Epitaph of CNMI’s democracy | 97: One people for lessons learned in one direction

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IF we the People don’t learn our lessons from this coronavirus outbreak then we are literally DOOMED to repeat the same mistakes that are presently contributing to our economic downfall with an economy that is now in the abyss! But WE have finally become One People headed in One Direction and it took a catastrophe to unite us all.

To his credit I do believe the Governor is finally doing all he can to deal with this virus including working with Kilili which he has NEVER done. I won’t criticize the Governor on this virus as it’s not fair and it won’t change a thing but Oh how I wish we could unite on other things when times are good. Maybe WE will learn the lesson to be MORE of a One People for One Direction to address other issues facing the CNMI in the future. Too often there have been cries and yells in the news and our leaders act like they didn’t even hear or read about it which has too stop because it shouldn’t take a deadly virus for our leaders to really listen and respond accordingly. WE are now in the midst of a catastrophe of monumental proportions and thank God for the great doctors/scientist and Health Care workers we have. There is 45min. test now I just hope it doesn’t take #45 another 45days to get us that test which is a true “game-changer” that can truly speed up our process of virus-elimination and the recovery of our economy. But we must also stay focused on the “DAYS AFTER” when the virus is in our rear-view-mirror literally.

The biggest “boo-boo” the GOP made was not listening to the NO Vote on the Casino and yet they literally leaped with “blind-faith” in the Casino Investors. The GOP literally caused the CNMI to put most of our eggs into a Chinese basket figuratively. I previously wrote about how DANGEROUS it is to have a “one-crop economy” which was something I actually taught in Social Study classes. It should be known that one of the goals on the Democrat’s Platform is to “diversity our economy”. The more we diversify our economy the less dependent we become on the individual segments because when everything or most of the economic income is overly dependent upon ONE activity (a crop or a casino) and that goes bad we are literally IN TROUBLE and that’s as nice as I can say the TRUTH! China is proving this very FACT to all of us now so I can only hope it will be a LESSON LEARNED by leaders, voters and business owners! If we learned anything from this virus it is that WE must now become One People in One Direction for the diversification of our economic base:

The need for “unemployment insurance” was exposed by Kilili with his efforts to get us help from the U.S. Congress and this is especially true for the Local Workforce. If the Legislature truly wants to protect the Local Workforce then we need leaders who will create and unemployment insurance for the People. The GOP has been doing all kinds of things to keep the CWs but virtually NOTHING to protect the Local workforce. Over a decade ago when I was on the Board of Education I wrote about how CWs are GUARANTEED work and health insurance that NO Government employee enjoys, which is PROOF the GOP cares MORE about big-business and even CWs when it comes to creating laws to protect locals. The GOP won’t even implement any form of “Affirmative Action” for Locals in the workforce which is why we see Locals & CWs applying for the SAME job when we have a Federal Mandate to transition the workforce, DUH! The lesson learned is WE can’t TRUST the GOP to protect Locals anymore, just their chosen few: One People One Direction for the Democrats!

PSS is an “AUTONOMOUS AGENCY” and should ALWAYS be treated that way from now on!!! PSS should have the “AUTHORITY to make their own budget cuts VOLUNTARILY and not by the power of the Governor” if it is truly an autonomous agency. WHAT in the world is going to happen with the 50 million already allotted by the U.S. Congress to ensure EDUCATIONAL services ARE NOT interrupted? Why are teachers being faced with the BIGGEST cut in wages when their work load IS NOT shorten just changed as by LAW teachers have to TEACH and students have to LEARN for 180 days. The GOP has NEVER treated PSS like it was an autonomous agency and the events of their adverse treatment towards PSS are well documented and soooooo bad that now the Commissioner has to take them to court. The lesson learned is the past two decades PSS has been fighting the GOP for funding: One People One Direction for Democrat if you want this to stop.

Failed to truly diversify our economic base by ‘continuing to reinvest in gambling” that was already proving to be a failure on Tinian and Rota. The CNMI had several chances to expand our economic base like the Pozzolan Mining issue that they just KILLED the potential for the CNMI to be exporting Pozzolan. When we should have been doing business with China who wanted the Pozzolan for their Olympic Stadium our GOP literally chased them away because it was going to cut-out a GOP local business person with some kind of claims to the Pozzolan mining and there was nothing in it for the GOP. We could still be exporting Pozzolan now but guess what, we don’t have a Pozzolan Mining operation that could have even opened the door for the N. Islands to begin developing a real infrastructure for everyday life. This is just one example of many passed-up that should be a lesson learned to start voting Democrat as WE must CHANGE our Political Landscape if we truly want to change our CNMI to be a better place to live -so take the leap of faith with the Democrats!

