Popehat

Print This Post

MY BRAIN HURTS!

Luddite celebrity pseudoscientist Susan Greenfield, on her inability to publish peer-reviewed research by which one could test her claims that technology damages the human brain: "The whole point is that it is not a hypothesis, it’s an umbrella subject, like climate change, that encompasses many facets. What specific kind of study I should have done?"

As Richard Dawkins has pointed out, a world view or, ahem, "umbrella subject," which can't be verified through testable means, is not science. It's religion. But dress it up in technical-sounding gobbledygook, and the "reality-based community" will bow down and worship it all the same.

Print This Post

HIGHER EDUCATION: The blacklisting of Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois. Key point:

But Salaita’s commentary was too extreme, you say? You know the line when you see it, and Salaita crossed it? That’s exactly what censors think they know, and it is just what they’ve thought when going after Tengatenga and a long list of right-of-center professors and, not so long ago, a long list of left-of-center professors.

If you have to qualify "I support free speech" with a "but," if you support free speech only so long as it's inoffensive, you're a censor. Read the whole thing.

 

Print This Post

AT AMAZON, one forty-five caliber automatic; two boxes of ammunition; four days' concentrated emergency rations; one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizer pills; one miniature combination Russian phrase book and Bible; one hundred dollars in rubles; one hundred dollars in gold; nine packs of chewing gum; one issue of prophylactics; three lipsticks; three pair of nylon stockings.

Shoot, a fellow could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

Print This Post

ALONG WITH THE ERADICATION OF MALARIAL MOSQUITOES, the introduction of air conditioning was one of the unsung triumphs that took America from backwater to powerhouse in the 20th century.

Print This Post

DOES NOT FORGIVE. DOES NOT FORGET: Alleged Jennifer Lawrence photo hacker complains of vigilante justice by 4chan.

“I regret it so much,” he said. “I didn’t even get any bitcoin out of it. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve done and I hope it won’t ruin my life, though it probably will since it’s just the biggest news story.”

If you play with fire, sooner or later, you will get burned.

Print This Post

A FOURTH CIRCUIT JUDGE once told me that young lawyers would be wise to consider Hemingway and Orwell as models for prose style. The same is true for journalists:

A local man was arrested early Friday morning on charges that he stole a truck from a local company after police located the vehicle in Bristol with his cellphone inside, according to a police report.

What does that mean?

Print This Post

AS THE SERFS OF DISTRICT TWELVE LABOR TO MEET COAL MINING QUOTAS, even the pets of Capital City luxuriate at a "Ritz Carlton" for dogs and cats.

Prices start at $30 for cats and $60 for dogs per night, but luxury suites begin at $105 a night and come with webcams and TVs. (“Animal Planet is always a favorite,” Eng says. “But I’ve got a few addicted to soap operas.”)

There are Pawlates for Pooches classes, limo rides and “cuddle dates,” during which a human spends 20 minutes petting and whispering sweet nothings to a dog or cat. Clients can also spring for personal shopping sprees, allowing their dog or cat to pick out toys from the gift shop.

“People will spend whatever it takes to make their pets happy — and we understand that,” Eng says.

I recently spent six dollars on a Squeaky Fox for the Popehat Dog. It seemed an extravagance, but that's life out here in the Districts.

 

Print This Post

PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT A CRIME: NYPD issues "stern" memo reminding officers that they can't simply arrest people for photographing cops.

Of course in a culture, such as that of the New York Police Department, where lawless behavior by officers is treated with kid gloves, this is just window dressing for the rubes. As long as officers have union protection and tort immunity, lawlessness will reign. A real solution for gratuitous violation of civil rights by the police would be to abolish their immunity. Force individual officers to carry insurance or a bond, paid from their own salaries. By all means give the officers a raise to cover premium expense, but if an officer faces too many claims or judgments, a responsible, objective third party (the insurance company) can revoke his badge by cancelling tort coverage.

Print This Post

BLAMING THE VICTIM: The "she shouldn't have worn that dress in that bar" argument is lame as applied to sex crimes, but any American who visits North Korea, without diplomatic immunity, is essentially wearing a supertight dress to the worst bar in town. Expecting CNN, the U.S. government, or Dennis Rodman to get you out is closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.

Don't go to North Korea.

Print This Post

ANDREW MCCARTHY: In search of a strategy.

While ripping Obama for having no Islamic State strategy, Republicans are now reviving the inane strategy of supporting the illusory “moderate Syrian opposition.” Those would be the same forces they wanted to support against Assad. The only problem was that there aren’t enough real moderates in Syria to mount a meaningful challenge to the regime. The backbone of the opposition to Assad has always been the Muslim Brotherhood, and the most effective fighters against the regime have always been the jihadists. So we’re back to where we started from.

The politician who can find a middle way between Obama's "head in the sand" strategy and the McCain / Graham "bomb everything" strategy … would probably be ignored by the media. A real strategy doesn't make for good sound bites.

Print This Post

AT AMAZON, a sale on one pound of clear gel, with free shipping! If that doesn't meet your needs, why not stock up on one pound of instant clear gel? Remember, all Amazon sales made through this site help toward paying our server costs. As always, we appreciate it.