Article Overview:   When an alien comes from outer space to decide if the Earth is worth leaving in tact or destroying, he finds that Terrorism rules.   What does he do?   If that alien came today, would he see Terrorism ruling the world?   What would he decide?


Wednesday--June 18, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 644
The Outer Limits Of Terrorism
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 18, 2003-- Science fiction offers many lessons for projecting the reality of life.   One of the leaders in paving moral paths for the future of human beings is the television show, Outer Limits.   It offers the "outer limits" of Terrorism for viewers.

This was one of the perspicacious Outer Limits shows

      As I was scanning the news this week, I was haunted by one of the more perspicacious Outer Limits shows, one called Heart's Desire, produced in 1997.
      The show's message rattled around my brain as I read hoards of stories about human beings struggling throughout the world to come to grips with the Beast of Terror within them.
     This morning was no different.
     In Paris, a woman protesting France's arrests of Iranians set herself on fire.    In Iraq, U.S. troops shot into a crowd of protestors.   In Wisconsin, a neighborhood set buildings on fire and shot at police over the death of a fleeing motorcyclist being chased by police.  In New York City, a near riot broke out when people couldn't get into an elementary school graduation.
      Of course, there's the search for Osama Bin Laden, for Saddam Hussein, and the constant threat of Kim Jong Il.   And then there are their children, their fans, watching and learning and planning to take over where their Terrorism left off.
      Not too many months ago, Pakistan and India had a nuclear face-off.  A rogue general threatened the border and fingers were on the nuke's trigger.
      Also, last year a scandal swept through the United States over the molestation of children within the Catholic Church, shattering an already wounded religious icon.

Workers at the Izhora factory near St. Petersburg stand in front of the nuclear reactor body made for Iran by the Russians

       Iran is eager to produce a nuclear bomb, and reports say it will have one by 2005, and, North Korea is teetering on the brink of adding A-bombs to its holster of weapons.
       The Congo is riddled with warfare and the whole of Africa with disease.
       Then there are the radical fringe Terrorists--the wild and crazy factions who are brewing up various recipes of biochemical and conventional weapons to launch against anyone whom they believe opposes their ideologies.
       Nature has her hand in the Terrorism pie.   Viral permutations are racing ahead of medicine, constantly adapting and mutating so they can survive attacks by health professionals.    Diseases such as SARS and Monkey pox are creeping about, warning the world that we haven't met our next worst disease yet.
        Ironically, obesity is growing to become one of the world's most preventable diseases.    Governments are pressing to tax people for eating "fat foods," wildly attempting to oppress human nature's desire to expand its waistline while more than half the world's population is starving.
        If you were an alien from another planet, what might you think of the snapshot of human behavior?

Using the power to destroy

        In 1997, the Outer Limits did just that in the Heart's Desire.
        The hour-long show, cast in 1872 Oregon, focused on four outlaws who were heading back to their hometown to dig up buried loot.
        Two of the four were brothers.  They plotted against their fellow felons to take more than their fair share of the loot, but, since there is no honor among thieves, the other two robbers were planning the same ploy.
        Doesn't sound much of a story until you add an alien from a world far beyond our imagination.   In the sky, a bright light races down and explodes.   A scary looking alien with lots of frightening tentacles takes over the body of a preacher and walks around the earth observing human life.   We don't know why he's here, but we do know he's got an evil intent.   Anyone that scary, well, would simply have to be a potential bad guy.

