Challenges in paradise


There are issues that present heavy challenges ahead as incumbent politicians rehearse new additions to distractions to pretend they’re busy working doing nothing.

The latest scheme: how to stand on live power lines like birds without turning into instant ashes. Some have even tried but quickly learned it is fatal. A rather very disheartening set of exercises where stupid isn’t a discouraging word.

Mantra: We seem averse to planning for our future! Raffy and Biktot have abandoned the “solutions driven” mantra they’ve shredded to pieces. Both are now dazed how to work the balance of their fast eroding term.

Corruption: Salvo fired regarding corruption in government by former Labor secretary Edith Guerrero gave the multitude an issue to munch over breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It fits the local mindset where one is guilty until proven innocent. It’s contrary to the presumption of innocence under American jurisprudence.

History: Yes, the NMI has a history of public officials convicted and jailed for corruption. Some living, some dead, while another was fortunate to have his conviction commuted. What lifetime trophies!

The echo of this humiliating legacy of corrupt public officials still rings loud and clear in our ears! It’s one humiliating chapter in our developmental history!

I don’t know how Biktot could justify non-payment of the $400,000 he’s engineered for his family or why Raffy’s silence is woefully deafening. Oh, I forgot, both are still on the same dance floor waltzing to melodic lullabies or humming “don’t worry, be happy…for soon it would be break of dawn and we’d be gone!”

Gee! Certain families eat steak, lobster, and red wine daily while taxpayers make do with cold and spoiled leftover food.

Niceties: People speak passionately about change. Encouraging! But it quickly melts into the culture of “political correctness. Discouraging!

In brief, we simply avoid the inconvenience of “telling it like it is”—truth—to avoid offending anyone. It’s polite niceties!

The self-serving bigotry is dangerously damaging and alarming. It spreads into other issues of importance where persistent excuses are used to avoid problem solving. It’s mind-boggling how even matters of state are skipped in favor of convenience and mañana.

Can this be reduced to economic anxiety or the loss of individual and social values? It’s a tough issue to resolve without an extensive research. It entails reviewing how value system has shifted over the years. We’ve simply lost strong interest to resolve issues in forthright fashion.

Attribution: You’d think they are up to speed with issues that matter. Most are at a loss what has just happened or what’s coming down the pike. Reminds me of the joke about the three kinds of people. You wonder which category fits their bill. Could it be the bunch that didn’t know what happened?

We must begin holding our men of wisdom accountable for their actions or inactions. In other words, when they do nothing to help the multitude improve the family purse then their salaries should be withheld pending factual approval of measures on this score. Eh, you must earn your dues so it doesn’t turn into automatic biweekly deceitful loot.

Until legislators in concert with Raffy and Biktot could improve the income of the 13,000-plus employees earning poverty level income, you salary should be placed on hold at Treasury until every single worker in this category has received help. No wonder there’s the steady disengagement of the working class searching for people outside the GOP they could trust with their future.

It has begun rumbling like some powerful and fatal earthquake that would eventually destroy the entire political landscape. It’s coming down the pike, like it or not! One tough sailing for incumbents top to bottom!

True north: Occasionally, I’d descend into places of quietude—in my mind or physical setting—looking for some respite of peaceful hope and brighter tomorrows. It usually means my trips to the mound have been unsuccessful. Even a shade of hope would help reset buttons once more.

It’s all about maintaining allegiance to one’s “true north” or integrity. Anything beyond this and you’re dealing with the onset of addiction to corruption. In public office, the focus veers off the interest of the people in favor of sugar daddies who funnel money into their lapdog’s pockets monthly. It’s a widely talked about issue in town!

Federal treasury: There would come a time when federal grant funds undergo critical scrutiny to see how much U.S. taxpayers contribute to NMI needs.

The idea that we have a casino whose income isn’t taxed won’t sit well with U.S. mainland casino industry that pitch into the federal treasury, annually.

Here the owners collect their profits in the billions and head home. Are they contributing to the federal treasury or our basic infrastructural needs?

Are the indigenous people direct beneficiaries of this venture by way of investment? What percentage would that be on an overall basis? If the answer is none, then we’re just roadside cheerleaders, right? We cheer the transfer of billions of dollars to the home country of casino owners.

Labor needs: Dazed, we try to figure out how to resolve the end of CW workers here by 2019, as mandated by USPL 110-229.

In 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Resources stressed that the “federal immigration laws be extended ‘in an orderly manner’ with a commitment by federal agencies to mitigate any potential adverse effects and encourage diversification and growth in the local economy,” it was noted in the book An Honorable Accord by Howard P. Willens and Deanne Siemer.

The issue requires leadership with a clear vision of how to navigate our canoe amidst a myriad of fatal storms at sea.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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