Thursday, 1 November 2012


So caught up in our own affairs with Alex and the European Union, and the visit of Pip Hammond and his Weapons of Mass Destruction, have I been that I've failed to say anything about either the horrific weather "event"  (didn't it used to be horrific weather) in the Northeastern United States, or indeed the Presidential election, with which my friend, and Munguin's Republic's 'Man In America', Danny, has been keeping me up to speed.

So now I will rectify both of these omissions by recounting the story sent by the aforementioned Danny, to whom I say "thanks", of Mitt and the Donations, which although it sounds like a 1970's soul group, is in fact, what has been going on over the last few days in the States.
When Hurricane Sandy was predicted and later when it hit landfall, it was only reasonable to expect that Barack Obama would give it his fullest attention. It's his job. Whether he wanted to or not, he was obliged to stop whatever else he was doing (in this case campaigning for next week's election), and work in concert with the national disaster team, and the governors of the affected states and their teams, to do everything they could to save lives, organise relief, comfort and reassure, and get teams working on normalising life as quickly as possible.

The President had to break into his campaign to do that, because he had a role, a job to do. Mr Romney had no such role and there nothing that said he had to do the same, except that generally speaking people would expect it.

So it seems he decided that doing a little "charity work" for the displaced, bereaved, miserable people would be the best use of his time, so he changed the name of his campaign events and carried on pretty much regardless.

This video clip, which I urge you to watch if you have any interest at all in what is going on in America, covers various aspects of what Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been doing.

I was particularly interested in the ploy Romney used to get charitable donations to the cause to also mean first rate photo opportunities for himself.

For obvious logistical reasons the Red Cross want donations of money (and blood) rather than food. Food randomly purchased and donated on the scale that would be useful for the millions of homeless in the eastern seaboard states would require vast administration to get it to where it would be useful, and even at that tons of it would be useless because it would require cooking where there are no facilities to do this.

But a photo op with Mr Romney accepting cash and cheques wouldn't have made the same splash as pictures of Mitt up to his elbows in poor people's food would. So against the express wishes of the Red Cross, Mitt asked for food.

And worse still, in case people came with no food, he had his campaign purchase $5,000 worth of Walmart food, and as people arrived they were able to pick up something to "donate".  Something that had been purchased by the people to whom they were going to donate it.  It made fantastic photographic evidence of a candidate who cares and who can inspire others to care (even if he has to produce the goods).

Does that not make you sick?

As an afterthought of course, the Red Cross won't want, or be able to use, this stuff. What will become of it? Will the genuine donations from Americans horrified by the plight of their countrymen just go to waste having served their purpose of making Mitt look good? 

Danny has promised to keep his eyes and ears open.

I don't think Mr Romney would make a very good president. 


  1. 'I don't think Mr Romney would make a very good president.'

    Agreed Tris, but neither has the other one:


  2. It doesn't really matter who gets elected. It's Bernie and the inkjets that run the show.

  3. I don't get enthused over American politics as whoever is head is a puppet of big business same as here and elsewhere around the world.

  4. Yes Steve. I'm not painting Obama as perfect... but I have to say that the UK has been complicit in all that he has done. So Brown, who would have blown Scotland up for a fair word from Bush or Obama, and Camergrunt must take responsibility for this.

    I just think that Romney will be worse. Much worse, because he is stupid ... and will be so easily manipulated.

    As for that obnoxious little blady twerp Robinson... yeuchhhhhhhhhh sickening lying little Tory unionist prat.

  5. True, as everywhere Monty.

  6. I find it interesting CH, because I like to know who Cameron will be taking his orders from, and Salmond won't.

  7. Good for him. Almost everything they said was a lie.

    It must be one of the most ill-informed articles I've ever read from the WP.

  8. Sorry for going O/T Tris but are you up to full stocks for ANOTHER Middle East war?

    Warmongers from hell are back in charge of the asylum methinks!

    Hell lets just go bomb the whole Middle East after all we are swimming in all this money that we've been able to save with all this austerity s**** and stuff we can really go to town over there.

  9. I've long expected it, Arbroath. I laughed though, at the line in the piece that said a decision would be made by David Cameron.

