Richard Elfers

Hazards of unfettered power | Rich Elfers

“Every man did what was right in his own eyes” is a quote from the book of Judges in the Old Testament. It sums up what Mao Zedong did after he took control of China in 1949 and how he imposed his brand of socialist utopianism on the people of China. This was the first of three major crossroads or turning points in Chinese history since the Communist takeover. The two other major crossroads will be discussed in a future column.

Seas will rise, costs will to up | Rich Elfers

In 2012, something amazing happened: Republicans and Democrats came together during a bitter election-year campaign and fixed the National Flood Insurance Program.

We need help to face our elephants | Rich Elfers

Is there an issue in your life, in your job or in your family that you are ignoring? Are you hoping it will just go away?

Sometimes government works | Rich Elfers

Carol Smith, resident of Enumclaw, was called to be in Arlington, Wash., at 6 a.m. on March 28 to help manage the aftermath of the March 22 Oso mudslide.

Enumclaw City Council risking PSE relationship

In 1626, Native Americans sold Manhattan Island to the Dutch for $24 worth of beads. Today, Manhattan’s assets number in the billions if not trillions of dollars. What if Native Americans were to come back, having seen the value of Manhattan today, and demanded “just” compensation?

New technology under the hood | Rich Elfers

A funny thing happened to me on my way to an oil change.

Your personal data is shopped around | Rich Elfers

Most of you are familiar with Edward Snowden, the government employee who stole thousands of secret files from the National Security Agency and then fled, eventually ending up in temporary refuge in Russia. The secret data collecting the government has been carrying out appalled many Americans.

Enumclaw City Council correct on fee for streets | Rich Elfers

Last week the thesis for my column was: taxes are not always bad. This week I’m going to tackle an issue the city of Enumclaw has been dealing with for at least seven years – raising taxes to fix our streets. Let me give you some background.

Shiny outside, but poor quality | Rich Elfers

The definition of a plutocrat is “a person who derives power from wealth.” Warren Buffet fits in that category.

Supreme Court could set new direction on labor| Rich Elfers

What if, in June, the five conservative Supreme Court justices strike down the Noel Channing National Labor Relations Board case against the Obama administration’s recess appointments? They might do so on the grounds that the original law that created the National Labor Relations Board in 1935 is unconstitutional. Let me give you some historic background and then explain the political and constitutional implications.

Appointments bring Washington D.C. political battle | Rich Elfers

Another major confrontation between conservatives and the president is currently being argued before the Supreme Court. Since 2009, when Barack Obama took office, there has been a battle over confirmations between Senate Republicans and the president.

Nations profiting with NAFTA | Rich Elfers

Do you realize NAFTA has been in existence for 20 years? Don’t know what NAFTA is and why it’s important? NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement.

Greatness carries a high price | Rich Elfers

I’ll never be a Nelson Mandela, nor would I want to be. The price he paid to free South Africa from apartheid was far higher than I am willing to pay.

Balancing stability and change | Politics in Focus

All of us struggle between the desire for stability and the desire for change. Some favor stability and order above all else. Others are dissatisfied with the status quo and want to improve conditions for themselves and/or others.

Balancing stability and change in South Africa | Rich Elfers

All of us struggle between the desire for stability and the desire for change. Some favor stability and order above all else. Others are dissatisfied with the status quo and want to improve conditions for themselves and/or others.

Nelson Mandela – a definition of greatness| Rich Elfers

A great man has just passed from the scene. Nelson Mandela was buried last week. Leaders from all over the world arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, in tribute to his greatness.

Politically, all have to learn to adapt | Rich Elfers

After the Edward Snowden revelations, an embarrassed President Obama, who campaigned for government transparency, is reshaping his surveillance policies – secretly. Isn’t this hypocritical? The answer, surprisingly, is no.

Politically, all have to learn to adapt | Politics in Focus

After the Edward Snowden revelations, an embarrassed President Obama, who campaigned for government transparency, is reshaping his surveillance policies – secretly. Isn’t this hypocritical? The answer, surprisingly, is no.

Taking a look at intelligence | Rich Elfers

What is intelligence? Since the late 19th and early 20th centuries social scientists have been studying this question.

Lot to be learned from Enumclaw election | Rich Elfers

Elections are always a learning opportunity about human nature. This most recent election was no exception. There was much to learn about how people think and respond.