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THE MEDIA INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (MIC)

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 31, 2016

BRYCE ON THE MEDIA

– The press is more powerful than you realize.

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

In 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower coined the expression “The Military Industrial Complex” during his farewell address to the nation. In essence, it was used to warn of the alliance between the military and the massive defense industry supporting it. It is a recognition that war makes for good business, and such a cozy relationship encourages unending military conflicts to support the American economy.

As big as the military industrial complex is, a Media Industrial Complex (MIC) has also emerged which has a powerful influence on the direction of this country.

Without American politics, the news media would be a mere shadow of itself. Yet, over in the United Kingdom, the Queen just replaced one Prime Minister (David Cameron) with another (Theresa May) at no commercial expense. Formal elections will be called following the dissolution of Parliament and will take less than a month and a half to perform. Canada’s campaign season lasts approximately ten weeks. Mexican campaigns run just 90 days, and Japan is less than two weeks.

American political campaigns can also be costly. For example, according to estimates, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign alone will likely cost a whopping $2 billion. In the United Kingdom, political parties can only spend $30 million in the year before an election, which is peanuts by comparison. Elsewhere there are limits on political ads.

So, the MIC is fueled by enormous campaign finances. Without it, they would evaporate and wouldn’t have the clout they currently enjoy.

Some people naively believe the press represents the voice of the people. Not true. Prior to and including America’s Revolutionary War, newspapers were always an organ of one political party or another. Like any corporation, news organizations are more in the business of making money as opposed to disseminating accurate and unbiased information.

They are an integral member of the “Washington Triad,” which includes politicians, lobbyists, and the media. All three scratch each other’s backs. It’s not about what is best for the country, but how each party can profit from the others. This is what caused radio commentator Laura Ingraham at the recent Republican convention to admonish the main street media, “America is on to you.”

In the media’s case, their responsibility is two-fold: control the public by spinning the news, thereby framing elections, and protect selective politicians from scandal and wrongdoing, particularly those who support the Triad. Outsiders who present a threat to the Triad, such as Donald Trump, are viciously attacked.

Although the presidential electoral cycle generates the most money during its two year cycle, even the off-years, involving congressional and local races, generate substantial money for the media. We are not just talking about millions of dollars, but literally billions of dollars.

According to the Pew Research Center on Journalism & Media, “Digital News Revenue: Fact Sheet” (June 15, 2016) –

“In 2015, $59.6 billion was spent on any digital advertising, including on search engines, social media, news or any other kind of website. This is up 20% from 2014, according to estimates by eMarketer. This growth rate is slightly higher than in the previous three years, when annual growth hovered around 15-17%.”

“Digital now accounts for one-third (33%) of all ad spending ($183 billion) on any platform. That represents a slightly greater share for digital than in 2014, when it accounted for 28% of the $175 billion in total ad spending.”

Remember, this does not include print, television, or any other forms of advertising. Although the military industrial complex leads in terms of spending, 2015 was $598.5 billion, the media industrial complex is quickly gaining ground, thanks in large part to political advertising.

So, why don’t we reduce the American electoral cycle? Simple, the Media Industrial Complex will not allow it to happen. By the end of 2016, ad spending will likely exceed $200 billion. Can’t we use this money for better things?

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:  REMEMBERING BRIEFCASES – Love to own one, but difficult to find anymore.

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

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 Media | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

REVIEW: “HILLARY’S AMERICA”

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 29, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– A history lesson on Democratic politics.

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

I recently saw the movie, “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,” by filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza who is known for his conservative politics and films, such as the 2012 movie, “2016: Obama’s America is a 2012 documentary film.” He deliberately scheduled the release of his latest film just prior to the start of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia where Hillary Clinton was nominated for president.

The film is an interesting mixture of documentary, history, conservative politics, and Hillary bashing. I am confident liberal Democrats will avoid it like the plague, but it is worthwhile for young people to see, if for no other reason, the historical significance of the film.. I happened to watch it on a Saturday afternoon and I estimated the attendance in the theater was approximately 90%, not bad.