    That's laughable.

    Any decisions will be made by Barack Obama!

    I suppose that pensioners might as well forget their Winter Fuel Payment to finance this folly.

  10. "The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond yesterday said European nations must be prepared to “take a bigger role in relation to North Africa and the Middle East”."

    I suppose that what THEY are doing is sorting out their domestic problems; making sure that there is enough electricity and gas at affordable prices, looking after their sick and elderly, etc, Mr Hammond. Something your lot don't recognise as responsibilities of government.

  11. I'm just trying to figure out what the "bad" news is that will be "quietly" slipped out on the same day that our Dave announces he is sending jets over to Dubai.

    Let's not forget Westminster has form in choreographing the release of "bad" news at the same time other "more important/good" news is announced.

  12. According to guido there could be a bit of an explosive Newsight programme on at half past ten tonight.

    Paedophiles at the BBC and now, allegedly, paedophiles in Westminster.

    Whatever next?

    Best we just take our Independence now methinks. What else is going to happen?

    Moreover what else do we need to happen for people up here to waken up to the dirt, thievery and squalor that is Westminster.

    They're coming to take him away Ha Ha
    They're coming to take him away!

  13. Major disaster? Obama has no respect for the
    meaning of words

    A conundrum if Romney is elected I believe that the world might be safer as he would not have the same respect and trust afforded to drone loving Obama.

  14. tris

    That Alex salmond a born liar cheat fraud swindler(real proper nat snp)

    Oops just relised you waz on abhat Mitt(I believe marriage is between one man and one women Grandfather had twelve wife's)Romney!

  15. Seems to me that this Scottishreview piece has a really nasty tone to it. I would be more than willing to say that the 20 Scottish dead described here should definitely constitute a "major disaster" for Scotland. And I'm sorry that an application of population statistics would require the death of 1200 Americans to be comparable to the Scottish tragedy. As it is, the death toll from the storm here in the States is now more than 90. Children are among the dead, and people are still being pulled from destroyed homes.

    But this article talks about simply a "regrettable interruption to the life of the United States" in an area "where many of the world's richest people live." In fact, I didn't notice a lot of wealthy people in the video I've just seen of the people in the devastated working class communities of Staten Island, New York.....or in working class and inner city neighborhoods of New Jersey.

    I'm not a defender of the drone strikes. But the "drone loving Obama" happens not to be the president who started those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is in fact the president who ended the war in Iraq, and is in the process of a 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan. And if one thinks that Mr. Romney and the Republican Party of the United States is the candidate and Party of peace, then you have the shortest memory imaginable. Just take a look at some of Romney's foreign affairs advisers, and listen to some of the Republican rhetoric about Iran.

    The Afghanistan war was in direct response to an attack on New York and Washington which killed 3,000 people. Not sure if even this is enough dead Americans to be considered a "major disaster" as defined in Mr. Roy's piece though. Especially since a lot of the dead were people from a wealthy area of New York City.

    Seriously, just look at the videos of this disaster and ask yourself if there is any country on earth that would not consider this a major disaster.

    The final paragraph of this piece with the comments about the use of this disaster for political ends is an especially hateful touch. This article is offensive on every level, in my opinion.

  16. Afghanistan allegedly harboured Osama Bin Laden which was the reason the war started, now that he is dead it turned into another regime change war killing thousands of innocent civilians in the madness a mirror image of Iraq. Both these wars are causing major birth defects in unborn children with the use of depleted uranium in the weapons used as a handy way of disposing of nuclear waste. Immoral.

  17. You will get no argument from me about war being a bad thing. There was no reason at all for the Iraq War. Bush and the Republican neocons started it. Obama and the Democrats ended it.

    Afghanistan, after the 9/11 attack, was a war to eliminate the al-Qaeda safe haven provided by the Taliban government of Afghanistan. Bush started that war too, and then proceeded to ignore it while he pursued his preferred war in Iraq. When Obama came into office, he was faced with a resurgent Taliban and no easy solutions. I believe he is sincere about the 2014 withdrawal date.

