Out of Touch

This is a revealing exchange:

That immigration has both positive and negative effects is undeniable, even if one takes the position that there is a clear net benefit. That some, many, or most immigrants are good is a reasonable position to take; to say all immigrants are good is just stupid. Check the jails if you want proof there are some real bad ‘uns among those who show up on the shores of any country. Bloom’s statement is therefore not in the slightest bit controversial, and his view on this subject is probably shared by the vast majority, particularly those who are fed up with immigration being spoken about as a black and white issue instead of a policy with obvious trade-offs.

But Kamm believes Bloom’s view is so extraordinary he feels it necessary to respond with an appeal to the wilder parts of his readers’ imaginations to get them to understand it. Now Kamm has over 23k followers and his tweets usually result in multiple likes, retweets, and comments. On most of his pet subjects his followers are positively sycophantic, ganging up on anyone who takes issue with Kamm’s premise, but this tweet managed a total of 3 likes, no comments, and no retweets. I suspect most of them read it, pulled their head back, and said “Huh?”

This tweet offers a useful insight into the minds of Oxbridge-educated, metropolitan establishment types (I believe Kamm typifies the mentality; he is far from alone). Not only do they believe all immigrants are unequivocally good, but they cannot imagine any normal person holding the view that some might be bad, and assume everyone else will see the supposed absurdity as well. We should remember this next time one of their number appears in print, on Twitter, or on TV pontificating about something. They don’t inhabit the same world as ordinary people, and it shows.

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Deutschland gebrochen

Regular readers will know I take a dim view of Angela Merkel’s Germany, and not just because of her lunatic decision to open the borders to millions of migrants a year or so back. In May last year I made the following comment:

I think [Merkel] presided over some serious economic skulduggery and corruption, the VW emissions scandal being just the tip of the iceberg. I think Germany has happily taken on the role of the economic engine of the EU, as it allows it to ensure the economic structure and interests of the EU are perfectly aligned with those of Germany. The entire Euro project appears to have been set up to ensure poor European countries could magically afford German products (mainly cars), and Germany’s treatment of Greece a couple of years ago showed exactly how Germany sees the rest of Europe. I think there is a prevailing attitude around the EU that what is good for German companies is good for Germany, and what is good for Germany is good for the EU. German companies have been given a free-hand in writing much of the industrial legislation (particularly environmental stuff) imposed by the EU on the whole bloc, and stuff like corruption (Siemens), dodgy financial dealings (Porsche takeover of VW), and emissions cheating are all ignored in favour of German corporate giants (it seems to fall to non-EU governments to complain).

I think there is a lot of rotten structure under Germany at the moment which everyone – particularly the EU lot – are turning a blind eye to. How robust is Deutschbank, for example? And would we be told if there was anything amiss? Merkel might be long-gone by the time all of this comes to light and unravels, but she’s presided over it and much of it will be deliberate policy not benign neglect.

A few months later I came across this story:

Russia has delivered electricity turbines made by Germany’s Siemens to Crimea, a region subject to European Union sanctions barring EU firms from supplying it with energy technology, three sources with knowledge of the delivery told Reuters.

Reuters was unable to determine if Siemens knew of or condoned the equipment transfer, but the move exposes the German company to potential accusations of indirect sanctions-busting and of not taking sufficient safeguards to ensure its equipment does not end up on territory most countries view as illegally annexed, say legal experts.

Streetwise Professor has written about the rather incestuous and opaque relationship between Deutsche Bank and the German government. He also wrote a post on Germany preaching European unity in one breath while stitching up eastern Europe in the next in order to preserve their commercial interests with Russia.

I was therefore not particularly surprised to read this:

The longest investigation in EU history found that the Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom has used its enormous power to pressure vulnerable states in Eastern Europe, and to fragment the EU’s unified energy market with coercive pricing policies.

The report suggests that Germany has been enjoying a sweetheart deal with Gazprom, gaining a competitive advantage in gas costs at the expense of fellow EU economies and leaving front line states at the mercy of Moscow’s strong-arm tactics.

