|Does the disaster of
the Columbia mean the Beast of Terror is loose in space? Does
the disaster drive us from our goal of exploring space, of seeking
answers to the limitless questions posed by the universe?
If we let the Beast of Terror soil the exploration of space, have we
surrendered to Fear, Intimidation and Complacency? Find out.
2, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 508
Does The Beast Of Terror Rule Space In the Wake of Columbia's Horrible
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Feb. 2--The Beast
of Terror rained death and destruction on Texas and the world
yesterday as body parts and fragments of Columbia, America's first
space shuttle built in 1981, disintegrated upon reentry at 40 miles
above the earth traveling at 12,500 miles per hour. The
explosion spewed the venom of Terrorism over thousands of square miles
in Texas and adjoining states, including the torso and a skull of two
of the seven astronauts just minutes from a landing in Cape Canaveral,
the space shuttle Columbia
Ironically, part of the epicenter where the
Terror rained to earth was a town called Palestine, Texas. And
aboard the ill-fated Columbia was Israel's first space voyager, Ilan
Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force who more than two decades
ago participated in Israel's attack on a nuclear reactor in Iraq.
It was 17 years ago almost on the same day and
month that space shuttle Challenger
exploded during take off.
The Terror stared 14 minutes before the break up
when Columbia, on it 28th space mission, started reentry into earth's
atmosphere. Temperatures soar up to 3000 degrees as the
craft rocket toward earth, protected by heat shields to deflect
horrendous heat produced by friction with the atmosphere. But
113 other space shuttle missions had successfully negotiated their
landings, and reentry, although a critical time for all aboard, had no
history of disaster.
Not until yesterday, that is.
Early prognostications suggest the heat tiles
protecting the underbelly of the Columbia had been damaged during lift
off when a booster rocket on the Saturn--used to piggyback it into
space--bumped against its right wing. Unable to inspect the
degree of damage, the heat from reentry is thought to have ripped away
the protective hide of the Columbia possibly caused during its lift
off, promoting its destruction at 9:13 a.m. yesterday.
No official cause has been identified as
investigators scramble to determine the exact cause that killed six
Americans and one Israeli.
Terrorism as we commonly refer to it--acts of
sabotage by "enemy" forces--is considered slim, but not totally
discounted. It is thought at this early stage that
"Insidious Terrorism" may be the fault. Internal Terrorism is
the kind generated by budget-cutting and negligence in the safe
conduct of space flight.
March 1, 2002 at the Kennedy Space Center
Over a decade and a half ago, the
Challenger disaster was linked to the Terrorism of Complacency by
NASA. Certain structural flaws were hidden and NASA audit
teams did not insure the specifications of component parts. This
oversight lead to a failed "O" ring that triggered the loss of seven
astronauts, including a school teacher.
No matter how fierce the denial, there is a
lingering belief among a number of people that overt Terrorism may
have played a part in the explosion because of the Israeli officer
aboard the craft. Prior to Columbia's launch, security was
heightened to insure there were no attempts to foil the lift off 16
days ago. Aboard also was an American scientist of
Indian descent, the first woman with a legacy from India to enter
Space! The final frontier--as so
indelibly scribed by the words of Captain Kirk on television's Star
Trek-- rings above the disaster.
In the 44 years America has been reaching toward
the heavens, hurling human beings into the beauty of Zero Gravity, we
have lost 17 courageous Sentinels of Vigilance, three in 1967 when an
Apollo capsule ignited during a test, seven in the Challenger disaster
in 1986, and another seven yesterday.
I think back to the pioneer days when in wagons,
families braved the unknown to reach far distant lands, or when
explorers set sail with no maps of where they were going except dead
reckoning, searching for the riches of new lands, new opportunities to
expand human evolution.
"Creation of Adam" depicting the Hand of God
In the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the famous fresco
by Michelangelo painted between 1508-512, "The Creation of Adam" shows
God reaching out with his index finger extended to Adam who is
reaching toward Him with his finger extended. That portion of
the painting is commonly referred to as the "Hand of God."
"The Hand of God" is alleged to
represent the "divine spark of the soul" passing from God to Adam.
