WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

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Wilmington's Mayor-Elect Dennis Williams chooses Captain Christine Dunning as the successor to Police Chief Michael Szczerba. She obviously becomes the city's first female police chief. In choosing Dunning, Williams honored one campaign pledge but ditched another. He had pledged diversity in his incoming Administration. Check. But he also said repeatedly during the campaign that he would choose someone from OUTSIDE the WPD, someone to bring in a new approach.

Political shocker: Conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina - favorite of the Tea Party movement - exits his Senate seat at the end of the year to become president of the conservative Heritage Foundation. He gets a hefty pay increase in the process. Some believe DeMint's move to Heritage positions him to run as a staunchly conservative candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2016. South Carolina G.O.P. consultant Richard Quinn is quoted as saying: "Senator DeMint has tossed an I.E.D. into South Carolina politics."

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley says she will NOT appoint herself to the seat to be vacated by DeMint. (Not a great surprise: Governors appointing themselves to Senate seats don't necessarily do well! And Nikki Haley's popularity has been dropping some in South Carolina.) Of course, in a radio interview, she promised to appoint someone who would fight for conservative values. Whomever Haley appoints would face a special election in 2014 to finish DeMint's term, which expires in 2016.

The early line for the leading contender to replace DeMint: Representative Tim Scott, an African-American from Charleston. If Governor Haley appoints Scott, the Republicans get a little help with their diversity problem. He'd be the first Republican U.S. senator since Massachusetts U.S. Senator Edward Brooke, who lost in 1978. The one wrinkle: Scott may favor a bid for Governor, and might fear a Senate appointment could stymie that ambition.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi charges some of the opposition protesters in the streets are serving remnants of the old regime; he vows never to tolerate anyone working for the overthrow of his "legitimate" government. Clashes between supporters and opponents of the Egyptian president killed at least six people overnight Thursday.

In a demonstration of Israel's increasing political isolation in the world, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to disagree on the issue of plans to build more settlements in the West Bank. Earlier, Germany - which, because of its history has been among the most pro-Israel countries in Europe - nonetheless did not join the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic, Panama, and some tiny Pacific nations in voting AGAINST the Palestinian upgrade at the United Nations. Instead, Berlin abstained. Netanyahu and Merkel met for three-and-a-half hours, two hours longer than planned.

A report from the National Research Council concludes NASA, and hence the United States, risks its leadership role in space exploration to other nations. Bottom line: NASA has been trying to do too many things with essentially a flat budget under the constant threat of being cut.

Posted at 7:14pm on December 6, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 9:27pm
It would sure help if the Obama administration didn't use NASA for "Muslim outreach". What does that have to do with space exploration anyway?

I would argue the Republican party does not have a diversity problem. Herman Cain and Alan Keys were both run out of town in their bids to become president. Only LIBERAL blacks qualify as candidates. All others are considered "Uncle Tom's" and need not apply.

I'm not surprised at what's happening in Egypt. It was totally predictable. What we need to be concerned with is keeping this from happening here. Unfortunately, our current president seems bent on inviting our enemies to come in and take over in the name of "tolerance".

The isolation of Israel should come as no surprise if you have any knowledge of the Bible and end-time events at all. They are God's chosen people, and throughout history they've continually endured the same persecution both from their enemies as well as so-called "friends". They have every right to defend themselves and like Joshua, if they choose to fight, God will bring them victory. Also, a victory for Israel is a victory for the entire world.

Now, would anybody like to come on here and blast my comments? Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY!

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 8:52am

I am still squirming after watching the New York Post video of a guy getting hit by an R train, along with the screaming headline:"THIS GUY IS GOING TO DIE...."

So disturbing on so many different levels.

1. First of all, I don't care how heated words you've exchanged, there is NO justification to shove another human being on the tracks.

2. Secondly, the freelance photographer had 22 seconds to help pull the victim up from the tracks but he chose not to. He was focused on snapping a picture of a guy dying because he knew he sell that photo for a lot of money.

3. The New York Post is probably the most entertaining newspaper I;ve ever read, but this is where you draw the line. You don't take that poor guy's death, slap it on the front page and torment the victim's family.

Again, I ask the journalists how they can engage in such clearly immoral and reprehensible behavior... and still call all this "journalism."

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 10:24am
New topic: there is an interesting series in the New York Times this week on tax breaks given by states to companies who locate there and promise to create jobs.


