Archive for January, 2021

A review of the 2019 documentary “Knock Down The House”

January 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This documentary looks at a little-covered feature of American politics – primaries for the House of Representatives – from an unusual viewpoint – that of four progressive female candidates challenging the establishment incumbents. Directed by Rachel Lears, it follows the 2018 insurgency campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) of New York, Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori […]

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A review of the 1949 film “All The King’s Men”

January 16th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This classic film – which was remade in 2006 – is based on a novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren published in 1946. It tells the story of the rise to power of charismatic and populist Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) who storms his way to becoming Governor of a Southern US state in […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (3)

January 15th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Barack Obama’s presidency began at the height of the subprime mortgage fiasco in the housing market which occasioned a triple economic crisis: the worst recession since the Great Depression, a near collapse of the banking system, and an impending bankruptcy of America’s leading car manufacturers. The stock market had lost 40% of its value and […]

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Just how deadly was 2020?

January 14th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

“Official statistics released on Tuesday showed 2020 was the deadliest year in England and Wales for more than a century. More than 608,000 people died last year, 81,653 of whom as a result of coronavirus. Deaths exceeded 600,000 for only the second time on record, and the toll was just behind that of 611,861 in 1918, […]

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How do the political systems of the United States and the United Kingdom compare with one another?

January 13th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

As the US House of Representatives considers a (second) impeachment of President Donald Trump, many are observing the procedures of the US Congressional system. The majority of visitors to this blog are British or American. So how do the political systems of the two nations compare? You can check out my comparison here. Elsewhere on […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (2)

January 11th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Each time we go into lockdown, I find a really long book to read. In this third lockdown, I’m working my way through the first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs. In fact, it is 200 pages into the 700 page text before he wins the presidency. First, he tells us about his time at […]

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A review of the 1959 classic film “Ben-Hur”

January 10th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Astonishingly this movie was nominated for no less than 12 Academy Awards and managed to win 11 of them, a feat not equalled until “Titanic” 40 years later. I say astonishingly because it is really not that good. The cinematography in Panavision is wonderful and the chariot race is genuinely exciting, but the plotting is […]

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Happy 75th anniversary to the United Nations

January 10th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The first meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations started 75 years ago today. The event ran from 10 January to 14 February 1946. But where did you think this meeting was held? Not in the subsequent headquarters of the UN in New York City which I’ve visited a couple of times. No, […]

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What happens now in the United States of America?

January 7th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Commentators are calling for Donald Trump to be removed from the US presidency by invocation of the 25th amendment of the US Constitution which requires the Vice-President and half the cabinet to declare the president unfit to perform the duties of his office. Realistically, this isn’t going to happen. The Vice-President and officers appointed by […]

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A review of the 2010 film “Letters To Juliet”

January 6th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I once made a day trip to Verona in Italy and visited the courtyard where there is a balcony and statue of Juliet as an evocation of the play by Shakespeare. At the time, I didn’t realise that people left letters to Juliet pressed into the walls and that a volunteer group answered any of […]

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