When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

May 11, 2008


Thanks to the effort of the Coalition of United Guest Workers (CNMI) led by Irene Tantiado, Dekada and the Human Dignity Movement have reunited for Saturday night's candlelight vigil in support of President Bush's signing of the CNMI immigration federalization bill.

We hope the unity shown will continue and is not only a publicity stunt, after months of bickering.

Hundreds of workers and their children held banners, placards, and candles as they silently stood beside the road across from Horiguchi Building in Garapan. Passing motorists honked their horn to show solidarity. Smiles were abundant, congratulatory remarks were heard everywhere, champagne was passed around.

Dekada president Bonifacio Sagana and Dekada lawyer Steve Woodruff and Human Dignity Movement president Jerry Custodio, along with Coalition's Irene Tantiado, Rep. Tina Sablan and Ron Hodges were among those in attendance -- all in one place.

The reunited groups vow to work toward a common goal: an improved immigration status for eligible guest workers, whether it's green card or permanent residency.

Over 6,000 signatures have been gathered so far petitioning the US Congress to grant eligible longterm guest workers green cards. The signature drive continues.

Another common goal is to support Rep. Tina Sablan's bill giving a new status to longterm foreign workers to protect these workers between now and the start of the transition period.


Anonymous said...

Reunited, huh? It's a nice song, but I forgot the lyrics.

HBM said...

That's great news. What would be even better news is if the reunited coalition of guest workers could be expanded to include a large number of locals, members of the business community and other CNMI residents to push for regulations that would benefit everyone involved. The interests of all of these groups are now more aligned than they ever have been, although I fear that many are still too pissed off and short-sighted to see it.

Mandaragat said...

How about uniting Taotao Tano Group, Human Dignity Act Movement, United Guest Workers & Dekada, et al?

Anonymous said...

United We Stand,We divide we Fall....How about UNity March 2 for green card?....

cactus said...

For some reason, these pictures remind me of a photo I saw recently of a parade held in 1939 down the main street of the former "Free City" of Danzig, with crownds cheering, and a banner strung overhead reading (as best as I can recall): "Danzig grüßt sein Führer" ("Danzig greets its Leader").

So sorry, crybabies said...

Uh-oh! Cactus is coming out to cry. Better call out the "Waah-mbulance."

cactus said...

I take that to mean you would have been cheering too.

Anonymous said...

All those illiterate morons in the photo will have to leave to Philippines in a year. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Cactus, you compare the feds to the Nazis? You remind me of those wacko militiamen that live in the wilderness out in Idaho.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous who referred to "those illiterate morons," it looks like you're either too illiterate to know how to read S. 2739 or too much of a moron to understand it.

cactus said...

I'll tell you what, Anonymous -- I won't let the similarities blind me to the differences if you won't let the differences blind you to the similarities.

hey hey hey, easy now said...

"United We Stand,We divide we Fall....How about UNity March 2 for green card?...."

um, why should everyone be awarded green cards? what have you done for the united states to deserve status with the federaL government?

cnmi? sure, some of the guest workers should be offered a longer stay. but all of them? no thanks.

the united states doesn't need new menial laborers.

there's no need for that kind of push because there are plenty fo people on the mainland doing those jobs already.

the need for labor is here in the cnmi. that's why the united states didn't let everyone in the way the cnmi did during the start of the guest worker program.

be happy with your victory, but be sure that nobody deserves to get a green card.

if you get, well then be happy for that too. i just don't think that you deserve it.

do a stint in the military and you'll have a shot at it. taking advantage of the relationship with the cnmi via the guest worker contract si one thing. pushing for status from the feds is another.

it would be a mistake for the federal government to issue grene cards to the guest workers.

i mean, why is it deserved? it's not. when was it earned? it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Those Flips are going back to the PI within one year. You had better be a highly skilled laborer or a nurse. What's wrong with the PI anyway? Why do ALL Flips want to live in the US? Go home!

Anonymous said...

The above poster makes me laugh-- when all of the Filipinos leave, who is going to do all of the real work? When I lived on Saipan I never saw a local do anything more strenuous than lifting a can of beer. Can anyone imagine one of these sedentary troglodytes lifting a shovel to mend a pothole in the road? Here's a quote from within P.F. Kluge's "The Edge of Paradise": "What really gets me," someone volunteers, "is the sense that they are entitled to a certain life-style. We're not talking about middle-class America either. This isn't Leave It to Beaver. We're talking Dynasty. Without doing anything, without producing anything, just by manipulating their relatives and selling their land, they ought to live in a house like Dynasty."

diogenes said...

Forget unity march.

I want utility march. Bring your candles. Schedule it with CUC.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what, Anonymous -- I won't let the similarities blind me to the differences if you won't let the differences blind you to the similarities.

Cactus, there are similarities between an apple and a spaceship, or any two things that you can think of. You may be able to find technical "similarities" between the US government and the Nazis, but making that offensive comparison implies a whole host of things that aren't true. It's not enough to say that you didn't intend the inappropriate implications; they are pulled in automatically through everyone's knowledge that the Nazis murdered millions of people and of everything that they stood for. Using that imagery is a cheap way of implying that the US is just as bad, while technically leaving room for you to deny that you meant that. There are also technical similarities between Mahatma Gandhi and Adolph Hitler (both were famous men, for example), but because the differences so outweigh the similarities, for me to compare those two men would be just as offensive and wrongheaded as your comparison of the US government with the Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Hodges, Lil & others,

The Department of Homeland Security will oversee the CNMI Immigration. This means that ANY Filipino that cannot be checked out will have to get out of the CNMI. China and Russia are both sabre rattling right now, they're gone as well. All these Flip workers here that cannot produce a solid background investigation will be deported. You guys got what you wished for. Lil Hodges you cannot spin this or sugar coat it or bullshit your way out of it.

Anonymous said...

As demonstrated by the racism in the last post, the CNMI continues to earn the reputation that got us to this point in the first place.

lil_hammerhead said...

