WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So which stories / topics / issue have gotten your attention this weekend?

The budget battle between Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams and city council escalates, as the mayor vetoes the amended budget and council prepares to override that veto. City Council President Theo Gregory has said in the past he has enough votes to override. Perhaps Williams is calling Gregory's bluff. Perhaps Williams has peeled off a vote or two. Folks such as Williams supporter Ed Osborne - who waged that earlier battle over imminent domain - have been trying to persuade council members to come over to the mayor's side. This is an early test of council vs. the mayor. We'll learn the outcome next Thursday. If the override succeeds, Williams will seek a court ruling. He continues to argue the law is on his side, that council violated the state constitution when it put a quarter of a million bucks under its own jurisdiction for "youth initiatives". The city solicitor backs Williams.

After all the hoopla, Wilmington Fire Chief Anthony Goode gave up his city-issued gun. Yes, a firefighter COULD carry a firearm if he/she had obtained certification from a police academy. But it turns out Goode had no such certification from the Council on Police Training. It gets more complicated: Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams had given Goode permission to carry a weapon on city property and while on duty. Goode said he had gotten more involved in code enforcement, including raids on clubhouses run by the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club. But wouldn't ordinary police officers join such code enforcement interventions?

By opening the ranks of the scouts to gay young people but NOT gay adult leaders, the Boy Scourts of America probably pleased no one (although some equality groups see the move as a decent first step). Of the approximately 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council who voted on the issue, 61% endorsed the compromise drafted by the governing Executive Committee. Conservative religious groups long involved with the scouts predict the concession on gay youth will lead to a mass exodus. Here in Delmarva, most scouting troops appear to have operated under a "Don't ask, don't tell" philosophy, at least for younger scouts.

President Obama outlined new guidelines for overseeing drone strikes and the eventual closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The President also lifted his own moratorium which had prohibited the transfer of detainees to Yemen. The President drew applause from his audience at the National Defense University when he proclaimed: "There is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened." Under the new policy, the U.S. military takes responsibility for drone strikes from the C.I.A. in most places. But I'm not convinced the President has made that much of a change in the use of drones.

President Obama had to deal repeatedly with a heckler near the end of his address: Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the anti-war organization, Code Pink. The President traded words with Benjamin three times. She implored the President to close the Guantanamo Bay prison immediately, and blasted his decision to try to send the detainees to other nations.

The Internal Revenue Service official overseeing the office that targeted Tea Party, Patriot, and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt statues - Lois Lerner - was placed on administrative leave. But she will face additional Congressional scrutiny. Because she delivered a lengthy opening statement in her own defense before taking the Fifth Amendment, Republicans argue she, in effect, waived her right against self-incrimination. This could get interesting.

Vice President Biden has been largely under the media radar with regard to the latest controversies confronting the White House. Have you noticed? Not a peep, at least, nothing that has been widely disseminated.

However, in a Tuesday speech recognizing Jewish American Heritage Month, the Veep proclaimed Jews "have contributed greatly to America. No group has had such an outsized influence per capita." NEW YORK magazine came up with this headline: "Biden Praises Jews, Goes Too Far, Accidentally Thrills Anti-Semites".

The British intelligence unit, MI5, had reportedly monitored the two young men involved in that slaughter of that young soldier for eight years. As MI5 came under a torrent of criticism that it had dropped the ball, Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a full intelligence review.

Posted at 8:44am on May 24, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, May 24, 2013 10:00am
If the unusual is what makes news - man bites dog - then Biden keeping his mouth shut is THE BIG STORY on ACTION NEWS. As a pawn of the banking industry, Biden should know about Jewish influence. And don't forget historic Jewish dominance of the media (Paley, Sarnoff, Goldenson, Warner, Mayer, Goldwyn, Cohen, Sulzberger, Meyer ...)

The Tea Party is trying to obscure the facts (typical for them) in the IRS story. These groups want to be tax-exempt. They want to engage in political activity. And their donors want to stay anonymous. The law only allows two out of three. They are trying to bend the law and brought extra scrutiny on themselves. The media, playing enabler as usual, is ignoring the "progressive" groups the IRS has also been scrutinizing.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 24, 2013 10:31am
As this is the weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, lest we forget the actual reason for the holiday, as this isn't National BBQ Day [nothing wrong with a good BBQ, but that's not the point of what this weekend is to be about], hopefully each of us will take some time during this weekend to think about the sacrifices many of our men and women have made during the history of this nation to help preserve our freedoms, even if we didn't always agree with the particular war, military action, the commander-in-chief at the time, etc., etc.

For those who believe in the power of prayer, consider lifting up the military troops and their families who are serving our nation today. Their loved ones have their butts on the line for our nation as we speak; also consider praying that these wars will end quickly and the troops will come home safe and also that somehow we can avoid getting into wars so easily in the future.

Fri, May 24, 2013 11:39am

Amen, Mike from Delaware. Let's keep our service people in mind when the idiots in the media start talking about intervening in Syria, or attacking Iran.

Fri, May 24, 2013 12:41pm
Mike from Delaware: Well said.

