Michael Vick Pleads Guilty, Makes Public Apology

Live Update: Michael Vick Statement. For most of his life he's been a football player, not a public speaker. He wants to speak from the heart. He wants to apologize for all the things he's done and allowed to happen. Apologizes to the Commissioner and other team people. He was not honest in his previous statements to them. He was ashamed and disappointed in himself.

He apologizes to young kids out there for his immature acts. What he did was very immature, he needs to grow up.

Asks for forgiveness and understanding as he moves forward to better Michael Vick the person, not the football player.

He was irresponsible and those things didn't need to happen. He blames no one else. He had bad judgment and made bad decisions. Dog fighting is a terrible thing. Through this situation he has found Jesus and has asked for his forgiveness.


He accepts responsibility and will pay the consequences. He has a lot to think about in the next year. His deepest apologies to those affected by the situation. He is most disappointed in himself for letting all the kids out there down, he was a role model. They should use him as an example to make better decisions and judgments.

He will redeem himself, he has to. He has a lot of down time.

End of statement, he takes no questions.


Michael Vick Pleads Guilty

NFL star Michael Vick pleaded guilty this morning. The plea agreement is here.

He agrees to cooperate with the Government but cannot request a sentence of less than the bottom of his guideline range, 12 months.

Vick and the Government agreed that his offense level should be bumped from level 13 to level 15 because of the egregious facts. With 2 points off for acceptance of responsibility, that leaves him at a level 13, or 12 to 18 months.

The agreement is not binding on the Judge, who could impose a higher sentence. The maximum is five years.

Sentencing is September 10.

Vick will make a statement at 11:30 am ET.

Update: The cable news stations keep saying he didn't admit any specific details in court. He agreed with the plea agreement, which outlines the facts here.

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    Dog Fighting (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by hellskitchen on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:17:16 PM EST
    The link below is a picture of my dog.

    His mother was a golden retriever and his father a pitbull.

    This is a dog that might have been selected for dog fighting had I not adopted him.  I am thankful that he is with me rather than with people like Vick.

    Dog fighting is a disgusting, depraved activity that should be dealt with harshly.

    In my view, commercial sports, by its emphasis on big bucks and celebrity, is an invitation to corrupton. So it's not surprising that people like  Vick exist.  

    I don't think players should be rewarded for beating either people or animals.

    Who is being rewarded? (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:37:30 PM EST
    As far as I can tell Vick is being punished quite harshly, probably 12-18 months in a cage, and a loss of over 20 million dollars in past/future earnings.  But that ain't enough for the extremists, they want the NFL to discard Vick like a dog.

    Unfortunately, there is no shortage of disgusting, depraved acts committed by human beings here on planet earth.  The trick is to deal with disgusting, depraved acts without becoming disgusting and depraved ourselves.


    you do.

    But, imo, to call a possible permanent ban of him to join a private club (the NFL)
    "disgusting and depraved" is the same whackadoo extremism BanVick displayed. No?


    Well (none / 0) (#16)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:47:00 PM EST
      I'm having a hard time finding a decision by a private employer not to employ someone whose conduct it (reasonably, in my opinion) finds reprehensible "disgusting or depraved."

      I might find it a bit "extreme" if the NFL banned players for life for smoking a joint or illegal parking but even that would not strike me as "disgusting or depraved."

      I ask you. If one of your employers  admitted to and was convicted of something similar, what would you do? If your business was a highly publicized one which would face financial loss due to negative publicity would that affect your decision? More, to the point would you hire Michael vick if he came to you for a job where it would be known you hired him?

      Is it "disgusting and depraved" for the companies with which Vick had business relationships to endorse products to invoke the conduct clauses of those contracts and cut him loose? is the fact no "mainstream" company will ever again associate with Vick "disgusting and depraved"? If not, why would a decision by the NFL not to do business with him "d and d?"


    Good point Decon and Sarc.... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:01:31 PM EST
    I recant, banning Vick for life cannot be called disgusting and depraved.  I would call it excessively harsh and maybe cruel and unusual.

    To answer Decon...If I owned an NFL team, and the commish said it was up to each team whether to hire Vick, I'd be at the front of the line when he gets out of jail.  Frankly, I wouldn't see the animal rights whack-a-doos as my core customer base that I need to please.  I think the average NFL fan who buys jerseys and tickets and the satellite package wants the best possible product on the field, and that requires the players with the most athletic ability, regardless of criminal history.

    As for the endorsement end, I don't care much either way who drops him....thats their call choosing the face for their product.  But for the NFL to ban him....thats like sending a carpenter to jail and never letting him be a carpenter again....cruel and unusual, imo.


    this will probably happen: (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:15:17 PM EST
    "To answer Decon...If I owned an NFL team, and the commish said it was up to each team whether to hire Vick, I'd be at the front of the line when he gets out of jail."

      Even if it is initially announced as a "ban" he'll probably get a shot down the road if he says and does the "right things". (Lawyers who get "disbarred" and have their licenses annulled are not infrequently reinstated). If that happens, I would be amazed if he wasn't signed by someone because his talent (even eroded) will make him a bargain. He won't be able to command anything and signing him to a vet minimum contract with incentives, will be deemed worth the bad publicity by someone.

      As for "cruel and unusual" the NFL is not the government and its punishments don't have to respect anyone's take of that phrase. But, in any event, no one is saying he  can't be a football player again. Even banned by the NFL he'd be free to play all the ball he wants in the park with his buddies and likely with semi-pro or even arena leaguelevel teams. He'd just be banned from playing at the highest and most lucrative  level. i suspect that some of the best and highest paying companies that employ carpenters don't hire people with felony convictionsbecause--  as with the NFL-- as long as their are other capable people without convictions  and the supply of labor is sufficient to fill jobs with people without records many employers choose not to take the risk.



    All right then (none / 0) (#26)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:18:14 PM EST
    I think the average NFL fan who buys jerseys and tickets and the satellite package wants the best possible product on the field, and that requires the players with the most athletic ability, regardless of criminal history.

    Given this standard is it any wonder that so many citizens refer to the "Thugs" in professional sports.  Jokes like, "if it wasn't for the NFL and NBA the jail population would be much higher."  Etc.  Do you find this way of talking objectionable?


    Not particularly.... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:38:34 PM EST
    Everybody is entitled to their opinion....personally, I don't generally refer to ex-con athletes, or ex-cons in general, as thugs.  After the debt to society is paid I give 'em a clean slate till they screw up again.

    I reserve the thug label for politicians and government officials:)


    kdog, the cases you (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by cpinva on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:31:14 PM EST
    refer to happened before goodel took over as commissioner. he has stated, emphatically, that the the league will have a "zero tolerance" policy for illegal acts. we'll see if he follows through, with respect to mr. vick.

    that said, as far as the league is concerned, the dog fighting wasn't the primary issue, the gambling is; they don't want an NBA or MLB situation on their hands, where people question the legitimacy of a game's outcome.

    with regards to the dog fighting, would you want mr. vick taking snaps from center for your team? the pressure is tough enough as it is, would you really want to add the reaction his presence is going to generate? were i an owner or coach, i don't think i'd want that added distraction put on the rest of my players.

    My team is the J-E-T-S.... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:46:51 PM EST
    Jets, Jets, Jets!....and I'd take him in a heartbeat.  They guy can flat out play ball...I'm not looking to root for a bunch of choir boys.  I'd prefer "character" guys, but the number one priority is "can he play".

    If the NFL is going zero-tolerance, zero-common sense comes with it.  

    Did he even admit to gambling in the plea agreement?  I haven't heard that.


    yes (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:49:15 PM EST
     he admits to multiple bets.


    Thanks.... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:16:20 PM EST
    does anyone know if the NFL has a blanket gambling ban or just a ban on betting on football?  

    I ask because I've read stories of NFL'ers frequenting NYC underground card rooms and seen NFL'ers at Vegas casinos.


    Torturing Animals for Fun and Profit is Wrong (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by cmpnwtr on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 05:43:20 PM EST
    Mistakes were made" Sound familiar? How about "what I did was wrong, cruel, and inhumane?"

    Torturing animals for entertainment and money is immoral and illegal. Michael Vick can redeem himself  by devoting his life and resources to compassionate treatment of animals. How about some personal time and resources given to the Humane Society? Everyone can change and find redemption if they seek it enough.

