THE casino era’s end is at hand and the Casino Commission is finally drawing a line in the sand with the suspension of IPI’s Gaming License and imposing a 6.6 million dollar fine. I said a long time ago the “hand-writing-is-on-the-wall” for the casino given all the adverse financial factors they don’t have the money to address, the pandemic that will continue to adversely affect the ability to bring in gamblers, that is, IF they can even bring in tourists from China given the Chinese Government is now in opposition to “off-shore gambling for Chinese citizens.”

The question now is which direction will the Governor try to take us, if he is even around to do any leading.  I haven’t heard anything coming from the Governor’s office as to what or how the CNMI will replace the casino so I can only guess he is “still hanging onto a sinking ship.” At the very least we learn in grade school to always have a “plan B” if plan A doesn’t work out but given who WE the People are depending upon don’t look for anything with promise. But we are at the end of an era with the Casino, this Governor and Republicans and all we can really do as citizens is to watch, take good notes on our politics and wait for 2022.

Article XII Response to Commenters

I really take no pleasure in bursting people’s bubble but TRUTH can sometimes hurt. What gets me is the Governor chose to get on TV and literally “gaslight” Article XII, only telling people what they want to hear about keeping it for his personal and party’s political intentions instead of telling his People the hard TRUTH.  Article XII is truly at the end of its era and for those who are upset at the Senate president, you really should thank him because if you have learned your lessons from history like you SHOULD, you would know he is trying to prevent the Feds coming in and figuratively throwing Article XII in the trash. If you have learned your lessons of history from the Hawaiians then you know the solution to keeping control of the land is very simple — just don’t sell, duh! This is why I was proposing more EDUCATION about Article XII because it will be education that will save the Land from being sold but the CNMI can’t deny U.S. citizens their Constitutional Rights.

The Mayor

The present Saipan Mayor is at the end of his era and there are already people jockeying for the job. RB Camacho and Leepan are both putting their names in the hat. But I do want to thank Leepan for his idea that we do need to clean up the CNMI. I had been wondering who and when someone would address this issue ever-since the last super typhoon gave the island a hair-cut figuratively. 

I get it about doing things to clean up and improve in the villages but we must also do something for the overall aesthetics (beauty) of the island, especially the views that we still have but will be gone again in another year or two due to jungles.  I’m also wondering when is the CNMI going to come up with a method to plant grass or something so that jungles won’t keep growing on the easements and the side of the roads.

We also need the Legislature to grant certain “air-rights” to the CNMI Government that will empower the Government to help private landowners with resources and funding to turn some of the hills that have trees and jungles blocking the great views can be turned into terraces with-out trees so the view will always be visible. Finally, speaking of trees, there is a need to plant new Flame Trees everywhere possible so whoever wins, I hope they will really try to Beautify Saipan beyond planting flowers and continuously clearing the same areas and implement some permanent beautification methods.

The Tie-breaker Rule

Kudos to Reps. Christina Sablan, Ed Propst, Leila Staffler, Sheila Babauta, Denita Yangetmai, Donald Manglona, Celina Babauta, Vicente Camacho and Richard Lizama for ending the Republican Era of controlling the House of Representatives and for using their own political tool against them —  the tie-breaker rule. It’s the end of an era in the Legislature and some of the same Republicans who helped to create and/or maintain the “tie-breaking rule” are now crying foul. I think they would be call hypocrites in Biblical terms and times — for TRUE.

But more importantly, I was glad to see the Democrats collectively, like a real team, educating the People about the tie-breaker rule because many of the voters in the CNMI are really in the dark about a lot of political things and it’s not their fault. The Republicans don’t want our voters to be fully educated about anything just told what the Republicans want them to hear with their “gaslighting shows” like the Governor claiming he thinks “Article XII should remain intact” when he KNOWS it can’t under Federal Law and now he even claims to really want to work with the Democrats because the subpoenas are COMING — he can’t fool a first-grader now.  Democrats, please don’t stop educating the people every chance you get because education transformed mankind from riding horses to traveling in space and education will even save our planet and you can be assured education will surely play a critical role in helping the people of the CNMI make the RIGHT decisions come Decision Day in November of 2022.  On that day, WE the People will decide if the CNMI will continue to be the same old Banana Republic continuing the Republican Era or will it come to an end by electing Democrats — it’s really that simple. 

To be continued: One People One Direction. 

The writer is a retired teacher, former CNMI Board of Education Member, James Madison Fellow (U.S. Constitutional Scholar), a Fulbright-Hays & Humanities Scholar who resides in Kagman III. 

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