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Showing posts from July, 2005

List for the Labor Movement

Published on Monday, July 25, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Top 10 List for the Labor Movement
by Ralph Nader

Rose Ann DeMoro is the Executive Director of the California Nurses Association (CNA) - the country's fastest growing union. Since 1992, union membership has grown from 13,000 to the present 63,000. And it was since 1992 that the nurses became more prominent in participating in and running their own unions. No coincidence.
Whether it is CNA getting patient protection bills through the state legislature or exposing the gouging pricing of health care while the HMO bosses each take away millions in executive pay every year, this is the standard-bearer for larger stagnant unions to look up to and emulate.
With Arnold Schwarzenegger riding high last year in the polls as Governor, the nurses took umbrage at his selective cuts for people programs while performing as a corporate cyborg for corporate greed and tax escapism. When he called them a "special interest", the nurses swung …

Kattan taihinasso

For those truly interested in the future of Guam, one place to keep track of, is the letter to the editor pages of the Pacific Daily News. There are always several things at work here, and often times they operate at such a commonsensical hegemonic level that they just plain go unnoticed.

First off, as I wrote a few days ago, you can see the media in Guam, doing its work, which is actively articulating what is and is not "American" in Guam, thus certain things which are in the best interests of the paper and that which it represents (US strategic colonial interests) are proudly labelled American, while other things which might conflict or threaten American dominance (whether it be ideological or political) are deftly set aside as not American at all.

Second of all, you can see very powerful sites where common sense is maintained and produced. Commonsense notions connect us to each other, and provides common frames through which we can interact and understand each other. The pr…

Theory of D'oh

For those familiar with my work (I'm sure there are a few of you) as well as those who frequent my blog ramblings, you know how important movies are to my analysis and rants. Alot of times they lighten the mood, other times they can help illustrate a densely theoretical point. Most of the time its just because I want to be a punk.

After giving a presentation at a conference where I used several films to make theoretical points, which to most people probably didn't make sense (such as Weekend at Bernie's and images of fallen soldiers), someone asked me what theory of film interpretation I'm using when I analyze films. I thought about that for a moment, because I'd never really thought about it before. I don't really know any film interpretation styles, having never taken any film classes, but always just made shit up about movies, or used stuff from other disciplines to analyze.

One thing that passed through my mind was saying Zizekian style (lana, ti ya-hu este n…

aras

I came across this on ebay. A haole lady selling her wedding rings. Check out her saga:

The Reason why my wedding ring(s) are for sale, besides to pay the mortgage............
It was 1998, I was living in Guam (a US Territory about 6-thousand miles off the coast of California) and working in Sales & Marketing for a US based airline’s Asian hub. It was a dream job, in a dream location at a dreamy time of life – 29 years old, single, no children with major debt to speak of. My job title was, “Representative of Corporate Communications & Community Relations, Asia/Pacific.” Simply stated, I handled public relations and advertising duties for the Asia/Pacific region, with the exception of Japan…not on my own, nor was I probably the best at it, but I did well enough to stay employed for six years when I decided I needed a change….not just from my job, but I needed to be gone from an apartment my former boyfriend (and future husband….you’ll understand later) and I shared before he retu…

indigenous secrets

In one of my seminar classes a few months ago we were discussing the book Ojibawa Warrior by Dennis Banks. It tells the story about the American Indian Movement from the perspective of one of its leaders. I found many of the stories inspiring because of the extent that these men and women went to fight for their rights and their survival (such as armed resistance against the FBI and US military to occupying a Federal building in Washington D.C.). But at the same time the text was disheartening because of how little has changed in the lives of Native Americans, as their existences continue to be simultaneously erased and appropriated in very exploitative and simplistic ways.

Back to the seminar, one of the my classmates began to critique the book, saying that Banks didn't go into enough detail about how they organized. Their strategies. Their tactics. She wanted to know more of those things and felt like the text wasn't very good since Banks hadn't addressed those issues.

Upo…

Editing

People often ask me why am I so averse to editing and feedback. Whenever I get feedback for a paper or an article, anything I've written, I nearly always go into a blind rage about how stupid, silly or confused the person is, how they don't understand what I'm trying to say, or how they are trying to soften or muffle what my intentions are. Sometimes I can argue my way out of making changes, other times I can't.

Today, while I was writing a letter to the editor of the Pacific Daily News, I came across another reason why I find feedback so horrifying. The size limits to the PDN letter to the editor page are 300 words for letters, 550 for editorials.

