Friday, September 26, 2008

A Disturbing E-mail & Questionable Actions By Cabinet Members

Food For Thought 9-26-08

Hi friends, this is Harry Blalock; General Manager for radio stations KZMI & KCNM. It’s that time once again to take a look at the issues of the week, and to offer some Food For Thought.

I want to start off today addressing an e-mail I got about my commentary last week from a Merced Santos. I’m assuming she’s a contract worker, because she states in her e-mail that she’s not a U.S. citizen. She proceeded to blast me for my fairy tale because I was critical of Tony Muna. She said she personally blames Kumoi, Tim Villagomez and Tony Guerrero for the mess the utility is currently in, but that Tony Muna is doing the best he can and doesn’t deserve my criticism. First of all Miss Santos, were you not paying attention to the disclaimer? Did I not say the fairy tale was completely made up and not based on any person? Did I stutter? Did I not make myself perfectly clear? Did I not put disclaimers at not only the beginning, but also at the end of the fairy tale? Everybody knows our generators are not the mouse powered power generation units, come on!

But everybody is entitled to their opinion, even if they did ignore the disclaimers. The part of her e-mail that troubled me was her harsh criticism of America and American’s like me. I am going to quote a part of her e-mail, so that I don’t take anything out of context, and all grammatical errors will be presented exactly as they were written.

“My daughter is a junior at MHS and she would listen to your commentaries sometimes and she once asked me why you are so anti-local government, anti-local leaders, and just about anything in the CNMI. I told her that you are one of those transient statesiders who came to doctrinate us with the "American values." And she asked what I mean about such values. I told my daughter that the federal government and some transient statesiders want to continue to study us and force the American values on us but they will not get away with it as they did with other people they call fellow Americans. Such values I said, include enslaving the black people and traded them as properties, horded the American Indians into the desert reservations in the U.S., cheated the Eskimos of their traditional lands and overthrew the last monarchial queen of the Hawaiian islands. These are the core American values that I described to my daughter. The U.S. is one of the most hypocritical nation in the world. Why did the 9-11 tragedy happened? I am not an American citizen, us in the CNMI are second class American citizens who are not allowed to vote for the American president but its government welcomes my son to fight its war in Iraq!! American values? Give me your food for thoughts on American values Mr. Blalock and it better be a good one.”

Again all misuses of words, such as doctrinate, instead of indoctrinate, are the errors of Miss Santos, and I am simply quoting her e-mail exactly as she wrote it. I copied and pasted it fact, just so there would be no chance that I wouldn’t quote her exactly. She told me how much better her English was than mine, so I figured she would want these things pointed out. But I guess my question is, if you hate America and Americans so much, then what are you doing working here? Did someone force you to come to work in an American Commonwealth? Is someone holding you here against your will? I’m fairly certain they must be, because after the things you said about America, I can’t imagine you wanting anything to do with it willingly. If that’s the case, I’d be more than happy to see if we can arrange for your immediate return to the Philippines, where you told me you are from. Are you one of the ones who are hoping for some kind of green card, U.S. citizenship or permanent residency as a result of the federalization of the CNMI’s Immigration system? And if you are, why? Why would you want to go to a country you believe to be so hypocritical and horrible? I’m sorry, but something here just doesn’t compute to me.

As far as my thoughts on American values, I obviously don’t condone every decision made by the United States, and know of very few citizens who do agree with everything. Yes, our country has made some horrible mistakes in our past, and continues making some today. But the awesome thing about the United States is that it allows its citizens to express their thoughts and ideas, even when they differ with the official government position. It vehemently protects individual rights and freedom of speech. It allows me to say whatever I want to say. And believe it or not, but it even allows you to say what you want to say as well, even if your reference to the reason for 9-11 happening was sickening and deplorable. But you are entitled to your opinion, and are even allowed to express it publicly. However as you pointed out, you are not a U.S. citizen, and you do have your own country to go back to, and frankly Merced Santos, that is probably what you should do if you truly feel that way about America.