Fri, May 24, 2013 1:10pm
MikeFromDelaware: What a load of sanctimonious BS! And which of your freedoms were preserved by killing babies in Viet Nam? Notice how preachers are willing to collaborate with the military-industrial people in supporting death and destruction. But war is very profitable.

You really are a gullible fool.

Memorial Day, for the record, was started to commemorate Union troops who died in the Civil War. For a long time, it was not celebrated in the South; they had their own Memorial Day for Confederate Dead. Memorial Day is about Americans killing Americans and getting killed by Americans. The Civil War resulted in a loss of freedom: The end of the federal union and the creation of the nation-state. The loss of the right of secession. It also gave us the income tax, the draft, imprisonment without trial, and censorship of the press. And the loss of more of the U.S. population than any war in history.

It's time to bring back spitting on troops.

I agree with the Rev. Wright.

Fri, May 24, 2013 2:15pm
"The British intelligence unit, MI5, had reportedly monitored the two young men involved in that slaughter of that young soldier for eight years. As MI5 came under a torrent of criticism that it had dropped the ball, Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a full intelligence review."-Allan Loudell

Sounds like a bit of deja vu...Boston Marathon terrorists were also being monitored by the FBI/CIA/DHS and even placed on watch lists...but they still succeeded in terror in the name of their god.

Allan Loudell
Fri, May 24, 2013 3:07pm
In the British case, it's perhaps more understandable how these young men slipped through.

Unless we learn differently, it's not as though they were stockpiling weapons; it's not as though they were stockpiling vast amounts of fertilizer to assemble bombs; not even a presure-cooker!

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 24, 2013 3:36pm
Bill smith: That may be how the holiday got started, that's not what we're remembering now. What I posted above is more like what this day NOW represents. I truly feel sorry for you, because for whatever reason you are very bitter, miserable person, who seems to have the need to pass on your misery to others. You just can't disagree with me on a topic without the insulting remarks. The fact that you agree with Rev. Wright says a lot a lot about you too, no offense intended, not anything positive. Be at peace

Fri, May 24, 2013 6:39pm
MikeFromDelaware: If you want people to be at peace, why do encourage people to go off and get killed in wars? Why do you glorify wars and those whose function is to kill? I thought Jesus was a pacifist.

Fri, May 24, 2013 7:28pm
Christianity at work... again ....

No bail for Pennsylvania parents in faith-healing death.

A Pennsylvania couple who believe in faith healing have been charged with murder after a second of their children died.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — After their 2-year-old son died of untreated pneumonia in 2009, faith-healing advocates Herbert and Catherine Schaible promised a judge they would not let another sick child go without medical care.

But now they've lost an 8-month-old to what a prosecutor called "eerily similar" circumstances. And instead of another involuntary manslaughter charge, they're now charged with third-degree murder. ...

Throw away the key!

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 24, 2013 9:48pm
Billsmith said, "It's time to bring back spitting on troops."

I don't see anywhere in the Bible where Jesus said anything against the soldiers, in fact when that Centurion asked Jesus to heal his child and didn't even require Jesus to come to his home, he told Jesus to simply give the order, etc. Jesus didn't spit on or put down the soldiers or that Centurion or [even tax collectors]; he told the Centurion his daughter was healed. Jesus certainly wouldn't follow your advice or spitting on soldiers.

I already commented about healings and people such as those folks from Philly earlier this week, but you have selective reading/memory. You seem to ONLY want to bring up ANY thing negative about Christians, as your hatred for Christ and his followers is so deep, you have to look up to see the bottom, so any further discussion with you about any aspect of faith, or Christ is a waste of time, because you don't want to hear the truth, you just want to argue. So bash away as that is your right, but I'm done, because all of us here have your MO and you're so extremely biased that a reasonable discussion just can't happen. I'm shaking the dust from your house from my shoes, to use another Biblical metaphor. I'll discuss other stuff, but faith, Christ, Christianity, Lutheranism, etc., etc., you'll have to find someone else to argue with. The Bible says to avoid silly discussions and arguments, and these discussions with you are just that.

YES, I do truly wish you peace and wish you Jesus, because until you get back right with Christ, you'll never get whatever has got you tied-up in knots fixed. Hope you have a enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend, even if you don't agree with it.

Fri, May 24, 2013 10:04pm
My grandfather said... "War is hell. The only person I trust to take us into war is someone who's been there and knows what it's like. I know then, if it is not absolutely necessary, we won't go."

Fri, May 24, 2013 10:58pm
I've heard a lot of discussion that someone who takes the Fifth is guilty; otherwise they wouldn't take it.

The opposite is true.

During the McCarthy hearings, supposed communists were getting hauled off to jail left and right. It was here I first learned how using the Fifth worked. None of them were communists.

Here is how the questioning would go...

Joe McCarthy: BillS, are you a communist?

BillS: I will take the 5th on that question.

Joe McCarthy: BillS, do you know or hang around communists?

BillS: I will take the 5th on that question.

Joe McCarthy: Are you aware that lying to Congress is contempt and is punishable by prison terms and fines?

BillS: I will take the 5th on that question.

Joe McCarthy: Ok then... Do you know anyone in your realm of acquaintances who goes by the name of Earl Gray?

BillS...I will take the 5th on that question.

