Showing posts from February, 2007


I just wanted to share with everyone this image, which is a photo (ginnen Thea) which shows off my blue Risk pieces on the verge of overrunning the world. This image is special to me because it records for posterity, what was my first Risk victory ever. The game began in an interesting way. Me, Jose and Thea (all in Ethnic Studies at UCSD) were sitting at the table at a board game party which, was being attended primarily by Ethnic Studies graduate students from UCSD, and had been early on hijacked by a magic mic and largely assisted by large amounts of alcohol. With all the board games free the three of us faced a difficult choice. After reducing our options by almost a dozen we were left with two choices, capitalism or imperialism. Or as they are known around the world Monopoly and Risk. Gof mappot este na inayek, para Siha ni' manggai"progressive politics." Manhuehuego taiguini kalang mani'isao no? The three of us are all from islands, Guam, the Philippines and Pu…

Why I Can't Take My Eyes Off of Ehren Watada

I've been following the case of Army Lt. Ehren Watada for a while now, with anticipation, fear, and yes, yes, coming from the most colonized place left in the world, Guam, yes, jealousy. I'll explain the jealousy comment in a moment. As you can read below, Watada made alot of people relieved and nervous in 2004 when he refused to deploy to Iraq, claiming that the war was immoral and illegal. Alot of people in lower ranks have made similar claims or attempted to make claims such as this, but their attempts, except in a few cases such as Camilio Meija never receive this sort of national attention. Why the buzz? One reason is simply that Watada is an officer. He isn't part of the rank and file, he's part of the management class of the military. It is understandable if the grunts make noises or try to escape fighting. After all, they aren't getting the material support they need for the war, are fighting next to private contractors who are making ten times as much, and …

Encountering the Colonial Other

I'm deadlocked in the writing of my prospectus right now, so even though kulang machuchuda i tintanos hu ni' meggai na idea siha, I don't have either the frame of mind of the focus right now for posting on my blog.

Para hamyo ni' esta un tungo' i kistumbre-ku, this means that I'll be posting response papers from my graduate seminars until I can get back on top of my schedule. Na'magof hao ni' este, ya despensa para i ginagu-hu.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Colonial Sovereignty
Jodi Blanco

According to Peter Fitzpatrick, the law becomes the curious fetish of the colonies. From the perspective of the colonizer, a sort of sudden sovereignty emerges at the moments of contact with a “new” world which cannot readily be accounted for in his current imagination. As he bumps up against this “new” gap in the symbolic network, which is never truly a gap, but only the appearance of one, sovereignty erupts as the ability to map not just this new land, but also himself. …

Lucky to be the Tip of America's Spear

When I make claims that Chamorro and Guam-based patriotism to the United States is dangerous, people tend to give me looks like I am insane or mabababa i ilu-hu.

For most people, and this includes Chamorros on Guam, the United States is basically all the island has got going for it. We get to be US citizens, we get to be a footnote to the greatest country in the history of the universe, we get to fly the American flag over our island and drap it over our soldiers who die in battle. In the universe of this thinking, even if we accept and admit that Guam is a colony of the United States, we are still apparently supposed to feel suette. I mean, things could be much much worse, what if we were a colony of France, or the Philippines, or Afghanistan? We should feel glad that we are stuck with a colonizer who understands how to use productively and efficiently our geographic position in order to project its military power into Asia and ensure that its narrow national and economic interests di…

The Simple and Stupid Ways Sovereignty is Produced

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I've been trying to figure out my next step as far as my new baby, and also been stucking in writing my prospectus for my dissertation in Ethnic Studies.

I know all my ideas, but writing them down into a basic social science research format isn't my style. It feels weird, forcing me to answer too many questions which I don't feel are important and are more about establishing disciplinary or self-academic identities than anything else.

But this article from Newsweek which was just passed my way by Debbie Quinata, I Maga'haga i Nasion Chamoru, proves to me why my proposed dissertation project is not just correct, but also important.

