Posts Tagged ‘State Government’

Captain Rick: The Council of Gilbert, Arizona will vote Thursday on the controversial issue of adopting ICC’s 2012 building codes. Local builders say adoption of this code upgrade is forcing elevated costs because of non-life-safety standards, especially ‘energy-saving’ and ‘green’ ones, which ultimately end up being passed to the home buyers.

I believe the ICC is a ‘money hungry’, ‘union-like’ organization that is on track to become the world’s “Big Brother”…being fueled by our local government’s sensation for being a blind follower and investor of citizen tax dollars in ‘blind waste’. I despise the ICC sucking in my fellow Gilbert citizens as victims. Other cities, states and countries should pay close attention to this so that they do not also become victims of the ICC “Big Brother”.

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I consider this an extremely important issue…one of the most important in my 16 years as a Gilbert citizen.

I share with you an email I sent to the Town Council of Gilbert, Arizona today:

Mayor John Lewis and Councilmembers,

I urge you to reject approval of incorporation of the 2012 ICC Code into Gilbert building code law, unless amended as follows

I urge you to approve an amendment to eliminate or make voluntary the ‘Green’ and ‘Energy-saving’ sections of the code.

While these sections contain some good ideas and new technology, they also contain some bad ideas and technology that is already obsolete. I offer the case of the CFL bulb as a prime example. It is stipulated in the 2012 ICC code, yet this technology is already obsolete, proven to be a ‘waste hazardous’ detriment to our land fills. CFL lighting is rapidly being overtaken by LED lighting. A few short years ago all of the HDTV sets in the world were back lit by CFL lighting. That is all history. Solid state LED lighting has totally taken over the HDTV industry. The same is rapidly taking place in the home lighting arena. This is just one example of outdated technology stipulated in the 2012 ICC code.

If ICC is paying attention, I suspect we will see them catch up and incorporate LED technology in the 2015 code. The important point I make is that technology is expanding at a far greater speed than the intelligence of the ‘old world idiots’ at ICC. To make any of their ‘green’ and ‘energy-saving’ technology mandatory, would be like taking a chain an wrapping it around the legs of our builders. The ONLY intelligent way to keep up with the rapidly expanding world of technology is to make all of this ‘stuff’ voluntary. Lets let technology be the driver…not some archaic set of outdated ICC code.

Think what would have happened to HDTVs if America let the ICC dictate how HDTVs were designed and built. We would be living in the dark ages. Its time to loosen the reigns of government and let the professionals take control (none of which reside at the ‘money hungry, union-like’ ICC). It will produce a lot finer America.

I would like to see Gilbert set a shining example for the world to view…how we do things right…not by following other communities that have lost the ability to think and innovate…needing to incorporate ‘caveman’ technology as presented by the ICCs ‘Green’ and ‘Energy-saving’ codes.

I also believe it would be of great benefit for Gilbert to create a new commission of volunteers to help mold future Gilbert building code law. I envision this commission to be on a similar level of or at least an extension of our planning commission. Perhaps they could be assigned the task of wading thru the massive, mile-high, mountain of ICC codes and determine what is really good for Gilbert.

It is no secret that I am not fond of the ICC, a union-like, not-for-profit corporation that is using its vast wealth to become our world’s ‘Big Brother’. I see the citizens of Gilbert lie among its endless sea of victims.

By making these codes voluntary, it gives builders extra options, but does not obligate them to suffer losses realized from bad and often outdated code. Gilbert code should stipulate code which primarily promotes life safety. It should not mandate energy efficiency or green technology…but rather encourage the ideas as voluntary.

For increased understanding of ICC Building Codes, please read my series of posts on ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/building-codes/

Captain Rick

View the minutes of this historic Gilbert Town Council meeting in the first comment below. 

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Building Codes

Gilbert Town Council

Gilbert Council Proper Votes

Gilbert Council Scorecard

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Captain Rick: Detroit was once the 4th largest city in America and ‘motor capitol’ of the world. Decades of internal destruction caused a mass exodus of people, reducing its population to 18th place. Its automotive manufacturing plants have been shut down or relocated. What went so wrong?

I conducted in-depth research on this important event. I have compiled the following report to accurately present the ‘Rise and Fall of Detroit’ and what went so wrong. I conclude with sobering concerns for all Americans, especially those who have the responsibility of managing our cities and states…many of which are on the same course as Detroit.

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The above photo of the GM building in downtown Detroit was taken with a telephoto lens looking southeast from Bush and Watson Streets, about 1.5 miles to its northwest. The large area around this boarded up house contains similar houses and open area where old houses have been removed. 

The Rise and Fall of Detroit

Ford Motor Company ignited the rise in 1903

In 1903 Ford founded the Ford Motor Company. Ford’s manufacturing—and those of automotive pioneers William C. Durant, the Dodge brothers, Packard, and Walter Chrysler—reinforced Detroit’s status as the world’s automotive capital.

