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INTELLIGENCE

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 27, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

- What are the attributes of an intelligent person?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

There are primarily three traits we admire in people: physical beauty, physical prowess (such as an athlete, musician, or someone with a specific skill set), and intelligence. Of the three, intelligence is perhaps the most awe-inspiring and perhaps the easiest to fraudulently emulate. I think I can count on one hand the number of true geniuses I’ve met in my walk through life, but aside from this I have met some truly intelligent people whom I greatly respect. Interestingly, not all possess a formal education, yet they exhibit signs of intelligence I admire and rely on for advice.

Some people believe a person’s vocabulary is a distinguishable characteristic of intelligence. It may be an indicator, but it is certainly not proof of intelligence. I have met far too many people who have a verbosity of BS cloaking other shortcomings in their personality. They may be able to speak well, but so can a parrot if trained properly.

There are those who believe intelligence is distinguished by a person’s ability to absorb and recite facts. I have trouble with this notion as well. To my way of thinking, the person has nothing more than a good memory which any tape recorder or computer can duplicate.

To me, intelligence is the ability to apply logic towards solving a problem. Knowing facts and possessing an articulate vocabulary is nice, but knowing how to put it all together to solve a problem or achieve a goal is the real measure of intelligence. From this perspective, I have met a lot of people with basic street smarts who are far more intelligent than a lot of college professors or savants I know. In other words, I have more respect for a person who can think clearly for himself, than a person who can do nothing more than parrot facts and figures.

Sometimes we confuse intelligence with experience. Under this scenario, a person who has lived through many experiences, and learned from them, can pass this knowledge on to others who may perceive the person as brilliant. Probably the only thing “smart” here was that the person learned from the experience.

IQ scores don’t necessarily impress me either. I remember a classmate in high school who allegedly had a high IQ score. I found it rather amusing that he failed the written portion of his driver’s test on more than one occasion (I think he was looking for the meaning of life in a stop sign). I’ve also found a lot of people like this who simply want to be paid because they are smart, but don’t know how to work productively. In other words, they may know a lot, but have trouble applying it. Those who are perceived as “witty” tend to fall into this category. Most are entertainers who have an aversion to real work.

To me, the real distinguishing characteristic of an intelligent person is someone who knows what they are doing, does it well, and can be counted on to deliver solutions and solve problems over and over again (reliability). I have also found they exhibit an insatiable curiosity about the world around them, not just a single area. As the Japanese like to say, such people think in terms of “360 degrees.” In other words, they are always looking at the bigger picture.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
– Calvin Coolidge

FIRST PUBLISHED: January 26, 2010

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  INSPIRATIONAL VIDEOS TEACHING MORALITY – Some films which will touch your heart.

LAST TIME:  POLITICAL PERSONALITIES  – What causes someone to become a member of the walking dead?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

POLITICAL PERSONALITIES

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 25, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- What causes someone to become a member of the walking dead?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It is not much of a secret that politicians are experiencing low approval ratings. Whether it is at the municipal, county, state or federal level, people generally do not trust politicians. So much so, it makes you wonder why someone would want to become involved in this kind of work.

I feel sorry for people who become politicians. Frankly, I don’t know how they live with themselves. I have known several people who were decent people, spoke their minds, and were standup citizens. Yet, when they become a politician, regardless of the rank, they undergo a metamorphosis and become milk toast people who you can no longer trust. I’ve seen this occur in members of both parties and it is all rather discouraging.

I wonder why this happens. Maybe as part of their indoctrination they are locked in a room where they are made privy to the true secrets of the Kennedy assassination, UFO’s, and Hitler’s true resting place in Argentina. Here they are overwhelmed by truth but warned if they divulge any of it, they will be quietly eliminated.

Suddenly, they seem to lose their passion and conviction on various issues, they become politically correct to the point of being obnoxious, and become too “touchy/feely” (they also smile too much). Instead of acting human, they’ve turned into another species altogether, “politicians.”

Very few seem to possess the resiliency to resist temptation and inevitably turn to “the dark side.” Most people go into politics with the best intentions, but then transform into another being altogether. One cannot help but ask, Why? It is money? Control? Recognition? Protecting their job? What? In this day and age of micromanagement, I tend to believe it is a little of everything. Maybe there is some socio-psychological desire to entertain or sway people. The same desire can be found in salesmen after experiencing a sale; It’s the same “rush” entertainers experience after delivering an excellent performance.

