Epitaph of CNMI’s democracy | 87: Rough seas ahead — all hands on deck!

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THE CNMI is for TRUE facing some rough times ahead and its all because of the “COURSE” our GOP chose for us-folks-in-the-cheap-seats to travel.

For sure it was not a course the People desired as WE the People rejected the casino in two separate elections yet the GOP forced it down our throats. The GOP chose to take us into the rough seas that alienated our very base for Tourism — the Japanese Market. The GOP failed to save “rations” (money) for the long voyage to find prosperity but instead GREED took hold every time there was extra money from the Casino because it was not subject to budgeting. WE the People have been lied to and bamboozled by the GOP and our predicament is proof of foolish leadership WE the People have been subjected to as we are literally floundering on the rocks with no means of freeing ourselves to find calm seas.

WE the People should know it is getting rough when the starts to think about “backstepping or should I say backstabbing” with their discussion of the possibility of lifting the moratorium on poker machines imposed by the Saipan casino law. I don’t have to tell any informed person of what our society went through with Poker Machines and we are STILL fighting a battle against the addiction of gambling that continues to destroy lives and families. The GOP has to KNOW that most of the money from the Poker Machines comes from the People who actually have the LESS in our society and now they want to literally PREY on them because they can’t think of anything else. How well We the People know they can’t think as they have had our entire society on gambling for almost twenty years and look what it has gotten us — virtually nowhere!

The QUESTIONS raised by Rep. Sheila Babauta in the House of Representatives session on Tuesday last week regarding House Bill 21-31, which would legalize internet gaming in the CNMI is further proof that our GOP can only think of one thing to get money — GAMBLING! At a time we should be doing all we can to diversify our economy the GOP continues to hold us in the chopping and shark invested waters of gambling. They go from one form of gambling to another and they all literally PREY on the Local People.

Representative Babauta raised some very serious questions about the accountability for the Bill to the People as it was obvious the impact on the People was not considered and Rep. Ralph Yumul just brushed it off by saying if there are concerns they will address it in another Bill. What I would like to know is “where is the CNMI’s Internet Security Team” that will watch over this operation. Oh, I forgot, they don’t want any accountability because that way it can be like the casino and just give us what they want like the casino tried to get away with its taxes in the 10s of million while our GOP lawmakers allegedly get kick-backs. But what got me was the assertion that IPI was for Internet Gambling which was somehow supposed to justify it when IPI really only wants a piece of the action. Keep up the good fight Rep. Babauta many of us are praying you and all Independents will join the Democrats so we can get off this rocky reef gambling and into calm seas real economic prosperity literally!

Our hospital hasn’t really improved that much over the past 20 years either while our referral program continues to grow. The GOP choice to make the Hospital a corporation was merely a “cost-cutting play” by the GOP to take around 40 million out of the budget thus cutting any potential for the hospital to grow with the needs of our society — two steps backwards in health care. Out GOP created the rough seas for the Hospital and Referral Program that is actually an “unfunded expense” and its being run like a “rent-a-program” that is for momentary use when it needs to be a “permanently and fully funded program.” So the seas will continue to be rough for our Health Care System under a GOP that takes from Paul the People to pay Peter themselves and their families.

NMDs and Locals continue to suffer rough seas under the GOP as the Governor just took 15million from the NMDs and put the burden on the future Governor and People to pay it back but he didn’t ask IPI for a penny that they still owe the CNMI. The People who want to live in the Northern Islands have caught all kinds of hell from our GOP Government who only thinks about BIG Business and could care less about what a few People are trying to achieve. The problem is the Northern Island group is sooooo small they don’t have any political clout to influence voting so they just get treated any-kind-of-way the Legislature feels. The GOP is doing all kinds of juggling acts on who and how a person qualifies to be a resident of the Northern Islands now when there should only be ONE requirement for an “initial settlement(s)” on Pagan which is “the ancestral right of anyone who is a direct family member of a person who has once lived on Pagan.” But I will say that eventually, any U.S. citizen should be allowed to live on Pagan like any other island in the CNMI. However, the rough seas will continue for the NMDs and those who want to live on Pagan until voters get tired of these rough seas and vote the GOP out so we can set ourselves free for a NEW course to find real prosperity.

China for whom we now depend upon the most!

Need I say those magic words of I Told You So, because now WE are hearing from the Pacific U.S. Commander to “BEWARE of CHINA” literally! The passage of the Trade Agreement was a small price for China to pay for what they are doing and planning on doing. His exact words were “China is threatening the sovereignty of small Pacific Islands and undermining the region’s stability.” WOW! We are literally tied at the hip to China now thanks to our brilliant GOP and I do mean brilliantly DUMB as the GOP traded an “ally of Japan for our economic enemy China.” The Governor and his crew are excellent at deception, whitewashing and gaslighting to FOOL the Local People but when it comes to real “thinking and developing our economy” they get an F in my classroom.

One of the main reasons the Pacific Commander had to speak out is because China is our ENEMY — did you hear that GOP, our ENEMY, not one of our allies like Japan — DUH! Now China is infested with the coronavirus causing all kinds of economic down-trends with no end in sight so WHAT is our GOP going to do to offset or rectify our short-comings? I already know they don’t have a clue and the worst part is they won’t LISTEN Linda to others outside their party making our ONLY resolve as voters is to VOTE them OUT so we can at least have a CHANCE because it’s like Albert Einstein said: “You can’t fix a problem with the same mentality (GOP) that cause the problem.”

The rough seas that we are facing are only going to get rougher and even more predictable given the GOP’s commitment to Gambling and putting most of our eggs in China’s basket. WE the People must do something to CHANGE our Course. Need I remind you, the late Bishop Camacho WARNED us and I only wonder WHAT will it take and WHEN will majority of voters get-it to make the decision to get rid of ALL the GOP and teach them the lesson they should have learned over two decades ago! Its ALL Hands on Deck for the mid-terms as WE the People must take back our Government from the GOP and IPI at all cost!!! To be continued: One People One Direction for setting a New Course for the CNMI in calmer waters!!!

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.

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