Tuesday, July 31, 2007

You are invited!

  • There will be a potluck BBQ at the CPA Airport field tonight during and following Guns n Roses expected trouncing of the Pika Raiders in the NMIFA Coed League. Like most Saturday nights, Brad "I run like the chick from Terminator 3" Ruszala will provide the flame, you just need to bring the sausage. The game starts at 5:15

  • There is also a Student Action for a Viable Environment (SAVE) meeting tonight at Java Joes at 7 PM. SAVE is the youth chapter of Beautify CNMI. Right now most of the students are in middle school and high school, but we want to grow to include elementary school and college students. Interested?

  • Erica Cochrane, one of the founders of Mariana Island Nature Alliance (MINA), will give a presentation on African Rainforest Conservation at DEQ at 11:30. DEQ is in Gualo Rai, across the street from Subway. The presentation is in the large conference room; just ask the receptionist where to go.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Comeback Kid?

Sometimes the reach of the Internet is amazing. Check out the locations that have cast a vote in the Best Saipan Blog poll:


Best Saipan Blog Poll LocationsI know who voted for us in Mongolia and Costa Rica. How about the other places? Who are you people?

...and Vote for The Saipan Blog!

******

Taotao Tano President Greg Cruz is going to testify at the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee hearing next month. He is asking people to write testimonies to be included with his. You can read the Taotao Tano blog for more details.

I've written here and here that I like 95% of what Taotao Tano wants to do. They see themselves as a grassroots advocacy group for the mostly powerless indigenous people. They are very good at identifying many of the ills of our society, like addiction and high utility bills, but they are blaming the wrong people for causing them.

Contract workers did not cause our problems; the people who created the system that brought them here did. The sooner they realize that the plight of the contract worker is the same as the indigenous citizen, the better.

******

Dengre is making some noise over at Dailykos. He's pissed off that the Tan's donated $10,000 to Hilary. How does he know the Tan's aren't Democrats?

Hilary raised almost $40,000,000 in 2006 and I doubt she even knows that she has that $10,000 donation. To put it in perspective, the ratio of her total donations to the Tan donation is the same as the ratio of my annual salary and a $5 bill.

Still, Hilary should donate $20,000 to MINA to clear the air. Hell, why not make it $40,000?


******

I am being interviewed by someone at Rollins College later today for an alumni profile in the Alumni Magazine. I'll keep you posted.

Dang it!

Car CrashSome people shouldn't drive in the rain.

I was following behind a car when the driver slammed on the brakes. I couldn't stop and ended up swerving off the road into Herman Guererro's farm.

I'm fine. The car is fine. I'm just $55 poorer.

Rob Shultz was there to take pictures. He's posted more on his family's blog. Thanks, Rob.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Just Another Weekend

Alright, enough with the polls and negative attack ads. Let's get this blog back to being a blog about life in Saipan.

(I'll add pictures when I upload them from my camera)

Saturday morning Mariana Island Nature Alliance hosted a cleanup of Mina Drive in As Matuis. MINA alternates between cleaning up Mina Drive and Wing Beach on the third Saturday of each month. There was no one to lead the cleanup last Saturday, so we held it this Saturday instead.

The road is pretty clean now. We only picked up about two garbage bags full of aluminum cans, juice boxes, and food wrappers. We spent most of the time hacking away at the sword grass choking out the da'ok trees we planted several months ago. We'll have to keep doing that until the trees are taller than the grass, which I swear can grow 10 feet tall.

After the cleanup I had breakfast with Aya and Honda at Cafe at the Park. I had fried rice and more coffee than any human should consume in one sitting.

EJ had a soccer game later that afternoon against Fiesta Inter, the team currently sitting atop of the standings in the NMIFA Men's League. Brad and I conspired to cook sausages and drink beer while they played.

Afterwards the three of us went to a rosary for Kyle's Dad.

On Sunday, Kyle and Dennis' volunteer group, Team Chura Talu, hosted their monthly cleanup of Dandan Village. Every month we walk from the CPA Airport Field to the Roundhouse in San Vicente, picking up trash along the way. This time we threw in a Flame Tree planting.

We planted 4 trees at the CPA Airport Field and 19 trees along the road leading up to Dandan. We broke up into groups. Some of us measured out the distance between the trees, others dug holes, somebody would plant the trees, then the older boys cut wooden stakes and marked the trees with red flagging tape. Everyone else who wasn't planting trees picked up trash. In total we planted 23 trees and picked up 200 lbs of trash.

I took it easy for most of the afternoon in anticipation of my first game in the NMIFA Men's League. Last week was the first week of the season, but because there is an odd number of teams, one team has to sit out each week. Last week was our turn.

I'm playing on a team called the Independents, sponsored by Wild Bill's. The team I played for last year wanted to cut their roster to 18 players, and I didn't make the cut. I hopped on over to Independents, who were more than happy to have me play with them.

Last season Independents didn't win a single game, so we are definitely the underdogs in this league.

Not anymore.

We beat the other team, PTI, 7-1. I'd say that's a decisive victory.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Any Given Sunday

Time to go plant a few more Flame Trees.

Since the rainy season started this year, Beautify CNMI has planted 77 Flame Trees. We should hit 100 in a few hours. We've already filled in a few of the blank spots on Beach Road and lined a few streets in Koblerville. Today we are going to line one of the streets in Dandan.

In a year these trees will be as tall as a person and in about three they'll be 15 feet tall and blooming. I can't wait.

In case you hadn't noticed, the Beautify CNMI people give up every single one of their weekends to improve this island. We're waiting for you to come join us.

Friday, July 27, 2007

On removing you from my links

Check your stats.

I am the number one referrer to Marianas Eye (268 hits), Saipan and other random hypercritical thoughts (526 hits), and The CNMI Blog (638 hits),

I am the number two referrer to Harry's World (133).

Land of the Ayuyu, Saipan Saipanuvian Speaks, Middle Road, and Because I Said So! do not have eXTReMe Tracking on their blogs, but I bet I give them a good number of referrals.

And for some reason Saipan's Beach Boy Blog has never registered a blog referral from me. I don't know why, but still, sorry, Brad.

So.

Since a good portion of my competition's traffic originates from me, I think that silencing the competion is a good idea.

Is a media blackout ethical? All's fair in Love, War, and Saipan's Best Blog Contest!

When the campaign is over you'll get your links back (in the sidebar)

Do you trust this man?

Jeff TurbittJeff Turbitt has turned his back on the values that make America American. He is anti-Family, anti-Freedom, and he looks French.

Jeff Turbitt's blogging ability is as nonexistent as the hair on his head...and he smells like chicken nuggets.





Vote for The Saipan Blog - Saipan, CNMI's most popular blog since ever since!

