My Take On Guns In The U.S.

MY TAKE ON GUNS IN THE U.S.

 

As most folks probably know there was another mass shooting here in the U.S. this week. Once again it was a coward who chose a very ‘soft’ target, a school. This disgusting piece of human flesh shot and killed 17 high school students and wounded another 14 before leaving the scene. It is my belief that he should be chained against a rock wall and machined gunned to death asap. I believe that if a person commits premeditated murder that they should be put to death in the same manner that they chose to kill.

 

Now that I got my rant out, I would like to speak with you about why I do believe that the people in every country have the absolute right to have firearms. Here in the U.S. this ‘RIGHT’ is GUARANTEED to the people through the Second Amendment of the Constitution. There are several simple reason why the Founding Fathers wrote this into Law and that is so that the citizens of our Country could have the possibility of self-protection and for the protection of our families. The main reason the Founding Fathers wrote this RIGHT into law was so that the citizens could protect themselves from the Government when and if the Government became abusive in their ‘powers’. These Founding Fathers had come from Europe and they had experienced first hand the over reach of ‘Royalty’ and of the Wealthy Land Barron’s. When a government disarms their citizens they know that they can run them over like mange dogs and there is nothing that the people can do about it. As long as the ‘elite’ have to fear a lone gunman putting a bullet between their ears they tend to be at least a little bit tempered in their illegal inhumane acts toward the poor. Another reason that the Second Amendment was written into law was for making it possible for people to be able to hunt for food. Then of course there is the reason of people being able to protect themselves and their families from gangsters and evil people who might break into their homes or rob them while they are out and about in their daily lives.

 

Let me make this clear, I do have several firearms, pistols and long guns yet in my 60+ years of life I have never shot any living thing. I do on occasion do some target practicing in my back yard but I have never ever even aimed a firearm at another living person and I pray that I will never have to. Yet I have a concealed carry permit and in my State I can ‘open carry’. In this State ‘Kentucky’ if I go down to the very busy corner convenience store and I decide that I want to rob them, the people that work at the store most likely have their own guns on premise plus, lets say there are 10 other people in the store most likely at least three or four of them are carrying a gun also. So, there is the reality that if I want to act a fool and pull my weapon, I am going to be filled full of holes, only an idiot would try to rob any business here in Kentucky. Back in 1981 I moved to the state of Texas and within the first two or three years there were at least three mass shootings in fast food restaurants, then the state made it legal for people to get concealed weapons permits, I never heard of another one of those mass shooting in Texas again.

 

What I am getting at is the fact that these ‘shooters’ like the one at the Florida High School this week, are cowards! Taking guns away from people like me only makes it more likely of their being even more mass shootings by these cowards, lot less of them. These cowardly scum bags want to go into places where they can get the highest ‘body counts’ possible and they do not want to get shot themselves. They choose these ‘soft targets’ because there are no guns there to shoot back at them. When is the last time here in the States that you heard of a gunman going into a police station or a military check point and start shooting? When was the last time you heard of a Donuts Shop being robbed? Do you notice that it is people like Hillary Clinton who yell and scream about how we the people should not be allowed to have guns to protect ourselves with while they are guarded 24×7 by small police forces themselves.

 

I don’t like it but I do believe that because all schools are such soft targets where the body counts can be racked up very quickly that every school needs to be guarded by at least 6 armed police or military personnel. This would be two on the inside watching monitors and one on each side of the school. I say two on the inside because if something odd is noticed on a monitor one could go check it out while one continues to watch the monitors. I know it is an expense, but aren’t our children worth it? Think about how schools like in Russia where armed groups of Jihadists have stormed schools and killed hundreds of kids at one time, how are we going to handle this when it happens here in the States? Do not be foolish, such things are going to happen here, it is only a matter of when.

