Totally Lost

Via reader Gavin Longmuir, this:

Total SA has joined Royal Dutch Shell PLC in withdrawing from American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers because of disagreement about polices on climate change.

In a report on integrating climate with strategy, the company said it reviewed 30 industry associations to which it belongs “to verify that their stances on climate issues are aligned with the group’s.”

Total Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne also cited the Paris agreement, stating, “Our policy regarding industry associations demonstrates our consistency and credibility. Transparency will strengthen the action of businesses, which are key participants in discussions on how to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”

Now it might be the case that Patrick Pouyanne believes capitulating to climate activists is the best way to safeguard the interests of Total’s shareholders. It might also be that he’s chiefly concerned about how he is perceived by France’s political elite, having realised his nest is well-feathered regardless of what happens to Total in the long term. I don’t know. But I found this interesting:

Total has suspended all activities on a planned $3.5bn crude export pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania due to uncertainty over its Uganda operation.

The 1,445km pipeline was planned to pass through neighbouring Tanzania to the Indian Ocean port of Tanga.

The decision follows last week’s termination of the farm-down transaction between Tullow Oil, Total E&P and CNOOC.

All parties have been actively progressing the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) since 2017. However, the companies did not reach an agreement on the fiscal treatment of the transaction despite negotiations with the authorities.

Total’s Ugandan development has been going nowhere pretty much from the beginning, and word on the street that the Frenchmen they sent to negotiate with the government – including the CEO – might as well have been random farmers plucked from the fields of Normandy. So if I may make a helpful suggestion to Total’s senior management, perhaps it’s better to reacquire the necessary skills and expertise to develop oil and gas reserves rather than waste company resources in meeting the objectives of the laughably self-serving, corrupt, and ultimately pointless Paris Climate Agreement?


Swiped Out

There’s a trial underway in Auckland involving the murder of an Englishwoman at the hands of an Australian man whose name is suppressed by a New Zealand judge who may not realise the internet is global:

British backpacker Grace Millane died after being strangled by a man she met on a Tinder date, who later buried her body in a shallow grave, the Crown says.

Grace and the accused met on Tinder and went to a number of central city bars and eateries that night.

The pair were “plainly comfortable” in each other’s company and Grace had messaged her friend saying so, McCoubrey said.

CCTV footage captured from the Bluestone Room bar showed the pair kissing.

“She was plainly enjoying the date, at that stage … there’s clear evidence that both parties probably anticipated sexual activity,” McCoubrey said.

So she was travelling alone in a foreign country, met a total stranger online, went to his apartment to have sex, and wound up dead. Did she find hugging crocodiles in the Northern Territory a little too sensible, or what?

This blog’s resident Kiwi David Moore points us towards this related article:

A witness who wept after being told she would have to return to the High Court in Auckland will continue giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of the man accused of murdering Grace Millane.

The witness told the court on Monday how the 27 year-old accused of murdering Grace sat on her face as she performed a sex act on him, inside his apartment in November 2018.

The Crown says Grace was murdered about a month later in the same room.


On Monday the witness, who has name suppression, said she had drinks with the accused at his apartment in CityLife Hotel, after the pair connected on the dating app Tinder.

Hey, let’s go to some random bloke’s hotel room, what could possibly go wrong?

Giving evidence by CCTV, she told Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey the accused said he loved her and wanted to be with her.

“He grabbed my arm and I said: ‘We’re not having sex’.”

Then why go to his apartment?

The pair moved to the bed and she performed a sex act on him before he sat on top of her.

Because the natural response of someone who declares “we’re not having sex” is to perform a sex act on the chap she’s just yelled at.

The witness said she exchanged messages with the accused in the days following the incident but decided not to mention the suffocating episode because she didn’t want to aggravate him.

Unless she’s exchanging messages with him while they’re sat in the same room, this is a level of imbecility impressive even for the antipodes.

Under cross-examination from the accused’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield, she was asked why she exchanged over 700 messages with the accused, in the month following the sex act.

She told Mansfield she was leading the accused on and was scared that if she cut him off, he was going to turn up in her life.

