Trump is now competing with the Cuban doctors for the 'Noble' Peace Prize:
Trump's nomination makes a mockery of the Nobel Peace Prize (Independent, Sep. 12, 2020)

However, I doubt that he stands a better chance of getting it than of getting the one he claims he already got:
Trump boasts about getting 'Bay of Pigs award' - which doesn't exist (Guardian, Sep. 13, 2020)
Trump Brags About Receiving Nonexistent 'Bay Of Pigs' Award From Cuban Community (HuffPost, Sep. 14, 2020)

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Maybe he should go for the one in medicine instead, for his bleach & UV-light idea ...

Deadly politics: Cuba’s Covid-19 treatment and U.S. refusal to save lives (TheFinalCall, Sep. 1, 2020)


I haven't seen any news about the alleged sonic (or whatever) attacks for about six months. I guess the Cuban healthcare workers and researchers are busy fighting the virus like in most other countries but with more success than most.
They are also developing a Cuban vaccine: Second group of volunteers join Soberana clinical trials (Granma.cu, Sep. 10, 2020)
But I did find this from William A. Yost, PhD, Spatial Hearing Laboratory, whom I've mentioned before in this thread. In April, he summed up the most recent discoveries, and about Friedman's Canadian study in particular he wrote:

Quote:
The study pointed out that Cuba had an extensive mosquito-spraying program, which was intensified close to the time of the reported attack to deal with the Zika virus. Some of the measures obtained in the study were consistent with a neurotoxic effect that could be due to the ingredients in the pesticides used in Cuba. As I suggested in my previous letter to the editor, such neurotoxins could affect the single arterial system that serves the brainstem and the inner ear.
So a sonic cause is becoming less and less likely. However, as Friedman, et al., correctly noted, “Other causes cannot be ruled out.” More data and less speculation are needed.
The first meeting of the NAS Committee was on Dec. 18, 2019, and the second meeting on Feb. 24, 2020. The committee has not published any reports to date, so the next evidence related to this on-going mystery will probably come when the NAS Committee issues its report sometime later this year.
Was There Really a ‘Sonic Attack’ in Cuba and China? (HearingJournal, April 2020)
__________________
/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

Last edited by dann; 15th September 2020 at 01:49 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th November 2020, 01:06 PM   #725
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Article in the NYT about the inconsistencies in the way the State Department has treated the alleged attacks on U.S. diplomats and spies in Cuba, China and Russia:

Quote:
American officials in China, Cuba and Russia say U.S. agencies are concealing the true extent of the episodes, leaving colleagues vulnerable to hostile actions abroad.
(…)
One of the biggest questions centers on whether Trump administration officials believe that Mr. Lenzi and other diplomats in China experienced the same mysterious affliction as dozens of diplomats and spies at the American Embassy in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, which came to be known as Havana Syndrome. American employees in the two countries reported hearing strange sounds, followed by headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and memory loss.

But the government’s treatment of the episodes has been radically different. The State Department, which oversaw the cases, has produced inconsistent assessments of patients and events, ignored outside medical diagnoses and withheld basic information from Congress, a New York Times investigation found.

In Cuba, the Trump administration withdrew most of its staff members from the embassy and issued a travel warning, saying U.S. diplomats had experienced “targeted attacks.” President Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington and started an independent review, though Cuba denied any involvement.
The administration took a softer approach with China. In May 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was the C.I.A. director during the Cuba events, told lawmakers that the medical details of one American official who had fallen ill in China were “very similar and entirely consistent” with the syndrome in Cuba. The administration evacuated more than a dozen federal employees and some of their family members.

The State Department soon retreated, labeling what happened in China as “health incidents.” While the officers in Cuba were placed on administrative leave for rehabilitation, those in China initially had to use sick days and unpaid leave, some officers and their lawyers say. And the State Department did not open an investigation into what happened in China.
U.S. Diplomats and Spies Battle Trump Administration Over Suspected Attacks (NYT, Oct. 19, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th December 2020, 01:54 AM   #726
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
From sonic attacks to directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy

Quote:
The mysterious head injuries suffered by US diplomatic staff in China and Cuba that had been described as "sonic attacks" are consistent with the use of directed microwave energy, according to a report published Saturday by the National Academy of Sciences.
"Overall, directed pulsed RF (radio frequency) energy, especially in those with the distinct early manifestations, appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered," the report said.
'Sonic attacks' suffered by US diplomats likely caused by microwave energy, government study says (CNN, Dec. 5, 2020)

I have not yet read the full report, but sentences like these:
Quote:
after considering the information available to it and a set of possible mechanisms, the committee felt (!) that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms and observations reported by DOS employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy. (...) Other (!) mechanisms may (!) play reinforcing or additive effects ...
and these:
Quote:
The committee is left with a number of concerns. Even though it was not in a position to assess or comment on how these DOS cases arose, such as a possible source of directed, pulsed RF energy and the exact circumstances of the putative exposures, the mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others, as if the U.S. government does not have its hands full already with naturally occurring threats.
make me wonder how the hell the CNN can come up with a sentence like this one:
Quote:
Most of the documented attacks came in 2016 and 2017, though there were a handful of reported incidents after that as well.
There obviously never were any documented attacks. The report is based on an imaginary scenario including imaginary disinhibited malevolent actors and their new imaginary tools for causing harm to others.

The symptoms of the victims don't even match up with their imaginary directed, pulsed RF energy device ("patient clinical heterogeneity", from the Summary!), which is why they need to bring in the imaginary other 'mechanisms' and their reinforcing or additive effects.

