Vick and Dick: What the Falcons QB may have in common with America’s VP

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perspective \•/ BY ANDREW FEINSTEIN
Dateline: 07/27/2007 Denverpost.com

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PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) protesters carry signs and shout slogans calling for the suspension of Atlanta Falcons football player Michael Vick, outside the NFL’s headquarters in New York, Friday, July 20, 2007. Vick was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday for his alleged involvement with dogfighting. (AP / Bebeto Matthews)

Like most of you, I was appalled when reading the ghastly details of the indictment against Michael Vick, which accused the Atlanta Falcons quarterback of violating federal laws against dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for combat and conducting this illegal enterprise across state lines.

As we’ve all read by now, the indictment also included allegations of torture by electrocution and drowning of the animals, employing rape stands and at least one incident of slamming a dog’s body onto the ground until it died.

I don’t have to tell you that this is beyond the pale of sick human behavior, and if the allegations prove true, I hope Vick gets a lifetime ban from the NFL and whatever jail time is coming to him – and, if we’re lucky, maybe they can throw a few rabid pit bulls into his jail cell.

In addition to the allegations and gruesome facts of the case, there’s been a debate raging on sports radio about whether or not Vick is in the cross-hairs due to his race – implying that if Vick were white, perhaps the court of public opinion (if not the federal government itself) would somehow play a more wait-and-see approach.

So I’ve spent the past few days searching for a case in recent history in which a prominent white celebrity got caught committing a vile act of inhumane torture against animals and got off easy. And I found one: Dick Cheney.

During a weekend quail “hunt” in February 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot his pal Harry Whittington in the face. And while the national media, pundits and late-night talk show hosts had a field day with the shooting, the coverup, Cheney’s delay in alerting his boss (who just happens to be the president) and so forth, the real story was overlooked. The real story is that Cheney, like others of his ilk, travels to private “hunting” ranges throughout the U.S., where birds and mammals are placed in cages or nets for weeks at a time, only to be released when the “hunters” arrive to shoot them at close range. The animals aren’t just released with an open hatch or the untying of a net; they are released in a way that disorients them, enabling the “hunter” to get a quick, easy shot. You see, the “hunting” range only collects a fee for animals killed, and thus it’s in their best interest to have as much carnage as possible. Is this not torture?

justice
The American Department Of Law (Not Justice, as it is billed) may one day catch up with this criminal at large.

Cheney and Vick – or Dick and Vick, as I like to call them – actually have a lot in common. They’re both obscenely rich, travel with an entourage of cronies who’ll take the heat should their ringleader get in trouble, dropped out of college early (although in fairness to Dick, after flunking out of Yale, he did finish his degree at the University of Wyoming), starred on their high school football teams but can’t throw an accurate pass, and, of course, seem to revel in the caging, torturing and killing of helpless animals.

And much like Vick, Dick is a repeat offender. According to an article on the Humane Society website, in 2003 Dick, along with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach (what is it with quarterbacks?), U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and several GOP fund-raisers went pheasant “hunting” at the exclusive Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, Pa., where 500 pen-raised pheasants were released from nets, so that Dick and his entourage could gun down 417 of them. After lunch, according to the site, they also knocked off a hundred or so penned-up mallard ducks. The article didn’t mention what they did during happy hour.

While the sports media debate whether or not Vick should play football this season, perhaps the mainstream media should start engaging in a debate about how we treat animals in this country. The Humane Society pointed out in 2003 that in the U.S. there are more than 3,000 canned bird-shooting operations, more than 2,000 private hunting facilities with mammals, including exotic “game” like zebra, in addition to the scores of illegal dog- and cock-fighting outfits we don’t know about.

While some people on the extreme left may want Dick tried for war crimes (which will never happen), let’s make caged hunting illegal in this country, so the likes of Dick could join his fellow animal torturer Vick in being prosecuted.

Then, when they’re both in jail together, they can work on their anemic passing games.

Denver native Andrew Feinstein is the co-creator of “Girls & Sports,” a nationally syndicated comic strip (www.girlsandsports.com).

8 comments on “Vick and Dick: What the Falcons QB may have in common with America’s VP
  1. Cheney is without a doubt one of the most obvious “compleat” criminals around. His rise and rise represents the bankruptcy of American institutions, starting with the corporate media, and following through to the professional political clas, and the corporations themselves, which, being commercial entities, have no ethics to speak of. As for Vick, I find it repugnant, as a Black woman, that this degenerate and awful role model, should be hiding now behind the cottails of “race discrimination.” He and his apologosts do a disservice (like OJ did) to those many cases where race discrimination, as well as class, are powerful factors in convicting someone. He’s as guilty as hell, and that’s where he should be confined to.

  2. The funny thing about this piece is that, were it even slightly tongue in cheek, it would be mildly amusing. But there is nothing amusing about the radical liberal in modern America and his moral relativist approach to every issue he confronts.