Paid for by Friends of The Saipan Blog

I'm Angelo Villagomez and I approved this ad

Fotten Gaga Girls9 out of 10 Fotten Gaga Girls support The Saipan Blog for Saipan's Best Blog!
(While this post is satirical in nature, Jeff is much worse than a bad blogger; He is a Yankees fan. He deserves last place.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Friends, coming and going

Yesterday afternoon the CNMI said hello to Andrew and Suz, Rota's newest residents. They were on Saipan for about three hours yesterday. They only had enough time to go on a quick Axe Murderer Tour with Harry and me and to drink a few beers under the Flame Trees near the airport.

Welcome to the CNMI, Andrew and Suz!

The CNMI is also about to say goodbye to Evan (he's the dirtiest and sweatiest guy in this picture). Evan's been playing soccer with us for about a month, playing in three of our Coed Soccer games. He'll be off to medical school in a few weeks.

Thanks for visiting, Evan!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Go to Club V tonight

Club V FlyerTonight, Thursday, July 26, 2007, the DII Radio Program along with Budweiser, PTI, and Club V (at Saipan Grand) are teaming up to bring you the DII Retro Flash Birthday Bash.

It's an evening of 80s old school!

Doors open at 9 p.m., $5.00 gets you in and includes a free Bud beer and a dollar will be donated to PAWS.

There is also $1,000.00 in cash and prizes.

Make sure you wear you best 80s outfit for the contest.

So, get dressed, show up, have a good time, and feel good about it because you are helping PAWS!

Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger Revealed

After 248 votes, here are the results for Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger:

1. Brad Ruszala - 29.8%
2. David Khorrma - 21.8%
3. Jeff Turbitt - 19.8%
4. Angelo Villagomez - 15.7%
5. Harry Blalock - 14.9%
6. Gus Kaipat - 8.1%
7. Bruce Bateman - 5.6%
8. Walt Goodridge - 4.8%

Brad needs this more than us.

Brad RuszalaBrad gets nothing. Now he has to take Boni, her husband, and all of their kids out on a date.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lunch with Wendy

I had lunch with Wendy Doromal yesterday.

I had chicken and she had a caesar salad.

THE END

...just kidding.

Wendy emailed me a few weeks ago and told me that she was coming to Saipan and that she'd like to meet me. I guess she reads my blog.

She called me yesterday and took me out to lunch. (That's right, folks, she bribed me with chicken...and it worked)

It turns out that Wendy teaches in the Orange County Public School system. I am a proud product of OCPS. Go Winter Park Wildcats! She also knows several of my friends in Orlando, like Sandra Diaz who works at (worked at?) Dandelion Communitea Cafe and Representative Scott Randolph, my former roommate.

Small world, huh?

So.

Wendy has been a thorn in the side of the CNMI government for well over a decade. Here is a letter to the editor in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin written in 1997 by they guy who used to have Charles Reyes job:

Northern Marianas got unfair coverage

Congratulations for a masterful job in helping the Filipino Coalition for Solidarity further exploit "Katrina" in its effort to publicize the current campaign to remove the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' (CNMI) local control of its immigration and labor policy (Star-Bulletin, June 6).

This "coalition" that claims to monitor human rights abuses in the CNMI from its 3,900-mile vantage point is the same organization that maintained two years ago that literal slavery existed in the CNMI. This is the organization that continues to recycle "documented" stories of CNMI labor abuses by former Hawaii resident Wendy Doromal, who hasn't even been here since 1995.

The only problem is that Doromal's idea of documentation is writing down allegations she hears, much the same method as is used by your reporter in this story. Those accused then stand convicted with no right of appeal.

Of course, real prosecutors can't work like this and one would hope that reporters would not as well. The pat, heart-wrenching stories often collapse in the face of some tough, skeptical questioning of both sides. Skepticism seems to be in short supply at the Star-Bulletin.

Mark M. Broadhurst
Public Information and Protocol Officer
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
I can't believe that 10 years after this was written, the government is still using the Chewbacca defense. Jack Abramoff has $11 million of our tax dollars and we're paying lobbyists and propagandists $30,000+ per month and we're still saying that these are recycled arguments? WTF, mate?

Well, Wendy is back. She's in the CNMI taking testimony from Filipino, Bangladeshi, and other contract workers. She published her preliminary findings in the Saipan Tribune today.

I'm looking forward to the government's response.

She's holding a meeting of nonresident workers and their US citizen children at Kilili Beach today at 5:30. She's looking for more testimonies from people to backup her support for Federalization. I'd go take pictures, but I have something to do tonight that is much more important than this whole Federal Takeover/Human Rights Abuses/George Miller hates the CNMI issue:

Coed Soccer!

...and we're back.

Most people have already taken sides on this issue. Either the CNMI is full of pedophile, serial human rights abusers or we are a petri dish of capitalism, a shining beacon for the rest of the world to follow. While I would argue that the world would be a happier place if everyone had just one taste of my Auntie Connie's chicken kelaguen, I think the truth lies somewhere in between the way Wendy sees us and how Tom "what, you call that money laundering?" Delay sees us.

Not that people aren't getting screwed.

The contract workers aren't the only ones getting a raw deal. A lot of Chamorros and Carolinians are losing out, too. The recent creation of Taotao Tano is proof.

Now, I doubt this will ever happen, but wouldn't it be great if Taotao Tano and Dekada could sit down and work out their differences? They'd realize that they agree on 95% of the issues that they are concerned with. They both want to be treated with dignity, earn a living wage, care for their families, have access to health care, and live in a crime free, safe community. The only difference is that the Taotao Tano members are "local" and the Dekada members are "guest workers."

Can't we all just get along?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Rotary Club Las Vegas Night

I just bought a book of tickets to the Rotary Club Las Vegas Night to be held at World Resort on August 18. A book costs $20 and has five tickets. I need one ticket for EJ and one for myself.

Anybody want three free tickets?

If you want to buy tickets, contact your favorite Rotary Club member. I recommend calling Laurie Peterka at 483-7499.

Proceeds will go to ISK8 to help them build a skatepark.

More proof that I am Harry Potter

EJ was born on the same day that James and Lily Potter died. Whoa....

******

The front page of the Marianas Variety contains stories about Smokin' Matty G's crusade to legalize ol' Smoky and about Governor Fitial's ongoing man crush on Jack Abramoff.

My advice:

Drop the marijuana thing and start saying that Jack Abramoff screwed the CNMI out of $11 million...and stop saying what a great friend he is and how much he helped us.

Jack Abramoff is at the center of the largest corruption scandal in United States history. He broke Federal law and now he's sitting in a prison cell. Delay had to resign his seat. Pombo was defeated in 2006. Doolittle is under investigation. Zachares is going to prison. These guys are all criminals. Why are you defending them? Worse, why are you defending them using CNMI government letterhead?

You are known by the company you keep. Defending them makes you, me, and everyone else living in the CNMI look like a criminal.

