A Clumsy Fit-Up Job

From the BBC:

A woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has identified herself.

Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post Mr Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed and tried to undress her when they were both teenagers.

Mr Kavanaugh denied the allegations when they first surfaced last week.

It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. Ever since Roe v Wade, and possibly before, the US Supreme Court has increasingly become a body for ramming through legislation which the ruling classes can’t get past the population using the process laid out in the Constitution. We’ve now reached the point that the SCOTUS is simply another political body where each side vies for the majority which will allow them to implement the policies they desire and thwart those of their rivals. Nowadays when a Supreme Court judge is picked, he or she comes with a label indicating how they will vote on all the contentious issues currently swirling the drain of American politics.

Brett Kavanaugh was as solid a candidate for the Supreme Court as any sitting judge, and in any previous era he’d have been confirmed in the bat of an eye. But Democrats, still smarting over “their” Merrick Garland not being nominated in the last weeks of Obama’s presidency, took it upon themselves to oppose Kavanaugh simply because he was conservative and Trump’s pick. They cited ludicrous objections which amounted to a naked smear campaign and turned the whole process into a circus. I watched a few hours of the confirmation hearings live and, between hysterical women being escorted from the room for shrieking feminist slogans, Democrat politicians took the opportunity to denigrate Kavanaugh mainly because of who picked him. As far as they were concerned, anyone who Trump likes must automatically be unsuitable for the position.

But the smear campaign failed, and Republicans were poised to confirm Kavanaugh this week. Then out of nowhere, a sexual assault allegation appears concerning Kavanaugh in an incident which supposedly took place 35 years ago when he was 17. This is all rather reminiscent of the women who suddenly came forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault during his campaign, who oddly were never heard from again once the election was over. It is also similar to the woman who accused Roy Moore, a Republican senate candidate, of rape decades before but only chose to come forward in the last few days of his campaign. Apparently American victims of sexual assault are willing to remain silent for decades, unless and until their alleged attacker is Republican and poised to take a prominent political seat in the next few weeks. Then their first move is to contact a Democrat politician.

Diane Feinstein, a Democrat senator from California (where else?), revealed the allegations against Kavanaugh in a letter she received in July, but kept hidden throughout the nomination process in which she had ample time to raise them with the committee and even Kavanaugh himself. Anyone with a functioning brain can see she did so because the allegations are a complete fabrication and she only wanted to use them should the other smear campaigns fail. As we’ve seen with the Democrat efforts to unseat Trump, if one set of allegations turns out to be baseless, they move effortlessly onto the next, and the next, and the next. When it was becoming clear anonymous accusations from 35 years ago weren’t going to to stop Republican senators confirming Kavanaugh, his accuser emerges from anonymity, prodded by Feinstein. If Trump isn’t already ordering someone to check Christine Blasey Ford’s bank account and those of her closest relatives, he’s a fool.

The Senate committee chairman Chuck Grassely has responded to the allegations thusly:

“It raises a lot of questions about Democrats’ tactics and motives to bring this to the rest of the committee’s attention only now rather than during these many steps along the way.  Senator Feinstein should publicly release the letter she received back in July so that everyone can know what she’s known for weeks,” the statement continues. “Judge Kavanaugh’s background has been thoroughly vetted by the FBI on six different occasions throughout his decades of public service, and no such allegation ever surfaced. Furthermore Judge Kavanaugh and others alleged to have been involved have unequivocally denied these claims from their high school days. The Committee has received letter after letter from those who’ve known judge Kavanaugh personally and professionally, including 65 women who’ve known him since high school, speaking to his impeccable character and respect for others, especially women.”

Which is absolutely right. However, the media, Democrats, and Never Trumpers have gone all in on calls to “investigate” the allegations before Kavanaugh’s confirmation, knowing full well he will never be exonerated to their satisfaction, leaving him tainted for life. Moreoever, Trump’s opponents hope they can delay the SCOTUS pick until after the mid-terms when the Democrats may hold the senate, after which they can sandbag anyone Trump nominates. As far as American politics goes, it just gets uglier by the month.

