Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 20, 1977. . .The Johnstown Flood

On the night of July 19, 1977, it rained. A violent thunderstorm remained stationary and deposited nearly a foot of rain. I took these pictures from the Conemaugh/Franklin Bridge and in Woodvale at Bethlehem Steel's Bar, Rod & Wire Division employee parking lot as soon as the water receded. I used a cheap 126 film camera manufactured during the late 1960’s. Thanks to modern technology, I’ve been able to preserve this moment in history.

Johnstown, PA has a history of being wiped out by floodwaters. In fact, the city is nicknamed, “The Flood City”.

Once In Ten Thousand Years
The dams that surround Johnstown, stretching throughout the Conemaugh Valley, were unsuspecting accomplices in the Great Flood of 1977. They were duped by the instigator - the rain.

When they failed, six dams poured more than 128 million gallons of water into the Conemaugh Valley Twenty million gallons were unleashed on Johnstown when the South Fork Dam burst in 1889.

A phenomenal amount of rainfall - 11.82 inches In 10 hours was too much for both the dams and the sewers in the Conemaugh Valley The rainfall and the dam failures created the Great Flood of 1977.

The National Weather Service said a once-in-a-1,000 year flood in the valley could have resulted from 7.32 inches of rainfall in a 10 hour period. But an 11.82 Inch rainfall would be a once-in -a- 5,000 to 10,000 year occurrence.

Johnstown Flood 1977 TV Report:
This is a report from WTAJ-TV, Altoona reporter Jon McClintock - the first outsider to reach Johnstown, PA in the 1977 flood that killed 78 people
Unlike the Hurricane Katrina disaster, there were no crime waves, violence or serious looting incidents. People worked together and made the most out of a bad situation. Unlike New Orleans, a “shoot to kill” order was issued for looters. This and a large heavily armed population of White People prevented trouble in most instances. The 1977 Johnstown Flood was the first in a series of events which eventually lead to my relocation to Arizona. Economic decline, unemployment, mill closings along with the importation of foreign steel products all lead to my migration.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A sad day for “Justice”. . .

It will be a sad day for justice when Sonia Sotomayor takes her seat on the bench of the U. S. Supreme Court.

Remember that expression, “equal protection under the law”? This is anything but true. The public has been brainwashed into thinking that we are all somehow equal despite what the laws of nature and the laws of our land have to say. “Equality” couldn’t be any further from the truth. Scientifically, legally and politically speaking, we are NOT “amorphous”.

Even under the un-natural laws created by civilized man, we are not treated as equals. Equality in the United States of America is and always will be an illusion, just as democracy itself is an illusion. We were guaranteed full “inequality” the day Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This law created protected classes of people granting them special and very unequal treatment. This was nothing new as labor laws going back to the 193o’s created divisions where employees were not treated equally. These laws are still on the books today.

These laws opened the door to “affirmative action” and even more unfair and unequal treatment. What will they pass into law next? One thing is certain, Supreme Court Justices will test those laws.

Sotomayor declared 'unqualified to serve'
Pro-life leader: She "does not understand or respect appropriate role of a judge'

She referenced Sotomayor's 2001 lecture, "A Latina Judge's Voice," in which the judge argued that facts and applicable law in a case are not sufficient to reach a decision. Instead, Sotomayor emphasized personal viewpoints and experience: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Yoest said Sotomayor, who serves on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, later implied that as a judge, she does not choose to see all of the facts in cases before her: "Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. … I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

These confirmation hearings we’ve watched on the news are nothing more than a “dog and pony show”. At one point in everyone of our lives, we made a career decision. In making that choice, we created a “self-promoting” resume, applied for a job and interviewed with a potential employer. That is exactly what Sotomayor is doing now. I’m sure most of us remember what we were willing to do to get what we wanted. I think everybody lies to Congress, why would Sotomayor be any different?

I believe that it’s safe to say that the vast majority of us told our interviewers what we thought they wanted to hear. Regardless of our work history, which are facts that never change, we made sure our potential future employer got an earful of only the “enhanced” version of the story of. . . .Bla! Bla! Bla!.

Confirmation hearing are no different. Regardless of what she tells Congress, remember all of the decisions she made that were eventually over-turned. Especially the case of those white firefighters. They were not treated equally or fairly. Justice was deaf and blind the day those firefighters were denied the promotions they EARNED. They were denied advancement solely on the basis of the color of their skin. Sotomayor stood firmly behind that racist decision. A decision that was ultimately overturned.

If your life depended on it, wouldn’t you want the most qualified first responders to be the one’s coming to help? If you needed surgery, would you prefer the best qualified doctor or the less qualified doctor hired as a result of affirmative action?

