"Just doing my job" (Prescott-Riverside)
May 25, 2007

This a.m. the nurse told me that they [Prescott personnel] had been messing with my medication without my knowing it. I suspect she was lying.

Two Riverside deputies picked me up about 8:30 [a.m.]. As had become standard, neither would give their names, but one of them slipped while on a phone call, and I picked it up as S [Name omitted.] The other one I will call "Fundamental Bill." They had done a lot of extraditions, and this was their first for a misdemeanor. After asking "What the heck?" they concluded from the answers it was a political matter. They were, as they said, "just doing their job." It occurs to me that the extermination of 9 million people in the Nazi concentration camps came down to the people who opened the valves on the gas chambers, just doing their job. Banal evil. Bill and S were interested in the story so they got the whole thing and much more. We also talked about the meth[amphetamine] problem, which has recently changed.

The feds made it hard to get pseudephedrine so the local meth labs shut down, and supply switched to Mexico, where they produce a superior and really pure product. There is an astonishing number of people using meth. Upwards of 90% of the people in the Prescott jail were there for a reason related to meth. Most of the rest were due to alcohol. The percentage of users was estimated at 30 to 70%, depending on location.

If I remember right, there are about a million and a half people in Riverside county. If one out of 3 is using $100 a week, that's $50 million a week, or $2-1/2 billion a year just from one county. The numbers sounded awesome.

Did the federal crackdown on Sudafed improve the situation? Not according to these deputies. If anything, it is worse after the crackdown on Sudafed because the Mexican meth is higher grade. A number of years ago I speculated about some of the changes of nanotech and the Singularity. One of them was "superdope," which makes you happy but without the will to eat. Meth may not be "superdope," but it definitely gives you a feeling of something about halfway there. I have become more pessimistic about humans surviving the Singularity. In fact, this might be the answer to the Fermi question. An evolved species will have reward circuits to guide its behavior. Once the species gains a technology to get the reward without the behavior, the species may be doomed.

When we got to the airport in Phoenix, we were escorted around Security. I wondered if anything catastrophic would befall us. After all, in the early years of the last century, a small sect of the Doukhobor immigrants from Russian blew up an entire train in order to kill the Doukhobor leader aboard. If so, killing 150 people would be only 1/6 Jim Jones's record. However, we landed in Ontario without event, and spent about as much time in dense traffic as the plane ride. When we got to the Riverside jail, S put his pistol in the trunk of the car, apparently having carried it on the plane. Since just about 9/11, I have been a big fan of qualified people carrying guns on aircraft. It was news to me that local law enforcement people are doing it. Fundamental Bill is home-schooling his 12-year-old girl and is proud of the fact she has never been to a sleepover at a friend's house. He won't permit it. She also has an extremely limited selection of the internet, which does not include such sites as Wikipedia.

Considering that I met a guy in the Prescott jail who started on meth when he was in 5th grade, Bill may be doing the right thing. On the other hand, he may wind up with an intellectual cripple. I was booked into the jail around 5, placed in a holding cell with no bed till about midnight, when they moved me to a high-security area and a solitary cell.

Keith Henson