Southbound I-495 bridge open, NB still closed



WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So... which stories, topics, or issues grab your attention this weekend?

Nearly a year into the Williams Administration in the City of Wilmington - recalling how candidate Williams promised his administration would deliver a noticeable blow to street violence - the shooting of a Delaware state trooper seemed only to underscore the obvious lack of success. And talk about demoralizing for city residents: If a state trooper working alongside city cops isn't safe, who is? Frustration broke out at Thursday night's City Council meeting as well. Councilman Sam Prado urged reconsideration of stop-and-frisk, although such a tactic can boomerang.



The week saw no let-up in the clouds over State Treasurer Chip Flowers. Despite last week's mea culpa and document dump, critics continued to pummel the treasurer over incomplete documentation, seemingly lavish travel and expenses, etc. The bigger collision: Flowers' and the Cash Management Board's dispute over who has the decision-making powers over short-term investments of the state's money. Flowers seems inclined to take more risks in search of a greater return. Most of the Delaware political "establishment" sees that as lunacy. This collision was as predictable as a sunrise. When running for his current office, Flowers clearly envisioned the Treasurer's office with greatly expanded powers. The pushback was inevitable. Flowers only handed his critics ammo with his lavish trips and apparently incomplete documentation.



Look for continuing fallout from the Democratic-dominated U.S. Senate's use of the so-called "nuclear option", blocking the Republican minority's ability to stall the nomination approval process. No longer will the Senate rules require sixty votes to approve a Presidential nominee to the judiciary or to an executive position. For now, U.S. Supreme Court nominees would still require the magic sixty votes. But now that the genie is out of the bottle, who's to say a future Senate wouldn't throw out that requirement too? Delaware's two Democratic U.S. senators - Tom Carper and Chris Coons - joined most of their other Democratic Senate colleagues in favor of the nuclear option.



From The Los ANGELES TIMES: "President Obama's health-care law, struggling to survive its botched rollout, now depends more than ever on insurance companies, doctor groups, and hospitals -- major forces in the industry that are committed to the law's success despite persistent tensions with the White House.

Many health-care industry leaders are increasingly frustrated with the Obama administration's clumsy implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nearly all harbor reservations about parts of the sweeping law. Some played key roles in killing previous Democratic efforts to widen health-care coverage.

But since 2010, they have invested billions of dollars to overhaul their businesses, design new insurance plans and physician practices, and develop better ways to monitor quality and control costs.

Few industry leaders want to go back to a system that most had concluded was failing, as costs skyrocketed and the ranks of the uninsured swelled..."




The JFK assassination 50th anniversary: Probably no other event of the 20th century created such an "industry" for conspiracy theorists. Your thoughts? Do Americans still have a special fascination for the Kennedys? Why do many liberals and conservatives try to embrace JFK as one of their "own"?



The United States Treasury exits the automotive industry, half a decade after its intervention to save the U.S. auto industry from an apparent death spiral at the start of the Great Recession. Treasury announced the sale of 70.2 million shares of General Motors stock, and set the end of the year as the deadline for selling the remaining 31.1 million shares. In retrospect, the right call, or a terrible mistake? U.S. taxpayers lost almost 10 Billion dollars on the deal. Conversely, hundreds of thousands of jobs might have evaporated.



North Korea commemorated the anniversary of its shelling of a South Korean border island, Yeonpyeong Island, with a threat to transform the South Korean Presidential office into a "sea of fire".



To the extent that popular U.S. media cover international affairs, the Middle-East - and occasionally China and Russia -- utterly dominate, and we seldom hear very much from our own Western Hemisphere, except, from time to time, bloody episodes of narco violence in Mexico and occasional outbursts from the Venezuelan government. And maybe the Brazilians' protest over NSA surveillance. But this Latin American story is seemingly passing under the U.S. popular media radar: Nicaragua and China have concluded a deal to dig a new inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua. So the Panama Canal would get a competitor; China would get a direct route to the Caribbean and its Atlantic trade partners; and China would become a geopolitical player in the Americas as never before. But don't forget the United States has been making moves in mainland China's backyard: The "Pacific Pivot" seeking to "contain" China's political, cultural, military, and economic growth.. Ever so slowly, the U.S. is increasing its military presence around Southeast Asia, including still-communist Vietnam.













