Thursday, October 30, 2008

Picture this: Gun amnesty idea won't work


Last Updated: 30th October 2008, 4:46am

If you happen to have some guns lying around, you might be able to get a cheap head start on your Christmas shopping thanks to Toronto's latest gun amnesty program, "Pixels for Pistols."

If you turn in an illegal or unregistered gun, you won't be charged and, in return, you'll receive a free digital camera and photography lessons from Henry's camera stores.

I am not making this stuff up. If it turns out the gun was used in a crime, however, you're fair game for a police investigation. I don't know if you'll get to keep the camera.

Henry's website's "common questions" section includes this: "What is the purpose of the 2008 Toronto Police Service Gun Amnesty?" The answer: "To keep firearms out of the hands of potential criminals."

Great idea, but that's about it. As Alex Tabarrok, research director of the Independent Institute think-tank in Oakland, Calif. put it, "It's like trying to drain the Pacific with a bucket, and more guns are going to flow in."

As with Prohibition, prostitution and drug laws, gun control laws have done nothing to stop people from getting what they want. Time and again gun amnesty programs have failed.


They haven't worked in the U.S., Great Britain or anywhere else. Toronto's sister city, Chicago, clearly demonstrated gun buy-back programs don't mean a thing.

Handguns have been illegal in Chicago since 1982, yet local police confiscate or receive voluntarily through programs more than 10,000 guns a year. Guns still constantly pour into the city and into the hands of criminals or would-be criminals. And, on the day Oscar award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were shot to death in Chicago, the city took over the title of "Murder Capital" of the U.S.

Police, politicians and even private businesses can try to stop law-abiding citizens from owning guns through incentives such as cameras, cash or avoiding going to jail, but they are only feel-good measures and none of these will stop dangerous people from getting a gun. The goal should be to get guns off the streets, not to get guns out of attics in boxes marked "Grandpa's things."

The dangerous people in our society are not shutterbugs looking for a good deal on a digital camera.

A 2004 study by the National Research Council in Virginia concluded there is no evidence these types of programs reduce gun violence at all. Most, if not all, of the guns collected through the program will probably come from law-abiding citizens. If dangerous people do participate in the program, they will surely be able to replace their guns quite easily.

It is also not hard to imagine that drug users could see the program as an invitation to get hold of guns just so they can get a camera worth at least $150. They might then turn "Pixels for Pistols" into "Cameras for Cocaine" after they sell their new Nikons to support their drug habit.

Henry's should be commended for its role in trying to create a safer community. But the money Henry's is spending on camera and photography lesson giveaways would have been better spent directly on youth programs, for instance. If there is a serious desire to get guns out of the hands of those who will use them then put more police on the streets. Money and efforts should be spent focusing on stopping the flow of new guns into cities and preventing those potential users of guns from ever using one.


You can't help but wonder what other amnesty programs the police may have in store for us. In an effort to curb the world's oldest profession, prostitutes can try to get off the street with a free pair of shoes in the "Pumps for Pimps" offer, thanks to a generous contribution from the Bata Shoe Museum.

Blockbuster Video could host "Pirates and Princesses Day." Bring in a copy of any pirated Disney DVD -- no questions asked -- and get two tickets to the next Disney on Ice show.

Are you getting free cable illegally? Feeling guilty? Turn yourself in and for a limited time get a free month of HBO! It's all part of Rogers' new amnesty program -- "Rogers for Dodgers."

If the police and Henry's really wanted to make the city safer, they would just hand out cameras to everybody and offer cash rewards for every photo of a crime. It might be an invasion of privacy, but it would make more sense than the current program.

While snapshots are far more appealing to society than gun shots, the reality is that this latest gun amnesty program will have no impact on crime in Toronto.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

City report could suggest a levy on throwaway products

Miller rules out any trash tax


Last Updated: 29th October 2008, 3:00am

To tax or not to tax? That's the question Toronto Mayor David Miller, a city councillor and a taxpayer watchdog can't answer.

The confusion between the mayor's office, Councillor Glenn De Baermaeker and the Canadian Taxpayer Federation stems from a report that will be tabled next month at the public works committee meeting.

In the report, staff outline several options related to reducing polystyrene (certain plastic products) in the city's landfill and increasing Toronto's waste diversion rate to 70% by 2010.

According to Geoff Rathbone, Toronto's director of solid waste, those options include banning the use of certain products in the city; adding them to the recycling program; deposit returns and what he calls "financial tools."

De Baeremaeker, who chairs the public works committee, took it one step further and said the report was considering "new taxes."

Specifically, the recommendations are looking at plastic packaging, coffee and tea to-go cups, batteries, light bulbs, plastic bags and paint cans among other things.

"We'll consider taxes. We'll consider bans. We'll consider deposit returns, we'll consider everything to protect the ... Toronto taxpayer and to protect the environment," De Baeremaeker said yesterday, noting no decision has been made yet. "If we have a public policy that says we're going to tax plastic bags or throw-away batteries or things that are bad for the environment, I think that's a good policy."

But Miller doesn't see it that way. Miller spokesman Stuart Green said in an e-mail no new taxes are being proposed.

"City staff will be reporting to the Nov. 12 works committee with options for getting to 70% diversion but new taxes are not among those options," Green stated. "The mayor has already said there are no new taxes planned and none are being proposed."

According to Kevin Gaudet of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, the mayor can call the new measures anything he likes but if they increase costs for consumers, they're taxes.

"If at the end of the day, it's a government mandated decision that takes more money out of the pockets of individuals, families and businesses in Toronto, it ain't nothing but a tax," Gaudet said.

He's also worried the city will try to slide in new taxes under the radar by calling them waste diversion measures that would not be under the same public scrutiny as a new tax.

"This government has a history of increasing taxes and doing it through the back door," Gaudet said.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown

The crisis in Hungary recalls the heady days of the UK’s expulsion from the ERM.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 10:52AM GMT 26 Oct 2008

The financial crisis spreading like wildfire across the former Soviet bloc threatens to set off a second and more dangerous banking crisis in Western Europe, tipping the whole Continent into a fully-fledged economic slump.

Currency pegs are being tested to destruction on the fringes of Europe’s monetary union in a traumatic upheaval that recalls the collapse of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.

“This is the biggest currency crisis the world has ever seen,” said Neil Mellor, a strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.

Experts fear the mayhem may soon trigger a chain reaction within the eurozone itself. The risk is a surge in capital flight from Austria – the country, as it happens, that set off the global banking collapse of May 1931 when Credit-Anstalt went down – and from a string of Club Med countries that rely on foreign funding to cover huge current account deficits.

The latest data from the Bank for International Settlements shows that Western European banks hold almost all the exposure to the emerging market bubble, now busting with spectacular effect.

They account for three-quarters of the total $4.7 trillion £2.96 trillion) in cross-border bank loans to Eastern Europe, Latin America and emerging Asia extended during the global credit boom – a sum that vastly exceeds the scale of both the US sub-prime and Alt-A debacles.

Europe has already had its first foretaste of what this may mean. Iceland’s demise has left them nursing likely losses of $74bn (£47bn). The Germans have lost $22bn.

Stephen Jen, currency chief at Morgan Stanley, says the emerging market crash is a vastly underestimated risk. It threatens to become “the second epicentre of the global financial crisis”, this time unfolding in Europe rather than America.

Austria’s bank exposure to emerging markets is equal to 85pc of GDP – with a heavy concentration in Hungary, Ukraine, and Serbia – all now queuing up (with Belarus) for rescue packages from the International Monetary Fund.

Exposure is 50pc of GDP for Switzerland, 25pc for Sweden, 24pc for the UK, and 23pc for Spain. The US figure is just 4pc. America is the staid old lady in this drama.

Amazingly, Spanish banks alone have lent $316bn to Latin America, almost twice the lending by all US banks combined ($172bn) to what was once the US backyard. Hence the growing doubts about the health of Spain’s financial system – already under stress from its own property crash – as Argentina spirals towards another default, and Brazil’s currency, bonds and stocks all go into freefall.

Broadly speaking, the US and Japan sat out the emerging market credit boom. The lending spree has been a European play – often using dollar balance sheets, adding another ugly twist as global “deleveraging” causes the dollar to rocket. Nowhere has this been more extreme than in the ex-Soviet bloc.

The region has borrowed $1.6 trillion in dollars, euros, and Swiss francs. A few dare-devil homeowners in Hungary and Latvia took out mortgages in Japanese yen. They have just suffered a 40pc rise in their debt since July. Nobody warned them what happens when the Japanese carry trade goes into brutal reverse, as it does when the cycle turns.

The IMF’s experts drafted a report two years ago – Asia 1996 and Eastern Europe 2006 – Déjà vu all over again? – warning that the region exhibited the most dangerous excesses in the world.

Inexplicably, the text was never published, though underground copies circulated. Little was done to cool credit growth, or to halt the fatal reliance on foreign capital. Last week, the silent authors had their moment of vindication as Eastern Europe went haywire.

Hungary stunned the markets by raising rates 3pc to 11.5pc in a last-ditch attempt to defend the forint’s currency peg in the ERM.

It is just blood in the water for hedge funds sharks, eyeing a long line of currency kills. “The economy is not strong enough to take it, so you know it is unsustainable,” said Simon Derrick, currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon.

