Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, August 21st.

Dear Ms. Christensen

While you are back there in DC not voting, or whatever it is you do all day, please consider helping us out here on Saipan.

By that I mean please stop being the lap dog for Allen Stayman and his Vengeancemobile whose only aim is to gut commerce here. I mean please stop being the front man for Pete A. in his desire to reach his life’s ambition to not vote all day as you do.

What I would like you to do is lobby your pals (you know, the ones who do vote) and ask them to send us 80 odd million or so out of the unpaid cover over funds you owe us so we can build a new power house. Ours is not working very well.

That would actually help us. Posturing and photo op-ing and taking a free first class ride to the CNMI to pimp for Pelosi will not do the (sorry) trick. Pretending that you feel our pain will not do us any good. You maybe, but not us. Really want to help? SEND US OUR MONEY.

Otherwise the next time you come here we are picking you up at the airport in the Chicken Bus and putting you up in one of the vacant units at lower MIHA where you’ll learn valuable new graffiti tagging skills you can take back to the VI. Kidding here.

Maybe I’m asking too much, I don’t know whether the real members of Congress talk to you non-voters, pecking order wise. If there is nothing you can do, then please step out of the way and leave us alone so we can try to help ourselves. Thanks. Not kidding here.
* * * *
Bruce A.
I’m thinking about running for Washington Rep if HR-3079 passes and gives us a non voting seat in the coat closet at the US Capitol Building. If I win my first order of business will be to draft a Bill to halt all inbound American tourists into the Virgin (unlikely) Islands and to ban fishing in American Samoa. I figure this will put us back on even footing with these territories and be a proper gesture of thanks to Ms. Christensen and Mr. Cohen for their kind assistance in interfering in our affairs. I’m going to call it the Kegger Party in honor of the gala fundraisers we will have.
* * * *
The NVD fallacy
First let us be clear. A Non-Voting Delegate (NVD) is not a representative, but a lobbyist, a hanger on near the outskirts, or underskirts of the US Congress. If you have no voice, no vote, then you cannot represent anyone. Our cause will not be furthered by delivering speeches to an empty room, or jockeying to carry a real Congressman’s briefcase home from school.

We will in no way be better off with a pretender to the throne sitting in the back of the room and it may very well cause us many new and unforeseen problems. Here are a few of them: 1.Even though we won’t have a real representative, just a show piece, we will be perceived as having one so we will disappear even further under the radar of those who might actually care and want to help. They might think we can then help ourselves then. Not. 2. The likelihood of sucking us into the maw of the US Federal Tax system is a very real possibility once we are ‘represented’ in their Congress. 3. The Covenant was designed and agreed to by the indigenous peoples of the CNMI as a way to be voluntarily aligned with the US but still be separate from it. Slowly but surely the US has and will continue to erode that sense of separateness. An NVD will give them an inside track to speed up that erosion until there will be little left of the proud separate people who own this land and whose ancestors have been killed and subjugated by foreign powers for most of the last 400 plus years. They thought it might be different this time. 4. This is not American soil like Guam or the VI. The US government leases land from our government. But it is not too far fetched to believe that they might want to change all that and renege on the Covenant altogether by slow insidious steps until they control and own all that is here. That would best be done as an ‘inside’ job using the NVD as cover. They would only be following in the footsteps of the colonial powers that came before them.

For the above reasons, and several more you can probably think of, we should not be pushing for this NVD sop. An NVD is a poison adder disguised as a telephone. Supposedly it will help us communicate our wishes and needs but when we hold one end up to our ear it bites us in the throat with the other. Snake = telephone, is this guy nuts? Not a very good analogy but I think you get the point. Harm disguised as aid.

I believe Pete A. is a talented, articulate and sincere individual, trying to do his best to help the CNMI. But I think he has become blinded by the object of his desire, an NVD seat, to the extent that he no longer clearly sees the things that will help us govern ourselves. He has become one of the imperialists helping the US to further control and subjugate his own people. It appears he would do most anything to get that phony seat.

