Friday, September 4, 2009

Are Conservatives getting in the way of Conservatism?

First and foremost, I do not want you to misunderstand the concept of this blog. The idea behind "Nothing's Safe" is that anyone can make mistakes or do things that will hinder a certain movement or idea. And this can come from anyone, anywhere, any faction. I want to instill an air of accountability into the Conservative movement. We need to realize that Conservatism does not START in Washington with our Representatives. It starts at home.

We are in control of our liberties and ideas, as the Founders of this country wanted. But sometimes, that value is challenged by outside forces. Liberals, for the most part, are liberal about everything BUT your divine civil liberties- we know this, as this is one of the fundamental gripes I have with most Liberals. But there are many times where our enemy looks stunningly like the person in the mirror. We get in our own way so many times that it is like we have tied our own shoelaces together to play a prank on someone else. But the joke is always on us.

I am afraid that we are currently facing one of those times where WE are our own worst enemies, and we must do something about that NOW. The subject that has been racing around my brain all day is President Obama's speech to our children on Tuesday. We are right to be skeptical on many things that has come out of Washington over the past few months... and honestly over the past 16 years. It is our civic duty to "Question with boldness," as Glenn Beck reminds us daily. This topic is no different.

I must warn you to not fall victim to the monsters we have helped create, my fellow Conservatives. There are bigger pitfalls ahead. While Obama has surrounded himself with many self-avowed Communists, Marxists shaking an iron rod of tyrannical change, and Fascists that bind us in the galling chains of "21st century slavery," we huddle ourselves around our family and friends and put up a wall to help protect those we love. In this case of the school speech, this is EXACTLY what the Radical Left wants!

Are you confused? Don't be! Be vigilant in seeking the truth and you will be rewarded. What I want you to do on Tuesday is very simple: LISTEN. That's it- just listen. Now, before you fly off the handle and call me an Obama apologist, let me explain.

Take off the mantle of the conspiracy theorist for a minute and lets look at this in a different way. The target of this speech MAY NOT be our children, though I am sure that there are many well founded concerns of Obama "indoctrinating" our kids, Vladimir Lenin style. The REAL target audience in this, are those people that CHOOSE to pull their kids out of the classroom when Obama speaks. The Liberals want a ground swell of people to do this. Why? Political gain, of course.

I hate to say this, but your children are more than likely just pawns in all this. The Liberals want to use you that pull your kids out of that speech. You will be their rallying cry for healthcare and many other programs that will come down the pipe this Fall. You may very well be working against conservatism, and without your realization! I am sorry if this upsets some of you, but it is the truth. Think of it like this, the Health Care Speech with the joint session of Congress is the next day. What better way to help get that pendulum swinging to the left than to have our President say something about "conservatives not caring about our kids" because of our actions on Tuesday. "They don't care about education, so they OBVIOUSLY don't care about health care." Do you see where I am going yet?

Now we have to look at both sides. What if Obama is just giving our kids a "stay in school" speech or something to that extent. Regan did it. Nancy Regan instituted the "Just Say NO!" program in the late 80's (remember the green tee shirts?). Bush 41 did it. How is this bad if Obama does it? I know that we have to look at everything he does and question it, but what if? What if all these fears of indoctrination and poisoning our kids are false? We look like idiots if that is the case and this will only cause us many problems for us and for our country, as the months progress. We, in essence, have helped the Liberal cause of MORE government and LESS individual liberty. By choosing to not participate, we do ourselves more harm than good.

What I am really trying to say is: We begin to lose ourselves- as individuals and as a group- when we stop listening to what is going on. I am afraid that too many hardline conservatives are still turning their back on what could be a golden opportunity. Whether we like him or not, and let me be clear- I DON'T, he is still our President. Who are we to preach First Amendment rights when, in this case, we are truly censoring our own President? Are we not hypocrites then? If we stop listening, we are no better than Sheila Jackson-Lee talking on a cell phone when a cancer patient asked her questions at the town hall meeting!

So I say this: Let our kids listen too. Ask questions. Ask the teachers and administrators questions. Demand honesty. If possible, sit in with your kids and listen with them. It would be a good experience for both of you. Learn from them and other parents and teach them as you can. Have open and honest discussions about the speech. If we do this, I promise you that nothing but good will come out of this, and we will be one step closer to winning our country back.

