Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 25, 2017


I'll outsource to Mark Sumner the necessary rant about the abandonment of Puerto Rico. The extent of the catastrophe is almost unimaginable. Nearly all of the crops have been destroyed, the entire island is without electricity except for a few generators powering hospitals and other essential services. Telecommunication is mostly down and much of the island is still incommunicado. Overflights have revealed washed out and blocked roads so that travel to many places is impossible. There can be no doubt but that people dependent on oxygen, insulin or other technical resources to stay alive have already died. It won't be long before people are literally starving.

It hasn't been so long ago that you can't remember that non-stop, wall-to-wall coverage of the disaster in Southeast Texas, and Florida. So what is on the front page of all of the corporate media web sites right now? The twitter war between Orange Julius and the NFL. Almost nothing about Puerto Rico. And Twittler himself, by the way, has said nothing about it either. Not one word.

And where is the massive response from the navy, air force and coast guard? Where is the televised fundraising concert featuring all the big pop stars? This is crazy.

Update: Case in point, on the front page of the NYT today there is absolutely no mention of Puerto Rico. Headlines are travel ban, NFL protests and attendant tweetstorm, German elections, budget bus lines.

Yes, some relief has arrived but it is not nearly enough. We're talking about 3 million people who are without food, safe drinking water, or medicine. Unbelievable.


Don Quixote said...

Donald Trump is a completely unsalvageable piece of shit. That's ALL he is.

Don Quixote said...

In addition, racism--against people whose skin is any shade of brown--is so throughly built in to the founding of this nation that cops are exonerated when they kill people of "color" (the labels are so horrible; there should be no difference noted), wars of atrocity are perpetrated abroad and at home, and brown people remain "invisible" except as threats in the mind of pea-brains (and pea-penises) like Donald Fucking Asshole. He is not the problem: he is the symptom, the pus in the pimple of the giant fucking infection of racism that is at the core of the United States of America. That's why Jefferson, whose "wife" Sally Hemings lived "next door" to his bedroom, wasn't his legal wife. Jefferson said the two "races" could not live together. But he could fuck her and have kids with her!

Anonymous said...

"In addition, racism..."

Right on cue!!

Don can explain everything with one word.

Why the sky is blue. Why the birdies sing.


Anonymous said...


This was a really good and relevant post. As you pointed out, the press is not giving this issue much attention. And because Puerto Rico is so far away from the mainland, average citizens can't pitch in and help as they have been doing with the floods of Texas.

Has the governor of Puerto Rico asked that it be declared a disaster area? Do you have any other details?

Cervantes said...

It is definitely a disaster area and FEMA is on the scene, as I say. But the response is simply not proportionate to the need. Because there has been so little media attention, I don't think most people appreciate how desperate the situation is. CNN does have coverage, but it isn't prominently featured:

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said the island faces a humanitarian crisis. He urged Congress to approve a commensurate aid package as the US commonwealth, already hammered by a prolonged economic crisis, tries to get back on its feet.

The governor joined others in emphasizing that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.
"We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now," he said. "Otherwise, there will be ... a massive exodus to the (mainland) United States. Leading Democrats called for swift action to help the island. . . .

Anonymous said...

"Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college. “This is the first time we get this type of federal coordination,” said Resident Commission Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in Washington."


"JOHN YANG: Governor, are you getting all the aid you need or getting it fast enough from the states? GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO: First of all, we are very grateful for the administration. They have responded quickly. The president has been very attentive to the situation, personally calling me several times. FEMA and the FEMA director have been here in Puerto Rico twice. As a matter of fact, they were here with us today, making sure that all the resources in FEMA were working in conjunction with the central government. We have been working together. We have been getting results. The magnitude of this catastrophe is enormous. This is going to take a lot of help, a lot of collaboration. So, my call is to congressmen and congresswomen to take action quickly and conclusively with an aid package for Puerto Rico."