Archive for January, 2021

The BIGGEST mistake of President Barack Obama

January 30th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Regular readers of this blog with know both that I’m a huge admirer of Barack Obama and that I’m currently reading the first volume of his political memoirs “A Promised Land”. I’m enjoying the 700-page book enormously – I have read his two previous works – not least because he is a fine writer. BUT […]

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In the United States, voter suppression is even higher on the Republican agenda

January 29th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

What most non-Americans do not appreciate is that, in the United States, entitlement to vote and the mechanisms for voting are matters for each of the 50 individual states with therefore substantial variation across the country and a constant tussle to change the rules to favour the political party in state control. After an election […]

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A review of the new action movie “Ava”

January 28th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Jessica Chastain is a fine actor, but she clearly wanted an action hero outing because she takes both the eponymous role as a super assassin and a producer credit in this action-filled drama. If male actors have such tough-guy roles as James Bond, Jason Bourne and John Wick, I for one like to see woman […]

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Mega-rich recoup COVID-losses in record-time yet billions will live in poverty for at least a decade

January 27th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In this week of each year, politicians, business leaders and policy wonks gather in the Swiss resort of Davos in Switzerland. This year, the event is happened virtually because of the global pandemic. But, as usual, Oxfam has published its annual review of inequality in the world and the main theme of the 2021 report […]

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Covid: UK virus deaths exceed 100,000 since pandemic began

January 26th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There are three main ways of calculating the death toll from coronavirus: those who died within 28 days of being tested positive for covid (the official government measure announced on the media each day); those who had the virus mentioned on their death certificate (a wider measure from the Office of National Statistics); and excess […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (5)

January 25th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Obama campaigned for the White House as an anti-war candidate: he had opposed the invasion of Iraq and, in the presidential election campaign, he argued that the war in Afghanistan had been neglected as a result of the focus on Iraq. Once in the White House, however, he quickly found himself having to back the […]

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What is a fronted adverbial?

January 23rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Apparently this is something that kids are learning at schools these days as discovered by parents who are having to homeschool in lockdown. I confess that I’d never heard of the term until I read an article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper. Even then, I had no idea what it was and I’m a reasonably well-educated […]

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A review of the 2017 film “The Circle”

January 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Based on Dave Eggers’ best-selling novel, this movie explains how a powerful information technology company with a huge worldwide customer base – the Circle of the title – plans to introduce a series of clever innovations that seem to solve a social or political ill and introduce transparency and accountability but massively undermine personal space […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (4)

January 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There is a famous quote, usually – but wrongly – attributed to the German politician Otto von Bismarck, which was in fact written by the American poet John Godfrey Saxe: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made”. This observation was in my mind as I read […]

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What are the 17 executive orders signed by newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden?

January 21st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

A couple of months ago, I did a posting explaining the role of executive orders in the American political system and suggesting that, once in the Oval Office, Joe Biden would enact a slew of such orders to undo some of the worst features of the Trump presidency. So it has proved to be. But […]

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