It is also thought of as a message to all the Children's Children's
Children that human beings' primary mission on earth is to reach
beyond their limitations so that they might also touch the "Hand of
God." God, in a universal non-religious framework, is the
unlimited potential of human goodness as evidenced by its struggle to
overcome its weakness, to corral and constrain its Beast of Terror so
its Sentinel of Vigilance can reach for the stars.
I see the deaths of these seven Columbia space
shuttle explorers not unlike I
do the deaths of the thousands who died on Nine Eleven. Like the Sentinels of Vigilance
who died on Nine Eleven, the Challenger Sentinels gave their life so that the Terrorism
of Complacency could be faced, fought and leashed. That
Complacency is the limitations humans put on their condition--those
specifically who assume the Beast of Terror can be tamed. It
cannot be. It can only be constrained through Vigilance, through
a constant awareness of its presence.
Terrorism breeds in the quagmire of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. It stops human evolution in
its tracks, and tries to force the imagination of mankind and
womankind back into the dank dark shadows of the cave where the Beast
of Terror lurks behind every shadow. Those who turn their heads
to the impending threat of the Beast of Terror are blind to what the
Columbia scientists saw in space--that only Vigilance will conquer
Terror. The ripping of the heat shields on Columbia is not
unlike the stripping the world of protection from the Saddam Hussein's
or the Kim Jong Il's who seek to burn Vigilance by pretending to be
civilized as they plot to destroy the children of either today or the
It would be easy for America to question the
waste of space exploration in the wake of this disaster and to trumpet the dangers versus the returns,
to parade out the billions of dollars of waste and corruption and
quash our hunger to explore the unknown, to journey into the abyss of
darkness in search of the light.
Some will certainly rally toward that goal.
Their Voices will ring as loudly as those who want us not to attack
Iraq, to wait until the smoking gun smokes. Those seeking
the smoking gun forget it only smokes after it is shot.
Our challenge to face the space issue is parallel
to our challenge to face the Terrorism dilemma.
Space is the
extension of human purpose
Space is the unknown, the ultimate extension of
human purpose. Space offers the solution to Terrorism, for to
conquer it, we must conquer the gravity of our Fears, Intimidations
Human beings have since the dawn of time sought
to answer the unanswered questions of existence: "Who are we?"
"Why are we?"
We have probed science, religion, philosophy and
reality for our answers, and haven't punctuated the questions
with definitive exclamation points. Our thirst to unravel the
Gordian Knot of Knowledge drives us to the edges of the earth and
beyond. It fuels our search to uncover and discover the ponderous questions of
life and its meaning, not only here on earth, but beyond.
Space exploration is ultimate source of
Vigilance, for it requires our unified Courage, Conviction and Right
Actions that the security of our children, and their Children's
Children's Children depends ultimately on pioneering other worlds,
finding new sources of energy, food, and opportunities to sate the
human spirits hunger to evolve beyond earth's gravity.
The deaths of not only American space
pioneers, but also of the Russians who have lost their Sentinels of
Vigilance in search of the far reaches of space, join all those who
have died standing up to the Beast of Terror. The Beast would have us fall into the armchairs of Complacency
and deny our destiny to expand beyond the gravity of reality--the here
and now--the safety of the present. It hungers for us to concede
to the Saddam Hussein's and Kim Jong Il's so our attention will be
diverted from what we can become to what we are. There is
no evolution in what we are, only in what we can become.
These Gravity Terrorists want us to fight over earth and threaten to
destroy it with no exit plan, no freeways to the future.
Few want to risk the safety of the present
for the dangers of the future. No one really wants to put
out the flames of Complacency for fear it might disrupt the harmony
that currently exists. Those crying for the "smoking gun" would rather wait until the
space shuttle burns up in the atmosphere before they react. They
would rather wait until Saddam Hussein launches an attack, or explodes
his first nuclear test bomb before eliminating the threat he poses to
the future of the Children's Children's Children.
The same is true with North Korea and Iran.
The United Nations wants the Beast of Terror to bite them before
recoiling and retaliating. There is no Courage in such a
strategy, no Conviction, and no Right Action in behalf of the
Children's Children's Children.