 

There are some things that I believe do need to be changed in our National gun laws though. To me the biggest one would be the shutting down of the ‘Gun Show’ loopholes. The one I am talking about is it must be made totally illegal for anyone to buy or to sell any firearm outside of the ‘Show’ floor. The way things are now I can buy pretty much anything I want out in the parking lot of these Shows, as long as I have the cash. I could be a member of a well-known street gang or a member of a Jihadist terrorist cell and I could load my SUV down with weapons, with no paper work, no paper trail at all.

 

Texas House Passes Bill To Make Women Buy ‘Rape Insurance’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘NEWS.GROUPSPEAK’)

 

The most populous Republican state in the country, the good ole’ state of Texas, has passed a bill in the House of Representatives that will essentially force women to buy rape insurance if they seek to have an abortion.

Critics of the bill are calling it especially cruel and a detriment to women’s health in general. If put into law, the bill will take effect as soon as Dec. 1 and force women to buy supplemental plans if they wish to have abortions, even if induced by rape.

Considering the Senate has already passed a very similar measure, and Governor Greg Abbott has already come out publicly showing his support, it’s only a matter of time before the bill gets signed.

“Women and parents will be faced with the horrific decision of having to purchase ‘rape insurance’ to cover them if they are victimized,” Democratic Representative Chris Turner said in a statement. “This is not only ridiculous, but it is cruel.”

“No woman plans to be raped. No parent plans for their child to be a victim of incest.” The idea that a woman would be forced to consider purchasing for herself – or a parent would be forced to purchase for their child – essentially a rape insurance policy should be abhorrent.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican John Smithee, says it’s not that simple, though.

“It’s a question of economic freedom and freedom in general. This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”

By that, he means, he doesn’t want opponents of abortion being forced to subsidize it.

But, looking at it a different way, it will force women to completely absorb the costs of abortion. Every male in Texas with an insurance plan won’t have to pay into the pool of funds helping to support its costs. That will cost women more, which is another way for Texas Republicans to make women’s health care more expensive.

Also – if women don’t buy the supplemental insurance, which many lawmakers are betting that they won’t – it will make getting an abortion that much more unlikely.

“This bill takes us backwards,” said Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio. “This bill is about denying Texas women their right to a safe abortion.”

Currently, 10 other states ban private insurance plans from covering abortions. Texas is about to be added to that list.

 

(Philosophy Poem) Today Is The Past: As We Breathe It

TODAY IS THE PAST: AS WE BREATHE IT

 

To the days that have passed, with us along for the ride

A salute to all of our yesterdays, with our smiles up or down

Spend little time on the stripes received, that we’ve not earned

Smiles on faces seen, but on some, with time, names forgotten

One’s own bed, finally peaceful, quiet, snuggle in, smile, cry, pray

Loved ones, one by one, through time, left our arms, not our hearts

 

 

Snapshots of peaceful times, some on mind, some caught on print

Years gone by, do our memories really fade, like the whisper of time

Patriarch in your forties, not something ever longed for, or wished to see

Our children, and now theirs grownup, to ignore that we ever breathed

Things we have done wrong, own them, sometimes, some peace will be

Yesterdays ill’s, we can’t hit replay, change mistakes or the hearts broken

 

 

History is today, don’t be the butt of tomorrows viral You Tube jokes

Yesterday is now our past, good or bad it’s over, now breathe, it’s gone

Mistakes can haunt the human brain till we let them put us in a grave

Tomorrow we all could be dancing on the stair well to Heaven with Angels

The bliss we seek depends on today, not the shadows of our past, unchangeable

We all choose our path, today and tomorrow will soon for all, be our past

Kentucky Is 3rd Worse State About Cutting Education Spending

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LEXINGTON HERALD LEADER)

((oped) REPUBLICANS CONTROL EVERYTHING  WITHIN THE THREE WORSE STATES AS FAR AS FUNDING EDUCATION, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS, KENTUCKY: FOLKS, DO YOU SEE THE REALITY HERE?) (trs)

