We can never be too safe! (Update – Passenger banned for life)

How deplorable!

How deplorable!

We can never be too safe from awful speech. You know, speech with which we disagree. That kind.

This douchebag got on a flight and went on a 45 second triumphant rant about Trump.

“We got some Hillary bitches on here,” the man yelled. “Come on, baby. Trump!”

He then kept yelling, telling everyone that Trump is "president of every one of y'all" and if they don't like it, "too bad." The video is here.

Clearly the most dramatic reaction on the plane was an eye roll. One woman sarcastically said "we can't hear you."

Later, a flight attendant took Mr. Douchebag off the plane and told him that he wasn't allowed to act that way.

It seems to me that the Delta crew handled it just fine.

"Sir, don't be a dick on the flight anymore, or we wont let you fly."

"Ok, I won't"

There were no further outbursts.

Well, ok, there were. All over social media. This was a sign to the leadership of the National Association of Crybabies that this was the beginning of the concentration camps in America. This was their sign that The Deplorables were coming for them. You know, the same kind of hysteria that we saw when a guy whose middle name is "Hussein" came into office to take their guns and put them in FEMA camps.

People flipping the fuck out over nothing.

And, Delta couldn't leave well enough alone.

"We are sorry to our customers who experienced this disruption. We have followed up with the teams involved and all agree that this customer should not have been allowed to continue on the flight. Our responsibility for ensuring all customers feel safe and comfortable with Delta includes requiring civil behavior from everyone. The behavior we see in this video does not square with our training or culture and follow up will continue so we can better ensure our employees will know they will be fully supported to make the right decisions when these issues arise." (Delta Statement) (emphasis added)

I'm ok with most of the statement. Fine, you have to give everyone a tummy rub. And yeah, Mr. Douche was disruptive for 45 seconds. That's a fuck of a lot less than the stupid piece of shit who always winds up stopping the plane from boarding because she doesn't think the laws of physics apply to her suitcase — and then she looks at me like I'm gonna help her. See Rule 8.

Pre-flight screaming doesn't really bother me. Maybe because I live in Vegas, and most of the time I'm flying home after a long work week somewhere else, I'm sitting there while the Vegas-bound revelers pour themselves down the aisle after their celebratory pre-game at the terminal. You think this guy was obnoxious? Have you ever seen a bachelorette party pour itself onto a Vegas-bound plane? How about every guy in an Ed Hardy shirt who gets on a plane bound for Vegas or Miami? How about any flight leaving Miami for Boston for the Patriots kick the shit out of the Dolphins in an away game.

I was "that guy" once — on my way from Fort Myers to Houston for Super Bowl XXXVIII. I stumbled on the plane dressed in a Steve Grogan jersey and a velvet pimp suit and ran up and down the aisle screaming "I'M THE MOTHERFUCKIN PATRIOTS PIMP BABY!" The flight attendants gave me "the talk" too. Fucking fascists.

Where were we?

Right, so obnoxious shit on the plane. Big fuckin deal. I deserved the "sir, you need to behave in this little metal tube" talk when I was playing Patriots Pimp. So did Deplorable Dan. But that's the end of it.

Remember when we got all pissed off during the Bush years when people got kicked off of planes for wearing anti-Bush statements on their shirts? (like here) How about when someone found an upside down flag offensive? Black lives matter button kerfuffle?

In flight assholes are a problem. But, really? Would this be an issue if he got on the plane and screamed "FUCK THE DALLAS COWBOYS!" or "YANKEES SUCK!" So what's the problem here? That he called his political opponents "Hillary Bitches?" So fucking what? How about if he got on board and yelled "NOT MY FUCKING PRESIDENT?" Or how about if he started chanting "BLACK LIVES MATTER?"

I'm not defending the guy. Deplorable and Douchey Dan was out of line. I'm willing to bet that I would hate him. I base that on very little — just my own coastal elite asshole stereotyping. Between his clothes, his accent, and his "yeah, y'all" shit, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like him. I think what he had to say was fucking retarded. Had he been seated next to me and tried to give me a high five, I'd have responded with "don't touch me, I don't want to catch fuckheaditis."

But, the flight attendant handled it the right way. Delta should maybe have issued a statement — even the one it issued, minus the bolded part. His behavior was douchey, but hardly as bad as 90% of the prole trash motherfuckers who don't know how to behave on a plane. I'll take him over half the seat mates I've had in the past year.

UPDATE: And now, to prove how politically correct they are, Delta has banned Mr. Douche for life from Delta flights. Let that sink in. He said one offensive thing, one time, on a flight and now for the rest of his life he can't fly Delta.

