Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis and many people haven’t even heard of it. If they have, it was in passing or saw an article about it but didn’t read too much into it. I personally blame the media since all they talk about it Trump but I digress. Puerto Rico has run out of money and no one is talking about it. Having lived on the island for a time, I have seen its splendor and beauty. I have experienced the culture and history. I have gazed at what poverty looks like. I have a special place in my heart for the island and its people and that is why I am annoyed that this crisis is getting pushed over.
The island is more than $70 billion in debt and rising. Many credit agencies have downgraded the debt to non-investment grade. The unemployment rate is 12.4% and growing. Since Puerto Rico isn’t a state it cannot file for chapter 9 bankruptcy. Recently, the federal government has said it would allow the island’s government to reduce their debt with legal actions. Millions of Puerto Ricans have fled already thanks to this debt and the population just keeps shrinking.
In January, the island elected a new governor. His name is Ricardo Roselló. He is a member of the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico which seeks to make the island the 51st state of the U.S. This would be a step in the right direction. At least if they became a state they could file chapter 9 and receive help from the federal government.
Getting rid of the debt is paramount or at the very least reducing it. It has gotten to the point that if no action is taken, it may very well become the next third world country and how would that look; having an island under the protection of the U.S. being poor with no help.
The way I see it, Puerto Rico should become the next state and receive help from the government. Maybe it can bounce back and become a flourishing island community in the future.
Puerto Rico yo nunca dejaré de amarte.
The protests in Venezuela have been overlooked for too long. We are witnessing a revolution and put our hands over our eyes so as not to see the lesson being taught. The lesson is this; socialism does not work. There are many people out there who are apologists for this wicked idea. It reminds me of a phrase I heard. People do not have ideas, ideas have people.
There is such a thing called the right of revolution. When a people have been, and are being oppressed by government, it is the right of the citizens to rebel. Hugo Chavez took power in Venezuela in a coup d’état. He was previously elected before but after being thrown out of office, he had the military take back control of the government. After this attack, he began to consolidate his power in the country becoming an authoritarian dictator. Karl Marx had an interesting concept that seems to be fulfilled everywhere socialism and communism spread. The concept was that after the revolution came about, a dictator would have to come in and force people to come to terms with the new system; that they would still have remnants of the old system in their minds so a leader would expunge all the capitalism from their minds. And it seems that is what Chavez was trying to do. When he died then his next in line to the throne took over. His name is Nicolas Maduro.
Nicolas Maduro was a bus driver before breaking into the political scene. He is just like Chavez; a committed socialist. He has taken Venezuela from bad to worse in just a matter of a few years. He is doing what every good socialist country does. It says that government is the fount of everything and personal liberty ends when government says so. Maduro is taking guns away from all opposition people and arming his supportive militia. He knows what is coming-it is revolution of the highest order. He will be deposed and all his ideas of government will be gotten rid of.
A man by the name of Leopoldo Lopez is a big name in the opposition camp down there. He is currently serving time in jail for trumped up charges. It is the classic government act of silencing those who disagree by jail or death. As a student of history, I believe we are witnessing the next great Latin leader. He will come to liberate the country of Simon Bolivar; the great liberator of South America. If he can survive next few months (betting that is how long it will take the revolution to start), he will be set free and take the country into economic and personal growth. But before all of this can happen, Venezuelans must decide for themselves what will be the next step.
The present situation in Venezuela is bleak but never doubt a people who have decided enough is enough. It could be a week or a few months but revolution will come one day and we shall see a reckoning. Venezuela can and I believe will get rid of socialist dictatorship. But for the sake of Venezuelans, let them decide on their own their future. If they ask for help we should help but let them be proud and take back their own country. Viva Venezuela! Viva la libertad!
When I was young, I fell in love with philosophy. For what reason, I do not know but it sparked something in me. At such a young age, I pondered long in my mind what life meant. I would lose track of time thinking about this and I still do. But now my thinking is much more abstract. I also thought about things like love and hate, ignorance and knowledge and how I interact with them. I have always been one to look to the past for that is where I most comfortably fit in. I’ve never had interest in superficial things. That is why I never exactly had an easy time talking to my peers. I am more interested in abstract and high level thinking. Something I have been struggling to grasp in these times is why humans give into their base desires with such frequency. I am by no means innocent but I do try my best to resist the temptations. I find that missing in today’s generation along with many other qualities that have long been forgotten by the general public but me being an ancient inside enjoy and praise those lost virtues. Discourse in this day and age is destroyed because we no longer teach such things as philosophy and virtues so it’s no wonder we have riots when we disagree or use ad hominem attacks just so we don’t have to use your brain with the risk of coming to the realization what you might be wrong. I end with this quote by C.S. Lewis. “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
To give you a little background of myself I am a mutt. At first glance you would think I’m just English or something like that especially with my last name but I have various ethnicities under my belt. I have Polish, Spanish, English, Southern Italian, Basque, Irish, Scottish, Mexican and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. The question I ask myself everyday is “Am I White?.” In asking that question I fall into a conundrum as you can see. When I was a kid I would help make tamales and other mexican dishes with my mexican side. I ate Polish food with that side when we got together. I eat southern food with my dads side who has been in the south for around 400 years. I am catholic and practice those traditions. The point I am trying to make is that to label someone as just white or black or whatever may have you is disrespectful. It shuns that persons own personal history. How about we recognize that being ethnically diverse is basically inherent in america at this point.
