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Archive for April, 2019

WHY ARE DEMOCRATS ABANDONING RELIGION?

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 30, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS & RELIGION

– Membership in organized religion continues to plummet.

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

Gallup recently released an interesting report discussing the erosion of attendance and membership in organized religion. They claim membership in churches, synagogues, and mosques has reached a new low, 50%. From 1938 to 1999, membership averaged 70%, but since then it has steadily declined to its current level. This helps explain why so many institutions are suffering financially and being forced to make dramatic changes, such as selling their building, terminating leaders and staff, mergers and consolidations, etc. Interestingly, the same can be said for other nonprofits, such as fraternal, civic, trade groups, and amateur sports institutions. Most, if not all, are experiencing a decline.

The downsizing of membership in organized religion is interesting as there are political ramifications in play. According to the Gallup report, Republicans show a modest decline in terms of membership, dropping from 77% to 69%. However, Democrats showed a more dramatic decline, going from 71% to 48%.

Why the significant drop in membership? Some people theorize religion has become synonymous with the Republican party and, as such, do not want to be associated with such values. I believe it goes well beyond this though. As the Democrats have become more radically liberal, thereby embracing Socialism, there is a natural inclination to avoid religion and abandon God. This explains why moderate Democrats are leaving the party and are either voting independently or switching over to the Republican party as they do not want to see their religion ridiculed by the far Left. Let us not forget, there have been efforts in the last few Democrat conventions to eliminate “God” from the wording of the party platform.

In particular, Christianity has been in the cross-hairs of radical Democrats for a long time, and still is to this day. To illustrate, the San Antonio City Council, controlled by Democrats, recently banned the popular Chick-fil-A restaurant from opening a new store in the city’s airport. Although the company was originally included in the plans, they were forced out apparently for their charitable donations to Christian groups who allegedly are anti-LGBTQ. According to a USA Today report, San Antonio Councilman Manny Pelaez (D) even went so far as to “lambaste, denigrate, and openly mock the otherwise upstanding corporate citizen of Chick-fil-A.” Further, “He described Chick-fil-A as a ‘symbol of hate’ because it has donated to religious charities that he considered to oppose LGBTQ rights.” All of this has resulted in a request for an investigation into the City Council’s decision based on religious discrimination.

As another instance, former President Barack Obama and Sec. Hillary Clinton, recently commented on the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, by referring to the victims as “Easter worshippers” and not “Christians.” The snub was subtle, but significant in that it reflects the attitude by the Democrats to disrespect Christianity.

In a related story, it was recently announced the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers will no longer play Kate Smith’s rendition of the Irving Berlin classic, “God Bless America,” a time-honored patriotic song, claiming Smith was a racist. Please remember Kate Smith was the woman President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a Democrat) introduced to Winston Churchill years ago as “Mrs. America.” Smith was also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her singing during World War II. In other words, something smells fishy here; is it the singer or the song on trial here? I suspect the latter.

It is perfectly obvious the Democrats are rebelling against the 4-C’s of Republicanism:

Christianity – Not only are they abandoning church, they are working to subvert it because of the moral values involved. The truth is, they are jealous of Christians in terms of what they have accomplished through their work ethic and benevolence.

Capitalism – They are trying to replace it with Socialism in order to expand government control and create dependencies (aka, “Master/Slave” relationship). Democrats have abandoned the concept of “earning a living,” preferring entitlements instead.

Constitution – They have made numerous attempts to undermine our governing document as it is perceived as an antiquated encumbrance against the Democrat agenda. This is why they wish to eliminate the Electoral College, change the makeup of the Supreme Court, implement gun control, and other changes to our Bill of Rights.

Conservative values – These are values developed over the country’s history and includes such things as love of country (patriotism), citizenship, reverence for family, belief in deity, being a good neighbor, lending a helping hand, etc. Instead, the Democrats have developed a set of moral values diametrically opposed to conservatives in an attempt to redefine history, government, freedoms and rights. According to Gallop polls in 2017 and 2018, liberal positions have led to a sharp decline in morality in the country as we know it today. This is greatly assisted by the entertainment and news media who no longer feel restrained from promoting liberal values and demeaning those of conservatives.

So, in terms of organized religion, the Democrats are rapidly becoming the anti-God party as it doesn’t fit in with their political agenda. Whereas the United States used to be considered one of the most religious countries in the world, it’s ranking has slipped due to the departure of the Democrats. Again, this will likely cause our sense of morality to continue to stumble and fall.

