Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Mayor of San Juan

Estague i mayot giya San Juan, i kapitåt para i islan Puerto Rico, un otro na colony gi påpa' i Estådos Unidos. Gi ma'pos na simåna sen hinatme i isla ni' un dångkolo'lo' na påkyo'. Meggai na taotao manmamadedesi guihi på'go. Gof annok gi sinangån–ña si Donald Trump yan gi bidan-ña i Gubetnamenton Federåt na ti manmatratråta i taotao guihi parehu put i estao-ñiha. Anggen un taitai pat un hungok i sinangån-ña gof annok yan oppan na ha apagågayi i minagahet colonial. Anggen ti siña un li'e' pat hungok, put fabot akompåra i tratamento giya Texas yan Florida yan giya Puerto Rico. Gof annok ti manchilong todu gi Estådos Unidos,

Giya Guåhan, fihu masångan na mamparehu hit gera, lao åhe' gi pas. Gof annok gi håfa masusesedi giya Puerto Rico na ti mamparehu hit lokkue' gi pakyo' pat otro taiguihi na klasen ira.


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Retired Lieutenant General: While Trump Golfs, San Juan's Mayor is 'Living On A Cot."
by Sebastian Murdock
Huffington Post
9/30/17

The retired lieutenant general who led the effort to bring aid to Louisiana after it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina didn’t mince words when talking about the president’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico.
On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump unleashed a series of tweets taking aim at San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. In them, he accused Democrats of having convinced Cruz to be “nasty” to him, called Cruz’s leadership “poor” and said that other leaders in Puerto Rico “want everything to be done for them.” The tweets were sent from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
In an interview with CNN later in the day, retired Lt. General Russel L. Honoré tore down Trump’s remarks:
“The mayor’s living on a cot and I hope the president has a good day at golf,” he told CNN.

Honoré said the crisis in Puerto Rico is even larger than what he faced during Katrina. 
“Is Puerto Rico worse than what you found here in Katrina?” CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller asked Honoré on Friday.
“Oh, hell yeah,” Honore said. “The number one priority is saving lives and when you’re saving lives, you’ve gotta figure out what rules you’re gonna break. All the rules we live by are designed for peacetime.”
“And this is what?” Miller asked.
“This is like a war,” he said.
Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan arrived on the island Thursday after being appointed by the Pentagon to lead the relief effort there. So far, approximately 4,400 troops are on the island, he told CNBC Friday. He added that more are arriving to help, but it’s still not enough.
“Our capacity is growing but that doesn’t mean that we’re getting all the right help to the people who need it,” Buchanan said. 
“For me, Harvey was monumental in Texas because of the amount of flood damage,” Buchanan added. “But the impact here is completely different. It’s like an atomic bomb went off. With all of the wind impact knocking down trees, electrical lines ― it’s just a very different disaster.”
Honoré said the military response to the 3.5 million people without power and supplies should have happened much sooner.
“Not giving the mission to the military” was the first mistake, Honoré said in his interview with CBS. “Look, we got Army units that go do port openings. Not called. We got special forces that could’ve been in every town. Not employed.”

The president’s slow response to the humanitarian crisis has been widely criticized in recent days. On Saturday morning, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda slammed Trump for attacking the San Juan mayor from his personal golf course while people in Puerto Rico suffer.
“[Mayor Cruz] has been working 24/7. You have been GOLFING,” Miranda wrote in a tweet  “You’re going straight to hell.”

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"San Juan Mayor Responds to Trump's Attacks: I Was Asking for Help."
by Lee Moran
Huffington Post
9/30/17

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Saturday defended her request for federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Maria, hours after President Donald Trump lashed out at her for asking for assistance and accused her of unnecessarily criticizing him.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Carmen Yulin Cruz reiterated that Puerto Rico needed more help and said her previous critiques of the administration’s response had not been intended as a personal slight.
“Actually, I was asking for help,” she said. “I wasn’t saying anything nasty about the president.”
“I will continue to do whatever I need to do, say whatever I need to say, compliment the people I need to compliment, and call out the people that I need to call out,” she added. “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about anyone. This is about lives that are being lost if things do not get done properly real quickly.”

