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Ohio State Offers Class On How To Detect Microaggressions And Be “Self-Aware Of White Privilege”

This spring, Ohio State University will launch a new course entitled “Crossing Identity Boundaries” which will empower America’s precious snowflakes with all of the tools they need to detect microaggressions and become “self-aware” of their inherent “white privilege.”  Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke.

According to the class homepage, at the end of the course, students should be able to “identify micro-aggressions within their daily lives and within society as a whole” and “identify ways in which they can challenge or address systems of power and privilege.”

Moreover, although it seems a little off topic for this particular course, students will also apparently be taught whether or not it’s appropriate for guys to always pay on a date.  And even though it’s not explicitly addressed on the course syllabus, we presume it’s a given that such a question would only be asked after determining one’s preferred pronoun because otherwise we’re just not sure how young people would go about confirming they’re actually on a date with a “guy.”  It’s also very unclear whether the mere discussion of stereotypical gender roles, like who should pay for a date, might be a “micro-aggression” in and of itself…dicey territory for sure.

OSU

 

For those of you who may want to do some personal, private study, here is a list of a couple of books/articles from the course’s required reading list:

  • Waking up White: What it means to accept your legacy, for better and worse
  • White privilege: unpacking the invisible knapsack
  • Here’s the perfect explanation for why White people need to stop saying #AllLivesMatter
  • 3 examples of everyday cissexism
  • The science behind why people fear refugees
  • Creating identity-safe spaces on college campuses for Muslim students
  • Christian privilege: Breaking a sacred taboo

Meanwhile, per College Fix, homework assignments include, among other things, taking two “implicit bias tests” and finding at least 12 example of micro-aggressions on social media.

Taking the course, offered through the Department of Educational Studies, is one way students can fulfill the university’s mandatory diversity requirement, and many sections are offered throughout the school year.

 

Part of the homework includes taking two “implicit bias tests,” and writing journals on prompts such as “power/privilege in your life” or calling on Christians to write about what it might feel like to be Muslim, or males on what it’s like to be female, and “reflecting on how this new identity would have impacted your day.”

 

One big part of the class is a microaggressions group presentation and reflective paper.

 

The assignment, according to a syllabus, calls on students to “find at least 12 examples of microaggressions using at least 3 different types of social media (e.g., Yik Yak, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest). Explain who the target of the microaggression is and why your group believes it is an example of a negative remark. Provide an example of how you might respond to such a comment.”

 

The assignment’s goal is for students to “evaluate the impact that power and privilege have within social media,” a syllabus states. Students are graded on the “quality of microaggresion chosen (do they clearly articulate why they are microaggressions and which group is targeted” and “quality of response (did they address the microaggression in an appropriate and meaningful way?)”

Amazingly, American parents can get all of this for the bargain basement price of just $44,784 per year.  Just an amazing value.

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CRA: The “Regulatory Game Changer” That Could Wipe Out 8 Years Of Obama Regs In An Hour

After a pompous, liberal agenda was crammed down the throats of the American people during his first two years in office, President Obama suffered staggering losses in Congress for the next six years that cost Democrats control of both houses.  But, heavy Democrat losses, courtesy of an electorate that vehemently rejected a far-left agenda, didn’t stop Obama from continuing to push through countless new rules and regulations from the White House all while pushing his authority to the brink of every Constitutional boundary known to man. 

Of course, the problem with “legislating from the White House” is that all those rules and regulations can be undone by the next administration.  And, as Kimberley Strassel points out in a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece today, a little know tool within the Congressional Review Act could allow Republicans to wipe out 8 full years of Obama’s liberal agenda, with a simple majority vote, all while preventing similar rules from every being recreated by future administrations.

Todd Gaziano on Wednesday stepped into a meeting of free-market attorneys, think tankers and Republican congressional staff to unveil a big idea. By the time he stepped out, he had reset Washington’s regulatory battle lines.

 

These days Mr. Gaziano is a senior fellow in constitutional law at the Pacific Legal Foundation. But in 1996 he was counsel to then-Republican Rep. David McIntosh. He was intimately involved in drafting and passing a bill Mr. McIntosh sponsored: the Congressional Review Act. No one knows the law better.

