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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

GET READY FOR THE 2014 MID-TERM ELECTIONS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 29, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Next week, there are many decisions to be made. Will you participate?

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

Here it finally comes, with less than a week to go. I am, of course, talking about the American Mid-Term elections on November 4th. The question is; will you be an active voter or sit on the sidelines? The Mid-Terms usually draw fewer voters than presidential election years. Republicans normally rally during these elections, which is why Democrats are nervous about the 2014 election outcome.

Back in June, I wrote a column entitled, “How Obama is undermining Democrats,” whereby I discussed how the president’s decisions regarding his bungling of foreign affairs (“leading from behind”), the terrorist exchange, and his War on Energy, was making it difficult for his party to maintain control of the Senate. Now, four months later, with his shaky policies regarding ISIS, Ebola, and immigration, President Obama continues to lose the trust not only of the American people but his own party as well. Polls show his approval ratings continue to decline.

Just about every poll gives an edge to the Republicans to reclaim the Senate, but it certainly is not a slam dunk. According to RealClearPolitics (RCP), an independent news organization which maintains an up-to-date pulse of elections, projections show 46 Senate seats controlled by Democrats, and 45 for the GOP, leaving 9 seats as toss-ups. These nine seats represent the shift of power. Of these, the GOP will likely win in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, and Louisiana (5 seats). The others are too close to call, but the Republicans currently have an edge in Iowa, Kansas, and North Carolina (3 seats). As long as the GOP candidates do not make a misstep, and the president continues to lose the trust of the people, there should be no reason why the Republicans cannot take the Senate.

The Republicans will also maintain control over the House of Representatives. Currently there are 188 seats controlled by the Democrats and 230 by the GOP, leaving 17 toss-up seats. Even if the Democrats were to win all 17 seats, which is unlikely, they still wouldn’t have enough seats to reclaim the House.

What does all of this mean to our federal government? A transition in the Senate to the Republicans would obviously mean a change in power. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid would no longer be controlling the agenda. Over the last two years, the Republican controlled House produced over 300 pieces of legislation for review by the Senate, some partisan, some non-partisan. Nonetheless, Sen. Reid blocked the legislation from being read and acted on, thereby essentially killing it. By removing the Reid logjam, much more legislation will be acted upon in the Senate and go to the president for his signature.

In terms of gubernatorial races, the Democrats have 15 states, the Republicans have 21, leaving 14 toss-up states. Of these, Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan will likely go Republican, Rhode Island will go Democratic, and the rest are virtual dead heats. In the end, Republicans will likely have more states than the Democrats.

Some will say, “So, it sounds like the decisions have already been made for us; why should we bother to vote?” First, we have to remember the data expressed here is based on polls only. They may be accurate, then again the polls have been known to be wrong before. Second, it is your duty as an American citizen to vote. It is the one act we are allowed to influence the direction of our government. If you cannot put forth the effort to perform this simple act, you do not have the right to criticize the government.

Then again, there are people who are not qualified to vote; who have no idea how the government is organized or works, what the issues are, or know the people running. These are the people the media pounces on with their advertising and spin. So, let me amend my argument; If you are cognizant of how government works, and you know what the issues are and who the people are, then, Yes, there is no excuse for you not to vote. Everyone else should just stay home.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  LAWN MOWING – the joys of mowing your lawn yourself.

LAST TIME:  THE BLAME GAME  – an acute case of projectionism.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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: , , , , | 5 Comments »

WHAT DOES CORPORATE ‘INFUSION’ MEAN?

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 10, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Or is it a misnomer?

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

One of the latest $3 words invented by the media is “inversion” and is used to describe the transfer of corporate headquarters, and jobs, to another locale outside of the United States. When I first heard the expression, it conjured up an image of an office turned inside-out, but that is not exactly what is meant. Perhaps the best example for describing the concept is the recent merger of Canadian based Tim Horton’s restaurants (coffee and donuts) with fast food giant Burger King of Miami, Florida. In doing so, Burger King opened the door to move their headquarters from Miami to Toronto, thereby escaping America’s high corporate tax rates.

A handful of Senate Democrats cried foul when they learned of the move and accused Burger King of being unpatriotic and not paying their fair share of taxes. Patriotism has nothing to do with it. This is a smart business move in these troubled economic times and, frankly, I’m surprised we do not see more of it.

