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For the term "ponies".

They Shoot Ponies, Don't They?

Logging into the Facebook account, I spy a private message.


We think that the readers of your blog would be interested in our site. We have developed and launched the first completely Free Auction site with all the functionality of the "Other Big Auction Sites". With one big difference, our site is 100% Free! Our mission statement sums it up pretty nicely.

"Our mission is to promote Legal Firearm Ownership, Strengthen the 2nd Amendment and promote Outdoor Recreation via a FREE Marketplace."

If you have questions, please drop me a line or give me a call. Thank you for your time and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Edward Eddins
Tactical Auction LLC.
Founder & CEO

Contact information and website link removed.

Could this be the solution to all our problems?

Mr. Eddins, we certainly believe in Second Amendment freedom, and our readers do as well. Are you proposing a sidebar link to the tactical auction page, or would you like to write a guest post about the bargains and benefits to be found in a free market for guns and tactical equipment?

I ask because a number of big game hunters frequent our site. We ourselves hunt. I have a particular problem with wild ponies in my area. The ponies break through my fence, run over my property, and … well, you'd shudder if I said what they do next. It's horrible.

What rifle would you recommend for a man who needs to kill a number of ponies, and kill them quickly? A prompt reply would be greatly appreciated.


My savior!

Hello Patrick,

I was hoping for just a general introduction to your readers. Our site is like Gunbroker with one Big Difference. Its totally Free.

As for your Pony problem, I have only been to 2 places in the us where there was free range wild horses. In both places they were illegal to kill and protected.

As for killing a pony, any caliber of 270 and above with a good TSX round will do the job.

Take Care

This man may be useful.

Mr. Eddin, thank you for the advice about proper calibers and ammunitions.

As for the ponies, I am afraid they follow no law except their own – the law of the jungle. The savage, stinking jungle of the ponies! I must take the law into my own hands, if I am to survive.

Mark my words: The ponies must die, or I will die in the attempt.

Best wishes for the upcoming holidays,


Pony of Death

Easing Back In, With Ponies

Ahem. Where was I?

Oh yes. The mailbag.

I received two identical emails from this gentleman inside a week:

Dear popehat.com,

I hope this message finds you well. My name is Austin Staubus and I am with Lanista Concepts, a premium boutique ad-agency located in Dallas, TX. I recently discovered your website and wanted to inquire about potential advertising opportunities.

Lanista Concepts specializes in increasing ad revenue through both manual and programmatic efforts and offers the most competitive and complete monetization solution on the market. As such, we are confident we can outperform your existing solution.

Further, we specialize in certain verticals and feel this could become a mutually beneficial partnership. If you would, please put me in touch with the person or department that deals with your business development so we can discuss further.

Look forward to hearing from you.


Austin Staubus
Lanista Concepts Ad Agency
[address and phone number ommitted]

Today I responded:

Dear Mr. Staubus,

Thank you for your inquiry. I am happy to hear from a reputable agency, particularly a premium boutique.

We at Popehat are definitely interested in increasing our revenue, owing to certain recent expenses that prudence and confidentiality agreements prevent me from explaining in detail. To date our ad revenue has been disappointing. Perhaps that's because we've been focusing on manual methodologies of paradigm interstice optimization. It never even occurred to us to take a programmatic approach to monetization! That's why you're the professional and we aren't.

Though I am eager to hear more, I am concerned at your reference to "certain verticals." Which verticals are these? If our website has a horizontally-focused design, will they still work? Or does verticals refer to things that are very tall?

Also, I assume that we would have some ability to veto certain types of advertising on our own site. We are all men of the world here, Mr. Staubus, and not prudes. But there are some things that our good consciences will not permit to be advertised on our web site. We would have to have a careful conversation about certain juvenequinallian issues.

Very truly yours,


Austin was cautious, but optimistic, in response:

Hey Ken,

Thank you for your quick response. That was, hands down, the best first response I've ever received. Your website analytics look great, and we feel confident we can increase your revenue. Your reputation for quality content online is nothing short of impressive.

Here are a few facts about Lanista Concepts and how we differentiate ourselves.

A. We're a 100% fill remnant solution.
B. We focus on specific verticals.
C. Every website we work with receives a custom set up to ensure optimization (we're not a "plug and play" solution).
D. We put your inventory in front to approximately 3,000 buyers.

E. We provide seven-day-a-week ad and technical assistance.

All of the ads we run are brand-safe. You won't experience and pop-ups, pop-unders, or ads that would be intrusive. In fact, we have the ability to filter the units so our publishers don't receive ads that are contrary, or questionable, to the aim of their site.

Further, I apologize if my mention of certain verticals was unclear. By verticals, I simply mean the type of website. Our main verticals are politics and news. You would not need to change the design of your site. In fact, the layout looks great.

Finally, Lanista Concepts works with a limited number of sites. We only work with publishers we know, for a fact, we can help. We feel confident Pope Hat is one of those websites. Please let us know we can earn your business.


Austin Staubus

Bored now.


Thanks for your response! We at Pope Hat are heartened. We didn't know it was possible for someone to focus on our specific verticals. We assumed our specific verticals would go neglected. Especially Clark's.

But I have more questions.

