Article Overview:   Are you a Caesar of Vigilance?   Do you have a vision beyond the present?  Can you protect the future of the Children's Children's Children...find out!


Monday--June 30, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 656
Become A Caesar Of Vigilance
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--June 30, 2003-- There is nothing more fascinating than to watch the history of the Roman Empire.  It smacks of both Vigilance and Terrorism.   It is the Mother and Father of both for modern civilization.

      TNT Television is hosting a two-part series on Julius Caesar's rise to power.   The screen is power-packed with some of the great actors of modern times, most notably Richard Harris who died last October but lives in the digital dots that fill the screen with his image.

Chris Noth as Pompey the Great, left, and Jeremy Sisto as Julius Caesar in TNT's "Caesar"

     Sex & The City star, Chris Noth looms large on the screen as Roman General Pompey, the paver of Caesar's path to power.   Christopher Walken struts about in robes as the stenoric Voice of the Roman Senate, Cato, delivering almost wooden lines for such a superb actor, issuing "walk-on" lines to jab our conscience as the Greek choir so deftly employed by playwrights to sing the message just in case rowdy audience members may have missed the zingers flying out of the actor's mouths.
      The grandfather of all actors in his field, Richard Harris, opens the two-part mini-series with a display of Terrorism as cold and ruthless as any that Saddam Hussein might have issued in his double decade of tyranny and oppression.   As Sulla, commander-in-chief of the Roman Army, Harris spills the blood of any Roman he considers a threat to his power and whimsically shatters Roman Law by defying it with arbitrary disrespect.  He scoffs at the Senate who believes they are acting in the "people's" benefit by accusing them of being pompous elitists whose feet never touch the ground, "asses never sat on a horse" and whose hands are never soiled by any work.
        Caesar is played by Jeremy Sisto, who plays Billy, the charming one minute and hostile the next  brother of Brenda with whom he is in a "toxic relationship" on the HBO series "Six Feet Under".   A victim of epilepsy, Caesar falls into spasmodic convulsions, a suggestion that all power-hungry leaders are overloaded by their own sense of almighty power, more than the body can handle.  

Was Bush's landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln a symbolic fit of power and overload?

        Some claim President Bush's arrival by military jet aboard an aircraft carrier after the end of Gulf War II was a symbolic fit of power and overload, where warrior and statesman short-circuit one another.
        The story of Caesar is about the clash between the Titans of Vigilance versus the Titans of Terrorism.
         And, it's not really about all the victorious battles Caesar fought, or how he expanded the domain of Rome or sought to bring justice where Sulla left the footprints of Terrorism's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
         To give Caesar credit--to come here to "praise him not bury him"--one has to carefully absorb his initial orations to the Senate when, in his early innocence, he spewed out of his heart a cry for a vision far beyond the present state of Rome and one that forced "out of the box thinking."
         Caesar, sharing his love of Rome, called for the Senate to see the "Big Picture."   He chided the members for wallowing in the issues of "ants" while the "elephants" were roaming the streets.
        He spoke not of just saving one or two souls today, but of all of them tomorrow.
        He screamed for Vigilant Vision.

Sulla, the Terrorist, demands that Pompey cut out Caesar's heart and bring it to him

