Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, November 27th

Loo Loo at Lau Lau
Kumho does it again

First Asiana steps up to the plate and brings in a major airline presence with many available seats from a desirable market. Then they bought a golf resort. Now Kumho Asiana has brought 160 business executives here to show them what they are doing on Saipan and what the investment climate is like here. Some of the business leaders they brought are from Kumho’s 30 plus subsidiary companies. Other possible investors representing large independent companies were in attendance as well. The group got to tour our historic sites as well as some other tourist draws and got to play some golf in addition to attending investment conferences.

While it is nice to treat employees, interested investors and partners to a relaxing vacation on Saipan, this event may do far more than that in the long run. We are all aware that Kumho has some exciting plans for the Lau Lau Bay Golf Resort including a major 100 million dollar building project and other site improvements. It will certainly be to our advantage if other, like-minded investors from other Korean companies likewise begin to think about projects here in the Marinas. Rota and Tinian resorts come to mind as well as Lau Lau and other projects on Saipan.

Just the exposure of those 160 executives to our beautiful island and it’s laid back lifestyle may bring them and their families back for more and may cause them to sing the praises of Saipan and the Marianas as a tourist destination for those people in their companies seeking R&R. Let’s hope so.

It is important that we, as a community, show our support for major projects like this. We have much to offer in the way of tourist oriented investment opportunities. Other opportunities abound also, but a major component of the decision making process for these individuals and these powerhouse companies is a sense that we are behind them and will support their endeavors. Our government can help by ‘greasing the skids’ of the permitting and leasing processes to see that those processes move along in a timely manner. We need to protect our environment, move cautiously to protect our long term public land holdings and make sure that proposed development in harmony with the Saipan and Marianas image. We do not need to drag our feet or cause lengthy delays to accomplish these important functions.

Lets see to it that their Lau Lau project gets the support it needs, public and private. Doing so may give us the chance to approve or disapprove other high value projects in the future.
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Who will do our Bidding?
Public law 15-95 recently went into effect over the veto of Governor Fitial. The law, amends the Planning and Budgeting Act by restricting further, bids from companies which are not headquartered here in the Marianas or are not American owned.

While the concept of promoting and supporting our local businesses is important, especially so in a small marketplace such as ours, there was a well-honed and workable process already in place to accomplish this. The local business preference laws and procurement regulations have amply protected all American citizens and their companies. Those companies have also been able to take advantage of preference bidding under US Small Business Administration rules allowing them entry into the lucrative federal government procurement system.

Now enters the new law requiring that a company actually be headquartered here to comply with preference bidding. This will undoubtedly cause our government to spend wastefully on items and services it could have procured much more cheaply. As an example, we need copy machines and computers and myriad other office machines to keep the government offices humming. It is doubtful, however, that Xerox or IBM will consider moving their headquarters here. That means that we will be paying 15% more for all those millions of dollars in purchases. Many other, smaller US concerns that have not had a business license here for years or do not have their headquarters located here will also be affected. Our taxpayer pockets will also be affected. It will cost us more.

Construction projects and Capital Improvement projects are often small. The new law requires all such projects under $500,000 be bid out to US Citizen owned firms with headquarters here. Most of the companies interested in doing those small jobs are based here locally but are owned by foreign investors. Meaning we taxpayers will pay a minimum of 15% more for those millions bid out for small construction jobs. It will cost us taxpayers more.

Some construction and capital improvement projects are big, very big by local standards. Previously a smaller local American owned company could team up or partner with a larger company from offshore to bid on these large contracts. Not so under the terms of the new law. A local company would have to perform 51% of the work to be eligible for bidding and this is out of the scope of many of those US owned firms who might otherwise have had a shot a big contract. Even a modest construction project of 5 million dollars will wind up costing us taxpayers at least $750,000 more to complete as the threshold for overbid by an American firm is 15% above any other competitive bid. A 50 million dollar project will cost us and extra 7 ½ million bucks maybe much more as competitive bidding is heavily restricted. It will cost us taxpayers more.

