Showing posts from May, 2006

Why I Can't Take My Eyes Off Noam Chomsky

Published on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 by the Independent / UK
Why It's Over For America
by Noam Chomsky

An inability to protect its citizens. The belief that it is above the law. A lack of democracy. Three defining characteristics of the 'failed state'. And that, says Noam Chomsky, is exactly what the US is becoming. In an exclusive extract from his devastating new book,"Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy," America's leading thinker explains how his country lost its way.

The selection of issues that should rank high on the agenda of concern for human welfare and rights is, naturally, a subjective matter. But there are a few choices that seem unavoidable, because they bear so directly on the prospects for decent survival. Among them are at least these three: nuclear war, environmental disaster, and the fact that the government of the world's leading power is acting in ways that increase the likelihood of these catastrophes. It is impor…

Why Do We Fear Being a Third World Country, but LOVE Being a First World Colony?

Over the past three years I've been fortunate, despite my political predispositions, to have several of my letters to the editor published in The Pacific Daily News. If I can remember them off the top of my head, one was for Angel Santos, another in support of decolonization, another was against the re-naming of Marine Drive, Marine Corps Drive, one on the similarities between the occupations of Guam and Iraq by the United States and another on the ESPN cockfighting, daughter marrying scandal. I've written a number of others which weren't published on the editorial pages.

At UCSD I get free access to the online archives for the PDN and so I decided to check out my old letters and see what the responses to them were. For the past couple years I've spent most of my time stateside going to school, so sometimes I will be told that my letter was published and just get hints from people about the responses to it.

Here's one from last year, which I wrote after reacting to T…

Guam History Contraband

For some reason I always seem to get stopped at Airport security and customs. Actually its pretty disingenous for me to make it seem like I have no idea why this is so, in reality I receive a torrent of reasons for this, from so many different people. As my grandfather would say, "sa' Bin Laden hao." Or as others say, "sa' kalang patgon halom tano' hao." For others its my work or the insane things I say on this blog or over the phone. At least once a week, while I'm talking to my brother Kuri about labor history, revolutions throughout history and political theory, I will tell him, "I bet I could say eight words right now that would make sure that someone starts listening in to this phone call."

Appearance would seem to play a larger role in me frequent harassing. Take for example this photo, which I took several years ago for a passport renewal, which was actually rejected by the passport office, and I was told to provide a new photo. I wa…

Tres Siete

I am looking for someone to tell me how to play the card game Tres Siete. I nobia-hu Si Madonna was kind and resourceful enough to get us a pack of cards while she was in Mexico over the weekend.

Amongst manamko' on Guam the game is a favorite, I last played several years ago with my auntie Vicki, her son and her sister in law. It was so much fun, despite me not being very good at it. My attitude towards my poor playing ability was always surprisingly positive. How much would basketball suck if everyone was Michael Jordan? How much better was watching the Chicago Bulls in the 1990's because they had the immortal Michael Jordan and guys like Randy Brown and Peter Myers?

My excuse when being chastised for my suckiness in Tres Siete was something similar. If all four players were pros, then it wouldn't be some climactic and gof dramatic battle, it would be a well played, but brutally monotonous deadlock. How much more exciting is the game when you pair up a 80 year old biha who…

Famoksaiyan Follow-Up

Decolonizing Chamorro
Histories, Identities & Futures

Famoksaiyan translates to either “the place or time of nurturing” or “the time to paddle forward and move ahead.” It is in this spirit that this movement is being organized. To provide a space where the somewhat dire, health, economic, and social and cultural issues Chamorros are facing through the world can be discussed by students, activists, educators and professionals and so on, with the hopes of developing progressive solutions. In addition we are hoping that this movement will provide an opportunity for Chamorros scattered through out the islands and the United States to form crucial personal, professional and political networks which will make a progressive future for Chamorros and their communities possible.

Bay Area Follow up Meeting

Saturday, May 20, 2006 10a.m. – 4p.m.
Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley (Near Bancroft & Telegraph Ave.)
For direct location of the Hall please visit:…

Into the Light, oh spiteful colonizing desire, I Command Thee!

A less than laudatory poem this year in celebration of Mother's Day. The tune to this poem is "I Nana gi i familia" ginnen Si Johnny Sablan, but with a different twist. While Johnny Sablan's own song is a tribute to the strength of Chamorro mothers, the song I wrote comes after spending several afternoons in Guam Memorial Hospital and Saint Dominic's, and seeing so many people there without families. Whereas Johnny's Sablan's song places the Chamorro mother as the center of the Chamorro family, the thing that binds it all together, that feeds, clothes, teaches, and will therefore be given a place beside Si Yu'us, the mother of my poem is very much alone.If anything the Chamorro family appears to be structured around her absence, around the ability to warehouse her and her illness elsewhere, namely the Hospital. The day I first started writing this song, I found a number of such manamko', who seemed to suffer quietly and valiantly, in this last pos…

Food With Integrity and Work With Dignity

Tell McDonald's and Chipotle to Support Fair Wages for Farm Workers

Farm workers who pick tomatoes for McDonald's hamburgers and Chipotle's burritos earn about 45 cents for every 32-pound container of tomatoes they pick, a subpoverty wage that has remained stagnant for almost 30 years. Although Taco Bell signed an agreement last year with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay an additional one cent per pound for tomatoes it purchases, McDonald's and Chipotle have refused to sign a similar agreement to raise wages in the fields. Tell McDonald's and Chipotle to support fair wages for farm workers and sign the agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers now.

