WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So what's on your mind this weekend?

The NEWS JOURNAL reports the campaign of Governor Jack Markell has donated money to five Delaware charitable organizations to make up for any improper contributions received by the campaign. That, after word that the Markell Campaign received thousands of dollars from executives who have pleaded guilty for their involvement in an illegal Washington, D.C. campaign contribution scheme.

The Cape Henlopen Board of Education deadlocked 3-3 on whether to offer an elective course about the BIBLE's impact on history, art, and literature. Cape Henlopen's superintendent Robert Fulton suggests it would be exceedingly difficult to select an appropriate teacher who would be acceptable to all. Such a course would appear to pass Constitutional muster, but critics fear it could easily cross the line. My large public high school in the Chicago area offered a unit in English classes on the BIBLE as literature. But that would probably be less controversial than attempting to teach The BIBLE's influence on U.S. history.

Former Congressman & New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner (a.k.a., "Carlos Danger") admits sexting at least three women since giving up his Congressional seat. That would seem to bring the total to 13. One public opinion poll had Weiner's support shrinking to 16%. A slight racial dimension appears: The latest Marist/NBC NY/Wall Street Journal poll had 20% of African-Americans still supporting Weiner, but only 12% of white New Yorkers.

The NEW YORK POST reports a number of Anthony Weiner's donors won't give up his campaign as long as his wife, Huma, continues to support him.

Some political strategists suggest Weiner represents a ticking time-bomb for certain Democrats: Eliot Spitzer's run for NYC Comptroller (given his personal situation) and much more significantly, Hillary Rodham Clinton, given her longtime bonds to Weiner's wife, Huma, who heads Hillary Clinton's transition office.

Critics see Huma Abedin hanging on to Weiner for the same reasons they say Hillary held on to Bill Clinton despite all those indiscretions: A desire for political power. Because of her family background, some rightwing websites paint Huma as a closet Jihadist, willing to bear all this public humiliation on the chance her husband could still become NYC mayor -- and be privy to NYC's massive security blueprints.

Liberal feminists are running away from Weiner (if they ever were on his side). NOW national president Terry O'Neil blasted Weiner's chronic personal behavior and endorsed NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor: "Clearly, Mr. Weiner does have a problem. And his behavior is sexist, let's be clear. I don't think we've got anything to be afraid of."

The sole minority member on the all-female jury in the George Zimmerman murder trial says she feels Zimmerman "got away with murder" in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, but jurors could not prove it under Florida law. This juror insists she "fought to the end" with the other jurors, as she first believed Zimmerman was guilty of second-degree murder, and at the minimum, manslaughter. Reaction from Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton: "It is devastating for my family to hear the comments from juror B29, comments which we already knew in our hearts to be true. That George Zimmerman literally got away with murder..."

Pope Francis wandered into a shantytown (informally called "The Gaza Strip") in Rio de Janeiro, preaching a message of solidarity with the poor: "No one can be insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not what builds... a more habitable world. It is a culture of solidarity that does."

Seems like the new pope is much more receptive to the old Liberation Theology, which someone like Pope John Paul II, reflecting his time in communist Poland, categorically rejected.

Someone splashed or sprayed green paint near the feet and base of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. U.S. Park Police have closed the memorial until further notice.

Attending the "Best of Delaware" Party at Dover Downs Thursday night (where our stations topped the DELAWARE TODAY readers' poll in several categories), I happened to walk through the casino area. Very, very crowded for a Thursday night. Since I don't hang out in casinos, I can't compare to Delaware's two other racinos. It still escapes me how people can ENJOY gambling - which, to me, is akin to throwing your money in a hole - but I acknowledge the adrenalin rush people must get.

Posted at 7:44am on July 26, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 10:49am
I agree that a course on the Bible as literature probably would pass muster as other schools have without issues [I use to know of a teacher, now retired, who taught such a course in a Delaware public school without any problems].

He was a Christian, but would probably fit into the catagory of being a "liberal Christian" [when I knew him he was a United Methodist] vs. a conservative Evangelical. The issue in Cape Henlopen is they've had issues in the past, so there is a slant towards using the public school to present the Gospel or at least Christian prayer, so it would be easy to see these folks taking that Bible course in how the Bible influenced history, art, and literature and using especially the how-it-influenced history part as a tool to preach the Gospel. I'm all in favor of preaching the Gospel, but the law of our land says the Public School is not the place to do that, so the teachers and school boards should obey.