Romania raised its overnight lending to 900pc to stem capital flight, recalling the near-crazed gestures by Scandinavia’s central banks in the final days of the 1992 ERM crisis – political moves that turned the Nordic banking crisis into a disaster.

Russia too is in the eye of the storm, despite its energy wealth – or because of it. The cost of insuring Russian sovereign debt through credit default swaps (CDS) surged to 1,200 basis points last week, higher than Iceland’s debt before Götterdammerung struck Reykjavik.

The markets no longer believe that the spending structure of the Russian state is viable as oil threatens to plunge below $60 a barrel. The foreign debt of the oligarchs ($530bn) has surpassed the country’s foreign reserves. Some $47bn has to be repaid over the next two months.

Traders are paying close attention as contagion moves from the periphery of the eurozone into the core. They are tracking the yield spreads between Italian and German 10-year bonds, the stress barometer of monetary union.

The spreads reached a post-EMU high of 93 last week. Nobody knows where the snapping point is, but anything above 100 would be viewed as a red alarm. The market took careful note on Friday that Portugal’s biggest banks, Millenium, BPI, and Banco Espirito Santo are preparing to take up the state’s emergency credit guarantees.

Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas, says there is an imminent danger that East Europe’s currency pegs will be smashed unless the EU authorities wake up to the full gravity of the threat, and that in turn will trigger a dangerous crisis for EMU itself.

“The system is paralysed, and it is starting to look like Black Wednesday in 1992. I’m afraid this is going to have a very deflationary effect on the economy of Western Europe. It is almost guaranteed that euroland money supply is about to implode,” he said.

A grain of comfort for British readers: UK banks have almost no exposure to the ex-Communist bloc, except in Poland – one of the less vulnerable states.

The threat to Britain lies in emerging Asia, where banks have lent $329bn, almost as much as the Americans and Japanese combined. Whether you realise it or not, your pension fund is sunk in Vietnamese bonds and loans to Indian steel magnates. Didn’t they tell you?

Dr. Doom forecasts depression

Janet Whitman
Financial Post
Monday, Oct 27, 2008

NEW YORK – Peter D. Schiff, an extreme bear who correctly foresaw the U.S. stock-market slide, the home mortgage meltdown and the credit crunch, still sees plenty of doom and gloom ahead. As president of Euro-Pacific Capital, a Connecticut-based brokerage, the 43-year old financial advisor has long been urging his clients to get their money out of U.S. stock and bond markets and look for safer investments outside of America or put their nest eggs into silver and gold.

Mr. Schiff, a frequent pundit on U.S. business channels whose gloomy views have earned him the nickname “Dr. Doom,” sees no need to alter that strategy. He expects a lot more downside, despite the already precipitous drop in U.S. stocks, which has seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumble 40% from its October 2007 record of 14,164 to 8,379 points as of Friday’s close.

Far from fixing the problem, the US$700-billion Wall Street bailout and other government interventions are only going to prolong the pain, predicts Mr. Schiff, who was economic advisor for libertarian Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign.

The economy, he says, appears headed for its first depression since the Dirty Thirties. Mr. Schiff spoke with the Financial Post’s Janet Whitman.
FP: How did the U.S. get into this mess?

Peter Schiff: It was the result of reckless monetary policies. Of course, the rest of the world is not blameless. They’re the ones who loaned us all the money that we spent. We couldn’t have dug ourselves into this gigantic hole without them. We’ve printed and spent and borrowed our way into a financial disaster. What we are witnessing is the consequences of the excesses of our economy, especially over the past eight years since the bursting of the tech bubble. We basically ended up with false economic growth. Ultimately, if an economy lives by credit, it dies by credit. When we can’t borrow any more, it implodes. A lot of companies were built around this phony economy. Americans are now too broke to buy those products. We never could afford to pay for them. We were paying for them with debt.
FP: Are government bailouts helping?

PS: Everything that the government is doing right now is designed to prevent the market from administering its tough medicine. All of the bailouts are a bad idea. The government is trying to put more cash out there so Americans can keep spending. We don’t need more loans for consumers. We need less. Consumers should not be borrowing. They should be doing the opposite. We’re trying to encourage more of the behavior that’s behind the problem.
FP: What is the solution then?

PS: What we need is real change. We need to rein in the government and let lose the free market, unfettered by government. It was government intervention that created this crisis in the first place. The Federal Reserve brought interest rates down and provided all this cheap money for everyone to speculate with. A lot of Americans refinanced and took out much bigger mortgages in the last few years. The idea was, You don’t want to leave all of that equity in your house. You’re rich now, you live in half million-dollar house. You need a media room and a Mercedes. You can’t be driving that Ford. Everybody was spending all that money like they were entitled to it. Now all the debt is still there and we can’t pay it back. We can’t fix the problem. We can’t stop housing prices from falling because they are too high. Most people still think that the government can fix it and put it back together the way it was. But we need housing prices to fall to a point where Americans can afford them – where you can put 20% down and have a mortgage payment that’s only 25% of your income. I think real estate in America is going to be the cheapest it’s ever been in real terms. Pendulums don’t stop in the center. They swing in the other direction and over shift.
FP: How bad is the economic downturn going to get?

PS: As of right now, we are headed for a depression, meaning a protracted period of economic contraction with elevated levels of bankruptcies and unemployment. It’s not going to be a recession the way we’ve come to know them. Whatever we call it, we’re still going to be in it at the end of [U.S. presidential contender Barack] Obama’s term. He’s going to be known as a depression-era president. Unfortunately, [things he's proposing to do] could make it worse and drag it out. The economy will be the issue when he goes for reelection…We have to restructure the economy in a different way. That’s going to involve a lot of pain. We haven’t seen the full extent of the doom and gloom in real economy. It’s showing up on Wall Street first because they funded all of the extravagance…But the bigger picture is the party is over. We’re going to have to get used to a different lifestyle. We’re going to have to start saving money again.
FP: When might the U.S. stock market bottom out?

PS: The U.S. stock market is still fairly expensive, especially if you factor in what future earnings are going to be. I think [the Dow] still has a long way to go down. Is it 7,500, 6,000, 5,000? I don’t know, but I don’t think we’re there yet. Adjusted for inflation, I think in five years the Dow is going to be below where it is today.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Beat the taxman, toss it now

City's garbage levy and new limits kick off on Monday, even though 75,000 don't have bins yet


Last Updated: 23rd October 2008, 3:13am

In a little more than a week -- Nov. 3 to be exact -- the David Miller garbage tax tap will "turn on" for the city's 480,000 homeowners.

They will be paying their new levy, er tax, whether they have their new grey trash bins or not.

In fact, about 75,000 residents throughout the city -- or 15% of single-family households -- will have to make do with the "equivalent number" of pink tags which they will have to affix to green garbage bags every two weeks, said Rob Orpin, the city's director of collections.

(Hmmm. I won't even suggest bag tags would have been the far more efficient way to deal with the new garbage limits than bins at $50 a pop. But then this is Socialist Silly Hall, where spending money has become a fine art.)

"We anticipate that we'll be all finished (delivering the bins) by Jan. 31," he said.

The main reason for the delay is the far greater demand than anticipated for the medium-sized bin (37% of orders vs. the 30% predicted) -- which holds the equivalent of 1 1/2 green bags and will cost an extra $39 per year on top of the $209 already charged for city garbage services.

According to the 2009 solid waste capital and operating budget documents (on which public hearings will be held at today's budget committee meeting) the garbage fees will not increase next year.

Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste, told me they anticipate about a 3.5% increase in the fees starting in January of 2010. "Right now we are recommending a 0% increase that takes us right to the end of December 2009," he said.

Orpin noted the garbage tax "covers everything related to garbage" -- collection, transfer stations, litter and perpetual care of landfills.


Our new garbage bin was dropped off last week along with a handy-dandy coloured flyer containing a list of rules on how to use it. A series of pictures shows us how to put our garbage bins out by 7 a.m. on collection day at the end of our driveway (a driveway pictured without cars, I might add) and not on the grassy boulevard beside the driveway. Never mind the logistics of trying to back out a car departing for work before the garbage crew arrives on one's street.

Another rule had me howling. It suggested that in winter weather, the bin be put in a clear spot. "The collection crew will return it to that spot," the flyer notes.

Now if the city's CUPE forces ever set down our bins the exact way they found them -- and didn't toss them like footballs -- I think I would faint from the shock.

As for enforcement of the mandatory diversion bylaw, Lance Cumberbatch of the city's municipal licensing and standards department says at the start it won't be "aggressive." Instead they'll spend some time educating householders, choosing only to hand out $105 tickets starting next March to people caught co-mingling organics with paper and plastic or dumping garbage illegally (at the side of the road, in alleyways and in parks trash bins, for example).

Coun. Mike Del Grande said he suspects it will not be an easy transition to the new garbage tax scheme. He's already getting "phone calls all over the place" about the bins and the pink tags.

"I think they (city officials) were ambitious," he said. "They tried to rush this through because this is a money-maker for them."

He also suspects the money won't go to diversion initiatives but to general revenues.

Hoping 3-1-1 is the right call

City spends millions on new one-stop info line, will efficiency follow?


Last Updated: 26th October 2008, 5:06am

Coun. Peter Milczyn is convinced that when the city's new 3-1-1 phone system is finally up and running -- sometime next June -- it will be a much-needed "tool to drive productivity" at City Hall.

He feels the one-stop customer call-in information system -- designed both to answer inquiries and to respond to requests for service -- will quickly "shine a light" on inefficiencies and problems in the city's operations.

