Arizona, tea

Former Tea Party Express spokesman and Sacramento radio personality Mark Williams is back in the news. Sort of.

Saturday morning, upon hearing about the Tucson shooting and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt, I posted on Facebook an image of the now-famous Sarah Palin “crosshairs” map and commented that politicians need to “send a clear message” to the extreme right that vitriol and militant innuendo should no longer be tolerated.

Soon, 2010 Time Person of the Year nominee and celebrity Facebook troll Williams appeared on the post’s thread to argue that, in the context of U.S. history, the Tucson massacre was “tragic yes but a blip on the radar screen in our history.”

A later commenter insisted that Williams must have simply been trying out talking points for Fox News. (Nick Miller)

Mmm, squirrel stew

Is killing squirrels for their meat an act of “wildlife massacre,” as one animal-welfare group was quoted by BBC News recently as saying, or a smart, eco-savvy way to deal with rising food costs in a bad economy?

In England, citizens have complained for some time of being overrun by American gray squirrels (which outnumber and threaten the existence of the country’s native red squirrels). So, you can buy squirrel meat, the same way you can buy a chicken, a turkey or a pound of ground beef. Budgens supermarket in north London added squirrel to its meat-department offerings back in February 2010.

The store’s owner, Andrew Thornton, defended his move to sell squirrel as a sensible, sustainable practice. “There are too many squirrels around,” he argued, according to an interview with the U.K. Guardian. “[W]e might as well eat them rather than cull them and dispose of them.” Thornton said he sells about 15 squirrels per week.

It’s easy to find recipes for squirrel dishes in the United States. offers a number of recipes for squirrel stew. Illinois-based website Backwoods Bound offers a sizable selection of recipes for everything from bacon-wrapped squirrel to squirrel pizza to fried squirrel with mushroom gravy. (Christine G.K. LaPado)

Delta talk

The future of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will be on view in a series of public meetings this month throughout California. The meetings will provide a snapshot of a draft plan for the Delta, which is set to be released next month.

Developed by the Delta Stewardship Council, the plan aims to restore and protect ecosystems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the state’s largest watershed. With the Delta a major source of water for California, the plan also provides strategies to manage water rights and diversions.

In Sacramento, the public meeting takes place January 24, at the Resources Building auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon. There is also a meeting in Clarksburg on January 24, at the Clarksburg Middle School auditorium, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit (Hugh Biggar)