    There are many programs of young offenders working with dogs that help them develop a sense of responsibility and care towards others, while they experience the warmth and bonding with a dog adopted from a shelter, preparing the dog to be adopted by a family. There is a program in Oregon at the state youth correctional facility. It's called Project Pooch. There is zero recidivism for these young men. Michael Vick could devote himself to a program like this- www.pooch.org

    Michael Vick still in denial, as is America (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Aaron on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:12:12 PM EST
    Listening to Michael Vick's apology, I was struck by the fact that he failed to specifically state that his actions were wrong, instead using the term immature.  To my way of thinking Michael has obviously not excepted the fact that in this society, the slaughter of domesticated animals, pets, puppy dogs, is morally wrong in addition to being illegal.  Until he uses that word, "wrong" I don't believe Vick has, in his mind, entirely accepted the immorality of his actions.  I suppose it will take some prison time behind bars before he makes the vital connection.  I suppose that's what it takes for some people, and that's why prisons are necessary.

    I hadn't really seen the racial aspects to the Vick condemnations in this case, but after watching Bill Maher the other night, and listening to Michel Martin, who appears to be something of a race-woman, I began rethinking my assessment.  And after seeing some of the protesters from around the country, I am forced to accept the fact that a large segment of the US population feels comfortable expressing their conscience and unconscious racial bigotry in situations such as these. The evidence is there for anyone with eyes, white folks who dress up their children and toddlers in clothing expressing hatred for Vick is a prime example, as is calling for Vick's execution and makes use of lynching imagery.  Teaching your children to hate, under the guise of defending animals, is simply not acceptable, and inherently transparent. This incident simply allows a segment of the population who have pent-up racial hatred to vent their repressed racist beliefs.

    Viewed in its entirety, this whole incident just serves to demonstrate the continuing ugly and brutish nature of the primate known as man, the naked ape, which prays gleefully not only upon every other species on this planet, but just as readily upon our own kind as well.  I reject my humanity, for it is a sham and a lie, I will not continue to pretend like my kind is somehow inherently superior to other life forms on this planet.  In light of this incident I find myself ashamed and disgusted with all humankind.

    Now I'm off to watch the end of the Bengals Falcons football game. So pass me a beer and turn on the HD TV so I can see every expressions of agonizing pain in exquisite detail, and turn up the 6.1 surround sound so I can hear the subtle nuances of snapping bone.

     Yeah, that's it, kill em!!!  

    Dog fighting (3.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10:38:08 AM EST
    You know, I do not have any real sympathy for Vick but it is pretty sick that if Vick had been arrested for say, beating his wife or something, everything would be pretty much ok for him.

    that's BS (1.00 / 0) (#2)
    by BanVick4Life on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:06:27 PM EST
    What makes you think he could beat his wife and get away with it? He apologized to everyone that he lied to or that he let down, he made NO mention of being sorry for his responsibility in killing and maiming animals. Vick should be banned from the NFL for life.

    You're nuts..... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:29:13 PM EST
    Your extremism replulses me almost as much as what Vick has done.

    I think what BTD is referring to is the list of NFL players who have been charged and convicted for beating their wives, sometimes savagely....with little to no repercussions from the NFL.  To ban Vick for life is preposterous and ignores all NFL discipline precedent.

    Or take the case of Leonard Little...he killed not one but two people and the Rams signed him to an extension.

    You animal-rights extremists only hurt your cause...I'd be inclined to agree with you guys more if you weren't so far out there.


    k-dog (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    That players who have beaten their wives and committed other violent crimes are still playing in the NFL is a big problem: all those would be kicked out of the NFL too, if it were up to me.  
    Like them, Vick should never play in the NFL again.



    I'd let them all play..... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:38:03 PM EST
    after they've paid their debt to society as decided by a judge and/or jury...not the commisioner.

    Maybe its because my old-man was an ex-con...I believe in second chances and redemption. I think we should make it easier for ex-cons to rejoin society and make a living the best way they know how... be it football or carpentry.  



    An analogy too far (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:44:53 PM EST
    At some point, buddy, you gotta let go of the carpentry/professional athelete analog.

    K-Dog, I respect the hell out of you and am typically 100% on board with your distrust of the sriminal justie system, and your calls for convicetd criminals to be able to go on with their lives after paying their debts.

    But every time a pro athelete commits a violent crime and then, after the legal dust has cleared, winds up back in the limelight thronged by cheers and advertising deals, this sends a message to the youth who worship them.  

    Playing for the Atlanta Falcons is a long, long ways removed from carpentry, my friend.


    To clarify.... (3.00 / 2) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:42:35 PM EST
    the carpentry analogy a little bit.  Vick has a very specialized skill, he is one of 32 NFL-caliber starting quarterbacks in the whole country.

    So say Vick was a carpenter, one of the 32 best carpenters in the whole country.  And every carpenters union in the country refused to let him on a job after his release.  Vick suffers by losing his livelyhood, and the profession of carpentry suffers by losing one of the 32 best tradesmen in the whole country.  I don't see what's accomplished by such a ban except vindictiveness.


    How about (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:56:39 PM EST
     the 33rd best carpenter being rewarded for his combination of good skills and good behavior and being given a shot?

      How about the best carpenter learning a lesson that there is more to being a good human being than being good with a bow saw and learning to be a more humble and better person?

      How about the lovers of fine woodworking getting an object lesson that if it could happen to the world's best carpenter it could happen to them, so they should live moral and law-abiding lives?

      How about, people relaizing that we put too much emphasis on fine woodworking and have been debasing ourselves and veering toward decadence by excusing the behavior of people simply because they make things we like?

       I'm sure you could come up with a few too if you tried.


    Sounds Like (1.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:59:49 PM EST
    Vick's already done that. He found Jesus,

    All points taken.... (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 06:03:51 PM EST
    However, if I was planning the most intricate of woodworking jobs, and I had a choice between the 10th best carpenter in the country with a past and the 33rd best carpenter with the record of Mother Teresa, I'm taking the guy with a past because I'm working with wood, not writing a moral code.  

    And Where Does It Stop (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 06:15:52 PM EST
    If the intricate woodwork was a beauty to behold would it be less beautiful because it was made by a ex-con. Polanski, Wagner, and Billie Holiday commited crimes. Does that diminish their works?

    If anyone of them were prohibited from doing their craft society would suffer IMO.


    Polanski fled to Europe so was never (1.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 06:33:42 PM EST
    tried, only charged. Nevertheless, I don't see his films.

    I Know (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:02:08 PM EST
    I also understand why someone would not want to see the films because of his behavior. Many won't listen to Wagner because he was such an anti-semite.

    It is hard for me to imagine not liking someones work because of the their behavior. Unless I knew the person and had a really nasty experience with them. Then it would be hard to even look at their work.


    I have voluntarily seen Wagner's Ring Cycle (none / 0) (#71)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 07:18:34 PM EST
    twice and enjoy Woody Allen's work too.  Not all that purist I guess.

    Wow (none / 0) (#72)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09:23:31 PM EST
    That is a commitment. I am a fan of Wagner myself although have not sat through the ring even once. My fav is Tristan and Isolde.

    I am a Polanski fan and have seen all of his movies more than once. The Pianist is pretty breathtaking, but so is Knife in the Water.


    No the beuaty of the wood (none / 0) (#75)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 07:45:47 AM EST
     created by the carpenter and  the physical prowess of the athlete would be unchanged by their immoral behavior.

      But, the question is are we debasing OUR morals by putting our selfish pleasures before any consideration of morality. In a country where people don't hesitate to buy fashionable clothes made by small children working under slavish conditions, perhaps it's not surprising that the idea that morality should be part of the equation is not surprising. Sad, but not surprising.



    Selfish pleasures? (none / 0) (#76)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 08:15:04 AM EST
    Is it selfish to give a guy a second chance?  

    It is if your (none / 0) (#77)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 08:35:49 AM EST
     reason is that he provides something from which you draw pleasure.

      Again, the idea of "a second chance" need not be synonymous with the "same chance." As you are one who consistently decries the use of incarceration to provide sanction for misbehavior, don't you think it is thus incumbent upon you to advocate the use of "extra-judicial" sanctions to provide consequences.

     Assume (although it seems unlikely) that Vick was placed on probation. would you still believe the NFL should simply allow him to suit up as soon as he's in game shape?



