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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

EVIL WITHIN OUR MIDST

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 27, 2014

BRYCE ON MORALITY

- Have we really evolved as a species?

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

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: , , , , | 5 Comments »

WHO SHOULD WATCH “AMERICA,” THE MOVIE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 20, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Certainly not just conservatives.

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

I recently attended a viewing of the movie “America,” featuring Dinesh D’Souza who co-produced “2016: Obama’s America,” a film describing the president’s way of thinking by examining his personal background and the people he met and worked with along the way. The controversial film was released in 2012 just prior to the presidential election. D’Souza is an Indian-born American who has become a political commentator, filmmaker, and author. He also served a stint as an adviser in the Reagan White House. Needless to say, he is a well known promoter of conservative principles and causes.

In his latest offering, D’Souza hypothesizes what would have happened if George Washington had been killed in battle, and the Colonies had lost the Revolutionary War. He doesn’t actually answer this question directly as the British would have surely reenforced their control over the country and cultivated its resources. Instead, he uses this as a clever way of asking a rhetorical question, “What if America didn’t exist?”

To answer this, D’Souza begins with opposing interpretations of America, one based on traditional history and another based on a counter cultural view that is gaining popularity in academia and being taught to our youth. This interpretation is primarily based on Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States,” which is used in college to portray an opposing view of America. Zinn, who passed away in 2010, was a political science professor at Boston University and social activist. In his book, Zinn portrays American history through the eyes of common people, such as the native American tribes, African slaves, and the Mexicans of the Southwest.

According to D’Souza, Zinn’s interpretation of America is one of “theft” by the conquering Europeans; theft of land, resources, labor, and more. This is a radically opposing interpretation of history as has been traditionally taught in school. To support Zinn’s thesis, D’Souza interviews a variety of critics of American exceptionalism who explain their views of why the country is socially and morally corrupt.

After allowing the critics to specify their “indictments” against America, D’Souza patiently answers each criticism and presents an opposing viewpoint. Whereas the anti-Americans cite historical incidents in their arguments, D’Souza does likewise by using such examples as the rapport between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America, and Alexis de Tocqueville, the noted French author of “Democracy in America,” an illuminating analysis of America based on his travels in 1831-1832.

D’Souza concludes the America portrayed by Zinn and others is aimed at undermining the spirit of the country and create a sense of shame. Not just shame of historical events, but also by the fact the country was founded on Christian principles. In contrast, D’Souza argues Americans actually have nothing to be ashamed of, least of all Christianity. He contends the founding fathers designed America to “enable” its citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit thereby encouraging them to boldly go where no one has gone before.

The movie argues this “shame” concept is part of a long range interconnected plot to cast doubt, destroy harmony and promote social upheaval, thereby undermining the American culture which would inevitably lead to radical reforms. To this end, D’Souza describes the teachings of social radical Saul Alinsky and his more notable students, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

The intent of the movie is to stimulate discussion as to which interpretation America should embrace. From this perspective, the movie is suited for anyone interested in political theory and American history. Conservatives will enjoy it, and Liberals will undoubtedly criticize it, but it is still worth a watch for them to consider the two distinctly separate viewpoints. From my perspective, it should be required viewing for high school and college students.

More than anything, the “America” movie is a remarkable story of subliminal brainwashing in our country. This is but one, very important, story of the distortion of the American dream, all of which is aimed at social engineering and dismantling the country. Other notions include the sense of “entitlement” and class division though the “have’s” and “have not’s.”

Not everyone is fooled though. Towards the end of the movie, D’Souza inserts a video clip from a speech made by Irish musician Bono at Georgetown University in 2012 where he concludes, “Anyway, it’s not a right-left issue, it’s a right-wrong issue, and America has constantly been on the side of what’s right. Because, when it comes down to it, this is about keeping faith with the idea of America. Because America is an idea, isn’t it?… That’s how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history… The idea, the American idea, is an idea. The idea is that you and me are created equal… This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper. And God love you for it.”

D’Souza asks the viewers of the movie to do nothing more than consider both sides of an argument, not just one, and beware of charlatans who are more interested in the demise of the United States as opposed to promoting its virtues.

Nobody believes our country is perfect, least of all me, but the D’Souza movie asks should we give up in shame, and relinquish our leadership role in the world community, or should we proudly strive to improve ourselves? I am reminded of an old Bryce’s Law, “Systems are built by evolution, not revolution.” Nobody has built the perfect system the first time, and nobody ever will. We can either quit and start all over again or strive for perfection. As for me, I vote for the latter, not the former.

