Saturday, October 30, 2004

un pidasun finayi ta'lo

"I mas baba na estao ti na chenglong (chatsaga') hao gi baba na guinife. I mas baba na estao, i estao ni' ti sina un eskapayi, nai chenglong hao gi i guinifen i otro."

Tahdong na finayi no?

Friday, October 29, 2004

Imperial America

Gore Vidal, June 4, 2004

"I remember years ago, Time magazine, in one of its numerous attacks on me, on my first book of essays, which was heaven knows when, 30, 40 years ago, I refer to the American empire and things that we were doing that were not very good across the world, and I referred to the empire. And Time magazine dismissed me. It was an awful review. He's the sort of person that says that the United States has an empire. Well, we’ve got Guam, that's true. That's all we have got. I pointed out that we had troops and so on in over 1,000 other places around the world. That seems imperial to me, but there we are."

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/04/1353259

I plan on writing about this in an article I'm working on. Even amongst the "left" as its called, Guam isn't even a blip on the radar. Its still invisible in a sense, and not worth citing as an example of anything worth fighting for or needing to be fixed.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Kao guaha famalao'an ni' gaiinteres?

Gi i ma'pos na mes umayute' ham yan i nobia-hu. Desde 1998 humami, ya gof makkat este na dinespatta. Lao debi di bai sungon este, ya tutuhun fanespiha otro (nuebu). Yanggen gaiinteres hao nu umasodda' maolek na lahi kalang Guahu, email ha' yu', pat fanaligao yu' gi PFG, gi este na link.

www.peoplefromguam.com/user.asp?id=979

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Democracy and Indigenous rights

I'm working on an article for a new Zine called "Salty" out of UC Riverside, I'm trying to piece together the place for indigenous rights in a so-called democracy. Where is the place for people who self-identify or are identified as indigenous within a supposedly "liberal" democratic collective? Their claim in that community is probably not based on residence or socialization only, but instead on a history which complicates the histories or fictions of the national community, why can there be no place for these people? Why is it that their claims get swallowed up by this ideal of everyone being equal or equally treated which can probably never even come close to being true?

I welcome any suggestions or comments about this issue. mlbasquiat@hotmail.com

Monday, October 25, 2004

Noam Chomsky on the election

Bush or Kerry?

Posted by Noam Chomsky at 11:15 AM

We should not be caught up in the massive propaganda campaign to focus attention, laser-like, on quadrennial personalized extravaganzas as if that constitutes democratic politics.

As I wrote in my one comment about this, a web post at Znet many months ago in response to repeated inquiries, we can’t ignore the extravaganzas, any more than we can ignore a hurricane, but it shouldn’t take much of our time and energy, and we should continue to work on far more important matters, creating the basis for a live, functioning democratic culture in which whoever happens to hold office will be compelled to respond to popular concerns and demands—and, some day, we may get to the stage where issues are permitted into the electoral arena and there are real choices of candidates. I have precisely emphasized [that] we should “not focus only on the individuals but on the underlying power interests that they represent,” and should be constantly working on this, not becoming obsessed with the extravaganzas, and spending only a few moments making (I think quite obvious) decisions about them. Within the existing framework of institutions, there are different options. Rumsfeld-Cheney-Wolfowitz etc. happen to constitute a radical jingoist extreme of the narrow spectrum, committed to violence and enhancing very serious military threats abroad and destroying what exists of decent government programs at home. That’s why they have received such unprecedented condemnation from the heart of the mainstream.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A few of the 100 factual reasons not to vote for Bush

From the Nation Magazine (http://www.thenation.com)

16. The Bush Administration has assigned five times as many agents to investigate Cuban embargo violations as it has to track Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's money.Source: sfgate.com

19. Vice President Cheney told voters that unless they elect George Bush in November, "we'll get hit again" by terrorists.Source: Washington Post

24. The Bush Administration granted the 9/11 Commission $3 million to investigate the September 11 attacks and $50 million to the commission that investigated the Columbia space shuttle crash.Source: commondreams.org

36. Top Bush Administration officials accepted $127,600 in jewelry and other presents from the Saudi royal family in 2003, including diamond-and-sapphire jewelry valued at $95,500 for First Lady Laura Bush.Source: Seattle Times

40. The Bush Administration turned a $236 billion surplus into a $422 billion deficit.Sources: Fortune, dfw.com

52. The Bush Administration underfunded the No Child Left Behind Act by $9.4 billion.Source: nwitimes.com

61. The Bush Administration blocked efforts to allow Medicare to negotiate cheaper prescription drug prices for seniors.Source: American Progress

63. In a case before the Supreme Court, the Bush Administrations sided with HMOs--arguing that patients shouldn't be allowed to sue HMOs when they are improperly denied treatment. With the Administration's help, the HMOs won.
Source: ABC News

64. The Bush Administration went to court to block lawsuits by patients who were injured by defective prescription drugs and medical devices. Source: Washington Post

66. Since President Bush took office, more than 5 million people have lost their health insurance.Source: CNN.com

76. The Bush Administration created a massive tax loophole for SUVs--allowing, for example, the write-off of the entire cost of a new Hummer. Source: Washington Post

79. The Bush Administration has proposed cutting the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by $600 million next year.Source: ems.org

81. Since 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft has detained 5,000 foreign nationals in antiterrorism sweeps; none have been convicted of a terrorist crime.Source: hrwatch.org

84. The Bush Administration, without ever charging him with a crime, arrested US citizen José Padilla at an airport in Chicago, held him on a naval brig in South Carolina for two years, denied him access to a lawyer and prohibited any contact with his friends and family.Source: news.findlaw.com

94. In June 1990 George Bush violated federal securities law when he failed to inform the SEC that he had sold 200,000 shares of his company, Harken Energy. Two months later the company reported significant losses and by the end of that year the stock had dropped from $3 to $1. Source: The Guardian

97. Last year the Bush Administration spent $6.5 billion creating 14 million new classified documents and securing old secrets--the highest level of spending in ten years.
Source: openthegovernment.org

98. The Bush Administration spent $120 classifying documents for every $1 it spent declassifying documents.
Source: openthegovernment.org

99. The Bush Administration has spent millions of dollars and defied numerous court orders to conceal from the public who participated in Vice President Cheney's 2001 energy task force.Source: Washington Post

The facts seem to say, don't vote for Bush...

