Friday, March 24, 2017

Nuclear Nothingness

Last month we organized a forum at the University of Guam on nuclear dangers to Guam, both from the nuclear weapons of others, but also accidents involving the nuclear weapons kept on Guam by the US military or the nuclear-powered vehicles that are docked here. It was somewhat disappointing when in a room meant for close to 200 people at the UOG CLASS Lecture Hall, we only had about 40 people in attendance. As one of the speakers on the panel remarked, this is a critical issue, which few people seem to care about. That is one reason why it is so critical. It looms around us, as threats from others or dangers from within, but we don't seem to take it very seriously at all. Robert Underwood once said that living in a colony and not taking decolonization or colonialism seriously is like running a hospital without taking seriously issues of illness and treatment. I would argue a similar thing on Guam in terms of the dangers our heavily militarized existence presents.

In 2010 I traveled to Japan, most specifically to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to represent Guam at an annual conference against atomic and hydrogen bombs. This conference was first started in Japan in their postwar era, after their sovereignty had been returned and the memories of the nuclear blasts in their country was still raw and real. The conference began as part of the shifting national trajectory for Japan, where they were once an imperial aggressor, imbibing in the nectar of imperialism and militarism, but now a loser, a weakened victim of war, looking to create a new identity for itself. The leftist and liberal elements of Japan took it upon themselves to help ensure that there were no more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis, and no more victims of nuclear blasts. This conference was part of that commitment, and each year delegates come from around the world discussing nuclear threats, whether in terms of weapons, energy, testing or contamination in their part of the world.

I still receive regular emails from the organization that organizes this conference Gensuikyo. Some of them are pasted below:


We Call on the Japanese Government to Participate in the Forthcoming Negotiation Conference and Make Serious Effort to Achieve the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
March 8, 2017
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Gensuikyo)

1.  In December 2016, the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly adopted the resolution “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations," to convene a U.N. conference to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons with a large majority of 113 votes in favor, 35 against and 13 abstentions.  The conference will be held under the rules of the U.N. General Assembly from March 27 to 31 and from June 15 to July 7, 2017.
As is well known, in the wake of the two world wars, the United Nations was founded for the purpose of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war.  The abolition of nuclear weapons was set as the primary goal of the U.N., as stated in the very first resolution adopted in its first General Assembly session.  
Above all, Japan, the only atomic-bombed nation in human history, has a historic mission to bear witness to the inhuman damage and sufferings caused by the use of nuclear weapons which are incompatible with human survival, and to call for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons all over the world, as the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) have done by telling their A-bomb experiences and appealing to the world through anti-A and H bomb movements.      
During these years, the movements of global civil society have worked together with many governments and helped create a new momentum for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons.  Building on the undertaking of the nuclear weapon states to “accomplish the elimination of their nuclear arsenals” in the NPT Review Conference of May 2000, the governments of the NPT states parties, including nuclear weapons states, agreed in the 2010 Review Conference to achieve the “peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”, and that “all countries should make special efforts to create and maintain a framework” for that purpose.  Today, nearly 80% of the world governments agree on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, and virtually no countries would dare to deny the need for banning nuclear weapons.   
At various U.N. conferences and nuclear disarmament forums, the government of Japan has repeatedly declared that it would “take the lead in abolishing nuclear weapons” as the “only country to have suffered from nuclear weapons in wartime.”  In order to prove this pledge, the Japanese government should participate in the forthcoming negotiation conference in March and June.  We urge it to encourage all countries to join the conference, work together with overwhelming majority governments of the world and endeavor to establish the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, which is the only realistic path leading to their abolition.
2.  However, the Japanese government, while claiming to act as a “bridge” between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, changed its “abstention” and voted against the U.N. resolution to hold the negotiation conference.  It was also absent in the organizational session on February 16, which drew much attention of the world.
We are concerned that this attitude of the Japanese government is closely linked to the U.S. “commitment” to protect its allies by using “nuclear and conventional forces”.  It is totally impossible to take any international leadership in achieving the abolition of nuclear weapons while depending on nuclear deterrence, including use and threat to use nuclear weapons.
The result of adoption of recent U.N. resolutions shows that the overwhelming majority of countries in the world are seeking security through achieving the prohibition of nuclear weapons to prevent the terror of nuclear catastrophe, in spite of resistance of nuclear-armed states and the “nuclear umbrella” states.  In fact, in Asia, it was only Japan and the Republic of Korea that voted “No” to the resolution for starting the negotiation conference for the nuclear weapon prohibition treaty.
We urge the government of Japan to support the present world momentum for a total ban on nuclear weapons and to make a drastic shift from dependence on nuclear deterrence to the resolution of international conflicts through peaceful means and the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, as mandated by the Constitution of Japan.


Dear friends,
A Happy New Year!
2017 will be a decisive turn for advancing a total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons.  We welcome the adoption of a historic resolution by the UNGA in 2016 to convene the conference to negotiate a treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons in March 27 to 31 and June 15 to July 27, 2017.
In order to bring this historic opportunity to a successful conclusion, we call on you to take actions during the sessions in March and June in your cities, towns and villages all over the world to build up public support for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons.  In particular, we call on you living in nuclear weapon states and nuclear umbrella states to make effort to enhance public support enough to change their government pro-nuclear policies.  Our actions are the key to ensuring this first step towards a world without nuclear weapons.  International joint actions are also planned around the UN in New York.
We propose you to include in your actions: 1) Learning of the testimonies of A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha),  2) Holding of A-bomb photo exhibition and 3) Collecting signatures in support of the Appeal of the Hibakusha for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (attached).
We, Japanese movement are determined to take the lead in this action by having the Hibakusha’s testimonies heard, holding A-bomb photo exhibitions at all municipalies in Japan and collectign the Hibakusha Appeal petitions nationwide.  We are going to submit millions of collected petitions to the UN conference in June.  Let’s collect petitions together and jointly submit them to the UN.
In order to promote the action, we ask:
*Please send to us your ideas/messages and action plans.
*If you want to invite a Hibakusha to your actions or get Hibakusha’s testimonies and the A-bomb photo sets, please contact us.
*Please send us your collected signatures.
Thank you.
September 16, 2016
At the Opening of the 71st Session of the U.N. General Assembly:
We Urge the Japanese Government to Devote All Its Energy to Achieve a Total Ban and Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
The 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs was convened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki from August 2 to 9. With the participation of 92 overseas delegates from 27 countries as well as Japanese delegates representing a broad range of organizations, the conference concluded successfully after adopting the “Declaration of the International Meeting” on August 4, “Call from Hiroshima” on August 6, and “Letter from Hiroshima to All Governments of the World” on August 9.
We have sent these documents, including the “Letter from Nagasaki” to the heads of states of the 193 member states of the United Nations, and as the collective will of all the participants of the conference, we call on them to make the utmost effort to achieve a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons.
Hereby we set out our request to the Japanese government:
1. To make every effort to achieve a start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate inhuman nuclear weapons, and especially to make the forthcoming disarmament debate at the U.N. General Assembly an important watershed for this end.  And to deepen the awareness of policymakers on the impact and aftereffects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and make the inhuman nature of nuclear weapons known broadly to their people.
As is already known, last year the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution on taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. The Open-ended Working Group convened in Geneva this year adopted by a majority vote Chair’s Report, which includes a recommendation for the U.N. General Assembly to convene a conference in 2017 “to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”
All the 5 nuclear weapon states boycotted the meeting from the standpoint of regarding nuclear weapons as useful for “security”.  Although the Japanese government attended the meeting, it cast an abstention vote to the Chair’s Report.    
Prohibiting and abolishing nuclear weapons is a task that the government of Japan should rightly support and promote, in light of the first resolution of the U.N. General Assembly which called for “elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction”, of the Constitution of Japan that prohibits the use or threat of military forces in solving international conflicts, and also as the government of the only nation that has experienced the atomic bombing in human history.   
We call on the Japanese government to play a leading role in securing the start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons and act in concert with this international initiative in the current 71st Session of the UN General Assembly.
2. To stop relying on the use or threat of nuclear weapons and to pursue prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons, peace and the resolution of conflicts through diplomacy based on the Constitution of Japan
We are concerned that the government of Japan, while claiming to “lead the efforts for abolishing nuclear weapons” as “the only A-bombed country in wartime”, is actually dependent on the U.S. nuclear strategy and running counter to both the global trend seeking prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons and the aspiration of the people of the world, including the Hibakusha. It is a striking instance that when the US government indicated the review of its long-held “first use” policy of nuclear weapons, the Japanese government opposed it, saying that it would “weaken nuclear deterrence”.     
Given the ongoing conflicts and current nuclear threat policies and proliferation, it is clear that a total ban on nuclear weapons has now become an urgent task for international community. Selfish argument of nuclear possessing states to keep nuclear weapons as guarantee of security has actually driven nuclear proliferation.  
We urge the Japanese government to stop its reliance on “nuclear deterrence” and make efforts to achieve peace, a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons and the resolution of conflicts through diplomacy for the sake of the security of Japan, East Asia and world and for the credibility of Japan’s diplomacy. (end)
Statement of Protest against North Korea’s Nuclear Test