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:  LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD – Using a “Common Core” analogy to explain why our “PRIDE” Methodology is still far ahead.

LAST TIME:  OUR LAME DUCK PRESIDENT  – The sad thing is, he doesn’t realize he has already become one.

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 Entertainment, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

OUR LAME DUCK PRESIDENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 18, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- The sad thing is, he doesn’t realize he has already become one.

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

The expression “Lame Duck” was first used in American politics in the 1860’s during the final days of President Buchanan’s administration, who was succeeded by Abraham Lincoln. Basically, it suggests the politician no longer has any influence as he is preparing to leave office.

Today, President Obama’s popularity numbers are down as the country heads into the midterm elections in November. His influence has deteriorated to the point where very few Democratic politicians want to be seen with him on the campaign trail. Democratic senate candidates such as Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Begich (AK), Natalie Tennant (WV), and Allison Grimes (KY) are all keeping the president at arm’s length. Mr. Obama’s toxicity likely means the Senate will be surrendered to the GOP who will then control both houses of Congress. Even if this happens, the president will still have veto power which the GOP will likely be unable to override. This of course means we will have two more years of gridlock in Washington, DC. It also officially marks the beginning of the president’s “Lame Duck” status.

Since the beginning of his administration, Mr. Obama has never shown a genuine willingness to “give and take” with the Republicans. This was compounded by the Republicans when they took the House of Representatives in 2010 thereby prohibiting “slam-dunk” legislation offered by the president. The result, massive gridlock.

The parallel to the administration of John Quincy Adams is uncanny. From the beginning of his administration, Mr. Adams lost all credibility with the Congress who operated at odds with him. Not only has Mr. Obama lost the respect and trust of the Republicans, but many people from his own party, and the world stage where it is now well known that America “leads from behind.” Frankly, nobody takes him seriously anymore, and his proposals are rejected out of hand.

The only problem with having a lame duck president now is we desperately need leadership in our executive branch. Between the problems in the Middle East, Russia and the Ukraine, immigration, and the variety of scandals, Mr. Obama is not acting like a Commander-in-Chief. I can accept his many fund-raising activities, golf outings, and vacations, as long as he dealt with the problems at hand. He is not, and, more disturbingly, he gives the appearance he really doesn’t care.

There are talks of impeachment and slapping a lawsuit on the president, but I do not see this occurring unless Mr. Obama does something obnoxiously wrong (a lot of people claim he already has). I for one, remember the dark days of Watergate, as well as Mr. Clinton’s impeachment hearings and lawsuits. It was all rather ugly. I would hate to see us wallow in such turmoil when there is so many other things requiring our attention. Then again, if we remain in gridlock following the election in November, I’m afraid we will be forced to go this route.

This could all change if Mr. Obama was genuinely willing to do a little “give and take” as Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton did. However, it is my understanding Mr. Obama does not seek the counsel of others, particularly past presidents. His resolve to not bend on issues is neither realistic or pragmatic at this stage of the game. We cannot afford to be led by someone with an inflated ego during these dangerous times. The stakes are simply too high. If Mr. Obama falls from grace, as I suspect he will, it will be his stubbornness that will have ultimately did him in. Pride is one thing, failing your country during a crisis is another.

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:  WHO SHOULD WATCH “AMERICA,” THE MOVIE? – Certainly not just conservatives.

LAST TIME:  WHAT “COPS” TEACHES US  – “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…”

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: , , , , | 4 Comments »

BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 13, 2014

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

- How to become conversant in politics and government.

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

In 1835, noted historian and political commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman, published his famous book, “Democracy in America,” which was an analysis of our young country as compared to those in Europe. This was based on his travels through America in 1831 and 1832. The book, which is frequently referenced even to this day, contains his observations on the young country, everything from its geographical layout, to its culture, and particularly its new political system as a democratically elected republic as opposed to a monarchy.

Tocqueville was particularly taken by the American public education system. He was amazed to see children as young as second grade be completely literate, something normally reserved for the aristocracy in Europe. He was also taken by how knowledgeable children were in the workings of the government as defined by the U.S. Constitution. He wrote, “It cannot be doubted that, in the United States, the instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of a democratic republic;”

When you compare the America of the early 19th century to today, you will find students, even college graduates, who have no sense of history, no sense of the mechanics of our government at any level, and no sense of current events. Somehow we dropped the ball along the way. We now have a couple of generations of Americans who are content to limp along as apathetic sheeple. The second graders of the 1830’s are mental giants by comparison. Not surprising, the politicians of today appeal to the voters through emotion rather than logic. It has become too easy to deceive and misdirect the under informed public.

