The Bush administration: keeping us safe (from subversive art)

The art professor is finally cleared but a distinguished biologist was still punished by a ridiculous, mindless, cruel and utterly reckless use of raw power by the Bush administration:

A federal judge dismissed criminal indictments on Monday against an art professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo who was charged four years ago with mail and wire fraud after receiving bacteria through the mail that he said he planned to use in his art projects.

Judge Richard J. Arcara of the U.S. District Court in Buffalo ruled that the indictment against the professor, Steven J. Kurtz, was "insufficient on its face," The Buffalo News reported.

In a telephone interview with The Chronicle on Monday night, Mr. Kurtz said he and his lawyers were surprised at the ruling because it is rare for judges to dismiss federal indictments. "This case was so ridiculous and out of line, and the judge did the right thing," said Mr. Kurtz. He called the ruling a significant victory, but he noted that the case is not over. The U.S. Justice Department can appeal the judge's ruling.

The case began in May 2004, when Mr. Kurtz called 911 after his 45-year-old wife died of heart failure (The Chronicle, June 18, 2004). Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive her, and Buffalo police officers, who were also called to the house, noticed petri dishes in Mr. Kurtz's home filled with what they thought were curious substances. The police called officers from the FBI and the U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force, who came to the home to investigate. They confiscated the petri dishes -- which were filled with three kinds of bacteria -- plus laboratory equipment. (Chronicle for Higher Education)

Tara Smith at Aetiology and we have previously posted on this case, which saw Robert Ferrell, also charged with Kurtz, plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Here, again, is Tara's excellent summary:

Dr. Ferrell's story begins in 2004. Ferrell ordered two isolates of bacteria from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), a central repository for all types of biological samples. The species that Ferrell ordered were Bacillus subtilis, a soil bacterium sometimes used to model its pathogenic cousin, Bacillus anthracis, and Serratia marcescens, a ubiquitous bacterium that occasionally causes opportunistic infections. These species of bacteria are commonly used in high school and college microbiology labs because of their low pathogenicity. (Serratia is particularly nice because it produces a red pigment as it grows). Ferrell then mailed these to another professor and artist, Dr. Steven Kurtz of SUNY-Buffalo and founder of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). (Tara Smith, Aetiology)

The Bush administration decided to show how tough they were on bioterrorists by seeking a federal indictment against Kurtz and Ferrell at a time when Kurtz had just lost his wife and Ferrell was about to undergo bone marrow transplant for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (he subsequently suffered two small and one major stroke). You don't know who Bob Ferrell is? I'll repeat here a thumbnail sketch from someone who knows him well:

Who is Bob Ferrell? He's the Chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. A gentle man with a congenial Southern accent who wouldn't hurt a fly--Drosophila excepted--who was suspected of terrorism. I've known Bob for several years and you will never meet a more unlikely villain. Not only is he a superb scientist, he is not afraid to bridge C.P. Snow's two cultures by working with artists and anthropologists to apply molecular biology to their disciplines. A model scientist--all non-scientists wish the rest of us would be more like him. (zootfloggin Diary, Christmas, Wire-Fraud and the Click of Mussolini's Boots-A Science Diary)

Ferrell, rather than prolong the case while undergoing stressful medical treatment, pled guilty and was fined $500 and a year of unsupervised probation. Doesn't sound like they thought he was really a threat. Still, too bad, but understandable. Kurtz fought it and has been vindicated.

Of course the Bushies might decide to file an Appeal. All in the name of making us safe from artists, of course. Only 271 more days of being kept secure by these assholes.


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Last fall I wrote about the bizarre case of University of Pittsburgh geneticist Robert Ferrell. Dr. Ferrell, you may recall, had been prosecuted for sharing generally-harmless strains of bacteria with a colleague, SUNY-Buffalo art professor Steven Kurtz. Dr. Kurtz then used the bacterial cultures…

Who will be next? Mr. Burns who teaches high school chemistry because he has chemicals in his classroom which could be combined to make an explosive? Or, perhaps cousin Yolanda. She has castor beans growing along the back fence. Un-frikken-believable

Yeh, the only thing worse than the Bushies were the Clintonians. I am sure you remember the China connection and state secrets sold, or the crooks set fee for a fee? How about destroying or taking publc property on leaving the white house. Yeh, and those poor folks at the travel office for the White HOuse. Been there through so many administrations and then having the Clintonians sic the FBI on them and trump up those charges so they could fire them, smear their names. Oh, let's not forget the 1500 FBI files of all those people that whose FBI files were rummaged through and left on a table for anyone view. Wasn't it odd it turned out the files were all of Republicans??? I cannot forget "I did not have sex with that girl!" while pointing his finger at us. Well I guess there is a difference. In the above case, I doubt if G. Bush even knows about it. He spends most his time at his ranch. Get back to work (er, or not). In the other, they were directly involved in most instances. Hard to find good presidents these days.

Revere. The difference now is that we have a clear and credible threat against the US and its allies. Whether it be bacteria or shoe bombs, we gotta check and recheck and hammer even the innocuous idiots. These were smart people? Duh....

The question is Revere, did they break the law? Was there enough evidence for an indictment? Yep, they indicted them and thats a slap in the face of the people who sit on a Grand Jury Revere. You want to move out of the system and back into it whenever it suits you? They broke the law...period. How do we know? He plead guilty for starts. But I would never ever impugn the system that would just let a federal prosecutor go ape shit any other time... You know, like Janet Reno? Remember her. Oh, lets do use Ashcroft too or that putz Abe Fortas. Thing is you dont have to be smart to be a prosecutor, you just have to know what the law says and convince a couple of guys that they broke it. Its pretty simple really and the bar for that is set by the prosecution and no other. It is indeed slanted towards the prosecution for a reason... Its so that your boy doesnt do something stupid.

But oh no, did he let his big ego position get in the way of good common sense... very likely and he paid the price for it.

"A grand jury is meant to be part of the system of checks and balances, preventing a case from going to trial on a prosecutor's bare word. A prosecutor must convince the grand jury, as an impartial panel of ordinary citizens that there exists reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or a prima facie case that a crime has been committed. The grand jury can compel witnesses to testify before them. Unlike the trial itself, the grand jury's proceedings are secret; the defendant and his or her counsel are generally not present for other witnesses' testimony. The grand jury's decision is either a "true bill" (meaning that there is a case to answer) or "no true bill". Jurors typically are drawn from the same pool of citizens as a petit jury, and participate for a specific time period.

The composition of the grand jury was taken from that of a minor sanhedrin, which under Jewish law, empaneled 23 judges with a quorum requirement of 13."

Now Revere, when you step on the process I have to say something here. You attack the process as these 23 reasonable people sat and missed work and rendered their decision? They indicted them. They determined that there WAS enough evidence that they broke the law and should go to trial. Be glad that there are grand juries. Many states dont have them and the Buff police called in the Bug Police. What the Hell were they supposed to do, sit and take their word that it was harmless? How is anyone supposed to know? We knew that one of the terrorists plans was to take a crop duster over Miami and smoke the place with inhalation anthrax. We know that the Enquirer offices were bio-bombed, and Tom Brokaws secretary got the stuff on her hands and was infected. What about the post offices? Cant say they were indicted for being stupid? As I also understand it they were trying to obstruct the investigation as well.

Well growing cultures of antracis is what knocked this one thru the hoops boys and girls and the guy was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor. Anthracis is the bacterium for what?

Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium of the genus Bacillus. An endospore forming bacterium, B. anthracis is a natural soil-dwelling organism, as well as the causative agent of anthrax.[1]

I underline the last sentence for you as you think its not a big deal. Anthrax spores occur in the soil all by themselves. But, this guy was culturing it and does anyone really care that he had no intent? I certainly dont give him any leeway. The only person who did was the judge who let him go with a front end alignment and a federal bust on his record.... Art imitating life or life imitating supposedly smart people. Growing anthrax for art.... hmmm....

About the others. Well one can cause human infection but the other? Yup and its on the hazmat list as is the anthrax.

