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jueves, 27 de agosto de 2009

The lies and distortion of the truth and the deterioration of law and order

Image and video hosting by TinyPic CARIBBEAN BUSINESS CARLOS ROMERO BARCELÓ Hitler’s rise to power was achieved, among other things, by his exploitation of the Germans’ fears and of the humiliation they suffered as a result of the terms they had to accept when they lost World War I. He promised to avenge Germany’s humiliation and that he would lead Germany to recover all the territory that had been taken from them. While promising the rise of a new Germany, he would rave in his fanatical diatribe against the Jews in Germany, blaming them for all the economic woes. While he spoke publicly of his desire to strengthen bonds of friendship with all of Europe, he plotted the takeover of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland. His Nazi party platform and his ultra-nationalistic speeches gained him enough support to elect sufficient Nazi Party members to the Reichstag, which gave him enough power to get himself appointed chancellor in 1933. Soon thereafter, members of the Nazi party set fire to the Reichstag building and Hermann Goering, second in command in the Nazi Party, publicly accused the communists of setting fires to the Reichstag as part of a revolutionary plot. Hitler made use of the alleged communist revolutionary plot to convince Von Hindenburg, Germany’s president, to issue a decree that put an end to civil liberties in Germany. Mass arrests of people “suspected of plotting against Germany” were carried out. Soon thereafter, Hitler proposed an Enabling Act, which empowered him as chancellor, with all the Reichstag’s legislative powers. In other words, the Reichstag gave Hitler dictatorial powers through a legislative act. As he always did, he once again lied to the German people telling them he would use those powers “only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures.” However, he never explained to the people what he meant by “vitally necessary measures.” In other words, Hitler had achieved what he set out to achieve: absolute power. Through lies, words of appeasement and cunning, Hitler managed to swallow up Austria and Czechoslovakia without having war. It wasn’t until he invaded Poland, after having signed an agreement with Britain’s prime minister, which was proudly referred to by Chamberlain as a guarantee of “peace in our time,” that England and France declared war. Hitler’s continuous rise to power and his expansion of German territory were always achieved by use of lies and distortion of facts. He firmly believed the bigger and more outrageous the lie, the easier it was to make people believe it. While he expanded his German empire, he continued his fanatical diatribe against all Jews. Then he took away their rights and privileges as German citizens, next their property, then their freedom and finally their lives. While persecuting, torturing and “exterminating” the Jews, he denied any such persecution, abuse, torture and extermination was happening. Most of the outside world either believed the Nazi propaganda or wanted to believe it. It wasn’t until the death camps were found at the end of the war that the horrible truth was accepted and believed by most of the world. You may ask: Why does Romero Barceló write about Hitler and the Holocaust? What do Hitler and the Holocaust have to do with Puerto Rico’s problems today? My answer to that question is that Hitler was able to become a dictator in a democracy, swallow up countries without war and exterminate millions of humans for years before the world realized what a monster he was. The reason he was able to do what he did was because he lied and people wanted to believe him. In Puerto Rico, we have seen an unprecedented deterioration of people’s respect for the law, the rights and privileges of others and a lack of appreciation for what they receive. The most troublesome thing in our society is the deterioration of the respect for law and order. The deterioration was accelerated during the administration of Sila Calderón and, even more, during the disastrous four years of Acevedo Vilá. When Sila Calderón decided to challenge the agreement that President Clinton and former Gov. Pedro Rosselló signed, regarding the end of the Navy bombing and target practice in Vieques and the clean up and return of land to Puerto Rico, she declared support for “civil disobedience” but, in fact, supported violent destruction of property and violence against those who didn’t agree with the government. In the presence of the police, including the superintendent of Police, a Navy vehicle and a guardhouse were pounced upon and severely damaged. The police did nothing. When I went to campaign against the meaningless and distorted referendum on the Vieques issue, I was threatened, the protesters threw stones, sticks and other projectiles at us, but the police did nothing to stop or prevent the unlawful attacks. Obviously, the message that Sila Calderón and her administration sent to the people was that violent acts against citizens and their property would be allowed as long as the criminal aggressors supported the governor. In other words, the governor, who took an oath to enforce the laws and protect the constitutional rights of the people, failed to abide by her oath. Why then, should citizens respect the law and the law enforcers if the governor doesn’t? To make matters worse, the majority of the press distorted the facts when they reported the news and made comments favorable to the criminal aggressors. Another glaring example of the government’s failure to enforce the law and protect public property was the failure of the police and the Justice Department to take action against the vandals and rioters in the Capitol building during Acevedo Vilá’s administration, where furniture and other property were damaged and legislators were physically threatened. There was a full-fledged riot in the Capitol building and the police had photos and also knew who some of the vandals and rioters were. However, not a single case was brought against any of the perpetrators. What kind of a message does this government behavior send to the people? Obviously, people are being told they can violate the law openly and nothing will happen to them. The latest occurrence where the majority of the press is defending the perpetrators of unlawful acts and finding fault with the government officials who are trying to enforce the law, is the Villas del Sol illegal trespass. The unlawful squatters in Villa del Sol have illegally set up houses on floodable land, which they don’t own. In addition, many of the land invaders, if not a majority, are illegally in Puerto Rico. In other words, they are illegal immigrants who are in Puerto Rico in violation of the law and have illegally appropriated land and set up homes on floodable land. They are stealing water and electricity, which increases the cost of supplying both to the subscribers who pay for it. The media should be explaining to the public why these people can’t be allowed to stay where they are and why they must leave or be evicted. However, most of the press are trying to portray the invaders as victims. They aren’t investigating who made the illegal electric power and water connections. They were probably made by Prepa [Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] and Prasa [Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority] employees in violation of the law. Most of the press is failing to report all the opportunities these invaders have been offered but refuse to accept. If violators of the law and other criminal offenders are protected and stimulated to violate the law, we are going to keep seeing an increase in crime and a growing lack of respect for the rights of others. Unless the media stops supporting and excusing criminals and those who disregard the law, our quality of life and the number of good citizens will continue to be reduced..

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