Showing posts from October, 2013


Opposition to the Affordable Care Actby Bruce KarolleLetter to the EditorMarianas Variety10/29/13 AMAZINGLY, Obamacare threatens America’s unique status among the world’s advanced economies. As a nation where access to regular medical care has been a privilege, a privilege, according to many right-wing conservatives, that must be earned. We are the only advanced, Western-oriented country in the world with such a privileged healthcare system.

Our friends in Canada and our buddies the Brits (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), perhaps America’s two closest allies, have had for years superior national health plans for all their citizens, as have other developed countries, i.e., France, Australia and Israel. When measured comparatively, their costs are far less than ours over the past decades.

Since the days of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (early 1900s), seven other U.S. presidents, in my lifetime, have proposed national healthcare plans (Truman, Ei…

On Pagat

As the focus is drawn away from Pagat, we must remain vigilante.
Pagat was the buzzword for several years in terms of conceiving and resisting the buildup for many people. It is surreal the way it came to stand beside other terms such as "jobs" or "economy" in the way people imagined the buildup. It was one of the first critical or negative things that made it into the conversation to help counter much of the unrealistic positive perceptions of the buildup that were out there. 
Pagan, a word so similar sounding to Pagat, will most likely be the next buzzword. As it is far north in the Gani Islands, it remains to be seen if it can be given the same visibility and transformative power that Pagat received. 
"On Pagat and Our Continuing Concerns" By Senator Ben Pangelinan Marianas Variety September 19, 2013

 RECENT information from the Joint Guam Program Office (JGPO) indicated that the informal decision of the Department of …

Makahnan Mimu One Shot

The Guam Bus is the creative team that consists of myself and my two brothers.

Over they years we've talk about alot of creative projects, and even started some of them, such as Battle for Kamchatka, but we haven't ever really finished any of them. We made ashcans a few years back when we had a table at WonderCon in San Francisco, and I did write the script for four issues of Battle for Kamchatka and Jack did pencil three of them, but we never actually formally published anything.

Jack is back on Guam for the next few months and I am taking advantage of his presence here by making him create for me on my various Chamorro Studies and Guam Museum projects. He is also working on a one-shot comic book script I wrote last year about "Makahnan Mimu" or "Warrior Wizards" in Ancient Chamorro times. If all goes well, he should be done with the pencils by the end of next month.

Here's a panel from the comic so far:

The Chamorro Experience gi Fino' Chamorro

For thousands of years the Chamorro people have used the Chamorro language to tell their complicated story.
When Magellan arrived in ships filled with starving and sickly sailors, Chamorros greeted him in the Chamorro language. When the Spanish and other Europeans stopped in Guam to trade with Chamorros bits of iron for rice, water and fruits, Chamorros greeted them in Chamorro. Even during the Spanish Chamorro Wars, both those who fought against the Spanish such as Hurao, Agualin or Chelef did so in Chamorro, giving grand speeches trying to inspire courage. But even those who sided with the Spanish, like Hineti and Ayihi and pledged their spears to defend the earthly representatives of an invisible deity they had just met, they did so in the Chamorro language.
Even as Chamorros started to become Catholic and accept the new faith in their lives, they used Chamorro, albeit infused with some Spanish, in order to experience their religion. When the Americans arrived replacing one co…

Mungga Machupa

Tomorrow I'll be reading my poem "Ancient Chamorro Sexy Time" as part of the launch for the Chamorro Studies major at UOG. I am not much of a poet, but I do every once in a while, about once a year, enjoy writing some poetry. I usually end up writing one long piece, that takes several weeks to eventually finish. In it, I try to tackle some big huge issue going on in Chamorro history, culture or in the Chamorro present. In my most recent poem I dealt with issues of "nakedness" and our relationship to our ancient, pre-clothing past. I've also dealt with revolution, cultural purity, language politics and others. 
With the starting of the Chamorro Studies program at UOG, we are moving into a new phase in terms of our place in this island and in the world. Chamorros have been working for decades to seek legitimization for their knowledge, language and culture. To have a major at the University of Guam that can provide that is a truly remarkable thing. As the pr…

Chamorro Studies Launch Schedule

Maila ya ta fanhita sumilebra i mas nuebu yan mas gefpago na prugrama gi UOG, CHAMORRO STUDIES!

Come and let's celebrate the newest and most awesome program at UOG, Chamorro Studies!

This Thursday, the launch event will feature presentations, performances, displays and the start of a new Chamorro language lecture series.

