Monday, June 18, 2007

This would work!

Some people on Saipan think that we should not count overseas workers, children, felons, and other people not eligible to vote when the lines for voting precinct lines are drawn and when seats are apportioned.

Others disagree.

I have a compromise.

Let's count people who are ineligible to vote (for whatever reason) as Three Fifths human. For example, 100 contract workers would only count as 60 people when the district lines are drawn. This compromise has historical precedent; it worked for almost 100 years in the United States.

...the only downside was the Civil War.


Jeff said...

I'm waiting for the scary prospect of someone taking your idea and running with it.

Mona said...

Let's hope whoever takes this on is also good at fractions.

Anonymous said...

the argument that is being given is that if non-voting individuals are not counted during re-apportionment then they are being demeaned in someway. and further more, that it is the person that is not counting them that is lessening their worth. i don't agree at all with that. the representatives that are elected are just that elected. that being said how are the non-voting individuals "represented" by them. why would you allocate additional seats to "represent" non-voters? it really makes no sense. it isn't about lessening their voice. their voice is already stifled by the simple fact that they can not vote. i would love to apportion seats to guest workers and children but i would only love to do that after we allow them a voice in the voting booth. shouldn't the real argument be "why can't our guest workers vote?"... hmmm, i vaguely remember voting restriction similar to these that took place in the U.S. that have since been changed (women for instance).

Anonymous said...

"Delegates opposed to slavery generally wished to count only the free inhabitants of each state. Delegates supportive of slavery, on the other hand, generally wanted to count slaves at their actual numbers. Since slaves could not vote, slaveholders would thus have the benefit of increased representation in the House and the Electoral College; taxation was only a secondary issue."

any representative who steps forward asking to count non-voting individuals when reapportioning is basically using those stifled voices for their own purpose as the salve owners did in the past.

once again check your premise. the problem isn't that we are not counting them in the reapportionment. the problem is that there are huge groups of people living on our islands for extended periods of time that can not vote.

by including them int he count for reapportionment you are treating the public as a whole like a bunch of dumb asses and pretending to give them a voice. the wool can no longer be pulled so easily over our eyes.

the tactic being employed by the house's legal counsel is about as slimy as the feeble attempt at an oga bill that they are trying to pass.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

What is OGA?

Anonymous said...

remember that it was after slavery was abolished and blacks were given the right to vote that they changed it to counting each individual as a whole. at the time the slave population was pretty large (as is our guest worker population). so once again, first give our large guest worker population the right to vote then count them in reapportionment.

Anonymous said...

this bill that passed the house and is now at the senate is a slap in the face to anyone with an sense. it is yet another way our representatives our playing us like fools. just reapply the OGA to the legislature and be done with it.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Ah, Open Government. Yeah, I support that.

How is the signature gathering going?

I endorse signing the petition and voting YES in November.


My experience with petition gathering is that it isn't succesful without financial support. You have to have paid petition gatherers.

I believe the going rate is about $3 per signature. It sounds expensive, but that is the cost of Democracy.

Anonymous said...

there should be no reason what-so-ever that this issue had to go the route of signature gathering. with no sound basis as to why they should be exempt other than to protect personal and special intrests public demand and common sense should get your elected representatives to do the right thing.

paying for signatures is ludacris and just plumets you into the same barrel of crap our legistators are swimming in.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Why is it crap? That makes no sense.

Everything costs money.

For Beautify CNMI, somebody had to pay for our trees, bags, gloves, shovels, gas, volunteer coordination, etc, etc. The different businesses, community groups, individuals, and government agencies paid for this stuff.

A lot of it was done on paid time by paid employees.

The same goes for politcal organizing. It takes money. A lawyer has to write up the petition, somebody has to print up the petition, somebody has to promote the idea, and somebody has to collect the signatures.

That all costs money.

An untrained petition gatherer is lucky to get 5 petitions in an hour. A professional petition gather can get 30-50 in an hour. Wouldn't you rather have the professional? Why is it ludacris?