Noni.. if anyone's doing any "spin".. it's you. Oodles of non-residents aren't going to be deported because they're a "security risk". You argue as if you cared about non-resident workers, or local workers for that matter.. give me a break. If you actually beleive your line of argument.. you need to lay off the pipe.

cactus said...

Making comparisons to the Nazis categorically off-limits gives too much of a free pass to people who act like them in various meaningful ways short of mass genocide.

But that is beside the point in this instance, because my own point (as you will see if you read my original post above) was not so much to compare the feds to the Nazis as to compare the attitude of the supporters of federalization with that of the Danzigers who welcomed the Nazi takeover of their formerly automonous city.

You will find, in both cases: people eager to be rescued by an all-powerful external savior, and lacking confidence in their own ability to forge solutions through local institutions; people who worship the Nation-State as such, divorced from any reference to principles of democratic citizenship, and expressed instead in symbolic, mystical invocations of the flag, the soil, and the Sacred Name ("... under the American flag!" ". . . on American soil!" "This is America!"); people who hate or fear diversity, idealizing unity as an end in itself ("one people, one direction" -- or, as they used to say, "ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer"); people who condemn any kind of challenge to the presumed wishes of the supreme Nation-State, even within the framework of its own institutions for that very purpose (lobbying is bad, lawsuits are bad, etc.) -- a tendency frequently tinged with fear(they'll just go harder on us if we resist); people who are willing, even eager, to sacrifice liberty for claims of security, and to defer to naked power for its own sake ("the most powerful nation in the world").

These attitudes probably won't get us into as much trouble as they got the Danzigers, but they are the same atttitudes, and they sure aren't going to do us any good.

Former Philatelist said...

If not for my stamp collection, I wouldn't have been so familiar with the history of the former Free City of Danzig, now Gdansk in Poland.

(The reason I'm a “former” philatelist is that mint stamps tend to stick here, and I don't have Mike White's air conditioning resources.)

Your analogy, Cactus, is spot-on.

So many people here are anticipating Public Law 110-229 to be their salvation, the be-all and end-all of the Commonwealth's problems.

There are wholly unrealistic expectations about further amendments, or federal regulatory promulgations wholly at odds with the language of Pub. L. 110-229, such as amnesties for all aliens.

Perhaps the best way to counter these unrealistic projections is for all parties, labor and management, government and private, to make N.M.I. Pub. L. 15-108 work as well as possible during the next 12-18 months.

Who knows, Mr. Benedetto may even adopt some of its provisions into the federal regulations.

A system that works is certainly better than unstable experiments during a time of considerable uncertainty already, or a reversion to aspects of the CNMI's system that didn't work.

Remember Danzig!

Anonymous said...

Dioegenes is right. Why not a utility march this time?

How come nobody in the local and guest worker community is protesting the doubled power rates and the frequent outages but are quick to react to immigration issues?

Does that mean people can afford CUC rates and can bear the almost daily power outages?

Ron Hodges said...

NO to PL-15-108

Down with the ISLAND SLAVE LAW

Don't fall for the ploy "lets just leave it in place and MAYBE we will soften the regs".

Prison for tyrants

Power to the people.

The Daily Yapper said...

"Power to the people."

Lower Power Rates to the people!

Anonymous said...

Lil Hodges,

The DHS will deem that all 'non-skilled' contract workers (Russians and Chinese included) pose an incredible burden to the Federal Gov't. Asylum etc. That means that 95% of non-res workers will be asked to leave, or be rounded up and deported. Your arrogance is astonishing. The law is the law. The next head of DHS will not take any chances out here, especially with the Guam buildup and an increase in the B2 fleet. Bye bye Filipinos. Stop spinning this Lil Hodges, you got what you wanted now deal with it!

Anonymous said...

Biba Public Law 110-229!

Biba Feds!

Adios soon-to-be- or currently-unemployed unskilled Contract Guest Workers scammed by Ron!

Parent of U.S. Citizens said...

Too bad many of our hard-working contract workers trusted the wrong guy!

Dekada Shyster, why didn't you warn us about Hodges?!

Fortunately, some with professional skills will qualify for H-1 status.

The Daily Yapper said...

So who do you think will pay to send people home? The CNMI government?

Anonymous said...

The Federal Gov't will most likely deport 95% of the Filipinos here and pay for their one way ticket. It will be gradual. Why won't they return to the PI? Why all signs? These people are a burden everywhere and need to go, Chinese especially. The Feds are not here to 'help' the Flipinos. They are here to expedite their departure. Lil Hodges really is a monkey. Read the law monkey.

Anonymous said...

A burden? Like the burden the CNMI places upon the United States? I personally love how people who pay *nothing* into the Federal treasury are going to get a stimulus check. As a regular U.S. taxpayer I consider the entire CNMI to be a burden.

USSR Poon Dem B Observer said...

The Daily Yapper said...

“So who do you think will pay to send people home? The CNMI government?”

The CNMI should save its money for the anti-federalization lawsuit, and let USCIS “clean up the mess,” as the Ombudsperson likes to say.

In fact, it was the former boss of the USSR Poon Dem B who created such an inflated expectation amongst the Filipino Guest Worker community of future Green Card status, resulting in so many Pinoys going “TNT” (illegal).

So it is only right that the feds pay to send them home, or to Guam, or even the Mainland. After all, it's not David's and Jim's money, and it will make them popular with the “downtrodden masses.”

Anonymous said...

You will find, in both cases: people eager to be rescued by an all-powerful external savior, and lacking confidence in their own ability to forge solutions through local institutions.

