Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Facts on Global Warming / Cooling.

Do any of these facts matter to Liberals? Check the veracity of all the following assertions and you will find everyone of them is supported by the very sources the IPCC uses. Global warming is nothing but a power and money gabbing scam and you ae helping them poerpetrate

All scientific evidence available indicates the earth stopped warming nearly ten years ago.

The earth's mean atmospheric temperature declined by nearly three-quarters of a degreee last year. The largest drop ever recorded

The head of the IPCC admitted to the BBC this January that there has been no net warming in the last century

The new Argos system data shows the oceans have cooled slightly over the last five years and the very deepest water under Antarctica has cooled precipitously.

The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area narrowly surpassed the previous historic maximum of 16.03 million sq. km to 16.17 million sq. km. in the last year.

NASA satellites found that last winters Arctic Sea ice covered 2 million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) more than the last three years average.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in a cool phase and one of the strongest La NiƱas in many years is slowly weakening due to seasonal temperature increases but continues to blanket the Pacific Ocean near the equator.

All scientific evidence available indicates atmospheric Carbon Dioxide increases occur following warming, not preceding it.

The IPCC has admitted their models failed to predict the extent of the current La Nina and the cloud activity associated with it, (water vapor makes up an estimated 90% to 95% of gasses considered "greenhouse" )

The IPCC just announced they expect the earth to cool for the next eight years and admitted (without saying so) that their previous prediction of a .3 centigrade increase during that period was wrong.

Solar scientists from both Canada and the Soviet Union have, independent of each other, published papers in the last five months that claim that solar activity has not increased as was expected during this phase of the usual11 year solar cycle. In fact, scientists in both countries claim that the Sun has become dramatically less active and they are worried that we might be entering a Solar Minimum.

Mars and Jupiter are warming sans SUV's

Etc, Etc.,Etc.

With a traditional broadcast and print media that is so corrupted by ignorance and partisanship, it is no surprise that so many morons can be led to think the world is warming when it is cooling, or that man can impact the worlds climate to a any measurable degree. The European socialists will stop at nothing to gain as much control over us as they can, and their tactics of lying to scare everyone are extremely effective when the press no longer holds them accountable to the truth.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Here is a great interview with a real scholar of the Second Amendment that will provide you with strong verbal ammunition when discussing the value that a concealed weapon provides society.

An interview with
John R. Lott, Jr.
author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Question: What does the title mean: More Guns, Less Crime?

John R. Lott, Jr.: States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws — called “shall-issue” laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.

Question: It just seems to defy common sense that crimes likely to involve guns would be reduced by allowing more people to carry guns. How do you explain the results?

John R Lott JrJohn R. Lott, Jr. is a resident scholar at American Enterprise Institute. He was previously the John M. Olin Visiting Law and Economics Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.

Lott: Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate — as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.

Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.

Question: What is the basis for these numbers?

Lott: The analysis is based on data for all 3,054 counties in the United States during 18 years from 1977 to 1994.

Question: Your argument about criminals and deterrence doesn’t tell the whole story. Don’t statistics show that most people are killed by someone they know?

Lott: You are referring to the often-cited statistic that 58 percent of murder victims are killed by either relatives or acquaintances. However, what most people don’t understand is that this “acquaintance murder” number also includes gang members killing other gang members, drug buyers killing drug pushers, cabdrivers killed by customers they picked up for the first time, prostitutes and their clients, and so on. “Acquaintance” covers a wide range of relationships. The vast majority of murders are not committed by previously law-abiding citizens. Ninety percent of adult murderers have had criminal records as adults.

Question: But how about children? In March of this year [1998] four children and a teacher were killed by two school boys in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Won’t tragedies like this increase if more people are allowed to carry guns? Shouldn’t this be taken into consideration before making gun ownership laws more lenient?

Lott: The horrific shooting in Arkansas occurred in one of the few places where having guns was already illegal. These laws risk creating situations in which the good guys cannot defend themselves from the bad ones. I have studied multiple victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1995. These were incidents in which at least two or more people were killed and or injured in a public place; in order to focus on the type of shooting seen in Arkansas, shootings that were the byproduct of another crime, such as robbery, were excluded. The effect of “shall-issue” laws on these crimes has been dramatic. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent, and injuries by 82 percent.

For other types of crimes, I find that both children as well as adults are protected when law-abiding adults are allowed to carry concealed handguns.

Finally, after extensively studying the number of accidental shootings, there is no evidence that increasing the number of concealed handguns increases accidental shootings. We know that the type of person who obtains a permit is extremely law-abiding and possibly they are extremely careful in how they take care of their guns. The total number of accidental gun deaths each year is about 1,300 and each year such accidents take the lives of 200 children 14 years of age and under. However, these regrettable numbers of lives lost need to be put into some perspective with the other risks children face. Despite over 200 million guns owned by between 76 to 85 million people, the children killed is much smaller than the number lost through bicycle accidents, drowning, and fires. Children are 14.5 times more likely to die from car accidents than from accidents involving guns.

Question: Wouldn’t allowing concealed weapons increase the incidents of citizens attacking each other in tense situations? For instance, sometimes in traffic jams or accidents people become very hostile — screaming and shoving at one another. If armed, might people shoot each other in the heat of the moment?

Lott: During state legislative hearings on concealed-handgun laws, possibly the most commonly raised concern involved fears that armed citizens would attack each other in the heat of the moment following car accidents. The evidence shows that such fears are unfounded. Despite millions of people licensed to carry concealed handguns and many states having these laws for decades, there has only been one case where a person with a permit used a gun after a traffic accident and even in that one case it was in self-defense.

Question: Violence is often directed at women. Won’t more guns put more women at risk?

Lott: Murder rates decline when either more women or more men carry concealed handguns, but a gun represents a much larger change in a woman’s ability to defend herself than it does for a man. An additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about 3 to 4 times more than an additional man carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men.

Question: Aren’t you playing into people’s fears and prejudices though? Don’t politicians pass these shall-issue laws to mollify middle-class white suburbanites anxious about the encroachment of urban minority crime?

Lott: I won’t speculate about motives, but the results tell a different story. High crime urban areas and neighborhoods with large minority populations have the greatest reductions in violent crime when citizens are legally allowed to carry concealed handguns.

Question: What about other countries? It’s often argued that Britain, for instance, has a lower violent crime rate than the USA because guns are much harder to obtain and own.