Posted at 8:22am on November 22, 2013 by Allan Loudell

<- Back to all Allan Loudell posts



Comments on this post:

kavips
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 8:39am
All good stories, but the JFK assassination, because of its effect upon so many people, is probably the one with the most pull.

Allan what was your memory of when you heard? As well as Earl, Pizza's (interesting because in Belarus), Mikes, BillS, Arthur's, Dunmore's, and others?

Why both sides claim Kennedy can be explained in part, that most alive today were children then, and had extreme pride in the U.S., which to us, was represented by our magnificent looking First Family.

It shows, in a small part, that we forget through our self-imposed filters, that people are people and act like they do independently to each issue that presents itself, regardless of what one side or the other side thinks is appropriate.

Kennedy I think, was just Kennedy. Because of his tragic end, we all tend to only remember the good we felt about him, and have forgotten all the times his actions would have made us angry.....

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 8:57am
Sorry Kavips, but JFK was before my time...I remember where/when I heard that John Lennon was shot.

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 9:04am
"Few industry leaders want to go back to a system that most had concluded was failing, as costs skyrocketed and the ranks of the uninsured swelled..."

Solution: Start with a blank slate. Rid us of ACA and also get rid of the previous broken system. Use the parts of ACA that are good and keep the parts of our old system that worked, add cross-state competition, portable health insurance (not tied to an employer) and everyone could be happy...the millions who have lost their previous coverage, the people who had lousy/no insurance and the big businesses because they would no longer have to factor health insurance in their costs of running the business.
Win-win-win.

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 9:13am
I think the reason both sides embrace JFK is because he truly loved this country and created a "can do" spirit for America. He made Americans proud to be citizens of this great country. Who could have imagined something crazy like putting a man on the moon before any other in the world?

As one from the right...I think "my side" likes Kennedy for his tax cuts, his small government ideology, his pro-life position, and his anti-Communist/pro-Capitalist stance.

kavips
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 12:17pm
Earl, you do know that adding cross-state competition, and portable health insurance (not tied to an employer) were all part of the original bill, but got stripped out to get the few Republican votes needed for passage...

Sigh... in an ideal world with no Republicans... even a Tea Partier would be happy with Obamacare....

kavips
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 12:22pm
And on Kennedy... don't forget about how he turned down the Pope's offer to run this country... Lol...

That was the Republican rumor against him in the '60 election; that the pope would be making all our decisions because in a Catholic's frame of reference, allegiance to the Pope was a higher calling than allegiance to ones patriotic roots...

EarlGrey
Fri, Nov 22, 2013 1:12pm
kavips: I actually like a lot of what is in ACA and really would have liked the above-listed benefits but DO NOT like large portions of the original bill or current 3000+ page "law". It's too long for anyone to truly understand and obey...many Congress-people cited it great length as reason for not reading the bill before passing the bill.

If "we" sign a contract that we don't understand "we" are still bound by what we signed; therefore, I read and question any contracts before signing them. Those who so freely signed away OUR freedoms for promises that only "good things" were in the bill deserve to lose their jobs!

The first in line to be fired should be Nancy (we need to pass the bill to find out what's in the bill) Pelosi.

billsmith
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 7:09am
Kavips: Why shouldn't the tea people be happy with Obamacare? It was their idea. Heritage Foundation. Newt. Mitt.

