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Archive for June, 2016

HILLARY CLINTON IN DENIAL

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 29, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The report from the Inspector General may hurt her irreparably.

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

On May 25th, the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a report titled, “Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements.” This was triggered by recent events surrounding Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. It was not intended to be an indictment of anyone in particular, but a clinical analysis of the problems of cybersecurity in the State department. Most of it is bland and uninteresting, almost as exciting as watching grass grow. However in the course of the investigation, the OIG found:

“…sending emails from a personal account to other employees at their Department accounts is not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record. Therefore, Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account by printing and filing those records with the related files in the Office of the Secretary. At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

In other words, she broke the law. More damaging though, the report goes on to say:

“Throughout Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the FAM (Foreign Affairs Manual) stated that normal day-to-day operations should be conducted on an authorized AIS (Automated Information System), yet OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server. According to the current CIO and Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs. However, according to these officials, DS (Bureau of Diplomatic Security) and IRM (Bureau of Information Resource Management) did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the FAM and the security risks in doing so.”

This means Mrs. Clinton should have been cognizant of the rules of implementing an email server, but failed to seek approval to do so, and implemented one regardless of stated policy. Again, another violation.

This is the first official published report stating security improprieties by Mrs. Clinton, but may only represent the tip of an iceberg of trouble for her. It is worth noting that Mrs. Clinton and several of her staff refused to cooperate with the OIG investigation.

Mrs. Clinton quickly shrugged off the report and claimed other Secretary of States did likewise. Not quite, as there were no guidelines at the time, particularly for BlackBerries, Mrs. Clinton’s preferred devise for telephone and email communications. In 2009, security notices began to be distributed regarding the security weaknesses of the device which must be configured in accordance with Department security guidelines.

The former Secretary of State adamantly denies any wrongdoing but admits she should have done things differently. This report ultimately represents a smoking gun which could ultimately cost her the Democratic nomination and the White House. She has tried laughing off any mistakes she may have made, but refuses to answer any hard questions about it. Her supporters may accept this, but Republicans and independents will not. They believe where there is smoke, there is fire.

Denying fault is the modus operandi of the Clintons, going as far back as the Whitewater controversy, Madison Guaranty, Travelgate, Filegate, Vince Foster, and the many alleged sexual indiscretions of Bill Clinton. As to the email server and Benghazi, Mrs. Clinton will continue to deny fault and blame others, not even after she has been been found guilty in a court of law. This will likely take years as it is doubtful the Obama Administration will pursue a case against her.

Mrs. Clinton will continue to maintain her innocence over and over again until people begin to believe it. Her Achilles’ heel though is this OIG report, and possibly anything produced by the current FBI investigation. If one more official report is produced, she will be branded a pathological liar, and her run for the White House will be over.

The more the American public knows about her indiscretions, the less likely she will remain a candidate.

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 DARK SIDE OF THE PRESS – How the carpet bombing of news can produce unsavory results.

LAST TIME:  PROMOTING MORALITY  – Some suggestions.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

PROMOTING MORALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 27, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Some suggestions.

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

For several years, the Gallup organization has been monitoring and measuring morality in our country. One glaring statistic always jumps out at me, specifically Americans believe morality is in decline and our values are changing. There may be several causes for this, such as the decline of organized religion, the influence of the media, and the decline of parenting. This has resulted in a new period of unrest where riots, violent protests, and a general disrespect for the law has become commonplace.

The question is, are we doing enough to promote morality in this country? The answer is simple, No. When I was performing research for my book, “Stand Up for MORALITY,” I found there were very few people addressing the problem. I found the New Zealand police trying to teach it, as well as the Israeli military, but aside from organized religion, I found very little in terms of addressing morality in this country as well as others.

There are essentially two elements for an individual’s judgement. First, our perceptions perform an essential role, such as our sense of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. If we do not perceive a situation correctly, we are likely to arrive at an erroneous conclusion. As a veteran systems man, I can assure you, if the input is wrong, everything that ensues will be wrong. Consequently, people tend to act on impulse as opposed to dissecting a situation correctly.

