Recent Articles

Here are the most recent articles!

RSS feed susbscribe to our RSS feed

 

 


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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 . . . […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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, […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

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 […]

...read more

The Dems Could Win if They Stood for Something

By Robert C. Koehler The Democrats have been in turmoil for the last half century and then some, when they abandoned their racist base and supported the civil rights movement. Revved up by the spirit of the ’60s, the party began opening itself to further change, even daring to push beyond the financial interests of […]

...read more

Womp, Womp: Racism in a Cage

By Robert C. Koehler “We offer your love to all of our children . . .” the Episcopal priest said, her eyes closed in prayer. Some 170 people were gathered around her, as she stood in a gazebo in a park in Huntsville, Ala. This was one of the 700-plus protests across the country last […]

...read more

Valuing Life More Than Borders

By Robert C. Koehler “We are people who believe in the worth of every human being,” Elizabeth Warren said the other day, and I wondered for a moment what life would be like if that were true. The more crucial question, however, is: How can we make it true? Warren had just returned from McAllen, […]

...read more

Trump, Kim and the Nuclear Status Quo

By Robert C. Koehler Peace, love and Donald Trump? I get the skepticism regarding the tentative nuclear disarmament agreement the president and Kim Jong-un reached last week, but not the cynicism — not the outright dismissal. It’s too easy to hate Trump, but he isn’t the point. In his reckless unpredictability — in his lust […]

...read more

The Great Waking Up

By Robert C. Koehler I don’t blame all of the planet’s ills on the Republican Party, but I find hope in the possibility that it’s on the verge of collapse. I’m not talking politics here. I’m talking deep vision of humanity: a sense of who we are and how we impact Planet Earth and all […]

...read more

The American Way of War: Evolution Stops Here

By Robert C. Koehler America does what it wants. This is obvious, except it’s also monstrously unnerving. Let’s at least add some quote marks: “America” does what it wants — this secretly defined, self-obsessed, unelected entity that purports to be the United States of America, all 325 million of us, but is, in fact, a […]

...read more