Robert C. Koehler

Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, December 31, 2015 - 9:30am
Law, Order, and Social Suicide
Want a ringside seat for the war on crime? Go to killedbypolice.net . A few hours ago (as I write this), the site had listed 1,191 police killings in the U.S. this year. I just looked again. The total is up one. This, about killing number 1,192, is from the Fresno Bee , which the site links to: “...
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Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 8:45am
Love South of Heaven
Write about love, as in love thy enemy, and the social recoil sounds like this: “There is no nexus at which we can speak with ISIS. Singing Kumbaya while being led to a beheading can’t work.” Or this: “Any thug who threatens a cop gets what he deserves. One bullet or ten — I could care less. If a...
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Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 8:15am
Adding Up the Broken Souls
“The question now is how to change our institutions so that they promote human values rather than destroy them.” Philip Zimbardo, who posed this question in the wake of the famous — or infamous — Stanford Prison Experiment 44 years ago, might have added: If we fail to do so, we guarantee our own...
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Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 9:45am
Beyond Trump: The Politics of Courage
If Donald Trump can thrive politically by throwing meat to the American id, what else is possible? How about the opposite? Trump’s most recent attempt to reclaim poll supremacy — his call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our representatives can figure...
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Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 8:30am
The Dynamics of Compassion
It’s too easy to reduce acts of kindness to an “aw, isn’t that nice?” sort of irrelevance. What if we thought about them, instead, as templates for foreign policy? For one thing, if we did, there would be no such thing as “foreign” policy — no segregation of most of humanity behind borders and...
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Thursday, November 26, 2015 - 8:00am
Claiming Power, Creating the Future
“Since the people are sovereign under our Constitution . . .” Ralph Nader writes in a recent essay that we should demand acknowledgement of this fact from our presidential candidates and ask what they will do to restore this sovereignty to the American people, in their various manifestations as...
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Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 8:15am
'Shock... Awe': The Aftermath of Paris
I’m sitting in the aftermath of Paris, feeling emotions tear me apart. One of the emotions is joy. My daughter, who lives there, is safe. Has “joy” ever felt so troubling? The aftermath of Paris seems likely to be intensified (“pitiless”) bombing raids in Syria, closed borders, heightened fear-...
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Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 8:15am
Yellow Ribbons and Endless War
“By God,” Bush said in triumph, “we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all.” This was Bush 41, a quarter of a century ago, celebrating the terrific poll numbers his kwik-win war on Iraq was generating. Remember yellow ribbons? I think he had a point. “Vietnam syndrome” — the public...
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Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 9:00am
Spiritually Rudderless
Another deep cry, followed by a shrug. The world is at war, at war, at war. But it only hurts them, the helpless ones, the anonymous poor, who absorb the bombs and bullets, who bury their children, who flee their broken countries. Sixty million people have been displaced by the current wars, the...
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Friday, October 30, 2015 - 9:00am
Disturbing Schools
So South Carolina has a special crime category called “disturbing schools,” which seems to be creating just that: disturbing schools. Very disturbing schools. Not that I need to single out South Carolina. In my brief stint teaching writing as an outside consultant in several Chicago high schools,...
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