The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

When I was in high school (a long time ago), our sports rival was a town twenty miles to the north, just over the border between California and Oregon. The Bible also speaks of rivals, but not of towns and sports teams. These two rivals are each vying for your heart, kind of like politicians campaigning for your vote. Some politicians are honest, while others tell you one thing and do the opposite once they’re elected.

The Apostle Paul identified these two rival kingdoms in Colossians 1:12-14. Christians are to “give thanks to the Father, who has qualified you [Christ-follower] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the KINGDOM OF LIGHT. He [God] has rescued us from the DOMINION OF DARKNESS and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Let’s look at four major differences between these kingdoms.

RULER

  1. Jesus is the Ruler of the kingdom of light.
    2. Satan is the monarch of the dominion of darkness.

CHARACTERISTICS

  1. Jesus speaks truth and He treats people with mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, respect, and patience. In the second half of the above verse, Jesus contrasts Himself to the devil. He finished the statement, “But I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
  2. Satan’s ways are witnessed on nightly news. He encourages lies, hate, vandalism, death, hypocrisy, and theft. His way of motivating people is through lust, guilt, shame, intimidation, pride, and fear. Referring to Satan, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)

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Air travel worsens climate crisis – unless passengers are climate activists and wealthy elites

Just over a year ago, newly elected U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) shocked the world by proposing a Green New Deal. One of its more controversial provisions was a proposal to build high-speed rail at a scale that would make air travel unnecessary.

In 2013, Elizabeth Rosenthal told New York Times readers that air travel is the “most serious environmental sin” for many Americans. A single round-trip flight from New York to Europe or San Francisco adds 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger to the atmosphere, she claimed. Air travel emissions are rising, because the volume of air travel is increasing much faster than gains in flight fuel efficiency.

The website Green Choices calls air travel “one of the most greenhouse-gas-rich forms of transport in existence,” and laments that the lack of fuel taxes on aviation fuel is a subsidy that makes air travel “surprisingly” (and unacceptably) cheap. In addition to carbon dioxide, air travel generates nitrogen oxides and water vapor that also contribute to the greenhouse effect. In the view of allegedly Green Choices, aviation industry growth is incompatible with efforts to combat climate change.

The European Union brought aviation into its emission trading system in 2012. However, protests from China, the USA and other countries confined that program to intra-EU flights through 2024. Transport & Environment, which bills itself as “Europe’s leading clean transport campaign group,” claims the aviation sector has a climate impact that “continues to spiral out of control,” with “no sign of abating.” Continue reading

Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

The coronavirus is already taking a toll on our pocketbooks. Families are facing layoffs. Businesses are closing—and some may never reopen. Our elected leaders are urging everyone to do their fair share. Property owners have been asked to give tenants a six-month grace period to pay their rents. They’re considering forcing small businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. That means property owners won’t have the money they need to pay their mortgages and property taxes. That means small businesses will be spending money on workers who aren’t working.

Oregon politicians have been silent on how government is going to do its fair share to relieve the burden of COVID-19. They need to do more than just promise more facemasks and testing kits.
People need cash, but they don’t want handouts. And that’s where state and local governments can help out. Now.

For years, Oregon politicians have been loading new and higher taxes on its people and businesses. They had a permanent prosperity mindset. They believed employment would always increase, wages would always grow, and the stock market would always rise. Year after year, more and more taxes were added—just the price of a latte a week, they’d tell us. But, it all adds up. Property taxes, gas taxes, business taxes, and payroll taxes are just a few of the nibbles that over time have added up to a big bite out of our wallets. It’s time to let us keep some of that money until this crisis passes.

First, the state and local governments must give everyone an automatic six-month extension to file—and pay—their income taxes. Families need that money more than the government. Continue reading

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

Unfortunately, as is often the case when challenging events strike communities, fraudsters are lurking in the shadows waiting to take advantage of whomever might be vulnerable to their latest scam. Enter the coronavirus! Scammers are setting up websites to sell bogus products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to take advantage of consumers’ money and personal identification.

The emails and posts might look legitimate at first-promoting awareness and prevention tips- but also include fake information. They also may be offering advice on unproven treatments, they may contain malicious email attachments (Remember, do not click!), and they may want you to send money to victims. Don’t fall for these scams!

Some businesses trying to make a quick buck off of the crisis are inflating prices for essential consumer goods. We want to know about this if you see it happening!

“As cases of coronavirus continue to grow in the Pacific Northwest, Oregonians should remain calm, but vigilant,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “Scammers will try to take advantage of your fear and anxiety to deceive you. Hopefully, you’ll think twice and will not fall for it. If you have lost money, provided personal or financial information, or if you are quoted inflated prices for basic needs, please contact the Oregon Attorney General’s office immediately and file a complaint.” Continue reading

Art Crino

Dr. Michael Pillsbury is fluent in the Mandarin Chinese language, allowing him to be a wealth of information on China. He has served in eight presidential administrations and periodically appears on the Lou Dobbs show.

During the Nixon presidency, China’s Marshal Chen Yi became aware of Nixon’s wish to “win over China”. After some correspondence between Beijing and the White House, Nixon accepted an invitation to visit Beijing. When Mao Tse-tung sat face to face with Nixon he portrayed China as a harmless vulnerable supplicant desperate for aid and protection. Mao lamented the Soviet’s actions on the northern border. Nixon secretly offered aid to China’s Army.

