Monthly Archives: October 2017

Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage: When women don’t insist on waiting, men behave badly

Marriage

KEVIN, A 24-YEAR-OLD recent college graduate from Denver, wants to get married someday and is “almost 100% positive” that he will. But not soon, he says, “because I am not done being stupid yet. I still want to go out and have sex with a million girls.” He believes that he’s figured out how to do that:

“Girls are easier to mislead than guys just by lying or just not really caring. If you know what girls want, then you know you should not give that to them until the proper time. If you do that strategically, then you can really have anything you want…whether it’s a relationship, sex or whatever. You have the control.”

Kevin (not his real name) was one of 100 men and women, from a cross-section of American communities, that my team and I interviewed five years ago as we sought to understand how adults in their 20s and early 30s think about their relationships. He sounds like a jerk. But it’s hard to convince him that his strategy won’t work—because it has, for him and countless other men.

Marriage in the U.S. is in open retreat. As recently as 2000, married 25- to 34-year-olds outnumbered their never-married peers by a margin of 55% to 34%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2015, the most recent year for which data are available, those estimates had almost reversed, with never-marrieds outnumbering marrieds by 53% to 40%. Young Americans have quickly become wary of marriage.

Many economists and sociologists argue that this flight from marriage is about men’s low wages. If they were higher, the argument goes, young men would have the confidence to marry. But recent research doesn’t support this view. A May 2017 study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, focusing on regions enriched by the fracking boom, found that increased wages in those places did nothing to boost marriage rates. Another hypothesis blames the decline of marriage on men’s fear of commitment.

Maybe they just perceive marriage as a bad deal. But most men, including cads such as Kevin, still expect to marry. They eventually want to fall in love and have children, when their independence becomes less valuable to them. They are waiting longer, however, which is why the median age at marriage for American men has risen steadily and is now approaching 30.

The big changes: birth control and online porn.

My own research points to a more straightforward and primal explanation for the slowed pace toward marriage: For American men, sex has become rather cheap. As compared to the past, many women today expect little in return for sex, in terms of time, attention, commitment or fidelity. Men, in turn, do not feel compelled to supply these goods as they once did. It is the new sexual norm for Americans, men and women alike, of every age. This transformation was driven in part by birth control. Its widespread adoption by women in recent decades not only boosted their educational and economic fortunes but also reduced their dependence on men. As the risk of pregnancy radically declined, sex shed many of the social and personal costs that once encouraged women to wait.

These forces have been at work for more than a half-century, since the birth-control pill was invented in 1960, but it seems that our norms and narratives about sexual relationships have finally caught up with the technology. Data collected in 2014 for the “Relationships in America” project—a national survey of over 15,000 adults, ages 18 to 60, that I oversaw for the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture—asked respondents when they first had sex in their current or most recent relationship. After six months of dating? After two? The most common experience—reported by 32% of men under 40—was having sex with their current partner before the relationship had begun. This is sooner than most women we interviewed would prefer.

The birth-control pill is not the only sexual technology that has altered expectations. Online porn has made sexual experience more widely and easily available too. A laptop never says no, and for many men, virtual women are now genuine competition for real partners. In the same survey, 46% of men (and 16% of women) under 40 reported watching pornography at some point in the past week—and 27% in the past day.

Many young men and women still aspire to marriage as it has long been conventionally understood—faithful, enduring, focused on raising children. But they no longer seem to think that this aspiration requires their discernment, prudence or self-control.

When I asked Kristin, a 29-year-old from Austin, whether men should make sacrifices to get sex, she offered a confusing prescription: “Yes. Sometimes. Not always. I mean, I don’t think it should necessarily be given out by women, but I do think it’s OK if a woman does just give it out. Just not all the time.”

Kristin rightly wants the men whom she dates to treat her well and to respect her interests, but the choices that she and other women have made unwittingly teach the men in their lives that such behavior is noble and nice but not required in order to sleep with them. They are hoping to find good men without supporting the sexual norms that would actually make men better.

For many men, the transition away from a mercenary attitude toward relationships can be difficult. The psychologist and relationship specialist Scott Stanley of the University of Denver sees visible daily sacrifices, such as accepting inconveniences in order to see a woman, as the way that men typically show their developing commitment. It signals the expectation of a future together. Such small instances of self-sacrificing love may sound simple, but they are less likely to develop when past and present relationships are founded on the expectation of cheap sex.