Labor Unions took control with strikes for increased wages, benefits, pensions

With the factories came high-profile labor unions such as the American Federation of Labor & the United Auto Workers which initiated strikes & other tactics in support of such things as the 8-hour day/40-hour work week, healthcare benefits, pensions, increased wages & improved working conditions. The labor activism during those years increased influence of union leaders in the city such as Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamsters and Walter Reuther of the autoworkers.

Mergers helped companies expand elsewhere, while causing the disappearance of plants in Detroit … often to escape the profit robbing effects of labor unions

Mergers in the 1950s, especially in the automobile sector increased oligopoly in the American auto industry. Detroit auto manufacturers such as Packard & Hudson merged into other companies and eventually disappeared. Plants in Detroit, with heavy union control, were closed as new plants were built elsewhere in less union-friendly locations. Behind the scenes, it can be said that labor unions played the first major role in the fall of Detroit

Detroit became America’s fourth largest city as companies looked to reduce labor costs by importing cheap labor from the South

Tens of thousands flocked to Detroit with the hope of better pay and benefits, particularly black workers from the Southern United States. It resulted in Detroit rocketing to become the fourth largest city in the United States with blacks as its majority residents.

Racial tension took hold to begin the Fall of Detroit

Social tensions rose with the rapid pace of growth. On January 20, 1942, with a cross burning nearby, 1,200 racist whites tried to prevent black families from moving into a new housing development in an all-white area of the city. Later in June 1943, Packard Motor Car Company promoted three blacks to work next to whites in their assembly lines. In response, 25,000 whites walked off the job. The Detroit Race Riot of 1943 occurred 3 weeks after the Packard Motor Car incident. Over the course of three days, 34 people were killed. Of them, 25 were African–American, and approximately 600 were injured.

In June 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a major speech in Detroit that foreshadowed his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. two months later. During the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Detroit witnessed growing confrontations between the police and inner city black youth, culminating in the Twelfth Street riot in July 1967. Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan National Guard into Detroit, and President Johnson sent in U.S. Army troops. The result was 43 dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. Thousands of small businesses closed permanently or relocated to safer neighborhoods, and the affected district lay in ruins for decades.

On August 18, 1970, the NAACP filed suit against Michigan state officials, including Governor William Milliken. The original trial began on April 6, 1971, and lasted for 41 days. The NAACP argued that although schools were not officially segregated, the city of Detroit and its surrounding counties had enacted policies to maintain racial segregation in schools.

District Judge Steven J. Roth held all levels of government accountable for the segregation. The Sixth Circuit Court affirmed some of the decision, withholding judgment on the relationship of housing inequality with education. The Court specified that it was the state’s responsibility to integrate across the segregated metropolitan area.

U.S. Supreme Court was most responsible for massive exodus from Detroit

The Governor and other accused officials appealed to the Supreme Court, which took up the case on February 27, 1974. The subsequent Milliken v. Bradley decision would come to have enormous national impact. According to Gary Orfield and Susan E. Eaton in their 1996 book Dismantling Desegregation, the “Supreme Court’s failure to examine the housing underpinnings of metropolitan segregation” in Milliken made desegregation “almost impossible” in northern metropolitan areas. “Suburbs were protected from desegregation by the courts ignoring the origin of their racially segregated housing patterns.” “Milliken was perhaps the greatest missed opportunity of that period,” said Myron Orfield, professor of law and director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota, “Had that gone the other way, it would have opened the door to fixing nearly all of Detroit’s current problems.” John Mogk, a professor of law and an expert in urban planning at Wayne State University in Detroit says “Everybody thinks that it was the riots [in 1967] that caused the white families to leave. Some people were leaving at that time but, really, it was after Milliken that you saw mass flight to the suburbs. If the case had gone the other way, it is likely that Detroit would not have experienced the steep decline in its tax base that has occurred since then."

The Fall of Detroit

Long a major population center and major engine of worldwide automobile manufacturing, Detroit has gone through a continuing economic decline over the past 60 years.

Population Decline from ‘White Flight’ … Detroit reached its population peak of 1.8 million people in the 1950 census and ranked as America’s fourth largest city. Massive ‘white flight’ to the suburbs and other cities took place following the 1974 Milliken case. As of the 2010 census Detroit has lost 60% of its population, falling to 18th place with just over 700,000 residents remaining, of which over 82% are black/African American and 6% Hispanic … a total reversal from 1950 when over 90% were non-Hispanic whites. The city’s tax base eroded along with that population decline. There is no question that ‘white flight’ was the top cause of the fall of Detroit. It in turn led to all of the following problems…

High unemployment … was compounded by white flight and middle-class flight to the suburbs (and in some cases to other states), and the city was left with a reduced tax base, depressed property values, abandoned buildings, abandoned neighborhoods, high crime rates, and a pronounced demographic imbalance.

