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Outrage Follows Puerto Rico's Announcement It's Closing Nearly a Third of Its Public Schools


#1

Outrage Follows Puerto Rico's Announcement It's Closing Nearly a Third of Its Public Schools

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Teachers unions and outraged citizens in Puerto Rico are vowing to fight the government's newly-announced plan to close nearly a third of its public schools.

Puerto Rico's Education Department said Thursday that 283 schools would close by the start of the new school year, leaving open just 828.


#2

This is just about as ridiculous as it gets. Has Betsy Devos invaded Puerto Rico, too?

Seems to me, we should have a system that first determines what the needs of Puerto Ricans (not to mention the rest of Americans) are, then funds them accordingly. Not enough money? Take it away from something we don’t need, like funding our endless wars or the Pentagon’s perpetual, bottomless waste pit.


#3

Good old Austerity.

We haven’t seen anything yet.

Welcome to the hell of the Corporate State.


#4

My guess is they are still in the process of forming a disaster capitalism set-up for the whole island, see Naomi Wolf). It’s so much bigger than New Orleans. Right now they are busy arranging the forks and knives for the capitalist carving up of the whole island. They’ve got plans as to how they are going to beat the crap out of Puerto Rico in the name of the marketplace. Give em time…


#5

Shut up and listen all you wannabe fascists out there…Look at Puerto Rico. This is how we do it…


#6

The shallow river-crossing thing in the picture is called a “ford” (“vado” in Spanish), it clearly is not nor ever was a “makeshift bridge” and it has been in use for a long while. Perhaps it is being used for this school bus because because a bridge on the main road was washed out, or maybe the school bus always used it except when the water was too high. Journalists really need to get around more. The rural, and not-so rural parts of the continental USA has lots of fords too. I still remember back in the day when, even in Washington DC, we used to ford Rock Creek in the family station wagon to get to the zoo.


#7

Hello Yunzer, Journalists don’t get around much anymore as there is no budget for that as the top of the newspapers peeps get almost all of the money!!! Their education comes from the corporate influence as business is good and government is bad!!!


#8

Yunzer, unfortunately at times functions as one of the resident scolds around here. Right now I’ve got one of the other ones, “Jay” literally attacking me because I did not know all the details of Facebook’s “business model.” It’s free to come here, unlikely either of them ever pay for much anyway. Just like to tell off people who are generally on their side…


#9

What judge declared children to be junior debt and vultures to be senior debt? Bankruptcy doesn’t give any court-appointed vulture a right to commit manslaughter, and neither should it give anyone a right to force long-term ignorance onto any child that is a U.S. citizen.


#10

Just another public official afraid to be out amongst the public. What does that say about him?


#11

You might as well demand to serve up all the sacred cows as hamburger. The Military is the last bastion for the MIC.


#12

Disaster capitalism strikes again.


#13

School closings could be the future as online education becomes standard.

Before the Internet, my wife and I went cruising on my sailboat with our kids on their summer vacation. We toyed with the idea of cruising full time and teaching by correspondence courses of the Calvert School. Its graduates actually had a higher average of college admissions than most schools. We didn’t cruise full time, wanting to give the kids opportunities in school sports and such, which I regret.

Now many online courses are free, often interactive and have the best teachers. My mother was a teacher and I have a soft spot for them all. However, I am afraid that technology will substitute many teacher’s jobs soon, as it is likely to do to us all.


#14

Seems like Elites want especially to create illiterate Puerto Ricans.

This austerity is headed for destroying democracy in Puerto Rico, imo.

But without doubt is enriching banks/Elites.

Can we not see our future in what has been done to Puerto Rico?


#15

Not a judge. It was in the law and the contracts that Puerto Rico signed. School kids aren’t even ‘junior debt’.

It is a fine sentiment to abrogate contracts and put school children ahead of debt holders. Do that and it will be years before Puerto Rico can borrow money again from western capital centers, if ever. Ditto for other polities in the same situation.

BTW, it used to be that Puerto Ricos debt was held by ordinary people. Maybe you or I, through a mutual fund or a savings bank. The mutual funds and banks have given up on collecting those debts. Some have taken the loss. Others have sold their debt-notes to vulture funds, for what they can get. Perhaps, if you had a choice, you would have chosen to take a total loss on money you lent to Puerto Rico, instead of getting a little something selling it to a vulture fund. … Under the circumstances, are you willing to loan more money to Puerto Rico? What are your chances of getting repaid?


Puerto Rico was once a bit of an anomaly of the Antilles, wealthier than any other island there. Perhaps they never deserved it. The future of Puerto Rico looks right now a lot like the current situation of the Dominican Republic, with about the same wealth, income, education and political freedom. Or maybe they would rather become like Cuba…? Where the law guarantees them the repudiation of debt to foreigners, and many social benefits. (The previous two sentences may have contained some sarcasm.)


#16

Hi Yunzer,

I have family in different parts of Puerto Rico. However, they told me about a lot of problems in the region, including in their list was that, with the loss of the bridge, part of Morovivis was pretty much cut off. From what I’ve seen, there may have been something in use when the bridge before the bridge was originally constructed, but it doesn’t seem to have been in use for generations.


#17

I have family in Puerto Rico. I get a different impression of the bridge catastrophe in Morovivis, from them. They are not from Morovivis. But among the list of crap they have told me about, is the fact that this region was hit pretty bad, remains in bad condition, and that Morovivis residents were left pretty isolated after the loss of the bridge. I get the sense that, if there was a commonly used alternative, it hasn’t been used for generations.


#18

a2 –

This begins with US government being willing to destroy Puerto Rico rather than to allow
it statehood.