Hundreds of pages leaked  from the European Commission paint an extraordinary picture of predatory behaviour, with Gazprom acting as an enforcement arm of Russian foreign policy. Bulgaria was treated almost like a colony, while Poland was forced to pay exorbitant prices for imported flows of pipeline gas from Siberia.

But it doesn’t stop there. Raedwald has this to say:

In 2017 Ernst & Young investigated the extent to which corruption has become embedded and institutionalised within the German economy. This second phase roll out of German corruption proved as insidious as an invasion of Japanese knotweed, with crooked tentacles reaching into every crevice of German economic life. The rapid growth of online trading in Germany in the last five years has exacerbated the criminality – German firms trade corruptly and criminally with impunity on the internet as the German legal system provides few affordable remedies for their victims. And all this is done with the complicity and support of the German government.

And all done under Merkel’s chancellorship. More damning is this:

Whilst Germany is not alone in seeing a rise in economic corruption, the country is unique in being able to roll it out on an pan European industrial scale, leading an entire continent in implementing then covering up emissions testing, and now corrupting the trade in two-thirds of the continent’s gas imports. The corrupt appointment of the German zealot Martin Selmayr to the heart of the EU raises suspicion that the repression of the truth and blocking of all measures to tackle corruption has begun with a German takeover of key appointments.

And in regarding the latest Gazprom revelations:

The southern nations will be aggrieved that they have been bullied, coerced and hectored by a deeply crooked nation wearing a false disguise of moral superiority. And eastern nations such as Poland and Bulgaria, countries Germany has robbed of billions of Euros in corrupt complicity with Gazprom, will be looking at concrete measures to get their money back.

I have an inkling that others in Europe, and particularly the US, are beginning to get a whiff of the rotten state of Merkel’s Germany:

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempts to engage President Donald Trump just got harder.

Trump lavished praise on the U.K. and France at the weekend “for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military,” after they joined the U.S. in hitting Syrian targets. All Merkel earned was U.S. criticism for not taking part.

The U.S. disregard for Germany’s postwar aversion to using military force adds to a sense in Berlin of being sidelined by the Trump administration at a time when global challenges are multiplying. The cooling ties are both a personal snub to Merkel, the longest-serving leader of the Group of Seven and the European Union, and economically alarming, with the threat of U.S. trade tariffs hanging over the EU, and Germany especially.

Where Merkel was feted by President Barack Obama, the Chancellery in Berlin now struggles to even make contact with the White House.

I think there is more to this than simply Germany’s declining to take part in the attacks on Syria. When Trump was elected, Merkel took the lead in offering only grudging congratulations through gritted teeth, and was only too happy to self-righteously bash the 45th president during her re-election campaign. Trump is particularly sensitive to this sort of criticism, but is no stranger to handling brazen hypocrisy from ageing women whose own house stinks to high-heaven. Trump is a smart guy in many ways, and will know damned well what sort of corruption is going on in German companies with the blessing of the German government. After all, the VW scandal broke on his watch; you can be sure he asked questions about it. And this is smart politics:

Merkel’s cold shoulder contrasts with Trump’s attitude to French President Emmanuel Macron, whom he has invited to Washington next week for a state visit. Merkel’s team is still trying to finalize the chancellor’s visit to the White House later that same week.

The French did not hesitate for a moment in supporting the U.S., and Macron was superb, said the official. Macron and Trump have a great relationship, the official added.

When Macron was elected, everyone assumed this youngster with no experience would fall into line and do whatever Merkel told him to do. But Macron, perhaps because he already has one older woman in his life telling him what to do, had other ideas. He surprised everyone by rolling out the red carpet for Trump, neatly sidestepping any suggestion he was not his own man, elevating France, and leaving Merkel somewhat isolated. Trump, to his credit, played along and relations between France and the US are probably at their highest point since the D-Day landings. Or since the Iraq War, anyway.

