Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Michael Vick: Barking Mad

ESPN reports tonight that Michael Vick might take a plea deal which would land him in jail for around a year.


For dogs fighting? What the hell? There are murderers who get less time. Give me a friggin' break. They are dogs. No, it's not nice, but lots of things in this world are not nice, and in the Not Nice hierarchy why is the government busying itself over fighting dogs? As a taxpayer, I find the whole thing ridiculous.

Queen Elizabeth enjoyed bear and bull baiting for heaven's sake:

Bull baiting was a contest in which the bear was chained to a stake by one hind leg or by the neck and worried by dogs. The whipping of a blinded bear was another variation of bear-baiting. Queen Elizabeth attended a famous baiting which was described by an Elizabethan chronicler called Robert Laneham as follows:

"... it was a sport very pleasant to see, to see the bear, with his pink eyes, tearing after his enemies approach; the nimbleness and wait of the dog to take his advantage and the force and experience of the bear again to avoid his assaults: if he were bitten in one place how he would pinch in another to get free; that if he were taken once, then by what shift with biting, with clawing, with roaring, with tossing and tumbling he would work and wind himself from them; and when he was loose to shake his ears twice or thrice with the blood and the slaver hanging about his physiognomy."
Oh, and cock fighting was fun, too:
Cock fighting was another popular Elizabethan blood sport. Roosters were fitted with sharp blades on each foot and put into a cock pit to fight to the death. Fighting cocks were expensive, so it took a wealthy man to own these birds, but Elizabethans from both the Upper and Lower Classes came to see and bet on these cock fights.

But here we are in the ever-so-civilized United States marshaling all the force of the Patriot Act to jail these modern barbarians.

You know what I find barbaric? The government misusing it's excessive and considerable power to persecute frivolous misdeeds when rape, murder, and heinous crimes get ignored.

And for all the animal lovers (and I am one) who say this:
Perhaps these two football people would like to justify the means to make these dogs exceedingly aggressive and attack another dog. Being social animals, this is not usual behaviour for dogs. This aggressiveness is induced. It is taught - if you wish to call it ‘teaching.’ By all standards of decency, the aggressiveness is taught by cruel, inhumane means. In simple terms, the dogs are tortured to be aggressive and pack / social instincts to fellow canines are extinguished. - Perhaps some consider this ‘good fun.’ I contend that a majority of people see this as cruelty.
I would recommend they watch some National Geographic shows. The natural world is vicious. And then there was my friend Darryl's dog who'd sooner kill another dog that "socialize" with it. He was anything but social. He didn't like most people either. And when he fought dogs, he went for the throat. To kill. Au natural. No breeding. No training.

I'm tired of our wussified culture. I'm tired of the intrusive government and its power. Dog fighting is what the federal government thinks is a priority these days. That says it all.


David said...

I don't agree with you at all on this. If people are really going to jail for less than a year for murder--without major mitigating circumstances such as self-defense--then that problem is what needs to be fixed. It doesn't imply that violations of criminal statutes for crimes less than murder should be ignored.

Queen Elizabeth enjoyed bear-baiting? Well, in the late 1700s, women who were convicted of currency counterfeiting were sometimes sentenced to be *burned alive*. The fact that barbaric behavior was tolerated in earlier ages does not mean it has to be tolerated here and now.

People who exhibit cruelty to animals generally also exhibit cruelty to people. I think cruelty to animals needs to be prosecuted aggressively.

Melissa Clouthier said...


Yes, people who are cruel to animals, especially as children, often end up harming people. That's a stretch to say that adults who enjoy dog fighting or boxing or football (remember the wife beating meme?)or WWF or Nascar hurt people.

Do I think dog fighting is barbaric? Yes. Would I enjoy it? No. I don't watch boxing or ultimate fighting or WWF for the same reason. I do, however, love football.

Do I think dog fighting is morally wrong? Yes. But I think pornography is wrong and does FAR more damage. And I think abortion is wrong and barbaric and makes dog fighting look positively civilized.

I also think psychos blowing up our cities is morally wrong, but that's not lighting a fire under the government's ass to block the border where these evil people get a free trip in.

What I am saying, is that dog fighting is small potatoes. I think selling people (pimps and prostitution and child sex slave trade) is worse. I think murder is worse.

The government has limited resources. Put them toward big-time barbarism.

I know a lot of people will disagree with me. In fact, I fully expect to be in a teensy tiny minority on this. Oh well. I view this dog-fighting thing as mission creep by the federal government and it bugs me when their priorities are so out of whack.

kpowell said...

Hey as long as Michael Vick pays the $63 Billion that he owes this poor guy I wouldn't mind him getting no jail time. :)

Seriously though... you can't have 100% of your police force going after felonies because everyone would know they had free reign to commit misdemeanors.

You also hit the law of diminishing returns... so if you throw 10 more agents on searching for Al Qaida cells there is no appreciable gain... but if you sent those 10 agents after lesser offenses you would clean up a significant amount of the lesser offenses.

And this entire discussion is completely unrelated to WHY our politicians won't seal the borders.

Bob said...

An excellent post.
I think you should consider that the Feds are less concerned about the dog fighting and more concerned over the large amounts of money (much of it drug money, I suspect) being wagered on those fights. It will be money laundering and tax evasion for which Mr. Vick will do time. And that is worth our taxpayer dollars.

Melissa Clouthier said...

OK Bob and David,

Michael Vick is a baddie. If he's money laundering drug money he should do time. And I get the mall offenses thing--going after the small fries often nets the big ones.

I still say that the public outrage shouldn't be over persecuted puppies. Now if some nefarious drug cartel is using Vick's enterprise to hide dirty dealings... well, that's another story.

And no doubt, the IRS wants it's filthy paws on his ill-gotten gain.


Bob said...

Well said Melissa. I concede the point. (If only politicians and the media pontificators could engage in honest debate...*sigh*)