The impetus for this, of course, is America’s high corporate tax rate. Of all of the modern industrial countries in the world, America has the highest tax rate at 40%. By comparison, Canada offers a paltry 26.5%. Since Canada began dropping their tax rate in 2008, the Canadian economy has rebounded and turned into a dynamo.

Likewise, Japan, who had higher rates than the United States, began lowering their rates in 2012 and is experiencing a resurgence in their economy. In 2008, Germany also dropped their rates from 38% to 29%.

Today, the United Kingdom is at 21%. Switzerland is at 17.92%, and Ireland at 12.5%, which explains why a lot of companies are moving to these countries. It’s not unpatriotic, it is called survival. However, in doing so, a lot of jobs leave our shores and unemployment rises. One would think the Democrats do not understand the situation, that lowering the corporate tax rates would ignite the economy. Actually they understand the concept quite well, but are unwilling to drop the rate in fear of losing tax income. By keeping America’s corporate tax rate high, they are encouraging businesses to leave. The hard truth is “inversion” is not about corporate greed as it is about government stupidity.

Even the public understands what is going on better than government officials. In a recent Toronto Sun poll, when people were asked, “Should Burger King move to Canada?”

76% – Sure
19% – No
05% – Maybe

Then again, most of the people responding were likely Canadians and fully cognizant of the benefits derived from lowering corporate tax rates.

With all this said, I tend to believe the expression “infusion” is a misnomer. Perhaps it should be called a “transfusion” as overseas tax rates provide the means to survive.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  HONEST DEBATE (OR THE LACK THEREOF) – Our lack of tolerance has a lot to do with it.

LAST TIME:  WHO SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHARITY?  – The government or the individual?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

WHO SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHARITY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 8, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- The government or the individual?

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

I am concerned about our perspective on charity. President Obama seems to believe it is our duty to help others. His mantra is, “We are all in this together.” There is only one problem with this concept; some people are givers and some are takers. We are certainly not rowing on the same oar in unison. Consequently, I reject the president’s position. This certainly doesn’t make me a miser as I have made more than my fair share of volunteer donations over the years and helped many causes. If I believe the person or charity is worthy, and I can afford it, I will gladly help out. As a Mason I am admonished to help others in destitute circumstances if it is within my power. I am also reminded of the passage in Corinthians (13:13, King James), “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

There is nothing in this passage defining how charity is to be implemented. Most people see this as a voluntary act, from one person to another. Others see this as mandated by government and borders on Socialism. In this regard, there are two types of people; those such as myself who consider charity a voluntary act, and; those who believe government is more fit to determine the needs of the people and tax accordingly.

Historically, the moral fiber of the country called for people to work and not become a burden on society. Not surprisingly, concepts such as divorce, bankruptcy, and unemployment were considered a disgrace. Not anymore. Today, such things are considered commonplace, and are celebrated as opposed to bringing shame on the person. Today’s moral values are certainly not those of yesteryear, and this is particularly disturbing to those people working hard and being asked to support those who do not.

Over time, the government created safety nets to help people when they either failed or became disabled, such as unemployment and welfare. Some use it as it was intended, others as a loop hole for free money and services. We are all familiar with stories of people exploiting the system. Interestingly, we never seem to hear of violators who have been apprehended and penalized accordingly.

Whereas we used to believe everyone should lead a worthy and productive life, and there is dignity in all forms of legitimate work, today we prefer exploiting the system and becoming a freeloader as exemplified by the Aesop fable, “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” In many cases, exploiting the system is now cause for celebration and a sense of pride, just as any criminal who gets away with an illicit activity.

Instead of creating programs to encourage people to work, the government does the opposite. Compensating people for six months does not encourage them to seek employment any faster, nor does compensating people who do not genuinely seek employment. By taking this tact, the government is encouraging a slave mentality where people become wards of the state. Frankly, I deeply resent seeing our country turn into a welfare state. It is tearing apart the moral fabric of America.

Admittedly, the government is better equipped to deliver mass goods and equipment in times of emergency, such as those disasters caused by Mother Nature. These situations are essentially no different than defending our country through times of military conflict. Under these circumstances, I consider helping those injured by natural disasters no different than going to war.

So, who is more faithful to the concept of altruism, the person who helps when he can, or the government who does it for political purposes (e.g., promising “a chicken in every pot” or a free iPhone, liquor and lobster in every household). Coerced charity certainly does not promote brotherhood. It is simply a redistribution of the wealth.