The refutation of the 4-C’s represents a rejection of the traditional values of the country. It ultimately represents a radical re-definition and implementation of America, one where liberty is steadfastly controlled by government. Yes, it is all about “control.”

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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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Posted in Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

AIRPORTS

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 25, 2019

BRYCE ON TRANSPORTATION

– Do you see anything “suspicious” there?

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

It has been awhile since I’ve talked about airports. In the past, I enjoyed air travel but now look for excuses not to go, thereby avoiding the headaches associated with it. Suffice it to say, I find travel to be more laborious than exciting. I think the novelty wore off when they introduced the security checkpoints back in the early 1980’s. Now we have to strip and be subject to cavity searches by people who flunked their proctology exams in a foreign country. You really have to hand it to the terrorists for creating a billion dollar industry and putting the homeless to work as security inspectors.

Over the public address system you routinely hear the message, “Please report any suspicious behavior.” Hell, the whole thing is suspicious. People are plugged in and tuned out. Those people talking on cell phones look delusional as they wander aimlessly through the airport seemingly talking to themselves. Most are dressed as if they are going on a camping trip or bombing run. Even the security people look like they speak a foreign language, certainly not English. Report “suspicious behavior”? To whom? Muhammed, the head of airport security?

I’ve also noticed airports are now much more handicap accessible than in years past, but perhaps they have gone overboard on some things. For example, when I went to the men’s room recently I noticed there was an infant changing table. Okay, fine, men change diapers now. No big deal. Over the table hung a sign denoting the changing table, but in addition to plain English on the sign I noticed a Braille version for the blind. This got me thinking how a blind person would ever find the spot and use it properly. I imagined a person groping around a strange airport and rest room until he finally arrived at the station only to miss the sign (as it was displayed a tad high and inset, making it easy to miss). He might even end up circling the rest room for hours to find the right spot to change diapers. God knows what he will use if he misses it.

Luggage carousels haven’t really changed over the years. The baggage handlers still send out the same 100 empty suitcases before any of the bags from your flight shows up. Actually, I think it’s a stalling tactic as they rip through your luggage to find the good stuff.

The Gestapo runs the ground transportation, for both pickup and drop-off, complete with bomb sniffing dogs, mirrors to look under your car, and tow trucks. Most do nothing but wave their arms incessantly, blow their whistle, and yell at you to move your car. I still haven’t developed the knack for picking up someone while the car is still moving. I guess I need more practice.

So, do I see anything “suspicious” at the airport? You tell me.

First published: November 18, 2008

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

SOMETHING DOESN’T ADD UP

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 23, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The Democrats’ perspective of our country.

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

As I watch the televised news and listen to Democrats, particularly the younger generation, be it on college campuses, the streets, or protesting in the halls of Congress, I am struck by their naivety in terms of our government, our history, and the concept of earning a living. I look at them and cannot believe what I am witnessing. It simply doesn’t add up. To illustrate…

Democrats, both young and old, seem to believe our country is a Democracy, when it really is a Republic, something they simply fail to grasp. No doubt they would be surprised to learn there is no country in the world based on democracy, least of all ours. As a result, they do not comprehend the necessity of such things as the Electoral College. They understand popularity contests, probably from watching too many reality shows, but they do not know how to achieve fair parity between urban and rural America.

Young Democrats naively believe socialism is a better economic system than capitalism. The fact socialism has consistently failed over the years and around the world is immaterial to them. They claim they want “fairness for all” (translation: a redistribution of the wealth), yet capitalism puts everyone on the same footing and says, “Go!”, whereby some will win, some will come in second or third, and some will fail. It all depends on the effort we exert, but we recognize nobody is going to give us anything for nothing, unless of course, socialism is allowed to supersede capitalism.

Young Democrats naively believe they have the right to do anything they want. Actually, their rights and freedoms are ultimately defined by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, something few have read. Sure, they have the right to ask questions and seek the truth, but they do not have the right to run amok and cause anarchy.

They seem to believe all presidential candidates are required by law to reveal their tax records, when in reality, they do not. They believe the public is entitled to an unredacted version of the Mueller report, which they are not, nor is the Congress for that matter. They further believe the reports of an emergency at the southern border are fabricated and the president has no right to declare a “National Emergency” to quell the problem. The Supreme Court will likely rule in favor of the president on this one.