And right now, I'm sure some sanctimonious fucking turdsucker will bob their head and say "well, serves him right." How about you order some shut-the-fuck-up as your in flight beverage? Really? Because if you think this "serves him right," then I can guarantee you that you have had your share of dumb shit to say, scream, whine, shout in your day.

I might not agree with Mr. Douche, but the only difference between him and anyone boarding a Friday night Vegas-bound flight in an Affliction shirt is that he shouted a political view that certain crybabies find offensive.

Well fuck you. I find your face offensive.

delta-flight

Castro Dead – Good Time to Talk About "Fake News"

Part 1 of Herbert Matthews' 3 part series

Part 1 of Herbert Matthews' 3 part series

"Journalists" are writing about "fake news" as if "bullshit" was something new.

If you don't know the name "Herbert Matthews," but you think you know anything about Fidel Castro, you don't know shit. Matthews was the master of journalistic fiction, and he and the New York Times are why you even know Castro's name.

Matthews covered the Italian invasion of Ethiopia for the New York Times. He didn't even try and hide his bias in favor of the Italian Fascists. He wrote, "[i]f you start from the premise that a lot of rascals are having a fight, it is not unnatural to want to see the victory of the rascal you like, and I liked the Italians during that scrimmage more than I did the British or the Abyssinians." He admitted that whichever side was "right" was of no interest to him. For throwing in with Mussolini, he became known as a "fascist."

His next posting was in Spain, covering the Spanish Civil War. He arrived still somewhat Right-Wing, sympathizing with Franco's forces over the Republicans. However, somewhere along the way he became friends with Hemingway, and switched polarities. Hemingway based Robert Jordan, the main character in For Whom the Bell Tolls, on Matthews. From then on, he was considered to be a dear friend of the Left.

On November 25, 1956, Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Che Guevara, and 79 other members of the 26th of July Movement boarded the Granma and sailed for Cuba. They planned to get to Cuba and raise an army to overthrow the reigning Cuban tyrant, Batista. But, most of them were captured or killed, and only 16 of them made it up into the mountains. Batista declared that they were all dead and victory was his. Castro was still alive, but his movement as dead.

In February of 1957, Matthews got an interview with Castro while he was hiding in the Sierra Maestra mountains with only about 20 guerrillas. However, nobody had heard from Castro since the Granma landed — strengthening Batista's claim that he had killed his upstart nemesis.

Senor Castro was waiting until he had his forces reorganized and strengthened and had mastery of the Sierra Maestra. This fortunately coincided with my arrival and he had sent word out to a trusted source in Havana that he wanted a foreign correspondent to come in. The contact knew as soon as I arrived and got in touch with me. Because of the state of siege, it had to be someone who would get the story and go out of Cuba to write it.

Matthews hid out with Castro and did his research for his three part series, starting with Castro Is Still Alive and Still Fighting in Mountains which appeared on page 1 of the New York Times' Sunday edition, on 24 February 1957. (reproduction of original, easier to read version) It continued with Rebel Strength Gaining in Cuba, But Batista Has the Upper Hand published the next day. (original) And finally, Old Order in Cuba Is Threatened By Forces of an Internal Revolt. (original)

I remember reading these articles in 1988 when I took Journalism 492, "Covering Revolutions" at the University of Massachusetts. As you might imagine, the course was hardly critical of Matthews or Castro. I recall taking the course thinking it would be about how to "cover revolutions." In reality, it was "how journalists can help revolutions." Professor Pinkham was a good-old-fashioned revolutionary academic. The Wall hadn't yet fallen, and it was completely foreseeable that some of his students would one day go on to be the next Matthews, Jack Reed, or Edgar Snow.

Reading these articles in 1988, I actually hoped to be lucky enough not to just chronicle a revolution one day, but to be its vehicle. Yeah, I wore a lot of red stars back then. And, for an 18 year old with Marxist sympathies, the thought that I could carry a revolution on my back was a hell of a dream.

I never got around to either chronicling or driving a revolution, so I guess I'm not getting that off my bucket list. But, if you sit down and read Matthews' work with an open mind, you can see how 18 year old me could have read them and thought "right on, man!" Matthews doesn't just tell a story — he really weaves a romantic tale of the revolutionary movement liberating Cuba against all odds. Consider it to be less "journalism" and more fiction based in part upon the facts — but crafted in a way to support the "rascal Matthews liked."

