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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 29, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Plenty, and the American public is getting tired of it.

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

Through my writings, I have come to know a lot of people, both liberals and conservatives. We discuss politics frequently, and despite the rhetoric, most of the people I talk with believe the government of the United States is irreparably broken, plain and simply. They all want to wipe the slate clean and start over. I am not quite to that point yet, but I do believe something should be done about term limits and campaign financing. I found the recent Israeli election interesting as it was conducted in two short weeks. America is, of course, much larger which perhaps explains why presidential campaigns have become two year affairs, or do we stretch it out for some other reason, such as money?

The people I talk with believe the Congress is ineffective, that they cannot accomplish anything. This, of course, is due in large part to the loggerheads between the legislative and executive branches of government. Now that the Congress is in Republican hands, we will likely see more presidential vetoes, record setting no doubt.

There also seems to be an inordinate amount of Congressional investigations involving the Administration. I remember when the Nixon “Watergate” investigation was held, which caused quite a buzz, but it ended and life moved on. Today’s investigations seem to continue 24/7 with such things as: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Bergdahl desertion and Taliban exchange, the Secret Service, the IRS, the VA, contributions to the anti-Netanyahu campaign, and now improprieties by Hillary Clinton. If you are going to have an investigation, fine, but let’s get to a conclusion, move along and start the healing process. Long ago, the president determined the Congress lacks the fortitude for making any hard decisions which is why he has operated unrestrained.

After witnessing all of these investigations, plus many others on a smaller scale, one can only conclude that Washington, DC is nothing more than a cesspool of corruption and incompetence. Are politicians going there to represent the people or to get rich? Both Republicans and Democrats think the latter, yet are unwilling to do anything about it.

As to the president, I have never seen a person more adept at creating division, both racially or socioeconomically (class) than Mr. Obama. Today, it’s a matter of the “haves” and “have nots,” entitlement versus responsibility, big government versus the free enterprise system, more regulations versus less, etc. In my lifetime, I have witnessed considerable disparity between the Democrats and the Republicans, but nothing like what we are witnessing today. And both sides know it.

The president simply cannot accept an opinion other than his own. If you oppose him, you are taken to task, regardless if you are a government official or a member of the media. He accepts no responsibility when something goes awry, it is always someone else’s fault. And as for “transparency,” we have yet to see it. Perhaps an “open government” isn’t feasible after all.

The left accuses conservatives of trickle down economics, support for the rich and attacks on the poor. Likewise, the right accuses liberals of voting improprieties and subversion, fiscal irresponsibility, and attacks on the middle class and free enterprise system. Neither side believes the other has the best interests of the American people in mind.

The ideological differences are so pronounced, our commander-in-chief opted to no longer work with the Congress and now operates exclusively by executive order. And why not, since the Congress hasn’t the stamina to challenge him. The reality is, because of the ideological divide there is no longer any “give and take” between the president and the Congress which explains why it takes an act of God to get anything done. Yes, they will have to argue about raising the debt ceiling again and again. And, Yes, they will have to consider closing the government again. And, Yes, the president will sign vetoes again and again. Gridlock is all we understand unless changes are implemented.

Then there is the matter of the Fourth Estate, an irresponsible press that is out of control and doing the dirty work of governmental operatives, where assassinations are performed by words, not bullets. The American people understand “responsible” journalism is a myth, which explains why television news viewership is down and newspapers are struggling to survive. Face it, the main street media has lost the trust of the people, simply because they are not interested in reporting the truth, just spin for the naive and clueless.

Now we are entering a new presidential cycle where candidates suffer from a shady past, unproven accomplishments, questionable credentials, and hazy character. While the cycle starts all over again, the country limps along.

So, what is wrong with this picture? The government is broken and we, the people, are going to have to fix it. It is now glaringly obvious our politicians are incapable of fixing the problem as they have grown comfortable with it. Fortunately, our founding fathers made a proviso in the Constitution for just such an occasion, specifically Article V calling for a Constitutional Convention. The last time such a convention was called was back in 1787 in Philadelphia. That’s right, 238 years ago. A Constitutional Convention would put the fear of God into the Congress and President, and they will do anything to avoid it as it is perceived as a threat to their authority. The reality though is our government has failed and it is time to take strong measures to rectify the situation.

Such a convention, if conducted properly, would likely temper the power of the press as well. For example, if term limits were implemented, shorter election cycles, and changes to campaign finance laws, the media would lose power simply due to reduced revenues.

Then, maybe, just maybe, we might return to an era of civility and prosperity. The fact is, if you are waiting for our government to correct the problem themselves, you will be waiting an extremely long time.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PALMETTO BUGS – What purpose do they serve?