However, for those who want to get back on track, to learn about the government and current events, there are plenty of resources available.

1. Discuss – learn to discuss such subjects with your family, friends and colleagues, but be careful, political discussion can lead to arguments and disrupt harmony. If you can find such people though interested in participating in discussions, it can make for some interesting mental gymnastics.

In schools, it would be nice to see government and history courses reintroduced, and, No, not just from the 20th century forward. How about the 18th or 17th centuries instead?

Understand your rights as a citizen and the the mechanics of government by becoming familiar with our governing docs.

Two books come to mind which can help:

“The 5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen, is an excellent primer to describe why our government is organized the way it is. As far as I’m concerned, this should be on the reading list for every high school student.

For those who wish to be a little more ambitious, let me suggest Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”, which provides interesting insight as to the differences between the United States and the rest of the world. The book is rather thick, but stimulating nevertheless.

Learn to read and watch the news. More importantly, challenge the accuracy of the news and beware of newscasters trying to spin it.

2. Write – Want to do more? How about writing your Congressmen? Whether you voted for them or not, these people are charged to represent you. Do not hesitate to ask questions or discuss your views on certain subjects. Remember, they work for you, not the other way around. You can also write the President of your concerns. Also learn to contact your local and state officials.

While you’re at it, post your views in your local newspapers in the “Letters to the Editor” section.

You may also wish to contact the various political parties to pose a question or comment, such as the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or the Libertarian Party.

Linking to such political and news organizations via social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, is also a good way of staying abreast of news stories, and opinions.

3. Activism – finally, volunteer your time in various political and nonprofit organizations, thereby allowing you to rub elbows with people of similar interests and help push forward those items you feel are important. As we approach the mid-term elections, and you are interested in party politics, you may want to hold a sign or walk a neighborhood in support or your favorite politician or cause. Just remember to maintain your composure, especially when doors are closed in your face.

As Tocqueville suggests, citizens have an implicit civic responsibility to become educated in the workings of government and to maintain a sense of history. Becoming a sheeple is not conducive for improving 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 “COPS” TEACHES US – “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…”

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE  – No, it is not an educational institution, nor is it really difficult to understand.

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 Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

UNDERSTANDING THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 11, 2014

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

- No, it is not an educational institution, nor is it really difficult to understand.

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

One of the biggest myths in American government is that the President and Vice President are directly elected by the people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Get it out of your head now. In fact, the Constitution mentions nothing of such a popular vote. Instead, the President and Vice President are INDIRECTLY elected by the people, and for good reason. Allow me to explain…

The vote for President and VP is actually a vote for the electors of the state who will later cast the true votes. This is usually done in accordance with the wishes of the voters of each state. However, each state has their own set of rules for selecting electors and how they will vote. Their only restraint, from a federal perspective, is they can only appoint as many electors as there are members of Congress representing their state. For example, Florida has two US Senators and 27 members of the House of Representatives, for a total of 29 electors, none of which may be members of Congress. Since each state uses a “winner-take-all” approach, most electors are members of the winning party.

The “Electoral College” is not an educational institution, but all of the electors of all of the states in the union along with the District of Columbia, for a total of 538 electors and a minimum of 270 votes to elect a president. After each state ratifies its electoral votes, it is sent to the nation’s capitol for counting in a joint session of Congress on January 4th. The official count is later filed in the National Archives.

The big question though is, “Why do we vote this way?” Many people believe a popular vote should suffice. Fortunately, our founding fathers thought otherwise. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, America was primarily a rural country. However, cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, and Charleston, had substantial populations. Conceivably, politicians could have won the popular vote simply by winning these urban areas. This would have meant the interests of the rural areas would have been ignored, or whole states completely. To overcome this problem, the framers of the Constitution devised the Electoral College to maintain parity between all of the states, including both rural and urban areas. In this way, the college protects the rights and interests of all states, not just those with large populations.

To illustrate, in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore won the large metropolitan states, but George Bush won more of the smaller rural states. Based on the number of electoral votes, Bush won the election by a razor-thin number of votes, six. This meant that the interests of ALL of the states were considered, not just the “swing states.”

