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WHAT MAKES US SMILE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 26, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It’s time to adjust our attitudes.

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

There hasn’t been a lot to smile about lately. Our economy is still fragile, we’re awash in debt, and the tensions in the country are reminiscent of the time prior to Lincoln’s ascent to the presidency. The media paints a dark image of business, our country, and the world in general. This caused me to consider what makes us smile in the first place. If we understood it better, perhaps we can find a way to elevate our spirits.

In thinking about this, I identified seven areas that cause us to smile:

1. The accomplishments and antics of our family and friends. For example, parents watch their offspring in the classroom, athletic fields, and creative arts. When a child brings home a good report card, a trophy, or have performed well in a recital, parents beam with pride. Harmless mischief also brings a smile to their faces. The success of family and friends always cheers us up, but their failures and tragedies sadden us as well.

2. Closely related is the concept of Achievement and Recognition. Winning a game, solving a puzzle, or answering a trivia question can be very rewarding to the psyche. We get the same feeling when we perform a job masterfully, or watch someone who knows what they are doing and delivers a fine work product. For such situations, a compliment can stroke the ego, be it applause or a simple pat on the back with the exclamation, “Well done!”

We also experience triumph when we close a sale, teach a course, or produce something others thought impossible.

Being recognized for something you did can make a person feel special. I have a friend who took a dozen women, including his wife, on a local boat trip. As the only male on the boat, the ladies made a fuss over him for taking them out, which he appreciated.

A compliment or a tip tells a person their hard efforts have not gone unnoticed.

3. Something that brings back a fond memory; be it an old song, a voice from our past, discovering some memorabilia, or revisiting an old stomping ground. Seeing an old friend or schoolmate from our past is a sure way to bring a smile to our face, or perhaps nothing more than a note or e-mail from the person. It means you are remembered and hold a special place in their heart.

4. Interpersonal relations. Simple companionship is rewarding as you share the same interests with someone as opposed to observing them alone. Social and fraternal relations are likewise important where we can meet and discuss subjects of mutual interest. Exchanging pleasantries with people we meet during the day can pick up the spirits of another. With me, its kidding with clerks and waitresses, thereby showing respect for their work, as opposed to denigrating them. Over the years, I have found simple social pleasantries can not only pick up the spirits of another, but improves service in the process. I guess it goes back to the old proverb, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

5. Nature. Time and again, I have seen people marvel at God’s creations; be it the Grand Canyon, Alaska, watching a bald eagle swoop down to catch a fish, or see a bear or moose for the first time in the wild.

6. Food. This has to go into a category by itself. I have seen the smell and appearance of food change the deportment of the crankiest person. The smell of such things as an oven roasted turkey, a pot roast, a cake, or a simple bowl of chili can put a smile on anyone’s face. Want to see someone quickly change their disposition, just ask them about their favorite restaurants and ask what was so special about the food.

7. Humor and entertainment. A good joke, a fine musical performance, or a good motion picture can make us happy, but it all has to be in tune with our values and morality. For example, I can listen to just about any music, but I draw the line at Rap. As to jokes, because of our politically correct culture, I haven’t heard a good one in years. However, I have quite a repertoire of jokes from forty years ago.

So why aren’t we smiling much anymore?

* Maybe our friends and family are not enjoying success, and having difficulty surviving in these troubled times.

* Perhaps we no longer see anyone trying to perform a job to the best of their ability.

* It could be, all of the memories we cherished have been forgotten or buried by another generation.

* Maybe we no longer know how to be civil with others; we no longer know how to make polite chit-chat.

* Or perhaps we are so busy, we no longer take the time to explore the world around us.

* We have perhaps lost interest in culinary fare.

* Maybe we no longer understand the humor and entertainment of today’s generation.

* Or perhaps we no longer see or hear anything positive going on in the world, or worse, we no longer know how to enjoy life.

Whatever the problem is, it is time to dig down and make an effort to smile and as Jimmy Durante sang, “Smile, what’s the use of cryin’. You’ll find that life is still worth while, If you just smile.”

