TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Three Texas Men ... on Terrorist Charges

Re: Three Texas Men ... on Terrorist Charges

Sun, 20 Aug 2006 02:19:23 -0400

> Where will it end?

> The US seems well on the way to the old Czarist model, where
> _everything_ was _forbidden_ unless explicitly allowed by the authorities.

Prior to 1960 or so, you could buy an amazing collection of things
from the drug store. Somewhere I have a book from the 50s on the hobby
of rocket design. It contains some interesting mixes for fueling
rockets. And this was not Estes, this was the real McCoy. And if you
paid attention in high school chemistry and did a little
experimenting, you could make some really big bangs. Pipe bombs were
easy. Then (and I don't know all the reasons for sure) with the
radical bombings and such plus a general "is this really a smart
things to be selling" they gradually withdrew such things. Plus some
laws were passed.

Now buying saltpeter, magnesium, mercury, etc ... it a wee bit harder.

Where should we set the limits?

Jerry Pournelle wrote a series of SciFi books a while back about this
very thing. US and USSR made a co-existence pack and basically shut
down research into anything that anyone thought might be dangerous.

As to my personal experiences, the drug store supply was gone by the
time I got to high school chemistry in 1970, but my cousin (10 years
older) got to have some fun. The only check was the druggist asked the
local teacher if it was ok and the teacher told him to trust my
cousin. Personally I think we were in more danger around the holidays
than we knew. :)

Here's the Estes mentioned above:

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