Joe McCarthy: Good, so you do or don't know him then?... You'll take the fifth. That's real good. You earlier didn't answer my question whether you knew any communists and let me see my notes here, you replied "I'll take the fifth.".. Is my memory correct?

BillS: I'll take the fifth.

Joe McCarthy: We convicted Earl Gray of being a communist just yesterday. Our records show you knew him well, yet when I asked if you knew him, you took the fifth... Yet Earl Gray is a communist of the worst order and you know him? You may be a communist, you may only pretend to be one, that we may never know, but we will look over all our evidence and render our verdict later. Next contestant.

And that was that. Suddenly America's eyes were opened, and they realized all those horrible communists being outed weren't communists after all. They were victims of a witch hunt whose sole purpose was not to free American Government from communism, but to elevate Joe McCarthy to presidential status. No longer able to imprison all who came before him, and finally put on the stand himself before a national televised audience, his star collapsed and he was later censured by the Senate for misconduct.

Fri, May 24, 2013 11:11pm
As for the Scouts' issue, all the scouts I know praise that verdict. Their quote:

"Now we can move forward and discriminate against no one."

As for the contention that it discriminates against homosexual scout masters, that needs more time if we are to accept it. Since theoretically, a homosexual scout-master is the sexual opposite of his charges that would be improper. You might as well hire a horny young woman to be their chaperon in camps over night. If scouts already do that, (hire horny young women) and no scouts locally can verify that they do, only then cannot having a homosexual scout-master have any basis as being anti-discriminatory.

Once they stop discriminating against horny young women, then they can work to stop their alleged discrimination of homosexual men as scout masters...

On a logical scale that makes sense.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 24, 2013 11:32pm
Kavips: Both posts, Well Said.

Sat, May 25, 2013 2:59am
I hope all parents with any respect for what's decent will pull their children out of the Boy Scouts. An organization that capitulates to sexual perversion doesn't deserve to exist. You can bet if it was my boy in there, I'd be pulling him out. I wouldn't truly love him if I didn't.

By the way, billsmith and kavips, save your name-calling. I'll just go ahead and say it for you. I'm a bigoted racist homophobe for Jesus and for what's clean, decent, and right.

Sat, May 25, 2013 5:28am
In Pizza's World, bigotry, racism and homophobia are clean, decent and right - and Jesus approves of them.

Now MikeFromDelaware will tell Pizza, "Well said."

Kavips: I don't think MikeFromDelaware gets the concepts of irony and sarcasm. He's actually agreeing.

Sat, May 25, 2013 5:56am
A judge in Philly says the crazy parents who let two kids die - of the same disease - praying instead of getting medical treatment both times, have to stay in jail awaiting trial.

Christianity is a sick cult for sick people. The parents are probably enjoying being martyrs, though. Masochism runs deep among Jesus freaks. Martin Luther liked to whip himself and he wasn't the only one. Suffering ranks second only to killing non-believers and heretics as Christianity's favored pastime.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 25, 2013 9:11am
Kavips said this, "As for the contention that it discriminates against homosexual scout masters, that needs more time if we are to accept it. Since theoretically, a homosexual scout-master is the sexual opposite of his charges that would be improper. You might as well hire a horny young woman to be their chaperon in camps over night. If scouts already do that, (hire horny young women) and no scouts locally can verify that they do, only then cannot having a homosexual scout-master have any basis as being anti-discriminatory.

Once they stop discriminating against horny young women, then they can work to stop their alleged discrimination of homosexual men as scout masters...

On a logical scale that makes sense."

I didn't detect sarcasm in that statement, I took it at face value and agree with it. IF that is what Kavips meant then I agree with him.

The Girl Scouts don't have male scout leaders, just as the Boy Scouts don't have female scout leaders for the same reasons to avoid any problems that could arise from camping trips, etc. So Kavips statement makes sense to me taken at face value not as sarcasm, but I realize Billsmith won't agree with my logic and that's no surprise given his world view.

About the Joe McCarthy piece of Kavips: McCarthy was evil, so I totally agreed with what I thought Kavips was saying, but if Kavips was being sarcastic and thinks Tail Bomber Joe was treated badly and that the Wisconsin Senator was correct to try to find a Commie under every bed via his witch hunt that destroyed many lives, then I disagree.

In the written form, sarcasm isn't always easy to detect, at least for a less educated knucklehead like me. The tone of voice usually helps folks to detect sarcasm, which is lacking in the written word unless it is somehow conveyed.

Sat, May 25, 2013 9:32am
MikeFromDelaware: Your "logic" is the same as was used to argue against allowing gays and/or women in the military.

What exactly is the "worldview" you think I have here?

For the record, the Cub Scouts do have female leaders (Den Mothers).

Your argument seems to be that if a woman takes boy scouts or a man takes girl scouts camping, "something" will happen. Same thing if a gay man takes boy scouts or a woman takes girl scouts.

The Boy Scout manual for years condemned masturbation, contrary to all medical and psychological knowledge. Even so, a lot happened on those camping trips when the adult leaders aren't around.

"Be prepared! that's the boy scout's marching song,
Be prepared! as through life you march along.
Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well,
Don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell.