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  REVIEW: “HILLARY’S AMERICA” – A history lesson on Democratic politics.

LAST TIME:  THOSE PESKY INTERNS  – They should know their place.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THOSE PESKY INTERNS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 24, 2016

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– They should know their place.

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

Becoming an intern in corporate America is a privilege, be it big business or small. The thinking here is that if the person does well, they may be offered a job with the firm. Being a newbie though can be challenging. As much as the young person wishes to become involved in major projects, the reality is the intern is there to observe and learn. In all likelihood, the intern will get just about every dirty job imaginable, particularly “go-for” work (where you are charged with going to get something, like a cup of coffee).

Recently, I’ve been hearing about interns who are irritating their managers. For starters, the dress of the young people is far from professional. Their perception of what is considered professional is far from that of the manager’s. I often hear people complain how young women wear their skirts too tight, or look too trashy. There also seems to be a tendency to wear excessive makeup. In this matter, I tend to blame the company as opposed to the intern. The manager should take the time to mentor the young person and advise them of what is proper and what is not. Obviously, the parents of the intern dropped the ball on this one.

Years ago, I was forced to mentor a young female intern over her dress. Unfortunately, I caused her to cry regardless of how diplomatic I tried to be. This leads me to believe men should advise men, and women should advise women on such matters.

The intern’s social skills should also be scrutinized closely, particularly their speech. If you have an office setting where customers visit, a word spoken out of turn could certainly lose a sale. Again, the company should be responsible for teaching interns how to make an introduction, shake a hand, where and how to stand and sit, particularly in meetings. The intern’s use of social media and communication devices should also be reviewed. Avant-garde pictures and text should be discouraged as even the intern is representative of a business.

Perhaps what is most important is the intern should know his/her place. Young people often suffer from impetuous exuberance and are eager to demonstrate their abilities. Unfortunately, interns are at the bottom of the tomtem pole, maybe even below it, and as such, they should be cautious in their choice of words. For example, it is not wise to correct a senior manager, or anyone who has been with the company for a few years. You may very well be correct in your thought, but if you are not diplomatic in your use of words your tenure will be brief.

The intern’s roll in any company is to learn the business, put their best foot forward and demonstrate their willingness to learn and adapt to the corporate culture. Again, this is a golden opportunity for the young person. So do not blow it by sticking your foot in your mouth or looking like an adolescent dweeb. Use your head, tackle assignments with enthusiasm, and learn.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT MAKES US SMILE? – It’s time to adjust our attitudes.

LAST TIME:  RIGHT TO WORK = PROSPERITY  – Have unions outlived their usefulness; are they passé?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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 Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

RIGHT TO WORK = PROSPERITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 22, 2016

BRYCE ON LABOR

– Have unions outlived their usefulness; are they passé?

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

On July 1st of this year, the State of West Virginia became the 26th state to adopt “Right to Work” (RTW) legislation. RTW simply means a union cannot get a worker fired for not paying union dues. It also means joining a union is voluntary, not compulsory as you will find in a “closed shop.” Such laws started in the south and west, but are now moving north with Wisconsin becoming the 25th (2015), Michigan (24th) and Indiana (23rd) in 2012.

RTW laws weaken the strength of unions. To illustrate, Boeing’s North Charleston plant employs about 7,500 workers to build fuselages for 747s and 787s. In 2015, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers tried to build support to unionize 3,175 production and maintenance workers. The effort was called off as workers wouldn’t embrace the union. Boeing constructed the plant in South Carolina after several battles with unions at its Washington plant.

According to a February 2011 study by the Economic Policy Institute, the drawbacks to RTW include:

* Wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states.

* The rate of employer-sponsored health insurance is 2.6 percentage points lower in RTW states.

* The rate of employer-sponsored pensions is 4.8 percentage points lower in RTW states.

In contrast, an article in the “Wall Street Journal” (“An Inspiration and a Warning From Michigan”; Dec 14, 2012) claims that “between 1980 and 2011, total employment in right-to-work states grew by 71%, while employment in non-right-to-work states grew 32%. Sadly, employment in Michigan increased just 14% during that time. Since 2001, right-to-work states added 3.5% more jobs, while other states decreased by 2.6%. Similarly, inflation-adjusted compensation grew 12% in right-to-work states, but just 3% in the others.”