It makes me wonder how many of the committee members were directly appointed by the Trump administration and its State Department.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th December 2020, 02:09 AM   #727
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Quote:
The NAS report does not definitively conclude that the energy was delivered intentionally but also does not rule out the possibility that a weapon was used to deliver the energy.
There is also no evidence to definitively say if any foreign power was behind the microwave energy, though NBC previously reported that intelligence officials considered Russia a prime suspect.
A source familiar with the symptoms told NBC News, which was the first to report on the findings from NAS, that the CIA had determined Russian operatives who had worked on microwave weapons were in the same cities as CIA agents at the time they began experiencing the neurological symptoms.
Mysterious illness targeting US diplomats in China, Cuba likely the result of microwave energy: report (TheHill, Dec. 5, 2020)

And what about the crickets? Won't somebody please think of the crickets?
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th December 2020, 07:53 AM   #728
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Wikipedia's page about the 'Havana Syndrome' was updated a couple of hours ago and now claims:

Quote:
The Hotel Nacional in Havana is one of the locations the alleged attacks occurred.[1]
Symptoms Hearing strange grating noises, headache, hearing loss, memory loss, and nausea
Causes Likely caused by directed microwaves[2]
Havana syndrome (Wikipedia)
Footnote 2 is a link to an article from BBC News today: 'Havana syndrome' likely caused by directed microwaves - US report, but the addition "- US report" in the BBC title makes it clear how bloody unlikely it is that the brain damage of the US spies and diplomats was caused by directed microwaves.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th December 2020, 02:56 AM   #729
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
I hope that some serious journalists will do a little more than just copy-paste the AP story about the new report from the National Academy of Sciences, An Assessment of Illness in U.S. Government Employees and Their Families at Overseas Embassies, but I haven't seen any so far.

However, when googling it, I noticed that Havana Syndrome - Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria by Robert W. Baloh and Robert E. Bartholomew has been published.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th December 2020, 04:47 AM   #730
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 96,054
Originally Posted by dann View Post
I hope that some serious journalists will do a little more than just copy-paste the AP story about the new report from the National Academy of Sciences, An Assessment of Illness in U.S. Government Employees and Their Families at Overseas Embassies, but I haven't seen any so far.

However, when googling it, I noticed that Havana Syndrome - Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story behind the Embassy Mystery and Hysteria by Robert W. Baloh and Robert E. Bartholomew has been published.
I’ll add that to my watch list - when it comes down in price I’ll buy it.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th December 2020, 04:50 AM   #731
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 96,054
dann - Meant to post a thanks a few times, I’ve found this topic to be fascinating and your links and posts have been a superb resource.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th December 2020, 06:02 AM   #732
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
You already did post a thanks.
You can rent the Kindle version of the Bartholomew/Baloh book for $2.82. I don't know if they have a similar option on .co.uk.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th December 2020, 11:38 PM   #733
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 26,337
Originally Posted by dann View Post
It makes me wonder how many of the committee members were directly appointed by the Trump administration and its State Department.
This is one of the more irritating aspects of your style of argumentation. It is of course trivially easy and well within your capability to actually find out as a matter of simple fact how many - if any - of the committee members were political appointees; but you are far more interested in insinuating for rhetorical purposes that the committee and its report is politically tainted by "wondering how many" than you are in verifying whether it's actually true that there were in fact any at all (spoiler alert: there weren't).

If you had any amount of background knowledge about what the National Academy of Sciences actually is, you'd know that your insinuation doesn't make sense. The Academy can be asked for independent advice or assistance by the US government (indeed that's one of its primary purposes) but is itself a private, non-governmental organization. The current president attained her position before Trump became president.
The members of the committee that produced the report in question are named in the report itself and are all Academy members or members of equivalent foreign bodies, and Academy membership is not "appointed" by the Trump administration or any other political or governmental body. Potential members can only be nominated by existing members and they are elected only by the membership at large. And there are some fairly comprehensive requirements for a nomination as far as publishing and scientific achievement goes. Being elected to the National Academy of Sciences is what amounts to the pinnacle of a scientific career in the United States; the Academy aren't just a random collection of PhD's, they're essentially the most accomplished American scientists in their respective fields of research.

No source is absolutely unimpeachable when it comes to scientific studies; but the NAS collectively has a combination of expertise, achievement, and experience that makes what they have to say worth seriously considering, and not flippantly dismissing on the basis of snippets from press reports that sound like they may contradict what you have already decided to be true.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002

Last edited by Checkmite; 7th December 2020 at 11:42 PM.
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th December 2020, 02:26 AM   #734
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
This is one of the more irritating aspects of your style of argumentation. It is of course trivially easy and well within your capability to actually find out as a matter of simple fact how many - if any - of the committee members were political appointees; but you are far more interested in insinuating for rhetorical purposes that the committee and its report is politically tainted by "wondering how many" than you are in verifying whether it's actually true that there were in fact any at all (spoiler alert: there weren't).

I truly wonder, and I don't do so for "rhetorical purposes". Since the election, Trump has been busy placing his people everywhere. I wouldn't know how "to actually find out as a matter of simple fact how many - if any - of the committee members were political appointees."

Quote:
If you had any amount of background knowledge about what the National Academy of Sciences actually is, you'd know that your insinuation doesn't make sense. The Academy can be asked for independent advice or assistance by the US government (indeed that's one of its primary purposes) but is itself a private, non-governmental organization. The current president attained her position before Trump became president.

I don't have "any amount of background knowledge about what the National Academy of Sciences actually is" at all.