LAST TIME:  WHAT’S WRONG WITH SERVING THE CUSTOMER PROMPTLY?  – The customer should never have to wait.

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

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

THE BUDGET BATTLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 22, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Just how badly do we want to manage the budget?

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

We are finally coming down to one of the pivotal differences between Democrats and the Republicans, namely the federal budget. This is something the GOP has wanted to address for a long time, and now that they control both chambers of Congress, a confrontation is finally at hand. Most voters understand the overwhelming amount of debt we have incurred over the last seven years, that deficits and government spending is out of control, and to fix the problem certain cuts have to be made, like it or not. We certainly do not want this to be a legacy for our grandchildren to address. Now is the time to clean it up, but we face the problem of a divided nation over ideological differences.

President Obama, the Senate and the House have assembled three different budgets. Of the three, the Senate’s and the House’s are similar and represent the Republican’s proposal to straighten out our financial mess and work towards a balanced budget. The president’s represents the Democrat’s point of view and is not concerned with a balanced budget.

According to a recent analysis by the Associated Press (AP), there are significant differences between the three:

In terms of REVENUE:

President – “Would increase taxes on wealthy people, corporations and smokers.”

Congress – “Tax hikes do not figure in either GOP budget, though both Republican blueprints call for a tax code overhaul — with details to be worked out later. Curiously, the Republicans make repeal of the Affordable Care Act a key provision of their blueprints, but they still assume the tax revenues created by the law will still flow to the Treasury.”

In terms of SPENDING:

President – “Increases spending on public works, education and defense, and would eliminate the automatic cuts imposed under a 2011 budget deal.”

Congress – “Boosts defense spending but makes cuts to domestic social programs like Medicaid and food stamps. The House plan would convert Medicare to a voucher-like program, and both GOP budgets would repeal the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature domestic achievement.”

In terms of THE DEFICIT:

President – “Sees deficits stabilize at about 2.5 percent of GDP.”

Congress – “Seek $5 trillion in reductions over the next decade.
Both Republican plans bring the budget into balance in 2025 – a modest $3 billion surplus for the Senate plan, a $33 billion surplus in the House plan. Democrats accuse the GOP of using shady accounting practices.”

In terms of THE PUBLIC DEBT:

President – “Debt held by the public does not fall appreciably, declining from 75 percent to 73 percent by 2025.”

Congress – “Both GOP budgets project a debt below 60 percent of GDP by 2025.
Public debt is still expected to exceed $20 trillion in 2025, with interest reaching $857 billion. Under the GOP plans, interest be less than $625 billion in 2025.”

In a nutshell, to reduce the debt without raising taxes is good news for both the wealthy and the middle class (not to mention smokers). Not surprising, the GOP plan is an open attack on the Affordable Health Care Act, Obamacare, a plan that Americans still do not embrace (see Gallup). All three budgets make use of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which, frankly, is limping along (currently 2.2%) and reflects a sluggish economy. If we had a robust GDP, the country would feel its effect through more money from taxes. Finally, the president’s plan openly does not support a balanced budget, but raises spending instead. As another AP report contends, “While his (Mr. Obama’s budget) leaves a projected deficit exceeding $600 billion 10 years from now, the Senate plan claims a surplus of $3 billion.

So, the question comes down to: Do we compromise again or do we really want to address our economic problems? If we want the latter, we must surely move beyond the status quo and take corrective action. However, the battle lines have already been drawn. According to a statement by the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, the Senate-passed budget “relies on top-down economics and gimmicks,” and “refuses to ask the wealthy to contribute a single dollar to deficit reduction.” He goes on to say, the Senate bill would lock in severe spending cuts “to investments in the middle class like education, job training and manufacturing,” and it fails to “responsibly fund our national security.” As to national security, this is simply not so, as the GOP proposes more money for defense as opposed to the president’s plan. Further, we would generate more money for education, job training, and manufacturing by simply lessening the regulations and taxes on corporate America, thereby allowing them to thrive.

The next step is to have the two chambers of Congress negotiate a compromise budget in mid-April. Interestingly, the legislation is non-binding, meaning that it will not require the president’s signature, but will inevitably lead to veto fights with Mr. Obama in future bills.

It will be interesting to see if we truly have the fortitude to manage our finances responsibly. If we do not, God help our grandchildren.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE MEANING OF LIFE – It is ultimately about good versus evil.

LAST TIME:  BUSINESS WRITING  – A crash course on writing for people in a business setting.

