TIME one day is today WWW.weloveguam.com
Dear Guam, Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. for governor firstname.lastname@example.org
or as long as I can remember, I’ve been a dad and a husband. My wife and I grew up quick when we had our daughter, Ashley. We had to. It was either we try to be good parents or choose the unthinkable. For us, that could never be an option, and the fact that the law gave us that choice drove us to our fundamental belief that all life is sacred. No one has a right to take away the life of another. Lena and I learned just how much our parents loved us, when we found ourselves changing our plans for the baby, just like they did for us. College was no longer an option for us. I went straight to work. Lena did, too. A few months later, Ashley showed up. It’s been the three of us ever since, well, until Dennis G. and Daniel came into our lives. That experience really shaped who we were and how we’d look at this world. Ashley’s birth didn’t just speak to us about the life v. choice movement. It’s where we began to favor the little guy; the single mother, the struggling family, the outcast; the people on the outskirts of society, the marginalized, the underdog and the defenseless. For a while, we were that struggling family. We knew what it was like to worry whether we could actually feed another person, much less pull off being parents. We made it. But not without the doubt and the stigma that came every time someone told us we were too young. If someone were to ask me what I’d change about my life, I’d say, ‘Nothing.’ There isn’t a single second I’d trade. I’d be born to Dennis and Sonia Rodriguez on July 17, 1978 at the old GMH. I’d be baptized into the Catholic Church and I’d receive Communion with Christ. I’d meet Governor Ricky Bordallo and know I wanted to be just like him when I grow
up. I’d be raised without toys, helping my mom with her store until late at night. I’d get in trouble for the rules I broke. I’d hassle through the same regrets and learning moments. I’d meet Lena, marry her, and have our kids exactly the same way. I’d take all the odds and ends jobs and start those businesses, including the small shop with the liberty machines that I shut down before running for senator. I’d campaign for the legislature all four times and I’d lead the health committee from start to finish. I’d be the lone voice in the Legislature fighting against the closure of F.Q. Sanchez Elementary School. I’d be the first to break ranks with the Democrats in order to support the plan to pay tax refunds. I’d help Lena to start up the mobile clinic so that more of our people could get medical care. Every person who needed help, I’d help. I’d stick up for Jon Fernandez all over again. I’d fight for universal health coverage and children with autism. I’d take up the medical marijuana rules and regulations charge. I’d make noise about public private partnerships. I’d be committed to the Chamorro culture and land, especially what is held by the Chamorro Land Trust. I’d make Guam Memorial Hospital my consistent top priority. I’d protect the people who blow the whistle on corruption. I’d investigate it. Even while running for governor. I’d pick a teacher named Dave Cruz to be my runningmate. I wouldn’t change anything about the past because each of those moments in time brought me on a journey that took me to right now. Just as your journey has brought you to share this moment with me. The road ahead is uncharted, for all of us. I know what I want to do, but I can’t get there without your help. Please vote for Dave and me in our quest to Adelup. Thank you for your kindness in reading and consideration.
I tell my students that they’re going to mess up in class as in life. What’s important is that, when they do fall, that they get right back up on that path of excellence. By this time my career in the Air Force was taking full swing. I started as a disaster preparedness officer before I became Group Resource Manager, then Executive Officer, the Commander of the 254th Air Base Group. Work had taken up my life. The Universe can really put things into balance in ways we never imagine. And the saying, ‘God works in mysterious ways?’ No kidding. God sent me Jenny. It may sound like a bizarre situation (and I really couldn’t tell you what must have been going through Jenny’s mind at the time), but all I saw was kindness, strength, and companionship. I saw love, and I couldn’t let her get away.
meet dave David M. Cruz, Jr., Col. (USAF, Ret.) for lieutenant governor email@example.com
started my career as a teacher, it’s what I am today, and chances are I’ll be back in the classroom after serving as your lieutenant governor, if you’ll have me. I’m a quiet guy, which is ironic because for as long as I can remember, I’ve always sought out to make a difference for Guam.
I was born here on September 15, 1949 to David and Rosalia Cruz. We lived on Guam until I was four. That’s when we began moving to bases around the world before coming back home. I was fortunate enough to bring home a bachelor of science degree in math-science field study and education from the University of Maine, Fort Kent. I saw so much potential in everyone and everything, but it was all hidden beneath what seemed to me like a veil of inferiority. It was like we didn’t believe we could do the things others throughout the world were doing. So I decided I could do something about it, starting in the classroom. I became a teacher. I taught math and science for 10 years before I went back to school for a degree in marine biology from California State University, and a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. I came back home and joined the Air National Guard. I was commissioned in the Air National Guard back in the days of Fort Juan Muna and those barbecues we used to have at the end of weekend drill. I was a young man back then, and that’s when my family started. I was married to my first wife and we had David (I’m a junior, so he’s the third), Deborah, and Derek. Our marriage didn’t work out. I wish I could tell you I’m somehow blessed with the ability to never make mistakes, but I’m like everyone else. I have my flaws; there are times in my life I could have tried harder, and then there have been failures, even when I tried my best.
We got married in 2002, and together with my children, the Cruz family grew with Julianne, Ronald Laguana II, and Jessica, our children from Jenny’s previous marriage. Both David and Deborah live in the States. Deborah has three of our grandsons - Tyler, AJ, and Benjamin. Julianne, who is married to Colin Perez, has our only two grandchildren on island - Beau and Alex. Ronald is married to Shelly Blas and they have Scrunchy, our canine grandchild, in Hawaii. Jessica is married to Jeremy Briellatt, who is on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. They’re stationed in Grand Folks, North Dakota and have our grandchildren, Dakota, Heidi, and Liam. I’ll tell you, the kind of inner strength family can provide to a person is immeasurable, but critical. My family grew at a time when I’d start the biggest challenge of my professional career. It was my final assignment before retiring after 33 years serving our country in the Air Force. In the Air Guard I was appointed as the U.S. Property and Fiscal Officer by the Chief, National Guard Bureau. I oversaw all federal funds and property allocated to the Guam National Guard. My office was the team that uncovered the housing scandal. It really was a scandal that almost went covered up. In uncovering and reporting the wrongdoing, I was choosing between my integrity and the reputations and careers of good people who just got caught up in something very stupid. Anyway, the NGB got involved with the office of the inspector general, and the rest is history. We cleaned house and we showed Washington that we were very much capable of looking out for the military’s honor and the taxpayer dollar. I went back to the classroom after my retirement from the military. I got to take with me a few more notches in my education belt: I graduated from Squadron Officer College, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. I also got a master of science degree in Strategic Studies, Air War College. John F. Kennedy High School hired me as Senior Aerospace Science Instructor and Director of Instruction for the JROTC program there. I’ve been there since 2010 and have since been classified. At the start fo this year I did something that everyone in the Department of Education agrees is a first - I voluntarily released myself from the classified service by demoting myself and instead continuing my job through a professional services contract. I did this, not because I agree with the law (it makes no sense to me), but because I respect it. I did this because I want to make another difference; this time for our island and every man, woman, and child in it - I’m running for lieutenant governor of Guam, to serve as Dennis Rodriguez’s right hand man if we’re so blessed to have your vote. This is about service to me; and duty. It’s for kids today and those yet to be born. These aren’t political punchlines. This has been my life, and I want to dedicate more of it to you all.