Be prepared! to hide that pack of cigarettes,
Don't make book if you cannot cover bets.
Keep those reefers hidden where you're sure
That they will not be found
And be careful not to smoke them
When the scoutmaster's around
For he only will insist that it be shared.
Be prepared!

Be prepared! that's the boy scouts' solemn creed,
Be prepared! and be clean in word and deed.
Don't solicit for your sister, that's not nice,
Unless you get a good percentage of her price.

Be prepared! and be careful not to do
Your good deeds when there's no one watching you.
If you're looking for adventure of a
New and different kind,
And you come across a girl scout who is
Similarly inclined,
Don't be nervous, don't be flustered, don't be scared.
Be prepared!" - Tom Lehrer

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 25, 2013 9:35am
There is an alternative boys group for boys that's very much like the Scouts, called Royal Rangers, from the Assembly of God. Here's two links that tells about their program.



Sat, May 25, 2013 10:44am
MFD: Just give the perverts a little more time. They'll eventually get to the Royal Rangers, too.

Sat, May 25, 2013 11:04am
Royal Rangers? Now that sounds gay!

Sat, May 25, 2013 11:59am
I seem to also be missing the satire and sarcasm from my own writings as gleaned by BillS... Can someone point out what I can't see? Perhaps I'm too close to it, but my interpretation was close to that of Mike of Delaware's.

Sat, May 25, 2013 1:44pm
kavips: Don't feel bad. I can't figure him out either.

Sat, May 25, 2013 3:49pm
NY Daily News:
Angelina Jolie post-mastectomy topless portrait to be sold for charity
Swedish artist Johan Andersson’s controversial nude painting is expected to fetch around $22,000.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/angelina-jolie-post-mastectomy-topless-portrait-sold-charity-article-1.1353718#ixzz2UKsI2OP8

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 25, 2013 4:26pm
Kavips: Thank you. What you wrote seemed clear to me and as I said then and still say now, Well said.

Mrpizza: The Royal Rangers is part of the Assembly of God Church and as the Royal Rangers are a church group that gets no United Way money or any government money, they are purely supported by the AG church and the parents, I don't believe the AG Church will be changing their biblical view of homosexuality anytime soon.

Sat, May 25, 2013 4:51pm
MikeFromDelaware: They are pentacostals, a position rejected by the Lutheran Church: Missouri Synod. As such, it is the synod's teaching they will all go to hell.

A little drastic but they should lose their tax-exempt status.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, May 26, 2013 9:19am
The Catholics also believe that if you're not a Catholic you're going to hell, the Baptists believe a similar thing. So what? They are entitled to their beliefs, just as you and I are. I don't happen to agree with any of those churches on that issue. It's NOT your church denomination that gets you saved or gets you a free ticket to heaven, its being a follower of Jesus Christ, THAT's what makes the difference. Christ does it all, no works can do it, simply receiving the grace, love, and forgiveness for our sins. Christ alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone, all good Lutheran thoughts. The Assemblies also have those same thoughts, but yes their approach is different from the Lutherans.

This might shock you Bill, but I believe gay/lesbians will be in heaven too, just as any other sinner who's come to Christ. Thankfully Christ doesn't require us to be perfect, he took care of that on the cross, so a gay/lesbian person can still be gay/lesbian [the genetic thing they get no choice if I understand the science of it correctly], just as I'm still a sinner and in spite of what I truly deserve so we both can have and receive the love of Christ. I urge you to reconsider Christ and ignore his flawed subjects like me.

Sun, May 26, 2013 9:46am
MDF: Yes, I used to be an Assembly of God member for about 10 years until about 25 years ago, so I know the Royal Rangers well. I see your point about it being part of a church, but if the perverts start suing churches for not performing gay weddings, then Royal Rangers could be collateral damage in such a situation. Also, I was unaware that the Boy Scouts received any government subsidies, but if they do, then there's the choice between money and the issue of right and wrong.

As far as gays and lesbians being in heaven, I have a lot of trouble reconciling that one although I know it's highly possible because God's mercies are new every morning. However, I wouldn't want to enter into that lifestyle to try and find out because once you're dead, you can't turn back if you end up in the wrong place.

Sun, May 26, 2013 9:55am
billsmith: I have a better idea that's fair to everybody. Instead of playing the "tax exempt status" game, change over to a flat tax of 10%. God only asks 10% of us, so why should government ask for more? You want equalization of outcome? Here's the best way to do it. Then abolish the IRS as any government computer should be able to calculate 10% of everybody's income. Then government should be required to live within whatever money that 10% amounts to, and should have no borrowing authority, period.

Considering that the federal income tax is unconstitutional in the first place, a flat tax of 10% is the next best thing. The constitutional thing would be for state legislatures to determine what the federal government should have and send it in. The federal government was never intended by the founders to have direct access to individual citizens. That's the job of state and local governments, and overall, they do that job much better.

Sun, May 26, 2013 10:34am
MikeFromDelaware: Maybe you missed the Pope's comments on the subject this week...

Pope Francis says atheists who do good are SAVED

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2330135/Pope-Francis-says-atheists-good-SAVED.html#ixzz2UPOd5Pek

Nothing new about this. In the movie, "The Cardinal," for which Joseph Ratzinger was Vatican liaison and technical advisor, Father Tom Tyron says the same thing. (PS: Tyron was gay.)