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

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

SPECIAL: GOP STEREOTYPE SEASON

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 26, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The season is officially open.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

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

Now that Senator Ted Cruz has thrown his hat into the presidential ring, many others will likely follow suit shortly. This can only mean one thing; the GOP Stereotype season has officially opened. The main street media will now begin to characterize Republican contenders as either mean or crazy, or both. Let us not forget how they portrayed Senator Dan Quayle as a dim-bulb when he was announced as President George H.W. Bush’s running mate, even though it was Quayle who pushed for the development of the Patriot missile which was successfully used in the Middle East. Many people genuinely believe Governor Sarah Palin said she could “see Russia from her back yard,” when, in reality it was SNL comedienne Tina Fey who made the comment. In fact, Palin was actually an effective governor. And let us not forget how out of touch Governor Mitt Romney was portrayed with the working man and the poor. Somehow his successful run as Governor of Massachusetts and his work in the Utah Olympics was completely overlooked. Interestingly, the press somehow overlooked the time Democratic Senator Al Gore got lost in the woods shortly after being elected Vice President. Hardly anyone remembers the incident.

Recently I sat down with some friends to talk politics. When I asked them what they thought about Donald Trump, they shook their heads and said, “Oh, that hair,” in a Pavlovian Dog type of response.

“Beside the hair,” I asked, “What have you got against him?”

They balked.

“Is he a good business man?” I continued.

“No question,” they replied.

“Does he know economics and world politics?”

“Of course,” they replied.

“Then what have you got against this man?” I asked, “Surely it is not just his hair.”

No reply and they thought about it. The point had been made.

As we enter the Presidential Primary season, we must all be mindful of how the media will spin the character of the candidates, and it behooves all of us to take people to task when the candidates are fallaciously branded, regardless if they are our personal candidate or not. Let us reveal just who truly are the mean and crazy ones.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

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

AT THE BREAKING POINT

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 25, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Ramblings regarding the ideological divide in this country.

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

Liberal friends simply do not understand my comments and resent it when I take a stand against their agenda. I am often accused of being insensitive or unreasonable. As an aside, have you ever noticed you are “unreasonable” when you do not agree with the other person’s position? It’s like saying, “Agree with me or I’ll call you a name.” Conversely, my conservative blood boils when I listen to the liberal diatribe. I look at them as if they have lost all sense of reality and common sense.

Keep in mind, I have many friends who are Liberals, and aside from this foible, I enjoy their company. I suspect they feel likewise with me. The truth is though, a line in the sand has been drawn and neither side wants to cooperate. My politics have cost me some friends, but I would rather cut them off than listen to their blather, and I suspect they feel likewise about me. It is like we are living in two interpretations of America. Consider the recent speech by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to a joint meeting of Congress; One speech, two entirely different interpretations. The point is, it is not that we just have gridlock in government but we also suffer with it in our society, putting us very much at edge as to what should be considered right and wrong.

We have gone from mere friendly jousting, to testy debates, to visceral attacks, followed by a break in relations. Courtesy and civility are quickly lost. For example, liberals will often try to bait me with antagonistic comments. I learned a long time ago not to lower myself to their level and simply delete their comments as opposed to responding to them. Face it, whatever I say will be rebuffed with insolence. The liberals go bananas when I delete their comments, but I remind them this is my column and they are welcome to write their own as opposed to poisoning mine.

Today, we are being asked to choose political sides in just about every institution we are involved in, be it companies or nonprofits. Consequently, we gravitate to those groups who share our interest and the chasm widens further. Frankly, we do not respect our opponents and the noise level rises with the passing of each day.

As conservative talk radio host Joy Tiz explains it, the way you fight the liberals is with facts. Yet, for every fact Conservatives produce, Liberals will have a conflicting one. Again, inconsistencies in the truth. Even when a hard fact is presented to the other side, they reject it. For example, when I point out the Gross Domestic Product is a paltry 2.2% (as reported by the U.S. Department of Commerce who monitors such figures), my opponents will argue this is simply not true, or attempts to misdirect the dialog to some other observation, e.g., “It’s Bush’s fault” or how “unreasonable” I am being.

It has been my observation conservative attacks are less visceral than liberals, but I’m sure the left would argue otherwise. Whereas liberals relish a comedic stab at conservatives, they cannot seem to accept it when the tables are turned. Even SNL producer Lorne Michaels admitted this recently. Whereas conservatives tend to take bitter satire with a grain of salt, the slightest malignment of liberals is treated like heresy.

This is not the first time I’ve discussed this subject, but the discourse seems to get more vicious with the passing of each year. It is similar to the relationship Fox News has with the main street media who would like nothing better than to see Fox obliterated. Yet, Fox continues to win the ratings wars. Maybe the reason Fox succeeds is because there are still more conservatives than liberals in this country, at least according to Gallup. Liberals are baffled by this which fuels their energies to “take down” anything remotely related to conservatism. They try to intellectualize their arguments and make the other party feel stupid, but the reality is, the other side is not buying it as it goes against common sense.

