One of the best bloggers in the short history of the medium, the pseudonymous Jon Swift, has passed away. His real name was Al Weisel.
Taking the name Jon Swift was a bold decision, but Weisel lived up to it, producing the best political humor site I have ever read, as "a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture." Of course Swift was no such thing, but he was devastatingly funny. Where other leftwing blogs that allegedly lampoon conservative politics are often hamfisted and stupid, Swift hit the mark unerringly, and made me laugh out loud even when I strongly disagreed with him, which was more often than not. The surest way to find one's way into Swift's crosshairs wasn't to be a right-winger: It was to be a right-winger who took himself too seriously.
I had a few email exchanges with Weisel / Swift and found him, in personal correspondence, to be unfailingly gracious and kind. He was a friend to this blog, and to many other bloggers despite political disagreements. My sympathy goes to his family, and I urge you to go back and read his blog, while it lasts.
Update: A remembrance from a prominent person Swift often tried (and sometimes failed) to puncture: "He liked to antagonize me, but that means nothing now, other than that I'm honored to have provided some raw material to a fine writer."
If Swift is still out there, I think he'll agree that's the best tribute he could receive on the web.