"All the news that's fit to print about fighting Terrorism with Vigilance!"



Cliff McKenzie, Editor

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1335 DAY--New York, NY, Monday, May 9, 2005--Time can be terrible. Ask the Russians. Ask me.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and US President George W. Bush after their meeting at Putin's Presidential Residence near Moscow

Russia is big in the news these days. The celebration of the end of WWII some six decades ago is stirring the history pot.

The History Channel has been glutted with how the Russians raped tens of thousands of German women and slaughtered countless soldiers and civilians when they invaded the country and tried to repair through revenge up to 28 million deaths(see total WWII casualty list) of their own people fighting the assault of Nazi Germany against their country.

American President George Bush is spattered all over the news kissing up to his cohort, Russian President Vladimir Putin. America and Russia were allies in WWII and split up Europe, half of it ending up in the dark and dismal cloak of communism and the other half flourishing under the gleaming light of capitalism.

Today, of course, Russia is trying to stand on its former empirical feet as a world force while its internal systems crumble back toward a draconian state of totalitarianism where leaders tell rather than ask the people what the best direction should be for future generations. The Russian's command of thousands of nuclear missiles left over from the Cold War remain their major bargaining chip. Certainly, their economy has no voice, for the ruble remains about as valuable as an American Lincoln penny.

Russia is undergoing great stress

But, the issue of Russia is not unlike the issue of myself, or any person or nation whose infrastructure doesn't keep in pace with its environment.

The world changes each minute. It's fresh and new on the one hand, and old and ancient on the other.

Terrorism is one example. For quote civilized unquoted nations, Terrorism seems like some new threat to the security of an individual, a family, a neighborhood, city, state and nation. America, for example, has shifted its entire national priorities just to fight Terrorism. Trillions of dollars are being poured into the defense of America from the "threat" of Terrorist attacks, and the barks and growls of politicians about the subject make it appear as though this "new danger" recently burst free of its evolutionary cocoon.

History, however, reminds us that Terrorism has been, is, and will be part of our every day lives just as ubiquitous as the air we breathe.

Look at the History Channel. Not too many decades ago, Nazi Terrorists ruled the world. The horror of the concentration camps and the ugly, vile belief in the aberrance send cold shudders through the "civilized" world. We fought to eliminate such horrid "Terrorism" and our major ally in that battle became the next Tyrant Terrorist.

Mother Russia, under such leaders as Stalin, took up where Hitler left off with gulags bulging with emaciated bodies of work slaves who were not much, if at all, better than any of the victims of the Holocaust.

Simultaneously, the Middle East was brewing its own form of Terrorism, and Africa was continuing a long tradition of homicide that thrives today. Of course, there was the Vietnam War thrown in and the unknown atrocities being meted out by the Chinese in a closed society about which few in the West have any comprehension. North Korea was sucking all the cash out of the people's pockets so its citizens could boil grass to eat at family gatherings while Americans gorged their kids on Burger King and McDonalds.

Terrorism isn't new or old. It is.

Terrorism isn't old or new......... It is

Imagine the difference, if any, between a parent in North Korea feeding his or her children boiled grass and an American mother or father stuffing fatty, non-nutritious Big Macs and fries down the gullets of their children, then taking them home and putting them in front of a television baby sitter full of violent cartoons, and dumping them off at a school where the teachers seek the lowest possible level of communication for fear of offending someone by suggesting they were "leaning disabled?"

Along this line, while America is championing its Great Society and bashing nations of the "underdeveloped" countries we're killing more than 20,000 people a year with drunk driving and maiming at least five times those deaths as collateral to the drunk driving deaths.

In American homes Parental Terrorists are beating their wives or husbands, abusing children physically, emotionally and sexually, or, the worst kind of Terrorism--sheer neglect.

History is all about the evolution of Terrorism and the battles civilization endures to checkmate it.

Life is too.

The other day I underwent a birthday. Behind me were many years of battling all various forms of Terrorism of the Self. Some of them I have checkmated, others still loom on the horizon.

The individual human being is no different than a nation, or all the sum of world history.

Daily, we face the battle between Terrorism of Self and Vigilance of Self.

