Book Review: Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep, Peter Öberg, ed. (2015)

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A Mostly-Solid Batch of Swedish Speculative Fiction with a Few Standouts

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review from the publisher. Trigger warning for rape and violence.)

Short story collections are always a little tricky to rate, especially when there are a number of different contributors. In Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep, there are exactly twenty-six. The unifying factor? All are Swedish authors, and the anthology has a speculative fiction/scifi/fantastical bent. Keeping with the title, most of the contributions are science fiction, or at least science fiction-y, with robots and AI figuring into many of the plots. As promised, steampunk horses (in an old timey Western setting, no less!) and sassy goblins also make an appearance.

The result is a mostly-solid mix of speculative fiction, though the odd fantasy/fantastical stories felt a bit out of place and disrupted the overall feel of the collection. As usually happens with anthologies, I enjoyed some stories more than others; there are a few that I absolutely fell in love with, and will no doubt revisit again in the future (“The Rats” in particular) and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I DNF’ed two of the tales (“Melody of the Yellow Bard,” which is way too wordy and could benefit from a more ruthless round of editing; and “The Philosopher’s Stone,” which seems like a perfectly fine story but just wasn’t for me).

Many of the pieces fall somewhere in the middle, with quite a few 3- and 4-star ratings, and a smattering of 2-stars.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: A Wolf at the Gate, Mark A. Van Steenwyk & Joel J. Hedstrom (2015)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A Retelling of the Legend of St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)

According to legend, the wolf of Gubbio was a lone wolf who terrorized the Umbrian city of Gubbio in 1220. The wolf began by attacking and eating livestock; over time the hostilities escalated, to the point that the wolf was feasting on humans as well, both hunters and innocent civilians alike. The wolf seemed invincible, or close to it, and he so frightened the people of Gubbio that they refused to leave the relative safety of their walls. When St. Francis arrived, the city was effectively under siege.

An Italian Catholic preacher, Saint Francis of Assisi is widely known today as the patron saint of animals and the environment. In this vein, St. Francis is said to have brokered a peace accord between the wolf and the people of Gubbio: if they agreed to feed the wolf, he would stop attacking the city. The oath was widely accepted – even considered a miracle by many – and, upon the wolf’s death, he was granted an honorable burial within the city limits. This site later became home to the Church of Saint Francis of the Peace. During renovations in 1872, the skeleton of a wolf was reportedly uncovered under a slab near the church wall.

A Wolf at the Gate is a retelling of this legend from the wolf’s point of view. Born into royalty, the red wolf (so named for the unusual color of her fur) assumes leadership of her pack upon the death of her parents. Taught to fear and avoid humans at all costs – “They are violent and greedy. They aren’t like any of the other beasts in the forest; they want to own it all.” – the wolf stubbornly ignores her pack’s insistence that they should leave their forest home in search of new lands, lands not yet spoiled by humans. The wolf’s leadership is challenged and she loses. Left alone in the forest, her rage and thirst for vengeance grow.

(More below the fold…)

Book Review: Project Unicorn, Volume 1: 30 Young Adult Short Stories Featuring Lesbian Heroines, Sarah Diemer & Jennifer Diemer (2012)

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Monstrously Beautiful

five out of five stars

Project Unicorn (“A Lesbian YA Extravaganza!”) is a ya fiction project created by the wife-wife writing team of Sarah Diemer (Love Devours; The Dark Wife) and Jennifer Diemer (Sappho’s Fables). Though the project is currently on hold, the idea is this: every week they post two free short stories on their website; these are gathered in a monthly zine, along with two previously-unpublished titles, which you can buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords. There’s also a quarterly edition that includes the contents of the previous three ‘zines, which is also available on etsy. As of this writing, there exist six zines and two volumes.

I first discovered Project Unicorn by way of “The Witch Sea,” an enchanting story about a witch named Meriel and the unexpected love she feels for a sea creature named Nor. A multi-generational feud has placed Meriel in the heartbreaking position of denying Nor that which she most desperately years for: the depths of the sea. I loved it so much that I promptly added all of Sarah Diemer’s titles to my wishlist.

