Emerging national debate


President Trump descended on California to show Gov. J. Brown that federal laws, including federal immigration laws and policies, are the “law of the land.”

Brown tried throwing a legal curve ball that he doesn’t have to abide by instructions issued by Trump on immigration. While Trump wants to build a wall, Brown works on building filthy bridges, one tent at a time, along city streets all over California occupied by millions of homeless folks.

Brown may have his own opinion legal or otherwise but the supremacy of laws has long been resolved since the days of our 16th president. Whatever happened to the land of nuts, fruits, and berries? How does he pay up his $958 billion deficit? Has it turned simply “nuts?” Notice Trump didn’t have to enter California illegally?


Chicago is haggling over granting prisoners their rights to vote involving some 7,000 inmates. It definitely could make a difference in who gets elected. At issue is whether conviction and incarceration deny prisoners their voting rights. It would be one long debate ahead. I think it needs to be defined so to clear the air.


Rep. Maxine Waters of California is beginning to be my favorite member of the U.S. House of Representatives. She wanted to prove she’s got smarts. So she took an IQ test. The lab folks came back, saying, “Your IQ test came back negative!” Whoa!

She was fuming mad, complaining, “How could that be when California is the largest welfare state in the country with a deficit of some $958 billion!” Said Magoo, “Now that’s some IQ, huh?”


Revisiting: The word “unaccountability” sounds big but when you break it down it simply means the lack of accountability (holding someone responsible) for use of public funds (taxpayers’ tax contributions) especially in government. It’s habitually treated with inconsequence. It’s our taxes, isn’t it?


Or why is Boating Safety out guarding the governor and his brothers on an all-night fishing trip? Heard this has been going on for the last two years. Isn’t this a federally funded program? Isn’t this sacrificing public safety because Raffy and siblings had to be guarded while fishing up north?


There’s the boastful claim of “surplus” funds, yet our share on Medicaid to the tune of $14 million hasn’t been paid. Isn’t it true that the program accommodates a lot of our people meeting health costs?


Then there’s the granddaddy of them all: the $400,000 that Biktot Hokog engineered for the MV Luta, a business owned by his family. Has the AG moved to recoup our hard-earned tax contributions? It would be good to find out, via an ocular review by OPA, how the funds were spent. Should be interesting reading all the way around.


We toy around with $250,000 for an aviator’s monument when we can’t even afford toilet tissues for CHC and the Public School System? Mind-boggling!


Has the NMI done a desk audit to determine actual staff requirement like DPL did some eight years ago? It’s the only way to find out personnel needs, staff salary and whether staff income is commensurate with qualifications, etc.

It was appalling to learn that a staff secretary was making more money than the departmental secretary! Had to clean out the mess once and for all! Plus, it’s good to use the merit system where dedicated employees aren’t skipped of what’s rightfully theirs over others who employ Pinocchio’s nose!

This is mandatory to save taxpayers paying for the largess of politicians who have no clue that for every political hire added to their payroll we the taxpayers pay for their salaries and benefits or excesses. Enough is enough!


We spend $13 million-$15 million on medical referral per year for hospitals between Guam, Manila, and Honolulu. Has CHC looked into funneling some of these funds to improve medical services here? Or is the issue taken for granted for as long as we could fork out the cost of the program? What if local funds head south?


Under the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Council, the NMI was granted 1,000 or so metric ton of migratory fish for longliners. What’s the benefit to the NMI when it gives this to permitted longliners? Can someone quantify this in terms of dollar figure accruing to the local coffers?


Finally, there’s renaissance in cultural revival. How much of the total financial resources of the NMI are earmarked for this purpose? It should be understood, though, that PSS teaches the vernacular to our children. If it needs more to strengthen this program then let it be. What about other agencies dedicated to indigenous culture? Have they fulfilled constitutional mandates?

Institutional zip
Through the years we’ve seen the emergence, disappearance and re-emergence of the local farmers’ organization. The head pop and drop phenomenon has happened over the last five decades. It piqued my interest why the wobbly activities without steady foundation. Throughout the period we hardly see rock solid programs that focus on the needs and interests of local farmers.

It seems obvious the organization lacks mindful leadership to guide the work of the group forward so something solid happens that benefits farmers. It takes more than organizational issues.

It means buckling down to putting some real teeth into issues and concerns of farmers. Initially, it could begin purposeful study what their immediate and long-term needs are and how to achieve them. It’s a matter of definition of goals and objectives including opening an office to handle the needs of the organization. After all, these are simple folks who do better with their garden hoes than fiddling with a pen.

A lot can be done but it begins with the self in organized fashion, including exploring funding opportunities with the Commonwealth Development Authority, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Small Business Administration. Unless it truly organizes its mission with a purpose, it’s bound to repeat the same failure year after year. I may ruffle some feathers but it’s time to bring the issue right into the farmers’ garden.

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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