Speaking of Popes: Turns out "Francis" (actually Jorge) may not be such a nice guy after all - or as liberal as Sarah Palin says. Yet another example of successful manipulation of a gullible media (which was also the case with Kennedy). Turns out the Pope from Argentina (refuge for Nazis and home of Peron) has his own spinmeister - direct from Fox News and the reactionary Opus Dei, a group that favors right-wing dictators and practices self-flagellation (like Martin Luther used to).
____________________________
The PR genius who helped make the Pope popular: Francis's marketing mastermind, an ex-US journalist who belongs to Opus Dei

* Greg Burke, 53, is a senior media advisor to the Vatican
* Used to work for Fox News and was hired by the Vatican in June 2012
* Born in Missouri he is a member of the controversial Opus Dei
* Pope joined Twitter a few months after he took up new role

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2511151/Pope-Francis-PR-genius-Greg-Burke-ex-journalist-belongs-Opus-Dei.html#ixzz2lT90JG4k
_____________________________

Meanwhile, this map shows how religion is spread - not by the word - but by the sword. Seems people are willing to believe what their conquerors tell them to believe. If the Battle of Tours had gone the other way, you Bible Bangers would be Quran Bangers.
http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/history-of-religion.html

mrpizza
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 9:36am
To answer for Kavips and everyone else the age-old question "Where were you when Kennedy was shot"?

First of all, I had never even heard of Belarus until 1998.
On November 22nd, 1963, I was a 6-year-old in the first grade in Kinmundy, Illinois.

Beyond that, don't remember much.

kavips
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 9:52am
True. Great Map btw. I've always wanted to see that.

One of the more interesting factors was that two religions, Buddhism and Christianity, achieved most of their ground through conversions, not conquest.

The others and particularly the green, were achieved through Conquest.

This map is simplified and only shows those large religions still pertinent today.

If it had shown all, including the deceased ones, I think the trend would be that conquest for personal gain comes first in all priorities, then forcing the religion upon ones subjects is regulated to that of a secondary effect.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 10:03am
Kavips: Here is my answer to your question. This is my JFK story.


It was a sunny day on November 14th 1963. I was twelve years old. President John F. Kennedy was coming to Delaware to dedicate the Delaware Turnpike, today called I-95. That afternoon, after getting home from school, I rode my bicycle out onto the then still closed Interstate and peddled my way from Brookside Delaware, near Newark, to the Delaware / Maryland state line where JFK was due to arrive. Then Delaware Governor Carvel and Maryland Governor Tawes were also there. The President’s helicopter landed.

President Kennedy gave a short speech in which he said, …“this highway is a vital stretch of a long and important highway which forms in turn an integral and essential part of the overall Interstate Network…. It symbolizes, first of all, the partnership between the Federal government and the states which is essential to the progress of us all….” These quotes from the speech literally came from the typed pages JFK read that day. They are available to view at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum website - http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKPOF-048-007.aspx

After which he cut the ribbon officially opening the Delaware Turnpike and Maryland Northeast Extension. The President made his way through the crowds shaking hands. I was pumped up ready to shake his hand, but just before the President got to where I was standing some adult pushed his way past me and got the President’s attention and got his hand shook. But I was inches away from the leader of the free world. This was the man who kept us out of Atomic War, as it was called in those days, with the USSR over their missiles being in Cuba.

Our President stood up to Khrushchev and made him back down, kind of like what John Wayne would do. We had all heard the stories of how JFK had saved the lives of his men on PT-109 during the war and this Cuban Missile Crisis was just another brave thing JFK had done, this time to save all of us. Remember I was a twelve year old in 1963. JFK was a real life hero to many of us kids and I was standing just inches from him on November 14th 1963, seeing his warm smile that said, we Americans can accomplish anything if we work together for a common purpose. This was an important day for me.

November 22, 1963 is a day I’ll never forget. I was on my way to Band at Ogletown Junior High when the Principal’s voice spoke over the PA system, telling us that President Kennedy had been shot. He put the radio on so we could all hear what was going on. I sat in the band room numb with the others hearing of this impossible thing. It was the day evil took away a real life American hero. America has never been the same since. Something important in our nation that JFK represented died that day in Dallas Texas Fifty years ago.

billsmith
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 10:47am
"Buddhism and Christianity, achieved most of their ground through conversions, not conquest."

