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Just some random musings .

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Boycott? Is It a Form of Freedom of Speech?

I have been mulling over another thing in regards to the Saipan Casino Act. Specifically, Bruce Bateman's Pro stance on the issue and his weekly preachings in support of it without ever once addressing the many concerns with the Saipan Casino Act itself.

Rather than analysing the Act and putting out any concerns that have been raised (Public Land, Unregulated Monopoly, Initial Funding, Legal Problems with the Act itself, etc) he has opted to continue spewing the same old propaganda in support of the Act and continued attacking those with questions and concerns on a personal level.

So that being said, should I try and start a Boycott of his Bar?

I first heard this the other day from a friend. I was headed out to have a few drinks and places to hit were being thrown out. Porky's came up and a person I was with said, "Hell No! I am boycotting that place." I was thrown aback.

I am a staunch supporter of freedom of speech. Having grown up in Saipan it was very disturbing to me that people who spoke their minds would often times be penalized with some sort of ostracizing on a personal or business level. I quickly told the group I was with that this may not be the "right" thing to do. I told them just because Bruce has a different stance on a public issue then you do should not be cause to inflict financial harm on him via a boycott.

I argued my position well and they all resolved not to boycott the place but reiterated the fact that they were upset with his position on the SCA.

After thinking on the matter a bit more and after posting numerous comments on Bruce's blog regarding his stance on the SCA I have begun to wonder if I was right in not endorsing a Boycott of Porky's.

Perhaps it was the premise for the Boycott that was wrong and not the boycott itself. What I mean is, Why not Boycott Porky's, not for the fact that Bruce supports the SCA, but Boycott it until he allays the public concerns and questions regarding the many facets of the Act that appear to be extremely detrimental to Saipan.

I mean he is publicly supporting it in his weekly columns, at debates, in conversations, and so forth and yet he never tackles the heart of the matter.... the Saipan Casino Act itself. In doing so I believe he is directly threatening the well-being of myself and those living in Saipan. Would I ever offer dinner to a burglar that was looting my house?

This is a very interesting conundrum.

In my opinion Bruce had jumped the gun and blindly embraced Casinos in Saipan before ever reading the Act (Just as Mr. Turbitt had). I believe he came under attack from those opposed to the Saipan Casino Act and lashed out in defense. He may now have so embraced his stance in favor of it that there (in his mind) is no going back. If this is the case then he is putting the island at risk and jeopardizing all those living in Saipan by spewing his propaganda. Why should I in turn assist him financially while he continues to harm me financially (taking my tax dollars to pay for this commission, taking our land at $1/year, etc.) without ever feeling obligated to explain away the many concerns or at least let us see what he sees in regards to these concerns. The "let's take a gamble" argument is crap.

What do you think?

PP (on the fence.... to Boycott Porky's or not to.)


Pragmatic Plato said...

Successful Boycotts:


boycott me said...

Essentially, I’ll let anyone boycott whatever they want. Go for it. Here’s why.

You decide not to purchase the good or service. For whatever reason. That’s allowed. The harm done with that particular choice is what our society has determined to be an acceptable risk for all. With a consumer boycott, if the morality or politics behind the boycott has no support, then the harm done is nominal. If a mass of people mobilize in support of the boycott, then the harm done is really the result of the morality or politics put into action. In other words, the strength and lifespan of a boycott (meaning its destructiveness) testifies to the charm of the morality or political view behind it.

On the other hand, a philosopher – like yourself – might wonder if there’s no difference between a boycott and mob rule. All I can say is that a lynching is illegal. Can a misunderstanding fuel a boycott and destroy others? Maybe some temporary harm is done. This is the point where I go get me something nice at Herman’s Bakery and snicker at the text-messaged boycott. The boycott fails, and we all move on. Someone hates someone else. Oh well.

Perhaps the hesitation to endorse a boycott is based on some Christian view of “not doing to others what you would have done to yourself.” In other words, the reason really has nothing to do with a formalistic belief in democracy. In that case, I would say that the hesitation to boycott is a bit presumptuous and selfish. As if the boycott will have any effect in the first place, and if you are to blame if someone is harmed as a result. If it’s successful, it really never had anything to do with you in particular.

