Operation Rota (Now Defunct)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This is why all in all, I highly respect Angelo:

In a DK thread, someone (who really seems to be afflicted with an imperial notion of what goes on in the CNMI) generalized the problem in a manner that reeked of a vision that we are all a bunch of savages running around the islands and are in need of some glorious demigod of advancement to save our hairy, smelly souls.

Angelo puts a stop to it swiftly because, while not perfect, he is a man who is working on bettering his commonwealth:

The question in question:

"Anybody know if there is any kind of independence movement for the N. Marianas?"

Who's to blame when the political parties get out of hand?

by ****** on Tue Aug 14, 2007 at 02:05:23 PM PDT
[ Parent | Reply to This ]

Angelo Replies:

"[I]t is getting tiring listening to you people say things about "the unforgivable conditions" and then having you ask off the wall questions like is there an independence movement."

From Daily Kos

Granted, I disagree with him about totally dismissing Ms. Doromal (I think she overstepped ethical bounds though,)
I even get a little miffed looking at the environmental problems down here on Rota that seem to reside out of Beautify's Jurisdiction at this time (hopefully it's just a funding issue,) but whom does anyone truly respect without having some disagreements?

I think that Angelo (et. al.) is a great asset to the CNMI. Further, I think that folks like Dengre should hash out disagreements with Angelo rather than X-ing him off of the blogroll.

Lastly, I think that some of my fellow Kossacks should open up to the realities that folks like Angelo can share first hand about life, culture, and economics in the CNMI. I would defend DK with my life if I had to; however, that is not to say that there seems to be a problem with external pontification in reference to the CNMI and Saipan.

When discussing the CNMI, please remember that we ain't all sweatshops and oppression. Moreover, work is being done by dutiful people like Angelo, Bruce, and a slew of others to raise the discourse and to raise the quality of life in the CNMI.

Don't build Rome period, but definately don't build Rome in a day without stepping foot on its soil.


The Sham of Republican Morality

Can we please, once and for all, lay to rest the purported monopoly the Republican Party has on morality, ethics, or any sort of higher ground in the American culture? Further, can we please take that extra millisecond to lump in the Christian Right with the burial?

After literally years of folks like me being talked down to by moralists who, from perspectives based on my own worldliness, are clearly engaged in a slew of sickening perversions behind closed doors somewhere, I feel that it is time for all of us, across party lines, to express our complete lack of confidence in the legitimacy of any sort of Republican ‘moral majority.’

Being gay is not perverted, nor is it a perversion in any way. Being gay, in a broad sense, is being something other than what is mainstream. It is being, and not a result of choosing. Therefore, morality has absolutely nothing to do with the natural processes of homosexuality. However, the denial of one’s own sexuality and further, the public condemnation of it by those lacking in the maturity or strength at a later age to handle his or her own sexuality is in my opinion a powerful catalyst for the denier’s perverted indulgences within his or her sexual norms. I strongly feel that this is why we see a slew of Republican members of Congress (et. al.) in deep trouble as a direct result of their immaturity and blatant hypocrisy. For, it is not in their interest to reflect the true values of the everyman; but it is rather in their interest to extract riches from the backs of the everyman by exploiting and developing a matrix of items to be fearful of, especially if said items deviate from any ‘mainstream’ construct of moral thought.

The acts of these Republicans are, in fact, perverted. They are sought out based on the perverted nature of the individual. Because these people are ill equipped to face their true selves in the mirror, they rob us all of every loose ounce of our dignity and sovereignty as American citizens. They place a pox on the dignified and just values of the typical Gay American, they taint his or her perfectly legitimate right to enjoy the Constitutional rights he or she is entitled to. They are a perversion in themselves and it is time to cleanse the halls of Government of such deeply unjust and obsolete hypocrisy.