Here are the numbers for Delaware:


In DE we spend $48 per capita in incentives, compared to $112 in California, and $759 in Texas. This amounts to 1 cent per dollar of state budget here, 5 cents in California, and 51 cents in Texas.

Note also that the refinery got 32 million in incentives. I would imagine that they employ around 300 people, so this is $100,000 per employee. Fisker got over 30 million, and will probably bring no employees.

This is just the state. The city of Wilmington also gives breaks. For instance, the developers of the two high-rise condo/apartments south of downtown are paying no property taxes on their unoccupied units.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Dec 7, 2012 10:43am
I'm with Teatime on this one. If that journalist had 22 seconds and chose to not even make an attempt, he's an accomplice to that man's death. You're a human and a citizen first, a reporter second. If that had been his father, son, grandchild, wife, daughter, etc, on the subway tracks, would he have been so cavalier and stood there taking a photo?? Sad thing is, the answer very likely would be yes. The news story to this reporter, apparently is more important than a human life.

If it had been him (the reporter) on those subway tracks; I wonder how he would have felt just seconds before dieing to possibly get a glimpse of a camera flash going off knowing that his life was of no value as that reporter didn't even try to help him, but instead chose to make money from his death instead.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 11:13am

I'm agreed with Mike from Delaware on that one. The photographer had a moral obligation to try and save somebody's life, and would not have even put himself at risk really.

However, this photographer cared only about the money he would get from a photo of a guy getting killed by a train.

What's comical and absurd is the photographer's alibi that he was trying to "alert" the train conductor by snapping photos and warning him through the flash on his camera. Laughable.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 11:41am
Regarding the appointment of the new police chief, I am going to side with the mayor-elect. By choosing a woman for the position, he is going outside the “old-boy” network of the WPD. It could be argued that she will bring a new thought process to the job.
On to the subject of Jim DeMint and the vacating of his U.S. Senate seat. Thanks in part to the Tea Party, Republicans again failed to gain control of the Senate. Tea Party favorites all too often turn out to be nit-wits who are clearly not ready for prime time. The embarrassment they caused the party this year was blasted all over cable news. I would think DeMint’s popularity among his colleagues and thus his power, would be affected. This would be a good time to leave, earn real money and strive for visibility. The U.S. Senate certainly provides visibility, but given the tough decisions facing Congress, it’s a visibility that may prove fatal to presidential aspirations. Leaving the decisions and voter anger to others while making pronouncements from the outside is much safer.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Dec 7, 2012 4:41pm
JimH: Well said on both topics. Obviously what the WPD is doing is not working, so getting outside the "old boy" network and getting a fresh approach surly can't hurt, might help. Somehow the city needs to take a tough stand on any and all crime. Hopefully the county will work with the city in getting these drug related criminals out of our state, so that the county doesn't become the new area those criminals relocate to.

The nation is a centrist leaning right nation. The TEA party folks tend to be right of Attila the Hun, so they are seen as extremists who come across as arrogant, bombastic, no compromise ever, difficult to work with "country bumpkins".

Frankly I believe its time for the GOP to tell the TEA party to take a hike and start their own third party, like the Libertarians have done. That way, the GOP can better represent the nation and be seen as more of the centrist leaning right party they normally are, and start winning elections again.

So given all that, it does make sense for Jim Demint to go to "greener" pastures where he'll really rake in the dough as prez and probably mouthpiece of the Heritage Foundation.

Fri, Dec 7, 2012 11:00pm
A lot to respond to so forgive me for not using names.....

Since I don't have hatred for groups of people who are different than me, whether NASA uses itself for Muslim, Japanese, Chinese, Singaporean, Taipei, South Korean, German, Indian, and I believe either French or Belgium, makes not one bit of difference to me. I'm even surprised at the thought it would make a difference to anyone else.

As for black Republicans getting run out of town, the idea that only liberals can have a black candidate is silly when a simple fact is exposed. It is the Republicans who are running the candidate out of town... We have these things called primaries you know... In this case, Romney was behind the expose of Cain.... and Alan Keyes? He went off the deep end of reality as some Conservatives are even want to do on these pages.... If you are black, and conservative, just try to make sense, will you? You'll do fine.

As an example, one commentator above thinks that because Egypt is burning, and because we re-elected a black Democrat who was in office here when Egypt's president was elected over there, it must follow that the same thing will occur over here.... Hmnm. Perhaps the advice I gave to black conservative candidates, should be broadened to include all conservatives,... candidates or not?

