Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Minahalang

Hekkua' hafa bei post pa'go.

Taya' gi hinasso-ku fuera di na gof mahalang yu' nu i tano'-hu.

Ai adai, ti ya-hu i lina'la' guini.

I kistumbre, ti ya-hu. Sa' debi di bai individual guini, ya ga'na'-ku an gi linahayan.

Mankinenne' todu guini ni' inindividual, lao ti magahet yan ti anggokuyon.

Gi este na lina'la' debi di ta na'chilong i sinienten ininu yan linahayan.

Yanggen un aguguiyi unu ni' i etro, siempre pon na'basnak todu.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Tinige' Naomi Klein

Un otro na tinige' Si Naomi Klein...

Kerry and the Gift of Impunity
by Naomi Klein

Iconic images inspire love and hate, and so it is with the photograph of James Blake Miller, the 20-year-old Marine from Appalachia who has been christened "the face of Falluja" by prowar pundits and "The Marlboro Man" by pretty much everyone else. Reprinted in more than a hundred newspapers, the Los Angeles Times photograph shows Miller "after more than twelve hours of nearly nonstop deadly combat" in Falluja, his face coated in war paint, a bloody scratch on his nose, and a freshly lit cigarette hanging from his lips.

Gazing lovingly at Miller, Dan Rather confessed that, "for me, this is personal.... This is a warrior with his eyes on the far horizon, scanning for danger. See it, study it, absorb it. Think about it. Then take a deep breath of pride. And if your eyes don't dampen, you're a better man or woman than I." A few days later, the LA Times declared that its photo had "moved into the realm of the iconic." In truth, the image just feels iconic because it is so laughably derivative: It's a straight-up rip-off of the most powerful icon in American advertising (the Marlboro Man), which in turn imitated the brightest star ever created by Hollywood (John Wayne) who was himself channeling America's most powerful founding myth (the cowboy on the rugged frontier). It's like a song you feel like you've heard a thousand times before--because you have.

But never mind that. For a country that just elected a wannabe Marlboro Man as its President, Miller is an icon, and as if to prove it he has ignited his very own controversy. "Lots of children, particularly boys, play 'army' and like to imitate this young man. The clear message of the photo is that the way to relax after a battle is with a cigarette," wrote Daniel Maloney in a scolding letter to the Houston Chronicle. Linda Ortman made the same point to the editors of the Dallas Morning News: "Are there no photos of nonsmoking soldiers in Iraq?" A reader of the New York Post suggested more politically correct propaganda imagery: "Maybe showing a Marine in a tank, helping another GI or drinking water, would have a more positive impact on your readers."

Yes, that's right: Letter-writers from across the nation are united in their outrage--not that the steely-eyed smoking soldier makes mass killing look cool but that the laudable act of mass killing makes the grave crime of smoking look cool. It reminds me of the joke about the Hasidic rabbi who says all sexual positions are acceptable except for one: standing up, "because that could lead to dancing."

On second thought, perhaps Miller does deserve to be elevated to the status of icon--not of the war in Iraq but of the new era of supercharged American impunity. Because outside US borders, it is, of course, a different Marine who has been awarded the prize as "the face of Falluja": the soldier captured on tape executing a wounded, unarmed prisoner in a mosque. Runners-up are a photograph of 2-year-old Fallujan in a hospital bed with one of his tiny legs blown off; a dead child lying in the street, clutching the headless body of an adult; and an emergency health clinic blasted to rubble. Inside the United States, these snapshots of a lawless occupation appeared only briefly, if at all. Yet Miller's icon status has endured, kept alive with human interest stories about fans sending cartons of Marlboros to Falluja, interviews with the Marine's proud mother and earnest discussions about whether smoking might reduce Miller's effectiveness as a fighting machine.

Impunity--the perception of being outside the law--has long been the hallmark of the Bush regime. What is alarming is that it appears to have deepened since the election, ushering in what can best be described as an orgy of impunity. In Iraq, US forces and their Iraqi surrogates are assaulting civilian targets and openly attacking doctors, clerics and journalists who have dared to count the bodies. At home, impunity has been made official policy with Bush's nomination of Alberto Gonzales--the man who personally advised the President in his infamous "torture memo" that the Geneva Conventions are "obsolete"--as Attorney General.

This kind of defiance cannot simply be explained by Bush's win. There has to be something in how he won, in how the election was fought, that gave this Administration the distinct impression that it had been handed a "get out of the Geneva Conventions free" card. That's because the Administration was handed precisely such a gift--by John Kerry.

In the name of "electability," the Kerry campaign gave Bush five months on the campaign trail without ever facing serious questions about violations of international law. Fearing he would be seen as soft on terror and disloyal to US troops, Kerry stayed scandalously silent about Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo Bay. When it became clear that fury would rain down on Falluja as soon as the polls closed, Kerry never spoke out against the plan, or against the illegal bombings of civilian areas that took place throughout the campaign. Even after The Lancet published its landmark study estimating that 100,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the invasion and occupation, Kerry repeated his outrageous (and frankly racist) claim that Americans "have borne 90 percent of the casualties in Iraq." His unmistakable message: Iraqi deaths don't count. By buying the highly questionable logic that Americans are incapable of caring about anyone's lives but their own, the Kerry campaign and its supporters became complicit in the dehumanization of Iraqis, reinforcing the idea that some lives are insufficiently important to risk losing votes over. And it is this morally bankrupt logic, more than the election of any single candidate, that allows these crimes to continue unchecked.

The real-world result of all the "strategic" thinking is the worst of both worlds: It didn't get Kerry elected and it sent a clear message to the people who were elected that they will pay no political price for committing war crimes. And this is Kerry's true gift to Bush: not just the presidency, but impunity. You can see it perhaps best of all in the Marlboro Man in Falluja, and the surreal debates that swirl around him. Genuine impunity breeds a kind of delusional decadence, and this is its face: a nation bickering about smoking while Iraq burns.

Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (Picador) and, most recently, Fences and Windows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (Picador).

© Copyright 2004 The Nation

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Nina'chalek Chamoru

Chamorro jokes and jokes from other islanders/peoples in the Pacific. Some of them are messed up, others of them are hysterical.

http://pacifictimes.tripod.com/jokes.htm

Friday, November 26, 2004

We are a COLONY!

from the Pacific Daily News

Thursday, November 9, 2000

Status change lacks legs to stand on.
by Charles Troutman

I am not surprised that our political leadership is not leading the way toward status change. There is nothing to which they, or any other group, can lead us. No one seems to have a publicly accepted philosophy of government sufficient to support a status change and certainly none that is internal to Guam.

The right to self-determination is generated by the United Nations Charter, to which the United States adheres when it is convenient. Our discussions over commonwealth status have made it abundantly clear that the United States, despite Guam's problems, finds it inconvenient to recognize anything but the status quo.

No one has suggested, apart from commonwealth and statehood, just what our new government would look like. Compare that to the 13 colonies before and during the American Revolution. They possessed the three pillars -- or stool legs -- necessary to sustain an evolving, independent government in the future.