As he notes, it will also be much easier for the average person to contact the city with a complaint.

"You won't get bounced around from number to number, you don't get voice mail and you will be told how long it will take to fix your problem," said Milczyn, who as chairman of the now defunct e-city committee was intimately involved with the project from the get-go in 2004.

The thought of contacting a live person at Socialist Silly Hall-- without getting transferred around by apathetic city workers -- sounds like utopia for anyone who has tried to deal with the city as of late.

But if productivity is indeed the end game, the project's implementation hasn't exactly been a model of efficiency.

According to city documents, plans for the service -- which is already being used in 30-40 cities throughout North America including New York, Chicago, Miami, Ottawa and Calgary -- were first introduced in June of 2004. A report to council that December indicates the 3-1-1 customer service model (melding 251 public inquiry lines and comprising 100 call-takers) would be phased in over three years ending in December 2007.

The launch date is now set for the middle of next June, following a testing period starting at the end of March.

Milczyn blames the executive management team for not being "terribly engaged" -- which cost them at least a year at the outset. He says council balked "with good reason" at the initial $65-million price tag for the project. It has since fallen to $46 million, then $27 million, and finally to its current resting place, $35 million.

"It was very frustrating (at first) because they (staff) were finding all kinds of reasons why it would be difficult or impossible," he said, noting there was also a delay with the technology contract because of pricing issues.


The oversight committees Milczyn sat on, along with councillors like Mike Del Grande and Denzil Minnan-Wong are now defunct -- a product of the highly controlled executive mayor system. Nevertheless, Milczyn says he's still in touch with the 3-1-1 staff team on a regular basis, even if there's not the same oversight.

During a tour last week of the sparkling new 3-1-1 contact centre -- located in the refurbished former council chamber of Metro Hall -- project director Neil Evans said during their first phase of operations next June, they expect to answer general inquiries and take service requests related to the solid waste, transportation and water departments.

By April of 2010, they intend to be on stream with requests and inquiries pertaining to the municipal standards and licensing branch and forestry department.

He said they've spent 42% of their $35 million capital budget to date, adding that their 2009 operating costs won't be approved until April. At least $6 million, however, will be spent on the 113 call takers expected to initially staff the 24-7 operation.

According to city documents, some $300,000 could also be spent on the 17-day training sessions that will be given to each call-taker. And Evans says there are 30-plus staff in the 3-1-1 project office.


The 21,200-square-foot call centre -- complete with 60 speakers emitting white noise, double computer screens on each desk, the latest phones, special lighting, a kitchen and lounge area -- cost $4 million to renovate and $800,000 so far to outfit, says the manager responsible, Stan Walton.

Evans contends the public will deal with a "maximum of two" city employees and their call handled within two minutes. When a service request is made, customers will be told the relevant number of days it will take to fix the problem and given a confirmation number to follow up either by phone or online.

Driving productivity is also a lofty goal. But I asked Milczyn if he felt this regime and this mayor would be prepared to listen to what is exposed by the 3-1-1 system.

"I would like to think nobody is opposed to becoming more efficient and more productive," he said. "The trick will be in how quickly and effectively we act on what we find out from all of this."

How to beat David Miller

It'll take big money and one clear candidate -- but it can be done, starting now


Last Updated: 26th October 2008, 5:04am

Roll call!

All serious entrants for the job of mayor of Toronto, step forward.

This is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real thing.

To win this somewhat-coveted job away from the incumbent, David Miller, on Nov. 8, 2010, will take nothing less than a total commitment, starting now.

It's a two-year job running for mayor. It demands the ability to raise about $1.5 million.

Those are the basic requirements -- along with a winning campaign plan, panache, name recognition, political acumen and debating skills, never mind being able to manage an $8-billion-a-year corporation covering everything from garbage to budgeting to hockey rinks.


Oh, and if it's not mano-a-mano, forget about it. Any vote split -- and it would only happen on the centre-right because no lefty will battle Miller -- would benefit the reigning king.

So, if anyone is really interested in dethroning Miller, step up.

John Tory gave it a run in 2003, when there was no incumbent and when he and Miller started in the low single digits in the polls behind Barbara Hall.

Tory feels with a little more time he might have been able to nip Miller at the finish line (although an antidote for the island airport debate would have helped).

"Anything less than two years is not enough time to cover the ground you need to cover," Tory said.

Plus, you need a fat bankroll. To compete, the contender will need pamphlets and signs in all corners of the city, radio and even TV ad time along with a battle-ready campaign operation.

In addition, candidates can't raise or spend any money until 2010, and candidates can only collect $2,500 per contributor. The biggest money factor is any campaign debt is personal debt.

This time, Miller starts from a position of power. Despite a less-than-stellar record, he has a major base of support. His policies may infuriate many Torontonians, but as one insider put it, if you live in an apartment, don't have a car and don't see your water bill, life hasn't been so terrible.

Miller buried the bad news at the start of his latest reign -- the land-transfer tax, the vehicle registration tax. By the time November 2010 hits, who knows where this city and province will be financially and mentally?

"I think he's been a fine mayor," said John Laschinger, the brains behind the Miller campaigns of 2003 and 2006. "People respect him when he represents the city. He's good looking, straight talking."

Laschinger adds the Miller broom so many pundits and residents say got lost sweeping out Mel Lastman, has actually kept City Hall scandal free.


Laschinger's advice to anyone seeking the mayor's chair is that they have to know the city.

"Stephen LeDrew jumped in in 2006 and showed he didn't understand how the city works and how it is funded," Laschinger said. LeDrew took 1.3% of the vote.

"If you're going to run you have to have vision, you have to be able to answer the question: What would you do as mayor? You have to have money, too.

"A lot of people get mentioned, but few show," Laschinger said.

The list of candidates kicking the tires is long. Councillors Karen Stintz, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Rob Ford, Michael Thompson, Heart and Stroke CEO Rocco Rossi, even Pinball Clemons are all being mentioned. Plus the George Smitherman talk won't go away.

But who can actually knock out the blond taxer?

If you look at the federal and provincial election results, Toronto isn't the Tory town it was many years ago. Political insiders believe it's going to take a Liberal to knock off the NDP mayor we have.

One insider points to the centre and right teaming up to run a slate of candidates -- not a party system, but a group called "Vision for Toronto," or something like that.

Those people, led by their candidate for mayor, would actually have to have a vision for Toronto, opposed to the NDP agenda, something that would pin Miller into a corner and that could be credibly sold to the public as real change.

Council would also need a few less Howard Moscoes and Sandra Bussins and a few more Case Ootes, Brian Ashtons, Peter Milczyn, and Mark Grimes, who aren't aligned with the NDP hard core and would help change the way business is done at City Hall.

Finally, is Miller beatable?

"Everybody in politics is beatable," John Tory says. "Anyone who thinks they are not beatable has taken the first step to be beatable."

Police will use new device to take fingerprints in street

Civil rights campaigners say images must not be added to databases
Comments ()

* Owen Bowcott
* The Guardian,
* Monday October 27 2008

Every police force in the UK is to be equipped with mobile fingerprint scanners - handheld devices that allow police to carry out identity checks on people in the street.

The new technology, which ultimately may be able to receive pictures of suspects, is likely to be in widespread use within 18 months. Tens of thousands of sets - as compact as BlackBerry smartphones - are expected to be distributed.

The police claim the scheme, called Project Midas, will transform the speed of criminal investigations. A similar, heavier machine has been tested during limited trials with motorway patrols.

To address fears about mass surveillance and random searches, the police insist fingerprints taken by the scanners will not be stored or added to databases.

Liberty, the civil rights group, cautioned that the law required fingerprints taken in such circumstances to be deleted after use. Gareth Crossman, Liberty's policy director, said: "Saving time with new technology could help police performance but officers must make absolutely certain that they take fingerprints only when they suspect an individual of an offence and can't establish his identity."

Details of the type of equipment and the scope of its use have been revealed in a presentation by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

The initial phase of the Mobile Identification At Scene (Midas) project, costed at £30m-£40m, will enable officers to perform rapid checks on the fingerprints of people arrested or detained. The marks will be compared against records on Ident1, the national police database which holds information on 7.5 million individuals.

Geoff Whitaker, a senior technology officer with the NPIA, told the Biometrics 2008 conference that Project Midas would save enormous amounts of police time and reduce the number of wrongful arrests.

At present, officers have to take suspects to custody suites if they need to check fingerprints. On average, the agency's research shows, the procedure takes 67 minutes. "If we scaled this [saving] up to the national level that would equate to 366 additional police officers on the beat," Whitaker said. "One of the benefits is that it will reduce the number of errors - and we can reduce the number of arrests significantly.

"There's a huge range of opportunities [for] mobile ID. It could be used on the deceased at the scene of a crime, on suspects for intelligence in the early part of an investigation, [or even] in a mortuary."

Policing of big public occasions, sporting events, festivals, political conferences - as a well as immigration and border controls - could benefit from the equipment, he suggested.

"Another use is for prisoners in transit; it's not uncommon for prisoners to swap identities on the way to prison," he said.

Project Midas, he said, would give the police "a full, mobile national capability" to check identities.

The system is being designed to have the capacity to beam images of suspects back to officers on the streets to help confirm identifications. Some US police forces are already using the technology.

"The return of mugshots [to officers]," Whitaker added, "is something we would like to do."

