Showing posts from November, 2010

Remembering War and Promoting Peace

In my endless quest to make sure that I always have too many things to do and not enough time to do them in, I've started working with the office of Senator Frank Blas Jr. on an event to be held on December 8th to commemorate the invasion of Guam in 1941 by the Japanese. Each year there is a Paka-level-strength-typhoon of memorialized and commemorating for the reoccupation of the island by US force, known as Liberation Day, but very little takes place to remember the island was first cast into the fire of war. This event will feature a photo exhibit at the Cathedral Gallery in Hagatna, a mass on December 8th as well as a war storytelling event to take place after the mass. This project is the most recent part of Senator Blas' push to get war reparations for Chamorros. If you want more information on that issue then they have created a website devoted to it called Guam War Survivor Story.
I'm pasting information on the project below, the photo exhibit and also some info on …

The Few. The Proud. The ...

Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Marines Most Resistant To Openly Gay Troops
Associated Press

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — They are the few, the proud and perhaps the military's biggest opponents of lifting the ban on openly gay troops.

Most of those serving in America's armed forces have no strong objections to repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" law, according to a Pentagon survey of 400,000 active duty and reservists that is scheduled for release Tuesday.

But the survey found resistance to repealing the ban strongest among the Marines, according to The Washington Post. It's an attitude apparently shared by their top leader, Commandant Gen. James Amos, who has said that the government should not lift the ban in wartime.

The Senate is supposed to consider repeal during its lame duck session in December, with many legislators favoring changing the law to allow gays to serve openly. A few staunchly oppose it, however, and both sides are expe…

Famoksaiyan Gi i Rediu

Several years back I posted on Minagahet Zine a page called "Famoksaiyan gi i Rediu" which featured various interviews on the radio given by members and allies of Famoksaiyan regarding issues of militarism, colonialism, decolonization, the UN, cultural revitalization and anything else which someone with a microphone and ten to twenty minutes wanted to chat about.

As the years have passed the links for those interviews have gone dead, the files have been moved and even the server for Minagahet Zine itself has changed and is no longer on Geocities but now can be accessed directly at

Recently, Martha Duenas, who is part of Famoksaiyan West Coast and blogs at Too Late To Stop Now, updated the Famoksaiyan gi i Rediu page, found the new links for interviews and even added some more which have been conducted as the military buildup issue has become even bigger and occassionally garnered the attention of progressive and mainstream national media. I'…


On Thursday night I was on a panel for a film screening at UOG. After the film we had a short discussion about the film and took some questions from the audience. The question I received from the audience was about how the people of Guam, Chamorros and non-Chamorros can speak out with one voice with regards to the buildup and thus take control of it. I thought about that questions for the moment, and couldn't really come up with a decent or hopeful answer. That surprised me, but I guess given how things have played out in terms of the US military buildup to Guam since 2005 I shouldn't be.
I have been asked that same question in so many forms in these past five years, more frequently in the past year, but my answer has constantly changed, depending on how the island has changed or has not changed. Early on, I was fighting against the inevitability that people were infusing into the buildup despite not knowing anything about it. My answers were long and rambling, always hopeful …

The Top of the Island, The Edge of Imagination

This weekend I'll be taking people up to the literal "top of the island," Guam's tallest "peak" Sabanan Lamlam, or Mount Lamlam. It is part of We Are Guahan's "Heritage Hikes." We went to is Pagat two weeks ago, Cetti and Sella Bay last week, and now our third and final hike up to Mount Lamlam.

Even though will be the third time to travel up there in the past month, but I'm still excited about it. Here is one of the reasons why.

