Archive for October, 2012

Captain Rick: This is Part 5 of my effort to predetermine the next president of the U.S. Some might think I am throwing darts in determining my Election Scenarios, but that is not true. My analysis is based on my analytical and statistical skills developed during my many years in the engineering field…coupled with the use of CNN election data which I highly respect as being very accurate … coupled with my gut instincts developed from paying close attention to politics during my lifetime, especially the past few elections. As stated in my previous report, my gut says Obama has lost 9% of his 2008 support. I weigh that with heightened significance in this report.

In my previous report Obama and Romney were all tied up at 253/253 electoral votes. In this report I analyze the remaining states of Virginia with 13 electoral votes, Colorado with 9, Iowa with 6 and New Hampshire with 4.

Virginia was blue in 2008 by 6.31%. It was red by greater percentages in previous elections. Lets paint it red.

Iowa was blue in 2008 by 9.58% with neutral percentages in previous elections. Lets paint it blue.

New Hampshire was blue in 2008 by 9.65% with neutral percentages in previous elections. Lets paint it blue.

That leaves Colorado with a blue vote by 8.95% in 2008, just .05% on the red side of 9% gut call, but a sizable red vote in previous elections. I am going to go out on the limb, beyond the the point of hearing it crack, and call Colorado red.


That adjusts the electoral votes to 263 for Obama and 275 for Romney, making Romney the next President of the United States of America.

After the votes are in from election day, I will post a final report of how my analysis and ‘9% gut feeling’ faired.

Captain Rick: The U.S. economy grew a bit faster in the third quarter than the sluggish 1.3% of the second quarter, according to the first of three estimates for the third quarter. First estimates are notoriously optimistic, especially when they come before a presidential election. The first estimate for the second quarter was 1.5%, raised to 1.7% on the second estimate and then sank to the ‘final’ 1.3% figure. We will have to wait until December for the more realistic third estimate.

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the broadest measure of the nation’s economic health. 3% economic growth, represented by the red line in the chart below, is necessary to provide enough new jobs to keep pace with U.S. population growth. America has fallen short in all but two quarters of the past four years. This means that the percentage of eligible workers who are working continues to drop almost every month. Real unemployment is continuing to increase, in spite of the bogus and meaningless unemployment percentages the U.S. government publishes each month that show a slow decline. America’s unemployment rate is currently published to be 7.8%, but the real number is actually about twice that…and rising, not falling.

I do not see anything on the horizon that is going to raise America continuously up above that red line, where we need to be to enjoy a healthy and growing economy … at least for the next several years, perhaps 2017 or beyond. Even the Fed, the IMF and other global financial authorities forecast similar sluggish growth through 2015. Europe appears to in recession or close to it. U.S. growth of 1.3% in the second quarter is knocking on recessions door. China’s economy is slowing quickly as a result of economic sluggishness in the West. This paints an anemic image of America’s economic health, with a global ripple effect. If the U.S. legislature attacks the “Fiscal Cliff” with vengeance when they return to work in January, we might see a boost in GDP in coming quarters. I am referring to major spending cuts and yes…tax increases. Anything short of that means “kicking the can down the road”, as has been done for many years, and will give us continued economic stagnation and possible recession.


Captain Rick: This is Part 4 of my effort to predetermine the next president of the U.S. Some might think I am throwing darts in determining my Election Scenarios, but that is not true. They are based on my analytical and statistical skills developed during my many years in the engineering field…coupled with the use of CNN election data which I have come to highly respect as being the most accurate in recent elections…coupled with my gut instincts developed from paying close attention to politics during my lifetime, especially the past few elections.

CNN has now moved Missouri and Indiana to Red and North Carolina from toss up to pink. I had moved them to red in previous reports. So, all is working properly.

