WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So which stories / topics / issues grab your attention?

Another day, another shooting (or shootings) in the streets of Wilmington. Two men opened fire on a 21-year-old man walking along the 1600 block of Wilmington's Hilltop community.

Wilmington city cops are investigating the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man, shot while he was sitting in a parked car around East Tenth and North Spruce Streets. Police seek two suspects.

The pace of the shootings so far is somewhat less than one a day, but summer still lies ahead. The Williams Administration better get its act together to avoid a repeat of the record pace of shootings in 2013. Still awaiting word on the mayor's pick for Chief of Police, even if that's no panacea.

Governor Markell signs the "ban the box" legislation. It bars government employers from asking job applicants to check a box on employment forms - before the first interview - indicating if they have a criminal record. But the new law exempts law-enforcement and corrections agencies.

State Treasurer Chip Flowers is not going to like this "reform". A legislative panel okays certain reforms for the Cash Management Policy Board, which presides over Delaware's $2 Billion cash investment portfolio. One of the changes: The board's administrative support would be moved from the Treasuer's office to the state Department of Finance (under the Governor). More petals clipped from Flowers.

Pfizer hasn't taken over AstraZeneca (yet), but Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley want the chairman of Pfizer to outline how Pfizer's takeover of AstraZeneca might affect jobs in Delaware and Maryland. They note Pfizer did offer assurances to British Prime Minister David Cameron about keeping jobs in the U.K. No similar assurance has been offered to our area.

Downstate, family members mourn the death of a four-year-old boy, killed in an attack by three pit bulls -- since euthanized. Kasii Haith had apparently played with the dogs many times before... with nary a scratch. This time was different. What went wrong? Tests for rabies proved negative. So what triggered the pit bulls' attack may never be fully explained, other than to confirm the wisdom of keeping children away from pit bulls; and the narrative that the behavior of these animals is dangerously unpredictable.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's woes pile up.



"Here's how drastically Chris Christie's political fortunes have turned: Bridgegate might not be his biggest problem.

Just as the New Jersey governor is trying to turn the corner on the traffic scandal and restore his national luster, now he's getting blamed for a yawning budget deficit and recent downgrade of the state's debt.

Christie and state lawmakers have less than two months to close a sudden budget hole. Analysts say the governor's administration brought on the problem by projecting the state would collect much more tax revenue than it did; Christie's aides insist the Legislature and changes in Federal tax laws bear some of the blame.

Either way, the stream of bad headlines could undercut a central theme of Christie's comeback attempt and message in a potential 2016 [Presidential] bid: that he's led an economic 'miracle' in the Garden State..."

(Perhaps Governor Christie would not have found himself in this jam if New Jersey had something similar to Delaware's rigorously non-partisan, DEFAC for making revenue projections. Not that the Markell Administration and state legislators don't confront a major budget squeeze right now!)



"Forty-one percent of Americans do not participate very often in any of ten bedrock activities of American civic and political life, according to the latest Allstate/NATIONAL JOURNAL Heartland Monitor survey.

At the other end of the spectrum, just one percent of Americans engage very often in eight or more of the activities---from attending town hall meetings, to volunteering in the community, to giving money to a cause or political candidate. Those Americans with higher incomes or with college degrees are much more likely than those with low incomes or without college degrees to report engagement in at least one of the civic activities..."

In a sharply partisan vote (what a surprise!), the Republican-dominated, U.S. House of Representatives creates a select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. consular mission in Benghazi, Libya. So we could have a hot summer (literally) coupled with a hot summer on Capitol Hill. Still unclear if House Democrats would participate on the committee.

Despite pleas from some members of Congress, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT won't incorporate campus sexual assault statistics in its annual college/university rankings. U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT indicated in its blog post it WOULD feature the U.S. Department of Education's sexual assault stats on the individual pages for the colleges/universities. But U.S. NEWS decided against weighing the data in its methodology for ranking institutions of higher learning.

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked secessionists in eastern Ukraine to cool it, give up a secessionist referendum this Sunday. Either this is elaborate play-acting, or Putin honestly does want to ramp down tensions at this stage. Some reports from Donetsk suggest pro-Russian militia members are finding out that region of Ukraine is no Crimea: They're finding somewhat less support for a secessionist referendum.