Lott: The data analyzed in this book is from the USA. Many countries, such as Switzerland, New Zealand, Finland, and Israel have high gun-ownership rates and low crime rates, while other countries have low gun ownership rates and either low or high crime rates. It is difficult to obtain comparable data on crime rates both over time and across countries, and to control for all the other differences across the legal systems and cultures across countries. Even the cross country polling data on gun ownership is difficult to assess, because ownership is underreported in countries where gun ownership is illegal and the same polls are never used across countries.

Question: This is certainly controversial and there are certain to be counter-arguments from those who disagree with you. How will you respond to them?

Lott: Some people do use guns in horrible ways, but other people use guns to prevent horrible things from happening to them. The ultimate question that concerns us all is: Will allowing law-abiding citizens to own guns save lives? While there are many anecdotal stories illustrating both good and bad uses of guns, this question can only be answered by looking at data to find out what the net effect is.

All of chapter seven of the book is devoted to answering objections that people have raised to my analysis. There are of course strong feelings on both sides about the issue of gun ownership and gun control laws. The best we can do is to try to discover and understand the facts. If you agree, or especially if you disagree with my conclusions I hope you’ll read the book carefully and develop an informed opinion.

John R. Lott, Jr.
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Second Edition
© 1998, 2000, 332 pages
Paper $14.00

ISBN: 978-0-226-49364-0
For information on purchasing the book — from bookstores or here online — please go to the webpage for More Guns, Less Crime. The first edition is in cloth binding.

Reprinted from the University of Chicago’s website here.

I highly recommend that you purchase and read John Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime.

Is S.Africa heading for a civil war?

Is S.Africa heading for a civil war? Former President's brother predicts Civil War...
Date Posted: Wednesday 24-Sep-2008

[It is President Mbeki's brother who is predicting Civil war. Well, look at my own comments just yesterday: S.Africa: If you think Whites and the Right Wing can't work together, wait until you see the Left...

I disagree with Moletsi though. Even though I am not a Zuma fan, and I do not support the Zuma communists, I have to point out that Zuma is responding in exactly the same way as Mbeki started this. Moletsi says below that the ANC should have investigated the judge's views to determine if Mbeki was indeed guilty. EXCUSE ME! When Mbeki fired Zuma 3 years ago, he was even more cavalier! Mbeki FIRED ZUMA THE VERY NEXT DAY (if I remember correctly) after the Shabir Shaik judgement came out. No, President Mbeki got back exactly the same medicine which he dished out to begin with.

Well, as I've said above, the Left and Far Left are intolerant. If Zuma is intolerant, then rest assured Mbeki is even MORE INTOLERANT. Let me remind you that Mbeki has a long disguised history of perhaps nailing several other senior blacks. If you ask BLACK PEOPLE what rumours there are about Mbeki they will tell you the following: That Mbeki was very possibly involved and behind the murder of Chris Hani the leader of the Communist Party. That Cyril Ramaphosa, the 2nd most popular black leader in this country next to Mandela himself, and who was also the successor Nelson Mandela wanted; is scared to death of Mbeki. Ramaphosa left politics and stayed out of it, despite being more popular than Mbeki himself BECAUSE HE FEARS MBEKI WILL MURDER HIM. And, we all know for CERTAIN that Mbeki did his UTMOST to nail Zuma until Zuma finally nailed him.

Moletsi Mbeki might well be right in his observations that this country is on the path to a Civil War now. As a note: Civil Wars are the bloodiest kind of war traditionally. Nothing seems to quite bring out the meanness and desperation in people quite like a Civil war. Look at any country. Whether it was the American Civil war (ok, there the guys who were in the wrong, legally, the Union, won) or any such war in Africa - it is brutal, it is vicious and it lasts a long time.

Look, if Civil War must come to this country, then let it come. I have no problem with it. The issues at stake here are big. If we have to fight among ourselves for the future of this county, then we must go for it. We must roll up our sleeves, pick a side and climb in.

I have a theory about warfare. In my view, warfare is a type of communication. It is not only about talking, but also about DOING and also about showing how FIRMLY you believe in something. Talk is cheap. But let's see who is willing to fight. War will show people who is serious and who is not. War is a test of support, etc. All wars eventually come to an end, and if they end DECISIVELY, then one side is a clear victor, and we then move on in that direction. War brings things into the foreground and we see what the problem is. I really don't have a problem with war at all. It is a valid part of life. When turmoil hits a country, that turmoil and that fighting eventually causes things to be resolved. If we must slug it out, then fine.

Zuma's commies have said they are prepared to fight. Perhaps Julius Malema of the ANC Youth League WAS JUST MORE HONEST. If you look at Mbeki's actions, he is always dignified in front of people, but behind the scenes he's a fiend. So how do we know that Mbeki himself, is not calling for the blood of Zuma's people? We don't know that. But we do know Mbeki has launched some heavy punches at Zuma and his other allies.

If we end up in a Civil War, then President Mbeki started it as far as I'm concerned.

I am not concerned by any of this. What must be must be. I've said many times the ANC is the worst thing that's ever happened to this country, and this is just more proof of that. The only good thing that will come out of this is a change in the black consciousness of this country and that blacks may end up having choices. I welcome that wholeheartedly. Jan]

The Cabinet of President Thabo Mbeki was to meet for the last time on Wednesday before he left office at the behest of the ruling party, the government said.

With its deputy leader Kgalema Motlanthe set to be elected to succeed Mbeki in parliament on Thursday, the African National Congress played down fears of instability after the country's deputy president and 14 ministers and deputies said they would step down with Mbeki.

Seven of those who had given notice had indicated they would be available to serve again, the party said.

The cabinet meeting late on Wednesday afternoon would be followed by a press briefing on the resignations, a government statement said.

"It will be the last one," government spokesperson Themba Maseko said, referring to the Mbeki administration's final meeting.

Mbeki bowed to a call to resign from the ANC leadership following a damning court ruling which hinted he was instrumental in a decision to prosecute his longtime rival Jacob Zuma, who had ousted him as party leader.

He has denied the allegations.

"The (cabinet) resignations do not pose a crisis and there is no need to panic," said Zuma, widely seen as the favourite to become president after next year's elections, on Tuesday.

But political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki, the outgoing president's brother and frequent critic, said on Wednesday the party was headed down a dangerous path which could end in civil war.

"The ANC is destabilising the country, it's destabilising its own country," Moeletsi Mbeki told Talk Radio 702.