The stories found in Project Unicorn, Volume 1 are every bit as magical as “The Witch Sea.” Beautiful, glorious, rainbow-hued magic. Accompanied by a menagerie of fantastical creatures – Kelpie unicorns, werecats, Victorian mermaids, kind-hearted witches, demons, even trees made human – the authors invite us to find and embrace the weirdness, the alienation, the darkness within ourselves. Those monsters staring at us through the glass of a magical compact? They are different from us, but…also the same. And that’s a wonderful thing. There’s light in the forest, yo.

(More below the fold…)

"I have always loved Harry’s ribs!"

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

CSI smiley logo

Caution: Spoilers ahead.

The second-to-last episode of CSI in 2009 featured a particularly animal-friendly plot line. I say “particularly” rather than “surprisingly” because CSI has a longstanding track record of treating animals and animal advocacy issues with a modicum of respect – a practice which stands in sharp contrast to similar crime shows like Law & Order. (See, for example, Veg*nism & Pop Culture: But does Costa Rica have an extradition treaty? and Veg*nism & Pop Culture: Sara Sidle: From CSI to Terra-ist.)

Season 10, Episode 9 (Appendicitement) saw the CSI team investigating not one, but two separate murders, both of which occurred on the premises of a BBQ joint. Since IMDB has a decent writeup of the episode, I’ll let them take it away:

There are two twisty tales in Vegas tonight. Strike that, one in Vegas and one outside.

The first tale concerns lab tech Henry. Greg, Nick, and Hodges literally kidnap Henry on his birthday to take him to this great barbecue place up the road apiece called Harry’s Hog Hideout.* On the way there a crazy lady runs them off the road and the car rolls. Fortunately, none of them is seriously injured but Nick’s car is out of commission. With no cell service, they decide to walk the last little bit to Harry’s but, unfortunately, when they arrive they discover it’s been closed for seven months due to a Hepatitis outbreak. They decide to poke around and see if there’s a working phone inside.

Instead they find a dead body, a man with a raccoon attached to his face.

While Henry, disgruntled about his crummy birthday, hangs with the dead guy Hodges and Greg poke around outside. They figure out that the guy lured the raccoon to a nearby barrel and tried to kill him by filling the barrel with ethylene gas and blowing him up. The explosion threw the raccoon and the guy through the window of Harry’s. So it was an accident.

Meanwhile, Nick looks for a phone and it’s not working. He returns to the scene just as another guy shows up and pulls a gun on Henry. They make it clear that they’re cops and the guy, Slick explains that the dead guy was Gomez the cook at Harry’s, who was generally a good guy.

(Emphasis and asterisks mine, of course.)

Initially – and in breaking with the show’s usual treatment of such cases – the CSI investigators exhibit disappointingly little concern for the dead raccoon. Personally, I am lacking in sympathy for people who inadvertently blow themselves up while trying to lure a sentient being into a trap, only to torch him alive. Killing “nuisance” animals – especially when there are humane, catch-and-release options available – is bad enough; plotting to light them on fire while still alive and fully conscious is downright sadistic. Unfortunately, the CSI team doesn’t voice any of these thoughts – that is, until much later in the show.

Once the plot unfolds and the bodies are transported back to the lab, coroner David Phillips expresses grief at the raccoon’s demise. I can’t recall what exactly was said (nor did I think to save the episode on my DVR so that I might type up a transcript – doh!), but I believe that David muttered something about the human getting what he deserved and referred to the raccoon as an innocent bystander.

In other words, all is well in the Las Vegas crime lab!

Alas, we still have one body to account for…

(More below the fold…)

Portrait of Benjamin, a Thylacine. And also, housekeeping.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Those of you who do your blog reading the old-fashioned way – i.e., by actually visiting said blogs (how November 2008!) – have probably been admiring easyVegan’s new look for a few days now. (If you’re reading this on MySpace or through Bloglines, Google Reader or the like, you’re missing out!) Throughout June and into July, I was hard at work on a series of new banner graphics for the site. I finished them a few weeks ago, but Shane only got around to adding them to the site on Monday. (In his defense, they required some programming magic to properly work their mojo.)

So far, there are 77 images, set to display randomly and rotate every 90 minutes. The majority are work safe, but if you happen to draw a swear word or naughty image, there’s a handy-dandy “Reload Banner” button located in the sidebar, right above the search box. Don’t say I never did anything for ya.