Following the 2000 election, then Senator-elect Hillary Clinton, feeling that Al Gore had been cheated of the presidency, called for the elimination of the Electoral College. According to Hillary, “We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago. I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it’s time to do away with the Electoral College and move to the popular election of our president.” (Nov 10, 2000)

Obviously, Mrs. Clinton fails to understand we reside in a democratically elected republic, not a democracy. Admittedly, most Americans misunderstand the concept of the Electoral College, thereby making it fodder for debate. Nevertheless, the electoral college remains a fair and equitable approach for representing the interests of ALL of the states in the nation, not just those with large metropolitan areas. Without the electoral college, the large metropolitan areas would decide the direction of the country, not smaller towns and villages. In other words, cities such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles would dictate the interests of the country, and not places like Des Moines, Scranton, Chillicothe, Morgantown and Macon.

It is not rational to discard or abandon something simply because we do not understand it.

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:  BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER – How to become conversant in politics and government.

LAST TIME:  60+ YEARS OF JAMES BOND (007)  – The characters have evolved and adapted to the times, making it just as relevant today, as when it first debuted.

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 Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

10 MOST WANTED LIST

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 6, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

- A list for improving America.

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

The “Ten Most Wanted” list was a brainchild of former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, as a means to solicit the public’s assistance in capturing the hardened criminals of the day. Over the years, it has proven to be an effective means for assisting in the apprehension of such desperatos. I still check the list from time to time to see who is on it. I have also noticed many magazine articles today are developing a list of top tips, tricks, or celebrities doing this or that.

Recently, I started to consider another type of “10 Most Wanted” list, something also requiring the public’s assistance, but a list of those items to make this country great again. Some items are aimed at our government, others at our culture. Here then is my…

“10 Most Wanted List for improving America”

10. Balance the Budget – the notion our country cannot operate within its own means is mind-boggling. A balanced budget would greatly facilitate cutting the deficit through spending reductions and make us less dependent on outsiders. Some believe our government is too big and complex to implement such a budget. If so, perhaps it is time to reduce our size and complexity.

9. Create a responsible press – it has been a long time since we have referred to the mainstream media as “fair and balanced.” Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the purpose of the “fourth estate” was to track government, regardless of party, and protect the interests of the people, not those in charge.

8. Immigration – What we are currently witnessing is nothing less than an invasion by outsiders. The floodgates need to be closed at our borders, even if this means using the National Guard. It is simple math, regardless of our compassion, we cannot afford to take care of everyone. Heck, we have trouble taking care of our own people.

7. Energy Independence – foreign energy has cost America greatly, both in terms of lives and expenses. We have the resources and technology to become independent, but not the will. This item alone would put the country back to work and return us to a leadership role in the world.

6. Taxes – a fair and equitable form of income tax is long overdue. A reduction of our business taxes would also stimulate business and make us more competitive, not to mention returning jobs back home.

5. Improved economy – a smaller and less intrusive government would greatly improve our GDP, and reduce the welfare state by putting more people back to work.

4. The truth – some call it “transparency,” I call it the truth. Yes, I would like to know what honestly happened at the IRS, the VA, at Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Associated Press, etc. I would like to see this investigated quickly and properly, take corrective action, and move along. I am not one for wallowing in messes. Let’s clean it up and restore the credibility and trust in our government.

3. Society – I would like to see a society where the individual is encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial attitude, take risks, and be amply rewarded for taking them. I would like to see less government barriers, and more breaks to help in this regards.

2. Peace – although my generation missed WW2, I have only known us to be at peace for a handful of years. It would be nice to know a world at peace, but there are too many forces at work who will not allow us to have it. If we are to remain the policeman of the world, I would like to see the world community pay their fair share.

1. Morality – some simple morality could go a long way to improving our quality of life, such as honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, courtesy, respect, citizenship and a little patriotism. A little pride in ourselves and our profession (e.g., craftsmanship), would certainly be a welcome change.

Obviously there are many other things I would like to see implemented, but these represent my “Top 10.” Some people would say I am being naive about these items, that none of them are possible. Maybe so, but I would like to see us try. Even the FBI doesn’t catch their Top 10 all of the time, but they never give up. Neither should we.

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:  60+ YEARS OF JAMES BOND (007) – The characters have evolved and adapted to the times, making it just as relevant today, as when it first debuted.

