Monday, June 1, 2009

Saipan Sunday

Saipan is a good place for family. This Sunday was a typical celebration of some First Holy Communion celebrants, with lots of little kids playing tag and street ball, adults barbecuing and b-s'ing, and the teens coming and going in random ways. Great food, too.

In and out of the house--a lot! Love the dirty feet!

Wishing they could play?

Time for tag. Eeny, meeny, miney, moe
I think this was home base.

In the background-heading for a game of street ball.

Blessing the table.

Spare ribs, short ribs, red rice, chicken kelaguen with titiyas, potato salad and mango coco. (I skipped the fried chicken, ham, spicy noodles, meat balls, tamales, and more, and my sushi and sashimi were on a different plate.


reflective rick said...

What kind of island are these kids going to grow up to inherit? What kind of future do they deserve? We are creating it now, so we had better think about that.

To me, nothing is sadder than to imagine them growing up to be colonial subjects in another helpless federal territory, rather than free citizens of a truly self-governing commonwealth, with the power to create whatever kind of society their imaginations and abilities allow.

Saipan Writer said...

We're not colonial subjects. We are self-governing. We've voted on and chose our relationship with the US. I think no one but the Fitial supporters harbors the belief that we are colonial subjects. Even the UN does not put us in that category.

Now we have a delegate in Congress. We can lobby for more rights, like voting in federal elections. We share in the federal pie in greater measure than we contribute to it. (And yes, we do contribute to it--with our soldiers and sailors, our people who have relocated to the US and work and pay taxes there, etc.)

This constant babble about our being "colonial subjects" is nonsense. We are part of a system that uses "federalism"-where both local and federal governments have powers. That the US federal government has powers and is our "sovereign" was our choice, and we made it.

As for their being nothing sadder? War? Famine? Global warming? Empty oceans? Constant power outages? A corrupt local government?

reflective rick said...

I think you're overreacting a bit there, Writer.

I didn't say we ARE colonial subjects, I said it's sad to imagine us BECOMING colonial subjects. Despite the best efforts of certain people, we're not there yet, and hopefully we never will be.

I suppose you're right that war or famine would be a sadder fate. But constant power outages and a corrupt local government? Absolutely not. These are trivial problems by comparison. Would you give up your self-government (or, more to the point, give away these kids' future self-government) just to have reliable electricity? I sure wouldn't.

No problem we have the power to fix can ever be worse than the loss of the power to fix it.

Saipan Writer said...

Reflect...Trying to back-pedal, huh?

You're the one raising colonialism, in the context of what's happening here on Saipan and my post about a family event. I don't think I overreacted at all.

I also think corrupt government robs us of our ability to "self-govern" as much or more than colonialism, and certainly far more than the federalism we actually have.

As for power outages, they are a nuisance and the result of corruption. I think they're worse than the federalism we actually have, although not worse than the theoretical colonialism you're now reaching for.


reflective rick said...

I actually agree with you that we currently have "self-government" and "federalism," not "colonialism," but I think that this apparent agreement exists only because we have different understandings of what each of those terms means, as well as different understandings of what kind of status "we actually have." Under those circumstances, it's going to be difficult to have much of a discussion of the subject without talking past each other.

On the other hand, I'm reasonably sure we both mean the same thing by "corruption," so let me ask this: How is it that "corrupt government robs us of our ability to 'self-govern' as much or more than colonialism?" Can't we just throw the bums out?

In other words, if we have a corrupt government, it's because we're not self-governing very well, but we're not robbed of the ability. The only thing holding us back from reforming corruption is ourselves. Getting back to the kids, where this whole discussion started, I have complete faith in their ability to do a better job when their time comes (if we have not straightened it out before then).