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Author: Subject: Chance for a Voice!
smaerd
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[*] posted on 7-1-2013 at 13:49
Chance for a Voice!


'HoustonJourno' a member U2U'd me and said that they work for a newspaper called "The Houston Chronicle". They said they were looking for people in the Houston Tx area for interviews pertaining to amateur science and how post 9/11 has effected the hobby as well as the drug cook fear. I really hope someone who is eloquent and knows the issues gives them a message. We could really use some positive exposure in the media.



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triplepoint
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[*] posted on 7-1-2013 at 18:35


This may seem obvious, but I would caution anyone who participates to be careful. This may be good for amateur chemistry, but it could also focus unwanted attention on interviewees if you do not take care to shield personal identifiable information. I would also urge any participants not to get too specific about what laws they break and how they circumvent restrictions. The more such discussion is circulated, the more likely it is to draw a response from law enforcement and trigger attempts to shut us down by "plugging loopholes". There is something to be said for flying under the radar. Security through obscurity.:cool:



Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the show?
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smaerd
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[*] posted on 8-1-2013 at 07:01


Good point, yea I'm not in the area, but I figured someone could help them out and still remain anonymous in some way. I just told them some basics about some of the discoveries that changed the world that were made by amateurs and how we're poorly understood in society. edit - found it kind of weird they didn't make a thread.

[Edited on 8-1-2013 by smaerd]




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Wizzard
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[*] posted on 8-1-2013 at 07:34


How many people is this interviewer expecing to find??

Screams a 'sting' if you ask me.
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watson.fawkes
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[*] posted on 8-1-2013 at 07:47


Quote: Originally posted by Wizzard  
Screams a 'sting' if you ask me.
If they're actually working for the Houston Chronicle, they should be willing to disclose their name, have an email address there, and have verifiable employment. Seems like a small bit of counter-investigation is called for.
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HoustonJourno
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[*] posted on 8-1-2013 at 10:44


It's not a sting, I promise!

I also understand that I'll have to be very sensitive about how I report this so that I don't create negative repercussions for anyone. I'm very open to suggestion about the best way to approach this. You guys are the experts, not me. I know not everyone is a good practitioner of this, but No. 2 on the journalism code of ethics is "Minimize harm." This isn't something I'm going to turn around and write in a day. I want to spend the time to get this one right.

For me, the interest in this story came out of my godfather in Arizona (who gave up the hobby, in part, because of challenges acquiring materials) and a couple younger friends that continue despite the difficulties. I also remember the importance of having a good mentor if you're new to chemistry, so with all the challenges I wonder if it's tougher to get started.

Ideally, I would meet at least two people: Someone that's been doing this a long time and seen the changes in public perception throughout the years, and someone who is newer to the hobby.

Give me a call, please.


Jayme Fraser
Houston Chronicle
Desk: (713) 362-7505
Twitter: @JaymeKFraser
Facebook.com/jayme.fraser
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IrC
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[*] posted on 8-1-2013 at 16:21


Good luck finding home chemists in Texas with the useless for crime fighting glassware laws. All they do is kill amateur experimentation and innovation. Destroy the free spirit of the individual entrepreneurship which made America great in days gone by. While doing nothing to stop meth labs operating with kitchen glassware from Walmart. Out of the 50 states Texas is bar none the worst for the home experimenters, yet Texans brag endlessly about how they are the great last bastion of freedom. What a freaking joke. Assuming this is not a hit piece in disguise, that you are serious, do a story about this. No amateur is going to go through the expense and hassle, the endless DEA inspection in their private home to authorize owning glassware. I sure as hell am not going to go to them asking permission for the right to exist. The stupid Texas laws even mention owning a transformer of all things. Publish the lack of success in cutting down on meth labs since they can use common materials for containers. All these laws do is kill forever the chance a home experimenter is going to invent the next great product or process in Texas.




