Thursday, December 30, 2010

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/12/the_real_reason_vick_got_a_sec.html

The commentary about President Obama's call to the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles regarding that adjudicated dog killer Michael Vick has now reached an apogee of stupidity that strongly suggest that too many otherwise smart people have lost their ability to reason. Obama, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie recounted, said, "'So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance.' He said, 'It's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail.' And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.'' It helps, I think, that Vick has completed 63.2 percent of his passes and has 20 touchdowns. He is not your average felon.

And, yet, that is the comparison that's made. You would think from the commentary that Vick was some poor kid who got caught swiping something so he could get something to eat. You would think he had on the spur of the moment stolen a car, gone for a joy ride -- and collided with a police car at an intersection. You would think that he was anything other than in immensely gifted and immensely rich professional athlete who got a signing bonus of $37 million and had endorsement deals from Nike, Coca-Cola, Kraft and others. Vick staged dog fights and killed dogs not because he had to, but because he chose to. He's a thug.

Dog fighting was Vick's hobby. He had been warned about it. His own father had told him to stop. He persisted because, as with many great athletes, he was never held accountable. A nation of jock-sniffers always looks away when a great athlete does something wrong. Nothing is an important as winning -- we all know that -- and Vick was and is a winner.

The sanctimony regarding this dog killer is sickening. He was wantonly cruel, not only pitting dogs against one another in fights, but drowning poor performers. Didn't he know this was cruel? Didn't he know wounded dogs were in pain? Is he so stupid he didn't notice the blood, the torn skin, the...? Oh, forget it! The man's an animal himself.

Now Vick has punched all the tickets on the road to rehabilitation. He is contrite. He loves pooches. He might even get a dog himself. How much of this is genuine and how much is synthetic I leave to you. But I'll tell you this. Vick got a second chance not because he deserves it but because he can play football. This is the lesson we can all take from this sorry episode. It's one thing to be sorry. It's much better to hit your man in the end zone.

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By Richard Cohen | December 29, 2010; 8:50 AM ET



and now....drumroll puhlease..the wonder of the 'comments section' enjoy!:



This article is exactly right. I have zero sympathy for Michael Vick.

Posted by: 1toughlady | December 29, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to the day when Michael Vick's on field performance falls short -- and hope that rather than cutting him, the management of the Philadelphia Eagles will treat him with the same solicitude he treated his victims as they drown, hang, or execute the over-the-hill QB.

Posted by: RhymesWithRight | December 29, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

From the two posts above:

This article is exactly right. I have zero sympathy for Michael Vick.

I look forward to the day when Michael Vick's on field performance falls short -- and hope that rather than cutting him, the management of the Philadelphia Eagles will treat him with the same solicitude he treated his victims as they drown, hang, or execute the over-the-hill QB.

*************************************

I would bet a nickel to a thousand dollars that these two jerks are so called christians.

I'm guessing what they feel and suggest is what Jesus would want, right? ;-)

Posted by: beauzaq | December 29, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I have been disgusted with the lack of accountability for professional athletes for years: vick was just the straw that broke the camel's back as it were. When the nfl (national f_ck-up league perhaps?) allowed this convicted FELON, Let me repeat FELON, to play again I realized that professional sports as a whole and the national f_ck-up league in particular will be treated as special citizens who may do whatever they please and never have to follow the rules that joe blow citizen must follow. These inDUHviduals will be treated much like wealthy inDUHviduals are treated--please remember "gunner" who shot his buddy in the face with a shot-gun while hunting without a hunting license--the consequences? Well, none, actually. The point is that the wealthy, inDUHviduals as well as craporations, are not required to follow the same laws you and I are required to obey.

Quite frankly I'm fed up with this bull-s_it. I am joining the growing numbers of folks who are boycotting not just the networks who air national f_ck-up league games but also their advertisers. I save money, big business loses money--it's a win-win situation. I see no other way to hold these people accountable outside of hurting their bottom lines--state legislatures and DC aren't going to hold felons accountable when they receive large paychecks that much is certain. Should this action achieve nothing (given that the nation is addicted to bread and circuses this is pretty likely) perhaps it will be time for the revolution that is looming on the horizon. It'd be nice to put professional athletes up against the wall with the pols, lobbyists, bankers....Let's get rid of the the deadweight.

Posted by: spike591011 | December 29, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,I usually agree with you but I am having a hard time following you on this one.This is the way the entire system is setup.The rich and powerful get all the 2nd chances.Don't blame Vick for benefitting from the system. I am surprised how so many people have become transfixed by this issue. I know there must be some more pressing issue somewhere to consume your time.

Posted by: woohop | December 29, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

News organizations that publish BIASED stories like this should be dealt with in the same manner as Wikileaks!
--------
DOGFIGHTING was going on before M Vick was born, not until a (Black) athlete participated in this awful act, did it make daily Headlines!

Posted by: texas5 | December 29, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

His crimes were far worse than what he was convicted for (dogfighting) in his plea bargain. You ask: didn't he know the dogs were in pain? That was the whole point of his activity, with innumerable animals over many years -- to cause pain, the maximum pain possible. That's why he developed so many different ways of killing dogs. After all, why not just stick with one way? He was experimenting to find the most pain producing. It's obvious from the news reports at the time that the torture, rather than the killing, was the most important aspect of it. Very few people could have expected that this butcher would be allowed to return to the NFL. Now that it's a done deed, it is being accepted by many people as normal, part of the injunction to "move on." It's a frightening example to young people. His return to the NFL should never ever have happened.

Posted by: truck1 | December 29, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

INSIDER TRADING, if done by enough people, could collapse an entire world economy & everyone, not just puppies, could PERISH.-
Yet, we praise those EX-FELONS like Martha Stewart!!

Posted by: texas5 | December 29, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Well Mr. Cohen everybody agrees that what he did was disgusting. Now what? Perhaps we should disfigure him, lock him in a box with angry bees or do as some others suggest and just murder him. Would that satisfy you? Surely you'd rather be in the town square to hear his parting words just before the gallows drop. Who the hell's being sanctimonious?

Posted by: roskoreh | December 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

NOW, as for you Mr POTUS, we wish you'd stop letting our children see you BOW to this RACE-BAITING media.

You did not need to claify that you condemn dogfighting, that was understood. As POTUS, who better to speak-out about how the laws in this country should work. (do your time & that's it, just as Martha Stewart did!)

Posted by: texas5 | December 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen is 100% correct. I was disgusted by Stephen Stromberg's apologia in today's WP for Vick's behavior and Obama's shocking disregard for the horrible gravity of Vick's crimes. Abusing, torturing and savagely killing these dogs is unforgivable. Some crimes are much worse than others, Stephen. And there should be no forgiving or forgetting wanton cruelty to animals. In the meantime, while Vick got a short prison sentence, thousands of young men are serving much longer hard time for using or selling marijuana. So much for the wonderfully "lenient" American criminal justice system.

Posted by: bpetty69 | December 29, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

The black man should not be pardoned or excused from what he did. And no matter how contrite he is, no matter that he has served time in prison, and no matter that he claims to be changed, HE SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE. Football player or not, he should be punished for the rest of his rotten life!!
And Obama should be IMPEACHED!
There is no forgiveness in the U. S. A.! Our favorite values are throwing people out of the country, executing prisoners, and throwing the poor into the streets.

Posted by: dallen35 | December 29, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Given that you can find a dogfighting operation in any inner city or any rural southern town at any given time of the day, I challenge anyone to present statistics that show that the average dog fighter gets as much time as Vick or any time for that matter. I contend that if Michael Vick were not a NFL quarterback, Black quarterback, he would NEVER have gotten any time. And of course if he were white and just stuck to raping a few girls he would have only been suspended for a few games.

Posted by: NMP1 | December 29, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I am sick and tired of hearing people say that Michael Vick has paid his dues. How do you know that he has made good with God? Do you actually think that all we have to do is say we are sorry, serve less than 2 yrs in a cushion prison and then start back where we left off and everything is settled between them and God? If it were that easy, then why aren't we all going out robbing banks, torturing animals, meloesting children, killing and raping because all we have to do is say I'm sorry and its like it never happened according to some people. Get real! You haven't paid your dues unless God says so and I don't believe any of us have heard God say that Michael Vick has paid his dues!One thing I do know though, it takes a pretty sorry person to do what Michael Vick has done and I for one do not believe that he is sorry for what he has done. Anybody will say anything to get a fresh start at making the kind of money he is making and only a fool would believe him. People like that do not change!

Posted by: holymosy | December 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I am sick and tired of hearing people say that Michael Vick has paid his dues. How do you know that he has made good with God? Do you actually think that all we have to do is say we are sorry, serve less than 2 yrs in a cushion prison and then start back where we left off and everything is settled between them and God? If it were that easy, then why aren't we all going out robbing banks, torturing animals, meloesting children, killing and raping because all we have to do is say I'm sorry and its like it never happened according to some people. Get real! You haven't paid your dues unless God says so and I don't believe any of us have heard God say that Michael Vick has paid his dues!One thing I do know though, it takes a pretty sorry person to do what Michael Vick has done and I for one do not believe that he is sorry for what he has done. Anybody will say anything to get a fresh start at making the kind of money he is making and only a fool would believe him. People like that do not change!

Posted by: holymosy | December 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I am so sick of hearing about this "second chance" - this animal had numerous screw ups and second chances!

Seriously, how many "second chances" does an animal get?

I recall him getting in trouble with the league for flipping off fans after a game years ago. Actually, I think I recall him getting in trouble for this exact same offense 2,3,4, + times!

I have zero doubt that if Vick / Eagles were a flop this year - the owner nor the president would be raving about how good of a citizen Vick is!

Vick is not deserving of any praise!


Posted by: wiredduck | December 29, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I am sick and tired of hearing people say that Michael Vick has paid his dues. How do you know that he has made good with God? Do you actually think that all we have to do is say we are sorry, serve less than 2 yrs in a cushion prison and then start back where we left off and everything is settled between them and God? If it were that easy, then why aren't we all going out robbing banks, torturing animals, meloesting children, killing and raping because all we have to do is say I'm sorry and its like it never happened according to some people. Get real! You haven't paid your dues unless God says so and I don't believe any of us have heard God say that Michael Vick has paid his dues!One thing I do know though, it takes a pretty sorry person to do what Michael Vick has done and I for one do not believe that he is sorry for what he has done. Anybody will say anything to get a fresh start at making the kind of money he is making and only a fool would believe him. People like that do not change!