This episode will be a stern test for Republicans, particularly those who are not reflexively anti-Trump but are tempted to back calls for an investigation and delay the confirmation because it’s the decent thing to do. They are in a war to the knife with the Democrats who have demonstrated there are no levels to which they will not stoop to gain and hold political power, be it in the Supreme Court or the Presidency. Unless Republicans – politicians and voters – follow Grassley’s lead and treat these allegations against Kavanaugh as nothing more than a clumsy fit-up job, they frankly deserve to be ruled by Democrats. They need to understand the game they’re in, hold their nerve, and confirm him without delay.


Orders Given

I can’t seem to get off this topic. Here’s a story from yesterday’s Telegraph:

Companies in the UK must undergo a “genuine culture change” to get rid of alpha males and promote women, government ministers have said.

Ministers John Glen and Victoria Atkins have called for “greater diversity” in the workplace, adding that companies should “call out” non-inclusive behaviour.

They particularly highlighted the “woefully low” number of women in senior jobs the City, which is both “morally wrong” and affects the sector’s productivity.

“We have a problem when it comes to the representation of senior women in the financial services sector,” the ministers said in a letter to MPs.

There is just so many things wrong with these four paragraphs it’s easier to make a list than fisk it:

1. Why is it assumed alpha male traits are bad for business? Are companies filled with beta males more profitable?

2. Why are Conservative MP’s calling for culture changes? What, if anything, are they interested in actually conserving?

3. Why is “greater diversity” assumed to be better for businesses? If this was the case, why are they not doing it already and reaping the rewards?

4. Why is the number of women employed in the financial sector a moral issue? As I’m fond of saying, these people would be better off going to church rather than haranguing the public.

5. What is the basis for the claim that putting more women in senior jobs in the City will increase productivity? And why are firms not doing that already if this is the case?

Responding to the Treasury Committee’s Women in Finance report, the Government accepted MPs’ calls to abolish “alpha male” culture, remove the stigma of flexible working and encourage senior men to lead by example.

Its letter says there is still a “long way to go” for the financial sector to become diverse. “This includes encouraging gender balance at all levels of seniority and focusing on other forms of diversity,” it said.

This story says far less about the role of women in London’s financial sector than the role of women and wet beta males in politics. If politics is downstream of culture, then business is rapidly becoming downstream of politics. And if this is what passes for a Conservative government, there is absolutely no reason to vote for them. None at all.


Women in the Military

One of the strongest objections to allowing women to serve in every branch of the military was not regarding their competence, but of the fact that mixed-sex crews serving in close proximity will inevitably result in liaisons which breach codes of conduct and damage operational effectiveness. Last year we had this story:

A Royal Navy nuclear submarine commander who took part in cruise missile strikes during the Libya campaign has been removed from his vessel amid claims of an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.

Cdr Stuart Armstrong was taken off his Vanguard class submarine and relieved of his duties as a precaution while naval chiefs investigate the allegations.

Naval sources said the investigation had been launched amid suspicions Cdr Armstrong’s relationship with an unnamed female officer was “closer than it should have been”.

Just as it is highly inappropriate for a department manager to start shagging members of his or her staff, it is equally the case in the military chain of command, if not more so:

Navy rules forbid any relationships between sailors in the same chain of command for fear it would lead to favouritism and undermine orders.

Relationships outside the chain of command are allowed, but there is a strict “no touching” rule during deployments.

Sources said the rules were considered particularly critical on submarine missions where sailors work in cramped conditions underwater for months at a time.

It seems as thought the Royal Navy put in place robust guidelines which the submarine commander broke, and he got fired for it. This is fair enough, but it is also inevitable: if you put servicemen on ships or submarines with servicewomen then relationships will develop, and often this will involve officers who in theory should know better. The Tailhook Scandal in the US involved numerous allegations of navy and marine officers assaulting and harassing servicewomen. A popular theory is that many of the allegations arose from women who were spoken for fearing their partners were about to find out what they got up to on deployment, so claimed coercion. The Tailhook Scandal rocked the US Navy and brought about sweeping changes in the culture, which mischievous types cite as the reason US Navy ships now seem to be crashing with alarming regularity.

Today, via Kevin Michael Grace on Twitter, I came across this story:

One of the first women to enter the Marine Corps infantry is being discharged from the service after admitting to having an intimate relationship with a subordinate — a fellow Marine she eventually married.