    Our President, whether you like him or not, is not another Adolf Hitler. The presence of our troops in Iraq, whether you want them to come home or not, is not another Christian Crusade.

    And hunting, whether you approve of it or not, is simply not the same thing as going down into your basement to fight two dogs until one of them is rendered either dead or defenseless, with the loser being summarily electrocuted, hung, drowned, beat to death or dropped from the roof of a building.

    But there you are, with that smug, liberal smirk on your face, waiting to make the case that they are comparable “offenses” and, as an added bonus, you get to drop the race card which I know is high times for a radical leftist like you. You have no shame. You have no decency. You have no argument.

    Good day, Sir.Posted by Tony Stark at 8:57 AM on July 29

  3. America is the land of innocent until proven guilty, unless of course you are a:

    Celebrity
    Athlete
    Domestic violence suspect
    Sex offender

  4. Good Day Sir?[quote:327744f1c9=”Tony Stark”]The funny thing about this piece is that, were it even slightly tongue in cheek, it would be mildly amusing. But there is nothing amusing about the radical liberal in modern America and his moral relativist approach to every issue he confronts.

    Our President, whether you like him or not, is not another Adolf Hitler. The presence of our troops in Iraq, whether you want them to come home or not, is not another Christian Crusade.

    And hunting, whether you approve of it or not, is simply not the same thing as going down into your basement to fight two dogs until one of them is rendered either dead or defenseless, with the loser being summarily electrocuted, hung, drowned, beat to death or dropped from the roof of a building.

    But there you are, with that smug, liberal smirk on your face, waiting to make the case that they are comparable “offenses” and, as an added bonus, you get to drop the race card which I know is high times for a radical leftist like you. You have no shame. You have no decency. You have no argument.

    Good day, Sir.[/quote:327744f1c9]

    Do you know what you’re talking about? Sir? Even though your post was not tongue in cheek, it was funny because you tried to slam a “liberal” with the nasty accusation of being a moral relativist in response to the “liberal’s” argument that was based in moral absolutism. Did you have a smirk on your face when you tried that?

    Here’s a quick lesson for you on moral relativity. In essence, the doctrine of moral relativity holds that no overarching or universal standards exist by which one can make moral judgments. Moral judgments are relevant only in the context of the sphere in which they are made. For example, a moral relativist could say that the equal treatment of women in the United States is a morally “good” thing, but that disparate treatment of women in Middle Eastern cultures is not a morally “bad” thing because the treatment lives within a different context. This is why moral relativists always seem so tolerant of different cultures and people. Naturally, they fall in line with progressive and “liberal” cultural movements.

    Your attempt at slamming those godless moral relativists is misguided here because the author of the article proposes a universal standard by which you can morally judge conduct. Remeber, universal standards are anathema to moral relativists. The proposed universal standard is simple: violence directed toward living animals based solely on human recreation is morally reprehensible. Whether you are white, black, rich, poor, hunting, or fight promoting. A moral relativist wouldn’t apply the same standard to different cultures, she would “tolerate” differences in them.

    That you disagree with the proposal is a natural response. But to do so, guess what? You are the moral relativist. Oh no! If you find some violence toward animals for recreational purposes morally reprehensible, like dog fighting, but do not share the same for hunting or dog racing – you are making distinctions without meanings. Whether the distinction you make is based on degrees of violence or based on historical practices, your distinctions are meaningless in the face of a proposition that says all violence is reprehensible if conducted for recreation. You apply different moral standards within different cultures and contexts. You are tolerant of violence in some situations and intolerant of violance in others. Your “liberal” opponent would be intolerant of violance in all situations because he takes an absolute position in regards to animal treatment.

    Good times, I’m sure, trying to rip liberals by calling them liberals. “Liberals” give you plenty of oppurtunity to accuse them of moral relativity – so don’t over do it and certainly don’t misuse it if you want to keep your shame, sir. While there may be nothing amusing about the radical liberal in modern America, there is something amusing about your condemnation of moral relativists in the context of attacking a proposition based in moral absolutism.

  5. Dick & Vick- the same?

    As a lifelong hunter in Colorado it would be easy for me to take offense at Mr. Feinstein’s argument that Vice-President Cheney’s legal “hunts” are somehow comparable to Michael Vick’s illegal dog fighting activities. However, I believe he makes a valid point that highlights the fact that the term “hunting” means different things to different people. For me hunting means an annual vacation in the woods with my father and brothers participating in rituals and rites that were handed down from my grandfather’s grandfather. We never hunt nor kill any animal that we don’t intend to eat and we would never shoot any animal that was caged or baited to ensure an easy kill. Any person who purchases these “canned hunts” can expect to be driven from our camp with laughter and a derisive comment to get back to the city where they belong. In other words; in no way shape or form is what Cheney and his cronies do on these organized killing sprees hunting, and in my book Cheney is about as much a hunter as he is an environmentalist. Unfortunately, like all good things these days commercial interests have perverted the sport of hunting to mean only one thing: killing an animal and getting back to the lodge as quickly as possible for Happy Hour. For those who think this is hunting my advice is to take up golf and leave the outdoors to us who appreciate what it means to live and play in the glorious Colorado mountains.