Esai Morales plays the "most evil"

      The alien watches the four cowboy bad guys.   They represent the Terrorism in all of us.   It is expressed in degrees.  One of the bad guys, played by NYPD's squad lieutenant, Esai Morales, is the "most evil."   The youngest of the "brother twosome" is the "least evil."  He symbolizes the stress and strain between "good" and "bad," and the thin line that separates the Beast of Terror from the Sentinel of Vigilance.
        To spice up the drama, the younger brother's girlfriend--the one he left to chase a life of crime--  is now a widow with a young son.  She lures him back to the benefits of the "good side."
        But the alien has other plans.
        To test the humans, he gives both sets of bad guys the power to destroy anything by merely willing it.
        Instead of six shooters firing bullets, the bad guys merely have to look at something and will its destruction.    Ultimate power becomes their "Heart's Desire."
        In a microscopic view, the four bad guys represent the desire of all Terrorists--to inject Fear, Intimidation and Complacency in their victims at will and with impunity.   The alien allows the bad guys the liberty of expressing this unbridled power.
       Like the spider patiently waiting for the fly to become ensnarled in its sticky web, the alien waits until the bad guys are at each other's throats before he steps in and removes their new-found power.  What evil giveth, evil taketh.
       In the final scene, the preacher reveals himself as an alien.  He tells the humans he is a scout.  He has come to our solar system to observe whether Earth is a potential threat to his world.  If he reports that it is, the alien has decided that the people of Earth could one day form a unified body that might ultimately threaten his planet with force.  In that case, his job is to call for Earth's extinction.
       There is a climactic moment.  The viewer takes a deep breath, thinking that the bad guy's actions have doomed all of humanity to alien extinction.   But Outer Limits is rife with moral marrow.  Its writers love to twist the Truth into shocking profundities.

Outer Limits is rife with moral marrow

        They excelled in this script.
        As the viewer is hanging on to the belief the Earth has failed to prove its peaceful intent, and is doomed to death because of the bloodthirstiness of the bad guys, the alien looks at them pathetically as their hands are wrapped around each other's throats.  Casually, he proclaims that the Earth will not be destroyed--that it offers no threat to the universe.
        In the way only an Outer Limits story can go, the irony of it all comes to smash the viewer between the eyes as the alien says:  "We don't have to worry about you.  You'll all kill yourselves long before you ever become a threat to the universe."
         Then off goes the alien.
        As with many Outer Limits shows, the viewer is left with an emptiness, a grueling visceral vacuum suggesting the futility of human evolution toward a lofty plateau where peace and prosperity rule and Terrorism is but an artifact.   It seems we are trapped in our own ugliness, bound forever by the manacles of Terrorism.
         But, that's just the Outer Limits' viewpoint.  There is another message hidden between the lines of the script.  It is what S.I. Hayakawa called the meta message.


S. I. Hayakawa preached there is a meta message

         It tells us that if we don't act to quell our Terrorism as individuals that the society we seek to create--the one of peace and prosperity--will never rise above the Terrorism that infects all the good apples in the barrel.   
         It means that those of us who stand by and watch the world turn, and revel in the fact "we" are "good" and "they" are "bad" are nothing more than Terrorists by default.  Our lack of Vigilance against Terrorism breeds it.  By ignoring the presence of the rotten apple, we become it.
         Another Hollywood example of this theme is Clint Eastwood's, "High Plains Drifter."   Eastwood comes into town and Terrorizes it.  He is hired to protect the town from Terrorists--bad guys coming back to take revenge.  Little do the people know that Clint Eastwood is seeking revenge also.
         Bottom line, the town expected someone else to run the town, to protect it.   They are the "good apples" who think they can hire a "bad apple" to rid themselves of other "bad apples."  In the process, we find the "good" is the "bad."