What's At Stake?

Tell McDonald's and Chipotle to Support Fair Wages for Farm Workers
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), based in Immokalee, Fla., is a membership-led organization of agricultural workers. Florida is the leading producer of fresh tomatoes sold across the country to restaurants a…

Tinituhun Famoksaiyan

Gi i mamaila na simana, para bei in fandana' ta'lo para Famoksaiyan. Esta hu post put este, pues yanggen gaiinteres hao, email ha' yu'. Hu pega i infotmasion noskuantos na dihas tatte.

Gi este na espiritu, bai hu peggayi hamyo pa'go este na pinagat-hu na hu taitai gi i tinituhun Famoksaiyan gi i ma'pos na mes. Achokka' i manmatto para Famoksaiyan mostly ti sina fumino' Chamorro, hu baba i dinana' ni' este na pinagat gi fino' Chamoru, sa' ti debi di famleffa na guaha lenguahi-ta! Achokka' mas fa'set pa'go na manakuentusi hit gi fino' Ingles, i tinaya', i absence kumekuentos gui' lokkue, ya guaha nai gi i mamatkilu-na, mas a'gang kinu hafa oppan. Debi di ta hasso este.

Tinituhun Famoksaiyan:

Si Yu’us Ma’ase todus hamyo para i finatton-miyu, este na gofha'an na ha'anin.

Antes di tutuhun, nihi ta fanhasso i manmofo’na. Siha ni’ manmatto fine’nina. Siha ni’ gaigaige ha’ gi i halom tano’, gi i hagga’-ta, i hanom…

Our Silence Will Not Protect Us

From the May 12, 2006 Marianas Variety

Our Silence Will Not Protect Us

The deal recently struck between the governments of the United States and Japan allowing for the transfer of 8,000 marines and their dependents should scare us into action, not silence.

The people of Guam are right to be outraged at how people in power, our own included, are having a conversation about us, but not with us. This alarming move will affect the entire landscape of our future and our children's future yet we are expected to keep quiet about it.

When we will realize that keeping quiet is killing us? Why are some of us so quick to welcome the same troops being kicked out of Japan, a country so desperate to get these guys out that they have agreed to pay what they know is too much? Why do we want the same marines who terrorized the citizens of Okinawa with rape, alcoholism, noise and violence?

Local leaders unable or unwilling to see that this move will cause our island great soc…

Ghostly Threads

Someone emailed me last week wanting to know if I will still continue to write on dating hysteria even though I'm in a relationship now. Obviously, the tone will be a bit different, changed from the insane, desperate dating hysteric NOOB, to the now sage, veteran of brutal crushes, hysterical instructor, who has at last found a beautiful girl to spend his time with. A sort of Subcommandante Hysteric, and if any of you have read his speech on Culture of Resistance, you can understand my cheap connection as well as why Zizek says in The Ticklish Subject that hysteria is way more subversive than perversion.

In other words, my ruminations on attraction and dating will now be filled with a grateful distance. Hopefully for a while...I haven't written a dating hysteria post since I got back into a relationship, and this one I started several months ago before umasodda' ham yan Si Madonna, so I'm finishing it in a slightly different mood. So I'll be the first to admit, this…

Litratun Famoksaiyan

It look like we're going to have a followup meeting for Famoksaiyan next week in San Francisco, on the 20th and the 21st. If you are interested in attending please let either of the Migets know. (Guahu pat Si Miget Tuncap ( purpose of this meeting is to formalize the goals that we developed last month at Famoksaiyan in San Diego, to see what sort of structure this organization, if it is one at all will take. It's very exciting. (please sign up for the email list here if you want to be a part of the organizational loop)Also, I finally scanned all my six crappy disposable camera rolls from the conference. You can check them out at the links below.The Day Before Famoksaiyan First Day of Famoksaiyan Second Day of Famoksaiyan…

Paluman Marianas #1 - I Tettot

I recently transferred all my data from my old laptop to a new one and so I've been pumasesehu gi chalan hinasso for the past few weeks. I came across series of drawings I did several years ago while at the University of Guam, I Paluman Guahan, or more accurately I Paluman Marianas. I did them to complete my science credit at UOG so I could graduate. I did almost a dozen drawings of different birds. At one point the professor I did them for used them for t-shirts to raise funds to protect endangered species on Guam. Unfortunately he wasn't referring to Chamorros, he was referring to the birds. The first one I'll share is I Tettot, or the Marianas Fruit Dove.

Manaige este siha na klasin paluma giya Guahan, lao sisina ha' un sodda' gui' gi i sanlagu na islas siha, Luta, Saipan, yan i otro siha.


The Mariana Fruit-Dove or "tottot" as it is called in Chamoru, once graced Guam's forests with its smooth cooing ca…

How The Interests of the Military Become More Than Our Own

There are almost too many things wrong with the following article "Semper Fi: former Marines Defend Corps at Women's Meeting", my mind mumachalapon trying to write about them all and distinguish them all. (scroll down to read the article, originally this was just supposed to be a short intro to the article, but it sprawled out of control)

First of all, there is the idea that no unfriendly, negative or critical thing can be said about the United States Military without a positive rebuttal. John Gerber is indignant that somewhere on Guam, people are talking poorly of the United States Marines Corps, and there is no representative of the Corps there to defend it. I would be fine with this complaint, if the next logical point became hegemonic in representations of the United States Military in Guam. Namely that all positive statements about the United States Military be accompanied by a negative rebuttal. Sadly and for those familiar with the tone of Guam's media, this is…