Kentucky one of the worst states for cuts to education spending, report shows

NOVEMBER 29, 2017 09:36 AM

UPDATED 6 HOURS 1 MINUTES AGO

Air Force Admits Its Failure To Report Texas Church Shooter Was ‘Not An Isolated Incident’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘TASK AND PURPOSE’)

 

devin patrick kelley texas church shooting air force background check

NEWS
Air Force Admits Its Failure To Report Texas Church Shooter Was ‘Not An Isolated Incident’

on 

T&P ON FACEBOOK

 

179

shares

 

An Air Force review has found that the branch failed to report “several dozen” service members found guilty of violent offenses to the federal gun background check database, with representatives of the service telling the New York Times that the reporting failure that allowed disgraced airman Devin Patrick Kelley to purchase the firearms he used to murder 26 parishioners in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church on Nov. 5 “was not an isolated incident.”

In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting, the Department of Defense determined that Kelley’s 2012 court-martial conviction for beating his wife and infant son should have disqualified him from purchasing firearms, but he was not reported to the FBI for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the database for firearms-related background checks for private dealers and state outlets. The Air Force review found that since 2002, a whopping 60,000 incidents involving airmen that “potentially” merited inclusion in NICS went unaddressed, according to the New York Times.

sutherland springs church texas church shooting hero corrigan devin patrick kelley air force background check

“Similar reporting lapses occurred at other locations” besides Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where Kelley was stationed, the Air Force said in a statement. “Although policies and procedures requiring reporting were in place, training and compliance measures were lacking.”

Under federal law, anyone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces is prohibited from possessing or receiving firearms or ammo transported across state lines. The 1996 Lautenberg amendment that extends that prohibition to military personnel with domestic violence convictions.

RELATED: HOW SEVERE MILITARY PUNISHMENTS (ARE SUPPOSED TO) BAR GUN POSSESSION »

The Air Force has experienced major lapses in reporting serious crimes committed to essential law enforcement databases like NICS for decades. In 1997, a DoD IG report found that the Air Force had failed to report 38 percent of fingerprint cards and 50 percent of criminal case outcomes to the FBI over a six-month period from 1995 to 1996, according to a Nov. 7 Associated Press report; a 2015 follow-up found the branch didn’t report 39 percent of its fingerprint data over a two year period between 2010 and 2012.

The causes of that the gap?  “Ambiguous Pentagon guidelines and a lack of interest among the military services in submitting information to an FBI viewed as chronically overburdened with data,” according to the AP report, language echoed in the Air Force’s Nov. 28 statement.

devin patrick kelley texas church shooting background check

In the wake of Kelley’s rampage and subsequent revelations regarding his troubled history, the Pentagon has been racing to overhaul its background check and criminal reporting procedures. Among the new measures pushed by branch officials, according to the New York Times: a mandate that Air Force Office of Special Investigations personnel “confirm that reportable cases have been entered in the federal database by seeing either a printout or a screenshot from the database.”

Time will tell how AFOSI plans on actually interpreting and implementing that mandate.

WATCH NEXT:

Texas Border Patrol Agent Killed, His Partner In Hospital In Serious Condition

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ABC NEWS)

 

Border agent dies after being injured in Texas

Border Patrol spokesmen said they could not provide any details Sunday on what caused the agent’s injuries or what led to them. Spokesman Carlos Diaz says the FBI has taken over the investigation.

Another spokesman, Douglas Mosier, says that 36-year-old agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were transported to a local hospital, where Martinez died. Martinez’s partner is in serious condition. His name wasn’t released. Martinez had been a border agent since August 2013 and was from El Paso.

Border Patrol records show that Big Bend accounted for about 1 percent of the more than 61,000 apprehensions its agents made along the Southwest border between October 2016 and May 2017. The region’s mountains and the Rio Grande make it a difficult area for people to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico.

The Border Patrol website lists 38 agents who have died since late 2003, some attacked while working along the border, and other fatalities in traffic accidents. It lists one other agent death in the line of duty this year.

