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The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away

By Robert C. Koehler Sexual assault is such a nuisance, not only, but especially, for Republicans. Here’s the Wall Street Journal editorial board, attempting, with gentlemanly politeness, to dispense with Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh as quickly as possible: “Yet there is no way to confirm her story after 36 years, […]

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Keeping Racism Alive at the Polls

By Robert C. Koehler There’s almost no such thing as voter fraud, even though the Trump administration — and Republicans in general — affect to be so afraid of it they’ve had to develop a system guaranteed to purge voters from the rolls in enormous numbers. They’re keeping America safe! From nothing. This, you might […]

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Healing in North Lawndale

By Robert C. Koehler “This isn’t rocket science,” Jackie Ingram said, humorously downplaying her involvement in the Restorative Justice Community Court, a pilot project of the Cook County Circuit Court, which has brought a new, healing-focused system of justice to her community this past year. My thought in that moment was: She’s right. Saving kids […]

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Reviving the Spirit of ’68

By Robert C. Koehler I was a hippie/bicycle delivery boy living in San Francisco when the Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago fifty years ago, so I absorbed the chaos, the police riot, from half a continent away, but I knew with absolute certainty that the nation was changing and I was part of […]

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Recreating the Wilderness

By Robert C. Koehler The science gets ever more dire. The politics runs the other way. We’ve claimed hold of the planet, but cluelessly, like the sorcerer’s apprentice. Welcome to the Anthropocene: the age of humanity intertwined with nature. “Climate change is not a problem we have to make go away, in a sense that […]

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The Right To Be Afraid

By Robert C. Koehler “He owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit.” That matters? In an otherwise neutral and informative article, this reads like a bit of legal fetishism. Another human being is dead, oh so needlessly and pointlessly, thanks to a moment of lethally armed anger in a convenience store parking […]

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Poverty, Violence and Spiritual Wildfires

By Robert C. Koehler “They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit.” The news this past weekend emerging from my fair city, Chicago, felt like news about wildfires sweeping across California: the sudden, hellish karma of climate change, that is to say, the gradual collapse of […]

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Border Security: Wall vs. Principles

By Robert C. Koehler Consider the limited thinking that produces a concept such as “border security.” The essential assumption here is that the United States of America is primarily a physical container – three and a half million square miles of freedom and prosperity, whoopee, but the supply is limited. Sorry, have-nots, we don’t have […]

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A World Designed by Playground Bullies

By Robert C. Koehler As the week’s news slaps against my consciousness like road slush, some fragments sting more than others. For instance: “According to the DOJ’s court filing, parents who are not currently in the U.S. may not be eligible for reunification with their children.” I can’t quite move on with my life after […]

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Mixing Guns and Racism

By Robert C. Koehler In Illinois, as in all the rest of the states, it’s legal to carry a concealed handgun, unless you’re at a ballgame or in the library or a number of other designated public places. But one of those places is not the corner of 71st Street and Jeffery Boulevard, in Chicago’s […]

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