Showing posts from March, 2007

What Lies at the Center of American Greatness? Taxes and 650,000 People

I had promised to write a letter to the editor of the Pacific Daily News several months ago, after it was announced that the five non-voting delegates to United States Congress (from Guam, The Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.) had suddenly become voting non-voting delegates!
Although I posted twice about this, I got sidetracked from writing the actual PDN letter because I decided to use the giving and taking away of these "symbolic" rights to articulate one of the ways in which the United States is dependent upon Guam, for the production of its sovereignty. I'm on break from school for a few days and so I've decided to finally get this letter out. I've got a long draft of it done, but just need to ribaha gui' esta ki 450-500 words. This is a very intriguing case which deserves more attention, both in Guam and elsewhere. If you are a patriotic American Chamorro, then your dreams are one step closer to being realized, if you are no…

Manifest Destiny, 300 and the Collective White American "We"

I wrote a few days ago about Manifest Destiny while talking about the new movie 300, and its role as a very potent site of white mythology, or a means by which the "exceptional" nature of whiteness and the whiteness of the United States can be explained and justified. This mythology has a number of different forms, but it is crucially dependent upon history being twisted into a gruesome, hopelessly random bricolage of historical events, figures, concepts, which only looks coherent, complete, and obvious to those who are invested in it reproducing their identities, privilege or whiteness.

In the case of 300 for instance, we can find this in the idea that the United States today is somehow the chosen/destined vessel for the historical transmission of the greatest principles of Spartan and Greek civilization. In the film the greatness, successes and fearsome overpowering positive charateristics of the Spartans become the property of the United States through the echoing of parti…

Tentative Famoksaiyan Session List

I just wanted to give everyone an update on the Famoksaiyan 'Our Time to Paddle Forward:' Summit on Decolonization and Native Self-Determination.The date is still set for next April 20-22 with the program on the 21st taking place in Oakland at a place called SMAAC. On the 22nd the program will be taking place at UC Berkeley in Barrows Hall.
The schedule for presentations and sessions is filling up fast and we have a very exciting lineup so far. I'll have more details and descriptions later, but for now, I'll just list the titles. Remember, if you are intereted in attending or want to know more, just email me.
Information Sessions: Marianas History Getting to Know The Department of Interior 10 Books About Guam That You Should Own or Know Overcoming the Activist Label
Workshops: Writing for Social Change Guahan Economic Sustainability Working Group Collaborating on Campus Organizing for Pacific Islander Students Chamorro Language Introduction
Presentations: Fuestan I Taot…

Homo Sacer and Torture

Put este na klasin tinige' siha, gof ya-hu Si Zizek. Malate' na taotao gui', ya magahet na gof grabu na isao este, na sina ta diskuti gi publiko'

Put este na klasin tinige’ siha, gof ya-hu Si Zizek. Malate’ na taotao gui’ ya magåhet na gof gråbu este na tinilaika, na pa’go siña ta diskuti gi publiko “torture” kulang tåya’, kalang tåya’ guaha.

Gi i ma’pos na simåna, gi iyo-ña show “Real Time” ilek-ña Si Bill Maher,

“Liberals have to stop saying that President Bush hasn’t asked Americans to sacrifice for the War on Terror. On the contrary, he’s asked us to sacrifice something enormous, our civil rights.”

Sigun Zizek, mas ki este ha', na ha na'fansakrifisio hit.


Knight of the Living Dead
By Slavoj Zizek
The New York Times
March 24, 2007

SINCE the release of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s dramatic confessions, moral outrage at the extent of his crimes has been mixed with doubts. Can his claims be trusted? What if he confessed to more than he really did, either becau…

Mina'Dos na Konfrensian Chamoru

Ginnen i Saipan Tribune
Friday, December 22, 2006
Giya Luta guatu i Mina'dos na Konferensi'an Chamorro

Sumen na'magof i monhayan-esta i masilebran i ofisi'at na mababan i Sentron Kuttura giya Luta gi ma'pos na Simana, Disiembre diha 13 yan 14, 2006. I kumabesasayi yan mumaneneha este na aktibidat giya Luta i Direktoran I Ofisinan Asunton Kominidat yan Kottura as Sinora Lourdes T. Manglona, gi papa' i direksi'on i Atkaden Munisipalidat Luta as Onorable Joseph S. Inos.

Despues de monhayan i na'magof, gatbo yan tai'acha'igua na okasi'on i mababan i Sentron Kottura, makontinuha i hunta put i planu yan areklamiento siha para i Mina'dos na Konferensi'an Chamorro. I primet na dinana' para u maplanuyi i Minados na Konferensi'an Chamorro masuseddi giya Saipan gi Oktubre diha 18, 2006. Ginen este na hunta na madisidi ni gurupu na u mafaisen Luta ya ayu guatu i dinana' i Mina'dos na Konferensi'an Chamorro. Si Direktora as Lourde…

A Little Reminder...

