Author Topic: What to do with Puerto Rico?  (Read 1593 times)

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Offline Chino

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What to do with Puerto Rico?
« on: September 29, 2017, 06:28:56 AM »
Trump said in a Tweet this morning the following;

"...The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!"

Naturally, everyone is up in arms about it. Now I'm no fan of Trump, but is this really a bad thing? First off, as usual, no one knows what he's referring to without specifics. Secondly, if the frequency and the intensity of these storms continues to increase as time goes on, this is a very serious discussion that needs to be had.

Puerto Rico is going to cost a fortune to rebuild. A guy on NPR was saying upwards of $25B just to get infrastructure back to where it was and to get a semi-modern electrical grid up and running. What's the big decision Trump is talking about? Do we rebuild as it was and go on? Do we make the call to spend an obscene amount of money to basically bomb proof Puerto Rico so when storms like this happen in the future we don't have a situation like this? Do we write off the land mass and decide that relocating the entire population to the continental US would be cheaper in the long run than having a situation like this every decade or two?

What do we do here?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 08:31:56 AM by Chino »

Offline XeRocks81

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 07:43:28 AM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me. 

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 08:00:19 AM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me.

I'd start with that then set a challenge to every 'green' company out there to use Puerto Rico as ground zero for next generation infrastructure...a proving ground so to speak. Give these companies a 'tax break' or some other incentive to rebuild the electrical infrastructure, the water purification, better design housing and buildings....etc. etc.

The country is literally a clean slate and to rebuild it with 'old' tech and methods would just be dumb. Bring these front line companies into the mix....literally call them out and challenge them to step up and tell them this is their time and then do it. They'd have plenty of available labor which would also help those families get a guaranteed income.
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Online El Barto

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 08:18:07 AM »
Puerto Rico will never become a state. As soon as it does the democrats get 2 senators and 4 or 5 house seats and electoral votes. It'll never be allowed.

That said, I like GMD's proposal. Make it a test bed for newer, greener tech.
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Offline Chino

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 08:37:12 AM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me.

I'd start with that then set a challenge to every 'green' company out there to use Puerto Rico as ground zero for next generation infrastructure...a proving ground so to speak. Give these companies a 'tax break' or some other incentive to rebuild the electrical infrastructure, the water purification, better design housing and buildings....etc. etc.

The country is literally a clean slate and to rebuild it with 'old' tech and methods would just be dumb. Bring these front line companies into the mix....literally call them out and challenge them to step up and tell them this is their time and then do it. They'd have plenty of available labor which would also help those families get a guaranteed income.

If there was ever a good chance to do this, now's the time. I'm sure Musk would be up to the challenge. He's in Australia as I type this, overseeing the construction of the world's largest lithium ion battery plant (in conjunction with Neoen, a wind farm company). It's a $50M system and he told Australia that he'd build it in 100 days or less or it's free. It stores enough wind energy to power 30,000 homes.

Edit:

Just came across this.

http://www.teslarati.com/tesla-ships-powerwall-puerto-rico-restore-power/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=elonquotes

As relief efforts continue to take place in Puerto Rico after a Category 4 storm, Hurricane Maria, caused widespread devastation and created an island-wide black out, California-based Tesla is shipping hundreds of Powerwall battery systems to the unincorporated U.S. territory and restoring electricity to some 3.5 million residents left without power. Teslaís Powerwall battery system, first introduced in 2015, is designed to be a residential stationary energy storage unit that can be charged through solar panels.

Tesla continues to send shipments of Powerwall systems into the region and working with local organizations on restoring electrical power back to the island. Tesla employees are currently on site and working on pairing its Powerwall battery systems to solar panels. A Tesla spokesperson has confirmed that the company continues to ship Powerwall systems into the storm-ravaged island thatís located 1,000 miles south east of Florida.

In addition to sending hundreds of Powerwall systems into Puerto Rico, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has personally donated $250,000 to aid in relief efforts, according to Fortune.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 09:49:05 AM by Chino »

Offline Stadler

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 09:50:22 AM »
I think to some degree GMD has what the "decision" is.   Do we just send money and let them figure it out, as the territory they are (note: they're not a state now because they DON'T WANT to be a state; they vote on this every couple years) or do we put it in the hands of those that have invested in that island.

When I was at GE, my business (only one of 14 at the time, and not very big, about $4B) had between 8 and 12 plants on the island (8 active, 4 in some state of downsizing; we sold one while I was there).  Pharmaceuticals are big on the island as well.  They are not going to be able to stay if there is no electricity and/or infrastructure with which to run their business.  But GE for example:  let them come in and implement their power grid technology, and maybe it can be a 'win-win' for all. 

