Monday, July 30, 2007

Best Blog Buzz

It looks like today, Monday., Angelo is serious about improving his showing. Since each vote is worth less as the total number of voters go up, it is an uphill battle, but one Angelo is waging. Are these new votes or favors called in from computer hounds in his networking group? Or is angelo just visiting everyone he has ever met and asking to use their computer 'cause his is down'?
Borego is also making strides in total votes today. She may have something going in the female demographic as she predicted a couple of days ago. Something about changing ones mind. I thought it was just a cliche'. Whatev, it's working.
The hairless one's percentage is going down but that could just mean he has peaked in total votes and as others slowly add tally, it makes each of his previous votes worth less and his %age backs down a bit. He is pacing steadily.
The Sand man rounds out the top three as the ponys pass the quarter mile marker. It's UNharry by a length and a half over Bon Ami with Sandman gaining on the outside.
The mudders in the back of the pack, Eyeball, Voiceless and CHeezy Whiz are very long shots at present but who knows....anyone can win, that's why they call it a race.
More later, sports fans.

Friday, July 27, 2007

7 Modern Wonders contest ending soon

A couple of weeks more or less is probably enough time to come up with a list of your preferences for the Modern 7 Wonders of the world (see post from July 16th for details). So the contest/open mic will end next week. The winner will be announced with appropriate fanfare and will win a FREE GIANT MARGARITA at the bar in Porky's.
So sharpen up your pencils and limber up those typing fingers. Choose the Modern 7 Wonders of the World according to the criteria of your choice and post them to the blog entry for July 16th. Knock yourself out, as they say.

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, July 24th

We saved it
Aren’t you glad we saved the Sugar Dock? Last year the roof of the shack at the end of the dock collapsed causing serious injury to several children playing there. Last week parts of the dock itself buckled under its own weight after a storm and stranded several cars out at the end. Luckily no one was hurt this time and luckily EMO, DPS, Fire DPW and others, came to the rescue and made an impromptu bridge so the cars could be removed. Right now the pier has been closed indefinitely by DPL, which doesn’t want the liability of additional injuries falling on them. In effect it has been condemned as unsafe. The lawsuits for damage and injuries are probably already in progress.

Remember a few years ago, 2003 I think, when a reputable company came to us in the CNMI with a plan to renovate and rebuild the Sugar Dock? They wanted to dredge out the silted up channel so their boat, and all the other privately owned fishing and pleasure boats could safely come and go in and out of the now nearly impassable waterway to the open sea.

It was their plan to rebuild the dock and the road leading to it. They would have improved the nearby picnic lanai area so popular with us all. They would have improved the channel making it passable like it used to be and adding new, lit modern markers for night use. They wanted to do all this so they could operate a ferry service between here and Tinian carrying cars, people and goods between the two sister islands.

Think of the advantages all this would have brought. Instead of a monopoly service to transport cars to Tinian at an exorbitant fee ($550.00 one way) that we now have, we could have been going back and forth for $25 or $50 bucks a car. It would have opened up commerce at last between the two islands and Tinian residents would not now be paying a premium price for everything they buy as they now do. Local residents and tourist passengers would be going freely back and forth on safe, regularly scheduled runs several times a day at a modest cost on the order of $25 - $30 round trip and be able to take their cars with them. Delivery trucks from Saipan wholesalers could have driven onto the ferry to directly deliver groceries and other necessities to Tinian much more cheaply than the way it is done now. Travel to and from Tinian would be vastly increased right now, to the betterment of both our lovely islands.

The dock itself would be modern, structurally sound and usable for a variety of purposes including just plain old swimming and fun. They were willing to add amusement amenities to the dock structure to enhance the fun experience so many children over the years have enjoyed there, swimming and cavorting. The dock could have been used to load and unload moderately sized commercial cargo as well allowing Tinian to export goods agricultural and otherwise.

Why did they want to do all this instead of just using the existing commercial dock at Lower Base? To save about half the trip time and distance, making the whole operation far more efficient and thus less expensive for the operator and for us potential users.

