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Ron Lora: Reflections on the American dream

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In these troubled times for our country, it is understandable that many wonder if the “American dream” still lives. Might it be dead? Or at least dying? The dream evokes the ideal that all citizens enjoy “an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination and initiative.”

Ron Lora: Pockets, a nifty holiday gift

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We don’t think much about pockets; they’re just part of the scene. But I never leave home without them, for they hold things like a wallet, keys, pen, eyeglasses, iPhone, and shopping list – if there’s room.

Ron Lora: Is America sliding into minority rule?

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After touring the U.S. east of the Mississippi, French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville wrote “Democracy in America,” an examination of our national character. Equality of conditions was his central theme. So different from aristocratic Europe, middling Americans wore the same clothes, spoke same language, practiced the same habits, and enjoyed the same pleasures.

Ron Lora: The erosion of American democracy

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“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” So spoke Franklin D. Roosevelt in his acceptance speech before the 1936 Democratic Convention.

Ron Lora: A damaged mind in the White House

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Historian Barbara Tuchman titled her book on World War I “The Guns of August,” for it was on the first of that month 109 years ago that Germany declared war on Russia. Over the course of four years, appalling horrors emerged: 20 million deaths during a war whose front extended from the English Channel to Switzerland.

Ron Lora: A political conversation with Republican friends

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There appears to be no end to the drama of our 45th president. He did not begin the political polarization that Americans are undergoing, but he did elevate it to new heights. Former president Donald Trump is facing a host of investigations, including his most recent indictment on June 8 for mishandling classified documents that he took with him when leaving the presidency and then lying about it. One of his former attorneys general, Robert Barr – who so effectively defended his boss in other matters – was moved to say that even if only half of the charges in the indictment hold, “Trump is toast.”

Ron Lora: On key issues, politicians ignore strong public opinion

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Every day we see evidence of polarization in American politics and culture. And yet, a majority of us actually agree on dozens of matters. Last fall, YouGov polling data published the results of several 2022 surveys, polls and trackers involving an admixture of 1,500 people whose ages, gender and race reflected U.S. demographics.

Ron Lora: Looking ahead to Arbor Day

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“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Warren Buffet’s words identify the focus of this column: Arbor Day, when we honor the importance of trees on planet Earth – and in our neighborhood. The official day falls on the last Friday of April, the 28th this year, though some states use a different day that’s better for their planting seasons.

Ron Lora: Church remains important even as attendance declines

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When I attended high school and college during the 1950s, about half of all Americans regularly attended church services on Sunday. Today, according to a recent poll, the figure is 22 percent. And another 21 percent of Americans count themselves as being among the “nones,” those who don’t identify with any religion.

Ron Lora: White Christian nationalism threatens democracy

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“We need a national divorce,” tweeted Marjorie Taylor Greene on President’s Day.