******

Andrew and Suz from Operation Rota will be on Saipan tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM. Anybody want to take them on a short island tour? Will you drive? Another idea would be to have a small BBQ over at the CPA airport field. We could have a bite to eat and watch the beginning of my soccer game.

They are flying to Rota tomorrow night...unless they can be convinced to spend the night in Saipan.

******

Anyone know the date and time of Diana's return? I want to meet her at the airport.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Mistake in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

Alright, so I haven't actually taken the time to research this idea, but I think that there may be one error in Deathly Hallows.

STOP READING THIS IF YOU ARE NOT AT LEAST HALF WAY THROUGH DEATHLY HALLOWS

Alright, so you know how in book six the spell that Dumbledore cast on Harry broke as soon as Dumbledore died? Does that mean that all spells are broken when the wizard casting it dies?

If so, how were Moody's spells protecting 12 Grimwald Place able to work?

Please explain.

7th Blogger Meetup on Wednesday

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows late Saturday night. I have since reentered the Muggle world. I'll hold off discussing the book until you slow readers out there can catch up.

So.

Wednesday is the last Wednesday of July and that means that we have another blogger meetup at Java Joes at 7 PM.

Will Rick Jones have someone on staff to make chicken nuggets for Jeff?
Will Harry and Bree (the enviro-bitch-who-shall-not-be-linked) make up (probably not, Bree's in Bali)?
Will Walt give another speech?
Who will get the honor of buying me a beer?

You'll have to come to the meetup to find out.

P.S. Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger will be crowned at Blogger Meetup. Please bring a gift to his coronation.

RP Consul: My fellow Pinoys, shut up and take it like a bitch

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this story about RP Consul General Wilfredo Maximo telling the Filipino community not to participate in a boycott of Juan Guerrero's businesses.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying the problem, but let's see, if you are a foreign worker you can't vote, you could lose your job and have to go home at any time, and nobody on the Hill has your interests in mind. EVER.

Considering the status of most overseas workers, a boycott seems like a pretty good way to get your message across. It says, "Hey, Juan, go ahead and screw us...because we're going to screw you right back."

The only people to be hurt by this boycott are Guerrero and his employees. There will be no net loss of jobs, because unlike the boycott of Jollibee, there are plenty of other businesses that can perform the services offered by Guerrero. He does not hold a Monopoly on baking bread, arranging travel plans, or sending money to the Philippines.

I find it appalling that the so called leaders of the Filipino community aren't willing to stick out their necks for the people that they are supposed to be representing. Not only that, Maximo took it a step further and accused the people fighting for a living wage of blackmail.

I don't want to be accused of misquoting him, so here is what he said:
"I believe that a thoughtful and healthy debate on the issue is the way forward. Pressure tactics like boycotts through text message campaigns are a form of blackmail as it is an attempt to impose one's views on others under threat of drastic action”
Pardon my French, but are you fucking kidding me? That somebody would dare call a boycott a "pressure tactic" and "a form of blackmail" is sickening.

STAND UP FOR YOUR PEOPLE!

It is also sickening that anyone would ever consider legislatively forcing people to stay in the CNMI for five years after receiving their non immigrant visa. That smacks of indentured servitude.

...and indentured servitude is bad.

How can these guys seriously claim that the abuses happened only in the past and that the impending Federal Takeover is rooted in vengeance when the minute overseas workers try to speak up, using a time tested method of non-violent protest, they get shouted down and accused of blackmail? Is it really reform if we are replacing one loop hole filled system with a system of legislated indentured servitude? And is it really reform, when instead of actually trying to solve the problems facing the CNMI, we are now paying $30,000+ per month to lobbyists and propagandists?

I'm waiting for your answer.

Friday, July 20, 2007

First Person in America to own Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!

At 6 AM Standard Chamorro Time, I used a magic marker to draw a lightning shaped scar on my forehead and drove over to Bestseller Books in Susupe. At 6:10 AM, 2 hours and 50 minutes before the official release of the new book, I was the first person in line!

I killed the time by reading the Saipan Tribune. Then I ate my donuts from Winchell's. Then I did the crossword puzzle. Then I did the other crossword puzzle.

FYI:

John Perez screwed up the Coed Soccer story. He wrote that Brad had the assist in our last game. NO! I had the assist. Bastards!

The line never got that long. There were probably about 40 more people that showed up between 6:10 AM and 9:00 AM. Power 99 was there for the kickoff. Between songs they were asking Harry Potter trivia questions and giving t-shirts to the winners. I knew that Rubius was Hagrid's first name, Sami knew that Harry's wand was made of Holly and a Phoenix's tale, and Zoe knew that the Sorcerer's Stone was held in Gringotts vault 713. How the hell did she remember that?

The book was released on Saipan at the exact time as the release on London...which is five hours ahead of the East Coast.

Since I was the first person to buy the book and since we are where America's day starts, that means that I was the first person in America to own Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (screw Guam)!

Heck yeah!

A huge thanks to EJ who was there with me all morning! She did it for only a bagel and a coffee.

Oh yeah, I promised/threatened that I would post the end of the book as soon as I had it. Well, for those of you in America waiting for the book to come out, here it is, the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

well.

He-who-must-not-recieve-any-more-votes

Brad RuszalaWhy is Brad winning the Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger poll? Oh, I know. He's sending out mass emails and posting bulletins on Myspace, that's why.

Jeff Turbitt has decided to hit back. His campaign has gone negative.

It is not too late to vote or to change your vote. In a post-9/11 Saipan, we can't have someone like Brad named as Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger.

Think of the children.

Vote.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No really, I am Harry Potter

Tomorrow, at 9 AM Chamorro Standard Time I will pick up a brand new copy of the final Harry Potter book. I'll have it about 5 hours before everyone on the East Coast.

Heck yeah!

So.

Prepare yourself for a story:

I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in April 2000, the day after my last day in college.

During my last week of college, my father fell ill and was hospitalized in Saipan. His condition was so bad that he was med-evacuated to Hawaii.

As I studied for my final exams I knew that there was a pretty good chance that I would have to fly to Hawaii to be by his side. In preparation for that, instead of getting ready for Beach Week, when all University of Richmond Seniors hang out for one last week between their final exams and graduation, I was packing to return to Florida immeadiatly following my last exam.

I loaded my car ahead of time and left Richmond minutes after handing in my final exam (I don't remember which one it was). When I arrived in Florida 12 hours later I immediately called my stepmother. I asked her if I needed to be there. She simply answered, "Yes." I hung up the phone and called Continental. I bought a ticket for a flight that left a few hours later.

At 5 AM in the Orlando International Airport everything is closed. The only thing open was a magazine stand. I had been so rushed, that I had forgotten to bring something to read on the plane.