Deng Xiaoping, Mao’s replacement, declined the U.S. offer of military equipment. Instead he wanted to obtain knowledge and skills from the U.S. President Ford continued the enhanced relationship with China. The magnitude of the gifts was kept secret from the U.S. Citizens.

To foster Deng’s goal of a short cut to massive scientific technological development, President Carter became a willing partner. This massive technical material was followed by Carter’s administration granting China most- favored Nation status as a U.S. trading partner. And the romance with China found President Reagan permitting the Pentagon to sell advanced air, ground, naval and missile technology to make China a world-class force.

President Bush’s February 1989 visit to China resulted in another massive quantity of advanced military supplies. Initially President Clinton resisted the ongoing romance with China but finally viewed China as something of an ally.

During Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to Washington, D.C. he dazzled President Obama with his admission of having read The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton and Common Sense by Thomas Payne.

According to Dr. Pillsbury, we should be concerned with China’s non- military efforts. Specific concern should be with Colonel Liu Mingfu’s program “The Hundred — Year Marathon”. It describes how to achieve Xi’s dream of China surpassing and then replacing the United States as the world’s leader. This Marathon began in 1949 and is to reach Xi’s dream in 2049. Continue reading

“And he…showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  having the glory of God.  Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.  Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel….  Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb….  The city is laid out as a square….  The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.  The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones….  The twelve gates were twelve pearls….  And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass” (Revelation 21:10-21).

This powerful video, entitled ‘New Jerusalem,’ focuses on the end of Jesus’ millennial reign, when He returns and cast the Anti-Christ, the False Prophet, and Satan into the Lake of Fire. We then see the Great White Throne Judgment, where anyone not found in the Book of Life also is cast into the Lake of Fire.  This eight-minute film does not disappoint, in terms of Scriptural accuracy, including the layout of the New Jerusalem–which we know to be approximately 1,500 miles cubed (about the size of the moon)–and all of Bible prophecy on these events. Continue reading

Amur tiger sisters Bernadette and Eloise snuggle up for a nap at the Oregon Zoo. ©Oregon Zoo/ photo by Shervin Hess

Zoo will close to public starting March 17, following lead of public health authorities

The Oregon Zoo will be closing temporarily, effective Tuesday, March 17, following public health recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The zoo will tentatively remain closed through at least April 8, and will provide updates based on guidance from local and state authorities.

“Like most of this community, our goal right now is ‘flattening the curve’ so that our health system doesn’t get overwhelmed,” said Dr. Don Moore, zoo director. “We are committed to the safety of our staff, volunteers, guests and community. We’ll be ready to reopen as soon as health authorities recommend it.”

The zoo’s animal-care teams and staff responsible for other critical operations will continue working onsite, while other employees will work from home if possible.

“Our animals are doing well and we continue to provide them with dedicated, professional care,” Dr. Moore said. “All essential life-support and other vital systems continue to operate without disruption as well. We plan ahead for all sort of contingencies, and over the past weeks, we have developed plans to ensure our animals would be well cared for in the event of a disruption due to COVID-19.”

As part of the Metro family, the Oregon Zoo helps make greater Portland a great place to call home. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles and northern leopard frogs. Other projects focused on saving animals from extinction include studies on polar bears, orangutans and cheetahs.

Support from the Oregon Zoo Foundation enhances and expands the zoo’s efforts in conservation, education and animal welfare. Members, donors and corporate and foundation partners help the zoo make a difference across the region and around the world.

 

Recently, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on an abortion case out of Louisiana. The law in question mandates that an abortionist have access to a hospital in case something goes wrong.

Abortions go wrong more often than we are led to believe. Federal Law does not require clinics to report abortion complications and deaths to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) where most statistics are collated. Cheryl Sullenger, vice president of Operation Rescue, has written extensively on how abortions are often unsafe for the women seeking them. Yet, abortion advocates will fight tooth and nail against even the most common sense protections for women undergoing abortion.

While arguments were taking place inside the Court, protesters were speaking outside. The most famous of these was Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader. He tried to intimidate the two Trump appointees to the High Court: “They’re taking away fundamental rights. I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind! And you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” Continue reading

President Donald Trump

President George Washington

As if to punctuate the press conference Friday, with the unveiling of many preparations and plans to care for citizens in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, President Trump called for a National Day of Prayer on Sunday, March 15.  The President followed up with a tweet that expressed this:

“It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a country that throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these…No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together. we will easily PREVAIL!”

We can be thankful that we have a President who values the power of prayer!

Many of you have been faithfully praying about this health crisis since its inception, but there is power in unified prayer and humbling ourselves before the Lord.  Share this proclamation with friends, family members, fellow churchgoers and more, to join together in unified prayer about the coronavirus on Sunday.

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Secretary of State Bev Clarno and Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle

We wanted to offer some guidance on a few employment laws that you may have questions concerning coronavirus. As always, it is critically important to understand and adhere to state laws that protect both workers and businesses.

The State of Oregon has many resources available for businesses and employers. Employers can call the Technical Assistance hotline at 971-673-0824 or email bolita@boli.state.or.us.

Sick Time

  • All employees get sick time. If you have 10+ employees (or 6+ in Portland), that time must be paid.
  • Accrual rate is 1 hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.
  • Employees can use sick time to care for themselves, family members, for visits to medical professionals. Sick time can also be used if your child’s school is closed by order of a public official for a public health emergency, such as Governor Brown’s current closure of all K-12 schools.
  • Here is a poster about sick time you can share with employees.
  • You can find more information on sick time & coronavirus, including a fact sheet, here.

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