Posted by: holymosy | December 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So, Mr. Cohen, how do you square Obama's disgusting sympathy for Vick? You have relentlessly apologized for everything else Obama has done, what do you say now?

Posted by: jonfraudcarry | December 29, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Vick was arrested, convicted and served his sentence; it's called "paying his debt". That doesn't mean that one never forgets what he did; however, he was punished for the crime.

Posted by: bolis | December 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Pitiful article, sorry state of mind for which even forgiveness once the crime has been punished becomes unacceptable!

Posted by: dossevi | December 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

What made me ill last night was the knee-jerk partisans claiming that anyone who failed to endorse the President's endorsement of Michael Vick was a racist. I turned on Rachel Maddow last night, she was entirely for dog-fighting, given that Fox News was against it.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

This is by far the best article/commentary I have read on this topic. I agree 100% and I was an Obama supporter. This has spoke volumes to me on the rational of the leader of our nation. It only happened what two years ago??? How do we know he is "reformed"? He is only "reformed" because he got caught. AND because he is a football player who happens to be doing good. Why didn't President Obama call the Eagles when they first signed him?? Because it would have been political suicide then. And you know what? I don't have that sympathy bone for convicted felons and feel so sorry for them not getting a second chance. They weren't made to commit a crime they chose to and there are consequences. Dog fighting is bad enough but to torture the ones who preformed bad is a whole new level of appalling.

Posted by: adahlstrom81 | December 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

After last night's pathetic performance, likely that the Eagles are regretting giving this sick animal a second chance.

Yes, Vick paid his debt to society. He will never be able to pay his debt to the dogs he tortured and killed.

NFL should have banned him for life.

Posted by: JCM-51 | December 29, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I certainly believe in second changes, but the second change Vick has received is too much. He is considered a hero by so many sports fans and young people. He is a sad, awful, terrible example for young people and should never have been a member of the Pro Bowl. Has he changed? Or is he acting?

If I had to chose between my dog or Vick's life, there would be no indecision on my part. He killed many dogs, and dogs are a gift from God to us, so what does that say about Vick?

Posted by: libertymeanslife | December 29, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Look, he did his time in prison for this incident and has to pay restitution for his actions. How many of you killed ants or any bugs in your life? We have people who come into our country from China who eat cats & dogs. During the summer olympics the Government of China asked shop owners to stop selling dog & cat during that period. I dont see any of you banning the lead products from china or banning people from china who eats dogs & cats. You guys still go to walmart to buy their products regardless of how they fry your cat & dog. Hypocrites.

Posted by: elsha | December 29, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

NMP1, sentences for what Michael Vick did are usually decades long.

Google "dog-fighting Alabama 102 years" to see the man there who actually received that sentence for it, and other very long sentences as well.

Still want to argue that Michael Vick paid a heavier price than others?

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Beauzaq, you're a A-hole.

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 29, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The hypocrisy here is so rancid the stench is almost coming through my computer. Say what you will but I am still waiting for the outrage from the National Organization of Women and women in general against Favre and Rotlisberger. I guess it's ok to disrespect and harass women but not dogs, which sort of shows you where women rank in America versus animals.


Posted by: Coodeh | December 29, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the many who are fed up with pro athletes getting undeserved opportunities, but I think Cohen is being unduly harsh with Vick. The prism through which he sees Vick's offenses is very limited. Ever attended a dog race in the deep South? The dog fighting is one step beyond that. Do I support what Vick did? No, it was disgusting. Do I support his rehabilitation? Yes, it's very obvious to me that he's grown up. He needed to be locked up to get to this point. Vick was the meal ticket for a lot of people -- including his family -- for a long time. And his father was not around. He never had a chance to develop as a decent man. He does now. Once a thug doesn't mean that Vick is a thug now. Cohen should learn that he can be disagreeable without being disrespectful.

Posted by: tjacobs1 | December 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

As with any other business, the NFL is well within its rights to determine who is eligible for employment.

What I find most troublesome about Vick and his defenders is their willingness to turn a blind eye to the fact that, unlike most of his knucklehead athletic peers who run afoul of the law, he ran a large-scale organized criminal enterprise for profit.

So far, Mr. Cohen is about the only member of the commentariat to even come close to acknowledging this fact. Sadder yet, he'll now be lambasted for doing so because, as we all know, Jews have it in for blacks.

Posted by: Ralphinjersey | December 29, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I thought the USA is a Christian nation. The 'golden rule' does not seem to apply to this country. Pity.

Posted by: apocrypha | December 29, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I guess Christian forgiveness only applies if after you are "forgiven" you still remain downtrodden and unsuccessful, so they can still heap all that Christian pity on you.

Because God forbid you use that second chance to make a difference in people's lives, speak openly about what you did wrong, and aspire for success in your chosen profession. Because that is certainly not what Jesus wants...

Posted by: varunreg | December 29, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Great comedy article full of false indignation.
Keep the humor coming.

Posted by: robodog1 | December 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Vick should not have been welcomed back to the NFL for killing dogs (plural) period.
But worse yet are these commentators like Collinsworth who are constantly drooling over him. Howie Long actually compared Vicks absence from the NFl in his prime, to that of Joe D and Bob Feller's war service. Unbeleivable , I wanted to vomit.

Posted by: pc1971 | December 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Vick is a sick person. Period.

Posted by: gfhoward258 | December 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Michael Vick was given a second chance for 2 reasons:
1. He is a good, not great or exceptional, football player in a spotlight position, quarterback
2. He is black

Posted by: g30rg3544 | December 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

This is the lesson we can all take from this sorry episode. It's one thing to be sorry. It's much better to hit your man in the end zone.

Pretty mild, walkaway, RC, but good points and sentiments.

My own conclusion is more harsh.

Posted by: chalkholder | December 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen:
Pleeeeze....how do you know that Mr. Vick did not know any better? First of all look how hunters treat their animals. Is that not cruel? An animal is an animal and a human is human. So it is okay that the "great" Ray Lewis committed murder and is playing football. I cannot believe people respect him and let him play! Talk about a Thug as you so nicely said about Mr. Vick. Please explain the difference to me because so far no one has been able to. I think we live in a society where we worship the wrong people, pay athletes way too much money and have no respect for anyone or anything. That is why we are in the mess we are in! I love football but men like Ray Lewis and The Steelers quarterback (yes he's a thug too) and Plaxaco make it very difficult to respect the sport. Even Tom Brady is a terrible role model (yes, let's keep having babies out of wedlock). As far as I can tell Eli and Peyton Manning are the only people you can respect but they still make too much money and are far from idols they were just brought up with respect and no how to stay out of the spotlight. My feelings are if society can forgive Ray Lewis then why not forgive Michael Vick?

Posted by: suziehll4 | December 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

This is an outrage, I guess we should of never forgiven Paul for torturing and killing christians either. And I guess the bible is wrong stating we should forgive 7x70 as well. It seems to me some of you think your so much superior than those that have sinned!!! Judge not less ye be judged!!
and remember but for the grace of God there go I

Posted by: wohwinner | December 29, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

We have choices here.

You can accept our good-but-imperfect justice system, in which case you may try to improve it, but you accept its results. If that's your choice, then Vick has been punished and it's time to move on.

You can reject our justice system, and be a vigilante. Ignore the punishments administered and come up with your own instead... and hope that you are never subjected to that system.

If you don't believe in the possibility of redemption, you should be working to make the only punishments be life sentences with no parole... or death sentences. Anything else and you're putting a lifelong criminal back on the streets.

I *love* dogs. I have two pet dogs. What Vick did was unconscionable. But... will his actions in the future be so? I do not believe that he will commit comparable crimes again. I could be wrong; that's a risk that we take when we release a criminal back into society. But the alternative's a lot worse.

Now, was this unfair in comparison to non-celebrity cases? Of course. But, which is wrong -- the way we're treating Vick or the way we're treating the average ex-convict? I think the latter.

Posted by: bfeist | December 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Cohen is 100% correct. Vick killed and tortured dogs because he LIKED doing it. He's a THUG and to celebrate someone like that getting a dream job and becoming a multi-millionare when so many good people can't get a job is.. SICK!!!

Posted by: sovine08 | December 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"You would think..."

Perhaps. If I were ignorant.

But I was reasonably informed and I still think if a person pays the penalty then they should be free to move on.

What do you want. Punishment forever? No forgiveness?

What blather.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Coodeh, if the President had endorsed Ben Roethlisberger, it would have been just as outrageous.

But for some reason, he didn't. He endorsed Michael Vick.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is if we accept Ray Lewis (a known murderer) and let him play pro football and make millions then we should accept Michael Vick. A person's life is by far worth more that an animal's. But in the society we live in today who knows anymore.

Posted by: suziehll4 | December 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is if we accept Ray Lewis (a known murderer) and let him play pro football and make millions then we should accept Michael Vick. A person's life is by far worth more that an animal's. But in the society we live in today who knows anymore.

Posted by: suziehll4 | December 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is if we accept Ray Lewis (a known murderer) and let him play pro football and make millions then we should accept Michael Vick. A person's life is by far worth more that an animal's. But in the society we live in today who knows anymore.

Posted by: suziehll4 | December 29, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

The nation is a worse place for Vick's second chance. No person of conscience should contribute a nickel to him or professional football.

Posted by: falcon269 | December 29, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Suziehll4, few people are saying that Michael Vick should be banned from the NFL. (Although NFL contracts used to have morals and felony clauses that would have had that effect.)

People are saying that the President should not be making him into some kind of hero.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Well. Let's take look, here. Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro/Abu Hussain, obviously doesn't support Michael Vick because of the "Content of his Character". Vick hasn't any. He didn't go to Jeremiah Wright's "Church" because of the Uplifting Sermons. He didn't throw out the Black Panther Case, because there "Was no evidence". And he didn't call the Cambridge Police "Stupid", admittedly, "without knowing all the facts", because his friend is a Professor. He did all of these things, because of the Colour Of Their Skin. The very same reason that he STILL enjoys a 90% Approval Rating from Blacks?
Pete Rose is STILL not in The Hall Of Fame. He is STILL Banned from Baseball. Nothing DIED or was MURDERED, because Rose made a bet. But this RACIST President takes the time to CONGATULATE the owner of the Eagles, for giving this SADIST a break.
And you wonder why we have the problems that we have, under this BLACK RACIST President?

Posted by: GoomyGommy | December 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

First of all, let's not play the race card. If you research dog fighting, you will find that the majority are not African American. Let's play the "athlete card".

