Dedicated to Intellectual Disobedience and the Pursuit of Understanding, the Last Bastions of Hope

Front Page    Politics & Policy     Technology    Media    Books    Cinema    Environmental Design    Music    Reviews    Art    Fashion    Features    Science    

 About    Resources    Contact    Join List   ◄►Election 2012  Economy  ►Occupy Wall Street 

 Volume 1-2012                                                           



Are You A Slave? A Brief History of the Subject Suggests "Probably"

Moses, Wall Street, Human Nature and Grover Norquist

Concepts of Resistance - The RCJ Provides a Road Map for the OWS Movement

Lance Henriksen - World's Greatest Actor in Reflective Mode

Conspiracy - A Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the New World Order

Elections 2012

What Does it Take to be President?

Rating the U.S. News Readers

The Antidote to Michelle Bachman

Ship of Fools - Why Won't We Save Ourselves?

White House Solar Bomb

What Is Happening to Us?

The Cloud - What It Is

Background on Afghanistan

Economics 101

Global Economic Risks

Islamic Definition

Middle East

Second Amendment Remedies

Sam Broussard - Republicans


Why All the Zombies?

Gun Rights

Leadership Chronicles



Is Belief In God a Sign of Weakness?

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher of RARWRITER.com and the Revolution Culture Journal.

No, but it may be a signal for help, and not necessarily in a bad way.

God is a construction of peoples’ need to have an organizing influence in their lives, standards to live by, and some reason to carry on. In all of those ways, God and everything that comes with it – the afterlife, sense of well being and spiritual comfort, and purpose in all things – is truly helpful to people, as various studies have seemed to indicate. Belief is powerful, almost regardless of its details.

That God, and the belief therein, is a signal for help is endemic to the genesis of the subject, if you will pardon the pun.
Read Post - Comment


Letter to Conservatives: The Party of Wealth – Theirs

Sam Broussard - Writer, Songwriter, Musician, member of Steve Reilly and the Mamou Playboys


Three of the front runners for the Republican nomination are now just memories, pundit fodder: Huckabee and Trump, and Palin recedes into political tinnitus. But the retiring of all three has one thing in common, and it’s money. Huckabee just bought a huge house in Florida and is enjoying his status and salary at Fox News. Trump is more at home on his reality show. And Palin is enjoying both Fox money and reality TV and will probably be the next Oprah Winfrey, although she’ll never get more than twenty percent of the viewers because only that percentage of Americans can identify with her spunky pride in her ignorance. And yes, she’s pretty.

Read Post - Comment


We Need A New Party!

Kenny Lee Lewis - Member of The Steve Miller Band, Guitarist/singer/songwriter, Novelist/screenwriter' www.kennyleelewis.com, www.stevemillerband.com

I am a rock star. Ok, ok, I am in a band with a rock star.  I am also a husband, father of three daughters, and a small business owner who pays his taxes like anyone else. I never got into politics until the last election and wrote and produced a non-partisan PSA video for Comcast called “Get Out and Vote” to help assuage voter apathy throughout this ailing nation. I didn’t vote for either one of the major candidates in 2008. I am all about trying to rally everyone to start voting again so we can possibly support a third political party that makes sense. If we can educate and get people out to the polls again, I believe that there could be a groundswell of voters who could turn the tides in future elections.
We need a party “by the people and for the people”. As corny as that sounds, it is a precept that our nation was founded upon and if we are to lift up and resuscitate this
suffocating political system, we are going to need a leader who actually leads rather than folds like a cheap stroller just to please his parties’ special interests.

(Use the link below to read Kenny's entire post (© Kenny Lee Lewis, 2011 - All Rights Reserved).

Read Post - Comment


The RCJ Posts Issues Questionnaire on Obama - Obama 2012 – Where Do You Stand?

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher of RARWRITER.com and the Revolution Culture Journal. He is also proprietor of A&E/IT Consulting firm Rick A Rice Consulting.

