Archive for February, 2010

February 26, 2010

Words of a Tiger

By Deidre Yamanguchi

I was flipping through the channels the other day and I saw on Larry King Live various guests on his show talking about Tiger Woods and his affair with another woman and how he, Tiger Woods, has gone live to apologize to his fans, will seek treatment, and will prove to his wife that from hereon he will be forever faithful to her.  On the show, CNN showed clips of Tiger doing his public apology and focused on his face and another guest even went so far as to say that when he delivered his apology, he never once smiled but looked rather remorseful, an indication that Tiger Woods was indeed sorry for what he did.

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February 25, 2010

Happiness is spiritual wealth

By Jackson Henry

If laughter is good medicine then there is an abundance Chinese medicine being spread around here in Taiwan because it is Chinese New Year. Yes, its lunar year and the biggest Chinese holiday with nearly 800 million Chinese traveling to visit family and friends to celebrate. This evening, I dined at a Chinese restaurant in Taipei and the place was crowded with cheers and laughter echoing all over the room. Families gather to celebrate the holiday in high spirits with banquets that reminds you of feasts thrown by King Henry VIII. From my table, I could see grandpa ear-to-ear with smiles while slurping on long noodles, which symbolizes “long life” in Chinese. Happiness level is high and it shows in everyone’s faces. Chinese believe that happiness is healthy and acting it out openly is good for the body. With some 6,000 years of uninterrupted civilization, the Chinese cannot be wrong. Happiness is spiritual wealth and is also good for the heart.

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February 24, 2010

$1.35 Tourist Economy

By Santy Asanuma

And this is not a typo where people wonder if this number was to be followed with a connotation in the millions. It is one dollar and thirty five cents only. Since the onset of the New Year we have been seeing more Japanese tourists on island. The local tour operators call this time of year around December to January as “Golden Weeks” where more Japanese tourists are flocking out of Japan in search of warmer places for a week of rest and vacationing. Just like any migrating birds of feather from the north to south during winter season we have come to expect Japanese tourists this time of year in big numbers. This trend has in many and direct ways contributed to our tourism industry revenue that had been coined as the “bread and butter” of our economy. The bread and butter of the economy is supposed to feed us all so these tourists swarming the downtown on foot or in busloads to and fro is a sight of the much needed source of new money.

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February 23, 2010

Clashing worldviews

By Fuana Tmarsel

A few years ago, (1996) a political scientist by the name of Samuel Huntington proposed a new theory for analyzing global politics and trends of global conflict in the post Cold-War era. He called it the Clash of Civilizations (and the Remaking of the World Order), also the title of the book within which he expanded his concept.  Simply put, Huntington averred that cultural and religious beliefs are intrinsic part of our identity as a people group (civilizations) thus in order to understand global conflicts we need to look at their basis – what leads to these conflicts.

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February 22, 2010

Know your civic duties

By Kambes Kesolei

Newspaper editorials and to some extent television and radio programs have lead the way in putting our political leaders on notice by asking pertinent questions regarding our current state of affairs. Yet there are those in the leadership class who continually berate the citizens who rise up to take part in the political discussion of this Republic.

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February 19, 2010

Global Competitiveness

By Jackson Henry

Global Competitiveness (GC) deals with national policies and practices that result in the level of economic prosperity that a country delivers to its citizens. The World Economic Forum publishes an annual report that ranks 133 countries according to their competitiveness worldwide. The main criteria in judging a nation’s competitiveness is its ability to maximize the use of its resources.

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February 18, 2010

My Funny Valentine

By Deidre Yamanguchi

During these hard times, one would be lucky to get at least a stem of rose, a balloon attached to it, and a small card with beautiful roses etched on the side and signed with love.  But hard times aside, those who are unfortunately without a significant other to go out of their way to order and have a flower or flowers delivered to either the office or the home are going to have to keep themselves busy and wait for this wind of “love” to pass.  Alas, it will be like waiting for Godot for those who will receive a rose or two or a box of chocolate or what not will inconspicuously rub it in the faces of those who did not get anything.  Ah, but one must prevail for Fortune’s wheel must turn at some point.