If you dare to criticize President Obama, the typical response is, “Where was all this venom when George Bush was in office? He did more to ruin the country than any president before or after him.” Somehow the left suffers from selective memory. I cannot think of a president more maligned by the left than George W. Bush, and this includes Richard Nixon.

In an interview years ago, John Wayne made the observation his generation of actors didn’t discuss politics when working on a picture. Everyone knew each other’s politics, which varied wildly, but to maintain harmony on the set, politics was considered a taboo subject. The studio brass also encouraged their stable of actors and actresses to remain quiet on politics outside of the studio as it would hurt them at the box office and their popularity with the public. This is no longer the case in Hollywood where people vent their opinions openly on camera or in front of the paparazzi. So much so, Hollywood is also split along ideological lines, with conservatives in the minority and losing work due to the liberals who control the studios and produce movies. Today, if you do not have the right politics, your career is threatened. Ask Dennis Miller, Janine Turner, Victoria Jackson, or Clint Eastwood whose “American Sniper” movie lost at the Oscars because it offended liberal sensibilities.

Perhaps the biggest difference between then and now is the media’s spin on the news today, and social media where we post any joke or news item that tickles our fancy. When it is spread over the Internet to the hundreds or thousands of “friends” we have, it inevitably triggers some form of response, be it for or against, and the battle lines draw tighter.

At a high school class reunion a couple of years ago, I was asked to give a eulogy for the classmates who passed away. Some people objected and worried I would turn it into a political platform. As someone who has led several Masonic funerals over the years, I take this matter rather seriously, and delivered the class eulogy with poise and aplomb (at least my classmates told me so). My message and delivery surprised those who were afraid I would turn it into a political donnybrook. They were simply mystified I could deliver such a speech.

The point is, the battle lines have been formed and I see it only getting worse. I believe, everything will somehow end up in court based on nothing more than our discourse (as if our courts have nothing better to do than interpret First Amendment rights).

The confrontation between left and right is getting so strong, it reminds me of the rifts developed during the American Civil War, pitting father against son, brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor. So, the question becomes, has America become dysfunctional over politics? Maybe not yet, but we are getting dangerously close. Perhaps next year’s election results will tell the story. After suffering through eight years of government stagnation, if something doesn’t change, we may very well see a another episode of father against son, brother against brother, and neighbor against neighbor. I see no alternative. Do you?

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  YOU’RE FROM WHERE? – America is a country separated by a common language.

LAST TIME:  PROJECT MANAGEMENT INTEGRATION  – Success resides in taking an integrated approach, not piecemeal.

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

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

WORLD WAR III?

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 20, 2015

BRYCE ON WAR

– Has it already started?

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

Something the media and the White House dares not mention is the concept of World War III as it is considered political poison. For that matter, the president cannot even mention Islamic Terrorism, let alone the concept of a new world war, yet there are some compelling arguments the war has already begun and, as usual, the United States is going to have to play catch up.

As I mentioned last year in “Birth of a Nation,” the ISIS movement is gaining in strength. Whereas is was originally confined to Syria and Iraq, it has now spread to Algeria, Yemen, Libya, Indonesia and other places. There have also been terrorist attacks in France, Denmark, Canada, and the United States. Problems are brewing in Europe where Muslims have immigrated and are now politically skirmishing with the native citizens there. This is all reminiscent of Germany at the start of World War II where they “liberated” the Sudetenland, Austria, and Poland. As Naziism spread, it engulfed most of Europe and considerable portions of Northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Soviet Union. Today, ISIS is slowly gaining in stature and spreading throughout the Muslim world. The big prizes though will be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Europe.

Hitler’s fanatical goon squads and SS troops were essentially no different than today’s ISIS terrorists. The major differences between them is three-fold; Whereas Naziism was a brand of political ideolog mixing socialism with dictatorship, ISIS is driven by the Islamic religion, complete with Sharia Law. Both were supremacists and claimed their approach would eliminate the social woes of the world.

Second, atrocities were the hallmark of both the Nazis and ISIS. The Nazi concentration camps were used to exterminate the “undesirables” of Europe. Likewise, ISIS is butchering everyone who doesn’t agree with their point of view, be it by decapitation, fire, or a bullet to the brain. There is no sense of humanity in any of this. It is also remarkable that antisemitic sentiments are rising once again, just as in Europe before the Nazis marched in.

