Who is a role model of Vigilance for 2002?   Who is standing up against Terrorism despite a world that wants to negotiate peace with a snake?   Who has said America will hunt Terrorism to all four corners of the earth, and not rest until the last nest is clean of Terrorism's vermin?   What or who is the most newsworthy event of 2002 to you?   Is it two women who blew the whistle on Big Corporations pumping up false numbers on a balance sheet?  Is it an F.B.I. agent who went before Congress and said the government is all screwed up and didn't listen to her?    When Time Magazine picks a Person or Man of the Year, should it be an example to the children of the virtues of telling the world what they already know--that government is a maze of confusion and auditors in big business lie, and have always lied?   Or, should we forget our private social, political and moral agendas and pick the Person of the Year based solely on how much ink they create?   You be the judge.


Tuesday--December 24, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 468
When Rats Squeal

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 24--A lot of people looking at the cover of this week's Time Magazine's Persons Of The Year see three rats rather than heroes with their arms crossed glaring out from a dark black background.   Some say the picture is triumvirate of emasculators, a triad of women bent on castrating a male dominated world of inept business and law enforcement.
      Some just call them "Feminine Rats!"

 Whistleblowers: Cynthia Cooper,WorldCom; Coleen Rowley, the FBI; Sherron Watkins, Enron.

      I was in the deli getting Ben & Jerry's ice cream for dessert when the cover of Time leapt off the magazine rack and assaulted me.   The black eyes of the three women picked by Time Magazine for their politically correct "Persons Of The Year" award stunned me.   The three looked like nuns of yore out of uniform, unsmiling, stern, priggish, frustrated feminists standing guard over the vice-held testicles of Big Corporate Business and the FBI, daring anyone to challenge their right or authority to eviscerate the wrongs of the "boys."
      All three are whistleblowers.
      All three have been given hero status as the most important "persons" of the year by Time Magazine.   They rise above Nobel Prize winner Jimmy Carter, frustrated Terrorist-Terminator President George Bush, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, nearly defrocked Cardinal Law, Yasser Arafat, and Eminem.
       I was in a state of shock.

        I came home and asked my wife if she had seen the cover.  She said no  It was sitting on our couch.  I asked her to tell me her opinion of it--gut reaction--without reading anything.   She looked at it for a minute and then said:  "I don't think it's right.   While the women might have done something important, it means that there's nothing more important in this country than blowing the whistle on others.  It means our country is sick, and the message to our children and grandchildren is that the top person in the world is the one who tells on others, even if they're right.  It tells the children there are no heroes left, only scum, and those who rat out the scum.   I think it's terrible.  It's terrible to think there's no one more deserving for the cover of Time.  There are no heroes left."
       If there ever was a feminist in waiting, it is my wife.  She grew up unable to play any sports in the small town of East Helena, Montana.  She resented the boys getting to play and the girls having to watch.   She had two brothers who wouldn't let their baby sister play the "boys" games.   Her father discouraged her from being an engineer because it was a "man's job," and guided her to the medical field where she became a microbiologist.
       In retaliation, she raised her two children, with my encouragement and support, to be whomever they wanted to be.   Our daughters excelled in sports, were leaders in school and the community, and chose their destiny without parental provocation or steering.  One is a Left Wing peace advocate who recently was graduated from the New York Union Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity, has three children and works with the homeless in New York City.  All while constantly protesting the disenfranchisement and marginalization of society's underdogs.   Our other daughter is a Right Wing Conservative and a federal special agent who works undercover in New York City and carries two 9mm's.  Both are as politically and socially opposite as one can imagine, and yet great friends and sisters despite their chosen forks in destiny's road.
        Therefore, I would give my wife's opinion great credibility for I was flabbergasted, rendered speechless and dazed by the logic of Time's choice of the three WhistleBlowers--Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, Coleen Rowley of the F.B.I and Sherron Watkins Of Enron--as role models of leadership in 2002.

WhistleBlowers in Group Share

      Back in 1927, Henry Luce, the founder of Time Magazine, decided to launch the "Man of the Year" for his fledgling newsmagazine by splashing Charles Lindbergh's picture on the cover.    The criterion was simple--for better or worse, whomever had the most influence on the events of the preceding year won the post position--the prized cover of Time.
        Not all were heroes or symbols of greatness.   Adolph Hitler anointed the cover as did Joseph Stalin.  More recently, Ayatollah Khomeini made the cover.   Each had enormous impact on the course of history and reflected news judgment not a seal of approval.   Women were not excluded from consideration or appointment to the cover.   In 1936 Mrs. Wallis Warfield Simpson was the first women to win the page when King Edward VIII abdicated his throne to marry her.  American Women took charge of the page in 1975 as the feminine revolt rose to its height, and Mme Chiang Kai-Shek and her husband were Couple of the Year in 1937.   Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt (three time honoree) have been posted on the cover, in juxtaposition with the Machine of the Year in 1982 (the computer), and in 1966 a whole generation was selected for the "Twenty-Five And Under" cover.