"This is a warning to the ANC national executive committee that if they... continue to follow the path of not following the constitution, then they are going to lead this country to civil war."

He said the ANC should have lodged a complaint with parliament following the remarks of the judge who threw out corruption charges against Zuma on a technicality.

This would then have allowed for an investigation into whether President Mbeki was innocent or guilty.

The announcement of the ministers' resignations came shortly after parliament approved Mbeki's exit from office effective on Thursday, ending the nine-year administration of the man who succeeded anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

The ministers resigning include Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who spearheaded a turnaround of the country's Aids policies, and Local Government Minister Sydney Mufamadi, a key negotiator in the Zimbabwe crisis.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Tuesday labelled Mbeki's announcement of the resignations, which plunged markets into disarray, as a "dangerous mistake".

"I would say it was a dangerous mistake by Mbeki, I don't think he tried to embarrass us," Mantashe said, as quoted by the Sapa news agency.

The ANC later told Sapa that any "mistake" made would have been by the president's staff and not Mbeki himself.

The country's widely-respected finance minister, Trevor Manuel, seen by investors as vital to the country's stable economy, was among the 11 ministers of the 31-member cabinet who handed in their resignations.

Manuel's spokesperson made it clear that he was ready to serve the new administration, but his announcement led to market jitters with the rand slipping from R7.98 to R8.16 to the US dollar.

The president's office said the ministers' resignations would also take effect on Thursday.

Zuma said the decision to recall Mbeki had been "one of the most painful and difficult decisions" taken in the party's history.

The outgoing president had been increasingly at loggerheads with his party, which split into two camps behind him and Zuma when he made his failed bid to run for a third term as party president at a crunch ANC conference in December last year.

Mbeki attempted to salvage his reputation in the Constitutional Court on Monday, as he challenged the judge's ruling which he says cost him his job as president.
Source URL: http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=nw20080924153804200C107252

Posted By: Jan
AfricanCrisis Webmaster
Author of: Government by Deception

Those Small Baby Carrots In Bags


The following is information from a farmer who grows and packages carrots for IGA, METRO, LOBLAWS, etc.


The small cocktail (baby) carrots you buy in small plastic bags are made using the larger crooked or deformed carrots which are put through a machine which cuts and shapes them into cocktail carrots . most people probably know this already.

What you may not know and should know is the following: once the carrots are cut and shaped into cocktail carrots they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine in order to preserve them (this is the same chlorine used your pool) since they do not have their skin or natural protective covering, they give them a higher dose of chlorine. You will notice that once you keep these carrots in your refrigerator for a few days, a white covering will form on the carrots, this is the chlorine which resurfaces. At what cost do we put our health at risk to have esthetically pleasing vegetables which are practically plastic?

We do hope that this information can be passed on to as many people as possible in the hopes of informing them where these carrots come from and how they are processed. Chlorine is a very well known carcinogen. Please let us make this information available to as many people as possible. If you care about your family and friends, pass it on.

Whatever is good for Goldman . . .

By John Gapper

Published: September 25 2008 03:00 | Last updated: September 25 2008 03:00

A lot of people used to think that Goldman Sachs ran the US economy. Now we know it does.

On Tuesday morning, Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary and former chairman and chief executive of Goldman, testified to Congress about his plan to buy $700bn of mortgage securities. He wants to scoop up these assets as rapidly, and with as little interference, as possible in a manner yet to be fixed.

On Tuesday evening, Goldman declared that Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, was handing it $5bn of new capital in the form of preference shares and the bank would follow up with a $5bn equity sale. For investment banking rivals that have fallen by the wayside, or had to hunt overseas for funds, it showed who is top of the heap.

Mr Paulson's stewardship of the crisis-hit economy - despite the role that investment banks have played in bringing it down - and Goldman's bravura capital-raising are typical. Goldman partners are not only smarter than the average Wall Street bear, but often turn up in "public service", running finance ministries and central banks.

They have been very adept at first making money for themselves and then trading the financier's life for that of the power broker. Even in a Wall Street-induced crisis, it feels safer to have Mr Paulson at the US Treasury than Paul O'Neill, or John Snow, his Main Street predecessors. His bald pate and manner are scary but he is no ingenue.

This Wall Street crash, however, has made the latent conflict of interest between Goldman's public and private faces uncomfortably real. Mr Paulson insists that, in his current job, he cares only about "the American taxpayer", yet Goldman has been one of the prime beneficiaries of recent interventions by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Even if you accept, as I do, that Mr Paulson is a man of principle who tries his best to put his country first, this is troubling.

It places him in a more awkward spot than Robert Rubin or Steve Friedman, who ran Goldman and went on to become Treasury secretary and director of the White House Economic Council respectively; or Jon Corzine, the former Goldman head who is New Jersey governor, or Mario Draghi, a former Goldman partner who runs the Bank of Italy.

It might not be so awkward if Goldman had suffered just a little more from the credit crisis. But it has instead emerged, along with Morgan Stanley, in the last pair of large investment banks standing. The Securities and Exchange Commission has protected them and other institutions from short-selling and the Fed has allowed them to become fully fledged banks.

Wall Street is widely reviled at the moment, but even Wall Street is bitter about Goldman. Former employees of Lehman Brothers, which was left to fail by the Fed, complain that Mr Paulson and Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed, saved their $700bn (€474bn, £377bn) shot until last week. They pulled out the big gun when it looked as though Goldman and Morgan Stanley were in trouble.

Now, to compound matters, Goldman could make a bundle if Mr Paulson's $700bn fund clears Congress. Unlike rivals such as Lehman and Bear Stearns, Goldman marked down its exposures to subprime mortgages and real estate so aggressively that it has only $28bn of illiquid assets, of which a mere $1.7bn related to subprime mortgages, on a $1,000bn balance sheet.

It would be a bit rich for Goldman to turn round and make a profit by selling this stuff at a higher price to its old boss. But it need not be quite so blatant: even if Mr Paulson's fund buys comparable assets, Goldman will be able to mark up its own book. Furthermore, it is already thinking of using Mr Buffett's largesse to buy more distressed securities.

Goldman can hardly be blamed, of course, for navigating the Wall Street crisis better than others. It did not expose itself so disastrously to one highly leveraged play on the US mortgage market. It hedged against the credit turmoil and cut its losses swiftly rather than crossing its fingers that the market would turn.