This isn’t to say that France is about to abandon Germany and the EU project, but it did undermine Merkel, who is only still in office by the skin of her teeth. Now we have France, the UK, and US cooperating on military strikes against Syria, Merkel is finding herself increasingly out on a limb, which might explain the timing of these revelations over Gazprom. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a minority in Germany, the EU, and abroad who have long-waited for an opportunity to expose the corrupt mess that is German industry, but can’t while Merkel is still in charge. Now she’s wobbling, some might be making their move. I think we can expect more of this.

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Words from on high

I see this sentiment expressed a lot by establishment types:

The latest salvo by former FBI Director James Comey in his feud with President Donald Trump included the charge that the president was morally unfit and may have obstructed justice.

When asked if he considered Mr Trump fit to lead, the former FBI director said he did not believe claims about Mr Trump’s mental health, but did see him as “morally unfit” to be president.

Perhaps Trump is morally unfit to hold the office of president, but I thought that’s why they have an election in which everyone can pass judgement on such matters. What Comey means is that he and other like-minded people think he is morally unfit, and thus shouldn’t be president.

There are clear rules regarding eligibility to run for elected office – age, nationality at time of birth, criminal convictions, etc. – which are objective and easily verified (or at least, one would have thought so) – but everything else quite rightly is left for the voters to decide. Otherwise it’s not really an election, is it? The claim that Trump is “morally unfit” for office is the flip side of bleating that Hillary was the “most qualified” candidate ever. Despite being demonstrably untrue, who cares? She’s running for elected office, not an appointed position. If qualifications matter – and nobody mentioned them before the 2016 presidential campaign, and certainly not when a “community organiser” was running – then why have elections at all? Why not just appoint the person who ticks the most boxes?

And that’s what Comey’s remarks come down to: they don’t like how the plebs voted, and think only they – being clever people – should get to decide who’s in charge. Fortunately, most people who saw Comey’s interview realise this.

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R Lee Ermey

I was sad to hear this news:

Actor R Lee Ermey, known for his role as foul-mouthed Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, has died aged 74.

The former US Marine turned award-winning actor played a host of military men during his career.

Ermey’s manager, posting to the actor’s Twitter account, said he died from “complications of pneumonia”.

“He will be greatly missed by all of us,” the message read. “Semper Fi, Gunny. Godspeed.”

Born in 1944 in Kansas, Ermey was a staff sergeant in the marine corps in the 1960s and early 1970s, serving tours in Japan and Vietnam. He also served as a real-life drill instructor.

Ermey later drew on his military experience for his breakout role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, winning a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of a hardened drill instructor putting young marine corps recruits through basic training.

I must have watched the opening 20-30 minutes of Full Metal Jacket dozens of times, and I still don’t get bored of it, yet I’ve only watched the full film perhaps two or three times. Ermey’s performance is by far the best thing in the whole film, and it’s worth watching just for that.

One popular story about Ermey is that he was initially hired as a technical advisor, but Kubrick was so impressed with his demonstration of a drill instructor’s role that he was offered the part.

On a slow afternoon some years ago I looked up a series of interviews about Ermey and his role in Full Metal Jacket and learned that, as the paragraph above says, he’d initially been hired as a technical adviser. However, he was very disappointed by the portrayal of the drill instructor who was some sadistic brute who just wanted to torture recruits, and he tried to persuade Kubrick to let him take over the role. In order to demonstrate his skills, he made a video of him being pelted with oranges and tennis balls for fifteen minutes while delivering a monologue of insults and abuse without flinching, pausing, or repeating himself. Suitably impressed, Kubrick gave him the role (the actor playing the original drill instructor appears in the film as a door gunner).

