Article Overview:   Children carry with them an innocence that is far more powerful than any of the darkness the Beast of Terror shadows upon those who study his handiwork.    Children represent the hope of the future, and, if we don't communicate with them, we forget the Beast doesn't really rule this world.  Find out how the children cleanse the Beast of Terror--when you communicate with them.


Friday, February 6, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 877
How Children Wash Clean The Beast Of Terror

Cliff McKenzie

         GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Feb 6, 2004 -- Where do you go to escape the Beast of Terror these days?   My respite is my grandchildren.

The world teeters on its news axis

         This morning, as I do each day, I scoured the news, from the NY Times, to the Christian Science Monitor, to Al-Jazeera and ended up with Pravda.
          The world teeters on its news axis.   Or so it seems.   Here are some examples of today's headlines, all seeming to tilt humanity toward the jaws of the Beast.
          ►A suicide bomber blew up a carload of subway commuters in Russia.  
          ►Pakistan chided the nuclear scientist who helped Libya and North Korea refine their nuclear capabilities.
          ►Germany released a 9/11 suspect for lack of evidence, setting free one of the key people alleged to part of the planning the Terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
          ►A young girl, 11, caught on videotape being kidnapped, is feared dead.   Allegations that police did not issue an Amber (Terrorist) Alert for the first 24 hours, hangs ominously over the possibility of Complacency on law-enforcement's part.   The Amber Alert is designed to bring the entire community into a state of Vigilance to thwart kidnappings of children and/or recover those kidnapped.
          ►Then there was the expulsion of St. John University athletes after a woman accused them falsely of raping her.   The students were at a strip bar where they met the woman.
          ►And a Catholic Bishop is denying charges of sexual abuse against a child.

          If you took to heart the headlines, you would stop reading the news, and dismantle your television.   You would crawl into a shell.
          That's where my grandchildren come to my rescue.
          Battling Terrorism as I do each day means I must look into the Belly of the Beast and see what he ate last night, then try to design ways to help others fight their way out of his bloody gut.

Sometimes it feels the Beast swallowed me whole and I can't find my way out

        Sometimes, the Beast wins.   Sometimes, it feels like he swallowed me whole, and in the darkness of his entrails, I can't find my way out.    Terror News is a quagmire with nothing to provide firm footing to climb out except the belief that perhaps a few words here or there might find root in some mother's or father's mind, causing them to shift their priorities to being more Vigilant.
          That's what my grandchildren do for me.
          Yesterday, I picked up the grandkids from school.  Matt is seven and Sarah is 5.  My wife was at our daughter's apartment, watching Angus, 18 months.
          As we walked down the crowded streets of the East Village, Sarah stopped and gawked at an older woman just ahead of us.  She was limping badly.
          "G-Pa, that lady has a hurt leg!"   She studied the woman's game leg and awkward walk that seemed to crumble on one side as she picked her way slowly through the flowing bodies moving up and down the sidewalk.
          "She's hurt, G-Pa."

Sarah was a child of compassion

           I studied Sarah's face.   It was pained.   Children see the innocence of humanity, not its darkness.   The constrictions on Sarah's face illustrated her sharing of the woman's pain, as though she were trying to understand the agony of a limp that appeared to be a crippling of another being.
       "She hurt her leg a long time ago, Sarah," I said.   "She walks that way now."
        My explanation didn't seem to help.   Sarah glanced concernedly over her shoulder as we passed the lady.    To her, the woman was one of flock, wounded.    I thought of herd of animals moving through a savannah, and a young calf walking past an older animal with a wounded leg who limped and dragged, trying to maintain pace with the flow of the herd.    The calf couldn't understand why it didn't walk like the others, why it was falling back farther and farther where the danger exists, where lions and other carnivores await the weak and helpless.

My grandchildren and their parents are avid Star Trek fans

       I thought about child's compassion for other living creatures, human or non-human.   Children offer far different headlines than the papers or television.   They speak through their hearts; their emotions are free from the Beast, at least those who are brought up with Vigilance, caring and love.
        Matt, the seven-year-old, was rattling off his dreams to be a Starship commander.  He's a Star Trek Next Generation fan, and with his Legos, creates a host of magical phasers and star ships from different galaxies that would rival Gene Roddenberry's imagination.   He was urging me to join him when we got home in a battle against the Romulans, arch rivals of the Federation.   He wanted me to draw spaceships with him and to construct Lego weapons to detect intruders.