Young Democrats believe they are entitled to just about everything, be it housing, food, communications, education, transportation, and health care. The concept of earning their way through life is foreign to them, thus promoting the concept of entitlements.

So, how did this come about? First, public education has failed miserably in teaching history, government, economics, and citizenship. This has deteriorated to the point our youth have become dangerous as they are grossly misinformed. I knew more by 5th grade years ago than the average High School graduate knows today.

Blame should also be placed on parents for failing to teach such subjects, as well as the concepts of work ethic, responsibility, and moral values. Finally, we have to point a finger at the media for misleading people and distorting reality.

What then can be done to solve this problem? If everyone understood some basics, I am convinced the rhetoric would be less visceral. Instead of respectful discussion, they have taken to boisterous, uncouth, and bullying behavior to sway people, which only impresses themselves, not the other party they are trying to convince. In fact, it causes the other party to embrace the opposing viewpoint. The Democrats have traded in reason and persuasion for programmable talking points. For example, they insist President Trump is a pathological liar. In contrast, I have yet to see anyone of authority in the Democrat party answer a question directly, and regularly catch them misinforming the public. Yet, when this is pointed out, it is dismissed out of hand and I am vilified.

What to do? Education is the key. Since they couldn’t learn it from Public Education, their Parents, or the Media, they have to learn it on their own.

First, there is the U.S. Constitution itself which can be found on the Internet for free. This should be read individually and discussed in groups to determine the rationale for the various parts of the document. To assist in this regards, may I suggest…

“The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World,” by W. Cleon Skousen. This is an easy read and explains the various parts of the Constitution. It sells for about $12-$20 and is available from Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. This makes an excellent holiday gift suitable for students in High School and College. In my humble opinion, all young people should be given a copy of this book as it describes the mechanics of our government. Think of it as a crash course in Civics.

“Elementary Catechism of the Constitution of the United States” (1828) by Arthur J. Stansbury – for many years, school children learned this catechism. It is just as relevant today as it was nearly 200 years ago. It is available free of charge as a PDF file on the Internet.

I have difficulty relating to the young Democrats of today, let alone sparring with them. I tend to look at them as aliens with three eyes, speaking a strange tongue I do not comprehend, all because they are uninformed about how our government works. This helps to explain the fissure between left and right in this country. It’s not just that they do not understand how the government works, they simply couldn’t care less.

Maybe what is really needed is to have citizens pass a certification test in order to vote. I can dream can’t I?

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

CHECKING OUT THE CHECKOUT

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 18, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– In appreciation of old brass cash registers.

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

When I was a young lad visiting my grandparents in Buffalo, New York, there was a local grocery store I loved to visit with them. It had wooden floors, a pickle barrel, and separate barrels for butter and cheese. Milk was still sold in glass bottles, and the store butcher cut meat in accordance with your wishes and wrapped it wax paper and string. There was also freshly ground coffee that smelled heavenly, as well as the fresh bread sold there. To a young boy, the shop was a wonder to behold with all of its sights, sounds, and smells. The only other institution that could hold a candle to it was an old hardware store in my hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut. It too had wooden floors, barrels on the floor for different nails and screws, a wide array of tools for just about any task, and the smell of freshly cut pine enraptured me. Such stores were magical and I never wanted to leave.

The focal point of both stores understandably was the checkout counter featuring a massive cash register with a wide array of white ivory buttons. I was mesmerized by the clerk whose fingers flew across the rows of buttons rapidly and accurately to record the transactions, each making a distinct and authoritative mechanical click. When the register drawer was opened, a pleasant sounding bell would ring. A simple receipt was printed which identified the store by name and number, today’s date, the price of each item you purchased, sales tax, and the total. The whole receipt was no bigger than a baseball card. The machine itself was a majestic instrument made of brass with decorative swirls and lines adorning it and there was a massive handle on the right side of the register to process the final transaction. The register drawer inside it was made of wood and the oils from the fingers of clerks over the years turned it deep brown thereby revealing its age. The machine was sturdy, reliable and never broke down. To my young mind, it was truly a work of art and added a touch of class to the establishment.

Today the checkout counter is a much less pleasurable experience. Registers are plain looking plastic boxes with considerable electronics, making them much less impressive than the splendid grandeur of yesteryear. In most stores we are asked to swipe credit cards or insert the memory chip. Then we must sign our names to acknowledge the transaction, not on paper, but on a touch screen which has a tendency of making our autographs look garbled as if it were signed by a five year old huckleberry.