Yet Goldman got a helping hand from the authorities and stands to get another one while Lehman was - rightly, in my view - allowed to fail and Bear Stearns' shareholders were nearly wiped out. Would the Treasury and the Fed ever have allowed Goldman to follow and its partners to lose their wealth? I doubt it.

The fact is that Goldman, having started out as a humble commercial paper house in 1869, has worked its way to the heart of the financial and political establishment. It has become the modern-day General Motors by convincing politicians and regulators that what is good for Goldman Sachs is good for the US economy.

It does not hurt that so many Goldman executives become public officials. They no doubt go to the capital with the best of intentions, but they bring with them Goldman's view of the world. Bear Stearns was "too inter-connected" with markets to be allowed to fail, but Goldman has embedded itself far more deeply in Wall Street and Washington.

Most of the time, this intermingling is not pernicious. Goldman partners tend to be clever, hard-working people. I also share Goldman's views on the benefit of free markets and globalisation, and the belief that wealthy institutions and individuals should use their clout and money both for philanthropy and to improve standards of government.

But, at the moment, Wall Street is embroiled in a crisis of liquidity and credibility. Mr Paulson is due to step down by January as Goldman Sachs' latest Treasury secretary. The next president should recruit his successor from elsewhere.


Canadian Media Zionists Expose Themselves...Again

By Victor Fletcher

The zionists have apparently passed a spying shopping list to Canada's National Post (founded by jailed criminal Conrad Black, the paper which invented the fake story about an Iranian law that required Jews to wear the Star of David) - to intimidate Toronto Street News; they have now given the same shopping list for intelligence gathering against our little paper to a contact at CBC Radio which is Canada's equivalent to the BBC -- a national government broadcaster on TV and radio across Canada. National Post has already told malicious lies about Toronto Street News - we will have to sue for damages.

CBC Radio Canada reporter Lorenda Roddekoppe asked: "Where does the money(?) go?" for the paper. A good question since I put the money in and the homeless get money out for the papers they sell. No middle-men. No profit. No mystery. With the zionist-supplied shopping list to gather information on myself and the paper she further wanted to know where I was phoning from as I didn't bother to hide my area code phone number and I was calling from outside Toronto where I now live to take care of my seniors and I'm 64 myself!

Chana Stern, our owner returned the call for us. When she gave them her name reporter Roddekoppe immediately exclaimed: "Oh, you're Jewish!" Her cover story for calling us was to claim she was doing a story on street papers. Though the figures are on the front page of every issue and the publisher's name is printed inside she wanted to know what our sales were (they are on each and every front page) and the publisher's name which is on page 4 of every issue as required by law.

This was proof that she was not performing actual research - just information gathering for an assigned "shopping list" to intimidate and destroy Toronto Street News reporting. She wanted to know how much our "distributors" make (from 0 to 10 cents for their volunteer costs), then she wanted to know why we talk about zionism and Jews.

Stern informed her it is a free country and we can write about any subject.

Alarmingly, this pattern of intelligence gathering by more than one large media organization is aimed at finding out my Jewish printer, my distributors, my income, my salesman's location, my street vendors, my fellow journalists and my family. For what purpose? They have apparently stopped my multi-national advertiser Honda Centre car dealer in downtown Toronto including other advertisers like Pardons Canada from paying for advertising.

Apparently these zionists have an incredible network of abusers of my reputation and that of Toronto Street News, the homeless, the abused -- zionist efforts deny money for the paper and the homeless who suffer and/or just plain die because they have no access to money or a paper to sell. Some depend on the paper for years to supplement a welfare payment due to disability while many others use it to survive for a short term until they get housing or re-enter society.

National Post interviewed one of my young guys, then mentioned drugs and prostitution on the streets. The truth is - that individual doesn't want to admit that he was forced onto the street at age 14 because his mother and father both abused him sexually. He was a basket case when we took him in with our youth counselling and housing aids and it took years to bring him around to be a human being. Others on the street are ill, old, or unemployable for a variety of reasons. They tell us that selling the paper gives them a sense of dignity. That youth did not go onto the street for drugs or prostitution and his reputation was smeared by National Post in deliberate misunderstanding of what had been explained to him at length.

In reference to our efforts with the poor, National Post claims it is "a dubious social mandate". Apparently, to be a legitimate citizen it is required that people have a minimum income of $20,000 before they are permitted to say hello to anyone on the street. The poor can just suffer? The zionist fact is a dark cloud on the street - which is why we report on its economic results of people on the street; 60% of our many reports are by volunteer Jewish writers and therapists including Israeli refugee reporter Barry Chamish as well as Canada's own Henry Makow PhD. We have the support of many readers, local and international journalists who recognize the blatant attempts by zionist media to smear the truth.

We are probably the only newspaper in Toronto which for years consistently reports on and predicts the current financial collapse in the U.S. - one which cost Canadian taxpayers $4 billion in support for international banks and our CIBC lost $4 billion on the U.S. sub-prime market already with more losses pending.

Toronto Street News is a mainstream paper while the zionists at National Post and within CBC Radio appear to live in a protected hothouse mentality deliberately unaware of the bigger picture. Recently, a National Post associate editor said on TV: "The United States should be respected as a wonderful democracy." I wonder why he had to say that.


Victor Fletcher / Toronto Street News
Sold on the streets of Toronto by the homeless, handicapped, underemployed and dying now in our 10th year working on


Monday, September 8, 2008

Jim Rogers Predicts Bigger Financial Shocks Loom

The U.S. financial crisis has cut so deep - and the government has taken on so much debt in misguided attempts to bail out such companies as Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) - that even larger financial shocks are still to come, global investing guru Jim Rogers said in an exclusive interview with Money Morning. Investment Director Keith Fitz-Gerald reports.

Indeed, the U.S. financial debacle is now so ingrained - and a so-called “Super Crash” so likely - that most Americans alive today won’t be around by the time the last of this credit-market mess is finally cleared away - if it ever is, investing guru Jim Rogers said.

The end of this crisis “is a long way away,” Rogers said. “In fact, it may not be in our lifetimes.”

During a 40-minute interview during a wealth-management conference in this West Coast Canadian city last month, Rogers also said that:

- U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke should “resign” for the bailout deals he’s handed out as he’s tried to battle this credit crisis.

- That the U.S. national debt - the roughly US$5 trillion held by the public - essentially doubled in the course of a single weekend because of the Fed-led credit crisis bailout deals.

