Showing posts from December, 2012

Adios DK

After serving eight terms as one of the most progressive members of the US House of Representatives, Dennis Kucinich is leaving Washington D.C. next month. Kucinich was often the most reasonable voice in very unreasonable and irrational times. He ran for President several times, once I got to see him at a campaign stop in Atascadero, California. He was proud defender of the often time embattled and much maligned label of liberal. He will be missed. Below is the text for one of his most famous speeches given in February 2002.


A Prayer for America

by US Rep Dennis Kucinich

February 17, 2002

I offer these brief remarks today as a prayer for our country, with love of democracy, as a celebration of our country. With love for our country. With hope for our country. With a belief that the light of freedom cannot be extinguished as long as it is inside of us. With a belief that freedom rings resoundingly in a democracy each time we speak freely. With the understanding …

The Land of Guns

Celebrating the Prince of Peace in the Land of Guns
by Michael Moore

After watching the deranged, delusional National Rifle Association press conference on Friday, it was clear that the Mayan prophecy had come true. Except the only world that was ending was the NRA's. Their bullying power to set gun policy in this country is over. The nation is repulsed by the massacre in Connecticut, and the signs are everywhere: a basketball coach at a post-game press conference; the Republican Joe Scarborough; a pawn shop owner in Florida; a gun buy-back program in New Jersey; a singing contest show on TV, and the conservative gun-owning judge who sentenced Jared Loughner.

So here's my little bit of holiday cheer for you:

These gun massacres aren't going to end any time soon.

I'm sorry to say this. But deep down we both know it's true. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep pushing forward -- after all, the momentum is on our …

Decolonizing the University

I have been thinking alot lately about decolonization and the University of Guam. This was one of the primary reasons that I decided to leave island and go off and obtain a Ph.D. So that eventually I could return one day and teach at UOG and help transform the university from an institutional that began with a colonial function, but need not continue to perform it. This is something that is not unique to UOG, but rather something that nearly all educational institutions on Guam participated in for the past few centuries. It is a truism of education today that learning takes place through a movement from that which is familiar to that which is unfamiliar. In order for concepts and ideas to take hold you must first associate it with something familiar and then later can associate with things unfamiliar. This is the most efficient way of learning. To skip the familiar stage can create significant gaps of understanding and also feelings of alienation.

UOG in recent years has taken more s…

The Riddle Game

I just finished watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I had worried that the film would drag on due to the fact that they were taking a relatively short book and transforming it into 3 films, totaling as much as 9 hours of screen time. The book Breaking Dawn was not worthy of two films, and this was blisteringly apparent when both Part 1 and Part 2 seemed to drag on forever during certain sections. I was worried about a similar fate for the first Hobbit film.

While I did cringe during certain parts, I did have to admire the way they extended the film, but still kept it entertaining. I recently reread the Hobbit and found that so much of the richness of it was in my head. The writing is very sparse and not very detailed. Even fact it seems that Tolkien's true passion was writing songs, since the books are littered with ballads from every race in Middle Earth. But this is one of the hallmarks of fantasy writing. The writing itself may not be the most lyrical or …

Gun Laws and Knife Laws

If the United States can't push through some reasonable form of gun control then we can assume its tenure at the top of the world is over and it is now beyond saving. It is chilling to think that within the United States more people have died in the last six months because of gun violence than Americans who have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and any act of "terrorism" in the past 25 years. It is interesting to watch the debate and where the nation's priorities are, and what is something where it has the ability to change and what keeps it entrenched. All of this reminds me of Bowling for Columbine. Michael Moore tries to figure out what is it that makes the US a country where guns are so pervasive and so much gun violence is tolerated. He notes that alot of other countries have violent histories of repression and genocide just like the US does, but they have taken action to limit access to guns. 

One of the things that has really irritated me this past week is the …

The Truth About Santa Claus

I recently took my kids to watch the film “Rise of the Guardians.” It was an entertaining movie, where the mythical beings that accompany some kids throughout their childhood, such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, are portrayed as guardians who fight to keep the children of the world safe. The movie was strange for me due to the fact that all of these guardians came from Western cultures, but were meant to represent the childhoods of everyone in the world. Every culture always has their own sorts of beliefs that children are told to give some magic to the world or help them respect boundaries or authority, learn certain values. There are always similarities about these beliefs, but there are still very distinct differences. I was surprised that the film didn’t do more to show diversity in these guardians in line with the diversity of beliefs in the world.
After watching the film I asked my five-year-old Sumahi if she believed Santa Claus to be real. Her response…

Showcase of Tools

Every Wednesday I'm at the Chamorro Village where I open my grandfather's blacksmith shop.

My grandfather is a Chamorro Master Blacksmith and the only remaining pre-World War II blacksmith. Due to my grandmother being ill we haven't made much lately and so the case of tools for sale is fairly empty right now.

Above is a picture of the last time that it was truly full and the last time my grandfather was down at the shop. Each of those tools or knives in there is slightly different and has its own story or rationale. It is interesting to know and to feel that story and that complexity even if for more who walk into the shop it is simply a piece of metal.