In this report I will analyze Ohio with its 18 electoral votes. it is said that Ohio has voted for every elected president since 1960 and that no Republican has ever won without its support.  In previous reports I have discussed how my gut says Obama has lost 8-10% of his 2008 support. I will get brave and zero in on the dead center of 9%. Considering the remaining toss-up states of Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire …(continued below the map)


Ohio is the state with the weakest Obama support of 4.54% in 2008. It was also a red state in 2000 and 2004. Being about 4.5% below my gut stat of 9% Obama loss of support since 2008, lets paint Ohio red.

This ties things up at 253 electoral votes each. What a “nail biter”. There are still four toss-up states left with a total of 32 electoral votes. The final result can go either way. The remaining four states are all extremely close to my gut pick of 9% Obama loss since 2008. Watch for part 5 of my for my election scenario’s when I narrow the field of toss-up states to 3 or less.

The map incorrectly shows Michigan leaning blue. I painted it blue in a previous report. This does not affect my electoral vote totals.

Link to Part 3 of my 2012 Election Scenarios:

Link to part 2 of the story:

Link to part 1 of the story:

Map Source:

Captain Rick: Microsoft will unveil its Surface tablet running Windows RT on Friday, October 26, 2012. RT is a ‘lite’ version of Windows 8 that will allow it to run Microsoft mobile aps. It will compete with the Apple iPad.

Its more powerful cousin, the Intel-based Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet will be released in January, 2013. It will sport the full Windows 8 operating system, allowing you to run all Microsoft Office and other PC software. It will be the world’s first tablet with a full computer operating system that will perform just like a PC or laptop. It has potential to leave the iPad and other tablets in the dust.

Take a first look at the new Microsoft Surface tablet via the video included in the link below. Its super thin cover doubles as a keypad. Its ultra thin kick stand turns it into laptop-like device. Its magnesium alloy body makes it one of the toughest and thinnest of all tablets. This appears to be marvelous device. Microsoft has a real winner on its hands.

Video of Microsoft’s Surface tablet + more info:


Captain Rick: Windows ran on 90% of the worlds internet connected devices just a few years ago. With the advent of tablets and other mobile devices running apps, its share has dropped to under 70%. To stop the bleeding, Microsoft is staking its future on the radically redesigned operating system…Windows 8, which supports tablet-like application software as well as PC type software like Office.

If you are one who enjoys running fingers across the screen making icons and pictures sail around and get bigger and smaller, you will love Windows 8, going on sale Friday, October 26, 2012. Keep in mind that doing so on your PC’s LCD screen will destroy it. A touch screen is required, like the ones used on tablets. Windows 8 will also work with mice, scroll pads and other input divices used with PCs and laptops.

Windows 8 will come in two versions. The RT version will run on mobile devices that use Windows 8 aps, like the new Microsoft Surface table which will also goes on sale October 26. The full Intel-based Windows 8 version will run on newer PCs and on Microsoft’s Intel-based Surface Pro being released in January. It will be the world’s first tablet with a full computer operating system. It will run all Microsoft Office software as well as any other software that runs on Windows 7, Vista or XP…something an iPad or any other tablet can not do.

My advice is if you are looking to buy a tablet, hold off and purchase the more powerful Intel-based full Windows 8 Surface Pro in January. It is bound to leave the iPad in the dust when it comes to abilty.

If you are a Windows 7 PC user, there is basically no reason for you to upgrade to 8. New PCs purchased, after current stock is depleted, will come with Windows 8 installed. One of the biggest changes users will see when they fire it up is that the “Start” button is history, replaced with a new screen as shown in the photo. For those who do not have a touch screen and prefer to continue to use their mouse or scroll pad…there is an option to switch 8 over to desktop mode.

Video of Windows 8 Demo:

Video of Windows 8 in action and more info:


Captain Rick: DuPont, one of the world’s largest chemical companies that invented Nylon, Neoprene, Corian, Teflon, Mylar, Kevlar, Freon and much more issued a wake up call to the world today as it announced a cut of 1,500 jobs worldwide, about 2% of its global workforce. It also lowered earnings guidance for this year.

DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, had 70,000 employees worldwide at the end of last year. A component of the Dow Jones, DuPont’s stock fell 9% today, helping send the Dow into a nose dive today, loosing nearly 2% of its value.


Captain Rick: Big sell off on Wall Street as a result of three major U.S. industrial companies filing disappointing earnings reports, igniting fears that the global economy is on shakier ground than previously expected. DuPont, a Dow component fell 9% after reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and announced plans to cut 1500 jobs worldwide. United Technologies lowered its forecast and 3M missed revenue estimates. Continuing uncertainty about economic health in Europe and China contributed. This was the biggest Dow dive since June.

In September, 2012, the Dow came within 4% of the all time Dow high of 14164.53 reached before the 2008 market crash. This correction knocks it back to –7.5% from the all time high. The Dow is still up 7.24% for 2012.

I see lots of uncertainty lying ahead with the U.S. facing the “Fiscal Cliff” in January, the fiscal problems in Europe and the degrading effect that all of it is having on the economy of China, which are all working in unison as ingredients brewing a very volatile global fiscal and economic storm. I will do my best to report the important elements.


Captain Rick: This is part 3 of a continuing story. Part 2, posted October 19, 2012, presented a map showing electoral status if leaning states were turned red or blue based on the way they were leaning. Obama had 237 electoral votes, Romney 191.

In this scenario we will begin to examine the yellow “Toss up” states. It is no secret that Obama has lost support since 2008. The question is how much? My gut says Obama lost somewhere between 8 and 10% of his 2008 support. In this scenario, lets weed out the states that were weak and heavy Obama supporters in 2008.

Florida: In 2008 Obama won by 0.33%. A recent CNN poll shows Florida leaning red by 1%. Lets turn it red.

North Carolina: In 2008 Obama won by 0.33%. Lets turn it red.

Wisconsin: In 2008 Obama won by 13.93%. Lets turn it blue.

Nevada: In 2008 Obama won by 12.5%. Lets turn it blue.

The map below shows the results:


This scenario cuts Obama’s previous lead of 46 electoral votes to 18.

Watch for my next report, part 4, as I investigate the remaining “Toss up” states of Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and New Hampshire.

Link to Part 4:

Link to part 2 of the story:

Link to part 1 of the story:

Map Source:

Captain Rick: This is part 2 of a continuing story. Part 1, posted October 2, 2012, presented a map showing the current electoral status of leaning red and leaning blue states. Nothing has changed since then. All of the leaning states are still leaning the same way.

Leaning Red States: Arizona, Indiana, Missouri

Leaning Blue States: Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania

If we turn all of the leaning red states red and all of the leaning blue states blue, this map shows the results:


Obama still holds a lead by 46 electoral votes. The yellow ‘Toss up’ states will determine this election.

In part 3 of this continuing story I investigate the makeup of the ‘Toss up’ states in an effort to accurately predict the electoral results of the November U.S. Presidential Election. Part 3 was posted on October 21, 2012:

Link to part 1 of the story:

Map Source:

