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Monday, April 21, 2014

Growth of Administrative State

While we dilly-dally with provincial issues at home, I’ve kept my eyes on the larger issues in Washington. It’s known as “administrative state,” specifically the establishment of more agencies that would rule territories and state governments without “the consent of the governed.”

It seems that more and more daily decisions are made less by responsible citizens than by a nanny-state government, especially powerful, unelected, unaccountable Executive Branch agencies in Washington. For instance, there’s the Environmental Protection Agency, among the worst federal agencies.

The emergence of the administrative state was primarily encouraged by the U.S. Congress’ decision on the emasculation, castration, mutilation, and sterilization of its authority. It allowed for the establishment of agencies granted the authority to write rules and regulations that aren’t subject to judicial review or legislative oversight.

“Under Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, EPA seeks not merely to regulate, but to legislate; not merely to protect our health and environment against every conceivable risk, however far-fetched, but to control every facet of our economy, livelihoods and lives,” according to Paul Driessen, senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.

“Instead of following laws and policies set by our elected representatives, EPA is determined to impose regulatory edicts that reflect President Obama’s promises to ‘bankrupt’ coal and utility companies and ‘radically transform’ our economy, society and free-enterprise system.

“EPA now is better described as the ‘Employment Prevention Agency,’ with $100 billion diktats (decree) that are killing countless jobs, making America more dependent on foreign sources of energy and raw materials that we have in abundance right here at home, and endangering our economy, national security and people’s health and welfare.

“Mrs. Jackson’s agenda seeks to relegate fossil fuels to the dustbin of history and force America to get its energy from intermittent ‘renewable’ sources, not when they are needed but when they are available. Regulations on ‘greenhouse gases’ and other emissions are to make non-hydrocarbon energy appear cheaper by comparison, paving the way for crony-corporatist ‘alternatives’ like wind, solar and ethanol.”

Understandably, our non-voting delegate doesn’t have the funds to keep tabs on this issue, but it’s a matter he can’t afford to consistently ignore. Imagine federal rules and regulations that eventually compromise the spirit and letter of the Covenant agreement on self-government and our rights and freedom as citizens. Kilili must buckle down on this issue. Not ready to accede to lordship!

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Medicaid vs health

Would Medicaid help the CNMI become healthier? While the program serves as a safety net for many recipients here, it is not the tool to ascertaining a healthier population. A closer scrutiny of our program expenditure could be very revealing, i.e., number of recipients sent on medical referral, admission for chronic recipients given critical care, medication, etc.

At the risk of repeating myself, health begins with the self and only you can make a difference in how you live: a healthy person or a chronic patient. The latter is bad all around. It’s painful and a hardship for the family who must come around to assist. We help because it is part of our culture to help loved ones, especially the chronically ill.

Catastrophic illnesses are even harder to deal with, i.e., heart problems, kidney failure, blindness or amputations as a result of diabetes, among others. It’s even much harder for those who contract one of various forms of cancer, i.e., breast, lung, esophageal, oral, uterus, and ovarian, among others. They go through chemotherapy and in some cases, radiation treatment. You may recover but the quality of life is never the same. It’s for this reason that it’s vital that you buckle down to settling to staying healthy.

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Couch potato culture

Over the years, we’ve learned the so-called couch potato culture. We’ve basically become a sedentary community, watching television while munching on sweets, snacks, and sugary drinks. We double it up consuming tons of delicacies or food that have done greater harm than good. Instead of shaking a leg, we slam it down before the tube while stuffing ourselves with more unhealthy stuff.

It is for this reason that cases of Type II diabetes and heart problems have become alarmingly high. Alarming in the sense that we have a lot of problems with obesity among our people, young and old. It’s good, though, that PSS has taken the lead to ensure its breakfast and school lunch menus are shifted to healthy food. It also spends time in the classroom teaching kids nutritious food and the importance of exercise.

Admittedly, the long-term illness level has escalated and a lot has to do with culture. For instance, when we purposely reduce our waistline or whole body the old folks think we’re sick. So you’re encouraged to stuff yourself so you look big “sideways,” never mind that you’re overweight. As you go past 35, the waistline moves quicker and closer to the sun. By the time you realize it, your blood pressure has equally taken off, sugar level reaches hyperglycemia as you struggle with hypertension. It’s a do-or-die situation.

Dire conditions force us to either follow our doctor’s recommendation or the next recommendation would be the price and color of your casket as you take temporary residency at the morgue. It need not be this way. Only you can control your palate, including brisk walking at least three times a week. Bring the entire family along so you make it a collective effort. You’d do yourself a whale of good!

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Watched one big woman order breakfast: “Let me have fried bacon, fried rice, fried link sausage, fried eggs, five slices of fried ham, four pieces of pancakes, muffins, and sweet rolls.” Asked for her drink, she smiled, announcing, “Diet Coke.” Well, it must be gastrointestinal disorder or a lifetime dream to turn into a larger-than-life Humpty Dumpty!

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