Young people in the U.S. continue to marry, even if later in life, but the number of those who never marry is poised to increase. In a 2015 article in the journal Demography, Steven Ruggles of the University of Minnesota predicted that a third of Americans now in their 20s will never wed, well above the historical norm of just below 10%.

Most young Americans still seek the many personal and social benefits that come from marriage, even as the dynamics of today’s mating market conspire against them. It turns out that a world in which it is possible to satisfy our sexual desires much more immediately carries with it a number of unhappy and unintended consequences.

Dr. Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage and Monogamy” (Oxford University Press).

SHAME On Barbara Walters! Scolds Corey Feldman for Calling Out Hollywood Abuse

Former child actor Corey Feldman has spent years calling out the practice of Hollywood A-listers sexually exploiting young actors who try to make their mark in show business.

video clip from a 2013 episode of The View where he shares these revelations about the abuse in the industry has resurfaced after allegations came to light that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and abused those working in the industry:

“There are people that were the people that did this to both me and Corey [Haim] that are still working. They’re still out there, and that are some of the richest most powerful people in this business. And they do not want me saying what I am saying right now,” Feldman tells The View panelists.

The former ’80s child star tried to explain to host Barbara Walters that he, along with his best friend Corey Haim, had been sexually abused by older, powerful men in Hollywood. Feldman added that he believed the abuse led Haim to drug addiction and ultimately his sudden death in 2010.

“Are you saying they are pedophiles and that they are still in this business?” Walters asks incredulously, to which Feldman replies, “Yes.”

“They don’t want me here right now. They want me dead,” he added.

After Feldman advised parents who want their kids to enter show business not to go into it blindly, Walters cuts him off, saying, “You’re damaging an entire industry!”

“I’m sorry,” Feldman replied.

Social media users immediately chimed in after Feldman tweeted the 2013 clip on Thursday, acknowledging a problem that Walters ignored.

Washington Post MOCKS Vegas Massacre Survivor

Leave it to The Washington Post to smear and mock a Las Vegas massacre survivor, seemingly because he’s a proud gun owner.

In a new low, the Post‘s Avi Selk decided to target the real bad guy in the Las Vegas massacre, which left 58 dead and injured nearly 500 others: no, not the killer, but massacre survivor Dan Bilzerian, who reportedly saw a woman get her head blown off right in front of him and rushed back to his home to “grab a gun” and then return to the scene to help others for hours.

What a macho, gun-packing Instagram star did when he was caught in the Las Vegas shooting,” reads the headline, posted a mere three days after the attack.

According to Selk, the “macho, gun-packing” Bilzerian, an Instagram star, is a fraud because he initially ran to safety moments after he witnessed a woman tragically get her face blown off, as bullets rained down on him and thousands of others.

“Guns and women got Dan Bilzerian where he is today — the ‘King of Instagram,’ with nearly 23 million followers, a mansion full of guns and a hot tub full of women,” starts the piece, as if his personal life or affinity for women has anything to do with him being a target of a vicious attack.

Slamming Bilzerian for filling his massively popular Instagram account with images of himself and “women in the wilderness, playing with his arsenal of rifles,” Selk notes that Bilzerian once trained to be a Navy SEAL, “and while he never became one, he often brags of his apparently deadly prowess”:

“My greatest fear is that someone will break in & I won’t be able to decide what #gun to shoot them with,” he once wrote as a caption for a photo of his table of guns. There’s even an official Dan Bilzerian video game about shooting zombie women in the Nevada desert, and then in a city, with scoped headshots and bodies in the streets.

After presenting the ugly profile, Selk mocks Bilzerian for his reaction to the attack:

But on Sunday night, in the real Las Vegas, the Instagram star found himself caught in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. He saw a woman lying dead, he said.

He turned a camera on himself as he walked, short of breath, from the killing grounds, and at first resolved to live up to years of online bravado.

“Trying to go grab a gun,” he says in the clip. “I’m f—— headed back. … Saw a girl get shot in the face right next to me, her f—— brains hanging out.”

But in the next clip, which briefly appeared on Bilzerian’s Instagram account and has since been plastered over the Internet, he stands in front of police lights, looking slightly dazed.

“Um, they got one of the guys,” he says, no gun in sight, all fury gone from his voice. “I’m headed back. I don’t think there’s much I can do.”

So he went home, leaving fans to wonder whether one of Instagram’s most formidable stars was something different in real life.

The piece goes on to quote Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient and a Marine veteran, who blasted the Instagram star as a fraud.