Captain Rick: During the September 20, 2012 Gilbert Town Council meeting I witnessed a council proclamation read in Spanish for a duration of 4 minutes, declaring Gilbert Hispanic Heritage Month. This occurred between between the council meeting quorum call and adjournment, identifying it as an official action. The proclamation was sealed with Gilbert Mayor John Lewis’s signature.  The proclamation session was lead by Councilmember Eddie Cook who stated “folks here can follow along in English and the folks at home could as well”.  There was no means provided for anyone at home to follow along in English. For the entire English-speaking audience via TV and the internet, it appeared to be a 4 minute speech in Spanish, with no understanding of what was being said. I was one of many citizens in Gilbert, Arizona that was astounded. This appeared to be a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution, the ‘English Only’ law, receiving 74% voter support as Proposition 103 in the November 2006 election. I set out on a journey to find the answer to the question … Was this a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution?
Council Inquiries, responses and thoughts
I asked Gilbert Mayor John Lewis about this council action.
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (10/2/12): “Your attention to detail is appreciated. When this was discussed, we were told that Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution (English-only provision) applies to “official business of the Town” and speaking another language in the “Presentation” portion of the agenda was not in violation of Constitution. If you have different information, please let us know”.
My thought … I was honored with the Mayor’s reply, but it left me wondering. Yes, it does apply to ‘official business’ … but the ‘presentation portion’ was clearly in the ‘official business’ portion of the meeting. It made little sense to me. I continued my investigation.
I asked Gilbert Councilmember Eddie Cook about this action.
Gilbert Councilmember Eddie Cook (10/2/12): “I was planning on proclaiming the proclamation in English that night, but staff approached me and said they had a member from staff that would make the proclamation in Spanish. They indicated that the English version would be shown on the screen in the chamber. I’ve now asked staff to research this matter as to possible violation to the State Constitution that all business be conducted in English including the reading of proclamations. Once I receive the report, I will contact you again.”
My thought …  That sounds like a very honest answer. It impressed me as did his promise to contact me with an update:
Gilbert Councilmember Eddie Cook (10/9/12): “I did ask staff to research this issue. The Town Attorney researched the question of whether reading the Mayor’s proclamation of Hispanic Heritage Month in Spanish violated Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. The Town Attorney indicated that Article 28 was not violated because a Mayor’s proclamation is not an “official action” as that term is defined in Article 28. The Town Attorney indicates that the Mayor’s proclamation is a unilateral proclamation of the Mayor and was not an official action of the Council. I’d be open in hearing your feedback.”
My thought … Councilmember Eddie Cook gained my respect in his replies. Concerning the Town Attorney’s research mentioned: “a mayor’s proclamation is not an ‘official action’ as defined in Article 28” and “the Mayor’s proclamation is a ‘unilateral proclamation’ and was not an official action of the Council” … I found myself in a state of dismay. This made no sense to me, based on research that I had already conducted.  It left me wondering how far off track Gilbert’s legal advise has strayed. I continued my research that was well underway.
Journey to find the truth … with extensive research and experience 
I set out on a journey to research Prop 103 and Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. It consumed countless hours of time.  I was equipped with my 40-year engineering career experience and accomplishments of having achieved 8 United States Patents for mechanical design and the skills developed working along side of numerous patent attorneys to decipher the ever-so-slight difference between infringing on a patent or not. My research shows that Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution is clearly written and an easily understandable document in comparison to the complexity of patent documents I have critiqued.
Research of Proposition 103 … overwhelmingly approved by Arizona voters (74%) in 2006 as Arizona’s ‘English Only’ law which molded Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution
The early part of my research looked into the foundation of Prop 103. Why was it presented to Arizona voters? The best answer is well presented in the actual wording of Prop 103:
Whereas, the United States is comprised of individuals from diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and continues to benefit from this rich diversity; and
Whereas, throughout the history of the United States, the common thread binding individuals of differing backgrounds has been the English language, which has permitted diverse individuals to discuss, debate and come to agreement on contentious issues; and
Whereas, in recent years, the role of the English language as a common language has been threatened by governmental actions that either ignore or harm the role of English or that promote the use of languages other than English in official governmental actions, and these governmental actions promote division, confusion, error and inappropriate use of resources; and
Whereas, among the powers reserved to the States respectively is the power to establish the English language as the official language of the respective States, and otherwise to promote the English language within the respective States, subject to the prohibitions enumerated in the Constitution of the United States and federal statutes.