We can choose to grow and evolve above our self-imposed Terrorism's by using the Tools of Vigilance or succumb to them. Our resignation to the Beast of Terror is to believe we will always "feel" the way we do in a negative sense against the incredible forces of our past that dictate we are "losers" or "failures" or "not-as-good-as," or "not-as-worthy-as," or that our "sins" have been so vast and deep that there is no "forgiveness," or that we "don't have the energy" to change, or, that no matter what we do or attempt to do in our life "nothing really changes" and therefore we might as well accept our "lot in life" and sit in our own piles of self-excreted shit.

Historians who harbor a Terroristic Viewpoint may look at the effort by America to install democracy in recalcitrant nations as nothing more than urinating into the face of a hurricane.

"Better solve the problems at home before we seek to plant the seeds of our own ills abroad," is the common refrain sung by those who see America's foreign policy efforts as nothing more than a diversion from our domestic warts.

But in a larger view, if America is willing to invest its efforts in stopping the Terrorism of Self abroad--which is what democracy is all about--then perhaps by stepping outside the "family circle" and promoting values we may have rejected because we think we "own them", those "old values" may suddenly be given new currency.

Democracy is all about "self-rule" in relation to the benefit of others. It is the practice of Vigilance, for Vigilance is about Courage, Conviction and doing the Right Things For Future Generations, i.e., the Children's Children's Children.

What separates Democracy from all other types of government is that ultimately its focus ends up on the owners of it, not those who allegedly granted it.

One cannot blame America for America's ills and claim to be member of its Democracy, for only those who live in a land ruled by totalitarian rule can point fingers at their leaders and blame them for the cracks and flaws in their way of life.

Democracy is about each of us being a Sentinel of Vigilance

Democracy is about each of us being a Sentinel of Vigilance regarding not our own rights solely, but rather the protection and preservation of future generational rights for all those who have yet to be born.

This incredible difference between ways of political life in the world is so blatantly ignored it makes one wonder why the "free press" even exists. If the press were free, it would extol the virtues of freedom in relation to our duty to protect it for future generations--our own and those of all children.

Time is neutral. History isn't cyclical. It is alive.

It is Vigilant.

If one looks over his or her shoulder, he or she has two choices. One is to look at the all the great lessons life has laid at his or her feet, or, to succumb to the Complacency of all the travails.

In other words, one can be victimized by the past and surrender to its manacles, or, one can use the wisdom of life's challenges and ask: "What Courage, Convictions and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children have I learned that I can apply to my self-governed life so that others may benefit from them?"

On my birthday...more than six decades of living...I faced those decisions. Would I see Time as a Terrorist or a Sentinel of Vigilance?

Simultaneously, the History Channel was broadcasting the history of human interaction to "modern" Terrorism. It was filled with scenes of the horrors of war. At the same moment, President Bush was jumping from one nation to another promoting the idea of self-government.

He was, in his own way, promoting the need for every individual to be a Sentinel of Vigilance.

At home, millions of Americans were passing judgment on all varied facets of their lives--were their lives Vigilant or Terrorist ones? In other words, were they happy, mad, sad or glad? Did life have reasons to live it with zest and vigor, or, was it mere drudgery, just another grain of sand in the narrow neck of an ancient hourglass where the only destination was the bottom of the pile?

I faced these questions.

After wallowing in the Terrorism of Self I ended up voting for the Vigilance of Self.

We must have a Vigilant Viewpoint for the Children's Children's Children

I began to realize that all battles of life are for the freedom of self to choose, but to choose not in relation to the self, but in terms of future generations.

If I feel hopeless and tired of fighting for my own rights because for whatever reason my "rights" seem to be constantly abused by circumstances, that only means I am looking far too close to home. If I am a real human being who is duty bound to leave this world just a little better for the children of the future, I must lift my head up out of the sand and look at the horizon and not at my feet. I must think in terms of what is right for the children and their children and their children--regardless of race, color, or creed--and then act in accordance with that grander, more Vigilant Viewpoint.

Then, the Terror of Time has no exchange value.

If I believe in history, I believe that the weight of collective human effort has inched forward over eons toward a world where each and every human being is treated with equal respect to his or her rights. This comes about over time because to arm a child with self-government means one must arm a child with the duty and responsibility to act in accord with the future, not just the present.

I must see through the eyes of the children

I must, therefore, see through the eyes of the children, and do what is right for the future.

That means, I must not surrender to the Terror of Time.




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