Aid Is Getting to Puerto Rico. Distributing It Remains a Challenge. – The New York Times

“LAS MARÍAS, P.R. — Inside a dark school sheltering families left homeless by landslides and hurricane winds, bottled water was getting so scarce on Monday that relief workers parceled out one small plastic cup to go with each person’s dinner of hot dogs, rice and beans and syrupy apricots.

“This is the ration,” Thomas Bosque, 60, whose roof was torn off in the storm, said, lifting his cup.At a local command center, Edwin Soto Santiago, the mayor of this devastated mountain municipality of 9,500 people, was also waiting for food and water, even though nine pallets sent by the federal government sat at a regional distribution center an hour away. The only way for the mayor to get them was to send a truck down muddy, tree-strewn roads. A day earlier, Las Marías officials had missed their chance to pick up a fresh shipment, the mayor said, because nobody told them it had arrived.

“We’re still looking for it,” Mr. Santiago said.Two weeks after Hurricane Maria split apart Puerto Rico, basic aid is arriving in San Juan and reaching more remote towns and barrios aching for assistance. But some families say that they are still receiving only meager portions, and ill-equipped and overburdened local mayors have been left to figure out how to haul supplies from regional drop-off points to their storm-ravaged towns. The death toll from the hurricane rose to 34, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said on Tuesday.”

Here are the top two comments so far, of only 98 comments so far.

Patrick Borunda Washington 16 hours ago

Hurricane Maria’s impact on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are a graphic demonstration of the utter incompetence of Donald Trump and his fake administration. With all of the technology for forecasting the storm’s track, with all of the resources this huge economy could have brought to bear and all the experience embedded in our disaster relief infrastructure, active duty and reserve military, Trump & Co. couldn’t pre-position to mitigate the inevitable impact on the Commonwealth.
Incredible.
For starters, why wasn’t the Hope already at sea, out of harm’s way north of the storm track but days closer to Bahia San Juan? Though not fully stocked with perishables, it certainly could have had relief on the scene within 24 hours. Further, Marine Expeditionary Unites (nee Marine Amphibious Forces) and Navy Seabees have the capacity to clear LZs, repair airports and establish communication networks in profoundly hostile environments within hours of a launch.
As a young infantry officer in Vietnam I was already trained to organize lifts of utility and heavy lift helicopters to place the right mixes of men, equipment and supplies rapid-fire into small LZs. How much better could it be done now with advances in communications technology and better aircraft?
The simple fact of the matter is that the fake Trump administration lacks the capacity to operate the levers of government effectively, much less efficiently. This performance is a disaster!

Reply 78 Recommended

Mary New Jersey 17 hours ago

It is despicable that after 2 weeks, Puerto Ricans are not able to receive the most basic staples, i.e. food and water. Why isn’t our military using helicopters and airplanes to do air drops in the fartherest parts of the country?

And what about housing for those who have no home? Maybe some of the containers could be put together to furnish temporary housing. LED lanterns for lighting.

Mary Kandziolka

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Reply 70Recommended

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Australia’s Death by Numbers – by Roger Cohen – The New York Times

“……………..The next day, Faisal Ishak Ahmed was pronounced dead in Brisbane. Earlier this year Omid Masoumali, an Iranian held on Nauru, burned himself to death. Other deaths include Reza Barati, an Iranian Kurd, killed in the Manus detention center in 2014. Australia has blood on its hands. This is where numbering human beings ends.

But, Australia insists, it has “stopped the boats” and the nameless “boat people” in them.

I recently finished Viet Thanh Nguyen’s fine novel “The Sympathizer.” In its last pages, as his hero flees from Vietnam, Nguyen writes: “Now that we are to be counted among these boat people, their name disturbs us. It smacks of anthropological condescension, evoking some forgotten branch of the human family, some lost tribe of amphibians emerging from ocean mist, crowned with seaweed. But we are not primitives, and we are not to be pitied.””

 

The problem, is that there will possibly be in the next 100 years or less, a billion climate change refugees,assuming just a two meter rise in sea level.
What I think we need, is to offer care to refugees, preferably in their own counties, in exchange for vasectomization or monitored, one child per couple family planning, followed by vasectomization. As ugly as it sounds, the rest of the world will also need a one or two children per couple policy as well, essentially now, to get our numbers down to a sustainable level with regards to reducing CO2 emissions and species extinctions. Or not. As in history, we can let civil war, ethnic cleansing and plagues do the dirty work, we do not have the stomach for, but reduce our numbers, we will.

Here is a comment, most recommended, that I approve:
Al Ketchum December 30, 2016

“The real problem the nyts and mr Cohen have with Australia’s immigration policies is that they work. Australia,unlike many western countries, is going to control its borders and who comes in. The vast majority of the migrants are passing thru several safe nations to get to western countries because of social welfare and economic factors. Australia has rightly concluded that they do not want to be the pressure relief valve for the tidal wave of people who are looking for better economic situations. Africa alone, now produces a minimum net gain of at least 30 million extra people a year. The continent cannot support anywhere near its present population. Should the west be required to take all these people in? When will it end? When the rest of the world has sunk to a level of poverty, hopelessness and despair that typifies these incredibly over populated counties? We must help these people solve their problems at home. It’s starts with birth control, a rejection of tribalism and the ignorance of fundamental religion and realizing that the west will not, and cannot take all of them in. Anything else just dooms the west to the same conditions that have made the Home Countries of the migrants so unlivable.”

268 Recommended

Heat, Hunger and War Force Africans Onto a ‘Road on Fire’ – The New York Times

Inconvenient News Worldwide

“AGADEZ, Niger — The world dismisses them as economic migrants. The law treats them as criminals who show up at a nation’s borders uninvited. Prayers alone protect them on the journey across the merciless Sahara.But peel back the layers of their stories and you find a complex bundle of trouble and want that prompts the men and boys of West Africa to leave home, endure beatings and bribes, board a smuggler’s pickup truck and try to make a living far, far away.”

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