It was good to read the letter by Vivian Dunbar entitled “Good Dog” (October 22). It certainly made me feel a little better after reading the Reader's October 8 story on the inhumane treatment of our furry friends south of the border in Mexico (“Dogs’ Deathbed Gift,” “City Lights”). God knows they’re only here for such a short time. Why should we humans make it miserable for them or even make it shorter? Now if only those fur-greedy bastards in China could be stopped in their wholesale slaughter of dogs, puppies, and who knows whatever else they use the fur off the backs of. I learned of this through a letter describing this, along with photos of dogs and puppies packed together in barred crates awaiting their fate of being clubbed to death — or sometimes just unconscious — and then skinned, carcass thrown in a pile, some with their heart and lungs still working. Don’t believe it? Get in touch with PETA and ask them to send you some of their literature, but you better have a strong stomach because it’ll break an animal lover’s heart.
Don’t Talk About Them
Re the letter “Worse Than Baghdad” by J. Kitchin (October 22).
I must have slept through this part in law class. John Kitchin writes, “[Issues about other countries are not reported] and cannot be, as comments about Mexico and Canada are not covered under free speech nor free press laws.”
WTF! Now, I understand that there are limitations (no screaming fire in a movie theater unless there really is a fire). But who made this new rule about not being able to comment on an issue, based on your own personal experiences, regardless of where said experiences take place? If I know (hypothetically) that Vancouver, BC, is a sweat gland on the anus of the world, based on personal experience, what is this bit that would prevent me from blogging about that?
This map shows the heart of the (alleged) sweat gland (aka Downtown Eastside, or DTES), http://vancouver.ca/ police/crimemaps/tfauto.pdf.
Here is the history of this (alleged) hellhole: http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtown_Eastside.
And to top it all off, the place is (allegedly) run by the Hells Angels. They (allegedly) control the drug traffic down on the piers and everywhere else, except where the Asian gangs (allegedly) run things, and much more (allegedly). http://www.canada. com/vancouver/vancouversun/ news/observer/story.html?id =f525bc8a-d80a-4ece- 9ffc-f5a2a55a43b0
Does reporting on this topic subject me to arrest in some way? Is he talking about Mexican laws? If so, why would they care about Canada? Maybe John Kitchin, or one of the editors at the Reader, can explain. Just curious. And you can thank me for the education. I have walked those alleys and stepped on used syringes and used condoms. Not a pretty sight.
John Kitchin replies: I first became aware of the exemptions of Canada and Mexico when the characters in Second City TV, a comedy group, said that they were not permitted to use the name Canada, nor Kanadian Korner, nor any of that. They had to settle for calling their sketch “The Great White North.” They said in interviews about the show that there are treaties, some of them part of a predecessor of NAFTA, which establish this exemption. I took note, as I write tourism books. As I understand it, from being arrested, it is the foreign country that can prosecute you. I was prosecuted in Mexico. Here’s the interesting part: Does internet publishing qualify someone as a “published tourism author,” and thus exempt from this treaty? I’m not a lawyer, but I have to know enough of the laws regarding what cannot be written because I do write and publish books. I got into a huge amount of trouble once for suggesting that Holy Communion consisted of more than just bread and wine.
Evidently you were on vacation (in Mexico?), having a beer in Tucson, sailing in Cabo — but whatever you were doing, you were not tending the shop!
What an irresponsible!!!!! pathetic, boring, redundant, awful, sad article, “Rush Hour Spectacle” (“Stringers,” October 15).
Get a grip. S*** journalism, crass writing. Yeah, right, you’re reminding “us” (Joe Public) of all the horrible things going on in “local Mexico.” Well, guess what again, we all know what’s up in Baja. I traveled in Baja for the first time in 1964. I drove the Transpeninsular Highway before it was paved. My mother lived in La Paz for years in the early ’60s, on Madero Street near the zócalo. My sister had two children born in La Paz, and she and my brother (Mary and Charlie) went to preparatoria as the first Anglo children in that city. My mother later bought a small ranchita in El Triunfo and lived her last years there, in rural Baja. I remember Cabo before — long before — there was anything there! Just two very small pueblitos near the cape. Long before million-dollar lots and Cabo Wabo. Cabo Wabo is a nightmare!
I went with friends to mainland Mexico in 1959 all the way to Mazatlán and then to San Blas, the first to surf Matachin Bay. In the ’60s we all — San Diego lifeguards, surfers, and party animals — went to the bullfights and got drunk at the (original) Long Bar. It was safe, super fun, and drugs were never a problem. Well, those days are over — forever — because America needs to get high! I know Mexico. I’ve traveled there in the wild Sierra collecting folk art and writing about Mexico for decades. I was never afraid, but local Mexico has gone to hell! It is scary! I haven’t been to Rosarito for over two years. I used to go every weekend.
No more articles like “Rush Hour Spectacle.” It does not need to be told. We all know what a joke local Mexico is. It’s not safe, it isn’t fun, and printing stupid articles about death and a man hanging from a cable with his balls taped to his head is worthless crap.