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 10:00:06 AM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me. 

Can you elaborate on your thinking? Not trolling, genuinely curious, as I've never heard a good argument in favor of this.
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Offline XeRocks81

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2017, 12:59:05 PM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me. 

Can you elaborate on your thinking? Not trolling, genuinely curious, as I've never heard a good argument in favor of this.

It wasn't a well thought out reaction.   They don't have to become a state, Puerto Ricans ARE american citizens by default right?  It was TRump hemming and hawing about them owing money that pissed me off. 

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2017, 01:41:05 PM »
Why does any territory become a state? On the PR side it'd give them actual representation and access to various state granted benefits. As for US benefit, we'd be taking in a tax-paying population the size of Connecticut.

I think to some degree GMD has what the "decision" is.   Do we just send money and let them figure it out, as the territory they are (note: they're not a state now because they DON'T WANT to be a state; they vote on this every couple years) or do we put it in the hands of those that have invested in that island.
The last two referendums, though flawed, said the opposite. In 2012 62% voted against the status quo, with 52% preferring statehood. The 2017 plebiscite was overwhelmingly in favor of statehood, but was boycotted by the anti-statehood movement.
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Offline XJDenton

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2017, 03:09:20 PM »
At the very least they should be upgraded to an Incorporated Territory.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 03:38:41 PM »
Alternatively, why doesn't PR become it's own sovereign country? Not trolling. Genuinely curious.
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Offline Adami

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2017, 04:59:23 PM »
Alternatively, why doesn't PR become it's own sovereign country? Not trolling. Genuinely curious.

I mean, we're a cool subforum and all, but I don't think Yesh wants to run his own country.
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Offline jammindude

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2017, 05:04:52 PM »
It's my understanding that they have had several attempts to do so over the decades.... The US and/or UN has shut it down every time. 

I think the FBI even took out the leader of an independence uprising. 
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2017, 05:37:23 PM »
Puerto Rico has been our territory for 119 years. It's not like this is a recent change of events. The better question is, "How come every time Puerto Rico makes the news Americans (and now our leaders themselves) are surprised that our government has a responsibility towards them?"

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2017, 06:14:55 PM »
It's my understanding that they have had several attempts to do so over the decades.... The US and/or UN has shut it down every time. 

I think the FBI even took out the leader of an independence uprising.
It comes up often enough, and US presidents will occasionally raise the issue. One of the Bushes was a proponant, as I recall. In the past the PR's haven't been all that hot on the idea, but their stance is changing. And after last week, it'll change even more. Rather than shutting it down, I think politicians just decide "well if they don't care why should we" and move on to all their other acts of shitbaggery.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2017, 08:02:56 PM »
Do people in Puerto Rico consider themselves American, or Puerto Rican?

Re-read Chinos first post, and it is thought-provoking. If there are places that keep getting devastated by storms, Do we spend the money to build a dome around it, or decide that maybe people shouldn't be living there, especially in places where the infrastructure is already sub-par at best.
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Offline portnoy311

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2017, 06:11:35 AM »
Ask people in Texas if they consider themselves Texans. Or Hawaiians. Or Alaskans.


I'm not sure I follow the relevance.

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2017, 08:10:10 AM »
I guess what you do with Puerto Rico is attack and insult the Mayor when they beg for help.

Stay classy Donald.
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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2017, 10:00:34 AM »
Ask people in Texas if they consider themselves Texans. Or Hawaiians. Or Alaskans.


I'm not sure I follow the relevance.
Yeah, obviously I consider myself a Texan and an American. Not sure which would come first, but it never seems to matter. I recall that when traveling abroad my answer to "where are you from" was always Texas, rather than America.

However, in PR, they're only somewhat American. They have a peculiar status. I doubt the concept of being American really factors in much more than a Canadian or Aussie would consider himself British.
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Offline XeRocks81

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2017, 10:38:51 AM »
Ask people in Texas if they consider themselves Texans. Or Hawaiians. Or Alaskans.


I'm not sure I follow the relevance.
Yeah, obviously I consider myself a Texan and an American. Not sure which would come first, but it never seems to matter. I recall that when traveling abroad my answer to "where are you from" was always Texas, rather than America.

However, in PR, they're only somewhat American. They have a peculiar status. I doubt the concept of being American really factors in much more than a Canadian or Aussie would consider himself British.

In Canada it's safe to say we don't consider ourselves british at all(being from Quebec and of french descent even less so), even though technically we are british subjects.  I guess the difference is the UK would never need to send ressources our way in case of natural disasters.   Only if we were under attack by a foreign power I suppose. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 08:56:52 AM by XeRocks81 »

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2017, 06:33:06 PM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me.