I don't know, Cactus, do you think that the guest workers' lack of confidence in "their own ability to forge solutions through local institutions" might derive from the fact that they can't vote, and that those local institutions and the local authorities that control them have demonstrated an outright hostility to their interests and just want them to work hard, keep their mouths shut, and go home when they're done? How the hell can you castigate these people, who have been told in so many ways by the local authorities that they don't count, for not having the "confidence" to work through local institutions, and how can you blame them for trying to appeal to a higher authority to address their concerns? The feds may not be the answer to their prayers, but they sure as hell won't care less about these people than your vaunted local authorities do.

to cactus & stamp freak said...

some of you racists are over the top and using scare tactics as your rationale

danzig? cactus and the stamp freak need to chill on your prescription mood stabalizers

the main similarities between nazi germany and the nmi are the race based repression of people and the gestapo style propaganda tactics being used by our government...paid fot by us

stuff that in your pipe and smoke it

Ron Hodges said...

Here is something for you anonymous doodlers to chew on!!!!

Chamberonomics 51… Thank you, Mr. President

I would like to personally thank the President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, for signing S.2739 into US law. Congratulations everyone! The signing of S.2739 is an enormous win for the decent people of the Northern Marianas Islands.

"“What does this mean”?", has been a common question this week. A room full of lawyers read through the same document, and none can give you a straight, no spin answer to your simple question. I am a layman so all I can tell you is “'Welcome to America”.' I was asked several times this week what’s going to happen, what are our assurances, guarantees, and protections.

JFK said, “"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country”."

The new law intends to bring equality and fair play to our broken labor and immigration system. It also intends to reduce the number of guest workers here over about a ten year period. I believe the US will improve status for workers and eventually many will immigrate to the US mainland or Guam in search of better opportunity for their families than the Northern Marianas Islands can provide. Thank God the garment factories are almost gone from Saipan. Good riddance to their sleazy operations. A hard cold fact is their exodus leaves us with far too many workers than our tiny island can support. This is an economic reality. It is also an economic reality that Saipan can’t prosper using workers that live in tin shacks and remit their salaries to their country of natural origin.

America can be a land of unlimited opportunity, one where immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants have no boundaries for success and achievement. The point is, you will, and should have a choice of where you live, and where you work. The days of tying an employee to one employer is over and a free market here will be better for all.

HANMI and the chamber may fear unity between guest workers and locals. Eventually, more indigenous islanders will move into the private sector and occupy large numbers of hotel industry jobs alongside CGWs, and their unity will enact change in wages, working conditions, and benefits.

We can expect better representation for CGWs. Workers here have never been adequately represented. Though a few advocates have voiced concerns, their poor representation is the primary reason for the length of this terrible situation of exploitation. Lawyers follow the money and it stands to reason that for many years here, CGWs were not the residents with deep pockets. This will soon change. Guest workers here may need individual legal representation due to years of working in a broken system. If the number of CGWs here is 19,000, and the minimal legal fees are 1,000 per, then that is 19 million bucks. Workers with more protection and higher wages will be more likely to sue over past exploitation as well. I think lawyers here will be on this federalization case for a long time to the benefit of workers.

There is much work unfinished. The improved status recommendation is of vital concern to the NMI. I suspect, the chamber, HANMI, and the Fitial administration are weighing options as you read this. The Governor outlined three options in his state of the commonwealth address, which seemed farcical in our current economy. For the Governor to pay 25,000 dollars per month for a lobbyist while his administration can’t provide power and our poorest children do not have ample supplies of drinking water is abominable and to challenge US in court would be worse. They will try to have input promulgating the regulations here, which would also be a disaster. They may even try to put one of their “yes” men or women as the Washington Rep. The DC Rep. may be able to amend the new law or add other restrictions to workers here and continue to block the minimum wage increase. I will only support a DC Rep with no affiliation with the chamber, HANMI, and the Governor.

We have four Congresspersons here that have offered legislation to ease the transition period and I would hope our local Congress would step forward with some progressive actions to help our failing commonwealth.

Anonymous said...

It's emigrate you idiot. No, they will not be allowed to emigrate to the US. Do you and Lil live in some kind of weird fantasy denial realm? The passing of the bill is to make sure that these Filipinos go back home to their OWN country. We certainly don't want them emigrating to the United States, or Guam. Hey Lil Hodges, what is wrong with the contract workers going back to the PI? You still can't answer that question. You dance around it, avoid it, ignore it. Are you suggesting that the PI is a shit hole? Also, Filipinos are notorious for remitting almost ALL of their money back to the PI to feed their litter.

Anonymous said...

Prior anonymous, Ron used the term "immigrate" correctly. They would "immigrate" to the U.S., and "emigrate" from the Philippines. When you call someone an idiot and purport to "correct" them when you are wrong and they are right, you show yourself to be a, well, idiot. Yes, let's all stipulate that wages are lower in the PI, and guest workers want the opportunity to earn higher wages to support their U.S. citizen children. That's not a reason to make racist attacks against the Philippines, any more than the fact that the forefathers of most Americans similarly immigrated to America from Europe, Asia or the Pacific to create a better life for their families is any reason to take cheap shots at their birth countries.

Anonymous said...

They want to 'emigrate' from the CNMI to the USA monkey. Yeah, let's stipulate (you're a lawyer) that wages are lower in the PI, yo dipshit, the wages ARE lower! So what? Why should that be our problem? The PI is a total shit hole. Still, not our problem.

Mr. Civility said...

Hear, hear!

carlos the mackerel said...

I have to ask:

What's "USSR Poon Dem B?"

cactus said...

"The feds may not be the answer to their prayers, but they sure as hell won't care less about these people than your vaunted local authorities do."

Don't be so sure about that. The feds are not economically dependent on them.

Carlos, Jr. said...

The "USSR Poon Dem B" = the Ombudsperson.

USSR Poon Dem B Observer said...

Where's Pamela S. Brown when you need her?

Anonymous said...

Out hunting for Vietnamese hookers.

Anonymous said...