Quote:
The members of the committee that produced the report in question are named in the report itself and are all Academy members or members of equivalent foreign bodies, and Academy membership is not "appointed" by the Trump administration or any other political or governmental body. Potential members can only be nominated by existing members and they are elected only by the membership at large. And there are some fairly comprehensive requirements for a nomination as far as publishing and scientific achievement goes. Being elected to the National Academy of Sciences is what amounts to the pinnacle of a scientific career in the United States; the Academy aren't just a random collection of PhD's, they're essentially the most accomplished American scientists in their respective fields of research.

I never claimed that they were "just a random collection of PhD's." On the contrary.
You are obviously in awe of the organization. I am not. When I'm not, it is based on what I have read of and about this report so far and on total ignorance of the organization behind it.

Quote:
No source is absolutely unimpeachable when it comes to scientific studies; but the NAS collectively has a combination of expertise, achievement, and experience that makes what they have to say worth seriously considering, and not flippantly dismissing on the basis of snippets from press reports that sound like they may contradict what you have already decided to be true.

My dismissal isn't based on "snippets from press reports," but it is obvious that the press reports "contradict what I have already" come to think is true based on all the things I have read so far. In the case of the press reports, I attribute it to copy-pasting. So far, the newspaper reports seem to have simply been based on the AP summary. That is always the easiest thing to do, isn't it?! To copy-paste the snippets from press reports.
However, the snippets I presented you with in post 726 weren't from the press reports:


Originally Posted by dann View Post
I have not yet read the full report, but sentences like these:
Quote:
after considering the information available to it and a set of possible mechanisms, the committee felt (!) that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms and observations reported by DOS employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy. (...) Other (!) mechanisms may (!) play reinforcing or additive effects ...
and these:
Quote:
The committee is left with a number of concerns. Even though it was not in a position to assess or comment on how these DOS cases arose, such as a possible source of directed, pulsed RF energy and the exact circumstances of the putative exposures, the mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others, as if the U.S. government does not have its hands full already with naturally occurring threats.
make me wonder how the hell the CNN can come up with a sentence like this one:
Quote:
Most of the documented attacks came in 2016 and 2017, though there were a handful of reported incidents after that as well.
There obviously never were any documented attacks. The report is based on an imaginary scenario including imaginary disinhibited malevolent actors and their new imaginary tools for causing harm to others.

The symptoms of the victims don't even match up with their imaginary directed, pulsed RF energy device ("patient clinical heterogeneity", from the Summary!), which is why they need to bring in the imaginary other 'mechanisms' and their reinforcing or additive effects.

So I have presented you with 'snippets' from the report and complained about how the media, in this case the CNN, have reported it.

That alone is what made "me wonder how many of the committee members were directly appointed by the Trump administration and its State Department."

Does it sound like good, reliable, evidence-based science to you?!

When an alleged scientific committee comes up with science fiction like this, "the mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others," it raises grave concerns in me about a world with disinhibited malevolent scientists who don't even seem to let the facts of the case they were supposed to study 'inhibit' them.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th December 2020, 12:41 AM   #735
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 26,337
Originally Posted by dann View Post
I truly wonder, and I don't do so for "rhetorical purposes". Since the election, Trump has been busy placing his people everywhere. I wouldn't know how "to actually find out as a matter of simple fact how many - if any - of the committee members were political appointees."
Give me a break. You're typing these words on a web browser that is connected to the internet, so you are aware of the existence of the internet and how to use it, which is the only knowledge you need. In a previous post you even managed to, completely independently, search for and find an actual link directly to the report in question; but finding out the most basic publicly-available information about the body that produced it is just beyond your ken? You can't have been "wondering" too hard, if you couldn't be bothered to make even the most trivial effort to answer your own question.


Originally Posted by dann View Post
I don't have "any amount of background knowledge about what the National Academy of Sciences actually is" at all.
As I said, that much is painfully clear.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I never claimed that they were "just a random collection of PhD's." On the contrary.
You are obviously in awe of the organization. I am not. When I'm not, it is based on what I have read of and about this report so far and on total ignorance of the organization behind it.
It's not about having any "awe" of this organization; it's simply about making at least the most basic attempt to know what the hell I'm talking about before I open my mouth to criticize (or apply fingers to keyboard, or however as the case may be). If you have enough self-awareness to know that you are in "total ignorance of the organization behind it", that is probably a useful clue that your flippant dismissal is likewise misinformed and some diligence, or at least a modicum of practical curiosity, would help you form a better or at least a more informed opinion. Insinuating that because the reporting body's conclusion doesn't jibe with your lay opinion on the subject likely means they're either incompetent or made up of "Trump administration appointees" who skewed the results is similar in kind to the thought process that goes, "I personally don't think more people would have voted against Trump than for him, therefore the election numbers have to be the result of massive fraud."


Originally Posted by dann View Post
When an alleged scientific committee comes up with science fiction like this, "the mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others," it raises grave concerns in me about a world with disinhibited malevolent scientists who don't even seem to let the facts of the case they were supposed to study 'inhibit' them.
This opinion of yours is ignorant. You're not even in possession of the "facts of the case" beyond what you've read in sensationalist news articles that you already recognize (or should recognize) are flawed, which makes you frankly unqualified to make the judgements you are making about how consistent the report's conclusions are with said facts.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th December 2020, 01:40 AM   #736
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Give me a break. You're typing these words on a web browser that is connected to the internet, so you are aware of the existence of the internet and how to use it, which is the only knowledge you need. In a previous post you even managed to, completely independently, search for and find an actual link directly to the report in question; but finding out the most basic publicly-available information about the body that produced it is just beyond your ken? You can't have been "wondering" too hard, if you couldn't be bothered to make even the most trivial effort to answer your own question.
As I said, that much is painfully clear.