    To the extent that the drone strikes kill innocent civilians, I regret that. But I'm told that the strikes have been effective in eliminating al-Qaeda leaders and the Taliban who sheltered them. I watched people jump from the burning towers in New York City, and then I watched the buildings, with people still in them, collapse. So I won't shed a single tear for the deaths of the guilty. I wish that war could be waged without the deaths of the innocent. As for war itself, I wonder how Britain would have dealt with a comparable attack on London.

    Anyway, that is the long sad history of the thing. And in my view, to suggest that Mr. Romney and the Republicans are a better bet for peace than Mr. Obama and the Democrats betrays an absolutely breathtaking disregard for recent history and American politics.

  18. A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma def of a conundrum.

    Your government is run by wall street ours by the city of London so one can have whoever they want as prominent head but they have to bow to the real power bases which will continue until we and yourselves regain democracy back to the 99%.

  19. I think Arbroath that the problem of paedophiles is one that spreads over a wide area.

    The BBC with all the weird lefty trendy sorts... Parliament with all the repressed public school boys with their pinstripes, the City with all the moneyed people who think that they are untouchable. I've read that Downing Street and the Palace are involved... I wonder when the story will completely disappear. I imagine the answer is when it gets close to someone who matters.

    As for McShane. He was always a nasty thieving little waste of oxygen. He got away with it last time round, as did 300+ of the thieves, but it seems that he thought that he too was untouchable. I hope he does prison for this. He was too well connected last time to be thrown to the lions. I doubt he is this time.

  20. Indeed Niko. Now go and lie down and count Mr Romney's grandmothers until you fall asleep again. It was just a bad dream. :)

  21. Danny and CH seem to be doing fine without any intervention from me.

    I will say, however, that I think that Obama has made some efforts towards peace, where a Republican would have gone to war.

    George Bush, for some reason always wanted to have a war in Iraq. Maybe it was something to do with his daddy and the first Gulf War. There was certainly no reason for that war. And no excuse for it either, as Blix was less than a month away from reporting... a report which would certainly have reported that there were no WMDs.

    Of course Bush and his posterior appendage Blair knew perfectly well that there were none and had to attack before it was out in the open. So they withdrew Dr Blix and his team and bombed the life out of Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands of people for absolutely no reason at all, except Bush appeared to want to.

    There was no al Qaeda in Iraq... There were no terrorists. There was a relatively unpleasant dictator. As it turns out he was only little more unpleasant than the murdering British Elected dictator, or his boss, Bush.

    In Iraq there was relative freedom and as long as you didn't criticise the leader you were alright. (A bit like at the Labour party conference where a whiff of criticism got you bundled out of the hall and charged with anti-terrorism laws.)

    All these years later we have left the most unholy mess. The country isn't safe. Al Qaeda is everywhere. Women have been pushed back into burkas and stay at home lives.

    Bush and Blair, the latter only recognisable by his shoe soles are murdering bastards both. Still Tony got his Congressional Medal so that's alright.

    No means of waging war is pleasant, but drones are inexcusable. We'll be alright. No body bags for us, and hell mend the rest.

    It appears that Obama approves them, as does David Cameron. Either that or he's too much of a woose to say... stop with the drones or we are out of here. Hard to say which. Despicable or despicable coward...

    Romney has already made it clear that Obama hasn't been half supportive enough of the unlovely Benjamin Netanyahu, and a Romney administration would be at his shoulder. Well, I wonder how long after January the whatever it would be before we were back at war. I read today that Philip Faslane Hammond is getting ready to put British planes in the gulf ready for war.

    So before the war has even started it is our war.

    Thank god we have loads of sick people we can stop paying benefits to so that we can pay for all this crap.

    Isn't it strange how there is always money for a good old war, but never enough for the good old.

    Just some thoughts, without wishing to get involved in the discussion between Danny and CH. :)

  22. I hate to disagree with you Tris but I think you might be wrong with your statement about George Bush and there be no need to go to war.

    I think there might just have been an itsy bitsy wee object that was highly attractive to Bush and his lap dog Blair.

    Despite Blair's ridiculous 45 minute claim the REAL object of the gruesome twosome was Iraqi oil. In my view the whole W.M.D. fiasco was just a "front" for Bush and Blair to get their grubby little paws on Iraqi oil.

