We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
No fresh postings today, because your Editor Dog in Chief, along with most of the Maggie's Farm crew, are working on an annual fund-raising event for our Ducks Unlimited Sponsor's Dinner tonight, and setting-up takes all day.
By 6 pm, we will be ready to receive an onslaught of 180 well-dressed guys with an open bar, and a fine steak dinner later, with about 70 cool raffle items, 30 Live Auction items including stuff like a 10-day African Hunting Safari for four, and 9 days in Morocco for two with a full-time guide, and dove shooting in Argentina for three days. Even a wild boar hunt in Texas, and a traditional layout duck hunt on Long Island, and other equally cool stuff like his-and-her Rolexes, and lots of guns, too.
The place will be decorated for Christmas. Like modern-day Christmas, our event is a jolly, earthly, material festivity with a spiritual purpose.
For many people on the left and right coasts, DU is not as familiar as it is in the heartland of the US and Canada, but with over 11 million acres of wildlife habitat under protection, and over 800,000 members, it is a big organization, and does nothing but good works, with minimal lobbying, and no political action.
Contrary to the impression of some, DU isn't all about ducks - it's all about protection of fragile and threatened habitats which support all sorts of critters and birds. While probably most members of DU rarely hunt, DU does have a bit of a hunting flavor to it.
Why? Good hunters know the land, and have a feel for it, like the Indians did. The wise ones know the plants and trees and birds and the geography and the habitats. Hunters are the most serious conservationists, because they really get out there, off the beaten path and into the wild world. Your average "greeny" rarely loses their boot in a bog, or surprises a moose in a meadow, gets near-frostbite in a duckboat at 4 AM in a January snow, awaiting sunrise, or watches a red fox trotting home in the early morning from their tree stand, or even sees a Woodcock twitter through the birches. It isn't an abstraction when a subdivision destroys your favorite grouse cover, or fills in your favorite duck swamp "for the tax revenue".
All of us Maggie's Farmers consider DU worthy of our effort and our giving. We consider it part of good stewardship - good citizenship, and it's good fun too.