All posts by Michael Patrick McCarty

Michael Patrick McCarty earned a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. He has worked in a variety of capacities relating to fisheries and wildlife biology, water and environmental quality, and outdoor recreation. A lifelong shooter, bowhunter and outdoorsman, he has hunted and fished throughout North America. A used and rare book dealer for more than 25 years, he offers a catalog of fine titles in the fields of natural history, angling, the shooting sports, farming, and agriculture. “I have a passion for old books, slow food, pigeons, the pursuit of bugling elk, fish and game cookery, heritage poultry breeds, personal freedom, and the Rocky Mountains, to name just a few, and not necessarily in that order. I consider the White River National Forest of Western Colorado as part of my backyard”. Mike writes about an assortment of outdoor and food related topics. “I am particularly interested in the nexus between the desire to provide one’s own food, and the withering array of local, state, and federal laws and regulations which often stand in the way. It is the manner in which they all relate to the cornerstone issues of personal freedom and liberty that concerns me. For me, it’s where the rubber meets the road”.

“One of the best aspects of our community is that we have the freedom to control access”.

The reference above is a most heady quote from an anonymous homeowner in a private, gated community in western Colorado. His use of the words “control” and “freedom” in the same sentence gave me pause.

It apparently had not occurred to this gentleman that control does not create freedom, nor community. Common sense and common history can tell us that. His line of reasoning simply escapes me, although it seems to be a common way of thinking  these days.

Why are so many of us so eager to assist in the creation of the pretty prisons of our own design?

I wish I had an easy answer. For now, my brain can only categorize his statement under the ever more popular category – “You can’t make this stuff up!”.

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“Why Do You Hate Freedom So Much?”

The Gadsden Flag

 

“If I had one thing to say to the USDA and the FDA, I guess my question would be why do you hate freedom so much? What is it about freedom, whether it’s the consumer’s freedom to choose the food they want to drink, whether it’s me as a farmer choosing the customer who wants to buy my product, or how I want to make my product. What is it about freedom that is so horrendous to you that you are willing to take my property, take my life, take my customers, take my animals, take my land, that you are willing to do this in order for me to not have the freedom to even sell a porkchop to my neighbor?”.

From an interview with Joel Salatin contained in the movie Farmageddon: The Unseen War On American Family Farms by Kristin Kanty.

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Dovecotes, Anyone?

 

Garden Dovecote

As many of you know, a dovecote is a compartmental structure, often raised on a pole, and once commonly used for housing domesticated pigeons and the production of squab. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have been used for centuries by many cultures throughout the world.

We don’t have one on property as yet, but I hope that a little sweat equity will change that soon. I am fascinated with their form and function and captivated by the quaint romance of it all.

A giant bird house it may be, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a great way for the small property owner to ensure a steady supply of fresh poultry* for the dinner table, at minimal cost or trouble. When carefully or artistically built, they can add an immeasurable charm to any garden or secluded backyard hideaway. We find pigeon watching to be very soothing, and perhaps you do too.

We would love to hear from anyone who feels the same way about the dovecote. Send us your plans, your stories, or your pictures. We always have time to talk about pigeons, and the pleasures of the backyard.

*And yes, pigeon is classified as poultry.

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What Do You Fear?

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared we would become a captive audience. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate would ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

—Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985)