I hope that one day we can live in a country where skin color or family history or even personal history doesn’t affect how we live. If you work hard enough you can achieve greatness. To tell someone they can’t do something because there is supposedly people against them is harmful. It says no matter what they do they will never succeed. I hope to one day live where people love each other and respect everyone. Where there is no longer prejudice or racism of any kind. Where we take care of the earth since it takes care of us. Where kindness reigns in all things. Where rights triumph greed. Where immoral ideas such as socialism don’t have a place in a free society. Where when somebody works for their money they get to keep it and not have it taken away in the name of fairness. Where thievery is not tolerated in any way. Where we learn from history and rise above it. Where we live out the dreams of such great figures as MLK, the founding fathers and the philosophers of old. Where intellect and ideas are placed far above that of pesky emotions. Where all lives matter not just those of certain races or ethnicities based off of historical prejudices. Where people may live and let live. Where faith is not looked down on as an old relic of the past. Where honor is not spurned as an idiotic excuse in people’s lives. Where traditions are upheld and understood for what they represent. Where the ideas of the constitution and the like can be lived out every day with no fear. Where we can join hands and make MLK proud by finally chanting “free at last, free at last thank god almighty we are free at last.”
Fairness and justice are thought to be one and the same but they are not. Fairness calls for everything to be the same. Justice says no matter how you feel; I will decide the just course. To the modern day liberal democrat fairness is placed above fairness. To please the people is the only true thing. The end justifies the means. This has been a classic staple of the democratic thought process since its inception. Look at all of the major errors in American history and they are basically the fault of the democratic party. I know you’ll want example of this statement so here they are. The civil war for example. The south was a democratic stronghold for decades. They preached that slavery is the natural course of man. The abolitionists controlled the north. They held the opposite view but weren’t a political party in the sense that we know it today. The republican party was made by these abolitionists with the firm belief in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution. They truly believed and still do to this day that all men are created equal and with the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The bill of rights might as well be a religious creed to Republicans. The democrats knew that when the first republican president was elected to the highest office in the land slavery would be nearing its end. So what did the democrats do? They broke off from the union which they saw as a republican country. Even after they lost they tried to impose slavery in a new way by saying that former slaves were now indentured apprentices and couldn’t leave without completing there “contracts” and with permission by their masters. The so called republican government had to step in and impose rights again into the south. On to world war 1. In 1916 the republican platform said that will defend the rights of every American against the overreaching of the democratic congress and president at the time. The wished for peace during WW1, called for peace in Mexico during a time when the Mexican government was committing atrocities against Catholics in Mexico and for a strong military solely for the protection of America and nothing else. And we are somehow the party of war hungry people who only wanted to take over countries. That our sole objective is to maintain power over people’s lives. Fast forward to WW2 when the democratic party was responsible for imprisoning 130,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps for the sake of security. In the 60’s the democrats were taken over by Europeans socialists who saw America as the evil in the world because it said that government should be minimal and that rights don’t come from the government. Belief in freedom of choice for the people is an abhorring thought to them because people ought to be told what to do, how to do it and when. They can’t be trusted so says socialism. Democrats have somehow covered up these things and when confronted about it they will say that it was a different party or its all lies but the truth is a stubborn thing. Democrats today aren’t responsible but they certainly have inherited and maintain a tradition of forced subjugation or demanding freedom from others. I’ll leave you with this. if they continue down this path, what will the next atrocity be?
Democracy is a word coming from the Greek words “demos” meaning people and “kratos” meaning power. So power of the people. Democracy has been devised to be a morally upright system of government but is it really. Let’s take a look at history. Democracy as most people know is from ancient Greece but even then was a bit crude most of the time because it was totally at the will of the mob. To some degree it still is. For example, if the majority of people believes that someone is guilty of let’s say murder and they decide to act on such sentiment, is that not the people expressing the power of democracy and therefore “justified”. Throughout history democracy has gone tyrannical in some form and the reason is usually the same. For the sake of the people. But what if the people are wrong. Now that is dangerous ground to tread on. I’m not saying the people are dumb only that when they take to heart the intellectual side of thinking, democracy works. when they use emotions more often than not democracy is ruined.Now I believe in American exceptionalism. What do I mean by that? I mean this- that the beliefs the revolution pronounced was something not heard of in history. It expressed ideas that weren’t derived from government but from God and have always been there. That people are born inherently with rights that no one may trample on no matter what the case. To show this Jefferson wrote it explicitly in the declaration of independence and Madison clarified it even more in the Constitution. What does all of this come to? This. That the rule of people cannot and must not overrule the rights of others no matter what the people’s emotions call for. I personally believe that thinking with emotions is one the greatest mistakes humanity has done time and again throughout history. So the way our system was setup is exceptional because it declares that NO ONE CAN TRAMPLE ANOTHER’S RIGHTS. It checks the powers of the majority and respects the wishes of the minority. Free speech is something that is a defining characteristic of American thought and you would be surprised how often it is spurned both home and abroad. It is an evil thought to people to be faced with a different opinion other than one’s own. Descent in our republic is a gift that when utilized correctly it helps republican ideals be used for the good of the country and not detrimental as other say. So long as the republic lives the ideals that is was built on, it is just. When the people disregard our inalienable ideals to quote president Ronald Reagan “freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”