Eerie quiet in paradise

A lot of folks have noticed the eerie silence here in recent weeks. Is it the usual calm before the storm or something more ominous? Or is it simply a natural phenomenon in the scorching heat of summer?

At the same time, I can’t place my finger on a haunting and persistent echo at dusk. Or has my imagination gone on overdrive?

Meanwhile, some 75,000 illegal kids enter the country’s southern border monthly. Yet the lamestream media’s manufactured crisis blames Trump for the separation of kids and parents. Trump has done something about it to rectify current laws approved by Democrats.

Anyway, let’s share preliminary views on relevant issues here before the raucous slugfest picks up speed and decibels.

Number 80! It’s hard pinning down decent rationale why the powers-that-be raised their salaries by 80 percent while ditching nearly 15,000 employees literally struggling with poverty income level and below. It must be a show of unhinged arrogance and greed!

The new increase raises the governor’s from $70,000 to $120,000 while legislators (with all perks included) $70,000 to $106,000 per year. And they threw 5 percent breadcrumbs at civil servants.

Closer scrutiny shows the huge difference in salaries between the elected elite against everybody else. If you’re a civil service employee earning $24,600 per year, you’re looking at a $30,000 gap. It’s oceans apart!

This action slides into what’s known as income “inequality” that slams its ugly face into the term corruption! Despicably pathetic! Voters can say their piece this November when they send the foggy minded incompetent bunch permanently into the sunset.

Feud: My source said Republicans are struggling in a three-way feud over control of the party this election year. Understood the struggle in who commands the troops. It’s all about “Are you da boss of me?”

Meanwhile, Democrats and independent have formalized unity recently. The mood is a stark difference versus the GOP in the level of enthusiasm and fellowship. There’s that determination to upset the apple cart at all cost. It has the natural narrative to slam its nemesis at will, rain or shine!

Anyway, it’s the nature of the beast. The exhausted GOP isn’t sure it could navigate the rough seas of self-inflicted arrogance and greed.

Necessity: As the Babauta-Sablan tandem firms up plans to visit the campaign trail, Raffy and Arnie are dazed and deeply troubled by the obvious: 80-percent salary hike that openly skips poverty income employees. What could Raffy do to mend the fatal oversight on the dire need to improve the buying power of thousands of families it ignored with four months before the election?

Collusion? Whatever happened to your oath of office to uphold the laws of the land? Or did you lose your coconuts because Biktot Hokog is from the same political party? Has Gov. Raffy asked his lieutenant to pay back the $400,000?

Have any of the Republican members of the Legislature insisted that this corrupt expropriation of taxpayers’ money is repaid forthwith? Or have you guys gotten “collusion” down to an art?

Maanee: Meanwhile, I understand there’s about $20 million in the so-called Marianas Chest. Would this be used for another pay off of Ulithi, oops, utility bills like they did four years ago?

Fed law: Took a quick glimpse into what’s known as the Hobbs Act as it relates to bribery and public corruption. It’s written in plain English and I’d like to share it verbatim for your own benefit. Well, ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse. It’s good to know what you’re up against both in terms of local and federal law. Be guided accordingly.

“Most public corruption cases involve allegations that a public official solicited or received a bribe, kickback, or gratuity “in return for” or “in connection with” some official action, or that a person offered or gave such a bribe, kickback or gratuity to the public official “in return for” or “in connection with an official act.” “A bribe or gratuity does not have to be given or received—the promise alone is usually enough to constitute a crime.

“Even if a public official corruptly accepts money for an act he would have taken anyway, he still may be guilty under federal bribery and public corruption statutes. The intricacies of these federal public corruption statutes, and the subtle defenses available through U.S. Supreme Court case law require sophisticated legal representation at the earliest possible stage.” Review this law even if it means reading it all over well into the wee hours of dawn.

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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