The second element, is our interpretation of right and wrong, representing our moral judgement. Based on our perceptions, we then calculate what we believe to be a proper course of action which is ultimately based on our values, such as:

* Implementation of the Golden Rule; do we want to do unto others, as we want others do unto us, or are we contrary and self-absorbed, only doing what is best for ourselves?

* Do we believe violence of any kind, be it murder, rape, muggings, is a proper way to socialize?

* Do we believe theft is justified based on our socioeconomic condition? For example, is looting and theft acceptable for the poor and disadvantaged, as opposed to working to obtain property?

These two elements, perceptions and values, is the basis for our morality. Our sense of society is ultimately based on finding commonality in moral values. It’s a “Birds of a feather” phenomenon whereby we cooperate with people who share our beliefs, and resist those who do not. If all of us possessed incompatible values and perceptions, chaos will ensue. In the past, consistent moral values were taught by organized religion, but as the concept of God has diminished, inconsistent interpretations emerge.

Since organized religion is in retreat, where should we seek our values? I do not believe the government should be the source of dogma, but it would be nice if they could devise a program to promote moral principles. I am certainly not suggesting a marriage of church and state, but rather an institution concerned with funding ethical practices.

I tend to believe nonprofit organizations have a role to play, such as civic organizations who preach patriotism and fair play, be it in Scouting, organized youth sports, the Rotary, Lions, and fraternal organizations, particularly the Masons, Oddfellows, and Knights of Columbus. If such groups opened their doors to discuss morality, or made an effort to recognize moral behavior, they can go a long way to changing the public’s sense of right and wrong.

Business can play a role within their organizations by establishing a code of conduct and strictly enforcing it. After all, there is little point in creating legislation if there is nobody to enforce it.

Finally, something has to be done about rating Hollywood movies and television shows. If aliens are monitoring our airwaves, they probably believe we have a propensity for violence, our sense of comedy is crude, we are narcissistic and resist cooperation, and are bent on the destruction of our own species. No wonder they don’t want to land here!

However, if we were to focus on promoting moral behavior, we would likely experience less crime and violence, representing a decline in costs, and we could begin to rebuild our country cooperatively.

Then again, maybe I’m just naive in the country’s desire to get along.

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:  HILLARY CLINTON IN DENIAL – The report from the Inspector General may hurt her irreparably.

LAST TIME:  OFFICE DEPOT REWARDS  – Another technology innovation gone awry.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

OFFICE DEPOT REWARDS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 24, 2016

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Another technology innovation gone awry.

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

For years, I have been going to the nearby Office Depot store to purchase basic office supplies, mostly paper and computer printer cartridges. As many of you know, they have a recycle program for the cartridges which earns the customer cash rewards. For several years, I received reward coupons through the mail for use at the store. Recently though, this all came to an unexpected halt.

Last week I received a new coupon from the company. Frankly, I didn’t read it carefully, but I did observe that “You’ve earned $20.00,” so I figured everything was okay and I took it with me for my next purchase. This is where I made my mistake.

When I presented the coupon to the cashier, I was told I couldn’t use the document. She then showed me that it wasn’t a coupon at all, and to get my coupon, I was instructed to login to officedepot.com/rewards and register myself. After that, I could either print a coupon or have it sent to my smart phone, which I do not have (as an aside, people laugh at my tiny cell phone, but it suits my needs).

Basically, the company decided to save money by not mailing any more coupons and let the customer bear the expense. This has become rather commonplace these days, such as airline tickets, bank statements, newsletters, and now coupon generation. However, I suspect there is more to it than this. For example, people such as myself who do not want the hassle of logging in to obtain a coupon and, by not doing so, the company will save considerable money, not just from not printing and mailing coupons, but by people forfeiting their rewards. When I pointed this out to the cashier, she admitted I was probably right.

It is these little, seemingly innocent, technology foibles that get under my skin. No, I will not be returning to my local Office Depot store anytime soon. If they want me to go on-line, I will do so but will visit other web sites where I can find the same products at less expense. The only reason I stayed with Office Depot was because it was nearby and I could easily drop in to buy supplies. However, whenever I go in, it is like a cavernous barn with few customers inside. Perhaps their new approach to their rewards program will finally force them to shut their doors.