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Pakyo'

Hu diseha mohon na manmaomaolek ha' todus hamyo ni' manggaige giya Guahan. Hu taitai inipusi hamyo ni' i pakyo', lao sina' guaha madestrosa. Ai kalang mas sesso na mamatto i pakyo pa'go. Hafa kumekeilek-na i mindo? Tengga an taiguini (i eriya-ta) ma faisen, "kao guaha baban bida-ta, pat bidada-ta?" Hekkua' lai, lao an sigi ha' mamta i mamamaillan na pakyo siha, debi di ta espiha kao guaha?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Three Chamorros dead in Iraq...

Three Chamorros have died in Iraq so far, and while to anyone belonging in an ethnicity or race who's numbers reach the high hundreds of thousands or even millions this may not seem like much. But if you are to contrast this number with the fact that there are only about 200,000 Chamorros in this world, then to lose three in a senseless, useless war is a loss that I can't fully comprehend.
Christopher Rivera Wesley died December 8 of last year. Michael Aguon Vega died March 20 of this year, and last week I learned that Jonathan Pangelinan Santos died on the 15th of October.
Their lives, their deaths and the ways they are remembered publicly give us incredible insight into so many things which plague our culture, and threaten the very survival of the Chamorros as a distinct people.
I feel compelled to write about this, even though what I will write might not make sense, or might not comfort anyone, or might just confuse people. Yet when confronted with this loss of life, and then confronted with reactions from people which make no sense to me, then I feel expressing myself in such a blatant and risky way is the only way that I can find my own solutions and strategies for understanding and then dealing with this. Its not perfect and its full of contradictions, logic traps, stops, flows and gaps. I don't have time to make this flow, and I don't feel the need to create any appearance of continuity or argumentative style other than what exists. Instead this will be written as it comes from my mind, therefore the only continuity it will require is my own fragmented form.


Diaspora...

When you read about these three soldiers, notice the way in which none of these troops were actually "from Guam." They were always raised elsewhere and at one point came to Guam. This is a new reality that we must deal with. There are more Chamorros in other places than the Marianas Islands, and that means that questions about authenticity, questions about sustainability will always haunt us, regardless of any and all strategies that we devise or enact. We must address these questions ourselves, but not let others use those questions to control us, as they have done so in the past. While others will say that the diaspora will destroy us, we must never agree to such a position, even though we may ourselves believe it. The idea that Chamorros in other lands, must give up their Chamorroness in order to assimilate is probably false, and all part of the means through which a dominant culture (inapa'ka) controls its marginal elements.


Identity...

In the way these soldiers are described, in particular Wesley in the main PDN article about his death, and Santos in an KUAM article, it is almost as if they are not Chamorro. This is a very specific and precise point, which one can miss if one isn't paying attention. Notice the way their place in Chamorro culture is described, they wanted to learn more, they were eager to learn more, but clearly because of their growing up in the states, or more importantly because of their joining the military, they are not Chamorro, and therefore come to Guam in order to "discover" their "roots." Or to find their Chamorroness, I Chinamorron-niha.
It is almost as if the Chamorroness has been stripped from them, because they live in the states, or more likely because they are in the military. The military is a reality of Chamorro culture/life and society on Guam, but we cannot let it control our identity in this way. I feel the military is the means by which Chamorros can not only improve their economics, but more importantly more concretely realize the American dreams they have been colonially cultured with. But the price and danger of these dreams, and the way they invade our lives and identities, is that we do not critique them as being racist, or denigrating, or in another way obviously excluding Chamorros based on the color of our skin, our colonial connection to the United States, or how our clinging to indigenous ideas about labor, time, family, community keep us from embracing the "real" American "dream." We are passively colonial subjects, who are dominated primarily by benefits rather than ill effects. Therefore analyzing these things is very difficult on a day to day process, because from the media, from schooling, from the histories we learn and hear, we are given identities, given dreams, and they don't seem to threaten or destroy, but instead only seem to offer. Because of the pervasiveness of this indoctrination, many Chamorros do not consciously interpret or translate these dreams, but merely accept them as is. As the way things are and should be.
Being in the states I often confront the most insane constructions of identity, most of them variations of this theme, "I am not Chamorro, but my parents are." It was easy to dismiss this statement when I first heard it, as sad, pathetic, but harmless. Now that I have heard young Chamorros from all over California make this statement, to me, and through emails, I realize the deculturation (what some would call assimilation) that is taking place.
A sad distinction is emerging for the young Chamorros of today, which is very pronounced in the states, but also very in effect on Guam, and that is of our youth thinking of themselves as chatChamorro. They are not Chamorro, they are not ti Chamorro, they are chatChamorro, which is an ambiguous identity, which means something very important and basically nothing at the same time. In the oral history of these soldiers retuning to Guam and learning about their culture, one can see clearly how they are Chamorro-Americans, or a more appropriate construction would be American-Chamorros, or AMERICAN chamorro. Where for many many reasons they come into this world completely detached from the millennia of history that created them and their parents and so on.
So when you read about how Santos or Wesley, were "into" their culture, we must step back and realize how we all talk about this issue. Being "into" one's culture, ultimately assumes that one is outside of one's culture, or not "in" one's culture, and we have to ask ourselves, is that true? Or is this something which has been constructed and we have taken to be the truth? Are these ideas about identity truly our own, or truly represent what we want or even see, or are they part of our colonial programming? When we see Chamorros attempting to re-assert, or "discover" their roots, their culture, their identity, do we celebrate it as a resurgence, or rather critique it as falling prey to the games of the colonizer? When we see Chamorros that have been haolified, or stripped of their history or culture, do we celebrate their Chumamomorro? Which usually amounts to the tourist-like collection of cultural artifacts and symbols, such as swear words or latte necklaces. Or do we instead assert the fact that esta ha' Chamorro, lao mabense gui' na otro. That he/she is already Chamorro, but they have been convinced that they are something else. This difference may be nothing to some, but if you think about white Americans returning to their "mother countries" after generations and "finding their roots," their exploits mean nothing, because all they find in Europe is inamerikanu, or Americaness. They go to Europe as Americans and find there, pieces of their American identity. For Chamorros, the journey is the same, Chamorro-Americans return to Guam, enrich their lives not as Chamorros, but as Americans. Thus, although all these soldiers came to Guam, wanting to know more about their culture, their language, they didn't leave the island as Chamorros. Why? Not because they didn't study enough, or didn't learn the language well enough, but because they came here as Americans, and all the learning in the world, won't transform them. For their explorations to enrich themselves as Chamorros, they must start as such, they must return to Guam as such.
The process must begin as a Chamorro returning to Guam, not to "discover" his roots, but instead to understand that they were already there, much in the way Magellan and Columbus didn't "discover" anything. They are Chamorros, and therefore their roots have always been there, as well as always been theirs. The use of the word "discover" is important, because it limits the way we think about these things, making sure that we see our Chamorroness, or others see their differences as being something unknown, something unfamiliar, foreign, and in the process of discovering it, the Americaness is asserting itself as the dominant piece of their identity, making sure that whatever is discovered is assimilated into their American identity, rather than transforming the individual into something else, or even admitting to something else existing separate. (the story of the man looking for his key on the street comes to mind as I write this. A man has lost his key on the street and is looking beneath a streetlight, a passerby asks him where he lost his key, the man responds, over there, pointing to the other side of the street. Well, why, the passerby asks, are you over here? Because the man responds, this is where the light is. In this, the light is the known, the admitted, the assumed Americaness, and the lost roots, the Chamorroness is naturally the key. The finding of that key, implying the escaping, bypassing, supplanting or marginalizing of the American identity with a Chamorro one, is a daunting task, which must at times feel like groping blindly in the dark. It is far easier to look beneath the light of one's Americaness (for the key) than face the potential complications of identity, hybridity, belonging or history which exist in whatever Chamorroness one may find beyond it.)