    Apologies for the disagreement, normal service will resume shortly. :lol:

  23. I think Danny took offence at the tone of the Scottish Review article which I posted, understandably coming from America. What muddies the waters on both sides of the argument that I see is that we are inclined to label/infer people inadvertently with either administrations applicable to all that countries occupants. One countries citizen is of more value than x number of another which is how both of our respective governments behave in world affairs no matter who is in power.

    One Tory government coming to the UK ignore the rosette colour New Labour Candidate Rules - You Don't Have To Be A Party Member Only Work In The City of London

  24. Ah yes, Arbroath. I forgot that they wanted their grubby greedy mitts (did you see what I did there) on Iraq's oil.

    So, what's one little lie and two or three hundred thousand dead when there's oil to be had?

  25. Well, CH, he may have done, but fear not, Danny, whom I have known for a long time, will always argue on intellectual grounds and put emotion to the side.

    Geeez... the Labour party really needs to change its name. It really isn't appropriate for a party of the banking classes to be called Labour.

    The Trades Description Act should apply.

  26. Sorry for the baraking earlier. (see I can do it too. :lol:)

    Well I guess they were only really using Iraq as a practice session. The REAL prize, in their minds, was/is Scotland's oil.

    Oops sorry I forgot our oil is running out.
    It was running out in 1975.
    It was running out in 1983.
    It was running out in 1995.
    It is running out in 2012.
    It will run out by 2027.

    Maybe one year they, the London politicians, will eventually figure out that we don't listen to them any more.

  27. Yes, I certainly did take issue with the tone of that article which I thought was as nasty a piece of work as I've read in anything ever linked on Munguin's Republic. And yet CH simply states that my view is "understandable", what with my being an American and all. In fact, it was that article itself which advanced the idea that the people of one country are of more value than the people of another. It said that when President Obama spoke of the deaths of the Americans in the storm as a "major disaster," he was displaying a lack of respect for the "meaning of words." The author went so far as to suggest that the tragedy of storm deaths must properly be considered on a population adjusted basis, and that it would take the death of 1200 Americans to be as "tragic" as the death of 20 Scots.

    This is nasty stuff, and it makes me wonder if my friend CH actually read the piece carefully and thought through the implication of what was being said.

    Oh yes, the piece also pointed out that the American storm occurred in an area of the USA which includes some of the wealthiest Americans. Do you imagine that there are only rich people in America, and even if that were true, that their deaths could not possibly constitute a "great tragedy?" Well in any case, most Americans are not as wealthy as Mitt Romney, and the storm ravaged areas of New York and New Jersey include some of the poorest areas that you will find in any urban area in any country of the world. In particular, you can compare the area with any comparably sized area of Glasgow, and you'll find just as many poor and middle class people there, and just as many horrendous urban slums too.

    This article was an abomination on every level, and I'm perhaps most surprised at CH simply saying well "of course" I would think so. After all, I'm an "American." I would think that quite a few Scots might think so too. I'm sure that my friend Tris would.

  28. PS: And as for the wars -- the suggestion that the choice of Mitt Romney and the Republicans just might be a better bet for peace than the "drone loving Obama," as it was so elegantly phrased, is simply silly. During the last four years, and throughout this election campaign, President Obama has met opposition from the Republicans at every turn as he has advanced a policy of disengagement and withdrawal. Are you aware that the Republicans were opposed to the final withdrawal from Iraq? And that Republicans have generally opposed the 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan? And that the Republican neocons have advocated war with Iran. Are that the Republicans have vehemently opposed even modest cuts in Defense Department weapons spending by the Obama administration? And yet these are the people you think might bring peace, since Obama so loves to mount those drone air strikes? Good Lord man, what kind of alternate reality, vis-a-vis American politics, are you living in?

    Mr. Obama has simply been trying to clean up the unholy mess that Bush and the Republican war hawks left him. That said, I supported the Afghanistan war in principle. I have no problem with people knowing that when you attack and kill Americans, then you can expect that nothing less than the wrath of God in the form of the American military will come down on your head. The problem is that this mismanaged war should not have gone on for more than a decade.

