Sunday, October 4, 2009

1 Moral Coward Outed; 1 Maybe

So it turns out the cowardly scumbag who hides his identity under the name pragmatic plato is actually glen hunter. It is fitting that the backbiting weasel who misnamed his phony on-line persona after a thinker turns out to be the actual backbiting weasel glen hunter.

Enjoy being outed, glen.

I wonder if you bothered to ask your boss at Pacific Trading if it was okay with him to spearhead a boycott of one of his own customers? Something tells me that the weasel in you won out on this one and that your moral cowardice caused you to ‘forget’ to mention that to him. Why don’t you run on over to his office and fess up before the word gets back to him that you are a traitor to your own company? It will go easier on you that way.

As the common law wife of Rep Tina Sablan I’m wondering if she has pussy whipped you to the point that you just can’t own up to your own opinions by putting your name on them or if you were just as big a moral coward before she met you? By the way, that effete Communist Che beret is the perfect topper for you.

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your underwear.

* * * *

While we are on the subject of cowardly anonymous scum, I should be remiss without a short mention of the douche that called herself lil (referring to brainpower) hammerhead. Called herself, that is, until a few months ago when she/he/they ran away from home after being ID’d by another blogger.

Unlike Mr Brainiac, glen hunter, who outed himself by careless stupidity, the equally slimy hammerhead vociferously denied it and claimed that she was not Roberta Guererro. Whoever it was closed shop and ran away shortly after the identification was made making many all the more sure that it was in fact she that spewed shit under cover of the hammerhead alias.

Since I can’t be sure about the hammerhead ID since I have not seen the smoking gun that Jeff saw, I will leave that bit of doubt open. I’ll be an agnostic rather than an adherent to the theory that it was Guerrero and not another as the main culprit. I’m just not sure.

However, having read the stinking dung posted by hammerhead on several different blog sites I can’t help noticing that she either was psychotic to the point of actual split personalities or there was more than one person writing the hammerhead sleaze. Style, content, even viewpoint changed radically from post to post making me think Jeff may have uncovered only one of a cabal of ‘cunning runts’, and perhaps not even that.

So since I can’t be absolutely sure of just who this one really is I will close by saying “Whoever you are hammerhead, I want you to visualize me walking up to you , hawking up a big slimy (matching you) green lunger and spitting it right in your face. I know that is better than you deserve, but consider it my gift to you whoever you are.” May those fleas working on glen move into your undies when they are done there.

So which schizo freak is he/she/it really?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plenty of time to gripe later.




Saturday, October 25, 2008

Come and Enjoy

As you have probably noticed, I have not been very active blog-wise for the last several weeks. That will probably continue for the foreseeable future. Certain monkey picture creatures and similar cretins are probably ecstatic since they can preach to their choir without serious objection to their idiotic pabulum now. All six of you will just be sick with worry.

You may or may not know that I have taken on the responsibility for marketing Saipan, Tinian and Rota to our major markets, Japan, Korea, China, Russia and the US. I am working with the MVA team to try and develop new markets while growing the existing ones.

Since we are a one-legged economy now, it is especially important that we keep that leg active and growing. Any gout symptoms in that last remaining leg will leave all the hangers-on without anything to hang on to, so we are working extra hard to keep tourism alive and well in the Marianas.

I’m having a good time and the task is both interesting and challenging. Come by or call/email MVA headquarters with your ideas, comments, questions or challenges. I’ll be happy to listen and take the best you have to offer and try and apply it to the task at hand.
The Emerald is back in the water and running well after an annual refit/preventative maintenance check. If you are interested in weekend diving, snorkeling or fishing give me a call. Unlike the anonymous blog assholes, I am in the book.

Monday, October 13, 2008


The world is full of coincidences, a few real, some imagined, most staged.

Miura, after 7 months in the Saipan hoosegow, volunteers to waive extradition when a California Judge correctly rules it would be double jeopardy to retry him for the murder of his wife after the high court in Japan already ruled him innocent. Now that he is almost sure to get let out on bail after sitting in the CNMI can for 7 months, he decides freedom is just too much responsibility and kills himself in an LA jail cell. Right.

