Showing posts from March, 2010

Act of Decolonization #16: Guam or Guahan?

The day that Governor Felix Camacho first announced that he was planning to change Guam’s official name from Guam to Guahan, I actually had no idea it was happening. The day of his last state of the island address, I had five classes to teach, office hours to hold and then was working with Anne Perez Hattori (a fellow Guam history teacher at UOG) to organize a huge meeting of “cultural practitioners” to write a joint statement/DEIS comment about the dangers the military buildup will pose to the indigenous people of Guam, the Chamorros.

In the middle of the meeting, as we were going line by line over the statement which Anne and I had written, I got a call from Mar-Vic Cagurangan, the editor for the Marianas Variety. She was calling to get my comments on the proposal to change Guam’s name and also my insights as a historian about whether what Camacho was saying and proposing was true or not.

It was difficult to provide any decent comments since I didn’t quite know what was going on, but …

Dissertation Details

This past week I got some of the best news I've gotten in a long time.

I defended my dissertation last June, but had some revisions to take care of before I could submit it to my graduate school. Last week after almost two months of waiting, I finally received word from my dissertation committee that the last draft I sent them was acceptable and that I can finally submit it and officially become a Ph.D.

Right now I'm working on the finishing touches or small little "details" of the dissertation that need to be taken care of. I'm completing my works cited page, looking for any typos or grammatical mistakes, writing up my acknowledgements and preparing my table of contents.

One of the most fun and interesting details that I have left to take care of is choosing my epitaphs for each chapter. These are quotes or passages which are meant to be "teasers" or "sneak peeks" of my chapters. One thing that I've learned is that these sorts of details can…

Know Your Enemy, Know His Sword

Gi i ma’pos na simåna, manegga’ yu’ dokumentario gi telebishon put i lina’la’ (yan I filosofian) Si Miyamoto Musashi, un hagas matai na guerrerun Samurai giya Hapon.

Esta dies años mangguife yu’ na para bai hu fanuge’ kamek pat estoria put un tiempo annai I guerrerun Samurai yan Chamorro dumåña’ yan kumontra i sindålun Españot gi duranten i 16th century.

Annai hu egga’ Shiro’s Head gi i ma’posña na sakkan, pine’lo-ku na ma sakke’ este na idea-hu, lao sahnge i fina’tinas-ñiha. Gi i kachidon-ñiha i mañelon Muña, i taotao Chapones ma sagåyi Guahan, ya ma hokse i Chamorro siha. Para Guahu, sa’ gof ya-hu i estorian i Samurai, ga’o-ku na umafa’maolek i Chamorro yan i Samurai, ya gi i fine’nina na i Españot ma kesagåyi Guahan, i dos ma difende i isla, ya ma na’suha i Españot.

Puede ha’ un diha bai hu na’magåhet este na guinife-hu.

Lao annai hu egga’ ayu na mubi put Musashi, gi duranten na ma “chronicle” i bidå-ña siha, ma na’entalo sinangan-ña siha ginnen i tinige’-ña, The Book of Five Rings.
Gi …

Health Care Reform Vote

I called in sick today because I had a horrible migraine last night, the kind which basically incapacitates me for a few hours. I get feverish, weak, very sensitive to light, I have trouble focusing when looking at my laptop and my mind races and sometimes I feel like I can't control it. These atdet na malinek ilu-hu siha happen every couple of months, so while I'm used to them happening, while they are happening, they are not fun.

Today, I'm trying to take it slow, I'm going to try and see a doctor about getting some stronger amot para este na klasin chetnot.

As I'm tossing and turning in bed with this migraine, I have my laptop on to live coverage of the "historic" health care reform vote that is going on right now in the US House of Representatives. Obviously I'm not in any state of mind to write about this now, but I just thought I'd post something about the vote below.


The Final Health Care Vote and What it Really…

Avatar: Because Anything Fun, is Also Problematic

I had meant to write about Avatar a few months ago after first watching it, but so many things were happening in my life and Guam and so I never got around to it. Gof ya-hu ayu na mubi, achokka’ guaha meggai ni’ siña hu tacha. I cheered and yelled throughout the movie, as I expressed my excitement and also my frustration. All in all though, I enjoyed the movie far more than I found it problematic. But as I once told an old friend, i kayu-hu estaba giya Berkeley, there is nothing fun which is not problematic.

I cringed for plenty of reasons, at times it was like anthropology porn, and therefore it had all the elements that Ethnic Studies scholars are supposed to hate, meaning it was just like Dances with Wolves, where a white man is needed to save a helpless primitive, brown people. From the gaze of any “modern” subject, it is just too tempting not to engage in this fantasy, it is the most fun liberal form of viewing the rest of the world. There is something for everyone. If you believ…

Special Election Tomorrow

Yanggen sina bumota hao giya Guahan, mungga maleffa na agupa' botasion espesiat!