Pizza: I agree with you on the flat tax. I'd go further and say single tax, flat tax. No transfer payments. No tax on corporations. Tax the stockholders instead. Not sure I'd stick to an arbitrary and inflexible 10 per cent. There should be some flexibility there but with a flat tax, single tax arrangement when the government wants to increase the percentage, it would be very apparent to everybody and politicians would have to make a good case for the increase or lose their jobs.

But what this is all about - really - is the one per centers want to fund their pet politicians and pet causes in secret and still have their funding subsidized by the rest of us (though tax breaks).

Lots of presidents have used the IRS selectively for political reasons. Tricky Dick. Even Calvin Coolidge. They are politicians. Playing games like this is in their nature (like the frog and the scorpion).

Sun, May 26, 2013 11:05am
First of all if Mr. Pizza switched lifestyles to find out if Homosexuals could get in heaven, I'd have to stop eating pizza. Nothing against homosexuals. Just that I would know the "End of the World" was at hand, and would want to look my fittest if I was to be preserved for eternity... Lol.

That said, the flat tax is a very bad idea. Sit down one night and do the calculations. It is pretty easy to see why we never evolved over to the flat tax, and that only loons on the outside of the public sphere are the ones who suggest it. The Flat Tax makes a little sense as returning to the Gold Standard....

Sun, May 26, 2013 11:23am
kavips: You recite PC dogma but give no basis for your claims. Economists favor it. Some in the public sphere, as you call it, have, as well: Such as Arlen Specter.

But then you claim the affirmative action president, the Daley Machine lackey, is the greatest president in your lifetime. Even political correctness should have limits. You PC types are no different from the true believer wing-nuts of the tea party and the religious right.

Sun, May 26, 2013 7:17pm
In the interest of good humor and to illustrate the progress made over the past 40 years, here's a picture that says it all:


Mon, May 27, 2013 3:56am
I already in another thread gave the explanation, I would think you'd remember it.

Not worth doing it again... But here is a new basis for the claim. Clinton, Obama, and Brown. All raised taxes to an improved economy and two of them went on to budget surpluses. Obama has cut the deficit faster than almost anyone had predicted... i said almost anyone because some of us had it right all along.. Raising taxes brings on a good economy which builds to a surplus.

Mon, May 27, 2013 3:58am
PC = ?

Mon, May 27, 2013 7:05am
kavips: PC = politically correct or political correctness.
Also: personal computer, partly cloudy, parsec, progressive conservative (aka Tories), peace corps, probable cause, professional corporation, privy council, primary care ... among others.
Sorry, it doesn't wash. He gets a pass because he is (or claims to be) Black. Affirmative action and building self-esteem in a victim class trumps all. Doesn't matter that he sold out the progressives who got him in office. Doesn't matter that he can't deal effectively with congress or anyone else. Doesn't matter that he's an incompetent manager. Doesn't matter that he has done nothing but campaign his entire career. He runs roughshod over the constitution in a way you wouldn't tolerate if we were talking about the dumb, drunk little twerp. Only Nixon could go to China; only Obama can murder people.

Wait a few years when historians aren't blinded by feel-good racial politics. Obama will rank right down there with Nixon, Grant, Buchanan (the first gay president) and Harding.

Mon, May 27, 2013 7:10am
Archdiocese Pays for Health Plan That Covers Birth Control

Though Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has denounced the new health care law for requiring some employers to cover contraception, the archdiocese has been providing such coverage for thousands of workers for over a decade...


Typical. They complain about supposedly being forced to do something they've been doing all along. Just another wealthy employer protecting the bottom line. In addition, the church invests in companies that makes birth-control products (and profits from them). Rank hypocrisy!

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 27, 2013 9:16am
Kavips: I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised to read in the news that the debt had come down. However, the only tax that went up was the 2% FCIA tax that Obama had stopped last year [far as I remember no other taxes went up, good ole Grover Norquest and his henchmen saw to that so his wealthy pals didn't pay a dime more in taxes while enjoying their gigantic salaries that keep on rising]. That 2% FICA tax money SHOULD be going into Social Security [but this is the Federal Government and Lord only knows where its really going so maybe that money has been used to pay down the debt or into an Obama "slush fund account", who knows].

However, the government has shrunk as many Fed employees were laid off during this recession [and as far as I know haven't been rehired], so government spending has gone down, granted so did the private sector thus cutting tax revenue [but many have been rehired in the private sector so maybe tax revenue has increased without increases in Fed employees].

Also the "War of American Aggression in Iraq" [kind of a play on words from the South's description of the Civil War] has wound down thus cutting military spending tremendously.

I do believe that the Keynesian theory for economic growth does work as FDR and the New Deal along with WWII proved [sometimes the government has to spend some serious money to get the economy going again, but unlike with Bush's Iraq war folly FDR funded the war effort with tax increases whereas Bush Jr. lowered taxes making the situation even worse].