I’m beginning to think those mullahs may have a point about letting women out on their own. Perhaps this is why Jacinda Ardern was encouraging Kiwi women to adopt the burkha a while back?



Sorry about the lack of posting: I’ve been busy.

Last week I was on a short business trip to Pori in the west of Finland to visit a testing facility and kick off a project I’m managing. Three of us went, flying into Helsinki and then boarding a 30-seater twin prop between Helsinki and Pori operated by Budapest Air Service. Yeah, I couldn’t work that one out. Apparently the flight is subsidised by the Pori municipality, who might worry nobody would come and visit otherwise. When we went to the desk to check in twenty minutes before our flight we found it deserted. We asked someone from the Luftwaffe Lufthansa desk next door and she said it was a bit early. Sure enough, 10 mins before departure a lady showed up, asked us our names, and ticked us off a list. There were only about 6 or 7 people on the flight including us. We were aboard and airborne on time. When we landed they dropped the stairs and we just sort of got off and wandered across the apron towards what we guessed must be the terminal building. This is how flying should be done.

We got a taxi from Pori airport to our destination, about a 10 minute drive. The driver grunted at me once when I gave him the address, again when I paid him, and once more when I thanked him. I initially thought he didn’t like me for some reason, but then I remembered in Finland this is what passes for a warm welcome. Our hosts were rather more chatty, and we spent a day wandering through laboratories and industrial units, stopping for lunch to eat salmon, lamb, and a dessert made with sea buckthorn. Last time I was in Finland I found the food so bad I started missing even German food. This time was a lot better. It’s amazing what effect not being a tourist has. That evening we went for a short walk along the river. Some early snow had fallen leaving a dusting over everything, and there were an awful lot of birch trees. It brought back a lot of memories of Russia, a country I’ve not been to since 2012, and made me miss the cold and snow. It beat the miserable wet of Cambridge hands down. Afterwards our hosts took us to a very nice restaurant and we drank lingonberry vodka and ate reindeer steak, which I ordered rare so it was red as Rudolph’s nose. It was excellent.

We were dropped off at Pori airport at 8pm and we were the only ones in the entire building except one other passenger. About 20 minutes before takeoff a bloke showed up who checked us in without even giving us boarding passes, a couple of pilots who looked as though they ought to be tucked up in bed somewhere, and two security personnel who didn’t yell at us. I rather enjoyed my trip to Finland – they’re nice, competent people – and I’ll be going back on monthly visits either to Helsinki or Pori between now and March or April. So if anyone is around up there, let me know.

When I got back from Finland I quit my serviced apartment in Cambridge and moved to London, lodging with my Dad for a few days while I look for a temporary apartment. I found myself rather isolated up there: I didn’t know anyone, the traffic on the drive to work was awful in one direction and abominable in the other, and the weather was miserable. One of the things which has changed since I left the UK in 2003 is the introduction of flexible working in offices. I arrived in my new job to find I didn’t have a desk assigned to me. Instead I had to hot desk, and carry all my stuff home at the end of each day like a sherpa. It seems nobody is provided with desk phones any more, instead you get given a Skype number which routes straight to your laptop. Most people work 3-4 days in the office and the rest either from home or somewhere else. Attending meetings over Skype is the norm, and I realised that the oil industry is still operating somewhere in the early 1990s. The expense system, travel booking system and HR benefits and admin system are all third-party and online. In my last place of work they were, respectively: 1) paper-based requiring multiple signatures, 2) a confusing chain of emails to umpteen managers and departmental secretaries who often appeared to have brain damage, and 3) non-existent. In short, I don’t really need to be physically in the office as much as I thought. I then discovered I can get a the Brighton to Cambridge train from London Bridge pretty easily, what with it being empty going north once it’s passed St. Pancras and most empty coming south until you reach Farringdon. So I can get a good 40 minutes work done on the train each way.

My intention was to find an AirBnB in London for a month while I sorted myself out. So I found one near London Bridge and booked it, and my credit card was charged accordingly. Next thing I know I get this message:

However looking again at the price it seems to be incorrect I can’t accommodate next to tower bridge in effect a 4 star hotel 2ned suite with lots of storage at £100 a night . Hotels next door are £200 a night tiny double room or £1500 plus for a 2bed suit .

