So which topics / issues / stories grab your attention this weekend?
Governor Markell is moving ahead with implementation of Delaware's medical marijuana law. No matter the threats from the Feds that state employees COULD be prosecuted. Following the lead of such states as New Jersey and Rhode Island, Delaware will review proposed frameworks from vendors to set up a pilot "compassion center", where medical marijuana would be distributed to patients with demonstrated medical need. For now, just one compassion center rather than one in each county, as provided for in the 2011 law.
The state's Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee releases its report on the vulnerability of Delaware's coastal areas to flooding exacerbated by climate change. The report predicts more than a tenth (11%) of the state's land area COULD end up underwater by the end of the century.
The report includes a dissenting minority report from the Home Builders Association of Delaware and the ideologically conservative Positive Growth Alliance. Dissenters say the state of Delaware is effectively stigmatizing Delaware's coastal zone, and that will impose a penalty.
From The WASHINGTON POST: "The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interceptions of e-mails and telephone calls.
The documents, provided earlier this summer to The WASHINGTON POST by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance..."
Reading the above, wouldn't you say Mr. Snowden comes off as more the legitimate whistleblower / patriot rather than traitor to his country?
Related: On the anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being granted political asylum, the government of the Republic of Ecuador reiterates its interest in finding a solution to the standoff. Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for more than a year, still fighting extradition to Sweden.
According to a report prepared by the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas, the more than one hundred nuclear reactors across the United States are inadequately prepared to repulse terrorist attacks.
By week's end, Egypt's bloodshed showed no sign of abating. Leaders of the embattled Muslim Brotherhood urged followers to demonstrate their "rage" in the streets.
The Arab Spring is in shambles. We seem to have a pattern, established long before the Arab Spring, as in Algeria. Islamists win a democratic election; the military retakes power in a bloody crackdown.
In fact, this is an Egyptian version of "Groundhog Day". When the secular Egyptian military ousted King Farouk in 1952, it also battled and suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood.
The tyranny of people worried about their property values: A family in Fountain, Colorado, with a daughter suffering cerebral palsy face angry neighbors threatening legal action. The neighbors are enraged over the recent installation of a wheelchair ramp, claiming it would lower their property values.
A Harvard University clinical psychologist who interviewed one thousand students across the United States concludes teenaged boys sext girls because so-called, smartphones have stunted the boys' ability to talk to girls in the old-fashioned way. So much for a longer-term courtship.
In San Diego, a great-grandmother has emerged as the 16th woman to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexually harassing her.
A BBC documentary filmmaker has chronicled the obesity epidemic in India, courtesy of the Western fast-food invasion. Young middle-class Indians eschew the traditional Indian diet in favor of McDonald's, KFC, and Pizza Hut. In response, traditional Indian food vendors are replacing vegetarian curries and rice with burgers & hot dogs. Further exacerbating the problem: Lax food regulations in India; and Indians' genetic predisposition to diabetes.
Also related to the Subcontinent... From The INDEPENDENT:
"Teen-age girls who fear they are being taken abroad to enter into a forced marriage are using a simple trick to escape: Hiding a spoon or any other metal object in their underwear to set off the metal detector at the airport and avoid the flight at the last minute.
A charity has said it knows of many girls who have escaped what they fear awaits them in their family's old homeland, by using the ruse to be separated from their parents..."
When you're talking about the discovery of a new species, one usually assumes it will be some tiny insect or other tiny organism. Certainly not a mammal, a carnivore. But, a rather small, wide-eyed animal with orange fur - described as a cross between a teddy bear and a house cat - has been identified as a new species more than a century after it first appeared in museums. "Olinguito" is the first new carnivore formally identified in the Western Hemisphere in three-and-a-half decades. This creature inhabits the cloud forests of Ecuador.
Posted at 8:45am on August 16, 2013 by Allan Loudell
Some people here - you know who you are - have praised New York City's police activities to cut crime. Turns out, the primary one, stop and frisk, was ruled unconstitutional this week. Seems cops can't help picking out Black and Hispanic males to frisk. This makes cops the opposite of airport screeners who are inclined to frisk young females.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 10:05am
Still more evidence of Christian bigotry. Right-wing branches of Christianity (Catholic and fundamentalist) bar women from the clergy and from virtually any leadership position (except over other women). They like to claim it's always been this way.
Now we learn that women were leaders in early Christianity before it became the state religion of the Roman Empire and a male bureaucracy took over.