“This is why children shouldn’t classify heroes by their followers or their photos,” wrote Meyer. “… Always playing ‘operator dress up’ and so so tough when the cameras are on. A woman just got shot in the head and you are running away filming. … Please stop trying to be someone your [sic] not.”

But is the Post‘s attack on Bilzerian fair? By his account, Bilzerian ran to safety and then returned to the scene to help others. Is that reaction worthy of mockery? And why would the Post choose to dedicate so much energy to tearing down one of the victims of the nation’s most deadly mass shooting?

The real reason the Instagram star is being targeted, of course, is because he is a gun enthusiast and is perceived as promoting “toxic masculinity.” Selk appears to have a personal grudge against Bilzerian and what he stands for.

Rob Hagen, who serves as the CEO to Bilzerian’s businesses, told The Daily Wire that Bilzerian “did drive two women who had been shot to the hospital and went back to the scene for over 3 hours to help the police carry dead bodies to where the police needed them to be.”

Update 3:30 p.m.: The Daily Wire was tipped off to the man who drove the two women to the hospital with Bilzerian, Jason Waufle. He had the following take:

“I was driving the van Dan entered as well as transporting two women to the hospital at the time. Dan was doing what anyone else would do, and was true in his word to return to the scene and help/aide,” Waufle told The Daily Wire.

“He helped me get the two women out of the back of my van when we got to the hospital and he told me he was going down to aide in finding his police chief’s niece,” he said.

“I drove those women and I couldn’t convince myself to go back down there to help, Dan could and he did. He felt helpless without a firearm, the same way I did,” said Waufle.

“The sounds were confusing and made it seem as if there were men walking on the street level firing. This is why I believe Dan was concerned with having a weapon, he felt he could return fire successfully believing the men were on the ground,” he continued, making it clear that this was not explicitly stated by Bilzerian, but it’s what he gathered from his reaction.

Waufle then pulled up in his van, with the two women in the back, and yelled for Bilzerian to get in. After they brought the women into the hospital, Bilzerian thanked Waufle, grabbed “what he felt he needed,” and headed back to the scene of the massacre:

He entered and realized I had women in the back as well. Like I said, he helped me unload them from the back at the hospital and when we got to his home he thanked me and literally sprinted to the garage of his home to grab what he felt he needed and returned to the scene.

According to Waufle, the women were not shot, but appeared to be in shock.

By AMANDA PRESTIGIACOMO

 

 

The Soldier Four Wars Could Not Kill

Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a one-eyed, one-handed war hero who fought in three major conflicts across six decades, surviving plane crashes and PoW camps. His story is like something out of a Boy’s Own comic.

Carton de Wiart served in the Boer War, World War One and World War Two. In the process he was shot in the face, losing his left eye, and was also shot through the skull, hip, leg, ankle and ear.

In WW1 he was severely wounded on eight occasions and mentioned in despatches six times.

Having previously lost an eye and a hand in battle, Carton de Wiart, as commanding officer, was seen by his men pulling the pins of grenades out with his teeth and hurling them with his one good arm during the Battle of the Somme, winning the Victoria Cross.

WW1 historian Dr Timothy Bowman believes Carton de Wiart’s example helps debunk some myths.

“His story serves to remind us that not all British generals of WW1 were ‘Chateau Generals’ as portrayed in Blackadder. He exhibited heroism of the highest order.

“Evelyn Waugh supposedly used Carton de Wiart as the model for his fire-eating fictional creation, Brigadier Ritchie Hook, but Waugh’s fictional creation experienced considerably fewer adventures than his real life counterpart.”

It says much for Carton de Wiart’s character that despite being one of the most battle-scarred soldiers in the history of the British Army, he wrote in his autobiography: “Frankly, I had enjoyed the war.”

He was born into an aristocratic family in Brussels on 5 May 1880. In 1891 he was sent to boarding school in England, going on to study law at Oxford.

In 1899 he saw the opportunity to experience his first taste of war. Abandoning his studies, he left for South Africa to serve as a trooper in the British Army during the second Boer War. As he was under military age, wasn’t a British subject and didn’t have his father’s consent, he pretended to be 25 and signed up under a pseudonym.

It was a baptism of fire which ended with him receiving bullet wounds to the stomach and groin, necessitating a return to England. Although eager to get back in the mix again, he had to wait more than a decade to experience further front-line action.

At the outbreak of WW1 in November 1914, Carton de Wiart, now naturalised as a British subject, was serving with the Somaliland Camel Corps, fighting the forces of the Dervish state.