- That U.S. consumers and investors can expect much-higher interest rates - noting that if the Fed doesn’t raise borrowing costs, market forces will make that happen.

- And that the average American has no idea just how bad this financial crisis is going to get.

“The next shock is going to be bigger and bigger, still,” Rogers said. “The shocks keep getting bigger because we keep propping things up… [and] bailing everyone out.”

Rogers first made a name for himself with The Quantum Fund, a hedge fund that’s often described as the first real global investment fund, which he and partner George Soros founded in 1970. Over the next decade, Quantum gained 4,200 per cent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed about 50 per cent.

It was after Rogers “retired” in 1980 that the investing masses got to see him in action. Rogers traveled the world (several times), and penned such bestsellers as “Investment Biker” and the recently released “A Bull in China.” And he made some historic market calls: Rogers predicted China’s meteoric growth a good decade before it became apparent and he subsequently foretold of the powerful updraft in global commodities prices that’s fueled a year-long bull market in the agriculture, energy and mining sectors.
“The next shock is going to be bigger and bigger, still,” Jim Rogers said. “The shocks keep getting bigger because we keep propping things up … [and] bailing everyone out.”

Rogers’ candor has made him a popular figure with individual investors, meaning his pronouncements are always closely watched. Here are some of the highlights from the exclusive interview we had with the author and investor, who now makes his home in $ingapore:

Keith Fitz-Gerald: Looks like the financial train wreck we talked about earlier this year is happening.

Jim Rogers: There was a train wreck, yes. Two or three - more than one, as you know. [U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S.] Bernanke and his boys both came to the rescue. Which is going to cover things up for a while. And then I don’t know how long the rally will last and then we’ll be off to the races again. Whether the rally lasts six days or six weeks, I don’t know. I wish I did know that sort of thing, but I never do.

What would Chairman Bernanke have to do to “get it right?”


Is there anything else that you think he could do that would be correct other than let these things fail?

Well, at this stage, it doesn’t seem like he can do it. He could raise interest rates - which he should do, anyway. Somebody should. The market’s going to do it whether he does it or not, eventually.

The problem is that he’s got all that garbage on his balance sheet now. He has $400 billion of questionable assets owing to the Feds on his balance sheet. I mean, he could try to reverse that. He could raise interest rates. Yeah, that’s what he could do. That would help. It would cause a shock to the system, but if we don’t have the shock now, the shock’s going to be much worse later on. Every shock, so far, has been worse than the last shock. Bear-Stearns [now part of JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM)] was one thing and then it’s Fannie Mae (FNM), you know, and now Freddie Mac (FRE).

The next shock’s going to be even bigger still. So the shocks keep getting bigger because we kept propping things up and this has been going on at least since Long-Term Capital Management. They’ve been bailing everyone out and [former Fed Chairman Alan] Greenspan took interest rates down and then he took them down again after the “dot-com bubble” shock, so I guess Bernanke could try to start reversing some of this stuff.

But he has to not just reverse it - he’d have to increase interest rates a lot to make up for it and that’s not going to solve the problem either, because the basic problems are that America’s got a horrible tax system, it’s got litigation right, left, and center, it’s got horrible education system, you know, and it’s got many, many, many [other] problems that are going to take a while to resolve. If he did at least turn things around - turn some of these policies around - we would have a sharp drop, but at least it would clean out some of the excesses and the system could turn around and start doing better.

But this is academic - he’s not going to do it. But again the best thing for him would be to abolish the Federal Reserve and resign. That’ll be the best solution. Is he going to do that? No, of course not. He still thinks he knows what he’s doing.
“I would say that for the last 200 years, America’s elected politicians and scoundrels have built up US$5 trillion in debt In the last few weekends, some un-elected officials added another $5 trillion to America’s national debt.”

Earlier this year, when we talked in $ingapore, you made the observation that the average American still doesn’t know anything’s wrong - that anything’s happening. Is that still the case?


What would you tell the “Average Joe” in no-nonsense terms?

I would say that for the last 200 years, America’s elected politicians and scoundrels have built up $5 trillion in debt. In the last few weekends, some un-elected officials added another $5 trillion to America’s national debt.

Suddenly we’re on the hook for another $5 trillion. There have been attempts to explain this to the public, about what’s happening with the debt, and with the fact that America’s situation is deteriorating in the world. I don’t know why it doesn’t sink in. People have other things on their minds, or don’t want to be bothered. Too complicated, or whatever.

I’m sure when the [British Empire] declined there were many people who rang the bell and said: “Guys, we’re making too many mistakes here in the U.K.” And nobody listened until it was too late. When Spain was in decline, when Rome was in decline, I’m sure there were people who noticed that things were going wrong.

Many experts don’t agree with - at the very least don’t understand - the Fed’s current strategies. How can our leaders think they’re making the right choices? What do you think?

Bernanke is a very-narrow-gauged guy. He’s spent his whole intellectual career studying the printing of money and we have now given him the keys to the printing presses. All he knows how to do is run them. Bernanke was [on the record as saying] that there is no problem with housing in America. There’s no problem in housing finance. I mean this was like in 2006 or 2005.


He is the Federal Reserve and the Federal Reserve more than anybody is supposed to be regulating these [financial institutions], so they should have the inside scoop, if nothing else.

That’s problematic.

It’s mind-boggling. Here’s a man who doesn’t understand the market, who doesn’t understand economics - basic economics. His intellectual career’s been spent on the narrow-gauge study of printing money. That’s all he knows.

Yes, he’s got a PhD, which says economics on it, but economics can be one of 200 different narrow fields. And his is printing money, which he’s good at, we know. We’ve learned that he’s ready, willing and able to step in and bail out everybody.
“The war just exacerbated the problems. And by the mid-70s, the U.K. was bankrupt. They could not sell long-term government bonds. Remember, this is a country that two generations or three generations before had been the richest most powerful country in the world.”

There’s this worry [whenever you have a major financial institution that looks ready to fail] that, “Oh my God, we’re going to go down, and if we go down, the whole system goes down.”

This is nothing new. Whole systems have been taken down before. We’ve had it happen plenty of times.

History is littered with failed financial institutions.

I know. It’s not as though this is the first time it’s ever happened. But since [Chairman Bernanke’s] whole career is about printing money and studying the Depression, he says: “Okay, got to print some more money. Got to save the day.” And, of course, that’s when he gets himself in deeper, because the first time you print it, you prop up Institution X, [but] then you got to worry about institution Y and Z.

