Friday, August 08, 2008

Harry asks a few questions, others chime in

Harry Blalock's Food for Thought this week discusses the proposed Mariana Trench Marine National Monument. He asks a series of questions directed at the nine candidates for Congress.
"And then I’ve got a bunch of questions regarding the proposed Marine Monument and the opposition to it. First off, why do the opponents keep calling it the Pew Monument? Don’t they realize that the Pew Foundation really wouldn’t have anything to do with it after it was designated as a monument; they simply came up with the proposal, that’s all. Is this really about indigenous rights, or has it simply become a pissing contest? Do some of our politicians have their noses out of joint all because this wasn’t their idea and they weren’t consulted about it early enough? Do the opponents realize that this has nothing to do with the land on the islands at all, but that it is protecting the waters around the islands? Do they realize that they don’t have any rights to those waters anyway according to the U.S. Supreme Court? I see some of them are claiming that they already practice ancient conservation methods, so they don’t need any help from the federal government in protecting the waters. How many of them have ever fished up there? How many of them have ever been there period? I read where they say they hope to eventually repopulate those islands. Do they realize that would be illegal under our current laws because the islands are already sanctuaries? Do they realize these islands would be nearly impossible to live on because of the terrain? What do they think their fishing practices here have to do with conserving the environment up there? Do they really want to allow illegal fishing boats go up there and get away with whatever they can take anytime they want? Who is financing the stickers I’ve seen that have a red circle and a line through it with the words Pew Monument in it? Is it Westpac? Why is Westpac so opposed to this? Is it because they lose money or control? I can understand why the politicians are opposed to it; typically they are always opposed to anything that is good for the CNMI if they don’t get their cut off the top. I just wonder why we can’t have a discussion about this based on the facts and not on misinformation, and a smoke screen instead of the real issues."
For those of you not living on Saipan, Food for Thought is Harry's weekly radio commentary. He records it and then plays it all weekend.

A few others spoke their mind this week. Both newspapers carried letters from Chailang Palacios, Ken Kramer, Herman Villagomez, and Anna Rose Deleon Guerrero (I can't find the link for that last one).


Lil' Hammerhead said...

A real debate will never take place with "the other side". 90% of "the other side" really doesn't care what the benefits of the monument proposal are. In fact, they don't really stand behind their own arguments, and thus, continue to propogate a bunch of false arguments.

The only real reason most of "the other side" doesn't want to entertain the proposal, or any discussion about it, is because of the involvement of the feds. Westpac excluded of course.. they have a reason, not a good one, but a reason.

I think the anti-fed argument, however, affects Westpac's local members more than actually preserving the organizations potential control of fishing in those waters.

Saipan Writer said...

Lil, How does the "anti-fed argument..affect...Westpac's local members"?