This may cause bidders to drop out of the process altogether rationalizing that they have no chance to win the bid so why bother. This will ultimately see some jobs go begging altogether and will see other jobs bid price go through the roof because of lack of competition.

In any project up for bids, declaring persons and companies we have aggressively solicited to come here and invest in the Marianas as unworthy to compete on an even playing field with American owned companies is both unfair and unwise.

This law has been in effect for a short time and so far no really significant effects have been felt. I will predict that with the advent of the first few bids to fall under this new set of regulations all sorts of teeth gnashing and ‘Oh My Goodness, we had no idea’ reactions will be forthcoming as few if any bidders are to be found and those that do respond, do so with excessively high bids. Several local Procurement Officers agree that there will be major problems arising from this. Heads up. Incoming.
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Quote of the week:
Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it. Lao-Tzu (c. 570 BC - ????)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nearly night dive

A group of us went on a lagoon dive Friday evening. Jeff, Rose, Harry Deal and I went to the H8K Emily late in the afternoon and enjoyed a nice dive with good visibility and very light current. As always, the Emily site provided a lot to see.

We had planned a second dive on the shipwreck to start just before dark and continue as a full fledged night dive, but we arrived a bit late and had to compromise since we could not find a safe anchorage. Jeff and Rose got to do the night dive on the wreck while Harry and I babysat the boat, drifted with the wind and drank a couple of beers.

Jeff said the dive at night was a bit spooky. Rose lost her snorkel. If you find one at the shipwreck, call to see if it is hers please.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We got trashed

A good time was had by all last Sunday when the Marianas Dive Club and a group of other volunteers cleaned up the Sugar Dock area. An underwater cleanup followed a beach cleanup resulting in quite a pile of rubbish. Several dive shops participated as did MINA.

This qualified as the biggest piece of junk collected compliments of Steve Tilley.

Nice prizes were awarded for a golf ball 'scavenger hunt'

We had cupcakes thanks to Rose.

John Joyner, head of CRM came out to dig for treasure, or find buried trash. He couldn't find X so he dug at Y.

We even had a blog war truce when International Terrorist and left wing pinko Ron Hodges showed up to help stave off avid diver, SCC Member and Capitalist Pig Harry Blalock from the grasp of Hateful Extremist Tree Hugger Angelo Villagomez. All agreed that each was right. Each has an opinion and each has the courage to put their name and reputation on the line to express it. I didn't see anybody hug anybody, though.

So the Sugar Dock area is cleaner than it was and since many of our islands tourists and first time divers wind up here for test dives it is nice that they will have a better first impression of the great diving to be had in the Marianas.

Conclusion: Compressed air makes people friendly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, November 20th

Back Pats All Around

Congrats candidates
Our collective thanks should go out to all candidates in the recent election. Not just those chosen by the voters to have a part in our self-government over the next few years, but all those with the courage and conviction to offer themselves for office.

It’s easy to stand on the sidelines and either cheer a favored candidate or boo one whose stance we don’t like. It is much more difficult to get off one’s duff and get out there in the fray battling for a coveted legislative position or putting forward a citizens initiative or trying to be part of the solution by being on a Board or other high responsibility office.

It is also easy to say ‘well, they are only running for the salary or the perks or the prestige or because they like working in the shining citadel atop Capital Hill’ (obviously joking there). Yeah, maybe so, but where were you and where was I when it came time to put a name in the hat and put in the work, take the political punches (sometimes dirty), take the personal risks and spend the money only perhaps to not be selected? We were sitting on those previously mentioned duffs.

