Tuesday -- April
9, 2002—Ground Zero
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, April 9--New York City is the heartland
of protest. It is also the battleground of the Vigilance Wars.
Three major battles were
being waged this weekend at the same time in the City That Never Sleeps.
Each of the battles involved institutions, which have their roots
in thousands of years of culture, history, and bloodletting.
first battleground was at the doorstep of Saint Patrick's Cathedral.
Catholic protestors shouted and chanted against Cardinal Egan and
his reluctance to issue files on priests accused of, or found guilty
of prior sexual misconduct. Some called for his resignation
based on an alleged history of past "cover ups" within the
Church when he was aware of priests being shuffled from parish to
parish in Connecticut but did nothing to bring it into the open.
The protestors stood in front of the famous St. Patrick Cathedral,
shouting invectives at the Cardinal, demanding the end to Terrorism
of their children and a reformation within the archaic structure of
In another part of New
York City the Palestinians and Arabs formed a protest line, issuing
demands that Israel extricate itself from the occupied territory and
allow the development of a free state of Palestine to exist.
Still, in yet another section
of the city, Jewish protestors railed against President Bush for interfering
with Israel's right to fight for its rights, lambasting the United
States for trying to quash its sovereign right to rid its country
of Terrorism by attacking and counter balancing the slew of attacks
on its citizens.
All three issues had their
roots in both history, scripture and religion. I found
it ironic that the focus of the world's conflict today came down to
the fundamentals of one's belief in the institutions of government
and religion--but in retrospect, that's the essence of all conflict--the
opposing beliefs of people and the righteous indignation that results
when there is no compromise that satisfies either side.
I thought of the true victims
of these conflicts--the children.
In each and every case,
standing in the midst of the hurling of words and bullets and bombs
were the children of innocence. Children look up at their
institutions--their role models--but instead of seeing open hands
guiding them along paths of freedom and joy, they see blood-stained
hands and corrupted souls trying to grab them, rip off their clothes,
strip them naked, and molest them physically with weapons of destruction,
or sexually. They are being threatened physically and
emotionally by the scars of "Institutional Abuse," promulgated
by both religion and government.
I thought about the gods of mankind--the
Buddha's, the Mohammad's, the Almighty's, the Jesus Christ's--and
how ashamed each must be of the parents of the earth who have allowed
Complacency to infiltrate their lives at the risk of their children's
The news today is like allowing
a suicide bomber to walk into one's living room. At any moment,
the headlines on the television or newspapers scream about the threat
of physical or emotional violence to the children. Molestation.
I flinch as a parent, realizing
the morality of the world seems to be undergoing an autopsy, and the
cancers of the human condition are being exposed by the scalpel of
Most sadly, the destiny
of the world is being decided by the few, not the many.
I am, by some definitions, an
anarchist. I believe the subjugation of a person to the
rule of a government is an antithesis of human rights--a form of bonded
slavery in which one owes false allegiance to the "rulers"
of the land.
Thomas Paine, the architect of the American Revolution, helped
me understand the Rights Of Man come directly from God, and do not
flow through the bodies of governmental or religious leaders.
I believe his thesis that any "law" that one imposes upon
another is nothing more than a "human opinion" often tainted
by self-will and self aggrandizement.
Laws, under the pure definition,
are immutable, unchangeable facts not subject to interpretation.
Gravity is one such law. No one can legislate it.
One can try to manipulate it, but only as a slave to its nature, not
as its architect.
Life and death are similar laws.
One might extend life through better medicine and health care, but
one cannot eliminate death. Men and women have invented
eternity to give life a meaning after death--whether it be Islamic
Paradise, the Christian Heaven, or the reincarnation of the soul.
Human beings struggle to alter "nature's law" but cannot
change it, or make it--they only interpret it to fit their will, their
Therefore, I find it absurd
that human beings in the 21st Century have not advanced much over
our ancestors, the homo erectus, measured to be 1.8 million years
old. The Academy of Science dates the rise of homo sapiens,
individuals much like ourselves, to be about 100,000 to 150,000 years
ago. According to science, we evolved from our ape-like
ancestors, learning how to speak and use our free will and think and
create. We also learned to kill those who didn't believe
in what we believed, and to build fortresses around the land we possessed,
claiming our rights over it. We became followers, clansmen
and clanswomen who blindly fell in step behind a leader to whom we
entrusted our future.
Over centuries, these "governments"
rose. Some were secular, some religious. In the
end, we blindly followed the rule of the "lord" over the
"serf" until "democracy" was born within
the Roman Empire, and began to spread slowly until the Rights Of Man
and Woman were determined not by edict, but by voting.
Ultimately, the responsibility for our lives as human beings became
vested in our choices, in our free will to conform to "imposed
laws" or to refute them through revolution.
America became the model of democracy.
Some embraced it, others refuted it. Religions sprung
from the well of man's and woman's need to believe in something larger
than human frailty--to provide an authority larger than the reality
of life and death, to give value to dying, and hope while living that
there was life after death.
Churches, sects, belief systems sprouted
from the need within a human to find some order in the chaos, some
justification for the suffering one endured, some reason for the sacrifices
that life demands. Gods were created. They
started out as forces of Nature--fire, the moon, the sky, the star.
They evolved into Zeus and 12 Titans. Then into the Torah
and Bibles and Korans. Scripture was installed within the heart
of humanity to decipher a "better way of life," often to
justify the scrabbling humans endured to make ends meet, or to answer
the question "why me?" when it seemed the world was a hammer
and a person simply a nail to be driven by hierarchical forces of
man and nature.
Divine creation was then replaced by
evolution, launched by Galileo who threatened the world of religion
by announcing the earth was not the center of the universe but a mere
part of it. Later, Darwin drove the nail in the coffin by promoting
evolution, and science and religion went to war.