The fourth year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq has just passed, and in honor of the occasion I thought I'd post this letter, which was written by the editors of The Nation magazine, on the eve of the Congressional vote to authorize the President of the United States the use of force. History is being twisted around quite a bit as I write this, as different sides argue what exactly this resolution authorized. Republicans and the administration are arguing that this resolution is open-ended, a resolution which formalized a state of exception, so that the President could fight the War of Terror wherever he needed to. Since 2003 its been in Iraq, but if the President did feel the need to invade another country, such as Iran, it would be covered under the resolution as well. Democrats and more sane parties are arguing that this resolution was directed towards Iraq and Saddam only, nothing more.

I think that it would be productive for those who support or are against this war to ac…

The White Mythology of 300

I am very very conflicted over the film 300. As a comic book geek, who has lost the direct passion for comics, but is still infected with heavy nostalgia and fidelity for comics, this film looks awesome!
But as a Ethnic Studies scholar and someone who has learned the importance of being vigilante to the ways that race, racialization and racism play out at multiple levels at every moment, this movie both scared the crap out of me, and really pissed me off.
When I watched Oliver Stone’s film Alexander last year, I enjoyed some parts of it, but one part in particular struck me. During the philosophical discussions with a young Alexander and an aging Aristotle, the glories of Greek civilization are laid out for all to see and learn, and for the viewing audience of today, to make continuity to the present. After watching this section, my reading of the film, which is also my reading for 300 can be encapsulated in two words, white mythology. Or the development of truth claims, which create …

Feds Seeking Input on Military Increases

Gof na'chalek yan na'triste este na tinige' ginnen i PDN. Gigon hu taitai este fumuffo' yu', sa' taibali. Hafa pau faloffan (pau ma cho'gue) yanggen ta alok na taya' mas militat i minalago-ta? Kao pau ma respetu iyo-ta "input" yanggen "negative?" Ekungok nu hafa ma sangani i militat put este, ya gi i mamaila na sakkan siha, tufong gi todu na asunto siha ni' ma na'tungo' i militat, kuantos ma aksepta gi minagahet, ya ma tulaika i planu-niha, ya kuantos ma fa'ga'ga' hit.

Feds seek local input on Marine relocation
By David V. Crisostomo
and Steve Limtiaco
Pacific Daily News

As the region's chief executives prepare to gather in Saipan for their annual summit next week to discuss the military buildup and other shared issues, federal officials have opened the public comment window on the Marine relocation to Guam as part of the first step to the pending buildup -- the environmental impact stu…

Graduate of University of San Diego Opposed to US Military Redeployment?

I'm in the middle of the last session of my Discourse Analysis class at UCSD, bored yan yayas didide' and taking advantage of the excellent wireless in the Communications building, to google random things.

I googled "Bordallo Video Congress" and came up with a few interesting things which I'll be posting about later and hopefully putting onto Youtube.

I also googled "turn my headphones up" because I want to find the video for the Dave Chapelle sketch about the hot new rapper, Fistacuffs who was shot six times in the ear, and can only rap when all the conditions are perfect.

Then I googled "pentagon friendly Guam base overseas" in hopes of finding this article "Looking for Friendly Overseas Base, Pentagon Finds it Already Has One." This article along with many others are crucial for my dissertation that I'm currently working on. This article along with many others which refer to Guam in less than respectful ways, casually conflates t…

My Favorite Network

Gof magof hu na hu fakcha'i este na tinige'...put fin!!!! O'sun yu' put i invisiblity-ta yan banality-ta.

A New Network Forms to Close U.S. Overseas Military Bases
by Medea Benjamin

In a new surge of energy for the global struggle against militarism, some 400 activists from 40 countries came together in Ecuador from March 5-9 to form a network to fight against foreign military bases. The conference began in Quito, then participants traveled in an 8-bus caravan across the country, culminating in a spirited protest at the city of Manta, site of a U.S. base.

While a few other countries such as England, Russia, China, Italy and France have bases outside their territory, the United States is responsible for 95% of foreign bases. According to U.S. government figures, the U.S. military maintains some 737 bases in 130 countries, although many estimate the true number to be over 1,000.

A network of local groups fighting the huge U.S. military complex…

The Rubin Lake Incident

I wrote a few years ago a letter to the PDN which asked that those of us on Guam please rethink our relationship to the United States. I noted that the best time to reposition, rearticulate and rework this relationship was when, despite the powerfully charged rhetoric of Guam’s Americaness and patriotism and partnership with the US, we get slapped in the face with our colonial existence, our subordinate status. I called this moments “scandals.”

One common response that I receive from this point, is that no such scandals exist, that I was merely making it up. The relationship between Guam and America is as smooth and equitable as ever. In exchange for not paying taxes, and not being able to have any sovereignty, we get to enjoy being a strategically important appendage of the greatest country left in the world! If that can’t explain the high levels of Chamorro patriotism towards the United States, then nothing can!

Naturally, this isn’t the case. Life as a semi-American in Guam is a tenu…