Showing posts from January, 2013


This semester at UOG I am organizing a colloquium series for the newly christened Chamorro Studies program. We'll be having four different speakers, a different one each month, to come and discuss with faculty and students their ideas of what Chamorro Studies is or should be, and also what projects they are currently working on elsewhere in the community. Each speaker is someone on island who plays an important role in helping shape ideas of "Chinamorro" or "Chamorroness."

For our first speaker we have invited Joseph Artero-Cameron who is the President of the Department of Chamorro Affairs. His talks is titled "I Hinanao-Ta: Our Journey." It will take place tomorrow, January 28th, at 2 pm in the Dean's Professional Development Room in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building at UOG.

Here is a description of his talk as well as a bio below:

In this colloquium, Cameron, the President of the Department of Chamorro Affairs will provide a depiction…

The Ideological Troops

Ideology is one of those things about life that can feel so secure and clear. It can provide you a clear position from which you can see the world and assign value to certain idea, places and even bodies. But at the same time ideology is something that is so pervasive and massive, it cannot help but also be unforgivingly contradictory and sometimes appear to make absolutely no sense. There is a feeling that things should be black and white, but there is also a feeling that things are really actually gray.
We move between these two positions in a strategic way. When things being black and white works in our favor, we take that position in order to argue that our position is in line with the clear nature of reality. There is no wiggle room, what we stand for and believe in is so completely clear. But when the ideological black and white world is not in our favor, we tend to take the position that the exceptions matter and that in between those two binary opposites, is the world we all…

Zero Dark Thirty

Torture and Zero Dark Thirty
David Bromwich

 Zero Dark Thirty is a spy thriller about the tracking and killing of Osama Bin Laden. Good police work did it, the film says, and it aims to show what (in the extraordinary circumstances) good police work amounts to. Action movies have been the director Kathryn Bigelow's métier, and Zero Dark Thirty is tense and well-paced. It has the kind of proficiency one associates with, say, The Hunt for Red October. It does not mean to compete with a film like The Battle of Algiers. There is no question here of taking up a complex historical subject and exploring it with a semblance of human depth. Rather, the movie accepts the ready prejudices and fears of its American audience, and builds up pressure for two hours to prepare the thrill and relief at the raid on Bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. The first two hours skip forward selectively to …

Chamorro Sentence Email List

I have a Chamorro Sentence email list. Every day or so I send out an email to everyone on the list featuring a basic sentence in Chamorro. You are encouraged to email back a reply to the sentence to either myself or the entire email list. If is entirely up to you how you want to use the list. You can ask yourself the question and then say your response out loud. You can write it down. You can send it to myself or to others and share your response. Hagu la'mon taimanu na mausa este na lista. 

Here is the sentence that was sent out today. Chamorro Sentence #99:

Hafa i mas ya-mu na fañochuyan Chamorro?

or in English: "What is your favorite Chamorro restaurant?"

If you are interested in joining the list, please send me your email at

Otro fino'-ta: For those interested, Chamorro classes at Java Junction will be starting again this Friday,  January 25th at 12 pm. Classes are free and open to everyone and of all skill levels. The more students we have…

Resistance in Okinawa

The_Target_Villageby LemmyCautionTK

 Please watch this video above. It is subtitled and discusses Okinawan resistance to US bases there, most recently protests about the use of the Osprey in the northern forests.

I will be heading back to Okinawa in March for another study and solidarity tour. I'll be speaking at a Island Language symposium at Ryuku University and visiting programs dedicated to revitalizing the Okinawan language. I'll also be meeting again with anti-base and independence advocates there. I'm also hoping to see more of the museums and cultural areas while I was there. During my last trip I was limited in terms of what I could see because my schedule was so packed. This time I'm hoping there will be more room to negotiate.

For those who want to see my thoughts on my previous two trips to Okinawan please check out the links below:

Occupied Okinawa: My trip in May 2012.
Okinawa Dreams: My trip in November 2011.


Image Urges New Focus for NATO By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

LONDON, Jan. 18, 2013 – As the International Security Assistance Force transitions to a sustaining role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, will NATO retreat from its responsibilities, or innovate to develop and share the capabilities needed to meet growing, global security challenges?

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta delivered a speech at King's College here today, built around that question. The audience included students and faculty members of the school's Department of War Studies and the secretary noted it was "especially these young leaders" he wished to address.

The more than 60-year-old NATO alliance "remains the bedrock of America’s global ... partnerships," Panetta said. "But today, after over 11 years of war, I believe we are at another turning point in the history of the transatlantic alliance."…

Remembering Russell Means

Remembering Russell MeansOctober 31, 2012 By Tom Hayden
26 October, 2012
The Nation

Russell Means, who died on Tuesday, kept a place here in Santa Monica in recent years, with his wife, Pearl. Once my wife Barbara and I took our son Liam for a visit to meet this man we described as having fought a real war against the government. Still in good health a couple of years ago, Russell took great interest in our 10-year-old, as he did in all kids trying to understand the actual history of our country.

Russell was a strong, imposing figure. It wasn’t only his braided hair or the beads around his neck; his clear eyes gazed as if it was 1873. He had Liam’s attention. When they shook hands, Russell told Liam that his grip needed to be firmer, he should stand up straight, and that he always should look the other person straight in the eye. Our son will not forget the quiet authority this man quietly commanded.

Russell had that effect on people, the presence of a nineteenth-centur…

Ancient Chamorro Cameos

Have you ever watched a movie or a television show where the main characters, the regular cast who you are supposed to digest aren't that interesting or engaging? Is it ever the case where minor characters, even those who maybe appear for just a scene or two, with simple cameos are more enticing? Even though they only appear for the briefest of moments, they are more interesting and draw your gaze more than those who lounge about on the screen seemingly without purpose.