Serratia marcescens is a species of Gram-negative bacterium in the family Enterobacteriaceae. A human pathogen, S. marcescens is involved in nosocomial infections, particularly urinary tract infections and wound infections.[1]

"S. marcescens (bacillus), motile organism and can grow in temperatures ranging from 540°C and in pH levels ranging from 5 to 9. S. marcescens is differentiated from other Gram-negative bacteria, as it is able to perform casein hydrolysis. Performing casein hydrolysis allows for S. marcescens to produce extracellular metalloproteases which are believed to function in cell-to-extracellular matrix interactions. S. marcescens also exhibits tryptophan- and citrate-degradation. One of the end products of tryptophan degradation is pyruvic acid, which is then incorporated into different metabolic processes of S. marcescens. A final product of citrate degradation is carbon. Thus, S. marcescens can rely on citrate as a carbon source. In identifying the organism one may also perform a methyl red test, which determines if a microorganism performs mixed-acid fermentation. S. marcescens results in a negative test. Another determination of S. marcescens is its capability to produce lactic acid via oxidative and fermentative metabolism. Therefore, it is said that S. marcescens is lactose O/F+.[2]"

I would have indicted them myself. I am surprised that the DOT didnt have them indicted secondarily for transport of hazardous materials illegally. But thats just me....Either way, the law is very specific and they broke it. Thats a class 6.2 pathogen and either they were stupid or they thought the law didnt apply to them. Typical of so many in academia.... Seems to me that you were railing not long ago about bio lab security. I dont think that anthrax is anything to be growing for an art project regardless of free speech or thought processes that fail to understand that there are people out there that would kill us in an instant.

Call me crazy.…

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 24 Apr 2008 #permalink

You complain about the White House Travel Office, but fail to mention the Bushies' firing of US District Attorneys based solely on their party affiliation? Hypocrite! 1500 FBI files on Republicans pulled vs. countless American citizens having their phones tapped? Hypocrite!! Lying about a blow job in the oval office vs lying about WMD in order to avenge your daddy? **((%*(&*(%^&*

By Don Smith, FCD (not verified) on 24 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: Grand juries are not 23 "reasonable people." The old saying that they'd indict a ham sandwich is a truism. They do what the state wants them to do. No one is represented by a lawyer at a Grand jury proceeding. This is not reasonable doubt. This was an absurdity. You want those organisms, go out in your backyard with a shovel or the local highschool science lab. This had to do with the content of the art exhibit, purely and simply.

Rod: I find the Clintons despicable and don't hold them up as a examplars of anything. But to compare any other administration, Republican or Democrat, with these bozos is to compare apples and oranges. They have set new standards that virtually any politician who isn't fundamentally corrupt, incompetent and insane can surpass. Even John McSame.

Rod, the "destroying of public property" did not happen. That was a Bush lie, of course aided and abbetted by the MSM. We had a full 8 years of republican witch hunting, costing millions of dollors for nothing. Only finding an afair and possible perjury but I guess perjury isnt a big deal anymore becuase W pardon Libby who committed perjury. Republicans only get upset over issues that dont involve them. W can lie us into a war, torture, break laws, pardon his cronnies who commit crimes to cover his backside and thats ok. So much for the party of morality. So dont talk to me of how the Clintons were terrible. Judge not lest ye be judged (from an atheist no less) sheesh! republicans these days.

Maybe it IS time to clean out my refrigerator!

By SaddleTramp (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Sorry Revere but the courts said different. Your man plead guilty to a crime. And yes you can indict a ham sandwich, but leave it out for a while and you can grow a pathogen in it. By the same token, it is the law and it was the law that was in effect at the time.

No attorneys are present for a reason so that the GJ's can get to the bottom of it. Its part of the law and so many jus tdont think that they have to be adherent to it...Be it marijuana or bugs, or shoe bombs. I didnt see them fighting it more than a little bit and I would think that someone with a Phd in Genetics would have a little more brights than to be screwing around with this stuff.

Should they have been charged? Oh yeah, you betcha. Sending this stuff around via the mail or even Fedex there are nice big signs stating that you must declare your shipment. Its not an absurdity at all, its the law and they got nicked. The shoe bomber could have been on the other foot. We have parents who dont know in our overly permissive society when to call police as their kids are building propane bombs on their desks in Colorado. Would you have had the same opinion if the cops had walked in on the resucitation attempt and found sticks of dynamite wired to grille tanks? Probably not.... because the intent would have been clear. They were just going to a cookout at school.

This is my bent in the times we live in. If the US sees someone loading up missiles aimed at Israel or an ally, do we sit and do nothing? Does Israel sit and watch Syria build a nuke facility with but one purpose. The law is for those who will follow it and be subjected to it Revere. Everyone else that is outside of it must be dealt with harshly and that includes waterboarding, torture of all kinds because of the ability of these people to take out more people.

I will also assert that just about everything you have seen in the last six years is a result of a few well planned young gentlemen violating the law, our laws. Obviously they gave one big rats ass about that. The reaction that you have seen balances out the act and then some. Anyone who was/is crazy enough to be growing something in a petri dish as "art" after this is either delusional or dumb.

And besides Revere, the system that you under as a law abiding citizen says you are automatically wrong. They indicted them, they got a conviction by pleading to a federal misdemeanor (lesser charge). The cops and feds followed procedure down to the nth degree and its not like they kicked a door down to find this stuff, or tortured them to determine what was in it. Culturing a pathogen without a license to do so is a felony and you and I both know it. I also bet that they knew it too.

They got lucky. In ten years if they are still around they can request a purging of their federal records. Else the next time out they can be charged with facillitation, creation and transport of a weapon of mass destruction. Thats the law that the Congress upped the ante on and those people like Bush were elected. Step on down and vote for Teddy in the fall. Get him to change the law that he voted to approve or get used to this. Zero tolerance of any kind for this in the court system. I still cant get past that you think that the indictment system works. About 40% get out right on the spot. If a prosecutor alone had the ability to whack people up there would be no limit to what a Bushie or Clintonite type of prosecutor could do. It keeps the keel from rolling right or left too far. All power resides with the people rather than the state and you say they are dumb.


By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: I like you, but why you persist in defending the indefensible is a mystery to me. You are a decent human being and even a casual reflection explains why he pled guilty to a misdemeanor. If he had waited it would have been dismissed, as in the case of Kurtz. He pled because he didn't want the hassle while undergoing bone marrow transplant. That's not at all hard to understand. Nor did the judge have any trouble seeing immediately that this was not a case of terrorism or anything else nefarious. Let's put aside all your other agendas about Ted Kennedy and the Clintons and all the rest. This was just a matter of basic justice and what was right.

Randy: I also like your amiable posts so far. Nevertheless, if you can let go some of orthodox argument, your persuasion will be more cogent. This is an example which I seconded with Revere.

Another one about Indonesia, not relating to anyone, totally my opinion. I hope that it will not confuse with this one, but just to explain what I mean "un-orthodox".

In 1986, I worked with an American consultancy firm to help Indonesian aquaculture, every time I traveled to Indonesia, I would be held in airport for "special treatment" because my Taiwanese passport. I had to pay US50 bug for corruptive officer, I really hated them. I came to help them; the front door keepers didn't know the value of their face. Now, they have BF and more democratic. Therefore, I choose to forgive and let go my wound and plea for them.

Is it possible that my persuasion is mistaken again? Maybe, life always has risk. I am willing to defend the chance for them again. Revere may or may not agree with my un-orthodoxy "metaphor".

This implies that life is not without mistake, and we respond to the true need-what I mean to be un-orthodox a bit.

Paiwan-Revere, it is an orthodox approach that I do take here. It is one that demands respect and adherence to the law. Many countries that have fallen by the wayside, the first thing that goes is respect for the law and that also means the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) who should have been disbarred. The only reason GWB hasnt been impeached is that he got a resolution to go to Iraq. He followed the law. It was a bad call for all but we would have hit Saddam later anyway but he did follow the law in its entirety. Clinton went to Kosovo on the Presidents war powers act and Bush could have Iraq too, but was a lot smarter than Revere gives him credit for. I said it before he took office that we would be into Iraq in the following year and that was without 9/11.

