‘Our Way’ definitely matters!


Take away the politics of this day and you will see the larger picture behind the curtain: “Our Way of Life” or the “Ways of Others” under casino bosses.

Heinz Hofschneider jealously guards “Our Way” of life as indigenous people of these islands. Inos the “ways of others” with prominence placed on moneyed casino friends. He’s ready to embrace a legacy of permanent destruction of indigenous cultural traditions with his casino policy.

This is the most important issue you must decide upon today. It’s about the future of our children: Keep it by voting for Heinz or destroy it by check marking Inos. It’s your decision!

Inos and casino cronies have failed us by showing complete arrogance and disrespect for our sense of values and justice to remain the chief navigator of our canoe. No concerns that their agenda is well set for the permanent destruction of our way of life.

If Inos’ casino policy pans out, then give the children of the indigenous people less than 30 years before they begin to realize that “home” has become a “foreign” land to them. This is my fear of the unintended consequences of casino on a very tranquil island today. It would be impossible to turn back the hands of time by then.

Our cultural tradition is our lifelong vehicle that has kept us together through the years. Its erosion via a half-cocked casino policy is very troubling. Remember the family novenas and joyful songs in the homes of families and friends especially around the holiday season? Do we also kiss this adios? Do we trash our cultural heritage?

I appreciate our culture of communal sharing—helping our very own—with what little we have, especially with the less fortunate. This is especially a powerful gift coming straight from our hearts. It is a religious culture that has kept us together in both calm and storm for over five centuries. This aspect of our culture makes us uniquely what we are as indigenous people of these isles. It’s now hanging helplessly at a suicide cliff.

With a rat race in casino land, this part of our culture would quickly fade into history as we busy ourselves trying to earn a living in casino joints. We become more concerned with the needs of the individual self over the wellbeing of everyone else around us. We lose grip of what has kept us a unique group of people.

I refuse to allow a condition that forces our children into the poverty of spirit because we ignored their future wellbeing. They would have lost everything, subsequently saying unto themselves, “I remember we were a part of our land upon which our cultural traditions were founded.” I know that such regret in the midst of confusion would be complete devastation, though late in every sense. Why deny them a meaningful life in the true spirit of their tradition?

Our culture is a permanent part of our way of life. Like a woman, does she forget the baby in her womb? Do we now trash what has been ours since time immemorial? This is our last chance to hold unto “Our Way of Life.” A vote for Heinz and Ray would grant us the opportunity to regroup and re-chart an organized future in prosperity for our children. Si yuus maase`!

The day after…

A certain camp would be celebrating while the other ponders the loss of political mileage to rule under a given set of agenda. By dawn tomorrow we would have heard the voice of the people with finality!

Definitely, there’s room to reassess where things may have gone right or wrong. I’d probably be floored by the continuing malaise crawling out of my brain I’ve dubbed the Great Depression.

I tried to rewire the nerves upstairs for fear of instantly replaying vivid memories of hopelessness and inadequacies in my younger days often slammed about in subterranean abject poverty. It’s tough sailing the paralyzing hardship that gripped me for years.

The malaise has similarly derailed the hopes and aspirations of our young people quizzing what lies ahead. Collectively, we must derail and erase hopelessness in their mind. Let’s offer them a brighter break of dawn. I still am hopeful we’re walking together toward it (new break of morn) and look forward to seeing your faces beaming with hope this coming Saturday morning.

Of peace and safety?

For citizens who wish to carry handguns for personal protection, it is truly your right to do so. I’m sure you wish we could maintain the way things have been. But the cold-blooded murder and disappearance of people in recent past had us thinking long and hard whether this island community is safe at all. Perhaps it’s time to start carrying handguns for personal and family protection.

Someone has gone to court challenging the local law on concealed weapons. I support the right of the individual who places his safety and members of his family first over local law that is useless especially at a time when heinous crimes have gone up. I mean DPS comes around half-an-hour or so later when something serious happens. With a gun, I’d stop the creep dead cold in his track!

So what good is a law that turns upright citizens into victims? Hell, I’ll also search to retrieve my right to bear arm. It’s my constitutional right and no amount of misguided mouth-off about peace in the community would help. After all, I’ve dealt with robbery in my house (over 15 years ago) and all that DPS said is “we will investigate.” That was the first and last time I saw them. Are they still investigating?

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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