Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

C-17 takeoff.

Photo by James Ulvog.

While we were in San Diego recently, we stopped at Shelter Island on the far west side of San Diego Bay to enjoy the scenery.

While relaxing there, we got to see a USAF C-17 Globemaster III take off from North Coronado Naval Air Station.

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Surveillance society, peaceful ocean view edition.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Does that photo seem like it is just a peaceful view of the scenic California coast off Point Loma in California with some cool pelicans gliding by?

Well, that it may be, but there is more to it.

Anytime you are in public, you are probably on camera.

Another view of those pelicans:

Photo by James Ulvog.

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Value of oil production in North Dakota also starting to recover.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Previous post mentioned the volume of production in North Dakota is starting to recover. It is still down dramatically from the last few years. Production past the 1.04M bopd level back in April 2017 and has been above that level until the pandemic hit and Saudi Arabia started flooding the market.

Two graphs showing the production levels can be seen on the previous post.

The price of oil has recovered from the lows during the shock back in April and May. Check out the price of West Texas Intermediate, North Dakota sweet crude, and estimated prices realized in the state:

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Oil production in North Dakota starting to recover in July 2020.

Each of the light brown spaces is a well pad. Photo by James Ulvog.

As seen in the following graph, crude oil production increased in July 2020. It is up 179,958 barrels of oil per day (bopd) over the low of 860,430 bopd in May. This is a drop of 478,644 bopd from the high point in November 2019.

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Bombers and fighters.

Two B-52 Stratofortresses fly over Royal Air Force Station Fairford, United Kingdom, Aug. 22, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eugene Oliver)

More background on the U.S. bomber forces and some info on prices for new fighters. Oh, some really nice photos too, courtesy of the U.S.A.F.

6/24/20 – Popular Science – Inside a training mission with a B-52 bomber, the aircraft that will not die. Author goes along on a training flight, weaving together history of the B-52, description of future structure of manned bomber force, and tale of the flight.

Fun read. Check it out.

Some interesting tidbits:

Every four years each B-52 goes through a massive maintenance routine which takes 40,000 hours of labor and replaces about 3,000 parts. This extensive maintenance along with major upgrades means the B-52 fleet is likely to stay in use until the year 2050.

Current inventory of the manned bomber fleet:

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Additional comments on drop in oil production in May 2020.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Comments in the Bismarck Tribune and Williston Herald provide context on the drastic drop in oil production during May.

The Tribune was more dramatic in describing the drop.

Oil production in North Dakota “cratered” during the month, as described by the Bismarck Tribune on 7/17:  North Dakota shatters previous record oil drop as pandemic hits industry hard.

Notice the “shatters” description in the headline.

Impact of pandemic was to “tank” the production.

Director Helms referred to the drop as a “five alarm fire” for the industry.

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Deeper look at the May 2020 drop in North Dakota oil production.

Idle drilling rigs parked to the west of Williston. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858K bopd in May, which is a 362K bopd drop for the month and a 661K bopd drop since the record high of 1,519K bopd in November 2019.

Price of oil also collapsed, which means the value of production shrank.

Graphs of monthly production and prices can be seen in previous post.

Check out my calculation of the value of monthly production the combination of dropping output and dropping prices:

 

Just as a guess, I think production could be opened up almost as fast as it was cut back. More on that thought at the end of this post.

Activity counts

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North Dakota oil production drops 362,624 barrels a day in May 2020, down 43% from the November 2019 record high.

With a 45 day lag in reporting to allow data submission and collation, the production data for crude oil during May is now available for North Dakota.

The combined shocks of reduced demand for the pandemic and flooding the market by Saudi Arabia collapsed prices which then collapsed production.  A glut of oil jammed the storage capacity for a while which further drove down the prices available to producers in North Dakota.

The impact on volume and value of production is staggering.

The graphs of production in this post demonstrate how rapidly a massive industry, like oil production across an entire state, can respond to price signals in a capitalist economy. That part is amazing to see.