September 9, 2016
YASUI Masakazu, Secretary General
Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)
Today, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) conducted its 5th nuclear test. It is a serious challenge to the international community, posing grave threat to peace and security of not only Northeast Asia but of the entire world. It betrays the earnest desire of the Japanese people for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and we file our strong protest against it. 
During these years, in response to the nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by North Korea, the U.N. Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions (No. 2087, 2094 and 2270) to expand and strengthen sanctions, clearly expressing its will to stop North Korea’s provocative actions. If it wants to stay as a member of the international community, North Korea should accept all these UNSC resolutions, immediately terminate its nuclear and missile development and make a sincere effort for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
At the same time, we urge the countries concerned to redouble their effort to settle this problem by peaceful means, resume the Six-party talks, and increase efforts to achieve a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. We especially call on the government of Japan to stop attempting to strengthen nuclear deterrence = “nuclear umbrella” through the Security-related laws. Instead, as the government of the A-bombed nation, it should propose a total ban on nuclear weapons and take a leading role in achieving the peaceful settlement of the problem. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Independent Guåhan March General Assembly


Educational Presentations will focus on the Davis vs. Guam case, the Chamorro Land Trust and moving forward towards self-determination

For Immediate Release, March 20, 2017 – Independent Guåhan invites the public to its monthly General Assembly (GA) on Thursday, March 23rd from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at the Main Pavilion of the Chamorro Village in Hagåtña.

This month’s educational presentations will focus on the need to respect the Chamorro people in their quest to self-determination in light of current actions on behalf of the US Federal Government deeming the decolonization plebiscite and Chamorro Land Trust, “race-based discrimination”. In honor of Mes Chamoru, the meeting will be bilingual in both English and Chamorro.

Eartlier this month, Federal Justice France Tydingco-Gatewood ruled that a non-binding decolonization vote for Guam’s native inhabitants is unconstitutional and cannot take place. Also, the Chamorro Land Trust, which provides land leases to landless Chamorros, has come under the scrutiny of the US Department of Justice, which has suggested the program is unconstitutional and racist. Both of these programs exist as forms of restorative justice meant to remedy acts of colonization, which have denied Chamorros their ancestral lands and sovereignty.

The educational discussion for this month’s GA will provide an overview of these and other threats to Chamorro rights and the movement to self-determination, with an eye towards developing strategies to ensure that the Chamorro people are respected and protected in their home islands.

This GA will honor the late Clotilde “Ding” Castro Gould as Independent Guåhan’s monthly Maga’taotao. Tan Gould was a war-survivor, an educator, author, song-writer and a master story-teller. She is best known for her creation of the Chamorro language comic strip Juan Malimanga, which appears in the Pacific Daily News six times a week and her role in helping develop the bilingual and bicultural education program in Guam’s public school system.

Tan Gould was also a member of PARA and OPI-R, and as a political activist fought hard for the right to self-determination of the Chamorro people.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Learning Chamorro Website Launches!

For several years I have been assisting Siñora Rosa Palomo and Professor Gerhard Schwab who are my colleagues at the University of Guam with the development of an amazing, new, free language learning website built around the learning of the Chamorro language.

Humuyongña i na'ån-ña "Learning Chamorro." 

After years of tirelessly working on building the site, it was launched last week. A Pacific Daily News article about it, was picked up by USA Today and shared several thousand times on social media. The website would not be possible without the love labor of GuamWebz and Rhaj Sharma. Some media on the launch can be found below.

Sen magof hu na put fin in baba este na website.


Date: March 12, 2017

We take this opportunity to thank everyone of you for registering and continuously visiting our website. All of us together have visited our website more than 1.7 million times. It is your continuous encouragement and support that has kept us going. THANK YOU !

We are delighted to officially launch our website on Monday, March 13, 2017 at the University of Guam. Dr. Robert Underwood, President, and Dr. Anita Enriquez, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs of the University of Guam will be the main speakers at the launch.

We are committed to continue the development of our website in order for all of us to continue to enjoy learning Chamorro.

Señora Rosa S. Palomo, who teaches Chamorro at the University of Guam,
Mr. Rhaj Sharma from GuamWebz, and
Drs. Michael Bevacqua and Gerhard Schwab also from the University of Guam

********************* launched to keep language alive
by Isa Baza
March 13, 2017

The 2017 Chamorro Language Competition kicked-off at the University of Guam today, celebrating storytelling and also announcing the launch of a new website that aims to help people of all ages learn Chamorro.

UOG professor Dr. Michael Bevacqua said, "Nowadays to learn Chamorro you have to be brave, hardworking, courageous - you have to basically be willing to put in a lot of work because you don't hear the Chamorro language as much anymore around the island, and so a website like this is very important for those who didn't get a chance to learn it as a child, to try to learn it as an adult."

You can visit the website at

Meanwhile the Chamorro Language Competition continues tomorrow with a focus on categories including storytelling and poetry.


 University of Guam Launches Online Chamorro Language Resources
by John Borja
Pacific Daily News
March 3, 2017
The Chamorro language is now more accessible than ever, thanks to a locally made website that teaches the native tongue. is an online, learner-driven resource geared towards teaching the language, whether you’re from Guam or abroad. Gerhard Schwab, website founder and University of Guam social work professor, gave an online tour during the website’s launch Monday at the university.
The website’s mission is to further advance the Chamorro language and help people improve language fluency.

“The whole emphasis behind learning Chamorro is a very pressure-packed movement,” UOG President Robert Underwood said at the website’s launch.

Underwood recalled how, in his younger days, others spoke Chamorro more fluently than him and he sometimes found it difficult to keep up with them. The language will be easier to learn now with the website’s resources, he said.

The website is free and easy to navigate through, Schwab said. To begin, a user must create an account that requires a name, email address and password. The user then has access to the various teaching materials, which are a combination of audio, visual and interactive text. The user gains skill levels as they engage in more of the website’s features, Schwab said.
Schwab explained that the website has five main features:
  • a dictionary with more than 12,000 Chamorro words and their English meaning;
  • Chamorro lessons that teach various words and phrases in the language, depending on skill level;
  • a grammar section that explains Chamorro sentence structure and various pronouns;
  • basic conversations in Chamorro that are useful at home, work, school and more;
  • and a media section that gives the user access to audio clips, video and real-life documents to use as learning tools.
A significant feature of the website is the integration of the dictionary in the Chamorro lessons and dialogue. As Schwab explained, users just need to hover over a Chamorro word to find out what it means in English. Another option allows the reader to see a breakdown of a Chamorro sentence, detailing its structure and meaning.

