Archive for June, 2013

Captain Rick: California has published prices for its ‘Silver Plan’ for ‘Obamacare’ in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures: $2,000 deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room tabs.

Those are just some of the charges enrollees will incur in a silver-level plan in California, which recently unveiled an overview of the benefits and charges associated with its exchange.
That’s on top of the $321 average monthly premium.

For some, this will be great news since it will allow them to see the doctor without breaking the bank. But others may not want to shell out a few thousand bucks in addition to a monthly premium.

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Obamacare Refresher

People who don’t have ‘affordable health insurance’ through their employers will be able to sign up for coverage through state-based exchanges.
Enrollment is set to begin in October, with coverage taking effect in January.
You must have some form of coverage next year, or you will face annual penalties of $95 or 1% of family income (whichever is greater) initially and more in subsequent years.

Each state will offer four levels of coverage: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Platinum plans come with the highest premiums, but lowest out-of-pocket expenses, while bronze plans carry lower monthly charges but require more cost-sharing. Gold and silver fall in the middle.

The federal government will offer premium subsidies to those with incomes of up to four times the federal poverty level. This year, that’s $45,960 for an individual or $94,200 for a family of four.
There will be additional help to cover out-of-pocket expenses for those earning less than 250% of the poverty line: $28,725 for a single person and $58,875 for a family of four. The subsidies are tied to the cost of the state’s silver level plans.

A 40-year-old enrolling in the Bronze Plan, the least expensive, could pay as little as $219 a month. But, if he did get sick, he’d get socked with a $5,000 deductible, $60 co-pays for primary care visits and a $300 emergency room charge.

Obamacare provides protection for those who need a lot of care by placing a cap on out-of-pocket expenses.
The maximum a person in an individual platinum plan will spend a year is $4,000, while those in the other tiers will shell out no more than $6,400.

Whether potential enrollees find these plans affordable will depend on how healthy they are and whether they are currently insured. Those currently insured will experience significant increases in their contribution levels to their healthcare costs in the future as their employers look to offset their added costs. 

Obamacare is on a course to destroy America 

Obamacare is a program that is being financed by debt dollars. Its costs are adding to the U.S. National Debt which now stands a staggering $17 trillion.
Obamacare is a program that will soon explode and help push America over the real ‘Fiscal Cliff’…on a journey to become a third world country. 

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Obamacare: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/obamacare/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

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Captain Rick: Sandi Bartlett, an Arizona political activist for liberty, speaks of her disgust for Arizona’s passing of Medicaid expansion. She presents her ‘GOOD GUYS – BAD GUYS’ list of Arizona Senators and Representatives who voted against/for the legislation.

Sandi is an energetic and dedicated person who works tirelessly in Legislative District 17 of Arizona to ensure that citizens are paying attention to important political events and our Senators and Representatives cast the proper vote. Such was the case in recent weeks as Sandi worked with intensity to stop the $300,000 annual expansion of Medicaid in Arizona.  The ‘Obama carrot’ of nearly 100% of expansion costs being covered by the federal government, paid for by more debt dollars on top of America’s already massive $17 trillion debt, is a fiscal hoax that will not last. That ‘carrot’ will soon be replaced with fiscal realism and Arizona will be stuck paying the expansion costs. Sandi’s insight of this fortifies her dedication and motivation.

I invited Sandi to present guest commentary.  She graciously accepted. I am confident you will enjoy this…

Guest Commentary

by

Sandi Bartlett

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I am an average citizen who was never involved in politics until later in life. I became involved when I felt that the Government was growing too large and out of control. Our liberty and freedoms were rapidly being taken. I felt I was alone until I met many people who felt the same way. I now see that the Government is only as good as the people we elect and how knowledgeable we are. So I set out to elect the best person for our district and spent close to 2 years working to elect Matt Salmon (U.S. Congressman – Arizona District 5) . Now I am an active Precinct Committeeman, on the board of the East Valley Tea Party and Arizona Legislative District 17 board member.

The Republican Party is soul searching at this time. Our party is diverse and I try to respect the opinions of everyone because the issues are not easy. However, we must find a way to be on offense rather than defense. Take action to grow the party and find solutions to our problems. We should try to stay focused and positive. Show others that we are an inclusive party and welcome those who believe in smaller government, fiscally responsibility, freedom and liberty even though how we achieve those goals may differ.

I plan to continue my efforts in electing honest conservative politicians and then holding their feet to the fire. Our Republic depends on the citizens to be actively involved and not let the government take away our unalienable rights. Thomas Jefferson said “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” We must not let that happen any more than it already has.

