By JOHN S. DELROSARIO JR.
Special to the Saipan Tribune
It is said that leaders don’t fly with the flock; they usually fly alone as they carry their vision forward, having assessed everything before them with conviction. Familiar with his vision and mission, he finds it second nature communicating it to the team.
This is what my soft-spoken and humble friend Jerry Tan did when he and Tan Holdings, the family business, hatched the economic venture Saipan Air. He saw a dire need-the economic chaos and disaster if the tourism industry disintegrates out of negligence and what it would take to reverse any further deterioration of tourism here.
He put his best foot forward to salvage it and the prognosis of being successful in this venture looks very promising. This is because the answer is to provide the means-airline-to bring in visitors from our largest market, Japan.
Jerry is very community oriented and pitches in where it counts the most. He’s done exceedingly well as a member of the Northern Marianas College Foundation and in the promotion of global sports for our young people NMI-wide. Definitely a real leader with strong business ethics, he deserves the accolades of the entire NMI community.
For all your quiet, though powerful, leadership, Jerry, Si Yuus Maase`! At least there’s real hope in reviving the tourism industry with rock solid paradigm from a man with real business acumen, commitment, and vision.
Jerry is trail-blazing a path where the benefits he brings from his vision to salvage an industry crumbling at the base would benefit everyone! It’s our last economic pillar. This ought to give sustenance and hope for tourism revival after baseless and myopic marketing of the NMI where the simple answer is an airline to ferry passengers here! Jerry, flying alone has brought forth the real answer. Once again, Si Yuus Maase`!
Natural vs civil rights
Your rights, “natural versus civil” rights: it’s important to understand the difference, especially as it pertains to the fallacies of Article 12. Various authors affiliated with Heritage Foundation have presented well-written essays on these two issues: “natural” or God-given rights and “civil” rights, the latter granted by the government.
Although both natural rights and human rights are universal, there are fundamental differences between the two.
“First of all, natural inalienable rights do not come from government. Governments only secure these rights, that is, they create the political conditions that allow one to exercise them. Human rights on the other hand are bestowed by the state and have become a catchall term for anything we desire and deem important. As a result, whereas natural rights (such as life, liberty, and property) are rights that government protects from infringement by others, human rights (such as “housing” and “leisure”) are often things that government is obligated to provide.
“Secondly, natural rights, being natural, do not change over time. All men, at all times, have the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Human rights, on the other hand, constantly change. A whole cottage industry has sprung up to advance an array of new ‘economic and social rights’ conceived of, defined by, and promoted by government and international bureaucrats.
“Natural rights are those inalienable rights that directly result from human nature. Men possess these rights, such as the right to one’s own life and the right to liberty, simply by virtue of being human. Since natural rights automatically belong to all humans, government can neither give them nor take them away. Governments do, however, have an obligation to secure the natural rights of their citizens.
“Civil rights-such as the freedom of the press, the right to vote, or the right to a trial by jury-are rights granted by governments to allow citizens the proper enjoyment of their natural rights. For example, you cannot enjoy your natural right to liberty if the government denies you the right to vote. It makes no sense to speak of a natural right to vote-since voting only occurs in a political context-but you could see how your natural rights would be jeopardized if these civil rights were infringed. Because these rights stem from society rather than nature, they are called “civil rights.”
“The right to property is the natural right to acquire, own, and use property. Property rights form not only the basis for a free market economy, but also for republican self-government, deeply intertwined as they are with human liberty. To be free is to exert one’s talents in the pursuit of happiness, and property rights are a fundamental requirement for securing the just rewards of one’s labor. According to the Founders, property rights also formed the cornerstone of a commercial republic: When a man has a bit of property-a home, a piece of land, his own source of food and security-he can be independent, and therefore free.
“To grasp the full breadth of the concept of property rights, property must be seen less as a static possession and more as the dynamic source of opportunity for all-the engine that allows liberty, prosperity, and civil society to flourish. When property rights are secure and markets operate freely, economics is not a zero-sum game where people make a dollar by taking it from someone else, but rather a formidable way to create wealth and raise the standard of living of all.”
With the landownership being a natural right, it stands to reason therefore that Article 12 cannot arbitrarily deny private landowners what’s theirs as a God-given right. In short, it can’t turn “natural” rights into “civil” rights in that we’ve never given up what’s ours. There is all the more reason to repeal Article 12 in its entirety. It’s an arbitrary infringement and violation of our rights to complete landownership. After all, governments have an obligation to secure the natural rights of their citizens. It opens the way to have the court declare it null and void!