Then there is the matter of the paper receipts. Instead of simple slips of paper, the machine now generates “War and Peace” containing legal terms and conditions, rebate offers that are too illegible to properly process, along with coupons and discounts on everything except what you want to buy. Reams of paper are generated thereby taking up considerable space in our wallets or purses. For a paperless society, we sure know how to kill a lot of trees.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, I’m always amazed by the automatic checkout counters in the mega hardware stores and supermarkets. The concept is to allow customers to check themselves out without assistance from clerks, thereby saving the company money in terms of personnel needed to process the order. Interestingly, I have yet to see an automatic checkout counter without a human standing nearby to supervise activity and intervene when trouble arises, which seems to be always. Because these checkouts seem to be prone to processing snafus, I wonder why companies bother. After all, I prefer human contact where you are, in theory, to be treated cordially and friendly, thereby encouraging repeat business, references, and increased sales. I don’t need clerks heckling me with “Good Mornings,” but rather someone who cares about me visiting his/her store.

God, how I miss those big brass cash registers.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS, PART DEUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 16, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Much ado about nothing.

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

You’ve got to hand it to the Democrats and their lap dogs, the main stream media, as they do not give up easily. This month it is President Trump’s tax returns. Only God knows what it will be next month. At least they know how to mount an attack. I would love to see their strategy room adorned with a portrait of George Soros, their patron saint of counter-culture.

I brought the subject of presidential tax returns up a few years ago, but it recently resurfaced. The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA), made a request of the the Internal Revenue Service commissioner for six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns, which will inevitably result in a spirited brawl with the White House. Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised; after all, we’re in an election cycle and the Democrats have again embarked on another smoke and mirrors campaign to assassinate the president’s character. They couldn’t take him down with the Mueller investigation, so now they are grasping at straws to find a way to besmirch his character. So, this isn’t about obtaining his tax returns, which they know they are not entitled to, as much as it is a part of their overall strategy to bash the president.

Donald Trump’s failure to disclose his tax returns thus far has once again come under scrutiny by the press. They contend it is their “right” to review all candidate returns to assure they are not cheating or using unscrupulous tax schemes. Mr. Trump contends his tax returns are being audited by the IRS and, based on the advice of his lawyers, he should not release them prematurely. Of course, the Democrats and the press do not accept this and adamantly demands to see his tax returns. Frankly, it is none of their business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As an aside, the only tax report on record for President Trump is for 2005 which was mysteriously produced in 2017 and revealed nothing improper.

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

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

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

First published: June 15, 2016. Updated 2019.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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: , , , , | 5 Comments »

FIGHTING WITH MY GARAGE DOOR REMOTE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 12, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It’s the little things that makes life enjoyable.

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

When I was younger and starting my professional career, I relished tackling big projects, probably because I saw it as an adventure and a learning experience. However, as the years went by and I mastered many big things, I started to appreciate the little things in life, such as a graduation, a wedding, a birth or an anniversary (you can skip the birthdays). It might even be a little simpler like a fine meal, warm slippers or comfortable clothes.

Recently, I noticed my remote garage door opener wasn’t working. I dutifully changed the battery but, alas, it still didn’t work. Thinking I had somehow lost the proper signal, I tested my wife’s remote unit. Yes, it worked fine, but mine was being finicky. So, I took my unit apart, replaced the battery and delicately tried to put it back together again, again, and again. Frustrated, I took the unit apart and pretended to play technician with the computer chip included therein, which is actually a bad idea. I delicately blew on it, rubbed it clean, tried to position the parts back together carefully, all to no avail. I then found myself talking to it, first calmly, “Come on, nice and easy, let’s try it again.” Finally, as I was close to losing my sweet disposition, I ended up cursing at it with some choice expletives. I raised my hand and threatened to throw it against the wall in a fit of rage when, lo and behold, it started to work. In other words, a good cursing worked wonders. Even though I wasted a half hour on this small task, I felt triumphant for having conquered this problem, and proudly showed it to my wife (who, having watched me through all of this, thought I was about to lose my mind). Nonetheless, fixing this little triviality made my day.