I wrote out the article that I would love for them to print. It was about 600 words long, too much. It was hard to cut but I started making some edits, here and there. Taking out some cool lines I had, some cool language, imagery, etc. The more I cut, the less exciting the letter was, the more academic it sounded.

What I've…

Getting in touch with my inner and outer geek

I've noticed that its very shiek lately to be a pretend geek. When I say pretend geek, I mean amass a lot of knowledge or interest in something, BUT, maintain a careful distance to the subject. From the pretend geek point of view, the basic antagonism is whether or not the knowledge, the interest will control or affect you.

Let's make a few illustrative points here. For example, today James Doohan from Star Trek has passed away. Let's see, gi maneran Goofus yan Gallant, what a pretend geek, a real geek and a real psycho geek would do.

Pretend geek: Recall during a conversation that during the film Trekkies one of James Doohan's chairs was sold for like $375 dollars at a convention.

Real geek: Immediately start pre-production for Trekkies 3: Beam Me Up Scotty.

Real psycho geek: Start tracking down whoever bought that chair in order to finish the warp core that you have begun construction of down at Public Storage.

Pretend geek: Pepper your conversations with "I can…

Espeos

For those searching for some philosophy with their reflective objects, I suggest you move beyond Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone, which has all the philosophical finesse of a bunker buster bomb (oh I see, the philosophical insight behind this object is...), and try Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

The film is full of mirrors, some easier to identify, others of course only a mirroring surfacing when they are reflecting or refracting points. In addition to the ontological explorations which take place throughout the film through the use of dolls, you can also find interesting tidbits here and there about what a mirror is or does, such as this, "the mirror offers a glimpse, but not scrutiny."
Published on Friday, July 15, 2005 by The Nation
Aristide in Exile
by Naomi Klein

This article will appear in the August 2005 issue of The Nation.

When United Nations troops kill residents of the Haitian slum Cité Soleil, friends and family often place photographs of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on their bodies. The photographs silently insist that there is a method to the madness raging in Port-au-Prince. Poor Haitians are being slaughtered not for being "violent," as we so often hear, but for being militant; for daring to demand the return of their elected president.

It was only ten years ago that President Clinton celebrated Aristide's return to power as "the triumph of freedom over fear." So what changed? Corruption? Violence? Fraud? Aristide is certainly no saint. But even if the worst of the allegations are true, they pale next to the rap sheets of the convicted killers, drug smugglers and arms traders who ousted Aristide and continue to enjoy free …

Redecorating

For those that care, I've made some changes to the blog. Along the right side, in addition the usual links and ads, I've added some new categories. First is a section on my insane love writings, from a few months ago. The second is for all the poems that I've posted on here over the past year. It was alot of fun going back through all my posts, lana, todu i tiempo linemlem yu' ni' Guahu.

Don't phunk with my Asha

I heard "Don't Phunk with my Heart" by the Black Eyed Peas on the radio the other day. I started freaking out, not just because its a good song (gof maolek bumaila), but because I recognized the old Bollywood song they sampled to make it. It was an Asha Bhosle song from a movie I haven't seen, but I have seen the video. I was freaking out, I kept telling people, this is an Asha Bhosle song, this is an Asha Bhosle song. Despite the majority of people that I told not caring, it was nonetheless very exciting to have made that connection.

The song got so into my head that I decided to go out and buy the CD today. I popped it in and decided to check out if they credited Asha Bhosle with the song. They did, but I was surprised because I was actually only half right.

I had thought it was just the song "aye naujawan hai sab kuch" from Apradh, but what Black Eyed Peas actually credited was this as well as another Asha Bhosle song, "yeh mera dil yaar ka diwana&quo…

I Guinayan Dandan

Fine'nina, I am not a musically inclined person at all. Ti maolek yu' kumanta. Ti maolek yu' dumandan, maseha na instrument. Ti maolek yu' mangge' kanta. But despite having all of this against me, I still dream of being a musician. I dream constantly of starting up a Chamorro band. There have been a couple of times in my life where I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a 'backyard jam' session, and each time it was ridiculously fun. Singing along to familiar songs, or making up new lyrics to familiar tunes.

What I enjoyed the most was singing with everyone, the English verses and then during the bridges making up my own lyrics in Chamorro to match the tune. Sometimes I would just translate one of the verses from English into Chamorro off the top of my head, other times it would be a completely new unrelated verse, and other times what I would imagine a third verse to the song would sound like.