So the reason Ermey is so convincing is because he is less acting than simply doing his job, and demonstrates the process of breaking civilians and remoulding them as Marines brilliantly. Incredibly, Kubrick – who had a reputation as a control freak – allowed Ermey to ad-lib his own lines, something he barely allowed even Jack Nicholson to do. Most of Ermey’s dialogue is his own, which lead to Kubrick calling “cut” when he heard the term “reach around”. He asked Ermey to explain, which he did. Kubrick smiled, and said “carry on”. There are some brilliant, hilarious one-liners in those opening few scenes, probably more than any other passage of film of similar length, possibly of any length. Without Ermey the film would have been nothing, but his inclusion guaranteed it classic status. Each time I watch his performance, I always wish there was more of it.

Rest in peace, R Lee Ermey.

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Teaching the wrong things

This isn’t surprising:

For seven decades, “never forget” has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement.

But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18 to 34.

Thirty-one percent of Americans, and 41 percent of millennials, believe that two million or fewer Jews were killed in the Holocaust; the actual number is around six million. Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was. And 52 percent of Americans wrongly think Hitler came to power through force.

There’s a reason for this, but I think part of it might have been missed:

“As we get farther away from the actual events, 70-plus years now, it becomes less forefront of what people are talking about or thinking about or discussing or learning,” said Matthew Bronfman, a board member of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which commissioned the study. “If we wait another generation before you start trying to take remedial action, I think we’re really going to be behind the eight ball.”

Bronfman is right that 70 years ago is a long time: I was born in 1977 and WWII ended a mere 32 years previously, but I’m no more connected to that event than a millennial is. Where he’s going wrong is thinking “remedial action” is required, which will no doubt consist of reminding everyone what Auschwitz was along with harrowing pictures and dark warnings of a rise in antisemitism. But it’s not Auschwitz or the Holocaust that needs to be remembered so much as what brought them about. Alas, it’s not difficult to see why those lessons have been forgotten. For example:

And 52 percent of Americans wrongly think Hitler came to power through force.

Well, yes. When people are told incessantly that democratically elected governments are by definition virtuous, it might be hard to imagine someone like Hitler could come to power peacefully. Rather than warning of the dangers of an overly powerful head of state, we have elected presidents ruling by Executive Order, deliberately bypassing Congress as his supporters cheer and the media explains it’s best for the country. Instead of a Supreme Court ruling on the law as it stands, we have them making overtly political decisions which the people in power say is what the people want. As the federal government gets its tentacles into every nook and cranny of public life and branches of the state security apparatus attempt to thwart the election and then the presidency of Donald Trump, few seem interested in pointing out that the Holocaust was first and foremost an abuse of state power which cared little for due process or individual rights.

At the site of the Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs, the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation has been developing an interactive memorial plaza, scheduled to open in October. Visitors will use a new app that will, among other things, feature survivors’ recorded testimonies.

In one part of the plaza, train tracks that carried prisoners to the Treblinka death camp will be embedded in the pavement. When visitors step onto the tracks, the app, using geocaching technology, will pull up videos of Philadelphia residents “who were on those very trains that led to Treblinka,” said Eszter Kutas, the remembrance foundation’s acting director.

I’m sure this is very interesting from a historical perspective, but wasn’t the whole point of “never forget” to ensure the Holocaust was never repeated? I’m a lot less concerned that the population is slowly forgetting a terrible event which occurred over half a century before they were born than their being unaware of the importance of things like limited government, freedom of speech, and individual rights in preventing another.

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Too Much To Lose

In the comments of this post, MC makes a good point:

I read something about California recently in which the author described how the state will fine people like him thousands of dollars for a wrongly-laid drain, while ignoring the illegal plumbing of illegal immigrants.

This is related to the Hither Green Chavshrine™ and a comment made by The Manc:

It could cause a flash point, but it won’t, because decent law-abiding people have too much to lose to bother getting caught up in something like this.

