Friday, November 21, 2008


By Coach Dave Daubenmire
November 20, 2008

President Bush reportedly said that the Constitution was “just a G—D—n piece of paper.” It is hard to believe that the report is true, but you would have to admit that recent happenings in this once-great Constitutional Republic reflect the opinions of many in power in the nation’s capital.

Despite what you might hear on the news, or out of the mouth of our elected officials, America is not a Democracy. In fact, according to our Founders, a democracy was the worst form of all governments. Listen to what some wise men have said.

Ben Franklin said “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” Winston Churchill

“Democracy is the road to socialism.” Karl Marx

According to Webster’s unabridged Dictionary, a republic is “A form of government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law."

I don’t have the time or the space to go over it for you. Please just read this commentary that I wrote two-years ago if you need it explained further.

Socialism is coming at us faster than a locomotive and we can’t even hear the train whistle. If we don’t rise up soon and DEMAND that government stay within the restrictions that the Founders put in place we will never pass to the next generation the “blessings of liberty” that our fathers passed to us.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Without it, America is a lawless nation and those in power are the boldest criminals.

Please remember this; we have no Constitutional Rights, we have God-granted rights. The purpose of the Constitution was to restrain government. The Bill of Rights should actually be called the Bill of Government Limitations. Individual citizens cannot violate the Constitution. Only governments can.

I am doing my best to write this commentary without my usual hyperbole. As Joe Friday would say, “Just the facts.”

Our ‘elected officials” swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. None of them do and we let them get away with it. The Courts are the worst. The “domestic enemies” use the courts to subvert this nation and hardly a peep is heard as judges arbitrarily rewrite the Constitution. Marbury v Madison was the source of the decree that “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.” Marbury vs. Madison 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803).

We must reclaim the Constitution if the Republic is to be saved. Look at how far we have fallen.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Most of these freedoms are under assault as courts determine when and where they can be exercised. The fairness doctrine, public prayer, freedom of assembly, and hate speech legislation are all eviscerating the restraints on government.

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The new administration promises “change”. Those who are awake know that one of those changes will be government restriction on the God-given right to own guns. That’s why gun sales are through the roof with the election of Obama.

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

American soldiers are never to be used against the citizenry. It is call Posse Comitatus which has been suspended by “Executive Order.” The 3rd Infantry is now active on American soil. Of course, they are here to help in “emergencies.”

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Can you say unwarranted wiretaps in the name of security, thanks to the Patriot Act? Under this “un-Constitutional law” a person can now be detained without cause. Habeaus Corpus is gone.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Ditto. See Patriot Act above

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

See Habeas corpus above.

Need I go on?

So the voters in California determined that marriage shall remain a union between a man and a woman and the anarchists hit the streets. They invade churches, and appeal to the courts to overturn the will of the people.

Anarchy is defined as a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority.

Lawless is abounding in America. Bankers openly steal from the people, government hands out money in violation of their oath, voter fraud runs rampant, and our new president may not even be eligible for the office.

America’s Constitution is a “living breathing document” because God’s Word is no longer the rock upon which all law stands. Remove God and you remove His laws. Remove His laws and you remove the pillars. The non-constitutional separation between the church and the state has removed the foundation of all moral law.

If God is gone, then government is god. “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams.

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia] James Madison.

Anarchy has come to America.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How To Read Country Of Origin In Bar Codes



The whole world is scared of China made 'black hearted goods'. Can you differentiate which one is made in the USA , Philippines , Taiwan or China ? For your Information ... the first 3 digits of the barcode is the country code wherein the product was made.
Sample: all barcodes that start with 690.691.692 until 695 are all MADE IN CHINA.
471 is Made in Taiwan

This is our human right to know, but the government and related department never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.
Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products 'made in china', so they don't show from which country it is made.
However, you may now refer to the barcode, remember if the first 3 digits is 690-695 then it is Made in China .
00 - 13 ~ USA & CANADA
30 - 37 ~ FRANCE
40 - 44 ~ GERMANY
49 ~ JAPAN
50 ~ UK
57 ~ Denmark
64 ~ Finland
76 ~ Switzerland and Lienchtenstein
471 ~ Taiwan
628 ~ Saudi-Arabia
629 ~ United Arab Emirates
690-695~ China
740-745 ~ Central America
All 480 Codes ~ The Philippines

This information is verified on - which has a more detailed and accurate list.

Miller enemies take trashing

Oddly, only mayor's allies got memo about new garbage plan


Last Updated: 18th November 2008, 2:25am

Never mind have and have-not provinces.

At Toronto City Hall, it seems Mayor David Miller and his office staff have determined there are have and have-not councillors.

At least that's the implication of a memo obtained by the Sun.

Despite the thousands of problems across Toronto since the new garbage tax kicked in Nov. 3, an e-mail from the mayor's office advising that all garbage would be temporarily collected -- with or without pink tags or grey bins -- was sent late last Thursday. But only to half of council.

The memo from Mae Lee -- the mayor's point person on solid waste issues -- was e-mailed just to those 22 (mostly NDP) politicians known to regularly sing the praises of the mayor's pet projects and to vote with him at council.

Those left off Lee's list, not surprisingly, were councillors who either regularly criticize Miller at council or have not supported his mandate.

In her memo, Lee acknowledges some of the councillors' constituents still "have not received pink tags nor new bins."

She goes on to say that during the "transition" period, Solid Waste officials will continue to collect garbage without tags. Lee ends by advising councillors on her preferred list to record the address of the households in question and send the "list of the day" to four named senior garbage officials.

When I asked the mayor about the memo at a news conference at Exhibition Place yesterday, he asked me to show it to him. He proceeded to fold it in four (before I asked for it back) responding, "I haven't seen the memo ... you're just showing me it for the first time."

When I pressed further, noting that the memo went out last Thursday, he told me angrily: "Oh c'mon. I'm running a city with 40,000 employees and I don't know every piece of paper that goes out ... let's be reasonable."

After I asked him if he would sanction sending such an important memo to only 22 councillors, he said: "I think it's appropriate for my office to tell people who to call ... I really don't see what you're talking about."

OK, fine. The reaction from Miller and his minions got more bizarre as the day wore on.

When I moved away from the Exhibition Place scrum to ask Miller's deputy mayor, Joe Pantalone, about the memo (he also claimed he hadn't seen it), the mayor stopped talking to the media to ask me to "go somewhere else to ask questions."

Back at City Hall, the mayor's spokesman, Stuart Green, told me the communication from Lee was "a standard reply" to a collection of councillors who either e-mailed her with questions or bumped into her in the hall.

"Any councillor who asked got the same response ... there wasn't an exclusive leaving out of people," Green said.

Yet Pantalone, who was on Lee's list, told me he hadn't had any problems and he didn't need a "memo to know who to call."

When Councillor Rob Ford, who has advised the city's solid waste people about hundreds of problems, phoned the mayor's office to blast them about not receiving the memo, Lee sent back a response saying her original memo only went to politicians who requested help/info from either the mayor's office or solid waste officials.

Those on the mayor's so-called B team were not amused.

"All my constituents and half of the city of Toronto aren't getting the same treatment," Ford fumed.

Councillor Cesar Palacio said he's been begging solid waste officials to help him out with the hundreds of calls he's gotten from angry residents yet they never mentioned the new direction, or the memo, from the mayor's office.

Peter Milczyn, who heard about the memo yesterday, said he hoped the memo didn't mean "one level of service" for Toronto residents whose councillors always support the mayor and another for constituents whose councillors don't always support the mayor.

"If staff are going to provide options, that should apply to everyone," he said.

Councillor Case Ootes, who laughed at the silliness of the situation, suggested this is not an isolated case of selective communication from the mayor's office.

"It requires a suspension of disbelief that this is a one-off," he said. "I wonder if there are other communications to the chosen few."