I also say this: if the fears of Obama attempting to use our youth in unethical ways and the very seeds of indoctrination do begin to be sown, then rally your troops and call for his impeachment! We cannot condemn him for something he hasn't done yet (although this is a tactic Liberals use all the time). It's not like the movie Minority Report; "Pre-crime" does not exist. We can prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And if the worst does come about, we will be ready to force out the Radicals with our voices! True protection is not about closing ourselves off or shutting others out. It is about acquiring as much knowledge as we can and using it in the best possible way to defend our liberty. Do not bend truths, do not make false accusations for this is the very action against which we are fighting. Do not participate in vile name calling, for then you are lowering yourself to play on Van Jones' and Nancy Pelosi's level. The only way to overcome your enemy is to be better than your enemy.

Walk hand in hand with the truth, as we march shoulder to shoulder towards winning our country back from those who want to fully take it from us.

Nothing's safe...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did anyone get the license plate of that... hybrid?

So, within the last hour, another government program has gone by the wayside. Honestly, I am glad it is over. I think there were far too many questions left unanswered about this mismanaged farce, and I am glad to watch it fall off a cliff. Now I am sure I am not gonna reveal any new and astounding information to you, dear reader, but, I do think that my stamp on this is well deserved.

Let me get this straight. Our Beloved Government set aside $1 billion dollars of TAXPAYERS money to "give" to people who want to trade in an old car for a new one. Did they mention it is considered a government subsidy; therefore to be considered as income and THEREFORE TAXABLE???? So much for free programs, huh? Why didn't we find this out until late?

So what happened to that $1 billion dollars? Well, when the they got the green light for the program, they initially halted it 5 days in! Why? Too popular, they say. So what do they do? they BORROW another $2 billion- from other government programs, supposedly- to EXTEND the program!! In the legislation, it clearly stated that the program is to run until November 30, 2009 OR UNTIL the funds of the program had been used." Why extend it? Think of the DTV transition and after 2 years of warning, people were still "not ready for it."
So, even in a vacuum, instead of one mismanaged program, we have 2!! Great!!! And yet they called it an alarming success even though we overshot the runway by 200%! But let us be realistic: the money the Imperial Congress borrowed came out of YOUR pocket!

Now, do we know where this was originally started? Was this brought into existence but our Legislators? NO! Our Communist Apologist Van Jones- our Green Czar- that brought this about. On April 30, 2008, the blogsite shared a video about this with us. This initiative was partially funded by ShoreBank, a community bank in Virginia and Maryland. But what was his motive? Does he really want to "Green Up," the environment, or give a job to "Pooky," as he talks about in a discussion about his position? Or does he want to try to overload the system until the crack from under the surface of this government?

So what did CARS accomplish anyway? Let's look. If everyone who traded in a car qualified for the full $4500 "gift (buying a car that has a total mileage of at least 10 mph GREATER than the trade in)," that would mean only 222,222 people would have been allowed to partake in this (this is the figure for the $1 billion price tag). All in all, over 750,000 people participated in this. It's not bad on the surface, I admit it. But here is where it goes awry.

Tell you what, consider this: I drive a 2004 2WD Chevy Blazer which needs about $3000 of work. My mother drives a 2004 Jeep Liberty which she has kept immaculate. My father drives a 1996 Volvo 960 which has seen much better years. Who doesn't qualify for CARS rebate? The answer: Dad! Yep, his car gets a sultry 19 miles to the gallon, where mom and I get 17 and 18 respectively. What does that accomplish? Furthermore, if Mom traded in her car for a new one, under the legislation for CARS, she COULD NOT give that Liberty to Dad. No, her car must be crushed and "recycled." So Dad can't take the car 8 year his trade-in's junior, and give up his Volvo.

Now, multiply this by 750,000 times. What do you get? As Chris Edwards from the CATO Institute wrote: "a short term 'sugar high.'" If we assume that each "clunker" is worth $3000 each, the government destroyed $2.2 billion in assets! Do the math. Moreover, this cripples the used car sales business because there are up to 750,000 LESS used cars to sell. This also hurts the lower income families who cant afford a new car for the same reason. Plus, it makes the used cars already on the lot MORE EXPENSIVE! (Economics 101: Supply and Demand) Be reminded: We are still in a recession! What do you not need in a recession? Higher Taxes and Higher Prices. Poorer people cannot buy the things they need. This only prolongs a recession!! Also, think of this: a lower income person, with no car payment, comes into a dealer and gets a CARS rebate on a new car. Now they DO have a car payment on their limited income! What happens when they cant afford it anymore? How does this help? Are your wheels turning yet??

