Archive for the ‘Michael Vick’ Category

Thinking You Are “Above the Little People”

March 16, 2008

By Thomas Sowell
The Washington Times
March 16, 2008

What was he thinking? That was the first question that came to mind when the story of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s involvement with a prostitution ring was reported in the media.
Eliot Spitzer looks at a chart at a press conference in New ... 
It was also the first question that came to mind when star quarterback Michael Vick ruined his career and lost his freedom over his involvement in illegal dog fighting. It is a question that arises when other very fortunate people risk everything for some trivial satisfaction.
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Many in the media refer to Eliot Spitzer as some moral hero who fell from grace. Mr. Spitzer was never a moral hero. He was an unscrupulous prosecutor who threw his power around to ruin people, even when he didn’t have any case with which to convict them of anything. Because he used his overbearing power against businesses, the anti-business left idolized him, just as they idolized Ralph Nader before him as some sort of secular saint because he attacked General Motors.
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What Eliot Spitzer did was not out of character. It was completely in character for someone with the hubris that comes with the ability to misuse his power to make or break innocent people.
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After John Whitehead, former head of Goldman Sachs, wrote an op-ed column in the Wall Street Journal, criticizing Attorney General Spitzer’s handling of a case involving Maurice Greenberg, Mr. Spitzer was quoted by Mr. Whitehead as saying: “I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done.”
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When you start thinking of yourself as a little tin god, able to throw your weight around to bully people into silence, it is a sign of a sense of being exempt from the laws and social rules that apply to other people.
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For someone with this kind of hubris to risk his whole political career for a fling with a prostitute is no more surprising than for Michael Vick to throw away millions to indulge his taste for dog fighting or for Leona Helmsley to avoid paying taxes — not because she couldn’t easily pay the taxes and still have more money than she could ever spend but because she felt above the rules that apply to “the little people.”
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What is almost as scary as having someone like Eliot Spitzer hold power is having so many pundits talk as if this is just a “personal” flaw in Mr. Spitzer that should not disqualify him for public office. Mr. Spitzer himself spoke of his “personal” failing as if it had nothing to do with his being governor of New York.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20080316/
COMMENTARY07/242309123/1012/COMMENTARY

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Britney Spears’ 16 Year Old Sister is Pregnant

December 19, 2007

Comment from Peace and Freedom: If your kids are caught up in the “Pop Culture” of American and idolize people like Michael Vick, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and her 16 year old sister Jamie Lynn Spears, it might be a good time to return them to reality in a faith-based school or envirnoment.  We, frankly, believe people such as these provide a negative and even a corrosive impact on America….

Todd Wiliamson/WireImage.com
Jamie Lynn Spears and Casey Aldridge
The Associated Press

Another Spears baby is reportedly on the way — and it’s not Britney‘s.Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old “Zoey 101” star and sister of Britney, tells OK! magazine that she’s pregnant and that the father is her longtime boyfriend, Casey Aldridge.

“It was a shock for both of us, so unexpected,” she says. “I was in complete and total shock and so was he.”

Spears is 12 weeks along and initially kept the news to herself when she learned of the pregnancy from an at-home test and subsequent doctor visit, she told the celebrity magazine, which hits stands in New York on Wednesday and the rest of the country by Friday.

Read the rest:
http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=289216

Related:
Tell Kids Who Idolize Sports Stars: Michael Vick’s Empire Crashing to Earth\

Peace and Freedom Group: November 20, 2007

November 20, 2007

Here’s a locator of our top posts for Tuesday, November 20, 2007:

On Peace and Freedom:

Pakistan: Musharraf Is the Problem

Feds urge vigilance on toy safety

Russia’s Putin: Wants NATO to Back Off; Says His Nuclear Forces are Ready

Six activists arrested in Vietnam, says dissident group

Thailand: Elephant Roundup!

Four new posts on “Peace and Freedom III”; these can be found at:
http://johnib.typepad.com/

1. China urges Iran to abide by U.N. resolutions
2. Pakistan releases opposition supporters
3. Chinese Dam Projects Criticized for Their Human Costs
4. Southeast Asia Leaders Adopt Charter

And don’t forget to check out all the great reading at Peace and Freedom II (just scroll down from here):

Two primary topics today: China and American Culture/Society.

China:

China’s Growing Inflation Woes Could Spur Price Hikes
In U.S.