- THE HAVES (those councillors who got the memo from the mayor's office late last week): Sandra Bussin; Shelley Carroll; Raymond Cho; Janet Davis; Glenn De Baeremaeker; Frank Di Giorgio; John Filion; Paula Fletcher; Adam Giambrone; Suzan Hall; Adrian Heaps; Norm Kelly; Gloria Lindsay Luby; Giorgio Mammoliti; Pam McConnell; Joe Mihevc; Ron Moeser; Howard Moscoe; Joe Pantalone; Gord Perks; Kyle Rae and Adam Vaughan.

- THE HAVE-NOTS (those councillors who were not sent the memo): Paul Ainslie; Brian Ashton; Maria Augimeri; Mike Del Grande; Mike Feldman; Rob Ford; Mark Grimes; Doug Holyday; Cliff Jenkins; Chin Lee; Peter Milczyn; Denzil Minnan-Wong; Frances Nunziata; Case Ootes; Cesar Palacio; John Parker; Anthony Perruzza; Bill Saundercook; David Shiner; Karen Stintz; Michael Thompson and Michael Walker.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Secret Directed-Energy Tech Protecting the President?

By David Hambling EmailNovember 14, 2008 | 4:45:00 PMCategories: Bizarro, Lasers and Ray Guns, Less-lethal

The Secret Service is tasked with protecting the President of the United States from assailants; and given that President-elect Obama has already been the target of assassination plots they may have their work cut out after January. But they have more than earpiece radios and armored limos to help them; the Secret Service can call on the very latest technology. Documents from a recent court case indicate that they have advanced directed-energy devices which are highly classified.

You may remember Donald Friedman, who claims that government agencies are misusing non-lethal directed-energy weapons. It’s easy to dismiss him as a crank. But his obsessive digging has turned up valuable information. For instance, one of his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests unearthed a 1998 U.S. Army program looking at a microwave device to beam sound directly into the target's skull which the rest of us had missed. (The same technology underlies the Medusa non-lethal weapon.)

Now he's found something else. Friedman's current court case involves attempts to extract information about any directed-energy weapons such as lasers and microwaves used by the Secret Service. Do they really have anything of the kind? A "Motion for an Enlargement of Time" (in other words, a request for a few more weeks) by the Secret Service's attorney indicates that they have something, and it's pretty secret:

"Plaintiff's FOIA request is for document [sic] concerning directed energy technology that is very sensitive. Some of this documents [sic] pertain to research conducted by divisions within defendant agency that is used to carry out its mandate to protect very high government officials. In fact, in one case, the documents… could not be mailed but had to be hand carried interstate."

So what is this "sensitive" technology? We don't know for sure, naturally. But we can sure speculate...

pd(UPNow, we've talked before about the Secret Service's interest in laser dazzlers as a means of protecting the White House against suicide attacks by light aircraft, dating back to 1998. We don't know if dazzlers have ever been deployed, but that would certainly explain some of the secrecy.

Portable dazzlers would also be a good way of dealing with potential snipers without the risk of harming bystanders. Other agencies also have an interest in covert dazzlers. Ex MI6 agent David Tomlinson claims a laser strobe was proposed for an assassination attempt on Slobodan Milosevic in 1992 by dazzling his chauffeur at a crucial point and causing him to crash. (Conspiracy theorists claim that a laser dazzler was used to assassinate Diana, Princess of Wales — but any bright flashes more likely came from photographer's flashguns.)

A portable version of the truck-mounted Active Denial System — the Pentagon's "pain ray" — might be used to similar effect. It could cause an assailant to flinch for a vital second, giving agents an opportunity to get the President out of the line of fire, without having to shoot into a crowd. Raytheon has been working on a rifle-sized version of the Active Denial System for some years, but nothing has been heard of it recently.

Another likely candidate is a directed-energy device to neutralize suspected improvised explosive devices, or IEDs — something that produces an intense, narrow beam of microwaves to fry the electronics. Tomlinson also claimed that MI6 has "sophisticated radio transmitters that would knock out the electronics of the limo at the press of a button, causing the airbags to inflate."

Presidential protection is likely to include a range of jammers to stop remote bomb detonation, and possibly remote-controlled aircraft attacks. With all this jamming, interference can occur and make radio communication impossible — if you leave any frequency clear, the bad guys might use it to send a detonation signal. So perhaps the Secret Service may have a microwave voice-transmission system as an emergency backup when radio communication is impossible. This would allow them to beam instructions to agents at a distance. At a pinch it could also be used to distract a would-be assassin — having a voice suddenly booming inside your head should put off most snipers (though they might have a few voices in there already).

We know that the Air Force has looked at microwave sound as a non-lethal weapon, and long-range acoustic systems like LRAD are already in use by the military and others. So a Secret Service microwave sound system is not totally, completely out of the question.

Donald Friedman may yet manage to get more information about secret directed-energy weapons. All we know so far is that they exist… Unless anyone out there can tell us more?

UPDATE: An article in Britain's Independent On Sunday looking at the issue of how to protect the next President suggests another DE technology: Terahertz scanners. So called T-rays have been used before for imaging systems that can see through clothing and detect metallic objects (as well as showing naked flesh). A portable version of the scanner would allow the Secret Service to spot hidden weapons from a distance without the potential assailant knowing that they know. And they might well wish to keep their X-ray Specs secret.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shotgun Home Defense Ammunition

Shotgun Home Defense Ammunition


Text follows:

For home defense, a shotgun is superior to a handgun in terms of being able to stop a violent intruder as quickly as possible. A reliable, well-made, pump-action shotgun can usually be purchased for less than the cost of a handgun of comparable quality. Also, inexpensive birdshot ammunition, typically used for training applications, is about three-fourths the cost, round for round, of comparable handgun ammunition.

Most people typically choose a shotgun for home defense for one of three general reasons:

1) to minimize wall penetration to reduce the danger to innocent third parties in case of a missed shot,
2) to maximize wound trauma to stop a vicious assailant as quickly as possible, or
3) because a shotgun does not require as much skill as a handgun to put lead on target.

If you're considering a shotgun for home defense or already have one, we suggest you give some serious thought to attending a one or two day "defensive shotgun" training course from a reputable shooting school. (We have a few schools listed on our Links page.) It's one thing to be armed with a well-equipped, high-tech shotgun and premium personal defense ammunition, but if you're not a skilled shotgun operator, you're the weakest link in your last-ditch home defense weapon system.

Shotgun Pellet Wound Ballistics

A shotgun pellet produces wound trauma by crushing the tissue it comes into direct contact with as it penetrates. In order to produce wound trauma that will be effective in quickly stopping an attacker, the pellets must penetrate his body deeply enough to be able to pass through a vital cardiovascular structure and cause rapid fatal hemorrhage to quickly deprive the brain of oxygenated blood needed to maintain consciousness.

Shotgun pellets are classified into two general categories: 1) birdshot, of which individual pellets are typically less than .20 caliber in diameter, and 2) buckshot, which varies in diameter from .24 caliber to .36 caliber.

Birdshot, because of its small size, does not have the mass and sectional density to penetrate deeply enough to reliably reach and damage critical blood distribution organs. Although birdshot can destroy a great volume of tissue at close range, the permanent crush cavity is usually less than 6 inches deep, and this is not deep enough to reliably include the heart or great blood vessels of the abdomen. A gruesome, shallow wound in the torso does not guarantee a quick stop, especially if the bad guy is chemically intoxicated or psychotic. If the tissue crushed by the pellets does not include a vital cardiovascular structure there's no reason for it to be an effective wound.

Many people load their shotguns with birdshot, usually #6 shot or smaller, to minimize interior wall penetration. Number 6 lead birdshot, when propelled at 1300 fps, has a maximum penetration depth potential of about 5 inches in standard ordnance gelatin. Not all of the pellets penetrate this deeply however; most of the shot will penetrate about 4 inches.