No matter what pro sport you would care to discuss, how many of these overpaid "athletes" commit crimes, from simple "assaults" (rape), to murder (Carolina Panthers player). I don't care whether they are black, white pink or purple. Pro athletes are, whether they know it or not, role models for our children, and for a bunch of adult idiots who worship them.

Yes, Vick was sent to 19 months in prison,not long enough in my opinion, but as he should have been for his absolute torture of helpless animals. He tortured, he did it for profit, and he did it for enjoyment. Nice role model.

Yes, he did his time, but I really had high hopes that no NFL team would ever touch him again. I was disappointed.

That's how this country works - do the crime, do your time, and then you get another chance. This is his second chance, for which he is paid well for. As much as I abhor what Vick did, will never respect this talented athlete again, and, frankly wish he would lose his great talent and just fade away from the NFL, he's getting his second chance. All I can do is hope he fails at it.

Posted by: sandyc69 | December 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Come on people..What do you want to do? Your making this a life sentence. The Courts past judgement and he's served his time. He lost a ton of money and seems to be trying to make things right. If you get a traffic ticket should you stop driving. Football is what he does; you'd want to deny him the right to make a living. Is it the dogs that bug you or that he's a ballplayer or maybe he's black (I'm white by the way).
He made a mistake; it was cruel and stupid but, he's paid for it.
You can't keep punishing ex-felons or you cut millions (yes millions) of people out of a chance to build a new life.
Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in their shoes.

Posted by: bob7704 | December 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey Bob7704. Pete Rose is STILL BANNED! Too bad he isn't Black. He might be the Commisioner, today Idiot.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | December 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

spike591011 showed alot of class with all the swearing. Ya spiky, you sure make your point sounding like an idiot with the 4 letter words..Good Job !

Posted by: bob7704 | December 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Not like I have sympathy, but I AM tired of hearing everyone b* and moan over this.

He served his time. F* you all.

Posted by: RandomAnon | December 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Bob7704. Maybe we can get some Pedophiles to teach your kids, in school? That would be good. Right? We can find some Pedophiles who were School Teachers, and got caught MOLESTING some of their young students.
According to Genius Bob7704:"Teaching is what they do. You don't want to deny them the RIGHT to make a living. Do you? Or should we make it "A Life Sentence"?
Again - IDIOT.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | December 29, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Hey Goomey..Pete Rose wasn't an active player when he was banned. He made millions selling 2 books.Nobody tried to stop those.
He bet on at least 5 games he was playing or coaching.

Posted by: bob7704 | December 29, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Vick was sent to prison. That he served his time, got another job in the NFL making money, and is now a tax paying citizen is a very important element. He's not on the dole, shooting heroin, or robbing banks. Vick will never do what he did with animals ever again. Whether it's because he's morally enlightened or doesn't ever want to go to prison again... who cares. You ain't no bowl of fruit either, Cohen.

Posted by: BernardL | December 29, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Cohen's argument would carry a lot more weight if he did it professionally. When you call someone an animal you cease to be able to make a coherent argument. Lest we forget your past.

Posted by: rlj1 | December 29, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Goomey..how can you connect playing football to child molesting? You have a very strange (if not sick mind)
People that disagree with you are branded IDIOTS...very interesting

Posted by: bob7704 | December 29, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Why do so many commenters here believe that, just because Michael Vick served the astonishingly light sentence he received (far from the 102 years another dog-fighter recently was given), it is entirely right and proper that he be held up as a hero and role model?

The man is neither a hero nor a role model. He refuses even to abide by the terms of his parole, attending parties where drugs are being used and shooting breaks out. Any other parolee would be back in prison after doing that.

It really is unfathomable that the President could endorse this sort of behavior.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Bingo.
Thank you Mr. Cohen, for speaking so eloquently for so many of us on this issue.

Posted by: jdVA | December 29, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

There are dog lovers (me), and dog haters (Vick supporters). There are celebrity lovers (Vick supporters), and celebrity haters (me). Looks like the twain will never meet, but dog haters and torturers are psychopaths and anyone who admires them is suspect too.

Posted by: hydra2 | December 29, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Richard Cohen is 100 percent dead on correct in this column and I thank God that we still have writers who are able look at this garbage and call it exactly what it is. "A nation of jock-sniffers always looks away when a great athlete does something wrong." Cohen should win an award for that sentence. I have never been more ashamed of this country, this President, or the human race. At least I am grateful that Mr. Cohen has restored some of my faith that not everyone is so lacking in humanity or integrity.

Posted by: nyc98765 | December 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen and All,

Who cares what Michael Vick does or has done. When they were attempting to find the dogs homes after they raided his house, were you first in line to help? No, and no one on this post response was either. We as people always talk about the moral high ground and how we should not let this behavior happen, yet everyday the same people complaining on this post do something in-humane, improper, or other wise not in the best interest of morality. We cruise around in a 10 mile per gallon car, buy our children first person shooting games which promote violence and death, and we all would rather ignore a public fight, then intervene a death in progress (don't know what I mean, look at You Tube videos).

The reason Michael Vick is back playing is because "we" as a society wanted him back. We sit here and scorn him for his behavior, yet do the same things everyday in our behaviors. The NFL, the barbaric game, has the highest ratings of any show on TV ever. Heck, we even have filtered it down into our business and advertising practices. Superbowl adds are proof of that. We even as a society have gotten our blood lust from other sports such as MMA, which is one of the fastest expanding sport is the world at present time.

Quit telling me Michael Vick was the problem, Michael Vick just got caught, is all. I would reason he has done more to turn himself around than 3/4 of the people complaining on this post.

Posted by: duckie86 | December 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's see....Vick got the most votes of any NFC player for the ProBowl, his jersey is the top selling jersey in the NFL and the Eagles games have dominated the ratings.

what were you haters saying again?

Posted by: mlrice710 | December 29, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

mlrice710, I guess we're saying that the President cares more about bad-boy athletes who can throw a mean football than obscure ex-cons struggling to rebuild their lives and the altruistic small business owners who give them a chance.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the "jock sniffer" mentality. If it had been Joe Blow who owns the local grocery store torturing animals for the profit and fun of it, good old Joe would have gotten a longer sentence. When old Joe gets out of prison for his crime, what does he have to come home to? Nothing.

But this is THE MICHAEL VICK we are talking about. Star NFL, got a lighter sentence than others convicted for the same crime. Gets out and get's his second chance with the NFL, is payed handsomely.

The term "jock sniffer" works perfectly. Nice role model for your children, don't ya think?

Posted by: sandyc69 | December 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

itzajob, "we" can say whatever "we" want too. And? The President already talked about helping ex-cons, LAST YEAR. In fact, there was a whole lot about it on whitehouse.gov....so "we" really need to stop lying or start lying better.

Posted by: mlrice710 | December 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen's article is superb. It's a pity Michael Vick's dogs didn't get second chances.

Posted by: cross3 | December 29, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in their shoes."

I really don't see how this applies in this case. He wasn't doing it for the money, to further his career, to help his family, or because he was forced to in any way. It was "sport" to him. So, we've all been in his shoes, in that we all have the chance to be cruel to animals every day, and the decent among us don't. Not because we're afraid of punishment, but because we recognize that it is wrong. If he hadn't been caught and jailed, would he have stopped doing it?

Posted by: lizgwiz | December 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

mlrice710, who said you couldn't say what you want? You've made it clear you believe that the only thing important to you in this world is cool football players who sell lots of jerseys.

It's your right to say that, and many of us will go down fighting to ensure that both you and the President can endorse whatever repulsive values you want.

But that doesn't mean I have to vote for either of you ever again.

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

itzajob...ooooooooo...you're not gonna vote for Obama....ooooooo....yeah, ok. I'm sure the sun will still rise.

Posted by: mlrice710 | December 29, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's clear that the middle schools are off today. Enjoy your holiday, mlrice710!

Posted by: Itzajob | December 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Once again, self righteous people casting judgement on others. Hilarious!!!Everyone here...and I do mean EVERYONE...has made mistakes. For the record, I absolutely love dogs, matter of fact, my retriever Rusty is 10 years old and thought of him dying soon makes me very sad, however the man (Vick) has paid his debt to society. He continues to talk to kids about dogfighting and keep in mind, he doesn't have to, he has already met his court ordered requirements to do so. He wants to do it because he is very remorseful for his past crimes. He spent 18 months in jail for killing dogs, but yet celebrities like Charlie Sheen can continue to beat up women (which is assault), act an ass, and get probation. Remember Mary Winkler? She shot her husband in the back while he slept in a bed. Do you know how much time she served in prison? 7 months (actually it was a mental institution, she is currently on probation working at a dry cleaners)!!! 7 months for KILLING a human being. According to reports, she was abused, but that still doesn't give a person the right to take the law into their own hands. Look folks, get over this thing with Michael Vick. What he did was digusting and horrible there is noooo debating that, but he has served his time and for idiots like Tucker Carlson (who names their kid "Tucker") to say that Vick should be executed is just down right ridiculous. If you can't forgive Michael Vick, then that is your business...but keep that in mind when you are standing in front of your maker on judgment day!!!!

Posted by: thejrilshow | December 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Not to defend Michael Vick, but he's paid his debt in full. Bernie Marcus, the former partner of Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, has been cruelly imprisoning whales in the Georgia Aquarium and has killed at least five of them so far. Where's the outrage from all you animal lovers?

Posted by: sleeplessinmarietta | December 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, Thank you very much for this outstanding commentary--it took courageous and conviction--something severly lacking in these troubled times!

This is truly the "age of stupid"

Posted by: glo8110 | December 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Most of you are being a little dramatic about this, the reality is that Vick is one of the few people to serve time for cruelty to animals. Whether many of the selfish righteous commenters realize it or not there are plenty of people out there that are oblivious to cruelty to animals and they have to be taught like Vick was and we are being too pessimistic to if we believe that it is impossible for Vick or any other person to learn a lesson. It is also unrealistic to think that people will go to prison for life for cruelty to animals at the end of the day Vick committed a crime and he served his punishment, the law isn't designed to be a moral judge and read minds it is designed to correct behavior and as far as I can see it has and if this is about accountability he is one of the few that has been held accountable.

We all know that he isn't typical but lets not forget that only one team wanted to sign a former pro-bowl player, at the request of one of it's own players, and he came on the team as a 3rd string back-up, so his current level of achievement has little to do with him receiving the chance that he got and no one expected this; before he wasn't that great a quarterback but being a great athlete compensated for a lot of his flaws and no one knew if he was going to be the same athlete after two years off. It is not about sympathy it is about believing in rehabilitation and not condemning people for life after they have done wrong if they serve their punishment. So Vick may not be typical but the principle still stands that if a person commits a crime, serves their punishment and amends their behavior they should not be held back from gainful employment and society will be much better and have lower recidivism rates if people realize this.

