The Long and the Short of It:
As the World Turns:
Merry Christmas from Guam: Where America's Day Begins
By Tony Artero (realtor)
Historically, men and women in our country’s military services sacrificed their life in defense of our freedoms. Yet many of our military veterans are overwhelmed by political and bureaucratic problems. There are numerous examples of such mistreatment.
On Guam, a U.S. soil, it has always been, “never mind the law.” The indigenous people were and still are treated as criminals by edict of the government. It is a tragedy which has befallen a friendly, patriotic, and peace-loving people who are needed by no one. Foreign powers has always wanted only the island for its strategic location and, after World War II, its people were evicted from their fertile lands.
The U.S. forcefully took two-thirds of the land on Guam under the guise of national defense. The taking was excessively more than needed, massively reducing the property tax roll, and then abandoning thousands of acres leaving them unused for decades for no good reason. The U.S. also dumped WWII toxic, hazardous, and explosive waste on private lands without permission and without compensation to this day. This is identical to the war reparation, which was never provided.
The excessive land taking is why Guam never recovered its prewar productivity level. Perhaps the drastic change in life style is responsible for the shorter life span today. To think that Guam’s people fed the Japanese Army with fresh food, although under threat of death, without the aid of food stamps and no one died from starvation. In peace time, without the importation of food and food stamps, many would starve to death. But to this day, private property rights still blatantly violated, sanctioned, and made to be politically correct by the powers that be. The people exist on government jobs, federal grants, GovGuam bailouts, FEMA recovery money, and other handouts. Yet, the dream is to be self-reliant again.
As the world turns, decades later, the federal government published a list of “Federally Declared Surplus Lands” followed by the closure of the Naval Air Station Agana. However, rather than taking the golden opportunity to right the wrong and place those properties back into the tax roll, GovGuam occupied the former NAS. Then GovGuam reluctantly dragged its feet in the return of other lands. And the people who were heavily damaged by the taking had to pay to right the government’s wrong doings. Similarly, GovGuam enacted the Chamorro Land Trust Act that leases lands at $1.00 per year for 99 years that is costing the tax payers $100.00 to collect the $1.00. It would be far better and fairer if GovGuam deed those lands under a deed of gift or quit claim deed and place those properties into the tax roll as well.
If it had not been for the federal hush money i.e. handout programs, bailouts, and grants Guam would have been in the bottom of the abyss if not already. Guam and its people need to be freed from this bureaucratic quagmire, which is totally counterproductive to both Guam and America.
The people are supposed to be the customers of the government, which includes the military and are supposed to be treated fairly. However, the people on Guam were and still are forced to serve the civil officials and the civil officials hold the military sacred. In the minds of those in power, “damn economic freedoms and justice the military is Guam’s ticket to the chow line.”
That protocol is “etched in stone” by Congress’s Organic Act of Guam enacted in 1950. This upside down government is the status quo. This lack of freedom and justice is certainly not what we had aggressively and violently fought for. In fact, this mistreatment is making a mockery of the old glory and especially the sacrifices of those who gave their life to keep America free.
Everything that means so much to America and the American people are outwitted. The tax burden on Guam may be low, but GovGuam expenses are astronomically high for the size of our island community. The rhyme and the reason are VOTES, obviously at all cost and GovGuam is on a perpetual downward spiral.
The officials, local and federal, have euthanized democracy and justice in Guam. They refused to right the wrong. The politicians are having just too much of a good time on the taxpayers’ expense to care about anything that means everything to America and its people. To expect proper and sincere representation is unrealistic – the conditions are the testimony, but business as usual all the time. Guam and America are not moving forward and the world's state of affairs is not getting any better either. Guam remains America’s biggest dirty little secret.
In retrospect, America’s actions for global dominance, which started after World War II, have mounted its toll on U.S. citizens in Guam. They have similarly mounted a heavy toll for Americans everywhere more evident after the 9-11 attacks on America. The subsequent creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which does not make anyone feel more secure, is but the mother of all cover-ups.
The damage on Guam’s local economy, which is highly un-American, has contaminated the environment as well. In peace time, the people of Guam put up with taxation without representation, rampant corruption, and increasing lawlessness including heinous crimes that go unsolved. This situation is ruining the image of America, and should rightfully be a black-eye to a country that prides itself on fairly taking care of its citizens. On Guam, there is no fairness, no democracy, and thus economic freedoms and justice are virtually extinguished on this U.S. soil.
In my particular case, never was I ever a threat to America, but America has been a threat to me and my family’s economic survival since 1941. I survived. I also survived the twenty-one years of arduous submarine duty in the Navy. I am now suffering from asbestos in my lungs and unable to continue productive manual work, but the VA denied my claim for compensation. Without justification, the VA claims my health issue is not service connected. Yet, all my life I was in asbestos free environments except for the many years on submarine duty. These are the “Thank Yous” the people of Guam are receiving, “from a grateful nation.”
High price for freedom
Monday, 22 December 2008 22:06 Letter to the Editor
The Marianas Variety
I realize in America people think and act as "free" people. However, the theory that "for every action there is equal and opposite reaction," applies to every aspect of our life.
The answer to our horrible and hateful behavior, which includes the behaviors of a "politically correct" society, lies in our attitude.
The problem in our great country today evolved from an attitude coming out of WWII. After winning at both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters in World War II, America became the biggest, the toughest, and is at the top of the world. The opposite reaction of that triumph is the machismo leadership attained.
The ending of WWII was a pivotal moment for America and we, as great as we are, started heading south. Americans look down on other people even when in the other people's countries.
Many of America's domestic and foreign policies are questionable, in fact, some are outright counterproductive.
From that machismo leadership attitude, political corruption (GREED) in America was made to be politically correct. All hell was breaking loose slowly at first and now; America is like a train on a fast track . . . all hell is breaking loose. America has created the politically correct "global economy" and is finally delivering a global economic meltdown. I HAVE NO FEELINGS FOR SUCKERS WHO LOOK TO THE WORKING CLASS TO BAIL THEM OUT OF THEIR MESS. GOD HELP US ALL. The price for "freedom" is at all cost to the hard working patriot.
People started to hate America. This "hate America" attitude is found even in America. Authors have been writing novels of the ugliness of America as they happened.
There is another thing that must be realized. The Oklahoma City federal building bombing wake-up call, April 19, 1995, "Bad Day Dawning" was conveniently brushed off under the cover of a mental case. I hope God gives some "leader" the gift of vision. They need to see the falling of America - collision imminent with the abyss. Some leader needs to and must stand up and start saying the obvious. Is Obama going to save America from falling?
In the spirit of the season, may the infant Jesus, Blessed Mother Mary, and Saint Joseph shower their blessings on you and your loved ones.