Friday, March 28, 2008

Saturday Fundraiser for Santa Remedios Church

There will be a fundraiser for a construction project at the Santa Remedios church in Tanapag Saturday, March 29th starting at 5:30PM

The fundraiser will be held at Porky’s Beach Bar and Restaurant and will feature free food, entertainment, prizes and lots of fun with nice folks from the church and elsewhere.

The ukulele stylings of The Fireshot Band start the evening off, then attendees can dance and enjoy the music of The Icon Band. There will be plenty of free food and plenty of good conversation. The event goes on all evening indoors and out by the beach too.

Tickets are $15 and includes all the above plus two free beverages. Please buy a ticket and support this worthy project. Even if you cannot attend the event, please buy a ticket anyway. You won’t miss the $15 bucks and it will help the church a lot!

Proceeds go directly to the Church and will be used for the construction project. The church is converting a couple of containers into a house for the resident priest who now has to commute to housing in CK.

contact 322-0486 or 898-4423 or 287-0687 for ticket information

Sour Grapes for Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Buy Petroleum Jelly Stock
Sign me up for that $3 kidney

Here is an article that deserves reviewing. Penned last summer in response to the film made by the Jesus Christ of the liberal left, Michael Moore, this piece takes a closer look at the reality of a socialist medical system.

That the best doctors leave such socialized systems like chocoholics finding themselves in a Jenny Craig meeting is proven the world over. They bail out in droves looking for greener pastures.

The real losers, of course, turn out to be the consumers. Medical consumers are a bit different than other retail buyers, however. When you need your appendix removed it is nice to know that the person removing it did not get his job by bidding the lowest price because he graduated 85th in a class of 87 from Lower Podunk U and that you are forced to use his services, like it or not, should you finally reach the end of the waiting line to have it removed at all.

Why should we be interested? Well, if Billery and company are elected in 2008, you will find yourself neck deep in the swamp of socialized medicine whether you like it or not. That is the sine qua non of the Clinton camp and where they expect to reap their next Whitewateresque benefit. They are after putting Billions into their personal pocket this time not Millions, and socialized medicine (meaning health care dished out by political favoritism) is the method they mean to use to get to that much desired result.

If you think the Clinton group has a chance to reach the presidency, you should probably begin to research what ‘universal healthcare’ really means. Hint: it does not mean that the laws of economics and physics are hereby cancelled and that you will be receiving top notch health care by not paying for it. Guess again, it means you will be receiving 2nd rate health care or none at all and you will be paying far more than you pay now. Stand by with that jar of Vaseline should the Clintons make it into office.

Here is the article: (You may have forgotten this was an introduction after that somewhat lengthy rant).

Hidden costs of Canadian health care system Chicago Sun TimesJune 23, 2007

In a pivotal scene in ''Sicko,'' filmmaker Michael Moore marvels at Canada's single-payer health system, suggesting that it is a medical utopia. ''It's really a fabulous system,'' explains one healthy Canadian, ''for making sure that the least of us and the best of us are taken care of.'' But healthy people don't use much health care. If Moore had interviewed ill Canadians, he would have gotten a whole different story.

In reality, Canada's health care system is not the paradise Moore presents.

I should know: I live there.

Consider Canada's notorious waiting lists. In 1993, Canadians referred by their doctors to specialists waited an average of 9.3 weeks for treatment. By 2006, it was 17.8 weeks -- almost twice what's considered clinically reasonable.

In the words of Canada's Supreme Court, ''Access to a waiting list is not the same thing as access to health care.'' The court used that phrase when it struck down the single-payer system in one Canadian province in 2005. Yet somehow Moore missed this, the biggest story in Canadian health policy in the last 40 years.

Canada's long waits are partially caused by a shortage of doctors. Whereas the United States had 2.4 practicing physicians per 1,000 residents in 2004, Canada had only 2.1. That's a difference of 300 fewer doctors in a city of 1 million residents. New York's population is more than 8 million. Imagine what health care would be like in the Big Apple with 2,400 fewer physicians and you have some idea what it's like in Canada.