Besides the angst regarding Vick is somewhat selective and inconsistent just because he is famous. Both Dog and horse racing involve brutal training methods which include being beaten and drugged, they often suffer from broken bones and internal bleeding, the female horses that breeders use are pregnant 90% of their lives, some of the dogs are mutilated, and when they are of no more use they are slaughtered. We also live in a country that has brutal practices in it's meat industry, we kill animals for sport (hunting), even the "kinder" sport fisherman still puts hooks in the mouths of fish and pulls them out of the water so that they can't breath before throwing them back. We also kill pets who get old or sick when we don't feel like dealing with them anymore, it may not be as cruel but there isn't a totally non-cruel way to kill an animal and especially considering they are killed because a person is just tired of taking care of them. So zeroing in on Vick, as if he is the only or most cruel person to animals ever, has just as much to do with football if not more, as people claim his second chance is.

Posted by: omar_muhammad1 | December 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Using the Race Card is bad enough and now some are playing the Jesus Card.

The real point is why does Obama think Vick and the Eagles are so praiseworthy? Cohen is right, redemption is much easier when you can throw touchdowns.

Posted by: bbface21 | December 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Vick is a d bag, I hope the Eagles get pummeled in every game and may Vick suffer a career ending injury.

Posted by: elbuzz1 | December 29, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

One other fact to mention--DOG FIGHTING IS UP THREE-FOLD IN PHILADELPHIA SINCE MICHAEL VICK JOINED THE EAGLES!!!

He sure is doing a great job of educating kids, right! In other words "do as I say not as I do" never did work. Also, you all know in your heart that you would never take turns slamming a dog to the ground (by the way it took ten minutes and was verified by authorities) because she lost a fight! This has noting to do with God--use your free-will and intellect to determine whether this is the behavior of a FIST-CLASS SOCIAPATH!!!

Posted by: glo8110 | December 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Everyone has made mistakes, huh? Like holding a dog by its legs and dashing its brains out? That kind of misake? In fact, very very few people make that kind of "mistake" because it involves complete and sociopathic lack of empathy. Hardly anyone has made that kind of mistake. Do you know ONE person in your whole life who made that "mistake"? I'm sure not. Unless you are Michael Vick's friend?

Posted by: truck1 | December 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

One other fact to mention--DOG FIGHTING IS UP THREE-FOLD IN PHILADELPHIA SINCE MICHAEL VICK JOINED THE EAGLES!!!

He sure is doing a great job of educating kids, right! In other words "do as I say not as I do" never did work. Also, you all know in your heart that you would never take turns slamming a dog to the ground (by the way it took ten minutes and was verified by authorities) because she lost a fight! This has nothing to do with God--use your free-will and intellect to determine whether this is the behavior of a FIST-CLASS SOCIOPATH!!! We now have proof that child and women abusers start there obsessions by abusing animals! Truly this is the age of stupid!

Posted by: glo8110 | December 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Ok -
Didn't Big BenRothlesberger brutally sexually assault a human being??? It's intersting how no one is calling for him to be lynched.

Posted by: Southsider | December 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This message is for omar_muhammad1,

Please do not tell me that you are suggesting that two wrongs make a right!!! that is an insult to your intelligence and to the audience you address.

Also, Omar, animals have there own purpose on this planet--they are not here for your eating pleasure, entertainment or any other perverted use you may have! From you name I would think that you know that. Gandhi even espoused the doctrine of animal abuse by stating "A nation will be judged by the way it treats their Animals" Answer please!

Posted by: glo8110 | December 29, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The reason that any knuckle-dragger like Vick gets a second chance is because White Guilt allows him a free pass into society.

Next we'll concoct some `diversity' theory that says low-lifes like Vick are simply living an alternative African-American lifestyle that our society just doesn't understand, let along appreciate.

Everytime this perverse excuse of a human being throws a football, it's covered in blood.

Posted by: AlongTheWatchTowers | December 29, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Ok -
Didn't Big BenRothlesberger brutally sexually assault a human being??? It's intersting how no one is calling for him to be lynched.

Posted by: Southsider

===========================================

Didn't know that Rothlesberger was tried, convicted and served prison time for a crime like Vick did.

Posted by: bbface21 | December 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Michael Vick got a second chance because the judge gave him a sentence that ended before his skills eroded (unlike Mike Tyson) and thus he still has employable skills. All other comparisons to those without convictions are nonsense. When his football skills falter, then we will see if he truly has changed.


Posted by: scottNV | December 29, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Every day people go out and murder animals for no reason. In fact to be a credible candidate, you have to prove you're man enough to murder Bambi. Where's the outrage
when the people on this blog eat cows and chickens everyday? Give me a break. In the South, many people for whatever reason have dog fights and chicken fights. I've never heard of anyone going to jail for this.

Posted by: Southsider | December 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"Didn't know that Rothlesberger was tried, convicted and served prison time for a crime like Vick did."
Exactly! Why wasn't he tried and convicted like Michael Vick??

Posted by: Southsider | December 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

HIDE the Beagle-Vicks an Eagle--===waterboarding dogs is sick---this man is NOT seeing a shrink ? Than who the hell is ?

Posted by: bulldogss | December 29, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Chop Logic Southsider--two wrongs do not make a right--incidentally beware of what you speak--I have not not used, abused, eaten, worn (no fur leather or wool) in over ten years.

I am an ethicial Vegan. So do not assume that everybody who posts uses animals including fish, eggs or milk in any shape or form. Albert Einstien, Albert Sweitzer and Leonado DaVinci (quote: "Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.")
-Thomas Edison
were all ethical vegans, There will never be peace on this planet until we embrace this doctrine

Please do some research because the preservation of our society and the planet depend on it!!

Posted by: glo8110 | December 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Mr. Cohen! Finally, a piece on the Vick/Obama flap that captures what an overwhelming majority of Americans actually think. I also agree with Tucker Carlson's comments.

Thanks to both of you for having the guts to take a strong stand against Vick's serial dog torturing, which is a separate crime on top of dog fighting and for which Vick has not served a single day in prison, thanks to the corrupt local prosecutor who showed up arm in arm with Vick's mom at his federal sentencing, sitting on the defense side. Disgusting.

Vick is lucky not to be serving a life sentence, like other (white) dog fighters who were sentenced around that time for running a similar size dog fighting ring. Apologists for Vick are apologists for dog fighting, plain and simple, and we have no room for that in this nation of dog lovers. Another huge misstep by the president, one that has officially lost my vote in 2012.

Posted by: VirginiaDad | December 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Argghhh. When is he going to ask about the dogs? Thank God some of them got a second chance--at life, not some dang game that exists for entertainment.

http://blogs.bestfriends.org/index.php/2010/12/29/when-the-president-calls-about-the-vick-dogs/

Posted by: jbbbj2 | December 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Takes a thug to sympathize with a thug. But Conehead has no animus for the president who committed the act of intervening on a thug's behalf. Wake up people. Obama is a low life.

Posted by: lavistabb | December 29, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing after reading these posts the vindictiveness of most of these people. I bet many of them go to church, synagogue, mosque or whatever supposed religious background they may have. Being an animal lover is an admirable things. However, of greater magnitude is the forgiveness of one's sin. I wonder how many of these sanctimonious writers have committed sin? Every one of them. Sin is sin. It is just that man's law determines how a man is to be punished. Who are we to judge and say that God has not forgiven Michael Vick because some have such vitriolic hate for the man. That, in and of itself, is a sin. I've seen more compassion for people who have beaten, brutalized and killed babies and other innocent people.

If these "compassionate" animal lovers had as much compassionate for their fellow man. "Judge not lest ye be judged." It's so wonderful to hear from such sin-free, law-abiding people (never had a speeding ticket, never stolen a pencil from work, never used the company's supplies for their own personal use). Again, sin is sin. No one is judged for the magnitude of their sin. Just look at Saul's conversion to Paul.

You've vilified Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Marion Jones, Janet Jackson and the list can go on and on. Makes one wonder....hmm!

Posted by: bander2400 | December 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

From the two posts above:

This article is exactly right. I have zero sympathy for Michael Vick.

I look forward to the day when Michael Vick's on field performance falls short -- and hope that rather than cutting him, the management of the Philadelphia Eagles will treat him with the same solicitude he treated his victims as they drown, hang, or execute the over-the-hill QB.

*************************************

I would bet a nickel to a thousand dollars that these two jerks are so called christians.

I'm guessing what they feel and suggest is what Jesus would want, right? ;-)
===========================================
Not having been to church in 20+ years, I would hardly call myself a bible thumping holy roller - an agnostic is about as close as I get. What I don't get however are imbeciles who want to make everything about religion and worse yet those who think just because someone is religious, they automatically need to be a doormat for the world.

There was plenty of killing, government sanctioned and otherwise, during the times of Jesus and I'm not completely sure that Vick would have escaped that punishment had he lived then.


Posted by: Bcamp55 | December 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

You've vilified Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Marion Jones, Janet Jackson and the list can go on and on. Makes one wonder....hmm!

Posted by: bander2400 | December 29, 2010 2:03 PM |
============================================
Yeah - Like the world has never read a post or story about a white person being vilified. You bander are a racists idiot and are too stupid to realize it!!!

Posted by: Bcamp55 | December 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to know how Cohen feels about Big Ben (allegedly) raping three women. Just because he was never tried or convicted, it doesn't necessarily mean that he didn't rape those women. Dog fighting is barbaric, but so is rape.

Posted by: CAmira5 | December 29, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Should Vick have gotten a second chance? Yes. It just shouldn't have been in football. What he did was heinous, but he served his time. Let him start fresh working in a different field. Pay him minimum wage to sell food at football games, not play in them. Let him learn like all other convicted felons how difficult it is to find a decent job. He deserves the right to try and make a living, but he forfeited the privilege of making millions playing a game.

Posted by: crassostrea | December 29, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Most people deserve second chances. Most people. Where do we draw the line - Ted Bundy? Charles Manson? Idi Amin?

Vick is a vicious, sadistic thug. He routinely tortured dogs, and killed them in cruel, sadistic ways. Anyone who derives pleasure from deliberately hurting animals - especially dogs, who bond with humans more readily than any other animal on earth - has a sick and rotten soul.