The price should be £175 a night I can do for a compromised £149 a night .

Still very reasonable for that price .

If I can send you a price amendment pls can you accept failing that can u please ask you politely to cancel the reservation.

This was rather odd: I thought we’d agreed the price and I’d paid, and now he wanted more – 50% more, to be precise. So I told him to sod off. Then I got this:

Hi Tim

I hope your okay . I’m new to airbb (my property is on One Fine Stay at £250 a night).
I’ve called airbb to rectify the pricing if it was just a couple of nights stay I wouldn’t mind . But for a months stay I simply can’t make commercial sense flats in the area rent out on normal market at £3000 plus a month .

So if you can’t pay the extra can I pls ask you to cancel I hope your decide to stay as I can’t imagine your find better in this locality .

This chap makes Theresa May look like a master of negotiation. Anyway, I told him to sod off again. Which resulted in this:

Hi Tim

I hope your well.

I’ve just been on the phone to airbb customer service they have advised me to increase the to a commercial viable amount I do hope we can compromise and meet half way. Once you see the apartment it’s great home and you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for your empathy and storage is no problem .

Assuring you of my personal attention at ALL Times .

The next thing I know I have someone who sounded Filipina calling me from AirBnB trying to persuade me to pay the extra money, adopting the role of negotiator with his interests at heart. I explained to her as far as I was concerned the deal was done and I’d paid an she said “Yes, you make a good point, I’ll go back and tell him that.” Whether she did or not I don’t know, but within 5 minutes my booking had been cancelled and I received this message from my would-be host:

Best of luck best price £135 a night very responsible to be opposite Tower Bridge in Luxury apartment same as a five star hotel suite .

I fired off a complaint to AirBnB and they said “they were sorry I had to cancel my booking” but I’ve been refunded, although the money could take up to 15 days to reappear in my account. I told them I didn’t cancel it and they went quiet until I started having some fun telling the story on Twitter while tagging in @Airbnb. Eventually someone emailed me and said they’d investigated but due to privacy reasons they couldn’t tell me what the outcome was. The email, like all their correspondence on this case, was littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. I’m wondering how long AirBnB are going to be in business before someone is killed in an unsafe property and they respond by sending the grieving relatives a list of alternative properties and wishing them a pleasant stay. In the end I got 10% off my next booking, but I’d have preferred my would-be host’s head mounted on a spike at the Tower of London.

Anyway, the good news is I’ve met someone in London who is neither Russian nor a lunatic and therefore is unlikely to be providing much blogging fodder as others have done. I’ve checked and she’s not into polyamory, which must be a disappointment to my readers. In fact, she’s rather wonderful. And that’s the main reason behind my move to London and, if I’m being honest, my lack of blogging.


The girl with the cad on spat two

Via reader Robert Harries comes this article:

A woman has revealed how a ‘predator’ ex-boyfriend groomed her into a ‘fake relationship’ while living a double life with another girlfriend.

We live in an era in which women’s accounts of being with douchebags are deemed newsworthy.

Catherine Garrod, 38, said she was ‘trapped’ for three and a half years by her ex who started out ‘charming and attentive’. She said they met on Plenty of Fish and he was ‘very keen to progress the relationship’ and settle down ‘like his mum and dad’. He wanted to look at houses and they did within six months, but none of them ‘were ever quite right’ for him. As soon as she ‘committed’, she said he ‘pulled back’. She said the relationship followed this manipulative pattern for months on end where ‘he’d promise the world but deliver nothing’.

A man failing to meet the material expectations of a woman is classed as manipulation now, is it?

Catherine repeatedly tried to end the relationship but he would suddenly become ‘loving and attentive’ again, saying he ‘couldn’t imagine a life without her’.

So she could have left him at any point by walking out the door and not listening to his whining. I was at expecting at least a cellar and a set of manacles.

It wasn’t until she got a phone call from an unknown woman in October last year that she realised it was all a cover for a dark secret. For more than two years he had been living a double life with a secret girlfriend a short drive away.