Wen says China behind on pollution goals

Germany looks to Asia, at China’s expense

Calif Suing Toy Companies Caught Using Lead 

American Culture/Society:

Government study: Americans reading less

Vick Dog In Slammer; Wants a Mike Tyson Free Ride

U.S. Marine Lost in Vietnam Laid to Rest

Politically Incorrect: McCain Says It’s O.K. To Make People Mad

Downward mobility trend threatens black middle class

Memo to Ellen: In ¼ of the World People Eat Dogs

October 20, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 20, 2007

Poverty. Homelessness. Disease. Death. War. Genocide. I can think of a lot of reasons to shed tears over the cruelty, injustice and violence of the world.

A repossessed dog doesn’t move me to tears.

In America “dog food” refers to something one feeds to a dog.  In other lands, the dog is people food.

The wealthiest nation and people on the face of the earth spend far too much time, effort and money in nail shops, hair salons and on Starbucks coffee. But what we Americans spend on our four legged buddies is staggering.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) confirms the full scope of American “pet prowess.” For starters, few other nations even have a pet products association.

According to the APPMA, pet spending has more than doubled in America from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $38.4 billion in 2006.

In 2006, American spending on pets was higher than ever:
–$15.2 billion for food
–$9.3 billion for supplies and over-the-counter medications
–$9.4 billion for veterinarian care
–$1.8 billion for live animal purchases
–$2.7 billion for other services

Many elderly folks now have their pet medications delivered right to their door.

Here are some additional facts from the APPMA:
–Total pet spending in America during 2005 was larger than projected with total sales coming in at $36.3 billion.
–Both veterinary care and other services had stronger than anticipated performances in 2005.
–New and expanded veterinary services such as joint replacement surgeries, delicate eye procedures, and senior health care helped increase total spending by almost 8 percent over 2004.

Other innovative new services continue to increase market penetration with pet spas and hotels, grooming, pet therapy and related services.

Hey, in China, dogs are people food.

“Both of these segments should maintain strong performances this year as pet ownership continues to increase especially among key demographic sectors including baby boomers and young professional couples,” said Bob Vetere, President of APPMA.
–Growth in the pet food sector performed as forecasted at 3.5 percent over 2004. “It is interesting to note that food continues to show growth not only in the expected high-end areas with vitamin fortified formulas, gourmet lines and natural/organic food but with the value-priced portion of the segment as well,” said Bob Vetere.

This has been a banner year for American dogs. Michael “Vick Dog” Vick, who raised animal cruelty to new heights, prompted the news media to shed light upon the cruel and abusive world of dog fighting. In a way, “Vick Dog,” though an unexpected bit of serendipity, helped publicize the dark world of dog fighting — and maybe this will in the long run make this evel practice obsolete.

For the past several days some Americans have been immersed in Ellen’s dog tragedy.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried said, “And we wasted so much time on the World Trade Center!”

Gilbert Gottfried

We recommend, if people really want to open their hearts and their wallets, that there are plenty of good causes that help people around the globe. And people are worth crying over sometimes.

Dogs: Not.

Note to Ellen: at the American chicken restaurant “Chic-fil-A,” the motto is “Eat more Chicken.”  In some parts of the world, they gladly say, “Eat more dog.”

Related:
Dog Rights in America versus Human Rights in Vietnam

Early Odds in Vegas: Don’t Bet on Juice Futures

September 18, 2007

“Canned Juice.” “O.J. In Tight Squeeze Again.” “Getting Away With Murder (But Not Theft).” “Fresh Squeezed Juice.” “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas (Until Now).”

The saga (or “trials”) of Orenthal James Simpson is a headline writer’s delight.  But before we take too much fun away from his mayhem, consider this:

–Former L.A. Policemen say that Nicole Brown Simpson was brutalized, nearly decapitated and killed by “someone on a rage.” O.J. was accused of the murder, went to trial and was acquitted.

–Mr. Ronald Goldman, a waiter who may have been an innocent bystander, was also killed by the same killer, according to now retired L.A. Policemen.

–The audio tape of O. J. and his posse entering a hotel room and what ensued is damning on several levels.  Lawyers can suck “The Juice” out of Orenthal for many things he said; but one sentence stands out.  “Don’t let nobody out of this room. . . . Think you can steal my [expletive] and sell it?”  The first part indicates unlawful imprisonment or detention.  The second part indicates that O. J. thought he had ownership over the memorabilia.  If anyone owned O. J.’s memorabilia it was the family of Mr. Ronald Goldman, who won a civil suit against Mr. Simpson.  That court order required Mr. Simpson to pay $33.5 million in compensatory damages to the Goldman family, to Ron Goldman’s biological mother, and to the family of his ex-wife Nicole.  No payments were ever made.  The rules of the court required Mr. Simpson to liquidate assets to meet the obligations of the court.  If he thought he still “owned” memorabilia, he was violating the law.

