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Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:27 PM

Breaking Big on PBS while be highlighting Carmen Yulin Cruz (San Juan mayor)

As #PuertoRico approaches the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, track @CarmenYulinCruz’ route from San Juan mayor to leader of post-hurricane Puerto Rico and its people on #BreakingBigPBS. Check your local listings.

Looks good!

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Reply Breaking Big on PBS while be highlighting Carmen Yulin Cruz (San Juan mayor) (Original post)
demmiblue Sep 2018 OP
matt819 Sep 2018 #1

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Fri Sep 14, 2018, 02:58 PM

1. A thought or two about Hurricane Maria and the aftermath

I have been reading the news, watching videos, and following FB in the run-up to Hurricane Florence landfall.

FD and Rescue crews from throughout the U.S. have been dispatched to be on standby in the Carolinas. Utility and telephone line crews have been dispatched as well. As a result, it is likely that damage to infrastructure will be dealt with expeditiously. Deaths and injuries are likely to be minimized or at least tended to quickly. Communities outside the hurricane zone were quick to offer shelter, for humans and pets and possibly farm animals (I haven't read this, but it has happened before, so I'm assuming the same for this event). RV parks have opened their gates for evacuees.

This is all impressive, and that's even before FEMA kicks in with its paper towels.

I will grant that the same sort of response to Hurricane Maria landfall in Puerto Rico would not likely have been possible. That's the reality of living on an island. It has its ups and downs. (I'm sure the residents of the Outer Banks and barrier islands are experiencing that right now.) But it is evil that there wasn't even the semblance of pre-hurricane response. No apparent attempt at evacuation to areas not expected to be hit hard. No effort to pre-stage FD and rescue crews from the mainland US. No plan to respond quickly with food, water, and lodging. No pre-staging of utility and telephone crews, even from companies that don't serve Puerto Rico.

That is awful enough. And then to have the buffoon-in-chief even deny the humanity, indeed the very existence, of the thousands who died during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria makes me sick. Almost literally sick. Does this denial of humanity to a certain group of people remind you of anyone?

Puerto Rico is part of the United States, but, like other territories, is in something of a state of limbo. It's long past time to either grant Puerto Rico its independence or grant them statehood. IN the case of the former, the US should still bear a great deal of responsibility in terms of financial and infrastructure support for many years to come, until a thorough transition to independence. In the case of the latter, perhaps then the US Government will provide the sort of support that it would provide to Americans in all the other states of the Union. It might also compel the corporate sector to provide support that it does on the mainland. (We had a major ice storm in New England in 2010. Power was out for ten days. It was a utility from out of state that restored the lines in our neighborhood. I don't know what the financial arrangements were between this utility and the local power company, but to consumers it was irrelevant. The support was there, and it was there quickly.) Yes, it would be more expensive, but Puerto Ricans are Americans, and the generosity of spirit should not stop at the southern coast, any more than it should stop at the northern border if support were needed in Alaska or on the west coast if support were needed in Hawaii.

BTW, last night there was a bizarre event in Massachusetts. A gas line mishap caused explosions and fires in 70 or more homes in three towns. Fire and rescue crews from more than 65 departments in three states responded. Yes, yes, I know. if this happened on Martha's Vineyard, for example, such a response would not have been possible. But we knew about Maria. And we as a nation decided not to be prepared. And the largest difference was that, unlike the residents of Martha's Vineyard (again, for example), the residents of the largest US territory are Hispanic. And 3,000 Americans died (ironically about the same number who died in the 9/11 attacks, excluding the premature deaths of first responders).

If that doesn't make you sick, you are as vile and disgusting as the so-called president and his racist, bigoted followers.

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