Building a Model for Change and Progress
Perfecting the Basics...in the 21st Century
Put a Teacher in Adelup
Right Makes Right
Judgment for None, Kindess for All
building a model for change and progress By Chuck Sanchez RC18 Village Organization chairman
How Dennis & Dave will fix the (GMH) problems
uam Memorial Hospital does not have to be that three-story run down building between Jonestown and Perezville. It doesn’t matter whether the hospital exists on that very spot, or if it were in another village. And who’s to say GMH isn’t a campus of buildings in one place, or a variety of facilities spread throughout Guam, rather than just a single building? And who said that providing medical care there meant the government had to operate everything? GMH needs to be the place, wherever it is, where you go to help yourself or someone else to come to life, or keep life. This is its mission: to save life. And its mission must be reliable. The hospital could use a tune up. Or a full-on replacement. Before we get into how much money we should spend or what and how exactly we’re going to do it, we need to consider all the possibilities: what are all the things GMH needs to be? A good starting point for this discussion will be all the treatment to alleviate suffering and sickness from the diseases that are killing us: heart problems, diabetes, cancer. We’ll need the latest in technology for the emergency room(s). Add to this the centers for babies to be born and for the sick and dying to heal or feel less pain. We need places for doctors to write their reports, stations for nurses, a sound electrical system, the right thermal and humidity settings, a communications system, places to rush patients in and evacuate them out, quarantine, waiting areas, common areas, a morgue, a praying area, staging areas for equipment and overflows, pharmacies, clean accommodations, and parking. This is GMH 1.0 - the bare minimum of what we need in order to provide you, me, and everyone else on Guam a standard assurance that every patient will get the best medical service possible at GMH. And it doesn’t matter whether you can afford this standard of care. You’re going to get it. Not only is it a matter of human decency, but one of federal and local law. If the patients aren’t fully paying for their medical care, then who is?
A popble business model People who wonder why GMH can’t run more like a business haven’t been told one fundamental truth about the nature of the island’s only public hospital: there isn’t
a single company in this world that could survive on the business model it has been forced to have since the Organic Act of Guam. Name one company that won’t go belly up if it had to give away its products and services to over half of the customers who came by. They don’t exist. At least not in the real world. For every three patients treated at GMH, the hospital will recover full payment from only one of them. The other two can only afford a partial payment, or no payment at all. The people who fall into the ‘full payment’ category have insurance, yes, but many of them also fall into the ‘partial payment’ column; their insurance company didn’t cover everything at GMH. I’ve heard a couple people from the Chamber of Commerce ask, ‘Why don’t people pay their bills?’ Umm, have you seen the cost of medical care? But we should get something straight here. Patients and insurance companies don’t cause the bulk of the problems.
Medical care is ridiculously expensive The most significant downer on hospital operations is the underpayment by the federal government. Two-thirds of the cost of all procedures billed at GMH are covered by one of three programs: Medicare, Medicaid, and the Medically Indigent Program. MIP is a local outfit paid by us, the taxpayers. It’s just like Medicaid, except it’s for non-U.S. citizens, who stay here. Back in 1997, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid looked at the cost data at GMH and set their reimbursement rate there. So, if you are insured by either Medicare or Medicaid. and you get something done at GMH, you would have the comfort of knowing one of those programs paid for all or most of your medical bill through a reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid to GMH. At least that’s what one would hope. Except something that cost $100 in 1997 could cost $500 today. The reimbursement rate hasn’t changed since then. And it’s not for lack of trying, either. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid stopped rebasing the Guam rates because we don’t have the files to back up the data GMH was reporting. This one will sound funny to the Millennials: the typhoon blew the files away. No joke. Supertyphoon Pongsona blew holes through the Emergency Room and laid havoc on the hospital’s Z-wing, where its administrative files were kept in December 2002.
Two emerging problems When the government tells you something is getting expensive, we tend to do a double take and retreat, muttering, ‘duh,’ under our breaths. If the bureaucrats can feel the pinch, imagine what the consumers feel. The cost of medical care, from the over-the-counter medicines to organ transplants and robotics has skyrocketed since 1997. Across all industries involved in the delivery of medical care, including the cost of educating doctors and nurses, the world has been dealing with the ever-increasing burden of clinical and hospital services to a global population that keeps getting sicker with new and scarier diseases. Guam isn’t Jenny from the Block, either. We’ve been going through this just like everyone else, and maybe worse because of our high rates of unhealthiness cause by smoking, poor nutrition, and sedentary lifestyles. Come on, we’re all guilty of some vice. How is it that humankind progresses, only to tax itself more each day for the privilege of living? Well, the perspective that life is a privilege is one only God can have. Life is a right. It should not be so damn expensive to live!
Who pays for your right to live? Every year the past two decades, the several departments within GMH are asked by management to turn in their budgets. And every year management cuts some stuff out. And every year management turns in that ‘lean’ budget to the Bureau of Budget Management and Research, only for more cuts to happen before that budget makes it to the Legislature. Pues popbli. Every year for the past seven years, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. was the chairman of the legislative health committee and dedicated himself to finding the resources GMH needed to get by. It has taken transfer authority, new monies, private sector donations, and even a bond. Was it worth it? Of course. We’re talking about people’s lives. This is the invisible and unwritten social contract you and I and everyone else has made with each other in God’s Pacific paradise. Somehow, some way, we work and we sacrifice, and part of the fruits of that labor pays so that everyone has a shot at life. In a beautiful way, we’re all each others’ heroes. No one wants to be the person who needs to be saved, or to know someone whom we love is dying and needs to be saved. But when St. Peter starts walking toward you, and you and the Lord know it isn’t your time, we need that other person - the one willing to save us. The one who pays the doctor, the pharmacist, the nurses, the vendor
whose equipment you needed, the other vendors who supplied all those medical instruments you needed, and the pharmaceutical company from which your pharmacist dispensed the medicine you needed to live.
