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by Robert Betts (Age: 71)
copyright 09-18-2001

Age Rating: 13 +

Terrorism - A Novel Approach

The vicious unprovoked actions of terrorists throughout the world are an abomination and an insult to everything, our humanity, our civilization. These are animals, quite obviously not human since they show no human characteristics at all. They must be stopped and eliminated from this planet if necessary.

First we need to understand… and I mean REALLY understand just what terrorism is. It is actions by a disgruntled group against individuals or a group of individuals. It has organization. It is an organized attack. It cannot be defended against by normal means, normal being military or police. The only way to stop a terrorist is to kill him. Those who are being attacked must organize themselves swiftly and act. This requires a whole new approach. We must, each of us, be capable and willing to defend ourselves…. Even kill.


Being a bit older (55) than many I have watched our freedoms in this country erode and decay. This continues.... As long as most people are still going home with a day’s pay to a mortgaged home or increasingly, a rented home, no-one is willing to make any move at all. Anyone who dares say we have a problem is encouraged to leave the country.

We have been shackled and chained with anonymous 800 numbers, which our neighbors, not unlike Nazi Germany, can report us and complicate our lives with the threat of taking even our children from us.

The “family” is an antiquated thing of the past. Foster parents often raise our children, being nicely paid by our government to do so…. It is quite frankly a new business. It is a statistical and provable fact that about 50% of these accused parents are later found innocent. Often though, their children are not returned to them. The emotional destruction to these people is immense and irreparable. The abusers in fact are the government and the system itself.

In the midst of all this, terrorists are benefiting from the fact that we are more terrified of our government and what it can and will do to those of us who dare defend ourselves than we are of the terrorists.

Box knives.. Folks

This is what keeps ringing through my mind… box knives. Have we sufficiently terrorized our own people that a small knife, a razor knife with a blade about one inch long causes us to cringe in fear? Is it fear of being cut or is it fear of what our judicial system will do to us should we dare resist?

Are we cowards? Any animal when sufficiently conditioned will react as he has been conditioned. No, coward is not an appropriate word for a conditioned animal. There is neither bravery nor cowardice there… just the conditioned response.

“So bob, you “Claim” to have the answer... Common, give it to us… what do you suggest?”

First. We need to trust the average person… trust that he is intelligent enough to know when he is threatened and allow him... No encourage him to act. Encourage him to protect himself and those who he is charged with. Quit jailing or threatening jail sentences in cases where a person is protecting himself from an abusive person.

Next, we need to thoroughly clean house in our government, especially in the judicial and legislative branches. Dump the bums and elect reps who will allow us to defend ourselves. Impeach judges who jail people for these acts.

Third, reevaluate what we teach our kids. Readin’ wrinin’ and ‘rithmetic are totally useless to a dead person. First is making sure we teach skills necessary to stay alive. That MUST be first priority in our schools. Teach self-defense. Any terrorist who wishes to attack our people will find that they have been taught to defend themselves on an individual basis.

So what do you think? I bounced these ideas off a gal I know, one who thinks guns kill people and still hasn’t figured out that people kill people. The death of 10,000 people, killed by a handful of box knives has not changed her one bit. She still believes that our government is perfectly within its rights to disarm us. She is convinced that our military and police force is the answer to any problem When I reminded her that this country, the one she would like to see me leave, was started by rebels, she didn't bat an eye as she told me I was un-american and should get out. 200+ years ago, this lady would likely have had our rebellious founding fathers hung, drawn and quartered and there would be no United States. I quote her simply because she is quite typical.

Now reality. These are just words… words which will fall on deaf ears. Everyone will go back to work, get their weekly checks and be happy as clams and nothing will happen. Nothing will change. The death of 10,000 people will still not cause us to change the system.

End result?

A few nice services, candles lit, some flag waving, a period of mourning, then business as usual...

Angry and in mourning,

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        09-21-2001     Nan Jacobs        

This event hit home, severely, on too many plains (planes??) and not just in the US--I don't think it will be forgotten quickly. Oklahoma City, less far reaching though no less awful in scope, is still hard on the minds of many, many people.

But reminders will never, ever hurt. I wasn't around during the Holocaust, but through reminders such as museums, documentaries, literature, movies, and memoirs, it's as clear and frightening and heart-wrenching to me as the survivors could possibly make it.

Candles and flags and speeches are all good; they help us grieve, deal with it, attain our decisions. We should expect that fervor to fade; no one can maintain that sort of "upness" constantly. But we will not be forgetting any time soon, and our resolve as a nation, and hopefully as a planet, will, I have faith, move forward in a resolute, determined, constant manner.

