Friday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Now would the perfect time for Billboards to appear in rural Texas and Florida on the order of:

    Greg/Ron,

    Thanks for the workers They’re gunna do great! Keep em coming!

    P.S. Ron, dont hold back the Cubans.
    We love them too. Sharing is caring.

    ~California, New York, D.C., Chicago

    ReplyReply
    10
  2. de stijl says:

    My sleep schedule is so trashed right now. I have allergies. I take meds for that. Those meds make me crash out and sleep extremely odd hours. Dream hard.

    To you it is 3:25 in the AM. To me it is wake up time. Not really. Maybe. I don’t know. Yesterday was awake a few hours, hour nap. Awake a few hours and hour nap. Asleep a few hours and one or two awake.

    I know I’m awake when I sneeze several dozen times an hour. Why do you never sneeze when you’re asleep? Never have to blow your nose?

    That part of of Fight Club where The Narrator travels city to city and blips out in between – I’m living that now. If I ever approach you and ask you to do anything about Allergy Club, please ignore me. No Project Mayhem!

    “You told us you would say that, sir.” God fucking dammit!

    Dream, real, it’s all a pile of used Kleenex full of snot. I hate allergy season.

    Marla, please save me!

    ReplyReply
    3
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Reality Winner, the intelligence contractor who served more than four years in prison for leaking a report on Russian interference in the 2016 US election, has said she finds accusations that Donald Trump mishandled sensitive documents “incredibly ironic”, given her prosecution under his administration.

    An FBI search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida last month found more than 300 classified documents.

    Speaking to NBC News, Winner, 30, said: “It is incredibly ironic, and I would just let the justice department sort it out.” Winner added that it “wasn’t hard to believe” Trump held on to classified documents.

    Reflecting on her own prison sentence, she said: “What I did when I broke the law was a political act at a very politically charged time.”

    Winner also said she did not believe Trump should go to prison. She did not comment further on whether the former president should face charges under the Espionage Act, as she did in 2017. “This is not a case where I expect to see any prison time,” Winner said, “and I’m just fine with that.”

    She’s a lot more generous than I am, and I didn’t do 4 years federal time after being convicted for less than 1/300th of what trump has done.

    ReplyReply
    7
  4. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Ms. Winner was the lass who told her sister that at her court appearance she planned to “play the cute white blonde girl” and “braid her hair and cry.”

    Didn’t work, apparently.

    ReplyReply
    1
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: All the world is a stage.

    ReplyReply
  6. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Just in case anyone’s wondering (I looked this up a few days ago), the woman’s name really is Reality Winner, and it isn’t a changed name. Her family name is Winner (which is a name—remember the director Michael Winner, of Death Wish fame?), and her parents for whatever reason gave her the first name Reality. Carry on.

    ReplyReply
    3
  7. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    One more reason why given names ought to be provisional.

    ReplyReply
    1
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Germany has taken the German subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Rosneft under state control, putting three refineries into a trusteeship ahead of a partial European embargo on Russian oil at the end of the year.

    The federal network regulator will become the temporary trust manager of Rosneft Germany and its share of refineries in Schwedt, near Berlin, in Karlsruhe and in Vohburg, Bavaria, Germany’s ministry for economic affairs announced on Friday.

    Rosneft Germany is the country’s largest single oil processing company, accounting for about 12% of its capacity for processing crude oil.

    The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, would on Friday announce further details of a package to support the Schwedt refinery and “ensure that the supply of oil via alternative paths can be secured”, the announcement said.

    The refinery on the Polish border, crucial for supplying petrol to the Berlin-Brandenburg region, has until now been reliant on supplies via the Soviet-era Druzhba (“friendship”) pipeline, which takes Russian oil across Ukraine to Europe.

    I suspect they may have problems with keeping that last refinery operating at anywhere near full capacity.

    ReplyReply
    3
  9. charon says:

    https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ukrainian-victory-shatters-russias-reputation-as-a-military-superpower/

    The stunning success of Ukraine’s recent counteroffensive has exposed the rotten reality behind Russia’s reputation as a military superpower. More than six months since the onset of Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion, it is now obvious that his army is in fact a deeply flawed institution that bears almost no resemblance to the immaculate fighting force of Red Square parades and Kremlin propaganda. Instead, the Russian military suffers from endemic corruption, low morale, and poor leadership, with individual initiative in short supply and commanders deeply reluctant to accept personal responsibility. Last week’s disastrous defeat in northeastern Ukraine will only worsen the situation, with officers gripped by fear as Moscow seeks scapegoats for what is shaping up to be one of the most shameful military defeats in Russian history.