You can find out more about each image, as well as the motivation behind the project, on the Banner Credits page. Not to rehash what I wrote over there, but I was tired of the blog’s old look and name; the old banner image was so plain! I wasn’t keen on the idea of up and moving the site, though, so I figured a face lift was in order. Spiff things up, you know? I didn’t change a whole lot – just the banner, really, and I also simplified the background image so the site wouldn’t look overly cluttered and busy – but I love the result. The new banners, which are primarily comprised of photos and artwork I already enjoyed, are so shiny and pretty! I’ve already cycled through a few clicks of the “Reload” button, just to see what would pop up. Ahem.

2006-12-15 - KC-Artspace - Cryptozoology-0107

Karma, in particular, has an interesting back story. The animal depicted on the banner is a Thylacine – a Tasmanian Tiger. Or rather, it’s a picture of a sculpture of a Thylacine. The sculpture is (was?) part of a traveling exhibit called Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale, which Shane and I saw at the Kansas City Art Institute’s Artspace in December 2006. Cryptozoology is the study of cryptids; a cryptid being an animal thought – but not proven – to exist. You know, like mermaids, Bigfoot, Yeti, etc.

Cryptozoology is more Shane’s kind of thing. (Not that he believes in unicorns; rather, he enjoys myths and legends, and is fascinated by people who do champion the existence of Sasquatch.) But I love animals and museums, so when he suggested that we check out the exhibit, I was totally down with it.

Most of the exhibits were really quite amusing – very X-Files-ish.

For the conspiracy theorists, the door to the Department of Cryptozoology at the Federal Wildlife Commission:

2006-12-15 - KC-Artspace - Cryptozoology-0041

Some sort of ridiculously adorable unicorn-doggy hybrid:

2006-12-15 - KC-Artspace - Cryptozoology-0020

ZOMG, WANT! She’s probably not vegan, though.

(More below the fold…)

Meow.

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

American Bird Conservancy kicks its May BirdWire off with the following ominous blurb:

ABC Video Highlights Damage to Birds from Trap, Neuter, Release Programs

American Bird Conservancy has produced a new, short video “Trap, Neuter, and Release: Bad for Cats, Disaster for Birds.” Each year, feral and free-roaming cats kill hundreds of millions of our nation’s birds, putting additional pressure on the populations of many species that are in decline.

Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) programs catch feral cats, neuter them, and then release them back to their colonies, which are subsequently maintained by volunteers. In theory, cat colonies managed under TNR will diminish over time through attrition, and eventually disappear. In practice this is not the case.

View the video here.

(If you have difficulty viewing the high-definition version, please click here.)

Here’s the video, along with its description on You Tube:

Each year free-roaming and feral cats kill hundreds of million of birds in the United States. One controversial solution to deal with the feral cat problem is trap, neuter and release. However, evidence is growing that this method is not eliminating the cat colonies or the predation of birds and other wildlife. There are other problems created by feral cats as well including threats to human health, and public nuisance issues. For more information see American Bird Conservancy’s website at http://www.abcbirds.org

(If you can’t view the video, you can read more about ABC’s speciesist views vis-à-vis free-roaming cats here.)

Though I’m not sufficiently educated on the issue to offer a counter to ABC’s assertions* (except to say that the birds with which ABC is so concerned have no greater right to life than their predators, the domestic and feral cats; but the guardians of domestic cats should most definitely keep them indoors, both for their own safety, and that of wildlife), I have to wonder whether ABC also advocates a vegetarian or vegan diet for Westerners. After all, meat consumption is a major contributor to climate change – which in turn is “the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history.” (So says the Audubon Society, another organization that, inexplicably, engages in omni indulgence, if not outright apologism.) Most likely, ABC stands to save more birds by persuading their fellow Americans to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet – or even just eating less of the stuff.

And yet.

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

And also, I’d love to hear Laura “Trap, Neuter and Find a Home” Reynold’s** ideas for rehoming all these feral cats when 1) most are not properly socialized to live indoors, with humans (they’re essentially wild animals, hello!); and 2) while between six and eight million cats and dogs enter U.S. shelters every year, only half leave alive. Seriously, what a stupid, uninformed thing to say.