    Poor Analogy (none / 0) (#78)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:36:37 PM EST
    Comparing a extraordinary craftsman making a unique object to exploited child labor doing mass production is weak at best. And even weaker when compared to the future employment potential of an extraordinary athlete who has been convicted of a crime,  shown remorse,  and serving time for it.

    To the extent the analogy is imperfect (none / 0) (#79)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:43:33 PM EST
    -- as are all analogies-- would it not strike rational people that the flaw is that the comparison does not do justice to the condition of the exploited child who has done no wrong relative to to the pampered and privileged athlete who has done wrong?

      In any event, the point (which will no doubt continue to elude you) is that the willingness to excuse or rationalize the inexcusable y because of the desire to serve our own convenience, financial benefit or pleasure is selfish.



    Rationalize The Inexcusable? (none / 0) (#80)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 12:56:29 PM EST
    How is it inexcusable for someone who has paid their debt to society to work in their chosen field, that they happen to be one of the best at.

    BTW- all analogies may be imperfect, but yours is essentially a non-sequitur.



    What is inexcusable (none / 0) (#81)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 01:07:42 PM EST
    is Vick's behavior. the issue then becomes what is appropriate for private actors to do in response to behavior that is inexcusable. i never said it would be inexcusable for private actors to employ Vick or for others to enjoy watching him perform. I said it would be SELFISH because it is placing persoanl interest ahead of any desire to allow morality to influence our decisions.

      As I said, I did not expect you to get the point that there is a similarity between looking the other way regarding vick's behavior because he can help your team or you enjoy watching him play and buying tennis shoes made by 8 year olds in sweat shops because they are fashionable. I don't expect you to recognize the similarity because that would require thinking.


    Vick Is Not Getting Excused (none / 0) (#82)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 01:16:32 PM EST
    He is going to jail. You can shift the argument all you want comparing mass produced fashion to excellence in a given field, it is still bs spin on your part.

    A more apt comparison would be a child chess, musical, or, math prodigy or that spends hours on the road laboring for others entertainment. It would still be a non-sequitur though.


    I used to think you feigned obtuseness (none / 0) (#83)
    by Deconstructionist on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 01:35:48 PM EST
     You've convinced me otherwise.

     Is this really hard to understand:

     From the CONSUMERS' perspective there is a similar selfishness involved in wanting a football player to play despite the bad thing he has done BECAUSE YOU ENJOY  his playing and buying clothes from a person despite his exploitation of children (Which is a bad thing-- hence the similarity! Get it?) because you enjoy wearing the clothes.

      That's as simple as i can possibly make it and about ten tiomes the effort that should be necessary to explain it to any sentinent being. With this I give up.


    Non-Sequitur (none / 0) (#84)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02:08:37 PM EST
    You may as well shift the argument to starving children in India.

    The argument here, save for your non-sequitur is whether or not an extraordiary talent should be allowed to play football after paying society for his crime. Unlike exploited children this is something he loves to do and is singularly admired for his particular extraordinary level of skill.

    I get it that your authortarian streak colors your thinking. You believe that Vick should be punished for the rest of his life and not ever be allowed to play professional sports again because what would the children think.

    The children would think that it is bad to get involved with illegal activity because if caught you will go to jail. The children will also think that if you work hard enough you can excell in a given field. The children will think that we live in a just society.

    It seems that you would prefer to see posters of him plastered in every ghetto wall depicting him sweeping streets while wearing a sign that says criminal dog killer. From your argument that would stop children from getting involved with illegal dog fighting.

    So be it. We have different values. I guess you will be voting for Giulliani.


    Add, (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 05:37:30 PM EST
    that the private club he was invited to be a member of has the option of revoking his membership for failing to uphold some minimum requirement of membership, is not an unfair thing, imo.

    I say let each team owner decide.... (1.00 / 1) (#65)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 05:57:30 PM EST
    I wouldn't blame Arthur Blank in the slightest for never re-hiring Mike Vick after getting burned by him.

    I'm not saying the league has to hold a place for him either, just that after he pays his debt to society he should have the chance to convince another owner to give him a job.


    to make just these kinds of decisions.

    Even if the above isn't exactly correct, the owners have also - of their own free will - chosen to join the same private club.

    If they now decide they don't like the way the club's run, they can try to change the way it's run and/or they are free to leave.

    This is the very essence of freedom, no?


    I Couldn't Agree More (1.00 / 1) (#56)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:49:32 PM EST
    crowd, but, to be sure, Vick ain't no carpenter and the NFL ain't no Local 125.

    I'm sure if the NFL shut him down, there would be plenty of coaching, etc., opportunities for him. As well as other athletic venues like Arena Football. Bet he could be a Olympian-class javelin thrower if he wanted to. World class pentathlete maybe. Hit the public speaker circuit maybe. Let us not forget he has a college degree (in animal sciences, ironically).

    That is, if he needs to ever earn another dime in his life.

    (Kidding about the animal sciences, but he does have a college degree.)


    With all due respect glanton..... (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:13:17 PM EST
    I think that role-model, message to kids crap is whooey. If society wants to make role models out of athletes and celebrities thats society's problem. That's not a good reason for a lifetime ban.

    If the Local 3 wanted to ban all ex-cons from joing their union and by extension prevent those tradesmen from making a living the best way they know how, I'd be just as against it.  I wanna leave the punishment in crime and punishment in the hands of the crimnal justice system, as flawed as it is. I don't want employers doing the work of the Dept. of Corrections.

    But it looks like I'm in the minority.  

    This is probably another stretch...but the "ban 'em for life" brigade is too reminiscient of a lynch mob for my taste.  Let the guy do his year and a half to make amends and be done with it.


    Employers versus Corrections Officers (3.00 / 1) (#46)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:48:31 PM EST
    An important discinction, no doubt.  

    Is the role model stuff really hooey though?  Conversationbally it can be made to seem so, but it's interesting to ponder where would professional sports in America be exactly if you divorced it from a commodity culture (jersey sales, commercials for shoes, fast-food, soft drinks, etc.) that specifically targets the young?

    But who knows, maybe I'll feel differently about Vick and football when he comes out of his sentence.  It wouldn't be the first time my thoughts and feeling changed.

    But you know, the most distressful thing to me is how quickly everybody is turning their thoughts to whether or not Vick will be playing football.  His guilty plea isn't even a day old!  The real issue for me at this point, as I have stated before, is whether or not Vick will grow from this, get past whatever is in him that has led him to this point.


    Point taken.... (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:58:10 PM EST
    we're all jumping the gun...as usual:)

    But when somebody comments under the screen-name "BanVick4Life", I gotta voice my opposition to the overly-punitive mob.


    Justice (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:10:29 PM EST
    this sends a message to the youth who worship them.
    And the message is if you commit a crime you will pay a penalty for it. Once reformed you can resume your life.

    Sounds like the way it should be. Not a life sentence after jail.


    But, the message also needs to include (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:15:25 PM EST
    among other tings:

    that YOU don't get to decide when you are "reformed" and that your bad acts will have consequences above and beyond the criminal justice system and that other people do not have to either accept that you are reformed or to think that your reformation requires them to act as you wish toward you.

     You can resume your life,  but not with the rather childish expectation that your life will be just as easy for you as if you had not committed the bad act.


    Childish Expectation? (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:40:30 PM EST
    Tell that to Eliot Abrams, John Poindexter, Scooter Libby et al.

    The message is quite clear and obvious. A person who has big talent, or is very rich, or has powerful friends, will always be valued save for unusual circumstances.


    Yes childish! (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:53:51 PM EST
    (Amazing you don't see it)

      Your blindness is even more amusing when YOU PROVE in your very post how utterly childish it is for people to expect that everyone will ignore their prior wrongdoing and treat them as if they had never done the bad thing. I think Libby understands that he will NEVEr be regarded the same of have the same opportunities he would have had if he had refrained from breaking the law -- because people hold it against him.

      For the 10 millionth time, try thinking before you writer.



    Disagree (none / 0) (#52)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:34:02 PM EST
    The amount of power, talent and money are have a great impact on how someone who commits a crime fares after penalty or getting off.

    The ability to resume life as it was before commiting a crime is directly related to the above. BTD points that out here, with biting irony.

    It is childish to think otherwise.


    Do you never get it? (1.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:48:13 PM EST
     How brilliant of you  figure out --despite how well concealed the reality is-- that it is better to be rich, powerful and talented than poor, weak and lacking any marketable skills. Soon you will no doubt  regale us with how you've discovered it's easier to be attractive than ugly.

