Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For Investors Only: Northern Tier Energy LP

Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you may have read here.

SeekingAlpha is reporting
Any company, which has a capital payback period of just five years by way of its dividend, is certainly worth considering. A buy and hold case for such a company is strengthened further if the cash inflow is gradually improving amidst attractive valuations.
This investment note discusses a 22% dividend yielder, Northern Tier Energy LP, which is an independent downstream energy limited partnership with refining, retail and pipeline operations in the United States. The company operates its assets in two business segments: the refining business and the retail business.
The refining business:
As a result of a higher crack spread, the company's refinery gross product margin has improved from $9.36 per barrel in FY09 to $29.61 as of FY12. During the same period, the adjusted EBITDA has improved from $135.2 million to $739.7 million.
The LTM (March 2013) EBITDA is even higher at $814.8 million. The location advantage and the advantage of the price differential are clearly evident from the above numbers. The point can be visualized in the chart below, which gives the crude price differential and the NYMEX crack spread.
Fascinating read. Dovetails nice with RBN Energy analyses.

At the linked article, note the location of this refiner in relation to the Bakken and western Canadian oil.

Just When You Think There Is Adequate Takeaway Capacity ...

Just after the NDIC reported another daily crude oil production record, Bloomberg reported this:
Nominations for Enbridge Inc.’s Line 81, which can carry 210,000 barrels a day from North Dakota into Clearbrook, Minnesota, exceeded capacity for the first time this year for July shipments, Larry Springer, a Houston-based spokesman, said by e-mail.
Bakken crude priced in Clearbrook weakened by $1.75 to a discount of $3.50 a barrel against WTI at 12:13 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the widest discount since June 5.
Yes, I know there is more than enough take away capacity for Bakken production. Obviously some operators were looking to ship oil by pipeline rather than rail. 

"Sure, There's Some Oil There, But Not Much"


February 12, 2014: I want to post this story so it's in the archives, but I want to bury it deep in the blog so folks are unlikely to stumble across it unless they are specifically looking for it or come across through random surfing. Over at ZeroHedge, which I thought was a pretty good blog, posted a very poorly written guest column which appears to be nothing more than an advertisement to invest in gold and/or silver.  The lies, damned lies, and statistics are incredible in this article. In case the link is broken, it is an opinion that the Bakken boom is about to go bust, if it hasn't already. The article was posted November 17, 2013. It's a pretty bad post for ZeroHedge.

Original Post
Rigzone is reporting:
When the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets in December, it is rumored that they may slash its oil production for the first time in five years, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The organization could reduce production by half a million barrels a day due to the surge in the North American shale boom.
OPEC's latest report, released last week, projected that demand for its crude will slide 300,000 barrels a day next year to 29.6 million barrels of oil per day, or about 2.6 percent less than the organization is currently producing.
"Yes, OPEC is 'concerned' about U.S./Canadian production increases in that while these [projected] volumes do not (yet) move into international markets, they displace oil that would have otherwise come here – thus the net available market for OPEC oil is a bit more competitive," Marcela Donadio, partner and Assurance Services Americas Oil and Gas Sector leader at Ernst & Young, told Rigzone.
I wonder if Snopes will ever update its page on the Bakken or whether Jane Nielsen will update her blog, the one in which she said this about the Bakken: "Don't believe the hype. Sure, there's some oil there, but not much."

For Investors Only: Union Pacific Should Meet/Exceed Expectations -- Reports Later This Week

Forbes is reporting:
Wall Street is optimistic about Union Pacific which is slated to report its second quarter results on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Analysts project a profit of $2.35 a share, a rise from $2.10 per share a year ago.
The consensus estimate hasn’t changed over the past month, but it’s up from three months ago when it was $2.32. For the fiscal year, analysts are projecting earnings of $9.51 per share. Revenue is projected to be $5.50 billion for the quarter, 5% above the year-earlier total of $5.22 billion. For the year, revenue is projected to roll in at $22.27 billion.
Disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on what you read here or what you think you might have read here.

