Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry Christmas Milk

Merry Christmas 

This tree was inspired by the tradition here in Saipan where they put up wishing trees at the Paseo de Marianas and kids add their wishes.  When I first came to Saipan, there was a special on the radio where they asked school kids their wish for Christmas. I was shocked to hear that most of the kids here at that time didn't ask or wish for gifts like dolls and trucks and stuff, but wished for things like daddy to stop drinking and their older brother to get out of jail and for chicken for dinner.  This year the wishes again were similar, with kids wanting peace and safety and family unity. 

My tree wishes remember the two little girls who have now been missing for more than a year and a half--Faloma and Maleina Luhk.  Justice for Emi refers to the unsolved murder of Emi Romero who was murdered in February after going home from work at Godfather's Bar.  The last ribbon hopes for comfort for the now orphaned six-year old boy whose parents were found murdered in their home in San Vicente.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree

Very breezy and cool. Pomellos and bananas.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! My Christmas tree this year is beautiful. The photos hardly capture it.

Christmas tree from Joeten--Noble fir, 6 feet

Met Museum Pharaoh, crocheted angel, red ball, cranberry beads

Anna Rose's girl in origami kimono with ribbon obi, St. Joseph glass ornament

Mary and baby Jesus glass ornament, sheep, crocheted angel, red sequin ball, Anna's yellow kimono angel

As above, with straw angel decorated by my sister Judy, a needlepoint & bead flower, a Victorian boot, candy cane, green bell

The north wall --button stocking by Judy, others by me, Xmas pillows, Xmas tree

Friday, December 14, 2012

Milk-The Wizard of Oz

Overcast but perfect temperature!

This cartoon was inspired by the attempts to shore up the Governor's waning political power.  Ken Mahmood and ? Osborne are in the CNMI promoting their "done deal" for a $190 million dollar power plant. As part of that, they continue to insist that everything is just hunky dory.  Last week, they were saying how impeachment would be bad for the CNMI because it would send a message to investors that the CNMI is unstable.

HAHA!  No, impeachment would send a message to investors that we oppose corruption and it is safe to invest here.

This week they are screaming that they are not corrupt; that they are honest; that there is no evidence of anything amiss in their contract with Fitial for the power plant purchase.

Well, that's for another cartoon.  Seriously, so many things are wrong with the deal. Mahmood and Osborne's opinions are nothing but their wish to get rich off the backs of our children, grand-children and great grandchildren.  They are scum. That's my opinion.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Marianas Milk-the Shopaholic

December offers perfect weather--a hint of coolness in sunny, bright days.

This political cartoon relates to the report last week that the CNMI had engaged in negotiations with people in Alaska about the purchase of an $80 million ice cutter named the Susitna.  Apparently Ambrose Bennett was looking for a paid gig and thought the federal transportation money might provide an avenue for him.  The Alaska owners were trying to get rid of the Susitna because they couldn't afford its maintenance. It was commissioned and specifically built for them, to carry automobiles as a ferry between villages in the north, with ice-cutting capabilities due to the area in which is was set to operate.  Although they had the Susitna built with federal money and also got a new ferry terminal, the villages failed to get the necessary docking and ramps built for loading the cars on and off. They are now paying huge storage bills.

And so they are trying to sell the Susitna.  Enter the CNMI...also without any docking and ramp facilities to load and unload cars onto such a ferry; minus the terminal; and certainly without purchase money...and obviously without ice in the ocean so that all of the heavy equipment for cutting through ice is completely unnecessary (and probably would add to the operational costs and fuel costs).

Fortunately, the news is that the CNMI is not going to go through with purchase.  But that we would have sent serious investigations into this particular ferry, and continue to pursue it after initial information came out that makes it so clearly inappropriate for us...

Well, it just seemed like a shopaholic moment...

The little guys--one comments on one of the basic types of shopaholic thinking. The other brings us back to the reality here. It's time to impeach the governor.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

Night--pitch black.  A container ship in the harbor with lots of lights. Bobbi Grizzard and Richard Pierce playing Scrabble at Coffee Care.

I just crossed the 50,000 word "finish" line for my 2012 novel.  It's not finished. But considering I had zero words on November 1, I feel completely successful!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today's Milk

Hot, hot, hot. And humid.


This cartoon was inspired by the pie chart graph of the CNMI budget that appeared last week in the newspaper (the Tribune, I think).  In that real chart, the governor's office and "administration costs" took a disproportionately large chunk of the budget--bigger than CHC!  This humorous version exaggerates the reality to make a point.  The CNMI budget does not serve the interests of the people!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Marianas Milk

Still and quiet night.

Headline news last week reported that the Nutrition Assistance Program had $420,000 in "excess" food stamp money leftover. Governor Fitial said he wanted to transfer that money to his account to hire more people to work at NAP rather than give it out in food stamps.  This after food stamps have been cut and cut and recipients are receiving a fraction of what they would receive, and far less than the needy in our neighboring Guam.

The cartoon plays on Queen Antoinette, who said, when told that the poor had not bread, "let them eat cake."  I wrote "let them drink milk" because of the Governor's past comments to Senators to drink milk. The little people just comment on crumbs as that is all that the poor get, and the guillotine, which was created and used in France and is strongly associated in my memory with the use of guillotine. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Milk

Overcast, muggy but breezy.

