Michael Vick, big time quarterback in the National Football League, has plea-bargained himself into minor punishment by confessing to interstate trafficking in dog fighting. The evidence suggests much, much more that Vick did, but the prosecutors settled for this plea.
Vick ran, funded, condoned, and participated in more dog fighting at his Virginia McMansion than we know for the present. He called his endeavor "Bad Nuze Kennel," and it was bad news for any dog taken there. Losers were slaughtered with gratuitous cruelty, which was part of the fun Vick provided. The winners were exhausted, torn, bleeding, and miserably painful animals being restored for the next round of "fun" at Vick's place. "Thousands" of dog bones have been dug up on his grounds. In retrospect, maybe these were the lucky dogs: death ended their suffering. As of Friday, 24 August, there were 53 dogs taken from Vick's place; they were to be claimed by owners or to be euthanized. FIFTY-THREE DOGS. Imagine the numbers for all, could they be summed.
Vick took the "high road." Yes, he owned up to owning Bad Nuze Kennel, bankrolling it, running it, and partaking in its pleasures. He denies killing any dogs, but he knew that losers were being killed in most sadistic manners.
What do we make of Michael Vick? Some say he could not help it, that he was an inevitable product of his environment. These and other comments need to be set aside briefly.
Others say that Vick is moral monster, taking pleasure, "sport," fellowship, and vast cash from gratuitous cruelty. Are they right?
The counter-arguments distill down to these. Dogs are not people, after all. They are property, and the law really does make that clear. When the Chinese additive melamine killed dogs and cats earlier this year, owners could only recover the cost of their animals, and maybe some of the vet bills, rather like covering a lawnmower broken by someone. Doesn't the right to property entail full use, including disposal? That is what the law protects or is supposed to protect by upholding the right to property. These outcries from dog pet owners are just over-emotionality. Don't forget that hunting is legal, and its purpose is to kill animals.
These are not all of the arguments supporting Vick, but they are the least irrational and revolting. Note here that "least irrational" is NOT saying that these arguments are "rational." The stuff coming from the mouths of publicity-oriented black supporters of Vick is totally irrational, and such stuff sadly tars the good black with the same brush because too few good blacks are speaking out. The black silence is identical to the same quality of silence as that from "moderate" Muslims who will not speak out against the horrors imposed by fundamentalist Muslims. The inevitable conclusion, even if wrong, is that silence equals assent.
Vick is wrong on several counts, and it is time to spell out the principles involved.
First, the fact that a human can do something does not mean that he should do it. For example, lining up four students in Newark, New Jersey, for ritual murder (and not succeeding in killing one) could be done, and it was done. Among the perpetrators were two illegal aliens in America illegally and were members of the infamous MS-13 gang; their being in America could be done and was, but it should not have been done any more than that wretchedly immoral mayor providing sanctuary for them. Surely there can be no question about the "should" part of their actions.
Second, implied in actions are standards.
Property rights indeed imply full use and disposal, under the protection of the law. Dogs, like fighting cocks, are legal property. What is legal is not necessarily moral.
Dogs are a special class of entities. They are living, in a universe where almost 100% of entities are inanimate. Living entities have natures and requirements unique to the fact that they are living. Dogs are conscious. They emote. They bond. When traumatized physically, they bleed and feel pain—just like people. They are very special entities: living, conscious, sentient entities. In addition, when traumatized mentally, they suffer, both acutely and chronically.
In general, life values life, surely on the human level. Properly, life is the standard of all values for humans, and their own lives their meaning and purpose for living.
Values must be hierarchicalized. Obviously, a dog merits greater valuing than a mosquito, for example. A dog, in principle and occasionally in fact, might harm humans, but most do not. Mosquitoes almost always harm humans, from feasting on their blood and leaving welts, to spreading myriad diseases while dining on people. Domesticated living entities have special value and special needs. With such entities comes the need to honor their dependence with stewardship. "Care" may apply to the inanimate but not "stewardship." Pet ownership is as popular as it is because of the special relationship of life to life and life for life. We experience it as emotional bonding. Anti-cruelty and anti-dog-fighting laws recognize the existential and moral status of sentient animals.