Another railroad company, Berkshire Hathaway, traded at a new 52-week high today, though it dropped back a bit by the end of the day. 


As reported at Drudge: Cable News Race, Monday, July 16, 2013
  • Fox News O'Reilly: 2,859,000
  • Fox News The Five: 2,056,000
  • Fox News Baier: 1,9200,000
  • Fox News Hannity: 1,910,000
  • Fox News Greta: 1,689,000
  • Fox News Shep: 1,589,000
  • CNN Piers: 1,378,000
  • CNN Cooper: 1,258,000
  • CMDY Daily Show: 1,197,000
  • Fox News Friends: 1,113,000
  • CMDY Colbert: 1,047,000
  • MSNBC Maddow: 819,000
  • MSNBC Hardball: 743,000
  • MSNBC [not Rosie] O'Donnell: 717,000
  • MSNBC Al 'you gotta be kidding' Sharpton: 696,000
  • MSNBC Hayes: 655,000
  • MSNBC Morning Joe: 444,000
  • CNNHN Grace: 444,000

How Natural Gas Is Keeping North Dakota's Manufacturing Competitive

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
Fracking and crude oil production have produced a spinoff story. 
Low-cost natural gas, a byproduct of oil production, has begun to benefit existing North Dakota businesses as an energy source. It’s also creating new businesses as companies and entrepreneurs look for value-added opportunities using natural gas.
The increased use of North Dakota natural gas in the state and region is important for another reason. Demand for natural gas helps drive the process of capturing natural gas at the wellhead and reducing the need for flaring.
The Tribune published a story Sunday on how natural gas is benefiting the state’s businesses and industries.
Guy Moos, president of Baker Boy, talked about using natural gas for the company’s ovens, including one that’s 65 feet long and 13 feet wide. That oven takes 3 million Btu to start and 1.3 million Btu to keep running. When it comes to controlling production costs at the big bakery, the price of natural gas is important.
And other companies like Bobcat and Steffes Corp. are taking advantage of the availability and price of natural gas for manufacturing.
Now, about those Baker boys! Check out their website.

A Note To The Granddaughters

Earlier I mentioned that my bucket list included a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Drive in west Los Angels (Miracle Mile).

Today's article in the Los Angeles Time spurred me into going today. May stayed home; I was on my own.

I used my inexpensive "turn-by-turn-directions" app to get there:

Wow! What an incredible exhibit. I was simply overwhelmed. After about a half-hour I had to take a break; I went down for lunch at the adjoining/inside-the-museum Johnny Rocket's hamburger-restaurant.

The Times article said there were about 400 vehicles in the museum; they were planning to sell about a third of their automobiles.

I think I only saw about 100 cars, including one on loan from Jay Leno's collection. I did not go into the vault which would have cost another $25 --  the vault was open to the public for the first time ever; it will now be open indefinitely; I will go when I have someone to go with.

Photographs of Fred Astaire's 1927 Rolls-Royce:

Of the 150 cars I saw, I cannot imagine that I would want to see any of them sold. And I assume the vault had the multi-million-dollar race cars, collector-vintage-cars, the modern European roadsters, etc., -- and those are probably the ones being sold. There may also be ones not on display that were being sold.

Photograph of the "Sophia" and the description:

If they do it right, they could make it a nicer museum; it is in the best part of Los Angeles; across the street from Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They had a few motorcycles and the current owners want more motorcycles. I think for "average" museum goers, it won't matter; it was overwhelming for me. 150 cars and beautifully displayed; nice descriptions.

Perhaps for old-timers and car enthusiasts it will be very, very difficult, but if they use the money they raise to add to the collection and modernize the museum, it should be fine.

One problem with museums is that people don't go more than once or twice if the pieces are not updated. And the other problem with museums -- or any attraction in the Los Angeles area for that matter -- too many places competing for your attention.