1. You say you have the ability to filter units. Is your filter pony-compliant? Can you assure no pony content? I need assurance with Level 4 safety here. I can't and won't have it, Austin, for a pony ad to slip through and have you telling me you thought it was a stunted donkey or something.

2. What kind of methodology do you use to match appropriate ads to content? For instance, say you wanted to match ads to our series mocking spammers who send us solicitations for guest posts, even though we have been ridiculing that for years (see, for instance, http://www.popehat.com/2013/04/30/wont-anybody-think-of-the-children-and-the-ponies-and-the-ponies-attacking-the-children/) — what would you match to that? What about our series naming and shaming web advertising spammers (like so: http://www.popehat.com/2012/10/24/ponies-have-entered-the-popehat-ponies-have-entered-the-popehat/) — what would you match to that? Would you use heuristic algorithms? Are they vertically programmatic?

Very truly yours,


Maybe you think I'm being mean to Austin, by naming him here.

I'm not. Austin, and his company, need to learn an important lesson: spamming has consequences. It should.

Spamming lets companies send vast numbers of emails cheaply and hope for a few hits. Collectively it inflicts costs — strain on the infrastructure of the internet, wasted time, spam filter expenses, annoyance. That cost isn't paid by the spammers. It's paid by you, and by me.

Spammers need an incentive not to spam. This is one such incentive. Ladies and gentlemen of the marketing profession, when you spam blogs, now and then you're going to find someone like me who is going to name, shame, and ridicule you. You deserve it. You deserve it because, like a telemarketer, you're willing to annoy thousands for a handful of bites. You especially deserve it when you offer me the disrespect of a lie — when you say "Your reputation for quality content online is nothing short of impressive," as if you had any clue who we are, other than a blog email address you've gotten off of some auto-generated list.

I hope this embarrasses you, Austin Staubus of Lanista Concepts Ad Agency. The way you elect to do business makes the world a measurably worse and more irritating place.

Edited to add:

And, as a palate cleanser, one who didn't write back:


I'm looking for a site to do a guest post on and found yours to be a fit. I have several articles on personal injury, DUI, criminal cases (and anything about law) that you might want to have on your site. I understand that you want nothing but the best pieces there so I made sure my articles are all fresh, informative, and original (absolutely free from plagiarism) . The article will have at least 300 words and will contain two links back to the site I'm developing. The piece is free!!

If you're interested, please let me know.

All the best,


You magnificent bastard, I read your guest post!

But I have concerns. 300 words? That's like half of one of my mid-paragraph parenthetical comments. Also, I appreciate that you have posts on personal injury, DUI, and criminal cases. But we have very specialized interests. So I ask you: would it be possible to get a guest post on, instead of driving under the influence, riding under the influence? Preferably the post would be about riding ponies under the influence — of drugs or alcohol, not of the ponies (Of COURSE you're under the influence of the pony when you are riding it. How could you not be? They know all. They see all. We imagine we have free will, we imagine we choose our own path, but we are fools — we merely do their bidding [Their dark, pony bidding]) — but in a pinch it could be about adult horses, I suppose. Or camels. Or dromedaries. (Dromedari?)

I look forward to hearing more.



Won't Anybody Think Of The Children, And The Ponies, And The Ponies Attacking The Children?


With everything going on in our country right now, my focus is making sure my kids are safe. I am a mama bear and I will do whatever it takes to keep my family out of harms way. With that being said, keeping everyone safe at every point of the day almost seems like an impossible feat.

I have a couple articles that are centered around protecting your home, and what to do if your city ever has to go under lock down like Boston did last week.

Would you be interested in taking a look at one of them?

Just let me know and I can send it on over for your review.

Best regards,

Lauren Rose

Lauren Rose
PR Coordinator


Hope your [sic] having a great day!

I recently sent over an email in regards to submitting a guest post to you for your approval. Did you get it? If not that is okay! Just let me know if you would like for me to send the article over for your review.


Lauren Rose
PR Coordinator

Dear Laura,

Thank you for your follow-up email reminding me about this one.

I, too, am concerned about keeping my kids safe. I, too, am concerned about protecting my home.

There are threats out there, Laura. I shudder to think of them.

May I ask — are you able to provide a post about protection of family and home from . . . from the most dangerous threat of all?


Hi Ken,

Thanks for getting back to me. Like you, I shudder thinking about anything harm every coming to my children.

Below is a article that is centered around keeping your kids safe in the city. I think you will like it because it is centered around children and keeping them safe.

If you like it, feel free to post it, and then I have no problem creating another article for your site that will be centered around protecting your family and home from the most dangerous threat of them all.

"3 Solutions for Keeping Your Children Safe in the City"

Let me know what you think, and then we can go from there.

Kind regards,

Lauren Rose

Lauren Rose
PR Coordinator


Thank you. Thank you so much.

Yes, indeed, the city is dangerous. But Lauren, there are some threats — some risks — some unspeakable hazards — that are particularly endemic to the suburbs, and the countryside, and the exurbs, and the wildernesses and remote fastnesses, that are not present in the city, in part due to space restrictions and in part due to statist and monstrous zoning restrictions. THANKS, OBAMA!

I refer . . . to ponies.

I'm sorry to just blurt it out like that, but our time is short.

What can you offer me about protecting home and hearth and child against ponies, Lauren?