    The scale of Ukraine’s recent victory has stunned the entire world, but perhaps nobody was as surprised as the Russians themselves. Naturally, the Kremlin sought to suppress news of the counteroffensive, but the speed of events and the sheer scale of the collapse meant that details of the unfolding disaster could not be completely censored despite the best efforts of the authorities. The resulting realization was a huge psychological blow for the Russian public, who learned for the first time that their soldiers in Ukraine were demoralized and beaten. The rout of Russian forces in Kharkiv Oblast was also a painful wake-up call for Ukrainian collaborators, who realized that Russia cannot be relied upon and will abandon them without thinking twice.

    Beyond these immediate implications, Ukraine’s counteroffensive also says much about the broader state of the Russian military and provides valuable indications of what we can expect to see next. From now on, fear will shape every single decision made by Russian commanders in Ukraine. This will not be fear of losing precious lives or damaging Russia’s national interests; it will be a very personal fear of retribution from a vindictive hierarchy seeking culprits to blame for the rapidly declining fortunes of the Russian army.

    Etc., etc.

    ReplyReply
    4
  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    How police reform happens:

    Where community activists, use-of-force victims and city officials have failed to persuade police departments to change dangerous and sometimes deadly policing practices, insurers are successfully dictating changes to tactics and policies, mostly at small to medium-size departments throughout the nation.

    The movement is driven by the increasingly large jury awards and settlements that cities and their insurers are paying in police use-of-force cases, especially since the 2020 deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Those cases led to settlements of $12 million and $27 million, respectively. Insurance companies are passing the costs — and potential future costs — on to their law enforcement clients.

    Departments with a long history of large civil rights settlements have seen their insurance rates shoot up by 200 to 400 percent over the past three years, according to insurance industry and police experts.

    Even departments with few problems are experiencing rate increases of 30 to 100 percent. Now, insurers also are telling departments that they must change the way they police.

    ReplyReply
    8
  11. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Rosneft Schwedt eh?
    IIRC I came across this topic sometime in Spring/early Summer.

    Aha! found it:

    The main user remaining in Germany is the Schwedt oil refinery complex.
    This is directly linked to the Druzhba pipe, and owned by Rosneft.
    And is refusing to stop using oil from that pipeline, saying it will shut down rather than switch sources.
    Which would result in major shortages in NW Germany, including shutting down Berlin airport.
    So the German government is passing legislation to expropriate Schwedt if Rosneft continues to balk.
    And has struck a deal with Poland to connect Schwedt to the Plock pipeline to Gdansk terminal, enabling Schwedt to run on tanker oil shipped to Gdansk, while the smaller pipeline to Rostock tanker terminal is upgraded.

    Germans just love to plod their way through an issue.
    But OTOH maybe they’ve advanced on the Rostock pipeline?
    More googling.
    And: nope.
    Berlin! 🙁
    OK lads! In your own time! No rush, eh?

    ReplyReply
    1
  12. JohnSF says:

    Link to comment above got eat, somehow. Here it is:
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/wednesdays-forum-97/#comment-2694468

    ReplyReply
  13. Matt Bernius says:

    General rule of thumb for would-be trolls:
    (1) Choosing a screen name that is completely different from your posting name isn’t a good start.
    (2) Then calling folks “libtards” or similar terms within the first line or two is really not a great follow-up.

    ReplyReply
    1
  14. JohnSF says:

    Another sign of breakdown in the Russian dominated security order in Central Asia?
    Tajik forces are attacking Kyrgyz outposts along the whole length of the border and Kyrgyz troops are returning fire,

    Also worth noting: Central Asia is an area where Russia, Turkey, Iran, China (and to some extent India and Pakistan) all have interests and connections, sometimes collaborating, sometimes competing.
    For instance, both Turkmen and Azerbijanis, are very close, ethnically, to Turks.
    While Tajiks similarly close to Iranians; but with a distinction in being predominantly Sunni, not Shia.
    And Azeris are the majority ethnic group in NW Iran.

