Sunday January 6, 2002

Retribution is never a solution

By B. Cayenne Bird

Excuse me, but now that we have a pause in our unrestrained indulgence of a killing spree, based solely on vengeance, might we consider some actual solutions to our current predicament? 

We could start with some media reform, because getting the actual, legitimate news is necessary. How else can we take action against those who use grief and fear as an excuse to pervert our Constitution? 

What I offer is a quiz to determine whether you are well informed. The news is out there, but the White House has control of it, gained by shouting down those in opposition to their bloody non-solutions to the criminal acts against us. 

The loose cannons we elected to office and finance with our hard-earned money aren't getting results with their destructive approach. So why not consider some other options before President Bush gets us all killed and causes World War III? 

What they do in Washington, D.C., in our name as Americans is directly related to our personal safety, happiness and general welfare. It's good to predict what's coming as a result of our foreign policy because their actions will return to us as effects, which we witnessed in the Sept. 11 tragedy. Did you get the entire story of why your life was, and is still, in danger? 

Here's the quiz. Did you know: 

During the last presidential selection, John Loftus, the Holocaust Museum president in Florida, held a press conference and made it known that the Bush family holdings came in part from the Nazis of the Third Reich? Articles detailing a seizure of family assets by the U.S. government for trading with the enemy appeared in the Boston Globe, (it's there in their archives online). The Herald Tribune headlined Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W., for "trading with the enemy" in July, 1942. The Bush-Nazi connection surfaced too late to impact the selection, but then why did it only appear in a few mainstream newspapers? 

Have you seen the money trail and financial involvement of a large majority of the White House and Congress in partnership with Middle Eastern companies, including the bin Laden group? The scope of these dealings is staggering and equates Sept. 11 to a business deal gone bad. Here's a Web site describing the money trail: 

Did you know that the bin Laden group finally dropped dealing with the Bush family well into the present conflict? Only national media such as the Wall Street Journal have detailed how the Bush hierarchy personally benefits from the new war contracts. Benefit from war appears to be a family tradition. 

Did you ever see an examination of the mysterious death of Osama's brother, Salem bin Laden, in a Texas plane crash after a meeting with George Bush Sr. in 1989? This feud between two rich, spoiled brats has been ongoing for years. We are the pawns who are simply sent off to do their battle. We have a right to know about its origin. 

Reliable American reports list as many as 3,767 innocent civilians dead in Afghanistan and millions more near starvation at our hands. This has appeared in the European press that now estimates 5,317 killed, not including outlying areas. Why isn't it being reported in America? 

That a group of Indiana University professors refused to be shouted down and openly opposed President Bush. Indiana is the heartland, a place where people don't usually stand up for themselves unless they have really just had it. Why didn't you get this incredible news? 

That Gov. Gray Davis went to Washington, D.C., and raised more than $400,000 in donations under the guise of obtaining federal money for our state's "war on terrorism." And during Sept. 12-14 our state politicians never missed a beat in gutting and slam-dunking bills in the Legislature, taking full advantage of our grief and distraction. Many of these bills, which were vetoed, would have reduced lawsuit payouts by using preventive measures, and made our approach to crime-solving far more effective and less expensive. 

Have you seen or heard the U.N. pledge yet? Has anyone explained to you editorially that a New World Order would replace our Constitution and Bill of Rights with something else and make us subject to a set of laws which has nothing to do with our history born in revolution? Why are so many people following President Bush and the New World Order? 

By now you realize that the news hasn't been reaching you and even those of us who are veteran journalists are challenged to get it. 

We have men, who in the name of God, have taken us on a rampage which has drained billions of dollars of our tax money. We have ended up nowhere except on the brink of a world war with egg on our face. In the name of God and Christianity, I inquire what George W. Bush and the hawks nesting in the White House are reading? 

The president's warped reasoning that "if we just kill enough people, the problems will all go away and we will be happy again" is illogical. Why are many Americans supporting and financing this idea? President Bush executed more people as the governor of Texas than all the other governor's combined. He is ignoring that 50 percent of the New York victims' families oppose any killing in the names of their loved ones. 

Still scratching my head, I note another news item more widely released about a product called Verichip, which has already been ordered for prisoners in Los Angeles and is being used in Europe and Asia. 