Perverts abound in America. There are heterosexual perverts just as there are homosexual perverts. Across the gamut, those who choose to troll public facilities in search of whatever it is they are searching for are practicing in perversion, regardless of their sexual preference. I will guarantee you that the vast, vast majority of Gay Americans have never EVER considered such things; but rather, would likely catch a movie and enjoy the newness of a potentially significant other: letting things happen as they come, and perhaps, on a rainy afternoon. . . And years later, perhaps a wedding bell will chime.

Doesn’t that sound familiar? It does because it is in the same vein as heterosexual relationships. Perfectly normal, just like a slice of apple pie.

Today’s Republican Party has an uncanny knack for perverting anything it deems fit to exploit. Sadly, tangible reality and honest to goodness normalcy (despite the group) has and shall always trump the delusional evils of moralism. In a funny twist, reality always seems to have the last laugh in its exposure of the perverted hypocrisy of those who try to thwart it. As a result, anyone willing to look can clearly see that the Republican grip on some sort of ‘moral high ground’ is nothing more than a self-serving sham— a grift played out on the most ignorant of us, which, sadly, seems to be a powerful galvanizing strength.

What Senator Craig did in June was not gay. What he did was perverted. Perhaps (and I am confident at this point) he is gay; but gay has nothing to do with his perversion. His lengthy denial of his sexuality seems to have nurtured an advanced and complex perversion, greatly darker and more obscure than any routine or natural erotic whim. And so, it is he who is at fault¬–it is he who is immoral and perverted and not his sexuality.

Gay is Straight’s moral contemporary. Each is different in various ways; but each remains equal in its natural legitimacy, whether it is biological or otherwise. Until people accept this and the government (mostly Republicans) abandons the unjust exploitation of this American minority group, we will witness the victimization of yet another undeserving minority group in America. Further, we will witness an endless chain of fallen Republican perverts, who will turn around and blame the victim to save their perverted skin and replace the thin and tattered veil that tries to hide their natural sexuality.

This is what a pervert looks like. Please make a note of it.

Mugshot from the June arrest of US Republican Senator Larry Craig, Idaho.
The Smoking Gun

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Suz and I will Be in Saipan Tomorrow

... So you know.

I believe our plane arrives @ 5, but I'm not sure. I have no idea where we're staying either. All this Bureaucracy and nobody passed a form on to us about the details.

Goeth Figureth.

I will be going to that coffee shop for a real cup of coffee. That is, if someone tells me how to get there.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

You may have wondered where the rainbow ends.

But no more:

PS: Hey, Mike!

Drop us a line. Suz would love to hear from you.

Everyone should know that Mike is an excellent painter, BTW.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Did anyone just feel that earthquake?


Suz just wrote me from school and said she felt it too.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sad News on Rota

A young man took his own life last night here. Apparently, this is a fairly common occurrence on Rota with young men. While I have no further details about the young man, his age, or his family, I ask that you please keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers today.

I can't find an article in the paper, so if anyone sees one, please link it.


The Ghostly Characteristic

Looking out from our balcony, just past Wedding Cake Mountain, we can see the Island of Guam. By day, it looks like a small hill lurching from the sea; but by night, it resembles the lights of a mainland city as viewed from the far outskirts of town. It may as well be a million miles away if you are on Rota, a million and one, to be exact.

Rota is nestled between Guam and Saipan: two islands that, while in various stages of economic decay, still have a ‘bustling’ nature not seen anywhere on Rota Island. Sadly, my observation thus far has led me to believe that the proximity of either island to Rota Island has absolutely no positive impact on Rota’s economic condition. Rather, I suspect that the economics of this island seem ripe for the picking by opportunists who would easily evolve into kingpins depending their access to a dock and a barge.

At this point, I am confident in saying that Rota is absolutely nothing like Saipan. Outside of its wonderful diversity of people, it shares no characteristic with its closest neighbor (Guam) either. Further, Rota contributes to both island’s economies on a daily basis. Just count the coolers being unloaded from the plane on any given day. They are packed with goods that simply aren’t available here, barge or no barge.