Was Matthews totally complicit or just somewhat fooled by the Revolution? Castro once said, years later, that he ordered the same 20 soldiers to march past his tent, in circles. The intent was to give Matthews the impression that the revolution was far larger than it was. Castro also reportedly had "messengers" come and give "reports" from nonexistent platoons all across the Cuban countryside. Matthews' series made it appear that Castro's movement was far larger than it was, and that the Cuban people were mostly behind him. If you repeat a lie enough, it can become the truth. But, if you tell the lie masterfully enough, it can also become the truth almost instantaneously.

Meanwhile, Batista maintained the articles were all fiction — including the fact that Castro was still alive. His problems got worse when his claim about Castro being dead was disproven. Once Batista was caught in that lie, the rest became much more believable. Matthews also portrayed the 26th of July movement as "anti-Communist," thus blunting any U.S. opposition. Castro was now the scrappy romantic revolutionary leader, fighting for truth, justice, and liberty.

I don't know whether Matthews was complicit in Castro's deception, or if he was the victim of an elaborate Castro psyop. Whichever is irrelevant. What is relevant is that at the time, Castro's movement was barely surviving, no more than two dozen poorly trained guys hiding in the mountains. After Matthews' articles, the Revolution became an inevitability. And, in 1959, Castro openly credited Matthews with bringing him to power.

The "rascal he liked" was clearly Castro.

Castro is Dead. So What?

Celebration in Miami.  Photo by Carlos Miller

Celebration in Miami.
Photo by Carlos Miller

So Castro is finally dead. Some are dancing on his grave. Some are mourning him.

As usual, I agree with nobody.

Fulgencio Batista, the Cuban dictator who preceded him was arguably worse. Knowing that matters.

Batista jailed and tortured his political opponents and was as brutal a dictator as Castro ever could have imagined. He plundered the Cuban economy for personal gain like any other petty little despot. After Castro overthrew him, his family lived a life of luxury on everything they stole. In fact, his family is still a prominent fixture in Florida politics.

Batista was awful and anyone who got rid of him deserves some credit. By tossing out Batista, Castro ended a period where American capitalists and criminals ran Cuba's economy. There was huge income inequality, and being an average Cuban simply sucked. There is a reason why millions of people cheered in the streets when Castro's revolution took power.

But, lets face it … that was like the jubilation you feel when someone screams "MORE SHOTS FOR EVERYBODY" at 3:30 AM. "WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

This douchebag was no better than Castro

This douchebag was no better than Castro

After ousting Batista, Castro appeared to be the man to deliver a better life for Cubans. He restored the liberal 1940 constitution, which Batista had suspended. He nationalized land holdings larger than 1,000 acres, thus redistributing wealth. He immediately instituted programs to give Cubans greater access to healthcare, housing, and other basic needs.

His revolution received the adoring cheers of millions as it rolled into Havana on 8 January 1959.

But, then those shots hit. The puking began. What an astonishing hangover. Maybe having those shots wasn't such a great idea after all.

Castro did not take long to reveal his tyrannical soul.

By March of 1959, he was already in tyrant mode. A group of former Batista military personnel were prosecuted for war crimes against the revolutionary forces. The revolutionary tribunal acquitted them. Castro did not like the verdict, but the Constitution did not permit a second trial or a prosecutorial appeal. Castro simply decreed one. When challenged, he responded: "Revolutionary justice is not based on legal precepts, but on moral conviction." (source) Forced labor camps, re-education, all the typical totalitarian what-have-yous, Castro had them all.

Castro had the best of intentions — just like most Communists. If Castro was magic, he probably would have created a Cuban utopia. But, he was not magic. A road to a better society passes many tollbooths. You can either pay the toll, go around the tollbooth, or you can pull the tollbooth operator out the window, torture him, rip out his guts, and then put his head on a stick as you approach the next tollbooth and see if that guy wants to risk the same fate, or just let you through. Unfortunately, the last option is often the most expedient — and that is the option that Castro chose. He became Batista without the thieving nature.

Brutal dictator who oppressed his own people? Yes. At the same time, we can't discount that he was way ahead of the curve in opposing apartheid and supporting anti-colonial revolutions. Say what you will about the tenets of Castroism, dude, it had some positive elements. Nevertheless, for every bit of support he gave to movements ostensibly organized for national liberation, his own people still found themselves in Pyongyang with palm trees. Of course, all of his socialist "accomplishments" are subject to serious criticism. (See The Myth of Cuban Health Care)

Anyone mourning his death might be confused. His tyrannical suppression of human rights didn't lead to utopia. It led, instead, to a country that was barely able to meet its own needs. It led not quite to North Korea, but only somewhat better. If I were forced into exile, Cuba would not be the absolute last place on my list, but it wouldn't be far from the bottom.