Offer such a course after school, off-school grounds [granted not many kids are going to volunteer], but given the past history of that school district, my guess is this new course is just a way around the law. I see a future lawsuit coming.

I have no problem with Pope Francis reaching out to the poor, but so far from any of his remarks I've read [read some of this last night via the CBS Radio ipod app's site while listening to the CBS Radio online broadcasts], I've never hear him say anything about Jesus. He talks about the church, but you don't get saved by the church, but by Christ alone. Without Christ, the church [any church in this case the Roman Catholic Church] is simply a charable organization that does good works.

I realize the Pope isn't Lutheran, but Martin Luther said it well, Christ Alone, Faith Alone, and Scripture Alone.

So I believe the Pope needs to focus his remarks more on what Jesus Christ has done for all of us, etc.

However, you're probably correct that this new Pope is into the "Liberation Theology".

Where were the National Park Security folks while the Lincoln Memorial was being painted? Someone was sleeping somewhere, maybe behind the statue of Lincoln?

Congrats to Delmarva Broadcasting and WDEL for winning the Best of stuff in your categories for radio in Delaware.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 11:41am

You may have heard nothing about Jesus in those news accounts, but that doesn't mean Francis isn't mentioning Jesus.

Mentions of Jesus just don't make it into the leads of news stories.

For example, one quote from Pope Francis on his arrival to Brazil: "I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ".

Type in Pope Francis and Jesus into the search engine of your choice, and you'll find all sorts of references in recent weeks.

By the way, Catholic--Lutheran ecumenical dialogues over the years have largely resolved the classic Reformation dispute involving faith vs. good works. They inevitably go together.

And in the South American context, Marxist guerilla movements hated Christians offering good works because that undermined the Marxists' appeal: One of the reason's Peru's Sendero Luminoso killed nuns and priests working with the poor. Marxists saw those nuns and priests as instruments of capitalism, delaying the "revolution".

Haven't seen anything else about Lincoln Memorial security.

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 1:56pm
Allan: The Catholic teaching vs. the Lutheran teaching do differ on the works thing. Catholic teaching still seems to have a works mentality [I hear it in how the Pope says stuff] whereas Lutheranism is very strong that you can do nothing to earn salvation, it is a gift from God. We do good works because of what Christ has done in us.

But I did Google Pope Francis and Jesus and did find some references. The troubling one was that sermon he gave where he said that atheists can get to heaven by doing good works [again works earning your salvation]. The Catholic website offered an explanation, that seemed to say something different from what the Pope had actually said. They may have been saying what the Pope meant to say [without actually coming out and saying that], but it isn't what he said, and as far as I know, he himself hasn't corrected it publicly.

I'd agree totally that anyone an atheist or whomever, can come to Christ and be saved, that's God's plan totally, but that didn't seem to be what the Pope said. He said, an atheist who does good will go to heaven. That's very different, and not Biblical, nor what Jesus said. No one comes to the Father, but through me.

I can see why some of the more conservative Catholic's might be uncomfortable with the new pope. He obviously has a heart for the down trodden, just as Jesus did, but what he says seems to not require following Christ to be the main point, and that is troubling.

Thanks for the background on the South American issue with the Marxists.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 3:28pm
The official Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church deems baptism as necessary for salvation, but also offers baptism of blood and baptism of desire.

Theologians have long wrestled with salvation for the souls of folks never fully exposed to the Christian message, or who - for whatever reason - weren't fully persuaded by the Christian message... in good conscience.

Incidentally, this returns to "good works" in another way: Perhaps perceived hypocrisy in the Church (certainly discussed in this blog) turns someone off to the Christian message. But "good works" can underscore that message.

Yes, some Christians - even Catholics - might have found that message from Francis about atheists to be troubling. One suspects the new Pope was voicing aloud his attempts to think outside the theological box, in part, challenging Christians who go through all the motions, who partake the sacraments and so on, but who never question societal mores as "free thinkers" might do.

But here's another reflection: In doing good, perhaps even a non-believer may be led to God. (Can any harm come to the world from "doing good"? We proceed from that point.)

And now some context: Pope Francis based his homily on Christ addressing his disciples taken from the Gospel of Mark. Pope Francis noted the disciples were a little intolerant, convinced that "those who do not have the truth, cannot do good". "This was wrong... Jesus broadens the horizon. The root of this possibility of doing good -- that we all have -- is in Creation."