Over the last 10 years, about 10 percent of doctors trained in Canada decided to practice medicine in the United States. This is the result of low physician salaries, which are paid by the state. The average Canadian physician earns only 42 percent of what the average U.S. doctor takes home each year. Simply put, single-payer systems exploit medical labor. Any U.S. state that adopts a single-payer approach is going to lose doctors to other states.

Canada's single-payer system is also letting its hospitals rot. While the average U.S. hospital is only nine years old, the average hospital in Ontario, Canada's largest province, has been around for 40 years.

And Canada's system limits the adoption of new technology. Among the 24 Western nations that guarantee access to health care, Canada ranks 13th in access to MRIs and 17th in access to CT scanners. The lack of access to medical technology contributes to longer waiting times for diagnostic tests.

The rationing of medical procedures and drugs is another harmful result of Canada's system. In 2003, twice as many in-patient surgical procedures were performed in the United States per 1,000 residents compared to Canada.

And Canada's ''universal'' healthcare system doesn't offer universal drug coverage. Only about one-third of the population is eligible for government drug programs in Canada -- the rest pay cash or have private insurance.

Canada's cost advantage is also an illusion. True, Canada spends less per GDP on medical care than America -- but so does Ethiopia. Such comparisons are meaningless without considering value for money. And compared to Americans, Canadians get relatively little in return for the money they spend. Canada's single-payer system does not cover many of the advanced medical treatments and technologies that are commonplace in America, and Canadians have access to fewer doctors, fewer treatments and fewer new drugs.

Yet in Canada, public spending on health care is still growing faster than the ability of the government to pay for it. As of 2006, public health spending in six out of 10 Canadian provinces was on pace to consume more than half of total revenue from all sources by the year 2020 -- without even taking into account the added pressures from an aging population. As of 2003, the growing unfunded liabilities for health care reached 46 percent of Canada's total economic output.

These are the hidden costs of Canada's health system, and they're far worse than the monetary price of U.S. medical care. But Michael Moore is not interested in such facts. He makes fictional films.

* * * *
Quote of the week:
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Earthquake at 6:07AM Thurs 3-27-08

While sitting here at the computer I began to feel a moderately strong tremor. My fishing rods lean against the wall in my office/den/computer room and they began to sway and dance a bit.

No damage, nothing fell off shelves etc so the quake was not a major one, here at least.

Did you feel it where you are?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Parasol Pete

What can Senate President Pete Reyes have on his mind? What can he gain from this back-bowing resistance to holding the Joint Session/State of the Commonwealth speech in the recent traditional venue, the Multi Purpose Center? Why would he choose to make this particular fight? It just seems silly.

Saving money is what Sen. Reyes claims, and while true, it also blocks access to hundreds of citizens who would otherwise attend and hear this important message. Even at the much larger (and properly air conditioned) MPC the crowd that gathers is SRO with just about every inch filled to capacity.

Hey, if you really want to save money Senator Pete, just hold it outside. Then you don't need to use electric lighting or aircon. Give the Gov and the DC Rep a DPS bullhorn (already paid for) and let 'em rip. Attendees: bring an umbrella.

Not a bad pay day

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo has sentenced lawyers Reynaldo O. Yana and Antonio M. Atalig to 30 days in the Iron Bar Motel for charging what Govendo thinks is too much for their 'services'. He thinks they have contempt for his opinion. He is probably right.

Mathematically, it works out pretty nice. At $1,285,500 in fees that pays off at $42, 850 per day in the hoosegow. Not bad pay by most standards. I wonder if they are eating hot dogs or caviar for lunch?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Dry Hole?
Silly Season

In Formula 1 racing, baseball and other sports the time just before the new season starts is sometimes referred to as silly season. This is the time that deals are made, rumors are started, outright fabrications are floated to cause disinformation and people are hired or fired.

In the sport of US politics, the silly season is upon us. The deals are being cut, territory bought and sold, wannabes are pushing shoving elbowing, trying to get in or trying to get out or being ground into hash as the pre-election cycle of silliness wobbles on. Rumors, fabrications, hatchet jobs and disinformation campaigns abound. Personnel alignments, political favors and back-room alliances are the work of the day as primary candidates scrabble for votes to keep themselves in the race for the gold ring, the US Presidency.