Some cannot resist the temptation to become a career politician, regardless of the level in government. After all, being in politics is better than working for a living. The pay and benefits can be very attractive.

Back during the days of the founding of our country, men would serve one or two terms in Congress, before acquiescing control in favor of returning home and tending to their farms or plantations. In other words, it was someone else’s turn to tend to the business of government. The idea of remaining in government was considered loathsome.

I suspect there is a sleaze factor associated with anyone who spends too much time in government, which is why the country supports the concept of term limits. I think we owe it to politicians who finally step aside, to put them through a detox program, teach them how to communicate with the average person, as well as teaching them morality, and build a whole new personality for them. Maybe they should be placed in a witness protection program or the Betty Ford Clinic until they are ready to mingle with society again.

I believe the reason people no longer trust politicians is because they do not perceive them as human anymore, but as zombies aimlessly walking the corridors of government asking for “Change?…Change?…”

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  INTELLIGENCE – What are the attributes of an intelligent person?

LAST TIME:  THE NEED FOR CHECKS AND BALANCES IN NONPROFITS  – Particularly in financial management.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

THE NEED FOR CHECKS AND BALANCES IN NONPROFITS

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 23, 2015

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

- Particularly in financial management.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

In 2014, a Vancouver Masonic Temple suffered through the embarrassment of an embezzlement of nearly $800,000 by its Treasurer. The Treasurer belonged to a Building Fund which housed various Masonic Lodges and youth groups. The misappropriation was detected accidentally only when the Temple failed to pay its real estate taxes. Charges were pressed against the Treasurer who was sentenced to three years and seven months in prison, plus ordered to return the stolen money. Unfortunately, the loss of the cash caused the Masons to put the Temple up for sale, and it crippled their charitable activities. The Treasurer got away with it simply by producing falsified Treasurer reports which nobody challenged.

For an institution that is supposed to exemplify morality, such an incident is extremely humiliating. Unfortunately, Vancouver is not alone as other Masonic institutions in other parts of the world have also suffered such embarrassments over the years. Sadly, the Masons are not alone as other nonprofit groups have also lost funds due to corrupt financial practices. Cases of embezzlement can found in churches, sports clubs (such as youth baseball and football), homeowner associations, and many others. Because such indiscretions are humiliating, and makes for bad public relations, many such incidents are not reported and quietly swept under the rug. Silencing bad publicity is one thing, going without adequate financial resources is quite another.

To overcome such problems, some simple financial controls can be implemented, but few people in nonprofit organizations have the necessary experience, thereby leaving their organizations prone to disaster. Regardless, the officers of any organization have a fiduciary responsibility to their constituents to safeguard the financial resources. Naivete is no excuse for such recklessness. Standard practices should be implemented for discipline and consistency.

First, leaving expenditures and deposits in the hands of one person is dangerous. It is placing total faith in the integrity of one person. Instead, a separate person should initiate the transaction and must bear the person’s signature, thereby formally acknowledging the action. Let’s suppose you use an outside bookkeeping firm to manage your company’s finances; you would want to have such a system in place whereby you, the owner, trigger the payment of expenses and depositing income, not the bookkeeper. So, why not within a nonprofit organization? Even if you direct the bookkeeper to autopay routine expenditures, such as power and water, you should be cognizant of the expense before authorizing payment.

The two person system would ultimately require two separate procedures; the initiator should write and sign some form of voucher ordering the payment of an expense, or the amount of money to be deposited. Each transaction, whether it is a credit or a debit, should be recorded in some form of ledger, be it on paper or in the computer. The second person, presumably the Treasurer, receives the orders from the initiator and acts upon them accordingly using pertinent bank forms or software. The one common denominator between the two people is the Chart of Accounts specifying the different types of income and expense accounts. By using the same Chart of Accounts, the initiator’s books should match those of the Treasurer. The Chart of Accounts can also be tied to the budget, another important report that should be routinely monitored by a third party.