Ferrell without a doubt understood that if he had gone to trial would have been found guilty.There were other implications made that were pure bullshit too. He was "held" and "interrogated" without an attorney for 23 hours. Thats not quite true. He was put up in a hotel, and he was bought dinner and he wasnt under apprehension then. He was also Mirandized. They took the evidence to a Grand Jury and they indicted both. Kurtz got off because he wasnt the one mailing the stuff but since he was directly aware of the materials in use, he was also in with the suggested conspiracy and therefore chargeable.

We could go around and around on this but its Abbey Hoffman...... catch me if you can is the assertion. BTW under the new laws you can get 25 years for these little innocuous things which makes it a near capital crime and it is autocapital if you kill someone directly or indirectly from transporting it. Yep, life without parole in a federal facility not of your choosing.

Here is a suggestion...Next time they need paint for art, the local Hobby Lobby is is open from 9 to 9 each day.

You have to understand that it goes right the crux of the matter regarding air travel and how the mail moves. They were flying anthrax around. The other two were not so hot as pathogens but the anthrax was the biggie. Were they making an example? Probably... but they were breaking the law. Ferrells medical condition played a huge role in his sentencing. He did plead guilty to the crime. I reiterate that, a crime. They used the mails to transport a hazardous substance. There was no difference than if it had been mailed to Tom Daschle except by intent. This conversation wouldnt be happening if this stuff had been mailed by a guy named Mahmoud.

Paiwan-I too have been shook down at airports in foreign lands. Amazing things though those cellphones. They can take pictures and you email them to the Department of State on arrival or download it for the US Customs officials and also amazingly those guys arent there when you come back. No country wants these guys answering the door for them.

No country wants a bad rap for repression, payoffs, or what have you. The cops did the right thing here as did the prosecutors. We are supposed to have "equal protection" under the law. That sword cuts both ways. When you screw up, you should be prosecuted in the same manner. Justice HAS to be blind else it sways into the arena of favoritism and no justice.

BTW Revere, the DOJ is possibly going to appeal Kurtz's charges dismissal. He can also still be re-charged under the DOT regulations for felony haz-mat charges. I know I get fined if I make a mistake and put this stuff onto a plane...100,000 bucks if its unknowingly. They on the other hand know/knew it and did it anyway. None of them were ever charged with terrorism violations nor was it contemplated. Just good ole already on the books laws that have been there since the 1950's.


By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: You spray out so many assertions no one can keep up with you. So I'll just take one. How do you knew this was done knowingly? BTW, what crime was Bill Clinton convicted of? GWB took us to war without a declaration of war. That's a crime, too. He'll never be indicted because of politics. On and on, as you say. And justice is blind? Only to Scooter Libby's crimes.

Randolph, this isn't about Clinton, he is long gone. This is about the aura of fear that now permeates government agencies and law enforcement in general.

It is about persecution of people who appear to differ from what the authorities think is normal. This was normal for the person accused. It wasn't hazardous, there was no threat to citizens. But, the police refused to see it as perfectly harmless despite the evidence. They wanted to see the guy go down on their watch. He was 'weird' and so therefore must be a criminal and a terrorist. Instead they look like overzealous fools.

The danger with this mindset is well known. Who decides what is weird and what is normal? It doesn't pay to be different now. After all, what you may be using to feed your prize pumpkins can now be used to blow up downtown Peoria. Where does the line get drawn? For anyone who is bright, experimental, or simply marches to a different beat, the ramifications are clear. Big Brother is indeed at the door and, you better not deviate from what they see as decent upstanding behaviour or, you will be arrested.

I do so love the way this administration has so carefully followed the Rule of Law at every opportunity. The Bush interpretation of Rule of Law will go down in the history books. Way down.

Check out the website which was developed to help Kurtz and Ferrell:

Go further. Look for the film documentary about the case, called "Strange Culture." But sure, Randy, THEY BROKE THE LAW. THE LAW IS NEVER EVER WRONG. Prosecutors NEVER pursue a case where there is no evidence of a crime. Ever. Prosecutors only prosecute criminals.

Forget the fact that this insane prosecution relieved both these men of their money and careers. Forget that friends and colleagues learned to keep their mouths shut instead of defending Kurtz and Ferrell, because the Feds would come after them next. For all the panty-bunching that goes on among conservatives who shriek at the thought of governmental intervention into private (and corporate) lives, I guess this Kafka-esque scenario doesn't scare them one bit.

Hey, the guy is an artist. A creative type. You know how dangerous those people are.

Bin Laden has already won. He can stay in his Pakistan hidey-hole forever, never attempt another action against the US, and he has already helped those in power to take away our liberties in exchange for some imagined greater safety.

And as for a matter of public health? Ha! I see little evidence that the brains in DC care if citizens become ill because of random people getting germs via mail. No valid arrests yet in the anthrax murders. We're all on our own for our health care. Heavens, what would happen to us if word got out the government wanted to keep us healthy in some responsible manner? Oh, I know: billions of brown people racing to our southern border.

This prosecution was a vanity production and a chance to use a bunch of fun new laws and fancy toys. And a message to all the people not to get any funny ideas about dissent.

By wenchacha (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Bill Clinton was impeached Revere if you werent aware of it. The Democrat House didnt remove him.

mmpfh.... GWB got a resolution to go to war just as Johnson did on the Gulf of Tonkin Revere. Both followed the law. Scooter Libby was convicted of obstruction, nothing more. Its the same thing that everyone got tagged on Watergate on.

Shannon... Listen up. Neither was charged with a bio-terrorism crime. Only on the books stuff. Most of which had been around since the 1950's Its not about people who appear to differ with the administration. They flat broke the law and were happily moving pathogens that have been in title 172 and 173 of the Code of Federal Regulations for over 50 years.

So who said it was perfectly harmless? You cant culture anthrax in the US without a license.. Who said that? The USGovt did. Bad behavior? Or behaviour? Sounds very Candian or British to me. What it was for, a class painting project?

You hear Revere go off on bio labs all the time... So if you are an artist its okay to have anthrax around? I can guarantee you that the geneticists knew he was out on the corner. You asked who decides? The Congress of the US in its infinite wisdom or stupidity codified that stuff years ago and then added to it with the Patriot Act and then they will soon add to it again.

Big Brother has been around for a long time Shannon. I personally dont worry too much about whether they do an art project. But I certainly do if they are using something that in the wrong hands could be used by other people. These guys had no bio-terror intent. It just keeps on and on that this is something thats asserted to be wrong... Nope, it isnt. Kurtz sure as Hell isnt sitting in a corner somewhere laughing about this, he is worried I am sure that they, his peers, will indict him again. Probably now because they have a conviction. Its not a trial if the judge throws it out and he can be retried.

As for prosecutors going after people.... Well now thats what the Grand Jury does and its to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial. They did... Cant slap the process down because someone did something wrong in their eyes. FYI lots of those people are not neophytes at it. They sit these GJ's for months at a time. I was an in court alternate for six months on every Tuesday. An all day affair and they take their business dead serious. Most of the time if they vote to indict, someone gets convicted later. That would seem to be the case here.

And Wen... with all due respect you agree that people died from anthrax sent by mail. They still dont have a source and there is at least nothing right now that indicates that these guys had anything to do with it. But, thats for now. Someone did it, someone has been and has cultured anthrax, weaponized it and sent it to people that they felt should get the benefits of being dead from it. You prove my point. This is the reason these guys were prosecuted under existing laws rather than bio-t laws.

I disagree about the dissent thing completely. You voice your dissent in the US via the ballot box, legal protests, and vigorous letter writing. You dont break the law to do it unless its in violation of a cease and desist during a sit in. You vent your bowel by every legal means out there and thats not what this is about. Its about an illegal lab growing an illegal substance, then violating the postal laws, the hazardous materials transportation laws and apparently then using the federal wire system for mail and wire fraud. Yup, thats what this is about and its not about any ham sandwich. You can survive contact anthrax Wen, inhalation or ingestion type and you are one dead piece of humanity. So its just okay for these guys to violate those laws? If you think its okay to violate the law or pick and choose which ones you do violate then there is a problem with the thought process. Yep, I jaywalk all the time, but it only affects me and possibly a car bumper. You get this stuff loose onto the mail and we all get the bill. 3 million bucks and counting to clean a post office and there are still spores there.

