When I Say Montana Is An Embarrassment This Is What I’m Talking About

by Travis Mateer

My travels have taken me all over this country, and I can safely say that most of the people I talk to seem genuinely shocked after just a few minutes of talking to me because I tell them stuff that’s happening and NOT happening in Montana.

There are basic things that ANY entity hiring and firing people must do when it comes to the role of Human Resources (HR), things like maintaining personnel files where employee reviews and complaints are kept.

Yeah, Montana doesn’t do that kind of shit. And a recent audit of JUST ONE state agency shows how problematic that could be if a state employee decides to litigate. From the link (emphasis mine):

Among the other problems within the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department, auditors found next to nothing in the human resource files, which would include information on hiring, employee discipline and employee reviews. Auditors noted that the missing paperwork could potentially become a liability for the state.

“In trying to review the details of events that led to several members of enforcement management being placed on administrative leave, we learned HR claimed to have lost their performance reviews or they were never completed at all by enforcement and the director’s office,” the audit said.

State policy requires the FWP have a hiring plan for every time the department wants to add staff. Those plans include guidance for minimum qualifications, ranking qualified candidates and interviews.

“After hearing accusations of unfair hiring practices aired by multiple wardens, (auditors) requested to review all hiring documents for sergeants and captains for the last five years. HR staff indicated they could not locate those documents,” the report read.

See what I mean? The basic job that HR does is NOT BEING DONE in state agencies like Fish, Wildlife and Parks. And that’s a BIG problem.

When I read the Missoulian article about FWP my first thought was, geez, this sounds a lot like Mineral County, and if you read the excerpt above, you’ll see that having an inept FWP agency means that County Sheriff Offices will have MORE power when it comes to investigating or NOT investigating something.

The parts of the Writ of Mandamus hearing I attended in Mineral County (west of Missoula) showed me how inept BOTH the County Attorney’s Office AND the Sheriff’s Office were with HR basics, like maintaining personnel files. What is a Writ of Mandamus? It’s a way to force incompetent entities to do what they are legally REQUIRED to do, like following the fucking Constitution. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

Mandamus (/mænˈdeɪməs/; lit. ”we command”) is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a court[1] to any government, subordinate court, corporation, or public authority, to do (or forbear from doing) some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do (or refrain from doing), and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty. It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision. For example, it cannot be used to force a lower court to take a specific action on applications that have been made, but if the court refuses to rule one way or the other then a mandamus can be used to order the court to rule on the applications.

Mandamus may be a command to do an administrative action or not to take a particular action, and it is supplemented by legal rights. In the American legal system it must be a judicially enforceable and legally protected right before one suffering a grievance can ask for a mandamus. A person can be said to be aggrieved only when they are denied a legal right by someone who has a legal duty to do something and abstains from doing it.

Are you beginning to see how bad shit stinks in Montana? Is that why some people, like the Sheriff of Mineral County, can’t call back someone like me who has information on the death of Joey Thompson? Yeah, this all smells VERY bad, Sheriff Funke.

In my conversations with people around America, after I tell them how the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office can euthanize and execute black people, I tell them NOT to visit our state. I would also NOT send my kids to any institution of higher learning here because it’s not safe.

Sometimes I get cynical responses about corruption being everywhere. Ok, well, my kids aren’t growing up everywhere, they’re growing up in Montana, and if something bad happens, then I want competent people doing actual investigations. Is that too much to ask?

I may be sitting in a hotel room on the other side of the country right now, but that doesn’t I won’t call in a public comment today to the Public Safety Committee to tell them how UNSAFE citizens are in Montana, especially after I took a peek at the agenda.

Ah, yes, in Missoula we hire shitty private security to supplement the strained responses of law enforcement while directing advertising money to a shitty media corporation with CIA connections. Do you see the problems here?

Dealing with problems can be hard. I know, because I ignored problems in my own marriage until they became too big to resolve, and now I’m divorced sitting in this hotel room on the exact day 20 years ago I said I DO at Holland Lake, where the sewer is currently failing.

While Montana pretends like it shit don’t stink, I’m wrapping up the eastern portion of my trip and thinking about what comes next.

If you appreciate the work I’m doing, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support me, while making a donation at my about page is another.

Thanks for reading!

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Cyril Wecht, The Famous Pathologist Who Criticized The Warren Commission, Answered My Call Yesterday

by Travis Mateer

As I left my second message at his office number, I didn’t think that I would actually get a chance to speak with Dr. Wecht about the death of Sean Stevenson and my magic chokehold theory, but the call came back from his assistant with his cell number, so I called, and he answered.

All I wanted to hear was this man’s confirmation of the obvious: a chokehold that renders a man unconscious cannot produce bruising on limbs and torsos. And that is EXACTLY what I got from my brief conversation from this famous pathologist

It was strange being in Pittsburgh yesterday because this city on the other side of the country has three rivers that meet, like Missoula, and the arts and culture have a rich history, especially as it relates to Black history.

