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Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 24, 2020

BRYCE ON THE VIRUS

– “Break a Leg!”

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

I think it is time I weighed in on the coronavirus panic choking our country. Currently, we are a nation suffocating in a depressing doom and gloom; where the media seems to take delight in telling us how bad things are, all in the name of improved ratings. Frankly, they haven’t hit a bonanza like this in a long time, even in spite of their sloppy reporting. This has been exacerbated by lawyers, accountants, politicians, and a greedy media who will not be happy until the country is ground to a halt. Frankly, this is one American who has had enough.

In show business, the expression, “The Show Must Go On!”, means we must go forward even in the face of adversity. It is time for this country to do likewise in lieu of the panic. Currently, we are experiencing a domino effect whereby restaurants and businesses are closing, as are schools, the travel industry is tanking, people are working from home or are being let go, people are hoarding toilet paper (of all things), we are rationing food, etc., thereby causing the economy to tremble. The new politically correct concept of “Social Distancing” is forcing people to turn inwards to home, and avoid human contact, not just group activities such as sporting events, church meetings, schools, going to the beach, or a drink at the local tavern. Terrified of the virus, people are hiding out until the all-clear siren is sounded. There is one problem with this, we cannot afford to bring the country to a standstill as exemplified by the movie, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Our choice is simple: We can either resign ourselves to a fate of destruction or pick up the pieces and move forward. I choose the latter.

Some claim we have never seen anything like this virus (COVID-19). This is simply not true. The 2009-2010 Swine Flu Pandemic saw upwards to 1.4 billion cases, with deaths estimated between 150,000–575,000. Today, we are nowhere near these numbers. I am not doubting the legitimacy of the coronavirus, but I am questioning the panic that has ensued. It reminds me of how we handle hurricanes in Florida. It used to be, the public was alerted about an approaching storm, we took the necessary precautions (such as replenishing supplies and boarding up homes) and then rode it out. However, when Hurricane Irma appeared in 2017, Floridians were panicked by the media, forcing the closure of restaurants and businesses, and the stoppage of water, gasoline, and electricity in some areas. Frankly, it turned out to be a rather lame storm here in Florida by comparison to other hurricanes, but the public was panicked into a frenzy by the media, not too dissimilar to what we are experiencing today. The point is, something is horribly wrong in how the media is communicating with the public these days.

What we are witnessing is an interesting social experiment. It proves people can be easily manipulated by the media and politicians. It also demonstrates people prefer operating on autopilot, and when it is switched off, they do not know how to improvise, adapt and overcome, and this is what is perhaps most disturbing about the panic.

There are, of course, some things beyond our control, such as financial markets, government regulations, etc., and I am certainly not advocating disobeying the law, but we need to challenge our politicians and hold them accountable, as well as the media. It also means we have to learn to think for ourselves and become proactive as opposed to reactive. In other words, we need to think differently, break old habits, and replace them with new ones. Remember the old maxim, “In confusion there is profits.”

We need to begin by changing our perspective to believe the glass is half full, not half empty as the media suggests. In other words, let’s think positive, not negative. Now is the time for innovation in the workplace, to think smarter, and introduce new ideas to get the job done. There are opportunities out there waiting to be exploited, we just have to find them.

So, should we place our faith in the hands of our politicians and the media? As for me, I will put my trust in common sense instead.

By the way, perhaps the biggest difference between the 2009-2010 Swine Flu Pandemic and the 2020 COVID-19 panic is that 2009-2010 was not a presidential election year. Hmm, must be nothing more than a coincidence, right?

Another stage related expression is “Break a Leg,” representing a wish for good luck to a performer. It’s an old expression reflecting an ancient superstition that wishing someone “good luck” was considered somewhat of a jinx.

Since I am from the South, I will leave you with…

Break a Leg (Y’all)!