The Revolution Culture Journal (RCJ) invites you to participate in a little experiment to help us understand public perception of President Barack Obama, particularly as it relates to enthusiasm for his re-election in 2012.

We have identified 34 issues in U.S. foreign and domestic policy and devised a scale to determine how well respondents feel President Obama is doing with each. Use this link to go to the questionnaire.

Read Post - Comment


Bechtel’s Long-Term Commitment to Nuclear Disaster

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher of RARWRITER.com and the Revolution Culture Journal. He is also proprietor of A&E/IT Consulting firm Rick A Rice Consulting.

Somehow the idea of using nuclear fission, and eventually nuclear fusion, to boil water, produce steam, drive turbines and produce direct current electricity has found its way back into the list of acceptable alternatives as an environmentally friendly solution. This bit of Houdini depends entirely on comparison to power generation through the burning of coal, which produces carbon emissions and is a primary contributor to rising levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) in our choking environment.

Read Post - Comment


Applying Grover Norquist to Corporation Intellectual Starvation

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher of RARWRITER.com and the Revolution Culture Journal. He is also proprietor of A&E/IT Consulting firm Rick A Rice Consulting.

In my career as a consultant, I have all kinds of opportunities to interact with different personality types at different levels of organizations. Some of these are of the kind that might make others feel that life is not worth living, but the advantage of consultancy is that my involvements are focused, short, and generally sweet, and then I leave the office dramas behind for a quick dip into the next kiln of opportunity. I am like a merry mercenary in that way, unexposed to the daily grind of the organizations with which I work.

Staff people, on the other hand, are subject to hierarchical structures and personality profiles, and their critical path issue is: a) whether or not to stay in the roles they are in, given the odds of rising up to a more satisfying position within the organization; or b) to cast their fates to wind, which is the job market.

So much of life happens at the initial sell-in.

Read Post - Comment


Appointment with Disaster - Republican Domestic Policy

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher of RARWRITER.com and the Revolution Culture Journal.

While the rich are enjoying tax breaks they have no need for and U.S. corporations are holding on to record profits, padding their accounts to ensure that this is not their rainy day, but doing little to further the employment and domestic security needs of United States citizens, word comes that we are running out of money to provide help for a growing population of homeless (see the Huffington Post on this date).
Read Post - Comment



Welcoming the Arab Street to U.S. Foreign Policy

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher of RARWRITER.com and the Revolution Culture Journal.

I was all set to thank the progressive Arab world, or at least the 25 percent of it that is situated in Egypt, for taking charge of U.S. foreign policy and forcing it to make sense. Then those pro-Mubarak thugs showed up and shocked the global community back to reality.
Read Post - Comment



Why Your College Student Can't Read, Write or Even Think

Rick Alan Rice - Publisher, Writer, A&E / IT Consultant

Back a hundred years ago, when I was in college, all the guys who were doing the best in the classes I took all seemed to be Viet Nam veterans going to school on government grants. They tended to stand out because they were older and far more experienced than their classmates. It seems unlikely that they were brighter, but they were fundamentally different in terms of focus and perspective in ways that seemed obviously helpful to them.
Read Post - Comment











The Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico has a big self-imposed problem on its hands, having either to do with a Disneyland mentality for "spiritual retreat", and execrable design tastes, or a cheesy design for commercial development posing as spiritual stewardship. Throw in utter disregard for history, exploitive interests in the real places that El Santuario and the Santo Niño chapel (shown above) have in the spiritual lives of people of faith, and others with deep respect for cultural values, and you get a range of intense emotional responses that are almost entirely negative.

Why does the Archdiocese of Santa Fe want so badly to develop this site near the culturally significant El Santuario site, even against the will of the area's preservationists?

HOTEL RETREAT: The Associated Press broke this story, which was first carried locally in the December 3, 2011 edition of the Albuquerque Journal - Santa Fe/North newspaper. This represented quite a scoop on the more local Santa Fe New Mexican, which later published the tentative site plan (left) for a proposed Jardín de los Niños Spiritual Retreat; a $2.5 million, 8,000-square-foot, 25 guest-rooms-with-kitchen-services-and-discussion-room hotel designed to provide accommodations for some of the community's steady stream of visitors.

