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.
Not a World Think Tank member? You are welcome to join!

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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

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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/

Captain Rick: Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces … protecting the liberty enjoyed by Americans.

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Traditional observance of Memorial Day
On Memorial Day the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.
For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.
Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

History of Memorial Day
Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the 600,000+ soldiers who died in the Civil War (1861-1865).
Records show that the act of decorating the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War occurred as early as 1861 throughout the North and South.

On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans’ organization for Union Civil War veterans, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed annually and nationwide.
It was observed for the first time that year on May 30; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.
According to the White House, the May 30 date was chosen as the optimal date for flowers to be in bloom.

By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.
"Memorial Day" became common after World War II and was declared as the official name by Federal law in 1967.
On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.
The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. All 50 states adopted Congress’ change of date within a few years.
The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May, where it remains today.

Captain Rick: To my fellow Americans: I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day … and you reserve a few moments to honor those that gave their life to protect your liberty.

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

America: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/america/

United States: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/united-states/

Captain Rick: A global rally in stocks came to an abrupt halt Thursday with a 7% plunge on Japan’s Nikkei index … the biggest one-day drop since the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster.
European markets fell by 2% with Germany’s DAX down 2.4% and France’s CAC 40 down 2.1%. This was preceded yesterday by U.S. markets dropping about 0.8%.

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What caused this? Investors were rattled for three big reasons:

Japan: The Japanese rally had gone too far too fast. The Nikkei has surged by more than 70% over the last 12 months, far outpacing other markets.
‘Abenomics’, Japan’s version of ‘Quantitative Easing,’ has pumped massive amounts of money printed with red ink into the economy to create an image that the economy is doing good, when it is not.
The Bank of Japan’s policies can’t sustain the rally indefinitely, and Japanese companies will have to start reporting better earnings to bolster investment confidence.

U.S.: The Federal Reserve released minutes from its latest policy meeting revealing that some members of the monetary policy committee were looking to taper off the ‘Quantitative Easing’ bond-buying program as early as June. That is bad news for investors who have been energized by the Fed’s $85 billion of phony red money being pumped into the American economy each month to make it look like the economy is healthy, when it really is not.

China: Weak economic data. The latest numbers from China showed the country’s manufacturing sector contracted in May, contrary to expectations for expansion, reinforcing concerns about slowing growth in the world’s second biggest economy. This is a reality that is beginning to come to light because America, Europe and most of the world have economies that are actually in decline once we strip away the façade of programs like ‘Abenomics’ and ‘Quantitative Easing’.

World Stock Market gains in past 12 months
Japan: 69% (after todays huge loss)
Eurozone: 33%
England: 27%
Australia: 23%
Hong Kong: 21%
U.S.: 18%
Canada: 10%.
Mexico: 8%
Brazil: 3%
China: – 4%

Captain Ricks Analysis: Which markets are likely to go up … or down?
The stock markets in the countries at the bottom of the list (less than 15% gain) are on the strongest footing and are more likely to go up than down.
The stock markets in the countries at the top of the list (more than 40% gain) are significantly over invested with highly inflated values and face significant potential for decline.
The stock markets in the countries in the middle (15% – 40% gain) are in uncertain territory with over investment and inflated values, especially those in the upper half of this range. These markets are more likely to decline than rise, especially those in the upper half of this range.

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:

Japan: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/japan/

China: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/china/

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

Fiscal Cliff 101: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

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

European Debt Crisis: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/european-debt-crisis/

All Reports: https://atridim.wordpress.com/

Captain Rick: Construction workers bolted the 408 foot tall, 758 ton spire atop One World Trade Center, raising the iconic 104-story building to a height of 1,776 feet, symbolic of the year the United States gained its independence. It is now the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and makes a bold statement in the sky above New York City that it has made a comeback from the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

An LED-powered light emanating from the top of the spire will change colors and be visible from 10 miles away when lit sometime during the next few months. My guess is it will be lit on July 4, 2013 and be the highlight of NYC’s fireworks spectacular, a show I anticipate will capture the eyes an hearts of the world.