And for those that wanted to scrap the hooptie for parts, FORGET IT! You could not take an good transmission or whatever from your "clunker" and use it in a different car to fix it. Nothing can be used once traded in. These cars are crushed, disabled and rendered useless. Your once rolling jalopy is now a cube of twisted metal trash. Well done, Government Twits!

There was a rumor of a loophole where a dealer could choose not to have a car demolished, but I have not found it in the legislation itself. Sorry, I don't speak Legalese!

Then we have the bureaucratic part of it all. Uncle Sam hired 1100 more people to help work with the paperwork in Washington, the ONLY place in the US where unemployment is SHRINKING!! So that is more of MY money that they are using and I get no benefit! The paperwork itself was no picnic either. Average purchases under this program took 5 HOURS to complete, due to the speed and constraint of the government computers (after all, they do not use NEW IMAC'S, you know)! The forms the dealer had to fill out were 9 pages PER PURCHASE. If there was an error, you could not go back and fix it, you had to start over! Do we see where the money is going yet? How much Red Tape is in this... and other government programs?? I am not blaming just Democrats this time, BOTH parties agreed on this. Both are at fault. Both deserve vilification! Did anyone try to stop this?

On a local level, I know of 2 dealerships in the Atlanta Metro area that, as of Friday, August 21, 2009, have sold close to 600 cars under the "clunker" program. The money "borrowed" for this program was supposed to go to the dealers as a kickback for the lost revenue, with about $150 million for administrative purposes. Together, these two dealers are owed about $1.8 million and have received less that $10,000 for this rebate program!! What a farce! Many of their transactions are still in the system as "pending" or "declined (with no reason, mind you)."

Some claims, sadly, are lost in the system. With thousands of dealers grasping for this government money, it is likely these 2 dealers will not get everything they worked for. How does it help the economy of small and mid-sized business when these companies may have to lay people off of work because they are "still waiting on lost revenues from the government rebate." Where is the money that Congress borrowed FROM US and why is it taking so long to get to these dealers. Small businesses cannot survive with a $1 million budget cut to their operations. I am shocked that more dealers did not fold.

The one funny part... well, it's funny to me... is that some of the more popular cars bought on the CARS program were SUV's! Yes, the Priuses and other Hybrids did get their due attention, but so did cars like the Lincoln MKX and the Chevy Equinox. Even HUMMER got a few sales out of it! Go figure.

Earlier in the program, there were reports of the dealer having to give ALL of its computer information, private and commercial, to the government so that it may "monitor purchases and transactions." This includes, dealer info, VIN numbers, and the BUYERS' personal info. The government now has YOUR credit info, bank info, social security info... all because you wanted a new car and you wanted the government to pay for part of it! Is it worth giving up your civil liberty and privacy? Not mine.

Some dealers decided to cut the program early; some never participated. I applaud them all who took this action. But, I am afraid that too many didn't do the same. And for that, we may see 750,000 less cars (possibly FAR less) being sold within the next 2 years because of this program.

Follow the money trail one more time. 750,000 cars means that the average rebate was $4000. This means that only half qualified with a 10+ MPG trade in. If we extrapolate that data, we can then figure that, all in all, the average consumer gained about 5 MPG from the purchase. Plug that in to my car. I go from 17 to 22 MPG. I have a 16 gallon tank. This means I gained 80 miles per tank. Less than 4 gallons per fill up- $10 per fill up (at $2.50 per gallon). If I filled up 50 times a year, I would save $500 annually. If this analogy worked for all involved in the CARS program, we save $375 million a year on gas as a nation! I guess that is the "Green" part of the program.

So I ask you, was it worth $3 billion to save $375 million? That is about than 12% return AT BEST at face value. It will take 8 years to make up THIS DEFICIT ALONE! No business can survive on that. Our Country cannot survive on that. Be reminded, Cap and Trade is still lingering on the horizon and our energy prices will "necessarily skyrocket," Obama says. These figures will surely change as well.

...and these clowns wanna run our Health Care too???

nothing's safe....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Letter to Brett Favre

Dear Brett Favre,

I want to sarcastically thank you for hijacking another team for another summer. I totally get you wanting to still play for the love of the game and all that, but come on. That love doesn't die in February and rekindle in August... only to die again after going 8-8. This action is kinda phony of you, and makes you look like a pariah.