Women have been airbrushed out of early Christianity despite having been crucial to its spread, claims leading historian
* Professor Kate Cooper of the University of Manchester has identified dozens of women who were influential in the first and second centuries
* Their authority within Christian communities was earned through their role as parents, community organisers, and small business owners
* But when Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 313 AD, the religion became institutionalised with male bishops and members of clergy
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2390252/Women-airbrushed-early-Christianity-despite-having-crucial-spread-claims-leading-historian.html#ixzz2c8ms8QBs
"The things that you're liable to read in the Bible, ain't necessarily so." - Ira Gershwin
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 10:07am
At least he didn't put the dog in a crate on the roof of a car!
VIP: Very Important Pooch Bo gets a private helicopter and security detail to join First Family's summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard
* First Family returned to the elite vacation spot after skipping annual holiday before last year's election
* Bo, the Obama family's beloved dog, arrived for the holiday in a MV-22 Osprey aircraft
* He will enjoy an eight-day holiday with plenty of manicured grass to run around in
One aspect of the Sea Level Rise Advisory Committee not mentioned (and in truth you probably shouldn't) is that both parties opposing it, as reported earlier by the News Journal, have vested economic interests in areas that are prone to flooding. Mark Baker and Christian Hudson of the Postive Growth Alliance own large tracks of property that will one day be underwater... In a public meeting they objected to this report being made public, because it would make it impossible to sell their land. Who would buy a house they asked if it were to be underwater? With no regard whatsoever to those people who unknowingly might think they were buying a primary residence only to lose it to the ocean in a couple of years... It is unconscionable not to warn the public. To ban a report that says the home will be worthless in a decade, only so they can unload all the properties they own beforehand... well, that is like being the scum of the earth.
That alone should tell you that anyone who denies the environmental changes we all experience these days is lying for personal gain. There is no truth that the climate is getting colder, or that the oceans are shrinking. People will say anything to get your money... The Home Builders Association and the Positive Growth Alliance DESERVE to lose every penny they sunk into buying up swamplands for a song. It is pathetic that Delaware can even have such base low-life money grabbing hogs on any advisory board designed to inform the citizens of Delaware to what we can anticapte in the future.
Would we excuse a doctor who said, "here, take this arsenic, and don't read the warnings on the label, they aren't true. That will be $200 dollars please....."
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 11:03am
"By week's end, Egypt's bloodshed showed no sign of abating. Leaders of the embattled Muslim Brotherhood urged followers to demonstrate their "rage" in the streets."
Mr. Loudell: Have you had a chance to talk to any Coptic Christians in Egypt? The news reports I have read are absolutely horrifying about what the Muslim Brotherhood Islamists are doing to the Copts.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 11:56am
I've been trying to cover this dimension in interviews with reporters in Cairo. Trouble is a lot of this is occurring beyond the coverage of Western or Arab media outlets in Cairo.
I am trying to get someone from St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Church in Newark who may be in contact with loved ones in Egypt.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 12:49pm
Thanks Mr. Loudell.
My thoughts and prayers are for those Christians caught in the middle of this chaos & violence.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 1:57pm
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 4:35pm
I see. You two pray for Christians and don't care what happens to anyone else.
Muslims have been harassed and persecuted in this country, especially during the last 12 years. Christians have waged war against Islam since before the Crusades. But you two are all right with that.
You justify treating Muslims as second class citizens here on the (false) grounds the US is a "Christian nation." Well, Egypt is a Muslim nation. It cuts both ways.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 6:07pm
Billsmith: The Crusades started because the Muslims were capturing border cities. Granted there was much wrong with the Crusades, but the Muslims were the original invaders.
No, I don't believe Muslims here or there should be persecuted any more than Christians here or there. Thanks so much for making assumptions just so you can lump all Christians into the same pot.
I guess I really should revise my thinking about folks like you (You claimed here that you're AC/DC) that all you folks are as narrow-minded & hateful towards Christians as you are. It works both ways & frankly, I'm tired of your blanket stereotypes of Christians like we all march in lockstep even though there are many different denominations that have their own views. Why bother yourself with seeking truth; it's far less work just to hate all Christians.
You obviously didn't bother to read the article on Galileo, because you'd rather only see bad when it comes to Christanity, thus having an intelligent discussion with you on any spiritual topic is pointless. You're inflammatory comments above show your bias.
Shame, I read the article on women in early Christanity you posted. So one of us seems to be more willing to explore different views than the other. Fine whatever. Believe what you want. You simply want to put down Christianity & I've grown weary of listening to your nonsense on this topic. Be at peace.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 6:59pm
Yeah, prayer in school was ruled unconstitutional as well. If that hadn't happened, we may not even need "stop and frisk".