The installation brought cheers from New Yorkers, and from people around the country. "This milestone at the World Trade Center site symbolizes the resurgence and resilience of our state and our nation," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in the statement.

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The photos above show the current NYC skyline, rendering of the completed complex and the spire being hoisted.

Formerly called the Freedom Tower, One World Trade Center is one of four skyscrapers being built around the site of the fallen Twin Towers in a partnership between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

Construction on the $3.8 billion building began in April 2006 at the northwest corner of the 16 acre site, just north of the hallowed ground known as Ground Zero, where the original twin towers were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The spire contains 18 steel sections and three communication rings. The heaviest section, weighing 67 tons, will be an antenna for a television broadcast facility in the building.

The building still has significant construction before its scheduled 2014 opening. Tenants include the magazine publisher Conde Nast, the U.S. government’s General Services Administration (GSA) and Vantone Holdings China Center, which will provide business space for international companies. The 72-story 4 World Trade Center is under construction at the southeast corner of the site.

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

World Trade Center: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/world-trade-center/

New York: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/new-york/

View all recent reports: https://atridim.wordpress.com/

Captain Rick: The Dow Jones started the day off with a major slide after dismal economic news from China, followed by a small gain and then a continuing slide as a result of the explosions that rocked the Boston Marathon that killed 2 and injured more than 70. The result was the largest one-day Dow plummet of 2013, erasing all gains of the past week. President Obama is addressing the nation.

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While many in the news media are accrediting this major market drop to the Boston explosions, that is not entirely true.  I circled in red in the chart above, the drop that occurred after the bombings occurred at about 2:45 EDT. Tomorrow’s market will reveal where we go from here.  I will report on more of this, especially the declining economic situation in China in future posts.

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Captain Rick: U.S. Hiring plummeted in March to 88,000, its lowest level since last June. Unemployment ticked down 0.1% to 7.6% for the wrong reason…because 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market. This is my personal report that skips all of the hype and gets right to the facts. It’s a report you can believe.

Hiring plummets to 88,000

March hiring plummeted to 1/3 that of February and 1/2 of the number of a year ago.

Private Sector: 95,000 jobs added, mostly in professional and business services and healthcare. Growth was dragged down by the retail sector, which lost 24,000 jobs. The drop in retail was particularly disappointing, considering that the sector had averaged an increase of 32,000 jobs a month for the past six months. Construction jobs added 18,000 jobs in March.

Public Sector: 7,000 jobs lost. The U.S. Postal Service shed 12,000 positions, but were offset by other gains. This sector is continuing to be an overall strain on job creation. While the impact of the forced federal budget cuts, which began March 1, was a concern, it doesn’t appear to have directly affected the March payroll figures much. The federal government, excluding the U.S. Postal Service, shed only 2,200 positions.

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The red line in the chart above represents the 150,000 jobs that need to be created each month to keep up with population growth.  The average over the past 12 months is 159,000 jobs added per month…only 9,000 positive gain over the number needed to keep up with population growth. Overall, the U.S. economy lost 8.8 million jobs during the Great Recession, and is still down about 3.2 million jobs from the labor market’s height in January 2008. At the current pace of a positive gain of 9000 jobs per month, 30 years would be required to restore the lost jobs.

In the Labor Department’s survey, 206,000 fewer people said they had a job than in the previous month, even though a separate survey of employers in the March jobs report showed 88,000 jobs were added.

In addition, 290,000 fewer people were counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work. That drop in those seeking jobs was the reason the unemployment rate fell to 7.6%, the lowest since December 2008.

Unemployment Rate drops to 7.6%

The March reading was a .1 decline, but it is not good news because nearly 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market. 11.7 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.