Over the centuries, wars were
fought between the believers and unbelievers. Violence
and Terrorism ruled those who might oppose obedience to one set of
"laws." People were put in caste systems,
and taught to follow their leaders blindly to the promised land, whether
that be Heaven or Paradise or on some tail of a comet passing across
the Heavens. Even Christ was interpreted narrowly to threaten
those who didn't accept Him as Savior with the damnation of Hellfire.
So when it comes to the issue of Terrorism
and Vigilance, I see a world at War with Vigilance. If Terrorism
is the oppression of institutions upon the free will of humanity,
then Vigilance is its counterpoint. Vigilance is the right
of the individual to refute institutional protection, and to stand
up against government's and religion's protection and assume the duty
of the Parent of Vigilance. In this battle, it is a parent's
responsibility, not the institution of government or religion or society
to protect our fledglings.
One can choose to live in a world of
Terror by thinking another, or a group of others, has power over them
and what they think and do, or where they will go upon their death,
or how they should live their lives. One who subscribes
blindly to a faith or institutions created by mankind and womankind
only festers the quagmire of human de-evolution, of emotional crisis,
of sad and lonely disappointments that the "other" or "others"
have failed them, have deserted them, have stranded them in a sea
of unfulfilled expectations.
This disillusionment is most
poignant when a child is killed and a mother and father wail over
the dead innocent body and scream to the heavens: "Why,
God? Why did you let this happen?"
Such disillusionment is exaggerated
when opposing religious beliefs come to battle as the Palestinians
and Jews are now locked in mortal combat, or the Protestants and Catholics
in Ireland, or in Africa where warring tribes try to "kill"
the disbelievers. The world asks: "Who is right?
Why are they fighting under the veil of religious beliefs, when the
truth is they only want the land?"
Yet each side struggles to give validity to its right "to kill"
from scripture, written law, forgetting it was scribed by human hands.
Then governments step in.
Human beings from other lands wage war on war, as though throwing
fire on fire might stop Terrorism. Governments assume
they have the right to dictate the future of a people, a world.
They make laws to authorize their violence against violence against
What makes sense is there are no "laws"
of any veracity ever made by mankind. There is only interpretation
of what some believe is "right," but could be "wrong."
But people believe, falsely, such laws are valid--gospel.
America's Supreme Court doesn't
make or change law. Neither does the House of Representatives or Senate.
They merely issue out opinions, subject to constant change.
Abortion, once a crime, is now sanctioned.
How could there be a "law" if such "law" can be
changed by a single vote? Such misnomer is harmful to
anyone who accepts the word "law" as a truth, rather than
Vigilance and Terrorism, however,
are laws. One either lives in fear or lives in freedom
from it. Just as one either lives or dies.
Terrorism, like gravity, sucks
one down into the caves of Complacency. It disables one's ability
to stand up and fight for what is "right." It
suggests that others are in charge, that the individual has no say
in the future of his or her life, but must follow or accept the decisions
of others, more important people who can "change the world."
This sheep philosophy has ruined
countless lives. It has promoted abuse by parents, given
virtue to criminals of the soul draped in religious clothing, and
honored the egos of leaders who believe their way is the right way.
That's why Vigilance becomes
more important than government, or religion, or any institution which
attempts to dictate to another how he or she should live, and whether
he or she has committed a crime against humanity or society.
Self government has always been
the ultimate law of human nature, but the most abused and neglected
Under the self-government of
the self, there is only one guiding principle that has worth in regulating
human behavior--and that is the welfare of the children of the earth--not
just one's own children, but all the children of all the lands.
The decisions a human beings
make must be benchmarked by their ultimate effect on children.
Does such an action free a child from Terrorism and promote Vigilance
within it, or does such an act further imprison a child in Fear, Intimidation
Adults, primarily male
leaders of society and industry, rarely give this benchmark much credence
in their decisions about the future of the world.
The Catholic Church is under attack today because its male-based "messengers
from God" have corrupted their stations.
The Middle East, which
denies women rights and is ruled by men, princesses, deny the children
of their lands the rights to evolve by suffocating them with principles
that perpetuate poverty and pain and suffering.
Israel's claim to the Holy
Land and refusal to allow a Palestinian state denies the children
of that land the ability to learn what the Jews have learned, that
democracy of the self can change the past, can turn a desert into
a flourishing state where health, education and opportunity abound.
Were each individual, regardless
of political or religious affiliation, to subscribe to the Principles
of Vigilance, the world would shift its eagerness to suppress others
to the nurturing of others--especially the children. If
man-made laws were to be imposed, they would focus solely on the abuse
of children--physically and emotionally.
America would not be exempt from such an evolution. It
would find itself just as needy, if not more needy, than its underdeveloped
counterparts in this area. When half of America's parents
divorce, leaving their children in a state of abandonment, seeking
their own selfish satisfaction instead of shouldering the responsibility
of parenthood, then America falls flatly on its face as a model of
Further, when over 1 million
babies are killed each year, denied the rights of prosperity on the
whim of a individual's right to deny the propagation of the species,
then America has far more blood on its hands than the Jews or Palestinians,
for under such a "law of death" Americans symbolize the
most cruel and dispassionate treatment of life possible--the denial
Vigilance is about Courage, Conviction
and Action. It is about making the law of human nature live
above the law of Terrorism which promotes death. Only
when one makes a Pledge of Vigilance and vows to uphold it will Terrorism
truly be eliminated.
And only when one thinks through
the idea of a "law", will one realize that the only
government or religious belief worth giving oneself to is the Law
of Vigilance. From that law will flow the true fruits
of humanity's future.
Only when the War on Terrorism
is fought with the Shields of Vigilance will we know peace.
To April 8--"G-Pa, You're Too Big & Fat"--A lesson in