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 7:03pm
This medical marijuana business is just the first step to legalizing it period. Potentially, you have high traffic fatality rates as well as increased crime to deal with.
Thanks, hippie movement.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 7:40pm
I don't have a problem with medical Maryjane. Someone dying of Cancer in serious pain, why shouldn't they be made comfortable? Frankly, I don't have a problem with legalizing pot either, like alcohol. So the cops set up check points for both booz and pot. I don't use MJ, and only drink an occasional glass of wine with dinner, so I don't have an axe to grind. This is one less "business" for "Uncle Vito" to be in, less drug related shootings, etc. Not to mention the tax benefit. Plenty of folks are already using pot illegally and driving.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 8:34pm
And I didn't stand up for the Jews because I wasn't a Jew.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 10:00pm
bill: Please enlighten us on the number of Muslims killed by mobs of Christians or the list of mosques that have been burned down by Christians in the US.
Btw, I do believe you are correct that we are no longer a Christian nation...sad, but true.
Fri, Aug 16, 2013 10:26pm
I just saw the most hilarious headline on the WDEL main page:
Priest says Muslim Brotherhood "acting like terrorists".
Hmmmmmmmmm. Could that be because they ARE terrorists?
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 9:24am
MikeFromDelaware: I did not see your URL for the article on Galileo. I stopped checking that thread after Pizza started talking about poop.
I do not think all Christians are alike. You seem to be a decent guy who tries to do the right but who takes things literally, believes what he's told by those in authority and needs certainty. Pizza, on the other hand, is a despicable human being and a hateful bigot. I don't put you in the same camp as the Pizza-Westboro-KKK branch of Christianity. And there are those Christians who try to get past all the myth and superstition and who try to discover the essential principles Jesus taught and apply them in their lives. I sort of like them.
But don't talk to me about how open minded you are. I doubt you have read the Quran, for instance, or the Talmud, Mishna or Midrash, or any scholarly works on the origin or evolution of scripture.
I have listened to Rush and other right-wing talk radio; now I don't. I've heard enough, they've become predictable and have no credibility. I have read Galileo (philosophy of science class in college). And I may read what a serious historian says about him. I have no interest in reading polemic articles by preachers. I've read enough of those to see a pattern of faulty logic, circular reason and a basic dogmatism. So preachers and talk show hosts pretty much fall in the same category for me. I know enough about Christianity to have heard enough. I keep my mind open for new information but not for same old, same old.
But until you are willing to examine some of your basic ideas, don't talk to me about being open minded.
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 9:33am
Hey Bill, somebody has to be John the Baptist around here.
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 10:33am
By the way Bill, Westboro is toilet trained.
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 10:44am
Pizza: Given your obsession with poop, it make sense you would provide a john for everyone.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 1:45pm
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 2:08pm
Billsmith: I don't bother with those other religious books, because Jesus said that he's the ONLY way to God the Father. So why was time & effort when those paths are a dead end?
Yep, it's all about faith. I real both conservative & LIBERAL Christian writings as I can learn from all of those folks.
I read all sorts of other books of non-religious nature, so I'm not some ignorant unread person who some slick talking Joel Olstein type talked into a "Jesus thing". I've done a great deal of reading and studying.
It's still too bad you wouldn't read the article on Galileo, you might have found some things there you might have agreed with, then again, maybe not, but it might have spurred an interesting dialog, better than poop.
We both are thinkers and even though I don't have a degree from a college [have a bunch of courses from colleges, but no degree] I probably read way more than the average college graduate[who only read to get the degree], so even without the precious piece of sheep's skin I'm not a total idiot.
I do believe you & I can have fruitful discussions on other topics, but your total hatred of anything remotely Christian and with my being, totally in the camp of Jesus Christ it isn't possible to discuss this without it ending up in the Christian bashing, which frankly makes you sound like the illiterate folks you believe yourself to be better than. We've been down this trail too many times, your beliefs are what you truly believe just as mine are for me. The best we can do is simply agree to disagree.
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 2:52pm
MikeFromDelaware: Sorry, I don't have beliefs. I don't believe in belief. I don't have faith in faith. I say hope is hopeless.
But you have pointed to the flaw in Christianity: It requires a completely closed mind. The ONLY way. Based on a highly questionable source. Never doubt. Never question. Never wonder. This is why, no matter what rationalizing cliches preachers invent, religion is the antithesis of science and reason.