Charity begins at home (1 Timothy 5:8), not in our government.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT DOES CORPORATE ‘INFUSION’ MEAN? – Or is it a misnomer?

LAST TIME:  ADAPTING TO CHANGE  – Before we can adapt to it, we have to understand it.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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: , , , , | 5 Comments »

THE MEANING OF TRAITOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 24, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Another history lesson for our youth; Benedict Arnold and today’s terrorists.

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

234 years ago today (Sep 24th), Benedict Arnold deserted the American Army and joined the British during the Revolutionary War. By doing so, he became the national icon for the word “traitor.” I mention this because 18th century American history is rarely taught anymore in High Schools, and Arnold’s name has slowly been fading into obscurity. Ask your children or grandchildren about Arnold and you will likely get blank stares.

Arnold’s story is rather interesting. Born in Connecticut, he became a successful businessman and developed a lucrative trade between New England and the West Indies. In 1775 he was appointed Captain in Connecticut’s militia. With the outbreak of war in Massachusetts, his company marched to Boston and helped defend the city from the British siege. Arnold was ambitious and participated nobly in several raids. He is perhaps best known for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga. In the Autumn of 1775 he and his troops embarked on a difficult mission through the wilderness (present-day Maine) to assault Quebec City. He lost almost half of his men due to inclement weather. Due to the layout of the city, its defenses, and Arnold’s diminished manpower, he failed to take the city and shattered his left leg in the process, which would bother him for the remainder of his life. For his efforts though, he was commissioned a brigadier general.

He was assigned other responsibilities, including the defense of Rhode Island. Despite his successes, he was passed over for promotion while others took credit for some of his accomplishments. He was accused and investigated for financial corruption, and eventually cleared of the charges. Nonetheless, he was embarrassed and tried to resign his commission, but Washington rejected it.

Arnold re-injured his left leg at the Battle of Ridgefield (CT). After recovering from it, he rejoined General Washington’s troops at Valley Forge. There, as a sign of loyalty to the fledgling country, Arnold joined other soldiers in the first recorded Oath of Allegiance:

I “Benedict Arnold Major General”, do acknowledge the UNITED STATES of AMERICA to be Free, Independent and Sovereign States, and declare the the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the Third, King of Great-Britain; and I renounce, refute and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do “swear” that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States against the said King George the Third, his heirs and successors, and his or their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of “Major General” which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding.
– Sworn before me this 30th, May 1778 at the Artillery and Tank Valley Forge
Hinay B.E. Alslels

At this point, Arnold was held in high esteem by his troops, and trusted by Washington who put him in charge of the defenses at West Point and the Hudson River, the main waterway going into New York. However, Arnold became disenchanted with the Colonial cause. He disliked the alliance with France and the Congress’ rejection of Great Britain’s 1778 proposal to grant self-governance with the colonies. Frustrated and discouraged, he opened secret negotiations with the British to switch sides. The plan was to diminish the defenses in the area and allow the British to capture West Point, a very strategic location overlooking the Hudson.

The plot was foiled when American forces captured Major John André, the British spy chief, who was caught carrying papers revealing the plot. Learning of André’s capture, Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British sloop-of-war “Vulture.” Alerted to the plot, Washington had sent soldiers to apprehend Arnold, but he narrowly escaped. For his part, André was hanged.

Now on the British side, Arnold was given a commission as a brigadier general in the Army. He would go on to lead British forces against his former countrymen on raids in Virginia and his home state of Connecticut.

After the war, Arnold would return to the merchant business operating out of Saint John, New Brunswick. He would eventually move to London in 1791 where he died just ten years later at the age of 60. Arnold’s body was buried in London, but was accidentally moved a century later to an unmarked mass grave.

Following the war, Arnold’s name quickly became synonymous with “traitor.” Benjamin Franklin typified the country’s sentiments when he wrote, “Judas sold only one man, Arnold three millions.”

In Arnold, we see a man who was bold, ambitious, and a talented leader. Despite taking the Military Oath of Allegiance though, he reneged on his obligations in search of self interests. Regardless, his name will always be linked to betrayal.

Now, 234 years later, we are embroiled in another conflict, this time in the Middle East with ISIS, a militant Muslim extremist group. Its soldiers are recruited from around the world, including Americans who are leaving to fight in Syria and Iraq, and are willing to wage war against American soldiers and their allies. Make no mistake, these people are just as traitorous as Arnold, and should be treated as such in return. No, they shouldn’t be welcomed back to our country with open arms. They shouldn’t be allowed back in the country at all. Consider this, had Washington’s troops captured Arnold, he would have likely joined André on the hangman’s gallows. Traitors have no place in these United States.