Day before Valentine’s Day:

Eakau:  Kei, so, are they going to rent that huge Surangel truck that they use to give away candies on Christmas to deliver roses to you on Valentine’s Day?

Kei:  Surangel truck?  Roses?  Eakau, the price of gas has gone up, there are kids who don’t eat lunch for the parents cannot afford to go on the School Lunch Program, Sonoma Lights has gone up by 5 cents, a bag of betelnut—if there is one or two “mekedols” in it, it is automatically $1.50 or more, our car runs on “E”, and you think I will get even a rose?  A hibiscus flower that had not been eaten by insects will do for me.

Eakau:  Kei, that’s what I am saying.  Why don’t you quit chewing betelnut?  You and your husband will save a lot of money and perhaps then you can get a flower from the flower shop, delivered to you at home and…

Kei:  …and what Eakau?  We pluck the bud and instead of asking: “He loves me, he loves me not” we pluck it and ask: “’Beldakl’ or ‘cheluit’”?  If my husband quit drinking his six pack of beer every night, stop smoking cigarettes and chewing it, then maybe I can get one of those artificial ones that will get me through this economy crisis.

Eakau:  Well, I think I am getting something on Valentine’s Day, I just don’t know what.

Kei:  Well, good for you.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  If there’s oil in Kayangel then maybe I will not worry as much about anything?

Eakau:  Are you from Kayangel?  If there is oil, what are you going to get?

Kei:  I don’t know.  But they keep saying things will get better and I don’t know how it will get better or what will get better but just knowing things will get better is enough for me.

Eakau:  I know I will get something on Valentine’s Day.  What I don’t know and am not sure of is whether there is oil in Kayangel.

Valentine’s Day

Kei:  (on the phone) Well, Eakau, did you get something?  What did you get?

Eakau:  I’m still waiting.  My husband went fishing and he didn’t say anything so I figured if he had the nerve to go fishing on Valentine’s Day and leave me alone at home, it could mean a dozen roses and maybe dinner at PPR.

Kei:  Oh, you’re so lucky.  I asked my husband where my rose was, and let me say that again, “a” rose,  and he asked me what I was talking about.  I said, it’s Valentine’s Day, Errang, what do you mean what am I talking about and he said, ‘A rose…a flower…dies, but my love for you will never ever wither and die.’

Eakau:  You believed him?  And then what?

Kei:  And then he asked if I wanted the fish ‘beldakl’ or ‘cheluit’.  Because it is either one of those or nothing and what he said about the rose dying and his love never withering and dying is from one of those Korean dramas that he is addicted to and never mind, I don’t need a rose.

Eakau:  Fine then.  I’m still waiting for my husband to get back from fishing.  The flower shops are all closed so I don’t know if he put the flowers in his car and then he, himself will bring them when he comes home from fishing.  I just know that I expect something.

Kei:  Go and wait for your husband to bring you flowers from the sea.  If you want some ‘beldakl’, come over.

February 16, 2010

Fourth Branch Attack Church

By Santy Asanuma

Media is what keeps government straight. Those who are unjustly suppressed and victimized by force and violence in the world today like the massacre ordered by our next door neighbor Governor Ampatuan of Maguindanao only protection is to let the public know of the evil scheme carried out against them. Ironically, these were government officials and police officers that people expected to be agents of justice and peace for the people who did the killing. And they made sure that all media crews especially in that group were killed to silence any voice whatsoever that can be raised in question or opposition against Ampatuan and his cronies (a re kais er ngii).

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February 15, 2010

What is a hero?

By Lea Crudo

Over the centuries the definition of a hero has changed quite a lot. Heroes in the past are very different to the heroes we have now. They lived different lives, they had different values, cared about different things, and had very different views from the heroes now.

