Showing posts from October, 2012

For Whom the Tolls Bell

The conservative echo chamber on Guam isn’t very large but it is very persistent. Guam doesn’t really have a Fox News that can pound into our heads everyday a consistent, hateful terrifying public ideology. Some Chamorros say that K57 News and talk radio plays that role, but this isn’t really true. K57 has the interesting role of being fairly liberal in a national context, but fairly conservative in a local context. K57, like most media on Guam is pretty inconsistent in its messaging. 

Even though there is no mecca for this conservative echo chamber it still exists. This network exists through the collection of certain events, figures and signifiers. Over time this collection gains strength and loses strength. These signifiers can at certain moments achieve a potent and undeniable aura, and other times bleed insignificance.
This collection doesn’t exist for the same reason that conservative networks exist in the states. In Guam what pumps life into this network, what makes it fee…

From Maya Angelou

From Maya Angelou:


Dear Michael,

I am not writing to you as a black voter, or a woman voter, or as a voter who is over 70 years old and six feet tall. I am writing to you as a representative of this great country -- as an American.

It is your job to vote. It is your responsibility, your right, and your privilege. You may be pretty or plain, heavy or thin, gay or straight, poor or rich.

But remember this: In an election, every voice is equally powerful -- don't underestimate your vote. Voting is the great equalizer.

Voting has already begun in some states that President Obama needs to win. So please use this handy tool to make sure your friends in those key states know where to cast their ballot. You will be doing them a great favor.

As a country, we can scarcely perceive the magnitude of our progress.

My grandmother and my uncle experienced circumstances that would break your heart. When they went to vote, they were asked impossible questions l…


“Get Out the Vote” Michael Lujan Bevacqua  October 24, 2012 The Marianas Variety
Daniel Ellsberg was infamous during the Vietnam War era for his releasing of documents that later became known as “The Pentagon Papers.” Ellsberg was working as an analyst for the RAND Corporation at that time and had access to numerous top-secret documents dealing with the ways in which the United States was prosecuting the war in Vietnam. Through his work Ellsberg was privy to the fact that the White House under President Johnson had systematically lied to Congress and to the American people about the war in Vietnam. It was an important moment in given some credibility to the sometimes instinctive feeling that people have that their government cannot be trusted. The Pentagon Papers proved that we often times dismiss things that have a conspiratorial quality to them precisely so we can never find out if they are true or not.
Ellsberg is a hero for many progressives and Democrats in the United States as…

Defeat Romney, Without Illusions About Obama

Published on Thursday, October 18, 2012 by Common Dreams
Defeat Romney, Without Illusions about Obama Advice to progressives in swing states, vote for reelection by Daniel Ellsberg
It is urgently important to prevent a Republican administration under Romney/Ryan from taking office in January 2013.

The election is now just weeks away, and I want to urge those whose values are generally in line with mine -- progressives, especially activists -- to make this goal one of your priorities during this period.

Romney and Obama exchange fingers in Tuesday night's debate. (Reuters)An activist colleague recently said to me: “I hear you’re supporting Obama.”

I was startled, and took offense. “Supporting Obama?  Me?!”

“I lose no opportunity publicly,” I told him angrily, to identify Obama as a tool of Wall Street, a man who’s decriminalized torture and is still complicit in it, a drone assassin, someone who’s launched an unconstitutional war, supports kidnapping and indefinite detenti…

Support UOG

"Support Tritons of Today, Tomorrow"
by Robert A. Underwood
Guam PDN
October 24, 2012

The University of Guam has faced a dramatic reduction in Government of Guam support over the past decade. We are a public corporation chartered by the government of Guam and our base operational support comes from government of Guam appropriations. Without this funding, our student learning, academic quality, federal grants and public service are not sustainable.
We are appreciative and we recognize our public obligations.

But the GovGuam appropriation has declined over the past two decades. In 1994, UOG received $31.9 million in general operations appropriations and the annual amount has been consistently less than $28 million in subsequent years. Moreover, the GovGuam portion of current total University expenditures has declined significantly even as our enrollment has grown by 20 percent over the past decade.

