WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So what's on your mind this weekend?

The shooting of a five-year-old girl in Wilmington - a stray bullet one presumes from some nearby encounter between individuals involved in drugs - triggers new discussion about how Wilmingtonians can protect themselves. How can folks cope with the psychological consequences... the numbing effects of feeling under siege, 24/7? And do the city administration's best efforts simply move the druggies from one neighborhood to another?

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams delivered an upbeat, campaign-like speech to members of the downtown Wilmington Rotary Club Thursday. Although a high-octane, cheery speech, observers noted how Williams' address was devoid of any specifics, so much so, that the audience offered no questions afterwards. Speakers typically get as many questions as time allows. That certainly happened about a year ago when I addressed that very same group.

2010 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell wants to find out if a state official in Delaware gained access to her personal Federal tax records. Staffers in the office of Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have concluded an official in Delaware state government did indeed gain access to O'Donnell's tax return information. But no corroboration available.

The City of Detroit formally filed for bankruptcy Thursday. The Motor City's filing represents the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history. Many folks saw the headlights to this grim move years - if not decades - ago. The contributing factors have been obvious to everyone: The decline of the auto industry, with the resulting job losses and poverty, leading to residential and business flight from the city, creating a vicious circle. Not to mention sharply declining real estate values, and chronic corruption and mismanagement. The bankruptcy filing sets up a bitter, fight-to-the-death, showdown with 43 public sector unions confronting drastic cuts in pensions. Partisan racial politics reigns supreme: Detroit is obviously Democratic with a majority African-American population, while much of the rest of Michigan is majority Caucasian and leans Republican.

Aftermath of the George Zimmerman trial verdict: It seems the most violent protests have occurred in places far removed from Sanford, Florida -- such as Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Oakland. Is California particularly combustible?

The furor rolls on over a ROLLING STONE cover portrait which makes Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev look like some kind of rock star. (Some long time ROLLING STONE readers compared the cover to one many years ago showcasing the late Jim Morrison of The Doors.) Sgt. Sean Murphy, a tactical photographer with the Massachusetts State Police, more or less retaliated by releasing gruesome images of a blood-stained Tsarnaev coming out of his hideout.

Fodder for death penalty opponents: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is going over TWO THOUSAND cases of individuals convicted on hair-sample evidence from 1985 to 2000, after revelations of widespread mistakes in forensic testing, and the portrayal of that evidence - in the courtroom - as 100% reliable. Up to 27 prisoners facing capital punishment may have been wrongfully convicted.

The WASHINGTON POST also reports the FBI will retrieve old death penalty cases where the individual has already been executed.

This may be just the tip of the iceberg, since local and state authorities handle around 95% of violent crimes.

Posted at 8:57am on July 19, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 10:05am
"The City of Detroit formally filed for bankruptcy Thursday"

So, Detroit wasn't Too Big to Fail? No bailout for the Motor City? Bankruptcy is probably the only way this city could be fixed...now let's see if Gov. Snyder (R) can fix this broken once-great city.
IF a Republican can fix Detroit that could turn the state of Michigan from blue to red. (They already have the RED Wings ;)

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 6:11pm
You know who's been running Detroit government since 1962? Democrats.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 6:31pm
I heard Obama this afternoon come out and say America needs to do some "soul searching" after the Zimmerman verdict. Well, I think ole Mr. O needs to do some soul searching of his own about the fact that America is a "rule of law" country and not a Soviet or Nazi dictatorship.

Also, I heard Obama's drones are going to conduct "justice for Trayvon" protests in several cities across the country. What that really means is that they're going to protest the rule of law. Well, protest all you want. Until you look yourselves in the mirror and stop blaming your problems on America and on people of races other than yourselves, you'll continue to have the same problems.

Now, anybody want to call me a "racist, bigot, homophobe"? Well, you know what Clint Eastwood's favorite line is, right?

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 7:00pm
I think all Americans should be very concerned about the Detroit bankruptcy and take it as a warning as to what could happen to the entire country if the national debt is not dealt with. We can no longer afford taxpayer freebies.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 19, 2013 10:07pm
I watched the PBS News Hour which had Obama giving his speech. They had a panel of folks discussing the trial/Obama's speech. Interestingly, one black woman on the panel said that the black community needs to be working to better its own people. She also put to rest the notion that blacks do less drug crime (15%), but go to jail more often, has nothing to do white people. The Congressional Black Caucus years ago had demanded tougher laws for crack cocaine use over regular cocaine (Crack is used more in the Urban areas, so that explains why more blacks are in jail for their drug crimes than whites are.) There are tougher laws demanded for the black drug of choice by black lawmakers. That one black woman really knew her stuff.

As you might guess, all the other black panelists somehow blamed the white community.

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 7:21am
MFD: I guess all the other panel members consider that lady to be the female equivalent of "Uncle Tom". Would that make her "Aunt Thomasine"?

All kidding aside, it's tragic how modern American culture in general has learned to take a "pass the buck" mentality. The way you are is your parents' fault. He murdered all those women because his daddy beat him all the time or his mama didn't pay him enough attention. The list is endless. How you got there may be somebody else's fault, but it's your fault if you stay there. Unfortunately, the message from government and media in general does not encourage the notion of shaking your past and moving on to greater things. You and I know the answer is Jesus, but part of that answer is to look within and stop worrying about what everybody else did in 1955.

Allan Loudell
Sat, Jul 20, 2013 12:21pm
Late developments:

A man is arrested in Penns Grove, New Jersey, in connection with the shooting of that five-year-old girl in Wilmington.