The tender document for Midas states: "Bidders' solutions ... should include, but may not be limited to, fingerprint identification capability." Plans for a police Facial Images National Database (Find) were suspended last year but are being reviewed.

One of the companies bidding for the Midas contract, Northrop Grumman, told the Guardian: "A lot of the hand-held [devices] we are considering have cameras so they can support fingerprint and facial images".

A limited trial of mobile police fingerprint devices, called Project Lantern, started in 2006. About 200 have been distributed and 30,000 checks performed. They were deployed in police cars using automatic number plate recognition technology - stopping vehicles that were logged as stolen, having no insurance, no MOT or simply unknown.

"The aim was to deny criminals the use of the roads," said Whitaker. "Around 60% of drivers stopped gave false identification details."

Fingerprint checks often showed they were carrying falsified documents.

The electronic searches, encrypted and sent over public networks, were usually returned to the mobile devices within two minutes; 97% of searches were completed in five minutes. Responses are graded as "high" or "medium". If high, it shows the system is confident of a match; if medium, it could display up to three potential identities. The returned data includes the name, age and gender of the suspect if there is a match.

A spokeswoman for the NPIA added: "It will be up to each police authority to assess the benefits and see how many they want. Early indications are that the benefits will be huge."

Thomas Smith, an officer from the Los Angeles police department, also briefed the Biometrics 2008 conference on the success of his force's mobile ID devices which send images and fingerprint matches back to officers on the street. He said they had become so powerful that once the machines were produced some suspects admitted they were lying about their identity.

"Our next thing will be facial recognition [computerised matching of suspects from their faces] in the field," he said.

Nouriel Roubini: I fear the worst is yet to come

When this man predicted a global financial crisis more than a year ago, people laughed. Not any more...
Dominic Rushe

As stock markets headed off a cliff again last week, closely followed by currencies, and as meltdown threatened entire countries such as Hungary and Iceland, one voice was in demand above all others to steer us through the gloom: that of Dr Doom.

For years Dr Doom toiled in relative obscurity as a New York University economics professor under his alias, Nouriel Roubini. But after making a series of uncannily accurate predictions about the global meltdown, Roubini has become the prophet of his age, jetting around the world dispensing his advice and latest prognostications to politicians and businessmen desperate to know what happens next – and for any answer to the crisis.

While the economic sun was shining, most other economists scoffed at Roubini and his predictions of imminent disaster. They dismissed his warnings that the sub-prime mortgage disaster would trigger a financial meltdown. They could not quite believe his view that the US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would collapse, and that the investment banks would be crushed as the world headed for a long recession.

Yet all these predictions and more came true. Few are laughing now.

What does Roubini think is going to happen next? Rather worryingly, in London last Thursday he predicted that hundreds of hedge funds will go bust and stock markets may soon have to shut – perhaps for as long as a week – in order to stem the panic selling now sweeping the world.

What happened? The next day trading was briefly stopped in New York and Moscow.

Dubbed Dr Doom for his gloomy views, this lugubrious disciple of the “dismal science” is now the world’s most in-demand economist. He reckons he is getting about four hours’ sleep a night. Last week he was in Budapest, London, Madrid and New York. Next week he will address Congress in Washington. Do not expect any good news.

Contacted in Madrid on Friday, Roubini said the world economy was “at a breaking point”. He believes the stock markets are now “essentially in free fall” and “we are reaching the point of sheer panic”.

For all his recent predictive success, his critics still urge calm. They charge he is a professional doom-monger who was banging on about recession for years as the economy boomed. Roubini is stung by such charges, dismissing them as “pathetic”.

He takes no pleasure in bad news, he says, but he makes his standpoint clear: “Frankly I was right.” A combative, complex man, he is fond of the word “frankly”, which may be appropriate for someone so used to delivering bad news.

Born in Istanbul 49 years ago, he comes from a family of Iranian Jews. They moved to Tehran, then to Tel Aviv and finally to Italy, where he grew up and attended college, graduating summa cum laude in economics from Bocconi University before taking a PhD in international economics at Harvard.

Fluent in English, Italian, Hebrew, and Persian, Roubini has one of those “international man of mystery” accents: think Henry Kissinger without the bonhomie. Single, he lives in a loft in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca, an area popularised by Robert De Niro, and collects contemporary art.

Despite his slightly mad-professor look, he is at pains to make clear he is normal. “I’m not a geek,” said Roubini, who sounds rather concerned that people might think he is. “I mean it frankly. I’m not a geek.”

He is, however, ferociously bright. When he left Harvard, he moved quickly, holding various positions at the Treasury department, rising to become an economic adviser to Bill Clinton in the late 1990s. Then his profile seemed to plateau. His doubts about the economic outlook seemed out of tune with the times, especially when a few years ago he began predicting a meltdown in the financial markets through his blog, hosted on RGEmonitor. com, the website of his advisory company.

But it was a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September 2006 that earned him his nickname Dr Doom.

Roubini told an audience of fellow economists that a generational crisis was coming. A once-in-a-lifetime housing bust would lay waste to the US economy as oil prices soared, consumers stopped shopping and the country went into a deep recession.

The collapse of the mortgage market would trigger a global meltdown, as trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unravelled. The shockwaves would destroy banks and other big financial institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America’s largest home loan lenders.

“I think perhaps we will need a stiff drink after that,” the moderator said. Members of the audience laughed.

Economics is not called the dismal science for nothing. While the public might be impressed by Nostradamus-like predictions, economists want figures and equations. Anirvan Banerji, economist with the New York-based Economic Cycle Research Institute, summed up the feeling of many of those at the IMF meeting when he delivered his response to Roubini’s talk.

Banerji questioned Roubini’s assumptions, said they were not based on mathematical models and dismissed his hunches as those of a Cassandra. At first, indeed, it seemed Roubini was wrong. Meltdown did not happen. Even by the end of 2007, the financial and economic outlook was grim but not disastrous.

Then, in February 2008, Roubini posted an entry on his blog headlined: “The rising risk of a systemic financial meltdown: the twelve steps to financial disaster”.

It detailed how the housing market collapse would lead to huge losses for the financial system, particularly in the vehicles used to securitise loans. It warned that “ a national bank” might go bust, and that, as trouble deepened, investment banks and hedge funds might collapse.

Even Roubini was taken aback at how quickly this scenario unfolded. The following month the US investment bank Bear Stearns went under. Since then, the pace and scale of the disaster has accelerated and, as Roubini predicted, the banking sector has been destroyed, Freddie and Fannie have collapsed, stock markets have gone mad and the economy has entered a frightening recession.

Roubini says he was able to predict the catastrophe so accurately because of his “holistic” approach to the crisis and his ability to work outside traditional economic disciplines. A long-time student of financial crises, he looked at the history and politics of past crises as well as the economic models.

“These crises don’t come out of nowhere,” he said. “Usually they arrive because of a systematic increase in a variety of asset and credit bubbles, macro-economic policies and other vulnerabilities. If you combine them, you may not get the timing right but you get an indication that you are closer to a tipping point.”

Others who claimed the economy would escape a recession had been swept up in “a critical euphoria and mania, an irrational exuberance”, he said. And many financial pundits, he believes, were just talking up their own vested interests. “I might be right or wrong, but I have never traded, bought or sold a single security in my life. I am trying to be as objective as I can.”

What does his objectivity tell him now? No end is yet in sight to the crisis.

“Every time there has been a severe crisis in the last six months, people have said this is the catastrophic event that signals the bottom. They said it after Bear Stearns, after Fannie and Freddie, after AIG [the giant US insurer that had to be rescued], and after [the $700 billion bailout plan]. Each time they have called the bottom, and the bottom has not been reached.”

Across the world, governments have taken more and more aggressive actions to stop the panic. However, Roubini believes investors appear to have lost confidence in governments’ ability to sort out the mess.

The announcement of the US government’s $700 billion bailout, Gordon Brown’s grand bank rescue plan and the coordinated response of governments around the world has done little to calm the situation. “It’s been a slaughter, day after day after day,” said Roubini. “Markets are dysfunctional; they are totally unhinged.” Economic fundamentals no longer apply, he believes.

“Even using the nuclear option of guaranteeing everything, providing unlimited liquidity, nationalising the banks, making clear that nobody of importance is going to be allowed to fail, even that has not helped. We are reaching a breaking point, frankly.”

He believes governments will have to come up with an even bigger international rescue, and that the US is facing “multi-year economic stagnation”.

Given such cataclysmic talk, some experts fear his new-found influence may be a bad thing in such troubled times. One senior Wall Street figure said: “He is clearly very bright and thoughtful when he is not shooting from the hip.”

He said he found some of Roubini’s comments “slapdash and silly”. “Sometimes the rigour of his analysis seems to be missing,” he said.

Banerji still has problems with Roubini’s prescient IMF speech. “He has been very accurate in terms of what would happen,” he said. But Roubini was predicting an “imminent” recession by the start of 2007 and he was wrong. “He hurt his credibility by being so pessimistic long before it was appropriate.”

Banerji said on average the US economy had grown for five years before hitting a bad patch. “Roubini started predicting a recession four years ago and saying it was imminent. He kept changing his justification: first the trade deficit, the current account deficit, then the oil price spike, then the housing downturn and so on. But the recession actually did not arrive,” he said.

