How Long Do We Have?

February 1, 2012


Leon Puissegur

We all ask this question as we relate to all of our own ideas and homes we live in. This question has many answers and many varied ways to obtain the answers. I tend to agree with a few people I am going to show below and believe we as a nation are close to failure if “WE THE PEOPLE” do not take any action to bring Congress, the President, and the Justice Department back to the appropriate use of the Constitution, not the way they are presently “ABUSING” the Constitution for their own purpose of their political party. The writing below comes from several older sources and actually show how our nation formed and where our nation may well be at this present day and time. This title actually came from an entire brief article done by a Scottish history professor named Alexander Tyler back in 1787 at the University of Edinburgh and made the following statement about the fall of the Athenian Republic about 2,000 years earlier. Mr. Tyler stated;

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.”

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.”

“From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from beginning of history, has been about 200 years.”

“During these 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage.

These 8 simple ideas show the complete cycle of great empires such as Rome, Greece, Egypt, and some many others that have followed this same path from humble beginnings back into where we came from a cycle that at the moment, the United States is facing. Some people will wrongfully say that this will never happen in the United States, but if one follows what has happened here they can see that although the United States has gone beyond the ideal 200 years, we are at this moment entering the phase numbered 7 above, “From apathy to dependence.” Right now the United States has approximately 47% of the people in some sort of dependence from the government of the United States.

In a recent election in Louisiana only some 20% of the people turned out to vote! This is totally unacceptable since it shows that we are truly at level 7 of the chart Professor Tyler presented back in 1787! How long may our nation last with such apathy towards elections? Sure this is one state, but it has developed in all states to some level. “WE THE PEOPLE” have taken the old adage, “LET GEORGE DO IT!” to a new level. As voters, we should vote at EVERY election, not just ones we see that will benefit us! That also goes back to Professor Tyler when he stated that, “A democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.” Here we can clearly see that as a nation, we have come to this point and due to our lack of doing what we as a people should do, “VOTE”!

We have elected officials that see the people want only certain things and they know that they can obtain what the people that voted them into office want because they do not have to worry about being voted from office because only a small percentage of people are now voting and placing officials in positions that give those who vote what they want even while the majority scratches their heads wondering how they could do this! All because “PEOPLE” who did vote did so because they wanted something for nothing and to get that they went and voted for those who would do that just to get re-elected! If we register to vote, we should and we should vote in ALL elections or we will see that those that don’t want to work will take from those who do until there is no more to take!!

If the United States is to make a mockery of this philosophy of Professor Tyler, we must VOTE in every election and we must make sure that more then a mere 20% vote! If 20% of the people can control the other 80% just by going out and vote, then we lose the one thing this nation was built upon, “MAJORITY RULE”! It is a very sad day when a small amount of people can control the majority just due to the fact that the majority stayed at home on election day!

If “WE THE PEOPLE” do not get out and vote in every election, we cannot blame anyone but ourselves when our nation, the United States, fails since it is us, the voters that can and should control our nation and NOT the politicians that obtain their votes through the apathy of the many! Our nation is just a mere one step from becoming a nation in bondage so “WE THE PEOPLE” had better wake up, register to vote and most of all, VOTE in all elections no matter how much we don’t care about them, because if we do not, those in power will TELL us what we can and cannot do!!

Electronic water meter reading reduces estimates… improves service.

Public Works June 1, 1996 | Houchins, Donald; Posinski, Alison; Richardson, Dave Through the adoption of handheld meter reading technology, Cincinnati Water Works has reduced the amount of water usage estimates, offered more and more accurate water usage statistics, and generally provided better service to its customers. The switch to electronic meter reading (EMR) has been accomplished at a cost equal to replacing the outdated, optical character recognition (OCR) system previously used by the department.

The service area of the Cincinnati Water Works includes the entire city of Cincinnati, 90 percent of Hamilton County, and three additional areas in the adjacent counties of Butler, Clermont, and Warren. The utility supplies approximately 128.3 mgd through 2692 miles of water main to over 218,374 residential and commercial accounts representing more than 900,000 consumers in the greater Cincinnati area. in our site cincinnati water works

The city currently employs 25 meter readers. Every water meter is read on either a monthly or quarterly cycle. The Cincinnati Water Works supplied approximately 47 billion gallons of water to its service area in 1994.

OCR System Outdated and Inefficient In the spring of 1994, department officials recognized a need to replace an eleven-year-old optical character recognition machine. Although the machine was still operational, staff believed that the department would soon either have to replace it with an identical machine or adopt a new technology.

With the OCR system, each meter reader received a book of mark-sense cards each morning, each card representing a different account along the route. Meter readers would enter readings by filling in circles on the cards with a pencil. The cards would, in turn, be read by the scanning machine the following day, and the resulting data fed to a mainframe computer for billing and statistical purposes.

