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88-Year-Old Inventor Hassled By the DEA

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the get-off-his-lawn dept.

Government 757

New submitter Calibax writes "30 years ago, Bob Wallace and his partner came up with a product to help hikers, flood victims and others purify water. Wallace, now 88 years old, packs his product by hand in his garage, stores it in his backyard shed and sells it for $6.50. Recently, the DEA has been hassling him because his product uses crystalline iodine. He has been refused a license to purchase the iodine because it can be used in the production of crystal meth, and as a result he is now out of business. A DEA spokesman describes this as 'collateral damage' not resulting from DEA regulations but from the selfish actions of criminals."

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Not just meth (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145208)

It can also be used to create an explosive compound that shall remain nameless.

Re:Not just meth (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145356)

Might have something to do with those exploding meth labs we see on TV? ;)

Re:Not just meth (5, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145644)

Nope, that's the ether that causes meth labs to explode. I won't go into details, but you use a shitload of ether in amphetamine production.

Re:Not just meth (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145378)

As can coal, sulfur, saltpeter. Let's forbid them.

Re:Not just meth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145608)

Saltpeter's banned in Canada because of knotheads

Re:Not just meth (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145668)

It can also be used to create an explosive compound that shall remain nameless.

Why should it be nameless?

Nitrogen Triiodide [wikipedia.org]

Censorship will never prevent misuse, only perpetuate ignorance. It is better to explain that this compound explodes violently, and at the smallest touch [collegehumor.com] (starts at about 1:00).

That's a very nice product you've got there... (4, Funny)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145210)

...it'd be a shame if anything were to happen to it!

Re:That's a very nice product you've got there... (1)

sivas4u (2514800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145248)

Yes I Agree with u

Is this guy bald? (5, Funny)

anilg (961244) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145276)

Also, make sure there's no Los Pollos Hermanos close by.

Re:Is this guy bald? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145318)

Thank christ we have worthless fuckbags like you making fun of a terrible situation.

Do us a favor and drown yourself

Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (5, Informative)

schnell (163007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145370)

I hate to read TFA and I hate to defend the DEA (did we learn nothing from Prohibition?) but once again this is a sloppy and wholly misleading article summary (thanks Slashdot!) To wit:

  • The DEA doesn't think he's running a meth lab, they think people who run meth labs are buying his product to use.
  • The DEA has started keeping a much tighter rein on the active ingredient in his product in order to keep it out of the hands of the aforementioned meth labs (just like they did a couple years back with buying decongestants using psuedoephedrine). His response was:
  • He was supposed to pay $1200 for a license to handle this chemical and refused.
  • He was asked to keep tabs on who bought the product to the extent that he would report "suspicious" bulk purchasers. He refused.
  • The DEA asked him for proof that he has security where his product is made to keep people from stealing the active ingredient. He sent them a picture of his dog sitting in front of his garage.
  • He also does not appear to be able to tell the difference between the DEA and the TSA, as the article points out. This does not suggest he is good at dealing with bureaucracy.

As much as I like this guy and his sense of humor, it seems much less sinister than the Slashdot linkbait summary indicates. It appears to be a pretty simple case of "government restricts chemical that can be used in meth labs, old guy making product in his garage with said product doesn't want to deal with the government bureaucracy and is surprised when the government shuts off his access to that chemical."

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145438)

People like you are the reason why we can't have nice things.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145450)

Nail on head. +1

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (4, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145480)

Yes, thank you for the better summary. While the DEA has in the past, and likely will in the future done some stupid and mindless things, it doesn't appear that this is the case in this instance. Additionally, it would seem that for a self admitted tinkerer who nets $100,000 per year on his hobby, he could put a little more thought into the product, seal off the iodine in sintered glass or some other method that allowed water to pass over the crystals but did not allow for removal or tampering, continue to sell the products and make the DEA happy.

But it's more fun to rant and whine.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (4, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145532)

Ranting against the DEA for any reason is well justified considering the damage it does to our country. Glenn Greenwald debated Bush's drug czar recently and really laid open the festering wound that is prohibition. The video is here:

http://www.salon.com/2011/11/15/debating_bushs_drug_czar_on_legalization/singleton/ [salon.com]

(Glenn Greenwald should run for president)

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145578)

You're operating under the premise that it's reasonable to place all these restrictions on his behavior to prevent meth labs from popping up.

