Both Fausta and I have written about the upcoming Puerto Rico Day Parade in which the organizers, not content to have the island in the news for fiscal bankruptcy decided to add moral bankruptcy to the list by honoring an unrepentant terrorist bombmaker involved in the killing and maiming of Americans.

Fausta noted the long list of those who had pulled out over the honoring of the Terrorist whose sentence was commuted by Obama and I added that the Manchester Bombing had augmented the list by turning on the heat for companies who, in my opinion were not so much bothered by the terrorist as but considered their association with one right after a bunch of kids getting blown up for watching a concert bad for their bottom line.

You can add Andrew Cuomo, the son of Mario the Pious, to that list as well:

“The governor’s support and long-term affection for the Puerto Rican community remains unwavering. Unfortunately, he will not be marching in this year’s parade,” Cuomo’s spokeswoman, Dani Lever, said without elaborating.

and WNBC and Telemundo too

Both WNBC and WNJU hold a long-standing commitment to the Tri-State’s Puerto Rican community, a fact exemplified through our continued support for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s scholarship program. Our stations have decided to limit this year’s support to the Parade’s scholarship program, and have respectfully informed the committee that we will not be participating in the 2017 Parade,” they said in a statement.

as did Univision who, like Cuomo, WNBC and Telemundo didn’t bother to give the reason why they or the others had left in their report Newsbusters tells the tale:

Univision’s newscasts hadn’t said a peep about the exodus of parade sponsors since Goya Foods first jumped ship last week and now, all of a sudden, multiple sponsors are suddenly out. Viewers are left to assume that these major sponsors just randomly abandoned the Parade, without any context whatsoever as to why…But López Rivera’s name is mentioned nowhere in the report. Embarrassingly, Univision preferred to leave that knowledge gap unfilled, rather than to admit it had made a mistake by giving so much airtime to the public rehabilitation of a convicted terrorist.

Of course in fairness to Univision and Telemundo Reuters also decided to whitewash that little old bombmaker:

Sponsors have been fleeing next month’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City since organizers decided to honor an activist recently freed after more than three decades in prison for ties to a nationalist group that carried out more than 100 bombings in the 1970s and 1980s.

Oscar Lopez Rivera, 74, was convicted in 1981 of numerous charges, along with other members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), who sought to secure Puerto Rican independence from the United States.

The Terrorist becomes a “nationalist” and rather than mention the bombmaking he is convicted of “numerous charges”

But in the end no matter how many others decide, for whatever reason, they don’t want the blood on Lopez’s hands staining them one man still stands alone in support.

Bill De Blasio

“The organization he was affiliated with did things I don’t agree with, obviously, and they were illegal,” the mayor said at a press conference this week. “I don’t agree with the way he did it. But he did serve his time,” adding that López Rivera “renounced violence.”

He did? Here is what López Rivera, quoted in yesterday’s New York Times, said upon his release from a halfway house in Puerto Rico on Wednesday: “We are a colonized people, and according to international law, that says all colonized people have a right to struggle for its independence, using all methods within reach, including force.”

And outrage by the surviving victims of Lopez’s actions notwithstanding this hasn’t hurt him and might in fact have helped him.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating has just ballooned to 60 percent, up 10 percent since February. The latest Quinnipiac poll also tells us he’s likely to handily trounce his opponents for re-election.

Which only goes to show that all politics is local.

Coke, The Yankees, Jet Blue, Goya, Univision and Telemundo are all national and international companies that whose business models extend far beyond the confines of New York City and can’t be openly associating themselves with a terrorist bomber no matter how popular he might be in a loud niche market in a particular city

But in the end Bill De Blasio’s ambitions for elected office, are confined to the five boroughs of NYC, so even if a million citizens, including those who keep the city safe, object strongly, they are dwarfed by the multiple millions of liberal leftists who either don’t know, don’t care or approve of Lopez’s terrorism.

No amount of public shaming will move a man with no shame.

Exit Question: Since Andrew Cuomo’s is electorally dependent on huge margins in the city can we assume that his decision to pull out means he still has national ambitions?


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

New York’s Puerto Rican Day parade continues to lose sponsors after NY City Council Speaker Melissa Viverito named unrepentant terrorist Oscar López Rivera a “National Freedom Hero” who will be honored at the June 11th parade.

First Goya Foods, the parade’s largest sponsor throughout its 60-year history, pulled its $200,000.

The NYPD Hispanic Society and the Rafael Ramos Foundation have pulled out. Also dropping out,

the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and the other police unions representing the NYPD senior ranks.

NYPD commissioner James O’Neill, while acknowledging he would likely be at the parade overseeing thousands of cops stationed there, refused to march in honor of a terrorist.

Jet Blue, AT&T, and the New York Yankees won’t be there, either,

The Yankees’ boycott particularly stings. Bronx Bombers who have graced the parade include Puerto Rican native Bernie Williams.

“The New York Yankees are not participating in this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade,” the team said in a statement.

Instead, both Jet Blue and the Yankees will continue their scholarship programs helping “Puerto Rican students in both New York and Puerto Rico” by totally bypassing the parade organizers.