Oh, really? You need to repeat world history in summer school. Notice the Western Hemisphere is all blue, which was achieved by genocide against American Indians (and their religions).

MikeFromDelaware: You continue to amaze me with your blatant ignorance. I read this week that Kennedy had an affair while a senator with an East German spy. Gerry Ford had an affair with her, too. He supported McCarthy and hid out when the senate voted to censure him. And then there's the role he and Bobby played to shut up Marilyn Monroe. The myth of Kennedy was all manufactured with his daddy's money. Jack and Joe (and Bobby) even shared some of the same conquests (that's really sick). It also came out this week that Jack and Jackie joined the Mile High Club on Air Force One on the way to Dallas. Funny how you hate Clinton and Jack was getting it on more than Slick Willy could even fantasize. He even did his sister in law (Jackie's sister). Other notable conquests included....
Lana Turner (shared with Ronald Reagan)
Her Serene Highness Princess Grace
Jayne Mansfield (shared with Daddy and Bobby)
Rhonda Flemming (shared with Ronald Reagan)
Zsa Zsa (shared with Prince Philip)
Betty Grable (shared with Ronald Reagan)
Heddy (not Hedley) Lamar (shared with Adolph Hitler)
Susan Hayward (shared with Ronald Reagan and John Wayne)
Marlene Dietrich (shared with daddy, Bobby, Adlai Stevenson, John Wayne and Adolph Hitler)
Blaze Starr (shared with Huey Long and Frank Rizzo)
Judith Exner (shared with daddy and Sam Giancana)

Also sick is the way Jackie did the grieving widow - keeper of the flame bit. Most disgusting is how she used her own son to manipulate her dead husband's media image by getting John-John to salute the coffin. It's no wonder Jack sought other "companions."

mrpizza
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 11:51am
Hey Bill: Once again, you've just demonstrated how irrelevant you really are.

billsmith
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 12:49pm
Of course. Delivering pizza makes one very relevant.
Evidence that shows what a sick country this is: Football and bad pizza.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 3:17pm
Billsmith: Whatever college you got your degree from should be sued for giving out diplomas to any idiot that's willing to pay, because you are one stupid s.o.b. If you bothered to actually read what I wrote you'd realize the piece was written through the eyes of a twelve-year-old. I mentioned that twice in what I wrote. Trying to express myself here with such as you who can take any topic & make it vile, dirty, & frankly like vomit is such a waste of time. They should rename this blog from the Allan Loudell Blog to the Billsmith hates everyone Blog. I'm out of here. I can find better ways to waste my time.

billsmith
Sat, Nov 23, 2013 4:59pm
"I can find better ways to waste my time."

I guess that means you're going to church.

PS: Most of what you post sounds like it's written from the perspective of a 12 year old.

Speaking of BS, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" is a major load of BS. I pay taxes. I expect to get something for it. The government is like any other business, even if it is a monopoly and you are forced to buy their product. The customer expects it to deliver.

Kennedy, more than anyone, is responsible for destroying the political process. Now any lightweight who looks good, sounds good and tells people what they want to hear can aspire to high office. Kennedy. Reagan. Obama. They are to government what Couric, Lauer, Williams (and all the locals) are to journalism.

Notice how the media are obsessed with anniversaries. A perfect excuse to recycle old news, even 50-year-old news. And they keep saying "Cronkite, Cronkite, Cronkite." Can't even get their facts right. Back then, NBC was the dominant TV news network and the ratings showed most people were watching Frank McGee and Chet Huntley. They were both dead a decade later so that makes it tough to trot them out for anniversary specials. Even so, The Huntley Brinkley Report was the dominant news show to the end of 60s. NBC was the only network to show Oswald getting shot.

What is interesting is on that first day, most people may have heard about the assassination through radio but they ran for the TV first chance they got. Even though there was not much to show and it was mostly somebody in New York talking to somebody in Dallas on the phone. It was the beginning of the end for radio 50 years ago.

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 1:43am
Actually, if I'm starving. the guy bringing pizza to my door is very relevant. More so than anyone here.

