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Monday
Jun022008

Permenately Tanned, Somewhat Rested and Ready

I'm back. I got some sleep. I ate banana pudding. I hung out with my best friend Tiff-a-rooney. I wasn't quite successful in completely clearing my head, but I don't think I'm going to put the hurt on anyone any time soon.

As you could tell, I actually posted next to nothing for four whole days. And that's pretty huge considering I'm a blogging junkie and so much news happened. My opinions in brief:

Hillary Clinton's campaign is the walking dead.

Barack Obama quitting Trinity was a rather depressing affair.

Fr. Michael Pfleger is tragically hilarious and not PC, but c'mon! That shit was funny! Everyone is so freakin' uptight. And how is this Obama's fault? Seriously!

Former loyal Bushie Scott McClellan's "crisis = opportunity" moment was interesting, but about four years too late.

Geraldine Ferraro on FOX News needs to make like Dave Coulier and "cut it out."

Howard Dean did OK playing Solomon while bringing the Florida/Michigan debacle to a resolution. It's obvious he wants this shit to be over, like yesterday.

Puerto Rico should really be the 51st state by now. I don't get the hold up. Is it because they primarily speak Spanish there? Are we hating because they've produced some extremely attractive celebrities and athletes? Is it because they're tropical people? Too many Los Negroes? Are we too lazy to redesign the American flag? If the vote ever comes up I'm voting statehood. The Snob's gotcha back, Puerto Rico! Viva la boricua! Whenever you want to do this thing I'm down.

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Reader Comments (10)

Statehood for Puerto Rico? Nunca.

http://www.independencia.net/entrada.html

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarilynJean

Well, in 1998 about 46 percent of Puerto Ricans voted for statehood, 50 percent voted for no change in status and less than .02 percent voted for independence. So, unless there's been some dramatic change in policy, the political stance from what I've gathered has always been either increased autonomy or statehood. The beef seems to be with the permanent limbo status of the commonwealth.

So I know that some desire independence, but since the pro-statehood parties manage to get popularly elected with a lot of frequency I think others just want the stalemate to end. An effective "shit or get off the pot" policy.

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Snob

I know the data, but the issue is also about political philosophies. (Generally) Status-quo Ricans tend to run in the same pool as American Democrats, and Pro-Statehood ones tend to be the equivalent of American Republicans. Just like the Green and Libertarian parties here, independistas are part of a third, marginal party. And our values include recognizing the oppression of PR by the US and other colonizers, embracing Africa as part of the Puerto Rican culture, anti-war, etc. The party is not as viable, but that doesn't mean that statehood or status quo should be the only solution. And that isn't to say that there wouldn't be a crapload of economic issues should the island gain true sovereignty.

I remember growing up my father would have rather died than see another star in the American flag representing Puerto Rico. The issue of statehood becomes a very emotional one and when you look at the entire history of the island (being colonized, slave trade, civil unrest), you can understand why Puerto Rican people (stateside or island citizens)get real fired up about the issue. Hell, people have died trying to make PR its own country.

And just like in the US there is a huge level of complacency for many Ricans on the island because they are dealing with real life day-to-day issues like crime, education and economy. Whichever party can deliver on jobs and education, then so be it. And you can't deny that being a commonwealth has its advantages.

Nevertheless, this recent primary just further underlines the U.S. use of PR as political tool. Talk about a slap in the face that an entire population of people can't even vote for the person who ultimately governs them, yet Puerto Rican blood has been shed in Iraq on behalf of this country and our soil is used for all sorts of American companies looking for tax breaks and cheap labor.

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarilynJean

That's largely why I think the issue should be resolved. It seems ridiculous to continue this situation with no end in sight that doesn't lead to either greater independence or statehood.

It makes no sense to me to have an island full of people who are supposed "US citizens" but are denied the full rights of US citizens, who don't have representatives in our government and have little say in how things are run. I don't get how any government official in good conscious can keep this quasi citizenship status going. But I imagine it's for the same reasons why Washington, DC can't have a voting representative.

I think statehood or a change that would allow Puerto Ricans to have representation in Congress and vote in presidential elections is resisted because there is a high probability that many people living in the Commonwealth would vote Democratic. I know that's the reason why Republicans have blocked DC from having a representative. As long as there's a chance of that there is no incentive for many political leaders to grant constitutional rights. The current relationship only benefits the US government and is pretty insulting to the Puerto Rican people.

So I understand what your saying. But we both know the US isn't going to pull a Philippines and relinquish its hold Puerto Rico. Hence it makes more sense to stop denying the citizens their constitutional rights and move towards a more responsible arrangement.

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Snob

Puerto Rico will never be a state.

Statehood IIRC, has to be voted for on the island and in Congress.

Can you imagine how apeshit the average right winger will be with the idea of voting into the union a Spanish speaking populace of nearly 4 million people?

From wikipedia:
If Puerto Rico were a U.S state, it would rank 27th in population, and have six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

That's more than:
http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/apportionment.html

Alaska
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
Hawaii
Idaho
Iowa
Kansas
Maine
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Utah
Vermont
West Virginia
Wyoming

That's 24 states. Nearly half the union.

And it's also alot of states especially out west where there aren't many Puerto Ricans to spur the effort along.

If folks can't accept the existance of Mexicans in our country, many of whom have been here for hundreds of years why would they put the welcome mat out for PR?

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBaltogeek

statehood for puerto rico...not likely to happen...they can vote in presidential elections, come and go to the states as they please and they get to keep their language...why would the want to jeopardize that....

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterstarrie

starrie: Actually, Puerto Ricans can't vote in presidential elections. The political parties allow them to take part in the nominating process, but they don't get a say in any national office. And they don't have representation in Congress. They don't have to pay federal taxes, but they can be called up in a military draft.

And while the federal government has made various agreements regarding Puerto Rico, they hold the option to change these arrangements as they see fit.

Puerto Ricans have no say whatsoever in who leads our country and they have no representatives working on their behalf in Congress. So while they do get to be legal "citizens" they are not entitled to some of the same rights we enjoy.

I agree more with baltogeek's assertion that statehood is unlikely because of how it would affect the make-up of congress. Because of Puerto Rico's size it would be fairly influential and if the Republicans block Washington DC from getting a representative because they know that rep will likely be a Democrat, one can only imagine how difficult they'd make any push for statehood.

June 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Black Snob

I watched the Father Pfleger video at least 12 times. That had to be better than an SNL clip. Hilarious and ture.

The whole commonwealth status confuses me and the voting differences esp. for PRs on the mainland, but I don't think theyre becoming a state anytime soon.

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterQueenK.D.W.-BK86

You'd be suprised how many ideological conservatives and Republicans do support statehood. The flipside to some of this is that Puerto Ricans are rather conservative in their values and that could dictate some of the social policies that conservatives are trying to push. That creeps me out to say the least.

And I don't know what the hell that Puerto Rican delegate to Congress does all day since he doesn't have a vote...

And just so people don't think that Puerto Ricans don't pay taxes, they do. Not federal, but something very similar to it that occurs within the island...sorta like how we pay state taxes I guess. (I could explain that better, but I'm just too lazy to do so.)

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarilynJean

Hey Snob, one more thing (and completely off-topic): on your mini-hiatus, did you go see the Sex movie? I'm curious to know what you think about the series, the movie, the actors/characters, etc. Perhaps that's a whole other post...

June 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarilynJean

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