I'd start with that then set a challenge to every 'green' company out there to use Puerto Rico as ground zero for next generation infrastructure...a proving ground so to speak. Give these companies a 'tax break' or some other incentive to rebuild the electrical infrastructure, the water purification, better design housing and buildings....etc. etc.

The country is literally a clean slate and to rebuild it with 'old' tech and methods would just be dumb. Bring these front line companies into the mix....literally call them out and challenge them to step up and tell them this is their time and then do it. They'd have plenty of available labor which would also help those families get a guaranteed income.

Love this.
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Offline TL

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2017, 08:15:05 PM »
Ask people in Texas if they consider themselves Texans. Or Hawaiians. Or Alaskans.


I'm not sure I follow the relevance.
Yeah, obviously I consider myself a Texan and an American. Not sure which would come first, but it never seems to matter. I recall that when traveling abroad my answer to "where are you from" was always Texas, rather than America.

However, in PR, they're only somewhat American. They have a peculiar status. I doubt the concept of being American really factors in much more than a Canadian or Aussie would consider himself British.
Puerto Ricans are definitely much more American than Canadians or Australians are British (and I'm not just saying that because I'm Acadian (french Canadian)).

For one, residents of Puerto Rico are American citizens. Canadians are not UK citizens, and our ties to the UK are superficial and ceremonial at most. We have our own currency and a federal government. Puerto Rico uses the US dollar and has a (non-voting) member of US congress. Puerto Rico has more American citizens than 21 US states.
They also gave the world Jennifer Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a current justice of the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor.

Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me.

I'd start with that then set a challenge to every 'green' company out there to use Puerto Rico as ground zero for next generation infrastructure...a proving ground so to speak. Give these companies a 'tax break' or some other incentive to rebuild the electrical infrastructure, the water purification, better design housing and buildings....etc. etc.

The country is literally a clean slate and to rebuild it with 'old' tech and methods would just be dumb. Bring these front line companies into the mix....literally call them out and challenge them to step up and tell them this is their time and then do it. They'd have plenty of available labor which would also help those families get a guaranteed income.
That ... actually seems like a decent idea. If done properly such a thing could be a real win-win.

Offline kaos2900

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2017, 07:43:56 AM »
Puerto Rico should have become an official state for ages, seems like the right time to me.

I'd start with that then set a challenge to every 'green' company out there to use Puerto Rico as ground zero for next generation infrastructure...a proving ground so to speak. Give these companies a 'tax break' or some other incentive to rebuild the electrical infrastructure, the water purification, better design housing and buildings....etc. etc.

The country is literally a clean slate and to rebuild it with 'old' tech and methods would just be dumb. Bring these front line companies into the mix....literally call them out and challenge them to step up and tell them this is their time and then do it. They'd have plenty of available labor which would also help those families get a guaranteed income.

Love the idea. For some reason I thought of Jurassic Park when I read this.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Puerto Rico was already in a state of economic collapse. Honestly, from a long term perspective this may have been the best thing to happen to Puerto Rico. Kind of like getting hit by a hailstorm when you already needed a new roof.

Offline Stadler

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2017, 09:02:16 AM »
Do people in Puerto Rico consider themselves American, or Puerto Rican?


Almost always "Puerto Rican", in my experience.

Offline Stadler

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2017, 09:04:25 AM »
Puerto Rico has been our territory for 119 years. It's not like this is a recent change of events. The better question is, "How come every time Puerto Rico makes the news Americans (and now our leaders themselves) are surprised that our government has a responsibility towards them?"

Funny, when I was at GE, we had 12 facilities on the island, and that was just my business (a relatively small one out of 12 or 14 at the time).    And my boss and I used to have to correct people all the time from making dumb jokes like assuming the currency was "pesos".    It was borderline offensive how little people knew - and these were people that SHOULD know - and as some of you know I do not offend easily (or feel that most offenses are realistic). 

Offline TL

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2017, 07:47:05 PM »
Do people in Puerto Rico consider themselves American, or Puerto Rican?


Almost always "Puerto Rican", in my experience.
I will say, being Canadian, many Canadians, while proud of their country, do identify with their province first. A lot of Atlantic Canadians identify as such first (especially Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians), and then Canadian. A large number of Quebecois definitely identify provincially before federally. I've found that a lot of Albertans do this as well. And so on.

I do feel like there's a bit of that in the US too. People considering themselves Texan first and American second, or Alaskan first and American second, or New Yorker first and American second, or Californian first, and American second, and so on.

Then, Canadian nationalism does seem to be more open to multiple "nationalistic" identities than American nationalism. I'm welcome to be corrected on that by Americans in this thread if they feel I'm wrong about that though.