Why didn’t this seemingly win-win project go through? There was a small local coalition of traditional conservatives and eco extremists that forged an alliance, attracted enough followers and made enough noise to cause this company to take their project to islands in the Caribbean Sea where the citizens wanted the same advantages and benefits that were offered to us. Before I go on it should be noted that I was one of those who called for the downfall of this project. I was a member of the “Save the Sugar Dock’ group and so should be blamed right along with them for losing this valuable opportunity to better our islands, our trade and our relationships with beautiful Tinian. As with many things in life we later regret, I bitterly regret being a part of an organization dedicated to tearing down something good before it had a chance to even get started.

There is no way we could restart this project. That company would not come here again after being threatened and railroaded out of town than would an almsgiver seeing his donation squandered to the detriment of the recipient donate again. So since it is impossible to revive this lost opportunity, why bring all this up and aggravate the mostly good intentioned alumni members of Save the Sugar Dock? Because there is a lesson to be learned. So we can look back on this series of events in hindsight and say ‘there may have been a far better way to deal with this new venture that to dip our heads in the sand and assume since it was different that it would not be good’.

The phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ is an overused, trite cliché but it describes perfectly what we could have done better 4 years ago when opportunity knocked and we slammed the door rudely in it’s face. We could have worked out a reasonable and environmentally sustainable plan. We could have made the project an ecological positive and required reasonable ancillary improvements often required of developers. Perhaps gaining even more concessions than were offered. We could have worked with this group instead of against them to the ultimate benefit of all us citizens.

We have too few opportunities brought to us here on our out of the way island chain to needlessly throw them away when they come knocking. Several folks in the blogging community and many other concerned citizens and leaders now routinely call for creative thinking about the ways and means of improving our quality of life here. Many of those same people joined with me 4 years ago to banish something out of fear-of-change that we should, in hindsight, have worked to promote. We could have done better.

In my opinion we should all look closely for way to make things work whenever possible rather than try to tear them down because the idea is new, or the idea was not ours, or the idea doesn’t directly benefit us because we’re not in the cash flow line. Bigger, more all encompassing benefits should overrule such thinking if we want to survive these tough economic times. We have internal and external enemies of our way of life influencing us very negatively right now. Let’s try to band together and grab on to those few good things presenting themselves to us in the future and mold them to our purpose.
* * * *
Next week we analyze the slam dunking we’ve received from the Senate, Congress, staffers, enemies and supposed allies in the cabal to destroy local government rule here in the CNMI. They’re winning. We’re losing. So far.
* * * *
Quotes of the week:
“And let this always weigh down your feet like lead,
to make you move as slowly as a weary man,
to refrain from yes or no when you do not see …

because hasty opinion too often
points the wrong way and then affection
for one's own opinion binds up the intellect."
Dante quoting St Thomas Aquinas
* * * *

Help thy brother’s boat across, and lo!, thine own has reached the shore. Hindu Proverb

Bruce A. Bateman writes Sour Grapes when the moon is full and the mood strikes. Stay tuned for each exciting episode.
“Yes, he is opinionated.”

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Contest Protest !!


There has been a protest lodged against an obviously slanted contest here in the CNMI during the running of which illegal discrimination was practiced. On it’s face it becomes clear that the three bottom positions of the recent Sexiest Blogger Contest were occupied by Walt, an African American , Bruce and Older American (okay an old fart curmudgeon White Guy) , and Gus, a guy errr …named Gus. A case could also be made that those with hair placement issues (Jeff and Harry – an obvious misnomer) were also treated unfairly.

So we think that some form of vote miscounting, ballot box stuffing, perhaps outright vote buying and rigging schemes prevented those minority groups from being properly represented. Not enough public access was allowed Black/White/Gus and possibly Hairless Guys and this kind of blatant discriminatory conduct should not be allowed to exit in our egalitarian society.

I, errr , we hereby demand a recount and we demand some puff votes be pushed our way affirmative action wise and just because we are good guys wise. We, okay I, hereby call for a recount and we also think it unfair to have these young pup whippersnappers over represented in the contest. We believe that actual sexy guys (or possibly sexy guys) like Brad should be excluded because their presence skews the bell curve and besides it is unfair to compare those who might be a bit fitness challenged with those cheaters who eat right and work out etc.

