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Archive for July, 2013

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 8, 2013

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– How would our founding fathers in today’s electoral circus?

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

We would all like to believe we select Presidents based on such attributes as experience, vision, and management skills, but unfortunately that has nothing to do with it anymore. Now, it is all about charisma, political correctness, and media spin. This means Madison Avenue has more to do with selling the candidates than we realize. It also means the cream doesn’t always rise to the top.

I don’t think most of our past Presidents could survive in today’s electoral process, but you have to wonder how some of our more prominent Presidents would do today…

I think George Washington would probably do well. His sheer character alone would carry him well and thwart any attacks from the press. His credentials as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army were impeccable, even though he lost many battles. Nonetheless, it would be difficult for anyone to dig up any dirt on George.

Then of course there is Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and one of our most influential founding fathers. Despite his brilliance, he wouldn’t last a minute in today’s world. Most likely the press would paint him as an egotistical egghead with secret allegiances to other groups and organizations. Then of course there is the sex/slave issue. In other words, the press would likely eat Jefferson for lunch.

As much as we have great respect for Abraham Lincoln, he would also do poorly in today’s electoral process. First, he would be depicted as a country bumpkin, rough around the edges, with radical inclinations. Even though he could spin a yarn, Lincoln lacks the charisma for the cameras. And this whole bit of “Honest Abe”…well, forget it. His words would be twisted by the press. Further, the mainstream media would besmirch his character, as they did with George W. Bush, because of his suspension of habeas corpus, and arresting and temporarily detaining thousands of suspected secessionists in the border states without trial.

I was always a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt’s, a no-nonsense type of guy who accomplished a lot, but as a candidate today, forget it. Roosevelt would be painted as a hothead and advocate of the NRA. His dislike of wealthy businessmen and corruption would prevent him from building an adequate war chest for advertising. Plus the media would inevitably make fun of his voice (SNL and just about every comic would be doing unflattering impersonations of him).

The only other President who might have a shot at doing well in our political arena of today is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Regardless of how you felt about his politics, FDR had a way of stroking the press and getting adequate funding for his campaigns. His problem with polio though would become a major liability for him in today’s world. Whereas the press kept this undercover years ago, the paparazzi today would be chasing after him to take pictures of his leg braces and wheelchairs.

I have come to the realization the American people will no longer tolerate men (or women) with experience and character, and instead accept glitz, facade, and political correctness. I remember Sam Rayburn, the legendary Speaker of the House from Texas, who made the following observation in one of his earliest runs for Congress; he said, “I will not deny that there are men in the district better qualified than I to go to Congress, but gentlemen, these men are not in the race.”

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 © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  BILLY MITCHELL – THE ORIGINAL WHISTLE BLOWER – What we can learn from a famous whistle blower of the yesteryear.

LAST TIME:  AMERICAN HISTORY 101 – “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate”

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Lance Tormey & Mike Bastinelli (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

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

AMERICAN HISTORY 101

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 3, 2013

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate”

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

While visiting with some high school teacher friends, I asked how American History was being taught today. I always had a fondness for history, even if the teacher was boring. I particularly enjoyed learning about the American Civil War, and the events leading up to it. I saw it as an epoch event which defined the American character. The aftermath of the Civil War was also interesting including carpetbagging and the corruption of the Grant administration. Most of what I learned came from History and Social Studies classes I took from elementary school to high school. I didn’t take any formal history classes in college, but learned a lot through the other courses I took. To accent the meaning of a subject, the professors often found it necessary to describe its historical roots.

I was dismayed to learn American History was being taught superficially. Remarkably, it was taught starting from World War II and progressing to today. It was also my understanding the high school history teacher made extensive use of DVD video clips as opposed to lectures which I found rather odd. Videos provide excellent stimuli, but their tightly worded scripts do not always provide the rationalization for an event.

The school’s interpretation of American history spans a paltry 73 years. I guess anything happening before 1940 was considered inconsequential, such as:

– The Great Depression and Dust Bowl
– Prohibition, bootlegging, and the rise of organized crime; e.g., Al Capone
– Women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment
– The court martial of Gen. Billy Mitchell
– The Roaring Twenties, featuring flappers, “The Charleston”, and Jazz
– Isolationism, the RMS Lusitania, Eddie Rickenbacker, Sgt. York, Gen. Pershing, and the League of Nations
– Building of the Panama Canal
– John L. Sullivan, Jack Johnson, and Gentleman Jim Corbett
– The “Black Sox” scandal
– The Spanish-American War, including the Rough Riders and “Remember the Maine”
– The San Francisco earthquake and Johnstown flood
– The contributions of Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, et al.
– The World’s Fairs of Philadelphia, Chicago, Buffalo, and New York City (twice)
– The rise of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
– The works of Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, etc.
– The Passenger Pigeon and near extinction of the American Bison
– The Wounded Knee Massacre
– Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gen. Custer, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn
– Manifest Destiny and “Seward’s Folly”
– Sutter’s Mill and the Gold Rush
– The impeachment of Andrew Johnson
– Carpetbaggers
– Abner Doubleday and the Cincinnati Red Stockings
– The Civil War
– John Brown raid on Harpers Ferry
– The Dred Scott Decision
– The Mexican–American War
– Tammany Hall and “Boss” Tweed
– The assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and William McKinley
– The Lincoln-Douglas debates
– The Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act
– Sugar-Rum-Slave triad
– “Old Hickory” and his dismantling of the Second Bank of the United States, and paying off the National Debt
– The War of 1812 and the Battles of Tippecanoe and New Orleans
– The burning of the White House and Washington
– Gerrymandering
– Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Louisiana Purchase
– Jefferson’s Democrat-Republicans vs. Hamilton’s Federalists.
– The founding of the District of Columbia and Pierre Charles L’Enfant
– The Whiskey Rebellion
– The significance of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights
– The Articles of Confederation
– Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold
– The Declaration of Independence
– The Revolutionary War, from Bunker Hill to Yorktown
– Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”
– The effect of the British monarchy and taxation
– The French and Indian Wars
– American whaling and fishing industries
– Williamsburg, St. Augustine
– The Plymouth Colony and Compact

