“I Like to Be in America” Trump and the Puerto Rico Crisis

How many know that when we took over Puerto Rico we changed the name of the place to Porto Rico? We put it under the command of the Army  whose leaders found the new name easier to spell. That was during the Spanish-American War when we liberated Cuba and gave it to the Cubans to run. We’ve seen how they eventually found a warm embrace with Russia. I don’t suppose we would have been happy if Puerto Rico was another Russian ally.

I also assume you know that during that war we took over the Philippines using as a military tactic concentration camps and  ethnic cleansing even though you were not taught that in school as something Americans did. We were particularly interested in the Philippines because it was a good base for our ships doing business in the Asian area then called the Far East but also we believed we could enlightened the benighted Filipinos to the great benefit of Christianity since at the time they were all Papists.

I wasn’t originally in the camp that was critical of the response to the Puerto Rico disaster caused by the hurricane. I knew we had two other recent weather caused disasters and a third would not be handled as if it wa the only one. But as days passed and the help to that island seemed to be deficient I began to wonder.

Clearly we did not do any way near what we should have done to help these American citizens in their moment of need. I see there are shipping containers full of goods from big bag companies who have been paid for them sitting in the port area  and the shippers who brought them there have been paid. Why then do they sit rather than being dispersed to the people? No one should be paid until the goods are delivered.

Isn’t one of the core functions of our military the ability to get supplies out to the troops in the field? They do it under enemy fire. Why isn’t it doing this for our fellow American citizens. As you see my point is that we should have put our military on full alert to alleviate the suffering there. It was not done. The question is why. The military was not used in the two previous disasters so it was fully available.

As I see it Trump is a business man. That’s who the people wanted to govern the country. A business man looks upon disasters as an opportunity for profit, that is events from which to make a ton of money. Using the military enriches no one; figuring out how to use private enterprise to enrich the owners takes time. So the Puerto Ricans suffer while the business man works to find a way to best help his friends profit from the disaster.

Which brings me back to he reason I spoke about the Spanish-American war. First, the Puerto Ricans have the right to vote to be independent of the United States. Do we want this? If not we better show them that they are equal to all other Americans and render our full aid to them. Otherwise as an independent nation it might fall sway to the Putin inducements.  He’d want nothing more than to have Russian bases on that island.

The anti-Catholic prejudice that made us subject the Filipinos to our whims that we saw back in 1900 may also be at work in not giving the Puerto Ricans their due. Then, of course, there is the racism which I will talk more about next week when I write a rant about the NFL. Then there is the funny language they speak that now seems to be invading our country which many find offensive.

The “I like to Be in America” is from West Side story.  It is a delightful song as relevant today as it was in the 1950s. Puerto Ricans are good, loyal American citizens. Many would do much better in the states but prefer their homeland. If their island is not quickly made inhabitable they will flock to the mainland hurting their island even more. Those that remain will be angry at America.

The Puerto Ricans deserve better. They are entitled to what you would want were your neighborhood destroyed. If our country can invade other countries and quickly subdue them then we should quickly invade Puerto Rico and put it back on its feet. The delay is inexcusable.

(Daniel inspired this)


  1. tot

  2. Wa-llahi! Phone’s off the hook at the WH. Trump was worried about people’s cells recording embarrassing events, now, he’s going to have to order strip searches of staffers going in and out, and, obligatory attendance at communal sauna sessions. Good for Mueller. Pour it on, man.

  3. Matt: We need a new thread dealing, specifically, with the Russian probe. If you’re breathing, I know you’re watching the proceedings, closely. What do you think?

  4. Manafort is no Gordon Liddy. He’s not falling on his sword. Not if they convince him that 30+ years might be waiting for him.

  5. No bail for Manafort. Overseas flight risk. Make him sit. The King Bros own the guy. He’ll be bunking with Snowden, if he’s let out of pocket.

  6. Glorious Leader’s sinking. War is just around the corner. Trump is panicking. He’ll see conflict as his only way out. Manafort is going to flip. I wonder how it’s going to come down with Flynn? Maybe, he’s, already, given GL up. Matt’s curiously quiet . I wonder what he thinks of the legal latest in the Mueller probe.

    “History doesn’t repeat itself, but, it sure does rhyme”
    –Mark Twain–

  7. Which one of the Niger operators spoke French? Who had fluency in the local Toaurag dialect? Sounds like their interpreter set them up. It was just plain goofy to send those guys out in the dark. Stars on peoples’ shoulders are no indicator of intelligence, just a limitless ability to kiss ass, and, shift blame.

  8. Oops! my bad. “The French company that operates the mines is roundly despised by the people of Niger.”

  9. Wa-llahi! Mokhtar Belmokhtar lives. Hamdulillahi. He’s a one-eyed, un-catchable, deep desert corsair, born of a sun blasted place where foreigner’s brains boil in their skulls. Ambush is his specialty. He’s been the target of numerous drone strikes There’s been many claims of his demise, but, none have proved out. Perhaps his name will pop-up in the investigation of the action in Niger. The four deceased American operators were trespassing on his territory.