This would be of marginal interest if you or he were 1) married and 2) famous. You fail on both counts.

The other woman had discovered a WhatsApp message from Catherine on his phone and found her the next day on Facebook.

Teenagers on a wet caravaning holiday would find this story boring.

She told ‘When she found me she assumed I was the affair. But when she went through my Facebook profile she realised we had been together for a long time. ‘She then sent me photos of cards he had written telling her how much he loved her, almost to try and justify that she didn’t know about me. ‘I think she thought I was the primary girlfriend and she was the affair, but I said “I don’t see it like that, I think we’ve both been completely f**ked over.” ‘He was great at writing cards. He was very heartfelt on anniversaries, on birthdays and at Christmas.’ When Catherine saw one of the heartfelt cards, she discovered it was a ‘word for word’ copy to one she received when he was on a ‘work trip’. She added: ‘I discovered when he was holiday with me he would tell her he was away for work.’

The central plot of this story is that a man managed to string along a couple of dunderheads for a while.

Within an hour of talking on the phone they both got in their cars and drove to his parent’s house. That’s when they discovered his family and friends had known about his double life all along.

‘I just don’t understand where their morals were,’ she added. ‘These are the people I thought were nice.’

Well, were they nice to you?

She said: ‘We discovered every move was calculated, every emotion was mimicked, and what we thought was love was an obsession with controlling our lives.

Sorry, what?

‘We both went through a period of being absolutely terrified. We’d come home to our empty homes and check our rooms to see if something had been moved. ‘I was convinced that he’d been here.

How did he get in? Were there signs of forced entry? Or are you insane?

I was having horrendous nightmares. ‘I suffered quite bad anxiety. My whole reality had gone. ‘He had violated my mind and my body. Not only had he controlled my life, but sleeping with somebody who is pretending to be somebody they aren’t, that to me, is physical abuse. ‘I didn’t know who he was. He was pretending to be somebody else and that’s just horrible. ‘You question everything because your whole reality wasn’t real.’

It seems to me as though this period of her life became retrospectively terrifying after she discovered there was another woman in the picture.

Catherine, who lives in Staines, reported him to Surrey Police but said she was told living a double life ‘would not meet the threshold for coercive control’.

And I suspect that was the polite version.

She said: ‘The officer said the CPS just won’t take it on. I said that’s ridiculous and they basically said we don’t necessarily disagree with you but we can only operate within the confines of the law.’ Catherine also accused her boyfriend of threatening to kill her, which Surrey Police did take action on, charging him with domestic assault. But he was later cleared of the charge at Staines Magistrates’ Court in February.

There’s manipulation here all right, but it isn’t coming from the person she says it is.

Catherine has been inspired to share her story after watching Labour MP Rosie Duffield’s account of her own experience of domestic abuse in the House of Commons.

Which I covered here. So an MP uses parliament instead of the changing room at her yoga class to complain about her ex-boyfriend’s non-criminal behaviour, encouraging unhinged women to file complaints with the police over trivial domestic matters brought about largely by their own naivety. And this is progress?

She believes there are more victims like her out there and has set up a website called ‘He Controlled Both of Us’, where victims can come forward, and stay anonymous if they wish to. She has also launched a petition to urge the government to define ‘leading a double life’ as a form of domestic abuse.

Like the upskirting law passed last year, this is another example of women rushing to a policeman every time a man is beastly to her. Modern feminism seems to stunt the development of certain women, leaving them stuck in a teenager’s mentality and unable to cope with the world as they find it.


Coming forth to carry me home (empty handed)

Before yesterday’s rugby world cup final I was supporting England. I thought it would be good for a northern hemisphere team to win and I do live in England after all. However, my support was reluctant because, as is common, my social media feeds were full of English fans disparaging the Welsh with pictures such as this:

Here’s the thing. Wales punch miles above their weight when it comes to rugby considering their size, population, and mediocre clubs (none seriously competes in the Heineken Cup). Finishing 4th for the second time in 8 years is a pretty decent achievement. Realistically, Wales are never going to win a world cup. It would take them having a freakishly good team and everyone else to be unusually crap, and it would be an upset not quite on the scale of Greece winning the 2004 European Championship but something close to it. The best Wales can do is win the Grand Slam fairly frequently, get to the semis of a world cup, and claim a southern hemisphere scalp every now and then.