The website is still growing and more content will be added to enhance the Chamorro learning experience, Schwab said. began as a class assignment four years ago in UOG’s Chamorro Studies program, Schwab said. As a student in the program, Schwab was inspired by the language and decided to pursue it outside the classroom. Schwab said he received help from web developer GuamWebz and the contributions of more than 100 people to put the website together.
UOG Chamorro professors Michael Bevacqua and Rosa Palomo are the main contributors, with the latter as chief editor, according to Schwab. Rhaj Sharma from GuamWebz provided technical support, Schwab added.

Schwab said there currently are more than 2,900 users on the website. Fifty percent of them are from Guam, 40 percent are from the U.S. mainland and the rest are international users living in countries such as Japan, Afghanistan, Australia and France.

“Learning Chamorro means different things to different people and poses particular challenges,” the website states. “It is much more than learning words, you participate in and shape cultural and historical processes."

Pacific Daily News
Copyright © 2017 Guam Pacific Daily News. All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tan Ding Gould

Each month Independent Guåhan honors a Maga'taotao or an elite, pioneering or noble person, who has fought hard in some way for the rights of the Chamorro people, especially in terms of self-determination. This month we are honoring the late Clotilde "Ding" Castro Gould who was a war-survivor, an educator, author, song-writer and a master story-teller. She is best known for her creation of the Chamorro language comic strip Juan Malimanga, which appears in the Pacific Daily News six times a week and her role in helping develop the bilingual and bicultural education program in Guam’s public school system. Tan Gould was also a member of PARA (People's Alliance for Responsible Alternatives) and OPI-R (Organization of People for Indigenous Rights), and as a political activist fought hard for the right to self-determination of the Chamorro people. 

Para Guahu, there is an extra dimension to this honor, as I, through my work in the Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam, continue to play a role in keeping alive her legacy. Each semester I have my CM102 students create new Juan Malimanga strips with new jokes, in order to keep her dream alive. For the past year I've taken those jokes and handed them off to Ric Castro an artist and fellow professor at UOG, who works with students to illustrate them and then publish them in the Pacific Daily News.  


Clotilde “Ding” Castro Gould (1930-2002) was a beloved storyteller, educator and advocate for Chamorro language and culture.  Through her sense of humor and gift for weaving stories and songs together about Chamorros and life on Guam, Gould helped create and shape Chamorro language resources and programs on Guam, as well as advanced cultural awareness of the Marianas in the larger Pacific region.

Gould was born in 1930 in Hagåtña, the daughter of Juan Castro Castro, a tailor.  Although she did not grow up with her mother, her name was Antonia, and Gould heard she was an active midwife after World War II.  Instead, Gould was raised by her paternal grandmother, her father and his youngest sister.  When her aunt married and had children of her own, these cousins became more like siblings.  Juan Castro supported the whole family up to his death.

With such a full household, Gould was able to have an exciting and love-filled childhood.  In fact, Gould attributed her storytelling skills to her paternal grandmother.  Her early childhood memories were filled with stories her grandmother told her and her siblings, especially at bedtime—tales from the Spanish era, always ending with a moral or lesson to be learned.  Gould learned to embellish stories the way her grandmother did, adding suspense and surprise with each retelling.

A motivated and bright student, Gould, like many other children on Guam at that time, had her education interrupted by the Japanese occupation and World War II in the early 1940s.  Many memories from war times involved difficulties during the Japanese occupation.  Throughout her hardships, Gould maintained her strong will.  One such incident involved her being taken from her home in Hagåtña by Japanese soldiers and forced, along with a few others, to walk to the rice paddies in Malesso.  Gould escaped and found her way home.  Another incident involved Gould’s encounter with a Japanese soldier who prodded her with a shotgun and told her to bow.  Instead, she started singing “God Bless America.”

Toward the end of the war Gould and her family were sent to the concentration camp in Manenggon valley, Yona, where they stayed until the island was liberated by the United States.  It was during their time in the camp that the family experienced the most hardship, under constant guard by the Japanese soldiers and with little food and shelter against the weather.  Gould’s family survived on breadfruit and anything else they found in the jungle. If they were lucky enough to find a chicken, they would boil it over and over again for the thin broth.

When the Americans came, all the residents of the camp, including Gould’s family, were overjoyed, running to greet the soldiers.  Like other liberated Chamorros, young Gould felt her family’s hardships were over.  She and her siblings were then able to return to school and finish their education after the war.

Before and after the war Gould was very active in the Catholic Church.  She was a member of the Sodality of Mary (a church organization for young, unmarried girls), a member of the choir, a catechist (or lay teacher of the Catholic faith), and did other work for the Agana Heights parish.  Her love of music and singing found expression in the church choir and in her own musical compositions — her mischievous or rebellious side sometimes coming through in her lyrics.

Gould also was active in school, serving as student council representative and as a member of the Civic and Playhouse clubs.  She graduated from George Washington High School in 1951, and received a full scholarship to Barat College of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois, a rarity in those days.  She attended Barat College from 1951 to 1954.  Even then, she would regale her friends in the dormitories with taotaomo’na stories from Guam and other tales.

Upon her return to Guam in 1954, Gould became an educator, although she had already been working since 1949 as an elementary school teacher.  She taught high school from 1954 to 1958.  She married Silas Edward Gould, an American, and left again for the continental United States where she taught, first in Kansas City, Missouri, then in Riverside and Pleasant Hill in California until 1972.  The Goulds raised their only daughter, Sandy, while in the States.

Longing to reconnect with her island roots, Gould began to engage with other Chamorros who had relocated to California, setting up different social activities for the Chamorro community there. However, her chance to return home came in 1972 when her aunt became ill and Gould decided to take care of her.  She took a job with the Department of Education (DOE) as a Language Arts Consultant.  With her proficiency in Chamorro she promoted Chamorro language for DOE and developed a series of children’s texts to teach the language, including I Niyok yan I Manha (The Ripe Coconuts and the Young Coconuts),  I Un Punidera Yan I Dies Na Babui (The Hen and the Ten Pigs), and Si Patas Nganga’ (Patas the Duck), all published in 1973.

When the Government of Guam enacted the Chamorro Language and Culture Program with federal funding, Gould became the project director.  She helped develop the Chamorro language curriculum for the elementary schools and train teachers for the new curriculum.  It was during her tenure that governmental support for Chamorro language, music and culture reached new highs, as even the courts and government agencies began to translate signs and other important materials and commercials into the Chamorro language.

Throughout her career, Gould served on numerous education committees and task forces.  While at DOE, she served as chairperson of Na Bunita from 1974 to 1977, and as vice-chairperson of the International Women’s Conference in 1977, and as vice-chairperson of the Chamorro Language Commission (1980-1983).  In 1980, she was appointed the Administrator of Chamorro Studies and Special Projects Division at DOE.  From 1981 to 1983, she was the chairperson of the Retired Senior Citizens Advisory Council.  In 1981, she organized the Guam Genealogical Society to help research and preserve genealogies and family histories of Guam’s people.

In addition to her work in education and other civic organizations, Gould was also an activist.  She was a member of the People’s Alliance for Responsible Alternatives (PARA) and also the Organization of People for Indigenous Rights (OPIR), two grassroots organizations that advocate political awareness and change, especially regarding issues of language, culture and political rights for the Chamorro people.