And you know my opinion of UHC... Just look to California where the near UHC system is already nearly collapsing under the weight of our little brown skinned friends from Mexico and farther south. But that would be a fact and so many people just ignore them.

We have a new law thats going to the legislature next year and its a doozie..... You are here illegally? We will seize your house and all possesions in it, your car and then detain you until the Feds accept you for deportation. Thats a state law coming up.... I like it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: And of course you are aware that impeachment is analogous to an indictment, not a conviction. He was not convicted. If you aren't aware of it.

Also, Randy has a reading comprehension problem. He apparently thinks they were mailing Anthrax, but what the article said is another species of soil bacillus (NOT anthrax and NOT pathogenic) that is sometimes used in place of anthrax since it probably has a similar lifestyle (maybe it forms spores like anthrax does). The other bacteria (S. marcescens) can cause infections of wounds - not really dangerous either. Read the Tara Smith quote carefully.

Also throwing in that class 6.2 makes it look all scary and stuff but that class includes all kinds of biological matter and mostly just specifies the packaging for shipping. Randy most likely knows this and is trying to mislead us.

By Don Smith, FCD (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Shipping regulations for biological materials are something that I have looked into. If something is a "potential human pathogen", it must be treated as a biohazard.

The lactobacilli in yogurt are known to have caused infections in humans. They have caused liver abscesses in immunocompromised individuals who have consumed large quantities of yogurt. If you send yogurt through the mail without following all of the biohazard regulations you have committed a crime and can be prosecuted exactly the same way that Kurtz and Ferrell were because the bacteria in yogurt are human pathogens. The bacteria in yogurt require the same shipping procedures that the bacteria that Kurtz and Ferrell were using.

Virtually everything that anyone sends through the mail can be classified as a biohazard. All the FBI needs to do is culture what ever was mailed, and if any organism that has ever caused any infection is found, then the law has been violated. I remember reading of a case where there was a fungal infection of the heart caused by an edible mushroom. That would certainly qualify as a biohazard.

The "fraud" charge came from Ferrell using an account for one of his research projects to order the bacteria. As I remember it was less than a couple hundred $$. As an educational project it is arguably within a reasonable academic scope. The "defrauded party" was the university, who had to spend orders of magnitude more in legal fees than the amount they were "defrauded".

It is clear to me they pursued Kurtz because they looked foolish searching his house for 2 days in hazmat suits and finding nothing. It is abuse of legal process like this that leads to contempt for the legal process. In this case the contempt is justified. They wasted enormous resources, damaged the good guys and made us less safe.

The good guys follow the law, so lets not lump the elite in there because it doesnt cut with the sword very well. Its like going to a surgeon, you get a surgeon answer, you go to a pill passer, he gives you a pill. Tara's email was dead on about the event, but dead wrong

Revere, he was impeached. Then the House refused to remove him. If he had been removed the Vice President would have been sworn in and then WJC would have been picked up by the FBI and taken for processing.

It wasnt about a blowjob. It was about lying to a Federal Grand Jury.

Don-it was EXACTLY the stuff listed below. Go read the indictments. It also requires a cleanup, and on site testing for years to come of the facilities involved. But do continue saying that I am trying to mislead people. Here is the very nice codified law. You can back up to the first iteration and it defines the penalties for even possessing the stuff. Under the newest laws you can get 25 to life, with a minimum of 5 years. Judges where there is no criminal intent can set a verdict aside and give the offenders a diversion or the minimum sentence under a federal misdemeanor but I would say that Kurtz might be having a problem in a month or two.…

You know what kills me the most about this stuff? Its the fact that they broke the law and everyone here is ready to give them a pass. I doubt very seriously that they didnt know that what they were doing was wrong, especially with the money thing.... Couldnt find that particular problem on the first indictment which was the bio-bugs.

Deadie-You are right. They wasted enormous resources of the USGovt by committing an illegal act. They should be held accountable both by incarceration and by fines.

You'll be seeing more of this in the future folks. Get used to it. The UK and OZ are implementing their own laws that are VERY MUCH like this. Spread the word...Its illegal to break the law and you will be held accountable.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 26 Apr 2008 #permalink

It seems to me that anyone who refers to a race of people as "little brown skinned friends from Mexico and farther south" has larger prejudices that need tending first before his opinion should be debated.

MRK, you don't seems to understand, it is a law that everyone has broken. You have broken that law.

If you have ever mailed an envelope that you licked to seal or if you licked the stamp, or if you handled the paper before you put it in the envelope, you have mailed human pathogens. If so, then you have broken the law and you are one of the bad guys.

Everything that Kurtz is accused of doing you have done too. You are just as much a bad guy as Kurtz is.

Even there is no written law like this: "It seems to me that anyone who refers to a race of people as "little brown skinned friends from Mexico and farther south" has larger prejudices that need tending first before his opinion should be debated.", it has made me feel safe to stay ( close to) in a country that people think this way. Thanks.

Excuse me... But did I mistate something? Are the illegals not brown skinned? Are they not from Mexico and farther south? Havent the nearly collapsed the UHC in California? And for the record you can leave the bigot assertion out of it. I have a long record of making sure that doesnt come into anything... I have helped illegals get back to Mexico before so dont even start. I am stating a very well known fact and its happening all across the Southern States. Just because someone says they are brown skinned isnt racial, its a fact. Too many thin skinned people who are not comfortable in what God gave them work with so they run around with chips on their shoulders. I make no apology Paiwan.

Deadie-Cultured pathogens is what we are talking about here, not bacteria in your mouth or on your hands. Why? Because the Congress of the US has decided that part is legal and what they did isnt. The FBI isnt going to culture it, it was already done and illegally.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 27 Apr 2008 #permalink

MRK, the bacteria are the same whether they are "cultured" or not. The regs don't talk about "cultured" bacteria. They talk about microorganisms that are potential pathogens.

Are you saying that anthrax on a stamp is "legal", but yogurt in a test tube is not?

Every heterotrophic bacteria is presumed to be a pathogen and so is covered by those regulations.

Unless you culture it and identify it, how do you know what it is? Or do we just take the FBI's word for it, that what ever it was it was "illegal"?

Randy: Understand that you have no bad connotation on your depiction of the color of skin. Thanks for your explanation.

I read the posts of this thread in contrast with your tenacious apologetics on state security over individual liberty; I would say that the individual right of professional liberty( creative artist for this one) is universally legitimate and can not be sacrificed by any form of aggrandized collectism. Kurtz had un-intentionally crossed the border of legality and it was a fact; the swift pardon should be considered a proper remedy based on the minor mistake that he had made. Sorry for my un-orthodox viewpoint again.

Kurts' case could happen to anyone which includes you and me in the future. I guess that was what daedalus implied in his post. I guess that we care for Kurtz, not only he is an underdog now, but also we care the important value to build a healthful society that we cherish together.

MRK: You brought up the spectre of 9/11 with anthrax attacks, so here goes: they were directed at prominent Democrats (to stifle their dissent?) and despite the expertise and resources of this great country, our FBI still has not caught the terrorist. Most likely it came from one of our own, a well educated white person. Is this why he/she is still at large?
One answer can be derived when looking critically at 9/11 and the WTC and understanding that a thorough review of the physical evidence and testimony of first responders shows the only explanation for the sudden collapse of the two towers and WTC7 was controlled demolition. Which of course reveals that this was a coordinated effort on both sides, in order to radically change our foreign policy and go to war, having suffered another "Pearl Harbor." Which makes the GWB administration the most criminal as well as incompetent.
Worse than Watergate, setting up an Imperial Presidency that even Nixon wouldn't dare dream about...
The Vandals and barbarians will always be at Rome's gate, trying to bring us down, but no where close to the level of danger that you have been led to believe. We should always keep a healthy skepticism of our political leaders, especially when circumstances unfold with the amazing coordination of 9/11.

If I might point out several often overlooked facts about the anthrax attack.

The only media outlets targeted were the so called "liberal" media. The WSJ and Fox News were not targeted.