 

Everyone right now is talking about the CRA, which gives Congress the ability, with simple majorities, to overrule regulations from the executive branch. Republicans are eager to use the law, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy this week unveiled the first five Obama rules that his chamber intends to nix.

Obama

 

So, here’s how it works:

But what Mr. Gaziano told Republicans on Wednesday was that the CRA grants them far greater powers, including the extraordinary ability to overrule regulations even back to the start of the Obama administration. The CRA also would allow the GOP to dismantle these regulations quickly, and to ensure those rules can’t come back, even under a future Democratic president. No kidding.

 

Here’s how it works: It turns out that the first line of the CRA requires any federal agency promulgating a rule to submit a “report” on it to the House and Senate. The 60-day clock starts either when the rule is published or when Congress receives the report—whichever comes later.

 

“There was always intended to be consequences if agencies didn’t deliver these reports,” Mr. Gaziano tells me. “And while some Obama agencies may have been better at sending reports, others, through incompetence or spite, likely didn’t.” Bottom line: There are rules for which there are no reports. And if the Trump administration were now to submit those reports—for rules implemented long ago—Congress would be free to vote the regulations down.

But, it gets even better:

There’s more. It turns out the CRA has a expansive definition of what counts as a “rule”—and it isn’t limited to those published in the Federal Register. The CRA also applies to “guidance” that agencies issue. Think the Obama administration’s controversial guidance on transgender bathrooms in schools or on Title IX and campus sexual assault. It is highly unlikely agencies submitted reports to lawmakers on these actions.

 

“If they haven’t reported it to Congress, it can now be challenged,” says Paul Larkin, a senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Larkin, also at Wednesday’s meeting, told me challenges could be leveled against any rule or guidance back to 1996, when the CRA was passed.

 

The best part? Once Congress overrides a rule, agencies cannot reissue it in “substantially the same form” unless specifically authorized by future legislation. The CRA can keep bad regs and guidance off the books even in future Democratic administrations—a far safer approach than if the Mr. Trump simply rescinded them.

As Strassel points out: “The entire point of the CRA was to help legislators rein in administrations that ignored statutes and the will of Congress. Few White House occupants ever showed more contempt for the law and lawmakers than Mr. Obama. Republicans if anything should take pride in using a duly passed statue to dispose of his wayward regulatory regime. It’d be a fitting and just end to Mr. Obama’s abuse of authority—and one of the better investments of time this Congress could ever make.”

Obama Legacy

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USOIL

USOIL — trading idea and price prediction for WTI CRUDE OIL (TVC:USOIL) from trader hussain9 (2017-01-27). TradingView — best trading ideas …

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War Gaming – Part 2: Cyberwarfare & Disinformation

Submitted by Bill O’Grady via Confluence Investment Management,

Yesterday, we began this two-part report by examining America’s geographic situation and how it is conducive to superpower status. This condition is problematic for foreign powers because it can be almost impossible to significantly damage America’s industrial base in a conventional war with the U.S. In addition, it would be very difficult to launch a conventional attack against the U.S. (a) with any element of surprise, and (b) without significant logistical challenges. The premise of this report is a “thought experiment” of sorts that examines the unconventional options foreign nations have to attack the U.S. Although these may not lead to regime change in America, such attacks may distract U.S. policymakers enough that foreign powers could engage in regional hegemonic actions that would otherwise be opposed by the U.S.

In Part I of this report, we discussed two potential tactics to attack the U.S., a nuclear strike and a terrorist attack. Today, we will examine cyberwarfare and disinformation. We will conclude with market effects.

#3: Cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare is a broad tactical category, ranging from the use of computer technology in conventional warfare to hacking enemies’ industrial, financial, media, utility and social networks to gain information, monitor behavior, spread disinformation and disrupt operations of these networks. Both state and non-state actors are active in cyber activities. There is a significant criminal element as well.

The best known cyberattack was allegedly jointly created by Israel and the U.S. Dubbed “Stuxnet,” it was a computer virus which took control of systems that monitored Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. The virus returned information to its handlers and eventually was able to adversely affect the operation of the machinery itself, causing some of the centrifuges to spin out of control. Although Iran’s nuclear facilities were not directly connected to the internet, the bug was apparently introduced through a flash drive. This means that either a spy plugged a drive into Iran’s system or an innocent Iranian did it by mistake.

