Showing posts from July, 2016

Ti Mambobota na Kongresu

I would never want to be the Ti Mambobota na Kongres para Guahan in the US Congress.

First of all, so much in Congress works on seniority, and so by starting off you would be as one elder told me "i mas takpapa' na gå'ga'."

Second, your status as a non-voting delegate and not a full member of Congress means that while you get the perks, you do not get the rights.

Third, your status depends so much on whichever party controls the US House. When the Democrats have controlled the house for a short period in the 1990s and during the 2000s, the non-voting delegates from Guam and other territories received symbolic voting rights, meaning they could vote as part of the whole, with their vote counting, only if their votes did not affect whether a bill passed or failed.

When the Republicans are in power, this symbolic power disappears and all the symbolic excitement associated with it.

Fourth, as for most of the Federal government (and much of the US) Guam's existence…

Tales of Decolonization #19: The US signs the UN Charter

Edward Reilly Stettinius, Jr., Secretary of State, Chairman of the delegation from the United States, signing the UN Charter at a ceremony held at the Veterans’ War Memorial Building on 26 June 1945. At left is President Harry S. Truman.

If anyone asks why the United States is obligated to support Guam's decolonization and self-determination for the Chamorro people, this image tells you everything you need to know. By virtue of the United States signing this charter, they are obligated to support self-determination and decolonization for colonized people under their control.

The Sacrifice of Captain Humayun Khan

The speech by Khizr Khan, father of a Muslim American soldier, Humayun Khan, who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004, has become the most famous of the Democratic National Convention this week. There is so much to write about this and discuss. Lao tailugat yu' pa'go na ha'ani.

In the meantime, here are some articles discussing the speech and the way it has affected the 2016 presidential race.


Father of Muslim American War Hero to Trump, 'You Have Sacrificed Nothing'
by Igor Bobic
Huffington Post

PHILADELPHIA ― The father of a Muslim American war hero addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, delivering a brutal takedown of Donald Trump and his inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Khizr Khan spoke about the heroism of his son, Army Capt. Humayun S.M. Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq by an advancing vehicle loaded with hundreds of pounds of explosives. The 27-year-old soldier, who was born in the UAE, or…

Setbisio Para i Publiko #31: From the Internet's Early Days

One of the things that I take pride in, is that this blog has been around for a while and that I've been able to maintain it continuously for 12 years now. Most of the Chamorro related or Guam related websites that existed when I first started this blog are no longer around. They have been taken down, lost, morphed into something else. Many of the people are still around, but they have moved on to other social media platforms. At one point the Free Association for Guam Task Force had a website. Nasion Chamoru had a website on an AOL platform, although it is now on Blogger (like this blog). The Statehood for Guam Task Force still has a website. A number of social websites or personal blogs have disappeared, and every once in a while I wonder what has become of those people.

Below is a short article written by former Senator Mark Charfauros, who was an active member of Nasion Chamoru in the 1990s. This was published 16 years ago on the website "Dialogue Between Nations" i…

Para i Manhamaleffa

This is particularly interesting/na'chalek in the context of current problems in the Government of Guam. As I've often said, politicians are fortunate that peoples' memories are very short for the things that matter and long for those that don't.


Guam Lawmakers Push Financial Reform
By Gerardo R. Partido
The Marianas Variety
March 21, 2007

With the administration still finalizing its fiscal recovery plan, the Guam Legislature has taken the initiative by passing Bill 15, which contains various measures to reform the way the government of Guam manages its finances.

Sponsored by Vice Speaker Eddie Calvo, R-Maite, the legislation requires the administration to implement revenue tracking report and a fiscal realignment plan that would ensure greater clarity and accountability of Government of Guam’s finances.

Calvo describes the bill, which was passed unanimously, as the culmination of a collaborative effort between majority and minority senators…

Imperial Expectations

When I teach World History 2 (as I am this summer), we deal quite a bit with America's secret wars. I don't just teach students about them for the facts of it, but also to show them the way in which they are tied to the imperial consciousness of the United States and to a further extent, its imperial expectations. If a nation has an imperial consciousness, then there is an understanding that its influence, its realm extends far beyond its normal and recognized borders. The greater the consciousness, more there is acceptance of every potential corner of the globe being part of the interests of your particular corner or country. That what you expect or desire out of the world is paramount and you receiving it is what makes the world safe or ordered or prosperous. All other national borders are meant to fall beneath your expectations, and those who resist or get in the way, should be stopped. It is only when you have a consciousness like this, that articles such as the one below…

Håfa na Klasen Liberasion? #24: Tinituhon Ta'lo

Its that time of year on Guam, where perceived Chamorro debts to the United States balloon out of control and Chamorro attempts to prove their understanding and love for their debts and subordination appear to reach such maddeningly levels that what they owe to the United States seems to become infinite and eternal. Sina ta sangan na unu ha’ na dibin taotao diptosi taiguihi. Lao para i Chamorro siha, guaha dos. Unu para Si Yu’us, i otro para Si Uncle Sam. What else could I be referring to save for Liberation Day. A day that we could argue colonizes annually the month of July, but in truth, the notion that it was a liberation is something that has played a huge role in colonizing most every aspect of Chamorro time and space. I ma’pos, i pa’go yan i mamaila.

Around the world, “liberation days” or commemorations of a liberation are very common, but Guam’s version of it can often seem like a strange bewildering experience. In most contexts elsewhere, a liberation day is a me…

Ancestral Lands in Chamorro Hands

At the funeral for Maga'låhi Ed Benavente today, I got a chance to talk to former Governor of Guam Felix Camacho. When Felix Camacho was first elected the group Nasion Chamoru was in decline in terms of its political power. Angel Santos had been elected into the Guam Legislature years earlier and formally left the group. Nasion itself had continued to fight and gotten a number of reforms implemented around land for the landless and for families that had lost land after World War II to the US military. Felix Camacho, seeking to make a sort of peace with Nasion Chamoru, which had been a notorious thorn in the side of the previous administration, reached out to Ed Benavente and offered him a position in his cabinet. I remember that time well, as I had already started hanging out with members of the Colonized Chamoru Coalition and so I got to listen in while members of Nasion Chamoru discussed whether or not Ed should join with Camacho. I won't describe the deliberations in detai…

Tales of Decolonization #18: 300,000 New Reasons

The United States has long ignored its obligation to Guam with regards to educating the people on their political status and enhancing their understanding of self-determination with the intent of pushing them towards a greater degree of self-government. For decades, activists and Government of Guam officials have called on the United States to fulfill this obligation, with little to no success. This past year however represented the first instance in recent memory of the United States accepting this obligation, as the Department of Interior has provided a grant of $300,000 to the Government of Guam to be used for political status education. Similar grants were also provided to other colonial possessions of the United States, with a similar educational purpose in mind.

This money is promising, however most likely unique. Previous attempts to get this type of funding were met with confused responses at multiple levels and didn't go anywhere. As of today it isn't clear what exac…