Friday, May 23, 2008

Puerto Rico- No Vote? Continues...

Wow! I've never actually had anyone read my comments and answer me- and so quickly! Thank you! It makes me feel like I matter- I suppose like the Puerto Rican people- we all want to be heard.

After reading your article again and the ITN one I have tempered my position.

I see your point about the military service being a public service and concede that that may be the motivation to volunteer, and I can surely see how, once signed up, they would like a say regarding whether or not to go to war. But I don't believe it is largely patriotic, since most PR's are proud of their identity as PR's and don't want to consider themselves as Americans. I haven't researched this, but didn't the PR people fight congress to get a base closed not too long ago?

You say the US Congress can legally decide PR's fate- with about 60% of the population choosing Commonwealth status what would you have Congress do?

Personally I would have them become a state. They would be Americans, pay taxes, vote, just like the rest of us Baring statehood I wish they were Independent. Then we would no longer be fiscally responsible for them.

Perhaps I'm more reacting to what I read as divisive because the way the Detroit News reports is often divisive and inflammatory. Biased- a better word than divisive, perhaps.

In any case, what I took away from the your articles is that I was supposed to feel sorry for the poor PRs who can't really vote in an election and are kept, like stepchildren from becoming full participants in statehood. I have difficulty with that because I feel like the big sister that has been working to support her younger siblings who are perhaps old enough to have their own jobs, but continue to rely on Big Sister to support them, contributing only their opinions on how the house should be run.

Perhaps inflammatory is a good thing- I'm thinking you are more of a catalyst for change than an arsonist.

Puerto Rico- No Vote? Part Two

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 11:07 AM
To: dembidj
Subject: Re:Puerto Rico- No Vote?

Dear Reader: The story does accurately reflect the feelings of a wide cross-section of Puerto Ricans interviewed -- whether you or I agree with them or not, those are their opinions. Indeed they do not pay federal taxes, but like the District of Columbia, they do not have a voting representative in US Congress either, and they do not get equal federal funding and benefits as the 50 states. The 1967, 93 and 98 plebescites were non-binding -- effectively, opinion polls insofar as only US Congress can legally decide PR's fate. While military service is certainly voluntary, many Americans, including Puerto Ricans, consider it a patriotic form of public service, and would like to have a say in how US military operations are conducted. I do not consider the article inflammatory or divisive in any way, but thank you for your feedback. You can find a slightly longer version of the story on, the webpage of the International Herald Tribune. Thank you for reading Bloomberg News.

Puerto Rico- No Vote? Part One


I just read your article in Bloomberg. I had previously read the
"edited" job the Detroit News did of it. While the Bloomberg version
is better, I think it is still unnecessarily inflammatory.

The Detroit News made no mention of the 1967, 1993, and 1998 votes to
remain a Commonwealth, rather than accept the title and
responsibilities of Statehood, or the uncertainties and
responsibilities of independence. While the Bloomberg article does
mention the three major votes, you play them down, as if it were an
opinion poll rather than them voting to decide to maintain
Commonwealth status and fewer responsibilities.
Publish Post
I think they have it pretty good! Our founding fathers had Taxation
without Representation. The Puerto Rican people have representation
without taxation- While they pay Social Security and Medicare- which
they are eligible for to receive benefits for- they don't pay Federal
Income taxes. The receive all the status and protection being a
commonwealth affords them, but fewer responsibilities.

You mention that Puerto Rico has sent "more active-duty forces to Iraq
and Afghanistan than all U.S. states except Nevada" as sort of a
footnote to show how they've been mistreated by not being able to vote
for President. You forgot to mention that it is a volunteer service.
That no one is asking, or requiring them to serve. I imagine, with the
lower per-capita income, service is a way off the island for many
young people.

Besides that, they have an opportunity, as this year's primaries are
proving, to change history. Our President is chosen by delegates, not
Popular vote. They have delegates and have a vote in the primaries.
It seems that education on the election process might help, but I
won't recommend it, because the cost for it would come out of Federal
tax dollars and that would be irresponsible.

There is a struggle in Puerto Rico between parties that want
statehood- full-sharing of the rights and responsibilities of American
citizenship, and other parties that want less responsibility and to
continue the status quo; "Commonwealth." It seems the status quo is
winning and whining

Report, please. Be responsible and stop generating hate and
divisivness. There is enough to go around, already.

Thank you.

Expect Miracles,
dembi dj