Vick also lied to the NFL commissioner and the public about his sadistic activities, and only fessed up when faced with the overwhelming evidence of his guilt that led to his criminal conviction.

Second chance? Maybe. But when the President of the United States lauds and praises a sick, vicious, and sadistic thug like Michael Vick as an exemplar of redemption then we know that the moral rot that is slowly eating away at this country has gone too far.

A fish rots from the head down. I've supported Obama and defended him from his critics on many issues - until now. Obama has gone too far, and we need to vote him out in 2012 if we want to recover even a slim amount of national decency.

Posted by: slowroller | December 29, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Muslims hate dogs. 0bama doesn't seem to have much respect for the dogs killed and maimed by Mr. Vick. Interesting.

Posted by: cruiszn | December 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this comment was appropriate for Pres. Obama to make at all. Vick got off lightly for his offenses and then was able to go right back to his old profession, no problem. That does not happen for your typical felon.

As for those complaining that dog fighting didn't get national attention until a FB player got caught, well that's because it was an UNDERGROUND problem before a celebrity got caught. This has nothing to do with Vick's race; it has everything to do with the attention-grabbing headlines that a professional, respected FB star was caught torturing animals.

Also, depending on where you live in the country, dog fighting does get air time. In California, dog fighting rings that are broken up frequently get air time. News is driven by numbers now, not by the importance of stories.

What Vick did is horrifying and disgusting. Like all celebrities that commit egregious crimes, he should have been made an example of. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen because money buys you the law in this country. I don't advocate murdering the guy, but I wouldn't object to him being electrocuted a bit, just to feel what those poor pups went through. Or have a pit bull maul him, but not to death.

And he should never, ever be allowed to have any type of animal ever again. It's questionable whether he should be allowed to be around children, since animal abusers often do not understand the sanctity of life and go on to abuse children or people they consider "lesser" than themselves.

I wish all dog fighters could go through that type of punishment. If vigilantism was allowed, I'd go around punishing them all. It disgusts me when people harm other living beings just because they have the ability to do so. That is exactly what occurs with dog fighting and child abuse.

Posted by: cartoonsrock | December 29, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this comment was appropriate for Pres. Obama to make at all. Vick got off lightly for his offenses and then was able to go right back to his old profession, no problem. That does not happen for your typical felon.

As for those complaining that dog fighting didn't get national attention until a FB player got caught, well that's because it was an UNDERGROUND problem before a celebrity got caught. This has nothing to do with Vick's race; it has everything to do with the attention-grabbing headlines that a professional, respected FB star was caught torturing animals.

Also, depending on where you live in the country, dog fighting does get air time. In California, dog fighting rings that are broken up frequently get air time. News is driven by numbers now, not by the importance of stories.

What Vick did is horrifying and disgusting. Like all celebrities that commit egregious crimes, he should have been made an example of. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen because money buys you the law in this country. I don't advocate murdering the guy, but I wouldn't object to him being electrocuted a bit, just to feel what those poor pups went through. Or have a pit bull maul him, but not to death.

And he should never, ever be allowed to have any type of animal ever again. It's questionable whether he should be allowed to be around children, since animal abusers often do not understand the sanctity of life and go on to abuse children or people they consider "lesser" than themselves.

I wish all dog fighters could go through that type of punishment. If vigilantism was allowed, I'd go around punishing them all. It disgusts me when people harm other living beings just because they have the ability to do so. That is exactly what occurs with dog fighting and child abuse.

Posted by: cartoonsrock | December 29, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The SINGLE reason Obama publicized his feelings for THIS ex-con is for the racial split it will cause among Americans. White Americans forgive easily, however why this topic and not some other worthy event? Here's why ....

Dog fighting is not looked upon as a serious event in some ethnic cultures in our urban centers in the south...yet it is viewed as a very sick and sadistic human failing throughout most of American culture. Obama knows this.

By opining about a peculiarly sick crime, he knew he would create a racial dichotomy hence Obama took his shot...the smartest man in America DOES NOT really think the idea of Mike Vick being permitted to play football is illustrative of an event important enough to opine on. But it does work for Obama's political needs.

Runaway moral and political madness is gripping the nation and the media MUST do their job to illuminate the insanity that is being promoted by the White House.

Posted by: TJFod1 | December 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments posted here are laughable!!! Wow...people playing the race card, others playing the Jesus card, funny stuff!!!! God Bless the USA!!!!

Posted by: thejrilshow | December 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The SINGLE reason Obama publicized his feelings for THIS ex-con is for the racial split it will cause among Americans. White Americans forgive easily, however why this topic and not some other worthy event? Here's why ....

Dog fighting is not looked upon as a serious event in some ethnic cultures in our urban centers in the south...yet it is viewed as a very sick and sadistic human failing throughout most of American culture. Obama knows this.

By opining about a peculiarly sick crime, he knew he would create a racial dichotomy hence Obama took his shot...the smartest man in America DOES NOT really think the idea of Mike Vick being permitted to play football is illustrative of an event important enough to opine on. But it does work for Obama's political needs.

Runaway moral and political madness is gripping the nation and the media MUST do their job to illuminate the insanity that is being promoted by the White House.

Posted by: TJFod1 | December 29, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

To bcamp55...first of all, you don't know me to know what who I am. Second, the truth always hurts. Let's vilify Bret Favre, Ben Rothliesberger, Mark Maguire, just to name a few. Sorry, it takes a lot for some people to fall, i.e., Lindsay Lohan. So, go suck on your S'mores with your heroine, Sarah Palin and all the other racists.

Posted by: bander2400 | December 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The SINGLE reason Obama publicized his feelings for THIS ex-con is for the racial split it will cause among Americans. White Americans forgive easily, however why this topic and not some other worthy event? Here's why ....

Dog fighting is not looked upon as a serious event in some ethnic cultures in our urban centers in the south...yet it is viewed as a very sick and sadistic human failing throughout most of American culture. Obama knows this.

By opining about a peculiarly sick crime, he knew he would create a racial dichotomy hence Obama took his shot...the smartest man in America DOES NOT really think the idea of Mike Vick being permitted to play football is illustrative of an event important enough to opine on. But it does work for Obama's political needs.

Runaway moral and political madness is gripping the nation and the media MUST do their job to illuminate the insanity that is being promoted by the White House.


Posted by: TJFod1 | December 29, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The SINGLE reason Obama publicized his feelings for THIS ex-con is for the racial split it will cause among Americans. White Americans forgive easily, however why this topic and not some other worthy event? Here's why ....

Dog fighting is not looked upon as a serious event in some ethnic cultures in our urban centers in the south...yet it is viewed as a very sick and sadistic human failing throughout most of American culture. Obama knows this.

By opining about a peculiarly sick crime, he knew he would create a racial dichotomy hence Obama took his shot...the smartest man in America DOES NOT really think the idea of Mike Vick being permitted to play football is illustrative of an event important enough to opine on. But it does work for Obama's political needs.

Runaway moral and political madness is gripping the nation and the media MUST do their job to illuminate the insanity that is being promoted by the White House.


Posted by: TJFod1 | December 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Some of the comments posted here are laughable!!! Wow...people are playing the race card, others playing the Jesus card, funny stuff!!!! And for those of you who are critizing the president for commenting on Vick....(shaking my head)!!! I guess it is against the law for the president to be a sports fan! And don't give me that crap about the POTUS caring more about an athlete than running the country...ridiculous!! Because you can only concentrate on one thing at a time, don't get mad at others who have mastered the skill!!! Geez, you people are funny!!!! God Bless the USA!!!!

Posted by: thejrilshow | December 29, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing laughable about this.

Our nation's president has chosen to comment on this from his vacation in Hawaii while we have people at war with a sadistic enemy, an economy teterring and educational system in last place?

He chooses to make Mike Vick an item worthy of emulation? Sick, putrid and worthy of national disgust.

Posted by: TJFod1 | December 29, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I really wish people will get off of Vick's back. Have you ever watched animal planet where people starve animals to death and a whole host of other things. How many serve 2 years in jail. Most of them have been brought to court more than once. where is the outrage on that? I do not condone what Vick did I am an owner of a pit that I love dearly, but what would make people happy? There are people in the NFL that have assulted women, killed someone in DUI related situations and no one is screaming the way they are about Vick. Why is the real problem? Pres. Obama was right to praise the second chance that we all say ex cons are sure to get when they get our of jail but rarely ever do. Nothing would make people happy but to see this man and his family poor and broke. But that is not happening cause say what you want to say he is beast on the field. Even though they lost yesterday he will still make the playoffs and I hope the he makes it to the super bowl. But regardless if he makes it or not he is about to get a fat contract next year. So please vick haters choke on that! Thanks!

Posted by: pplgetagrip | December 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, thanks for an excellent article. I couldn't have said it better myself. As a conservative I don't find myself agreeing with you very often but what you said was right on. Vick was so much more than a dog fighter. He was pure evil and enjoyed the torture. He won't change. I wish him the worst.

Posted by: sfl109415 | December 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, this column ekes of sincerity and good judgment. You are so right and you expressed your indignation of Vick very well.

It seems that talented sports figures can do anything and be forgiven if they have superior sports talents, which apparently Vick does.

The president's call was as disgusting as Vick's crimes were. Both should be ashamed of themselves.

Just another instance of Obama courting the black vote - congratulate a black felon and win more votes. Disgusting.

Posted by: Kansas28 | December 29, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm truly sickened today. I agree with so many of your comments so I won't repeat what has already been said so well.

Surely everyone knows that someone that can do this type of evil to dogs, over and over again - it is a premeditated behavior. It is not a spur-of-the-moment rage, a type of depression, etc. It's a premeditated act of evil that takes a certain mindset to be able to complete it. And, then be able to do it again and again. He gained something from this - a type of enjoyment. That's what is so concerning; it's a sickness that isn't treated with prison time, and my opinion is that it never goes away. Just like pedophiles; they are treated to stop the impulses but they are never cured. What about all the great serial killers of our time - they are known to have started out torturing and killing animals. I'm not saying that Vick will go on to that - I'm saying that it's an evil mindset that isn't just cured. Vick can never be cured so to say he has been rehabilitated is a joke. What evidence do we have of the treatment program he went through to rehabilitate this type of evilness?

Which brings me around to my point, one that no one has brought up yet. Vick has been allowed to own a dog again!! What is wrong with our society and the judge who 'changed' his mind?!? I want to scream! Not only that - he was able to buy a beagle! I say again - buy - not get one from the pound but 'buy' a beagle. And it's a beagle - a stubborn dog who doesn't like to listen and is hard to housetrain. I should know I have four of these lovely creatures. So now what happens when this beagle decides not to listen to Vick?? Performs poorly?? Who or what establishment will check on that beagle to make sure it's safe?