    ReplyReply
    3
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Why am I not surprised. But don’t worry, the GOP will fix it.

    ReplyReply
  16. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: I don’t know the whys involved with not sneezing, but I would speculate that they’re related to the observation from a sleep study that I don’t have A-fib episodes while I’m sleeping either. As to not needing to blow my nose when asleep, waking up with a completely stopped nose and a thin film of post-nasal drip pooling in my CPAP mask when I wake up argues against that point.

    ReplyReply
    1
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: Things could get reeeeeal messy there reeeeeal fast.

    ReplyReply
    1
  18. MarkedMan says:

    And now for something completely different…

    There is a Pulitzer winning investigative series on what Management Consulting Firms like McKinsey actually do, and what their worth is to the companies, stock analysts and individual investors that pay their fees. FWIW, I suspect the starting off point is something I often speculated on when I ran across yet another massive McKinsey driven strategic plan at the companies I worked for: why do global corporations spend so much money on $500/hour consultants who are south of 30 years old and have never run anything or been responsible for anything in their lives? It just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

    FWIW, I think it is all about a method around anti-trust laws. Do companies communicate directly with each other and stock analysts and investment firms, colluding on territory and price and priorities? For the most part no – because that would be illegal. But also because they don’t have to. They all hire the same management consulting firms, who learn about each companies strategies and plans, strengths and weaknesses. Then they advise each of those companies on what areas to go into and what to avoid. They talk to ananlysts and investment firms and say, “The best run companies are investing in X, and focusing on strategic area Y and geographical area Z. You should rank companies highly if they are doing those things.” The C-level get the message. “If I make my numbers AND do all the things in that list, then I am the dynamic and powerful leader steering my company through dangerous times. If I make my numbers BUT don’t do those things, then I am a weak leader drifting forward with my companies momentum but doing nothing to power the next surge.” (Of course, if you don’t make your numbers it doesn’t matter why.)

    ReplyReply
    2
  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    Question for defense-minded folks: I see pressure on the Germans to give Ukraine Leopard tanks. I don’t see similar pressure for M1 Abrams tanks. Is there a technical reason? Is it significantly easier to train operators on the Leopard?

    ReplyReply
    1
  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I worked for: why do global corporations spend so much money on $500/hour consultants who are south of 30 years old and have never run anything or been responsible for anything in their lives? It just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

    Similar to my question for Amazon: Why in fuck did they turn over a billion dollar project to a pair of schmucks from JJ Abrams’ fail factory?

    ReplyReply
  21. becca says:

    @Mu Yixiao: This was inevitable. Police brutality and aggressive tactics lawsuits bring bigger payouts now, than in the past. Bad risks make for bad business. Dog Bless the advent of the smartphone, capturing the awful images, shocking us into awareness.
    If the insurers help us weed out the bad apples, ‘salright by me.

    ReplyReply
    4
  22. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The two are fairly comparable (Leopard 2 vs. M1A2) with pros and cons for both. Leopard is faster and more range. M1 has a turbine engine which may not be as familiar to Ukrainians. From the Ukrainian perspective, I would think that since the Leopard is fielded with most of the European nations, it would be easier on the logistics (training, maintenance, parts, etc.)

    But I’m Air Force, so what do I know about tanks? Other than they are targets.

    ReplyReply
    3
  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    @becca:

    This was inevitable.

    Unfortunately, with Qualified Immunity still a major roadblock, this wasn’t inevitable. I am, however, very glad to see the market take action where politicians haven’t been able (or willing) to force the sorts of changes that really need to happen.

    If you read through the entire story, it’s not just affecting use-of-force stuff, it’s rippling out to few high-speed chases, fewer people being pulled over for BS reasons, etc.

    I’m very happy to see this happening.

    ReplyReply
    3
  24. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Scott:

    The M1 Abrams is no longer being produced, so the only way to give them to Ukraine is to take them away from the US Army and they can’t be replaced.

    The Leopard 2 is actively being produced, so they can be given to Ukraine without actively depleting Germany’s armored forces.