Likewise, it is the little things in baseball that attracts me to the sport. Home runs are nice, but I enjoy a clean well-targeted base hit better, or a well layed down bunt, a stolen base, a pick-off, and the nuances of the defensive field positions. I particularly enjoy a runner on first base distracting a pitcher by threatening to steal a base, thereby upsetting the pitcher’s rhythm and accuracy to the batter at home plate. It’s these little things I love to watch.

I also appreciate simple common courtesy from a clerk or waiter, be it in person or on the telephone. Expressions like “please” and “thank you” still go a long way in my book, as well as a smile and good service. It may not sound like a lot, but it is what makes life bearable.

No, I don’t need the big or flashy car anymore, nor a yacht or be a globe trotter (as I have already seen the world). All I need is some good conversation, a politically incorrect joke, honesty, politeness, a fly-rod, and perhaps a good drink. Like I said, it’s the little things.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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 »

DEATH OF THE BUSINESS LETTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 11, 2019

BRYCE ON COMMUNICATIONS

– Texting is destroying our ability to communicate effectively on a corporate basis.

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

I have noticed I do not get much mail anymore from the post office. Of course, I still get bills and junk mail, but aside from this, little else. I surmise only a handful of people know how to write a business letter anymore. Most of the true correspondence I get nowadays is by e-mail and telephone (both of which have their share of junk).

When you do get a business letter today, it is typically poorly written in terms of style, layout, and grammar. I know we have made a lot of progress in word processing technology over the years, but it sure seems people do not know how to run such things as spelling and grammar checkers. I think the real culprit here though is text messaging which has basically annihilated any sense of syntax and word formation.

Now, instead of this…

Dear Sir,

It was a pleasure talking with you today.  Concerning your order, I have made the correction and credited your
account accordingly.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention.  If I can be of any further assistance, 
please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

We now have this…

Dude,
don't tabooma. cy. all is kewl. cm.
stys
plo

Actually, I don’t blame the younger generations for these bad writing habits as they are only innocent victims of technology. Instead, I blame my generation for not teaching them how to communicate properly in a corporate setting.

I first learned to write business letters in my high school typing class and have written numerous letters over the years. However, the kids today do not take typing anymore and are definitely not familiar with writing for business. Text messaging may be fine for quick and dirty interpersonal communications, but it also leads to some horrible writing habits. I do not care what your age is, a well written business letter can work miracles in terms of sales and service. Too bad it is slowly disappearing from the corporate landscape.

NOTE: for text messaging syntax, see NetLingo.

One last note, it has been proven that old techniques like Shorthand and Morse Code can record and transmit messages a lot faster than any electronic technique used today. Who-da-thunk-it!

First published: September 22, 2008. Updated 2019

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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 Business, Communications, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE REPARATIONS GAME

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 10, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Here we go again.

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

I have been hearing about reparations for many years. Of course, this is for American blacks whose descendants were slaves in this country years ago. I first heard of it back in the 1960’s and it seems to come around every ten years or so, usually around election time.

Democrats have brought it up once again as we go into the 2020 election cycle. It’s a desperate attempt to attract African-American votes and keep them in line. Democrats are big into “giveaways,” you know, the “chicken in every pot” routine in exchange for votes. The more they give away, the deeper the country goes into debt. Basically, they won’t be happy until they have redistributed the wealth. Instead of offering programs encouraging people to work, they sucker them into winning the Lotto.

Democrats currently supporting reparations include Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Former Secretary of HUD Julian Castro, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), all considered left of center in terms of their politics.

The subject of reparations is always a hot topic for blacks, particularly young people becoming politically aware, but it is also designed to lay a guilt trip on whites for their possible involvement, even though slavery ended over 150 years ago, and nobody is alive from that generation, black or white. As for me, I do not feel the slightest bit of guilt as my family didn’t arrive in this country until the 1920’s, and legally I might add, meaning my family had nothing whatsoever to do with slavery. As far as I am concerned, reparations is a non-issue, and I am offended if anyone tries to lay this guilt-trip on me.

One question that has always troubled me regarding this issue is, why do they want reparations from Americans only and not the Africans who sold them into slavery to begin with? And what about the northerners who fought to free the slaves; why should they be forced to pay for it, or any Republican for that matter as they were the party of Lincoln, aka The Abolitionists? Come to think of it, the Democrats should be footing the bill as they represented Southern interests and were the slave owners.

Having observed these periodic reparation attempts over the years, I see it as nothing more than an attempt to heighten racial tensions, thereby further dividing the country. The Democrats are playing a dangerous game; they want to redistribute the wealth at the expense of race relations.

