Sorry to hear about your unsettling incident. In ’94, I felt far safer in Chinese streets than most here, except late at night in crowds in Nanjing, when our Chinese
tour guide advised us not to go out alone. Even then I would probably have
felt safer at night there than in a big city of similar size here.

What I really found unsettling when leaving the US once was Victoria, Canada –
not for it’s insecurity, but for it’s far SAFER feel and comfort factor almost in our
own back yard. Like China, that country reminded me of when I was a
kid here in the Midwest. It was as safe here then as it is in Victoria now to be out alone or in your house with the doors unlocked. If you had ventured to predict then that US grocery stores would eventually be staffed full time with armed policemen or guards, folks would have chuckled at your active imagination. We have surrendered something precious and life enhancing. I miss it and feel a bit ashamed to admit how we capitulated.

Chuck Bealke


Thanks for reading and taking the time to write.

Frankly, one of the reasons the murder shook everyone ere so deeply is it made us reevaluate how we live which is very much like we all used to in America – kids playing aloe in front of the house, doors unlocked, friends coming and going. we don’t ant to give that up. it has been an unexpected advantage of living here.

Again, thanks for reading. The column runs every other Thursday.

Alan Paul

Hi Alan:

Your article is actually chilling! At the end of the day a democratic society is much better than a more economically open society. I am forced to draw comparison with my country India – the other country that promises as much economic growth.

In India, the local police is strong and so is the judicial system. More importantly there is very strong media that is getting more active.

Just sharing a few thoughts.

Warm regards,



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