I’m believing that one about as much as I’m going for the coincidence of US DEA storm troopers harassing 147 out of 187 Chinese passengers aboard an inaugural flight from Shanghai with tourism officials aboard “just because it’s their job”. Strange that they never performed their job that way before. Strange that they ‘didn’t profile’ but chose as their victims of intimidation and harassment 100% Chinese citizens. The nazi-like DEA stormtroopers claim they were ‘tipped off’ to a drug smuggling operation. Of course having found no, repeat no illegal drugs on the flight or in any of the bags which were checked three separate times, or on any the 147 persons whose underwear they checked and whose private parts they fondled repeatedly leaves one wondering about just who tipped them off. I say try checking Allen Stayman, or one of his henchmen. There is your likely ‘coincidence’. Find the ‘informer’, you will find the motivation for the outrageous harassment episode.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It’s a Pinto
Drug needle
I have heard several folks criticizing local and federal law enforcement for their failure to stop the importation of drugs found in a Chinese garment worker’s car recently. I do not agree. Trying to stop this kind of thing at the border seems almost impossible.

While 176 grams sounds like a lot (and is a lot if it is being used by a relative who is destroying his family with it) it is really a tiny amount size wise. About 6 ounces of anything, illegal drugs, shredded carrots or beach sand is a pretty small package and could be hidden most anywhere.

Before finding fault with DEA or FBI or CPA or DPS think about how difficult it would be to find that needle in a haystack. Interdiction of large quantities is probably possible because of the physical size of the contraband package. How on earth would you expect to find something that small on a regular basis? I’ve heard of drug smelling dogs but would that work on something sealed airtight and really tiny in size? My guess would be probably not. Any experts in the field willing to give an opinion?

So it seems that solving the problem by reducing demand or by curbing illegal usage would be a far more profitable use of DPS/FBI/CPA/DEA personnel time than trying to find that tiny needle in the haystack of incoming people, baggage, merchandise, ship and air cargo.

Congratulations are due to the patrol officers who were observant enough to catch this guy during a routine traffic stop and get him and the drugs off the street.
* * * *
Up the wrong tree

Recently a group of people assembled at fishing Base to vent their frustrations at the power outages that have plagued our island for the last few months. Why the leaders of the event waited to protest until after the problem was temporarily solved by the Aggreko generators is a mystery only they know the answer to.

What they want is reliable and affordable power. That is a laudable goal. The way they want to do it is a throwback to the failed mechanisms of yesteryear. Individually and collectively they are calling for and insisting that ‘affordable’ power is a right assured to everyone. It is not a right; electric power is a commodity and has a price like any other good or service.

They are asking for a regression to the old days that they themselves in the next breath call for an end to. Then as now the local government owned and operated the power plants. Here on Saipan there used to be relatively reliable power and it was affordable as well, it was cheap in fact based on what it actually cost to produce it. It was cheap because the rate paying customers were not charged as much as it cost to make the power. The difference was made up for by government subsidies. They took all the money paid by the ratepayers into the system and used it for operations, plus they took more funds wrested from other sources and threw them in on top to keep the lights on. Little or nothing was spent on a decaying infrastructure as we all know and now it has come home to roost. They kept rates artificially low and that was the problem, not the solution. So to call out now for artificially lowered rates is irresponsible and won’t work this time any better than it did last time.

We should look to someone other than our government’s Administration, this one or any other one, to come up with answers to the affordability question. Likewise we should look elsewhere to find a professional operations company if we don't want to see this emergency fiasco repeated endlessly into the future. Rate setting and reliable operations should be done by a responsible and professional third party company or co-op, not the government. Let’s leave upside pricing oversight to a well trained Public Utilities Commission and downside pricing to real costs and reasonable profits. We will all pay less and have the reliability we all want to boot.

Privatize CUC with a completely open, no strings attached bid process. Then we have a chance for reliable affordable power. Begging another government group to take the reins from this government group is begging for more of the same.
* * * *
Which color horse?
Last week’s Sour Grapes had a section about the importance of consistency of purpose between the local Administration and the new Officer we are about to elect called a Non Voting Delegate. As a side issue in that piece I wrote, “Our elected Washing Rep is still in office though he is running for another office and the Constitution says he should resign.” Pete, and a couple of other people have sent me emails offering a different interpretation and claiming that he need not resign. Pete had a copy of that email printed as a Letter to the Editor citing his reasoning. Hopefully you read it.

Pete claims that the new federal law that mandates the new NVD office was written so as to define his old job to be the same as the new job he hopes to be elected to even though they are completely different. Maybe that is true.

Note that Pete A. currently works for the CNMI and is paid by the CNMI treasury. His title is “Resident Representative to the United States”, he is an elected and paid lobbyist for the CNMI. The new position he hopes to be elected to is the “Delegate to the House of Representatives”, a different animal entirely. Whoever wins will be paid by the United States Treasury. This is clearly a different job with a different title, different responsibilities, different authority and a different paymaster. To say he is running for the same office is not factual and at best constitutes semantic pandering. Note also that the office term of Washington Rep does not even expire until 2010. Maybe the reason for the language calling an apple an orange is so there are not two representatives from the CNMI floating around Washington at the same time, and not so the current Rep does not have to resign before running for a different job.

