Posts Tagged ‘U.S.’

Captain Rick: President Obama has destroyed a relationship with Russia that the world applauded President Ronald Reagan for building when he stated those famous words “Tear down that wall” at the Brandenburg Gate near the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987.  This is a sad day…a day Obama has launched a new COLD WAR with Russia, even though he is trying to convince us otherwise.

President Obama announced additional sanctions against Russia today. Earlier Europe announced sanctions that I believe were pressured by Obama. While America is somewhat isolated from Russia, the EU might have set itself up for a huge fall. Obama is forcing President Vladimir Putin into a corner. Putin is a smart person…perhaps smarter than Obama could only hope to be. I caution that Putin’s Russia supplies a major amount of natural gas to Europe.

Something to think about … Supposing this winter when the weather turns cold in Europe, Putin shuts off Russia’s supply of natural gas to Europe? It could paralyze Europe. Its ripple effect could cast America and the entire world into a new recession of monumental magnitude. Lets also remember that Russia sits upon the world’s second largest stock pile of nuclear weapons.  I think Obama needs to exit his dream world, get a refresher course in reality and then learn how to shut is big mouth and mind his own business before he provokes Putin to seek revenge.

President Obama has lit the fuse to a new COLD WAR. All we can do now is watch the aftermath. I have a hunch that it is not going to be pretty. At my age, with some wisdom, I have to wonder what possesses the minds of recent US presidents to make them feel that they have to ‘rule the world’? Wouldn’t things be much better if our president ‘cooled his jets’ and minded his own business…like the monumental $18 Trillion US national debt…which if not brought under control soon…will automatically destroy America as a ‘first world country’?

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Details of the new sanctions:

The new sanctions will restrict Russian state-owned banks from accessing European capital markets, and throw up more red tape to stop or slow the export of oil-related equipment and technology to Russia.

All new contracts for arms imports and exports between the EU and Russia will stop. There will even be a prohibition on exporting goods and technology that can be used for both military and civilian purposes.

The sanctions are part of a coordinated effort by Western nations to punish Russia for its role in annexing Ukraine’s Crimea region and supporting pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine.

The European Union had previously been reluctant to issue harsher sanctions against Russia because both regions rely on one another for about $500 billion in trade and investment each year. European leaders said they were ready to reverse their sanctions if Russia whole-heartedly worked to stop the crisis in Ukraine.

For now, we wait to see what comes of this new COLD WAR.

Facebook members: Join the active discussion on the UKRAINE CRISIS that is well under way with over 70 comments:
Captain Rick’s  open World Think Tank
World Think Tank
is a group of people with a concerned interest in the challenges of our world and a desire to share their thoughts in discussion with a goal of finding a better solution.
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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

President Obama

World Think Tank

Captain Rick: The American flag…Old Glory…The Star-Spangled Banner flies proudly over my Arizona Oasis every Flag Day. It reminds me of the great land in which all Americans have the privilege of living in freedom. 

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Flag Day…a brief history:

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

On June 14, 1777, less than one year after Betsy Ross had received the order from General Washington to make the first flag, the Second Continental Congress passed a flag resolution stating:

Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.

The first national observance of Flag Day was on June 14, 1877; 100 years after the flag resolution was adopted by the Continental Congress.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation stating that June 14 shall be National Flag Day, and in 1949, it was made official by an Act of Congress.

Captain Rick’s inspiration: Your help is needed to keep the Flag flying

Do not take the American Flag and its representation of freedom for granted. The United States of America is entering very difficult fiscal times with the US National Debt approaching $18 Trillion…far greater than US GDP.  America is spending $1 Trillion more per year than it receives in revenue. Its going to get worse. Millions of ‘baby boomers’ are retiring that will result in sky-rocketing Social Security costs. Obamacare will massively expand the number receiving Medicaid and its mushrooming costs. Social Security and Medicaid will become insolvent in the next 10 or so years. Simply put, there is not enough revenue to sustain the United States of America’ spending binge indefinitely. Our President and Congress have demonstrated nothing but a ‘kick the can down the road’ approach…which if continued much longer will guarantee the fall of America over the pending real ‘fiscal cliff’…of which at the bottom lies America as a ‘third world nation’.

What can you do to help?