On their own, the legal charges against Cpl. Remedios Cruz, 26, are not uncommon in military investigations of American troops. But they highlight the struggle the Marine Corps has had in integrating women into jobs that were only open to men before 2015.

It is not inevitable that every woman who enters the military will enter into an inappropriate relationship. However, if enough women enter the military it is inevitable that inappropriate relationships will occur. No amount of training, hounding, threatening, and cajoling is going to stop men and women in close proximity from having sex; those who take the issue seriously, such as conservative Muslims, do so by maintaining segregation, because it’s the only thing that works. It’s up to the government to decide whether the drawbacks of having women mixed with men in the military outweigh the benefits, but they ought not to deny that drawbacks exist.

“The biggest mistakes I’ve made in the infantry were from my personal relationships,” Corporal Cruz said in an interview. “I really want to move on.”

As part of a deal to avoid going to trial, Corporal Cruz pleaded guilty to fraternization in July and decided to put the Marine Corps behind her. She is awaiting her final separation from the Marines.

It’s rather difficult to see how admitting Cruz to the US Marines has been a benefit to the organisation, who didn’t want her in that role in the first place:

Corporal Cruz, of Fleischmanns, N.Y., joined the Marines as a supply clerk in 2013 and completed infantry training in 2014. Two years later, she requested to transfer to an infantry unit after then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ordered that women be allowed in all previously restricted combat roles. The Marine Corps vehemently opposed the change.

So it was a political decision foisted on them by an administration more interested in social engineering than governance. This probably doesn’t help, either:

She was accused of three charges — fraternization, adultery and accessory to larceny — in separate investigations that would have been sent to court-martial in June.

I suspect we’re going to see a lot more of this sort of thing, and as the numbers increase there will be calls for the rules to be changed so that such conduct is no longer prohibited. As I’ve said before (1, 2), modern militaries serve a different purpose than that which they claim.


Women at Work

Staying on the subject of empowered women, there’s a lengthy video over at Breitbart showing senior Google managers talking about how they reacted to Trump’s election. The video is generating a lot of comments because people see it as proof that Google is so much in bed with the Democrats they might as well be considered part of their campaign; presumably we’d see equal numbers of comments if Sir Alex Ferguson was suddenly revealed to be a Manchester United fan.

My interest, however, is in this segment:

Here we have the CFO of one of the world’s largest and most powerful companies breaking down in tears at the recollection of the night a presidential election didn’t go the way she wanted it to. It would be bad enough if she started snivelling at the result, but to start welling up at the recollection of it, as if she were talking about the time she had a miscarriage or her sister died? This woman is mentally unstable, there’s no other way to put it, yet here she is at the head of a giant corporation.

I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the arguments misogynistic old dinosaurs used to make when women were first proposed for higher management was their minds were too feeble to handle the pressures and gravity of the job. Well, judging by Ruth Porat’s performance, perhaps they were onto something. Did John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Richard B. Mellon, and Henry Ford hire CFOs who broke down in tears when discussing the previous presidential election? No, because they were serious men living in serious times. Not only are today’s supposed captains of industry unserious people, but we are no longer living in serious times. This isn’t to say women shouldn’t become CFOs of major corporations of even CEOs, but women who lack the mental fortitude to cope with election results have no business occupying such roles. You can be damned sure Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi doesn’t behave like this.

Which brings me onto this, which popped up on my Twitter feed now I’m in Australia:

Now I know this is a promoted Tweet from some grifting law firm looking to fill its pockets with taxpayer cash, but let’s take the ludicrous claims at face value and see where they lead us.

1. Sexual harassment at work has been banned for thirty years, but hasn’t reduced.

2. Women have no faith existing structures will protect them from sexual harassment at work.

3. Half of all women experience sexual harassment at work.

What this is telling us is that men and women cannot work together, something Jordan Peterson rather mischievously suggested in an interview with Vice. If a minority of women were being harassed but otherwise the existing structures were fine for the vast majority of both sexes, then the solution would be to deal with the handful of offenders. But if half of all women are being sexually harassed at work despite it being illegal for thirty years, the solution is obvious: keep men and women separated for clearly they cannot work together. Of course, the shysters in the video think the solution is to restructure society in a manner which makes them richer and more powerful, which is why they’ve exaggerated the problem to an absurd degree. But if the problem is what they say it is, then we need segregated workplaces. Women can still hold the prestigious professional posts they believe they’re entitled to, but it will have to be in the company of other women; the men will be over there, isolated from any opportunity to sexually harass a co-worker.