Now on to a couple issues from the past week that left me wondering if this administration truly wants to get rid of everyone who is not a part of their exclusive club. The first one involved a situation with the Secretary of the Department of Lands & Natural Resources who also happens to be the government veterinarian. A citizen wrote a letter to him complaining about an issue she had with Dr. Tudor, the islands only private veterinarian. But instead of addressing the issue with Dr. Tudor, who happened to be away on vacation at the time, he decided to call the veterinarian who was filling in for Dr. Tudor and threaten to revoke his license to practice in the CNMI. The veterinarian claimed that Dr. Dela Cruz did indeed revoke his license to practice over the phone; however Dr. Dela Cruz claims that he only mentioned that he could revoke it. Whatever the case, the temporary veterinarian decided he had better things to do than put up with tyrants who just wanted to throw their weight around and show how important they are, so he packed his bags and left that night. So rather than dealing with things in a professional manner, and talking to Dr. Tudor, who the complaint was written about, Dr. Dela Cruz managed to chase off the vet, meaning that if your animals needed any care, you had no choice but to take them to Dr. Dela Cruz, rather ironic I thought. I’m sure that this little incident will not go unreported in veterinarian circles, and good luck the next time we need to get a temporary vet to fill in. It also reinforces our image as being unfriendly to business, and extremely difficult to deal with.

The other incident involves the Secretary of the Department of Public Lands and the Attorney General’s office. They decided to attack the company that recently purchased the Rota Resort, because they claim they didn’t come to them asking for their blessing before executing the deal to buy the resort. And instead of quietly going to the owners of the company and trying to settle whatever dispute they may have had, they decided to publicly attack them in the newspapers and accuse the new owners of trespassing on the property and demand that they vacate the property immediately. Whether D.P.L. and the A.G’s office had the legal right to do what they did is not even the issue with me, it’s the way they went about it and the message they just sent. The message they sent to any and all potential investors is that if you buy a business that is on public property, they can and most likely will make your life a living hell. So all businesses owners who are located on public property just watched the value of their business plummet, as they realize these actions will make it extremely difficult to sell their businesses in the future.

Did I miss something somewhere? Wasn’t this the administration that claimed they were going to be pro business and make it easier for people to do business here? Or was that just one more of the many promises like getting rid of the fuel surcharge, addressing the Commonwealth and answering questions every Wednesday morning on the radio, and prosecuting those involved with the plundering that took place at Marianas Public Land Authority? Their track record may be abysmal, but you have to admit, they’ve been pretty consistent. The administration will try to tell you that we’ve already hit bottom economically and we’ve turned the corner, but like most of their promises it simply isn’t true. If you talk to anyone in business, they will tell you that we aren’t even close to bottom yet and that things will get much worse before it improves, if indeed it ever does. Actions like those of these cabinet members of this administration are guaranteeing that things will only get worse, because the reputation they are giving us is one we won’t lose or change easily.

So I guess my question would be who are these cabinet members accountable to? Who do they answer to? Who is allowing this kind of behavior to go unchecked? What is your definition of dereliction of duty? And do we just want to see how much worse this administration can possibly make it before we consider impeachment? Do you still think you can’t find grounds for impeachment? Two wrongs does not make a right, and I’m thinking the people are going to correct the mistakes they have made in upcoming elections.

Food For Thought is now available online at and if you want it by e-mail distribution please send me an e-mail at

I’m Harry Blalock, thanking you once again for giving me a generous slice of your valuable time, and allowing me to share my Food For Thought.

1 comment:

KAP said...

Actually, I read Ms. Santos as saying she's a U.S. citizen, but considers herself to be second-class because we can't vote for President. Good point; I've always considered that to be unfair.

I've also always said that-- it's what Americans do. We criticize our government when it deserves it. Doing the same when we move to the Commonwealth shouldn't surprise anyone.

The other points? Well, you can't change history. The best you can do is to learn from it.