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Bernie’s Assault on Our Cliché of Greatness

By Robert C. Koehler “Excuse me, occasionally it might be a good idea to be honest about American foreign policy.” I don’t think I’ve heard that much honesty from a mainstream-party presidential candidate in virtually half a century. And suddenly this race begins to matter in a way that seems like . . . oh […]

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The Wall: Separating Democracy from Voters

By Robert C. Koehler The mainstream media imposes some serious certainties on the 2020 presidential election that drive me into a furious despair, e.g.: Even though Bernie Sanders, winner of the first two Democratic primaries, is now leading in the national polls, he “can’t and won’t” be the party’s nominee “because in coming weeks,” writes […]

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Voting with Food and Water

By Robert C. Koehler A bad app in Iowa throws everything into a tizzy. Who won? Come on, the horse race has begun. Let’s get some numbers up on the board. Spectator Nation stomps its feet. Voting is the activity at the core of democracy, right? It’s a citizen’s sacred duty. While I have always […]

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Maneuvering Hell for Our Advantage

By Robert C. Koehler When the mainstream media writes about war, even critically, the image that often comes to mind for me is an infant wrapped in plastic. That infant is naked reality, a.k.a., the present moment, suffocating and screaming for its life; the plastic smothering it are the journalistic euphemisms by which murder and […]

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FBI, King and the Tremors of History

By Robert C. Koehler Nothing like trying to rewrite history. Remember way back when, when America was one nation under God and everyone got along so nicely? That was the sentiment of an FBI tweet on Martin Luther King Day, which — oh, the horror! — blew up in the agency’s face and brought a […]

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Will We Always Be This Way?

By Robert C. Koehler “The people do not want war!” These were the words that did it, that knocked the composure out of me. I was standing at what felt like the heart of Chicago on a January afternoon, corner of Wabash and Wacker, next to the river and beneath the tower known as Trump. […]

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Militarism: The Delusion Lives

By Robert C. Koehler The annual defense budget, passed recently by both the House (377-48) and Senate (82-8), came in at $738 billion for 2020, up from last year a sweet $22 billion. War hits the motherlode every year. “The money just isn’t there” for virtually anything that matters — you know, healthcare for all, […]

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Letting Our Values out of Their Cage

By Robert C. Koehler My God, they put Jesus and his parents in cages, as though that’s what U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents would do — you know, keep the spirit of love and compassion from entering the United States of America. Are they suggesting there’s an equivalence here between the divine family and […]

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Envisioning a United World

By Robert C. Koehler Let’s bomb Iowa! Or maybe Texas or Michigan or Nebraska . . . Oh wait, I got confused for a second. Those places are part of America and we love them. We would never bomb them. These are places we would bomb: Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, El […]

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The Intelligence of Tomorrow

By Robert C. Koehler “Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull. Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her [expletive].” These words, uttered by some lost soul, were directed at U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar earlier this year. He had called her office and talked to a staffer, calling […]

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Celebrating Peace: A Work in Progress

By Robert C. Koehler Veterans For Peace, an organization that speaks truth to war like nobody else, is attempting to reclaim Armistice Day, the Nov. 11 holiday that was flipped on its head 65 years ago when it was renamed Veterans Day — and became a celebration not of the end of war but of […]

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A Tight Grip on Our Nuclear Toys

By Robert C. Koehler “Everyone wants to play with the big boys, and the only way to become one of the big boys is to have nuclear toys.” Attention Planet Earth! Attention Planet Earth! It is time to grow up. The words are those of Mohamed ElBaradei, then director general of the International Atomic Energy […]

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Keeping Peace, Not Waging War

By Robert C. Koehler Another shocking, divisive police video pops up in the news. This one shows a 16-year-old boy getting shot in the back of the head as he runs from the officers about to arrest him. And as he lays dying — unconscious, bleeding to death — a second officer cuffs the boy’s […]

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Deconstructing Russiagate

By Robert C. Koehler Oh, how the simplistic certainty resonates. Russsiagate, recently stoked by Hillary Clinton, comes saturated in ironies, which are usually media-invisible. The Democrats’ winning-but-nonetheless-losing presidential candidate of 2016 loosed some pent-up fury at democracy the other day, as well as annoyance with those who challenge the sacred status quo of the American […]

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The Collusion of Church and State

By Robert C. Koehler Intrigued by the controversy that erupted over Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech before the American Association of Christian Counselors last week in Nashville — it was titled “Being a Christian Leader” and was eventually removed from the State Department website — I wound up reading the whole speech. And I […]

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The Rights of Nature

By Robert C. Koehler “When the U.S. Constitution was ratified, women, indigenous peoples, and slaves were treated as property, without rights.” This isn’t over yet. In the same vein of exploitative ignorance, we’re still treating a living, life-sustaining, crucial being as property: the ecosystem. And in the process, we’re choking our own habitat — that […]

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Impeaching the Symptom, Not the Disease

By Robert C. Koehler I feel like I’m watching a sitcom called “America.” Next episode: Will they impeach the president? Stay tuned! “Impeachment is therefore imperative, not only to protect the integrity of next year’s elections but to secure America’s continued democratic existence. If the House does its job, it will fall to Senate Republicans […]

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Climate Change and Consciousness Shift

By Robert C. Koehler Climate change: It feels like the approaching End Times. But it’s the secular version thereof, which means that humanity is responsible for both its cause and — if possible — its transcendence. All we need to do is change everything about the way the high-tech, global society functions in the next […]

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‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’

By Robert C. Koehler The irony of this old New Yorker cartoon by Eric Lewis is so precise I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for two years. The speaker is the planet Saturn, clad in doctor’s garb — a stethoscope circling his forehead — giving the bad news to a […]

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Altruists of the World Unite!

By Robert C. Koehler The biggest joke on the planet may be the phrase “national security.” It almost always justifies something brutal, whether outright murder (a.k.a. war) or climate apartheid — the rejection and condemnation of refugees who are fleeing terrible conditions in their homeland, often created or intensified by climate change. Thus Mark Morgan, […]

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Defying the Nuclear Sword

By Robert C. Koehler “. . . and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” These lost words — Isaiah 2:4 — are nearly 3,000 years old. Did they ever have political traction? To believe […]

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We Are All Indigenous

By Robert C. Koehler “All things are interrelated. Everything in the universe is part of a single whole. Everything is connected in some way to everything else. It is therefore possible to understand something only if we can understand how it is connected to everything else.” These words, the first of the Twelve Teachings of […]

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Participatory Evolution

By Robert C. Koehler The big black pickup truck plunged into the protesters blocking the parking lot and I cringed, viscerally, as though I could feel it myself — this merciless crush of steel against flesh. I was recovering from a bicycle injury when I watched the event on the news last week, as members […]

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Dead Canaries

By Robert C. Koehler “Many people think that the fight for America is already lost. They couldn’t be more wrong. This is just the beginning of the fight for America and Europe. I am honored to head the fight to reclaim my country from destruction.” This is how the El Paso killer ended his white […]

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The Inner Nixon

By Robert C. Koehler The Nixon tapes are still in the news! My God, they’re still spewing bile, still making America’s eyeballs roll. They’re as relevant as ever. Donald Trump, it turns out, is merely the inner Richard Nixon, live and uncensored. He’s also the inner Ronald Reagan — the inner voice, suddenly made public, […]

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