Richard Elfers

Political turmoil makes nations stronger

Political turmoil makes nations stronger

Finish this sentence: “What doesn’t kill you___________.” This is how I introduced my recent continuing education class entitled, “President Trump a Year Later.” Of course, this quote is normally completed with the words, “makes you stronger.”

Political turmoil makes nations stronger
U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

Since Russia helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stay in power and helped to defeat ISIS, are Russia and the U.S. at odds in the Middle East? Is Russia threatening American dominance in the region? The answer to both is no.

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation
Seek a sense of security, purpose in our lives

Seek a sense of security, purpose in our lives

Thousands of years ago, the Greeks and the Romans worshipped a pantheon of gods: Jupiter, Juno, Venus, Mercury, Artemis and Athena. If you search for a list of Greek and Roman gods, they number at least 100. These gods reflected human frailties and their strengths.

Seek a sense of security, purpose in our lives
North neighbors keep a close eye on the U.S.

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.

North neighbors keep a close eye on the U.S.
Opening our minds can be a beautiful thing

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.

Opening our minds can be a beautiful thing
GOP has no place in small-town politics

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.”

GOP has no place in small-town politics
Issues to be addressed in Enumclaw elections

Issues to be addressed in Enumclaw elections

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

Issues to be addressed in Enumclaw elections
Survival of the planet in the hands of bullies

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.

Survival of the planet in the hands of bullies
Rebellion is as American as apple pie

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.

Rebellion is as American as apple pie
Poor government strips wealth from its citizens

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.

Poor government strips wealth from its citizens
The fight for freedom and democracy

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.

The fight for freedom and democracy
Visit puts free speech into perspective

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.

Visit puts free speech into perspective
Why would anyone want the top job?

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.

Why would anyone want the top job?
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