Political discourse

Depression and Anxiety in the Age of Trump

by Bill Brenner November 18, 2016 Political discourse

This post isn’t to endorse or condemn either of this year’s presidential candidates. It IS acknowledgement that people are shaken by the election of Donald Trump as president. For many, the uncertainty and fear translates into depression and anxiety. If Hillary Clinton had won, there’d be a lot of Trump supporters suffering in similar fashion. So I would have been writing this post anyway. The big question is how to move forward if the election has…  [Read More]

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers on My Right

by Bill Brenner November 16, 2016 Political discourse

The morning after Donald Trump was elected president, I posted this: I didn’t vote for Trump. I don’t like him. I didn’t like Bush, either. But the left survived Bush and the right survived Obama. We’ll survive Trump, too. If we as individuals keep doing our best every day and be the blessing to friends, family and colleagues, everything will be fine. A better world starts with you. I also posted this, after seeing a Trump…  [Read More]

Vote Your Conscience and Get Off My Lawn

by Bill Brenner June 23, 2016 Political discourse

I’ve been mostly silent about this year’s presidential contest. Since I’ve been pretty opinionated about such things in the past, this has worried some of my loved ones. And so, for this one post, I will tell you what I think. Mood music: My worldview is much different than it was in my younger years. I used to think the fate of humanity hinged on each election. If the candidate I supported was in a…  [Read More]

Big Dumb Politics

by Bill Brenner June 8, 2015 Political discourse

Here’s yet another example of the broken political system in the United States. It’s not enough to disagree with people and have a respectful debate. Nope. When we disagree with the other side, we resort to Facebook memes like this: This one comes from the left side of politics. The suggestion is that if you’re a Republican, you’re a racist who hates everything sane in the world. I know a lot of conservatives, and I…  [Read More]

Two Days, Three Shitty Anniversaries And One Bloody Month

by Bill Brenner April 19, 2015 Crime and punishment

Today — April 19, and tomorrow, April 20 — we have a trio of tragedies to remember. Full disclosure: I’m about to steal liberally from Wikipedia. April 19, 1993: Waco, Texas The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 50 days later on April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), accompanied by several members of the media, attempted to execute a search warrant at the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel,…  [Read More]

Opinions Are Like Assholes, Especially on Facebook

by Bill Brenner September 4, 2014 Political discourse

There’s an old saying that opinions are like assholes: everyone has one. Nothing amplifies the point like a typical day on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media. Mood music: The scenario typically unfolds in five steps: Someone posts a status update with emotion. It can be anger over personal situations (they stubbed a toe), sports (their favored team lost), politics, etc. Or it can be something whimsical or nostalgic, like marveling at how fast…  [Read More]

Wherein I Run Afoul Of The U.S. Secret Service

by Bill Brenner January 24, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

My resolve against the inner demons is tested regularly. Some are little tests, like being put in a room with all the food and alcohol I once binged on daily to see if I can resist the temptation. Some are bigger tests, like getting lost en route to Washington D.C a few years ago with my wife and kids in the car. Getting lost in a car used to be the stuff my anxiety attacks were made…  [Read More]

Take Your ‘War On Christmas’ Talk And Shove It

by Bill Brenner November 30, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

I’ve written a lot about how my mental ticks give me the holiday blues. But let’s face it: Sometimes the mood is sparked by the hypocrisy I see in capitalism, religion and government. Mood music: Every year in church I hear someone talking about the so-called war on Christmas, where Godless people apparently do everything possible to tear the Christ out of Christmas, from the public schools banning Christmas decorations to people saying “Happy Holidays”…  [Read More]

9-11-01 Jumpers: A Suicidal Mystery

by Bill Brenner September 7, 2013 Depression

I remember the photo well. It was a man falling to his death in a zen-like pose that haunted me for a long, long time. It haunted us all. Mood music: Yesterday, I came across an entire documentary based on that one photo. The program, like the photo, is called “The Falling Man.” Associated Press photographer Richard Drew snapped a series of pictures of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during 9-11-01. He was one…  [Read More]

The Real Problem With Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

by Bill Brenner March 12, 2013 Political discourse

A state judge has struck down New York City’s large-soda ban, which was set to take effect today. Judge Milton Tingling of the New York Supreme Court called Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s public health measure “arbitrary and capricious.” I agree, though not necessarily for the same reasons. Here’s what I jotted down last year, when Bloomberg first announced the ban. It’s my perspective as a recovering binge eater… NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has generated lots of noise…  [Read More]