All of the letters that were sent had warnings that the letter contained anthrax and that recipients should take penicillin, an antibiotic that specific anthrax strain was sensitive to. That is all the letters EXCEPT the letters sent to the liberal Democratic lawmakers. They had no warnings to take antibiotics.

None were sent to conservative or GOP lawmakers.

It seems pretty clear that Hatfield was set-up to be the fall guy. He could only have been set-up by insiders to the US military biological weapons programs who knew enough about his background to set him up.

When 9/11 happened, many White House staffers immediately began taking cipro as a "preventative" measure. I guess they weren't high up enough in the "need to know" list to be briefed on the details so they got the timing off and thought 9/11 was the start of the anthrax attack.

To me, the anthrax perpetrator(s) are most likely "well educated white person" of Conservative, Neocon, or GOP political persuasion. It clearly wasn't a classic "terrorist". Classic "terrorists" don't warn their victims to take antibiotics. Only "friendly" terrorists do that. Maybe those were the "terrorists" Bush was talking about when he said "they hate our freedoms".

I disagree with the previous poster about 9/11. Fire in lower stories as happened would cause total collapse exactly as was observed. Columns fail by buckling. Once buckling occurs, the load capacity of a column goes essentially to zero. The upper stories fall as a unit through and past those failed columns. The upper stories fall one story. The inertial load of 25 stories falling 10 feet is too much and so the next lower story fails. That continues until they all fail.

Douglas....It couldnt possibly be because an airliner a piece hit them either huh? It couldnt possibly be that they tried to bring them down once before. Your facts are not founded in anything but conspiracy theory...When this comes up, I always just say prove it and produce the facts. Fact is that the buildings started leaning the minute they were hit. Controlled explosions?

Paiwan-Revere has an forwarded email for you... Incoming as we used to say in the military. Nothing bad, just information. As for Kurtz and Ferrell you wont see a pardon for them. In digging a bit more they both acknowledged that they knew they were shipping illegal materials. Those materials had been cultured and were not on every envelope ever licked or stamped in the US. It was also in quantities sufficient enough to really start a good fizzy factory of anthracis and later if they had intent, cause a lot of physical and financial harm. Only a IDIOT would ship stuff, grow it or in general do something to put themselves into legal jeopardy. They did it. Not us and we have to make examples of people often in our society. In other societies, they just kill them for the act. If this was Saudi Arabia, they would have had a trial and then a first class beheading.

Deadie is likely right about the collapse. Home grown terrorists? We have plenty of them just waiting for the right push button. Even more that are walking in from Mexico every day. Hugo Chavez has training camps going for Al Qaeda and we are going to take him out too. Just having the camps alone is reason enough.

To coin a phrase though, "They have us over a barrel."

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 28 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: Kurtz doesn't need a pardon. He is not charged with anything at the moment. Ferrell's case is over. Minor penalty because he really didn't do anything.

Yep, his case is over. The suggestion was from Paiwan's last. Line 5 para 2.

Kurtz though likely will be indicted again. The amount of money spent now exceeds the 100,000 threshold or more than three offenses rule. There are at least 15 transportation related issues that I can see and all bear at least a 25,000 fine each. If they reduced them to 3000 each under the guidelines, it would be mighty expensive. If he is re-indicted they will for sure have him. Most prosecutors dont know the regulations for that end of it. Might just end up with an obstruction charge.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 28 Apr 2008 #permalink

BS, pure BS. "You voice your dissent in the US via the ballot box, legal protests, and vigorous letter writing".

No one is listening MRK.

Our elections are rigged, our legal protests fall on deaf ears and letter writing does nothing in changing the "big" issues.
For anyone that even understands a small portion of the changes in the last four years it is realized that we are now controlled by a fascist regime.

But you'll be o.k. won't you MRK because you demand respect and adherence to the law.

Lea, WADR.... the elections arent rigged unless people allow them to be. We just got thru here convicting local precint judges who supposedly signed in at the polls from the last election, you know where the dead people were voting and said under oath they were there all day. Worked really good too, right up until the time that a picture of the said individual was produced in front of a time and date marquee in front of a local bank in Chicago on the day of the election....

My biggest fear as we continue this "Gore/Bush" thing. The Florida election went off without a hitch when the gamers of the system werent able to screw with the process. Palm Beach County had more people voting than were registered. How does that happen? You cram those punch card ballots into the holder 3 at a time is how. You get a punch thru on 1, punch or dangle on # 2, and a dangle or dimple on #3. Its very simple if you have people who will stop at nothing and that means nothing to get elected. Rigged? I also dont want to have our courts ever to be deciding elections unless there is clearly a malfeasance. Recounts until you get the desired results? Now there is rigging for you. Voter intent?

All elections are state elections and I do hope you'll run down and go thru the classes to be a poll watcher or election official. I am listed by both Dems and Republicans as their poll watchers and I am like a dearth unto those who would skew the process.... and the law in doing so.

Next suggested disenfranchisement by the Democrats... Indiana's voter ID law has been held to be Constitutional meaning you will have to produce a picture ID to vote either via the voting machines or ballot box, or to vote provisionally. No ID, no vote. They will run ads, they will put it on the news and then come election day they will not have complied with the requisite items and they will not vote.

As for the previous Lea... unless you plan on open warfare, sedition and treason I would suggest you limit what you do to those things I proposed. It might not change anything but its a slippery slope going the other way.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 29 Apr 2008 #permalink

Excerpt from posting by: M. Randolph Kruger | April 27, 2008 1:20 AM, "They wasted enormous resources of the USGovt by committing an illegal act. They should be held accountable both by incarceration and by fines.

You'll be seeing more of this in the future folks. Get used to it. The UK and OZ are implementing their own laws that are VERY MUCH like this. Spread the word...Its illegal to break the law and you will be held accountable."

Hi Randy, I'm interested to know your opinion 'bout the Sean Bell murder-mutilation issue vis a vis USGovt public servants!?! I fully imagine, by the time this issue reaches its end a great deal of taxpayer dollars will have been wasted defending those public servants involved in the sociopathic brutality leveled against a young black GenX-Y male...

Obviously Randy, you are aware of my own Oz history -- "pack raped" by a group of bigoted cops when I was 29! I feel there seems to be a double standard in your words, "Its illegal to break the law and you will be held accountable..." But, "legal accountability" appears to be based on a double standard which sees younger queers and blacks "legally subhuman" vis a vis government officials a generation older (primarily the hetero Babyboomer variety)...

New York Times
N.Y. / Region
April 26, 2008
Judge Acquits Detectives in Bell's 50-Shot Killing


Excerpt: Three detectives were found not guilty in the 2006 shooting of Sean Bell, who died on his wedding day in a hail of police bullets...

"The United States Department of Justice issued a statement announcing its own investigation. The Civil Rights Division and the United States attorneys office have been monitoring the states prosecution of this case and, following the review of all the evidence, will take appropriate action if the evidence indicates a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes, the statement said..."

On Wed, 11/29/06, wrote:

Subject: City of New York Auto Acknowledgment Correspondence # 1-1-279132140
Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 7:07 PM


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In the wake of Sean Bell's tragic death this weekend, there is a burning
desire for answers, and for justice, in New York City and across the country.
We believe that justice can only be served by appointing an independent,
special prosecutor with no ties to New York's law enforcement community,
and we are writing to urge that you do so.

Without an independent prosecutor, the investigation into Sean Bell's death
will be compromised by an inherent conflict of interest. District Attorneys
regularly collaborate and work with police officers, and they should not be
asked nor expected to conduct an investigation into potential wrongdoing by
their friends and co-workers.

In meeting with the family and calling 50 shots by the police
"unacceptable," Mayor Bloomberg's response to Sean Bell's
senseless killing was heartening. But it seems as though the mayor missed the
point: he did not publicly acknowledge systemic issues that caused the shooting
in the first place. The last few years have witnessed an increase in civilian
complaints against the NYPD for harassment, racial profiling, beatings and
false arrests against people of color in New York City. The systemic issues
causing this pattern of police brutality cannot be addressed by an
investigation led by someone close to the NYPD.