We think it is demeaning to the other participants to only vote for those actually sexy contestants. Stand up for equality. Stand up for the rights of the downtrodden. Stand up and sell your votes to the right sort of guys. You know, Older, Darker, Lighter, Less Hirsute Guys. We think the contest should be rerun with somewhat less intimidating competition. We nominate Groucho Marx (dead), Keith Richards (nearly dead), Jerry Garcia (gratefully dead, and somewhat smelly). We also think some other, closer to moderate on the sexiness scale entrants would be more appropriate and would not hold the rest of us up as sexual objects to be ridiculed and drooled over by the opposite or any other sex. So we nominate Pogo, and the midget guy from Fantasy Island.

With you sense of fairness restored, by force if necessary, we think you will cast your votes as they should have been originally cast, that is FOR ME errrr US !

Monday, July 16, 2007

Wonder me this, Please

This is a B1B breaking the sound barrier............a fairly major Modern Wonder, but overlooked in the recent poll.

New 7 wonders.
I am surprised at the choices made by voters worldwide responding to a raw numbers poll of what the ‘Modern 7 Wonders of the World” should be.

No mention of engineering marvels of construction like the Yang Tse River dam in China, or an Apollo rocket booster more powerful than every army on earth combined when the original 7 were named. No mention of other engineering feats like the English channel ‘Chunnel’. No mention of buildings soaring to heights unbelievable even a hundred years ago like the Petronas Towers, Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower or the new contender, the Burj Tower in Dubai which will be completed next year and will soar to an amazing 2,651 feet (eclipsing rivals by more than a thousand feet). No mention of any of the real Modern Marvels, just a rehash of some older stuff that has managed to survive for a time. If you want just older items where is the Cathedral at Chartres? Or the Castle Anthrax? If you want really old stuff then why are the Giza Pyramids not included? They are, after all, the only remaining monument left of the original 7 and no one to this day has built a bigger pile of rocks. Hey, what about an Intel computer chip, (or a Lays artificial potato chip)? What about the Jarvick Heart?

Here is what the random poll turned up: 1. China's Great Wall, 2. India's Taj Mahal, 3. Peru's Machu Picchu, 4. the Roman Coliseum, 5. Brazil's statue of Christ, 6. Petra, Jordan, and 7. Chichýn Itza’, Mexico.

Think about it for a time and come up with a list of What YOUR choices would be for the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. Please post your responses. I’ll post mine after I’ve had a chance to see some of yours and steal your really good ones.

Rules: It can be anything you think wondrous and worthy of inclusion. 7 items only. Extra credit for humor. Entries will be tallied and the winners chosen and results will be listed in a new post. The opinion of the blog host will be final, or maybe not. (I hesitate to use the term blog MASTER for fear of retaliation from the international left, or perhaps right, wing conspiracy).

Thanks for responding.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

He's not Batman, he's Elmer Fudd.

Duh, which way did he go?

I noticed over on Angelo’s blog that the dungre is at it again. He now wonders if he or his fellow paid stooges can arrest the Governor of the CNMI without a warrant, and would probably like to see him hanged without due process as well or put in with the other victims of the US down in GitMo. Typical of the so-called liberal set. Most are liberal as long as it suits them and stateist totalitarians the rest of the time. The veneer of equal treatment under the law is very thin indeed with most of them. Most are the spitting mirror image of the neocons they claim to detest.

Have you noticed that this dungre clown is from a city where the Mayor is a drug addict/dealer who is routinely re-elected by the charming and righteous population. Have you noticed that his city is home to a population defined by its huge percentage of residents on the welfare roles? Have you noticed that his odorous Washington DC has one of the highest crime rates on the face of planet Earth? Have you noticed that violent crime there, rape, murder, armed robbery etc. grows ever worse? Have you noticed that what few people who live there not on direct welfare, are on indirect welfare sucking at the public tit while pretending to work for one phony-job government agency or another? There are more whorehouses in DC than total citizens in the CNMI. The place is a stinking cesspool of hate, greed and violence.

All this and the dungmeister is terribly worried about how much garment workers used to be paid here on Saipan 10 frigging years ago. Bullshit. I don’t buy it for a minute. The guy is on the payroll of some group out to smear the CNMI for it’s own selfish reasons. Why else would he give a rats ass what happens on a little island 9000 miles from his chosen cesspool of a home? My guess is that his is in the pay of the same lobbyists that paid the pelosi/miller duad to clip the wings of the then sizable garment industry here on Saipan back in the 90’s to keep them from competing with their own garment factories on the US mainland and elsewhere. Payola would explain his rabid fascination with the past affairs of a small Commonwealth thousands of miles from the stink of his own backyard.

His mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries. And no, his sanctimonious cover story of curing the ills of all mankind by using vinegar to clean his fridge instead of a P&G product just doesn’t cut it on the believability scale. I give him a 2. I don’t like to resort to the ad hominem argument but this slime ball deserves it. Dung indeed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Auf coarse he isss zee most SEXIST

Of Course this is gratuitous and denigrating (but you have to work extra hard to be Most SEXIST)!!

I realize it may be a step down from Worst Person on Earth to be only the most SEXIST blogger in the CNMI, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice. Go ahead and vote for Bruce Schwartz-n-egger Bateman for Most SEXIST. Change your vote if you have already cast it. Only the Austrian secret police will know.

On the house Snittzengruber's all around if I win.

Remember, Vee are keepink a lissst and Czech-ing it daily, so cast your vote reich now. Hut Hut.

Monday, July 9, 2007

I've been spray painted

Tagged by Borego

Well, I’m not sure which meaning of ‘tagged’ she intended, but she did tag me with a request to list the last seven, last things I did lastly …. or some such. So here they are.

I. The last Coke® I had was many years ago. I put peanuts in it. Tasted pretty good but the peanuts did not help the taste enough to make me want to drink another one.
II. The last time I was in Vermont was 1966. I bet it has changed since then. I bet it has not changed that much since then. I’m willing to bet there are still trees and bridges over streams and picturesque lakes and maybe a pet sematary (or maybe that was in New Hampshire or Maine).
III. I used to talk to cows. They seldom spoke in return. The last time was when I was a young boy. My parents had spirited us away from the watery paradise of Florida to spend a summer living on a relative’s farm in Kansas. It was supposed to be idyllic; I suppose it was, for the cows. I missed the ocean. I learned that sometimes grownups lied. Like when they told you (and you were naïve’ enough to believe it) that if you put salt on a pheasant’s tail he would sit still and you could capture him. I learned to speak, sometimes at length, to cows that summer because they were the only audience I could find and I liked to talk. Still do, but mostly I talk to tuna now.
IV. The last straw was stuck in a Chocolate Shake from McDonald’s Garapan. I drank it all. I liked it, but I noticed that unlike Micky D’s on the mainland, the product is not always the same here. In Garapan or on Middle Road I have had chocolate shakes that tasted like …something else other than chocolate shakes, not bad but certainly different, and completely different from the last one out of the same machine. Maybe I should apply for the Choco QC Guy position down at the Golden Arches.
V. The last movie I watched in a theater was just a couple of days ago when I took Alexander, age 3, of the moderately short attention span, to see Ratatouille. It was LOUD. He lasted about one third of the way through and announced that he had seen enough. I agreed, as I too had seen just about enough of the Chef de Rat as well. Turns out he only wanted a quick bathroom break, then wanted to return and give them another chance to bore him. He was wrong (but hey, he’s only 3). We should have stayed in the lobby or gone back to the car or just stood outside and stared into the sun, any one of which would have beat the wildly implausible plot and silly dialog. While the theme of personal achievement was appreciated and the animation was well done, it was loooong and we only watched two thirds before leaving. And as usual in the local theater, it was played WAY TOO LOUD. The best part was when the tub belly creature mashed the “I” in PIXAR down and replaced it with a desk lamp in the pre show credits. That showed some creative thought.
VI. Have you noticed that these ‘lasts’ seem to be getting longer? Has anyone made it this far? The last tattoo I got was ….never. So far so good. I’m with tattoos about like I am with chicken pox. They are unpleasant while in the making and the scars are far too permanent a thing. Besides if the Nazi’s ever get back into power, a tattoo can cause you to end up as a lampshade in some train station office. I don’t mid LOOKING at a tattoo, I just don’t want to be on the receiving end, thanks.
VII. The last time I was in a car crash was in the 1970’s I was driving my ’61 Austin Healey 3000-6 with the electric overdrive full on at far too fast a clip when fate, in the form of a worse driver than me, hit me head on leaving me in the hospital for several months and the sports car in an unidentifiable ball of crumpled metal and dangly parts. I was not wearing a seat belt and did not wear one again, except when piloting a plane, for many, many years. I was thrown from the car taking the steering wheel and the windshield along with me by brute force, but I survived. There was no place for me to be, except fatally crushed, had I been strapped to the frame of that previously sleek British roadster. I took that to mean I should not tempt fate and wear a set belt in the future. I know what the odds are. I also know that odds have two sides. I mostly grit my teeth and don the dastardly webb-ed thing now, but it makes me think every time I hear it ‘click’ about the time I didn’t make it to Vermont.