    I'm sure that my view about drones will find little sympathy here. But I suggest that the abomination is the act of air strikes and warfare itself, not the technical means by which those strikes are mounted. The Predator Drones are simply a means of delivering munitions from the air. When properly used, they can accomplish that goal with more precision and less innocent casualties than a conventional bomber, and without endangering a flight crew.

    It's indeed a horrible thing. But the horror is war itself; and not a weapon which has the practical military advantage of precise targeting, while not endangering your own forces. The extent to which such weapons make war itself more likely is the only possible problematic element. But generally, I suggest that the more horrible the weapons, the LESS likely it is that they will be used. Certainly the history of nuclear weapons illustrates this point perfectly, going back to the end of WW II.

  29. Yes Danny. First of all, I'd say that your knowledge of what the American government is up to is second to none, in my experience.

    To be fair the ins and outs of the political battles in Washington are not much covered here, certainly in mainstream news.

    I have read, though, of how Obama has tried to reduce military spending but since the House has been Republican, there has been little chance of success in anything that involves their co-operation.

    (They remind me of the Scottish parliament in that respect the opposition acts as an opposition in all things, regardless of their worth.)

    The Republicans are war mongers. While there may have been cause for an attack on Al Qaeda after 9/11, a full scale war on Afghanistan was, in my opinion, an over the top reaction.

    We wanted Osama Bin Laden, who we thought was in Afghanistan. We wanted the Taliban who sheltered him.

    As I'm a peacenik, I know nothing about how these things could have been managed, but, I'm sure that we didn't need to lay waste to large sections of the country.

    I know "we" don't approve of how these people live; the restrictions on women, the predominance of religion in their way of life, but it's nothing to do with us. And no excuse for a war.

    Additionally we do nothing about the same conditions in Saudi Arabia, or Bahrain because they have a lot of oil, could make things very difficult for us and they spend billions on weapons from us.... and in the case of the UK, this is the only thing we manufacture with any success these days.

    Presumably we don't approve of the Vatican either, but we don't bomb it. (Of course it doesn't have oil)

    I'm surprised that we couldn't have taken out Bin Laden and Mullah Omar without killing thousands of innocents on the way.

    I've already said, in my opinion the war in Iraq was completely pointless and totally illegal. Bush and Blair and their close support are murderers and war criminals but because they are US/UK citizens and white, they are safe.

    Drones are evil; bombs are evil; WMDs are evil; rifles are evil. Killing people is evil. That is why on an individual level it is not allowed, pretty much anywhere in the world. But once you are a president or a prime minister, you can order people to kill millions of people with long as you don't come from the Balkans or Africa, in which case you are a war criminal.

    I hope there's no hard feelings between you and CH...

    A good argument in a post is enlivening... and no one is ever 100% right.

  30. And yes, Danny, on the subject of the article I thought it was horrific.

    You can't value lives on the basis of colour, creed, nationality.

    And 10 people dead is 10 people dead. It matters not whether they come from China (where there are lots more of them) or from Greenland (where there are very few of them).

    It's something I notice here on the news, where there is an accident, perhaps in Switzerland, and say 10 people have been killed. They tell you how many Britons are among the number. As if it matters what nationality they were when the bus went off the cliff...

    I've also 'known' Cynical for a long time, Danny. I'm pretty certain that no offence was intended... It's just not like him to do that, as it would not be like you.

  31. Well Arbroath, we'll soon find that we will be put on community service for not listening to them.

    More and more we are losing the right to free speech in the UK. (See next story).

  32. The US Presidential Election 2012

    The only difference between Obama and Romney is perceived intelligence which is why I suggested that one is going to be favoured more worldwide over the other influencing how far they can go in interfering in how other countries are run.

    As to Sandy Aftermath of hurricane Sandy leaves Haiti facing new disaster

    When hurricane Sandy struck, Fifi Bouille was giving birth in a refugee camp. There were no medics around, only her sisters. Throughout the three-hour labour, rain beat down on the tent and fierce winds tugged at the canvas.

    As to nuclear weapons keeping the peace!