During an attack on an enemy stronghold, he was shot in the arm and in the face, losing his left eye and part of his ear. He received the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his exploits.

Speaking in 1964 Lord Ismay, who served alongside Carton de Wiart in Somaliland, described the incident:

“He didn’t check his stride but I think the bullet stung him up as his language was awful. The doctor could do nothing for his eye, but we had to keep him with us. He must have been in agony.”

Lord Ismay also gave an insight into Carton de Wiart’s innate love of fighting:

“I honestly believe that he regarded the loss of an eye as a blessing as it allowed him to get out of Somaliland to Europe where he thought the real action was.”

He returned to England to recover in a nursing home in Park Lane. He was to return to this same place on each subsequent occasion he was injured. This became such a regular occurrence that they kept his own pyjamas ready for his next visit.

While recuperating from these injuries, Carton de Wiart received a glass eye. It caused him such discomfort that he allegedly threw it from a taxi and instead acquired a black eye patch.

Such setbacks were not to delay him long. He soon realised his ambition to fight on the Western Front when he was sent to Ypres in May 1915.

During the Second Battle of Ypres, the Germans launched an artillery barrage in which Carton de Wiart’s left hand was shattered. According to his autobiography, Happy Odyssey, he tore off two fingers when the doctor refused to amputate them. His hand was removed by a surgeon later that year.

The way he overcame injury and disability remains an inspiration, says Colour Sgt Thomas O’Donnell, who served in Afghanistan with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.

“For him to have endured all those injuries and gone through so much rehabilitation in so many conflicts and to never give up is really inspirational, particularly given the inferior medical facilities they had then. I just don’t know how he managed it.

“Soldiers like Carton de Wiart are a real example for troops serving today. It’s quite sad that having sacrificed so much his story isn’t particularly well-known. I think as well as remembering the war dead, it is vital we remember what injured soldiers like him went through in countless conflicts.”

O’Donnell knows from first-hand experience what it is like for a soldier to have to battle back from severe injury.

He was wounded in Afghanistan in 2010, when a sniper’s bullet hit him just above his left kneecap, smashing the knee in two. He was told he might lose his leg and that his soldiering days were over.

But O’Donnell’s desire to walk his daughter down the aisle unaided and to serve with his battalion again saw him defy medical advice and return to front-line action in Afghanistan in September 2012. O’Donnell is self-effacing about his own experience. “I want to make it clear that I went through nothing like as much as he endured. Carton de Wiart is like Robocop.”

So if Carton de Wiart was a serving soldier today, would he be allowed to return to the front line having lost an eye and a hand? O’Donnell says he would have to undergo stringent tests and strict rehabilitation before a return to front-line action would be considered.

“The Army have set a series of tests for injured soldiers that impose a required standard we have to meet to be able to do our job. Myself and a friend of mine, who had lost a leg, completed those tests and were able to redeploy to Afghanistan after several years of rehabilitation. The tests included passing an annual shoot and marching a distance with a certain weight. I would like to think that if Carton de Wiart could still do his job, they would let him crack on.”

Media captionA soldier who served under Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart at the Battle of the Somme recounts his experiences.

After a period of recovery, Carton de Wiart once more managed to convince a medical board he was fit for battle. In 1916, he took command of the 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, and while commanding them at the Somme his legend was cemented.

He electrified his men. The eye patch, empty sleeve and striking moustache, combined with his bravery, made him famous, with men under his command describing his presence as helping to alleviate their fear before going over the top.

During fierce fighting, the battle for the village of La Boiselle swayed back and forth. When three other commanding officers were killed, Carton de Wiart took charge of all units fighting in the village and led from the front, holding off enemy counterattacks.

He received the Victoria Cross, the highest British military award for gallantry, for his actions at La Boiselle. He, however, declined to even mention the medal in his autobiography, later telling a friend that “it had been won by the 8th Glosters, for every man has done as much as I have”.

“Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose”

“Frankly, I enjoyed the war [World War One]”

“At that moment, I knew once and for all that war was in my blood. If the British didn’t fancy me, I would offer myself to the Boers”

He took part in a number of other offensives during the war, picking up more injuries. Mr A Holmes, who served as Carton de Wiart’s “batman” or personal servant, told the 1964 BBC Home Service programme, In Our Time, how his commanding officer had a particularly lucky escape during another Somme offensive.

“They shifted us from Ypres then back on the Somme again to the Devil’s Wood, and that’s where the old man got shot through the back of the head. But fortunately it missed his spinal cord.”

