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



Volume 1-2012                                                           


Lunar Eclipse 2010



Solar Flare (NASA)

2013: NASA anticipates large solar flares, possibly as large as the 1859 flares that fried telegraph lines throughout the U.S. and Europe




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.
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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).
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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.
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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.
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Posted June 4, 2011

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Posted  September 16, 2010




Posted  January 13, 2010



Posted November 4, 2009




Posted September 8, 2009

Weird Healthfellows

The "Greatest" Meets the "Me" Generation

Watching the turnout for the public meetings being held by elected officials to discuss the health care initiative, one can’t help but be struck by the plurality of right-wing dufus types (see the NPR picture at right) and senior citizens at these “rallies”. Is anyone else showing up? These gatherings appear to be septuagenarian support groups for aging aunts and uncles chaperoned by NRA card holders. And, of course, grandma and grandpa are there, if only in spirit, having gotten the word that supporters of “the public option” want them all to just die.

Some of us may also be struck by the disproportionate representation of Republicans at these public meetings. Conservative Republicanism and old age go together, an observation supported recently by metrics showing that the core audience for Rush Limbaugh’s radio show and the Fox News Channel is 67 years of age. Perhaps it should be no surprise, as these "dinosaurs" approach the edges of their personal tar pits, that they are susceptible to the fear mongering that is the standard fare of right wing demagoguery.

The thing that really hits me though, watching these televised debacles, is the abundance of irony represented by the resistance of seniors who don’t trust the government to run health care, though in so many ways so many of them owe their very lives to the government they apparently now disdain.

This, after all, is in part Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation”, the people who saved the world from Adolph Hitler. These are the people, we are told, who sacrificed unselfishly so that we could have the America we know today.

But then that is part of the problem, isn’t it?

The America of today is a nation in decline following a successful decades-long campaign by right-wing economists and influential business leaders to remove government oversight from all aspects of our lives (through deregulation, including actions like the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act). This, not surprisingly, was accompanied by an overwhelming revolution in consumerism that washed the decks of public responsibility and gave the thumbs up to conspicuous consumption, even among the lower income groups (see Walmart).

The result is that progressive policy makers, and fewer and fewer even exist, are now confronted by the conservative wrath in force at the health care meetings today, which come in the form of a most confounding beast, a two-headed creature:

  • One, the senior population, that survived the inappropriately named "Great Depression" and then prospered largely due to progressive public policy (and world war) and now fear that the benefits they accrued will be taken from them, and

  • Two, the Baby Boomers who were nurtured at the teat of the aforementioned "Greatest Generation" and supplied with easy credit on which to build their "me empires" and now fear a reduction in their capacity for prospering under the weight of imposed public responsibility

THE GREATEST GENERATION: The generation that birthed the Baby Boomers was a humble and grateful lot, the original "Grateful Dead" in so many ways. Without the benefit of broad media and under the influence of monopolized political communications (like the Hearst publications syndicate), they appreciated the Works Projects Administration opportunities of the 1930s and they showed up ready to go when Uncle Sam told them they were needed for service to country abroad in World War II. Through their blood, sweat and tears, to borrow a cliché, they made history by turning back hostile international adversaries fore and aft and bringing about an industrial revolution here at home. It followed that they were molded into a generation that placed the greatest emphasis on shared sacrifice and compliance to social norms.

Here, as it happened, was the open wound that allowed the infection of "unenlightened politics" to establish itself and fester. Returning from the war abroad, Americans melded comfortably into the new "age of tomorrow", with its creature comforts and vast and ready resources. The GI Bill helped a generation of veterans gain educations that had previously been unimaginable for the working class, and it also allowed them to buy starter homes at low prices and at low interest rates, often for no money down. The accumulation of societal wealth that followed was “the American Century” made personal. And then it got better. Medicare took some basic health care burdens from the shoulders of people 65 and older, providing a guaranteed level of service to meet the needs of seniors who are by far the greatest users of health care. The Greatest Generation “sold out”, to use the jargon of their children’s generation; “sold their souls to the devil”. That was the smart bet, the expectation, the norm, and if you could fit in through employment with some mega-corporation, all the more impressive. The thing is, over time those norms and living denials became more and more corrosive to justice until corruption swelled throughout the U.S. economy and the U.S. way of doing business became more and more predatory. In the course of gathering our shells and protecting our gains, we ignored the ramifications of what was being created.

THE ME GENERATION: The generation that I belong to, the Baby Boomers, the "Me Generation", was always disconnected from government and at ironic odds with our parent's generation. This is part of what makes the current health care debate so convoluted, with its polarized parties and its convergence of seniors and right-leaning Baby Boomers.

My generation is one that has not developed much of a relationship with public or moral responsibility. The greatest societal events of our lives have largely been repugnantly negative, from the political assassinations of the '60s and the Viet Nam War, with its conscriptions and high body counts, through the corruptions in the Executive Branch of government associated with Watergate, through the dismally pain-indexed Carter Administration, and right on into the "greed is good" excesses of the Reagan years and beyond.

The steadily dissolving standards of American decency, and the watering down of American democracy through such things as media conglomeration, have rewarded the aggressively amoral among us until finally the U.S. has come to feel like a cage match, where the worst thugs prevail. The big winners are Ed Zander of Motorola, Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae, Gary Pruitt of McClatchy Co., Gerry Levin of Time Warner, Chuck Prince of CitiGroup, Bob Nardelli of Home Depot and Chrysler, Stan O'Neal of Merrill Lynch, Dick Fuld of Lehman Brothers, Kerry Kellinger of Washington Mutual, Rick Wagoner of General Motors, Gary Forsee of Sprint Nextel Corporation, Ken Lay of Enron, Bernie Ebbers of Worldcom, Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth, Angelo Mozilo of Countrywide Financial, Al Dunlap of Sunbeam Corp, Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns, John Sculley of Apple, Martin Sullivan of AIG, Larry Ellison of Oracle, John Chambers of Cisco Systems, and of course the redoubtable Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, and Howard Stern, all figureheads of importantly errant money machines.