I've asked others. I've asked again and again and again. I've asked travel guest post spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2013/04/05/town-without-pony/) and personal injury lawyer guest post spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/12/17/in-which-a-marketeer-throws-her-clients-under-the-pony/) and advertising spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/10/24/ponies-have-entered-the-popehat-ponies-have-entered-the-popehat/) and lawfirm guest post spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/10/08/a-dialogue-with-a-guest-post-spammer/) and travel advertisement spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/10/05/somewhere-away-from-the-ponies/) and degree-mill guest post spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/09/26/ponies-101-introduction-to-ponies/) and auto-insurance guest post spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/06/28/your-pony-is-in-good-hands-with-popehat/) and generic guest post spammers (http://www.popehat.com/2012/03/13/like-spam-for-ponies/) and linkspammers (http://www.popehat.com/2011/10/08/just-as-well-im-pretty-sure-im-allergic-to-ponies-anyway/).

Nobody will help me, Lauren. Not one of them. Not one. No matter how much I beg.

Are spammers without mercy, Lauren? Is there something in the dark and pitiless heart of a spammer that WANTS my children to be victimized by ponies? Do you all HOPE to hear my little girl cry piteously "Daddy, daddy, the tiny little hooves, they hurt. Daddy, why does nobody in the online marketing industry care about my pain and terror?"

Tell me if you can, Lauren. My poor little daughter wants to know.

In hopelessness and equine despair,



From: anthony@outsourcedcontenttoday.com
To: ken@popehat.com

Re: Pope Hat Contact


I have a client who is interested in purchasing an advertisement on your website, popehat.

Please let me know if you accept advertising.

Thanks in advance.

If you do not wish to receive any further communication from our company, please respond with "NOT INTERESTED" in the subject line.


Your email came in a time of desperate need. It's last stand time here. David is gone. Grandy is missing. Patrick is posting — well, best not to characterize it. Only I am l left.

We need funds to continue the defense, or Popehat will fall . . . to them.

What type of advertisements are you offering? What kind of remuneration might we expect?

The forces arrayed against us . . . I've said too much.

Please respond.



Hi Ken,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly – great site by the way!

I am seeking to place a single text link on your site for my client. I have been given a flat budget of $75.00 per year to place the link on your site.

Please let me know your thoughts on this when you have a moment or two.

Also, I am available via Skype, so if you have a Skype account please provide me with your username if you prefer to communicate in that manner.

Have a wonderful day :)


Too late. Too late.

Popehat pony, sans text, courtesy of Arthur.

Somewhere, Away From The Ponies

Hello ,

My name is Ema and I am an Advertising Buyer for TravelOutreacher.net. I am contacting you on behalf of a client I work with in the travel industry. I’d like to inquire about a possible advertising opportunity on your site http://popehat.com.

Does your site offer advertising options? If so, would you be interested in discussing rates and availability?


Ema Lastname

[email address]

P.S. If you’re not the appropriate contact for this inquiry, could you please redirect me to a colleague whom I may speak to regarding this request?

My dear Ema,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. As a matter of fact, we at Popehat have recently turned our thoughts again to accepting advertising. We have been trying the Amazon Associates Program, but have discovered that the results are less robust than we hoped. This may be that the forms of entertainment our readers prefer are not available on Amazon as a consequence of being felonious in most of these continental United States. Do you know if Amazon has an associate program in Somalia?

So: we are delighted at the prospect of accepting travel-related ads, and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.

But I regret that I must add a caveat.

Ema, Popehat initially began soliciting ponies as payment for site-based advertising. This led to some rather harrowing realizations about ponies, realizations that prolonged and rather arcane study has only confirmed.

We are just men here, Ema. We do not pretend to be better than anyone else. But no man is an island. We exist in a community, a community that includes — to the extent certain laws and residency restrictions permit — our readers.

As members of that community, we cannot in good conscience accept travel advertising that might tempt our readers to imperil themselves vis-a-vis ponies.

Map Key: 1 pony = EXTREME VIOLENCE

There are still havens, Ema, new Edens and bucolic locales untroubled by ponies, where a man can walk down a country lane without fear. But the other places — the other places — this is difficult, but I must. The other places belong to the ponies now. I could not live with myself if some innocent visited Popehat and followed one of your advertisements and went to some wretched pony-infested place like, for instance, Tampa. They might come back, Ema, but they would come back something else, something Other.

Therefore, we must insist that any advertising arrangement between us include guarantees and stipulations and provisos that you will only serve our customers with advertisements regarding travel to locations that score lower than 3 on the LUUUPV (Level of Unjustified Uncontrollable Unacceptable Pony Violence) Index.

The level above severe is called "paddock."

Make no mistake — a man can come a cropper visiting a 2.5 if he hasn't his wits about him. We don't approve of readers abdicating all personal responsibility. But a hot zone like a 4 or a 5? I can't look my children in the eye if I let that happen, Ema, not even my child who only has one eye to begin with.

Let me know if you need help navigating any of the more reputable LUUUPV rating sites, Ema. I know that some can be somewhat eccentric.

I eagerly await your response.

Very truly yours,


P.S. Sorry, just saw your P.S. Never mind, ask Patrick.

