For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

Electric Scotland News

I mentioned in a previous newsletter that I would provide my own personal choice for viewing world news and you can see this at:


I am enjoying a few videos on YouTube with many of them making a video every few days. The ones I watch on a regular basis are:

Lumnah Acres
A Guide to Modern Homesteading, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom (230k subscribers)

Northern Seclusion
What started as a long distance relationship between a guy in Minnesota and a gal in Louisiana has come a long way these past years. Follow us as we remodel and renovate the Farmstead we purchased in Minnesota. We still are also working on finishing the previously flooded Louisiana house. Always something going on and delicious Farmhouse cooking. (76.9k Subscribers)

My Self Reliance
Log Cabin Building, Woodworking, Bushcraft, Survival Skills, Cooking, Canadian Wilderness exploration, Hunting, Fishing, Off Grid Living in the forest with my golden retriever Cali. (1.54m Subscribers)

Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as world news stories that can affect Scotland and all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

Inside Canada's decades-long lobster feud
A fight over indigenous fishing rights that's been decades in the making has come to a head in Nova Scotia, the epicentre of Canada's billion-dollar lobster industry.

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A temperate and sage university gives his insight on Britain and Europe
REGRETTABLY, Vernon Bogdanor is currently one of the few British political scientists likely to have a temperate reaction if presented with an essay from a student which vigorously lays out the failings of the EU.

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Why is the British Armyís equipment procurement so shambolic?
GENERALLY SPEAKING, the British electorate doesnít take much interest in defence matters.

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Trudeau calls China's Hong Kong diplomacy coercive
His remarks on Friday come a day after the Chinese ambassador warned that granting asylum to Hong Kong protesters could put Canadians in danger.

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How the EU sought to make us dependent
As we exit the EU fully we need to be aware of just how far the EU had got in seeking our integration and submission to their system

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New Zealand election: Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party scores landslide win
With all votes tallied, Ms Ardern's centre-left Labour Party won 49.1%, bringing a projected 64 seats and a rare outright parliamentary majority.

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The Political peculiarities of interwar Scotland
ALTHOUGH SCOTLAND for the main part reflected British political developments during the interwar period, she demonstrated particular features which need to be examined.

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CapX Live with Rob Ford
While much has been written about the shock of Brexit, there's been far less on its deep roots. Rob Ford and Maria Sobolewska's Brexitland is an essential guide to how decades of change in education, immigration and identity have transformed British politics, culminating in the vote to leave.

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The UK has a vital role protecting the Blue Belt
Britain is responsible for an area of ocean twice the size of India, and 30 times the UK itself

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Carson C. Smith FSA Scot
Jacobite Risings. A presentation on the background.

View this at:

Google hit by landmark competition lawsuit in US over search
The US government has filed charges against Google, accusing the company of violating competition law to preserve its monopoly over internet searches and online advertising.

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Devolution needs reset returning it to its original limited purpose
ANOTHER WEEK has passed where many of the headlines have revealed the cruelty and absurdity of the world.

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Singaporeís success is a lesson to the world and itís built on English law
Brexit is an opportunity to embrace openness and English common law - just like Singapore

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Coronavirus: The place in North America with no cases
Covid-19 cases are rising in many parts of Canada, but one region - Nunavut, a northern territory - is a rare place in North America that can say it's free of coronavirus in its communities.

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Electric Canadian

Knights Templar Canada
Got in the October 2020 newsletter which sees the Rev. Nola Crewe completing her 3 year term as Grand Prior. Also got in the Easter 2020 newsletter. And if you go to our main Knights Templar page you'll find a link to an International video meeting hosted by Bulgaria and run over Zoom which you'll find towards the foot of the page at:

Highland Society of New Brunswick at Miramichi
Incorporated 11th Day of April 1846. Report on proceedings for 1876 (pdf)


Thoughts on a Sunday morning - 18th October 2020
You can view this at:

An Account of the Highland Society of Canada
A Branch of the Highland Society of London, compiled by John MacDonell (pdf) (1844)

You can read this at:

James Brown
Added his report on his Mission to Great Britain and Ireland for the Promotion of Emigration

You can read this at:

Little Mountain Ranch
A vlog on a ranch in Northern BC in Canada. You can view this at:

Electric Scotland

Electric Scotland Choice of News Sources
These are sources I refer to frequently. You can see this list at:

Fisherman's Friends
A tribute to this Cornish Sea Shanty group.
I watched this film on Netflix and thought I'd share this with you which you can see at:

MacLeod's History of Witches, &c.
By Malcolm MacLeod D.D. (1793) (pdf)
The is one of these old documents which change the letter s to an f.

