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Archive for July, 2018

THE TEN COMMON MYTHS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 31, 2018

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Have you heard any of these?

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

Whether you are in the Information Technology field or not, you have likely heard these excuses before. They particularly arise whenever quality work is required or when organization and management control is imposed. Of course, I’m talking about the ten common myths of I.T. Ten common rationalizations people in the Information Technology world turn to whenever their authority or professionalism is challenged. They are neither new or limited to a specific geographical location. They have been around as long as the modern computer and they transcend all cultural and industrial boundaries. What’s worse, they have proven to be effective.

The following is the ten most popular myths in the field. Obviously, it is not all inclusive. It is simply the ten most commonly used. Let’s look past the facade of each of these for a moment and see what they really mean.

#1 – “OUR PROBLEMS ARE UNIQUE”

This is perhaps the most popular of the myths and is probably used to pacify the ego of I.T. Management. I discovered it several years ago when I happened to do some consulting for three separate companies from the United States, Japan and Brazil. In all three instances, the I.T. Managers insisted their problems were unique to their company. They pointed at the overwhelming pressure they operated under, uncooperative users, insensitive management, and some cultural constraints. The parallelism was incredible. Here were three separate companies, geographically separated by thousands of miles, all of which describing the same problems, yet viewing themselves as unique.

In studying this further, I discovered most companies share the same problems, such as:

– A substantial backlog of user requests (three to five years seems to be the norm).

– Poor communications internally within the I.T. staff and externally with end-users.

– Project cost overruns and slipped schedules.

– Employee dependencies to maintain and support systems.

– Hardware/Software dependencies; systems are tied too closely to a particular vendor, making upgrading difficult.

– Redundant data throughout an organization (we know of one state government who conservatively estimated NET-PAY is calculated at least 100 different ways).

– Lack of adequate documentation (thus providing job security for the staff).

– High staff turnover.

– Design inconsistencies.

– Systems personnel clash with data base personnel.

– Information Systems do not meet users needs.

And so on, and so forth. Bottom-line, I.T. organizations suffer from low productivity and poor performance.

Inevitably they end up in a “fire-fighting” mode of operation constantly patching problems. However, the problem here is the chief fire-fighters are also the principal arsonists. It is unfortunate the “fire-fighters” enjoy higher visibility than those who work quietly in a methodical manner. This is a situation where the guilty are promoted and the innocent are prosecuted.

Instead of imposing management discipline and control, I.T. managers resign themselves to a life of chaos. It is no small wonder their average tenure in office is less than three years.

#2 – “WE NEVER SEEM TO HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO DO THINGS RIGHT”

This implies “we have plenty of time to do things wrong.” There is an interesting relationship between the quality of a product and the speed by which it is developed. This phenomenon is true of any product being built.

The faster the delivery of a product, the greater the chances are for inferior quality. The slower the delivery, the greater the chances are for superior quality. Neither extreme is acceptable; an even balance must be maintained to assure one doesn’t have an adverse effect on the other.

Instead of developing a long range plan that incorporates an information strategy, management nurtures the problem by saying they need everything “yesterday.” Software vendors prey on companies like this by offering miracle products promising to accelerate development while producing quality results. Without the appropriate management environment, they deliver neither and compound problems further. These tools concentrate on efficiency, not effectiveness. Before you can streamline your operation, you must first know what you are doing.

#3 – “YOU ARE STIFLING OUR CREATIVITY”

This scapegoat is a favorite among the “techy set.” It is a defensive expression that springs up whenever discipline or change is mentioned. What is ironic is these same people do not hesitate to reorganize a user’s department. The hypocrisy is incredible. Systems people, who are supposed to be the agents of change in an organization, are the most resistant to it.

#4 – “SYSTEM DESIGN IS AN ART FORM”

Closely related to the “stifling” myth is the view of system design as an exotic art form. Most systems developers like to be viewed as free-spirited souls who do not like to be encumbered with organization, discipline and accountability. The fact is, many of these so-called “Rembrandts” are nothing more lousy house painters. They hide behind the mystique of their technology in the hopes it will conceal their poor performance.

Systems design is a proven and teachable science. This is not to suggest science lacks creativity. For example, there is considerable creativity in the sciences of architecture, engineering, music, etc. Science simply establishes the governing principals and rules to be observed in your work.

#5 – “TECHNOLOGY WILL SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS”

This is more of a train of thought as opposed to an actual expression. It is based on the belief that hardware and software will correct all of the ills of a company. The belief that technology, not management, will solve problems is just as prevalent today as it was when the computer was first introduced.

It is fascinating to watch companies throw millions of dollars at solving a problem through technology, yet balk at spending money for management, a sort of “penny-wise and pound foolish” mentality. Corporate management genuinely believes that I.T, management controls and tools can be developed inexpensively, if not free.

To some companies, technology is purchased more as the latest status symbol, as opposed to its practicality. It is purchased more to “keep up with the Jones'” than anything else. What they don’t realize is the Jones’ are in as much trouble as they are.

#6 – “A DBMS IS A PREREQUISITE FOR DATA BASE”

I remember meeting an I.T. Director from a large regional bank from the U.S. southwest who insisted his company didn’t have a data base. What he meant to say was he didn’t have a Data Base Management System. With the propagation of DBMS packages in the field, most companies now sincerely believe a DBMS is a prerequisite for data base. Although DBMS software offers tremendous leverage for file management, it is far from being a mandate for data base.

All companies have a data base, some are managed, most are not. A data base is nothing more than a collection of all of the data required to produce information. Obviously, this definition transcends the computer. It is a recognition that data is a resource which must be managed like any other resource; e.g., money, people, materials, etc.