    ReplyReply
    3
  25. becca says:

    @Michael Reynolds: transport and unit cost? Leopard is lighter, faster, and several mil cheaper. Air transport is limited by weight of tanks and ships are slow. Germany has the advantage of proximity.
    Keeping it European might figure into the politics. Everyone loves backing a winnner.

    ReplyReply
    2
  26. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Abrams are gas turbine engines with multi-fuel adaptability (least in theory: any ex-Abrams users hereabouts?)
    But apparently are a bitch to maintain, and in a memorable quote “drinks fuel like it’s in the only open bar on judgement day. “
    They also run hot; great if you have no concerns about your IR detectably because you have air supremacy..
    Not so great if you don’t.
    Leopards, Chiefs, etc are good old diesel piston-bangers.

    Not as fast, but less idiosyncratic.

    ReplyReply
    1
  27. JohnSF says:

    Ooh; well call me Mr Silly.
    I’d always thought the Abrams was faster the the Leopard, but prompted by @Scott:actually checked rather than relying on old brainmush.
    Turns out, Abrams is actually slower, off road, than both Leopard and Chieftain.
    Which does make me wonder: why did US Army go for that gas turbine power unit?
    Just to be different, LOL?

    ReplyReply
    1
  28. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @Michael Reynolds:
    So, answer in both cases:
    Perhaps Abrams not actually as great as everyone assumes?
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    ReplyReply
  29. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: There’s a good argument that cost of insurance has saved many millions of lives around the world, for a specific case: cigarettes. I’m old enough to remember when virtually every public and commercial space was filled with cigarette smoke. Smokers considered it their GD right to smoke everywhere and were militant and obnoxious about it. I would sit in a meeting room in the fall and spring when the heating or AC hadn’t kicked in and watch the room literally fill with smoke. And then the company got hit from two sides by insurance companies: if they allowed smoking indoors it would jack up commercial property insurance costs as well as their health insurance costs which, at that time, was 100% covered by the company. Within a few years smoking was banned in every place but restaurants and bars, but another decade brought them into the fold. And once people got used to not having everything and everyone reeking of smoke all the time they demanded it, even the smokers. I truly believe that had more to do with the tremendous reduction of smoking than anything else.

    ReplyReply
    3
  30. Scott says:

    @JohnSF: Well, to be fair to everyone, those decisions were made almost 50 years ago back in the 70s. In those days, Chrysler Defense got the contract because they proposed the turbine which had more power in a smaller package. At the time, Chrysler was messing around with small turbines for trucks and autos. The US military always has a bias for pushing the technological envelope. They usually get it right but at the expense of much higher cost and schedule.

    ReplyReply
    1
  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    Thanks to several people for proposing answers re Abrams v. Leopard.

    Fuel consumption and maintenance of the unfamiliar turbine engine strike me as plausible. Less plausible is the production line issue – the US has ~4800 Abrams lying around, and surely Ukraine can’t handle more than a couple hundred tanks. The proximity issue is interesting and may be part of the answer, but only if the US has few tanks in Europe. Shipping a boat load of tanks to Europe shouldn’t take more than a few weeks.

    I wonder also if this is a ploy to push Germany into actually, you know, doing what they say they’ll do, force them to commit.

    ReplyReply
  32. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    The reason that companies employ contractors is that they have no existing duties.

    Some smarty pants identified an opportunity, either for growth or cost/labor savings. They cannot pursue that because they need to keep their plates spinning per their stated job requirements. They cannot pursue it because their budget is tight. Sometimes the smarty pants is the manager, rare, but it does happen.

    Someone sees an opportunity they cannot exploit given budgetary and staffing hard cap requirements. Someone puts a bug in a higher up’s ear. They decide to pull the trigger.

    Somebody like me shows up. Or a team, depending on the scale. I don’t have existing duties. Point me at the problem/opportunity. I’m going to need n% of subject matter experts time to understand the issue. That will sting. You have plates to spin, I understand that, but I need to understand this in excruciating detail. And document all of it.

    One gig took me two and a half weeks. Half of that was documentation. A person’s sole job was to produce a report the Sales Management team loved. A monthly. Like 18 different inputs. A desired output. Gnarly, knotty problem. With the the SMEs help (his name was Blaine) I was able to fully automate the process. What took 100% of an an FTE’s time was zapped away. Click a button, wait 6 minutes, and the report spits out. Any idiot could that, even a manager!