Out of all this finagling, the American people learn who the candidates are, what they claim to stand for (as opposed to what they will really do if elected) and whether they can stand the grueling pace and hardball antics of silly season without blowing their tops.

This year’s event seems about over at this point. The parade will go on until the real season opener, the Republican and Democrat conventions, convene but the die appears to be cast at this point. The only question to be asked is whether Obama and Clinton, or Clinton and Obama will face McCain in the November national election. After the dust settles and the last bamboo shoot has been driven under the electorates’ fingernail we will discover what those two have realized since day one. Whichever one comes out on top, they have no chance against McCain in November unless they team up with each other and go for the special interest/special population vote as partners.

By harnessing the available minority vote and the sex-based vote the Clinbama/Obamton duad has a chance to add that to the regular vote total of voters buying in to the Democrat rhetoric. The result is an almost certain mathematical win. Not all minority voters or sex based voters will cast a ballot for the O/C duo but enough will vote that way to push a fairly tight race over into their favor. McCain and those buying into the Republican rhetoric will be numerically outgunned and will likely go down to ignominious defeat if the C/O partnership forms.

So don’t be fooled by the cat fighting, name calling and arm twisting you see now. Obama and Clinton will be fast friends and will almost surely team up as kissin’ cousins, lifelong pals and natural allies as they try to get their mitts on 4 (or for them, hopefully 8) years of wielding the ultimate power and granting the ultimate favors. No amount is too much to spend; no effort is too great to get to that penultimate goal of the political animal, the White House. The Democrat convention is when you will see these two bitter ‘rivals’ kiss and make up. Sidebar: If they win will they agree to “flip” positions four years from now?
* * * *
How much in the well?
According to local news sources our Governor is in the process of making a contingency plan should the Legislature not pass a budget. He and his advisors will try to work out the math and figure out how to spend via a continuing resolution as we have done in all but 3 of the last 10 years.

He has talked of consolidating government agencies to make them more cost effective, he has proposed payless government holidays as a solution but the time for that has probably passed with nearly half of the fiscal year now gone. He has raised the specter of Austerity Fridays again, this time every week instead of every other week. He has mentioned cutting some agencies, like CUC, independently and at other times he has talked about across the board cuts. He has pointed out that mass lay offs may become necessary but has so far staved them off. I’m sure there are some other possibilities he and his team have not exposed to the light of day yet. Let’s hope so.

One thing is almost certain. He will have to come up with a plan to deal with a looming problem. What do we do when the money runs out about August? We don’t print our own money so just inflating the money supply while deflating the worth of the currency as autonomous countries do is not an option. As a ‘partner’ country we can only borrow and let our kids figure out how to pay for it (so called deficit spending), or we can spend only what we have. It appears that what we have will just run out about the end of July or the beginning of August at current rates of expenditure. I am wondering what the plan will be then?

It may now be too late to stretch the available dollars over the remaining time. The original estimate of $160 million in revenues or so appears to have been a bit high considering additional business closures and declining tax revenue. The options will become much narrower once the well has run dry. I think that is what the Governor and his staff were trying to relate in the memo message of last Friday to various Department and Division heads as reported over the weekend. The options become, shut down overall operations until the new fiscal year starts in October or try to shuffle remaining funds into a few really vital services. Either way they are holding each agency individually accountable, so goes the message from the Administration.

Just like families, governments can only expend what they take in over the long haul. So far, over the years our government has managed to run the deficit to just over 1 full years income*. This administration has not added to it, so far. Lets hope they keep it that way.

*(This figure does not include ‘unfunded liabilities’ - mostly from the retirement fund – which increases that total deficit owing to the equivalent of many years of total income). See Bill Stewart’s excellent series of articles recapping and recounting the woes of the retirement fund over the years in excruciating detail.

