Showing posts from September, 2006

Justice and Equality = Sovereignty

If you have been keeping up with the news on Guam, then you know that the military is making contingency plans for retaking some of the lands which they had already returned as excess, to make way for new firing ranges in Northern Guam in Finegayan.

Although the information of this only comes from a report, which outlines two plans for building a Marine firing range, one which will require the taking of non-military lands, the other which will not require the taking of non-military lands. For everyone on Guam, this shouldn't even be an issue, in terms of our relationship with the military, we are already way beyond mere accomodation and support, and the taking of even more lands by the military will be a travesty! Especially these lands which were just returned to the original land owners and now might be taken from them, AGAIN! As Jose Pangelinan one of the landowners "caught in the middle" of this land grab deja vu, "My father bought that (land) when he was a young…

The Liberators Who Deserve the Title

A few years ago, during the debate over what to "re-name" Marine Drive, I sent a letter to the editor of The Pacific Daily News, contributing my two cents. When finishing up my master's thesis in Micronesian Studies at the University of Guam, I collected all the letters to the editor, editorials and articles about this topic from The Marianas Variety, The Pacific Daily News, and Kuamand wrote about how I saw a very particular cartography or mapping of patriotism and identity taking place in the way people were asserting that this history of eternal dependency and loyalty to the United States, was the history that had to be preserved and passed on. The position that I took was an uncommon one, of the dozens of articles and letters in support of the re-naming of Marine Drive, Marine Corps Drive, me and possibly two other people sent in letters critical of this act. Eventually as we all know, Marine Drive was re-named Marine Corps Drive.

I'm posting the text of my letter…

Chamorro Public Service Post - Si Juan Malimanga

I finally got the load photo function on my blog to work so I will no finish what I started last week with Juan Malimanga. Achokka' todu giya Guahan buente esta ma tungo' ya ma li'e didide' Si Juan gi i gaseta, siempre (ya na'ma'ase) ti sina ma komprende i mama'bababa-na.
So today, I'll offer a translation of a Juan Malimanga comic strip. Often times the straight translation of Juan Malimanga into English doesn't quite capture the humor because there is an additional cultural or historical message. For example, in one strip, there is a police officer giving Juan a ticket, while there is a joke that can be gotten without knowing the intended "inside joke" for many Chamorros who were of age during Ricky Bordallo's term as Governor of Guam, they would know that the police in this strip is meant to evoke the officer who infamously gave Bordallo's limo a parking ticket.In the following strip though, there really isn't any inside cul…


Desde matto yu' tatte gi lagu sen mahalang yu' nu isla-ku.

Achokka' kalang sinangan sindalu este, nangga yu' isla-ku, ti apmam siempre ya bai hu bira yu' tatte.

(Not So) Simple Act of Decolonization #2

I wrote yesterday that the ultimate/fundamental/hegemonic question in Guam today is "how can we be Americans?" What this means is that for those who claim to be the most patriotic nuts out there or those who claim to be indigenous activists and revivalists, it is ultimately a question of Americaness that dictates what will mean and what you will be to everyone else on Guam.

Tonight I was speaking to one of my friends Vince who is currently writing some very interesting, inspiring and thankfully consciousness Chamorro reggae songs that make use of the historical research that people such as Anne Perez Hattori in her incredible text Colonial Dis-Ease have done. Pa'go, mamangge Si Vince kanta put I difunton Anget Santos, i sen maolek na bida-na, yan i irensia-ta ginnen Guiya. Pues gi este na simana, esta dos biaha umakuentusi ham gi tilifun put i hinasso-na Si Anghet yan i mahasso-na ginnen i otro na Chamoru siha yan taotao ni' sumasaga giya Guahan.

In addition to all the…

Guam, ?.?.?.

Gof ya-hu lao mampos ti ya-hu i kantan K.C. Leon Guerrero, "Guam U.S.A." I rason siha na ya-hu yan ti ya-hu gof komplikao, ya meggai na sina sumangan este na rasion put i inafektan colonization giya Guahan.

To better understand these issues of colonization, nihi ta fanatannaihon i palabras-na siha.Guam U.S.A.
Tinige' Si K.C. Leon Guerrero
Album: Bonita na Haane

Guam U.S.A. is where I come from
And that's where I ought to be
Enjoy the girls all along the beach
And under the coconut tree

Guam is good
Guam is hot
Guam is just such a little spot
Its a beautiful island that you've never seen
Where America's Day Begins

Anai ma'u'dai yu' gi batkon aire
Para guatu Amerika
Para bai hu lie' ha' kao magahet
Lina'la Kalifotnia
Pues tumunok yu' San Francisco
Ya hu sodda' un Amerikanu
Ilek-na "Where are you From?"
Ilek-hu "I'm from Guam"
Kao guaha un keketungo'?

Ilek-hu I'm from Guam U.S.A.
And I'm proud that it is true
Well I w…

Why I Can't Take my Eyes Off of Keith Olbermann

Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 by MSNBC
This Hole in the Ground
by Keith Olbermann

Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space. And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.

All the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and -- as I discovered from those "missing posters" seared still into my soul -- two more in the Towers.

And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.

I belabor this to emphasize that, for me this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.

And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a …

The State of Chamorro Language

Last month I was asked by Zita Pangelinan of the Haya' Cultural Institute, which is doing some incredible work on Guam in cultural and economic development (primarily for the southern part of the island), to write up a paper on the state of Chamorro language in Guam. I'm no good really at these sorts of things. I can synthesize information pretty well, but often times tasks like this scare me because I never ever seem to have the access to all the materials and information I feel I need. There are so many variables the most difficult task is limiting myself in such a way that the task can be finished, without ballooning out of control.

Here is the draft I have so far, my thoughts and then at the end a list of recommendations:


2005 was marked with an incredible moment of hope for those concerned with the future of Chamorro language, as Governor of Guam Felix Camacho declared that the year would known as Añon Fino’ Chamorro yan Kottura, or “The Year of Chamorro Language and…

On Our Own Again

The common sense that everyone believes about the 8,000 Marine military increase, that it will lead to a huge windfall for the entire island is patently disproved or at least disrupted in the following articles. While the PDN article obviously downplays the clear truth, JAL does little to dodge how we will be on our own in securing the money to pay for the arrival of the slew of military increases the US is unilaterally planning.

What frustrates me so much is that even though points like this are reported in both the PDN and the Marianas Variety, it does little to affect how people think about the military historically or in future terms. The military brings with it more than just spending at Chamorro village, taxes and a weak love potion #9 mixture to make the begging of the Guam delegate go a wee bit less degrading. It brings with it wear, tear, daily supposedly acceptable forms of violence, and therefore all sorts of damage.

While I was in Hawai'i last week, a military transport …