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Puerto Rico Statehood vote
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably. Most of the control over Puerto Rico is still in the hands of Congress and many of these creditors have Members of Congress in their pocket so any decisions which get made will be made in such a way as to protect the investors' bottom lines.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which as we all know is 85% of the function of politics. Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the Senate passed PROMESA, setting up the control board which will give the board almost unlimited power to direct Puerto Rico's economy.

Quote:
The U.S. Senate has passed the so-called PROMESA bill, which will establish a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico's economy. While the bill's supporters say the bill will help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis, it has also been widely criticized as a means of removing democratic control from the citizens of Puerto Rico. The Senate's 68-30 vote comes two days before Puerto Rico is expected to default on a more than $2 billion debt payment. New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez led the opposition to the bill.

Sen. Bob Menendez: "It is a vote to authorize an unelected, unchecked and all-powerful control board to determine Puerto Rico's destiny for a generation or more. It is a bill to force Puerto Rico, without their say, to go $370 million further in debt to pay for this omnipotent control board, which they don't even want. It is a vote to cut the minimum wage down to $4.25 per hour for young workers in Puerto Rico. It's a vote to make Puerto Ricans work long overtime hours without fair compensation. It's a vote to jeopardize collective bargaining agreements. It's a vote to cut worker benefits and privatize inherently government functions. It's a vote to close schools and shutter hospitals and cut senior citizens' pensions to the bone. It's a vote to put hedge funds ahead of the people. And it's a vote to sell off and commercialize natural treasures that belong to the people of Puerto Rico."

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders also spoke out against the legislation.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "This is a terrible piece of legislation, setting horrific precedent, and must not be passed. Mr. President, the United States of America should not treat Puerto Rico as a colony. We cannot and must not take away the democratic rights of the 3.5 million Americans of Puerto Rico and give virtually all power on that island to a seven-member board, which will be dominated, as it happens, by four Republicans."

Demonstrators have established an ongoing protest camp outside the U.S. Federal Court in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, in opposition to the bill, which now heads to President Obama's desk.


It isn't really going to make young Puerto Ricans work overtime hours for no more compensation, of course, and I don't mind it ending collective bargaining (given my opinion that unions are outdated institutions and should be abandoned); however, it does put the desires of the hedge funds ahead of Puerto Ricans, who are just as much American citizens as I am.

How very ironic it is, this weekend before the Fourth of July, our Independence Day, that Congress is now doing to Puerto Rico exactly what George III was doing to the American Colonies in the 1760s and 1770s. I would not oppose it if the citizens of Puerto Rico were to rise up in armed rebellion and declare their own independence.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unions might be outdated, but I don't think that means collective bargaining is wrong or has no place. There are good reasons that it came into existence in the first place I think.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably so, but the important part of this news story is the fact that we are now treating Puerto Rico like colonies were treated two centuries ago. Congress has direct control over Puerto Rico's entire economy? That is a recipe for disaster.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, they do say that things need to get worse before they can start getting better. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have said things like that before, myself, only in a different context. I am not certain how much worse it needs to get for Puerto Rico, though--roaming mobs of looters in the streets?

We should just make them a State and be done with it. I normally also state their other option of complete independence but that would probably be a bad idea right now--it would do more harm than good for the Puerto Rican citizens.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
I have said things like that before, myself, only in a different context. I am not certain how much worse it needs to get for Puerto Rico, though--roaming mobs of looters in the streets?


Sometimes that's what it takes. Hell, sometimes, even that is not enough. Sometimes I wonder what is enough these days to motivate the populace to rise up against injustice and oppression. And not just in comfortable 1st world countries either.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:

Sometimes that's what it takes. Hell, sometimes, even that is not enough. Sometimes I wonder what is enough these days to motivate the populace to rise up against injustice and oppression. And not just in comfortable 1st world countries either.

--A


I don't know, either. The problem is this: by the time people do get around to rising up against oppression the situation will be significantly worse than if people had blown off a little steam every now and then. Instead of Mauna Loa we will have Krakatoa.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still, sometimes all you can do is burn it down and start again from scratch.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the plans to use aerial fumigations to fight against the Zika virus certainly aren't going to repair any of the damage recently done.

Quote:
And in Puerto Rico, hundreds of people gathered in Old San Juan in opposition to a proposal for toxic aerial fumigations aimed at fighting the Zika virus. The protest brought together activists, environmentalists, farmers and students. Many were also protesting the recently signed PROMESA bill, which will establish a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico's economy. Activist Melissa Vargas spoke in front of an ongoing protest camp in front of the U.S. federal court, where activists have been protesting the PROMESA bill.

Bq. Melissa Vargas: "Really, all of this, every one of these particular problems are tentacles of a grand monster, which is the government. And basically, the government is not defending us, and is not representing us. The government is not fulfilling its duty to protect its citizens."


The decision to fumigate on the heels of PROMESA must be giving the conspiracy theorists a field day.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would fumigation really make all that much difference? I mean, DDT spraying managed to reduce malaria somewhat, but it sure didn't eliminate it.

seems like one of those shotgun approaches...spray everything and claim you're doing something.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

President Obama has appointed the seven members of the board established under the auspices of the PROMESA legislation.

Quote:
President Obama has appointed seven members to a federal control board that will run the finances of Puerto Rico's nearly bankrupt government for at least the next five years and restructure nearly $70 billion in debt. The board is made up of three Democrats and four Republicans who will not only approve any budgets created by the island's politicians, but also attempt to negotiate with the island's nearly 20 creditors. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters in Puerto Rico blocked a street in front of a hotel where bankers and business executives were gathering for a conference hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, a new report from the ReFund America Project has revealed firms like UBS, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital have collected $1.6 billion in underwriting fees from Puerto Rico since 2000 just for refinancing bonds to pay interest and fees on older bonds.


Our Federal Government has reduced Puerto Rico to a typical 16-year-old--they have a semblance of freedom but they still have to borrow money and the car keys from Mom and Dad.

What is the over/under upon how in pocket those seven Members of Congress are to corporations such as UBS, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays? They will wind up considering the needs of the creditors before the good of the people of Puerto Rico, which means they will deserve the revolution they are helping to create.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you really think there is a chance of that? Or is it a hypothetical future scenario?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Puerto Ricans are Americans citizens but they aren't like other American citizens--they aren't as apathetic (as far as I know). I can prove that citizens here are apathetic--no one protested the de facto martial law which was implemented immediately following the Boston Marathon bombing. All those people blindly obeyed like good little sheep.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe, but revolution is a hell of a step. And as we've discussed before, it takes a lot, probably a lot more than has happened, to push people over that precipice.

At the very least, you first have to go through the protests and demonstrations stage, and they don't appear to be even there yet.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, at least some Puerto Ricans are already there. True, they only shut down a WalMart but protests have to start somewhere, right?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does seem to be a start indeed.

Really my instinct is to say "good for them" on the whole.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding insult to injury--the oversight board is in place now, so Puerto Rico doesn't get to manage some of its own affairs--is the recent massive collapse of the Puerto Rican power grid.

I wonder when enough will be enough for them?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will still take more than this. Things have to get really bad.

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