Initially, as reports from Iran began emerging about problems in its nuclear facilities, it was generally assumed that the Persians simply didn’t know what they were doing or had purchased faulty equipment. Eventually, Stuxnet ruined about 20% of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges. The virus turned out to be rather pervasive, spreading to Indonesia, India, Azerbaijan and Pakistan, and, interestingly enough, also infecting about 1.6% of American computers.

There are numerous other examples of cyberwarfare. The U.S. hacked insurgents’ cell phones in Iraq, allowing the American military to track their movements and even send them texts with false orders that may have led to their capture or demise. China has become notorious in its hacking of U.S. government and defense sites. Criminals routinely use “phishing” emails to gain control of individual and business computers, sometimes to “kidnap” their data (ransomware) or to simply gain their information.

Cyberwarfare carries numerous risks. As seen with Stuxnet, once released, a virus can become uncontrollable, harming friends and foes alike. It is relatively easy to conceal as it can be difficult to determine where an attack originated. In other words, a state actor could make it appear that a criminal group was responsible for the hack. Or, the criminal group could act as a mercenary for a state, giving the government plausible deniability. Governments have an incentive to co-opt and coerce technology firms to build in “back doors” that allow them to monitor information from citizens. This deliberate defect makes the product less attractive to consumers. On the other hand, an impregnable information system would be a very attractive tool for terrorists and criminals. Essentially, personal privacy is always at risk in a world where cyberattacks are possible.

Technology, for the most part, improves efficiency. Recently, my family traveled to the Caribbean which required a tour through U.S. Customs upon our return. We were checked into the country using an automated kiosk that scanned our passports, took a picture and sent us to a border agent. The following day the system crashed and what took us about 45 minutes to navigate took others up to six hours to clear. Payment systems have become increasingly electronic. This allows households to carry less cash and lets banks and other financial institutions move funds more easily through the economy. However, it also makes the system vulnerable to hackers. Banks are constantly facing threats from criminals trying to gain access to accounts.

Fraudulent purchases on credit cards are common. These acts are more easily facilitated due to technology.

In financial services, technology has changed how orders are handled. Trade execution is nearly instantaneous. The futures pits used to be populated with wildly waving traders in colorful jackets; now, these trades are executed via terminals and, in many cases, ordered by algorithm. Although this has lowered execution costs, it also makes financial markets susceptible to “flash crashes” that occasionally roil the markets.

Essentially, technology has been eliminating the number of people directly involved in processing transactions, everything from financial markets to retailing and government services. Although this makes the economy more efficient, it also makes it more fragile. If a system crashes, it can cause widespread disruptions and close firms, government agencies and markets. The U.S. economy, due to its technological advances, may be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than other nations.

Although cyberattacks won’t likely cause regime change in the U.S., it could seriously disrupt the American economy, giving a foreign power time to use conventional military means to establish regional hegemony. Thus, if China wanted to capture Taiwan or if Russia wanted to invade the Baltics, a major cyberattack, such as bringing down the electrical grid, causing dams to malfunction or disrupting air traffic control, may be enough to shift security and other officials’ attention in order to improve the odds of a successful attack.

Cyberwarfare is a significant threat to U.S. security and has very attractive characteristics. It is stealthy; the origin of the attack can be disguised and it can cause significant damage to an economy. Although the U.S. may be vulnerable to such an attack, it should be noted that American intelligence agencies and the military have significant firepower in this area as well. The difference is that disrupting the Russian economy might not matter all that much because it’s already in poor shape. But, in the U.S., shutting down the electrical grid for several days would be considered catastrophic; in fact, simply bringing down the internet might be just as bad. The U.S. faces a constant threat from cyberattacks. The key concern is what a foreign power would do with a disruption. China has already captured defense plans and personal information. So far, it has used this information to improve its own defense materials and to create countermeasures to U.S. defense goods. But the threat of a cyberattack as cover for a regional military operation is perhaps the greatest threat the U.S. currently faces.

#4: Disinformation

Disinformation is nothing new. From time immemorial, governments have tried to fool their adversaries. From America’s perspective, Radio Free Europe was broadcasting the truth to those behind the Iron Curtain. To the communists, it was pure propaganda.

