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Thursday, February 5

Michael Phelps and Sheriff Joe ~ Current Events Wrap-Up

Ok, it’s Thursday, and you know what that means… It’s time for The Current Events Wrap Up meme, hosted by the amazing Julie Arduini at her The Surrendered Scribe blog. The Current Events Wrap Up meme is the vision God gave Julie for discussing what is going on in the world, nation and even our own lives. Please go and check out Julie’s blog, and if you like current events or news, think about joining in and/or spreading the word!

This is posting later than I intended, but I’ve had a lot of catching up to do on things since we’ve all been sick for so long. As usual there is much in the news to comment on. Choosing a story, or a couple of stories isn’t always easy with so much material out there. But I have narrowed it down.

Earlier this week, I chose Kurt Warner to spotlight in my Character Counts post. He is a very talented athlete, who lives in the spotlight and is a true hero because of his character, not his status as a professional football player, a celebrity athlete, or his professional achievements. On the other hand, news and scandal broke this week surrounding the golden boy, Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps. Michael was photographed at a college party smoking marijuana.

Michael is about the most celebrated athlete in the world. He is immensely talented and driven. No one can dispute his achievement. But does this make him a hero? In my opinion it does not. It just makes him talented. Should he be held to a higher standard then? In my opinion yes he should. Some may say that this assessment is not fair – after all, he is a 23 year old college kid, and he should be allowed to make the same choices his peers make without fear of public opinion. But again, I disagree. He chose to pursue the path that would place him in the status of celebrity athlete and yes, in this day and age, people are watching – everywhere.

Now if I were to be honest with you, I was not a good example at the age of 23 either. But I was not in the spotlight and I most certainly did not have thousands, if not millions of fans, adults, young adults and children, looking up to me. Nor was I getting adoration and compensation simply because of who I was. Because of his achievements, Michael has millions and millions of dollars worth of endorsement contracts. And unfortunately, it would appear that there will be no repercussion for his actions from the companies who are paying him lots of money to endorse their products. Apparently his admitting he made a poor choice and apologizing is deemed enough these days. But is he really sorry, or just sorry he got caught?

This superstar athlete would do well to remember that he has a privileged life and to understand that youth around the world are looking up to him. He chose to put himself in that position. He should try to remember that to whom much is given, much is required. He should hold himself to a higher standard. And if he does not, we should.

One other thing I want to comment on. Locally, we have a very controversial sheriff. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is much beloved by some and hated by many more. He has been featured on the national news several times for the way he conducts business and has been called America’s Toughest Sheriff. We have big problems with overcrowding in the jails and prisons around here, so Sheriff Joe created what is called Tent City, a large, secure area of giant tents where prisoners are kept. We don’t have extremely cold weather, so it is not dangerous – just uncomfortable. Yes, we have heat, but with plenty of water and shade, it's not deadly, and they have plenty of both water and shade. In addition, they have to wear pink underwear and work on chain gangs.

Most who are kept at Tent City are non-violent criminals. They include those arrested for DUI, drug violations, bad check writers, deadbeat parents, etc. And illegal immigrants. As a border state, we have a lot of illegal immigrants, and we have a lot of crime associated with illegal immigrants. Sheriff Joe has taken a stand against this and has become public enemy number one with special interest groups, the ACLU and the media (by the way, most of us love him and he keeps getting voted back in landslide elections). Because of his stance on illegal immigration, he has been called a racist and likened to Hitler. He’s not racist by the way, he has many friends and supporters that are minorities, but they are not illegal.

Recently he has chosen to house all illegal immigrants together, for the sake of simplicity and cost (though I’m not sure what the difference with cost is). Now, all of a sudden Tent City is being compared to the concentration camps of the Nazi’s in World War II! I’d like to say I’m shocked by the comparison, but I’m not, after all isn’t that what liberal special interest groups do, make themselves, and others, out to be extreme victims? Seriously, concentration camps?! They have food, water, shelter, medical care, etc. They are provided for at taxpayer expense. They are there because they chose to be there by engaging in illegal activity. There is nothing unsafe or unhealthy about their situation. There are no emaciated people there, there are no mass murders or graves, no torturous medical experimentation going on and no killing for sport.

The comparison between the two is both ridiculous and disgusting. For fifteen years Sheriff Joe has been working hard to make a dent on crime. He wants Tent City and his jails to be places where people do not want to return to. He has even helped to rehabilitate criminals by instituting an animal care work program that has had tremendous results. He continues to have the support of the people and he continues to be a target for liberals – the ACLU, the media and special interest groups. He is a man who is not afraid to take a stand and do what is right and will not coddle to criminals. So for that I say, way to go, Sheriff Joe, way to go!


Julie Arduini said...

Great post, as always. We are very like minded. I have heard of Sheriff Joe. If I were in law enforcement or a judge---I'd make people wear signs on the street anncouncing their offenses. I'd require them to attend church with me. And if I were Michael Phelps' mama, I'd make sure every cent of his sponsor money go to charity, and make sure no more contracts are signed without attending a mentoring/moral clause class!

Just call me Sheriff Julie...

KM Wilsher said...

Great post, Tracy! Thanks!

Unknown said...

I agree with Surrendered; great post as alway. If he's celebrated around by the world I wonder if he has a book out? If so, and because he a man I might pick this up for my husband. I think (assuming there's a book - I'll check out his site after a bit) it would do my husband some good.
Blessings, Sarah

Unknown said...

I am still in shock over the Michael Phelps thing. Well, maybe I shouldn't be so naive.
Happy Friday...

Travis said...

Sheriff Joe is a hero of mine and a fine man by many standards.

Michael didn't surprise me. I always suspected him of being morally challenged. I regret that every sponsor didn't pull away from him. There should be consequences, but our society seldom displays that type of fortitude.

Anonymous said...

I love Sherrif Joe. We need more take action, tough guidelines around here.

Please, Concentration camps. Give me a break.

Everyone loves a great controvery, huh?

Today's Christian Mom~ said...

I LOVE Sherriff Joe!!!! I have always ranted about how criminals should not be fed better than our soldiers or have state of the art workout rooms and tv's! They should be in a place where they do not want to return! Can you imagine if all the jails were like that?! We would not have an overcrowding problem!

sharilyn said...

i've heard of Sheriff Joe, and i love him and his ways! i heard that he gives the inmates PINK underwear! awesome! yes, that's right... i think that little bit of humiliation may be very good for those men! :) (and, well, manly men can wear whatever color they want, can't they?!?)

i DO WISH, with all my heart!, that we could and would have a Sheriff Joe-patterned penal system in CA. i pay high tax dollars into a very-overcrowded and poorly-run prison system... and, while i don't know the actual figures, i'll been the recidivism rate is very high here.

it would definitely make 'criminals' think once or twice if they knew they were going to wear pink underwear, eat pb&j (which many of us do anyway!), and sleep in tents...oh, and no tv or cable... don't you think?

LauraLee Shaw said...

Go, Sheriff Joe. If only Michael Phelps had learned one thing or more from Sheriff Joe.

INcredible post, Tracy.