In the 1981 strike led by the Guam Federation of Teachers, Gould joined other educators to form the Organization of Non-striking Employees to ensure that schools would stay open, and in protest against what she believed to be a confrontational action (i.e., the strike) that went against Chamorro culture.  Most notably, her work with OPIR and PARA led to a demonstration that prompted the Pacific Daily News (PDN) to formulate a liberal language policy and the development of two Chamorro language features for the newspaper which would become part of Gould’s legacy: Fino’ Chamorro and Juan Malimanga.

Because such public protests were largely unheard of in Chamorro history, Gould was not expecting a large turnout for the small group protesting the PDN’s English-only advertisement policy.  In fact, to her surprise, more than 800 people turned up for the demonstration, causing the PDN to rescind its English-only policy and to be more sensitive to issues of language and culture.  A joint effort between the PDN and the Chamorro Studies Division of DOE, of which Gould was the director, resulted in Fino’ Chamorro, a short daily language lesson, and Juan Malimanga, a Chamorro language comic strip, to be published.

Initially, Gould had been asked by the PDN to translate the popular comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schultz into Chamorro.  Gould attempted to do so, but soon realized that the humor of Peanuts was lost in the translation and was not funny for Chamorro readers.  However, not wanting to lose the opportunity, Gould proposed to produce another comic strip, with Chamorro characters speaking and joking in Chamorro, and written in a way that reflected local humor.  Drawing from her imagination and childhood memories of family and friends, she created the characters for the strip and the storylines for their different misadventures.  With the help of an illustrator, Juan Malimanga and his sidekicks, Kika and Nano, were brought to life in May 1981.

Juan Malimanga was based on a Chamorro folk tale character named Juan Mala, who lived during the Spanish era.  Juan Mala always managed to outwit Spanish administrators with his simple manners and perceived slow wit.  Like Juan Mala, Juan Malimanga had the same joking manner that drove Kika and Nano crazy.  But the strip was more than a window into Chamorro humor.  It was a learning tool, and Gould often used it to voice out on current events on Guam in a funny way.

In spite of her success with DOE, from which she retired in 1989, and in civic life, Gould was, at heart, always the storyteller.  She knew that storytelling was an effective way of teaching, especially young children.  Taking up her guitar, Gould would make up songs and use the instrument for special effects to enhance her stories.  Because of her skills, in 1985, Gould represented Guam as a storyteller in the 5th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FESTPAC) in Townsville, Australia, sharing stories of Guam and Chamorro history.  In 1992, she participated in the Talking Island Festival held in the Hawaiian Islands.  With guitar in hand, Gould told stories and sang songs about Guam to diverse audiences of students from all grade levels, as well as senior citizens.  That same year, Gould was given a grant from the Guam Council on the Arts and Humanities Agency (CAHA) to translate the video, Chamorro Courtship and Marriage Practices of the Early 1900s Conference.

Gould also used her love of music to perpetuate the traditional Chamorro song form known as Kantan Chamorita, a one-octave chant that consists of four lines that rhyme in the second and fourth lines.  The songs are based on a simple melody that is repeated, but the lyrics are improvised, like an impromptu call-and-response.  Gould often demonstrated this form with other singers.  When she was younger, she composed numerous songs, several of which were recorded by popular local music artist Johnny Sablan, including I Mambiha na tiempo, Adios kirida, I na pinikara, and kada ilek-hu Hafa Adai.  Her songs, evocative of Chamorro life, memories and love, were extremely popular among Sablan’s many fans.

In 1985, Gould was presented with the Governor’s Art Award in Literary Arts.  Over the years she has received recognition with several Legislative Resolutions and Awards, including her 1994 induction into the Educators’ Hall of fame at the Agana Library.  She was featured as an influential Chamorro woman organizer in Dr. Laura Souder’s seminal work, Daughters of the Island in 1987.  She was also selected to be included in the Hale-Ta Who’s Who in Chamorro History series, as well as the CAHA Masters of Traditional Arts as a Master Storyteller.  In 2000 she received a Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award from the Guam Humanities Council.

Clotilde Gould passed away in 2002, but left a legacy of service few people have been able to emulate.  Fino’ Chamorro and Juan Malimanga continue to be featured in the Pacific Daily News, with the creativity of Chamorro specialist Peter Onedera, art professor Ric Castro and students from the University of Guam, and support of PDN publisher Rindraty Limtiaco.  Now in the digital age, Gould’s brainchild, born from a life of storytelling and humor, will educate and entertain audiences she may have only imagined, for years to come.

By Dominica Tolentino and Faye Varias


 Storytelling is Rich and Alive in Guam
By Judy Flores
The Guam Guide
January 24, 2012
Like other Pacific Islands, storytelling in Guam has been an important method of passing knowledge from one generation to the next.  Storytellers were respected members of society because of their ability educate and entertain. Stories were used to provide examples of good and bad, to help youngsters learn how to react properly to social situations. Many stories had a moral, or lesson, for the listener. Jesuit historian Father Francisco Garcia noted in 1668 that Chamorro people had a love of debate and poetry, together with a tendency towards mockery, which has characterized the Chamorro people throughout history. They had huge feasts where they celebrated by telling their histories in oratorical, poetic ways.

Legends probably began as a good story based on interesting characteristics or achievements of the hero. As the story passed from one storyteller to another through time, the details became exaggerated. Other legends were created to explain events that no one could understand. Every culture has a creation legend that explains how their land came to be or where their first people came from.

Storytelling traditions of the Chamorro people were interrupted due to our colonial history.  Our creation legend, for example, was lost during the Spanish missionary period.  Fortunately, an early missionary heard the story and wrote it down, where it was discovered in the 20th century, among the writings of Father Peter Coomans, a missionary in Guam in 1673.  According to his report, the natives of Guam claimed that the first man, Puntan, was born without a father and only one sister.  When he was near death, he called his sister, Fu’una, and ordered that out of his belly the sky be made; that out of his lice and their eggs…be made the stars in the firmament, from his eyebrows originated the sun and the moon, and out of his eyelashes the rainbows. From his shoulders the earth was made, and from his ribs and bones the trees were to grow; from his hair came branches and green grasses, his bladder became the sea, and the lower extremities the banana trees and the reeds.  His intestines became the sea straits and the ports…  The whole human race began from a rock (called Lalas) that stands like a sentinel phallic symbol located off the western shore of the present-day Fouha Bay.

Despite colonial attempts to erase the history of the Chamorro people, certain beliefs have persisted through the passing down of stories. The belief in ancestral spirits called “taotaomo’na” (“taotao” meaning “people” and “mo’na” meaning “first”) persists to this day. The banyon (Nunu) tree is particularly respected as the home of the taotaomo’na. The ancient practice of asking permission to enter the lands under the control of another clan has persisted in the continuing practice of asking the ancestors, or taotaomo’na, permission whenever one needed to trespass in the jungle. The words of the ancient chant of request have changed due to colonial language introductions, but the meaning and practice of asking has persisted. In his 1994 compilation of stories about ghosts and superstitious beliefs, Peter Onedera presents a version of the way one must ask permission to enter unknown territory.

“Whenever one is away from home, such as visiting in the neighborhood…or some other activity, and the restroom is needed — and especially if one is outdoors — permission must be sought from the spirits of the ancient ones. This is what one should say:  ‘Ancestors, may I please (state your intentions) because I am not able to reach my own home/place/property.  Guelo yan Guela, kao sina ju’ (ha sangan hafa para u cho’gue) sa’ ti sina hu hago’ i tano’-hu ya dispansa yu’.”  Failure to pay such respects to the ancestors has resulted in stories told by those who have been pinched or bitten, with visible marks to show for it; and, in extreme cases, become ill wherein no medical remedy can cure them. Taotaomo’na stories are a favored genre of contemporary storytelling. Throughout Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan, storytellers add new stories about supernatural activities experienced by people of these islands today.