There are two changes that make disinformation more dangerous. First, the technology behind news flow has changed dramatically. During the era of print media, disseminating news was rather expensive. Printing needed to occur. Journalists needed to be hired. The journalists were usually trained and there were standards of conduct that acted as a screen for reports. Although there was a “yellow press” in American history, the Cold War period was probably the golden age of journalism.

By the 1980s, cable news became an alternative to the major networks. The cable news companies discovered that they were able to capture a more reliable viewership by taking a definite slant toward the news. AM radio, as an older technology and because of its low cost, became an avenue of more extreme views. But the real change agent was the internet and social media. The internet allowed for news to be disseminated almost instantly. Social media allows common citizens to post items and videos for all to see. Regular media companies suddenly found themselves competing with citizens and their cell phones. From 1981 to 2014, the number of daily newspapers declined by 25.3%. Social media and news aggregators have the ability to screen news flow based on the viewing habits of the reader. Essentially, if one reads off the internet uncritically, they can live in a virtual news echo chamber. Thus, news, “facts” and viewpoints become hardened.

The changes in news dissemination dovetailed with changes in political polarization.

This chart is a measure of party polarization; essentially, it measures partisanship. The higher the reading on the chart, the more the political structure is partisan and polarized. Before the U.S. emerged on the world stage, there were strong disagreements on policy. There was less polarization by WWI, and during the Cold War the degree of polarization reached historical lows. In other words, regardless of political party, there was a high degree of bipartisanship.

When the Cold War ended, bipartisanship also deteriorated. Currently, the country is probably the most polarized it has been since the Civil War. Unfortunately, this degree of disunity is dangerous for a superpower because it creates conditions that can distract policymakers from global concerns.

Perhaps the greatest risk to the evolution of American hegemony was the Civil War. Although the British were the undisputed global superpower at the time, the leadership of that nation was watching the explosive economic growth in the U.S. warily. The British probably made a strategic mistake in not supporting the Confederacy because if it had survived the U.S. would have been divided and would never have achieved the same degree of power. According to historians, the political elites favored supporting the South but the public opposed it because of slavery. In addition, Queen Victoria also supported abolition and opposed the Confederacy. The British did offer some support but never enough to turn the tide.

An America divided is susceptible to disinformation. We are living in an era where “false news” is routinely disseminated. In addition, facts have become increasingly tied to social and political positions; in other words, no fact seems to exist outside a social and political context. During the Cold War, the losing political party in an election was in opposition but did work with the winner; in the current environment, the losing party believes catastrophic events are likely and the only way to ensure a better future is to resist the policy goals of the other party.

This environment allows foreign powers to influence social and political beliefs. It is clear the Russians tried to influence the U.S. presidential election. This should not come as a shock to anyone. The U.S. has done this for years; what Americans see as supporting democracy-loving activists in foreign nations looks much like meddling to foreign governments. In addition, it is routine for other nations to have lobbying efforts in the U.S., ostensibly to affect American policy.

What is surprising is that the Russians seem to have had some success, although we would argue that it probably wasn’t as significant as the media is suggesting. We believe the reason the Russians were able to find some traction with the leaks and its behavior is that the political environment allowed it to occur. A political environment in which the other party isn’t seen as merely an American with a different political position but one that is perhaps evil allows leaks and disinformation to have power.

Essentially, it appears that our current highly partisan climate has created an environment where disinformation is more likely to be accepted. If this process makes America more divided, it will reduce our ability to project power and exercise hegemony. Although disinformation probably won’t bring regime change, it can create conditions under which an aspiring regional hegemon can try to influence American public opinion in a fashion that will reduce the likelihood that the U.S. responds negatively to the aspiring regional hegemon’s encroachment. In other words, if Russia wanted to take the Baltics, it may try to use false news and internet dissemination to sway Americans to oppose U.S. and NATO intervention.