they need to pay, too All we have is each other. Each and every one of us is called to contribute to society so that part of that contribution provides the safety net between life and death for the sick. That’s a fancy way of saying the taxes you and I, and everyone else pays is where we get the chunk of cash to keep GMH and our medical and health delivery agencies operating effectively, competent in emerging technology and best practices management. Did I just say, “and everyone else…?” Guam law has a caveat to insert in this discussion. Not everyone pays their fair share. Years ago - and these were different times leaders in business and politics got together and decided it will be a good idea to hand out holidays to certain businesses. They didn’t get days off, like the rest of us do. No, they got the right to not pay taxes. Some of them don’t pay any taxes at all. And even though your cost of medical care just keeps climbing like Jack on that beanstalk, guess which industry is the one with the statutory ability to skip out on 100 percent of almost every tax we have: property, corporate income, dividends, and the business privilege tax? Yup. Insure that. Sen. Rodriguez, as a matter of principle, wants to get rid of these tax exemptions. Everyone should be paying their fair share of taxes. If you and your neighbor can go to jail for not paying your income taxes, so should the next person, especially if there is a corporate responsibility. We all live here. We all are part of the social contract.
But I don’t want to pay for waste Wouldn’t it be something if we had to pay more for GMH because we feel for all those doctors and nurses and all the patients, but then we find out they’ve been tossing cash down the drain? Deja vu. I swear. Technically, no one was throwing money down the drain. But there is a management issue. The Joint Commission clearly laid out problems management was having in managing basic safety and health concerns that likely will lead to a loss of accreditation. Accreditation isn’t necessarily what we’re after here. That piece of paper stands for something that should be important to us, especially if we’re the ones at GMH. What the Joint Commission ultimately told us was that the way hospital management was operating GMH put
its employees and patients in some risky situations and below an acceptable standard of care for a United States hospital. Dennis wants to make something clear here, though. For as dire as the situation may sound today, GMH has come a long way. Its management has worked harder than could be imagined, making unprecedented improvements on the financial side of the house. Everything from its billings, codings, reimbursements, insurance rates and discounts, staff efficiency - everything you can possibly think of in the fiscal and human resources side of an operation - has seen marked improvement. Obviously, it wasn’t enough. And whether it was a matter of ‘too little too late,’ is now water under the bridge. There is a crisis of confidence at the island’s only public hospital in its management that has muddied its very credible request for annual subsidy.
The third VERY BIG problem Money, management, and don’t forget how I started this entire piece - GMH needs to operate out of something. And since it’s for us, it should be something modern, nice, and able to fit all the medical needs we have. The administration’s proposal to borrow some $125 million on the bond market and use that money to renovate and expand GMH truly is an option. But it’s just one option. Full circle back to the first paragraph - who said the hospital has to be in that same location, or in just one location? Here’s the time to consider the problems I brought up above, the global and national factors that make things sketchy for us, and put our creative thinking caps on for a solutions that work.
perfecting the basics... in the 21st century By Ashley Calvo-Rodriguez RC18 Director of Public Relations
the government we’re supposed to have is “of the people, by the people, for the people,” doesn’t that mean that it’s supposed to be more like us? And since we change all the time, individually and collectively, as a society, doesn’t that mean government should change with
A couple decades ago we did our research in the library. We used land-based phones to make phone calls from one home or business to another, or maybe we used a pay phone. We filled out order forms and applications to buy things or apply for membership and jobs. We rented video tapes from the neighborhood rental store for the blockbusters we wanted. We used Casios for minor math, and Texas Instruments to graph. We got our news in the morning, when the paper was delivered, and at night, when the primetime newscast gave us the latest in government, society, sports, and even the weather. And if we needed to communicate with people beyond a 30 minute drive, we had two choices - a long-distance phone call, or the United States Postal Service. We can do all those things now from the palm of our hand. Except when you’re dealing with the government of Guam. Excluding a few advances into the age of information, the executive branch is an outfit of outdated agencies operating, not how society lives, but without regard for the expiration dates on its processes and mundane demands. Why is it important to change up our processes and our rules, and even the very nature of our delivery of service culture? Because if there’s a better way of doing what we’re tasked to do - or what is expected fundamentally of us - we should find that way, and use it. Technology provides the means to that way. Now that term, ‘Ways and Means’ makes sense now, right? No matter the type of business, government program, or personal trade with another - we live under the invisible and universal rules of a market when one thing is exchanged for another. In the eyes of both the merchant and the buyer, or the vendor and the customer, or the government and the taxpayer, the person receiving the product or service will pay what he believes it is worth.
resources, never mind the same tired cost cutting measures that scratch the surface of thermostat settings and Xerox’s supply. We should be asking whether the working class taxpayer is getting $6,250 worth of services every year - and if someone else could have done it better. What is it that we pay for and expect from government? What are the basics? First, we want our government to protect us from other governments. For the smallest price upon our freedoms, we want to feel safe in our homes and places of work, worship, study and community - and in our transportation in between. We want the freedom to say what we want and do what we want so long as we do not cause bodily injury or damage to the property of others. We need running water and ways to get wastewater far away and into bio-friendly treatment for reuse. We want our island’s streets, parks, facilities, schools, sidewalks, and every public place to be accessible to all, during the day and at night. We want some assurance that, when we’re up next in the emergency room, everything will be done to save our lives or give birth to new ones.
Every resident should have running water Remember those commercials asking us to donate to help the starving children in Africa? The ones with the malnourished teenager pumping water from a well, with a child holding the urn? If you didn’t already know, thousands of our people live without running water. I know, right? I thought we lived in a first-world country, too. The truth is, we’re seeing third-world conditions pop up every time the government turns off the spigot.
The world changes with technology. What do not change are our fundamental needs and those basic constructs upon which society builds and appropriates to its government. Translation: the stuff we pay taxes for.
In total, us ratepayers are slated to spend about $1.5 billion in improvements to the water and wastewater systems. Guess how much of that money will go to building new residential lines for your growing families? No, this money will build new wastewater treatment systems that won’t do much for the environment but treat sewage with one more chemical formula before it flies out into the Pacific Ocean. Some upgrades will be made to the water lines as well. But as it stands, the Consolidated Commission on Utilities is standing firm that if you want utilities to reach your home, you’ve got to pay tens of thousands of dollars for them to do it. And what if you don’t have that money? Tough, they say.
Well, us 160,000 Guamanians pay nearly $1billion in the 21st Century for a government that operates on 20th Century technology. That’s an average of $6,250 each of us pays every year for GovGuam to operate. When we ask our leaders whether enough was done to maximize
We can accomplish all we want in our plans, but if the least among us still suffers, we have nothing to boast about. We should start to ease their burden by turning on their water lines, and laying new lines into residential lots throughout this island.