Southern Baptist Convention Offers to Cover Funeral Expenses for All 26 Church Shooting Victims

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST AND FOX NEWS)

 

Southern Baptist Convention Offers to Cover Funeral Expenses for All 26 Church Shooting Victims

(PHOTOS: FAMILY PHOTOS VIA NBC NEWS)Eighteen of the 26 victims who were fatally shot by Devin Kelley at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on November 5, 2017. They are (1st row L-R) Bryan Holcombe, Karla Holcombe, Crystal Holcombe, Brook Ward, Marc Daniel “Danny” Holcombe, Richard Rodriguez; (2nd row L-R) Annabelle Pomeroy, Greg Hill, Joann Ward, Emily Garza, Tara McNulty and Shani Corrigan; (3rd row L-R) Emily Hill, Haley Krueger, Noah Holcombe, Sara Johnson, Dennis and Megan Hill.

The North American Mission Board, the domestic missions agency of the Southern Baptist Convention, has offered to cover the funeral expenses for the families of the 26 people killed inside the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, at the hands of Devin Kelley on Sunday.

The NAMB confirmed the offer in a Baptist Press report on Monday.

SBC President Steve Gaines also confirmed on Twitter Tuesday that he, along with SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page, visited with Sutherland Spring’s Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, who lost their daughter, Annabelle, in the massacre.

“Just spent a few hours with @RichardsJim@frankpagesbc with Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, here in Sutherland Springs. Godly people,” Gaines said.

As the tragedy unfolded on Sunday, Gaines, who leads Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, said his congregation felt led to pray for the Sutherland Springs church and he felt a need to help in their time of grief.

“Yesterday as we prayed at Bellevue for the families of those slain and also the others who were wounded at First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, I sensed the need to go there and try to minister to the pastor and his wife and their devastated congregation,” Gaines said.

(PHOTO: REUTERS/JONATHAN BACHMAN)A woman places flowers at a memorial in memory of the victims killed in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, November 7, 2017.

“I discussed it with Frank Page and Jim Richards, and we all agreed to go and help any way we possibly can. Our Southern Baptist family grieves with this beloved church and the community it serves. Our prayers are ascending steadily to God’s throne of grace. May God bring healing and hope to those that are hurting,” he said.

As the small congregation worshiped at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday, Kelley, 26, began firing his Ruger AR-556 rifle inside the building shortly after the 11 a.m. service began.

Within minutes, 26 people were dead and at least 20 others were left with serious injuries The New York Times reported. At least eight members of one family including a pregnant mother were killed. Nearly half of the deceased are children.

Police say Kelley unleashed about 450 rounds of ammunition on the helpless congregation and survivors say the deranged shooter who later killed himself expressed an intention to execute the entire congregation.

Roseanne Solis, one of the survivors of the church massacre, told KSAT 12 that the congregation was singing a new song when Kelley interrupted the praise with gunfire and declared that everyone was going to die.

“I hear firecrackers popping. Ta-ta-ta,” she recalled before someone screamed at the church members to take cover.

“Everybody started screaming, yelling. Everyone got down, crawling under wherever they could hide,” Solis said. “It was so scary. He was shooting hard.”

She explained that she got shot in the left shoulder and watched as other church members started falling to the floor, bleeding and in shock.

Things got quiet briefly inside the church after the first barrage of bullets but quickly deteriorated again when Kelley told everyone they would die.

“I thought it was the police when he went inside because everyone got real quiet. Everyone was saying ‘Be quiet. It’s him. It’s him.'” Then he yelled out, ‘Everybody dies [expletive],’ and Kelley started shooting again.

David Brown, whose mother was sitting in the back pew of the church, told Fox 31, that Kelley went from pew to pew to exact his mission to kill everyone.

Solis’ husband, Joaquin Ramirez, who was also inside the church at the time of the attack, said even though the church members were urging each other to keep quiet as the gunman hunted for survivors the children couldn’t stop crying.

Kelley found them, he said, and shot them at point-blank range. About half of the 26 victims from the massacre are children.