So you have nothing whatsoever to say about the quotations from the report itself. All you have come up with is your appeal to authority. What you don't seem to understand is that your awe of the organization behind a report is not an argument for the validity of that report.

I don't know about the organization behind the report and I don't care about that organization. You are free to admire it as much as you want. I am only interested in what they say in that report.
You, apparently, are not! Otherwise, you might have used the link I provided you with, not to the organization, but to the report issued by that organization, but the report doesn't seem to interest you at all.

Quote:
It's not about having any "awe" of this organization; it's simply about making at least the most basic attempt to know what the hell I'm talking about before I open my mouth to criticize (or apply fingers to keyboard, or however as the case may be). If you have enough self-awareness to know that you are in "total ignorance of the organization behind it", that is probably a useful clue that your flippant dismissal is likewise misinformed and some diligence, or at least a modicum of practical curiosity, would help you form a better or at least a more informed opinion. Insinuating that because the reporting body's conclusion doesn't jibe with your lay opinion on the subject likely means they're either incompetent or made up of "Trump administration appointees" who skewed the results is similar in kind to the thought process that goes, "I personally don't think more people would have voted against Trump than for him, therefore the election numbers have to be the result of massive fraud."

Much like you in the case of the National Academy of Science, the awe of Trump voters for their president is so big that they don't need to analyze the words that come out of his mouth. All they need to know is that the words are Trump's so they must be true.

Quote:
This opinion of yours is ignorant. You're not even in possession of the "facts of the case" beyond what you've read in sensationalist news articles that you already recognize (or should recognize) are flawed, which makes you frankly unqualified to make the judgements you are making about how consistent the report's conclusions are with said facts.

The facts of the case are that the "sensationalist news articles" are based on a flawed report, which is why one of my quotations from that report appears in many of those articles.
As it is often the case, the report itself, if you go into a little more detail, is not as sensationalist as the sensationalist preface to it, which some of the news articles have discovered, but this does not prevent the others from basing their headlines exclusively on the sensationalist parts of the report - as I assume they were intended to. If the National Academy of Science didn't want that to happen, I assume they wouldn't have provided the journalists with that preface.

It is possible that your appeal to authority in other contexts might not be an appeal to false authority, but in the case of my quotations from the report it is.
If you have anything to say about those quotations, I would be interested in hearing it.
Your admiration for the authority is utterly uninteresting and irrelevant.
__________________
/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

Last edited by dann; 9th December 2020 at 01:44 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th December 2020, 03:03 AM   #737
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Backlash!
Quote:
But scientists who collaborated on the National Academies of Sciences report, commissioned by the US State Department, say that the finding about possible microwave attacks is far from conclusive. Outside experts on microwaves and the mysterious “Havana syndrome,” meanwhile, dismissed it as implausible. One scientist dubbed it “science fiction.”
“In many ways, what we are saying is the US government needs to take this on in a more deliberate and comprehensive manner,” said panel chair David Relman, an infectious disease expert at Stanford. “What is needed is an all-of-government effort to not just study what happened but to anticipate what the future holds.”
The State Department praised the release, saying in a statement released to BuzzFeed News that the report “can add to the data and analyses that may help us come to an eventual conclusion as to what transpired.”
(...)
However, experts in both microwaves and group psychology were highly critical of the report’s conclusions.
“The report does not make a coherent argument why microwaves should be involved,” said University of Pennsylvania bioengineer Kenneth Foster, who first described the mechanism behind the Frey effect in 1974. The effect requires very high power levels to produce barely audible sounds, he said, and it’s not known to cause injuries. “Maybe someone went to the trouble to truck in a large microwave transmitter to cause the employees to hear ‘clicks,’ but there are simpler ways to harass people than that,” he said.
Scientists Are Slamming a Report Saying Microwave Attacks Could Have Caused ‘Havana Syndrome’ In US Diplomats (BuzzFeedNews, Dec. 7, 2020)
__________________
/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

Last edited by dann; 9th December 2020 at 03:06 AM.
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th December 2020, 04:36 AM   #738
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I’ll add that to my watch list - when it comes down in price I’ll buy it.

Good review of the book: The Curious Case of ‘Havana Syndrome’ (NationalReview, Aug. 22, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 01:55 AM   #739
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
For those of you who are interested in a discussion of the technical side of a "directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy" weapon, I can recommend the reader comments to the article, US diplomats’ brain injuries may be from covert microwave attack, experts say (ArsTechnica, Dec. 10, 2020).

The writer of this article, unlike the writer of the BuzzFeedNews article, has not asked other researchers for comments, so it is basically a presentation of the report and its conclusions.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 07:57 AM   #740
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 85,773
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
...

No source is absolutely unimpeachable when it comes to scientific studies; but the NAS collectively has a combination of expertise, achievement, and experience that makes what they have to say worth seriously considering, and not flippantly dismissing on the basis of snippets from press reports that sound like they may contradict what you have already decided to be true.
So did the CDC before Trump stuck his nose in their business.
__________________
Trump lost and he knows it.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 08:07 AM   #741
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 85,773
So we have this extensive report which I don't have time to read.

It may or may not have been tainted by Trumpian influence. We are talking badmouthing Cuba here, a frequent Trump interest.

It was certainly influenced by the news media's tendency to write sensationalist versions and using "We now know" for studies that actually remain inconclusive.

What I want to know is did they repeat the damage on animals, you know, test the hypothesis? Because that would go a long way toward resolving the somewhat incredible causation conclusion.

