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Brian Lynch is a retired social worker who worked in the areas of adult mental health and child protection for many years. His work brought him into direct contact with all the major social issues of the day and many of our basic social institutions such as law enforcement, schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and private social service providers on both a local and state levels.
This was a privileged vantage point for him to observe every level of human ecology, from the lives of individuals to the operations of government institutions. He was struck by the impact of state and federal policies on the lives of ordinary people, for better or worse. Political conflict and the clash of ideologies has real, observable and sometimes devastating consequences. He now writes and blogs on topics that relate to his social observations.
Algorithms: Their Hidden Impact on How We Think
Computer algorithms used in many applications, but especially in internet search engines, are altering how people view the world. They may be responsible for our increasingly divisive politics and mass murders.
Friday, July 15, 2016(14 comments)
America at the Crossroads of Crisis
We seem to be at a crossroads. We can choose the Trump path to social dissolution and toss as many "others" off the life boat where we find ourselves, we can ignore that we've be put in the lifeboat because of the wealthy corporate capitalists (until we sink), or we can link arms to forge a new path that restores democracy and a civil economy for everyone. The only real option is to come together.
Friday, May 6, 2016
Why Bernie Sanders Must Fight for a Contested Convention
Given the state of the two parties, a Sanders win would be a foregone conclusion. All the polls say as much, yet this is message isn't seeping into the consciousness of the establishment. The Democratic Party is eager to put Hillary's negatives up against Trump's negatives any day, in yet another hold-your-nose-and-vote election.
Sunday, April 10, 2016(2 comments)
A Silent Rage Approaches
The "establishment" in America, and elsewhere around the globe, is this nexus between business, politics and the media that form the self-interested ruling class. They are the wealthy and all their loyal minions. We have seen this before, and it has never ended well. But the stakes are much higher today and radical reform is out only viable option.
Bernie, DNC and Hillary Connections to Data Company
Is there any bias or favor revealed in the handling of the Sanders campaign data breach? Democratic politics is also a competetive insider's game. The DNC must be fair and unbias if our democracy is to be properly preserved. Special interest corruption or establishment favoritism within either political party is a direct threat to our American democracy. The will of primary voters is as sacrosanct.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Primary Drug Abuse Prevention - An Unappreciated Necessity
Primary prevention is all the things we can do to forestall or eliminate exposure to addictive substances. It is our best hope for solving America's drug problems. But primary prevention is under appreciated and under-funded, especially when a community comes to realize there is a crisis. Once the problem become an epidemic, attention usually focuses on law-enforcement interdiction of drugs and treatment, not prevention.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015(1 comments)
Black Families, Structural Racism and a Decision to Raise Social Problems to a Public Issue - Part 1
In June of 1965, on the eve of the Civil Rights Act, an unknown civil servant drafted a report on his assessment that structural white racism was destroying black families and the impact of this was underestimated by the federal government. His name was Daniel Patrick Moynihan and his ideas promoted then-President Johnson to express them in a speech. But the message got turned upside down and an opportunity was lost.
Monday, September 14, 2015(11 comments)
Debunking the Myth That It's Your Fault You're Poor
Starting around 1973 the disparity between hourly worker compensation and the hourly GDP that workers generate became uncoupled and the gap between wealth and wages have grown larger every day since. A look at the data over the last 70 years reveals that this decoupling was rapid, happening of less than a decade, and persistent, ruling out all but a premeditated effort to change the structure of worker compensation.
Sunday, August 23, 2015(2 comments)
Covering Politics For Profit Has Warped Our Democracy
Corporate media sometimes reports on the impact of money in politics but rarely admit they are the benefactors of all that money. The profit motive and corporate culture of today has altered the way the news is covered and created the strange framework of our electoral campaign. Politics is covered like a sporting event and campaigns are run like performance art.
Saturday, June 27, 2015(3 comments)
The Village We Left Behind
This is what we are up against. Giant international corporations battling each other beyond the reach of sovereign countries to create a world more suitable for their financial conquests. And what we have already lost is cultural self-determination.