So it is a matter of interpretation whether the current Resident Representative should resign to run for the Non Voting Delegates office. However, the time frame is so short now that I guess it doesn’t make much difference so I won’t continue to beat this different colored horse of an argument any longer.

One other point deserves mention. Some think I bring this up because I don’t like Pete A. Nothing could be further from the truth. I like and respect him. In fact I find him to be an engaging man with enough intelligence and diplomatic capability to do the job if he is elected by the people of the CNMI. I don't agree with his new philosophical position nor do I want to personally back someone who has 'flipped' positions, but he is certainly capable if elected which is also true for most of the other candidates.

Anyway Pete, good luck and thanks for reading Sour Grapes.
* * * *
Quote of the week:
When you point your finger at the moon, you want others to look at the moon, not your finger. Zen Homily

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Copy tax

Light or dark
Everyone who lives here has been impacted by the power outages of the last few months. Let’s face it though, it was an inconvenience, not a life threatening situation. I was frustrated, you were frustrated, they were frustrated, we all wished we had 24/7 power. Life hasn’t been as convenient as it could have been, but no one was in danger, no one lost their life, no one’s house was washed out to sea.

I have noticed that those who wailed the loudest for “something to be done”, continue to wail once something has actually been done. Apparently the something was not what the wailers would have done so like children who didn’t get it their own way, they continue the tantrum. A temporary solution was decided on by bringing new rental power generators to the island to restore full power while repairs are made to the main engines. This sounds like a reasonable solution to any reasonable person who wants to see the power turned back on 24/7, but the griping continues, and even increases. I would pose the question: would you rather sit in the dark and bitch or would you rather have the power on while you find fault with the solution?

If all you are trying to do is discredit the current managers so you can try to become the Executive decision maker yourself then I suppose you would prefer that the rental generators not be here so you could gripe in the dark…it makes a better case for you. If you really want what you say you want, the power back on and a plan to keep it that way, then you should be happy to be sitting in that air conditioned room googling on your electric computer. Power outages are bad for business but so is never ending public media dissention. That keeps public confidence down and that keeps discretionary spending down and that keeps investors away and existing businesses from growing.

I might recommend that if you don’t like the decisions made by CUC managers that you either go get an electrical engineering degree and spend a few years working in the power generation field or that you back a process that aims to hire an already trained Power Plant manager. The other (and better) option is to sell, or give, or pay someone to take the current power plant off the government’s hands who will then run it privately. A coop of local ratepayers could own it, or a private company could own it, or a public stock company could own it. Either way, someone who benefits from making it run efficiently owning it is the best long term solution to reliable power. Getting another government to run it is just a recipe for more failure.

Meanwhile, I for one am pretty darned happy to have the freezer on and the little LED lights on my computer winking merrily away as I sit here bathed in a blaze of fluorescent splendor. Now show me the long term plan and the means to achieve it and I am a happy camper…an electric camper.
* * * *
Don’t vote - for the same thing
Our elected Washing Rep is still in office though he is running for another office and the Constitution says he should resign. He is once again of a different mind than the also elected Governor of the Commonwealth and is, once again, presenting a different message to Washington than the Administration. That rift causes confusion and lessens the likelihood that either message will be taken seriously.

Until we elect and send a Non Voting Delegate (NVD) to the US House, we will continue to rely on a very expensive, but often not very effective lobbyist; namely, the Washington Representative. The problem over the last couple of years after the current Rep changed his position and decided to bow down to the new power elite in Washington to gain his ends, is that his position was at loggerheads with the Commonwealth’s elected leader, the Governor. That difference of opinion cost us dearly, in terms of presenting a non united front to the US government. It also cost us dearly in that it necessitated the hiring of expensive lobbyists to do the work that could have been done by our already extremely expensive WashRep lobbyist (1.3 Million a year). In the future, let’s hope that the newly elected NVD not-votes for the same things that the Governor wants to not-vote for whatever that is. If both are on the same page it will save a lot of grief and a lot of money. We might even make some progress if both are asking for the same thing.

At least we won’t be paying for it anymore, whichever way it works out; mainland taxpayers will foot the bill for the NVD as they do with real honest-to-goodness voting Congressmen.
* * * *
Charge a fee tax?
The fees charged for all government offerings should be set at a level that pays for the service or regulatory requirement. Charging more in order to later ‘reprogram’ those monies into the CUC coffers for fuel subsidies, or to buy more equipment for some other Department is taxation plain and simple. Come on legislature, if you want to raise taxes, have the gumption to come out and say “we are broke, so in future we will be taking a bigger tax bite from you personally and from all the companies you do business with.” That would be the honest way to approach this shortfall.

