At What Cost, Justice – A Pyrrhic Victory? By Sean McKeon

scales_of_justice_2On November 25, 2013 Federal District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle1  ruled that Willie R. Etheridge III and Mark Cordeiro, two men from North Carolina, were not guilty of finning sharks as presumed under a federal fishing law prohibiting shark fin-to-carcasses ratios in excess of 5%. (Shark Finning Prohibition Act) The case is interesting not only because of what it produced by way of the district court’s decision, but also, and perhaps more importantly, because of the long history that ultimately spawned the government’s prosecution of these particular North Carolinians and the political environment in which it occurred.

The highly politicized agencies of the federal government are most to blame here, in this case National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and its parents National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Department of Commerce. For an industry accustomed to bad news and never ending harassment by the very agency established to promote and protect it, the temptation might be to view this court victory in a vacuum and attach far too much optimism to its outcome. While there is certainly cause for celebration, it is important to understand the historic underpinnings of this case and the devastating impact federal agencies often have on the private sector when left unchallenged and undisciplined by those charged with their oversight, i.e. members of Congress and, in this case, the Administrative Law Court System (ALC).

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  • Thank you Sean for continuing the fight against the tyrants who hide behind the corrupt judges and the corrupt politicians who stand by and let this all happen.

    And also thank you to Willie Etheridge for his dogged perseverance trying to fight this hideous machine that feels it is above the law. God bless you all.

    As for those who continue this immoral crusade against hard working American citizens. Your day will come. Perhaps not in this life but one day you will have to answer for your sickening behavior.

    • You know I couldn’t stop thinking about this last night. The more I think about what has happened the more I’m convinced we need to try to organize a protest in DC. Not a rally but a good old fashioned 60’s type protest.
      Our government is out of control. Run by lunatics propping up their agendas and the outside organizations promoting them. This war of attrition must stop because we are clearly loosing. If you don’t think so just travel around to some fishing ports and look at the devastation that has been heaped upon this group of working class Americans.
      The gloves have got to come off. The rally’s were nice, touchy feely affairs with all of the empty suit politicians making speeches to make us believe they actually care and were going to do something about it. Well, what have they done? With what the inspector general’s office has uncovered this should have been national news, people should have been fired, charged with crimes and restitution paid to many more individuals.
      The fact that restitution was paid to some was an admission of guilt.
      What have we become as a nation, as individuals? We should all have each other’s back, should we not?
      What has been done to this industry is criminal, literally and figuratively. This was sent to me by a good friend and is worth thinking about.

      . Nobody from the agency got sent to jail, no one prosecuted, no one charged, no one even fired. In fact, they were promoted, given more money. The scum wasn’t even arrested when they were caught with a paper shredder truck outside their office destroying all the evidence. Our guys alone lost thousands upon thousands. If ever there were grounds for civil unrest and a revolution, that was it. This is not even half the story. You should here the rest…no, it probably best that you don’t

      I have had it with the wasted time,talk,meetings,and the disregard of law. Law that we are held to at the highest degree. Law that these worthless beurocrats and law enforcement thugs (not all but many) thumb their noses at. Civil unrest? Hell yeah. When is enough, enough? I’ve watched my fellow fishermen age over the years at these worthless meetings where the decisions have been made in a vacuum long before the formality of the public input sham. I feel that unless we are willing to do whatever is necessary than everything else is for naught. Let us not go down without a fight!

      Has the time come to roar like lions or lay down like lambs?

      • Ed Everich

        I agree totally with the Comments made by Joel. Our trust in “the system” has been eroded to the point of zero confidence. How can anyone put their faith in a group of “political scientists” that are backed and supported by an enforcement team that have proven to be nothing more than a group of thugs.Not only have these criminals been allowed to operate above the law, but they still remain in the system, will receive pay and fat pensions at the tax payers expense, but worse than all that they have been granted the ultimate of a “stay out of jail card” by their leadership. In a legitimate world they should have lost all income and pension and be serving hard jail time along with their leaders for at the very least abuse of power !! Shame on them, shame on us for allowing this corrupt system to go unpunished and rewarded for such acts of treason.
        If you like this for a main course see how desert will taste when it is served to us by the “wind scammers”.
        Ed Everich

  • Chris Scola

    Every standing member of the congress and senate should be voted out. And then every newly elected member who leans toward the corporate agenda or chooses not to uphold our constitutional rights should be voted out. Our elected officials need to seriously fear that they will lose their jobs if they choose not to do the right thing. Lobbying and political contributions need to be outlawed and ranked as felony’s. This is the only way we will save the american working man and level the playing field so that the american dream can be more than just a dream.

    • Chris you are spot on.

      “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson

  • Chris, there are a handful of politicians in the Beltway who are trying as best to fight Bath House Barry, Moonbats Harry & Nancy and the rest of the progressive gang in DC, and even those within their own party, continue to try to cut their legs out from under them and diminish their credibility with the public (yes that goes right to you Congressman Peter King of NY). As we see with the Congressman Issa’s oversight hearings, “we” who believe in personal liberty, are being demonized (oh we haven’t forgotten about you either Andy ‘HUD’ Cuomo), stonewalled and worse by the lame-stream media, not worthy of, or barely mentioned or seen during the 24 hour news cycle.

    We understand that NOAA and NMFS became rogue agencies over the past half decade as it operated outside the law, propped up by mulit-national corporate interests, ENGO influence and most of all, the financial resources from the previous mentioned, that eventually led to the oldest industry in our country being officially declared a disaster by the U.S. Commerce Department in 2012.

    No one really “paid the price” at NOAA or NMFS, and the few individuals who were issued exit visas to go back to academia or another federal agency job, is an affront to the fishing industry in this country as well as the US tax payers having once again having to pay the bill for those who led to this disaster.

    So what can we do?

    It has come down to this….sites like FISHERY NATION should post a list of politicians running during the mid term and general election, and a vote YEA or NAY by those on these sites. Post this on the HOME PAGE of the website so that people will see and be reminded on who they should be voting for in the upcoming elections.

    One harkens back, and I have talked about this with Bore Head, on what the voting public in Massachusetts didn’t do for Scott Brown, who is no doubt, a RINO, but yet, supported the fishing industry.

    Lets focus our messaging to the public on who to support this upcoming mid term election.

    It has to start here, because on till we get a big change in the halls of congress, it is very doubtful that we will get much help through the regional councils.