Prop 103 became law and amended Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution.
Research of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution
Article 28 of Arizona Constitution can be summed up as follows:
1. English as the official language; applicability Section 1.
(1) The English language is the official language of the state of Arizona.
(2) As the official language of this state, the English language is the language of the ballot, the public schools and all government functions and actions.
(3)(a) This article applies to:
(i) The legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
(ii) All political subdivisions, departments, agencies, organizations, and instrumentalities of this state, including local governments and municipalities.
(iii) All statutes, ordinances, rules, orders, programs and policies.
(iv) All government officials and employees during the performance of government business.
(b) As used in this article, the phrase “this state and all political subdivisions of this state” shall include every entity, person, action or item described in this section, as appropriate to the circumstances.
The bold highlights above represent the responsibility of local government and municipalities, like Gilbert, to follow this law in all areas including orders, programs and policies by all government officials and employees during the performance of government business.
Research of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution … the Definitions
I investigated the definition of “official action” as defined in item 2 of Definitions in Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. It reads as follows:
1. Definitions
Section 1. In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Government” includes all laws, public proceedings, rules, publications, orders, actions, programs, policies, departments, boards, agencies, organizations and instrumentalities of this state or political subdivisions of this state, as appropriate under the circumstances to a particular official action.
2. “Official action” includes the performance of any function or action on behalf of this state or a political subdivision of this state or required by state law that appears to present the views, position or imprimatur (definition: sanction, approval, support) of the state or political subdivision or that binds or commits the state or political subdivision, but does not include:
(a) The teaching of or the encouragement of learning languages other than English.
(b) Actions required under the federal individuals with disabilities education act or other federal laws.
(c) Actions, documents or policies necessary for tourism, commerce or international trade.
(d) Actions or documents that protect the public health and safety, including law enforcement and emergency services.
(e) Actions that protect the rights of victims of crimes or criminal defendants.
(f) Using terms of art or phrases from languages other than English.
(g) Using or preserving Native American languages.
(h) Providing assistance to hearing impaired or illiterate persons.
(i) Informal and nonbinding translations or communications among or between representatives of government and other persons if this activity does not affect or impair supervision, management, conduct or execution of official actions and if the representatives of government make clear that these translations or communications are unofficial and are not binding on this state or a political subdivision of this state.
(j) Actions necessary to preserve the right to petition for the redress of grievances.
3. “Preserve, protect and enhance the role of English” includes:
(a) Avoiding any official actions that ignore, harm or diminish the role of English as the language of government.
(b) Protecting the rights of persons in this state who use English.
(c) Encouraging greater opportunities for individuals to learn the English language.
(d) To the greatest extent possible under federal statute, providing services, programs, publications, documents and materials in English.
4. “Representatives of government” includes all individuals or entities during the performance of the individual’s or entity’s official actions.
The above words in bold black represent the definitions that are relative. Item 2 clearly includes Gilbert’s action as an “Official Action”. The exception of sub point (i) does not apply to Gilbert’s action because Gilbert’s action was formal and binding. Even if it had not been formal and binding, representatives of Gilbert would have had to make it clear that the transactions or communications were unofficial and not binding. No Gilbert representative made such a declaration during the meeting.
Research Conclusions
In my expert opinion, the Gilbert action was a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution.
Closing thoughts … How do we correct this mistake and prevent a similar violation from happening again?
I think an apology from our Mayor would go a long ways … something along the lines of … “we made a mistake, we are sorry, we will take measures to prevent this from happening again.”
I welcome such a reply and would be very pleased to revise this blog post to contain our Mayor’s response below …
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis and Captain Rick converse to find a solution
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (10/21/12): Rick, The additional information related to the Spanish is helpful and will now require another step to ask for Legal assistance as “interpretation” is reviewed. Obviously, we want to follow the law with exactness. Before reading the Gilbert information, I was most intrigued with the “electoral” vote update that you provided. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your next update. Mayor Lewis