In all likelihood, reparations will play a small role in the 2020 elections. African-Americans should be more concerned with their recent economic prosperity as more have been gainfully employed over the last two years than ever before in our history. Unfortunately, there will be others who will cling to the past and enslave themselves to the Democrats.

After the election is concluded, reparations will quietly go away until the next time it is needed to secure the black vote.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2019 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 History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

AMERICANS EMBRACE REACTIVE MANAGEMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 9, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– Why we are inclined to accept disaster.

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

Planning is not natural to most Americans. We resist it because it requires some foresight, analysis, and change. In other words, work. Our history is littered with stories of snafus resulting from poor planning, both large and small; Pearl Harbor, 911, and Hurricane Katrina are legendary. In the case of Pearl Harbor, the Army’s Colonel Billy Mitchell studied the island’s defenses and wrote a report detailing how the island would be attacked with incredible accuracy. The report was written a full 17 years prior to December 7th, 1941. Instead of heeding his advice, the Army would eventually lose patience with Mitchell and run him out of the military.

In terms of Hurricane Katrina, civil engineers were acutely aware the weaknesses of the levee system protecting New Orleans was inadequate to withstand a Category 5 storm, as well as Category 4. Their warnings though, unfortunately, went unheeded.

Overseas, particularly in Asia, planning is more common. For example, it was incredibly important in the re-development of Japan following World War II. In business, Japanese companies spend much more time planning than Americans as they like to “look before they leap.” Americans, on the other hand tend to take the plunge before they know what they are jumping into. Even worse, they often take the wrong course of action when faced with disaster. Allow me to explain…

I know a Florida fraternal organization who, like a lot of nonprofits, is losing members. However, this is not new as they have been losing on the average of +1,500 members per year for the last 15 years. Everyone in the organization is cognizant of it, but the leadership has done nothing to stem the problem, hoping it is a temporary condition and will simply go away. Whereas there were in excess of 58K members in 2003, by 2017 there was approximately 35K. It was only this year that the leadership decided to take action by leveraging a hefty per capita tax on each member, which will inevitably drive more members away. Whereas they should have been studying the problem all along, they waited until the last minute to make a decision which will ultimately have an adverse effect on membership.

Similarly, New York State has one of the highest tax rates in the country. So much so, it is causing New Yorkers to flee the state as economic refugees seeking shelter in more tax-friendly states, such as Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. To compensate for their departure, the state recently added new taxes in New York City; a “congestion tax” to ride on city streets, and a “mansion tax” on expensive estates. This too will likely cause more New Yorkers to flee the state. Instead of cutting expenses and lowering taxes to make the state more inviting to live in, they continue to tax and spend madly. As an aside, according to a recent Mercatus Center study, New York State is ranked #41 of the fifty states in terms of fiscal health (Florida is #4, North Carolina is #9, Georgia is #18, and South Carolina is #20).

As in the Florida fraternal example, New York State waited too late until conditions worsened, failed to change their ways, and opted to burden the remaining people instead. Such “knee-jerk” reactions is typical of incompetent leadership.

Then we have the crisis of illegal immigrants at our southern border, a problem threatening our country’s sovereignty. While some claim the problem is “manufactured,” reports from the Department of Homeland Security are undeniable. The American people have known this to be a problem well before the 2016 elections. Remarkably, the Congress fails to address the problem, even to this day. Regardless of the party in power, if this is a legitimate problem, where is the House and Senate in terms of changing our laws? The fact they insist of ignoring the problem goes beyond simple dereliction of duty; it is pure negligence, if not treasonous.

These three incidents are typical of American planning, as they prefer waiting for disaster to strike before taking action. This, of course, is madness. The reason for it should be rather obvious, we feel comfortable operating in an auto-pilot mode and resist making hard decisions that might offend someone. Yet in the end, reactionary behavior ultimately hurts everyone.

Let me give you one last example, knowing our Fraternal Lodge was losing membership and money, and realizing the costs to maintain our building were escalating, I prepared a Feasibility Study which came to the conclusion the Lodge should sell the building and move in with a neighboring Lodge. Had we done so, we would have probably sold the building for $750K. Unfortunately, the members voted to stay and hoped the problem would alleviate itself. It did not. Consequently, 13 years later, the Lodge was finally forced to sell the building for $500K, a substantially lower number. In other words, they avoided the inevitable which ultimately cost them. Think about it, it is essentially no different than the Billy Mitchell story which cost the military dearly.

