Richard Elfers

North neighbors keep a close eye on the U.S.

How much do you know about Canada? If you’re like most Americans, not much.

 

Opening our minds can be a beautiful thing

As a leader of my church’s Sunday Adult Forum, I had a goal: to put a human face on Islam for the members of the congregation and community.

 

GOP has no place in small-town politics

Mission creep, according to Miriam-Webster is: “the gradual broadening of the original objectives of a mission or organization.”

 

Issues to be addressed in Enumclaw elections

Who should I vote for in the Enumclaw City Council and mayoral races?

Survival of the planet in the hands of bullies

While the nation’s and the world’s attention was drawn to the senseless murders in Las Vegas of at least 59 and the wounding of 527 more last week, the Korean crisis continued to build, as both Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump trash talked each other.

Rebellion is as American as apple pie

This was my response as I spoke with a woman who was bragging about how much of a rebel she was against the standards of society.

Poor government strips wealth from its citizens

What makes good government? This is one of the questions I ask my international civics and government students each quarter as I teach about the U.S. Constitution.

The fight for freedom and democracy

“Americans fought a revolution to preserve democracy, while South African blacks fought for freedom,” noted a medical doctor who now works for USAID in southern Africa.

Visit puts free speech into perspective

I was excited about visiting Zimbabwe. I had traveled to South Africa previously to visit my daughter, Betsy, and her family, but this was my first time to another African country.

Why would anyone want the top job?

How easy is it for you to make a decision? What if you’re the president of the United States? Do you think, with all the authority invested in that office, deciding what to do would be a snap? Wrong.

Confederate statues and what they mean

A history professor once commented that rarely do the defeated erect statues to their defeats. On a personal level, do you display mementos of your failures — of your divorce, or bankruptcy, or dropping out of high school or college, or the time you got arrested when you were a teen?

Our leaders act like spoiled children

Have you wondered why Republicans, who fought Obamacare for seven years, are having trouble repealing and replacing Obamacare?

Roberts was brilliant with travel ban

How did John Roberts, chief justice of the United States, avoid appearing partisan in the Supreme Court’s recent immigration ban decision?

Presenting a third way of thinking

During my training as the political action person for the Sumner Education Association, we were told teachers make lousy legislators because they try to be “fair.” Being a state legislator is not about fairness to all, the Washington Education Association speaker said. It’s helping your special interest group and putting them above all other groups in the state.

Focusing on the many ties that bind us

We humans often find it difficult to face reality. Many of us have created adaptive ways to avoid what is uncomfortable. Eventually, the power of reality pushes through our ignorance and our unwillingness/inability to see things as they really are.

Solutions can be hidden in plain sight

I had foolishly used my band saw to cut through a plastic bottle of rhino glue to get at what still was liquid and usable. Doing this knocked the continuous metal band of saw teeth off their three pulleys. When I repeatedly tried to fix it, the steel band saw blade kept coming off.

If you run for office, your thinking changes

The week of May 15-19 was the filing time and in Enumclaw, all city government positions had at least two candidates running, a very unusual occurrence.

Carried along the rough waters of Trump

James Comey, recently-fired FBI Director, gained his reputation for integrity when he was Assistant Attorney General during the George W. Bush administration.

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.