May production data

Crude oil production in the state dropped to 858,395 bopd (preliminary) in May. This is down 362,624 bopd from the revised April level of 1,221,019 bopd. The April production was down 209,353 bopd from March.

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Settled matters outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

John Trumbull: The Declaration of Independence painted by John Trumbull. Photograph by Thomas Cizauskas is in the public domain (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

 

Several statements in the opening of the Declaration of Independence are settled matters. The issues are resolved. They are final.

If those key issues are not final but are instead malleable or alterable or subject to revocation the consequences will be horrible.

A speech by Pres. Calvin Coolidge explained this idea back in the 1920s. Let’s expand the concept of those ideas being resolved issues.

Please consider President Calvin Coolidge’s Speech on the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 5, 1926.

He lists the three resolved issues:

“Three very definite propositions were set out in its (the Declaration of Independence) preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that

all men are created equal,

that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that

 therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.” (emphasis added)

He explained these issues are settled, resolved, final.

We can expand on those ideas. We need to bring them into further fruition. We can dive deeper into their meaning.

Setting them aside or replacing them means we go backwards. Declaring they are no longer true is regression to the ancient past.

More eloquently than I could ever describe, the president said:

“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.”

Expanding those foundational concepts

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Text of the Declaration of Independence:

From the National Archives:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. Read more…

Happy 244th birthday America!

American militia reenactors at Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment by Lee Wright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the 1770s and 1780s, a ragtag collection of citizen soldiers waged a war of independence against the most powerful empire on the planet…

British Army reenactors at Redcoats & Rebels Revolutionary War Reenactment by Lee Wright is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

…and defeated them.

 

Two hundred forty-four years ago today marked the start of this wonderful, aspirational, fantastic, heaven-blessed, messy, delightful, powerful, flawed, and glorious experiment called the United States of America which has delivered unimaginable levels of freedom to hundreds of millions of people here in the US of A and contributed massively to the freedom of hundreds and hundreds of millions more around the world.

That experiment had multiple severe flaws baked into the design which are taking a long time to correct, yet the aspirational dreams then drove and still drive that wonderful experiment to constant improvement.

Before our independence, anything resembling a democracy had been absent for so many long centuries. Apart from the ruling elite, ordinary people were merely the subjects of their ‘betters.’  Common folk only had the very few rights and freedoms that those born to power consented to give them, like crumbs thrown from the table.  You and I would only have been able to do what those controlling us allowed us to do.

And then came those rabble-rousing founding fathers.

The results of this grand experiment in self-government, not tried before, has produced fabulous results.

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MQ-1B Predator on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

The March Field Air Museum has an MQ-1B Predator on static display. A few pictures of the drone for your viewing pleasure:

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

Narrative on the placard:

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Airplane Photos: B-17G on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

 

B-17G Starduster, #44-6393, is on static display at the March Field Air Museum. For your viewing pleasure here are photos of the magnificent plane as it appeared in June 2020.

This is my tiny tribute to all those who fought to end actual fascism 80 years ago, especially the hundreds of thousands who never came home.

For a better view, click on any picture.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

The placard reads:

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Airplane pictures: F-4s on display at March Field Air Museum.

 

March Field Air Museum has three, count ’em, three of the magnificent F-4 Phantom fighter jets on static display. Two of the three have gorgeous paint jobs, while one is looking a bit more ragged. All three a delight.

For your visual enjoyment, join me on a walk-around of the aircraft.

All photos by James Ulvog. Read more…

New unemployment claims are still around 1.5 million per week.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

New unemployment claims for week ending 6/20/20 were 1.480M, down slightly from 1.540M the previous week, which was revised upward from 1.508M.

The impact of new claims is mitigated by the number of people getting rehired. That leads to the calculation of ongoing payments for unemployment which are:

  • 20.5M, revised to 20.289M – 6/13/20
  • 19.52M – 6/20/20

This discussion will be posted on several of my blogs.

Data:

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