England, by contrast, are massive underachievers when it comes to rugby. They’re a large nation with well-funded infrastructure and teams which regularly compete and win the Heineken Cup. By rights they should be winning the Six Nations most years, Grand Slams several times a decade, and thinking they’ve had a poor tournament if they finish second. They should be finalists or semi-finalists in every world cup, and should have won more than one by now. For the English to mock the Welsh for having not having won a rugby world cup is like France mocking Belgium’s inability to win a world cup at football. I’ve often thought that England’s solitary RWC win 16 years ago has had the same effect as their FIFA one in 1966: they dine out on it for decades, kid themselves they’re genuine contenders every year, but somehow never add to the trophy cabinet.

And so it proved yesterday, when England got taken apart by a South African side who were better in every department on the day. The two most comprehensive beatings of the tournament between top tier sides was England’s defeat of New Zealand and South Africa’s thrashing England. The problem England have had for a long time is they’re invincible when their game plan works as it did against New Zealand, but if it doesn’t they have to wait for half time so the coach can tell them what to do instead. They’re a team seriously lacking in leadership. They’ve got strength, skill, and guts in abundance but nobody with the rugby brain of a Kieran Read, Beauden Barrett, or Faf de Klerk. A couple of seasons back in the Six Nations the Italians decided to throw a spanner in the works by refusing to form rucks, meaning they could defend from positions which would otherwise be offside. The England team, seemingly lacking anyone who knew the rules, had no idea what was even happening let alone how to deal with it.

So yesterday when they found their scrum going backwards at 30mph in the first few minutes they lost their heads. Ben Youngs threw a ball over the head of the winger and out of play, George Ford hoofed it into touch on the full, passes went astray, and balls were knocked on. Manu Tuilagi, the hero against New Zealand, didn’t trouble the commentators until a quarter of the match had been played. A lot of people are blaming the referee, but sloppy play is hardly his fault. England were unlucky to lose Kyle Sinckler so early on, but I doubt that made much difference. South Africa simply wanted it more, and played as though they were in a final. This maul appearing from nowhere in open play is one of the best moves I’ve seen in a rugby match:

As the match wore on I found my support for England waning on the grounds that I didn’t think they deserved it. As someone on Twitter said, New Zealand played their final against Ireland, and England played theirs against New Zealand. South Africa played theirs in the actual final, and deservedly won. England, having won one final out of four, are starting to look like chokers. My advice is they worry more about their consistent underachieving rather than spending time mocking smaller nations. After all, we were ravaged by injuries yet came within one penalty kick of stopping South Africa reaching the final, and we put a try past them. Maybe they should swap Eddie Jones for Warren Gatland?


Crocketile Dundee

This is fun. Some background:

In 2001, Shane Della-Vedova, a military captain in the army explosives team, was asked to dispose of ten M72 shoulder-fired rocket launchers from an Australian Defence Force base. … Apparently, he overlooked ten rocket launchers that were still in the car boot––driving away that day with them in the back of his car.

Which led to a sequence of events that included the best quote in Australian wiretapping history:

“I sold the rocket launchers to my mate and he sold it to those fucking dickhead terrorists. Now it’s a fucking drama.”

Remember, this lot think Americans should be looking to them for advice on regulating handguns.


Cotton Dud

I’ve written before about Dany Cotton, the commissioner of the London Fire Brigade:

Her professional biography seems to be a lot more about being a woman than a firefighter.

So how’s she getting on?

Relatives of Grenfell Tower victims today called for the embattled London Fire Brigade chief and other senior officers to be prosecuted over the inferno.

Nazanin Aghlani, who lost two family members in the blaze in West London in June 2017, said the LFB was ‘the hands of people that are incapable of their jobs’.

But the embattled London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton refused to quit as she apologised for causing ‘additional hurt’ to families of Grenfell Tower victims.