  6. [quote:a1d6b02ec6=”Tony Stark”]The funny thing about this piece is that, were it even slightly tongue in cheek, it would be mildly amusing. But there is nothing amusing about the radical liberal in modern America and his moral relativist approach to every issue he confronts.

    Our President, whether you like him or not, is not another Adolf Hitler. The presence of our troops in Iraq, whether you want them to come home or not, is not another Christian Crusade.

    And hunting, whether you approve of it or not, is simply not the same thing as going down into your basement to fight two dogs until one of them is rendered either dead or defenseless, with the loser being summarily electrocuted, hung, drowned, beat to death or dropped from the roof of a building.

    But there you are, with that smug, liberal smirk on your face, waiting to make the case that they are comparable “offenses” and, as an added bonus, you get to drop the race card which I know is high times for a radical leftist like you. You have no shame. You have no decency. You have no argument.

    Good day, Sir.[/quote:a1d6b02ec6]

    I love posts that end in ‘Good day, Sir”… it’s almost Paul Harvey-esque in it’s formality, yet has that “I sure told [b:a1d6b02ec6]HIM[/b:a1d6b02ec6]!” ring to it, and takes itself soooo seriously!

    I’m struck by the fact, as stated before, that the tone of the article was in fact absolutist, yet it’s somehow obligatory to slap ‘liberals’ with the ‘relativist’ tag, if only out of sheer, mind-numbing habit.

    I guess I’m relativist on some issues, but absolutist on others. That makes me what…. confused? I’m with the author – cruelty is cruelty. We need to evolve.

    Blowing the cr*p out of confused, defenseless animals for ‘pleasure’ is cruel. Hunting is something that has debatable merit at this stage of things – valid arguments for and against. What was described is not hunting, it’s just killing.

    Would we accept spinning a dog around until it was disoriented, hobbling it, or otherwise causing it to be hampered and disabled, then releasing it to be shot by some thrill seeker? Okay, then if not a dog, would we tolerate it for a cat? How ’bout a ferret? At what point does it become okay to demonstrate such behavior toward an animal? If you try to apply some standard to one species but not another, you run smack into problems relative to comparative animal cognition, where one might suggest that a dog is superior to a squirrel for instance, based upon it’s traits that are considered of value to humans – such as ‘intelligence’. However, squirrels have been demonstrated to have amazing problem solving abilities, exceeding those of most dogs. So then we say that dogs are loyal and brave and trustworthy and true…. but many animals have been demonstrated to bond with humans in remarkable ways… geese that fly with their hang-gliding human alphas, as just one incredible example…

    Having seen cruelty and neglect demonstrated in other countries and cultures, I cannot say that the animals feel it any more or less depending upon the particulars of the human culture that inflicts their pain.

    Personally, I can’t find any ‘relativist’ reason to believe that needless cruelty is more acceptable under any one circumstance than another.

    I also can’t say that I think we simply excuse it more readily on the basis of the race or status of the offender – I think it’s more a matter of awareness. If Dick were found to be pitting dogs, I’m very sure that there would be a huge outcry, and criminal proceedings. If Vick were then to have been stated in the paper to have had a generic hunting accident, I doubt that he’d have been suspended from his position. It’s that people haven’t been educated to the specifics of exactly what kind of ‘hunting’, nor have they given much attention to the ethical questions involved, that causes one thing to weigh more or less than another, I think.

    Hopefully, Dick will soon be relegated to the same dusty display as the other dinosaurs, as also will many of the practices we take so for granted today.

  7. Mullah Cimoc say so sad for aemriki abortion kill all the baby but loving the animal too much. him treat animal like the child for the guilt of the killing abortin of the baby.

    so strange now in ameriki countruy. man go prison more time for torture/kill chicken than for torture/k9ll iraki.

    this proving the wicked of amriki man. and the woman also.

    google: mighty wurlitzer +cia for understand basic of brain control technical.

  8. Andrew Feinstein is indeed correct that canned hunts are obscene and barbaric, and that the owners and patrons of these ranges should be considered criminals. I would argue, why stop here? Though thousands of animals may be tortured and killed in these blood sports, there are billions of animals that are tortured in our factory farms. Calves are separated from their mothers at two days old to be chained in veal crates for the duration of their lives. Sows lie on concrete floors in crates in indoor facilities and cannot even turn around. Chickens are de-beaked without anesthesia. Male chicks are either suffocated or crushed alive. Geese and ducks are force fed with metal tubes to make their livers diseased for paté. Billions of animals raised for food don’t see the light of day or feel the grass beneath their feet.
    We should outlaw factory farming practices, as well as canned hunts. Human beings do not have the moral high ground. They surrender it every time they mistreat an animal – any animal.

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