I think it is a pretty good idea.

Anonymous said...

the essential materials available to gain signatures are readily available without much cost if any at all (other than opportunity cost - which is a sacrificed cost associated with championing a cause - once paid are you truly volunteering?). a petition can be drawn up by an individual with no legal degree or pro-bono by a lawyer that offers the time. imho, gathering of the signatures should be done by individuals that are truly concerned about the situation and not buy paid professionals that don that guise. getting the blind masses to sign a piece of paper is not what is needed. getting the blind masses to open their eyes and look at a particular issue and make an educated decision is. it is only after that occurs does the item on the ballot in the next election have any worth. one should not buy signatures, for then they become the same animal that buys votes.

as for beautify, i am unaware of where money comes from or what it is used for. i think the case would hold strong that the materials needed are also items that concerned individuals already have and can use for that cause - manpower, trash bags, shovels, etc. various govt agencies use our tax dollars to purchase larger ticket items for similar purposes therefor those items should be employed when they deal with like concerns (i.e.: environmental issues).

i could go on but my message may fall on deaf ears as the accumulation of money tends to be a factor in the corruption of a good thing.granted not the sole factor but most surely one of them.

Anonymous said...

The population base used shall be the “permanent resident” population of the State of

regulations for hawaii's 2001 reapportioning.

hmmm. not so far fetched now is it?

bradinthesand said...

i still think that anonymous posters are cowards. stand up and be recognized. i know saipanwriter hates this take, but the problem is that anyone can jump out and argue a case when they aren't obligated to do so in the real world.

you lack any credibility with your "voiceless" argument. for an example--see holani smith. unlike the speculators out there, i happen to know as a matter of fact that holani smith is a pen name. i actually thought it was on guy but was proven wrong.

anyhow, anonymous-san...

it isn't hard to figure out that the government doesn't view the guest workers as anything but a source of tax revenue.

i'm not saying it's right, but i'm saying that's how it works.

the best thing to do would be to introduce guest worker organizations into the house with an official non-voting delegate in much the same fashion that the CNMI has in DC.

that way there can be a department that gives an accurate depiction of the guest worker situation and a truthful voice from the non-voting contingents.

believe me, the guest workers would spend so much time fighting over who would be their delegate that they would be too disorganized to make it work.

in fact, the guest workers from all of the countries should form their own house and senate with delegates from the korean, japanese, chinese, filipino, bangladeshi, nepalese, thai, and any other communities out there.

with that in place they can officially vote upon who would be their commander in chief and make a difference.

imagine if they went on an island-wide strike because of deplorable wages and working conditions. how about unfair treatment?

even if the government threatened to send everyone back they would have no way to send everyone back because:
1-there's no money to do so
2-there's no place to keep that many people until they send them back
3-there would be too much of a backlash from the business community

the guest workers could make a difference but they are too busy power tripping within each community.

i mean, look at power and mover. one of them doesn't even exist anymore, but when they did, they polarized the filipinos over petty issues.

anyway, if all of the guest workers founded that sort of an organization they would have some clout.

then when the CNMI eventually explains why the guest worker delegate can't vote in official sessions it will actually be arguing the case of the USA against the CNMI. well, without the same citizenship parallel anyway.


gotta name?

Anonymous said...

following your train of thought can we also put a new field on the ballots for this upcoming election. the new field will be "name:" and then can we make the ballots available as usual for public examination.

posting anonymously may appear to you to be a cowardly thing and you are entitled to that opinion. i on the other hand look at the merits of the comments made and base the worth of the comment on the substance rather than the mouth it came from.