Let me introduce you briefly to someone, aptly at the bottom, of the link list of bloggers at right. He is at the bottom because his blog is named zzsimonb’s rantings and I am unimaginative enough to list my list in alphabetical order.

Simon is what is commonly called a geek, or a guru or a programmer, and when it comes to computers and their networks he knows quite a lot. As an example he has been blogging since before there were blogs. (I still have a computer he worked on when he and I both lived in Phoenix that has a desktop icon called “Bad Place” he put there to try to show me the way to the blogsphere when there were only a handful of folks posting out there). One of his coal-fired computers still runs on DOS commands only, and he can still make the damned thing operate. He has a home built server computer whose case is a cardboard beer (Simon likes good beer) container. It runs on Linux and has been going non-stop for quite some time.

But the fellow is much deeper than that. He is a classroom teacher in the frozen north of Canada (well, it seems pretty darned frozen to me even if it is the Southern part of Canukland) and a good one from what I’ve heard. He also is a commercial reviewer. Yes, one of those, that sometimes hated and feared creature, the critic. He reviews movies and music and dvds and maybe bvds.

Go over to and take a look at his site (this is the address of one of several he maintains) and check it out. If you are a music lover you may find some good things there. Likewise, if you like book reviews, or if you want to know why the slave/master shunt bar link has melted on your hard drive, you might want to ask Simon.

Yes, he needs a haircut, and yes he talks a little funny, what with the Brit accent and all, but he’s a nice guy and it’s worth your time to go visit his site. Just leave your mukluks at the door and bring a case of cold ones with you.

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, July 10th

Thanks and no thanks

Let freedom ring…at work
Okay, here it is as promised. The entire rulebook for CNMI labor relations on one side of one sheet of paper. Everything is here that needs to be here and nothing is here that does not need to be, in my nearly humble opinion:
CNMI Labor Regulations

Whereas it is recognized that the United States of America outlawed slavery in the 1860’s it is hereby resolved that all persons, of whatever nationality, race, religion, creed, age, sex or color while legally residing in the CNMI own themselves, their bodies, their minds, their labor and the fruits thereof.

Therefore every individual legally residing in the CNMI may contract verbally or in writing to work with any individual or any company they wish at any time with any terms acceptable to both parties. Said contract can be terminated by either party at any time for any reason or no reason unless other termination arrangements are made specifically in the original contact and agreed to voluntarily by both parties. The amount of the pay, the work responsibilities, hours worked and all other terms of employment are the option of the free citizen and the employer and no other agencies or persons shall have a right to interfere in their freely elected choice of contract terms.

Disputes arising from the employer/employee relationship shall be arbitrated first by a panel of facilitators who shall give non-binding advice and suggestions as to how to resolve the issue. If non-binding arbitration does not produce results satisfactory to both parties, the matter shall be resolved in one or more CNMI Courts of Law; it’s decree to be enforced by appropriate force of law.

It is solely the responsibility of the employer to do due diligence regarding the suitability of the prospective employee. Likewise it is the sole responsibility of the employee to research the company or person he/she intends to work for.

Be it resolved that no government agency or any person connected with government will extract, charge or extort any fee for processing or licensing any contract between consenting individuals and or companies. The agreement between the parties, if written, may be drawn by an attorney for a fee or not as the parties mutually choose.

Employee labor unions as well as employer associations or employer/company unions may be formed as long as no person or company is forced to join, or pay dues as a condition of employment. Likewise no employer shall be required to hire union employees if it is not his uncoerced choice to do so.