      The point, however, is that among people from similar strata those who are convicted of serious crimes should expect to have it worse than those who are not.

      Yes, both Michael Vick and Scooter Libby will have it much easier than people who committed similar crimes and lacked their advantages. But, Michael Vick will have it worse than other world class athletes who play highly lucrative sports and Scooter Libby will have it worse than other very well connected lawyers and political operatives. Is that really so difficult to understand?


    Life Sentence (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by glanton on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:20:07 PM EST
    Not being able to play professional football is not the equivalent of a life sentence.

    Right, I am nuts (1.00 / 0) (#20)
    by BanVick4Life on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:00:43 PM EST
    Playing pro football is a privilege. I am not an animal rights extremist. What he did was reprehensible. Just because other players have gotten away with other heinous acts does not excuse his behavior. I tell you what, I am for banning players for committing violent felonies. Whether they be against their wives, girlfriends, dogs, fluffy bunnies or slow-witted fans. I don't have a cause. But I do think that people that fight dogs should be stopped. OMG though don't let anybody interfere with stupid entertainment like football or cock fighting. That's extreme. Nothing is important as football. Anything other than football is extremism. Because if you aren't with football you are obviously with the terrorists....

    I'd feel the same if he was a carpenter.... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:07:44 PM EST
    and you'd want him banned from carpentry for life.  I love football, but thats not what this is about to me...its about taking vindictive punishment too far.  Vick is being punished quite harshly, imo, don't call for the NFL to take away his livelyhood after he's paid his debt to boot.

    he said (1.00 / 0) (#27)
    by BanVick4Life on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:21:43 PM EST
    he was willing to take responsibility for his actions, and plus he found jesus. So yeah, I don't think because he had a lot to lose, losing it is punishment enough. I think jail time is in order. I think playing ball ever again is too lenient. He's young let him learn a new career path. He should have thought about that before he committed the crimes. You would think that considering what he had to lose, he would never get involved with something like that were he not some kind of sadist.

    Maybe he's a sadist..... (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:49:07 PM EST
    maybe he's a loyal friend who bankrolled his buddies, and got a dime dropped on him for his trouble.  You don't know, I don't know.

    The dog-fighting operation is shut down, he's going to jail, and losing more money than I can fathom.  Enough is enough....why not just chop off his hands?


    Let's approach it this way: (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:59:14 PM EST
     Kdog, what, if any,  crimes do you believe serious enough to warrant lifetime exclusion from the NFL? Mass murder?  One Murder?  Forcible Rape? Kidnapping? Voluntary manslaughter? Armed Robbery? Assault with a deadly weapon? Domestic battery? Repeated domestic batteries?

    Betting on NFL. (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:00:22 PM EST
    That's the only one... (none / 0) (#38)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:22:01 PM EST
    ty oculus.  I'll leave the punishment to the state for all other crimes.

    If a football player convicted of murder, after serving his sentence, had an owner willing to sign him, I've got no problem with it.  


    So, (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:25:38 PM EST
      if a guy rapes and kills your wife and daughter and does his time, after he is paroled you'd hire him to do your woodworking because it would be wrong for you to punish him by not allowing him to earn his living exactly as he chooses?

    Well, (1.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Peaches on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:42:05 PM EST
    I don't think Kdog would be human if he hired the guy who raped and killed his wife and daughter. Personally, we are all vindictive and tend to hold grudges. We all might like to think we can forgive, but in some cases (such as the raping and killing of ones family), forgiveness might not be possible. However, we do strive as a society to be fair and tend to lean toward the idea that a sentence is rehabilitative as well as punitive. Once one has served one's time for a crime, we all like to believe we can give a person a second chance. So, while Kdog might not hire the guy who raped and killed his wife and daughter, he still might be able to hire the guy who raped and killed yours(or mine).

    My opinion is that Vick should play in the NFL again once he gets out of jail. I hope the NFL allows him to. I am glad he was caught. I am satisfied with his punishment and the fact that he  will do time. I hope he learns his lesson and never dabbles in dog-fighting again. I hope he plays in the NFL again and is able to resurrect his career as a top quarterback in the NFL.


    Well, (1.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:47:36 PM EST
     if I don't have the give the guy who committed the crime that personally affected me  complete absolution and allow him to work for me as if he had never done anything wrong, why should those not personally affected  do so? What he did is still just as bad. Do I have to be personally affected to believe he is unworthy to work for or associate with me or my organization?

       It's one thing to say that the victim (or the victim's survivors) should not  be able to dictate the course of the criminal's life. It's another entirely to say that it is wrong for "non-victims" to hold his conduct againt him as long and completely as they believe warranted.


    I agree, (none / 0) (#50)
    by Peaches on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:16:56 PM EST
    I think that a construction company should be able to make those discriminating decisions in hiring employees.

    The more I think about this, the more I am not sure. I don't want to tell mom and pop business's who they can and can't hire. But, I would like to give larger companies less ability to restrict employment of people with criminal backgrounds.

    But, you make a good point, Decon. I suppose I don't want to write legislation saying employers must not discriminate against felons or excons, but I's like to think that most people would not arbitrarily decide that some crimes should lead to lifetime bans from occupations that were previously the livelihoods of the felon. Sitting out a year or two of multi-million dollar contracts is quite punitive enough in my view.

    Sticking to Vick's case, I have to say I am appalled by the Vick's crime. But, to argue that if Vick plays again in the NFL, his punishment was not punitive enough is ridiculous considering the amount of money from salaries he will subsequently lose as well while serving his time. Not that your arguing that, I just agree with Kdog that those asking for a lifetime ban and particularly those who create a moniker touting this position, are NUTS.


    If we ever see anyone even propose (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:25:40 PM EST
     that convicted felons be made a "protected class" for employment discrimination claims i'll be beyond stunned.

       We regularly see employers held liable for negligent and hiring and supervision of employees who harm people in the course of their employment.  

      I'll ask another question. As it obviously would be extremely unfair to require employers to hire persons convicted of violent crimes and then hold the employers liable for  subsequent violent acts of the employees (not to mention insurance issues), would anyone support legislation creating immunity for employers who hire known violent felons and forcing the injured party to bear the burden without being permitted to seek damages from the employer for allowing an unreasonably dangerous condition and leaving the only recourse against the almost certainly judgment proof employee?



    Was it Dukakis who was confronted w/ (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:34:58 PM EST
    a similar premise, only as to application of the death penalty?

    not really similar (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:42:08 PM EST
     Dukakis was asked by Bernard Shaw if he would favor the death penalty for someone who raped and murdered his wife. He said no and rather dispassionately expounded on his policy views. Many feel it was one of his biggest blunders of the campaign (not saying "no" but showing no emotion and addressing it as an abstract policy question).

      I'm asking if Kdog is really wedded to the ideal he states:  that no "extra-judicial" punishment of any type should be imposed based on individuals' or entities' values, beliefs, emotions, etc.

      would that not be  an exteme derogation of liberty if we were not all free to decide for ourselves how to trat other people based upon their actions? If we can't even discriminate against people because they committed heinous crimes, what can we do when we just don't like them and don't want to associate with them?



    If an NFL GM hires Vick after he (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03:44:41 PM EST
    has completed his sentence and parole, the NFL fan can vote with his/her feet and TV remote.

    If a guy rapes and kills a member of my family.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:01:29 PM EST
    and I know he did it beyond any doubt in my mind, I'm killing the bastard and going on trial myself.  Would you hire me upon my release?

    Anybody else comes to me for a job, or to rent an apartment, or to shoot hoops, I'm not asking for their criminal background history....if that answers your question.


    probably not (none / 0) (#49)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:12:40 PM EST
     I'd defend you and probably give you an "empathy discount" on the fee but even if I was 99.9% sure it was an act unlikely to be repeated by you, I could undoubtedly hire someone else to do the job who would not expose me to the same legal and moral liability if something did happen while you were working for me. Unless you were a close friend friend or family I likely wouldn't take the risk.

    That's were we differ.... (none / 0) (#57)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 04:49:38 PM EST
    if I was looking for a lawyer, I wouldn't ask for your criminal history, I'd ask for your qualifications.  If I found them satisfactory, which I'm sure I would, I'd hire you on the spot without digging into your past criminal history.

    If I get burned, I get burned...I'd still feel better about it than if I dismissed you based on a debt you already paid.