I guess these subjects are meaningless and carry no lessons of merit. Without such background, I seriously doubt students have an understanding of how our country was formed, struggled through hardships, and evolved. Without such knowledge, I do not believe students have a true appreciation for what our country is, our identity, why it must be defended, and will likely repeat the same mistakes. I realize math, science, and languages are important, but American history is vital for good government and citizenship.

Beyond this, I was stunned to learn “World History” was taught only beginning from World War I which was mind-boggling to me. What about Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and Japan, The Inquisition, The Wars of the Roses, The Magna Carta, Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Capt. James Cook, Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Napoleon Bonapart, Charles Darwin, Joan of Arc, Socrates, Confucius, etc.?

I guess this also meant nothing and I wasted my time learning about it.

“We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”
– Historian David McCullough

And, No, Samuel Adams was not our second president.

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 © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES – How would our founding fathers in today’s electoral circus?

LAST TIME:  THE MILLENNIALS – Can they really save America?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Lance Tormey & Mike Bastinelli (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Education, History | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

THE MILLENNIALS

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 1, 2013

BRYCE ON GENERATION Y

– Can they really save America?

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

As you grow older you begin to notice small changes in your life, such as how advertisers no longer market to your age group, or how the entertainment field no longer caters to you. Consequently, you begin to find it difficult to find anything of interest on television or at the movies. Instead, you begin to read more, watch the news and perhaps some reruns before calling it a night. Your sense of fashion and style changes, as does your purchasing decisions. It finally becomes crystal clear that everything is being geared to a younger generation, not yours. In other words, you feel the world passing you by, which I can only presume to be a natural phenomenon.

If you haven’t already noticed, corporate marketing efforts are taking aim at the Millennials, those between the ages of early 20’s to 30. This group, which is also known as “Generation Y”, has surpassed the Baby Boomers and “Generation X” (early 30’s to 40’s), for marketing attention. The over 40 crowd is considered “has beens” and businesses, the media and politicians are gearing up for the Millennials instead. The big question though is, how will they respond?

Like every generation, the Millennials exhibit unbridled enthusiasm in the work place. There are lots of genuinely creative and hard working people in this group. My concern for them is threefold though: First, they are notoriously low informed in terms of current events. Thanks to technology, they may know the latest fads, fashions, music, and sports, but most do not stay abreast of current events. Second, there appears to be no sense of history, be it world, national, local, or professional. Third, parenting and management skills have deteriorated over the years. “Helicopter parents” either kept their offspring on a short leash or abdicated their parental responsibilities altogether thereby offering no direction. In business, the trend is towards micromanagement which frustrates employee motivation, and arrests growth.

These three elements are reflected in the Millenials decision making capabilities. If you are poorly informed and have no sense of history, you are likely to waste considerable time reinventing the wheel. Further, if you do not understand the world around you, in all likelihood you will waste considerable time working on the wrong things. There is also an inclination to concentrate on quick and dirty solutions as opposed to producing quality work products. Energy and zeal is one thing, making smart decisions is something else.

Consequently, I am becoming very much concerned with the Millennials assuming their role in society. Instead, we are grooming a generation of robots who will be afraid to accept responsibility, and do as they are instructed, be it from their managers or the media. I fear their ambition and entrepreneurial spirit has been broken and they will work harder, but not necessarily smarter.

Consider this about the Millennials:

*  Their sense of history only goes as far back as President George W. Bush (with a twinkling of Clinton thrown in). This means they have no real grasp of the Cold War, Viet Nam, or the first Iraq war. Some do not even have a recollection of 9-11.

* Education is now more about testing and lockdowns as opposed to teaching. They have been programmed to test, not to learn.

* They cannot imagine life without their smart phones and have developed a serious addiction to technology. Without it, they are disconnected from society.

* Most have huge college debts, and many still live at home with their parents.

This sounds more like we are breeding a generation of sheep as opposed to shepherds. Then again, maybe this is precisely what business, the media and politicians are hoping for, a generation of people who can be easily manipulated; people who will purchase goods on demand, or vote for someone or something without question. Sounds kind of scary to me. I guess I’ll just stick to my reading and reruns.

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 © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  AMERICAN HISTORY 101 – “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate”

LAST TIME:  THINGS WE NEVER THROW AWAY – Not the important stuff, the inconsequential items.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News with Dave and Lance” with hosts Lance Tormey & Mike Bastinelli (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

Posted in Life, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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