Needless to say, the two sets of books should be managed separately, not by one person. Periodically, the two people should compare the finances and make sure they are synchronized, such as monthly or quarterly. At minimum, the two must be reconciled by the end of the year. This is very much akin to double-entry bookkeeping which was developed by the merchants of Venice in 1200 A.D. and involves separate journal entries. Regardless of its age, it is still a viable technique for managing finances.

This may all sound slightly bureaucratic, but what is the alternative? Vancouver?

Today, there is a push to automate financial management as much as possible. However, do not overlook the power of paper, for two reasons: first, it provides a handy audit trail if something goes awry, and; second, it provides the means to recreate either set of books should some form of disaster occur. I also cannot over emphasize the need for signatures. This one simple act could have helped thwart Vancouver’s humiliation.

If you use computer financial software, and I recommend you do, you should back up the files any time a transaction is recorded. Why so often? Ask yourself, can you afford to forget one transaction?

In summary, Vancouver and other nonprofit embezzlements could have been prevented by:

1. Establishing a two party system; one to initiate transactions, and one to execute accordingly.
2. Preparing paper copies of financial transactions and reports to be used as an audit trail and provide a means to recreate reports in case of catastrophe.
3. Financial reports should be periodically reconciled, preferably monthly.
4. Backup computer software routinely.

Last but certainly not least, a review of financial resources should be performed at least once a year by a third party, preferably a committee. Such a review examines the procedures people follow when handling money, and checks the financial data using ledgers, bank statements, etc.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ask Vancouver; they learned it the hard way.

Keep the Faith!

RELATED ARTICLES:

“The Necessity of Lodge Audits” – Nov 6, 2009

“Establishing a Chart of Accounts” – Dec 1, 2006

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  POLITICAL PERSONALITIES – What causes someone to become a member of the walking dead?

LAST TIME:  ESSENCE  – How well do we know each other?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Management | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

ESSENCE

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 20, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

- How well do we know each other?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Many years ago, when I was a youngster living in Delaware, my family was very close to another family. Our fathers worked at the same company, and the mothers acted like sisters. Both families got along famously and, as kids, we grew up together as brothers. Inevitably, the careers of our fathers took off and caused them to move the families around the United States and far from each other. So much so, we dropped off each other’s radar for quite some time. Recently, we were notified the other father had passed away and, as such, I tried to make contact with one of the sons, who I had not set eyes on for nearly fifty years. Interestingly, when I finally caught up with him by telephone, we connected as if we were kids again. I could easily recognize his voice and personality and we gabbed for quite some time about the two families.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I have old friends from Junior High school in Chicago, High School buddies in Cincinnati, and College fraternity brothers I still am in contact with, and in all instances, we basically pick up where we left off as if time was irrelevant. I have always marveled at this phenomenon and credit it to an awareness of the other person’s “essence,” meaning an acute understanding of what makes the other person tick, a kind of DNA for personality traits.

I believe when we are young we are more in tune with the fundamental personality of others, such as their morality, judgment, habits, intelligence, interests, etc. Let me give you an example, years ago when I went back to Cincinnati for my 20th High School reunion, everyone had obviously grown up and moved on, but I still had an intuitive understanding of each person; with rare exception, those who were jerks back in High School were still jerks twenty years later, and those who were decent people turned out just fine. Since the reunion, I have gone on some fishing trips with some old football buddies and we kid and tease each other like we were still teenagers, but we also share heart-to-heart discussions and support each other. This wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t understand the essence of each other, and, as I see it, it is the single element keeping us as friends for so many years.

As we get older though, we tend to mask our personalities and become more discreet in terms of who we allow into our inner circle. I think it’s because we fear someone might violate our trust which could hurt us either personally or professionally. Consequently, we become self-conscious about how we act and what we say to others. We also spend considerable time sizing people up in terms of who we can trust and confide in.

Our understanding of “essence” is also based on group dynamics. For example, in school we had to rub elbows with a lot of different people in different settings; e.g., different classes, clubs, and sports. The more closely we had to work together towards common goals, the more inclined we were to rely on each other and, as a result, came to understand our strengths and weaknesses. Those serving in the military also experience this phenomenon and develop strong bonds as well. However, it is when we are in our youth that we are more approachable and open, and less so as we grow older, particularly in companies where we are forced to become political and competitive.