Charts by the awesome @StephanieWDC, digital miscreant and creator of www.stephaniewdc.com

Ponies 101: Introduction To Ponies

Hi Ken,

I am a contributing writer to a website dedicated to authoritative discussion on education. I recently came across your blog post http://www.popehat.com/2011/12/01/confining-american-education-a-stem-cell/ and it got me thinking about the state of educational policy today, specifically in the United States — I would love to submit an article to your blog. As I'm sure you know, tuition costs continue to rise, yet few policymakers have done anything to actually assess whether or not this ascension corresponds to a similar rise of educational quality.

Today many students are graduating with advanced degrees and are taking on jobs that don't require such a level education, if only because the job market is stagnant. I would love to expound upon this idea and examine whether or not there needs to be policy changes that help the students who go to college and — eventually — who will shape the future of the nation.

Several universities, among them the University of Wyoming, have referenced our Internet resource as a learning portal for students. Please let me know if you'd be interested in an article, it would be great to hear from you!

Valerie Harris

Hi Ken,

I wanted to follow up with you and make sure you had received my email I sent a little bit ago regarding my blog post idea.

Let me know your thoughts, I would love to work with you. Do not hesitate to get back to me with any questions!

Best regards,
Valerie Harris

Dear Ms. Harris,

I had missed your email before; thank you for reminding me about it. I take it from a little Google research that you are affiliated with http://www.mastersdegreeonline.org/, a site devoted not only to rigorously substantive discussion of complex educational topics, but also to fearless explorations of the possibilities of nonstandard sentence structure.

At Popehat, our approach to guests posts is a work in progress. We require recompense for publishing guest posts. However, we have been forced to abandon our pony-based pricing system as a result of both practical and philosophical concerns. We are, however, still committed to a barter approach, especially as the campaign season draws to a climax and Patrick's views regarding the global financial system grow increasingly unconventional. We would propose to barter our respective goods with you: we provide a platform, and you provide education. Specifically:

1. In exchange for allowing you one full guest-post, we will require a half-day seminar regarding the mitigation of pony-related physical and psychological injuries, with an emphasis on pony-driven psychosis (or "ponychosis," as we have begun to call it after the recent regrettable mall food court incident involving Clark). Also hoofings.

2. If there are any misspellings or grammatical errors in the guest post, we will require liquidated damages in the form of suitable refreshments at the seminar. You may think, Ms. Harris, that it will be amusing to provide novelty pony-shaped cookies, but let me assure you very sincerely that it will not be.

3. For every additional guest post you wish to submit, we will require you to provide David with an opportunity to make an art-history-related presentation of not less than three hundred thousand (300,000) words.

4. We'll need honorary degrees of some kind. Surprise us.

Trusting that these terms will be acceptable, I remain very truly yours,


Like Spam For Ponies

6:17 PM (12 hours ago)
to me


My name is Anna and I really enjoy your website. Do you accept any paid posts and if so what are your guidelines on popehat.com.

Thanks for your time,


Ken At Popehat
7:35 PM (11 hours ago)
to annakayhicks

Dear Anna,

Thank you, I am glad you enjoy our website.

We have not previously accepted paid posts, and therefore have not had an opportunity to promulgate guidelines on that particular topic. Our guideline promulgation process is arcane, time-consuming, and to the judgmental uninformed observer might be taken as obscene and illegal in certain jurisdictions. Last time we promulgated guidelines, Ezra disappeared and was never heard from again, Patrick was institutionalized for three weeks, and David was not able to recover his equanimity until he had written a seven thousand word post on the history of artistic portrayals of dogs playing poker. He promised he would eventually post a follow-up treatment of the subset of paintings where the dogs are playing Texas Hold'em, but it's been three years and I'm starting to think he's a fucking liar.

Anyway, the only way we can do this thing, this thing here, is if I short-circuit the guidelines promulgation process and make an executive decision. And so I shall. Here it is:

1. We will accept a paid post from you.

2. The payment shall be in the form of a pony.

3. The prettiness and awesomeness of the pony shall be in direct proportion to the tediousness, banality, and sub-literacy of your guest post. If your post is quite good, you can pay us with any pony, even the sort of tired, dead-eyed pony you can steal from a child's party in a suburb where the home foreclosure rate exceeds 50%. But for each cliche, null-content sentence, questionable segue, or instance of meaningless drivel appearing in the post, the pony must grow steadily more pretty, to the theoretical point where the pony is so pretty that it causes a quantum pony-cuteness singularity. For each spelling or grammatical error in your post, the pony must be one step more awesome, in the sense of "terrifying." If you ever use an apostrophe before an "s" in a word that is plural, not possessive, the pony must possess the ability to breathe fire a minimum distance of twenty (20) feet.

4. The pony must be real, not pretend.

5. No Shetlands. Are you kidding me?

6. Also, hay. For the pony. And, frankly, it wouldn't hurt us to lay some down for Clark.

I trust these terms will be agreeable.

Very truly yours,


She hasn't responded. I'm not somebody who jumps to conclusions easily, but I'm beginning to think one of us isn't taking this negotiation seriously.

Just As Well. I'm Pretty Sure I'm Allergic To Ponies Anyway.

Recently we've been getting more and more emails asking to advertise here on Popehat. Some of these offers strike me as somewhat suspicious. Usually I delete them. Tonight, inspired by the Bloggess, I decided to try engaging them in a mutually productive dialogue instead.