Well, that’s about it. Hire ‘em if you want and don’t if you don’t. Work there if you want to or don’t if you don’t. Charge what wage you want or don’t work there. Pay what wage you think competitive or don’t hire the person in question. Hire based on skills, personality, prospects for advancement or whatever criteria YOU choose. Sell your skills, mind, body, expertise or combination thereof for whatever price in wages and benefits YOU chose or do not work there. Sounds simple, sounds fair, sounds like free choices made by free people instead of like a slave and master relationship where the employer is the slave of the employee and the employee is the slave of the employer and both are slaves of the State. Free is better.

The few millions lost in processing fees could be easily made up with increased payroll taxes shared equally between employer and employee. Just who is “legally residing” is to be determined by CNMI immigration law, which could also use a dose of simplification.

Not exactly Goebbels, but
Did you notice that House bill 15-262, if passed as it currently reads, would mandate the expenditure of fifty thousand tax dollars to “educate” the populace about the Initiatives to be placed on the ballot this November?

Just who will write and produce this “educational” material? With what viewpoint? With which bias? With what agenda in mind? They want to use YOUR money to tell you via TV and Radio and Newspapers how you should vote.

The public forum is the place and privately paid or unpaid advertising in various forms is the appropriate means for voter education and awareness. Government funds should not be used for such purposes on peril of our freedom. I repeat; when Governments are in charge of propaganda and the view citizens are allowed of government itself and its workings is government funded, look out for your liberty. It will soon be passing into history.

More CUC blues
CUC isn’t collecting from all the government offices…that means you and I are now paying DIRECTLY to subsidize all nonpaying government offices power and water in addition to paying for our own use. How can that be? Because the new but undisclosed ‘formula’ for the fuel component of your power/water bill includes a factor for previously uncollected or under collected amounts…meaning if a government office does not pay their bill, CUC charges it directly to YOU the next month. Hope you are enjoying the double taxation. A call to your Representative might be in order.

Note, however, that in order to pay the bill, the government agency in question must have the funds to do so. Governments do not produce anything and so to get the money they must get it from YOU via taxation or fees or just because they said so. One way or the other, you will pay the power bill, and all the other bills government decides to incur. Remember that at election time. Remember that at tax time. Remember it when you write the next check to CUC or the CNMI Treasurer. It all has to come from you, whether you work for the government or not. Please do not think that government waste is not your problem. It is very much your problem, as YOU will have to pay to make up for it even if you work for the government.

Gripe, gripe, gripe, bitch, bitch, bitch. Isn’t there anything good to report? Well, yes. The recent celebration of freedom, such as it is, on July 4th brought out a whopping big crowd who, for free, got to witness an exciting, multicultural feast for the eyes and the ears. I would like to thank all of the participants in the Parade and the other associated festivities for all the hard work they put in to make it happen. I got to sit there like a log and soak it all in. They had to work long and hard hours and they had to expend large amounts of their own money to make the festivities happen. Thanks to each one of you who had a part in it. Thank you very much.
Quote of the week: The freedom of speech is worthless without the freedom of offensive speech. Goebbles and Himmler were for freedom of speech that was inoffensive to the state. Noam Chomsky (1928 -)

Bruce A. Bateman writes Sour Grapes when the moon is full and the mood strikes. Stay tuned for each exciting episode.
“Yes, he is opinionated.”

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sour Grapes for Friday, July 6, 2007

I'm Burning!
Fuming fire trucks, Batman
I learned recently that Fire Trucks on Saipan are required to fill up at, and only at, the ‘full service’ gas pumps. Everyone on the island knows that the gas is much cheaper at the ‘self serve’ fuel island and that the attendant will still pump your gas for you. So what is up with this ridiculous policy of spending, not their money, but OUR money to fill up those huge fire engine gas tanks while paying 14 cents per gallon more than is necessary? This could cost tens of thousands of unnecessary dollars a year. What could the possible reason be for such unwarranted extravagance? Just who exactly would promulgate such a regulation? Why?

Now I’m wondering if other government vehicles are doing the same. DPS and DPW between them have more than a hundred thirsty gas guzzlers. Are they also filling up at the full serve pump? I’m also wondering where the extra dollars are going. Any chance that some of those bucks may be finding their way back into the regulators pocket? What about the 600 or so other government vehicles? This might be something for OPA to look into when they have a chance. Even if there is no wrongdoing, there is a huge waste of money going on in an economic environment that calls for frugality not rampant waste.