Interesting give and take between you and Beverly. I respect you both for maintaining civility in what could surely be a vey hot button topic.

        09-20-2001     Beverley McInnis        

Robert, I still respect your opinion and I still totally disagree. There are no "rewards" for children, youth, neighours, friends, family calling a HELP line when a child or youth is being threatened, violated, abused or tortured. Or not fed, clothed, no where to sleep. It is a safety issue, not an issue of turning parents over to be punished. In fact, many parents are provided with assistance and teaching/skills to improve themselves. Counselling is often provided. Detox programs are offered. To align this with WW2 and Nazi Germany, is still, in my opinion very wrong.

        09-20-2001     Robert Betts        

The reference to Nazi Germany is based on the historical fact that Hitler organized a Youth Corps. These youngsters were encouraged and rewarded for turning in their parents and other family members, some of whom were later sent to death camps.

We are quite obviously more civilized in this country... we only take the children from their parents. However, some parents feel this a fate worse than death.

The Time Out article has to satisfy a word count, hence I often cannot explain. What was meant is that the tactics are essentially identical. It was not an accusation of anyone being a Nazi.

        09-19-2001     Beverley McInnis        

Bob, I realize I should email you, however, I want my challenges to be public. I hope you will forgive me for doing a double comment.

I challenge your statement that 1-800 numbers are aligned with Nazi Germany. When I read this, I hear a hidden statement which implies those who teach children to use these numbers are aligned with Nazis. I strongly challenge this. In terms of children, these numbers are extremely important tools in safety plans. I teach these numbers, when to use them and how to use them. I will not stop doing this until there is absolutely no violence left in this world. I can give you numerous real life examples from my own work experiences where the use of these numbers have saved children and the adult(s) in their lives. When you can give me another way to keep a child safe that is as concrete as this, I will use it. Until then, the Children's HelpLine Phone Number is and will be at the top of the safety plans I give to children. (including children in my personal life)

Further to the issue of foster homes as a "new" concept.....look to history. Children's Homes prevailed in the 1800's and many children were used as "slaves" in the industrial age, removed from homes of poverty, placed in residental homes and committed to work for the remainder of their lives. That was the violent negative aspect of "foster homes." Orphanages were prevelant in the 1800's and early 1900's - there were good and bad coming out of that. Further back, abrigional cultures have historically done "fostering." If a family was having difficulties, children were moved to a relative's home within the tribe. To be cared for. In the Inuit culture, if one mother had many babies and another had none, a new baby would be moved to the woman who had none.

Foster homes are not a new concept. It is as old as time itself. Again, I challenge your blanket statements which place emergency helplines and foster children in the same catagory as terrorism.

In my mind, there simply isn't the connection. And I still respect your opinion.

        09-19-2001     Beverley McInnis        


Very strong opinion paper filled with anger which was well written. I respect your opinion and disagree with the majority of your paper.

First, the statistics. I know from professional and academic experience that the manipulation of statistics is astounding. I can take numbers, plug them into a formula and make them "fit" whatever I want. To display the numbers the way I want them displayed. I am challenging your blanket statement that 50% of children are removed from homes for no valid reason. While it is true that abrigional children in Canada are specifically targeted (for reasons of family violence, poverty and racism) and children of single parents are often the victims of targets...mainly around custody issues and one parent wishing to "get" is also true that many children are NOT removed who should be. The entire system needs to be rehauled and in BC, we have been working on this for many years. It still has a long ways to go.

I protest though your placing foster care in the same sentence/paragraph as terrorism. I cannot see the connection despite working in the field for 20 years.

There are many issues behind the scenes which go far beyond the "knee-jerk" reactions that have occurred since the terrorist actions last Tuesday. I totally agree "people kill people." Objects do not kill. I work and live in an environment where children are hunters and trappers by the age of 7. It is a cultural difference between city and country life, which should be encouraged not stopped. Love of land, for humanity and nature breeds loving people, balanced humans and caring souls.

Its not the guns or knives which create the hate and terrorist actions, its the people. It's not the colour or religion, ethnic background or gender which creates the violence, its the people.
That I heard you state loud and clear in the paper - its the person, not the 'stuff'

I'll end by stating this, your paper has brought people here to further discuss the issues and that is always a good thing. Whether we agree or not, these forums do create change. There are many who are not apathetic and are out there actively working to bring global peace....more than maybe you even realize. =o)

        09-19-2001     Natalie Amaral        

Thanks for writing this. It was a definite eye-opener. It's also frightening of all the things that what happened in NY could turn into. I'm just afraid of it being just the beginning of something worse.

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