Patriotism...

The way Chamorro express their devotion to the United States, and therefore imagine their relationship to it, is what keeps us from understanding or truly knowing our history, from truly understanding our place in the world. The patriotism that so many Chamorros invoke to express their love or loyalty to the United States plays a huge role in preventing us from understanding that Guam is a colony, and that is bad, despite inclusion in social security or Medicare, it is bad! Baba enao che'lu, sa' hafa ti un ripapara? All the little token changes which take place, don't destroy or excuse the fact that Guam's relationship to the United States is based on racist and sometimes sexist ideas of Chamorros and Guam itself as being inferior. And all the cheap glowing letters of recognition and inclusion which the Chamorro people get every July 21st, which proclaim that they are a beautiful and important part of America mean absolutely nothing when one realizes that we are not beautiful or important enough to receive even the most basic democratic rights. (Or dignified enough to get at least the pretense of independence like the other Micronesian territories/colonies.)
Whenever I think about the place of Chamorros in America, especially those on Guam, I recall the comments made by a woman in Patricia Taimanglo's dissertation on inter-generation trauma and counseling of Chamorros. I can only paraphrase it here, but the woman in a sense says that we are only human when the government wants us to be. Annok i manaina-hu yan mane'lu-hu siha, na ma fa'chattaotao hit.
But as the lives and deaths of these soldiers in Iraq are remembered and comments are made about dying for freedom, or sacrificing to protect us, we, who know and understand war better than most Americans, are instead deceiving ourselves and believing the fictions of American patriotism and belonging, because we feel it gives us at a place at that table we have all been taught since school to love and desire. Instead of seeing how unfair our situation is and working to fix it, we justify these deaths, the deaths in Vietnam, the trauma of World War II and the daily injustices we experience based on the value such sacrifices and humiliations give us, that allow us to imagine that we are part of America. Although most would say that being an American means being part of a community in which we are all equal and treated the same, Chamorro from Guam participation in this community can only be made based on our being treated unequally. It is only by assuming the designated role of chattaotao that we are allowed to be some sort of American.


I Mamamaila...

I don't have any answers really, just more questions that need to be asked...but these are real issues that we must deal with, find solutions to, or at least find ways to negotiate and mitigate their effects. Will we allow the millennia of tradition, history, struggle and peoplehood which have created us, to dissipate and fade away? Will we allow those things to become a signpost along the freeways of American identity? Or become the faded photograph or portrait of ancestors from another land or a foreign time? Will we give up these things for a passport and an identity which requires us to think of ourselves as inferior in order to be an American? Or is there a way to navigate all of this, to truly manipulate the system which for so long as manipulated us, tying us into loyal knots around the mast of a tri-colored rag. Is there a place for Chamorros in America which isn't based primarily on exclusion and abstract humanless exploitation?
Personally I don't think so, but I'm willing to engage anyone who thinks there is.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Un Chamorro matai ta'lo giya Iraq

Ai lana, mampos lalalu put este. Atan i numero, sigi ha' tumakhilo', mas ki 1,100 pa'go, yan tres gi ayu ni' Chamorro, yan siete gi todu ginnen Micronesia.

Lao atan i respuesta ginnen i Chamorro put este na ginaddon. Kao manlalalu nu Uncle Sam put este? Kao mamlalalu nu Si Bush put este? Ahe', mantriste hunggan, ya siempre u fanggasaonaihon, lao kao para u ma kula i chinetton-ta (I US yan Guahan) put este? Pine'lo-ku ahe', yan na'ma'ase ayu.