Gov. Cuomo is still waffling on whether he’ll attend the parade.

Univision continues to sponsor terrorism, never mind that

it wasn’t the belief in independence that got López Rivera locked up; it was the six pounds of dynamite and four blasting caps found in López Rivera’s apartment.

The network is set to air an exclusive interview on Sunday’s edition of Al Punto where U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez compares López Rivera to George Washington.

Viverito has dug in her heels and last Monday held a “rally to defend the parade,” conflating the parade with the terrorist. Seth Baron reports (emphasis added),

When a reporter asked her why López Rivera had dynamite, blasting caps, and bomb-making diagrams in his apartment when he was arrested, Mark-Viverito said, “in regard to the specifics of that situation you are talking about, I don’t know everything that was presented in the court proceedings.”

Just for clarity’s sake: the FALN claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings, including the one at Fraunces Tavern that killed four people and injured 50. At his trial, Lopez Rivera refused to participate in his defense on the grounds that he was a combatant in an anti-colonial war against the United States and thus a prisoner of war; he demanded to be tried by an international tribunal. He was tried in open court and convicted of “seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition to aid in the commission of a felony, and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.” López Rivera refuses to take responsibility for the consequences of his acts, nor has he renounced violence, conceding only that other means are “more effective.” When asked about the surviving family of his victims, he told an interviewer in 2011, “If you don’t respect me, why should I reciprocate? I wasn’t there to tell them, ‘Hey, listen, I’m sorry.’ That’s not me.”

I do not exaggerate when I say that López Rivera set his apartment as a bomb-making facility.

Lopez-Rivera had been in federal prison since 1981, serving a 55-year sentence which was extended an additional 15 years following two failed attempts to escape, where

he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets.

Three days before leaving office, then-President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s 70-year sentence. López Rivera was released on May 17th.

No word on whether Obama will attend the parade.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By John Ruberry

I hate to interrupt your day by veering away from such issues, well, issues to some, such as the Donald Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia or that nation’s reputed hacking of the 2016 presidential election, but there is something more important that the mainstream media is only nibbling at the edges of: the Great American Pension Swindle.

What is it?

Underfunded pension plans in blue states, well mostly blue states.

Here are some media headlines from just this month:

I could go on and on.

As for that last one, many bond firms rate Chicago Public Schools’ bonds as junk. The collateral for its latest loan, and that’s a generous use of the term, is money owed to CPS by the state of Illinois, the Puerto Rico of the Midwest. Illinois’ public-worker pension plans are just 29 percent funded. Chicago’s pensions are worse–at 25 percent funded, the worst among 15 large cities surveyed.

I don’t have Schadenfreude over this situation. On a personal level the spouse of a friend of mine and one of my cousins are collecting Illinois State Police pensions. They were promised these retirement plans and they didn’t pay into Social Security when they worked for the state. There was no opt-out option for them in regards to these pensions. And their union, unlike AFSCME, wasn’t showering Illinois politicians, mostly Democrats, with copious campaign contributions while the state was shortchanging and even skipping payments into pension funds.

Now what?

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven

I suspect bankruptcies in all but name, which I wrote about earlier this month in this space, are coming to Illinois and other states who see pensions as a reward system for political sponsors such as AFSCME. Here’s another possibility: run-of-the-mill taxpayers, many of whom are just getting by financially and have no pensions of their own, nor the ability to retire in their 50s, will have to cough up even more in taxes to bail out public worker retirement funds.

This tragedy is not the fault of the Russians. Vladimir Putin didn’t hack the pension funds.  But too bad that’s not what happened. Then perhaps MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times might devote more time to the Great American Pension Swindle.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Two days before leaving office, Barack Obama commuted Oscar López Rivera’s 70-year jail sentence unconditionally, along with 208 other grants of commutation.

Oscar López Rivera was a founding member of the Marxist Puerto Rican nationalist terror group FALN (Frente Armado de Liberación Nacional). The FALN was the most organized, active, well-trained and deadly domestic terror group based in the United States, leaving six dead and hundreds wounded in over 130 attacks.

The New York Times describes:

The F.A.L.N., which waged a violent campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico, was considered by the authorities to be among the most elusive and resilient terrorist groups to operate in the United States. Among its notable attacks was a bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975 that killed four people.

The group was known for its tight-knit membership, fanatical zeal and hit-and-run tactics, as exemplified by the bombings of four government buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve in 1982 that seriously wounded three police officers.

López Rivera used his own apartment as a bomb-making facility.

He was sentenced to 55 years for seditious conspiracy, interstate transportation of firearms and explosives with intent to kill and injure people, vehicle theft, and other charges in 1981. In 1988 was sentenced to an additional 15 years for conspiring to escape from the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, prison.

The escape attempts were not the Shawshank Redemption:

In one of two failed attempts to escape, he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets. After the FBI thwarted this plan, another 15 years was added to Lopez’s original 55-year sentence

Bill Clinton offered him clemency in 1999 (in a move that was engineered by then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder), but he turned it down since it did not include all FALN members serving jail terms at that time.

