Thursday, January 31, 2008
Dear Friends of Guam,
It breaks my heart to see these changes happen without reprieve to the island that I hold dear to me. We have seen many of our leaders who have not come forward, who have been overwhelmed by the enormous task, or who have buckled under the pressure and the sense of hopelessness which accompanies the long struggle of justice and human rights for Chamorro self-determination, that the US, as the administering power, is legally and morally obligated to fulfill.
I want to say to you that this buildup which has been reported to impact the island and her people on so many levels is not inevitable, but we must act fast.
How, do you ask? Currently, there is a bill in the Senate, that was passed in the House of Representatives in December 2007, and is expected to be voted on in the first week of February. S.2483(Title 7) which directly targets the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, will provide the means for the expediting of the buildup.
In the next couple of days, we need to flood the Senate Judiciary Committee with faxes of the attached letters before it comes for a vote as part of the Omnibus bill, and let them know that this bill is controversial and requires a closer inspection by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
At this page, Kontra i Fina'Federal, you can find form letters made out to each member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee. We are asking that you print, sign and fax them (making whatever changes you see fit to personalize them), in the next few days, so that our voices can be heard loud and clear--NO to S.2483(Title 7).
PLEASE CIRCULATE TO OUR ALLIES AND FRIENDS.
Si Yu'os Ma'ase,
To join in this fight, click on each of the links below, which contains the name, contact info for each US Senators on the Judiciary Committee. Put fabot, ayuda ham gi este na minimu.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Published on Sunday, January 27, 2008 by The New York Times
A President Like My Father
by Caroline Kennedy
Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.
My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.
Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.
We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country - just as we did in 1960.
Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, character and judgment play a larger role than usual.
Senator Obama has demonstrated these qualities throughout his more than two decades of public service, not just in the United States Senate but in Illinois, where he helped turn around struggling communities, taught constitutional law and was an elected state official for eight years. And Senator Obama is showing the same qualities today. He has built a movement that is changing the face of politics in this country, and he has demonstrated a special gift for inspiring young people - known for a willingness to volunteer, but an aversion to politics - to become engaged in the political process.
I have spent the past five years working in the New York City public schools and have three teenage children of my own. There is a generation coming of age that is hopeful, hard-working, innovative and imaginative. But too many of them are also hopeless, defeated and disengaged. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children to believe in themselves and in their power to shape their future. Senator Obama is inspiring my children, my parents’ grandchildren, with that sense of possibility.
Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
Caroline Kennedy is the author of “A Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love.”
© 2008 The New York Times
Friday, January 25, 2008
Giya Guahan, in tingo' na yanggen umachånda Si Juan Malimanga yan Si Nano gi un botasion, siempre manggana' Si Juan. Lao ti manggana' gui' put suette, bininitu, minalate' pat pao'fresko. Manggana' gui solo put i etigo'-na Si Nano'. Gi i Comedy Shows guini (gi lågu) todu tiempo ma sångan na ginnen "The Lord of the Rings" Si Kucinich, kulang Elf pat Dwarf. Lao giya Guahån, guaha otro na fina'na'an para este na taotao: Duendes.
Humanao yu' nigap para un dinaña' nai ma gof honora Si MLK, lao bai hu post mas put este agupa' pat agupa’ña. Para på'go, taitai este na palåbras, sa' kumekuentos Si Kucinich put i umababåk-ña i Intenon Demokratik giya i United States. Lao kontat ki ma gof dalalaki i anten i palabras yan finana'guen MLK, siña ma chalåni mo'na ta'lo este na nasion. Gi todu i manmalalago på'go para i Ofisinan Presidente guini, Guiya, Si Kucinich, i mas hihot nu i fino' MLK. Put ayu na rason, hu diside na bai hu pega guini i sinangan-ña.
Ai, lao kulang taibali este, sa' esta tumunok Si Dennis Kucinich gi i botasion, lao sen maolek na Kongresu sinembåtgo. Gi i ma'pos na sakkan gaige gui' gi entre un sen didide' na Kongresu ni' chumochonnek para u mana'suha (impeach) Si Dick Cheney. Hanao para este na website, Ya-ña Hearings Si Wexler: yanggen malago hao sumpotte este na gof impottånte na che'cho'.