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. DON’T FORGET GRADUATION DAY. This is the perfect gift!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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 Government, Healthcare, Media | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BRYCE INTRODUCES NEW BOOK SUPPORTING CIVICS FOR YOUTH

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 20, 2020

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”

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

PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA (March 20, 2020) – In an effort to educate High School and College aged students about government, author Tim Bryce has introduced a new book titled, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works.” A brief, easy-to-read book aimed at combating the naiveté of those who do not understand how and why their government works.

According to Bryce, “Basically, I have created a mini-course in Civics. I was inspired by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent initiative to re-introduce Civics into the classroom. Frankly, I have been appalled by how few students today appear to understand history and government. I therefore wanted to write a text describing the basics of government for American youth. For example, most do not understand the checks and balances defined by the Constitution, nor do they appreciate the concept of the Electoral College, or how legislation is passed. They certainly do not know the difference between a Republic and a Democracy, nor Socialism vs. Capitalism. So, my intention is to clarify all of this, plus more.”

The purpose of the Bryce book is to provide a guide to clear up misconceptions, e.g.; how our government is organized, how it works, and why certain mechanisms are in place, thanks in large part to the U.S. Constitution, one of the most brilliant inventions ever created by mankind.

Early reviews are positive thus far; according to book reviewer Helena Nunn of Tampa Bay, “Your book will be an important addition for educating the youth of our country about our own government, our rights and our Constitution. I love the fact you emphasize the importance that all U.S. citizens, and not just immigrants, learn their Constitutional rights and responsibilities. It is so important every citizen understands the difference between Capitalism and Socialism. Your book should be mandatory reading in schools and before one can vote in this country. It has helped me know my government better and reacquainted me to our wonderful Constitution! We all can use a refresher course on our government and our Constitution!”

In addition to the Introduction, the book is a collection of essays on such subjects as:

“Government Begins at Home”
“Understanding the Constitution”
“What are Your Rights (or is it Wrongs?)”
“What Does it Mean to be a Citizen of the United States”
“Democracy versus Republic”
“How Legislation is Passed or Vetoed”
“What Does a Constitutional Convention Mean?”
“Understanding the Electoral College”
“Senators and the 17th Amendment”
“Congressional Term Limits”
“The Middle Class: Separating Capitalism from Socialism”
“Capitalism versus Socialism: Reference Guide”
“Lacking Faith in Political Polling”
“The Media Industrial Complex (MIC)”

There is also a section for “Suggested Books” which includes additional readings pertinent to young voters.

Bryce’s “Before You Vote” book is available in three formats: Printed ($5.75 U.S.), PDF ($5.00 U.S.), and Kindle eBook version (ASIN: B085TQN34G) ($5.00 U.S.).

The book is published by Amazon and can be found in their book store (67 pages). The ISBN for the printed version is: 9798623807946

Details on the book, along with ordering information, can be found at Bryce’s Blog: https://timbryce.com/

Or directly at:http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/government.htm

The author points out this makes a great graduation gift, or some interesting reading while schools are closed due to the coronavirus.

Tim Bryce is well-known for his blog, “The Bryce is Right!,” and has written for the Tampa Tribune, Huffington Post, News Talk Florida, The Patch, as well as numerous management and technical journals around the world. This is his 16th book. Past titles include, “Tim’s Senior Moments,” “How to Run a Nonprofit,” “Morphing into the Real World,” “The IRM Revolution,” and others; see: https://timbryce.com/mba-press/

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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 Books, Government | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

UNDERSTANDING THE CONSTITUTION

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 10, 2020

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– It is genius, sheer genius.

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

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. It is what politicians, military personnel, law enforcement, judges, federal employees, and legal immigrants are sworn to uphold, e.g., “…and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.” It was created in 1787, ratified in 1788, and made effective in 1789. Since then it has become the model by which other countries have re-invented their government.

The first three words of the Constitution are, “We the people,” to indicate it was written to serve the interests of the people of the country, not a monarch or dictator.