Aside from this, RTW is an important indicator of a state’s prosperity. To illustrate, according to a recent report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, it appears financial success in state governments is not by accident, and Republicans appear to do a better job than their Democratic counterparts. The Mercatus report, examined the financial stability of the fifty states, plus Puerto Rico. The report considered debt and financial obligations, as well as state pension programs and health care benefits. Perhaps the most noteworthy observation made was that all of the Top 10 states are Republican controlled, meaning both the Governor and the legislatures are in GOP hands. Further, with the exception of Kentucky, all of the bottom 10 states, plus Puerto Rico, are controlled by the Democrats. Interestingly, all of the Top 10 are RTW states, and none of the Bottom 10 have a RTW program.

In another recent article, I discovered the states reporting the highest levels of worker “engagement,” meaning the employees are motivated and self-starting, were primarily in the South, and the lowest were in the Northeast and Midwest. Again, in this instance, the South includes RTW states, and the Northeast and Midwest are under union control.

Time and again, RTW is somehow related to prosperity. Coincidence? I do not believe so. Bottom-line, it comes down to whether or not you believe trade unions serve the best interests of their constituents. With the passing of West Virginia’s RTW legislation, there are now more states who are more interested in providing work for their people as opposed to trusting the unions.

As an aside, the territory of Guam has RTW laws, as does the Federal Government. Participation in unions is strictly voluntary.

In the upcoming presidential election, you will not hear either candidate openly support RTW legislation as they need union votes to get elected. However, the day is not far away when living in a non-RTW state will be considered a political liability as opposed to an asset.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THOSE PESKY INTERNS – They should know their place.

LAST TIME:  LEAVE IT TO THE COPS  – Is law enforcement being overwhelmed with responsibilities?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

LEAVE IT TO THE COPS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 19, 2016

BRYCE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT

– Is law enforcement being overwhelmed with responsibilities?

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

Following the assassination of the five Dallas police officers in July (7th), Police Chief David Brown lamented, “We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” and there is a lot of truth in his comments.

In the old days, law enforcement was basically charged with capturing the bad guys involved with such things as burglaries, robberies, assault and murder. They also controlled traffic, and assisted the fire department in cases of emergency. Unfortunately, it has gone way beyond this.

Due to the erosion of parenting skills and interest in religion, the police are more involved with correcting youthful indiscretions than ever before. Today we have deputies in junior and senior high schools arresting students for violating school policies and offensive conduct. Here in Florida, sheriff departments sponsor youth ranches to assist youngsters in becoming lawful, resilient, and productive citizens, thereby giving them purpose, structure, organization, and respect for the law.

In the absence of effective parenting, gangs establish a fraternal bond with children and, in the process, teaches the mechanics of crime. These become the schools where young criminals learn their craft which will follow them for the rest of their lives.

Drug addiction is still a problem, leading not only to serious health problems and death, but adding to the crime rate to pay for a person’s addiction, such as theft on a petty or grand scale.

With the closing of public mental institutions across the country, the police must cope with deviant behavior, such as sex offenders, pedophiles, slavery, and anyone with mental defections who are unwilling to conform to social mores. In addition, they must deal with domestic disputes where couples have either forgotten their wedding vows or are down on their luck leading to frustration and violence.

The police are even summoned to collect stray dogs, snakes, reptiles, and other animals posing a threat to pets and citizens.

The point is, if you have got a problem, large or small, you call the police and nobody else. As Chief Brown observed, “Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.”

Interestingly, for everything law enforcement does for us, “to protect and serve,” we have a vocal minority of people in this country who berates and chastises them. Are the cops perfect? Of course not. Like any profession, some are better than others. For everything law enforcement does right though, it is forgotten quickly and the media only reminds us of everything they have done wrong. However, if it is a matter of choosing between anarchy and the police, I’ll take law enforcement any day of the week.