Quotes of the week: There are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret. Ronald Reagan, 40th US President (1911 – 2004)

I don’t care who does the electing as long as I get to do the nominating. Boss Tweed, Tammany Hall Democrat (1823 – 1878)
(Yes, you probably noticed that I used a picture of a well instead of a picture of Mrs. Clinton to illustrate the dry hole title concept -it's because I am striving for political correctness).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Island Spirit
Off Broadway offering
The cast and crew of The Play Buffet put on a great evening of entertainment in their opening performances last weekend. I was pleasantly surprised by the good scripts and generally excellent performances. Segments ranged from a convoluted plot murder mystery to a heart rending retro childhood piece and a lot of other interesting stuff in between. The nearly full theater at American Memorial Park gave the performers a rousing ovation at the surprising conclusion. It’s the best 5 bucks I have spent in a long time.

I recommend that you go see one of the last two performances. This Thursday Mar. 13th and Friday March 14th again at the AMP Theater, 7PM. The Saipan Swim Club is on hand to supply your snacking needs at intermission. The cookies and fruit snacks are great and the proceeds benefit the team and it’s hard training member’s travel fund.
* * * *
Numbskull-nomics II

A couple of months ago I razzed Ron Hodges for his ill-advised threat letter to the editor. In fairness I will now praise him for a smart move.

I saw another letter to the editor from classroom teacher Ron Hodges last week in which he formally resigned from the Chamber of Commerce. I got a pretty good laugh out of it (breath exhaling smirk-wise) and asked myself the obvious question: what took him so long?It reminds me of the unbalanced, and of course anonymous, birdbrain who posted repeatedly on Jeff Turbitt’s blog a while back about how he disliked it and how badly it was written etc. Jeff answered the guy by stating the obvious; then why do you keep coming back to read it? Jeff went on to ask the guy if he repeatedly went back to restaurants he didn’t like. At least the unhappy blogger wasn’t paying to attend Jeff’s Hypercritical Thoughts blogsite as Ron was paying dues to flagellate himself over membership in the Chamber.

Ron, who disagrees with most everything the Chamber does and says, is probably far better off as a non-member. The Chamber (which I also belong to) may miss out on an important opposing viewpoint from time to time but I’m sure Ron won’t be too shy to post that view in some other forum.Good move, Ron. You’ll feel better now.

With, or without Ron, the Chamber does a lot of good on our small island. From sponsoring a variety of charity events to providing a large number of deserving student scholarships to focusing the attention of the government and the public on many important business related issues. Saipan Chamber of Commerce meetings are held once monthly, usually in a large hotel meeting room and are often highlighted by an interesting keynote speaker. The public is invited and I would recommend you attend a meeting now and again even if you are not part of the business community. Why? Because it is almost always interesting and you will probably learn some interesting facts….the food is usually pretty good too. Membership is open to all but you do not have to be a member to attend meetings or presentations. Contact Kyle Calabrese, the Chamber’s Executive Director at 233-7150 about membership or about monthly meeting times and places.
* * * *
Unfair Advantage

A good friend of mine is having a problem with our government. I’ll not reveal his name so as not to embarrass him but I will relate his difficulty because it highlights a recurring problem many citizens on the island face right now. He owes the government but can’t pay because the government owes him.

Last year legislation was passed that allowed for monetary offsets, both consensual and unilateral between citizens and the various government agencies to which they owed funds or from which they were owed monies. That seemed a pretty good idea and a reasonable one. You owe Pocket A and Pocket B (same government pants) owes you; simply offset the debts and move on. As I understand it that legislation was modified, then repealed and the truth is, I don’t know what the status really is now. Perhaps legislative legal council will write in answer and advise citizens where things stand.

In my friend’s case, he owes CDA for a loan granted him. The loan is secured by a piece of property that was taken from him back in the early 90s and for which he has not yet been compensated. So DPL, of which CDA is a part, owes this man money and has made a written offer to finally pay which has been accepted by the owner. Problem is CDA does not trust DPL to pay off and won’t accept the assignment of a written promise of payment from its fellow agency. To make matters worse, 40 million bucks of the land compensation monies were held in trust by, CDA itself making it seem really odd that it didn’t just pay itself the amount outstanding since the owner had already assigned any money owed to him, back to them.

