August 14, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 336

Voyagers of Vigilance Search
 9.3 Billion Miles
In Deep Space For Peace

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, August 14--Twenty-five years ago around this time, a couple of vital things happened.   One was the death of rock king, Elvis Presley.   The other factoid, unfortunately, fell into the cracks of history.   It was the launching of two identical spacecraft, designed to explore deep outside our solar system.

      Traveling at more than 38,000 miles an hour, Voyager 1 is nearing the heliosphere, a place where scientists say our solar system ends and intergalactic space begins.  Voyager 1 is currently 7.9 billion miles from Earth, just 1.4 billion miles from its destination.
        The heliosphere is likened to a border between our solar system and the rest of space.  It is estimated to be 9.3 million miles from earth, about 100 times the distance from Earth to the sun. In layman terms, the heliosphere is the place where the magnetic field of the sun stops, and the galactic unknown yawns.  
       Fortunately, Voyager 1 is not alone.   Following it is the other Sentinel of Deep Space, Voyager 2, traveling at 35,000 miles per hour.  It stands a distance of 6.3 billion miles from its mother planet.
        The one-ton Voyager 1 is scheduled to break through the heliosphere in three to four years, around 2006.   If it survives the expected turbulence at the border where scientists believe a bubble of pressure exists caused by the electronic charge of planets in our solar system, it will search forever through the universe. Voyager 2 will join it a few years later.
       But no one knows what will happen at the border.  Some scientists suggest  the turbulence will refuse it entrance into intergalactic space, denying it a chance to bring to other worlds the presence of life on Earth.   Time will tell.
       The Voyagers weren't the first to probe deep space.  A smaller craft, Pioneer 10, made the first close-up observations of Jupiter in 1973 and Pioneer 11 flew by both Jupiter and Saturn.   However, Dr. Bradford A. Smith, leader of the Voyager photographic interpretation team, credits the Voyagers with sending back the most powerful pictures of planets and moons yet received by scientists.    

      Besides transmitting pastel bands circling Jupiter's atmosphere, colored like Easter egg decorations, Voyagers' cameras  also revealed the bold storm swirls in the style of painter Van Gogh.    They also showed the moon, Io, alive with most active volcanoes in the solar system.

        Flying by Neptune, Voyagers' photos depicted  it to be a pale blue, glowing with auroras and crackling from radio noise of charged particles trapped by magnetic fields.  Winds of 400 mph raged over its surface, and icy volcanoes burst through the frozen surface of its moon, Triton, surprising scientists.
     Other spacecraft have added to the scientific data base of our solar system.  They donned the names of some of history's most famous scientists and explorers,  Magellan, Cassini and Galileo.   But of them all, Voyager 1 and 2 are the lead Sentinels of Space Vigilance, en route to the extremes of the solar system and beyond with a Hand of Hope

 that may return us tools to better manage the Terrorisms currently threatening our planet..
      It is said that people turn on one another when there is no common cause, no common threat to divert their primal tendencies to gain personal power over others.    In almost every science fiction tale, when "aliens" invade, the differences between people melt, bonding them as one despite all their barriers which once might have poisoned them and turned them into bitter enemies.
      Voyager represents the hope of Unification from afar.
      In its simplest form, alien unification can be symbolized by a husband and wife having marital problems and go to a third party--a mediator, an outside neutral force--to try and resolve disputes, differences.    Legal systems are also mediators between Terrorism and Vigilance, establishing laws that set the border between civilized and uncivilized behavior, and mete out penalties for their violations.
      Nations also hold summits to delimit Terrorism.  They form United Nations, make treaties and pacts--all designed to create parity between the big and small, the weak and strong, so that no one can have the right to lord over the rights of others.  Most of these alliances, however, are defensive rather than offensive.  
      Voyager, it seems to me, has a special mission--to find some alien mediator who can bring to Earth tools to enhance our unity from an offensive basis, for we need little lessons in defensive disunity.  One only has to look at the bones of treaties and alliances broken to realize pieces of paper can be ripped, burned or altered to fit anyone's viewpoint.

       Perhaps in deep space, aliens who have matured to a high state of Vigilance will recognize our need to do the same, and bring us answers when they encounter Voyager.
       Of course, there's a dark side to that coin.   No one knows if such a "mediator" might not be a Terrorist, some intergalactic Hitler or Osama bin Laden, who sees our primitive culture as a ripe harvest, and enslaves us with "advanced power."   
       However, I would think in the greater evolution of thought, that beings with the ability to cogitate, to reason, have found more reasons for peace than war, more tools to manage their primal instincts than to let them run rampant.  Such beings would realize the galaxy would be at stake, not just a mere planet or two.   And, logically, as Star Trek's Mr. Spock would advocate, the bigger the threat to all, the greater the need for Vigilance to protect it.