Just A Reminder

This is not news. This is just an emphasis that I did not note in an earlier post. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
Oil production began to increase at a sharper pace in May, and production is expected to increase further during the summer months, according to North Dakota's top industry regulator.
Preliminary numbers for May put North Dakota oil production at more than 810,000 barrels per day. It was an increase over the nearly 794,000 barrels per day in April.
“We finally broke through that 800,000 barrels-per-day barrier,” said Lynn Helms, director of the state Department of Mineral Resources.
It will be interesting to see if that prediction --- that production is expected to increase further during the summer months. I track the "what-ifs" here


When I listen to this interview explaining "old school ... new school ... we, the new school..." I think the immigration bill is a very, very good thing. The new immigrants cannot possibly be ... should we say, worse? 

Looks Like Common Sense Will Prevail In Red Wing, Minnesota -- And It Was Unanimous; Rabble Rouser Accused Of Being Disrespectful

The Dickinson Press is reporting:
The Goodhue County Planning Advisory Commission voted Monday night not to extend the county's mining moratorium. All that remains is final approval by the County Board for the moratorium to automatically expire Sept. 6.
The unanimous recommendation came after a nearly two-hour public hearing, and echoed the recommendation made July 8 by the county’s Mining Study Committee.
This was the best exchange:
"We're very concerned about frac-sand mining from a tourism point of view," Lake City Tourism Bureau President Greg Schreck said.
Schreck asked the commissioners if they knew the exact value of tourism along the Mississippi River from Goodhue County to the Iowa border.
"You should have that at the top of your list," Schreck said. "It's over $200 million, and it's probably going to double in the next five years if we maintain an environment that will support it."
PAC and County Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel responded to Schreck's comments by asking if he read the county's revised mining ordinance, to which Schreck admitted that he had not.
"I would not call our ordinance careless," Rechtzigel said. "I think that is disrespectful to the committee that worked on it, and especially if you haven't read it."
PAC Commissioner Bernie Overby added that the ordinance allows the county to put provisions in conditional-use permits to adequately protect citizens. "And we will do that," he said.

Canada's Biggest Plastics Producer Will Purchase All The Ethane That Hess Produces At Its Tioga Plant; US State Department Approved International Pipeline To Complete The Deal

Back on March 24, 2013, I posted the following, stating it was the most important note from a linked article:
The distribution of economic benefit is another important issue. Operators who control processing and gathering infrastructure will obviously be in a better position to receive the highest value for their product. Hess Corp. and Whiting Petroleum are two examples of large operators taking significant control of infrastructure development in their operating areas. Hess' midstream solution is the most comprehensive and integrated: it includes a large-scale processing and fractionation facility, a dedicated ethane pipeline (Vantage pipeline), and an anchor shipper position on a new lateral interconnection to an interstate gas pipeline.
Today, through a press release, we learn that the US State Department has approved the North Dakota portion of the pipeline:
The U.S. State Department has approved construction of the North Dakota portion of a gas pipeline from Tioga into the Canadian province of Alberta, Sen. John Hoeven said Tuesday. 
The proposed $300 million, 430-mile Vantage Pipeline is slated to supply ethane from North Dakota's oil patch for Alberta's petrochemical industry beginning later this year, the Republican lawmaker said in a news release. 
North Dakota's portion of the pipeline is about 80 miles long. A presidential permit from the State Department is required because the pipeline would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
Ethane is colorless and odorless and extracted from raw natural gas. It's used to make plastics and for welding, and as an anesthetic and an agent for ripening fruit. 
Then, note this:
Nova Chemicals Corp., Canada's biggest plastics producer, announced in 2010 that it had signed a long-term agreement to purchase all of the ethane produced at Hess Corp.'s natural gas plant in Tioga, in northwest North Dakota. Nova Chemicals at that time also signed a shipping agreement with Mistral Energy Inc. 
Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, says North Dakota's Bakken shale produces high-quality ethane but that the valuable gas has not had a viable market until now. In Canada, ethane supplies have been shrinking, he said.
Can you spell Ka-ching?

A huge "thank you" to two readers who caught this story. This is a huge story.