The one I agree with most is the marriage license fee increase. It should be pegged at $5,000 and a rider fee of $100,000 should be required for each new child born (a birth license fee) to make up for the cost of government services the kid will surely use over his lifetime. Kidding here…that could be just a bit much and entirely too fair for a government to consider. Getting reelected after passing that one would prove pretty difficult. Divorce lawyers are not likely to be happy about the $5K marriage certificate either as it would cut into business. Paternity attorneys would be happy as clams though.

* * * *
Quote of the week:
A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future. Sidney J. Harris (1917 – 1986)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dive Deep
Excellent new business
We are a one legged economy right now…tourism. That leg is showing some signs of wear as it hops along trying valiantly to keep the CNMI afloat without much aid from any other sector. Just like a family needs income to survive, so does a country. Tourism and alms from the US bring the only significant income into the CNMI right now. MVA works hard to bring tourists here but needs our help every day to give them a quality experience during their visit. A satisfied visitor replaces himself many times over. A dissatisfied one keeps hundreds of other potential visitors away.

Many of our visitors come here to scuba dive in our fantastic dive spots. They are likely to be repeat customers if they have a good experience. That is why I am so stoked that a new outfit is willing to invest their time, effort and money here. Since I am a scuba diver myself this may seem more important to me than to others, but I ask you to think about the value of this to our Islands even if you are not a diver.

A new business is starting on Saipan. It is a dive charter boat. Built in the US the Newton 46 foot special built dive boat is a welcome addition to the fleet here on Saipan. An outfit called Saipan Sun Company headed by Eric Lister has commissioned this boat at a cost nearing one million dollars and has had it shipped out here to the Marianas. The boat, named the Sun Rider will act as a platform for local dive companies, interested individuals and other divers who want a fine dive experience. Dive motivated tourists are sure to love this boat

We should not forget the other dive boats here like Captain Fred’s outstanding Dolphin Quest and Scott’s orange semi inflatable ‘No Limts’ boats. Many other great dive boats ply the waters here but the new Sun Rider deserves mention as being a notch above in size and load capacity. Plus she is brand new and still smells of fresh fiberglass.

I tried her out the other day and found the boat to be stable, fast and very accommodating in terms of space, amenities and ease of entrance/egress even for older divers like me. The crew is new but learning the customer service ropes. The captain is experienced and good at the job. I had a blast.

I for one wish the new venture the best of luck as they cater to our tourists who come here to dive the crystal waters of the Marianas. Please join me in welcoming these folks to Saipan.

Saipan Sun – Sun Rider Reservations: 287-7802
Dolphin Quest reservations: 287-6533
No Limits reservations: 233-8633
(I will happily give equal space to other dive charter boat’s contact information if owner/operators will forward it to me :
* * * *
Who controls our success?
There are those among us that by implication and by direct actions show that they believe our lives as citizens in a free society are controlled by the actions of government. They blame the current or past administrations here and elsewhere for the success or failure of our economy. They are wrong. Successful economies depend on entrepreneurs willing to take financial risks and work hard now in order to make gains later. It also depends on workers and managers and professionals willing to work hard and dedicate themselves to the success of the company they work for in return for a share of the gains made. Governments neither control nor even guide this process. They only benefit from it by skimming enough off the top of the monies produced by others to sustain their own existence and provide some generally needed (and a lot of completely unneeded) services. Government policies can help or hinder this progress but cannot control its destiny. Only we can do that. Only we as individuals do, do that.

We as citizens and workers, investors and businessmen control that economy. It is influenced far more by our collective and personal attitudes than by the nudging and siphoning actions of government. We are all personally responsible for its success or failure. The concept that a government entity shoulders that responsibility for us and that we are dependant upon them for our daily bread and existence is not just wrong, it is immoral and leads relentlessly to a self fulfilling prophesy of an unfree and completely regulated society doomed to failure. It suggests we should abrogate our rights and responsibilities to an entity, which at its heart, produces nothing at all.

Governments worldwide only exist by using force to siphon off wealth from those workers who produce it. It is a parasitic relationship. The best of them allow citizens enough freedom to keep the economic engine turning and producing so they can take some and share it around with their friends. The worst and greediest try to take more than the producers can produce and go down the totalitarian tubes eventually.