for centuries people have gotten messages across without penning their herbie hancocks to them. how does the author factor into gauging the quality of what is being said? is race also a determining factor? if the posts were made by someone in the mainland that is not known in the cnmi but is intrigued with the issues at hand does that lessen their value? if i posted "john smith" and that was truly my name would that change the way someone digests the comments that were made? and if so, is that what one would really want? if i were a respected name in the community would my message (regardless of what it is) be taken as gospel? speaking of the bible, most of the content is not attributed to the true authors, but the substance is what matters (and i am far from a religious person... don't feel like veering off on that tangent).

one of the problems with the cnmi is people do look at the person stating their thoughts and opinions and base their own take on the comments on who the person is rather than what they are saying. "oh the chamber president made that statement, so it must be true... or i should believe that as well." or perhaps people attack the substance of someone's comments based on who it is. for example this tidbit from another blog: "She is not, however, the only, or even the leading voice of protest on this island, as many letter writers would make people believe. Some people have been doing it a lot longer, a lot more regularly and before it was so trendy. "

who really cares... focus in on the message not the mouth it stems from.

of course i could be wrong and perhaps a good case for knowing the source can be made. if so, brad, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

just got through reading a great book by mark twain.

bradinthesand said...

Cute about the Mark Twain. That popped up just before I sent this. Anyway, Samuel Clemens still made his identity known.

Onto the anonymity...

“following your train of thought can we also put a new field on the ballots for this upcoming election. the new field will be ‘name:’ and then can we make the ballots available as usual for public examination.”

An anonymous opinion on a blog doesn’t carry the same type of weight that voting does but I see how you arrived at your conclusion. People casting votes aren’t looking for the spotlight, they are looking to choose their leaders freely. Opinion based anonymous letters to the editor or websites (ala Saipan Sucks) offer nothing but unqualified garble to the stream of information.

For instance:

“one of the problems with the cnmi is people do look at the person stating their thoughts and opinions and base their own take on the comments on who the person is rather than what they are saying.”

When you make charges such as this you should be able to qualify them in order to have your opinion truly appreciated. I mean, if I were to say, “People from Arizona have a dry sense of humor,” I could be saying that as someone making a bad joke (which I’ve been known to do), from someone who has been living in Arizona as a transplant, as a lifelong resident of the Grand Canyon State.

I’ve never been and have met only a couple of people from there so it’s unfair to make that statement and pass it off as fact. But if I did say it, people would know who it was and be able to counter with “No we’re not” or “Oh Yeah? Well I oughta…”

“how does the author factor into gauging the quality of what is being said?”

Being able to qualify your statement makes all the difference in the world. For instance, if some Joe Blow told me “The economy in the CNMI stinks because of the Governor,” I would have to delve deeper into knowing why he said that to get to the root of it.

Now, if an expert in the field made the statement and backed it up with references to his or her research and provided proof of his earned merits, then his argument would be worth pondering.

“is race also a determining factor?”

Not by me, baby. Never has and never will be.

“if the posts were made by someone in the mainland that is not known in the cnmi but is intrigued with the issues at hand does that lessen their value?”

It depends on what your talking about. If you’re saying that you like Apigigi then that’s fine, but if someone were to speak about the condition of the CNMI without actually having been here, that same someone should make that clear.


For the simple fact that will help the subject of the conversation know how he, she, or it is perceived abroad. For instance, if someone from Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas were to say “The CNMI’s border control process is terrible,” they could follow with “And we oughta know what bad is.”

“if i posted ‘john smith’ and that was truly my name would that change the way someone digests the comments that were made? and if so, is that what one would really want? if i were a respected name in the community would my message (regardless of what it is) be taken as gospel?”

It’s not about your name. It’s not about your race. It’s all about who you are. Everybody has opinions, and that’s fine. But do you believe in them or just like stirring the pot? Are you truly worthy of me taking your statements as fact? Nope, not if you’re hiding behind a veil of anonymity.

“speaking of the bible, most of the content is not attributed to the true authors, but the substance is what matters (and i am far from a religious person... don't feel like veering off on that tangent).”

Why not qualify that statement. Have you read the Bible? If so, how closely? Did you study it as a youth? As a student? Studied as a former priest or pastor?

