Friday, July 27, 2007

Dogfighting Ring Nabbed In Hamblen County

Kleinheider at Volunteer Voters featured my post yesterday shaming 1st District Congressman David Davis for failing to support the tougher federal laws on the multi-state crimes against these bloodthirsty sadists who create and promote dogfighting. In the comments some truly oddball remarks came forth.

I should know better than to pay attention to Terry Franks' comment on the post, whose views seldom approach comprehension. But it was East TN blogger David Oatney who took the prize for defending criminals with a "hey, that's just the way things are in East TN" perspective:

I agree that what Vick did was horrible, but it is a double standard that the Left sees the wrong in this, but not the wrong in aborticide.

As for Davis: I don’t agree with his position on dogfighting, but he has been consistent. He voted against making cockfighting a felony (I agreed with that vote), and I understand his motus here. This is Upper East Tennessee we are talking about. There are people around here who still run moonshine because it makes a good living, for crying out loud.

If Joe P. lives here, he would not need to wonder why Davis takes a position like this. Visit Erwin sometime, you’ll get it."

I do live here, David and I see no reason, none at all, for Davis to support criminal acts. And seeing some sort of Liberal hypocrisy between opposition to dogfighting and Liberal viewpoints on abortion is a rather tortured attempt at comparison.

And yes, WBIR-TV featured a story last night that a dogfighting club was uncovered by law enforcement here in my home county, Hamblen County, during Memorial Day weekend. And Jefferson County officials told me last weekend they too have had numerous reports of dog thefts from residences related to an apparent dogfighting operation there too.

And yes, more topics will be offered today on this page other than this dogfighting insanity, and I hope WBIR and reporter Brittany Bailey will follow up on these events with some more detail.


Some other bloggers and commenters share their views on the topic --

Aunt B. at Tiny Cat Pants
Rachel at Music City Bloggers
More at Volunteer Voters
David O. responds as well


  1. Let's get Mr. Oatney on the same page:


    I'm terribly sorry if abortion disgusts and bothers you, but we are not talking about it here.

    When people start breaking into homes and stealing toddlers so as to force them to fight to the death... well... then I'll see that there is a comparison to be made.

    Dogfighting and abortion are two completely different issues! And to bring abortion into the discussion is to distract from the issue of dogfighting.

    And for the record: dogfighting isn't a southern thing. It's not an East Tennessee thing. It's nationwide. It's one reason I have my dog. She was rescued in Los Angeles all beat up--the vet surmised she had been used as a breeder for dog fighters. It's a sick practice.

    Of course, there's a lot of sick practices out there, but right now, we're talking about dogfighting. Not abortion. Not child molestation. Not wearing fur coats. Not dumping toxic waste into rivers. Not a trumped up war in Iraq.

    Got it?

  2. Joe;
    As an East Tennessean, what I would expect you might understand is not that I (an avowed animal lover and owner of many, many critters) condone animal cruelty, or just shrug things off as "the way it is," I feel strongly that this is not a federal matter.

    I have enough sensativity to history to know that the feds have not always been a friend to East Tennessee, and they've used everything at their disposal to make it their business to interfere in local affairs-not only here, but all over Appalachia, and for the last 200 years at that!

    I do think that dogfighting is horrible, I am dead-set against the practice, especially as a dog lover and a dogowner. I do not believe it, or cockfighting, is a federal matter. In the case of cockfighting, I would leave any enforcement of prohibitions against it to the State of Tennessee alone.

    As to liberal views on abortion-I do find it a great hypocrisy that liberals see the wrong in dogfighting (as surely there is) and beg a stop to it, but see no wrong in aborticide, nor any injustice there-and it concerns human beings!

    I find that sense of justice to be very warped indeed.

    As to dogfighting in Jefferson County, I hope that if it is happening here, ther Sheriff deals with it swiftly and severely

  3. Mr. Oatney still doesn't seem to understand that there is no hypocrisy.

    We don't bet on abortions. We don't force toddlers to screw each other or fight each other for sport. We don't buy and sell drugs during pay-per-view abortions. We don't sell and buy toddlers across state lines so as to kill one another.

    The world would be a great place if pundits and politicos stayed out of my reproductive system. America would be far better off if we went back to teaching our kids about the honest facts of life, making contraceptives available, and trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies from happening. Great. Wonderful. Happy bunnies hopping through the clover.

    And it still has nothing to do with dogfighting. Child abuse is a better comparison if a comparison has to be made.

    If conservatives want to start throwing words like hypocrisy around, let's talk about not wanting to kill the unborn baby but gunning to kill the adult in prison or (for the far right whack jobs) the ObGyn who performs abortions. When does life stop becoming sacred to you all?

