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.

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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:

Read more…

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:

Read more…

Airplane photos: B-29 Superfortress on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

March Field Air Museum has a B-29A Superfortress on static display.  For your viewing pleasure, join me for a walking tour around the plane:

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

 

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

Placard reads:

Read more…

Unemployment rate starts to decline in May 2020 after shooting up in April.

The headline unemployment rate declined to 13.3% from 14.7% in April. Rates for both months are a dramatic increase from the 3.5% rate in February.

The only way I can square this data with the massive volume of new unemployment claims is that a lot of people are getting new jobs after being furloughed. That is the only way the U3 is not above 20%.

So, my tentative guess is the economy is actually starting to recover, in spite of efforts of multiple governors to keep the economy in their states shut down.

Misclassification error in data understates unemployment

A new phenomenon in the age of shutdown is arising from the way the data is accumulated. The unemployment rate is determined by a large survey.

Turns out people are answering the question of their unemployment status as “employed but absent from work.” In normal times, that means a person is on vacation, thus actually employed.

In this shattered economy that means you got laid off or furloughed but are still getting paid by your employer or perhaps highly enhanced unemployment. People in that category are actually unemployed but are counted in the statistical data as employed.

Read more…

B61 gravity bomb casing on display at March Field Air Museum.

Photo by James Ulvog at March Field Air Museum.

March Field Air Museum has the casing of a B61 gravity nuclear bomb. Here are a few photos of the weapon along with a description.

Read more…

The horrible effects of nuclear weapons.

For years I’ve been looking for a table that illustrates the horrid effects of nuclear weapons. Have not seen anything that matched what I had in mind.

My poking around for information on this current series of nukes has led me to many places on the good ol’ net. After looking at several articles, I thought to check on Wikipedia. Guess what? Found a reasonable approximation of what I have been wanting.

 

The lesson from this data for those on active duty is that nuclear safety is imperative.

The lesson for the rest of us is that we and our leaders must strive to make sure nuclear weapons are never used.

 

The Wikipedia article is Effects of nuclear explosions.

The following table is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The original author is not visible, so I cannot give further attribution.

In short version, that means I can use the information, modify it, adapt it, share it, or distribute it, even commercially if so desired.

The requirement of doing so is that anything created from this data must be shared with others under the same license.

So, the information in this blog post, but only this specific blog post, may be used by anyone under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

 

The frightening effects of nuclear weapons:

Read more…

New unemployment claims since start of shutdown is about 1 out of 3 people who had a job in February.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I’ve run out of adjectives to describe the economic mess created by the shutdown.

New unemployment claims for week ending 6/13/20 were 1.508 million, seasonally adjusted, down from revised 1.566 million the previous week.

My tally of data:

  • 45.69 M – seasonally adjusted new claims since the economy was shut down – that is up 4.96 million in three weeks
  •   9.28 M  – new claims for unemployment by people who otherwise aren’t eligible for unemployment – self-employed and independent contractors
  • 54.97 M – total of seasonally adjusted plus independent contractors and self-employed people

Number of new claims for unemployment as percent of February civilian labor force:

Read more…

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