“If you are an investor or a businessman and you took him seriously four years ago, what on earth would happen to you? You would be in a foetal position for years. This is why the timing is critical. It’s not enough to know what will happen in some point in the distant future.”

Roubini says the argument about content and timing is irrelevant. “People who have been totally blinded and wrong accusing me of getting the timing wrong, it’s just a joke,” he said. “It’s a bit pathetic, frankly. I was not making generic statements. I have made very specific predictions and I have been right all along.” Maybe so, but he does not sound too happy about it, frankly.

UK to require all phone buyers to show passports

By Chris Null

According to reports, Britain is preparing to expand its surveillance powers once again by requiring all cell phone buyers to register their identity at the time of purchase. If the program is carried out, a passport "or other official form of identification" would be tied to the phone when it is bought, bringing the 72 million or so phones in the UK under the watchful eye of Britain's staunch anti-crime and terrorism units.

According to the Times Online, the plan is largely targeted at the 40 million-plus prepaid mobile phones, which are the preferred means of communication of criminals since they can be purchased with cash and without a contract. Naturally, though, the millions of law-abiding citizens of the UK who don't want the government eavesdropping on every conversation aren't terribly thrilled about the plans.

The phone database is just a small part of a plan to dramatically expand surveillance in the country: The government wants to build a database of Internet browsing habits, email, and telephone records, all tied up together. The database plan is meeting considerable resistance though, and it isn't likely to be formally announced until next year. That said, cell phone companies already appear to be preparing to comply with the database plan.

As a curious side story, Gizmodo notes that the hassles of requiring a passport are nothing compared to what foreign cell phone buyers living in Japan have to go through to get a handset, outlining a process that requires a month-long wait (plus other hurdles) to get a resident card just to get a prepaid phone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bullet fired from cop's home


Last Updated: 24th October 2008, 4:07pm

Police in Burlington are investigating an "unintentional firearm discharge" from an officer's home after a bullet was shot through a kitchen window.

The bullet was fired from the home of a Halton Regional Police officer and went through the kitchen window of a neighbouring home where it was lodged in the wall around 6:45 p.m. yesterday, a police news release said today.

"No one was injured as a result of the incident," the press release said.

The 23-year veteran, who is a detective constable with the Regional Fraud Bureau, is continuing his regular duties during the investigation.

“I am ensuring a thorough and complete investigation is conducted into this serious matter," Chief Gary Crowell said in the release. "We are thankful that no one was injured."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Party's over for Playboy king Hugh Hefner

Guy Adams
October 18, 2008

From the day he picked up a pipe, slipped into a velvet smoking jacket and decided to launch his own publishing empire, Hugh Hefner has proudly told anyone who will listen that his career and self-worth revolve around two extraordinary creations.The first is Playboy, the 55-year-old magazine that pioneered the social and consumer revolutions of the 1950s and 1960s, spawned a global multimedia brand, and to this day symbolises his hedonistic-yet-luxurious version of the American dream. The second great creation, Hefner says, is his own life: a roller-coaster of fame, fortune and willing blondes played out against the backdrop of 10236 Charing Cross Road, the 1920s pile on the outskirts of Beverly Hills that he calls home, known as the Playboy Mansion.

Together they represent quite a legacy. And, although Hefner has never been one to blow his own trumpet, his enduring ability to perform in both the boardroom and the bedroom (even as he nears his 83rd birthday) has elevated him to the status of national treasure.

Yet nothing lasts for ever. In recent weeks, the institution that is Hugh Hefner has been rocked by public and private setbacks that have conspired to throw this elderly, somewhat deaf and increasingly frail man back into the public eye, for all the wrong reasons.

Some of his troubles revolve around the still-promiscuous love-life that jollify the Hollywood gossip columns; others centre on his commercial interests, and are being played out in the business pages. Some involve a trio of blonde girlfriends; others a haemorrhaging share price that leaves his entertainment firm facing an uncertain future. All, however, boil down to a single problem: Hefner's aura of Gatsby-esque sophistication is ever more at odds with his advancing years, and a changing world. The instinctive connection with the zeitgeist that was the secret of his success, and which saw him turn Playboy into one of postwar America's greatest cultural powerhouses, has started to disappear.

On the home front, Hefner was cuckolded last week by not one, but two girlfriends (one of them the supposed love of his life) leaving him deeply depressed. At work, his magazine's profits have evaporated and its circulation is in free fall, forcing Hefner to cut back on staff and, for the first time, to invite paying punters to his once-exclusive private parties. It has made Playboy, a brand that once looked cheeky and cutting-edge, seem out of touch and increasingly seedy.

So, as he enters old age at the Playboy Mansion, with its famous grotto, circular beds, "getting to know you" room, and walls that if they could speak would fill an encyclopaedia of Hollywood misdemeanour, Hugh Marston Hefner is facing a sobering reality: his two great creations appear, after all these years, to be unravelling. And he seems powerless to stop it.

The pouting face of Hefner's current troubles is Holly Madison, a former glamour model who is 28 years old, boasts measurements of 36D-23-36 (with the help of extensive surgery), and has for the past seven years lived at the Playboy Mansion as one of his official girlfriends. Madison is one-third of a pneumatic trio of blondes who star in The Girls Next Door, a TV documentary about daily life chez Hefner. Her status, in the show and in real life, is "No 1" girlfriend, meaning that she shares his bedroom, while the other live-in love interests, Kendra Wilkinson and Bridget Marquardt, occupy smaller billets down the hall.

Last week, this cosy domestic arrangement fell apart. After weeks of frenzied speculation, on Monday Madison confirmed rumours that she had left Hefner for a younger and wealthier model, the celebrity magician Criss Angel.

The revelation left Hefner deeply upset. It also represented a severe setback for his long-cultivated public image of master swordsman, on which Playboy relies. But worse news was soon to follow. The following night, Wilkinson also confirmed she had ditched Hefner, telling the chat show host Chelsea Lately that she was in love with a Philadelphia Eagles gridiron player called Hank Baskett and had been indulging in "cybersex" sessions via Skype, from her room at the mansion.

For any man in the public eye, this would represent a bad week. For Hefner, always a creature of habit, it has made for a bewildering upheaval in the domestic set-up he has enjoyed since separating from Kimberley Conrad, his second wife and mother of two of his four children, in 1999. At this point, a brief history lesson: from the moment he bought the mansion in 1971, excluding the decade of his marriage to Conrad, Hefner has filled it with a rotating cast of girlfriends, who get a weekly allowance in cash (roughly $US1000 [$1500] at present) together with being fed, watered, and provided with health insurance, a car and free plastic surgery.

Despite rumours to the contrary, he enjoys energetic sexual relationships with them all (thanks, in recent years at least, to Viagra), and lives out the hypocritical male fantasy of a storybook sheik, expecting girlfriends to remain monogamous despite his own promiscuity. The harem has a 9pm curfew, except on two nights a week when Hefner takes them out, to a restaurant on one night, a nightclub the next.

To some, this set-up sounds suspiciously like a form of prostitution; to others, merely eccentric. But in all these years, Hefner has only twice made concessions on it: first, when he met Conrad, who appeared as a "playmate" in his magazine in 1988 and married him a year later; and when he first encountered Holly Madison in 2002.

Although Madison seemed little different from hundreds of previous girlfriends - short stature, dyed hair and a CV that included a spell as a Hooters waitress - she had since childhood been fixated by Playboy and was vastly knowledgeable about Hefner's career, which no doubt flattered his elderly ego. The two shared a laconic sense of humour, similar interests, and an apparent spiritual connection. In 2003, Madison was invited to move into his room in a newly created role as his "No 1" girlfriend.

Hefner says the relationship developed into a genuine love affair. Though he never gave up his other girlfriends (Madison never asked him to), friends and acquaintances concur. Steven Watts, a professor of history at the University of Missouri who last month published Mr Playboy, a biography of Hefner, says that for five years Madison has represented to Hefner something akin to wife, mother and lover combined. "Since Hef separated from his wife 10 years ago, there have been a lot of girls; seven at once, at one time. But Holly has always stood out," he says. "Hef told me on several occasions that it is the best relationship he has ever had, and that he wanted it to last the rest of his life."

So Madison's departure represents a personal tragedy for Hefner. Last week he gave a distraught interview to Us Weekly, blaming the split with Madison on the failure of attempts to have children with her, together with his refusal to make her his official third wife. "If she says it's over, it's over. But like I've said before, she is the love of my life, and I expected to spend the rest of my life with her," he said. "We tried to have a baby earlier this year and it didn't work out … She became very depressed … I did, too. I've been feeling like roadkill."

The tragedy of the situation is that Hefner's promiscuous private life, for so long a source of personal pride, could have contributed to him losing the one person capable of making him truly happy. While many will find it hard to sympathise with a wealthy man who has made the metaphorical bed he's forced to lie in, those close to him say he worries about spending the rest of his life searching for a soul mate. He is a surprisingly romantic individual, they say, who is particularly prone to a broken heart.

A broken heart is one thing. A broken wallet would be quite another. And in recent years, the foundations of Hefner's vast wealth have rapidly declined. Rumours about his firm's future have swirled around Wall Street for months. But last week, the first real evidence of trouble emerged when the Los Angeles Business Journal said he was "eyeing his household staff and other assistants for possible cutbacks". For the first time ever, it added, he will resort to selling tickets to the famous private parties he holds at his Gothic Tudor pile.