Most of the books had Fabio on the cover, which, contrary to the picture in Caption Contest II, is not my cup of tea. On a whim, I decided to pick up a book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I knew nothing about the book other than it was a bestseller.

Exhausted, I slept on the flight from Orlando to Houston.

On the flight from Houston to Honolulu I started reading the book. I read it cover to cover without stopping. I didn't even take a bathroom break. The book was the perfect escape from the impending drama I was about to face.

My Dad's sister, Nan Chet, met me at the airport and took me to the hospital to see my father. My stepmother and my sister were already there. My three brothers who grew up in Saipan came a few days later with their uncle and Alex came a few days after them.

We all stayed in Hawaii until Dad stabilized, then we all returned to Saipan.

I bought both Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban during those difficult days in the ICU in Hawaii.

Again, the books were the best escape from the pain I was facing in the real world. The real world sucked. My father was dying right in front of me and I was missing my college graduation. In reading those books though, I was like Harry getting sucked into Tom Riddle's diary in the second book; The world around me just disappeared and all I could see was Hogwarts. The pain was not able to invade the magical world created by J.K. Rowling.

My heart beats faster just thinking about clutching book seven (five hours before, Amy and Emily, nonetheless). Although I'm sure I'll reread each of the books multiple times over the course of my life, tomorrow is the last time that I'll get to read a Harry Potter book for the first time.

(le sigh)

Stay tuned.

At 9:15 Chamorro Standard Time (7:15 PM Friday on the East Coast) I am going to publish the ending to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Caption Contest III

I have declared Mona the winner of Caption Contest II.

This is fun.

Here is the picture for Caption Contest III:

EJ Playing SoccerLeave your caption in the comments. The winner gets...nothing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What is Beautify CNMI?

Katie is going to some conference later this month and needs a short presentation explaining Beautify CNMI! I took the first part of the Year in Review video and added some music, text, and a few pictures. Check it out:



What do you think?

Brokeback COED Soccer

What is going on in these three pictures:

Brokeback PokeWhy is Norm's hand in a fist and what is he doing to Bruce?

Brokeback CoedUm, yeah, no comment on this one.

Yosh GabaldonYou're fabulous, Yosh! Simply fabulous!

More pictures from the Dread Pirates vs Pika Raiders game can be found on the NMIFA blog.

Caption Contest II

I have declared Jeff the winner of the Caption Contest I.

Here is the picture for Caption Contest II:

Caption ContestLeave your caption in the comments. The winner gets...nothing.

The Conversation Has Changed

This month I have stumbled across two blogs from two different American couples moving to the CNMI in the next few weeks.

Andrew and Suz at Operation Rota are moving to Rota. They arrive on July 25 (next week!). Suz is going to be a teacher and Andrew is going to be, to use Walt's terminology, a Nomadpreneur.

Terri and Kevan are moving to Tinian. Their blog's name is Tinian Times and they arrive on August 31. Terri is going to be a physician assistant and Kevin is going to write that book that has been "rambling around in his head."

In their Welcome to our Blog post, Kevan discuss some of their considerations in moving to the CNMI. He mentions some of the negative things, but freely admits that the negative is balanced out by the positive and that the CNMI is not alone in having ups and downs.

I expect these four people to contribute greatly to the fabric of our community and local blogosphere. No one is currently blogging regularly about life in Rota and Tinian and there is very little information about these islands available online (except for World War II stuff).

So bounce on over to their blogs and make them feel welcome!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dekada calls for a boycott!

Hey, I may not be an Overseas Filipino Worker (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I have a lot of friends who are. One of them forwarded me this text message:
FWD: MSG. FR. 788XXXX. JUAN T. GUERRERO-OWNER OF WESTERN UNION & HERMANS BKRY IS AGAINST FDRAL TAKEOVER! 2 ALL OFW DO NOT PATRONIZE.
A few years ago a group of OFWs boycotted Brad's favorite hangout, Jollibee. They were protesting Ray Yumul's version of the Labor Bill currently making headlines. They were successful in killing that bill.

I am told that this boycott is being led by Dekada. I tried calling the phone number in the message to confirm, but no one answered. I don't know whose phone it is, so I feel uncomfortable publishing the number. I am the CNMI's #3 WMD (Written Media Doohickey) and that would be unethical.

All of those readers looking at pictures of dancing monkeys might, well, let's just not go there.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Soccer it to me, baby!

NMIFA Coed Summer League action continues tonight at the Airport Field at 5:15. The Greatest Coed Soccer Team Ever, Guns n Roses, takes on Team Canadian Thunder, Wild Bill's.

EJ has promised that she will score a goal tonight, becoming the first female in Coed Summer League history to score a goal.

Everyone who attends tonight's game will get a free Beautify CNMI bumper sticker.

I'll post pictures later tonight...maybe.

A Battle is Raging

Only one shall be named Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger...and it doesn't look like it will be me. In fact, it doesn't look like I'll even make the top three. That honor currently goes to:

#3 - Dr. David Khorram

Alright, this one I can understand. Chicks dig doctors. Enough said.

Brad Ruszala#2 - Brad Ruszala

Are all of our voters short Asian girls? Is that why Captain Guns is getting so many votes?

Sure he has a face that only a mother could love, but he is on the National Football Team, cracks a funny joke once in a while, and can drink more strawberry daquiris that a freshman Delta Delta Delta.

I would never suggest that a voter not vote for a candidate (no mudslinging in this contest!), but I'm not looking forward to listening to Brad talk about being Saipan's Sexiest Man Blogger for the rest of, well, eternity.

#1 - Harry Blalock

Alright, I don't own a radio, so I don't listen to Harry's show. Is he campaigning on his radio show? Is he telling listeners that he'll only play their requests if they log on and vote for him? Has he dumped the Save the Turtle PSAs in favor of Vote for Harry PSAs?

Perhaps the blog readers of the world think that an old bald guy not afraid to speak his mind is sexy? Nah, that can't be it.

Well, this contest will run until I decide it is over. If you haven't voted, please vote. If you have a blog, please write a testimonial about who you think should be Saipan's Sexiest Man Blogger. I will add a link to it.

The funnier, the better. In fact, now that I think about it, why not go ahead and write a testimonial about which of the candidates is Saipan's Least Sexiest Man Blogger. Mudslinging is now OK.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Why Federalization Now?

This Federal Takeover business has been hanging over the CNMI's head for well over a decade. Of course we could have done something about it by raising the minimum wage and actually doing more to stop the abuses...but the time for that conversation has long passed.

So why Federalization now?

Well, this was in the Marianas Variety today:

Stayman: Military build-up a factor in drafting federalization bill
By Gemma Q. Casas
Variety News Staff


THE anticipated U.S. military build-up in Guam and the Pacific Region was among the major considerations in the drafting of the CNMI immigration federalization bill, according to Allen Stayman, senior staff member in-charge of insular affairs of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

In an e-mail, Stayman said the increased military activity in the Pacific region was seriously considered in drafting S. 1634, or the Northern Mariana Islands Covenant Implementation Act.

