What is this?

Just some random musings .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Job Entitlement

At what point did the people of the CNMI begin to believe that they were entitled to Government Jobs?

Most recently the entire Immigration staff and their valiant leader Grey headed up to the Legislature to voice their concerns. They met with members of the House and asked the Representatives, "What are they going to do about the situation they are in?" They stated that no one from the legislature went to their offices to assist them.

In true form, a few of the legislators had already drafted out a Bill mandating a lateral transfer of all 68 immigration personnel.

Is it just me or does this just scream - STUPIDITY!

Our government is currently struggling with depleted revenues. We are in a state where we need to be downsizing government. The federalization of immigration can be looked at as a step in that direction. No longer will local funds be required to run this section. What our legislature could not do (downsize) has been done for us. And rather than looking at this as a positive step the same legislature is now going to turn around and force the Government to hire all 68 individuals and maintain our current spending level. Why?

Simple. They want their votes. At what cost? At what point will our public servants come to grips with the stark reality of our times. We are broke. We need to quit with our old ways and begin to trim down the size of government. We need to make some tough calls and downsize. No one likes this fact. It is a tough pill to swallow but it must be done and be done quickly.

The Washington Reps office was affected by the federalization of immigration. The staff from Pete's office will be out of a job earlier than expected. Should our government also guarantee a lateral transfer of all of his staffers? When a department head decides to cut costs and layoff employees, should the affect employees also be afforded this luxury?

And while we are handing out government jobs, why relegate this mentality to the public sector? Blockbuster just closed with little to no warning given to their staff. Should we offer gov't jobs to all of their displaced workers? Carmen Safeway just closed up shop, what about giving all of their workers jobs in the government?

What on earth are our legislators doing? This is not a time to play Santa Claus and drum up votes by dishing out jobs for which taxpayers must ante up the cash to pay for. Times are tough everywhere. No one is ENTITILED to a job. When businesses close workers have to go about finding a new place of employment. The same should apply for Government Jobs. Pete's staffers and the immigration workers need to begin scouting for jobs. Sign up for welfare in the midterm and unemployment benefits if need be. But get out there and find a job with the rest of us that are out here working our hind parts off to bring home the bacon.

What is even more disturbing is that the immigration jobs are not gone. The Federal government is in the midst of hiring individuals to fill the same slots (only difference is that they will be funded by the federal government not the CNMI government) unlike the private sector jobs that have completely vanished upon the business closures. I hope that some of the individuals displaced from the private sector along with the immigration workers are making every attempt possible to qualify for the federal immigration positions.

I could go on and on about this but let me instead sum it up in very simple terms for our elected representatives:

The time has come for you to grow a spine, to look at the state of the commonwealth and do what is right for all of the people of the CNMI. To pass a budget that is fiscally sound and deals with the realities of our trying times. Do we have to cut government jobs? YES. Do it. You may believe that by passing that law for the lateral transfer that you garnered yourselves the 68 votes along with their family members. I hope you realize what it truly cost you in terms of votes. You have lost mine and at least 10000 other voters that see right through your cowardly act. You may want to pass a new bill that guarantees a transfer for all of you legislators that voted yes to this bill because come 2009 you will also be out of a job.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Time and The Place

Change begins:

September 17, 5:30PM
the Garapan Fishing Base.

Help end this madness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Did We Get Here (Sitting in the Dark)

Why are we in this situation?

Some have said it is due to the fact that we paid far below what we should have been paying for all those years we were charged 11 cents/KWH.

I do believe that the rate was far to low to have full cost recovery, however I do not believe that is the reason we are in the dark now.

We are sitting in the dark because the generators are broken. They are inoperable. While some may argue that they are in that state due to the lack of proper rate setting in the past, I don't buy it.

Mismanagement and Corruption are the root of our problems.

How so?