The year 2002 was the last year in which GovGuam ap…

Hagu i Flores

Six years ago my grandparents celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary. 
We had a large gathering at the Westin Hotel in Tumon. All of my siblings flew in, as did most of my cousins and my grandparents' still living children. The party was lots of fun. I got to meet more family than I can remember. The highlight was the stage where grandma and grandpa sat in their chairs of honor, beaming as friends, family and even a few politicians would come to greet them and pay their respects. 
One of the duties I had for the party was to coordinate some singing with the grandkids and great-grandkids. As most songs that grandma and grandpa like are Chamorro songs and everyone except for me could not speak or sing in Chamorro we had to find some songs that were lighthearted, merry and easy to remember, with words easy to pronounce. 
One of grandma's favorite songs is "Nobia Kahulo'" and the words for that are simple enough. I taught everyone that song and even though it is …

I Ilun i Gamson

Hawaii: Head of the Tentacled Beast By Jon Letman, October 18, 2012 Foreign Policy in Focus
Fresh from hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu last autumn, U.S. President Barack Obama recently told members of the Australian Parliament that America’s defense posture across the Asia-Pacific would be “more broadly distributed…more flexible—with new capabilities to ensure that our forces can operate freely.”

The announcement of America’s “Asia-Pacific pivot” by its first Hawaiia-born president was highly fitting, since the Hawaiian Islands are at the piko (“navel” in Hawaiian) of this vast region.

A less flattering metaphor for Hawaii’s role in the Pacific is what Maui educator and native Hawaiian activist Kaleikoa Kaeo has called a giant octopus whose tentacles reach across the ocean clutching Japan, Okinawa, South Korea, Jeju island, Guam—and, at times, the Philippines, American Samoa, Wake Island, Bikini Atoll, and Kwajalein Atoll in the Ma…

Mensahi Ginnen I Gehilo' #6: Quiz Time

Mensahi Ginnen I Gehilo' #6
"Quiz Time"

What do people look for in their political candidates?

To often the list of things that people vote based on is filled with the trivial, the superficial and the embarrassing. People will vote for candidates based on height, hair, smile, ability to wave by the roadside and even what their first name is. In a democracy people have the right to vote for whoever they want to, regardless of how informed they are about the candidates or the issues. This is one of the reasons why everyone may claim to love democracy, but really want it only in small doses. Real democracies take work. They require that the people keep track of their leaders. They require that the people themselves are knowledgeable and know who for whom they are voting. If this is not the case, then communities tend to elect simply those who are most famous or the wealthiest.
Next month Guam will be electing another Legislature. Currently there are 30 candidates runnin…

The Problems of History

Senator Daniel Akaka, as the first and only Native Hawaiian to serve in the US Senate is a key icon in the pantheon of Native Hawaiian politics. He is currently retiring and not running for re-election. Neither of those running to replace him are Native Hawaiian and so in some ways it is a sad day for those who take seriously those types of issues of representation and inclusion.
He is a regular speaker at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement conference that I have been attending this week. He came on the last day to give his final speech to those assembled, as a sitting Senator. It was a very solemn moment when he arrived and when he spoke. He was treated like an elder celebrity statesmen, as people rushed to take pictures of him as he walked to the stage and record him as he spoke. He received a line of well-wishers and gift givers, some of which had the chance to speak briefly and told tales of how the Senator had made an incredible impact in their lives. People spoke abou…

Big Joe Biden

From The best take on last night's VP debate that I've read all morning.

There's even a Marianas Trench mention in there.

Kalang un machalek na tigiri Si Joe Biden gi painge. Ya Si Paul Ryan i na'-na. Humugando na'ya Si Joe ni' na'-na, ya pues ha galamok ha'.


Big Joe and the Joyful Noise Friday, 12 October 2012 08:58
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Vice President Joseph Biden of Delaware dropped the hammer on Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan on Thursday, and it was a powerful thing to see.

Anyone who tells you the vice presidential debate was a tie, or that Mr. Ryan prevailed, is trying to sell you a diamond mine that ain't worth a dime. The ultimate impact and import of what went down during Thursday's debate won't be immediately known, but the simple fact is beyond dispute: Joe Biden owned the night, and owned his opponent, in a way rarely seen in modern debate history.
It w…