As someone who has no problem with smart, capable women holding down professional positions in any field, I find it difficult to see how the behaviour of women like Ruth Porat and campaigns such as We Fight For Fair do anything other than set their cause back years, if not decades. If women want to advance and be taken seriously in professional fields, they need to distance themselves from this sort of lunacy.


Women Attacking Men

In August last year I spent a few days on the Greek island of Mykonos with a couple of Greek fellas (ooh-er). Mykonos is a popular holiday destination for mainland Europeans, particularity young Scandinavians, and at one point I was propping up the bar in a crowded nightclub when a small but angry-looking woman around 20 years of age tried to jam herself into a space beside me. I suppose I could have stood elsewhere but there was very little room where people weren’t jostling one another or leaping about to the music. Her first approach was to try to shove me out the way, and when I didn’t budge (I’m around 90kg) she snarled in a Scandinavian accent: “Can you move, I’m trying to get a drink.” If she’d said “excuse me” to begin with I’d have given her all the room she needed, but her whole attitude reeked of Nordic feminism and the delusions of power which many young women have, born of their ability to wrap their male peers around their little fingers.

So my response was to say “You need to learn some manners,” and stay where I was. She immediately started elbowing me and shoving me, and eventually I shifted six inches to the right, not being willing to let this nonsense continue any more. She squeezed into the space I allowed, and simmered. From what I could tell she was in the company of a few young men and women, the former of which looked like replicas of Owen Jones. And as I sipped my drink I wondered which idiotic society teaches young women to get into physical confrontations with large men in foreign bars. I suspect she knew I wasn’t the type to belt her one, and the club we were in not the sort of place where such men hang out, but still.

I was reminded of this incident when I saw this video:

Whatever the woman’s grievance, and regardless of the wimpishness of the bloke she’s up against, striking the first blow in what was up until that point a verbal confrontation is astonishingly stupid. Clearly she was confident that her homeboy would jump in as soon as it kicked off, and indeed he did, but she can perhaps count herself lucky she’s not needing reconstructive surgery.

Grown men are dangerous beasts, and really shouldn’t be provoked. Most men know this which is why they avoid physical confrontations as soon as they’re old enough to possess a smidgen of wisdom. A grown man, even a late teen, is capable of battering another man to death and in the overwhelming majority of cases a man could easily kill a woman with his bare hands if he so desired. At the very least, he could beat her to the point she’d carry the physical and emotional trauma for the rest of her life. The reason why domestic violence against women is so abhorrent (leaving aside, for now, the fact that many men are also victims) is the disparity in physical power.

Yet there is an increasing number of women who seem to think provoking, or even initiating, physical confrontations with strange men is a good idea. Judging by the videos that circulate on social media, sassy young black women in the UK and US enjoy threat-laden shouting matches with men on public transport, followed by a fight  where they throw the first punch or slap. Although it’s interesting to note, they only do this with white men, never blacks or hispanics. I also noticed that while Nigerian women didn’t mind yelling at their male counterparts in public, you didn’t see them looking to provoke a physical confrontation: there was no getting in their face yelling threats, and the verbals were carried out without entering the man’s personal space. I expect this is because any Nigerian woman who goes around picking fights with men would wind up dead in short order. Russian women are also fully aware of how dangerous their menfolk can be, and few are stupid enough to start a fight in public. It’s almost as if men in London and New York, particularly white men, can be relied upon not to kill or maim a woman who’s attacking them and this has given violently aggressive women confidence.

I expect this is what was behind the Scandinavian girl trying to barge me out the way. She’s used to dealing with men who’ve been emasculated by several generations of hardcore feminism, demanding her own way and getting it every time. TV and film doesn’t help: seemingly every other production features a slip of a woman beating up men three times their size with a series of deft martial arts moves, and I’m wondering if the new generation of empowered young women are starting to think it’s real. If their fathers and brothers had any sense they’d be teaching them to never, ever get into a physical confrontation with a man because with relatively little effort he could put her in hospital for weeks. Women used to know this, and now they don’t; it will cost some of them dearly.


