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OPINION | Epitaph 131: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly                  

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THE Good Things I’ve been seeing are not so much political as they were a breath of fresh-air to see that our Chief Judge Mona Manglona is still taking to task the Law in dealing with her cases.

She is truly a breath of “fresh-air” to know that at LEAST the buck stops somewhere in the CNMI. When she signed the warrants on the Governor it should have relieved all doubt that she is very much like that great third-grade teacher who was “stick, loving and understanding but didn’t take no stuff.” her Honor just keeps following the law and wheeling out justice. Keep-up the “good-trouble your honor,” as the late John Lewis might say, for IPI and all the criminals in our Commonwealth. Can’t wait to visit your new Court Room for you-know-who to taste justice. The other good thing was to see my former student “Precy” (Priscilla Iakopo) decline to take the raise she was given. I was wondering what would happen and she did not disappoint me as I know she was one of the “good-ones” that we (parents & teachers) didn’t have to worry about in school nor succeeding in life. Keep up the great work Mrs. Iakopo as leading by example is truly an example of great leadership.

The BAD is that the House is considering to try and take over American Memorial Park without a real PLAN and they are even considering to let IPI out of their contract with the People of the CNMI. I totally agree with Rep. Tina Sablan on the Park when she said: “This is a major step that this legislation is proposing, and it will also present significant costs to the Commonwealth to take over the administration of this park.” WE the People have seen ENOUGH of this Administration MESSING THINGS UP so leave the Park alone for now. I truly applaud and even appreciate Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero for the idea of taking over the Park but there is no real funding & maintenance plan nor method for utilizing the Park in the near future. The Park should be a matter for our NEXT and NEW Governor and I hope the majority in the Legislature and among voters will agree.  As for the IPI request to “sell or get new investors” I have already made it clear in a previous Epitaph about this bad and ugly gesture as WE the People have also seen ENOUGH of the favoritism for IPI especially when giving IPI a-way-out does NOTHING for us-folks-in-the-cheap-seats.

While I’m on the subject of BAD is the idea that the CNMI’s future is “high-end tourism” that is driven by the philosophy of “quality over quantity” tourists. Well, I’m not the businesses man like the person whom I KNEW was pitching this idea ever-since the Governor first mentioned it but I am a qualified Economist who understands the factors relating to quality v quality in a number of forms.  For sure, the CNMI could use a “high-end tourism” section in the base of our economy but for the CNMI to really thrive WE the People will need NUMBERS (a lot of tourists) which is what really drives economic development & growth to achieve real prosperity for all in a society.

High-end Tourism is good & bad but  it should be noted that it will not generate job numbers, it will not generate more flights, it will not create a demand for more Hotel rooms, it will not have the capacity to generate funding in the double-digits of the Government’s revenues and the list goes on as to why this is a fools’ errand at this point in time when we need to be trying to figure out how to get numbers.  WE once did a quantitative study in Memphis on “quality sales v quantity sales” as part of my B.A. Degree in Economics as we were seeing the evolution of the big-stores with quantity sales like we see today with Walmart and a few others. Quantity sales will virtually always out-do quality sales as quantity sales are driven by the fact that a product is cheaper but it serves the same purpose of a product that is very expensive like we see in cars today. You will always see far more of the cheap cars than you will the “high-end cars” so don’t be willing to jump off the cliff for a “high-end tourism pitch” that won’t bring large numbers of tourists and can’t even become a reality for many years to come when WE the People need numbers and money NOW!

As for the UGLY, that just continues to literally RAIN down upon us-folks-in-the-cheap-seats the DPS Commissioner gets the “Runner-up Award” when he buckled and even got belligerent under pressure that caused him to “tell on himself and revealing the Republicans’ Secret Code of Loyalty for furloughing people” — a big OOPS for TRUE and WoW! But the Governor gets the Top Award for being UGLY with the recent revelations of the Commissioner and the Governor didn’t do a darn thing hoping it will just go away with the next News’ Cycle as usual. But there are even more Uglier things from the Governor with the exposure of “the Sole-source Contracts” in the millions. The padded and unrealistic costs in these contracts literally tell anyone with common sense that the Federal Money is being manipulated and even stolen using legal methods, just like it was predicted by commenters in the Comment Section and check Kandit News for more on these contracts. The Governor even goes on vacation to the N. Islands on a FAKE Promotion that can’t become a reality for years while HIS People are suffering and struggling to stay afloat and just have some form of normality in OUR lives. WE the People need solutions for our needs NOW Governor, not futuristic idealism —HELLER! I would advise every voter to check-out Rep. Ed Propst recent response to the Governor as he is doing a great job on “checking the Governor” but the Legislature don’t want to “balance” what he is saying for real accountability. Rep. Ed Propst and Rep. Tina Sablan are both exposing sooo much more UGLY coming from the Governor and Legislature that would make this too darn long for me to mention.

But it is to be expected that corruption will continue with no real checks & balances on our Governor and his activities. Where were the Public Advertisements for all of these contracts to even justify being the “sole-source” and WHEN, WHERE and WHO were involved in the selection process for these contracts?   WE the People already know our Government is really “a one-man show” so we can continue to see our system being manipulated to the benefit of the GOP Loyalty Group. I just hope and pray the FBI can round-up everyone in that group with their RICO Investigation as I’m sure many voters can see there is literally a CNMI Criminal Organization at work in our Government.  Given the UGLY that keeps coming out of our Government due to the non-existence of checks & balances from our Legislature the People of the CNMI really need to choose BETTER this time around when they vote. I’m sure many voters are already saying ANYONE will be BETTER than the Ugly Republicans we have now — for TRUE! 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) and a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Scholar who resides in Kagman III.

 

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