Such is our history lesson for today.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  NONSENSE SONGS – It is interesting what we remember.

LAST TIME:  THERE IS MEANING IN YOUR HANDSHAKE  – It is not a frivolous gesture, but represents something significant; your word.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS (OR IS IT WRONGS?)

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 17, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- The misconceptions Americans have related to our personal rights.

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

The Declaration of Independence was the first of our governing documents indicating the types of “rights” Americans possess, and where they come from:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Here, the founding fathers suggest such rights are heaven sent, that they represent the fundamental rights God intended man to have.

The US Constitution goes a step further with its accompanying Bill of Rights, where our founding fathers spelled out our rights as citizens. It initially included ten amendments specifying our rights, such as freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms, to be free of unreasonable search, a right to a speedy and public trial, a trial by an impartial jury, a right to confront witnesses, and more. There is now a total of 27 such amendments, with the exception of the 18th prohibiting the manufacturing of alcohol (which was repealed in 1933 by the 21st Amendment).

Interestingly, many Americans believe they have more rights, which they do not. Because of naivety, and laws enacted to support welfare, Americans believe they are entitled to such things as:

* The right to a job – Many young people today believe they are entitled to a job following completion of their education. Just because you possess a college degree does not entitle you to a job.

* The right to a promotion or raise – regardless of the time you work for a company, you are not entitled to a promotion. Normally, this depends on the work ethic you have exhibited as an employee, and available financial resources.

* The right to a second chance. In business, if you make a mistake, rarely are you allowed a “do-over.” It is therefore necessary for you to try and do a professional job as much as possible. Although some bosses may be lenient, particularly if you are a “newbie” in the company, one mistake may cost you your job. Also remember, “three strikes and you are out.”

* The right to higher education – the harsh reality is higher education is a privilege, not a right. Whereas primary and secondary education is paid for by the tax payer, higher education runs more like a business and, as such, must be paid for by the individual, not the public. In most states, you must attend school until you are 16 years of age. After that, it is optional. For those with no interest in school or disrupt the harmony of the school for others, I suggest they be discharged immediately as they are not only wasting their time, but that of the teachers and administrators, not to mention the other students. Forcing them to attend school is detrimental to education.

* The right to free stuff. The welfare system was originally designed as a safety net to help people should they fail in business or become impaired. Unfortunately, many people abuse the system as opposed to going back to work. They know all of the quirks in our system, whereby they enjoy all of the perks government is willing to provide, such as housing, food, transportation, health care, cell phones, daycare services, and more. Such people no longer are grateful for such generosity, but feel they are entitled to it. The truth is, the government provides a helping hand, but the person must endeavor not to become a ward of the state. They must become a responsible member of society, lead a meaningful and productive life, and enjoy the benefits of freedom, not slavery.

* The right to do whatever we want. We have defined a multitude of laws and regulationS for everything from minor infractions to major indiscretions. Nonetheless, there are people who believe such rules do not apply to them. As such, they feel free to rob, steal, cheat, slander, murder, intimidate, commit bodily harm, etc. These are certainly not “freedom fighters” but rather common criminals which can be found throughout our social strata.

* The right to become citizens. If you are willing to come to this country legally, follow its rules, speak the language, and willing to take the test and Naturalization Oath of Allegiance, then, Yes, you have the right to become a citizen. All others, No.

* The right to vote. If you are 18 years of age or older, have registered to vote, and can prove your identity at your voting precinct, Yes, you have the right to vote. Actually, I would like to see this expanded that the voter has passed a certification test of some kind, such as the test taken by immigrants wanting to become citizens.

We also have the right to like or dislike people, places and things; believe or reject what people say, and; enjoy or reject simple pleasures, such as the movies, music, art, food, etc.

The truth is, in America we only have a handful of rights, most are fabricated by our popular culture and the media. Entitlements are certainly not rights. Our most precious and fundamental rights are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as endowed by our Creator. To deny the existence of the Creator, is to deny these fundamental rights.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  COUNTING OUR BLESSINGS – Do not despair, try writing a list of the positive things in life instead.

