The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

President Trump salutes as he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House | September 15, 2020

American households saw their best economic gains in half a century last year under President Trump, according to a report this week from the Census Bureau.

And with the President’s pro-growth, pro-worker policies in action, this standard can be achieved again as America safely reopens from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Median household income grew by a stunning $4,400 in 2019, resulting in an all-time record of $68,700. This 6.8 percent one-year increase is the largest gain on record for median income growth.

The poverty rate plunged to an all-time low of 10.5 percent, as well. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, over 4 million Americans were lifted out of poverty, and the child poverty rate fell to a nearly 50-year low in 2019.

Minority groups including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans saw the largest gains in income, while poverty rates fell to a record low for every race and ethnic group in 2019.

Black Americans, for example, saw a 7.9 percent median income increase and a poverty rate that fell below 20 percent for the first time in history.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this historic progress in 2020. Nevertheless, America today is witnessing the fastest recovery from any economic crisis in history. Thanks to the strong fundamentals of the Trump Economy, the monthly jobs report has met or exceeded economist expectations for four months in a row.

The new Census report confirms what we know to be true: With the right agenda for blue-collar and middle-class workers, there’s no limit to America’s economic greatness!

John R. Charles, Jr. President, Cascade Policy Institute

The state legislature is seeking policy proposals for “equity in education.” Here’s an idea: how about a money-back guarantee for public schools?

The K-12 system is based on the assumption that all students should attend neighborhood public schools. Even in the best of times, that wasn’t working for many families. Now the assigned schools aren’t even open; the governor has mandated online learning.

Virtual education has some benefits, but also imposes new costs for parents. They are now part of the educational workforce, except they’re not getting compensated.

There is a solution. School districts are funded from three primary sources: the state school fund, the federal government, and local property taxes. The state share alone averages about $10,000 per student annually. The legislature should offer parents a refund of the $10,000 if they leave the public school system. This would instantly make the departing families better off, while reducing crowded conditions for those students who remain. With fewer students, it would be easier for public schools to restore classroom education. Everyone wins.

One system cannot satisfy all needs. The best way to give families more options is to provide them with the equivalent of a Food Stamp card upon request, and let them swipe it for the instructional services they need.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free-market public policy research organization.

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington Update

Video streaming giant Netflix is drawing criticism once again, this time for hosting and promoting the film “Cuties,” which sexualizes 11-year-old girls. Having failed to learn its lesson after the trailer generated outrage last month, Netflix has gone ahead and made the movie available on its platform, despite many critics describing it as “child pornography.”

Republican lawmakers took swift action. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote a letter to Attorney General Barr, calling for an investigation into whether Netflix broke any federal laws relating to child pornography. The letter states: “These scenes in and of themselves are harmful. And it is likely that the filming of this movie created even more explicit and abusive scenes, and that pedophiles across the world in the future will manipulate and imitate this film in abusive ways.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote a letter to the CEO of Netflix, demanding that he explain the company’s decision to publish this harmful content. He asked why the film was rated “TV-MA” for language with no mention of the sexual content, whether Netflix considered the psychological and emotional impacts from the sexualization of minors or the effect of the film on children, and why the company marketed the film so suggestively.

Netflix is deeply intertwined with the agenda of the sexual revolution. Just last year, Netflix threatened to boycott Georgia if a pro-life law went into effect. Legalized abortion perpetuates the myth that there are “no consequences” to engaging in sex outside of marriage, and it is often used by sexual abusers of children to cover up their crimes. By releasing the film “Cuties” to its viewers, Netflix is now actively participating in the sexual exploitation of minors. Continue reading

Victoria Larson, N.D.

The most rewarding money and stress reliever is gardening, empowering your food security. I gave my son-in-law, who lives in an apartment, a tomato plant for Father’s Day. He was so thrilled when he got his first tomato! Even if you only grew one plant on your porch you’ve empowered yourself. Even if you only grew one zucchini you’ll end up with a lot of food. One 8” zucchini, shredded, will fill a one-quart freezer container. A quart of shredded zucchini mixed with cooked rice or quinoa makes lovely fritters for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or zucchini chocolate cake.

Of course if you have a larger garden you may need to lock your car door at church to avoid anyone dropping a baseball-bat-sized zucchini into your car! They can be sliced lengthwise for lasagna or crosswise for sautéing, never waste food. Almost one half of all food in America is tossed as garbage! No wonder starving nations think we’re wasteful. Give food to your neighbors, start a compost heap, get chickens to eat your vegetable “waste.” Continue reading

Pastor Matthew Cummings

I have been concerned about the current political situation, and how our constitutional republic is under assault.

Groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa are left-wing Marxists whose goal is to destroy our civilization through thuggish actions and other forms of intimidation. These groups hope to sway people away from voting for President Trump and to vote for Joe Biden. Add to this scenario the pandemic and we see wide-scale chaos.

We can see a very crafted and calculated agenda unfolding before our eyes. Everything being said by the leftist mainstream media is a lie to deceive the American people.

This is the first of four articles explaining why the Black community votes Democratic.The first lie started with the 1912 presidential election.

William H. Taft, the Republican incumbent, was vying against former President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) for the Republican nomination. The Republican Party was split between the two candidates, and this gave Governor Woodrow Wilson (D-NJ) a chance to capitalize on the division and undermine the Black voting bloc who since the end of the Civil War had strongly supported Republican candidates. Continue reading

President Trump, Foreign Affairs Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, and Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Arab Emirates Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan wave after signing the Abraham Accords | September 15, 2020 Photo credit: White House

History was made today at the White House as leaders from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain met with President Trump and signed the Abraham Accords, which will normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and the two Arab nations.