The GOP killed the Ferry potential from Saipan to Tinian virtually putting the final nail in the “Sugar Dock Restoration and the economy of Tinian. The GOP has NEVER made real commitment to Rota which is actually the “Gateway to the CNMI” with its close proximity to Guam but Rota has been overlooked by shipping, flown over by planes when Rota should have been their FIRST stop from Guam. Rota even stands a good chance to be rejuvenated from Cannabis Tourism and the Hemp Industries but virtually no one is working to re-develop Rota. Instead of helping Rota, it can actually become the biggest funding source for Cannabis Tourism and Hemp cultivation & manufacturing due to its close proximity to Guam but the GOP always puts Saipan first and Rota dead last. If we leaned anything from this virus is that we are all in this together and the lesson learned is that the GOP doesn’t really care about Rota’s real potential because there are only a few voters and they don’t want to make the commitment and do the work so One People One Direction for Democrats is the only real option.

End the two-decades of the GOP’s Party Build-up Plan through appointments which has literally saturated our Government operations with GOP emissaries. The GOP are literally everywhere now and the grooming process for GOP emissaries is very obvious. It is actually common knowledge that if you work for the Government and you are not GOP that you will be OUT and that’s the saddest fact of all about how the GOP operates. If you didn’t notice readers, one recent example is the Cannabis Commission Chair who is also now the Republican Party Chairwoman to their Convention all of a sudden which is usually held by an elected woman in the Legislature. But she is climbing the GOP Political Party ladder extremely quick — wonder who is sponsoring and/or pushing her to the top given the family relationship to the Governor. I’m saying this because it’s common knowledge that its “who you know that matters most with the GOP and not what you know and can do”. I’m not hatting just pointing out the facts as this pattern of GOP recruitment is really common practice that needs to come to an END because the real horror is the GOP has been doing this for over 20 years so they have dug in DEEP to control our People and our Political System. WE should have learned by now that WE the People need to be One People in One Direction for Democrats to destroy the GOP’s full control over our Government and the People!

More self-sufficiency is a big lesson that we should learned from this virus given the CNMI is and can be literally cut-off from the rest of world driven by some form of external natural and/or economic catastrophe. While we are seemingly still importing goods and products what will we do if this chain of supply is interrupted for some unforeseen reason so we need to work towards being more self-sufficient which will also create more Local Entrepreneurship. Why do we import so many things that we can grow here is a paradigm phenomenon that should change which will improve local interest in the goods & products market while making the CNMI more self-sufficient? The GOP’s problem is they really don’t KNOW how to do these things as their mantra is to just “let the investor do it (the work)” which shortchanges the Local People. If we learned anything from this coronavirus it should be that we must diversify our economic base to be able to absorb economic hits to our economy which can only be done with the liberal mind-set of Democrats — One People One Direction for Liberalism!

A Permanent Emergency Disaster Team by LAW is for sure a lesson we should have learned by now. WE need a team who will automatically take charge in any emergency or disaster declared by the Governor, the President or other Governments that can adversely affect our economy & social life – stop this make-shift Political Taskforce stuff. This team should have all the KEY Players (Scientists, Experts, Government Agencies, Business Reps., Medical Professionals, Social Leaders and etc.) that will be needed in any emergency or disaster which will avail the CNMI with a “panoramic perspective of the problem and possible solutions. This team should automatically be on call upon demand/needs once an emergency or catastrophe is declared. I also think the Public Auditor should be deemed by Law the “authoritative agent as the comptroller & reconciler for the use of all Federal Funding provided under an emergency or catastrophe declared.” Presently the Governor has ALL unchecked authority which must be put in “check” because he has proven that he will wrongfully manipulate funding.

I know WE are facing some serious stuff with this virus but WE must STOP this co-mingling of relief funds that often end up going to the WRONG source like paying the Cabinet Members overtime that they don’t deserve — for TRUE! The GOP has proven they won’t change their thinking and their ways in over two decades which have been full of deceit, whitewashing and gaslighting tactics making the Democrats the ONLY real option to address these issues I have raised and others so it would seem wise to be One People to vote in One Direction for Democrats! To be continued: One People One Direction for making the CNMI a BETTER PLACE in the Days After the virus is gone!

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.

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