Schuylkill County, and doubtless Orwigsburg, voted for Romney, but it didn’t save them.
I couldn’t turn off the autoplay, so here’s a link instead:
Category Archive 'Pennsylvania'
07 Nov 2012
Schuylkill County, and doubtless Orwigsburg, voted for Romney, but it didn’t save them.
I couldn’t turn off the autoplay, so here’s a link instead:
02 Oct 2012
Fellow Pennsylvanian Joe Veoni reports:
The big news in Clearfield was the Elk that took a plunge off the bridge.
This ~ 1,000 lb. bull elk jumped off of the Clearfield Bypass bridge near the mall this afternoon. Numerous crews including the Game Commission were called in to retrieve the bull from the water. It is unknown what caused him to jump. He died on impact.
Pennsylvania’s elk descend from a herd of elk presented as a gift from President Theodore Roosevelt to PA Governor Gifford Pinchot.
27 Jun 2012
Quomodo sedet sola civitas.
General readers will need to bear with me. One of the basic functions of my blog is to pass along items I would otherwise be emailing to friends.
I grew up in the Anthracite region of Northeastern Pennsylvania, one of the principal centers of Lithuanian settlement in the United States. The coal mining industry expired after WWII. Americans had en masse converted to oil for domestic heating, and new post-War environmental regulations made extracting coal below the water-table impossible.
Nothing ever replaced Anthracite coal mining. Over the next 60 years after the last colliery shut down for good, essentially everyone who could walk left after graduating from high school. Populations dwindled, and once prosperous towns became almost ghost towns.
One renowned local institution after another closed down as the years went by.
A friend from back home, now living in Maryland, last night, sent me this video remembering our long-gone local amusement park.
At least the fine old Lakewood carousel survives and is today still being enjoyed by young and old in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Would you believe that I can look at this video and find the particular horse I preferred as a small child?
Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.
14 Mar 2012
This Hopper-esque painting of houses in Manayunk, a neighborhood in the northwest section of Philadelphia, viewed from the Cynwyd Trail by Nancy Herman reminded me very powerfully of the view of house roofs I saw looking out the attic window of my boyhood home in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. I was startled and a bit moved by nostalgia. It seems that densely built, working class Pennsylvania neighborhoods have a pretty strong degree of architectural similarity.
The artist writes:
She actually sells these for only $125. If that one weren’t already sold, I’d have liked to have acquired it.
Hat tip to Vanderleun. How did he find it, I wonder?
20 Jan 2011
It started out, a few days ago, when an inattentive woman walking and texting in a mall near Reading, Pennsylvania obliviously proceeded to walk into the side of a decorative fountain and fell in. Her minor, but embarrassing, mishap, recorded on security cameras, was posted on YouTube and became the viral humor item of the week. At that point, it was simply mildly funny.
The inattentive woman eagerly embraces victim status, her lawyer pompously promises to investigate who exactly was responsible (as if that was not perfectly evident from the video itself), and finally George Stephanopolous, having listened to all this, proceeds to congratulate her for being a good sport. If she is a good sport, you certainly wouldn’t want to run into a whining idiot.
22 Nov 2010
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has passed a bill rejecting the “obligation to retreat” theory and vigorously affirming the right of self defense.
“The General Assembly finds that:
“(1) It is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others.
“(2) The castle doctrine is a common-law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a home is a person’s castle.
“(3) ... The Constitution of Pennsylvania guarantees that the ‘right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned.’
“(4) Persons residing in or visiting this commonwealth have a right to expect to remain unmolested within their homes or vehicles.
“(5) No person should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack outside the person’s home or vehicle.”
The question is whether democrat, pro-Gun Control Governor Edward Rendell will sign the bill, or defy strong public support by vetoing it.
If the bill passes into law, watch crime rates plummet in Pennsylvania.
06 Sep 2010
Rachel Sussman has spent five years on a personal project photographing living organisms more than 2000 years old.
Her list surprised me by containing a representative from my home state of Pennsylvania, the Box Huckleberry, Gaylussacia brachycera. It is a surviving relic of the Ice Age, like the brook trout, and something on the order of 100 colonies have been identified in seven mostly Appalachian states, running from from Pennsylvania to Tennessee.
The community at Losh Run, Perry County, Pennsylvania, near the Juniata River, has been estimated to be as much as 13,000 years old, making it the oldest living organism in the United States, second oldest in the world. Only King’s Lomatia, Lomatia tasmanica, a bizarre archaic angiosperm found in 1937 in southwest Tasmania is older. But you don’t get delicious edible berries from a Tasmanian angiosperm.
Perry County, PA site article
Lancaster News article from 1999
Duke article on North Carolina colony
Hat tip to Zoe Pollock.
10 Aug 2010
President Obama’s performance has been so memorable that already, after less than two years in office, he has won a special place in the hearts of ordinary Americans: a place resembling Osama bin Laden’s as one of a series of carnival targets you throw baseballs at and win prizes for knocking down.