The OCR system had a number of inherent inefficiencies. The scanner frequently rejected cards for a variety of reasons, including stray pencil marks and wet or muddy cards. An operator was required to enter the information manually, and, in some cases, meters needed to be reread. This system also resulted in a significant number of estimates when meters could not be reread in time to meet the billing schedule. The OCR system rejected more than 68,000 cards per year, creating productivity bottlenecks and a huge time expense for the department.

The OCR cards from the prior 12 months were stored in file cabinets, which not only took up valuable office space, but also made it difficult and time-consuming to find a specific record. This made efficient customer service difficult when a customer called with an inquiry or complaint about a bill.

Understanding that the OCR machine would need repair or replacement soon, department officials decided to look into alternative meter reading technologies.

Strict Specifications The department determined that a switch to EMR would offer improved efficiency at a cost comparable to replacing the scanner. In August 1994, the department formed a project team which, in turn, issued a request for proposal to handheld meter reading vendors.

After a careful evaluation of bids and proposals, the department purchased an Advance [TM] meter reading system from Schlumberger Industries, Inc., Tallassee, Alabama. Schlumberger supplied the city with 30 handheld units and two PCs to upload and download data from the units to the mainframe database.

The large size and cold winter climate of Cincinnati demanded a strict set of specifications for the handheld water meter reading system. The department required the capability to load the system while the units themselves were in the field. Since each handheld comes with two PCMCIA memory cards, the Advance system is in the field with one card while a computer operator in the office downloads the previous day’s data and uploads route information for the following day into the other card.

Meter readers also have the ability to enter free form text as well as note codes into the handhelds. This was considered an important and necessary specification. Note codes were required to accommodate the usual problems encountered by meter readers, while free form text was necessary to cover uncommon situations and elaborate on the note codes. And the touch keys are large enough to be used with gloves, another necessity during the freezing Midwestern winters.

The EMR system needed an industry-standard database and enough fields in its memory to provide meter readers with the information they traditionally had at their disposal. This includes information that had been printed on the cards, such as the previous reading and whether the last reading was estimated or not. The Advance system is based on a Borland Paradox [TM] database and provided more than sufficient fields to store all of the data. Paradox allowed for customization of the system to meet all the department’s needs. cincinnati water works

Additionally, any new handheld system had to be relatively simple and require little operator training. The department felt that the easier the system was to operate, the more readily meter readers would accept it. Department officials determined the staff would be able to adjust easily to the new automated system and many meter readers would prefer keying in the data rather than marking circles with a pencil.

Increased Efficiency The department began using the handheld system in June 1995. Since completing the first three-month billing cycle, officials have realized a number of benefits.

Because records can be retrieved easily and quickly on the PC, the department has been able to provide better customer service. Employees can provide an instant response to customers’ questions or concerns by accessing the PC’s database, rather than having to search through file cabinets to find a particular record. The department has also been able to reassign one employee who was previously responsible for microfilming cards. Currently, the department employs one person to upload and download information between the PCMCIA memory cards and the PC.

The handheld units have also reduced the number of estimates. Although there will always be a need for occasional estimates in the case of lock-outs or other unforeseen circumstances, there are no longer estimates caused by technical problems, such as the numerous scanner card rejections.

But the biggest advantage for the department has been the new statistical capabilities of the system. With the information recorded by the handheld units, management is better equipped to make decisions. For example, by recording exact times the meters are read, the department can approximate exactly how long each route should take to complete. Employees are also aware of the exact percentage of meters that have been read on their route. With the aid of note codes, the department can determine which meters are not being read consistently and the reasons why.

These statistics also have customer service benefits. The department can keep track of monthly and yearly usage averages, which may help encourage customers to conserve. Over the long term, the department hopes to be able to estimate, within 10 or 15 minutes, exactly when the meter reader will be at a certain point in his or her route, saving customers from having to wait at home for extended periods. And the department expects the additional statistics will allow it to make more accurate meter reading estimates.

AMR Pilot Testing The city has already conducted several pilot tests of radio and telephone based AMR. AMR systems feature encoder-equipped water meters that transmit signals to either a meter interface unit or a radio transmitter. With fewer and fewer customers at home during the day, this technology becomes more useful.

After the completion of a two-year evaluation project, the department has begun to implement telephone-based automatic meter reading utilizing Schlumberger’s CMR[R] software, which is fully compatible with the Advance system in use today. In the near future, the department expects to convert many of the city’s water meters to this technology.

Mr. Houchins is administrative assistant for the Administration Division, Ms. Posinski is assistant superintendent for the Commercial Services Division, and Mr. Richardson is acting assistant supervisor of meter reading for the Commercial Services Division, all with the Cincinnati Water Works.

Houchins, Donald; Posinski, Alison; Richardson, Dave

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