Showing posts from February, 2008

There Once Was a Man Named McCain...

I have to post this, because its so funny. I just heard it on The Colbert Report (its so nice that they have their writers back), and couldn't stop laughing.

There once was a man named Mccain
Who had the whole White House to gain.
But he was such a hobbyist
of boning his lobbyist.
So much for his '08 campaign.

This, is not the way things are shaping up however, since the lack of "sexiness" to the "lobbyist sex scandal" seems to make it for people a non-issue.

But as too few people (in particular pundits) are noting, the "lobbyist scandal" isn't so much about sex, but about the intimacy of John McCain's compaign with lobbyists, and how this will impact his attempt to portray himself as a clean politician, whose maverick status is best defined by his long-standing refusal to engage in generic Washington style corruption.

After campaigning so tirelessly against salapen Washington, try your best not to be surprised when you find out the total number o…

Busy, Busy, Busy

I may not post much for the next two weeks, because frankly they look really busy.

1. Finish up helping CHELU Inc. with the writing of their application for an Administration of Native Americans Grant to assess the state of Chamorro language in San Diego.
2. I'll be at UCLA this week as a respondent for a panel that my cousin Alfred Flores is on.
3. Early next week I'll be up at UC Riverside where I'll be giving a guest lecture for Professor Robert Perez in the Ethnic Studies department. My lecture will deal with colonialism, militarization and indigenous rights and struggles through the example of Guam.
4. Then starting Wednesday next week the conference we've been planning for months in our department is finally happening! "Postcolonial" Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World: Locating the Intersections of Ethnic, Indigenous and Postcolonial Studies" is almost set to go. Right now, I am literally printing name tags and designing flyers and emailing out th…

Kalentura Oscar

The Oscars are tonight, and so here is a look at two Oscar speeches, both very inspiring, dealing with issues of race and injustice in America.

Siempre meggai giya Amerika mampinacha ni' este dos, lao gi diferentes na manera.

Gi i pinagat Poitier, ha na'hahasso hit na ti apmam desde mampos racist yan annok na racist este na nasion. Ya meggai manungon para u tulaika ayu. Sigun i fino' Poitier, debi di ta honora este na tinilaika yan i taotao ni' manonnek para u na'guaha siha.

Gi i pinagat Brando, ha na'hahasso hit put i estao i mannatibu gi este na lugat. Ya gi 1973 manhinahatme siha ni' i sindalun i Gubetnon Amerikanu, sa' manproprotest i natibu put i direchon-niha ni' ti maresesepta.

Ti makpo' este na kinalamten, sigi ha' mamproprotest. Lao parehu i hinasson pa'go yan hagas. Ti ma kare i taotao Amerika. Kulang mambachet yan mantangga siha. Sina ma silebra ya honora Si Poitier put i bida-na. But this recognition is possible, because it point…

Stuff I'm Reading...

First time I've ever tried this, but I always see other bloggers doing it, and I want to try it out.

I'm going to list some posts that I've come across lately on other blogs, which have caught my eye, and are insightful, creative or at least interesting.

I'm usually not much for peer pressure, but I'll take this one, because I'm working on a grant right now for CHELU Inc. and so I don't have much time for writing.

Didide' malangu yu' lokkue', ya kulang ti tunanas i hinasso-ku. Yanggen bai hu kefangge', siempre machalapon yan ti komprendeyon.

In case the links below don't sate your thirst for good blog posts, here's a picture of me presenting at the Pacific Worlds and America West Conference a few weeks ago at the University of Utah. Thanks to Trangdai Tranguyen for the photo:

Seeing this photo has actually made me freak out and realize that in three years I will be 30 years old. Lana, kulang bibihu i siniente-ku pa'go, ei adai.


Two Scandals: What do Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds have to do with Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton?

I'll give you a clue to the question that is the title of this post, and the clue has to do with the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas scandal.


I hope you're not too confused already, because although nearly all of my readers have heard of Hillary and Barack and their battle to be the heir to all the history that the 2008 Presidential race will make, I'm sure very few of you know who Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds are.