Tickets to parties hosted by Hefner will sell for $US5000 to $US25,000, it reported, depending on the event and the celebrity guests. An invite to this month's Halloween party, which in the past has drawn celebrities such as Paris Hilton, is going for $10,000. In the past, Hefner hasn't charged for such events because he hasn't had to: the rest of his company, Playboy Enterprises, has been very profitable.

Lately, however, shareholders have grown worried. Playboy Enterprises is run by Hefner's daughter, Christie (Hugh is its figurehead, editor-in-chief, and owner of 30 per cent of the shares). Its shares trade at less than one-tenth of what they were 10 years ago.

Martha Lindeman, the senior vice-president, has said reports of Hef possibly filing for bankruptcy were "absolutely untrue and absurd". But, in business, it's difficult to argue with the bottom line. The company's most recent report to shareholders reveals that, in the three months to June, the firm lost $US2.1 million, with revenues declining by 14 per cent to $US73.4 million from $US85.7 million. As a result, the firm has outsourced parts of its operation and is looking to cut down on its 789 employees, imperilling the future of many of the maids and gardeners (but not, so far, the bunnies) at the mansion.

If you want to understand the reasons behind Playboy Enterprises' decline, look at the pages of Playboy.

It is no longer agenda-setting, and its editorial highlight each month is a couple of question-and-answer interviews and pictures of scantily clad, identikit blondes, shot in a glossy style that feels distinctly 1980s. Where serious US magazines can feel like phone directories (a recent Vogue was more than an inch thick), Playboy is a mere 132 pages. Magazine and DVD porn has been devastated by the internet. Playboy, having for years faced rival publications such as Penthouse and Hustler and lads' mags such as Maxim and FHM, is finding it tricky to perform: US monthly circulation fell by almost 10 per cent in 2007, to 2.8 million.

Playboy Enterprises' business model today is similar to the 1980s version. The magazine is a figurehead for a wider branding and lifestyle operation, involving opening nightclubs and casinos around the world (a new London venture, mooted a few months ago, has been shelved). But several are yet to repay their investments

"There's little doubt that this has not been one of the high points in the financial history of the company," Watts says. "Part of the problem is the wider economy. But I would venture two other theories. The first is that Hefner's operation is a victim of its own success. So many things have copied Playboy that it's no longer the fresh face on the block; its long-term appeal has run out. The second is that lots of long-term investments have not yet come to fruition. For instance, in the last few years, he has invested heavily in building a large, new gaming complex in Macau. It's still not been completed, and they have sunk a huge sum into it."

Playboy has always been a unique company and Hefner has for years made a habit of confounding naysayers. But with a recession and businesses facing a combination of challenges unrivalled in modern corporate history, he'll need to be on top of his game.

A former girlfriend, Izabella St James, says Madison's decision to leave Hefner lays bare the potential problems of a system in which Hefner is surrounding himself with girls who are attracted to him because of who rather than what he actually is. "By putting Holly, Kendra and Bridget at the centre of The Girls Next Door, he made them celebrities in their own right, which gave them exposure and contacts, and opportunities they never would have had without the show. And guess what? When he gives someone an opportunity, they leave. Holly swore she would be there until she died. Well, now, of course, she has found someone with deeper pockets."

For now, Hefner is doing what he does best: trying to get over his broken heart (if not his crippled business) by filling the vacancy in his roster of girlfriends. He claimed last week to have two new women in his life, 19-year-old blonde twins (and Playboy models) Kristina and Karissa Shannon. He told Us Weekly they would "probably become my girlfriends". He could have his hands full. It was recently revealed they were arrested once on assault and battery charges. It looks like Hef's woes are set to continue.

This story was found at:

police officer who fired his gun after barricading himself in a 24-hour gym

MONTREAL (CBC) - A Montreal police officer who fired his gun after barricading himself in a 24-hour gym was arrested overnight Monday.

Witnesses say an officer entered the Pro-Gym in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve wearing his uniform and weapon at about midnight Monday.

He started yelling at people and talking to himself, and ordered a bottle of water on credit.

Then he took off his bullet-proof vest and put it back on inside out, and started running on a treadmill.

When police were called to the gym, the officer went into an upstairs office, and refused to come out for several hours.

He fired about six shots during the standoff, but no one was hurt, said Const. Raphaël Bergeron.

A 33-year-old man was taken into custody just after 4 a.m. and escorted out of the gym through a back door.

He was taken to hospital for examination, but police aren't releasing any more details at this time, Bergeron said.

He will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Answers To The Community's Two Most Pressing Questions

Author: Jim Sinclair

Dear CIGAs,

1. When will Comex paper gold no longer be able to manipulate the price of gold as they did today and most every day for the last many years?
2. Can the Comex paper gold exchange default?

I wrote the following Sunday to prepare you for the answers to what appears to be the two most pressing questions today.

It is being re-posted now so you can caste my answers against the mechanics of the process outlined below as number 1 through 14.

I prefer to respond to questions with background knowledge first and then answers second in crisp form, not boring professorial essay work.

The Comex will no longer be able to manipulate price as Asia recognizes the dangers inherent in financial institutions and are therefore channelling their business into the cash bullion market. The Asian demand in the cash market then will not be of the kind that runs away from paper supply, but rather one that stands still and takes it. Should there be a shortfall of gold in the bullion market, delivery will be taken out of the COMEX warehouse to make cash bullion deliveries.

You witnessed this to some degree when gold last came up from the high $740s to $933 in a practically straight line. The paper traders could not hedge long in the bullion market because it simply was not there in size.

The supply in the Comex warehouse appears to total 5,864,965 ounces. Multiply this by $800 gold and you have approximately $4.7 billion. In today's 1.144 quadrillion USD plus derivative market, 4.7 billion is a trivial amount. Compare that to recent failure numbers of the Bailout Bill at $700 billion.

As a very conservative comparison, the US dollar market turnover is above one trillion dollars per day.

The Comex does its $20 thing but at that same instant bullion is down only $10 because the buyers are serious and want significant supply. Those that trade between exchanges for differential profit, as Guy Weiser Pratte’s Dad did in true arbitrage, will instantly bring the paper gold up to the bullion bid or thereabouts.

Once this starts the paper gang is out of aces in running the price of gold. It happened in the 70s and will happen again soon.

That soon can be defined as when the Asian professional public recognizes all these rescue attempts are nothing but white wash applied to the crumbling pile of credit crap.

Default is a definitive term dealing with the inability of one party to perform on a contract. The exchange provides a place for other to agree to contracts, not the exchange. Yes members may be both buyer and seller creating a contract, but the exchange never is.

It is certainly probable that large leveraged interests both long and short could fail on a massive position, as might Lehman when it took Chapter 11.

The guarantee on a contract is first through the clearinghouse that pays out to winners every afternoon and demands the loser then pay into the clearinghouse.

As such, a default or failure to pay in as required by the contract could happen at any time in any size.

The next guarantor of the position to the other capable side is the entire asset of the exchange. The final guarantee is all the assets of all the members. This is something like Lloyd’s of London used to be on insurance.

The loss that has to be guaranteed is the difference between yesterday and today as the position was good yesterday having no problem at the close of the exchange hours. If it were not so the problem would have exploded at the clearinghouse last night.

The only way the Comex can default is if they cannot deliver gold from their warehouse in the kind and means of the 100 oz. contract that fits the legal terms of default.

That would leave the exchange and its member short by default. The guarantee would be all the assets of the exchange and of the membership. I believe the clearinghouse is out of that situation yet that most likely would be determined by litigation as plaintiffs dive at deep pockets.

This was what blew silver through $30 to a $54 bid – none offered. It was universally believed that the Hunts were going to demand delivery on all of their silver, and that long position was supposed to be in excess of Comex warehouse supply. For your information, they had no such intention. Believe me, I know better than anyone on that subject.

In summary both questions are answered by watching the settlement months to determine if the delivery of warehouse gold is on the increase.

This definitively ends the paper gold rein of glory.

It might put a bunker and Herbert touch on the gold market. It would take Weimar to some degree to empty the Comex warehouse, but Weimar to some degree is going to happen.

For your information:

Gold will trade at $1200 and $1650. The USDX will trade at .72, .62 and .52.

1. It is axiomatic that the most leveraged gold market most often (95 percent of the time) sets the price of any cash market. First derivatives (listed futures) commands price.
2. This remains true as long as the COMEX warehouse of gold is NOT meaningfully depleted by long gold contracts by taking delivery from the exchange warehouse.
3. As long as an exchange maintains a warehouse that historically overwhelms historical demand for delivery the first derivative, The COMEX listed gold future, will be the primary cause of price.
4. Taking delivery from the COMEX warehouse is not an easy process as the system is designed not to violate your contract but to be a world-class pain in the ass.
5. The COMEX requires re-assays, assuming you wish to re-deliver. This then places another raving pain in the ass in your way.
6. The COMEX market is effectively an international 24-hour market as there is no location where you cannot buy or sell a COMEX clone.
7. Cash bullion gold as opposed to the semi cash markets that non-USA banks trade is the only totally private means of buying and selling gold.
8. As currency problems increase, first the knowledgeable public such as you clean out the coin market.
9. This is the first time that the international coin markets have been cleaned out everywhere. This did not happen globally in the 70s.
10. Large gold bars are still available in major markets but the backup inventory is getting low.
11. As long as the COMEX warehouse remains adequate and large bars still are available, the paper market, the leveraged COMEX market, will rule the price.
12. Only with a decline in COMEX warehouse inventories and a run down in large bar supplies of the cash market will the cash bullion market command the price of the COMEX futures market.
13. It was not the buying by the Hunts that caused silver to move above $30 into the $50 area, but rather the universal belief that they would take delivery, which would deplete or exceeded the COMEX warehouse supply.
14. The War between paper gold and bullion gold is a war to determine which will take command of the price of gold, nothing more, and nothing less. There will be no two markets trading at different prices. All this battle is about is IF the bullion gold market is going to take the lead in making the singular price away from the traditional axiom that the most leveraged market makes the price. I believe the bullion, in these most unique conditions, will command the one gold price making it hard to impossible to manipulate the gold price via the paper gold market, as is the practice every day.