–If a gun was used in the hotel room crimes, that further complicates Mr. Simpson’s woes.

–Finally, Tax Evasion still looms.  O. J. has probably been conducting a huge business in real or illicit memorabilia for years.  If evidence proves this to be true, when the court cases clear O.J. will still be hounded by the most feared arm of the Federal Bureaucracy: The Internal Revenue Service or I.R.S.  The most famous criminal in American history, Al Capone, a thug like O. J. who also got away with murder, also scammed the I.R.S. on his income taxes because the income was almost totally illegally obtained.  In Capone’s case, his posse had so intimidated witnesses to everything, including murder, that none would admit to seeing a thing.  What brought down Capone?  The I.R.S.

So this entire affair is an American tragedy.  Two people are dead, the American legal system suffered a severe blow to its credibility when O. J. was found innocent in the murder trial, and a one-time sports hero has been exposed for what he truly is: a thug, a tax evader, a man willing to threaten and use violence to achieve his ends, and a man with no regard for others: even his one-time wife.

O. J. has always hurdled past obstacles, just as he did in a famous rent-a-car commercial.

International readers have asked me, “How is O.J. really famous?”

O. J. is “famous” as a football star (both college and professional), as a movie star, as an advertiser’s dream in the rental car industry, as a man tried and NOT convicted of murder, and now as a protector of sports memorabilia.

But those last two honors, acquitted of murder and charged with unlawful entry and whatever else, do not make you famous.  They make you infamous.

The question is, can you toast juice?  A Nevada court will answer that.
*****

The essay above seemed just a little “too cute,” upon further reflection, so I am adding the statement below as a post script.

John E. Carey

There is also a horrifying reality to all of this. Mr. Simpson has been, by many accounts, a man out of control, for many years. Nicole Brown Simpson had called police before her fatal assault to complain about his brutality. Police even photographer her with severe bruising to her face and arms. Simpson was never charged with assault.

Mr. Simpson’s charm, which thousands of people have attested to, and his sporting achievements, which are the stuff of legend (and the National Football League’s “Hall of Fame”) made him the perfect guest for fawning sports memorabilia aficionados and the thugs that participate in a $2 Billion a year business. Many police officials and memorabilia experts say the vast majority of the high priced items available for sale are fakes.

This brings us to the NFL itself. We, the paying public, have fallen in love with a game that has brutality at its core. We have made the players, the owners, the coaches and tons of others millionaires. Many of the highly paid members of this fraternity are multi-millionaires.

I’ve been asking clients and friends what they thought about the NFL since the Michael Vick case erupted into the headlines. You know what? There is a growing group of men rejecting the NFL as loosely controlled mayhem.

One intellectual said to me, “The players of the NFL are the modern gladiators. Maybe they are even our society’s version of legal barbarians. Or maybe they are akin to the Roman Empire’s paid warriors or mercenaries.”

To him, accused dog killer Vick was no surprise and no anomaly. “O. J. Simpson has been a rage-filled man for years.  Society just didn’t let him get away with it. We rewarded him at every turn. We adored him.”

Vick, many other NFL “Bad Boys” like “Pacman” Jones and O. J. are a sad reflection of American society and culture.

This essay has also appeared on several other websites with the author’s permission.  This web site is from Australia (O.J. interest reached into the outback):
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=
6398

Related:
Infamous return: O. J. Again in the News

(After this essay was completed, Mr. Simpson was charged with seven felonies.  This is no joking matter.)

Vick Lawyers Working Plea Deal

August 17, 2007

By LARRY O’DELL, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. – Michael Vick and his attorneys were still negotiating with federal prosecutors Thursday, hoping to strike a deal on a plea agreement, according to a lawyer familiar with the case.
The Atlanta Falcons star quarterback pleaded not guilty to dogfighting conspiracy charges last month. But since then, one of his co-defendants has changed his plea to guilty and agreed to testify against Vick, and two others are scheduled to do likewise Friday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070816/ap_
on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_
michael_vick;_ylt=AhYgv.owsMtHea4L52E.xuas0NUE

Tell Kids Who Idolize Sports Stars: Michael Vick’s Empire Crashing to Earth

July 28, 2007

By John E. Carey
July 27, 2007

In keeping with great “street names,” often earned, like “Snoop Dog,” some are now calling Mister Michael Vick “Vick-Dog.”

