Great Article

Postby fenella » August 16th, 2009, 1:40 am

Yes, it was written before he was signed, but I have posted it to my Facebook profile and sent it to a few of my friends who are of the "he paid his debt to society" mindset. When I detailed some of the ways that he actually killed the dogs, they changed their minds: ... id-to-dogs

Michael Vick released; time to remember what Vick actually did to dogs
May 19, 10:14 Kate Woodviolet

Vick will spend the remaining weeks of his prison term safely in his own home

UPDATED The L.A. Times reports that Michael Vick has been released from prison, the rest of his sentence to be served at his 3,538-square-foot home in Hampton, Va., with the expectation that he will be officially released from Federal custody on July 20th.

There has been widespread speculation as to whether Vick will return to his lucrative football career, and which teams would be willing to take the PR hit involved in hiring him. Although NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell characterized Vick's actions as "not only illegal, but also cruel and reprehensible,” he has declined to make a decision on whether Vick could be reinstated as an NFL player until his sentence is officially over.

Some commentators have argued that Vick should be allowed to play because he “made a mistake” and has now “paid his debt.” Perhaps these people are under the mistaken impression that all Michael Vick did was fight some Pit Bulls. But dog fighting, as cruel a crime as it is, is the least of what Michael Vick did.

Purnell Peace conspired with Vick, Phillips and Tony Taylor to kill dogs

According to the prosecutor's statement of facts in the case, between 2002 and 2007 Michael Vick and his co-conspirators Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor killed thirteen dogs by various methods including wetting one dog down and electrocuting her, hanging, drowning and shooting others and, in at least one case, by slamming a dog’s body to the ground.

Michael Vick didn't make a mistake. He didn't "make a bad choice." Over a period of five years he forced dogs into deadly fights, and he personally killed, or conspired to kill, thirteen dogs. He didn't pick a quick, painless method of killing, but instead chose a variety of means that qualify as torture. Pit Bulls are powerful dogs. Imagine how hard you would have to work to kill a Pit Bull by forcibly drowning him.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also reports, "Sometimes [the dogs] were starved to make them more vicious in the pit."

And Michael Vick didn’t confine the abuse and killing to his own Pit Bulls.

Quanis Phillips, like Vick and Peace, "thought it was funny" to place family pets in the ring with trained fighting dogs

According to a November 2008 news story, a report prepared by the USDA's inspector general-investigations division revealed that Vick, Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor also put family pet dogs into the ring with trained pit bulls.

The report, dated Aug. 28, 2008, says, "Vick, Peace and Phillips thought it was funny to watch the pit bull dogs belonging to [Vick’s] Bad Newz Kennels injure or kill the other dogs."

Supporters say Vick apologized for his actions. But in his famous press conference apology, Vick admitted only to fighting dogs, despite the fact that he pled guilty to all charges, including the killings. He admitted to “making mistakes” and “immature acts.” But deliberately and repeatedly planning dog fights and repeated premeditated violent killings of dogs are not “mistakes.” They are not the acts of someone who’s merely immature. They are the acts of a sociopath and a predator.

If we can't admit that the crimes to which Michael Vick pled guilty make one a bad person, then we have no definition of morality anymore.

Vick supporters who want to see him play football again should, if they’re being honest, say “We don’t care what Vick did to dogs, we just want to watch him play football.” But please don’t say he apologized, nor that he paid his debt. You can’t pay a debt you’ve never admitted you owe.

[Former Vick fighting dog Leo now acts as a therapy dog, comforting cancer patients Photo:]

During the period when Michael Vick was in prison, two of the Vick dogs are became certified therapy dogs. They comfort the sick, children and the elderly. These dogs, who were never criminals, who never chose to hurt or kill others, are truly rehabilitated.

A man who can look a dog in the face and deliberately pick the most brutal and prolonged way of killing that dog, for nothing more than being insufficiently vicious – I think most people could reasonably wonder if such a man could ever genuinely be rehabilitated.
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Postby fenella » August 16th, 2009, 3:25 am

An opposing viewpoint, for discussion purposes...