Another perspective (that I share) is that the government shouldn't be trying to regulate drugs to begin with, and that the government is essentially taxing him to pursue an unachievable objective, eradicating drug use.

I appreciate the grandparent post providing some context, but to me it's just another example of an outdated prohibitionist mindset getting in the way of people actually producing useful products.

The period of extended prohibition in the US has tremendous costs that people have sort of become habituated to--not just financial costs, but costs in terms of police militarization, civil rights violations, an implicitly (if not explicitly) racist justice system, etc.

This sort of government babysitting doesn't seem sustainable in the long-term, especially if the government gets serious about what it actually needs to spend money on and what it doesn't (and if it doesn't happen voluntarily, it will happen as a consequence of market and economic collapse).

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (3, Informative)

galaad2 (847861) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145606)

read TFA again pls, that $100,000 number you quoted is not the regular income but it was the MAXIMUM they had ever made in an year, long ago.

they make much less than that per year these days.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (5, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145638)

While the DEA has in the past, and likely will in the future done some stupid and mindless things, it doesn't appear that this is the case in this instance

It does to me. It won't stop real meth cooks for a minute. It just covers the DEA's asses and fucks up a legitimate businessman selling a potentially life-saving product.

he could put a little more thought into the product, seal off the iodine in sintered glass or some other method that allowed water to pass over the crystals but did not allow for removal or tampering

Yeah, because a meth cook could never work out how to break a glass capsule.

And it would cost a lot more and probably price it out of the market (for those who actually wanted to purify water).He has been filling the iodine bottles by hand in his shed, and doesn't have an R&D facility or make his own glassware.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145546)

The restricting of decongestants because they can be used as a precursor to meth is absolutely ridiculous. This is also ridiculous.

And for the record, I knew it was a similar situation to making the purchase of decongestants a pain in the ass before reading the article based on the summary alone.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145560)

so in other words....he was asked to do the polices job for them, with no compensation from the police asking for the information, and in fact are charging him money to do so!

Im sorry, i dont side with the DEA on anything (not that my name lends any credibility on this one)

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (5, Insightful)

Calibax (151875) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145576)

According to TFA, he did apply for a license and was refused by the DOJ. He's appealing that decision.

The fact remains that a useful product to purify water cheaply is no longer available because the government wants to control the active ingredient, and is willing to make the product unavailable as "collateral damage". I would guess some other collateral damage is the people who may end up with diseases because they drink water that isn't purified, and the percentage that die as a result.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (2)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145584)

Ah, thanks! I guess the governmentrestrictschemicalthatcanbeusedinmethlabs...edwhenthegovernmentshutsoffhisaccesstothatchemical tag should have tipped me off.

Re:Yet Another Terrible Flamebait Slashdot Summary (1, Troll)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145652)

He was supposed to pay $1200 for a license to handle this chemical and refused.

Paying for the 'license' keeps this chemical out of meth labs... how?

He was asked to keep tabs on who bought the product to the extent that he would report "suspicious" bulk purchasers. He refused.

It doesn't sound like he was 'asked', since when he refused, they forbade him the chemical. Asking implies that you have the choice to say yes OR no.

The DEA asked him for proof that he has security where his product is made to keep people from stealing the active ingredient.

Don't you think he might start worrying about security if he starts getting this stuff stolen?

...doesn't want to deal with the government bureaucracy...

The bureaucracy that requires him to pay money, add security that he doesn't seem to need, and force him to snitch on customers?

It IS helpful! (4, Funny)

Sigvatr (1207234) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145212)

Methamphetamine actually is useful to hikers and flood victims!

Re:It IS helpful! (2)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145290)

The DEA are also selfish criminals. This article is hilarious.

Motherfuckers. (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145216)

An unconstitutional federal agency puts an honest businessman out of work. If you've had enough of this shit, as well as the rest of the collateral damage from the War On Drugs like the routine violation of the first, fourth, and fifth amendments, by a militarized police force, vote for Ron Paul.

-jcr

Re:Motherfuckers. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145250)

It'll be nice when old man paul bites the dust and you idiots stop rambling on about him.

His time is past and you know it. Find someone younger who cares about the rights of minorities as much as the rights of megacorps.

Re:Motherfuckers. (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145260)

Care to name even one politician in Washington that fits that bill?

