Adamson answered with a question.
"If you had cancer, would you think about it?" Adamson told me something that has stuck with me.

"In here," he said, "I live with murderers but I know them. When you live on the outside, you never know who they are." In Arizona, the persistent entrepreneurs bounce back from misfortune. When I first came to Arizona, Rudy Miller ran a lucrative trade school called Arizona Tech.

Miller was a tireless self-promoter. His face was seemingly on half the billboards in town. He was as well known as J. Danforth Quayle. Miller kept telling everyone of his visits to the home of George Bush. He predicted he was going to be the next Karl Eller.

"Are you a millionaire?" Miller was asked.
"Let's say multimillion," he answered.
One night, Miller fell in with a group of professional card players in a place then called Applegate's, not far from Arizona Tech. The game was liar's poker.

Miller lost heavily and then put up a beef. There was a scuffle. Miller was tossed out. In the process, Miller lost one of his shoes.

He went back to Arizona Tech and got a .45-caliber pistol. Miller headed back to Applegate's and barged through the door waving the gun. An off-duty cop tackled him and Miller was arrested.

The story played big. Miller's troubles multiplied when his school, heavily dependent upon government-sponsored loans for tuition, went down.

Miller disappeared from view for a while. Now, he's popped up again. This time, he's bigger than ever. He's president of a commuter airline and is listed as the owner of his own skybox for the Phoenix Cardinals games.

Everything is connected.
A young man named Mitch Singer married one of the partners of Applegate's. He then opened his own restaurant called B.B. Singer's in Scottsdale. In quick succession, Singer went big-time, opening two more restaurants along Central Avenue.

There was always a suspicion that people who did cocaine were somehow involved. Stan Akers Jr., the son of the legislative powerhouse, was arrested there but was able to cop a plea.

Singer's brother-in-law, Steve Steinberg, stabbed Singer's sister to death. Some thought he was under the influence of cocaine. But no one ever knew for sure because he was found innocent of murder because of temporary insanity.

Now, Singer and Akers are up to their ears in the case of the cocaine-dealing dentist in Paradise Valley.

For a solid month, Michael Lacey, New Times executive editor, has written frightening stories about the conduct of the Department of Public Safety in the Leon Woodward case.

The stories point out that our DPS under Ralph Milstead exhibited the same political-police-force tendencies as the Gestapo under Heinrich Himmler. No one who's been around Arizona very long takes the Woodward case as an isolated incident. There were the ruthless tactics employed during Evan Mecham's impeachment trial. There was the mysterious arrest of Ed Finklestein, who was running against DeConcini and making serious charges about DeConcini's land deals.

And there were all those heavy-handed storm-trooper tactics employed by the DPS during the Phelps Dodge copper strike in Morenci.

The DPS officers have always been friends of the rich and the entrenched. They know how to pick their targets. Most people don't like Woodward. They didn't like Mecham. They abhorred the strikers, largely Mexicans who didn't know their place.

One day I sat down and talked with Ray Isner of United Steelworkers of America.

"People just don't want to believe the oppressive role the Department of Public Safety played in the strike," he said.

"One night, the strikers conducted a march. The DPS started making arrests. They took everyone to a place called the Morenci Club. There were eighteen of them. They kept these men, who had merely been engaged in a march, handcuffed for fourteen hours. All that time, they were confined to a tiny cloakroom.

"They didn't even remove their handcuffs to let them go to the bathroom.
"At one point, the DPS officers carted the strikers down to a baseball field. They hosed them down and then brought them back to an air-conditioned room without giving them a chance to dry off.

"They kept helicopters going all through that night.
"DPS snipers were poised on the side of the hills pointing their weapons down toward Clifton where the strikers lived. Can't people see that the DPS is operated like it was Phelps Dodge's private army?" Insensitivity is rampant. Nothing changes. The powerful are never even embarrassed.

This is why they are now willing to create a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. It will be good for business. It may bring us the Super Bowl.

How fitting. And how totally contemptible.

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