I have an old friend in Atlanta I have known for 45 years now. We shared our first cigar together behind his house in Chicago, had a lot of laughs together and enjoyed many family experiences. Although I haven’t seen him in quite some time, every now and then, one of us will pick up the phone and call the other and ask, “How’s it hangin’?”, a very old and juvenile expression, but something that has become somewhat of a term of endearment between the two of us. When we talk, it’s as if we were chatting next to each other over a beer. Although we still enjoy a good laugh, we’ve compared notes on our life’s journey and try to comfort each other accordingly, particularly in the passing of family members.

One thing I’ve learned as a result of all this, it is impossible to fool someone who understands your essence. They simply know you too well.

Originally Published: January 22, 2010

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE NEED FOR CHECKS AND BALANCES IN NONPROFITS – Particularly in financial management.

LAST TIME:  THE REAL WAR ON WOMEN  – Real or facade for political purposes? You decide.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

THE REAL WAR ON WOMEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 18, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Real or facade for political purposes? You decide.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The alleged “War on Women” is an expression used by Democrats accusing Republicans of practicing discrimination against women. It has been around for a long time, but it is only within the last ten years that it has been vigorously pushed into the American conscious, presumably to coincide with Hillary Clinton’s pending run for the presidency.

In the United States, there really is no “War on Women,” unless you count such things as women walking in high heels and other tight shoes which torture their feet. Then there is the matter of dyeing and burning their hair over and over again, wearing layers of makeup and lipstick to conceal a deformity, or eating like a squirrel thereby starving themselves to death. This all may be part of the mating ritual, but it is heinous nevertheless. I have watched women do this routinely over the years and I’m really not sure why they subject themselves to such hazing.

The only true “War on Women” is that associated with Islam where the actions of women are tightly regulated. Everything must be approved by the man, be it a woman’s husband or father. They are not allowed to drive, are instructed what to wear, what type of education they are allowed to pursue, not allowed to marry anyone outside the Muslim faith, and basically told what they are allowed to say, do or think. In other words, women have no identity of their own, and are subservient to men, which is an odd concept to the western world in the 21st century.

Before Democrats cast aspersions against Republicans of any wrong doing, I think they should visit the Middle East where they will quickly come to the realization this isn’t remotely possible in the United States.

Some time ago I was sent on assignment to Saudi Arabia for some consulting. During my leisure time, I was escorted around town by a fine young man who introduced me to Saudi culture. I quickly learned about the customs pertaining to women, particularly how many a man can marry and what function each wife serves. I quickly realized I was no longer in Kansas.

During my stay there, my escort, who was in his mid-twenties, took me to some Saudi souqs (“suuks”), which are basically markets, stores, and malls. There were a lot of people there, including women dressed in black burkas covering everything but their eyes. When a group of ladies went by, of which I couldn’t tell whether they were young or old, my escort exclaimed, “Wow, did you see that!?”

“See what?” I asked.

“The women of course.”

“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t see anything but their eyes; What was the big deal?” I replied.

“Oh Tim, you do not understand. After awhile you can tell which are the pretty ones simply by looking at their eyes,” he said.

“You’re kidding, right?”

“No, I’m serious, the eyes tell it all.”

I guess I need my eyes checked, as I couldn’t see much between the burka’s tiny window allowing women to see where they are going.

Following my trip to Saudi Arabia, I sent my young friend several optometrist magazines as it was the next best thing to “Playboy” over there.

The idea there is a “War on Women” in America is totally fallacious, it is nothing more than a simple ploy to drive a political wedge between voters.

If you really want to find the true War on Women, visit the Middle East. And if you’re a woman, see how long you can walk around without a burka.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ESSENCE – How well do we know each other?

LAST TIME:  HOW LEGISLATION IS PASSED OR VETOED  – How all legislation is passed, vetoed, or stalled.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

HOW LEGISLATION IS PASSED OR VETOED

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 16, 2015

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

- How all legislation is passed, vetoed, or stalled.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

The 114th United States Congress has been seated and we are about to see a test of wills between the president and the Congress. Now that the Senate is under Republican control, we are likely to see a beehive of activity in terms of new legislation to be debated, passed and sent to the president for approval or rejection.