The Constitution was produced by the second Continental Congress, but was preceded in 1781 by the Articles of Confederation, the first true constitution of the country. The weakness in this document was the lack of a strong central government, giving more power to the states instead.

Construction

There are essentially two parts to the Constitution:

The Main Body – specifying the mechanisms of the government.

Amendments – specifying the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people, and changes made to the Main Body. The first ten amendments are referred to as “The Bill of Rights.” This was a clean way to separate the two parts of the Constitution, thereby making it easier to ratify the overall document. Whereas there have been some changes made to the Main Body, the Amendments have changed more frequently over the years. There have been 27 Amendments made to the Constitution, with the 21st used to repeal prohibition (the 18th amendment).

The Main Body defines the responsibilities of the three “separate but equal” branches of government:

* The Executive Branch – as represented by the office of the President, along with the various agencies and departments controlled by the President’s cabinet.

* The Judicial Branch – representing the Supreme Court and lower federal courts.

* The Legislative Branch – represented by the Congress and responsible for passing laws in conformance to the Constitution. Interestingly, the Congress is referred to as “bicameral,” meaning there are two separate chambers; the House of Representatives (the lower House), and the Senate (the Upper House). Whereas the House is generally regarded as lawmakers from all walks of life, the Senators are typically senior politicians who offer advice and confirm presidential appointments.

These three branches offer “Checks and balances” over each other so one branch doesn’t become stronger than the others. For example, The Executive Branch nominates judges for the Supreme Court and lower courts, but the nominees must be approved by the Senate. The Senate must also approve the President’s nominees for cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, military leaders, and other agency appointments. Without this approval, the people cannot serve.

The Congress may pass laws, but the Supreme Court ultimately determines if the legislation conforms to the Constitution. If it does not, it can be dismissed.

The Congress must secure the President’s signature to enact legislation. Without the signature, the legislation is “vetoed” from being placed into law. The Congress can overturn the President’s veto by securing a 2/3 percent vote in both chambers of Congress. This is difficult to do, but has been done.

This is but a small sampling of the “checks and balances” at play in the Constitution. There are many more. Nothing like these “checks and balances” had been tried before. All of this is a a testament to the brilliance of the founding fathers who devised the Constitution. It is hard to imagine a team of lawyers in today’s world who could produce such a document with such eloquence and conciseness.

Ratifying the Constitution became a problem as antagonists challenged many clauses within the document. To overcome this problem, a series of articles were produced and distributed by newspapers throughout the country explaining the virtues of the various parts of the document. This was referred to as “The Federalist Papers” and written by James Madison (later to become the 4th President of the United States), Alexander Hamilton (later to become the 1st U.S. Treasury Secretary), and John Jay (later to become 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court), all under the pseudonym “Publius.”

The Constitution has been with us for well over 200 years and has withstood the test of time. Is it perfect? Of course not, there are some items that should be revisited, such as term limits for politicians, a balanced budget, changing the length of our electoral process, and more. But overall, the Constitution has served us well.

It is genius. Sheer genius.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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 Government | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

GOVERNMENT BEGINS AT HOME

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 23, 2020

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– It all begins at the local level.

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

For those Americans paying attention to the news, most are consumed by politics at the federal level. There is nothing wrong with this, but as I like to remind young Americans, “Government begins at home.” By this I mean government affects us first and foremost at the municipal and county levels. If you have a fire, you contact the local fire department, not a federal agency; if you want to report a crime, you call the local police or Sheriff’s office, not the Feds; if you have questions about your offspring’s school, you contact the local School Board, not the Department of Education, and; If you have a problem with water and sewer, you contact the local public works/utilities offices. The same is true for road maintenance and traffic, everything begins at the local level, all of which has the greatest impact on us.

Interestingly, few people seem to be aware of this which explains why voters rarely turnout in local elections as opposed to state or federal elections. Because of this voter apathy, it is easier to seize political control at the local level, and quite often, politicians slip a tax increase by in these poorly attended elections.