    • Hopefully they will find Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s body rotting in the sun for the sport of the local crows.

      • Why are US troops protecting the French neo-colonial empire? Could it be the uranium mines in Arlit? The French company that operates the mines is roundly despised by people the people of Niger. Arevca NC is notorious for disregarding the safety of it’s Nigerien workers. Any value accrued from the mines goes straight into the pockets of Niger’s corrupt leaders. Once again,, Americans weigh in for the oppressors.

  10. John McCain consigns Glorious Leader, and, the Trumpsoviks, to the ass-cheeks of history Right, or, left, you gotta to love that guy.

  11. Bill:

    Trump vs. Tillerson in a comparison of past IQ test scores. Who do you think has the weightier intellect? Perhaps, fresh testings are in order. My thought is that neither has had an IQ test since they were children. Comparing SAT scores would be a better determiner of intellect. That info might even be publicly available.

  12. clemente hs in chicago

  13. Some truckers say no diesel fuel; others say plenty of diesel fuel; some say too much paperwork; others say paperwork not a problem; some say roads blocked; others say roads open: See below. (Either way, the problems are not the 3,000 containers delivered by US left on docks unpacked and unshipped; the problem is internal to Puerto Rico.
    Moreover, the Mayor of San Juan has been accused by many of not cooperating with FEMA nor with P.R. Governors, and refusing even to attend meetings.

    “Not everyone believes roadways are the problem. Roberto Ramirez Kurtz is the mayor of Cabo Rojo in southwestern Puerto Rico, which is about as far away from San Juan as you can get on the island — a 2 ½ to 3-hour drive.
    He says more than 5,000 homes were completely destroyed in his town, and people are running out of water and insulin. But aid and resources, “they’re staying in San Juan,” he says.
    Kurtz was in San Juan to ask for help, and having made the trip himself, he doesn’t believe that road conditions are an obstacle. “The roads are open,” he says. “I’ve been able to come here. So why haven’t we used this to [transport goods] west?”


    Teamsters Refusing To Drive Supply Trucks in Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico?

    Mr. Gonzales claims in this Spanish-language post that Victor Rodriguez has given instructions that no trucker should drive from the ports. (No official strike, but word of mouth resistance and reluctance.)

    The name of the Puerto Rican Teamsters Union is reportedly Frente Amplio de Camioneros . The leader is Víctor Rodríguez, seen being interviewed below.


    SMOKING GUN=> San Juan Teamsters Didn’t Show Up for Work to Distribute Relief Supplies – US Aid Rotting at Ports


  14. Some lyrics from America, West Side Story, (Bernstein, Sondheim):

    Puerto Rico,
    You lovely island . . .
    Island of tropical breezes.
    Always the pineapples growing,
    Always the coffee blossoms blowing . . .

    Puerto Rico . . .
    You ugly island . . .
    Island of tropic diseases.
    Always the hurricanes blowing,
    Always the population growing . . .

    I like the island Manhattan.
    Smoke on your pipe and put that in!

    I like to be in America!
    O.K. by me in America!
    Ev’rything free in America
    For a small fee in America!

    I like the city of San Juan.

    I know a boat you can get on.

    Hundreds of flowers in full bloom.

    Hundreds of people in each room!

    Automobile in America,
    Chromium steel in America,
    Wire-spoke wheel in America,
    Very big deal in America!

    Immigrant goes to America,
    Many hellos in America;
    Nobody knows in America
    Puerto Rico’s in America!

    I like the shores of America!
    Comfort is yours in America!
    Knobs on the doors in America,
    Wall-to-wall floors in America!

    When I will go back to San Juan.

    Everyone there will give big cheer!

    Everyone there will have moved here!

  15. Khalid:
    You’ve omitted some key facts. (Professors sometimes do this to advance their “theories”.)
    Here are some data on Puerto Rican Referenda. (All the Referenda since 1996 that I am aware of.)
    In 1966, less than 1% of Puerto Ricans chose “Independence” as an option. (60% Commonwealth; 39% Statehood.)
    In 1993, 4.4% voted for Independence.
    In 1998, 2.6% voted for Independence.
    In 2012, 5.6% voted for Independence
    In 2017, 1.6% voted for Independence (97% voted for Statehood.)

    It seems the vast majority of Puerto Ricans not only prefer being American citizens, they’d prefer Statehood.

    Why not paint the whole picture?

    2. As far as Hurricane Maria, the internet is full of evidence of the massive prompt aid sent. Check out the Conservative RedStateWatcher site for a Timeline of Hurricane Maria relief.