In exchange for a fraction of the water billings revenue from commercial payers and the military, GovGuam should enter into partnership with a professional partner willing to finance these improvements and the change we need to generate zero-waste water streams. We can impose restrictions, such as protections for Guam Waterworks Authority employees, with certain guarantees of increments, perhaps even better incentives than they have now. The Public Utilities Commission still will have the final say on setting rates, but part of this public-private partnership can also protect residential rates from going up. The end result of this partnership should be a system of clean running water for all residential lots - including Chamorro Land Trust properties - and wastewater services that are treated and transferred to irrigation systems for farming.
roads that aren’t death traps The Guam taxpayer doesn’t need to take out a $2 billion bond to fix all the routed, secondary, and village roads we have. We just need a private partner willing to take a revenue source - like traffic fines - in exchange for paved and maintained roads, solar-powered streetlights, ADAaccessible sidewalks, bike lanes, markers and signs. And Uber clearly has proven that we don’t need to build train stations or spend millions of dollars a year on buses to get people without cars from one place to another. I’m sure there’s a lot we can do with the money we throw away at the Guam Regional Transit Authority that will more effectively get people from here to there faster, and much more reliably.
Our people have places to go. When you think about it - and I’ll bet a survey will reveal this - the top reason for unemployment on Guam must be people’s lack of transportation. It isn’t just opportunity that we’re missing when we don’t maintain our roads or provide transportation solutions for those who can’t afford cars. Imagine the increase in preventative health care and prenatal care, when we make it possible for thousands of people to see their doctor. Think about the increase in parental engagement with teachers if thousands more young parents could easily get to their kids’ schools and back home in a cinch. Consider how much money you’ll save in car repair costs because your government finally fixed all those darn potholes!
Trash, trees, and runoff Part of the deal, when God grants you the privilege of living in paradise, is that you clean whatever mess you make. Yes, the government has a patrolling responsibility to prevent pollution, but the onus to respect our island and its environment is up to each and every one of us. To kick start things, a Rodriguez-Cruz administration will move litterbugs near the top of the ‘teach-themwith-fines-and-community-service’ list. If we can’t teach respect through respectful dialogue, we certainly will enforce it. There must be respect for this land, for those who cared for it before us, and for those who will inherit it from us. Manmade pollution is the epitome of selfishness, laziness, and utter disconnection from humanity. And when it’s done at high speed from the corporate world, it has got to be the biggest middle finger ever lifted to Mother Nature. That kind of arrogance won’t be tolerated by
Dennis and Dave; no way. It’s one thing to litter the streets of Los Angeles or Houston, but the effects of trash pollution on our island makes a far more detrimental impact on our total ecosystem simply because we’re on an island. Trash on land eventually becomes the next toxic source or murder trap for the marine environment that sustains us. Solution? We’ll plant trees. Not a joke. The best way to protect our oceans from runoff pollution is to let trees stop debris and for water discharge to filter through the ground and not wash into the ocean.
Getting information, applying for service/licenses/permits/jobs/etc. This all needs to be done online, for crying out loud. There is just no good reason why every government of Guam public record or form cannot be accessed online. There is no good reason why one could not apply for whatever within GovGuam without ever touching a piece of paper, wasting another tree, or swearing at another wait in line at the DMV. I can’t think of a better way for a government to be transparent than to publish every single one of its public records online, in an easy-to-find kind of way. Everything from its real time checking account transactions to the emails sent and received by public officials, middle managers, and civil servants should be a matter of public disclosure (within the privacy bounds dictated by law) so that the public and the media can see it all.
Access to the Internet Guam is a small island. How hard can it be to send WiFi
signals throughout the island? What we need to do is invest in WiFi technology that makes public schools the digital hubs of our communities, with broadband WiFi signals. These signals, emitted in radii that, together, covers the entire island, will raise the ante on telecommunications technology on Guam. More importantly, it makes Internet access a utility that is akin to electricity - difficult for people to live without. That already is true; government just needs to catch up.
Reconstructing the way government works These transitions to a more modern way of providing the most basic services to our people should be the tip of the iceberg for a government that needs to undergo a revolution in how it operates. Everything about its existence is long due for GovGuam’s own version of Vatican Council II. Hey, even the Catholic Church is half a century ahead of GovGuam in realizing and implementing a more modern way. We should all ask ourselves questions like, ●● Why do we open only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday? ●● Why do our agencies function the way they do? ●● Why don’t we fund agencies based on performance from year to year? ●● Why does school start so early? Government needs to keep up with the times. It must conform to the way the community does things. Remember, we don’t serve the government. We shouldn’t even notice its existence. It needs to blend in with us.
put a teacher in adelup By Troy Torres RC18 campaign manager
The village can raise mature, responsible adults with confidence and identity
id you know not one of our current or former governors and lieutenant governors has been an educator? We hear from teachers all the time that for those of us who are not in education, we don’t know what it’s like to manage a classroom. We don’t understand the struggles teachers go through. How can we ever truly understand education policy if we have no idea what goes on in classrooms? If you want a government that will be empathetic to and proactive about public schools, then I suggest you put a teacher in Adelup. The political types see gold voting stars whenever a retired military officer decides to run for public office. Oh, they’ll tell you they have the utmost respect for the man or woman’s decorated career serving the country. But underneath all the talking points and the sound bytes is nothing short of the most disrespectful veneer of superficial patronage that will exploit the shine on all those medals for every vote its luster can muster. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr. very much respects his running mate’s distinguished military career. Part of the reason for choosing David M. Cruz, Jr. was his experience managing large numbers of people as an Air Force colonel. But it wasn’t the first reason. Dennis considered two criteria for a running mate. First, he wanted to know whether his lieutenant governor could govern whenever he was out of town, or otherwise unable to govern. While he believes in public schools, Dennis wanted a teacher on his team to help him make the transformative change needed in the economy and the government that only an educator would know how to accomplish when it comes to the school system. Half of the Rodriguez-Cruz revolution in our government and economy involves raising a new generation of thinkers and do-it-yourself entrepreneurs and creators. But all of what this revolution intends to accomplish is to create a future better than the one we’ve ever dreamed for ourselves. To do this, it’s going to take the village. It’s going to take all 19 villages. What we need to do, working with public schools, is to raise kids to be mature, responsible adults who have confidence and a strong sense of identity. Whether they excel in trigonometry, chemistry, or American history is a matter for educators to decide. What concerns us is that they are well rounded in the arts
and sciences so that they are competitive with their global counterparts and confident in their skills and talents. We need them to be mature; to deal with disagreements with civility, to approach situations and each other with kindness, and to honor their word, value their labor and the work of others, and respect life, liberty, and property.
