Orwellian tendencies


We’re loaded with disoriented political rhetoric that evaporates like morning dew after it is fed to humiliating brawn. It’s nothing unusual. It’s the new fad among politicos.

We were hoping for astute leadership but we find the grand display of demagoguery turned into an art. With faithful sycophants the storm of fiscal disaster picks up steam!

We fail to employ conviction or definition behind expressions on most issues of importance. You quiz what happens under worsening fiscal condition. Immensely troubling the pile of debts that looks like heaps of snow in the meadows. Did someone say, “Let it be?”

Bloated payroll: Difficult as it may be, the election is over and the time is ripe to make resolute and difficult decisions cutting down the bloated public payroll of over 3,000 employees. The surging debt by the millions of dollars can’t be treated as mythical creature (hobgoblins) of little minds humiliatingly adored by clueless politicians.

Bankruptcy: The Settlement Fund is another creature that must be revamped so it is made cash-balanced. It’s the only way to steer clear of bankruptcy in perpetuity. This can’t be rendered the usual timidity as though a passing cotton ball.

Pension programs have driven city and state governments into bankruptcy because politicians have acted as alleged actuarial experts. Here we piled it with obligations rendering it fiscally unsustainable. We’re convinced money would fall from the sky like annual Christmas drops. The cargo cult mentality isn’t the answer either!

Hypocrisy: There’s the perverted irony on the use of Pagan. It isn’t good for military purposes but paragons of “cultural values” support defacing it permanently via pozzolan mining. Ready to turn Pagan into another Nauru? Didn’t Nauru buy land in Australia and other states across the country for its people because their island is now uninhabitable? Need we repeat history? So rather than hectoring and lecturing, how about employing thoughtful and insightful analysis? Appalling your silence and passivity laced with Orwellian tendencies.

Alliance: Other issues we must probe include: Recent U.S.-Japan Alliance where the latter eventually defends itself over the current arrangement. What does it mean? Would such alliance retain Futenma base in Okinawa? Would it mean military buildup in Guam and the CNMI would be downsized? It’s also good to watch if there are likely agreements with the use of former U.S. bases in the Philippines closest to Asia than the CNMI. Makes sense full square!

Contamination: In the water aquifer on both Saipan and Tinian there’s fuel and tar dumped by the Navy before exiting in the early ’60s. It is a serious issue dealing with the health of the indigenous people. Have we dealt with it or did we decide to treat it with passivity? Isn’t it about our health and future wellbeing? Aren’t the two islands factually contaminated? Why is EPA woefully mute? Or isn’t this another unannounced experiment in cancer and isn’t there a spike of a myriad of cancers today among the indigenous population?

Self-What? If we spout rights to indigenous self-government, and I’m sure bankruptcy isn’t uppermost in our working vocabulary, then we would have completed downsizing a useless 29-member bicameral legislature to a unicameral system that comprises just eight members. But it’s another issue treated for publicity stunt purposes, instantly ignored when the ink dries off the newspaper pages. So where’s the alleged resolve on self-government? Why can’t we put truth to power and support assertions with conviction and meaning?

Mindfulness: This brings the term “mindfulness” to my less than nimble mind. It deals with success and how well you handle it when you reach the pinnacle of your career. The Harvard University School of Business offers a semester’s course on mindfulness for its graduate students.

What’s my point? Did we forget that the NMI is under the “sovereign” rule of the federal government? Why are we talking as if the CNMI is politically sovereign? Didn’t we give that up under Covenant Section 101? It’s an issue we must revisit because it is reality here since 1978.

Yes, I’m equally mindful of U.S. taxpayers’ generosity that feeds our poorer ones with food stamps, Medicaid, and housing because we’ve failed them. Economic prosperity is in the ICU. As broke as the CNMI is today, we can’t even pay any portion of NAP assistance if it suffers congressional cuts. It’s an issue we can’t ignore. Isn’t there a struggle to even pay down the $31 million NMI utility bills?

The issue is beyond half-cocked spouts on cultural values! And I refuse to descend into amnesiac ignorance on matters that require deliberative discussion and disposition.

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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