Showing posts from September, 2011

Base Displacement

University of Guam School of Social Work and the GuåhanCoalition for Peace and Justice present speakers:

David Vine
American University
Anthropology Department

Leevin Taitano Camacho
We Are Guåhan



Wednesday, September 28, 2011
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

University of Guam CLASS Lecture Hall

Corruption in Context

One of the unfortunate things about writing a column for a newspaper is the space limitations. Often times I'm discussing important topics and I can't do justice to it, can't say anything close to what I want to see or even feel I need to say. One such moment came last week in my column "Corruption in Context" in the Marianas Variety. In the column I discussed how people come to see the Department of Defense or the military in an extremely skewed way. As a place where there is no corruption, where everything is equal, based on merit, and handled in the right way. People see the military through nicely kept yards, proud serving men and women and cheaper gas that helps in the fight for freedom. In contrast to this image, the Department of Defense is interestingly enough, the largest, most corrupt, most incompetent and most inefficient part of the Federal government of the United States.

Although I mentioned this point, given the space limitations, I was not able t…


I just noticed that I passed a pretty big milestone yesterday. As you can see from the image to the left, I recently passed 300,000 hits on this blog. This means that according to Statcounter, pages on this blog have been loaded 300,000 times, and it does not necessarily mean that 300,000 people have read my blog (olaha mohon na taiguihi).

What's weird is that if I follow the internal counter that Blogger uses, then I've had 300,000 hits for quite a while, since Blogger's counter always counts twice as much as Statcounter. Needless to say, this is an exciting day for me and my blog. I started this blog in August 2004, and this post is my 1,431th. I meant to commemorate the 7th year of this blog last month, lao maleffa yu'.

In 2004, my blog posts were brutally short. Sometimes one or two sentences, sometimes a paragraph. Sometimes I would post several tiny posts in a day. Although I only had this blog for 4 months in 2004, I still posted 120 times, meaning at least onc…

An Impulsive Proposal

Mapuno' i birak.

Esta hagas na tiempo hu u'uke' este na birak.

Kada pekkat-hu ha chungat yu.

Kada diha, kalang sinanggra yu' ni' i malago'-na.

Para Hamyo, ni' ti en kempreprende hafa ilelek-hu guini, pat hafa este na estaba na birak-hu, manaplika yu' "grant" halacha. Ya para dos meses ayu sumagayi i lina'la'-hu.

Lao makpo' este put fin, ya ha fattoigue yu' ta'lo i minagof-hu, i gailugat-hu.

For those who don't understand the Chamorro section above, my life was taken over recently by applying for a National Science Foundation grant. I have applied for grants before, but never one such as this. This grant was twice as large as the largest grant I've ever helped apply for (this one is $220,000), three times longer than the longest grant I've ever applied for (3 years) and stretched my ability to sound "scientific" in a grant proposal. Suette yu', because the grant was on something I take seriously a…

Dogs and Karabaos

Gof tinane' yu' gi este mamaila na simana. Guaha inaplikan grant ni' bai hu na'halom antes di Tuesday. Guaha meggai na bai hu na'listo para i singko na klas-hu siha. Guaha tinige'-hu review put i lepblon Vince Diaz (Repositioning the Missionary) ni' bai hu tuge' antes di i finakpo' i mes. Guaha dos na kaduku na patgon-hu, ya kalang gof ga'tumane' i dos nu Guahu.

And so since I won't be posting much for a few days because I have too many things to do, I've pasted below a picture of two dogs riding a karabao.

Fa'na'an i duenon este na tres ga'ga' i bisinun Si tata-hu giya Piti. Lao yanggen sesso matto hao giya i kanton tasi Assan, sesso lokkue' sina un ripara este na tres manmamomokkat guihi.

Adios, esta otro biahi!

The End of Coral Reefs

Published on Sunday, September 11, 2011
by the Independent/UK
Coral Reefs 'Will Be Gone by End of the Century'

They will be the first entire ecosystem to be destroyed by human activity, says top UN scientist

by Andrew Marszal

Coral reefs are on course to become the first ecosystem that human activity will eliminate entirely from the Earth, a leading United Nations scientist claims. He says this event will occur before the end of the present century, which means that there are children already born who will live to see a world without coral.
The claim is made in a book published tomorrow, which says coral reef ecosystems are very likely to disappear this century in what would be "a new first for mankind – the 'extinction' of an entire ecosystem". Its author, Professor Peter Sale, studied the Great Barrier Reef for 20 years at the University of Sydney. He currently leads a team at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.
The p…

The Command Post

I've been reading a lot of 9/11 retrospectives lately, primarily because of the fact that for a week it seemed like that was all anyone could write or talk about. I even ended up writing one of my own for my Marianas Variety column this week, which I will post later about Guam's own 9/11, which is not 9.11.2001, and not even 12.8.1941, but rather 9.11.1671, the day of the first large scale open battle between Chamorros and recently arrived Spanish missionaries. It was a profoundly important day in Chamorro history, and the key moment in the story of Guam's third most famous Maga'lahi, Maga'lahi Hurao. In case you're wondering the two most famous are Kepuha and Mata'pang.

By far though  my favorite restrospective had to be from The Command Post.

This blog disappeared for a while, but several years back it had some very insightful commentary on militarism, imperialism, and even made some very interesting connections between Guam and Iraq. I was happy to see…

UOG Student Protest Today

From F.I.T.E. Club:

Hafa adai todus hamyo, as you may know, the University of Guam is having a public hearing for the tuition increase proposal. When: Tuesday September 13, 2:00. Where: Business Building Room #129. If this news is new to you, here are some facts!

