Archive for August, 2010

“Everything is a present”

August 31st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Almost four years ago now, as a result of an interview in the “Guardian” newspaper, I did a blog posting about the utterly remarkable Alice Herz-Sommer. I mention her on this blog again now because I have just watched a recording of a BBC Four television documentary broadcast at the end of January and filmed […]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments (2)

Forgotten World (217): Pakistan

August 31st, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Pakistan is in the news for terrorism (regularly) and floods (currently), but there is much more to this nation of 180 million, the sixth most populous on the planet. Created in 1947 when it was carved out of India as a new Muslim state, it remains a nuclear-armoured rival to its huge neighbour with Pakistan […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Ever heard of the Russian memorial to 9/11?

August 30th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

No, I hadn’t either until it was drawn to my attention by a friend who is a former communist in the context of his argument that in the West we should cease to see Russia in old Cold War terms. You can check out the memorial here. It is an impressive piece of work and […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Forgotten World (216): India

August 30th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

It’s been some time since I had one of my regular weeks of postings in my long-running series called Forgotten World – a look at parts of the world that too rarely feature in our media or thoughts. You can check the previous 215 entries here. Since almost one in five of the world’s citizens […]

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (0)

Will Obama be a one-term failure?

August 29th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

As long-term readers of NightHawk will know, I backed Barack Obama for the US Presidency from the moment he was elected to the Congress. I first blogged about Obama in April 2004. Then I blogged 11 times on the Illinois Senate race which he won in November 2004.  In my last posting on that election, […]

Posted in American current affairs | Comments (0)

What’s the best country in the world?

August 28th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

No – it’s not North Korea. According to a study published in this week’s “Newsweek” magazine, it’s Finland.  After Finland comes Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, and Luxembourg respectively. The USA is ranked 11th and the UK 14th.  Only 100 nations are ranked and Burkina Faso comes bottom of the list. Full details here.

Posted in World current affairs | Comments (2)

Did you know that there was a Book of Roger?

August 27th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Almost three years ago now, I did a blog posting about King Roger II of Sicily (1095-1154) and speculated that I might have been named after him because my mother came from Naples which was part of Roger’s kingdom. I’ve recently been watching a BBC2 television series on “The Normans” which included the fascinating information […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

How often have you moved home?

August 26th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

My wife has been away for three days this week helping her twin sister and brother-in-law to move house in West Sussex. This set me thinking about the moves I’ve made in my life. I had a rather peripatetic childhood growing up in Manchester [personal notes here] and lived in eight places there. When I […]

Posted in My life & thoughts | Comments (5)

America’s Bonus Army

August 25th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

I enjoyed enormously “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver [my review here]. Now I am reading her new novel “The Lacuna”. It is full of historic references and I’m not familiar with all of them, so I’m constantly checking things out of the web. For instance, I knew nothing at all about the Bonus Army […]

Posted in History | Comments (0)

So the budget really is regressive

August 25th, 2010 by Roger Darlington

Shortly after the Chancellor set out his emergency budget, I did a series of blog postings arguing that the measures were not progressive as claimed but regressive, that is that they will hit the poor harder than the rich. Now we have confirmation of this from the widely-respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). In a […]

Posted in British current affairs | Comments (0)