My personal bias is there is no there there and I admit that is influencing my POV here.
__________________
Trump lost and he knows it.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 09:53 AM   #742
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,134
A good take on this in Skeptic Magazine.

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room...t-bartholomew/

There certainly appear to be some "issues" with the report. Actual experts in the field were completely ignored.
__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 02:06 PM   #743
Roger Ramjets
Philosopher
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 5,271
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
A good take on this in Skeptic Magazine.

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room...t-bartholomew/

There certainly appear to be some "issues" with the report. Actual experts in the field were completely ignored.
Quote:
Once the State Department had accepted the sonic device explanation, U.S. diplomats who were being posted to Havana “were quietly warned they could face a mysterious threat that was causing American Foreign Service officers to fall ill, some with long-lasting symptoms.” Those diplomats who were about to be posted to Havana were even played audio recordings made by staff in Cuba, of the mysterious sounds that had accompanied their symptoms. These recordings were later identified as crickets and cicadas. These actions encouraged more “attacks” because new Embassy staff were on the lookout for sounds that resembled these very insects. As one Embassy worker told us: “If, prior to deploying to Havana, a government official were given this recording and told it was the hallmark of a debilitating attack, it is completely understandable that said official would arrive in Havana, hear the insects not long after, and fear the worst.”

And there you have it. Yet another conspiracy theory gains traction and gets an undeserved place in history due to ignorance, incompetence, paranoia and partisanship - wreaking lives and damaging international relations. We hold ourselves up as being the rational informed ones, then show that we are no smarter than the rest.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
Roger Ramjets is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 03:34 PM   #744
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
What I want to know is did they repeat the damage on animals, you know, test the hypothesis? Because that would go a long way toward resolving the somewhat incredible causation conclusion.

Microwave weapons do exist, you can do actual damage with them, and they have been tested on more than animals:
Pentagon's crowd control weapon is too terrifying to use (Forbes, Sep. 17, 2020)
In fact, it was suggested that it be used against protesters in Washington when Trump was going to take his walk to his photo shoot with the Bible. (Link in the Forbes article.)
There are several problems, however.
1) The weapon is not exactly discrete. See photo in article.
2) The weapon in the photo is for use outdoors, not through walls.
3) Even the writers of the report are aware that not all of the symptoms can have been caused by any kind of 'microwave cannon', but unfortunately it doesn't make them dismiss the whole idea. Instead they fabulate about additional weapons.

I can recommend Robert Bartholomew's article in Skeptic Magazine, the one Gord_in_Toronto links to: Havana Syndrome Skepticism (Skeptic, Dec. 6, 2020)
It isn't very long.
However, I still wouldn't dismiss Alon Friedman's Canadian study, Havana Syndrome Among Canadian Diplomats: Brain Imaging Reveals Acquired Neurotoxicity, which Bartholomew seems to do.
I don't think that there is much reason to doubt that the majority of the affected 'diplomats' were victims of mass psychogenic illness, but the Canadian researchers have found damages that seem to be consistent with poisoning from the kind of insecticides that were used at the time as protection from Zika.

I haven't yet read the book, so I don't know Bartholomew's argument for (apparently) dismissing the idea that 'patient zero' and a couple of others suffered non-psychological damage (for lack of a better term), setting off the hysteria that would then affect the majority of victims. But some of the defects that were registered also appear to have been entirely unavoidable. People still go deaf for perfectly natural reasons, for instance.

By the way, the leading Cuban researcher on the case, neuroscientist Mitchell Joseph Valdés Sosa of the Cuba Neuroscience Center, actually thinks that the new report has made some progress in comparison to earlier US attempts:
Quote:
“We don’t agree with the radio frequency pulse finding, of course,” Sosa said, “but this is the first time we have US experts acknowledging psychogenic effects could be important.”
Scientists Are Slamming A Report Saying Microwave Attacks Could Have Caused “Havana Syndrome” In US Diplomats (BuzzFeed News, Dec. 7, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 06:51 PM   #745
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 85,773
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Microwave weapons do exist, you can do actual damage with them, and they have been tested on more than animals:
Pentagon's crowd control weapon is too terrifying to use (Forbes, Sep. 17, 2020)
In fact, it was suggested that it be used against protesters in Washington when Trump was going to take his walk to his photo shoot with the Bible. (Link in the Forbes article.)
There are several problems, however.
1) The weapon is not exactly discrete. See photo in article.
2) The weapon in the photo is for use outdoors, not through walls.
3) Even the writers of the report are aware that not all of the symptoms can have been caused by any kind of 'microwave cannon', but unfortunately it doesn't make them dismiss the whole idea. Instead they fabulate about additional weapons.

I can recommend Robert Bartholomew's article in Skeptic Magazine, the one Gord_in_Toronto links to: Havana Syndrome Skepticism (Skeptic, Dec. 6, 2020)
It isn't very long.
However, I still wouldn't dismiss Alon Friedman's Canadian study, Havana Syndrome Among Canadian Diplomats: Brain Imaging Reveals Acquired Neurotoxicity, which Bartholomew seems to do.
I don't think that there is much reason to doubt that the majority of the affected 'diplomats' were victims of mass psychogenic illness, but the Canadian researchers have found damages that seem to be consistent with poisoning from the kind of insecticides that were used at the time as protection from Zika.

I haven't yet read the book, so I don't know Bartholomew's argument for (apparently) dismissing the idea that 'patient zero' and a couple of others suffered non-psychological damage (for lack of a better term), setting off the hysteria that would then affect the majority of victims. But some of the defects that were registered also appear to have been entirely unavoidable. People still go deaf for perfectly natural reasons, for instance.

