Thursday 28 September 2017

The clusterfuck that is aid to Puerto Rico

This sort of distribution clusterfuck is usually ascribed to socialism but this is the epitome of "free market" capitalism- the United States.

Meanwhile communist Cuba has its shit together and can look after its citizens.

I shall add more to this as it comes to hand.

3,000 shipping containers packed with food water & medicine waiting on wharf waiting for truck drivers

DavidBegnaud was live at the Port in San Juan Puerto Rico reporting that there is 3,000 shipping containers packed with food,water, & medicine that have been sitting at the port in Puerto Rico since Saturday!
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San Juan hospital generator ran out of diesel fuel

Sam Golden
San Juan hospital generator ran out of diesel fuel, 2 dead in ICU, more dying!

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Trump refuses to save hurricane victims in Puerto Rico because shipping tycoons don’t want it

Trump refuses to waive an obscure, century-old maritime law in order to help hurricane victims because, in his words, the "shipping industry" would not be happy.

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27 September,2017

The devastation in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is one of the worst natural disasters this year. The storm flooded and completely destroyed towns, leaving 3 million Americans without power or cell service for days, and over 1 million without water. Even the hospitals are struggling to keep their lights on.

But Donald Trump has offered them very little in the way of help or even sympathy.

In fact, he is refusing to do everything in his power to help out of concern for “the shipping industry.”

When pressed by reporters for an explanation of why he has refused to waive the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, popularly known as the Jones Act, which is making it impossible for several ships to deliver supplies to the island, Trump gave the most stunningly insensitive answer imaginable.

Well, we’re thinking about that,” Trump said, “but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”

The Jones Act severely restricts the movement of foreign vessels between the mainland and U.S. territories. Since Saturday, 3,000 shipping containers of food, water, and medical supplies have been sitting unused at port in Puerto Rico, brought by foreign ships, and the Jones Act prohibits them from being unloaded.
But Trump’s Department of Homeland Security refused to grant a shipping waiver for these vessels — even though it did issue a waiver after hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to help devastated Americans on the mainland — a situation Sen. John McCain has blasted as “unacceptable.”

Trump’s entire response to Hurricane Maria has been unacceptable. One of his first public statements on Puerto Rico was to criticize them for their debt crisis, which is largely the fault of federal tax law and corporate exploitation and has nothing to do with their need for disaster relief. Distracted by his feud with the NFL, he only sent a naval vessel to the island after being guilted into it by Hillary Clinton, and defended himself by saying that the Atlantic is a “very big ocean.”

Quite aside from the insanity of Trump literally saying that shipping industry executives’ profits matter more than the lives of American citizens in a disaster area, his explanation does not even make sense. Even if Trump did not want to repeal the Jones Act, he could still issue a waiver for this specific situation.
For good measure, Trump is also restricting a bipartisan group of lawmakers from traveling to Puerto Rico, all but cutting off the island from anything that that would bring outside help or attention.

Not since Hurricane Katrina has an American natural disaster been handled with less competence or less regard for the lives of fellow citizens. Trump’s comment about “the shipping industry” was shocking only in its brazenness — the fact that he has this little empathy for Americans in Puerto Rico tallies with every known Trumpian instinct. But it is still a stain on our leadership at a time when we need it most.

Profits vs. Puerto Rican Lives: Trump Admin Blocks Aid from Reaching Devastated Island

Democracy Now!

One week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump says he will visit the island next Tuesday, even as most of the 3.5 million U.S. citizens who live there remain in the dark, without access to power, clean water, food and fuel. Facing withering criticism, Trump held a press conference Tuesday and denied he has neglected the disaster. His administration also denied a request from several members of Congress to waive shipping restrictions to help get gasoline and other supplies to Puerto Rico as it recovers, even though the Department of Homeland Security waived the Jones Act twice in the last month following hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit the mainland United States. We speak with Democracy Now! co-host Juan González and with former New York State Assemblyman Nelson Denis, who wrote about the Jones Act in The New York Times this week in a piece headlined "The Law Strangling Puerto Rico." His book is called "War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony."

It was suggested to me yesterday on Facebook  that,because it came from Killary Clinton,it is a bad idea.

USNS Comfort hospital ship, supposedly 'on the way,' is set to deploy Friday

The U.S. Naval Hospital Ship Comfort is seen anchored at the San Juan del Sur Port, Nicaragua, Friday, June 24, 2011. The ship will remain in Nicaragua for 10 days to provide humanitarian assistance to residents who lives at the port area. In foreground, a U.S. flag. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

When it finally dawned on Donald Trump Tuesday that his "tremendous" leadership on the Puerto Rico response was turning into a crisis, the White House quickly deployed the Department of Homeland Security chief and FEMA director Tuesday afternoon to assure Americans everything was under control.

That's when FEMA head Brock Long explained how difficult getting relief to the island was but promised that the federal government was on it. The unique circumstances, he said, are "requiring us to push forward a lot of resources, including the USS Comfort which is on the way."

Or not, writes Steve Sternberg of US News & World Report of the Comfort hospital ship:

The mammoth ship was docked Tuesday in its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, with a minimal crew, requiring up to five days to stock up and get underway. When reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, the commanding officer of the ship's hospital, Capt. Kevin D. Buckley, said, "The Comfort is ready to go, if the call comes."