LAST TIME:  IS IT TIME FOR CENSORSHIP?  – It’s not the NRA; it’s Hollywood.

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, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

40TH ANNIVERSARY OF NIXON’S RESIGNATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 30, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Did Watergate teach us anything?

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

August 9th represents the 40th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon. It seems like yesterday. Nixon was under intense pressure to resign for his involvement in the Watergate scandal. For those of you too young to remember, 1972 was a presidential election year and members of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP) burglarized the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C. with the intent of searching through papers for intelligence and bugging the offices with listening devices. A security guard noticed something unusual and called the police who captured the burglars. Nixon’s role was primarily concerned with the cover up of the break-in. The incident attracted international attention from the press and the country wallowed in outrage and despair for two years.

Former Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, who just recently passed away, succinctly framed the issue at hand by asking, “What did the president know and when did he know it?” This brought up the subject of tape recordings of conversations in Nixon’s White House. The president made the recordings for historical purposes, but now they became the center of attention for what they might contain. At first, the president invoked “executive privilege” over the tapes, but the US Supreme Court overruled and ordered him to turn the tapes over to government investigators. The tapes ultimately revealed the president’s involvement in the cover-up. However, there was a gap in one of the tapes. Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s long-time secretary, claimed responsibility for inadvertently erasing up to five minutes in a key audio tape (June 20, 1972).

At the time, both chambers of Congress were controlled by the Democrats. As it became obvious the House was going to file articles of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, the president received a delegation of senior GOP Congressional leaders in the Oval Office on August 7th, including Senator Barry Goldwater. The group told the president his position was untenable and impeachment was likely. Instead of prolonging the problem, and putting the country through a messy impeachment trial, Nixon resigned, thereby elevating Gerald Ford to president.

Three things come to mind when I think back to this affair:

First, Richard Nixon resigned as opposed to burdening the country with more scandal. Bill Clinton did not. Clinton’s scandal was just as messy and embarrassing, maybe more so. Nonetheless, he suffered the embarrassment of impeachment, but escaped prosecution in the Senate trial. American politics hasn’t been quite the same since then.

Second, Rose Mary Wood was accused of deleting five minutes from Nixon’s Watergate tapes which was considered alarming at the time and proof of Nixon’s involvement in the cover-up. Recently, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen revealed two years worth of e-mails of former IRS Director Lois Lerner and six others were lost allegedly due to malfunctioning computer backup equipment. Lerner was key to the IRS scandal which targeted Tea Party groups for auditing by the IRS. The deletion of the e-mails was considered too “coincidental” for Congressional investigators. Suddenly, Wood’s five minute gap seems miniscule when compared to the loss of thousands of e-mails.

Third, the press went after Nixon viciously in 1974. They had despised him since he was vice president under Eisenhower in the 1950’s (see “Checkers speech”). Remarkably, the mainstream media of today shows little interest in the IRS scandal, just the antithesis of the Watergate investigation. One can only ask why? Is it possible the press favors one political party over another? Hmm…

Finally, when I traveled overseas on business years ago, I had several clients ask me about Nixon and Watergate. They thought Nixon was a good president and were stunned we had turned him out for something they considered trivial and insignificant. Whether I was in the UK, Norway, Spain, Brazil, Japan or wherever, they all thought Nixon should have taken the tapes and burned them on the White House lawn.

I wonder what their take would be today on such things as the IRS and VA scandals, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, etc. Knowing their unfavorable disposition about Mr. Obama, I believe I know what their answer would be.

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 WHITE LINE – What does this parable tell us about ourselves?

LAST TIME:  SENATORS AND THE 17TH AMENDMENT  – No Virginia, senators were not always elected “by the people.”

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.

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SENATORS AND THE 17TH AMENDMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 28, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- No Virginia, senators were not always elected “by the people.”

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

Most Americans today are unaware U.S. Senators were not always elected by the people. According to the articles of the Constitution, senators were elected by state legislators, not the people or governor. This all changed with the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913, just over one hundred years ago. Why the change? Believe it or not, corruption in our electoral process. Sound familiar?

Let’s begin by understanding the purpose of the Senate. Our bicameral Congress consists of two chambers, the House of Representatives is intended to represent the people. Their term limit is just two years. The Senate though was modeled after the Senate of Ancient Rome, whereby the elders and affluent citizens would take a more global view of the problems at hand. This is similar to Parliament in the United Kingdom where there is a House of Commons (for the people) and a House of Lords (representing affluence). Senators are elected to six year terms as opposed to two years.