In the last 24 months CUC has spent at a minimum $16 Million dollars in REPAIR and PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE either fully or partially federally funded. They have also transferred $4.7 Million from CDA, took $5 million from the Gen Fund, Took $5 Million from Ret Fund contributions and raised fees and this does not include any fully locally funded repair and maintenance contracts. And this is nothing new. CUC spends millions every year on Repair and Maintenance. Why then are the generators all broken down? If we have been paying these large sums of money to CISCO, DCM, MAN B&W, SNM, TANO GROUP, MITSUBISHI, WAUKESHA ELECTRICAL, PACIFIC DRILLING, HAWTHORNE PACIFIC and many others why are all but 2 of the generators run by CUC broken and out of commission?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Here is a listing of only the SOLE SOURCED FEDERALLY FUNDED contracts from 2008: Waukesha Electrical$180,159.18 for corrective maintenance;
Waukesha Electrical-$64,580.37 for Kiya Sub corrective maintenance;
Waukesha Electrical-$124,221.79 for repair of T-1 transformer at Chalan Kiya;
Pacific Drilling Ltd.-$117,745 for emergency repair and construction of Chalan Kiya 8-inch asbestos broken sewerline;
Mitsubishi Corp. -$475,908 for preventive maintenance;
Mitsubishi Corp.-$74,737.20 for power generation;
Mitsubishi Corp.-$74,737.20 for 12,000 running hours preventive maintenance;
Mitsubishi Corp.- $117,040 for preventive maintenance;
Man B&W Singapore-$455,904 for installation of new crankshaft;
Man B&W Singapore-$281,362 for preventive maintenance;
Man B&W Singapore-$831,959 for preventive maintenance service;
Man B&W-$582,963 for preventive maintenance service;
CISCO-$115,000 for assessment & repair of generator stater for power plant 1 generator;
SNM Corp. — no amount indicated, hired to overhaul three existing generators;
Hawthorne Pacific-$87,713.21 for top end overhaul of caterpillar generator;
Tano Group Inc. — no amount indicated;
Tano Group Inc.- $287,000 for removal of used oil in tank 104;
Tano Group Inc.-$65,500 for shipment of 1.5MW generator for Rota;
CBM Tech-$826,980 for supply of radiators;
Sai Traders-$404,900 for supply and installation of lube oil separator;
If all this money was truly spent on Preventive Maintenance and Repair and all but 2 of our generators are broken then perhaps we didn’t get what we paid for. Did this money go to repairs? Did it go to preventive maintenance? Or were these sole sourced and manipulated bid contracts signed and executed merely to funnel monies into corrupt pockets?

It happened with Tim and Rydlyme (which for some reason doesn’t show up on any of the reports I have seen… not exactly full disclosure). It is not far fetched to reach the conclusion that some BIG TIME corruption is occurring at CUC. Either that or big time mismanagement (which I find hard to believe).

We are in this mess because these repairs and maintenance did not occur or if they did were not done right.

I hope the legislature does its job and conducts a full oversight of CUC and looks into all of their contracts. There is no reason we should be in the situation we are in. The money was there for repair and maintenance. The money has been spent year after year. Who’s pockets?


Friday, August 22, 2008


My dear friends.

Have you finally reached that point?

As a reader of this blog you are well aware of my distain towards the corruption that has been allowed fester in the CNMI. I had said time and time again that, "it can't get any worse". Time and time again I have been proven wrong. It can get worse, has gotten worse and will still yet continue to worsen if something drastic doesn’t occur to put an end to it.

Over the last few years our administration and our legislature have done nothing to correct these problems. In fact, they have actually done a multitude of things to worsen our current situation.

People have started to voice their concerns. In the papers, on the internet, across the picnic tables, in homes and even now within the House of Representatives. All these voices have fallen on deaf and dumb ears.

Change cannot take place with these voices alone. Action is required. People are being hurt physically, emotionally and mentally by the actions of our government. Poverty is at an all time high. Basic social services are failing us. Money is being taken from us.

We are being robbed not at gun point by a masked stranger but out in the open by our Administration and our Legislature who use the guise of normal government operations as justification.

How are they robbing us?

They take your hard earned tax dollars, your fund contributions, your public land monies, your federal funds, the government fees collected and do the following:

  • They employ unqualified relatives either directly or through connections with constituents (i.e. Mayor's Office, Glenda Reyes, etc.)
  • They sign sole sourced contracts and transfer monies to companies without ever holding them accountable for receivables. Funneling millions of our dollars into businesses that have no intent on producing what is required in an effort to obtain kickbacks and political favors. (i.e. DCM, CISCO, etc)
  • The Representatives steal $3 million per year and use it any way they please without any accountability. (i.e. discretionary funds to buy tables, tents, car leases, cell phones, anything they wish to use it for --- that money was ours)
  • The Committees steal millions of dollars a year for committee operations yet they hardly ever meet. They use the money for travel, ghost employees, personal equipment, etc. (none of which is ever accounted for)
  • The Senate steals Millions a year in subsistence allowances
  • They pillage your retirement fund and public land fund.
  • The Legislature passes laws to funnel our money to pet projects with no plan or accountability in exchange for political favors and kick backs.
  • The administration steals millions and funnels it to cronies he keeps on staff as consultants. No receivables ever required or produced. (i.e. Willens, Jesus Camacho, etc)

I can go on and on but I think the point is not the actual instances anymore but more so the fact that we all know this is happening. That we all hear about these blatantly corrupt practices. That we all read about it in the news. That we all are fully aware it is taking place.