"Thank God for the Federalization, Pls. touch their heart for our Permanent Status."? Wow! I can't believe it! Ang kakapal ng inyong pagmumukha na humingi at magkaroon ng Permanent Status! I don't think anyone of you deserve to be given the Permanent Status. Remember, we all came to Saipan to Work and not for the Citizenship! One more thing you all never give free time for working, you all had been paid by your employers, meaning you're all here because you have a job! But my question is: Are you all legal with working permit in the CNMI, or just sponsoreds by someone and not really working? Your Groups had done nothing to the CNMI Community! 70% of the Filipino guest workers are not supporting your group because we all know that your groups just want publicity. Kahit anong sabihin pa ninyo alam namin ang tutuo at hinding-hinding kami paluluko sa mga katulad ninyong mga _________! My only advice to all the groups that wanting federalization, please save all your money for you all need to go back home sooner or later (like us too)! Hope to see you all in Manila Airport! You all can joint the rally at the Philippines (love to seing you all their)! By-Bye mga kababayan!

Anonymous said...

To last Anon;
How did you know we are not supported by 70% of Filipinos in CNMI,did you conducted your own survey?Its seems to be you are scared for federal,and maybe you are not qualified when feds come in.Ikaw ang makapal ang mukha,manahimik ka na.

Anonymous said...

Or taga rito ka na rin pero sa tingin ko takot ka masapawan ka ng kapwa pinoy pag may green na kami.behhhhh

lil_hammerhead said...

Low and calm, the voice said "The peddling of filth on these lands enjoy their final days".. and the cries of the evil could be heard wailing from the mountaintops. - Book of Justice, 2:21

Anonymous said...

We some idiot calling the PI a "sh*t hole" while someone calling himself "Mr. Civility" cheers him on. Is it any wonder that in spite of all the money spent on lobbyists, most people in Washington think that the CNMI is a "sh*t hole"? The people who complain the loudest about the CNMI's bad reputation are the people who are most responsible for it.

Anonymous said...

The "USSR Poon Dem B" = the Ombudsperson.

New rule: Jokes either have to be clever or funny.

Mr. Civility said...

Anonymous said...

“We some idiot calling the PI a "sh*t hole" while someone calling himself "Mr. Civility" cheers him on. Is it any wonder that in spite of all the money spent on lobbyists, most people in Washington think that the CNMI is a "sh*t hole"? The people who complain the loudest about the CNMI's bad reputation are the people who are most responsible for it.”

Sorry. I was responding to the post 53 minutes before mine, not the one 6 minutes before, which apparently was submitted between when I hit the “reply” button and when I actually entered my comment.

P.S. It looks like the “poor joke” is actually an explanation of an ongoing acronymn parody, similar to MOTEC and KOTEC. As noted, however, there is a lot to be said for simplicity if one wishes to be understood.

Anonymous said...

Well, you may be 'thanking god' for federalization but you better be checking with Continental Airlines while you are at it.

The game plan is to register all contract workers. Ferret out the underground illegals and deport them first. Divide the number remaining by 5 and start blowing those off the island in a systematic way over the following 5 years.

'Friendly', sympathetic lawyers and immigration paper processors will be getting fat. Most everyone else will be getting real, authentic Philippine food from a real, authentic Philippine cook in the Philippines.

To spin it otherwise is to avoid reality. A typical trait around here.

Meanwhile you have a one year grace period to run around shouting halleluiah. Make the most of it.

Mr. Civility said...

I was really referring to the final sentence of that post, not the "idiot" reference.

While six minutes seems a long time to post two words, I may have been interrupted by a phone call or something.

And sorry about the surplus letter at the end of “acronym”. (!)

Anonymous said...

OK, so Mr. Civility = Carlos Jr. Acronyms are supposed to stand for something, by the way. But in any event, this USSR Poon Dem B hilarity is supposed to mean what?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the crowd that pretends to have inside knowledge about what the feds really think are the people who have zero credibility with the feds. Do you really think that the feds are confiding to the Fitial crowd about how they intend to implement federalization? When they say that everyone is going to get deported, it's a strange combination of sore loser-ness, wishful thinking, and abject fear about how they could possibly survive without cheap labor. As is often the case, racism and contempt mask (very poorly) a deep-seated inferiority complex.

Anonymous said...

Lil Hodges are in total denial. They believe that the Feds are here to 'help' the contract workers. Read the law.

It specifically calls for the fazing out of contract workers from the CNMI. In one year, there will be a thousand contracts workers demanding to talk to Lil Hodges.

Anagram Aficionado said...

It would appear the USSR Poon Dem B anagram would be a case study in political correctness run amok, an allegory for federalization itself, worthy of Ms magazine.

It is interesting that an anonymous poster would claim inside information into what either "the Fitial crowd" or "the feds" happen to be thinking, or who has greater empathy and concern for the CNMI's hard-working Foreign National Workers.

Go USSR Poon Dem B! Go FFF!

(Who else would have such “insight”?)


Carlos, Jr. said...

USSR = Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

While “USSR” is indeed an acronym under its secondary definition, it would be more properly referred to as an “initialism.”

No, I am not Mr. Civility, but thanks for the compliment.

carlos the mackerel said...

OK, let me try to work my way through this "USSR Poon Dem B" thing.

Since it is supposed to refer to the "Ombudsperson," I'll guess that the "B" must stand for Benedetto.

"Dem" does not suggest anything other than Democrat, which would make "Dem B" mean "the Democrat Benedetto."

"Poon," of course, can only be short for "poontang," and, together with "USSR," apparently refers to poontang from the former Soviet Union.

The sense of the whole phrase would therefore seem to be: "the Democrat Benedetto, who likes to chase Russian girls."

Dude, even if that's true, that is too much work for too little reward -- or have I missed the point completely?

Carlos, Jr. said...

Can you make a better anagram out of “Ombudsperson”?

Your interpretation is at least as good as mine!

With all the hate and vitrol spewed on these blogs over the issue of federalization and its consequences, we've got to have some fun, and try to lighten things up, right?

I know, intelligent discourse beats poor attempts at diversion, but the latter still trump ill will, vindictiveness, and triumphalism.

Hey, Dad, maybe I do qualify as “Mr. Civility”!

Charlie the Tuna said...

Junior, you'd be better off emulating your Uncle Charlie, and showing some good taste.

Tastes Like Tuna said...