By the way, the leading Cuban researcher on the case, neuroscientist Mitchell Joseph Valdés Sosa of the Cuba Neuroscience Center, actually thinks that the new report has made some progress in comparison to earlier US attempts:
Isn't that used to blast crowds from single source devices, like the way they use loud noises for crowd control.

They are not comparable.

I'm not buying into any of this without something more than researchers think maybe ...

I've seen this movie many times before with toxic mold (there are extremely rare exceptions), multiple chemical sensitivities, carpet fumes and the like. One thing that stands out, there is always something to be gained be it a lawsuit or workers' comp.

And another thing, there's always someone feeding the beast be it news media or co-workers.

Why aren't we seeing any buildings being torn down now for that toxic mold? (Not to be conflated with flood damage.)
__________________
Trump lost and he knows it.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 11th December 2020 at 06:54 PM.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 07:09 PM   #746
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,134
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Isn't that used to blast crowds from single source devices, like the way they use loud noises for crowd control.

They are not comparable.

I'm not buying into any of this without something more than researchers think maybe ...

I've seen this movie many times before with toxic mold (there are extremely rare exceptions), multiple chemical sensitivities, carpet fumes and the like. One thing that stands out, there is always something to be gained be it a lawsuit or workers' comp.

And another thing, there's always someone feeding the beast be it news media or co-workers.

Why aren't we seeing any buildings being torn down now for that toxic mold? (Not to be conflated with flood damage.)
What additional research /data /information would you need to "buy into it"?

Buildings do get torn down because of Black Toxic Mould as a Goggle search will show you. The Canadian Construction Association manual: Mould guidelines for the Canadian construction industry is here: https://www.cca-acc.com/wp-content/u...elines2018.pdf. It includes DECOMMISSIONING / DEMOLITION CONSIDERATIONS.

__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 07:57 PM   #747
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 85,773
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
What additional research /data /information would you need to "buy into it"?

Buildings do get torn down because of Black Toxic Mould as a Goggle search will show you. The Canadian Construction Association manual: Mould guidelines for the Canadian construction industry is here: https://www.cca-acc.com/wp-content/u...elines2018.pdf. It includes DECOMMISSIONING / DEMOLITION CONSIDERATIONS.

I am familiar with the aftermath of the public outcry about toxic mold. That's why I said flood damage aside.

But about 30 years ago here they were tearing down schools and a 911 call center all on claims that people thought the buildings made them sick. Those costly claims were not based on science, they were based on hysteria.
__________________
Trump lost and he knows it.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 09:42 PM   #748
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 26,337
Originally Posted by dann View Post
As it is often the case, the report itself, if you go into a little more detail, is not as sensationalist as the sensationalist preface to it
Imagine that. Utterly shocking.
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 09:45 PM   #749
Checkmite
Skepticifimisticalationist
 
Checkmite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 26,337
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So we have this extensive report which I don't have time to read.

It may or may not have been tainted by Trumpian influence. We are talking badmouthing Cuba here, a frequent Trump interest.
It wasn't. The NAS is an independent, non-governmental body, no member of which was installed, nominated, or appointed by Trump or anyone within his administration. As with the election, it is only some individuals' unhappiness with the conclusion that has led them to insinuate "fraud".
__________________
"¿WHAT KIND OF BIRD?
¿A PARANORMAL BIRD?"
--- Carlos S., 2002
Checkmite is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 11:48 PM   #750
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
What additional research /data /information would you need to "buy into it"?

Buildings do get torn down because of Black Toxic Mould as a Goggle search will show you. The Canadian Construction Association manual: Mould guidelines for the Canadian construction industry is here: https://www.cca-acc.com/wp-content/u...elines2018.pdf. It includes DECOMMISSIONING / DEMOLITION CONSIDERATIONS.

Sick building syndrome has appeared in this thread a couple of times. (And Wikipedia's article about Sick building syndrome refers to the article about Havana Syndrome in its list of See also links.)

Yes, buildings get torn down all the time because of mold, but it is usually because mold affects the building rather than its inhabitants. Mold is also a symptom that the building may be too damp, which in itself is not healthy for a variety of reasons:
Mold 101: Effects on Human Health (National Capital Poison Control)
It's a long article, but you can scroll down to Take-Home Messages.

You should also notice that many of the links you get when you do a Google search are the ones that the Poison Control warns you against:
Quote:
People who feel they are ill should seek medical care to establish a diagnosis and course of treatment, rather than relying on self-appointed "experts" who advertise unfounded "cures" on the internet.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th December 2020, 11:54 PM   #751
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
It wasn't. The NAS is an independent, non-governmental body, no member of which was installed, nominated, or appointed by Trump or anyone within his administration. As with the election, it is only some individuals' unhappiness with the conclusion that has led them to insinuate "fraud".

I suppose this is the reason why you seem to find it unnecessary to comment on the quotations form the report in post 726?
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th December 2020, 09:49 AM   #752
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Isn't that used to blast crowds from single source devices, like the way they use loud noises for crowd control.

They are not comparable.

I'm not buying into any of this without something more than researchers think maybe ...