And to answer your question: I’ll go to Porky’s, but I’m against the Saipan Casino Initiative. I’m not offended by Bruce. I don’t feel the injustice in him. That’s my message behind my consumerism. My vote is another matter. I suppose I should find out who really wants to be a crook on the commission, and find a way to protest the hell outta that person. Any suggestions?

Boycott me said...

Er, I mean "not doing onto others what you would not want done onto yourself." I mean, "don't do me like that, 'cause I won't do you that way too." I mean "do me, but gently. And I'll do the same to you tomorrow." Argh, how about "Do no harm." Okay, I guess.

lil_hammerhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Ron M said...

You don't even have the courage to stand behind your own opinions. How could you possibly lead anything? You barely even exist. Pragmatic Plato says to boycott. Maybe they'll listen to what Bugs Bunny says next. You want to boycott someone who puts themselves out there while you hide behind some stupid mask. You attack someone for being open and honest, and want it to be about the issues, while hiding and probably being paid off by the Tinian Dynasty. Please. You're pathetic.

Anonymous said...


Pragmatic Plato said...


As far as I am concerned I do not know who Ron M is and frankly, I do not give a damn. Your opinion on the issues raised in my blog are all that is important. Who you are has no bearing in the matter.

My name is Syvelster McTweedy from Ontario Canada. Does that help? Would that change what I have to say at all? Would that change anything about the issues that I post on?

If so, then perhaps you are the one with issues. Why would it matter who the face behind the blog is? Especially if you didn't know who they were anyway.

Who was Batman? Who was Spiderman? Who was V? Who cares? The message they spread was all that mattered.

As far as the Boycott, if you read and understood my post you would see that I was questioning whether or not this was a good practice in combating a Vocal Supporter of the Act who stood on the pro side during a debate but has yet to answer a single concern I have had in regards to the SCA.

Someone posted earlier about "doing unto others as they do unto you". That is the precise reason why I would feel a bit like doing just that. If I feel he is seriously putting our island in harms way financially then wouldn't the response be to do the same?

I am not upset at his support for the Act I am upset about his propaganda in trying to convert others to join this cause.

I don't believe in a god. I do not get up on a stage and try to un-convert others. I do not write columns in the newspaper badgering those that do believe in a god. I do not post blogs promoting the non-belief in a god and not responding to any arguments that oppose my theology or lack there of.

As far as Lil's opinion on finding the true source and boycotting them, if it turns out that I can honestly see just cause to launch a boycott of porky's, I would endorse boycotting all individuals that have vocally "promoted" supporting this act through deception, false advertising and outright lies. Those that ask others to vote Yes without ever addressing any of the merit-worthy concerns regarding the Act itself.

Pragmatic Plato said...


What the hell does anything I have ever blogged about have to do with the Tinian Dynasty?

Good God (oh yeah, he doesn't exist)!

I have never used the Tinian as a reason I am not voting for the SCA passage.

Read my posts (numerous ones all over the place.... impossible to miss).

Once again Ron M, you are the exact person I was referring to when I posted about the Pro Casino People who never address the Act itself and just attack people personally. Why not try your hand at debating even one of the numerous concerns that have been raised (Public Land Issues, Funding Issues, Etc.)?

The personal attacks that are not merited actually further any reasoning behind personally attacking Bruce financially.

Hammurabi may have had it right.


Pragmatic Plato said...

boycott me,

You hit the nail on the head. I am still unsure of my true hesitation even at this moment.

I will continue to think on it.

Hopefully some lively discussion will be created here that addresses both the issues of Boycott and the Actually Text contained within the Saipan Casino Act.

Pragmatic Plato said...

Actually = Actual

Ron M said...

There are some good things and mostly bad things about this casino. That's not my point. I just find the idea of you, as an anonymous person too ashamed and too chicken to put your name to what you say, leading anything to be laughable, self important bravado. Bruce is wrong, but he's leading. Leaders put themselves at risk. Followers are too afraid. In the serious world of discussion, people stand behind their views, readers evaulate their credibility and people are held accountable. I guess that's the difference between the world of serious debate, not that we have that here, and a lot of these blogs. I agree you've made some good points, but you're not a leader in any fashion and people will probably presume you're being paid off by Tinian without a reputation and just some silly screen name, so the idea of you leading a boycott is what I found laughable.