I’m starting to believe that western societies, once they reach a certain level of wealth and comfort, will start to implode. One of the ways this will happen is the middle classes – who provide the the ruling classes with legitimacy – will have too much to lose to even raise their head in opposition to obvious abuses of state power. Now the masses having a lot to lose is generally a good thing: it stops them taking to the hills and enduring immense hardships while fighting pointless civil wars, for example. But as with most things, there appears to be an inflection point where the population goes from being generally satisfied to being utterly cowed. The state authorities, which by their nature look for soft targets, find it all too easy to threaten the comfortable existence of the middle classes with ruinous fines, reputational damage, and other punishments which overnight could upend their entire lives. By contrast, those who don’t have as much to lose, e.g. illegal immigrants in California or travellers in Hither Green, take a lot more effort for the ruling classes to keep in line.

You see a similar thing happening in large corporations, which interestingly Tommy Robinson mentioned in his recent podcast with James Delingpole. Robinson said the reason there is so little pushback from the masses against the ruling classes over scandals such as the Rotherham and Telford abuses or terrorism is because they enjoy extremely comfortable lives paid for by taking on colossal quantities of debt. This in turn means they are desperate to hold onto their jobs, terrified they may lose it along with their living standards. It’s not that people won’t find another job, but more they won’t find one which pays the same money: the tendency is for people’s lifestyles to expand to match their wages, meaning taking a lower paid job is not an option unless they wish to downgrade their lifestyle. If ever you’ve watched one of those programmes on TV where an expert takes a person faced with bankruptcy and tries to get them back into the black, this is an exceptionally difficult thing to do. But the expenditure which cripples most people is housing; years of government manipulation has forced the middle classes to extend themselves well beyond what is sensible, and people will put up with anything to avoid losing the only job which pays for their home. Managers in companies know this only too well, mainly because they are in a similar situation themselves, and use this leverage in the form of veiled and not-so-veiled threats to obtain compliance from their subordinates. If this goes on long enough, normal management practices are abandoned entirely and this leverage becomes the standard tool. The result is an ubiquity of moral cowardice in the workplace.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if the aims of the ruling classes and corporations were separate, but the line between the two is becoming increasingly blurred. Governments have realised they can police people’s behaviour and political opinions by outsourcing it to employers. Whether by accident or design, companies were forced to employ sprawling HR departments to remain compliant with the growing thicket of government regulations, but now serve to ensure anyone who expresses unapproved opinions gets booted from their job. As I’ve written before, what makes the situation worse is you have people on the right queuing up to defend this practice.

In summary, you have the vast majority of the population paying off mountainous debts on their homes, terrified of losing their jobs; you have managers and HR departments using this leverage as a matter of course; and you have those same managers and HR departments increasingly doing the bidding of politicians. If there is a better way of keeping a population cowed short of Gulags and mass murder, I’d be interested to hear of it.

So it’s not surprising the law-abiding in California or Hither Green are being shoved around by the authorities while illegals and travellers are free to do as they please. The shoving around is a feature of the system, not a bug. The other part of The Manc’s comment completes the picture:

The only angry young men we have couldn’t give a shit about this type of thing. It’s not the type of flashpoint that created the 2011 riots.

The only people prepared to take on the authorities are those who have little or nothing to lose by the criteria set by the ruling classes. Until that criteria changes, ordinary people are going to keep finding themselves on the wrong side; until they start voting differently, the criteria won’t change.

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The police are not on your side

A few days ago I said in respect of the Chavshrine™ (copyright holder: JuliaM):

If the police had any sense, they’d be all over this before it gets out of hand.

It’s the job of a responsible government to not let these grievances fester, and to identify potential flashpoints and intervene to snuff them out before they turn into something serious. As with most things, Theresa May’s government and what passes for a police service are failing in their duty miserably, leaving the British public feeling increasingly ignored, insulted, and bullied while certain protected groups are free to do as they please. If they don’t get a handle on this situation developing in Hither Green quickly, the burglar might not be its only casualty.

Well, I needn’t have worried: within hours of posting, the authorities swung into action. So did they remove the tributes from the nearby property? Of course not! This being Plod, they came out in favour of the travellers, issuing this statement:

My officers have a responsibility to provide reassurance to local residents so they can go about their daily lives, while also respecting the wishes of family and friends to mark the loss of a loved one.

