Richard Elfers

Finding a solution to fixing roads | Rich Elfers

Finding the solution to fixing city streets is a bumpy journey for members of the Enumclaw City Council. The problem is bringing the streets up to standard costs $3.8 million, according to the city administration report at the Transportation Benefit District meeting April 13. That’s a lot of money. It will have to come from some form of tax increase.

Political extremes feed on frustration | Rich Elfers

Why have so many young men and women from the West flocked to join ISIS? What is the attraction of such a violent and brutal regime in Syria and Iraq? Since I will be teaching a continuing education class in May at Green River College on “Cults in America,” I’ve been reading up on the topic of mass movements. The best book I’ve found on the topic is Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer,” written in 1942.

Political extremes feed on frustration | Rich Elfers

Why have so many young men and women from the West flocked to join ISIS? What is the attraction of such a violent and brutal regime in Syria and Iraq? Since I will be teaching a continuing education class in May at Green River College on “Cults in America,” I’ve been reading up on the topic of mass movements. The best book I’ve found on the topic is Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer,” written in 1942.

Decisions in China shape the world | Rich Elfers

In China’s Shanxi province, 15,450 government officials were removed from office on corruption charges in 2014, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. This included seven top leaders according to a March 24, 2015, “Stratfor” article entitled, “China’s Anti-corruption Drive Runs Deep.”

Decisions in China shape the world | Rich Elfers

In China’s Shanxi province, 15,450 government officials were removed from office on corruption charges in 2014, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. This included seven top leaders according to a March 24, 2015, “Stratfor” article entitled, “China’s Anti-corruption Drive Runs Deep.”

Three errors made by our president | Rich Elfers

President Obama has made three major mistakes in regard to foreign policy. First, U.S. intervention in Libya destroyed a government that, while corrupt, was structured in such a way as to tamp down on the Islamists. Now, the Islamists are threatening Libya and neighboring Mali, forcing the French to intervene. The lack of an autocratic dictator like Qadaffi has helped bring about Islamist extremism in the region.

Three errors made by our president | Rich Elfers

President Obama has made three major mistakes in regard to foreign policy. First, U.S. intervention in Libya destroyed a government that, while corrupt, was structured in such a way as to tamp down on the Islamists. Now, the Islamists are threatening Libya and neighboring Mali, forcing the French to intervene. The lack of an autocratic dictator like Qadaffi has helped bring about Islamist extremism in the region.

Children will turn out just like parents | Rich Elfers

An education expert spoke to a group of worried high school-age parents. His opening statement told them they did not have to worry because their children would turn out “just like them.” There was silence in the room after that statement.

Understanding geography of red, blue | Rich Elfers

Do you know why blue (Democratic) states are clustered in the Northeast and along the West Coast on national election maps? Or why red (Republican) states are concentrated in the Great Plains and the South? Why do Pierce, King, Snohomish, and Spokane counties in Washington state almost always vote Democratic while the rest of the state votes Republican?

What’s all this about a pipeline? | Rich Elfers

What’s all the fuss about the Keystone XL pipeline proposal anyway? The proposed 1,179-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, would diagonally cross Montana and then traverse South Dakota, to Steel City, Neb., where it would be connected to already existing pipelines to Gulf state refineries.

Less empathy from the super wealthy | Rich Elfers

A recent statistic from the Feb. 2, 2015, Newsweek magazine (p. 13) noted that 50 percent is the “share of the world’s wealth that will be held by the richest 1 percent across the globe by 2016.” Income inequality has grown enormously over the past 30 years.

Considering school class sizes | Rich Elfers

How big should your child’s class size be? According to State Initiative 1351, which barely passed recently, smaller is better.

The American myth of equality | Rich Elfers

Most Americans value equality because of the ringing words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….”

Ripple effect will rattle the Russians | Rich Elfers

Throw a rock into a quiet pond and you will see that ripples are created far past the rock’s impact. That’s what’s happening today as a result of decreasing oil prices across the world

Republicans can learn from Federalists | Rich Elfers

The year was 1798 and the Federalists, fearful of the French Revolution spreading to the United States, passed three Alien Acts as well as a Sedition Act, which prosecuted and imprisoned those who publicly criticized the government.

The immigration policy battle | Rich Elfers

The battle we are now witnessing between the president and the Republicans in Congress over immigration is a strange one.

Election brought few surprises | Rich Elfers

There were only a few surprises in last week’s elections. The outcome turned out to be pretty much what I expected.

GOP victory may be temporary | Rich Elfers

Republicans may find that their midterm election victory is only temporary.

Here’s why Democrats can’t win the House | Rich Elfers

Why isn’t the House of Representatives up for grabs like the Senate? If you’ve been watching the Congressional election races recently you know the Senate is up for grabs between Democrats and Republicans.

Power rests with nominations | Rich Elfers

Thousands have been protesting in Hong Kong over Beijing’s assertion of its power over its election process.