Shot for being at home

I’ve written before about America’s police being way too aggressive and trigger-happy, resulting from poor training, low standards, and outright cowardice. Now we have this story:

A white Dallas police officer who says she mistook her black neighbor’s apartment for her own when she fatally shot him has been arrested on a manslaughter charge.

It’s worth bearing in mind that she’s only been arrested after several days of public outrage at her having been initially merely suspended. I imagine if any non-police officer walked into someone else’s house and shot the owner dead, they’d be treated rather differently.

Lawyers for the family questioned why it took three days for Guyger to be charged. One said Guyger should have been in handcuffs the night of the shooting, but she was only booked on a manslaughter charge Sunday night.


Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says an off-duty police officer charged in the shooting death of a neighbor had parked on the wrong floor of their apartment complex’s parking garage.

Rawlings said Sunday that the 30-year-old officer , Amber Guyger, drove to her apartment complex Thursday night after her shift. Authorities say the four-year veteran of the police force told officers after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean that she had mistaken his apartment for her own.

Was she drunk? Was she high? We don’t know, because the police aren’t saying. Got to protect their own, you see.

Authorities say a Dallas police officer said she shot a neighbor whose home she mistakenly entered last week after he ignored her “verbal commands.”

Why should a man going about his business in his own home react to the “verbal commands” of a policewoman who has no business being there?

David Armstrong of the Texas Rangers wrote in an arrest affidavit released Monday that Officer Amber Guyger said she didn’t realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean and went into the hallway to check the address.

Again, it must be asked: how drunk was she?

An investigator says a Dallas police officer who shot and killed her neighbor after mistaking his apartment for her own said that when she inserted her key in his door, it opened because it had been slightly ajar.

The affidavit says Guyger was on the phone with 911 reporting the shooting when she turned on the apartment lights and discovered she was in the wrong apartment. It says Jean’s apartment was the one right above Guyger’s and the apartment layouts and exterior hallways were nearly identical.

There is an old Soviet film called Ironiya Sudbii, which is based around a man from Moscow getting completely drunk and dumped on a plane to Saint Petersburg. When he arrives he assumes he’s still in Moscow, takes a taxi to his address where he finds an identical building – and an identical apartment whose door can be unlocked by his own key. The owner returns and hilarity ensues but – unlike the story in Dallas – nobody winds up dead.

It’s one thing for police to be heavy-handed when carrying out their duties; they have a difficult job after all, and America is full of violent criminals carrying guns. However, there is absolutely no excuse for a policewoman to mistake a neighbour’s apartment for her own and shoot the occupant dead. She needs the book thrown at her, just the same as if she was an ordinary citizen. The fact the police are dragging their feet and seemingly protecting her while an innocent man lies in the morgue is indicative of how badly things need to change.


Polyamory and Mental Illness

Via David Thompson, an article in Everyday Feminism on how difficult it is to be polyamorous when disabled:

As someone who’s disabled and non-monogamous, it’s hard for me to relate to most of them.

Back when I used to trawl through the Twitter feeds of polyamorists in an effort to understand who they were, I noticed a lot of them are self-described as disabled in some way. Now when ordinary people hear the term “disabled” they think of some poor soul confined to a wheelchair, or perhaps blind or deaf. But when the sort of people who get into polyamory talk about being disabled they mean:

For example, for scent sensitive people this can mean partners not wearing any scented products.

Scent sensitivity is a disability? Who knew? The article continues:

It can be hard enough to find one partner, let alone more than one.

One of the great ironies about polyamory is it is often practised by people who are manifestly incapable of holding down one stable relationship, let alone several concurrently.

That’s even more difficult when you’re disabled.

Then why do it?

Not through any fault of our own, but ableism can paint disabled people as inherently sexless or undesirable.

If a potential partner starts wittering on about scent sensitivities, I can believe it.

One friend I spoke to who did not want to be named explained her experience, “as a disabled-since-birth superfat genderqueer femme, it’s not always possible to find partners who I trust and am able to be open with.”