Mike Pence on Critics Slamming Prayer After Church Shooting: ‘We Need to Cover Families in Prayer’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Mike Pence on Critics Slamming Prayer After Church Shooting: ‘We Need to Cover Families in Prayer’

(PHOTO: REUTERS/MARY F. CALVERT)U. S. Vice President Mike Pence addresses Chamber of Commerce ”Invest in America!” summit in Washington U.S., on May 18, 2017.

Vice President Mike Pence has responded to critics who have questioned the usefulness of prayer following Sunday’s mass shooting at a church in Texas which left 26 people dead.

“Right now I truly believe that covering those families in prayers are making a difference in their lives, and it will continue to support those families and that community in the days ahead,” Pence told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday.

Online debate has unfurled across Twitter and other platforms in the wake of the massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, with some suggesting that prayer does not work if it can’t protect Christians at church.

“I’m a believer. I believe in prayer and I know that at this moment of such heartbreak and loss in that community that what most Americans are most able to do is pray for those families,” Pence said.

The vice president added, however, that prayer takes “nothing away from our determination … to get to the bottom of what happened, to understand the why, to determine whether or not there were errors along the way.”

Authorities are investigating if and in what way existing laws and background checks were not properly applied to shooter Devin Kelley, who illegally purchased the guns he used in Sunday’s attack.

House Speaker Paul Ryan also told Fox News in a separate interview on Monday that he stands by his offers of prayer, even though he was specifically targeted for his tweets.

Former “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Stand By Me” actor Wil Wheaton lashed out and wrote in response to Ryan’s prayer tweet earlier this week: “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of [expletive].”

Wheaton later apologized and explained he wasn’t trying to attack people of faith, through prayer continues being criticized in debates online.

“It’s disappointing. It’s sad, and this is what you’ll get from the far secular left. People who do not have faith, don’t understand faith, I guess I’d have to say,” Ryan told Fox.

He added: “And it is the right thing to do, is to pray in moments like this because you know what? Prayer works.”

The House speaker blamed the “secular left” for much of the “polarization and disunity” in the country due to sentiments like that.

Prominent pastors, such as Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine, California, told The Christian Post on Monday that while it is hard to understand God’s role in tragedies like church shootings, prayer is far from ineffective.

“The Bible does not promise anyone a pain-free life. In fact, Jesus Himself said, ‘In this world, you will have tribulation’ (John 16:33). Here is what I do know: these people that were gathered for worship at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, believed in and loved Jesus Christ,” Laurie added.

He said that the victims are now in God’s presence, “where there is ‘fullness of joy’ and ‘pleasures forevermore’ (Psalm 16:11). All of their questions are answered; our questions will have to wait.”

Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president of National Day of Prayer and senior pastor at Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, separately told CP:

“In this fallen world when the spirit of evil is raging, all things that happen are not good. Yet, our faith and hope remains in God alone. When we pray we are depending on God for strength; when we do not pray, we choose to depend upon ourselves which always lead to unbelief.”

I Married A Single Mom: Twice

I Married A Single Mom: Twice

 

A couple of days ago I was reading an article from a young lady’s WordPress Blog Site called (Soulfullypenned) where she had written an article about being a single Mom. It is that article that made me think of this story I am writing to you today. This article is a true one, it is one that is of actions I have done and felt in my own life. As is normal in life itself there is good bad and ugly involved in reality, so is this story. For those of you who follow the things that I write I believe that by now you know that I do not sugarcoat my own personal actions, I have messed up as much in my life as most folks and I’m sure, more that many. I know that some folks judge by their nature so I do not try to ‘play to or write to’ any group except to the people who simply wish to hear what ever the real and honest truth is.