The following is a verbatim transcript of the emails.

I'm Cindy.We’re intrested in your website, So I want to buy text links from you if you can provide this function,Now I want to know how to buy it and how about the price of the links.Where the link will be appear, only homepage or all pages?
Looking forward to working with you and waiting for your E-mail. Thanks!


Ken At Popehat to Cindy

We will sell text links. The price is ONE. MILLION. DOLLARS. Or a hundred bucks on Patrick's posts.

Cindy Li to me

Is this for sitewide link? How about $20 per month?


Ken At Popehat to Cindy

$20 per day per link per post. And a pony. A pretty pony.

Cindy Li to me

Our link is only one word. So we don't need a post. Could you accept it ?


Ken At Popehat to Cindy

Gosh, if it's only one word, how do you use it to advertise your product or service, or use it to convince people to click on your link? They must be very very convincing words. I write convincing words for a living, but even I have trouble convincing people with just one. I mean even "not guilty" is two. And "innocent" is usually problematical. You must be very skilled.

Is it, like, a word of power? Is it dangerous? Or occult? I go to church sometimes and I'm not comfortable with occult stuff.

If Beelzebub is involved, I think I'll need to raise our price, so I can afford to buy holy water.

And whats the deal with my pony?

Cindy Li to me

Our Link Text is “Dresses” and the URL is http://www.dressale.com/.
If you agree with me, pls post our link on first and give me your paypal account. We will pay it within 24 hours.


Ken At Popehat to Cindy

Okay. If I do this — and I'm not saying that I will — where do I have to put the links? Do I have to work the word "dresses" into each of our posts? Because I foresee that as being very problematical. We're a very masculine site, Cindy, writing about extremely butch subject matters. I suppose we could cheat by burying "dresses" in a sentence, like "We believe you'll find this carefully machined AR-15 aDRESSES dangers ranging from a zombie horde to local code enforcement," but that might not meet your needs, and also I'm concerned about it in a feng shui sense.

Also I am extremely worried about your evasion vis a vis the pony issue.

P.S. Despite what you might have heard feng shui is extremely masculine.

Cindy Li to me

okay. Don't need it now. Thanks for your time.


Ken At Popehat to Cindy

I have already purchased sugar lumps, carrots, and a bridle. Are you familiar with the term DETRIMENTAL RELIANCE? You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

Cindy Li to me

What't your mean? If you can't sell the text link to us. pls don't reply me again.


Ken At Popehat to Cindy

Dear Cindy,

Does your last email suggest that you have come to the realization that unwelcome emails are annoying?

I'm glad we could take this voyage of self-discovery together.

Must fly — am taking delivery of llamas in exchange for Twitter promotion of online phamaceuticals.

I remain yours,


Also, The Pony Will Need Three References

Hi Ken,

I’m Rebecca Gray from Backgroundchecks.org. I love writing guest posts for blogs that interest me. It's a great way to expand one's portfolio, network with other bloggers, and learn new things.

That being said, I was wondering if I could write a guest post for you. The article will be unique and specifically tailored as per the theme of your blog. I’ll just include a reference to my site in the author byline at the end of the article.

Please let me know if you are interested.


Dear Rebecca,

Happy New Year! I'm pleased that we can provide an opportunity to expand someone's portfolio.

We're excited to hear that you can offer specifically tailored guest posts per the theme of our blog. Most people don't get the theme of our blog quite frankly.

So: I see you are from Backgroundchecks.org. Can you provide a specifically tailored guest post about background checks? If so I have a few specifications and questions for such a post.


Hi Ken,

Thanks for the response. Well, I would love to write an article related to background checks. Please let me know if you have any specific topic in mind.



Well, here's the thing. Most available articles about background checks involve people.

Now I grant you that in many ways this is sensible. Man, we are told, is the most dangerous game. Also not an island, and the bastard, and to the extent he is good, hard to find. Man is also a battlefield, if I recall correctly.

But what about other threats?

Is it possible to run a background check on a pony?

Now, wait. I recognize you will see this as immediately preposterous. "What kind of idiot has to run a background check on a pony," you might be thinking. "A pony is overtly hazardous, a patent threat by definition. You might as well run a background check on a puddle of acid or a board with a rusty nail or R. Kelly."

But there are gradations of risk, Rebecca. We deal with them every day. Do I speed up to make that yellow light, or slow down? Do I try skydiving, or not? Do I eat another Double-Double animal style from In-N-Out Burger even though my entire abdomen is so taut and bloated that my vision is blurred and I can feel my pulse in my scrotum?

All ponies are wicked and hazardous, but surely some ponies are more deadly than others. For instance, though all ponies would bite our precious children given a suitable opportunity, some have actually done so and developed a taste for man-flesh that torments their dreams and makes them shudder when darling little hands run over their manes. Any pony MIGHT kill a man, but some ponies HAVE killed a man, and have begun to develop . . . . skills. It's like the difference between a job applicant who has a proven record of being repeatedly fired for incompetence, and one who merely has visible barbed wire or tribal tattoos.

So: I guess what I'm looking for is an article on the extent to which modern technology and investigative methods has made it practicable to run background checks on ponies before one retains their services for one purpose or another.