The world we want them to live in Every child’s education begins the moment he leaves his mother’s womb. It starts there. Whoever has the honor of raising any child becomes the kid’s first teacher. That’s real. People get degrees to become teachers and manage classrooms. But for most of the parents and guardians of this world, it wasn’t a degree that propelled them into the role. It was just life and all its circumstances. There is no degree for the first teachers in a child’s life, so it’s important that in our society, we take parenting seriously. As a society, we need to see our role as primary teachers seriously. So serious, that it is common for young parents and guardians to begin teaching as many languages as we speak as early as possible to our kids. We should begin to socialize them with other children and teach our babies about their brothers and sisters, and the rest of their families. We need to live in a society that values honesty and integrity. One, where citizens - no matter their station in life or what they’ve done in the past - recognize the difference between right and wrong and are committed to choosing right as often as can be. And rather than focusing so much energy on judging where people went wrong or how to punish portions of society that do not meet our approval, it would be best to show children how adults interact and respect each other if we want them to grow the same way. We want to be part of a society, where people own up to their decisions and take responsibility for their actions. So much of this is missing these days, but the quality we’re talking about is reminiscent of the generation that went before us - leadership. People were good citizens because they were leaders in their families and community. They were in charge of themselves, and that is how things need to be.
The world we want them to make When did it become some kind of entitlement to all things instead of a duty and responsibility to make your own way
once a child became an adult? We want our kids to balance their checkbooks. We need them to respect hard work by valuing every dollar transacted from their labor and their time. We don’t want them to be stingy, but to share what they have while taking care of their families. Even if this remains a dog-eat-dog world, we want our kids in this society to grow up helping one another, holding the door open for the next person, and picking up what someone else may have left behind. It starts with teaching kids at home and in the classroom how to take care of themselves. They need to be strong enough and be self driven so they can hold the door open for themselves and mind what they drop so they don’t become burdens on someone else. They need to cook and clean, and learn how to prepare their homes and their meals for others. They need to take pride in the presentation of their front lawns and the hospitality they display in the back yard. They have to take care of their appearance and exude health and confidence through exercise, activity, and wholesome diet. Unlike our generation, they need to learn how to sow and harvest from their back yards, bringing food from their farm to their table. At an early age, they should be taught about the dry and rainy seasons, the dangers of fungi, bacteria, bugs, and inundation to the survival of crops, the types of soil and rock formations found throughout Guam, and how to use and reuse every part of the harvest. They need to raise the poultry and livestock they will eat, and fish for the delicacies that will nourish islanders. Their knowledge of marine sciences should exceed every one of their national and global counterparts, and so should their agility in marine recreation and navigation. They will study our land, air, and ocean resources, the diseases that afflict us, the languages that surround us, the legends and oral histories of our heritages, and the philosophies and social sciences involving our anthropology, sociology, geology, and psychology. They will invent, manufacture, design, build, and lead industries that place Guam in the center of commerce in this part of the world. They will excel in the arts and recreate the vibrant culture that existed before colonialism. They will speak in many tongues, but join in the common language of our Chamorro culture. It starts in the classroom.
The classroom of tomorrow It’s important the Department of Education is given the
assurance of the resources it need to design and become the best deliverer of learning possible. To be more specific, the legislature and the governor need to commit to DOE that whatever way it sees itself as the facilitator of learning, the leadership will support them to become that. Questions that come to mind are, ‘What does the modern classroom look like?’ And, ‘With our ability to meet in virtual meeting rooms, how often do students need to be physically together in a room with desks in order for learning to happen?’ Are we going about it the right way, or do we need to change our fundamental impression of what a school is? The classroom of tomorrow can be markedly different. Heck, the classroom of today already needs to improve by leaps and bounds. The fact that we’re still ordering textbooks, some of which rott in storage, is incredibly backward. If we expect the modern workforce to be proficient in the technology of today, then why are we teaching our kids to be competent in the review paths of yesteryear? Should learning be fun? Of course! How else will you keep the attention of growing children? So, if learning is to be fun, then teachers can’t be boxed into one set of methods, or one kind of school day, or one monotonous way of making up time for students to make the grade. Think about the ways you are able to teach your kids any number of skills or bits of knowledge. Think how the transfer of knowledge varied in just one child throughout his life; the ways you would teach him as a three-monthold baby to the way he could learn as a three-year-old to the ways he learns now. Teachers need this kind of autonomy to do what it takes to get every child under them to learn to the standards our community expects. They need to be free to be creative about how to teach their students, so long as the methods are safe and decent. By putting a teacher in Adelup, you have an advocate who understands that DOE’s charter is outdated as it is. It means next to nothing that students spend at least 180 days in school. It doesn’t matter how many contact hours teachers have with students. Policies on social promotion don’t mean anything without a focused look at learning outcomes instead of illogical commitment to inputs. A lieutenant governor, who is a teacher by trade, is a leader who will push for the resources DOE needs to transform into whatever it needs to be. He will see the big picture and push the big resources, especially because he knows how education changes everything. So if you want to see a real difference in your child’s education, from the perspective of the difference that can be made in your child’s life, then put a teacher in Adelup.
right makes right By Frank Schacher RC18 campaign chairman
here’s a saying that, “He who owns the guns makes the rules.” It is the illustrative equivalent to the adage, ‘Might makes right.’ But might and right don’t always align. The strongest person may be in the wrong. The majority may be in the wrong. The country with the biggest military and the largest economy may be in the wrong. What is right is right, and might makes no difference, except to make right stick. Might makes right is the de facto qualification for the grossest and most devastating injustices committed upon our people, and by our people upon our own. Might makes right gave the Spanish crown the green light to claim the archipelago we now know as the Mariana Islands in the name of Her Majesty, Maria Ana. At the center of a campaign to displace millennia of culture, traditions, religion, and language was the beginning of the worst kind of racism possible - the kind that believed it was right. The might makes right claim that justified three centuries of indoctrination and geopolitical displacement of a people in their own land came complete with an attempted genocide and a systematic ethnic cleansing. As if these footnotes in Spanish history were not insults enough, that chapter in our colonial pastime turned the page on the disposal of our island as a piece of property ceded as a conquest of war. The term got a fancy break at the turn of the 20th Century, when the naval powers of the world took it upon themselves to annex ‘unclaimed’ territories, and to do its natives a favor by saving them from their heathen ways. They called it Manifest Destiny. For our island home, it meant that America was going to save us from ourselves. For whatever the motives were during the Naval administration between the Spanish American War and World War II, this era tests our capacity to see the ethical boundaries and to seek the truth. Do you regret that you do not speak Chamorro? Does it sadden you that, without drastic commitment to immersion, the Chamorro language will not be spoken commonly in any village of this island, but just in pockets of time among the few who learn and pass it down? If this regret and sadness is important to you, then it stands to reason that you would resent or be angry with or offended by the naval governor’s order in the early 20th Century that forbade the speaking of Chamorro. It was the beginning of the downward usage and practice of our very own language. After millennia of identity and four centuries of cultural cleansing, the West dealt the deathblow to our people’s identity - the systematic culling of our language. But was it all that bad? What is most important in your life today? God? Family?
