The Angels of Emanuel AME


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Drawn by Madeleine, age 7.

This drawing started at a quiet Mount Pleasant home with a simple yet difficult question by Madeleine: “Why is the world full of broken people?”

Melanie, the mother of two including young Madeleine, said while Madeleine asked a lot of questions about what happened Wednesday night, Madeleine’s twin sister Emma Kate talked very little about it.

“Why can’t the good people teach the bad people to be good?” Madeleine asked her mother, another question that seems simple to a 7-year-old mind but is anything but simple for an adult. “Just because someone is different doesn’t mean you have to do something bad to them.”

During the conversation, Melanie says her daughter also asked to see a picture of the church where the shooting happened. Madeleine also Googled instructions on how to draw an angel.

Her mother gave Madeleine photos of the nine victims.

“Madeleine wanted the Angels to be a good representation,” Melanie said.

So Madeleine armed with blank sheets of paper and crayons looked on the faces of the people killed — Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, and Myra Thompson — and started to draw.

Mother Emanuel AME Church stands large in the picture, taking up most of the page. Flying above are the nine slain church members, most holding a peace symbol or a heart.

Three have their arms outstretched, seemingly welcoming an embrace.

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Woman Assaults 2 Military Personnel in Uniform Over A Parking Space; Her Husband Assaults One.


Source: (*) Twitter

Light Sweet Crude and Refineries: An Overload in the Making


An article excerpt: “Refiners, including Shell/Pemex, Lyondell/CITCO, Exxon Mobil, and Valero, spent billions of dollars in the 1990s, as domestic light,  sweet crude production declined. They modified refineries to process heavy, sour crude from sources including Mexico (Maya), Venezuela (Orinoco), and Saudi. Pemex, CITCO (Venezuela), and Aramco (Saudi Arabia) formed joint ventures with refiners in the Gulf Coast in the 1990s to secure refinery outlets for their poorer quality crude.

It would cost hundreds of millions to convert a refinery back to sweet service, and the EPA is unlikely to approve a permit for a new US refinery.

A glut will occur of light, sweet crude oil and condensate produced from the Eagle Ford, Wolfcamp, and Leonard-aged formations that include the Bone Spring, Spraberry, and Avalon. The price at the wellhead in the Permian will likely be $10-30 per barrel below that of Brent crude, the new global benchmark for oil prices. The price of Brent or WTI Cushing will be irrelevant to Permian or Eagle Ford producers, as it will take discounting (a price war) to induce an oversupplied sweet refinery to take one producer’s crude over another’s.

There are at least three market-based solutions to this quandary. One, the federal government should lift its ban on exports of crude oil. There are simple, “tea kettle” refineries in Mexico and other Central and Latin American countries that would buy our sweet crude if permitted to do so. We, in turn, import heavy, sour Latin crude to be processed in our complex Gulf Coast refineries. This amounts to a crude swap with our Latin neighbors. Two, refiners invest billions in the aggregate to convert their refineries back to sweet service. The impediment to this strategy is the fact that most of the incremental oil to be developed outside the U.S. is heavy sour, whose producers are willing to discount and enter long-term contracts to sell it. Three, prices fall into the $70s or worse at the wellhead and the investment and the rig count drops, reducing oil production, alleviating the problem.

But lower oil and gas prices mean lower cash flow and reduced rates of return on investment, thus reduced reinvestment, and slower production growth. It is a brutal self-correction mechanism that none of us hopes to resort to.

Finally,check with your friendly natural gas marketer or gas gathering and processing company, your power distribution company about ordering a meter and service to your new location. Finally, permitting times on saltwater disposal wells are six months out at the Texas Railroad Commission, so investigate both your water disposal and sourcing in advance. If any of these are not prepared in advance, your multi-million investment may sit idle until products can be gathered and sold, power can be delivered, and water sourced and disposed.

Source: Light Sweet Crude and Refineries: An Overload in the Making

Trump & Co. Are Stealing America Blind: A Timeline


On the day he took the oath of office, Donald Trump delivered two messages about what to expect from his administration. First came the lofty promise of his inaugural address. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he vowed. “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth.”

The second message, which Trump delivered without speaking a word, was aimed at a much smaller, but very rich, audience. As the new president’s motorcade left the Capitol, rolling past knots of supporters and protesters, it suddenly stopped three blocks short of the White House. Trump, the First Lady, and the rest of his family got out of their limos and took a three-minute turn in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue.

This was no random spot. The very first place Trump headed after being sworn in — his true destination all along, in a sense — was the Old Post Office and Clock Tower, which only 12 days before the election had been repurposed as the Trump International Hotel Washington. The elegant granite structure, whose architectural character Trump had promised to preserve, was now besmirched by a gaudy, faux-gold sign bearing his name. The carefully choreographed stop sent a clear signal to the foreign governments, lobbyists, and corporate interests keen on currying favor in Washington: The rewards of government would now be reaped by a single man — and the people would bear the cost.” Click below to read a diary of Trump’s private enrichment at the people’s expense.

