Archive for January, 2012

January 30, 2012

Beyond the Blues

By Fuana Tmarsel —-

The festive mood around the house has wound down; Christmas decorations are packed and back in storage.  The new expensive gift is now too familiar to arouse any warmth or delightful excitement. The children are back to school and the family has resumed the monotonous routine – 6am – the house rises, out by 7:30 – stare in the traffic to school, then to work – 8 hours of more or less the same thing – homebound at 5pm, dinner, Arirang and then a snore before the same day returns with a different name.   For a vast majority of people in the world, life is repetition of routines, a replay of programs, until a new idea surfaces and alters the schedule, a new encounter occurs and adds to the collection of yesterday.

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January 29, 2012

Melangesmad (Looking Up To Your Face)

By Santy Asanuma —-

As a society there must be a man or woman that young males and females would like to emulate (mesuub er tir) in their lives. It is interesting to know what young people see in elders today that enthralled (ng meksemerriar) their imagination to live like them. Melangesmad is a cultural practice promoting that young people learn at very young age to have this social skill in revering (ke dodengesii) older people who possess qualities or positions that they hope to become someday. In general, young people were expected to look up to their elders, and at the same time, to forego (obes) their own demands and expectations to give way to true and tested advice and wisdom to guide them.

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January 27, 2012

Dow Jones Is Now Aiming To Crack 13,000

By Jackson Henry —-

Remember the saying, “be careful of what you dream of, for it may just happen”. Well, investors in theNew YorkStock Market may be seeing signs of their dream of a market rally come true with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ready to crack the 13,000 mark, after several years languishing in the doldrums.

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January 25, 2012

Three arguments that derail the budget

Tia Belau editorial – January 23, 2011

The budget bill is dead. Its death was not even a surprise. Hearing from political observers, the public properly diagnosed the problem and correctly called the outcome.

There were clear warning signs early and throughout the negotiating process that led to the eventual failure of both Houses to come to a budget agreement.

Three areas of disagreement derailed the passage. These could be isolated into philosophical, procedural, and personal level arguments.

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January 25, 2012

Family Secrets

By Fuana Tmarsel —-

Mark Twain once said, why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. In the United States, dirty politics is acceptable. Often political opponents take archeological excursions in hope of digging up enough dirt on their rival to destroy them.

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January 23, 2012

The rule of third in Palau elections

By Kambes Kesolei —-

So now we have entered 2012 and the beginning of the 40-week election campaign. And so far, this is much we know about the line-up of candidates. There are four names. For the office of the president, we have the incumbent Johnson Toribiong. This is a no-brainer. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no business discussing politics.

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January 20, 2012


By Santy Asanumna —-

Published 2003 Whatanow Column

Alii T,

I am not surprised to hear that you and your colleagues are afraid to speak your views publicly for fear of reprisals (“mechetechat”). And you are teachers. How about the rest of us in Palau who do not have teacher status (“sensei el medengei a betok el tekoi”) like you? Sad to say, many in Palau today like you are so afraid to speak their opinions (“audesuir”). It is common for people to just swallow unjust treatment at work or neighborhood. For variety of reasons, people rather be in pain than speak out. I have always wondered about this. Maybe people saying what is bothering them or expressing their opinions on things is more painful. Why is that?

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January 20, 2012

Four 2012 Financial Resolutions Palauans Should Honor

By Jackson Henry —-

2012 is here and many Palauans are making their new year’s resolutions and others are re-affirming old ones. It has become a Palauan tradition to do so, since adopting the western culture that traces its roots back to the ancient Babylonians some 4000 years ago. 

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January 17, 2012

Setsuyak (frugal: right use with right dosage)

published June 10, 2003 Whatanow Column 

Alii K,

This week I have been asked in an interview if Palauans are happier today compared to yester-years (“sel domes aikel mla mo merek el rak e do rael mo bedul uriul”)? If Palau is more developed now than years gone by which aspect is it? Why did Palauans take on community activism (“remurt ra tekoi malechub e ng ureor el kirir rechad ma beluu el diak lududel e re ngii”) more so in the past than it is nowadays? Is Palau serious in developing its tourism? These are some of the questions asked of me that painfully pierced right through me. I am not exactly sure now what scared me the most even after the interview because these questions are still burning in my head. Was it the fact that the interviewer was a foreigner asking me these questions that I thought I had foolproof and convincing answers to them ready or the fact that I could not conjure (ko ra oblad) answers to these rather soul searching questions (“aikel ker el ngara chelsel a rengum el kirel el di kau a chonger”)? What really bothered me while I was asked these questions is that it dawned on me that majority of Palauans do not have clear answers to these questions either. At least that is my opinion, which I hope I can be proven wrong.

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January 16, 2012

House rejects FY 2012 budget bill

Fiscal year 2012 budget bill has died in the House floor with a vote of 11 No and 5 Yes.

