The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Jerry Newcombe

Ronald Reagan once noted, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

There is a frenzy right now of iconoclasm. We are going through a period where so-called “Social Justice Warriors,” are tearing down statues left and right.

It began with heroes of the confederacy, such as Robert E. Lee, but now it has even reached General Lee’s great rival—General Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union army.

When does it stop? Where does it stop? So many statues, so little time. Just last week in the state of Oregon, rioters targeted a statue of George Washington, spray-painting the words “Genocidal Colonist.” Then they burned a U.S. flag on the head of the statue, before pulling it down. And they reveled in their supposedly good deed. Continue reading

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday directing the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department to further assist foster children with what the department says are bipartisan measures particularly needed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Lynn Johnson, who serves as assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, portrayed the latest effort as part of an unprecedented level of support from the federal government.

“Since the president took office, we have focused on promoting adoption unlike any previous administration, and we’ve begun to see results,” Azar said in a press release. “The president’s executive order lays out bold reforms for our work with states, communities, and faith-based partners to build a brighter future for American kids who are in foster care or in crisis.” Continue reading

Rachel Dawson, Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Governor Kate Brown took carbon policy into her own hands earlier this year after the failure of Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill by issuing Executive Order 20-04. This order creates new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals and directs various agencies to take actions and exercise their authority to reduce GHG emissions.

Four agencies, the Department of Transportation (ODOT), Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLC), Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Department of Energy (ODOE), collaborated to develop a draft statewide work plan in response to the governor’s directive, known as the Every Mile Counts initiative.

The strategy is fundamentally flawed. On the one hand, it duplicates efforts already underway. On the other hand, it does so in a way that will impose additional costs on Oregonians without producing any measurable effects on global climate change.

Objective 1: Reduce VMT per capita
The work plan proposes a number of action items aimed at decreasing statewide vehicle miles traveled. In the 2004 Statewide Congestion Overview for Oregon report, ODOT predicted that we could expect an additional 15,500 vehicle miles traveled (VMT) annually for every job created in Oregon and 360 additional VMT for every $1,000 increase in total state personal income. Continue reading

Vlad Yurlov

Alcohol-lovers may have a reason for a toast. Oregon’s Liquor Control Commission is taking steps to decrease regulations on sellers, thereby expanding economic opportunity in the food and beverage industry, which was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

Alcohol sales are tightly controlled by the OLCC, which imposes stringent rules on individuals and businesses before, during, and after alcohol purchases. When restaurants and bars had to close their doors to on-site service due to Oregon’s coronavirus response, the OLCC temporarily relaxed some rules regarding alcohol delivery. Because these rules are temporary, though, Oregonians’ easier access to wine and microbrews could once again be limited before this fall.

Recently, the OLCC has begun a process to make the temporary relaxation permanent. These changes would allow increased flexibility in how alcohol can be delivered to customers and increase the hours during which alcohol may be purchased. The changes raise the question of why such burdensome restrictions were imposed in the first place.

When Oregon has to close a door, we can open a window. Let’s keep economic freedom for Oregon businesses and customers at the forefront of Oregon’s rule-making process.

Vlad Yurlov is a Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free-market public policy research organization.

By Paul Driessen

Why don’t African black lives and ecological values matter? or impacts in and beyond Virginia?

The US Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had invalidated a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which will bring West Virginia natural gas to Virginia and North Carolina, for home heating, factory power, electricity generation and manufacturing petrochemical feedstocks.

Environmentalists had claimed the US Forest Service had no authority to issue the permit, because a 0.1-mile (530-foot) segment would cross 600 feet below the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail, which is administered by the National Park Service. Justice Thomas’s majority opinion scuttled that assertion.

Pipeline project developers Dominion Resources and Duke Energy should receive the USFS and other permits relatively soon – and have the pipeline in operation by early 2022 – unless a Biden administration takes over in 2021 (with AOC as woke climate and energy advisor to Biden and Democrats) and imposes Green New Deal bans on drilling, fracking, pipelines, and eventually any use of natural gas, oil and coal. Continue reading

Cooper Conway

George Floyd’s tragic death has led to growing calls for changes to antiquated policing systems. The recent protests asking for police reform over these past few weeks have caused many families to question the systemic discrimination that is hardwired into the assignment of students to public schools.

Census data reports U.S. spending per student has nearly tripled since 1960—and that’s after accounting for inflation. Oregon now spends almost $15,000 per student per year. In Portland Public Schools, it’s $27,500 per student. Even so, Oregon ranks near the bottom of the states in graduation rates.

Despite this monumental increase in funding the government’s school system with no positive results to show, most Oregon students are assigned a school based on their street address. This isn’t an accident—it’s written into district policies. Kids from low-income neighborhoods are placed in low-income schools, while wealthy families have the option to move to neighborhoods with better schools. Continue reading

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano Photo credit: Wikipedia

Mr. President,

In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.

These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.

In society, Mr. President, these two opposing realities co-exist as eternal enemies, just as God and Satan are eternal enemies. And it appears that the children of darkness – whom we may easily identify with the deep state which you wisely oppose and which is fiercely waging war against you in these days Continue reading

Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò wrote that the COVID-19 government response and BLM riots are part of a plot to bring about a New World Order.

Major world figures are at last spotlighting the conspiratorial forces behind global politics. Are the people ready to accept the truth?

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted an open letter addressed to him by Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò (shown) in which Viganò described the worldwide coronavirus response and the widespread Black Lives Matter agitations as tactics of a “Masonic” Deep State that seeks to hurt the American president’s reelection chances and ultimately “dominate the world” to create a globalist “New World Order.”

From 2011 to 2016, Vioganò served as the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, meaning he was the Holy See’s diplomat to America. He is known for shedding light on abuses within the Catholic Church.

In 2012, the publication of letters Viganò had written complaining of corruption in Vatican finances fueled the Vatican leaks scandal. In 2018, he published an 11-page letter accusing Pope Francis and other senior Church leaders of concealing sexual abuse allegations against then-senior cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a progressive powerbroker and prolific fundraiser in Washington, D.C. McCarrick was ultimately dismissed from the clergy last year. Continue reading

As many of us start to use more mobile banking apps while we are spending more time at home, the Oregon Attorney General and the Oregon Bankers Association are warning Oregonians to be on high alert for cyber actors exploiting these platforms using app-based banking trojans and fake banking apps.

Last week, the FBI issued a warning that specifically pointed to the threat of banking trojans, which involve hiding a malicious virus on a user’s mobile device until a legitimate banking app is downloaded. Once the real app is on the device, the banking trojan then overlays the app, tricking the user into clicking on it and inputting their banking login credentials.

Fake banking apps were also cited as a threat, where users are tricked into downloading malicious apps that steal sensitive banking information.

“With city, state, and local governments urging or mandating social distancing, Oregonians have become more willing to use mobile banking as an alternative to physically visiting branch locations. It is shameful that scammers are trying to take advantage of this. In order to combat these threats, I am sharing the following tips to keep you, your money and your personal information protected,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Continue reading

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