Nevertheless, Putin undoubtedly continues to play a complicated, multi-dimensional chess match. His call for the postponement of the weekend independence referendum may just represent a transparent attempt to distance Russia from the separatists. That way, he gets some plausible deniability when the West accuses him of orchestrating events. Secondly, his "moderation" may forestall tighter sanctions from the European Union anytime soon.

The almost forgotten Syrian civil war drags on.

From Der SPIEGEL on line:


"Despite its pledge to eliminate chemical weapons, the Assad regime is attacking towns and villages with chlorine gas bombs.."

Health/lifestyle news:



"For most men, a nagging wife can be little more than an irritation, but the arguments and worries that stem from a demanding partner may actually be a health hazard.

New research has found that the burden of a demanding partner is linked to hundreds of extra deaths each year.

Men who were subjected to 'nagging', constant demands and worries from their partners, were 2.5 as likely to die within ten years than those with less stressful relationships.

The effect is so strong, it could account for hundreds of deaths a year, the researchers suggested.

However, women may be more immune to nagging as there was little effect on their death rates, it was found..."

Maybe this accounts for men who spend many hours at work. Again, from the article:

"The study suggested that going to work could provide relief and mitigate the effects of a stressful relationship with a partner, as men who were unemployed and frequently nagged were even more likely to die..."

(University of Copenhagen's Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health)

Media news:



"Believe it.

A New Jersey-based atheist group is starting the first on-demand, TV channel dedicated to godlessness.

AtheistTV will be launching this summer with big plans to reach out to atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and folks who are looking for a way out of faith.

Members of American Atheists, the organization behind the endeavor, think it's about time.

'There's a glut of religious TV programming out there, from televangelists to Christmas specials,' spokesman Dave Muscato told The NEWS. 'But there's no atheist channel. We wanted to fill that void.'...

Posted at 7:58am on May 9, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, May 9, 2014 8:39am
Democrats and Republicans have very different views about Benghazi, Libya.

Republicans say the Obama administration is to blame for the death of Ambassador Stevens (and have created a special committee to investigate Benghazi) while Democrats by and large say that this is nothing but politics.

The truth is bigger than either side is admitting …


Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 9, 2014 9:09am
Here's more from the link EarlGrey shared.

"First, Pulitzer prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh – who broke the story of the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam under Nixon and the torture scandal under Bush – says that Benghazi was really a CIA outpost for running weapons capture from Libya after Gaddaffi was overthrown into Syria … approved on a bipartisan basis by both Democrats and Republicans.

Second, it has been confirmed that the U.S. backed Al Qaeda terrorists in Libya so that they would overthrow Gaddaffi.

Third, as we noted right after Gaddaffi fell, the Obama administration’s stated reason for going into Libya makes no sense. Now, RAND Corporation political scientists theorize that Obama might have decided to bomb Libya – not for any reason having to do with Libya or Gaddaffi themselves – but rather “to keep the Arab Spring going“... Fourth, the Libya war – just like the Iraq war – was illegal, as noted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Washington Times, Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere."


So sadly it would appear that the G.O.P./TEA effort to find out more about Benghazi will simply be to find ways to bash Hillary, and not get to the whole truth. Apparently NEITHER G.O.P./TEA nor DEMS want that.

Fri, May 9, 2014 9:32am
Mike...It's the G.O.P./establishment-type Republicans (and most Democrats) who don't want to get to the whole truth about Libya.

The TEA Party individuals are the ones who pointed out Benghazi AND the Three points above.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 9, 2014 9:34am
I guess this really shouldn't be a surprise to most of us, but it's finally happened. Here's a TV station for folks like BillSmith:

A New Jersey-based atheist group is starting the first on-demand TV channel dedicated to godlessness.

AtheistTV will be launching this summer with big plans to reach out to atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and folks who are looking for a way out of faith.


Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 9, 2014 9:37am
EarlGrey: That may be true, but none of those TEA folks in Congress are going to make those three points above any sort of an issue in these hearings; it's going to be all about getting rid of Hillary, not disclosing all the truth.

I'd be really impressed if they did, but I think we both know that's not going to happen.

Allan Loudell
Fri, May 9, 2014 9:45am
Mike from Delaware---

I was just adding that NY DAILY NEWS article to my post above, as you were mentioning it here in "comments".

(I frequently add to my original blog post - time permitting - later on Friday.)

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 9, 2014 10:27am
Allan: I see you did add the link above.