“Increased military activity in the region is one of several considerations supporting federal legislation,” he said.
When the buildup in Guam begins in the next few years, the military is going to need thousands of workers. Federalization allows the Feds to kill two birds with one stone.

First, Guam gets thousands of workers. If you are one of the tens of thousands of foreign workers currently working in Saipan, are you going to prefer working in Saipan for $3.05/hour (soon to be $3.55/hour) for only 32 hours/week (due to the economy) or in Guam for probably more than $7.00/hour including overtime hours? I don't think the choice is hard. As soon as the workers get their non-immigrant visa, I'm sure they'll ship off to Guam (or Hawaii, California, or New York).

Second, the Feds get to say they actually did something about the abuses in the CNMI. It will mean that American citizen children won't have to return to the Philippines when their parents' contract runs out. It will also silence George Miller and Nancy Pelosi. Guam, Hawaii, and the Mainland are big enough to absorb these workers when they leave the CNMI, so who really cares if a measly ten thousand people get a visa?

I will make a few predictions if Federalization occurs:

There will be a period where the number of foreign workers leaving the CNMI will outnumber the number of foreign workers coming in. The locals will become the majority. The economy will be in shambles. Gas prices will be through the roof.

Basically, it will be 1975 again.

What will we do? Will we take that opportunity to invest in human and social capital or will we allow our leaders to blow it on lap dances in Manila (again)?

The CNMI has an opportunity to reinvent itself. Hopefully we will pull out of the Third World economy that we currently have (huge gap between rich and poor, no hope of social advancement, etc.) and we will start to grow our service sector and our knowledge sector. Like I said, Hopefully.

How did I miss this?

Did anyone else notice that Crimestoppers is offering rewards to report illegal aliens? How fucked up is that?

Will Crimestoppers reward children who report their overstaying parents? That is like something out of George Orwell's 1984.

Why waste time going after the individuals? That is a never ending battle. For every individual deported, three take their place. Shouldn't the government go after the businesses and locals employing illegals instead? If a business gets caught, shut it down...or at least fine them. Heavily.

In doing so, the government could shut down all of the whore houses (operating as karaoke clubs and massage parlors) employing overstaying, out of work garment workers. It would also level the playing field for those businesses playing by the rules.

Unless of course the government thinks that whore houses are good for the economy...

36 Flame Trees Planted in Koblerville

Koblerville SaipanBeautify CNMI has several long term goals. We want to promote Ecotourism in the CNMI (there is currently no Ecotourism here), we want to restore and promote many of our historical landmarks (i.e. the Japanese Jail and the Lighthouse) as tourist/historical sites, we want to reduce illegal dumping and littering, and we want to create an interconnected system of parks and trails.

One of those parks is going to be located on top of the old airstrip in Koblerville, currently the site of the Koberville Youth Center and Substation.

We started work on this project last year. We took an overgrown old abandoned airstrip littered with trash and grafitti and simply started cleaning.

We mowed the grass. We got rid of the weeds. We painted over the grafitti.

We've kept this up for almost a year.

Last month, with the involvement of several government entities, we helped open up the Koblerville Youth Center. For almost a month now, we've participated in Family Fun Night, held at the Youth Center every Friday night for the residents of Koblerville.

Little by little, we are getting people to use the park and we are continuously improving it.

Flame TreesYesterday morning we planted 36 Flame Trees along the street. They are small now, but in a year they will be over 10 feet tall. In three years they will be tall enough to provide shade.

About six months ago I asked one of the Mariana Island Nature Alliance members, Brad Doerr, to start growing Flame Trees. I told him that I didn't have money to pay him then, but by the time they were tall enough to plant, I would.

I came up with an Adopt-a-Flame tree program. For $20 via cash, check or paypal, anyone in the world could purchase a Flame Tree. I promised the adoptee a certificate and a picture of their tree posted on the Internet along with the GPS coordinates of their tree.

I use the money to purchase the trees, soil, flagging tape, shovels, and whatever else we need to get the trees planted. Then I recruit volunteers to help me plant the trees and invite the people who adopted the trees to tag along.

Yesterday I had help from Ken Kramer, his mom, his wife and two kids, Missy and Jim Highfill and their kid, Rep. Cinta Kaipat, Gus Kaipat and his 30-40 nephews, Marites Castillo and the Friends of the Mariana Islands, Captain Carl and his two shipmates, Neta and Flurina, Brad Doerr, and Laura Williams and her son Caleb.

All it took for us to get these 36 trees planted were 26 tree planting volunteers (including myself), a little pre-planning on my part to ensure that we would have Flame Trees to plant during the rainy season (coordinating with Brad), and 36 generous donors to spend $20 to adopt a Flame Tree. In getting the trees adopted, we also had help from everyone who helped us man our booth at the Flame Tree Arts Festival back in April and MINA, which takes care of Beautify CNMI's finances.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that planting these 36 trees was a community effort. Probably well over 100 people had a hand in coordinating the planting, from making sure that we had trees, shovels, soil, finances, water, snacks for volunteers, to getting people to adopt the trees, to actually planting the trees, and so on and so on.

Thanks to every single one of you who helped out. These 36 trees are a significant contribution to the community of Koblerville. In 5 years, we'll all be able to say that we had a hand in providing shade, beauty, and cooler temperatures to the residents of Koblerville.

One last thing, Cinta told me to get in the group picture, so I did this:

Angelo Villagomez

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Unofficial NMIFA Blog

The Master List of Saipan Blogs now stands at 97 blogs. Anyone know of three more blogs that I haven't found yet?

One of those 97 is the new Unofficial NMIFA Blog, started by Brad and me. I want it to be a blog written by the NMIFA players, for the players...and anyone else who wants to read it.

Are you an NMIFA player/blogger? Want to contribute?

Just send me an email and I'll add you.

On Nicknames

One day my father was drunk or otherwise temporarily insane and came up with nicknames for his five boys. They were, from oldest to youngest, Taiger, Taipan, Taiphoon, Taicho, and Memong (I think Memong was born after the glorious renaming).

Thank God my father didn't get to name us.

You may have noticed that the names of the four older boys all begin with "Tai." I don't know why; they just do. In Chamorro, when someone's last name starts with "Tai," it means "no" or "without." For example, the last name Taitano means "no land." My father, "the champion of indigenous rights," would have been very well aware of that.

Therefore it follows that Alex is "No Pan" or maybe "No Bread," Abraham is "No Phoon" or perhaps "Landline Only," and Solomon is "No Cho" or in Japanese "not profitable."

What was he trying to say?

Oh yeah, I can't think of anything funny for Taiger. I'm accepting nominations.