LAST TIME:  POLITICAL STREET SIGNS  – Eyesores or useful tools for candidates?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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: , , , , | 8 Comments »

POLITICAL STREET SIGNS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 15, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Eyesores or useful tools for candidates?

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

As we get closer to election day in November, political street signs are popping up everywhere. The signs began to appear early in the summer as a prelude to primary season. Now there is a morass of signs extending from one end of the county to the other. Although there are congressional races in the offing, most signs are related to municipal and county races, such as county commissioners, school boards, mayoral, and judges.

Since most people do not take the time to study the issues, these street signs are incredibly important to cultivate the image of the candidates. The color of the signs and fonts are just as important as the message printed on them. In my area, there doesn’t appear to be any signs in black and white. Most have a color theme, either a patriotic red, white and blue, or a simple two color sign to cut down on printing expenses. I have seen green and white to represent Eco-friendly themes, but they are somewhat difficult to read. Orange and blue is another popular combination, but somehow it reminds me of the Denver Broncos.

The two hottest colors, that which attracts the eye, are yellow and red, yet these are avoided for some reason. Maybe they do not want to be too loud.

Democrats like blue signs and Republicans lean to red. The American flag is a common icon to reflect the patriotism of the candidate. For judges, it is common to see icons such as a gavel or a scale of justice. Law enforcement candidates tend to use handcuffs, fire department candidates use fire helmets, and school board candidates use a simple school logo. I wonder what icon they would use for dog catcher?

Personally, I like to see pictures of the candidates on the signs but this is typically avoided as name recognition is of paramount importance. After all, you only see names on a ballot, not photos of the candidates.

Because a street sign is typically limited in terms of space, it has to say just three things:

1. The candidate’s name, particularly the last name.
2. The office he/she is running for.
3. The party he/she represents.

Optional: a catchy slogan or motto is useful for conveying a message, or possibly an important endorsement, e.g., “FOP supports Chief So-and-so.” Or perhaps a web address is shown.

Where the political signs lose their effectiveness is when they are either bunched together in a single location or one right after another on a street median. At this point, drivers see nothing but a blur and the signs are indistinguishable.

Signs frequently get vandalized, even in the best of neighborhoods. In some developments, including my own, such signs are banned from display in order to maintain harmony. Inevitably, some nut job will put out a sign in spite of the deed restrictions, thereby causing the neighbors to complain and retaliate by displaying signs of competing candidates. Aside from this, when signs are deliberately vandalized or stolen, this is a crime, plain and simple. I may intensely dislike a candidate or issue, but I respect his/her first amendment right to display it. However, when the election is over, regardless of who won or lost, please take down the eyesores. I do not want to see them at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

A few years ago I was visiting some friends in Ohio just prior to the elections there. As I was driving around I came upon a sign saying “Dinkelacker for Judge.” With all due respect to the judge, I burst out laughing when I read the name for the first time. Since his first name was omitted from the sign, I pondered what it might be; could it be Dicky Dinkelacker? Donny Dinkelacker? Or maybe it was a woman, Denise Dinkelacker? Debbie Dinkelacker? I went on and on with the combinations which seemed endless. To this day, I still do not know his first name, but why should I? His last name has been indelibly impressed on my mind. The fact I remember it is indicative of how important a last name can be. I know I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.

It is a shame we have to stoop to using street signs. In a perfect world the voters would meet and listen to the candidates and study the issues before forming an opinion, but as we all know, this seldom happens, which is why we have to rely on street signs that create eyesores, and names like Dinkelacker.

How about Denzel Dinkelacker? Or Darnell Dinkelacker? Daphne? Dizzy? Doreen? Dilbert?

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS (OR IS IT WRONGS?) – The misconceptions Americans have related to our personal rights.

LAST TIME:  ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY?  – What the “separation of church and state” really means.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 12, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS & RELIGION

- What the “separation of church and state” really means.

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

For some reason, Americans believe there is a legal requirement to separate church and state in the US Constitution. It is now commonly believed organized religion has no business in the workings of the state. The reality is, there is no such stipulation whatsoever in the Constitution. There is only a couple of references to religion in our governing documents. The first is in Article 6 of the Constitution whereby “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The second reference is in Amendment One of the Bill of Rights whereby, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” I cannot speak for the governing documents of the various states and territories, but as far as the Constitution is concerned, that is all there is pertaining to religion.

