The Northwest Connection

A Community Newspaper for the way we live

S. Kirk Pierzchala

An elderly French woman dancing on stage, with what appears to be a brace of polo mallets! From ‘Merry Conceits and Whimsical Rhymes’, written and drawn by Charles H. Ross. Engraved and printed by Edmund Evans. Published by George Routledge & Sons, London & New York, 1883. Each somewhat anarchistic illustration comes with a humorous verse, often highly unpolitically-correct by today’s standards.

(with apologies to George Orwell)

Angela’s foot slipped off the proximity marker. She frantically regained her place in line, but it was too late. The thin, nagging alarm sounded and attracted the attention of a masked distance-compliance officer.

The figure approached and loomed menacingly. “Wait your turn,” the unseen woman barked. “Think you have a right to get in any quicker than anyone else?   Let me see your moves!”

Having practiced dutifully at home before the mirror, Angela was prepared. She did not have the grace and skill of an eighteen-year old social-media star, but still managed to push her pudgy, middle-aged form through the basic routine.

Within the confines of the proximity marker, she put her right foot in, her right foot out, then in again; following this, she turned slowly around with her arms tucked up and flapping while she quacked in Morse code, ‘We are all in this together’. Her voice was hampered by her white particle mask, and she soon found herself out of breath and nearly shouting.

Before she had completed her revolution, she could tell something was wrong. The young woman in line behind her was staring in horror, the portions of her face visible above her crude mask of old toweling and duct tape had blenched white. Angela felt a scalding, judgmental glance from the tall, overweight man ahead of her, even through the branded superhero print of his designer face covering. What am I doing wrong?   she thought, terror struck. I practiced this—!

The compliance officer bent in closer, raising her bamboo rod. “That was last week’s recommendation!” she hissed. “Haven’t you been watching the Daily Guideline Updates? This week, experts agree we need to cluck like chickens!” Continue reading

Pictured standing by the Search & Rescue truck are members of the Trail Running Team deployed on May 16 (l-r): Steve Schieberl, Peter Frick-Wright, Robert Aberle, and Jamien Leckey.

Clackamas County Search & Rescue’s new “Trail Running Team” went to work over the weekend — during a SAR operation involving two runners who got separated on the Salmon River Trail.

The call came in just after 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Two runners, a man and a woman, had gone for a run on the U.S. Forest Service land on the Salmon River Trail. They decided to split up, and selected a meetup location on the trail.

Later, the man went where he believed the meeting location to be and waited. The woman did not show up. He went back to the Salmon River trailhead and called 911, believing her to be lost.

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deployed SAR Coordinators to the scene, along with Mountain Wave, USFS Law Enforcement, and the Clackamas County SAR’s Trail Running Team.

Ground teams deployed from one end of the Salmon River Trail while the Trail Running Team deployed from the other. The Trail Running Team planned to head about 9 miles up the trail while checking for signs of the missing woman.

Trail runners quickly located her about 1.5 miles down the trail, just after 8 p.m.

It turned out she’d headed to where she believed the meeting location to be, and had waited three hours for him to show up, before setting off toward the Salmon River trailhead to call 911 herself to find the man, whom she believed to be lost.

USFS Law Enforcement issued citations to the two runners for being in a closed wilderness area. Continue reading

Rachel Dawson, Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Metro has a history of breaking promises to voters. This track record continues with the Metro Affordable Housing Bond measure that was passed in 2018.

At the time the measure was passed, the regional government said the cost of new projects will be around $253,000 per unit. They also warned the costs could be much higher.

That warning is already proving true. Metro recently released cost data on the first four projects the agency has approved and committed funds for.

The average total cost for the four developments is nearly $365,000 per unit, with the most expensive project coming in at more than $405,000 per unit. This is 44% higher than what Metro projected only two years ago.

Because these are private-public partnerships, the Metro bond is not funding the entirety of the developments. Even so, had Metro placed a cap on bond funds distributed per unit, or a cap on the cost per unit of qualifying projects, we would likely see lower development costs.

Metro must be held accountable for its low-ball projections and its budget-busting cost increases. Every dollar wasted on cost overruns is a dollar that’s not spent on providing the affordable housing voters were promised.

Good government is services delivered. Metro has over promised and under delivered.

Rachel Dawson is a Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free-market public policy research organization.

Bryan Fischer

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington has instituted, by royal decree, a regulation that turns any ordinary citizen who defies his Coronavirus testing edict into a criminal. In fact, such a person will not be allowed even to leave his home to buy food or pick up prescription medication.

This, of course, is for our benefit. It’s all a part of Inslee’s “Contact Tracing” program, which, we are told, is necessary to “box in” the Coronavirus. Inslee’s contact tracing involves interviewing people with positive COVID-19 tests to identify who they’ve been in contact with, getting those people tested, and then making sure they isolate themselves and their families.

At the press conference introducing this proposal one question kept coming up – what about enforcement? How will you ensure Washington State residents comply, and what if they don’t? One reporter asked the quite sensible question, “When it comes to contact tracing, how are you guys going to handle people or families who want to refuse to test or to self isolate?

