In a concrete example of irony, Puerto Rico is getting a new mall, a luxury mall, no less. A $405 million private investment that will be anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom's, nestled against the recently-privatized International Airport.
According to Our (non)governor--The Larva--"Puerto Rico doesn't have too many shopping centers." This twinkie also believes that "Puerto Rico has the lowest murder rate since the Garden of Eden," that "Puerto Rico's population is growing every day" and that "My wife's income is due to luck."
A rough count indicates that We have about 135 shopping centers, a ratio of roughly 1 per 27 square miles. That means than in an average 5.5 mile square, there's a shopping center. If the continental U.S. of part of A. had the same ratio, it would have 140,522 shopping centers. How many does the U.S. of part of A. actually have? 107,703 (Table 1061, 2010 data.)
So, The Larva is wrong. He is even more wrong when you take into account that We are dotted by 58 Walgreen's with more on the way and a growing number of CVS Pharmacies, over 520 fast-food and casual dining chain restaurants and several dozen stand-alone stores (furniture, rentals, auto parts, etc.) from U.S.-based companies.
For the record: Our murder rate per 100,000 residents is higher than Mexico's (where Mexico has been in the frank midst of an uncontrolled drug war since 2006), Our population has dropped from 3.96 million to 3.7 million and The Larva's wife makes money from political patronage and influence-peddling, not luck. (Uh, cough-cough, allegedly. Cough-cough. Wink.)
Okay, moving on.
The brilliance of this luxury mall plan, aside from the fact that it will definitely line the pockets of several Larva cronies, is that it takes reality and shoves a slimy hand of optimistic greed into its face. Too many shopping centers? Nonsense! Shrinking economy? Balderdash! Reduced tax base? Poppycock! Dwindling population? Superb! For you see, in this through-the-looking-glass, Mad Hatter-like view, propelled by greed and thuggish elán, the sky's the limit!
Let's cut to the chase. The vision these squinty-eyed tapeworms have is of a Puerto Rico slathered in concrete, a chalky mirror that powers a cash machine so hot it could burn a whole in the ozone layer. For that, you have to think big...really big. This luxury mall in the swampy grounds next to the airport is just small batatas. The big ideas are still to come. And you'll hear them here first.
El Morro: What the hell does Puerto Rico need a fort for? It's not like We're going to be invaded by anything except monkeys, lizards, Cuban frogs and lesser species (Republicans). So Let's turn that hunk of stone into a food court, a massive--dare I say?--historical food court filled with the finest European cuisine (Olive Garden, Scotch 'n' Sirloin, Romano's) and for statehooders, a McDonald's.
El Yunque: The only rain forest in the U.S. of part of A. is just so much wet vegetation, so the plan here is to level the hilltops--make it a true anvil--and build a mega-casino/galleria catering to the mondo crowd (as opposed to the mondongo crowd.) Toss in several multi-million dollar homes surrounded by concrete boxes filled with exotic plants (from Europe, of course) and you have both security and a metaphor for "being steps above the huddled masses."
Guánica Semi-Desert Tropical Forest: Good gravy, what kind of oxymoron is that? Ranks down there with "political leader" and "Fortuño's cojones." The Guánica forest is the only one left in the world, which of course means its time is past and extinction should be sped up. The plan: two golf courses with a spine of townhouses of which the southern ones have an infinity pool. Build a concrete wall topped by statues (European, of course) to keep iguanas and other riff-raff out.
GasoDildo: Under this new vision, a 93-mile gas tube is a micropenis, a useless bit in the creation of a new Puerto Rico. Extend that sucker by having it go from Ponce (parking) to Mayagüez, then cut across the entire Central Mountain Region, maker a left in Fajardo, slash through the northeastern mangroves, pass by the new San Juan Mall, cut across the bay to pass underneath La Perla and El Morro (hey, a food court needs cooking gas, right?) and keep going until it hits the electrical facility in Cataño. See? You just have to massage the original a little bit to see it grow into a monster shaft that could really fu--el Our future. Hell, it might reach 250 miles when all is said and done, wrapped, supported and protected by concrete from Mile One (the parking lot known as Ponce) and Mile 250.
The best part? There's fewer people living here to protest meaning there's more land to grab!
Now that also means that there's fewer consumers for the food court, to buy the mega-houses and townhouses with infinity pools, play the golf courses and the casinos, but by raising the airline rates, We can keep more people from flying off the Island and by creating a new Public-Private Alliance (a.k.a. major theft of public monies) to "manage" tourism, We can bring in outsiders by the pound. And you don't really think the skanky planners care if the stores, houses, casino and golf courses make money, do you? Condescending chuckle. The money's in the building, bay-bee! The hell with the rest!
This new vision of Puerto Rico takes your breath away, right? And to think it's only a few years from becoming a reality, making multi-millionaires out of scum toejam would look down upon with open disdain.
To quote a clown: What a country.
The Jenius Has Spoken.