In addition to reviewing and approving the laws as passed by the House, the Senate also reviews and approves treaties, and confirms appointments of the cabinet, ambassadors, judges, and various other federal officials, all as part of the “checks and balances” of our government. They also conduct trials of impeached federal officials, such as the president, with the last being in 1999 with the impeachment of President Clinton.

On paper, the concept of Senators being elected by state legislatures is a good one. As the legislatures changed in political makeup, from Democrat to Republican for example, the senators will inevitably change. In the early days there were a few senators who served multiple terms, but not like today’s senators who serve upwards to fifty years (e.g., Byrd and Kennedy). In other words, term limits were not necessary. Further, it was believed senators would be more inclined to serve the best interests of their states as they were elected by their own state assemblies. At least, that was the theory.

Throughout most of the 19th century though, corruption crept into the senate electoral process. Some people tried to buy the office by giving gifts and favors to members of the state legislatures. This included some of the big monopolies of the day who wanted to have “their man” elected, who would be expected to return favors. The 17th Amendment though changed all of this by turning the vote over to the people. By doing so, state legislators were cut out of the money bonanza. It should be noted, the amendment was also used to fill senate vacancies, which is now done by temporary appointment of the governor.

So, what has changed in the last 100 years? Whereas the state legislators were the target for bribery, now it can be argued it is just the senators who are the object of desire by lobbyists, not just at the state level either, but by national and multinational corporations. In other words, not much has really changed with the passing of the 17th Amendment other than a redirection of payola.

Somehow, I still prefer the concept of having the state legislatures electing the Senators, if for no other reason than to assure they will change over time as the state assemblies change, thereby thwarting the concept of professional politicians. As to the corruption issue, this will remain a constant problem until such time as the American people get serious about electoral reform, which will probably be never. At least the payola can be spread around the state as opposed to just one person.

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:  40TH ANNIVERSARY OF NIXON’S RESIGNATION – Did Watergate teach us anything?

LAST TIME:  PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY’S EFFECT ON AIR TRAVEL  – What I discovered on my flight from Asheville.

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 Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE OBAMA JUKEBOX

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 23, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- The president’s rhetoric has become rather predictable.

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

President Obama’s speeches have become rather routine and predictable. They remind me of a jukebox, a device from a bygone era, whereby you put in a quarter, press a numbered button, and hear your selected tune. Smart phones, MP3 players and iPods have since replaced the jukebox, but you get the idea.

I do not believe I have heard anything original from the president in a long time, basically recycled talking points written to illicit Pavlovian responses from his audiences. However, I do not believe people are drooling anymore, at least not according to his recent popularity polls.

To prove my point, I have gone back through many of the president’s speeches and noted his more popular talking points. I am sure you have heard them all before, but what do they mean or how does he use them?

1. OBAMA – “The American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours. Our obligations are to them. Our regard for them compels us all, Democrats and Republicans, to cooperate, and compromise, and act in the best interests of our nation –- one nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
TRANSLATION – “Once I’ve hooked them, I can have my way with them.”

2. OBAMA – “We can’t wait for Congress to do its job. So where they won’t act, I will. We’re going to look every single day to figure out what we can do without Congress.”
TRANSLATION – “I refuse to talk to those idiots in the Congress.”

3. OBAMA – “I’m happy to get good ideas from across the political spectrum, from Democrats and Republicans. What I won’t do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested, and they have failed.”
TRANSLATION – “It’s Bush’s fault.”

4. OBAMA – “We can’t change the way Washington works unless we first change how Congress works.”
TRANSLATION – “It’s not me, it’s them, right?”

5. OBAMA – “Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work. There is the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.”
TRANSLATION – “I’m going to make government so big, it will take years and a truckload of elephant guns to bring it back down.”

6. OBAMA – “What our friends on the other side of the aisle do not accept is the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.”
TRANSLATION – “I am the all-knowing Meteorologist-in-Chief, and don’t you forget it.”

7. OBAMA – “We live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tells us our principle goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained.”
TRANSLATION – “Only I understand the American people, not the evil Republicans.”

8. OBAMA – “Let’s remember that our leadership is defined not just by our defense against threats, but by the enormous opportunities to do good and promote understanding around the globe.”
TRANSLATION – “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

9. OBAMA – “I have studied the Constitution as a student; I have taught it as a teacher; I have been bound by it as a lawyer and legislator. America must demonstrate that our values and institutions are more resilient than a hateful ideology.”
TRANSLATION – “And I could really screw up the country more if I didn’t have this hanging around my neck.”

