Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, September 18th

Keep Trying
It’s up to us
An historic event approaches that could change the course of the CNMI in just one day. We have a chance to stop the ten year downward spiral of our economy by our own actions. We are not at the mercy of outside events this time. This time we are in control and can help ourselves to the bounty that a booming economy brings.

The event? Our mid term elections on Tuesday, November 6th. The opportunity? Our right to vote Yes on the public initiative to use gaming, casino gaming, as our road to prosperity here on Saipan Island. By doing so we will benefit the economy of the whole CNMI. By doing so we will once again take control of our own destiny and once again march toward a bright and prosperous future.

Why Saipan? Because Saipan is where the infrastructure already exists, where the majority of tourists already come to vacation and enjoy themselves, where all our international guests already arrive at a functioning, secure airport. Where resort hotels, golf courses, restaurants, shopping and other entertainments are already in place.

Jobs can be created, hundreds certainly, and with determination, thousands perhaps. Most all of these jobs can be earmarked for our own local residents. Opportunities will abound for all residents to enjoy and take part in. The casinos that will be housed in 200 room or bigger resort hotels will need investors and our island residents whether indigenous, mainland or foreign nationals can participate fully and openly in these investment opportunities.

As written, the new gaming opportunity is patterned after the widely successful mainland US Indian (Native American) gaming systems. In this system only one license is granted and that licensee can, with strict controls in place, authorize companies to build, operate or even renovate existing hotels to house professional and well regulated casino gaming. It has one very large advantage over a multi license arrangement: for a change, much of the money will stay here in the CNMI. Significant portions of the proceeds will go into our local government coffers to benefit all islands of the Marianas and even larger shares will go into the pockets of our CNMI residents and into pre approved community programs.

Gaming generates large sums of money and does so in a relatively short period of time. We don’t have to wait for years to build new factories or wait to find new business ideas. We don’t have to wait until we can attract a clientele. The buildings, the people and the tourist customers are already here and will grow ever larger as the word gets out that Casino gaming has been added to the attractions tourists can enjoy here.

This opportunity has another advantage that bears mentioning. The poker parlors now scattered throughout our roads and villages can all be moved into the few, licensed, regulated casinos and the users targeted for casino play can be tourists and well heeled residents instead of making access easy for village residents.

A lot of money can come into our government and local business coffers quickly and a lot will be found in the pockets of our citizens from jobs and investment gains when we vote to jump start the gaming industry here in the CNMI. I urge you to vote Yes on this important initiative. Let’s use this opportunity to take control of our own economic destiny again.
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My Lai ?
Coconut wireless rumor has it that the Park Department Rangers over at American Memorial Park have the solution to the ownerless boonie dog problem. After baiting them with tasty food it is said, they round ‘em up and shoot ‘em. Yep, real guns. Clean up is something of a problem as some of the wounded got away and weren’t disposed of with the rest of the bodies.

I print this without the least bit of corroborating evidence except for ‘I heard it from someone who heard it from someone.’ So you can, and should, take it with a grain of salt. If true, maybe the mayor’s new program of building a big expensive shelter can be dispensed with and all the strays taken over to AMP for disposal and a bit of target practice. PAWs members are sure to be excited about this turn of events. If not true, I apologize in advance. (I think it’s called CYA). Sometimes rumors have a basis in fact.
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Yin and Yang
The local staff of the US Interior Department recently made a trip to Japan to hold meetings designed to increase air traffic to Saipan by helping new airlines gain approval to fly here.

Many here at MVA and elsewhere have called for increased airline seats as one key ingredient needed to improve our ailing tourism industry. This move by DOI is a little heralded but much appreciated activity and shows us the kind of positive work Interior does to enhance business and the economy here. Thanks.

I have already noted frequently that the usual business of Cohen is not so business or citizen friendly since the Democrat Party got control of the US House. He has been turned to The Dark Side and spends his time redrafting the Senate Immigration Takeover Bill at the bidding of Darth Allen Stayman. Even if he doesn’t anymore, at least his staff has our best interests at heart.
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Quote of the week:
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. Conrad Hilton (1887-1979)


Jeff said...

