Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.

Mountain lions are so pretty.

That was the basic argument in 1990 when Californians passed an initiative banning the sport hunting of cougars. The big kitties now are regularly spotted in residential areas, but here’s the really interesting news: The state Department of Fish and Game estimates the Golden State’s deer population has dropped 46 percent in the 20-odd years since passage of the initiative.

Naturally, the state is studying the matter. The less academically inclined are jumping to the conclusion that since deer are the primary food of mountain lions, and because there are more mountain lions, which eat about a deer a week … bad news for Bambi.

Meanwhile, a game warden had to shoot a cougar that showed up in a suburban neighborhood. A cat lover told the Los Angeles Times, “If we don’t have mountain lions in our local areas, we’re going to have too many rabbits, too many deer, too many coyotes.” There are already too many people.

Bear with us: Another top predator doing well is the California black bear. The bruins are comfortable raiding suburban garbage cans, so there’s some push-back. In a state that just loves furry creatures, push-back means a drive to ban the use of dogs in bear hunting. So cruel! And dogs also might annoy mountain lions.

Californians also have a soft spot for rattlesnakes. No kidding.

California still the trend-setter: No doubt you have read that teens have learned to extract ethyl alcohol from their 130-proof hand sanitizer. The first cases of sanitizer alcohol poisoning showed up in Los Angeles County. Expect this to sweep eastward across the nation as more kids use their germ-laden hands to find distillation instructions on the Internet.

Also, there should be a bill soon in California’s Legislature requiring a photo ID for sanitizer purchases. Watch then for protests that this will be a blow to women, the poor and minorities, who suffer most from diseases prevented by the alcohol gels.

Leadership? Crime continues to plague my home town of Oakland, Calif., so Mayor Jean Quan decided to fix things by shifting police resources to what she termed the city’s 100 worst blocks. Naturally, crime went up elsewhere in the city. The cops are going back to doing their best to cover the whole town.

You remember Jean Quan. The former Berkeley radical is the one who welcomed the Occupy movement to Oakland. After giving peace a chance, she was forced to send in the cops after the protesters trashed city hall plaza and downtown businesses. There is no evidence of progress along the learning curve.

Our golden boy: John Walker Lindh, the famed “American Taliban,” is suing to force federal prison officials to allow Islamic group prayer. Although Lindh is imprisoned in Indiana, we must remind you he started down the radical road while receiving “alternative” schooling in the limousine-liberal bastion of Marin County, Calif. You know, Sen. Barbara Boxer’s home county.

U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson has decided group prayer is among Lindh’s sincere religious convictions. However, she hasn’t decided whether group prayer is a security risk. This is a tough question for an Obama appointee. How about a field trip to Guantanamo Bay?

(Point of order: Isn’t “Taliban” plural, so Lindh should be the “American Talib”?)

Here we go again: Another anti-death penalty initiative has qualified for the California ballot. A lot of folks are convinced executions are too expensive. This is pleasing to the anti-capital punishment lobby, which has worked diligently to make executions as expensive as possible. Circular logic is working for them.

Culture of corruption: The Pew Research Center says that so far this year Barack Obama has received more negative media coverage than any other presidential candidate.

The media may have a left-wing bias, but under the pressure of the president’s negative record, even the news crew must give in from time to time and do some reporting.

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