While there are uncounted numbers of storytellers practicing today, official recognition was given to the late Clotilde Castro Gould, a master storyteller of Guam. Energetic, funny, sometimes ribald and always interesting, Clotilde (fondly called “Ding”) traveled extensively throughout the islands and to Pacific Islander events everywhere, representing Guam’s rich tradition of storytelling.  She perpetuated the antics of “Juan Malimanga” by putting it in the daily newspaper as a comic strip. The character, Juan Malimanga, depicted a middle-aged, unworldly Chamorro man who dressed in an open-front shirt tied at the waist, rolled-up knee-length trousers, and zori’ (rubber thongs) on his feet. Other regular characters included Tan Kika’, an old woman in long skirt and slippers with a bandana tied around her head; and Nanu, a person of dubious age. This ambiguity allowed his character to act sometimes as a boy and sometimes as a man. The humor revolved around mis-communications due to word plays, often using typical Chamorro misuses of English words, and Juan Malimanga’s philosophy of life, which was to work as little as possible while using his wits to undermine authority figures. This comic strip continues to run in the Pacific Daily News in 2011. It is read by Chamorro speakers and those who use it as a challenge to practice reading the Chamorro language.
In the Northern Marianas where Caroline Islanders (Refaluwash) share native citizenship with Chamorros, stories from both cultures have blended cohesively.  Lino Olopai of Refaluwash ancestry who speaks Refaluwash, Chamorro and English languages, has traveled widely telling the stories he learned from his elders – of fishing, canoe traditions, and family folkways. One tradition he described at a storytelling event at Gef Pa’go Inalahan was that listeners must continuously respond to the storyteller by saying, “yehyeh”, or the storyteller would assume no one was listening and stop. This was practiced during his childhood when a storyteller would sit on the sleeping mats among children to tell bedtime stories. The storyteller judged whether the listeners were still awake by listening for the “yehyeh” response. When everyone was silent, it was a sign that the children had drifted to sleep.

Contemporary storytellers can be contacted through the storytelling group, “Ginen I Hila’ I Maga’ Taotao – From the Tongues of the Noble People,” a non-profit organization formed by practitioners for the purpose of passing on storytelling traditions. They host several storytelling events each year, most recently their annual “Fright Night” Halloween storytelling event, held at night in the beachside jungles of Ipan, Talofofo. Over a dozen storytellers participate in rotating sessions where the audience is guided in the dark to each storyteller, raising hairs and squeals from the audience with their stories. This group usually participates in the annual November Gef Pa’go Storytelling Festival in Historic Inalahan, with each member presenting their specialty of scary, dramatic, funny, or ribald stories and skits that give insight into the Chamorro beliefs and sense of humor. This is a very fluid group, including recognized old-timers Peter Onedera, Peter Duenas, Toni Ramirez, Rosa Salas Palomo, Loui and Lila Gumbar, Victor Tuquero, Selina Onedera-Salas, and Beverly Acfalle, and constantly adding young new talent to keep the group fresh and pass the tradition along. Elders of Inalahan, such as Tan Floren Paulino, Ben Meno, Carlos Paulino, and others participate each year.  Two recognized Guam storytellers, Cira McMillan and Jay Pasqua, who have moved off-island, continue to practice their art in U.S. Chamorro communities.

The Chamorro storytelling tradition is alive and growing. Check our calendar of events to see when the next storytelling event will take place — and enjoy the stories!

Judy Flores, PhD. is a professional batik artist, historian and folklorist, using her art to depict Guam’s rich history and culture.  She grew up in the village of Inalahan and continues to work towards restoring and revitalizing the early-1900s buildings as an educational and tour venue.  She recently published her book, “Estorian Inalahan: History of a Spanish-era Village in Guam”, available at Framed, Etc. Gallery in Anigua, Bestseller Books, The Guam Gallery of Art, Gef Pa’go Gift Shop, and on her website at


Ten Guam Women Firsts Recognized by Women's Chamber of Commerce
by Clynt Ridgell
Pacific News Center
March 10, 2015

Soroptomist Sigma Society, Soroptomists International of the Marianas and Guampedia Collaborate 
Guam - The Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce announced ten women firsts today during a ceremony held in conjunction with the Soroptomist Sigma Society, Soroptomists International of the Marianas and Guampedia to commemorate the first women on Guam to achieve certain milestones.

"Our Guam Women's of Chamber Commerce vision is that we want women to participate in the community development and economic development of our island and that we women want to be just as strong and formidable in the business community as our male counterparts,” said Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce President Lou Leon Guerrero.

 To accomplish this the Guam Women's Chamber of Commerce is always looking for ways to lift up the status and image of women on Guam. This is why they came up with the First Women of Guam series and today they honored ten women who have been recognized as the first women on Guam to reach certain milestones.

 Elizabeth Barret-Anderson was recognized as the first appointed woman attorney general of Guam. Carmen Meling Romualdez Dela Cruz is the first woman owner of a music and arts school on Guam. Herminia Duenas Dierking was the first Chamorro woman president of the Associations of Pacific Island Legislatures. Leona Flores is the first Chamorro Woman to graduate from a U.S. military academy for the Air Force. Clotilde Castro Gould is the first Chamorro woman to lead the Chamorro studies program and the first Chamorro woman cartoonist. Esther Kia'aina is the first woman from Guam to serve as assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Insular Affairs. Rindraty Celes Limtiaco is the first woman publisher of a daily newspaper on Guam. Flora Baza Quan is the first Chamorro woman recording artist and the first Chamorro woman to win a regional beauty pageant Maria Roberto is the first Chamorro Woman chief native nurse. Genevieve Ploke Snow is the first Chamorro woman U.S. Naval Officer

 Guampedia assisted with this project by doing the historical research necessary to establish the first women to achieve certain milestones.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

2017 Inacha'igen Fino' CHamoru

2017 Chamorro Language Competition Celebrates Storytelling, Launches New Chamorro Learning Website 

Mangilao, Guam: On March 13-14, 2017, the Chamorro Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Guam will hold its annual “Inacha’igen Fino’ CHamoru,” or Chamorro language competition. 

Each year, hundreds of students from both private and public schools throughout the Marianas gather to compete against each other in categories that test their knowledge of speaking, reading, writing, and singing in the Chamorro language. The theme for this year’s competition is “I Fino’ CHamoru: Ta Hungok, Ta Li’e’, Ta Sångan, Pues Nihi Ta Mantieni!”: "The Chamorro Language: We Hear, We See, We Speak, So Let’s Hold On to It!” 

The first day of the competition will take place on Monday, March 13, from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the CLASS Lecture Hall and feature categories for individual contestants. On this day, students will compete in the storytelling, oratorical and poetry recitation categories. The second day of the competition will take place on Tuesday, March 14, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Calvo Field House. This day will feature large group elementary and middle school dance and chant competitions in the morning and high school competitions in dramatic performance, singing, and language proficiency in the afternoon. 

Each competitive event will be judged by members of the community who are fluent in the Chamorro language. For each category, gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded for first, second, and third place finishers. 

On Monday, March 13, this year’s Inacha’igen Fino’ CHamoru will begin with a press conference and demonstration in the CLASS Lecture Hall of a new website, “Learning Chamorro,” which can be accessed at . The website is a collaboration between Chamorro Studies and Social Work faculty at the University of Guam, most prominently Dr. Gerhard Schwab and Siñora Rosa Palomo. By working with Chamorro Studies majors and Chamorro-language DOE teachers, they have created a free website that features lessons, activities, and media designed to fit the needs of any level of Chamorro- language learner. 
The Inacha’igen Fino’ CHamoru is made possible because of our generous sponsors: the Office of the Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the Guam Visitor’s Bureau, International Distributors, and the Young Men’s League of Guam. The organizing committee for this year’s competition includes the following Chamorro Studies and Chamorro language faculty from the University of Guam: Siñot Joseph Franquez (co-chair) and Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua (co-chair), Siñora Rosa Salas Palomo, Siñora Ruth Mendiola, Siñora Teresita Flores, Siñora Ann Rivera, and Dr. James Viernes. 