So where does this presumption of separation come from? Two places: other countries who embrace such a concept, but more importantly in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists regarding the 1st amendment. Jefferson was president at the time and well known as author of the Declaration of Independence (but not the Constitution; that was Madison). In the letter, Jefferson wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

By this letter to the Baptists, Jefferson meant that the United States would not establish a national church. This letter greatly influenced Supreme Court decisions. Keep in mind, Jefferson is speaking on another matter altogether and he is writing as president, not as a justice of the Supreme Court who should rightfully interpret the separation issue. However, for some strange reason, the letter was used to define the separation issue. In Everson vs. Board of Education in 1947, the Supreme Court used a portion of the letter (eight words only) and interpreted it to mean, “The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ That wall must be kept high and impregnable.” How they came to this conclusion mystifies Constitutional scholars to this day. It is interesting the Supreme Court based its conclusion on an interpretation of a letter, not the Constitution itself.

Based on this Supreme Court decision, atheists and attorneys have used this as a means to drive God out of our country. Today, we hear of football teams prohibited from saying a nondenominational prayer before or after a game, Christmas trees have been banned from schools, students are being suspended for saying “bless you” after hearing someone sneeze, there are movements to remove anything pertaining to God out of government buildings, and there is even an attack on our national motto, “In God we Trust.”

The latest attack on God is found in the US Navy where atheists started a movement to remove Gideon Bibles from Navy lodges. These Bibles were provided for the comfort of sailors staying at the lodges. The removal of the Bibles created a furor when it was reported in the press. So much so, the Navy ordered the Gideon Bibles returned back into the lodge rooms.

Make no mistake, Christianity is under attack here, not Judaism, Islam, or even witchcraft, and it appears to be a concerted effort. Some contend it is intended to undermine the country as Christianity played an important role in the founding of America. Whatever the reason, we must beware of such attacks and be prepared to repel them,

If by some chance, our opponents are successful in eradicating God in the federal government, I am one of those who believe all federal employees should work on Christmas Day, particularly postal workers.

Is there really a separation of church and state in the Constitution? No, but it will be necessary to bring a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to overturn their 1947 misinterpretation.

I pray we do not become a Godless country. Without God, the country will fall.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Even Sky Masterson read the Gideon Bible, as did Rocky Raccoon.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  POLITICAL STREET SIGNS – Eyesores or useful tools for candidates?

LAST TIME:  THE HARSH REALITY OF THE WAR ON TERROR  – It’s not going away any time soon.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 17 Comments »

THE HARSH REALITY OF THE WAR ON TERROR

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 10, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- It’s not going away any time soon.

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President Obama would have us believe the War on Terror (WOT) is over and that America won. Nothing could be further from the truth. The WOT is admittedly an unconventional war, as there wasn’t any formal declaration, but we have been engaged in it since 9-11, making it 13 years old and the longest war in our history. And the ugly truth is, we will not be getting out of it any time soon.

The WOT is obviously not a typical war in the sense of battle lines, tactical military strategy, and sophisticated equipment. Instead, it is a terrorist campaign where we play defense while our opponents play offense. More importantly, it is necessary to acknowledge we are engaged in a religious war with the Muslims. The fact we are Americans is less important than we are perceived as infidels, the non-believers, and the perceived enemies of Islam. This means it will never end as long as there are Muslim fanatics.

Some will say, “What about the good Muslims, those who do not believe in Jihad?” Those who do not condemn the terrorist actions are encouraging the terrorists through their inaction. It would be an interesting experiment to ask Muslims in enclaves like Dearborn, Michigan to sign a petition condemning Muslim terrorism.

Let us also consider how Muslims have immigrated, some would say infiltrated, not just the United States, but the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, where they have become vocal about changing local laws to adapt to Sharia Law. This has become of great concern to those of us who are happy with our existing laws. Slowly though, Muslims are joining local governments to exert such influence. It has also been said there are Muslims in the Federal Government as well, including the White House. This has become rather unnerving to citizens.

Muslim extremists will not be happy until the western world has capitulated to Islam, regardless how long it might take. This means the WOT will continue unabated and a flash point is inevitable, such as targeting another American icon (e.g., Statue of Liberty, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore, etc.) or perhaps something more diabolical such as destroying our electrical grid, capturing or killing our government, or igniting a nuclear device on our shores. Whatever it is, we will again find ourselves having to make some hard decisions as to how to respond.

Should this happen, do not be surprised if Muslims in this country are rounded up and interred in camps as we did with the Japanese-Americans in World War II or perhaps deported to the Middle East. The anger by the American people after such a cataclysmic event will be such that all Muslims will live in fear of our response.