Some historians have contended that Carton de Wiart’s bravery at times bordered on recklessness, and that this may have explained his being passed over for promotion to divisional command in WW1.

But Bowman believes there were mitigating factors. “He was a brave soldier and effective leader of men. He was well qualified to hold divisional command, but so were many others, and his habit of turning up in the front line and getting himself injured didn’t bode well for his ability to manage a division.

“Given the primitive communications of the time, and the amount of bureaucracy involved, commanding a division in WW1 did involve a lot of office time, which didn’t seem to be his forte.”

Carton de Wiart lived in Poland for most of the inter-war period but his military career was not yet over. When World War Two broke out, he led a campaign in Norway in 1940 and was briefly stationed in Northern Ireland.

In April 1941 he was dispatched to form a British military mission in Yugoslavia, but his aircraft was shot down over the Mediterranean. After swimming to shore, he was captured by the Italians. Despite being in his 60s, he made numerous attempts to escape the PoW camp, on one occasion eluding recapture for eight days – quite a feat given his distinctive appearance and lack of Italian.

He was eventually released over two years later and was then sent to China by Winston Churchill to be his personal representative to Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, a post he held until 1946.

Media captionLord Ismay recalls fighting alongside Carton de Wiart when he lost an eye

Churchill was a firm admirer of Carton de Wiart, describing him as “a model of chivalry and honour” and writing the foreword to his autobiography.

In retirement, he eventually settled in County Cork, spending his time fishing. Having proved indestructible on the battlefield, he died peacefully in 1963, aged 83.

Military historian Lt Col James Cook, of the Royal Artillery, believes his example continues to resonate today.

“Carton de Wiart did have a habit of getting injured but this is simply testament to his belief of leading from the front. He inspired his men with the simple and eternal words, ‘follow me’. These words remain the mark of a truly courageous leader, be it on the Western Front a hundred years ago, or today in military operations around the world.”

“For the most conspicuous bravery, coolness and determination during severe operations of a prolonged nature. It was owing in a great measure to his dauntless courage and inspiring example that a serious reverse was averted. He displayed the utmost energy and courage in forcing our attack home. After three other battalion commanders had become casualties, he controlled their commands, and ensured that the ground won was maintained at all costs. He frequently exposed himself in the organization of positions and of supplies, passing unflinchingly through fire barrage of the most intense nature. His gallantry was inspiring to all.”

Peter Crutchley BBC

SHAME! Interpol’s New Terrorist Member

INTERPOL

It’s hard to think the world could get more dangerous, but it just did — as Interpol accepted the nonexistent “state of Palestine” as a member. Who’s next, ISIS?

In a secret ballot Wednesday by the international police group’s General Assembly, 75 nations agreed to accept the Palestinians’ bid for inclusion, with 24 voting nay and 34 abstentions.

The secrecy ensured that no country would pay a price for its vote, so nations were free to express their true anti-Israel/anti-Semitic hostility — and thus provide a better (and more depressing) picture of how extensive that hate really is.

Make no mistake: Israel has much to lose here. It’s not just that yet another international body has recognized “Palestine” (the UN, UNESCO and other groups have all offered it some form of membership), thereby boosting its standing.

Worse: Palestinians can now try to use Interpol to push bogus “law-enforcement” efforts (travel bans, extraditions, etc.) aimed at Israelis. Worse yet: Sensitive Interpol intel may fall into the hands of Palestinian terror groups.

Think about it: Washington has designated Hamas, one of the two groups that run “Palestine,” as a terrorist organization. The other, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, also backs terror, albeit less systematically.

Just this week, Fatah praised Tuesday’s attack by a Palestinian terrorist that left three Israelis dead. The PA reportedly will pay his family $1,700, plus $740 a month for life.

Meanwhile, PA President Mahmoud Abbas regularly incites violence and refuses to stop paying stipends to imprisoned terrorists and the survivors of dead ones. On Wednesday, Palestinian Media Watch noted that 75 Palestinian schools are named for terrorists, Nazi collaborators and the like.

It’s tragic: Nations committed to fighting terror (the United States, Israel) may now have to withhold info from Interpol for fear of leaks — weakening its effectiveness and paving the way for more crime and terror.

Until Palestinian leaders end their support for terrorists, they have no business being part of a police organization.

Court Alert: Adult Sex With 16-Year-Olds Is Legal, But Sending Nude Photos Is Not

Child rape

INDIANAPOLIS — An adult can legally have sex with a 16 year old in Indiana, but sending a nude photo to a teen of the same age is illegal, the Indiana Supreme Court has ruled.