    So let's get back to it: we are talking about DOGFIGHTING. We are talking about the fact that these sick folks have also taken what used to be considered a fine family dog and turned it into one of the most feared and outlawed pets in America. I moved my dog out my house to protect her. I don't even like the idea of walking her in the front yard for fear that another dog fighting asshat will attempt to break into her new home and try to steal her.

    When the police came to my house last Thursday, there was no mention of any sort of a Memorial Day confiscation of dogs. It didn't seem to enter these fine officer's minds (I'm not being snide here, they were very nice officers) that the potential existed for dog fighting rings to want to replace their confiscated dogs.

    A lot of times what counties or cities end up doing is banning bully breeds, which in turn takes dogfighting further underground and makes criminals out of folks like me, who have a loving pet.

    Tougher laws do need to be in place. Davis is an asshat. And this has no relation to the abortion issue.

    (And btw... aborticide? Abortacide, etymologically speaking, would mean: 1)Abort-- to cease or cause the end to something in the early stages 2) Cide--a suffix for the act of killing. So actually what you are saying is, "to kill off the cessation of something in its early stages." Essentially saying "to cause the END to abortion.")

  4. What a civil discussion you are capable of there, editor, to use such fine English words as "asshat."

    And the Left in East Tennessee wonders why they can't elect a real liberal here to a major public office.

    As I pointed out, I am against dogfighting. I am also against putting people like the good editor here in any position of authority, lest any of us he or she might consider to be an asshat fear for our children's future and try to do something about it.

    Oh, and he's a newsflash...the anti-dogfighting legislation-it passed! If it is such important legislation, I would think you would be pleased with that. No talk of the passage in general, though.

  5. David, please see the previous post where I cheer the passage, approved by all federal reps from TN (save Davis), the entire U.S. Senate and signed by President Bush.

    But the point of that post was to note that Davis' vote failed to serve the best interest of 1st District residents.

    I'm am seriously opposed to ever-expanding federal rule -- however, at issue in this case is widespread interstate and national criminal activity, an activity which almost always includes many other major criminal acts. The majority of states do have laws barring this heinous crime, and since it isn't just one district or one state where the crime flourishes, but that it has reached the national stage, then it is utterly appropriate that these highly organized crimes have risen to a national problem deserving of as much punishment and judicial action possible.

    I see no reason - none - for Davis to oppose the legislation. Who was served by Davis' vote other than criminals?

  6. OXYMORON11:06 AM

    ""I have enough sensativity to history to know that the feds have not always been a friend to East Tennessee, and they've used everything at their disposal to make it their business to interfere in local affairs-not only here, but all over Appalachia, and for the last 200 years at that!""

    That is a double edged sword, you know. Without the "Feds" blacks would still be riding in the back of the bus and civil rights of women would still be in the feudal age.But that is the big rub about the "Feds" for a lot of folks around here. And I live around here, so I know.

    Sure what TVA did in the 30's may have been overreaching in moving people from their homes for their huge projects but even that had its positive side.

    MY GOVERNMENT doesn't allways do the right thing so I try to stay informed and let my views be known to those who can change things.

    The "hyprocracy" you refer to reveals your general obliviousness to history and what this country is about, I have to say.

    Abortion is wrong. But I support the legality of it and do not condemn women who chose to have them because people, women included, belong to themselves. and so then Abortions are the choice women make concerning themselves. We hear incessantly about the right to private property and are willing to destroy countries and kill the populaces that do not suscribe to that right but somehow a woman or minority cannot be afforded complete self determination for themselves.

    One absolute lesson contained in history is that human life means nothing in the contest between Materialists whether Capitalists or Communist.

    Our country is about the emancipation of each and every human being who is citizen simply by location of birth from the ownership or domination by another more powerful collective or individual.

    It gives us the opportunity to make choices both good and bad, hence the legaiity of abortion. And babies arent aborted, fetuses are.

    By the way, Dave show us your grasp af history and tell us where the term "The Left" originated and its Latin translation.

  7. Anonymous3:08 PM

    The good ole boys have been pulling in big bucks from dog and bird fighting for many many generations.

    They don't give a rat's rear end, of course, that they are cheating their own communities with lucrative businesses that PAY NO TAXES.

    (In some areas, a dog fighting bust finds the local school principal or mayor in attendance. Dog fighting is far more pervasive in society than people realize.)

    It's all about the MONEY. It's a good ole boy form of organized crime, and these people want the rest of us to let them do whatever they want. And keep the underground dollars rolling in.

  8. Anonymous1:36 AM

    At least Dogfighting Defender David Davis is consistent...

    While state representative, he voted to take liquor-licensing powers away from local municipalities and give them to bureaucrats in Nashville.

    While in Nashville and Congress, he has taken PAC money from firefighters while voting for public safety employee unions against the adamant objections of the municipaties and local governments he represents.

    Good job, David!