Power failures????

Byron King offers this bold forecast regarding what may be “one major issue within the next 24 months.”

“The headlines will scream,” Byron begins, “‘Power Failures, Price Spikes Plague Northeast U.S.’” And the same thing will also hit the Western U.S. And the Southeast U.S. And parts of the Midwest.

“Do you remember the power failure of Aug. 14, 2003? Almost the entire Northeast U.S. went dark, except it occurred in the middle of the day. The effects were immediate on over 50 million people in the U.S. and Canada.

“Looking back, the utility companies got the power back up and running, right? And the experts investigated the origins of the problem, right? The people who know all about power grids fixed the problem, right? It could not happen again, right? The U.S. power grid has ample electricity-generating capacity, right? And there’s plenty of transmission to move power from one region to another, right?

“Well, no.

“Few utilities or their executives want to take political, regulatory, technical or financial risks. Hence, the entire long-range planning cycle has broken down. It’s almost impossible to decide what to build, and at what scale. Costs are exploding, particularly for new construction. It’s safe to say that most power plant construction cost projections have doubled within the past 18 months. The prospect of fast-changing environmental regulations also adds to the uncertainty. No one wants to build a power plant and learn in five or 10 years or so that environmental regulations are going to shut it down.

“So you might not see it in your daily life -- not yet, anyhow -- but the power industry is currently paralyzed by the uncertainty of lopsided risks. And as old power plants age and go off stream, there will be less and less reserve power. Costs are going to rise. And reliability will fall. It’s inevitable.”


1927-1933 Chart of Pompous Prognosticators

Chart locations are an approximate indication only

1. "We will not have any more crashes in our time."
- John Maynard Keynes in 1927

2. "I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool's paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future."
- E. H. H. Simmons, President, New York Stock Exchange, January 12, 1928

"There will be no interruption of our permanent prosperity."
- Myron E. Forbes, President, Pierce Arrow Motor Car Co., January 12, 1928

3. "No Congress of the United States ever assembled, on surveying the state of the Union, has met with a more pleasing prospect than that which appears at the present time. In the domestic field there is tranquility and contentment...and the highest record of years of prosperity. In the foreign field there is peace, the goodwill which comes from mutual understanding."
- Calvin Coolidge December 4, 1928

4. "There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash."
- Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist , New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929

5. "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months."
- Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in economics, Oct. 17, 1929

"This crash is not going to have much effect on business."
- Arthur Reynolds, Chairman of Continental Illinois Bank of Chicago, October 24, 1929

"There will be no repetition of the break of yesterday... I have no fear of another comparable decline."
- Arthur W. Loasby (President of the Equitable Trust Company), quoted in NYT, Friday, October 25, 1929

"We feel that fundamentally Wall Street is sound, and that for people who can afford to pay for them outright, good stocks are cheap at these prices."
- Goodbody and Company market-letter quoted in The New York Times, Friday, October 25, 1929

6. "This is the time to buy stocks. This is the time to recall the words of the late J. P. Morgan... that any man who is bearish on America will go broke. Within a few days there is likely to be a bear panic rather than a bull panic. Many of the low prices as a result of this hysterical selling are not likely to be reached again in many years."
- R. W. McNeel, market analyst, as quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, October 30, 1929

"Buying of sound, seasoned issues now will not be regretted"
- E. A. Pearce market letter quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, October 30, 1929

"Some pretty intelligent people are now buying stocks... Unless we are to have a panic -- which no one seriously believes, stocks have hit bottom."
- R. W. McNeal, financial analyst in October 1929

7. "The decline is in paper values, not in tangible goods and services...America is now in the eighth year of prosperity as commercially defined. The former great periods of prosperity in America averaged eleven years. On this basis we now have three more years to go before the tailspin."
- Stuart Chase (American economist and author), NY Herald Tribune, November 1, 1929

"Hysteria has now disappeared from Wall Street."
- The Times of London, November 2, 1929

"The Wall Street crash doesn't mean that there will be any general or serious business depression... For six years American business has been diverting a substantial part of its attention, its energies and its resources on the speculative game... Now that irrelevant, alien and hazardous adventure is over. Business has come home again, back to its job, providentially unscathed, sound in wind and limb, financially stronger than ever before."
- Business Week, November 2, 1929

"...despite its severity, we believe that the slump in stock prices will prove an intermediate movement and not the precursor of a business depression such as would entail prolonged further liquidation..."
- Harvard Economic Society (HES), November 2, 1929

8. "... a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall."
- HES, November 10, 1929

"The end of the decline of the Stock Market will probably not be long, only a few more days at most."
- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics at Yale University, November 14, 1929

"In most of the cities and towns of this country, this Wall Street panic will have no effect."
- Paul Block (President of the Block newspaper chain), editorial, November 15, 1929

"Financial storm definitely passed."
- Bernard Baruch, cablegram to Winston Churchill, November 15, 1929

9. "I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants pessimism... I have every confidence that there will be a revival of activity in the spring, and that during this coming year the country will make steady progress."
- Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury December 31, 1929

"I am convinced that through these measures we have reestablished confidence."
- Herbert Hoover, December 1929

"[1930 will be] a splendid employment year."
- U.S. Dept. of Labor, New Year's Forecast, December 1929

10. "For the immediate future, at least, the outlook (stocks) is bright."
- Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in Economics, in early 1930

11. "...there are indications that the severest phase of the recession is over..."
- Harvard Economic Society (HES) Jan 18, 1930

12. "There is nothing in the situation to be disturbed about."
- Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, Feb 1930

13. "The spring of 1930 marks the end of a period of grave concern...American business is steadily coming back to a normal level of prosperity."
- Julius Barnes, head of Hoover's National Business Survey Conference, Mar 16, 1930

"... the outlook continues favorable..."
- HES Mar 29, 1930

14. "... the outlook is favorable..."
- HES Apr 19, 1930

15. "While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed through the worst -- and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There has been no significant bank or industrial failure. That danger, too, is safely behind us."
- Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, May 1, 1930

" May or June the spring recovery forecast in our letters of last December and November should clearly be apparent..."
- HES May 17, 1930

"Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over."
- Herbert Hoover, responding to a delegation requesting a public works program to help speed the recovery, June 1930

16. "... irregular and conflicting movements of business should soon give way to a sustained recovery..."
- HES June 28, 1930

17. "... the present depression has about spent its force..."
- HES, Aug 30, 1930

18. "We are now near the end of the declining phase of the depression."
- HES Nov 15, 1930

19. "Stabilization at [present] levels is clearly possible."
- HES Oct 31, 1931

20. "All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S."
- President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Get the lead out

Little has been done to remove the potent neurotoxin from city's water supply


Last Updated: 19th October 2008, 6:59pm

Sixteen months ago, Toronto discovered a cancer under its streets.

Old lead pipes, installed in the 1950s and earlier, were leaching the metal, a potent neurotoxin into tap water — posing a serious health risk to pregnant women and children in particular.

Toronto responded to the provincial order to test drinking water in this city by warning residents living in older homes to flush their taps for at least five minutes before drinking from them, to expedite a lead pipe replacement program and distribute water filters to low-income families.

An investigation by the Sunday Sun has revealed that not only has little progress been made to deal with the lead, tests show the problem has gotten worse.

- Of 8,113 water samples Toronto Central Lab has received from residents for lead testing since June 2007, the average amount of lead in those samples rose from 4.4 parts per billion (ug/L) in 2007 to 5.1 this year.

- One in eight Toronto homeowners -- nearly 1,000 -- who submitted tap water to the city over that time had a lead content in their drinking water that exceeded the provincial standard of 10 ug/L.

- The city has only replaced 5,500 of the 65,000 old water "supply" main connections made of lead or that contain lead that were installed underground prior to 1955.

- Not a single water filter has been passed out to low-income families.

In May 2007, Toronto was one of 36 communities across the province ordered to test local tap water for lead contamination after higher-than-acceptable levels were discovered in London, Ont.

Half of those municipalities found lead levels above provincial standards and in this city, even though just a relative handful of tests were conducted, two of 20 initial tests exceeded standards.

Subsequently, 12 of 160 tests exceeded standards.

The city's response was to "aggressively" replace the 65,000 underground lead service connections.

According to Lou Di Gironimo, Toronto Water's general manager, the city is moving "as quickly as possible" to dig up and replace those toxic connections between the city's water mains and people's property lines. The plan, which costs about $17 million annually and requires a full-time engineer to coordinate the program, will take nine years.

"I'd say the city acted very, very quickly on dealing with the problem," he said. "We put in place a plan to deal with (lead pipe) replacements within nine years. From my perspective, that is extremely quick.