When it comes to shopping, I get the uneasy feeling companies want to only process on-line orders and close their stores. This might be good news for companies like UPS and FedEx, but what about the people who want to “touch and feel” a product before deciding to purchase it?

Oh, how I miss the twentieth century.

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:  PROMOTING MORALITY – Some suggestions.

LAST TIME:  THE MAIN EVENT: THE TRUMP/CLINTON DEBATES  – Hold on to your seats, you won’t want to miss them.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

THE MAIN EVENT: THE TRUMP/CLINTON DEBATES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 22, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Hold on to your seats, you won’t want to miss them.

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

Aside from the party conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia, the most anticipated series of events will undoubtedly be the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This is going to set historic records of viewership for the networks lucky enough to host one of them. Actually, a bidding war should be devised between the networks with the proceeds going to a mutually agreeable charity.

The debates will be “huuuge” and represent a flash point in the direction of the country. They will be even bigger than the heavyweight contests between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier in the early 1970’s. Such fanfare will be as a result of Mr. Trump’s ability to promote such events, as demonstrated by the high ratings of the GOP debates. Due to the sharp ideological differences between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, the nation will watch in greater numbers than any previous presidential debate.

As a “Type A” businessman, Mr. Trump will be brash, boisterous, confident and entertaining. He will undoubtedly take the offense in the debate. Mrs. Clinton will try to depict him as a naive, uninformed clown with no practical experience in government. She may even poke fun at him for some of his positions.

In contrast, Mrs. Clinton will try to portray herself as super confident and experienced. She will maintain her sense of entitlement because of her background. This will be the same mistake she made against Obama and Sanders, and therein lies a weakness. She must earn the public’s vote and not take it for granted simply because she is a Clinton. Mr. Trump will attack her list of limited accomplishments, and portray her as an integral part of the Washington Triad (politicians, the press, and lobbyists). Trump’s goal is to depict her as a part of the establishment, which is considered broken by the general public. Consequently, she will be forced to play defense.

Mrs. Clinton will likely accuse Trump of being a hypocrite, violating business ethics and not treating women fairly, and by doing so she will unwittingly open Pandora’s Box which will be the green light for Trump to attack the past indiscretions of the Clintons.

She desperately needs to maintain her composure and will try to appear above it all. When Trump speaks, she will likely wear the same bored expression she wore in the Benghazi congressional hearings. This will work against her.

If Trump attacks her like his GOP rivals, she’ll say “You see, this is how he treats women.” To which Trump will in turn claim, “You see, she hides behind her skirt. How will she handle someone like Putin?” We saw the wrath in Carly Fiorina’s eyes after allowing Trump to get under her skin. If Hillary does likewise and cracks under the strain, she may go into one of her legendary tirades, thereby losing the debate. I call this the “Captain Queeg phenomenon” from the movie, “The Caine Mutiny.” Like Queeg, who was played by Humphrey Bogart, Mrs. Clinton may become unglued under pressure from Trump.

For his part, Mr. Trump will ask the hard questions the press and Senator Sanders will not, unlike what Romney did with Obama. The kid gloves will be off. If a debate moderator asks, “Why do you believe Mrs. Clinton belongs in jail?” Trump will be unafraid to reopen Benghazi and the e-mail server.

More than this, Trump will hammer away on her lack of political accomplishments. If he can get the American public to believe she cannot stand on her own two feet, without relying on the support of her husband, she will appear to be unfit to serve the office, and the game will be over.

Back in 1971, Ali was the overwhelming favorite to win the match, which is why everyone was shocked when Frazier won by unanimous decision. Likewise, in the 2016 debates, Mrs. Clinton comes into the contest as the odds-on favorite, but do not count Trump out, as he will likely pull a Frazier-like upset.

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:  OFFICE DEPOT REWARDS – Another technology innovation gone awry.

LAST TIME:  NO, I DO NOT WANT WINDOWS 10  – Quit trying to force it down our throats.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

NO, I DO NOT WANT WINDOWS 10

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 20, 2016

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Why do some look better than others?