Sunday, April 26, 2015(3 comments)
Un-Taxing the Rich to Un-Fund Our Pension
Tax Revenue has been disappearing off state budgets for years and going instead to benefit profitable corporations and the wealthy. The budget holes this creates are plugged by shorting our public servant pensions while demonizing their unions for costing us so much.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015(22 comments)
New Data Confirms Racial Bias in Fatal Police Encounter
A new analysis of newly collected data about people killed in police encounters confirms that more African-Americans are killed in every region of the country, and in most states, than should be expected by chance alone.
Sunday, April 12, 2015(4 comments)
The Truth About Police Action Fatalities in America
Civilian fatalities resulting from the actions of local police are far more common than expected according to data collected from local news accounts. There have been 2,181 civilians killed in the past 23 months. This article is a first look at these statistics.
Sunday, January 25, 2015(5 comments)
A Tale of Two Economies, Best of Times - Worst of Times
The rise of capital ownership among members of the middle class has give the ultra-wealthy capital owners another place to make money without having to share their wealth with the wage earning consumer class. This has given rise to an investment economy that is little more than a billionaire run casino.
Monday, November 17, 2014(3 comments)
It's Time We Tracked Police Homicides
When government law enforcement officers kill civilians it is everyone's right to know about it. We are all ultimately responsible for the actions of our government. But only 44% of law enforcement agencies voluntarily report police action homicides. It's time to make this mandatory.
Sunday, September 21, 2014(7 comments)
Buying Back the U.S. Senate
The U.S. Senate race in 2014 is on track to become the most expensive in history. Much of the funding comes from big, often anonymous donors. The effect of special interest election funding is that the interests of ordinary people aren't well served, but from a per person perspective, it wouldn't cost that much to buy back our representatives and win back our Republic.
Monday, September 8, 2014(14 comments)
Evolution of Modern Christianity
Belief that the Christian Bible is inerrant is absurd. Both the Bible and the Christian experience is evolutionary and fundamentalists who oppose that notion are slated for extinction.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014(1 comments)
Water, Detroit and the Essentials of Life
Detroit is a mess. 4,000 poor and low-wage residents are being cut off from water per day because they can't afford to pay. The state isn't helping them so civic groups appealed to the U.N.for help. Water is a human right. This article compares Detroit's municipal water system with Seattle's, and finds Detroit could do much better. Water prices are rising everywhere and this will soon be the utility everyone talks about.
Thursday, May 29, 2014(5 comments)
Chronic Wage Stagnation - Symptoms and Treatments
There is a point somewhere in the future where it will be too late to fix the problem of wage stagnation through the normal democratic processes. History has proven this to be true. We are not at that point now, but we are past the point of treating wage stagnation earnestly. This article outlines its symptoms and some solutions to consider.
Monday, April 21, 2014(1 comments)
Main Street Meets Their Wall Street Landlords
Wall Street's equity privateers are taking advantage of the depressed housing market to buy post-foreclosure homes they can fix up and rent back to those who lost them. They want to be your landlord.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014(4 comments)
Understanding Intelligence - Essential for a Rational World
We can't really know ourselves without an understanding of how our brain operates. The new theory on intelligence, regarding how our cerebral cortex functions, has important implications for understanding how we think. The subconscious organization that takes place in our brain frees our conscious mind to focus on what's most important, but it also leaves us especially vulnerable to media manipulation.
Saturday, February 1, 2014(4 comments)
Obama to Expand Executive Authority, Says Ezra Klein
In a Lecture at Drew University the evening following President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address, Ezra Klein expressed his view that Obama will expand his executive authority over the next few years to fill the power vaccuum left by our polarized and disfunctional legislature.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Carbon vs. Climate and Our Future in a Mirror
The electric utilities are looking at the trends in future electricity generation and use. What their customers see as positive developments they may see as threats. How everyone responds to these changes may settle, for better or worse, the outcome that global warming has on our planet.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Bogus Claim: Obama Uses IRS to Buy Votes
A crazy new claim is trying to resonate within the right-wing echo chamber, this one claiming that President Obama is using the IRS to create de-facto amnesty for illegal aliens and buy votes by making the IRS pay Child Tax Credits to illegal aliens.
Thursday, October 17, 2013(10 comments)
Darwin, Religion, and the Rise of a Secular World
Darwin's theory of evolution spawned a natural and secular view of creation that has challenged the power of religion to control social change. It has also allowed business to slip its moral bonds, leading to runaway capitalism. Much of today's headlines can be put into perspective by understanding the dynamics of these underlying forces.