"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
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gregxy
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[*] posted on 9-1-2013 at 11:10


The following article pretty much says it all and was how I
found sciencemaddness.org in the first place. Although I
though the article had an embedded link.


http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/chemistry.html
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HoustonJourno
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[*] posted on 10-1-2013 at 08:53


IrC: I'd love to do a thorough piece about the Texas laws, but since I'm not a columnist I can't write a story that gives voice to that if I can't find someone to speak with me. :(

gregxy: Thanks so much for posting! I remember reading that years ago.
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learningChem
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[*] posted on 10-1-2013 at 13:27


It's important to let the peasants have a 'voice' once in a while, so that the charade of the 'free society' can be maintained.

[Edited on 10-1-2013 by learningChem]
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IrC
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[*] posted on 10-1-2013 at 23:35


Quote: Originally posted by HoustonJourno  
IrC: I'd love to do a thorough piece about the Texas laws, but since I'm not a columnist I can't write a story that gives voice to that if I can't find someone to speak with me. :(

gregxy: Thanks so much for posting! I remember reading that years ago.


I'm not in Texas so I cannot help you but keep bumping the thread up once in a while, I am sure some members here are in your area.

In 74 I lived there for a while. I have turned down a couple chances to move back in the last decade (one to do with business and the 2nd after family members moved there), because of the laws you now have. No fun in life without mad science.





"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
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IrC
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[*] posted on 14-1-2013 at 18:32


http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/RegulatoryServices/narcotics/na...

Thought I would put this link here for the reporter. Found the link on another thread, one about NaOH.

Possibly he could read this and give an opinion.




"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
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jimmyboy
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[*] posted on 15-1-2013 at 19:16


against my better judgement I am going to open my mouth..

Even if Jayme produced a glowing review other papers and news stations may not be so nice and there is no way he/she can vouch for them
- the people in Texas and in our nation perceive chemists as a threat and with a drug war going on in Juarez and people getting killed on Falcon Lake you can't really blame them for being hostile
- Texas is NOT the place to be a independent chemist
- Texas does have scientists ex. Rice University but most of their innovations are in the Nanotech and Electronic fields I don't hear about too many new medicines or antibiotics being developed in our state
- I think all the polemics and witch hunting by the Texas Rangers and other LEO's in the state has successfully gutted any chance of chemistry innovations now and for the foreseeable future - that is why most pharm companies are located up north NY NJ Illinois Indiana .. and the other half in Europe where they have been established for decades
- in Texas you are guilty until proven innocent if you are found with lye ammonia hotplates lab scales or glassware in your home which may make learning about science a tad bit stifling considering those are pretty much a basic requirement
- I didn't learn about "REAL chemistry" until leaving school almost all the libraries in Texas are full of decrepit old books from the 1950's it is only the advent of the internet and free information that will save us all and with the spread of information like this we have to "man up" and accept the dangers
- of course all this sharing of info is being threatened.. SOPA ACTA and now the DOJ and Aaron Schwartz
- as long as this continues Texas will be second class when it comes to technology
- Texas is not a bad place for innovation Austin has become a second silicon valley .. Texas Instruments in Houston .. some biotech in Dallas but there is so much room for improvement
- it really disappointed me when Bush cancelled the Texas Supercollider THIS country would have discovered the Higgs particle first and maybe more

I just watched this TED talk .. this is how the established media approaches most independent science

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v...
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[*] posted on 16-1-2013 at 08:04


Quote: Originally posted by jimmyboy  
against my better judgement I am going to open my mouth..

Even if Jayme produced a glowing review other papers and news stations may not be so nice and there is no way he/she can vouch for them
- the people in Texas and in our nation perceive chemists as a threat and with a drug war going on in Juarez and people getting killed on Falcon Lake you can't really blame them for being hostile
- Texas is NOT the place to be a independent chemist
- Texas does have scientists ex. Rice University but most of their innovations are in the Nanotech and Electronic fields I don't hear about too many new medicines or antibiotics being developed in our state
- I think all the polemics and witch hunting by the Texas Rangers and other LEO's in the state has successfully gutted any chance of chemistry innovations now and for the foreseeable future - that is why most pharm companies are located up north NY NJ Illinois Indiana .. and the other half in Europe where they have been established for decades
- in Texas you are guilty until proven innocent if you are found with lye ammonia hotplates lab scales or glassware in your home which may make learning about science a tad bit stifling considering those are pretty much a basic requirement
- I didn't learn about "REAL chemistry" until leaving school almost all the libraries in Texas are full of decrepit old books from the 1950's it is only the advent of the internet and free information that will save us all and with the spread of information like this we have to "man up" and accept the dangers
- of course all this sharing of info is being threatened.. SOPA ACTA and now the DOJ and Aaron Schwartz
- as long as this continues Texas will be second class when it comes to technology
- Texas is not a bad place for innovation Austin has become a second silicon valley .. Texas Instruments in Houston .. some biotech in Dallas but there is so much room for improvement
- it really disappointed me when Bush cancelled the Texas Supercollider THIS country would have discovered the Higgs particle first and maybe more