Hafa, Tuition Increases? YES! For residents, the rates will increase 10% in Spring Semester 2012 and will increase another 5% in both Academic Years 2012-13 and 2013-14. Let's look at Now: $190 per credit; Spring 2012: $209; Fall 2012: $220, Spring 2013: $231!!!

-Let's put this in numbers!!: A full time 12 credit student pays $2280 RIGHT NOW! Spring 2012: $2508! Fall 2012: $2640! Spring 2013: $2772
Students are already struggling to stay in school and many will not be able to afford college soon jeopardizing the future of our island. Without educated youth, future leaders will be fewer than it would have been. On this note, F.I.T.E. Club is organizing a protest/rally (whatever you want to call it). The purpose is to s…


Kada damenggo-hu, mismo iyon grandpa.

Fihu i manatungo'-hu siha ma faisen yu', "sa' hafa kalang todu tiempo tailugat hao gi damenggo?"

Ayu na fine'nina na tinige'-hu, sesso este i ineppe-ku.

Esta tres anos desde iyo-ku grandfather Si Tun Jack Lujan ha tutuhun fumana'na'gue yu' taimanu humerrero.

Lao put i meggai che'cho'-hu yan obligasion-hu, ti sina hu fa'sahnge meggai na tiempo para este.

Pues kada damenggo hu fa'sahnge para Si grandpa.

Yanggen hu cho'cho'gue este kada diha, siempre esta kapas yu' mama'tinas ramenta yan esta kabales na herrero yu'. Lao put i ti nahong na tiempo-ku, ti kababales ha' i ineyak-hu.

Achokka' ti bai hu sangan na maolek yu', ti gos taisetbe yu' lokkue'.

Esta hu ayuda Si grandpa fuma'tinas meggai na diferentes na klasin ramenta. Guaha siete na ramenta ni' gof impottante para i kutturan Chamoru antes, ya esta sina hu ayuda gui' fuma'tinas k…

Obama on Smog

From the Huffington Post

In Al Gore's most recent post to "Al's Journal," the former vice president slams President Obama for his recent retreat on smog standards.

Last Friday, under pressure from big industries and GOP lawmakers, Obama asked the EPA to withdraw proposed clean air regulations.

According to the Associated Press, "The regulation would have reduced concentrations of ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog, a powerful lung irritant that can cause asthma and other lung ailments."

Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of the American Lung Association, told The Huffington Post that she was "outraged," given that "the current standard used was based on the science as of 14 years ago -- before we knew that ozone killed people."

In Gore's Wednesday post, he writes:

Instead of relying on science, President Obama appears to have bowed to pressure from polluters who did not want to bear the cost of implementin…

The End of an Era

The end of one of modern Guam's most enduring eras is over.

Last week we closed one of the most storied chapters of our island's history.

We said goodbye to something which has in some ways been a terrible friend to the island and a necessary one as well. Through economic upswings, downturns, typhoons, an endless string of concerts by washed up musicians, the resurgence of Chamorro dance, and the sons of two different Republican Governors getting elected themselves to the island's highest office, this era had it all. Now it comes to an end.

Last week Guam began the transition out of the Ordot Dump era of the island's history and with the opening of a new dump in Layon, Inarajan, we have now entered the Layon Dump era of history.

Who knows what lies ahead for the people of this tumultuous little island as we go from putting our overabundance of garbage from one pile to another.


New Layon Landfill now open
FRIDAY, 02 SEPTEMBER 2011 01:39

Please Mess With Texas

Texas has made my teaching a lot easier lately for a variety of reasons.

When trying to talk about Guam's political status, it's experience of the colonial difference, or to use the imagery of Du Bois, its own personal veil, the story of a Chamorro woman who recently attempted to apply for a Federal childcare program for her children, but was rejected on the basis being born on Guam made them not U.S. Citizens. When she confronted the agency about this "mistake," this was the conversation she had with a supervisor.

"He laughed about it and said the letter is true and he actually had gone to college and he has never been taught or never had heard anything about Guam existing or even being a territory of the U.S."She later received an apology. Where did this most recent example of the everyday manifestations of Guam's unequal political status in the lives of those who call it home take place? Texas.

The rhetoric of Texas Governor Rick Perry in the first …

Testimony of Sung Hee Choi

NOTE: Sung Hee-Choi was arrested in May for protesting the construction of a Navy base in Gangjeong, Jeju Island, South Korea. She was released last month. Here is a link to an interview David Vine conducted with her in July.
Below is a statement from her on the struggle from: Ten Thousand Things:

The pictures are from my trip to South Korea last summer, for which Sung Hee was my guide.


[Translated by John Cha, Jinsoo An, Jun-Hyung Kim]

Final Testimony
Case: 2011 고단/Kodan 318 Obstruction of Business (2011 Kodan 511, Combined)
The Accused: Choi Sung-hee

Your Honor,

I, Choi Sung-hee, am a visual artist. I have been drawn to the beauty of Jeju Island, the pearl of Korea, and to the beautiful ecological preservation of Gangjeong village, which has been called the diamond of Jeju Island. I have also been drawn to the friendly spirit of the Gangjeong villagers who live peacefully with nature. Their will to protect and love the natural environment has moved me deepl…