And if you had read my posts in the past, you would know I don't have a "total hatred of anything remotely Christian." Just a lot of so called Christians and the things they do. But for some reason, like many Christians you believe in justification by persecution (real or imagined).
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 4:45pm
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 5:45pm
Bill smith: how sad (I\'m being totally serious) that you don\'t have Hope, & believe it is hopeless. I can\'t imagine how sad that must be. I wish I had the words that could heal whatever hurt that\'s deep inside you, probably caused by someone in the church. It has been said that some leaders in the church are the type who shoot their wounded. Somehow, my gut tells me you been shot & wounded, etc, by some un-godly leader.
Bill, I am not saying this lightly,not because it\'s the right thing to say, but I am praying for you, not that you\'ll become a Christian, but that God will help you heal from whatever happened to you & that God would help you restore a real sense of Hope in your life.
Bill, be at peace, try to allow God in, not convert you, but to help give you real hope again.
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 7:46pm
MikeFromDelaware: I thought you might misunderstand. Too bad you are so closed to other philosophies, traditions and practices. You could study Buddhism and still be a Christian. There's even evidence that Jesus went to India and studied Buddhism.
Belief, hope, faith are all forms of wishing and wanting. Nothing ever happens because of wishing. And as the Buddha said, desire is the source of all suffering.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Aug 17, 2013 8:28pm
Bill smith: thank you for the explanation.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 3:53am
"evidence that Jesus went to India and studied Buddhism?"
That came from a fictional line in a movie.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 6:32am
And the line in the movie came from?
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 1:21pm
I believe I read somewhere many years ago that the Mormons believed that Jesus spent his childhood years ( the part missing from the Bible) in India.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 2:19pm
No, the Mormons think Jesus came here.
A book by the founder of an Islamic movement showed research suggesting that between his Bar Mitzvah and baptism, Jesus traveled to Kashmir and studied Buddhism. He returned to Palestine as a rabbi applying Buddhist principles to Judaism. Reportedly, Jesus lived and studied with communities of descendants of the Northern tribes of Israel.
A documentary was based on the book called "Jesus In India" by the BBC.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 5:56pm
Here's something to chew on. Has anybody noticed how many health warnings there are out there about virtually everything we eat? I've come to realize that if we quit eating everything they tell us is bad for us, we'd all starve to death! Anyway, here's the latest in "health warnings":
Check out this story at WDEL.com: A child dies and two injured in a Lewes crash.
This vehicle was hit by a drunk driver, who has been charged with vehicular homicide. Also, the child was not in a car seat or even a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle.
Now I think the driver of the vehicle the child was in should be equally charged along with the drunk driver. How about you? Any thoughts, anybody?
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 8:04pm
I think the drunk driver should be charged with DWI/DUI. Since the crash caused only minor injuries to the other people in the car, the drunk driver should not be charged with vehicular homicide. The kid was killed because he was not buckled into a safety seat. Had the kid been secured properly, he'd still be alive.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 8:40pm
So Bill, my other question is: How should they deal with the adults who were charged with the responsibility of making sure the child was secured in the vehicle? There's definitely a case for negligence in my opinion.
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 8:42pm
Hey everybody, once again I've found a magnificent musical performance for your listening pleasure. You'll need an hour for this one, but it'll be worth your while:
Sun, Aug 18, 2013 10:33pm
Pizza: The healthy warnings (though not all) are mostly true. You can choose whether or not to follow them if you want, as long as that decision does not impinge on others.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:02am
Here's why Obama is on the wrong side when it comes to Egypt:
Billsmith said: "I think the drunk driver should be charged with DWI/DUI. Since the crash caused only minor injuries to the other people in the car, the drunk driver should not be charged with vehicular homicide. The kid was killed because he was not buckled into a safety seat. Had the kid been secured properly, he'd still be alive."
I agree generally, but IF that person had been sober the accident also wouldn't have happened, so I'd charge him with vehicular manslaugter and DUI. I'd also add that the DUI driver whether or not has insurance has to make restitution in the cost of repairing or replacing the other person's vehicle. Obviously if he's insured its covered, but too many folks here do not have insurance [for some reason the state can't find a way to enforce that law of must have auto insurance to operate a motor vehicle in this state so you and I all pay more in our premiums to cover that as our insurance companies pays out for the other guy who's violating the law]. It costs the uninsured nothing other than the ticket and points. That's not good enough, they need to feel the pain their action's caused.