Federal Personal Defense Shotshell (Unfortunately now discontinued-KE4SKY)

Federal Cartridge Company offers reduced recoil Personal Defense Shotshells in 12 gauge and 20 gauge. Both are loaded with #2 lead birdshot. According to Federal's 1998 catalog, the shotshells propel their pellet payloads at a velocity of 1140 fps.

12 Gauge Shotshell Ammunition

For personal defense and law enforcement applications, the International Wound Ballistics Association advocates number 1 buckshot as being superior to all other buckshot sizes.

Number 1 buck is the smallest diameter shot that reliably and consistently penetrates more than 12 inches of standard ordnance gelatin when fired at typical shotgun engagement distances. A standard 2 ¾-inch 12 gauge shotshell contains 16 pellets of #1 buck. The total combined cross sectional area of the 16 pellets is 1.13 square inches. Compared to the total combined cross sectional area of the nine pellets in a standard #00 (double-aught) buck shotshell (0.77 square inches), the # 1 buck shotshell has the capacity to produce over 30 percent more potentially effective wound trauma.

In all shotshell loads, number 1 buckshot produces more potentially effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck. In addition, number 1 buck is less likely to over-penetrate and exit an attacker's body.

For home defense applications a standard velocity 2 ¾-inch #1 buck shotshell (16 pellet payload) from Federal, Remington or Winchester is your best choice. We feel the Federal Classic 2 ¾-inch #1 buck load (F127) is slightly better than the same loads offered by Remington and Winchester. The Federal shotshell uses both a plastic shot cup and granulated plastic shot buffer to minimize post-ignition pellet deformation, whereas the Remington and Winchester loads do not.

Second best choice is Winchester's 2 ¾-inch Magnum #1 buck shotshell, which is loaded with 20 pieces of copper-plated, buffered, hardened lead #1 buckshot. For those of you who are concerned about a tight shot pattern, this shotshell will probably give you the best patterning results in number 1 buck. This load may not be a good choice for those who are recoil sensitive.

Third choice is any standard or reduced recoil 2 ¾-inch #00 lead buckshot load from Winchester, Remington or Federal.

If you choose a reduced recoil load or any load containing hardened Magnum #00 buckshot you increase the risk of over-penetration because these innovations assist in maintaining pellet shape integrity. Round pellets have better sectional density for deeper penetration than deformed pellets.

Fourth choice is any 2 ¾-inch Magnum shotshell that is loaded with hardened, plated and buffered #4 buckshot. The Magnum cartridge has the lowest velocity, and the lower velocity will help to minimize pellet deformation on impact. The hardened buckshot and buffering granules also help to minimize pellet deformation too. These three innovations help to maximize pellet penetration. Number 4 hardened buckshot is a marginal performer. Some of the hardened buckshot will penetrate at least 12 inches deep and some will not.

20 Gauge Shotshell Ammunition Recommendations

We're unaware of any ammunition company who offers a 20 gauge shotshell that is loaded with #1 buckshot. The largest shot size commercially available that we know of is number 2 buck.

From a strict wound ballistics standpoint, we feel the Federal Classic 3-inch 20 gauge Magnum number 2 buckshot cartridge is the best choice. It contains 18 pellets of number 2 buckshot in a plastic shotcup with granulated plastic shot buffer.

However, the Federal Classic load might produce too much recoil for some people. Given this consideration, Remington's Premier Buckshot 2 ¾-inch 20 gauge number 3 buckshot cartridge is the next best choice. This load contains 20 pieces of nickel-plated, hardened lead shot that is buffered to reduce pellet deformation from post ignition acceleration and terminal impact. The Remington buckshot load will probably produce the tightest shot patterns in 20 gauge shotguns.

Third place is Winchester's 3-inch 20 gauge Magnum number 3 buckshot cartridge, which contains 24 pieces of buffered, copper-plated, hardened lead shot.

Shotgun Slugs, Flechettes and Exotic Ammunition for Home Defense?

Unless you live on acreage and anticipate engaging bad guys at distances beyond 25 yards, shotgun slugs are not a good choice for home defense, because of their enormous capability to over-penetrate a human body and common building materials.

Some shotgun cartridges are loaded with flechettes. These are small, steel, pointed dart-like projectiles with aft stabilization fins, and are commonly referred to as "nails with tails." The low cross sectional area of a single flechette, combined with the small amount of flechettes that can be loaded into a shotshell, makes them an inferior choice for home defense when compared to buckshot.

Also, according to Second Chance Body Armor Company, flechettes are not effective against soft body armor, if this is a particular mission requirement for your ammunition. Steel shot also is ineffective against soft body armor.

There are other various exotic shotshells that are best classified as gimmicks. These include rubber buckshot, bean bags, steel washers, rock salt, "Dragon's Breath," bird bombs, ceramic slugs, "bolo" projectiles and so on. The efficacy of these loads is questionable at best, and we advise you to avoid them altogether for this simple reason.


With the right load, a shotgun can be very effective in quickly stopping the deadly violence being perpetrated by a criminal who's invaded your home.

If you're worried that a missed shot might penetrate through a wall and harm others, load your shotgun so that the first one or two cartridges to be fired is number 6 or smaller birdshot, followed by standard lead #1 buckshot (12 gauge) or #3 buckshot (20 gauge). If your first shot misses, the birdshot is less likely to endanger innocent lives outside the room. If your first shot fails to stop the attacker, you can immediately follow-up with more potent ammunition.

With birdshot you are wise to keep in mind that your gunfire has the potential to NOT PRODUCE an effective wound. Do not expect birdshot to have any decisive effect.

Number 1 buckshot has the potential to produce more effective wound trauma than either #00 or #000 buck, without the accompanying risk of over-penetration. The IWBA believes, with very good reason, that number 1 buckshot is the shotshell load of choice for quickly stopping deadly criminal violence.

End Notes

The term "Magnum" when applied to shotshells means "more shot." Magnum shotshells usually propel their pellets at a lower velocity than a standard shotshell.

Shotgun barrel length does not affect our shotshell recommendions.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In denial over youth violence

As long as we coddle criminals, they win


Last Updated: 13th November 2008, 3:42am

"I am not going to snitch" and "My school is safe" are two amazing comments to come out of the latest C.W. Jefferys blood zone debacle!

The first was from a student, not exactly being helpful to police trying to catch an attempted murderer on the loose with a knife.

But the "My school is safe" remark was from C.W. Jefferys' principal, Audley Salmon, who made the comment as the manhunt was under way for the wouldbe attacker. The victim is "known to police" and was not a student but happened to be in the school's cafeteria.

Safe, eh! We'll have to take his word on it.

Once again so many heads are in the sand. Next we'll be hearing it's time for another study on youth and violence. Maybe Premier Dalton McGuinty can get Pinball Clemons to speak to the kids.

Or Mayor David "Hand Gun Ban" Miller can call for a national ban on knives. Or perhaps they'll all talk about disenfranchisement and how these marginalized kids come from poverty.


Speaking of that, in a year when Toronto has had 300 shooting victims, are we getting our millions' worth on the other programs set up to help them?

"Anybody know what happened to the youth and violence secretariat set up by the premier, which had former chief justice Roy McMurtry on it and former MPP Alvin Curling?" Toronto school board trustee Josh Matlow asked yesterday.

It was called the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence and was commissioned in 2007.

"I tried to find any recommendations but have not actually been able to find an office," Matlow said.

He even travelled to Queen's Park but couldn't find a desk or an employee.

I didn't have much luck, either. I put a call into an answering machine and have a request into the premier's office as well.

Turns out the youth violence report at long last is going to be released tomorrow at Queen's Park, Curling confirmed last night, adding that "people will be pleased even if that sounds self-serving."