For all they do, we should show more appreciation, not less. If you are still not satisfied with the police, do as Chief Brown suggests, “Serve your community; don’t be a part of the problem. We’re hiring. Get off of that protest line and put your application in.”

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  RIGHT TO WORK = PROSPERITY – Have unions outlived their usefulness; are they passé?

LAST TIME:  IS AMERICA ON THE BRINK OF FALLING APART?  – A comparison between the 1960’s and the 2010’s.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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 Law Enforcement | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

IS AMERICA ON THE BRINK OF FALLING APART?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 17, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A comparison between the 1960’s and the 2010’s.

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

The recent shootings in Dallas and Minneapolis, along with the resulting protests and police assassinations, makes us wonder if America is spinning out of control. Racial disparity is the highest it has been since the 1960’s when our cities burned and people died. If the 60’s taught us anything, violence can easily erupt despite the best intentions for peaceful and nonviolent protests.

Today, we live in a land of political correctness where it is acceptable to say “Black Lives Matter,” but not “White Lives Matter” or “Blue” or any other color. We also seem to conveniently overlook the fact whites are killed more than blacks by the police by a wide margin of 2:1. Maybe this is because our president is African-American and insists on such correctness.

According to Gallup, our morality is steadily declining. To illustrate:

* Many years ago, declaring bankruptcy was considered a disgrace, now it is commonplace and a convenient way to avoid paying your bills. Over the last 100 years, bankruptcy in the United States has slowly climbed. It began to accelerate in 1980, when there were less than 500K filings, and skyrocketed to its height of +2M in 2005. True, bankruptcy will affect your credit and future ability to use money, but it has become the escape hatch of choice for people inundated with loans or bills. Declaring bankruptcy may get you out of the hole, but it certainly will not help your creditors.

* Divorce was considered scandalous for many years. Attitudes change though and the 1970’s marked the decade where the divorce rate began to skyrocket.

* Pregnancies out of wedlock were also considered a family disgrace. Since the 1960’s though, it has steadily increased. For example, in 1980 18.4% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women; in 2007 the rate was nearly 40%.

* Premarital sex, which was long considered a taboo, accelerated dramatically in the 1960’s, from 22% to 74% in 1991.

* Being unemployed was considered a black mark against a person, particularly if you were fired. Not so anymore, primarily due to the financial instability of our economy.

* It used to be, the very idea of accepting charity from anyone was considered an embarrassment. Not so anymore. Today, over 100 million people accept federally funded welfare.

* Female-headed households has grown considerably since 1960 at about 8% of households to 23% by 2000.

* Whereas attending church was considered a natural part of life years ago, attendance has steadily declined since the 1960’s.

So, what caused these changes? During the 1960’s, it was a revolt of the attitudes and values of our parents. Likewise, in the 2010’s, the Millennials are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Baby Boomers, including lifestyles, work habits, and politics. For example, the Millennials now embrace extreme sports and high living, and consider the rise of Craft Breweries versus traditional American beers. They also despise micromanagement and want to be more entrepreneurial. As to politics, they avoid capitalism and embrace socialism, probably because they do not understand the difference between the two. Rational political dialogue is replaced by visceral shouting.

During the 1960’s, places like Chicago, Watts, Newark, and Selma became icons of disturbance in our country. Likewise, in the 2010’s, it is Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, and Oakland.

The 1960’s was a decade where a counterculture of drugs emerged; where people like Timothy Leary encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and people like Dr. Benjamin Spock encouraged parents to give their children more freedom and independence as opposed to discipline and teamwork. It was a decade where our music changed, and the words accompanying it reflected the mood of the young people, of protest and social change. And thanks to the space race of the 1960’s, our technology changed in leaps and bounds, and the electronic media became a dominating influence in our society. Likewise, the 2010’s saw the rise of drugs, particularly heroin, significant changes in music, and a growing addiction to technology.

In both decades, parental attitudes and values were challenged and a new libertine era of permissiveness was born. We have lost respect for our government, our institutions such as schools, churches, the rule of law, and the concepts of conformity and teamwork. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, we tried to reinvent America with youthful exuberance. However, as long as we remain governed by the U.S. Constitution, the ship will somehow right itself.

