The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Govenor Kate Brown

Updated orders for individuals, businesses, public organizations, and outdoor spaces to prevent COVID-19 spread

Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-12, directing everyone in Oregon to stay at home to the maximum extent possible and adding to the listof businesses that will be temporarily closed to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon.The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor.

“We are learning more about this virus and how people react to it every day. Not just from a medical standpoint, but from a social and behavioral standpoint.

“I started by asking Oregonians to stay home and practice social distancing. Then I urged the public to follow these recommendations. Instead, thousands crowded the beaches of our coastal communities, our trails, our parks, and our city streets, potentially spreading COVID-19 and endangering the lives of others across the state. Now, I’m ordering it. To save lives and protect our community. Continue reading

Jim Wagner

My search for coronavirus artifacts began in the vast sedimentary sludge of late Holocene reporting from national health centers around the world. (That is, not quite a week ago.) I noted, for example, how the very high death rate from the virus in Italy contrasted with the very low death rate in Germany. Specifically, 8% of infected Italians were dying, while only 0.3% of infected Germans were dying. That is a ratio of more than 25 to one, and I concluded it could not possibly be accounted for by the various explanations offered—the smoking rate in Italy, an older population, less frequent hand washing, closer personal space etc. There had to be something else at work.

On the morning of March 19th I wrote to family and friends: “I have a suspicion that the data on the coronavirus epidemic is being misapplied. Looking at the exponential growth in the number of new coronavirus cases, it strikes me that this could simply be an artifact reflecting the exponential growth in the number of people being tested.” (An “artifact,” in this sense, is a misleading or confusing creation or application of data.) I explained that as the number of people tested increases, the number of new cases will fall off because we will reach a point of diminishing returns. “It will be like picking cherries,” I wrote, “slow at first until you bring out the ladder, and then increasing rapidly until only the most difficult fruit to access is left on the tree. The more rapidly the tests are being deployed, the more dramatic this data artifact will be.” Continue reading

Frank Maguire, deacon, Southern Baptist denomination

Pelosi-By Thom Maguire

Democrats, it seems, will take every opportunity to fund their No. 1 cause, even when the nation is focused on an unprecedented crisis.

When the emergency bill was introduced in Congress to address the coronavirus pandemic, it was no surprise that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi included millions of dollars for abortion.

But when President Trump threatened a veto, she blinked and the provision vanished.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, recounted the behind-the-scenes fight in which Trump emerged victorious over Pelosi. He noted the final version of the relief bill remains to be seen. But Republican “leaders won’t have to contend with at least one thing: abortion funding.”

Under Pelosi’s direction, “in the wee hours of Saturday morning” the House Democrats “had tried to tack on a secret slush fund for abortion.”

“Even MSNBC couldn’t hide its shock,” he wrote, with host Joy Reid asking, “What does that have to do with COVID-19?” Continue reading

Every Child, in direct partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services, is launching a comprehensive statewide emergency response to the fast-growing needs of children and families in Oregon’s foster care system. The initiative—My NeighbOR—launches at 7:00pm on Sunday, March 22 and will be fully operational by Monday, March 23 at 9:00am. Oregonians across all 36 counties are being asked to step forward and meet the tangible needs of foster families and youth in foster care.

Foster families across Oregon have needs due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Systems and networks meant to care for those in foster care—and the foster families who serve them—are being challenged and taxed with growing needs. School closures, significant economic changes, and a limited pool of foster homes are adding additional strain to our state’s current capacity. We need the community to step up. Continue reading

Dvorah Richman

Our system may not be the fastest, but it’s giving us trustworthy answers

Federal officials recently testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform about government responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Committee members exhibited concern and frustration, and engaged in politicized finger-pointing, over what they said was needlessly slow development and distribution of diagnostic tests – particularly as compared to some other countries.

Some praised South Korea for testing more people in one day than the U.S. did in the past two months. Italy and the U.K. also got positive mention. One wonders whether these Oversight Committee members have any real appreciation for the system that they and their predecessors created.

In response to one question, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said “the system is not really geared to what we need right now” and “the idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we are not set up for that.” He added, “that is a failing.”

