Ren Brabenec

Ren Brabenec

Ren Brabenec is a Nashville-based freelance writer and journalist. He reports on politics, local issues, environmental stories, foreign policy, and the economy. For questions, comments, or to suggest a story, email, [email protected].

(Illustration: Getty Images)

Getting to the root of the ‘conspiracy industrial complex’

By: - September 12, 2023

“Societies develop social structures, or institutions, that persist because they play a part in helping society survive. If anything adverse happens to one of these institutions or parts, all other parts are affected and the system no longer functions properly.” – Diana Kendall, author of Sociology in Our Times When humans organize into societies, the foundational […]

KYIV, UKRAINE - APRIL 28: Smoke rises after missiles landed at sunset on April 28, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said on his Telegram account that Russian strikes hit the lower floors of a residential building in the Shevchenkivskyi district. The attack coincides with today's visit to Kyiv by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Reducing military spending would reign in U.S. debt and improve global security

By: - July 11, 2023

At the time of his death in 1940, Major General Smedley Butler was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Yet in the last decade of his life, Butler became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and imperialism. He had seen first-hand the profit motive behind war. Words from Butler’s seminal 1935 work, War is […]

In this handout provided by U.S. Central Command Public Affairs, U.S. Air Force loadmasters and pilots assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, load passengers aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) on August 24, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The United States and allies urged Afghans to leave Kabul airport, citing the threat of terrorist attacks, as Western troops race to evacuate as many people as possible by August 31. (Photo by Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Forces Europe-Africa via Getty Images)

20th anniversary of Iraq invasion provides teachable moments for today’s geopolitical landscape

By: - May 8, 2023

In 1946, one year after the use of atomic bombs in Japan, Albert Einstein penned his first letter as chair of the newly formed Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists. “A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels,” Einstein wrote. “Today we must abandon competition and secure […]

Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, said he couldn't get the votes to pass a bill allowing for exceptions to Tennessee's abortion ban in the cases of rape and incest. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee lawmakers must understand rape when drafting exceptions to abortion ban

By: - April 3, 2023

To the ordinary citizen who follows the activities of the Tennessee General Assembly, the launch of the 2023 legislative session might have appeared more hectic and disorganized than usual. Such has been particularly evident around the abortion issue, as some Republicans have proposed exceptions to the Volunteer State’s abortion ban. Currently, all abortions, even those […]