Praising the WhistleBlowers

       In 2002, however, we hold the torch to three whistleblowers.    We elevate them as being the most important newsworthy people of a year in which Constitution of the United State is under major assault by the Patriot Act, and we stand on the cusp of war against Iraq as America posits itself as the Sheriff of Vigilance against a world reluctant to appoint any one nation to stand face-to-face and belly-to-belly with Terrorism.
       Let's not forget that North Korea stepped up to the plate and admitted it had nuclear weapons this year, or that for years it has held Japanese citizens prisoners to teach North Koreans how to spy on Japan.
       The huge reorganization of America's central government to a state of Terror Alert where a reshuffling of our government's national defense policy is undergoing the most major change in nearly half a century pales in comparison to whistleblowing.  Or, for that matter, the ravaging of the Catholic Church's sexual scandals that resulted in the most powerful U.S. Cardinal abdicating his throne of power to the Pope.  None of those issues stand up to whistleblowing as the single most newsworthy item of the year.

       Ferreting out Corporate and F.B.I. rat nests seems to be the most important signal of news value for the year.  And, strangely, the Orkin-Man is really an Orkin Woman.  Or, Women, that is.
       I would have been happier had the cover illustrated the women dressed in Orkin white shirts, bow ties and hats, with a canister of "rat spray" in their hands.  I even went so far as to imagine a conversation with my four-year-old granddaughter, Sarah, regarding how she can earn her way onto the cover of Time.

A Proposed Conversation With My Granddaughter On How To
Prepare For Winning A Spot On Time Magazine's Cover, 2030.

     "Sarah, first rule--don't grow up to be like your mommy, a social activist willing to risk her life in Central America to defend villagers from being murdered for opposing the government.  Second rule: don't be like your sister's sister, your Auntie E,  and hunt down the bad guys who threaten your safety and security, and that of all your friends.  
     "No.  Be like the ladies on the cover of Time Magazine and go to work for a bunch of men who are really nasty people who like to take advantage of others by neglecting laws and regulations or the opinion of women. 
      "Keep really good files on them.  Keep a black book with all their indiscretions in it.  Paper trails mean a lot when you are testifying to Congress.
      "Rule Three is about timing.  Pick the time carefully to rat on your associates.  When the time is ripe, stand up and tell everyone what scum bags they are and make sure you stand just right in the spotlight so it hits the back of your hair and backlights it so you create a halo like effect around your face.  And fold your arms when you talk and tell others how no one would listen to you and how you are pure and innocent and they are vile and corrupt.  Be sure and isolate yourself from them so your virtues illuminate your purity, your virginity, while they appear to be the lowest scum, the most vile of the bile. 
       "Remember, Sarah, the more you can stand above them the lower they will appear in perspective.   I know.  I'm a man.  Men always look smaller when a woman has a rolling pin in her hand.
       "And be sure and cry a lot as though you were afraid of them.  That will make people feel how Terrorized you were to step forward into the light.  Make it appear you were enslaved in their midst, kind of like you were shackled by a ball and chain all those years and they treated you like dirt .  
       "And don't tell them--ever, ever, ever, ever--that any man might have agreed with you, or that others just like you felt the same way, or maybe even helped you stand up to them.  You want to appear to be Wonder Woman or Joan of Arc or Mother Theresa when you step forward.  You want to be the Saint among Sinners, the Good in the Garden of Evil.  If someone asks why you didn't stand up inside the company or organization for change, break into tears."     
       "Keep you pure image close to your chest so generations upon generations will look at you as a victim who finally broke the bonds of servitude.  The more pure you appear, the less chances you have critics will call you a rat fink or a snitch or a mere whistle blower for what you did.  
       "Rule Four.   Allies.  Allies help. If you can, wait until another woman or two have stepped forward, and then try to align yourself with them.  Try to time your castration and evisceration of the man's world so that it appears the gods above are smiling down on you and all other women.  Try, in a subtle way, to raise your Sword of Vigilance as Joan of Arc did--despite the men who stood in her way.   Don't be afraid.  Stand out of the madding, testosterone rich crowd and hail the Truth as though everyone on earth but you denied it.  
       "Keep your act as pure looking as possible. You want to leave no scent you're doing what you do out of spite, resentment, anger or any of those emotions men charge that afflict a woman's thinking.  Be cunning.  Set the bait and trap cautiously.  Wait for the stupid wolf to walk into it.  And when his testicles dangle over its steel jaws, set off the trap and listen to the sweet sound of his howl.  
      "Yes, dear granddaughter, do all these things and, you'll have become full, rich, woman.   You'll be a hero.  You'll earn the cover of Time Magazine."