The unemployment rate, while down from a peak of 27.8% in the summer of 2009 — when General Motors and Chrysler Group were going through their own bankruptcies — is still at 16.3%, nearly twice Michigan’s statewide average.

Loss of Tax Revenue … Most of the auto industry’s Michigan plants moved out of our build in locations outside of Detroit city limits, severely limiting how much tax revenue they contribute to Detroit. General Motors, is the only automaker with headquarters inside of city limits, and Chrysler Group operates just one plant inside the city. Both companies declared bankruptcy and were bailed out at the expense of U.S. tax payers.

More than half of the owners of Detroit’s 305,000 properties failed to pay their 2011 tax bills, exacerbating the city’s financial crisis. According to the Detroit News, 47 percent of the city’s taxable parcels are delinquent on their 2011 tax bills, resulting in about $246 million in taxes and fees going uncollected, nearly half of which was due to Detroit. The review also found 77 blocks in Detroit had only one owner who paid taxes in 2011.

Urban Decay … The ongoing decline has left its mark on the city, most notably in severe urban decay and thousands of empty homes, apartment buildings, and commercial buildings around the city. Some parts of Detroit are sparsely populated resulting in the city having difficulty providing municipal services such as policing, fire protection, schools, trash removal, snow removal, lighting, etc. The city has sought and considered various solutions such as demolition of abandoned homes and buildings, though there are tens of thousands of abandoned structures; removal of street lighting from large portions of the city; and encouraging the small population in certain areas to move to more populated areas of the city as there may not be a quick response for city services such as police in de-populated areas.

Crime … Detroit has the sixth highest total rate of violent crime, five times the national average. At 16.73 per 1,000, it has the highest per capita rate of violent crime among the 25 largest U.S. cities in 2007, those with a population exceeding 200,000.

Nearly two-thirds of all murders in Michigan in 2011 occurred in Detroit. It has been reported that about 65 to 70 percent of homicides in the city are drug related. he police department closes only 8.7% of its criminal cases.

Detroit was rated the most dangerous city in the United States for the 4th year in a row in a 2010 survey by the FBI. It has been reported that 4 of the top 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in the nation reside in Detroit.

Blight: 78,000 blighted buildings either abandoned or ruined. 

Lack of Lighting: 30,000 defunct streetlights– about 40% of the 88,000 street lights don’t work.

Response time: Call for a police officer takes 58 minutes to get help — more than five times what it takes elsewhere in the United States. Response times for Emergency Medical Services and the Detroit Fire Department average 15 minutes, which is more than double the 7-minute averages seen in other cities.

Hazardous waste sites: 70 Superfund hazardous waste sites

Parks: Two-thirds of parks closed since 2008, with only 107 remaining open

Aging equipment: Fire stations are old and not adequately maintained. A fleet of city vehicles is aging and poorly maintained. A power grid that is deteriorating. A city-owned power plant that has been idle for two years. 31 sub-stations that need to be decommissioned. Information technology systems in multiple departments that urgently need to be upgraded or replaced.

Detroit Files for Bankruptcy

The situation reached a crisis and almost resulted in the state of Michigan taking over administrative control of the city. The state governor declared a financial emergency in March 2013, appointing Kevyn Orr as emergency manager. On July 18, 2013, Detroit filed for bankruptcy.

Orr said the city had filed for bankruptcy because it would take more than 50 years to pay off the city’s $11.5 billion in unsecured debt while not conducting even the most basic maintenance, such as filling potholes and plowing snow.

Current Fiscal Situation … What is at stake? 

Detroit halted payments on about $2 billion in debt last month to preserve its dwindling supply of cash. The city faces total liabilities of about $18 billion.

The reorganization plan argues that the city needs to shed $9.5 billion of its $11.5 billion in unsecured debt in order to be able to pay its bills and make necessary improvements in services. Much of the debt targeted for elimination is related to pension benefits and retiree health care coverage required by union contracts. That would mean that investors and retirees would receive an average of just 17% of what they are owed.

When employees of a bankrupt business lose their promised pensions, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. steps in and provides a minimal level of benefits. But that federal agency doesn’t back pensions in the public sector.

Detroit appears to be the first municipal bankruptcy that has ever involved involuntary cuts to retiree benefits.  The possibility exists that U.S. tax payers could get stuck bailing out Detroit to cover its workers pensions, similar to the Obama bailout of two of Detroit’s largest companies…GM and Chrysler. Given the poor state of funding for many public sector pension funds nationwide, its an issue which is likely to end up being addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bankruptcy could slash pension benefits to city workers and retirees, and leave bond holders with only pennies on the dollar. Investors say the bankruptcy will make it more difficult for cities and towns everywhere to raise the money they need to build bridges, schools and other infrastructure. It will also hurt municipal bonds held by individual investors. There are more than $1 trillion worth of bonds at risk. There is bound to be a ripple effect nationwide.