This article is from before the NSA report:

Quote:
Do these weapons really exist?
Dr Galliott said they "most certainly" do.
(…)
What does it look like?
They're known to be quite big.
Dr Galliott said the machines he has seen, and is aware of, are quite large because of the energy required to operate them.
He said it needs a good power outlet or a facility for them to operate, or mounted on top of large vehicles which have separate energy sources like on Humvees or ships.
What's a microwave weapon and is the Havana Syndrome real? (ABC News, Oct. 22, 2020)

So it is not so much that microwave weapons don't exist or that they can't be used to harm people. It is a question of no such weapon being sighted or in some other way detected in Havana or Guangzhou by the U.S. authorities, who can be assumed to be on the lookout for all kinds of sinister rays at or near their embassies or consulates - in particular in countries that they consider to be enemy territory.
That the 'diplomats' are supposed to have been harmed by the alleged weapons indoors doesn't make it more likely that these alleged attacks actually occurred.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th December 2020, 10:06 AM   #753
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
The two articles mentioned above in BuzzFeed News and Skeptic Magazine have gone almost unnoticed by the mainstream media, but the Skeptic Magazine article was mentioned in the Readers' comments in the ArsTechnica article, and there is a link to BuzzFeed News in this article:

Quote:
Frey discovered that following exposure to microwave radiation, humans can experience pressure on the head as well as hearing a "buzz, clicking, hiss or knocking" sound at certain frequencies.

Which all sounds very sci-fi. However, there are reasons to be skeptical about microwave weapons being the cause of Havana Syndrome. Extremely skeptical, in fact.
First, the report itself did not seek to prove that pulsed radio frequency energy was the cause of the strange symptoms, but instead ruled it as the most plausible of the explanations they have and suggestions that Russia may have developed these weapons during the Soviet era are highly speculative. More importantly, there is no evidence that such weapons do exist or could exist in a way that would cause the described effects to the embassy employees.

"Not a single person who has attempted to link the symptoms to microwave energy has ever described – based on known engineering and science – what this device what would look like, or how it would operate," DC Bureau Chief of Yahoo News points out on Twitter. "Because that's where the entire story falls apart."
Report Claims Mysterious "Havana Syndrome" Was Most Likely The Result Of Microwave Weapons (IFLScience, Dec. 9, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th December 2020, 10:19 AM   #754
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
It wasn't. The NAS is an independent, non-governmental body, no member of which was installed, nominated, or appointed by Trump or anyone within his administration. As with the election, it is only some individuals' unhappiness with the conclusion that has led them to insinuate "fraud".

You have said nothing about the quotations from the NAS report. Did you at least take a look at the article that Gord_in_Toronto linked to?

Quote:
There is also a concern that those overseeing the panel may have had motives that were driven more by politics than science. For instance, the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists told me that he was invited to join the panel, only to be dropped. The reason: a radio interview he gave in which he espoused the likelihood that Havana Syndrome was psychogenic. This suggests the possibility of a bias against a psychological explanation. This is not only more likely and is grounded in known science, it is by far the more embarrassing explanation for the physicians at the State Department who, early in the outbreak, may have mistaken the sounds of crickets and cicadas for an attack by a hostile foreign power. Curiously, it is the State Department who commissioned the study. Coincidence? While this is speculation, what is not conjecture is the glaring failure of the panel to evaluate evidence that was laying in plain sight.
Havana Syndrome Skepticism (Skeptic Magazine, Dec. , 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th December 2020, 12:38 PM   #755
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
One from Ireland:
Quote:
The American study, which was commissioned by the US State Department and published on December 6, gave no scientific evidence to prove the existence of the radio frequency waves claimed to have caused the illnesses, Velazquez said.
"Cuba's Academy of Sciences disagrees with the final conclusion regarding the causes of the ailments," the Cuban academy said in its statement, which was read to reporters by Velazquez.
Velazquez complained that due to the lack of communication between the scientists of the two countries, neither the American nor the Cuban side had a clear picture of what had happened to the staff at the US embassy.
"Investigation about these health ailments has suffered from a lack of fluid communication between US and Cuban scientists," he said.
Cuba Rejects US Claim of Microwave Energy Attacks (FARSnews.ir, Dec. 16, 2020)

Three from Cuba - google translated:
Quote:
La Academia de Ciencias de Cuba refutó este martes un informe de las Academias Nacionales de Ciencias, Ingeniería y Medicina de Estados Unidos, que relaciona a microondas de alta potencia con los supuestos incidentes de salud sufridos por diplomáticos estadounidenses y sus familiares en La Habana
Cuba rechaza politización de supuestos incidentes de salud de diplomáticos de EE.UU. (Granma.cu, Dec. 16, 2020)
On Tuesday, the Cuban Academy of Sciences refuted a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine of the United States, which links high-power microwaves with alleged health incidents suffered by American diplomats and their families in Havana
Cuba rejects politicization of alleged health incidents of US diplomats

Otra vez el sainete sónico (Granma.cu, Dec. 16, 2020)
Once again, the sonic comedy