Evidently, this is something we must suffer through every fifty years. The next revolution should take place in the 2060’s, assuming the country hasn’t been overthrown by then.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  LEAVE IT TO THE COPS – Is law enforcement being overwhelmed with responsibilities?

LAST TIME:  ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENGAGED?  – And what is it costing the taxpayers?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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 Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENGAGED?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 15, 2016

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– And what is it costing the taxpayers?

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

The Gallup organization has been monitoring worker engagement for quite some time. The purpose is to let companies know how many employees are stimulated by their work, and how many are not. Business can then use this to make changes in their management style. For example, in the United States, which is considered the most “engaged” in the world, has a rate of 31.5%. Surprisingly, Germany, which is often considered a model of productivity, enjoys only a meager 16% engagement rate. A lot of this can be attributed to the tendency to micromanage the lives of the workers as opposed to empowering them.

While Gallup’s studies have primary focused on business, on July (7th), they produced a report on the “State of Local and State Government Workers’ Engagement in the U.S.,” a first.

The report studied employee engagement for state and local governments of 43 U.S. states, and from it found:

29% – of government workers are engaged in their jobs
71% – are not.

They also reported the states where engagement levels were the highest were primarily in the South, and the lowest were in the Northeast and Midwest. Interestingly, most of the South includes “Right to Work” states, and the Northeast and Midwest are under union control.

The 29% government engagement rate is just slightly lower than the 31.5% business rate.

Engaged employees move their workplaces forward. Disengaged workers do the opposite, costing their states millions of dollars, interfering with government goals, thereby causing taxpayer dissatisfaction. The big difference is government worker disengagement costs the U.S. economy roughly half a trillion dollars a year. In a related Gallup report, “Unhappy State, Local Government Workers Cost U.S. Billions,” they reported…

“Local governments’ annual budgets from Lincoln, Nebraska, to New York City total about $2.0 trillion, while state governments annually spend an estimated $1.7 trillion. Combined, state and local governments contribute 11% to U.S. GDP. Considering the size of their workforce and budgets, disengagement is costing state and local governments, conservatively, up to $100 billion — more than the entire spending budgets of most states.”

So, what can be done to improve engagement? Normally, I would suggest minimizing micromanagement by “managing from the bottom-up.” This means training your people accordingly, articulating project assignments carefully, and empowering the workers to solve projects on their own. To do so, a good project management system is required to plan, estimate, schedule, report and control projects. This means managers should manage more and supervise less. However, in government the problem may be more deeply seeded due to the obnoxious bureaucracies involved. In other words, too much red tape can stall progress regardless of the best intentions of the workers.

Keep one thing in mind, the Gallup study only considers state and local government. Imagine what federal worker disengagement is costing the country. Kowabunga!

If desired, you can download Gallup’s complete report (click HERE).

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IS AMERICA ON THE BRINK OF FALLING APART? – A comparison between the 1960’s and the 2010’s.

LAST TIME:  IS THE POLITICAL SYSTEM RIGGED?  – What do you think?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

IS THE POLITICAL SYSTEM RIGGED?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 12, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– What do you think?

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

Throughout the electoral cycle thus far, Donald Trump has lamented about how the political system is rigged. It has become his mantra as he complained about the shady tactics used by other politicians, such as Ted Cruz who tried to steal delegates from Trump and tell Iowa voters Ben Carson was leaving the race prematurely. Trump also complained about politicians such as Mitt Romney and GOP elites who believe they know what is best for the party, and are trying to derail his campaign by changing the rules at the Republican Convention. Trump also points an accusing finger at the FBI who failed to recommend indictment of Hillary Clinton over her e-mail server, not to mention the scandalous meeting of Bill Clinton with Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Just one week later, FBI Director James Comey, who works for Lynch, recommended no prosecution of Mrs. Clinton. Coincidence? You tell me.

What Trump has run into is much more than just the Clintons, but a massive political machine running the country, and includes both political parties. Outsiders such as Trump and the general public may not understand these political gyrations, but this is standard operating procedure for Washington insiders.