While I've always hated mine, my younger brothers like there nicknames. Alex uses Taipan as his blogger moniker and I've been told that Abraham and Solomon use Taiphoon and Taicho. Memong has and always will be Memong. I don't think he's ever used Ramon.

Why did I get stuck with Taiger? Come on, your dentist calls you Taiger! No ten year old likes being called Taiger.

I would have preferred Rhino or Optimus Prime.

Oh well.

Then just for kicks, here are some of my other nicknames throughout the years:

Metroid or Nintendo: I was a huge dork in grade school and the other kids noticed. Maybe it was my subscription to Nintendo Power magazine or my Ninja Turtle collection?

OSB: This acronym stands for Old Sketchy Bastard. I was five years older than my girlfriend at the time and her friends thought I was old and sketchy.

Ange: Alex and my mother call me this. I hate it. I like my full name.

Rico: When I worked at Wolfgang Puck Cafe, a few of the servers started calling each other by Italian mafia names. Glauco was Vinnie, I was Rico, and I forget everyone else's name...or was it just Glauco and me who were using mafia names?

Dog Boy: An ex-girlfriend and her best friend called me this while we were dating. No comment.

Asshole: Not really a nickname, but I get called one often enough to merit its inclusion.

EJ and Deece say that I am The It

EJ and Deece tagged me. EJ's tag is for 8 random things and Deece's is for 8 lasts. I decided to post 8 last emotions, but I posted it over at Daily Pic.

Check it out.

I tagged Alex, Mom, Steve, Tony, Mona, Melissa, Jeff, and Gus.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Disappointed

The new and FINAL Harry Potter book comes out a week from today.

My name is the second one on the list of people that have reserved a copy at Saipan's only bookstore, Bestseller Books. For weeks they have told me that I would be able to buy the book at midnight.

They lied.

They are not going to be selling the book at midnight; I am going to have to wait until 9 AM.

I hate you, Bestseller Books....and I'll see you at 9 AM next Saturday.

Fitial has a friend in Dengre....NOT!

Dengre has posted a new blog about our Governor titled "He’s in DC... Can we arrest him now?"

Here is the intro:
One of the key players in the Abramoff/Republican Corruption Scandal is in Washington DC tonight. He was there for the bribes, the payoffs, the secret deals between Jack and the Bush White House. He benefited from the crimes and did his part to further the GOP Criminal Conspiracy.

He is an architect of the system of human trafficking and abuse that has flourished on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for over 25 years. The sweatshops, forced prostitution, money laundering, gambling, graft, corruption and incompetence that have become synonymous with the rogue US Territory in the Western Pacific are all by-products of his criminal career.

His name is Benigno R. (Ben) Fitial. He is the Governor of the CNMI. Jack and Tom got him the gig.

Can we arrest him now?


Click HERE to read Dengre's full Dailykos Diary.

Dengre reads my blog, so if you are not yet registered on Dailykos, you can leave comments on my blog.

This is going to be fun election season. Let the games begin!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Taya Talent Undefeated!

The Morgan Rose Pika Raiders were no match for Brad & Angelo's Guns n Roses...just kidding. We tied 1-1.

John "I once shot myself in the eye with a pellet gun" Mafnas scored in the first minute of play off a wide open pass from Adam. Damn it!

We tried to return the favor for almost the entire game, scoring only in the last ten minutes off of a corner kick from Allen to Chris Nelson.

Hell yeah!

The Coed League is going great so far. Both games have been really exciting, nobody was seriously injured, and all of the teams seem to be pretty evenly matched (Suck on that one Yosh and Dale).

After the game I went home to take a shower so that I could go see....HARRY FRICKIN' POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX!!!!!!!

After a quick dinner at Cafe at the Park with EJ, I met up with Sami, her friend Jesse, Bree, Dough, Litcelle, and Bev for the 9:50 showing.

One of the great things about life in Saipan is that you can show up 60 minutes before the start of the biggest movie of the year and be the first one in line to get into the theater. If I had been in Orlando, I'd have had to camp out for three days.

Although it was not my favorite book, I think Order of the Phoenix is my favorite movie. A few plot lines were left out, like how Luna Lovegood gets Rita Skeeter to write the story that changes the public's perception of Harry and how Neville Longbottom starts getting better at magic, but whatev, I loved it. I especially like the asian girl with the Scottish accent. I've already asked EJ if she can start talking like that.

Oh yeah, there was no Quidditch, either. No Quidditch!!??!!??

About half way through the movie I had a revelation.

I am Harry Potter.

Here is the proof:

  1. We both have hot Asian girlfriends
  2. Neither one of us can have a conversation with an older person without the older person mentioning our respective fathers
  3. He likes butterbeer, I like beer
  4. He's an half-mudblood; I'm an half-a-haole
  5. He doesn't like the Dark Lord Voldemort and the Deatheaters; I don't like the Boy King George W. Bush and the Republicans
  6. He is on the Griffindor Quidditch Team; I am on the CNMI Football Team
OK, I think that is enough.

Bald and Talkative is the New Sexy

Harry Blalock thinks he is new to blogging, but he's actually been doing it for several years. Although Harry has only been blogging at Saipan Diver for just over a month, he has been publishing his weekly Food for Thought column online since ever since. He didn't even know that what he was writing was a blog!

In addition to blogging, Harry has a morning radio talk show called Island Issues. I imagine that he'll eventually get into podcasting because, man, does this guy like to talk (Just ask EJ, who says Harry is like a talkative lady).

Harry is a member of the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Hair Club for Men. In his spare time he enjoys SCUBA, shell collecting, and sticking it to politicians.

Harry was shocked to find out that he had been nominated for Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger.

I'm shocked that he's winning.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Let's find Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger!

Does posting this poll make me gay?

A few weeks ago I asked people to nominate bloggers for Saipan's Sexiest Male Blogger. Not a single person was nominated.

I hate all of you.

Oh well, I went ahead and nominated some of my favorite Saipan bloggers without you jerks. I nominated 8 bloggers: Brad Ruszala, the Beach Boy in Paradise; Jeff Turbitt, the angry bald fat guy; Harry Blalock, the Saipan Diver who according to EJ is like a talkative lady; Gus Kaipat, the Voice of Olomwaay; Bruce Bateman, the Worst Person in the World; Walt Goodridge, the Passion Profit and Jamaican Sensation; David Khorram, the Marianas Eye; and myself, Angelo Villagomez, National Soccer Player, The Saipan Blogger, Beautify CNMI guy, and all around great guy...not that I'm trying to sway your vote.

I want to get as many voters for this most important of polls, so I've attached the html code to put this poll on any blog, Myspace, or website. It will look like this:



Simply post this code into your template:



Campaigning for your favorite candidate IS allowed. May the best candidate win! The winner has to take Saipan's Sexiest Female Blogger, Boni Gomez, out on a date...and they have to bring her husband Tony and her four kids.