Some have called it the "Mark of the Beast." When we consider the timing of this news from people who do not view killing as wrong, it sends shivers down my spine. This chip, the size of a grain of rice, is injected. Anyone with the right scanning equipment can track your every movement and extract your detailed personal information from it at will. Scary. 

We lost many freedoms through the government's manipulation of our fear. They cannot protect us. We dropped food packages and bomblets into mine fields, both were yellow and barely distinguishable from one another. We even killed some of our own soldiers by accident. Does this sound as if we can expect government protection? 

Wasn't it nauseating to watch President Bush appeal to American children to raise money for Afghan children, then bomb the latter to kingdom come? What kind of a message did that deliver to our young people, except that it's OK to kill if you're doing it to an old foe of the president's? 

At the state level, we see this retribution-style backward thinking at all levels of government where the citizenry is willing to spend billions without a whimper on non-solutions to domestic crime. Nobody is thinking this through. 

Retribution is a reaction, which has gone unchallenged since the Dark Ages. It is one that never has and never will work to deter crime. 

If we are to hold our heads up as civilized people and be good examples to the rest of the world, we need to curtail vengeance and get to the root of crime at home and abroad. Our survival depends on intelligent thinking of our leadership. 

There are no statistics anywhere to prove that executing insane or even normal people, locking people in cages who should be healing in hospitals, torturing by brainwash, psychological intimidation or imposing overly harsh laws are actual solutions to crime. Who is driving the retribution bus whose route never ends, but just rolls along in constant motion of a vicious cycle of people getting even with one another? 

We can't pay teachers and fund education, deliver proper medical care to prisoners who are returning to their communities much sicker than before incarceration. But we can pay out millions, possibly billions, in wrongful death, brutality, neglect and civil lawsuits, which far exceed the costs of actually doing things right in the first place. 

I have compiled Web pages of state, city and county lawsuit payouts. It shows a thread of great inhumanity happening just so that politicians can play power games over our lives. 

This is costing us a bundle, and the reason why journalists are banned from prisons. Totals are hidden from view across several budgets. This collection is an overview of the death, suffering and destruction inflicted upon tens of thousands of families who are too uneducated to organize and recall elected officials. 

The lawsuits located here are but the tip of the iceberg. The government doesn't mind spending your tax money and accepts inhumane practices such as medical neglect in prisons as business as usual. You're the one who must care and take action. Check 

Special-interest voting groups control our government. Some are good and some are just using politics to impose their judgments on people. Supposedly, we live in a majority-rules democracy, although the last selection didn't reflect this belief we all took for granted. That fiasco was our first alert of the current nightmare. 

The voting group with the most funds and active voters gets to make the rules over all the other voting groups. Nobody cares or takes action to help others suffering injustice, so those without voting groups are underrepresented. That's the penalty for not formally organizing opposition. 

Individuals do not count unless they are donating millions of dollars to campaigns or are part of a voting group. The politicians are only in office making these life and death decisions because we allow it. We can end careers and laws at any time. 

That's how it works in a nutshell. 

Now, if everyone has had their fill of grim non-solutions, perhaps we could concentrate on workable remedies. We need resistance. 

And resistance is writing letters to editors and showing up to important legislative hearings, instead of going to thousands to football games. We must stand up for ourselves, instead of assuming someone else is going to do it for us. We must be able to raise money and put realistic people in office, not just the clueless rich who are rarely humanitarians. 

When the propaganda of the Fox News Channel, where President Bush's cousin works, drones on, and you still don't really know what's happened, think about your duty as a citizen in this freedom fight while there's still a little time. Consider why the news to you is being blocked. 

If not, then live with the New World Order, Verichip tracking, the U.N. pledge, controlled media and so many people locked up that Canadians will need to come down to be our jailers. 

The author, a journalist specializing in criminal law, politics and prisons for 34 years, lives in Sacramento. She has interviewed and written about hundreds of politicians including Ronald and Nancy Reagan, George and Barbara Bush, Robert and Elizabeth Dole, Colin Powell and many California legislators. She publishes a daily online newsletter that focuses on human rights. E-mail:

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