Edit: After re-reading some posts, I think I may have misinterpreted your meaning on that particular post, Stadler (though even then I took it more as 'matter of fact' than anything else). I will say, I don't think you meant anything negative by it. I am going to leave the rest of my post as is, because I still feel it's relevant. Just thought I'd add some context.

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2017, 10:14:34 PM »
Do people in Puerto Rico consider themselves American, or Puerto Rican?


Almost always "Puerto Rican", in my experience.

Yup, pretty much every one I've worked with here and in Atlanta identified as Puerto Rican first, even the four or five I currently work with, including my direct boss(whom has a sister in PR that he still hasn't heard from).

I usually identify as an American before Californian.
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Offline XeRocks81

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2017, 11:10:48 PM »
But whatever they identify as first or second, they ARE american citizens and as such I think the federal gov has certain responsabilities towards all its citizens in cases of natural disasters.  I don't know if it's spelled out as such in any law but that's usually how it works doesn't it?

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2017, 06:15:49 AM »
Agree 100%
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Offline Stadler

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2017, 08:28:24 AM »
Do people in Puerto Rico consider themselves American, or Puerto Rican?


Almost always "Puerto Rican", in my experience.
I will say, being Canadian, many Canadians, while proud of their country, do identify with their province first. A lot of Atlantic Canadians identify as such first (especially Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians), and then Canadian. A large number of Quebecois definitely identify provincially before federally. I've found that a lot of Albertans do this as well. And so on.

I do feel like there's a bit of that in the US too. People considering themselves Texan first and American second, or Alaskan first and American second, or New Yorker first and American second, or Californian first, and American second, and so on.

Then, Canadian nationalism does seem to be more open to multiple "nationalistic" identities than American nationalism. I'm welcome to be corrected on that by Americans in this thread if they feel I'm wrong about that though.

Edit: After re-reading some posts, I think I may have misinterpreted your meaning on that particular post, Stadler (though even then I took it more as 'matter of fact' than anything else). I will say, I don't think you meant anything negative by it. I am going to leave the rest of my post as is, because I still feel it's relevant. Just thought I'd add some context.

I'm not sure what was negative.  I WAS "matter of fact", but in a positive way.  The Puerto Rican people I know (and I mean this collectively; I'm not referring to any one person) are an incredibly smart, hard-working and most important (to this conversation) proud people.  I don't think it negative at all to say that they are proud of their island, and their community and their culture.   

As for the U.S. thing, I think it may be a function of region, too.  It's easy to say "Texan", because it's the second largest state in the Union, and it encompasses a culture of its own.   You don't get a lot of "Rhode Island and goddamn proud of it!".  You DO get a lot of "New Englander, and goddamn proud of it!"  There IS a stereotype of the typical New Englander, but if you're in the northeastern Massachusetts area, you can literally drive an hour in any direction and find yourself in any of five other states, and not see a noticeable difference in culture. 

Offline Chino

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2017, 08:40:45 AM »
I wouldn't be surprised if someone polled Hawaii and found out that the majority of those people refer to themselves as "Hawaiian" rather than "American".

Quote
There IS a stereotype of the typical New Englander, but if you're in the northeastern Massachusetts area, you can literally drive an hour in any direction and find yourself in any of five other states, and not see a noticeable difference in culture

For real. People start getting a little odd about halfway up through Maine, and then crossing the NY border can be like entering another country depending on where you cross.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 08:52:44 AM by Chino »

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2017, 08:43:58 AM »
National vs regional identity comes down to whether or not there's a unique culture. I suspect New Yorkers feel that way. I know Texans feel that way. Alaskans and Hawaiians certainly would. To a lesser extent Southerners in general feel distinct. In this case, Puerto Ricans would and should identify as such.
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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2017, 12:44:59 PM »
Yup. We natives are known by what the others called our tribe. We as Native peoples of the Americas all have our own names we know ourselves as. Some are barely changing it legally to what that Tribe describes where their from.

I'm not an American, we were forced/born into being that.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2017, 12:46:00 PM »
The point I was trying to make is that do we really feel compelled to make PR a state of the union if its residents feel more closely aligned with being Puerto Rican than American? As everyone is noted, we already have all these factions of cultures across the nation, which does more to divide us than unite us.
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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: What to do with Puerto Rico?
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2017, 12:54:27 PM »
The point I was trying to make is that do we really feel compelled to make PR a state of the union if its residents feel more closely aligned with being Puerto Rican than American? As everyone is noted, we already have all these factions of cultures across the nation, which does more to divide us than unite us.

Let me tell you something. They have been there since the migration of our people, Way before the Europeans came.
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