Would Tina Sablan have the impact she's had if she were sexy shakespeare writing the occasional anonymous angry post instead of a real human out there bringing people together? She's a leader, so people will listen to her. You're not, and what's sad is that you could be. You know this issue and you make better arguments than Ambrose Bennett, but you can't participate in the debate with Bruce, so his voice will be heard and yours won't. If you had guts you could really help stop this thing, but you don't. You should be honest with yourself about that and stop pissing in the wind. That's my main point. Peace out.

lil_hammerhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bigsoxfan said...

How totally pathetic, that after a long period on anon blogging before choosing your nom de guerre, you feel that you can call for a boycott of a person who isn't afraid to use his own name. I would use the missing lightning rods classic quote "your blog is dead to me" except I only found your meandering nonsense amusing at best.

Pragmatic Plato said...

bigsoxfan & ron m,

I don't know either of you from Adam, so what difference does it make? You most likely not know of me anyhow.. But since you insist on knowing my true birth name in order to stop fixating on the anonymity factor then so be it.

I am Greg Marshall. I was not born on Saipan. I am, just under 50% NMD. I was raised here all my childhood to early adult life. I moved off island after graduation for college.

I have returned and will speak my mind as openly as the next joe.

Now mister bigsox and ron does that change anything whatsoever about any of the issues I have raised? If so, how? Are my issues and the dialogue less important because I have a very non-Chamorro last name? Should I use my moms maiden name? Or dad's mother's maiden name? Would that give more umph to my statements about the welfare of my home (Saipan)?

Get off your high horse. None of you are leaders. I don't intend to be a leader. I blog to point out things that I see and question. I blog to exchange ideas and thoughts on various issues. I care not who I exchange things with.

I do not know either of you personally (honestly I really don't ever care to). But I would not sit and harp on the fact that you have not made an effort to come by and meet me. Who cares?

As for the leader comment you made Ron, who gives a crap if I am a leader or not. Who ever said that a leader was a good thing? You stated that Bruce is wrong but he is a leader. Hitler was a leader. What the hell is your point?

My point is enough with the lemming mentality (no matter who you are). Learn to think for yourself and ask questions and search for the truth.

ron and bigsox you two are my leaders. you rock! You may be wrong but you are leaders.

Bruce is wrong and he is a leader too.


Ron M said...

It matters because you talked about "leading" a boycott and we called you out on your bullshit.

It also matters because someone anonymous was trying to threaten someone out in the open. That's why it matters. But what does anyone else know but you.

glend558 said...

Get out the toilet paper or the crying towels which ever you prefer. Either wipe your ass or dry your tears..The SCA is dead on arrival. This won't even get close to being passed so relax.

Pragmatic Plato said...

By lead I simply mean that I would personally not go to Porky's anymore. I would post a blog calling for that action. I would explain in detail my reasoning behind my boycott. I would still keep an open mind as to others opinion and concerns regarding my decision to boycott. I would decline invitations and state my reasoning when asked to go to Porky's.

You still have continued to attack my anonymity rather than address the issue of whether a boycott is a proper reaction to someone that I feel is putting me and all other CNMI residents in harms way financially without ever addressing our concerns.

Again it is not his stance or personal opinion I have issue with. It is the fact that he is publicly promoting and encouraging others to share his belief through lies and deception.

I have not made up my mind n the matter yet.

Anonymous said...

ron m and bigroxsox..whatever..

you obviously have little knowledge in how things operate globally and locally in many govts and locations.. a lot of what happens in govt. is done by folks in the back with plenty $$$ who make critical decisions.. do you think we went into Iraq because of Saddam's horrors done to the people.. well why haven't we hit other countries that have done horrors similarly and currently continue to do so.... reason being behind many of the leaders that stand in the front there are folks in the back influencing the decisions of these leaders.. so in the end.. who really is leading?

glend558 said...