Down at the street level, all of that mendacity translates into an ethos that says "there is where I want to be so get the hell out of my way", because why not? The alternative is compliance with the new social norm, which is slavery to revolving credit and the financing of unredeemable debt. There is a better alternative, all one needs to do is keep the government out of one's pocket.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL DRAWBRIDGE: The "Get Out of Jail Free" pass for both of these polar opposites is the same, which is their avowed allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, a document that doubtless few have read. We Americans are an odd lot in that way. The other document that holds us safe from any point of view that might vary from our own is the Holy Bible, specifically the New Testament.

The point of view argued by many of those who don't wish for health care to become a universal right in the U.S. is that it is not provided for in the Constitution or any of its Amendments. That, of course, is open to interpretation as the documents we choose to cite usually are. The Preamble to the Constitution states specifically that the idea of the thing was "...to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity...", which I think could be argued as grounds for almost anything, depending upon one's definitions of perfect union, justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, blessed liberties and posterity.

One could, for instance, translate the pro health care position into this statement:

"So that I may feel more comfortable hanging out with my fellow Americans, I am going to provide just access to health care services as a matter of maintaining the quality of life in our neighborhoods, ensuring against civil unrest related to inadequate service delivery and establishing commitment to community as a standard to which future generations must be measured."

Or, one could use the same Preamble text to argue against universal health care, or gun control, or anything else that makes sense. To wit:

"So that I may feel more comfortable hanging out with fellow Americans who have earned our right to domestic tranquility and a perfect union, which excludes the right of any party to intrude upon my privilege of liberty, I am committed to seeing that justice is done to those who threaten our way of life, to providing a common defense against all adversaries, and to protecting our general welfare for the purpose of ensuring our continued existence."

It really just comes down to a matter of how mean you wish to be in the exploitation of our "sacred text". And by the way, the Constitution was not handed down to us by supreme beings, as the radically devoted may imagine. These are the same people, I suspect, who journey to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, which presents exhibits based on a literal reading of The Book of Genesis mixed in with a healthy dollop of Hanna-Barbara.

The Constitution was a compromise document that roughly half of the Constitutional Congress, convened in 1787, didn't even want to bring into existence. They already had the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union in place, which had been more than sufficient in the eyes of those state leaders who, over the brief existence of the country, had carved out some wonderful kingdoms which they were prepared to rule into perpetuity.

You never hear these modern day devotees of the U.S. Constitution go on about the Articles of Confederation as if they were sacred text, though back in 1787 when the Congress convened they were under the impression that they were amending the Articles, not drafting a new foundation document. After all, the Articles had created a "Perpetual Union" with language that it could never be abrogated by any subsequent writing. But it was.

In fact, the framers of the "new" Constitution, primarily Virginians led by James Madison, were all about tossing out a flawed framework that gave way too much power to men who represented only a few (the Rhode Island leadership, for instance) and gave way too little power to states with large populations (i.e., Virginia). The long, hot Philadelphia summer of 1787 was a miserable exercise in the kind of politics that "democracy" has become noted for, which equates to obfuscation of ideas, demagoguery, purposeful delay, filibustering, threats of walkout and worse. The squabbling was so great that occasionally the leadership would have "the ancient" 81-year old Benjamin Franklin carried in on a chair to listen to the debate and act as a mediating influence, a wiser head. General George Washington, who was preordained to become the first President of the United States based on his leadership in the Revolutionary War, did not attend the day to day shouting matches, but showed up only on rare occasions to act as the adult in the room. Thomas Jefferson took the entire fiasco in from abroad, France to be specific. In the end, the document that the founders produced, the Constitution of the United States of America, was hardly more than a procedural manual that defined the branches of government, how elected officials would come to exist, and how the basic machinery of it all would work.

What it did not do was offer any specifics regarding the standard of our national character. The great statements of purpose are all marketing fluff useful only inasmuch as it fosters the kind of policy debates we still have going on today, 200-plus years later. The details started to be added through the Amendments, which themselves are among the most ambiguously worded codicils in the history of legalese (e.g., the much quoted 2nd Amendment, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." We are still trying to figure out what that historically awful sentence must have been intended to mean, and in the vacuum of clear direction we have granted to individuals the right to bear arms.) And, of course, the Amendments themselves have sometimes been devised to overrule previous amendments (the 18th and the 21st, regarding Prohibition).

The point is, the Constitution in all of its fuzziness is simply the draw bridge that is retracted when those of us who have assets to protect wish to insulate ourselves from the encroachments of those who don't as well as those government officials who may wish to engage an unwanted authority.

MORAL GUIDELINES: What we don't really have in the U.S. is anything in the way of moral guidelines. We have nothing that really defines our national character, because discussing our differences as individuals has been too painful to ever yield anything in the way of a shared national way of thinking. If you ask most Americans what would best describe our "American character" it would not doubt be some individual characteristic, like rugged individualism, self reliance, or fierce independence. This is both beside the point and the point itself.

We may all be rough, rugged, fearless freedom fighters, and whatever self-puffery feels good to us in the way of self descriptions, but we are all still living together in a community in which resources are shared and expenses and burdens are interrelated.

Maybe we need an old man, like Benjamin Franklin, to be carried in on a chair to remind us all that we are eventually going to have to grow up and make some serious commitments to the continuance of our society, before the denials, the high-flown philosophical positions, and the demagoguery render us so sick that the nation's health cannot be sustained. - RAR




©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), January, 2012