This event is free and open to the public. The entire community is invited to come and watch this celebration of the indigenous language of the Mariana Islands and support efforts to perpetuate it for future generations.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Mensahi Ginen i Gehilo' #22: Biba UOG Press!

After World War II, Chamorros launched into a period of aggressive Americanization, which you could argue is still going on until today. This Americanization had many levels and dimensions to it. There were clear desires amongst most Chamorros take on the material and consumer comforts America seemed to offer. There were also clear moves by some to ensure that there children were properly or at least passably Americanized, most notably through the refusal to use the Chamorro language with them. There were frameworks of economic, social and political dependency that were created and eventually celebrated by Chamorros themselves. There were also dramatic shifts in lifestyle due to land loss and trauma from the war, which made things such as cultural maintenance difficult because occupations and life-ways were changing so quickly.

Alot of these shifts could not be helped, but simply came about because the US is so much larger than Guam, and it produces ideological content and material goods at such an astounding rate, it seems to justify laziness in terms of local production. Why should Guam conceive an educational system that fits its cultures or its needs, when the US, allegedly the greatest country in the world has their own system that we can borrow? Why should Chamorros create their own movies or books when the US pumps out movies and New York Times bestsellers constantly, and surely everything they could create would be light-years better than what we could make? Why should Chamorros do much of anything when the US has so much already and we can simply eat at whatever drops from their fancy dinner table? You can see here a nexus of colonial authority, colonial dependency, economic limitations, feelings of cultural inferiority all mesh together to sustain postwar Americanization.

We see this in the way prior to World War II, all of the government and most of the private infrastructure was run by outsiders. Even though Chamorros did create a slew of private, mainly small cottage industries towards the end of the prewar period, the US Naval Government and then prominent former sailors who had married Chamorro women, foreign nationals primarily from the Philippines and Japan held most power over what was in stores, what ended up in the limited media and so on. But after the war, Chamorros become far more prominent in terms of making public meaning or having a substantial place in civil society. They occupy positions in government, they become captains of industry. But the nexus of Americanization persists and doesn't dissipate. That's why even when Chamorros have control over the Guam Department of Education, they largely accept the frameworks provided by the colonizer which made them feel inferior and primitive just a generation earlier. We also see that even as media becomes more available locally, Chamorros do not use these networks in order to create locally focused media, especially media that is creative in nature. Sure there are radio stations and news channels, that tells local stories, but there was little to no effort to create Chamorro tv shows, books, or other literary art forms. The only exception to this is Chamorro music.

The lack of these materials just feed into feelings of dependency and feelings of Americanization. Not only did Chamorros feel that they needed the US to be lord over them in order for the island to be stable, prosperous and educated, now they also needed the US in order to be entertained. And one of the most intriguing aspects of life is that most people draw far from from their identity or worldview from media that is fictional and not necessarily meant to be taken seriously, than that which is explicitly designed to reflect in literal terms. People draw their identities from creative forms, entertainment media, which reflects the world through things such as satire, parody, metaphor and other symbolism, than non-fiction texts or journalism. The desire that most Chamorros felt to Americanize in the immediate postwar years led to them simply accepted and importing media into the island without thinking about any impact, and then led subsequent generations without a healthy creative imaginary to see their people and their place in the world.

Times are changing, albeit slowly. More books are appearing, some of them published by myself and my brothers. This article below on the relaunching of UOG Press gives me hope for the future.


University of Guam relaunches publishing house UOG Press
by Kyla Mora
December 3, 2016
Pacific Daily News

Psychology professor Andrea Santos hadn't been at the event very long before her arms were filled with books.

“Christmas shopping,” she explained as she heaved her stack of books, all copies of the Chamorro/English children’s book "Sumahi and the Karabao."

“I recently moved back to Guam, so I’m buying these as baby books for friends back in the states,” Santos said. Before she left, she had all her copies signed by both the book’s illustrator and author, brothers Jack and Michael Lujan Bevacqua.

On the other side of the room, Erlinda Montecalvo and her husband, Ray Leon Guerrero, paged through a book on local butterflies.

“We picked up this book because we have a bunch of butterflies at the house, and we’re seeing a lot of them in here,” Montecalvo said. “It’s a really good book. There’s so much information in it.”

They were just some of the many book lovers, academics and members of the community who gathered at the University of Guam Student Center Dec. 2 to celebrate the launch of a new website for UOG Press, the University’s publishing house, based at the Micronesian Area Research Center.
The celebration and holiday book fair showcased texts published through the university press, including books, informational reports, academic journals and faculty work.

Visitors browsed the new website, which offers a full catalog of available texts and educational resources from MARC Publications and Taiguini Books, the two major publishing components of UOG Press.

“My dream has always been to help writers and lovers of books have a space where they can find books about us. Growing up, the majority of the books we read in school didn’t reflect us,” managing editor Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero said. “UOG is committed to keeping these books in print, getting them into our schools, and getting them into our community.”
With a press operation focused on publishing and keeping in print works of research and literature about the region, Leon Guerrero hopes the new website will be a resource for readers and local writers who aspire to publish.

“We have a section on our website with submission guidelines. If you or anyone you know loves to write and dreams of publishing, we hope that you’ll turn to us as a publisher,” Leon Guerrero said.
Readers can purchase publications, but also find many free works from MARC and various university disciplines. Additionally, Leon Guerrero said, the press has published four Chamorro children’s books and will continue to produce cultural literature for adults and children.

The website also will serve as a selling venue for local books that haven't received wide distribution.
“We’re really here to contribute to this amazing literary community that this island already has,” Leon Guerrero said.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Response to Paul Zerzan

Paul Zerzan frequently references me in his columns in the Guam Daily Post and also his letters to the editor of the Pacific Daily News. For those of you who don't know who Paul Zerzan is, it isn't truly critical that you know him or what he stands for. He is a white male living on Guam, who constantly takes polemical and often times ignorant positions on things such as Chamorro language and decolonization. It is sometimes difficult to engage with someone like him who seems very willing to impulsively shout loudly about the things that they believe, but doesn't ever seem to investigate or research what they are claiming prior to speaking/writing. Gi Fino' Chamorro ta sångan, "hasso åntes håfa para un sångan, mappot pumañot tåtte." This is something that Paul Zerzan doesn't seem to know much about or take seriously.

Last year I and several others wrote letters and column about his assertion that the Chamorro language is already dead and it is useless to do anything to save it or preserve it. You can find some of them at this link here "Ti Mamatai ha' Trabiha i Lenguahi-ta." In general though, I rarely respond directly to Paul Zerzan's points because they are so grossly uninformed. Although he sounds very serious in his tone and speaks as if he knows what he is talking about, basic facts and details along with a larger sense of what he is discussing, escape him.

Last year he wrote a column titled "Who is Really Behind the Independence Push?" in the Guam Daily Post. I started to draft a response, but it ended up by the wayside because there were simply too many things to correct and provide context for. Paul Zerzan seems to be someone who does a Google search and then finds whichever source makes his point and then doesn't read or consider anything else. Part of me wants to sit down with him and try to talk through some of the issues he's engaging with, because he seems very interested in them, but hasn't bothered to learn much about it yet, despite his willingness to speak about it regularly.

Below is first my draft and also the text from his column to which I was responding.