Yanggen malago hao sumpotte i mamalago-ña ta'lo para Kongresun Ohio Si Kucinich, hanao para iyo-ña website: Kucinich.us.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.the legacy remembered, the message that should not be forgotten
The homage that Americans pay today to the inspiring life and lasting legacy of Dr. King is a fitting tribute to this leader who spoke so eloquently of peace, of social justice, and of equal rights under the law and under the moral covenant that established and guides this great nation. But, as we survey the grim realities of today, across this country and around the world, that rightful homage also has the somber ring of a faint and distant eulogy for a man and a message from another time.
That other time that we remember and honor was then. But, more than ever, it is also now.
In his speech at Riverside Church in New York City, on April 4, 1967, Dr. King spoke of one war that was destroying the aspirations of the people of two nations - the people of the United States and the people of Vietnam.
The Vietnam War resulted in the deaths of 4 million Vietnamese civilians in a nation of about 40 million - 10% of the total population of Vietnam. Americans lost 58,202 soldiers in that war. And in hard, cold numbers, the Vietnam War cost the United States the equivalent of $662 billion in today's dollars.
So far, today, this no-end-in-sight war against Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million innocent Iraqis in a nation of 25 million. Four thousand of our best and bravest have died, and nearly 29,000 have been wounded. In hard, cold numbers, the Iraq War will cost the United States more than $2 trillion.
What would Dr. King say today? What would his message be to the President, to the U.S. Congress, and to the American people? It would be, I deeply believe, the same as it was more than 30 years ago: Iraq is a war that is destroying the aspirations of the people of two nations - the people of the United States and the people of Iraq.
And, it was only two years ago that the leadership of the Democratic Party, without invoking Dr. King but aligning itself with the powerful principles that he espoused, promised an end to the abuse of political power and an end to the war that was devastating the people of two nations. And Americans, believing that promise that we would “be free at last” from the policies that morally and economically enslaved this nation and unrepentantly took control of another, elected a new Democratic leadership in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.
Tragically, in the two years since, nothing has changed. The policies of this President persist and prevail. The Congress yields and subjugates itself time and time again. And the powerful, righteous, and universal message of Dr. King has been forgotten.
Dr. King's concluding remarks in his Riverside Church speech called for an end to the disintegration of humanity brought about by war: "Somehow this madness must end," he implored.
It is not in our power to bring Dr. King back, but it is within our power to resurrect his spirit in our daily lives and in the policies of the government that we elect to represent and lead us. He demonstrated throughout his entire life that social and economic justice are achieved not through compromising what we believe, but rather, committing to what we believe – whatever the odds.
It is time, once again, to ask what we can do to forge ahead – in our votes, in our support, and in everything we do -- to reach that place where his words, his strength, and his optimism become more than a legacy. They become the policy and mission of this nation: "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."
A few days ago i presisu na haggå-hu Sumåhi turned 9 months! Ha silebra i mina'nuebe na kumplemeses-ña gi i kanton tasi. Gi este na mubi, ti siguru yu' kao ya-ña pat ti ya-ña munangu Si Sumåhi. Lao gof paire gui' gi ayu na magågu!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
The Federalization issue, from the perspective of the Feds is purely an issue of national security and also making it possible for the Department of Defense to take advantage of the labor pool of the CNMI as they look to build up Guam. Here we see a sort of unholy union of liberal activism which seeks to get fair treatment for alien workers in the CNMI, being used as a cover in order to recolonize the Mariana Islands, and prepare them for levels of militarization not seen in two generations. I am still regularly awed by how people, from Guam and not from Guam, can say with straight faces and without blood leaking from their eye sockets, that there is nothing wrong with the way Guam exists politically in relation to the United States, the Feds and the military. Or that there is nothing wrong with what they call in Congress, the "state-like" treatment that Guam gets, and therefore there is no reason to complain or seek any changes.
Despite these assertions, we should really do a headcount of how many residents of states would want to have 30% of their land as military bases, or would be perfectly excited and happy if the military was planning to turn their entire region into one big military camp?
At present the Federalization bill is being snuck into the larger Omnibus bill, in hopes of avoiding any debate or problems with its passage. For those interested in conserving the sovereignty of the CNMI I am pasting below a letter through which you can help their cause. I should say before continuing that I am not endorsing the way alien workers have been treated in the CNMI. The issue at stake with this letter, if there is to be a restructuring of the relationship between the CNMI and the Feds in terms of immigration, it should not be done in the shadows or in secret, with hopes that no one will read or care about what it actually says or is doing. That is why the form letter below is addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and requests that the Federalization bill be taken out of the Omnibus bill and treated as a distinct issue, requiring its own debate and vetting.