Miss Cotton, who had defended the fatal advice for residents to ‘stay put’, plans to retire next April aged 50 on a pension worth up to £2million.

She admitted the LFB would ‘do different things’ after learning lessons following the inferno, but refused to quit, saying she wanted to ‘continue to protect the people of London’ and insisted she was ‘standing here and taking responsibility’.

It comes after the report concluded that the LFB breached national guidelines over its ‘gravely inadequate’ preparations and did not have a plan to evacuate the tower.

I don’t know how much the LFB really are to blame for the deaths in the Grenfell Tower fire, but it looks as though this Cotton woman was completely out of her depth. And I can’t but help notice that her “taking responsibility” by staying in her post until she collects her hefty pension looks a lot like that of her Metropolitan Police counterpart Cressida Dick’s “taking responsibility” for the umpteen failures on her watch. These people haven’t a shred of personal integrity, nor an ounce of shame.

Not that I don’t think the whole Grenfell Tower incident hasn’t been a wall-to-wall demonstration of the failings of the modern British state and wider society, from the number of people who were in the tower to the dodgy “green” cladding, from the blatant fraud which followed to the sight of foreign activists demanding the national government resign, from the lack of curiosity over how the fire started to the prosecution of people who didn’t get the memo that the charred remains have been consecrated.

Home appliance firm Whirlpool faces a potential multi-million pound lawsuit after the Grenfell report found a faulty fridge freezer sparked the inferno after Sir Martin dismissed their ‘fanciful’ claim fire was caused by a cigarette;

Just that one fridge freezer, eh? Would have thought a fault like that would have occurred in a number of them. How handy that a major corporation with deep pockets is in the firing line for a hefty compensation claim.

The Grenfell Grift will go on for years, but if it claims the scalp of a useless diversity hire at the head of the LFB, I’ll not shed too many tears. I suspect those who actually turned out to tackle the blaze did brilliantly though, insofar as they were permitted to.


All Cracks

Talk about hysterical:

Scott Robertson looks the man to step in and resuscitate these ailing All Blacks

Ailing? They lost one game!

Any hope Steve Hansen’s assistant, Ian Foster, had of stepping into the top role almost certainly went down the gurgler with the All Blacks’ threepeat prospects at Yokohama’s International Stadium on Saturday night.

I wondered who the Kiwis would use as a scapegoat. They couldn’t very well turn on Steve Hansen, who had delivered them everything (except for a series win over the British & Irish Lions, hehehe). None of the individual players had done much wrong, except maybe Sam Whitelock who gave away a couple of silly penalties and they’re not going to turn on him. So it falls to Hansen’s assistant who, of course, is suddenly unsuited to work in rugby ever again.

New Zealand Rugby must learn too. It must understand that all good things come to an end and it is time for some freshness in these All Blacks.

This is written as if the All Blacks were made up of a bunch of ageing has-beens resting on their laurels from earlier victories. Players like Jack Goodhue (aged 24), Jordie Barrett (22), George Bridge (24), Richie Mo’unga (25), Scott Barrett (25), and Anton Lienert-Brown (24). Yes, a right team of unfresh veterans, that one. Whereas the team which won in 2015 had Richie McCaw, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Dan Carter, and Kevin Mealamu who were all over 33. Whatever the problem was with the All Blacks yesterday – and if we’re being honest it was a brilliantly trained and prepared England not letting them play – it wasn’t a lack of freshness.

Robertson, the charismatic, hugely successful former All Black and Crusaders coach, appeals as the logical successor. He is a modern thinker, an innovator and a motivator, and he has the midas touch. His franchise has won everything from the minute he toolk over.

The Kiwis have lost one game and they’re already in full-on panic and looking for a saviour. They should try being Welsh for a while. We get to a RWC semi-final with a brilliant coach and play as if it’s a dead rubber against a side which looks equally uninterested.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden fights back tears of grief as Steve Hanson explains why he started Scott Barrett at 6. A month of national mourning has been declared, and new laws have been introduced making sharing of the match footage on social media punishable by up to 5 years in prison.


