Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, October 16th

Cross Dogs
Continuous stalling

It is surprising that with all the admonishments by the Legislature, and rightfully so, to remind the Governor’s Office to send them a balanced budget on time that they would now sit on it without any apparent action for over a month.

There was precious little time left to work on the budget when it was turned over to them so you would think the Legislature would jump on it like a duck on a june bug in order to get it finished before the fiscal year ended. Instead, they wasted those precious few weeks and now have languished for another couple of weeks into the new fiscal year. Why? Because they already got paid, that’s why. Their own large quarterly allotment checks got written even though they did not do their job. Their own paychecks came through without a hitch. Why? Because the continuing resolution lets them get away with it, that’s why.

Readers, don’t you wish you could just not show up for work, or just sit there and do other things instead of your assigned work and still get a nice fat paycheck and an even bigger expenses allotment check? You need to ask your boss for a ‘continuing resolution’. Good luck. More likely you would get a pink slip.

Come on Legislators, please face this difficult question and pass a balanced budget. While you’re at it find that 8 million bucks that will keep the lights on over at CUC, please. We know it is election time. That should not be an excuse not to do your jobs. In fact, it should be an inducement to work even harder so we will elect you next time. Please do the work we hired you for, even though it is not easy.
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PAWS, the folks who care about animals and try to get the rest of us to care more too, held a ‘Kids Night Out’ rally recently and managed to raise $335 for the PAWS cause.

During the four-hour event the children played video games, interactive games, made Halloween cats, and watched a movie. The parents got a break and probably enjoyed those four hours as much as the kids did.I you would like to have your kids join them next time contact Melissa Simms at melissasimms56@hotmail.com to pre-register for the free event. The next Kids’ Night Out will be held on November 16, 2007, from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., at the Fiesta Resort. No fleas allowed.
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A cross marks the spot
Outside the reef on the North West side of the island is a site where some US military equipment was dumped years ago. It is a widely scattered debris field with bits and pieces of old landing craft, chucks of unidentifiable metal rusting away, the detritus of a bygone era now home for fish and coral.

Among all this stuff, these scattered pieces of our island’s violent history, lays a cross. Made of concrete or stone about 4 feet long it appears to be placed beside two rusted hulks that used to be landing craft. It is unknown what these craft were doing up there since those were not invasion beaches. No one seems to know why the other material is there and it is likewise unknown who placed the cross there or why. Perhaps it is just a cross shaped piece of structural material, or perhaps it has a more spiritual meaning.

A group of interested divers from the Marianas Dive club is currently researching the remains and is interested in finding the answers. If you have any information, anecdotal or fact based, please contact this author at the email address listed below or call the Saipan Tribune and leave me a message.

Marianas Dive is a group dedicated to promoting scuba diving as wholesome recreation and as a major reason for tourists to come here to the Marianas to visit. Marianas Dive also acts as a clearinghouse and bulletin board for local divers who like to get together and dive for fun whenever possible. If you have an interest in improving tourism in the Marianas or if you just like to dive or would like to learn, go to http://www.marianasdive.com/ and check them out. Their next meeting is this coming Wednesday, Oct. 15th at 6:30PM.
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Easy to say no
Economies on the decline sooner or later reach a ‘tipping point’ beyond which recession turns to depression and getting back on the road to recovery becomes increasingly difficult. Outright crashes can occur. Our economy is nearing that tipping point and we need to do something to bring in fresh revenue or the consequences will be dire. You can see the effects all around you right now. The government is broke, businesses are failing, people are leaving the island. A family whose breadwinner loses his or her job needs to find another one quickly in order to keep the family fed and housed. The same thing goes for countries. If the income stream dries up another must be found. Tourism is declining and the Garment industry is or soon will be, dead. We need to find and implement a new income source and we need to do it soon. Nickel and dime small business ideas won’t make a big enough difference or do it in time to save us.

Casino gaming here on Saipan is the only workable solution that has so far been proposed. There may be others but so far no one has proposed one. There are a few people, however who say that possible negatives outweigh the obvious advantages. This or that is wrong with it and it can’t work they say. My guess is that most of the No’s have a vested interest in another business or industry or they just plain fear the change back to a prosperous economy.