If you are going to play this year, then make it count. Do something good. Make the team better, but more importantly, make yourself look better. I was a fan of yours in Green Bay and loved how you played with reckless abandon. It is like you never grew up... like you saved time in a bottle and opened it up on Sunday afternoon. It was cool to see.

But now, over the past two seasons you are heading down a path that the likes of Johnny Unitas, Dan Fouts, Ken Stabler and Joe Montana have all travelled. Though 3 of them are in the Hall of Fame, and you will be as well, it still raises a lot of questions in the NFL fan's mind. Why did you hang on so long? Why did you change teams? Too many to answer.

Then the question of your health comes up. According to reports, you STILL have a slight tear in your rotator cuff on your PASSING shoulder! What happens when you take that hit? You know... that Joe Theismann kind of hit that ends a career. Then what? Was the $12 million you are getting for this year worth it when you cant move your shoulder?

And what about that money? If you get hurt, or play poorly, do you give some back? I have an idea: Give some to charity! Give a bunch to charity if you want! I am not into forcing charity on to anyone; it is your money. Do with it as you please. I do, however, know that there are a load of local Charities in the Hattiesburg, MS area that need some help... even your old school can use some assistance. For example: Band Uniforms and equipment. I know that most athletes would give any charity to the athletic department of their school, but be honest with me. 85% of all money that comes in to the school comes thru the Athletic Department! So I say help your BIGGEST supporters of USM sports... the Band. Just talk to Corey... he can tell you what they need.

Look, I said it before and I don't want it lost in the context of this letter, I am a fan. But please do the right thing, play for the right reasons and for the sake of the summers that you have already hijacked from us, please retire gracefully. We, the entire NFL fanbase, can't wait to see you in Canton!

your fan,
Christopher Francis

P.S. if I have to hear my friend Rudy talk about how you are going to save the Vikings last year the Jets) and how you are the best QB ever... and how you could throw the ball 100 yards through a brick wall... I'm gonna choke him! (just kidding)

I *heart* Alan Grayson!

For the few the few that know me, you know that I am a pretty laid back guy. I am passionate about many things but try not to get worked into a tailspin on most things. There are, however, people or actions that make me want to melt down into a Gordon Ramsay style tirade (Yes, Hell's Kitchen just aired). Granted, I do not have a trash bin to kick or a pan of over-salted risotto to hurl at a hapless line cook, but a real miserable git reared his thick head this week and got my blood boiling: Alan Grayson (D-FL, Orlando to be exact).

I have to fully admit that when I lived in Orlando, I did not jump into the political scene. I love the area, have loads of close friends there and the warm, relaxed atmosphere of the area really puts me at ease. I feel at home there. I am in Atlanta now, a hot bed for all sorts of things really, but I do plan on returning to Central Florida soon. And I am going to do my part in making sure this fell beast of a politician is voted out of office.

One of my favorite things about Atlanta is Neal Boortz. I listen to him every morning, and sometimes really late at night if I cannot sleep because the local AM talk radio station replays his broadcast. His irreverent style and " nasty personality disorder," make listening a joy and well worth the nomination into the Radio Hall of Fame this year. Congrats, Neal! you deserve this award... right next to Dr. Demento.

Earlier this week, Our Dearly Beloved Representative (can you tell I am a sarcastic bloke?) held a Town Hall meeting to discuss the health care debacle, as outed on Boortz's broadcast. Good for him... or is it? Let us count the ways Grayson did something shady. You can find the report here.

1) Grayson chose a local IBEW union hall as his battleground!
2) He also gave the public a very short notice, less that 48 hours!
3) He chose this particular hall because it holds a whopping 125 people!
4) Immediately before his meeting, was a separate meeting of the LOCAL DEMOCRATS... in the same hall... and was scheduled on a previous date!!! (heinous, isn't it?)

Do the math, those that made it into a seat for Grayson's soiree were already there! This was CLEARLY stacked against the people of his Congressional District. By some accounts, 95 of the 125 in the first meeting stayed for the second (and that is their right, so not fault to them on that). I am sure there was a load of spin at the podium and communications sent back and forth to ENSURE a biased meeting, and that is where the real sin of the matter is found. All in all, this only allowed 30 new people in the room. Real concerned citizens- Military Vets, housewives, men and women of all walks of life- were blatantly shut out from being heard by their Representative!