    Well, by and large (none / 0) (#62)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 05:13:46 PM EST
    lawyers tend to have limited criminal histories.  I certainly do-- a few traffic tickets. Some get reinstated after relatively serious convictions but the percentage convicted of serious crimes is quite low and many of those are not ever reinstated If you ever do need a lawyer to represent you in court i'd suggest you do a lot more research than "qualifications."

      While a lawyer's past won't be submitted to a jury, it's likely to be known by most everyone else with influence over the case and hiring a "shady" lawyer with good "qualifications" can cost you at many stages of the case. (There are a lot of other things you should know about your lawyer besides trouble with the law that might not be accurately termed "qualifications.) In short, don't hire a lawyer "on the spot."  


    my extremism is mainstream (none / 0) (#85)
    by BanVick4Life on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 07:53:56 AM EST
    Gallup poll of NFL fans reported this morning on NPR: 58% OF NFL FANS want Vick banned for life. So I guess that puts you on the fringe and well, an Animal-Cruelty "Whack-a-doo."
    According to the survey, 58 percent said he should not be allowed to play in the NFL anymore. Only 22 percent said they would want the team they root for to try to acquire him should he return.

    In addition, 35 percent said they believe he should serve a long prison sentence, 51 percent said they favored a short one, and 12 percent said they believe he should not serve any time.

    Vick's sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 10. The federal sentencing guideline range is projected

    Congratulations (none / 0) (#86)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:06:49 AM EST
    You're mainstream. You're properly outraged. You are part of the mob. You can be extreme and be justified.

    So, go forward. You can get donors and start a BanVick4life foundation. Start a campaign and run for office with your clear mainstream objectives stated. Do not rest until you're stated goal is accomplished, for you are mainstream and therefore you must be RIGHT.


    As I see on the wall (none / 0) (#87)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:14:50 AM EST
     of my daughter's classroom:

    "Doing what is right is not always popular and doing what is popular is not always right."

      That's a message I heartily applaud, but it should not be misconstrued to suggest:

      "Doing what is right is always unpopular and doing what is unpopular is always right;" or

      "Doing what is wrong is always popular and doing what is popular is always wrong."


    Of Course, (none / 0) (#88)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:24:28 AM EST
    Vick is/was a popular athlete. Our outrage at him is media driven as was our awe of his athletic prowess.

    I am not criticizing those who are fans of seeing greatness in sports, nor am I criticizing those who are outraged by the atrocities associated with back alley dogfighting.

    I am criticizing those who bought Vick jerseys to identify with the popular sports personality as well as those who have now made avenging Vick their life's obsession.


    I disagree (none / 0) (#89)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:40:09 AM EST
      People learned about his conduct through the media, but I don't think many people are outraged because the media told them to be outraged. MAny people who learned by first hand observation that their neighbor was doing this would be  outraged even if it never even made the local paper.

      I'm not sure why you criticize people who bought Vick (and presumably other's) jerseys.  I  don't think it fair to suggest that people who actively express outrage (and even choose case specific pseudonyms) have made it their life's obsession. That seems an attempt  (common here but not from you)  to evade the issue raised by dismissing the party that raises it.


    Well, (none / 0) (#90)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:59:40 AM EST
    not many people pop up with monikers like Bushwarcrimes or craigisahomo or even defundthewar. I would, likewise dismiss such posters for their obsessions, and not take much interest in the content of their posts.

    My tastes are not mainstream. I don't where or buy jerseys (unless I found one that fit me in a second-hand store for a buck - then I might where it while digging in the dirt). I don't publicly criticize those that do, but inwardly I question the American propensity to conform.

    They just sold chewed-up Vick football cards on ebay for $7000 some dollars according to the front-page of my daily scribe this morning. Talk radio is still saturated with Vick discussions. You don't hear much else on ESPN talked about these days either. I don't know how anyone could ignore the role the media has played in our outrage over Vick. We can go on all day whether the media is driving tastes or tastes are driving the media in a chicken or the egg type discussion. My only point is that it is Vick's celebrity status that makes his case stand out among other crimes and that should say something about our culture - much more than the crime he was charged with say's about us - imo.


    Its early (none / 0) (#91)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:10:11 AM EST
    and I'm still a cup of coffee short.



    No doubt (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 09:43:44 AM EST
      "animal rights activists" have seized on this case because it allows THEM to get attention they would not get if, as I said before, it was "Bubba."

       What's wrong with that? If people espousing a cause near and dear to my heart exploited a high profile case to get publicity they couldn't get otherwise, I'd be glad they were getting the attention I think their points deserve and that the evil media was no longer (at least temporarily) ignoring them. (Media explitation beats the heck out of other methods "extemists" sometimes employ.)

      As for the media we could spend eternity simply listing let alone describing its shortcoming. Controversy gets attention and ratings. Celebrity ditto. Combine the two and asking the media to downplay it to "our" idea of its relative significance is akin to asking left-wing and right-wing blogs all to  apply the same logic and standards Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani. It ain't gonna happen but you can always turn off the TV or computer.


    And, (none / 0) (#94)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:02:59 AM EST
    You can always point out hypocrisy, obsessions, and media attempts to manipulate our tastes when you see them.

    I doubt our personal views on Vick's crimes differ much and you are simply making the valiant attempt to defend those who wish to use his crime to further their objectives by using the media to highlight his crime and gain support for animal rights or whatever.

    I am making a similar valiant effort to defend those who are infuriated by these tactics that place Vick in this role to be exploited for their efforts. Not because I am fan of Vick and not outraged by Vick's crimes, nor because I am against ethical treatment of animals. Rather, I am more sickened by our media and technologically driven culture that is very difficult if not impossible to turn off or get away from. That this is my truck and a losing battle I am more than aware.


    haha, I'm so mainstream (none / 0) (#93)
    by BanVick4Life on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:02:04 AM EST
    Peaches, I was mertely pointing out that the SUPPORT VICK AT ALL COSTS crowd that were calling me a "whack-a-do" are actually in the minority of FOOTBALL FANS as gallup polls. But they polled "football fans" which I am not. There is overwhelming evidence that people that start off abusing animals go onto other abusive behavior. Usually with helpless populations, children, the elderly, & the infirmed. Domestic animals are very much the canary in the coalmine to alert us that "hey you might want to keep an eye on this person."
    So 58% of FOOTBALL fans. I guess the number of whack-a-do's like me would be a lot higher. Lol.

    Canary? (none / 0) (#95)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:12:20 AM EST
    There is overwhelming evidence that people that start off abusing animals go onto other abusive behavior. Usually with helpless populations, children, the elderly, & the infirmed.

    Judging by your comments, which are pretty abusive, you are on well on your way down the slippery slope that you describe above.


    Your point was obvious (none / 0) (#96)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 10:44:09 AM EST
    if not trivial.

    The evidence is well known and substantiated. No one is arguing that Vick has not done a crime, but rather what his punishment should be. The time for the NFL to ban him for life is now while the public is most outraged and before Vick has an opportunity to ingratiate himself in the publics eyes. Thus, the campaign by whack-a-doos.

    A poll two years from now might reveal a different opinion among the public and football fans. Tastes and opinions are finicky and change frequently as well as easily manipulated.

    I am rarely bothered nor comforted by the results of a poll agreeing or disagreeing with myself, nor would I cite them unless trying to predict an outcome. So, continue on your campaign to get the commissioner to act and you probably will achieve your objective of banning Vick for life with the hope of bringing greater awareness to the issue of abuse in our society. I believe your campaign, while worthy, will have little effect in lowering the cases of abuse in society and instead supports our continued fascination of cult celebrities keeping the cycle of violence in our society alive and well.

    There is little we can do about the abuse of animals and people through national media campaigns in my opinion. Rather, if we wish to lower the incidence of abuse we should create nurturing institutions supporting individuals, families and animals in our own communities, while  punishing violators of the community standards with fair and just sentences.


    My thought (none / 0) (#97)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 12:48:48 PM EST
     is the NFL should "ban" him now. Not for the reason you suggest and not because I don't think he should ever under any circumstances be allowed to play again in the NFL.

      As an occupational hazard, I tend to view things in terms of burdens of proof and persuasion.  I think that with a "ban" the burden is,  at least symbolically, placed upon Vick to persuade that he has in fact demonstrated affirmative rehabilititaion sufficient to "deserve" a second chance and establishes that he has to do more than merely do his time and say out of other trouble.

