This blog is dedicated to Chamorro issues, the use and revitalization of the Chamoru language and the decolonization of Guam. This also blog aims to inform people around the world about the history, culture and language and struggles of the Chamorro people, who are the indigenous islanders of Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Luta and Pagan in the Mariana Islands. Pues Haggannaihon ha', ya taitai na'ya, ya Si Yu'us Ma'ase para i finatto-mu.
I made a silent resolution at some point this year that I would post 200 times on this blog over the course of 2011. My blogging has its ups and downs, as I chronicled earlier this fall in my post "300,000." I don't find as much time to post because of teaching, parenting, activism and writing for other things.
I was determined though to reach the 200 post plateau this year, and with this post I have done it.
It's a great way to end one year and welcome in a new one.
Published on Friday, December 30, 2011 by CultureStrike Ethnic Studies Ruling Escalates Arizona Schools Struggleby Michelle Chen While students were on their holiday break, Arizona issued a disturbing wake-up call to anyone who thought the education system had evolved to reflect America’s diversity. In a legal challenge to a controversial law passed in 2010, an administrative law judge pummeled a flagship educational initiative by supporting restrictions on programs based on Latino history and culture.Tucson students occupy a school board meeting
The judge decided that the curriculum used in Tucson’s Mexican American studies programs was biased against white people, apparently because it advocates critical historical perspectives and emphasizes struggles of indigenous and Latino communities, as well as the links between that legacy and contemporary politics. The ruling comes as no surprise, as the struggle between the school district and school superintendent John Huppentha…
These pictures were taken at the “Guam: Where America’s President Refuels” Protest held outside the frontgate of Anderson Air Force Base, November 19-20, 2011.
President Obama stopped in Guam for less than 2 hours in order to refuel as part of his most recent trip to Asia. Since the President did not leave the base to meet with the people, 50 community members came to hold a demonstration, even waving signs and lights at his plane as it flew overhead.
Next month the primaries start for Republicans and so that means that the Presidential race will be starting soon. With so much of my focus on local politics, especially those dealing with decolonization, I'm not sure how much I'll be able to devote to following and covering Obama versus whoever the Republicans pick.
One video I just came across on Youtube picked my interest. In it the campaign manager for Obama, Jim Messina lays out the five main paths in terms of electoral math and victories, that would give Obama the Presidency. Given the rough ride that Democrats had in the last election, and Obama's poor poll numbers, their projections have the aura of being both lean and sober, but also optimistic and wishful. I'm hoping for an Obama victory, despite my disappointment in his record thus far.
To see the maps that Team Obama is working with, check out the video below:
“Presidential Visit Calculus” by Michael Lujan Bevacqua
The Marianas Variety
The recent visit, but not really a visit by President Barack Obama to the World’s Largest Gas State Where America’s Day Begins caused a bit of a stir. There was a demonstration of more than 50 people at the front gates of Anderson while his plane was refueling. There have been debates about whether this counts as a visit or not. Furthermore, is Guam right to expect the “most powerful” man in the world to give it the time of day? Or is it just being selfish and trying to steal away the time of the busiest man in the world? At a time like this, it is probably important to reflect on the calculus of Presidential visits.
Presidential stops are meant to enhance a Commander and Chief’s reputation. They are meant to give him a little boost, some extra political capital each time he leaves Washington and gets out to eat apple pie with Joe and Jane Six Pack. The calculus could be reduced to a handful of po…
"How Do You Like America?"
Keiko Matsui Gibson
Taking off from Osaka
I saw my mother standing
with a handkerchief over her eyes
and my father trying to hide
a hole in his heart-mind.
Then my country blurred.
For seven years I have heard:
"Where do you come from?
China? Korea? Japan?
How long have you been in America?
Is your family still in Japan?
I sure bet they miss you!
Did you meet your husband there?
Does he speak Japanese?
You speak English very well!
Where did you learn to speak it?
How do you like America?"
I pity, fear, and love it.
America is huge and sick
optimistic and terrifying
immature but lovable.
Americans' friendly questions
dislocated my Japanese bones.
I automatically answered
like a dog watering its mouth:
"I was born in Kyoto, Japan.
It is a modern ancient city.
I've been in America since
Jimmy Carter was President.
My parents are still in Osaka.
Because I'm an only child
we miss each other a lot.