Too many unarmed Black men have died at the hands of the NYPD to deny that
there's a serious systemic problem. The NYPD is a force of over 37,000
uniformed officers. It's larger than some smal...

By Jonathon Singleton (not verified) on 29 Apr 2008 #permalink

Apologies Jonathan, don't mean to take away from your post.

Actually MRK I find myself disagreeing with you more these days. As revere said earlier: You spray out so many assertions no one can keep up with you.

You read what another person writes but do you actually think about what another person writes? Or is it instant reaction on your part?

This isn't a dig on your cherished opinions, it's a plea of sorts for you to settle down and try to incorporate the 360 degree view in your life. And to give other commenter's here a break, as well as show a little respect.

There are times in people's lives when their thoughts, words, deeds and actions should be looked at, carefully.

Lea who in your opinion is rigging the elections, in your state? What facist regime is controlling us? You don't believe Bush will go quietly back to Crawford when his term is up? You believe that McCain and Clinton and Barack are part of this facist regime?

I have a concern. My concern is with the Dems and all that crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth over the 2000 election, "Every vote should count" mantra that they obviously don't mean. What I do not understand is the penalty levied on Mich and Fla by the Dems over their primary election dates. I guess those votes shouldn't count because of, I don't know. I do not get the superdelegate thing either. They way I understand it, it is possible that the winner of the Dem primaries could lose the nomination because these superdelegates could toss the nomination to another and the hell with what the rank and file Dems across the country say (with their votes). Now if this true, then I would suggest that this is even bigger (better?) then rigging an election. Heck you don't like the results, toss them out! Speaking of a facist regime.....

By pauls lane (not verified) on 30 Apr 2008 #permalink

Lea-Again, its okay to disagree with me. Feel free to at anytime. The 360 thing is because it does tangentalize here a lot. But it still goes to root cause.... Did the gentlemen in question know what they were doing was illegal? Yep, and they admitted that part. Kurtz though tried a little cover up and thats where the wire and mail fraud came in. Look up the definition of it in Blacks Law.....The judge in my sole opinion erred when he tossed it. He just decided that the indictment was out of bounds? Thats what G. juries decide. The PEOPLE decide whether there is enough evidence for a trial. So who is wrong here? The jury decided there was legal merit. The judge decided that there wasnt?

As for the election thing I think you should consider the facts. Gore/Bush went to the courts because of.....whom? Gore didnt have the votes, but he did have operatives in Florida that were trying to take ballot boxes into closed rooms with only Democrat precinct judges in them (Miami). And then of course there was Palm Beach County where they had a mass turnout, more statistically than at any other time in history. More than were registered to vote and with a ballot box system and punchies, all you have to do is stuff the ballot boxes with two and three ballots. In fact, there were NO Republicans allowed into that process at all. They knew it, they used it and it still wasnt enough votes as determined post election by the news media paid for recounts. Am I happy with what Bush has done in his second term? No, but there were no irregularities reported beyond ID's in the second Florida election and the electronic machines. The suggestion that Jeb Bush had anything to do with it is pure fantasy because to get involved puts him at risk of the federal government. Sec of State Harris got a bad rap too because she could only by law certify the election, or not. The suggestion that all the votes were not counted is pure crap. Provisional votes are counted after the election, as are the absentee. Ohio was a good example of this in the last election. The Democrat came out and said that Bush had won. Statistically to change the outcome, all of the absentee, provisionals would have had to have been for Kerry. Post election the news services paid for the recount and they came back up with the same conclusion. Kerry lost.

Every state has their election laws up on their websites. So as to prevent a new debacle in anyone thinking anyone is disenfranchised, I would suggest you download them. In the future, you likely will be required to produce a federal voter ID along with a state voter ID, pictures of course. Registration will be an inquisition because of all of the illegals that are here and voting. The sanctity of the ballot box is my first and only concern. If Kerry had won I would have grumbled and just made sure everyone voted correctly and I did. I was sent to the worst place you could ever imagine and I had to run people out of the voters booths to keep them from voting for people. Clear violations. Who did I call? Not the Republicans...No it was a heavily Democrat precinct, I called the Democrat Commissioner and she handled it.

Most of the problems in the US stem from people who think that the law is something that applies to the other guys. Many think its something that needs to be changed but wont put in enough effort to get it changed. I agree the process is skewed to the wrong side but thats the reason its the way it is. Change has to come slowly else we would be molding the law every 15 minutes to accomodate the one situation rather than the macro situation. I expect that the law should be followed in all cases until it is changed.

Jonny-Whazzup? Some key things that were obviously obfuscated by the media is that two of the cops who fired were American Black cops. They were outgunned and several people testified that Mr. Bell told someome to "get my gat" as he and the club where he shot was being investigated by police for prostitution. Sean Bell was told to put his hands up, instead he jumped in a car and rammed a police cruiser. Automatically assault on a police officer and they capped him and wounded two others.

None of the people involved were saints. S. Bell was a very successful baseball player but gave it up to be with his pregnant squeeze. Apparently he turned to drugs to make ends meet or so thats what was reported in the trial. His two wounded buds were previously convicted of drug and firearms possession. Bell was only convicted of drug charges prior to this.

They were all well known to the NYPD. They were not saints as I said and it reminded me of a small western town standoff. They knew who they were, they know who the cops were. Bad blood? I dont know but telling someone to get your gun (felons are not supposed to possess weapons) so he could shoot a white whore is what is known as clear and present danger threat.

I believe but I am not sure that this is when the cops stepped in. If it wasnt then it was within minutes. They had him when he made the verbal threat. Unlawful shooting? Not really. When a cop tells you to put your hands up under the armed police rules as you call it there, you better put them up rather than going for a drive. Especially aiming it at a cop in a cruiser.

Your situation Jonny isnt unique. It happens to both gays and women all the time here. Many cops are overshadowed by the bad apples and quite a few are on the take. This wasnt a bad shooting IMO. I believe that the Justice Dept is going to come back as a justifiable shooting as well. 50 shots though and the double reloads are going to weigh heavily on their decision though. Filing charges against them for civil rights violations only would be the case. Was he armed with anything but a car? Was he still resisting as the last shot was fired? Thats when the police have to stop, when they cease resisting. Rodney King clearly on TV had the shit kicked out of him and they caught it on tape. But he wasnt resisting as best I could tell.

But did they have the right to shoot Sean Bell? Very likely. E.g. in the military you are told to walk away from all confrontations. If the guy/girl follows you and then threatens you, you are allowed under the UCMJ to kill them outright or only use as much force as necessary to protect yourself or subdue your opponent. You are also instructed to leave. If S. Bell used a car its a deadly weapon and they responded with the force in hand. 40 mm's from what I was able to get from them.

As for too many unarmed black men being shot in NY is a big question. The fact is that most in the hood are packing weapons of some kind. Here its not a question. There simply is more than a 50% chance that they will pull out a gun here in response to a traffic stop or something like it. Cops here after dark have to ride in two's for just that reason.

An unfortunate deal for all but Al "The Ex-Pimp" Sharpton is pumping this up and saying he will shut down NYC. Ten years ago that might have held some sway, they will disrupt a few things but even his days are numbered. The system is slowly stealing their fire as the insinuation was that he was shot because he was black no longer works. There were two black officers who fired at S. Bell so they cant say it was racism and I think that he was hit something like 8 times by their weps. Number may be higher or lower. After the one kill shot, its a moot point.

"Truth? Son, You cant handle the truth" -Jack Nicholson "A Few Good Men"

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 30 Apr 2008 #permalink

Pauls got this one right. The Dems shot themselves in the foot and they are backpedaling. Barack God love him has run an absolutely fantastic campaign and taken the mother superior out of the game. Run Obombme, Run!

But this superdelegate gig has just flattened them and imploded their party. Whatever happened to one man, one vote? They might as well have simply said let the Democrats with Power decide the candidate... Smoke filled room type of stuff.

Hillary's own mouth and personality coupled up with Bills finger pointing along with other gaffe's have done her. I look for a complete meltdown at the convention and if Barack is stupid enough to take her as running mate, his untimely death if it gets that far. If I were him, I would be wearing two sets of body armor if Hilary bows out until then. She would be the shoo in if that happens.