It is a forlorn hope, coming at a time of singular anguish for this Caribbean territory that has been an unincorporated US territory since the Spanish-American war of 1898. The island is struggling after a decade-long recession that has seen its unemployment rate reach 12.4%, compared with 4.7% in the US as a whole, and its overall debt burden and pensions shortfall rise to more than $120bn.

Last month, Beatriz Rosselló’s husband Ricardo hit the nuclear button and took Puerto Rico into a form of bankruptcy – the first time in history that any US state or territory had done so. That followed the imposition last year by the US Congress of a fiscal control board that exerts federal oversight of the island’s finances, imposing excruciating cuts to public services including education, health care and benefits.

This has always been a calculated/purposeful betrayal by the US government – not unlike what we saw in “Katrina” – and is based in no small part in racism.

And lest we forget – the US has always responded very brutally to Puerto Rico’s desire for independence. . .

“The current status is shameful,” he says. “It is shameful to be a colonial territory in the 21st century, and for the United States to own one. The nation that is the standard bearer of freedom and democracy should not be in this position – it’s hard to go to Cuba and Venezuela and voice your support for democracy when you’re not doing it at home.”

a-2: “Perhaps, if you had a choice, you would have chosen to take a total loss on money you lent to Puerto Rico, instead of getting a little something selling it to a vulture fund. … Under the circumstances, are you willing to loan more money to Puerto Rico? What are your chances of getting repaid?”

US has regularly and by long tradition bailed out Elites/corporations. Even putting our military in service to protecting their interests/assets. How many Elites were bailed out over the history of this nation? And from the very beginning "endowed with property, given great influence and control over the “people’s government,” the nation’s wealth and natural resources which are still in private/Elite hands.

This is more of the effort to divide and conquer Puerto Rico.

An old saying … "Behind all great wealth is great crime"

it’s more likely that Elites have “never deserved what they have.”

Some additional links …

Puerto Rico | Democracy Now!
_www.democracynow.org/topics/puerto_rico _
Democracy Now! coverage of Puerto Rico, including on the ground reports after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the island of 3.5 million American citizens.

Puerto Rico is a fully functioning democracy that elects its own Governor and Legislature that handle virtually all internal matters. The U.S. Constitution makes it clear that only states can have Senators, Representatives, or Electors for…
_https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AwrE1xfK7cpaaGIAEVxXNyoA;ylu=X3oDMTExZzQ0YmY1BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVUlDMV8xBHNlYwNzYw–?qid=20061015151959AABt6dD


#19

First problem is to sort out all the people and parties and factions involved, what they want, the emotional language that their appeals are couched in and to try to determine the likely result of any plan, as opposed to what is emotionally wanted.

As part of the sorting out,

Fact regarding that is
Question: “Did Balzac really say “behind every great fortune lies a great crime,” and if so where? If he didn’t say it, who did? I never see a source for this common quote and am beginning to suspect it.”
Answer: "The quote is a paraphrase from a line in Honoré de Balzac’s tragicomic novel “Le Père Goriot.” Here is the quote in its original French:
“Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime
oublié, parce qu’ il a été proprement fait.”

An English translation:
“The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account
is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly
executed.” " – There is flexibility in the translation.
– So the saying is not that old, and not based so much on wisdom like something out of Confucius’ ‘Analects’ would be.

I suppose you would have to resort to Howard Zinn to find a list of elites who have been bailed out over the history of the USA. It is easier to find corporations that weren’t bailed out and failed, a little harder to find the elites behind them that have been flushed from the elite circle. Recent examples include Blockbuster Video, Borders Books, Lehman Brothers, Enron, and Montgomery Ward. Everyone is looking at Sears to soon go down the drain. As for elites no more, there is Dick Fuld former CEO of Lehman Brothers, Bernard Madoff, and the top executives of Enron (who remembers their names anymore?); probably others whose names we don’t remember anymore either.

Puerto Rico’s status since the early 1950s has been a copy of the Philippine’s status in the 1930s. The Philippines wanted independence and were promised it on July 4 1946. They received it on July 4 1946, not withstanding a Japanese invasion 1941-1942 to 1944-1945. (I know there are some who wish that the Huq communist insurgency of the late 1940s in the Philippines had succeeded…)

Puerto Rico has had at least three votes on status since the 1950s. Each time they have chosen between independence, statehood and continuation of the current status, and have chose continuation, with statehood second and independence third.

Puerto Rico has historically had three political parties. The largest party has been pro-commonwealth current status, seeking to preserve it and get more benefits too. The second largest has been pro-statehood. Smallest, in single digits support, has been pro-independence.

In past decades the US Congress has given Puerto Rico tax and trade benefits, been a generous ‘uncle’. Quite likely Puerto Rico didn’t deserve the unnatural and unsustainable part of those benefits. A decade ago Congress took away many of those benefits. What then happened? In a sense, things began to look a lot like Greece, and now we are seeing the economic failure end of such a situation. Puerto Rico also had the bad luck of getting hit by two hurricanes, one a hard hit.

I regret that I have run out of time to compose and write more response.


#20

a2-

"Behind all great wealth is great crime." is merely common sense.
We don’t have “poor” people – we have impoverished people who are made poor.

No – not difficult to “sort out” …
Royals morphed into Elites/corporations
And we continue on today with “Palace intrigue” and Elite violence which is the
only way they can hold control over the 99%.

The obvious is clear – US is holding Puerto Rico as a “colony.”

And Puerto Rico’s storms have changed the circumstances there – (“Katrina’d”)
plus the sell out by banks.

These aren’t “economic failures” any more than our Depressions/Recessions have been
economic failures. Citizens create economies which are then manipulated by banks,
financial institutions for the benefit of Elites/wealthy.
That’s true everywhere.