Also: our readers have grown extremely wary to the point of unmedicated phobia about ponies. So the article should be ABOUT ponies but under no circumstances should the article SAY "pony" or directly mention anything clearly pony-related like "hoof" or "snort" or "rend." Kindly employ a euphemism instead, viz. "In this article I will discuss whether it is possible to run a background check on William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States of America, in order to protect your children."

Trusting that these terms will be agreeable, I remain very sincerely yours,


Dress For The Pony You Fear, Not The Pony You Have


My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at http://www.popehat.com. I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called dressup121.com- I'm sure you must have heard of it by now. We are nationally recognized, reliable source for kid's games, and we are located at http://www.dressup121.com/.

I was looking at a few different sites for realty information, and I thought yours was one of the best. I would like to request a link to our website. I realize that sometimes there are set rates involved in this kind of placement of text links, so, please, feel free to name your price. If you need more information in order to review and consider our site for linking, please feel free to contact me via email at annitajohnson@hotmail.com, or, if you would like to talk about this by phone, my direct number is 5446999904.

Best wishes,

Annita Johnson, for dressup121.com

Hey Ken,

I tried to reach you again some time ago but something obviously went wrong, or you just didn't have the time to check my email….that's all right. My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at http://www.popehat.com. I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called dressup121.com and it is located at http://www.dressup121.com/.
I was wondering if you'd be interested in us paying to advertise via text links on your site. I realize that there are sometimes set rates/fees involved in such placement of text links so feel free to name your price. We like your blog and we would love to be a part of it.
If not, thanks for the time and keep up the good work!

Best wishes,

Annita Johnson, for dressup121.com
mail to:

Hi Ken,

I tried to reach you again before, but obviously it didn't work; anyway I thought I should give it another-last-try. We are interested in working with you.
We are interested in a permanent post with a do-follow link to our site and a picture. We prefer you to write the post, but we can write it, too. Please let me know if you are interested, and your rates in both cases.


Dear Annita,

My apologies for the delay in responding to your three attempts to contact me. I forgot how to computer.

I appreciate your praise for our website and the work we have done on realty information. Initially I wasn't sure whether you meant reality information — for we do supply a great deal of information about certain unpleasant aspect of reality, Annita — or realty information, meaning information about the purchase and sale of homes. While we have only provided limited realty information — for instance, advice not to buy in Destin, Florida — I am gratified that what we have done is of use.

I also very much appreciate your exhortation that we feel free to name our price for a text link. I shall do so! Money is actually a little tight these days Annita and I don't mind telling you that some cash to defray certain medical, legal, and psycho-sexual expenses would come in very handy right now. But either Sun Tzu or Cap'n Crunch said that we must never pass up the opportunity for a substantial long-term victory to secure a minor short-term goal. Therefore I would like to name a more creative price.

You wish us to link a site that specializes in dress-up games for children. We will do so on the condition that you create and feature prominently a game teaching children about the patent dangers of ponies. Children are taught to love and cherish and squeal over ponies, Annita. This is like teaching children that whirling sawblades taste like Strawberry Quik. If falls to us — we few, we desperate few — to push back against this message, just as we push back against messages that promote negative body images or tolerance of ironic facial hair.

Children love games, particularly video games with eerie bug-eyed avatars and art styles out of the methadone nightmares of Japanese pornographers, so I see a win-win scenario in a collaboration here. Our proposed dress-up game — tentatively titled PONIES LAUGH WHILE THEY KILL EVERYONE YOU LOVE — would have the following elements:

* Players could choose amongst a variety of high-fashion outfits to dress their avatar stylishly but in the manner best suited to defend against a pony onslaught, only to discover that their painstaking choices are meaningless because no protective clothing — however sparkly — is sufficient to protect against the junvilequine terror.

* Players could choose amongst different outfits suitable for a post-pony-apocalypse, including gnawed tatters, wretched tear-stained shifts, and gowns slick and dark with the blood of their cherished grandparents.

* Occasionally screens displaying, say, different hats would go suddenly black and a screaming pony would appear in 3D in an effort to teach vigilance.

* In-game characters would use fashion situations for pedagogical purposes, like saying "that's a lovely chemise you've chosen, but how are you going to work the buttons when ponies have bitten your fingers off?"

This serves both of our needs, Annita, as well as the needs of the world's children. You've asked us to name our price. That's it.

I eagerly await your reply.

Very truly yours,



P.S. I am aware that Cap'n Crunch may not really be a Captain.


Hi Ken,

I was very surprised by your email! Please give me some time to
forward this to the relevant department; I'll let you know soon. Meanwhile, can't we find a way to sort things out, and do that post?

Best Regards,

Why Won't Nice Girls Ever Write Me Back? :(


I am a writer looking for good blogs like yours where I can contribute professionally written and proofread articles. I'm just wondering if you accept guest posts?

If you do currently accept contributions, do you allow links inside the main article? Also, are there any fees I might need to pay?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon. :)



Dear Victoria,

Thank you for your inquiry.

What kinds of subjects do your articles address? Would it be possible to suggest a topic suited for my blog?



Thanks for your reply.

Generally I prefer to be guided by the publisher in terms of what they would like covered. This way you get an article that fits in with the overall voice of your blog. Do you have any strong preferences in terms of what should or shouldn't be covered?