SHAME ON YOU, ALAN! Hundreds of your voters, on both sides of the aisle, were left out, and no chance of rebuttal. The Orlando Sentinel reports that citizens were even kept from seeing their Congressman by local police (a la Sheila Jackson- Lee... but thats another blog)! So many have given up, but I know there are others, like me who are ready to fight.

I encourage you to please stay vigilant and keep calling and sending emails and letters to Mr. Grayson. You control the key to his re-election. Your voice is not just heard on Tuesdays in November. Your civil liberties are at stake, it is up to you to fight! Make this Obama-phile a one term Congressman.

nothing's safe...

Monday, August 17, 2009

R.I.P. Fishy emails!

I have to hand it to you, America. Sometimes we really amaze me! I want to congratulate you on the demise of a vile government program: the Healthcare Snitchlist! I mean lets face it, How cool is it to take a weapon to be used on the American people... not just Conservatives but any concerned citizen... and turn it against its creators! Instead of snitching on others who opposed "Obama-care" (buyer beware on that: see below), walking unafraid, we snitched on ourselves. Many thanks to Steven Crowder, who made the effort public, and the thousands of others: Michelle Malkin, Bill Whittell (I hope I spelled his name correctly), Ann Coulter and all of us normal citizen who will not take Radical Fascism in this country. If you did not see the movement, click here.

But we need to take time for a special thank you to one who really helped drive the nail in the coffin: Major Garrett. Major, you talked down Robert Gibbs (which I think my niece could do nowdays). You exposed the truth behind the snitchlist and asked the painful questions that make the Radical Left squirm. You even made Gibbsy-poo so mad that he STOPPED TALKING and changed direction!!! (side note: did you see how red his face got?) Now, as a White house Press Secretary, is it a good thing to stop talking?? I don't remember Ari Fleischer being so gobsmacked (as they say in Britain). Just wondering.

On Major's blogsite, (<--- neat trick huh? ) he talks in detail about the demise of the flag email address and the changes to the "Reality Check" website. Most curious of all: NO PRESS RELEASE! Oh Gibbs, where are you?? Nick Shapiro seems to have tipped into the same Kool-aid. If you read earlier posts to Major's blog, you can see that he asked several questions that simply did not get answered. Many others were given very stock, very vague spin. I think we are learning the real truth one person at a time.

So what happens now? What happens to the emails that WERE sent? What happens to the addresses that were collected? (I sure hope mine was one of them.) Most, of all how did you get these emails? If they were from outside sources, what sources? We deserve to know! Inquiring minds want to know.

I want to warn you all: THIS IS NOT THE END! Too many questions are still left unanswered. We are getting wise to their tactics, and they are learning NEW tactics. We must proceed with caution. Be wary of this lull and of that in the Health Care Public option, both will show up again, IF WE ARE NOT WATCHING. Now, more than ever, we need our Representatives... that includes you, Ben Chandler (thank you Howard!)... to listen to us and READ the bills before voting on them! I find it shameful and a severe disservice to the American public for our Congressmen to not know on what they are voting. When you don't properly represent us, we WILL replace you.

The push is on.

So america, send your thanks to the guy in Row 2, seat 4, Major Garrett. His tenacious style of journalism kept us informed and made our voices heard!

nothing's safe....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Walk Like A Man...

Growing up, I remember weekends where Dad would take me to the video store with him to rent a few movies. One that I distinctly remember seeing on the shelf was "Walk Like A Man." I remember it because it had Howie Mandel on the cover, squatting, like a dog, smiling and a collar around his neck. I don't know anything else about the movie... I never watched it. I just knew that he was a spaz. Then, I listened to a recording of his stand- up routine, "Fits Like A Glove," and soon confirmed that fact for myself.

Now, in my twisted head, I keep playing word association with that title and keeps coming back to "walks like a duck." That analogy basically says, if it looks like something, it probably IS that something. And it is my professionally unprofessional opinion that we have many Congress men and women who are not walking like ducks. In fact, they are more like ostriches.

Now, more than ever, when we need OUR voices heard in Washington D.C., our "fearless leaders" are hiding their heads in the sand. They are resolving to scare tactics, name calling and shunning the very same people that voted them into office. This really yanks my chain... and from many accounts, it seems I am not alone.

