The following article was published as a Letter to the Editor on Island Times, July 29, 2011 issue.
By Dr. Caleb Otto:
When will our national leaders cease from taking shameful actions in the name of lawmaking? I am referring to the tobacco control bill recently passed by the House of Delegates. Shameful enough that they purport to be doing something in the interest of protecting public health when, in fact, the action so blatantly protects the tobacco industry. The charade, to use one of President’s phrases in his referral letter of the bill, ‘frankly borders on the ridiculous and detracts from the serious and necessary aspects’ of lawmaking.
By Santy Asanuma –
The Commies Are Coming. This was the main preoccupation (blechoel el sebekreng) of the entire free world in not too distant history. But the thirty something generation and younger would not fully understand this phrase or feel how important it was. They were the enemy. They were evil and always trying to infiltrate (soiseb) our free world and to change world order where they have the power to control us. The era of McCarthyism (1950’s) in the US history is a manifestation of this fear and suspicion.
By Fuana Tmarsel:
Robert Fulghum, author of All I need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, reminds us to “be aware of wonder and to remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup – the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that? I came home to be with mom five years ago, and planted some flowers in front of the house in hope that they will grow and serve as hedgerow by the road. Unfortunately, they had not turned out that way. Some died because the neighborhood boys trampled on them, others grew but something happened so they are bent out of shape, (hibiscus acting more like vines) but still others managed to escape human cruelty and are flourishing despite my neglect and lack of regular attention. In a funny way, they remind me of the various students I have met over the years, some in families which allowed them to flourish, some who must have been neglected by lack of encouragement and attention, and still others who were given much in the way of material things but lack the necessary supervision.
By Jackson Henry –
On July 4th, America’s 235th Birthday,University ofTokyo scientist ,Yasuhito Kato, announced that he had discovered the highly prized rare earths minerals in 78 locations on the Pacific’s seabed worth billions. Kato estimated 100 million tons of rare earths located between 3,500 to 6,000 meters below the Pacific Ocean, mostly aroundHawaii andTahiti. Investors are already obtaining licenses to mine the ocean floor aroundBismarck,Solomon Islands and northernPapua New Guinea.
By Santy Asanuma
The children, namely students, are dying on the internet like fishes do on fishnets. Imagine connecting all the fishnets in Palau it will surely trap all the fish in our waters. Village people in the past connected coconut palms (derrau) to keep fishes in the shallow waters until the tide became low for the killing and collecting. All kinds of choice fishes were usually caught in this process.
By Fuana Tmarsel
Few months ago, I took a quick excursion to the end of Babeldaop and on the way, I noticed the beautiful shifts of pink and white plumerias, hibiscus flowers, and myriad of crotons (kesuk) in ornate hues in some parts along the Compact Road. The luxurious shades against the backdrop of the lush tropical verdure discharge a warmth glow embracing both the travelers and passerbys. As usual, the drive was refreshing, especially with intake of raw nature fresh breeze no longer part of the industrial city of Koror (which we all love and appreciate for the many years of support since its urbanization during TT time).
By Santy Asanuma
Ngousim literally means fruits are coming out or in season. This in Palauan implies the best qualities are in abundance (ng kmal betok). It is very positive description and is quite desirable because it holds promises for more of whatever good to come generally from fruit bearing plants. Mango is an ideal tree for such treats. Ngousimang is a derivative of this word. But it is no longer in the positive light and refers to certain characteristic of persons. It directs attention into the person who is putting much effort to showing off. In most case, this ousimang (show off person) usually has no glue to what he has, and more importantly, what he does not have.
If you were given a chance to vote again for your Senators from the list of 44 senatorial candidates who ran during last general election held on November 4, 2008, would you vote for the same candidates a second time around? Who would be your Top 13? Would you have them remain in the same order? Who would you drop from the list and who to add?
By Fuana Tmarsel
Inherent in life is God’s little kisses that warms the heart and cracks a smile, even on rainy days. My daughter, having been off island for the whole school year, was craving for unicorn fish, but with the weather the way it is, she had to put up with other foods instead. However, as God would have it, a friend came to the house on Monday with smoked unicorn fish which she enjoyed with grind tapioca (billum).
EIGHTH OLBIIL ERA KELULAU
______BILL NO. _______________
A BILL FOR AN ACT
To authorize and appropriate the sum of $58,798,000 from the National Treasury for the annual general operating, special revenue, COFA review, and debt service budget of the Republic of Palau for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012; to authorize and appropriate funds to provide a $20.00 bi-weekly cost-of-living allowance to certain National Public Service System employees; to authorize and appropriate funds to pay outstanding court judgments against the National Government; to authorize and appropriate funds to provide a monthly subsistence stipend to families without any income; to amend 24 PNC §3413 to increase the amount of the environmental protection departure fee and other related matters; to amend 26 PNC §143(b) to make the Vice-President an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the National Development Bank; to amend 26 PNC §186(a) to augment the National Development Bank’s annual reporting requirements; to amend 30 PNC §125 to increase the minimum wage paid to employees; to amend 37 PNC §302(a) to modify the manner in which the P.U.C. bills the National Government; to amend 40 PNC §1101 to change the rates at which wages and salaries are taxed; to amend 40 PNC §1401(a) to increase the excise tax assessed on hotel rooms; to amend Title 40 of the Palau National Code by adding a section imposing a diving tax; to amend 40 PNC §628 to provide a practical mechanism for emergency procurement; and for related purposes.
By Jackson Henry
“Seward’s Folly”, was what fierce critics called Alaska when Secretary of State Bill Seward engineered its purchase from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million or a mere 2.5 cents per acre. Others called it, “Seward’s ice box”, because Alaska was seen as a frozen wasteland. Seward was publicly ridiculed and bore the burnt of stinging newspaper columnists and media hawks as the man who committed America’s biggest blunder. I could imagine the numerous sleepless nights Seward suffered.
By Santy Asanuma
Shaggy probably have not heard the story of Mechutedil like so many people including most young women of Palau today. So he sings, “So amazing how this world was made. I wonder if God is a woman. The gift of life astounds me to this day. I give it up for the woman. She’s the constant wind that fills my sail. That woman. With her smile and her style, my she’ll protect you like a child. That’s a woman.”
By Fuana Tmarsel
Social consciousness is an awareness shared within a society; that is the people in a given society are aware of the daily problems and hardships . This consciousness brings moral implications which, arguably, influence their decisions and actions. History is replete with individuals, whose true leadership and genuine patriotism have altered their nations social consciousness, as such spawning a new nation.
By Jackson M. Henry
“Action is the antidote to despair”, once said American folk singer and 1960s civil rights activist Joan Baez. WithGreece’s looming debit crisis, high fuel prices and unemployment prolonging the world’s economic recovery, the working class folks around the world, includingPalau, feel a sense of despair. Strategic actions are required to bust out of the status quo.
By Kambes Kesolei
Predictions of how the public will vote on the casino referendum were abundant. Some forecast seem to have been made by people who were out of their medications while others were spot on. From the very first casino bill introduced this congress, one radio proponent of the casino poured-out his bankrupt prophesy over the airwaves of how the citizens are tired of the all the talks and will approve the measure. The citizens were tired alright, but perhaps the measurement used to read the sentiment was fogged up.