I do not think he should be allowed to do a lot of things but I certainly do not think he should be allowed to own a dog ever again! That is the biggest travesty. My heart is just sick. SICK.
eklyworldnews.com/sports/26094/michael-vick-new-dog/

Posted by: beagleluver | December 29, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, my link wasn't complete; here is the entire post again with the completed link:
---------------------
I'm truly sickened today. I agree with so many of your comments so I won't repeat what has already been said so well.

Surely everyone knows that someone that can do this type of evil to dogs, over and over again - it is a premeditated behavior. It is not a spur-of-the-moment rage, a type of depression, etc. It's a premeditated act of evil that takes a certain mindset to be able to complete it. And, then be able to do it again and again. He gained something from this - a type of enjoyment. That's what is so concerning; it's a sickness that isn't treated with prison time, and my opinion is that it never goes away. Just like pedophiles; they are treated to stop the impulses but they are never cured. What about all the great serial killers of our time - they are known to have started out torturing and killing animals. I'm not saying that Vick will go on to that - I'm saying that it's an evil mindset that isn't just cured. Vick can never be cured so to say he has been rehabilitated is a joke. What evidence do we have of the treatment program he went through to rehabilitate this type of evilness?

Which brings me around to my point, one that no one has brought up yet. Vick has been allowed to own a dog again!! What is wrong with our society and the judge who 'changed' his mind?!? I want to scream! Not only that - he was able to buy a beagle! I say again - buy - not get one from the pound but 'buy' a beagle. And it's a beagle - a stubborn dog who doesn't like to listen and is hard to housetrain. I should know I have four of these lovely creatures. So now what happens when this beagle decides not to listen to Vick?? Performs poorly?? Who or what establishment will check on that beagle to make sure it's safe?

I do not think he should be allowed to do a lot of things but I certainly do not think he should be allowed to own a dog ever again! That is the biggest travesty. My heart is just sick. SICK.
http://weeklyworldnews.com/sports/26094/michael-vick-new-dog/

Posted by: beagleluver | December 29, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I am an animal lover and I think what Mike Vick did was wrong, but I am so tired of this issue being talked about. This man went to jail, paying for his crime. I hope Mr. Vick knows how lucky he was to get a chance to play in the NFL again. The Eagles owner was under no obligation to choose him to play for their team and I think the President, in his comments was not supporting Mr. Vick but supporting giving a second chance.

Posted by: collegebound1 | December 29, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I realy think everone deserves a second chance.

Posted by: DCRouse400 | December 29, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Vick's a bad egg, probably unreformed in his interiors. But I'm sick and tired of listening to people who are sick and tired.

Posted by: whyadam | December 29, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen,

for the FIRST time, i completely agree with you on something! BUT having said that, i'm sorry that you didn't chide (if not outright attack) BHO for "cozying up to" an animal torturer.

frankly, as an animal lover, i cannot/will not ever forgive Micharl Vick for what he DID and/or have any respect whatever for BHO.

as i've said before on this forum, IF one percent of the voters decided to engage in cannibalism, BHO would embrace it as "just another acceptable & alternate lifestyle" & offer free "White House Recipes" for cooking people. =====> BHO is simply "a creature without honor".

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | December 29, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost, the subject of the President's message was on second chances for felons. And, more signifigantly, the courage it takes to hire ex-felons. It would be hard, if not impossible, for anyone to argue against that message. Otherwise, the courts would in reality be sentencing Vick to life -- not 2 years. I hope people can change -- and so should you, b/c there are skeletons in all of our closets. And, let's be honest, NFL teams were not lining up to hire Vick.

Second, called ANYONE an animal and thug is reprehensible. I could call the author a moron and an idiot -- but it would be more honest to say that the author wrote a moronic, idiodic and uniformed piece. This is just another example of our current press overexaturing their message, which isn't doing any favors for our society. Maybe, one day, this author will learn from his mistakes, and make the same effort that Vick is making in retribution.

Posted by: bmanwar8 | December 29, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost, the subject of the President's message was on second chances for felons. And, more signifigantly, the courage it takes to hire ex-felons. It would be hard, if not impossible, for anyone to argue against that message. Otherwise, the courts would in reality be sentencing Vick to life -- not 2 years. I hope people can change -- and so should you, b/c there are skeletons in all of our closets. And, let's be honest, NFL teams were not lining up to hire Vick.

Second, calling ANYONE an animal and thug is reprehensible. I could call the author a moron and an idiot -- but it would be more honest to say that the author wrote a moronic, idiodic and uniformed piece. This is just another example of our current press overexaturing their message, which isn't doing any favors for our society. Maybe, one day, this author will learn from his mistakes, and make the same effort that Vick is making in retribution.

Posted by: bmanwar8 | December 29, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Michael Vic should not ever be allowed to own any pet . Not now, not ever. He is a sick and dangerous individual. His 'brief' incarceration was nothing more than a slap on the wrist , an inconvenience. He emerged from jail only to be rewarded with a multi-million dollar sports contract and pseudo-hero status. He has not and will not ever be 'rehabilitated' . All this talk about 'repenting' and being a changed man in pure PR B---S--, being done to appease the big $ sponsors who fear the backlash of those who truly do love and care for animals.... and considering there are over 40 million households in the USA who own 1 or more pets.... that is a lot of potential lost business.

Posted by: mb000 | December 29, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

This message is for glo8110,

[Please do not tell me that you are suggesting that two wrongs make a right!!! that is an insult to your intelligence and to the audience you address.]

I did not suggest that two wrongs make a right and it seems that you didn't read the whole thing before responding which is an insult to the writer(me). I believe I pointed out that Vick was wrong and that he served his punishment, and that society is best served by allowing people to amend their behavior after serving a punishment instead of condemning them for life for every offense.

Maybe you made the mistake of thinking that mentioning other instances of cruelty to animals means that one justifies the other; if you would read the whole thing that is hardly what I said. I actually pointed out that the vitriol that is reserved for Mike Vick isn't directed at other offenders is a result of the spectacle that his fame produces and not genuine concern for animals.

[Also, Omar, animals have there own purpose on this planet--they are not here for your eating pleasure, entertainment or any other perverted use you may have! From you name I would think that you know that.]

What does my name have to do with anything? Maybe you think I am Indian, I'm not and neither is my name.

[Gandhi even espoused the doctrine of animal abuse by stating "A nation will be judged by the way it treats their Animals"]

Yes, I know this, I also know that India had animal rights laws, over a 2 thousand years before Ghandi (see King Ashoka) however these random facts are irrelevant to the issue of Mike Vick or anyone else getting a second chance after serving their time for the crime they committed.

[Answer please!]
Done.

Posted by: omar_muhammad1 | December 29, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Boy oh boy, you liberals fracture me. On the one hand you oppose the death penalty for even the most heinous violent criminals but on the other that doesn't hold for those who may hurt an animal. Vick paid his dues, really much more than anyone ever has in the arena of dog-fighting criminals. Give him a break and allow him to rehabilitate and grow up. After all, what human did he ever hurt?

Posted by: GulfShoresMan | December 29, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Living in the "Inner city" of early 1990's Washington, DC, (though I currently live in the same house I would no longer describe it as "inner city"), I was unfortunately able to experience first hand the "culture" of dogfighting.

Pit bulls ( a generic term, to be sure), seemed to be the breed of choice of many of the young and not so young folks in the 'hood. My next door neighbor was a young cop whose pet was a rescued pit bull named Joshua, the most mild mannered good natured dog you'd ever want to meet. However, I was always very wary around the dog - the reputation of the breed notwithstanding.

One afternoon my neighbor and I were sitting on his steps with Joshua when a guy with a pit walked up and engaged in conversation. After a short while he asked, "Do you want let these guys go at it for a bit?" My neighbor said, "No, I don't fight my dog." The guy asked, "Why not?"

"Because I love my dog."

That was it. The guy walked away clearly confused.

In early 2003 my wife took our dog out for his morning "constitutional" but within a couple of minutes I heard this horrible screaming and yelping outside. I immediately ran outside to see a woman hustling away around the corner while my wife and dog (a dachshund) were sprawled, battered, bruised and bleeding on the sidewalk.

My wife, who only had superficial injuries, and I took our punctured and bleeding pet to the vet and then stopped at the local precinct to report the attack and file a complaint. However, the police were not interested in taking our complaint and wanted to know why we hadn't called the police earlier. I raised some noise but the culprit was never apprehended. It turns out the woman saw my wife walking the dog and loosed her dog off its leash and the dog responded according to its training and conditioning. It attacked.

The perspective that moved that woman to commit such a heinous act may be endemic in the dog fighting culture... a culture that Vick evidently embraced during his formative years.

Unlike the characters in Jack London's "White Fang" Vick was brought to justice for his actions. He went to prison, forfeited a tremendous sum of money and lost two years of his athletic prime. A fitting and proper sentence. However, after paying his debt to society why should their be a clamoring for more punishment including preventing him from making a living in his chosen profession and calling for his execution?

I believe in second chances and Vick seems bent on embracing his opportunity. This is not a position I come to recently, I wrote an article supporting second chances for offenders nearly ten years ago. It doesn't matter if that person regains the right to vote, gain employment or qualify for the Pro Bowl.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3849/is_200003/ai_n8896680/

Posted by: larrybellinger | December 29, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Of all the things I've had to "get over" from President Obama -- a man whose campaign I donated to, who I went door to door for, who I drove little old ladies to the polls for, and whose election I gleefully cheered (especially when he took Virginia, where I'd volunteered)-- this may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

I'm a progressive who has voted for Kucinich for Pres every time he ran. I had to get over being called "crazy" by WH spokesman Gibbs and "retarded" by Rahm Emmanual. I had to get over Obama dropping the public option in favor of a plan that funnels more public money to the very insurance companies who are the PROBLEM, not the solution. I had to get over the tax cuts for the rich. I had to get over Obama's prime time tirade sarcastically chastising me and my ilk, saying "we can be sanctimonious and get nothing done . . . " Re-embrace the man I voted for, worked for, cheered for, my friends said. Grudgingly, I did.

But I can't get over this embrace of Vick. There is no denouncing, no clarifying, no backpeddling that will erase what is crystal clear to me.