If you have been convinced by those who believe government controls your economic life that, well government controls your economic life, I’ve got good news for you. You and your neighbors are in control and have been all along. Take off and sail your ship to success. Chart your own course. Don’t wait on some government wand to ‘improve the economy’, you’ll wait a lifetime…for nothing.
* * * *
Quote of the week:
Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire. Bobby Unser (1934 - ).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

But CUC told me so
I will mention only two brief items about our power provider this time.

First, someone has coined the term “power innages”; this pretty much describes the state of our infrastructure right now. Second, I see there is a ‘countdown to Agreko’ in the newspaper right now. Let’s hope there is some semblance of accuracy about the date those 15 temporary megawatts are going online.

I was thinking since the official (but usually unheeded) schedule now calls for 3 three- hour blackout periods for all of us it behooves us to come up with a term for the 15 hours per day our power is officially on, versus the time that it is actually on. Say ZEN Power time versus ZAP Power time.

The difference can be readily discerned by a competent appliance technician. When a toaster is connected to a household outlet, if toast is produced you are Zap time, if your reflection on the side of the toaster is all that is produced, or if only slightly stale bread comes out of the slot, you are on Zen time irrespective of official CUC pronouncements about the schedule. You can test this system yourself by sticking your finger into any handy electric outlet, but I don’t suggest it.

So standing around the water cooler at work the conversation might go something like this: “Hey Bob, what’s the weather for tomorrow? Gosh, I dunno, my house was on Zen time all morning while I was having breakfast so I couldn’t watch the news. How about you? Me too, that’s why I asked. Maybe we could talk to Joe Boy, he has two gerbils running in a cage that produce more power than our CUC hook ups, maybe he caught the weather report this morning. Don’t count on it, his wife Martha invited Betty and I over for gerbil stew the other night. She said something about the price of rice being higher than her car payment. Anything else cooking? Only my son, he got confused and stuck his finger in a socket during a non-official innage and found out the hard way we were on Zap time. Yeah, I know what you mean, my kid got 2nd degree burns from the toaster the other day while using it as a mirror.”
* * * *
To sue or not to sue.
It’s not about whether ‘federalization’ will be good for us or not (although I, like many, think it will be disastrous). It is about whether the US can run roughshod over the CNMI and abrogate its commitment via the Covenant to assist the NMI in its efforts to be self governing. The initial NMI negotiators were foolish enough to give away their right to control their own immigration, but that is water under the bridge. What they did not give up is the right to control their own labor laws or to govern themselves internally as they, not an unelected US bureaucrat or US elected politico, sees fit.

What is happening right now is the US is pushing against the Covenant as hard as they can to see how much we are willing to let them get away with. Purpose: unknown. Perhaps they want to vastly expand their military presence here and turn this into a military economy again with them pulling the strings once more. Maybe it is something else entirely different. For sure they are making noises like they want to take Pagan as well as Tinian and use them for military ‘training’ and have mentioned several other islands as well. An ‘environmental’ monument that encompasses the northernmost three islands and forbids most uses is proposed but coincidentally excludes the US military and allows them to do as they wish. Maybe that is innocent, maybe not. Perhaps there are other, more personal forces at work or maybe it is just the relentless leaning of the big on the small as seen throughout history. Whatever their intent the pressure against our freedoms is intense and seems to be growing.

As I see it, the proposed suit will try to make a line in the sand and state for all to see that the CNMI is trying to be something other than a US colony, a lackey to be tossed the occasional bone when the mood strikes and to be given the short stick the rest of the time. A pat on the head and a few dollops from the petty cash drawer as they have their way with us are supposed to pass for the right, yes, right, to self rule as stipulated in the governing document, the Covenant. Four Hundred Thousand, or whatever the Freedom Suit costs, is a paltry sum when compared to the loss of those rights. I must admit that since the government is running short of cash, choosing where to get the 400K is not easy. Critics will gnash their teeth and say it will come from the baby’s milk fund. I’m sure Legislators can find a little pork to trim by four hundred thousand if they look hard enough. The children and grandchildren of the CNMI will thank them for finding it.

The spin we are getting from the disaffected left (meaning those who believe that government control trumps personal freedom and responsibility) is that we cannot sue the federal government to try and protect what is left of our right to self government and from their encroachment on it and at the same time ask for disaster aid or other aid from FEMA or Insular Affairs etc. This is a clever ploy but absolutely incorrect. This pro federal propaganda move makes it sound like the US Fed is a homogenous single entity, a person in short, who acts and reacts as a unit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each of these behemoth organizations inside the fed grinds along doing it’s own work based on entrenched regulations and self interest not on whether someone is suing some other part of the fed for a redress of grievances.