The first was a serious dissatisfaction with Britain's policies. Except for land issues and the corrosive effects of being treated as not part of the "people" of the American Constitution, there is really little to sustain enough dissatisfaction with the United States to support a major change in status, especially against their opposition. The second was a philosophy of government. While this evolved extensively from the time of the Declaration of Independence to the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution, and through the Civil War and New Deal, the basic philosophy has remained strong. I have heard of no positive philosophy of government expressed by any leader or group on Guam. The third pillar is/was the strong belief that the Creator endowed men with certain inalienable rights. They were not granted by governments, thus not subject to withdrawal by the government. Rather, the government was tasked with upholding and protecting these rights.

John Adams wrote that about 30 percent of the colonial population supported the revolution, 30 percent didn't care and the remainder supported staying with Great Britain. Not exactly a formula for unanimity. Still, enough of the founding fathers knew in what direction they were going to endow the Revolution with a complete purpose, not just of being free from Great Britain, but of forming a new government and society in America. Where is that purpose on Guam?

Since all three legs are necessary for stability or status change, as well as for stools, I see no successful movement for status change until Guam can formulate a complete set of reasons, internally, for our status change.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

US War Crimes (so what else is new?)

From http://www.commondreams.org
Why is this assertion ridiculous? Why is it insane that we hold US troops and leaders to the legal standards which others such as Saddam Hussein, Milosovich, Agusto Pinochet are being held? If the United States is truly interested in spreading democracy and equality before the law and before humanity, then shouldn't it begin by signing international law treaties? Which would make all nations the same before the law? Ask someone who disagrees with this to explain why, and they won't have much to say except that its "ridiculous."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 - 12:30pm

by Russell Mokhiber


Mokhiber: Kofi Annan in September said that the Iraq war is an illegal war. If it is an illegal war, then the 100,000 who have died there – according to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health – are victims of war crimes. Now, the President is going to Canada later this year. And the largest circulation newspaper in Canada (the Toronto Star) printed a column yesterday titled “Should Canada Indict Bush?” – raising the question of a war crimes prosecution. They have a war crimes law in Canada. And I’m wondering –

Scott McLellan: Do you have a question or is it just a statement of opinion?

Mokhiber: No, this is the question. Has the White House counsel looked at the President’s legal exposure to a war crimes prosecution?

Scott McLellan: It is a ridiculous question that you bring up. You were out on the Nader campaign at the time that this issue came up. It was addressed at that time. And I’m not going to go through it again.

Guaiya yu' an un atotga

Ai gof fotte este na kachido', lao ti siguru' yu' na bai hu hulat umeksplika gui' gi fino' Chamorro.

Egga' i kachido' "love me if you dare," (mismo gi fino' Frances). Pau fina'nu'i hao na gof tahdong yan gof kaduku guinaiya. Meggai i manera na sina humuyong, lao todu dipotsi tahdong. Impottante na ta espiha i tinahdong na siniente, enlugat di i inannok na sinangan. Mungga ma hongge ha' an guaha ni' sumangan "hu guaiya hao," atan para i kinalamten ni' sumangan "guinaiya" pat muna'siente hao i tinahdong-na nu Hagu.

Impottante i tinahdong, sa' gof piligro guinaiya. An un bense hao na mangguaiya hao, debi di un baba hao todu, yan babayi gui' (nu i taotao ni' un guaiya) ni' Hinagu (todu ni' Hagu). Gof piligro este, sa' achokka' sina un siente na gof tahdong ni' inasinienten-miyu, taya' siniguru esta ki umatoktok hamyo yan umunu i hinasson-miyu.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I Manaiguma' giya Guahan

Kao linemlem hamyo ni' i matulaika-na Guahan? Estaba mangof banidosu hit put i minangge' i kutturan Chamorro giya Guahan, sa' gof geftao, ya pues taya' ni' taiguma'. Lao sigun i PDN, matulaika todu, ya sigi ha' mamta i manaiguma' giya Guahan.

Hayi ta sukne put este? Hita? Sa' ti ta dalalalaki yan o'osge i kistimbren i manaina-ta? Achokka' hunggan matulaika i Chamorro pa'go, sa' manggof geftaotao siha kalang i antes na tiempo, isaon i United States este. Desde ma na'dokko i sisteman gubetnamento yan lina'la' guini, manninahulo'guan todu este na problema siha.

Achokka' dipotsi na manchilong (manequal) todu gi i sisteman US hun, ti magahet ayu. Mas maolek siempre nai i hinasson Chamorro i sisteman hinasso-ta. Lao desde ta aksepta i nina'in i US, manmatulaika hit taiguini, ya pa'go bula mannaiguma' yan manmasa'pet giya Guahan.

Yanggen malago hit ta fa'maolek este, debi di ta na'la'la' ta'lo i minangge' gi i kettura, yan suhayi i binaba yan mineskinu gi i kitturan Amerikanu.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Mapula'

I just finished watching "The United States of Leland" a pretty good movie, but not in the conventional sense. Its not a feel good movie, if you are looking for pre-packaged morality. This film explores how the way we traditionally think about things being right/wrong, or what can be considered an acceptable or believable cause for something are so limiting, and can't really explain things, both large and small.

When we search for a specific cause for something which has happened, how does that prevent us from understanding anything at all? When looking for something which will align itself with our existing beliefs and proofs, what do we miss? We can we not see in that blind spot that is ourselves?

Anyways, here are the lyrics from a song from the film titled "Undone" by Imperial Teen. When you hear the song, and listen to the lyrics you can definitely feel as though the artists and the filmakers have stumbled across something they probably didn't mean to. In the skeletal like framework of this song's lyrics, one can attempt to fill in the empty spaces with an infinite number of specific feelings, points and pieces of logic or illogic, but ultimately the only thing which even remotely seems to fit, is a "whoo-whoo" sound the singers make, which leads into any number of interpretations, but ultimately the only one which is satisfying is the one which is most unsatisfying. That there is no real way to fill in the gaps and be satisfied. For for every meaning you assign to that sound, there will always be the feeling that something is missing, something is being left out, seen awry.


Undone by imperial teen

Put your ear up to the radio
What you hear is a miracle
Go the other way
There's another way

Put your ear up to the radio
You know more than you think you know
Go the other way
There's another way

To feel undone

Put your ear up to the radio
Now you see where the pieces go
Go the other way
There's another way

To feel undone

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Voting irregularities continue to be studied

For those of you interesting in the massive evidence that there was fraud in this election, there are several liberal sites out there which are dilligently keeping track of what the mainstream media has decided to ignore.

These investigations might not change the election, but they might yield some damaging indictments or cases against certain Republicans, such as the Secretary of States in Florida or Ohio, who were obviously making partisan moves prior to the election.

Sties which can tell you more are:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com
http://www.democraticunderground.com
http://www.boboharris.com
http://www.commondreams.org
http://www.alternet.org
http://www.dailykos.com

Also, we should all be grateful to the Green Party for forcing a recount of the votes in Ohio. It seems nowadays that only people like Ralph Nader, John Anderson, the Greens and others know what democracy is supposed to be about.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Stale Americanizing Dreams

American dreams...that seems to the be most significant problem of consciousness and identity in our people right now. This emphasis on attaining the American dream, which of course ends up Americanizing their own dreams. "If you are caught in the dream of another, then you are lost." Our people have become obsessed with American dreams, and actively work to trap and tangle themselves in them. The problems with these dreams is that they dictate the ways in which we think and act, and believe about ourselves. I attended a presentation by a lady who has collected three volumes of interviews with Pacific Islanders, titled "Pacific Islanders Talk Story." It is all about the ways in which Pacific Islanders deal with being invisible or tiny in big bad America. She discussed how we as Pacific Islanders need to work harder to achieve the American dream. How we need to figure out what in our culture is holding us back, or what doesn't let us succeed in America.

