Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Note on Michael Vick

You all may have heard about Michael Vick's arrest for running a dog fighting ring. We normally stick to politics and religion and avoid less controversial things like sports. But this sports story is controversial to draw our attention I think.

As dog owner myself I find this story sickening. Vick and his buddies were not just breeding and fighting dogs (mostly pit bulls of course), they were torturing and killing them. I heard a story on BBC radio today that described the variety of ways Vick et al used to kill dogs that didn't fight well enough. They hanged them, beat them to death, shot them, drowned them and soaked then electrocuted them. About the only thing they didn't seem to think of to kill their dogs was to use some sort of humane euthanasia. That they used a variety of means suggests to me that killing the dogs was part of the sick "fun" they were having.

I hope Vick's career is ruined. I hope his money evaporates and he is reduced to a life of misery and shame.

It is also alarming that some high profile NFL stars have come out to say that "in some social circles" this sort of thing is OK (it's not, it's not only a cruel activity, it's a violation of federal law). I forget who said it but I heard on the radio one player compare dog fighting fans to fans of dog shows saying something along the lines of "some people like to dress their dogs up with bows and hats and some people like to see who's dog is the toughest."

That this bloody and cruel past time is also thoroughly enmeshed with gambling makes this a potential bombshell for the NFL and pro sports in general.


The Law Talking Guy said...

From the net:

Subsection 83 of the feds' 18-page indictment: "In or about April 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS and VICK executed approximately eight dogs that did not perform well in 'testing' sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various methods, including hanging, drowning and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground."

RBR is right. This, not the gambling or even the dogfighting, is the real issue. This is the behavior of someone who has something seriously wrong with him.

Sadly, Vick will probably become an icon of white racism to the Al Sharptons of this world.

Dead Parrot said...

What Vick is accused of doing is reprehensible. Anyone convicted of such crimes should be severely punished. That said, the federal government still has to prove its case. Let's not try the inhumane SOB in the court of public opinion before he goes before a jury.

Dr. Strangelove said...

"Let's not try the inhumane SOB in the court of public opinion before he goes before a jury." Very good, Dead Parrot. And they say satire is a dying art.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It is a principle of our law that we do not let the government punish someone (too much) unless they have been found guilty after a trial with due process. That is a legal principle, but we are not required, as citizens, to refrain from commenting on wrongdoing. There is no privilege against public opprobrium. After all, is a victim of crime forbidden to condemn the perpetrator until after a trial?

I say this because I think we are entitled to comment on the evidence that we have seen. The evidence is detailed and Vick has not disputed any of it. He has a legal right to keep his mouth shut, but public figures accused of wrongdoing

The Law Talking Guy said...

...[cont'd] who refuse to comment on detailed charges against them are going to be rightly subject to condemnation.

USWest said...

I would just point out that dog shows are equally inhumane and anti-caninie. No self-respecting dog wants to be hair dried and moussed.

And if you don't think there is a dirty underside to that, then you are sadly mistaken. Dogs that aren't "up to breed standards" are euthanized as well. Although some are given away or sold at reduced prices. Many are so inbred as to have health defects. And I bet there is betting on the winners as well.

In the end, we all need to recognize the St. Francis principle, that we aren't so superior to animals but their custodians. Animals have always come to the aid of humans, have sensed human need, and sought human companionship. It is not an accident that children often feel their first pangs of empathy for animals or that you teach chidlren respect for others by teaching them respect for animals.

If the man is proven guilty, throw the book at him, or better yet, put him in a cell with one of his fighting dogs. It is only a matter of time before he becomes equally dangerous to people as he is to dogs.

Dead Parrot said...

My comment was a reaction to several recent high profile accusations of sports figures that proved to be false - 1) Duke lacrosse players accused of vicious abuse and rape of a black woman; 2) Michael Irvin accused of sexual assault. The attacking words of the radio, tv and blogosphere commenters sounded pompous and insincere once the accusers recanted. But before that time, they served to whip up some powerful emotions among the masses. I might even describe as angry and dangerous the people who publicly beat up on the Duke lacrosse players. It reminded me of the stories of mobs in certain countries around the world who exact vengeance for a crime or wrong that they have heard was committed against a member of their family or tribe. Later, they learn that they have tortured and executed an innocent man or woman.

I am not saying that the dialog here is even close to that. I am pretty steamed about the cruelty that the dogs endured. There is no defense for torturing man or animal that way. Justice is due for crimes committed. But I am willing to wait until evidence is presented in court before I draw conclusions about what Michael Vick did. Since the arrogant bastard pleaded not guilty, I guess we'll be able to enjoy the public spectacle of a trial.