The Monday decision means Sameer G. Thakar of Fishers, Ind., will face trial on one felony count of disseminating matter harmful to a minor, a charge originally dismissed last year.

A trial court dismissed the charges in May 2016 on the basis that the state’s dissemination statute was vague because the age of consent to sexual activity in Indiana is 16. The dismissal was upheld by the Indiana Court of Appeals in February and transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court this May.

The high court Monday said the law is not ambiguous.

“The Dissemination Statute clearly protects minors under the age of 18 from the dissemination of matter harmful to them,” Justice Mark S. Massa wrote in the unanimous opinion. “Whether this inconsistent statutory treatment of minors aged 16 and 17 is advisable with respect to sexually-related activity is a matter for the legislature, and whether Thakar’s alleged conduct violated the Dissemination Statute is a matter for the jury.”

Authorities say Thakar sent a nude picture of himself to an Oregon girl who he knew was only 16. The two had been chatting online from Jan. 20 to Feb. 12, 2014.

The FBI notified the Fishers Police Department of the incident.

Thakar admitted to Fishers police that he had a problem chatting online and said he knew why investigators were asking about the girl from Oregon, according to court documents.

In his legal defense, Thakar cited Salter v. State, in which the defendant argued that it was “patently illogical” that a man could legally expose himself to a consenting 16-year-old in person but not via photograph.

The court in that case held that the statute was unconstitutionally vague because the activity wouldn’t be considered “patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable matter for or performance before minors,” which Massa said is a necessary element of the definition “harmful to minors” under state law.

But in the opinion issued Monday, all five Indiana justices agreed that the state’s dissemination statue was clear in its terms.

Massa wrote in his opinion that the dissemination statue and the consent statute can be followed at the same time.

“With respect to a 16-year-old, consensual sexual activity in person is permitted, the dissemination of a sexually-explicit photograph (consensually or otherwise) is not,” he wrote.

Messages left with Thakar’s attorneys Tuesday afternoon were not immediately returned.

USA Today Contributing: Justin Mack, The Indianapolis Star.

 

A Non Political Understanding Of The Relief Crisis is Puerto Rico…Surprise It’s Not FEMA’s Fault!

Puerto Rico Dale Yeager Blog

FYI current reports show that union workers at the docks are refusing to move relief aid because they want more money. Sad!

‘Inept’ Puerto Rican government ‘riddled with corruption’

Jorge Rodriguez, 49, is the Harvard-educated CEO of PACIV, an international engineering firm based in Puerto Rico that works with the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. The Puerto Rican-born engineer says he has dispatched 50 engineers to help FEMA rehabilitate the devastated island — a commonwealth of the United States — after Hurricane Maria. He refuses to work with the local government, which he called inept and riddled with corruption.

For the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs, so I just don’t see it functioning in a crisis like this one. Even before the hurricane hit, water and power systems were already broken. And our $118 billion debt crisis is a result of government corruption and mismanagement.

The governor Ricardo Rossello has little experience. He’s 36 and never really held a job and never dealt with a budget. His entire administration is totally inexperienced and they have no clue how to handle a crisis of this magnitude.

For instance, shortly after the hurricane hit, the government imposed a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am and then changed it. Now, it’s 7 pm to 5 am, and makes no sense. The curfew has prevented fuel trucks from transporting their loads. These trucks should have been allowed to run for 24 hours to address our needs, but they have been stalled, and so we have massive lines at gas stations and severe shortages of diesel at our hospitals and supermarkets.

I’m really tired of Puerto Rican government officials blaming the federal government for their woes and for not acting fast enough to help people on the island. Last week I had three federal agents in my office and I was so embarrassed; I went out of my way to apologize to them for the attitude of my government and what they have been saying about the US response. When the hurricane hit we had experts from FEMA from all over the US on the ground and I was really proud of their quick response. The first responders and FEMA have all been outstanding in this crisis, and should be supported.

I have 50 engineers that I have sent out pro bono to help local companies get back on their feet. This includes getting people gasoline and cash, and helping them connect to others that can assist with repairs without delays.

I won’t allow my people to work with the local government.

I have a message for the U.S. Congress: Watch out what relief funds you approve and let our local government handle. Don’t let the Puerto Rican government play the victim and fool you. They have no clue what they are doing, and I worry that they will mishandle anything that comes their way.

They don’t need another aircraft carrier. They need experienced people to run a proper disaster command center.