He could also be a socialist who enjoys oral sex, or a gay communist.


Uncle BenTan said...

Your humour license is hereby revoked.

Anonymous said...

With all the hate and vitrol spewed on these blogs over the issue of federalization and its consequences, we've got to have some fun, and try to lighten things up, right?

Yes, Mr. Carlos Civility, by calling people names. How civil.

Prissy Boy said...

Indeed. This “BenTan” stuff is quite tendentious. And calling someone an “Ombudsperson,” I'm aghast!

Anonymous said...

Ang problema naman kasi sa ating mga Filipino masyadong padalos-dalos at hinde nag-iisip ng mabuti bago gumawa ng anomang bagay kaya marami ang napapahamak. Sa tutuo lang Lil-hammerhead tama ka sa sinabe mo na walang madedeport na mga guest workers, kaya lang kasi sinasabe ng mga tao na madedeport, kasi after ng contrata ng isang non-resident worker dito pag hinde nakahanap ng employer (which legal employer dapat, at hinde sponsor)ang isang manggagawa kailangan niya talagang umuwe (meaning, finish contract na uuwe at hinde deportation).

REgarding naman sa sinabe ng dalawang anonymous posted around 6:40 PM at ang isa naman ay posted 7:13 PM, mula pa noong simula nanahimik ako at ayaw kung magsalita dahil ang iniisip ko marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hinde qualified kung sakali na e-take over ng federal ang CNMI. Alam ba ninyo na marami sa ating mga kababayan ngayon ang nagsasabe na kahit basahin pa nila ang S.2739 hinde nila naiintindihan at kaya rin sila pumiperma sa mga tao nagpapaperma kasi daw wala ring mawawala sa kanila kung sakali lang naman daw na mabigyan ng GC. Kung sabagay nga naman ano?

Just to put this in your record, I am not scared to the federalezation, because i know that I am morethan qualified, If i want it. but do you believe me that I'm not interested for the US Citizenship? I am proud to be a Filipino! Yes! iyan ang tutuo mahal ko ang ating bayan, marami akung gusto pa sanang sabihen pero i don't think na magbabago pa ang inyong pag-iisip sa hangarin na makamit ang inyong US Citizenship. Sabe nga ng mga taga rito na sana bago hilingin ang anomang bagay tignan muna sa ating sarile kung karapatdapat nga ba kayo sa inyong hinihiling at iyan ang tunay na dahilan kung baket ako nagbigay ng kuminto sainyong mga ginagawa. Pero wala akung karapatan na pigilan kayo, sarile din ninyo ang mahihirapan at hinde ako, nga lang marami ang madadamay na mga kababayan natin. Huwag na kayong mamuhay sa kasungalingan tanggapin na nalang kung ano ang kahihinatnan dahil sa mga maling pagkilos siguro ay may dahilan kung kaya ito ang nangyayari ngayon dito sa Saipan.

Maraming salamat sainyong lahat na nakakaintinde at tunay na nakakaunawa sa lahat ng mga sinabe ko.

Anonymous said...

To Cactus:


Anonymous said...

Godwin's law says that as a comment threat becomes long and spent, the chances increase that someone will stoop to making an inappropriate comparison to Hitler. That doesn't apply here, because Cactus busted out his inappropriate comparison to Hitler right from the start!

Anagram Aficionado said...

Returning to the thread topic, how about that Ombudsperson?


cactus said...

To the critics of my analogy:

If you have read my posts, you know what I am trying to say. You may not agree with me, but I am pretty sure you understand me.

Therefore: If you can come up with another analogy that makes my point as effectively, but without any reference to Nazis, feel free to post it here, and if it is any good, I will cheerfully adopt it in place of my own.

Your friend,

Cactus Godwin

Anonymous said...

I won't supply you with a better analogy because I don't agree with your underlying point, but I still think that your analogy was inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

PI is the worst managed country on earth, although per capita, we may be close here.

PI is owned by rich Chinamen that rule over 90 million Catholics by encouraging them to have 10 kids so 9 can become workers from somewhere else, sending their family remittance. The real owners prop up up 100 running around the Tagalog channel spewing important news from the game show. PI is the only country on earth with this distinction- "their number 1 export and gross domestic products are humans". this is a sad story.

99 percent of the moderatly educated in PI can not have a simple discussion about any world affair from burma to tibet.

this not intended to insult anyone here its just a statement to poverty being perpetual.

Mr. Civility said...

The politically correct term for the “Republic of the Philippines” is RP.

Use of the former “Philippine Islands” (PI) is redolent of colonialism and oppression.

Your view of the Philippines is extraordinarily cynical and simplistic. It gives far greater powers to the “consipirators” than any oligarchy could reasonably have, and totally ignores the reality of Catholic doctrine.

The RP is actually progressing quite nicely. But that is something the pro-amnesty federalizers find hard to admit, because they have to justify the “hell-hole” scenario so as to “save” the RP-citizen parents of US-citizen kids from deportation to their homeland once the work dries up in the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

While your defense of the RP is quite correct, it's wrong to say that the "pro-amnesty federalizers" have to justify the RP "hell hole" scenario. (It's also wrong for you to call yourself "Mr. Civility", unless you're being ironic--but that's another story.) For one thing, people who are here legally don't need "amnesty". If we choose to change policy so that people who are here legally can transition to a new legal status, that's not "amnesty". The RP is not a "hell hole" but the standard of living there is much lower than what the US citizen children of guest workers are accustomed to. That does not make their parents entitled to green cards, but it is something that policymakers might choose to take into account (and I think they should) in light of what the guest workers have done for the CNMI. Policymakers can (and should) also take into account that granting long-term guest workers green cards might reduce turnover in the workforce in light of the new federalization law. Sure, they might all pick up and leave, but restricting their options (either shut up and work for your sponsor for sub-US minimum wage or go home and work for much less) is no longer an option in the post-federalization world. Those un-civil days are over, Mr. "Civility".