Your statement is telling the reader that “most of the content is not attributed to the true authors” is a matter of accepted fact and not your opinion. Okay, explain a bit about that. As a reporter I could never make statements like that and get away with it. Nor would I let someone get away with making that kind of statement without questioning it.

And my favorite…

“who really cares... focus in on the message not the mouth it stems from.”

I couldn’t disagree more, unless it’s someone saying that the Buffalo Bills are going to win the Super Bowl next year. While I know it’ll never happen, I’ll still buy them a beer for their merciful words.

But back to your quote; who the message comes from makes all the difference in the world. Would you take a statement from a hockey player in Detroit that said, “The CNMI’s garment workers are being treated fairly and being paid well,” as gospel or would you feel that a similar statement from a group of garment workers holds more merit?

It’s not about friendships or titles here, but I think that someone with the Chamber of Commerce knows a thing or two about business on Saipan. Of course, that only gives them so much room to speak. Some folks are probably clueless individuals who got their job from familial ties without any actual ability. Hey, that happens, but at least you can attribute their quote accordingly.

I’m not saying that your opinion isn’t valid. I am saying that your opinion is not one that you feel passionately or confidently enough about to stake your reputation on it. That to me devalues almost everything you have to say. Anyone can scribble on a wall, but who leaves their name next to their writing? You are a scribbler until you take the next step.

Hey, and I might even know you and like you. I’m not telling you what to do, just how I perceive people who hide behind anonymity. It’s not like you’re saying something that would necessitate a security detail or your entry into the witness protection program.

It’s not like you’re Deep Throat or something. I understand things like that, but Deep Throat’s situation was quite a bit different. Now, if you were giving anonymous tips on public or private sector misdeeds that would lead to your persecution, then once again, I understand.

In this instance it seems that you are more preoccupied by your reputation than your argument. Why? If you are in the field of lawmaking then you should be more outright with your opinions so people will be able to know who’s on the ballot.

If you are a transplant worried about losing your face in the community that’s something cowardly. While I am not usually in agreement with him, Harry Blalock makes his case clear and speaks frankly on the air.

As someone who’s been working in an office with 98-percent guest workers, I suppose that they some guest workers are afraid of retribution that would lead to the non-renewal of their contracts. Well, then do something about it. See my post in Jeff’s blog comments about it. Even if you don’t have a blue passport you are still guaranteed the freedom of speech.

I have to get back to work but I enjoyed this. Oh well, you might even be Angelo trying to get me going with the whole Anonymous thing again (ha ha).


Anonymous said...

i stand by my initial opinion. it is the content of the statement that matters not the person. all of your examples further attest to this. no matter where it is coming from, every statement made should be based on the statement and any factual backing it has. not the individual. you mention stuff like the arizona joke. if i saw that typed on here, whether by you or by joe bumpkin or by anonymous, the statement itself is all that would concern me. in this case i would not give the statement any thought. i would totally ignore it and in my book would hold no water. it is a generalization (either meaningful or as a simple joke.) now if any of those individuals backed any statement up with factual evidence or statistics or anything for that matter then regardless of who stated it i may give it more thought and maybe independently research it a bit more if it was of a concern to me. again the person stating it does not matter. hell even if it was a 9th generation arizonian. i would still not take it to heart and adopt that belief without more factual evidence. and in this case even after factual data I would most likely not adopt it. generalizations suck (this is a joke … get it… a generalization about generalizations… yet again I’m on a tangent)

just as in the case with the garment workers being treated fairly. everyone is entitled to their own opinion, regardless of who they are. if it happens to come from someone in denver and you don't believe it holds water then you can simply ask him to validate his opinion with fact. without ever getting his name. same goes if it came from a resident of the cnmi or a guest worker himself. you still would want to know how they arrived at that conclusion not who they are.