And now we’ve got a dangerous precedent.

That’s exactly right. And when the next guy calls him up, he’s going to bail him out, too.

What do you think [former Fed Chairman] Paul Volcker thinks about all this?

Well, Volcker has said it’s certainly beyond the scope of central banking, as he understands central banking.

That’s pretty darn clear.

Volcker’s been very clear - very clear to me, anyway - about what he thinks of it, and Volcker was the last decent American central banker. We’ve had couple in our history: Volcker and William McChesney Martin were two.

You know, McChesney Martin was the guy who said the job of a good central banker was to take away the punchbowl when the party starts getting good. Now [the Fed] - when the party starts getting out of control - pours more moonshine in. McChesney Martin would always pull the bowl away when people started getting a little giggly. Now the party’s out of control.

This could be the end of the Federal Reserve, which we talked about in $ingapore. This would be the third failure - correct?

Yes. We had two central banks that disappeared for whatever reason. This one’s going to disappear, too, I say.

Throughout your career you’ve had a much-fabled ability to spot unique points in history - inflection points, if you will. Points when, as you put it, somebody puts money in the corner at which you then simply pick up.

That’s the way to invest, as far as I’m concerned.
“It takes a lot of hard work by a lot of incompetent people to change the situation.”

So conceivably, history would show that the highest returns go to those who invest when there’s blood in the streets, even if it’s their own.


Is there a point in time or something you’re looking for that will signal that the U.S. economy has reached the inflection point in this crisis?

Well, yeah, but it’s a long way away. In fact, it may not be in our lifetimes. Of course I covered my shorts - my financial shorts. Not all of them, but most of them last week.

So, if you’re talking about a temporary inflection point, we may have hit it.

If you look back at previous countries that have declined, you almost always see exchange controls - all sorts of controls - before failure. America is already doing some of that. America, for example, wouldn’t let the Chinese buy the oil company, wouldn’t let the [Dubai firm] buy the ports, et cetera.

But I’m really talking about full-fledged, all-out exchange controls. That would certainly be a sign, but usually exchange controls are not the end of the story. Historically, they’re somewhere during the decline. Then the politicians bring in exchange controls and then things get worse from there before they bottom.

Before World War II, Japan’s yen was two to the dollar. After they lost the war, the yen was 500 to the dollar. That’s a collapse. That was also a bottom.

These are not predictions for the U.S., but I’m just saying that things have to usually get pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty bad.

It was similar in the United Kingdom. In 1918, the U.K. was the richest, most powerful country in the world. It had just won the First World War, et cetera. By 1939, it had exchange controls and this is in just one generation. And strict exchange controls. They in fact made it an act of treason for people to use anything except the pound sterling in settling debts.

Treason? Wow, I didn’t know that.

Yes… an act of treason. It used to be that people could use anything they wanted as money. Gold or other metals. Banks would issue their own currencies. Anything. You could even use other people’s currencies.
“That’s one of the advantages of $ingapore. The place has an astonishing amount of wealth and only four million people. So even if it started squandering it in 2008, which they may be, it’s going to take them forever to do so.”

Things were so bad in the U.K. in the 1930s they made it an act of treason to use anything except sterling and then by ‘39 they had full-exchange controls. And then, of course, they had the war and that disaster. It was a disaster before the war. The war just exacerbated the problems. And by the mid-70s, the U.K. was bankrupt. They could not sell long-term government bonds. Remember, this is a country that two generations or three generations before had been the richest most powerful country in the world.

Now the only thing that saved the U.K. was the North Sea oil fields, even though Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher likes to take credit, but Margaret Thatcher has good PR. Margaret Thatcher came into office in 1979 and North Sea oil started flowing. And the U.K. suddenly had a huge balance-of-payment surplus.

You know, even if Mother Teresa had come in [as prime minister] in ‘79, or Joseph Stalin, or whomever had come in 1979 - you know, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, whomever - it still would’ve been great. You give me the largest oil field in the world and I’ll show you a good time, too. That’s what happened.

What if Thatcher had never come to power?

Who knows, because the U.K. was in such disastrous straits when she came in. And that’s why she came to power… because it was such a disaster. I’m sure she would’ve made things better, but short of all that oil, the situation would’ve continued to decline.

So it may not be in our lifetimes that we’ll see the bottom, just given the U.K.’s history, for instance.

That’s going to be terrifying for individual investors to think about.

Yeah. But remember that America had such a magnificent and gigantic position of dominance that deterioration will take time. You know, you don’t just change that in a decade or two. It takes a lot of hard work by a lot of incompetent people to change the situation. The U.K. situation I just explained… that decline was over 40 or 50 years, but they had so much money they could have continued to spiral downward for a long time.

Even Zimbabwe, you know, took 10 or 15 years to really get going into it’s collapse, but Robert Mugabe came into power in 1980 and, as recently as 1995, things still looked good for Zimbabwe. But now, of course, it’s a major disaster.

That’s one of the advantages of $ingapore. The place has an astonishing amount of wealth and only four million people. So even if it started squandering it in 2008, which they may be, it’s going to take them forever to do so.

Is there a specific signal that this is “over?”

Sure… when our entire U.S. cabinet has Swiss bank accounts. Linked inside bank accounts. When that happens, we’ll know we’re getting close because they’ll do it even after it’s illegal - after America’s put in the exchange controls.

They’ll move their own money.

Yeah, because you look at people like the Israelis and the Argentineans and people who have had exchange controls - the politicians usually figured it out and have taken care of themselves on the side.

We saw that in South Africa and other countries, for example, as people tried to get their money out.

Everybody figures it out, eventually, including the politicians. They say: “You know, others can’t do this, but it’s alright for us.” Those days will come. I guess when all the congressmen have foreign bank accounts, we’ll be at the bottom.

But we’ve got a long way to go, yet.

Note: The above article was posted at Information Clearing House

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September Surprise Get ready for it…

September 3, 2008
September Surprise
Get ready for it…
by Justin Raimondo www.antiwar.com

While the rest of the pundits opine about the meaning and implications of Sarah Palin's ascension from small town mayor to prospective vice president – and whether or not her daughter's private life is fair game for any media outlet other than the National Enquirer – those of us whose job it is to stand watch on the ramparts and report the real news are wondering when – not if – the War Party will pull a rabbit out of the proverbial hat. For months, I've been warning in this space that an American attack on Iran is imminent, and now I see that the Dutch have reason to agree with my assessment. Their intelligence service reportedly has pulled out of a covert operation inside Iran on the grounds that a U.S. strike is right around the corner – in "a matter of weeks," according to De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper.