Too many people around the Clintons who turn up dead from violent means, too many accidents. Thats an assertion... you can take it anyway you want.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 30 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: What is your evidence for saying these two knew what they were doing was illegal before they did it? I've not seen that.

Randy: These are party primaries. One man, one vote (as in Bush v. Gore?) doesn't apply. Many of the delegates are decided by caucuses. In the past it was smoke filled rooms. There is not constitutional guarantee of you vote counting in a primary.

Yes, the whole set-up hasn't helped the Democrats. But they are better off than having the Iraq War hung around their necks. I'm sure the Republicans would trade those two albatrosses.

Just to name one source of corruption pauls lane.

The media's screeching crescendo is near-deafening for this Election cycle, and it's a sick, sad joke. We're being taken for a ride, we know it but still refuse to admit it.

The main stream media is a perfect example. Presently controlled in America by just five(?) families, the American news regurgitates nonsense and outright lies. The sad fact is, absolutely nothing in this country is reported unless it's first vetted and approved.

Every so often, we're permitted to vote in a rigged election scheme that only permits the wealthy, named and connected individuals to run for office. The same tired lies and promises are made.
The world turns, the destruction and wars continue, the planet worsens on all fronts and Americans get new toys to buy on maxed out charge cards.

Lee, have to agree yet again with you. I think politicians are the same the world over. Something about power and corruption? Values and morals can be corrupted, just as easily as the person, I believe.

I found the Grand Jury testimony on this when it came up on the DOJ website Revere..... Kurtz didnt admit to doing anything wrong when it came to the money wire and mail fraud. He did admit to receiving the materials from Ferrell. Ferrell said that he knowingly and wilfully sent the stuff thru the mails. I think they told him what they were going to do if he didnt plead out and he just took a look and said WTF and went with it. Postal Service regulations, DOT laws, TSA laws, etc. etc.

So Kurtz is likely wondering if they are going to try to get him again. And I do agree, they are trying to make an example out of them both. What they should have done was keep their mouths shut and asked for a lawyer. From what I read and it was a crapload of stuff they didnt get it that they were possibly facing time. The judge rightly saw that there was no criminal intent, but ignorance or wilful is the exact statement in the DOT laws. In otherwords you cant sit there and plead ingnorance at all... Its on every post office wall. In fact the reason for that is that USPS uses Fedex to move the mail via ground and air. So they cant possibly not know that you cant ship anything dangerous thru the mail. Shit, if they had simply sent it Fedex it would have just been a fine, no mail or wire fraud. They just want the money.

But now, they have those guys from the post office to deal with....Yikes!

As for the Dem Party primaries Revere, the Dems shot themselves good and hard with this superdelegate thing in 1968. Here are the rules

The Republicans looked at it a long time ago and decided that all nominations would be on the first vote and by simple majority. Helps ensure that the little guy gets to kick someones ass if needed. GWB would be on the list right now for sure. But now the Tennessee primaries and other S. States (dont know about the others) have "committed to=>" as a slot and block of votes to send your electee's to the convention to vote. You can vote for one guy in that block or the total number of people on the block. The number of votes determines who is going to the convention. Frequently the alternates are the people who are not in the block, but were also rans.

The Dems on the other hand with superdelegates say in New York can tell those guys in Dallas to kiss their Yankee asses and it turns it into the smoke filled room nomination before it goes down. It becomes a show of just announcing it on the mike. That makes every of the Dems nominations a negotiation right up until the actual speaking into the mike. That also gives them an out right up until the last second. Works if you find out that you are supporting a nutcase religious leader or that you might have a girlfriend (allegations about Hillary going around and now Obama may have little friend).

Neither Hillary or Obama will have enough to clinch it. If they go with Hillary they got Bill to answer the phone at 2 a.m., it will be one of his girlfriends anyway. Obama, young, untested and like so many who ascend to the presidency he might be ill equipped and decide that the social issues are more pressing than the security ones. Cant have the cake and eat it too. Cant raise taxes right now either else it will push a huge number over the edge so a doubtful UHC program.

Re: GWB and the albatrosses...It wouldnt have mattered if Kerry had won or Gore for that matter. It is for the better part like Lea says...He who gets the free coverage gets to be president, or should I say gets none of the hard questions. They tossed one on Hillary last month and you would have thought they had gang raped Chelsea in the mens room.

It was funny to watch her sputtering like a candle with water in it.... she basically melted down. If Obama gets the nod then those questions are going to come out in the debates like bombs out of a B52. He is going to answer them and the lib press is having a hard time hitting this guy and believe it or not I think Hillary has gotten far worse questions asked... Shit, Chelsea has had harder ones than Obama.

I'll look and see if I can get that DOJ G. Jury testimony and post the link. Dont answer until later if you decide to. ENJOY the summer!

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 30 Apr 2008 #permalink

Randy: Grand Jury testimony on a website? That's a new one on me. In any event, what you write doesn't say he knew he was doing something illegal. Indeed, most of us wouldn't have thought that was illegal.

MRK- you are funny.

By the way, you do know what Randy means in Aussie or English terms, don't you? Does it mean the same in America?

Randy Kruger (April 30, 2008), "There were two black officers who fired at S. Bell so they cant say it was racism and I think that he was hit something like 8 times by their weps. Number may be higher or lower. After the one kill shot, its a moot point..."

Randy me ol' mate, if I remember correctly Nicholson's flawed character from "A Few Good Men" was tragically incapable of applying "truth" to his own illegal actions within a "closed culture" eg. the U.S. Military... And what is the NYPD but a "closed culture" approximating a military structure, comprising a multicultural mix of loyal folk.

Randy, are blacks capable of racism against other blacks? Indeed, are gay men capable of queerbashing other gay men? This is a simple question I pose to Gloria Allred (see below). I've never actually seen the mutilation wrought against the human body by fifty bullets being reload-fired into it by a determined group of multicultural police officers -- the imagery makes me feel like vomiting!

Comments: Re: Inquiry Confirmation from Gloria Allred of April tenth and fifteenth, 2008...

Monday 28th April 2008

Howdy Gloria, hope all is well...

The following e-list excerpt re: racist murder-disfigurement-mutilaton of New York's Sean Bell and my own homophobic smalltown "pack rape" illustrates previously made points -- ie. when it comes to the everyday reality of AmericanOz queers and blacks, "closed cultures" demonstrate double-standards requiring the clarity of outside legal involvement.

Unlike my NY generational counterparts, I've been Aussie lucky, lucky, lucky to have had the opportunity of receiving a comprehensive university education, arming me with tools necessary to dialogue with the medicolegal establishment. The Sean Bell issue is no different to my own situation, excepting I have a verbose vocabulary to politely express the injustices inherent to bigoted "closed cultures"!


Comments: Dear Ms. Allred, I'm writing regarding your
letter to me from March second 2006, entitled, "Your
legal inquiry". Sadly, your email letter may have
created more harm than good -- no gay male under the
age of fifty living in Perth, Western Australia, will
give me the time of day. Not one gay male in my age
group will associate with me...

I've been completely ostracized as a consequence of my
continually publicizing your 2006 acknowledgment of my
legal claims.

It's been over a year since I kissed another male in
my GenX age group. In Smalltown Australia, I appear
to be categorized a social and economic liability...

Please read the following to better understand this

Regards, Jonathon:*)

EffectMeasure -- "Fox News: an excremental
contribution to the news" By Revere (March 22, 2008)…

Reader response posting excerpt by Jonathon Singleton
(March 24, 2008)

Randy, I think we'd be educationally entertaining as

In March 2006, I received a positive legal email from
Gloria Allred, an infamous California attorney (see

Her email concerns were focused on lawsuits vis a vis
time periods -- this is ironic given two facts...

* FOI have been stalling, withholding info since the
get go -- FOI are legally culpable for stonewalling!

* The primary issue concerning and justifying the WA
police and medicolegal establishment's violent 1997/8
mistreatment of me was my so called "drug induced"
"delusional" belief in an impending global disaster --
ie. the H2H H-this N-that transgenic pandemic...

