Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Legislator Makes Sense?

Wait a minute, here. You say a CNMI Legislator made sense? No way! Way, you say? Okay, tell me more...

Torres challenges elected officials to cut their salaries

By Gemma Q. Casas
Variety News Staff

A LAWMAKER says government employees who experienced pay cuts and are likely to suffer another reduction in their salaries want to see the Legislature share the burden caused by its actions.

Rep. Ralph DLG. Torres, R-Saipan, said he introduced House Bill 16-84 so that lawmakers can “share the sacrifices.”

His legislation will reduce by 10 percent the salaries of elected officials...

Well, all I can muster is "Holy Crap!"

To get this out of the way, I've not been a believer in Ralph "Drink My Beer and Wear My Gear" Torres. I didn't think he'd amount to anything more than another bad haircut and cheesy mustache on Capitol Hill.

I pull some of that back now.

Damn Ralph, you made some sense on this one, and I'm not talking about the Ambrose variety, either. What I like more is that you said it plainly for even the least educated to understand, too!

“(People) are asking, ‘Why are you cutting our salaries? How about yours?’ Whatever we asked from the employees, we should do the same. Let’s be fair with the people. We took our vow to protect the people not our salaries.”
Nicely done. sir.

And what I appreciate even more is that Torres didn't just pull a rabbit out of his hat. The guy actually has a plan for the money that will be saved by his proposal.

He said the 10 percent cut on the wages of those officials will mean additional funding for the Public School System, Northern Marianas College and the Commonwealth Health Center.CHC and PSS will each get 40 percent of the “savings” while 20 percent will go to NMC.

It's no wonder that he's not the most liked legislator on The Hill these days, and I don't think he was being a crybaby when he said, “Yes, I’ve been getting unpopular comments about my bill. But if we as legislators, create an austerity measure, then we should also do our end of the bargain.”

The only improvement I see to Ralph's proposal is that it would not apply to the 16th Legislature should it go through. That leaves all kind of loopholes. Why not make it applicable to the next governor's term, or the next judge's term, etc.

Oh well, at least he has a plan. Could he have said it better than this: “Let’s start building our foundation now and just be fair.”

Good job, Ralph. You made the Honor Roll.

Want to talk to Ralph? Here's his office information:

Call : (670) 664-8923
Fax : (670) 664-8926
Email : rep.torresr@cnmileg.gov.mp
Staff Email: staff.rep.torresr@cnmileg.gov.mp


**Okay, enough pecker puffin. At least you know that I call out the baddies and give pats on the back .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And this is DPS' big operation?

Have you heard about the heroic work done by our boys in blue? Yep, seems that our Department of Public Safety finally tightened the noose on the notorious Dirty Dozen that's been ravaging our public streets for years.

Of course, I jest.

The story about DPS arresting 12 "illegal" taxi drivers, a prostitute and a tourist (who slept with said hooker) made the lead in the Saipan Tribune this morning and took second billing in the Marianas Variety.

Way to go guys! Way to snuff out the single most important crime we have here in the CNMI. Copper who?

The only silver lining to this piece of police work is that it gives me the opportunity to yap about another ridiculous operation here on Saipan.

First of all, these "illegal" taxis should be studied. Why? Well, our government (previous administration, I believe) imposed a minimum rate for taxis in the CNMI because the local operators said that they were unable to earn a profit in the open market.

Well no shit, Sherlock. Who the fuck buys a gas guzzling SUV as a taxi? I mean, the cost of gasoline has to figure into your business plan, Chuck. Not here! Driving a 4X4 as a taxi makes about as much sense as buying a pair of ice skates for your next track meet.

WTF?

Oh wait, there is a solution. I'll just go to the governor and ask for a little price fixing. To hell with the market value. Fucking jagoffs!

These taxis are "illegal" because they are somehow able to turn a profit by offering $3 and $5 rides around Saipan. They also sign on regular customers for $90-$110 per month. That will get you a ride to work and back with the occasional trip to and from the bar.

Oh, the humanity!

How can they do such a thing?

Well, it's because the operators decided to get one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market and charged what the working people of Saipan are able to afford. Understand that these "illegal" taxis were providing a service to the people of Saipan before they got pinched, not the tourists.

Out of towners here are regularly soaked for $20 when they need a trip from the port to Garapan. Why don't locals take "legal" taxis? Because they cost way too fucking much! So what happened? Same thing that always happens: the market adapted.

So who does this really hurt? Us, that's who! How many of the local constituents were complaining about the rash of affordable taxis on Saipan? Fucking nobody! So what did our Department of Public Safety do? Nab a bunch of Chinese taxi drivers who were actually contributing to our people.

They were like the Robin Hoods of public transportation.

Great job, DPS! Now how about catching the vandals? How about bagging the tourist area thieves? Why not throw everyone at Joeten in jail for robbing us at the register?

Fucking-A, guys! A fucking "dragnet" for "illegal" taxis? What about spending those man hours on something worthwhile, like bagging all of the people who you know are robbing tourists in Marpi?

Okay, so you're saying that this bust was a major victory in the war on prostitution, right? Come on! Like that's a problem here. Tourists come here to party, smoke weed, and fuck cheap whores. Okay, maybe not the families (thought I bet some of the husbands sneak out for a little action now and again).