Anonymous said...

federalization is great for the local people.

all the taxis run by IRs are no longer going to exist. fixed marriages are going to end. many employers will not be able to afford the H? process, leaving more job vacancies for the local people. there will be no green cards for 5year stay non-residents leaving many to return to their homeland.

there will only be a few companies who can afford to pay to keep H? workers. overall, great move to get local population into workforce.

almost guaranteed to shrink the non-resident population by more than half.

Kababayan Aficionado said...

The reason an “amnesty” may be needed is that many hard-working contract workers, through no fault of their own, are losing their jobs due to the CNMI economic melt-down.

This was caused by federalization of the minimum wage and immigration, the feds' refusal to reduce the garment percentage from 50% to 30%, the feds' failure to spend an adequate bare minimum of law enforcement resources, Article XII, local government corruption, geographic factors, energy issues, etc. (I recognize that some may disagree on the weight of the various causes and denote any policy differences as evil, mean, or uncivil.)

Many of these poor workers losing their jobs have been here five or ten years or more. With the promises (express or implied) by the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior and his Ombudsperson, contract workers have a strong incentive to remain.

Indeed, an increasing number are illegally remaining beyond the expiration of their contracts, once not renewed, going "TNT" as the Filipinos refer to it, and many more were already quasi-illegal with sham sponsorship contracts.

Hence the need, strongly endorsed by such worker advocates as Jane Mack and the “Dekada Shyster,” for amnesty.

Anonymous said...

the majority of non-resident workers asked for Federalization. they got it. There is no where in the current law that allows for any permanent residency and amnesty. the reality is with the given economic conditions and federalization many non-residents will have to pack their bags and head back to their homeland.

The Daily Yapper said...

"The RP is actually progressing quite nicely."

and our economy is "still pretty darn good."

Anonymous said...

Policy differences aren't uncivil, Mr. Civility Aficionado; your incessant name-calling under your various pseudonyms is uncivil. I don't recall anyone making any promises, express or implied, that guest workers would get green cards. We all know that FAS status was in the original bill, it was taken out, and now there is simply an Interior reco to Congress on possible enhanced status within two years. I think people understand that there are no promises.

Status Aficionado said...

So it is the Interior “recommendation” that is the subject of such intense interest.

Whether the Freely Associated State or Lawful Permanent Residence scenarios are wishful speculation, an express promise, or something in between -- only those present actually know, and in intercultural communication the message sent is not always what is received -- one should agree that a decision of such import should be done openly and transparently, not behind vengeful closed doors or policy-decisionmaking-by-ambush such as the Ombudsperson and his cronies utilized in the past “successful” federalization campaign.

Name-calling? Is “the Ombudsperson” an insult?

Pub. L. 110-229 Consequences said...

Unless a wholesale “amnesty” is contemplated for those whose contracts have expired without renewal for economic reasons, some long-time residents will be deported by DHS.

Even the most optimistic outcome readily achievable might require at least five years “legal” presence here in the CNMI before the Public Law 110-229 Transition Program takes effect, to be able to avail of any improved status.

Or such shorter time as Interior may recommend. But not all who seek status are likely to get it.

“Federalization. You asked for it, you got it.”

Anonymous said...

Ombudsperson might be politically correct, but Dekada Shyster most certainly is not.

Legal Questioner said...

Doesn't the Dekada Shyster have an ethical obligation to help his prostitute clients?

What if the Ombudsperson's draft regulations allow agricultural and hotel workers but grant no employers permission to hire foreign bar girls and massage ladies?

Would the Dekada Shyster have a conflict of interest between his clients? Or maybe he could urge adoption of the favorable provisions, and submit comments urging changes to the unfavorable ones.

Anonymous said...

"One should agree that a decision of such import should be done openly and transparently, not behind vengeful closed doors or policy-decisionmaking-by-ambush such as the Ombudsperson and his cronies utilized in the past “successful” federalization campaign."

Are we missing something here? Did the "Ombudsperson" pass federalization all by himself? Didn't you guys have expensive lobbyists from both parties to plead your case? Didn't the Senate approve it? Didn't the House approve it--twice? Didn't the President sign it? You guys had every opportunity to make your case and no one bought it. Shouldn't that tell you something? By childishly singling out the "Ombudsperson", it allows you to maintain the illusion that you were able to convince anyone to support you. You weren't, so you might as well blame all of the above. Or maybe you should look in the mirror for a change.

stupid name thinker upper said...

You tell 'em!

Anonymous said...

While these guys use "the Ombudsperson" as a stand-in for Interior, obviously the prime movers were Cohen and Stayman.

The anti-federalizers' main gripe is exactly the lack of transparency and due process in the Congress. Bills and language were substituted in at the last minute, then combined with wholly unrelated bills.

The Committee Report was ordered to be printed after the Senators had voted. Grossly outdated data were relied on.

Essentially, Pub. L. 110-229 was an exercise in brute force, in raw, naked political power, an extreme version of ends-justifies-the-means. No one who values public participation or clean government can be happy with what was done to the CNMI by Stayman and pals.

But that is water under the bridge.

The current issues are the regs and status. Interestingly, some think the FFF are opposed to Lawful Permanent Residence for our hard-working Foreign National Workers.

But that would be no skin off the CNMI's nose. It was Hawaii and Guam who opposed a pathway to citizenship to our guest workers, because they did not want to be "burdened" by them as they fled the CNMI's declining economy.

That's who the workers' advocates need to lobby.

Pseudonyms and "silly names" are provided so people can respond to specific posts.

But if the consensus seems to be that all posts be made by "Anonymous," so be it.

Anonymous said...

Fitial and his group were absolutely opposed to green cards for long-term guest workers. It is true that some strong opposition came from Hawaii and Guam, but Fitial strongly opposed it as well.

Anonymous said...

"Essentially, Pub. L. 110-229 was an exercise in brute force, in raw, naked political power, an extreme version of ends-justifies-the-means. No one who values public participation or clean government can be happy with what was done to the CNMI by Stayman and pals."

