homeless downtown Montreal

I spent a few weeks this year near the Berri-UQAM Metro station on Rue Sainte-Catherine, heart of downtown Montreal. There are a LOT of homeless people. It reminds me of a major American city in that way.

One survey (Douglas Mental Health University / 800+ volunteers) counted 3,016 homeless in the city. 10% aboriginal. 10% immigrants. Veterans 6%.

Other guesstimates have been 10 times as high.

I was there during warmer months. During winter these folks need to find someplace heated.

A harsh and boring life, seems to me. They all seem to have cigarettes. Somehow.

Not sure what can be done to reduce the numbers. A guaranteed minimum income experiment — or new kids of free housing — could be tried.

 

 

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THE definitive commentary on #TakeAKnee

I think people should just stick to their profession, that is, unless they agree with me politically

Best quote:

Thinking NFL players are protesting the flag and the military is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation

“America’s Team” — along with its famous billionaire owner Jerry Jones — kneeled BEFORE the national anthem on Monday Night Football. Good move, Cowboys. A smart compromise.

This American Life – Betsy DeVos

If you want a good overview of the history of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s particularly terrible appointee for education, listen to This American Life.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is from Grand Rapids, Michigan. So is This American Life producer Susan Burton. During Devos’s nomination hearings, critics accused her of never having set foot in a public school. But it turns out that years ago she did—as a volunteer mentor. Susan returned to Grand Rapids to find out what DeVos’s experience in a public school in her hometown can tell us about her vision for education in this country. (29 minutes)

LISTEN NOW

The Bridge (U.S. TV series) – season 2

I loved season 1 and had high expectations for season 2.

Many critics liked season 2 better. I found it muddled. Disjointed. There were too many characters. Plot too fuzzy.

Still … for me it was well worth watching. But I’m not surprised there was no season 3.

I’ll next watch Bron, Broen … the Scandinavian crime television series on which this American version was based. It’s headed into it’s 4th season.

 

Stephen King – The Stand

Stephen King has 7 book adaptations coming to TV or film in 2017. He’s bigger than ever.

This may be the second Stephen King book I’ve read after 11/22/63: A Novel. Millions love The Stand, many considering it to be his best.

Obviously King’s a great story teller with mass appeal.

There are some terrific characters in this book. King understands people. He understands Trump voters, I’m sure.

Stephen King hates Trump. That might be one reason I read this book.

The Stand is a post-apocalyptichorror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. …

… the total breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of influenza that had been modified for biological warfare causes an apocalyptic pandemic which kills off the majority of the world’s human population. …

The novel was originally published in 1978 in hardcover, with a setting date of 1980. … The book was later re-released in 1990 as The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition (the longest book published by King at 1152 pages); King restored some text originally cut for brevity, added and revised sections, changed the setting of the story to 1990 …

The miniseries was broadcast in 1994 … In February 2016, The Stand movie had been put on hold …

Some criticize the book for being racist. I didn’t feel that way. It’s an epic of Good v Evil. The evil guys are racist.

I didn’t love the book. But liked it enough to download Stephen King – It: A Novel (2016).

related – Zack HandlenWhat I Learned From Re-Reading Stephen King’s The Stand