My question is, what happened to our own dreams? Why is having a good life in every banal sense an "American dream" only? This is the trap that this type of thinking places us in. If we are reaching for American dreams, then we are stripping ourselves of our culture and changing ourselves based on what America perceives us to be, and what it wants us to be. These are not natural, ideal, perfect dreams, and we should be wary of their power over us. These are the types of dreams which trap us, and force us into certain forms of cultural change, which meet the needs of an ideal, abstract, American dream, rather than the dreams we ourselves have.

NPIEN CONFERENCE

There is a Pacific Islander Education conference this weekend at CSU Long Beach, I'll presenting there about Pacific Islanders in higher education with i kayu-hu Si Mike Perez from CSU Fullerton and Soledad Santos from Evergreen College in San Jose.

If you can make it, please try, its a great opprotunity to discuss issues and make plans for the future.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Na'ma'ase

Ai adai, guaha na hu post guini, lao ma'pos nai hu "load" gui' gi halom i computer. Ya apmam na tiempo maloffan desde hu post este, pues esta maleffa yu' hafa mismo i pinest-hu!

Despensa yu'...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Chamoru Blogs

I'm looking for any Chamorus or Chamorros out there with blogs who want to link to mine. As you can see down on the right, I have a section for blogs I feel people should check out. So far there's only one there from Guam, but I'd like to find more out there, especially from people who are as concerned about the future of the Chamorro people as I am.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

NINE REASONS WHY CHAMORROS SHOULD BE HAPPY BUSH WON

For those needing a little pick me up/ cheer me up, here's 9 reasons why we Chamorros, as a colonized people should be happy that Bush won!

(na'on fan iyo-mu sense of humor antes di un tutuhun tumaitai este, sa' gi minagahet mampos tinemba yan triniste yu' put i manggana-na Si Bush. Lao hinasso-ku na maolekna an hu hatme gui' ni' nina'chalek enlugat di fino' chatli'e. Gi este bai hu fa'nu'i i binaba yan i dimalas ni' mamaila ni' nina'chalek.)

1. Whenever Bush speaks about Chamorros or Guam, we'll have new lexical identifiers! Get ready! Liberation Day 2005, we'll be the Guamorro people! Liberation Day 2006, we'll be the Chaumerican people! And who knows what Bush's badly damaged brain has in store for us in 2007? Guaminese? Chamorrainian? MINAGOF SIEMPRE!

2. George Bush in 2000 said that he against status changes for any of the US colonies. Well that's good, because think of all the money we'll save by not having to change our stationary from "territory of Guam" to "something else of Guam" in the near future!

3. David Cohen, the sexy half Samaoan under-secretary at the Office of Insular Affairs will continue to grace us with his work on behalf of the colonies.

4. The diaspora or, migrational scattering of Chamorro people will shift drastically over the next few years! Everyone seems to be tinemba about the fact that there are more Chamorros in the states, than in the Marianas Islands. Well, thanks to Bush's re-election this won't be a problem anymore! That's right, in the next few years, we'll all be complaining that there's more Chamorros in Iraq than in the Marianas and the United States! Isn't that exciting? Camel Kelaguan anyone?

5. Front row seats for any nuclear war! We shouldn't forget that it is part of Bush's National Security Policy that if the United States perceives a threat to its sovereignty or authority, it will use nuclear weapons, preemptively! So when Iraq quiets down and no one is left standing or breathing to resist American oppression, who knows where America will hit next? If North Korea, then we've got great seats for all the nuclear weapon slinging action! Forget about legalizing casino gambling on Guam, with George Bush as president everyday is like gambling for our lives!

6. More media coverage of Guam in the states! That's right, in the coming years we can look forward to alot more coverage of Guam issues and Guam stories because so many Chamorros are probably gonna die in the Middle East! With the United States military currently building more than a dozen bases in Iraq alone, there are going to be alot of Chamorros there fighting people who don't want to be ruled by a foreign power, who will need to be killed or tortured. So, we can probably expect a few more sons of Guam to end up in the Washington Post's "Faces of the Fallen" page, which means more press for Guam! Do I smell the start of patriotic tourist propaganda!? I can see the ad now, "Come to Guam! Where we are so patriotic we don't care whether we have a vote in Congress or not, we're just proud to be something attached to the greatest country in the world!" Someone give the Guam Visitor's Bureau a call!

7. More military presence which we locally have no control over whatsoever, except what they let us believe we have! Cash infusions into our economy which we don't analyze or question, because we have been so colonized to accept whatever the military offers. Get ready to see alot more of the Thunderbirds! And predator drones, and bunker busters, daisy cutters, B-52s, Ospreys...Increase the military presence anymore and you won't have to go to Iraq to experience a sky full of machines of war and death soaring over you, which can obliterate you with the press of a button, you can get it right here on Guam!

8. For those of you who are haunted by the ghosts of Joe Ada's poor English capabilities, I'd like to remind everyone that since Bush was re-elected, our entire Legislature and Executive officials all speak better English than the President of the United States! For those of you with long memories, this sort of thing hasn't happened since the early 80's when Paul Calvo was governor and Ronald Reagan was asleep, mumbling policy directives for 2 years. We should be proud that once again we are more Americans than Americans!

9. Recently the scientific community has become more aggressive in trying to get the United States' government to start paying attention to the dangers of global warming. As we all know, George Bush pulled the US out of the Kyoto treaty, which was designed to slow the process of global warming, and despite the fact that Russia recently decided to sign on, Bush is still stubborn about not giving permission slips to non-George Bush's for running the United States. While some people might be scared to death, especially those living on islands, that the world's largest polluting country isn't doing anything to stop the rising of the ocean's water level, we should be excited that our leader is taking a bold stance against those people who would try to save the world! I mean, those people who would try to terrorize America's economy! With the water levels rising, guess what that means? New beachfront property!

Limosna button (hint hint)

For those with some extra money on them, please notice the donation button to the right of this post. Feel free to donate any amount, and take comfort in knowing that your money will go to help this struggling, starving college student buy food, books or gas.

Put fabot fan, na'i yu' fan ni' limosna. Ti gefsaga' yu' desde matto yu' gi lagu, yan todu manguaguan guini, sa' taya' familia-ku, pues Guahu ha' fumahani yu' ni' gas! Ai na'ma'ase todu, yanggen gefli'e hao na taotao, na'i ha', siempre magofna hao, sa' un ayuda un gof na'ma'ase na patgon.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Simila's Sense of Numbers

An interesting quote from Simila's Sense of Snow...

"The number system is like human life. First you have the natural numbers. The ones that are whole and positive. Like the numbers of a small child. But human consciousness expands. The child discovers longing. Do you know the mathematical expression for longing? The negative numbers. The formalization of the feeling that you’re missing something. Then the child discovers the in-between spaces, between stones, between people, between them and that produces fractions."

Sunday, November 14, 2004

You know you're doing the right thing when...