Planning requires foresight, keeping a pulse on changing conditions, the ability to adapt to change, and above all else, effective leadership. If the leaders are operating on auto-pilot, the group should not be surprised by the consequences when havoc strikes.

For more information on Reactive Management, click HERE.

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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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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MAYBE YES MEANS NO

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 4, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– There are some significant differences between Eastern and Western management.

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

I have been to Japan several times over the years on business and have had the privilege of seeing Japanese work habits first hand, which are noticeably different than in the United States. As a small example, the first time I visited, I noticed that in addition to having Coke and Pepsi machines on a street corner, there were also beer and whiskey machines. I discovered the Japanese were not worried about their youth getting alcohol from the machines as it would cause their families to “lose face” through embarrassment. If we had such machines in this country, they would probably be emptied by our youth faster than the vendors could stock them.

Aside from this though, there are a few other differences I observed in corporate Japan:

* Japanese do not like to say “No” to someone as they do not want to offend the person. Instead, they tend to say, “Maybe Yes,” which, when translated, means “No.” This is similar in intent to the American habit of saying, “I’ll try to make it” (to a meeting or appointment), yet never do.

If the Japanese nod their heads in the affirmative, it only means they understand what you are saying but they don’t necessarily agree with you. Because of this, it is not uncommon for American businessmen to fool themselves into believing they are being successful when they make a presentation in Japan. In reality, the Japanese understood the presentation but need time to digest and discuss it among themselves. If an American asks them something like, “Was I correct in this regards?” If they answer, “Maybe Yes,” the American is in trouble.

* I have been in a few large offices in Japan where I have seen young employees suddenly jump up on their desks and give a five minute speech on why he/she is proud of his company and what a pleasure it is to work with their coworkers. When finished, the rest of the office politely applauds before returning to their work. I wish I could say I have seen this in the United States, but I’m afraid I cannot.

* It is not proper for an employee to be insolent and openly criticize his superior. Knowing this may lead to pent up frustrations, some companies have small closet-sized rooms where the disgruntled employee can go into, close the door, and quietly beat an effigy of the boss with a bamboo stick. It may sound kind of silly, then again, you don’t hear of anyone going “postal” in Japan either.

* It is still important for the Japanese to reach a consensus on any significant decision. This process may take some time to perform, but they want to emphasize team building and inclusion of employees in the decision making process. In other words, you do not see too much in the way of “micromanagement” over there.

* When you join a major company in Japan it is common to first “pay your dues,” whereby you and your “class” (those who joined at the same time) are put on the same employment level and work for ten years, after which it is determined who the hard workers are and reward them with a major job promotion. If you didn’t work hard, the company won’t necessarily fire you, but your advancement in the company is arrested. Nonetheless, the emphasis here is on teamwork and creating a spirit of cooperation.

In the United States though, things are a little different…

* Americans are not afraid of offending anyone. So much so, that “Hell No!” (or stronger) is a natural part of our vernacular. Unlike the Japanese who digest something before speaking, Americans do not hesitate to tell you whether they agree with you or not.

* Rarely do you find an American employee who is steadfastly loyal to his company. Instead, it is more likely he will start an anonymous blog to bitch about his company and slander the character of the boss and his coworkers.

* Americans tend to vent their frustrations more publicly than the Japanese. For example, you might get attacked in the company parking lot, or someone may pull a gun out and start shooting.

* Instead of group decision making, Americans prefer rugged individualism whereby decisions tend to be made unilaterally as opposed to seeking the counsel of others. Consequently, employees tend to undermine any decision which is jammed down their throats.

* When you join a major company in the United States, you are rewarded more for individual acts as opposed to team playing. This results in a never ending game of scratching and clawing your way up the corporate hierarchy. Obviously, this approach promotes interoffice politics and cutthroat tactics as opposed to a spirit of cooperation.

Why the substantial differences? Primarily because Japan is a homogeneous culture, and the American “melting pot” is heterogeneous which includes people of all races, faiths, and beliefs.

Although the differences between east and west are noticeable, things are slowly changing in Japan, whose youth have grown up with the Internet and are starting to emulate the work habits of their counterparts in the west. In other words, instead of observing courtesy, honor and respect, Japan is slowly becoming Westernized and I fear that some time in the not too distant future “Maybe Yes” will mean nothing more than 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 timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 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, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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