Re:Motherfuckers. (1)

cos(0) (455098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145304)

The best bet, even better than Ron Paul, is Gary Johnson.

Re:Motherfuckers. (2, Informative)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145550)

Gary Johnson disqualified himself when he said he'd continue to violate the constitution by keeping prisoners in gitmo without trial.

-jcr

Re:Motherfuckers. (3, Informative)

cos(0) (455098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145580)

He seems to have clarified / changed his mind: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com/issues/foreign-policy [garyjohnson2012.com]
(Thanks for bringing that up... I didn't know he ever said that.)

Re:Motherfuckers. (1, Insightful)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145590)

Ron Paul disqualified himself when he revealed he is a creationist who rejects evolution.

Re:Motherfuckers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145316)

Honestly. He may be a nice guy but I'll be really, really glad to hear his old ass died. Maybe some of his supporters will take the opportunity to kill themselves.

You too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145642)

I was just thinking the same thing about your entire family. Asshole.

Re:Motherfuckers. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145254)

Ron Paul is the Ross Perot of this decade, not a solution.

To fix anything we must say no to the Republicans, Democrats and Ross Perot 2.0.

Re:Motherfuckers. (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145452)

That is such bullshit. Ross Perot spent so much money getting attention, Ron Paul has said the same thing for 30 years and is finally getting some attention.

Re:Motherfuckers. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145636)

The only way it gets attention is because his devotees stack straw polls.

Re:Motherfuckers. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145268)

what gibbering retard moderated this "troll". you want a fucking solution to this problem: stop electing parties that don't follow the rule of law.

Re:Motherfuckers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145380)

+1 to you... I've got moderator points to burn but you posted as AC. I'm AC so I can still mod this discussion.

Re:Motherfuckers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145348)

General welfare clause.

Can we stop pretending the government is illegal just because you don't like an outcome? You may disagree with a policy, but the constitution affords broad powers. By blocking your ability to buy certain substances, Congress through one interpretation is fulfilling its constitutional duty to protect the general welfare. Not to mention those chemicals were probably brought across state lines, which puts it into the realm of the commerce clause.

Re:Motherfuckers. (2)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145476)

so the founders went through the pain of enumerating the powers of the federal administration and saying the rest is up to the states and the people themselves only to throw that concept under the bus with a vague idea of general welfare...
Somehow i doubt that. Imo the clause merely provides the context in which the federal government operates, but doesn't give any authority to arbitrarily extend the scope.

Re:Motherfuckers. (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145508)

General welfare clause.

Oh, for crying out loud. Not that again.

The phrase "general welfare" appears in the preamble, where it's a statement of intentions, not a grant of power, and again in article 1, section 8, where it is a limit on the federal power to tax, requiring all expenditures to be for the general welfare, not for the benefit of any region or group over another. It is not a blanket authorization to do anything and everything that the legislature thinks might be a good idea.

-jcr

Re:Motherfuckers. (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145468)

The supreme court has ruled the federal government has the right to regulate, limit, and outright ban, commerce on specific items under the commerce clause. What exactly were you referring to when you said "unconstitutional federal agency" ??

Re:Motherfuckers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145516)

are you retarded? could anyone with anything more that a subhuman IQ or a law degree read the text of the commerce clause and conclude that it allows them to throw people in jail for growing a plant in their basement. amazing how you people are so eager to be controlled.

Re:Motherfuckers. (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145534)

Yes, the supreme court frequently fails to uphold its duty. What's your point?

It took a constitutional amendment to ban one drug (alcohol), and that amendment has been repealed. There is no remaining authority for the war on drugs at the federal level. If states want to do it, then their state constitutions determine whether they have that authority.

-jcr

Re:Motherfuckers. (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145600)

Could you provide evidence of your "no remaining authority" claim ?

Land of the Dream? (2)

Maxhrk (680390) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145222)

I thought it is the land of the Dream and DEA destroyed 88-years-old's dream? LoL.

Re:Land of the Dream? (0)

geniice (1336589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145484)

No they wanted a business with a $100K turnover to behave in a responsible manner. They are in effect running a small scale chemical plant and that always is going to result in some paperwork even if it's just to let the local fire-brigade know that they need to be a bit careful.

Re:Land of the Dream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145634)

When did iodine suddenly decide to become inflammable?

wow (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145224)

so much for blaming people for killing people, this is blaming the gun maker for the people killed by it.