the fact that you continue to focus on the putting your name to a statement shocks me. you stated "People casting votes aren’t looking for the spotlight," well i am not looking for a spotlight. i don’t want to be in the limelight. i simply wanted to state an opinion i had. no harm no foul. whether my opinion sparks your interest or doesn't is your choice. if you care more about who it comes from than what i am saying, so be it, that is your decision. in the world of cyber communication and mass media, i receive a ton of anonymous messages (opinions, commentary, findings, messages, pitches, etc.) daily. i don't blindly accept any of them but ones that intrigue me and spark my interest or go against a principle i believe in make me stop and ponder the message. if i want to look further into it, i don't search for who sent the message or made it or copied it or whatever i simply research the topic at hand, perhaps toss the message around with buddies and strangers at a bar over a couple cold miller lites and come to my own drawn up conclusion on the issue.

i may not know you from "jack" and if that is the case does the power of your statement carry less water? nonsense. in this case you are someone i know pretty well and that doesn't impact at all the way i view your statement. i would respond to your initial comment exactly the same way regardless of who penned it. i simply read what you have written think about it judge it simply based on the merits of what you put forth and how i feel about those statements. brad, the point i am making is that putting your name on a statement should not affect the statement itself (i know it may but it really shouldn't). regardless of who said something you should still question it. hell, i question everything and have since i was a kid. i don't care who told me it. this is not to say i am always right. i just like to question. i have questioned priests about the belief in a god, i have questioned accountants about sales numbers, i have questioned politicians about legislation, doctors about diagnoses. it really doesn’t matter to me personally who says something. if what is said concerns me i make it a habit to question it and look at the factual basis behind the statement. i don’t make my opinions know when i post on blogs so that i can get recognized in anyway what-so-ever. i do hope that if (as in this case) my opinion sparks conversation a lively discussion can occur and individuals (regardless of who they are or where they are from or who they know or what qualifications they may have) that come across the statement can chime in with their take. When i state something personal that i want to be know for stating then i do put my name on it. in this case it was merely my opinion on a posted blog and I was simply sharing my thoughts not my identity.

EJ said...

Oh brad, I got a name! Korean party girl.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous = Tina Sablan

Anonymous said...

no, it is not tina sablan she writes far better than i could ever hope of ... even in stream of thought dialogue mode.

would love it if we just dropped the anonymous thing already. the conversation dealing with the subject matter of the original post itself was going pretty well.

bradinthesand said...

ha ha ha. i didn't really expect anyone to make a guess on the anonymous poster’s identity. that made me laugh.

were i to hazard a guess, i would say that there is more than one anonymous poster on the subject (aside from the phantom guesser), with at least one being a man, judging by the way things were worded:

"paying for signatures is ludicrous and just plummets you into the same barrel of crap our legislators are swimming in"

how many women say barrel of crap? granted, i could see tina saying this because she's rather soft spoken and would stray from the unwarranted use of profanities. But I think I have a better one here...

"no harm no foul."

i think that one more than likely came from a guy, but this one has to have been made by a fella...

"...toss the message around with buddies and strangers at a bar over a couple cold miller lites and come to my own drawn up conclusion on the issue."

not many women refer to their friends as buddies. something funny about the anonymous person guessing tina is that someone pretty close to her pimps that aforementioned beverage...

...and i like that guy too.

i'll drop the anonymous thing, but i think that there are reasons why people don't put their name on things.

even a jackass like danny aquino and eric atalig at least put their names on their racist rants.

they may be some messed up dudes in need of a smack in the face, but at least they made themselves accountable for their statements.

okay then, i think i'm all anonymous’d out.

i guess it’s better to have people talking like this as opposed to having forward thinking individuals staying bottled up without a forum in which too express their opinions, but i still think that it would be better if we could recognize each other for who we really are in public.

So anonymous, invite me to godfather’s for a “miller lite” and we’ll chew the fat…

…and you’re buying (at least the first one).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous = Dick Cheney?