The Virginia Tech and Atlanta Falcons great is now the brunt of pooch nicknames and was loudly booed and jeered as he entered the courtroom this week.

Millions of kids idolize sports stars. I grew up watching Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown before the Super Bowl was even invented: only to see him accused of various forms of mischief and mayhem off the field later on.

What I took away from that Jim Brown experience was this: these sports starts are just guys.

But unfortunately, part of what makes some of these super-athletes tick is a testosterone fueled anger, maybe even rage, that often translates not just into terrific performance on the field but often becomes some really ugly performance (or performances) elsewhere.

Mister Michael Vick is the latest example. Despite millions of dollars in pay and endorsements, an entire city waiting for him to deliver the Super Bowl to Atlanta, a Mother with the highest expectations imaginable, and teammates relying on his cool and skills; he threw it all away pursuing something that any towel boy could have told him would enrage more than nine-tenths of the American public against him.

Today Nike suspended its lucrative contract with Michael Vick. The other shoe fell, as it were. Nike is suspending Vick’s endorsement deal without pay. Michael will no longer be paid as a Nike endorser because his contract has a clause requiring a certain decorum of behavior. Any towel boy probably knew that too.

Vick’s likeness is also being pulled from a trading card company’s line, which will cost him some more money. And Reebok took the unprecedented step of stopping sales of his No. 7 jersey.

“Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick, and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent,” Nike spokesman Dean Stoyer said in a statement.

Mister Vick, and three friends, were accused in federal court yesterday of sponsoring a gruesome operation that often shot, hanged, drowned or electrocuted losing dogs.

Mister Vick pleaded not guilty yesterday. But the secrecy of his dogfighting operation and his bald-faced lie when first confronted with the facts by a TV news crew (“The only dog I own is a poodle.”) tells us this: he knew what the towel boy knew. More than nine-tenths of mankind would condemn his conduct and his endorsement deals would be flushed, by his own hand, down the toilet.

Despite the lack of a trial or conviction, Mister Vick is now “persona non grata” in the NFL and in many other venues: including the corporate offices of Nike, Reebok and a certain trading card company.

Mister Vick is now the poster child of stupidity, grossly malicious and inhumane behavior and shame.

Tell your kid who idolizes sports stars.

This is what happens when you head the wrong way out the locker room door. Sometimes you can never get back into the locker room again.

Related:

The many sides of Michael Vick, AKA “Vick-Dog”

“Vick-Dog” Probably Running an “Out Pattern;” Entered Plea of “Not Guilty”

“Vick-Dog” Indictment Includes Street Names; Pleas this Afternoon

“Pet Prowess” in America; Michael Vick to Coach at University of Beijing

Falcons Eyed Ban on “Vick-Dog;” NFL Put Owner on Leash

Dog Rights in America versus Human Rights in Vietnam

“Vick-Dog” Probably Running an “Out Pattern;” Entered Plea of “Not Guilty”

July 26, 2007

By John E. Carey
July 26, 2007

The Atlanta Falcons opened their football camp today, but Michael Vick was at a courthouse in Richmond, Va.

Vick arrived amid boos and pleaded not guilty during a reportedly uneventful and “not memorable” few minute hearing.

The trial in the “Vick-Dog” and friends dogfighting and conspiracy case; with federal crimes allegedly commited across state lines, a violation of the “Travel Act,” is set to begin Nov. 26.

Vick is charged along with three of his friends.

The other three men charged, according to the federal prosecutor’s indictment documents, are Purnell A. Peace, also known as “P-Funk” and “Funk,”  Quanis L. Phillips, also known as “Q,” Tony Taylor, also known as “T.”

The documents list the nickname of “Ookie”for Mr. Vick.

The four either face up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 if convicted on the Travel Act violation, a felony, or one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fines if convicted on the charge of using a dog in a fighting venture.

Today Mr. Vick was released without bond.

According to football people we reached, “this probably means Michael is out for this season.  He’s running an ‘out pattern’ and he’s fighting for his name and his freedom now.”

Vick was jeered by a crowd as he went into court. He and three others entered their pleas in U.S. District Court to conspiracy charges involving competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting, and conducting the enterprise across state lines.