Notice how this hasn't gone to court? The DEA would be shut down so fast from harassing Mr. Wallace in court that they wouldn't even dare it. Instead, they shut him down by threats alone, aka PIPA/SOPA.

Re:wow (5, Insightful)

skine (1524819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145384)

More accurately, this is like hassling a firework manufacturer under the guise of stopping gun violence.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145556)

Actually, it's more like hassling a clock maker because guns use springs too.

Re:wow (1)

geniice (1336589) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145514)

An appeal has been lodged.

Wrong. (0)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145226)

The problem is not the "selfish" criminals.

The real problem is the real selfishness of the people that buys drugs from that criminals.

Re:Wrong. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145238)

No, the problem is the prohibition mindset.

-jcr

Re:Wrong. (0)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145350)

Prohibition is what keeps your home safe from people that thinks that's right to stole good from others.

The problem is not the prohibition. It's the lack of consensus about what must be prohibited and what should be just controlled.

Re:Wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145390)

You can thank prohibition for crack and crystal meth.
Prohibition is the reason why more addictive and cheaper substances were invented in the first place!

Re:Wrong. (2)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145500)

Your logic is twisted.

These more addictive (and cheaper) substances were invented because there're people wanting them. They would be invented the same way if the drugs were legalized and (substantially) taxed for the inevitable health caring funding.

The core problem here is simple: people wants to get high, and they don't care about the consequences. All the rest is secondary to that.

There's no laws forbidding you from jump seat on a cactus, there is?

Re:Wrong. (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145602)

and you miss the point, if the other drugs that have been used for centuries were legal, 1, it would be cheep enough you wouldnt need to make cheeper options. and 2 people wouldnt be robbing people to go get these drugs because they could grow their own for pot smokers, or be able to obtain their drug of choice for a more reasonable price

Prohibition created the mafia, the DEA created the cartel violence all around the world

Re:Wrong. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145656)

No, my logic is not twisted. If you call my logic twisted then you also call Milton Friedman's logic twisted? He also didn't support prohibition.

In the end of the 19th century heroin was sold in drugstores without prescription, but with a warning label that it causes addiction.
And you know what? There wasn't any heroin-craze. There weren't hordes of junkies on the street waiting for their next fix.

Yes, people want to get high, I don't deny that. But you are forgetting that there are also people who want to make money off of other people - the criminals. And for criminals the cheaper and more addictive the "product" the better.

People want to get high, but they can't get high from legal products, so they turn to criminals. You can't make people not want to get high, but you can take away the money-making incentive from criminals by making drugs legally available.

Re:Wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145562)

Prohibition is what keeps your home safe from people that thinks that's right to stole good from others.

If you wanted to buy some drugs, and had a choice of going to the murdering city thug, or to the nice guy down the street, who do you choose? Because of prohibition, the nice dealer down the street is less likely to exist (because he's not tough enough to successfully evade police attacks) so you're left with the murdering thug. Also, because of prohibition, the thug charges a lot more, because fewer alternatives exist, so you need to find a way to cough up a lot more money for your habit. How do you do that?

Prohibition breeds violence.

Re:Wrong. (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145334)

I think it's time people realize that humans like to alter their experience of reality in various ways, and that it is not possible to eliminate this human urge: some people like roller coasters; some people like meditation; some people like alcohol; some people like caffeine and some people like crack or heroin. A lot of people like to make arbitrary distinctions between these: some are "good" (like amusement parks and meditation), some are "acceptable" (like caffeine and alcohol) and some are "evil" (like marijuana or heroin). But these distinctions are exactly that: arbitrary. And more importantly: if someone wants to spend their day in their living room doing crack, why should that be anyone else's concern whatsoever? There are orders of magnitude more harm done by making substances illegal and then calling them "evil" and declaring a demonstrably failed, $1 trillion "war" on them.

Re:Wrong. (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145416)

Not to mention nobody wants to spend the incredible amount of money it would take to fix broken people, instead they'd rather let their friends make money on both ends thanks to privatization of everything from the military to the prisons.

I once saw a show with this monk, damned if I can think of the name of it, that spent all his time with junkies. he said if you talked to them, I mean REALLY sat down and talked to them, nearly all of them had ONE THING, one single thing that they just couldn't face. After all nobody wakes up and says "I want lots of sores and my teeth falling out" now do they? He gave as an example one junkie where after talking to her it turned out her parents had thrown her to the street after her sister was killed in her car, so he paid to fly her halfway around the world and went with her to her parents graves so she could get it off her chest. less than a year later she was clean and working.