Economists believe the rate will fall to 6.7% by the end of 2014. That would put it close to the 6.5% level that the Federal Reserve has said it wants to see before considering raising interest rates. Some of the anticipated drop will result from baby boomers retiring. If unemployed people continue giving up on finding a job at the rate experienced during March, the unemployment rate could drop even faster. Unfortunately the young looking for their first job are not figured into the unemployment rate because they do not yet qualify for unemployment compensation yet. All of this makes the unemployment figure really ambiguous…almost meaningless.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows there are 3.9 million workers who should be in the labor force but are not because of the weakness in the job market. Counting them as unemployed would take the unemployment rate up to 9.8%.

Underemployment Rate drops to 13.8%

The underemployment rate, a more meaningful term, includes persons marginally attached to the labor force such as part time workers seeking full time employment and “over qualified” workers working in jobs below their caliber.

U.S Labor Force Participation Rate fell to 63.3%

The March reading is the lowest level since May 1979 when women were less likely to be working. For men age 25 and older, March was the lowest participation on record. The participation rate for those age 16 to 24 was near a 50-year low. The participation rate of “prime-age” workers, age 25 to 54, also fell to match the lowest reading since 1984.

Generally, this consists of everyone of working age (around 16), who are participating workers, that is people actively employed (either part-time or full-time) or people actively seeking employment. In the U.S., not maximum age is considered.
People not counted include people who are not employed and not seeking employment including students, retired people, stay-at-home parents, people who do not report income (tax evaders) and people in prisons or similar institutions.
Discouraged workers who want to work, but cannot find work and have thus stopped looking for work for at least a month are not included in the labor force in the United States.

Some of the downward trend in the participation rate in recent years is due to more baby boomers reaching retirement age, along with the longer life span of those who are retired. The greater the percentage of the population that is retired, the lower the participation rate.
The difficulty for younger workers finding jobs is also a factor, as more young adults unable to find work return to school to try to improve their prospects.

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

Previous reports:

Jobs: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/jobs/

Unemployment: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/unemployment/

Captain Rick: The object of this game is to try and save American capitalism before the government takes over everything. To date, there is no known player who has won. The government wins every time. 

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The game board looks interesting. It reminds me of the fun times I had as a kid playing Monopoly for hours and even days before finally taking over everything…or loosing everything.

I don’t think Bamopoly would be very much fun to play…because no one likes to loose all of the time. It also reminds me very much of real life in America. Its people play this game every day to try and get ahead and promote capitalism… but it seems like big government is always there to take over everything.

I have a strong feeling that one of these days, the government is going to loose this game…because of the way it has been cheating its players…the citizens of America. Unfortunately when it looses the game, there will be no winners.

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

Previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

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

Captain Rick: The U.S. managed to crawl out of the GDP recession zone in its ‘final’ report for Q4 2012 to post a dismal 0.4% GDP, second worst since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. The first estimate in January reported –0.1% GDP, in the recession zone. 

GDP (Gross National Product) is the broadest means of quantifying the health of an economy.

In my previous GDP report, I stated: “If Congress gets tough and addresses the debt crisis head on, I suspect it will present a deeper, temporary plunge into negative growth territory. If Congress continues to ‘kick the can down the road’, I suspect we will see less of a dive in GDP early on…but will set the stage for a much deeper dive in a year or two…possibly as deep or deeper than the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008-2009”.

The U.S. Congress passed and President Obama signed legislation to “kick the debt can down the road” AGAIN as reported in my previous post. While these actions have no effect on GDP for Q4 2012, they will effect GDP for Q1 2013 and beyond.

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The red line in the chart above indicates the 3% level that the U.S. GDP must maintain to keep up with population growth. GDP has been far short of that for many years. In spite of the positive hype we are hearing in the mainstream news media, America is traversing extremely dangerous economic waters. Hype does not fix problems… credible action does. Unfortunately the world is seeing ‘zero’ credible action out of the politicians who represent the citizens of the United States of America.

Prognosis for the future…where are we headed?