You know you're doing the right thing when you make the haolified or deeply colonized Chamorros uncomfortable. I happened to type "minagahet" into Google and came across a lovely message thread where someone was trashing my websites as "brown trash" calling those who write on it or post on our message boards as "racists."

The fact that someone actually typed this down, and actually spelled the words properly means that I am having some sort of impact. Check out this exchange I came across.


Some guy...

I just wanted to say I surfed through the webring at the member sites and want to ask why you let members in that detract from the good spirit of the island? have you looked at the Kopbla Amerika page and their forum as well as minagahet zine? boy what a bunch of brown trash.

So some other cool guy responds...

What part of "anything and everything Chamorro" did you not understand? We are Chamorro's by birth and Americans by proclamation. So I feel that the first amamendment rights apply to all. Negativity is in the eye of the beholder. Those "negative" people as you so call them feel they are positive in their approach to what they feel.

The first, not cool guy responds...

Such racists, that's all. If that is the association you want for the ring, cool. I just thought you didn't read some of that garbage.

Then some other guy chimes in...

I agree with you, that place is kind of extreme thinking going on.


I am proud to be a part of the extreme brown trash segment of the Chamorro population! The only ones who seem to be doing any real critically thinking about the future of our island, rather than just praying that Uncle Sam will do everything for us.

I'd like to remind everyone that there was once a time on Guam where thinking that Chamorros could be US citizens was an extreme thought. And even thinking that a Chamorro was more civilized or better than a haole was insane (and if you listen to most Chamorros, its still unthinkable).

Draft fan i Balate' para u mumu giya Irak!

Letter sent out November 13, 2004 about the Draft and Guam's Balate' Population

Hafa Adai todus i manaina-hu yan mane'lu-hu siha,

Si Yu'us Ma'ase Sinot Dabit Herrera para i gefli'e na fino'-mu put i tinige'-hu. Annok na ti manchilong hit yan i taotaogues giya Amerika, pues sa' hafa na sigi ha' i Chamorro manaonao setbisisu yan tekuni i banderan US, mas ki ma respetu i banderan Guahan? Debi di ta kulu (estudia) este na hinasso mas, sa' yanggen sina ta komprende i hinasson i "mampatriotik na Chamorro siha" sina ta komprende lokkue taimanu mannina'colonized i hinasso-ta siha ni' kosas Amerika yan lina'la Amerika.

Yanggen ma fa'draft ta'lo guenao giya Guahan, debi di ta mumu ayu. Sa' yanggen maloffan ayu ta'lo, maloffan lokkue i atdet na mafa'ga'ga'n i Chamorro. Dimalas este, sa' yanggen i taotao-ta sigi ha' ma dimu pappa' gi me'nan i Amerikanu siha, kalang Si Yu'us, taihinekkok siempre este na gof baba na estao-ta pulitikat.

Gof magof-hu na en mentiona i BALATE', sa' maolek na hemplo enao para hafa sina ta cho'gue giya Guahan, para ta na'la'la' yan na'sustainable i ekonomian Guahan. I kestumbren Amerikanu yan haole na todu i "ventures" taiguini debi di u dongkalu yan gaimiprebechu. Lao para un dikike' na isla, maolekna para todu na i ventures-ta siha dikike yan dikekena. Gi fino' Chamorro, ti pumarehu gefsaga' yan riku, ya impottante este na punto. Sina gefsaga hao achokka' didide' i salape'-mu, lao ti sina rumiku. Yanggen sina ta fa'dikike' na markets siha giya Guahan, para BALATE' ya otro na tinilaika (commodities), maolekna para i taotao siha, ya mas fasit para mama'gasi, yan menos i inatotga. Hafa otro na materiat naturat ni' gaige giya Guahan, ni' sina ta na'setbe para ta fa'market? Gof impottante na ta faisen este na finaisen yan sigi ha' aligao gi i eriya-ta, sa' esta meprueba meggai biahi na ti anggokuyon yan ti dipende'yon i ekonomia ni' fina'tinas mambiaheru (tourists) siha ha'.

Yanggen mappot kumonmprende i Chamorro-hu, despensa yu'. Esta kuatro na meses desde hu dingu Guahan, ya put i hassan na chansa na sina hu na'setbe i fino'-hu, esta kalang mafnas yan machalapon gui'.

Gof mahalang yu' nu i bunitu na isla, ya Si Yu'us Ma'ase para este na chansa para bei na'lamenggua este dinechon na siniente. Kada na mana'hasso yu' taiguini put Guahan yan i metgot na taotao-ta siha, magong yu'. Adios todus, esta ki manakuentusi hit ta'lo.

Sahuma Minagahet yan Na'suha Dinagi,
Miget (Lujan Bevacqua)
"Sahuma Minagahet"
Nasion Chamoru

Saturday, November 13, 2004

ROCKET THE VOTE!

From http://www.NoLogo.org

"Rocket the Vote" by Naomi Klein > November 9 2004

P. Diddy announced on the weekend that his “Vote or Die” campaign will live on. The hip-hop mogul's voter-registration drive during the U.S. presidential elections was, he said, merely “phase one, step one for us to get people engaged.”

Fantastic. I have a suggestion for phase two: P. Diddy, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and the rest of the self-described “Coalition of the Willing” should take their chartered jet and fly to Fallujah, where their efforts are desperately needed. But first they are going to need to flip the slogan from “Vote or Die!” to “Die, Then Vote!”

Because that is what is happening there. Escape routes have been sealed off,homes are being demolished, and an emergency health clinic has been razed—all in the name of preparing the city for January elections. In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, U.S.-appointed Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi explained that the all-out attack was required “to safeguard lives, elections and democracy in Iraq.”

With all the millions spent on “democracy-building” and “civil society” in Iraq, it has come to this: If you can survive attack by the world's only superpower, you get to cast a ballot. Fallujans are going to vote, goddammit, even if they all have to die first. And make no mistake: they are Fallujans under the gun. “The enemy has got a face. He's called Satan. He lives in Fallujah,” Marine Lt. Col. Gareth Brandl told the BBC. Well, at least he admitted that some of the fighters actually live in Fallujah, unlike Donald Rumsfeld, who would have us believe that they are all from Syria and Jordan. And since U.S. army vehicles are blaring recordings forbidding all men between the ages of 15 and 50 from leaving the city, it would suggest that there are at least a few Iraqis among what CNN now obediently describes as the “anti-Iraqi forces.” Elections in Iraq were never going to be peaceful, but they did not need to be an all-out war on voters either. Mr. Allawi's Rocket the Vote campaign is the direct result of a disastrous decision made exactly one year ago. On Nov. 11, 2003, Paul Bremer, then chief U.S. envoy to Iraq, flew to Washington to meet with President George W. Bush. The two men were concerned that if they kept their promise to hold elections in Iraq within the coming months, the country would fall into the hands of insufficiently pro-American forces.

That would defeat the purpose of the invasion, and it would threaten President Bush's re-election chances. At that meeting, a revised plan was hatched: Elections would be delayed for more than a year and in the meantime, Iraq's first “sovereign” government would be hand-picked by Washington. The plan would allow Mr. Bush to claim progress on the campaign trail, while keeping Iraq safely under U.S. control.