For our younger readers, and those requiring a refresher course, it might be a good idea to review the process by which legislation is passed or vetoed. This process is used for all bills, large or small, be it Obamacare, to appropriate funds, and more. Such a process can be quite complicated, but in a nutshell, here is how it works:

1. Anyone can introduce legislation, assuming they are a U.S. Citizen. However, due to the language needed, most legislation is introduced by a Congressman, be it a member of the House or the Senate. If you wish to write legislation, let me suggest you first meet with your Congressman and discuss your Bill and the process.

2. Each piece of legislation requires a sponsor who is either the author of the bill or the champion of it. The sponsor introduces it into one of the chambers of Congress, either the House or Senate.

3. Each bill is issued a unique number to identify it, be it in the House or the Senate. The public can then follow the bill’s journey using “Thomas” under the US Library of Congress (named in honor of our third president, Thomas Jefferson, who sold his grand collection of books to the Library to help get it started).

4. Depending on where the bill is introduced, be it in the House or the Senate, the bill goes to a subcommittee or committee for deliberations. The committee must approve the bill before it can be presented to the overall chamber. Here, the committee vote and recommendations are reviewed and deliberated, before being voted on by the chamber, which must pass by 2/3 percent.

Should the bill have problems in the subcommittee, committee or chamber, it might be necessary to revise the language of the bill before proceeding. Otherwise, it may just die in committee.

5. Assuming the bill has passed the chamber, it then goes to the other congressional chamber where the last step is repeated. Here it may also require revision, or may die in committee.

If any revisions are made, it must go back to the other Congressional chamber for deliberations and approval again. Such give and take between chambers can take considerable time. Assuming both chambers pass the bill by 2/3, the bill is signed by the Speaker of the House and Vice President (as president of the Senate), before being sent to the president for his consideration.

6. The president has ten days to sign or veto the legislation. This is an important part of the “checks and balances” of our system of government.

If the president vetoes the bill, he returns it to the Congress with an explanation of his rationale for doing so.

If the president fails to sign or veto the bill within ten days, it becomes law without his signature.

However, if the Congress adjourns “sine die” (for an indefinite period) before the ten day period has finished, and the president takes no action, then the bill is “pocket vetoed” (defeated).

7. Assuming the bill is vetoed, the Congress can override the veto by having the bill pass both chambers of Congress by 2/3 percent whereby it becomes law.

Obviously, the journey of a bill can be long and arduous. However, if a high profile piece of legislation is urgently needed, the heads of both chambers can take extraordinary steps to expedite the process.

If the leadership of both houses is at odds with each other, as was the case in our last Congress, led by Democrats in the Senate, and Republicans in the House, then gridlock ensues. To illustrate, in the 113th Congress (2012-2014), the House introduced 352 bills to the Senate for processing. Of these bills, 98% were passed with bipartisan support, 50% unanimously, 70% passed with 2/3 support in the House, and more than 55 bills were introduced by Democrats. However, Senator Harry Reid (D-NEV), the Majority Leader, allowed these bills to either die in committee, or didn’t even pass his desk for deliberation. Now, with Republicans running both chambers, this is unlikely to reoccur.

In the six years President Obama has been in office, he has only vetoed two bills, neither of which were overridden by the Congress. This number is low primarily due to Senator Reid impeding deliberations in the Senate.

Now, with Republicans in control of both chambers, it will be interesting to see how many bills will pass, how many will go to the president’s desk, and how many will be either approved of vetoed by the president. Either way, look for the Congress to take a much more active role than the previous session.

As an aside, a bill does not require a Feasibility Study, complete with requirements, proposed solution, and a cost/benefit analysis. In the corporate world, implementing anything of substance without a Feasibility Study is unimaginable, yet in government it is perfectly acceptable, as in the case of Obamacare. Hmm, maybe I should write some legislation…

Keep the Faith!

For more info, see, “How is a Bill Prepared?” by Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DEL).

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE REAL WAR ON WOMEN – Real or facade for political purposes? You decide.