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

For the last few months I have been bombarded with messages from Microsoft asking, no begging me, to upgrade to Windows 10, the latest version of their operating system. Frankly, I am not interested. I am staying with Windows 7, both at home and at the office, primarily because we still have a couple of DOS based programs we regularly use and there is no effective support for them on Windows 10 (or Windows 8 for that matter).

Day after day, we see little pop-up boxes asking us to upgrade which we regularly ignore. I learned a long time ago to never use anything new from Microsoft as it is way too buggy and not properly tested. Microsoft is one of those techie companies who relies on its customers to test their products. This is like asking the customers of an automotive company to test their products. Er, ah, no thanks. Frankly, I do not believe Microsoft knows how to competently test their products themselves. This is why I have never thought of MS as “state of the art.”

The company was so persistent for me to upgrade to Windows 10 (or is it downgrade?), that they even installed it on my home computer over night. In the morning, I awoke to a new screen welcoming me to Windows 10. I began to panic as I knew I didn’t want it, yet they had the audacity to install it without my permission. Fortunately, as I started to go through the first few steps of using it, they asked me if I accepted the terms and conditions for using the product, for which I pressed the DECLINE button. I then heard my computer groan, or perhaps it was Bill Gates himself, as it removed Windows 10 and returned me to Windows 7. Wow, that was a close one.

I have some friends who, not knowing any better, accidentally accepted the terms and conditions, and now appear to be stuck with Windows 10 which they simply abhor.

Fortunately, after sniffing around on the Internet, I happened to find a way to return your computer back to Windows 7 and 8, and, No, it wasn’t authored by Microsoft. Evidently you have one month to reverse the process. After that, you are stuck with Windows 10. Click HERE. There is also a video on YouTube to walk you through the process.

Frankly, it is very disconcerting Microsoft pushes this upgrade down the throat of customers who do not want it. It’s intrusive and I wonder how legal it is to do so. You can nudge all you want, just do not push.

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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE MAIN EVENT: THE TRUMP/CLINTON DEBATES – Hold on to your seats, you won’t want to miss them.

LAST TIME:  SIGNATURES  – Why do some look better than others?

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Computers, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

SIGNATURES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 17, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Why do some look better than others?

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

I find signatures to be rather interesting. With a few swipes of the pen, we can commit ourselves to financial transactions, insurance and medical support, purchase or sell a house or car, or simply endorse something such as in a petition. Signatures actually carry more weight than the spoken word, particularly in a court of law. Despite the significance of signatures, it is interesting to see how poorly we typically write them.

Our signatures begin to deteriorate as we get older and face the fast-paced demands of adulthood. I used to kid my father about his “turkey tracks” penmanship, but as I have gotten older I wonder if mine is any better. I try to be legible, but I’m sure there is still room for improvement.

Men tend to have the worst signatures. They are either written in Morse Code with squiggles, dots and dashes, or like a third grader with crayons, neither of which are comprehensible to the average human being. I would much rather they use an “X” or some other unique symbol as opposed to the spaghetti penmanship they offer.

Handwriting specialists believe our signatures say a lot about our character; for example, the more obnoxious or bolder they are, the greater the ego; the smaller they are, the weaker you are perceived. I wonder how such experts would diagnose John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence? I get the feeling he wasn’t exactly a timid or meek individual.

Women typically write better than men. It’s nice to know somebody was paying attention during penmanship class in grade school.

I tend to believe signatures are a reflection of our commitment to something. If we take the time to make it legible, the more sincere we are about our commitment. The more cavalier we are with them, the less serious we are. Nevertheless, if you are having trouble writing a legible signature, I suggest you either take the time to brush up your penmanship or buy a rubber stamp that can clearly express yourself. I’m sorry, squiggles, dots, dashes, and crayons are hardly a way of writing an adult signature anymore.

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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  NO, I DO NOT WANT WINDOWS 10 – Quit trying to force it down our throats.

LAST TIME:  TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS  – Much ado about nothing.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 15, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Much ado about nothing.

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

Donald Trump’s failure to disclose his tax returns thus far has come under scrutiny by the press. They contend it is their “right” to review all candidate returns to assure they are not cheating or using unscrupulous tax schemes. Mr. Trump contends his tax returns are being audited by the IRS and, based on the advice of his lawyers, he should not release them prematurely. Of course, the press does not accept this and adamantly demands to see his tax returns. This confrontation finally resulted in Trump telling ABC’s Good Morning America that his tax returns are “none of your business” (Fri, May 13, 2016).

Let’s see if we can clear up a few things regarding this issue.

First, there is absolutely no legal requirement for a candidate to disclose his/her tax returns. This is something the press views as unwritten law, but there is no sand in it. Further, not releasing tax returns is certainly not without precedent. Tax Analysts, a nonprofit organization who monitors presidential tax returns, lists many exceptions:

* “For tax year 2001, both President Bush and Vice President Cheney released partial returns. For tax year 2000, Bush released only his Form 1040; Cheney provided a summary of his taxes, but released no forms.”

* Ronald Reagan did not report his returns for the 1980 election.

* Jimmy Carter also didn’t report his for the 1976 campaign.

* “Gerald Ford did not release his returns, but he did release summary data about his federal taxes for the years between 1966 and 1975.”

* “Franklin Roosevelt did not release tax returns during his presidency, but many returns were later made available by his presidential library.”

And there are no tax returns listed for Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy. So, as you can see, there is no mandate to release tax returns. It’s just something the press insists they have a right to. They do not.

Second, rarely does anyone read the tax returns, people just want to know if they have been released. In Mr. Trump’s case though, the attacking liberal media will go through it with a fine tooth comb, spotting any possible indiscretion and blowing it out of proportion. If and when Mr. Trump releases his tax returns, they will undoubtedly be squeaky clean, leading the press to conclude, “Well, yes, I guess he knows how to make money” (but will never openly admit it to the public).

Third, Mr. Trump provided a summary of his financials in his book published last year, “Crippled America.” Why is the press not interested in analyzing this report?

As long as Mr. Trump holds on to his tax returns, the press and his political opponents will claim this is a liability, that he has something to hide. However, let’s assume Mr. Trump is correct, that he is being audited by the IRS. Those of you who have suffered through such a review will probably side with Mr. Trump by saying, “It’s none of your business,” or possibly something a little stronger.

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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SIGNATURES – Why do some look better than others?

LAST TIME:  BUSINESS TRAVEL & CUSTOMER ENTERTAINMENT  – How to make it a beneficial experience.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

BUSINESS TRAVEL & CUSTOMER ENTERTAINMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 13, 2016

BRYCE ON TRAVEL

– How to make it a beneficial experience.

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

My daughter recently called me from Seattle where she was attending a week long seminar for her company. I asked her how it was going, to which she lamented, “Wow. All of this late night entertainment with customers is getting old. It’s not like when I was in my twenties.”

I chuckled as nothing is like when we were in our twenties, when we had youthful energy and enthusiasm, and the sky seemed to be the limited. Over the last four decades I have done more than my fair share of customer entertainment, be it at home or abroad. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

First, recognize customer entertainment is an important part of sales and customer service. If you are trying to close a contract, a luncheon or dinner meeting may just be the ticket. However, this must be handled professionally and with finesse. Dress appropriately, not slovenly, and remember nobody is impressed by a drunken event, except for people in their twenties. If possible, invite and impress the spouse of your client who will help convince your contact what a great company you represent. If your waiter or waitress gave you good service, be sure to tip them generously. Now is not the time to appear as a skinflint.

In this day and age of political correctness, be careful to avoid sensitive subjects. Interestingly, when I travel overseas, people want to know about American politics and I normally oblige. I spent three weeks in Saudi Arabia years ago, and we frequently spoke about politics which my client found stimulating. We didn’t agree on everything, but we came to understand each other’s point of view and built trust.

When you are on the road, particularly overseas, it is easy to lose track of time and news. Make time. Keep abreast of current events so you appear knowledgeable and develop your conversation skills. Also, try to stay on your home time zone if possible, it will make the return trip easier for you.

Very important: Learn to pace yourself. No, you do not have to have a drink every night. If you do, the client may think you are nothing but a souse. There is nothing wrong with a soft drink or iced tea. Also, learn to substitute apple juice with whiskey as it looks the same, as does club soda and lime which looks like a gin/vodka tonic. And be sure to just sip it, do not gulp. If you do it properly, people will think you are a social drinker and can handle your liquor.

Adapt and acclimate to the local culture. In other words, roll with the punches. Try the local cuisine. Who knows, you might learn something new. You can always have a Big Mac when you get home. As for me, I always try the local Chinese food.

As a traveler, be organized and always think of a backup plan should something go awry, such as forgetting paperwork or your graphic presentation. Either keep such things on a flash drive or on the Internet where you can access it.

One last note, follow-up with the client immediately following the trip, such as a thank you note, writing a report, or whatever. Do not wait, get it done now, such as while you are traveling home on the airplane. Clients appreciate the personal touch.

No, we cannot stay in our twenties forever, but with a little common sense, we can make business travel and customer entertainment less of a hassle, and more of a beneficial experience.

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 © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS – Much ado about nothing.

LAST TIME:  MEGA FOOD STORES  – What ever happened to the corner grocery store?

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Business, Management, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MEGA FOOD STORES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 10, 2016

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What ever happened to the corner grocery store?

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

I often marvel at the mega food stores scattered around the country, be it a Super Walmart, Publix, Kroger, or whatever. They’re a lot different than the corner grocery markets I used to frequent when I was a kid. Back then “the corner store” had everything the people in the neighborhood needed. Why? Because the shopkeepers knew their neighbors and catered to their needs. It’s substantially different today as you enter stores that could easily serve as a hangar for a Boeing 747 with massive parking lots that Disney would be proud of.

Behind the store, trucks and railroad cars deliver merchandise around the clock for eager consumers who quickly whisk them away. The charm of the neighborhood store has been sacrificed for an abundant inventory which helps to drive prices down. Now, instead of buying just one or two roles of Bounty paper towels, we now purchase a case at a time. We’ve gone from six-packs to 18-packs or cases, all in a perpetual chase to realize the nirvana of cost savings. Instead of a couple of shopping bags, we now think in terms of the maximum cargo capacity of our automobiles, all of which encourages a gluttonous form of behavior.

The weekends represent the busiest time to visit the mega stores, particularly in the northern snow belt where a visit turns into an all-day outing. Such stores go well beyond mere groceries. Today there is a pharmacy, a food court or restaurant, banking, dentistry, gasoline, beauticians, jewelry, furniture, even automobiles. All of this seems rather excessive when all you really wanted was nothing more than a loaf of bread or a half gallon of milk.

I’m not convinced people truly like going to these stores. It’s more of “I have to go” as opposed to “I want to go” type of attitude. In particular, women worry about their looks as they will undoubtedly run into someone from their neighborhood or school. Men tend to be in awe of such establishments and wander aimlessly around the store looking at all the eye-candy (both merchandise and women). They tend to wear a dazed zombie-like expression on their face as they push their carts aimlessly around the store bumping into whatever gets in their way. Their distraction leads them to buy two of everything. It’s all rather amusing.

I must confess I am not a big fan of the mega stores and go there only if I absolutely have to, preferring smaller stores if I can find them. If I must go, I try to go at an offbeat hour to avoid the throngs of people. I have found early in the morning is a good time, such as 6:00am. My wife and I have also gone on a Friday or Saturday night when everyone else is out for dinner or a movie. Actually, I have found a lot of middle-aged people like this time as it is much less hectic. I always thought the stores were missing out on a golden opportunity by not catering to this class of people. For example, they could hire a DJ and play music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s which would put shoppers in a good mood and encourage them to shop more. I can see it now, people dressing up and explaining to their offspring, “We’re off to boogie at Publix.”

Most of the time though, I just need some basic groceries, such as bread, milk, juice, eggs, or cereal. If I have to go to a mega store for this, I plan an Entebbe-like raid where I have a driver circling the parking lot while I try to get in and out of there as fast as possible. I inevitably get slowed down in the “10 items or less” checkout line where a clod mistakenly unloads a full cart. Maybe this only happens to me.

What I would really prefer is a simple “drive thru” store which has all of the basics. I wouldn’t have to even get out of my car as the attendant could load it in my trunk. Up north, there are “drive thrus” for beer and wine which I always thought was a brilliant idea. Even pharmacies have picked up the idea and successfully implemented it. So why not groceries as well? Since the mega stores have crushed the neighborhood stores, why not add a “drive thru” lane to at least make it convenient. Heck, they could even wash and gas-up your car for you while they’re at it. It’s the very least they could do for us.

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:  BUSINESS TRAVEL & CUSTOMER ENTERTAINMENT – How to make it a beneficial experience.

LAST TIME:  HILLARY: 0 x 0 = 0  – Unaccomplished & Shady

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

HILLARY: 0 x 0 = 0

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 8, 2016

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Unaccomplished & Shady

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

Whenever the topic of voting for Hillary Clinton comes up, her supporters will not tout her presidential policies or plans, probably because they do not know what they are. Instead, you will hear such things as:

“It’s her turn” – And here I always thought it was about qualifications. Silly me.

“She has experience” – It is true she has held titles such as First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, but what did she accomplish during this time? I must have missed the memo.

“She is a woman” – I didn’t realize gender was a prerequisite.

“She’ll carry Obama’s Legacy Forward” – along with a $19 trillion debt, a weak military, open borders, the Unaffordable Care Act, and much more. Not a convincing argument if you ask me. She should be running on her own platform, not that of an unpopular president.

Aside from proposed legislation, which may or may not come to fruition, there should only be two items to consider in formulating a voting decision, performance and credibility.

In terms of performance, during the White House years, her big initiative was the Clinton health care plan which failed to pass Congress, representing a major defeat. As Senator, she served on a variety of committees. Following 9/11 she voted to support military action in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Domestically, she voted against President Bush’s tax cut packages, which passed in spite of her objections. And during her second term she voted against the 2007 troop surge in Iraq.

It was under her watch as Secretary of State, in 2011, when the “Arab Spring” began which ignited political tensions and upset the balance of power in the Middle East. It also led to the Libyan Civil War where America was accused of “leading from behind” in deposing the Gaddafi dictatorship. Her career in the State department essentially came to an end following the 2012 9/11 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

So, in term of of accomplishments, she bats a zero (0).

In terms of credibility, there have been numerous polls showing she is not trustworthy. An ABC/Washington Post Poll revealed less than four in ten Democrats think of Mrs. Clinton as honest and trustworthy, and this is her own party.

As Secretary of State, her credibility is marred by Benghazi and the ensuing e-mail server scandal, a case which is still under investigation. For our younger readers though, they should be reminded of the other scandals over the years, such as the Whitewater controversy, Madison Guaranty, Travelgate, Filegate, and the apparent suicide of White House counsel Vince Foster. All of this, coupled with the president’s Monica Lewinsky scandal, which led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment, and left a dark cloud over the Clinton administration. Somehow though, the Cintons always found a way to wiggle out of problems, which is why she can best be described as “shady.” This might attract the “Felon Criminal” vote the Democrats are eager to use, but not law-abiding citizens.

Click for a VIDEO recapping her scandals.

So, in terms of credibility, she bats a zero (0).

I haven’t heard any imaginative ideas emanating from her camp, other than to maintain President Obama’s agenda. Surely “women’s rights” is not all she has. So, what does she bring to the table other than a hunger for power? The reality is Hillary is nothing but a symbol, not an effective manager. True, Bill will be there to help her in making decisions, but she won’t be able to stand on her own two feet.

In the final analysis, Mrs. Clinton lacks both accomplishments and credibility, and from where I come from:

0 X 0 = 0

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:  MEGA FOOD STORES – What ever happened to the corner grocery store?

LAST TIME:  WORKING WITH MILLENNIALS  – An interesting study managers should read.

Listen to Tim on 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); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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

 
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