Wells Coming Off The Confidential List Wednesday; OXY USA Will Be Reporting One Well

  • 22103, 430, Petro-Hunt, Thorson 159-94-7A-18-5H, North Tioga, t5/13; cum 10K 5/13; 
  • 23607, 801, OXY USA, State Ruck 1-21-16H-143-97, Crooked Creek, t1/13; cum 24K 5/13;
  • 24436, 291, CLR, Posse 1-35H,  Corinth, t3/13; cum 6K 5/13;
  • 24593, 405, CLR, Rosenvold 3-30H-3, Hamlet, t4/13; cum 9K 5/13;

23607, see above, OXY USA, State Ruck 1-21-16H-143-97, Crooked Creek:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Eleven (11) New Permits -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; Five Producing Wells Completed; KOG With Two Nice Smokey Wells

Active rigs: 189 (up one)

Eleven (11) new permits --
  • Operators: KOG (4), XTO (3), American Eagle (2), Whiting (2)
  • Fields: Truax (Williams), Colgan (Divide), Haystack Butte (Dunn), Ellsworth (McKenzie)
  • Comments:
The one well coming off the confidential list today went to drill status; see sidebar at the right.

Five (5) producing wells completed:
  • 23493, 568, CLR, Simmental Federal 4-16H, Elm Tree, 4-sections; t6/13; cum --
  • 23856, 463, CLR, Salo 7-35H, Hamlet, 4-sections; t6/13; cum --
  • 23797, 1,294, KOG, Smokey 3-30-18-3H3, Pembroke, t6/13; cum --
  • 23796, 1,159, KOG, Smokey 3-30-31-15H3, Pembroke, t6/13; cum --
  • 24617, 284, Whiting, Mischel 34-8PH, Dickinson, t7/13; cum --
There were two completions in Montana:
  • Pondera County, Longshot Oil, LLC, New Miami 21-20H, Madison Formation, IP of 60 barrels of oil per ay (BOPD)
  • Richland County, Continental Resources Inc. , Buckley 1-9H, Bakken, long lateral. The Buckley reported an IP of 259 barrels of oil per day (BOPD)
Note at the link above, OnShore Oil, LLC, drilling in Montana, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Statoil. The company is currently targeting the Heath/Tyler formation in Musselshell County.

Also from that Montana link:
  • Also, CLR has completed a re-entry well with two laterals, but no IP reported yet:
  • Continental Resources Inc. filed a completion of a new lateral or extension on the JoAnn 1-32HR; the JoAnn has two laterals, one producing from the Three Forks Formation and one producing from the Bakken Formation.

Oil Field Mishap Near Alexander

The Bismarck Tribune:
According to the police report, it is believed that the five workers were removing a cover on a tank when fumes were ignited by an electric drill. The workers were employed by Trustlan Oilfield Services in New Town.
The Herald is reporting:
Emergency workers transported five people in a reported rig explosion near Alexander. Two were burn victims and the other three had suffered injuries. Stay with the Herald for more information.

A New Poll

One of the more tedious things I have to do periodically is post a new poll. I am not in the mood to do so today, but the current poll is obviously overcome by events, so a new poll has been posted. Anything, just to get rid of the old poll.

Every Thursday (except holidays) the federal government reports initial claims for jobless benefits. This Thursday, assuming the sun comes up, will be another set of numbers.

Do you think the most recent data will show an increase or a decrease in the number of initial claims for jobless benefits?

(Note: no one will be wrong in this poll. Whatever numbers are reported, the numbers a) are generally believed to be inaccurate in the first place; and, b) the inaccurate numbers will be revised to another set of inaccurate numbers one week later.)

Herding Cows

Every once in awhile, y'all need to take a minute to relax and read "Meanwhile, back at the ranch...."

Actually, you don't even have to read if you don't want to, just listen to an iTune or a YouTube song in another window and look at photographs taken at the Veeder ranch in western North Dakota.
The Veeder Ranch is a 3,000 acre cattle ranch located on the edge of the badlands in Western North Dakota. Much more than the beautifully rustic land itself, it is where my great grandfather came to create a living and raise a family and it is where I grew up singing and writing music and riding horses and learning to appreciate nature and family and space.
Today's offering: a recipe for time.

