We found these pigeons in a little park next to St. Paul’s Hotel in Kensington. They are the fattest damn pigeons I’ve ever seen. They look like they could explode any moment.

Unsurprisingly, they’re also lazy. They didn’t scatter when we approached. Nor did they flock over to us hoping for a bit of bread or something. As near as I could tell, their philosophy was simple: they wouldn’t bother moving unless you actually held out some food and they could confirm that it was worth the trouble to waddle over.

None of the other pigeons in the area look like this. Just these. The hotel folks must throw out absolute bucketloads of food to them.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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