I thought just for education sake I'd list the tools in the showcase above and give some background on each of them.

Kamyo: A tool for grating coconut. You attach the metal blade to a wooden stool and then grate halves of coconut over the metal teeth in order to shred the coconut meat. This is the first tool that I lea…

The Misty Mountains

Soon I will be sitting in a movie theater singing along to this song.

Far over the misty mountains cold
In dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep
In hollow halls beneath the fells

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun

Far over the misty mountains cold
In dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day
To claim our long-forgotten gold

Goblets they carved their for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men and elves

The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were moaning in the night
The fires were red, it flam…

North Korea Missile Tests

North Korea Rocket Launch: Long-Range Missile Fired, South Korean Defense Ministry Confirms By Jack Kim and Mayumi Negishi

SEOUL/TOKYO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - North Korea successfully launched a rocket on Wednesday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to its opponents.

The rocket, which North Korea says put a weather satellite into orbit, has been labelled by the United States, South Korea and Japan as a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States.

"The satellite has entered the planned orbit," a North Korean television news-reader clad in traditional Korean garb triumphantly announced, after which the station played patriotic songs with the lyrics "Chosun (Korea) does what it says".

The rocket was launched just before 10 a.m. Korea time (0100 GMT), according to …

Tolerating Missiles

Published on Sunday, December 9, 2012 by Common Dreams There’s No Country That Would Tolerate Missiles by Johnny Barber (

Photo: Johnny Barber)

Walid al Nassasra and two of his daughters stand staring into the pit where his brothers sheet-metal roofed, cinder-block home stood until it was hit in a pin-point strike with a precision guided bomb from an F-16 fighter jet (provided by the United States) on 19 Nov 2012 at 10 pm as the family slept. If not for the clothes and bedding strewn about, it would be difficult to tell that a home once stood here. His brother Taqwfiq, like Walid, is a farmer. Their family has been farming in the Rafah area for 35 years. They are poor people, scratching out a living on a small plot of land. As we sat and talked with Walid, Israeli F-16's roared across the sky.

His brother as well as a 12 year old nephew remains hospitalized, the nephew is in the ICU with skull and hip fractures. His sister-in-law is blind after her head and upp…

Botasion 2014

Para todus ni' ya-niha umeyak fumino' Chamoru. Taitai i tinige'-na gi gaseta Si Pedro Onedera.

Mamange' gui' put meggai na diferentes na kosas, lao ha na'sesetbe i lenguahi-ta.

I meggaina na Chamorro siha, ma usa i lenguahi para "na'magof" na kosas yan gi didide' ha' na lugat. Lao para Si Onedera ha u'usa fino' Chamoru para u diskuti yan kubre maseha hafa malago'-na. 

Fihu ilek-hu na todu i manggaige giya Guahan pa'go ilek-niniha na ma onra i fino' Chamoru yan gaibali gui'. Lao puru ha' kuentos ayu, yan i kuentos gi fino' Ingles, pues hafa i mismo bali-na? Lao Si Onedera ha na'annok na para Guiya i bali mas ki kuentos taibali. Ha gof guaiya i lenguahi-ta yan ha na'sesetbe todu tiempo.

Gi este na tinige'-na ginnen i PDN, mannge' gui' put hinasso-na put i botasion 2012 yan i mamaila na botasion gi 2014.


Ta Atan i Ileksion Liheslatibu gi 2014
Tinige' as Pedro …

Puenggen Minagof Lamo'na

Bai hu gaige guihi lamo'na:

The University of Guam CHamoru Language Students are hosting Puengen Minagof Nochebuena 2012 from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the UOG Humanities and Social Sciences building. Activities include student belen competition, weaving and cooking demonstrations, and a nativity play. For details, call Rosa Palomo at 727-5522 or email

The Drone Supremacy

For me, the most depressing aspect of the past US presidential campaign was the final debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. After months of trying to create stark contrasts between them, and trying to incite people to vote for them and not think of them as just being two slightly different flavors of the same soda, the façade fell fast and in an almost embarrassing fashion when the President and his challenger appeared to not only share the same talking points on foreign policy, but possibly share the same brain entirely. They looked more like long lost twins who had just found each other, rather than two distinct sides of the American ideological spectrum.
This benefited Obama significantly, because Romney could not make the case that he offered something new in terms of how the US relates to the rest of the world. As a result the incumbency of Obama made him appear to be more solid, made it seem like the ideas they both supported belonged to him and Romney was a creeping opp…

The Question of Palestine

Don't get me started about Israel. Mungga mana'kuentos yu' put Israel.

My blood is already boiling just thinking about it. Siempre bai kinahulo'guan anggen kumuentos yu' put este.

A ray of hope was spotted recently for Palestinians, but like most things it could be short lived or meaningless since even the notion of "hope" in Palestine, like everything else is something Israel strives to control and quash. Their partial recognition by the United Nations is a big symbolic step, but how will it help stop the daily abuse and daily stranglehold that Israel has over The Occupied Territories?

The resolution from the United Nations is pasted below.


Status of Palestine in the United Nations
The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and stressing in this regard the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970,1 by which…