CDA now want to foreclose and take my friends property from him in five years if the other agency (DLA) which took the land and has not paid for it does not do so within that 5 years. My friend says, and I think rightfully; You guys over there in Pocket A go collect from my funds already located in Pocket B and leave me alone.

This is beginning to sound confusing. It isn’t. My friend has assets and has offered them in payment. The government agency in question won’t accept his payment because payment is coming from its own parent agency, which they apparently don’t trust to pay. The same agency that took the land to begin with and has not yet paid for it. If that sounds fair to you, you must have taken your Economics 101 course from the Attila the Hun College of Slash and Burn Technology.

This is just one example of the many ways in which offsetting debts seems reasonable and should be made available to government agencies and to citizens alike. Not all are this clear cut, not all involve large sums like this. Not all are as easily solved as this one could be but all deserve a reasonable and just resolution. The Government should get its due, as should its citizens.

I don’t have a particular axe to grind in this respect and don’t owe CDA or any other government agency any money. But if I did and they also owed me some money I would think it reasonable if we just swapped paperwork and both went on our merry way. I think my friend and the possibly hundreds of other people who find themselves in the same predicament should be able to do it the easy way instead of the hard way.

Could you folks at the agencies in question please talk with each other and try to settle this? Thank you. I am sure both sides are reasonable and just need the right enabling laws and circumstances to the right thing.
* * * *
Island Spirit
I would be remiss if I did not mention a few words about the moving Dedication Ceremony held in honor of local diver, entrepreneur and friend ‘Ben Ki’ Concepcion at Marpi’s Grotto dive site over the weekend. Attended by scores of friends and well wishers the dedication of a monument to his memory was a heartfelt outpouring of thanks by many on this island and elsewhere around the world that were touched by Ben. Ben always had a smile on his face and had an aura of generosity and kindness about him.

Almost single handedly he was responsible for finding and developing the scuba dive sites tourists and residents alike still use today. He, more than anyone, is responsible for developing that part of the tourist experience here on Saipan, Tinian and Rota. Ben will be and is now sorely missed by many who knew and loved him. The Monument is a fitting tribute to a life well spent.
* * * *
Quotes of the week:
Promises make debt, and debt makes promises. Dutch Proverb

What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt and has a clear conscience? Adam Smith (1723 – 1790)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Good news
Soaring on the wind
The Marianas has a new and exciting event that has a chance to begin drawing sizable numbers of people to our fair Isles. Now in it’s third year The Marianas Winds Kite Festival and International Food Fair is showing strong growth and major expansion. The list of sponsors for the Festival ran into three pages so support is becoming widespread although much more is needed as the Festival continues to grow in coming years. Among those donating to the event were MVA, Fiesta Resort and Spa, Hyatt Regency, PTI, Saipan Cell and a host of others. (A complete list would require more space than I have available – the Festival wishes to thank them all for making it all possible).

Starting out as a simple fund raiser for the local Montessori based Brilliant Star School the Festival has rapidly moved in the direction its founders envisioned: it is becoming a major attraction on the annual tourist calendar. Future years hold the promise of a major draw similar to the Flame Tree Festival. What that venue does for arts and culture, the Kite Festival hopes to do for airborne soaring sports and culturally diverse food. It hopes to attract tourists, spectators and participants in ever increasing numbers.

This year saw several hundred tourists and residents enjoying the one day event last Saturday (March 1st ) at the American Memorial Park. Next year’s event will be bigger yet as kite flying teams and soaring associations from around Asia will be invited to participate.

The event was graced by the presence of a group from Asia with a tradition of kite flying that goes back Millennia. The Korean Kite Flyers Association sent a group of five highly skilled professionals, including their President, to Saipan for the event. These talented folks came several days early and held classes and demonstrations of their art. Thanks to them a lot of children (of all ages) now know how to construct their own kites for fun and pleasure. The classes were fun and informative. The Korean Kite Flyers Association members wore traditional attire during the classes and during several flying demonstrations held in the days prior to the Festival. They want to return and we hope to see them back again next year.

