American Elephants


Democrats Fail the Religious Test by The Elephant's Child

Senator Dianne Feinstein made an unforgivable Constitutional error during the confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judicial nominee to the 7th Circuit — Amy Coney Barret who was appearing before the committee. Feinstein insinuated an anti Catholic stereotype that goes back at least 150 years in this country—that Catholics are unable to separate church and state because they place their religious allegiances before their oath to the Constitution. A number of her Democratic colleagues insinuated that her Catholic faith would prevent her from applying the law freely and fairly.

The No Religious Test Clause of the Constitution is a clause in Article VI, Section 3. By its plain terms, no federal office holder or employee can be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or a federal government job. It comes right after the clause that requires all federal and state officers to take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. (including Senators)

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The Eagle Creek Fire: 3,000 Acres Around This Beautiful Spot by The Elephant's Child

Please read this post by Alex Berezow, about the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon.This beautiful spot is Punch Bowl Falls. Just down the road, right along Interstate 84 is Multonomah Falls, a 620-foot waterfall, utterly beautiful. I’ve been there.

Both are in danger because of acts of pure stupidity and recklessness. The fire is about 7 percent contained and has burned over 3,000 acres because some teenagers shot off some fireworks. Six or more communities have been evacuated, some of the territory includes the watershed that is one of the main sources of water for the city of Portland.

Lots of evacuations, bad air quality for those with respiratory problems, closure of locks and Columbia river, many communities. Nice going teenagers. I hope they’re prosecuted. It will take years to recover.

UPDATE:  11% contained, burning 35,000 acres. Interstate 84 is closed in the Columbia River Gorge. The west lanes will be opened when it is safe. ODOT have already removed 1,500 trees that were posing a hazard to the Interstate highway, but nearly another 1,000 trees still need to be felled. A beautiful drive won’t be beautiful again for many, many years.



9/11 Hurricane Update by The Elephant's Child

Hurricane Irma is weakening and headed north and west through Alabama, and mopping up has started in Florida. About half of Florida has been reported to be without power, and may be for even weeks — an interesting development for those who depend on electric cars. Closed gas stations will be resupplied soon, but they did say the power may be out for weeks.

Puerto Rico was dealt only a glancing blow by Irma, and relieved Puerto Ricans are donating water, clothing, first aid and other supplies as they head off to St. Thomas where they weren’t so lucky. Government-led missions have also been evacuating people from the islands to Puerto Rico in six C130 aircraft. Some 1,200 American citizens have been carried from St. Martin and St. Thomas, and more than 50 patients have been airlifted to Puerto Rican hospitals. The civilian effort has been local, spontaneous and a volunteer affair. Hundreds of volunteers have packed shipping containers full of supplies. Power and phone service have left islanders disconnected from the rest of the world.

José seems to be still spinning around in circles.Vast warnings about the coast and possible landfall as far north as New York or New England, but it has weakened and isn’t going anywhere at the moment. I remain interested because it is all so foreign to me and I know so little about hurricanes.

Governors seem to have been very good at urging evacuation and safety. Human nature assures us that there will still be idiots out there wind surfing in the hurricane, or wandering out to look at the way the sea has withdrawn so far. There is some talk from officials about prosecuting those who abandoned their pets. Seattle Humane is receiving many dogs and cats from Florida.

 




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