 

In August of 1981 I got married to a lady who lived in Texas who was nine years older than me and who had a son who had just turned eleven. I have to say that of all of the mistakes that I have made in my life saying ‘I do’ to this lady was my biggest blunder of all. I say that because as you know when you make one mistake it is soon followed by other bad decisions most of the time. She was a single Mom who had been married four other times, her son was from marriage number three. The biological Dad lived in a town about a half hour drive away and he was sometimes a problem because he was in love with a beer bottle all of the years that I knew him. He didn’t interfere in our home very often as far as coming to our home but evidently he would call my wife while drunk sometimes when I wasn’t at home. So, he could have been worse yet in reality it would have been better if he were not at all in the picture. Trying to be a Step-Dad is difficult enough without negative issues from the biological Dad same as I am rather sure that a lot of Step-Moms would agree with. If this lady had been any kind of a decent wife or person we would have had a very good situation in our lives but to say this lady was hate-filled (hateful) is a huge understatement. Like King Solomon said several times in Proverbs “it is better for a man to live on the corner of a roof top than to live in a mansion with a hate-filled woman.” There is one thing that I am really happy about and that is that my Son who was 24 when I left her and Texas on July 1st 1994, knows that I loved him then, and that I love him now. Both of his biological parents are still alive, still living in Texas yet I know that he knows, I love him far more than those two combined. When a woman tells you that she treats you like she hates you, because she hates you, and that she only married you because she was a single Mom and needed the paycheck, it is time to say goodbye. That is, as long as the kids are grown. For those of you who are wondering about it, yes I know what the Bible says about divorce and yes, when I divorced her it was Scriptural. No, I will not say more on this issue because I have no desire to defame her any further.

 

In December of 1999 while I was living in Florida I married a young lady who is nine years younger than me who had one child. He was six years old and his biological Dad had committed suicide when he was four. My son is now 24 himself, his Mom and I have been married for 18 years now and it has been a very good marriage for the whole 18 years. We bought a house back in 2015 that had a fully functional 3 bedroom one bath apartment in a walkout basement where he now lives rent free, except he pays his own utilities and buys most of his own food. Do I love the boy, absolutely. Do I believe that he loves me, absolutely, yes I do. To me I feel very blessed to have a wife who I know loves me and two ‘Step’ Sons who I know loves me. I know that they both know that I am not their biological Dad but as the saying goes, and it is true, ‘we choose our family’. Even though I am a strong believer in ‘blood’ family, sometimes your blood family members simply have no use for you. So yes, I have chosen to marry a single Mom two different times, one time it worked out, the other time, not so much. But, through the Grace of G-d I was given two wonderful Sons. So, if I were younger and single and I found a woman that I really cared about who happened to have children, would that issue ‘scare me off’ from asking her to marry me, the answer is simple, NO!

‘Pops,’ Followed By Black Smoke And Fire, Reported At Storm-Crippled Texas Chemical Plant

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

‘Pops,’ followed by black smoke and fire, reported at storm-crippled Texas chemical plant

 August 31 at 9:56 AM

The flooded Arkema Inc. chemical plant is seen on Wednesday. (Godofredo A. Vasquez/Houston Chronicle via AP)

CROSBY, Tex. — The operators of a chemical plant left without power by floodwaters said Thursday that possible explosions have been reported at the facility, and they warned that more problems could occur as rising temperatures make the highly flammable compounds inside volatile and dangerous.

Arkema, the French chemicals group that runs the plant, said in a statement that it was notified by the Harris County Emergency Operations Center “of two explosions and black smoke” coming from the facility, which was under about six feet of water from the relentless rains unleashed by Harvey.

Local authorities later said there weren’t explosions at the facility, but rather “pops” followed by smoke and fire. But Arkema urged residents to stay clear of a temporary evacuation zone set up Wednesday, and said in its statement that “a threat of additional explosion remains.”

The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office reported “a series of chemical reactions” and “intermittent smoke” at the facility, about 25 miles northeast of Houston.

Bob Royall, assistant chief for emergency operations for the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, said there were “small container ruptures that may have a sound” — like “a series of pops.”

“I don’t want the public thinking these are massive explosions,” Royall told reporters.

