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The "games" are about to begin and I'm excited as I believe many people
are. It seems like its been a long boring summer already - with the
exception of rodeo week here - and the Olympics will give us some
entertainment that is exciting.
I've said this about past Olympics although that has been four years ago
and I've also said it about the Winter Games. I enjoy most aspects of
I would at some time like to go to an Olympics but the expense of it
will probably prohibit that from ever happening. Also, even though I'd
like to attend, I'm not sure I want to deal with the crowds and all the
inflated prices, even if I had the money which I don't.
I've already heard stories about price gouging going on and there is
already confusion over hotel rooms, etc. Can you just imagine what it
would be like to try to eat out when every eating place is crowded? And
where will all the extra help come from?
I know that a number of people have moved to Atlanta on a temporary
basis just to be on the scene when all of this takes places. Many of
those temporary residents will fill the jobs that will be available.
In addition to the influx of all those people, think about all the
different customs and the clamor for different kinds of foods and the
wide range of languages that will be spoken. It's enough to make a
person's head swirl just thinking about it much less being there.
I'm not much of a television watcher, but this is one event where I
believe the venue will be much better from my living room even though I
don't have a large screen TV.
There are many events that I'm looking forward to. I always enjoy
gymnastics, swimming, the finals in the racing events, some of the
boating (for lack of a better term) as well as the basketball. I'm glad
we've finally been allowed to field our best players since the pros are
now allowed to be in the games.
I like Emmitt Smith's commercial about football being played at the
Olympics but I don't believe that will ever happen as it is such an
exclusive American sport although it is enjoyed in other countries.
I'm just hoping that there's not a lot of controversy over drug use or
drug testing. There have already been indications of that problem with
the Chinese women's swim team.
There will probably be more Olympics televised than any one person could
possibly watch but that's true for anyone who actually goes there. It's
just not humanly possible to go to all the events as so many are going
on at the same time even though schedulers have tried to accomodate all
fans for every sports.
I'm particularly looking forward to the opening and closing ceremonies
as they are always impressive. And I hope the home team does great.
As bullets whiz across Texas ranches on the Rio Grande, America's new
drug czar is telling residents not to expect any quick fixes to
cross-border smuggling. But when it comes to pep talks, this one sounds
like, damn the torpedoes, let's have a cafe latte and talk about it.
Big-time drug smuggling from Mexico has been evolving for about 10
years, as Gen. Barry McCaffrey said Tuesday during a visit to Eagle
Pass. But his statement that ``it will take time to regain control'' of
the border is awfully grating.
The real question is why official Washington has turned a deaf ear to
U.S. Border Patrol agents who have been sounding the alarm for so long.
They have specifically noted that drug smugglers' weapons and equipment
are often superior to their own, and that the Border Patrol is
challenged by insufficient staffing.
While President Clinton's request for 1,500 more border guards and
night scopes would seem to indicate serious intent, it could be
election-year posturing. As recently as 1993, the administration was
requesting funding for fewer border guards, not more. Texas ranchers
dodging bullets along the border can be forgiven for grimacing at
lectures about ``no quick fixes.''
Gen. McCaffrey could assist Attorney General Janet Reno by helping lay
out a timetable for challenging border drug violence. Equally important,
the duo could also formulate and publicize a set of criteria that would
allow the American people to judge results at a later date.
But if Gen. McCaffrey's considerable organizational skills are not to
be used in actually prosecuting the drug war, what, exactly, it that
purpose of having him accompany the nation's top law enforcement officer
on a border tour? One possible answer is election-year politics.
The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
commands neither agents nor troops. Instead, he relies mainly on the
bully pulpit and, hopefully, access to the president.
But if Gen. McCaffrey is embarking upon his mission by allowing himself
to be used mainly as a political symbol on behalf of the president who
appointed him, his credibility could suffer. That in turn could
undermine his effectiveness even before he hits full drug czar stride.
The Dallas Morning News
I am your animal control officer. I am not the dreaded "dog catcher" or
the "murderer" you call me.
I'm not the one who allows your pet to roam the streets, to contract
diseases from other free-roaming animals, to be hit by passing cars or
be poisoned by rotting garbage. I am the one who must look into those
sick, pain-glazed eyes, try to remove the animal without causing it
further pain and then humanely "put it to sleep" to put an end to its
I'm not the one who allows your pets to breed, then dumps the unwanted
puppies and kittens on raodsides and in shelters. I'm the one who must
find the tiny animals before they die of starvation, exposure or disease
and as an act of mercy exterminate them.
I'm not the one who keeps a pet confined in an area too small - without
food, water, shelter or exercise. But I must deal with the irresponsible
owner who does.
I am not the one who refused to spend time and money to keep up regular
inoculations that all pets require. But I am the one who must pick up
the sick animal that is dying of a preventable disease.
The next time your pet is picked up, or you are cited for neglecting or
abusing it, remember that I am only trying to get you to fulfill your
responsibility to your pet, your neighbor and yourself.
So remember, the next time your child is bitten by a stray dog, your
trash is dumped and scattered, your pet is lost, stolen, poisoned or hit
by a car, it is the animal control officer you call - not the "dog
Do not despise me for what I have to do; instead understand and respect
me, for I am the product of your irresponsibility.
I love animals, and I care.
Carmen Mendoza, ACO
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