Recreational "party" drugs like pot should frankly be legal but when you have people that will literally go commit a crime just to get thrown in prison because they can't get their drug of choice on the outside? There is something in that person's life they simply cannot face. Sadly one of the guys i hung out with in HS is now living under a bridge somewhere, it turned out his mom was getting him fried at the age of 8 and fucking johns in front of him. can anybody blame the guy for staying stoned?

Re:Wrong. (5, Interesting)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145628)

And that is why Portugal's approach to drugs, treating it as a medical and mental health issue, is working and ours isn't.

After all the money spent on the War on Drugs, the US still has the addiction rates that we had at the turn of the 19th century. If we only had as many freedoms.

Re:Wrong. (1)

fsckmnky (2505008) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145490)

Because addicts of certain substances don't just sit in their living room, they run out of money, and in order to avoid complete withdrawl, break into your grandma and granpappies house and bust thier skulls for the monthly check. You can deny it happens, but it does happen. I personally know a meth head who did this. Point being, some substances, when abused, have far reaching consequences that affect people other than the users.

Re:Wrong. (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145568)

The division of what is "good", "acceptable" and "evil" is not arbitrary.

There're people studying their use, abuse and consequences in order to decide what's need to be controlled, and what's need to be prohibited

Mistakes can be made about that decisions (and a lot of BUT MISTAKES are being made by people that profits with that bad decisions), but please don't reduce all that to "arbitrary".

Heroin is a devastating drug, marijuana is not that bad - but I know people that have their lives ruined by it. Just like alcohol do to some, by the way. And this is not arbitrary - is just observation.

Re:Wrong. (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145586)

on my last post, where is written "BUT MISTAKES", please read "BAD MISTAKES" - or, optionally, "BUTT MISTAKES" is you are on the mood. =]

Loss of snark (2)

ScooterComputer (10306) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145246)

I want to say something about this, something clever, something snarky...but I'm at a loss. I mean, this is a facepalm of such epicness it is nearly unfathomable.

Re:Loss of snark (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145330)

I want to say something about this, something clever, something snarky...but I'm at a loss. I mean, this is a facepalm of such epicness it is nearly unfathomable.

That's okay because the kind of man who would seriously use a word like "snark" in a sentence is probably wearing a dress.

It's a word like "snookums" that lovers might whisper to each other trying to be cute but that's about all. It just sounds gay. I know you Europeons don't realize that just like you don't understand that pizza should not be boiled but there you go.

Re:Loss of snark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145366)

what in the fuck are you babbling about

Cue all the comments from Keynesians (0)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145262)

about the value of stimulus, and how all jobs are sacred, even stupid fucked up ones like these at the DEA.

Re:Cue all the comments from Keynesians (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145368)

Lol what? More like cue the incredibly flimsy excuse to take a swipe at stimulus and Keynesians.

There will be no such comments, clearly you've been itching for an opportunity and just got impatient.

Re:Cue all the comments from Keynesians (5, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145442)

Keynes is widely misunderstood. He once said that it would be better to build totally useless pyramids than to have high unemployment, but he wasn't actually suggesting that we should do that. It's obvious when you think about it, because there are a million and one productive things that could be done with the same labor. The actual idea is that it's better to pay someone to work in a soup kitchen than it is to watch crime skyrocket if you leave them to starve and they resort to theft.

If (as would seem obvious from this case) the DEA is not engaged in anything productive, you don't have to make them unemployed. You just have to eliminate their current positions and instead set them to work patrolling the streets in gang neighborhoods at night to suppress actual crime.

Re:Cue all the comments from Keynesians (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145640)

But then you'd have jails full of ACTUAL criminals...and those blokes are downright VIOLENT. Dealing with all that violence would cut into the company profits.

Another victim of prohibition (5, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145278)

Can we just end prohibition already? Drug enforcement is ruining more lives than drugs.

Re:Another victim of prohibition (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145616)

Can we just end prohibition already?

While we at it we should also start selling methylphosphonyl difluoride, Bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide and O-Isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate in every drug and farm store. Poor farmers have to resort to some useless tools for pest control instead of using tools that are designed for that.