Kuantos na Chamorro debi di u fanmatai para ta tutuhun dumiskukuti na debi di ta tulaika i estao-ta pulitikat?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Finayi put estoria

"Why bother to remember a past that cannot be made into a present."

Un pidasun finayi, ni' nina'inspire yu' kada na ha'ani, gi todu i che'cho-hu yan chine'gue-ku.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Pidasun finayi ginnen Ghost in the Shell 2

"Life and Death are both marrionettes wandering the same table. Cut their strings and they are easily ignored."

Hassuyi fan na'ya put este na idea. Kao sina ta gof komprende este gi i chi-na hinasson modern? Hinasso-ku ahe'. Guaha bula ni' i hinasson yan tiningo' modern, ni' ti ma hulat kumula pat umeksplika.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Sacrifice of Army Specialist Christopher Rivera Wesley

Just wanted to share with everyone the abstract for a paper I plan to write for a conference next year. Gof malago yu' kumula i estao i militat gi i ketturan Chamorro yan gi i hinasson Chamorro. Sa' hafa bula na Chamorro sigi ha' manaonao gi i setbisu? Ti sina put i kemissary ha', sa' atan siha, sesso manggofpatriotic lokkue, yan ma gof guaiya Amerika. Sa' hafa? Ti unu ineppe (repuesta), lao hu diseseha na maolek ha' yan nahong ha' an sigi ha' ta famaisen.

"The Sacrifice of Army Specialist Christopher Rivera Wesley"
Chamorros on Guam as Homo Sacer Soldiers."

On December 8, 2003, Christopher Rivera Wesley a Chamorro from Guam was killed in Iraq. Four months later another Chamorro, Michael Aguon Vega also died. Despite the unequal status of Guam in relation to the United States, media reports and local discourse surrounding both deaths made little to no mention of Guam’s colonial status. When family members in Guam commented on the soldier’s deaths, no one expressed anger over their not being able to vote for the President of the United States. No one said with regret that they wished they had a voting representative in the United States Congress. Instead, media representations and local discourse hovered around issues of justified sacrifice, honorable duty and service to country. Rather than being situated in the century’s long history of colonial abuse, exploitation and control in Guam, these deaths were instead celebrated as payments for debts Chamorros owe the United States for their freedom and liberty.

This paper uses the discourse created from the death of Wesley in order to analyze the Chamorro position as homo sacer or chattaotao, a national individual that lives in a process of inclusive exclusion, recognized as citizen, but not worthy of all the subsequent rights. Additionally, how do Chamorros on Guam use the military in order to bypass this marginalized position, and how is their status as homo sacer utilized to add an important dimension to the narratives that nations such as the United States use to justify the greatness and vitality of the nation-state?

Saturday, October 16, 2004

KAO UH HULAT HUMONGGE ESTE?

According to Naomi Klein's latest article "Reparations in Reverse," Iraq has been paying reparations to the first world since 1990, for the destruction of Kuwait. While some of the money has gone to citizens in Kuwait who were hurt or whose property was damaged in the invasion, the majority of the money has gone to Western Corporations.

Here's a few lucky corporations and how much their received: Halliburton ($18-million), Bechtel ($7-million), Mobil ($2.3-million), Shell ($1.6-million), Nestle ($2.6-million), Pepsi ($3.8-million), Philip Morris ($1.3-million), Sheraton ($11-million), Kentucky Fried Chicken ($321-thousand) and Toys R Us ($189,449). These payments are not attached to any destruction of their properties in Kuwait, but rather "loss of profits" as a result of the invasion.

And despite the current chaos in Iraq, the reparations to the West are still being paid. $1.8 billion since Saddam was toppled last April.

As if this wasn't bad enough, the Washington Post recently reported that of the $18 billion which was allocated to the reconstruction of Iraq by the US Congress, only "$29-million has been spent on water, sanitation, health, roads, bridges, and public safety—combined." Furthermore of that $18 billion, only 4 million has been given to Iraqis as compensation for loss of life or property during the American invasion last year. As Noami Klein has often reported the majority of this $18 billion spent as gone towards insurance for private contractors of corporations in Iraq.

Gof baba este, ti hu hulat humongge i taimamahlaon-niha este na 'neokon" siha. Ma hatme yan ma panas i nasion Irak. Pues ma prometi na para u ma fa'maolek yan na'lanuebu todu, lao atan siha. Taya' fina'maolek maloloffan, ma na'i ha' finaboresi siha, ya sigi ha' mamadesi i taotao Irak. Nai un atan i chine'guen US giya Irak, ti hu tungo' sa' hafa i taotao Guahan, ma hahasso na GovGuam is mas "corrupt.' Atan i US, ma goffaboresi Si Cheney yan i abok-na siha, sigi ha' ma faboresi i kometsiante militant ni' este na gera. Achokka' baba i corruption giya Guahan lokkue, mas atdet hafa ma chocho'gue giya Irak yan gi lagu.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Christopher Rivera Wesley, Michael Aguon Vega

I'm planning on writing an article and giving a presentation on what the lives of these two soldiers and how their deaths in Iraq were discussed in order to better understand the Chamorro position today in relation to the United States and the military. I feel that in the way discourse was created around their deaths, and how no one made any public mention about the colonial status of Guam, or situated their service in the colonial history of Guam, we can see clearly how Chamorros join the military in order to become Americans, to achieve a sense of equality with the America that they are colonially cultured with.

If anyone knew either of these two men and wants to tell me about them as people, or make comments about their deaths please comment here or you can email me at mlbasquiat@hotmail.com. Si Yu'us Ma'ase.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Last Debate

I just finished watching the last of the three presidential debates, and it still disturbs me as to why anyone thinks Bush is capable of anything other than memorizing cheesy lines and then delivering them badly.

