Cats kill 500 million birds a year

cat
House cat – in the house

Cats roam free in my neighborhood and they make little cats too. There are people who believe that it is alright to let their cat roam free and that it is a cat’s right to roam free.

The house cat has long been listed among the 100 most dangerous invasive species. They kill millions of birds and other small animals each year to the point of extinction. A cat is a pet when kept inside but once when outside it is a heartless killer.

“If we extrapolate the results of this study across the country and include feral cats, we find that cats are killing more than 4 billion animals per year, including at least 500 million birds. Cat predation is one of the reasons why one in three American bird species are in decline,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy [wildlife management institute]

There was a study that shows that they only bring home about 25% of what they kill. They eat some of what they kill but they leave a lot of it where they killed it.

Being a free-range cat in St. Paul is not good for the cat either. Here are some statistics:

200 cats are killed annually in traffic

Life expectancy of a cat allowed to roam is only three to four years

Confined cats can live beyond 14 years

Over 1,200 cats are picked up each year by animal control

Roaming cats may be a nuisance by urinating and defecating in sandboxes and gardens

Outdoor cats are susceptible to injury or death from other predatory animals

Outdoor cats are predators to wildlife such as birds

Be a good neighbor and keep your cat inside.

Together we can keep the dream alive

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2018, Monday, Jan. 15,  honors the slain civil rights icon on what would have been his 89th birthday.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr 1963

Let’s keep the dream alive and the hope that one day even a black man can drive a car with a burned out tail light and live to tell about it.

The Twin Cities are home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country. In metrics across the board—household income, unemployment rates, poverty rates and educational attainment—the gap between white people and people of color is significantly larger in Minnesota than it is most everywhere else. There is also a large gap in homeownership between people who are white and people of color. Homeowners have a significantly higher net worth than renters have.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Speaking at the University of Minnesota
Dr. Martin Luther King Speaking at the University of Minnesota –

Photograph from the Minnesota Historical Society collection

The women’s march was a top 2017 story

I noticed an important story missing from a few year-end lists of top news stories for 2017. The women’s march did not make it to most lists. It could be because the list makers, news writers, and news media owners are mostly men. Maybe it is because it happened at the beginning of a year filled with so many news stories.

The women’s march was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. That is a fact which can be ignored but it can not be changed and it means something.  Here in St. Paul there were so many marchers that the space between the beginning and the end of the march route was filled with people. The organizers were expecting about 20K marchers but there were 100,000 of us. 

“According to data collected by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, marches held in more than 600 US cities were attended by at least 4.2 million people.” [VOX]

Many people do not realize that it did not end with the single march. The march started a movement and as a result, more women will run for office in 2018 as they did in 2017 and more of them will win.

Time magazine recognized the “Me too” movement as the person of the year. In 2018 more women are likely to come forward.

2018 is likely to be a year of change. Here in St. Paul we have a new mayor and I think he will lead some positive change in the city.

It is starting with some  “out with the old” and “in with the new” as our new mayor makes his appointments. St. Paul may even become less parochial and more progressive and inclusive.

We will likely elect our first female governor in 2018 and I am excited about the number of women who are running and the choices we will have.

When I look back on 2017 I will remember it as the beginning of an era of activism change. It is even possible that the power of the women’s march has been under-estimated. If you marched you won’t forget it.

Minnesota is the best run state

MN state capital building
Minnesota State Capital

According to 24/7 Wall Street, Minnesota is the best-run state in America.

  • 2016 Unemployment: 3.9% (13th lowest)
  • Pension funded ratio: 79.8% (18th highest)
  •  Credit rating and outlook: Aa1/Stable
  • Poverty: 9.9% (6th lowest)

We have jobs with decent wages and more than 10,000 lakes. Yes, we pay state income taxes but we get a lot in return. We also have a beautiful newly renovated State Capital building.

Winter isn’t so bad if you dress for it. Spring, Summer, and Fall are amazing. We don’t have hurricanes and wildfires and earthquakes are rare. Mosquitoes are abundant but never in the winter.

Covered under the first amendement

 

American flag
American Flag

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791. The first 10 amendments form the Bill of Rights
Learn More

When I look at the first amendment it is clear to me that no one in this country has to worship the flag of this country. We are free to worship and kneel or not kneel or stand or not stand before the flag. We are also free to believe in God but we don’t have to.

This truly is a great country. Let’s keep it great.