      Granted a "suspension" bundled with conditions for reinstatement  might amount to much the same thing in practical effect, but I think it would  send a different and weaker message to Vick, the public and other players.

      I think he needs to do more than serve his time and stay out of trouble to deserve the privilege of playing again. He needs to come forward with facts regarding his conduct and character.


    banishment by whom? (none / 0) (#98)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:03:59 PM EST
    Should it be part of his sentence or merely the choice of the private enterprise called the NFL.

    I think the NFL will operate on what will promote its product best, a banned Vick or a playing Vick. Vick rehabilitation will have little to do with this decision.

    Of course, people who don't like Vick's crime and don't want to support him can, as you say, always shut of the television when he plays or quit watching the NFL altogether.

    But, I understand your point and I think a prison sentence in way is a form of social ostracizing. It is a banishment from the community, something that is often referred to in myths and biblical stories. Returning to the community requires that the person ostracized demonstrate his new value to the community as a changed individual. Vick's prison sentence might not be the same as most peoples - due to his celebrity status -if he can come out and resume his career and role in the spotlight. Most of us, if we are so unlucky to to be incarcerated, would not find find our employers waiting for us with a job once we were released unless we were able to demonstrate we had been rehabilitated and would be a value to the company that outweighs the risk from hiring someone else.


    the NFL (none / 0) (#99)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:06:31 PM EST
      The government currently has no power (thank God) to do that. If the subject was whether football players should be required to be licensed by the government to play, I'd be sounding like Kdog.

    All right, (none / 0) (#100)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:20:46 PM EST
    I think I now have solidified where my views and beef with all this is.

    I don't have a problem with the gov't sentencing Vick for his crime and Vick serving out his sentence.

    I agree that the NFL is a private enterprise that should have the freedom to decide if Michale Vick can ever play in the NFL as should every team have the freedom to decide whether or not to offer him a contract, subject to the NFL's overarching approval. In order to reach a decision the NFL would need to read the Public's opinion of Vick and the effect that Vick playing in an NFL uniform would have on the NFL's product. All that is fine and dandy and I would have no problem if the NFL decided that Vick should be banished in the interests of the NFL - profit.

    What I don't like is the attempt by outside forces to manipulate the publics opinion and maintain the outrage over his actions to further their own objectives. Most of my objections are unavoidable, just as the political fallout from privately financed public elections is for the most part unavoidable, but that does not make the practice any less unappealing from where I sit.

    What the NFL does should be between the NFL and Vick and everyone else should stay out of it. But, of course we live in a free society and we are free to start letter writing campaigns, etc. blah, blah, blah... As I said, it does not make it any less unappealing.


    outside forces? (none / 0) (#101)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:24:40 PM EST
      What does that mean? Are people who love animals (even "whack-a-doos?) not just as much a part of the public as anyone else?

    Of course, (none / 0) (#102)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:29:11 PM EST
    thats what it means as well as Michael Vicks fan club.

    I make myself pretty clear, Decon, and redily acknowledged the impracticality any attempts to alleviate my disgusts would have. I love animals and I love sports, but I really do think there are batter things to be worried about in the world than the well being of pets or the outcome of NFL games. I'm being a snob, something I can be very good at - at times.

    Just like someone else I know here, but find appealing exactly for having this same character flaw - at times. ;)


    All People (none / 0) (#103)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:32:22 PM EST
    That love animals are not calling for Vick to be permanently banned from playing in the NFL. in fact I would bet most animal lovers have little or nothing to do with PETA which is an extremist organization.

    Well (none / 0) (#104)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:37:57 PM EST
    FWIW the recent poll showed 58% of a sample meant to represent "football fans" stated he should be banned. I'd daresay that if the sample had been constructed to represent "animal lovers" it would have been significantly higher than that.

      One  can and most almost certainly do oppose both PETA and Michael Vick playing.

       Peaches'  point eludes me. On the one hand we see support for the idea that the NFL can and should be responsive to its "constituency" but on the other disgust that the constituency seems quite clearly to ge tilted strongly against Vick.


    The point (none / 0) (#105)
    by Peaches on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:53:55 PM EST
    is that people's disgust over the treatment of animals are being manipulated by the media and other organizations.

    We don't really care that much. Holy crap, the animal shelters put down millions of animals each year to support our desire for loving pets in the home. The same goes for breeders. Our outrage is being manipulated because we love little puppy eyes we see in movies and advertisements more than we love fish eyes looking over lips with hooks in them.

    We are all sick is the point and Michaels Vick's banishment from the NFL is not going to do on thing to cure it.


    Not So Sure (none / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:00:37 PM EST
    I'd daresay that if the sample had been constructed to represent "animal lovers" it would have been significantly higher than that.

    Although what percentage of all animal lovers would want Vick banned for life?  Most people that I know that love animals also are compassionate towards people especially when they are down hardship and not vindictive. My guess is that none of them would want to punish VIck more than he is getting by the law.

    I am a big time animal lover and I particularly love dogs. The idea of dogfighting horrifies me but I am not into banning Vick  FWIW I care nothing about sports. I had never heard of the guy before this.

    There is a well known artist that I know, not well, and he is openly into dogfighting. I am a big fan of his work. No one I know dislikes his art work, including animal lovers,  because is involved in that gruesome activity. In fact many things about this particular persons behavior are not OK but he is a great artist and that is what he is admired for.  


    You really believe (none / 0) (#107)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:31:36 AM EST
    no animal lovers would want the NFL to sanction Vick? so who are all these people saying they want him not only punished but banned who call themsellves animal lovers? Are all of them simply posing as animal lovers and really just people who have always hated Michael Vick and finally found an excuse to slam him. If so, many of them really had all their bases covered by having joined various animal rights or protection groups before anyone even knew about Vick's activities.

      As for your artist, if you are so confident that exposing his dogfighting will not damage his career, why don't you name him and see what happens?  Sure, he might sue you for libel but truth is an absolute defense and, if in fact no one will hold it against him, he will suffer no damages to his livelihood or reputation and there would be no real damages.



    What? (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 08:13:39 AM EST
    I never said no animal lovers would want the NFL to sanction Vick.
    As far as artists go and their careers, you obviously do not have a clue. Much worse things than dog fighting are ignored or tolerated by the art world. It is not unusual for geniuses to have various forms of social deviance.

    What you suggest would make for a very dull world, not that you would notice.



    I have to agree with Squeaky, here (none / 0) (#109)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 08:46:57 AM EST
    It is not a small point that Decon makes about the majority and polls, especially in a democracy. That a majority want Vick banned from the NFL for life cannot be easily dismissed. I can argue about media manipulation of tastes all day long and it will still come across as a rationalization because I find myself in the minority.

    But, Squeaky's point about art is a good one. I see an equivalent argument about the quality of art. Of course, this analogy is still going to come across as a rationalization, but what the hell. On the one hand we have quality art, say we are talking about music. We have an artist that is relatively obscure whose talent for the music lover is obvious. He or she is a great song writer and virtuoso on his or her instrument. But, the appeal of his or her music is not mainstream. On the other hand we have Britney Spears who sells millions of records and has endorsements, etc. The music lover wants to make the argument that the obscure artist is a better musicians and his or her songs are of higher quality than Britney Spears with the fan of Britney Spears, but has to explain why if this obscure artist is so obscure he or she does not sell as many records as Britney. Obviously more people like Britney, so she must be better. The music lover is not arguing that people should be forced to buy the obscure artist over Britney, but rather that the people who buy Britney's records have poor tastes that were manipulated by the media.

    The people who want Vick banned for life from the NFL are outraged due to the media publicity. Vick is supposed to be a role model and artists/painters have the freedom to be outside the mainstream where deviant behavior is tolerated  for the sake of high art. Once the public gets wind of the deviant behavior the persecution of the artist will begin and the public will not rest until the artists career is destroyed. As long as the artist remains obscure, however, his or her art is appreciated by the circles who buy great art and the deviant behavior is tolerated because it is recognized as a source of inspiration for the artist. The behavior is rarely viewed as a model of behavior for the public, but rather an opening into understanding different ways to live in the world giving our own lives new meaning.

    Vick as a public figure does not have the luxury of being an obscure artist and his deviant behavior will not be tolerated for the of the kids he is supposedly a model for.

    Vick's crime, in my view was letting his pets be an extension of himself. He thought dogs were competitors and he was the ultimate competitor having no tolerance for mediocrity. Vick's superstardom and superior talents made him a monster as a pet owner, but our society has made dogs and cats extensions of our human selves - despite the fact they are beasts and not human.

