Things that matter


Policy: Kilili says in lengthy and unreflecting way that the CNMI’s human resources is key to economic growth. It’s a collateral issue. The salient point you missed by oceans apart is policy, sir. Isn’t the federal takeover of immigration the predatory policy that annihilated and paralyzed growth here? Isn’t its removal the key to economic revival? Why the defeatist handout mindset as the holy grail of salvation? No steely resolve to do what’s right?

Mind you, immigration control and economic plan go in tandem. Why haven’t you sought return of immigration control? Does your inadequacy understanding the historical importance, uniqueness and essence of the Covenant Agreement a reason to ignore our humanity or indigenous dignity? Do we bow in servility to total federal influence? Does economic freedom mean anything to you? Don’t you think we deserve it too?

Legacy: It’s unspeakable the morphing of the CNMI into a welfare state left in complete ruination by the federal takeover of immigration. Fronting the procession is retiring congressman Georgie Pogee Miller and Alan Stayman, former OIA director. Kilili is in the back shepherding everybody to the NAP Office. A cartoon would do well on this score! Is fostering dependency the new way of life now? What legacy!

CUC’s pipe: The agency is building a $6-million pipeline that would be useless in about two year’s time when a hybrid integrated power system is emplaced. Isn’t this an open waste and mismanagement of U.S. taxpayers’ money? Isn’t the feds $18 trillion in the hole? Why not an immediate federal receivership to sever this lunacy?

The Saipan power plant is in a tight bind and needs fresh funds for parts, poles, transmission lines and other must-have supplies during this and other typhoon seasons. Oooops! Let’s start by having the CNMI pay its $23 million utility debt. Nothing runs on seawater as yet, yeah? And not according to the last time I checked the lagoon.

Strength of dollar: It matters to families the buying power of the dollar they earn daily. In Honolulu it’s $.84 less or its strength is $.16 per dollar. In the NMI where everything is far more expensive, what’s your estimate of the strength of your dollar? A recent report from the Asian Development Bank defines poverty income as $1.60 per person per day. What’s ours? Let’s ask candidates for answers as we head into the Nov. 4th election.

Religion: A religious belief is the deepest reach in conviction worth dying for, come hell or high water. This is the depth of radicals’ belief, a bit too hard for a layman to grasp with some sense of clarity. But it’s a 1,000 percent commitment and conviction.

Each Muslim extremist wants to meet Allah and would happily die to join him somewhere in the constellations of the universe. It’s a well-financed group who speak with conviction. Obama’s probably right quizzing how do we help those who don’t want to help themselves? If it means so much to them then Iraqis and others must stand up in defense of their freedom.

At sunset in solitude
The sunset gracefully withdrew her rainbow of vivid colors from the far reaches of the vast expanse of the Pacific. There I was, a tiny grain of sand along Puntan Muchot relishing the sheer beauty of the most spectacularly picturesque part of the island.

The shallow water stirs teeny waves that land softly at the golden shoreline. It soft-lands, recedes until it subsides and disappears. The small rippling waves are insignificant thanks to Mother Nature. It was towering waves that ruffle everything along the shore. This evening was basically calm.

There were tourists on the other side frolicking in the water. They probably never paid any mind to the skinny silhouette walking cautiously in and out of the water. I appreciate the solitary moment if only to listen to tiny waves gently crashing on the beach or the howling trade winds struggling to free its spirit from ironwood trees.

At a distance, I could hear the roar of an approaching heavy rain. Large raindrops started pelting my face or pattering on the water around me. I could see the full moon rising spreading its wings across the lagoon turning the calm water smooth and silvery.

Across the Tanapag Harbor channel sits Mañagaha Island, the crown jewel of the NMI drawing 80 percent of visitors per planeload. It has the perfect triad of sun, sea and sand.

It must have been the last pit stop for traditional fishermen who’d clean large catch, dry them over fire or under the sun before heading home. I could see it being a beehive of activity among our master traditional fishermen.

So what’s the importance of traditional fishermen? Their role in our cultural tradition of fishing for the entire community as far out as 500 miles. Collectively, they were mindful of the wellbeing of the community, braving the open sea to catch the big ones. Every family shares in the catch in what’s known as communal sharing. It’s a social fabric that has held us together for centuries.

About the only disruption I expect this evening is when my wife parks the old jeep to pick me up. As I relish the moment, the thought of disruption was sufficiently disruptive. Wish I could spend another hour but it’s unwise to disturb the ways of our ancestors who also visit the shore for their own purposes. Trust me, I’ve seen it all!

The serene surrounding is so far removed from the redundancy of bankruptcy of the local government or a patient slowly succumbing to terminal cancer. This too was unwelcome disruption! I would have done well sitting alone taking every whip of salty gentle breeze from the sea. Try finding time alone for yourself. It’s healthy!

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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