The notion local government is the bedrock of all government was first observed in 1835 by noted historian and political commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman, as published in 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.

In his book, de Tocqueville observed, “…the strength of free nations resides in the township.” Whereas, European countries at the time consisted of monarchies, and a top-down approach to government, America had employed a bottom-up strategy instead. He also recognized, successful local government officials would likely progress up the ladder to state and federal positions. He wrote, “In France, the government lends its officers to the township – In America, the township lends its officers to the government.” This bottom-up approach is still common to this day, and provides another reason why citizens should pay close attention to local elections. It represents the “farm club” for government at higher levels. Today’s mayors, councilmen, police chiefs, prosecutors, public defenders, fire chiefs, and judges are tomorrow’s governors, attorney generals, congressmen, supreme court justices, and more.

One reason why people do not spend much time understanding local government is because the local news media spends little time covering it with qualified reporters. Most think it is trivial and their time is better served at the state and federal levels. This is why town hall meetings are so important to communicate what exactly is going on locally.

As we approach the 2020 elections, we of course need informed citizens to vote accordingly on major issues, but we also need voters for what appears to be inconsequential local elections in March or throughout the summer. They are every bit as important.

Just remember, local government is the basic building block of our entire government. Support it, don’t ignore it, as it has a great bearing on our lives.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Also do not forget my books, “How to Run a Nonprofit” and “Tim’s Senior Moments”, both available in Printed and eBook form.

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is an author, freelance 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 © 2020 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 Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

WHAT I LEARNED BY 5TH GRADE

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 27, 2019

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– I suspect it is a lot more than what they teach today in high school.

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

I have recently been a guest on various radio talk shows to discuss the fundamental mechanics of American government. Inevitably, we discuss the teaching of Civics and History in schools, which I believe is lacking. I then recounted what I had learned during my elementary grade school years, which I believe was better than most high schools today.

Let me preface this by saying I attended Fox Run Elementary in Norwalk, Connecticut from 1961-1965, over fifty years ago. I have many fond memories of the school and enjoyed going there. Connecticut is, of course, a part of New England and, as such, there is a great sense of history in terms of the founding of our country. There is also an attachment to the sea as exemplified by the Mystic seaport.

I was attending class at Fox Run when the student body was told of the assassination of President Kennedy by our principal, Mr. Kelly. I was in 4th Grade at the time and vividly remember how it was announced to us, after-which we were dismissed from school. Nonetheless, Fox Run taught the usual subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but there was also a very strong curriculum for history.

During my time there, we watched the NASA Mercury and Gemini space programs during lunch hall on televisions brought in for us. Knowing the historical significance of the space program, the teachers made a concerted effort for us to watch the space shots which enraptured many of us.

In Social Studies class, we learned about the famous explorers of the world and why they traveled the seas to find new lands. We learned about Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Hernando de Soto, and others. We also learned about the Pilgrims, the Virginians, and the native Indians. The intent was to discuss how these various cultures affected each other, both good and bad. There was no discussion of political correctness, just “this is what happened” and when.

In all grades, we began the day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and sang a patriotic song, such as “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” and of course, the “Star-Spangled Banner.” We also observed Columbus Day by reviewing his voyage.

It was in 5th grade where the teachers zeroed in on American history. Naturally, we had a text book to study, but there was a lot of discussion on how the country was founded, going back to the French and Indian Wars, followed by the Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence. Keep in mind, as New Englanders we were all familiar with various historical sites in the area, so the Revolutionary War was near and dear to our hearts.

We read the Declaration, discussed how and why it was created, and committed quite a bit of it to memory, particularly, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Likewise, we memorized the preamble of the Constitution, to wit: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

In discussing the Constitution, it was impressed upon us the three “separate but equal branches of government”; the executive, legislative, and judicial, and how this formed “checks and balances” on each other. We also reviewed the Bill of Rights and discussed how to amend the Constitution.