The third difference between the two is leadership. Whereas Hitler became the demigod for the Third Reich, ISIS hasn’t yet found its true leader yet (thankfully). There is much talk about establishing an Islamic “caliphate” which is a form of government led by a “caliph,” the political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad. While the ISIS goon squads remain active, they are awaiting their own demigod to unite them into battle. There are, of course, leaders in the ISIS movement, but nobody has come forward yet as “The Chosen One” or “Mahdi” (the “guided one”).

There is the possibility that Iran may become the uniting factor, a country with a stable government, resources, and potentially a nuclear arsenal. It is hard to imagine an Islamic caliphate armed in this manner. Their disregard for humanity would lead us to conclude they wouldn’t hesitate to use such weapons, starting with their favorite adversary, Israel. Fortunately, Israel is well armed, including their own nuclear arsenal and would doubtless fight back.

Instead of allowing the Middle East to fester and get worse, now is the time to nip this tinderbox in the bud, before another Hitler comes to power. Estimates of the size of the ISIS military ranges from as few as 20,000 people to 200,000. Their forces may be small and unsophisticated, but they are growing in size and capturing more land every day. To combat their threat, President Obama is primarily offering air power, but this does not seem to be an effective deterrent. After our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the president is hesitant to send infantry forces. Instead, he is counting on Middle Eastern countries to put boots on the ground.

There is more than one million troops total in the Middle East. On paper, it sounds like an impressive number of troops to be deployed, but aside from Iraq, which has been ineffective thus far, the rest are not battle proven. What they need is someone like the United States, with its military prowess in terms of leadership and technology, to unite the forces, form a strategy, and direct operations. Yet, the president appears unwilling to make such a commitment. Here again we see another example of how the administration leads from behind, and our last analogy.

During the second world war, Britain was led by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who wanted to make peace with Hitler despite his acquisition of adjoining countries. Like Obama, Chamberlain knew the British people were tired of war and desperately tried to keep his country out of another one. Receiving a meaningless document from Hitler, Chamberlain naively claimed “Peace in our time,” which, of course, was not to be. This delayed Britain in rearming itself and cost them dearly in putting the country on a war footing. Fortunately, Chamberlain resigned which paved the way for Winston Churchill, someone more adept at fighting a war. Chamberlain’s naive actions and in-actions are frighteningly similar to those of the president.

Mr. Obama and the media may not like hearing it, but it appears we are entering a viscous third world war, whether we want it or not. From a military perspective, it would be smarter to conquer the problem now as opposed to allowing ISIS to grow in terms of members, resources, and captured territory. If they get the caliph they are looking for, their movement will only grow with resolve. Now is not the time to declare “Peace in our time,” but to notify the American people what is going on and what must be done to stop them. The public would be more supportive in such a campaign if they truly knew what was going on and the need to stop it now. If not, we’ll have to wait for another Churchill.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PROJECT MANAGEMENT INTEGRATION – Success resides in taking an integrated approach, not piecemeal.

LAST TIME:  THE FRUSTRATION FACTOR  – How we become more impatient as we enter our sixties.

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

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

IS OUR FLAG STILL THERE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 17, 2015

BRYCE ON THE AMERICAN FLAG

– Old Glory under attack.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

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

There have been several incidents recently which would lead us to believe the American flag is under attack.

At UC, Irvine, the Student Government voted to eliminate all flags, including the Stars and Stripes, from outside of their building. This was done to make the offices more “culturally inclusive” for all students. Following this, 60 professors signed a letter supporting the flag ban claiming “US nationalism often contributes to racism and xenophobia.” The decision to ban the flags was later overturned.

Last week, a group of judges told the Portsmouth County, VA, Sheriff to remove an American flag display from the court house. The flag was a special gift from the Portsmouth Fire Department.

A Texas school painted over an American flag-like mural on a school under construction in a new development. The reason? Red, white and blue were not approved colors in the subdivision where the school is being built.

In the recent photo showing President Obama leading the 50th anniversary march of Selma, not one American flag could be seen in the photo. This is in sharp contrast to the photos of the original 1965 march where the flag was highly visible.

Just this past weekend, protesters in Ferguson, MO, ripped an American flag in two and others stomped on it. In Virginia Beach, an American Flag was stolen from a restaurant, as well as from a community in Morgan Hill, CA.

Old Glory hasn’t taken such a beating since 1968 when Yippies protested the Viet Nam War and the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Interestingly, the flag comes under attack in times of cultural crisis. Just as in 1968, the American people are very much divided along ideological lines with one side wanting to radically change the underpinnings of America, while another wishes to maintain the moral values from which the country was founded upon. One side wants to proudly wave the flag, the other is bent on desecrating it.