The vote is a resounding rejection for the Speaker and his new budget team for their heavy handed tactic in trying to push the bill over the strong objections of WMFM committee chair and other members.

The budget bill was the conference draft version which was negotiated by the new 3-member team House conferees.

The  negotiating team was led be Del. Tmewang Rengulbai with Floor Leader Gibson Kanai and WMFM V-chair Swenny Ongidobel as members.

Criticisms was heaped on the team and the Speaker for limiting the House to only three members while the Senate basically retain most of their original committee members, except for Mark Rudimch who was removed.

The decision made earlier to remove Del. Secilil Eldebechel, chair of Ways and Means & Financial Matters, from his lead role in the budget process seems to have backfired big time.

With the rejection, the president can submit a new budget bill with an adjusted fund availability analysis, and one that incorporates the $3M emergency funding. Perhaps, with the rosy projection for 2012 tax receipts, there will be no need to utilize PAN funds for state block grants.

This might be the face saving measures that everyone needs.

However, one thing is clear though, the result was an embarrassment for the House leadership. A clear vote of no confidence.

January 15, 2012

Office of Planning Statistics needs to update website

Tia Belau Editorial, January 9, 2011 —-

One of the most essential government functions is to monitor trends in political, social, and economic landscape of a nation.

The government via its vast network of activities gathers all sorts of data. This data are then analyzed to get a clear picture of where is the nation is heading.

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January 12, 2012

The Master’s Touch

By Fuana Tmarsel —-

It was battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste match time on the old violin.

But he held it up with a smile.

“What am I bid, good folks?” he cried.

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January 11, 2012

Graphene: The Next Tech Revolution

By Jackson Henry —-

When a new technology is suddenly introduced, it can define an entire generation. The generation of Palauan who lived under the Japanese Administration know well how their lives were suddenly transformed with the introduction of combustion engines, electricity and metal tools. Today, the power of the internet, smart mobile phones, computers and jet airliners have changed the landscape of transportation and communication for this generation of Palauans. We are now curious to know what next technology will have earth shaking affect in our daily lives.

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January 10, 2012

Is the $100 jellyfish lake fee an overreach?

Tia Belau Editorial, December 26, 2011 —-

The debate regarding the increase of the Jellyfish Lake fee have been mostly based on concerns of the intended potential benefits – the money to be raked in or its reverse side effects.

The jellyfish lake fee has jumped from $35 to increase to $100, an increase of $65 or 185%. Collection of the jellyfish lake fee is to start in June 2012.

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January 9, 2012

Sbedii Obechad

By Santy Asanuma —

Published 1/02/03 Whatanow Column  

Alii B,

I strongly believe that everyone has to say that 2002 was an eventful (“betok el tekoi el dilubech”) year to say the least. Some good and some bad. However, it is the bad things mostly that preoccupied (“ikel de blechoel mesaod malechub e ke domdasu el kirel”) our time and resources. Things in general in Palau kept going toward more complications (“mral mobedul a cheliseksikd”). Only few who are paying close attention on what is happening to Palau or those perceptive enough (“sebechir leues a tekoi e te mo medengei el kmo ngara ngarengii malechub e ng mo dubech”) are uneasy (“suebek a rengrir”) where we are heading as a country. The combined Palauan leadership both elected and traditional continues to be in the state of denial (“ng di tir el mengeuid a rengrir ra betok el telemall el de ngara chesel”). To top it all, Palau lost Fr. Felix Yaoch at the end of the year. He was one of the few church leaders who have always reminded us to stay on the side of good. He used to say to Palauan churchgoers that we have to be good persons (“ungil el chad”) and good Palauans (“ungil el chad er a Belau”) before becoming good Christians. 

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January 7, 2012

2012 – Power to the People

By Fuana Tmarsel —-

Every event in every man’s life plants something in his soul which grows and shapes the events he organizes for others. Simply, it means we are the product of events that took place in our lives and we are now shaping the future of those whose lives we effect. Some of these events make a lot of sense, while others appear to be just superstitious habits tagged with traditional license.

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January 4, 2012

The Art of Commercial Persuasion

By Jackson Henry —-

One distinguishing features of man is the skillful use commercial persuasion to get what we want. Animals, on the other hand, use brute force and aggression to get their way. Palauans do appreciate the value of good persuasion skills since our forefathers negotiated their way to carve a nation out of these islands.

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January 3, 2012

2011, a year that was

Tia Belau –  December 29 & January 2 editions —-

Year 2011 was a trying and yet a triumphant year for the country. Power crisis, budget issues and corruption were among the top new stories of the year. An increase in the number of tourists and the country’s continued to gain a good standing in the international arena when it comes to environmental protection. As we leave 2011 and enter into 2012, hopes are alive that things that need improvement will change and the triumphs will be achieved.

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January 1, 2012

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

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January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Bol mui ra budech, deureng, ma beltikerreng, e bol bekokuii a beserrak ra 2012 el mer kau.