Door is closed, lights are out, butter's gettin' hard

This newsletter has COVID-like symptoms but is not required to isolate and will not be tested unless hospitalized. This is a good idea that will help our economy thrive.

A hyper-local prediction - the government of Alberta will force the Victoria Park Alpha House facility to close or move within two years.

Alpha House, a transitional housing and detox society based in Calgary is one of the few really good things in the city. Its Victoria Park location is centrally located, well run (to my knowledge), and it’s hard to find anyone who has anything bad to say about it unless they live next door. That central location wasn’t a problem when the society was established 40 years ago, but since then a large casino opened to the south and massive condo complexes opened to the north. The Saddledome and C-Train line are directly east. (Being one of the few organizations dealing with the gaps left in capitalist society it does create a halo of low-impact collateral damage: litter in the form of some needles, people hanging around, some encampments for the unhoused but, hey, fuck you it was there first. If you’re aesthetically offended by the result of your government policies do something about it, NIMBY prick). It lies smack dab in the middle of some the most expensive and desirable real estate in the city and I think some people want it back.

The profit motive is pretty obvious but the method of capture is proving the most interesting. The UCP is decimating safe injection sites across the province but did a funny thing this summer by partnering with Alpha House and the Mustard Seed to open some sort of safe consumption infrastructure in downtown Calgary. A strange move given they just closed one not even 10 minutes away at the Sheldon Chumir Health Centre. The locations of the new sites have not been officially announced, but agencies have called for the Alpha House detox site to be included in the plan. I think this is a mistake.

The site as is generates ire from neighbours, but isn’t a political hot button for the whole province. Adding supervised injection capability will put it on the hitlist for every shithead in Alberta. The increased exposure will make sure every unfortunate incident will hit newspapers above the fold and Alpha House will be on the lips of every UCP ghoul with family in the rehab business (to say nothing of the Mustard Seed having family in cabinet and getting a shiny new safe consumption contract).

Encouraging this move also gives the safe injection responsibility to non-profit employees divorced from AHS funding, union protection, and benefits. An overloaded, underfunded Alpha House will have its forced errors plastered on the internet and in the media until the government closes it or moves the whole thing to a worse location and sells the land off to their criminal friends to the detriment of clients. That’s my prediction, and I think it’s a plan.

Kind of seems like small potatoes given (gestures broadly with arms) everything but it struck me like a siren, one that goes off in my brain every time I think we get a concession or (gasp) a win out of the UCP. It would be nice, for once, to have a government deliver something without my brain screaming RUN at max volume. This might be a trap. It’s probably a trap. It’s traditionally a trap and someone you hate will get rich immiserating of those most in need. I don’t think constantly wondering where their prey is in the equation is good for the soul.

🦂Kids can’t get vaccinated yet and also a new strain of COVID is sending more of them to the hospital and also we’re not going to do anything about it. You’re welcome.

🍭Frito-Lay, the snack conglomerate with a huge presence in Southern Alberta, is run by a bunch of disgusting vampires and should be nationalized.

☔️Yeah we all like making fun of that dumbass in Toronto but the small landlord with his hat in his hand is sucking down government COVID relief all over the world.

🦄Local city subjected to very predictable result.

🦏Your local single, childless, Catholic male premier is dragging his heels on taking federal dollars for $10-per-day daycare. This would be disqualifying if we didn’t live in hell.

🌞Don’t sell leather pants in the Ozarks this year.

🌶Barack Obama left the keys to an almost procedure-free system of assassination and civilian wedding-bombing and the guy who told people about it will die in jail. Obama bought a huge section of beach in Hawaii and got his daughter an internship with Harvey Weinstein.

🥮The PRO Act in front of the U.S. Congress has a weird split among contractors, with people who want to live with dignity on one side and freelancers who know their vulture bosses will punt them the moment they’re required to pay those freelancers dignified wages. I feel bad for the latter group, who are so used to the breathless hustle they see it as the only way to stay solvent. They’re probably right, but only in the short term. But hey, at least they can become delivery boy cops.

🏉The whole world is either on fire or underwater.

🥁You might be on the phone with someone being exploited by a psychotic MLM.

🚀BlizzardActivision executives went on company trips and established a “[Bill] Cosby Suite” party room allegedly used to sexually harass female employees.

⚓️Black rain on the Highway of Death.

💎Having a good union is seen as a threat by banks, which I take as a point of pride.

Alabama coal workers are in Manhattan protesting hedge fund vampires who want them to starve.

📉I was on Sweater Weather talking about FUBAR and Aaron did a thing in Jacobin about Trailer Park Boys so you should spend your day on those things, obviously.

🎧The podcast kids did a whole episode on how the Calgary Stampede is just about penises, I think, I don’t know I haven’t listened yet.

🔇Off Court talks Pat Tillman, who was a cool guy who needed to be silenced by the U.S. Military.

🎚️Kino Lefter talks about how every movie made from now on needs to make one billion dollars or people will be murdered.

☢️Down with America viva Cuba.

🧸Historic Calgary Week continues with in-person and virtual events. Alberta Advantage contributor Karen Mills is presenting "Mapping Calgary’s Labour History" on Friday, July 30 at 2:00 pm alongside project collaborator, historian Kirk Neigarth of Mount Royal University. Register here for this virtual event, hosted by the Calgary Public Library.

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Our editor is Clinton Hallahan. Newsletter subject lines are stolen from these songs.

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