My cognitive map of Guam, the network of images, symbols, ideas, sights, smells, and so on which I use to imagine what Guam is on a daily basis is dominated by my classrooms where I teach in, the apartment complex where I live in, and the things I pass by the side of the roads as I travel. I spend most of my time in the central part of the island bouncing between Chalan Pago, Hagatna, Tamuning, Barrigada and Mangilao. As such, Guam is a pleasant concrete jungle, dotted every once in a while with random clusters of…

What I'll be Doing Thursday Night


The third film in the Global Militarism: Global Peace? documentary film/discussion series for the Fall semester 2010 is scheduled for 6 p. m. Thursday, November 18, CLASS Lecture Hall, UOG Campus. This series is co-sponsored by the Division of Social Work and the Communication Program at the University of Guam in cooperation with the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice and WeAreGuahan. Each film in this series explores the dynamics of global militarism and its impacts in different parts of the world. Each screening is followed by commentary by three panelists and facilitated discussion. This event is free and open to the public. UOG and GCC faculty and high school teachers are encouraged to offer this film event as an extra credit option.
The featured film on November 18 is Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai'i by Hawaiian filmmaker Anne Keala Kelly. Kelly is a native journalist and filmmaker who has…

Fun With Footnotes Mina'Kuatro!

It has been quite a white since my last installment of Fun With Footnotes, where I post on my blog some of my more excessive or informative footnotes from my academic work.

I wrote a poem several years ago which described Guam as one "Big American Footnote," and that was in one way the first seed which later became my dissertation, various articles, some of my favorite talking points and numerous posts on this blog. The metaphor of the footnote was something I felt could help me explain Guam and its colonial predicament, and how it exists, it means something, it matters, it reveals something crucial or important, but like most footnotes it is assumed to matter in a way that doesn't matter. I remember when I was in grad school at UCSD and in one class, another student who had read a draft of my Masters Thesis noted that my long footnotes were irrelevant and pointless since she, like everyone else in the world didn't read them anyways, and to make them any longer than …

Heritage Hikes

For those of you who like hiking, learning more about Guam’s history and natural environment or, like me, are looking for an excuse to get some exercise, I’m helping organizesomething this month you might be interested in.

I’m working with We Are Guahan to hold three “Heritage Hikes” on three different Saturdays in November.

Last Saturday we hiked down to Pagat Cave, Cliff and Village. This coming Saturday we'll be hiking down to Cetti Bay and up Sella Bay. Next Saturday we'll be taking our last hike up to Humuyong Manglo and Mount Lamlam. I'll be helping lead each hike and be talking to people about some of the historical, cultural and biological importance of each area.

The Pagat hike was very successful with more than 30 people joining us. I'm hoping for at least the same amount, maybe more for the next two.

If these hikes are that successful and people really enjoy them, then I'll work on organizing some more early next year, perhaps to some different sites.

The Tip of the Spear is the First Thing to Get Bloody

One of the better articles that has come out recently about the military buildup, and I'm not only saying this because of the fact that I was interviewed for it. In most national articles or press about the buildup, China haunts the edges of the discussion, but is rarely drawn out in any meaningful way, and as a result the danger to Guam is rarely mentioned ever. This is not to say that people like me on Guam when we talk to people from The Washington Post or The Chicago Tribune, we don't mention it, we always do since it's something we can't dismiss or edit out of the picture. But from the perspective of the US, the national discussion is heavily ambivalent on the China issue, and so that complexity and uncertainty around the issue makes it something that always has to be other assumed or marginalized. There can be no "peaceful" intention to the US militarizing Guam or militarizing other places around the Asia-Pacific region meant to box in China, but since …

Olbermann Interview

I like Keith Olbermann, because he is an angry nerd. Most nerds wilt and die, and swoon at the sight of almost anything, but Olbermann, is a nerd who is angry and not afraid to look a little bit foolish in order to seek some way of unleashing that anger and trying to mix it with some humor and intelligence.
He just got suspended from MSNBC for making some campaign contributions to three Democratic candidates, without obtaining permission from his employer first.This has, for liberals and the left become a sort of mainstrem media "teachable moment." While Fox News nurtures its commentators and anchors and hosts to be the media arm of the Republicans Party, MSNBC comes nowhere close to playing that role for liberals or for Democrats, and this is a clear example of that.
The interview below was taken days before the suspension. The particular like the exchange where he talks about his dad's favorite not so well known baseball players from back in the day.