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 1:48am
Not sure if history backs you up Bill. One can't assume all white people treated native Americans as badly as did American White People. Look at the Canadians.

The Spanish atrocities are will documented but they were accomplished in the 1500's against two empires; the Inca's and Aztecs. So take those three out of the equation, and I'm not sure if the rest of the natives were dealt harshly, or converted. I do know Canada did not take the harsh approach. The Mounties and Indians were on the same side, if an American crossed over and began a crime wave in Canada.

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 1:50am
It just occurred to me after writing the above, that if white people are liberals they convert. If they are conservatives, they conquer.

Yep, that sums it up, right there.

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 2:10am
Probably time to jump to Iran. The sanctions are being lifted, because Iran is complying with international law and stopping their uranium enrichment...

Question is, does it have enough teeth. I read the presidents remarks, but didn't see anything in there on how we would "trust, but verify." Доверяй, но проверяй .....

billsmith
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 5:42am
Kavips: "First Nations" people or "Aboriginals" in Canada have their own grievances against the government. Not the same as US Indians but as strongly-felt. A major issue today are the after affects of residential schools, mostly operated by churches for the government (no first amendment in Canada to bar this). Aboriginal children were taken from their families and villages (by force, if necessary) and sent to distant schools in which they were forced to follow Christianity and barred from using their aboriginal language or any cultural practices. If they were caught acting "Indian," they were beaten, often severely (by various priests, monks, ministers, deacons...). The government and various churches have apologized but "survivors" of these schools often carry deep psychological scars.

Something about the certainty of being right (and others being wrong) and the idea that you represent god can get people acting like conservatives. Maybe the issue isn't liberal-conservative policy preferences, it's tolerant-authoritarian. Christianity is, at it's core, an authoritarian mind-set. Governments have historically encouraged it because it teaches obedience to (divinely) constituted authority.

Christian missionaries have gotten more sophisticated. If people are hungry enough, or desperate enough, they will sit and listen to sermons. Helpless people can be easily converted - Indians or slaves from Africa, coerced or forced to giving up Islam or native religions.

Speaking of hypocrisy from those who think they are favored by god: Look who has got their shorts in a knot over Iran (maybe?) developing nukes. Israel! Who went and developed nuclear weapons themselves. Israel.

billsmith
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 5:59am
Here's something to get the government haters all worked up:

The city council in Vancouver, BC has revised the city's building code. No more door knobs. All new construction is required to use levers (not knobs) to open doors. Also doors must be wider and water faucets must have levers instead of knobs, too. Electrical outlets must also be higher off the floor. These changes are intended to increase accessibility for the elderly (the number is growing in Vancouver and most everywhere else in North America).

Before anybody goes postal, this is new construction. People are not being forced to get rid of door knobs (if you like your door knobs, you can keep them) unless maybe they do a major remodeling job.

billsmith
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 7:07am
What the Bible really says about gay and lesbian sex
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131124_What_the_Bible_really_says_about_gay_and_lesbian_sex.html#2M7luHDmTcfdrfE5.99

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 10:58am
Anyone who has ever dated a Jew, would have to dismiss your contention that religion plays a part in Israel's double standard of Iraq. and instead put the blame on genetics... :)

There is something unique about their responses across time and all it takes is knowing one Jewish mother, or mother in law, to understand that religion plays an very insignificant role in how Israel acts...

Back to Canada. I'm appreciate being reminded of Canada's schools. True, religion did take over and true, as in anyplace where men are given blanket approval over any actions taken, atrocities do occur.

The good thing is in Canada an apology was forthcoming. In the Catholic Church, it took a new pope... to overturn the bureaucratic intransigence against acknowledging atrocities ever occurred...

And this conversation just made me take note of another observation. Someone who dislikes religion, will look at history and see across time all it's instances of being forced, and blame that for its proliferation.

