Rap video explaining artificially low interest rates lead to turmoil and recession.

Rap video from a few years ago showing the failed arguments for Keynesian economics and the consequences of messing around with the money supply and artificially forcing interest rates low.

Pushing down interest rates leads to mal-investment in projects that are not really good plans. When interest rates eventually rise, lots of plans need to be abandoned.

The results? “Bailouts, payouts, and machinations.”

The ‘cheap credit dog’ will come back to bite hard.

When the economy is flooded with trillions of dollars during COVID, the fully expected inflation forces the Fed to raise interest rates, in turn dropping vaue of bonds and then in turn tanking the value of the securities portfolio of every bank in the country. No wonder the FDIC and FRB think Silicon Valley is just the first bank to go.

We saw it in 2008. We are seeing it again today.

What is a “militia?”

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The 10 Key Campaigns of the American Revolution by editor Edward Lengel and a collection of contributing authors is a delightful description of key fights in the battle for American liberty and freedom.

A side discussion in the text is pertinent to the ongoing debate over the Second Amendment.

The book explains every free male in the colonies from the age of 16 up to 60 was required to report annually for training as a part of the militia.

Continue reading “What is a “militia?””

Some tidbits from the American Revolution.

Re-enactment of Battle of Monmouth. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The American Revolution is a delight to study. A few tidbits from Edward Lengel and the contributing authors in The 10 Key Campaigns of the American Revolution are relevant to this blog. Some fun stuff:

  • Perseverance in face of ongoing reversals.
  • Paying Continental soldiers in specie, that means silver.

Next post will discuss What is a “militia?”

Perseverance in face of ongoing reversals.

Author points out George Washington had more losses in battle than wins. In spite of that he led the patriot forces to victory over the greatest world power of the time.

An overarching feature that shows throughout the book is perseverance in face of trials, tribulations, and battlefield defeats.

Continue reading “Some tidbits from the American Revolution.”

Same-Meal-at-the-Same-Restaurant price index. I don’t even want to calculate the increase for this meal.

My reaction every time I see the total on the grocery store cash register.
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Before leaving California I provided several illustrations of the actual price increases at a specific restaurant for the identical meal. Since moving to Williston, North Dakota I don’t have a lot of good data points yet. We’re still going to different restaurants and ordering different items so I don’t have a useful point-to-point comparison.

Yesterday my son gave me a painful example.

Last March he ordered one foot-long sub sandwich, a 6 inch sandwich, and one soda.

The price?


Yesterday he ordered the exact same items from the same restaurant.

The price?

Continue reading “Same-Meal-at-the-Same-Restaurant price index. I don’t even want to calculate the increase for this meal.”

The shutdown will be relaxed, one way or another.

Time to use the other side of those signs. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If the politicians don’t start relaxing the lockdown and letting people pay their rapidly accumulating bills, bunches of people are going to take the initiative and do so on their own.

I sense there is a limited time for those in power to start loosening the extreme restrictions or people are going to start ignoring parts of the rules.

At a deeper level, the concern I have is what’s referred to as the “social contract.” Government gets its authority from consent of the governed.

If a large number of people get to the point of concluding the rules in places like California and Virginia are unnecessarily severe and are causing more health, mental, social, and economic damage than they prevent, people will conclude our leaders have broken the contract.

If we get to that point, respect for law and respect for public officials will decline. That is not a good place to go.


Next two articles point out a small number of people who have already reached that conclusion:

4/20/20 – Daily Wire – “Social Shredding”: Defiant Residents Grab Shovels, Dirt Bikes After Cali Authorities Dump Tons of Sand In Skateparks For ‘Social Distancing’ – Officials in San Clemente California noticed teenagers were committing the grave sin of skating in the city’s skate park. Well, that is patently unacceptable, so the city dumped 37 tons of sand into the skate park in an effort to shut down the skating. Since the park is at the beach, sand was readily available.

Well, the city officials did not take into consideration the incredible level of creativity present in humans, especially Americans.

Continue reading “The shutdown will be relaxed, one way or another.”

Details behind North Dakota oil production.

With a huge pad, lots of storage tanks, yet only three pumpjacks, notice how much room there is for more wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

Some background data for oil in North Dakota provides insight for the production info.

Drilling rigs have become more productive in recent years. In the past, say before 2014, the number of rigs directly tied into production levels. Now, with a variety of technologies, such as multi-well pads for example, the drilling time is down so the wells per rig are up.

A far lower number of rigs is needed to keep new well production rolling.

Rig count since 2010:

Continue reading “Details behind North Dakota oil production.”

Sharing of the OPEC production cuts: 4.6% across the board except for Iran

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub before they merged into Adobe Stock.
Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub before they merged into Adobe Stock.

The Million Dollar Way blog has the details I was wondering about earlier: how the production cut is going to be shared amongst the OPEC members.

A post at MDW, Notes From All Over, Mostly Politics, includes a table from @JKempEnergy. The table gave a reference and led me to the OPEC press release giving the breakout.

Here are the details from the press release. The “reference” is the baseline agreed upon, which is  referred to as the “Reference Production Level” in the press release. The change by country is listed. I calculated the percentage change for each country. Here are the changes:

Continue reading “Sharing of the OPEC production cuts: 4.6% across the board except for Iran”

To all those serving in the American military or who have served

Image courtesy Adobe Stock.
Image courtesy Adobe Stock.

I was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force a mere four years. I never got within 3,000 miles of hostile action against American forces. To top it off, my small contribution was decades ago.