One final thought: humans constitute a massive threat to wildlife. Unrivaled, perhaps. Remember, we’re the cause of climate change, “the greatest threat to birds and other wildlife in human history.”

….

* Luckily, the HSUS and Alley Cat Allies are. For a rebuttal of ABC’s video, start with their websites.

** Of the Tropical Audubon Society; quoted from an interview in ABC’s video.

(More below the fold…)

Animal Aid: Speak out against two culls in West Wales

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Via Animal Aid:

Two culls

Welsh Assembly Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, has announced a cull of badgers in West Wales. She said that there will be an ‘intensive action area’ covering 200 square kilometres in Pembrokeshire, and the cull would later be extended across Wales.

* Send polite complaints to: elin.jones [at] wales.gov.uk

Councillors in the Forest of Dean are planning to kill wild boars. Please contact them and urge them to act compassionately and use only humane ways to deter boars, should they present a problem.

* Send polite complaints to: council [at] fdean.gov.uk

You can find a useful guide to Britain’s “War on Wildlife” here.

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Friends of Kinship Circle Alerts, March 2009

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 1:59 PM
Subject: Greyhounds, Fur, Rodeo Shock, Cats Skinned… [Friends Of Kinship Circle]

Kinship Circle - Friends of KC Banner

FRIENDS OF KINSHIP CIRCLE / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST
http://friendsofkinshipcircle.wordpress.com/

* KINSHIP CIRCLE DOES NOT WRITE OR RESEARCH THESE ALERTS.
* WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VALIDITY OF FRIENDS OF KC ALERTS.
* CONTACT ALERT WRITERS. PLEASE DO NOT HIT REPLY. We will not respond.

1. Trouble For Greyhounds in South Africa
2. Jamaica Wants Greyhound Races Too
3. Jason Wu Puts Aside Fur, For Now
4. Tucson Rodeo Shocks Horses
5. Guandong – Cats Skinned And Boiled Alive
6. Fight Horse Slaughter State By State
7. Prosecute Bird Killers In Florida
8. Ask For End To NYC Horse Carriages
9. World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: October-December 2008 Updates (Parts 1 & 2)

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 24, 2008 12:08 AM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: OCT-DEC 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: OCT – DEC 2008 / KINSHIP CIRCLE UPDATES
YEAR END WRAP UP – Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / OCT – DEC 2008

1. Donna Karan Announces Fur-Free 2009 Lines
2. Dragged Pit Bull Is Healing And Soon Adoptable
3. Cat Killing Boyfriend Walks Free
4. Records Show Big Industry Planned AETA All Along
5. Obama Picks: The Good & The Not So Good
6. L.A. Assistant Fire Chief Charged In Karley’s Killing
7. Netherlands Ban Products Made Of Cape Fur Seals
8. Prempro Maker, Wyeth, Pays For Fake Articles
9. Report On Hallmark/Westland Downer Scandal
10. Eddie Lama’s Oasis Sanctuary Closes
11. Michael Vick: Early Release & Back To NFL?

PART 2: KC UPDATES / OCT – DEC 2008
RESEND PART #2 TO ME: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

12. Hero’s Plan To Save Wild Horses Moves Forward
13. Until Export Is Banned, More Horses Killed
14. Rodeo “Horse Tripping” Outlawed In Phoenix
15. Houston: Biggest Dogfight Bust In U.S. History
16. Activists Vow To Overturn Navy’s Use Of Sonar
17. Oxford Univ. Lab To Use Thousands Of Animals
18. Prop 2 Passes For Calif. Farmed Animals
19. EU Proposal To Ban Great Apes In Experiments
20. Ringling Bros. Big Fat Federal Lawsuit
21. Alaska Whales: 1 vs. Gov. Sarah Palin: 0

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Animals Would Like Obama To Know…

Monday, December 1st, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 29, 2008 6:44 PM
Subject: Animals Would Like Obama To Know…

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST AS WRITTEN

11/29/08: Animals Would Like President-Elect Obama To Know…

ONLY YOU CAN BE THEIR VOICE:

1. Dogs Respectfully Demand A Rescued Presidential Pooch
2. Farmed Animals Hope For An Administration That Acts In Their Interest
3. Wild Animals Want An End To Lethal “Management”
4. What’s Your Big Idea For Change?