Walking around Rota at times is surreal. Everywhere you look, you see the early decay of various abandoned products of grand ambition, once vibrant, but now defunct. Romanesque and Venetian stairwells spiral toward the sea in Metaphysical School fashion, and just like De Chirco’s work, hold a surreal and sad emptiness surrounding them: a beauty for which there is no one present to enjoy it.

The best way to describe it is that one feels like an apparition in some ghostly alter world. An eerie wind bellows through the thin air that a physical being would occupy. If you have ever lived in a resort area like Ocean City, N.J. on the mainland, it feels like the day after all of the tourists leave (‘after the boys of summer have gone’) and you are among the sparse population of ‘locals.’ The only difference is that there are even less locals here than in your typical tourist town. Thus, the wind seems much, much louder.

Lastly, the most common thing I hear from people in Guam and Saipan is that “[I] haven’t been to Rota in ‘X’ years.” which is generally followed by a poetic expose on how beautiful the island and its people are. When I experience this, I get a sense that the person is speaking fondly of a brother who had passed away, but whose ghost still lurks in the dark corners of the mind's eye. This is one of the things I thought I could be helpful with, but sadly, the waning remnants of the tourist industry here have become somewhat of an institution rather than a problem- its meshing into the culture from my perspective has long surpassed a complexity that could be unraveled by an outsider such as myself. Further, without delving in so deep as to ensnarl myself in a local battle, the way government works around here is a dastardly hindrance to any sort of ‘economic upturn.’

In a way, it feels forgotten here. Perhaps that is why the families are so close knit on Rota. Perhaps the fruit of what an outsider like me finds incredibly difficult is the general loveliness of the people of Rota. That will give me something to ponder this evening as I stare out at the Guam lights.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Finally got the internet hooked up

First off, please forgive the dead air on our blog since the 29th. Honestly, the past week has been one of boolean contrast, for which there were no moderate 'in-betweens' to ease the polarity that has enveloped us.

The most positive thing to note about Rota is that the people of this island, whether Chamorro, mainlanders, Philippines, or otherwise, are all representatives of the salt of the earth. Nay a single soul here has treated us as if we were not part of some sort of family, which is beyond surreal given the world(s) we come from. This unnerving beauty shared among the people of Rota surpasses to me, even the vast, VAST, beauty of the island of Rota itself; although, our lack of transportation to date has placed severe limitations on our exploration outside of Songsong. But still, I doubt my opinion will change when that does.

Right now, Suz and I are doing our best to tend to a range of other issues, for which, we'll discuss later. Let's just sat that It is quite a transition for now and that even though we tried to take on this venture with our best imitation of objectivity, certain things and certain ways we thought we could be helpful are not likely to pan out. However, one good thing is that I was able to become an official volunteer at the school! I think that I can be of a lot of help there, especially with the yearbook/journalism class.

Speaking of which, I am going to discuss selling the Rota HS Yearbook on the blog to try to help raise money for the school. Would you be interested in that? If so, let me know and I'll set up a Paypal Acct. or something. I think the yearbook has a run of 100 and sells for $30, so maybe I can sell the remainder of the run once the kids have bought theirs. We'll see. No promises.

I have to run and finish a poster I'm working on for the HS. Please forgive the lateness of our posting here. Getting our internet and phone hooked up was nothing short of a nightmare (a topic for a post later, perhaps.)

Thanks for the big flurry of phone calls this morning and last night. It really meant the world to us as we have been in radio silence for almost a week.

I'll catch ya...



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Some Random Pics of Rota Island

We are still sans-apartment, but Suz's boss and her husband graciously and furthermore, heroically saved us from homelessness (or, at least, draining our wallets at the hotel) and put us up in their guest room until we find a place.

One thing to note about them outside of how omnipotently hospitable they have been to us is that their house is the nicest house we have seen on the island. I'll ask if I can take some pics of it and post them. Why it hasn't been featured in a house magazine or on HGTV is beyond me...

Anyway, Suz is over at school and I have to go and paint some tables for the school. We'll be back later. In the meantime, please enjoy these random shots of the Southern Coast of Rota Island except for the first one, which is the swimming hole up on the north coast. More to come.