But the point I'd like to try to make in this post, is precisely about the history this election is going to make, and the simplistic way the media and most of the people in the United States understand political identities. In Ethnic Studies, we talk often about intersectionality in order to understand the complexity of society. So for instance, oppression and identities aren't defined in singular ways, even though this is often how we discuss them. It is not simply that Hillary Clinton is a woman, or even just a white woman, but s…

A Life of Liberations and Takeovers

When your political status can be discussed so plainly in the ominous terms that the letter below uses, then you need to recognize that a changed is needed. And if the ominous terms and imagery of being powerless and about to be taken over, comes from the nation which you look to for all things and see as being the source of life on Guam, then a re-evaluation of the very meaning of political life and death is absolutely necessary.

What sort of life is this on Guam, when its defined constantly through an endless series of "liberations" and "takeovers?"


Federal takeover inevitable
Guam Variety
Friday February 8, 2008

During the last two weeks, several historic milestones have evolved.

First, we witnessed the failed attempts of the Democratic eight majorities to wrest the Legislature's control by the six minorities.

Secondly, our delegate from Washington delivers her message on the "need for partnership with the federal government."

Thirdly, …

The Spies Who Love You

I could not resist posting this.

Guam: Where America's Military Empire Begins

An article I wrote recently for Draft Notices, which is the newsletter for the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft. As I mentioned earlier in the week in my post "Militarism in the Land, the Water and the Schools," I've been working alot lately with the group ProjectYANO, and so it was through them that I was asked to write this piece to inform people in the United States about what is going on in Guam.

From Draft NOtices, January—March 2008
Guam: Where USA’s Empire Begins

— Michael Lujan Bevacqua

A part of the U.S., yet apart from it; a colony in a world where colonialism supposedly no longer exists; the “tip of America’s spear” in Asia — welcome to Guam, USA. This is a place where the residents, including its indigenous population, the Chamorros, are U.S. citizens, yet cannot vote for president and have no voting delegate in Congress. And notwithstanding the promise of American democracy, all federal laws apply to Guam and su…


At long last, I am pleased to announce, the date, location and details for the next Famoksaiyan gathering!!!! Sen magof hu put este, sa' pa'go na sakkan, esta i mina'tres na dinana'!!! Guaha nai ti hu hongge este na chalan yan karera. Taimanu na manmatto ham gi este na chinago, gi este ti apmam na tiempo?
In honor of the occasion, I've even started a new blog just for the conference, where myself and the conference committee can post updates and other news. Click on this link to head over there, apologies for now, since there isn't much posted up there, Guma'Famoksaiyan. Alot more details soon, lao para pa'go nahong ha' na in na'hiyong este na mensahi!!
Gathering Strength for our Journey Ahead
May 23-25, 2008
San Diego, California

Famoksaiyan is a group comprised of dedicated and passionate people who work on issues of decolonization, cultural and language revitalization and the dissemination of information reg…

Political Mix

From the politics of Guam and its legislature, to the politics of Executive vs. Legislative power, and onto the politics of the most exciting American Presidential race in years...

Robert Underwood once said to me that on Guam in times past, the mas ya-niha na pastime was "politics" and the "political season." Although I was always a great follower of politics on Guam when I was living there, prior to coming out to the states for school, I've never felt so much of the excitement and tension as I do this year. Guaha linikidu gi este na sakkan yan este na botashon Amerikanu. Buente ti para Guahan (sa' cocolony ha' hit), lao para i US, hunggan sina u matulaika bula gi i hinasson Amerikanu.

I'm in the middle of a roundtable discussion of all of us grad students who received the Cal Cultures Summer Research Fellowship last year. The presentations are very diverse and interesting, which is why I shouldn't be typing on my computer right now.

Despensa yu&#…

I Famalao'an Okinawa yan Guahan

Some updates put i estao-niha yan kinalamten-niha i famalao'an Okinawa yan Guahan.