Masangan na gaige gi halom kada na korason Chamorro, i guin…

taya' salape'-ku

Taya' salape'-ku, sopues ti bai hu hulat humanao para Guahan este na summer. Gof triste yu' put este, gof makkat. Este na sakkan na taigue yu' ginnen Guahan, gof mappot luma'la'. Kada na ha'ani hu gof hasso i isla-ku, yan kana' tumanges yu' put i umachago'-mami.

Nai esta siguru yu' na ti bai hu hanao para Guahan, tumuge' yu' ni' este na betsu put i minahalang-hu. Kao annok giya Guiya i minahalang-hu?



In the time it took me to drive to work today
To drive twenty miles
Through thick sick smelling smog
Over overcrowded concrete lanes

I could have driven down to my great grandfather’s old farm, seen the piece of land they call Bubulao, which they say is haunted by some of the nastiest taotaomo’nas around, and where the soil is so rich it smells like a new moon, guiding a thousand more plantings and harvests.

I could have driven down to Si Ben Meno’s house and watched him fix his nets, or tunu I kinenne’-na. Talk to him about the strength of…

Into the Mouth of Madness

Image
After having a beautiful six year relationship that ended last year, I've spent the last year single, and its been a strange experience.

I don't understand dating. I really don't at all. I understand the rules for it, the expectations confuse me and paralyze me. There are expectations of actions and statements, (at this point, he should be saying this. at this point she should be doing this.) There are expectations of roles, (he is the one who is supposed to make the first move.) There are temporal/ chronological expectations (now that this stage has passed, this action is now allowed). But even the idea that a date is a contained experience, with knowable easily identified boundaries is difficult. I've been on several dates that weren't dates, and been out several times on what apparently, much to my surprise, were dates!

Its weird though, thinking about this doesn't save you from the madness. If anything, if makes the experience all the more harrowing. It makes…

The bliss which can only be for me!

It is both funny and sad to read Zizek writing on freedom. Far from the George W. Bush and liberal democratic mantras on freedom, which make it a positive certainty, so positive it is a thing which must be ruthlessly defended or strategically shared, Zizek's sense of freedom is not rooted in certainty, but an certain, wild, excited uncertainty, or rather a jubliant misrecognition. Far from something static that clings to us, so long as we wave flags or respect troops, freedom is something which rarely comes around, it is as Rosa Luxemberg said, for those who think differently. It is for those whose excitement or whose fidelity allow them to mistake the world around them, and sometimes remake it, by changing the possibilities.

For example, for Kant the French Revolution wasn't so much an exercise in freedom, as was people's jubliant, estatic responses to it. The way people reacted to proclaimed outburst of freedom, that reaching of the end limit of imagination and then ridin…

Nasion Chamoru

Writing about colonization in action can be a hysterical albeit terrifying experience. It reminds me of a Dilbert comic, where the pointy haired boss tells a worker that the collar he is putting on him comes with an electric shock which will buzz him if he leaves the area of his "office" or a circle drawn on the carpet. Later in the week the worker is still there and we learn that he has been taught to beg for food.

Seeing colonization in action is paying attention to those invisible walls. It is the experience of bumping into something you know does not exist. Finding the end limit of the person who is resigned to sit on the floor, trapped by something which may or may not trap them. It is being forced to confront something that this person takes as so incredibly concrete and real that whether it exists or not, whether it has effects or not, it will contain and confine that person within that designated zone.

Case in point, a recent exchange on one of the horrifying coconut C…

Fanhasso Si Angel Santos

Remembering Angel Santos
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Variety News Staff

CHAMORRO activists will join the family of the late Sen. Angel L. G. Santos tomorrow in commemorating the death of the most vocal advocate of Chamorro rights, credited for forcing the implementation of the Chamorro Land Trust Act in 1992.

Debbie Quinata, tribunal council member of I Nasion Chamoru, said the gathering at the Angel L.G. Santos Latte Stone Memorial Park in Hagatna, which starts 6 p.m. tomorrow, is open to “everyone who believes in what Angel had fought for.”

Quinata said the gathering will provide a venue for local community leaders and residents to reflect on Santos’s legacy to the Chamorro people.

Quinata remembers Santos’ passion and devotion to the causes he took up.

“People only saw him as an activist. What some didn’t see in him was the charismatic person who truly believed in protecting the inalienable rights of all Chamorros. He believed in freedom of speech,” Quinata said.“He felt that if we were complac…