    Michael Portillo on Trident nuclear replacement plans

    Renewing Trident would not be a good idea as the system is "completely past its sell-by date", said former Conservative defence secretary Michael Portillo

  33. Danny.."The Predator Drones are simply a means of delivering munitions from the air. When properly used, they can accomplish that goal with more precision and less innocent casualties than a conventional bomber, and without endangering a flight crew. "

    More than a thousand civilians killed ( inc 175 children) and another 2,000 killed or injured using drones 'operated by joystick from an air conditioned building in California'.
    Obama and his 'kill list' has made him judge jury and executioner. Nearly 300 attacks since he came to power. Outbombing even George Bush..

  34. Gee Anon, I'm really sorry I missed your comment when it was posted. But browsing MR today, I happened onto it belatedly. And I will make a reply. No one will read it at this late date of course, but I just can't let a comment of such monumental inanity go unanswered.

    I suppose that in some way, the second paragraph of your post is intended to be relevant to the first paragraph, which is a statement of mine taken out of context.

    Let me repeat. A predator drone is a precision weapon of war. Even within the bounds of military secrecy, I think it is incontrovertible that a given military mission carried out with a predator drone will almost always result in a more precise and effective military strike against an enemy target, with less collateral damage and innocent casualties, than the same exact mission carried out with a conventional bomber and less precisely targeted munitions. And this is done without endangering a flight crew. That's what I said, and it's simply a fact.

    I put this comment in the context that war itself is an unspeakable abomination, and that people who are against certain weapons of war might better consider simply being against the act of war itself. But if we must have war, I suggest that it's a pretty good idea to wage it with weapons that are more precisely effective against military targets, and which minimize the danger to your own personnel.

    Now I do have respect for people who have a pacifist point of view and eschew the entire concept of war in all instances. I wish that were a practical idea in the real world. But as far as I can see, it's not. If you're a world power (and thus go around with a target painted on you) in a world full of warlike people and governments, pacifism just doesn't work very well. The peaceful approach was tried at Munich in 1938 you will recall. As for the Afghanistan war, I have no idea if the initial US response to the attack on New York City and Washington (which certainly had originally targeted the US Capitol or White House), and which killed more than 3,000 innocent people, was disproportionate or not. What I do know is that al-Qaeda mounted the attack, they were protected by the Taliban government of Afghanistan, and I didn't see any response from those characters except pride in the attacks and vows of Jihad which continue to the present day. As I recall, the Taliban specifically refused an American demand to surrender bin Laden.


  35. ....contd....

    So if you want to wring your hands about the human tragedy, I suggest that you begin by giving some thought to the dead bodies and smoldering ruins in New York City and Washington, and reflect on what the reaction of the British government would have been to an attack on Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall. The attack on the US was exactly of this scope. In that historical context, I think that your obvious hatred for President Obama and your preoccupation with the Predator Drone weaponry in particular is irrational and bizarre.

    As for the link you provided, I have no idea if this data on CIA Covert Operations is correct or not. The CIA has a habit of not talking about the details of its operations. So how amazing it is that the BUREAU OF INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM has such startlingly precise information, right down to the number of killed and wounded in all categories, including the precise number of "children." And I was particularly impressed with the way it so helpfully separated the TOTAL US strikes from the OBAMA strikes.

    In fact the nature and number of casualties is debated, and the data is not sourced in the link you provided. Pakistan certainly inflates the reports of civilian casualties in their country for their own purposes. Pakistan has let itself become a war zone by shielding al-Qaeda. Same with Yemen, and I doubt that truly accurate statistics are available in the unclassified literature anywhere.

    You do provide some irrelevant but emotionally charged details about "joystick control" in an "air conditioned building in California." "Air conditioned!" How horrible! Your view is apparently that these weapons of war are MORE terrible since they don't endanger one's own forces in ADDITION to the enemy? And then you describe Obama's "kill list" over which he acts as "judge, jury, and executioner." You really pull out all the stops in your Obama hate don't you? Finally you tell us that Obama has "outbomb[ed]" George Bush. You REALLY think that's true? Are you delusional? Or are you just talking about drone strikes, about which you have such an obsession.

    Here in the states I have encountered every form of Obama hate imaginable. But I gotta say Anon, you are a piece of work even by American standards.