“They are not there to safeguard or facilitate the laying of floral tributes; we are liaising with the local authority who are considering appropriate management of the floral tributes.

“I do not want anyone to feel intimidated or that they are not being allowed to respond in a dignified way to a tragic death.

“We would urge members of the public to respect the wishes of those who choose to place flowers and other tributes in the area.

In case anyone is concerned this whole fiasco is an exercise in intimidation, don’t worry, Plod has that covered too:

People laying flowers in tribute to a suspected burglar who was fatally stabbed should not feel intimidated, a senior Met Police officer says.

Yes, clearly it’s the people laying the flowers who are feeling intimidated, not the pensioner who knows he can never return home and is now forced to sell his house. And don’t you love the BBC’s language here? “Suspected burglar”, eh? What was this career criminal doing in someone else’s house? Checking for damp?

With the authorities making it quite clear whose side they are on in this conflict, the travellers have decided tributes to their relative’s untimely demise are not enough; now they’re putting up balloons and flowers celebrating what would be his birthday:

Flowers and tributes for stabbed burglar Henry Vincent have been moved from the street where he died to a local community garden.

It comes after his family marked what would have been his 38th birthday on Sunday by leaving balloons and flowers at the scene in Hither Green, southeast London.

At the request of the police, they left their tributes approximately 100 metres away from the property where he was fatally stabbed by pensioner Richard Osborn-Brooks, 78.

How lovely for those in the actual community who perhaps wanted to use this garden for its intended purpose, which I presume isn’t to honour a dead burglar. A year ago I wrote this:

At the rate they’re going, the British police are going to be awfully surprised when one day in the near future they are called upon to restore law and order and find the population treating them very much as part of the problem.

Judging by the reaction on Twitter, both from the public and police, I’d say that was rather prescient.

I’ve said on many occasions that I don’t know whose side the British police are on, but I am confident it is not that of the general public. This incident only serves to cement that belief. I don’t think the police are on the side of the travellers per se, but this dead burglar situation has made unlikely allies of the travellers and the police in that both see ordinary, native Brits as their adversaries. The police are the enforcement arm of the ruling classes, and for now the interests of they and the travellers are aligned. Should the travellers start causing the ruling classes trouble – as opposed to heaping misery on the plebs – they’d be squashed like flies, but that rarely occurs.

There are some positives, though. I’ve said before the sooner the public understand the nature of the British police and abandon the romantic Dixon of Dock Green image, the better. This farce can only serve to accelerate that process.

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Travel

I’m down in Annecy for a few days, so I might not get a chance to blog about anything until Monday.

On a more uplifting note, a mate in New York texted me saying he’d been chatting last night with some woman who was extolling the virtues of polyamory, and was heavily into Burning Man. Naturally he mentioned my book, which few can deny is the authoritative volume on such a juxtaposition, and today I found I’ve rung up another sale. So, if you happen to get talking to any mentally unstable polyamorists who are into Burning Man, be sure to mention my book.

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A Product of Modern Feminism

What is it with modern women living in New York (it’s always New York) boasting about having meaningless, indiscriminate sex with strangers? Do they think it makes them sound edgy and cool, or do they think people might find it interesting? Here’s the latest that came to my attention by somebody going by the name of Mandy Stadtmiller:

I met two hot Italian pilots on the street, bummed a cigarette, and took them home for a night of sex, debauchery, and, well, the opposite of a marriage proposal.

Things spiraled out of control after that.

When I was at my most self-destructive, I was hooking up with drug dealers and answering ads on the Craigslist’s Casual Encounters section posted by strange men looking for “snow bunnies” (girls who did cocaine). All told, I fooled around in some form with a dozen men from the site. All told sexually, my number is not too far off from other New York women I’ve met — under 100, over 50 — but it wasn’t so much about quantity and more about total lack of quality.