A few days ago, in response to another rape in Okinawa, a group of women there penned a letter to President George W. Bush, bringing to light, both the violence of the US militarization of their island, but also the empty promises to fix or resolve these issues, which have marred the past sixty years of Japanese and American control over Okinawa.

For more information on the situation in Okinawa, click the links below:

Protests Spreading in Okinawa

US Marine Charged in Japanese Rape


February 13, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
Consul General Kevin Maher
United States Consulate General in Naha, Okinawa
Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer
US Military’s Okinawa Area Coordinator

We protest the sexual violence against an Okinawan girl by a U.S. Marine
We demand withdrawal of the U.S. military from Okinawa

We, people of Okinawa, particularly women, are outraged…

Militarism in the Land, the Water and the Schools

I am constantly surprised at the ways in which people are surprised at things.
I suppose that anywhere, you go, you can find things which are normal there and abnormal or incomprehensible elsewhere. Coming from Guam, a pretty little American territory/colony in the Western Pacific, I find alot of things which "shock" regular Americans, aren't so strange to me.
Often times, when people remark that Guam is so gof gof suette because we don't have to pay Federal income taxes, my response is a very sincere request that our positions be changed then. That this person I am talking to and whatever state they call home, switch its political status so that it becomes like that of Guam. So yes, by all means, take the no Federal income tax rule, but, you simply can't just take this benefit alone, you also have to accept with it, the overall dinimalas of being a colony. You have to take the lack of a voting Congressional representative, and also regardless of your population, n…

Pacific Worlds in Snowy Utah

I might not post much for the next few days.

I'm freezing i dagga-hu off right now at the University of Utah, attending and presenting at the Pacific Worlds and American West Conference, that's taking place as I am typing.

As I'm typing I'm actually listening to one of the panels (hunggan achagigu, ya cha-mu uma'alok na tairespetu yu'. Hu e'ekungok mientras mantypetype yu'). The panel that's going on right now is very interesting, exploring issues of gender and sexuality in the Pacific, focusing on mamfloritas in Guam, the life of Chamorro modern na maga'haga' Agueda Johnston, and the linking of haka dances with aggressive masculine sexuality through football. The conference in general is very exciting, I'm seeing alot of friends since the circle of Pacific Islander scholars out here isn't very large. I'm also learning alot about other Pacific Islander groups in the United States, in particular Samoan and Tongan who have large pop…

Fuetsan Famalao'an

Watch these videos if you're worried about the future of Guam.
Guam's Non-Voting Delegate to the US Congress, Madeleine Bordallo says that her and others are in Washington D.C. are fighting right now in the best interests for the people of Guam. I sincerely doubt this. The only way in which we can assume this to be true is if that old colonial mantra, "what's good for America is good for Guam" is also true. But given the complex colonial history and present of Guam, we should all know this not to be true. There are moments where it can be so, where what the US wants with Guam, can benefit Guam, but there are also moments when this isn't true.

The impending military build-up, despite all of the glorious, drunken talk about how much "freakin" money it will bring to Guam, is one instance where frankly, we need to break away from the colonial logic that America and Guam's interests are the same. What Congresswoman Bordallo is doing in Congress right n…


For Immediate Release
Contact: Michael Lujan Bevacqua

‘Postcolonial’ Futures in a Not-Yet Postcolonial World:
Locating the Intersections of Ethnic, Indigenous and Postcolonial Studies

Conference Will Look at the Futures of Indigenous, Ethnic and Postcolonial Peoples Across the World

(San Diego, February 10, 2008) On March 5-7, 2008, the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego will be hosting a conference titled “Postcolonial Futures in a Not Yet Postcolonial World: Locating the Intersections of Ethnic, Indigenous and Postcolonial Studies.” This conference will bring together scholars and activists from the United States and from around the world, who are engaged in organizing and scholarly work across ethnic, indigenous and postcolonial communities.

Traditionally, Ethnic Studies deals with minority peoples in first world nations. Postcolonial Studies is about the formerly colonized, now developing world. Indigenous Studies engages with c…