A small number of environmental and animal rights activists employ violence and physical threats in attempts to achieve their goals, and similar tactics have recently been used by another group bent on intimidating scientists: sufferers of “chronic fatigue syndrome.” London’s Observer reported that medical researchers who even suggest that the illness might have a “psychological” component have been subject to vitriolic abuse, stalking, disruptions to the scientists’ workplaces, and even death threats.
In at least one case, the activists succeeded: A psychiatry professor said he had moved his area of research from chronic fatigue to Gulf War syndrome.
“That has taken me to Iraq and Afghanistan where I feel a lot safer.”
And, of course
Although the Patriot Act, drafted in the days after 9-11 and quickly enacted into law, was designed expressly to give prosecutors more leeway to challenge suspected terrorism, one of its key provisions has since then been used more than 100 times as often for drug investigations as for terrorism.
New York magazine reported that “sneak and peek” warrants — enabling searches without notifying the targets — have been obtained only 15 times for terrorism threats but 1,618 times in drug cases.
Chicago’s WLS Radio reported that a man — unnamed in the story — filed a $600,000 lawsuit against the Grossinger City Autoplex in the city, claiming that five employees had physically harassed him during business hours over a two-month period in 2009.
Included was the man’s claim that he had been given multiple “wedgies,” one of which was a “hanging” wedgie.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)