Yes Clinton along with Gingrich and the GOP dominated Congress managed to give us a surplus [but did they raise taxes or cut spending or did they do both I don't remember], I'm assuming Brown means Jerry Brown from California. Has he turned around their economy out there, hadn't heard anything about what's going on in California or does your reference of Brown refer to his term as Governor years ago.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm not sure that Obama has accomplished this lower debt by raising taxes, but probably due to the economic situation of less fed employees thus saving millions, maybe billions in salaries, benefits, and future pensions, plus the money saved from Iraq ending.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 27, 2013 10:26am
Billsmith: About Pope Francis' sermon. He didn't use the word saved as you implied, he said redeemed, not the same thing [I have a Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament words and there are a number of Greek words for Redeemed with different meanings depending on how it was used in the Bible [English uses the same word as you know to mean many things] so its not as cut and dry as you'd think].

I believe his sermon is being taken out of context by the media [clever way to get folks to read or listen to a religious news story though, but as it has provoked discussion worldwide, even as it did here, that's a good thing].

I believe what the Pope is saying is that the only common ground where the believer and atheist can meet is in the arena of doing good.

The Bible teaches us that God's law is written on our hearts along with the knowledge of what is good and what is evil. If God's law is written on every human's heart, then regardless of your faith in God, every human should know when they do good and when they do evil. They may not care that they are doing evil, but deep down they know what they are doing isn't right, just as they also know when they are doing something that is right or good. That's why you see many non-religious folks doing good things in the world. You don't need Christ to be a nice person.

That's where being born again or saved comes in. Allowing Christ's gifts of grace, love, and salvation to enter your life via Baptism, the Holy Spirit enters your spirit [soul] and you become one of Christ's people. Remember the Catholic's believe in works for salvation whereas Luther and the rest of the Protestant Church do not believe in works to gain salvation, that's a free gift from God. It's there for everyone.

Also remember ONLY the Catholics believe in Purgatory where you go to pay for your sins and then eventually in the future your sins will be paid for through [I believe they said the flames of Purgatory not a pleasant experience from what I remember the nuns teaching in Sunday School 50+ years ago] and you then get to go to heaven [this is not in the Bible which is why Luther and the other Protestants do not subscribe to this belief].

Getting back to the Pope's statement, so if every human practiced doing the good that is planted in their hearts, then this is the common ground where the believer and non-believer can meet and agree on life.

The part the Pope left out that the Bible also says, where Jesus says, I am the truth the way and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through me. Without being on of Christ's disciples [followers], you can not spend eternity with God the Father, his Son Jesus, or the Holy Spirit in heaven.

Billsmith, that's my interpretation of this issue.

Mon, May 27, 2013 11:32am
America: The Indispensable Nation

Following is a reminder of how America has changed the world for the better in so many ways. While no nation or people is perfect, America is still the greatest ever. Let's keep it that way.


Mon, May 27, 2013 11:57am
MikeFromDelaware: Yes, your interpretation. Nice thing about the Bible is you can make it mean whatever you want. Add to that your "cafeteria" approach to religion. Funny thing, one you've selected from the spiritual cafeteria, you get dogmatic about it and claim your selection is the only correct selection.

"Saved" was used in the headline and news story I cited and most others. Then some theologians started back-tracking and tried to parse "saved" and "redeemed."

Here is the translation of what the Pope said: "“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!"

If one is redeemed, one is saved.
Redeem: Verb. to recover possession or ownership of by payment of a price or service; regain. Christianity (of Christ as Saviour) to free (mankind) from sin by his death on the Cross.
from Latin redimere to buy back.

Isn't that what they told you in parochial school? Christ died on the cross to buy you back from the devil.

Since you aren't a Catholic any more, you don't have to follow what the Pope says. In "The Cardinal," with script approval from Joseph Ratzinger, the title character (giving instruction to a Jewish character) specifically says the Catholic church teaches who seeks to do good can go to heaven.

Lots of things not in the Bible that you cite as dogma: The Trinity (First Council of Nicea), Original Sin (St. Augustine of Hippo). Anti-abortion (never mentioned).

Also the Orthodox do accept the idea of an intermediate state after death in which the soul is purified or prepared (not necessarily punished) or awaits the last judgement. So do some Anglicans. The idea of punishment before heaven is uniquely Catholic but the idea of purification before heaven is not.

It's too bad they didn't make you take an adult confirmation class before they let you into the synod. They've gotten sort of lax about things. I shouldn't have to be teaching religion 101 to you.

Mon, May 27, 2013 2:18pm
To all those who have served in our military (past and present) to preserve our freedom...THANK-You!

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 27, 2013 2:20pm
Billsmith: Yes Christ paid the price for all of our sins, everyone, so in that sense all have been redeemed; but if you don't believe who Jesus said he is then how can you accept that all your sins have been forgiven? Either Jesus is who he says he is or he isn't. If he isn't the Messiah the Christ, then he was just a nice guy, maybe a prophet, who preached and told parables and oddly enough was able to heal folks miraculously, walked on water, turned water into real wine, etc, but still NOT the son of God. So Iif Jesus isn't who he said he was then that would make folks like me fools [yes I know you already say and believe that].

Just because someone is nice and works and plays well with others, but doesn't believe Christ is THE CHRIST/MESSIAH seems to me to be a real contradiction in terms of will they be in heaven with Christ as one of his followers. From where I'm sitting it seems that one kind of goes with the other. Obviously you don't agree or we'd not be having this discussion.