A DBMS offers great capability when managing data stored on mass storage devices. But it must be realized that data is used throughout an entire organization, in manual and computer applications, in a variety of files (manual, tape, microfiche, disk, etc.). Data Base Administration activities typically cover only the data used by a DBMS. What is necessary is a higher level position that manages all of the data, regardless of where used or how stored. The Data Management function should behave in a manner similar to Materials Management, Financial Management, and Human Resource Management. This is the Achilles’ Heal for most I.T. organizations, the failure to recognize data as a valuable and re-usable resource.

To compound problems further, even when DBMS technology is introduced to a company, it is rarely used effectively. Instead of utilizing a DBMS to share data among applications, most apply it as an access method only.

I conservatively estimate that less than 5% of all I.T. organizations in the world have successfully implemented a managed data base environment, DBMS or not.

#7 – “THERE IS AN INFINITE AMOUNT OF DATA IN AN ORGANIZATION”

Some people would have you believe there is an inordinate number of unique data elements used in an organization and to catalog and control them is a mammoth undertaking (therefore, they believe they shouldn’t waste their time). Instead of documenting a data element and re-using this intelligence, people typically redefine data with each application. This leads to inconsistent definitions and redundant work effort. But worst of all, it makes implementing a change to a data element extremely complicated.

In reality, there is a finite number of data elements in any given organization, probably in the neighborhood of 3,000 to 5,000. And although it is no small effort to document the data, it is a wise investment in the future. Once it is defined, a data element can be re-used in multiple applications, which leads to a shared data base environment. Capturing this intelligence must evolve over time with each application, it cannot be captured over night.

#8 – “OUR COMPANY RUNS ON DATA”

This is one of the most naive statements in the business, one rooted in ignorance. The person using this expression obviously doesn’t grasp the inherent differences between data and information. They are not synonymous. The differences are simply too numerous to list here but essentially Data by itself is meaningless; it is the representation of a fact or an event. It is the raw material by which information is produced. Contrary to this, Information is the intelligence or insight gained from processing data to support specific business functions.

A company runs on information, not data. In fact, information is the most important asset a company has. All actions and decisions are predicated on information. Organizations progress when the impact of good actions and decisions outweighs the impact of bad actions and decisions. Information gives us the means to make these actions and decisions.

Those who do not understand the differences between information and data are probably the same people who do not understand the differences between an information system and computer software.

#9 – “USERS OWN THE DATA”

This is a typical attitude found in companies who do not understand the concept of managing data as a resource. In this situation, data is jealously guarded by each user. As a consequence, redundant files and applications are the norm. The sooner you get past this stage, the better off your organization will be.

Does the Controller “own” the money? Does the Human Resources Manager “own” the employees? Does the Materials Manager “own” the parts? Of course not; they simply administer the resource. A comparable position to manage data resources must also be created.

#10 – “USERS DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT”

Translation: “I don’t know what I’m doing so I’ll just keep hacking away at the problem.” This type of comment is a sign the person is not properly trained in Systems Analysis. Users didn’t get their job by default; they must know a little bit about their end of the business, otherwise they are not going to have it for long. The problem typically stems from the analyst’s inability to define business problems, specify information requirements and to effectively communicate with the user. Instead of asking how the user wants to view their screen, try to understand their problem first. An elegant solution to the wrong problem solves nothing. Only when the Systems Analyst can walk in the moccasins of the user, does the analyst have the right to build a system for the user.

IN CONCLUSION…

You would think after forty years of promoting these myths, we could invent some new ones that are a little more imaginative. The fact they have survived this long is indicative that management is not facing up to their problems and are still baffled by technical gobbledygook.

“Beware of your fire-fighters, they may be your chief arsonists.” – Bryce’s Law

First published: June 02, 2006

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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BARB HASELDEN TAKES ON THE BIG PINELLAS MACHINE

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 27, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– How one outsider is attacking the political status quo.

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

The Florida primaries are now just a month away (Aug 28th) and it is interesting to note the influx of non-career politicians running in the various races. This is perhaps inspired by President Trump, a person from the business world, not political. For example, in Pinellas County you have investment adviser and retirement planner Terry Power (R) for Florida House District 64, and restaurateur Leo Karruli (R) for Florida State Senate, District 16. In the south you have Barb Haselden running for the Board of Pinellas County Commissioners, District 6.

What these people lack in political experience, they have made up for as successful business people who are emboldened by the president to toss their hats in the ring. In the case of Barb Haselden, for example, she was a pioneer in the long term care insurance industry where she served as an independent agent. In her 30 years of business, she never had a claim denied. Despite her success, her interest in politics was piqued in 2014 by the Greenlight Pinellas project to introduce light-rail service to Pinellas County and Tampa Bay overall. Smelling a boondoggle in the making, Ms. Haselden founded the “No Tax for Tracks” initiative which helped to defeat the project 62%-38%.

Having studied the Greenlight Pinellas initiative, Barb found this to be a brazen attempt by a Progressive-leaning Pinellas Commission. She claims their use of the “Pennies for Pinellas” money keeps her up at nights. Just as she carefully researched the long term care industry, before making a career move, she studied the Greenlight project carefully and found the numbers didn’t add up properly. In other words, she found some serious flaws in the spin proposed by the Pinellas Commission. She notes how the Commission tries to sell their proposals based on emotion, when, in reality, we should be looking at it from a logical business perspective.

