Archive for May, 2007
29 May 2007

Power Line 5th Anniversary


Hugh Hewitt posts a well-deserved tribute (in which he consistently refers to Power Line as “Powerline”).

For the past five years, Powerline has been the most influential blog, not just in America, but because it was so in America, also on the globe, both in terms of impact on the craft of journalism and on the course of actual events. No one can say for certain at any given time which is the most influential blog, as influence is a mysterious concept, a measurement of both size of audience, the audience’s actual power to order events, and the blog’s impact on the use of that power consciously or unconsciously. But measured over the past five years, there is no close second, period.

Powerline’s readership is both very large and very powerful. … in the first five years of the ‘sphere, Powerline set the standard for how to blog and mattered more than any other site, at least among sites that were not corporate to some extent. (The gang at The Corner and here at Townhall are professional journalists who blog. The Powerline trio, though now earning income from their site, were not called to what they did by other than their interest in events. They are like the amateur competing at Augusta –except they routinely beat all the pros and get the Green Jacket.)

Powerline’s trio are thus the most significant citizen journalists of the first age of internet journalism, and wold be even had they not toppled Dan Rather. Like it or not –and those on the left won’t– their coming into being and their writings and associated endeavors will be studied far into the future. They didn’t just occasionally make the weather in American journalism over the past five years, they changed the weather patterns. They set a standard, delivered a product, and obliged MSM to change how it dealt with citizen journalists and their work. They were aided in this by tens of thousands of other bloggers, of course, but to a degree not yet even remotely appreciated Powerline’s authors had an enormous and lasting effect on American journalism.

29 May 2007

Cindy Sheehan Resigns

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Daily Kos headlines the story Good Riddance Attention Whore:

This is my resignation letter as the “face” of the American anti-war movement. This is not my “Checkers” moment, because I will never give up trying to help people in the world who are harmed by the empire of the good old US of A, but I am finished working in, or outside of this system. This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources.

Good-bye America …you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.

Evidently, Mrs. Sheehan found that all was not hugs and love inside the ranks of leftist political activism.

I have also tried to work within a peace movement that often puts personal egos above peace and human life. This group won’t work with that group; he won’t attend an event if she is going to be there; and why does Cindy Sheehan get all the attention anyway? It is hard to work for peace when the very movement that is named after it has so many divisions.

And she isn’t getting enough appreciation or making any money.

I have invested everything I have into trying to bring peace with justice to a country that wants neither. If an individual wants both, then normally he/she is not willing to do more than walk in a protest march or sit behind his/her computer criticizing others.I have spent every available cent I got from the money a “grateful” country gave me when they killed my son and every penny that I have received in speaking or book fees since then. I have sacrificed a 29 year marriage and have traveled for extended periods of time away from Casey’s brother and sisters and my health has suffered and my hospital bills from last summer (when I almost died) are in collection because I have used all my energy trying to stop this country from slaughtering innocent human beings.

29 May 2007

Another Alligator Caught House Climbing

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Fred Bellet/TampaTribune

Tampa Tribune:

A 6- to 7-foot alligator drew a small crowd of incredulous onlookers Thursday evening in the Morningside neighborhood in Meadow Pointe.

As the reptile attempted to climb the stucco wall of a house, near several electrical boxes, a woman across the street said, “Oh my God.”

Pasco County sheriff’s Deputy Todd Koenig said his agency was called to a house on Morning Mist Drive about 6:15 p.m.

Compare this photo taken at Hilton Head in 2006.

What exactly do these uppity reptiles think they’re doing? Did they lean on trees in order to stand vertically before people came along and built houses, do you suppose?

28 May 2007

Book Dealer Burns His Own Books

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A Kansas City used-book dealer began burning his stock in protest of the public’s failure to purchase them, thus providing newspapers something to print and bloggers something to blog about.

ABC News:

Tom Wayne has amassed thousands of books in a warehouse during the 10 years he has run his used book store, Prospero’s Books.

His collection ranges from best sellers, such as Tom Clancy’s “The Hunt for Red October” and Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire of the Vanities,” to obscure titles, like a bound report from the Fourth Pan-American Conference held in Buenos Aires in 1910. But when he wanted to thin out the collection, he found he couldn’t even give away books to libraries or thrift shops; they said they were full.

So on Sunday, Wayne began burning his books in protest of what he sees as society’s diminishing support for the printed word.

“This is the funeral pyre for thought in America today,” Wayne told spectators outside his bookstore as he lit the first batch of books.

The fire blazed for about 50 minutes before the Kansas City Fire Department put it out because Wayne didn’t have a permit for burning.

Wayne said next time he will get a permit. He said he envisions monthly bonfires until his supply estimated at 20,000 books is exhausted.

I expect he could have done a bit better if he computerized his inventory, and offered it for sale via the major Internet used book sites.

28 May 2007

Memorial Day


WWII Victory Medal

Joseph Zincavage (1907-1998) Navy
William Zincavage (1914-1997) Marine Corps
Edward Zincavage (1917-2002) Marine Corps
Eleanor Zincavage Cichetti (1922-2003) Marine Corps

28 May 2007

Tom Collins

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Eric Felten, in his weekly cocktail column in the Wall Street Journal, supplies the history.

The Tom Collins … got its start in the 19th century, named after a notorious hoax that spread in the summer of 1874.

The original prank went something like this: A friend would run into you on the street and, with great concern, tell you he just overheard someone named Tom Collins at a bar down the street saying hateful and libelous things about you. You race to that bar to confront the bounder, where you would be told that Tom Collins had just left for a bar several blocks away. When you get there, Collins would already have decamped for another joint across town. As you chase all over the city, your friends convulse with laughter.