Spare us the hyperbole. What was really "an exercise in brute force, in raw, naked political power" was when the CNMI hired Jack Abramoff to get Tom DeLay to kill the federalization bill that had just passed the Senate unanimously. That bill was squashed completely in the House without any discussion or review whatsoever. For this go round, you guys again hired powerful lobbyists with close ties to the Congressional majority--this time the Democrats. You also had the opportunity to testify at so many hearings, visit so many officials in DC again and again, etc. You didn't speak for all of the people of the CNMI, and the silent majority that you did not represent couldn't afford to have anyone (let alone the mighty Oldaker) lobby for them in DC. You can't claim that you didn't have the opportunity to make your case or participate in the process. You just didn't get what you want, which inevitably happens to people and special interest groups all the time in our process. Claiming that this violates the principles of "clean government" just because you lost makes you look like a sore loser. I suppose that when your lobbyist uses strong-arm tactics and wins, that's proof that our democractic system works. When your lobbyist loses, it's proof that you're the poor, powerless victim of an unfair conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

'You had your slaves, we can have ours too!'

-Pete T.
sometime ago

Anonymous said...

Pete A. has developed into a true, courageous leader since that time. His transformation has been remarkable and he should be admired for his guts. If this comment gets a vitriolic response, it will only prove that Pete A. has incurred the wrath of part of the electorate by doing what he thought was right. How many politicians are willing to do that?

cactus said...

If anyone would like a further example of the kind of thing I am talking about, you need look no further than the letters to the editor in today's Variety, where we find the following:

"National identity is primary. Like it or not, the legal and political reality of belonging to a nation means that regional, cultural, ethnic, indigenous, and parochial identities fall into second place behind the national identity."

They loved stuff like that back in Danzig.

cactus said...

I mean the Tribune.

fitial fed fighter said...

weird elle - when your labels were CUGW, dekada, HDM, and federalization, you were asking for another 100 comments

cactus said...

I mean yesterday's Tribune. Sorry -- I'm not doing too well on the details today.

Anonymous said...

So according to your logic, Cactus, those of us who are proud to be American and take greater pride in our national identity than our identity with any state, territory or ethnic group (no matter how proud of those ties we may nonetheless be) are the breeding ground of fascism?

Anonymous said...

“Spare us the hyperbole. What was really "an exercise in brute force, in raw, naked political power" was when the CNMI hired Jack Abramoff to get Tom DeLay to kill the federalization bill that had just passed the Senate unanimously.”

No hyperbole, but you are 100% correct about what happened before. Two wrongs don't make a right, though that aphorism carries little weight with the Ends-Justifies-the-Means Crowd.

“Claiming that this violates the principles of "clean government" just because you lost makes you look like a sore loser.”

Instead of a corrupt outside lobbyist, the process this time around had something even more insidious and sinister -- a Senate staffer out on a personal vendetta to avenge a real injustice done him by Abramoff (the denial of his FSM/RMI Compact re-negotiation ambassadorship), with the connivance of an Interior Deputy Assistant Secretary, and of course aided and abetted by his minion the Ombudsperson.

Lobbyists and trips to Washington can't make up for gamesmanship such as hiding the proposed legislation, relying on undisclosed (until too late) bogus, secret legislative “facts,” et cetera. Public Law 110-229, as it affects the CNMI, was a classic case of smoke-filled room politics of the most despicable kind.

And no, I am not one of “you guys.” But your use of the term suggests strongly that you were one of the perveyors of this injustice, perhaps no less than the Ombudsperson himself. It's nice that you are so good at self-rationalizing your misdeeds; I trust this helps you sleep better at night.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a paranoid conspiracy theory to provide a tidy explanation for facts that you find unpleasant. I use "you guys" because only people in the governor's inner circle believe the nonsense in your last comment. If you're not in the governor's inner circle, then where did you get your "facts", and why do you pretend that you are so certain that they are true? If you're not one of "you guys", then I'll bet anything that you're one of "you gals".

Anonymous said...

No, that would be the Ombudsperson.

Anonymous said...

Disregarding the name-calling, it is true, Jim, that this is a small island, and people talk.

Not just workers' advocates and their allies.

All of us have a stake in this community.

Anonymous said...

This is post #99.

Let us return to the words of wisdom displayed in the photos introducing this discussion:

Thanks God for the “Federalization.” Pls. touch their heart 4 our permanent status.

Thank you Pres. Bush! Wendy Doromal

Thank you Mr. Jim Benedetto. Pls. echo our voice.

Vox populi.

Words to live by, or at least heed.

Anonymous said...

This is post #100.

Three cheers for the Ombudsperson!

For he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow, for he’s a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny!

Anonymous said...

Post 101:

Filipinos who have lived here for a few years actually start to believe that they are Americans. Take that dip shit from PTI for example. He talks about US politics like what he says matters. He is FILIPINO, go back to the PHILIPPINES. That is where FILIPINOS belong.

Anonymous said...

You caught me, Noni ("You guys/gals"). It's me, the Ombudsperson! I'm so busted! But seriously, parroting the PIO party line version of events might help some people cling to the feeling that they've been victimized. That type of self-pity tends to blind people to the real victimization that has been going on all around them for years, and offers people an unconscious excuse to avoid taking any responsibility. You're right, Noni, it's a small island, and people talk. Not everything that people say is correct, though. And you're right that all of us have a stake in this community. "All of us", notwithstanding what the "You guys" and "You gals" that you may or may not be a part of may think, includes everyone who lives here, not just those who were represented by the lobbyists.

cactus said...

"So according to your logic, Cactus, those of us who are proud to be American and take greater pride in our national identity than our identity with any state, territory or ethnic group (no matter how proud of those ties we may nonetheless be) are the breeding ground of fascism?"

In a word, yes.

Ideally, the question should never arise, because the greatest point of pride for a nation is (or should be) its respect for its component parts -- its people and the local societies they form themselves into – based on its recognition that it has no existence apart from them. The very fact that a situation arises that can be thought of as pitting one against the other means that we are headed for trouble – that the Nation has taken on a life of its own, and has started making hostile and jealous demands on the loyalties of its own constituents.