Every one of you, good, bad or indifferent deserves a heartfelt thanks for taking the plunge and having the guts to hold yourself up for public inspection and possible ridicule. You have my utmost gratitude as of today for fighting the good fight. If you were elected, however, I reserve the right to ridicule you later…that too comes with the territory.
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Congrats Rota

With the passage of the Rota Casino Act is appears that our little economic brother, Rota, may become the economic powerhouse of the CNMI someday. Or maybe not. There is a huge amount of work to do. The task is immense and difficult but it can be done.

Since the Rotarian citizens are starting with a nearly clean slate they will have the chance to make their casino operations just right for their own sense of island cultural integrity and will be able to make those cash producing businesses fit the mold of their own image of themselves. Architecturally they can choose to approve those styles that meet the cultural criteria they want tourists and visitors to feel when they visit Rota in ever increasing numbers.

With Guam right next door boasting over a million tourists a year and having a large and growing military population to draw from, Rota should have a jump start on the problem of ‘who do we want to attract?’. They should go after those groups and should set up a transportation system as soon as possible to get them there. Boats to ferry passengers and planes to deliver them to Rota’s front doorstep should be a high priority.

Infrastructure will have to be revamped, organizations and regulations put into place and lots more, but build it, promote it and they will come. Congratulations to all of you on the beautiful island of Rota.
* * * *
Congrats Tan Holdings

35 years in the region and 25 years right here in the Northern Marianas is quite an accomplishment. Only a few other businesses can boast of a similar longevity, and only a tiny handful has been serving the community longer. The Tan group of businesses take a lot of heat, as do most large enterprises. No business can operate without making mistakes and I suppose they have made their share. But no business can stay in business that long without doing things right far more often than wrong or without being useful not harmful to their customers and neighbors.

The question I ask myself is ‘ How much better or worse would we be off right now if they had not been around all those years? And as a corollary ‘ What if Tan Holdings had chosen to pull their investments and their critical support out of this market a few years back when others did? The answers are obvious. We would have a much poorer economy and have far fewer goods and services available to us right now without them.

The array of goods and services provided by Tan holdings is really quite amazing and we, as a small island community owe them and other long established businesses here a debt of gratitude. Sure they have profited from it, if not they would not and could not remain here.

Before you grouse that I am sucking up to the Tan organization because they provide the newspaper vehicle that this column arrives on your doorstep in, let me say that over the time I have written this drivel, no matter the subject, no matter whether it praised or attacked their interests, no attempt has ever been made to guide or censor anything I have ever wanted to say in this column. An open and competitive press is another one of the things we can thank Tan Holdings for.

So thanks Tan Holdings and thanks Tan Family and all your employees for your foresight and your perseverance in adversity.
* * * *
Mud Bogging
Well the Judiciary, already the highest paid government workers in the country, have exempted themselves from the coming ‘unpaid holidays’ wage reductions. Nice of them to feather their own bed instead of recusing to have the question answered by a non affected party, say a judge from Guam. They say they might volunteer to teach at NMC as a way to help the government save but can’t (or won’t) voluntarily reduce their constitutionally protected salaries.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think they should be receiving high salaries. It hedges against possible moneyed influence. Higher pay also attracts higher caliber people. I do have a problem with them being able to say unilaterally that they cannot be part of an across the board cut in pay. They could, and in my opinion, should volunteer to take a salary cut if indeed an across the board cut is mandated.

We all see the need to keep the Legislature from being able to thwart the Judiciary by completely cutting off its funds or by reducing their salaries to zero in order to force them to rule in a particular way. That separation of powers and that Judicial freedom from coercion is absolutely needed to keep that Branch and its rulings fair and balanced. That said, I repeat the reasonableness of a voluntary reduction in pay if all the other government workers are required to take one. It shows their solidarity, their human side and their sense of fair play to do so. It will show the opposite to refuse.

I don’t begrudge the Judges a nice high salary. I’m not too happy, however, with an unpaid for court building that looks like (and costs like) the Taj Mahal and is kept solidly frozen by air conditioners at taxpayer expense. Maybe I’m aggravated because I only get to go there and gaze on its splendors while picking up a $15 police clearance so am not getting a full feeling of user paid gratification. By the way, have you ever wondered while standing there in that line why the Police drivers license computer can’t talk to the Police convicted criminals list computer or the Police traffic violators computer?