In the U.S., Mr. Bush's claim that “freedom is on the march” served its purpose, but in Iraq, the plan led directly to the carnage we see today. George Bush likes to paint the forces opposed to the U.S. presence in Iraq as enemies of democracy. In fact, much of the uprising can be traced directly to decisions made in Washington to stifle, repress, delay, manipulate and otherwise thwart the democratic aspirations of the Iraqi people.

Yes, democracy has genuine opponents in Iraq, but before George Bush and Paul Bremer decided to break their central promise to hand over power to an elected Iraqi government, these forces were isolated and contained. That changed when Mr. Bremer returned to Baghdad and tried to convince Iraqis that they weren't yet ready for democracy.

Mr. Bremer argued the country was too insecure to hold elections, and besides, there were no voter rolls. Few were convinced. In January, 2003, 100,000 Iraqis peacefully took to the streets of Baghdad, with 30,000 more in Basra. Their chant was “Yes, yes elections. No, no selections.” At the time, many argued that Iraq was safe enough to have elections and pointed out that the lists from the Saddam-era oil-for-food program could serve as voter rolls. But Mr. Bremer wouldn't budge and the UN—scandalously and fatefully—backed him up.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Hussain al-Shahristani, chairman of the standing committee of the Iraqi National Academy of Science (who was imprisoned under Saddam Hussein for 10 years), accurately predicted what would happen next. “Elections will be held in Iraq, sooner or later,” wrote Mr. al-Shahristani. “The sooner they are held, and a truly democratic Iraq is established, the fewer Iraqi and American lives will be lost.”

Ten months and thousands of lost Iraqi and American lives later, elections are scheduled to take place with part of the country in grips of yet another invasion and much of the rest of it under martial law. As for the voter rolls, the Allawi government is planning to use the oil-for-food lists, just as was suggested and dismissed a year ago.

So it turns out that all of the excuses were lies: if elections can be held now, they most certainly could have been held a year ago, when the country was vastly calmer. But that would have denied Washington the change to install a puppet regime in Iraq, and possibly prevented George Bush from winning a second term.

Is it any wonder that Iraqis are skeptical of the version of democracy being delivered to them by U.S. troops, or that elections have come to be seen not as tools of liberation but as weapons of war? First, Iraq's promised elections were sacrificed in the interest of George Bush's re-election hopes; next, the siege of Fallujah itself was crassly shackled to these same interests. The fighter planes didn't even wait an hour after George Bush finished his acceptance speech to begin the air attack on Fallujah, with the city bombed at least six times through the next day and night. With the U.S. elections safely over, Fallujah could be destroyed in the name of its own the upcoming elections.

In another demonstration of their commitment to freedom, the first goal of the U.S. soldiers in Fallujah was to ambush the city's main hospital. Why? Apparently because it was the source of the “rumours” about high civilian casualties the last time U.S. troops laid siege to Fallujah, sparking outrage in Iraq and across the Arab world. “It's a centre of propaganda,” an unnamed senior American officer told The New York Times. Without doctors to count the dead, the outrage would be presumably be muted—except that, of course, the attacks on hospitals have sparked their own outrage, further jeopardizing the legitimacy of the upcoming elections.

According to The New York Times, the Fallujah General Hospital was easy to capture, since the doctors and patients put up no resistance. There was, however, one injury, “an Iraqi soldier who accidentally discharged his Kalashnikov rifle, injuring his lower leg.”

I think that means he shot himself in the foot. He's not the only one.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Donggat siha ni' Progressive

Bright Spots
By Evan Derkacz, AlterNet. Posted November 10, 2004.


Asking people to look on the bright side of Election 2004 is, to quote Kristina Wilfore of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, "a little like asking Mrs. Lincoln how the show was." Progressives are reeling and grasping for bearings after a confusing and upsetting loss on Nov. 2. And why shouldn't they be? For millions, it was the first time they'd dared to hope in a long, long time.

But there are reasons to remain hopeful. Despite the high-profile electoral losses and the passage of 11 anti-gay measures, there were dozens of successes and encouraging trends for the progressive cause – most of which came at the local level. Poor Dr. King; he's always turned to when things look bleakest – and now is no different. The latest of his inspiring words making the rounds in post-election e-mails: "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."
This story is about focusing for a moment on some of the important successes from this past Tuesday. And "success" isn't simply code for "where Democrats won." Success, for the purposes of this article is defined by initiatives, candidates and trends that favor anti-war stances, a strong defense of the environment, sane drug policies, and a movement toward a just and tolerant America.
Down to business.

Conscience and Politics Can Play Nice Together
The seven Democratic senators who voted against the Iraq war all won re-election – and they did it by an average margin of nearly 30%.

Anti-war Democrat senators who won:
Barbara Boxer – California – 58%-38%Daniel Inouye – Hawaii – 76%-21%Barbara Mikulski – Maryland – 65%-34%Patty Murray – Washington – 55%-43%Russ Feingold – Wisconsin – 56%-44%Ron Wyden – Oregon – 63%-32%Pat Leahy – Vermont – 71%-25%

Zoom in and the point becomes even clearer. In Oregon, where Kerry, who voted for the war, won by a mere 4 percent, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden won by over 30 percent "despite" his vote against it. Wisconsin, which was too close to call on election night, didn't take very long to declare Russ Feingold, who voted against the war (ignoring warnings from his staff), the winner. He won by 11 percent. Writer John Stauber concludes, "The lesson is this: Russ Feingold proves that an anti-war, populist Democrat, a maverick campaigning to get big money out of politics, can win and win big."

These statistics should strike fear out of the Democrats the next time issues of war and peace are on the table. Maybe, just maybe, if they can persuade the Democratic establishment to disabuse itself of the mistaken belief that reelection comes to those who adopt the safest position, rather than to those who make a strong case for the values they hold most dear, it has a shot at being relevant in the 21st century.

Dean Dozen
Howard Dean supporters were devastated when their man was taken down after the press, doing a fine impersonation of a pack of wolves, disingenuously played and replayed "the scream" 633 times – before apologizing for it. Curiously you didn't hear the press dub themselves "flip-floppers."

But Dean didn't just drop out and angle for a cabinet position. He quickly threw his weight, and organizational structure, into a new group called Democracy for America (DFA) whose mission is to support progressive-minded candidates in primarily local elections "from city council or local school boards to U.S. Senate," and to ensure that every race is contested.

Every two weeks, a pool of 12 candidates was chosen from races around the nation, dubbed the "Dean Dozen," and given public support by the governor himself – though sometimes, the group's spokesperson Laura Gross conceded, "it was a baker's dozen, or two dozen; it depended."

On the premise that "Democrats can't be afraid to run in certain places like Montana and Georgia and Texas, just because they're so-called red states," DFA campaigned for candidates who would otherwise have been left to the wolves or who may never have run at all. "We never said we'd win all the races," Gross said, "but you've got to start somewhere and you can't be shy about running, and that's what we did."