Or anyone who wants to be with you.

Another friend who wanted to remain anonymous mentioned that a big hurdle for her is the impossibility of meeting people when you spend most of your time in bed.

Whilst I am sure this is true and a genuine problem, if finding one partner is impossible it’s rather difficult to see how polyamory is even on the horizon here.

Though I identify as non-monogamous and occasionally have other sexual partners, I currently don’t have the energy to maintain other serious romantic relationships.

I’m low on energy, so I have to settle for shagging around. I’ve got to try that one.

Sometimes I am too sick to make my own food and rely on my partner to feed me.

According to her bio she has four kids and “an amazing partner”. If she’s so unwell she sometimes can’t feed herself, yet she has time and energy to go sleeping with other people, where do her children sit on her list of priorities?

Non-monogamy can work great for this as the more people you have for support, the easier the workload is on any one individual.

Being disabled and polyamorous is good because there are more people to shoulder the enormous burden which is me.

So, if my partner needs a break from that responsibility then someone else can take over.

Lucky him.

Conversely, sometimes we may need so much care that our partners don’t have anything left over to give to other partners.

Which – again – raises the question: why are you practising polyamory? Frankly, if you’ve got the time and energy to run around sleeping with multiple partners, you’re probably not that disabled.

My partner has agoraphobia and get stressed out in social situations, and as his primary mental health support, I need to be available to help him with his anxiety.

Remember, polyamorists are perfectly normal.

So if he is going to go on a date, part of my emotional caretaking means being available before and after his date to help him relax and and process and deal with the anxiety.

Should this man-child really be having dates, other than with a shrink?

Practically, this means that we cannot be on dates at the same time…

A bloke can’t bring his wife along on a date. Imagine.

…and I need to make sure I have the emotional energy for that support.

I’m going to assume while daddy is on his date and mummy is trying to cope with the emotional stress of it all, the kids are parked in front of the telly with a gallon jug of Sunny Delight and a family pack of Monster Munch.

One friend, Demi Simon, says that her mental health issues have made it easier for her to be polyamorous because she already needs to navigate the world in a different way due to her mental health issues, so adding non-monogamy on top of it makes sense to her.

A point I make often when discussion polyamory – which I originally got from commenter Daniel Ream and now shamelessly cite as if it’s my own – is that it’s a coping mechanism for people with severe personality disorders. In many cases, polyamory is a form of self-medication via the medium of meaningless sex with strangers. Paragraphs like the one above go a long way to reinforce this view.

Sometimes the need for open relationships is directly related to mental health.

Well, yes. It’s refreshing to finally see this so honestly stated.

My friend Bear identifies as someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder (often erroneously referred to as multiple personality disorder) which is integral to how and why they practice polyamory.

They say, “I don’t have any illusion one person could meet all my personalities needs. We are very different. Different tastes, different hobbies, different things which make us happy.” Diverse brains can be an asset!

As I said, it’s a coping mechanism. Keep this in mind next time the BBC or NYT runs a puff-piece on polyamory.

While there doesn’t necessarily need to be any sex involved in romantic or other kinds of relationships, for lots of people sex is an important part of how they practice polyamory.

As I’ve said before, sex defines a polyamorous relationship. Absent the sex with more than one person, you’ve got a normal, monogamous relationship.

As a concrete example, some people’s bodies may prefer sex that involves pain, others may have to work hard to reduce the amount of pain during sex in order for it to work for them.

I’m just going to throw this out there, but do disabled people really go seeking additional pain during sex?

As disabled people, we are twice as likely to have been victims of sexual trauma. This will often affect the ways we do sex and relationships. One disabled friend shared that her (also disabled) partner is generally unable to have sex due to trauma issues and she looks to other partners to meet those needs.

So let’s fix this by having multiple sexual relations running concurrently in a setup which even the most robust people find extremely stressful. Yeah, that’ll work.

This is just the beginning of the conversations we need to have and resources we need to develop to make polyamory as much of a possibility for us as it is for non-disabled people.

Well, insofar as polyamory is a route to successful and happy relationships, you’re on an exact par with your non-disabled peers. But I’m a bit concerned about this demand for “resources”. What exactly do you mean by that? What you need is psychiatric help, not taxpayers’ money spent furthering your delusions.