Ramifications

This report is something of a thought experiment about how foreign nations can attack a hegemon with extraordinarily favorable geographic conditions. We identified four primary methods—a nuclear strike, terrorism, cyberattack and disinformation. These are not the only methods, but we suspect these are the most likely. Two others that deserve mention are biological/chemical warfare and space. The reason we didn’t explore the former is that it is probably similar to a nuclear attack if done in scale; we would know who did it and we would not be surprised to see a state-sponsored biological attack met with a nuclear strike or a massive conventional attack. Of course, a terrorist attack using these methods could be effective but these weapons are notoriously difficult to deploy effectively. And, the U.S. has an advanced medical sector that would probably be able to cope with a small biological attack. A space attack, which could range from attacking satellites to launching weapons, is possible. However, the U.S. is probably as well prepared as any nation for such conflicts and so a pre-emptive strike would probably be met in kind. Thus, for considerations of length, we didn’t explore either of these methods in detail.

We are not likely to face a nuclear attack but the other three are quite likely and, in fact, have occurred and will likely continue to occur. Of the remaining three, we are most worried about the two discussed this week. Computer hacking by China and Russia is common; although it hasn’t led to anything that threatens civil order, the potential does exist that it could at some point.

Disinformation is another rising concern. Although this method has existed for centuries, the internet allows dissemination without filters. Thus, the ability to affect the unity of the nation and America’s capacity to mobilize against enemies to support allies could be compromised.

As noted, we believe a conventional military attack on the continental U.S. is highly unlikely. However, that doesn’t mean that aspiring regional hegemons won’t use the last three methods to improve their odds of success in local actions. The Russian concept of “hybrid war” uses the last three in combination to undermine nations in its near abroad and weaken any opposition to Russian goals of regional domination. The U.S. may become a more likely target of similar actions in order to distract America from opposing the aims of aspiring regional hegemons to expand their areas of control.

The market ramifications are complicated. Technology security firms should find steady business from the private and public sector. Media companies may face additional burdens of screening news for potential “false news” stories. Overall, though, the biggest impact may be that these factors are part of a trend where the U.S. continues to move away from the superpower role it has played since the end of WWII. We have documented and discussed these issues at length. The bottom line is that a G-0 world is one that is negative for foreign investment but probably bullish for commodities. The dollar and U.S. financial assets will likely benefit relative to foreign assets.
 

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Protesters Plot “Border Wall” Rally For Tomorrow…At Zuckerberg’s Sprawling $100mm Hawaiian Estate

Back in 2014 Mark Zuckerberg paid $100 million to purchase 700 acres of beachfront property on the North Shore of Kauai.  The estate includes 1,000’s of feet of pristine shoreline providing the perfect “safe space” for the 30-year-old Silicon Valley Billionaire and his family.

Zuckerberg

 

Unfortunately, there was just one little problem with the purchase…technically the sellers didn’t own the title to all of that land due to the so-called Kuleana Act, a Hawaiian law established in 1850 that for the first time gave natives the right to own the land that they lived on. 

So now, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Facebook billionaire sued a few hundred Hawaiians who still have legal-ownership claims to parts of his vacation estate through their ancestors.  Per Yahoo Finance:

Three holding companies controlled by Zuckerberg filed eight lawsuits in local court on December 30 against families who collectively inherited 14 parcels of land through the Kuleana Act, a Hawaiian law established in 1850 that for the first time gave natives the right to own the land that they lived on.

 

The 14 parcels total just 8.04 of the 700 acres Zuckerberg owns, but the law gives any direct family member of a parcel’s original owner the right to enter the otherwise private compound.

And while Zuckerberg’s lawyer attempted to downplay the lawsuits as a common practice in Hawaii, we suspect the idea of defending your private property rights against one of the top 10 richest people in the world is somewhat intimidating and slightly less than “normal.”

The quiet-title suits filed are designed to identify all property owners and give them the ability to sell their ownership stakes at auction, according to Keoni Shultz, an attorney representing Zuckerberg. Because the ownership stakes are passed down and divided among family descendants by the state, many people don’t realize they have a claim until action is taken against them in court.

 

“It is common in Hawaii to have small parcels of land within the boundaries of a larger tract, and for the title to these smaller parcels to have become broken or clouded over time,” Shultz told Business Insider in a statement. “In some cases, co-owners may not even be aware of their interests. Quiet title actions are the standard and prescribed process to identify all potential co-owners, determine ownership, and ensure that, if there are other co-owners, each receives appropriate value for their ownership share.”