Barb became incensed by the political gamesmanship of the commission, which explains why she decided to run for office. For example, she points to last year’s renewal of the “Penny for Pinellas” referendum in an off-year, claiming the Commission knew it would be easier to pass it then as opposed to a midterm or presidential election year when more voters would turn out. Keep in mind, the tax itself didn’t have to be renewed for another two years. Why else would there be a push for it in 2017? This strategy resulted in having the penny tax be passed by only 26% of the voters in Pinellas County. In other words, 74% didn’t vote in this off year (Source: Pin. Cty. Supv. of Elect.).

To help sell the renewal of “Penny for Pinellas,” the commission often quoted the success of the three-year-old $81 million Pinellas Public Safety Complex used to house county emergency workers during Hurricane Irma. A recent report in the Tampa Bay Times reveals there are some serious structural problems with the building. Even Sheriff Gualtieri describes it this way, “The place looks like a dump,” and the County is now involved in a lawsuit with the contractor over shoddy workmanship.

As an outsider, Haselden finds it disturbing her political opponents only talk about the goings-on in Tallahassee, not in Pinellas County. Whereas one of her opponents for the Board has made a campaign issue of mental health, Barb has three different priorities if elected:

1. Enact term limits for serving on the Board. Barb points out that in 1996 a bill was passed by 73% of the voters in Pinellas to enact such term limits, but the Florida Supreme Court found the wording of the ballot to be unconstitutional, thereby negating it. Nonetheless, if Barb is elected, she plans to get it placed on the ballot again for a general election, thereby putting an end to career politicians on the Board.

2. Correction of the county’s sewage problems. Pinellas voters will remember the 200 million gallons of sewage St. Petersburg discharged into local neighborhoods and waterways in 2015 and 2016, along with other spills throughout Pinellas County. Some might believe the County corrected the problem since then. In reality, No, it did not, as proven by Hurricane Irma. Most residents are unaware sewage problems erupted during the storm. Throughout the county, 33 spills were reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) totaling millions of gallons. According to the Department, Clearwater alone experienced sewage spills of just under two million gallons, and St. Petersburg just under 500,000 gallons during this period. Sewage spills are common when inundated with water, but this was after only 3.67 inches of rain and low tides, a scenario that should have been easily accommodated.

Haselden contends the Board has kicked the can on this issue for far too long. This is an important environmental issue affecting both our tourist industry and property values.

3. She wants to become a watchdog against wasteful spending and pet projects by the Board. In addition to snafus like the Pinellas Public Safety Complex, Barb is very much concerned with the Board moving forward on another attempt to pass the Light-Rail initiative without voter consent, something overwhelmingly defeated by voters just a couple of years ago. Like term limits, the will of the voters is seen as an obstacle to be overcome by political maneuvering.

Unlike career-politicians who bait voters with a carrot and stick mentality, allow for cronyism, and make back-room deals, business people like Haselden and company do not accept the political status quo making them persona non-grata to those in the political swamp. The fact such people are willing to give of their time and bring a common-sense approach to the administration of our communities should be applauded and embraced. Voters are now gravitating to non-traditional candidates with a business perspective and results orientation as opposed to the classic political personas where they promise everything and deliver nothing. If Donald Trump taught us anything, the time for political facade and gobbledygook is over. The people are tired of playing games and want practical solutions to their real problems. In other words, they are entitled to new champions who will lookout for the interests of the taxpayers, not for personal gain, and certainly not for ideology.

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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YOUTH WILL HAVE IT’S…OOPS!

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 26, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez smart enough to serve in the Congress?

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

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the new darling of the Democrats, having defeated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary for New York’s 14th congressional district. As a 28 year old unknown, she came out of nowhere and ran an effective grassroots campaign which shocked the party by taking out the heir apparent to Rep. Nancy Pelosi. She did so with a commanding lead, 57.48% – 42.52%. Her main political experience was as a volunteer for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016 and, as such, identifies herself as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, the far left wing of the party. With her victory, the main stream media immediately fell in love with her, causing the New York Times to dub her, “A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer.”

Naturally, after her sudden rise in celebrity, numerous news outlets requested interviews, which she welcomed for the publicity. However, the more questions asked of her by the press, the more her inexperience and political naivete became apparent, causing some mind-numbing gaffs which even left Democrats shaking their heads.

For example, on PBS’ “Firing Line” with Margaret Hoover, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was asked about her opinion on the relations between Israel and the Palestinians. When she mentioned Israel was occupying Palestine, the interviewer asked her to clarify her statement; to which she said:

“I think what I meant is like the settlements that are increasing in some of these areas in places where Palestinians are experiencing difficulty in access to their housing and homes.”

When pressed to further expand on her comments, she backed off claiming, “I am not the expert on geopolitics on this issue,” and “I just look at things through a human rights lens and I may not use the right words…Middle Eastern politics is not exactly at my kitchen table every night.”

Such an explanation made her sound more like a school girl, certainly not a polished candidate running for the United States Congress.

It gets better though.

In another interview, she contended, “Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs,” which took many people aback, particularly since the latest employment figures in June revealed only 4.8% of employed Americans hold multiple jobs, a figure that has been declining for years. This leads us to believe she is not only naive about such numbers, but doesn’t have a sense of how the economy works.

My personal favorite though is her comments regarding capitalism:

“Capitalism has not always existed in the world and will not always exist in the world.” I don’t know quite how to put this Alexandria, but as long as people have engaged in trading products and services, Yes, capitalism has always been there. As to its demise, I do not know what she proposes to replace it with, perhaps a revocation of the concept of “ownership.”

Again, her comments reflect her lack of knowledge and experience in the area of finance and economics 101.

Such slip-ups are reminiscent of those regularly delivered by Uncle Joe Biden when he was Vice President, except his was a little more bawdy. The big difference between the two is experience; whereas Ocasio-Cortez simply doesn’t know better, Uncle Joe should have.