Is this a picture of two Missoula Detectives investigating the death of Sean Stevenson? No, it’s a photo taken by “Teenie” Harris, a well-known photographer who I was hoping to see an exhibit of, but it was closed. Instead I was sent to the “entry portal” of the library, part of the Carnegie Museum, where I saw my last name on a classroom. Huh?

I tried putting this appearance of my last name in context, but so far Penny Mateer, a quilter, is my only lead.

Names have resonance, as do numbers, beyond just their surface-level values. if you think that sounds crazy, I really don’t care because I stayed in Harrisburg yesterday after checking out “Teenie” Harris’ work, then I got some Tarot cards, and the artist who created Crowley’s Thoth set is Frieda Harris. Also, did you see Cyril’s middle name?

Harrisburg was established by John Harris Jr. with a little help from a guy by the name of William Maclay, who also had an important account of the very first Congress, since he was the only Senator keeping a diary. Curious.

Another person I have more context for is Andy Warhol, who was born in Pittsburgh. I checked out his museum yesterday before leaving Pittsburgh, so I’ll conclude this post with some of the pictures I took.

Thanks for reading!

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This Is The City Where Sean Stevenson Was Born

by Travis Mateer

I woke up this morning in Pittsburgh with this view outside my camper. After an hour to get about 15 miles (because my map-app can’t keep up with my wrong turns) I found the essential coffee to kickstart my day.

Today I’m seeking the expertise of a famous medical examiner who called bullshit on the magic bullet theory, but it’s a long shot. Why? I don’t pretend to understand the forces of narrative control that have been exerted over the past three years, but in order to break something, is it really all that important to understand it?

There it is, the church in Pittsburgh where scenes from the movie Dogma were filmed. Every day Sean’s story gets a little bigger because every day someone new listens to me tell them how the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office euthanized Sean by pulling the plug on his life support BEFORE his family was notified.

Then I tell them how a magic chokehold deployed by a drug addict with spider monkey abilities bruised and battered Sean’s body, leaving marks everywhere. Clearly this is a job for the man who saw the Warren Commission for what it was, right?

The writing continues to pour forth as I explore parts of Sean’s life before the corruption in Missoula killed him and the man set up to take the fall for his death.

Did the Sheriff’s Office assume no one would care about Sean because he was homeless? Or do they understand that the entire legal community are a bunch of fucking punks who can’t function without the scent of money to motivate them?

Well, I don’t think the calculation of taking Sean out and framing Johnny Lee Perry for his death included a wily blogger like me dedicated to exposing everything I can expose in the time I have.

I would write more, but using a phone to write posts is very annoying, and my morning patience was drained by city driving, so that’s all for now.

Thanks for reading!

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Can Lies Pollute Water?

by Travis Mateer

This won’t be a proper review of the week, since I’m writing this on my phone. I would use my computer, but the connection isn’t secure and I don’t want to risk more X factors in my east coast travels.

Cooperstown town is a town built on a lie about baseball, and that lie has to do with the origins of baseball.

Cooperstown is also a town that sits at the not-bullshit origin of the Susquehanna River, the east coast’s longest at 444 miles. it’s the river, more than the baseball, that interests me.

It’s Equinox time, which means we’re falling now to Solstice. I’m writing everywhere I go, and it’s going to make quite a story, but I don’t think I’d call this a vacation in the traditional sense.

If you want a scenic spot to feel lonely around a ton of people, may I recommend Niagara Falls?

Anyway, there’s so much more going on I’d like to write about for this space, but the vast majority of my writing energy is going to the book.

I’m definitely going to keep updating this space, though, even if I have to “phone it in” for some shorter road content. Pictures are pretty easy to upload. Tesla, is that you?

One last thing, and that’s a BIG thank you for the recent donation. If you would like to donate, previous posts have the ways to do it at the end of each post, usually. And then I sign off by saying…

Thanks for reading!

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Taking A Bite Of The Big Apple

by Travis Mateer

This is what it looks like to spend 22 hours traveling from Spokane to New York City. Normally it wouldn’t take a crazy amount of time to make this airplane trip, but Alaska Airlines and, really, the entire country, is short-staffed, so you just have to roll with delays that change your departure time in Seattle from 7:11am to 1:40pm.

Just because I didn’t get to my hotel until after 11pm didn’t mean I was going to just SLEEP because this city, if you haven’t heard, doesn’t do shit like SLEEP or apologize for being assholes. I think I might like it here.

It took being assertive (i.e., an asshole) with RV Share to make sure I didn’t get fucked by them like I got fucked by Alaska Airlines. The outcome? Success. That means I have to check out, grab a taxi, and get to a ferry to ferry me across water from New York to New Jersey.

This leg of my journey is going to be focused primarily on Pennsylvania. I’ll share more when I have more time. Until then…

Thank you for reading!

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