Re:Another victim of prohibition (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145648)

but there is a PROFIT MOTIVE for the goverenment to keep the drug arms race going.

its not about morals. deep down, most politicos realize this is a lost 'war'; but they are still afraid to come out in public and admit this. lost votes. not worth the risk. that's how they think.

this is not about logic and never was. it never was.

when you ask a question, first ask 'who benefits financially?'.

To Day Web Hosting (-1, Offtopic)

sivas4u (2514800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145282)

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Re:To Day Web Hosting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145320)

I like the copyright.

Polar Pure is a well known product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145284)

I've used it in the past, and I'm sure REI retailed it at one point.

He should just (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145288)

He should just contact the criminals who cook meth, I mean they get their supply of it from some where. In a land where crystalline iodine is illegal only criminals will have crystalline iodine. Or something like that.

Re:He should just (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145428)

Also it seems to me the DEA was rather foolish about this. Instead of working with a legitimate businessman, and using his sales to sporting goods stores and so on to track back the people who actually cook the meth and arresting them, they instead shut him down, and may of possibly inconvenienced a few people who cook meth or maybe they didn't.

When you let fear rule... (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145298)

... then nothing gets done.

The DEA could easily tell whomever gives the licenses to approve this guy, but they choose not to. Instead, they want to blame it on criminals, instead of where the blame really lies, which is the bullshit anti-drug laws that we have too many of.

We could legalize meth, have the government or some pharmacy make it safely, and then every loser that wants to do it won't be supporting the people who make it.

The problem here is not meth addicts, it's the bullshit they go thru to make the meth, which hurts consumers more. You won't have druggies stealing the crap the makes meth, you won't have places become toxic because people are making meth in their bathtub/kitchen.

America, the land of the hypocrites and home of the illusion of freedom.

Land of the Free is getting stupider by the minute (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145344)

So here in the middle of the recession, one old guy with an established business gets trounced on by the DEA because they have their heads up their butts! Where has common sense gone to? If I was in power in the DEA, I would fire or demote those who made such an idiotic decision. Rules and laws are made to protect the public, not to punish them. When are they going to get it through their heads!

Beavis and Butt-Head'-types? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145360)

just what is needed when the show is on the rebound don't take away them saying fire again.

At least he's got good humor (1)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145372)

"In May, his Oklahoma distributor -- warned by the DEA -- said he could no longer send Wallace iodine.

For Wallace to comply, the state Department of Justice fingerprinted the couple and told Wallace he needed to show them such things as a solid security system for his product. Wallace sent a photograph of Buddy sitting on the front porch."

More people need to do exactly this in the face of bureaucratic oppression and bullshit. Everyone needs more pictures of dogs.

This is a great product. Shame. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145394)

I used this on a three month long backpacking trip where we hauled in our (insufficient) food, but used whatever (sometimes nasty) water sources we could find.

Polar pure at low concentrations overnight (to kill viruses) in the dirty water container, then pumped through a ceramic filter (get rid of giardia cists), into the clean water container (and a few CCs to replenish the fluid in the Polar Pure bottle). The one bottle handled all the water needs for multiple people for 3 months, and we couldn't really tell if the crystals had diminished at the end of the trip.

This is getting ridiculous. We need to get that insurrection started so the cops have something better to do.

Iodine isn't freely available (5, Funny)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145398)

Iodine isn't available [ebay.com] without a license from the DEA.

Not here [ebay.com] , or here [ebay.com] , or even here [unitednuclear.com] .

In fact, I can only find 32 results in the first web site I thought to look in.

Looks like the system works!

Your government is never wrong (1)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145402)

Once you realize this you will be much happier.

Seriously though, it is stuff like this that makes people not want government having a hand in our everyday lives. There is no sense in this action, just some bureaucrat going by the book.

Re:Your government is never wrong (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145466)

There is no sense in this action, just some bureaucrat going by the book.

This wouldn't be a problem if the book wasn't so wrong.

Think of the drugs! (3, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145404)

Sorry hikers and flood victims, we know you'd like clean water but while you're drinking that tepid water and consequently when you're lying ill you can reflect on the fact that your sacrifice means that drug dealers have had to find another source for iodine to create methamphetamine. We know it's a large sacrifice for an almost immeasurably small payoff, but this was low-hanging fruit and we're pretty lazy. DEA.