One time, I posted online that I was looking for something akin to a sugar daddy. The first few guys that responded — before the ad was taken down because it probably sounded like blatant prostitution — all sounded like cops, and I chickened out. Another night I considered taking “100 roses” from a sad little man who posted that he was “looking for a girl to show off.” (One rose is code on Craigslist for one dollar.) I didn’t take the money he had laid out. Instead, we sat uncomfortably on the couch together watching “Apollo 13.” Before I got up to leave, I asked if he’d tell me his real name. He refused. What if someone found out?

A friend of mine, the notorious and often shocking comedian Jim Norton, once listened to me patiently as I described a night of doing coke and fooling around with an S&M couple before later meeting and sleeping with another stranger at 5 in the morning who had responded to my incredibly subtle posting on Craigslist entitled: “Need to get f–ked right now.”

Of course, modern feminism compels its adherents to not show the slightest bit of shame over this. For all men’s supposed promiscuity and penchant for endless one-night stands, how many over 30 ever talk about their past conquests, let alone write about them? They grow up and move on, but certain women carry their sexual history around like a badge of honour, only bizarrely the more shameful it is the more proud they are of it. And the point to this woman’s story?

I met a man at a comedy club who caught my eye. He looked like a private detective wearing a trim gray suit and a scowl.

At the very start of our date, I handed him a piece of paper with a list detailing all of my “Relationship Expectations.” I spelled out what I wanted, really forcing myself to think about it: I didn’t want to be cheated on. I didn’t want to be insulted. I wanted to be treasured and loved.

I expected the date to last two minutes because he was being given a list of emotional demands right away — like, before we even ordered. Instead, he read it over carefully and quietly while I sat in the coffee shop sweating bullets.

“I don’t know,” he said, and then a smile broke through, “this all seems fairly reasonable.”

A stand-up comic (of course), my husband Pat Dixon proposed to me in under seven months. I got engaged on the last day of my thirties on the steps of Times Square.
This unlikely redemption tale is what led me to write the most difficult story of my life — my memoir, “Unwifeable” — as a tribute to anyone who feels trapped: in their past or the present, as the hero or the villain, as the wifeable or the unwifeable.

She found some omega male to marry her, and now she’s happy. That’s it. That’s the story, and she now thinks she’s in a position to give advice. The title of the post is:

My epic bender of drugs, booze and sex led to a happy marriage

Only she says her husband proposed in September 2015. This means she’s been married less than 2 1/2 years, a rather short time for someone who considers herself an authority on the subject, especially considering:

My first marriage in 2000 at the age of 25 ended in a messy divorce in 2005 (weeks before starting at The Post). And a lot of my self-hatred (and subsequent addiction) came from trying to suppress myself for other people.

What are the odds on another divorce and a subsequent relapse? What’s particularly weird is this woman isn’t some millennial, brainwashed by people who know only dating apps and online porn; she’s around 43, which is older than me. Something’s gone badly wrong somewhere, hasn’t it?

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Flash Point

This is the kind of thing that sparks major unrests, riots, and even revolutions:

Flowers left near the site where a burglar was stabbed to death have been branded an “insult”.

Floral tributes and balloons for Henry Vincent, 37, have been repeatedly attached and then removed from a fence opposite a home in Hither Green, south-east London, where he was killed.

Basically, a career burglar who the authorities refer to as a “traveller”, which is the PC term for a gypsy, died after being stabbed in the chest by the pensioner whose house he was burgling at the time. The overwhelming majority of Brits (and any Americans who read the story) thought this was the best outcome that could possibly have occurred, with sympathy levels at zero (although naturally The Guardian had to publish a column saying it was a crying shame).

Many British people believe burglars go about their crimes with impunity, the police aren’t interested, and if they do get caught they’re either given paltry sentences or none at all and are back robbing and thieving within days. Among other things, this pushes up insurance premiums and some have to pay for expensive home security systems. So when they hear a burglar has been killed, a lot of people are happy about it: they see that justice has been done where the justice system has failed. I have to say, that’s pretty much how I feel too. I’ve been burgled and it’s not nice; at the time, I was in a mental state whereby had I the opportunity and a guarantee I could get away with it, I’d have set the perpetrator on fire and slept well that night.