The 50 States sue the feds regularly for perceived encroachment into their rightful spheres of influence. The Federal government is not like some little child (or naïve lawmaker) who, if you confront them with a wrong, throws a fit or refuses to dispense required services or voluntary aid. To claim we have no chance of receiving FEMA or other assistance because we are suing to cure a breach of a contractual obligation is nonsense and shows both a lack of understanding and a huge disrespect to the concept of a freely self governed Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.

Sure we need to keep an open dialog going with each of the four US bureaucracies that will wield authority over labor policy here if the suit fails to protect our rights. Sure stakeholders and leaders should not just help but go out of their way and even demand if necessary that they be part of the regulation drafting process. This does not mean we can’t sue simultaneously to protect our contractual rights and the right to internal self government.

Everyone who opposes this is not evil incarnate. There are many who think the US Congress’ slam dunk is a done deal and no amount of suing will win the point. Count my wife among the majority who think it is just a waste of time and that the 400 thou could be better used elsewhere. Several political leaders like Diego Benevente have called for talking instead of litigation. While I respect the views of these folks, I still think we can do both. At the same time we are talking and trying to help write the regulations we can be trying to mitigate some of the damage the labor takeover would cause. The only way to do that is to get the US Justice Department to curb some of the excesses created by the US Legislature. Then we can have the best of both worlds.

This is a question that needs desperately to be addressed by the courts and it needs to be done immediately. I hope the legislature, at least those responsible adults in the legislature, respond by appropriating the requested funding immediately. This is probably the most important priority we have at the moment. Lack of electric power is an inconvenience; lack of freedom is a crushing blow to human dignity and future progress. Once the burglar’s pry bar is stuck in the door you can either push it back out and call for legal help or you can let him break open your door and take your rightful belongings. If he sees something he likes, you can bet he will be back for more later.

Far from being a ‘waste of money’ as some contend, it is the sworn responsibility of the legislature to uphold the Constitution and the Covenant. This cause needs their positive action to uphold that pledge. Elected Public Representatives, please appropriate those funds.
* * * *
Quote of the week: For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is the very definition of slavery. -Jonathan Swift, satirist (1667-1745)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Peace, Love, Flower Power
Some years ago there was a movie produced called Network. One of the characters, a TV newscaster, Howard Beale, said, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more”. He called on his viewers to go outside and shout that slogan in unison, partly as protest, partly as catharsis. In due time he got millions of his viewers to stand outside and chant that slogan. It brought people together in a common cause and it announced their message to the powers that be. He claimed that getting mad was the only answer to their many problems.

In the spirit of that film we, the residents of Saipan, could do something similar. Now we could go outside and vent our anger and frustration about power outages but everyone is pretty much doing that already with no success. So I suggest we try something in a positive vein. We could go outside at noon tomorrow and shout out “Keep trying CUC, we know you can do it !!”. Why might we want to do that instead of continuing to carp? Because as individuals we are helpless to do anything about it short term except give moral support to those trying to get the job done. (Unless you are a billionaire philanthropist and want to donate a power plant). There are long term solutions we citizens can help with but shouting revolutionary slogans will not get the job done.

Several people have written or spoken recently about how CUCs woes have been caused by poor management, bad planning etc. and are not the fault of the day to day workers, the linemen or the plant workers or the secretaries in their offices all of whom simply take their orders and carry them out as best they can. They too go home to find they can’t cook dinner or finish their homework because the power is out. They too are in the middle of a shower or ready to flush about the time the lights dim and go out. I agree, and what’s worse it can’t be easy to keep up employee morale in a place where the prime mission, delivering reliable electric power and water, is not working too well (okay is failing miserably).

Lack of money, lack of a coherent plan, lack of leadership, skyrocketing petroleum costs, lack of training, engines and delivery infrastructure worn out from wear and neglect. This is the mantra we’ve all heard chanted repeatedly as the cause of the electric power emergency we find ourselves in today. Collectively, they are the reason you can’t watch TV tonight, or make toast tomorrow morning.

So how do we get out of the mess? Marching, suing or shouting in frustration isn’t going to help. The temporary solution they are trying now is to rent some reliable generators and use that power to try and tide us over until the main engines can be repaired. I’m sure they would rather just go down to the generator store and order up a new power plant but our credit card is maxed out and the cash in the till won’t even pay current expenses, not to mention make a major purchase.

Maybe we can get Uncle Sugar to help us out. Maybe we could get the US military to help us out. Maybe we could apply for a loan at the World Bank or the IMF or the Asia Development fund or Household Finance Company or from Sam the Shark. The thing is, if we had that help in hand right now, today, it would be two years down the line before we saw new engines or a new power plant or new alternative energy producers shining in the sun. Unless we can get the Electric Power Fairy to wave a wand over Lower Base and fix it all overnight, the strategy of using a temporary patch on the flat tire of power generation seems the best solution short term.