Recently, Barack Obama claimed that “affirmative action” is not harmful to White People. In reality, affirmative action hurts everybody.

One of my job hunting experiences. . . .

Late in 2007, I attempted to get a judicial appointment to an elected post which became vacant. The title was “Constable” and it was with the Pinal County J. P. #8 Court. Constables serve papers such as forcible detainers and restraining orders, primarily to deadbeat renters and wife beaters. Generally, these are people that are evasive and potentially violent. All I needed was to be a registered Republican, understand English and have a valid drivers license to apply for the position.

It wasn’t long before I was scheduling an interview with J. P. #8’s Judge Sulley, members of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors and the City of Maricopa’s Public Safety Director, Patrick Melvin.

I pulled my hair back and put on a suite. I told them what they wanted to hear. Although I had very little law enforcement experience, I did work for a company that engaged in advertising and political marketing for approximately 8 years. One of the questions asked, was how I would go about getting elected during the November 2008 election. That political marketing experience and my participation in Cambria County’s (PA) Superior Court Judge Joseph O’Kicki’s re-election campaign during my college days came up. (Joseph O’Kicki eventually became one of America’s Most Wanted after being convicted on corruption charges. He never got caught.)

Obviously, I did not win the appointment. Although I was “highly recommended”, a candidate having 26 years of law enforcement experience got the position and won his electoral bid. I voted for him.

Yoest warned that, as a Supreme Court justice, Sotomayor would "shape judicial decisions to suit her policy preferences."

Sotomayor will more than likely be confirmed to the Supreme Court later this year. We can all look forward to more unfair decisions that will bring suffering to many Americans regardless of their ethnicity or station in life. The new ‘hate crimes” legislation (a.k.a. Pedophile Protection Act) will be the newest injustice forced upon us. When Americans are terrified of using a public restroom in fear that some “alternate lifestyle” embracing sexual predator (with a free pass from Congress) will be waiting for them inside, maybe they will finally wake up and become “enlightened“.

“You’re talking like a clown. Your hair’s in ugly braids. Our only hope is that someday you’ll catch AIDS.” --Those Opposed, One Step Closer


Sunday, July 19, 2009

NRA Statement On Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Nomination To The United States Supreme Court

Joint Statement:
Wayne Lapierre, Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association And Chris W. Cox, Executive Director, National Rifle Association - Institute For Legislative Action On Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Nomination To The United States Supreme Court

Other than declaring war, neither house of Congress has a more solemn responsibility than the Senate's role in confirming justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Senate considers the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Americans have been watching to see whether this nominee - if confirmed - would respect the Second Amendment or side with those who have declared war on the rights of America's 80 million gun owners.

From the outset, the National Rifle Association has respected the confirmation process and hoped for mainstream answers to bedrock questions. Unfortunately, Judge Sotomayor's judicial record and testimony clearly demonstrate a hostile view of the Second Amendment and the fundamental right of self-defense guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

It is only by ignoring history that any judge can say that the Second Amendment is not a fundamental right and does not apply to the states. The one part of the Bill of Rights that Congress clearly intended to apply to all Americans in passing the Fourteenth Amendment was the Second Amendment. History and congressional debate are clear on this point.

Yet Judge Sotomayor seems to believe that the Second Amendment is limited only to the residents of federal enclaves such as Washington, D.C. and does not protect all Americans living in every corner of this nation. In her Maloney opinion and during the confirmation hearings, she deliberately misread Supreme Court precedent to support her incorrect view.

In last year's historic Heller decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual's right to own firearms and recognizes the inherent right of self-defense. In addition, the Court required lower courts to apply the Twentieth Century cases it has used to incorporate a majority of the Bill of Rights to the States. Yet in her Maloney opinion, Judge Sotomayor dismissed that requirement, mistakenly relying instead on Nineteenth Century jurisprudence to hold that the Second Amendment does not apply to the States.

This nation was founded on a set of fundamental freedoms. Our Constitution does not give us those freedoms - it guarantees and protects them. The right to defend ourselves and our loved ones is one of those. The individual right to keep and bear arms is another. These truths are what define us as Americans. Yet, Judge Sotomayor takes an opposite view, contrary to the views of our Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and the vast majority of the American people.

We believe any individual who does not agree that the Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right and who does not respect our God-given right of self-defense should not serve on any court, much less the highest court in the land. Therefore, the National Rifle Association of America opposes the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the position of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

- NRA -
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

I'm the NRA, and I vote.
It's better to have a gun and not need it, rather that need a gun and not have it.