Mr. Vick’s lawyer, Billy Martin, read the following statement in behalf of his client:

“I take these charges very seriously and look forward to clearing my good name.  I respectfully ask all of you to hold your judgment until all of the facts are shown. Above all, I would like to say to my mom I’m sorry for what she has had to go through in this most trying of times. It has caused pain to my family and I apologize to my family.”

Related:

“Vick-Dog” Indictment Includes Street Names; Pleas this Afternoon

Falcons Eyed Ban on “Vick-Dog;” NFL Put Owner on Leash

Michael Vick-Dog; Dead Meat For Practice, Season?

NFL-er gone to the dogs?

Vick Dogfighting Charges Stir Stinging Reaction

“Pet Prowess” in America; Michael Vick to Coach at University of Beijing

Inside The Dog Fighting Underworld

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What is the “Travel Act”?

The Travel Act was passed in the  early 1960’s while Robert Kennedy was Attorney General.  The Act was in response to organized crime activity and Kennedy’s efforts to end it. The Act was intended to assist state and local authorities with limited resources in their efforts to combat organized crime. The Act provides that any individual who travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to:

  • Distribute the proceeds of any unlawful activity.
  • Commit a violent crime to further criminal activity.
  • Promote, manage, establish, carry on, or facilitate the promotion, management, establishment, or carrying on of any criminal activity.

may be guilty of violating the Travel Act.

Unlawful activity includes:

  • Extortion.
  • Bribery.
  • Arson.
  • Illegal gambling.
  • Illegal liquor offenses.
  • Narcotics.
  • Controlled substances.
  • Prostitution.
  • Tax evasion.

The Act is violated by movement in or use of interstate commerce with the intent of committing, furthering, or distributing proceeds of the above-listed series offenses.

Source:

The G. Green Law Practice, PLLC
http://www.geraldgreenlaw.com/article.jsp?practArea=38&articleIndex=4

“Vick-Dog” Indictment Includes Street Names; Pleas this Afternoon

July 26, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
July 26, 2007

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick (known here at Peace and Freedom, and not fondly, as “Vick-Dog”) is expected to enter a plea of not guilty to charges of conspiracy and operating an illegal dogfighting business across state lines.  His plea must be made at a hearing this afternoon.

One would expect that the lawyer representing “Vick-Dog” has him on a tight leash. Court watchers and lawyers we spoke to said it would be a huge mistake for “Vick-Dog” to appear late, as Paris Hilton recently did in court, or to make any utterance other than his plea.

A lawyer who specializes in cases of VIPs asked not to be identified before he offered this advice: “This is ‘How do you plead?’ day; and the only appropriate answer is ‘not guilty’ or ‘guilty.’  Extra words will certainly earn the wrath of the judge and perhaps a charge of contempt and some jail time.  Open your mouth more than necessary today and it turns into ‘My Cousin Vinny.'”

The indictment of “Vick Dog” and his friends starts humorously because of the nicknames included by federal prosecutors.

“United States of America v. PURNELL A . PEACE , also known as “P-Funk” and “Funk,” QUANIS L. PHILLIPS , also known as “Q,” TONY TAYLOR , also known as “T,” and MICHAEL VICK , also known as “Ookie,” Defendants. ” 

Of course to us, Michael is “Vick-Dog” and not the more familiar “Ookie.”

After that humorous begining, the federal indictment against Vick and his friends is positively frightful and disgusting.

Federal prosecutors allege the dogfighting operation — known as Bad Newz Kennels — operated on Vick’s property in rural Surry County, Virginia.

The grisly allegations detailed in an 18-page indictment sparked protests by animal rights groups at the headquarters of the NFL and the Falcons, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has barred Vick from training camp while the league investigates.

More after the judge hold the hearing and has the pleas.

Related:

“Vick-Dog” Probably Running an “Out Pattern;” Entered Plea of “Not Guilty”
(From the late afternoon, July 26, 2007)

Falcons Eyed Ban on “Vick-Dog;” NFL Put Owner on Leash

July 24, 2007

ATLANTA, United States (AFP) – Calling the dogfighting charges against Michael Vick horrific and repulsive, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said on Tuesday he was ready to suspend his star quarterback for four games.

Vick was instead ordered on Monday by National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell not to report to the team’s training camp this Thursday, when he will be arraigned in a Virginia federal court on dogfight scheme charges.

“There are …

Read the Rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070724/ts_alt_
afp/amfootnflfalconsvick_070724214224

See also:
Michael Vick-Dog; Dead Meat For Practice, Season?