Now, sixty years old, I know that life isn't the way you would like it to be all the time. For all the beauty there is pain. Before you can be truly happy, you have to know what not being happy is; what it does to you on a physical, spiritual, and emotional level. I remember one time asking my uncle Eddie - the happiest guy I ever met - what a hero was. It was after a discussion in the living room one afternoon between Eddie and my Aunt Flo - his kid sister. She had said something to the effect that John Wayne - busy shooting up those pesky Native Americans on our new black and white television set - was a hero to a lot of people. Eddie had not really commented much but to say "You never know about these Hollywood types. They are just regular people getting paid to put on makeup and make believe they are a character in a book." Later, When explaining to me what he felt a hero was, I remember his pause when I asked him if he had any. "President Eisenhower" I guess. And all soldiers. Whatever happens out there, the men who go went because they are heroes." Only men were allowed in combat in those politically incorrect days.
My uncle Eddie -- the man I turned into in many ways -- once said "Pick your heroes carefully, young man." I'm not young, but it's a lesson that stuck with me. His were members of the American military. This week I had the true blessing of talking to one of the many young people who've gone into the Hellhole called Afghanistan. He went there -- and would go back tomorrow -- to protect something he feels is more important than any single man's life: our Freedom. I was personally blessed with the chance to talk to the Lt. Colonel. I hope you find this story -- and the Congressman's attitude towards the Magnusson/Stevens -- as refreshing and hopeful as I did.There are a lot of very wise things that guy said to me. True gems of advice are still breaking through the fog of my mind. But his advice about picking heroes was one that stuck with me. I pick my heroes carefully. In the past twenty years three made the list. One, a guy named Norman. A picture of him carrying one of his soldiers to safety in the heat of combat in the swamps of a country called Vietnam won his place on that list. Meeting him while working on the "Welcome Home" poster after the first Gulf War made his heroism easy to keep strong. When a guy walks into a room after actually fighting a war and makes you laugh - really laugh - in five minutes, it is easy to connect the hero with a regular guy. Heroes are exactly that.
My second hero is a guy named David. Captain David Rieumont, to be exact. The twenty five years he spent as a police officer - devoted throughout that long and dangerous career to protecting little kids and the innocent - is part of it. Like the soldiers my uncle used as an example, to me anybody that puts a uniform on, expecting at any moment to encounter evil, enter a burning building, or otherwise help somebody that would have died had they not shown up defines the word heroism. Even the worst cop or firefighter or first responder is willing at some point to put themselves between you and darkness. Heroism Defined.
Allen chose to enter politics when he left his lifelong and highly-decorated career leading men into deadly combat. It's here he feels he can make the most difference. I think he's right. I'm not from Allen's district -- but like many national races, the ones in a few weeks are the most important we've had in this country since the 1860s. Help Allen by first putting him in your prayers, and if you can, contribute to his campaign.
An Interview with a Personal Hero; A Lt. Col. Named Allen WestToday I talked to the third hero on that list of three. His name is Allen West. He became my hero a few years ago, when he first ran for the house from our beautiful state of Florida. Running for office means you get attacked. In Allen's case the attack came in the form of informing me that Allen had paid some fine to the army and resigned in full honor. The fine came for his firing a round or two in the presence of a Taliban fighter; seems that the noise bothered the guy. Allen, in his role as an officer to the men and women on his watch, fired that round to let the guy know that if West was gonna make a choice between a dead enemy wearing women's clothing if necessary to hide who he is and what he stands for and one of his troops, it was the women's clothing that was gonna be buried bloody in the sand - not an American wearing a uniform of the United States Army. When West made that decision that day, and stood by that decision while accused on inhumanity by progressive lawyers, he got on my list. The ease of keeping him there made itself show when he ran for - and won - a position in the House of Representatives. You want heroes? For our children? I have Allen West on my list. You might think of putting him on yours.