As the story goes, the Dutch had infiltrated the purported Iranian weapons project and were firmly ensconced when they got word that the Americans are about to launch a missile attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. They wisely decided to close down the operation and pull out.

Remember, the Israelis have been threatening to strike on their own for months: what's changed is that now, apparently, the U.S. has caved in to what is a blatant case of blackmail and has agreed to do the job for them.

We haven't heard much about Iran lately, at least compared to the scare headlines of a few months ago, when rumors of war were swirling fast and furious. The Russian "threat" seems to have replaced the Iranian "threat" as the War Party's bogeyman of choice. What we didn't know, however, is that the two focal points are intimately related.

According to this report by veteran Washington Times correspondent Arnaud de Borchgrave, the close cooperation of the Israelis with the Georgian military in the run-up to President Saakashvili's blitz of South Ossetia was predicated on a Georgian promise to let the Israelis use Georgia's airfields to mount a strike against Iran.

The main problem for Tel Aviv, in making its threats against Iran at all credible, has been the distance to be covered by Israeli fighter jets, which would have a hard time reaching and returning from their targets without refueling. With access to the airfields of "the Israel of the Caucasus," as de Borchgrave – citing Saakashvili – puts it, the likelihood of an Israeli attack entered the world of real possibilities. De Borchgrave avers:

"In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter-bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli air force would fly over Turkey.

"The attack ordered by Saakashvili against South Ossetia the night of Aug. 7 provided the Russians the pretext for Moscow to order Special Forces to raid these Israeli facilities where some Israeli drones were reported captured."

Reports of anywhere from 100 to 1,000 Israeli "advisers" in Georgia do not bode well for the situation on the ground. With the Israelis already installed in that country, the logistics of carrying out such a sneak attack are greatly simplified. Israeli pilots would only have to fly over Azerbaijan, and they'd be in Iranian airspace – and within striking distance of Tehran.

Faced with this fait accompli – if the Dutch are to be believed – the Americans seem to have capitulated. In which case, we don't have much time. Although de Borchgrave writes "whether the IAF can still count on those air bases to launch bombing missions against Iran's nuke facilities is now in doubt," I don't see why the defeat of the Georgians in Saakashvili's war on the Ossetians has to mean the plan to strike Iran via Georgia has been canceled. Indeed, reading de Borchgrave's riveting account of the extent of the Tel Aviv-Tbilisi collaboration, one finds additional reasons for all concerned to go ahead with it:

"Saakashvili was convinced that by sending 2,000 of his soldiers to serve in Iraq (who were immediately flown home by the United States when Russia launched a massive counterattack into Georgia), he would be rewarded for his loyalty. He could not believe President Bush, a personal friend, would leave him in the lurch. Georgia, as Saakashvili saw his country's role, was the 'Israel of the Caucasus.'"

Saakashvili, a vain and reckless man, now has even more reason to go behind Uncle Sam's back and give the Israelis a clear shot at Tehran. With this sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of the Americans, the rationale for a more limited, shot-across-the-bow strike by the U.S. becomes all too clear.

After all, if the Israelis attacked, the entire Muslim world would unite behind the Iranians. If, on the other had, the U.S. did Israel's dirty work, with Tel Aviv lurking in the background, it would conceivably be far less provocative, and might even generate sub rosa support among the Sunni rulers of America's Arab allies. It's going to happen anyway, goes the rationale, and so we might as well do it the right way, rather than leave it to the Israelis, who have threatened – via "independent" commentators like Israeli historian and super hawk Benny Morris – to use nuclear weapons on Iran's population centers.

In terms of American domestic politics, the road to war with Tehran was paved long ago: both major parties and their presidential candidates have given the War Party a green light to strike Tehran, McCain explicitly and Obama tacitly, albeit no less firmly.

The stage is set, rehearsals are over, and the actors know their lines: as the curtain goes up on the first act of "World War III," take a deep breath and pray to the gods that this deadly drama is aborted.
~ Justin Raimondo

A police officer guarding former prime minister Tony Blair left her loaded gun in a London coffee shop

LONDON (AFP) - A police officer guarding former prime minister Tony Blair left her loaded gun in a London coffee shop where it was found by a member of the public, police and media reports said Thursday.

The Sun newspaper reported that the female officer left the semi-automatic Glock 17 on the floor of the toilets in a Starbucks cafe where it remained for nearly 20 minutes before being found by an employee, who called the police.

London's Scotland Yard confirmed that a gun belonging to a member of the police force's firearms division "was left unattended in a central London cafe on August 29 and was found by a member of the public".

The newspaper reported that the officer, a plain-clothes policewoman in her 30s, soon realised her mistake and spent nearly an hour looking for the weapon. The gun was eventually traced back to her through its serial number.

She was reportedly a member of the Specialist Protection Command, which is responsible for the personal safety of Blair and current premier Gordon Brown.

An investigation has been launched into the incident.

Blair stood down last year and now represents the Middle East Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States -- which is seeking negotiations for a lasting peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Monday, September 1, 2008

City pulled off the real crime Closing range won't end killings

City pulled off the real crime
Closing range won't end killings
By Joe Warmington

The final shot for the Canadian National Recreation Association Gun Club's shooting range in Union Station was fired Wednesday night -- the fatal round coming from Toronto Mayor David Miller.

Bull's eye!

Are you feeling safer today with the eviction and closure of this pistol range?

Or did you even know it was there, since nothing terrible happened there in the eight decades when it was a CN-owned property and then later when it was turned over to the municipality?

Unfortunately for the 130 members who had never had an incident or accident in 81 years, Miller found out they were tucked away on the seventh floor and that was the end of them.

"It's a crime," said club president Tom Bradbeer, a member since 1982. "We feel very sad."

He described a sombre scene of about 20 defeated members gathering around telling stories and each taking a final shot in the range that helped train everyone from police officers to Olympians like Avianna Chao, just back from Beijing.

"There were some speeches," Bradbeer said. "We cleaned out the filing cabinets. When we left, the lock codes were changed and we can no longer get in any more."

Just like that.

They were evicted from their only home since 1927.