Paul Zerzan's 10/24/16 column “Who is really behind the independence push?” is full of so many inaccuracies and misunderstandings about issues of decolonization at the local and international level, the Guam Daily Post should seriously reconsider giving someone who has so little knowledge and expertise in this matter, so much space to spread misinformation. What qualifications does Paul Zerzan have to comment on these issues, especially when he seems so willing to make blanket statements with such limited understanding about these issues?

Amidst his many inaccuracies, here are a few glaring issues that I have to take issue with:

1. Zerzan repeatedly, incorrectly asserts that everyone living in a colony should have the right to self-determination and that the United Nations supports this idea. The UN has been very clear that the right to decolonization belongs to colonized peoples, not just anyone who lives in a colony. In the immediate postwar years, the UN was not explicit in this terminology, as the majority of people in most colonies were the colonized. In time certain colonial powers began to flood their colonies with migrants and others militarized them, both with the intent of influencing any plebiscites and maintaining colonial control. Since then, the UN has been more explicit in asserting who should have the right to vote in a decolonization plebiscite.

2. UN Resolution 1541, which outlines the three basic political status choices is still the basic blueprint for how a colony should perceive the possibilities for its future. What this means however is that there are various ways of negotiating certain statuses, for example one can become integrated into a country, but not necessarily a state of it. Free association has a huge variety of permutations where it can appear like the CNMI or like Palau. But status quo is not considered to be a viable option and even if Zerzan isn’t an expert on any of these things, simple common sense should tell him that. Finally, if Zerzan had any real understanding of this issue, he would know about the experiences of places such as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands who filled their plebiscites with too many options, which ended up causing only confusion and apathy, and prevented them from moving forward. Similarly, plebiscites where only two options are given or the vote is a simple yes or no question are unfortunately often times framed that way in order to force people to vote a certain way, rather than trying to capture the desires of the majority of people.

3. Guam is on the UN list of colonies because the United States has refused to allow Guam to undergo a fair and free process of decolonization. It has nothing to do with the UN keeping it on the list. If Zerzan knew anything about this issue, he would know that the US refuses to even acknowledge Guam at the international level and refuses to acknowledge that it has any obligations to Guam.

4. As opposed to asking how an independent Guam would benefit China, we should think about how a colonized Guam benefits the United States. And how that relationship may provide some benefits, it may restrict our long-term growth and development. The whole purpose of this conversation is to help move Guam towards a more equitable relationship with the rest of the world, one where it is a partner, rather than a possession. For those that wish a close and prosperous relationship with the United States, being a colony doesn’t accomplish those goals, but becoming independent, and an ally of the US could. 


 Who is Really Behind the Independence Push?
by Paul Zerzan
Traveler's Tales
The Guam Daily Post

Is China behind the “Guam Independence” movement? Now that is (admittedly) a very dirty accusation in what is in fact, a very dirty game.

I say this because of what I see as outright lies that are told again and again. One lie is the claim that the Chamorro people have never exercised self-determination.

When the people of Guam petitioned Congress for U.S. citizenship, this was an act of self-determination. When the 1982 plebiscite was held (in strict accordance with U.N. rules) that was an act of self-determination.

Another lie is the claim that the choices for political status can be limited to only three.
The 1960 U.N. resolution that listed three choices was amended by Resolution 2625 (xxv) adopted in October 1970, which states that the right to self-determination also can be implemented by "any political status freely determined by a people."

This means the people have a right to vote on a number of possibilities, including "status quo" and "commonwealth."

In fact in the “self-determination” plebiscite that was held in 1982 the people of Guam were given five different choices for political status.

The people of Guam chose (by majority vote) the status of commonwealth. This plebiscite met U.N. criteria as a legitimate exercise in self-determination.

The next step in the commonwealth process was to write a constitution for Guam. This was never done. Instead a few politicians rammed through legislation calling for another vote but denying voting rights to a majority of Guam voters.

This is in clear violation of the U.N. requirement that self-determination must be determined by “universal adult suffrage.”

So here we have three blatant violations of U.N. decolonization requirements:
1. The right of the people (all of the people) to choose political status;
2. The right to any status freely chosen by the people; and
3. Respect for the choice of the people (which in 1982 was commonwealth).

Yet how many times since 1982 have we been told that Guam’s right to decolonization under U.N. rules is being denied by the U.S. government?

In fact, Guam is considered a colony only because it is on the U.N. list of colonies.
This list is very imperfect but in any case in order to have Guam removed from the U.N. list of colonies we must follow U.N. rules of decolonization.

Above I have only listed three violations but there are more. The “self-determination” campaign is full of so many lies that I don’t have space to even begin listing them but most or all of them are propagated by the "independence" group.

So (based on this) I claim there are people on Guam who lack moral integrity in the political sphere.
Dave Slagle’s book “Gallivanting on Guam” documents a widespread lack of moral integrity in the personal behavior of some Guamanians. Most of those in the book are prominent community leaders.
So, based on a general lack of morality in much of our leadership and based on the specific outright lies (listed above) propagated by those tasked with “educating” the public on decolonization I think it is fair to ask who is really behind the persistent push for independence.

Again and again and again the people of Guam have made it clear that they want to remain U.S. citizens. Yet the independence choice is aggressively pushed again and again.

Who would benefit from an independent Guam? Obviously China would. So is it possible China is behind this campaign?

I think it is fair to ask that question. I think it is fair to conjecture that those in our community who persistently lie to us about our rights and choices in the decolonization process cannot be trusted. With the right inducements I think they would sell us out to our enemies.

That is my opinion. Please think about it. Thank you for reading this.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Why I Can't Take My Eyes Off of Rachel Maddow

Gof malåte' si Rachel Maddow.

Gi este na pakyo' taihinasso.

Hu sen agradesi i minalate'-ña.

Mana'annok este gi primet na attikulu.

Ti ha tatitiyi i hemplon i otro na media.

Kada kumuentos si Trump.

Ya ha na'annok ta'lo i tinaimamahlao-ña.

Yan mabababa i ilu-ña.

I otro media, ma tatiyias i take'-ña.

Kulang puyitos gi lancho.

Ma kekekånno' todu i papet etgue-ña Twitter.

Lao si Rachel ti ha cho'cho'gue ayu.

Mas tahdong i chine'gue-ña.

Ha cho'cho'gue' i diposti i che'cho'-ña i journalist.

 Ha kekena'famta i minaghaet.

Yan ha na'annok i manmana'attok ni' i manakhilo'.


Rachel Maddow on How She Doubled Viewership Under Trump: 'I Stopped Covering the Twitter Feed'
by Brian Flood
March 3, 2017
The Wrap

MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” has been on a roll, posting her best ratings month ever in February and nearly doubling her viewership. Her secret is simple. Maddow said she covers President Donald Trump’s White House in a very old-fashioned Hollywood way.

“We developed sort of an informal, internal mantra… which is that we basically cover them as if they are a silent movie,” Maddow told TheWrap. “I stopped covering the Twitter feed and we started covering only what they do rather than what they say.”

It’s working. In February, Maddow racked up MSNBC’s largest total viewer audience ever in the 9 p.m. ET timeslot and the best performance among the key news demo of adults age 25-54 since November 2012.

After the February victory, Maddow has now beaten CNN’s regularly scheduled programing for 45 straight months. While regularly holding Trump’s feet to the fire, she has gained 99 percent in total viewers compared to February 2016. And while cable news has been consistently up in the last year, CNN gained 70 percent and Fox News increased 31 percent over the same time period.

“It is an unusual thing that the White House and its chief spokespeople have been called out saying stuff that’s not true over and over and over again,” she said. “It’s the petty stuff but it’s also important stuff that they’ve not told the truth about.”

