Nuclear Standoff

By Robert C. Koehler

Values the size of Planet Earth are at stake, as the American presidential election grows ever smaller, ever pettier, ever more certain that rancor triumphs over relevance.

Can you imagine, let us say, an issue the size of global nuclear disarmament emerging in this race, somewhere between the groper tapes and the hacked DNC emails? What if — my God — we lived in a country in which such a matter were seriously and publicly discussed, not shunted off to the margins with a grimace and a smirk? The only thing that has mainstream credibility in this country is business as usual, which comes to us wrapped in platitudes about strength and greatness but in reality is mostly about war and profit and the destruction of the planet.

Meanwhile it’s three minutes to midnight.


The Possible Future

By Bob Koehler

I sit here in a deep sort of writer’s block. Writer’s void. The black hole.

I want to write about restorative justice (and I refrain from capitalizing it just now because that deifies it and right now I can’t cope with something so big, so important; I have to bring it down to my size) … I want to write about restorative justice because I can’t think of anything bigger or better to do with my life than, well, save the world, or at least save my city, Chicago.

But I’m afraid. I won’t get it right. I won’t get all of it. (more…)

Stop the Killing

By Robert C. Koehler

Maybe half a million dead, half a country — 10 million people — displaced from their homes, jettisoned onto the mercy of the world.

Welcome to war. Welcome to Syria.

This is a conflict apparently too complex to understand. The U.S. brokered a ceasefire with Russia, then proceeded to lead a bombing strike that killed 62 Syrian troops, injured another hundred — and gave tactical aid to ISIS. Later it apologized . . . uh, sort of.