The movie begins with Dinesh D’Souza’s conviction for making an excessive campaign contribution. He claims such an offense normally results in a person’s wrist being slapped, but because of his 2012 movie regarding President Obama, he was prosecuted more zealously than others. He was sentenced to six months in prison and five years of community service and probation.

While in prison, he met many different criminals. More importantly, he learned about gangs and how they operate which is essentially no different than politicians such as Mrs. Clinton. He claimed their aim is to con people out of their money, and deny any wrongdoing.

This led to an historical review of the founding of the Democratic party, from Andrew Jackson’s time to the present. D’Souza claimed the Democrats were pro-slavery and fought the Republicans at every turn to free them. During the Civil War, for example, the north was led by Republicans, and the South led by Democrats. After the war, Democrats fought against reconstruction and wrote the Jim Crow laws. This led to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) which was started by Democrats and perseveres to this day. D’Souza contends President Woodrow Wilson was a supporter of the KKK, as was Margaret Sanger who founded Planned Parenthood in 1916. The movie claimed Planned Parenthood opened birth control clinics in inner cities as a means to control the black populace.

For many years, blacks voted Republican. This began to change during the Great Depression where Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt offered his “New Deal” program, which blacks gravitated towards.

D’Souza spent time discussing the rise of Progressive politics. Americans should understand the term “progressive” goes back to the Progressive Era which is considered the period between the 1890s to 1920s. This was an important movement aimed at cleaning up political corruption in government and women’s suffrage, among other things. A diverse set of noteworthy people belonged to the movement including Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Charles Evans Hughes, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Booker T. Washington, Upton Sinclair, and Republican Presidents William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt (who implemented many such reforms during his presidency).

More recently, the “Progressive Democrats of America” (PDA) was formed in 2004 primarily by supporters of Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean. Make no mistake, it is not working in concert with moderate Democrats or Republicans, and it is most definitely not conservative in nature. The term “progressive” was deliberately selected to conjure up images from a bygone era.

One could deduce if you are not in agreement with the “progressive” point-of-view then you would be an “obstructionist” and therefore an impediment to progress. This is a very clever way of manipulating public perceptions for political gain, something the media seems more than willing to advance.

To me, “progressive” is subliminal brainwashing of the worst kind as it is misleading the public to believe their policies are not liberal in nature and therefore are more positive and palatable to implement. The reality is that “progressive” is a misnomer as it represents the doctrine of the left. One could, therefore, correctly assume that “progressives” are nothing more than liberals in sheep’s clothing.

D’Souza next discussed Saul Alinsky, the noted community organizer who taught Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who wrote her senior thesis on this radical figure. It is interesting, Alinsky learned his “community organizer” techniques from Frank Nitty, the #2 man of the Al Capone gang. He learned quickly, “the ends justify the means.” Cheating and immoral behavior was considered perfectly acceptable if it produced the desired results. This concept was also considered a natural part of the gang philosophy as D’Souza discovered while in prison.

He also contends when immigrants came to this country over the years, the Democratic party would befriend them, find them a place to live, usually in squalid conditions, and help them find a low paying job. In return, they demanded the immigrant vote along party lines. Make no mistake, this is similar to what is intended with illegal immigrants today.

The last part of the movie focuses on the Clintons. D’Souza makes a compelling argument that this is a marriage of convenience; she needs Bill due to his charm and political tactics; he needs her to keep him in line. For example, Clinton is portrayed as a sex addict which requires Hillary to come to his aid when such problems become known to the public. By doing so, she was enabling his sexual desires.

More importantly, D’Souza discusses the millions of dollars being obtained for the Clinton Foundation. As Bill accepted handsome donations to the fund, Hillary would help the person or group making the donation, using her position as Secretary of State at the time.

Following the earthquake in Haiti, the Clintons solicited money from the public to rebuild the country. None of the money was used for relief, but to help build a factory on another part of the island.

Although the movie is obviously biased against the Clintons, it is a good history lesson for youth, and something everyone should see before voting in November.

The one question D’Souza didn’t address, is why the main street media defends the Clintons. Without the media, the Clintons are truly vulnerable. One can only surmise that the press is in it for the money as well.

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:  THE MEDIA INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (MIC) – The press is more powerful than you realize.

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

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 »

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: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

 
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