Unprotected Sex

I’ve long thought that the numerous articles appearing in fringe media about polyamory are part of a campaign to give legal recognition to such relationships. Now CBS, a mainstream channel, are putting out a documentary on how wonderful it is:

“One big orgy.” That’s the stereotype about the lifestyle of consensual non-monogamy — an arrangement where committed partners openly agree to have sexual relationships with other people.

But people who have practiced non-monogamy for years say it’s not all wild sex — or even all that wild. It takes a lot of work, and it carries a lot of stigma. There can be serious consequences for the family life and even careers of those involved.

The consequences for family life aren’t so serious they consider quitting the practice, though. Apparently the right to have multiple sex partners trumps all other considerations.

“Many people are trying to create families in different kinds of ways. And a lot of people see that as dangerous,” Diana Adams, a Brooklyn-based lawyer who represents polyamorous families, says in the CBSN Originals documentary, “Non-monogamy.”

Brooklyn, eh? There’s a surprise. And yes, a lot of people do have the welfare of children and wider society in mind when looking at deviant behaviour. We’d not be much of a society if we didn’t, would we?

She advises clients in non-monogamous relationships to be careful about telling their employers. She’s seen some lose their jobs over it.

“There are places where it’s not safe to tell people that you’re polyamorous, and many people are not out,” Adams said. “I think employers are aware that they don’t have to allow employees to express themselves, in terms of their relationship status. Because that isn’t a protected class.”

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s all about. Polyamorists want their sexual preferences – which are less lifestyle choices than coping mechanisms – accorded special protections from the government.

There is no legal framework for polyamorous families to share finances, custody of children or the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.

That’s because they’re not married. Similarly, I rarely get tax relief on pension contributions I don’t make.

Likewise, there are no legal protections against people facing discrimination for being in a non-monogamous relationship.

Nor for people holding conservative views.

Mahdy, a man who lives in Brooklyn, New York, had to end his marriage to keep his relationship together. He is part of what’s called a triad or thruple — a polyamorous relationship between three people who are all actively involved with each other. But because it’s illegal to be married to more than one person, only two people in his triad can be married.

Imagine the oppression!

Mahdy, who did not want his last name to be used, met his first partner about 14 years ago and married her in 2011. One year later, the couple met another woman, and the three formed a triad. But it could have fallen apart after the second woman ran into problems with her immigration status, he says.

For her to remain in America, Mahdy and his wife divorced, and the wife married the second partner. It kept them all together — but he is still reeling from the ordeal.

This is about par for the course for Brooklyn polyamorists: mentally ill foreign woman arrives in the US, gets into polyamory, someone agrees to marry her when her visa expires to keep her in the circle. It’s hard to see how this obvious gaming of the system benefits American society.

“Dissolving the marriage … that was really, really difficult for me,” he says. “I don’t have the legal protections I had when me and my first partner were married. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had health insurance since.”

I’m of the opinion that polyamorists are generally f*ck-ups. That this chap has two “wives” and doesn’t know if he has health insurance doesn’t do much to persuade me otherwise.

For many people in non-monogamous relationships, there’s nothing strange about their arrangement. It’s just romance — plus one or two other people, or more.

There’s nothing strange about Siamese twins. It’s just a person, plus another head.

“People think that there’s this magical thing happening all the time,” says Brooke Houston of Kansas City, Kansas, who has been in a triad for more than a year.

More than a year. I guess they couldn’t find anyone who’d managed to keep it up longer than that.

“And half the time we’re just chilling. … Whoever has the energy for a big orgy 24/7, let me know. Tell me your secret,” she joked.

In 2018, Houston formed a triad with CJ and Brandi George, a couple who have been in an open marriage for four years. She has a sexual relationship with both CJ and Brandi — sometimes individually, and sometimes all together.

LOL, we don’t have orgies! Just threesomes. We’re normal.

It’s not all about sex, though. The three of them live as one unit — sharing a bed, but also sharing dinners.

It’s not all about sex: sometimes they eat food.

Brandi said that years ago, someone wrote an anonymous letter to the school district where she works as a teacher, outing her for being in an open relationship. The district called her in to discuss it. She didn’t end up losing her job — but she feared that she would.