I think you'd find, at least in the Wilmington area, that LCMS isn't as strict about some things as it was when you were a kid [my wife and I never had a problem with receiving the Eucharist at any of the LCMS churches in the area and they knew we weren't LCMS or even ELCA, but were exploring or seeking about Lutheranism(they knew were were United Methodists - we made no secret about it) to name one thing that I'm sure was different when you were a kid]. So yes some things in the LCMS probably have changed just as the Catholic Church isn't the same as it was when I was a kid. Also we were kids, our understanding of what was being said and taught, may not have been as clear as it is today, as well read adults.

Basically what this gets down to, is the Catholic version of Christianity is totally works based relying on both scripture and tradition and the Protestant version [which includes Lutherans] is faith based relying on Solo Scriptura [as you know Scripture Alone] and because of the Protestant's faith in Christ and how God through the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ has changed our heart/attitude/spirit/soul, etc, etc, will be the reason for the Protestant's works. Both groups [Catholics and Protestants] love and worship the same Risen Christ, but have a different approach as to how that's done and what's involved in doing that.

Again, all of us, see through smoked colored glass and won't see clearly until the perfect comes.

Mon, May 27, 2013 4:03pm
MikeFromDelaware: By your dogma, then, the patriarchs and prophets are in hell. Including Moses and Elijah, who appeared with Jesus in the news testament. In particular, Elijah who did not die and Enoch who also did not die. Plus anybody who lived before Jesus or never heard of Jesus. All burning in hell, is that right? Redeemed? Sins paid for? But still condemned to hell? Is that it?

By the way, it's "sola scriptura." Your parochial school Latin is getting a bit rusty.

Mon, May 27, 2013 4:16pm
Mike of Delaware.. I'd forgotten about the 2% tax. Thanks for reminding me. But you are forgetting the huge rate jump on the top echelon that was part of the Biden and McConnells budget deal. Instead of taxing the top 1% as I have advocated, it got "compromised" up to the top 0.5 of one percent... I confess, I didn't think it would be enough to turn the economy around, but it appears it was... The reason our economy couldn't get gas, was because once money rose up to the top, it never got reinvested. Now, to keep it out of taxation, it is being reinvested creating jobs... For the record, the top rate jumped from 35% to 39.6% for individuals over $400,000 and couples over $450,000; Capital gains up from 15% to 20%, Estate taxes went up from 35% to 40%. as well as imposing limits on personal deductions, capping them at $250,000 and $300,000 for couples.

Those are the drivers of today's economy. As predicted I might add. :)

Mon, May 27, 2013 4:21pm
Speaking of the cafeteria approach to religion. From the outside watching Mike and BillS go at it, it appears that both are eating at the same cafeteria. Just that one goes through the line saying, "oh wow, I love that, this is really great food" and the other goes through exactly the same line, saying "This is the worst food I've ever seen. It's lousy and disgusting."

It is the same food... Moral of the story is: perhaps the commentary is more reflective of the person, and not of the food?


Mon, May 27, 2013 4:49pm
kavips: I no longer dine at the cafeteria. I am familiar with the menu, and the kitchen procedures.

MikeFromDelaware: I just checked the LSMS.org website. The position on close communion has not changed. Only members of two other small Lutheran groups in the US are in "fellowship" with Missouri Synod (not including the ELCA or Wisconsin Synod, or non-Lutheran bodies). In an emergency a pastor has some discretion to give communion to others.

You speak with extreme certainty but also seem to think it doesn't matter that you don't know what you're talking about. You also seem willing to interpret things in whatever way suits you while saying other interpretations are wrong.

From reading the Missouri Synod website, they may be nice and well-intentioned people but they don't considered flexibility and openness to be virtues.

But since the Pope is allowing for the possibility of atheists getting into heaven, I imagine he will let you in, too. As you pointed out a while ago, the Pope does have the keys to the kingdom. The Catholic Church also has close communion, although sometimes the rules aren't enforced very well. I recall at bit of stir when Slick Willy attended a Catholic service and was allowed to receive the sacrament. And nobody has stopped Biden from coming forward yet, despite directives from the Vatican on people who take public stands contrary to doctrine.

Sounds like your pastor would be in trouble with the folks in St. Louis if they ever found out.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 27, 2013 9:02pm
Billsmith: that was a typo. I'm aware its sola not solo, but good eye on your part [spell check doesn't do Latin so it didn't flag my typo and I didn't notice it].

Moses etc, are under the OLD covenant [testament] we are under the NEW covenant [testament].

Kavips: Thanks, you're correct I did forget about that and you're correct it does seem to make some difference.

Kavips, you might be correct in your assessment of Bill and I in the cafeteria of faith. Good analysis.

Billsmith:Actually we didn't stay in the LCMS and went back to an ELCA Lutheran Church. We spent a fair amount of time there before going to visit the LCMS and found ourselves really missing it[the worship is essentially the same with minor differences, but somehow we felt like we fit in better there, I can't explain it really, but we missed the spirit of the place, etc, so we informed our LCMS pastor and parted as friends [he's a great person] and went back to the ELCA Lutheran church where we've been visiting for almost 5 1/2 years, but never did do the membership thing.