The WOT will not stop until the Muslim extremists either call for a cessation of violence or they are eradicated completely. That is the harsh reality we must all live with.

(Also, see “The War on Terror” (Apr 19, 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY? – What the “separation of church and state” really means.

LAST TIME:  THE DISAPPEARING MIDDLE CLASS  – And how energy independence can alleviate the problem.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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: , , , , | 12 Comments »

THE DISAPPEARING MIDDLE CLASS

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 8, 2014

BRYCE ON THE ECONOMY

- And how energy independence can alleviate the problem.

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I recently read a couple of articles regarding the shrinking American middle class. It seems the rich get richer and the poor are doing much better thanks to escalated welfare spending, but the middle class is struggling.

The middle class is an important part of our country both economically and politically. They represent the engine which fuels the economy. They purchase the consumer products, the homes, food, automobiles, and pay the lion’s share of the taxes. The upper class also pays taxes, but not to the degree of the middle class. The poor, of course, contribute nothing.

According to “Forbes,” 60% of middle class American households have experienced a decrease in income. As the Middle Class diminishes, the poor will inevitably feel the squeeze. Politically, it is not the rich or the poor who run the country, it is the Middle Class. The rich are active politically, but it is the Middle Class, representing the land owners and consumers who ultimately dictate the course of the country politically. The poor doesn’t really figure in the formula as they are the most apathetic of voters.

As Aristotle noted centuries ago, “The most perfect political community must be amongst those who are in the middle rank, and those states are best instituted wherein these are a larger and more respectable part, if possible, than both the other; or, if that cannot be, at least than either of them separate.”

As the upper and lower classes expand beyond the size of the middle, anarchy will likely ensue. This has been demonstrated in numerous countries around the world. It also means the Middle Class must be allowed to flourish. To do so, we need an increase in full-time jobs, not part-time. Currently, the Obama administration is pushing for an increase in the minimum wage. Can we not achieve the same goal by lowering costs as opposed to raising the minimum wage? According to the government, inflation is at a paltry 2%. Hardly worth worrying about, right? Interestingly, the price of gasoline is not included in their equation. This is strange as delivery costs affect everything. In reality, we have a much higher inflation rate than the government is willing to admit. I would therefore argue:

DON’T RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE, LOWER THE PRICE OF OIL!

Our priorities are wrong, instead of raising capital, let’s cut spending instead. Unfortunately, this is not a popular concept with the current administration. However, if we dedicated ourselves to energy independence, we would lower the cost of living, thereby putting more money in everyone’s pocket. In addition, we wouldn’t threaten the closure of businesses, but encourage expansion, and lastly, we would be creating legitimate full-time jobs, not just flipping burgers.

Let’s not kid ourselves, spiraling inflation is the real culprit here, based on the rising cost of energy. It’s the ugly little secret the government doesn’t want you to know. However, if we pronounced a national objective of energy independence, we would be stoking the engine of the middle class, not to mention freeing ourselves from entanglements in the Middle East. We obviously have ample resources and technology to achieve the goal, but we seem to lack the will to do so, e.g., the Keystone XL pipeline, the New England pipeline, and the massive gas field in Pennsylvania.

This is all very real and all very plausible, but we either lack the vision to tackle this goal or there is a premeditated attempt to dismantel the country. Let’s be clear about one thing, if the middle class continues to decline, it puts us on a clear path to destruction. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE HARSH REALITY OF THE WAR ON TERROR – It’s not going away any time soon.

LAST TIME:  RETIREMENTLAND  – Do we ever truly retire?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

EVIL WITHIN OUR MIDST

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 27, 2014

BRYCE ON MORALITY

- Have we really evolved as a species?

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Of our 44 presidents, the most prolific writer was John Quincy Adams who maintained a detailed journal of his life, from boyhood until near the end of his life. Adams’ presidency was unsuccessful, but he served Congress afterwards as a dedicated public servant. He also had a keen eye for the world around him, be it social, political, economic, military, religious, or whatever. Being somewhat pious, Adams came to the conclusion, “man is born inherently evil.” This struck me like a thunderbolt.