Committee members and the media seized on this widely misquoted and misinterpreted response as evidence of the government’s failure to provide needed tests. Some background about our system, and facts about the federal government’s actual actions, should correct at least some of the fake news that quickly dominated many articles, editorials and talking head comments. Continue reading

By Paul Driessen

The UN, environmentalist pressure groups and their financial backers have a lot to answer for

The ChiCom coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreaks, deaths and responses continue to dominate US, European and Asian news. Meanwhile, a very different infestation is devastating East African crops and leaving tens of millions at risk of starvation and death. If COVID hits these weakened populations, amid their malaria and other systemic diseases, it would bring tragedy on unimaginable scales.

“Across Somalia, desert locusts in a swarm the size of Manhattan have destroyed a swath of farmland as big as Oklahoma,” the Wall Street Journal’s Nicholas Bariyo reports. “In Kenya, billions-strong clouds of the insects have eaten through 800 square miles of crops and survived a weeks-long spraying campaign. They have “swept across more than 10 nations on two continents.” In parts of East Africa they “are destroying some 1.8 million metric tons of vegetation every day, enough food to feed 81 million people.”

East Africa has a Desert Locust Control Organization. But it, the region and the individual countries were totally unprepared for the onslaught, unaware the hordes were coming, irresponsibly underfunded, with almost no pesticides or aircraft to spray them. By the time they acted, it was too little, too late.

The massive swarms are hardly unprecedented. Locusts “covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they ate every herb of the land and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.” [Exodus 10:15] Locusts pillaged long before that, and have returned hundreds of times since. Continue reading

To reduce Oregonians’ need to visit a DMV office during the current public health emergency, the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Driver and Motor Vehicles Division has partnered with Oregon law enforcement agencies to exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 emergency declared by Governor Brown.

The Oregon State Police, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, and Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association have all agreed to support this “grace period” for enforcing expired credentials.

While DMV offices remain open, this action is intended to protect the health and safety of people who would otherwise have to visit a DMV office to take care of business, but are concerned during the current public health emergency. Continue reading

Secretary of State Bev Clarno

Oregon’s May 19th Primary Election will continue as planned. The certified list of 371 candidates that filed to run for office has been sent to our county election experts this week so that they can begin laying out the ballots to be sent to the printer. The voters’ pamphlet is also being put together and proofread so it can be sent to the printer later this month.

Ballots for military and overseas voters will be mailed out not later than April 4th, and regular ballots will be mailed out starting April 29th.

Because Oregon votes by mail we do not have to be concerned about social distancing issues at polling places that so many other states are struggling with. Many states are looking to implement our vote by mail system as a safer way to conduct elections in November. Contingency plans are being prepared to deal with any impacts the COVID-19 virus may have on our election processes. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

Oral arguments were heard last week before the Supreme Court on the legal challenge to a Louisiana law that requires an abortionist to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of his clinic. This is so a woman who experiences a medical emergency during an abortion can get quality emergency care. Anybody who claims to care about health care for women should celebrate this law.

However, regressives are virulently opposed to this bill and have chased it all the way to the Supreme Court. From a practical standpoint, it’s difficult for abortionists to even get admitting privileges to area hospitals. This is largely due to the fact that abortion providers are considered blood-sucking, bottom-feeding scavengers by virtually everyone in the medical community.

The Hippocratic Oath calls for doctors to “first, do no harm.” But abortionists do harm to their patients as a first order of business, and this moral inversion of medical ethics causes abortionists to be rightly despised in the medical community. Abortionists are out to destroy human life, while everyone else in medicine is out to save human life. Continue reading

Some wag once changed the opening line of Rudyard Kipling’s classic poem, “If,” this way: “If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…you haven’t understood the gravity of the situation.”

And so it seems to be with the coronavirus crisis.

I can’t remember the last time church was canceled. (I think it was during one of the hurricanes we frequently experience in Florida.) We as a family ended up having a mini-service in our own home.

On the other hand, one can’t help but feel that fears surrounding the virus are being exaggerated. We are taking all due precautions because of the coronavirus.

Every morning when I arise, coronavirus or not, I try and repeat a number of Scriptural truths to put me in the right frame of mind. It keeps me positive and focused. I go through them in the night as well.

I recommend this practice because this is such a negative world. I cannot imagine what life would be like if all we did was watch cable news. To watch that news all the time, we could easily lose perspective on life. Continue reading

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