People were therefore outraged when the pensioner who stabbed the burglar was arrested. Gone are the days when the police used to bring people down the station and take a statement, the modern British police run around arresting people for pretty much anything. This suits them as it means they can take DNA samples and fingerprints, adding to the database they’re so desperate to complete, and with the process being the punishment they can use an arrest to inconvenience those who upset them. And nothing upsets the British police more than someone who didn’t meekly stand by while being a victim of a crime, much less someone who sinks a knife into the chest of a burglar. They think they enjoy a monopoly of force and intend to keep it that way. Thankfully, the public outcry over his arrest led I to his being released; had that not occurred, I’m sure he’d have been charged with at least manslaughter, possibly murder.

What then happened was the burglar’s family and friends – also gypsies – went to the address where he died and covered the fence on the property opposite with flowers, turning it into a sort of shrine. This was almost certainly done to intimidate the pensioner, who hasn’t been able to return home, fearful there may be retaliations:

Many residents in Hither Green have interpreted the large tribute to Mr Vincent as an aggressive act.

One neighbour said they saw a car circling the block while the tribute was being erected, which they believe was an attempt to intimidate locals.

If intimidation was the aim, it appears to have worked. Most neighbours are reluctant to talk publicly for fear of being drawn into a dispute that may not be over.

It is well known in Britain that gypsies are violent, consider themselves above the law, and the police are too afraid to tackle them. Frankly, many British people are fed up with travellers, their behaviour, and what they are perceived to get away with and there was a lot of anger over this flower business. Hence this:

The bouquets have been repeatedly taken down by a man who called it an “insult” to Mr Osborn-Brooks.

A man indentifying himself as Cecil Coley said he first removed the flowers overnight on Monday after becoming “infuriated” by the tributes.

He said: “It was a residential area they were placing flowers on. It was inappropriate, and the guy deserves no tribute.”

If the police had any sense, they’d be all over this before it gets out of hand. They’d have told the burglar’s relatives to fuck off back to their caravan site and if any of them are seen within half a mile of the address, they’ll be thrown in jail. Then they’d have chucked the flowers in the nearest skip. Instead they did nothing, so a member of the public has taken matters into his own hands, infuriated with the situation. You can be sure millions of Brits share his frustration and are applauding his actions.

There is a good chance the gypsies will attempt to resurrect the shrine and then hang around to defend it, which might well tempt a group of vigilantes to get together in large numbers and beat the hell out of them. I suspect then the police will go in mob-handed, but that all depends on who else joins in. I’ve written before about what happens in developing countries when the police let criminals operate with impunity, and show no signs of being on the side of the public. Eventually the mob deals with the criminals, and then deals with the police when they turn up to tackle the mob. There is every chance we could see the same thing here, unless the police get a grip.

Mass protests, riots, and revolutions, often start with something minor, a seemingly insignificant event that the authorities initially overlooked but symbolised deep grievances within the population who decided this was the event which would galvanise them into action. The Arab Spring was started by the Egyptian government removing flour subsidies. The Syrian Civil War grew from protests over the detention and torture of a bunch of teenagers in a provincial town. One of the few protests which genuinely worried the Russian government was after a man was prosecuted for the death of some high-ranking official who had recklessly driven into him; millions of people felt the injustice and were angered at the manner in which the ruling classes flout the law. I’m confident the next time Russia’s government is overthrown, it will start with something mundane.

It’s the job of a responsible government to not let these grievances fester, and to identify potential flashpoints and intervene to snuff them out before they turn into something serious. As with most things, Theresa May’s government and what passes for a police service are failing in their duty miserably, leaving the British public feeling increasingly ignored, insulted, and bullied while certain protected groups are free to do as they please. If they don’t get a handle on this situation developing in Hither Green quickly, the burglar might not be its only casualty.

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