Scotland


I was up until the wee hours of this morning watching the live coverage of the Independence Referendum on the Internet feed from BBC Scotland. (It was much more interesting than the main BBC coverage.) Here are few random impressions.

1. The politics in Scotland are heavily skewed to the left. Representatives of the Labour party often represented the unionists view which was deem to be a “conservative” position.

2. The first returns were from small districts and were roughly 60/40 for No. When Dundee reported its results, the margin dropped into the 51/49 range, but it quickly settled into roughly 54/46 as other districts reported. When Edinburgh finally reported, the final result was 55/45 for No.

3. Scotland counted over 3,600,000 paper ballots in about 8 hours. By hand.

4. The vote from East Lothian, the area from which my ancestor emigrated in 1680, voted 62/38 for No.

5. The Yes vote won in only four districts (out of 32), all areas of high unemployment in what could be considered the Rust Belt of Scotland.

No Confidence?


Politico is reporting top Democrat insiders are beginning to figure out something about Debbie Wasserman Shultz that has been obvious for several years.

She’s become a liability to the DNC, and even to her own prospects, critics say.

Yep, and her recent comments such as equating the tea party with wife beaters is an example of her desperation.

 

Occupy OccupyWallStNYC


A bunch of the founders of the Occupy movement are suing one another over access to the @OccupyWallStNYC Twitter account. One of the members took control of it when he thought the others were being too censorious.

Group members took on the task of limiting others to “1 to 2 tweets per day” (or week) on a topic, a form of censorship that would never have been allowed in the earlier days of the boat. I had to say enough!

The others want back in.

We can either go and beat him up or we can go to court.

The group is seeking control of the Twitter account as well as $500,000 in damages.

Follow the money.

Quote of the Day


A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.

—Ronald Reagan

How to Win


I write from the point of view of an ex-soldier. The lessons of history teach that one wins a war by having the last infantrymen standing with loaded weapons and the enemies’ will to resist throughly shattered. That was the outcome at Mexico City, Appomattox, Berlin, and Tokyo. Since then, Mexico, the Confederacy, Germany, and Japan have never troubled us. That was not the case in 1918, 1953, or 2011. WWII was required to settle the open issues of 1918. North Korea still festers. And now, ISIL/ISIS/IS.

Air power is a wonderful asset. However, it can’t hold ground. It can’t root out an enemy surrounded by civilians. (After days of air strikes, the Israelis had to use soldiers in Gaza.) The alternative is to use carpet bombing (Dresden and Tokyo) or nukes (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) to make a desert that can be called peace.

At some point, men with rifles are going to have to personally confront ISIS. Obama seems to hope that these men will be Kurds or Syrians or Iraqis—anyone except Americans, with the possible exception of a few SEALs or Delta operators. We shall see, but I’m betting that the matter won’t be settled in any way favorable to our interests until American soldiers and/or Marines get involved.

UPDATE—Meanwhile, it seems that some Brits understand the problem. From the BBC:

Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said it was vital that Britain took some “serious action” against IS.

“The key issue here is that we cannot rule out the use of large-scale ground forces. I don’t mean the kind of thing that’s happening now. I mean large-scale intervention forces,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

Failure to do so would mean Britain would “just accept the fact that the Islamic State will continue to expand, continue to decapitate our citizens, continue to pose a threat to our country and countries in the region”.

Unfortunately, Prime Minister Cameron doesn’t.

This is not about British combat troops on the ground. It is about working with others to extinguish this terrorist threat.