El Santuario, dating to 1760, is sometimes called "the Lourdes of America" for healing powers associated with a wooden cross that was found on the site on which the sanctuary was built. (See the story in the right column.) Catholic believers and people of cultural curiosity visit the place year around, and on Good Friday annually there are thousands of pilgrims who travel by foot to visit El Santuario de Chimayo's shrines.

The plans for the retreat center were apparently a closely held secret up until information about the development was leaked and the AP story broke. Attention immediately turned to the principal figures in the drama: Santa Fe residents Gil and Nidia Martinez, and Father Julio Gonzalez, of Spain, who is Chimayo's Parish Priest. These three are working in conjunction with the Santa Fe Archidiocese, which owns the land upon which the proposed hotel retreat will be built.

Martinez is a businessman who runs Terra Bella Artful Interiors, located in Santa Fe's Sanbusco Center, and he has some history with development in Chimayo. This is where little Santo Niño chapel (shown above) comes into the picture, for Martinez is the person responsible for the modifications to the historic site. Where once it was a humble chapel of authentic design heritage, it has been transformed into what some have described as a "Disneyesque farce". The point of detractors of Martinez' plan for the spiritual retreat is pretty straight forward: if the abomination they feel that Martinez has made of  Santo Niño chapel is indicative of his vision for the planned retreat, they don't want it!


Part of the underlying conflict over the Jardín de los Niños Spiritual Retreat has to do with how much archaeological integrity a community should commit to preserving when working with a historically and culturally significant site.

Or, in more concrete terms, how much can any of us feel is lost and gained by the sort of modifications that were made to historic Santo Niño chapel? (Shown below as it looked in 1985 and in something closer to its original form, prior to the makeover shown at the top of this page.)

Surely the value and the magnetism of these historic sites is inextricably tied to the way visitors experience their architectural spaces. And whatever power they retain is absolutely tied to the quality of their authenticity.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is why the faithful pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo, but only paying tourists get in to see "Historic Front Street" in Dodge City, Kansas or a hundred other examples of replicated historic places.

El Santuario is all about authenticity and humility, right down to its muddy, unpaved walkways and its evolved reason for being, which is expressing faith and sacrifice, and providing a place for asking for relief from burden.

While it may seem obvious to most that one doesn't make design modifications to a structure of historic importance, how big of a ring protecting an area from development does one put around a unique place such as El Santuario de Chimayo?

While there is diversity of opinion among Chimayo's small and insular business community - one of which sold to the Archdiocese the property on which the planned hotel/retreat is to be built - there is a call for a legitimate planned approach to Chimayo's overall development. These typically involve Specific Plans supported by Architectural Design Guidelines, which many municipalities use to plan infrastructure development and to control the aesthetic characteristics of new development, either to preserve historic integrity or to create new design standards for conformity and contextual consistency in vertical construction and streetscape.

"Indeed, there is a jumbled quality to the compound, with several new shrines behind the chapel, including one to Our Lady of La Vang, a Marian apparition from Vietnam," says Raymond Bal, a local businessman lobbying for a professional approach to area planning. The pressure of pilgrimage has influenced an ad hoc development even amid the humble sanctity of the site. "The immediate area includes a half-dozen souvenir shops and a dozen homes, some of which appear vacant, a recently completed museum next to the santuario, and two other chapels — Santo Niño de Atocha and a recently completed meditation center called the Praying Heart Portal."

Some of that has been the work of the aforementioned Gil Martinez, who reports having been involved with the local parish for seven years, having remodeled the 1857 Santo Niño de Atocha Chapel and built both the Praying Heart Portal and the new museum. He has referred to these as preservation projects, and said the "most important" to him "is salvaging the residence of Bernardo Abeyta, who in 1816 completed the graceful adobe chapel — officially El Santuario de Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas — on the site where a wooden crucifix had miraculously appeared."