Both Kerry and Edwards have done a far better job in actually answering questions or answering criticisms. Bush and Cheney however, just divert attention. In the VP debate, nearly every lance Cheney threw, Edwards responded (sadly sometimes in convoluted ways, but nonetheless he dealt with them). However when Edwards would throw one of his own, Cheney would merely respond with some vague criticism having to do with records or leadership.

Tonight Bush was particularly unable to answer questions. At least three times he answered questions about other topics with his spiel on education. On the topics which his record is dismal (other than terrorism) he can't even discuss them without resorting to bland generalities. Also he was unable to respond to any charges. Bush distorts Kerry's record, Kerry responds, Bush can't respond except by repeating the same fact, or tossing a scare label out such as "liberal."

Kerry is better than Bush in nearly everyway that should matter to human life. He is not what I want in a president, but on many issues he is a huge improvement over Bush. In the debates he also exhibited an intelligence that I would want a president. He is better able to understand things as they are, rather then the way we tend to construct them. This is of course not true on certain issues, especially those having to do with the military, militarism, foreign policy and Israel, but nonetheless he is obviously more capable. If he can survive three 90 minute debates, forced to deal with Bush's crap, without tearing out his hair and screaming, "ATAN GUI'! ANNOK NA MAMPOS KADUKU GUI'!" he is obviously capable of being president. (One thing I cannot stand at all is the anti-intellectualism that goes on around these debates. Bush used simpler words so therefore he is a better communicator, Kerry talks alot and nuances things therefore he's full of shit.)

But make no mistake, if he is elected he doesn't get a free pass. He still has to be held to his promises, and pushed to go beyond his political slogans and actually achieve some of the things he talks about, and then also re-evaluate things such as Iraq and Israel which I feel he is positioning himself on based on politics and getting elected, rather than what he truly feels. Kerry isn't anyone's savior, democracy still means that people have to fight power in order to get everything they need or deserve.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Hulolo' gi i Saddok

If the new film about John Kerry, "Up River" is playing in your area I highly recommend you watch it. I'm not saying this out of any love for John Kerry. Although I'll probably vote for him, his current political stands don't appeal to me, as there are too many uncomfortable similarities between him and Emperor Bush.

However, the film "Up River" is not about the John Kerry we see today. It is instead about a John Kerry that existed more than thirty years ago. The film isn't really about John Kerry in my opinion, but he is the soul through which the events of that era, Vietnam and the subsequent protests against it are viewed. Through his actions and his statements, as well as the discussions created using Kerry as the context, we see the war in a visceral and almost painful new light, but also see the veterans who protested it in a very human and almost sobering way.

For me the true value of the movie lies in its exploration of how these men were able to protest the war, and how they were able to give up and in a sense come to terms with something which was very much a part of them, whether they liked it or not. One of the film's final scenes is that of Vietnam veteran's throwing away their medals and citations. Thinking about the symbolism of this moment, and the intensity is must have created shakes me to my core. One of the vets interviewed in the film describes how hard it was to throw those medals away even though he knew he had to, because the war was a fraud. But even as men recounted the friends lost, and lives ruined for one of the biggest nothings in recent American history, and they let their medals fly or drop, one could tell that their identities were entangled in this mess. That they were committed and connected to this war in more ways that they could describe and for them to turn away from the rhetoric of it, and call it evil or call it wrong as they did must have taken a strength I can't fathom. So many vietnam vets I encounter have never been able to give up the war, and still defend it, because of what it would mean if they accepted the illegality, immorality and evil of that war.

These Vietnam vets were able to see the wrongness of the war, in some ways come to terms with their own limited responsibility for it, and then understand their further responsibility to end the war and turn the country around.

10 Reasons to get out of Iraq

posted on the FANAHGUE'YAN board, without attribution. Ti guahu tumuge'