I see several troubling economic factors that parallel the times leading up to the ‘Great Recession’. The world stock markets have reached a new high, passing those reached just prior to the stock market crash of 2008. Like then, I see no justifiable reason for the market rise. Today’s market reminds me of a bunch of gamblers in Vegas looking for a place to throw all of their dollars to bet it all. The market is again inflating into a balloon ripe for explosion. Real estate prices have been climbing at a fast pace, as is real estate speculation…similar to that witnessed prior to the bursting of the real estate bubble, prior to the Great Recession. I can not predict how much farther things can go before a repeat of 2008 occurs…or perhaps worse, but I feel that a down slide is coming soon. Much will have to do with congress’s handling of the debt crisis (very dismal at this point). It will be further complicated by the multi-trillion dollar cost of Obamacare (the worlds greatest socialized, welfare medical program). In addition, we must remember that multi millions of baby boomers are beginning to collect Social Security from a trust fund that has been totally robbed of funds to finance the U.S. Government and its politician’s thirst for deficit spending. It will all play out in a very ugly scene before the world’s eyes during the next few years.

I welcome your comments, likes and shares!

Info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

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

GDP: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/gdp/

Captain Rick: That “debt can” that President Obama kicked down the road on January 1 by signing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, in an effort to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, revisits on March 27, 2013 when the federal government again faces a shutdown because it has again reached the debt ceiling, now set at $16.4 trillion.

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Funding for the U.S. government expires on March 27, 2013 unless Congress acts. If they fail, the federal government will shut down on March 28. All government operations would cease, except for essential services.

Since lawmakers will not agree to a real budget by this date, they will have to agree on temporarily funding the government for a few weeks or a few months … again. The Republicans are presenting a plan on Thursday to extending funding to the end of the fiscal years which ends is September, but it includes a $7 billion restoration of defense funds in exchange for cuts elsewhere. A big question remains…will Democrats go along with this? It will all unfold in coming days.

Boehner’s comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press”

It is evident that the Republicans will allow no more tax increases…made very clear by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) who said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he discussed the need to avoid a shutdown with President Obama at a meeting Friday between the president and congressional leaders.

Boehner said the House will vote this week to keep the federal government operating through September, when the fiscal year ends, and avoid a potentially politically damaging shutdown.

The move would be the second time since the election that Boehner has avoided a fight, desired by some House conservatives, in order to keep the GOP from possible blame. He led House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling in January to fend off a repeat of the 2011 conflict that led to the sequester.

“The president this morning agreed that we should not have any talk of a government shutdown,” Boehner said. “So I’m hopeful that the House and Senate will be able to work through this.”

“I’m going to say it one more time,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes on January the first. The issue here is spending. Spending is out of control. There are smarter ways to cut spending than this silly sequester that the president demanded. And so, we need to address the long-term spending problem. But we can’t cut our way to prosperity.”

“We had a very pleasant meeting, but it was also a very frank meeting,” Boehner said. “I made it clear to the president that again, a trillion dollars worth of tax hikes in Obamacare. And you have another $650 billion worth of tax hikes on January the first. You can’t tax our way out of this problem. We’ve got to deal with the spending side, just like every American family has to.”

Listen, every American knows Washington has a spending problem. Every American, in these tough economic times, has to find a way to balance their budget.”

Boehner said Republicans were done raising taxes after agreeing to the “fiscal cliff” deal in January that raised more than $600 billion in revenue. Any new revenue gained from closing tax loopholes, he said, should be put into lowering tax rates.

“The president got $650 billion of higher taxes on the American people on January the 1st,” Boehner said. “How much more does he want? When is the president going to address the spending side of this?”

Captain Rick’s closing thoughts …  will Washington avert shutdown again”?

I think most Americans are with me in expecting that Washington will pull off a circus act just prior to the closing curtain as it always manages to do. However, this showdown is not a done deal…especially concerning the defense appropriations. I think the Defense Department should endure the same cuts as as all others. I don’t think it needs special treatment. I believe many Americans believe the U.S. Defense Department could easily be cut without sacrificing America’s safety. I think many will agree that it is time for America to stop playing “Police of the World” …at American taxpayer expense.

I welcome your comments, likes and shares!

Info from previous reports:

Fiscal Cliff: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/fiscal-cliff-course-101/

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