I believe there are more than one type of Atheist out there, kind of like denominations. Bill Maher the other day made some comment about a story of Athiest's trying to get a cross removed from a building as he quipped [this is a paraphrase], I'm an Atheist am I'm not a Satinist who fears the cross, we're just not believers in God. So get over the cross being on some building. Again that was a paraphrase.

Fri, May 9, 2014 10:43am
Thanks for the posting from the Daily Telegraph. Now I can add "are you trying to kill me?" to my side of the arguments!

Allan Loudell
Fri, May 9, 2014 11:11am
Jim H---

I shall interview the lead researcher - from the University of Copenhagen - on this study on the effects of nagging on men... during the first part of my Noon hour.

Allan Loudell

Fri, May 9, 2014 11:36am
So as if we don't already have enough godlessness in society already, now that have to create a TV channel to promote it?

I'd be interested to see if they'll bring Madeline Murray-O'Hair back from the grave.

Fri, May 9, 2014 4:38pm
Pit bulls should be outlawed and all existing ones should be rounded up, shot, and buried in a mass grave, which should be clearly marked just like the Delaware Veteran's Cemetery for all who drive by. Think that's racist? Well, it's obvious by the fact that the victim in this case was black that pit bulls don't discriminate by race. In fact, it's been scientifically proven that dogs are color-blind to begin with.

Now I know what you're going to ask. How do I plan to round up all those animals, especially when many owners keep them in the house and will do all they can to hide them if they hear the SPCA is coming for their dogs? Well, you can't round up all the illegal Mexicans either because there are too many, but you can probably still find enough to send a clear message.

Fri, May 9, 2014 9:36pm
MFD: Us TEA folks have to get rid of a whole lot more than just Hillary. We gotta throw out the whole Washington establishment and start fresh.

Sat, May 10, 2014 10:44am
Okay folks, here's yet another scathing attack on the first amendment by none other than Henry "Nostrilitis" Waxman (another Democrat, by the way!):


Hey Henry Boy! Whatever happened to "stick to the issues?"

Sat, May 10, 2014 1:56pm
MFD: Your ignorance is astonishing. (1) Where did you ever get the idea from anything I have ever posted that I would have any interest in an "atheist channel?" As I have stated several times, I am not an atheist. I consider atheists to be not much different from you. They are believers. They try to impose their beliefs on others. You say there's a god and that your god is THE god. They say there is no god of any kind. No matter how you slice it, you both operate without evidence or logic to back up your views. (2) Your comments make it clear you "believe" in freedom of religion for yourself but you disparage anyone else wanting to preach an evangel contrary to yours. Sounds like you have embraced the "double standard." (3) Only true believers are interested in watching sermons on TV (or the close kin of the sermon, the right-wing talk show). Sermons are for people who refuse to think for themselves, people who refuse to do their own homework, people who want someone to hand them "answers." (4) Just as hate and love are not opposites but twins, Christianity and atheism are twins - dogma, for people who want to make themselves right (and others wrong), to dominate (and avoid domination), to justify themselves (and invalidate others). I am truly disgusted with you.

By the way, how do you know those dogs were "pit bulls?" Because the cops say so? You know nothing about dogs but it's obvious you hate them. Wouldn't mommy let you have one? Or did she have a dog and like it better than you?

Sat, May 10, 2014 5:57pm
Hey Bill, just to be clear, here's how I knew they were pit bulls:


Now if you can't read the title, then you need to enroll in a remedial reading course.

Sat, May 10, 2014 6:53pm
I would suggest to Mayor Williams to look into hiring S. Epatha Merkerson for police chief. I say that because I see actors on a fairly regular basis claim to be experts on what they portrayed in movies and/or TV.

Another recommendation would be Yaphet Kotto. He worked in the roughest parts of Baltimore. You may even be able to get Richard Belzer for his right-hand man.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 10, 2014 9:40pm
Bill, I stand corrected.

Mon, May 12, 2014 8:20am
I would nominate "Joe" Arpaio, and the world can then see how much of a clown he, and every other silly goofball, really is.

"The first thing I, Joe Arpaio, would do, if police chief of Wilmington, would be to check everyone's birth certificate with an over-sized magnifying glass, one big as my head, to look for forgeries..."

Mon, May 12, 2014 9:09am
...Could Sheriff Joe really do any worse than the current Wilmington administration (or Chicago)?

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