    Walking through the pet aisles of supermarkets should disturb anyone with the market of toys similar to the toy aisle for kids. Pets are frequently referred to as part of the family or as kids, by households. As I said in an above post, millions of pets are put down each year to support this industry marketing pets as kids and as members of our families. Pets are beasts and we are humans. Beasts should be appreciated for their attributes, but we are all criminals when we make pets extensions of ourselves - even if we only use these pets to replace the love we so badly need but are not getting from the human members of our family.


    Extensions of Ourselves (none / 0) (#110)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:45:01 AM EST
    A distinction perhaps it that people identify with the animal part of animals as a lost or distant human trait.

    As long as humans feel the need to dominate and kill other humans similar rituals involving animals will be a source of fascination identification and training.

    For instance:

    Bull fighting started out as a way for Spanish cavalry to keep up their martial skills when idle and not at war. Bulls were only fought from horsemen and never from the ground. Only the upper class or those on horses were allowed to hunt bulls. The lower class who were on the ground and therefore lower protested and eventually gained the right to hunt bulls as well. This change allowed for the modern bullfight where the principal actors are on the ground.

    I have seen bullfighting and enjoyed it. The meat is sold after the fight in stalls around the arena. I find it more problematic to be OK with armies and killing technology but wanting to appear civilized by banning ritualized animal fighting.

    I have the same problem with meat eaters who are totally divorced from the slaughter process. An example comes to mind where just before Thanksgiving a third grade teacher brought a turkey to class, slaughtered and dressed to show how the turkey comes to the table. There was no intention to offend or turn the children into vegetarians.

    It is clear that the children had less of a problem than the parents did nonetheless she got fired for upsetting the children.

    That is how we are. Denial and hypocrisy are mainstream behavior when it comes to animals. Cowing to the extremist organization PETA is a stunning example of that behavior.


    wow! (none / 0) (#111)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:00:46 PM EST
      If you want to defend needlessly inflicting pain on a bull because it's a culturally based ritualistic killing, that is up to you. The existence of war in no way makes it better or worse it should be considered on its own merit or lack thereof.

      As for the 3rd graders not being as upset as the parents, perhaps that is because most adults are more capable of recognizing manifestations of extreme mental problems and of the undesirability of leaving those who have them alone with 8 year olds.


    Woah, this is scary (none / 0) (#112)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:09:17 PM EST
    Decon, you cannot be serious.

    Are you telling me that bringing a turkey to a third grade classroom, slaughtered and dressed, should be recognized as manifestations of extreme mental problems. That really does freak me out.

    I cannot think of anything more educational than bringing children of any age to the farm to experience life cycle of animals. Taking a live chicken, slaughtering it, dressing it out and then preparing it for dinner for all to enjoy is educational. The fear of exposing children to this life cycle process should be recognized as an extreme problem with our society.


    Yes (none / 0) (#114)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:19:01 PM EST
      No one in their right mind could possibly think that would be acceptable. Even if the teacher thought it was "educational," that he or she would bring a live animal to a school and kill it, gut it and dismember it  in the classroom (probably just a few health code violations involved there too) certainly indicate serious problems. A teacher who was not disturned probably would never think of doing such a thing but would no doubt say to the principal, "Hey boss, I think the kids would learn a lot if I slaughter a bird in class next week. Whaddya say?"

      One would presume that the principal would  not think it was a real good idea. Assuming, the principal was   suffering only from a disorder causing a moderate lack of insight and judgment rather than a total lack, he would at least send a note home to the parents with the exciting news that we are going to be killing and disemboweling animals in class for your child's edification, but if for some bizarre reason you don't want your child exposed to this, please send and excuse so your child may be dismissed from this  activity.


    Agreed, (none / 0) (#117)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:30:07 PM EST
    Public schools would never allow it due to "health concerns," just as they won't allow anyone to bring food to serve that is not "store bought" and processed. WE are concerned with the safety of the kids, after all.

    But, what Squeaky said was the teacher brought in a turkey, slaughtered and dressed. I presumed that meant the turkey was slaughtered and dressed before hand and the teacher merely wanted to demonstrate that the turkey they would be eating on Thanksgiving was once alive.

    It seems a point that I would not believe is very educational since most children do see the turkey in its dressed out state on thanksgiving, so maybe Squeaky can clear up what exactly happened.

    I would say that a public school teacher who did this on their own would be guilty of making a poor choice and not of having extreme mental issues.

    Slaughtering an animal humanely and cleanly that has been raised in an environment on a small farm, with access to open grazing and the outdoors, is not something we need to shield children from and, in fact, it is something children would benefit from experiencing. Parents can rightfully have some concerns over health, but the cry among those who would say teachers wishing to expose their children to this are mentally ill is the same Whack-a-doo cry that Kdog referred to in the first place with Vick. I never thought he was referring to you, Decon, however. I am now starting to have my doubts.


    Can't Find (none / 0) (#118)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    The link. But the teacher brought in a live bird. The only difference between this and science class is that the animal was eaten afterwards and not thrown in the garbage.  

    Woldorf school? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:41:17 PM EST
    I think a public school teacher doing this would be violating health codes and I would anticipate an outcry from some parents with a possible firing for the Teacher not following protocol and receiving permission from the principle.

    However, I definitely could see a teacher in the school I send my children to making the decision to do this on their own and I could anticipate it upsetting the vegetarian families at the school. My children attend a Woldorf school and the life cycle of animals and rural/agricultural culture is emphasized and a part of the curriculum.  


    I thinbk It Was (none / 0) (#120)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:46:27 PM EST
    In a rural school. Wish I could find the link as it was a great story. I think it happened about 10 years ago.

    I'm far from (none / 0) (#121)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:46:55 PM EST
     an animal rights "whack-a-doo. I eat meat, have leather shoes on my feet and I fish. (99%+ of the fish I catch I release but that is due to conservation beliefs and some people think even catch and release is barbaric).

      I'll agree that taking kids-- WITH THE PARENTS' PERMISSION-- to a farm or even a slaughterhouse or poultry processing plant would be acceptable and educational. That's a far cry from what is being defended here. I cannot imagine anyone who was not suffering from mental problems thinking that was responsible behavior for someone entrusted with 8 year olds. I sure wouldn't want my childtren in the care of someone with such an astounding lack of judggment--- with or without sharp knives.


    OK, (none / 0) (#125)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:49:48 PM EST
    You have relieved that worry, Phew.

    Now, I guess I am still saddled with Kdog's other knuclehead worry that you are going over board in your view of following rules and show absolutely no sympathy for those who believe that some rules are made to be broken.

    A teacher who brought a turkey in to slaughter, dress and eat before a third-grade class might be mentally ill. It is possible that this mental illness led to a lapse of judgement. A more likely possibility is he or she knew exactly what they were doing and wished to break the a rule out of a sense of rebelliousness and the wish to expose a stupid rule.

    As I will continue to state and believe, our society harbors an unhealthy obsession with shielding children from healthy and naturalistic practices that our educational and nurturing. This teacher likely understood this and decided to 'teach' children this practice at the risk of upsetting parents and losing his or her job.

    btw, Montessori schools begin giving large knives and cleavers for children to work with starting in preschool - 3yo.


    Not in my Montesori school, (none / 0) (#126)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:57:25 PM EST
    although that is not evidence that Maria was not in favor of it.

    You are in public schools, (none / 0) (#127)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 02:02:29 PM EST
    I thought. A public school with a Montessori based curriculum, was my understanding.

    My son was wielding cleavers for cheese and large knives for pickles at 3 yo old with his preschool playmates. I later moved him to Woldorf, but not because of cleavers and knives.


    Sorry for the confusion. (none / 0) (#128)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 02:25:53 PM EST
    My 5yo just finished 2 years at Montessori and is now in kindergarten at public school. That public school did create this year an alternative-ed type campus based, in part, on Montessori principles. We elected not to send our son to that alt-ed campus.

    And (none / 0) (#129)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 02:40:45 PM EST
    he really wasn't working with cleavers and knives?

    I'm surprised. I thought there was some universal Montessori practices introduced at the same age. Kindergarten in the Montessori school begins at 3 yo and is comprised of 3-6 yo. I knew nothing about Montessori when my wife decided to enroll him there and I visited a parent day two weeks out and was shocked to see my son at a work-station handling a cleaver bigger than his arm to slice cheese and then moved over to the pickle table and he cut me up some pickles to eat with a large knife. I was impressed with these feats, but ultimately I was not satisfied with Montessori's principles and views on child development (again not because of sharp objects, though).