Honorable Senator Joseph R. Biden. Jr.
United States Senate
201 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3703
Sent by facsimile (202) 224-0139 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Senator Joseph Biden, Jr.:
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen, regarding S.2483(Title 7), the Immigration, Security and Labor Act that was passed in the House of Representatives in December 2007 (H.R. 3079) and is being fast-tracked as part of the Omnibus bill. As members of the Senate, I urge that S.2483(Title 7) be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee to be closely reviewed as a stand-alone bill, paying particular attention to its discriminatory nature of the economic and human rights impacts on the people of the Mariana Islands.
Ø S.2483(Title 7) is discriminatory by directly targeting the people of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and creating greater economic hardships. H.R. 3079 will further the level of poverty by creating more barriers to the development of a local economy, which relies heavily on tourism and investors of tourism.
Ø S.2483(Title 7) infringes upon the sovereignty of the indigenous peoples of the CNMI, whose political status was negotiated upon the termination of the United Nations trusteeship. The political rights were determined to be governed by the solemn Covenant, which granted local control of labor and immigration and also in collaboration with the United States. H.R. 3079 would give control of labor and immigration to the Department of Homeland Security, thus undermining the mutual trust and cooperation that has endured for decades.
Ø S.2483(Title 7) may violate the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. With reports of upwards to 50,000 workers during a 5 to 10 year period that H.R. 3079 may provide to companies seeking a quick means for cheap labor for the intensified military buildup in the CNMI and the neighboring island of Guam, the question remains of the burden on the infrastructure, and the resources that is not accounted for by Congressional Budget Office.
Ø S.2483(Title 7) enables abuses of the human rights to self-determination of the Chamorro people of Guam by providing a means to expedite the military buildup that was decided without their consent and participation and against the legal and moral responsibility of the U.S.A, as a signatory of the United Nations Charter, to ensure the full exercise of these human rights.
I urge you to review closely S.2483(Title 7) as single and separate matter from the Omnibus Bill, and to reconsider the facts put forth before you for the sake of peace and stability in these islands and for the human rights of self-determination to which we all are entitled.
 Fitial, Benigno (2007, August). Speech before the U.S. House of Representatives on H.R. 3079
 Dumat-ol Daleno, G. (2007, December 13). NMI Bill Passes in the House. Pacific Daily News
 Environmental Protection Agency Civil Case 02-00035
 Environmental Protection Agency Civil Case 02-00022
 Congressional Budget Office (2007, December 3). Cost estimate prepared for H.R. 3079 Northern Mariana Islands Immigration, Security, and Labor Act.
United Nations (2001 March 22) Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism: Report of the Secretary-General, A56/61
A website everyone interested in justice and a new direction for the United States of America, should check out, and become involved in.
For those in Guam and the other territories who don't vote for President, don't have a vote that counts in Congress, yet get sent in huge numbers to the frontlines every American war, the issue of impeachment is still very important. We may not be "full" members of the American family, but the abuses of power that take place at the White House, Congress, the Pentagon all very much affect us.
In other political news, check out these new ads for Al Franken who is running for Senator in Minnesota. The ad with his former teacher was the first political commercial since Mike Huckabee's "Chuck & Huck" ad to make me laugh out loud. Al Franken is so uncomfortable in the ads, but that's what makes him so endearing. He doesn't have alot of polish or flashiness, just his silly jokes and that silly grin. Of course like most Democrats he's not nearly "liberal" enough for me, but still it would be good to have some more politicians in Washington D.C. are trying to be ridiculous on purpose, instead of simply being ridiculous.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
1. Get as many books or texts which utilize the Chamorro language as possible. Dictionaries, children’s books, newspaper articles, song lyrics, etc. These will be good for references, help with words, give you a sense of how sentences are made and just general tips on how the language might flow. A good exercise for learning these basic structures is to take an article, speech or song written in Chamorro, and then work to translate it into English. As you become more fluent, you can work the other way, translating English into Chamorro.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
At present I'm trying to extend the scope of my blog and its readership beyond just Chamorros who stumble across my blog because they are googling around trying to find the lyrics to the song Apo Magi or Japanese businessmen and American military who are searching for massage parlors on Guam. This shift was prompted when I received a new visitor to my blog, Carbondate, a progressive military blogger who is currently stationed on Guam. The name of his blog is the command post, and he has some very good commentary there, on the presidental races in the US and New Orleans, which everyone should check out.