So Francis was essentially challenging folks of all faiths - or a lack thereof - to do good, "and we'll find a meeting point".

Put in another way, Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for everyone. First Timothy: Jesus gave himself as a "ransom for all".

On Good Friday, Catholics routinely pray: "Let us pray for those who do not believe in Christ, that, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, they too may enter on the way of salvation..."

In any case, what Francis said is not infallible Papal teaching. Remember, not even a Papal encyclical necessarily represents infallible teaching. And a homily by a Pope is hardly a Papal encyclical. (I know, I know, you certainly don't accept the Catholic notion of infallibility, but I'm just making the point.)

Allan Loudell

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 5:49pm
Allan: good points. If nothing else this Pope will be interesting to watch.

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 7:11pm
I'm not sure if Anthony's greatest liability is his weiner or his wife. Hopefully, both will help New York Republicans.

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 7:17pm
I find it interesting that Holder is trying to appeal to Russia off all places with a promise not to seek the death penalty for Ed Snowden. If he'd been accused of espionage against Russia, he'd be taken down to a dungeon and shot execution style without even being tried, and in fact, it would simply go down as just a strange disappearance.

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 9:07pm
These little things may be interesting. The big thing rarely get mentioned. That is our economy. If one listens to the money reports on WDEL one might think all is well. Not so.

The results of the first quarter this year started the stock market climb. yet overall it still came in with only 47% of companies having positive earnings. Revenue has fallen, but they cut and squeezed corporate profits out of their future budgets. There is no room in their budgets to do the same now. Some of the second quarter's corporate reports are flowing in, and they are under projection, almost all. If you remember in April, 87 of the S&P 500 companies downwardly adjusted their projections...that's one sixth. When they say revenues are down, it means companies are not selling more.

If everyone is not selling more, we are in for a fall. This is probably the big story. If you interview someone who insists the market is positive, put them on the spot and ask them why they are so positive when almost all companies have their revenues down. The reason: someone is doing a good job marketing stocks. They aren't worth what they are asking for.

Fri, Jul 26, 2013 9:26pm
You are correct, Kavips. If there's one lesson in life I've learned it's beware of good news if it comes from the government.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jul 26, 2013 10:19pm
Kavips and Mrpizza: The other thing it means is if what Kavips said is true [and I've read similar things, so apparently at least my understanding of this is similar to Kavips], but this also means that if they've done a good job of selling stocks, those stocks are probably over priced or as they like to say these days in a bubble. So how long until that bubble pops and we end up in the soup again?

Our economy may not be in as good of shape as we'd like to think.

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 12:43am
Correct, Mike. That's what I was saying. But it doesn't mean the end will necessary come. It just means stocks are over valued. Detroit's cars were overvalued for a long time in the 70's and 80's and people still bought them. So either it flattens out long enough for value to catch up, or it falls back down again to where it is in line. I predict the latter.

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 2:47am
Another huge story that may build, which no one over here is mentioning, is the territorial disputes currently taking place in the West Pacific. Where West Asia was fought over oil, East Asia may soon fight over fisheries.

China has aggressively taken over some Philippine Islands by simply anchoring 90 ships off shore and letting no one come or leave. The US is using the local's fear of China to move in as a counter balancer. We are back in Subic Bay at the invitation of the Philippines. 60% of our fleet is near the South China Sea. Compounding matters, seeing China occupied down south, Japan has forced its hand in the north, by aggressively claiming a Chinese island for Japan.

As this article mentions, this is very similar to Europe's build up in WWI. It would be worth noting that the strategic counterbalancing there worked well for a while, but it was unable to prevent war between the superpowers who were strategically counterbalancing primarily to keep war from ever happening between the little states.


Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jul 27, 2013 8:50am

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jul 27, 2013 9:31am
Kavips: You beat Allan to the punch on this one, he's usually right on top of the foreign stuff. It will be interesting to hear his views on that article you linked.

Interesting article from the Asian Times article.

Two paragraphs that caught my eye especially beyond the part about the Chi-Coms [Red China] seeming to be trying to take over a larger region of the East Asian area for the fishing and oil and the Manilla government being nice enough to allow the US to have access again to our bases they kicked us out of a number of years ago:

"Tokyo's opportunism
US-China sparring is worrisome enough, but there is a third source of destabilization in the region: Japan. Right-wing elements there, including the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have taken advantage of China's moves in the West Philippine Sea and Japan's dispute with Beijing over the deserted Senkaku Islands to push for the abolition of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which prohibits war as an instrument of foreign policy and prevents Japan from having an army. The aim is to have a foreign and military policy more independent from the United States, which has managed Tokyo's external security affairs ever since Japan's defeat during World War II."

