WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

Looks like we're dodging the bullet with this winter storm. But it's "Snowmageddon" for New York and New England! This can't be good for previous victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Did you happen to read the Thursday NEWS-JOURNAL's Page-One story, "Mom faces hard truth", what the mother of shooting suspect Frederick Gray had to say about her son, facing accusations in the shooting of Wilmington Patrolman Justin Wilkers? Shana Gray says she encouraged her son to turn himself in, and gave officers her son's location.

The NEWS-JOURNAL quotes Shana Gray as saying: "I didn't give birth to a murderer. I didn't give birth to a monster. I didn't give birth to a thug. I gave birth to Frederick Gray." But she also says: "If my son is proven to have done this, I want him to be accountable." Nonetheless, she's praying that her son wasn't the triggerman, and she's praying for the family of Patrolman Wilkers. (At the moment, police have accused only Frederick Gray with firing the shots.)

The mother also referenced new Wilmington Mayor Dennis P. Williams' plans for aggressive law enforcement. She says - while she respects the new mayor - nothing's going to change until young people have something productive to occupy their time: "There is nothing for these kids to do. I respect our mayor, but he can jump out of vans, he can do all he wants to do, but until he gives these kids something to do, it's going to be a recurring thing..."

Then we have the city's latest murder (as of Friday A.M.): The shooting death of Ioannis 'John' Kostikidis, as he was walking to his car Wednesday evening from the American Beauty Academy. Two men wearing black-hooded sweatshirts came up to the victim in a parking lot in the 600 block of Tatnall Street.

Thursday's confirmation hearing for John Brennan to be the new C.I.A. Director proved to be a 'night & day' difference from Chuck Hagel's hearing to be the new Defense Secretary. Unlike Hagel, Brennan was prepped and smooth. Senators still peppered Brennan with questions about the Obama Administration's legal justifications for killing Americans suspected of collaborating with al-Qaida and related groups. Also, whether waterboarding constitutes torture.

Perhaps Thursday's bigger bombshell (or maybe not, depending on your view of President Obama) was outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's revelation that President Obama was absent the night of the Benghazi attack, despite being informed the attack was ongoing. Panetta said the President did not call or communicate with him that night. Panetta said the President left operational details for Benghazi "up to us", presumably Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.

New Quinnipiac national polling on the favorability / popularity of public figures:

Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton: Flying high, with +27 net favorability

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): +12 net favorability, but 57% of the respondents didn't know enough about the youthful Florida senator to give a judgment

New Secretary of State, former Massachusetts Senator, John Kerry: +10 net favorability

President Barack Obama: +5 net favorability, actually rebounding from an earlier Quinnipiac University poll. But his job approval rating was basically even steven: 46% approving; 45% disapproving.

Vice President Joe Biden: +5 net favorability, tied with his boss, but obviously far behind Hillary Rodham Clinton

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), 2012 G.O.P. Vice-Presidential candidate: -2 net favorability

Secretary of Defense-designate Chuck Hagel: -4 net favorability, but 67% didn't know enough about him to express an opinion.

Ex Florida Governor Bush: -4 net favorability

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): -22 net favorability. 72% of Americans think negatively of the Congressional Republicans' job performance, according to this poll.

Women in Paris, France, can now legally wear trousers without fear of arrest / prosecution, after the government said the more than 200-year-old ban no longer had any legal effect. The municipal order, imposed on November 17th, 1800, required Parisian women to seek permission from local police if they wanted to "dress like a man" by wearing trousers. Authorities modified the ban in 1892 and 1909 to permit women to wear trousers if they were "holding a bicycle handbar or the reins of a horse." Responding to a question in the Official Journal of the French Senate, Vallaud-Belkacem said while the measure had not been formally struck down, the law had - in effect - been abrogated. (The Local, France)

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria made a surprise, show-stealing appearance at Monday's Gay Gala in Stockholm to hand out the prize for "Gay of the Year". Her parents, the current Swedish king & queen, will come to Wilmington this May for the observance of the 375th anniversary of the Swedish/Finnish colonization of our region.