Last month he wrote a post about my blog titled "Chamorro Blogger: Remnants of Colonialism" which not only linked people to this blog, but also informed people in the United States in a very straightforward and clear way about Guam's status as a contemporary American colony. It is rare to see people from the United States on the internet speak so frankly about this without coercion or convincing on the behalf of maladjusted activists such as myself. Usually on this sort of topic, I encounter people who are of the complete opposite opinion and need to be slapped around for a bit first, to shake off their layers of ignorance and delusion. For them, even if the relationship between Guam and the United States is obviously colonial, their response is a defensive "so what?", because the United States is the greatest country in the world, and so better a colony of the US, then anything else, independent or otherwise.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Hunggan, esta hu tungo' na ti mismo gaige gui' gi i bandan inakague' (Lefist), lao ti puniyon na sen maolek na pa'pagat gui'. Gof kapas kumuentos gi me'nan linahayan. Atan este na pinagat ginnen annai ti manggana' gui' giya New Hampshire. Achokka' ti manggana' gui', annok ginnen i fuetsa gi i sinangan-na, na tumutugon gui' mo'na taiatkagueti gi este na karera.
Hunggan, hu konfotme i mensahi este na pinagat. "Hunggan Sina Hit!!!"
Friday, January 11, 2008
Para hamyo ni' esta maleffa, gi i tinituhun, annai ma arresta i fine'nina na "enemy combatants" siha, mama'tinas i Pentagon "list." Gi este na lista ma pega todu i lugat ni' sina inos para u pinengle siha. Ma pega gi esta na lista, lao ti ma ayek, i na'ån i bunita na islå-ta, Guahån.
Ai, guaha nai ti hu hongge i binachet i taotao Guahån. Atan i kustumbren i Amerikånu siha yan i militat-ñiha! Ma chule' magi i geran-ñiha gi i Tiempon Chapoñes, ya ma kechule' magi ta'lo i geran-ñiha gi este na "War on Terror." Ya ai adai ta'lo, ti Hita la'mon. Ti Hita la'mon.
Todu tiempo, hu faifaisen maisa yu' este. "Ngai'an nai para ta atotga tumulaika este na estao-ta?”
The WORLD CAN'T WAIT is joining with the ACLU, Amnesty International and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and others in actions around the country, with the key protest in Wash., DC demanding the shutdown of this vile prison and demanding an end to torture and indefinite detention. - worldcantwait.org
Join Observances of Int'l Day of Action to Shut Down Guantánamo in San Diego
Friday, January 11th NOON - 1pm San Diego Federal Bldg - Front Street (near Broadway) Friday Night from 4:00 to 5:30 PM Hillcrest: Corner of 6th & University. -- wear Orange and bring (signs, banners, T-Shirts ...)
Other things you can do:
1) Wear and distribute orange ribbons, armbands, etc. at your school, workplace, market, etc. Write the name of a Guantanamo detainee on each one. You can find a list of names -online f rom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .
There are also significant statistics (i.e., 86% were captured when bounties were offered) here.
2) Hang a Stop Torture banner from a building or freeway. PDF's available at worldcantwait.org under organizing materials.
Friday, Jan 11, 2008 will mark six years since the first prisoners were brought to the detention camp in Guantanamo. Many are still being held there, without charges brought against them, and no right to trial. We must show it or it doesn't count. It begins with you taking personal responsibility to show how you feel and where you stand: wear orange daily, spread orange everywhere, protest and speak out in every way you can. As this orange resistance spreads to millions who represent the majority sentiment, Bush and Cheney's illegitimacy to rule will stand out vividly before the world.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The book documents the present day realities surrounding the United States' current relationship with Micronesia. The book is the result of his work from his time as a Sam Cohen International Human Rights Fellowship, which Aguon was awarded last year.
For more information, contact Aguon at 472-4062.
Friday, January 04, 2008
To say a little bit about the goals behind the conference, we are hoping to take each of the three previously mentioned academic disciplines as well as the political realities they mean to study, and bring them not just into conversation with each other, but also bring them in conversation with the idea and the force that is the global. For those who don't know what I mean by global, since it is kind of an utguyosu na academic term, its not anything too abstract, but is simply anything which can appear or is asserted to stand in for, represent or touch the entire world.