"Many of Japan's neighbors are convinced that a Japan more independent from the United States will develop nuclear weapons. They fear the prospect of a nuclear-armed Japan that has shed its post-war pacifism and not yet carried out the national soul searching that in Germany embedded responsibility for the atrocities of the Nazi regime in the national consciousness. This failure to institutionalize and internalize war guilt is what allowed the mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, to assert recently that the estimated 200,000 Korean, Chinese, and Filipino "comfort women" - women captured into sexual slavery by Japanese troops in World War II - were "necessary" for troop morale."

Frankly I don't have a problem with Japan having its own army that way we don't have to be there, since they aren't paying the cost of our troops, bases, etc, we are. They haven't been a Third World nation since the mid 1950's thanks to the US rebuilding their nation after the WWII.

But what is bothersome is that other part, where as the nation of Japan has NOT "repented" for their atrocities from WWII as Germany did theirs. That, to my mind, speaks of a very different mind set and one that could be a problem down the road IF Japan did rebuild its military and then also get Nukes. Do they still see themselves as superior to the other Asians nations and the rest of the world as they did back in the 1930's and 40's? Is their desire still to dominate the world as "Imperial Japan", but have been exercising a very patient wait until the right time in history to start this again, such as a weakened United States [since we were the only ones who were able to stop them before] and before China gets too much power to be able to also stop them?

The Japanese, according to the article, have also made claim to an island near their nation that currently belongs to the China. This is a pretty gutsy move when you don't have an army nor missiles, etc, and Red China is the second strongest world power after the US. I sure hope they don't expect the US to defend their right to take someone else's island [even if the island may have been Japan's prior to WWII]. Hopefully President Obama and his folks are smart enough to not take that bait and get us sucked into some sort Japan vs China "seeing who can squirt water the furthest contest" over this island that doesn't affect US security at all.

So is it possible that the Japanese, just as the Chinese appear to want to do, want to become the next world power now that most folks see the US in decline? Nature abhors a vacuum, and as the US cuts back on its world presence, someone is going to fill it. Red China appears to want to fill those vacated spaces, but maybe Japan also sees an opportunity to regain what they believed 75 years ago to be their place in the "rising sun".

Is it possible that the Japanese have already been secretly building up an army, or secretly taking some of their Nuke power and making a few Nuke bombs? They are our friends, and maybe we've watched N.Korea and Iran closely, but not Japan[they have the enriched Uranium to make nukes too].

Yes, this was an interesting article and Kavips, I've seen nothing on this anywhere [CBS, NPR, CNN, FOX] websites. So as usual you're commentary and "eagle eye" for interesting stories paid off again. Thanks for sharing the link.

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 11:30am
Mike: lol.. Allan can't be everywhere. He definitely deserves a day off or two...

And Happy 60th Birthday today to the Korean Armistice.

Sat, Jul 27, 2013 4:14pm
VIDEO: The truth about the Great Depression, part 1:


Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jul 28, 2013 12:46am
Mrpizza: Interesting video with Dick Morris. That doesn't change the fact that big time government spending to fight and win WWII is what pull America out of the Great Depression. Essentially FDR's New Deal on Steroids.

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 2:15am
Changing the subject for a second, just saw that CNET, a computer watchdog organization and safe harbor downloader broke open the story that the NSA is asking possibly for everyone's passwords, encryption logarithms. and random characters call a salt at the end of one's code. Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google all refused, saying it was wrong for the government to pretend to be someone else. Verizon, Facebook, Apple, Time/Warner, ATT, AOL, Comcast, did not reply back with a denial, so assumption is, they have already caved. Not sure the government demanded just codes for a couple of suspects, or if they were asking for the entire cache of everyone's password.


These are some very dangerous times.

On the other hand, saw that a lawsuit was placed against the NSA for its illegal wire tapping, and the plaintifs were a mixture of conservative and progressive institutions including churches, gun groups, Bill of Rights defenders, Islamics, Marijuana Rights Organizations.


Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jul 28, 2013 8:56am
Kavips: I agree, this is a very dangerous time we live in.