1) The Human Costs Keep Increasing
On September 7 the death toll of US soldiers reached 1,000. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged that the insurgency is likely to turn even more violent. While the American death toll made headlines across the United States, the mounting number of Iraqi deaths, at least ten times greater, gets scant attention. The US military refuses to monitor or even estimate the number of Iraqi civilian casualties. As Gen. Tommy Franks described the Pentagon's approach earlier in Afghanistan, "We don't do body counts."
2) Iraqis Aren't Better Off
While the removal of the dictator Saddam was a welcome development for many Iraqis, the streets of Baghdad and other cities remain dangerous war zones. Clean water, electricity and even gasoline in this oil-rich country are all in even shorter supply than during the dark years of economic sanctions. Women face new restrictions and new dangers. Democracy, freedom and human rights appear out of reach. And Iraq remains occupied by 160,000 foreign troops, with all of the indignity that military occupation brings.
3) The War Is Bankrupting America
This year's federal budget deficit will reach a new record--$422 billion. The Bush Administration's combination of massive spending on the war and tax cuts for the wealthy means less money for social spending. The Administration's fiscal-year 2005 budget request proposes deep cuts in critical domestic programs. It also virtually freezes funding for domestic discretionary programs other than homeland security. Among the programs the Administration seeks to eliminate: grants for low-income schools and family literacy; Community Development Block Grants; Rural Housing and Economic Development; and Arts in Education grants.
4) Halliburton's War Profiteering
The US government's Iraq reconstruction process has cost both Iraqis and Americans. Instead of boosting Iraqi self-determination by granting contracts to experienced Iraqi businesses and working to lower the huge unemployment problem inside Iraq, the US government has favored US firms with strong political ties. Major contracts worth billions of dollars have been awarded with limited or no competition. American auditors and the media have documented numerous cases of fraud, waste and incompetence. The most egregious problems are attributed to Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former firm and the largest recipient of Iraq-related contracts.
5) The "International Coalition" Is Fleeing
The "coalition," always more symbolically than militarily significant, is unraveling. While the impact is felt more at the political than military level, the Bush Administration's claim that it is "leading an international coalition" in Iraq is increasingly indefensible. Eight nations have now left the coalition and many other countries have reduced their contingents. Singapore has left only thirty-three soldiers in Iraq out of 191, and Moldova's forces have dwindled to twelve.
6) Recruitment for Al Qaeda Has Accelerated
The war against Iraq is leaving US citizens more vulnerable to terrorist attacks at home and abroad. According to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the best-known and most authoritative source of information on global military capabilities and trends, the war in Iraq has accelerated recruitment for Al Qaeda and made the world less safe. It estimates worldwide Al Qaeda membership now at 18,000, with 1,000 active in Iraq. It states that the occupation has become the organization's "potent global recruitment pretext," has divided the United States and Britain from their allies and has weakened the war on terrorism.
7) The War Is Draining First Responders From Our Communities
Since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 364,000 Reserve and National Guard troops have been called for military service. This spring alone, 35,000 new Guard troops were sent to Iraq. Their deployment puts a particularly heavy burden on their home communities, because many of them serve as "first responders," including police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. A poll conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum found that 44 percent of police forces across the nation have lost officers as a result of deployment to Iraq.
8) Torture at Abu Ghraib
The Bush Administration claimed that the liberation of Iraqis from the inhumane rule of a dictator was a good-enough reason for taking military action against that country. Now investigations of the US military's torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib has stripped the United States of even that wobbly claim. The Bush Administration has tried to blame a "few bad apples" for the torture, but abuse has been widespread, with more than 300 allegations of abuse in Afghanistan, Iraq or Guantánamo. Many more may exist, in light of the fact that Army investigators revealed in early September at a Congressional hearing that as many as 100 detainees were hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross at the request of the CIA. This was part of a larger strategy by the government, described by Human Rights Watch as "decisions made by the Bush Administration to bend, ignore, or cast rules aside."
9) Many Americans Oppose the War
Polls conducted in August 2004 by the CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup and the Pew Research Center showed a great divide in the country: 51 percent believe that "the situation in Iraq was not worth going to war over" and 52 percent disapprove of the way President Bush is handling the war. Almost 60 percent believe that President Bush does not "have a clear plan for bringing the situation in Iraq to a successful conclusion."
10) No "Sovereignty" Has Been Transferred
The US occupation of Iraq officially ended on June 28, in a secret ceremony in Baghdad. Officially, the Americans handed "full sovereignty" to the Iraqi Interim Government. This was sovereignty in name, not in deed. Not only do 160,000 troops remain to control the streets, but the "100 Orders" of former CPA head Paul Bremer remain to control the economy. Although many thought the "end" of the occupation would also mean the end of the orders, on his last day in Iraq, Bremer simply transferred authority for the orders to the undemocratically appointed interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, who has longtime ties to the CIA

Monday, October 11, 2004

Its oba

Ai lana...

I came up with a logo and slogan for the slang phrase Oba Skoba. I knew that there already was a line out there for it, but I didn't think that anyone had come up with a t-shirt with "it ain't oba til its skoba" on it. Ai dimalas, sa' humalom yu' gi http://www.guamgifts.com, ya hafa guihi esta? Un franelan palao'an ni' gailogo ni' sumangan "it ain't oba til its skoba." Ai adai, pine'lo-ku na nuebu i fina'tinas-hu, lao ahe'.

Sinembatgo, ya-hu ayu na sinangan.

Dandan Chamorro

Humanao yu' nigap-na para i Puenggen Minagof na finanu'i. Bula guihi na hu gosa, yan put ayu malulok yu', lao bula lokkue ni' muna'desganao yu'.

Nai hu atan i manachaamko'-hu na Chamorro siha pa'go, taya' interes-niha mismo nu dandan Chamorro. Ya nai hu sangan este "dandan Chamorro" ti hu kekekolat un kosas pat un moda, bula na klasin dandan sina dandan Chamorro, ya achokka' mandiferentes i espiritu, i minengmong Chamorro. Yanggen un atan i meggaina na mandanderu siha pa'go, kalang ma chuchule' i fotman Ingles (Reggae, Pop, Rock) ya ma hehemmot pat ma fongfongfong halom i modan Chamorro. Humuyongna na I'Ingles ha' i kanta, lao mapula' gi otro na fino'.

Yanggen malago hit mama'tinas dandan Chamorro, ni' mismo Chamorro, yan rumepresensenta i kottura-ta, i hinasso-ta siha, yan i estao-ta gi hilo' tano, debi di ta chule' ayu na fotman sanhiyong yan tulaika gui'. Mungga pula' ha', tulaika yan na'Chamorro gi maseha nina'sina-mu.

Si J.D. Crutch yan meggai na fina'tinas-na fuma'nu'nu'i taimanu chumo'gue este. Hunggan bula i kanta-na, manmapula' ha', lao bula matulaika gi i pinila'. Kalang nudu i fotman Amerikanu, yan nai Si Crutch ha chule' yan ha na'iyo-na, ha na'gainuebu na lina'la' yan espiritu.

Gi i Puenggen Minagof na fina'nu'i, hu hungok i inetnon DUB, ya annok na manggapas na inetnon danderu siha. Lao kao guaha na sina ma na'setbe i kinapas pat in kinalamyan-niha, ya fa'tinas tahdong yan gos Chamorro na kanta siha? Kumekeilek-hu ni' "gos Chamorro" na mismo iyo-ta, ti copia ha', ti maayao ha'. Kumekeilek-hu, achokka' na ma ayao i palabras, ma na'siguru na fina'tinas Chamorro nai munhayan.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Otro na kantan Mr. Crutch

Another fantastic song from Mr. J.D. Crutch. about a man who is singing of his love for a woman who was once in love with him. Now she is with another and the bells of the chapel are ringing for their marriage, but the singer wishes they were ringing for him instead.

Ai sesso gof fotte i kanta-na Si Mr. Crutch. Ma na'laolao i kerason-hu, sa' nao'ao yan annok i siniente-na gi i besa-na i kakanta.