Does Tanapag have some kind of patent on the term "coconut wireless."

Jeff said...

And, what is your point with the dog thing? That that is the solution, or that there are some very f**k*d up people here, or is it merely your patented way of getting a rise out of people?

Bruce A. Bateman said...

This is where all the coconuts are from.

That is likely that the f(^%ed up people are wearing Smokey Bear hats. It's like the Gestapo has taken over at Smiling Cove and Outer Cove Marinas. I'm expecting goose step parades next.

Also option 3.

As the caveat said, I'm not sure the event happened. 85% probability based on the source. That coconut fax machine also rumors that they are about to reenact the scene again soon. Disclosure, however, may change their plans.

Anonymous said...

“The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.”

Paris Hilton

Anonymous said...

Plato Says:

October 13th, 2007 at 7:14 pm
Will it eliminate Poker?

There is no indication what so ever in the SCA that eliminates poker parlors. Ask anyone to show it to you in the SAIPAN CASINO ACT. It does not exist.

The Proponents of the SCA say that by voting “yes” you will kill the poker industry.

Is this true?

They say that that the casinos will take away the poker parlor customers thus depriving them of their source of income. They say this will lead to the shut down of the poker parlors. That is their own thinking.

The same Proponents however state publicly that the Casinos that are allowed to operate will NOT TARGET LOCAL MEBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY. They say that the casinos will be for Tourists. How many Tourists frequent Poker Arcades? Practically none. If the casinos will be filled with tourists what would stop the local population from going to the poker parlors? This argument holds no water. The if the proponents truly believe that they will not have local members of the community spending their hard earned dollars in the Casino then they would have to agree that the Poker Parlors would not be harmed and the two gambling places (poker and casino) would operate together peacefully.

Let us assume that the Casinos do attract local residents. Let us say that they pull all the poker players into the casinos and the poker parlors shut down.

Is this a positive?

Right now poker is limited to certain types of machines. There is also a limit on how many machines Saipan can have. The Casino lift that restriction. There will be no cap on how many poker machines and other gambling machines Saipan can have. Look at the Tinian Casino. 2/3 of the Casino is Poker Machines, Slot machines and other electronic gambling. Do we really believe that saying yes to SCA will eliminate the problems we see with poker?

Let us be honest. Either way it goes it will not. We had problems with poker since they arrived. We limited it at the time and had problems. We lifted the cap and the problems got worse. By voting yes to SCA you are doing nothing more then once again lifting the cap and this time just fully removing the cap completely.

Push aside the hype. Ask questions. Don’t believe what is being shoved at you. Question me. Question everything.

Plato Says:

October 14th, 2007 at 1:25 am

“Saipan Casino Act - Article III - Section 8:

Public Land. The Department of Public Land (DPL) or any future entity responsible for the administration of public lands in the Commonwealth, upon this Act becoming law and at the request of the NMDIC, shall issue public land to NMDIC. NMDIC shall hold leasehold interest to all public land issue by DPL and pay one dollar ($1.00) per year for the land or lands issue by DPL for as long as NMDIC is in business. The land or lands issue to NMDIC shall not be transferable. Upon dissolution of NMDIC, the land including all improvements shall revert back to DPL or its future named entity without cost.”

NMDIC, a for profit corporation, will have all the legal right to claim all public land for $1/year? No limitations?

The SCA states directly that upon the request of NMDIC the DPL must issue public land to NMDIC. Where is any clause that prevents NMDIC, a for profit corporation from taking advantage of this?

Where does it state in the SCA that the public lands requested and issued to NMDIC must be used for Casino Purposes?

Where in the SCA does it state any limitations as to what public lands can be requested from DPL?

Does DPL have the right to deny Public Lands that the for profit company NMDIC requests? If so, where is that written in the SCA?

Do you want to give your public lands to one for profit Business for $1/year?

Where are the safeguards? Where is the legal jargon that keeps this provision from being abused?

