The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Bryan Fischer

The Supreme Court has taken up a case from Washington state on “faithless electors,” that is, electors who pledge to vote for somebody then vote for somebody else. Many states have laws against doing that, and prescribe fines for going rogue. The case is about whether states are permitted to do that.

In order to answer that constitutional question, we first must understand how the Electoral College is supposed to work in the first place. Most Americans don’t have clue one.

The electoral process designed by the Founders reflects the fundamental character of America’s republican form of government, in which the vast majority of decisions are not made directly by the people but rather by the people we have chosen to make these decisions for us. America is a republic, not a democracy.

Donald Trump is president because he won the Electoral College by trouncing Hillary Clinton 304-227. At the same time, Trump lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes – Hillary received almost 65.8 million votes to Trump’s 63.0 million. This, of course, has led to screeching from the left that Hillary was robbed and that any system which would deprive the winner of the popular vote of an election victory must be a fundamentally unfair system. Continue reading

Abortion survivor Gianna Jessen

The anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court abortion decision, Roe v. Wade, is upon us again. And here we are, 61 million abortions later.

Some of the most powerful spokespersons against Roe are those who survived an attempted abortion. At least 300 Americans alive today are in that category. Here we will highlight three such survivors.

A couple of months ago, I heard a dramatic talk from Gianna Jessen of Tennessee. Born in 1977, Gianna survived a saline abortion, and her story has been told in a Focus on the Family book, Gianna: Aborted, and Lived to Tell about It.

Gianna has even run two marathons, despite the cerebral palsy caused by the abortion-attempt. It took her several hours longer than the average runner to complete the 26.2 miles. But she made it. Twice.

Some say she lacks a “quality of life,” but she asks (as I recall), “Who are you to judge my ‘quality of life’?” Thanks to the faithfulness of the Lord, she has a high “quality of life,” thank you very much.

Another survivor is Melissa Ohden of Missouri. I had the privilege to interview her for Christian TV recently. As a child she knew she had been adopted. But not until she was 14 did she learn the back story. Continue reading

Frank Salvato

“Here, McConnell is trying to prevent the witness from ever testifying, and the public from ever finding out what they have to say…this will be the first impeachment trial in American history in which the Senate did not allow the House to present its case with witnesses and documents.” – House Democrats Impeachment Managers statement, January 21, 2020

After a Progressive Democrat-led House impeachment process that included secret, behind-closed-door meetings that excluded any Republican; that refused to allow Republicans to call witnesses of their choice; that censored Republican lines of questioning; and that Democrat leadership stated upon its codifying vote was “proof positive” and “airtight”, now Progressive-Democrats say they need an opportunity to “make their case”?

The time for “making the case” was during the phase of the process when the case was required to be made. That phase was the House impeachment phase.

The impeachment process draws from the idea of our legal system but it is a political vehicle that only draws loosely from that model. Just as the House is not mandated to present evidence of a specific compilation of impeachable conduct (i.e. they can be vague, as in the case presented against Trump), the Senate is not mandated to apply specific procedural rules or due-process standards during an impeachment trial (i.e. they do not have to satisfy a call for witnesses given that the evidentiary phase of the process was supposed to be satisfied in the House). Continue reading

One of the most common complaints is, “I don’t like my job.” The person complaining may not like their boss or their hours. Their complaint may be about the pay or the office politics. Such complaining is not new. The Bible is filled with such incidents. I’ll point out two that took place shortly after the Jewish people were delivered from bondage in Egypt, about 1500 BC. At the time, Moses was God’s leader of these freed slaves.

Shortly after they left Egypt, God designated a small group to be priests and another group to be assistants to the priests. One of those assistants, Korah, wasn’t satisfied with his job, so he organized a protest. He gathered 250 community leaders and they took their demands to Moses. Numbers 16:3 records their accusations, “You [Moses] have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” In today’s language Korah’s complaint would sound like this: “Hey, who made you boss? We’re just as good as you are. What makes you think you’re so special to be in charge?” Continue reading

Shark sculpture created from plastic waste washed ashore on the beach at the Oregon Zoo. © Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham

Traveling art exhibit aims to raise plastics awareness for healthy oceans

The newest arrivals at the Oregon Zoo may hail from the beach, but they aren’t your typical marine animals. “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” a series of giant sea-life sculptures made from ocean debris, debuted at the zoo this week. From Chompers the Shark, who greets visitors on the boardwalk, to Hugo the Humpback Whale, who can be spotted near the concert lawn, each sculpture is made from found materials in the hopes of raising awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans.