Frankly, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a person with good intentions but is grossly unqualified to serve in Congress. Don’t we have enough problems already without compounding it further by naivete? Perhaps her energy would be more useful at the local level where she might gain some experience.

Not surprising, Rep. Crowley, who she defeated in the primary for Democrats, will still be listed on the ballot in November, not as a Democrat, but under a lesser known party. Despite her objections, Rep. Crowley refuses to be removed from the ballot and remains a legitimate threat to her election.

This division by the Democrats may open the door to Republican Anthony Pappas, a college professor with impressive credentials in economics, business and math.

Such is the price for political celebrity.

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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TRANSLATING TRUMPESE

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 24, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– America is separated by two languages, not ideology.

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

Like a lot of people, I often get confused by news reports expressing different interpretations of what President Donald Trump allegedly said. Even when you hear it yourself, it is not uncommon to read or hear a different interpretation altogether from the press. At first, I thought it was nothing but spin by the main stream media, but it finally occurred to me, Americans speak two different languages based on English, Liberal and “Trumpese.” It is a simple matter of translation. In studying the lexicon of both, I have discovered how Liberals translate Mr. Trump’s comments and vice versa. For example, when liberals say something is “backwards,” it is translated to “forwards” for everyone else. Other examples, “disabled = strong”, “disgruntled = happy”, etc. For a more complete list, see the bottom of this article.

Now let’s consider how these words apply:

In a recent joint statement issued by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the two are quoted as saying:

WHAT THE LIBERALS SAY:
“President Trump’s brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany, is an embarrassment,” the statement reads. “His behavior this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the President is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies.”

TRANSLATION FOR EVERYONE ELSE:
“President Trump’s truthful observations and compliments of one of America’s most shaky allies, Germany, is an achievement,” the statement reads. “His behavior this morning is another profoundly refreshing signal that the President treats both the same, President Putin and our NATO allies.”

Let’s try another by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)…

WHAT MAXINE SAYS:
“Already you have members of your Cabinet who have been booed out of restaurants. Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

TRANSLATION FOR EVERYONE ELSE:
“Already you have members of your Cabinet who have been cheered out of restaurants. Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you heartily welcome them. And you tell them they’re loved and appreciated.”

This handy translation filter works both ways, for example:

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAYS:
“We’ve had a very amazing two-day period in Brussels,” Trump told reporters. “Everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before.”

“And now we’re very happy and have a very, very powerful, very, very strong NATO, much stronger than it was two days ago,” he said.

LIBERAL TRANSLATION:
“We’ve had a very catastrophic two-day period in Brussels,” Trump told reporters. “Everyone has disagreed to substantially up their commitment. They’re going to bring it down to levels that they’ve never thought of before.”

“And now we’re very disgruntled and have a very, very disabled, very, very week NATO, much weaker than it was two days ago,” he said.

Okay, now try it yourself. Suppose you are a liberal and want to say something like:

WHAT A LIBERAL WOULD SAY:
“45 is the worst president in American history. He should be impeached if, for no other reason, than campaign violations and treason. Nominating a supreme court justice under such a cloud of suspicion is ridiculous. Therefore, you must not move forward with ANY nominee proposed by 45.”

TRANSLATION FOR EVERYONE ELSE:
“President Donald J. Trump is the best president in American history. He should be reelected if, for no other reason, than being elected over Crooked Hillary and making America great again. Nominating a supreme court justice under a proven track record is inspiring. Therefore, you must move forward with ANY nominee proposed by President Donald J. Trump.”

Perhaps the best way to think of Trumpese is as a foreign language requiring translation tools, such as those provided by Google, and I cannot wait to see how it is implemented by the people at Babbel.

Business people will understand Trumpese better than most people as it is ultimately derived from those who are results oriented and not politically correct. Remarkably, most news anchors and reporters from the main stream media are fluent as well, as demonstrated by their interpretation immediately following a speech or news conference by President Trump.

So you see, “Trumpese” is actually quite simple. It’s not that we do not agree, we simply do not speak the same language. 😉

Here is a more complete list for translation:

LIBERAL – TRUMPESE
45 = President Donald J. Trump
backwards = forwards
booed = cheered
brazen insults = truthful observations
bring it down = up it
campaign violations = being elected over Crooked Hillary
catastrophic = amazing
chaotic = premeditated
cloud of suspicion = proven track record
condemning = highly warranted
democracy = republic
denigration = compliments
disabled = strong
disagreed = agreed
disgruntled = happy
disturbing = refreshing
embarrassment = achievement
enemies = potential customers
failure = success
friends = adversaries
grave = positive
horrible = great
impeached = reelected
in over his head = on top of his game
is more loyal to = treats both the same
must not = must
not welcome anymore, anywhere = loved and appreciated
offensive = candid
push back on = heartily welcome
ridiculous = inspiring
rude = personable
steadfast = shaky
successful = detrimental
traitor = patriot
treason = making America great again
weak = disabled
worst = best

The following has been a public service announcement for a better America.

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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THE POLITICAL EPIPHANY OF #WalkAway

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 19, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The Democrats start to worry as their members #WalkAway .

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

I recently discovered there is only one thing Democrats hate worse than Republicans, specifically Democrats who have become fed up with the party and decided to #WalkAway. This is a movement consisting of former liberal Democrats who have deserted their party as they feel betrayed and lied to. How big is the movement? Nobody knows for sure, it’s too soon to tell as it is still in its embryonic stage, but the fact it even exists speaks volumes about how some Democrats are changing. Basically, #WalkAway is a hashtag campaign where former Dems post videos explaining why they left the party.