Before this summer, only two peace deals involving Israel had been negotiated in the last 72 years, with the most recent coming in 1994. During the past month alone, President Trump has helped broker two such agreements.

🎬 President Trump: A foundation for peace nobody thought possible!

“Today the world sees that [these nations] are choosing cooperation over conflict, friendship over enmity, prosperity over poverty, and hope over despair,” President Trump said.

They are choosing a future in which Arabs and Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians can live together, pray together, and dream together.”

The first steps between Israel and both Bahrain and the UAE are an exchange of embassies and ambassadors, as well as the start of direct commercial flights between countries.

Each leader spoke today about the significance of the Abraham Accords in the pursuit of enduring peace in the Middle East:

  • “This day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said.
  • “Peace requires courage, and shaping the future requires knowledge,” Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates said. “We have come today to tell the world that this is our approach.”
  • “Today is a truly historic occasion—a moment of hope and opportunity for all the peoples of the Middle East,” Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani of Bahrain said.

Continue reading

Steve Bates

When was the last time you thought of those who were prisoners of war or those who are still missing in action? Can you imagine what it was like being a prisoner? Have you contemplated the lack of closure the families of the missing experience?

Years ago, hundreds of thousands wore POW/MIA bracelets with the name and capture date of our imprisoned military members. Today we rarely talk about our soldiers who were prisoners of war and those who are missing in action.

We need more memorials and remembrances so our citizens do not forget the sacrifices of our heroes and their families. These memorials and remembrances cause our children and grandchildren to ask questions and develop an understanding. Our future generations need to understand the cost of the wars that have been fought.

Most of us are unaware that over 700 Oregonians were Prisoners of War during World War I and World War II. Of that number, 112 were civilians. Almost 200 Oregonians died in captivity since World War I. 18 of those died in Korea and 3 died in Vietnam. Continue reading


Marlon Furtado

“We’ve never seen such devastation.” “We just got out with our clothes on our backs.” “We’ve been able to go back to our home. All that’s left are ashes.”

You’ve probably heard these and other expressions of grief and shock. With 10% of Oregon’s population in evacuation zones, it’s likely that you know someone personally who has lost their home and livelihood or is in danger of such. We’ve gotten used to hearing of wildfires in California, but never expected this kind of destruction and loss to reach Oregon and Washington.

Christ-followers have ministered amidst tragedy many times before, whether it be floods or earthquakes. But I don’t know if the extent and magnitude of these fires has been faced before. Christians are showing compassion, as they open their churches to be places of respite.

The Bible wisely says, “Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound.” (Proverbs 25:20) So, this situation calls for compassion. Yet, we must communicate with them that Christ offers them something that can’t be touched by storms. Continue reading

NWC Praises Estacada Volunteers (all Heroes) along with various community members

Facebook post from Luke Youngberg and Dale Seale

Little update, we are not out of the woods yet, but….

I really want to give a shout out to our small crew who protected our town from the fire getting past Fall Creek/ north of 224 Wednesday night. First Doug Davidson/ owner Edgefield Homes/Aviation, with out you lending dad your water truck, then showing up at 2 am with you in another we would not of been able to stop the fire where we did. Thank you for getting to the blaze when it was climbing up 224 heading toward the mobile park that night.

Thank you Jeremiah and Bruce Platt for your using your water tankers and helping put the flames out all night in fall creek. Thank you Jeff Goodrich and Tom Youngberg for being out all night and all day Wednesday and Thursday, you helped protect a lot of places with the water trailer set up. Thank you Paul Miller, you were woken up in the middle of the night and showed up as fast as you could because we needed help.

The Mennonite community, you have been absolutely amazing, to fighting the fire by hand with little sprayers and shovels, to making sure everybody was fed all week, you’re hero’s. My dad George Youngberg, you pushed all day and night there , putting fires out on both sides of the river that day, we appreciate your hard work. I was also in a truck with a 1000 gal tank setup putting out fires with Marlon from CARS in Estacada.

Thank you Brooke and Ben Wheeler for being out and in the brush knocking down flames. Bryan Brown was up there with water support that night. There was a few more that night also thank you for all you did. If we would not of been there God only knows where that fire would of gotten to, as wind was ripping right towards all of The Garfield area, and heading towards Estacada on 224 where we put in work trying to stop it from coming over the highway the best we could.

We fought that fire just ourselves from 10pm all night until the first fire truck showed up, at 6:30am the next morning. We had no fire support that night from Clackamas. Please show these people support, and thank you to everybody who worked so hard on the other side of the river.

Corey Stark: Profit motive versus local nonprofit care

Last month we explored the horrific issue of child trafficking in Oregon and nationwide from the standpoint of the perniciousness of the problem and its effect on the children involved. We talked at length with Executive Director Corey Stark about the action plan undertaken by the nonprofit organization Northwest Giving Hope to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children. (“NWGH: Confronting the Scourge of Child Trafficking”).

Something came up during our discussion that even those somewhat familiar with the societal disgrace that is the crime of child trafficking may not be fully or even partially aware of: the role corporations, specifically but not restricted to healthcare conglomerates, play in the ultimate fates and dispositions of children caught up in this loathsome trade.

Turning his attention away from the children to the corporate hands in which these abandoned, homeless, and often troubled kids are placed, Stark doesn’t mince words.

“Anytime you have a profit-focused conglomerate handling the care of a child who for whatever reason has been awarded to the state, you’ve got the potential for a less than optimal outcome,” says Stark.

Stark explains that if the concerns of those at the top are profit-driven and not primarily about rehabilitation, therapeutic restoration, and a commitment to the quality of each individual child’s wellness, the decision-making and resolutions affecting children who have fallen through the cracks is often inadequate and fails to meet the needs of these children. Continue reading

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