Next Generation's Captain Picard said he is opposed to sending human beings to colonize the universe: "Not until we have solved our problems of living together on earth"

        I thought of the recent article I read by Patrick Stewart, the star of Next Generation, who was being asked about the recent surge in renewing our search to explore space by landing a manned mission on Mars and setting up a base on the moon in the near future.   Stewart, who played Captain Picard, was adamantly against sending human beings to "colonize" the universe.   "Not until we have solved our problems of living together on earth," he admonished.
         But, I saw in Matt's imagination, the belief that human beings have hope in the stars.   His mind had opened a new frontier--the idea of reaching beyond the stars.    Perhaps one day, human beings will search their collective minds, and bring their best to surface, as is exampled in Star Trek's many versions.
        The children remind the old that there is hope in our vast universe, and that compassion for others isn't dead.
        Later that evening, I sat with Sarah and helped her with her reading.   She is on the cusp of learning the power of words printed on paper.    In the first grade, she is learning how to spell and to convert the black-and-white lithography into mental images she can cogitate.

I helped Sarah with her reading

       Our book was "Go, Dog. Go!"   I worked with Sarah on the phonetics of each word.   She sounded them out, exaggerating some so that the word was disguised to the ear.   Then I had her say the phonemes fast, so they compressed.  I coached her on a few sounds until she realized what the word was. 
       Her face beamed.  "Grrrrreen!"  She said.  "Green, G-Pa!"   
       "Perfect.  That's it!"
       We went through the entire book, working on the words and then the short, simple sentences.   Each time she conquered a word, her head straightened and she boasted out the word, triumphant that she now had a new power--to convert the black and white into recognizable thoughts.

I feared my granddaughter would be exposed to the Horror of Headlines

       In a way, I wondered if she wasn't leaving behind her innocence by learning to read.  While there are many benefits to reading, there are also deficits.  Soon, she would be able to read headlines.  She would be exposed to all the news "that's not really fit to print."  She would see inch-high banner headlines shouting out the murders, violence, crime and inhumanity that the world boils to the surface through its media.
       She would have to learn not to deny the world's good just because the headlines suggested the world was bad.   She would have to learn to see through the Beast of Terror and focus on the Sentinel of Vigilance standing behind the Beast, driving him away with a Sword and Shield of Vigilance.
       But, for the moment, she was enveloped in "Go Dog Go!"   And that was fine.  
       It was fine for me.   I was present for her, helping her, as her G-Ma does, and her parents' do, explore the vast potential of her mind.

Sarah was a Child of Innocence and my Sentinel of Vigilance

        She was my Sentinel of Vigilance.  She, and her brother, and the little guy Angus who has yet to connect sentences and words, were Children of Innocence.   They lived in a world where their every needs were met, both physical and emotional.    They were surrounded by grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins--all of whom formed a Womb of Vigilance, protecting one another from the assaults of the world, shielding them from the horrible continents of news of human violence and human disregard for humanity.
        I thought about the victims of Nine Eleven, those Spirits of Vigilance who rose above Ground Zero on the fateful day of September 11, 2001, and their purpose for sacrificing their lives.
       I realize their purpose is to remind us all to protect the children from Terrorism, in all its many forms.    Their deaths are monuments to our renewed responsibility to close the gap with our loved ones, whether they are our children, grandchildren, our nieces, nephews or simply loved ones who represent the precious and beautiful future of humanity.
       This includes the children in Iraq, North Korea, China, Pakistan, West Africa, South America--all children in all lands of all different shapes and sizes and backgrounds.
       It means we have to fight the threat of becoming sour on the future, illustrated by Patrick Stewart's comment.    If we give up the hope of exploring space, perhaps we give up the hope of cleaning up our own act on terra firma.  
       If I were to tell Matt that he shouldn't dream about exploring space until all the killing and maiming on earth is resolved, I would drive a nail into his heart.  I would kill his dreams.

The children added a rainbow over the cesspool

       If I told Sarah she shouldn't learn to read because she would be exposed to humanity's underbelly through the media, and that she should always be innocent, without regard to the world's problems or their solutions, I would deprive her of her right to change to the world.  I would interfere with her right to feel sad for a woman with a limp, and perhaps alter the potential future that she might grow up to be a great orthopedic surgeon who dedicated her life to helping people with gimp legs walk without pain or instability.
       The children washed clean all the headlines I read.    They added a rainbow over the cesspool.
       They reminded me that Children of Vigilance are the key to conquering the Beast of Terror.


Feb. 5--TerrorThoughts--The Real Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of Vigilance Part V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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