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

"Over seven decades of murderous contempt for this tiny, communist country, we helped create it." (Photo: KCNA via Reuters) Views
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Trump, Kim and the Nuclear Status Quo
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...
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“Peace” is a feel-good delusion and “disarmament” (nuclear and otherwise) is the butt of a joke. (Image: CD/CC BY 2.0) Views
Thursday, May 31, 2018
The American Way of War: Evolution Stops Here
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...
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The most encouraging alternative I’ve seen to this situation is the movement, taking hold in some of our country’s most troubled schools, called Restorative Justice, which begins by giving every student his or her voice. Views
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Empowering Kids Instead Of Arming Them
Let’s open the classroom doors — all of them. Open up the schools, open up America, looking for the lost souls. “ Woo hoo !” he shouted as he fired off his guns. By the time he was done, ten more people were dead. Eight students, two teachers. More sacred lives tossed to the God of War. The murders...
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“They don’t speak English. They don’t integrate well, they don’t have skills.” (Photo: Molly Riley/AP) Views
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Sorry, Uneducated Central Americans, John Kelly Says This Country is Closed
Such gentle abhorrence! It almost doesn’t seem like racism. “But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from — fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm...
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 "They may not fear a tamed, caged democracy, but they fear a reckless chaplain calling out in prayer for a fair system of taxation." (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images) Views
Friday, May 11, 2018
Let the Prayer Continue
“. . . may all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws...
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"The throwaway phrase assumes that there’s a legal — a moral — force at work protecting the security of Planet Earth. Only responsible, First World nations have been authorized to participate in the game of mutually assured destruction." (Credit: SSGT Phil Schmitten / DoD) Views
Thursday, May 03, 2018
Peace and the Nuclear Paradox
Whenever the topic is nuclear weapons, I remain in a state of disbelief that we can talk about them “strategically” — that language allows us to maintain such a distance from the reality of what they do, we can casually debate their use. Consider, in the context of the sudden rush of alarming news...
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"Many of the residents of Morristown — a conservative mid-South town full of Trump supporters — came to the aid of their neighbors after the ICE arrests, raising money to help families with members in detention, kind of the way a community comes together after a natural disaster has devastated it." (Photo: Bryan Cox/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Can We Unlock the Golden Door?
Around 9 a.m., a helicopter began circling overhead. Moments later, as Jonathan Blitzer wrote recently in the New Yorker , a fleet of cars pulled up outside the meat-processing plant in Bean Station, Tenn. . . . And the SS guys stepped out. Oh wait, I mean the ICE agents, who swarmed through the...
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Thursday, April 19, 2018
In Syria and Beyond, What Would It Even Look Like If the U.S. Truly Wanted Peace in the World?
Donald Trump got “presidential” again and fired about $150 million worth of cruise missiles at Syria, accomplishing God knows what. Meanwhile, the United States, in its humanitarian largesse, has so far allowed 11 Syrian refugees into the country this year, of the more than 5 million external...
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"Between 1877 and 1950, 3,959 African Americans were murdered in lynchings." (Photo: Wolfram Kastl/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Lynchings Past And Present
When history is looked at in its complexity, it plays havoc with the present moment. “This wasn’t done by the Klan, or people who had to wear a mask. This was done by teachers and clergy and law enforcement officers.” This is Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, talking to Oprah Winfrey...
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 "Does the Second Amendment pay homage to the default American storyline: that the enemy is always out there and the only defense is shooting first (or building a wall)?" (Photo: Kim Davies/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, April 05, 2018
Rethinking the Whole Country
Repeal and replace? How about the Second Amendment? “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Setting aside the antique strangeness of the wording, isn’t it time to give thought to the values...
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