28 September 2017

Some remarks on goals

Various commenters are remarking that the Republican handling of Puerto Rico will surely cost them -- be an own goal -- when hundreds of thousands of them wind up living in Florida and voting Democrat.

I cannot imagine why anyone  thinks large numbers of people will be allowed to leave the island.  It's very easy to take longer insisting on proof of citizenship from someone who has lost all their possessions than it takes someone to starve to death[1]; it's even easier to insist on port control and to sharply limit who gets to leave because the facilities are absolutely required for the relief effort.  I'd expect both.

The Neocon -- and do remember that's "Neo-Confederate" as easily as "Neo-Conservative" -- response to the demographic shift has been to disenfranchise (gerrymander, onerous laws, shut polling places, outright lie about when the vote is) but also to deport and to kill; to suppress the vote through terror.  These are people who vehemently disagree with the entirety of the Reconstruction Amendments, the 19th amendment, and the 16th.  They're not going to allow non-whites to vote if they can possibly help it, and this is a case where they can easily help it.

[1] The EMT rule of three; three minutes without air, three hours with no clothes, three days with no water, three weeks with no food.  Against the water and the probable cholera and the food, we're at week one.  There's absolutely no sign of the size of logistical operation required to get the required food delivered; another week of stalling and that's about it.


Kai Jones said...

Given the difficulty getting shipping containers inspected so they can be unloaded, I think you're right about the number of obstacles the neocons are willing to put in the way.

Graydon said...

+Kai Jones Or various recent comments from the administration; spending money on brown people is fundamentally objectionable. Spending money in an aura of public scrutiny so that it will be hard to steal even more so. (And do remember that what really happened in New Orleans after Katrina was to dispossess the majority of black property owners.)

No power means everything in a refrigerator or freezer is gone; the whole frozen food stock, all the produce, all the refrigeration-required drugs. Nobody can run an autoclave.

No fuel means supplies aren't shipping. No roads means even with fuel you've got a food supply problem, and there's lots of places where the problem is not the chainsaw problem of getting trees and power poles off the road, but the heavy equipment problem of fixing the fifty metres of washout that takes not only heavy equipment but serious supplies of steel and concrete and aggregate. (and then time; concrete doesn't set faster in an emergency.) This is a tough problem even with appropriate resourcing. (Which would have included "prep for movement on 12 hours notice" orders for every Army engineering unit east of the Mississippi, round about the time Irma's track forecast started passing over the American Caribbean.)

Given the continued lack of reports and the increasing reports of cholera, plus the timing -- this was just doable if it was pre-planned; it's not doable in time now no matter what -- I'm expecting the eventual death toll to be well into the hundred thousands in the best case.

The American Diabetes Association lists 12% of Puerto Ricans as diabetic. 3 million times .12 is an expectation that ~300,000 aren't going to make it with no steady food supply, no drugs, and no clean water. Plus everybody without shelter. Plus anybody in hospital when the hurricane hit. Plus the ongoing flooding risks as it keeps raining on saturated ground.