We can never accurately write alternative-history — but what if Batista had prevailed in 1959? What would Cuba be like today? Puerto Rico is a barely functioning shithole, and it has the advantage of being part of the United States. Haiti? I'd rather live in Castro's Cuba than Haiti. I would imagine that without the 1959 Revolution, Cuba would still be a disaster – albeit a different kind of disaster, with a few really rich families running the place. Perhaps a narco-state, or a Philippines-under-Marcos style kleptocracy.

Castro won... unless you believe in this stuff.  Photo by Carlos Miller

Castro won… unless you believe in this stuff.
Photo by Carlos Miller

While I can't see anyone outside of South Africa, Namibia, and his immediate family rationally mourning him, dancing in the streets to celebrate his death seems to be a bit stupid.

Right now, Miami is overwhelmed with joy.

And if we really dug through those crowds of celebrants, what would we find? Some are in Miami because they fled early on — members of the Batista regime and the small 1% of pre 1959 Cubans that benefitted from that regime. Others? Lets remember that during the Mariel boatlift, Castro not only set people free who wanted to leave, but he opened his jails and mental hospitals.

Of course, I'd presume that statistically speaking, the vast majority of those celebrating are what we would hope they are — descendants of those who fled Cuba simply because they were persecuted and yearning to be free. But more than anyone else, I have to ask them what in the hell they're celebrating.

Castro seized power in 1959. He saw 11 U.S. presidents come and go. He retired, and put his brother in power. He died at the age of 90, peacefully, in his bed, surrounded by loved ones. Sure beats the hell out of how any of his victims died.

If they were Vikings, I guess there would be something to celebrate. Instead of dying in battle, he died of old age. But, there are no Cuban Vikings. So, scratch that.

For better or worse, Castro won. I don't say that to honor him. Sometimes the bad guy wins. He did this time.

Delray Beach Passes Really Stupid Tattoo Studio Ordinance

"That kind of thing" ... yeah, that's my baby daughter with the Lizard Man.  Guess what?  She still has not joined a gang.

"That kind of thing" … yeah, that's my baby daughter with the Lizard Man. Guess what? She still has not joined a gang.

The City of Delray Beach, Florida decided that it didn’t like “that kind of thing.” So, they took a page out of the moral-crusader textbook — formerly only used to ban adult bookstores and strip clubs — and informed tattoo artists that they are just not welcome in their Quiet Little Beach Community. Ordinance No. 33-16 places a number of unconstitutional limits on these businesses.

WHEREAS, there is NOTHING TO SEE HERE

The first sign that an ordinance is unconstitutional? When its City Attorney thinks it is so constitutionally suspect that they feel the need to pack its introduction with a whole bunch of clauses that start with “WHEREAS” and then finish with “nope, we’re not violating the First Amendment, we swear!”

WHEREAS, the City wishes to regulate the location of tattoo establishments consistent with the public interest and the health, safety and welfare of the community and consistent with the constitutional protections provided to speech and expression; and

You see that? That’s when your bullshit detector needs to wake up from sleep mode. What this usually means is “to hell with the First Amendment, we don’t like ‘that kind of thing’ around here.”

Keep your bullshit detector on… because there’s more

WHEREAS, the City has a reasonable basis to believe that there are land use compatibility issues related to the siting of tattoo establishments and their customers near churches and schools, and that it is in the public interest therefor to buffer tattoo establishments from churches and schools; and

Really? So there’s nothing to see here, but we think that tattoo studios can’t co-exist with schools and … churches?

WHEREAS, the City has undertaken to investigate and study the secondary impacts of tattoo establishments and has learned that tattoos and tattoo establishments are associated with gangs, who are also related to criminal activities including illegal drugs and violence; and

Clearly the idiot that wrote this is not as dumb as you might think. At least someone once told them about the “adverse secondary effects doctrine” – and they even think they know what it means. By the end of this poast, you’ll probably understand more of it than the author(s) of this ordinance.

Ready for the coup de grace? Here it is, with subtitles:

WHEREAS, the City does not intend to suppress or infringe upon any expressive activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but instead desires to enact reasonable time, place, and manner regulations that address the adverse effects of tattoo establishments.