Indigenous, ethnic and postcolonial studies, are all academic domains which are directed towards particular peoples or regions of the world today. Ethnic studies is primarily thought and written to be a US based discipline, providing theoretical and political challenges on behalf of minority and non-white groups in the United States. Postcolonial studies can potentially be about any nation or people, which has struggled against colonialism and in differing ways started the process of decolonization, but is widely considered to be a discipline for Asian Americans, in particular people from India and South Asia. Indigenous studies could also potentially refer to a wide range of people, since close to 400 million people in the world today can be identified according to the United Nations as indigenous. Indigenous studies however tends to be a discipline which doesn't just follow the existence of indigenous people, but rather depends upon indigenous people having a certain level of visibility or political power, whereby they can form the basis for these academic traditions.
In all of these disciplines we find the potential for their vision and scope to be global or to include at least huge sections of the world in their analysis and theoretical subjects, yet for the most part, this dimension isn't explored. The main goal of this conference is to break or at least transgress the borders that these disciplines put around themselves, and see what the particular struggles, successes, failures, epistemologies and challenges that each is invested in, can provide in terms of better theorizing and mapping means to fight contemporary injustices.
I am considering writing up a proposal for this conference, which discuss Guam and what its political status today can tell us about the current make up of the world and where it might be heading. Guam is one of the few remaining official colonies left in the world, making it sort of a sad exception in a world which has appeared to have "gotten over" colonialism. There is no easy way to talk about colonialism or the current status of Guam, because the obvious weight and course of history can make even the most ignorant person today reply as if they were the wisest person in the universe, "Colonialism? Yeah right!" Yet despite this almost stone solid blindness of so many people, colonialism persists in Guam and a few other places around the world in such banal and frustrating fashions.
This status makes Guam one of the world's most insignificant places. In newspapers, websites, blogs, by both Chamorros and non Chamorros, everywhere, you'll find this. Its not really exotic, not really prosperous, not really authentic, not really America, not really Asia, not really the Pacific. Yet at the same time, Guam is one of the world's most important places. It is one of the United States' most important military bases, because of its proximity to Asia and because of its ambiguous political status, the fact that its a colony and not a state or a foreign country.
This is what I think a discussion about Guam can bring to the conference. A discussion about the importance of small things, places which are supposed to be insignificant and tiny, invisible, yet at the same time, for power such as the United States, these places are crucial, critical, important and have their own forms of hyper visibility as military bases. One of the things that Guam can help us get at in terms of the global order, is that there is an incredible amount of power that goes into something appearing to be nothing, and there is an incredible amount of power in the ability to benefit and profit from something and continue to have it appear as nothing.
Another issue, which Guam can help us understand emerged recently on the campaign trail in Iowa a few days ago, and that is the issue of American bases on other people's backyards. In a townhall meeting, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain was asked what he thought about US troops staying in Iraq for as long as 50 years. McCain responded, "why not make it 100." For McCain the issue of whether or not troops should remain in Iraq, or anywhere else didn't seem to be an issue of timeliness, necessity or even respect to another nation's interests or sovereignty, but it was simply a matter of how US troops are treated. For McCain the determining factor was whether or not US troops are dying and being killed daily. If not, then just as the US has stayed in places such as South Korea and Japan for more than five decades, they can stay in Iraq as well.
This position isn't simply John McCain's alone, its an assumption that the Defense Department seems to be using to reconfigure its global sea of military bases. This is a dynamic which Guam, as a site which will soon be receiving unwanted military from South Korea and Okinawa can be important and very helpful in explaining. In Guam we find another site where the out of place presence of American troops is nonetheless naturalized in such a way that it seems not just that they've been there forever, but that they are wanted there, and that there can be no "there" without them. In Guam we find this displayed in such visceral and grotesque ways, as Guam is dependent upon the United States military for almost everything past and present, and could not exist, past and present without the US military. Without them Guam would have been destroyed in World War II, or in the Cold War, or today destroyed by terrorists. The economy could not survive, Chamorros could not survive, there would be no infrastructure, no prosperity. The logic which justifies the presence of the US military in Guam and elsewhere, but also keeps people on Guam trapped in a very colonial mindset in thinking about the island's dependency on them as being eternal, is the fantasy of an imperial military. Everywhere we go, we do nothing but good and liberation, and wherever we stay, could not exist or survive without us.
