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The Mockingbird War

Author’s Note: Years ago I related a story about fireworks at my house in Upland, Calif. I barely escaped trouble with the police. It was not the only story about fireworks at that house — and I’m pretty sure the police were called this time, too…. (more…)

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Winter Wildlife

One of the things I like about being on the rural side of Colorado is the frequent wildlife sightings. Bunnies and jackrabbits are common. On our property, we’ve also seen coyotes, deer, elk, a badger(!), a bear (alas, only my wife saw that one), prairie dogs, eagles (both Golden and Bald), vultures, foxes, and while we didn’t see the animal, we’ve found mountain lion tracks here. (more…)

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Bear Country Update

An update on the Bear Story from a couple of weeks ago. Now that Donna, the woman who was feeding them, is dead, sure enough: more bears are now invading town, breaking into houses far more than before to try to find food — Donna isn’t there to feed them, and what they now know is humans = food. Winter is coming, and they need to fatten up for hibernation; they’re ravenous. Last week another of my friends had her […]

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Bear Country

A few comments about this week’s lead story. If the location sounds somehow familiar, it’s because that’s where I live. Ouray County is pretty big (550 square miles), but is otherwise pretty small (around 4,100 people). And since I’m a volunteer with both our EMS agency and (occasionally) the local sheriff’s office, I was quite aware of this event while it was happening. (I’m happy to say it wasn’t in my response area, so I didn’t have to go.) (more…)

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The Truth about PETA

Does PETA protect and nurture the animals placed in its care? Find out — this story is from True‘s 17 July 2005 issue. (Letters and more commentary have been added to the very end of this page. Go there.) “Ethical” Defined After more than 100 dead dogs were dumped in a trash dumpster over four weeks, police in Ahoskie, N.C., kept an eye on the trash receptacle behind a supermarket. Sure enough, a van drove up and officers watched the […]

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Pandas in Chengdu

One of the (many!) highlights of our trip was a visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (it probably sounds better in Chinese). Chengdu, our first stop after Tibet, is the capital of the Sichuan province. (more…)

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PETA’s Reply

An official spokeswoman from PETA headquarters responded to the PETA page, which contains my story, a brief editorial, and some interaction with readers. The response is specifically replying to that page, not simply the story itself, yet she didn’t really address the most important points that were brought up on that page. Here it is, unedited and in its entirety. My response follows. Wed, 10 Aug 2005 10:57:11 Dear Mr. Cassingham: The two individuals mentioned in your editorial The Truth […]

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PETA: Pretend Ethics Totally Abused

I challenged the several PETA defenders who complained about my story and/or editorial (which is on the main PETA story page) to try to justify PETA’s actions. Which fact(s) did they dispute? What is their source for “more correct” data? And how can anyone justify throwing dead animals in the garbage? I noted that no one replied with answers to those questions. Reader Thomas in Pennsylvania took up the challenge. This is the full exchange I had with him, unedited […]

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April Fool!

First, it’s just a fun story. But it was extra fun for me since I know one of the principals involved: Mark Mason, an on-air personality at KEX radio in Portland, Ore. Anytime I’m in Portland, Mark has me on his show, and it’s a blast to be there. Anyway, the story, from True‘s 4 April 2004 issue: (more…)

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