I suggest the policy be changed immediately and the entire savings be given to the personnel of the DPS Firefighting Department as a raise in wages. I think they deserve it more than Exxon/Mobile, don’t you?
* * * *
The P to P path
Sorry I keep bringing it up, but I drive by this disgusting sight several times every day. Every time it makes me think of all the good things we could have done with the $350,000 dollars we wasted on this project. It has been and will continue to be UNUSED. I have yet to see the first person use the new gas mask path.

BEFORE : Sorry but I still haven't figured out how to insert the pictures here instead of the top.

AFTER : (or here either). Please go to the Saipan Tribune website and look at "Opinion" to see the before and after photos. (or wait around a couple of days until I figure out how to change the source code and they will appear here).

CUC come clean please
After several months of nearly 24/7 electric power, something seems to have gone wrong down at CUC recently. Over the last few weeks we have experienced outage after outage all over the island. Mostly they are blamed on tree branches or the heat, but I think there may be something more to it. As you have noticed recently the power has gone off several times per week, and sometimes several times per day. I wonder what the real reason is. Yes we got spoiled the last few months by nearly continuous electric power. I almost forgot how to reset all the digital clocks around the house. Now my microwave, VCR and alarm clocks are all blinking like Mr. Magoo.

While writing this column on Sunday morning the power went off…again…and I found out that my battery back up power supply had been abused once too often. It died, the computer shut down dumping all I had written and dumped the blog entry I was working on too. Whahh. These battery back up systems are designed to be needed occasionally in the off chance the power goes off. Mine is about a year old and of course went through the ‘scheduled’ outages last summer and fall…scores of them at least, maybe hundreds. Apparently the renewed outages of the last few weeks have been more than the poor backup system box could survive so now it’s off to the store to buy yet another piece of hardware junked by the on again off again, wildly fluctuating power provided by CUC.

So what is the point of all this rambling and griping? I think we would like to know the real reason why our electric power has again become unstable. It might make us feel better. We all thought that by paying the real cost of electric production we would get in return a stable and reliable source of power. Instead we seem to be falling back into the pit of random outages and fluctuating voltage output even though we are paying top dollar (and I mean top dollar) for our service. Have one or more of the engines fallen into disrepair again? Is our CUC credit card over at Mobile maxxed out again? Did we not offer the proper sacrifice to He of the Everlasting Electron? Did a flippin tree really fall on it …again? Come on Pam, give us the lowdown, please. We can handle the truth.

As if on cue, the power just went off while I was trying to finish and send this article. Now I type a few words and click the ‘save’ icon……… type and click, type and click. Are you feeling sorry for me yet? Have you seen your new power bill yet?
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The new blog
You will notice a new URL address at the bottom of the byline showing you the way to a new blog (the word is a contraction of weB LOG) circulating in the Internet ether of Saipan. It’s called the Saipan Saipanuvian Speaks and is authored by yours truly. Please come by and visit to read the latest blog entries and to leave your comments. That’s the great part about blogs. Unlike websites, you can actually interact immediately and leave your own ideas and comments as part of the “thread” of ideas being posted. There are many good blogs being posted by CNMI residents now so please come on out to the blogshpere and enjoy the exchange of ideas, photos, information and fun.
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1 page labor law coming
Stand by for next week’s column in which we see the entire set of Labor Laws in the Commonwealth reduced to 1 side of 1 sheet of paper.
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Quote of the week: Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other. Oscar Ameringer (1870-1943)

Bruce A. Bateman writes Sour Grapes when the moon is full and the mood strikes. Stay tuned for each exciting episode.
“Yes, he is opinionated.”

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I'm back on line

Okay, I am back on line. We got it figured out. I had to buy a new battery back up as the one I had fried causing other CPU component problems all thanks to the fluctuating voltage and on-again-off-again nature of CUC generated power . Wahh.

Thanks a lot CUC!!

Okay so can someone tell me how to place photos where the cursor is placed, rather than at the top of the darned page all the time. Or do you just have to put all photos in reverse order and not be able to compose as you go? And what is up with this paraagraph spacing? It sometimes shows as one thing in the editing window, then as something else in the final product on the blog site?
All right, enough bitching. There follows some actual blog postings and the MUCH AWAITED link additions. (Sorry for the delay...lets go down to the CUC office and hold a sit in. Sit in THEIR air-conditioning for a change...if only they had wifi).