Standing on the brink of chaos

As if on cue, just after my post about "broken windows" and restoring the rule of law in Puerto Rico, Roberto García Díaz hurls an egg at Governor Luis Fortuño. With emotions running high ever since last Friday, when the Governor announced the layoff 17,000 government employees, this type of "protest" is not a surprise.

While I've already laid out why these layoffs, while devastating to thousands of families and for our short term economy, never the less, they are unavoidable. I'll explain this in more detail in my next post, but I'll also identify "a hidden partner" who must also share the blame for this unfortunate mess.

Right now, I just want to reiterate what's potentially at stake in this whole egg throwing business. After seeing the news of the event on the morning news, I wanted to see if any new developments were available on ElNuevoDia.com. On the site, I found this: "Causa para arresto por tirar huevo," explaining that Judge Wilfredo Viera Garcés, from the Río Grande Tribunal, has determined that there is sufficient cause to arrest García Díaz.

On the same page, the Dia was conducting a poll. The questions was "¿Está de acuerdo con que se le radicaran cargos por intento de agresión al hombre que lanzó un huevo a Luis Fortuño?" With "Yes" or "No" as the possible choices. As I explained before, I believe that he should be charged (and punished) for whatever crimes are applicable to the situation, most appropriately, assault.

After completing the poll and getting the results, I jumped up in anger and shouted at my monitor, "You've got to be f#@!*&% kidding me!" I stormed out of my office and headed for the bathroom. The results showed an overwhelming opinion (nearly 7 out of every 10 people) were against pressing charges.
Before my checks even touched the toilet seat, I exclaimed, "No. No, that's exactly what I should have expected. It makes perfect sense." Amongst the powerful political and "Aye Bendito" emotional influences stirred by this situation, this result should not have been a surprise. We live in a criminal state.

While amongst the ever-growing break down in tolerance everywhere, from Kanye West, to Joe Wilson, and now Roberto García Díaz, I urge everyone to put aside their emotions and think about the long term impact of how this situation is handled.

As we established with "broken windows" if this crime goes unpunished, it sets up a dangerous precedent for other acts of violence (other crimes). As tempers continue to rise, lowering the threshold for violent protest creates the serious risk of a dangerous escalation of the severity and size of the "protests".

First it's an egg. Then it's a stone. Then it's a bitch slap. Then before you know it, the police are clashing against armed mobs representing various unions. While a minor skirmish has already occurred, if we ignore the crimes alleged committed by García Díaz, I'm afraid things will get out of hand very quickly. We are quickly racing towards a point where the passion and anger produced by the layoffs will not be calmed and someone is going to get seriously injured.

In my opinion, we are standing on the edge of a steep cliff. The only thing that keeps us from jumping is the shreds of civility we have left which bind us together as a community. If we continue to ignore the rule of law, we are merely setting the stage for the very fibers which hold this nation together, to be torn apart. The result will an unprecedented rise in crime, misery, and despair, the likes we have never seen. You may think I'm wrong, you may think I'm over-reacting, but unfortunately, I'm not.

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor: slworking2

5 comments:

GCD

2 de octubre de 2009, 08:40
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dijo...

Good morning.
Your argument would have a lot more weight if the people in charge of preserving the law were standing on a moral high ground. Just yesterday a panel from the UPR determined that there were clear human rights violations during the incident in Rio Piedras a few weeks back. I think that given the circumstances, pressing charges against this individual, while it may be the correct thing to do, will create more unrest and animosity and act as a catalyst to a larger and more regretful action. The Governor should take the high road, acknowledge that the situation is difficult instead of pretending that everything is OK, and use the incident as an opportunity to educate.

MC Don Dees

2 de octubre de 2009, 10:07
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dijo...

You have an excellent point GCD. Thanks for sharing.

Yes it would seem inappropriate to punish citizens for alleged crimes when authorities are not punished for their alleged crimes.

I agree with you that a situation like that could create even more unrest. However, I worry about what happens to us if we never draw a line and begin to respect the rule of law.

On the other hand, how can we lay down the groundwork to finally draw the line? What will happen to us if and when a line IS drawn?

These indeed are complex times. What should be obvious though is that we can not wait for the government to make the first moves. I think that the populace needs to step up and organize around a restoration of the rule of law principle.

GCD

2 de octubre de 2009, 10:59
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dijo...

Sign me up...

Scylas

5 de octubre de 2009, 10:53
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dijo...

Guys,
Any good political blgos I could follow on Puerto Rico? (English or Spanish).

Im not a fan of elnuevo dia and would liek to learn more.

MC Don Dees

8 de octubre de 2009, 06:04
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dijo...

Scylas,

forget to get back to you. On this. If you're talking about blogs like:

http://www.dailykos.com/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
http://www.politico.com/

Then no, not really. It's really hard to find a blog that doesn't lean hard in one direction or the other (red, blue, or green).

But in my opinion, between http://gilthejenius.blogspot.com/ and yours truly, we are as good as it gets. But I'll do some research and get back to you...