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"Peace and Harmony?" I finally said, incredulously. "What moron could hire a former black ops spook, and Whistler's only private eye, to foment peace and harmony in a relatively peaceful and harmonious town?"
"I'm not at liberty to say. I refer to him by his code name: B 2 ."
"Oh yeah, no one's ever going to figure that out. And just what does B 2 propose you do to further peace and harmony? And why for chrissakes?"
"I'm sure you understand, as befits these kind of, well, shall we say covert operations, there's a certain need-to-know paradigm in play to provide the cover of plausible deniability for higher-ups...."
"In English, J.J."
"Without being specific, let's just say I'm working with some scientists at a certain, unnamed pharmaceutical company to determine the optimum level of Fluoxetine one might slip into an unspecified municipal water supply to provide the drinking populace with an overall sense of well being... and complacency."
"You're going to put Prozac in the drinking water? Are you shitting me? Still, I have to admit, it's brilliant. Ban bottled water and then spike the taps with Prozac. Brilliant."
"You said it; I didn't. But you have to admit, as happy drugs go, you can do a lot worse than Prozac... hypothetically speaking of course."
"I almost hate to ask but isn't this a new low, ethically speaking of course, even for you J.J.?"
"Not even close. Look, you have to see things from B 2 's position. You've got a practically un-ruleable town with a lot of hotheads going off the deep end about, oh, asphalt plants, budget overruns, deforestation, muni workers being paid a livable wage, daycare, paid parking, you name it. You've got some hothead groups of unthankful homeowners and bitchy columnists - no offense, bro but... - and councillors who just won't drink the kool aid. Hell, you can see the attraction of the direct approach, can't you?"
"Ja vol, mein kampf. Like I always say, dictatorships are the most efficient form of government."
"Well, you said it, I didn't. But hey, B 2 's got a town to run...."
"No offense, J.J., but I always had this silly, democratic dream that it was the elected officials who set policy, make law, run the town and generally are accountable to da people. Silly me, but I thought the civil servants were, well, servants. Mayor and council make policy, staff carry out policy. Last time I waded through the Local Government Act, that was still the way things shook out."