Trump had tweeted criticisms of Cruz earlier in the day, saying she demonstrated “poor leadership ability.”
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” he wrote.
“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort,” Trump added, noting how there were now 10,000 federal workers on the “totally destroyed” island who were “doing a fantastic job.”

Trump also criticized CNN and NBC for their coverage of the relief effort.

He tweeted again on Saturday afternoon, claiming the media was misrepresenting aid work taking place in Puerto Rico. 

The president’s posts were an apparent reaction to the criticism that Cruz has leveled at his administration in recent days over its handling of the fallout from the natural disaster, which has claimed at least 16 lives since ripping through the island more than a week ago.

Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of homeland security, on Thursday enthusiastically praised how federal authorities had reacted to the aftermath of the storm.
I know it’s a hard storm to recover from,” she said. “But I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.”
Cruz, however, called that statement “irresponsible.”
This is a people are dying story. This is a life or death story,” she said on Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day.” “This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water.”
Cruz also used a news conference at a distribution center on Friday to blast the response and ask Trump to step up efforts to get aid delivered to islanders in need.
We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles,” she said. “Mayday! We are in trouble.” She has responded to Trump’s tweets by saying that the one goal was “saving lives.”

Critics have also called out Trump for devoting so much time to attacking NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem as the relief effort was struggling to get under way.
Trump said Saturday that he would visit Puerto Rico with first lady Melania Trump on Tuesday.
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"San Juan Mayor Slams Feds Response to Puerto Rico: 'Get Your Ass Moving.'"
By Carla Herreria
Huffington Post
9/29/17

The mayor of San Juan on Friday tore into the federal government’s response to recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and begged the rest of the country to send help to the island.
“We are dying here, and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles,” Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said at a news conference at a distribution center. “Mayday! We are in trouble.”
Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20. So far at least 16 deaths have been reported, a number that will likely grow as recovery efforts continue. Only 11 of the island’s 69 hospitals currently have power or fuel, and an estimated 44 percent of the population is without drinking water.
“I am going to do what I never thought I would do. I am begging, begging anyone who can hear us to save us from dying,” Cruz said, holding back tears.
“We are dying, and you are killing us with inefficiency and bureaucracy.”
Cruz specifically criticized the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s constant requests for her office to provide reports, assessments and memos, which she says has slowed down the process of actually providing help.
She held up thick binders to show the amount of paperwork that FEMA has requested of her and suggested that the government did not appear to be acting with any sense of urgency.
“You think that’s enough paperwork for FEMA to get their ass moving?”

Cruz appeared exasperated with the government’s delayed response to Puerto Rico, where millions of people still await help and deliveries of basic human necessities.
Cruz, who oversees the largest city on the island, described residents who were forced to drink out of creeks and dehydrated senior citizens who were trapped in buildings that were like “human cages.”

Cruz rebuked a remark made earlier Friday by a government official who said that getting aid was much more complicated than expected.

“You know what? This is the United States of America,” the mayor said. “If somebody can put a man on the moon, they surely can walk around on an island ... and figure out the appropriate technology to get it.”
Cruz also appealed to President Donald Trump, who has praised the government’s response in Puerto Rico, to do more than fly over the U.S. territory when he visits next week.
“I hope as the president comes next week he doesn’t just get an aerial view of the situation,” she said. “Let him hear the cries of elderly people outside windows and doors screaming, ‘Help us.’”
Aid workers have warned that recovery efforts in Puerto Rico could take years due to extensive damage to the island’s agriculture and the downing of 2,400 miles of power transmission lines. One local official said that the devastation may have set the island back “nearly 20 to 30 years.”
Cruz used the news conference to ask U.S. citizens to send help and requested that news reporters send a “mayday” emergency call to the world.
“I know your hearts. You’re loving and caring. Help us. Show the world what we can do together,” she said.
“Call your local representative. Call everyone you can. Let’s show the world the generosity, the audacity and the hope that the U.S. can provide. You are a country of the people. Just let the people shine. Let them shine.”