    I massively improved the navigatability of the output, too. Added drill downs.

    At that time I believe I was billing at $150 an hour. Greg took 20% off the top, but it was his due – best boss ever. 13 divided by eight times 150 less .2. I made good money on that job and left them with a fully documented scaleable process.

    On my way home I realized I had made Blaine entirely redundant. He was so wholesome! He was likely was either fired or promoted. Capitalism sucks!

    Companies hire consultants because they have problems or opportunities. We come with no pre-assigned duties. Are entirely malleable within contract constraints. No ding on the annual budget. It gets tagged to the protect budget. In the long term it is a cheaper solution.

    Point me at a problem!

    —–

    As to why a gaggle of 25 year olds show up is to document the existing process. All of it. They’re new hires, it is a winnowing process. They play a salient role. I never worked for a big firm, but their first impulse is to throw a bunch of glorified interns at it to document it. It is a valid start. Good documentation means the big dollar consultant’s are already mostly up to speed before they show up.

    I was on a gig and met the younger sister of a woman I dated in high school. She worked for Anderson Consulting. That was odd….

    ReplyReply
    1
  33. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Regarding Abrams vs other tanks: Grr-as usual, can’t post links at all.

    Google Strong Europe Tank Challenge and check the Wikipedia article. Also try googling Hellenic Tank Challenge.

    ReplyReply
  34. Scott says:

    Given the horrors being discovered in Ukraine on the withdrawal of the Russians, I am reminded of this passage from David McCollough’s Truman. For the Potsdam Conference, Truman was staying at the home of a noted publisher (he was told differently, BTW), Gustav Muller-Grote. Truman, about 10 years later, received a letter from one of the sons of the tragic reality of where he stayed:

    …In the beginning of May the Russians arrived. Ten weeks before you entered this house, its tenants were living in constant fright and fear. By day and by night plundering Russian soldiers went in and out, raping my sisters before their own parents and children, beating up my old parents. All the furniture, wardrobes, trunks, etc. were smashed with bayonets and rifle butts, their contents spilled and destroyed in an indescribable manner. The wealth of a cultivated house was destroyed within hours.

    Eighty years later, nothing has changed.

    ReplyReply
    3
  35. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Main thing is with anything like this: they are idiosyncratic sods that take a right pounding.
    Keeping them running is an utter bastard.
    You want crews, and above all, support mechs. who know them inside out.
    You want stocks of every single spare part.
    You want specialists who can diagnose and repair everything: from fuel filters, to gun optics, to information systems, to suspension, to etc etc etc.

    Personally I’d opt for Leopards, or even better Leclercs (Challengers being out of production fttb)
    Again one possible BIG issue; which any ex-US military folks hereabouts may know the answer to: are Abrams parts imperial or SI?

    ReplyReply
  36. JohnSF says:

    @Scott:
    If memory serves there were proposals for a gas turbine engine for the Conqueror/Chieftain line back in the late ’50s/early ’60s.
    Based on a scaled up version of the Rover Jet1 engine.
    Basically, MoD put it to Army, who told them to sod off and stop being silly. 🙂
    Got as far as some chassis trials IIRC.

    ReplyReply
  37. JohnSF says:

    In the ongoing “let’s all smack Putin” handicap stakes in Samarkand:
    PM Modi:

    “Today’s era isn’t of war & I have spoken to you about it on the call. Today we will get the opportunity to talk about how can we progress on the path of peace. I will also get the opportunity to know about your viewpoint,”

    Translation:
    When we decided not to fall in behind the US on this, we assumed you were half-way competent.
    Negotiate peace, you fool.

    ReplyReply
    3
  38. steve says:
  39. JohnSF says:

    @steve:
    That is really interesting.
    Especially, in 2017 and 2018, Ukraine was competing in NATO tank challenges, using old Soviet tanks.
    In 2017 using T-64BV and placing above the Poles using Leopard 2A5.
    Gawd, that must have pissed off the Poles, LOL.