So, if God and family were most important, wouldn’t you reason that your family’s subsistence and happiness relied upon a strong economy and the wherewithal to gather with others in the name of the Lord? And isn’t it true that where we are today is the result of economic growth that started with the American influence and the American way that was transplanted here? So if this were the truth, how can we say that colonialism - at least under the American administration - is wrong, when clearly its economic system and network is what has placed Guam families in a position of economic strength? Accepting the notion that we owe all that is good in our lives to our island’s marriage to the American economy is discounting the possibility that our people - no less capable than any other human race - would have found their own way, or even a better way. Any benefit derived from our inclusion into the American monetary system or its trade routes and transportation outlets was the result of an economy, whose marketplace was regulated by just one political force: our administering power. That we benefited from the United States is a moot point; we could not have benefited from anyone else while we were part of its territorial conquests. There was no possibility for our autonomy and industry, nor for the alliance of any other trading partner. What is left of this question, then, is whether it was right and just for the Naval government to systematically cull the Chamorro language from the Chamorro people. Of course not. It was wrong. So what do we do about it? What can we do? A fairly accurate conclusion that can be drawn regarding Guam’s political future is this: our location will always matter, so long as the majority of the world’s population and wealth is just three flight miles west. Ferdinand Magellan thanked his lucky stars God placed an island filled with food and industrious people between Spain and those East Indies he wanted to find. Guam was one of those rare opportunities for both validation and redemption in this world. On the one hand, you could be a would-be conquerer just three hours short of a mutiny and, wham! Guam appears. It’s that pit stop everyone needed, especially when they found Manila and needed to ship things over to Mexico. Does it stump no one that we’re talking about places that have absolutely nothing to do with Spain except for its conquests? On the other hand, Guam offered the perfect mix of open-minded native people and resistance to the Catholic agenda of conversion. It was enough, so it seems, for young men to believe that those whom they converted helped them to achieve their mission in life, and the only thing left to do was to find an angry-enough resister and, abracadabra, martyrdom.
By the Nineteenth Century and the rise of the world’s naval powers and China and Russia’s influence, Guam’s proximity to Manila meant any given aggressor’s ticket to Manchuria. From then on to World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and even the refugee camps following the conflict in Kosovo, Guam was known as that ‘refueling’ stop so vital to national security. I guess that would be true, except for leaving out parts like: launching pad for nuclear attack, staging area for multiple war games and exercises with allies, Agent Orange depot, and guinea pig for political experiments between two ‘extra’ world leaders in tipping points to World War III. Well, we live in a different world, right? Our location can’t still be the primitive reason for this relationship between the United States and Guam? Not so fast, Tonto. The military buildup that has been the craze the past few years is simply part of a larger pivot the United States is making and has been making since the 1980s. This is when a bunch of really smart people in Washington, D.C. saw an unstoppable truth: China was going to keep growing, it will take over the U.S.’s economic prowess within decades, and the focus on resources, monetary policy, trade, and therefore the emergence of new threats was going to be in this part of the world. Long gone was the dream of Pax Europa or even Pax Americana. The Middle East? Eh. That thing has been going on for a thousand years. What’s another thousand? Money and power for the next century will accumulate around us. There’s this beautiful thing called the Monroe Doctrine that has served the United States well in its ability to regulate trade and the flow of resources within the Americas. It’s very simple. It basically says that if you’re
not from the Americas, then you have no business conducting business or in any way getting involved in the affairs of any North, South, or Central American country without the kind of invitation that comes with a Members Only jacket. Even more beautiful for the United States is this loophole I’m sure James Monroe never even considered: everything within a radius of 200 nautical miles from the shoreline of an American territory gets to be part of the Americas. Every country with eyes set on East Asia and the Western Pacific can have every military resource or banking institution it wants in preparation for this pivot. But the United States, so long as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are American possessions, has a flag firmly planted on soil an entire ocean away from what once was its western border. Its real presence in this part of the world grants it dominion to participate in this change. To have a say. That’s ironic, considering our say was taken away and no one’s talking about that. Guam is more vital to American interests than ever before. But just how the United Steaets has managed to manipulate and shape shift its need of our island through changing times, we should consider that there also are new ways to resist and to lead our own revolution to get what we want, if that is what we want. This isn’t like how things were in 1773, when the only option emerging for the American colonists was to organize militia to take down the Red Coats. This isn’t even the era of massive street protests to topple dictators, like Cory Aquino’s revolution. It is a positive testament to the world’s development that the days when might had to make right may have been replaced by a world order
that believes right is right, and it is the duty of the strongest nations to bind each other to this principle. What this means for Guam and other non-self governing territories throughout the world is a chance to show an undying desire for self determination - to right a tectonic wrong - and to back it up with a demonstration of our capacity to govern ourselves. Weâ€™ll set ourselves up for freedom from our colonial chains if we first organize the native people under tribal government. This is the constitutional loophole from all those constraints that have limited our extra-constitutional efforts to appropriate to the Chamorro people of Guam their God-given right of self determination. The Chamorro tribe will have the autonomy to do business with the governments of other nations. And since it is organized through U.S. Department of State channels, the privileges we will receive as a tribe will go a long way to securing lucrative exchanges with the U.S. government itself. Value for value exchanges with a Guam government charting its course, free of the bonds of federal oversight and the behemoth lurk of Uncle Sam, is a far cry from todayâ€™s federal-funds-addicted GovGuam. Our government is a junkie for the greenback, willing to sacrifice common sense to the rigidity of federal puppet strings. There is so much more to consider about the benefits of the Chamorro tribe, but it is enough that it affords us the opportunity to operate a government able to demonstrate global trade and diplomacy capability, while weening ourselves off federal dependence. That is when the Chamorro people can make the best decision about their political destiny. It would be one thing to hold a vote of self determination during a time, when all we know and all weâ€™ve ever been told was how we need to depend on another country to do anything that will provide for our families. It will be quite another to stand tall and proud upon accomplishments that told us otherwise. Only then will our people have the freedom of choice - to look at themselves and all we are capable of as a people - demonstrably - and vote with the future in mind. Then and only then can wrong become right, and right will become might.
