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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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: , , , , | 12 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.

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

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.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

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

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?

(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: , , , , | 6 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.

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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.

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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 »

 
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