Puerto Rico (and US Virgin Islands) Incident Response

10+ days after Hurricane Maria slammed into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, we find that 40% or more of the island does not have clean drinking water.  This is a humanitarian crisis occurring on US soil..  There will be plenty of blame to go around on this one, but I ham a strong believer in the "Buck Stops Here" approach.   The POTUS since the Hurricane hit the island has had a less than stellar response to the crisis, especially compared to the responses to Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida.   

On September 17, the White House issued a disaster declaration in preparation for Maria.  That was a good start, and in line with what the White House did in preparation with Harvey and Irma. Making a disaster declaration is one thing, acting upon it is where some of the problems lay.  If you recall back to Hurricane Irma, many Caribbean islands took a direct hit from a Category 5 Hurricane that at the time had maximum sustained winds of around 185 miles an hour.  Islands such as Barbuda were devastated, while the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were severely crippled by the sideswipe of Irma.  As the islands were beginning recovery from those storms, the tropical wave that eventually became Maria began heading that direction.  Computer models were projecting that a major hurricane may go through the area several days in advance.  Computer modeling for hurricanes have become pretty good to this point, and the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were in the cone of uncertainty of a major hurricane (CAT 3+) either going over or passing close to these islands that were on the brink from Irma.  

This should have instigated major preparations on FEMA's part.  The potential for major power and water distribution issues were high.  The Federal government knew the economic and Commonwealth debt situations well in advance and the high likelihood that the Federal assistance would be great in this case.  Like with Harvey and Irma, resources should have been in place ready to move once the storm had passed.  While the power issue will take time (no doubt), shortages of food, medicine, fuel (for generators), and water should have been easily anticipated.  Resources should have been at the ready, and all the red tape inhibiting the distribution and delivery of said resources should have already been cut through.   No excuse in over preparation in a possible humanitarian crisis.

The victim blaming, party bickering, and posturing by POTUS needs to stop now.  Earlier today, he sends out the following set of tweets about Puerto Rico.  

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This is victim blaming at its finest.  The general that is in charge of the relief effort states he does not have enough resources.  Mr. President, it is not about Democrats or Republicans, nor about the economic condition of the island prior to the onslaught of 2 major hurricanes.  It is about the 3.5+ million AMERICAN CITIZENS that live in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.  We have the means and the the will to help out our fellow citizens as was done in the wake of Harvey and Irma.  The buck stops with you Mr. President.  Start acting presidential and stop the partisanship.  The American people, especially those in need in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands deserve better.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans.   First a look at the document that started it off.

 

So, on this most American of holidays, you would expect the President to say something about it. Our President did, tweeting out a message with a video attached.  Given that structure, one would think that he might have used the Star Spangled Banner:

 

If not that, then the classic song by Irving Berlin,  God Bless America.

 

He could have even chosen a song by one of the performers at his inauguration, Lee Greenwood, with God Bless the USA:

 

So, what does our President tweet on Independence Day?  See for yourself

That's right.   A MAGA song?   WTF is that?  90% of his tweets are used to divide the country, rather being a President representing the entire nation, as the great ones would.  What a narcissist.   

Congratulations to President Elect Hillary Clinton

Congratulations @HillaryClinton, you have become the 1st official female president of the United States.  In order to achieve this event, you had to beat a tremendous Democratic field of 3, including a (former Independent-Socialist) Bernie Sanders, and dry milk-toast candidate in O'Malley.  You used the power of the DNC to help make sure that the election was rigged against Senator Sanders, but also encourage the rise of the only Republican you had a better than coin flip chance of beating in Donald Trump according to the John Podesta emails leaked by Wikileaks. 

And congratulations to the Republicans, whose fascination in the xenophobic, misogynistic, loud-mouthed, charlatan of a reality TV star nominated the only candidate with a disapproval rating lower than Hillary Clinton's.  His ability to put his foot in his mouth makes him a viable spokesman for Dr. Scholl's.  His campaign rhetoric likely set the Republican Party back 40 years.  The upcoming war within the Republican Party will not be pretty.  Bravo, GOP electorate, Bravo!

Sigh.....if only 3rd party candidates had a legitimate chance to participate.

 

 

Wisdom of a 10-year old

There is much joy in raising a 10-year old who understands the geek culture.  Josh loves to think in hashtags (#crazycat) and understands the general basics on how the operating system works.  Today, coming back from the store he puts up this gem:

"Donald Trump is speaking:  brain.exe has stopped responding.  Click OK to restart brain.exe with /dumbmode: on."

He then follows this up with the following.  brain.exe has obtained a virus.  Click OK to terminate brain.exe.  I told him that it was ironic that he was talking about brain and computer virus in the same context because one of the first computer viruses that existed that affected PCs in the 80's.  His genuine interest both tickles my fancy and slightly scares me (no working for Russian mafia for you).