The question is why? The flag is a symbol of our country, not representative of a hate speech or sign of inequality, discrimination, or political correctness. It was originally designed to represent the unity of the states, and honor the original thirteen colonies.

However, some people now want us to be ashamed of our country through our flag. It is true that America is certainly not perfect, but then again what country is? Have we made mistakes? Certainly. Will we continue to do so? Undoubtedly. But we also have many more things to be proud of as a country, such as our freedoms and liberty, a land of opportunity and the free enterprise system. Soldiers and sailors have followed it into battle numerous times to defend this way of life. And finally, it is also a beacon of hope to the outside world.

No, we should not be ashamed of the American flag. We may be critical of some of our politicians and institutions, something we have only ourselves to blame for not taking them to task or voting. Instead, the flag is something we should take pride in, so that we may continue to disagree as well as work together, in good times as well as bad.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

REPUBLICAN IDEOLOGY

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 16, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Expressing the GOP agenda through the quotes of the presidential hopefuls.

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

Although the media tends to portray Republicans as old men in their dotage who are out of touch with the world today, you can actually learn a lot about the GOP agenda by simply listening to the speeches they make. Lincoln was the first and perhaps the most eloquent of Republican Presidents who represented his party admirably, but there have been many others. My personal favorite was Calvin Coolidge who made several insightful quotes; among them:

“Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.”

“To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”

“Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.”

“The business of America is business.”

Such quotes provide insight into what Republicans believe. To find out what today’s Republicans are thinking you need look no further than those who are considering a run for the presidency in 2016. Here, I have assembled a list of quotations from the likely candidates. The emphasis here is not their differences but rather their similarities; that which makes them Republican. From these quotations you get a sense of what Republicans believe. As you read through the list you will inevitably note some repetition in their words. Such similarities ultimately dictate the Republican ideology of today.

Gov. Jeb Bush (FL)

“Well, I think lower taxes and less regulation would actually promote growth.”

Gov. Chris Christie (NJ)

“Higher taxes is the road to ruin. We must and we will shrink our government, and that means making some tough choices, tightening our belts.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC)

“If you increase taxes now on – at any level, it’s going to make it harder to create jobs. And we’ve lost 2 1/2 million jobs since the stimulus package passed. We’re at 9.6 unemployment. So I don’t think we tax too little, I think we spend too much.”

Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR)

“I think a lot of people in America do not understand that the basis of true liberty can’t happen without an objective moral standard by which we live our lives.”

“The fact is, my friends, most Americans don’t want more government. They want less government.”

“I wish we would all remember that being American is not just about the freedom we have; it is about those who gave it to us.”

Gov. Sarah Palin (AK)

“Folks, this government isn’t too big to fail, it’s too big to succeed.”

Gov. George Pataki (NY)

“When government accepts responsibility for people, then people no longer take responsibility for themselves.”

“This Budget reflects a choice – not an easy choice, but the right choice. And when you think about it, the only choice. The choice to take the responsible, prudent path to fiscal stability, economic growth and opportunity.”

Gov. Rick Perry (TX)

“Our citizens are tired of big government raising their taxes and cooking up new ways to micromanage their lives, our citizens are tired of big government killing jobs with their do-gooder policies. In short the people are Fed Up!”

“As Americans, we don’t see the role of government as guaranteeing outcomes, but allowing free men and women to flourish based on their own vision, their hard work and their personal responsibility.”

“Americans want government that is leaner, more efficient, and less intrusive into their personal lives.”

Gov. Scott Walker (WI)

“What has made America amazing has been the fact that throughout our history, throughout the more than 200 years of our history, there have been men and women of courage who stood up and decided it was more important to look out for the future of their children and their grandchildren than their own political futures.”

“People create jobs, not the government.”

“I believe that smaller government is better government. But I also believe that in the areas where government does play a legitimate role, we should demand that it is done better.”

“One of those promises was to limit the size of government and to have the government serve the people – and not the other way around.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX)

“The American free market system is the greatest engine for prosperity and opportunity that the world has ever seen. Freedom works.”

“Government is not the answer (for turning around the country). You are not doing anyone a favor by creating dependency, destroying individual responsibility.”

“We are seeing a great awakening. A national movement of We the People, brought together by what unites us – a shared love of liberty, and an understanding of the unlimited potential of free men and free women.”

Sen. Rand Paul (KY)

“The great and abiding lesson of American history, particularly the cold war, is that the engine of capitalism, the individual, is mightier than any collective.”

“We must always embrace individual liberty and enforce the constitutional rights of all Americans-rich and poor, immigrant and native, black and white.”

“If our freedom is taken, the American dream will wither and die.”