Madandan I Kampana
By J.D. Crutch

Manhatsa yu sadi’gani gi katsada
Mamahan yu aniyun umasagua
Para bai pega neni gi kalulot-mu
Lao un diroga neni i kontrata-ta

Madandan i kampana gi kapiya
Kalan mohon para hita neni na dos
Maisa yan tristi-u gi asun-hu
Sa’ esta hao guinaiyaku mapos

Madandan i kampana gi kapiya
Ma besti man gatbo na flores
Umitde i pinikkat-mu hulo’ gi attat
Lao guahu gi un banda tumatanges

Madandan i kampana gi kapiya
Kalan mohon para hita neni na dos
Maisa yan tristi-u gi asun-hu
Sa’ esta hao guinaiyaku mapos

Madandan i kampana gi kapiya
Mamokkat hao gi attat yan otro
Manlaolaolao neni i korason-hu
Sa’ i kampana ti ma dandan para guaho

Madandan i kampana gi kapiya
Kalan mohon para hita neni na dos
Maisa yan tristi-u gi ason-hu
Sa’ esta hao guinaiyaku mapos
Madandan i kampana gi kapiya
Kalan mohon para hita neni na dos
Kalan mohon para hita neni na dos

Si Yu'us Ma'ase ta'lo Si Chamoruboy para i fina'tinas-mu. http://www.chamoruboy.com

Thursday, October 07, 2004

EMPIRE

One good analysis of the current shape of global powers of control and subjugation is by Michael Hardt and Tony Negri titled Empire. I really think anyone wanting to understand the emergence of organizations such as the World Bank or the World Trade Organization and why they possess so much power, or why theories such as just war are returning to regular discussions, should read this book for some insight.

Empire, by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, you can find it on Amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles.com.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Cheney v. Edwards

Kao un hongge este na dos? Pumalakse todu tiempo. Lao atan Si Cheney, mas atdet iyo-na, sa' kada Si Edwards ha tacha gui', sumuhayi Si Cheney, tumayok yan sumuhayi. Si Cheney chumaka' i record bobota Si Kerry. Ineppe-na Si Edwards, parehu iyo-mu, ya bula lokkue ni' baba hun gi i record bobota-mu. Lao hafa repuesta-na Si Cheney nu i tinacha-na Si Edwards? Sumuhayi, ilek-na baba ha', hokkok ha' i record-na Si Kerry. Hokkok ha'.

Ai na'ma'ase, ga'na-ku Si Ralph Nader yan Peter Camejo kinu este siha na mampolitikat. Manaklalu todu, sa' ekungok Si Kerry yan Si Bush, "bai hu puno' i terrorists siha. Bai hu peska, kahat yan puno' todu siha antes di sina ma hatme hit." Ai na'ma'ase, sa' atan Iraq pa'go, sigun i mediku siha gi i espitat Iraqi, pinat maninnosensia ni' manmamatai.

Esta annok na ya-na Si Bush este na gera, sa' Guiya tumutuhun i dinimalas. Lao ya-na Si Kerry lokkue na ta konsigi mo'na gi este na karrera. Ai LAIME!

Maolekna i karreran politikat giya Guahan, sa' gof malago yu' bumota Si Unda'ut, sa' hu gof tungo' na Guiya maolekna kinu i otro na gayu. Lao guini pa'go, gi este na karreran US. Ti hu tungo' lai, baba todu, lao unu babana kinu i otro. Ai na'ma'ase, taimanu sina ma fa'na'an este na nasion "democratic" nai dos ha' na inayek para este na gof impottante na che'cho. Ti magahet este.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

History repeats...

In Vietnam, Guam had one of the highest casualty rates in the United States and its colonies. Today we find Guam and Micronesia as having the highest rate, according to the PDN 1 death for every 74,000, which is nearly four times higher than the rest of the country.

The PDN story on this shocking, but expected fact. The article which could be useful and instructive is instead a whitewash of the basic issues involved, in that the people who are dying in Iraq from these areas share similar colonial and neo-colonial legacies, and the article doesn't even approach them. Chamorros still dying without equality, the Micronesian islands supposedly independent, but thousands of young people are pulled into the US military.

As usual, big picture questions aren't the PDN's specialty, its only when it comes to issues of military strategic needs and the philosophy of private power and privatization that suddenly the big picture of anything is worth discussing.

Check out the October 5th PDN for the article.

Monday, October 04, 2004

CHAMORUS SHOULD HAVE FIRST CHOICE

An article posted on our message board, I just sent out the latest zine this evening, lao I forgot to include this in it, I'll make sure it goes in the next one though. Despensa che'lu, usuni fan, sa' i passion-mu gof likidu yan hassan gi i manachaamko'-mu siha.

CHAMORUS HAVE FIRST CHOICE
Written By: Brandon Cruz *Kaluko671*
Age:16
Resident of Dededo, Guahan

The answer about having the Self-Determination Plebiscite this year should be considered. As a native and a descendant of the first inhabitants of this island "I Taotao Tano," I urgly reccomend that the vote takes place this year.

Our people have been waiting for decades to vote on Independance, Free Association, Commonwealth, or Statehood. Our people have gone depressed, hopeless, and half of them have given up because of the U.S. denying our rights to choose our Self-Determination. When will our people have the right? It should be now.

Many of the countries that have taken over us, have positively and negatively influenced our people, and executed thousands. Our people had to organize groups such as Nasion Chamoru, Chamoru Information Activist, and many others just to stand and unite to voice out our opinion. Our people are dying day by day, our culture is slowly drifting away, and the language is getting wiped out. We the people of Guahan need to change our political status. Not only to benefit our people as a whole, but to also try and unite with our northern islands of Saipan, Luta, Tini'an and the rest of the 11 islands.

We are not being racist and prejudice because of a Chamoru-Only Vote. We are the native people. We should be allowed because we are the people here before all the Westerners and Foreigners. We are the people who like the Native Americans need our lives to prosper and grow as people, knowing that we have accomplished something, and that's our right to Self-Determination. The crying and sufferings of our people anxiously await the request of the plebiscite. Please elected leaders and all Guamanians both Chamoru and Non-Chamoru. Give us the chance to make a difference for once in 400 years of colonization.