So if not insured, you're on the hook for the other guys damages, both the car AND their medical [that's why you pay a premium each month for auto insurance]. Problem is most of these folks have nothing, can't get blood from a stone. Throwing them in jail isn't the answer either. The only answer that comes to mind is, if you can't pay, you lose YOUR car for at least a year, no exceptions.
The point is somehow, we've got to get the message across that buzzed driving, drunk driving, and stoned driving will not be tolerated in Delaware at all.
Now as for the so called parent who didn't buckle their kid in, I also agree, they need to be punished too. So they also should be charged for vehicluar manslaughter. It was their job to make sure their kid was secured in the vehicle in a safe manner as perscribed by Delaware law.
The only way to get folks to obey the law is to make the penalty stiff enough that you'll not take the chance of being caught. Otherwise many folks don't give a rip and will do whatever they want, blowing off the law [we see this every day on our highways]. It is part of the human condition.
Yes, it's a tough stand, but we've become a society of lawlessness, where following the rules is for chumps. Time to change that. If we don't like a law, we work to get it changed [Civil Rights issues, GLBT issues, Legalizing Pot, and Abortion laws are four such examples of where folks fought in the courts/legislatures/media, etc, to get the laws changed]. THAT's how the system is supposed to work. We are a society of laws. It's what keeps ciaos from happening more than would be the case without laws.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 8:20am
MikeFromDelaware: Typical Christian thinking! You admit that the cause of the kid dying was not being buckled in. But you went to charge the other driver anyway to "send a message" about driving while "buzzed." Maybe you can think of a few other messages to send. Maybe charge him with kidnapping since the kid was "taken" from the car.
This is the same kind of thinking as that judge in Tennessee who would not let parents name their kid "Messiah" because this idiotic cow in robes thinks only one person is entitled to that title.
Every time I start thinking you're sort of a reasonable guy, you revert. No coincidence that it happened on Monday after you have spent the day getting your spiritual goose.
The parents should be punished. First, involuntary sterilization and barred from adopting, fostering or otherwise having kids in their homes for life. Then a few hundred hours of forced labor ("community service") at a hospital caring for paraplegic and injured children. There are even more bad parents than drunk drivers, parents who go out of their way to screw up their children (including religious brainwashing and withholding medical care in the name of religion) but "good Christians" and tea drinkers keep looking the other way on that one.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 10:19am
Billsmith: Yeah, I'm sick and tired of drunks and stoned folks causing my auto insurance rates to go up. I'm tired of uninsured folks causing my auto insurance rates to go up. I'm also tired of stupid parents who have no business being parents, thus the vehicular manslaughter charge.
I'm also sick and tired of you resorting to insults and just plain being an ass when one of us doesn't agree with your point-of-view. End of discussion for me. Have a nice day.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:56pm
Eh. Give 'em both the death penalty.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:59pm
MikeFromDelaware: Boo hoo! You want to ruin somebody's life because you think your insurance costs too much. Awww. Thank you. You have reminded me of all the unfeeling, indifferent things you have said, even as you do your holier-than-thou bit. You are a liar and a hypocrite. And you are a stupid person unwilling to recognize how stupid he is. You have no right to opinions on anything.
You are part of an evil cult. People like you destroyed Germany in the 30s and now you want to do it here. I wish there were a hell for people like you.
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 10:23pm
Get over it, Bill.
Mike from Delaware
Mon, Aug 19, 2013 11:14pm
Bill smith: Unfortunately you've got so much hatred in you for whatever reason (I'm totally sure from some negative church experience, probably in the LCMS) that it has made you totally unable to be civil with anyone who is a Christian. I've tried to reach out to you during the months we've been discussing faith here to try to be of help to you, listen & give your posts serious thought, etc.. I've put up with your insults, bashing, & name-calling in an effort to learn from you, & so maybe you might also learn from me & that we could somehow bridge the gap between us & at least get to the point where you'd not see all Christians in such a negative way & even learn something from me. I've successfully done this with other liberal, atheist, & yes even some gay folks. We discuss stuff & respect each other even though we may disagree. Unfortunately you're not capable of doing this.
The reason I say you're a dumbbell is, you totally lack any people skills to get folks to want to hear your point of view. Rather than use your so-called "superior" mind to teach & educate folks, you insult, bash, & act like an ass. So even though I'm interested in hearing & debating your point-of-view with you, it's just not worth the stress. So I thank you for the times when we did manage to have some decent discussions, I'll miss those, but as your mood changes with the phases of the moon, those good times are not the majority & I'm done with listening to your verbal abuse. Someone once said you can pick your friends, but you're stuck with family. You're not family. I wish you well.
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