Like millions of other humanoids, I'm a procrastinator.
It took me a couple weeks to comment on Secretary of State John Kerry's April 25 statement about Israel and the Michigan State 2014 spring football game, played April 26. Additionally, I commented on the O'Bummer Administration's moronic Twitter campaign regarding Ukraine about four days after it happened.
Suffice it to say I've got things going on in my life -- in my marriage, my household duties, and in my professional life. Posse Incitatus is basically a hobby -- unpaid, generally unheralded, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Well, anyway, I've been plugging in a few items the past few days and decided to update some issues on which I've commented in the past. New developments have occurred, and this inconsistent blogger has been remiss in not bringing them to light. So here goes...
CHARGES IN MURDERS OF SUBURBAN DETROIT TEENS - In the summer of 2012 I penned a Posse blog describing the heinous murder of two Westland, Mich., teens in inner city Detroit. Two men were recently charged with murdering Jacob Kudla, 18, and Jourdan Bobbish, 17. One of the dirtbags, 23-year-old Felando Hunter, is already in prison for the murder of 62-year-old Vietnam War vet and Purple Heart recipient John Villneff about two weeks after the teens were killed. Villneff was trying to protect his granddaughter, who ran next door when Hunter and Fredrick Young (along with other thugs) were invading her home. She feared they were trying to kill her for filming the home invasion on a cell phone. Villneff lived with his sons, and his daughter and grandchildren lived next door. He put himself between the girl and the bad guys, and paid for it with a bullet in his heart. TheVillneffs' small bungalows are located in a dangerous west side Detroit neighborhood between the Southfield Freeway and Greenfield Road on the west and east, and Plymouth and Joy roads to the north and south. Like too many Detroit zones, this is a no-man's land of blight, drugs, crime and unsavory characters. It's sad that children have to grow up in such neighborhoods, but a cruel fact of life.
SPEAKING OF DETROIT...
On numerous occasions I have commented on the City of Detroit's travails, but I have made it clear I do not think the Motor City is a lost cause, despite the daunting odds it faces.
A couple examples come to mind of entities that seemed at death's door but are now prospering. In 1970, ecologists declared that the polluted and toxic Lake Erie was dead. It seemed hopeless that the lake could be revived. But today it is thriving and supports multi-million dollar sportfishing and recreational industries while also serving as a key waterway for commercial shipping.
Example No. 2: New York City came within a whisker of filing for bankruptcy in 1975. Crime was rampant in the Big Apple. Central Park was a haven for muggers and drug dealers; Times Square was a tawdry marketplace for sleazy, drug-addicted prostitutes, flamboyant pimps and seedy peep shows. City officials had used deferred payments, IOU's, bonds and other types of accounting legerdemain to spend the city into oblivion. Eventually the chickens came home to roost.
But 40 years ago, President Gerald Ford didn't suffer irresponsibility gladly. Unlike the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Ford did not believe in bailing out corrupt losers. Who could forget the New York Daily News headline: "Ford to City: 'Drop Dead'"?
Long story short: After better years under Mayor Ed Koch in the 1980s and a relapse under Mayor David Dinkens in the 1990s, New York became financially and fiscally robust under mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in the 21st century.
The great news for Detroit comes in several pieces: First, the city's residents finally overcame their Eric Holder-like obsession with skin color and elected the first white mayor in 40 years. But the fact that Mike Duggan is white is not what's wonderful. It's the fact that he represented a much more responsible and sober choice to lead the city out of its doldrums than did his black opponent, former police chief Benny Napoleon, who simply would have continued the same old corrupt policies. Duggan is actually competent, is naming qualified people to fill key posts in his administration, and will hold people accountable. Granted, there will still be some patronage, nepotism and cronyism, as is inevitable with urban politics. But it appears the free-wheeling, rotten-to-the-core cesspool days of Kwame Kilpatrick have faded away in the rear-view mirror.
Secondly, Detroit sees a light at the end of the dark fiscal tunnel. Under the auspices of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, the cty filed for bankruptcy last summer, just a few months after Snyder's appointed emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, began the arduous process of sorting out its tangled finances.
Snyder and the Michigan Legislature are doing their part to help with a Detroit bailout plan. Legislators are debating a 10-bill package that would, among other things, provide $195 million to Detroit's two retiree pension funds and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) collection from creditors. Private foundations have committed a matching amount and the DIA will kick in $100 million. As part of the deal, the city would be required to ditch its exorbitant defined benefit pension programs and offer 401k plans to employees.
One more bit of good news for Motown: JP Morgan Chase has just announced it is pumping $100 million into the city to help with blight removal, housing renovations, job training, entrepreneurial startup money, a planned streetcar rail line, and other initiatives. Michigan State University alum and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, who is buying up downtown Detroit skyscrapers and renovating/repurposing them, is involved in this effort.
VA SCANDAL EXPLODES -- The Veterans Administration has long had a poor track record for caring for veterans in a compassionate and effective manner. While these problems preceded President Obama, his incompetent "leadership" has allowed them to worsen, and he only began to show his concern when he realized it was hurting him politically. Obama's appointee to head the VA, Eric Shinseki, obviously is in over his head and probably isn't long for the job as dozens of veterans' deaths have been blamed on delays and botched healthcare provided by VA hospitals across the nation. You know it's serious when even a fellow Democrat -- and a black one at that!-- lambastes the president on the House floor, as Georgia lawmaker David Scott did today. Ditto for a harsh expose by USA Today, normally sympathetic toward the administration. Shinseki was just another hack appointee being paid back for his opposition to the Iraq War and alliance with leftist Democrats. With bright, competent servants like this, who needs boobs?
OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD, AND GM IS....DYSFUNCTIONAL -- Remember the pithy Obama cheerleaders' cry: "Osama bin Laden is dead and GM is alive!" Well, like 99 percent of the issues this administration deals with, the reality is far more complicated, nettlesome and nuanced than the dumbed-down slogans and talking points written by the Obama fanboys, a pathetic collection of toadies, ass-kissers and uber-egotists. (These hacks HAVE TO find a way to communicate with the sheep who voted for the O-man, you see.) Anyhoo, General Motors did get a bailout from Uncle Sam, much to the benefit of the UAW while investors got the shaft. But the bureaucratic bunglings of this monstrous corporation are being exposed in embarrassing fashion. "The General," as Detroiters sometimes call it, has now announced 29 recalls this year involving an incredible 12.8 million vehicles worldwide . Most notable are those involving faulty ignition switches thought to be responsible for 13 deaths and many injuries. Somehow it seems fitting that a maladroit administration, author of fiascos like Obamacare and Solyndra, would bail out a bungling corporate colossus. These two deserve each other!