    ReplyReply
    1
  40. Beth says:

    @JohnSF:

    Whoopsies

    ReplyReply
  41. Stormy Dragon says:

    o/~ It’s over now the music of the niiiiiggggggghhhhhhhttttttttttttt….. o/~

    ‘Phantom of the Opera’, Broadway’s Longest-Running Show, to Close

    ReplyReply
    1
  42. JohnSF says:

    Am going to recaptulate, from a different source, a topic I commented on yesterday (and may again every day for a month! you have been warned! LOL):
    The Russian government is making 10% budget cuts due to falling tax and hydrocarbon export revenues (deficit c.1.5 trillion rubles)

    That’s 10% nominal; given real inflation estimate, probably more in the region of 30% actual.
    And, given military and war production (and siloviki vig) probably protected, more than that, especially in the “provinces”, as Moscow/St.Petersburg usually get first bites.

    As the impact of war continues, people may need to start serious contingency planning for a governance collapse in Greater Russia.

    ReplyReply
    1
  43. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m very happy to have had the experience of seeing The Phantom of the Opera twice at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London. (Now that Queen Elizabeth II has died, are they going to rename it “His Majesty’s Theatre”?)

    (Lindsey Ellis has some wonderful video essays on YouTube about The Phantom of the Opera, starting with the original book and going all the way through the film Andrew Lloyd Webber horked up as a “sequel”, which Lindsay sardonically titles: A trashfire of a movie. I agree.)

    ReplyReply
    1
  44. Stormy Dragon says:

    @grumpy realist:

    It’s the first musical I saw on Broadway growing up. It’s schmaltzy and melodramatic, but it’s well done schmaltzy and melodramatic so I love it =)

    ReplyReply
  45. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl: Oh, I get what you do. I’m speaking of a specific kind of management consulting , one that is many times more expensive than the type you are involved in. This is the kind that, back in the 80’s and 90’s had everyone moving production to China without ever checking to see if the projected cost savings were ever realized. But everyone was doing it at the same time so no CEO was sticking their necks out too far. And everyone “knew” that it was the necessary thing. Why? Because other divisions of the same management consulting companies would be advising analysts that was what to look for in growth oriented companies.

    ReplyReply
    1
  46. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao: It looks like insurance may be a good way to get the cops to see the cost of some of their practices. I can’t help but wonder if we couldn’t do something similar with guns.

    ReplyReply
    1
  47. EddieInCA says:

    @grumpy realist:

    You are very fortunate. Like you, I got to see it twice in London, once with Crawford and Brightman. Unforgettable.

    BTW – Anyone who is a theatre fan should see the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” play if they can. While not a great play, the theatrics, special effects, and pure entertainment value made it one of the best theatre experience of my life.

    ReplyReply
    1
  48. Michael Cain says:

    @JohnSF:

    Which does make me wonder: why did US Army go for that gas turbine power unit?
    Just to be different, LOL?

    Might have something to do with the US military’s long-term push to run everything on JP-8 (high-end kerosene plus additives intended for jet engines). I remember reading RFPs for fuel cells that used JP-8.

    ReplyReply
    1
  49. Beth says:

    @EddieInCA:

    BTW – Anyone who is a theatre fan should see the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” play if they can.

    I’d rather gargle with hot broken glass. For like, obvious reasons.

    A friend of mine saw the Back to the Future musical in London. He said he expected it to be super dumb. He said he was right, but that it was also pretty cool.

    ReplyReply
    2
  50. Kathy says:

    @Beth:

    I concur.

    Also, I see the notion of singing dialogue as so ridiculous, that the only musicals I can take seriously are either animation or comedy (or both).

    As for opera, some of the music and singing is really good, but I speak neither German nor Italian, so it’s all Greek* to me 😉

    *Ok, some Italian is similar enough to Spanish that I get a few words here and there.

    ReplyReply
  51. grumpy realist says:

    @EddieInCA: My year-and-a-half in London allowed me to see a LOT of musicals I had always been interested in. The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia, Chicago…

    The one performance I would have absolutely loved to have seen (unfortunately too young) is Norman Triegle in Carmen. He was supposedly an unbelievably good actor as well as opera singer. And unfortunately we have almost none of his performances on video. There’s a few snippets on YouTube and the man is FANTASTIC.

    ReplyReply
    1
  52. steve says:

    The musical I liked that surprised me was Billy Elliot. A musical about a dancer seemed just too precious but wife and I really enjoyed it.

    Steve

    ReplyReply
    1

Speak Your Mind

*