This is the legislative equivalent of “I’m not racist, BUT….” Is anything after the conjunction going to be non-racist? Probably not. Or, frankly, we don’t even need an analogy. When someone says “I support the First Amendment, BUT…” then everything before the conjunction is most definitely just noise without meaning. When the government passes a law and then feels like it has to tell you that it is not trying to fuck with the First Amendment, the law is definitely fucking with the First Amendment. Otherwise, why the fuck would you put that there? Hey, didn’t mean to grab you by the pussy, but here your pussy is, in my hand…

The Adverse Secondary Effects Doctrine

You don’t have the attention span for a poast that has a full class on this. So, let me just sum it up for you. Back in the 70s, blue-balled fuckhead politicians got sticks up their asses about adult bookstores and adult theaters. They didn’t like “that kind of thing.” So, they passed laws against them. But, the First Amendment got in the way. In fact, it was so goddamned clearly against the First Amendment that you had judges really in a bind. Do we just tear up the First Amendment because we’re scared of pictures of tits? If not, how do we stop consenting adults from selling pictures of tits in our fair community?

Quite the conundrum, eh?

Enter the adverse secondary effects doctrine. With this magic wand, you can say “we don’t approve of this kind of speech,” as long as you lie and say “but, we’re not trying to get rid of that kind of speech, we’re trying to combat its adverse secondary effects

That means, you can ban strip clubs if you’re doing so to ban the crime and blight that come along with them. See Young v. American Mini Theatres, Inc., 427 U.S. 50 (1976). And all of a sudden, poof! the regulation is no longer content-based! Magic! After all, adult bookstores and strip clubs tended to be in bad neighborhoods in those days. Thus, the logic is was “because these kinds of places are in bad neighborhoods, they must cause the problems in the bad neighborhoods.” See also City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41, 47–48 (1986) (reaffirming the doctrine as a content-neutral doctrine).

Then, First Amendment lawyers said “hey, you can’t just say that this causes problems. You need to prove it.” So, the cities and towns trying to pull this crap had to show that they were basing their ordinances on more than just “I saw it in a movie” or “we hypothetically think that this will solve these problems.” The burden isn’t super high, but it has to be at least somewhat factually based. City of Los Angeles v. Alameda Books, Inc., 535 U.S. 425 (2002). In that case, the court got all fragmented, with some justices calling bullshit on the content-neutrality of these ordinances. Nevertheless, all nine justices agreed that intermediate scrutiny applied if an ordinance was aimed at adverse secondary effects, and not just at the content. There’s some burden shifting, and really interesting fact-based inquiries, and the deck is definitely stacked in favor of the municipalities. But, thanks in large part to many of the veterans in the First Amendment Lawyers’ Association, the city can’t base their views on complete junk science.

But, to date, there has not yet been a case that upheld the adverse secondary effects doctrine in a case that didn’t involve pearl-clutching over sexually explicit conduct. That said, it hasn’t come right out and rejected using it outside of the “eek, tits and cocks!” realm either. See, e.g., R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 505 U.S. 377, 394–95 n.7 (1992); Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312, 320–21 (1988).

Apply it, yo

First off, Tattoo artistry is First Amendment protected. See Anderson v. City of Hermosa Beach, 621 F.3d 1051, 1055 (9th Cir. 2010). A few years later, the 11th Circuit (which controls in Delray Beach) held the same. See Buehrle v. City of Key W., 813 F.3d 973 (11th Cir. 2015)

In that case, the Conch Republic tried to ban tattoo studios because they thought it would be bad for the town’s character, and bad for tourism. The 11th Circuit called bunk ass on that.

A regulation limiting the creation of art curtails expression as effectively as a regulation limiting its display. The government need not ban a protected activity such as the exhibition of art if it can simply proceed upstream and dam the source. Consistent wit the Supreme Court's teaching, the right to display a tattoo loses meaning if the government can freely restrict the right to obtain a tattoo in the first place. (Id. at 977)

The 11th Circuit said that it wouldn’t just take the City’s word for it that the ordinance served some important interests. It needed a “reasonable basis” for believing that. Id. citing Zibtluda, LLC v. Gwinnett Cty. ex rel. Bd. of Comm'rs, 411 F.3d 1278, 1286 (11th Cir. 2005). And, harkening to my statement earlier that the deck is pretty stacked for the municipality.

This burden is not a rigorous one. Id. But a municipality cannot "get away with shoddy data or reasoning." City of Los Angeles v. Alameda Books, Inc., 535 U.S. 425, 438, 122 S. Ct. 1728, 152 L. Ed. 2d 670 (2002) (plurality opinion). It "must rely on at least some pre- enactment evidence" that the regulation would serve its asserted interests. Peek-A-Boo Lounge of Bradenton, Inc. v. Manatee Cty., 337 F.3d 1251, 1268 (11th Cir. 2003); see also Zibtluda, 411 F.3d at 1286 ("Nevertheless, [the enacting body] must cite to some meaningful indication—in the language of the code or in the record of legislative proceedings—that the legislature's purpose in enacting the challenged statute was a concern over secondary effects rather than merely opposition to proscribed expression.") (alteration in original) (quoting Ranch House, Inc. v. Amerson, 238 F.3d 1273, 1283 (11th Cir. 2001)). Such evidence can include anything "reasonably believed to be relevant— including a municipality's own findings, evidence gathered by other localities, or evidence described in a judicial opinion." Peek-A-Boo Lounge, 337 F.3d at 1268 (internal quotation marks omitted).

