Having lived and worked on Guam for more than a half-century offers me some interesting insights and perspectives into what I see happening today in so many areas.
The more writing I've done the more the realization came to me that each subject below – and likely many more – deserves more individual space.
As I compared days gone by with today, I've watched how some elected officials have led or misled, while others simply occupied space and collected a paycheck.
Add to that, having spent the vast majority of my adult career in the news business on Guam and in Asia has offered me insights into the life and times of the islands and regional business and political leaders in a very special and, at times, significant way.
Those insights have given me the opportunity for some good relationships and also the ability to meet a few folks that may sooner have seen me live and work somewhere else.
My military service in Asia and lifelong interaction with the military, plus living and working throughout the Pacific, has made my life anything but boring.
Tourism, nationalism, government operations, U.S. military presence, community/human relations, federal spending, farming, reef/coral protection, agriculture, housing, policing, drug problems, changes in world order – the list can go on, ad infinitum.
There have been a few correlations that stick out to me. Things that have affected the lives of people not only on Guam but throughout Micronesia and in Asia in general.
It also seems apparent that the continued increase in land values (speaking in dollars as opposed to traditional familial values) has brought with it a rise in nationalism not only on Guam in what I see as a desire to increase personal power and wealth. Not to pass judgement, but rather that it simply is.
My memories take me back to my father-in-law (a man who lost much during the war) reminding me never to sell family land but rather to keep it in the family. During these many years, his words have always stayed with me.
While we (my family) have purchased land, I cannot recall parting with any unless it was to pass it along to another family member.
Today, there are far too many people (especially younger) who have either ignored accurate history or who have bought into the rewrites of it by so many modern-day educators. Those who have never experienced war, nor the lifelong memories of those involved as victims, oppressors or freedom fighters.
As we watch world powers grapple for economic, political and military control, we need to harken back to those days of war. Watch those who are grappling for world power and remind ourselves who we are and where it is that we really stand in those power plays.
What a few oppressive nations in the world today are working to accomplish is to replace American freedom with another form of government. A form, in my opinion, far more oppressive than any we currently live within.