Amazingly, in what were not cherry-picked races designed for a boastful post-election press release, 31 of the 102 of the Dean Dozen candidates were victorious. An amazing 15 of the 31 had never run for office before. Among the highlights:

The mayor of Republican-dominated Salt Lake City, Utah, is now a Democrat.
Openly gay candidate, Nicole LeFeveur, won a seat in the Idaho state legislature.
In heavily Republican Alabama, progressive Anita Kelly was elected as Circuit Court Judge.
In Florida, a first time, Dean-inspired candidate, Susan Clary, won as Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor.
Montana's governor is now a Democrat, Brian Schweitzer.
Heavily Republican New Hampshire elected Democrat John Lynch, kicking the incumbent and ethically challenged Gov. Benson out of office.
Arthur Anderson won the race for supervisor of elections in electorally-challenged Palm Beach County, Fla.
Suzanne Williams won a state senate seat in Colorado, giving the upper house a Democratic majority.
In North Carolina, openly gay Julia Boseman was one of several Democrats to defeat Republican incumbents to take back control of the State House.

According to Gross, "These are all types of people: male, female, black, white, Latino ... when people talk about rebuilding the Democratic party, that's the start of it. You have to start at the base of this organization, the grass roots level and build your way up. That's what the Christian Coalition did 30 or 40 years ago and hey, they're obviously pretty successful."
And DFA's activists? Gross said that "after the election, our people were more energized than ever. There were 450 meet-ups on Wednesday night. Our blog traffic is up 300 percent, our site traffic is up 300 percent. People don't want to have this 'woe is me attitude.' They want to get up and get active again."

Taking the Initiative
The received wisdom spewing from pundits and papers that the nation is overwhelmingly conservative and that the election constituted a "mandate" for the Bush agenda. But the reality is of course more complex than that. This view is buttressed by the number of progressive initiatives that managed to pass across the nation.

Residents of the "red" states of Florida and Nevada, for example, voted overwhelmingly in favor of something Bush refuses to even consider: raising the minimum wage. Despite "intense opposition from pro-business groups," not to mention Florida Gov.Jeb Bush in his neck of the woods, both states raised their minimum wage by a dollar to $6.15. In Nevada, 68 percent of voters went voted for it; in Florida, the number was 71 percent. Meghan Scott, the communications director for Floridians for All, the group that sponsored the Florida initiative, said, "Once people heard what Amendment 5 was and what it would do for Florida's working poor, people really got it."

On education, the story was similar. Bush passed, yet perenially underfunds, the much-mocked "No Child Left Behind" program. So, while voters in the "red" states of Arkansas, North Carolina, and Nevada supported their president, they also felt the need to support initiatives that strengthened their education systems beyond No Child's parameters. Whether it was the Nevada voters' majority decision to require lawmakers to fund K-12 before anything else, Arkansan's decision to use lottery revenue for education, or North Carolinians' decision to use money collected from fines for schools (they also chose to have a more equitable distribution of funds between schools), voters demanded that their tax dollars fund their public schools. Once again, a progressive value supported by "red" state majorities.

In California, voters supported a stem cell research initiative at which, on the federal level, Bush barely throws pennies. While California tends to be more liberal on social issues, it's difficult to overstate the importance of this measure. Due to its size, and thus the size of the measure's funding ($3 billion), California support for stem cell research effectively is U.S. support for stem cell funding. Call this a smart investment. Watch how California's state economy will be further diversified and enriched when the dividends from this potentially life-saving research start coming in. Speaking to the L.A. Times, Berkeley professor Bruce Cain noted that this initiative, "really highlights how California has become the capital of the 'second nation' and is going to the left when the rest of the country goes right ..."

But the "second nation" didn't stop there. Californians also passed a measure that goes against the prevailing wisdom of the Bush tax cuts. In order to expand mental health programs, those earning more than $1 million per year will see their income tax rise by an earth shattering 1 percent. The San Andreas Fault is expected to survive the hike.

In a similar move, Maine voters opposed a cap on property taxes. It's difficult to overstate the importance of this vote as well. Flying in the face of the think tanks, pundits and rhetoric of the right, citizens who vote to keep the door to further taxation open are citizens who understand the true meaning of family. Taxes are each American's contribution to the well-being of all Americans. If this isn't a victory for progressive values, it's difficult to say what is.

Going Green
The environment, according to (and thanks in big part to) the League of Conservation Voters, was a big winner. Of the LCV's 18 "Environmental Champions," all 18 won. Of the "Dirty Dozen," four went down in flames. In the eight congressional races into which significant LCV resources were invested, the LCV won seven of them. Sure, a candidate like Barack Obama was destined for victory, but others like Ken Salazar, who beat millionaire Pete Coors by just three percent, were surely given a boost by the LCV's effort to expose Coors' anti-environment agenda which, in addition to helping elect the greener candidate, may make others reluctant to embrace an anti-environment agenda. And indeed, LCV president Deb Callahan asserted, "LCV will now take this successful electoral blueprint and apply it in both elections and policy debates around the country. We will not rest until all three branches of our government are represented by pro-environment public servants."

Writing about drug policy initiatives that were on the ballot this November, Steve Wishnia notes that, "Even as 59 percent of (Montana's) voters were going for George W. Bush and two-thirds opting to ban gay marriage, Montanans were approving Initiative 148, which would allow medical marijuana use by patients with a doctor's recommendation, by a 62-38 percent margin." Basic initiatives (like decriminalization and/or medical use) also succeeded locally, in Oakland and, surprisingly, in Columbia, Missouri. Bolder initiatives like full legalization or less restrictive medical use laws, were only narrowly defeated in Oregon and Alaska – an amazing trend in a nation weaned on DARE and the drug war.

The Ultimate Measure
Conventional wisdom holds that Americans voted against their best interests on Nov. 2. While focusing only on the broad stroke does lean toward that conclusion, a careful analysis reveals a more complex picture. Progressive issues and candidates won by big margins at a state and local level. On many of the issues that would positively effect the majority of Americans: minimum wage, the environment, taxes, and sane drug laws, for example, significant advances were made when put straight to the electorate. Sure, there is the daunting cultural divide with respect to gay civil rights and women's rights but it's certainly not the wholesale "values" difference we're led to believe.

Likewise, if voters' support for those who voted against the Iraq War teaches us anything about the ability to present a diverse electorate with an attractive progressive platform it's that progressive candidates must articulate the fact that all issues are reflective of our values and not simply questions of gays or abortion. Sure, they'll lose blocs of voters devoted to single issues, but those voters simply seeking to elect the candidate they can believe in will follow the candidate who firmly believes in their own position. And they'll do it every time.

Did we miss some examples of progressive victories on Nov.2? Send them in to http://www.alternet.org/election04/20436/”mailto:yourstory@alternet.org”,
Evan Derkacz is a New York-based writer and contributor to AlterNet.

4 more years of Bush

I was watching this Japanese terror flick called "Audition," which will scare the living hell out of you, if you really follow its psychology and thinking, which I unfortunately did. There is this one scene, where the main character (I can't say bad guy, since only distorted morality makes a cameo in this film), after meticulously giving her victim acupuncture, cuts off his foot with a butcher's garrote (and she is very excited after doing so). Ever since I saw that scene, there is this phantom, yet very real pain in my ankle.

Ever since Bush won, I have this nasty phantom pain in my ass.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Antiwar.com

Anyone with some extra cash on their hands, please head over to http://www.antiwar.com, and donate whatever you can to keep them up and running. They are a very important website, in that they are critical of war from different sides, conservative, liberal, colonizer and colonized.

Justin Raimondo is a regular contributor to the site and his weekly editorials are very insightful.