    Moreover, many local officials have praised the Trump administration’s response, such as the Mayor of a suburb of San Juan. Thirdly, I’ve read that one reason goods remained stockpiled on docks, was Union truckers decided to call a strike. The Union Trucker’s on strike story, I’ve yet to fully corroborate. But, I’ve read several posts on it.


  16. The FBI came down hard on the Puerto Rican independence movement after the military defeat of the Boriquas’ 1950 uprisings against US colonial policy. As the first move in the imperialist counter-insurgency program, a referendum was held. Voters had only two choices statehood, or, commonwealth. Independence was not an option on the ballot. After the referendum, the FBI operated under the fig leaf of defending democracy.

  17. Arriba Macheteros! Sus pais esta llorando! Abajo con Trump y los yankis. Donde estan sus fusiles? Esta tiempo para un grito de independencia.

    All praise to EPB. All power to the Dialectic!

  18. On November 1, 1950, Nationalists Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attacked the Blair House with the intention of assassinating U.S. President Truman.

    The last major attempt by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party to draw world attention to Puerto Rico’s colonial situation occurred on March 1, 1954. On that day, Nationalist leader Lolita Lebrón and fellow Nationalists Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores and Andres Figueroa Cordero attacked the United States House of Representatives.

  19. 1975…the FALN wrote, “we … take full responsibility for the especially detornated (sic) bomb that exploded today at Fraunces Tavern, with reactionary corporate executives inside.”

    The note explained that the bomb — roughly 10 pounds of dynamite that had been crammed into an attaché case and slipped into the tavern’s entrance hallway — was retaliation for the “CIA ordered bomb” that killed three and injured 11, one a child, in a restaurant in Puerto Rico.

  20. The Utuado uprising, also known as the Utuado revolt or El Grito de Utuado, refers to the revolt against the United States government in Puerto Rico which occurred on October 30, 1950 in various localities in Puerto Rico.
    The revolt culminated in the town of Utuado, where five Nationalists were executed without a trial in a police station, in what became known as the “Utuado Massacre.”

    Puerto Rico libre!

  21. Looking back over the 13 years we organized consecutive
    annual conferences that looked at crimes committed by FBI
    agents there are always a few speakers that jump out and
    Puerto Rican attorney , poet, marathon runner and jailed activist
    Linda Backiel stands out. Representing Puerto Rico Independistas
    she wast sent to jail for refusing to disclose attorney client information.
    google her name
    Sharing the stage with her that year was former Catholic priest Phil Berrigan
    along with Mohawk Nation elders Lorraine Thompson and Joe Deom.
    Joe was involved with the armed stand off/shoot out with the RCMP
    in upstate New York when a new golf course was scheduled to be built
    on a Mohawk Burial site.
    Our conference was held in 1991, on the anniversary of the passage of the
    Bill of Rights.

    The first year our conference was held in 1989 at Boston University it
    was sponsored by Professor Howard Zinn.
    one of our featured speakers was Suffolk Law Professor Mike Avery.
    Mike discussed the $ 1,000,000.00 verdict he won for two Puerto Rican
    families when their teenage sons were arrested by FBI agents and the
    Puerto Rican police, handcuffed and summarily executed while kneeling
    and begging for their lives at a remote spot on Cerro Maravilla.
    It is all detailed in the book Requiem on Cerro Maravilla by Manuel Suarez.

    As Matt reminds us your only as high as the people you hang out with
    or is it blogging is not truth behaviour is truth ?

    can’t wait to see the selfies of Matt in Florida at his home.

  22. I agree with Tadzio on all points.
    No matter what Trump does, the Trump haters throw stones, and always posit a “racist” angle or other “ist” angle.

    2. The Spanish-American War was not primarily nor predominantly nor in any measurable measure motivated by anti-Catholicism; nor was the Mexican-American War. Remember the Alamo! Of course, some see boogeymen behind all national conflicts. Liberals especially want to simplify all conflicts in “politically correct” terms.

    3. 2.8 million soldiers served in Vietnam. At its maximum, 25,000 Vietnam veterams were member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War: less than 1% of those who served. And who does Ken Burns give all the air time to in his television history? John Kerry and the V.V.A.W.?

    • Bill:

      1. Trump deserves criticism for the response to Puerto Rico.

      2. I suppose you think the Spanish-American war awa bout the sinking of the Maine. You must disagree with President McKinley who said the purpose was to enlighten and bring Christianity to the Filipinos who were brain washed by Rome. As for the Mexican war, according to Wikipedia “The “San Patricios” were responsible for the toughest battles encountered by the United States in its invasion of Mexico,” These were Irish soldier who deserted from the American army because of the anti-Catholic actions of the army and its leaders.

      3. I haven’t seen any of the Burns series on Vietnam so I have no idea what he is doing. However I would say the war was continued long after we were planning to throw in the towel. LBJ knew we had no chance but did not want to be the first president to lose a war.