Captain Rick (10/21/12): John, thank you for your honorable reply. I look forward to you sharing the results of your new legal look into this important matter. I will be pleased to display them below. Thanks also for your kind words about my “electoral vote update”. Captain Rick

Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (10/23/12): Rick, I conferred with our Town Attorney regarding this matter. She points out that on a matter such as this there may be different opinions. However, after reviewing the law and the materials you provided, it is her opinion that there was not a violation of Article 28 by the reading of the proclamation in Spanish. She believes this to be the case because (i) the proclamation is not an official act of the council and (ii) the actual proclamation of the Mayor was written in English. Additionally, the reading of the proclamation was not even by a member of the staff or council. The strongest argument that the reading was an “official act” is that the reading was done at a council meeting and broadcast on Channel 11 and through streaming video. People may differ in their opinions, and the issue may not be black and white in its clarity, but it is the opinion of the Town Attorney that Article 28 was not violated. John Lewis

Captain Rick (10/25/12): John, thanks for your reply. It appears that this important issue remains in disagreement and requires higher powers to decide if this action was a violation of Article 28 of the Arizona Constitution. My readers are free to draw their own conclusions. I trust that Gilbert understands that this action was botched badly and will take measures to prevent a reoccurrence. Captain Rick

Captain Rick Gilbert’s ‘Eagle Eye’ on our Council since 1997


Does the rhetoric of the Obama campaign bring about feelings of déjà vu, along with the inevitable nausea? If so, it could be ’cause we’ve heard it all before somewhere.

The Republican National Committee has outdone itself with this new ad. With apologies to Abe Lincoln, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time—unless they are Obama voters.

Watch Obama make the same speech in 2012 as he did in 2008:


Bret of Arizona … thanks for referring this outstanding video.

I have added it to my ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Video Collection on YouTube, accessible via the link above.

Captain Rick: The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Arizona over a its blocked law requiring proof of American citizenship before registering to vote. This law originated from Proposition 200, approved by Arizona voters in 2004, but was later blocked by a 12-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which said that federal law trumps the Arizona requirement. It is anticipated that the Supreme court will consider this case in February 2013.

Federal law allows voters to fill out a mail-in voter registration card and swear that they are citizens under penalty of perjury, but it does not require them to show proof of citizenship as Arizona’s 2004 law does. Arizona has its own form and an online system to register when renewing a driver’s license. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling did not affect citizenship requirements using the Arizona forms. The Arizona law also denied some government benefits to illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before voting. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the voter identification provision and the denial of benefits was not challenged.


Paparazzi catch rare glimpse recently of Captain Rick in capture mode. It’s obvious he is as serious about photography as he is about reporting crucial news in our world.


Captain Rick: Cummins, the world’s largest producer of diesel technology with $1.85 billion in 2011 sales,  announced that it will cut as many as 1,500 jobs by the end of 2012 because of uncertainty regarding the direction of the global economy. Cummins employs about 44,000 people worldwide. Based in Indiana, it also has factories in Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and several overseas. It instituted a global hiring freeze after a recent drop in sales in North America, China and Brazil.


Captain Rick: The World Bank lowered its growth outlook for Asia on Monday, and warned that a major unraveling in Europe could knock 2% off Asia’s GDP growth next year.

The institute warned of even slower growth in China and Asia if the Eurozone debt crisis were to cause a disruption of financial markets in Europe, or the so-called fiscal cliff in the United States went unresolved. A “major” Eurozone crisis could reduce growth in Asia by 2% next year, while the fiscal cliff would erase another 1%.

Weaker demand for East Asia’s exports is slowing the regional economy, but compared to other parts of the world, it’s still growing strongly.

The World Bank also forecasts a slowdown in China, where growth has been relatively tepid. GDP growth will fall to 7.7% this year, the institute predicts.

The downgrade is latest in a series as economists adjust expectations for China. Swiss banking giant UBS last month lowered its China GDP forecast to 7.5% from 8%.
Goldman Sachs has issued a slightly less dour outlook for China growth — dropping it to 7.6% from 8.0%.
While China is still growing fast, especially compared to less than 2% growth in the United States, it marks an uncomfortable soft patch for the world’s second largest economy. Over the last three decades, China has barreled ahead at an average growth rate of about 10% a year.

Economic momentum in China is expected to be weak during the coming months.