The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

By Paul Driessen

Federal judge tells climate litigants to tally the numerous blessings from fossil fuels since 1859

By Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek

Judge William Alsup has a BS in engineering, has written computer programs for his ham radio hobby, delves deeply into the technical aspects of numerous cases before him, and even studied other programming languages for a complex Oracle v. Google lawsuit. Continue reading

Student’s Banned T-Shirt

Liberty High School Class Room Poster

On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the Hillsboro School District (OR) was issued a restraining order because of its unfair suppression of free speech on the part of Addison Barnes, a senior at Liberty High School. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman heard testimony regarding the issue of Barnes being banned from wearing his “Border Wall Construction Co.” t-shirt while at school (Case 0:18-cv-00877).

The school administration has allowed the display of the poster “Sanctuary City, Welcome Home”, as well as allowing students to walk out in protest regarding various political issues. However, Barnes’ particular viewpoint, as expressed on his t-shirt, was silenced and he was punished by being suspended. Continue reading

Oregon employers began receiving notices this week regarding the new statewide transit tax that goes into effect on July 1. The law requires all employers to withhold, report, and remit one-tenth of one percent of wages paid to their employees to the Oregon Department of Revenue. The money will go into a Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund to subsidize public transit agencies.

The new tax is being imposed at exactly the wrong time in history. Transit ridership is declining across the country, and it’s not because transit agencies lack money. The problem is that their service models are obsolete. Continue reading

Jim Wagner, The Northwest Connection

As the lead singer for the punk rock band “Dead Kennedys” once put it, “if we really want to get serious about helping all the people living in the street…, we could just hire half the people in the country to spy on the other half.” Today’s FBI seems to have taken that counsel very much to heart, at least in so far as its relationship to the Trump presidency is concerned. But have our national spooks really been spying on this president since the earliest days of his campaign? Or were they merely sending agents to “inform” on Trump and his associates?

According to the New York Times Adam Goldman et. al. (May 18, 2018), there is a crucial distinction to be made over this point. According to Goldman, “President Trump accused the FBI…without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign ‘for political purposes’.” But in reality, the article assures us, FBI agents “merely sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers….” Which reminds me of that time we sent airplanes to deliver those two packages to Japan. (But let’s not quibble about semantics!) Continue reading

Deroy Murdock

His security, DC bedroom and policies are legitimate and defensible, under any fair standard

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been hounded lately by allegations of rich spending and poor judgment. While he could have detonated himself during recent congressional-oversight hearings, the former Oklahoma prosecutor seems to have survived those tests. Nonetheless, EPA’s inspector general, the Government Accountability Office, and various congressional panels continue to probe Pruitt’s official conduct. While Pruitt has plenty for which to answer, on at least three key counts, he seems to be cleaner than his critics claim. Continue reading

Vijay Jayaraj

Paul Driessen

Misrepresentations by radical greens promote myths of GE dangers and organic benefits

Across the globe, genetically engineered (GE) crops face opposition from environmental and organic food activists, who claim the crops harm the environment and endanger human health.

How factual are their claims? The evidence strongly supports GE over organic crops. Continue reading

Endangered Species Day offers chance to view imperiled pollinator conservation

A Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly on a paintbrush plant at the Oregon Zoo’s butterfly lab. (C) Oregon Zoo / Photo by Melinda Holland.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Visitors to the Oregon Zoo this weekend can catch a rare glimpse of the life cycle of two of its most elusive — and endangered — residents. To celebrate Endangered Species Day, the pathway to the zoo’s butterfly conservation lab will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keepers and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the Taylor’s checkerspot and Oregon silverspot butterflies that are raised in the lab and released into the wild each year.

“This is a great opportunity for people to see the work we do in the lab,” said Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo’s butterfly programs. “The Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies are hatching right now and we have silverspots in diapause preparing to wake up, so there’s a lot going on.” Continue reading

James Buchal

On March 26, 2018, the Multnomah County Republican Party (MCRP) issued Public Records Act requests calling on the Portland Public Schools (PPS) to produce documentation of efforts to organize Portland students against Second Amendment rights.  After a month, PPS finally produced an estimate reporting over 37,000 responsive documents, and seeking a charge over $15,000 to produce the requests.  As far as the MCRP can tell, PPS re-wrote the request to make it broader and increase the cost, and when the MCRP objected to this, PPS provided no further estimates, and also declined to rule on the MCRP’s request to waive the production fees because disclosure of the documents was in the public interest.  Today the MCRP has appealed PPS’s continuing refusal to produce the materials to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. Continue reading

Shopping for bargains at PACS…

It was the height of the depression in 1934 and the women from the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church- dubbed the Sunshine Ladies- met to sew quilts and clothing for struggling families. Food for many during that time was in short supply and the ladies gathered up scarce resources to provide to those families who had nothing to eat. Fast forwarding to 2018 Portland Adventist Community Service Center provides services to east county families. Eight churches furnish volunteers and financial support to help struggling individuals and families. Continue reading

In my mid-forties, we lived in Milwaukie, Oregon. There was a great group of women in the surrounding neighborhood – Helen, Carmen, and Elizabeth. I was fond of walking up a dirt road alongside Helen’s house. I went up this road because at the top was a resident flock of Stellar Jays – the tradition Blue Jay with the black crown. Just that much altitude made the difference in their habitat. At our house, we had the other Blue Jays which weren’t as much fun to watch. Continue reading

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