For video of the exhibit, visit bit.ly/washashore

“We’re thrilled to bring this fun and engaging outdoor art exhibit to the zoo,” said Tom Gaskill, the zoo’s conservation learning program manager. “Not only are the sculptures beautiful but they’re built to spark great conversations about healthy ocean habitats and ways we can all help marine life thrive.” Continue reading

“All the sportswriters were mad at me that night because they wanted to get to Hank after the game and I closed the clubhouse to everyone but the team and families . . . I stood on a table and said what I thought about Hank, which was that he was the best ballplayer I ever saw in my life.” – [manager] Eddie Mathews

“THE UNDERGROUND IS EVERYWHERE” was a slogan of our 1960s hippies, who were but a mirror image of Russia’s 1860s Nihilists (whose males wore their hair long and the females had short hair (and they had alternative life-styles that shocked the traditionalists). I was at the University of Wisconsin during the days of the “revolution” and posted my own slogans in the Badger Herald – such as “The Underwood is everywhere.” On a manual Underwood I had been attempting to write a futuristic novel about a Red Sox-Atlanta World Series – plus the return of our braves from “foreign entanglements” and “police actions.” It didn’t get finished yet, but who knew that we would be able to post our stuff on the World Wide Web with computers for free (ain’t free enterprise amazing?). In the meantime, I’ve used up about eight of my nine lives, through a series of miracles that I should detail sometime, and I’ve lived to write another day, adding to my 800-some columns. Continue reading

The 2019 Oregon Legislature established a new tax affecting all firms that do business in Oregon. While it is called by its misnomer the “Corporate Activity Tax,” the CAT actually applies to most types of organizational entities such as partnerships, individuals, limited liability companies, and trusts that have commercial activity generated in Oregon in the regular course of their trade or business. It is a tax paid annually for the privilege of doing business in Oregon. Initial expectations are that it will raise about $1 billion in new revenue annually. These funds are to be set aside for exclusive use for education and school purposes.

By now, every business in Oregon should have received a generic letter from the Oregon Department of Revenue alerting them to this new tax. This letter is a helpful primer on the CAT, but is not incredibly useful in figuring out the impact on each business’s specific situation. As is usual with all tax law, the devil is in the details.

How did the Corporate Activity Tax come about? In May 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 3427. In this bill, it established the CAT as the primary mechanism to fund the new Fund for Student Success. Then in June 2019, the Legislature passed HB 2164 which provided technical Continue reading

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Today, Secretary of State Bev Clarno announced that Jeff Morgan has been sworn in as Interim Deputy Secretary of State. Jeff has over 39 years of public service in the State of Oregon and has been with the agency as Director of our Business Services Division since 2004. He has also been nationally recognized as an exemplary manager and public servant.

“Jeff has been a wonderful member of the leadership team as Director of the Business Services Division and I am very pleased that he has agreed to step up to the position of Interim Deputy,” Secretary Clarno said. “I am confident that he will help guide this agency and assist me in managing the important duties of the office.”

Jeff has been happily married to his lovely wife, Patti, for over 44 years. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Kathryn Hickok, Cascade Policy Institute

January 26-February 1 is National School Choice Week, the world’s largest celebration of parental choice and effective education options for all children. Since 2011, more than 180,000 independent NSCW events and activities have been planned in local communities across the country.

The landscape of options to meet the learning needs of today’s students is more diverse than ever. These options include traditional public schools, charter schools, private and parochial schools, homeschooling, magnet schools, online learning, and more.

Empowering parents to choose among these options can unlock the unique potential of every child. More than half the states in the U.S. now help families to have more flexibility with their children’s education through educational choice programs like privately or publicly funded scholarships, education tax credits, and Education Savings Accounts.
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