It’s easy to say no to this initiative and to change in general. It is far more difficult to come up with a rational, workable course of action that will accomplish positive change. Many fear change and worry excessively about how that change might negatively impact them instead of trying to find real solutions. Oh my gosh the sky is falling. Yeah, it is, but what are you going to DO about it? The naysayers simply have no viable alternative to suggest. Just saying no, doesn’t cut it. Generalizations and ‘there is no magic bullet’ pronouncements hide the simple fact that they have no positive agenda, no solutions, not even a piece of a solution to the overwhelming problems we face.

May I please recommend that you vote Yes, on this important initiative? This measure gives us hope once again that all our Islands people can live in a prosperous and growing environment instead of one that is dying.
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Quotes of the week:
When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. Henry David Thoreau (1817 –1862)

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941)


Jeff said...

No legislature is going to craft a budget a month before the election. They were given the budget late for a reason. I'm not saying that's right, but it is political reality I'm not surprised by.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Bruce, I'm not for this casino initiative, yet I have no vested interest in another competing business or industry and I don't fear the change back to a prosperous economy. Like most people that I've spoken to that are not gung-ho on this, there are too many promises to be trusted, such as closing the poker parlors (do you really believe that and aren't you tired of decisions based on promise and not fact?), too many loose ends on where the money will go, what percentage will go where, etc. and most of all, framers of this plan with very sketchy past business dealings. I'm not against gaming but I am against granting monopolistic licenses to a plan drawn in the sand by folks with questionable pasts.
That said, I've decided to not vote on this issue believing that if it does pass, I don't think it will negatively affect my family so I'm taking a "let the indigenous decide" stance.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

They don't have to craft a budget, Jeff. One was sent to them. They didn't (and haven't) even bothered to discuss it, much less alter it to suit their needs for passage.

I agree, it should have been delivered to them months ago when due. It should also be in the hopper right now...but is not.


Not a bad idea, Randy, to let the NMDs decide. As might be expected you are not one of the 'most No's' mentioned in the atricle.

I disagree with you on several counts, but it sounds like your mind is made up. If I see you at Porky's, or anywhere else, over a Mojito, let's discuss it further. It takes too long to type these long responses. I want to hear your thoughts on this issue.

Pragmatic Plato said...


I think his concerns are echoed in many of the posts contained on this forum:


My concerns litter this forum. I am not opposed to Casino Gambling. I am opposed to this particular Saipan Casino Act Initiative.

I have yet to have one person counter or answer any of my concerns related to the exact provisions in the Saipan Casino Act.

The behavior of people to side skirt the issues and put blind faith into unjust promises is the Status Quo.


Jeff said...

Craft was the wrong word. Review, hold hearings on, filter through, etc. They didn't do a budget for like 3 years before that, so this is hardly a surprise.

I strongly support a casino for the reasons I wrote about before, but I pretty much think Randy has this one right. This particular one is clumsily designed with the wrong people and the wrong setup appealing to the worst race based instincts.

lil_hammerhead said...

I've said this a bunch of times as well.. I've nothing against casinos (I love Vegas). I have serious concerns however, with this particular initiative. In fact, this initiative could be disastrous to the provision of government services and the economy.

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Holy Sour Grapes! So I'm watching a replay of last week's debate on the Casino Initiative and sitting right next to Pete DLG on the pro-side of the table is this guy with a pompadour 'do just like yours Bruce! What a trip that was, he sounded just like you too.
I had no idea, guess I need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

haven't we learned are lessons from past individuals enriching themselves using public land as if it were their own... well the NMDIC will be able to obtain land for $1 a year.. this ability to get any public land for $1 forever is insane.. if NMDIC lines things up correctly they can own Saipan.. for $1.. how the hell does this help the people? just doesn't make any sense at all..

visit http://www.saipancasinoact.com

bigsoxfan said...

Have you seen Simon's link to you? Not nice. We're having fun here showing the spam around town. Found the sox on tv near the house, so all is well, except the lad has forgotten what I look like. Hi to Olive and Alex.

Anonymous said...

prag plato posts on whether boycotting porky's is a worthy endeavor. if not, the post may be worth the read nonetheless. mm, porky's.

bigsoxfan said...

must be nice to be dead and hide in the past, rather than trying to influence change, positive or otherwise, under one's own name. I didn't intend to do anything other than tweak the normally voluable Bateman's tail. I'm sure he is busy making a living for his family and what is wrong with that, Plato? I hope you grow a set in your next incarnation.