One last observation while we’re on the subject: I don’t quite get the connection between adjudicating in a clean well lit courtroom sequestered inside a marvelously paved parking lot; and the free use of big, V-8 engined 4 wheel drive Suv’s paid for by the taxpayers. I might feel better about that if they would bring ‘em out to the annual car show or over to the Marpi mud bogs on occasion just to let us see them in action.
* * * *

Quotes of the week:
Remember, “A Judge is a law student that gets to grade his own papers”. H.L. Mencken.

Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very long time. Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PAWS babysits! Kids Night Out!!

The following is written by Melissa Simms and reprinted here:

Kid's Night Out THIS Friday!
Date: November 16, 2007Time: 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.Where: Fiesta Resort Game RoomWhat: PAWS – Kids' Night OutCost: $10.00 for the first child and $5.00 for each additional sibling, for up to 5 children in the same immediate family.Looking for a few hours to yourself? Want to enjoy a quiet dinner with someone special? Well, PAWS is here and able to help! PAWS and Fiesta Resort have teamed up to host a fundraiser called Kids' Night Out (KNO). Children ages 3-12 are welcome to participate in our fun program while parents take a few hours off. During this four-hour period, the children will play video games for a half hour, be engaged in arts and crafts, story reading, and a fun and educational movie about animals.Fiesta Resort has generously offered to provide snacks and caffeine-free drinks. Check-in will be between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. Parents must pick up their children no later than 10:00 p.m. If you are interested in learning more about this great escape, please contact Melissa Simms at melissasimms56@hotmail.com.Reserve your space ASAP by emailing melissasimms56@hotmail.com or calling Melissa Simms at 234-1253 after 5 pm. Reserve quickly, as we will filled up last month!

I also must take this opportunity to thank Fiesta Resort and the Saipan Grand - both of which are Tan Holding Companies - for their incredible generosity. They came to us and offered us the use of their facilities to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership and compassion for animals. We are incredibly grateful for this kind act and their support of community efforts. Thank you.

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, November 13th

Look and See

Hunt or Search?
Here is a brief synopsis of The Hunt For Amelia Earhart, as promised a couple of weeks ago. The book will hit the newsstands this month. Please think about this mission in the context of yesterday’s Veterans Day Celebration.

The book recounts the eyewitness accounts of seven persons involved in the hunt and uses previously unpublished photos to illustrate points and to give a very interesting historical setting. I find the superb photos and maps alone to be a reason to read and learn from this book.

During the hunt nine ships, 66 aircraft, and 3,000 US Navy and US Coast Guard men searched 260,000 square miles of open sea plus 24 islands within a 600 mile range of Earhart's target: Howland Island. The book contains the accounts of sailors, flyers and newsmen who in their early 20s were risking their lives on the Earhart Search. Two of these men are still alive and can still be contacted. At the risk of their own lives, the crews of these vessels spent more than two weeks carefully searching this huge area.

Three, six-day searches were conducted with three key ships in charge of the operation: The US Coast Guard Cutter Itasca, the battleship USS Colorado, and the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. There are eyewitness accounts from crewmembers aboard each of these ships. Many other ships were also involved.

The USCGC Itasca normally carried a compliment of 96 men, but during the Earhart search 141 were on board. The Itasca Chief Radio man, Leo Bellarts’ interview is found in the book. With the ships USS Ontario, the USS Swan, the HMS Achilles, and the MV Moorby involved, the USCGC Itasca led the search for the first 5 days. The book contains eyewitness accounts from three of these ships, plus personal memoirs of men on the other two. Together they searched 16 of the 24 islands plus 50,000 square miles of open sea.

