While we welcome the echo of wind-driven rain gathering storm out west, another storm has made landfall: "Super storm Bankruptcy." It came silently in our presence and torched everything around us into ugly fearfully dark gray ashes.
The fiscal calamity isn’t "imminent" as some would like it to be. The beast of neglect is here already rummaging every square inch of the archipelago. It’s the equivalence of a "Fiscal Pearl Harbor!" It has imploded and sent key players quizzing, as though ignorant, "what happened?"
Dovetailing the fiscal implosion is the headwinds of famine that has sent simple villagers yearning for leadership, any leadership that understands their fate in the deepening mess. Leadership by simple definition is one’s conviction to enhance the livelihood of his people over his very own. This is leadership! Anything else is demagoguery. This is the basis of the raw emotions or outrage of our folks who no longer could tolerate privation.
Surprising, too, how career and new politicians have their eyes closed to the mess before them. Some blind, others mute, the rest are deaf. They pick and choose what’s politically convenient, i.e., a fiscal sinkhole! Stunning that they’re ready to embrace self-deception once more.
Of lying to yourself
Now in their quest for power or self-importance, they again embrace self-deception or what’s known in simple terms as "lying". Telling a lie to the three pronouns you know best of Me, Myself and I has its own advantages too.
You can bravely declare, "I am a handsome, charismatic, brilliant, successful, wonderful person". Then turn right around in submission, "I am also a person who lies to himself-a lot." Oops! It’s bravery of the most cowardly form-lying or self-deception.
It forces a query: Why you when there are so many other people to lie to? Or is it reserved until you hit the campaign trail where your lie counts the most-hit far and wide?
But before you hop on the cart before the bull, perhaps you could benefit from self-reflection. Now, if you really think it’s easy to lie to yourself, you’re lying to yourself. Lying isn’t a simple issue. It’s far deeper and complicated, according to a Canadian professor of psychology. Said he, "You can only practice self-deception by accessing the ’strong psychological forces’ that keep us from acknowledging a threatening truth about ourselves."
Say you convince yourself that you’re talented and intelligent to go after your dream to become a policymaker. Believing in this fashion could help you influence others that in fact you’re up to the job though completely inadequate by way of credentials. Well, give it your best shot. No one’s stopping you from going after your goal with fallacies and inadequacies but at least you’ve succeeded lying to yourself!
Too, you’ve given yourself a shot to learning that there’s such a thing as "integrity" which floats your boat be it high or low tide!
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A dark summer in paradise
There was idle talk as the guys burn meat while doing one arm weight lifting with cold beer cans. Jokes and laughter was aplenty and lively.
The conversation however subsided as politicians kept to their thoughts perhaps sensing they’re in the wrong place. The still of the night was eerily deafening.
None of them was chancing being heckled by a very dissatisfied and rowdy crowd. The snappy and crappy minions find the barbecue smoke a bit unpleasant.
The discussion shifted to concrete issues to promote or revive economic growth in the islands recently trashed by foreign investors. This took place when we made doing business here prohibitively expensive.
We did nothing but flush knee-jerk fees and taxes against them mindless that they too are struggling to survive the horrendous cost of utilities. We forced them to think with their feet. They did! And most of them have left. Here we are completely caught off-guard and disoriented by the exodus of foreign capital. I didn’t know one could turn ignorance and Missing In Action stunts into an art in the diabolical destruction of a livelihood.
I’ve read and reviewed an encouraging statement by the board chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and quoted it verbatim. He outlined the critical role of education on economic growth especially in a listless economy. Hope it replaces entrenchment in the lack of leadership among key players here.
"The key contributor amidst the economic headwind is in the education of our young people. We must ensure that they have the benefit of skills expansion as they settle to commence their own business startups. It’s a must so we wean the local government from massive excess baggage it could no longer afford".
"Private industries must help frame the reality of changing skill needs. It must stand firm on the importance of a rigorous, quality education and proven competency in reading, math, science, communication, and critical thinking. It must collaborate with educators, administrators, and political leaders and be at the table and actively engaged.
"While the core beliefs of private industries include the foundational issues of entrepreneurial growth and opportunity-ideals I believe in strongly-we can achieve little without training and educating today's students with the skills that will be demanded of them in the future. We must all be prepared for lifelong learning.
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Obama uses signature tool
In 2008, Obama told the country that there’s no such a thing as a "red or blue state" because "this is the United States of America". He sounded like one who would unite the union. But he recently started using his signature tool of digging dirt to kick up the faces of his political nemesis. He’s turned into a homophobe by detracting from his very poor record on the economy, jobs, and healthcare, and his Washington Bank, among others.
He had to do "divide and conquer" hoping he could derail the discussion of real issues like taking millions of dollars from medicare to support his Obamacare. He refuses to answer questions whether in fact his healthcare plan has inflicted a $716 billion in red ink into the federal coffers. He’s ruined responsibility with irresponsibility and cemented lack of accountability. Sad that he’s shifted his mantra from a hopeful "yes we can" to lies of "yes I can" as he piles up more lies in political stumps. Call it desperation!
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John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of Department of Public Lands.