Today is election day in the CNMI, although there has been early voting and of course absentee voting.  Most people still head to the polls today.  There have been reports or rumors about pressure on government workers to vote for Fitial's candidates (new Republicans and some so-called independents).  I do not know whether the reports are true. I do know that each vote is a little rebellion, no matter who you choose, because democracy is all about power in the hands of the people.  And the very concept of democracy, and thus voting, is rebellious against power and the power elite.

So this cartoon is intended to show that rebellion, and encourage everyone to ...

Go vote.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sunny and hot-but occasional cool breezes.

This cartoon attempts to highlight the misdirected priorities of our current administration.  Unseating a successful and popular (and honest) delegate in the US House of Representatives seems to be far more important than the task of governing or addressing the serious problems of crime, crumbling economy, and ruined infrastructure. While daily reports confirm that government spending is out of control, budgeting is based on magical thinking, crimes go unsolved and the people suffer, huge ads supporting Acha Demapan in Republican red and letters to the editor in her support take precedence.

The little guys comment that casinos still seem to be a priority-and they are as yet another attempt to ramrod casinos down the throats of Saipan voters has been recently raised. We'll see a lot more of that after the election (unless the people vote more intelligently than they have in the past--and there's little reason to think they will).

The people are not the priority of the administration.  Nor are they the priority of the voters--who vote their individual fortunes and pockets, not for hte public good.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and Milk

It rained a lot today but now is hot and muggy again, although past midnight.

This cartoon just evolved from a doodle and was finished before I knew it.  My subconscious must have been drawing from those old Nixon masks I remember, and an unpublished Milk cartoon where my little guys referred to the governor as a "master of disguise."  We can only hope that Fitial's corrupt regime does not spawn a cadre of similar-thinking, similar-acting children.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Marianas Milk-Anti-Corruption

Hot and humid and still.

I wanted to depict the tools that are being used to aid and carry out corruption.  I couldn't really think how to visualize them, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed important to just convey that these kinds of things are tools--emergency declarations are a tool to overcome procurement regulations and to provide the governor with power to take over and do things.  He uses those not for natural disasters and true emergencies, but for "emergencies" created by bad management.  

The ice epidemic isn't just a phenomenon occurring independently--it must be supported and managed as part of the government. I come to this conclusion from the tip of the iceberg that has been revealed--the governor's chauffeur dealing ice out of the governor's own car, customs officials being a ring of operators, a congressman admitting he's dealing ice and no consequences taken against him (his case being brought up just before the impeachment vote, but now that he voted not to impeach the case is sinking out of sight again).  The people who are still loyal are living on false promises and nepotism/government jobs.  The governor's cronies, old and new, form corporations and days later get sole-source contracts.  Lies and more lies are so common we can't even keep track of them.  

Bad cops were revealed so clearly when a whole slew of them pleaded the 5th amendment right not to incriminate themselves in the impeachment hearings--as if we weren't already worried when Ray Mafnas interfered in the Luhk girls disappearance, tried to redirect searching away from certain areas, and managed to get an ice-using fireman (I think) out of the CNMI without any arrest.  We are still waiting for the promised press release of news about Emy Romero's murder. 

Vacancies in the civil service have completely gutted the operation of this constitutional agency that is supposed to protect government workers from political influence--instead we have a government workforce that is afraid to do anything against the governor for fear of reprisals--and we are seeing reprisals. Think of the DPS official who didn't take the 5th at the impeachment hearings--who has now been re-assigned to rookie cop duties despite his many years (11?) on the force. 

Thugs are so active we have repeated attacks on prominent citizens--Glen Hunter's tires slashed, Tammy Doty repeatedly harrassed, Tina Sablan threatened--all by the governor's close supporters--his thugs.

We are being hammered, screwed, nailed, wrenched, attacked with pliers, greased and bolted and just worked over with so many tools of corruption that our society is an ugly mess.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Milk

It's just past midnight and pouring down rain.

I have been trying to figure out how our Governor continues to lure voters to his side.  This image just popped into my head.  It is, of course, a twist on the poem-step into my parlour, said the the spider to the fly.  Although the fly resists many advances, in the end, he gives in to flattery when the spider speaks of his mirror and how good the fly will appear if he looks into it.  Politics in the CNMI is sort of like that.  Promises of better times, how good people will see things, the lure of what they want to hear and believe.  Flattery (and other forms of corruption) are at the core of what is happening here now.  Unless and until we change it...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Marianas Milk today

Some beautiful sun and some misty rain.

While Glen was in watching the vote on the impeachment, someone slashed the tires on his car.  It was a very childish action, yet annoying and mildly threatening.  I don't think the DPS actually said anything like I show in this cartoon, but the attitude here does not inspire confidence in the police.   Any excuse not to find a culprit...  hence the comment from the little guy that this is going around.  The girl's comment reflects a different world view--there is in fact a mildly popular band in the states (washington? oregon?) called Slashed Tires. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Anti-Corruption Rally

Sunny and beautiful!

Photos from today's Anti-Corruption Rally--courtesy of Sapuro Rayphand.