“We don’t need bigger government. We need to shrink the size of government.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (FL)

“Our national motto is ‘In God we Trust,’ reminding us that faith in our Creator is the most important American value of all.”

“This is the only country in the world where today’s employee, is tomorrow’s employer.”

“Americans chose a limited government that exists to protect our rights, not to grant them.”

“Every nation on the Earth that embraces market economics and the free enterprise system is pulling millions of its people out of poverty. The free enterprise system creates prosperity, not denies it.”

Sen. Rick Santorum (PA)

“You can’t have a limited government if the family breaks down.”

“The more moral the people are in their business dealings, the less paperwork you need, the more handshakes you can have, the more the wheels of capitalism work better because there’s trust in the marketplace. Business ethics is not a joke. And, in fact, I think most businesses that I’ve dealt with encourage exactly that type of behavior.”

“I believe in capitalism for everybody, not necessarily high finance but capitalism that works for the working men and women of this country who are out there paddling alone in America right now.”

Rep. Peter King (NY)

“Every soldier, every cop who’s faced with a decision to make, a life or death, does the best he or she can.”

“I mean, I really don’t want the federal government to be determining whether or not a person who feels certain ways about the environment or about animals or about certain religious issues should be considered an extremist. That to me is a type of thought control, mind control, which is very dangerous.”

Ben Carson (MD)

“Through hard work, perseverance and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.”

“The Roman Empire was very, very much like us. They lost their moral core, their sense of values in terms of who they were. And after all of those things converged together, they just went right down the tubes very quickly.”

“We’re not planning for the future. If we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion, we are going to destroy this nation.”

Carly Fiorina (CA)

“The truth is in California you can’t build a new manufacturing facility, and businesses are leaving in droves because of bad government policy.”

“You take unacceptable risk, you have to be prepared to face the consequence.”

Donald Trump (NY)

“Getting things done in this country, if you want to build something, if you want to start a company, it’s getting to be virtually impossible with all of the bureaucracy and all of the approvals.”

“I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it’s time America was run like a business.”

What do these candidates tell us about the Republican ideology? They believe…

* In Deity, moral values, and the family unit.

* In a smaller, less intrusive government.

* In the value of the free enterprise system (capitalism).

* In a person assuming responsibility for their actions and not becoming enslaved as wards of the state.

* In providing a person with the freedom to pursue their dreams, take risks, and encourage innovation.

* In emboldening business through less regulation.

* In the U.S. Constitution,

Come to think of it, this is not dissimilar to what Republicans have believed for many years and is essentially no different than the Coolidge quotes expressed at the beginning. No, there are no secrets in the Republican agenda, just misinformation from the media.

BTW, Many thanks to Brainy Quote.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE FRUSTRATION FACTOR – How we become more impatient as we enter our sixties.

LAST TIME:  ADAPTING TO THE CORPORATE CULTURE  – There are both logical and physical aspects to be considered.

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

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SPECIAL: 3 QUESTIONS FOR HILLARY CLINTON

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 12, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Inquiring minds want to know…

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

I watched Mrs. Clinton’s press conference on Tuesday regarding her recent e-mail troubles. For some strange reason, she began by discussing women’s rights and the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Perhaps this was a smoke screen. I listened to her explanation about e-mails during her tenure as Secretary of State but wasn’t satisfied. As citizens, we want assurances our government workers are working diligently and not exposing themselves to hacking of information, thereby allowing the misappropriation of our country’s intelligence. We also do not want to see our systems inappropriately used for personal purposes, just like any business. In addition, the government needs to be able to control and safeguard all pertinent records for future reference, which is the purpose of the National Archives.

The first question is, why didn’t Mrs. Clinton use the government’s e-mail system? According to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 on Diplomatic Security, “It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS (Automated Information System), which has the proper level of security control…” It goes on to read, “The Department is expected to provide, and employees are expected to use, approved secure methods to transmit SBU (Sensitive But Unclassified) information when available and practical.” This begs the question, Who approved her use of her e-mail server (clintonemail.com)? If it wasn’t approved, it wasn’t proper to use it.

Some journalists point out every Secretary of State for the last couple of decades has used private e-mail. Such claims are attempting to establish precedence, but it certainly doesn’t make it right. I never understood this logic. If you want precedence, let’s consider U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration who, in 2012, was forced to resign his post for using private e-mail outside of the department’s secure system. If this is good for an Ambassador, how about the Secretary of State?

Mrs. Clinton should answer why she needed a separate e-mail server. Unless she can come forward with valid answers, the assumption will be she has something to hide. Certainly, it cannot mean a person can only use one e-mail account on a handheld device, as she suggests. People have used multiple e-mail accounts on a single device for a long time.

