by Travis Mateer
A few weeks ago I was tagged on a tweet that led me from this article about Mothers Against Drug Deaths (and what they’ve uncovered) to the website of one of the organizations getting serious government loot to do whatever the fuck it is government officials think they’re doing to “combat” the cruel carousel of addiction, incarceration and homelessness.
Before I get to Urban Alchemy and the creepy logo, let’s examine a bit of the insanity being uncovered by Mothers Against Drug Deaths, starting with the safe injection site.
Attached to the center is an open-air drug consumption area, where addicts lie on the ground or slumped in plastic chairs all day.
They’re provided all the tools necessary to continue using — needles, foil, pipes and more.
There are also drugs available.
Directly across the plaza is the largest open-air drug market in the city.
If you haven’t seen it for yourself, it’s hard to believe. At least 100 drug dealers standing in the bright sunshine – without any fear of police.
Anyone that knows anything about addiction would find this unfathomable.
Yes, fathoming is difficult when you make logical but erroneous assumptions about what the intent of these programs and the money going to the organizations is all about.
Now, let’s get to the SUPPOSED intent of Urban Alchemy, which has this eye peering at you for its logo:
Here is some of the content from the website, like the general intent of the organization:
And who they are seeking to employ:
Nice sounding language, slick online design. Great. But what about, you know, stuff like RESULTS?
Going back to the MADD moms, here are some of the absolutely pathetic numbers their efforts have uncovered:
According to the city’s own records, which we have compiled, out of 23,000-plus visits to the linkage center since it opened in December, only 18 people have received medical treatment for substance abuse or have been successfully referred to rehab. And we don’t even know if those 18 people are clean today, because there’s no way to track them.
While Missoula is significantly scaled down, would it surprise you, dear reader, to know that I have, in my possession, numbers ALMOST as pathetic as the excerpt above? Well, I do, but a conversation I had a few weeks ago convinced me that exposing the joke of a certain phone resource might dissuade someone from trying to actually utilize it, so for now I’m sitting on the numbers.
Going back to the logo, maybe the creepy eye is a way to make it more memorable? If that’s the case, then I commend the LifeGuard Group for going with this:
Since I was having trouble putting my finger on what I was getting from this image, I did a few searches and found something that might be applicable: the fascist color palette. From the link:
Since sometimes visual symbolism is more effective than words, I decided to make a graphic comparison using “The Fascist Color Palette”- consisting of black, red, & white.
These colors subconsciously represent danger and power. They were used most notably by the Nazi Party, and also by George Lucas in Star Wars to visually define The Galactic Empire- controlled by the quintessential fascist dictator, Emperor Palpatine and his fellow Sith Lord, Darth Vader.
Is this the vibe I’m getting? Or is it more like aliens emerging from the red glow of their space ship?
And what kind of people would the LifeGuard Group like to employ? Under opportunities, the in-house manager position for the Crooked Tree Ranch is still being advertised. Here’s the less than grammatically sound overview of the position (emphasis NOT mine):
The LifeGuard Group is committed to identifying and responding to the needs of individuals at-risk of human trafficking and/or exploitation and those working to transition out of the life of human trafficking. The LifeHouse In-Home Manager is responsible for the daily operations of the safe house, as well as working with the Case Manager to develop case management and care plans for each client of The LifeHouse.
This position is most vital in the operation of The LifeHouse as well as the overall mission of The LifeGuard Group. This position will set the tone and culture for The LifeHouse. Dealing with multiple persons as well as multiple personalities can be very challenging. Patience and courage are of the utmost significance. In-Home Manager are expected to maintain a high level of presence within the home and act as an immediate resource to clients. Ongoing training will be required and provided.
Ideal candidates are familiar with victim centered assistance and trauma. Beneficial to have exposure working on a farm/ranch environment, and have some experience in outdoor recreational activities (hiking, snow shoeing, gardening, fishing, etc.). Previous work experience in youth/adult mentoring is preferred but not required. Candidates must be patient, innovative, collaborative, detail oriented, able to handle multiple tasks, and remain calm and competent in stressful/crisis situations; must maintain appropriate example to residents in all areas of personal conduct and appearance; must display leadership and supervisory qualities.
As I combed through the specific duties and education requirements, this part jumped out at me:
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate with residents and outside contractors.
This time the emphasis is mine because I’m wondering how many outside contractors will be needed. Did I forget to mention that the Crooked Tree Ranch is supposed to be a “safe house” for victims of human trafficking?
While much of my writing–especially about these jokers–tends to be fairly critical, I have managed to make ONE positive observation about this group, and that’s how they seem to be bringing together unlikely political allies.
How else to explain the financial support by the Gianforte foundation PLUS the political/law enforcement cover provided by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, where the Sheriffs have recently run, and are currently running, as Democrats?
Did I forget to mention the CEO of the LifeGuard Group, Lowell Hochhalter, is ALSO the chaplain for the Sheriff’s Department?
Maybe I’m missing something. Is there some not-happening power flex I’m not aware of?
I don’t know, but I sure find all this to be pretty damn inspirational, which is why I’m writing so many poems and songs.
Which reminds me, I’ve got a special poem coming this Friday, so stay tuned and thanks for reading!