Oh, I forgot Porkys, see how much this supposed boycot means to me. My question is this. Will this continue after the SCA sinks and will the boycott go on forever? Will you all never go to Porkys ever again?
Won't you feel odd going there at a later date when this is all over, or will you forever hold your biased opinion?
Just a deep, moving, powerful though to discuss thru the ages.
To do Porkys or not to do Porkys that is the question... Just shut-up already...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Pragmatic Plato said...

I wish you guys would read my original post. I did not advocate boycotting Porky's. I tossed it up as a question in my post due to a situation that I encountered a few days ago.

A person I was heading out with mentioned that they were boycotting him.

I initially said that it was not a good thing to do based solely on the owner's personal stance on the SCA issue.

I think it is good that people have their own opinions on things.

I only reconsidered and have been mulling over the idea of a boycott after looking at what exactly Bruce is doing by publicly misleading the voters and never once addressing any concerns regarding that Act itself.

Should I ever be inclined to Boycott Porky's it would not be indefinitely. Simply put the Boycott would be made in order to get something to happen.

I would not do it in order to force Bruce to change his mind and his stance on the SCA. I would do it until he addressed the questions and concerns that I have brought up as well as many others. I would do it until he came clean on why he truly believes that the passage of this would not be detrimental to the public as a whole and benefit only a handful of individuals.

You may ask “why would I do this to Bruce?” The reason I am toying with it is because he has been openly and publicly demonstrating in favor of its passage and asking the public as a whole for their Yes vote on it without ever addressing the provisions of the Act itself.


boycott me said...

You've got a complicated boycott idea there. You're wanting to boycott Porky's because of "how" Bruce is endorsing the initiative. Um, good luck.

Nevertheless, I think Glen raises an interesting point. In response to his post, I would imagine that, if the boycotter has integrity, then stay the course with the boycott. The initiative may fail, but the NMDIC may rear its head again for an encore.

At the same time, as I mentioned previously in this post, the effectiveness and duration of a boycott "testifies to the charm of the morality or political view behind it." I think Glen may be pointing to a problem when you target Porky's or "how" anyone supports any political position. If you've got the wrong target, it will eventually show in a diminished interest with the boycott. That's why I then turned my attention to "who really wants to be a crook on the commission, and find a way to protest the hell outta that person." Hammerhead is pointing at the NMDIC folks. I'd like too also. Perhaps some of them have a history that yells out "Hey, i'm an unscrupulous and shameless crook and can get away with it again." I don't think Paz Younis is one of them.

As for those who are very angry with Plato for remaining in his cave, a boycott doesn't need a leader. And hell, Plato never wanted to be a philosopher king. Hammerhead doesn't mind the anonymity either. I think she mentions that it's a protest that others can join or not join, and that people with integrity work all the times behind the scenes in all sorts of worthwhile political missions. (Okay, sometimes you need to be anonymous when you're an assassin, but let's exclude that example for a sec.)

Anonymity is not the issue, but I do believe that ron m. and bigsoxfan's anger is about something you can't ignore about a boycott. ron m. is accurate in calling a boycott another way of threatening someone else. It's a threat of violence. A person can lose a business, a source of income used to help support a family. A boycotter will need to come to terms with this intention. If the hesitation remains, then perhaps you already know why the boycott isn't worthwhile.

Like I said, it's no lynching, but now I'm examinging the boycotter's intent. You just said it, Plato. Every boycott wants to succeed in bringing about change. It then must want a million more boycotts. If a boycott doesn't want this, then I would consider it a masturbatory exercise to merely cleanse one's bourgeois conscience.

So, consider your boycott an act that wants to threaten another. Then, if you think it's still worth it, then go for it.

Isn't it this issue that you wanted to discuss?

Anyways, I for one am not compelled to boycott Porky's based on what you say. Find me the real crooks.

Anonymous said...

a u know how these guys stick togethr. one could do a murder and thell make excuses why its okay.

Anonymous said...

boycott me states:
"A person can lose a business, a source of income used to help support a family."

if this damn saipan casino act goes through we will all lose.. and many families will suffer.. bruce should think about that before publicly pushing others to vote yes...

boycott me said...

Okay, Plato, looks like you may have another person ready to boycott with you.