Soon, not in on the joke, newspapers in cities across the country were reporting on people trying to find the scurrilous fellow. “Tom Collins Still Among Us,” the Decatur, Ill., Daily Republican reported in June 1874. “This individual kept up his nefarious business of slandering our citizens all day yesterday. But we believe that he succeeded in keeping out of the way of his pursuers. In several instances he came well nigh being caught, having left certain places but a very few moments before the arrival of those who were hunting him. His movements are watched to-day with the utmost vigilance.”

When the papers realized it was all a gag, they got in on the act. The Daily Republican kept playing along for months, gamely reporting that Collins had been spotted in San Luis Obispo, Calif., on his way to Arizona. “Next spring,” the paper predicted, Collins “will jauntily enter the South American republics.”

It doesn’t take much to imagine how Tom Collins came to be a drink. How many times does someone have to barge into a saloon demanding Tom Collins before the bartender takes the opportunity to offer him a cocktail so-named? Indeed, you have to wonder if the whole Tom Collins stunt wasn’t a marketing gimmick to promote pub-crawling.


1½ oz gin
Juice of ½ lemon
¼-½ oz simple syrup, or 1-2 tsp. sugar
2-3 oz soda water.
Build on the rocks in a short highball glass (what was once called, appropriately enough, a “Collins glass”). Garnish, if you like, with cherry, and orange or lemon slice.

28 May 2007

Medievalist Believes One of the Lost Princes in the Tower Survived

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A new book by David Baldwin, a lecturer at the University of Leicester advances the rather tenuous theory that Richard, Duke of York (b. 1473 – believed murdered 1483), the younger of the two sons of Edward IV imprisoned in the Tower was not murdered by his uncle Richard III, and was the bricklayer resident at St. John’s Abbey in Colchester known as Richard Plantagenet, who claimed to be an illegitimate child of Richard III, and who died after the dissolution of the monasteries at Eastwell in Kent in 1550.

Of course, the skeletons of two children were discovered in the tower in 1674. They were believed to be the remains of the lost princes, and were reburied in Westminster Abbey.

UK News

27 May 2007

European Raccoons’ Nazi Past

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Washington Post:

In 1934, top Nazi party official Hermann Goering received a seemingly mundane request from the Reich Forestry Service. A fur farm near here was seeking permission to release a batch of exotic bushy-tailed critters into the wild to “enrich the local fauna” and give bored hunters something new to shoot at.

Goering approved the request and unwittingly uncorked an ecological disaster that is still spreading across Europe. The imported North American species, Procyon lotor, or the common raccoon, quickly took a liking to the forests of central Germany. Encountering no natural predators — and with hunters increasingly called away by World War II — the woodland creatures fruitfully multiplied and have stymied all attempts to prevent them from overtaking the Continent. …

Raccoons have crawled across the border to infest each of Germany’s neighbors and now range from the Baltic Sea to the Alps. Scientists say they have been spotted as far east as Chechnya. British tabloids have warned that it’s only a matter of time until the “Nazi raccoons” cross the English Channel. …

The Germans call them Waschbaeren, or “wash bears,” because they habitually wash their paws and douse their food in water.

27 May 2007

Just Substitute Islamic Terrorism for Global Warming…

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And our liberal friends sound like they’re talking sense, observes Tim Blair.

Global warming alarmists actually make a great deal of sense. That is, once you imagine that every time they open their mouths they’re talking not about the environment but about Islamic terrorism. …

Al Gore’s hard-hitting documentary about the Islamist threat – An Inconvenient Faith – might face the occasional bombing attack, but would otherwise be crucial viewing for those wishing to be informed on the great menace of our age.

Let’s work through several typical greenoid statements to see this process at work, whereby formerly irrational and fear-mongering comments on global warming (confirmed kills: exactly zero) become entirely reasonable and defensible when framed as statements on Islamist terror (confirmed kills: many thousands and counting):

It doesn’t make sense for us to sit back and wait for others to act. The fate of the planet that our children and grandchildren will inherit is in our hands, and it is our responsibility to do something about this crisis.” – former US president Bill Clinton.

26 May 2007

Cat Eats With Fork, Spoon.. and Chopsticks


Her owner wanted company at the dinner table.


26 May 2007

Silver Surfer Declares War on US Treasury

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Marvel Comic’s most philosophic superhero, the Silver Surfer (sentinal of the skyways and herald of Galactus), has issued a challenge to the authority of the US Treasury by placing his own image on the American twenty-five cent piece, directly opposite the image of George Washington.

Is the Surfer trying to warn terrestrial authorities that the Earth is about to be consumed by his overlord Galactus?

Is he signalling the assertion of his own personal authority over “a world he never made” in a bid to eliminate mankind’s unfortunate propensities toward violence and irrationality?

Or, is it just a promotion intended to publicize the impending release of a new Hollywood film?

In any event, federal authorities have sworn vengeance.

26 May 2007

And We Thought Today’s American Kids Were Wimpy!

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Manichi Daily News reports that 11 Japanese kids were hospitalized by ghost stories.

UJI, Kyoto — Eleven junior high school students suffered hyperventilation and were rushed to hospital after talking about ghosts on a bus during a school trip Saturday afternoon, school officials said.

They are fully conscious and their conditions are not serious. Doctors said they suspect that the students suffered hyperventilation as a result of anxiety caused by the tales about ghosts.

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