Initially, a conscious orientation toward the national over the local can seem noble and idealistic, but it slides too easily into a bullying conformism. I hate to use another Nazi analogy, but witness how the “Deutschland Über Alles” of the 1840's (a call for the various small German principalities to put aside their petty differences and unite) turned into the “Deutschland Über Alles” of the 1940's (the same song, but by then taken as an anthem to internal intolerance and external aggression). A variation of the same process can be seen in China today.

In the passage I quoted above, therefore, the use of expressions like “fall into second place” are ominous enough.

What really seals the case for me, though, is “like it or not.”

Anonymous said...

cactus said...

“Ideally, the question should never arise, because the greatest point of pride for a nation is (or should be) its respect for its component parts -- its people and the local societies they form themselves into – based on its recognition that it has no existence apart from them. The very fact that a situation arises that can be thought of as pitting one against the other means that we are headed for trouble – that the Nation has taken on a life of its own, and has started making hostile and jealous demands on the loyalties of its own constituents.”

This comports with the notion of “subsidiarity,” mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paras. 1883-85.

No one here is ignoring what's happening, Mr. Ombudsperson. That canard was spread by radical activists and Washington bureaucrats. If anyone has been ignoring reality, it has been in the deplorable lack of law enforcement resources applied by the federal government to the CNMI over the past three decades.

But you're right. There is no point wallowing in victimhood to the exclusion of everyone else. Let's get the best deal we can for our guest workers, and continue to build a better society, without the invective that has characterized the Department of the Interior (incoming and outgoing).

friends of Gandhi said...

It is time to tear down the walls of nationalism and end sectionalism, racism, and other forms of ignorance and hatred.

Anonymous said...

"invective" coming from interior? interior pretty much behaved like the adult in its dealings with fitial admin, which behaved like a spoiled child and certainly sent a lot of "invective" at interior and everyone else they do not like. interior was much more fair than some people in congress.

Anonymous said...

NO GREENCARD provision in new bill according to Allen Stayman. Thanks you pro fed people. We would be better with NMI residency.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Cinta. We know that. Now get back to work.

Anonymous said...

No green card in provision because Fitial and his lobbyists got it removed -duh. BUT there is language for to grant status. Reread the MV article.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you can thank U.S. Congressperson Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and U.S. Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), both of whom did not want their democratic labor constituents displaced by an unskilled workforce exodus from the CNMI. Blaming (or crediting) Fitial and his lobbyists for this self-interested decision is simply activist spin to keep those two in the good graces of the federalizers. How many votes in Congress does Fitial have? The self-entitled whining of CNMI foreign national workers carries even less weight than Uncle Ben’s.

For an example of what the CNMI can expect when DHS takes over, and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) goes to work deporting all the guest workers with expired contracts (because their employers were driven out of business by the minimum wage and CUC rate increases), take note of this very recent Congressional testimony.

Stewart M. Powell, “ICE defends workplace raids: Democrats rip tactics as GOP backs agency on immigration issue,” Houston Chronicle, May 20, 2008, 10:25PM

Josh Richman, “Woolsey holds hearing on immigration raids, kids,” Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

“ICE Hearing: Kathryn Gibney,” http://youtube.com/watch?v=PUu8_glWWsI cited in http://polfeeds.com/item/ICE-Hearing-Kathryn-Gibney

Anonymous said...

Eye-opening YouTube!

“Federalization: You asked for it, you got it!”

Anonymous said...

The minimum wage goes up this week.

The school year in the Philippines starts in June. Don't mess up your kids' education by waiting to transfer in the middle of the school year.

Anonymous said...

From another article on the recent ICE raid that was the subject of the Congressional hearing:

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued ICE on behalf of one of Gibney's 6-year-old students. The ACLU says the student, a U.S. citizen, had his constitutional rights violated when ICE detained him for 10 hours in a field office after his home was raided.

"Today's hearing is a long-awaited effort to shine a light on the devastating human toll of immigration raids, particularly on innocent U.S. citizen children," said Joanne Lin, ACLU legislative counsel. "Left in the wake of ICE's reckless raids are young children who are terrified of ICE agents barging into their homes. They fear attending school or church because they may never see their parents again, and they live with the threat of being permanently separated from their families."

ICE was roundly criticized Tuesday, both at the subcommittee hearing and at a news conference organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

The event was prompted in part by a raid last week at Agriprocessors Inc., a meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, where 389 workers were arrested. It is the latest in a string of enforcement operations around the country.

Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, president of the caucus, said ICE is tearing families apart.

"It's not ICE's job to intimidate individuals, regardless," he said. "It's not ICE's job to humiliate individuals. It's not ICE's job to leave hundreds of children without parents."

ICE denied the accusations.

"ICE conducts its law enforcement operations lawfully, professionally and humanely," James Spero, deputy assistant director of ICE's Office of Investigations, said at the subcommittee hearing.

Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, said ICE agents are trying to uphold immigration laws that have been ignored for a long time and are not to blame for the impact of the raids on families.

"A person who chooses to come illegally or overstays their legal status, they are really the ones putting those children in jeopardy," said McKeon, a member of the subcommittee.

Additional hearings are scheduled through Thursday.


Emphasis added. Thanks a lot Ma'am Wendy, Ron Hodges, Ombudsperson, and Dekada Shyster.

We would have been much, much better off without your meddlesome "help."

Anonymous said...

You are a coward and sore loser, trying to scare Guest Workers to leave from the CNMI before we can maybe get a green card or other status such as FAS.

We have no idea what the feds will give us. If you still have a job, why not stay? Unless you KNOW your job will be over soon.

You are a fear-monger. And maybe making racist hate speech.

The Congress hearing you linked to is to SOLVE problems. This is a sign Maam Wendy can help us! Sir Jim is in Washington right now fighting for us!

We will not give up until we are full-pledged members of this community!

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