  9. Anonymous1:37 AM

    A Peaceful Picket Line Protest Against Congressman David Davis and his Shameful Vote Against the ANIMAL FIGHTING PROHIBITION ENFORCEMENT ACT, which was supported by more than 400 separate U.S. law enforcement agencies and passed in the U.S. Senate with a 100% vote, will take place at the entrance to Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, August 9th at 5:30 P.M. where Dogfighting Defender David Davis will be holding a re-election fundraiser. Congressman David Davis was the ONLY Member of Congress from Tennessee to vote against this bill; Let's Send A Message Across the District That DAVID DAVIS DOES NOT SPEAK FOR US! Disgruntled Dogs are welcome.

  10. Hey Anon thte 3rd -

    I would have been interested in doing a full post on what you call a Peaceful Protest BUT

    First, you should have used the email option on this page to contact me, so I had someplace or some person to direct those who might be interested.

    Second, using the comments to post anonymously shows a lack of anything resembling legitimacy.

    Really, the key lesson in PR and politics is personal contact.

  11. Anonymous11:57 PM

    The Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act was supported by more than 400 separate U.S. law enforcement agencies and passed in the U.S. Senate with a 100% vote.

    David Davis was the ONLY member of Tennessee’s congressional delegation to vote against this bill.

    His excuse? Tennessee already had a law against dogfighting. Davis said, “I love dogs, but I love the Constitution of the United States more.”

    Although animal fighting is prohibited by state laws from coast to coast, it is estimated that there are at least 40,000 professional dogfighters in the United States.

    Dogfighting isn’t just an East Tennessee problem. It’s a national problem, and it requires a national response.

    This isn’t about usurping state’s rights or expanding the power of the federal government.
    This is about local, state, and federal law enforcement working together to bring down organized criminal dogfighting rings to protect our families and communities.

    It takes a cheap and cynical coward to cower behind the United States Constitution as a political fig-leaf. This was a bad vote based on bad judgment and a true embarrassment for the people of East Tennessee.

    David Davis Defended Dogfighters and gave criminals a free-pass.

  12. When will the comparisons stop?

    If there is anything good about the Michael Vick story, it is that there is an emerging increased awareness about animal cruelty and animal fighting. There is so much anger about this issue. If we channel it into a positive direction, hopefully, something good can come of it. However...

    I watched Vick's public apology with my little son who USED TO wear Michael Vick jerseys to school. It is disturbing to think a certain percentage of the population is honestly going to be swayed by Michael Vick's "enlightenment" carefully crafted by his overpaid attorneys. Call me a cynic, but I don't believe a man who has been allegedly torturing animals since childhood coincidentally has a religious epiphany as a result of getting caught and losing his job. I hope I am wrong.

    I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, are using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, "carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or gambling?" "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?" The comparisons to dogfighting have been endless.

    Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

    Dogfighting pits one dog against another until one of them dies. The survivor gets his flesh torn off, ears ripped off, eyes pulled out, etc., and the reward for being "a winner" is to writhe in pain until the next fight. Enough said. The pictures make my flesh crawl. The losers are tortured, beaten, starved, electrocuted or drowned. For what? Because these poor creatures were unlucky enough to be born a dog!

    Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

    Chaplain Nancy Cronk

  13. Melvin Purvis12:18 AM

    Dogfightin’ Dave: So Show Me Fido’s Records Already!

    The following excerpt is from the July 26, 2007 edition of the Johnson City Press:


    Davis responded by indicating that the Humane Society is using Vick’s situation to advance its political agenda.

    “The reality is dogfighting and cockfighting are illegal in Tennessee and will continue to be illegal in Tennessee,” Davis said. “I don’t feel like you need a new federal law. You have state laws in place. It has nothing to do with my feelings for or against animals. I wish they could look at my vet bill for my dog that passed away about three months ago.


    Fair enough, Mr. Davis --- as much as you have self-promoted yourself during the 2006 Tennessee U.S. House 1st District as the “Tennessee Father of Open Records” or some such dubious moniker while on the district campaign trail, I am noticing that it is now September 9th and that you and your congressional staffers have not yet managed to post information at your congressional web site pertaining to the veterinarian bill (and other vet records for your dog that you reportedly owned) that you offered to the Humane Society for public inspection. So what gives, Mr. Davis? Are you congressional staff members to busy vandalizing Wikipedia articles that they cannot find the time to post Fido's vet records to your congressional web site?

    Perhaps Davis is also getting bad legislative advice who also served under both Jimmy Quillen (1940-42 draft dodger) and Bill Jenkins during their congressional careers. Jenkins was reported as during the twilight of his congressional career as critizing the FBI for investigating cockfighting within Cocke County, Tennessee --- the FBI investigation in Cocke County revealed that in addition to illegal gambling, cockfighting also brought along illegal drug trade and public corruption...

    Sheriffs respond: Endorse House proposal for stronger felony penalty
    From: The Knoxville News Sentinel,1983,KNS_347_3858741_ARTICLE-DETAIL-PRINT,00.html