And in the meantime there is a website to shed some light. It states that "our review involves many complex and long-standing issues, including how structural inequality, concentrations of disadvantage, and racism impact violence involving youth ... Our deep interest in finding responses to inequality, disadvantage and racism did not start with the premier's request to us, and it will not end when we submit our report to him."

To translate from politically correct to English: It's society's fault.

"Cost of McMurtry/Curling report so far -- $2 million." Conservative Leader John Tory said last night.

I wonder why they didn't just give the $2 million to the gangsters.

Now this committee is not to be confused with Julian Falconer's reported $1-million study or even the premier's 2006 Ontario's Violence Prevention Strategy, which had a $15-million Youth Challenge Fund, chaired by Pinball himself.

Of course there is no need for any of it. The solution is simple. Everybody knows a large part of the problem is gangs who seem to copy the same kind of violent gangland behaviour practised in Jamaica and the U.S.


You get rid of these gangs, which have members of all colours and origins, then you get rid of the drugs they sell, the weapons they will use and the damage and fear they cause.

No study is needed to understand we have good laws, good cops, a huge court system, lots of jails and the ability to search lockers, or students, if necessary.

As long as we kiss the gangs' butts they will kick ours.

Without taxpayer funding, intrepid Toronto Sun reporter Brett Clarkson dug up the shocking statistic that there have been 35 school lockdowns in Toronto board schools this year already and 60 last year.

We are still working on the figures of the number of students who won't "snitch" or how many systemic experts paid by the taxpayer are still insisting this is a "safe" city!

Green schemers run amok

Does Socialist Silly Hall have nothing better to do than attack good corporate citizens?


Last Updated: 13th November 2008, 3:27am

At today's planning and growth committee, councillors will be asked to approve an incentive program that will give commercial business owners money to install green roofs on their buildings.

That Eco-Roof program, according to the city report, will eat up some $1.07 million in precious operating and capital funds next year.

Let's not forget, either, that last Thursday, Mayor David Miller proudly presented the latest offering from the Politburo -- an $800,000 Pravda propaganda piece, er, "Our Toronto" newsletter, that is nothing more than a vehicle to shamelessly promote his wacky socialist mandate.

Yet, it seems, the city's green councillors are stubbornly refusing to spend $3 million to properly outfit their three recycling processing centres -- called Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) -- to sort recyclable paper coffee cups from their plastic lids.

Some $3 million -- the kind of money that is spent like water at King David's Empire on Queen St. W. -- is all that's needed next year to retrofit the city's MRFs with the kind of optimum sorting equipment that would allow the city to handle paper coffee (and tea) cups (minus their plastic lids) in the city's recycling stream.

Another $1 million in operating costs per year would also be needed to man the sorters, confirmed Geoff Rathbone, general manager of solid waste.

My point is in Miller's world, $4 million is chump change.

Instead it appears with its wacky, new in-store packaging initiatives, Socialist Silly Hall would sooner pick a fight with all of Toronto's coffee and tea chains trying to make a living in the city's competitive retail environment. Never mind that these companies pay huge taxes and provide real jobs.

In fact, as Nick Javor, senior v-p of corporate affairs for Tim Hortons noted, about 18,000 people are employed by their franchises in Toronto alone.

The availability of the technology notwithstanding, the socialists would sooner impose a ban on paper coffee and tea cups with plastic lids, claiming they're not "compatible" with the city's recycling stream. They'd sooner order the industry to create a special "Made in the Socialist Republik of Toronto" cup, as if coffee retailers have a safe alternative lid to transport their hot beverage at the ready (which they don't), and plenty of money to respond to council's whims.

It didn't seem to faze the green police one bit that the Tim Hortons cup and lid are accepted in either the blue box or green bin programs in cities across the province, including York Region, Kingston and Hamilton -- or that the company has been a good corporate citizen.


The arbiters of all that's green (yesterday the strongest proponents were councillors Glenn DeBaeremaeker, Howard Moscoe and Gord Perks, who treated the industry reps with absolute contempt) think it's quite fine to impose a 20-cent discount on all coffee chains whose customers present a refillable cup and a 10-cent discount per bag on all retailers whose customers bring their own refillable bags -- ignoring the very real risk of a lawsuit against the city.

Kim McKinnon, v-p Ontario of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, said her retail members will have to absorb $88 million in extra costs from the discount.

She added they have an opinion indicating there is "definitely an option" to move forward legally.

Are council's eco-wingnuts out of their cotton-pickin' minds, or simply drunk on their own green power?

In my view, the socialists have gone so far this time this plan has the potential to get the "Anybody But David" (Miller) election movement up and running pretty darn fast.

Miller has been suspiciously silent to date on this policy. He kept away from the heated committee meeting yesterday, although I did spot him in the City Hall cafeteria clutching a styrofoam clamshell (also to be banned in 2010), presumably containing his lunch.

(Hmmm. You'd think the King of Climate Change would use his own refillable containers. I do.)

At least there were enough cool heads at the public works committee -- Mark Grimes, Chin Lee and John Parker -- to have the plan banning coffee and tea cups and lids referred back for more consultation.

With good reason. Too bad it took nine hours of pleading from the industry.

Coun. Case Ootes called this whole program "surreal" and said his colleagues are "absolutely ridiculous" to take on good corporate citizens.

"It's because we have an NDP government in power that takes on business ... that's the forte, their issue in life," he said. "They hamstring people who create jobs."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

World’s Oil Fields Drying Up at Frightening Speed

Breaking Energy Crisis News
26-Government Study Confirms:
World’s Oil Fields Drying Up at Frightening Speed

Even the keepers of official statistics can’t hide this alarming oil secret from you anymore…

Imagine if world oil production fell 38% in the next five years.

That’s like losing nearly all of OPEC.

Imagine the chaos. The shortages. President Obama ordering gas rationing. Fear and fighting in the streets. A world that looks more and more like “Mad Max.”

Think that’s far-fetched? Not so much:

The International Energy Agency is just out today with some shocking numbers. Numbers that confirm everything we’ve been telling you in this space for years.

The IEA advises the governments of 26 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. So this is a big deal.

A team of 25 IEA experts just finished an exhaustive survey of the world’s 450 biggest oil fields. It’s an unprecedented effort. And the results are frightening.

“The findings suggest the world will struggle to produce enough oil to make up for steep declines in existing fields,” according to the Financial Times.

Here’s the big, terrifying number: The world’s oil fields are depleting at a rate of 9.1% every year!

To put that into some perspective: Current world oil production is 84 million barrels a day. Assume no one does anything to find more oil. According to the IEA’s numbers, production would fall off a cliff — to just 52 million barrels a day by 2013. That’s a 38% drop in five short years.

It gets worse. As it is, world oil demand is 85 million barrels a day. So we’re already using more than we’re consuming. And it’s not going to get any better. The IEA expects demand to grow 1.6% per year. Hold that against production drops of 9.1%, and you begin to see the problem.

But even if oil consumption stopped growing today…if demand held at 85 million barrels a day, we’d still be in trouble. There’s simply no way new oil discoveries can make up for a 38% drop in production from existing fields. None.

We could drill up every drop in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and it would supply the world for only six months. And that’s using the most optimistic estimate of its reserves.

Here’s another way you can look at it.

We Need to Discover “Four New Saudi Arabias”

The IEA report says the world needs to increase current production by 45 million barrels per day — just to keep pace with current levels of demand.

How much oil is that? The IEA’s chief economist, Fatih Birol, says that means “bringing four new Saudi Arabias on stream” between now and 2030.

Again, that’s just to keep up with present demand. Add in growing demand from China, India, and the Middle East, and that 45 million barrels per day grows to 65 million — or FIVE new Saudi Arabias.

