Richard Elfers

Scrap outmoded definition of Arab

When I tread the corridors and walkways of Green River College, I constantly pass women wearing hijabs (Muslim headscarves). Are these women Arabs? That depends. They may be from India, or Iraq or Norway. What exactly is an Arab, anyway?

Operating in different realities

We all live simultaneously in three realities, states theoretical physicist Max Tegmark in his book, “Our Mathematical Universe”. The first reality is our understanding of the world based on our life experiences, our internal reality.

Trump fumbling early chance at success

“Trump identified the right problem too early,” according to “Geopolitical Futures” analyst George Friedman in an article entitled, “Trump’s Dilemma: President Donald Trump’s Ability to Make Changes Depends On Whether His Support Rises Or Falls.”

Become smarter, challenge your beliefs

“If you don’t like the way we are bringing you up, find those who do better and copy them.” These were words from my mother when I was 13 or 14.

Public will have to halt party bickering

“Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling” (Proverbs 26:27). This ancient Hebrew proverb brings to mind the current Republican-controlled Congress and its 60 or so past attempts to destroy Obamacare.

Goal is to live, love and leave a legacy

From the age of 10, my life was chaotic.

State should protect business owners

Barronelle Stutzman’s “relationship with Jesus Christ” doesn’t give her the freedom to turn down business – even if that business violates her personal beliefs. Or so said a Benton County Superior Court judge in his decision against her in 2013.

How much slack do we give Trump?

How much slack should the American public give to a new president? How much should they give to a president who has never served in government or the military?

We need Congress to act like adults

There are at least four major ways to interpret the Constitution and numerous varieties in between: originalism, textualism, fundamental principles and modernism.

Change coming quickly, but will we like it?

Change is in the air. President Trump is in the midst of seeking to fulfill his campaign promises as quickly as possible. His supporters are hopeful that our new president will shake up Washington and restore greatness to America.

Do you live in the past, present or the future?

In the late 1960s to the early 1970s when I was a youth, I belonged to a very strict religious organization that prophesized the imminent return of Christ, and the destruction of the United States.

Incoming president’s strength is his unpredictable nature

“Trump makes people uncomfortable. It’s what he does best, in fact. But how this quality applies to foreign policy is a question that merits deeper exploration than knee-jerk displays of stricken disbelief.”

Times are a-changin’ – once again

Liberalism vs. conservatism has been replaced by globalization vs. nationalism in America today. At least that is what George Friedman asserts in his Nov. 30, 2016, “Friedman’s Weekly” article entitled, “Nationalism, Internationalism and the New Politics.”

Two cities offer a bit of red in a sea of blue

48.7 percent of Enumclaw voters chose Trump over Clinton, who received 43.8 percent.

Trump’s message appealed to the ignored majority

Donald Trump won with a message of hope and change. Ironic as that sounds, that was his message: “Make America great again” is really a… Continue reading

Talking about words and meaning | Rich Elfers

“Patriotically correct”? A new right-wing term to compete with the left-wing “politically correct”? Actually, no. Some Donald Trump conservatives have come up with the new catchword to describe their position. Understanding the origin of the terms can give us an insight into the thinking of some on the right in this highly-charged election year.

Tough road to understanding our own bias

Are you a victim of the Dunning-Kruger Effect? Did you engage in confirmation bias during this political season?

Voting from frustration and loss of faith | Rich Elfers

I can tell something bothers me when I wake up thinking about it. That happened after the first presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Work can get done in government | Rich Elfers

One of the criticisms of government is that nothing much gets accomplished. I served on the Enumclaw City Council for a four-year term. Now, nearly five years later, I reflect on what was accomplished both during my term and what has been accomplished in the five years since. I discovered there are lessons to be learned from looking back.

Ideas living in our heads rule our lives | Rich Elfers

"Trust and verify." These were the words of President Ronald Reagan in dealing with the Soviets during the Cold War. Reagan's words can also apply to the immigration issue currently being debated by the presidential candidates.