The city was required to make at least some investigation and make some findings. “"[T]he government bears the burden of showing that the articulated concern has more than merely speculative factual grounds." Flanigan's Enters., Inc. v. Fulton Cty., 242 F.3d 976, 986 (11th Cir. 2001)."

The City of Key West totally flopped.

The City conducted no investigation and made no findings. It relied upon no expert testimony, findings made by other municipalities, or evidence described in judicial decisions. It failed to muster even anecdotal evidence supporting its claims. The closest the City came to presenting evidence on the impact on tourism was a passing reference to a few lines of a Jimmy Buffett song. And we are unsure whether even that reference fully supports its position.

But, what about in Delray? Did they learn nothing?

No, they learned a little. They learned that the ordinance is only a justifiable burden on expression if there is actual evidence showing that there are problems that the ordinance will favorably address. So, there must be a demonstration of actual secondary effects, and those effects must be remediated by the ordinance. See Young; Renton. The existence of the effects must be shown through both competent and substantial evidence. Krueger v. City of Pensacola, 759 F.2d 851 (11th Cir. 1985); Leverett v. City of Pinellas Park, 775 F.2d 1536 (11th Cir. 1985); Basiardanes v. City of Galveston, 682 F.2d 1203 (5th Cir. 1982).

So what are the secondary effects that this ordinance supposedly tackles? “Drug overdoses” and “gang activity.”

Cue the laugh track, because someone has been watching Sons of Anarchy too much… and "But I saw this on SOA" isn't going to fly at the 11th Circuit. Even if the laughable cultural miscues weren't bullshit, the remedies for these problems don't even come close to hitting the wall where they hang the dart board, much less anywhere near the bullseye.

How in the holy fuck does putting a tattoo studio more than 750 feet from another, as the crow flies, address that problem? How about being more than 300 feet from a church? Are you going to overdose on oxycontin if you go to church and then pass a tattoo studio? Putting tattoo studios out of sight? How does that help anything.

Even if all of this did help, wouldn’t there be ways to remedy these problems without burdening expression? How about “you can’t do heroin in a tattoo studio?”

The fact is, someone involved in drafting this ordinance read the Key West case, and thought that a few rote recitations and throwing a couple of bullshit references into the record would be enough to save the statute. It isn’t. And, I can’t wait to see Delray Beach get a whopper of an attorneys’ fees bill when it gets sued over this ordinance.

POPEHAT 2016 POST-ELECTION GUIDE

If you voted for Hill-dog

Biscuits and Gravy: Why the fuck did you drink so god damn much last night? Oh right. When I get totally hammered, I need some god damn grease. Something stuffed with fat and salt to really sop up the toxic cauldron of regret fumes that's stewing in the guts. And nothing is better after eating 5,000 calories of butter and pork fat than taking a glorious nap afterward. Sweet sweet Gravy Nap. Biscuits and Gravy don't give a shit about your feelings of bitterness and regret. No one knows anything, except the comforting certain deliciousness of butter and pork fat. That will have to do, don't be an asshole.

If you voted for The Donald

Huevos Rancheros: Why the fuck did you drink so god damn much last night? Oh right. Stay with me now. This is all about the beans. Beans are my secret weapon whenever I drink way too much. It provides comfort when you're in pain, but it also doesn't knock you out like the other greasy stuff can. It also saves space in case someone gets overambitious and orders a big thing of bacon. And as a bonus, sometimes those beans can make you rip epic farts, and farts are always funny. I refer to HR as my victory meal. But it's not a license to be an asshole, so don't be an asshole.

If you played Battlefield 1

SO GOOD, RIGHT? It's intense in a way that feels more realistic than any other shooter out there. Call of Duty, Titanfall, Destiny, Halo… all the major shooters have that same feeling, like you're some super-heroic shooty-man. But with Battlefield 1, I feel like I'm just a dude with a gun, just trying to survive. The battles hold no glory, and the only reward after victory is to move on to the next fight. All you have is your squad, maybe that medic you keeps you up so you can toss the final anti-tank grenade. Or that scout, who stays way back but spots everyone for you like he fucking should because that's the whole point of the class. And hopefully get enough War Bonds to buy that sweet-ass SMG.