Among Lopez Rivera’s numerous victims was Angel Poggi, a young NYPD officer of Puerto Rican descent who was severely maimed during the FALN’s first attack, in December 1974 – his first day on the job.

López Rivera remains unrepentant.

Under Obama’s commutation order, Lopez Rivera’s prison sentence expires on May 17.

López Rivera will be welcome with open arms by Hamilton‘s creator,

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

and by NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (the @MMViverito in the above tweet).

Next on the agenda,

Officials last week announced plans to honor unrepentant terrorist leader Oscar Lopez Rivera as their first ever “National Freedom Hero” at this year’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 11.

As a woman born and raised in Puerto Rico, I am profoundly insulted by this exultation of a Marxist terrorist whose every action has been inimical to freedom. Indeed, as Steven Hayward reminds us of Bryan Burrough’s excellent book, Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,

In his invaluable history of the maniacal leftist terrorism of the 1970s, Bryan Burrough frankly characterizes FALN leader Oscar López Rivera as “the man behind the deadliest bombing campaign of the era.” That’s quite a distinction.

López Rivera is no hero to anyone who loves freedom.

UPDATE
Linked to by The Other McCain. Thank you!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Lake Michigan at Evanston, IL. Is Puerto Rico’s present Illinois’ future?

By John Ruberry

If you believe that states–and commonwealths–cannot declare bankruptcy, you are technically correct. But last week a commonwealth, Puerto Rico, filed for bankruptcy in all but name, utilizing the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2016.

That bill of course was written for Puerto Rico in mind, but with Republicans in control of all levels of the federal government, similar bills can be proposed for the fifty states, or just some of them, including California, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois. Those three are among the states that have fallen victim to what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dubbed the “labor-electoral complex” in his farewell address four years ago.

What’s that? It’s when public-sector unions, consisting of workers on the taxpayer payroll, cajole politicians–almost always Democratic ones–to increase their salaries or defer their pay hikes by way of generous yet unaffordable pension plans.

And of course these pols are cajoled by these unions through campaign contributions.

Puerto Rican flag flies between two abandoned Chicago homes

Many local government workers don’t pay into social security and many of them have no other pension plans. In states like Illinois, if you work for the state government, funds deducted for your retirement only go to one place–an Illinois retirement plan. So far so good–unless the politicians neglect to properly fund those pension programs.

And that has been the sad case in those blue states I mentioned earlier, as well as Kentucky.

Now that Puerto Rico has declared, well, something, investors will very likely take a closer look at sinking cash into what may be sinking ships. Puerto Rico has negative population growth. So does Illinois. That means fewer taxpayers are participating in funding these failures. And it’s the productive citizens who are leaving Illinois and Puerto Rico.

Yesterday Puerto Rico announced it was closing 184 schools and there is speculation that commonwealth retirees may suffer a 20 percent cut in their pensions. Expect much more bad news from there.

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven

It doesn’t have to end up this way in states like Illinois–if corrective action is taken immediately. Let me define “immediately” for those politicians who may be reading this post.

Immediately means 2017, not ten years from now.

Ten years ago the financial situation in Puerto Rico wasn’t as dire.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

pasteles

Christmas in my native Puerto Rico is an extended party. It starts around Thanksgiving week and ends after the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th. Of all the countries I’ve visited, only France has more work holidays than Puerto Rico.

In-between there are a lot of parties, and an endless array of delicious foods, most of which would be banned by Mike Bloomberg for their fat, sugar, and salt content.

First, the drink of choice for the entire season is coquito, the “very yummy creamy tropical coconut eggnog made with spices and white rum.” While all the men drink their rum straight, ladies disguise it in coquito. Salud!

Most people celebrate Christmas Eve with a huge dinner: lechón asado (roast pig) or pernil (pork shoulder), which must be marinated at least 24 hours in advance; arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), red beans, tostones (fried plaintains), and pasteles.

Oh, pasteles! Delicious, but such hard work that my mom once commandeered my sister and me for a full day of preparation (which included peeling and grinding yuca, a thankless task if ever there was one), wrapping the pasteles in plantain leaves, cooking, and clean-up (you must wash down the whole kitchen afterwards because of the lingering odor). It was such hard work, mom bought them from an acquaintance for many years after. “Lesson learned!” mom said.

Some may also include bacalao, salted cod fish with tubers.

All these foods are served at the same time, and washed down with rum, beer, wine, or soda.

A couple of hours later, it’s time for dessert: The table is cleared, and out come arroz con dulce (rice pudding – I like mine with raisins), flan, plátanos en almibar (ripe plantains in syrup), tembleque, majarete, and pineapple upside-down cake, which must have a perfect maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple. Someone always brings cookies and pies, too.

Of course, high-octane fully caffeinated Puerto Rican coffee goes with the dessert, served in expresso cups.

By then it’s midnight Mass (if you go to church), and after that, you open your presents.

Merry Christmas!