Do you think we’ll find five new Saudi Arabias by 2030? How about four? Even with aggressive exploration of deep ocean water and the Arctic? Didn’t think so.

Neither does our resident geologist Byron King.

Chances are you already know Byron from his many Whiskey & Gunpowder articles dating back to 2004. From the start, he’s been warning you about “Peak Oil” and its devastating consequences. Now his prognostications are finally going mainstream. In other words, the IEA is catching up to him.

Byron’s known for years about the frightening decline in Mexico’s Cantarell oil field, once the second largest-in the world. Production from July 2007 to July 2008 plunged 36%.

In fact, of the world’s four super-giant oil fields, three are in decline. Not just Cantarell, but also Burgan in Kuwait and Daqing in China.

And what about the biggest of them all? Well, we still don’t know the full story about Saudi Arabia’s Ghawar.

That one field accounts for 6% of world production. But for how much longer? Its reserves are a Saudi state secret. The IEA had to rely on computer models to analyze Ghawar. Not comforting, is it?

Even worse, the IEA report says the world’s smaller fields are declining at rates even faster than the super-giants.

Byron’s been warning about the decline of the world’s oil fields for years, both here and in the pages of his monthly research advisory, Outstanding Investments. And the IEA’s just-released numbers validate his warnings.

Yet what’s the story you hear now from the perpetually clueless mainstream media?

What the Mainstream Media Aren’t Telling You

You hear this: A global recession is killing energy demand. Oil prices are at a 20-month low today. Already gas is back to $2 a gallon in many places. Heck, SUV sales are up again. We don’t have to worry about energy shortages now.


Maybe you missed the story. On Monday, China unveiled its own “stimulus package” for the world’s fastest-growing economy. $586 billion to help build things like highways and airports. Which will be filled with cars and airplanes. Which use fuel. Lots of it.

Sure, China might not grow 10% a year anymore. But even if it slows down to 5%, that’s a lot of people giving up bicycles for scooters. And scooters for cars. They’re joining you and me among the ranks of the world’s big-time energy users. Permanently.

Bottom line: Energy use might be down in the developed world. But the developing world — China, India, the OPEC nations themselves — is more than making up for it.

Here’s something else the media aren’t telling you.

“Within Seven Days We’ll Run Out of Food”

Don’t look now, but U.S. gasoline inventories, according to Barclays Capital, are at 40-year lows.

That’s big-time vulernability. One big hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico next summer could knock out drilling platforms at sea, and refineries on shore.

That worries Matt Simmons, famed investment banker to the oil industry, the man CNBC calls “the ultimate oil insider.” He paints a dire picture of trucks with no fuel…and no way to deliver their food to stores.

“If we end up having gasoline shortages,” Simmons says, “the odds are about 90% that Americans will do what we always do: We'll top up our tanks. And in topping up our tanks, within three or four days we'll drain the pool dry and then within seven days we'll run out of food.”

President Obama ordering gas rationing? Doesn’t sound so far-fetched now…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fee freeze hurts taxpayers

Mayor's proposal to hold line on development charges would leave city residents on the hook


Last Updated: 11th November 2008, 4:27am

Terry Bryk, a north Toronto resident, put it most succinctly when he called yesterday Mayor David Miller's "Official Tag Day" for Toronto's deep-pocketed developers.

The retired market research consultant came to the executive committee to point out the unfairness of the mayor's proposals to freeze development charges at their ridiculously low levels while forcing property taxpayers to pick up the slack.

As he noted, this year the city is spending $308 million to create new municipal infrastructure (sewers, road, sidewalks, streetscapes, etc.) needed for new (condo and other residential) development.

Yet development charges to the industry will only contribute $31 million or 10% of the cost. The remaining $277 million (plus interest) will be picked up by taxpayers either through increased debt or through contributions from the operating budget to the city's capital needs.

"Do you seriously believe developers will stop developing in Toronto?" Bryk asked, noting development charges are three times higher in Oakville and higher in most other municipalities in the GTA.

"As a taxpayer I'd like to have a feeling I'm not being charged 90% of the development costs ... I don't think that's fair."

Coun. Cliff Jenkins, who feels development increases should be phased in 50% next year and 100% in 2010, said the intent of the fees are to ensure "growth pays for itself.

"It's not fair to be subsidizing an industry that is very, very profitable," he said.

Nevertheless, these reasoned arguments were quickly drowned out by protests from a selection of developers in their slick designer suits, their paid lobbyists from academia (two professors from Ryerson and York) and the councillors who swallowed their predictions of a soon-to-be-struggling industry hook, line and sinker.

Miller and his minions were only too happy to grant a request from The Developers and Co. to defer their whole decision until Feb. 2 to allow the paid academics to complete a study about the "development industry" and its "impacts on the city."


Tridel President Leo DelZotto, who led the charge for the deferral, said he wanted to make sure the whole picture was presented and the city was doing the right thing for everyone.

"If you put this bylaw in place, you'll start to turn off the development industry in the 416," he warned, noting he prefers partnerships with the city instead of the "concept of levies."

I guarantee you this sudden need to further study the issue was not precipitated by the proposed one-year freeze on fees but by the city's plan to phase in significant increases starting Feb. 1, 2010. I suspect the "partnership" The Developers will come back with is a case to maintain the status quo using the current credit crunch and a dismal fourth quarter as the excuse for their preferential treatment.

Yet at a briefing two weeks ago, city officials -- with some prodding -- said they've forecasted 11,000 building permits will be issued next year. That's the same number of permits that have been issued on average over the last 10 years.

So the idea the industry is suffering is simply untrue.

I very much resent that taxpayers are expected to absorb the shock of increase after increase. Even The Developers conceded yesterday the land transfer tax has added a "fundamental" cost to the bottom line. It certainly has impacted on home sales, as I hear repeatedly from real estate agents.

As for the Mayor and Co.'s decision to kowtow to developers all in the guise of keeping the city healthy and vibrant -- while picking fights with coffee companies, homeowners, vehicle owners and other entrepreneurs -- I'll repeat that this is payback for their support of the land transfer tax last year.

Comments from councillors Giorgio Mammoliti and Norm Kelly were equally offensive.

"When there's economic uncertainty, it's not a time to pick a fight with our industry partners," said Mammoliti.

"I'm looking forward to the report coming back in the new year," fawned Kelly. "The vehicle is an opportunity to consider the full extent of the partnership (with developers) in this city."

I wouldn't dare suggest that a long list of 2006 election contributions clouded these councillors' positions one bit.

A quick trip to the city's elections office revealed at least 11 donations to Kelly from developers and at least 18 developers contributed to Mammoliti's campaign.

Ah yes, forget about studies and deferrals. I'd suggest the "partnership" between The Developers and the Mayor's Team is already rock solid.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


PUBLICATION: The Toronto Sun
DATE: 2006.01.25
COLUMN: Page Six
ILLUSTRATION: 1. photo 2. photo of DAVID MILLER Not quite half
of guns on the street. Despite what the mayor and the recently deposed PM would have us believe, the numbers don't add up.


Having invoked the fear factor that half the guns used to bathe Toronto in blood last year were stolen from law-abiding collectors and shooters, Prime Minister Paul Martin went to the polls Monday vowing to ban all handguns in Canada -- if constitutionally viable, that is, a caveat he later had to add when he misfired on the facts.

Toronto Mayor David Miller sang the same statistical tune, despite contrary evidence in a report tabled last month by his own police service -- a report obtained through access to information that shows, if not twisted, that no more than 16% of "crime guns" in Toronto were obtained through the robbery of legitimate owners.

And that is a far, far cry from the loud headlines Mayor Miller recently created when he claimed "almost half" the blood guns came from the break-ins of homes where guns were legally registered and stored.
But politics is politics. And Mayor Miller, without question, wanted the Liberals back in power.