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Due 11/28: Save Gray Wolves From Kill Plan

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 26, 2008 2:35 PM
Subject: Due 11/28: Save Gray Wolves From Kill Plan

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST AS WRITTEN

11/25/08: Due 11/28 – Save Gray Wolves From Bush Admin’s Kill Plan

FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

***COMMENTS DUE BY NOVEMBER 28, 2008***

Kinship Circle - 2008-10-15 - Aug-Oct Updates - 13

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Update/Act: Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero?

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Nov 18, 2008 3:23 PM
Subject: Update/Act: Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero?

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY, PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

11/18/08: UPDATE + ACTION
Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero?

FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-11-18 - Doomed Wild Horses Have A Hero

Wild horses gathered from the Fox & Lake Herd Management Area in near Empire, Nev., wait in a pen. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27738672/

=========================

UPDATE: PICKENS TO THE RESCUE? NEW HOPE FOR BLM HORSES

=========================

EDITED FOR LENGTH, READ FULL STORY HERE:
A Dramatic Rescue for Doomed Wild Horses of the West
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/17/AR2008111703680.html?hpid=topnews

The unwanted horses seemed destined for death… The Bureau of Land Management knew that euthanasia was a legal alternative, but officials were proceeding slowly, afraid of an intense public outcry. The wild horses had become too expensive to maintain, and cattlemen argued that turning them loose would be a drain on the already scarce grazing lands of the West.

Then (11/17/08), at a public hearing in Reno, Nevada…Madeleine Pickens, wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, made known her intentions to adopt not just the doomed wild horses but most or all of the 30,000 horses and burros kept in federal holding pens… Madeleine Pickens is looking for land in the West that would be an appropriate home for the horses.

She is working with the BLM staff to adopt the horses, said Henri Bisson, the bureau’s deputy director, while the agency persuades Congress to shift $20 million in funding to feed and protect the horses now in captivity for another year. As backup to Pickens’s offer, he said, two other groups, both animal rescue organizations, have expressed similar interest in adoption. “We are very hopeful that euthanasia won’t be necessary this year,” he said.

News that Pickens and others intend to adopt wild horses and burros was celebrated by animal rights groups; several were preparing legal challenges to prevent the government from putting the horses to death… MORE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/17/AR2008111703680.html?hpid=topnews

(More below the fold…)

National Horse Protection League: Five words to stop slaughter

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: National Horse Protection League
Date: Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 9:55 AM
Subject: Five words to stop slaughter

Can you spare a few words?

We were so impressed with the response to our recent Horse Hero alert that we decided to ask for your help with another project. This one doesn’t require your personal knowledge of any heroes in your area. It just requires your creativity.

We need five (or fewer) simple words that convey your disgust with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) for its support of horse slaughter. You may not know this, but AQHA — in large part because of its own active encouragement of over-breeding — has lobbied against legislation banning horse slaughter in the United States as well as legislation prohibiting the export of horses for slaughter and eventual consumption.

It is time we show them that the community of horse lovers in this country finds this completely unacceptable. So here is what we are going to do…

From November 7-22, the AQHA will be holding its annual World Show in Oklahoma City. As this show is taking place, we will ask our supporters to send protest emails to AQHA’s leadership. The subject line of the email will be a short phrase that conveys our collective opposition to AQHA’s support of horse slaughter. We came up with one idea but want to know if you can come up with something better. Here is our contribution to the effort:

Horse: It’s NOT for Dinner!

If you have a short phrase you think might work, send it to info [at] horse-protection.org, with the phrase in the subject line, by midnight on Sunday (11/9). We will pick our favorite and incorporate it into our action in a couple of weeks.

So put your thinking cap on. We look forward to seeing your phrases and will keep you posted about the progress of this campaign.

Sincerely,

Team NHPL

The National Horse Protection League is an online community dedicated to making every horse a wanted horse. Our mission is simple: to protect horses and help owners who can no longer care for their animals find a humane and loving alternative to cruel death or abandonment. Visit www.horse-protection.org and find out how you can show your love of horses.