Now that the orders have arrived, the goal is to stock the ship with personnel, food, water and medical supplies within 96 hours and get underway Friday. "There's a whole slew of equipment that has to be brought on board to accommodate the mission, primarily medical supplies," says the ship's spokesman, Bill Mesta, of the Military Sealift Command, the civilian maritime agency that runs the ship, while the Navy commands its hospital facility.
If you're wondering how this compares to other disaster response mobilizations—not well. Here's a comparison to the urgency with which the ship was dispatched following Haiti's earthquake in 2010.

Haiti's earthquake occurred on January 12, 2010. The next day, the ship was ordered to prepare to depart. Four days later, the Comfort — which had been on shore power for painting and repairs — was fully stocked with food, linens and enough medical gear to supply the ship's 10 operating rooms and set off from Baltimore and passed under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge en route to Haiti.
This isn't simply an exercise in harping on the semantics of Brock Long. Donald Trump devoted the entirety of his limited intellectual capacity this weekend to pouring salt on the festering wounds of America's culture wars when he should have been thinking about saving American lives in Puerto Rico.

That’s what the popular vote loser was doing while the woman who won the popular vote was already anticipating a crisis in the making Sunday morning and urging Trump and other administration officials to deploy the hospital ship.

There is video footage for which it is best to go to the original

Tearful Mayor in Puerto Rico Warns People Are Dying Because FEMA 'Chain of Command' Isn't Giving 'Marching Orders'

President Donald Trump may have thanked her for her kind words about FEMA, but he didn't hear all of them. San Juan, Puerto Rico mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz says FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) employees are good people who really want to help but they are waiting for their "marching orders," and assessing the life-or-death situation in the capital city of 400,000 devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Mayor Yulín Cruz is blasting the Trump administration's red tape, telling CBS News they want her to write memos. The San Juan mayor has literally been knocking on doors herself and saving lives.

"We are having a humanitarian crisis here, and we're doing all we can. The worse fear is that we cannot get to people in time," she says. "Two people died yesterday, because there was no diesel" at the local hospital. "There's no diesel, there's no life support system."

"Help needs to get into people's hands. Now."

"The FEMA employees want to do it. They do," she says. "But the chain of command is just sucking everything up."

She warns that FEMA is spending time assessing and not doing anything.

"If you don't 'do,' hundreds of lives will be lost."

The mayor also took a swing at President Trump for his tweets Monday night about Puerto Rico's debt crisis.

"This is a time for action. Let's not talk about the debt. The fricking debt."

"We need to get our shit together because people are dying," she told CBS News. "It's life or death."

"Every moment we spend just not getting the help we're supposed to get, people are starting to die," Yulín Cruz said.

She notes that Health and Human Services employees are on the ground and "ready to help but they didn't get any marching orders." She's asking for someone to "structure the logistics."

"There are people who have had no food and no water for 14 days."

CBS' David Begnaud‏ posted a longer clip, in which Mayor Yulín Cruz says, "I don't give a crap about who is running the show. Who ever is running the show needs to get the help out of the logistics meeting, and into people's hands."

And she says FEMA is still assessing, six days after the hurricane.

"The other day I was told, 'You need to write a memo.'"

Begnaud on camera referred to this tweet from FEMA Administrator Brock Long:

Amnd Begnaud's response:

CNN's David Wright posted some of her remarks from a different inrterview:
President Trump has announced he is visiting Puerto Rico on Tuesday

View image on Twitter

Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico shares harrowing details of rescue missions: "Our bodies are so tired, but our souls are so full of strength"


27 September,2017

The consequences of President Trump’s unforgivable bungling of the Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery efforts worsen by the day – and he still appears to be purposefully allowing the situation to deteriorate.

The White House still hasn’t waived the Jones Act for the island of Puerto Rico, trade restrictions that are keeping foreign ships from depositing desperately needed aid supplies to the island, where 1.5 million Americans are without clean drinking water.

Maddening. 3,000 shipping containers packed with food water & medicene have been sitting at the port in Puerto Rico since Saturday

smh, this is one of the reasons why aid is piling up the the ports instead of being distributed in Puerto Rico
While Trump is already congratulating himself for his response to the Puerto Rican crisis, thousands of shipments of relief supplies are stuck on the docks, thanks to the Jones Act.

But when pressed on the issue, Trump made his real priorities clear: “We’re thinking about that, but we have a lot of shippers and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”

Trump just admitted he’s putting the needs of the wealthy owners of shipping companies ahead of millions of American citizens – even though he already issued a waiver for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

While he said he’s “considering” a waiver for the island, his decision to not send a request for more FEMA resources until the second week of October speaks volumes.

The needless suffering of the Puerto Rican people is a terrifying glimpse into what’s in store for the American people under Donald Trump.

The President of the United States is fiddling on Twitter while millions of American Latino citizens struggle to find food, water, and shelter – and his tweets, referencing the “power grid” and Wall Street, are obvious indicators of where his real priorities lie – in forcing Puerto Rico to privatize their power grid and to let his buddies on Wall Street loot the island.

This is without a doubt his Hurricane Katrina, and it sets a disturbing precedent for what we can expect from our ignorant, selfish, do-nothing president in the future.


The reporter who brought us the news of the 30,000 shipping containers reports from Puerto Rico

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