We can find this rhetoric also in other American military bases, how they run the economy, how the nations they are built on could not exist without them because of the historical liberation they provided and the contemporary security they provide. But it is in a place such as Guam, which has the unfortunate status of being both small and kind of American, where this rhetoric reaches incredible heights.
Ai na'ma'ase na manchenglong hit gi este na gigao "dependency." Gi unu na kannai mantaibali hit, gi i otro gof gaibali, lao i bali ti mismo iyo-ta. I Amerikånu siha, manggefsaga', manriku, manmetgot. Hita, manggagu, mampopble, manñalang. Ma sangåni hit na tåya' hit sin Siha, ya fihu ta hongge siha. Ti ta atotga tumacha este na hinengge, fihu ta aksepta kulang lai Yu'us. Ya i hinasson Siha ni' umaksesepta este, kulang acho', osino gi i fino' Ingles, ma'i'ot i hinasson-ñiha. Ma li'e gi i kannai i Amerikånu siha, todu i kosas lina'la' yan adilånto. Ya giya Hita, tåya' minaolek, puru ha' binaba. Pues humuyongña, todu ni' Chamorro, ti nahong, ti kabåles, buente bunita didide', lao ti dudayon na ti nahong. Pues debi di ta akihom yan fa'iyo-ta todu ni' Amerikånu. Sa' ayu ha' taimanu sina ta na'kabåles hit. Lao gi este na estao, todu tiempo para ta fanafa'chatli'e put iyo-ta dependency taifinakpo', ya ta guaiya ya dimuyi i Amerikånu put i tinakhilo'-ñiha.
McCain in NH: Would Be "Fine" To Keep Troops in Iraq for "A Hundred Years
From the Mother Jones Blog
The United States military could stay in Iraq for "maybe a hundred years" and that "would be fine with me," John McCain told two hundred or so people at a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, on Thursday evening. Toward the end of this session, which was being held shortly before the Iowa caucuses were to start, McCain was confronted by Dave Tiffany, who calls himself a "full-time antiwar activist." In a heated exchange, Tiffany told McCain that he had looked at McCain's campaign website and had found no indication of how long McCain was willing to keep U.S. troops in Iraq. Arguing that George W. Bush's escalation of troops has led to a decline in U.S. casualties, McCain noted that the United States still maintains troops in South Korea and Japan. He said he had no objection to U.S. soldiers staying in Iraq for decades, "as long as Americans are not being injured, harmed or killed."
After the event ended, I asked McCain about his "hundred years" comment, and he reaffirmed the remark, excitedly declaring that U.S. troops could be in Iraq for "a thousand years" or "a million years," as far as he was concerned. The key matter, he explained, was whether they were being killed or not: "It's not American presence; it's American casualties." U.S. troops, he continued, are stationed in South Korea, Japan, Europe, Bosnia, and elsewhere as part of a "generally accepted policy of America's multilateralism." There's nothing wrong with Iraq being part of that policy, providing the government in Baghdad does not object.
In other words, McCain does not equate victory in Iraq--which he passionately urges at campaign events--with the removal of U.S. troops from that nation. After McCain told Tiffany that he could see troops remaining in Iraq for a hundred years, a reporter sitting next to me quipped, "There's the general election campaign ad." He meant the Democratic ad: John McCain thinks it would be okay if U.S. troops stayed in Iraq for another hundred years.....
Well, it was straight talk. And McCain's combativeness livened up a session during which he alternated between the old McCain (as in punchy, feisty, humorous) and the old McCain (as in just plain old). He moved a bit stiffly on the stage set up in the middle of the Adams Memorial Opera House. And he--somewhat oddly--shared the spotlight with Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has endorsed him. Lieberman did not merely introduce McCain; he stood by McCain during the entire event, helping McCain to answer questions about education, climate change, and the Iraq war. Several times, Lieberman gave more coherent and animated replies than did McCain. Repeatedly, Lieberman maintained that McCain could rack up bipartisan successes as president. (The Lieberman sidekick bit was curious. But an elementary-age girl in the audience did say, after being handed a microphone, that Lieberman was her role-model and that she fancied McCain. Lieberman hugged her, and the whole crowd oohed at this cuteness.)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
The concept of sovereignty is something enables, inhibits indigenous political and intellectual movements. It is something which indigenous people, through vast frameworks of racism and infantilization are continually denied. Yet at the same time it is something which they struggle to find creative ways to discover and create. In this panel, we will interrogate from different spaces and intellectual domains, this precarious nature of sovereignty and the role of “recognition” in its constitution and in determining who can “have” sovereignty and who must be “given” sovereignty.