What kind of human fosters extreme cruelty for "sport"? What kind of man seeks pleasure in the pain, suffering, maiming, and slaughter of who-knows-how-many dogs? Seeking pleasure, that was what Michael Vick did. He had plenty of money from football; he did not need the income from dog fighting. He wanted the fellowship of other humans like him, who took pleasure in the thrill of pain and suffering, along with the gambling, of animals that had no voice or vote in the process.
The Bad Nuze Kennel was an American Abu Ghraib. No, not the one the Left crow about, the one run by the USA after Saddam. That Abu Ghraib was much more of a kindergarten by comparison. No, Vick's Abu Ghraib equivalent was the one run by Saddam Hussein. In that version, humans were tortured, murdered, dismembered, drowned, electrocuted, and beat to death—just like the dogs at Bad Nuze Kennel. Vick's role was that Saddam had in funding, staffing, and ordering the sadistic horrors within.
It takes a certain type of mind to love gratuitous cruelty. Saddam had it. Vick has it. The only next step up for Vick from dogs is to humans. His mind is ready, and his henchmen are ready. Vick can never come back from this realization, no matter how many foundations he funds, how much contrition he displays, how many confessions and bestselling books, etc.
The quality of support for Vick overwhelms anyone who has a live-as-value sense of morality. Some blacks have asserted tribalistic support, meaning blacks for Vick because Vick is black, just as the black jury did for O. J. Simpson. That blatant rejection of reality really frightens. It is savagery.
A Michael Eric Dyson, PhD, a black intellectual from George Washington University, dumped a bad full of rationalizations and apologetics for Vick on the O'Reilly Factor, 24 August 2007. Dyson is a master of double-speak and oral illusioneering. He puts out vast verbiage, as though he is saying something useful, but it is simply smoke and mirrors. Among his other gems was the hunting as sport argument, which excuses Vick for hurting and killing dogs. Well, no, this argument is weak at best. Hunting animals for sport is raw barbarity, rationalized by people who like to kill for fun. Meat on the table can be found at any grocery store, and need not come from terrorizing wild animals. Overpopulation, which is especially encouraged in order to provide for hunters, can be managed humanely, and killing for the joy of killing is not humane. Note that these hunters eschew the level playing field: They never hunt each other, with essentially equal armaments and skills. The hunted would shoot back; the wild animals cannot. The fact that one can "hunt for sport" does not mean one should.
(No, I do not hunt, and yes, I love firearms. I own them for pleasure shooting at insentient targets and for self-defense. Yes, I would shoot a rattlesnake threatening me. No, I would not go into its habitat to find it to kill it.)
Dyson also argued that Vick grew up in a black environment where dog fighting was common, normal, and tolerated. This argument has all the morality of jihadi apologetics. Far too many blacks also love dogs, cats, and other animals, and they know that dog fighting is evil. It is purely Marxian to excuse Vick as a product of his environment. He knew better all along.
Dyson prattled like any standard issue Muslim apologist who would do anything other than condemn jihad, Islamic bellicosity, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. He did not and would not condemn Vick, his actions, or even dog fighting, expect in the faintest terms for the latter. He tried to invoke white guilt by calling up New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, in which pets allegedly were bussed out but poor blacks were left to drown. He also tried to milk other instances of alleged man's-inhumanity-to-man. Michele Malkin, sitting in for O'Reilly, did not let this smoke-blower get away with it.
There is one bright spot among blacks. Dennis Hayes, NAACP National Interim President and CEO, reportedly told the Today Show on 24 August 2007: "(Vick) was in control of his actions, and he's not a victim." At last, someone with spine speaks out, almost as a lone voice.
Michael Vick will get off light—no matter what his punishment and sequelae. However, he can never be trusted again. Nevertheless, watch people standing in line to hire him, to befriend him, help him write his book and those who will buy it, and to make excuses for him. Watch them carefully. Study them: They are motor of evil in the world—they are supporting evil BY CHOICE.