Wednesday, November 28, 2007

165. On Resolutions

Tuesday's newspapers reported on a proposed House Resolution, signed by Stanley Torres and 8 other members, to castigate Ron Hodges for opinions he expressed publicly.

It is the representatives who should be castigated and censured for their tactics of intimidation and repression.

As reported, the resolution gives a nod to the First Amendment. Obviously the representatives have heard of the right to free speech and freedom of the press. Equally obvious, they don't understand what these mean.

I don't know Mr. Ron Hodges personally. I've read his letters in the paper, like many other people have. His letters stand firmly for the protection of human rights, whether the humans are citizens or not. He finds fault with our government leaders and others in the community for failing to accord basic human dignity to their fellow workers who happen to be aliens. And he has expressed frustration at what he perceives as unfair treatment.

I often agree with his sentiments, if not with the details of his proposals. And his "spit in the soup, graffiti everywhere" tirade was one of those expressions of frustration that I disagreed with. As did others who wrote in response with reasoned and heartfelt opinions.

Mr. Hodges responded to their objections, also with reasoned and heartfelt considerations.

This is what the marketplace of ideas is all about.

TO OUR REPRESENTATIVES: We are smart enough to hear ideas and think about them intelligently. We don't need you to protect us from ideas that you find offensive.

I find the Representatives' statement that Mr. Hodges should "not avail himself of island living anymore"--i.e. go back where he came from-- far more offensive than anything he said, and a good example of racism and bigotry in office, trying to stamp on constitutional rights.

I hope the resolution is not passed. And I will never again vote for any of you who sign or vote in favor of these kinds of resolutions.

It's time you worked on the problems of the CNMI. And the solution is not to abuse your legislative privilege to chill the expression of free speech, to attempt with your "resolutions" to silence those of us who point out what we feel is wrong. The solution is to identify the problems and find ways, within the constitution, to address them.


Anonymous said...

Can you imagine what would happen to a poor contract worker that said what Ron Hodges said? We would be deported back to PI. Thank you,Saipan Writer, for your kind words to Mr. Hodges and for decency.

kilili said...

I found Mr. Hodges' statements repugnant but he has the right to say it. He was not screaming "fire" in a theater although I think he is very angry about some issues and Saipan is not as bad as he says or thinks.

Jeff said...

Well said Jane.

Saipan Writer said...

Anon: I'm sorry to say you're probably right.

Kilili: I don't find most of Ron Hodges' letters repugnant at all. And even the call for civil disobedience, with which I disgreed, didn't seem all that bad when he explained it in his rebuttal (which was better reasoned and better written than his initial blast). As Americans we grow up on the Boston Tea Party and other disrespectful, economic vandalism. Seemed mild in comparison. :-)

Jeff: Thanks. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Kilili- Thanks, it was supposed to be repugnant because 20 previous letters brought no response from our law makers. Would yelling fire in a theater get their attention? ...I don't think so. I'm not that angry either, contrary to media notions, and if I didn't love laying around the beaches and golf courses of Saipan, I would move....I actually have a pretty soft life compared to contract working mothers that get kicked around Saipan so they can send a hundred bucks a month to Bulacan to feed four kids, but we are a little beyond birth control...besides the local church has only targeted gaming and gay priests this year as our main social vice. If the Bishop goes after alcohol on the golf course though, I will consider compliance with HR-219!

Saipan Writer- Outstanding piece of literature. I will look forward to the upcoming book. Might I suggest Bradinthesand if you need help with the graphics or art work...I have asked him to digitally remaster so of my older work.

Jeff- I have never seen a blog without your you sit around and blog all day or do we have twenty imitators out there?

R "The Last Weatherman" H

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Read the full resolution.

Now THAT deserves a pulitzer.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

...and, yes, that was meant to be sarcastic.

kilili said...

Not to worry Mr. Hodges, I do not think you should leave the NMI. I am glad you like Saipan. I do not agree with every thing you write but, hey, many people disagree with me also often enough that I have a disagreement with someone always. :)

As for nonresident workers, I have never had one housemaid, even, ever. I cannot find myself making a living on what they get paid (nor can I have a decent life on $3.55 an hour.)

lil_hammerhead said...

Beautifully said Jane.

..and I'll say it again Kilili.. we need more folks like you in government.

Anonymous said...

Resolution passed the House and scrapped in the Senate. Can the Governor now send it back to the Senate or does this mean it is dead?