(C) 2007 National Horse Protection League | www.horse-protection.org | About Us | Contact Us | Unsubscribe

———-

Tagged:

Kinship Circle: Updates, August-October 2008

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: AUG-OCT 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: KC UPDATES / AUG – OCT 2008
Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / AUG- OCT 2008
1. Dogfighting Don’s First Day In Louisiana Court
2. Ringling Goes To Federal Trial October 20, 2008?
3. Dog Poisoner Gets 30 Jail Days + Counseling
4. HSUS Sues United Egg Producers
5. Bush Admin Objects, But Polar Bears Get Habitat
6. Our Visit To The Vice Prez Debate, St. Louis, MO
7. After AETA: Another Law To Silence Activists
8. Prop 2 Looks Good As Nov. 4 Elections Approach
9. Bush Admin VS. Gray Wolves: GOP Losing
10. Politics Trumps Mercy: Still No Downer Ban

PART 2: KC UPDATES / AUG – OCT 2008
PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
11. Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama
12. Police Sgt. Acquitted In Dog’s Death In Locked Car
13. Who Dumped HLS Animal Killers Lately?
14. Shooting Mayor’s Dogs Is “Justified.” Huh?
15. Freedom For Unlawfully Jailed Austrian Activists
16. 8 Little Lambs Left A Lab – To Live At A Sanctuary
17. New Development Proves: IAMS Kills
18. Nepal Bans Monkey Export To Research Labs
19. Korea to Classify Dogs as Livestock
20. NJ: Landmark Legal Victory For Farm Animals
21. EU Proposes Total Ban On Some Seal Goods
22. Calif. Law Bans Slaughter Of Downers
23. Hits & Misses For Animals

RE: 10/10/08: Don’t Let Soldiers Kill Beloved Dog In Iraq

NO ANSWERS YET, BUT SEE: Puppy love denied by U.S. army rules
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/10/14/7080146-ap.html

(More below the fold…)

She shoots puppies, doesn’t she?

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Writer-slash-environmentalist Nick Jans gives us an Alaskan’s view of Sarah Palin and her run for the White House.

It’s a great piece – really, I could excerpt the whole damn thing – but this piece in particular is worth noting:

Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state’s current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I’m one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as “denning,” has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

Sarah Palin, “my friends,” is a “pro-life,” God-fearing evangelical. And yet (according to her and hers), it’s atheists like moi who lack morals.

Anyway, Jans explains how Palin can claim to be a genuine Alaskan while simultaneously working to destroy the land she calls home, vis-à-vis her policy of pillaging the environment, to hell with the consequences:

In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it’s only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn’t be symbolized by Palin. “The typical Alaskan? She couldn’t be farther from it,” says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan — of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the ’70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality.

Palin’s Alaska is embodied in Wasilla, a blue-collar, sharp-elbowed town of burgeoning big box stores, suburban subdivisions, evangelical pocket churches and car dealerships morphing across the landscape, outward from Anchorage, the state’s urban epicenter. She has lived in Wasilla practically all her life, and even now resides there, the first Alaska executive to eschew the white-pillared mansion in Juneau, down on the Southeast Panhandle.

Go read the whole thing.

Note to the rest of the Salon staff: this is a perfect example of how to criticize a female politician without resorting to misogyny and sexist slurs. It’s the policies, stupid! (As opposed to, you know, the vag-n-mams.)

(Crossposted from.)

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Tagged:

Kinship Circle: Call/Write To End Horse Slaughter For Good

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Thu, Oct 2, 2008 at 11:18 AM
Subject: Call/Write To End Horse Slaughter For Good

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

**H.R. 6598 passed the House Judiciary Committee and is now up for a vote by the full House…any day now. Please contact your U.S. Representative in Congress ASAP. See sample letter and phone call below.

10/2/08: Call/Write To End Horse Slaughter For Good
FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-10-02 - End Horse Slaughter For Good

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Kinship Circle: ACT/ Palin’s Pro-Death Platform

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sat, Sep 27, 2008 at 3:19 PM
Subject: ACT/ Palin¹s Pro-Death Platform

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

9/27/08: Palin’s Pro-Death Platform On Animals

Next Thursday, October 2, Washington University in St. Louis hosts the vice presidential debate featuring Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden. With the spotlight on vice-prez nominees, you have a great opportunity to send comments to newspapers, blogs and discussions. Let voters know about Governor Sarah Palin’s relentless assault on wildlife and environment.

