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Michael Vick's big-money second chance is an insult

Vick deserves a second chance | Aug. 16, Bill Maxwell column

Vick's big-money chance an insult

While I disagree with Bill Maxwell's opinion on giving Michael Vick a second chance in the NFL, I share his admiration and respect for Tony Dungy. Maybe one of the best lessons Dungy could teach Vick is that for most of us, second chances don't involve multimillion dollar contracts playing professional sports.

I am completely for second chances. We've all made our mistakes in life. However, I am not in agreement with reinstating large sums of money to athletes as a second chance.

Michael Vick deserves to make a living, get an education, have a roof over his head and feed his family. I'm guessing he can do it for much cheaper than $1.6 million this year and a $5.2 million (option) for next year, because the majority of us do. Shouldn't his second chance involve focusing on how to make a living after his NFL days are over? Completing his education from Virginia Tech? Does anyone bother to ask what his plans are after the NFL? Wouldn't that have been a great focus for him during his incarceration?

I feel slapped in the face by the NFL, and I hope others do too. In this economy, the Eagles signed this man to millions as his second chance. I know so many great, smart, law-abiding citizens who have lost their job, house, retirement, through no fault of their own. But a man who funded the systematic breeding of dogs to fight to the death for sport is going to make millions, running out on the field to play a game. I hope others see the sadness in this that I do.

Would Michael Vick stick to his statement that "everyone deserves a second chance" if he had invested and lost his NFL millions with Bernie Madoff?

Kristin Crawford, Tampa

Vick deserves a second chance | Aug. 16, Bill Maxwell column

Cruel treatment of dogs was no mistake

A mistake is when you inadvertently lock your keys inside your car or perhaps take a left turn when you should have taken a right. Killing dogs by hanging them, shooting them, beating them to death with a baseball bat or holding their heads under water until they stop struggling is not a mistake. They are willful, evil acts done by a man with no sense of humanity.

Michael Vick apologists always refer to these acts as "mistakes" like in "whoops." I wondered if Bill Maxwell could get through his entire commentary without using the word. He almost did.

Is there a doubt in anyone's mind that Vick would still be doing these vicious acts if he had not been caught? Vick's remorse comes from being exposed as the thug that he is. He should be given the same second chance that he gave to the dogs he mercilessly slaughtered.

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

Vick should just go away

Will someone tell Michael Vick to do us a favor and get out of football or any other sport and go home?

He was fortunate enough to get into pro football, made millions of dollars, then got greedy, made more money killing and torturing dogs. He got a slap on the wrist, served 18 months of a 23 month sentence. Now he is saying that he doesn't know why he ever did those terrible things and he is sorry. Of course, what else is he going to say?

I am very disappointed in the Philadelphia Eagles for hiring him, especially when you think of all the great players who have played for the Eagles. Vick is not one of them.

And what about Pete Rose? He couldn't get into the Hall of Fame because he gambled on baseball. Which is worse, gambling or killing dogs? Vick again has a chance to make millions more dollars. Then what?

John M. Chalakee, New Port Richey

Under the road to redemption | Aug. 16, story

Undeserving of our concern

Congratulations to Lane DeGregory for such talented writing. Her story about Homer Barkley and the other individuals he lives with under a bridge on the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami was thought-provoking. To think that people are forced to live in such squalor made me feel, well, almost bad for them.

But then I thought about the 10-year old girl Barkley raped and sodomized. Where is her story? What kind of prison is she living in? Does she visit psychologists like Barkley? Is she depressed, too?

Certainly society needs to find some solution as to what to do with individuals like Barkley, and the Julia Tuttle Causeway is surely not the answer.

But please, spare us this disgusting sap of a story.

Elizabeth Ariza, Tarpon Springs

Under the road to redemption | Aug. 16, story

Lost souls haven't a chance

Who else but Lane DeGregory, an award-winning journalist who so profoundly is a credit to her profession, could tackle the issue of a criminal justice system that is imploding on itself by its excesses?

Certainly, sex offenders and child molesters are the lowest of the low (regardless of the fact that differing degrees of sexual misconduct are lumped together in this system), but what kind of society are we delineating by making it impossible for most people caught up in this system to survive and be productive? These lost souls haven't a chance, and neither do we, of moving toward a more crime free civilization.

Dee Nicholas, Tarpon Springs

Under the road to redemption | Aug. 16, story

They should be grateful

Sorry guys: no sympathy here. Anyone convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old should be more than happy to have the privilege of living anywhere — let alone under a bridge.

C. Alder, Seminole

Why scientists are seldom Republicans Aug. 16, Robyn Blumner column

Crunching numbers

It's interesting that Robyn Blumner concludes that since most scientists are Democrats, Republicans are not open to "evidence-based thinking," using a poll issued by the Pew Research Center.

Who knows, maybe she is right.

I also read information from the Pew Research Center, and there is a survey of more than 2,500 scientists recently shared with the public. According to that poll, 76 percent of the scientists say a major problem for science is that news reports fail to distinguish between findings that are well-founded and those that are not. Also, 48 percent say that media oversimplification of scientific findings is a major problem. Can that really be true?

Maybe Blumner can ferret out some information on the makeup of the Democratic Party as well. I would be interested in knowing:

• The percentage of people on welfare who are Democrats, compared to Republicans.

• The percentage of ex-convicts who are Democrats, compared to Republicans.

• The percentage of illegal aliens who identify themselves as Democrats, vs. Republicans.

I wonder what conclusions she would draw from this information.

Chuck Krepshaw, Spring Hill

Michael Vick's big-money second chance is an insult 08/22/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 22, 2009 4:31am]
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