I challenge how a victory for Israel, is seen in grand moral bright shining eternal light, by a mother and father holding their dead 5 year old boy in their arms... That talk actually makes no sense whatsoever.... I would expect such a comment from my 5 year old who knows nothing of war; I'm surprised to see it here.

I'm not sure if it is a misprint, but is there a "video" of the train impacting the victim?... The flash seems to make it apparent that all the pictures were stills. Up until your comment I had assumed all the pics were stills so far.

I know there were reports that others videoed the episode on their phones. Were you saying that you saw something like that?

I don't think I would watch it. I still remember the beheading and screams of the Al Qaeda beheading in Iraq.

I differ with the consensus that the photographer has a moral obligation to save someones life. As opposed to pictures, I agree. But as opposed to risking his own life, so possibly two would die? I draw the line there....

Th callous arm chair pontification going on as if you were there in your armchair on the platform is rather disappointing. I happen to believe the photographer, that using his flash might stop the process... I have seen the photographer. I have seen the man on the tracks. There is no way one could have lifted the other 5 feet off the ground...

How many of you could lift a 170 lb man 5 feet below you? I've seen Allan's pic. I know he couldn't. If you think all you had to do is offer a hand and pull, you are wrong. In those channels, on the sides there it nothing to put your foot on like a step, or ledge. They are as smooth as the side of a swimming pool.. He would have to walk up a 90 degree slope while two people pulled him up, and hope that he was wearing track shoes, and not leather dress ones... One person couldn't do it. But what if he panicked, grabbed your arm in desperation, and you tumbled down too?

Did you do your children, your spouse, your family, your friends, all a favor by playing "the hero", and losing?

There are a lot of factors you who sit and judge, are not aware of... One, it takes great training, and great discipline, to overcome everything you have been taught about self preservation, to risk your life to rescue a stranger who you really don't know anything about....

Frankly I'm appalled by you who deem the worst and write derogatory self gratulatory phrases to prove your own sanctity, and your own moral high-mindedness, when you simply weren't there...

And in a funny ironic way, were there no picture, there would be no burial fund, no scholarship fund, no outpouring of love and sympathy for the family, no financial compensation, and no prayers..... It would just be another statistic. A few witnesses would talk about it, and that would be all....

So, in a broader perspective, broader than you writing here can apparently see, the reporter did everything he could.... just perhaps the way God intended it to be.

The new mayors "surprise" is a good choice. If I had any doubts about his leadership, I don't now. That was an excellent choice and the very fact that he has no qualms in staying reigned in on his campaign promise when a better option presents itself, shows true leadership. I think better times are ahead for Wilmington. Unlike those challenging his broken promise, I have never had respect for people who lock themselves to a sinking ship, because they said at one point in their past, they would never leave the ship... When questioned why Dennis went against his promise, the Mayor elect should have answered.... "So what if I did?" I have seen the new chief in action, and I remember at the time, (I thought she was just on a street beat) I thought... wow, ... she handled that situation really good.....

As for DeMint. He has seen the writing on the wall. Conservatism is dying. It is going the way of the Whigs, the Federalists; there is no future for those who don't have the intelligence to handle the modern world. He is going to a castle, locking himself up, where he can pretend to be safe in the world he's created and no one will bother him ... and wait for aliens from another universe to rescue him... In other words: he is cashing in. A similar move was made by Wayne Smith here in Delaware. He got out letting Copeland become the next target, and ... hey, is Copeland still alive? See? Smart guy that Wayne... and I assume, Jim must be too..... As for being president? Didn't you guys learn ANYTHING from the last election?

Hope all of you have a great weekend, and that come Monday, there is a lot going on to keep us all busy... Lol.

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 2:16am

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 2:30am
A lot of news items to create good discourse... is what I was referring to..

More bad news... It looks as all the Republican politico's matriculate back into the workforce, in the one job that always would hire them,... they will be facing new competition....


Sat, Dec 8, 2012 12:40pm
Kavips: You missed my point about NASA and Muslim outreach. NASA is a space exploration program, not a social program. I don't want NASA to be doing outreach to any group, not even Christians. It ain't their job. Their job is to prepare equipment and train personnel to travel into outer space and figure out the next satellite technology. If the government wants to do Muslim or any other "outreach", then they should use the state department or some other part of government designed for that kind of thing and leave NASA alone so they can focus on the job they were put there to do.