I've actually been waiting for Bush to show up on another aircraft carrier, speaking with his crotch stuffed with manly vurility, in front of a sign saying "mission accomplished, election stolen!" Needless to say, the time for our voices of dissent, anger and resistance to be out there is most important than ever. Bush has been galvanized by his victory, and has his shown with his post-election party in Falujah, innocent lives? international law? Iraqi law? They don't mean a thing for a president with a mandate by 51% of the population (and 88% of all America's haole people). White America has pinned their pornographic nostalgia on George Bush, making him their "new great white hope," who will kill or subdue all the people who are different, whether they be Iraqis gasping for freedom, gay people, non-white people who want reasonable equality, or even just women in general.

Its very important that we continue to organize and speak out, which is why websites such as http://www.antiwar.com are so important. Bush won because he had fear on his side. Real nasty, ugly fear which he obviously helped generate and is all part of white people protecting their privilege and whiteness. I don't know what we've got on our side (whoever "we" are) but I'm sure its alot better, and not so rooted in blatant desire for massive social inequality.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Otro na kanta

Since I've been so machalapon emotionally lately, I've been working alot on songs, trying to capture some small shreds of my moods. Its not easy, lao its a good exercise in practicing my Chamorro while I'm stateside. There aren't many people out here that I can speak to, so writing songs and trying to be creative with it, is a good way to keep the mind fluid and fresh.

Here's another song gi fino' Chamorro. Put i chinatkinemprenden guinaiya este, ya sesso ti un gof tungo' hafa maloloffan, ya hafa sina un ekspekta.

BUENA

Hafa nen hinangai-hu?
Guini nai gi fi'on-mu?
Un kombida ya un futot
Un yettek ya un chu'ot
Chibe' fanhallom'an-mu
Ombre lai na'inos yu'
Ti to'a yan taiketu
Sangani yu' i Buena-mu

Baba i mata'-mu
Ya sahuma yu'
Sa' Guahu iyo-mu
Hagas esta gof klaru

Iniga yu' ni' kannai-mu
Gotpe un patmada' yu'
Pon ko'ko' tinanom-mu
Mohon na un ko'ko' yu'
Este nen ti puniyon
Un guaiya yu' gof li'e'on
An luhan Guahu liheng-mu
Pues fa'nu'i yu' ni' Buena-mu

Baba i mata'-mu
Ya sahuma iyo-mu
Gaige yu' put Hagu
Ya Hagu ha' chi-hu
Hagu makpo'-hu

Sunday, November 07, 2004

From http://www.zmag.org

November 6, 2004

THE OPTIMISM OF UNCERTAINTY

by Howard Zinn

In this awful world where the efforts of caring people often pale in comparison to what is done by those who have power, how do I manage to stay involved and seemingly happy?

I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world.

There is a tendency to think that what we see in the present moment will continue. We forget how often we have been astonished by the sudden crumbling of institutions, by extraordinary changes in people's thoughts, by unexpected eruptions of rebellion against tyrannies, by the quick collapse of systems of power that seemed invincible.

What leaps out from the history of the past hundred years is its utter unpredictability. A revolution to overthrow the czar of Russia, in that most sluggish of semi-feudal empires, not only startled the most advanced imperial powers but took Lenin himself by surprise and sent him rushing by train to Petrograd. Who would have predicted the bizarre shifts of World War II--the Nazi-Soviet pact (those embarrassing photos of von Ribbentrop and Molotov shaking hands), and the German Army rolling through Russia, apparently invincible, causing colossal casualties, being turned back at the gates of Leningrad, on the western edge of Moscow, in the streets of Stalingrad, followed by the defeat of the German army, with Hitler huddled in his Berlin bunker, waiting to die?

And then the postwar world, taking a shape no one could have drawn in advance: The Chinese Communist revolution, the tumultuous and violent Cultural Revolution, and then another turnabout, with post-Mao China renouncing its most fervently held ideas and institutions, making overtures to the West, cuddling up to capitalist enterprise, perplexing everyone.

No one foresaw the disintegration of the old Western empires happening so quickly after the war, or the odd array of societies that would be created in the newly independent nations, from the benign village socialism of Nyerere's Tanzania to the madness of Idi Amin's adjacent Uganda. Spain became an astonishment. I recall a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade telling me that he could not imagine Spanish Fascism being overthrown without another bloody war. But after Franco was gone, a parliamentary democracy came into being, open to Socialists, Communists, anarchists, everyone.

The end of World War II left two superpowers with their respective spheres of influence and control, vying for military and political power. Yet they were unable to control events, even in those parts of the world considered to be their respective spheres of influence. The failure of the Soviet Union to have its way in Afghanistan, its decision to withdraw after almost a decade of ugly intervention, was the most striking evidence that even the possession of thermonuclear weapons does not guarantee domination over a determined population. The United States has faced the same reality. It waged a full-scale war in lndochina, conducting the most brutal bombardment of a tiny peninsula in world history, and yet was forced to withdraw. In the headlines every day we see other instances of the failure of the presumably powerful over the presumably powerless, as in Brazil, where a grassroots movement of workers and the poor elected a new president pledged to fight destructive corporate power.

Looking at this catalogue of huge surprises, it's clear that the struggle for justice should never be abandoned because of the apparent overwhelming power of those who have the guns and the money and who seem invincible in their determination to hold on to it. That apparent power has, again and again, proved vulnerable to human qualities less measurable than bombs and dollars: moral fervor, determination, unity, organization, sacrifice, wit, ingenuity, courage, patience--whether by blacks in Alabama and South Africa, peasants in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Vietnam, or workers and intellectuals in Poland, Hungary and the Soviet Union itself. No cold calculation of the balance of power need deter people who are persuaded that their cause is just.

I have tried hard to match my friends in their pessimism about the world (is it just my friends?), but I keep encountering people who, in spite of all the evidence of terrible things happening everywhere, give me hope. Especially young people, in whom the future rests. Wherever I go, I find such people. And beyond the handful of activists there seem to be hundreds, thousands, more who are open to unorthodox ideas. But they tend not to know of one another's existence, and so, while they persist, they do so with the desperate patience of Sisyphus endlessly pushing that boulder up the mountain. I try to tell each group that it is not alone, and that the very people who are disheartened by the absence of a national movement are themselves proof of the potential for such a movement.

Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't "win," there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope.

An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places--and there are so many--where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Bush

I haven't written about Bush yet, because its just too confusing and too painful.

Painful because the election of Bush this year reflects how narrow the conscioussness of people are in this annoying country. People voted based on narrow issues, and constantly voted against their own interests. Although both parties are the parties of the rich, one is more so (Republicans) while the other is less so (Democrats), with all the rest of us, picking up whatever crumbs we can force out of these politicians and corporations. The majority of people who's votes were counted have made it clear that they side with the party of the super rich, even though obviously these people do not comprise that party. Instead these people chose to pick a candidate based on his stance with relationship to "normality" and the "national culture." Rather than believing that all people are truly equal or have inalienable rights, these people have decided that issues of religion are more important. Its painful to see, because as the government extends its power over our bodies and minds, through institutions such as HomeLand Security, those in power will use these agencies not to protect Americans from enemies or threats, but instead use it to protect what they perceive as normal or good. Pro-choice activists, political radicals, people on welfare and homosexuals will continue to be targeted as enemies of the state, and enemies of "American culture." The fact that 11 states have already passed anti-gay marriage laws reflects this crackdown on what is "abnormal."