Let me make this clear to you, the reader. I have no close political friends, I am not close to any lawmakers, I have not even met many of them. I found out recently that a friend of mine is a Republican Lobbyist in Kentucky, my home state, and I am quite proud of him. Politics look different from the bottom up, than they do from the top down. I think many of our Senators and Representatives on BOTH sides of the aisle have lost touch with the people, and this is VERY dangerous.

Take for example, Arlen Specter (D-PA). For many years he was a Republican, and a quite outspoken one. This past spring, he switched his party affiliation "to better represent his constituents." Okay, fine! but when your constituents voted you in as a Republican and turn on them midstream, what does that really say??? It tells me that you are scared of what is happening and to save your job in the next election cycle, you jumped ship to cover your own butt! Mr. Specter, how dare you!

But you are seeing the fruits of your deceit now, aren't you? I see that your town hall meetings are the talk of National Media! Good for you! You have gotten the attention you deserve! And all that heckling and shouting from the people, that's not real, right? Your people aren't mad at you! Why those are all just Conservative Special Interest Group Plants, right? Right?!?

Mr. Specter, you are not the only one. Many of the town hall meeting are having their Representatives being met with angry constituents shouts, waving signs and booing. Yes, booing! Many of you expected to come home to cheers and ticker tape parades "thank you Mr. Rep and Mrs. Senator. thank you for giving us healthcare." when in reality, you are shell shocked.. and I find it rather humorous. You see, not all of us are dumb. We know when we smell a rat. We know when our health is threatened and out very lives are being unjustly fitted with price takes and regressing stopwatches. And what happens when those timepieces hit triple zeroes? Are we now worthless to society? What happened to valuing our elders and taking care of those in need?

And if this healthcare package is so damn good, why won't you sign on the dotted line to use it yourselves? The reason is: you know! You know that this healthcare package is full of holes and is less about insuring the sick and more about controlling the general public. If it WAS about insuring those who need it, why is it that the bill states "as many as 17 million Americans may still be uninsured after 2017?" So are those people really yelling at you for a good reason now?


I know there are others. Out of the 535 Congressmen we have, most of them (mainly Democrats and some Republicans who have given the bill a shaky 'thumbs up') have stopped having town hall meetings, stating safety reasons. Now, let's be honest. I am no fool, so treat me like a fool. you don't like the boos and jeering. It is okay, sports figures get it daily. We know you can't take it. But there is a difference in "T-Rexing" a pass down the middle of the field, and playing Russian Roulette with our lives.

But I also know that both sides are going to demonize the other and show what they want you to see. So I know the truth is in the middle somewhere. There are less protesters shaking fists and more that are asking concerned questions. Are you giving them the answers they are looking for, or are you tap dancing around it? We deserve the truth. After all, YOU work for us, not the other way around. You will want to remember that in 2010.

There is another side to the coin. There are people that take it WAY too far. Rep. John Scott (D-GA), A well spoken black American, had a swastika painted on the sign to his offices in Atlanta this week. This is just simply UNACCEPTABLE! I am embarrassed for whoever did that, and I hope they are found and punished to the fullest extent of the law. No matter what side of the fence you are on, this man did not deserve this! You do not represent the vast majority of us who believe in usurping the iron rod of the tyrants! You are hate filled beings and we don't need your bile to tarnish us.

Now on the subject of the name calling: SHAME ON YOU ALL! (you know who you are) We are not brownshirts, Nazis, Stormtroopers, KKK members and most of all we are NOT UN-American. I implore you, left wing Statists, to come up with LOGICAL arguments and discussions on these things that matter most to us. In fact, America was founded because we PROTESTED government control of out religions and unfair representations. Remember the Boston Tea Party... the original one? We are a nation of rebels! And when out liberties are at stake WE WILL REBEL!

In closing, I guess what I really want to say is this: Mrs. Boxer (D-CA)... and others, I will call you "Senator," when you start ACTING like one! Walk like a SENATOR!

I think we know where I am going with that!

Nothing's safe...

Friday, August 14, 2009

On the Subject of Michael Vick...

Being a devout American football fan, I feel polarized when it comes to Michael Vick. I currently live in Atlanta, and was here during the time in which Vick was king. He was the highest paid player in the NFL, he sold thousands of tickets and jerseys and made defensive coordinators seek professional help. Even in the Madden '06 video game, he was virtually unstoppable. The kid is just way too fast. I honestly admit. I was a fan.

