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]

Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” Ad and Misplaced Outrage

by Bill Brenner February 6, 2014 Communication skills for the crazy

I finally got around to watching the Coca-Cola “America the Beautiful” ad that made so many people angry. So now I ask you: What’s the big deal? I usually avoid debates about immigration and whether people should learn to speak English in order to live here. There’s no winning debates like that. It’s a classic liberal vs. conservative argument. Those who feel strongly one way or the other are set in their views and will…  [Read More]

Defending Joe Biden (Updated June 1, 2015)

by Bill Brenner January 4, 2013 Political discourse

Updated June 1, 2015: The Vice President, who has suffered a lot of loss in his life, has more character and depth beneath his outward image of buffoonery than most people know. With news that his son Beau has died of brain cancer, I’m remembering the post below, originally written in 2013. I also recommend this column from Ezra Klein on Biden’s grief perspective. I’ll surely get a boatload of criticism for what I’m about to do: defend Vice President…  [Read More]

Politics, Facebook Friends and the Damage Done

by Bill Brenner November 20, 2012 Political discourse

After all my blogging this past election season about how friends and family shouldn’t become enemies over politics and how we all need to knock off the conspiracy theories and name-calling, I’m reviewing my Facebook friends list in search of damage. Here’s my final analysis. It turns out one person unfriended me. I considered her a solid Facebook friend. We went to high school together and shared many musical tastes. We both post a lot…  [Read More]

Election 2012: A Disney Production

by Bill Brenner November 1, 2012 Political discourse

There’s a lot of anxiety in the air. Many people are biting their nails over next week’s presidential election. Just as many are freaked out because George Lucas sold his Star Wars franchise to Disney. Disney taking over Star Wars? Among true sci-fi fans, it’s cause for major depression. As for the election, half the population will be proclaiming the end of the world this time next week. Mood music: [spotify:track:7Kho44itYaCQZvZQVV2SLW] Yet the American and…  [Read More]

Reefer Madness: Vote Yes on Question 3

by Bill Brenner September 20, 2012 Addiction

When Massachusetts residents go to the polls this November 6, they’ll have the opportunity to vote on the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative, also known as Question 3. If voters approve the initiative, medical marijuana will be decriminalized in my home state. I’m in favor of this for a variety of reasons. Mood music: [spotify:track:5p4T4XOoXQXPpGVPCEGUzE] For my fellow Massachusetts residents, here’s how the question will appear on the ballot: A YES VOTE would enact the proposed law eliminating…  [Read More]

Today’s Dumb Politics, Explained In A Star Wars Meme

by Bill Brenner September 3, 2012 Political discourse

I’ve spent a lot of time in this blog telling you why I’ve become more politically apathetic with age. Yesterday, someone on Facebook posted a Star Wars meme that captures my sentiments in a nutshell. It explains the state of today’s political discourse better than I ever could. Still, if you want to delve deeper into my perception of today’s politics, check these out: Bill Maher: Bomb Thrower from the Left Ann Coulter and the…  [Read More]

Bill Maher: Bomb Thrower from the Left

by Bill Brenner August 16, 2012 Political discourse

We hear a lot about conservative pundits and how their rhetoric often crosses the lines of decency and civility. I made an example of Ann Coulter a couple days ago to illustrate the point. But there are also plenty of bomb throwers on the left who paint large segments of the population with the same big brush they use to attack individuals who may deserve it. Take Bill Maher, for example. Maher is a comedian…  [Read More]

Don’t Let Anger Blind You To What Really Matters

by Bill Brenner April 4, 2012 Children's issues

The front office at my kids’ school is mad at me and another parent for complaining about something on the school’s Facebook page. I don’t think they saw yesterday’s post in this blog. That would make them angrier still. Mood music: I’ll admit I was angry when my wife told me the principal and office administrator got after her about my behavior. It’s not like I jumped up and down on Facebook yelling obscenities and calling…  [Read More]

Romney’s Lesson: When You Try To Be Someone Else, People Notice

by Bill Brenner March 22, 2012 Communication skills for the crazy

This post is about what happens to politicians when they try too hard to be someone else. Mitt Romney is in the thick of it. John McCain was four years ago, as was Al Gore eight years before that. Mood music: It’s not just a problem with politicians. Musicians have fallen in the trap. So have writers. I’ve been there myself. In the desperate search for success and fame — and getting elected — it’s…  [Read More]