In 2013, Mark Leibovich, the Chief National Correspondent for The New York Times Magazine, wrote his exposé titled, “This Town.” From a journalist’s perspective, Leibovich reveals the true culture of DC, where an incestuous relationship exists between Government, Journalists, and Lobbyists (aka “The Washington Triad.”). All scratch each other’s backs in order to climb their respective totem polls and grab as much money as possible along the way. He paints a picture of unadulterated collusion and makes it clear Washington exists not to solve the problems of the country but to line the pockets of the residents there. From this perspective, we shouldn’t be surprised other than how widespread the problem really is. Whether you are a government official, lobbyist, or a member of the press, it’s about making money and control of the system. All three parties require love to stroke their ego, lots of it, and sees themselves as celebrities on the same level as Hollywood (or higher) which explains why they get along so well. They are so consumed by climbing the tree of power, they have lost sight of why they were sent to Washington.

One reason politicians resist term limits is because they do not want to get off the gravy train. If they somehow get voted out of office, they either join a lobby or the press.

According to Leibovich, this also explains the adoration of the Clintons, who are treated as royalty by the main street media. The Clintons understand the Washington Triad and are more than willing to safeguard it. On the other hand, Trump is the outsider nobody trusts to maintain the status quo, hence the overt opposition to him by the press, Democrats, and his own party, the Republicans.

Understand this, if Hillary Clinton is elected, both Lynch and Comey will likely keep their jobs. However, if Trump is elected, they will be pounding the pavement looking for work, as will the party elites, the press, as well as the lobbyists trying to pull the strings.

In terms of party politics, it is not unusual to suddenly change the rules to suit the needs of the party, not the candidate. This has been a headache Trump has long suffered.

So, is the system rigged as Trump suggests? Yes, most definitely, Yes, the fix is in. Anyone who doesn’t see it is blind, either naturally or intentionally.

Now what do we do about the system? Perpetuate it or tear it apart? Voters will be asked this question in November.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENGAGED? – And what is it costing the taxpayers?

LAST TIME:  BOOK REVIEW: “CRISIS OF CHARACTER”  – How Hillary Clinton is perceived by the Secret Service.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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 »

BOOK REVIEW: “CRISIS OF CHARACTER”

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 10, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– How Hillary Clinton is perceived by the Secret Service.

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

I read “Crisis of Character” over the 4th of July weekend (Center Street Publishing; 285 pages). It’s the new controversial book by Gary J. Byrne, former presidential secret service officer who served both George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton while in office, including during the Monica Lewinsky affair and his impeachment proceedings.

Byrne considers himself a loyal and patriotic American who served the country in law enforcement. He began his career in the United States Air Force Security Police, before moving on to the Uniformed Division of the U.S. Secret Service, and finally ending his career as a Federal Air Marshal. From his writings, he claims to believe in God, the Constitution, and his duty to his country. He gave no hint of his political preferences as he felt it was immaterial to the jobs he performed.

In the book, Byrne claims the White House Secret Service agents had a fondness for “Papa Bush” (George H.W. Bush) who treated them with kindness and respect. This all changed with the Clinton administration who found the secret service to be an obstacle as opposed to a natural part of White House life. In one instance, Hillary Clinton insisted a Secret Service agent move baggage from the White House into a limo. Such a request would mean the agent’s hands would not be free to access weapons or communications, and he would be distracted from his job. The Clintons didn’t understand this and became infuriated with the agent.

Byrne claimed President Clinton was one of the most charming and engaging men he ever met. In the White House, he was not really the problem, it was the First Lady who possessed a volcanic personality and managed her staff by intimidation. From her perspective, the Clintons were a Royal Monarchy and everyone should treat them as such. Unfortunately, her Atilla the Hun personality caused a sense of paranoia among her staff. People were hesitant to deliver bad news to her in fear of suffering her wrath.

As a couple, Byrne claims the Clintons were only lovey-dovey for the cameras. It was all facade. In reality, there were numerous yelling tirades, primarily led by the First Lady. He also tells of an incident where the President inexplicably comes to work one day with a black eye covered with makeup.

