Sunday, January 03, 2010

All That I Missed - MEGAPOST

I stepped away from blogging for a couple of weeks to enjoy the holidays with friends and family - and umpteen blog-worthy things happened in my absence. There were actually several points during the past two weeks where I felt an urge to step away from the festivities to blog.

I thankfully refrained, which means that my friends are still my friends.

The biggest piece of news came on Christmas Day when a 23-year old Nigerian national the by name of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a Northwest Airlines that was bound for Detroit, with a bomb that was concealed in his underwear. By the grace of God, he did not succeed. He was quickly restrained by fellow passengers as well as the flight crew.

Within hours of this attempted bombing, U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-Zeeland) used this incident in a fundraising appeal for his campaign to become Michigan's next governor. This, by the way, is the same Pete Hoekstra who voted against the funding needed to improve security at our nation's airports.

Of course, Congressman Hoekstra neglected to mention this in his "urgent appeal" for campaign cash. He has been dodging questions from reporters sense then.

The complete text of Congressman Hoekstra's embarrassing fundraising pitch is available here.

Shortly after that, the city of Detroit witnessed a violent crime spree that thankfully left the Warrendale neighborhood untouched. At least five people are dead as a result of robberies, home invasions and drive-by shootings - all of which happened within a 24-hour time period.

Two days later, an off-duty security guard named Tigh Edward Croff shot and killed an unarmed trespasser. This happened near Mr. Croff's home on Detroit's east side.

Depending who one asks, Mr. Croff is either a hero or a vigilante. He is currently in jail awaiting trail on murder charges.  Further details about his case are available here.

I will let the courts decide whether Mr. Croff is a hero or a vilian.  The one thing, though, that I can say with absolute certainty is that if the Detroit Police Department doesn't step up its response to crime in a major way, there will almost certainly be more vigilante actions before this year is over.

And in order for Detroit Police Department to step up its response, Mayor Dave Bing and the Detroit City Council need to step up as well. They need to address this City's problems much more proactively, ensure that the police everything they need to do their jobs and, most importantly, are held accountable for doing it.


Of course, the weirdest crime news in recent weeks came from three miles north of the Warrendale neighborhood. A man who wasn't named in news reports threw two explosive devices at his girlfriend during an argument. These devices hit her in the face causing serious injuries but, like the Christmas day bomb attempt, did not detonate.

When police went to his home later to search for explosives, they found approximately 250 lbs. of marijuana in his possession.

I'm not sure what is the weirdest part of this story: throwing two bombs at a girlfriend's face, the 250 lbs. of marijuana, or the fact that this guy is reportedly a school crossing guard and the head of his local neighborhood watch.

Just plain weird.

And troubling.

In the gift that keeps on giving, we also learned this past week that former Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick will face yet another law suit concerning the alleged party at the Manoogian Mansion. This one comes from the family of the exotic dancer who allegedly danced at this alleged party. It seeks to force the release of even more text messages, thereby guaranteeing that we will have a lot more to talk about this year.

Last, but not least, former Detroit City Clerk and Wayne County Commissioner Jackie Currie passed away last week. She had been suffering from a prolonged illness and died in her home of natural causes.

If all of this serves as any guide whatsoever, I believe that it's safe to conclude that 2010 promises to be nothing if not a newsworthy year.
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