      In some ways, we are moving at a snail's pace toward a Universal World.
      Europe's new International Criminal Court (ICC), designed to punish war crimes by offending nations, is an "after-the-fact" tribunal.  It punishes crimes already committed.  But it is a step forward in nations gathering resources to fight against Terrorism on a collective dais.   It proves we have a need for global unity, and with that unity, laws that transcend any nation's sovereignty.   But, new, it is riddled with ills.   Some consider it a violation of the rights of individuality.
        What I believe is needed to balance the ICC  is a Universal Vigilance Court, one that can detect Fear, Intimidation and Complacency at its onset, and sets into long-range motion the development of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions to thwart the evolution of Terrorism, which produces Fear, Intimidation and Complacency..
      The rub is that people are not responsible for what they haven't yet done.   One cannot be convicted of "evil intent" until one acts in violation of the law.    The recent movie, "Minority Report," dealt with the dangers of interceding on others based on "thoughts," convicting them of crimes they had yet to commit.
       However, I don't believe we, as Citizens of Vigilance, must sit around and wait for a kidnapper to steal a young girl, rape and murder her, before we act.   Neither do I embrace the idea that we should abdicate our Rights of Vigilance to a government, hoping they will solve the problems that face our community, state, nation, our world.  Governments are not motivated by statesmanship, but rather by politics and power.   The next vote, the next measure of positive public opinion, drives their decisions which can change in winds.   Citizens of Vigilance, on the other hand, are fueled by a much larger primary purpose.  It comes in the form of a question:  "What is in the best interest of our children, and their children's children's children?"
      The Universal Vigilance Court would deal with that question first.  It would  take the offensive position of putting policies into place to limit Terrorism, not just to punish it.

The Heliosphere

     Hoping to find aliens in the galaxy who can read minds and intercede to stop Terrorism is, indeed, science fiction.  But finding civilizations far beyond the heliosphere that have evolved into Citizens of Vigilance, teaching Vigilance, monitoring Vigilance, setting up Rules of Vigilance to root out the primal Terrorisms that drive people to acts of Emotional or Physical Terrorism, is within my vision.
      Just as I see 3,000 Spirits of Vigilance swirling around the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a lonely field in Pennsylvania, so do I see a group of "aliens" far out in space who have mastered the battle between their selfishness and selflessness.
      Such worlds put the children before themselves.  These "beings" do not just myopically limit their vision to their own children, but to all the children, and their children's children's children who may be current or future victims of Terrorism.   This creates the most unselfish decisions, and provides the most pure Justice.
      This isn't to suggest that Paradise Lost is found in deep space.    The seeds of Terrorism will never be eliminated from any creature who has choice over his or her actions, who has the ability to think.  Thoughts are matter.  They are mere energy sparking across synapses.  They can be mangled and short-circuited, creating monsters who act against the Vigilant Order, who attempt to Terrorize the Terrorizable, the non-Vigilant..
       But the mass of beings populating the galaxy beyond our solar system must have learned over time how to minimize such Terrorism, especially the Emotional Terrorism of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  These heliospheric forces create such pressure on thinking beings that they must be neutralized.   Advanced beings must have revolted against the oppression of Terrorism, and risen above it to the benefit of the universe.   Preserving the whole of the galaxy from Terrorism must have become more important than preserving its parts.
      Here on earth, and most likely anywhere in the galaxy, the most insidious type of  Terrorism is either the lack of self worth or the elevation of self worth above that of others.  The fangs of self worthlessness sink deep into the soul of a child when he or she looks in a mirror and sees an image of an "unloved being," or one that thinks it is "too fat," "too thin," "too poor," the wrong "color," "not smart enough," or any of the demeaning thoughts that suffocate the character of a human being before it has time to flourish. 

      Such fangs are just as vicious when the child sees someone better than all others, more privileged than all, richer, better looking, happier--at the expense of those who are not.
       Such Terrorism extremes are fertilized by parents who openly state their bigotry or prejudice against other groups, polarizing their child's thoughts to the "differences" between people rather than their "similarities," or, by parents who physically or emotional abuse children by acts of violence or, worse yet, acts of neglect, complacently starving children's thirsty needs to loved unconditionally.   
       Statements like "Why can't you be like  _____," stunt a child's individuality, and foul his or her unique nature. Statements such as:  "Why are you always causing me problems," signals to a child he or she is a nuisance, a weed,  rather than a precious seedling, searching for the sunlight of love to grow straight, not crooked.
       Vigilance is a galactic chore.   It doesn't belong to any nation, or any world, or any particular set of beings from billions of miles away or across the street.  It is the duty of all Citizens of Vigilance, bound by Nature's Constitution of Vigilance to insure the child and its children and their children have the same rights of individuality, the same rights of Emotional Security, and, hopefully, the same rights of Physical Security as all others in the universe.
       Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are about to burst through our solar system, about to be flung into intergalactic space on an endless journey.  Or, upon meeting the turbulence of the heliosphere, to be ravaged by the Terrorism of differences between our solar system and space itself.

    I hope that the Voyagers slip through the turbulence and find their way to some world where the beings on it have learned how to balance more Vigilance than Terrorism.  I hope these beings will travel back on the path of Voyager to our planet, and bring us not merely a cure for cancer or heart disease, but a cure for Terrorism.
       Even if such an event doesn't happen, I have the faith that within every living being on planet Earth is a driving force of Vigilance that supercedes that of Terrorism.   Eventually, I believe, our world will not have to form International Criminal Courts, but will focus its attention on the Court of Vigilant Justice--responsible for teaching others Courage to overcome Fear, Conviction to stymie Intimidation, and Right Actions to replace the Complacency that turns human beings into bystanders instead of Sentinels of Vigilance.
      I know the Spirits of Vigilance from Nine Eleven would want this to happen.    I hear them rooting for the Voyagers of Vigilance.

Go Aug. 13--Women Of Vigilance

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