Whatever your political affiliation, Palin is clearly NOT the candidate for animals….and animals are the focus of this list.

Below are talking points and ideas for your comments, but NEVER COPY AND SEND A FORM LETTER to a newspaper or other media. As soon as an “organized campaign” is suspected, comments are discarded.

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SARAH PALIN: THE CLIFF NOTES

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Top Facts Everyone Must Know About Sarah Palin
http://www.grizzlybay.org/SarahPalinInfoPage.htm

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PETA: Tell Lowe’s No More Glue Traps!

Friday, September 19th, 2008

If you need some background on the issue, previous alerts are available here, here and here.

For more on humane methods of mouse control, please see a series of articles I wrote on the subject:

How to Tell If There’s a Mouse in Your House (Article 1 of 3)

How to Mouse-Proof Your House (Article 2 of 3)

Spare the Snap-Trap and Have Mercy on the Mice (Article 3 of 3)

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: PETA
Date: Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 4:27 PM
Subject: Skin Ripped Off and Left to Suffocate – Tell Lowe’s No More Glue Traps!

Thank you for participating in the action alert that targets Lowe’s for its sale of cruel glue traps. I’m sure that you received Lowe’s automated response, which stated, “We…have changed our merchandise offering to cut in half the number of glue traps we offer, and only carry the products that contain Eugenol, which is an anesthetic.”

Unfortunately, Eugenol can only act as an anesthetic when injected directly into an animal’s bloodstream or given through a tube into the stomach. Topical application—which is how animals caught in glue traps would come into contact with Eugenol—would not result in any pain relief whatsoever. In fact, it could cause the animals to experience an additional painful burning sensation, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and seizures. These “modified” glue traps are every bit as cruel as standard glue traps.

Please contact Lowe’s at 1-800-445-6937 and let them know that Eugenol does nothing to ease the suffering of animals caught in glue traps. Also ask that they stop selling all glue traps immediately.

Thank you for everything that you do for animals.

Sincerely,

Emily Allen
Special Assistant to the Vice President
Cruelty Investigations Division
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for PETA’s Online Community.

This e-mail was sent by:
PETA
501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510
United States

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Tagged: Tagged:

Kinship Circle: ACT/ Dogs Crushed In Traps As "Animal Control?"

Monday, August 11th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Sat, Aug 9, 2008 at 2:25 PM
Subject: ACT/ Dogs Crushed In Traps As “Animal Control?”

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

8/9/08: Dogs Crushed In Traps As “Animal Control?”

FOR A FORMATTED VERSION OF THIS LETTER (WORD DOC): kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

===================

FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. Sample letter follows.

===================

El Paso, Colorado County Commissioners
27 E. Vermijo Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-2208
ph: 719-520-7276 * fax: 719-520-6397

Commissioner Districts
Wayne Williams, District 1: waynewilliams [at] frii.com
Amy Lathen, District 2: 719-520-6412 * amylathen [at] elpasoco.com
Sallie Clark, Third Member, District 3: 719-520-6413 * sallieclark [at] elpasoco.com
Dennis Hisey, Chair, District 4: 719-520-6414 * dennishisey [at] elpasoco.com
Jim Bensberg, Vice Chair, District 5: 719-520-6415 * jimbensberg [at] elpasoco.com

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Kinship Circle: ACT/ The Other Canadian Seal Hunt

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 5:59 PM
Subject: ACT/ The Other Canadian Seal Hunt

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

8/5/08: The Other Canadian Seal Hunt: Grey Seals Of Nova Scotia

FOR A FORMATTED VERSION OF THIS LETTER (WORD DOC): kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-08-05 - The Other Canadian Seal Hunt 01

Kinship Circle - 2008-08-05 - The Other Canadian Seal Hunt 02

SLAUGHTER OF GREY SEALS IN NOVA SCOTIA

There is another slaughter of baby seals on the east coast of Canada each year. This slaughter…happens very quietly, but the nature of the slaughter is the same. Fishermen…descend on recently weaned defenseless seal pups and proceed to shoot and bludgeon them to death. The pups’ skin is then ripped from their bodies and oftentimes the carcasses are left to rot…

http://www.antisealingcoalition.ca/GreySeals/index.php

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