Of course, the pompous dismissal of property rights isn’t the only thing riling up Hawaiian natives regarding Zuckerberg’s estate.  As The Garden Island pointed out, residents are also slightly less than ecstatic about a massive, 6 foot rock wall erected around the estate and blocking the “view that’s been available and appreciative by the community here for years.”

“The feeling of it is really oppressive. It’s immense,” Hall said. “It’s really sad that somebody would come in, and buy a huge piece of land and the first thing they do is cut off this view that’s been available and appreciative by the community here for years.”

 

“It’s hot behind that wall. Because it’s up on a berm, there’s not a breath of air on this side from the ocean,” Chantara said. “You take a solid wall that’s 10 or more feet above the road level; the breeze can’t go through.”

 

Another Kilauea resident, Donna Mcmillen, calls the wall a “monstrosity.”

 

“I’m super unhappy about that. I know that land belongs to Zuckerberg. Money is no option for him. I’m 5’8” and when I’m walking, I see nothing but wall,” Mcmillen said. “It just doesn’t fit in with the natural beauty that we have here. There are people on the island who money can pay for anything. These kind of things that they do take away what Kauai is all about.”

 

Zuckerberg

 

Over the past couple of weeks, intense public backlash over the lawsuit and “immense, oppressive” wall has caused Zuckerberg to backtrack on his plans. Earlier today he published a note to residents in The Garden Island announcing his intentions to drop his litigation saying that “upon reflection, it’s clear we made a mistake.”

We’ve heard from many in the community and learned more about the cultural and historical significance of this land. Over the past week, we’ve spoken with community leaders and shared that our intention is to achieve an outcome that preserves the environment, respects local traditions, and is fair to those with kuleana lands.

 

To find a better path forward, we are dropping our quiet title actions and will work together with the community on a new approach. We understand that for native Hawaiians, kuleana are sacred and the quiet title process can be difficult. We want to make this right, talk with the community, and find a better approach.

 

Upon reflection, I regret that I did not take the time to fully understand the quiet title process and its history before we moved ahead. Now that I understand the issues better, it’s clear we made a mistake.

 

The right path is to sit down and discuss how to best move forward. We will continue to speak with community leaders that represent different groups, including native Hawaiians and environmentalists, to find the best path.

 

Beyond this process, we are also looking for more ways to support the community as neighbors. We have contributed to community organizations and will continue to do so. We work with wildlife experts to preserve endangered species. We hope to do much more in the future.

 

We love Kaua`i and we want to be good members of the community for the long term. Thank you for welcoming our family into your community.

But, a local farmer, Joe Hart says that Zuckerberg’s retreat isn’t sufficient and, as of now, vows that the mass protest planned for tomorrow will move forward as “people are furious down here with him.”  Per McClatchey:

“People are furious down here with him,” Hart, a local farmer told Business Insider. “We just want to bring this issue to light. He’s made his money stealing everyone’s information, which we’ve let him do, but to come down here and start suing everyone, that’s not going to fly down here.”

Alas, in the end we’re sure Zuckerberg will have his way.  After all, what fun is billions of dollars if you can’t buy expansive swaths of entire states and trample on the private property rights of some little people?

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US Auto Industry In Crisis Amid “Inventory Bubble”

Despite record U.S. auto sales last year, the number of vehicles on car-dealer lots remains near record highs, and, as J.D.Power analyst Thomas King warned this week, 2016 ended with an inventory “bubble” that will require less production or more incentives to clear.

With near record high inventories of 3.9 million vehicles…

 

U.S. auto inventory finished 2016 at about 66 days supply, up from 60 days a year earlier. Inventory would last 2.23 months at the November sales pace, according to the latest available data from the Census Bureau. The stock-to-sales ratio in 2016 is extremely elevated compared to historical norms…

More problematically, King warns, about one-third of inventory were older model-year vehicles, rather than more typical level of less than a quarter.

Of course this massive stockpile hits just as President Trump pressures the auto-industry to onshore more jobs and more production…

But as the industry automates, factories don’t create jobs like they used to, said Marina Whitman, a professor of business administration and public policy at the University of Michigan.