“I want to be very clear: It was not an explosion,” Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

He added: “It is not anything toxic; it is not anything that we feel is a danger to the community at all.”

The plant in Crosby manufactures organic peroxides, a family of compounds used in everything from pharmaceuticals to construction materials such as counter tops and pipes.

A variety of federal agencies have warned about the dangers of organic peroxides. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration warns that “contact of organic peroxides with the eyes should be avoided. Some organic peroxides will cause serious injury to the cornea, even after brief contact, or will be corrosive to the skin.”

It added that “many organic peroxides also burn vigorously.”

An earlier study done for the Environmental Protection Agency found that organic peroxides are skin and eye irritants and could also cause liver damage.

Smoke from the plant left at least one sheriff’s deputy in need of medical treatment. A total of 15 deputies were evaluated by medical teams as a precaution, and most were later released from the hospital after experiencing what Gonzalez, the sheriff, referred to as respiratory irritation. “We believe the smoke is a non-toxic irritant,” he said.

The incident was reported between midnight and 1 a.m. on Thursday, and local authorities and Arkema officials had warned earlier that such problems were likely.

The material at the plant must remain cold — otherwise it can combust. “The material naturally degrades and some types can be unstable unless refrigerated,” Arkema explained.

The facility’s coolant system and inundated backup power generators failed, according to the company. Primary power at the plant went out on Sunday, and two sources of emergency backup power were lost shortly thereafter.

At that point, Richard Rowe, chief executive of Arkema’s North American unit, warned that trouble was likely.

“We have lost critical refrigeration of the materials on site that could now explode and cause a subsequent intense fire,” Rowe said in a statement Wednesday. “The high water and lack of power leave us with no way to prevent it. We have evacuated our personnel  for their own safety. The federal, state and local authorities were contacted a few days ago, and we are working very closely with them to manage this matter.  They have ordered the surrounding community to be evacuated, too.”

In the statement, Rowe apologized “to everyone impacted by our situation.”

A mandatory evacuation zone was established for a 1.5-mile radius Wednesday as the last remaining workers at the facility attempted to resolve the problem. Police cruisers and SUVs sealed off access to the plant on Highway 90, which connects Houston and Beaumont. Parts of the highway nearby were underwater.

A continuous flow of trucks, many hauling boats to participate in flood rescue efforts, approached the police barricade near the facility Wednesday afternoon only to be turned away as Crosby Volunteer Fire Department trucks crisscrossed the highway cut-through roads.

A Crosby, Tex. volunteer fireman with an evacuee in tow answers questions on road closures from bystanders near a chemical plant authorities said is going to explode. (Alex Horton/The Washington Post)

The facility, the company noted, “is in a rural area with no hospitals, schools, correctional facilities or recreational areas or industrial/commercial areas in the vicinity.” Arkema said the plant, which employs 57 people, “has never experienced flooding of this magnitude before.”

Ahead of Harvey’s arrival, “the plant made extensive preparations,” bringing extra backup generators to the facility, along with diesel-powered refrigerated tank trailers, Arkema said. But the generators were inundated by water and failed. At that point, the company said, “temperature-sensitive products” were transferred into the diesel-powered refrigerated containers.

Still, the company said Wednesday, “the most likely outcome is that, anytime between now and the next few days, the low-temperature peroxide in unrefrigerated trailers will degrade and catch fire. There is a small possibility that the organic peroxide will release into the floodwaters but will not ignite and burn. … In the alternate, there could be a combination event involving fire and environmental release. Any fire will probably resemble a large gasoline fire. The fire will be explosive and intense. Smoke will be released into the atmosphere and dissipate. People should remain clear of the area.”

The Associated Press reported that Arkema was previously required “to develop and submit a risk management plan to the Environmental Protection Agency, because it has large amounts of sulfur dioxide, a toxic chemical, and methylpropene, a flammable gas.”