Monday, October 7, 2013(4 comments)
Ted Cruz, Money and the Power to Turn Out the Lights
How is it that Ted Cruz, a freshman Senator from Texas, is able to call the shots in both houses of congress? Perhaps we are seeing a surface fracture caused by a much deeper rift in power structure behind American politics. Follow the money!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The Dark Side of Saudi Petro-dollars
Passionate religious ideology isn't sufficient to fuel murderous terrorist outbreaks. It also requires piles of cash. A lot of that cash flows from or through Saudi Arabia, but we turn a blind eye.
Thursday, September 5, 2013(13 comments)
Solar Success Generating Friction with Utility Companies
The rapid growth of rooftop solar instillations has caught the attention of electric utility corporations who see both an unfair advantage and a potential threat to their business model. The current debate may shape energy policy and the race for renewable, carbon free energy for years to come.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013(1 comments)
NSA Can't Make Data Collection Safe
Just collecting and storing private communication on behalf of the government is a violation of the US Constitution and no checks or balances can keep us safe from government abuse.
Friday, July 19, 2013(1 comments)
Texas, Where Greenhouse Gas is King
The US Energy Information Administration reports shows how much carbon dioxide is being released in each of the states and DC. Over a ten year period one state, Texas, has been responsible for 12% of all US CO2 admissions. Targeting Texas, California and a few other states in the effort to reduce emissions might be a good strategy for more rapid results.
Monday, July 15, 2013(11 comments)
What Good Can We Salvage From The Trayvon Martin Case?
In the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict we see a society badly divided and in need of reconciliation. The contrasts are great while the opportunities for reconciling our opposing views of justice and society are narrow. We need to salvage whatever good we can from this moment and look to the future for real change
Saturday, June 22, 2013(15 comments)
Is Our Obesity Epidemic a Result of the War on Wages?
Americans are consuming 25% more calories since the 1970's, which is about when hourly wages stopped rising with hourly productivity. Poverty rates have been rising since as has the obesity problem. New data link the cost of nutritional food and U.S. food policy with obesity and the poor.
Friday, June 21, 2013(3 comments)
GOP Doubling Down on Student Loans
House GOP pushes the "Smarter Solutions Act", a cynical bill that simply differs the profits lenders are expecting from the doubling of student loan interest rates starting in July.
Sunday, June 16, 2013(6 comments)
Wealth Disparity and the Brewing Social Crisis
Wealth disparity, the number of people in poverty and the social stress that disparity causes are all growing but our understanding of how these things are actually related is not growing. Pundits and most of the main stream media aren't sounding the alarm. Instead they are echoing the false naratives that mask the real motivations driving this economy.
Monday, June 10, 2013(1 comments)
The Real IRS Scandal
As happens often in today's politically charged atmosphere, the partisan conflagration set off by the revelations is sucking all the oxygen out of the room, leaving no one to explore why these practices developed in the first place. The "scandal" is a media-induced distraction from much more serious problems under the surface. This article asks questions that really do need answers.
Sunday, June 2, 2013(1 comments)
When Beauty is Average
Have you ever wondered how folks who can't agree on much else can generally agree on a beautiful face? Have you ever wondered how social or religious groups that go out of their way to be different nevertheless display great conformaty within their group? And this business of regression to the mean, does it apply to how we percieve the world?
Tuesday, May 28, 2013(1 comments)
America's Social Contract and the Measure of Our Commitment
The attitudes we have toward paying taxes, and the extent to which people and organizations will go to avoid paying them, is an underappreciated index of our consent to be governed. The inability of the federal government to collect taxes from the nation's elite and its biggest corporations is a serious sign of trouble. It signals a real strain in our social contract.
Thursday, April 25, 2013(36 comments)
Rupert Murdoch, Ayn Rand and A Sociopathic Economy
Rupurt Murdoch, Ayn Rand and many of the corporate elite today have adopted a view of financial markets, distributive justice and social values that can only be described as anti-social, at best. Murdoch believes that free markets are morally superior to more socially centered ideas of what is fair or moral.