I just watched this TED talk .. this is how the established media approaches most independent science

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v...


Rice Chemistry just picked up a very big name: http://justlikecooking.blogspot.com/2012/09/chemistry-bumper...




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IrC
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[*] posted on 16-1-2013 at 08:59


"against my better judgement I am going to open my mouth."

"Texas is NOT the place to be a independent chemist"

When it comes to robbing my liberty and right to private science, what goes on south of the US border, or with criminals in your state does not justify the laws being passed in relation to it. There is no reason whatsoever to punish innocent law abiding Americans who have a love of amateur science. I do not believe the Mexican military does not have enough soldiers to round up and squash a couple hundred criminal terrorists. The only reason it continues is corrupt local and federal officials who for money and power ALLOW IT. When the citizens have had enough personal loss for others gain they will go out and police their own areas. OH wait. I just read yesterday about armed vigilante groups protecting local communities. Find the officials aiding the crime, the violence, and make examples out of them. This is all the people must do. Emboldened by the actions of the citizens the soldiers serving in fear will begin to act.

If the Mexican government will not stop it then the Mexican people must. Or live in fear and loss forever. When you have nothing left to lose it becomes easy to move against those criminals causing your pain. Here we pay taxes for LEO and lawmakers to put a stop to crime. They fail. They attack the law abiding treating average citizens as criminals. Lawmakers pass feel good laws which serve to further attack the law abiding doing nothing to stop crime. All in the name of more votes, more money, and more power. Which leads to a negative spiral where the average citizen views those in control as no different than the criminals. So they do nothing to help.

A few of us amateurs are different. Recognizing the harm being done to our hobby, to our pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness by the criminals; we turn every one of them in every time we find them. Why? Because the criminals are destroying what we love. We have no wish to be involved in crime yet neither do we appreciate being called criminals because we need items now outlawed for which we have legitimate, lawful use. The only way to stop this is to never give up, never surrender. Stand forever against those criminals causing the terrible loss to our freedom, our pursuit of science, i.e., amateur science. By the way many of us are not so amateur when it comes to science.

What criminals do is not the fault of Law abiding citizens and this punish everyone mantra is destroying society.



[Edited on 1-17-2013 by IrC]




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HoustonJourno
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[*] posted on 16-1-2013 at 13:12


Thanks again for more insight everyone. Hearing about all the challenges in Texas makes me more interested in giving you all a voice. As I've already said, I'm open to suggestions on how to report this sensitively.

jimmyboy: would you be up to chatting with me by phone, email or in-person? You set the terms as far as what is off record v on record.

I guess I'm surprised that generally anti-government Texans have let it go so far and that after this post being up a week no one has called.
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[*] posted on 16-1-2013 at 14:34


^This is not a thread about 9/11.
This is a thread about people speaking up about home chemistry. While you could have made the connection that the aftermath of 9/11 may have led to the increased restrictions for home chemists due to 'terrorism', all you did was post your pictures. Before and after comparisons are easily subjective; what about the other 3 sides of the building? What do these pictures have to do with us home chemists?
My contribution to this is that up north in WA state, there is next to no restriction to access of chemicals, however, public ignorance is still just as high as to what these chemicals are and what they do. (I know I'm not in Houston, TX, but I thought I'd share anyway.)