Plowing the seas in rain filled squalls, the men of these ships search for Earhart day and night. Refueling during the search with the USS Colorado, the men of the two ships met briefly, only to part and spend much of their time alone at sea. The Itasca and Swan searched the far off Gilbert islands meeting with the natives that live there on isolated atolls.

The USS Colorado with over 1,000 men aboard also had three pontoon planes that were launched for eight flights, searching reefs and 8 islands. The USS Colorado led the search for the next six days, refueling other ships. The book has the eyewitness account of radioman and spotter Dick Beckham; he flew over Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro, the same island that has been searched repeatedly for years for the missing Earhart.

Each pilot and spotter was launched from a 65 foot long catapult as their plane was literally thrown off the ship with an explosive charge. Flying for four hours, they returned only when their fuel was exhausted, landing in the waters of the Pacific. The mother ship then hauled the plane back aboard by crane, only to relaunch it again after refueling.

The USS Lexington normally carried over 1,000 men but during the search had an additional 200 cadets aboard who were on the ship for a training exercise. Over 60 aircraft were on the Lexington, with fuel to carry them all on 12 flying searches, each four hours in duration. Three destroyers were on plane guard duty, in the chance that a plane might fall into the sea. The book contains interviews with two cadets and the Fireman who stood on the deck and watched the planes came in, two of which crashed upon landing.

More than 40 planes were in the air each time, and covered a swath 80 miles wide. Each plane flew a search pattern of over 90 miles, turned and did it again and again until their fuel was exhausted. There was nothing but open sea for over 30 miles but a single rescue destroyer. Occasionally, a plane had to abort its landing as the wind and rain make it too difficult to land on the deck of the Lexington.

That is a general recap, the details are intriguing. At the end of 16½ days, nothing was found: no plane, no wreckage, and no survivors. The Earhart Search, officially over, received orders to send the ships home…”Yet Earhart is picked up in her floating aircraft” -- by whom?

The US Navy always referred to the ‘Earhart Search’; the book title is The Hunt For Amelia Earhart, but in the words of the compiling editor and author, Douglas Westfall, "You search for what you want to keep, you hunt for what you want to catch". To find the book try http://www.specialbooks.com/

Please note that while I am personally intrigued with this book, and recommend you read it too, I am not affiliated with the publisher nor do I receive any remuneration for offering this review.
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Needs to take a step back
According to the Houghton Mifflin Dictionary an ombudsman is: “A man who investigates complaints and mediates fair settlements, especially between aggrieved parties such as consumers or students and an institution or organization.”
Ours here on Saipan, issued and paid by the US federal government to ‘ombud’ labor disputes, seems to be nothing of the kind. By his public statements and actions he seems to be on a one sided Labor-is-always-right crusade. His unswerving advocacy is such that he becomes easy prey for reg savvy workers who play him, and the labor regulations like a cheap violin.

His heartfelt search for good worker conditions and reasonable treatment deserves praise, but where is the fair and balanced part of his job description come in? Have you ever heard of an employer going to the ombudsman with complaints of deceitful workers and getting relief? Maybe he does provide that service, but he must keep it a well-hidden secret. From written accounts it seems he is more interested in the labor favored slam-dunk than in mediating a fair settlement. Maybe if he took a step or two outside his usual work-a-day world and looked with fresh eyes at the overall picture, his sharp wit and innate sense of fair play would come back to the fore. Or maybe he just needs a better PR man.
* * * *
Quote of the week:
If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. Pearl S. Buck (1892 – 1973)

…And in the tongue-in-cheek Department: Have you read the Koran? Do you know what these poor dupes are being promised in the afterlife as a reward for flying jetliners into office buildings? Fresh fruit, chilled water, cushy lawn furniture…and dark-eyed teenage girls. Would someone at the US Information Agency please inform these people that in America they can get all this stuff at Wal-Mart any time they want?! John Alejandro King (The Covert Comic)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Better late than...