To do this, we will explore how sovereignty is withheld from indigenous peoples whether through the issues of land with Native Hawaiians, authenticity, tribal termination and Native Americans or even the theoretical erasure we find in disciplines such as international relations and political science. As all the panel members are graduate students in Ethnic Studies, we will also discuss the theoretical and intellectual inroads that indigenous peoples in the United States and the Pacific Islands are making, to demand sovereignty or remake it on their own terms, whether through our own interventions in our departments, the struggles of Pacific Islanders on American campuses, or the ways in indigenous peoples are beginning to articulate themselves globally.
Native Hawaiian Representations and Rights
University of California, San Diego
In October 2006, Japanese real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto announced he would “give away” multimillion dollar houses on O‘ahu to eight “deserving” Native Hawaiian families. Similarly, a September 2007 episode of ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover chronicled a hard-working Native Hawaiian family as their flood-damaged home was replaced with a mansion.
In the last few years, poverty and homelessness among Native Hawaiians living in Hawai‘i has found a certain kind of spotlight in local, national and international media. Fueled by the hyperbole of reality television and a classic tourism-driven search to find both paradise and authenticity, Native Hawaiians are conveniently placed at the heart of these supposedly new narratives about Hawai‘i. This discourse of spectacle philanthropy elides any critical engagement with the conditions that create poverty in Hawai‘i, and particularly fails to address Native Hawaiians as an indigenous group.
Colonialism, Factionalism and Authenticity
University of California, San Diego
The Klamath Termination Act, P.L. 587 was a federal policy passed into law in 1954 whose stated purpose was to end federal services and supervision of the Klamath Tribe in Oregon. The Klamath were represented to Congress as assimilated, and “one of the most advanced Indian groups in the United States.” Later, a report by the Stanford Research Institute determined termination would be detrimental to the tribe yet termination was enacted in 1961. In 1986 the Klamath tribe was restored and once again federally recognized but without recovering their land base. By examining the impact of colonialism on the discussion of factionalism in books and articles about Klamath termination, I argue that the differences between Klamath tribal members were not only historic and political but based on strategic differences. Why is factionalism a prominent characterization of Native Americans? What effect did the characterization of the Klamath as factionalized have on the tribe at the time of termination and beyond? The Klamath tribe was restored to federal recognition in 1986, but disenrollment is a problem with gaming tribes in California, and the threat of termination is not a thing of the past, since it was recently suggested by California Congresswoman Diane Watson as retribution for the Cherokee disenrollment of the descendents of the Freedmen. I argue that answers to these issues of authenticity may lie in recognition of indigeneity as global, persistent, and focused on the struggle for human rights as well as sovereignty.
…George W. Bush as a Theorist of Sovereignty
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
University of California, San Diego
For those who today form nations which are not nation-states, which are nations within nation or colonies, the dominant definitions of sovereignty place them in a potentially precarious and powerless position. Sovereignty, in the sense that we find as defined by international relations and political science is obsessed with states and with modern frameworks which were developed through the explicit exclusion of indigenous peoples. These definitions recognize only one true authority within every territory, and thus indigenous people and their aspirations and struggles become reduced to minute details or exceptions, which irritate the sovereignty of the formal state, but mean little else.
The Pacific Islander Movement at UC Berkeley
Michael Gumataotao Tuncap
University of California, Berkeley
My discussion will focus on the continuing struggles of Pacific Islander graduate and undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley to achieve intellectual sovereignty and recognition. These struggles have included and continue to include: 1. The disaggregation of Pacific Islanders from the administrative and intellectual category of Asian American. 2. The appropriation of separate funding for Pacific Islander student recruitment and retention programs. 3. The recognition of Pacific Islanders as sovereign indigenous peoples, and therefore facilitate the building of stronger intellectual and political coalitions and ties with American Indian and other native groups on campus. 4. The establishment of a Pacific Islander Studies Program and the hiring of a Pacific Islander Studies professor.