You can read this at:

A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire
A New Edition with an Introduction embodying extracts hitherto unpublished from the records of the Presbytery of Paisley. (1877) (pdf)

A good read as we approach Halloween and you can read this at:

The Loyall Dissuasive and other papers
Concerning the Affiars of Clan Chattan by Sir Aeneas MacPherson 1691-1705 edited with Notes and Introduction from the Originals at Cluny Castle, by the Rev. Alexander D. Muroch FSA Scot. (1902) (pdf)

You can read this at:

The Highland Society of London
The Branch Societies and Alphabetical lists of the Members (1856) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Report of the Committee of the Highland Society of Scotland
Appointed to inquire into the Nature and Authenticity of the Poems of Ossian. Drawn up, according to the directions of the committee by Henry MacKenzie with a copius appendix containing some of the principle documents on which the report is founded. (1805) (pdf)

You can read this at:

This Farming Life
In Armadale, a hill farmer prepares for one of Europe's biggest sheep sales, while in Haweswater, a couple take on the biggest gamble of their lives by moving to a larger farm 10 miles north. An Aberdeenshire couple who began farming four years ago plan to raise baby ostriches, and a Northumberland shepherd prepares for the National English Sheepdog trials, and new farmers hatch ostriches. Follow 6 families during their life on the farm. A BBC series on YouTube which you can view at:

Life of General Sir William Napier
Edited by H. A. Bruce, M. P. in two volumes (1864) (pdf)
Volume 1 at:
Volume 2 at:

Memoirs of Archibald, first lord Napier
Written by himself, Archibald Napier Napier (1793) (pdf)

You can read this at:

Murray, William Hutchison OBE
Scottish mountaineer and writer

You can read about him at:


Scottish tradition turned American competition
By Isaac Babcock | January 27, 2006 Seminole Chronicle Our thanks to the newspaper for giving us permission to share this article with you.

FESTIVE FIGHT: Engulfed in a battle of strength and will, veteran athlete Ching McKee, center, pulls a rope in the tug-of-war event at the 29th

Annual Central Florida Highland Games on Saturday. The Winter Springs event brought athletes from across the country.

Shrouded in legend and born in a time where survival meant finding whatever weapons a man could, the Scottish Highland Games are a cultural enigma in the world of amateur sports. Tossing logs, throwing bags of rope and hurling chained iron into the air, a growing group of athletes is transforming a historical footnote into a world class sport.

Crouching near the ground, a huge man in a kilt wrapped his hands around a dead tree trunk as his eyes panned upward and forward. His gaze fixed, his face jerked tight with anticipation of what he was about to do as he visualized 140 pounds of wood flying through the air.

He was taking a trip into a sporting past that used to be deadly serious. Nine hundred years ago, warriors 3,000 miles away would stand trees on end, lift them into the air and try to kill as many men as they could with them.

Scotland was constantly at war. Their swords, arrows and clubs taken by the British to prevent an uprising that wouldn't be stopped, these were their weapons. The biggest and strongest men in the country were gathered to stop an invasion.

They used trees, weights attached to chains and rocks to test who would lead the fight. When they made it to the battlefield, they dragged some of those crudely fashioned weapons toward their enemies, cocked and fired.

At least that's one theory of the origins of the games, passed down through the ages and now spilling out the mouth of John Stenard as he watched from the sidelines of the 29th annual Central Florida Scottish Highland Games Saturday.

At Winter Springs' Central Winds Park, more than 10,000 spectators got a taste of what they had been missing from their family trees.

"There's a lot of theory about how these events originated," Stenard said. "Especially the caber toss. Nobody knows for sure."

