Jewish World Review Dec. 31, 2010 / 24 Teves, 5771
Shortcut to Redemption
By Jonah Goldberg
One of the best things I read all year came in a magazine I don't read, about a subject I don't follow, by an author I don't agree with on nearly anything. But
I bring it up because
"Before you go out and start committing crimes," Taibbi writes, "it's important to first make sure you're at least slightly better than the 30 or 40 guys the team's assistant GM could instantly pull off some practice squad to replace you. Otherwise you will become fodder for the team's zero-tolerance discipline policy. Conversely, if you're awesome, the line will be, 'There've been some bumps in the road, but hopefully he's learned from that.'"
Enter Vick, a star quarterback for the
He went to jail for 21 months, lost a vast amount of money, and was publicly shamed for his misdeeds.
As a dog lover of the first order, I can sympathize with the sentiment behind pundit
Anyway, because Vick is a close student of Taibbi's First Rule, he doesn't suck. Which is why he was picked up by the
But the story leapt from the sports pages to the editorial pages because the president called the team's owner,
"So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance." He reportedly told Lurie. "It's never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail."
Obama is surely right that ex-cons face a lot of hurdles in life. But is Vick really a good example?
No, this guy was such a self-involved creep that he couldn't stop himself from running a gladiatorial canine torture mill, even though he knew he was risking everything.
And why did Obama wait until Vick's second year with the
The answer, again: Vick doesn't suck. At football.
But what of the millions of men released from prison who have little education, few skills and a criminal record that would make any reasonable employer think twice, and then twice again, about hiring them?
If our prisons were releasing top-flight software engineers, physicists and biologists, they'd all get second chances too. Ironically, it's the folks who need government licenses -- doctors, stockbrokers, et al. -- who often can't get second chances in their vocations. Obama could actually do something about that.
How to deal with the ex-con population is very hard knot. But neither
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