The Shamelessness of South Yorkshire Police

From the BBC:

Ministers do not know the impact funding cuts have had on police forces, the UK’s public spending watchdog says.

According to the National Audit Office, the Home Office does not know whether the police system in England and Wales is “financially sustainable”.

It calls the approach to police funding “ineffective” and “detached” from the changing demands faced by officers.

Changing demands, eh? Such as dealing with reports of non-crimes sent in by the public at the behest of the police themselves?

Now it may be the police are understaffed and underfunded, but one thing is for sure: the allocation of existing money and human resources in British police forces is an absolute disgrace.

But put that aside for a minute and consider what South Yorkshire police are saying here. Not content with prosecuting people under the dangerously vague and arbitrary definition of “hate crimes”, they now see fit to hound the population for expressing unapproved opinions which don’t even fall under that category. In other words, whatever you say is Plod’s business. Lest you think I’m reading it wrong, here’s how they clarified their position in a later Tweet:

This has gone viral and many people are outraged, but the tin ears of the British police and whoever in government they take their orders from are legendary; shame isn’t a word in their vocabulary. Proof of this comes in no better form than the fact that South Yorkshire police, by refusing to take complaints seriously through fear of being called racist (or perhaps out of ethnic solidarity with the perpetrators), were complicit in allowing Pakistani rape gangs to abuse dozens of underage girls in Rotherham for years. And here they are, smug as ever, trying to bully into silence ordinary citizens who they happily admit committed no crime.

The British police are rotten to the very core; scrap the whole lot of them and start again.


Whatever the question, polyamory isn’t the answer

Regular commenter Theophrastus sends me the link to this article about – what else? – polyamory:

Sam and I have been together for almost a year now, and I don’t think he took me seriously when I first, briefly, mentioned that perhaps monogamy wasn’t for me.

One of the things which strikes me about polyamory is how soon its practitioners get into it. I could perhaps imagine a couple who’ve been together twenty or thirty years wanting to spice things up a bit, but these articles seem to feature people who, in relationship terms, have barely got out of the starting blocks. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that in many cases polyamory is an option taken by those who are bored in a relationship but lack the courage to end it. That seems to be the case here, at any rate.

But as time has worn on, we’ve butted up against my resolve like rubber ducks against an iceberg.

They’ve been together a year, and time has worn on since she first mentioned she wanted to sleep around. When did she originally bring it up, the first week?

Non-monogamy seems to be having a moment.

Among lefties with mental illnesses, yes.

I’ve never been a hardline monogamist. In my last (monogamous) relationship, I always contended that if my partner slept with someone else, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that it was, y’know, done.

In what way was this a relationship, I wonder? There doesn’t seem to have been much by way of mutual respect: he was shagging around, and she didn’t care.

It seemed reductive to boil down the suppers, red-wine-stained kisses, whispered secrets, adventures and grievances and confidences we shared…

Is she referring to her own relationship, or one she’s read about in Jane Austen book? Because I can’t imagine her relationship had much by way of shared confidences.

…the sheer everything of a relationship, to a shag.

On the contrary, the one thing which defines a polyamorous relationship as distinct from a normal one is, as she puts it, a shag.

If our relationship existed on so many levels – friends, teammates, confidantes, lovers – then it couldn’t be undone by one act; and that’s quite a noble thought, isn’t it?

I suspect the “if” which starts that sentence is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

Polyamory has been getting a lot of press.

Oh, I know.

It basically means having concurrent relationships with more than one person. You might have one primary, but everyone you choose to be with is more or less equal in your affections. My preferred configuration isn’t actually that radical: ethical non-monogamy is basically a good old-fashioned open relationship.

Or shagging around, as it’s otherwise known.

There would only ever be two of us in it, but I’d like to trust that person so implicitly, and value them so wholeheartedly, that if they slept with someone else it wouldn’t damage us. I’d like for the other person to trust and value me just as much so that if I did the same…

Let me stop you there: any man who is happy to let you sleep with someone else doesn’t value you much at all.

…we’d be able to look at it for what it is: a banal act that is fun or weird or intimate or exciting, but ultimately not a threat to our harmony.

If it’s that banal, why construct your entire romantic life around it?