        Sulla, the Terrorist, the Beast of Rome, the Butcher of Roman Integrity, was an antithesis of Julius Caesar's goal of being a just leader who tried to empower the people while keeping the balance between the state and populace always clearly defined by Roman guards with double-edged swords who would not hesitate to cut you in half were you to cross the line.
        Caesar was struggling to be a Sentinel of Vigilance.  He was trying to right the wrongs of a state that became so wrapped up in the nickels and dimes that it could not see the dinars.
         That's the part I liked most about the show.
         Superb acting and great productions qualities aside, the chorus that sang to be in the first part of the double-whammy series, was the message of looking ahead to the future, of being so inspired by the duty to the future that one did not get caught in the quicksand of the present.
         To become a Sentinel of Vigilance, one must look deep and long into the future and see with clarity that if the people of this country, and other nations, do not rise up to defend themselves, no government or sets of governments will ever be able to snuff the life out of Terrorism.
         Sulla, in a crude way, ordered Pompey to do just that.   In the final scene of Sulla's life, he is bathing and ordering the execution of a Roman citizen whom he arbitrarily accused of stealing.   Pompey comes to the poor citizen's rescue, vouching for him.
         As Sulla, Richard Harris becomes angry that his orders are being questioned, and demands that Pompey rather than one of Sulla's guard, strangle the man.   The strangulation battle has little to do with the guilt of the accused, and everything to do with the exercise of unchecked, unmanaged power.  The heavens intervene, and Sulla dies of a heart attack before the insubordination of Pompey can turn into blood.
        Governments cannot strangle Terrorism.   Even the U.S. cannot find Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein to grab them around the neck and strangle them.
        Terrorism is not about the physical as much as the emotional.

Caesar's Legions march to conquer Gaul

      Apollonius, the Greek mentor of Caesar's daughter, Julia, reminds the child that slavery is a "state of mind," and that a man, regardless of chains and manacles, can be free inside, just as those who walk with the illusion of freedom can be slaves to passions and defects of power that hobble their humanity.
         The mentor, in classic Greek-theater fashion, is the chorus, reminding us all that the Beast of Terror lives within us, and that "freedom from it" is about Vigilance, about seeing beyond the horizon to the benefit of future generations.
         Caesar isn't far behind the mentor in his passions.   He rises to power on the advice of "never making a promise to the people you can't keep," and he struggles to maintain that creed.  Unfortunately, the first President Bush, one among many politicians, is often noted as losing his second term because of his famous claim to "watch my lips, I will not raise taxes," and then, when the heat was on, raised taxes.

The Visionaries of Vigilance are the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae

        Visionaries of Vigilance are Spartans.   They fight for the rights of the Children's Children's Children, and in that battle, they overturn the tyrants, the despots, the Beasts of Terror who litter their path.
          Perhaps Caesar started out that way and ended up in a state of compromise, so common to one who rises to power and finds the intoxication of it shrinks one's vision from "what can be" to "how do I keep my throne."
          Ideal politicians usually rise on the passion of their beliefs, unseating the Complacent politicians who think power has some continuity to it.  Bill Clinton rose up from nowhere to joust George Bush from a second term for no other reason than Complacency.  Had Bush stuck to his promises, he would not have felt the Ides of November stab him in the back.
          We, who fight for each citizen to become a Sentinel of Vigilance, and to defend the rights of the Children's Children's Children against the Beast of Terror's wrath, offer mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, loved ones, grandparents that chance to have a Caesar Vision.
          We offer the ability to look beyond the morass of issues one faces on a daily basis in life, and to look beyond the horizon to what the future will be like for children whose parents do not daily help them replace Fear with Courage, or concern themselves with the infiltration of Intimidation at the expense of Conviction, or, who become fat-cat Roman Senators with their children and think the school or church, the Supreme Court or the government will teach them how to take the Right Actions for future generations rather than wallow in the quagmire of Complacency where Americans sit around waiting for the world to change, or, worse, for someone else to change it.
          Caesar has many layers of Vigilance.

Stand up to the message of Julius Caesar:  We  cannot count on governments or institutions to protect our children

         Long ago, Rome launched the idea of democracy--that people cannot count on governments or institutions to protect their children. 
          Self-government was the seed of Rome.   Today, it seems the populations of the world have become more Romanesque than free.  They still wait for the Julius Caesar or Pompey to strike down the Terrorist Sulla.
          What they end up with is just another leader trying to hook his rope in the ring on all the followers' noses.
          It is time to stand up to the message of Julius Caesar.  It is time to look beyond the present and into the future.  What can you do today to protect your children from the Beast of Terror?  You can take the Pledge of Vigilance.
          You can be a Caesar of Vigilance.

June 29-- Blessing The Children Of Vigilance With DreamCatchers

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