Michigan police in riot gear

        In Wisconsin, the riots that erupted following the police chase and the death of the person fleeing the police, were flamed by the hatred and anger of the citizens against a society that they think oppresses it.   Their solution was to fight Terrorism with Terrorism.
         When the ashes are cold, most who riot fall back into the state of Complacency.  They do nothing but wait for the next explosion.  They feed the Beast of Terror by taking no actions to neutralize their plight or to remove themselves from the rut the Beast has made them believe they are condemned to live in for the rest of their lives.  Each person becomes a fuse for Terrorism, and any spark can set it off.
         Iraq was no different from the recent madness in Wisconsin.
         Twenty-three million people allowed tyranny and oppression to rule their lives.   They let the Beast of Terror manacle them in Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Then, one day, America came.   U.S. forces removed one form of a Beast of Terror only to unleash others that now roam freely in the streets, looting, pillaging, plundering.   Now, the people of Iraq fight amongst themselves, power-monger against power-monger.  It is as though the alien from the Outer Limits' "Heart's Desire"  had appeared and given the freed citizens their own personal Weapons of Mass Destruction.   It is as though he is watching and keeping score about the futility of humans to respect freedom, and to band together as one against the primal forces of animal instincts.
        In North Korea, the alien watches the citizens boil grass to keep from starving.  As the people's  children starve, their leader eats prime rib, chases over the world spending lavishly for the opulent life, and gathers ingredients for nuclear weapons so he can defend his Palace of Tyranny.
        Across the sea, in a more civilized setting, a quieter form of Terrorism plays itself out.   American politicians jockey to destroy the credibility of the U.S. President who freed two nations from despotic leadership.  The alien watches as people from the same clan try to demean their own leader, and criminalize his acts of goodness by refusing to accept what everyone in the world knew--that the "evil one" would have blown up the world to gain his goal of power.    The alien watches as politicians dressed in fine clothing act out their  Beast of Terror roles, trying to rip away any meat on the Bones of Vigilance, fighting amongst themselves to shred the acts of liberation so any good that came from the liberation cannot be recognized because of the muck slung by family members to de-thorn the liberator

The alien sees France as anti-American re the war in Iraq, yet  France arrests potential Terrorists within its borders.  Hello?

         Looking across the sea to the East, the alien sees France.  He watches the emulation of an Iranian woman to protest France's treatment of undocumented aliens.  He becomes confused because while France was the country that defied the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it attempts to drive out potential Terrorists from its own borders, as though it knows the dangers of infecting its land with Terrorism's venom.
        If we were to go along with the script writers of Outer Limits, we would all give up.  We would just kneel to Terrorism, since it will, if left unchecked, eat us all.
        Despite the frustration and futility created by a plethora of news headlines parading constant events of Terrorism, despite the evidence that suggests humans will not rise above our hunger for primal clubbing of one another's meager brains, despite this all stands a legion of Sentinels of Vigilance on the horizon.
        The Sentinels remind us that to conquer the Beast of Terror,  we must evolve first as individuals and secondly as groups, societies, nations.  They pound their Shields of Vigilance to alert us that if we are to battle Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--the Triads of Terrorism--it must be done in hand-to-hand combat within ourselves before it can be taken to the market, to the world.
        They are our mirrors, reflecting back to us that only when we as individuals commit to taking the Pledge of Vigilance and vow to live by the Principles of Vigilance, can we control of our lives' evolution upward rather than being drawn downward by the gravity of Complacency.
        They chant to us that only when we, as individuals,  agree to drive Fear away with at least One Percent more Courage, and confront Intimidation with One Percent more Conviction, and, are willing to replace Complacency with at least One Percent more Right Actions not for ourselves, but for the benefit of the Children's Children's Children, will we ever have a chance to stand up to all the aliens who come to threaten our world.
         But this is a tough lesson.   To acquire the status of a Sentinel of Vigilance means we cannot afford to wait for the world, or society or our neighbors to rise up before we do.   We must act as individuals first, regardless of whether anyone follows.   Our job as Sentinels of Vigilance is to form role models for the future, not to impress the present.   If we can seed the future with Courage, Conviction and Right Action, we never have to look over our shoulders to see if we've been accepted by the past or present.