Byrne was also charged in safeguarding the President’s office and was the last line of defense before allowing people to see Mr. Clinton. In the book, he describes how Monica Lewinsky tried to sneak into the Oval Office, fabricating excuses which the Secret Service didn’t believe and prevented her on numerous occasions from meeting with the president. However, her persistence paid off and she finally gained access to the president. The point is, the Secret Service tried to protect the president from himself.

Interestingly, throughout the book, Byrne complains how bureaucratic procedures and political correctness often interfered with getting the job done, be it in the Secret Service or Federal Air Marshal service. Even though there is concern for saying and acting a certain way, there is evidently no sense of adapting to situations. He contends building character is more important than bureaucracies and p.c., hence the name of his book.

In the book, when it comes to the Clintons, their modus operandi is “deny-deny-deny” everything and assume responsibility for nothing. This was apparent during the Monica Lewinsky case, Paula Jones, Vince Foster, Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, etc.

Byrne also made a comparison of the Benghazi incident to 1993 Somalia and “Black Hawk Down,” whereby the Clintons put people in harm’s way and denied them the proper support. This was done so people wouldn’t look upon America as invaders.

The author’s take on character is summarized towards the end of the book, where he discusses Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State during the Benghazi incident:

“I don’t care if Hillary Clinton watched caskets come home behind Secret Service protection at Andrews Air Force Base. That’s not leadership. Character in leadership comes down to two questions: Would you trade places with anyone under your command? Do you hold yourself to the same level of accountability as those for whom you bear responsibility? Would Mrs. Clinton have been willing to trade places with Chris Stevens and Sean Smith? No. She was too busy swapping gossip and classified information with Clinton loyalist Sidney Blumenthal.”

In other words, never ask your people to do something you are not prepared to do yourself. The end result, failed confidence in leadership and dampened morale. “We all wondered, ‘Will they come for us if we’re attacked? Will they stand by us? Does “no man left behind” mean a damned thing? Will they even tell the truth after I’m gone?'”

According to Byrne, “Let’s say it straight out: Hillary Clinton lied about the reason for the Benghazi attack. She lied to the nation as a whole and she lied to the faces of the grieving family members of those who died there – and then lied about her lying.”

Byrne implies the Clintons operated under the assumption “the ends justify the means” which sacrifices truth and honesty, and justifies their tactic of “deny-deny-deny.”

Byrne’s thesis is simple and true: Character is of paramount importance. Without character, how can you effectively lead, and who can you trust?

The question is, does anyone care anymore? The fact the Clintons have gotten away with this for so long, leads me to believe, No, we no longer care. Sadly, this is indicative of the decline of our moral values.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IS THE POLITICAL SYSTEM RIGGED? – What do you think?

LAST TIME:  MICROSOFT: WHERE DO I SEND THE BILL?  – Losing time as a result of Microsoft updates.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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 »

MICROSOFT: WHERE DO I SEND THE BILL?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 8, 2016

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Losing time as a result of Microsoft updates.

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

Microsoft never fails to surprise me in terms of how it can waste my time. Recently I was working on my office machine, which includes Windows 7 Home Premium. I realize it is not their latest offering, but I have learned over the years to never rush into a Microsoft upgrade. Nonetheless, all was going well until Google Chrome for some reason became unresponsive. Having experienced such lockups in the past, I decided to reboot the computer and let it clear the anomalies. I figured it would be just a couple of minutes out of my day, but boy was I wrong.

Before I could power off, Microsoft took charge of my machine, displaying a message:

“Please do not power off or unplug your machine.
Installing X of 17..”

I had no idea what the updates were, but I suspect it was to download Windows 10 on to my machine. Of the 17 updates, #14 seemed to take the longest for some reason. After much waiting, I finally received the message:

“Shutting down…” RESTART

I thought, “Finally, I can get back to work,” but such was not to be. As the machine started I received the following message:

“Configuring Windows update
X% complete.
Do not turn off your computer.”