Bush Jr. may have started a much smaller version of all this for homeland security after 9/11, but you have to admit, this has grown and become a giant, and way out of control far beyond what even Bush Jr. intended. So I hate to put it this way, but that lays the issue at the feet of President Obama. He and his folks have been minding the store for 5 years. He can no longer blame Bush Jr, the buck or Peso [probably end up being our national money] stops at his desk.

This is the sort of thing that could help the GOP in Congressional races in 2014 and possibly even the Prez race in 2016. Of course that's assuming they put up a great candidate that doesn't shoot him/herself in the foot. So chances are the DEMS don't have much to worry about as the GOP seem to be their own worse enemy.

But this is Obama's mess, not Bush Jr's.

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 10:22am
Agree it is much bigger under Obama than Bush. But the real reason is the Patriot Act; not either of those executives working underneath it. As a nation, we've had these acts before. Some examples: The Alien and Sedition Acts; Lincoln's Declaration of Martial law and the use of military tribunals; and the denial of habeas corpus during WWII; subsequently all were repealed when war ended. The Patriot Act is now in its 12th year. That is what makes it different.

The reason it is still around, is that people really don't care enough to fight it anymore. We have become a nation of Europeans. (Let me just get through work so I can go home and watch TV)

But there is another layer to it. Why is it still around? Evidence from Snowden shows corporations are the biggest beneficiaries of the information. Leaks have hinted and over them the German nation is up in arms, that our spying abilities were used to undermine our international competition on key bids.

So to put bluntly, even though some people scream in the streets that we are being taken over by our Big Brothers, they are too poor to contribute to anyone's campaign. The money comes, and Congress's votes go the way of the money.

I know that is a simplistic way of explaining it, but it is rather close to the truth in this case.

If any candidate does not have a primary challenger who will use their pro Patriot Act Vote against them next election, they might as well vote for it, endearing them to the group who pays their bills.

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 3:10pm
MFD: Don't count on any wars to get us out this time. There's a big difference between revitalizing industry to fight WW2 and what is happening today, which is basically just printing money to keep a band-aid on the wound which only delays the inevitable collapse of the system.

Kavips: You're right about the Patriot Act. As with everything else, it's all about the money.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jul 28, 2013 3:38pm
Mr pizza: I agree Obama is not an FDR, unfortunately. To be fair it was easier for FDR to create shovel ready jobs (today there's so much paper work, environmental stuff, permits, etc, that it's not a quick thing to put folks back to work by simply fixing the inferstrcture ). Also far fewer jobs today require the large amounts of "manual labor" as was the case in 1932. As our military is large & prepared, in 1941 that wasn't the case. So that fact alone would make going to war as a way to vitalze our economy a non-starter.

Kavips: excellent points.

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 6:20pm
Sorry to change the subject but the Keystone pipeline was just revealed to raise domestic oil prices by 30 dollars a barrel if it get completed. Thats 20 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The pipeline is designed to carry Canadian oil overseas where the market is more expensive. Currently the Midwest receives a discount off the world market for buying Canadian oil 30 dollars less than the rest of the world. The Canadians have no where else to sell it. Supply and Demand makes it cheap.

Now start selling that same oil at world prices, where everyone has access to it, then watch the price for Americans rise.

We should not allow this to be built. It will drive Mr. Pizza's driving costs through the roof... 40 cents a gallon more!

It is wise to remember that the whole point of the Keystone Pipeline is to get the oil out of central Canada to the highest bidder. That is Europe and Japan. If you owned the oil, wouldn't that be your course of action too?

Banning the pipeline, keeps the oil here for us. It also makes us more energy independent. More oil here = less price at the pump.

It would also destroy the niche our PBF refinery has on the East Coast, of buying that oil $30 less and selling the gas at regular East Coast prices. It would probably have to close once the pipeline is built, because its costs to process are higher than those of imported oil.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jul 28, 2013 8:56pm
Kavips: excellent points. Definitely not what we've been hearing. Why hasn't Obama explained it that way?

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 9:42pm
Great question Mike. If I remember all he has said, was last November he was postponing his decision until more facts came in. Since then he has had other things on his plate...

So unless I missed it, it is the absence of saying anything he can be faulted for, but then if he'd said anything, would anyone really have been interested? With Snowden? With the IRS? With Benghazi? What was the third artificial scandal? I seem to have forgotten already.

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 10:38pm
More questions than answers about everything.

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 9:38am
Probably true, Mr. Pizza. Welcome to the "real" world. :)

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