Judgment for none, kindness for all By Lena Calvo-Rodriguez Dennisâ€™ number one fan
there’s anything I know about Dennis Rodriguez, it is this: he’ll root for the underdog. His passion is for the poor, the mistreated, the forgotten, the judged, and the person constantly looking for another chance.
While most people will wonder out loud whether the money they just gave a disheveled homeless man will go to food, or whether he’ll buy beer, Dennis will feel bad that he couldn’t give the guy more money. He’d spend quite a bit of time thinking about the homeless man and wondering if he has a family, what it must be like to sleep where that man sleeps, and what he can do to change things for that man. I remember reading a story in the PDN about a woman charged with stealing from a local church, where she worked. I expressed my judgement on her; about how she should be ashamed of herself. Dennis looked at the story and said he felt bad for the woman’s family. He wondered what kind of suffering they were going through, and whether their financial situation already was tough before she was arrested. Perhaps that’s why she did what she did, he suggested. I understood the underlying message right away. He wasn’t judging anyone. He was so good at it, that he wasn’t even judging how I was judging people.
Customer service: Chamorro hospitality If there’s something that will make Dennis Rodriguez angry as a manager is witnessing or hearing of someone close to him treating a subordinate with indifference or hostility. When he becomes the governor, you’re going to see something extraordinary happen. All the anger and the anguish that builds up in times like these will be replaced by relaxed smiles, measured confidence, and an overall air of kindness. That’s because these are the behavior traits he will exude himself. He will demand that his Cabinet treat their employees with respect, encouragement and well wishes. And it is precisely in those places, where citizens are challenged the most to meet a kind face or voice where the expectations will be highest.
Building for a diversity of abilities, and a spectrum of cognitive function For Dennis, people who struggle with behavioral disorders and developmental disabilities shouldn’t be treated with
less respect or regard than everyone else. We’re entering the third decade of the second millennium. The days of handicap and ‘Brodie Memorial’ are long gone; part of a past that many of us wish was a lot longer ago than it really is. And though society of the past may have conditioned us to see people who act differently, or look mechanically different from the rest of the crowd as wards sentenced for life to unhappiness and meaningless existence, we now know better. Hard as it is to shift mindsets during a transition in human thought, it must occur to us all that the people who are different from others in these ways simply manifest certain qualities or features that other people do not. And when you think about it, don’t we all harbor at least one unique feature that - proud, ashamed, indifferent, or unaware - sets us apart from everyone else? Does this difference have you wondering what the use of life is, or drag you from a sense of purpose in this world? Or are you like everyone else, looking for a bit of happiness for your corner of the world? Everyone is. So, our public infrastructure, transportation systems, places of employment, public buildings, public parks, centers of community, places of worship, institutions of learning, virtual spaces, and advances in technology need to reflect the diversity of abilities and the spectrum of cognitive function in society.
Bringing friendship to people who suffer alone The increase in people who have struggled with behavioral disorders or developmental disabilities presents another issue. Just like everyone else, those who deal with these things grow old, too. And when that happens and because of either their unwillingness to ask for help, believing their deteriorating situation to be a ‘burden’ on others, or they plainly are abandoned, many more people will grow old alone. They will suffer in silence; and no one will hear them, because no one knew enough of the problem to care. Part of our commitment to social justice includes ensuring that the different don’t suffer and die needlessly and alone. Nor should they go hungry or homeless. Suffering that kind of fate in an island culture that prides itself on hospitality is the same thing as being a victim to society’s lie. Over time, the solution to the high cost of food, which makes it necessary for a third of this island to depend on federal food assistance, is to start growing it and stop importing it. In the meantime, people shouldn’t be going hungry on an island of plenty. First of all, kids need to eat wholesome and tasty food from their cafeterias. I don’t know how to get a system going that will feed them on Saturdays and Sundays, but I know that many teachers can point out the kids who come to school starving on Monday mornings
toward the later half of the month. Identifying these kids is a starting point to getting them the nutrition they need on weekends. We have to make sure seniors are getting their meals every day of the week as well. And who wants to see families, especially with children or the manamko, walking the streets as though they couldn’t find an inn to rest their feet. Utah did something that solved their homeless problem: they built their homeless homes. Everything I just mentioned above - those are the easy things; well, at least if you’re actually committed to those who live on the fringes. It’s easy to feel compassion for people dealing with disabilities, or the lonely, the homeless, and the hungry. But what about people who gamble away their homes? Or smokers who now have cancer and no way of paying their hospital bills? How about people who are in jail for stealing? Or vandalizing? Or terrorizing or assaulting? How do we find it in our hearts to treat them with kindness or respect? Why is that even important? How does it benefit society that we would even concern ourselves with problems they are largely responsible for creating? For starters, it’s because they’re not going anywhere. If society is the sum of all its parts, wouldn’t we want all those parts to be as shiny and valuable as can be? Just because we do not agree with what someone has done or the lifestyle that person chooses doesn’t mean that person disappears, along with the problems their choices have created for society. It’s like getting a bill in the mail and tossing it aside, illogically thinking that avoiding its contents will make everything better. Secondly, I doubt any of us ever met a single person without fault, so let’s not kid ourselves by assigning arbitrary degrees of badness to everything that offends our self proclaimed moral compass. Instead of looking at these people as bad people, society would benefit a lot more if we instead focused on the problems they have and the solutions we can help with. Because, obviously, these people need help. If a dude is in jail for stealing money from a house he robbed, wouldn’t that suggest that the guy was in some trouble or had some underlying and terrible problem that drove him to make the terrible choice to steal from someone else? And don’t we want to get to the bottom of that problem so we can begin to change this pattern of his life? Isn’t it important that when he gets out of jail that he will not steal again? What good does it do to treat him as a subhuman pariah? That only serves to make monsters out of animals stuck in their cage. All of this raises a discussion critical to our blooming democracy: how involved do we allow the government into our lives? Perhaps the worst place to get troubled youth the help they needed when I was growing up in the 1980s was DYA. For most parents the legend that was the dungeon for the out-of-control kid was far more valuable as a legend never seen than a real experience. Remember those days and how mean our parents were when we so much as turned our heads during Mass? “You’re lucky that DYA is closed on Sunday.” I
can hear it and wonder how these same people are the nicest grandparents who ever walked the earth. Hmmm. The fear of being handed over to DYA was rooted in something real. If a child’s behavior was so toxic to his mother’s sanity, the government will take over. Big Brother comes to save the day.