Quote:
El informe no proporciona evidencias científicas de que existieran ondas de radiofrecuencia de gran intensidad en el área donde se ubicaron los diplomáticos (y de hecho, investigaciones ambientales realizadas en Cuba han descartado esta hipótesis). La falta de evidencias suficientes fue considerada en el reporte como motivo para dudar fuertemente de una intoxicación por pesticidas, un origen infeccioso o un desencadenante psicológico como causa de los síntomas; sin embargo, no se aplicó la misma lógica a la hipótesis de microondas (para la cual hay todavía menos evidencias).
(...)
Un tema importante abordado por el reporte es la enorme heterogeneidad de los síntomas dentro y entre las cohortes evaluadas en diferentes sitios. Esto hace que la propuesta de un síndrome novedoso homogéneo, provocado por una única causa, sea insostenible y muy improbable. También es relevante que el Comité Permanente reconoce que los trastornos neurológicos funcionales y los factores psicógenos podrían haber jugado un papel importante en exacerbar y propagar en el tiempo los síntomas experimentados por los diplomáticos.
Los Institutos Nacionales de Salud identificaron el mareo persistente postural-perceptivo, un trastorno neurológico funcional, en aproximadamente una cuarta parte de los diplomáticos que examinaron. Esta es la primera vez que un organismo científico estadounidense considera tal posibilidad, la que se ha postulado de manera convincente en la literatura científica como un factor contribuyente (y en algunos casos como causal) a estos incidentes de salud.
Supuestos «atáques sónicos»: Academia de Ciencias de Cuba discrepa sobre conclusión de academia estadounidense (Granma.cu, Dec. 15, 2020)
The report does not provide scientific evidence that high-intensity radio frequency waves existed in the area where the diplomats were located (and in fact, environmental investigations carried out in Cuba have ruled out this hypothesis). The lack of sufficient evidence was considered in the report as a reason to strongly doubt a pesticide poisoning, an infectious origin or a psychological trigger as the cause of the symptoms; however, the same logic was not applied to the microwave hypothesis (for which there is even less evidence).
(...)
An important issue addressed by the report is the enormous heterogeneity of symptoms within and between the cohorts evaluated at different sites. This makes the proposal for a homogeneous novel syndrome, caused by a single cause, unsustainable and highly unlikely. It is also relevant that the Standing Committee recognizes that functional neurological disorders and psychogenic factors could have played an important role in exacerbating and spreading over time the symptoms experienced by diplomats.
The National Institutes of Health identified persistent postural-perceptual dizziness, a functional neurological disorder, in about a quarter of the diplomats they examined. This is the first time that an American scientific body has considered such a possibility, which has been convincingly posited in the scientific literature as a contributing (and in some cases causal) factor to these health incidents.
Alleged "sonic attacks": Cuban Academy of Sciences disagrees on conclusion of US academy

This article is much longer than the two others - and much longer than the few excerpts above.
I find it particularly interesting that Cuban and Canadian researchers are still cooperation on a project investigating the pesticide hypothesis:
Quote:
The ailments reported by diplomats and their families should be considered and treated as a health problem, not as a political issue. The collaboration bears fruit, as evidenced by Cuban and Canadian scientists studying similar health incidents, who have established a productive discussion, organized joint workshops, and are currently developing a collaborative research project to assess people exposed to pesticides in La Havana.
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th December 2020, 08:35 PM   #756
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 85,773
Backs up what I think.

Thanks.
__________________
Trump lost and he knows it.
Skeptic Ginger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th December 2020, 03:01 PM   #757
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
It is clear that the invention of the 'Havana Syndrome' was meant as a justification for policies like this:

Quote:
US officials told the Times that the proposal to re-designate Cuba to the terrorism list stemmed from the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs -- as opposed to its Counterterrorism Bureau, which would normally be heavily involved in such a move. Former Obama foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes told the Times that the divergence from standard planning protocol "is a sign that they know they can't get Cuba on the list on the merits."
New York Times: Pompeo to consider designating Cuba a terrorism sponsor (CNN, Dec. 30, 2020)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th January 2021, 11:14 AM   #758
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
New podcast (16 min.) from Brian Dunning - includes transcript:

Quote:
It bears repeating that intense pain from heat bears no similarity to any of the symptoms reported by the embassy workers in Havana. A government report published in 2020, An Assessment of Illness in U.S. Government Employees and Their Families at Overseas Embassies, cited the microwave auditory effect as being consistent with some of the symptoms. But this is a poor match; the only similarity is that some people reported hearing sounds, but completely unrelated types of sounds. Much of the rest of the paper's section on "Plausible Mechanisms" is highly speculative, and indeed its summary of an imaginary microwave weapon includes the blatantly false assertion that "known RF effects" include "dizziness, headache, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, cognitive deficits, and memory loss." No. Radio is all around us, and there is no evidence that it causes any of these things.

Unfortunately, the reporters who trumpeted "microwave weapon" as having been identified as the cause of Havana Syndrome ignored that it was only one of five possible causes discussed in the paper — the last of which was "Psychological and social factors", the only one that checks all the boxes, and the one broadly agreed upon as the true explanation.
Havana Syndrome, Microwaves, and Hearing RF (Skeptoid Podcast #761, Jan. 5, 2021)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th January 2021, 02:20 PM   #759
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 13,257
What the 'health attacks' were supposed to justify all along:
Quote:
The decision is a part of a blitz of 11th-hour moves by the Trump administration to push through hard-line policies championed by influential domestic political constituencies, despite the complications they will create for State Department lawyers, humanitarian interests abroad and the incoming Biden administration.
“This blatantly politicized designation makes a mockery of what had been a credible, objective measure of a foreign government’s active support for terrorism,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). “Nothing remotely like that exists here. In fact, domestic terrorism in the United States poses a far greater threat to Americans than Cuba does.”
(...)
During the pandemic, Cuba’s relationship with the Trump administration has deteriorated ever further. Cuba’s deployment of its medical brigades to a host of nations facing shortages of medical staffers, including Italy, drew words (of) appreciation from host countries but stiff condemnations by Washington, which accused the Cubans of forcing doctors to work for next nothing.
On its way out the door, Trump administration names Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism (WP, Jan. 11, 2021)
__________________
/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
dann is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th January 2021, 04:15 PM   #760
Captain_Swoop
Penultimate Amazing
 
Captain_Swoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 31,342
Pompeo has just announced that the U.S. is re-designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Captain_Swoop is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:26 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.