Thursday, October 30, 2008

cockamamie plan

How do Republicans sleep at night knowing that their party is trying to get 200,000 new voters thrown off the rolls in Ohio over typos?  Have you been following this story?  The Supreme Court already ruled that this is a no-go but now the Bush administration is getting the DOJ involved.  Scary.  Voter fraud is not a real problem!  It hardly ever happens.  Getting these people off could swing the state.

I have a question about a cockamamie plan I am hatching.  I am thinking about going to Guadalajara over the Christmas break.  For those of you that have been, what do you think of this plan?  I would meet my mom there possibly (for those of you who know my mom, I know, I know, this will probably turn out badly).  I guess my questions are regarding safety, and it's probably as safe as any American city for a female on her own, so I'm probably worrying unecessarily, and just sort of wondering how much the city will be shut down between Christmas and New Years.  I've only traveled a few places in Mexico, and not around the Christmas Holiday so I don't know if people are out partying or at home with family.  I wouldn't be there ON Christmas, just right after.  My Spanish is limited.  I can get by, but barely.  Thoughts?

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

FYI-
The drug wars in Mexico are raging out of control right now. Most of the violence has been along the border cities, mainly in TJ and Ciudad Juarez, but there was the beheading of 11 people just outside of Cancun a few months ago. The victims have been by and large members of the drug cartels, but the civilian and innocent bystander death toll is increasing. I'd be very wary of traveling in Mexico right now. I ususally go to Baja for a couple of weeks every year, and I've skipped the last two years 'cause TJ is such a war zone. Google "narcos violence" for the lowdown.

-charvey

beckler said...

Hmm...you're not selling me on this. J.K., I know you're not trying. I know Baja is kind of off limits, but is it bad everywhere? Fuck!

beckler said...

this makes is sound pretty safe-probably safer than an American city
https://www.osac.gov/Reports/report.cfm?contentID=79886

Jeff M. said...

Here's a one-stop place to get all the news on the GOP's efforts to purge the voter rolls, confuse and intimidate voters and other sundry dirty tricks.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/

I can't follow this shit myself. Too tedious, too infuriating. The good news is that the NYTimes is reporting that

"The Department of Justice will not require Ohio to disclose the names of voters whose registration applications did not match other government databases, according to two people familiar with discussions between state and federal lawyers."

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/29/ohio-vote-challenge-effort-hits-another-roadblock/

beckler said...

Yeah, a coworker just told me that the DOJ is declining to get involved, probably to try to cling to the last little bit of integrity their department has.

Anonymous said...

Guadalajara is cool, but it is a big city and parts of it are kinda gnarly. But I was there a decade ago, so my memories are faint. Here's what I do remember: Going to a goth bar that looked like a cave and seeing a death metal band, hanging out in plaza de los mariachis, seeing a dead dog in the gutter, and arguing with annoying missionaries.

If you're at all worried about getting around or your safety, I say go to Guanajuato instead. It really is the coolest city I've ever been to. It's beautiful, there are mummies, it's really safe, and you can walk everywhere.

BREW

beckler said...

Yeah, but it's hard to get there for a short trip and I can't kill two birds with one stone by meeting up with my mom. I need someplace I can fly to. How long is the bus from Mexico City? It sucks cuz Mazatlan is so far from every city and I don't want to visit there again for a while.

Anonymous said...

Guanajuato I believe is only a 1.5 hr bus ride from Mexico City.

Anonymous said...

I think the bus ride from Mexico City to Guanajuato is about 5 hours. You should ask D West to be sure though.

beckler said...

Maybe Captain Ron could come and then it would be perfectly safe. And much more fun.

Anonymous said...

If I had the choice, Guanajuanto for sure 'cause I'd love to see Museo de Momias & Diego Rivera's birthplace. Guadelejara would be more fun in October, when they have the big Spanish language book fair.

It sounds like you already looked at the State Department info. I'd check the boards at BootsnAll (http://www.bootsnall.com) - that's been a great resource for 1st hand info when I'm trip planning. You could also contact the Global Exchange Office in SF because their Mexico program is based there. They've always been nice to me and always seem like the gringos most in the know about what's going on there economically/politically/socially.

