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Border Security

By Robert C. Koehler It’s the phrase “border security” that freezes my soul every time I hear it uttered, every time I see it in print — so simplistically obvious, the equivalent of keeping your door locked. Did you ever have your cellphone swiped? If you’re careless about this, you’ll pay the price. “This is […]

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The Lost and the Entitled

By Robert C. Koehler When I popped open the old laptop, the Geek Squad guy said maybe I should dust it off. He slid a canister of Endust toward me. “Spray the cloth,” he said, “not the machine.” I started choking on my sense of humiliation. This poor baby was covered with dust. How could […]

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The Demonic Suction Tube

By Robert C. Koehler Suddenly America’s political cauldron bubbles with hope and possibility — not just because the Democrats have won races across the country, but because voters pushed back in record numbers against the forces of Trump and racism and the long-standing lies of entrenched wealth. Now the work begins: to hold our political […]

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The New Abnormal

By Robert C. Koehler Thousand Oaks, California: a city torn apart by wildfire and gunfire. Both are unnatural disasters. “This is the new abnormal,” Gov. Jerry Brown said this week at a press conference, talking about global warming and the three voracious fires that are tearing up his state, one of them — the Camp […]

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The Issues That Won’t Go Away

By Robert C. Koehler How much real change manifested itself in the 2018 midterms? How deeply does the outcome reflect the American soul? Apparently, about 113 million Americans, basically half the electorate, felt compelled to vote in the midterms, revved up either by intense opposition to or support for Donald Trump. This is a lot […]

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Mass Murder and American History

By Robert C. Koehler “Screw your optics, I’m going in.” This is bigger than hate, this latest mass shooting, last weekend, at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which, oh my God, 11 more innocent souls died at the hands of a home-grown terrorist. The president’s anti-immigrant tweets may have been in grotesque […]

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Why Do Only Some Lives Matter?

By Robert C. Koehler What would it take for everyone’s life to matter as much as Jamal Khashoggi’s? I ask this question over at the edge of the news, looking for a doorway into the human conscience. Consider: “The U.S. sold a total of $55.6 billion of weapons worldwide in the fiscal year that ended […]

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Climate Change and Collective Salvation

By Robert C. Koehler In the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation, as white male privilege reclaims its desperate grip on our future, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report comes out, informing us that we haven’t got much future left in which to avoid . . . I mean implement . . . […]

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From Carswell to Kavanaugh

By Robert C. Koehler These words did in G. Harrold Carswell nearly five decades ago: “I am Southern by ancestry, birth, training, inclination, belief and practice. And I believe that segregation of the races is proper and the only practical and correct way of life in our states. I have always so believed and I […]

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The Curse of Eve

By Robert C. Koehler This is so much bigger than Brett Kavanaugh, or the outcome of his nomination. Women are suddenly opening their secret wounds. Their trauma — often many decades old — is becoming, for the first time, public. So are their tears. Enduring a sexual assault is only the beginning of the journey […]

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