Re:Think of the drugs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145692)

you can reflect on the fact that your sacrifice means that drug dealers have had to find another source for iodine to create methamphetamine. We know it's a large sacrifice for an almost immeasurably small payoff,

In fact the "payoff" is negative, since those alternate sources are often the more dangerous ones. It's like those bacterial super bugs which have evolved to resist antibiotics. Prohibition breeds violence.

FYI military uses iodine tablets to purify water (2)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145412)

The purified water doesn't taste very good, but when it's the difference between hydrating and not hydrating, aka life and death, it's worth it.

Sure, protecting people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145424)

From TFA:

"Methamphetamine is an insidious drug that causes enormous collateral damage," wrote Barbara Carreno, a DEA spokeswoman. "If Mr. Wallace is no longer in business he has perhaps become part of that collateral damage, for it was not a result of DEA regulations, but rather the selfish actions of criminal opportunists. Individuals that readily sacrifice human lives for money."

WTF... how many people die from meth abuse every year? Now, look at the WHO figures for how many people die in car-related accidents (last I checked it was topping 1 million worldwide). Nice to see the government has its life-saving priorities right. Oh wait, it collects taxes from the sale of cars, registrations and fuels doen't it?

Similar Story Here (0)

InnerInsight (2514816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145446)

My late Great Uncle William M. Harrison was a Chemist/Geologist in Oil Recovery who worked on Oil recovery Patents 45 years. Most of the current worlds oil is recovered with methods he developed. His most famous patent was His "Oil-eating Bacteria" in which he altered the DNA of. For His work in his lab to develop a method to recover 90% of heavy crude fields, he required raw unprocessed oil. As regulations against Benzene were enforced companies could no longer provide oil samples for him to use. He tried to meet regulations but as his lab was in the back yard, he could get approval. We eventually worked around this as natural "Oil Seeps" are plentiful in the area. But as the regulators didn't care he worked on the Manhattan Project as the discoverer of Plutonium's toxicity to life, developed Venezuela's oil fields, member of the American Chemists Society for 60 years, and an expert in the dangers of the chemicals of unrefined oil didn't matter to them as "Benzene was a cancer causing chemical" 't If he wasn't delayed by the regulators and the fears companies had of the regulators, he could have lived long enough to finis the patent filing process thgetting his last patent approved he worked 17 years towards. Yet another example of regulators intentions stifling innovation...

What does his age have to do with this? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145470)

What does his age have to do with this? 88?

Hmm... He must be born around 1923, which would have made him a beatnik, definitely, and quite possibly a serious druggie around the time of Woodstock.

Wait! DEA, I hope them beat that darn old hippie up, whimps.

Who would risk having an old daddy around selling meth and crack to the kids?

Damn druggie.

Not just the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145474)

When I was in New Zealand on LOTR back in 1999 I couldn't buy quantities of plain ole alcohol over a few ounces because they were using it to make meth. You had to be able to prove you were a business to buy quantities so I had to go through the office and not just use petty cash to buy simple alcohol. In this country they hassle you if you try to buy multiple packets of decongestants. The joke is I can buy lab grade ammonia that can be used in explosives without any hassle. I'm betting you can buy everything needed for plastic explosives from a single source without a hassle but try to buy any single component that can be used in drugs and you get hassled.

So what else is used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145488)

I bet meth labs use water. maybe we should make water purchasing severely restricted, and charge people large licensing fees to use water. how about oxygen, or a nice nitrogen/oxygen mix to reduce the risk of atmospheric fires? natural gas for bunsen burners, electricity for lights. We have made a chemical element illegal to own. that seems wrong. its time to make methamphetamines (damn thats a hard one to type) decriminalized. it wont significantly increase use, and will save lives from criminal behavior.

The list of controlled chemicals (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38145572)

Here's the DEA's list. [usdoj.gov] Those marked as "List 1" are the most restricted. It's not that long a list. Iodine is the only chemical on List 1 that isn't particularly hazardous.

He is whining (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38145620)

He makes like $100,000/year. But he is complaining about having to pay a $1,200 application fee and having to fill out a form and print out his customer list and send it to them. Now, he has hired a lawyer. Rather than waste money on a lawyer, he should have just payed the fee and invested in some cheap security theater. If that part was too much work, he should have rented a storage unit at some facility that has security. But, instead he chooses to be a jerk about it. If they deny his application now, he has no one to blame but himself.

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