Explorers into the unknown don't wait for
answers, they create them through questions such as. "What
will Saddam Hussein do if he is left to devise his weapons of mass
destruction?" Few need to ponder that question to
chart where his final destination
leads. "What will Kim Jong Il do if allowed to build
upon his stockpile of crude nuclear weapons?" Again,
no one needs to give this question much consideration
Space is the difference between these
Question and the Right Answer.
We must seek
the answer for the Children's Children's Children
If we do not seek the Answer
to human evolution, we become
victims of Terrorism. We let the world of gravity consume
us. We burn up in the atmosphere of Complacency because we have
not checked our heat shields, we have not been Vigilant in assuring
the safety of future generations by reaching out to touch the "Hand of
Insidious Terrorism comes from within.
Its Fear, Intimidation and Complacency chews at our imagination,
making us blind to the reality of the dangers of the future. The politics or economics of the present
shackle us. The gravity of
"no imagination" nails our feet to the ground.
Space exploration is the ultimate in
Vigilance. As Adam reaches for God, and God reaches for
Adam, we are reminded that it is only by "seeking" that we "find," only by
"journeying" to the unknown do we "discover" who we really are.
Space exploration forces us as a world to face Fear with Courage, Intimidation with
Conviction, and Complacency with Right Actions for our Children's Children's Children.
Imagination is reaching for the Hand of
God. It is stretching to our extremes, denying the lead that
holds us prisoner to earth.
I have imagination. It is in
the form of questions. Is it within the scope of human imagination
that one day each parent on earth will subscribe to the Pledge of
Vigilance, and vow to raise his or her children in such a manner that
the child recognizes the Beast of Terror's footsteps and can put up
the heat shields of Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the
Children's Children's Children to stop the Beast's advance, to harness
and leash the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency the Beast exhales on
all its victims?
Is it possible a child can be taught by
Parents of Vigilance the Vigilance Formula, so that the child knows
that One Percent more Courage protects him or her from the Fangs of
Fear, that One Percent more Conviction will keep the crushing jaws of
Intimidation squashing him or her into nothingness, or that One
Percent more Right Actions in behalf of the future of the children who
will come after him or her will be the antidote to Complacency?
Is it possible that one day there will be a
Council of Vigilance replacing the United Nations, and that its
composition will be Parents of Vigilance elected from each nation
under a charter that looks to protecting the rights of all children as
the foremost element of human existence?
Imagination is nothing more than seeing
past the present into the future.
Space is our future. It holds
limitless secrets to the universe, fuel for our children to explore
the meaning of life in vast reaches of the universe we have yet to
fathom in reality. No one doubts the presence of life far
out in space, somewhere, perhaps not unlike our own, and, if
different, complimentary in its goal of searching for the meaning of
But we don't have to look into the future
to answer the question of "Who we are?" and "Why we are?."
We are now, and have always been, Terror
Hunters. We have been created to explore and conquer our Fears,
Intimidations and Complacencies, to rise above the primordial ooze
that sucks at us to ignore the future and live in the present.
We must reach
out and explore our potential to battle the Beast regardless of
our Fear, Intimidation & Complacency
belief we can be better, make the world better for our children--that
we can find a way to live in peace and harmony with one
another--that we can explore the far reaches of the universe--all
conspire to remind us we were born Sentinels of Vigilance,
each of us, from the first time our fingertips reached for
God's fingertip. From the moment we asked "Why"
we removed ourselves from the ordinary. The
question "Why" is the one question the Beast of
Terror despises, for the answer to that question destroys
his hold on us.
The answer is to "explore
The Beast of Terror would
rather we explore our defects, not our potential.
The Beast of Terror would
have us focus on the burning of the Columbia as a signal
we must not explore the unknown, and would have us hide
in the shadows of our Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
We cannot allow that and
We are Sentinels of Vigilance,
with our fingers outstretched, searching for the Hand of
Seven new fingers touched
Let us reach for on earth,
what they did for in Celestial Heaven.
1.--Biting The Hand That Feeds Terrorism
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