“A sort of flexitarian approach to relationships,” I said to Sam. “You have a primary partner, and they’re the important one… ” He rolled his eyes, and I told him he was being too middle class about it.

A freelance writer wittering on about sex in The Guardian thinks someone else is being too middle class. The barriers to entry into the world of polyamory may be low, but a complete lack of self-awareness is most certainly among them.

Finally, he admitted to me: “Maybe because of the traditional expectations that are put on men, it’s more difficult for us to be open about it. There’s something a bit embarrassing about the woman you’re dating wanting to sleep with other people; as if maybe you’re inadequate.”

Well, yes. Perhaps if you grew a pair you’d not find yourself in this situation.

Earlier this year we’d reached something of an impasse…

Meaning, she was bored, assuming she was ever interested in the first place.

Because we don’t like the idea of our partner being with someone else. But generally, it’s because we’ve been taught to believe this means that our partner will leave us.

Well they have left you, of a sort. If they’re not with you, and are with someone else, how else would you describe it?

Of course,” she continued, “the key point of non-monogamy is that even though your partner might be with another lover, they’re actually coming back to you.

Like all good ideas, it’s obvious once explained.

And that extra joy and love and happiness might even fuel and rekindle the relationship they have with you.

This is the kind of thing blokes say to their wives when they’ve been caught shagging the secretary. It’s rather odd to hear a bunch of enlightened feminists coming out with it, though.

We’ve been conditioned to believe other people are a threat to our relationships, but what if they aren’t?”

We’ve been conditioned to believe turds taste awful, but what if they don’t?

I soon put this to the test, when Sam failed to meet me one night as promised and instead went home with another woman.

These people deserve each other.

A little scab developed over the wound of not being chosen over a nameless woman in a shitty bar.

Say what you like about the guys on Jackass, at least their self-beatings are funny.

And we have had the conversation, over and over with each other, but also with others – incredulous friends who can’t quite believe that it’s “a thing”. We field the questions in turn: no, it’s not perfect; yes, we do row sometimes; yes, there are rules; no, we don’t know how long it’ll last.

I get the impression this is another reason why dull individuals get into polyamory: it makes them look edgy in front of their friends, and gives them an identity in the absence of any other.

And, yes, sometimes I get tense and irritable when we sit down to eat and he’s too tired to talk because he spent half the night with someone else.

Can’t you just feel the love?

As far as I’m concerned, hardline monogamy is a recipe for disappointment…

As far as you’re concerned, I’m sure I agree.

…because even if you manage it, there will always be a part of you – that bit that has crushes on colleagues, and fantasises about handsome strangers – that your partner cannot share.

That’s why functional adults have such a thing called impulse control, and learn not to sacrifice long-term happiness for short-term gratification.

Maybe we should just burn them all down, these narrow streets that we’ve paved so that our desires move in straight lines.

I have severe personality disorders which prevent me from building lasting relationships, so we should burn everything to the ground.

Maybe it’s not committed relationships that non-monogamists are rejecting, but the idea that those relationships have to end when the romantic part does.

If relationships ended when the romantic part does, the divorce rates would be around 100% following the birth of the first child.

And isn’t that desire – to keep those crucial people in your life – deeply romantic in its own way?

Crucial for what? Paying the rent? How romantic.


Modern Journalists

Back when I was a subscriber to The Economist in the early ’00s, I always assumed their main opinion columns – Bagehot for the UK, Charlemagne for Europe, and Lexington for the US – were written by seasoned veterans who’d seen life from the parapet of an interesting and varied career. Whether or not that was ever the case, nowadays they seem to be written by hipsters who look as though they’ve never been anywhere without 4G:

Certainly, a failure to venture beyond the trendy areas of Berlin would explain headlines such as this, written in April this year:

Amusingly, one particular Twitter user has started a series juxtaposing this headline with stories which portray Germany’s embrace of diversity in a rather more realistic light, e.g.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Cliffe is an Oxbridge graduate and the only job he’s held outside of political journalism in his 8-year career is that of researcher for Chukka Umunna. I suspect this is typical throughout the mainstream media. There’s a reason I let my Economist subscription lapse over a decade ago; who in their right mind would pay to read this stuff?