    Really. (none / 0) (#130)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 03:05:14 PM EST
    ...as far as I know. iow, he may have but just didn't mention it. I have no issues with it, per se, along as there is proper supervision. I'll ask him about it tonight.

    I was actually alluding to (none / 0) (#131)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 03:06:47 PM EST
      the teacher having knives. It's called a joke.

    I realized it was a joke, (none / 0) (#132)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 03:11:41 PM EST
    but the joke really doesn't work if one doesn't think that knives in school are dangerous, no?

    obviously, it wasn't good if (none / 0) (#133)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 03:23:22 PM EST
     it has to be explained. The joke, such as it was, was saying I don't want the imbalanced teacher teaching my kids-- whether or not she has the knives she brought for turkey mayhem.

    And, (none / 0) (#134)
    by Peaches on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 03:35:15 PM EST
    I am still worried that you automatically assume the teacher is imbalanced (and if not for being a long-time reader of your comments might actually conclude you, yourself, are imbalanced for rusi=hing to such judgements - certainly I would never want you deciding the mental fitness of anyone in legal cases)for bringing a live turkey to class, slaughtering and eating it.

    I would be much more likely to conclude the teacher is in fact much more balanced the the average person, although a rule-breaker.


    As I Said (none / 0) (#115)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:20:34 PM EST
    Denial and Hypocrisy are mainstream, and those that unveil it are called insane. Go figure. Maybe Decon is a card carrying PETA member.

    Slaughtered and dressed? (none / 0) (#113)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:18:52 PM EST
    You mean like a Butterball from the local Piggly Wiggly?

    There must be something more to this story.


    Oh, maybe you meant she (none / 0) (#116)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:23:46 PM EST
    slaughtered and dressed it in the class.

    If that's the case, and she thought it would be "OK" in a public school to do so - so "OK" in fact that she didn't even think it necassary to at least run the idea past her principal or something - she probably does have mental problems...


    He Did Say (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:20:46 PM EST
    dog-fighting is a terrible thing and he made bad judgments and mistakes. He said he accepted full responsibility. And, as you note, he apologized for lying.

    I don't follow football so I have no opinion about whether he should be banned for life but he admitted in his plea agreement to taking part in the destruction "or otherwise disposing" of animals.

    Is there any atonement he could make that would warrant returning to the NFL? Again, I have no pony in this fight (couldn't bring myself to say dog), I'm just asking.


    There is a little ambiguity in the (4.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:53:53 PM EST
    Summary of Facts.

      The stipulation rather pointedly states Vick was not personally involved in the first killings referenced. Then with reference to the 4/07 killings the language states [paraphrasing but I read it this morning]: admits the the killings were the result of  collaborative actions of Vick, et al.

      That sounds to me as it was "finessed" so that it satisfied the Feds but left his lawyers with reason to think they can argue down the road to the NFL that he didn't personally kill any of the dogs and that distinction might have bearing on how the NFL treats him down the road.



    If he were (none / 0) (#4)
    by Pancho on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:28:06 PM EST
    a factory worker who robbed a liquor store, should he be banned from working in the factory?

     I guess that would be up to factory owner, as this decision is up to the commisioner of the NFL.

    I hope the commish.... (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 12:34:12 PM EST
    is reasonable and doesn't cower to the animal rights whack-a-doos.

    I don't think they are big fans of the game anyway...the ball is still made of leather right?


    Do you (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:08:26 PM EST
     equate extremely harsh punishment by the NFL with pandering to "animal rights whack-a-doos?"

      Goodell had instituted a regime of much touhger sanctions for miscreants before the Vick story even broke. There is no doubt that in the past people who beat women or engaged in various other criminal actions received relatively lenient league sanctions, but Goodell took a very hard line with Jones, Henry and Johnson compared to past commissioners.

      We might have to wait to see what Goodell does to the inevitable women beaters who will come before him before we can assess HIS standards.


    I do.... (1.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:21:10 PM EST
    believe if Goodell goes off the deep end and bans Vick for life, it will be partly because of the animal rights whack-a-doos...yes.  

    The squeaky wheels get the grease in our society...some animal rights folks are especially squeaky.

    I'm not sure we have to wait for another incident either...whats to stop Goodell from banning Leonard Little for life right now due to a new NFL morality policy?


    I'd assume (none / 0) (#11)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:28:38 PM EST
     the CBA does not allow the commissioner to impose subsequent punishments for acts for which a player has already been punished.

      I doubt he has the authority to punish Little again for past conduct (is he even still playing?) or to pile on any one else who received punishment for things done during  during the Tagliabue years.



    He's playing..... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:51:10 PM EST
    the rams resigned him for 3 years during last season...where is the outrage?

    I was thinking Goodell could make a new rule saying if you've been convicted of a serious crime in your life you can't play in his league...no clue whether the CBA would allow it.


    I won't feign "outrage" over (none / 0) (#19)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 01:57:21 PM EST
    Little playing, but I'll concede a disparity in punishment. But, again, when the regime changes, someone will always be first to be punished (or rewarded) by the changes made.

      Now, if Goodell imposes punishments I find disparate in the future with ones he is now imposing then that might strike me as outrageous, but that he has chosen (with tremendous support --even it seems from most players) to be tougher than his predecessors does not strike me as outrageous.


    FWIW (none / 0) (#28)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 02:35:03 PM EST
    NFL: Players can't associate with gamblers or with gambling activities in a manner that brings discredit to the NFL. Penalties include a fine and up to a lifetime suspension.

      This is from USA TODAY and the mainstream press has so misrepresented some important details of this case I don't entirely trust it,

     Assuming that is accurate, it would seem certain gambling is OK. (I'd assume legal gambling in casinos, state lotteries, racetracks, OTB, etc.)

      "In a manner that brings discredit" is certainly subject to varying interpretation and application, but I'd say putting up the money to bet on whose dog kills the other's would qualify.

      That said, I don't think all the noise about the  gambling being Vick's biggest problem is even remotely accurate. If Vick was playing in illegal high stakes poker games involving more money than this seems to involve (which is not a lot considering his wealth), he wouldn't be in 1/10th the trouble with the League. It's the puppy killing that is his biggest problem with regard to his future career.

      Even if we put to sleep  every animal rights whack-a-doo on the planet, he'd be in deep dog doo doo over that.

    More from Easterbrook's TMQ..... (none / 0) (#122)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:01:47 PM EST
    Yes, Vick broke the law; yes, he arrogantly lied and refused to apologize when first caught; and yes, his actions before and after the dog killings indicate he is one stupid, stupid man. But Vick's lawbreaking was relatively minor compared to animal mistreatment that happens continuously, within the law, at nearly all levels of the meat production industry, and with which all but vegetarians are complicit. There is some kind of mass neurosis at work in the rush to denounce Vick, wag fingers and say he deserved even worse. Society wants to scapegoat Vick to avoid contemplating its own routine, systematic killing of animals. We couldn't all become vegetarians tomorrow: that is not practical. But American society is not even attempting to make the handling of meat animals less brutal, let alone working to transition away from a food-production order in which huge numbers of animals are systematically mistreated, then killed in ways that inflict terror and pain. We won't lift a finger to change the way animals die for us. But we will demand Michael Vick serve prison time to atone for our sins.

    See more here, in the Atlanta section of his NFC preview....I think he nails it.  I especially enjoyed the irony of electrocution and smashing cow brains with high powered pistons being govt. approved methods of slaughter.

    Actually No (none / 0) (#123)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:12:09 PM EST
    We won't lift a finger to change the way animals die for us.

    Temple Grandin, who is an autistic person has designed over 50% of the slaugherhouse in North America. Her favorite animal is the cow. She tried to be vegetarian but it did not work for her. She has the ability to see life from a cows perspective and has worked to  make their death as painless and stressless as possible.

    She even got McDonalds to sign onto a program that only buys meat from plants that meet a list of standards she has developed.

    So in fact there are some who work tirelessly to improve the conditions of animals going to slaughter.

    Her books are amazing. Animals in TRanslation is a must read for all animal lovers.


    Sounds like a quality human being.... (none / 0) (#124)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:33:35 PM EST
    Thanks squeak.