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"Trump's Inferno: Hell is Now for Puerto Rico"
by Susan Thistlethwaite
Huffington Post
9/30/17

Is Donald Trump going to hell for his callousness and incompetence toward Puerto Rico?
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” certainly thinks he is, and he thinks this will happen especially for Trump’s attacks on San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, for daring to call out this administration’s slow and inept response so far to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.
Mayor Cruz made an impassioned plea for faster and better help for her people.
I am done being polite, and I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell because my people’s lives are at stake.
She asks the media to “send a mayday call.”
We are dying here. If we don’t solve the logistics, we are going to see something close to a genocide.
Genocide has been called A Problem from Hell. Puerto Rico’s people are in peril of their lives and health; so many of them are desperately imperiled, in fact, that the death toll could reach genocidal proportions. It’s that critical. Mayor Cruz is right.
Instead of responding compassionately to this heartfelt appeal, however, Trump lashed out in anger, unjustly criticizing Mayor Cruz for “nasty” comments and slamming her “poor leadership ability.”
This prompted Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of “Hamilton,” to tell Donald Trump on Twitter that he will go “straight to hell” for his unjust attacks on Mayor Carmen Cruz.

As a professor of theology, I think Lin-Manuel Miranda’s insight is on target. Trump should be condemned in the strongest possible terms, and consigning someone to hell certainly does that, because today Puerto Rico is hell on earth for most of its people. And the callous and incompetent response of Trump in particular, but also his administration, is in now great part to blame. And, just to add condemnation upon condemnation, this administration deserves great blame for the hellish consequences of the climate change denial that it fosters in order to protect those who pollute the environment with fossil fuels. Warming oceans due to accelerating climate change make hurricanes larger and more destructive. It’s the science, stupid.
Mayor Cruz is “mad as hell” and Lin-Manuel Miranda is consigning Trump to hell. I realized, in reading these stories, this could be straight out of the Inferno, the political and religious allegory by Dante, the 14th century poet.

Dante was not just speculating about the afterlife. He wrote a complex symbolic poem about the fact that life in Florence, where he lived, was hell on earth for him and for many of the people.
In the Inferno, Dante maps out Hell’s organization in concentric circles. He saves the circles of hell closest to Satan for corrupt politicians. The lower circles of hell are also reserved for violence, fraud and treachery.
It has always struck me as important that Dante’s vision of hell is not the popular fiery imagery we so often see (as in “burn in hell”). Dante portrays hell as cold as ice. The worst inhabitant of hell, the fallen angel, the “emperor” Satan, huge as he is, is mired in ice, as if cut off from all human ties, all the warmth of human relationship.
The emperor of the despondent kingdom
so towered from the ice, up from midchest,
that I match better with a giant’s breadth
than giants match the measure of his arms.
[Inferno, Canto XXXIV]
There’s a reason Dante reserved the worst level of hell for those who were frozen, incapable of the warmth of feeling empathy for other people. This is the worst hell has to offer.
I feel this is why Miranda reacted to Trump’s callous threat by invoking hell. Trump’s response was cold as ice.
For the rest of us, empathy for Puerto Rico, and for all those who have been affected by these devastating hurricanes, is an imperative.
I have given both to Volunteers of America and to United for Puerto Rico. There are many other fine organizations helping right now.
I tell you truly, I pray Donald Trump’s frozen heart thaws and he too responds with warmth and aid for all those in Puerto Rico and beyond who need the help of the United States.
But suffering people can’t wait to see if that happens.
Please do what you can right now. This hell on earth is real.


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