Once the temporary generators are in place we need to work like the dickens to fix those broken main engines so the power can stay on while other plans are made. Meanwhile we need to develop a long range plan of action and decide once and for all what direction to go in the future. Maybe we could order three of those new generation nuclear power plants, one for each island. Maybe we could convert to coal like most of the rest of the world uses. Maybe we should opt for more of the same and buy a new petroleum based power plant even in the face of rising fuel costs. There are other alternatives too, but the point is we need to look at the options and make a firm decision and then carry that plan out if we are ever to really solve the power problem that stares us in the face. To get there at all we need to go to the private sector to get the job done and not rely on the government anymore. The alternative to planning and execution is to get used to cooking over a wood fire and going to bed at sunset.

Why bitch when it accomplishes nothing? Let’s get on the ‘we’re behind you’ bandwagon and give as much support to the hundreds of hardworking CUC employees as we can. These Worker Bees are all that stands between us and the real world of lives without electricity right now. We and our businesses and institutions have evolved too far and gotten too soft to live without it anymore.

Getting mad about it may have worked in the movie mentioned above but here in reality land we just need to help all we can, plan the best we can and then execute our plan without quitting. Divesting CUC from its government overlord is the first step in the healing process. As we have seen, you can’t legislate your way out of the problem and you can’t cure it by executive fiat. Let’s approach the problem like grown ups, responsible for our own actions.

In closing I will relate what my 4 year old said just after the power went off the other night. Standing in the yard shaking his fist at the sky he said “____ing CUC !! (expletive deleted). It seems that the outage interfered with Pooh while he was explaining math skills via DVD. When the power went off, so did my son. I can’t imagine where he heard such language.

Quote of the week: "Government never furthered any enterprise but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way." -- Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A New Blogger Etiquette

Well, it looks like the, even the slow witted nonys like lil knucklehead have begun to figure it out after a few months so I guess it is time to stop experimenting with them, fess up and propose:

A New blogger etiquette

While sitting at home enjoying an evening with your family an unwashed crazed looking man with a ski mask over his face to conceal his identity runs up to your house gesturing wildly and begins to pontificate on social and political issues of the day, claiming to be the messiah of information and the guru of opinion. He hurls insults at you, spouts inanities and nearly wets himself in rage if you express an opposing view. Or maybe you are standing around a picnic table down by the beach and along comes an unwashed, stinking bum demanding that you owe him an explanation for something or other. To top it off, Mr. Malodorous Intruder is wearing a mask to deliberately hide his identity. What do you do?

1. Laugh uncontrollably
2. Sic your dog on him
3. Listen thoughtfully to his rantings, and beg to sit further at the feet of the master.
4. Call the police
5. Explain to you children why it is not a good idea to talk to or listen to strangers.
6. Offer him a beer and let him sit next to your kids.
7. Tell him what an idiot you think he is and send him on his way.
8. Punch him in the face, then tell him to go away as he lays there on the ground.

The analogy to be drawn here is that the crazy acting masked man on the beach or in your home has precisely the same level of believability, the same level of trustworthiness, the same aura of sleazy, hide in the grass cover up quality as an anonymous blogsite and its motivation hidden author have. None. Credibility: likewise none.


In the blogsphere we find a handful of these crazed crackpots; identities masked to hide their real affiliations and who is paying them to spout their drivel.

The point ? These are not people, they are thugs, liars and crackpots hiding behind a mask. They try to hold you hostage to a courteous and traditional system of communication while refusing to take part themselves. They don’t have the courtesy to even introduce themselves yet they make claims on you to respond politely to their raving rants. You owe them nothing. To offer them civil discourse in exchange for their lies and treachery simply eggs them on. Just say no. Or just say screw you.

They do not deserve to be treated as persons because they are not. They are unpersons, perhaps non persons. They are only phony facades and like a like a movie stage set, there is no substance behind them. No reality. Just a thin veneer of doggeral over the recently used toilet bowl of their existance.

I suggest we just say no to conversing with them. Or if we choose to say yes, we treat them with the contempt they deserve every time honest people respond to them. Towit:

I propose a sliding scale of civility for responding to bloggers and blog comment section entries. On a scale of 1 to 4 where 1 is the most civil attitude response, 2 is neutral 3 is decidedly uncivil, and 4 is glaringly nasty. I propose the following:

1 is reserved for people who fully identify themselves and who post on their own blogs and comment on others blogs with reasonable courtesy and consideration. They can certainly be direct in their comments and can declare and defend any position no matter how unusual or farfetched as long as they identify themselves and maintain moderate decorum. “You know, Bob, I hear what you are saying but think you are in error because of X, Y and Z.”