LAST TIME:  THINGEES  – When we don’t know what to call something.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Government | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

THINGEES

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 13, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

- When we don’t know what to call something.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

Have you ever noticed how we tend to use certain words when we either don’t know the proper name for something or we simply forget what to call it? I don’t know about other languages, but the English language is full of such words, for example:

* Thingee – this is an expression typically used either by young children or older people too reserved to curse. People using this word typically point at the object of their attention when saying “thingee,” both young and old.

* Thingamajig – is an old expression you still hear every now and then. It’s normally used to ask for something; e.g., “Can you hand me that thingamajig?”

* Thingamabob – an even older variation.

* Whatchamacallit – I find this is used more in regards to a person’s title or profession; e.g., “Joe is a professional whatchamacallit.” (I always wondered what P.W. stood for).

* Whatsajig – I think this is a southern variance of whatchamacallit.

* Schravits – this is an unusual one. I first heard it from a friend from the Midwest who primarily uses it to describe a tool or instrument; e.g., “Hand me the schravits will you?”

* Doohickie – although this can be applied to just about anything, it is more commonly used in connection with a blemish or insect bite; e.g., “Boy, that’s an ugly doohickie you have on your arm there.”

These are words that have existed for many years and I think we’re all guilty of using them now and then. This usually comes about when we are tired or lazy and don’t want to engage the brain. You also see it when we’re too preoccupied with something else and don’t want to waste time searching for the correct expression.

My father would use such words for years, particularly at the dinner table, where he would ask for this or that. As he got older though, I noticed he stopped trying to ask for anything verbally and, instead, would just point at it with his finger, which we would instinctively know what he wanted, almost telepathically. It was quite amusing to watch, a bit rude, but amusing nonetheless. There’s a word that describes this phenomenon, I believe it’s called a …..

Originally Published: December 29, 2009

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  HOW LEGISLATION IS PASSED OR VETOED – How all legislation is passed, vetoed, or stalled.

LAST TIME:  STUDENT DRESS CODES  – If the dress code was left to students, what would they select?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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THE BRIAN WILLIAMS SUSPENSION

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 12, 2015

Brian Williams got off easy, too easy. The Golden Boy of NBC News was essentially reprimanded, told to take some time off and not to fabricate any more stories. By giving him a suspension as opposed to terminating his employment, NBC is leaving the door open for his return. The network wants this incident to blow over and is counting on the American public to forget about it. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. This incident, along with Al Sharpton and other missteps at MSNBC, is killing the journalistic integrity of what was at one time considered the preeminent news organization on television.

Williams’ suspension sends a dangerous signal to the rest of the NBC news organization. If the top dog in the news department violates journalistic integrity and only gets a slap on the wrist, the underlings should expect the same treatment. No longer will their jobs be threatened, and the calibre of news reporting will deteriorate further. From a Human Resources perspective, it also gives the reporters and producers a precedent to resist termination for reporting misinformation. If Brian only gets a suspension, why not them when they make a mistake?

Let us not forget the network news anchor is the titular head and face of the network. All reporters and producers of NBC News thereby are guilty by association with Williams.

The comparison of Brian Williams to former CBS anchor Dan Rather is uncanny. Back in 2004, Rather reported on “60 Minutes” that a series of memos critical of President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service record had been discovered in the personal files of Lt. Bush’s former commanding officer. When copies of the memos were made available to the public, their authenticity was quickly called into question and considered forgeries. It is generally believed this incident hastened Rather’s departure and his reputation never fully recovered.

Let us not forget Williams has been the anchor of NBC Nightly News since December 2, 2004; not bad for someone who received no formal education or college degree in journalism, or college degree of any kind for that matter. He arose to his position based on his looks and smooth delivery of the news.

Now attention is turning to the misrepresentations and falshoods Hillary Clinton has spoken over the years. There is a big difference here, unlike Williams she cannot be suspended, not unless it is by the American voters.

A major cleaning of the house at NBC is in order. Regardless of what you think of Williams, it is unlikely the public will completely trust his reporting of the news again. Now is the time to reorganize NBC before their ratings slip any further. ABC is already passing NBC, and MSNBC’s numbers are the lowest of the cable news networks. It is time for major changes.

Chet Huntley and David Brinkley should be spinning in their graves over all this.

Keep the Faith!

