Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Huge US Crude Oil Draw -- April 4, 2018 -- Re-Setting The Goal Posts It Will Still Take Sixteen (16) Weeks To Re-Balance -- April 4, 2018

Weekly petroleum report, link here:
  • US crude oil inventories decreased by almost 5 million bbls; down 4.6 million bbls, now at 425.3 million bbls in storage
  • refinery operable capability: at 93%  -- pretty much unchanged, and not bad going into the US driving season
  • gasoline demand: flattens out week-over week; barely exceeds that of same period one year ago
Re-balancing (changing the methodology): if the weekly drawdown were to continue at a rate of 4.6 million bbls /week, it would take 16 weeks to get back to 350 million bbls in US crude oil inventory. It is interesting to note that US crude oil inventories, at 425.3 million bbls, is about where it was at the beginning of the year (2018).

My current spreadsheet is now almost a year old, 49 weeks of tracing. I may start over next week at "week zero." Not sure yet. Bottom line: it appears that it is very unlikely US crude oil inventories will ever come back to historical norms. If analysts suggest that US crude oil inventories have re-balanced, they have re-set the "goal posts."

Fake Headline

It's been my impression that most of these stories -- on economic data that is going to be released on any given day -- are written in advance, along with the headlines. Once the data is released, then the writer fills in the economic data, and has little time to change the story. The headline, written by someone else earlier, is not "corrected." Ultimate example of "confirmation bias." In this case, the economic data was released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. By 9:50 a.m. -- only twenty minutes later -- Ms Irina Slav was able to download the data; read the data; analyze the data; write a story on the data; have the story proofread; edit the story; upload the story to the website. All in less than 20 minutes.

Yahoo Finance

Bricked: on a side note, there are now reports from four separate Model 3 owners that their cars completely shut down unexpectedly. In computer parlance: the Models 3 "crashed."

The Literature Page

A History of the Jews: Paul Johnson, c. 1987.

I'm only going to read the first chapter, a very long chapter, The Israelites.
  • Hebron: 20 miles south of Jerusalem; the Cave of Machpelah, the Tombs of the Patriarchs --
    • Abraham, founder of the Jewish religion; ancestor of the Jewish race
    • his wife Sarah 
    • son Isaac and his wife Rebecca
    • his grandson Jacob and his wife Leah
    • his great-grandson Joseph
  • Hebron: first recorded acquisition of land
    • Book of Genesis, chapter 23 -- Abraham purchases the Cave of Machpelah for burying-place for him and Sarah
    • it is perhaps the first passage in the Bible which records an actual event
    • bought the land from a West Semite, Ephron the Hittite, of Habiru descent, for 400 shekels
  • the Jews are the only people in the world today who possess a historical record, however obscure in places, which allows them to trace their origins back into very remote times
    • the "Bible-writing" Jews actually felt they could extend their history back to Adam
  • the Flood: no doubt some kind of huge inundation occurred in Mesopotamia
    • geologic proof
    • in 1956, two tablets, referring to the Flood, written in Babylonian city of Sippar int he reign of King Ammisaduqa, 1646 - 1626 BC
    • the saviour -figure of Ziusudra, presented in the Bible as Noah, provides the first independent confirmation of the actual existence of a Biblical personage; Ziusudra, a priest-king, said he was warned of a flood by the water-god Enki, and thus built an ark and so survived
    • Noah is the first real man in Jewish history: his story foreshadows important elements in Jewish religion -- there is the notion of one righteous man; even more important, there is the Jewish stress on the supreme importance of human life, because of the imaginative relationship of man to God, which occurs in the key verse 6 of Genesis 9: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image o God made he man." This might be termed the central tenet of Jewish belief; it is significant that it occurs in conjunction with the Flood, the first historic event for which there is non-Biblical confirmation
  • the passages dealing with the Flood also contain the first mention of a covenant and the earliest reference to the land of Canaan
    • the reference to the Chaldees is anachronistic (page 10)
  • the story of Abraham, and the city of Ur
    • the list of Mesopotamian kings, difficult to sort out, in contrast to the list of Egyptian kings
    • evidence suggests that the Genesis patriarch narratives belong to the period between Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi, the outside limits being 2100 - 1500 BC, the Middle Bronze Age
    • they cannot be later, in the Late Bronze Age, because that would date them to the Egyptian empire of the New Kingdom, and the patriarchal sections make no mention of an Egyptian imperial presence in Canaan
    • to put this in perspective: Helen of Troy, Late Bronze Age; her death coincides with the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age (see: Helen of Troy: The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Bettany Hughes,c. 2005)
    • we can now put Abraham and his descendants in their true historical context: at the end of the third millennium BC, civilized international society was disrupted by incursions from the East; these invaders caused great trouble in Egypt; and in settled Asia, archaeology reveals an absolute break in continuity in towns such as Ugarit, Byblos, Megiddo, Jericho, and old Gaza, indicating pillage and abandonment
    • the peoples, moving from Mesopotamia towards the Mediterranean, spoke West Semitic languages, of which Hebrew is one
    • a particular group is referred to, in Mesopotamian tablets and inscriptions, by the ideogram SA.GAZ, or as Hapiru, Habiru
  • Late Bronze Age Egyptian sources also speak of Abiru or Habiru
    • by this term they were referring to Bedouin or desert-dwellers, who existed than as now, for they had a different term for this category
    • Habiru seems to have been a term of abuse used of difficult and destructive non-city dwellers who moved from place to place 
    • they were not regular tribes, migrating regularly with the flocks according to the cycles of the season, as they still do, in parts of Asia Minor and Persia
    • their culture was superior to most desert tribes
    • precisely because they were not easy to classify, they puzzled and annoyed the conservative Egyptian authorities
  • the author then goes on to describe these people in great detail
    • the author talks of the moral development of these people and their relationship with God
  • still more remarkable is the attention devoted to women, the leading role they often play
    • Abraham's wife, Sarah, is the first person in history recorded as laughing
    • the story of Rebecca, the first tale in the Bible to move us;
    • the Book of Ruth; the Song of Deborah
  • the author discusses the question whether Abraham was the first monotheist
    • the author's conclusion: Abraham may perhaps be most accurately described as a henotheist -- a believer in a sole God, attached to a particular people, who nonetheless recognized the attachment of other races to their own gods
  • with this qualification, Abraham is the founder of the Hebrew religious culture, since he inaugurates its two salient characteristics: the covenant with God and the donation of The Land
    • the notion of the covenant is an extraordinary idea, with no parallel in the ancient Near East
    • it is true that Abraham's covenant with God, being personal, has not reached the sophistication of Moses' covenant on behalf of an entire people
  • Jacob-Israel: father of the twelve tribes
    • Song of Deborah: only ten tribes are listed
    • Greeks called them amphictyons: "to dwell about"
    • discussion regarding the relationship among the tribes
  • emergence of the concept of Yahweh; dominance of Yahweh
  • Shechem: in a sense, the original central shrine and capital of Israelite Canaan; the point is important, since the continuous existence of a sizeable Israelite population in Palestine throughout the period between the original Abrahamite arrival and the return from Egypt makes the Biblical Book of Exodus, which clearly describes only a part of the race, and the conquest narrated in the Book of Joshua, far more credible
  • Exodus; Rameses II successor, Merneptah fought a battle with the Israelites outside of Egypt, 1220 BC; by this date the Israelites had already left Egypt; first non-Biblical reference to Israel
  • Exodus: occurred in the 13th century; completed by about 1225 BC
  • the story of Moses
  • page 29; the first chapter ends on page 79

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