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 12:45pm
MFD: Maybe you're right about the TEA party being extreme right, but the Democrat party is extreme left, so if the country is slightly right of center as you say, then the "extremists" on the right are needed to balance it all out.


Mike from Delaware
Sat, Dec 8, 2012 1:14pm
Kavips: You offer some reasonable points why the photographer might not have tried to save the man. My only real point was I'd have considered trying to rescue the man and not bother with the photo. But given what you saw (I didn't look at the photo that closely) the photographer may have came to those same conclusions you did and realized he'd get himself killed or not be capable of lifting a 170 lb man up from the tracks or he was too far away to even reach the man in time, etc, so he then chose to not attempt a rescue effort chose to snap a photo instead, possibly hoping the flash would alert the train engineer.

My gut tells me, the photographer didn't consider any of that and just did what news folks typically do, get the news story and hurry back to the paper, radio station, or TV station so they can be first with that breaking story. But we really don't know what the photographer really thought at that moment. He's offering thought NOW, but with the outrage is he really going to say, I just wanted to get this photo back to my paper so we could get it on line ahead of anyone else?

But you do make valid points, thanks as always for your perspective.

Sat, Dec 8, 2012 1:23pm
For those of you who think Obama and the Democrats are so great and fantastic, below is a link to the sayings of a Democrat long ago, who, unlike the dubious character we have in there now, was a true American statesman:


Mike from Delaware
Sat, Dec 8, 2012 1:23pm
Mrpizza: Other than gay/lesbian marriage, 24/7 abortion, many in the DEM party wanting God out of society, the other issues the DEMS generally champion are pretty middle of the road issues.

It's not an extreme view to believe those top 2% earners should be paying more taxes to help pay for the Bush wars that were unfunded which got the nation into this debt to start with rather than destroying the social safety net of Social Security (we paid for already in taxes), Medicare(we paid for already in taxes), Medicaid, and School Lunches, etc, etc, that actually are helping folks who need that help.

If the DEMS would drop their anti-God attitude (of course they'd lose those big money donors like Bill Maher, Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Steisand, and RoseAnn, etc.); only allow abortions for rape, incest, and the physical life of the mother being at risk, and only allowing gay/lesbian Civil Unions not marriages, I could be a DEM, but as my faith really isn't welcome there, no matter what Kavips says, I can not be a DEM, but I also can not be a GOP due to issues I have with them.

Sun, Dec 9, 2012 12:33am
Mike it appears has now joined the majority of voters and become a member of the "Swing" party... ..

I guess when teasing him now, we can call him a "swinger."..


Sun, Dec 9, 2012 9:47pm
MFD: If the devil were helping the poor, would you support him?

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 10, 2012 8:06am
Mrpizza: Martin Luther, great Godly man who started the Protestant Reformation, who made it so that all could read the Bible for themselves to hear God's word, who also started the Evangelical Church, later named after his death the Lutheran Church famously said: "I'd rather be governed by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian". I think that answers your question.

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 9:03am
Mike from Delaware: the concept of "warning" the train by snapping photos is bull$#@#%. This is like the four-year-old kid with his hand stuck in the cookie jar, trying to make a last minute excuse.

All this photographer had to do was stick his hand out and pull the victim to safety.

The photographer should face charges in addition to the subway pusher facing charges.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 10, 2012 10:01am
Teatime: I guess we'll see how this plays out, if the dead man's family sues the photographer and his newspaper.

As neither of us were there, and if in that same spot, I'd like to hope I'd have jumped up and ran over, grabbed the man and pulled him to safety. The reality might be different so I don't feel qualified to judge him based only on that photo. We just can't tell from that photo. I still believe he should have made an effort rather than take the photo, THAT he'll have to live with for the rest of his life.

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 10:23am
The only way I can see anyone believing the assertion that all the photographer had to to was pull the man out by extending his hand, is that person has never been in a New York subway...

Otherwise the only way such an assertion can be made, is to willfully disregard both the facts and reality...

No, it isn't like a four-year-old with a hand in the cookie jar. It is the mulling of a grown man who was helpless to prevent a tragedy taking place right before him... One he didn't expect, one he had no way of being prepared for.... and, he had to do it in less time than it took you or anyone else to read this paragraph....

So get real.