I haven't traveled in Latin America during Christmas, but if it's anything like Semana Santa, just make sure you have hotel reservations ahead of time and have confirmed that the bus lines will be running. ¡Buen viaje!

beckler said...

Are the Bee restaurant reviews no longer available online? I understand if they don't want me to be able to read them for free, but if they're on there I can't find them.

Anonymous said...

...and don't forget the grapefruit seed extract! That stuff's a frickin godsend. I ate at the most 'keepin it real' taco stands all over the Yucatan and my digestive system emerged unscathed.

-- Patrone

DJ Rick said...

Here's the most recent State Department travel advisory for Mexico...
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_3028.html

Again, it mainly emphasizes border-town violence.

beckler said...

I'm waiting to hear back from my mom now. If Captain Ron won't hop on his motorcycle with her on back to meet me there, I probably won't do it.

Anonymous said...

If you can fly to Leon, it's just a cab ride over from the city of Guanajuato. I also endorse this destination if it is possible logistic-wise.

Jed

beckler said...

I'll probably do that when I actually do make it to Guanajuato. Looks like the tickets are 8 or 9 hundred bucks. However, lots of people I know like going there, so I always imagined I'd be there with friends. Maybe I'll just go party in Cabo.

KW said...

I have no Mexico info, but for Bee restaurant reviews, go to the Entertainment tab from the front page. Pretty far down the middle column on the Entertainment page, there is a Restaurants link, and also a link to the current review, of Le Bilig, but the Restaurants link takes you to a reverse-chronological listing of all reviews. It's not exactly intuitive.

Alice said...

i spent time in tulum a couple years ago. super cute city, cool little inns along the coast. ruins, cave diving, etc. it's where a lot of germans and italians vacation so you won't be dealing with too many americans. i got by on really bad spanish and had no problems going solo. you can fly to cancun and then take a bus or shuttle about 2 hours south to tulum. ask maddie about it, too. she had a good time down there last year i believe.

smitty said...

Just go and don't worry about news reports of violence. It always sounds worse than it is since that's how news works. No one wants to read about how nice anything is.

The State Dept warnings have always seemed like they're written by lawyers so you can't sue the government when they say a country is perfectly safe.

There's bomb blasts and riots all over the place in India but it's not dangerous here (except for some shifty food).

I thought I was woken up by a bomb blast at 6 this morning since it was followed by an air raid warning. Just part of the Diwali celebration (good won over evil). People throughout India set off fireworks and M-80s are common.

Really, the US is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. You have enough common sense not to get your ass kicked there, so you'll be fine.

People rarely kill without reason.

For the language part, there's 22 official languages in India of which I speak English and picked up a tiny bit of Hindi. Not speaking the local language hasn't been a problem for me. I laugh a lot which helps, but so does the sarcastic moustache. You better stop shaving.

Josh Nice said...

i concur fully with smitty on the safety issue.

on the voter supression issue, these guys did a great state-by-state guide on tuesday:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/10/republican_voter_suppression_a.php

and apparently the supression isn't working very well this time:

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/10/gop_voter_suppression_more_mis.php

the first act of the new president (after having sex in the oval office, of course) should be to create a bi-partisan working group to completely revamp the entire election system. electoral college, WTF? diebold, WTF? why do we have to *register* to vote? why do we vote on a freakin' weekday? on and on.

Anonymous said...

ur doomed.

beckler said...

I kind of view it as if I was totally unfamiliar with Chicago (which I'm sure is more dangerous than Guadalajara) and I was asking if it was safe to go there by myself and walk around at night. The answer of course would be "it depends on where you are". I'm sure if I buy a guide and figure out where to stay and stuff that I'd be fine.

Anonymous said...

Wow, my Yahoo email account greeted me this morning with a big fat "Yes on 8" advertisement. Man, I can't believe I have to dump my goddam ten year old email address because the Yahoo idiots took money from those (summons great restraint here)... people (sigh). Of course if I pay to upgrade their service I don't have to look at the ads (now I'm really glad I didn't)....

Any other "free" email services doing this???? Ugh......
-Whause

Anonymous said...

microsoft voted for me to eat a dick. Does that count

beckler said...

Who is this witty new anonymous commenter? I like his style!

Josh Nice said...

i am trying to get my head around the idea of microsoft voting.

...for an individual member of the public. ...to perform a sexual act.