Many American Cities and States are following in Detroit’s steps

The lucrative pension and benefit plans that cities and states across America have adopted…with a hefty helping hand from the powerful America-destroying unions…are on a rapid course heading for the edge of the real ‘Fiscal Cliff’. None of America’s pension plans are sustainable. It will not be long before they all begin to fiscally implode.

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Detroit

Labor Unions

Captain Rick: Detroit, motor capitol of the world, has filed for the largest public sector bankruptcy in U.S. history … $18.5 billion. This is prime example of the destruction caused in a major way by labor unions.

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Detroit, pictured above with excellence, has filed for bankruptcy, the largest in the public sector in U.S. History

Words from the Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

“The fiscal realities confronting Detroit have been ignored for too long. I’m making this tough decision so the people of Detroit will have the basic services they deserve and so we can start to put Detroit on a solid financial footing that will allow it to grow and prosper in the future. This is a difficult step, but the only viable option to address a problem that has been six decades in the making. I have reached the conclusion that this step is necessary after a thorough review of all the available alternatives, and I authorize this necessary step as a last resort to return this great City to financial and civic health for its residents and taxpayers. This decision comes in the wake of 60 years of decline for the city, a period in which reality was often ignored.”

He also said that 38% of the city’s budget is being spent on “legacy costs,” such as pensions and
debt service. He said police take almost an hour to respond to calls, compared to a national average of 11 minutes, and that 40% of street lights in the city are turned off.

Labor Unions are destroying America

Once serving a great purpose of job safety, labor unions have become an empire of greed for wealth over past decades. Their greed has destroyed millions of American jobs. Auto companies in Detroit were forced to build plants in and source parts from places that were less union friendly in an effort to stay profitable. Unions helped destroy Detroit. This bankruptcy of Detroit, once America’s fourth largest city (now 18th), is the culmination of that destruction.

My purpose with this report is not to expound on the details of this record bankruptcy, for they will be broadcast around the world by the media in coming days. My focus is on the destruction to America, caused in a significant way by labor unions.

Across America, our companies, cities and states are significantly influenced by powerful unions, especially those representing police, fire and civic service. I urge all employees who are members of a union to consider severing your membership in an effort to protect the future wellbeing of your company, so that it does not have to relocate … or your city, so that it does not eventually have to file for bankruptcy, like Detroit. I urge city and state officials to do what is possible to curtail or limit agreements with unions, in an effort to help prevent the need for our cities and states to file for bankruptcy, like Detroit. Many more American cities are following closely in Detroit’s path. America has not yet experienced its first state bankruptcy … but its just a matter of time. There are thousands of fiscal ‘time bombs’ waiting to explode across America, especially those concerning employee pensions.

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Labor Unions

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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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: 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/

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Captain Rick: The U.S. economy grew significantly slower in the second quarter than the sluggish pace reported in August. Q2 GDP was revised to 1.3%, down from 1.7% reported in August. This came as a surprise to most economists. It wasn’t surprising to me. What I found surprising is why last months Q2 GDP estimate was increased to 1.7% from the previous 1.5%. So, I am not surprised to see that it fell back to 1.5% and more. The surprised economists are already busy forecasting GDP will come in at 1.9% in the third quarter. Perhaps they will be equally surprised when it doesn’t. I should mention that 1.9% is still well under what is needed to break even. I believe economists need to retire their dart boards and start paying better attention to what is really transpiring around our world, as I have been doing for many years. It helps take the surprise out of things.

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 above, is necessary to provide enough new jobs to keep pace with U.S. population growth. America has fallen short in all but two of the past three plus 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. America’s unemployment rate is currently published to be 8.1%, but the real number is actually about twice that…and rising, not falling.

I am saddened to say that 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, for the next several years, perhaps 2017 or beyond. Even the Fed, the IMF and other global financial authorities predict similar sluggish growth through 2015.  Europe appears to in recession or close to it. U.S. growth of 1.3% 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.

I caution local and state governments to exercise fiscal restraint and filter out some of the local growth hype that is beginning to surface. Some of it is beginning to closely resemble fuel for another financial bubble…not real growth. It will be much smarter to put some funds in a ‘piggy bank’ for a ‘rainy day’ than to spend all of the receipts as fast as we can while the sun appears to be shining brightly.

I urge federal legislators to address the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ ASAP. This does not mean coming up with another political compromise to ‘kick the can down the road’ for another year. It means finding a real solution to reduce Americas debt NOW! Every time we postpone a proper ‘fix’, we bring our nation much closer to the real ‘Financial Cliff’…the one that will have the power and magnitude to reduce the United States of America to a third world country. How America handles this monumental problem will affect the entire world for decades to come.