Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Moral Equivalency Express

The Michael Vick apologists are busy. He hasn't even been sentenced and already there's movement to reward him for his "indiscretions."

ATLANTA -- An NAACP leader said Michael Vick should be allowed to return to the NFL, preferably the Atlanta Falcons, after serving his sentence for his role in a dogfighting operation.

Please have your luggage and boarding passes ready, here it comes, the Moral Equivalency Express.

"As a society, we should aid in his rehabilitation and welcome a new Michael Vick back into the community without a permanent loss of his career in football," said R.L. White, president of the NAACP's Atlanta chapter."

How do you rehabilitate a 27 year old millionaire who enjoys seeing dogs rip each other to shreds so that other equally insane people can bet on the outcome? The old Michael Vick used his fortune to finance an underworld network of animal cruelty. Welcome the new Michael Vick with a two by four as he starts his parole.

Not only did he fight the dogs, he breed them for this explicit purpose, hired people to run the operation for him and killed dogs that did not perform to his expectations. Maybe the NAACP is pleased that Mr. Vicks' operation strove for doggie excellence in this fashion.

The NFL already has an image problem with its spoiled bad boy jocks. What part of RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970) don't you understand Mr. White? Vick faces charges under the same statute used to prosecute gang bangers and street thugs. But let's send a message to these young people by making excuses for athletes who break the law, hmmmmm?

"We further ask the NFL, Falcons, and the sponsors not to permanently ban Mr. Vick from his ability to bring hours of enjoyment to fans all over this country."

Just like the hours of enjoyment Mr. Vick brought to his dog fighting customers, eh? I'm sure Mr. Vick just lives to entertain people all over this great country of ours. With this kind of commitment, I'm sure that Mr. Vick will find another venue for his "special" kind of entertainment. Perhaps something involving baby seals or kittens this time.

White said the Falcons quarterback is a human being who has made a mistake and should be allowed to prove that he has learned from that mistake.

When is forcing dogs to tear each other apart for the amusement of other equally flawed humans a mistake?? A mistake is when that shelf you just hung isn't parallel to the floor. A mistake is when you forget to add an egg into the pancake batter mix. A mistake is when you mow over your wife's rhododendrons. Initiating, managing and profiting from a criminal enterprise is not a mistake. It is a purposeful act of will involving intent and planning. There is no mistake about it. Mr. White's mistake is he thinks that every one reading this tripe is going to swallow it.

On Monday, Vick said through a lawyer that he will plead guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and conspiracy to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.

So Mr. Vick simply hired the wrong contractors to build the Michael Vick "I HEART Puppies" Animal Hospital and Petting Zoo? His hired bozos then make the mistake of turning it into the Bad Newz Kennels; a Virgina-based Auschwitz for pit bulls. Fifty-three pit bulls were taken from his property and may have to be out down. So many mistakes, so little time to make them.

Three Vick associates have pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and say Vick provided nearly all the gambling and operating funds for the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting enterprise. Two of them also said Vick participated in executing at least eight underperforming dogs, raising the possibility of the animal cruelty charges.

More mistakes of the Charles Manson variety.

White said he regretted that the plea deal will mean all the facts of the case might never be known.

"Some have said things to save their own necks," White said. "Michael Vick has received more negative press than if he had killed a human being."

White said he does not support dogfighting and that he considers it as bad as hunting.

"His crime is, it was a dog," White said.

What does throwing two enraged beasts into a pit and watching them kill each other have to do with hunting? This is not hunting! It is bloodlust and money - killing and gambling. I can't believe I'm reading this. The facts of the case are what's driving Vick to a guilty plea.

If it was Joe Six Pack who got arrested for this, we wouldn't be hearing about whether or not he should be returning to his mail route. He'd be picking out shower curtains with his new cellmate.

And others feel the same way.

What Goodell has done, shrewdly and effectively, is to tap the mood of the country and use it in creating his mandate. Just as in the late 1960s and '70s, when a collective energy existed to empower the players with more freedom of movement, greater salaries and post-career opportunities in baseball, now there is momentum for the disciplining of today's elite who believe their checkbooks elevate them beyond the reach of the public, responsibility and the law. The common attitude today is that players are out of control, above accountability, empowered to be absolved of responsibility by the teams that pay them and the leagues that publicly condemn abhorrent behavior but refuse to administer proper sanction.

Amen to that and a H/T to blogbuddy Guido.

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