Are you ready for the asteroid fly-by next Friday? Asteroid 2012 DA14 will whizz by no closer than 17,100 miles from the Earth's surface, taking the object inside the orbits of communications and weather satellites (with the tiny possibility that it could hit one of them, although NASA has sent the calculated trajectory to the owners of those satellites). On the night side of earth (Asia / Australia), people with small telescopes might be able to observe the pinpoint streaking across the heavens at a clip of two moon-widths each minute!

Posted at 9:57am on February 8, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 11:05am
It's disconcerting that the news media continue to show their bias in covering the illegal immigration issue.

A headline this week screamed about "Polls show Americans supporting immigration." The headline implied that the debate is about whether there should be immigration. The story implied that there is prejudice, even racism, against immigrants.

However, the REAL question is whether or not we should allow ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. We are all descended from immigrants and we all recognize how immigrants have helped make the United States the greatest nation in the world. Millions of immigrants followed the laws, and immigrated to this nation legally.

Yet today, in our entitlement culture, there is a new wave of 11-million illegal aliens who do not believe they should follow the rules that many generations of previous immigrants followed. President Obama is offering to give amnesty to those who broke the law. And, in fact, if amnesty is given to those 11 million illegal aliens, it would be a slap in the face to all the other immigrants who followed the rules, including my own grandparents.

Note to the media: stop trying to twist this story, and frame it accurately. Should we give amnesty to those illegal aliens who broke the law and chose not to follow the rules that were followed by many previous generations of legal immigrants?

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Feb 8, 2013 1:29pm
What a strong woman and mother Shana Gray is. My heart and prayers goes out to her. She didn't try to make excuses or say no, it's not my son, the police are at fault, they're prejudiced, or call Al Sharpton, etc., etc. She even assisted the cops in finding her son.

Quoting Allan: "But she also says: "If my son is proven to have done this, I want him to be accountable."

How hard that must have been for her to help the cops find her son and to make that statement. Ms. Gray demonstrated how great and solid her integrity is.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Feb 8, 2013 1:35pm

Never trust headlines, which are dependent on space limitations and often can't reflect the nuances of a story. Futhermore, the reporter writing the story typically doesn't write the headline in print, and that headline-writer may be unfamiliar with the finer points.

That said, Americans are much more tolerant of immigration - even illegal immigration - than the conservative wing of the Republican Party. (Although, interestingly - lest we forget - Temple Law professor Jan Ting ran for the United States Senate against Tom Carper with a strong immigration platform, but Ting was much more to the left on most other issues.)

Now, let me throw three flies in the ointment (admittedly to provoke discussion).

(1). Teatime, you keep referring to "many previous generations of legal immigrants". Sorry, I believe that sentiment is both overly nostalgic and misleading. The United States has ALWAYS had some illegal immigrants. Look into our history. At various times, people fled wars, oppression, and famine, and didn't always observe the letter of the law. The Irish - then and now - represent a long history of this, and provoked anti-immigrant hysteria. People of varying ethnic roots didn't always celebrate St. Patrick's Day here as a quintessential, "Irish-American holiday". The "Know Nothing" political party opposed the arrival of Catholic Irish, Germans, and Poles -- whether legally or illegally. White orange Protestant America was threatened.

By the way, I know so many Anglo-Americans see Spanish-language U.S. media as an impediment to Latinos learning English. (The implication being that immigrants from Europe had no similar ethnic media.) No one seems to notice media outlets in other languages: For example, Polish-language radio stations and newspapers in major U.S. metropolitan areas. The Chicago area two generations ago and today has supported at least two full-time, Polish-language radio stations, for example. I happened to work at an ethnic station, where I delivered English-language newscasts in between the Polish- and Italian-language shows!