Second, did Mrs. Clinton transfer all of her records to the National Archives as prescribed by law? Obviously not. If she had, Congress could readily obtain them and this wouldn’t have flared up into an issue. If she is still in private possession of any e-mails on her server, she is in violation of the rules she was obliged to enforce.

Third and final, did Mrs. Clinton instruct the employees in the State Department as to security of e-mails? Allegedly she did, but I have scoured the Internet and cannot find anything to substantiate this.

The policies regarding e-mail security are universally applicable for all federal government agencies. This means people like Lois Lerner, formerly of the IRS, is probably guilty of violating federal policy.

Not surprising, the federal statutes were written by attorneys and appear to be voluminous. It will likely take some time to sort them out and determine if Mrs. Clinton is guilty of anything. However, let us not forget she is also a graduate of the Yale Law School and served a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, Senator, and former Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, not to mention she is married to another attorney. In other words, she should have known better.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

THE DICHOTOMY OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 11, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

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

When it comes to political correctness, the media has no qualms in dictating to the public what should be considered appropriate or inappropriate for such things as race relations, sexual content, violence, religion, actions at work, even humor. If you happen to make a faux pas, you are quickly taken to the woodshed where you are disciplined and re-instructed in terms of what is right and wrong. From this, we now know what racial expletives and jokes are permissible and which are not, what we can or cannot say about sex in public, violence, and what behavior is appropriate in the work place. As I mentioned, this is primarily being driven by the media, particularly television and movies.

Yet, have you noticed the media doesn’t exactly follow its own rules? I have seen too many sitcoms who cannot seem to get a rise out of their audience without some mention of male or female genitalia. Basically, they have defaulted to toilet humor. Had we made the same comments in public, the PC police would have likely taken us to the woodshed.

Television commercials alone are aplenty discussing erectile dysfunction, women lubricants, sexually transmitted diseases, condoms, feminine protection and hygiene products. Even for senior citizens we are bombarded with ads for diapers. Whereas public discussion of such subjects is frowned upon by the PC police, television has no problem with such subjects. For example, we are now warned about four hour erections, genital yeast infections, and how to stimulate sexual arousal.

So, my question is simple, if we have to be politically correct, why isn’t the media asked to do likewise? What is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, right?

I believe what we are witnessing is a reversal of censorship. Years ago there were public censors monitoring the media and instructing them what was permissible and what was not. Such censorship boards have long since disappeared and, seizing on the opportunity, the media is now dictating what we should think and say. Interestingly though, they fail to police themselves.

It’s not that the subjects or words are particularly offensive to me (although I cannot bring myself to openly discuss “menstruation”). It is the hypocrisy of the media I object to. If the media is going to be critical with the words and actions of the public, I see no reason why the public should hold the media to the same standards. If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

Could it be the almighty advertising dollar sways the conscious of the media? No, it couldn’t be. After all, they have too many scruples for that; don’t they?

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ADAPTING TO THE CORPORATE CULTURE – There are both logical and physical aspects to be considered. 

LAST TIME:  METHODOLOGY DESIGN 101  – “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

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

Posted in Life, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

SPECIAL: Netanyahu’s Speech: A Churchill Warning

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 3, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a special joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday, March 3rd. Prior to his address, he was presented a special bust of Winston Churchill, the legendary PM of Great Britain and only other person to address Congress three times. During his address, Netanyahu capably played the role of Churchill, warning America about Iran and the pending nuclear negotiation deal. This was similar to Churchill warning America of the Nazi threat and the difficulties Britain faced.

During his speech, Netanyahu stressed the Iranian problem was not just a Jewish problem, but a world problem. He encouraged Congress not to consider the nuclear deal until such time as Iran ceases aggression against its neighbors, stop supporting terrorism around the world, and to stop threatening to annihilate the state of Israel. The only path to peace is if Iran changes its intentions and becomes a proper member of the world community.

Netanyahu’s speech was brutally frank and factual. He told us what the president will not. For several minutes during his 40 minute speech, he held the Congressmen spellbound as he lectured them about the realities of Iran. So much so, you could hear a pin drop in the chamber. Such a speech was refreshing to hear as opposed to listening to politicians dance around a problem. This resulted in both Democrats and Republicans applauding Netanyahu zealously. Again, the parallel to Churchill was uncanny.

This speech was not about the relationship between the Israeli PM and the President. It was about finding peace in a practical manner, not by hoping Iran will change its ways.

Netanyahu’s address was so powerful, he just established a template for politicians to follow as we enter the 2016 presidential contest. People want more facts and honesty, not more sound bites with superficial rhetoric.

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 attimb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

 

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

 
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