I once tried, with no horse, to get six cows back into a pen. It cannot be done. Of course, even with a horse I doubt I could have done it, unless the horse was smarter than I at herding cattle.

Is The Utica A Dud?

Rigzone is reporting:
The purpose of the Utica JIP is to identify the most productive formations or zones, improving fundamental understanding of what rock properties are most important for good wells, and exploring the variability within the Utica/Point Pleasant play. The partners hope to better understand the relationships between facies, depositional sequences and reservoir quality compared with other U.S. shale plays.
The Utica is not so much more challenging versus other U.S. shale plays, just different in some key respects from the more well-developed plays in other states, Walls noted. So far, most samples have come from the mixed gas/condensate window so they do not yet have enough data, but that too is a key objective of the project, Walls added.
Ohio reports oil and gas data on a yearly basis; North Dakota reports oil and gas data on a daily basis. 


O'Bama Health Scare gives employees a reason to quit.
Why do Americans have jobs?
If your answer is, to earn money, you’re only partially right. There’s one other important reason: To get health insurance. And as President Obama’s health-reform law starts to go into effect, it could give millions of workers a reason to quit.
A new study distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that 4.2 million Americans might quit their jobs after January 1, 2014, as they’re able to get affordable health insurance through one of the public exchanges to be set up under Obamacare. That could provide ammunition for both critics and supporters of the politically explosive law. Critics might see it as evidence that Obama’s reforms encourage idleness while contributing to a growing welfare state. But it might also be a sign that workers have more freedom to pursue meaningful work or other interests instead of sticking to one job just because of the benefits, a phenomenon economists have dubbed “employment lock.”
I do believe a significant number of older folks take jobs at Wal-Mart for the health care benefits.


Is it starting? Gasoline lifts consumer inflation in June.


Europe's car sales hit a 17-year low -- and the recovery is far off. A 17-year low. Not a one-year low, or a decade low, but almost a 17-year low. In fact, I assume that's not far from a post WWII low based simply on numbers and common sense. And the drop month-over-month was not trivial, almost 6% -- on top of almost 6% the month before, suggesting that the rate of the decline in car buying is increasing, not slowing down. How's that renewable energy policy working out, EU?

In fact, new car registrations in May was the lowest in 20 years; sales were propped up due to gimmicks. 
Car sales for June in the European Union fell to their lowest point since 1996, prompting analysts to warn the data could get worse before it gets better. 
New car registrations in the EU dropped 5.6 percent in June to 1.175 million cars from a year ago, after falling 5.9 percent in May, according to figures released by the automotive industry body ACEA on Tuesday. May's level was the lowest level for 20 years.
My hunch is Mr Hollande will suggest the French government buy more automobiles to save the industry. The article noted that factories were not closing; they were operating at 70% of capacity. Of course there's a reason for that: it's either illegal or too expensive to close a factory in the EU. Just easier to slow it down. 

Energy Markets

Now that I've gotten the mundane out of the way, what are the energy markets doing?

Remember: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or anything you think you might have read here. 

The market does not yet reflect it, but "US homebuilder confidence, sales outlook soar." Okay.

Oil is flat to a very, very, very pale shade of green (up 20 cents).

Bakken is now at parity with WTI for all practical purposes. In fact, in isolated cases, Bakken may be selling at a premium. I remember folks writing me to tell me that the Keystone XL pipeline would lower the price for Bakken oil. In the past two years, the Bakken has put in the equivalent of a Keystone XL (not including rail) and the Bakken is now selling at world-class prices. Interesting.