      • Matt: I’ve previously posted my doubts about the sinking of the Maine, as well as the Gulf of Tonkin pretense, and weapons of mass destruction lie. My point is anti-Catholicism was not a prime, principal or even measurable motivator in the earlier wars. Of course, I recognize anti-Catholicism existed in 19th Century America, and am familiar with the San Patricios. But even at the Alamo, Catholics fought on the side of the Americans, as they have in all its wars, especially Irish-American Catholics and German-American Catholics, since the Revolution.
        We historically err, when we cite instances of bigotry (incidents) then ascribe the majority’s motives to a few benighted soles.

        • Further research is needed, but some sites say as few as 175 San Patricios deserted, and they were joined by others already in Mexico. So we have a casse of some bigoted officers who harshly treated some Irish-American soldiers who deserted, and we then say the whole Mexican-American War was caused by Anti-Catholicsm? No! Nor do some anti-Catholic comments by Politicians or Press prove or suggest the Spanish-American War was motivated by anti-Catholicism.

  23. Texas and Florida locations made them easier to assist. The more remote the locale the harder it is to help. It has nothing to do with who the people are. There are plenty of Latinos in South Texas and Florida. How many military flights were sent to the West Indies to evacuate Americans after Hurricane Irma? Thought I read thousands were flown out. 2. What is your take on NFL players kneeling during the anthem? Do you support that? Is the NFL in trouble? Most Americans oppose disrespecting our flag and country. The military is held in much higher esteem than pro sports. Are you with Trump or the NFL owners who are condoning it? 3. California had a three strikes law. Three felonies and you got a life sentence. Kraft has been found guilty in Spygate, Deflategate and now we have Tap Watergate( selling tap water for $5 a cup). If he sold more than twenty cups he is guilty of larceny over $100 punishable by five years in State Prison. How much time should he serve?

    • NC:

      1. The response to Puerto Rico was at best late.

      2. Like Trump says about the pact with Iran I know what I think about the NFL matter but won’t tell anyone. Unlike Trump I’ll tell you when I’ll tell you what I think. I’ll post about it starting Monday and for a d ay or two after that. It is an interesting subject.

      3. Yes, Bob Kraft if he were in California would be looking at three strikes and you’re out. What is it with the Boston professional teams that they all have to cheat. But keep in mind that Kraft is very close with Trump — didn’t they talk once a week during Deflategate. If Kraft feels the heat he’s likely to turn state’s evidence and implicate Trump as the brains behind increasing the price of tap water to $5.

  24. Glad to see that you are still active. Still full of hate. Trump is prominent in the headline but is mentioned only once in the article.

    “Trump is a business man…..A business man looks upon disasters as an opportunity for profit…” Should not you be talking about the Clinton Foundation and Haiti? But then the Clintons are not businessmen they are purely predators.

    FEMA is the federal agency that handles natural disasters, not the military. All and all it is best to stick to the assigned roles. If Trump sent the military into Puerto Rico your ilk would be screaming that he did not do it for Texas of Florida – outrage. You are determined to be offended the facts be damned.

    Glad the month’s hiatus is over.

    • Tadzio:

      I didn’t think the Clintons were in office during Hurrican Maria. Perhaps I am wrong to blame the late response to that disaster on Trump since Hillary must have won the race.

      Trump is the commander in chief. He controls FEMA and the military. He should have had the military in early and often. I saw no need of the military in Texas or Florida but it was apparent they were needed in Puerto Rico. I see that they are now there but it is a week too late.

      • Haitian opinion of the Clintons and their foundation is very low.
        http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37826098 It stems from the charitable [hehehe]foundation’s activities in the aftermath of the earthquake and the more recent hurricane. Am well aware of who has been president and when. Only extremists of a leftist bent think Hillary must have won.

        Did you get a lot of work done on the FBI book?

        • Tadzio:

          FBI book is taking a lot of time because of research and trying to do it right. Blogging also takes a lot of time, as does keeping up with the family, household demands, and life itself. Thanks for asking. I’m moving along slowly and chastising myself for this.

          As you know I have little respect for the Clintons. I could not stomach the idea of having Slick Willy (the first president ever to take a payoff for a pardon) back in the White House but I’m not to happy with your guy either.

  25. Welcome back!

  26. Matt: I think Trump is being prodded into more action, which is a good thing. If the president is upset with Puerto Rico’s debt load, he should punish the local elites responsible for the situation, and not take it out on 3 million American citizens desperately in need of hurricane assistance.

    And it isn’t useful for Trump to tell us that Puerto Rico is an island in the ocean. We know that! We really do! Maybe Trump should dispatch one of the Army’s airborne divisions. These men and women are tough, disciplined and can be flown ashore in a matter of hours as space becomes available at the airport.