Who wrote this SCA? Would any of the proponents of the SCA please find out who penned this Act? Would you please ask them what legal background they have? Was this Act ever passed through any legal counsel?

I have only begun to look at the provisions and I have already come across a multitude of reasons that I can not for the life of me or my children feel comfortable voting yes to this Saipan Casino Act.

I am open minded.

To the proponents,

Please help me answer all of the questions I have posed in my posts. Do not argue about the issue of Casino Gambling in general. Do not tell me about the plight of the CNMI and our economic woes. Do not tell me about the Casino Success stories in other areas of the world. Educate me on this Saipan Casino Act. Read it and see if you can truly alleviate my many concerns.

To all thinking of voting “yes” to this act, please remember that this is an initiative that can not be changed by an act of our legislature. Once the SCA is passed it is untouchable by our local representatives. If we overlook a clause (any of the ones I mentioned above) and our Public Lands are put in Jeopardy, Our taxes our wasted away on a commission and no casinos, NMDIC turns out to be a useless operation with no real ability to secure a casino investor, and many other possibilities, Changing or amending even one small part of this Law will be impossible without a local initiative.

In other words, if there is any part of this SCA that we find out in the future is not beneficial to Saipan we must go through all of this again. 20% of the population must sign a petition, then a local election must be held and 2/3 of the population must vote in favor of the amendment.

Is that sane? We are embarking on a journey through unchartered waters. The SCA has many many questionable clauses. There is much ambiguity. Many facets of this Act are not specific. To say the least there are many legal arguments and challenges that have already been raised to the constitutionality of this Act. Do we really want it to be so set and binding? So inflexible?

Remember we are dealing with our public land. We are dealing with our home. We are dealing with our childrens land. We are dealing with our childrens future.

Question everyone. Do not take them at face value. If someone tells you to ignore these questions do not follow their advice. If the proponents tell you this act will feed your family ask the “How?”. Ask them to cite it in the SCA. The ACT does not promise to feed your family. The act does not promise to give you a job. The act does not promise to pay you money for your purchase of stocks.

The Act does nothing more than set up a questionable monopoly for a company called NMDIC. The Act does nothing more than force our taxpayers to pay for a commission in the neighborhood of $1.6 per year for an unknow period of time.

This act will cause the loss of Government Jobs. This Act will further burden our crippled government. This act promises to cost us taxpayers more money and and has no writen promise of economic gain.

Help me understand why anyone would be in support of this SCA. Remember this is not about Casino Gambling this is about this Saipan Casino Act.

The only person I cna see with a reason to support this Act would be a person who will be given a Commission job or a member of the company NMDIC.

Is it really worth it to the community as a whole? Are we being lied to yet again? Are we going to do nothing but line the pockets of a few with our own hardearned money? They promise us riches. How? Show me where that is stated in the SCA. They promise that this is a solution to our woes. They are not being truthful. We need to see this. We need to question them. We need to ask for proof.

Plato Says:

October 14th, 2007 at 1:44 am
Enough with the propoganda. I get enough of that from my government as it is. I am a voter and I demand facts and analysis. If you support this Saipan Casino Act tell me you have read it. Tell me you fully understand its provisions. Tell me you are familiar with the company called NMDIC. Tell me have full faith in them. Tell me you can prove that this will not cost the CNMI more money and plunge us further into this hole. Tell me that this does not put our Public Land at risk. Tell me that the CNMI government will not be burdened with countless litigation if this is passed.

Don’t tell me about pie in the sky promises. Don’t tell me that this will save our island. Tell me how and show me where it is stated in the SCA.

We need to change how we operate here in the CNMI. We need to be more alert to what is going on. We need to take some responsibility for where we are at. We need to look at the black and white. We can not take people on their word alone anymore. We have had enough lip service.

The proponents are playing on our fears. They are using fear tactics to get this passed. They don’t argue the merits of the SCA they say that there is “nothing better”. That is no argument. Forget everything else look at this SCA. What is good about it? What problems will this cause us?