Gawker positively squeaked in protest at the political incorrectness of it all, headlining the story as “Horrible Obama-Smashing Game.” (chuckle)
That didn’t keep them from uploading a video of a young man hurling baseballs at the target of the president prefaced by “F**k you, Obama.”
The Jersey Shore boardwalk game, however, was not the great man’s first recognition by amusement park popular culture. Even earlier, a church fair outside Allentown, Pennsylvania attracted the attention of the Secret Service when a rented shooting game featuring You-Know-Who holding the health care bill appeared as the target.
The Morning Call reports that the feds were not amused and the games company was quickly strong-armed into removing this threat to his Imperial Obamaness.
There was no Secret Service intervention that I can recall when representatives of the liberal urban intelligentsia produced a fantasy documentary and a play featuring the assassination of George W. Bush. (link)
25 Jul 2010
At the eastern edge of the Anthracite Coal Region, just west of the Poconos, lies the county seat of Carbon County, a town founded in 1818 with the colorful Indian name of Mauch Chunk (Delaware Indian: “Bear Mountain”).
Mauch Chunk has a scenic location in a mountain gap along the Lehigh River, and its higher-than-usual in the neighborhood surrounding mountains led to the town being referred to in tourist slogans as the “Switzerland of Pennsylvania.”
Mauch Chunk was prominent in the 19th century industrial development of the country. It became an important railroad and canal transportation center, shipping coal mined in the nearby mountains to the cities and manufacturing centers of the East. The industrialist Asa Packer, founder of the Lehigh Railroad and Lehigh University, had his mansion there, and his family built and endowed the architecturally impressive Episcopal Church. One group of Molly Maguire terrorist bandits was hanged at the local courthouse in the 1870s.
The Anthracite mining industry was in the process of being destroyed by post-WWII water pollution regulations as the country switched over from coal to oil for domestic heating, when the state of Oklahoma declined to erect a memorial to the famous athlete and Olympian Jim Thorpe in the immediate aftermath of his death in 1953.
Hoping to promote tourism at a time when the regional economy was sinking fast, the town fathers of Mauch Chunk approached the family offering to build a monument and rename the town after Jim Thorpe, if the great athlete would be buried there. Thorpe’s third wife agreed to the deal, and despite the fact that Jim Thorpe probably never even visited Mauch Chunk, the town assumed his name.
In 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated, the former borough of Mauch Chuck offered the same deal to Jacqueline Kennedy, who declined in favor of burial in Arlington.
In the latest development in the saga, Jim Thorpe’s son is suing the borough of Jim Thorpe via the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 for repatriation of his father’s body to Oklahoma.
I’m on Jack Thorpe’s side. I’ve always like the name Mauch Chunk better, and I thought the name change deal was ridiculous. Jim Thorpe had not actually lived in Oklahoma for many decades at the time of his death, but he was born there, his family is buried there, and he never had the slightest real connection to Mauch Chunk.
04 May 2010
The democrats are in charge up in my home state of Pennsylvania, and this is what you get:
Some days it’s easy to be happy that I don’t live there anymore.
23 Apr 2010
From Robert Chambers, The Book of Days, 1869:
Butler, the historian of the Romish calendar, repudiates George of Cappadocia, and will have it that the famous saint was born of noble Christian parents, that he entered the army, and rose to a high grade in its ranks, until the persecution of his co-religionists by Diocletian compelled him to throw up his commission, and upbraid the emperor for his cruelty, by which bold conduct he lost his head and won his saintship. Whatever the real character of St. George might have been, he was held in great honour in England from a very early period. While in the calendars of the Greek and Latin churches he shared the twenty-third of April with other saints, a Saxon Martyrology declares the day dedicated to him alone; and after the Conquest his festival was celebrated after the approved fashion of Englishmen.In 1344, this feast was made memorable by the creation of the noble Order of St. George, or the Blue Garter, the institution being inaugurated by a grand joust, in which forty of England’s best and bravest knights held the lists against the foreign chivalry attracted by the proclamation of the challenge through France, Burgundy, Hainault, Brabant, Flanders, and Germany. In the first year of the reign of Henry V, a council held at London decreed, at the instance of the king himself, that henceforth the feast of St. George should be observed by a double service; and for many years the festival was kept with great splendour at Windsor and other towns. Shakspeare, in Henry VI, makes the Regent Bedford say, on receiving the news of disasters in France:
Bonfires in France I am forthwith to make
Edward VI promulgated certain statutes severing the connection between the ‘noble order’ and the saint; but on his death, Mary at once abrogated them as ‘impertinent, and tending to novelty.’ The festival continued to be observed until 1567, when, the ceremonies being thought incompatible with the reformed religion, Elizabeth ordered its discontinuance. James I, however, kept the 23rd of April to some extent, and the revival of the feast in all its glories was only prevented by the Civil War. So late as 1614, it was the custom for fashionable gentlemen to wear blue coats on St. George’s day, probably in imitation of the blue mantle worn by the Knights of the Garter.