Back on Jan. 10, Saskatchewan Tory MP Garry Breitkreuz, the most vocal critic of $2 billion-plus poured into a dysfunctional national gun registry, issued a press released based on an academic analysis of Toronto gun-crime statistics prepared by Dr. Gary Mauser, a professor at the Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University.

And it got virtually no media attention.

The office of Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, however, must have seen the inevitable coming when it received an access for information request from Dr. Mauser regarding a Toronto Police Service report to the police board dated Dec. 1, 2005.

For this was what appeared in the preamble.

"The information that Chief Blair received was not based on a scientific analysis of raw data, but rather the estimate of an experienced police officer," the writer stated, his name and position blacked out.


The writer was also quick to note that Chief Blair received this information "verbally."

It was this document, however, which Mayor Miller obviously used to raise the pre-election tension levels.

The file Dr. Mauser analyzed -- and Mayor Miller used to invoke the fear factor -- consisted of a review of the 214 handguns which fell into the hands of the Toronto Police guns and gangs task force during 2004.

Of those guns in police possession, 82 were confirmed as traceable to the United States, 26 were not registered (meaning they had not come from legal gun owners), six were deemed "too old to trace," and 65 were categorized as "unknown status, serial (number) removed."

That's 179 of the 214 guns seized.

The remaining 35 -- or 16% -- had been reported stolen, as required by law, by law-abiding citizens who had legally purchased and registered their weapons.

So how did Mayor Miller, through this report, come up with "almost half" the crime guns in this city as coming from domestic break-ins?

Well, the six guns supposedly "too old to trace" were given Canadian origins, as were the 26 "not registered," as were 36 of the 65 guns supposedly deemed to have an "unknown status" because they had their serial numbers filed off.

Add to that the 35 legally-registered handguns that responsible and law-abiding collectors or target shooters had reported stolen, and its adds up to 103 guns.


That's how Mayor Miller got his "almost half" -- by using the Toronto Police Services Board's report and giving Canadian citizenship to 68 weapons of dubious or uncertain origins when, in fact, only 35 of the 214 handguns seized in total can be honestly traced to being stolen from a legitimate handgun collector or target shooter.

Without those 68 weapons, however, there is no fear factor to trigger, and therefore no self-serving politics to put into play as part of an election platform.

And so the stats found themselves getting skewed.

According to Dr. Mauser, what rarely -- if ever -- gets reported is the number of weapons with military or police origins which fall into criminal hands.

But, through Access to Information, this is what Mauser discovered, and published in his study.

On July 4, 2002, an RCMP report listed 409 firearms that had been either lost or stolen from the Canadian military, a list that included 218 Lee Enfield rifles and a number of machine guns.

But there were also 17 sidearms reported stolen or missing -- all Browning 9mm pistols, a preferred street piece.

None of this ever made the news.

A year earlier, according to the most-recent information obtained by Mauser, the RCMP itself had to confess to 16 handguns being stolen, and two handguns being lost.

As it stands today, the police -- regardless of jurisdiction -- are not required to register their guns and the Department of National Defence is totally exempt from all registration requirements.

Nor is the RCMP or the Canadian Firearms Centre required to collect information on the number of firearms either stolen or missing from any police force in Canada -- from Victoria, B.C., to St. John's, Nfld.

In his report, Mauser said it was unfortunate that the Toronto Police Service report provided no information regarding how many "crime guns" had their origins either at some military armoury or at a Canadian police service.


"This is especially disturbing in the light of international reports that a large percentage of 'crime guns' have been diverted from police and military supplies," wrote Mauser. "The Canadian government reports are incomplete, but partial figures show that the Canadian police or military have reported that they have lost or had stolen over 500 guns."

In the meantime, legitimate gun owners who have been victimized by gangs and bandits continue to make the headlines as if they are the criminals, with the main men wanting to bring them down with pre-election rhetoric being the prime minister of this country and the mayor of this city.

The election, however, is now over. Wait to hear if silence will now follow

and this


January 10, 2006 For Immediate Release

“It’s time to make criminals pay a heavy price for stealing guns,” says Breitkreuz.

Yorkton – Today, Garry Breitkreuz, MP for Yorkton-Melville, released an academic analysis on the number of ‘crime guns’ stolen from law-abiding gun owners that brings into question claims by the Mayor of Toronto and data recently released by the Toronto Police Services. “According to Professor Mauser’s analysis the number of legal firearms stolen from law-abiding gun owners ranges between 2 and 16 percent - not 48 percent as claimed by Mayor Miller and reported in the media,” revealed Breitkreuz.

Professor Gary Mauser, Ph.D., of Simon Fraser University, reported the following results based on his analysis of the following published data (see link to his full report at the bottom of this page):

1. Toronto Police Services Board report dated January 22, 2004: 16 (9%) of the 183 firearms (11 registered and 5 reported stolen) came from lawful Canadian owners.

2. Toronto Police Service report dated December 1, 2005: 35 (16%) of the 214 handguns were stolen from law-abiding Canadian owners.

3. Peel Regional Police, Project Gun Runner report dated December 21, 1994: 14% of firearms used in crime in Toronto had been registered at some point in the past.

4. Toronto Police Services Annual Report for 2000: 2% of the firearms came from Canadian owners.
5. Statistics Canada Homicide Report for 2004: 16% of the firearms used in homicide were in the registry.

But, criminals will steal guns from anyone and anywhere including the police and the military. Professor Mauser noted in his analysis that published reports typically do not identify the number of firearms used in crime that were reported stolen from the police and the military. However, thanks to the Access to Information Act, a few numbers have been uncovered:

• On July 4, 2002, an RCMP report listed 409 firearms reported lost by or stolen from the Canadian Forces including: 218 Lee Enfield Rifles, 17 Browning 9mm pistols, an FN Browning .50 calibre Heavy Machine Gun, an AK47, an FN Browning Canadian C9 Service Light Machine Gun 5.56mm, a Colt AR15A2 .223 calibre, etc.

• On September 3, 2003, the RCMP reported 16 handguns and 1 shotgun stolen, 2 handguns and 1 shotgun lost; and 88 more firearms being traced by the RCMP armourers.

Neither the RCMP nor the Canadian Firearms Centre collects information on the number of firearms stolen or missing from other police forces in Canada. The police are not yet required to register their guns and the Department of National Defence is totally exempt from the registration requirements of the Firearms Act.

“Law-abiding gun owners, who have had their homes and businesses invaded and their safely stored firearms stolen, are victims of a crime wave instigated by a decade of Liberal mollycoddling of violent criminals. Now, the Liberals want to victimize these law-abiding citizens again by banning their guns. It’s time to make criminals pay a heavy price for stealing guns, and that’s exactly what a Conservative government intends to do,” vowed Breitkreuz.

Professor Mauser’s Analysis:

and this:

The January 22, 2004 Toronto Police Services Board Minutes reported that of the 183 identified

crime guns (all types) recovered by Toronto Police, only 5 (all types) were reported as stolen.

We have to be sure that the chief is not using stats later than the ones above. Does he now have 2007 and 2008 stats? If he does, and we respond to his latest press release by using older stats, then we've been had. Stats without dates are useless.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Toronto home resales down 35 per cent in October


Last Updated: 5th November 2008, 12:37pm

The number of resale home deals fell 35 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area last month compared with a year earlier, according to a tally by the Toronto Real Estate Board.

And the average price was down 10.6 per cent, to $352,974 from $394,646.

The realtors’ group tracked a 13 per cent price decline in the central city to $376,896 and an eight per cent pullback in the suburban 905 area to $336,049.

The number of properties listed for sale swelled 32 per cent from a year earlier to 27,277.

The overall region booked 5,155 home resales in October, down from 7,915 in October 2007 and 6,876 in October 2006, the board said Wednesday in a report headed: “Resale housing market continues to reflect economic times.”