“If they want to leave their home to get groceries, I know you’ve said they can’t do that; how will you make sure they don’t?“

Inslee’s answer is even worse than you might have expected. According to Lynwood Times reporter Luke Putvin, “For those businesses/individuals that don’t comply, the governor stated that he confirmed with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, there will be sanctions in civil or criminal court.” Continue reading

Tootie Smith, Candidate, Chair, Clackamas County Commission

Tootie Smith, former Clackamas County Commissioner, state legislator, and government accountability advocate, won Tuesday night’s Clackamas County Chair race against Jim Bernard.

She released the following statement:

“Thank you to the people of Clackamas County for their support and placing their trust in me. They sent a strong message tonight that they want a county government that is accountable to them.

We knew from the outset that this campaign would be an uphill battle. But we put in the work we needed to. We educated voters about the need for new leadership at the county level, and they listened.

But, this election was about the people of Clackamas County. In the coming months and years, we will be confronted with very difficult challenges on the public health and economic front from COVID-19, and I am glad I passed the voters test to tackle those with them. Homelessness, transportation, and affordability are all things we must also come together to solve.

I am looking forward to getting to work for the people of Clackamas County and standing up for our communities.”

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, Washington Update

It didn’t look like recess. It looked like an elementary school jail. Instead of carefree children running around outside, the images from French journalists are almost tragic: little boys and girls, each sitting glumly in their own chalk-outlined box. To some parents, it was a sobering picture of what public education might look like in the fall. But to millions of others, it was confirmation — the time to homeschool is now.

There’s very little about life that the coronavirus hasn’t changed. For everyone in the world, it’s been a transformative time — but for parents of school-aged children, it’s been especially disruptive. And while having these routines turned upside down has been challenging, it’s not necessarily been negative. Moms and dads have had a chance to look at the traditional learning model and consider: is this really the best option for our kids? For all the frustrations about being stuck at home, it’s finally forcing parents who might never have thought about public school alternatives to take stock of what their children are being taught and how well they’re performing.

And guess what? The longer this goes on, the more parents seem convinced that at-home learning is better. In at least three new polls, anywhere from 15-40 percent of families say they’re ready to make the switch to homeschooling after the lockdown is over. Now, maybe that’s health driven, Mike Donnelly, senior counsel at Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) says, Continue reading

Alyssa Ahlgren

I’m not going to sugarcoat it; we are not guaranteed a single thing in this life. Not safety, not security, not happiness, not a good job, not comfort, and not convenience. Yet, that’s what we expect.

Dr. Fauci said something in a recent interview that was disturbing to me. He told NPR that he “can’t guarantee” a physical vote in November will be safe. What concerned me was not that he thought we might not be able to have a physical vote for the presidential election—something that would be an absolute disaster for our voting system as voter fraud would run rampant–no, it was the word “guarantee.” Since when did life, policy, governance, or decision-making operate on guarantees? Let me tell you when: never.

Nowhere in the Constitution are we guaranteed safety. Because it’s nonsense. I cannot even guarantee you will make it through this day. No one can. To use language like “I cannot guarantee” and then proceed to make statements regarding our nations safety is nonsensical, unnecessary, and will only result in further panic and uncertainty. But this is where we are. We live in a world obsessed with guarantees. Continue reading

Jerry Newcombe

One fallout of the Covid-19 crisis is its severe thrashing of our economy. Not only have all the impressive economic gains of the Trump administration evaporated, but we are now adding to our national debt in scary ways. I hope that all the bailouts are temporary means to solve a temporary problem.

To use an analogy: One of the saddest things about a midlife crisis is that permanent damage can be done to “solve” what turns out to be only a temporary problem. I pray that America won’t adopt the permanent solution of socialism to solve our temporary coronavirus crisis.

One of the most frightening things about the bailouts is that some people find that they are receiving more money for not working than they did when they were working.

Long before the crisis, we have seen the rise of popularity of socialism among the young in America. A Gallup poll about a year ago found that four in ten Americans embrace some form of socialism. Yipes.

In short, if we are not careful, this crisis could end up greasing the skids toward socialism. Continue reading

Randall Terry

Pro-life leader and film maker, Randall Terry, has released a new documentary, Pandemic: The Threshing of America.

The premise of the documentary is that the Coronavirus pandemic is a “plague” or “chastisement” for God – in the Scriptural sense – because of the innocent blood that cries from the ground for vengeance.

Below are the reactions of a Roman Catholic Bishop, and an Evangelical Pastor.

The 58 minute film can be seen in its entirety by clicking on the video above or by going to:

Permission is granted to post this link on any platform, and permission is granted to transfer the film to any online platform.The endorsement of these two men is significant because the film takes special aim at Catholic clergy, and African American clergy.

Continue reading

Marlon Furtado

Some people are eager to exert their power over others. Bribes, rapes, trafficking, business takeovers, and domestic abuse are just a few examples of how people force their will on others. If you have been cheated, falsely accused, or physically attacked, you know the sense of violation and the desire for justice. This abuse of power, forcing one’s will on others, is often seen in government, in business, on the playground, and in too many homes.

An example of this abusive power play is recorded in 1 Kings 21. Naboth would not sell his property to King Ahab. As a result, the king returned to his room and pouted like a spoiled child. His wife, Queen Jezebel, arranged a town meeting in Naboth’s village. She paid two men to lie about him, saying they heard him blaspheming God. Without a trial, Naboth was taken outside the village and stoned to death. Once he was dead, Jezebel gleefully told Ahab that he could now make the property his. Continue reading

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