Below is the schedule:

He Helped Capture Yokoi

--> I would love to do a research project on Yokoi. His name always comes up in the most random places. The connection that he felt to Guam is so unique and so interesting, and his actually gets in the way of us understanding it. He returned to Japan a hero, but seemed to chafe against that characterization. In his mind he had failed in so many ways, and the hero status he received missed everything he was and every value he cherished. The quiet jungles of Guam seemed to understand him more than the country he returned to. There was more meaning to that spartan existence than the flashy and fake Japan that he returned to. You could argue that his soul remained in Guam while the rest of him returned hooe.
Here is an interview that a UOG student conducted with her grandfather Jesus Duenas, one of the two Chamorros who discovered Yokoi in 1972. I came across this in the most random way earlier today on a very old version of UOG's website.

The Shutdown

Published on Thursday, October 17, 2013 by Shutting Down Americans: The Government Shutdown in Perspective What Was “Essential” and What Wasn’t by Jo Comerford and Mattea Kramer

(Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

On a damp Friday morning 11 days into the government shutdown, a “few dozen” truckers took to the Capital Beltway in a demonstration with the Twitter hashtag #T2SDA (Truckers to Shut Down America).  They wanted to tell lawmakers they were angry, launch an impeachment campaign against the president, and pressure Congress to end itself.

They were on a “ride for the Constitution,” protesting big government and yet the opinion polls were clear.  In fact, the numbers were stunning.  One after another, they showed that Americans opposed the shutdown and were hurting because of it.  At that moment, according to those polls, nearly one in three Americans said they felt personally affected not by too much government, but by too little, by the su…

I Fino'-ta

--> The Chamorro language is as old as we are. It is an Austronesian language, which means it bear similarities to many languages throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. It connects us to those cultures even up until today. Here below is a short history of our language.

Gof ti kabales este, lao para Hamyo ni' taitiningo' put i lenguahi yan i estoria-na, este un tinana' ha'. Puede ha' ya-mu, yan nina'malago' hao nu mas. 


In Ancient times the ability to use the Chamorro language creatively distinguished one above all others. At large gatherings, those who could recall in vivid details the glorious history of their family, twist phrases to make an opponent seem silly in debate, or create in a spontaneous moment a song that would evoke all sort of emotions, were considered to be the height of Chamorro society.

The first grammar book for the Chamorro language was created by Pale' San Vitores. He became fluent in Chamorro and use…

Tiningo' i Manamko'

For most people in life, the history of your family is something behind you and nowhere near as important as getting to work on time, getting kids through school, or watching to see who will win next on “The Voice.” It is something almost all will say has value, but like so many things, it gains the most value only after it is out of your reach. Stories of your family are always there as you drive on the road of life. You will see signs that hint at how you should ask grandma or grandpa questions about your family, but most people just keep on driving. Only when it is too late and you can’t ask those questions, then do you look into the rear view mirror with longing, wishing that you had stopped and wishing you had heard those stories while they were still alive.
For most of my life on Guam, I spent it living in my grandparent’s house in Mangilao. From my grandfather, Joaquin Flores Lujan (Bittot) I have learned about Chamorro blacksmithing and how to make tools like the kamyo, the …

I Ma Adahen i Fino' Chamorro gi Koleho

Read below to learn more about a project I will be working on for the next few years: I Ma’adahen i Fino Chamorro gi Koleho.
UOG Received a 3-Year Federally Funded Grant to standardize the Chamorro language curriculum for post-secondary instruction; it also plans to produce a textbook for student use.
Starting this Fall Semester, the University of Guam will begin this 3-year project funded by the Administration of Native Americans to create a standardized curriculum for teaching the Chamorro language at the college level. The project entitled “I Ma Adahen i Fino’ Chamorro gi Koleho” or “The Preservation of the Chamorro Language at the Post-Secondary Level” will bring together the four colleges that currently offer Chamorro language in their curriculum to work together to determine a unified curriculum for instruction for four-semesters of Chamorro language. Dr. Faye Untalan is the Principal Investigator of this project.
The Chamorro language is taught at only 4…

The Italian Job

Published on Thursday, October 3, 2013 by
The Italian Job: The Pentagon Goes on a Spending Spree How the Pentagon Is Using Your Tax Dollars to Turn Italy into a Launching Pad for the Wars of Today and Tomorrow by David Vine

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of U.S. forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.
At bases in Naples, Aviano, Sicily, Pisa, and Vicenza, among others, the military has spent more than $2 billion on construction alone since the…