If you want to experience that feeling alot I suggest you start to read up on the early days of Spanish colonization of Guam. We know about those days through the accounts of Spanish missionaries and military officers. They wrote about their day to day activities, their hopes, their dreams, their fears and the lives of Chamorros around them. They were not anthropologists, they were not journalists and they were all incredibly racist and imperialistic. They did not see Chamorros through clear eyes, nor did they writ…

Don't Blame the Local

Karlo Dizon had a column in the PDN yesterday that disappointed me.

I was told by so many people during the election last year that Karlo Dizon is smart and someone with a real future in Guam politics. When I heard him speak during the campaign I found his emphasis on data and statistic to be interesting and in a way refreshing, but also worried that this would make him too "wonky." The eternal debate that takes place within voters is whether to vote for someone who is 1. better/smarter than they are, 2. someone they see as their equals, 3. someone that they see as being inferior to them and therefore makes themselves feel superior. For someone like Barack Obama, many people vote for him because of that feeling that he is more intelligent and articulate than they are and that is the way a leader should be. For someone like George W. Bush, alot of his popularity comes from the feeling of him being equal to or inferior to voters. Bush was safe, he didn't make you feel stup…


For a person of any ethnicity undergoing an identity crisis, there are various stages that you must go through in your search for answers. Some of these stages you may move through quickly, others you may spent more time in, you may find your way to a new space and then decide you don't like it and then turn around and return to a previous point in your journey.

For those who feel that they have been deprived of a cultural identity one stage that they must pass through, but which can be fairly dangerous, is the "uniku" stage, or unique stage. Their feelings of loss can come from many sources. They can be from the diaspora and feel like this barrier of oceans or continents stands between them and their identity. It can be an issue of dominant society blocking cultural expression and making them, their parents or their community feel like their cultural has to be neutralized or sterilized before it can be passed on. It can even be a railing and rallying against history it…

We Do Not Support the Troops

Published on Thursday, January 3, 2013 by Common Dreams I Do Not Support the Troops Why those who say "I Support the Troops" really don't by Michael Moore I don't support the troops, America, and neither do you. I am tired of the ruse we are playing on these brave citizens in our armed forces. And guess what -- a lot of these soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines see right through the bull**** of those words, "I support the troops!," spoken by Americans with such false sincerity -- false because our actions don't match our words. These young men and women sign up to risk their very lives to protect us -- and this is what they get in return:1. They get sent off to wars that have NOTHING to do with defending America or saving our lives. They are used as pawns so that the military-industrial complex can make billions of dollars and the rich here can expand their empire. By "supporting the troops," that means I'm supp…

A Song for Tupac Amaru

Today in class will be learning about the Wars Against Spain in the early 19th century. It is a period where Spain loses all of its colonies in Latin American (except for the Caribbean) in less than 30 years. In order to understand the roots of those anti-colonial wars we need to understand the indigenous forms of resistance that continued for centuries even after Spain had colonized, converted and enslaved most of Latin America.

We'll be learning today about Tupac Amaru II who led an uprising against the Spanish in 1780. Below is a song written by Alejandro Romualdo that I sometimes share with my students.

And hunggan, kumayu Si Tupac Amaru yan Si Tupac Shakur. Tupac Shakur was named after Tupac Amaru. 

By Alejandro Romualdo Valle

Lo harán volar con dinamita.
En masa, lo cargarán, lo arrastrarán.
A golpes le llenarán de pólvora la boca.
Lo volarán:
¡Y no podrán matarlo!

They will blow him with dynamite.
As one mass, they will lift him, they will drag h…

Invasion of Guam

Found this picture on Tumblr of all places.

It is of the USS New Mexico preparing for the Invasion of Guam in 1944.

Finacebook Yu'

Guaha iyo-ku Facebook pa'go.

Pues an malago' hao sina un "add" yu' guihi.

Estaba guaha iyo-ku Facebook, lao meggai matulaika desde ayu na tiempo.

Meggai nuebu na patte, ya siempre bei linemlem ni ayu.

Para kuatro anos ilek-hu, "mungga yu' Facebook!"

Buente un faisen maimaisa hao, "Hafa tumulaika i hinasso-mu?"

Ti siguru yu'.

I nobia-hu guaha iyo-na Facebook ya ya-na mampost litratu guihi.

I meggaina na atungo'-hu siha esta manggaige siha gi Facebook.

Guaha na biahi ti ma na'saonao yu' gi i diniskuti gi i dinana' put i tinaigue-ku guihi.

Estaba na'bubu este yan lalalo yu' yan desganao.

Lao pa'go na'triste ha' este.

Puede ha' mohon na sina manachetton ham ta'lo yan i manatungo'-hu siha. 

Hell on Earth

In my World History class recently we discussed the Congo Free State.

In my Guam History and World History classes I often create strange lists for students in order to understand the ways in which I see the history that I'm teaching. For Guam History I have two main lists, "The Most Heroic Chamorros That You've Never Heard Of" which features figures Chamorros from Guam History who were heroic and brave and accomplished great things, but don't fit into the usual historical narratives and are either accidentally or intentionally erased. I also have a list "The Assholes of Guam History" which has you might guess is a list of all the jerks in Guam's History. The people who have oppressed Chamorros, slaughtered them, held them back and just caused all sorts of problems. Some of them are Chamorro but most of them are non-Chamorros.

These lists evolve as my understanding and knowledge evolve. For example many years ago if I was coming up with an Asshole …