Un kantan Mr. Crutch ta'lo

Another beautiful song from J.D. Crutch. This one titled, "langhet i asagua-hu," in which the singer describes how much he loves his wife, comparing her to heaven. It is a beautiful song, which loses some of its power when its translated into English, which is why I'm only putting it in Chamorro. For those who can't speak it or read it, sorry.

Guiya Yu’ na la’la’la’
Tai langli guinaiyaña
Guiya pulan yan atdao
I palaoan ni hu guaiya

Langet i palaoan-hu
Langet i asaguahu
Ha beste yu siha minaolek
Yan guaha mas para guahu

Gigon manana ya hu li’e gue
Hu hasso langet yan I magahit
Guiya solo linala’hu
Langet-hu I asaguahu

Langet i palaoan-hu
Langet i asaguahu
Ya guaho ha’ malagoña
Taya’ lokkue mas ki guiya

Langet i guinaiya ña
Langet i pinacha ña
Ya mentras ha’ humahami
Langet ai sadi’gani

Gigon manana ya hu li’e gue
Hu hasso langet yan I magahit
Guiya solo linala’hu
Langet-hu I asaguahu

Langet i palaoan-hu
Langet i asaguahu
Ya guaho ha’ malagoña
Taya’ lokkue mas ki guiya

Langet i guinaiya ña
Langet i pinacha ña
Ya mentras ha’ humahami
Langet ai sadi’gani

Gigon manana ya hu li’e gue
Hu hasso langet yan I magahit
Guiya solo linala’hu
Langet-hu I asaguahu
Langet i palaoan-hu
Langet i palaoan-hu

Si Yu'us Ma'ase ta'lo nu Si Chamoruboy, sa' Guiya tumuge' pappa' i palabras, ya ha pega gi iyo-na website, http://www.chamoruboy.com.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Bunita na kanta este

In preparation for the Chamorro concert coming up next week, just thought I'd post lyrics this week. Chamorro songs are so beautiful. If you're not Chamorro then you might not think so, but for those of us who are Chamorro and who can understand Chamorro, then there is nothing quite like listening to a truly powerful and emotional song in the Chamorro language.

JD Crutch was the perfect example of how powerful and inspiring Chamorro songs could be. He inspired a generation of not just Chamorros but non-Chamorros on Guam as well. I am always surprised how many non-Chamorros on Guam know his songs such as "apu magi" or "bente unu yu' gi presu."

Here are the lyrics to one of his most touching songs, "asagua-hu." Which is a man singing about how much he loves his wife, and how hard she works, and she one day she's gone and the husband tells God to take good care of her.

Kayos yan amko i dos kanaiña
I checho'na meggai taya diskansaña
Lao ha usuni estaki hana' fonhayan
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan

Chunggi yan kalau i gapotiluña
Lao ha poksai i dies finañaguña
Ya chatsaga i chalan annai maloffan
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan

I chalan ni ha faposgui
Chatsaga yan gos na' piniti
Ai mai'ot na chalan
Lao si Yu'us ha agang
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan

Yan un konne Saina i asaguahu
Na'i Saina guenao ni palasyo
Sa' i tinago'mu todu ha na' fonhayan
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan

Konne Saina ya in hamyo gi langet
Sa' gi tano hagas gos masapit
Na' felis yaon babayi in chalan
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan

I chalan ni ha faposgui
Chatsaga yan gos na' piniti
Mai'ot na chalan
Lao si Yu'us ha agang
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan
I asaguahu i asaguahu na palaoan


Hu sodda' este na palabras gi as Chamoruboy. Si Yu'us Ma'ase nu Guiya para i gos maolek na fina'tinas-na. Sina un sodda' mas guihi gi http://www.chamoruboy.com

Friday, October 01, 2004

Hayi mangganna gi i debate?

Who won the debate?

From what I've read John Kerry. Although personally I don't support what he has become, I am glad that he was able to bitchslap the Android who would be president a couple times tonight. The mainstream media is doing their best to ensure that the debate is interpretted as a draw, I guess the idea of Bush as a moron and the false echo effect of John Kerry flip flopping cancel each other out, leaving the poor media so confused and befuddled as to who is more presidential looking or Manichean enough to sound bite and spit out each evening.

Here is the best article I've found so far about the debates, clearly covering blow by blow how Kerry won, beating Bush into several corners, and making him look less like a idiot president and more like the class moron, who gets some revengeful satisfaction by making faces while other people talk. Atan fan.

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=3687

Economic info

FYI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2004 Mike Bergman CB04-175 Public Information Office (301) 763-3030/457-3670 (fax) (301) 457-1037 (TDD) e-mail: <pio@census.gov>

Economic Census

Retail Trade, Tourism Pace Guam's Economy The retail trade sector of Guam's economy recorded the most sales and receipts for goods and services ($1.3 billion) of all industries covered in the 2002 Economic Census, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today.
The report, 2002 Economic Census of Island Areas: Guam [PDF], said tourism-related industries also comprised a large portion of Guam's economy: accommodation and food-service businesses employed the most people (11,199), had the largest annual payroll ($169 million) and collected $630 million in receipts.

Other highlights:

? Overall, 2,926 Guamanian businesses were covered in the census. These businesses had sales of $4.6 billion, employed 43,104 people and had an annual payroll of $846 million.

? Within the retail trade sector, general merchandise stores accounted for $299 million in sales, more than 20 percent of total retail sales.

? Wholesalers had sales of $516 million, employed 1,920 people and had an annual payroll of $43 million.

The report contains the first economic census information for Guam based on the North American Industry Classification System. Previous censuses were based on the Standard Industrial Classification System, so 2002 data for most industries are not directly comparable with previous economic censuses. Economic census data are subject to nonsampling error, which includes errors of response, processing, nonreporting and coverage. -

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