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learningChem
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[*] posted on 19-1-2013 at 19:46


"What criminals do is not the fault of Law abiding citizens "

Except that 'criminals' actuall exist because of 'law abiding' subjects like you, who are responsible for the 'criminalization' of activities that are legitimate, like production and consumption of 'some' drugs.

You made your bed, you lie in it.
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IrC
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[*] posted on 20-1-2013 at 09:56


Quote: Originally posted by learningChem  
"What criminals do is not the fault of Law abiding citizens "

Except that 'criminals' actuall exist because of 'law abiding' subjects like you, who are responsible for the 'criminalization' of activities that are legitimate, like production and consumption of 'some' drugs.

You made your bed, you lie in it.


What you can do is go fuck yourself. The only person I am responsible for is myself and the only things I am responsible for are things I have done. Clearly you are the product of this 'new age' learning, too bad you never learned to spell or use a spell checker. Always the first sign of those with mental deficits.

By the way I am a citizen not a subject. Subjects are those either too stupid or too cowardly to live free.



[Edited on 1-20-2013 by IrC]




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HoustonJourno
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[*] posted on 20-1-2013 at 16:29


elementcollector1: Good point. Perhaps home chemistry has become a stereotype to be feared because of 9/11 and the actions of other bad guys, but maybe it started before that. (in schools?) Good questions to consider.

P.S. Still looking for someone in the Houston area to chat with.
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[*] posted on 20-1-2013 at 17:17


I'm not in Houston, but seriously, many great scientists were home experimenters, in fact, almost all of them were. Thomas Edison, the Curies, etc, they all worked in their homes, or if they could buy separate places to do experimentation. Now in today's society, stuff like this is basically looked down upon. It is a real shame that there are laws and new age thinking and teaching that is practically condemning a thirst for knowledge and scientific inquiry. That's sad, especially when scientists and engineers are really what move humanity forward.
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learningChem
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[*] posted on 20-1-2013 at 18:44


>By the way I am a citizen not a subject. Subjects are those either too stupid or too cowardly to live free.


You are a pathetic subject of the US government IrC :cool: You either obey your masters or they beat you to a pulp.

>What you can do is go fuck yourself.

Oh, a tough guy...I'm so impressed...




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IrC
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[*] posted on 20-1-2013 at 18:51


Quote: Originally posted by HoustonJourno  
elementcollector1: Good point. Perhaps home chemistry has become a stereotype to be feared because of 9/11 and the actions of other bad guys, but maybe it started before that. (in schools?) Good questions to consider.

P.S. Still looking for someone in the Houston area to chat with.


You might look into chemistry set catalogs, their inventory, against years. You will see a trend, focus on the 1980's. Now compare these years to the rise in communication between average people, beginning with BBS systems and exponentially increasing in the 90's with the rise of the internet. You will find a jump in the numbers of people easily finding recipes and procedures for drug making. As they in greater numbers get raided stories in the media increase. Public awareness rises, LEO and politicians become more aware and the number of new laws steadily increase in response. Another factor is the increase in the number of lawsuits, which more than any new laws passed causes chemistry set makers to voluntarily begin reducing the number of chemicals. As well they focus on removing certain types of chemicals, more related to the worry of lawsuits than any laws being passed. With the increasing negative mindset against chemistry, the worry of lawsuits, combined with decreasing sales one by one they start folding. You no longer see sections in hobby stores dedicated to the 'Perfect' line of products. Another factor is decreasing interest by young people, partially because there is little of interest available. If in the 50's and 60's soap bubble volcanoes was all I could find I would have been studying to be an accountant instead of getting into science. I am quite positive it was the fun, the included risk, or if you will the adrenaline factor that sparked my interest in my pre-teen years.

In any case more than a decade before 911 the industry that catered to young scientists and home chemistry was doomed to oblivion. Everything since has only made it worse. I see the clear connection to the drug cooks thus my attitude towards them. The increasing level of fear and ignorance in society is working rapidly to forever destroy private science.

On a side note think I'll clean the contacts on my DSL connection. I'm starting to notice static and noise in this thread.


[Edited on 1-21-2013 by IrC]




"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" Richard Feynman
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