This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

March 18th, 2002

Not Me, I didn't Do It!

In the recent news I've noticed something. See if it becomes obvious to you too.

Woman drowns 5 children: husband stands behind her and says her 40 year sentence is unfair because they won't be able to have any more children, (conjugal visits are not allowed for convicted murders) and her condition wasn't her fault, it was the doctors and the Texas legal system didn't understand.

INS in hot water over approval of visas for terrorists: INS spokesman explained, "the actual paperwork system is contracted out to a firm in London, England, and our own computers are out-dated."

FBI attacked for lack of information on potential terrorists: "Terrorism was not a priority on our mandate from the previous administration." (When pressed for what was the priority) "Our emphases was on investigating and arresting the criminals who pirate cd's, videos, and movies. It's a billion dollar rip-off. Besides, we can only investigate or arrest when an actual crime has been committed. And our computers are out-dated."

CIA caught off-guard in 9/11 attack: "We are not allowed to investigate anyone inside in United States, all of our intelligence is from over-seas. We didn't know about the terrorists because we were prohibited from engaging (hiring) any operatives who had any criminal record or background association with criminals." When asked if the CIA and FBI exchange information, both said "no."

Find a common thread?

Actually there are two. For all of the government agencies; their computers don't work, and the big one: It's not my fault!

I don't think there is a chance in hades we can teach all of these folks how to fly fish, but the difference is so plain.

Although I must admit I have heard some excuses from time to time. Like, "you should have been here yesterday" or "maybe if I had a better rod," - or fly or insert your own excuse. But those excuses are pretty lame and most recognize them as such.

One of the things fly fishing teaches in the journey, is you ARE responsible. If you can't cast, learn. If your knots fail, learn how to tie knots correctly. A good line on literally any rod will cast a fly. Maybe you don't tie your own flies, but learn how to pick out good ones when you buy them, and take the time to learn which insects show up when. Sure, there are lots of things to learn, reading the water, where the fish hang out, mending line, how to nymph or present a dry fly. Then details about which fish take what insects or bait and how to imitate those. It is an on-going challenge and adventure.

How well you do, your success, is totally dependant on - YOU!

It's all about taking the responsibility to do it for yourself. We offer a ton of help here on FAOL for just about any difficulty you may encounter. If you can't find it, ask on the Bulletin Board - you may get a link to an existing article which you could have found for yourself by typing in a word or two in our SEARCH feature. On the chance we don't have it here, our readers will bail you out. They do expect (as do I) that you put some effort (another word for being responsible) into finding something on your own.

I had a professor who I considered arrogant and totally uncaring. Until the day he explained to me he had already passed Qualitative Analysis, in fact actually had a degree, and if I wanted to learn it I better get cracking. Hmmm. That sunk in. Pay attention, do the work, and be (here's that word again) RESPONSIBLE. He wasn't going to do the work for me, or be easy on me. He had been there, done that and had the degree.

I'm proud to be part of the fly fishing community. A large part of the reason is I believe fly fishers are responsible, and take a different view of most of what is passing for politics because of it. Gratefully we can see the excuses, passing the buck, and doing a major con by letting everyone know it isn't their fault.

It's just too bad their aren't more of us. ~ LadyFisher

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