Philippa Thomas Online

Occasional thoughts about life, books and news.


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“Revenge of the ‘Deplorables'” – a good read

My day has been thrown off course by a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. “Revenge of the ‘Deplorables‘” is an excellent long read – asking what’s behind the growing distrust in government institutions and conventional media.

The report asks whether Brexit and Trump are “a triumph of democracy or a threat to it?”

The headline is the EIU’s downgrading of the US from a full to a “flawed” democracy in its Democracy Index 2016 but with this key caveat – the election of Mr Trump as US president “was in large part a consequence of the longstanding problems of democracy in the US.” It’s been a long time coming.

 

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America Revisited: the case for Gun Rights

As Americans in the west woke up to the awful news from Florida, I was on my way to the Ben Avery shooting range in the desert north of Phoenix Arizona, to meet three gun enthusiasts – Carol Ruh, president of the Arizona Ladies Shooting Association, her husband Pete Ruh, and the group’s Treasurer Debbie Arnold.  I’m recording a documentary for BBC Radio to air this September. The brief is, “what do Americans really think?”  Continue reading


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America Revisited : What happens in Vegas

I  was waiting for an Uber on the Vegas Strip last night, looking up wide-eyed at some of the crazy crowded exuberant neon skyline. From the casinos of Caesar’s Palace to The Mirage to Treasure Island. Next , perfectly framed in the top of a palm tree against a purple sky, was the shining golden name “Trump”, set on top of his shining golden tower. Continue reading


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America Revisited : Leaving LA

Eight years ago, black Americans were talking about pride and history – Barack Obama in the White House. In the last two days, I’ve been hearing stories of frustration and disappointment. Not with him – the people I’ve been talking to in Los Angeles have mostly been his liberal supporters. But with what they think his elevation unleashed in some of their fellow Americans. Continue reading


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America Revisited road trip : LA

When the dawn comes, I’ll be able to see palm trees. That’s jet lag in Los Angeles for you. I’ve surfaced in an eccentric little house in somebody’s back yard – built purely I reckon for the AirBNB economy – eager for daylight and a bike ride down to Venice beach.

The last time I blogged, it was with the confident expectation that Donald Trump would by now be a footnote in American political history. Ha! Now it’s California primary day. Continue reading


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PJ Crowley talks to BBC Hardtalk – full transcript

Ex-US state department spokesman PJ Crowley, who quit after criticising the treatment of the man accused of leaking secret cables to Wikileaks, has told BBC World News he has no regrets.

He resigned under heavy political pressure after describing the Pentagon’s treatment of Bradley Manning as “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid” – as reported on this blog.
Talking for the first time in an exclusive interview with HARDtalk’s Stephen Sackur, PJ Crowley said that the treatment of Bradley Manning was undermining “a very legitimate” effort to prosecute him.

The following are key quotes from the full interview with PJ Crowley.

    Please credit HARDtalk on BBC World News:

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