Showing posts from April, 2007

The Language of Decolonization

I just wanted to share with everyone, the short speech below which I had intended to give at last week's incredible conference, Famoksaiyan "Our Time to Paddle Forward" Summit on Native Self-Determination and Decolonization. This was a continuation of last year's conference that we held down here in San Diego, and because the dream didn't die, didn't dissolve and didn't disappear, I can safely now refer to last year's gathering as "historic." And do so with incredible pride.

It has truly been inspiring, both this year and last year to see the incredible excitement and commitment that I have come across and that has been created amongst Chamorros and others from Guam out here. I'll make an uncomfortable point here before continuing. I rarely put any stock into the self-inflating rhetoric of Chamorros being strong or passionate or willing to fight for what is right, since this, like with most ethnic groups or communities, often is spoken s…

Matto Tatte' Si Naomi Klein

Its good to see Naomi Klein publishing things again, I know she was on research leave or something for a while now.


Published on Friday, April 27, 2007 by The Nation
Sacrificial Wolfie
by Naomi Klein

It’s not the act itself, it’s the hypocrisy. That’s the line on Paul Wolfowitz, coming from editorial pages around the world. It’s neither: not the act (disregarding the rules to get his girlfriend a pay raise) nor the hypocrisy (the fact that Wolfowitz’s mission as World Bank president is fighting for “good governance”).First, let’s dispense with the supposed hypocrisy problem. “Who wants to be lectured on corruption by someone telling them to ‘do as I say, not as I do’?” asked one journalist. No one, of course. But that’s a pretty good description of the game of one-way strip poker that is our global trade system, in which the United States and Europe–via the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization–tell the developing world, “You take …

Act of Decolonization #6: Metgotña Yanggen Manhita

One thing which was discussed and highlighted as critically important at last weekend's beautiful and incredibly inspirational Famoksaiyan conference in Berkeley and Oakland, California was the need to be informed and make your voices known on the issue of the impending military build up of Guam. (I will absolutely have more on the conference soon)

At the conference we passed out comment forms which the military is distributing to the public on Guam in hopes of convincing us that we have a say in the process and that our concerns will be taken seriously. In one way, we can look at this act and think that they are trying to fool us, trick us into thinking we have more power in this situation than we really do. Even if we sent a million letters to them telling them to stop this increase, they would do it anyway. There is unfortunately alot of truth to this, however, we also need to see the vulnerability and anxiety of the military in their offerings of transparency.

The movement of M…


I pilan yanggen sumåhi, guaha magof gi sumahi-ña...

On April 16, 2007 at 11:18 a.m. after two days of trying to induce labor, and eleven hours of actual labor, a baby girl, Sumåhi Chan Bevacqua was born to myself and i nananpatgon-hu, Jessica Chan.I fine'nina na patgon-hu este, ya sen nina'magof yu'.

From The Mouth of Fallon

Although I often say that Guam appears in empty ways in media representations at the national level, this doesn't mean that there is "nothing to see there." The absence of something is something which can and must nonetheless be interrogated.

In articles such as "Looking for Friendly Base Overseas, Pentagon Finds it Already Has One" or "Dot on Map Regains Strategic Stature" from newspaper such as The Los Angeles Times or The New York Times, Guam appears, sometimes with a history, sometimes tragically without it, but always because of the empty way it appears, as something which is purely an object or instrument of the United States. This emptiness is never simply reality or just simply a lack of knowledge about i bunita na isla-ta, but is always productive of something. Therefore, the structures of power can be felt in all of these texts, even if as we find too often in reports covering the "transfer" of 8,000 US Marines from Okinawa to Guam,…

Chamorro Public Service Post #6: Puti Tai Nobiu

After I got such a great response from people for my last Chamorro Public Service Post that featured the words to the song Apo Magi,I've decided to include another one.

Although not as famous I love this song even more about of the imagery it uses, which is uncommon in Chamoro music in this sort of sustained form. The metaphoric languages of flowers and the jungle are often dropped into Chamorro songs, but rarely stay away in this sort of way in order to entrance you.

The song for today is Puti Tai Nobiu, written I believe by Roque Mantanona, and sung by Flora Baza Quan. Johnny Sablan later responded with a male version called Puti Tai Nobia, but its nowhere near as intense or beautiful (in my opinion) as this one.

(bai hu dedicate este pa'go nu i nobia-hu Si Rashne, Si Yu'us Ma'a'se para todu i sinapotte-mu yan kinemprende-mu, este halacha na meses siha.)