10. OBAMA – “It’s not just enough to change the players. We’ve gotta change the game.”
TRANSLATION – “Constitution be damned.”

11. OBAMA – “We will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists – because living our values doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger.”
TRANSLATION – “Whenever it is politically expedient for me to do so.”

12. OBAMA – “I think the American people have a generous instinct. They understand that we’re a nation of immigrants. But if those folks are going to live in this country, they have to be put on a pathway to citizenship that involves them paying a fine, making sure that they are at the back of the line and not cutting in front of people who applied legally to come into the country.”
TRANSLATION – “Actually, we’re just going to open the floodgates and make them all Democratic voters.”

13. OBAMA – “I’ll be a President who finally brings Democrats and Republicans together to make health care affordable for every single American.”
TRANSLATION – “The check is in the mail.”

14. OBAMA – “As President, I’ll invest in renewable energies like wind power, solar power, and the next generation of homegrown bio fuels.”
TRANSLATION – “And neglect our natural resources thereby making us more dependent on external energy resources than ever before.”

15. OBAMA – “Any strategy to reduce intergenerational poverty has to be centered on work, not welfare–not only because work provides independence and income but also because work provides order, structure, dignity, and opportunities for growth in people’s lives.”
TRANSLATION – “I’m going to quadruple the welfare state and let you pay for it.”

16. OBAMA – “The answers to our problems don’t lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth.”
TRANSLATION – “I want to tax you to death.”

17. OBAMA – “In a world that’s more and more interconnected, we all have responsibilities to work together to solve common challenges.”
TRANSLATION – “I’m going to let the terrorists have Iraq.”

18. OBAMA – “Opponents of health reform warn that this is all some big plot for socialized medicine or government-run health care with long lines and rationed care. That’s not true either. I don’t believe that government can or should run health care.”
TRANSLATION – “Thank you, thank you; you’re a great audience. Now, did you hear the one about…”

19. OBAMA – “We cannot build the 21st-century military we need, and maintain the fiscal responsibility that America demands, unless we fundamentally reform the way our defense establishment does business.”
TRANSLATION – “I love it when they salute me and I don’t return it.”

20. OBAMA – “It’s just plain wrong that millions of middle-class Americans pay a higher share of their income in taxes than some millionaires and billionaires.”
TRANSLATION – “There, I’ve said it; I’m a Socialist.”

In addition to being predictable, the president’s speeches seem to be saying, “The Congress is a bunch of unreasonable idiots. I am the only one who knows what he is doing. Trust me and I’ll take care of all of your problems, you cattle.” This says a lot about his powers of negotiation.

The president probably doesn’t believe half of what he says, but these are sound bites which have been polished and are easy to remember. The fact they are predictable though, reflects his disregard for the American people. They are also useful as a means to distract people. The only problem is we will likely hear these reruns until the end of his presidency. That’s still two years away.

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:  PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY’S EFFECT ON AIR TRAVEL – What I discovered on my flight from Asheville.

LAST TIME:  DRESS FOR SUCCESS OR FAILURE?  – What would happen if we instituted a dress code in school…for the teachers?

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 »

OBAMA’S SCORECARD

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 16, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- An excellent representation of the president’s record.

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

As you may remember, I spent many years in Little League, coaching boys baseball and girls softball. I also served as an umpire and on the local board of directors. My emphasis was to teach the mechanics of the game, teamwork, and the general love of the game. Most of the time, I kept score of the game myself, but I also taught several of my kids to do so. Keeping score is actually not too difficult and is good for keeping the game fair and the other team honest. It is also helpful to track where the batter has hitting the ball in prior innings.

Every game requires a good scorekeeper, including American politics. Using my scoring capabilities I decided to develop a baseball scorecard to record Mr. Obama’s play while in office. It is a true record of his performance. Those of you baseball aficionados who understand a scorecard will quickly figure it out. For the rest of you, consider this a lesson.

The only other item I might add to the scorecard is the president’s relationship with the main street media, for which he would obviously get an “Intentional Walk.”

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:  BIG FISH IN SMALL PONDS – Beware of the egos involved with big fish.

LAST TIME:  WHO IS DESIGNING YOUR SYSTEMS?  – Hopefully not your programmers.

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: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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