Maybe it was clear the day of Oprah's endorsement. Barack Obama, celebrity product. Vick's a celebrity. Reason enough to embrace him. Level playing field my ****

Or maybe it's this: So many African Americans wrongheadedly raise Vick up as though he were some kind of civil rights hero and see him as unduly persecuted because of his race. Show on B.E.T. Awards from civil rights groups. It's been insulting, ridiculous. Maybe Barack Obama's embrace of Vick is just a brilliant political move to mobilize his African American supporters, whose enthusiasm has been waning during his term as they realized he's just another corporatist in a suit, really. But now African Americans may be energized by President Obama's embrace of Vick. Take sides in this culture war: Black football stars over dogs. It may just be the brilliant political move -- not for Pennsylvania, as some have said -- but for the larger African American vote.

So what if he loses a few animal lovers like me? There are so few of us, after all. So few, really, clearly, who care enough about animals to truly understand what a HEINOUS crime Vick committed with his sadism, premeditated, perpetrated, on innocent helpless dogs.

Our country and our leaders are without a moral compass. Barack Obama, Compromiser in Chief, Celebrity in Chief, is in that crowd, I now see quite clearly.

You cannot have a good and moral soul if you do not GET IT that what Michael Vick did makes him UNFIT to be allowed the superstardom and supersalary his natural talents would otherwise hand him.

But no one it seems, cares. Let's be honest, we are an amoral country. Barack Obama is just a reflection of that.

I'm as left-wing as they come, butI'm done with Democrats. I'm either voting Green or Humane Party in 2012. And when they call me for my money, boy are they gonna get an earful!

Posted by: lilifreak | December 29, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

GulfShore man, you asked what human Michael Vick ever hurt.

He hurt me.
He hurt thousands like me.
Who read the stories of his tormented dogs, begged for their lives to be spared, watched the videos of their scarred bodies.

He hurt ME.

Posted by: lilifreak | December 29, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

@lilifreak | December 29, 2010 7:18 PM

I'm an animal lover, too. I have had three cats in 40 years, two dogs over the last 20, (three if you count my daughter's doggie whom I dog sit daily). My cat is perched on my shoulder as I write this.

Maybe Obama's support for Vick is based in the idea that one can do horrible things, take punishment and then repent for his actions.

Unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald I do believe in second acts in one's life. To denigrate someone's soul and claim there is a side to take; HUMAN BEINGS over the dogs, is not a credible position.

Posted by: larrybellinger | December 29, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Lilifreak - you are right; he hurt me, too.

I'm sorry that within my posting I cited an article that showed Vick had recently gotten a beagle. I was only shown the printed part by someone and never actually opened the link until after I posted here - I didn't realize it was from a site known for spoofing. So I'm thankful to know right now that Vick does not have a beagle or any dog (I assume). Although, I did just see a video of Vick tonight (filmed this month) that he wants a dog and hopes the restrictions will be lifted in the future so he can get a dog. I hope that day never comes.

Posted by: beagleluver | December 29, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Barack, the "jock-sniffer." Now that's an image I'm working to erase from the memory files. Of course, the police who arrested Vick probably "acted stupidly" as they did when they arrived at that house in Boston because a neighbor called in an alarm for a possible burglary.
Wait, could there be pattern here? The professor wasn't a jock was he? Now what could Vick and Gates have in common that would cause the President to be so so partial? Any guesses? Hmmmmmmm

Posted by: Julie11 | December 29, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is way off base in making any kind of comment/opinion about rehabilitating convicts (especially rich and famous ones) when this country's prisons are bulging with the largest population in the world; including all those BAD countries like China and Iran. Really? I think the President needs to educate himself on the subject before making absurd phone calls.

Posted by: inewsmaster | December 29, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Vick served more time in prison than many do for killing people...let it go, people. He's not profiting from his criminal past, he's profiting in spite of it.

Posted by: Littlejohn1 | December 29, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Cruelty to animals is a crime punishable by imprisonment and it is the wrong thing to do. Let's get some perspective though. His victims were dogs and he did time. What about someone who lies about WMD so that he and his cronies can protect their oil investments, at the cost of young human lives; what about those profiteering off of war by hiring thugs to provide "security" services when they aren't busy raping and murdering; what about the CEO who puts thousands of humans out of work and on the brink of poverty so that stock prices and bonuses go up; what about manufacturers who calculate the acceptable cost of human lives during the use of their product. Last I heard, none of the perpetrators of these crimes did a day in the big house.

Posted by: daubry | December 29, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Figures Obamabinladen-Manchurian Candidate,Muslim Extremist, No Passport, No Birth Certificate, No College Credit Proof, No Citizenship Proof, Traitor, Destroyer from Within~would side with Michael Vick who is a Sociopath!
Fact: SERIAL KILLERS (Jeffrey Dahmer-Ted Bundy ect.)interviewed and talked candidly on camera about how they First Abused, Tortured and Killed animals as a "rehearsal" to what they did to Humans! Mass Murderers, Child Abusers, Serial Rapists, Elder Abusers have also admitted to Abusing, Torturing, and Killing Animals Before they committed Crimes on Humans. Giving the honor of owning another dog to Michael Vick (which OBUMMER is agreeing to now) again would be Equivalent to giving a Child Abuser/Rapist/Murderer custody of a child with the second chance to do the Same Crime to them! Both of these Sociopathic Men are a THREAT TO SOCIETY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: RepublicansRule | December 29, 2010 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Somehow, I suspect that if Michael Vick were not able to throw a football tolerably well, the Philadelphia Eagles might be hesitant about hiring this convicted felon as a ticket taker. (And I understand that OJ is still looking for his wife's killer.)

If the President really wanted to make a statement about the ability of ex-cons to turn their lives around, with the cooperation of private sector employers, I think that there are a number of social service agencies that could have pointed him to examples that would actually be relevant and meaningful for people who live in the "real world."

If people like Pat Robertson can realize that vicious laws on possession of small amounts of substances can ruin the lives of very large numbers of people, then surely the President can do something to mitigate the harm. This would mean irritating the beneficiaries of the prison industry, but perhaps this could be described as an additional way of cutting the number of government employees and contractors and acting towards deficit reduction.

Posted by: edallan | December 30, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen I find it interesting that your paper and other media outlets have put more time and effort into reporting on what the president said to the owner of the Eagles than you did in pressing the issue of the first responders of 9/11 and their health needs (that is until Jon Stewart shamed you guys into it). I care very little about Mr Obama's conversations that don't touch on national policy issues but I do care a great deal about Americans being treated fairly by their government. Please stop the pandering to readers and spend more time shedding light on how government does or does not work in the best interest of the citizenry.

What Michael Vick did was deplorable and as such he spent time in jail and ultimately he will answer for his transgressions when he meets his maker. As for me when wall street robber barons go scott free for their fleecing of the public and government officials throw American lives away with no consequence I'm lead to conclude that justice in American is an arbitrary and often multi-tiered system that punishes those who do not have access to the halls of power.

Posted by: JDYoung | December 30, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Michael Vick was judged, convicted, and did his time. He may not have had the moral fiber to prevent his crime, but he certainly has an awareness now that he's never had.

I'm not for or against Michael Vick. Not into football. But I do believe that people must pay for their actions and then start again.

We need to support the system that we stand for. He paid for his crime. Now let him begin again. And while he's doing that, perhaps we can do something more meaningful with our time like teach children compassion for and respect of living creatures. Not all of us have the luxury of having pets that serve as more than a guard dog.


Posted by: tricedh | December 30, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

"They were just dogs." "Everyone makes mistakes." So, wrenching out all 42 teeth of a female dog, then locking it into a wooden box and standing for hours laughing while it is mounted by numerous male dogs as it bleeds from the mouth in horrible agony is just a "mistake?" And not really that bad, because she was just a dog, after all. I see how it it. How about attaching a car battery with cables to dogs then tossing them into a swimming pool? Or wrapping barbed wire around their necks and hanging them from trees till they strangle? Or better yet, strangling them with his bare hands? Drowning them in 5-gallon buckets of water? Vick admitted, in a written statement that he SIGNED voluntarily, that he did all these things and more to countless dogs. Helpless, voiceless animals that depend on us for their very existence. The dog who was slammed repeatedly against the ground until her spine and organs were ruptured? Guess why she was killed-because she RAN OUT OF THE RING-she did not want to fight. Of 51 dogs taken from the farm at the raid, 48 have been successfully rehomed. 2 did not survive their grievous injuries, and ONLY ONE was euthanized for aggression. 3 are certified therapy dogs; and many have received their Canine Good Citizen certificates. I'd say it's a fair bet that these poor victims were rehabilitated a lot more successfully than that low-life Vick ever will be.

What's more, Vick performed this "mistake" for SIX YEARS, traveling to 5 states to run his ILLEGAL GAMBLING operation for profit. Gee, how long did it take him to figure out that was wrong? And for this he served 18 months in prison (for conspiracy, not animal cruelty, or gambling, or dogfighting), where he was a hero to the other inmates and staff alike. That must have been tough, eh? And then, let's see; people have said how much money he lost - um, no, he filed for bankruptcy. That means all his debts were wiped out, he's paying back 10 cents on the dollar to ONLY the secured creditors; everyone else is screwed. Now he's back making millions - just like he was doing when he was running his little hobby business, meaning he didn't do it because he needed the dough. And recently (on TV, I saw it with my own two eyes) Vick said to a bunch of kids, "I'd still be doing it if I hadn't gotten caught." Rehabilitated, $#&*.

This guy is very, very sick. These things are not what normal people do. And now the PRESIDENT is all congratulatory of his so-called "second chance?" And all these people who agree and say, "let it go, he paid his debt," uh, no. Read the court documents, from which I obtained these facts. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Just because this jerk can throw a football doesn't make him a hero, a role model, or especially a human being. The sickness is in his very soul and anyone who can say "well, it's not like he hurt humans" needs to examine their souls, as well. Including Obama.

Posted by: slerriuqs | December 30, 2010 3:59 AM | Report abuse

Only one thing to say: Amen.

Posted by: tbarksdl | December 30, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

I commend Richard Cohen for his clear and reasoned commentary about Michael Vick's redemption and re-emergence as a winner on the football field.

The sanctimonious posturing about forgivness is as fraudulent as the reasons for Vick's hiring by the Eagles. Its about money and winning a game. Vick, as Mr. Cohen aptly put it, was not convicted of stealing food for his hungry family. He is a cold-blooded killer of innocent animals. His brutality did not even stand up to the test of a war commitment, nor to another equally brutal gang member. He was a thug but he can play ball. The late Senator Monihan's comment echoes here: We have continued to define deviancy downward and Michael Vick is a perfect example of that trend.