Ideological Barriers to High School Graduation for Some
The nation's high school graduation rates are disappointing, but when you break down the numbers they become truly disturbing. In many states the graduation rates for African-American and Native-American students fell 10 to 20 points below White students. But the most disturbing graduation gaps occur among children with disabilities and children for whom English is their second language.
Thursday, February 28, 2013(7 comments)
Capital Investment Income Drives Income Inequality
A recient study shows that capital income is now the biggest contributor to rising income inequality. The poorest 40% of Americans essentially own almost nothing while the top 20% own 85% of everything. As a result, favorable tax policies for capital gains income has a highly disproportional benefit for the wealthiest Americans. Capital income for this wealthy segment is what drives rising income inequality today.
Thursday, February 21, 2013(13 comments)
Living Wages Should Be Our Minimum Demand
Raising the minimum wage is not enough to solve our economic problems. Almost half of working households require some form of government subsidy to maintain their financial stability. Every conservative argument against raising the minimum wage is just a smoke screen for the real culprit behind unemployment and our sluggish economy, Wage Suppression!!!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013(5 comments)
The Falsely Convicted Spend Years In Jail Before Exonerations, And They Are the Lucky Ones.
"Exoneration," is a legal concept that a defendant who was convicted of a crime was later relieved of all legal consequences of that conviction through a decision by a prosecutor, a governor or a court, after new evidence of his or her innocence was discovered. As you will see in this report, the number of exonerations in the United States is not a good measure of how often our justice system produces false convictions.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
GAO - $450 Billion Gap in Taxes Owed Per Year
According to the Government Accounting Office the Federal Government fails to collect about $450 billion in tax revenue per year. Uniform tax collection is at the heart of a fair tax system. This article is an excerpt from the GAO report.
Friday, February 15, 2013(1 comments)
Minimum Wage Increase Is A Small Step
President Obama's proposed increase in the minimum wage is a good step, but falls short of lifing families out of poverty or weaning companies from their dependency on government-subsidized cheap labor.
Thursday, February 7, 2013(4 comments)
Reflections on the Human Spirit
This article affirms my personal perspective that the challenges we face today can be overcome when we lift up the human human spirit.
Saturday, February 2, 2013(5 comments)
Houston, Take Down This Threatening Message
Twelve long years after the 911 attacks in New York and Washington the security announcement in Huston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport still threatens citizens with arrest.
"Free Market" Social Services Fail to Deliver
Social service networks today are not based on matching service availability and capacity to the needs of local communities. They are loosely coordinated networks created by free market forces and competition between private or non-profit agencies scrambling for dollars, and this approach isn't working.
Saturday, January 12, 2013(17 comments)
How Public Schools Came to Be and the Fight to Dismantle Them
Publicly funded local schools are universally accepted. Abandoning them would be almost unthinkable. Yet the interests aligned against public school are chipping away at them. These are the same interest groups that opposed public schools from the start. The lost history of that battle is still instructive today.
OUR VOTING RIGHTS - A State-by-State Analysis
In an off handed comment made after the 2012 election, President Barack Obama said we need to fix our election process. This is a welcome suggestion. Our election process is badly broken and we need to take a good look at it. We should start by asking: What voting rights do I have in my state? The answers may surprise you.
Taxpayer Subsidized Downsizing
America is very "workforce efficient", meaning it is cheap and easy to fire employees here compared to other countries. This gives business an edged, but the costs are shifted to the taxpayers and the ease of downsizing is harmful to the economy.
Thursday, January 3, 2013(1 comments)
Do Pro-business Policies Benefit the Poor?
Pro-business politics and the belief that robust commerce will lift all boats has replaced the "War on Poverty" and the idea that government should play a role in the well being of our citizens. This article explores how well pro-business policies serve the poor.
Wednesday, December 26, 2012(4 comments)
Wage History and The Case for A Living Wage
Hourly wages stopped rising with hourly GDP in the mid 1970's. The damaging impact of this wage suppression on today's economy is huge and a living wage law would be the best solution.
WHAT WENT WRONG ON WALL STREET?
A non-economists initial account of the sweeping story of what went wrong on Wall Street, written as a primer to promote an independent understanding of the problem so we aren't duped by politicians and other "experts" offering to fix the problems for us.