West Virginia’s Best Kept Economic Success! The Deflections Of Political Messaging


Despite Trump’s vehement denials, what America does in the world counts for peace and prosperity: social stability is tied to economic opportunity! West Virginia has a secret worth telling because it exposes the power of political messaging to conceal success, create victims, and hide solutions ripe at hand. West Virginia is home to over 140 chemical and polymer manufacturers, including five of the world’s largest, Dow, Dupont, Bayer, Kureha, SABIC; it ranks sixth among states in GDP derived from chemicals, 25% of its $4.8 billion in exports are chemical and polymers. 15,000 workers earn an average of $75,000 a year! Yet all of the talk about West Virginia is about coal!

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The Washington Works DuPont plant in Parkersburg, WV.

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West Virginia Success And Political Misdirection

West Virginia succeeded in developing a robust research and manufacturing chemical/polymer industry by following the established/proven template for development: infrastructure (it build a chemical alliance zone that supports research, engineering, and manufacturing), economies of scale (it persuaded firms to create a business cluster), knowledge support (university programs and research centers), transportation (easy market access to raw materials, specialized services, downstream customers/consumers), skilled workforce (trained, low turnover) and regulatory assistance (tax breaks targeted at research/development). These industries have attracted firms in aerospace, biometrics, plastic coatings and specialty metals!

Yet all the talk is about coal. When its use falls every year, China closes coal-burning plants and conservative projections say its use will diminish globally to 6% by 2070.

Coal’s story tells us the importance of political messaging. The globe knows little of West Virginia’s success in chemical manufacturing as it buys from West Virginia-based firms by the billions. Its hometown coal miners see no exit from their diminishing fate. But due to messaging, coal workers invest in self-defeating narratives that work for politicians who gain from their pain!

Concepts And Models Are Messages

David Brooks column in the New York Times today continued the tradition of misdirected messaging. His misdirection is conceptual, about our “national crisis.” He cites four completing American narratives to describe and explain how we arrived in the fear pit, but each one is rife with errors! Both empirical and conceptual. (His logic ties one to the other!)

Brooks first cites exodus. (Marley’s “exodus,” not running from, but going to). For him, was the first step on the crystal stair; the second step pursued and staked out wealth. Led by rice, the colonial crop that created New England’s rum trade, supported global ship building, iron smelting in England, and fed West Indian slaves while creating vast Southern colonial and coastal wealth.

That wealth lead to a structural division, an asymmetrical structure still with us: the idea that equality is the enemy of freedom. A unique American libertarian twist (avoided by Thoreau!), it is seen in the Dred Scott Supreme Court ruling, in Articles of Secession, in today’s Republicans spin nd speeches. As with the Obamacare repeal, its believers don’t support a society structured to enhance opportunity. Its view justifies oppression and inequality by arguments that strength creates success–while ignoring the consolidation of power that restricts opportunities. It argues for transfers of wealth without expanding freedom. Wealth demands a tightly controlled social order (as per Lewis Powell’s famous 1971 memo), a contradiction its believers deny.

Brooks second tenet plays directly into this denial: it pretends disruption fails, that disruption causes concentrated power. No! Disruption works: India, Brazil, China—America–used disruption to increase freedom and opportunity through expanding social platforms; oligarchs push back with nefarious means to circumvent the democracy movement, evident today, in the push to restrict voting rights under the guise of security and order!

Brooks third tenet is a bold lie: multiculturalism is the defense of freedom against embedded white privilege (also denied!); the “into what” interrogative has not one but millions of individual answers, when freedom is exercised! The talented community is closest to the consensus reality.  But many still seek to define American opportunity by the abandoned plantation model, with its concentration of power, wealth and total control.

Trumps favors the national plantation, with himself as supreme overlord.

The Balance Sheet Message

NATO represents not only America’s allies, but America’s markets. The economic returns from a stable Europe, its growth and forward thinking cannot be measured in defense payments of two percent! Again, Republicans rely on balance sheet to avoid the true measures of social good—always numbers are used to limit rights and protections, to scatter harms, to diminish the safety nets organic to prosperity.

In Trump’s case, his silence on Article 5 reflects his vision; his vision is a darkness filled with enemies and slackers, no matter whether they were friends or foes before. The tipping point approval is loyalty, wealth and power. He has a deeply rooted disdain and contempt for democracy and elections—they set limits on power. They establish conflicts when loyalty is tied to corruption and personal interests.

Internationally, Trump is loyal to those who act as kings and dictators, ruthless autocrats who imprison and kill dissenters.  He seeks entry into this class as the American emperor; he sees this as the measure of true power. He will never reject Putin, who is his inner ideal.

Conversely, he sees Europe as too weak to stand alone. He scorns any peace attained without a fight. To him, Europe is unworthy and undeserving and beneath his favor. Putin is the pinnacle of his inner circle.

Trump is a sad man with limited understanding and vision, with no sense of history; a con man with no values of good will; an impulsive man who cannot think deeply or be disciplined; a needy man who pleases himself by his contentious victories built on lies; a blind man who is unable to see errors and damages, a fool who cannot learn new ways.

He will benefit from both benign neglect and active resistance.

Catherine Rampell on Twitter: “Since Trump loves talking about how much stock markets love him, here’s the S&P 500, from inauguration to April 2 the following year. Under Obama: +46.3% Under Trump: +13.7% *usual disclaimers: presidents do not control stock markets, stock markets are not the economy, etc.