There are lots of ways you can help. Research the candidates running for office. Support and vote for those you feel will do a better job than the vast majority of do-nothing, ‘kick-the-can-down-the-road’, politically-motivated ‘clowns’ in the current ‘Washington Circus’.

Many states and districts have no credible candidate on the roster. Consider taking the noble step of running for an office. Do not worry about the money it takes to run. If you have a voice that deserves to be heard, I am confident there are ways to address that.

I do not have all of the answers of how to fix the gigantic mess that America faces. I urge everyone to get involved. Join one of a zillion Facebook groups discussing the issues. I recommend one that focuses on finding solutions, rather than just gossiping…such as Captain Rick’s WORLD THINK TANK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WorldThinkTank/

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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

U.S. Debt Crisis

Economy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101

Captain Rick: The Space Shuttle is history, but not the excitement of new space machines. This launch of the massive 3-booster Delta-IV Heavy rocket, with the capability of placing a 25-ton payload into orbit, introduces the ability to visually identify the make and model of a vehicle from 250 miles up. 

Remember those movies where satellites could zoom in and see what is going on down on earth? It has all been science fiction…until now.  If all goes well, that fiction will take a bold step towards reality with this launch.

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Today’s inspiring launch was the second for this new 232-foot-tall monster rocket machine from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The first was in January 2011. A new era has begun.

Details about the satellite, designated NROL-65, are classified. The three-booster Delta-IV rocket used to send it aloft Wednesday is the heaviest in the U.S. inventory, capable of putting a 25-ton payload into low Earth orbit.

Todays launch was one of two launches the top-secret National Reconnaissance Office has on the books for late 2013.

The payload in Wednesday’s launch is thought to be a $1-billion high-powered spy satellite capable of snapping pictures detailed enough to distinguish the make and model of an automobile hundreds of miles below.

The 232-foot-tall booster was developed by the U.S. Air Force and the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

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. 

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

Gilbert Town Council

Gilbert Council Proper Votes

Gilbert Council Scorecard

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/

Captain Rick: PIMCO’s Bill Gross says that ultra low interest rate policies and ongoing bond buying programs like ‘Quantitative Easing’ around the world aren’t working. Bill refers to it as a global financial system that is "beginning to resemble a leukemia patient with New Age chemotherapy, desperately attempting to cure an economy that requires structural as opposed monetary solutions." He is challenging the Federal Reserve and other central banks to become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

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Bill Gross, founder and co-chief investment officer of bond giant PIMCO. He is often called the world’s ‘bond king’.

I recognize Bill as one of the worlds most intelligent minds concerning everything related to bonds. Bonds help make our world grow. Bonds are the life blood of our cities, states and countries of our world. 

Bill writes a monthly ‘Investment Outlook’ news letter. His June report is entitled “Wounded Heart”, a nod to Bonnie Raitt’s 2002 tune. It is one of his finest. I will do my best to sum up his eloquent words of wisdom for the U.S. and other countries including Japan, England and Europe who are practicing ‘Quantitative Easing’ fiscal programs that are not working.

Excerpts from Bills “Wounded Heart” report:

“While the global central banks’ policies have stabilized economies, they haven’t succeeded in returning them to old normal growth rates”

"There comes a point when no matter how much blood is being pumped through the system as it is now, with zero-based policy rates and global quantitative easing programs, that the blood itself may become anemic, oxygen-starved, or even leukemic, with white blood cells destroying more productive red cell counterparts"

And to Fed chief Ben Bernanke’s claims that once economic growth has been restored to normal levels, financial markets can also return to normal interest rates and returns, Gross has a few stern words:
"Well it’s been five years Mr. Chairman and the real economy has not once over a 12-month period of time grown faster than 2.5%"
"Perhaps, in addition to a fiscally confused Washington, it’s your policies that may be now part of the problem rather than the solution."

To investors, Gross advises to reduce risk as the Fed continues to try to mend a wounded heart with blood that lacks the necessary oxygen. "Investors should look for a pacemaker to follow a less risky, lower returning, but more life sustaining path."

Read the entire Investment Outlook: “Wounded Heart”  by William H. Gross:  http://www.pimco.com/EN/Insights/Pages/Wounded-Heart.aspx

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:

Fed Financial Policy: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fed-financial-policy/

Investment 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/investment-101/

Stock and Bond Market: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/stock-bond-market/