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 2:52pm
Today, an Australian radio network turfed Mel and Michael Morning Show for crank calling the hospital where the Duchess of York was being treated for morning sickness.

Wonder what is the most outrageous stunt ever heard on WDEL and WSTW.

Although not 'outrageous' I've always thought Rick Jensen's "Thirsty Thursday" is inappropriate for promoting alcohol use.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 10, 2012 3:19pm
Rick's Thirsty Thursday "stunt" is a marketing thing. The one time I did listen quite some time ago, I seem to remember the guest being from a wine and sprits shop (plug for their store) forget which one, probably, one that already advertises on WDEL.

Secondary it's also part of Rick's radio persona of trying to sound like he's hip and cool, dude. How cool it is (to the younger age demo he, WDEL, and their advertisers would like to reach) by talking about your favorite brewsky on the air.

Bottom line though, it is marketing for WDEL, just as this web site is. WDEL is a radio station, but it also is a business trying to make money for its owners. Radio is business pure and simple. That's not evil, it just is what it is, they make their money by selling advertising. WDEL does that quite well, especially for an AM radio station. Nothing wrong with that.

Haven't you noticed the very young Korean girls this web site advertises? Are those girls really over 18? Were they brought here voluntarily or as bond sex slaves, etc? Those ads offend me far more than Rick talking about what lager he prefers.

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 3:49pm
@Mike from Delaware, points well taken.

By the way, I did not get the chance to listen at noon today.

Is Mr. Loudell out on vacation?

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 6:51pm
I think Loudell is taking a Christmas break.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Dec 10, 2012 10:09pm
Teatime and Mrpizza: Allan wasn't on either at noon or 4:30pm. He's probably taking some well deserved time off. He puts in long days ( I remember from our WILM days together) and I'm pretty sure he still puts in long days, maybe not as long back at WILM, but he's not working an 8-hour day.

Allan Loudell
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 6:45am

Yeah, I took Friday and Monday off... My wife's birthday (always easy to remember, both Delaware Day & Pearl Harbor Day), and our daughter flew in from Fort Lauderdale.

On the train platform tragedy, these questions: How many people were in between the photographer and the victim? Were any obviously more muscular and in a better position? Yes, I agree being human trumps being a free-lance photographer, but I still don't think we fully grasp the circumstances.

As far as "Thirsty Thursday", remember we stress quality OVER quantity. (Something I embraced even in college, when I savored a good stout or lambic over a frat party with the beer oozing out of a keg, plus other drinks!)

Morning radio "stunts": This is the part of the broadcasting business I abhor. Whether a morning zoo or shock jocks, I've never wanted to be part of it. I suppose that means I kept myself away from the more lucrative side of this business.

By the way, hypocrisy abounds in this regard: Station program directors, general managers, and consultants LOVE their morning talent to "push the envelope"; be as outrageous as possible WITHOUT risking the station's license or getting sued. This Australian station had precisely such a reputation. But you never know what pushes the envelope too far. On paper, this stunt wasn't outrageous as some others. Air talent, particularly of the younger generation, in Australia - which is destined to become a republic within the Commonwealth, ousting the Queen (or King) as head of state - probably couldn't even imagine how dear the monarchy still is to at least some Brits, that such a stunt could push someone over the edge.
Ultimately, I blame the public. Too many enjoy this crap!

On the Godliness of Dems vs. Republicans: When I interview a blue-collar, pro-labor, white or African-American voter who cast a ballot principally on economic grounds (or sometimes anti-war), do you even think that was a repudiation of God? They're just not thinking about the richer, more secularized wing of their party. (Just as many of the R's I interview, at least in northern Delaware, are not principally motivated by the social issues.)

On the polarization of our current political climate: Just three decades ago, you had conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans. That was the climate in which Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neal could negotiate. Fast-forward thirty years: The "Rockefeller Republicans" have either switched to D, profess to be independents, or, have simply died off. The more-or-less conservative "Reagan Democrats" have become Republicans or conservative independents. And some blue-collar Reagan Democrats in states such as Ohio and Michigan have simply become D's again, because they think the R's have swerved too far right.

Meanwhile, armed with ever more sophisticated polling data, state legislatures have constructed Congressional districts almost guaranteed to vote R or D every time. Fewer and fewer Congressional districts are truly competitive. States become redder or redder or bluer and bluer. One-sided talk shows and cable news interview shows only accentuate the effect.

Allan Loudell

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