Oh and Joe Arpaio lost, that piece of shit.

POPEHAT 2016 ELECTION DAY GUIDE

Well, here we go.  It's finally time.  After a long, painful wait, it's finally here.  There's been a lot of misfires, and one really really big disappointment.  And many times it felt like we were just rehashing the old stuff again and again.  But at long last…

battlefield1

The Battlefield series are one of my all time favorites. I'm getting older, and I'm watching my skills steadily degrade as I play less and less. I'm happy with a .75 k/d ratio in Destiny Crucible (higher in Iron Banner, of course). But you know what? Give me a medkit or a tank, and I can still wreck shit. And this has been the first in the series that's felt as good as Battlefield 2. Bad Company (ideally 2) was really fun.  Battlefield 3 was alright.  Battlefield 4 was disappointing at first and now it's alright. But they felt like they were chasing Call of Duty, trying to get that heat.  And this just feels like Battlefieldfinally. And the maps… oh man. Every map feels incredibly tense and exciting. The old-timey weapons sometimes makes the shooting feel odd, but I found it a pretty easy adjustment after a few games. And it's always a JOY to collapse a building containing that gang of snipers that have been giving you shit the whole game.

The best praise I can give it: Don't bother playing multiplayer unless you have a group of people to do it with.

Anyway, Election Day. Vote for who you want; vote against those bullshit local things. Here is a guide.

[Read more…]

No, Porn is Not Prostitution – and you can film it anywhere in America

freedom to film porn

The “Condom Wars” in California are about to come to a head. Prop 60, if it passes, will mandate condoms in adult film production (among other things). The industry has threatened to leave California, en masse, if it does pass.

Those who support the measure (pretty much just the zombie-like jackass who stands to profit from it) claim that the industry can’t leave. They , and some of their toadies, claim that the only states where you can shoot porn legally are California and New Hampshire. They claim that it is considered to be “prostitution” in all other states.

I’ve tackled this trope before in blog posts. But, I finally got sick enough of hearing this stupid shit that I wrote a law review article on it: This will explain to you why porn is not prostitution, and why you can shoot anywhere in America. It also tells you a bit about the Condom Wars.

See The Freedom to Film Pornography. Download it, read it, study it, and tell the next idiot who tells you that you can only shoot porn in CA and NH that they're full of shit. Or, the next time someone asks "why isn't porn prostitution?" explain this shit to them — because I'm sick of explaining it.

No, it is not illegal to read Wikileaks

This is also me when a Cuomo thinks he understands the First Amendment

This is also me when a Cuomo thinks
he understands the First Amendment

Chris Cuomo seems to be following his big brother's lead when it comes to the First Amendment.

On CNN, Cuomo said:

"Also interesting is, remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents,” Cuomo says. “It’s different for the media, so everything you’re learning about this, you’re learning from us.”

Mr. Cuomo… I don't say this lightly…. but YOU EAT AT THE OLIVE GARDEN! (I just can't think of a worse insult to lob at an Italian. But yes, I went there.)

I'm not sure if he's confused, lying, or just mis-spoke. But, lets just make sure that no matter what his motivation, you, my dear readers, understand that a) it isn't true, and b) don't eat at the Olive Garden. Lets just skip point B for the sake of brevity.

Lets do this with feeling… ready? Repeat after me:

  1. It is not illegal for you to read Wikileaks.
  2. It is not illegal for you to download documents from Wikileaks.
  3. You do not need to rely on "the media" to spoon feed you the documents from Wikileaks.
  4. The Olive Garden is not Italian food.

Cuomo might be confused because of a couple little things.

In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Bartnicki v. Vopper ,532 U.S. 514 (2001) that the press has a right to report on materials that might have been created or gathered illegally – as long as the media outlet took no part in the illegal activity. In that case, a radio reporter got ahold of the tape of an illegally recorded phone call. Since it was a matter of public concern, the press had a right to use it. So, the Wikileaks documents may have been illegally obtained in the first place, but once the genie is out of the bottle, you can't put it back in. The press can report on it.

Of course, in 2001, the lines between "you" and "the media" weren't so blurred. And, I could see Mr. Cuomo thinking that since Bartnicki addresses the press, that this somehow excludes the rabble from that same privilege. However, the press doesn't actually get any special privileges here, just because Bartnicki did not address you downloading these documents to your hard drive. In fact, it wouldn't make too much sense for it to be legal for CNN to report on the documents, and to publish them, but you could then be prosecuted – unless you can show that you downloaded them from CNN.