If you are registered to vote on Guam, don't forget to vote tomorrow!
Agupa i taotao Guahan para u ma ayek hayi u tinahgue Si Matt Rector gi i Leyeslaturan Guahan.
Tomorrow the people of Guam, will chose who will take the seat of Matt Rector in the Guam Legislature.
Ga'o-ku na gaigaige ha' Si Rector guihi, lao taya' guaha.
I would prefer if Rector was still in the Legislature, but its okay.
Gi entre i manmalalago pa'go unu pat dos na maolek na gayu lokkue'.
Amongst the current candidates there are one or two who are great candidates.
Ya para i estudiante-ku siha, hasso nai na sina manrisibi hao "extra credit" yanggen un prueba yu' na mambota hao.

A Letter to President Obama

President Barack Obama is scheduled to come to Guam next week, although its still uncertain what his visit will entail. Its clear that he will speak to soldiers and local leaders, but will that mean he'll leave the base to hold a public meeting with the community? Hekkua'.
I'm waiting for an article by Blaine Harden from the Washington Post to be published this week, and hope that it will have an impact on the Obama administration and what they decide is politically necessary or important in Guam. Harden was on Guam last week researching his piece on the buildup, and when I met him was impressed with his concern and his level of engagement on the issues. The local press obviously doesn't have much impact on policy in Washington D.C., but a single in-depth piece from a national paper, floating amidst a sea of general ignorance (about Guam or the buildup), might have a very real impact.
As we await Obama's official schedule, I thought I would share a letter sent to hi…

Buildup/Breakdown #14: F

President Barack Obama is not a liar, and when he isn't as progressive or radical as people would like him to be, its not because he is not living up to his rhetoric, one thing that has always been comforting about Obama and his rhetoric is that he has, since starting to run for office in 2007, always said exactly what he intends to do.

Thinking that because Obama's skin color is a certain way, he would therefore be interested in keeping the war machines of the first world from waging war against any more black and brown peoples, is ridiculous. What Obama represents to you or to me, has very little to do with what consciousness he carries and uses to think about the world. Obama was against the Iraq War not on principle, but because it was a stupid war, a tactical/strategic mistake, that distracted the United States and its military from the real threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And although Obama was very generous and vague in his rhetoric on ending the war in Iraq, he was…

Enemies of Glen Beck Unite!

Apparently in addition to being attacked on the forums and comments for Guampdn, I was also recently attacked by Fox News commentatory yan hakate na taotao, Glen Beck. I was forwarded this email earlier today, which led me to a link where I watched a video of Beck creating one of his famous Dadaist works of art on a chalkboard, which professed to explain some massive communist or socialist takeover of the United States government. And lo and behold amongst the names of Stalin, Che and Hillary Clinton, there was "Michael Lujan Bevacqua."

If you believe in Democratic party values or various progressive causes, then I'm willing to bet that Beck has a space for your on his chalkboard. If you'd like the view the video that I watched and even type your own name in, just click here.

The video was made possible by, Brave New Films and the SEIU.

I'm pasting pictures of my version of the video below, but there's something so very funny about this. Even though t…


Fihu hinasso-ku na ti nahong i tiempo-ku gi este na mundo. Meggai na malago bai hu cho’gue, lao ti siña hu na’fanhuyong todu i minalago-hu, put i ti nahong na tiempo, pat ti nahong i fuetså-ku.

Achokka' todu i taotao siha ma hasso este na hinasso gi i lina'la'-ñiha, likidu i sinieñte para kada na taotao.

Guaha ha'åni nai siniente-ku na ti nahong i oras, ti nahong i dihas, ya maskeseha hu hago' 100 años gi este na lina'la'-hu, ti nanahong ha'.

Lao guaha otro ha'åni, nai sinieñte-ku na taibali i oras gi i dihå-hu siha. Na gi i lina'la'-hu, meggai na debi di hu cho'gue (achokka' buente ti malago yu'), ya todu este siha magagasta.

Sesso annai tinemba yu' (mana'triste yu') put este na kosas, guaha un sinangan hu hahasso.

I fine'nina nai hu hungok este na sinangan gi i kachido Star Trek: Generations. Gi ayu na mubi, guaha un petsona, ya para Guiya, "tiempo" yan i oras gi kada diha, kalang un malamana na birak. Kina…

Buildup/Breakdown #13: Webbslinger

One of the most frustrating things about being a liberal or a progressive person from Guam is that the only people in Washington D.C. who tend to know anything about Guam are "hawks." Although people on Guam may see their struggle for decolonization or demilitarization as being something liberals would see as part of their agenda, as part of their ideological struggle to make the US or the world a better place, this is rarely the case. Guam is primarily to the United States, and by this, I mean nearly all ideological pockets in the United States, defined through its strategic importance and the fact that it has two US military bases there.

What this means, is that even though you may want to reach out to the progressive side of the US Government or ideological spectrum when advocating on behalf of Guam, the only ears that tend to hear any of these cries or even have some background in order to understand them are thsoe who are lords of war or lobbyists for militarism and the …