       Now, some might say the above conversation is a little harsh.  Perhaps even outrageously prejudiced.  For those critics, let me send you back to the cover of Time.  Stare at it.  Stare at it for a full minute, and then, for another minute.   Let the eyes of the women pierce you.  Let the backlighting of their hair radiate the halo.   Let their folded arms message your intuition.  Study the lack of emotion on their faces.  Imagine what the photographer is saying to them to get them to look like that.   Look at their eyes.  Look.  Look again and again.  Are these women who have been raped?  Pillaged?  Plundered?  Or, are they innocent bystanders reporting a crime, Good Samaritans who happened by a crime scene?  Look deep.  Look for the message not the massage.

        Imagine posting this picture on your granddaughter's bedroom wall as someone to aspire to be like.  Imagine it on your daughter's wall.  Aren't these women TerrorHunters?   Don't they look like they have their stiletto heels speared into the groin of the Beast of Terror who is writhing on the floor just out of camera sight?
         America, the richest most powerful nation in the world, the only nation who has stood up to Terrorism around the world and shouted:  "We're going to hunt you down, where ever you are, and we're going to roust you out of hiding and flush you in the open and cut off your tentacles, and your head and cast you in a thousand pieces to the winds so that your body will be spread to all four corners of the earth and find it hard to rejoin," has taken a second seat to whistleblowers. Tattletales.  Frustrated executives and employees who in retaliation to being rejected as leaders in their respective fields, elected to step into the Joan of Arc spotlight and point their fingers and say:  "See, I told them so.  But they wouldn't listen.  See, I was right and they were wrong."

     Is this the most newsworthy model for America's leading news magazine to issue to a world on the verge of war, a world riddled with Terrorism cancer cells spidering outward in countless countries, plotting and planning the infection of societies that they have targeted as corrupt, vile examples of capitalistic moral degeneration?
      I know a few groups who have blown up the cover of Time Magazine and have it pasted, if not wallpapering, the walls of their caves and bunkers.
      The Osama bin Laden's and Saddam Hussein's, and all the other Western Culture haters, those who oppose capitalism as being a source of evil and who view Big Business and the F.B.I and CIA as power mongers out to enslave their countries and corrupt their morals and ethics--these are the ones who have bought thousands of copies of the magazine and glue them to the foreheads of their Terror Training Drill Instructors.
       The WhistleBlowers are fuel for Terrorism's fires of hate.
       They reinforce the corruptness of American law enforcement and business.   They magnify the suicide bombers righteousness to attack America and Western culture because these three mothers, these three innocent women could no longer stand the horrors of America's moral cancer.   They have been recognized as the New Moral Leadership.   Time Magazine has done that.

WhistleBlowers in Group Share

       The marrow of America is corrupt, were it not, Time would have picked some puppet like George Bush for the cover, or, perhaps Saddam Hussein for his flagrant acts of refusal to bend to the will of the West.   But there was something far more insidious at play, and Time recognized it.   It was the ability of the women to face firing squads, torture, disembowelment to step forward and spill the beans.
        I suppose I could turn my head and ignore this issue as so many people do, or, I could blindly accept the fact that Time Magazine knows more about the world than I do.
       But I respect my wife's opinion.
       I respect my children's opinion.
       And I respect my granddaughter's right to see things as they are, not as we would like them to be. 

       When Time put Stalin or Hitler or Khomeini on the cover as Man Of The Year, those were acts of Vigilance.  It took a great deal of Courage in the face of Fear, Conviction against waves of Intimidation, and Right Actions versus the Complacency for the editors to put unpopular symbols on the cover of its magazine, and then tell the world why they were chosen.
       I can't forget that this year's Nobel Prize went to Jimmy Carter, and in the citation was a comment against George Bush, a suggestion that the prize was given to Carter as an insult against Bush than as an accolade for Carter's works over the past year.
        I feel similarly about Time's cover.  
        I have this queasy feeling the Time is retaliating against George Bush rather than promoting whistleblowing as the most important story of the year.   I also get a feeling the photographer who took the picture on the cover is telling the three women, "Imagine you ratted on George Bush.  Imagine you found out he's been cheating on America.   Think of that, ladies.  Yes.  That's good.  That's very good."


Dec. 23--Fighting Terrorism's Terrorism At Local Government Levels

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