Others who love religion, will look at the same time span, and focus on those times when religion was persecuted, yet survived, and point out its redeeming characteristics, proving that being forced to listen to sermons of another god, or being killed for not obeying it, does not make one religious inside. There is some redeeming force in certain religions...

mrpizza
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 12:24pm
Hey Bill: Guess what? I could care less about Canada.

Kavips: You're absolutely correct. The TEA party is poised to CONQUER the communists in the American political establishment. Once again, America will be the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan so eloquently spoke of nearly three decades ago.

billsmith
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 2:15pm
Pizza Face: Cities on a hill make great targets - an invitation to siege or level with heavy artillery. Just like skyscrapers.

Iran should get the bomb - after the way two corporate lawyers running US foreign policy but still representing the interests of the big corporate clients destroyed democracy in Iran. The world has reason to consider the US "the great Satan."

http://www.npr.org/2013/10/16/234752747/meet-the-brothers-who-shaped-u-s-policy-inside-and-out

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 3:37pm
Occasionally our banter here takes a back seat to reality... I mean seriously... we are arguing over health insurance in one country on one rock, around one star, in one galaxy, in one galaxy cluster, in what may be, one of many universes.....

Sometimes reality makes itself known. Sometimes we indeed have to question if we ourselves are to blame for great events as a result of our actions... I feel today, as I did after the twin towers were flattened upon reading this...

Some may not care and some may cheer, just as some cheered as the towers feel crushing New Yorks finest under their concrete and steel...

But if you have not yet heard, and it has not made as many waves as one would certainly have hoped, something far more important than one nation's health insurance has transpired.

Here.....

"This year, for the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. On the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned. Instead, they began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year’s sickening low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration is past collapse.

“It does not look good,” said Lincoln P. Brower, a monarch expert at Sweet Briar College.....

This is a very sad day, not just for us humans, but for all existence stretching across the universal vast expanse.
I cannot help but feel what it must be like if our roles were reversed, and the fear we humans would now possess if we were now the ones dropping from 7 billion to say 140 million of us scattered across the globe...

Would nature, including those Monarchs remaining, be cheering on that one bacterium or virus that finally grew resistance to our antibiotics, and would currently are all other lifeforms now cheering and rejoicing in our demise?..... Can animals also pray? Are they in contact with their Creator far more than us, since they have no medical insurance arguments to distract them? If so, are there then, trillions and trillions of prayers regularly going up to our Lord, asking for his help against the enemy of all others, mankind?

It is something to ponder, and to be honest, I never would have had it cross my mind without being confronted with this horrible and sad reality.....

kavips
Sun, Nov 24, 2013 5:29pm
Allan, I'm a bit confused by the numbers on the internet. Could you possibly get clarification from Lincoln Brower soon. IF this year drops 60% from last year and last year was only 1.9 hectares of butterfly coverage (from his website) in the wintering grounds of Mexico, are we only talking about 5/100th of a hectare or a patch 500 feet by 500 feet?... about the size of a ShopRite store?

That seems too small to be believable, which is why I was hoping to hear from him, since it seems like data get published regularly in the spring.

mrpizza
Mon, Nov 25, 2013 12:44am
Hey Kavips: In case you didn't know, we have approximately 537 monarchs in Washington, DC.

Time for an orderly migration.

kavips
Mon, Nov 25, 2013 2:02am
Lol Pizza... Whereas I wouldn't want my limousine service to fire all it's experienced old men and replace them with 16 year olds still cutting teeth, I likewise hope not all of DC gets flushed out... If they just replace the Tea Party with Democrats or moderate Republicans, I'll be happy....


Add your comment:
Attention: In an attempt to promote a level of civility and personal responsibility in blog discussions, we now require you to be a member of the WDEL Members Only Group in order to post a comment. Your Members Only Group username and password are required to process your post.

You can join the WDEL Members Only Group for free by clicking here.
If you are already a member but have forgotten your username or password, please click here.

Please register your post with your WDEL Members Only Group username and password below.
Username:
Password:
Comment:
 










Copyright © 2014, Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.   Terms of Use.
WDEL Statement of Equal Employment Opportunity and Outreach