Breeched Wales Bloviating in the Hot Sun

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Friday, January 14, 2005

Hysteric Headlines at CNN

CNN has a news story titled "Florida man faces bioweapon charge" that sounds damn serious. I was thinking perhaps he had something serious like say smallpox, or military grade anthrax. The article itself was pretty hysterical also. It's not just hysteria on the part of the journalist either.

FBI biohazard teams swept the house to ensure that no one in the neighborhood could become contaminated.

The headline had me thinking their was something serious going on till I read the article which was full of inconsistencies.
They said they also found, in a cardboard box in Ekberg's room, glass vials containing white granules suspected of being husk-less, chopped castor beans, a byproduct of the manufacture of ricin.

The FBI said Ekberg has no known ties to terrorists or extremists.

A hazardous-materials team took the substance to the Florida Health Department laboratory in Jacksonville, where it was confirmed to be ricin, the FBI said.

So what did they find? Was it "chopped castor beans, a byproduct of the manufacture of ricin" or was it "confirmed to be ricin". I doubt very much that the guy had been able to make pure ricin so it is was most likely just chopped up castor beans.
"We believe that he acquired the materials over the Internet, but we are still investigating," he said.

In their affidavit, FBI officials said they found a number of seeds in packaging that describes the material as "very poisonous."

No kidding you idiots. Not only can you get castor beans over the internet you can get them from many seed catalogs. It is only normal that they be labeled poisonous since they are. Heck I remember as a kid often seeing them in the Parks Seed Catalog. It appears they have discontinued selling them. Here's a family owned business that sells ornamental castor beans . So when is the FBI going to do a sweep of their neighborhood.

Take a look at the link they are pretty plants.

Also notice how they inserted the scare word "internet". Just one more item of evidence their ongoing campaign to regulate another aspect of our lives, the internet.
Steven Michael Ekberg, 22, had at least 83 castor beans and other byproducts consistent with the manufacture of ricin in his possession, the FBI said.

Hell, for $25 you can have one hundred seeds of the very fancy kind from the above source, or go here and get 100 for $5.95.

Even highly refined ricin would not be very useful for terrorism. Sure the stuff is very poisonous but it requires expertise to refine and discover an effective delivery mechanism. Perhaps one person has been murdered with refined Ricin (as opposed to ingestion of raw seeds) and he is mentioned at the end of the article.
In 1978, Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian writer and journalist in London, died after a man attacked him with an umbrella that had been rigged to inject a ricin pellet under his skin.
The poison was injected because you can't just spread the stuff around and expect people to die like with say nerve agents. This is why you don't hear of ricin tipped missles. Also the poison degrades fairly quickly. Castor beans themselves are no more dangerous than the toadstools that grow in your yard.

This story is about as scary as a nut with a box of rat poison. Frankly I'd be more scared of a couple of Muslims with tweezers on a Boeing 747. So why the hysteria? Don't ask me.