Positive press was generated as a group of Chinese Journalists came by and interviewed participants and guests alike. Hopefully next year, groups and teams from China, Japan, Korea and elsewhere can come out and compete. Model airplane gliding clubs and competition kite building and flying clubs abound all over Asia and we all hope they begin to view Saipan and the Northern Marianas as an annual gathering that needs to be attended.

This year saw competitive events in 3 major categories with 8 total events. Next year promises an expanded range of competitions with contestants from several countries vying for prizes and trophies. Please be on the lookout for next year’s event. Dates and times will be published well in advance. You might want to start working on that special kite now, so as to be ready for next year. You can come out just to see and be awed by the many types of kites, to eat the wide variety of cultural foods available or you can come out to participate in one or more of the competitions. Whichever activity pleases you; please plan to attend next year.
* * * *
Fewer jobs bill may be quashed
The minimum wage issue is back in the news with Pete A. wisely waffling back to a more realistic one-more-bump-then-wait-a-couple-of-years stance realizing he may want to return here someday. I’m making fun but I agree with the wait and see part of his strategy. Thanks Mr. Tenorio.

Even US Sen. Bingaman, chairman of the reviewing committee has logged on recently as opposing the hastily enacted wage hike foisted upon the CNMI and Samoa without regard to whether it is sustainable or not. He says there will be a halt on future wage hikes by ‘refining’ the legislation. He also mentions that the halt will have to be enacted quickly to stave off the pending next round juggernaut of increases looming over the CNMI and American Samoa this coming May. Our thanks for noticing our plight.

The idea that governments can somehow legislate prosperity is nonsense. Politicians know this. If they could make a law that mandated everyone makes $100 an hour and drives around in a Rolls Royce they would do it in a heartbeat. They can’t, it doesn’t work for a $1000/hour increase anymore than it does for a $1 increase. Labor is a commodity and subject to the laws of supply and demand like any other.

Those new to the work force straight out of school and others with minimum skills and/or experience will find themselves priced right out of the market for a job. Any company can only afford to hire workers who are productive, meaning they make more for the company than they cost. If those companies are forced, by government, to pay a non profitable wage they will simply not hire, or will replace a worker with a machine as we see happening all around the world.

Increasing the minimum wage is an old and tired trick usually trundled out at election time. It destroys far more people than it helps but those destroyed, the bottom tier of employees, are not very vocal and often don’t vote, so from the politician’s standpoint it is worth sending them down the river to get the votes from the non affected blocks. So if you ‘feel good’ about your support for the ‘downtrodden masses’ suffering under low wages, think again. You are supporting their demise in many cases.
* * * *
Counting beans

I couldn’t help noticing that while the CNMI government scored a rather poor 2.4 on the recently completed ‘Performeter’ scale of economic health that we are doing about twice as good as our neighbor to the south, Guam, who scored a 1.32. Our score showed a slight uptick from last year so all is not lost. Those of you who claim Guam’s already extant US immigration system and universal fee simple land alienation is making it all better, might want to take another look. The study was done by Crawford and Associates and was paid for by the US Department of the Interior.
* * * *
I’ll respect you in the morning

I get a kick out of politicians who go all out to get ‘celebrity’ endorsements from the acting community. I wonder if they are the only ones who don’t see that an actor’s job is to be a professional liar. That is what pretending to be a character one is not is. Only a few can do it really well. Only a few can do it convincingly. Actors bring us wonderful relief from reality and sometimes fantastic insights into the real world via their roles on stage and in films so we should be grateful, even laudatory, in our praise of them. On the other hand, taking that actor’s word on the sterling character of some politician may not be the most trusted source you can find on the matter. It might even be said that an actor’s endorsement should be taken with a grain of schmaltz.