Whether or not one thinks of historic preservation as a "salvage project" probably frames one's view of Martinez's work. Among his plans for the Archdiocese property are razing the two mid-20th century houses on the site and building four or five new buildings, one of which would be a museum dedicated to Bernardo Abeyta.  This complex, he anticipates, will take two to three years to build, which in design-build construction terms is fast, particularly if one is paying any attention to architectural detail or doing anything to vet alternative designs with stakeholder groups. (Yours truly bases this on many years of consultant experience in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction sector.)

Rapidity of development has characterized the Jardín de los Niños Spiritual Retreat and related projects, a fact that Martinez has been frank to admit. “Our plan was to put a press let go out (sic) around February or March,” he was reported by the Albuquerque Journal as saying. “By that time, you would have had … more things only to demonstrate. But that came out and right away we’re perplexing to fool around catch-up. (sic)”

Martinez and the Archdiocese have been remarkably more coherent in their efforts to rush their project by Santa Fe County Planning and Zoning officials: a plan to short-circuit community resistance that was itself short circuited when the AP piece broke in December (2011). Gil and Nidia Martinez have launched a non-profit organization, Los Niños Foundation, to help raise the money for the retreat. As of last report, standard checklist items like filing for a grave application on the Archdiocese site, had only just been initiated.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION: The El Santuario chapel is listed in the State Registry of Historic Properties and the Federal Registry of National Historic Landmarks, which obligates the State of New Mexico to perform as the executor of specified governances regarding use and restrictions on modifications. Those opposing the developments are banking on those restrictive covenants.

"The reason is to give Santa Fe County time to develop a preservation plan, especially for the Plaza of Potrero, because we need protection of its fragile nature," says businessman Bal. "We're losing ambiance, we're losing its religiosity."

Chimayo's backbone, when it comes to preserving the integrity of this special place, so renowned for its spiritual vibe that some devotees visit annually for its renewing qualities, have been in evidence for a long time. In the 1980s, the hamlet refused to allow filmmaker Robert Redford to film the Milagro Beanfield War in the area because locals didn't want the commotion that such a production would have brought to Chimayo.

There is now an "Occupy Española" page on Facebook.

The "Friends of El Santuario" have organized a letter-writing-and-email campaign to raise awareness of public opposition to the planned developments in the El Santuario area. Their statement demanding the halt of approvals for the projects, and a list of persons to contact to register opposition to the development plans are listed below.

We, the residents of Chimayo, El Potrero Plaza (next to El Santuario), and anyone sensitive to the sanctity of El Santuario de Chimayo, ask the Santa Fe County Commissioners to halt  approval of all applications for zoning changes and for new construction near El Santuario. We further request Santa Fe County to help our community adopt a comprehensive plan to protect and preserve the residential nature and the historic integrity of the nationally beloved El Santuario de Chimayo.


Santa Fe County Commissioners:  

 Daniel Mayfield, County Commissioner
505) 986-6200

 Juan Rios, Constituent Services Liaison
(505) 986-6328

 Jose Larranaga
Commercial Development, Zoning Statements, Liquor Licenses, Cell Towers
(505) 986-6296

 Virginia Vigil, County Commissioner
Kathy Holian, County Commissioner 

Liz Stefanics, County Commissioner  

 Robert A. Anaya, County Commissioner


Jan V. Biella, RPA
Interim New Mexico State Historic Preservation Officer

Historic Preservation Division505-827-4045
email: jan.biella@state.nm.us

The Spanish Colonial Arts Society

Rick Hendricks
State Historian

Gary Romero
Director of National Hispanic Cultural Center
gary.romero@state.nm. Us


 The Santa Fe New Mexican

 The Rio Grande Sun

 Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe Reporter


KRQE Television January 28, 2012 Story on the Controversy 


To understand the controversy in Chimayo, which at its most basic is a real estate development issue, one must really read the piece below from the New Mexico History.org.