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February 12, 2010

PPP

By Jackson Henry
In my quest to draw foreign investors and financiers to Palau for economic and entrepreneurial development purposes, I found one hurdle. This hurdle is the lack of PPP or Public-Private Partnership in Palau.

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February 11, 2010

The looming pension disaster

By Kambes Kesolei

Every government employee by law contributes to Pension Plan – retirement fund – whether they like it or not. And the current law mandates that a government employee will begin receiving retirement benefits after accumulating thirty years of service or reaching sixty years old, whichever comes first.

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February 10, 2010

“What’s in a name”?

By Deidre Yamanguchi

A couple of years ago I got pregnant.  Because of my age at that time, I was overjoyed yet afraid that a lot of things could go wrong with the baby as well as with me.  During my first visit to the doctor, I told her about my fears and worries to which she proceeded to abate all by saying that I should not worry and just think positive.

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February 9, 2010

Bridengeding (Unfocused)

By Santy Asanuma

And I thought Palauan has no technical terms in the language to describe obscured behaviors. While in a gathering at Ngerwikl, Ngchesar some years ago Rechesengel a known authority in Palauan wisdom was passionately relating to a group of men why there were four stone monoliths (btangch) on four corners of the stone platform right outside of the village bai. This was obviously a critical and relevant knowledge because most of the men in the group were in leadership positions so the old man was intent in his articulation. Then he was suddenly interrupted by one of the men who turned his head towards his daughter’s call. The discussion came to a standstill until the man turned his attention back to the old man. He reprimanded the man for being “bridengeding” (with too many ears) because he gives his attention to garble over important matters at hand which made him unfocused.

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February 8, 2010

The modern breed of Palauan aristocrats

By Fuana Tmarsel

Mama is snobbishly happy because she wears the family stone, (not just a stone, but a BIG stone bachel or whatever they call it) and can give her children whatever their hearts desire. At Surangel’s, she arrogantly pushes the cart past other customers, not bothering to acknowledge their humanity, after all they are beneath her, or so that is how she comes across. She is married to a government official so despite her obvious lack of anything admirable, she by our materialistic culture standards is deserving of respect, despite the circumstances of her life.

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February 5, 2010

Public Initiative

By Jackson Henry

Public Initiative (PI) is a process that allows citizens to place legislations into a popular ballot to be voted on in a referendum. PIs are powerful arsenals in the hands of the people to push for economic changes. It is way of injecting the wish of the people directly into the legislative process by having them participate in it. PI is a way of saying “let the people decide”.

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February 4, 2010

Noble Savages (Meteet El Sikou)

By Santy Asanuma

The white people who lost their way while looking for something around the world had the nerve to call people of the island they were wrecked upon as noble savages. The combination of the terms noble (ngalek el ilteet) and savages (rechad ra oreomel) is like using words such as cold hot or good bad together to describe people. For people who do not know how to drive well in the seas and who are in need of things in other lands, they go around calling people in their own lands names. Stupid names too.

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February 2, 2010

Priorities, contradictions, and taxes

By Kambes Kesolei

2009 seems to be playing out over again. At about this time last year the newly installed House of Delegates introduced and passed as its second ever bill a proposal which eventually provided each OEK member with an annual salary of $50,000. Now, fast forward to this year, the House with its third bill of the new year – HB. No. 8-65-5 – proposes to increase the salaries for the president, vice president, and the ministers. “This is to balance out everything,” said Del. Rengulbai, one of the bill’s introducer.

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February 1, 2010

Palau needs a paradigm shift for success

By Fuana Tmarsel

The dominance of market economy has had a corrosive effect on the global social conscience which have led to an erosion of moral authority in most society including our beautiful island of Palau. Similarly, contemporary theorists and politicians who endorse the global movement of human rights have contributed much to this confusion by proclaiming their misinterpretation to the public as if it is the truth and therefore, we must change our ways.

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