 

“The American auto industry last year produced more cars than it ever had before, but they did it with somewhere between one-third and one-half the number of workers that they had decades ago,” said Whitman, who was an adviser to President Richard Nixon and GM’s chief economist from 1978 to 1992.

 

“The last thing the auto industry needs is more capacity.” she said.

So – produce more to employ more people and please President Trump (only to dramatically worsen the inevitable collapse), or cut workforces and productin further (as we have already seen) and face the wrath of Trump’s tweets?

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South Sudan Plans To Double <b>Oil</b> Production

By Damir Kaletovic – Jan 27, 2017, 4:59 PM CST South Sudan Oil … ongoing political and economic instability due to the fall in crude oil prices.The post South Sudan Plans To Double <b>Oil</b> Production appeared first on crude-oil.top.


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Are Sanctuary Cities More Violent?

Submitted by Salil Mehta via Statistical Ideas blog,

With the battle growing in sanctuary cities to deviate from President Trump’s strategy on immigration law, it is worth seeing another topic that we have been following closely: violent crime rate across major U.S. cities.  This of course comes as President Trump menacingly engages with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, in a twitter exchange that reiterates the use of the term “carnage” to suggest the warfare-style chaos that is occurring there.

If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017

By definition sanctuary cities are generally liberal (Democratic) cities or regions that oppose the current conservative policies to oppress most immigrants.  The 14 most-populated U.S. cities represent 30 million Americans (or 9% of the 319 million U.S. population).  Of these 14 cities, 9 are sanctuary cities (64%) and 5 are non-sanctuary cities (36%).  As we prove below, one is significantly safer from violent crimes in sanctuary cities, but for a couple notable exceptions (i.e., Chicago, Philadelphia). Below we’ll distinguish between these two types of cities:

  • Nearly 2 thousand murders occur annually in these sanctuary cities (>70%), while less than a thousand murders occur in the non-sanctuary cities (<30%).
  • While each taken life is too many, mortality statistics drive these large death numbers into probability context.  So with the much larger population from the sanctuary cities (collectively or on average), the homicide rate (per 100k) there is “just” 5, while it is 9 in non-sanctuary cities!
  • It is true that the murder rates have come in most cities across the U.S., but again these rates are unacceptably high, particularly as some cities are many times more ferocious versus their peers!
  • The blended murder rate from the 14 large cities meanwhile is in-between at 8, and this is also just less than twice the national average is 4.

Now we can see a chart of these 14 cities on this map below, where the size of the circular-marker is related to the population of the city, and the text color of the murder rate is blue for sanctuary cities; red for non-sanctuary cities.  The blue on the map regions represents areas who mostly voted for Hillary Clinton (as noted above this was mostly limited to mega-cities), while red indicates the rest of the country where Donald Trump completely dominated the popular vote.

Using a mathematical practice similar to boot-strapping, we show further below, the population-weighted murder rate distribution for the 14 cities.  Also 4 of the 9 (44%) sanctuary cities have had an above-average murder rate among the large cities, while 2 of the 5 (40%) of the non-sanctuary cities had an above-average murder rate.  Though this difference -skewing towards sanctuary cities- is not statistically significant (less than ½ standard deviation, or ?).

Meanwhile the murder rate difference of 4 (9 v 5), between non-sanctuary cities and sanctuary cities, is highly statistically significant, given the population in millions discussed early in this article.  But the chance any given non-sanctuary city is more murderous versus a sanctuary city is not statistically significant (less than 1 ?). Predominantly with such benign jumbo-metropolises, such as New York with their “low” murder rate of 4 (despite sky-high homelessness), versus Houston (the county’s largest non-sanctuary city) with their murder rate of 11.

The bottom line is there is a minor bias towards more violence in non-sanctuary cities, areas generally aligned to conservative policies and gun-friendly.  This is where Americans will typically have a higher probability of being slain (expressly young Black males in the inner-cities who are gunned down by others in the same community, as opposed to the police – many directors of which nationally follow this site).  Though the large cities are not easily separable into such mass generalizations, this is also why it happens to be easy for President Donald Trump to censure the worst areas of the country.  Since there we have heterogeneously diverse characteristics of violence, from our large sanctuary cities.

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