I met my husband at a b…
I haven't posted anything about it yet, but the war on the war on Christmas, that fantastical past time of people who have way too much time on their hands and are angry about things they aren't allowed to openly hate or discriminate against anymore (women, minorities, foreigners), has long since begun. Talking Points Memo put up a nice video that I've embedded above.
This is such a pathetic thing it almost defies explanation. That people could devote so much time and energy into attacking the phrase "Happy Holidays" and constantly seek out any potential omission of the phrase "Merry Christmas." It is a cruel and sick joke that somehow this issue is taken seriously by people.
The real way on Christmas should be about how greedy Christmas has become and how corporate it has become.The essence of Christmas shouldn't be in the browbeating of people to yell out "Merry Christmas" but rather in reflecting on things such as charity, family clo…
In all my classes that I teach at the University of Guam, the issue of decolonization and independence for Guam always arises. Part of it is because of who I am and what I believe in. Part of it is because of what I teach and how I teach. But regardless of why, it is something that I always end have addressing either in response to students and their questions, or as a matter of wanting to open their minds up to something they have yet to consider. Part of the difficulty though in discussing these two topics is that while Guam is a colony and has been such for more than a century, the Chamorro experience of colonialism has changed so much since 1898, 1941, even 1968. The colonial difference between Guam and the United States is not as wide or as daunting or as disgusting as it used to be. In Guam in 1898, 1941, 1944 and even 1968 you could see where America ended and Chamorros and Guam began. You could see that America engaged with Chamorros only up to a certain point as human beings …
For my Marianas Variety column this week I wrote about the current Republican pack of candidates as a colorful collection of barely electable political Pokemon (in homage of Herman Cain's suspension speech). It was a naturally partisan piece, meant to draw attention to how crazy the Republicans are this time around. No doubt some who read it and lean to the right will be offended by it and would love to remind me about all the craziness of the Obama Administration and the terrible things that he has done or that they feel he is doing in the darkest most. Perhaps a few months ago or a few years ago, I would have responded in true partisan form, downplaying all and making excuses for all, except for the racist fantasies which require no response.
But watching Obama and his rise and fall as a Democratic figure, leader and symbol, I am fine nowadays with talking about his limitations. He has become a true Democrat, a model of caving in, compromising and disappointing people. Some say…
This is a very concise but still very insightful overview of Texas Congressman Ron Paul and his politics from Talking Points Memo. I have always liked Ron Paul as a Republican, because of the way he reflects a more consistent set of ideological stances as opposed to most of the other party who pander to various factions and thus use powerful drugs in order to rationalize that you can massively cut taxes and continually increase the defense budget. But in general, Paul has always been a racist and if he was running as a Democrat, that fact would never be forgotten. But in the Republican "great white hope" style of politics, it is still too early to tell whether or not being racist hurts you as a candidate or helps you.
In 2008 I was able to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver because of something called "The State Blogger Corps." This was a grassroots effort by the party to bring to the convention local blogs and progressive groups from all 50 states and even the territories to join the conversation and get access that they would surely not be able to get otherwise. With my press credentials from the State Blogger Corps, I was basically a member of Guam's delegation and also a member of the press. I got to go almost anywhere, even in places that normal member of the press weren't allowed to.
I want to attend the 2012 convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. I don't see any mention of the State Blogger Corps this time around on the Democratic Convention website. I don't know if I just can't find it, or if they aren't offering it this time around. The 2008 campaign appropriated alot of grassroots elements in order to symbolize that Obama was riding a …
Below is the joint statement from all the delegates who attending the International Forum during the 2011 Japan Peace Conference last month in Okinawa.As delegates came from around the Pacific and Asia, each area has a separate paragraph which deals with their particular issues. You can see some of the concerns that I raised in my earlier Okinawa Dreams post on Nationalism and Solidarity however. While this statement lays out a clear map of solidarity, the question always remains, how do these ties become more than strands of knowledge or awareness of things? When do they become imbued with power?
For a US-Base-Free, Nuclear-Free and Peaceful Asia-Pacific
without Military Bases
Japan Peace Conference
Nov. 24-25, 2011
The International Forum “For a Nuclear Weapon-Free Peaceful Asia-Pacific without Military Bases - Solidarity among Okinawa, Guam and Asia-Pacific” was sponsored jointly by Japan Peace Committee and Gua…