Monday, July 09, 2007

MP Magazine

Have you picked up your copy of MP Magazine? Here is the part about me, from page 51:

"MY HOBBY"

Like many of Saipan's bloggers, Cinta finds inspiration in the blog of Angelo Villagomez. Still in his twenties, the internet has been an intimate part of his entire adult life. (He learned of the death of his father, the late Justice Ramon Villagomez, via a computer instant message from his brother.) He understands the internet, and has mastered its nuances.

Type the word Saipan into a Google search, and Angelo's blog, The Saipan Blogger, will come up on the very first page. It's not there by accident. Angelo is a diligent student of search engine optimization, the process by which a site appears high on a search engine ranking. His blog receives some 500 visits (or "hits") a day-about 75 from Saipan and the rest from around the world. And during a period of madness when people were searching for scandalous photos of a beauty queen, Angelo had a link to those photos on his blog. Result: 5,000 hits a day.

You can read the rest of David Khorram's Blogging and Bloggers story by picking up the magazine. There are also articles about Article XII, betel nut, mixed martial arts. There are girls in bikinis, too.

You can pick up MP Magazine at Joeten. It isn't displayed very prominently in the store, so you may have to ask where they've stashed them. Go pick up a copy and support the newest magazine published in the CNMI.

The Cinderella Story begins tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first game of the Saipan COED Soccer League. The Dreaded Butt Pirates take the pitch against Wild Bill's at 5:20 PM at the airport field.

On Wednesday, Guns & Roses plays Morgan Rose's team of retard midgets at 5:20 PM.

Come enjoy the carnage!

We play rain or shine. We even braved Tropical Storm Man-yi for practice today. Sure, it was a little windy, but this is soccer, damn it!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

If I was in Florida right now

I'd be hunkered down.

Tropical Storm Man-yi is spinning around somewhere above the warm Pacific waters between Guam and Yap right now. In Saipan we're getting a little rain and a lot of wind, but I don't think we're going to sustain any damage.

FMIYou know how whenever there is a storm in the Atlantic, every news station from Galveston to Key West to Richmond turns into Tropical Storm Center [insert channel number here]? Well, that doesn't happen in Saipan.

In Saipan you sit on the beach drinking a beer until someone says, "Hey, it sure seems windy today."

Then, depending on the severity of the wind, you either finish your beer and then A. call the Emergency Management Office or B. crack open another beer.

We went with option B last night at Steve and Miwa's going away BBQ. We all kept commenting on the wind and the fact that it was picking up, but nobody seemed too concerned. In fact, in place of worry, I think the consensus was that it would be pretty nice if every day was this breezy.

Don't we look concerned?

This BBQ was our chance to spend time with Steve and Miwa one last time. They are flying to Texas on Wednesday to be closer to Steve's family.

You probably can't tell from the pictures, but it is always a sad occasion when people leave the island. Sure, we've got blogs, emails, and web cameras, but it is not the same as getting together on a whim on a Sunday afternoon.

Good luck in Texas, Steve and Miwa!

Here are the lastest maps for Tropical Storm Manyi:

Typhoon Man-yiTyphoon Man-yiClick HERE for up to date information on Typhoon Man-yi.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Master List

This is the original Master List of Saipan blogs. I link to almost all of the Saipan blogs.

I have updated the list and posted it HERE. Please update your links.

Random thoughts from 4 in the morning

I wrote this at 4 AM. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep.

I woke up early to help clean up the Garapan Tourist District. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was spotted by a shy Refalahaole. She saw me sweeping the curb.

After the cleanup I spent a few hours at Café at the Park helping Marites with her personal blog and the FMI blog. She bought me a cup of coffee and an artery blocking, diabetes inducing Loco Moco. Yum. Thanks, Marites!

I went home at around 11 and read about half of George Lakoff’s latest book. Whenever I read in the afternoon I undoubtedly fall asleep, so after a short nap, I turned the computer on and looked at some of my pictures taken during the last year.

EJ came over late in the afternoon. We continued looking at pictures while we drank a few beers. Around dinner time we went out to the new Taste of India down in Chalan Laulau. For $12.95 we were treated to a buffet of curry, tandoori, and other Indian delights. They gave us free beer, too.

Free is my favorite kind of beer.

After dinner we went back to my place for a while and just hung out. I made her watch R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet DVD. I think that movie will really stand the test of time as one of the great contributions to American Culture in the early 21st Century.

I fell asleep kind of early, so of course I woke up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. I decided to get up and log on to the Internet.

So our blogs are finally being picked up by the other media outlets in the CNMI. The Marianas Variety published Jeff Turbitt’s piece on blogging, Harry Blalock interviewed Jeff, Boni, and me on his Island Issues radio show, and MP Magazine had a piece on blogging written by Dr. Khorram.

This blog is the most popular blog about life in the CNMI, attracting anywhere between 200-5000 unique visitors per day. I’ve been averaging about 10,000 unique visitors per month since February. I think that makes me the third most popular written media in the CNMI, after the Saipan Tribune and the Marianas Variety.

Am I right? Do Island Locator, Beach Road Magazine, or Pacific Times have a circulation larger than 10,000 per month or 2500 per week? I think I may be more popular. (Plus, my popularity is rising.)

I wonder how much they charge for advertising? Could I be charging local companies for blogger real estate? Hmmmm…..

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to live off of ads generated from a blog? Then I wouldn’t have to work. I could just go do stuff and then write about it. That would be a good life. A very good life.

Maybe I should have taken an English class in college.

This blog thing has really taken off in the CNMI. I just started a list of all the blogs in the CNMI. So far I’ve counted 65 blogs…and I’ve only included a handful of the Japanese blogs. I don’t want to sound like Al Gore claiming that I created the Internet, but I’d like to think that I had something to do with getting the bloggers blogging. The Blogger Meetup was my idea. We Love Saipan was all Walt, I just helped.

Not that it matters, I’m just saying.

Friday, July 06, 2007

JG Sablan fined $400,000

Pacific Magazine is reporting that JG Sablan has been fined $400,000 by the US EPA for illegally dumping used car batteries and used oil drums in Lower Base.

...and some people think that JG Sablan can be trusted to drill in Pagan?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Federalization gets one step closer

S. 1634, the bill that would federalize Immigration in the CNMI, is available online. Click HERE to read the bill.

I haven't had the chance to read the bill carefully, but I will. Please educate yourself and read this bill.

I did take a quick glance at the bill, though. Skip on over to line 23 on page 13. It reads:
"(h) ONE TIME NONIMMIGRANT PROVISION FOR CERTAIN LONG TERM EMPLOYEES.-"
It looks like any eligible alien, along with their spouses and children, who have "continually resided, except for brief absences, in the Commonwealth for at least the five years prior to enactment of this Northern Mariana Islands Covenant Implementation Act" will be able to apply for a five year nonimmigrant visa. The alien just has to pass a criminal background and a medical test. The visa will be renewable every five years.