Confusing because life won't be different for Guam really. Both Kerry and Bush would mean more military for Guam, which might be good in some senses (which we all know, and if anyone has forgotten, Joe Murphy, the PDN, KUAM and so many other sources will be glad to drill it into your head), but in the ways I am concerned with, it will be very very bad.

The only thing that I do notice is that Republican on Guam is slowly becoming Republican in the states. As a substanceless leader was elected Governor two years ago, a substanceless president has been elected this year. The Republicans now control the Legislature on Guam, not because they are the better party, or better represent the interests of the masses, but instead because they are the party who claims to better represent "economic leadership." In the 2002 election I asked many people why they had voted for Felix Camacho, most said, "well, we've got economic problems on Guam, so we need a businessman to fix it!." Notice how the Chamber of Commerce is getting more and more visible and powerful on island? This all has to do with the way "economy" is being constructed and represented, and most importantly, how it is related to increases in military presence. The Republicans claim to be the party of the private sector, while the Democrats are supposed to be that of GovGuam. The Republicans are working hard to piggyback the colonial induced hatred of GovGuam, and present themselves as the antidote for all Guam's ills.

I see bad things ahead for both Guam and the US, but I'm still not ready to flee to Canada or Palau.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Song I'm working on...

Since I broke up with my girlfriend all the songs I write now feel like J.D. Crutch songs. Sa' todu put i tinai'gachong-hu. I find its a good way to try to make sense of what I'm feeling, about old loves, but more importantly about new loves, potential loves. Enjoy, it needs one more verse though, and the last two lines from the second verse I just kinda added, since I haven't really figured that section out yet.

Un suhayi yu'
Kalang todu
I famalao'an ni'
Guini gi gipot
Gi i linahayan-ta
Guahu ha' maisa
I achaki-hu
Ni' ti pon homlo'

Sa' hafa ti Guahu?
Ni' un li'e'e'?
Sa' hafa ti Guahu?
Ni' un chachagi?

Sigi ha' hu chagi
Sumakke atan-mu
Lao sigi ha'
Nai un laiseni
Hu atalaki hao
Lao ti un nanalao
Yanggen matai yu'
Kao pon ripara?

Sa' hafa ti Guahu?
Ni' un li'e'e?
Sa' hafa ti Guahu?
Ni' un chachagi?
Sa' hafa ti Guahu?
Ni' un atetende?
Sa' hafa ti Guahu?
Ni' un ga'chungi?

Friday, November 05, 2004

Kuatro na sakkan mas...

Some optomism for everyone, courtesy of TBogg's blog...

Four more years of American soldiers being used as cannon fodder.

Four more years of scientific decisions being made by people who believe in a ghost in the clouds.

Four more years of debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off.

Four more years of racists and lunatics for judicial appointments

Four more years of looting the treasury and squandering it on corporate cronies.

Four more years of making enemies faster than we can kill them.

Four more years of fear and darkness and racism and hatred and stupidity and guns and bad country music.

I look at the big map and all of the red in flyover country and I feel like I've been locked in a room with the slow learners. We have become the country that pulls a dry cleaning bag over its head to play astronaut.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Empire part 2

The changes in the flow of capital and the nature of technology has allowed networks of power to be formed which don’t rely on borders, and can supersede nation states. These networks are part of a new global hegemony which doesn’t situate itself within any nation, but only exists as part of a network above all nations.

This new form of global control is what Michael Hardt and Tony Negri refer to as Empire, and it is important because of the way they articulate it, as being something and nothing at the same time, one thing and then apparently its opposite, is precisely the way in which Empire is able to elude people’s vision, to hide itself from people knowing its existence, or recognizing its fingerprints or scuff marks around their lives. Although we exist as hybrids, cyborgs, deeply divided subjects, the way modernity has structured our language, we aren’t readily equipped to recognize or discuss such divisions, we are equipped and groomed to see things in binary oppositions, with ideas such as objectivity and progress attached. Empire takes advantage of this by escaping those categorizations, using the limitations they imply as far as understanding how power works, or how hegemony is created to filter into levels of society and existence.

Hardt and Negri mention the idea of “just war,” which is an important example of a concept which promotes empire and its agendas, yet at the same time masks its existence. In particular they mention Iraq, Afghanistan and the how the idea of just war is being revisited by the Bush administration to justify their terrorist wars in both countries. But if one were to separate this from America, and realize how the rhetoric of it is being used to justify terrorist wars by Russia, China and Britian, and see how these argument while framed in self defense often deal instead with abstract ideas such as what Chomsky calls “maintaining credibility.” If we are to take the example of Kosovo and think of it in the older frameworks of domination and control, then there are only two reasons why the US or any other 1st world country would intervene. 1. There are riches to plunder. 2. It is humanitarian all part of the glorious benevolence of the nation. Since a place like Kosovo has no riches to plunder, the reason why America intervened must be because they are a wonderful nation. This is the discourse that will blind most to the real intent of the intervention in the Balkans which has to do with maintaining a certain dynamic through which war or conflict can take place. Under Empire war can only take place under certain circumstances, although Empire is more comfortable with the war machine then the nation-state, because the promise of Empire is in a limited way similar to Hobbes’ rationale for why people will accept being dominated, because it will provide them security. Empire offers security, it offers perpetual peace, but often times war will be necessary to maintain the order of the world, but when it takes place, it must be different than the wars of the past. It must be housed in a simple ethics, such as just war, and it must be reduced to a simple act of securing peace, not waging war. This simplicity is furthermore protected by the binary presupposition that whatever is being fought is the absolute evil. This is the dynamic seen in all nation states, stimulated by Empire, used to justify the destruction of insurgents, indigenous populations and those of upset its symbolic order.
I should point out that I am working the text to fit my own needs, I don’t think Hardt and Negri make these specific points about Empire’s relationship to war, but using the lens they provide, this is the way I perceive Empire’s construction.
One important point which Hardt and Negri make clear is that although old forms of control and subjugation still exist, the forms of resistance which worked against them are largely useless against Empire. Global organizations such as the WTO or the World Bank are corporeal symptoms of Empire, they are physical examples of the immortal and sometimes intangible ways which Empire is created and maintained. Can these be resisted or dismantled in the same ways previous institutions of power have been assailed? Arundhati Roy makes a good point with regards to this in an interview with David Barsamian. In discussing the global anti-war protest on Feb. 15th of last year, in which 15 million people marched against war, she said that the protest was fantastic, but largely symbolic, because the governments of today have learned to wait such demonstrations and forms of resistance out, to develop hegemonies rather then openly oppress, we must find other ways to resist as well.

Election

Sad new everyone...

Jofis didn't win...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Election Day

Gof chathinasso yu', ti hu hulat pumost pa'go. Sina gi pupuengge, nai mas masuheta i hinasso-ku.

BIBA JOFIS FOR OFIS!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Jofis for Ofis

Did you know that in the last election, Jofis running under the Malafunkshun party actually beat one of the listed candidates? For those of you who don't know, Jofis was a write in candidate, which means that you don't check his box, you have to write in his name at the bottom to vote for him. In the last election, Jofis actually got more votes than one of the candidates on the official list. Can you believe that?

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