You are correct though, the LCMS is far more sticter on some things than the ELCA, but we did enjoy our time in the LCMS and met some great people at the two LCMS churches we spent time visiting. We're not sure about membership yet, kind of just want to settle in and make real sure this is what God has called us to do before doing membership, but I'll leave that in God's hands.

Tue, May 28, 2013 8:41am
MikeFromDelaware: The ELCA is more of a "cafeteria" and they still have the high church liturgy. I hope you don't have so much trouble deciding which house or car to buy.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, May 28, 2013 12:58pm
Billsmith: No car and house decisions are easy. Picking where to worship and serve the Lord is a serious, important, and unfortunately for me a difficult decision.

I don't just read the Bible and not ask questions. I dig and try to understand the history of the Jews, the church not just 1st century, the Romans, etc, what their various cultures were like, etc, etc, and quite often things aren't as black and white as some would try to make it sound.

As I've said in other posts, each Christian denomination all have the basic solid Christian beliefs of virgin birth, miracles of Jesus, crucified, risen from the dead, etc. But after that, each denomination has their focus: some follow the liturgical church calendar, others do not, some focus on gifts of the Holy Spirit, some say those gifts were only for the Apostles and stopped when they died, others only adult baptism, some dunking, some infant baptism and adults, some sprinkle, some see communion as symbolic and do it once a month, some do it once a quarter, some see communion as a holy sacrament where Christ is present in the bread and wine, others believe the bread and wine literally turn into the body and blood, some believe the left behind version of the rapture, others believe the Amillennium version of the rapture, some believe once saved always saved, others believe your saved each day and you can walk away from your salvation, some believe in predestination including that some are predestined to go to hell, and on and on it goes. So as an adult, I've tried to find out which of all this is where the truth is, rather than saying well I was born and raised in a specific church [my case Catholic, your case LCMS Lutheran] so I'll just veg there and be a Catholic. Thus started my journey of faith following the Living Christ when I was in high school.

I've found I can agree with different groups on various topics, but none 100%. In one sense Martin Luther made our lives far more difficult in giving all of us the Bible to read for ourselves - it was far less hassle to just let the priest tell us what it said and of course what it meant - I remember one pastor years ago saying the Catholic faith was for the unthinking they just let the priest tell them what to believe where as the Protestants tell you to check it out for yourself in the Bible and make sure I'm telling you the truth].

The bottom line for me is, what is God saying? It doesn't matter what I think or some preacher, but what is God trying to get me to hear? As I've learned more and more during my life, that unfortunately brings up new questions which can and sometimes has affected how I then understand what I'm reading in the Bible.

I envy those who seem to not ever need to ask questions and can just sit there happy in worshiping in their church decade in and decade out, without a care in the world. I'm not wired that way. I know you don't consider me to be a deep thinker, or to be very bright, or to even be very well read, but I am a thinker and I do read many non-fiction books each year [not all religious either], and I do ask questions as I seek to better understand what God through his Son Jesus Christ is saying to all of us.

What I've found in the ELCA Lutheran Church is more freedom to do that, yet still having the solid rock of formal worship [the Lutheran Mass] as place of comfort and freedom to seek God's truth, which for me is the bottom line.

That might explain better why I've had such a difficult time in getting planted and staying in one church. I know that Christ IS the answer, I'm simply trying to find where that is expressed beyond just the basics, but also where all the truth Christ expressed is told, because THAT's what the world needs to hear, anything less cheapens and takes away from what Jesus came to earth to do. I realize I'm never going to find that totally until the perfect [Christ] comes, but as I grow and learn in my faith journey with Christ I sometimes find I need to move on to learn another facet of the Christian faith diamond, I've not learned or understood prior. Like I've said, I'm probably some pastor's worse nightmare. Actually some pastor's are truly delighted to have someone asking questions, so that might be a bit of an over statement.

Sorry for such a long winded response, but you asked a valid question and felt you deserved the best answer I could give you.

Tue, May 28, 2013 1:54pm
MikeFromDelaware: Thanks for your answer. I was wondering what had happened the caused you to leave the Missouri Synod so shortly after joining it. Since you seem to believe that people in all the various Christian denominations will get to heaven, I guess what it boils down to the church where you feel most at home. Since religion is important to you, this is an important decision.

Thu, May 30, 2013 3:55am

Single lesbian teacher breaks down in tears on the stand as she testifies about being fired from Catholic school when she got pregnant

By Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press

A lesbian teacher fired from Catholic schools after becoming pregnant through artificial insemination told jurors Wednesday she didn't know that the procedure violated church doctrine or that she could be fired for it.

Christa Dias sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the schools over her dismissal, contending they fired her simply because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Testifying on the second day of trial, Dias choked up at times and wiped tears from her eyes as she described her shock at being fired in 2010......

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2332995/Christa-Dias-Single-lesbian-teacher-breaks-tears-stand-testifies-fired-Catholic-school-got-pregnant.html#ixzz2UlCegisC

Papists want their "rights" respected but they have no respect for anyone else's rights. All priests, nuns, and brothers should be required to register as agents of a foreign power (The Vatican City-State) and stripped of US citzenship. All church property should be taxed. Its tax-exempt status should be revoked.

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