(2). Is a hard-working, family-oriented, immigrant - who risked so much to come to these shores for the noblest of motives - honestly such a "threat" to this country? What about adhering to the "spirit of the law" vs. the"letter of the law? Yes, many of these folks can't automatically become U.S. citizens, but is it that wrong to provide a "path" to citizenship?

(3). Finally, have you not considered the countries facing a demographic disaster because of their underwhelming birth rates, insufficient to replace the existing population? In Japan, folks purchase more adult diapers than baby diapers. The one-child policy could create a future implosion in China, precisely at the time that it threatens to overtake the United States. Many European countries are on the ropes.

One could argue illegal immigrants represent "insurance" for the United States vs. most other countries. And even then, it can't go on forever. Some of the biggest drops in fertility / birth rates are occurring in Latin American countries.

This is not a liberal argument, by the way. It is a conservative argument. The WEEKLY STANDARD's senior writer Jonathan Last has a book coming out, entitled "What to Expect When No One's Expecting". (I just received an advanced copy.)

Pope Paul VI's much-maligned encyclical against the use of artificial birth control (Humane Vitae) even within marriage - which addressed spiritual issues - nonetheless seems downright prescient, given the demographic implosion of today!

Of course, there's another side to these arguments. A critique of the book has already appeared on The NEW REPUBLIC's website.

Allan Loudell

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 1:53pm
"She didn't try to make excuses..." Yes she did. She said it's the government's fault her kid and the rest of the Wilmington hoodlums shoot police, security guards, innocent bystanders, etc. is because the government doest have enough for them to do. She blamed the city for HER SON, not having anything to do so of course he'll turn to crime.

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 2:11pm
Yes, Mr. Loudell, there may have been illegal immigrants in the past, but there definitely had also been immigrants who followed the law.

My point is that, today, there are many people in foreign nations who are following every rule trying to immigrate legally to the United States. While these legal immigrants wait, fill out the paperwork and pay the legal fees, there's another group of immigrants who bypass them just by breaking the law.

Imagine a school where there are two groups of schoolchildren: Group A includes kids who do their homework, study and pass all their exams. Group B includes kids who hang out in the restrooms smoking weed and failing all their classes. At the end of the school year, the school promotes all the kids in Group B, then tells all the kids in Group A that they're staying back.

At the end of the day, we should not reward people who break the rules, and punish people who follow the rules.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Feb 8, 2013 2:39pm

"Excuses" or reality?

Also, remember the movie, "Trading Places"? If one of us came from a similar situation, would we have done any better? Honestly, I can't even imagine...


You never addressed the demographic question. It's real and ticking.

And a laborious path to citizenship is not necessarily the same as putting these folks at the front of the line, pushing out the folks who followed the letter of the law!

Furthermore, the United States needs both highly-educated folks who followed the process, and bluntly, economically distressed, hard-working folks who can and will do jobs longtime U.S. citizens won't!

Allan Loudell

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 7:07pm
Allan beat me to answering teatime. I would have added that when America settled the Wild West, we certainly broke every law we made anytime we could, that is, if one will consider treaties made between native Americans and the United States Government as representative law. The United States of America has a worse record in obeying the law than any immigrant.

The correct solution is to insert these fine citizens into the application process as we do in our prison system, where they have earned credit for time served. In this case the time they have been here, puts them at that point in our application process.

Any immigrant who has contributed to our GDP for 18 years, deserves to be a citizen, even more if they match up to all the requirements we ask others to comply.

I can't see how someone can say to an 18-year resident, one with children in our armed services, one who's supported his schools his children have gone through, one who buys American trucks, one who has worked hard for 18 years, that he now has to get behind someone who just entered from Somalia only a month ago, but has a lawyer friend who can file for them....

That is morally wrong.

We need to expedite all illegal immigrants first, and only after that, can we even begin to set rules on how to handle future immigration for everyone else....

Just to be clear, should an illegal three-year immigrant get jumped into citizenship over a 5-year Lithuanian who has waited for bureaucracy to crawl over their application? No, but the three-year person should be ahead of someone who just stepped off the plane maybe 2 years ago.....

