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The government should take a lesson from the Olympics

The Way I See It

August 12, 2012
By John Sheda , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Have you enjoyed the Olympics? There has been some great stories. People can overcome such difficult obstacles to achieve their dream. Every Olympian has his or her own personal story and struggle getting to the stage of the Olympics, which is perhaps the single greatest sports event. Athletes from every nation, creed and color compete on the same stage. And everything written in the papers become of little consequence once the competitors take their turn. No ifs, ands or buts about it. The best, at least for that day, come out on top and the others wait and train for another day. Everyone is equal once the games begin. And that's the way it should be.

Gabby Douglas and the women's Gymnastics Team stole our hearts once again. Michael Phelps did it all, as did MissyFranklin as did so many others. McKayla Maroney, the highly favored gymnast in the Vault, landed wrong and settled for silver. Story after story, personality after personality is the saga of the Olympian, but doesn't it do one good to see someone born with no legs compete at the highest level possible?

Oscar Pistorius from South Africa, was born without legs. When he was about five or so, his parents told him, "Your brother has to put on his shoes every morning and you have to put on your legs. We will not discuss the situation again." He was not given the opportunity to think himself disadvantaged or disabled. He was just a boy who now put on artificial legs every morning. And in 2012, Pistorius ran all the way from his town in South Africa to the greatest stage in London, and he made it all the way to the semi-finals, which was his goal to begin with.

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It was an absolute joy to watch him run. You see, with determination, courage and commitment to excellence we can overcome our obstacles.

Which, (gulp), brings me to the title of this column. I don't even know where or how to start, but I'm just a tad disgusted with our government candidates and elected officials. Here are just a few reasons why. After all this is only a column and not a book. Only room for a few reasons!!!

Did you see where the IRS handed out over FIVE BILLION DOLLARS in fraudulent claims last year? That's "Five" and "Billion" and "Dollars" all in one phrase!! But here's the kicker; there was a single address, (that's one place), where 2,137 separate tax returns were filed. It was in Lansing, Michigan and with these tax returns, over 3.3 million dollars was sent to that same SINGLE ADDRESS! Holy smokes, people, I had my return sent back several years ago because I left one number off my Social Security Number and my daughter had hers returned just this last year because she didn't include the Zip Code of her Day-Care provider. She had the address down, just not the zip code. Hmmmm, wonder if we should re-evaluate this program just a bit?????

And guess what? Congress, for some odd reason, decided it was time for a vacation. Not just any vacation but a 5-Week vacation! Man, who is their boss that he would give them five weeks off even though they have a mess to work out in Washington? Now that is some good employer. Do you get five weeks vacation? Even if your work is not finished? We gotta find out who employees these men and women. Hey, wait......It's YOU and ME! They are hired to work for us. Remember, there's something written somewhere about a "government of the people, by the people and for the people." How do we get the message across that THEY SHOULD NOT GET A VACATION!! This is not an Olympian attitude! Not at all.

Now something about the candidates. Can you see all the money President Obama and Candidate Romney are raking in? Now can you imagine if they would use that money for something else other than horrific negative campaigning. I saw a couple of weeks ago where those shot in Colorado are having all kinds of hospital bills. Many of those injured in that movie theater did not have insurance for one reason or another and they need financial help. Heck, it wasn't their fault they just wanted to enjoy a movie. So what do we see from our two wonderful candidates.....more and more money pumped into negative advertising. One of them should step up the plate and say, "I'm gonna forgo a couple of million dollars and help out those hurt in Colorado." I know, I know, there's probably something about campaign laws but just the same, wouldn't it be a nice gesture.

Stop the negative campaigning right now. Tell us what you are going to do if elected and be real, real specific. We can handle the truth. And please stop telling us how bad the other guy is. We teach our children from infancy all through school to treat others with respect and then our kids see the most powerful people in America not doing this. No wonder we have just apathy, anger and hatred in this country.

Whew. Finally, shouldn't there be some kind of law that prohibits the news media from plastering these murderors pictures all over the newspaper and television. This guy in Colorado is behind bars, so no need in an all out effort to find him Why do they have to show his crazy picture every single time they talk or write about the incident. Folks, it just gives more and more crazy ideas to more and more crazy people. Case in point.....the shootings now in Wisconsin.

On a lighter note, if there can be one.....who in the world designed the events in the Olympics? Must of been some sadist. Did you watch the Pummell Horse? Who thought of that? How about having someone do impossible things on a balance beam? How about doing some flips and jumps on this piece of wood, four inches wide. Oh, and don't get hurt. And those horrible Parrell Bars. Does that kinda hurt or what? And I'm not even gonna try to explain the Steeplechase Race.Jumpover hurdles into water? Come on! The gymnastics mat I can understand but these I've mentioned plus the Uneven Bars, the High Bar, The Vault and others is off the charts. Wow, I feel better now.

Let me know what you think at jsheda@indytel.com or call me at 319-334-4117 and give me a piece of your mind. But be gentle, ok???

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