Dear Victoria,

Thank you for your response.

I appreciate your offer to craft an article that fits with the voice of our blog. The term I hear most often to describe our voice is "shouty," but that's mostly from people who are frankly very judgmental. I prefer the term "mellifluous" to describe our voice. I previously preferred "jumentous" because it sounds nice, like a combination of momentous and jubilant, but then I looked it up and no.

Right now, Victoria, we're particularly interested in the equine risks to our children — or, as we prefer to say to convey the fulsome nature and extent of the threat, Our Children. I don't know about Australia, but in America right now pony rides are very popular. You see pony rides at the birthday parties of imminently bankrupt social climbing parents, at open-air farmer's markets in the suburbs, at at fairs, carnivals, and other community events operated by persons susceptible to being depicted in HBO series. The sight of the ponies fills children with delight, Victoria. But too seldom is the question asked — are they SAFE?

Please let me know if you would like for me to elaborate.

Also, what type of links would you like to put in the articles? May I hope they would add value and provide information likely to be of interest to our readers?

Very truly yours,


[no response]





The Tesla, Or The Pony?

Hello editor/admin,

I love your site popehat.com and think it may be a fit for my marketing campaign. What kind of advertising options do you offer?

How much do you charge for a one very relevant, do-follow, in-copy text link to a non-spammy website?

I will give you great content. I just need to know the cheapest rate you can offer for a link inside the article I will give you.

If your rates meet my budget, I will get back with relevant stories.


Dear Susan,

Thank you for your inquiry.

I am very happy to hear that Popehat.com may be a fit for your marketing campaign.

I am intrigued by your offer for an article containing a link. Can you give me a sense of the likely subject matter of the article you would offer?




Thanks for responding. I was actually interested in sponsored post opportunities such as something similar to this article. The link below is an example to show the type of post. I can write content relevant to any niche.


Please let me know if you would be able to offer this and what your rate would be.


Your linked post demonstrates exactly the sort of incisive analysis we aspire to on Popehat,and echoes some of our deepest and most ill-concealed fears and anxieties. We, too, feel like minnows amongst big blog fish. Although Patrick says that I am more of a grouper, and Clark wrote a 4,000 word essay about how he is the Megaladon. I had to set that post as private because there was too many capitalized swears. Some of them weren't even real words.

I think that it is possible that we could reach some sort of accommodation, Susan. I propose that you consider one of the following:

1. WE: accept your guest post with its embedded sponsored link. YOU: Buy us a red Model X Tesla, with a custom-installed electrical element in the seat that will give me a cautionary shock if I stare at the gigantic dash touchscreen too long, endangering pedestrians. The gazing, I mean, not the shocking; ideally the shocking would help pedestrians by preventing the gazing, which endangers them. Though I suppose technically the shocking shouldn't be set so high that it makes me flinch and swerve into pedestrians either because I think that would defeat the purpose, don't you? So: mild shock reasonably far from the genitals, please. I'm thinking about mid-thigh. In connection with the cautionary shock-device on my new Tesla, I mean, not in connection with anything else. THIS IS NOT AN OBSCENE EMAIL; THIS IS A BUSINESS EMAIL.

2. WE: accept your guest post with its embedded sponsored link, for FREE. YOU: ensure that the guest post includes a cautionary artistic rendering of a pony. This option is only acceptable if you can provide an artistic depiction that captures, to the satisfaction of an artistic panel consisting of us, the terrifying duality of a pony. The pony can't be rending flesh or breathing fire or sucking the soul out of a baby or anything like that. That's the subtext, Susan. No, the pony has to be doing pony things, like amusing children or capering or being photogenic even whilst shitting indiscriminately. It has to be pretty, Susan. It has to be — and I beg you to forgive my roughness here — one extremely Goddamned pretty pony. But it has to simultaneously convey the dark promises of every pony, the bleak and fell possibilities raised by every juvenilequine encounter. The pony has to exist in a visible dual-state of pretty and horrific. You're going to need quite an artist for that, Susan. You can't just hire anyone off the street. Street people are okay at caricatures and the artwork at the New Yorker and stuff but they don't get ponies. If they got ponies they would live off the street, in houses, because ponies are more likely to be on streets. See?

3. We: accept your guest post with its embedded sponsored link, but edit it to our personal satisfaction, potentially including but not limited to altering it until it addresses the Pony Menace to our satisfaction. YOU: help me get my left arm out of this vending machine. Long story. All I can say is: thank God for iPads.

I remain faithfully yours,


Me Write Pony One Day

David Williamson

Jul 2, 2013

Hi Ken,

My name is David and I was just checking out your blog Popehat. I have seen that you have published guest posts from different authors in your niche. I am fully interested in witting about law and legal topics.

Here is couple of post that I have written in the past.




Please let me Know how it sounds like so I will start putting a piece together or drop me an email if you have any question/ideas.

Kind Regards,

David Williamson

Hi David,

My name is Ken and I was checking out your email. I have seen that you have written guest posts for various blogs.

David, I am excited to Know that you are open to my questions/ideas about possible guest posts about law and legal topics.

Here's a topic that interests us at Popehat: how does the law classify ponies vis a vis horses?