"It's just awful," said Councillor Doug Holyday, who fought and voted against this. "It's a shame because these are honest and ordinary people partaking in a eye-to-hand sport in a safe, confined environment."

The question for Mayor "We Must Ban All Handguns" Miller, of course, is now that you have put the squeeze on some legal guns and owners, how are you doing on the illegal ones?

Dismally, say the statistics.

It's been a whole year of shooting murders. Thanks to research by Sun crime reporter legend Rob Lamberti, the dead with their shooters still on the loose are Hou Chang Mao, 47, Shawn McLean, 22, Tristan Wright, 23, Sasha Haroutiun, 35, Shammal Ramsay, 18, Levis Taylor, 17, Dylan Ellis, 26, and Oliver Martin, 25, Claudio Andres Alamos, 19, Justin Brunet, 21, Michael Sean Williams, 27, Brendan MacDonald, 20, Kurt Atiba Charles, 27, Adrian Inglis Bannerman, 29, and Devon Wynter.

It's a shocking number and none had anything to do with the CNRA at Union Station.

"We feel like scapegoats," said Bradbeer, who was first introduced to Sun readers by columnist extraordinaire Sue-Ann Levy, who originally broke this story. "We have never had an incident and yet feel we have been labelled."

Although rare, there have been incidents with licensed handguns, namely the shooting death of John O'Keefe on Yonge St., allegedly perpetrated by a suspect possessing a registered handgun.

It's also a fact these pistols are sometimes stolen and end up the hands of criminals.

"I don't think there's any defence for sport shooters any more," Miller told reporters after the O'Keefe murder. "It's a hobby that creates danger to others."

The truth is it's a paltry number of hobby shooters who cause problems, compared to the guns which come over the border.

Miller's spokesman Stuart Green said the "mayor's position -- and that of city council -- is shooting clubs don't belong on city property. They will be allowed to stay open on private property."

The thing is, even with this crazy move, these members still have their guns and will now travel with them to other clubs. Not one registered gun has been taken out of commission.

In fact, not one gun has been removed from circulation.

The truth is a lot more people have killed in cars or on motorcycles, on horses or Sea-Doos, airplanes and even on treadmills than by legally owned guns.

"What's next, are they going to ban cars because people die on the roads?" asks target shooter James Gard, who then realizes he does not want to give them any ideas.

'Decent, law-abiding'

Gard describes this decision "deceivingly dishonest" and that "decent law-abiding citizens have had their freedoms suspended in the guise of stopping gun crime."

He believes it's too simple to call it gun crime. "This problem has everything to do with illegal drugs, public housing and primarily the ruthless gangs who emanate from those dwellings and make huge profits from the procurement and sale of illegal drugs."

Toronto's drug trade will continue to operate while the pistol shooting range at Union Station will not.

"It is a real injustice," said Bradbeer. "But he won."

You got your target shooters, David. Let us know when you get the murderers.

Mayor's secret powers

Mayor's secret powers
How Miller's new clandestine club will threaten Toronto -- and democracy

The question you must ask yourself is: "Do you really want Mayor David Miller having the ability to control the city's future in secret?"

Do you want him, or any future mayor, to have that power?

There are some who think it has to go this way.

Councillor Case Ootes sure doesn't want to see it -- and yesterday started putting out feelers to others on council for them to start thinking about how to stop this drive for a clandestine club at City Hall for the personally selected and the few.

"He wants the power to hire and fire and to meet in private," said the veteran councillor, who is opposed to much of what the mayor stands for.

"I am against it at this point because the system we have says you are not allowed to meet in private."

And he feels strongly it should not be allowed to change just to meet the ambition of a group of "leftist" politicians who find it cumbersome to work within rules that have served municipalities well for more than a century.

But if he can't stop them, Ootes said he at least wants to make sure there is something in place to be able to challenge them.

"We need a whole different form of governance," said the 20-year councillor. "The traditional municipal form of governance doesn't work anymore."

He's right. But it may already be too late.

In-camera meetings with hand-chosen sidekicks is what Miller wants and is what he's asking for.

And it's probably what he will get in this day and age of politicians who seem hell-bent on finding new ways to tax the citizens so they can go about the socialist approach in administering their city.

Don't forget the province shamefully, and without consultation from any voters I have talked with, gave Miller the power to create a second land transfer tax just for Toronto, gave him the power to ding drivers for $60 for a new vehicle registration tax and the brains at the provincial level extended municipal council terms to four years.

They had no business doing any of that. But still, there are new rules at City Hall. And new taxes.

Who knows what else this so-called executive committee will come up with if permitted to shut out those elected who don't agree with them -- as well as the public and the media?

Ootes, the Ward 29 councillor for Toronto Danforth, raises some important points when he wonders if it's time somebody take a look at this and make sure it's in everyone's interest for it to be done this way. "There has to be a counter balance in any democracy -- you know, checks and balances," he says. "This is no longer happening here in Toronto or has been severely diminished."

And yet if Miller gets his way, he will gain more powers that would not only let him continue with the undemocratic practice of having a private club of supporters, but allow him to meet with these hand-chosen followers in complete privacy.

It's municipal politics where every elected councillor is supposed to get a say on behalf of every citizen from every neighbourhood. But if it is not going to be that anymore, then Ootes is right and there has to be a new component added in. Real opposition, with real questioning powers -- all done in public.


Then the mayor can be asked how it helps the city to not have the wisdom and experience of an Ootes -- involved in the process of running the city.

Same goes for Karen Stintz, Rob Ford, Doug Holyday, Michael Thompson, Michael Walker, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Parker, Bill Saundercook and others.

How could you leave these people out of any process? Their wards want them involved. It doesn't seem smart. Or democratic.

But if there is going to be, as Ootes calls it, a "council blacklist," they should at least have a voice to take him on in every issue. "Maybe a parliamentary system with opposition," said Ootes.

Or at least a system where no longer are just the staff at City Hall questioned by council but the seven chairs of city committees, who are elected officials but appointed by the mayor. "They should be the ones answering the questions -- you don't see deputy ministers on the hot seat in the provincial parliament but the actual elected politicians," said Ootes.

One thing for sure is they should not ever be permitted to take select members and meet privately -- without the scrutiny of media, the public or others on council.

It's just not the same as a premier meeting with his cabinet -- because in that case official opposition is in place and there is daily question period. This is not Cuba and it's not China. The only thing that should be secret here is your own personal choice in the ballet box.