|Who is in charge of
America's Homeland Security? The Democrats are sharpening
tools to attack the Republicans for being inept at solving the
Terrorist problem. Both the Republicans and
Democrats are taking charge of fighting Terrorism at the expense of
the people. If you were to vote on who is in charge
of fighting Terrorism in your neighborhood, would it be on of the
political parties, or, yourself, your neighbors and all the other
Parents of Vigilance?
26, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 470
White Christmas Shrouds Battle Over
The Bones Of Terrorism
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
|GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 26--
Yesterday the beautiful white snow fell from the sky, blanketing New
York City with the first White Christmas since 1909. But
it didn't cover the battle over the bones of Terrorism.
The blood from the battle oozed over the whiteness, soiling an
otherwise magnificent and magical day.
For millions of New Yorkers
still trying to distance themselves from the idea America is as
vulnerable a target for foreign attack as is Israel or Bali or any
other piece of terra firma or floating objects on the sea that
Terrorism targets, the snow was a respite from a grueling 470 days of
distance from Ground Zero, September 11, 2001.
In a few hours time, the flakes
purified the past, washed away the idea that New York City is a
bulls-eye, painted on the sights of every nuclear weapon held by any
major country who opposes America, for New York City is an icon of
Freedom, an example of where anyone from anyplace in the world can
come and start a new life, free from despotism, rich in opportunity.
Christmas Night snowfall
Just a few days ago my wife and I,
and a friend visiting New York from Southern California, took the
Circle Line from Battery Park and sailed over to the Statue of Liberty
and Ellis Island. Our friend, Jackie, had entered New York
harbor in the 60's as an immigrant from England. Five
years later she became a U.S. citizen.
Jackie wanted to see the Statue of
Liberty close up, and to set foot on Ellis Island where millions of
immigrants passed through its doors to launch new lives, to create new
homesteads in the "Land of Opportunity."
The bells of Terrorism ring loudly when you visit the archway to
Freedom. A thorough security check is performed before you
can climb aboard the Circle Line ferry. The last time I
went through (the 4th of July), face recognition cameras took
everyone's picture and flashed it back at a central processing unit,
searching for the physiognomy of known Terrorists who might want to
blow up America's icon of Freedom.
salutes Lady Liberty forty years after her arrival in America
It was a glorious warm
day, preceding the snow. The sun splashed off the water,
gulls cawed, and 472 of us sailed to Ellis Island without a hitch.
Inside, we plugged in our ancestors'
names, trying to recognize a name of some relative who packed up and
shifted loyalties from one country to another--seeking to find the
fabled "pot of gold" that existed in American opportunity.
Lori at Ellis Island
The photographs in
Ellis Island showed the faces of determined people, pioneers who came
here long ago to plant their seeds and spend their energies to build
and develop a land where they had equal rights to all others,
unfettered by their social structure or ethnicity, their religion,
their creed, their politics. Walking through the Ellis Island museum,
we wondered why anyone would attack America, would want to destroy the
right to opportunity that so many parents chose to give their
children, and their children's children's children by becoming U.S.
citizens, and enjoying the full faith and credit offered by the U.S.
It was a moving
experience for our friend Jackie, and a reminder to me of the rich
cultural beauty of a country that comprises so many different
viewpoints and talents. It is no wonder America is the richest
nation in the world, for it draws from the richest of all
resources--all the peoples of the world who want what we
have--opportunity for their children to become whomever they want to
arrived in America seeking a better life for their children
The bold women who came
here many decades ago and dreamed of giving their daughters rights
that only men enjoyed in their countries should be very pleased with
the result. The poor who came to seed the soil for their
children's rights to be rich should smile as well. None of
those immigrants came expecting America to carry them to the pot of
gold. They came expecting the opportunity to earn it, a
major difference from their original roots where no matter how hard
they tried, their societies restricted their advancement, their
I thought a great deal
about the immigrants as the snow fell yesterday. I thought
about the muscles they brought, the rugged individualism they
expressed when they pioneered this country, never expecting government
to do anything than to protect their rights to achieve on their own,
only at the expense of their brows and determination.
Had they been told that
government was in charge of their lives, would "protect them," and
that government would be responsible for their individual and
collective security, the immigrants would probably have run the other
The countries they came from
made similar promises. Monarchies, despots--all centralized
power structures--allege to be the "big brother" of the people.
Saddam Hussein boasts to all his people he is their "father" and will
"protect" them. Communism did the same.
The bigger government gets, the more power it sucks up from the
people, the more "liable" government becomes for the "rights of the
people," the more despotic it becomes. Immigrants didn't need
Harvard law degrees to know a con man when they saw one.
Had they been told America's Homeland Security would protect them from
Terrorism they would have laughed. That's what they were running
from--government. They were running from the lies and deceit of
centralized power that by its nature robbed them of fundamental,
individual rights to protect themselves, to be the "king or queen" of
Trying to find
information on relative's arrival
Over the years, America's
central government has grown stronger and the people weaker.
As government assumes more command over the security of the people,
the more castrated the people become in accepting their responsibility
to protect themselves, and the more dependent on the "mother state."
As a result, we find our
nation fighting over the bones of Terrorism. We find our
government trying to take charge over the security of the children's
children's children, as though government was the parent of all the
children, its "father."
Nothing could be more
Government, at best, is
only a hand-servant not a master, to the duty of protecting the rights
of children. That duty lies with the parents, the
guardians, the loved ones, the family.
