Richard Elfers

Confederate statues and what they mean

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?

Confederate statues and what they mean
Our leaders act like spoiled children

Our leaders act like spoiled children

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

Our leaders act like spoiled children
Roberts was brilliant with travel ban

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?

Roberts was brilliant with travel ban
Presenting a third way of thinking

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.

Presenting a third way of thinking
Focusing on the many ties that bind us

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.

Focusing on the many ties that bind us
Solutions can be hidden in plain sight

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.

Solutions can be hidden in plain sight
If you run for office, your thinking changes

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.

If you run for office, your thinking changes
Carried along the rough waters of Trump

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.

Carried along the rough waters of Trump
Scrap outmoded definition of Arab

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?

Scrap outmoded definition of Arab
Operating in different realities

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.

Operating in different realities
Trump fumbling early chance at success

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.”

Trump fumbling early chance at success
Become smarter, challenge your beliefs

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.

Become smarter, challenge your beliefs
Public will have to halt party bickering

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.

Public will have to halt party bickering
Goal is to live, love and leave a legacy

Goal is to live, love and leave a legacy

From the age of 10, my life was chaotic.

Goal is to live, love and leave a legacy
State should protect business owners

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.

State should protect business owners
How much slack do we give Trump?

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?

How much slack do we give Trump?
We need Congress to act like adults

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.

We need Congress to act like adults
Change coming quickly, but will we like it?

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.

Change coming quickly, but will we like it?
Do you live in the past, present or the future?

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.

Do you live in the past, present or the future?
Incoming president’s strength is his unpredictable nature

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.”

Incoming president’s strength is his unpredictable nature