In other words they couldn’t find anyone who’d actually lost their job for being polyamorous. This hardly sounds like an oppressed group desperate for special protections.

“I was terrified that I would be let go from my job or that I would have people that wouldn’t accept me,” she said. “My students, like, they give me oxygen, they give me life. And so to have that taken from me would have just like devastated me. So I was just very aware that that could happen and that I would have nothing. And how could I provide for my kids if I don’t have a job?”

None of which actually happened.

CBSN Originals spoke with two women in Durham, North Carolina, who have been in what they call a polyfidelitous closed quad for more than seven years. That means the two married couples are romantically involved with each other — each woman has sex with the other’s husband — but outside of that the couples don’t see anyone else. The women asked to remain anonymous to protect their families, and for fear of consequences in their jobs.

Which is pretty much where Trump supporters stand in many professions.

“It’s not just about sleeping with each other’s husbands. Our lives are meshed together,” one of the women said. “Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays are the nights we spend with our extramarital partners. And Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays we spend with our marital partners.”

I don’t want to ask how often they change the bedsheets. My guess is the sheets wait for a window of opportunity before walking themselves to the washing machine.

One of the hardest parts of the arrangement is the children. One couple does not have kids; the other does. The couples care for and parent them together, though there is no question about who their biological parents are. And those children had to have all of this explained to them.

Because God forbid the parents and their sex partners adjust their lives so children don’t have to get their heads around the intricacies of sexual degeneracy.

“It involves a lot of trust,” the woman with children said. “I, as a mother, have to think, ‘Do I trust these people?’ This could really, really impact my children’s life for the worse.”

But I’ll take the risk anyway because, frankly, it’s all about me.

“What we were hoping for was that giving the children more adults in their lives that love them would counterbalance giving them a strange life, and would outweigh it,” her partner added.

And thus began a whole new parenting philosophy which went some way to explain the rash of suicides and instances of clinical depression 15 years later.

Last year, the American Psychological Association created a task force on consensual non-monogamy to promote awareness and understanding of non-traditional relationship structures.

“Finding love and/or sexual intimacy is a central part of most people’s life experience,” the APA website says. “However, the ability to engage in desired intimacy without social and medical stigmatization is not a liberty for all.”

I suppose the APA is wholly uninterested in 1) the effect on any children caught up in this and 2) the psychological state of polyamorists to begin with.

People who engage in or support non-monogamous relationships argue that it’s simply an option that should be available for those who choose — just as monogamy should be an option. And for now, they’re just asking for acceptance.

For now. Then as soon as you’ve got that, compulsory celebration and outlawing criticism will follow.

“It’s never gonna be equal for us,” Mahdy said. “I only ask that people don’t interfere with what we have.”

Erm, they’re not. But you want the law changed so you can marry some disturbed foreigner without having to divorce your current wife, all so she can be permitted to live in the USA.

This whole campaign is just the latest battle in the war on traditional marriage which, once won, will usher in a Utopian society in which anyone can sleep with everyone willy-nilly, and the children all take part and are happy. What could go wrong?


Germany will never forgive the Jews for the Holocaust

Some news from Germany:

Out of the 1,300 Germans who took part in the representative survey, 27% agreed with a range of anti-Semitic statements and stereotypes about Jewish people.

Some 41% said they agreed with the statement that “Jews talk about the Holocaust too much.” The same portion said they believed “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to Germany.”

Over 20% of respondents said they agreed that Jewish people have “too much power” over the economy, international financial markets and the media. Another 22% agreed that “people hate Jews due to the way they behave.”

Anti-Semitism is also growing among the wealthy and well-educated, according to the study.

The WJC found that 18% of “elites” — respondents with at least one university degree who make at least €100,000 ($111,300) per year — agreed with anti-Semitic sentiments.

Within that group, over a quarter said they believed Jewish people have “too much power over world politics” and the economy.

Personally I don’t believe it. Antisemitism can’t be rife in Germany if they’re prosecuting 93-year old former SS guards in high-profile trials.