Our path to the future can be bright and our fortunes can be prosperous again if we have the freedom to align ourselves as necessary to take best advantage of favorable international trade and cultural relationships. We must be able to govern ourselves to do this. We must be able to act in our own best self interest, not that of the United States. We will continue to decline in direct ratio to our dependence on handouts from the colonizing American government.

A Non-Voting, pretend Representative is a sad piece of trash to trade for a people’s freedom and dignity. We play into their hands by asking for it.
* * * *

Quotes of the week: Quorum, n. A sufficient number of members of a deliberative body to have their own way and their own way of having it. In the United States Senate a quorum consists in the Chairman of the Committee on Finance and a messenger from the White House; in the House of Representatives, of the Speaker and the devil. Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in proportion to their readiness to doubt. H.L.Mencken (1880-1956)


A G Gatto said...

Perhaps some dough could be added to cover the open-air dump down here on Rota, for which I shall have pictures soon.

On a lighter note, Suz and I had an excellent meal at your spot, Bruce. It was nice to meet you and your family as well.

I recommend the unsweetened iced tea. It has a hint of something, is it vanilla? Whatever it was, it was great.

The problem is working out. I'll let you know in a few weeks.



Melissa said...

Well said Bruce... couldn't have articulated it any better myself, although I try to steer clear of voicing my opinions on my blog regarding federalization... Any bloggers coming to Porky's for smoke-free night tonight?

Melissa said...

To clarify... I try to avoid it because of my job... I don't want to be controversial. But I happily discuss them with anyone!

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Wonderful to hear that things are going better for you.

The tea is from Burma (myranmar) and I agree, it tastes great. No idea, however, what the spice is.

Melissa, Yes, I think there will be some un-smokers and bloggers there this evening. I'm going to a divers meeting but will be at Porky's after. Hope to see you there.

Yes, I understand your reluctance. Jobs are good....eating is good. When pontificating gets in the way of that, eating will win out most of the time. (:-))

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Here is someone who expresses the same thought with a bit of extra twist:

I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed.
-Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)

Silly Socrates said...

Silly would like to ask why Americans cannot be Washington Representatives, while the same Americans pay tax dollars and pump in so much aid to the CNMI's government and economy...

Silly would also itch to know why CNMI people get to enjoy all of the perks of being an "American" while the same "Americans" cannot enjoy the same perks of being a CNMI resident.

Silly Silly silly,

Bruce A. Bateman said...

I guess Silly forgot that the 'CNMI people' who get 'all' those American perks don't get to vote in national elections without moving, and have no representative in the Legislative bodies there either, voting or otherwise. So much for that side of the syllogism.

Anyone who can win an election can be Washington Rep, Silly. And I mean anyone. The one we have currently must make that abundantly clear. Even the lame and the halt can be rep if they can win at the polls. Two down and one to go.

It is patently unfair for the American taxpayer to be saddled with payments to the CNMI. It is also a rip for them to be burdened with subsidizing a huge US government bureaucracy and a two+ Trillion dollar bag of mostly useless, but invasive, US government programs and policies. The US sticks some funds in here from their petty cash drawer in order to keep this place on the back burner in case they need it for military purposes. Period. If that possible strategic value ever diminishes to zero, they will drop this place like a hot coal. You think they dribble money in here out of the kindness of their heart? Come on Silly, you may be silly but you’re Socrates too.

Finally, ‘Americans’ can enjoy all the perks CNMI residents can except owning land. Much like ‘Americans’ can’t own land in South Dakota on an Indian reservation, or in Arizona in a National park, or in Guam on a military base.

Hey, a little exclusion is fine. If every body could join the country club, who would want to? Kidding. Exclusion is not a great way to run a railroad, but there are times when it is both expedient and perhaps even good policy.

Post too long, signing off. Feel free to jump in where I left off.