The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Miranda Bonifield

For students born with learning disorders like dyslexia, learning to read without a specialized program is an incredibly difficult task. Instead of being a satisfying challenge, it becomes a demoralizing chore.

Consider the experience of Tara Mixon, who quit her job to homeschool her dyslexic first grader. His self-confidence had plummeted when he couldn’t learn to read alongside his Kindergarten class. Transitioning to a single income meant she couldn’t afford specialized tutoring, which often costs more than $50 per hour. Continue reading

Two-hundred and thirty-one years ago the U.S. Constitution was signed making America a Constitutional Republic. It is hard to understand why so many U.S. citizens continue to call our political system a “democracy.”

“Thus, a constitution that limited the power of government was necessary to preclude elected officials from imposing tyranny on the people.” This is why they (our founders) adopted a constitution with limited enumerated power, divided and checked across several branches and levels. (Executive; Legislative; Judicial.) Continue reading

Frank Maguire, The Northwest Connection

Elections are evidence that both pandering to personal self-interests and appealing to every bodily organ but the brain are effective strategies. Politicians who are able to camouflage their desire for power in altruistic catch-phrases that appeal to emotion, ignorance, and naïveté are usually going to be victorious over those who tell the hard realities… a.k.a. the Truth.

What are the motives—the impulses—that induce citizens to vote? If we start with the most sublime inducement, we would probably argue that “it” is a personal sense of national duty. Many persons consider voting to be a responsibility of citizenship and a right of all citizens in a Republic. And a percentage of these persons make their own material interests subordinate to the collective, national interest. They reason that what is best for the nation is best for them, even if sacrifices are required in the short term. Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Have you ever been sitting at an outdoor cafe watching people walk by, or walking down a crowded sidewalk, when the thought suddenly flashes in your mind, “None of these people know you. How significant are you, anyway?” I know that it’s happened to me many times. The thought may be fleeting, but it’s an important question for each of us. The way in which a person answers it is critical. In my opinion, most people don’t have an adequate answer. They try to convince themselves of their significance, or value, by quickly reviewing their accomplishments and how many people they have helped. They may also look for their significance in their job or education or bank account or social standing. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

In the last two years, the Republican had a once in a generation opportunity to enact a thoroughly conservative agenda and to diminish the Democrat Party as a political force.

Unfortunately, through fecklessness and lack of true conservative convictions, they have now squandered that opportunity, likely for good. Republicans took the House from the Democrats in 2010 because they believed in and campaigned on conservative principle – resisting the gargantuan growth of government, returning power to the people, reducing government spending and taxes. Virtually none of it got done.

The last two years have been particularly disappointing as Republicans were unable to do something as basic as fund the border wall that the president campaigned on and the people wanted. Continue reading

Where do they sleep?
The Hondurans in the caravan, the 7,000 people walking north to America, where do they go to the bathroom?
And eat and sleep and store their clothes?
And how is it that after a week on the road they are clean and their hair and clothes are well kept?
How is any of this possible? Continue reading

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

Governor Kate Brown’s top health care administrator is requesting that the legislature increase taxes on beer, wine, cider, cigarettes, cigars, and vaping pens. If approved, the taxes would result in $784 million in new revenue for the state over the next two years.

Health officials claim that this is a “public health” measure designed to reduce consumption of harmful products, but it’s really just a money grab. The state has an estimated shortfall of $800 million in Medicaid funding, and this proposal conveniently would raise almost that amount.

However, the proposed tax probably will not actually raise that much money because of a built-in contradiction: If consumption goes down, then tax revenue has to go down as well. Legislators cannot support it as both a public health measure and a revenue-raiser at the same time. For one goal to succeed, the other must fail. Continue reading

Justus Armstrong, Cascade Policy Institute

ABC’s Shark Tank may be coming to the Portland region—not in the form of a reality TV special, but as a taxpayer-funded project that positions the Metro regional government to act as a venture capital firm. Rather than investing in the success of growing businesses, however, the Sharks at Metro plan to fund temporary pilot projects that test new transportation technology.

Metro proposes that its Partnerships and Innovative Learning Opportunities in Transportation (PILOT) program—a component of the Emerging Technology Strategy—would help meet its “guided innovation” goals, but the shortsighted approach of this program ignores a vital question: Are risky technological investments the best use of taxpayer funding? Continue reading

Bryan Fischer


According to a column written by leftists Peter Leyden and Ruy Texeira, America is hopelessly divided into two opposite camps, camps which have become so polarized that there is no common ground or possibility of compromise between them. I agree with their thesis.

The chasm between them is created by the stark differences in their view of the world. One camp – constitutional conservatives – believes in the Bible as the Word of God, it believes in religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, natural marriage, the nuclear family, free market capitalism, lower taxes, less regulation, local control of education, secure borders (including a wall), a strong military, originalism in our jurisprudence, and proud, unabashed allegiance to the Republic. Continue reading

Bryan Fischer

One of the most pernicious distortions of the plain meaning of the Constitution is the conceit that U.S. citizenship automatically belongs to anyone born in America.

It doesn’t.

A correct interpretation and application of the 14th Amendment makes this clear. This amendment, ratified in 1868, was enacted for one simple purpose: to grant citizenship to former slaves who had been born on American soil. The 13th Amendment abolished the institution of slavery, and the 14th Amendment granted American citizenship to the emancipated slaves. Citizenship had been denied them by the dreadful Dred Scott decision of 1857.

Here’s how the first sentence of the 14th Amendment reads (emphasis mine throughout): Continue reading

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