Now maybe Cuomo was also confused by a 2010 memo where government employees were warned that they couldn't access leaked classified documents. Yeah, that might be true. If you work for the government, it can probably impose some limits on what you can possess when it comes to leaked classified material. Even if they can't prosecute an employee, they could certainly condition continued employment or continued security clearance on you being a good little doggie. And, perhaps if you're seeking employment with the federal government, you might not want to say "yeah, I did" if they ask if you ever read the Wikileaks releases.

Now what about "receiving stolen property?" Someone steals a car. They drop it off in front of my house with the keys in the ignition and a note that says "a gift from a friend." That doesn't mean I can hope in and go for a spin. But, laws governing receipt of stolen property are a bit hard to apply to documents and information. Further, even if some prosecutor wanted to prosecute you for it, they'd be hard pressed to get anywhere with that when it comes to information that is a matter of public concern — like this information.

And then, you get back to the question of "who is 'the media'?" How do we really draw a distinction there? Luckily, we don't have to. The Same Bartnicki case that we discussed before makes it clear that we "draw no distinction between the media respondents and" a non-institutional respondent." But, this was hardly revolutionary. See, e.g., Cohen v. Cowles Media Co., 501 U.S. 663 (1991) (press gets no special privileges when it comes to laws governing communication); Henry v. Collins, 380 U.S. 356, 357 (1965) (applying New York Times v. Sullivan to non-media defendant); Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64, 67–68 (1964) (same).

So go ahead. Read those documents. Talk about them. Publish them on your blog or your Facebook feed. And do that no matter who is in office. It isn't just your right, but it is your patriotic duty.

Ask not what you can do for your country; demand to know what your country has been doing to you.

Bad News From Donald Trump

As we're sure Popehat readers know, Donald Trump has announced that he's now open to allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. There will be no mass deportations. This is what's commonly described as "Amnesty" for illegal aliens.

We contacted a leading fuhrer of the Alt-Right political establishment for his reaction to Trump's betrayal:

Ask Stalin

We're proud to welcome Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, better known to the world as Comrade Stalin, or Koba to old friends, to the crew here at Popehat. Each week, Comrade Stalin will answer your questions on dating, relationships, etiquette, and workplace issues. If you have a problem you just can't solve, why not turn for advice to the 20th century's master politician, Josef Stalin? Email your questions to askjvs@gmail.com

This week's question comes from Ronald, in Bloomfield, New Mexico:

Josef Vissarionovich!

Recently I met a woman through a friend, call her Alicia, and have been spending a lot of time with her. Alicia and I get along very well. We have a lot in common, and share a similar sense of humor. We see each other at least two nights a week, and talk on the phone or by text daily. I'm very attracted to Alicia, but she's made it clear that she sees me as "just a friend," and doesn't want to take things further. This is probably because I'm shy and not the best looking guy in the world. I read in "The Art of the Pick-Up" by …

Comrade Stalin

Comrade Stalin

Ronald from Bloomfield, New Mexico:

Stop right there. What is this business of calling me by my name and patronymic, Josef Vissarionovich, as though we're jolly chums from school days at the Tiflis seminary? What sort of creature are you? You may address me as "Comrade Stalin." I'll let you know when you've earned the privilege of intimacy.

As for your reading material, you can throw that garbage into the incinerator. Books can be useful, there is no doubt about that. But books on the art of love between a man and a woman are written primarily by half-wits and good-for-nothings, to separate you from your hard-earned kopecks. And you're going to need every kopeck if you're to woo this beautiful lady Alicia.

As for her, it seems you have the battle half won. Lady Alicia thinks kindly of you, and sees in you a kindred soul. Clearly she is not an Enemy. Now you wish to pursue her as matrimonial material, I am to take it? You are not seeking merely to vent your lusts upon her, like a criminal scoundrel? I cannot abide that kind of thinking. A man needs a woman, for keeping of an orderly home, raising of healthy children, and the other sort of thing. But if you are thinking of simply using this lady Alicia, then throwing her away as just another conquest, you'll get no help from me.

The key thing in wooing a woman is sincerity concerning your intentions. You must show this lady Alicia, through your words and actions, that you view her as your future wife, and that nothing less will satisfy you. You must call her three times a day. You must bombard her with candies and chocolates, and wine, and gifts. Nothing too expensive, of course, because that will create unrealistic expectations when you are married. Nonetheless, give her a brooch. Send flowers to her once each day, alternately at her home and at work. Raise a toast in her honor at every social gathering.

You must break her will, utterly and completely. You must grind her into powder.

Then lady Alicia will love you, and you will be married. I hope that you will name your first son Vissarion, in my honor.

Yours in sincerity,

JVS.