Being a "tiny remote Pacific Island" or a "dot on the map" or "sleepy hollow of the Pacific" we tend not to think of ourselves in Guam, or even people from other islands, as having very much or being capable of very much. This seems to be true in numerous realms …

Dispatches from Guam #6: Self Government in these dots

Dispatches from Guam #6: "Self-Government" in these dots...

“Self-government” American style, in these dots of overwhelming strategic value, looks suspiciously like colonialism.

A news flash for many American who think it died with the declaration of rich wigged white men that slaves, woman and poor people were inferior, or the imperialist flings of 1898, or was solely the province of lesser freedom loving nations.

In the name of democracy, the United States has assumed the throne of global colonizers, precisely because the exploitation, intentional underdevelopment and lack of democracy all gets portrayed and understood as necessary, for security, for freedom, for democracy.

From the lips of Washington’s legislators, military officers and policy shills, we encounter the height of hypocrisy, namely that the smooth running of American democracy requires its absence on Guam. The prospect of “alien races” having two senators might wrench the nation asunder.


I’ve got a surprise for everyone!

In about two months from now, I’m going to be a father!

Hunggan dinanche hafa un hungok, gi i otro’ña na mes bai hu tåta!

I’m very excited about this, but the situation is a little complicated too. Me and the i nananpatgon-hu, Jessica aren’t together, so although I’ve said that I’m committed to helping raise the baby and she’s said that she’ll support me and let me participate, the mechanics of it all are still uncertain.

For the past few months I’ve been planning to move back to Guam. I’ve been rushing to finish up with my coursework, qualify and take my exams and then head home to try and find work.

Over the past few weeks however, things have gotten more and more uncertain. Since coming back to Guam a few weeks ago (and feeling my baby kick twice!) I’ve been in academia again and facing the realities of finishing up a dissertation. Different people, professors and family members have all cautioned me against hurrying back to Guam. Not because of the bab…

Dispatches from Guam #5: One Hand Gives While...

Dispatches from Guam #5: One Hand Gives While...

The liberating Marine brings more than just my freedom, he brings Spam, powdered milk, Coca Cola, nuclear submarines, mustard gas and Global Hawks, all apparently the building blocks for a better life in Micronesia.

As one hand giveth though, the other condemns land and lives left and right.

As the land and language is ripped from the fingers and mouths of my parents, never to be mine, I know the price is not only too much, but that the wares of this way of life are suspect, rotten to the core.

Dispatches from Guam #4: Vicious Circle of Belonging

Dispatches from Guam #4: The Vicious Circle of Belonging...

Maayao i litratu ginnen este na lugat ************************* A vicious, almost cruel circle of belonging awaits the Chamorro. The flag that was raised above Guam in 1898 and then again in 1944, which Chamorros now raised proudly as their own, cuts our island colonially, constantly.

It states with the emphatic content of a school song, that this land is their land, and no longer my land. The sea of historical and political inclusions and exclusions that comprise the daily existence of a Chamorro, exist at the whim of Congress, the President. When they see military necessity, citizenship we receive. Belonging to the United States is meant literally, why else would we be eligible for welfare, but not voting rights?

Dispatches from Guam #3: Fortunate Footnote

Dispatches From Guam #3: Fortunate Footnote...

This nation to which we are taught to think of ourselves as a fortunate footnote, is indivisible when its strategically important, but easily divisible otherwise.

What a strategic schizophrenic experience I live, when every Liberation Day, the President places me at the center of what makes America American, while the media, the State Department, and the military places me last on the list of democratically acceptable options.

What am I to think when in the same day, the Department of Interior will call Guam a “partner” in negotiations and then NBC will refer to military exercises taking place on the “US owned island of Guam?”

Dispatches from Guam #2: The Edge of America

Dispatches from Guam #2: The Edge of America

Our homeland prime real estate for the projecting of power and the potential waging of war, we find ourselves well versed in seductive possibility in geography, or what the colonizer wants.
On the edge of America and the edge of Asia.
But the cost of this knowledge is dear and on a daily basis we are all haunted by a simple question: Would Reagan, Clinton, Bush the Second, or any other Commander in Chief, affirm an Americaness for me, second class or otherwise, if Guam lay on the edge of nothing?