Look through the eyes of a child and you will want to take the Pledge of Vigilance

         The rightness of our actions cannot be measured by our peers.   It must be the domain of our fledglings.  One only has to look at a child's eyes to be motivated to take the Pledge of Vigilance.  An innocent, helpless child needs someone to guard it from the Beast of Terror's shadow.   The greatest gift a parent or loved one can give a child is Hope for the future, not acceptance of the present's Complacency.   Such Hope is only created by the combination of Courage, Conviction and selfless Right Actions that benefit future generations.

         To install such Hope means a parent or loved one recognizes a child's greatest enemies are Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   The first of these, Fear, takes many forms.   Some include the Fear of not being loved, the Fear of not being good enough, smart enough, rich enough, good looking enough.  There are physical Fears, emotional Fears, spiritual Fears and mental Fears.  The Sentinel of Vigilance works to help a child balance these with their counterparts.
          The second enemy of Hope is Intimidation.  This includes the child's feelings of not measuring up to the standards of parents, or to others.  It is the feeling of being "less than" or "greater than" others.  It is a depreciation of one's value to the present and the future.   It is the opposite of a child's true essence of feeling inherently good, strong, unique and purposeful.
         Finally, there is Hope's greatest enemy--Complacency.   Complacency ultimately is about selfishness, about "getting along" and not "making waves," about accepting things as they are and not dreaming, not believing, not growing into dreams.  Some children are beaten down physically or emotionally by their parents into believing they are destined to be what their parents tell them.   "If you weren't so stupid."   "If you weren't so much trouble."  "If you weren't your father's son."  "If you weren't born."
         There is only one counterbalance to Complacency--Right Actions for the future generations.  It means a child has the right to learn from his or her parents and loved ones that One Percent more Selflessness than Selfishness is necessary for the child and the world to rise above its limitations.    This is not an easy task, for the easiest solution is to fall back into neutral, to coast, to let others be in charge of the future of the world.  It is easier to teach a child how to succeed in spite of everyone else, or at their expense, than to teach them to be givers.  

One Percent more Selflessness than Selfishness is necessary for children to fulfill Big Dreams

         But the truth is that only people, individuals, children, who create more than consume can change the world.
         If governments could change the world, they would have.  But is the world any safer today than it was a million years ago?  Or is it poised on the edge of destruction as never before in history?
         If societies could have changed the world, they would have.  But around the world are many cultures and ethnicities, many factions and splinters of humanity vying to be the best.  Religions fight among themselves, people of various skin colors battle, people from different churches within the same religion kill in the name of righteousness.   If societies had the answer, would not one of them have risen above all others?  But that hasn't happened in millions of years.
         It comes down to individuals.  The solution comes down to a single man, a single woman sparking the difference in his or her mind to subscribe to the Principles of Vigilance, and then passing those Principles down to future generations.   Only by individual rather than group force can Hope rise above Complacency.   Only when one elects to selflessly act for the future generations do the borders of culture, religion and ethnicity dissolve for all children are the same.   They are all innocent.  And only when they are seen as one in the eyes of the Sentinel can the ultimate Power of Protection come to force.

The Sentinels of Vigilance have hope in the future of all Earth's children

          If the alien in Outer Limits were to come to Earth and all the people had the Pledge of Vigilance posted on their refrigerators, and were living by them, he would have a problem trying to sell anyone "power." Each Sentinel of Vigilance would know they had the ultimate power--selfless Hope in the future of all the Earth's children.  This Power of Vigilance, they would know, would be far more vast than all the Powers of Terrorism from all the Terrorists who ever walked this earth.
          The Day of Terrorism is here.   It has been here for eons.
          Now, it is time to end that Day of Terrorism.
          It is time to launch the Day of Vigilance.
          All it takes is your Courage, Conviction and Right Action to take the Pledge of Vigilance and encourage your friends to take it too.
          Drive the Aliens of Complacency away.
          Take the Pledge of Vigilance.   Go to the Inner Limits--where the face of all the children ever to come to this earth await your smile.

June 17--Taxi Terror--When Taxis Target Jews In NYC

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