Cracked Drunkenly Paws At Free Speech Theory Again

I feel both fondness and respect for Cracked. I remember reading the magazine as a kid -- it was number two or three to Mad, but it tried harder. As a web site, it's done good work in the realms of satire, fatuity, and social and political commentary. But like any institution it has a culture, and that culture has its weak spots. One example: the urge to write meandering make-everyone-dumber think pieces about "free speech." I put scare quotes around free speech because Cracked seems to … [Read More...]

Image of Professor Santilli courtesy of, used for criticism and reporting.

Popehat Signal: Dutch Blogger Sued In Florida For Criticism of Junk Science

It's time for the Popehat Signal, in which I request help for people whose speech is threatened by bogus and censorious lawsuits. Pepijn van Erp blogs about science and pseudoscience from the Netherlands. He praises good science and skewers and critiques the bad. Wait a minute. Is that the Jaws theme playing? Yes. Yes it […]

If you think this is "obscene," then you don't know what that word means (at least legally speaking)

No, the Middle Finger is not "Obscene"

The finger is not obscene. Every so often, a case pops up where some prosecutor decides to press charges on someone for giving the bird. The most recent one, overturned on appeal, was in Commonwealth v. Waugaman. Mr. Waugaman flipped off his ex wife after dropping off his kids to her. From the facts, it […]

Getting Back To Work The Day After

So: Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States. I said before that I think he's the worst Presidential candidate in my lifetime, a genuinely awful human being, and an existential threat to America. I'm not going to retcon that in a futile gesture towards cheering anyone up. Nor will I try to cheer you up, […]


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 […]



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… The Battlefield series are one of my all […]

Private Porn Shoots! Brilliant? No.

I often get asked the question, "why isn't porn prostitution?" That led to a post a while back, Why is Prostitution Illegal, but Pornography is Not? And, perennially, a reporter will call me up and want a class on it. See, e.g., What's the Difference Between Porn and Prostitution? Being asked this so many times, […]

From  It was very tempting to play the double entendre game, but ah, fuck it ... I can tone it down once and a while.

Yes, Vote Swapping, Vote Pairing, Trump Trading is Legal

There are a bunch of websites out there offering "vote swapping" or "vote pairing" or "Trump trading" or "vote pact" whatever you want to call it. The Reddit-lawyers are certain that this is "illegal." It is not illegal. The idea started in 2000, when swing state voters who wanted to vote Green decided to hook […]

freedom to film porn

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

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 […]

trump golden stethescope

Ask PopeHat! 11/4/2016

Welcome to another edition of ASK POPEHAT!  Where we take your user submitted questions ( answer them, along with a special guest.  Today's special guest is Republican Presidential Candidate Donald J Trump!

The Corruption of "Speech Has Consequences"

As I've said before, free speech has consequences, and ought to. Put another way, you're not the only one with free speech. Other people might respond to your speech with their own speech, and you might not like it. Response speech might be unfair, intemperate, immoral, or disproportionate, just like your initial speech. It's irrational […]