Posted by: JAS51 | December 30, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen, thank you for your article. I agree wholeheartedly. I maintain that these idiots who think Vick has paid his debt just because he went to prison on charges *other* than animal cruelty, are the same idiots who would be crying for his severed head on a plate if he had done the same horrific acts to small kids or even adults. This shows that too many of those people calling themselves animal lovers truthfully feel "they were just dogs." I am ashamed that Americans can stoop that low. I am ashamed that our president shows such disregard and contempt for living, feeling beings who enrich human life with their loyalty and love. What's next. we pardon rapists and serial killers (of which Vick is one of the latter)and give them a second chance as well? I will be calling the White House line and also writing to Obama to register my extreme disgust. I hope others will do the same. After all, his job is to represent all of us, and by giving sanction to Vick and his handlers, he has shown that even the President thinks "they're just dogs."

Posted by: redglitter | December 30, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Gerson, I guess the American legal system isn't good enough for sanctimonious, self-righteous self-deluded moral hypocrites like yourself. The man paid for his crime and self appointed "judges" like yourself just cant help showing how irrational your own characther is. On the one hand you say the guy did not deserve a second chance and in the same sentence you commend his ability to deliver on the football field. The legal system has judged Michael Vick and God will judge Michael Vick after he checks out of here, and not you and your ilk. You people make ME sick.

Posted by: ruthella10 | December 30, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr Cohen for telling it like it is . I find it disheartening when i read peoples comments along the lines of they were only dogs , he hurt no humans . It is a well known fact that a dog is the only animal capable of loving a human more than it loves itself . As regards to he's done the crime and served the time , so what ? he has shown remorse for getting caught and losing his privileges but showed very little regret or remorse for his actions . And news flash a leopard don't change it's spots . There is a reason why serial killers are not incarcerated for twenty years then released on good behaviour promises , because they have a mental deficiency that will make them kill again . To breed dogs to fight to the death and drown dogs that show no interest in fighting and construct a fighting pit at your home so you are never more than a few minutes walk from a dog fight do not strike me as the actions of a stable compassionate empathetic moral member of society , they strike me as the actions of someone with a mental deficiency .
As with regards to Obama as a resident and national of the UK i have access to world stories of interest via Networking chat groups . If Facebook See's fit to have numerous groups and pages denouncing his actions and questioning his ability to make a smart decision then who am i to disagree with the majority of the general public . What Obama has to realise is it is not the eyes of the United States that are scrutinising his every move but most of the world .

Posted by: ReptileDave | December 30, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Correction: Not Gerson, I mean Cohen (same difference though). Anyway,I guess the American legal system isn't good enough for sanctimonious, self-righteous self-deluded moral hypocrites like yourself. The man paid for his crime and self appointed "judges" like yourself just cant help showing how irrational your own characther is. On the one hand you say the guy did not deserve a second chance and in the same sentence you commend his ability to deliver on the football field. The legal system has judged Michael Vick and God will judge Michael Vick after he checks out of here, and not you and your ilk. You people make ME sick.

Posted by: ruthella10 | December 30, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

It's Cohen who's lost his ability to reason. I've seldom seen a column so obtuse that wasn't written by Charles Krauthammer. Of course it's Vick's abilities that allowed him him to get and keep his job. It should be the same for anyone, whether he/she programs computers, drives a bus, or operates a cash register. The issue in Cohen's mind seems to be whether Vick's crime was so great that he should be banished from human society forever. Well, we have courts for that, and the judge did not give Vick a life sentence, so I respectfully suggest Cohen is dead wrong here. I'm 100% behind Obama's comments on the matter (even if Obama isn't, now). Vick did the crime, he did the time, and now deserves the same chance anyone else does. Cohen is free to snub him at parties, but he does not get to ban Vick from employment for life.

Posted by: chrisjsiple | December 30, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

It all comes down to money. This country is all about the green no matter who suffers, loses, dies, rapes, farts.. it’s all about money. Obama is such an ID10T. “Thank you for giving Vick a second chance.” Second chance? You think the Eagles owner did it because he wanted to give Vick a second chance? He did it because he wants his team to win.. he wants his POC stadium to fill up with fans because they got Vick! Because of MONEY! Capitalism in its purest form. This countrie's morals have gone down the sh!tter and we are wiping our bungholes with dollar bills…

Posted by: sciscobubba | December 30, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

It all comes down to money. This country is all about the green no matter who suffers, loses, dies, rapes, farts.. it’s all about money. Obama is such an ID10Tt. “Thank you for giving Vick a second chance.” Second chance? You think the Eagles owner did it because he wanted to give Vick a second chance? He did it because he wants his team to win.. he wants his POC stadium to fill up with fans because they got Vick! Because of MONEY! Capitalism in its purest form. This countries morals have gone down the sh!tter and we are wiping our bungholes with dollar bills…

Posted by: sciscobubba | December 30, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

There never was any question in my mind that Vick got his second chance because he was a superstar quarterback.

Yet, I read Obama's point as being while that was the case, the shame is that other, non-famous convicts don't get that level of second chance. It would be nice, in fact, if, instead of getting a dog, Vick dedicated his contrition to working on that fact.

On the other hand, why Obama felt it necessary to even wade into this issue publicly is beyond me (While he didn't, strictly speaking - it was a private conversation - he must have suspected that Lurie would make it public).

Posted by: ralph10 | December 30, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

President Obama insulted literally millions of animal lovers - and did not give it a second thought about the repercussions of that foolish act of calling Vick's team, which represents a very thoughtless, careless leader.

Posted by: cetude | December 30, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Please - Vick returned to the perfect job for someone who is aggressive and violent. He is a FOOTBALL player! What about abusing animals makes him unfit to play football (you know - tackle people and run and stuff?)?

Cohen is acting as if only morally perfect people can play a violent sport.

It's not as if Vick is working in a preschool, or a nursing home or even being entrusted with money at a Vegas casino. He might not be kind enough or trustworthy enough (based on his conviction) for one of those jobs. Then I might have some moral outrage.

Sheesh. Vick has a right to do the job he is trained to do. The penalty for dogfighing is NOT loss of all future income. If that is what Cohen wants, then change the law. But if what Cohen is really saying is that football players are horribly overpaid, then why not argue that point? It also seems silly to me, but much more reasonable than claiming that a violent, cruel person is somehow unfit to play a violent game that sometimes results in horrible injury to PEOPLE.

Posted by: Amelia5 | December 30, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE SIGN PETITION and let the President know how upset you are about him lauding sick Vick!

http://www.change.org/petitions/view/president_obama_insulted_millions_of_dog_lovers_by_endorsing_micheal_vick-the_dog_snuffer


Posted by: cetude | December 30, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Why do so many of the commenters say "He's an animal himself...." ??
Why would the word "animal" be a condemnation of any human animal? I know of no animals who would inflict the vicious, deliberate, pre-meditated and money-driven pain on any other.
Even pond scum has been shown scientifically to make room for more pond scum, so all can live well....this creature is beneath my comment.

Posted by: sailorlady | December 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

It is so wonderful at this time of giving and fond thoughts of your fellow man to see all these great religious people so quick to condemn Michael Vick.

I am a dog lover and can't bear the thought of hurting one but the guy paid his debt to society, and I don't believe it is right to judge someone else by my personal standards.

It's Christmas time. People can change...it's rare but they can and do.

Let he who has not sinned....

Posted by: biggerjake | December 30, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, from this drivel, one can derive the following principles in life:

1) Cohen believes that black men who commit crimes are irredemable "thugs," who will remain thugs no matter what they do or how they are punished;
2) Cohen believes that regular felons--as opposed to Vick--have no talent or skill to speak of;
3) Cohen believes that Vick's talent makes him privileged, ignoring that he grew up in a public housing project in the ghetto that was created by a set of anti-Black policies called Jim Crow.

The mysteries of life: How does such a fool remain employed as a columnist? And how much more of this will I take before I cancel my subscription to the Post?


Posted by: JTR_2011 | December 30, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Your article is wonderful and exactly how I feel about this situation. All of our athletes are paid ridiculous sums of money simply becasue they are good at it. How about the real heroes getting paid fairly? Our teachers, military, police, firemen etc.

Posted by: pamspups | December 30, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Bravo. Bravo. Bravo.

This article is spot-on. In a society where teachers are paid poorly and disrespected, while athletes are viewed as "gods," it is about time this article has come to light.

There are no words left to state Mr. Cohen, expect: Bravo.

Posted by: jovigal1959 | December 30, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo mob wants VENGEANCE not justice.

The issue of second chances for those who have served their time AND shown remorse and retribution, is apropriate.

Budget constraints and prison crowding, over-zealous sentencing guidelines and judges will soon force release of thousands and thousands of felons.

It would be wrong to bury this issue of vengeance versus justice.

Praise is due those who give genuinely remorseful people a second chance. President Obama has merely offered an issue we should address- sooner not later.

Posted by: rowens1 | December 30, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Well written, concise, to the point. And exactly right! I wish I could have said it so well. Thank you.

Posted by: gjwriter | December 30, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

One would wonder just how many of the commenters as well as the columnist eat some kind animal product without thinking of the way they are caught or slaughtered.

Posted by: wilhelm1 | December 30, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

One would wonder just how many of the commenters as well as the columnist eat some kind animal product without thinking of the way they are caught or slaughtered.

Posted by: wilhelm1 | December 30, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree with this article. Why on earth would the President even do this? Does he call all convicted animal abusers and felons and tell them they deserve a second chance? Nope, only Vick because he happens to have a talent for football. He has NO excuse for what he did. Dog fighting is one thing, could have been cultural influence, but to torture and kill those dogs in the manner he did speaks of a person that is solely lacking in any compassion or morals. And to add more outrage to this story, for a $50,000 donation to the HSUS, Pacelle now says Vick should be allowed to own a dog! Again, what convicted animal abuser that has been prohibited from ever owning another animal gets this 'second chance'? This makes me sick. It's disgusting! Vick has said he is sorry but has shown NO remorse. He feels nothing for those dogs that he tortured. Never did. Never will.

Posted by: MaryDobes | December 30, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

It's simple economics. Vick got a second chance because he had a unique skill that could not be replicated by another worker without the baggage. If Steve Jobs were convicted of a felony and forced out at Apple, don't you think some company would give him another chance too?

Posted by: NickFlieg | December 30, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

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