It is a spectacular account of a healing belief associated with the El Santuario site, and a native people's devotion to a crucified Jesus who looked a lot like them.  This is the story of a "Mecca" that annually attracts thousands of pilgrims, including processions on foot from Santa Fe, more than 25 miles away.

New Mexico History:
El Santuario Story

EDITOR'S NOTE: The text below comes from New Mexico History.org and has been edited for this article to provide basic background for the Chimayo story. Read the entire description by using this link.

Following in a long tradition of miraculous shrines in Mexico and Spain, it is no doubt the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States. As many as 300,000 pilgrims visit the shrine every year, approximately 30,000 during Holy Week alone. There is no formal founding date for the settlement of Chimayó, but Tewa Indians had long lived in the area before the Hispanic settlements were established. At least 33 prehistoric sites have been documented along the Santa Cruz River and its tributaries which include the Chimayó area. In 1695 Diego de Vargas attempted to re-settle Tewa-speaking Tano Indians at “Zimayo,” but they refused to take up this new settlement. After the Reconquest in 1696, the returning and newly arrived Hispanic families at Santa Cruz de la Cañada began to spread out along the river and its tributaries, and the lush area known as El Potrero (The Pasture), the future site of El Santuario, soon attracted settlers. The first formal community was nearby Plaza del Cerro (its chapel dedicated to San Buenaventura), which was established by 1751.

By 1805 if not earlier, devotion to a miraculous Guatemalan image of Christ crucified known as Our Lord of Esquipulas (Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas) had become popular at El Potrero. In that year a child was christened with the name Juan de Esquipulas by Fray Sebastián Alvarez, the resident Franciscan friar at Santa Cruz de la Cañada. In 1813 Bernardo Abeyta (uncle of the child so christened) petitioned in the name of the residents of El Potrero to the same Fray Sebastián for permission to build a chapel dedicated to Our Lord of Esquipulas, who had already been honored since 1810 in a small chapel of the Abeyta family. Fray Sebastián wrote in support of Abeyta’s petition in 1813 that people had been coming to Abeyta’s chapel for some time to “give praise to the sovereign Redeemer” and “to relieve their ailments.” He also stated the location and name of the new chapel “at the said plaza or Rancho del Potrero, which is called El Santuario de Esquipulas.” By 1816 the Potrero chapel was completed and its elegant carved door, still to be seen today, was made by carpenter Pedro Domíngez at the expense of Fray José Corea, the resident friar at Santa Cruz, who had succeeded Alvarez.

Devotion to Our Lord of Esquipulas originated at an early colonial shrine in Guatemala where the earth itself was said to be effective in curing illnesses. This miraculous statue of Christ is attached to a “living” cross, painted green and sprouting leaves and branches, symbolic of its healing and life-giving qualities. At both the shrine in Guatemala and at El Santuario pilgrims come from distant places to be healed, and there has been much speculation concerning the way in which the devotion to the miraculous image and the healing earth of such an apparently remote shrine in Guatamala came to be transplanted to New Mexico.

It appears that devotion to this dark-complected image of Christ crucified was spread through Mexico primarily by Franciscan friars.

The original miraculous statue of Our Lord of Esquipulas was popular with the Indians in Guatemala, in part because of the dark complexion of the face of Christ, and it is not surprising that the image at El Santuario was also popular with Pueblo Indians in New Mexico. The site of Santuario was said by the Tewas to have originally been a hot springs which eventually dried up leaving the healing earth. This healing earth had long been known and used by the Tewas prior to the Spanish occupation of the Santa Cruz valley. The name Chimayó derives from the Tewa words Tsi Mayoh, meaning “Hill of the East.” This hill rises just above Chimayó and is a prominent landmark seen from all directions. According to Alfonso Ortiz, it was one of the four sacred hills in the Tewa cosmology. In historic times both Indians and Hispanos have traditionally been pilgrims to El Santuario, and they have parallel stories concerning the miraculous origin of the statue of Our Lord of Esquipulas. Like many similar images of superhuman origin in Mexico and in Spain, the statue was said to have been miraculously discovered by some one at the future site of the El Santuario (Bernardo Abeyta is the discoverer in some local Hispano versions) and taken to Santa Cruz (or to Santa Fe) to the priest, but it inexplicably returned to El Potrero. After this happened several times, it was clear that Our Lord wanted to stay at this place, and therefore the church was built.