So when Jack Nicholson tells me ‘he’s home’ or that he wants his egg salad sandwich on toast-hold the egg salad, I know I am probably in for a good time. When he tells me I should vote for Mrs. Clinton, I’m out looking for some goose fat to poke in my ears.
* * * *
Quote of the week:
A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man, Kites rise against, not with, the wind John Neal (1793 – 1876)

Friday, March 7, 2008

...he bravely ran away, away, brave brave Sir primate

Speaking of laughs, I saw over on the Middle Road blog where the Writers now recommend the monkey picture blog because he is so ‘brave’. Marconi must have swallowed something bad recently to spew that kind of idiocy. Of all the possible descriptions of the monkey picture blog, bravery falls somewhere near dead last. There may be redeeming value over there, I don’t know, because I don’t ever visit the cowardly scum’s site, but whatever is there is printed out of sheer pitiful cowardice. He bravely hides under a rock so you don’t know what his motivations, connections or affiliation are nor where his self interest really lies. There is a reason for that, and it is not ‘bravery’. It is pure self interest and he fears you will find him out.

In the same sidebar they commend GlenD for his bravely positioned blog comments. That I buy. Why, because Glen holds very strong opinions and does not hesitate to express them. He also has the conviction to stand behind those statements. When he does, I know that I can search his message and analyze it critically based on what I know or can find about his affiliations and motivations. That way I can weigh what he says with reasonable accuracy. When monkey picture spews bile, I just ignore it knowing he probably doesn’t believe most of the crap anyway and has so little regard for its worth that he can’t muster the courage to even stand behind it.

Anonymous blogers keep their identities secret for precisely the same reason Ku Klux Klan members do. They do not want to take personal responsibility for their own actions. They don’t have the courage to back their weasely opinions. Truth is, they don’t really believe most of it. If you knew who most of these anonymous pundits were you would laugh your ass off that they had the balls to say anything at all about that particular subject. The CEO of a passenger rail line lectures you anonymously on the evils of air travel. The career government worker who anonymously tells you all about the world of business. They fear you will find them to be the charlatans they really are.

Cowardice. That is what keeps them anonymous, period. Nonys try to fool you into believing how much they care. Bullshit. They fear far more than they care. I recommend you stay away from the MONKEY PICTURE blog as it may be bad for your mental health. Looks like it may have driven Marconi a little crazy already. (:-))

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I saw a letter to the editor from Ron Hodges yesterday in which he formally resigned from the Chamber of Commerce. I got a pretty good laugh out of it (breath exhaling smirk-wise) and asked myself the obvious question: what took him so long?

It reminds me of the unbalanced, and of course anonymous, birdbrain who posted repeatedly on Jeff Turbitt’s blog a while back about how he disliked it and how bad it was etc. Jeff answered the guy by stating the obvious; then why do you keep coming back to read it? Jeff went on to ask the guy if he repeatedly went back to restaurants he didn’t like.

At least the pitiful nony wasn’t paying to attend the Hyper-critical Thoughts blogsite as Ron was paying to flagellate himself over membership in the Chamber.

Good move, Ron. You’ll feel better now.

* * * *

It sort of reminds me of the, (you guessed it), nony who showed up commenting here on Saipanuvian Speaks the other day. He was complaining that his wife was dry and his sex drive only luke warm. Maybe Dr. Bruce could help the guy out if he were a real person instead of a cowardly anonymous puke. Blah.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Marianas Winds Kite Festival

I spent my Saturday at the Marianas Winds Kite Festival and Cultural Food Fair. What an exciting event. It is growing by leaps and bounds.

The organizers have a vision to make this a showpiece annual event that draws large numbers of tourists as spectators and as participants while remaining a fun event for families and other residents here on Saipan as well.

I wrote a piece about this in Sour Grapes which I will publish here tomorrow, so I won't belabor the point.

Here is somtething interesting that happened to me as I was leaving. A girl and her young brother saw me picking up a rare piece of trash left behind and came over to give me a bond paper trifold handout with reasons and rules about keeping our beaches and Island clean and litter free. They wanted to have the brother take a picture of 'Cilia' and I as part of her school project. I recommended that she get together with Angelo and maybe join one of his groups or get some assistance in growing their own. Maybe some funding would be forthcoming to print her brochures if nothing else. Good going!!

Yeah, I know....where are the photos of the Kite Festival? Welllllll, its a long story so I'll just ask someone else who was there to provide a couple of interesting shots.