In olden times, the standard of St. George was borne before our English kings in battle, and his name was the rallying cry of English warriors. According to Shakspeare, Henry V led the attack on Harfleur to the battle-cry of ‘God for Harry! England! and St. George!’ and ‘God and St. George’ was Talbot’s slogan on the fatal field of Patay. Edward of Wales exhorts his peace-loving parents to
The fiery Richard invokes the same saint, and his rival can think of no better name to excite the ardour of his adherents:
‘Advance our standards, set upon our foes,Our ancient word of courage, fair St. George, Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons.’
England was not the only nation that fought under the banner of St. George, nor was the Order of the Garter the only chivalric institution in his honour. Sicily, Arragon, Valencia, Genoa, Malta, Barcelona, looked up to him as their guardian saint; and as to knightly orders bearing his name, a Venetian Order of St. George was created in 1200, a Spanish in 1317, an Austrian in 1470, a Genoese in 1472, and a Roman in 1492, to say nothing of the more modern ones of Bavaria (1729), Russia (1767), and Hanover (1839).
The diocese of Allentown in its wisdom demolished St. George Church during the winter of 2009-2010.
Quomodo sedet sola civitas…
10 Mar 2010
The Department of Justice publicly released the indictment of a Pennsylvania woman arrested last October, who had apparently been part of a conspiracy planning to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks.
Jawa Reports has photos and gossipy details on the defendant.
Seven of her associates were arrested in Ireland.
Vilks was targeted for the terrible affront to Islam of drawing the prophet in the form of a rondellhund, a whimsical Swedish street art fad resembling the cows that ornamented the streets of Chicago a few years ago.
An American woman with a mullet who converted to Islam and then conspired to murder a Swedish cartoonist? Sounds like the plot of a new Coen Brothers movie.
28 Jan 2010
People in Schuylkill County (where I grew up) have a warped sense of humor. It must be something in the coal-infused water.
This is the pull off at SR 61 and Adamsdale Road. A deer was hit there. The couch was dumped there previously.
Day two: the deer was on the couch. Day three: the end table and lamp showed up. Day four: the TV and TV stand showed up.
The Trooper had to call PENN DOT because of all the people stopping to take pictures.
PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE SIGN.The cardboard caption in front of the deer on the couch reads,
No guarantees on the accuracy of the alleged photo location.
Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.
08 Sep 2009
54-year-old William Masur, a resident of Georges Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania (about 35 miles/56 km. southeast of Pittsburgh) is an arms collector, a historical reenactor, and an enthusiast who also builds replicas of antique arms.
Last Wednesday, Masur was testing an 80lb/36.4 k. replica of a French and Indian War cannon firing a 2 lb./.9 kg. projectile. Unhappily, the cannonball hit a rock and ricocheted into the side of a house 400 yards/366 m. away. The cannonball penetrated an exterior wall breaking a window in the process, passed through another wall inside the house, and ended up in a closet. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Masur apologized for the mishap, and promised to stop testing his replicas anywhere remotely near human habitations, but as the original story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette indicates, official reaction was swift. The replica cannon was confiscated, and Masur was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.
All the facile hoplophobic condemnation from the mainstream media provokes in me a certain sympathy for Mr. Masur. Doubtless the accident was a very unfortunate thing, and someone certainly could conceivably have been killed or injured (in which case Mr. Masur would have had some very serious liability problems). Realistically though, it seems obvious to me that the cannonball’s ricochet was fairly improbable. Its then actually hitting a house was even more unlikely, and so on. On the whole, I’d really rather live in a country in which eccentric people are free to do unusual things like firing off cannons, even if that involves some modest risk of misadventure, than live swaddled in so much safety that anything fun, adventuresome, and entertaining to do is utterly precluded by law.
12 Aug 2009
Beth Brelje reports, in the Pocono Record of December 21, 2008, of a truly horrifying, but only too recognizable, case featuring the same pattern of less than accurate accusations, owner intimidation, and forced surrender of animals by PSPCA officers, with real victimization of helpless animals as the result
And the end of this article describes exactly what has happened to the Murder Hollow bassets. They have been reduced to being warehoused as live evidence by an arrogant, systematically dishonest, and callously cruel organization with an appalling record of animal mistreatment of its own, which poses before the public, in its insatiable quest for money and power, as the protector of the very animals it mishandles and not infrequently kills.
They should be investigated and prosecuted by the Commonwealth’s Attorney General and the United States Attorney. It is long past time in Pennsylvania to bring key PSPCA officials and officers responsible for this reign of terror to justice, to put PSPCA out of business, and to turn its legitimate functions over to responsible individuals and groups.