Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hanging in the Coalition of the Willing

I'm hanging in the Coalition of the Willing, and I'm having a pretty good time. My hotel is utterly incompetent, for reasons I'll detail later. The diving here in Palau has been quite good. Tomorrow I'm hoping to hit Chandelier Cave and Blue Corner. I dove a WWII wreck today, and the Blue Hole. I dove a channel that was pretty damn cool. Lots of sharks, lots of fish, lots of current and a huge fishball. My diving is significantly better. I attribute this to Marty Dalsaso, his buddy and my new friend Jerome Wong, and just having done it a lot for a six years now.

The restaurants here are fabulous, and since I'm traveling solo, I've talked to all kinds of people. I've heard a lot of the usual complaints from expats that you here about Saipan. I've heard some horror stories about the treatment of immigrant workers that is outright scary.

On that topic, these comments sicken me, as do the others bemoaning that immigrant workers might leave the CNMI if given entree to the United States: Memo to the government, businesses and others bemoaning the slight empowerment of Filipinos and Chinese: if you want to keep a worker, pay him or her a wage that makes them want to stay and they will. No one owns immigrant workers. God this stuff sickens me. Imagine if someone said this about some minority group in the states. I'm sure all of this below was said about women and African-Americans at different time periods. I'm sure there will be no backlash to this statement:

Former Covenant negotiator Vicente Santos is not too concerned about
qualified nonresidents getting permanent residency or “green cards” but he
is concerned about the U.S. government granting them voting rights.“The only
thing I'm opposed to is about voting rights granted to other people. Voting
rights must be reserved for local people. I hope Washington looks at it
closely,” said Santos in an interview yesterday.He said, though, that if the
local community decides to grant such right to aliens, then it should be
respected.“If the local people allow that, what can I do? But it should come
from the local people, not from the U.S. Congress. I personally don't want
to see nonresidents getting voting rights,” he said.

God forbid democracy be expanded, Vicente. It's not like these people have a huge stake in this island or anything. I just love this quote, let them go to the states, just don't let them have any say here. It's a vomitous statement appealing to the worst instincts of a small and powerful local sect. I can't wait until the new generation, with a far less racist mindset takes over. I talk to these kids so I know they don't think like this fossil above, thank god. And no, I'm not excusing him and being deferential because he's old.


BoReGo said...

He's certainly entitled to his ignorant opinion. Sadly for him, not many people feel the same way. I don't know who said it, but this quote is right on the money: In times of change, learners inherit the earth while the "learned" are only prepared for a life that no longer exists.

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

The Mighty Republic of Palau!

Bev said...

You're so lucky to be in Palau=)

Marianas Eye said...

I have a buddy that's a sociology professor at UOG. I'm sending him this link. I think he'll get a lot of teaching mileage out of it.