When a Trump surrogate lies, it has consequences for the MSNBC host. “We no longer go to that person for factual information,” Maddow explained. That realization helped Maddow come up with her recent formula that has resulted in ratings success.

“I really feel like it was helpful to me, in terms of trying to come up with what to talk about every day, and serving up information for our audience that is substantive and not manipulated by people at the White House,” Maddow said. “It was helpful for us to just stop paying attention to what they were saying.”

MSNBC colleague Mika Brzezinski recently said she doesn’t want Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway to appear on her show, citing her as “not credible anymore.”

Maddow said Conway is “a nice person” to whom she enjoys talking. She added she admires Conway’s willingness to engage in “extended difficult conversations.” However, Maddow said talking to Conway is “essentially just talking to a pro-Trump political operative” as opposed to a White House official representing the government’s views.

Despite being one of the most-watched people in media, Maddow typically attracts fewer viewers than Fox News in the 9 p.m. ET timeslot. You can make a strong case that the two don’t exactly have the same target audience, but Maddow respects what the other side is doing.

“It is my sense, and this even goes back to my days in talk radio, part of the way that conservative media has branded itself to its audience is by telling it’s audience, ‘You can’t trust anybody else,'” Maddow said. “We all sort of thought that was clever branding when Rush Limbaugh started doing that in talk radio back in the old days. It has been taken to a high art at Fox.”

Maddow explained that people seeking right-leaning opinion content are “not the majority of the country but a huge, consolidated chunk of the universe of people who are watching cable TV at any one time.”

Maddow’s bet is that under President Trump a consolidated chunk of the universe will tune in to her, too.


 Rachel Maddow Frames Trump-Russia-FBI Story with Watergate Cover-Up
 by Andy Towle
February 24, 2017

Rachel Maddow began her piece on  last night’s damning report from CNN that the Trump administration sought help from the FBI to squash reports that Trump officials had communications with Russia during the 2016 campaign by framing it against the Nixon administration’s attempts to stop the criminal investigation by the Justice Department over what had happened.
Obstruction of justice was the first article of impeachment brought against Nixon.

After Watergate, rules were put in place to limit contact between the White House and the Justice Department. At that time only four officials from the White House were allowed to have contact with the DOJ about a criminal investigation.

Years later, the Bush administration dropped the wall between the executive branch and the Justice Department, raising the number of officials who could have contact with the DOJ on criminal cases from 4 to 895 (!). And because of the problems that caused for the Bush administration, in 2007, Michael Mukasey reinstated the four-person rule.

Flash forward to the Trump administration, and it appears that they are not following that rule.
As we reported last night, the Trump administration contacted the FBI asking it to publicly dispute reports about communications between Trump’s associates and Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Maddow wonders whether this activity is nefarious, or just dumb:

“This could be death of the republic. This could also just be stupidity. Right? Benefit of the doubt? You really don’t know that this is a problem? Is it possible that the White House including the White House Chief of Staff doesn’t know you can’t tell the FBI what to do about their ongoing investigation into the White House?”

And she brings another detail into the picture, the high number of Trump officials who have been dismissed because they couldn’t pass FBI background checks, including, most recently, the Chief Digital Officer.

“Why did this White House hire such an unusually large number of people who can’t pass FBI background checks? Is that nefarious? Is that stupid? Is this an indication of something really, really wrong and worrying, or is it an indication of incompetence and stupidity?”


 Rachel Maddow: Why hasn't Jill Stein said anything about the Trump-Russia scandal?
by Travis Gettys
Raw Story
Feb. 22, 2017

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow called out Jill Stein for her silence on the widening Russia scandal engulfing the Trump administration.

Maddow appeared last week on Viceland’s “Desus and Mero” program, where she brought up a photo showing Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, sitting with Vladimir Putin and Michael Flynn, reported DeadState.

Flynn resigned earlier this month as national security adviser for misleading the vice president about his communications with the Russian ambassador, and other Trump advisers are under investigation for their ties to Russia.

The photo was taken in 2015, when Stein and Flynn were invited to Moscow for the 10th anniversary banquet for RT — Russia’s state-owned news network aimed at English-speaking countries.

Maddow cast suspicion on Stein’s silence over alleged Russian attempts to interfere with the election to benefit Donald Trump, who she claimed during her own campaign would govern no differently than Hillary Clinton.
“So everybody’s like, ‘Wow, how come this like super, super aggressive opposition that we saw from these third-party candidates — how come they haven’t said anything since this scandal has broken?’” Maddow said.

“I don’t know, Jill — I can’t pronounce it in Russian,” Maddow said, with apparent sarcasm. “Hope you’re really psyched about your Wisconsin vote totals.”

It’s not clear who paid for Stein’s trip to Russia in December 2015, although a former British spy claims in the infamous “golden showers” memo that the Kremlin did so indirectly.
Stein and her campaign have refused to comment on the matter.

Journalist Casey Michel, writing for The Daily Beast, said RT and the Kremlin-backed Sputnik network target both the American far-left and far-right with pro-Putin propaganda, and he argued Stein’s criticism from the left may have helped cost Clinton the election.

“Putin has cultivated dupes, fellow travelers, and purblind fools among plenty of American progressives who, whether by accident or design, have facilitated the rise of the most extremist and reactionary president this country has ever elected,” Michel wrote.


 Rachel Maddow Exclusive Debunks "Extreme Vetting" Propaganda of the Muslim Ban
Media Matters Staff
Media Matters for America
March 2, 2017

From the March 2 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show:
RACHEL MADDOW (HOST): Now tonight, we have got this, this is another leaked report. I'm not going to tell you how we got it, but the Department of Homeland Security has tonight confirmed to us that this is authentic, that this is real. You can see at the top of it here, I think we've got it on screen, yeah -- it's labelled "Unclassified, for official use only," it's dated yesterday, March 1, 2017.
This is a report that's from the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis. Again, that's the U.S. intelligence agency that's based inside Homeland Security, and interestingly, it says it was prepared by that intelligence office, but look at that small print there.
"Prepared by the Office of Intelligence Analysis" that's the Homeland Security Agency, but it was coordinated with Customs and Border Protection, State Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- I.C.E., National Counterterrorism Center, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. So, all of those people coordinated in creating this report.
And now, here's the title: "Most Foreign-Born U.S.-Based Violent Extremists Radicalized After Entering Homeland."
Oh, and what's the key finding here? What's the key judgment here? This is it, quote: "We assess that most foreign-born, U.S.-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry into the United States."
And why is that important? Say it again? "We assess that most foreign-born U.S.-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry into the United States," comma, "limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns."
Oh, right, so much for extreme vetting, right? The whole justification, the whole explanation from this administration for the Muslim ban was to stop people coming into this country, at least for a while, right? At least for a while, it's a temporary travel ban so we can get the extreme vetting, so Trump could set up his extreme vetting plan, right? When he announced it in the first place, that's the "Until we can figure out what is going on" part of how he announced it.
MADDOW: I look at this, and you know what I think? I think the Muslim ban is dead.

 Rachel Maddow tells Desus and Mero About How She Uses Sci-Fi to Contextualize Trump
by Sarah Bellman
February 17, 2017

The MSNBC host visited the VICELAND show to talk about our new president, Chris Hayes, and Obama's vacation.

With political scandals and unprecedented events circulating the news daily, it can be extremely taxing for journalists to report on the Trump administration. Of course, Rachel Maddow knows this all too well.

When she visited VICELAND's talk show Desus & Mero, the MSNBC host told Kid Mero and Desus Nice about how she now finds unique ways to dissect our political climate—citing events from our past, other countries' histories, and even science fiction.

Additionally, Maddow gave the hosts her hot take on Jill Stein, Hillary Clinton, vacationing Obama, and her ride-or-die colleague Chris Hayes. Check out her full interview below.


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