Yeah, I know it's a week and a half since Halloween and I am just now getting around to posting some photos of our party at Porky's. We had a blast. The music was good, we had contests and raffles and good food and lots of nice folks dropped by to share the evening's entertainments. Thanks to one and all for attending.

A couple of our Staff, Tania and Jen, getting ready to party.


Brad, ever resourceful and multi-talented carves a pumpkin that was donated by the Marianas Dive Club. Its brother pumpkins were carved 40 feet underwater the preceeding Sunday in Saipan's first Annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest. Thanks Brad !! Thanks Marianas Dive !!

It came out looking spooky, or at very least, Porky.

We put out some food prepared by Simeon and The Other Jimmy. Free chasers were distributed to our guests all evening by our eerily dressed wait staff. Everyone seemed to enjoy the 'eyeballs' and 'worms on-a-bun' as well as more usual fare.

The Fire Shot Band led off the evening's musical entertainment. These lads, accompanied by their parents, play at Porky's on Friday and Saturday evenings and on special party occasions (if they can prove to their Mom that their homework is done). They are very talented young men and they take their education seriously (musical and scholastic). Thank You Fire Shot!!

Sam Joyner, who plays Wednesdays, Early Fridays and Saturdays at Porkys Took up the musical gauntlet and contributed to the fun with dancable Island Music and lots of Rock-a-blues oldies too. Thank You Sam !!

Anne Marie 'nursed' our guests all evening long by delivering their favorite perscription to their table.

OKAY, I'll come back to this post and add some more. There are two more bands and a lot of guest pictures I want to share but I am out of time for now. If you were there, thanks for coming. If not, you missed a fun party.

Later Gator.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, November 6th

Up the people
We elect or ‘hire’ by our votes legislators to do the business of making, amending and canceling laws in our Commonwealth. Our Constitution sets limits on what laws they can make and guides them to legislate within a defined framework. If the legislators want to step outside that framework they can do so by putting a ‘legislative initiative’ to the voters and if approved by a simple 50% +1 majority the change or exception becomes law.

That Constitution also allows for citizen input into the lawmaking process by a ‘citizens initiative’ which must also be approved or turned down by the Commonwealth’s voters. The difference is that a popular initiative brought by an individual or a group must be approved by a 2/3s ‘supermajority’ (66.66%+1). As if that huge approval disparity is not bad enough. As if that restriction on changes being brought to the public attention by we citizens is not reduced enough. Insult is added to injury by requiring the resulting 2/3s voter approval to be counted not by 2/3s of the actual votes cast, but by 2/3s of all registered voters.

This particular piece of insanity means that a public initiative brought to the litmus test of approval by the citizenry, no matter how popular, must first pass the gauntlet of having everyone who does not vote being counted as if they had voted no. I ask you to think about that for a moment before we move on to a couple of examples. It means that the voter who died last year but whose name has not yet been purged from the voter list voted no. It means that a person who lives in the US mainland and is still registered here but has no interest in voting here anymore voted no. It means that a person who requested an absentee ballot but didn’t get it to the PO on time voted no. It means that the person who goes to the wrong polling place or one who gives up after standing in a long line or who is too ill to go out that day all voted no, no matter what their true intention was.

In Saturday’s election there were 15,184 registered to vote but only 10,605 went to the polling places and cast their ballots. That means that on any citizen initiative that affected the entire commonwealth, nearly a third voted no just by not showing up at the polls whether they wanted to vote that way or not. In my opinion this gives what lawyers and politicians like to call a ‘chilling effect’ to the idea that individual private citizens or groups of like-minded private citizens have a chance to affect the political and cultural climate of the Commonwealth.