This too took a long time to complete. Following this, it said:

“Cleaning up…”

And at long last I was taken to my desktop where I could continue working. Elapsed time for this update: approximately one hour.

Now I don’t know about you, but I am not paid to be a Microsoft technician. Although I’m not too bad when it comes to computer problems, I prefer to tend to my own work. This caused me to become irritated with the boys and girls from Redmond as I was under a deadline to complete an article. Actually, I was ready to blow my stack, and, No, I do not mean the type used in programming.

For some reason, Microsoft thinks nothing of wasting the time of their customers. In a way, they remind me of dentists and doctors who lack regard for patients in their waiting rooms.

It would have been nice if Windows told me what the update was about and if now was a good time to apply it or schedule it for a later time, such as late at night, but this did not occur.

I am therefore preparing a bill for Microsoft for my time lost during the business day. I’m not asking for a lot, but a reasonable amount for time lost. Most likely, they will not pay it, at which time I’ll see them in Small Claims Court.

If enough people did this, perhaps we wouldn’t get such sloppy products from them.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BOOK REVIEW: “CRISIS OF CHARACTER” – How Hillary Clinton is perceived by the Secret Service.

LAST TIME:  CAN YOU SPEAK “DOG”?  – Who is better trained, the pet or the master?

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; 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 Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CAN YOU SPEAK “DOG”?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 5, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Who is better trained, the pet or the master?

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

Recently I discovered “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” in the wee hours of the morning on one of the retro television stations. This was a favorite of mine back in the 50’s which I watched with my father on CBS, one of the few shows shot in color at the time. It was the story of an RCMP Mountie patrolling the Yukon territory back during the days of the Gold Rush. My father loved the outdoor settings. As for me, I adored the sergeant’s dog, “Yukon King,” a brilliant animal who served as Preston’s partner.

As a little kid, I was amazed how well the dog could understand his master’s commands. Preston would say “guard” and King wouldn’t allow the prisoners to move. Better yet, the sergeant would say, “King, you go around to the back of the cabin and come in the back window,” and by God the dog would do exactly as instructed, capturing the bad guys in the process. The dog appeared to be so smart, you wouldn’t want to play him in a game of chess. I naturally assumed all dogs were as smart as King. Boy was I wrong.

Over the years, my family has owned a Cocker Spaniel, two German Shepherds, a Boston Bull Terrier, and a couple of miniature Dachshunds. They were all nice dogs, but they certainly weren’t intellectuals. At most, the dogs only knew seven commands: “sit,” “speak,” “cookie” (a favorite of theirs), “out” (meaning, “Do you want to go out?”), “heel” (when walking them on a leash), “shake” (to extend their paw), and “no” (which only works depending on the strength of your voice). Other than that, forget it. They weren’t stupid animals, but unlike Yukon King I think I could easily lick them in a game of checkers.

I think cartoonist Gary Larson of “The Far Side” fame had the best take on dog communications. In one of his cartoons, “What Dogs Understand,” he shows a human speaking to his pet, something to the effect of, “Okay Rex, let’s go out and have some fun. When we get back, I’ll give you a cookie.”

Unfortunately, the dog only understood, “Blah Rex, blah, blah, out, blah, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, cookie.”

In another cartoon, Larson shows a scientist who has invented an elaborate helmet which can translate into English what dogs were trying to say when barking. Despite the sophistication of his translator, he discovered dogs were only saying, “Hey!”

Actually, I think dogs have their owners better trained than the other way around. They let us know when strangers are around, when they want to go out, and particularly when they are hungry. Owners promptly act on the dog’s command.

Maybe it was Yukon King who devised this sophisticated plot to turn the tables on the owners. Think about it, whenever you give a command other than the typical seven listed above, they know what you are saying but give you a blank stare of befuddlement instead.

As Sergeant Preston would conclude each episode, “Well King, this closes this case.”

“Right King? er ah, King?…”

Also published with News Talk Florida.

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  MICROSOFT: WHERE DO I SEND THE BILL? – Losing time as a result of Microsoft updates.

LAST TIME:  GETTING THE POLITICAL FINGER  – What to do with liberal antagonists.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

 
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