Michael Vick makes me sick to my stomach - a stomach that hasn't digested a shred of meat in 39 years.

Vick performed reprehensible acts, bankrolling and organizing tortuous dog fights. We've heard the gruesome details, seen the photos, until they almost stop meaning much anymore. Vick participated in the cruel annihilation of animals. He still doesn't always sound as if he really gets it, either, like when he tells James Brown in a "60 Minutes" interview to be aired this weekend, "I should have took the initiative to stop it all. I didn't. I didn't step up. I wasn't a leader."

The trouble is that Vick was very much a leader, in the worst way imaginable. He was the man at the center of these horrific events. And it would be very nice if he admitted to that, rather than rework the semantics.

But even as a vegetarian and dog lover, I still can't think of a good reason why Vick shouldn't play or sit on the bench for the Philadelphia Eagles; why a man who served nearly two years of prison time shouldn't get his shot at throwing a football again.

It should be the same for Donte Stallworth, who Thursday received a season-long suspension from Roger Goodell after his conviction for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk.

Vick isn't going to be a schoolteacher. He's not going to be a camp counselor or a veterinarian's aide. He signed a contract with the Eagles yesterday to be a quarterback, to scramble out of the pocket and drive secondaries crazy again.

We don't know whether Vick can still do that. He is 29, still young enough to star. He gets to work out immediately, participate in some preseason games. Yet he has missed two seasons already and once this season begins, Vick is allowed to practice and will be eligible for full reinstatement by Week 6 at the latest. That was a little extra punitive action instituted by Goodell, just to prove the NFL wasn't minimizing Vick's ill deeds.

It may turn out that Vick doesn't contribute much to the Eagles' run at the NFC East title. He may be a flop, or completely irrelevant. And fans have every right to jeer him, if he ever takes the field for an important snap.

But he has that right, like it or not. And you'd like to think that maybe just being around Donovan McNabb might teach him a thing or two about good will and professionalism.

For the Eagles, this is a smart football move, even if it contains all kinds of potential problems for them on a public-relations front. They expressed little or no interest in Vick until one of their backups, Kevin Kolb, strained a knee ligament this week. They were then left with McNabb, who is injury-prone, and A.J.Feeley, who is never going to lead Philly to that elusive Super Bowl title.

McNabb has lost a step or two, we all know that. Vick gives Philly another athletic option at the most important position in the sport.

At the same time, there will be protests from animal rights groups and a tough sell to many fans. By comparison, Terrell Owens was an absolute saint.

That is a decision the Eagles made. If they had not done it, no doubt, someone else would have done the same thing soon enough. And if by some chance Vick starts winning games for the Eagles, then you will see how long the fans in Philadelphia care about those dogfighting convictions.

This is a business, and not always a pretty one. Vick has been one of the worst embarrassments that the NFL has ever faced.

But you know what? He gets to play now, if he's good enough. He served the time. He gets the football.

I don't have to like him. You don't have to like him. If the Giants sack him a few times, we'll all have a good time.

My personal feeling on it is, yes, he does have the right to play, as the commissioner has said that he is eligible. I have the Constitutional right to voice my opposition to the decision and make it difficult for anyone who allows him to play.

Does he have a right to a life? Sure (though I would have liked to see more jail time, and possibly mental health intervention). I just think he needs to be out of the spotlight as a role model for so many.
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Postby TheRedQueen » August 16th, 2009, 11:33 am

I like this part...

Vick supporters who want to see him play football again should, if they’re being honest, say “We don’t care what Vick did to dogs, we just want to watch him play football.” But please don’t say he apologized, nor that he paid his debt. You can’t pay a debt you’ve never admitted you owe.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby mnp13 » August 16th, 2009, 12:09 pm

I've seen all of these news clips where Vick says "I did a bad thing"

A bad thing? As in ONE bad thing? That's one of the things that proves the guy is delusional. He didn't just do one bad thing, he did horrible things over and over and over and over.

BIG, HUGE, GIANT difference.

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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