Crazy thing is the boycott is about whether Bruce is sincere or disingenuous with his endorsement. You seem to be leading towards an easy target. Come on, investigate it more, and go for the bull's eye. Someone should find it somewhere in the hallowed halls of the NMDIC. Is it a lack of courage? Is it simply difficult to identify a worthier target? Or is it because they are an oligarchic force that we can't touch. It's happy hour and I want some appetizers at Porky's.

Pragmatic Plato said...

Boycott Me,

I have divulge the members of NMDIC (Paz included). I have also stated that if I opt to move forward with boycotting Porky's on the grounds that he is intentionally threatening myself and others in the CNMI with his lies and propaganda in support of the SCA and even going so far as to use those lies to try and garner Yes votes on Nov 3rd then yes, I will also boycott anything tied to these individuals until they all come clean:

Pedro R Guerroro
Paz Yuniz
Karl T reyes
Herman R Guerroro
Felicidad Ogamuro
David C Sablan
Isdro r Ogarto

These are the incorporators and the Directors in the already established for-profit corporation NMDIC.

I would also boycott anything that directly financially supports

Jaun S Dempan - For his consistently writing letters in support of the ACT and aggressively appealing for Yes votes based on a bunch of baloney.

PATRICK MENDIOLA - for his "we have no choice but to vote YES" letter to the editor.

And all others I know who have been touting the same lies and misleading information in an attempt to deceive voters and pass this horribly written SCA.


PS: Yes, Boycott me you are addressing the issue.

PPS: Also inregards to having others follwo suit with the Boycott if one occurred, it appears that 7 out of 9 people that voted on my blog poll would also do the boycott.

That is 78% of those who opted to vote. So if I did take that route and paid for an ad asking for the boycott of Proky's as well as all the businesses associated with the NMDIC members and others it could potentially mean 78% less business to all of them. A good boycott only needs about 5% drop in customer base to be effective.


Pragmatic Plato said...

Why have none of these individuals come out to address the numerous public concerns regarding the various provisions of the SCA that they had drafted up?

Pedro R Guerroro
Paz Yuniz
Karl T reyes
Herman R Guerroro
Felicidad Ogamuro
David C Sablan
Isdro r Ogarto

What the heck. If they can't be vocal about something they endorse in its defense how the heck could they ever be expected to properly handle the casino business on Saipan.

Anonymous said...

Some of the members on the NMDIC list and some of their vocal supporters are reason enough to have serious concerns about the Casino Act and provoke very serious questions. You've got:

Pedro "Can't Manage a Business" Guerrero. How many businesses has he managed into the ground. Way too many to count.

Paz "Lost in Space" Younis. I've heard her "local's this and local's that" yammer for many years now. She loves to go on about how disgraceful it is that we have so many Filipino employees. Have you seen the makeup of the Marianas Variety Younis?

Then there's Felicidad "Filipino's Go Home" Ogumoro. Over the year's she's spewed out these diatribes about how bad Filipinos are in our community. She's attacked Filipino teachers and workers. Her only flicker of light has been the fact that she married a thoughtful and well thought of Palauan.

Karl "Run Retirement into the Ground" Reyes. When the coffers were running empty, and retirement checks were at risk.. His office was approving double dipping (allowing select "crucial" employees to collect both a government paycheck and their retirement checks). It was insane.

Juan "Failed Public Officer Turned PIO" Demapan. If you were here during his "service" at the legislature, you'd know what kind of absolute buffoon he is. I wouldn't trust him with one single public dollar.

Comeon.. Even if this act was written to perfection, any straight thinking person would be quite concerned about some of the individuals involved with this.

boycott me said...

Well done. The NMDIC board list. And out in the open (sort of), so that anyone can defend or attack it. And it's started with the previous comment.

Time's running out for the ad, Plato. Are you ready for a call to arms? Perhaps a listing of the businesses directly connected to the NMDIC board is in order.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the outstanding amount some individuals still owe to CDA.. ask CDA for a list of those who have not paid their loans.. you will be surprised to find some of those names on that list..

Anonymous said...

Isn't the NMDIC Karl that now wants to help the poor people of the NMI the same Karl who was the chief sponsor of the legislation to "kill" the earned income credit tax for NMI taxpayers? Is this the same Karl as the former official of the Commonwealth Bank which went belly up?