I will keep fighting the good fight.

Medicaid Expansion in Arizona has passed despite all of the hard work in opposition

The house session was appalling and disrespectful. For 12 hours or more the Democrats and 9 Liberal Republicans would not answer a single question from our good Republicans about the budget or Medicaid Expansion. If they thought the budget and bill was so great, they should have defended it by answering questions. It was if Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had placed taped over their mouths so they could not speak for themselves. Jan Brewer was willing to remove Arizona Senator Andy Biggs and Arizona Representative Andy Tobin from their leadership position to get this done. Outrageous !!

I was so proud of our “good” Republicans. Their floor speeches were passionate but you could feel the anger in that room. They stood tall and tried their best to flip some of the Liberal Republicans but in the end could not. They deserve our praise for fighting the good fight.

I really held back my true feelings after watching 8 hours of that session. It was really enlightening but very discouraging.  It is no wonder our government whether it is state or federal is in such disarray. I am more motivated than ever to elect the best candidates for office. I hope that plans are being made in each of these districts that voted for Medicaid expansion to run someone in the primary. We must not forget the rallies and numerous contacts that we made with them with no success. The tactics they used to pass this Medicaid expansion was disgraceful.

Final Voting Results on Medicaid Expansion in the Arizona State House and Senate

Sandi Bartlett’s GOOD GUYS – BAD GUYS List

GOOD GUYS voted against Medicaid Expansion – BAD GUYS voted for Medicaid Expansion
Data listing order: Last Name, First Name, District Number (all are Republican)

BAD GUYS – ARIZONA HOUSE – 2013
Brophy McGee, Kate, 28
Carter, Heather, 15
Coleman, Douglas, 16
Dial, Jeff, 18
Goodale, Doris, 5
Orr, Ethan, 9
Pratt, Frank, 8
Robson, Bob
Shope, Thomas, “T.J.”, 8

BAD GUYS – ARIZONA SENATE – 2013
Crandall, Richard, 16
Driggs, Adam, 28
McComish, John, 18
Pierce, Steve, 1
Worsley, Bob, 25

GOOD GUYS – ARIZONA HOUSE – 2013
Allen, John, 15
Barton, Brenda, 6
Borrelli, Sonny, 5
Boyer, Paul, 20
Fann, Karen, 1
Farnsworth, Eddie, 12
Forese, Tom, 17
Gowan, David, 14
Gray, Rick, 21
Kavanagh, Joh, 23
Kwasman, Adam, 11
Lesko, Debbie, 21
Livingston, David, 22
Lovas, Phil, 22
Mesnard, Javan “JD”, 17
Mitchell, Darin, 13
Montenegro, Steve, 13
Olson, Justin, 25
Petersen, Warren, 12
Pierce, Justin, 25
Seel, Carl, 20
Smith, Steve, 11
Stevens, David W., 14
Thorpe, Bob, 6
Tobin, Andy, 1
Townsend, Kelly, 16
Ugenti, Michelle, 23

GOOD GUYS – ARIZONA SENATE – 2013
Barto, Nancy, 15
Biggs, Andy, 12
Burges, Judy, 22
Crandell, Chester, 6
Griffin, Gail, 14
Melvin, Al, 11
Murphy, Rick, 21
Shooter, Don, 13
Ward, Kelli, 5
Yarbrough, Steve, 17
Yee, Kimberly, 20

UNDECIDED – ARIZONA SENATE – 2013
Reagan, Michele, 8 (She voted Yes in the first vote out of the Senate and No in the final vote.)
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I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Medicaid: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/medicaid/

U.S. Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/u-s-debt-crisis/

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

Federal Grants: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/federal-grants/

Obamacare: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/obamacare/

State Government: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/state-government/

Captain Rick: Historic flooding is occurring along the Bow River and Elbow River, especially where they join near downtown Calgary Alberta. These rivers originate high in the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the west. Heavy rains of over 100 ml (4 inches) of rain in recent days is the cause of this historic flooding event.

State of Emergency declared
1,200 Canadian Force troops called. 600 are already in Calgary. 600 to arrive by mid afternoon.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will arrive shortly to survey the destruction. 
75,000 have been evacuated in Calgary.
Trans-Canada Highway 1 is closed west of Calgary, isolating the mountain towns of Banff and Canmore, due to water going over the highway and mudslides in multiple locations.
Unconfirmed reports from Canmore indicate that ‘everything’ was destroyed.

