Puerto Rico part 4

Episode 6, season 10 of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is about Puerto Rico just months before Hurricane Maria destroyed the island. I had a vague understanding of the situation in Puerto Rico before watching the 43 minute show, but now I have a much clearer understanding of the situation just before Hurricane Maria struck. I purchased the video from Amazon.com and finished watching it yesterday. Life in Puerto Rico was difficult before the hurricane struck and now it is nearly impossible. Congress allowed special tax laws to expire in 2006 and Puerto Rico has been sinking deeper into debt ever since. I believe that the debt must be forgiven or the entire island will be privatized by vulture capitalists.

Trump must go

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No water

We live where is there is construction. We were given notice 72 hours in advance that our water would be off for 8 hours yesterday. We have an ample supply of bottled water for drinking and I filled a bucket and bathtub for other uses. It is surprising how much water a toilet uses. I suggest turning off the water in the White House without warning for 24 hours so that Trump can experience in small part what the residents of Puerto Rico are living with. Perhaps then he will provide them with more help, rather than threatening less.

Trump must go

Obama’s FEMA

We are so lucky that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is Obama’s FEMA. The current agency is the result of eight years of the Obama administration’s efforts to fix the GW Bush version that failed New Orleans when Katrina struck. We are doubly blessed that Trump has had insufficient time to break FEMA this early in his reign. The agency appears stretched to breaking, but just imagine how much worse it would be with its budget limited by the GOP.

Natural and unnatural disasters

Natural disasters come from God or Mother Nature and unnatural disasters are man-made. Katrina, the war in Afghanistan, and the Great Recession of the GW Bush presidency could have been prevented or been greatly less damaging if the correct actions were taken beforehand. Barack Obama had four years to correct the deficiencies of the FEMA he inherited from Bush before Sandy struck the US in 2012. Now in 2017, the US is reeling from the 1, 2 punches of Harvey and Irma. Let us hope that Trump has not had sufficient time to undo the effectiveness of Obama’s FEMA. If FEMA functions effectively, I am sure that Trump will take credit. If it does not, he will blame Obama.

After Katrina, Mike Pence was still in Congress and he had a hand in setting policies that led to the slow recovery of New Orleans from Katrina. Please keep Pence as far away as possible from the recovery efforts from Harvey and Irma. Someone once said that wars are God’s way of teaching geography to Americans. Natural disasters like hurricanes are Mother Nature’s way of teaching Americans about climate change. Let us hope and pray that we are capable of learning.

Duds

North Korea just launched three missiles toward Guam and all three were duds. Perhaps you missed it because the media are concentrating on something closer to home 24/7, Hurricane Harvey. Harvey and storms like it will do more damage to the US than North Korea ever will. We ought to be concentrating our efforts on protecting the homeland from the effects of climate change, a real threat than the hypothetical threat of a nuclear North Korea.