Have we given Big Brother too much responsibility? Control? Power? If you look at our laws, the non profits serving pockets of our community, and the results of voter initiatives I can see how one may think our commitment to our civil liberties runs the spectrum of freedom and free markets from que sera sera to full blown prohibition. Even the reasons vary for implementing regulation in one area, but liberating the market in another. We’re a place that doesn’t necessarily condemn teen pregnancy, but we’re ok telling 20 year olds that they can’t use tobacco. We can’t use our cell phones in our cars without some handsfree technology, but no one bats an eye about drivers who hold a taco in one hand, fire sauce in the other, and the steering wheel at the supine surface where the thigh meets the knee. We can even gamble using bingo boards, pachinko and liberty parlors, and buff chickens, but we can’t have casinos or poker machines. Certain narcotics are illegal. The irony is alcohol. It is the one narcotic scientifically known to induce violence without any other factor present. Results vary from human to human, a fact known by any person familiar with a nightclub. Or was that the nightstick the police officer was holding? But why are drugs illegal? I’m not asking why drugs are bad or why you don’t like drugs. I’m wondering when it was that the government asked the question, “What’s up with these drugs and how can we keep everyone from abusing them?” Well, it didn’t quite start off that way. The drugs - both prohibited and prescription - became illegal to abuse for a much different reason. In 1906 Congress took up the debate of how to stop interstate commerce of up and coming edible products that prior to the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, passed the same day as the Federal Meat Inspection Act, went largely mislabeled and adulterated. The 1906 mandate, which was the precursor for every consumer protection law we have today, essentially required truth in labeling, and later, the monitoring and precision of purity and dosage, and consumer education. From the earliest days of the Food and Drug Administration, Uncle Sam made it its business to protect the American people from themselves. The Bureau of Chemistry, now known today as the FDA, became so concerned about the ignorance of the public upon the growing and diverse health substances industry, that it began classifying drugs, and that’s where today’s schedules of drugs comes from. There’s more to that whole history, but Wikipedia can take you there. I’m more concerned about what people are doing to
themselves and whether that concern is having its intended purpose because, the second concern I have is what society is doing to people. If I make the terrible choice one day to break into some stranger’s home and steal whatever property there I wanted to take, the reason I’d go to jail for the sake of justice probably will have two parts to it. First, society needs some assurance that a kick in the behavior alternator in my brain, followed by three to five years of repetitious reconfiguring of my morality and negative energy juju rewiring would rehabilitate my bad qualities prior to my release. This society, which values the sacred right of a property owner to his property, wants to hold those who do not share the same respect for other people’s property in a light of shame in order to prevent this alien disrespect from taking hold, and to sustain the mores and moral code of our fellow man. Why do people care so much if someone steals something that wasn’t their’s? It isn’t just because it’s the law. the law represents a simple truth, so that even if it weren’t against the law to steal, nothing about the truth of this matter changes. People care because it is wrong to take something someone else owns. It’s that simple. Go down the line of crimes you can commit against anyone. We live under the rule of law, many of them defining what it means for people to hurt you in certain ways,and how those, if convicted after due process of law, will find themselves anywhere from serving probation to never knowing freedom again, to a one-way ticket to meet your Maker.
are the users who lose their jobs or otherwise spend their paychecks on the high cost of the drug, and those who choose to steal from others so they can get their next high. How about marijuana? Generally, a light and fun disposition sets in, appetite increases, and body relaxes. Its effect on the human body are so widely known and understood that across the nation, states are releasing regulations on marijiana, either for the benefit of medicianal ciustomrs, or full on adult-use. Look, Im not advocating for the immediate deregulation of all drugs. Arguably, the Food and Drug Administration has a point that with the prevalence and powerful nature of antibiotics, psychoactives, opioids, steroids, and stimulants, the government has an interest in regulating the freedom we have to shop for these drugs and harm or kill ourselves or others. Or are these choices you should have the freedom to make? Has Big Brother just gone too far? And it’s not just with drug use. The government has included itself in the approval of your marriage, the strings upon which its help for you is premised, the choices you make in your car, when and where you can communicate with others on your cell phone, and how old you have to be to drink, smoke cigarettes, or go with friends to the club. Little by little, the government of Guam is becoming a greater presence in our lives.
Then there are crimes, called as such for no other reason than you can be arrested for these, and you may go to jail for making the personal decision to break the law. These are crimes that by and large exist to regulate the market as these laws do. What else can it do? What purpose do these laws serve? Because, first of all, the purpose of the police is to keep people from hurting each other. What will they say to the woman they caught gambling? Ma’am, step away from the five cards… Shame on you!”
A measurement of whether government’s role is wanting or reaching is the prison of whatever community is in question. We’ve just got one at the Department of Correction facility in MAngilao. On any given day there are a total of over 700 inmates and detainees doing their time there. Well over half their ‘crimes’ had something to do with drugs. Meaning, over half the people serveing time in service to the community they supposedly hurt, actually NEVER hurt a soul in their lives. There is something fundamentally wrong with how we see certain things in our society, and how we deal with these things.
What about the junkie? For no other reason than the nearempty bag of drugs that clearly went to his personal use, the government will scoop him up, put him in jaill, and hope he learns about life. Now, let’s consider the drug commonly known as ‘ice.’ There was a common maxim that, “Ice will shatter your life.” It was kinda true. The drug itself - take out every other factor surrounding it (its illegality, price, and ease of access) - caused the taker’s heart rate to accelerate, appetite to be suppressed, and a slight feeling of euphoria set in. But because it is illegal, it’s expensive. It is highly addictive, so it tends to drive users to want more than they can afford to take. From one high to another, the user’s accelerated heart rate causes the user to stay awake long after their bed time. People whose lives are “shattered”
‘Greater presence’ means nothing without this translation: we’ve systematically surrendered power that rightfully belongs with the people, to the government. It always happens innocently. We expect our government more and more to do for us what we don’t know how or simply don’t want to do. WE need to understand, if we’re ever going to ween ourselves from the prison we’re leading ourselves to, that expecting the government to do everything we expect someone else to do. We can’t see the government as an answer for everything. We cannot be upset every time we hear government officials arguing about the best way to do something - that really is the best way to produce the best answer - by challenging each other and digging our way to expose the truth to light.
firstname.lastname@example.org Campaign Headquarters: Tamuning Business Center, 942 South Marine Corps Drive, Tamuning, Guam Paid for by the We Love Todu Guam Committee Joseph “Malo” Baza Leon Guerrero, Treasurer
Published on Mar 10, 2018