A few parts "Braveheart," a pinch of survival instinct and a bit of competitive spirit were playing out in front of him in a sport few outside Scotland get to see, but what's slowly but surely becoming a national sporting phenomenon.

Scottish Highland Games have been around for centuries, but only recently spread to America, where immigrants hundreds of years ago sowed the seeds of Scottish heritage.

The objects of the modern games are simple: Throw a weight the farthest, the highest or the straightest.

What the athletes throw is where it gets weird. There are no shots to put, no discuses to whirl around and no javelins to launch arrow-straight.

They pick up small boulders and hurl them from their shoulders. They pick up logs, called cabers, and try to flip them over in the air. They grab a weight with a chain attached and launch it over their heads.


On the verge of an explosion in popularity, the sport that was once maligned as a nostalgic laugh is getting serious.

"A lot of people poo-poo the games as people running around in kilts," Stenard said in a chipper Northern accent. "But this is a tough sport."

That's not a difficult thing to believe coming from a man who broke his back at a competition more than a decade ago.

Now retirement age after dominating the esoteric hodge-podge of events for years, he's out of the game for good. As a field judge on the sidelines, he's watching his sport grow. Since giving up the sport, he's seen it shoot up by leaps and bounds, propelled on the feet of some of the best athletes in the country.

Just before last year's games Jason Richards won the Central Florida Highland Games and represented the United States against Scotland in the world championships. The United States won. This year he didn't show.

"He's training to be a decathlete," said friend and teammate Kevin Dupuis. "He wants to be in the Olympics."

In his early 30s, Dupuis is one of the younger athletes in the sport at the moment, but says that age is shrinking as the level of competition ratchets ever higher.

"Most guys are in their late 20s or early 30s when then find this sport," he said. "A lot of them used to be track athletes in high school. Some of them go on to be track athletes after this."

The sport that once pulled only avid Scotsmen looking for a history fix is now pulling some of the brightest stars in college athletics.

His words are plain, tinged with a hint of intimidation. The young guys are coming, and the average age of Highland Gamesmen is moving southbound. Last year Dupuis was second place at a hotly contested Central Florida games. This year he was unsure if he'd be in the top three.

Striding out with big, long steps toward a pitchfork stuck in the ground, he smartly whips it up, digs the tines into a burlap bag filled with rope, turns his head to look up and launches it toward the clouds. Up, over the bar, down. Success, but maybe not enough to win the day.


Dupuis doesn't look like a guy who fears other men. At 6-feet, 6-inches tall and weighing 295 pounds, he's intimidation personified. Hoisting his body skyward are calves the size of the next biggest man's thighs. They hide underneath knitted knee-length white "kilt socks" with small tartan tassles to tell you he's Scottish - at least a little bit.

Just to confuse people, he's wearing a "Vote For Pedro" shirt today. Strange clothes or not, he's not the type of man you would argue with on a street corner.

He's also not the strongest man at the games, and he knows it.

Looking over his shoulder from under a tent at the side of the field, he spots a shaved head and a yellow skin-tight shirt a hundred yards away.

"Lannie can beat me in any lift in the gym," he said, pointing to former Natural Athlete Strength Association world champion Lannie Pullon, the man he expected to lose to. "He's a lot stronger than I am."

That's something Mark Howe knows all too well. A quick look around reminds him of a tough reality - he's the smallest competitor on the field. Last year was no different - nor the year before.

DuPuis towers over him by nine inches. Most of the rest of the competition has nearly half a foot on him.

At 34 years old, he's not getting any taller. He also knows he can beat almost everybody he sees.

"A lot of what you need is technique," he said. "You can be the biggest and strongest guy out here and still not do well."

His job is to pull off the seemingly impossible - embarrassing men who sometimes dwarf him by 100 pounds or more.

"Oh yeah, the big guys hate it when I beat them," he said. "I used to get that all the time."

Now in his ninth year of competition, he's well known as a competitor to watch out for.

His secret, like many at the games, is in his past. An Olympic weightlifter before finding his Scottish roots, he built a base of strength in events that sometimes resembled the movements he had use in the overhead throwing events, which comprise half the games he plays today.

Just as he's warming up for a toss, the crowd erupts behind him. For the first time, and perhaps the only time today, a lady has done the improbable: turned a caber.