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
http://timbryce.com/

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STUDENT DRESS CODES

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 11, 2015

BRYCE ON APPEARANCE

- If the dress code was left to students, what would they select?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

A couple of months ago I was involved with a panel discussion at a local high school to discuss time management. This was a special session made available through the business program at the school and was open to all students interested in their career beyond high school. I was pleased to see over 100 students attend the session. Coupled with this, the teachers appointed the day as “Professional Attire Day,” meaning the students in the business program were asked to dress up. Instead of t-shirts, shorts and gym shoes, they were asked to wear suit and ties for the men, and dresses for the ladies. This was very much appreciated by the panelists who complimented the students on their appearance.

Following this, we developed a questionnaire to determine how the students genuinely felt about dressing up for the day. I received the responses recently and tabulated the results. Frankly, I was surprised by how the students responded. I suspect you will too.

PROFESSIONAL ATTIRE DAY SUMMARY

A. Did you feel MENTALLY sharper today as a result of dressing up?

75 – Yes
39 – No
1 – No answer

B. Did you feel PHYSICALLY better today as a result of dressing up?

71 – Yes
41 – No
3 – No answer

C. Did you feel more CONFIDENT?

83 – Yes
31 – No
1 – No answer

D. Did you feel SUPERIOR to others?

70 – Yes
45 – No
0 – No answer

E. Did you feel more POSITIVE in your outlook?

93 – Yes
21 – No
1 – No answer

F. In what ways could the DRESS CODE of students & teachers be changed to reflect a more professional image?

Collared shirts (16)
School uniforms (12)
Ties (6)
Looking professional (5)
Have regular day to dress professionally (perhaps Fridays) (4)
Khaki shorts (4)
Business casual (3)
No shorts or tank tops (3)
Wearing slacks (2)
Less trendy or vulgar things (2)
Teachers should wear ties or suits (2)
Teachers should enforce dress code, not ignore them (2)
No short shorts.
No jeans.
Not allowed to have ANY image on shirt.
No flip flops.
Can be expensive, but improves self esteem.
Wear nicer clothes.
(many no responses to the question or illegible answers)

G. What is the BEST part of Professional Attire Day?

Compliments on dress (17)
Looking my best (13)
Feel more professional (12)
Looking sharp (6)
Ties (3)
Dressing nice with peers (2)
Wearing slacks (2)
Points you get for the class (2)
Confidence
Uniformity
(many no responses to the question or illegible answers)

H. What is the WORST part of Professional Attire Day?

Florida heat (25)
Shoes (8)
Dressing up (4)
Waking up early to get dressed (4)
Having to get dressed up (4)
Being stared at (3)
Choked by ties (2)
Sometimes uncomfortable (2)
Having to change for gym (2)
Shirt tucked in.
Trying to stay clean.
Buying a new outfit.
Friends laughing at you.
Embarrassed.
Wearing a dress and sitting on the ground at lunch time.
Dress flies in the wind.
(many no responses to the question or illegible answers)

I. CONCLUSIONS

Preface: There were 115 legible responses to the questionnaire from students. Two were submitted blank and not counted in the summary. Many of the text responses were illegible. The comments shown were grouped together based on commonality as observed by the reviewer; the text entries were not all identical. It appears most students answered the questionnaire sincerely. As to be expected, some answered just to pacify the teacher and earn credit for the day, mostly negative.

Observations: In general the “Professional Attire Day” was well received by the students who perceived it as a positive experience as denoted by Questions A – E. I had expected a positive response for Question A, “Mentally Sharp,” yet was surprised that the students also felt “Physically Sharp.” Overwhelmingly, the students felt more “Confident” and “Positive” as a result of dressing up. As further evidence, in question G, the students appreciated the compliments they received for their dress, and liked looking professional. In other words, they felt invigorated by their appearance, thereby heightening their self esteem. This added to their personal image as expressed in Question D, “Superiority.”

As to the negatives of the experience, the Florida heat proved uncomfortable, particularly for young men in dress suits. Having to change clothes for gym was also bothersome. A small handful felt embarrassed by the experience, and were uncomfortable having their friends laugh at them. There were others who simply disliked the experience and preferred to dress slovenly, but they were definitely in the minority.