The movement appears to have been started by Brandon Straka who, in May 2018, produced the first VIDEO explaining why he left the Democrats, which has since gone viral. Here is the group’s main WEB PAGE.

While the movement is certainly welcomed by Republicans, it has drawn the ire of Democrats. For example, after visiting a camera shop, Mr. Straka posted a message expressing the anger he faced; “I’m shaking right now. I just went into a camera store to buy a camera and a light and mic, etc. and they recognized me from tv. I was refused service because they said it was for ‘alt right’ purposes. That literally just happened.”

In addition to Brandon’s contribution, several videos have surfaced recently where former liberals express their rational for leaving the Democrats. Here is a small sampling:

Brandon Tatum – Democrats Hate Black People

Bree – Classic Liberal

Candidate Roxanne Beckford (CA)

There are many more available ON-LINE. Such videos though present a problem to Youtube! who appears to have liberal inclinations. As such, they have been closely monitoring the postings. In one, a woman told a story of how Eric Trump, the President’s son, made a generous donation to help her own son at a St. Jude hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. When she tweeted a message thanking him for his support, she was bombarded by several hate messages. So much so, she made a video explaining what happened along with her shock and disbelief by the reaction of the Democrats. I happened to watch the video in its entirety in the morning, but by the afternoon Youtube! had removed it claiming, “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on nudity or sexual content.” This is simply not true.

The Washington Post is skeptical about the popularity of the #WalkAway movement (naturally). Whether it is in the hundreds, thousands or millions is immaterial. The fact it exists at all reflects a growing dissatisfaction with the Democrats internally and compounds the party’s problems.

Minority groups, such as Hispanics, blacks, even gays, who are lawful citizens and believe in the rule of law are leaving. They claim to be tired of the violence, the nasty rhetoric, and the labeling of victimization, calling it a lie. Frankly, they are tired of being manipulated by fear, and the incessant programming. To illustrate, here are some typical comments found in #WalkAway:

Fluttergirl
@luckslastmatch
I decided to break down and say this. Violence is not what I signed up for. Seeing others attacked with bricks, bats, locks.. etc, for thinking “different”. I did my research I won’t be manipulated and lied to anymore. I’m not a victim because of my color or gender. #WalkAway

Dr. Carol M. Swain
@carolmswain
I left the Democratic Party because It no longer shared my values & principles. Its leaders used fear tactics to frighten & manipulate the electorate. It promised a lot & only delivered for the elites. It is now the party of Saul Alinsky. #WalkAway

CJ Pearson
@thecjpearson
Sorta wild that one party can simultaneously be the party of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and internment camps – all at once! The entire history of the Democratic Party is riddle with hate. If you’re a person of color and you think they care about us, think again!

Many of the writers and speakers have done their homework and are re-examining history and the merits of socialism versus capitalism. They have suddenly come to the realization of the untruthfulness of the main stream media, and the weaknesses of our education system which does a poor job in teaching government and history.

This may not be a massive movement, at least not yet, but it does suggest Democrats are growing dissatisfied with the message and tactics of the party. We began to see a movement away from the Democrats in the 2016 election. I personally met several people who transferred out simply because they felt like the party abandoned them. Now, with the #WalkAway program, it appears people have grown tired of the manipulation.

All of this means, the Democrats are on shaky ground going into the midterm elections. It’s bad enough the party is fighting internally for control, but if they now lose the bedrock foundation of their members, their story grows much worse other than losing in November. It may even mean the breakup of an old party that has either lost its way or was torn apart internally. Either way, the times are changing for the Democrats as we know them today. People are simply not buying it anymore.

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 Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

HELSINKI HYSTERIA

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 18, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– What is really behind this panic created by the press?

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Ever since the Helsinki Summit last Monday (July 16th), people on-line, in person, and on the radio, have been asking me about the meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin. Specifically, what I thought about Mr. Trump’s comments at the press conference afterwards, and was Mr. Trump a puppet of Mr. Putin. In a nutshell, it was all a huge media spectacle designed to distract the American public.

First, I do not consider Russia our friend or enemy, someone we are about to engage in war. I believe Mr. Trump was correct in labeling them our “competitors.” He also noted how the relations between the two countries have soured to the lowest point in several years, which is why calling for a summit made a lot of sense at this point in our history. It’s like two large dogs meeting each other for the first time to determine who will be the Alpha male; they have two choices, either attack each other viciously or sit side-by-side tending to their own territory. We obviously do not know the specifics of what was said in the summit itself, but it appears the two dogs are willing to sit side-by-side.

Prior to the meeting, the Democrats didn’t want Mr. Trump to meet with Mr. Putin, claiming he wasn’t qualified to negotiate with someone as intimidating as the Russian President. Of course, they also said this about the Singapore Summit, the G7 in Canada, and the NATO meeting in Brussels. Plain and simple, the talking heads of the main stream media do not like Mr. Trump and it is not in their vernacular to say something complimentary about him. In other words, they were all prepared to attack Mr. Trump regardless of what he said at the press conference.

I listened carefully to the questions asked and the one in particular that touched off the firestorm regarded who Mr. Trump believed was telling the truth about Russia’s involvement with our 2016 presidential election, U.S. intelligence or Mr. Putin. After going through hours of in-depth discussions in forging a new relationship with the other big dog, the last thing Mr. Trump wanted to do was to provoke a fight in front of the cameras, which is why he answered the way he did.

This, of course, did not satisfy the press, the Democrats and the RINOS in Congress who accused him of being unpatriotic, a dupe, even “treasonous.” One talking head even compared this to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, something I do not believe the speaker actually lived through. Interestingly, I do not remember the same outrage in 2012 when a hot microphone picked up President Obama telling Russian President Dmitri Medvedev he would have more flexibility to negotiate on issues like missile defense after the election.