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 7:21pm
Note to Arthur. She wasn't blaming the city. She was blaming those stingy 1% pathetic hypocrites who aren't investing in jobs. They are the reason these young people, pick up crime because of nothing else to do...

Crime doesn't pay. The average front man makes about $30 a day on the street... His day begins at 10:00 and ends around 4 am. It is hustle, hustle, as well as trying to keep from getting killed. Even a minimum wage job of $5 hours puts his daily take above that of drug running... When someone moves in and suddenly one starts getting $5 a day, that's when you have to shoot them.... You can't eat otherwise.

The mother is correct. Hiring these people would clean things up quick. Why are the not getting hired? The federal tax rate is too low. It is smarter for the big money to invest profit in the stock market than it is to build a stinkin' business....

People with money are not doing their fair share. Since they are morally decrepit, we need to tax that excess, wasted resource we have given them and return it back into the economy where it can do some good....

It appears the tax rate of 40% is too low, or more likely the crises is too big... We need to seriously begin thinking of taxing the top 1% at maybe 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% or even 90% until they understand we aren't playing......

This lady was not talking about government....she was pointing the finger at every single American making a million or more who has short circuited America of their responsibility.

And don't give us baloney that a 50% tax rate will destroy the economy while in the same breath praise Ronald Reagan for his robust economic recovery because he cut taxes to.... 50 %!

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 9:05pm
Seriously? you mean a kid who is convicted at 16 with a gun crime and who doesnt have a HS education cant get a job? Why dont you hire him? Do you go downtown looking for your new hires?

And before you continue to blame the 1%, read her actual comment. IT goes against your narrative but she blames the city..."I respect our mayor, but he can jump out of vans, he can do all he wants to do, but until he gives these kids something to do..."

Sat, Feb 9, 2013 1:13pm
Arthur, I agree with you. Why is it up to the mayor to give these kids something to do? Study. Finish school. Find a job, doing anything. Guns and crime are not the only alternatives. His mom did not encourage him to grow up in an environment of good choices. Guess what mom? Your son is a low life. And while it is entirely your fault, what did you do to encourage a better mindset?

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Feb 9, 2013 3:30pm
I don't know Jim.

My gut tells me she did try to steer him straight. I remember seeing an interview with a women who lived in Philly a few years ago, telling how difficult it was for her to sell her son on studying, and finding honest work. She said, (I'm paraphrasing): "What my son sees is the guy down on the street corner who's dealing drugs, who has a big roll of cash in his pocket, who drives a big flashy car, has ton's of gold around his neck, and a bunch of hot women flocking around him. He's living the good life. Meanwhile I'm telling my son that he should study hard, get a job at Walmart, or something like that to earn him some money, and hopefully he'd get to go to college so he could get a good job. He looks at me, I've worked all my life mopping floors, and thinks I'm a chump and obviously don't know what I'm talking about as we live in this dump and barely have enough to eat. One has immediate rewards that he can easily see, the other has no guarantees."

Somehow these kids are not being reached. I'm sure there's plenty of lousy single parent households in the hood, and I'm not saying this mother is mother of the year material, but I also believe there are those who are trying their level best to steer their kids in the right direction and have some serious barriers hindering them.

I don't know if there's one of those PAL's centers near where she and her son live, or a Boys Club, etc. Those are great places for kids to go. I'm guessing that isn't the case, thus her concern that there's nothing like that to keep the kids in her neighborhood busy (you know idle hands are the devil's workshop).

True its not the city's job to keep her kid busy, but someone in a poor neighborhood isn't able to buy programs like suburban moms can for their kids (Music lessons, Karate, Sports, Dancing, etc). I found it interesting that PAL has a large center in Hockessin, where most families up there are making good money and can easily afford to pay for their kids activities. My guess is this was put there so the folks up there wouldn't complain about their county taxes funding this sort of stuff only for the poor kids.

So maybe IF that PAL Center had been located near where Ms. Gray and her son lived, it might have made a difference in the lives of the kids in Ms. Gray's neighborhood and might have caused this story to have had a different ending.