Bernardo Abeyta died in 1856 and was buried with ecclesiastical permission in El Santuario. At about the same time another chapel was built in El Potrero just a short distance away from El Santuario. Built by Severiano Medina, this chapel was dedicated to the Santo Niño de Atocha, a very popular miraculous image from Fresnillo, Zacatecas. According to family tradition, Medina built the chapel as a promesa because the Santo Niño had cured him from severe rheumatism. The cult of the Santo Niño de Atocha became especially important in northern Mexico and New Mexico after the 1820s. Many images of him, both paintings and sculpture, were created by local santeros in New Mexico in this period, and the name Atocha starts to frequently appear in baptismal records. This second chapel was soon incorporated into the local Catholic observances, and the Santo Niño became associated with the healing earth at the Santuario, where a statue of him also appeared, to some degree replacing in importance Our Lord of Esquipulas.

The church structure, completed in 1816, is unusual for having two additional rooms forming a sort of enlarged vestibule before entering the nave. These rooms were part of the original structure or added shortly thereafter. They are noted in an 1818 inventory, which also lists large quantities of local woven goods and other items stored in these rooms, most likely for the purpose of selling them to pilgrims and itinerant traders. Pilgrimage sites have traditionally combined piety with commerce. Large trading fairs in colonial Mexico were held annually at such miraculous shrines as Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos in Jalisco, where many New Mexicans traveled every year, so it is not surprising that El Santuario would also have a commercial aspect to it.

Its spiritual aspects also replicate those of Mexican pilgrimage shrines. The nave of the church is decorated with remarkable examples of nineteenth-century religious folk art, including altarscreens by José Rafael Aragón, José Aragón, Molleno, and other santeros. Behind the altar the miraculous statue of Our Lord of Esquipulas commands the attention of every pilgrim, before he or she enters the room containing the healing earth. On the left side of the nave near the altar are two separate rooms. In one the walls are covered with a multitude of expressions of thanks for the cure of ailments, including some pictorial images similar to the ex-votos paintings found at Mexican shrines, and the other small room contains the posito, a small circular hole in the ground in which is found the healing earth.

El Santuario remained in the ownership of the descendants of Bernardo Abeyta until 1929 when the Spanish Colonial Arts Society in Santa Fe, headed by writer Mary Austin, artist Frank Applegate and architect/preservationist John Gaw Meem, purchased it from the family and donated it to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Today El Santuario continues to be an important spiritual center, attracting pilgrims from all over the Southwest and elsewhere through the entire year. During Holy Week every year thousands of pilgrims walk to El Santuario from Santa Fe and other starting points.

From the El Santuario de Chimayo Website:

"Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass.
God does not change.
Patience achieves everything.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices."

- Saint Teresa of Avila


Was the Story an Intended Plant Rather than a Leak As Reported?

Editor's Note: It has been reported as a "leak", but a source who shall remain anonymous has commented that this is incorrect. That source says, "The claim that the story was leaked is bogus - the same AP writer did a profile story on the Santuario which ran, I think, November 30 or Dec. 1 in the Albuquerque Journal. This was a clear publicity campaign for the fundraising effort - which may have indeed misfired, but was definitely not a leak as claimed."

Use this link to read the original AP account.



The founders of Los Niños Foundation have organized a public meeting for February 8, 2012 to allow public viewpoints regarding the retreat to be voiced. The invitation is shown below:


Updated 12812





©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), March, 2012

YOU ARE ON A Revolution Culture Journal.com SPECIAL FEATURES PAGE