The outrage by the liberals today was Pavlovian in nature, causing their supporters to drool and cast doubt with voters. Is this nothing more than an example of the Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)? Maybe, but I tend to believe it is more insidious than this. The real intent here is to create a much needed smokescreen to divert attention away from America’s booming economy as created by Mr. Trump. This is the Achilles Heel of the Democrats. To cover it up, the media is using the Helsinki Hysteria to cloud the issue so the American public is deliberately kept in the dark about the economy.

Think about it, the Gross Domestic Product is up, unemployment is down, wages are up, even Mr. Trump’s tariffs appear to be working on countries like China, where their stock market has dropped 23%. The President’s insistence on fair trade, and for NATO partners to pay their fair share, may seem callous at the time, but is beginning to work to America’s benefit. Unfortunately, because of the poor press coverage, most Americans are unaware of the progress we have made, which is how the Left wants it.

This frontal attack on Mr. Trump by the media, the Democrats, and RINO’s is intended to create fear thereby inhibiting how Mr. Trump conducts himself. This will continue unabated until the midterm election in November and probably beyond until he has been hounded out of office. So, the question becomes, should Mr. Trump change his style of management and curtail all other meetings until the election? Absolutely not; that would be worse than worrying what the opposition personally thinks of him. The nation must move forward, whether the opposition likes it or not.

This diversionary tactic reminds me of the scene towards the end of “The Wizard of Oz” where Toto pulls back the curtain revealing the true wizard. Dorothy and her companions are admonished to, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” Today, the desperate Left admonishes us to, “Pay no attention to the economy!”

The hysteria was not unexpected. In fact, it was all rather predictable.

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 Politics | 3 Comments »

TAKING PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR GRANTED

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 17, 2018

BRYCE ON EDUCATION

– People today do not appreciate the value of a high school diploma.

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I want to talk a little on education. Some things have been bothering me. Today, we hear a lot of young people demanding a right to free higher education, or at the very least paying off their college debt. As I’ve said before, higher education should be treated as a privilege in this country, certainly not a right. So much is the push for college education, I believe the institution of America’s public education system is under-appreciated. As I would remind everyone, we should be proud of our public education system. Could it stand improvement? Certainly, but that is only natural. You have to remember this institution ultimately represents our national personality and is the key to our future. As such, it should be prized and definitely not taken for granted.

First, a little history. In planning for the future, when additional states would inevitably join the union, the first Congress devised the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which, among other things, included Article 3 stating, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

This led to the public school system which was provided to all citizens. For the first time, parents were required to send their children to school, which was enforced by town magistrates. This was based on the premise education would lead to a spirit of community, national patriotism, and prosperity. It was founded on the belief education would develop better citizens and make them more productive.

In 1835, noted historian and political commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman, published his famous book, “Democracy in America,” which was an analysis of our young country as compared to those in Europe. This was based on his travels through America in 1831 and 1832. The book, which is frequently referenced even to this day, contains his observations on the young country, everything from its geographical layout, to its culture, and particularly its new political system as a democratically elected republic, as opposed to a monarchy.

Tocqueville was particularly taken by the American public education system. He was amazed to see children as young as second grade be completely literate, something normally reserved for the aristocracy in Europe. He was also taken by how knowledgeable children were in the workings of the government as defined by the U.S. Constitution. He wrote, “It cannot be doubted that, in the United States, the instruction of the people powerfully contributes to the support of a democratic republic;”

Tocqueville was so impressed, he wrote the following, “But it is in mandates relating to public education that, from the outset, the original character of American civilization is revealed in the clearest light.”

I believe we have forgotten the purpose of public education, which is to learn lessons, not just memorization for the purpose of testing. One key component missing is to teach young people to “learn to learn,” which leads to a lifetime of inquiry. Instead, we have developed a generation who do nothing more than “learn to test.” This is one reason why I am not a proponent of Common Core. It is more important to teach the student to think and endeavor to find an answer as opposed to simply programming the person.

There was a time when we used to prize a high school diploma, that it meant something important. During the Great Depression of the 20th century many people had to drop out of school to go to work to help support the family. To them, a high school diploma was a prized possession, as was a junior high school diploma. The idea of attending college was simply out of the question.

Today, college has been sold to us as the natural next step in our development, that we cannot succeed without it. This explains why young people believe they have a right to it and should be free. However, I believe high school guidance counselors have put too much emphasis on attending college. For example, trade schools are sorely needed today to teach fundamental skills such as plumbing, electrical work, manufacturing, tool and die, automotive, programming, etc. Not only are these skills very much in demand, they pay well too. However, counselors tend to pooh-pooh them, as well as a hitch in the military. Due to declining socialization skills, as well as morality and the family unit, the military provides the structure and sense of purpose many young people need, as well as basic skills. They also open the door to higher education at a later date.

Something else, I’m told a lot of teachers today hold a degree in education, and not a specific field of study, such as history, English, or a branch of science or math, etc. As such they rely on videos to explain a lesson, followed by a quiz. It seems to me, without give-and-take between the teacher and the students, this is watering down the learning process.

One last note, as I believe our children are not properly learning American government anymore, I would like to see the Constitution taught in the classroom again, not as a quiz but as a dialog in order to engage the students. Sounds like a suitable question to ask politicians in the upcoming elections, doesn’t it?

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 Education, History | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

DEALING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 12, 2018

BRYCE ON COPS

– Should you be adversarial or respectful?

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I recently found myself embroiled in a passionate argument about law enforcement. Someone had posted a video on social media showing a man in his car eluding police allegedly after a road rage incident. He refused to stop until he pulled into his driveway at home. The fact he failed to acknowledge police commands and argued loudly when he was caught agitated the police who forced him to the ground and put him in handcuffs. A few of the viewers commented how outrageous the police acted and they would have done likewise in resisting arrest. In contrast, I made the remark the suspect only had himself to blame; had he done as he was instructed, I doubt it would have turned into an ugly episode.

This resulted in a firestorm of comments against me for taking the side of the police. Frankly, I was surprised by the push back. In my defense, I described how I was taught to drive years ago by my father, who said if the police pulled me over, to keep my hands on the steering wheel, do not argue, and treat the officer with respect saying, “Yes Sir” and “No sir.” As the police see a lot of people during the day, they know nothing about me and will naturally approach cautiously. As such, it wouldn’t pay for me to pose a threat to them by being a smart ass.

I found this advice to be invaluable over the years. By acting this way, I was able to talk my way out of a ticket on more than one occasion. Each time, as the officer saw I wasn’t a threat and was heeding his instructions respectfully, I was let go with a simple warning.

After explaining this on the posting, I was accused of being a wimp and should have stood my ground and taken the officers to task. One gentleman claimed it is necessary to resist the police, simply because they are looking for an excuse to impound your vehicle. I have never heard of this before, so I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.

The way I see it, law enforcement has a difficult job, and they meet a lot of strange people in their daily routine, some not exactly playing with a full deck of cards. My philosophy in dealing with the law is to demonstrate that I am not some kook who poses a threat to them. When this is established, I find it is relatively easy to have a rational conversation with them where I can explain my side of the story. Regardless of how I tried to rationalize it, others in the group thought I had behaved cowardly. The only thing I know, I probably get fewer tickets than they do.

In a way, I am reminded of the classic comedy routine by Chris Rock titled, “How To Not Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police.”

What bothered me about this little incident was the total disregard for law enforcement, portraying them as disreputable ogres who are to be fought with, not respected. I recognize not all law enforcement officers are perfect, but to have people openly provoke a confrontation doesn’t make sense to me. Frankly, this adversarial relationship is disturbing as I believe law enforcement serves a vital function for the community and should be appreciated for their efforts. Then again, maybe this is just another sign of our changing times. I grew up in an era when we were taught the police were our friends, but I have a feeling this is a lesson no longer taught. It disturbs me when I hear 29 officers were killed in the line of duty thus far this year (compared to 44 for all of 2017). Frankly, I’m surprised how patient and professional most officers conduct themselves in light of the animosity against them.

Next time you are stopped by law enforcement, keep your cool and act respectful, they are only trying to do their job and not get killed in the process.

P.S. – Perhaps the most imaginative way I’ve heard of someone talking their way out of a traffic ticket was the father of a friend of mine in Chicago years ago. The father, named Al, was a baker and typically worked the late shift. One night, as he was driving home in the wee hours of the morning, he was tired and anxious to get to bed. Consequently, he was driving a bit too fast.

As he passed a billboard, he spied a patrol car hidden behind it, undoubtedly running radar. Seeing the car pull out from behind the billboard, he knew he was going to be ticketed. Thinking fast, he pulled his car over to the side of the road, popped his hood open, jumped out and began jiggling his carburetor (Yes, this was before electronic ignitions). As expected, the patrol car pulled up behind Al’s car and the officer stepped out. Al looked up at him and said, “Oh, thank God you’re here. Something’s wrong with the carburetor and the car was running away on me. Boy, did it scare the heck out of me.”

The officer looked at Al, then the carburetor, and gave him a warning to get the car fixed before he got into an accident. Yes, he let him go. Brilliant, just brilliant, and a great story he told for many years thereafter.

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 Crime, Law Enforcement, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS TURNING TO SOCIALISM?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 10, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Most people do not understand the differences between Capitalism and Socialism.

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The news lately is filled with expressions of anger from leftist Democrats. They are angry about the country’s immigration policies, believing our borders should be open to anyone wanting to enter regardless if they have a criminal background or not; they try to portray President Trump as a lying and immoral tyrant; they are demanding the elimination of ICE, as well as the general suppression of law enforcement, and; they are particularly angry the president will replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with a conservative jurist, someone who will adhere to a strict interpretation of the Constitution rather than enacting law from the bench.

The Left has taken to the streets in protest and adopted a policy of harassment towards Republicans. This will only increase as we approach the 2018 midterm elections, and it goes well beyond the protests of 1968 as it is more akin to the visceral rhetoric preceding the Civil War. In particular, young people have become willing pawns of the Left in advocating anarchy and socialism.

It is disturbing young people do not truly grasp the nature of socialism or capitalism, probably because they were never taught these concepts in school, other than teachers and professors advocating the socialist agenda. As such, students are being brainwashed into believing socialism is good and capitalism is evil. While capitalism is commonly portrayed as another form of greed by the “10%” controlling the wealth, socialism is sold as a more “fair and equitable” solution.

In reality, capitalism is a celebration of the individual’s right to try and succeed, requiring a sense of risk. In contrast, socialism concentrates on the rights of the group overall, controlled by government, thereby suppressing individual ambition and risk. Unlike capitalism which allows for failure, there is no such sense of loss in socialism, nor sense of victory. Essentially, everyone receives a trophy, win or lose. The two socioeconomic programs are as different as night and day, and are simply incompatible.

Socialism’s group dynamics may sound appealing to the uneducated, but it has a horrible track record over the years. Whenever it has been tried, and failed, life eventually returns to capitalism which is more natural to the human spirit. Whereas socialism is revolutionary, capitalism is more evolutionary as described by Darwin’s Natural Selection. Under capitalism, the strongest company survives, and if a company fails, another will replace it learning from its failures, thereby promoting innovation, invention, and strength. In other words, capitalism naturally lends itself to higher production, not so under Socialism.

Under capitalism, the individual is entitled to enjoy the fruits of his/her labor, such as financial rewards. This is an important benefit derived from risk. Under socialism, there is no such concept, and instead of the individual benefiting, the wealth is evenly distributed to the work force, regardless if they earned it or not. In other words, a weak worker benefits at the same rate as a strong worker.

Today’s American socialists believe in free entitlements for everyone, such as college education, food and housing, transportation, and jobs. This may sound enticing, but they have no clue as to how to pay for all of this.

John Stossel provides a fine video further describing the differences between “Capitalism vs Socialism.”

To encourage entrepreneurship, our founding fathers took steps to safeguard the intellectual property of the individual. This specifically includes Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, wherein the powers of Congress are defined. It states, in part, “The Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”. This led to such institutions as the Patent and Copyright offices which were specifically designed to safeguard an individual’s intellectual property. As early as 1790, the first patent and copyright were approved. At the time, safeguarding intellectual property in this manner was rare to the rest of the world. By promoting the entrepreneurial rights of the individual, our forefathers were embracing capitalism.

Interestingly, to clarify the ideological differences in this country, while the Democrats have embraced socialism, the Republicans have embraced capitalism. This also explains why Democrats want to do away with the Constitution, and why the Republicans embrace it. Taking it a step further, this provides the rationale as to why patriotism has hit a new low in the United States, according to GALLUP. Whereas Republicans are still proud of their country, there was a “sharp declines since 2017 among liberals, Democrats.”

Another area of confusion is the fundamental nature of our government, is it a Democracy or a Republic? Under a Democracy, the people vote on everything which is unworkable to just about any size country. Instead, we elect people to represent our interests, specifically Congress and the White House. These are people whose job it is to study our problems, debate issues, and formulate policies and courses of action. Make no mistake, America is a Republic. As another key ideological difference in this country, whereas Democrats refer to America as a Democracy, Republicans refer to it as a Republic. This also explains why Democrats revile the Electoral College as prescribed by the Constitution, believing a popular vote should be the sole criteria for electing a president, not a representative based solution.

So, why are the Democrats so loud in their protests? First, as they have lost control over the Congress and Presidency they have become more desperate to regain control. More importantly, they do not want a country as defined by the Constitution as it interferes with socialism. This is why they want open borders, suppress the power of law enforcement, and do not want a Constitutional jurist as appointed by Mr. Trump. All of this gets in the way of their agenda.

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 Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

WHY THE ESCALATION IN SUICIDES?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 5, 2018

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Is there a connection to the decline of religion?

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A couple of months ago, I produced a presentation titled, “The PRIDE Renewal Tour,” which noted the changes in our culture and what can be done about them. Among the subjects discussed, I reviewed a recent report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding how youth suicides have skyrocketed 70% over the last decade. “According to the CDC, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide in 2016, making it the 10th leading cause of death.” It is also the 2nd leading cause of death among young people, ages 15-24.

According to Tom Simon, one of the authors of the CDC report, the increase in suicides is not limited to just our youth, “We know that overall in the US, we’re seeing increases in suicide rates across all age groups.”

This was amplified by the recent suicides of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Although it is unclear as to precisely why they decided to take their own lives, it was reported they suffered from depression. Despite their success, they simply couldn’t find happiness and contentment.

From their deaths, the public is slowly becoming aware of the growing trend in suicide, particularly among our youth. So what is causing this, failure? This certainly was not the case with Spade and Bourdain. Perhaps it was triggered by the influx of drugs and technology. Maybe it is simple depression, which has also been growing over the years. A recent REPORT claims “15 percent of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.” Of that, “nearly 50 percent of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.”

Again, we can look at the influences of drug and technology addiction, but I believe it goes deeper than this, specifically a loss of meaning in life which particularly affects our youth. To this end, let us consider the slow erosion of our MORAL VALUES as reported annually by the Gallup organization.

I have been following this since 2012 and in just the past six years alone, there has been a noticeable decline; when asked, “HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE OVERALL STATE OF MORAL VALUES IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY?”

2012 2018  
20% 14% EXCELLENT/GOOD
36% 37% ONLY FAIR
43% 49% POOR

We can blame this erosion on the media’s distorted views of morality, the failure of the family unit to properly teach their youth, and the decline of organized religion. As to the latter, both Gallup and Harris have produced polls showing the belief in a Supreme Being is slowly declining. Further, attendance at religious institutions is also dwindling; “65 percent of churches are declining or plateaued.”

Even more disturbing is fewer younger people are going to church which, of course, affects membership. Consequently, “for every new church that opens, four close.” For many years, churches and temples preached the lessons of right and wrong, but with fewer attendees, these lessons now go unheeded. It has become glaringly obvious to churches they must change in order to survive, be it the venue or how to disseminate their message.

More importantly, STUDIES make a direct connection between the rise of youth suicides on a loss of sense of purpose as derived from the decline of religion. In other words, as religion declines, youth suicides skyrocket. It is not a coincidence.

We would like to believe money, fame, and success leads to happiness. As evidenced by celebrities such as Spade and Bourdain, this is not the case. It’s a matter of how we see ourselves, our role in society, and learning to live a meaningful life, which are all lessons we should learn from our family, our schools, and our places of worship. However, if we do not support such institutions, we are doomed to watch our suicide rate continue to escalate unabated.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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

 
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