Sun, Feb 10, 2013 12:44am
Considering the details in this case, her son won't be hired... He wlll spend the first half of adulthood behind bars. It is not too late for the others. The lady's point is that the environment grows crime because there are no jobs. You can jump out of vans & round them up, but the next crop comes along right behind it out of need. Rounding up all Wilmington's 16--22-year-olds and processing them, interrogating them, building files on everyone in that neighborhood, will help. Getting a taste of jail, and then getting out, makes one not so eager to get in another time.

But, Rudy Giuliani had the tax-hike boom of 92--00 to help him in New York.. Jobs grew, and people flocked to fill them. When we tax the wealthy correctly, they will grow here.

As for hiring that kid, no. I hope my filters are adequate to screen him out; in fact I'm sure they are. But his neighbor who made it through school, yes, he would get a chance. Because as Mike's scenario shows, someone who looks the other way and finishes school, is better than half the suburbanites who receive baby-sitting for 6 hours each day...

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Feb 10, 2013 8:53am
In case you missed seeing the video here at WDEL.com, there is the link to Grover Norquist's speech in Dover last night. It was interesting. He makes some good points. I don't agree with him on everything he said, but wanted to hear him speak. Interestingly he didn't offer any suggestions to Delaware's GOP as to how to retake this very blue state, and make it red or at least purple.


Sun, Feb 10, 2013 11:59pm
Thanks for the link... It was unfortunate that what he was arguing was for more gridlock, for more obstruction, for more intransigence.

Looks like we are going to have more of the same as the last two years, because "some people" can't be American and let the majority rule. They have to be spoilers. Reminds me exactly of Saddam Hussein torching the oil-wells as his army retreats back to the border.

Republicans are exactly like that.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 2:59am
Breaking News: The Daily Mail is reporting from inside sources that General Petreaus and the Ambassador Stevens were not informed that parts of the CIA had one day before attacked the very same group of Libyan insurgents who returned the next day to attack at Benghazi. Furthermore, the Petreaus scandal was orchestrated by a rogue element of the CIA itself (7th floor) who were the ones pushing the FBI into investigating General Petreaus' bedside manners.. (Remember that fishiness of how the rogue FBI agent kept pushing his superiors? It makes sense now.)


Get this. It was John Brennan who just testified to become the next CIA director, who ordered the clandestine attacks the night before and who did not brief Petreaus, and the official side of the CIA, that they had done so.

So not only are Republicans completely wrong on Benghazi, they are now laughingstocks for every single word they said about it....

We did know about the threat.
We did something about it.
We didn't tell Obama, Clinton, or Petreaus.
They were in the dark, not to propagate deceit, but because they had no idea....

Every Republican needs to apologize to every Democrat starting now by getting down on their knees, and bowing their head to the ground in supplication... :) One always fails if they bluster against competent people when all they have is their own hot air.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Feb 11, 2013 8:13am
Kavips: Yes, that was one of the problems I too had with Norquist, he's totally against any compromise. A democracy can't function without compromise. He wants a GOP dictatorship. Ain't going to happen.

I'll bet this update to the Benghazi story won't be reported on Fox News, elRushbo, or Jensen's shows today.

Thanks for the link. So basically, we (some part of the CIA) started it and the Libyans retaliated.

It seems to me that its time for the Prez to disband the CIA and merge all the spy groups into one spy group so there is better control of what these people are doing. The CIA seems to think they can do whatever they want without Presidential approval or Congressional approval.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 8:22am
Breaking news: Pope Benedict XVI resigns due to advanced age, becoming the first Pope to resign since 1412.

It would be nice if members of Congress followed his lead and didn't consider their jobs a lifetime appointment and could gracefully go into retirement. Ahem. Tom Carper.

Mon, Feb 11, 2013 6:48pm
You guys go ahead and bash Norquist all you want. I'm going to continue to bash Obama, the REAL villain!

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