But all the while, we were being duped. There was a side of Vick that was not public, and in my opinion, heinous. The dogfighting ring that he bankrolled and in which he participated was inconceivably horrid. The entire country, not just NFL fans, were totally stunned and a city was heartbroken. We learned of how he killed dogs that did not perform well in the ring, and even set out family pets to be used as target practice. We were left standing mouths agape as we heard of the drowning and electrocuting of animals, and the money that was circulated therein.
PETA and the ASPCA, among many many many other activist groups were outraged along with the millions of individuals- Myself included. He deserved to go to jail.

And off to jail he went. Not just any jail; Leavenworth, KS. The hardest of the hard are wards there. This is no Madoff-style country club, this is the real deal. There have been many laws acted and signed over the years, even one, signed by George Bush (in this blog to be named hereafter as "Dubya") in 2007, in which it was made a federal felony (State laws still vary). In this law, it provides a penalty of up to three years of imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine for each offense of interstate or foreign transport of animals for fighting purposes.

Michael Vick was luckier, per se. He submitted a guilty plea to a single Virginia (state felony) charge for dog fighting, receiving a 3 year prison sentence, imposition of which was suspended upon condition of good behavior, and $2500 fine. In return for the plea agreement, the other charge was dropped. A single charge! One! That's it! And her only served 24 months in jail! 22 in Leavenworth, and 2 under house confinement! After all the disgusting tales of death and dismemberment, he got one count and home confinement. Why? What about others that did the same thing?

In 2007, A Cottonwood, Alabama judge sentenced Johnny Ray Lewis 102 years in prison and was ordered to pay another $34,000 in fines. He was charged with 17 counts of felony dogfighting! In the raid upon his property, authorities seized 17 dogs, heavy chains, syringes and videos on dogfights. Also, another 38 put bulls died directly because of his actions. It is this writers opinion that Mr. Lewis got off FAR TOO EASY. 17 and 38 make 55 counts! That makes 330 years in the clink. Does this appeal to you?

Apply that to the Vick case. Sure, he was nailed with breach of contract lawsuits and tax liens after this was already in the court system. But, the fact of the matter is that Vick was given highly preferential treatment. In fact, I believe that he got off lighter than ANY OTHER criminal in history. If he was Johnny Ray Lewis, he would still be behind bars and vilified for the rest of written history.

But, now he is out. "He paid his debt to society," as some people say. So be it. PETA and others are still angry as hell at him and I can understand. But let me ask this: does he deserve a second chance? I say he does, but only just.

I am embarrassed for him as a human being, as a member of the NFL and as the face of a franchise in which I cheered. I think his actions make him a vile person and I am not look at him the same again. He deserved all that he got and more. But this is America, and we were built on second chances. I also believe in actions. They speak loudly for a man's character. Let us see where he goes from here.

Does he have the right to attempt to make a living again? Absolutely! And the Philadelphia Eagles think so too. They signed him to a one year deal, worth $1.6 million and an option for a second year (at $5.2 million). Is your head spinning yet?? Mine is. S.E. Cupp's is (an avid animal lover and one whose work I read constantly). Johnny Ray Lewis' is as well.

Why did they do it? simple answer: MONEY! Look at how much FREE media that organization just got! They got a STAR player caliber body on the cheap. Fans are going to fill the seats JUST to see what he does and if the new "WILD EAGLE (my term) OFFENSE" has in store. This team, if all works positively, got a HUGE bargain. And if they get a Super Bowl ring at the end of it, then all is washed away, right?

The Court of Public Opinion, which seems to be law in this country at times, has already written Vick off as a career criminal. Yes, those in high positions (Falcons' Organization, Virginia Tech, et cetera) have all played their cards, "wished Michael well" and downplayed the situation to appease the masses. But lets be honest, it will be several years before most of the scars heal. Some may never do so.

The way I see it this matter is not a 2 party issue, right or left. Many, if not the majority on BOTH sides feel the same way. I am, however, a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, and loathe the Eagles (its in our blood). I want to see this experiment fail for that reason alone! Yes I know I am unfair about it. But you need to realize, NFL football is not a 2 party system... it is a 32 party system! One for each team! That's a system millions of us believe in, wholeheartedly!

I guess, all things considered, I asked the best football mind I know, my brother, about it. After all, I value his opinion when it comes to pigskin... and many other things.

His initial response? "Eh!" I couldn't say it better myself!

Nothing's safe....