But come on, how many times do family outings take place after 10pm? They don't! Hey, I don't see the whores picking up Johns with their coffee during their lunch at Winchell's . It's like this: guys drink, get a little drunk, and look for pussy. It's just the simple.

You really think that all of these Navy guys are coming to the bars so that they can forge strong bonds of friendship with the people of Saipan? They want to catch a buzz and chase some tail. Any other ideas you entertain are pointless.

I'm tired of HANMI and Lynn Knight saying that the people are fed up with the prostitutes. Bullshit! That's what they're here for, Lynn. Garapan is seedy, and we should market it effectively.

Hell, why not tax the prostitutes? That would bring tons of funds into the CNMI's coffers without actually harming anyone. We can license them, submit them for regular medical check-ups, and everyone will be happy. At least we won't have to chip in for the dental plan because the guys wil appreciate the gummers (makes me sick even thinking about it).

It's a good idea, legalizing prostitution. And it's way better than legalizing marijuana, too. Pot fucks you up, but prostitutes just fuck you.

Funny thing is that with the federalization we might have OSHA coming down to the street corners and fining CUC for failing to provide the working girls with adequate lighting.

So now what are we left with? A bunch of affordable taxi drivers who are too afraid to work and a bunch of used up girls looking for a ride to work.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Day One

And So It Begins...

As for today's first post:

Let's pick on Ed Salas!

Ed, what the fuck are you doing? Wasting out time and money, that's what. We're waiting to find out if we're going to have power on a daily basis and whether or not our economy will completely implode.

So what sort of legislation are you proposing? A fucking "no cell phones while driving" bill? WTF? Come on, next thing


Here's how it reads in today's Marianas Variety (note my thoughts in red)

Bill to ban cell phone use while driving

By Raymond A. Martinez
Variety News Staff

A HOUSE member has introduced bill to restrict the use of cell phone while driving a vehicle.

The bill, “Commonwealth Wireless Telephone Vehicle Safety Act of 2008” aims to prevent road accidents due to vehicle drivers using wireless telephones while on the road.

Rep. Edward T. Salas, R-Saipan and author of House Bill 16-65, said it is in the best interest of the people of CNMI to have a law that establishes commonwealth-wide safety guidelines for the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.

A person may use a wireless phone while driving if the unit “is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking,” the bill stated.

Although Salas recognizes the importance of carrying wireless phone in cases of emergency on the road, he wants the people to use wireless phone for emergency purposes only — those involving a call to the fire division, police or hospital.

The bill exempts professionals who work with agencies that respond to emergency situations and those who use wireless phones for work-related purposes. (because it's not a safety hazard for them to talk on the phone while driving?)

According to the bill, emergency services include law enforcement, healthcare, and fire response.

The bill also exempts people who use “digital two-way radio that utilizes a wireless telephone that operates by depressing a push-to-talk feature and does not require immediate proximity to the ear of the user.” (because most accidents are ear-related?

Salas’ measure also seeks to prohibit people under 18 years old to use wireless phone while driving, even if the unit is a hands-free device. (and why is that, exactly?)

Way to go, Ed. You might not be able to handle a cell phone while driving but I sure as hell can. I also like how you think that Push-To-Talk phones somehow qualify as "Hands Free" under your bill. You're a fuckin dillweed.

This is the same kind of shitty legislation that works on the mainland but is largely unneeded here. Why? Because they have something on the mainland that we don't. It's called traffic, Ed.

The only time you'll find yourself in a "traffic jam" on Saipan, Tinian or Rota is if you happen to be behind a school bus or when a runaway cow trots onto the road. That's it. Why not legislate a ban to eating while in your car? That at least seems to make more sense.

Did you at least write this bill in collaboration with insurance companies in an effort to bring down the local auto insurance rates across the board? No. Why? Because you're bill sucks and you're a dillhole looking to make a name for himself by passing some crap off as work.

Okay, so maybe your heart is in the right place, but it sounds more to me like you're looking for a way to validate your position by passing this off as work. I seriously doubt that your constituents have been clamoring for a change driving communication policies.

Here's the mission statement from Ed's web page:

MISSION STATEMENT

To represent the citizens of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands with utmost integrity through transparency of actions; maintain focus and objectives related to the enhancement of livelihood; instill respect, trust and confidence to government; improve utilities (power and water), support and advocate improvement of health and education systems; work cooperatively, cohesively and in partnership with the private sector to provide jobs to constituents.

Did you have a meeting with the Concerned Motorists of the Northern Mariana Islands? No. Why not? Because there's no such organization. Look Ed, just do what's needed from you. Tip: This isn't!

Want to make a difference? How about making the "drive-by pugua spitting" a ticketable offense? All fines can go directly to the MVA's coffers. That's a double whammy!

Power is a problem.

Poker parlors (like the ones Luis Crisostimo owns and operates) are a problem.

Prostitutes: Not a problem. Just tax them.

If we need more crappy pointless legislation we could just move to the mainland.

Want to talk to Ed? Here's his office information:

Call : (670) 664-8826
Fax : (670) 664-8842
Email : rep.salase@cnmileg.gov.mp
Staff Email: staff.rep.salase@cnmileg.gov.mp