As denoted by Question F, the students were overwhelmingly in favor of improving the dress code on campus. There were many comments in favor of a school uniform. There was also suggestions for having a “Professional Day” at least once a week, possibly Fridays, where everyone dresses up for the day. There were quite a few students who disliked, t-shirts, jeans, flip-flops, and short shorts. The implementation of collared shirts was strongly suggested, as well as ties. However, due to the Florida heat, wearing ties may not be a viable option. Also, the selection of shoes should be carefully considered; not gym shoes but something expressing a positive image and were comfortable. Khaki shorts for men were also suggested, as were slacks.

Whereas I had expected a rejection of dress codes, I was surprised to learn the students actually wanted a better code than what they currently have, for both students and teachers alike. In summary, they appeared to genuinely take pride in looking their best. They felt more positive and confident when dressed up as opposed to being dressed down. I sensed there is currently peer pressure, to dress badly. If the student body was allowed to vote on the school’s dress code, you would probably be surprised what they would chose, at least with those students involved with the business program.

It was obvious to me the students comprehend the effect of a professional image, both at school and beyond. Some genuinely yearned for a better school dress code as opposed to the slovenly appearance which is currently the norm. They may appreciate the concept, but will they be allowed to implement it? After the summary was prepared, it was presented to the school for their consideration. I will be curious to see how school officials respond.

Keep the Faith!

RELATED ARTICLES:

Dress for Success or Failure?

How we Dress

Wearing Ties

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THINGEES – When we don’t know what to call something.

LAST TIME:  CHANGING NBC CHANNELS  – What does NBCBLK mean to news broadcasting?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

CHANGING NBC CHANNELS

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 9, 2015

BRYCE ON THE MEDIA

- What does NBCBLK mean to news broadcasting?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I understand NBC has launched a new network titled, NBCBLK, which should be applauded as a means to cover African-American affairs. I think NBC has really hit on something here. Instead of just one network covering all of the news, now it will be fragmented to accommodate the black community. To be fair though, NBC now has a golden opportunity to meet the needs of all of our ethnic groups. Hopefully, NBC will create many more networks for:

NBCSCOT – Network for Scottish-Americans. Plaqued with Haggis commercials.

NBCUKE – I have a friend who reminds me to have one for the Ukrainians.

NRCEIRE – Let us not forget our Irish friends, should be anchored in Boston.

NBCENG – Since our country was heavily influenced by the English, why not? Maybe we can get the Queen to be a correspondent.

NBCNED – The Dutch were also heavily involved with the founding of the country. It should be based in Manhattan (formerly New Amsterdam).

NBCFRNCO – And the French helped us win the Revolutionary War; should be based out of New Orleans.

NBCITALY – For Italian-Americans; aka “The Cooking Channel.”

NBCGERM – Based in Chicago. German-Americans will discuss engineering and the driving habits of other people.

NBCSKI – Also based out of Chicago. The Polish channel should have some good jokes.

NBCEURO – For the rest of Europe. Will speak in English with French, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, and German sub-titles.

NBCAUSTASIA – Will include news and info for people from Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Philippines, and Borneo.

NBCLATINO – For the millions of immigrants crossing our borders. Will be based out of Tijuana.

NBCCAN – For our neighbors to the North, including Minnesota and North Dakota, “Don’t cha know.”

NBCSCANDIA – For Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Finland. To be anchored on a glacier near Reykjavik (or Minneapolis).

NBCASIA – For Americans descended from Japan, China, Korea, Viet Nam; aka “The Educational Channel.”

NBCINDIAN – For our Native Americans, not India. Redskin football will be featured.

NBCARAB – Let’s do it before ISIS and Al-Qaeda takes over.

I am sure there are more I am overlooking. Any suggestions?

I also understand Al Sharpton recently called an emergency meeting with Hollywood officials to discuss why there are aren’t more African-Americans nominated for the Oscar. Sounds like racial quotas have finally come to Tinsel Town. If we are going along with this, let me suggest meeting at the United Nations so all of the other ethnic groups are properly represented.

Don’t you just love racial diversity?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  STUDENT DRESS CODES – If the dress code was left to students, what would they select?

LAST TIME:  BRYCETITIZED  – When you want to divert from logic for some inexplicable reason.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Media | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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