The plans are supposed to detail the effects of a potential release, evaluate worst-case scenarios and explain a company’s response. In its most recently available submission from 2014, Arkema said potentially 1.1 million residents could be impacted over a distance of 23 miles (37 kilometers) in a worse case scenario, according to information compiled by a nonprofit group and posted on a website hosted by the Houston Chronicle.

But, Arkema added, it was using “multiple layers of preventative and mitigation measures” at the plant, including steps to reduce the amount of substances released, and that made the worst case “very unlikely.”

On Wednesday, James and Deborah Hyer sat, frustrated, in a white pickup truck with a plant water tower in view. They were waiting with their three young children for the police to clear out so they could return to their home in Dayton, about 10 miles north of the barricade.

They were out of milk and water, with local stores either closed or cleaned out of supplies.

Their newly purchased double-wide trailer on top of a hill escaped much of the floodwaters, Deborah Hyer said, but some of their friends living at the bottom experienced complete devastation.

“They lost everything,” she said. One friend of hers, a single mother of five children, lived in a house on 17-foot stilts, but the water rose so high she had to evacuate, she said.

In tiny Kenefick to the northeast, neighborhoods built on the floodplains and banks of the Trinity River were destroyed, and relatives of friends who tried to evacuate were still missing.

 Play Video 0:54
Houston hero rescues neighbors from Harvey’s floodwaters
Howard Harris purchased a boat last time his hometown of Cypress, Tex., flooded. Now, as Harvey unleashes record levels of rain on Houston and surrounding areas, Harris is making sure his neighbors can evacuate safely. (Kurt Kuykendall, Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

As in other areas like Houston and its western suburb of Katy, residents remarked on the quick response of volunteers with fishing boats fanning out as self-deputized rescue units.

“Some authorities are helping, but civilians like the Cajun Navy are helping the most,” James Hyer said.

A Crosby Volunteer Fire Department truck with flashing lights stopped as another man flagged him down to get updates on alternate routes to Dayton.

“We have nowhere to go,” James Hyer pleaded to the firefighter.

“I’d go away from here,” the firefighter responded, though he conceded he did not know which nearby back roads were flooded or, like Highway 90, sealed by police. The Hyer family, resigned, turned around with their backs to Dayton.

Cleveland Walters, Jr. waits for a police barricade to close down on Highway 90 in Crosby, Tex. Police sealed off the highway following reports of an imminent explosion at a chemical plant after floodwaters damaged its coolant systems. (Alex Horton/The Washington Post)

Cleveland Walters Jr., who also lives in Dayton, waited more than an hour outside his black GMC pickup to get home, where his wife and elderly 92-year old father needed to be cared for, he said.

“Dayton is where all my medicine is,” he said, ticking off the medical issues stemming from Agent Orange he said he was exposed to while serving in the U.S. Air Force in Guam during the final years of the Vietnam War.

The runways for B-52 Stratofortress bombers taking off were choked with jungles, and the defoliant sprayed around his tent sparked skin and gastrointestinal problems. He takes about 30 pills a day, he said, and had only a limited supply with him as he sat on Highway 90.

But Walters wasn’t overly concerned about the plant’s reported impending explosion, after working in the oil industry for many years after his service.

“I drive by it about every day. It is what it is,” he said. He left soon after, and like the Hyer family, put more distance between himself and Dayton as rescue vehicles roared to Beaumont.

Mufson and du Lac reported from Washington. Brian Murphy and Mark Berman contributed to this report, which has been updated.

Author's Canvas

Where writing is celebrated

Barstool Buddha

Everything Is Subject To Change.

UTLOT

A Blog Of Blogs

DREAMS AND ESCAPES

For the nth time, I wish I could put into words the thoughts burning in my mind. I do not know how you could take interest in reading all these muddled thoughts.

radhikasreflection

Everyday musings ....Life as I see it.......my space, my reflections and thoughts !!

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

Purple Haze

Darkness, delusion, smeared with a stick of butter and laughter. Words collide, they bring forth death!

Bustin Garin

À consommer avant octobre 2018

%d bloggers like this: