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Archive for February, 2018

IN THE WAKE OF PARKLAND

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 27, 2018

BRYCE ON SCHOOL SAFETY

– Are we attacking the symptoms of gun violence or true problems?

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

We all suffered to some degree following the shootings in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day, particularly the High school students there. Their pain is legitimate, their solution to the problem is not. Any time we have a disaster like this, the Left likes to point fingers at assault weapons, the FBI, the NRA, and their favorite target, Mr. Trump. In other words, everyone but the shooter himself. This knee-jerk reaction is obviously done for political purposes and addresses merely the symptoms, not the root problem.

Even if government banned the popular AR-15, there are many other rifles with similar capabilities, and if you were to ban them all, there are still semi-automatic shotguns which can do a lot of damage quickly, not to mention handguns. And if you were to ban all guns, there would be another weapon du jour, such as a road-side bomb, or simply a car ramming into a crowd.

Following the last Federal Assault Weapons Ban held from 1994-2004, the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a follow-up study and concluded, “the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.” In other words, the ban did nothing to reduce violent behavior.

The NRA is frequently criticized and portrayed by Democrats as the bogeyman of violence. As advocates of the Second Amendment, their support of gun safety, education, and animal conservation is conveniently overlooked. True, the NRA supports various politicians, just like many other lobbyists. Hampering their ability to make such donations should only be done with sweeping reform of all lobbyists, not just the NRA. Their vilification is just plain wrong.

There are three areas that need to be addressed:

1. Discipline & Education

The shooter in Parkland came from a broken home, which probably explains why he had trouble differentiating right from wrong. It is no secret the family unit has been deteriorating over the years. It is common for children today to be raised by a single adult who is usually overworked and too tired to manage their offspring properly, and there are others who simply abdicate their parental responsibilities and allow their children to find their own way through life, with the assistance of the Hollywood media. Not surprising, morality is on the decline in this country and shaping the character of our youth. I find it rather remarkable we do not take Hollywood to task for the wanton violence they promote.

Not surprising, I’m a proponent of teaching parenting skills as part of an adult education program, perhaps at the schools in the evenings.

Since parents appear unwilling or unable to teach proper behavior, perhaps some basic classes for the students in morality and common courtesy are in order.

Discipline and respect are in decline in schools. For example, consider this letter sent from a middle school Science teacher in Dunedin, Florida to his PTA following the Parkland incident:

“I am a science teacher here at DHMS and I wanted to share this information with you. This is the real problem; the system is broken to where we cannot do anything or exact any meaningful consequences for this type of student. This article I found today from the Miami Herald describes at least a dozen students here at our school. We write referrals, they might even get suspended for a day or two, but these ‘nightmare’ children return and terrorize our campus as soon as the consequence is served. Students that get reassigned to Pinellas Secondary School end up coming right back after a semester. The description of the student in the first paragraph (aside from bringing bullets) describes many students that never receive a consequence, or are categorized as ‘Special Education’, ‘Emotionally/Behaviorally Disabled’, and know that the school cannot do anything about their atrocious behavior. Before we attack people’s 2nd Amendment Rights, we need to attack our legislators and School Board for forcing administrators to keep these dangerous students in our schools despite their repeated warning signs of violent tendencies. Until we can enact change to report and remove these students, these tragedies will continue. I have been physically assaulted by a student this very school year, pressed charges, and the student continues to walk the hallways and brag about who all he has ‘beat up’. We spot these students early on, and dread their presence, but have absolutely no legal way to protect the rights of the rest of the population from these predators.”

As corporal punishment is no longer allowed in schools as a deterrent for misbehavior, disciplining children is next to impossible, and without it, student grades are affected. To illustrate, ten years ago I wrote about Caroline Haynes, a school principal in Great Britain who caught the attention of the press when she started to implement strict discipline in the classroom. She is with the Tendring Technology College in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, UK, a secondary school which, when translated to the American equivalent, is a private school for children ages 11-19. Her “zero tolerance” policy for misbehavior resulted in a school environment where students were freed to concentrate on their studies and, consequently, improved their grades significantly. I was told the students actually liked the discipline and preferred it over chaos. This is consistent with my contention that people tend to thrive in a structured environment which is well organized and leadership is strong, whether it is in school or in business.

There is also something to be said about implementing school dress codes to influence behavior. Such codes help to promote conformity and decorum. A local high school recently experimented with a “Professional Attire Day,” meaning the students in the business program were asked to dress up for a day. Instead of t-shirts, shorts and gym shoes, they were asked to wear suit and ties for the men, and dresses for the ladies. Remarkably, the lion’s share of students liked the change and took pride in looking their best. The students were questioned about their experience afterwards and reported they felt more positive and confident when dressed up as opposed to being dressed down. Interestingly, they appreciated the respect they received from their teachers regarding their appearance and deportment. The students comprehended the effect of a professional image, both at school and beyond. Some genuinely yearned for a better school dress code as opposed to the slovenly appearance which was currently the norm.

One last note regarding education, some time ago I wrote about my experience attending a concealed weapons class here in Florida. Other states have similar programs. In my case I was impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of the instructors, and felt this was something everyone should be exposed to. An informed public is less likely to become a victim and more likely to survive a shooting situation. Anyone who has attended such a class would probably agree, education is the key. Everyone from Middle School onward should be taught the lessons of gun safety. Even children in Elementary grades should learn some of the basics.

The only problem with these suggestions for education and discipline is they are considered socially unacceptable and, as such, will likely be spurned as opposed to embraced. Parents will probably not be inclined to learn new parenting techniques, claiming they haven’t got the time. They also tend to oppose dress codes as they see it as inhibiting the creativity of the individual, and have no appreciation for the benefits of teamwork. And gun safety classes will be perceived as promoting violence, when in reality, it is just the opposite. This means, the parents and students do not want to put forth the effort to thwart school violence through such education and hope it can be stopped through other means, such as changes in the law. The only problem here though is you cannot legislate morality.

2. Review and revise our rules for obtaining guns.

Following Parkland, there was much discussion about raising the age of a person to own a gun. The argument here is that if a person can join the military at 18 and fight for his/her country, then 18 should be the age. The one difference though is that the military provides proper instruction in the handling of firearms, something others do not receive. Again, I am a proponent of gun safety classes. If a person can be certified, such as through an NRA class, they should know how to properly handle a firearm.

The most difficult aspect to ascertain is the mental stability of the individual, which was at the heart of the problem in Parkland and other shooting scenes. Here, students, teachers, parents, and shooting instructors should be trained in terms of looking for signs of trouble and how to report a problem. Again, it’s a matter of education. In the case of the Parkland shooter, his social media was full of obnoxious references to shooting. This should have raised some red flags in the system. Unfortunately, it did not.

3. Fortification

The era of using schools as gun free zones is quickly coming to an end. Such zones embolden shooters as they realize they are soft targets. School perimeters need to be secured to eliminate unauthorized access. This was a significant problem at Parkland.

Training and arming school personnel should also be considered either using existing staff or hiring supplemental people to secure and defend the school campus.

Such measures as mentioned herein seem unimaginable to those of us who grew up in a different time when we respected our teachers, loved our school, and as such, had no need for school resource officers. But times have changed. Back in the early 1970’s you could simply go to the airport, show your ticket to your flight attendant, hop on a plane and leave. You obviously cannot do this anymore as tight security is now required. The same is true in our schools, it is a new time and we can no longer afford to operate as we did forty years ago. Our social mores and morality have changed radically, making this a much more dangerous time for those attending our schools. It is time to improvise, adapt, and overcome just as we did in our airports.

Even if you implemented all these measures, including the abolition of guns completely, you are never going to solve the problem 100%. There will always be the issue of a social misfit or radicalized person waiting for an opportunity to seek violence. It’s not about the choice of weapon, it’s about the human being. It always has been, and always will be. It is not so much about what laws, rules and regulations we enact as it is about treating human frailties and maturity. Education, discipline, and a little common sense will go much further than banning guns altogether.

Let us stop attacking the symptoms, it is time to look in the mirror and address the true problem.

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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MY HIGHWAY PARANOIA

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 21, 2018

BRYCE ON TRAFFIC

– What happens when we do not cooperate on the highway.

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

You do not see much in the way of cooperation these days. Socially and politically we cannot seem to get along any more. We see this in the office, in stores, and particularly in supermarkets where we are not mindful of others and hog the aisles to serve our own personal interests. I still believe painting a dashed line down the middle of the aisles would be an interesting experiment to see if people would keep their grocery carts on one side or the other.

There is perhaps no better illustration of our lack of cooperation than on the highway. We have gone well beyond mere road hogs and rubber-neckers to now include people text messaging, speaking on their phone, checking their social media postings, shaving or fixing their hair. In other words, doing everything but driving their automobile properly. It’s all about the individual and actually quite frightening. The biggest problem though is people give the impression they simply do not care and refuse to cooperate with other motorists, such as to allow others to enter traffic, to stay out of the passing lane until you need it, not going too slow or fast thereby becoming a hazard, and many other things.

The lack of cooperation on the highway is so prevalent, I’m starting to believe there is a premeditated effort to keep me off the streets. As I drive around, I believe the other motorists are in constant communications over the radio and trying to thwart my every move. For example:

* Tsst – “Breaker, breaker, subject has left his neighborhood and is heading eastbound on Alderman. All units Code 2.”

* Tsst – “Copy that. Road Block 1 is rolling and taking position in front of him. Road Block 2 will come along side to box him in. We’ll slow him down to 25.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch – Road Block 2, play your radio loud, preferably Rap, and make sure he sees you texting, that should really push him over the edge.”

* Tsst – “10-4.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch – We’re changing the traffic lights in front of him to red. How long should he wait?”

* Tsst – “At least six minutes, make it ten if possible.”

* Tsst – “10-4.”

* Tsst – “Breaker, breaker 10-33. The subject suddenly slipped into the left turning lane and will be heading north bound on US19. We are stuck and must continue east on Alderman to avoid suspicion. Need assistance. Urgent”

* Tsst – “This is Big Red over in the northeast corner of 19 and Alderman. I see him and will intercept. Will need backup to keep him in the right lane.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch, Over to you Big Red and thanks for the assist. Road Block 6 is taking up position one quarter mile north of you, dressed as an elderly couple and bearing Ontario plates. They will box him in and force him over to the next School Bus stop.”

* Tsst – “But it’s Sunday, over.”

* Tsst – “Not to worry. He won’t know what hit him.”

* Tsst – “This is Big Red, it looks like the subject has spotted us and is speeding away from our blockade. Please advise.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch, I have a Rice Burner on the way that will overtake him and force him to the middle lane where we’ll get him back under control.”

* Tsst – “Rice Burner X here. I have the subject in my sights. I have to weave through traffic to catch him. Doing 90. One moment please.”

* Tsst – “Rice Burner X again, I just about had him, but he suddenly pulled a u-turn and is now heading southbound on 19… Wait, it looks like he is heading to a Chili’s Restaurant.”

* Tsst – “This is Dispatch. Good, then we’ve got him. Execute Plan P and fill up the parking lot so he cannot stop there. Good job everyone. We got him again.”

* Tsst – (Various rounds of congratulatory remarks are made).

Some people will say I’m being much too paranoid about driving, but I contend the lack of cooperation on the highways is such that there can be no other logical explanation for the driving habits of a lot of people. Just remember, next time you hit the road and start to experience trouble with your fellow motorists, look to see if they are on their radios and take evasive action accordingly. TSST!

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in humor, Transportation | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

DOING WHAT IS RIGHT WILL KILL YOU

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 14, 2018

BRYCE ON HEALTH

– File this under “The Nuances of Life.”

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

I am convinced if you did everything people told you to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle you would never get anything done. For example, exercise consumes a lot of time, whether it is performed in your house or offsite at a gym. Since I elect to go to the gym, I find I must change clothes, travel to it’s location, work out, return home, clean up and change clothes. No matter how I try to expedite the process, it’s an easy hour shot.

Playing a round of golf, going for a walk or a ride on a bicycle may be fun, but it also chews up time and zaps your energy. I recently took a sauna, something I haven’t done in a long time. It was refreshing, but I had to change clothes and wait for the unit to warm up. Afterwards I had to take a shower, my second of the day, to clean myself properly before going out for the evening. Again, another hour shot.

Buying and consuming certain groceries and vitamin pills consumes time as well. We’re admonished to eat organically. As much as we would like to avoid preservatives, fatty foods, breads and pastas, and sweets, it can become challenging to find new and creative ways to make meals. Shopping takes longer, as does cooking.

You try to avoid the boob tube and do some reading, but interferences seem to get in the way. Consequently, it seems to take longer to read a book.

Smoking and alcohol can take up quite a lot of time. As I no longer smoke or consume much alcohol, except for the occasional Scotch, I would like to think I have more free time to relax. Instead, I find myself spending more time outside pruning bushes or digging up a garden.

I’ve been so good lately in terms of watching what I eat and drink, I’m ready to scream, rip off my clothes, pound down a case of beer and eat a dozen Twinkies. Doing the right thing all the time can drive you stark raving mad. And if I did so, I would probably get a lot done as opposed to worrying about the idiosyncrasies of my health.

My luck is such that if I remain incredibly healthy, from exercise and diet, I’m more likely to be run over by a truck. At my funeral I’m sure they’ll say, “Well, at least he looks good, but he should have laid off the red meat.” You can’t win.

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Healthcare, humor | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 9, 2018

BRYCE ON FREEMASONRY

– Can an old dog learn new tricks?

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

Freemasons have always been proud to boast, “We’re the original fraternity,” an acknowledgement of our roots in antiquity. Since then, many other fraternities have emerged, particularly in the nineteenth century, many of which are based on Masonic customs. Aside from college fraternities, there are the Eagles, the Elks, the Lions, the Moose, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), even the VFW shows signs of fraternal relations. These organizations may appear to be relative “upstarts” when compared to our ancient fraternity, but can they teach us anything?

As in many North America jurisdictions, Florida Freemasons are barred from enjoying alcohol in the Lodge as well as games of chance. Whenever such topics arise at a Grand Communications, the proposer is shouted down and admonished in a derogatory manner, “Why don’t you go and join someone else?” Well, I finally did just that, joined another fraternal order who allowed alcohol and games of chance in the Lodge. The identity of this particular order is immaterial for the purposes of this paper, and I suspect most are pretty much the same. I certainly haven’t turned my back on Freemasonry, but after over twenty years of watching repetition, I felt it was time to relax and enjoy the company of others over a quiet drink.

I joined the new “Order” recently as they had built a new lodge building near me and I was warmly received by the members when I requested information. As I first toured the facilities, I noted their clean and well stocked bar offering a wide variety of drinks and twelve taps for various draught beers. There were also some vending games of chance available if a member was so inclined. When I saw this, I thought back to a time when Masons argued over the virtues of alcohol and games in Lodge and why there was a concerted effort to prohibit it. Personally, I suspected the Shrine didn’t want the Craft Lodges to have it as it would represent a competitor to their venue. Nevertheless…

I found the Order’s dues and initiation fees to be affordable, much more so than any Masonic Lodge in my area. This was likely due to the revenues generated from alcohol, games, and renting of facilities. In other words, membership in the Order was not a financial burden as found in many Masonic Lodges today.

The application process and initiation ceremony were highly compatible to that found in Freemasonry. This led me to suspect such orders are based on Freemasonry as the comparisons were uncanny. For example, on the Order’s application, they claimed to be looking for men (and women) of good moral character; you couldn’t join unless you believed in the existence of a Supreme Being, were of 21 years of age or older, not connected in any way to the Communist Party, did not believe in or advocate the overthrow of the government of this country by force or violence, nor was a convicted felon or registered sex offender. A criminal background check is performed on each candidate, who is also investigated by committee. Sound familiar?

The Order also donates millions of dollars to charity, a living community village (Home) is available for seniors, all of which are also familiar to Freemasons. Beyond this though, the Order offers discounts on insurance, travel, office supplies, and more. In other words, membership has its privileges. The Order is open to both men and women, which would be alarming to most Masons, and there are no racial restrictions; e.g., no “Prince” Orders.

The first year’s membership is free for members of the military, law enforcement, and first responders, both current and retired (veterans). I thought this was a brilliant maneuver as it encourages membership and attracts the type of people they want to join their ranks. Freemasonry would be wise to study this further.

In meetings, the Order has jewels for the officers to wear. There are also do-guards and signs to observe. The obligation (oath) is reminiscent of that offered by Freemasonry along with a brief lecture to explain member responsibilities. Interestingly, I observed our initiation could be viewed by the outside world through the windows in the room. So much for being a “secret” society.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Order and Freemasonry resides in its Constitution, a copy of which is provided to members following initiation. Whereas Freemasonry is managed on a state by state basis (or by province or territory in Canada), the Order is run on an international basis from a single headquarters. This simplifies standards and promotes consistency between Lodges. It also means the government of the Order is flatter and more flexible to implement change.

Grand Masonic Lodges were first established in the early 1700’s, way before the advent of the U.S. Constitution. Consequently, the government of the fraternity is essentially based on the monarchy model. However, as these other orders were introduced in the United States during the late 1800’s, they tend to adhere to the concept of three separate but equal branches of government; e.g., executive, legislative, and judicial. Such an approach prohibits one person from having ultimate authority in interpreting the laws, rules and regulations which may vary depending on who is in office. It also causes a legislative body to be formed from the current and past presidents of the Orders.

CONCLUSION

I am certainly not suggesting one fraternal group is better than another; each has its own distinct set of interests and method of implementation. However, one could certainly learn from the others. For example, what the Order lacks in terms of decorum, they make up for in socialization. Conversely, what Freemasons lack in socialization, they make up for in decorum. Freemasons possess a stronger sense of history, and attention to detail in its ceremonies, thereby attempting to teach character, e.g., morality, love of God and country, honor, sacrifice, etc. By doing so they are trying to assist their members in the building of character. The other orders are much less formal, but still endeavor to promote character and Brotherhood through the help and society of others.

In contrast, the Order has been successful in:

– Generating money from alcoholic libations with no adverse effects (swearing, fighting and intemperance are not tolerated and may result in penalties or suspensions for members). Further, rooms can be rented for parties and special events.

– Negotiating benefits for its members, such as providing discounts on insurance, travel, office supplies, etc.

– Attracting new members with the type of character they desire, both men and women.

One could argue Freemasonry has slowly been evolving from a true fraternity to just another men’s club. They may be more solemn in their ceremonies, but surely they are not naive to believe they have a monopoly on the concept of brotherhood.

When I recently joined the Order, my initiation class consisted of 22 people, including both men and women, which is more than double what a single Masonic Lodge in my area may get in a single year. Two weeks earlier, another 22 people were initiated, and 60 people joined in December. Not surprising, the Order is financially sound, their activities are booming, their future looks rosy, and everyone appears to be happy.

Freemasonry is missing the boat if they dismiss the other orders out of hand. They are gaining in stature while the Masons are declining. I am not suggesting the Masons totally abdicate their current mission, but there is no denying their membership has been diminishing at an alarming rate. Something needs to change before the Lodges close their doors permanently. Perhaps a new hybrid organization needs to be conceived, whereby alcohol and games of chance are allowed following a meeting or degree, that the Grand Lodge seeks supplemental benefits for its membership, or that they also try to attract the right types of people to their organization. If the other orders can do it, why not the Masons?

Freemasonry may be much older, but these younger fraternities have grown up and appear to be prospering. What do they know that we do not? I for one, am not too shy to ask. In the meantime, more people are gravitating to these new orders while turning their backs on Freemasonry. Perhaps this is a sign of our changing social values. Let us not close our eyes, ears, and mouths and hope nobody notices. It’s much too late for that.

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

LAST TIME:  DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT  – Is it worth fighting for?

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 7, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Is it worth fighting for?

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

Now is the time to safeguard the rights and freedoms penned by our founding fathers and valiantly defended by our sons and daughters in uniform.

When conceived, the American experiment represented a bold new form of government, not a monarchy, not autocratic, not socially shared, and certainly not a true democracy. It is a republic with representatives elected by the people. Its genius included three separate but equal branches of government, so one could not usurp the authority of the others.

It was specifically designed to afford liberty to the individual thereby enabling each person to strive to succeed. By doing so, it forged a powerful economic engine, the wonder of the world and a model for others to emulate. It carved a nation out of a wilderness, it came to the aid of others in times of crisis, a beacon for liberty and the defenders of the free world.

It is certainly not without flaws, and mistakes have been made along the way, but by comparison there is not a better model to be had.

There are those among our own citizenry contending the American experiment has failed, that it is detrimental to the people it was designed to serve, that it is evil. These are people who seek sedition over honest debate, and strive to transform the country into a pseudo-utopian world, impractical to implement.

The ideas embodied in our governing documents are abhorrent to them, as are our values and beliefs, with no remedy or replacement other than eradication. They whisper lies through their conduits in the media and academia, and thrive on creating havoc.

Their distortion of reality is fodder for the naive and uneducated, the primitives, those desperately trying to find their place in society, thereby becoming puppets for a new socioeconomic order, something even they, themselves, cannot truly define other than the destruction of the current system. These are not patriots, they are the enemies of the American experiment.

Now is not the time for indifference, apathy and complacency. The American experiment is in peril of destruction from within, by powerful forces who ignore the rules of fairness and decency. Do not palliate the severity of the threat. It is real and cannot be ignored or taken for granted any longer. If you believe in the fundamental virtue of the Constitution, now is the time to come to its aid in both word and deed. Now is the time to protect what we have painfully earned.

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY – Can an old dog learn new tricks?

LAST TIME:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST  – It was great while it lasted.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 5, 2018

BRYCE ON THE NEWS MEDIA

– It was great while it lasted.

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I wrote as a Huffington Post contributor from September 2016 to January 2018, just sixteen months. At first, my columns were well received and promoted by the noted liberal publication, offering me some good exposure. As most of you know, I write about business management, technology, morality, and observations of our changing world. However, my political musings began to gain attention beginning with my column describing the purpose of the Electoral College, a subject very much despised by liberals. Yet, this piece was one of my most popular with HuffPo readers. Shortly after this column was released I noticed the editors grew reluctant to promote my material and I was forced to do so myself.

I quickly discovered a problem in touting my political pieces over the Internet. Since I posted it in Republican or conservative discussion groups, I never anticipated the push-back from such people who reviled the publication; e.g., “I will never read anything in the Huffington Post, that bastion of liberalism,” was a typical response. When I pled with people to ignore the publication and read the column, I would typically get a response such as, “I cannot believe this was in the Huffington Post; how did you get it printed?”

This stigma about HuffPo has not gone away as it is typically dismissed as nothing more than “Fake News” by conservatives. I can sympathize. While I was there, the liberal slant was overbearing. I was perhaps the only Republican conservative submitting material. Most appeared to be written by millennials in their early to mid twenties, which may explain the popularity of the publication among that generation. Their naivety in politics and the world around them is the reason they are commonly referred to as “snowflakes.” I could find no senior or veteran newspaper people there, just young people using it as a springboard to their next job.

My regular readers weren’t exactly shocked when I finally exited, and neither was I. Frankly, they were surprised I had lasted as long as I did.

So why did they really cut me off? It’s difficult to know for sure, but I would like to believe they finally read my column. Whatever the reason, I thank them for the opportunity to post my ramblings. I drew a lot of people to the publication, but now there is nobody left to speak for the right, just snowflakes.

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  DEFENDING THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT – Is it worth fighting for?

LAST TIME:  CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT  – How to keep on top of your game at work.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on February 2, 2018

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– How to keep on top of your game at work.

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

Let me say from the outset that the burden of responsibility for improving your skills in your chosen profession rests with YOU, not your employer. Your company may offer supplemental training but more than anything YOU are responsible for your development, not anyone else. YOU must take the initiative. In most cases, your company will assist you in your development, but YOU must demonstrate your willingness to learn and improve.

Regardless of the type of job you have, you will observe changes over time in terms of how it is performed. This is because new methods, techniques and tools are introduced to expedite how your job is performed. Staying abreast of new technology, therefore, is an important part of your development. Continuous improvement is an inherent part of craftsmanship. You must either evolve and adapt, or be left behind.

There are numerous sources available to you for ongoing professional development:

1. Personal Observations – there is probably no better instructor than your own power of observation as you will be able to watch others succeed and fail in their assignments, their work habits and ethics, as well as their office politics. This requires an attention to detail, the ability to detect changes, and an inquisitive mind that constantly asks “Why?” As a new employee, pay particular attention to interoffice memos, not just for what they say, but why they were written.

When studying people, consider their strengths and weaknesses, what motivates them, their character, and their formulas for success or failure, e.g., what worked and what didn’t? Never hesitate to ask questions, particularly as a new employee.

2. News and Trade Journals – just about every industry has some form of publication, either printed or in some electronic format, to report news and discuss trends. Such periodicals are invaluable in order to stay abreast of developments in your field. Many such publications offer free subscriptions, others require a modest charge. It is not uncommon for companies to pay for such subscriptions as they want to help their employees stay sharp in their field. But if such is not the case and you have to pay for a subscription out of your own pocket, the IRS will typically allow you to report it as a deduction on your income taxes.

There will also be considerable information made freely available to you over the Internet, such as the trade publication web sites, along with pertinent blogs, discussion groups, news services, and podcasts.

The important point here is you should develop a habit of staying current in your chosen profession, and you should perform such research either at home or during off hours at work. Managers generally frown on employees reading periodicals during normal working hours.

3. Participation in Industry Groups & Trade Shows – like the trade press, just about every industry has one or more nonprofit organizations to provide a forum to discuss your specialty. Such groups typically offer its members monthly meetings to listen to guest speakers, workshops and seminars, and access to a library of research papers. More importantly, it provides a venue for its members to network and compare notes pertaining to their profession. Participation in such groups are normally encouraged by businesses to promote the employee’s continued education. However, some companies are leery about participation in trade groups as it is sometimes viewed as a vehicle for exchanging resumes and changing jobs. If you still want to participate in a trade group without the support of your company, again, the IRS will typically allow you to report your dues as a deduction on your income taxes.

Major conventions and trade shows are also useful for learning about the latest technology in your field. Here you will meet vendors, obtain literature, view presentations, and touch and feel the latest gizmo. Companies encourage attendance at such shows, but typically not during business hours. And if the trade show is being held out of town, it is unlikely your company will sponsor your trip as it may be perceived as a boondoggle. The only exceptions to this is when such a trip is being used as either a form of reward to the employee or for a special fact-finding mission.

Check with your employer about their policy on participating in such organizations.

4. Professional Training – there are numerous commercial training programs offered by experts in their field. Most are instructor-led seminars or workshops held either on the company’s premises or off-site, and vary in length anywhere from a couple of hours to a week. There are also many independent study programs available that are implemented by books, DVD, or over the Internet. Regardless, your concern is the quality of education provided, and does the venue suit your needs?

5. Certification Programs – many professions offer certification programs which authenticate your level of knowledge in a subject area. Such programs typically require the person to take a test or examination, which can be rather extensive. To prepare people for the exam, the sponsor of the certification program (which is normally a nonprofit trade group) will offer a study curriculum to prepare the applicant for the test.

As a new employee, you should pursue certification programs, especially if your company supports it and pays for it. Not only will you personally benefit from it, but it could mean an increase in pay to you as well.

It is one thing to earn a certification, quite another to maintain it. Most certification programs require people to renew it periodically, such as every three years. A lot can happen in three years, which is why you should constantly stay abreast of developments in your profession.

6. Supplemental Education – many companies encourage their employees to either complete their formal education or pursue a higher degree. To this end, companies may offer financial incentives for you to complete High School or College. And if you want to obtain a Masters or Doctoral degree, they may offer programs to help you pay for such degrees. Be sure to review the benefits policies of your employer.

7. Mentors – years ago there was a period where mentors were assigned to new employees to chaperone them on their journey through the corporate world. Mentors were basically a “Big Brother/Sister” program where senior employees would offer sage advice to neophytes on adapting to the corporate world. But this is a program that has slowly been phased out over the last few years. Nonetheless, if you find someone you respect in the company who is willing to act as your mentor, by all means listen to them carefully. A mentor has three primary duties to perform:

* Role Model – a mentor has attributes the subordinate wants to aspire to attain.

* Teacher – a mentor has to be able to teach, not just academic or technical lessons but also those pertaining to corporate life; e.g., policies and procedures, ethics, socialization, politics, etc.

* Guidance Counselor – to guide the subordinate on their path through life, explaining options and making recommendations.

Very important, both the mentor and the subordinate must realize the mentor will not have all of the answers, but should be able to point the subordinate in the right direction to get the answers they need. The mentor also has to know when their work is complete and allow the subordinate to move on to the next stage of their corporate life.

8. Other Vehicles – there is a variety of other ways for perpetuating professional development in your company:

* Employee-led training or roundtable discussions – held on a regularly scheduled basis to discuss pertinent subjects. In other words, your own in-house trade group. The only problems here are: having access to suitable company facilities to hold such meetings at off-hours (most companies do not have a problem with this), and getting people to participate (many of whom will not stay beyond quitting time). But if you can develop such a forum, it can become invaluable as a learning aid.

* Private Blog or Discussion Group – to use as a clearinghouse to discuss problems and solutions pertaining to your trade. Some companies frown on such electronic forums as they suspect it is used to plot against the company or management. But if such forums are properly administered, they can be beneficial in the exchange of professional job-related information.

* Corporate Boot Camps – representing off-site retreats for in-depth discussions or training.

If such vehicles do not presently exist in your company, you might be able to earn accolades from management and your coworkers for setting up such forums.

Again I remind you, your professional development is up to YOU, not your employer. In most cases, your employer will encourage and support you in your professional development, but they cannot spoon-feed you. YOU must show the initiative.

First published: August 27, 2007

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 40 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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST – It was great while it lasted.

LAST TIME:  THIS IS WAR!  – Anyone expecting a peaceful mid-term election is taking it in the arm.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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