I say lets let the actual voters decide whether or not an idea brought forth by a private citizen has merit or not, and let’s let that approval be on a par with the same approval necessary to pass a legislative initiative; 50%+1 vote. Further let’s let that 50%+1 vote be counted as a percentage of the total number of votes actually cast. I would go further and say that to have it continue as it is fosters the belief that the system is ‘fixed’ to allow almost no input from the citizens. In its current form the initiative process is mostly for show and allows precious little chance for citizen input.

Now for a couple of examples. For an idea not supported by a majority of the citizenry, like the Saipan Casino Act that failed over the weekend, this more fair way of counting initiative votes would not make any difference. That controversial initiative would have failed because a majority of voting citizens did not support it in it’s current form and signaled that displeasure by voting against it.

But lets say a proposal to do something that just about everyone would support came along as a citizen’s initiave. Something like everyone should smile and wave cheerfully at persons that appear to be tourists. (I’m trying to be a bit silly here while trying to think of something just about everyone would support). There might be a few extremist eggheads (like me) who would complain that it violated their right to be in a perpetual bad mood. Or violated their right to not like tourists and they didn’t want to be forced to show support for them (like the now departed Sadaam Hussein). But for the most part, even though arcane and a bit idiotic, most of the voting population would be willing to go along with it because it would foster repeat tourist customers and would teach our children good manners.

Problem is to go along with it they would have to overcome a built-in roadblock to the measure’s success. In our example the 10, 605 voters are immediately faced with the obstacle of 4,579 no shows to the polling place who are counted as saying no (dead or not). 69.8% percent of the real actual voters are now left trying to achieve a yes to the Smile and Wave Act vote of 66.67%. So to get a supermajority of 10,123 voters under the current unfair way of counting, a tiny contingent of 482 voters can skew the vote and thwart the wishes of literally 95% of the voters. (That 482 no’s represents only 4.5% of the actual voters and represents only 3.2% of all registered voters).

As you can see it is darn near impossible for any citizen proposed initiative to succeed, because no matter how much the vast majority of voters want the idea to become law, a tiny minority of voters can object and skew the result to no. Is this democracy in action? Is this a government that is run for the people, by the people and of the people? I submit that it is not. I further submit that we as citizens should start a process to change this so that we can have a chance to let the voters truly decide an issue that the Legislature may not have the will or the votes to put forth. Lets enact real citizen participation by changing the currently flawed and unfairly skewed system.

Of course even to change this process, we may have to resort to the very same unfair way of counting votes in a public initiative because the legislature may not want to give citizens a larger voice in running the community by enacting a legislative initiative change. Well, as Harry Blalock likes to say: it’s food for thought. (Please note that Harry neither necessarily approves nor disapproves of this or any other of my sometimes wacky ideas).

Quote of the week: A friend, reflecting on his role on election day said: “The politicians get to discuss and decide all year long. Today it’s my turn to talk.” Bud White (Tanapag, Saipan).

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sort of makes sense now

-I was wondering why a guy that hides himself behind an alias would be so obsessed, yes I think that word conveys the correct and specific malady, about a political initiative. There is only one plausible reason I can come up with and that is deceit via cover up. When his true identity is known, it will become plainly and absolutely obvious why you see all the running around in circles, pulling the hair out screaming 'propaganda' at the top of his lungs (okay fingertips) that Pee Pee boy aka Phlegmatic Playdough aka 13 different anonymous posters with the same classless writing style exhibits. You will then see what his true motivations are and what his true affiliations were and are. Thus his burning desire to keep his identity secret at all costs. Thus his obsession with the Saipan Casino Act.
So I got down to doing a little cross checking and found, not his true identity yet, but his family tree so it is narrowed down considerably now. I have heard from a respected source that Pee Pee's Mom is a sodomite and does it with goats. Yes, goats. We're not talking merino sheep here we’re talking Billy Goat Gruff, cloven hoofed, smelly, shaggy goats. Not satyrs (as the family historian likes to pretend). The woman actually fornicates with ahem, should I say it again (?) goats, according to this reliable source.
Here, go to his own site and check it out RIGHT HERE