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Above: images from Calgary Alberta

Eyewitness report from Sandi of Calgary Alberta

“Fun times happening here. I would be normally at work, but for the first time that I can ever remember, our office down town is shut down due to flooding. State of emergency all over southern Alberta. Many area’s had to evacuate which includes the down town core because of the Bow river being so high that it is almost up to the base of some of the bridges over the river. So access to down town is closed down. Supposed to leave for Fairmont, British Columbia on Sunday for a week, but don’t know if any of the hi ways will be open to be able to get there. Roads washed out all over, mud slides happening, so….who knows. It’s a real mess. So got the day off, but can’t say as it is nice to have the day off under these conditions. I also have so much to do, especially if we do manage to go next week. Oh well, such is life. At least my house is high and away from the river, so good there. Some homes in surrounding towns and different parts of Calgary are flooded right out and a lot of people evacuated. Another Emergency Alert just came over the TV. I remember watching all the flooding in different parts of the world over the last months and thinking how lucky we were that it didn’t really happen too bad here….so much for that thought. Now a sour gas pipeline broke by a smaller town outside Calgary, so that is another problem. Fun times!!”

Citizens of Alberta: I welcome you to share your experiences in the comment section below

View other reports on my HOME page: https://atridim.wordpress.com/

I welcome everyone’s comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Captain Rick: Cheerfulness is contagious, but don’t wait to catch it. Be a carrier.

I often walk and bicycle the Heritage Trail in Gilbert where it meets the Paseo Trail in Chandler along the Consolidated Canal in the Phoenix East Valley of Arizona. A few years ago, it was rare to hear one greet each other as they biked, jogged or even walk past each other. I started a trend of saying ‘Good Morning’ with a smile to everyone I encountered, even if they were on the far side of the canal. It took a long time, but today almost everyone walking, jogging or biking that stretch of trail says at least ‘Morning’ when passing. Granted, there are still some new-comers with music or phone buds in their ear, who seem to be ‘spaced out’, but I must conclude that this section of trail is probably the most cheerful any where around. Besides that, I lost track of how many friends I have met along the trail…including lots of four-legged ones…like the one pictured below…who sums up my trail travels with excellence.

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If you are traversing that section of trail and see a man wearing a large rimmed straw hat and saying ‘Good Morning’ with a smile, you will know it was Captain Rick.

View Captain Rick’s entire ‘Pet Talk’ series: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/pet-talk/

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Captain Rick: A couple in a hot air balloon realized they were lost. They spotted a couple in a boat below and lowered their altitude so they could shout to each other. The following conversation took place …

Lady in balloon: “Excuse me, can you help us? I promised a some friends we would meet them an hour ago, but we don’t know where we are at.

Man in boat: The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a water elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and
100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.”

Lady in balloon: She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be a Republican.”

Man in boat: “I am. How did you know?”

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Lady in balloon: “Well, everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

Man in boat: The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Democrat.”

Lady in balloon: “I am. How did you know?”

Man in boat: “Well, you don’t know where you are or where you’re going. You’ve risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise that you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your  problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but, somehow, now it’s my fault.”

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Humor: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/humor/

Pet Talk: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/pet-talk/

We all need to take a break to smile!

Captain Rick: The ICC (International Code Council) is becoming ‘Big Brother’ to control the makeup of your home…the methods and products used in its construction and the products that you can use or install after purchase. These codes are infiltrating local building codes across America, Canada, Australia, Europe and beyond.

The ICC’s intentions are to write a code to regulate every building method and product used such that every house and building on earth is 100% safe and 100% efficient…by their standards. I ask…’who are they…big brother’? I see this as a major intrusion of liberty and increased cost for citizens of America and beyond. These codes contain many good elements concerning safety and and some for efficiency, but for the most part, they are an endless wish list of regulation that invades the liberty of people and forces them to absorb significant added cost for little or no proven gain.

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Big Brother’s face looms from giant telescreens in Victory Square in Michael Radford’s 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell‘s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Since the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the term “Big Brother” has entered the lexicon as a synonym for abuse of government power, particularly in respect to civil liberties.

The Cost of ICC’s madness

The ICC is getting rich milking local and state governments and builders $1347.95 for a single user license of the complete collection of the 2012 building codes on CD ROM. If every state, major city and builder in the U.S. purchased one license, the ICC’s income would exceed $1 Billion. This material is also being marketed in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Europe and beyond. It is easy to assume actual ICC income is well beyond that and the entire sum plus a myriad of added expenses at the state and local levels are all passed on to the end user…the citizens of America and beyond. I view the ICC’s efforts as a major financial rip-off of citizen’s tax dollars and more importantly…their liberty. I wonder if the ICC is becoming part of ‘Big Brother’ as presented in George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’…a lexicon for abuse of government power, particularly with respect to civil liberties.