Currently, the Democratic
Party is preparing to battle the Republican Party for the next
Presidential elections. Their war chests are being
filled and their strategies and tactics being shaped. It appears
the number one political club the Democrats will swing is the
Republican's failure to protect America from Terrorism.
Christmas snow is being blotched with the blood of the Terrorist
victims--political blood being gathered in buckets to be thrown in the
face of the White House, an attempt to diminish the Republican's image
as the "Terrorism Protector." And, since George Bush has placed
such an emphasis on Homeland Security in his politics, the Democrats
may have found a vulnerable spot.
Unless, that is,
Americans stop thinking like slaves.
ultimately, is giving up the rights to one's security and being bound
by the balls and chains of another's guardianship. A slave
waits for his or her master to act, and has no power to act in his or
Americans who sit
around the dinner table or bar or office and ask, "What is government
doing today to protect us from Terrorism?" or, more frightening, "What
is government doing for my children?" is even scarier.
But that's what
Americans are doing. They have abdicated their "rights of
individuality" and turned their "power of authority" to protect
themselves and their children over to the government.
abdicating rights to the government?
today's New York Times (Dec. 26), Adam Nagourney details the strategy
and tactics of the Democratic Party in assailing the Republican
leadership's inept handling of the Terrorist attacks. The
article, titled "Eyes on 2004 Vote, Democrats Fault U.S. Terror
Defense," is an outline of a white paper the Democrats are using to
cripple confidence in the current White House, and, obviously, to
extol that party's virtues on doing a better job.
Leading the pack is
Senator John Kerry who claims the administration has squandered a year
since the attacks by failing to make "the preparations necessary to
properly deal with an obvious problem of growing terror and the threat
Bob Graham, chairman of
the Senate Intelligence Committee stated "The combined intelligence
community says that there is a 75 percent or better chance that there
will be terrorist attacks against the United States interests,
including inside the United States, when a war against Iraq is about
to achieve success." Graham adds he's considering a presidential
The bottom line is the our
political powers are fighting over the bones of Terrorism to sustain
or regain power. Both assume that public support
depends on which party shows itself as the "strongest leader" to
protect the "people."
That's where I have a huge
problem, and where I believe every American should recoil as though
they were holding their hand over a hot flame.
shoots the flame of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency
Terrorism is not the government's job.
This incredible fallacy
that it is, is nothing more than a signpost that Americans have become
so lazy that they no longer feel responsible for locking their own
definition, is about injecting Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into
its victims. There is no way on earth that any government
can inoculate a society against Fear, Intimidation or Complacency.
It can only throw back the duty and responsibility to achieve that to
the people. It can tell its people that bombs and bullets
are not the problem. The problem is how we react to the threats
of them, as a people, in our neighborhoods, our homes.
Since the antidote
to Terrorism's Fear is Courage, and Conviction to replace
Intimidation, and Right Actions to offset Complacency, these elements
of human character cannot be distributed by government. They are
entitlements given to use at birth, as human beings. The
best government can do is to enrich these qualities is to stop telling
the public "we will protect you," and remind them, "you must protect
yourselves, and we will help."
Government is only a hand
maiden, a servant to the people. If it does the job of the
parent--security--then it becomes the mother and father of the
children. No longer do the children look to their parents for
authority and guidance, but instead to the government.
Our children have been brought up not to ask mom and dad for help, but
to dial 911. Mom and dad aren't Sentinels of Vigilance.
Party's strategy to attack the Republicans on this issue underscores
the deep and troubling nature of Vigilance. Is Vigilance a
government responsibility or does it belong to the citizens?
If Americans have
become so Complacent as to assume the government is in charge of
national security--the safety of each neighborhood--then we're in real
immigrants came here and flooded Ellis Island, they wanted the right
to protect themselves. They wanted the right to be their
own "boss," to rule their own lives, and to raise their children
without the overseeing of government.
freedom from government--imposed government.
Patriot Act is nothing more than imposed government telling Americans
they cannot protect themselves, and therefore the government must.
That flies in
the face of Ellis Island's legacy.
It soils the
snow of a White Christmas.
about how one looks at his or duties to face bullies, nothing more,
nothing less. If children are trained to call 911 and wait
around for the anti-bully forces to dash upon the scene, they are
learning the wrong lesson.
children and society--if it is truly free--must take upon its
shoulders the Duty of Vigilance. Each parent must vow to be a
Sentinel of Vigilance and pledge to teach his or her child the
qualities of Courage over Fear, Conviction over Intimidation, and
Right Actions in the place of Complacency. And, to do that in
concert with the selfless goal of protecting the children's children's
If the Democrats
want to win the election, they will promote Individual Vigilance
rather than try and to attack the White House as inept and position
themselves as more adept at protecting the people. If the
Republicans want to stay in power, they will shift the emphasis of
centralized Homeland Security from the federal level down to the city,
the neighborhood, to the more than 100 million households.
Instead of digging
up the bones of Terrorism and throwing them at each
other, Democrats and Republicans need to dig up the
Shields of Vigilance and Swords of Vigilance and hand
them back to the people.
Then, a White Christmas will be truly white--for its
purpose--purification of the bloody soil--will have
been met. Duty and responsibility will
return to its rightful owners--the Parents of Vigilance,
the Citizens of Vigilance, the Loved Ones of Vigilance.
Dec. 25--Merry Christmas to Vigilance
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved - a