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Friday, October 22, 2021

I Love L.A.

Starcrawler - I Love LA

In Pass Tents, Peachy Keenan explains the exploding number of homeless people on our city streets. Her (I think it's a her, but I could be wrong, that's just the feeling I got from the reading the article) explanation is the first one I've heard that makes any kind of sense. This excerpt gets to the root cause of the problem.

The New Meth

There is a simple explanation for the dramatic increase in homeless zombies in our cities: It’s the meth, stupid. You won’t hear this from anyone who gets paid to “solve homelessness.”

But this is not your grandfather’s meth. It still all comes from Mexico, our “friend” to the south. But this new meth is not the form made from ephedrine, the “party” meth, which got regulated into oblivion and could never be made in large enough quantities to wreak too much havoc anyway. Since then, the Mexican cartels figured out how to make meth with other chemicals. It’s called “P2P meth,” for the phenyl-2-propanone precursor, and it’s the kind you see in Breaking Bad. This stuff is put together with a poisonous brew of easy to source industrial chemicals — no pilfered cough syrup needed.

The problem is that P2P meth has the unfortunate side effect of causing schizophrenia. Oops!

Reporter Sam Quinones has written for years on the meth situation, and he explained what P2P meth does in a recent podcast: “it turns people schizophrenic, paranoid, [with] horrible hallucinations–cheetahs coming out of the walls, the government inside my brain, people unable to speak…incapable of basically living in a regulated society.”

The new meth doesn’t keep you dancing at the party. This meth turns you inward—into a cozy little tent. Quinones debunks the homeless-as-housing-crisis myth. “The tents and meth almost go together like hand in glove. You want to be in a tent because the tent is where you can just be alone. You don’t have to be around everybody else. These encampments are a direct result of that. People view these tents as benevolent things, as keeping people from the cold weather…but they are simply enabling spaces for folks with horrible psychiatric problems created by this staggeringly, potent and prevalent methamphetamine that’s coming out of the Mexican trafficking world.”

Add in a few grains of Chinese-supplied fentanyl, which enters Mexico in huge quantities via ship at the Pacific ports of Lazaro Cardenas and Manzanillo, and you get Mexican-made P2P schizo meth that’s also insanely addictive. You go from your house in the suburbs to a tent on the street—after just a few hits.

This is not a housing crisis.

She also talks about all the sleazy politics involved and offers a possible solution. Her solution sounds like pie in the sky until you remember the zillions of dollars that have already been dumped on this problem.

If you want to go a little deeper, I would say our foreign policy in regards to Mexico and China is the cause of most of our problems. Nixon's opening of China may have helped the Chinese climb out of the hole they were in, but our lack of tariffs has destroyed our industrial base and put zillions of American's out of work. What do you do when you have nothing to do? You look around for a way to kill time, and nothing kills time better than drugs, which is why America has such a huge appetite for drugs. I don't know why Mexico is so fucked up, but I suspect our foreign policy had something to do with it. Or maybe we were too concerned with the really bad crazies in Asia and just couldn't be bothered with our own backyard since it didn't seem to be an imminent threat.

Note on the video: Peachy references Randy Newman's song, which is completely different than Starcrawler's. Starcrawlers version is just a tad sarcastic, which I think suits this discussion better. Plus I really like the tune. And the intro. Teenagers are just great.

Via Bayou Renaissance Man

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