Showing posts from February, 2011

They'll Break Ranks...

From Crooks And Liars:

This is heartwarming -- BREAKING: Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol:

From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:

“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”

Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:

“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”Don't tell me we can't win this. Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol.

UPDATE from John Amato: Looks like Scott Walker was booed out of a restaurant tonight. Digby says it may not be 100%.

Obsidian Wings has a lot of info:
Wisconsin blogger Naomi Houser reports ton…

Todu Gi Pappa i Atdao

I have had an online presence for quite a while now. I've had websites or some sort of presence here for so long that I started a geocities website when it was still cool to have one, and have lived long enough to see geocities close down and most of the sites wiped from the face of the earth (a few were saved by generous mirrors). I've seen the internet landscape of Guam change somewhat. Every year or so a handful of websites which are meant to be the ultimate or premiere online presence for all things Guam or Chamorro appear, and most of them fade away very quickly and very quietly. The creation and popularization of blogs didn't lead to any real change in the emptiness of Guam's online world. If you google around for Guam/Chamorro blogs you'll find several pages which were created and never actually started. You'll also find plenty of blogs with a few posts and nothing else for several years. I was jealous of Saipan for quite a while because while Guam langu…

Tweeting in Chamorro

For the Twitter account that I just started, I've decided to dedicate it for now to helping teach the informal Chamorro class that I hold every week. The Twitter account is open to anyone to follow should they want, but it's meant to help support the lessons that we learn each week. Everyday I ask a question or make a statement which draws upon the grammar or vocabulary that we learned that week and those learning are meant to respond. For example, in our first lesson we discussed the most basic forms of pronouns in Chamorro, the "Yu'" type pronouns. They go after adjectives, nouns and verbs and make the most basic stative sentences.

With the pronouns we learned 15 vocabulary words, primarily nouns and verbs, as well as how you use the question marker "kao," the negative marker "ti" and the intensifiers "gof, gef, ges, sen, mampos" in a sentence. In the week after I tweeted some basic questions such as the following:

The following we…

The Joy of (Watercolor) Painting

This was originally posted on the website Guamology which was run by the Muna Brothers, Don and Kel, but closed down recently after a two year run. I was a writer for the website, sometimes posting every week or so, sometimes once a month. It was a very fun and very informative website and I was happy to help build it since it started in 2008.

I cut and pasted a few of the posts that I didn't have records of because they were on my old laptop which was stolen last year. I decided to share one of my painting posts below:


Welcome to another installment of the Joy of Painting! Where I take pictures and write up the progress of a painting that I am making, to go beyond the surface of an artwork, and get into the evolution, the beauty, the struggle of making it. This week’s segment is dedicated to Sarah, who requested that I try out watercolor this time around.

The joy in this post’s title is in quotes because watercolor isn’t always a joy for me. Its not a …

GOP Attacks on Women

From MoveOn.Org:


1) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."

3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need,…

Chamorro Twitter

Last year I started holding some informal Chamorro language classes, with anyone who was interested in learning the language. I had a mixture of UOG students and professionals, we even had a few people Skype in to the meetings sometimes from as far away as Seattle. The meetings were free and very simple. Each lesson would be a different part of Chamorro grammar. I would teach the basic parts and then we would practice for a while.

I had helped organize meetings like this many years ago when I was a graduate student at UOG, with others who had gotten a slight foundation in the language from taking classes at UOG, but felt nowhere close to being fluent and found it difficult to find people to practice with. We would meet at places like Kings every week or so and just talk for a while, trying our best to compare notes on what was the proper word to use here, the proper way to say this. If Chamorro was a healthy and vibrant language learning it would be easy, since you would take lessons…

Progressives United

Ti manggana' Si Russ Fiengold gi i botasion-na gi i ma'pos na sakkan. Annai hu taitai este na tinige' ilek-hu nu Guahu na maolek na ti kumeketu pat ti kumakasao Si Russ. Annai mapedde' gui', ti ha yute' iyo-na principles siha. Ha gu'ot siha, ya ha daggaon maisa gui' ta'lo gi i mimu.

Published on Wednesday, February 16, 2011
by Huffington Post
Russ Feingold Launches 'Progressives United' To Combat Corporate Influences In Politics
by Amanda Terkel

WASHINGTON -- When some senators retire, they decide to take lucrative lobbying jobs. Others go straight to Wall Street. But Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election bid in November, is continuing on his principled -- and often lonely -- path by starting an organization to combat corporate influence in politics, an effort he hopes will spark "a new progressive movement" that will truly hold elected officials accountable.

Launching on Wednesday…

Biba Ha'anin Guinaiya

Usually for Valentiene's Day I paste one of my rare love poems on this blog. This year, after spotting this on Maile's Kith and Koko blog I decided this was a much more interesting.

Biba Ha'anin Guinaiya, ko'lo'lo'na nu i famalao'an mannatibu, guini yan gi todu i tano' siha!

A Place of Peace and Life

My column this week for the Marianas Variety will be on Gangjeong, South Korea and the resistance there to the construction of a joint-US-ROK-Naval Facility there. My column will focus on a speech I gave while I was there in June of last year, but things have changed much since then. When I visited the village in Southern Jeju the start of construction was several months away, and there was still hope that their protests and a lawsuit they had filed would stop it. Since the start of the new year, there were protests, crackdowns and construction has begun and so I am always on the lookout for any information that I can find about what is going on in Gangjeong.

I came across this article below which is a great update about what is happening now from Bruce Gagnon's Organizing Notesblog. When I visited Gangjeong, I traveled as part of a delegation which included Bruce, who was representing the United States, Shinako, an activist from Okinawa, and Corazon Fabros from the Philippines. …

To the Haters

Like everyone out there I hate haters. Even haters most likely hate haters, and while it is usually better not to think about them, sometimes you just can't help yourself. Este na post hu tuge'i'i i manggaichatli'e' siha!

Although I am by no means a celebrity on Guam, or anywhere else, there is something to be said about when your name does become increasingly larger than yourself. No human can control the world of discourse around them anymore than the world of discourse about them. They may seek to try and dominate it, make it follow a certain course, mean what they would wish, and while it can appear to follow your desires, it never actually does. Part of becoming larger than life means being reduced to mean certain things, reduced to certain social/political shortcuts.

In my case, there are people out there who I don't know, who know about me. The number of people who know about me in some way seems to be getting larger than the number of people that I cons…

Not Siding With The Executioners

Around this time last year Howard Zinn passed away. He was most famous for his seminal counter history of the United States A People's History of the United States, but he wrote many other works as well and was a long time activist and support of numerous progressive causes.

After I began teaching World History last year, I found that much of the way I talk about things, even history, tends to be at a level which is hard for your average UOG undergraduate to understand. When you starting talking like Levinas, Derrida, Benjamin, Slavoj Zizek and Avery Gordon to talk about history even if students are interested, they sometimes lack the vocabulary or a friendly framework to even engage with what I'm saying. The first time I taught World History 2 (from 1500- the present) I made the mistake of giving my students Walter Benjamin's Theses on the Philosophy of History, without prepping them much or giving them an idea of what it was about. Needless to say the discussion was gut…