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Author: Subject: More chemists is the best tactic for more acceptance of chemistry.
entropy51
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[*] posted on 13-12-2009 at 17:35


Quote: Originally posted by quicksilver  
I'm not entirely sure if you've touched upon this but the three (or 4) letter agencies have many many people who are gainfully employed by same....

......A "hobby" is not going to hold a candle to the loss of the income of thousands of people. We are NOT talking about money against money such as why we still have gasoline engines....we are dealing with the same discussion-path as "Could you please tear down the Municipal Court; I want to use that area for a football field".
In effect, the proposal is an exaggeration of "I have a hobby and my recreation may threaten the expansion of your job"...... is a NO WIN proposal.

Some of these agencies (like the DEA) are DAMN strong politically as they also function as Intelligence agencies in addition as their prime target. NO ONE who makes decisions that MAY curtail that platform will even give a wink at the idea of slowing up an agency that may seriously have national security interests as some of it's agenda.
You seem to believe that the Three Letter Agencies sole purpose is to imprison amateur chemists. I think we just get caught up in their net, every now and then. But how often does it happen, really? At one time or another, I've read every thread on this forum. I can't recall a single instance of an innocent amateur chemist going to prison. Have I missed something? I think the people who rant against regulation may actually have something to hide.
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[*] posted on 13-12-2009 at 17:54


Quote:
I think the people who rant against regulation may actually have something to hide.

That, or they can't get the chemicals they would like to play with...




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quicksilver
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[*] posted on 14-12-2009 at 08:35


Quote: Originally posted by entropy51  
[/rquote]You seem to believe that the Three Letter Agencies sole purpose is to imprison amateur chemists. I think we just get caught up in their net, every now and then. But how often does it happen, really? At one time or another, I've read every thread on this forum. I can't recall a single instance of an innocent amateur chemist going to prison. Have I missed something? I think the people who rant against regulation may actually have something to hide.


I think you may have misunderstood where I was going with that statement. My point is that IF someone steps over the line & gets in trouble: then the likelihood of a defense is very weak.
I really don't think that's (3-letter agencies sole purpose) their hunting down of a guy with a chemistry hobby.....but there is a thin line between esoteric hobby's & a new cook on the radar. ...... What's more however, most agencies need to prove their worth by statistics. :(

....That those agencies have so much power - that should they decide that you are guilty of something, you're going to have a tough time. Their inquiries are expensive and most everyone knows that if a cop follows you long enough, he will get SOMETHING to pull you over for to write a citation ( we've all been there). For ANY scrutiny to be abandoned is a waste of money & therefore, it's a subtle "black mark" to their superiors if it happens with any degree of frequency.

I do agree however that person has to really do something pretty foolish to attract their attention and that (in all likelihood,) they are not out there looking for amateur chemists per se'. But make a foolish mistake like ordering a List 1 chemical & I DO believe they won't let it slide if either the office is slow that day OR there has attention attraction previously. In that case you've moved from a amateur chemists to a likely cook.
You could go further & ask what the public believes "amateur chemistry" is, in their view/.....I'd bet it has somewhat negative connotations.



[Edited on 14-12-2009 by quicksilver]
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entropy51
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[*] posted on 14-12-2009 at 14:56


quicksilver, I'm sorry if I misunderstood you. I agree that if you get on their bad side, you're in for a world of hurt. But I think that they sometimes do ignore stupid things like ordering a small amount of something, if the other pieces of the puzzle don't fit:
Quote: Originally posted by entropy51  

I would be interested to hear your opinion of how regulatory discretion plays into all of this. In loose terms, regulatory discretion is a practice sometimes engaged in by the federal agencies wherein they ignore the strict letter of the law for the greater good, typically when the harm done by the violation of the law is minor or non-existent and there is no intent to violate the law. Believe it or not, sometimes the regulators just show good judgement, especially when pursuing a violation is just not worth their effort.

In other words, unless it's a very slow day the DEA has better things to do than go after amateur chemists for no good reason. I think that is the reason that many of us order questionable supplies in small amounts all the time, get reported by the supplier, but generally do not hear the dreaded Knock On The Door.
Along these lines, I suspect that many of us here have been watched at some time or other, and having bigger fish to fry, they did indeed give us a pass as just some science geek.
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[*] posted on 21-12-2009 at 10:01


@ entropy51 :

I was looking all over the Board for a few of those examples (& perhaps I truly misread them) - but I seem to remember some time back some people getting really harassed just for a snoopy meter-reader or mail-man's perception. One of the examples was in the newspaper of the local area where it happened; others had simply added to it with examples of individual inequity.
It was really grotesque, as the legal bills alone would have ruined the "average Joe". But we all know that both perceived & true injustice stands out like a sore thumb.
....I really wish I could have found some of those. One was a "Mom & Pop" science web site or something that got "raided". The authorities smashed up his home on someone's word; not solid evidence.



I did read with interest your own post: "Canadian College Student Arrested for Supposed "Meth Lab""....But I was looking for more vicious examples. I remember when most all of the members of a pyrotechnics club got a "letter" from the CPSC written on Justice Dept. stationary that scared the day-lights out of most everyone. The point was "don't make M80's" (kids get hurt). That's like saying "don't skate blindfolded".....
Reality points to the fact that the harmless majority of us are just too small in number to make any difference.

[Edited on 21-12-2009 by quicksilver]
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entropy51
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[*] posted on 21-12-2009 at 10:35


quicksilver, I think Polverone may have been noticed by a meter reader. My recollection is that someone came out to talk to him about it and that was the end of it. The thread is here somewhere.

Undead Alchemist also had an incident, which he reported here, but that ended well too.

And of course, there is the hapless Mr. Deeb, who apparently had his lab "cleaned up" because of haphazard storage of large amounts of chemicals, but there were no criminal charges, just a bill for cleanup which he was fighting in court, I believe. I certainly would fight it under those circumstances.

Another reported incident involved someone who had other issues with LEO, which I think is a different situation altogether.

I'm sure that innocent chemists have been investigated and harassed, but I just don't think it's that common. I don't think anyone here has reported serious legal difficulties, but maybe they're just not saying. Based on what I read on SM it doesn't occur often enough to justfiy all the whining and paranoia.

I think that if they were really going after amateur chemists, there wouldn't be enough of us left to keep the forum going.
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[*] posted on 22-12-2009 at 11:02


What's funny is that in the broadest sense I agree with you but I am apprehensive to loose my "paranoia". I am one of those folks that thinks that as soon as you stop looking for the bus, you get squashed.

Have a safe & relaxed Holidays!
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entropy51
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[*] posted on 22-12-2009 at 11:06


quicksilver, I am all for being careful and not doing anything dumb. I think keeping a low profile is essential for our hobby, unfortunately.

You enjoy the holidays too.
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