We have tried to reason with them. To hold forums and speak with one voice to our government servants. To write letters to the editor to voice our concerns. We have met personally with our legislators and the Governor. All in vain. They do not want to hear us. They will not change based on vocal requests. They have been so blatant as to say directly that they are the leaders and that what the public wants is of no concern to them. That they were voted into office to make the decisions and that our concerns are of no concern to them.

What are we going to do about it?

If it was a robbery in the middle of the night and you were stirred, what would you do? What if your family's safety was in jeopardy?

Some would rise and do what it takes to chase off the robber.

Some would strike him and take down.

It is time to rid our home of these robbers.

Why haven’t we?

You may personally know them. You may be related to them. You may have voted for them. You may work for them. You may feel there is no one better. You may feel that only time will rid us of them.

Stop! Stop making excuses for your complacency. Stop justifying their corruption. Stop allowing them to pillage your home and lay waste to your children’s futures. Stop the fear.

The time has come for us to stand up to it. To chase the robbers out of town. To strike if that becomes necessary.

Look at your life. Look at the lives of your family. Look at your young ones, your old one. What have their lives become? What has yours become?

It should not be this way. We don't have to accept it.

Do you feel we need:

  • A smaller government
  • An end to the rampant corruption
  • Accountability
  • Qualified department heads and staff
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • A solid and set plan for the future of the CNMI

If so, then you are not alone. Over the past months I have amassed a fairly large group of like minded individuals. In order to effectuate change we need more. We need you. Not your silent support. We need your presence.

If you are ready to come to aid of your brothers and sisters --- If you are ready to rid these islands of these pitiful government looters --- If you are willing to break this cycle of abuse --- If you are ready and willing to become part of CNMI History --- Then email me ( pragmaticplato@gmail.com ).

What will we do?

  • We will converse
  • We will exchange ideas
  • We will plan
  • We will act
  • We will all bring about change


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Adventures of Big F. & Chucky



What a waste of popcorn...

Well I had my stub and my vat of buttery goodness and I checked and checked but to no avail :-(

It appears the weekend and Monday are just about gone and the long awaited YOUTUBE thriller "Fitial Strikes Back" is nowhere to be found :-(

I hope it wasn't the edited clippings that I posted that have halted its release.

Nah... I'm sure that was the crap stuff anyhow. Must have been the power outages. Probably zapped Director Charles' Media System and laid waste to his rendering farm (yep... I heard he was gonna do some awesome CG stuff).

EXCLUSIVE: CLIP # 12894723 (not confirmed)

EXCLUSIVE: CLIP # 3467 (not confirmed)

BREAKING NEWS: PART II (not confirmed)


Thursday, August 14, 2008

What moves a populace to revolution?

At what point is revolution an acceptable and a proper course of action?

At what point will history look back and rather than chastise a revolt, admire it?

House passes "Vote for me - Appropriations bill of 2008"

Yesterday the house passed the "Vote For Me - Appropriations Bill of 2008".

It is important to note that the bill was handed to the members just hours before the session (a session that was called just a day prior).

Nearly $5 million was appropriated for the following pet projects:

  • $3 million for the Saipan Higher Education Financial Assistance;
  • $100,000 for the SHEFA operations;
  • $45,000 for the 2009 Liberation Day activities;
  • $50,000 for the CNMI Little League;
  • $25,000 for the Fishing Derby;
  • $20,000 for the Agricultural Fair;
  • $15,000 for the Flame Tree Arts Festival;
  • $75,000 for the Saipan Zoning;
  • $30,000 for the A&E design and construction of the Anthony T. Benavente Baseball Field on Navy Hill;
  • $111,400 for road improvement and paving of Gloria Drive on Navy Hill;
  • $200,000 for road paving and drainage improvement of Egigi Road, Piligro Lane, Sea Coast Lane, Rota Place, and Orhopay Place;
  • $100,000 for the construction of a pavilion, procurement of children's playground equipment, and improvement of the public facilities at the Capitol Hill Children's Park to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • $200,000 for road paving of Gangoche Road to Pika Road in Precinct I;
  • $200,000 for road paving and drainage improvements and renovations of public facilities in Precinct II;
  • $10,000 for the improvement of public facilities at Pakpak Beach Park;
  • $21,000 for repairs and maintenance of Dandan Elementary School; and
  • $100,000 for the Northern Marianas Trades Institute

road pavings, baseball fields, fishing derby, lib day festival, playgrounds, etc...

How in good conscience could anyone pass this bill at this time?

If your father recently got fired and your mother's salary was cut in half would it be appropriate to ask them for a new swing set and cash for a rod and reel?

CUC is crumbling, Retirement fund is looted and about 700 million in the hole and growing, PSS is in need of funding, the list goes on and on.

$5 million to these projects is ludicrous.

Time to speak up.

Time to rise up.


"I'll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. "

-Duke Leto Atreides