2 can be used for occasional, infrequent or 1 time anonymous commenters and for those identified blogers who are just crabby natured. “Geeze, Bob, (or Listen up Nony), that is the same line of crud you were trying to feed us last week. It didn’t fly then and is not likely to now. Here is why you should at least rethink that position.”

3 is for anyone so ashamed of his or her ideas and comments that they hide behind a rock of anonymity and run out to squat and pee their comments or their posted blog entries, then scuttle back behind their moldy rock. Also itching for a 3 rating are those who constantly harp the same disrespectful and tired messages day after day, week after week. “We grow tired of your hogwash Dildo Breath, that line of reasoning is about as convincing as your Mom’s sales price.”

4 Especially earning a trash job are those who would be character assassins while hiding their own identities to avoid retribution or having their true motivations exposed. (Perhaps there should be a 5th level for these scum). Also deserving a level 4 response would be the ‘pontificating anonymous crackpot’ (PAC) with an opinion about everything and a snide comment about everyone else’s opinion. Feel free to imagine an appropriate reply, like “Jane, you ignorant slut, (sorry SNL) May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your HIV infected underwear. My dog could argue the point better than you do, asshole. So go fuck yourself, as no one else is likely to.”

In General: The sliding scale of civility would have us respond to those four ‘types’ with roughly the same level of courtesy and forthrightness they display with additional points docked and insults added for cowardly anonymity, a la the eye for an eye rule.


I further propose that those #3 and #4 folks have ‘floating names’. By that I mean that any anonymous commenter or blogger should be called whatever comes to mind when responding to them since they are afraid to provide a name themselves. Example: “What are you using for evidence to support that contention Lame Brain?” …as opposed to “What are you using for evidence to support that contention, Bill?”, where the italicized nomen is rotated at the responders whim and indicates the identified responders level of agreement or disagreement with the anonymous coward’s viewpoint. Severe disagreement would lead to “What are you using for evidence to support that contention, Shithead?” etc. Maybe the most egregious offenders should be verbally trashed whenever they peep out from under their rock. Something like: “Sorry shit-for-brains, if you want to identify yourself we don’t mind listening. If not, get the fuck off my blog, dirtbag.”


I’ve been practicing this on a limited scale for a time and think there is some merit in confronting the scum instead of mollifying them. I won’t claim it makes the pitiful anonymous clowns any less clownish, but I do submit that it makes me feel better to confront their cowardice with every turn of the screw, especially if there are deep seated philosophical differences. On the other hand, a competent shrink might think I have gone off the deep end. Either way, I am enjoying it and suggest you too climb on board the Raspberries to Nonys train. You may be amazed at how good it feels to return the thumb of the nose they give you when they respond anonymously to you.

So go ahead, be openly hostile, feel free to be insulting, talk bad about their mothers. There is no reason to be polite or even minimally courteous to someone who hides their identity. They deserve your derision. They deserve your contempt. They deserve to be crapped on.

Like terrorists, bandits and criminals, there is a reason they hide. They fear you will find their real connections and laugh out loud at their silly arguments once you know who they actually represent. If you know one, out him. If you don’t, trash one at every opportunity. Remember they are sniveling cowards and most are also blogging at work and thus stealing time and money from their company or from the government (meaning you) with every post they make. Why else do you think they hide?

An intelligent observer I know notes “Craving attention anonymously, what a concept”. In a short sentence he distills the essence of these pathetic jerks.

Well, it has been fun playing with them, especially the child molester who pretends to be a mom, lil knucklehead. Even the Pusillanimous Putz, Mr. Playdoh, has returned to the blogsphere, enthralling us with his verbosity. (Read tickled us with his childish posts). It must be admitted that he may just be the copy, paste and spam king of the blogs. If only there was some substance.

So pile on. Stick it to ‘em. Any attention you give them, helps them sublimate their tired, hidden lives, so even if you are nice at heart, you are helping them by giving them some of the attention they so desperately crave, but are afraid to ask for. Be nice, flip ‘em off. Anonymous bloggers, you too should pitch in and ream another nony.

You don’t have to be crude or use swear words as I have done in the above examples, but there is no need for you to be polite to these cretins either. Remember that at the heart of every anonymous blogger is unabashed dishonesty. So treat them as you would any other extortionist, mugger, rapist, sneak thief or bank robber.