"Attacks" by the poison Ricin, a naturally occuring compound caused by breakdown and fermentation of Castor beans, have been in the news.
It seems like we keep hearing the term "Ricin-laced Letters" bandied about by the MSM. Our President has had some letters adressed, as well as some other notables.
The only thing we know for sure is that "the letters tested positive for the substance".
I decided that this seemed to be a bit loose, so I did some reading on the all-knowing Internet about Ricin. I came up with these points:
- Yes, Ricin is some bad nasty stuff. If you are infected with the toxin, you will probably die, because it works to destroy your body's cells from within, by removing their ability to assimilate proteins. Death occurs in 36-72 hours, but can sometimes be prevented by heavy medical intervention.
- Ricin occurs naturally, wherever there are Castor beans stored, since the beans are always slowly decomposing in storage, and a guaranteed product of that decomposition is Ricin.
- More Ricin than occurs naturally can be made by physically crushing the beans and allowing them to ferment faster in that state.
- To be used as a weapon, the Ricin needs to be concentrated, dried out and "weaponized", i.e. divided into a fine powder.
- Here's a list of "ricin events", compiled by our friends at CNN, and a better one by GlobalSecurity.org.
Notice the one thing missing from this mountain of data about the toxin?
Give yourself the Gold Star if you said quantitative analysis.
When there exists a compound in Nature, and it is not a weapon, and until made into one, no law is broken, how do we tell when it has been made into a weapon? When we find the weaponized powdered form of it, and only then. That process involves both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
What does "a letter tested positive for Ricin" really mean?
Check out this ad for a Ricin Test. Note the broad application of the test. They don't say, but I suspect, that swabbing walls inside a Castor bean facility and especially inside a Castor Oil production facility would show the presence of the Ricin Toxin with this test. If you made up some Castor Oil in your kitchen (used to be very common to do that when Castor Oil was a VERY common laxative and general tonic for the body), your kitchen would test positive for Ricin toxin.
The bottom line is that all the "positive tests" for Ricin toxin are too broad-spectrum to be used for anything but perhaps evidence upon which to secure search warrants ("preponderance rule"), but insufficient to convict ("beyond a reasonable doubt rule"), and the reason for THAT is that the Field Test is not of evidentiary quality.
Why, do you ask, does the MSM report breathlessly about Ricin when only the Field Test has detected some biological pathogen which MIGHT be Ricin, and Gas Chromatography, the actual evidentiary test, hasn't even been done?
Well, that's the MSM selling soap, that's what that is. Why would the MSM do this, you ask? Because the Feddle Gummint wants all of to think, all the time, that it's under attack by sinister forces with nasty weapons, some of which, like Ricin, turn out to be not so nasty after all since the level of technology to make weaponized Ricin is beyond the average whack-job who might think of it.
That perception of the Government being under attack all the time is a standard ploy to visit more and more control upon the population for activities which don't threaten anyone.
Want to have some fun? Go buy a pressure cooker. Give the pot to Goodwill, but keep the pretty box it came in. Next, go to your GNC store and buy a few bags of Castor beans. Leave both the box and the beans in plain sight in your car and let the parking meter expire....