Wilmington Police credit cooperation & support from members of the community in allowing investigators to develop leads and quickly come up with an arrest.

Police say Jermaine Laster, 33, and another individual got into a fight earlier that Wednesday. Police say Laster returned to the 11-hundred block of Pleasant Street with a handgun and began shooting at the other man. One of the rounds struck the five-year-old.

Wilmington saw two more apparently drug-related shootings Friday night.

That irrepressible pioneering journalist Helen Thomas has died. Thomas was 92. A friend, Muriel Dobbin, says Thomas had been ill for a long time, and had been in & out of the hospital, and had returned to her apartment Thursday.

She had covered (and sometimes grilled) nine or ten U.S. presidents. She began her career in journalism during World War Two (1943), a time when editors typically assigned women to society stories, not serious political or other stories. She was named White House bureau chief for United Press International in 1974. She stepped down as a columnist for Hearst newspapers in 2010, taking fire for her comments about the state of Israel. (Thomas was Arab-American.) A video had circulated where Thomas said Israelis should get out of Palestinian territories ("I think they should get the hell of Palestine.") And go home to Poland, Germany, and other countries from which they came. Thomas predicted obituary writers would remember her as an anti-Semite.

Thomas certainly proved to be a flashpoint for an ongoing debate in journalism, probably intensified during this day of new, opinionated media. Should a journalist TRY to be objective - trying to ascertain the truth (when possible) - but basically giving the two or more sides to a story? Or is it preferable for a journalist not to play that game, and let the public KNOW his/her biases upfront?

Allan Loudell

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 2:54pm
Allan: You yourself have answered your own question here
by the way you've consistently practiced journalistic objectivity. I also draw a distinction between journalistic formats and editorial formats. WDEL over-the-air news is journalism, which should be objective. This blog, on the other hand, is an editorial format where opinions should rule.

Recently, I heard Harley Carnes sit in for a Saturday-night talk-show host on 1210. Up to that point, I had no idea whether Harley was conservative, moderate, or liberal, based on hearing him on top-of-the-hour CBS newscasts. While I was pleasantly surprised to find him conservative as I am, I applaud him for his ability to keep his opinions out of his newscasts and save them for the appropriate editorial format.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jul 20, 2013 3:58pm
Mrpizza: I heard some of that Harley Carnes broadcast on WPHT also. He did a good job for the segment of the show I heard.

So that ends the "ole wives tale" that all reporters in the mainstream media [lamestream media to use a Palinism] are liberals and biased against conservatives; as CBS News is about as mainstream [definitely NOT lamestream] as you can get. So once again Sarah Palin got it wrong.

Helen Thomas had quite a career. When Ms. Thomas made her so called "anti-Israel" remarks was she a reporter or actually a columnist offering an commentary? As a columnist, that implies commentary so she shouldn't have been sacked for her opinion, after all that's what she was being paid to do [ah yes, political correctness again rears its ugly head- we must never say a negative thing about our allies in Israel even though they quite often are thugs in how they do things]. Now if the opinion was offered in a news piece that would be a horse of a different color.

Good news that for once the "inner city" community in Wilmington actually worked WITH the police to get info to capture the bad guy. If that happens more often, that could help the city cut down on its crime problem.

Given the rest of that panel seemed to be favoring Obama's liberal stand, I give PBS credit for having at least one black panelist who had a different opinion. I've found that PBS and NPR in their reporting seem to try to be objective in their newscasts, and offer both sides, much like CBS News does.

Hated seeing the photo on WDEL.com of the Monkey House at the Brandywine Zoo being destroyed by that tree. Another piece of my childhood gone. The new Monkey House won't look the same assuming the city replaces it [they almost have to, how can you call the hill Monkey Hill without any monkeys].

It is a shame that as Delaware's ONLY zoo it never was developed more into a better zoo. What surprised me though in the WDEL article it said that 80,000 people visit that zoo every year. Think how that could be a better tourist attraction to visitors if it were a better zoo! Of course all they need is money............lots of money. So I guess we better be happy with the Monkey House being repaired and our monkeys returning to our small, but it's our Brandywine Zoo.

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 6:11pm
MFD: Doesn't the zoo charge admission? I've never been there, so I have no idea what they do about financing or if they just get tax dollars. Another question is whether or not they have insurance that would cover property damage, or if so, would that fall under the "acts of god" clause.

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 8:07pm
MFD: An observation about networks and liberal bias. CBS seems to be the most conservative of the big 3. Where it's really bad is CNN and MSNBC. ABC seems the worst of the air networks where you have a Cuomo running the show. But Chris Matthews tops 'em all with the "thrill up his leg".

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jul 20, 2013 11:11pm
Mrpizza: The zoo does charge an admission fee, not sure what that is these days. I'd assume their insurance would cover the rebuilding of the Monkey house.

I agree that CNN, ABC, & MSNBC/ NBC are more slanted / biased to the left than CBS, just as FOX news (not entertainment) is biased / slanted to the right.

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 1:51am
Speaking of slanted, if you are familiar with the night sky, a real interesting thing is to tilt you head sideways to the right if facing West, or left if facing East.

You are now vertical with the solar plane. The planet's positions make more sense and knowing their orbits you can visualize instantly where they are in their ellipses in reference to earth.

I'd never heard or read of this before despite the plethora of space news and star gazing programs, and was one night without a computer and needing to know the location of one planet, so I figured this trick out myself.

This is one case, where a slanted view provides more clarity than a non-slanted one... :)

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jul 23, 2013 1:19pm
Kavips: Interesting observation. So depending on your political bent, look to the West and tilt right or look to the East and tilt left. Got it. ;)

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