As a result, I am squeamishly uncomfortable accepting the appreciation when someone tells me “Thanks for your service.”

It took me a few years to get to a place where I could accept those comments.

I now graciously and proudly accept those expressions of appreciation from my fellow Americans, not because of what I did so long ago, but on behalf of all those soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen who do not have someone looking them in the eye, shaking their hand, and saying “thanks.”

So for all those troops pulling alerts, standing watch, scheduling logistics, or taking fire, please know that vast numbers of Americans are grateful for your service.

I pass on to you their thanks.

You are there, not here, so many people have thanked me instead. It is you they are really thanking.

While today we remember with gratitude those who did not return, I hope those who are serving today hear the appreciation.

Do you really want to give up your freedom and become a serf?

What could possibly go wrong with giving a leader the power to fix all our problems? There is a great chance said leader will use that power to force people to fix things. You could wind up being told in microscopic detail every single thing you can do.

That would merely cost you your freedom and make you a serf.

In musical terms, that might be called, oh, perhaps something like Serfdom USA:


Continue reading “Do you really want to give up your freedom and become a serf?”

Update on wind and solar power (#35)

Photo taken at altitude while flying over North Dakota. Look closely to see strings of wind turbines, visible at 20,000 feet. Photo by James Ulvog.
Photo taken at altitude while flying over North Dakota. Look closely to see strings of wind turbines scarring the land, visible at 20,000 feet. Photo by James Ulvog.

Between some vacation, talking about things I learned in North Dakota, and following the trial of now-convicted human trafficker Keith Graves, I’ve not been talking about the devastation caused by wind and solar power for quite a while. Not to worry, there is a long backlog of articles on the destructive power of wing toasters and slice-and-dicers on my list of things to discuss.

Here are a few articles on dilute and intermittent wind power that caught my eye. Update on solar to follow in a few days.

7/31 – Million Dollar Way – Wind Energy Unable to Meet California’s EV DemandsContinue reading “Update on wind and solar power (#35)”

How much wealth was in the Roman treasury in 49 B.C.? How about annual tax revenue under Augustus?

(Cross-posted from a post on 8/22/14 from my other blog, Attestation Update. I’m accumulating all my posts on transportation time and prices in the past here on this blog. Someday plan to link them together to tell a larger story.)

Hadn’t thought about that question too much, but when Jacob Soll mentioned it in his book, The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations, it got me thinking.

He gives the following info:

In his Natural History, Pliny states that in 49 BCE , the year Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the Roman treasury contained 17,410 pounds of gold, 22,070 pounds of silver, and in coin, 6,135,400 sesterces.

Soll, Jacob (2014-04-29). The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations (Kindle Locations 276-277). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

I don’t think in terms of pounds of gold or silver and I don’t know what a sesterce is or what it is worth. But I do know how to search the ‘net.

I share this on my Nonprofit Update blog and cross-post it here at Attestation Update because I enjoyed it and think it might be some fun trivia for accountants and people working in the faith-based community.

By the way, Prof Soll’s book is superb. Just got started reading it and think I will find lots of little tidbits to share. More on that idea in my next post.

How much is that worth?

Continue reading “How much wealth was in the Roman treasury in 49 B.C.? How about annual tax revenue under Augustus?”

Looks like Keith Graves’ trial is a go for this Monday, 10/19

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com
Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com


Update 10/19:  Federal PACER system shows a filing on 10/16 which gives notice for a pretrial conference at 1 p.m. before Judge Hovland.

Schedule for all four judges is visible here.

Mr. Graves has a pretrial conference at 1 p.m. on 10/19 with the trial scheduled to start at 1:30.  The trial is scheduled for all day from 10/20 through Friday 10/23.  The trial is one of several cases scheduled each day from 10/26 through 10/30. I’m not sure what it means to have a trial and several hearings all scheduled at the same time.

Looks like trial is moving forward this week.

As of this morning, I can find zero media coverage of the trial via an internet search.

Post as of 10/16:  Just looked at the PACER system. Filings through today (10/16) look to me like the trial will start as scheduled this upcoming Monday.

Jury instructions were filed and the US Attorney objected saying they want certain words included for two counts. They want “intent” added.

Witness list was filed by the government.

Continue reading “Looks like Keith Graves’ trial is a go for this Monday, 10/19”

Updates on wide open frontiers – 9/15

Falcon 9 launch. Photo,  in public domain, courtesy of SpaceX
Falcon 9 launch. Photo, in public domain, courtesy of SpaceX.

Several fun updates on the wide open frontiers of technology and private space flight.

First, I’m an accountant that talks to bookkeepers, accountants, and church leaders all day when I’m not sitting at a computer. So it is really cool to look at how stuff is made. Check out the incredible technological capacity and refined skill needed just to make scuba tanks.

Making a Worthington X-Series Steel Scuba Cylinder


Then ponder the incredible knowledge that had to be accumulated to make all that happen. Wow.

Hat tip to Beyond the Black. (Link to video: youtu.be/Z8R-I5I1Dgo?t=193)


Continue reading “Updates on wide open frontiers – 9/15”

News from around the Bakken – 7/27

Mancamp near Ray, ND. Photo by James Ulvog
Mancamp near Ray, ND. Photo by James Ulvog

Williston city and Williams County are working to cut back mancamp housing, which will have the expected unintended consequence of putting upward pressure on housing prices. The new airport in Williston is moving forward. Biggest news is indication that newest wells aren’t seeing production deplete as rapidly as in the past. Continue reading “News from around the Bakken – 7/27”