As humans we are proud of our technology, marvel at our massive cities, consider the artfulness of our entertainment, and have conquered the land, sea, air and space. From this, we believe ourselves to be sophisticated and an advanced civilization, well beyond those of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Persians, Chinese, and Romans. But are we really? We still practice the obscenity of war, and we certainly do not observe the golden rule of “Doing unto others as we would have others do unto us.” In other words, I see nothing in our history that would lead me to believe we have truly evolved as a species. Sure, we now have air conditioning, smart phones, and High Definition TV, but I fail to see how we are any more noble or moral than our predecessors.

In the Middle East we see genocide, where Christians are singled out for extermination by ISIS. In Gaza, Hamas terrorists have vowed the extermination of the Israeli Jews, as has other Muslim factions. They put human shields around their missile launchers and fortifications in order to gain martyrdom and draw world sympathy to their cause. Beheadings and mass executions are now commonplace in the Muslim world. Decapitated heads are hung in public for the world to see and photograph for social media. Such atrocities were practiced well before the birth of Christ. One can only conclude the Muslims are a primitive and barbaric race. It doesn’t take a genius to pull a trigger or blow yourself up. It takes more integrity not to do so.

Russia stands poised to flex its muscles and snatch the Ukraine in the same manner as Nazi Germany snapped up the Rhineland, Austria, and Poland under the ruse of “repatriation.” This gave them the momentum to conquer the rest of mainland Europe, north Africa, and invade Russia. No wonder Europeans tremble as they watch the Ukraine helplessly.

During World Wars I and II, atrocities were performed by just about every army. In both wars, the German soldiers brutally raped and murdered Russians, and the Russians did likewise to the Germans. These two countries were certainly not alone in terms of brutality and savagery. It has been going on for centuries. We saw it in our Civil War, we saw it when Japan invaded China, and we now see it in Afghanistan, Muslim Africa, and chemical attacks in the Middle East. Let us also not forget the work of the Serbs, the Khmer Rouge, Idi Amin, North Korea, Mao’s Great Leap Forward, and Stalin’s purges, to mention but a few. Such heinous crimes against humanity, and the total disregard for life in any form, is essentially no different than pre-Biblical times.

On a more local level, it has become commonplace to hear stories such as a man throwing a baby out of a moving vehicle simply because it was crying; mothers snuffing the life out of their children; sexual predators, people sadistically decimating innocent animals, not for food, but for sport or simple cruelty. We viciously attack each other for a variety of reasons, such as domination, intoxication, a word spoken out of turn, or even as a game. Are these acts of God or man? The answer should be rather obvious. In addition to the perpetrators, we encourage evil by saying or doing nothing.

Evil knows no boundaries. It doesn’t observe borders, politics, race or religion. It is universal. So much so, one has to wonder where have all the champions of peace gone? Where are our role models and leaders; our Gandhis? Even Sadat was assassinated for promoting peace. Certainly there must be some good in the world, but the media doesn’t promote it with the same gusto they do for the horrors of the world. And as the American military diminishes in size and scope, evil is emboldened.

Like Adams, I believe we are born evil, but have been given the rare ability to rise above it, our intellect. However, just like any animal, we have to be trained to be good and we have done a horrible job of doing so, be it by our parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or the media. Both good and evil reside within all of us and it is a matter of our conscience to determine which path to follow.

Education is perhaps the best deterrent to evil, as it tempers the conscious, as does age and experience. Unfortunately, many people take education for granted or fail to understand its value and prefer living by basic instinct alone, thereby allowing evil to fester.

As sophisticated of an animal we like to believe we are, Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) was correct when he observed, “Man is really the most interesting jackass there is.”

He continued, “Well for example I experimented with a cat and a dog. Taught them to be friends and put them in a cage. I introduced a rabbit and in an hour they were friends. Then I added a fox, a goose, a squirrel…some doves…a kangaroo, and finally a monkey. They lived together in peace. Well next I captured an Irish Catholic and put him in a cage and just as soon as he seemed tame I added a Presbyterian, then a Turk from Constantinople, a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas, a Buddhist from China, and finally a Salvation Army colonel. Why when I went back there wasn’t a single specimen alive.”

Maybe God made a mistake when he picked man over the monkee.

We do not want to believe evil is as pervasive in our world as it is, but it is much closer to us than we think. It is not just restricted to the evening news. It is always waiting for us, be it in the Middle East or just around the corner.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  EXCUSES – Why are the trucks breaking down?

LAST TIME:  A JOB DESCRIPTION FOR BUSINESS ANALYSIS  – What are the duties and responsibilities of the BA?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Morality, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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