However, board president Maureen O’Neill stressed:“There’s no doubt that real estate will continue to be a solid long-term investment in our country.”

O’Neill suggested that “consumer confidence is being unduly affected by media reports on the United States economy,” and she emphasized: “There’s no question that in Canada the economic fundamentals to support a healthy housing market remain in place.”

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Miller on track to double T.O.'s debt


Last Updated: 31st October 2008, 3:57am

After budget chief Shelley Carroll and Mayor David Miller had shamelessly sung the praises of their "prudent" 2009 capital budget yesterday, I asked if one or the other could illuminate us as to the city's current total debt.

After all, given that the city was planning to finance 23% of the $1.6-billion capital budget with $367-million more in new debt, I wondered what that meant for the city's steadily ballooning long-term debt figure -- and how much of the operating budget would go to service that debt.

Our strong mayor deferred to Carroll to answer. The Mistress of Doubletalk tried to steer me in quite another direction.

"This is new debt ... this is a budget that's funded on a combination of things ..." she said, before I asked her again, and a third time, for the projected 2009 total debt figure.

"They're in the presentation ... I can leaf through this (presentation) or you can find them ... I know they're in the presentation," she said.

Not only was the city's total debt tally for 2009 conspicuously absent from yesterday's presentation but it was absolutely appalling, in my view, that neither the budget chief nor the mayor had it at their fingertips.

But I suppose it's no wonder the city is in quite a different fiscal state than the rosy picture painted by the mayor and his compliant Mistress of Doubletalk.

To put it bluntly, it seems His Blondness won't be happy until he leaves the city with the same legacy as former NDP Premier (and recently evolved Liberal) Bob Rae left Ontario in 1995 -- with record debt levels and near broke.


It was finally confirmed -- by city finance officials -- that next year's total debt level will top $2.7 billion.

That means in his five years in office Miller has managed to double the city's long-term debt from the $1.3 billion he inherited in 2003!

The amount to be spent in the 2009 operating budget to service that debt will top $480 million -- some $180 million more than what the city expects to collect from the land transfer and vehicle ownership taxes next year.

"Debt is climbing at alarming rates which means taxpayers are increasingly seeing their property taxes go to banks to pay off the substantial debtload," said Kevin Gaudet, Ontario director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, noting that means less money to pick up garbage or repair roads.

"This mayor is going on a rampage to create himself a legacy and he's doing it on the backs of Toronto taxpayers ... he spends every penny and then some and borrows more."

Now there's no doubt that Miller -- who claimed to have studied Keynesian economics at Harvard -- made it clear he believes in investing and spending his way out of the current "economic uncertainty." (He wouldn't concede that Toronto's economy has slowed as of yet.)

Still there would be some consolation in that approach if indeed the city had money to burn AND if the money was allocated to real (basic) priorities, not the mayor's highly skewed climate change and anti-car agenda.


It quickly became clear yesterday that despite all the mayor's talk about needing his controversial new taxes for "city-building," only $21 million of the $55 million city officials expect to collect from the vehicle ownership tax will go to road repairs next year. As for the $310-million backlog in road and bridge repairs, it's anybody's guess what has been earmarked for that. But the mayor did tell us with considerable pride that $7.9 million will be allocated to fund more bike lanes.

Another $22 million will go next year to implement David Kennedy's, er Miller's "world-leading sustainable energy action plan" -- money that will be taken from a $245-million Hydro note cashed in last year (which should be used to pay down the debt or prop up the city's ailing reserve funds.)

Coun. Mike Del Grande says it's quite obvious to him that despite all the new taxes, fees and levies created by Miller and his minions, the city is "still digging the hole deeper.

"The taxes seem to be going to the mayor's priorities and initiatives ... his green agenda," he said. "It's basically his way or the highway."

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.

The Group Opposing Miller mulls a leadership convention to pick its contender

Running for the right


Last Updated: 2nd November 2008, 2:34am

The encouraging news out of City Hall is the GOM (Group Opposing Miller) have come to the real world conclusion only one person can run against Mayor David Miller in the 2010 election.

Then it gets interesting.

How do you decide who has the best shot at knocking off the boss?

The answer the GOM is working on may shock you -- a leadership convention.

"We'll throw confetti, we'll give speeches," said Coun. Karen Stintz, a viable contender for the role of hopeful-for-mayor.

She compared it to a Churchill moment, make the speech of your life, get your fellow councillors and the residents of the city on side, then run at the mayor.

Intriguing. That said, a convention, like political parties throw, is far from a sure thing.

There are huge issues to resolve. How do you pay for it when candidates can't spend any money on their campaigns until Jan. 1, 2010, and this would all have to happen in the fall of 2009 at the latest?

Who gets a vote?

Will everyone mulling a run against Miller -- from Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong to Coun. Michael Thompson to Coun. Rob Ford to Heart and Stroke CEO Rocco Rossi to even provincial infrastructure minister George Smitherman -- be willing to be part of this competition?

And, if it is councillors who vote, are they really the best people to be making this decision?

But it sure would be fun.

It's the sort of idea that could get Toronto -- a city where many are eager for a choice other than Miller in the next election -- enthused about the vote, and expose the winner to the spotlight.

Under the leadership of the senior members of council, Case Ootes and Michael Feldman, the right -- and they hope soon, the centre -- are working on coming together as a group, developing a platform and putting together, something Torontonians could get excited about.

This can work if the politicians can get past their little fiefdoms and come up with sound positions on city-wide issues the entire group could latch on to and support.

These politicians would have to come a long way from their self-interested, un-cooperative and dysfunctional selves. This group couldn't and wouldn't be forced to vote with the team as in a cabinet, but rather try to come to a consensus.

This plan can only work if everyone who's not on Miller's NDP team, like Brian Ashton, Peter Milczyn, Mark Grimes, Bill Saundercook, Ron Moeser, Paul Ainslie and Cliff Jenkins, pop onto the same page.

And what about the John McCain mavericks on council? Rob Ford, Doug Holyday, Mike Del Grande and Michael Walker? It has to be a large group or any effort will fail.

The most recent meeting of this group happened last week, with seven councillors, Stintz, Ootes, Feldman, Minnan-Wong, John Parker, David Shiner and Frances Nunziata.

"If we can get this group together, I'd certainly be interested," Stintz said about a run for the mayor's chair.

"You can't have eight people on Jan. 1, 2010, fighting for money, fighting for attention," Stintz said. "You're giving Miller a free pass."

Ootes said the candidate to go up against Miller doesn't necessarily have to be a Toronto politician, although a non-councillor has never made the jump to mayor in the modern era.

"I don't care whether it's in or out of council," Ootes said. "It's who's going to have the best shot at Miller."

But will this group of councillors opposing Miller even trust an outsider to do their bidding for them?

Stintz envisions convention speeches in the council chamber at City Hall, Miller's NDPers excluded, of course.


But what would you do with a Liberal like Norm Kelly or Gloria Lindsay Luby, who likes to be seen as a Tory. Both are part of Miller's hand-picked team. Do they get a vote?

Stintz makes a point all Torontonians need to keep in mind: "I just don't think there's a white knight," she said. "It's not going to happen."

There isn't anyone waiting in the wings for the Bay Street big boys, like Paul Godfrey, to anoint as the next one.

The other big question: Can any of the "contestants" actually unseat Miller?

It's two years, six days until we get a final answer to that question.

It's an 'OK Corral mentality'

OPP boss decries gun violence against innocents


Last Updated: 2nd November 2008, 2:34am

As we bade goodbye yesterday to yet another innocent victim of random gun violence, this bullet-riddled city has finally declared enough is enough.

No more young girls to gasp their last breaths on our sidewalks of pooling crimson blood; no more pub goers gunned down on their way home to their young sons; no more grocers felled as they stock their stands with oranges on a sunny day.

No more.

OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino sounded the sirens no one heeded during his long tenure as Toronto Police chief. Now he believes we are finally listening.

"We've gone from a time where bad guys were shooting bad guys," Fantino says, "to what we're seeing now: Innocent people caught up in this OK Corral mentality where you can have a gunfight on the busiest street in North America and there is a callous disregard for the consequences."

Yet he is actually more optimistic about the future than he's ever been.

"The more people understand their own vulnerability, the more inclined they are to say, 'Enough is enough. We're not going to sit back and take it anymore. We're not going to be tolerant of these people, we're not going to have charity for gunmen anymore.' "

Surely that time has come.

We feel unsafe in our own city. For a while, there was a false sense of security -- if you didn't live at Jane and Finch or Galloway or in one of this city's other disastrous, crime-infested housing projects, if you didn't belong to a gang or deal in drugs, it was easier to believe that gun violence wouldn't shatter your world.

Not so anymore.

"We know much of the violence in our city takes place among people who are engaged in activities that make it far more likely they'll be victims of violent crime," Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair still insists.

"But unfortunately there have also been a number of cases in Toronto -- and those cases are always shocking to the entire community -- when people who are totally innocent, going about their daily lives, not engaged in any behaviour which would make it more likely that they would be victimized, and because they are in what is often called 'the wrong place at the wrong time,' they are victims.

"Everyone has a right to go shopping on Yonge St., to go out to the local pub and have an evening out with friends. When criminals decide to bring violence to those places, they put everybody at risk and it's a huge concern."

So Statistics Canada may insist that the homicide rate is down, again, and that crime is on the decrease, but it doesn't feel that way. It certainly doesn't read that way, not with the daily headlines filled with news of yet another shooting.

Like most criminologists, Scot Wortley is quick to insist that the numbers do show that we are not in any real danger from street violence. But interestingly, the University of Toronto professor has identified a number of disturbing trends in those stats which even he agrees are legitimate causes for concern.

Wortley says the evidence suggests that homicides are more likely to involve handguns and more likely to occur in public places than they would have 50 years ago. "That's why," he notes, "bystanders are being hit."

In fact, Stats Canada confirms that in 2007, handguns were used in about two-thirds of all Canadian homicides, up from about 25% in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In urban centres, like Toronto, 81% of all firearm-related homicides were committed with a handgun.

The typical murder victim has also become much younger, the criminologist says. "If you are over 30 and living in this city, your chances of dying a violent death are lower than they have ever been," Wortley notes.

"But if you are young and living in one of the disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Toronto," he warns, "there may have been a significant increase in the chances of your dying a violent death. Although our homicide rate hasn't changed that much over 30 years, and if anything it's declined, it has increased among certain populations."

So pity the thousands of young innocents trapped in Toronto's hell hole public housing neighbourhoods of crime -- the Ephraim Browns of this city, 11-year-olds who are gunned down while sitting on a fence at their cousin's birthday. Or the dozens more who narrowly miss death, like 12-year-old Matthew Page who last year had a bullet zoom by his head while playing toy cars inside his Driftwood Ct. bedroom.

Suddenly, Toronto has become a shooting gallery. Last weekend, we even had a gun-wielding 15-year-old boy used as a hitman to settle a score between feuding boyfriends at a 4-year-old's birthday party.

There are children with guns in our city, like child soldiers in some godforsaken Third World warrior state .

Last year, Toronto Police seized 2,603 firearms -- with 817 linked to crimes or had their serial numbers removed. The great big arsenal that is the United States is the source of an estimated 30,000 firearms spirited into Canada across the 49th parallel every year. The chief estimates that 70% of the crime guns being used in Toronto have been smuggled in from across the border.

The rest, he says, are legal, registered handguns that have been stolen from their owners. According to the Registrar of Firearms, there are almost 194,000 registered handguns in the province with more than 1,000 stolen and unaccounted for at the end of 2007.

So Blair is supporting the controversial call by both Mayor David Miller and Premier Dalton McGuinty for Ottawa to ban handguns. While he acknowledges it would infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, the chief argues it's a sacrifice necessary for the greater good.

But at least one victims' advocate -- and retired police officer -- calls the proposed ban "idiotic PR."

"It provides false hope," argues John Muise, head of public safety at the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness. "Those (stolen legal) guns would just be replaced by bringing more guns across the border. We have 5,000 km of border with the United States."

And it is as porous as cheesecloth.

The Canada Border Services Agency seized just 662 guns at crossing points last year, three-quarters of them handguns. How many more thousands slip through, selling for $1,500 to $3,000 each on Toronto streets?

Instead of a handgun ban, Muise believes the new higher mandatory minimum sentences for gun crimes passed into law by the Stephen Harper government in May will do more to stem Toronto's Wild West gunplay.

The Criminal Code already provided a maximum sentence of 14 years for anyone using a firearm in the commission of an offence, in addition to any other sentence, but it was routinely plea bargained away. The new legislation increases the minimum sentence that must be imposed in a handful of gun-related crimes, including possession of a loaded firearm, from one year to three for a first offence, and from one year to five for a second.

Whether mandatory minimum sentences are actually a deterrent is a debate Toronto's police chief will leave to those in academia. What Blair does know for certain is that the new sentences should ensure that bad guys are off our streets for a while longer. "At the very least, while they're serving their sentence, everyone else is protected from them.

"We're arresting people with loaded handguns almost every day in the city of Toronto and we want to ensure the sentences they receive for those crimes are significantly serious enough to make a difference."

As well, Blair applauds the new federal reverse onus provisions for bail so that those accused of serious gun crimes will have to show why they shouldn't be kept in jail while awaiting trial.

"What we are finding is that for really violent, dangerous people, conditions like house arrest, curfews, non-associations, boundaries on where they can go -- they're not paying any attention to those things."

He is tired of the revolving door of criminals who are repeatedly picked up for violating the court's stipulations. "I don't think they should get several kicks at that can. If they're not going to obey their conditions and they're released and continue to put others at risk, then the courts have no choice, I believe, than to put them in secure custody."

But there have been tough laws on the books in the past. The question is whether Crowns and judges will actually follow them.

With current court backlogs, the system has become a "sausage factory," charges Muise, the victims' advocate who lobbied for the new mandatory minimums in Ottawa.

"They are under enormous pressure to grind these cases out, to accept pleas, to reduce the number of cases on the docket," he says with much sympathy for the overworked officers of the Crown. "At the end of the day, you need to see the administration of justice as a priority and it's not in this province."

It's a charge that was echoed all this week at Queen's Park by angry Opposition Leader Bob Runciman, who represents Bailey Zaveda's hometown.

"He maintains public safety is number one but that's actually not the case," he charges of Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley, who finally announced a crimefighter's summit after days of pressure. "It's about getting efficiencies in the system and saving money. They're dropping the ball way too often."

So we see cases such as that of Kyle Weese, arrested in Zaveda's murder, who had his seven gun charges in 2006 reduced to one. Or the man charged in the Oct. 13 murders of a Scarborough mother and daughter who was free on bail at the time for two violent sex assaults. Or the 15-year-old birthday party shooter who already had four breaches of his probation.

And then there are all those criminals who are getting at least a 2-for-1 -- and sometimes 3-for-1 gift which reduces their sentence because of the time they've served in pre-custody -- a despicable practise the McGuinty government is lobbying Ottawa to change.

Weese is a glaring reason why. "He had almost a two-year break on his sentence," Runciman says with frustration. "He would still have been incarcerated right now."

Instead, he stands charged anew, this time with murdering a girl just having a smoke outside her neighbourhood bar.

"No more discounts," insists the OPP commissioner.

"I have no charitable bone in me when it comes to these people," Fantino says. "Unfortunately, our criminal justice system does. They get bargain basement justice."

But they shouldn't anymore. Because enough is enough.