Showing posts from September, 2013

On the Subject of Sohnge

Shieh and Siguenza debate legalization of Marijuana

 Last Updated on Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:18 Written by Clynt Ridgell Thursday, 26 September 2013 16:43  Pacific News Center  Guam News - Guam News  Guam - The Rotary Club of Guam held a debate on the legalization of both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. Dr. Tom Shieh debated against the legalization while former Chief Justice Pete Siguenza debated for the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana.

The pros and cons of marijuana were argued today during a debate at the Rotary Club of Guam. Sporting a biker jacket and tattoos the now retired former Guam Supreme Court Chief Justice Pete Siguenza argued for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for both medicinal use and recreational use. He says that the war on drugs has been as much as a failure as the long time repealed prohibition on alcohol.

"We've been at this war on drugs s…

Sakman Fundraiser


THE SAKMAN: The Chamorros owned and built the sakmans, also known as the “flying proa”. It was their largest sailing canoe. It was deeply admired for its speed and agility. Its special asymmetric design attributed to its performance. It is a remarkable pure-blooded Chamorro invention for which they were proud of.
—The SAKMAN: the largest sailing single outrigger type canoe. 40 ft long with sail; 30 in wide; and stood 6 ft tall. The outrigger was 20 ft long.
— The GALAIDE: the smallest fishing dugout canoe measuring 10-12 ft long. Used primarily for in-reef fishing. No sail. Single outrigger. Used the paddle (poksai) and maneuvering pole (tulus).
DISCOVERY: When Magellan discovered the Marianas, he named the islands, “Islas de las Velas “ for the many sailing canoes that greeted him. He was fascinated by their agility and speed.
DESTRUCTION & END: Since the Spanish colonization, Chamorros were forbidden to build sailing canoes. All av…

The Historical Grey

Like anything, colonization is a complicated and contradictory process. But when looked back upon by people who wish it hadn’t happened or happened differently, it can take on an all-consuming and oppressive totality.
It was something that humiliated, subjugated and tortured a poor helpless people. The worse that you can make it sound, the more it seems to empower the need to seek redress or justice for what happened. History becomes then a list of bad things that happened and ways that the colonized peoples were victimized and marginalized. There can be obvious truth to this, but it tends to cast colonialism in a light that doesn’t ever really exist. Colonization becomes more unified and consistent than it really is. It moves towards feeling monolithic as its sins become more pronounced.
Take for example in Guam’s history, the Chamorro Spanish Wars. From this name alone it creates an image of Chamorro warriors fighting bravely against the Spanish invaders. Chamorros did fight brav…

Mistrusting the Bomb

US nearly detonated atomic bomb over North Carolina – secret documentExclusive: Journalist uses Freedom of Information Act to disclose 1961 accident in which one switch averted catastrophe by Ed Pilkington The Guardian/UK
A secret document, published in declassified form for the first time by the Guardian today, reveals that the US Air Force came dramatically close to detonating an atom bomb over North Carolina that would have been 260 times more powerful than the device that devastated Hiroshima.

The document, obtained by the investigative journalist Eric Schlosser under the Freedom of Information Act, gives the first conclusive evidence that the US was narrowly spared a disaster of monumental proportions when two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina on 23 January 1961. The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its …

The Life and Death of an Adjunct

Woman Who Taught At College For Decades Dies Making Reportedly Less Than $25,000 A Year The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 09/19/2013 4:05 pm EDT  |  Updated: 09/19/2013 6:10 pm EDT

An op-ed went viral Wednesday, in which the last days of Duquesne University adjunct instructor Margaret Mary Vojtko were described as emblematic of the plight of part-time contract faculty. But the college where she taught says that depiction is far from the truth. 

Daniel Kovalik, senior associate general counsel for the United Steelworkers union, wrote in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette column that he was likely the last person to speak to Vojtko prior to her death. Although Vojtko had taught at Duquesne for more than 20 years, Kovalik said that she only earned around $3,500 per three-credit course at the private Catholic univers…


-->This semester I am teaching Chamorro Language at UOG for the first team ever. I've taught classes for years in the community, but these are my first official college level classes. I am having lots of fun, even though it is alot of work since I am starting from scratch in many ways. Each week I put together my own handouts with vocab lists and grammar lessons. This past week we went through opposites such as "dikike'" and "dangkolu" or "taianao" and "dangge" and also occupations such as the Chamorro words for judge, runner, lover, thief and soldier. Chamorro occupations is an interest mix because it breaks down to certain words that are borrowed from the Spanish, such as "hues" or "peskadot" that means "judge" and "hunter." There are also older Chamorro terms such as "fafalagu" and "a'afulo'" which means "runner" and "wrestler." Then there are…

Hinekka' i Tiningo' i Manamko'

UOG Launches Oral History Project to Collect Chamorro Stories
Elders are being asked to share their stories for project and museum

FOR RELEASE, September 17, 2013 – As part of its mission to perpetuate and promote the Chamorro language and culture, the University of Guam is embarking on an oral history project focused collecting traditional Chamorro knowledge. The project is entitled, Hinekka’ i Tiningo’ i Manåmko’ which translates to, “The collection of the knowledge of the elders.” It is being coordinated by the Chamorro Studies Program and is tied to the development of the Guam Museum.
Historian Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Ph.D. and writer Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, MFA are working on the writing for the Guam Museum, and are conducting this oral history project. Their goal is to ensure that the voices and knowledge of our elders, particularly in relation to the complexities and creativity of the Chamorro language, are not lost.

Leon Guerrero will be leading efforts to interview elders…

The Unspoken Chamorro Rules

Earlier this week the letter to the editor that I have pasted below appeared in the PDN. Titled "Some of the unspoken Chamorro rules" it was written by Adolf Sgambelluri and purported to give a clear picture of why Chamorros are so messed up. People familiar with liberal/conservative discourse in the United States might immediately recognize the framework that this was written in. It is a standard conservative screed that appears on chain letters and messages boards, just with some changes to make it more "local" and attack Chamorros, and in some ways combine the problems of Chamorros with the problems of liberalism. For Sgambelluri, a conservative to attack liberals makes sense. But as a Chamorro, his attacks are a bit more confusing. The core of this discursive attack is the attempt to make liberals/Chamorros the source of all the problems in a society, and to implicitly offer conservative Americanism as the solution.  This type of self-loathing should be familia…