So, speaking of pipelines, what are they doing?
  • ENB up slightly
  • EEP with some profit taking after hitting a 52-week high yesterday
  • EPD down today after hitting a 52-week high yesterday, I believe
Those are all I really care about. What about operators?
  • OAS down slightly
  • KOG down slightly
  • TPLM down almost a percent
  • SD is actually up a penny
  • CHK flat
  • COP with some profit taking after hitting a 52-week high yesterday
  • CVX, my favorite of course, down a bit today
  • XOM flat
  • EOG up $1.50 but still below its 52-week high (but getting close)
How about the one refiner I like to check in on periodically?
  • PSX -- wow, someone's not happy; down $1.50
  • SRE down in early trading, but again, it hit a 52-week high yesterday
  • CNP pulled back a bit but came within three pennies of a new 52-week high
  • BRK-B is up again today at a new 52-week high; one wonders how much BNSF has to do with this?
  • UNP is down a dollar; probably profit-taking; it is near its 52-week high
I am a long-term investor in most of the stocks I mention on the blog, but not all. In some cases I own all of ten shares; I won't be affecting company policy with my voting rights.  I won't be trading in the next 72 hours; in fact, I won't be trading at all this month. Maybe not even in the next six months. Smile. Except for automatic buying programs in place for decades.

Bucket List

I will be visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum sometime this week. Depending on whether/when my wife wants to go with me, that will determine if I go today or later this week.

This article in The Los Angeles Times spurred me to get this done.
One by one, in auctions across the country, some of the world's most collectible cars are quietly passing from the Petersen Automotive Museum's vault into private hands.
The sales started in March, and they include the automotive equivalents of a Pablo Picasso or a Salvador Dali. A 1995 Ferrari F50 went for $1.375 million. A 2006 Bugatti Veyron — the first sold in the U.S. — fetched $924,000. A 1990 Ferrari F40 garnered $715,000.
Before the auctions end, the museum plans to liquidate nearly a third of its cache of about 400 classic cars. The sales — conducted under the radar until the museum confirmed them to The Times on Monday — will raise money to finance a major face-lift and reconfiguration of the institution, which occupies a former Ohrbach's department store at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.
The new plans include a greater emphasis on motorcycles and French art deco vehicles, passions that match the tastes of the museum's new leadership. The strategy was launched this year by Executive Director Terry Karges — who owns a motorcycle company, Champions Moto — and new board Chairman Peter Mullin, who also heads an auto museum in Oxnard that boasts one of the world's foremost private collections of French cars.
$15 admission; military free. Often "military" includes retirees. I will let you know.  Parking will probably cost more than $15. But they have great restaurants in the area. That will probably be the tie-breaker when my wife decides whether to go.


As a rule I don't go to movies any more (the cellphone activity by attendees is the number one turn-off). Having said that, I have seen some nice movies. Two come to mind: "The Japanese Story" and "The Swimming Pool."

I recently bought "The Japanese Story" video; thoroughly enjoy it.

Then yesterday, a long review in the Los Angeles Times featuring Charlotte Rampling who starred in "The Swimming Pool":

Charlotte Rampling has gone from "The Look" to "The Legend."
She received the moniker "The Look" when as a beautiful, carefree dolly bird in swinging '60s London she made an early name for herself in Richard Lester's 1965 comedy "The Knack" and 1966's dark comedy "Georgy Girl."
A 2011 documentary on the actress was aptly titled "Charlotte Rampling: The Look."
But in France, where's she lived since 1979, Rampling's been lovingly nicknamed "The Legend" because of memorable performances playing brave, daring and often difficult women in such acclaimed films as Luchino Visconti's 1969 epic "The Damned," Liliana Cavani's controversial 1974 drama "The Night Porter," Sidney Lumet's acclaimed 1982 drama "The Verdict" and Francois Ozon's "Under the Sand" (2001) and 2003's "Swimming Pool."

Tuesday Morning Links, News, And Views

Active rigs: 188 (steady)

The results of the only well that came off the confidential list today have been posted. 

RBN Energy: can Houston refineries handle all that Permian oil?