More Information:

I welcome you to view my previous blog post on this matter of extreme importance: https://atridim.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/u-s-building-codes-facing-major-upgrade-is-this-a-good-plan-or-a-recipe-for-disaster-some-excited-some-fear-is-liberty-at-stake/

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/building-codes/

Gilbert Council Proper Vote Scorecard: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-council-proper-vote-scorecard/

Gilbert Town Council: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-town-council/

Captain Rick: Gilbert, Arizona Councilmembers face an important vote in coming weeks to determine if Gilbert will adopt the 2012 ICC building codes into Gilbert building code. Many local residents are concerned, some fearing the city will control what kind of light bulbs they can use and more. This is a viable concern that all Americans should devote significant interest to. The liberty of all Americans is at stake!

During the past few weeks I have heard lots of concern from friends in Gilbert concerning this important pending vote. Some concerns seem to be based on fear, but many on realistic concern. As a long-time, happy, home owner in Gilbert, I wish to help everyone understand this important decision by utilizing my life-long engineering skills, which span the mechanical, electrical and electronic spectrum, to help sort out the good from the bad…the right from the wrong…so that the most intelligent decision is reached. My hope is that our council’s decision will establish Gilbert as a national leader of intelligent building code enhancements…not a follower of code hype that supports illogical dreams of energy efficiency and safety.

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History of the ICC  (International Code Council)

It’s  a conglomeration of codes compiled by three of the nations most respected code groups:

Building Officials Code Administrators International (BOCA) were used on the East Coast and throughout the Midwest of the United States

Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) were used in the Southeast

International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) covered the West Coast and across to most of the Midwest.

By early 1990s it became obvious that the country needed a single coordinated set of national model building codes.

The nation’s three model code groups decided to combine their efforts and in 1994 formed the International Code Council (ICC) to develop codes that would have no regional limitations.

After three years of extensive research and development, the first edition of the International Building Code was published in 1997.

By the year 2000, ICC had completed the International Codes series. It has released an updated version of the code every three years since. The latest and most controversial is the 2012 edition.

ICC Building Code Requirements

Building code requirements generally apply to the construction of new buildings and alterations or additions to existing buildings, changes in the use of buildings, and the demolition of buildings or portions of buildings at the ends of their useful or economic lives.

As such, building codes obtain their effect from the voluntary decisions of property owners to erect, alter, add to, or demolish a building in a jurisdiction where a building code applies, because these circumstances routinely require a permit.

The plans are subject to review for compliance with current building codes as part of the permit application process.

Alterations and additions to an existing building must usually comply with all new requirements applicable to their scope as related to the intended use of the building as defined by the adopted code.

Some changes in the use of a building often expose the entire building to the requirement to comply fully with provisions of the code applicable to the new use because the applicability of the code is use-specific.

A change in use usually changes the applicability of code requirements and as such, will subject the building to review for compliance with the currently applicable codes.

Existing buildings are not exempt from new requirements, especially those considered essential to achieve health, safety or general welfare objectives of the adopting jurisdiction, even when they are not otherwise subject to alteration, addition, change in use, or demolition. Such requirements typically remedy existing conditions, considered in hindsight, inimical to safety, such as the lack of automatic fire sprinklers in certain places of assembly, as became a major concern after the Station nightclub fire in 2003 killed 100 people.

ICC Building Requirements in Question

This is a developing report. I look to my fellow Gilbert neighbors and all concerned to help develop this report by commenting with your concerns and ideas for improvement.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title above)

Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/building-codes/

Gilbert Council Proper Vote Scorecard: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-council-proper-vote-scorecard/

Gilbert Town Council: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gilbert-town-council/

Sign the petition to have Gilbert govern itself  by having ICC codes treated as suggestions and recommendations only: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/gilbert-can-govern-itself/

Important Info from other sites:

Out of Control EPA and Arizona Code Enforcers: http://www.gilbertwatch.com/gilbertwatch/index.cfm/blog/out-of-control-epa-and-arizona-code-enforcers/

Quest for Excellence – Best Done Through Mandates or Personal Choice?: http://www.gilbertwatch.com/gilbertwatch/index.cfm/blog/quest-for-excellence-best-done-through-mandates-or-personal-choice/