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Showing posts from June, 2011

Be Happy, Be Smile

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A few months back I started up a Tumblr in hopes of exploring the angsty, curious teenage girl inside of me (j/k). In truth, I have no idea what the teenage girl inside of me is like, we don't talk very much, sina gof ekpe gui' lao ti siguru yu', hassan na kumuentos ham. Actually I did think about getting a Tumblr long ago, but it was precisely the abundance of angsty, curious pre-teen and teenage girls on there which made me shy away. Would getting a Tumblr mark me in a social-virutal way that I wasn't expecting? I don't know how cool or uncool Blogger is, but I'm certain that having a Tumblr is cooler, but would it be the right kind of cool? Esta meggai na blogs-hu siha, lao ti mangcool siha. Ya mungga yu' mama'tinas nuebu ya para bai hu makase' ta'lo.

I asked my younger sister Alina who is a living, breathing angsty teenage girl what she thought about Tumblr and her response was, "What's that?" So that's when I decided it w…

Maolekna "Para Siha Todu"

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I mentioned I was working on an editorial with Victoria Leon Guerrero the other day and it was published in the Pacific Daily News this morning. We crammed alot of statements about what has been going on lately in terms of attempts to shift the buildup conversation into something of pre-DEIS period mode. We discussed Para Hita Todu and some of their motivations and also why they can't be taken seriously as a group that will lead Guam on this issue. All in all I think it was a pretty good editorial and so I wanted to paste it here as well.

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Guam Needs Leadership on Buildup Issue
Michael Lujan Bevacqua and Victoria Leon Guerrero
Pacific Daily News
June 26, 2011

Given last week's Sunday Forum topic, which focused on whether or not people should express their support of the military buildup, we eagerly await a future Sunday Forum that will ask the obvious next question as to whether or not people opposed to the buildup should speak out as well.

Last Sunday&#…

Guam at the UN

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The United Nations is supposed to represent everybody. For countries weak, strong, big and small there is supposed to be a place for each and everyone. But for those who are not nation-states or are nations within nations or colonies, the UN is a very different experience. There is no official, permanent place there. You are literally a ghost which is called into existence and every once in a while given a temporary place from which your story can be told.

In the case of Guam, there is an official place for this tiny little island each June and July when petitioners from Guam can speak before two different committees. Below is the summaries of the most recent visit this June.

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United Nations Press Release


Special Committee on Decolonisation

6th & 7th Meetings (AM & PM)

Special Committee on Decolonization Adopts Draft on Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Amid Petitioners’ Concern that Text Ignores Islanders’ Self-Determination Wish ‘Committee of 24.’ Also Fo…

A Petition of Chains

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Fellow activist and instructor at UOG Victoria Leon Guerrero and I just finished our letter to the editor weighing on the emergence of Para Hita Todu and the recently reinvigorated pro-buildup bias of the Pacific Daily News. This past week has had alot of letters in support of the buildup, many of them exceeding the usual limit the paper puts on submissions. All of these letters made similar points and talked about opportunities being missed and the buildup been a once in a lifetime or golden chance for so much more. None of them were particularly helpful for the discussion and were all built upon the hopeful, wishful but pointless premise that good things will happen if we believe in the buildup and support it.

Gof na'chalek nu Guahu, that opponents of the buildup were for so long accused of not offering anything but just negativity and critique, whereas those supporting the buildup were somehow offering a real concrete solution to problems despite not even knowing what they were…

Against Reality

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Last week the Pacific Daily News, the most powerful and most influential media outlet on Guam which has been a longstanding devout mouthpiece for the military buildup, burying much of the negatives but always careful to blazon in sometimes stupid ways any potential or even mythically positive, provided this in a way far more clearly than ever before. Each week the PDN hosts a Sunday forum where people in the community who are knowledgable about a subject are invited to write in letters to the editor addressing said subject. Last week's topic was about whether or not people who support the military buildup should voice their opinion. Most topics are about issues where there is a pretense to address the subject in a comprehensive way, or at least from two sides. In this instance no such pretense existed and it was merely a ploy to create a space for supporters of the buildup could crame the editorial pages of the PDN with pointless platitudes of how awesome the buildup is and how ev…

Latte

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This weekend I took twenty people on a Heritage Hike down to Haputo which is on a Navy base in the Northwestern part of Guam. The spot is a favorite of those with military base access and a spot which many who don't pine for the chance to visit. The hike down takes less than 10 minutes, and you are greeted with a secluded, shallow water beach, which is great for fishing, sunbathing and just relaxing. Haputo was once an ancient Chamorro village and the area above the beach to the base of the cliffs is full of artifacts. Some of the most beautiful latte that I've every seen on Guam we found there during our hike. For those who don't know, while the iconography of latte has them looming tall in the sky, most latte were small and stature, especially on Guam. That is why, when you find latte which are six feet tall, and still standing, haligi and tasa intact, it is truly a treat for the historical mind.

The past few months of my life have been full of latte. I've written ab…

Pagat Lawsuit News

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Courtesy of Famoksaiyan Friends:
From We Are Guåhan:

DoD Refuses Public Involvement in Additional Firing Range Complex Studies

June 15, 2011

Eight (8) months after making its Record of Decision (“ROD”), DoD has asked the District Court of Hawaii for a “voluntary remand” to do additional studies on the firing ranges that DoD has planned on building at Pågat Village and the surrounding area. DoD has refused to allow for any public input or participation in these new studies.

DoD’s request to add more information to its previous studies comes weeks after an e-mail from JGPO about DoD’s plans for Pågat Village was publicly released. In the e-mail, which was sent seven days after DoD issued its ROD, Major General Bice of JGPO wrote to several high ranking DoD officials that DoD “can get all of the land eventually, including an SDZ [Surface Danger Zone] over Pagat; we have to be patient and build trust with the community first.”

The e-mail from JGPO also said that DoD could get Pågat Villag…

Equal Rights for Women

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A few weeks back I was writing for my column in the Marianas Variety about the differences in presidential elections in 2012 and in 2008. The Republicans seem like a schizophrenic bunch right now, with everyone who can say something kaduku into a microphone being tossed into the ring as a possible presidential candidate. In 2008, Democrats hoping to be the one to take advantage of the disdain for President Bush, came out in full force and so the Democrats also went through their own period of primary insanity. But what makes the two primaries different is the presence of "change" and "history" in 2008 for Democrats, which is lacking in 2012 for Republicans. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, with their primary battle for the soul of the party and the future of it's progressive spirit kept things interesting and made it so that even if the party tore itself apart at times, it was all in the best interests of the country, all in the best interests of finding what b…

Para Siha Todu

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I've been writing for months that "pro-buildup" groups on Guam have been strangely silent lately. The overtly pro-build side of Guam was for years the richest and most powerful on Guam, and nothing has changed. But for more than a year, those captains of industry and influence appeared to almost live in fear of small, protest and activist groups. They seemed content to sit on the sidelines and not just lick their wounds, but suck every drop of life from them, to keep from getting back into the debate and try to actually argue their side, and try to convince people, beyond the pointless rhetoric that the buildup really is good for Guam. Several weeks ago a new group emerged, Para Hita Todu which is promising to help give voice to the silent majority of Guam people who see the buildup as a good thing. Only time will tell how much they can accomplish, but so far, despite the fact that they represent so much money and power, they are off to a rather silly and almost comical …