David, until recently we were under the impression that ponies were simply teenaged horses. That would explain their impetuous and dangerous behavior. Everyone knows that teenagers act badly. Time Magazine has been warning us about teenaged super-predators for decades. That was supposed to be because of crack cocaine and fetal alcohol system and possibly cable television, which I'm pretty sure aren't problems for ponies, but I think my point is still clear, isn't it?

But now I learn that I was wrong, that ponies are different — that they are Other, not merely teenaged or otherwise stunted horses. My question: does this Otherness have any standing at law? Are ponies, as an Other, somehow privileged to wreck the dank and copper-scented havoc they lust for? Do ponies have rights superior to horses, or superior to we foolish men who allow ourselves to believe we are their masters?

I would be very interested in discussing a guest post about that, David.

Very truly yours,


Prenda Law Is Under Withering Fire From All Sides

All of my coverage of the Prenda Law saga is collected here.

The Prenda Law crew has been up to shenanigans for many months, and Ars Technica and Techdirt and Die Troll Die and Fight Copyright Trolls were all doing great work covering them long before I took notice. I was preoccupied by crucial legal issues like Bigfoot and ponies and thus-and-such until Prenda Law blundered into my core area of interest: bogus defamation suits calculated to silence critics.

My first post about Prenda explained how Prenda Law and its principals Paul Duffy and John Steele filed three defamation suits in three federal districts against Alan Cooper (the man who accuses Prenda of stealing his identity as a front man for fake plaintiff entities), Paul Godfread (Cooper's lawyer), and various unnamed John Does. I also reported when Alan Cooper seized the initiative and filed counterclaims against Prenda Law and Paul Duffy. Steele shrewdly dismissed his defamation suit in Florida before Cooper could counterclaim.

Today there were updates in the defamation cases — anti-SLAPP motions filed by Godfread and Coooper. In addition, Morgan Pietz — whose defense of John Doe defendants has led to Prenda's downfall — filed his promised supplemental brief before Judge Wright. Meanwhile, in Florida and Arizona and San Francisco, attorneys nip at Prenda's heels.

April is the cruelest month for Prenda. You might want to grab a sandwich; there's a lot going on, and this will take a while.


Town Without Pony


I am currently working with DestinFlorida.org to find content partners that would be interested in posting a quality on-topic post to their site with a link back to http://www.destinflorida.org.

Our writer is top-notch and the content will be exclusive to your site only. If you are interested please let me know and I can have a custom article written for your site within a week.

Dorothy Gibson

Dear Ms. Gibson:

Thank you for the offer. I have reviewed the web site and am enthralled by the prospect of a post regarding Destin, Florida. Destin seems to embody all the qualities I've come to associate with Florida: peace and tranquility, good judgment, and shirtless people.

One issue remains. My careful search of the many activities featured on the Destin, Florida promotional web site reveals no pony-related recreation. This is not a problem: this is a unassailable prerequisite to associating Popehat with the site. Can you please confirm that Destin is pony-free, to a level of confidence of at least .9 PPI (Pony Probability Index)?

Thank you. I eagerly await hearing more.


Hi Ken,

You need not to worry about pony-related recreation. Destin is pony free.




I am thrilled, relieved, and more than a little inappropriately agitated to hear it.

Would a guest post extol the virtues of Destin as a recreational locale? That might make a very pleasant change of pace. We write about grim things, Dorothy. Ours is not a place of carefree beach frolic. No, we write about injustice and censorship and brutality and violence and ponies and racism and corruption. Beware, this is a place for tears, as Scarpia says to Cavaradossi in the course of the latter's regrettable encounter with the Italian court system. So: a post about happy people doing happy things in a happy place would be like a refreshing zephyr, with adjacent condominiums and entertainment venues.

However, my concern is that a guest post about Destin would be a little too cheerful, a little too bright. The transition from one of my posts about wrongful convictions or one of Clark's posts about the impending overthrow of the United States government into a post about sunny Destin might be abrupt and jarring for our readers. So I was thinking: could your top-notch writer start the guest post with something ugly and sordid and low about Destin, and then ease in to the nice things? Like maybe if someone recently found a vacationing podiatrist from Duluth dead in the jacuzzi at the Hyatt and there was some unpleasantness, you could start with that, and with a discussion of what a pain in the ass it is to drain the jacuzzi so the water doesn't taste like dead podiatrist any more, and then you could segue naturally from there into Destin's beaches and pool opportunities and famous umbrellaed drinks and thus-and-such. That would be easier on our readers. Some of of them don't deal well with change, Dorothy, I don't mind telling you.

Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you again, and learning more about the pony-free beaches of Destin.

Very truly yours,


[no response]


My dear Dorothy:

May I quote what you said to me, Dorothy?

"You need not to worry about pony-related recreation. Destin is pony free."

There was a time when I could believe, Dorothy. There was a time when I had faith. There was a time when I had trust.

This is not that time.

I should have seen your crafty wordsmithing, Dorothy. I should have seen that "you need not to worry about pony-related recreation" might simply mean that the ponies would be upon me without warning and that my end would be swift. I should have seen that, rather than "pony-free," you wrote "pony free," smugly signalling a place where ponies obey no law of God nor man.

You deceived me, Dorothy. I choose to look at this as a learning experience.

Game on, Dorothy.