"We're going as quickly as we can, we can't tear up every street in the downtown."

Di Gironimo added the city also prioritizes lead pipe replacements for people whose tests show their water is above the provincial maximum.

From when test results are known, he said, there is a six- to eight-week turnaround.

However, Frank Zechner, the executive director of the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association, said he believes the city will take longer than nine years to replace its lead service connections.

But even its stated timeline, he charged, is far too slow. Similar programs in the U.S. have mandated timelines to replace lead pipes tied to test results.

"Replacing 5,500 out of 65,000 in just over a year is still a pretty lax pace," Zechner said.

That work also does nothing to address lead pipes and connections that run on an individual's property.

There are, in fact, untold thousands of homes in this city with lead pipes running from the basement to the street but unlike U.S. jurisdictions, Toronto has no proactive program to notify homeowners the pipes on their property may be made from lead.

That means that even if the city replaces lead mains in an old neighbourhood, the pipes going to the houses and apartments will still be lead and the water running to those homes may be contaminated with lead.

Replacing household supply lines is the responsibility of the homeowner and could cost thousands of dollars.

Toronto has also decided not to add sodium hydroxide, or lye, to its drinking water to alter the pH levels, which can slow down the rate of lead corrosion.

Di Gironimo said they monitor the city's water chemistry, but aren't altering it for alkalinity to date.

"That's one thing you can do, the other thing you can do is just take the lead pipe out of the ground, and that's the approach we've taken," Di Gironimo said.

The City of London, where the issue of excessive lead in drinking water was first discovered in May 2007, is doing both.

So far, t ve also begun adding sodium hydroxide to their water to curb it's corrosion of lead.

And according to Jim Merritt, chairman of the Ontario Drinking Water Advisory Council, water chemistry levels are perhaps more important than digging up the lead connections.

"Simply thinking that you can go out and change lead service lines and walk away and say you've solved the problem isn't the right approach," he said. "You should only dig up the lead line pipes and everything else after you've done the other good work and find out where the persistent problems are."

Altering the water's chemistry, something the city isn't doing but Merritt said is a good approach, would be mandated by the province if 10% or more of Torontonians drinking water was in excess of 10 ug/L.

While city tests (of unregulated samples collected by homeowners) show 10 to 12% of residents in older homes have excessive lead levels, the province's first round of twice-annual testing (of regulated samples collected by ministry of environment employees) for 2008 showed only 4% were above the provincial maximum.

"Clearly it indicates to me they're doing well," said Paul Nieweglowski, Ontario's deputy chief drinking water inspector.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency mandates that any water system serving more than 50,000 people balance the water's chemistry to reduce its corrosiveness to lead and other heavy metals.

If excessive levels (above the U.S. standard of 15 ug/L) are still found, then 7% of that system's lead service lines must be replaced annually, or until there are no excessive lead test results in two consecutive six-month periods.

The new provincial regulations, introduced in 2007 to deal with the province-wide problem of old lead water pipes, have no such teeth, allowing municipalities to use sodium hydroxide and other "corrective" measures indefinitely.

Toronto, however, is replacing its share of lead connections voluntarily, accelerating the process for homeowners whose lead levels are too high.

But even for those homeowners whose water contains an allowable limit of lead, they may wait up to nine years for their pipes to be lead free.

Lead is a toxin that is especially harmful to children under the age of six, who absorb lead more easily than adults and, because their brains are still developing, can suffer a loss in intelligence and a higher risk of learning disabilities. Some experts suggest there is no "safe" amount of lead a person can drink.

As for the increase in lead levels from last year, Di Gironimo suggested it was "insignificant."

"When you're looking at micrograms, it's very, very small quantities. From an analytical standpoint, that variance is not that significant.

"It's 0.7 of a microgram, it's very insignificant," he said. "At the end of the day, it's simple. We know we have a lead problem, because we have lead services out there, and that's the primary cause, so let's get on and change that."

Until the lead service pipes are removed, Di Gironimo added, there will continue to be lead in the city's drinking water.

The lead levels found in the samples brought in to the city, even if they are rising, are still well within the provincial limit, he said.

But Merritt said municipalities shouldn't necessarily concern themselves with whether the lead level in the water is below the provincial standard, but should pay more attention to the trends.

"They shouldn't get to fixed on the standard (of 10 ug/L). The standard is there and it's an important thing to have, but the other thing they need to be cognizant of is their trends," he said. "If you're trending in the wrong direction, then that should be a sign that you need to be taking action at that point, not waiting until you exceed the standard.

"If your trends are indicating that these levels are increasing, then even though you're below the standard that should tell you that there's something going on and you need to reexamine why those trends are going up, even if you're well below the standard," he added.

"That, to me, is good due diligence practice."

"Simply thinking that you can go out and change lead service lines and walk away and say you've solved the problem isn't the right approach," he said.

Following the results of the province-wide testing 16 months ago, the province ordered all school boards and daycares to beef up their testing regimes and initiate daily "flushing" of the water pipes to get rid of stagnant water that could have accumulated more lead.

Earlier this fall, the Toronto District School Board, which still flushes the water from all their schools' lines each morning, said none of their properties showed unsafe levels of lead.

Residents of older homes built before 1952 are also encouraged to flush their system each morning by running the tap for five minutes after each six-hour period of stagnation.

But flushing water can be costly, especially with city water rates rising 9% this year and the next three at least, and even after flushing, the amount of lead in the water can still be too high for pregnant women and children under the age of seven.

The Sun has learned, though, that no one has taken advantage of the city's Water Filter Fund, which with provincial money, gives $100 to low-income families for a water filter.

The program is for families who make less than $20,000 annually, have excess levels of lead in their water, and have a child under six or a pregnant woman.

According to Brenda Nesbitt with the city's social services department that administers the province's program, one reason it might not be being used is because the criteria is so strict.

Peter Tabuns, the environment critic for the NDP, said the fact that no one has taken up the Ministry of Environment's offer for the Water Filter Fund proves it has "failed."

"If the water filter program has had no one pick up on it whatsoever, then there are clearly mothers and children out there that are at risk," he said. "The province should be moving quickly to reach those parents and children. The criteria has to change ... because kids are drinking lead in their water and they shouldn't be."

Environment Minister John Gerretsen was contacted but was not available for comment.



- Toronto residents can call 416-392-2894 to have the city test tap water at no cost.

- People concerned about lead should flush their pipes each morning by letting the water run for five minutes or by flushing the toilet and washing their hands.

- Those with concerns about lead should also use cold water for drinking, cooking or preparing baby formula. Hot water dissolves more lead from plumbing.

- Pipes that deliver water from the city's main distribution lines to homes built before 1955 often contained lead.

- Lead in faucets, fixtures and solder used to connect copper pipes prior to the late 1980s can also contribute to lead problems.

- Toronto has about 500,000 pipes that run from main distribution lines to residential properties. Of that total, 55,000 still contain lead.

-The city is responsible for the portion of the pipe that runs from the main water distribution line to the boundary of someone's property. A homeowner is responsible for the section from the property line to a house.

- It typically costs a homeowner from $1,000 to $2,500 to replace their section of a lead water delivery pipe.

-- Source: City of Toronto

Judicial Inc account suspended.

Three Years Of Constant Hassles

Over the past three years Judicial's hosting companies, Bluehost, Tripod, ATT, NetHost, and GoDaddy have been pressured by Zionists to cancel the account.

* 2006.....Bluehost cut service on and off
* 2008.... With no notice, Bluehost totally shut down the Judicial website, and blocks file retrieval
* 2008.....Google de-listed the website
* 2008.....France totally banned the website
* 2008.....GoDaddy revokes, and blocks transfer, of Judicial's domain name because a 'Mystery person' said Judicial was political anarchist website

In addition there has been GPS tracking bugs on my cars, constant stalking, thirty indirect threats of which 10 cops and 4 police detectives were involved.

GoDaddy Special Interest

Go-Daddy is a giant company that has six million domain names under it's registrar, so why the intense interest in this site? It turns out that they donated $4.5 million to McCain and Judicial's pages on McCain were getting 2000 views a day.

Why The Pressure On Judicial?

Needless to say if Judicial's theory that there will be a nuclear False Flag in American, followed by by a nuclear exchange in the Persian Gulf, and ending in economic chaos comes to fruition, the last thing the Zionist want is a website like Judicial floating around.

What Effect Does Judicial Have?

Some theories (Lindbergh's child murder, the OKC bombing, Entebbe, etc) have drawn out major revisionists, and whose protests exposed them as Zio-Flunkies. The Baghdad sniper who killed 150 US soldiers suddenly disappeared when the fact the weapon's system was Israeli. A insignificant picture like this has gotten 2 million views.

Why Are Other Websites Left Alone?

You need to realize that 90% of these so called rebel websites are nothing but watered-downed Zionist fronts. When all a site can say is "Israel knew about 9/11 and tried to warn us, but we didn't listen", the website is worthless. And the simple truth is not one major site says Israel orchestrated 9/11.

What's The Future

Judicial's intent was to tread water, providing some articles on the background on today's event, and at sometime soon in the near future it could act as a starting point for a small political movement bulletin board.

The end result is the Judicial site needs to go offshore, and you need to decide if you want to help fund it. I will set an email account, and you can make a non-binding pledge If there is enough interest I will set up an PayPal, or cash account of some sort, and then you can donate.