I had a chance to talk at length with the Congressman about the Magnusson. He knows the law well, and is equally concerned about the LOST treaty, giving the United Nations control over our sovereign waters, and president Obama's willingness to enforce an ocean policy that had no cooperation from any elected official - but was rather signed by executive privilege and will result in vast regions of our fisheries being turned into "Marine Spacial zones" out of reach of any recreational or commercial fishing. To protect fish that are in no way overfished, the environmental left wants to stop our involvement in a sport they see as torture. West knows that catch and release fishing is now illegal in Germany, and that that approach is on its way to our soil; our sovereign and free soil and the waters that surround them. He knows the importance of recreational fishing to so many aspects of our collective lives. As the publisher of a fishing magazine, our having reach to Allen and true heroes like him will prove critically important in the coming years. The war will not end in our lifetimes. If the fish end up left alone, where are we and our way of life in that scenario? Underwater with the fishes. I would rather die free with the endangered (?) grouper and American red snapper then enslaved to the academia. Here is what the congressman had to say about the issue we face - in his own words:
"While the original intent of the Magnusson Act was admirable – to reduce foreign exploitation of fisheries close to the United States' shores and encourage the development of a domestic fishing industry – as with many government "solutions" to problems, it generated more political problems.
Subsequent litigation and amendments attempted to ensure "fairness" in the industry, and address environmental concerns about overfishing and "bycatch." The consequence of these changes ultimately ends up hurting the very parties the original Act was supposed to protect: American commercial fishermen and as "bycatch," the recreational fishing community.
Creeping regulatory intrusion into private industry and private lives has been going on for many years, but is a particular hallmark of this Administration.
Since 2009, the Obama administration has completed 10,215 rule-making proceedings, with 106 having major impact on the private sector, costing $46 billion a year and $11 billion to implement.
Toilets, shower heads, light bulbs, mattresses, washing machines, dryers, cars, ovens, refrigerators, television sets, toys and bicycles all cost significantly more because of government decrees on energy use, product labeling, and performance standards.
The National Ocean Policy, created through an Executive Order, is just one more example of this President's continued disdain for the legislative process and preference for ruling by edict.
In the House of Representatives, I will continue to oppose legislation that increases costly government regulation and hampers the growth and prosperity of our commercial and recreational fishing industry.
But I cannot alone prevent the President from issuing more job-killing Executive Orders like the National Ocean Policy. For that, I will need your help on November 6th.
While we can attempt to hold back funding for implementation of Executive Orders such as this, the larger issue is putting in place an Administration and a President who respect individual sovereignty and freedom and will uphold, protect and defend our Constitution, rather than continually attempt to circumvent and weaken it. "
In case you don't know anything about The Lost Treaty, click HERE to read this commentary we just posted. It's from the desk of two Senators:
The Online Fisherman does not endorse political candidates. We have not sought political advertising money. We have friends we do not agree with politically. There is at damn good chance that if I made my feelings known about any of a dozen controversial subjects, I would lose some of my readership. But as of today, and considering his understanding of the challenge recreational anglers are facing and ready to stand behind us, I endorse Allen West for the United State House of Representatives and have donated a few dollars to his campaign, even though his congressional district is on the east coast, 300 miles away. Freedom fighters need our help and our support. Support Allen West and let him be our warrior.
Once the Congressman has his new DC office, I hope to have the chance to spend some time with him. He's a master diver, so it is probably safe to spend some time with him in the silence of our beautiful oceans. When I asked him if he's fished lately, he said that between diving (he is not a spearfisher), the House, and his personal life, he hasn't had much chance lately. But he knows the challenges we face because of misuse of the Magnusson, globalist movements as seen in the President's favorite -- The Lost Treaty -- and his time in Afghanistan, fishing hasn't found room in his schedule. I might just change that.
Introducing Allen was something I felt was well worth the pixels. God Bless Congressman West and God Bless America.
On a personal note, Alan is a serious diver, in love with diving and his motorcycle, and carries a host of well deserved awards and decorations which include the Bronze Star; Meritorious Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters); Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters, one Valor Device); Army Achievement Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster); Valorous Unit Award; Air Assault Badge; and the Master Parachutist Badge.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, West moved his family to Florida and taught U.S. history and coached track and field at Deerfield Beach High School for a year. He then spent two years working for Military Professional Resources Inc., a defense contractor. While with MPRI, West served in Kandahar, Afghanistan as a "regional director. In that capacity, he was an adviser to the Afghan National Army.
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