Put Tai Nobiu:

Put Tai Nobiu From FBQ Written by Roque Mantanoña
Ha tuge’ i tutuhun i tano’
Gi hatdin i paraisu

Why I Can't Take My Eyes Off of Arundhati Roy

I wish I could write more about Arundhati Roy today, but right now I'm getting ready for the possible birth of my baby tomorrow, and so my mind is a bit pre-occupied. Needless to say she makes so many important points for people who are engaged with struggles against neo-liberalism, imperialism, militarization, and nation-states which seem to have honed to perfection the art of violent indifference. Her responses to the idea that social change or the pursuit of justice should be prevented or stalled because of the possibility that what happens the "day after" will be either violent or uncomfortable is particularly important to those of us who stand on the fearsome edge of decolonization, overlooking an abyss of uncertainty should we ever choose to break with the warm comforting caress of the colonizer.

Published on Sunday, March 25, 2007 by Tehelka
On India’s Growing Violence:
‘It’s Outright War and Both Sides are Choosing Their Weapons’
by Arundhati Roy

The following is an …

Act of Decolonization # 5: Filosofia Famoksaiyan

With the upcoming Famoksaiyan conference fast approaching (April 20-22, 2007 in Berkeley and Oakland), I thought I'd post something I wrote up last year and later presented in Guam at the Decolonizing Our Lives Forum.

Over the past few years, I am often asked "what exactly is decolonization?" This is a question I am always seeking new ways to answers and to open up for larger discussion. In Guam, from nearly all points in the political spectrum decolonization is one of three things.

First: it is a formal process of political status change, and comprised most prominently of political status votes in which those who have been historically denied the right to self-determination, are allowed to vote to decide the island's political existence. If you go to the office of the Commission for Decolonization in Anigua', this is the type of decolonization that they will describe to you and give you pamphlets about.

Second: it is suicide. It is a risky and careless weakening of…

Famoksaiyan Flyer

I'm heading back to Guam tomorrow hopefully to catch the birth of my baby, not sure when I'll be posting again regularly, but in the meantime here's the flyers for the upcoming Famoksaiyan conference. You can also view and download the flyers by clicking on these links

Famoksaiyan Flyer Front
Famoksaiyan Flyer Back

Si Yu'us Ma'ase nu Si Kie Susuico, Victoria Leon Guerrero yan i pumalu siha para i che'chon-niha

Kiss Kiss Bangalore

Buente este un tungo' put i guinaiya-ku nu i Simpsons yan kontodu nu i bailan yan kachidon Bollywood. Pa'go hu fakcha'i este na kachido, ni' muna'unu i dos na guinaiya-ku siha.

Ti hu tungo' manu na klasin yu'us chumaolao i diniseha-hu, lao hu gof agradesi i fina'tinas-mu!

Gaige yu' pa'go giya New York, para bei fama'nu'i tinige'-hu gi i Association of Asian American Studies Conference. So not much to post until I'm back in San Diego.


Probably won't be able to post for a little while so I thought I'd show you one of my paintings instead. Na'magof hao, ya asi'i yu' put fabot put i tinaigue-ku yan ginagu-hu.

One more thing before I go, I'm slowly but surely tagging all of my posts, and so instead of using the categories which run down the right side of the blog, you can now surf through my blog more easily by clicking on any of the post categories at the end of each post.


When the French philosopher Jacques Derrida died in October of 2004, I had intended to write something about it on my blog. Unfortunately I never got around to it.

I was reading an interview with Gayatri Spivak the other day and I was reminded about how I hadn't written anything about Derrida yet. Like most people I have had a back and forth, regularly conflicted relationship with the work of Derrida. When I first read Of Grammatology many years ago, my first reaction was "bulls*it!" From the perspective of someone who is from a "non-modern" culture, the idea that Derrida proposed that in European philosophy "speech" is privileged over "writing" was not just wrong, it was insulting! The reason that a text like Destiny's Landfall which is extremely comprehensive, bringing together most all acknowledged sources on Guam's history can nonethless be problematic and often written atop racist assumptions, is simply because for the writing o…

The Civilized World At Its Finest

The article, from The Guardian, below provides some perspective on the "treatment" of prisoners, with a good bit of truthful humor mixed in.

It is only the belief in American inherent "exceptionalism" and unbreakable moral goodness, and therefore thay they posess alone the right to dictate and determine the nature of the world, that allows people in this country uncritically condemn the treatment of these 15 British prisoners by Iran, despite an incredible amount of evidence, from extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo Bay, which shows clearly that the that the only thing that makes the United States "exceptional" in this regard, is the way its Government and most of its population can remain blind to the violence it perpetuates at home, abroad and in a "no man's land" like GITMO.
Published on Saturday, March 31, 2007 by The Guardian/UK
Call That Humiliation? No hoods. No electric shocks. No beatings. These Iranians Clearly Are a Very Unc…