One of only a handful of ladies competing in the women's class, Suzanne Burgess is only just over five feet tall, but just tossed a log more than twice her height and flipped it completely on its end.

"It takes a lot of skill to do this," she said. "Sometimes it's just luck."

She's a rarity at the games, but a sign of better things to come, encouraging more women to try the games with each success she has on the field.

Turning back to the metal chain in his hand, Howe, in all black, is stone faced, a picture of concentration. Swinging his torso up and down a few times, he revs up for the final yank. He has 56 pounds in his hand and 10 feet of air above his head before the bar. In a quick jerk, it flies up inches in front of the bar, curls over it by centimeters, and trails just behind on its way down, equaling what the bigger athletes had barely been able to accomplish. His training had paid off.

Lifting weights to get to this point was serious business, he said, but this is even tougher.

"I practice more for this than I did for lifting," he said. "I used to train three or four days a week two to three hours a day."


Accent on the words "used to." Like many of his competitors, he's playing through pain. Favoring his left arm today isn't an option, though he wishes it was. Most of the lifts and throws in the games are one arm only. Like most of his competitors, he's been throwing with the same arm for years.

Now his right throwing arm is wrapped tightly in a flesh colored strap to keep his elbow from falling apart in the middle of a toss. Disguising pins underneath it that were inserted into his elbow to keep it stable, the wrap does little to ease the pain brought on by nearly a decade in a punishing sport.

More than half of the 13 athletes on the field have braces on both of their knees. Some have them on both elbows - the consequence of the quick movements and brutal force of the throws and flips that tear their joints to pieces.

Howe is full of injury stories that would make your stomach turn.

"One guy last year finished a competition and his shoulder was red, black and blue," he said. "So he went to the hospital the next day to get it checked out. The doctors told him he had torn every tendon from his shoulder muscle. They had to surgically reattach them all. Seven months later he was already doing other games."

Howe only wishes he could be back that quickly.

"When I first started this when I was 25, I'd get hurt and come back the next week. Now if I get injured, I come back next year."

As the weight curls smoothly just a breath away from the bar, his arms shoot into the air in triumph - steel pins and all.


DuPuis, Howe and Pullon had a new guy to deal with this year on the American Highland Games Circuit, but they had seen him before.

Frasier Ewing was part of the Scottish national team that lost to the United States in 2004. Unable to wait for a chance at revenge, Ewing got married, left his native country in September at age 25 and came to the United States.

"I only came here because my wife agreed that I could keep playing in the games," he said through a thick Scottish accent.

Settling in Oviedo was a great choice, he said.

"In Scotland, I could only practice for maybe three months," he said. "Here I can practice and compete year round."

DuPuis, Howe and Pullon will likely be seeing a lot more of Ewing in the next few years. They all know each other already. It's a growing community that's bringing together competitors, unlike most other sports.

"We're all friends here," Pullon said. "I e-mail [DuPuis] three or four times a week. I've got guys here on my speed dial. I've got more out-of-state numbers in my cell phone than in-state."

Those four men are rarities in their games. They can afford to travel the country to compete. That's something few can do. The main reason, money, holds most back.

"Only the world champion at this can really make money doing it," DuPuis, a software developer, said. "The rest of us probably lose money."


So why do they do it? With little in the way of available income and crippling injuries waiting at the end of their career, what's left?

Howe calls it a love of the games.

"It's an adrenaline thing," he said. "You get out there and turn a caber and the crowd goes crazy. That really gets you going."

Pullon, whose throws had edged the others in nearly every event, was called to the stage as the sun set over the trees. He was the only competitor in his class who would be recognized today. No points for second place. His prize - a handmade sword straight from Scotland - sent a smile shooting across his face.

He had just flown in for the competition from Indiana. The next day he would fly back to his family. Today, he was a champion.

"Days like this, when the crowd just gets behind you and you have a good day, that makes it worth it," he said.


And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and mind and keep your distance, wash your hands and stay safe. Don't be stupid or selfish and instead be considerate of others and wear a mask if going shopping or into a crowded place and consider whether you should indeed go into a crowded space in the first place.