Carpe Diem has really had some great posts the past couple of days

WSJ Links

Sperm crisis? Fracking? Tighties? Yes, that was the lead story in the Personal Journal in the WSJ today. It must be "sexuality" day at the Journal. Also in this section, new treatment options for drug-resistant gonorrhea.
Researchers have identified three new antibiotic regimens to treat gonorrhea, offering options for a serious and common infectious disease that has become all but untreatable.
The sexually transmitted disease often called "the clap" infects an estimated 800,000 people a year in the U.S. It can have serious consequences, such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy, and it can increase the risk of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Worse, the bacteria that cause gonorrhea have become resistant to all but one class of antibiotics, and they are gradually outsmarting even that one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only one antibiotic may now safely be used on a regular basis, and it has to be injected. That makes treatment difficult, because many doctors don't stock the injection, meaning patients have to come back for treatment. And many patients prefer pills to shots. 
The new treatment options do not sound particularly pleasant, not particularly effective. I could write quite a bit about the subject based on 30 years in the military but maybe later.

This may be the best article of the day: why some folks get more mosquito bites than others. My wife has major problems with mosquitoes; me, not so much.  Unfortunately, nothing new in the article for those of us who grew up in North Dakota.

In the Front Section: fossil proves T. rex wasn't just a scavenger. The fossil was found in South Dakota. Didn't North Dakotans already know that, or am I missing something. But those short arms.
A fossil from a failed kill 65 million years ago offers the first direct evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex did indeed hunt its prey, putting to rest recent arguments that the massive dinosaur may have been a scavenger, scientists said Monday.
In the sandstone of South Dakota, researchers discovered the distinctive crown of a Tyrannosaurus tooth, serrated like a steak knife, wedged in the spine of a 4-ton plant-eater called a hadrosaurus that once roamed the American West. The backbone, moreover, had grown over the tooth, indicating the animal had healed and likely lived for years after the encounter, the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
While visiting southern California we are avid users of the fire pits along the beach. The new "restrictive" guidelines affecting fire pits from San Francisco to San Diego are minimally restrictive and won't interfere with those who like to grill on the beach.

Senate on path to partisan meltdown?  I guess it had to come to this.

Asiana pilots face criminal charges. I hope the press gets their names right.

The Mexican navy captured the alleged leader of the country's most violent drug-trafficking organization, Miguel Angel Treviño, the head of the Zetas cartel. No link; story everywhere, I'm sure. And I'm too lazy to go get the link.

Mixed results in O'Bama Health Scare pilot plan. Patient care was improved (subjective) but costs were worse (objective).

The boring Palestinians -- if this was TV drama, it would be 'The X-Files' in its 46th season. Hey, som e of us liked the first season of the 'X-Files.'

I agree completely with Mort: a jobless recovery is a phony recovery.


The fact that the Zimmerman story was a front-page story is very, very interesting. There is a story line that the mainstream media is missing. How many stories of dogs biting postmen were on the front page yesterday in the mainstream media?
Correct: none.

That is because the story of dogs biting postmen is so common that it is no longer a front page story; in fact, except for local news perhaps, it's not even worth a newspaper story.

Sixteen thousand homicides in the US last year (2012). Homicides not involving family members were predominantly black-on-black, or black-on-white. How do I know that? I don't. But the fact there were NO front page stories that I can recall of a black man killed by a black man last year, and NO front page stories that I can recall of a white man killed by a black last year, tells me that the majority of homicides were just that. In fact, it appears that the only black man killed by a white man in the past 18 months was Mr Martin.

The 100-city protest that Al is planning, promoting, and coordinating, helps the black community avoid that fact: ALL non-family-related homicides in the past 18 months were black-on-black or black-on-white. (Ironically, the last big story of a black-on-white homicide involved a USC football star long past his prime.)

Let's see what google has to say on this matter: "white man kills black man" -- there were fourteen (14) stories in all. Fourteen! I'm more right than I thought I was. Of the fourteen stories the only story that fit the criteria happened back on August 9, 2011, a truckload of white teens kills a black man in Mississippi. The other stories for the most part were editorials about the tragedy of black-on-black crime.

Yes, 16,000 homicides in 2012. None found on google for 2012 in which a white man killed a black man. I don't even want to google "black man kills white man" or "black man kills black man."

Oh, Mr Zimmerman is about as white as the Rev Al Sharpton. Mr Zimmerman is Hispanic.