Due to my questioning character, I happened to be one
of those who awakened early to the pandemic threat of

Since 2000, I've been fully cognizant of the probable
consequences of accelerated horizontal gene transfer
and recombination...

Writing 'bout this evolutionary paradigm is now easy
as transposing Indonesian health minister Supari into
the fascinating "Usual Suspects" Kylie Minogue music
video for "Did it Again" (1997)...

H5N1 Blog -- A human/avian flu co-infection reported
(March 17, 2008) by Crof

Gloria Allred, as a heterosexual, cannot see the
obvious even though she once represented pop icon
Michael Jackson. Unbigoted, empathetic solicitors in
Perth, WA!?! My situation is tres analogous to an
African-American finding non-racist/sexist legal
representation in Smallville America during the 1960s.

Remember back in the day, how big city US solicitors
used to travel to "inbred" locales and represent black
clients "socially raped" into the role of the whipping
boy/scapegoat!?! Quite often, smalltown blacks would
ostracize the accused individual due to the
socioeconomic realities of these bigoted environments
-- without a job there's no money, food or shelter.

40 plus years later and nothing has changed. Many West
Aussie homosexuals have been inculcated...into the
delusional ideological belief our sexuality is
"sub-human" relative to heterosexuality and
undeserving of equal citizenship. In this bigoted
social climate, there's little opportunity for fair
legal representation in smallville Oz.

Subject: Your legal inquiry
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006
From: Gloria Allred
To: Jonathon Singleton

Dear Mr. Singleton,

I am in receipt of your email outlining your legal

I regret to inform you that due to our heavy caseload
and other commitments, neither I nor my law firm are
in a position to become involved in this matter. You
may wish to contact your county's Bar Association
fora referral to an appropriate attorney.

Please be advised that in every case there is a time
period in which an individual must file a lawsuit or
forever lose the right to do so. I have made no
attempt to ascertain what that time period is as it
pertains to the set of circumstances you describe.

In addition, the fact that I cannot represent you
should not necessarily be construed to mean that you
have no case. If you wish to pursue this matter
further, I would strongly urge that you seek a lawyer
immediately to evaluate the facts and to advise you as
to the time period available within which to file a

I appreciate your inquiry and wish you success in your
pursuit of justice.

Very truly yours,


By Jonathon Singleton (not verified) on 30 Apr 2008 #permalink

Well Jonny I can tell you it aint pretty when even two or three are well placed. A .50 cal is pretty awesome from even a half mile.

Victoria-No Randy doesnt mean the same up here as it does there. But I do like to throw it around when visiting England. The Brits prefer Randolph without a doubt because when you start to introduce yourself especially to the ladies..."Hi, I'm Randy." Well you get the point.

No in the USA it means first rate, class 1, Southern Asshole... just ask Revere. There is a whole new medical classification of this and I am sure it will refer to Neanderthals as the branch of hominids from which we sprung. Low brain weight, enlarged brows, beer bellies and way too big overall. . Thats generally from eating road kill and barbeque as a permanent diet....For breakfast.

Revere, this thing is dropping posts again. I had a four paragraph one with that link to the indictment of Kurtz and Ferrell that was handed down by the G. Jury.

Here it is again from a different source because I had to pour through the DOJ's postings on NexisLaw to get it and it took an hour. But if you read thru it you get that they had no terror intent. But they obviously knew what they were doing was wrong. The judge erred in his toss-out and the noise is out there that they will re-indict. Guilty? Not until proven so or a plea is agreed to. Kurtz IMO should take a plea to a misdemeanor too if he is indicted again. The other side of this fence will let its cows into the field too if he doesnt. USPS regs, DOT regs, FDA and they have Farrells conviction. Conspiracy too? I wonder if that already wasnt a part of his testify against Kurtz.

Do read it everyone and you can see that the act wasnt so much a big thing at first other than deliberately trying to circumvent the law. It got air under its wings when the wife died. You are not allowed to culture pathogens of any kind in the US under any circumstances without a license to do so. Anyone care to argue the efficacies of that one? Its probably the same in the various countries around the world. Academia is not a pass for the law. The laws are there to prevent things from happening and its the first line of defense if someone starts to make something. The labs are supposedly scrutinized and they just said what the F and did it.

One other thing the bacillis anthracis was upgraded from the original material apparently. Kurtz obviously didnt know that it was in there with the other stuff which was fairly innocuous. They were all innocuous BUT, they did know it was Level One facility stuff and they were actively trying to get around it and finally just did it without so much as a consideration of the law. UPitt has some real problems with this as the MTA's were signed, reviewed and then signed again about this kind of thing with Farrell and now...all of their bio procedures are under the microscope. Wouldnt want to be in their legal dept right now.....

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink

Randy: B. anthracis? Who was culturing B. anthracis? It was B. subtilis as far as I know.

Lea - so from your response I am given to understand that in your opinion elections are rigged by the monied and/or the media? I would hope that news reports are vetted and approved by editors and fact checkers at the various media outlets. The NYTs, for one, has been sadly lacking in this ability for quite sometime. I would hope that news reports don't publish innuendo unless CLEARLY stated as such, as fact. I do hope that news reports don't publish rumor as fact as well. Now in defense of the MSM they do publish what politicians say. If some in the great unwash actually believe what is reported because they believe that particular politician, well it's not the media's fault. Where the media fails miserably alot of the times, is to follow-up with news reports when it is learned that the politician was speaking out of his/her ass. Same holds true for others as well as politicians, like scientists for example. As for the facist regime question, no answer at all. So I must assume you were using hyperbole in your comments. Calling the elected government of the US facist is quite the overstatment.

By pauls lane (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink

Neanderthals as the branch of hominids. LOL.

Very good. Randy. Lee Kwang-Yeo, Winston Churchill, Victoria, me, Revere were desendants of hominid as well.
As far as I know that the major trait discovered after 1990 is that Homo sapien has the capability of reasoning in evolutionary epistemology, the new rationality evolved is called hypothetical realism. In short, the evolution of Homo sapien has blended very well about nature and grace.

Why I mention Lee Kwang-Yeo, he has been very successful in buidling Singapore on realism, very relistic achievement based on his Eastern democracy-one party dorminant philosophy. Winston Churchill is a good example of hypothetical realism. He was forsaken after leading World War II, nevertheless with principle he had been successful inspiringly.

Your style is in between Lee and Churchill :-) We like to see a prominent trait of hypothetical realism in you, a poised quality of grace in coupling with your profound knowledge of American politics.

Starting paradigm shift a bit. I guess that what America needs now is something great./?

Apparently Revere and I would have to really go back to dig on this one as it was an amendment to the original indictment (prosecutors can amend and add to the charge list once a person is indicted) was that they had the stuff analyzed and it first came back as subtilis, then the anthracis...They didnt or did know they were at the time growing it. I guess thats the reason for a lab license? Anyway the assertion was made by the attorneys was that it was contamination of the original sample but there it was growing away regardless. Legal wrangling.

These guys really were trying to skirt the law Revere, their own emails made that case. Then for someone who is a signator to an MTA AND basically a QC guy to be doing this give me the chilly willy's . What if there had been intent? It certainly isnt what the back channel media portrayed, nor is it what the main stream media pumped it up to be either. It lies somewhere in between and they'll put the plea agreement up on the web pretty soon. I just dont want to leave the impression that these guys did absolutely nothing wrong.... It was more a case of just getting out of it for the time being on the part of Kurtz. Ferrell on the other hand could land Pitt into the bio-commode and their admirable research groups could go down with them on the first flush. I bet a guy with a cold gets wrestled to the ground there and searched now.

I always try to apply the military approach to things. Find out what the rule book says and run right up to the limit on it, then if there are no rules on it and it doesnt violate common sense. Go for it.

I do wonder if anything else has slipped out the door as you have postured for a long time, either knowingly or unwittingly. We might not have to worry about bird flu, it might be something else. You stated it correctly many times on these labs... its not a question of if, but when....

Thanks Pai...... With the Chinese Navy feeling gutsy enough to surface a nuclear tipped submarine inside of a carrier task force and a mile from the carrier itself you might be right. I have heard of Lee K. Yeo....

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 01 May 2008 #permalink