The alien will have one year from the implentation of the act to apply for the visa. After that, the window to get the visa closes.

With the nonimmigrant visa, workers will be able to travel to and work in any of the states and territories. They can stay here and work until the minimum wage reaches the federal level in eight years, go to Guam to assist in the military buildup, or go to California and get a job at Disneyland.

Now, I'm no lawyer, but that is my read on the bill. I suggest you read it for yourself. Click HERE to read the bill.

Caption Contest

Korean Party GirlLeave your caption in the comments. The best one gets...nothing.

Lighthouse Cleanup

Navy Hill LighthouseIt has been several months since we've held a cleanup of the Navy Hill Lighthouse. I think the last one was on April 1, the day we lost 9-0 to Guam in Guam.

We had a cleanup there this morning. We removed all the garbage and cut back some of the weeds. A bunch of us are going to watch the 4th of July fireworks from the second story deck tonight. If you read this, please feel free to join us.

The graffiti has gotten really bad. We need to paint it. I think this project deserves its own Beautify CNMI Committee. What do you say, Team BC?

Beautify CNMI Volunteers

Not so Forbidden anymore

Forbidden IslandForbidden IslandForbidden IslandForbidden IslandA few months ago, several teenagers died at Forbidden Island. In a reactionary measure, the Department of Lands and Natural Resources put up a sign that reads DO NOT ENTER and some barbed wire.

Somebody hacked a trail right around the barbed wire. Oh well, so much for keeping people from going down there.

I went down there late yesterday afternoon with a few friends. Beautiful.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Taotao Tano: Listen Up!

Like a lot of people, I disagreed with Taotao Tano's "Go Home" and "This is OUR Land" protest signs. What a great way to kill any ounce of credibility that your group might have.

I went to the last Taotao Tano meeting and it seemed like they had a lot of good ideas and were concerned with a lot of important social issues facing our community. I had high hopes for Taotao Tano and it saddens me that they are blinded by their racism.

The immigration status of foreign contract workers is probably one of the most important issues facing our islands, but their protests sound eerily similar to the "Nigger, Go Back to Africa" philosophy of the Ku Klux Klan and the Republican Party.

There are so many issues facing this island. Blind racial hatred should not be one of them.

Taotao Tano has already identified a lot of the issues. They are concerned with the mismanagement of CUC, the legalization of marijuana, and a host of other things.

I'd like to add to that list:

1. Jack Abramoff, part II

The Governor just decided that he's going to pay a lobbyist $15,000 per month (that's $180,000 per year) to represent the CNMI during Federalization. Hiring Jack Abramoff worked out so well; I'm glad to hear that our leaders don't worry about repeating their mistakes the way I do.

Taotao Tano should be pissed about that. How many jobs is $180,000 per year? I could hire 15 professional beautifiers at $6.25/hour and have them spend 40 hours per week cleaning up this island. For minimum wage I could hire 30.

What is better for our economy, having more people dedicated to improving our tourist destination or paying off Joe Biden's grandson?

2. John Del Rosario publicly speaking out against Article XII

Taotao Tano should also be pissed off that the Secretary of Public Lands is publicly supporting getting rid of Article XII. It is good to know that the guy in charge of the majority of the land in the CNMI is in favor of selling it off for a one time profit. I just know he'll do the right thing when the time comes.

Alright, that's enough for now. I have to go cleanup the Lighthouse. Public Service beckons.

Have a Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Rota Blog

Since we started promoting the creation and upkeep of new blogs in the CNMI, most, if not all, of the blogs have been created in Saipan. Some of the Saipan bloggers take trips to Tinian and Rota, but I think we are all based here on the big island.

I just came across a diary on Dailykos of an American couple that is moving to Rota. They've started a blog, Operation Rota, to chronicle their lives in Rota, which begins on July 25.

They write about how they would consider themselves successful if they can get 100 stateside readers per day. That shouldn't be a problem. I'm going to add a link to them on this blog and I hope that they reciprocate by adding a link to me and to the We Love Saipan Network.

That should help you get some readers. You'll also get a lot of readers from Japan and the Philippines...and maybe even my Mom in Costa Rica will read your blog.

Transformers, cliches in disguise!

The Black Autobot dies. I'm not kidding. One of the Autobots loses his legs, most of the Decepticons die, but the only Autobot to actually kick the bucket is Jazz, the jive talking Autobot (Jazz gets ripped into two pieces by Megatron).

Why does Hollywood always have to kill the black guy...even if he is 30 feet tall, from the planet Cybertron, and encased in an alloy exoskeleton?

I saw Transformers at the only showing on Saipan yesterday. I went with Bree, Litcelle, and EJ. The movie, like any other movie starring hobbits, ninjas, dragons, pirates, boy wizards, and selected comic book heroes, is a must see for those of us who grew up watching the Thundercats every afternoon at 3 PM.

The movie didn't suck, but the screenplay could have used some work...or maybe it was the editing. I mean, come on, whose idea was it to have a 10 minute segment where they were looking for the grandfather's glasses? Was that really neccesary?

There were also a lot of holes in the plot. They never explained how the Autobots turned into such do-gooders. Every time the cube created new Transformers, they were Decepticons. How are Autobots created?

The movie also doesn't reveal how the Autobots found Sam before the Decepticons. The Decepticons had to hack into the Department of Defense mainframe computer. Bumblebee just rolls into a used car dealership and magically finds the right kid.

Alright, that's enough bitching. Any male between the ages of 18-35 who grew up in America is going to see Transformers. I'm just saying that Michael Bay should have made a better movie (Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?)

P.S. Megan Fox is hot.

Carnival of the Blue II

Carnival of the BlueBlue is the new Green.

The Carnival of the Blue II has just been posted over on Blogfish.

For those of us living on Saipan, environmental issues usually concern our oceans. Even many of our land based issues, such as wastewater treatment, deforestation, and solid waste management are ultimately ocean issues because, yup, you guessed it, what we do on the land can affect our marine environment.

I am participating in the Carnival of the Blue because I want to share the CNMI's Ocean Conservation stories with other people interested in Ocean Conservation. My submission this month was the several posts about the recently concluded Beautify CNMI Micronesia Challenge Summer Camp.

Next month I am going to write a post called, "The Future of Conservation in Micronesia." It will be about the Micronesia Challenge, how the five jurisdictions are implementing it, and what I am personally doing to contribute.

The month after that I am hosting the Carnival of the Blue on The Saipan Blog.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

That's the end?

On Satuday we woke up before the sunrise, went for a swim and fed the kids s'mores and hot dogs for breakfast.

I also crushed Sami's head:

We took the 10:30 AM ferry back to Saipan. It was a great camp, guys! See you next year!