We spent considerable time discussing the Civil War, including why we went to war, the horrors of it, and the principals involved on both sides. Although we were Connecticut Yankees, I do not remember my teachers ever besmirching the names of southerners like General Robert E. Lee, or President Jefferson Davis. Again, there was no discussion of political correctness, just “this is what happened” and when.

In addition to the generals and politicians of the day, we also learned about Abolitionist John Brown, Nurse Clara Barton, Assassin John Wilkes Booth, the Underground Railroad, and the Gettysburg Address. As to the Address, we studied it carefully. Although we were not asked to memorize it, I know of others who had to do so as it was considered almost as important as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

After the Civil War, we studied Reconstruction, the various Presidents, World War I (which our grandfathers served in), and World War II (which our fathers served in). We spent time discussing Hitler’s rise to power, as well as the Holocaust, which was a real eye-opener to us if memory serves me right.

In looking back on this curriculum, it wasn’t too bad and we had no problem digesting it. I don’t know if Fox Run still teaches it, but I hope they do. I suspect we weren’t unique as I have discussed this with other friends my age who experienced similar teachings elsewhere.

It was this teaching that planted the seeds of history within me, which would later be supplemented in High School with more in-depth discussions, but the foundation was carefully laid at Fox Run. From my experience, what I learned there is much better than what is taught in the high schools today.

And, Yes, we learned the differences between a Democracy and a Republic.

By the way, thank you Mr. Hamilton and Mrs. Gilmore, wherever you may be.

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 Education, Government, History | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

DEMOCRACY VERSUS REPUBLIC

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 19, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Do you know the difference?

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

One of my pet peeves involving politics is when people misstate our form of government. Normally, I would claim this as the fault of uneducated young people, but many politicians, members of the press, as well as grown-ups are also guilty of this faux pas. No, we most definitely do not live in a “democracy,” but a “constitutional republic” instead, as does most of the governments in the world.

In its truest sense, democracy means “Rule by the People,” meaning a system of government whereby the populace votes directly on each and every issue. When you consider the voluminous number of bills and candidates to be voted upon, this is simply not feasible, regardless if we had the most sophisticated computer software to do so. Time should be allotted to deliberate on each piece of legislation and, to do so, would require citizens to devote most of their time to such study, and not tend to their own business.

This is why we elect politicians, to represent our interests so the populace doesn’t have to vote on every bill, large or small, and explains why we refer to this as a “representative democracy,” aka “republic.” Here, the elected representatives are governed by a rule of law, such as a constitution, which defines the structure and responsibility of executive, legislative, and judicial tasks. Consequently, we call this form of government a “constitutional republic,” which is a more accurate description of our government than “democracy.” It should also be noted that under this form of government, the head of state is not a monarch, such as a King or Queen, which lends itself more to being a “monarchy” as opposed to a free-standing “republic.”

Every now and then, we hear a politician or member of the media proclaim, “This (or that) is a threat to our democracy.” This tells me they haven’t a clue as to what they are talking about. Instead, they should have said, “This is a threat to our republic.” Alas though, they do not.

The Democrats also have a problem with the name, particularly when they refer to themselves as the “Democratic” party. This too is incorrect. However, it is often difficult to describe the party, audibly or in writing, without making this common mistake. The term “Democracy” is so imbued in our culture, the Democrats try capitalizing on it to confuse the public, portraying the word “republic” as a constitutional threat to the country. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is now the largest socialist organization in the United States and aside from their far-left agenda, it is difficult to discern if they truly embrace democracy or a constitutional republic, I suspect the former.

Another commonly misunderstood area is the concept of the Electoral College in presidential elections, which is indirectly tied to the concept of “republic” as opposed to “democracy” by electing electorates (representatives) as opposed to a popular vote. By doing so, it provides parity between the interests of rural and metropolitan America. Frankly, the Electoral College is a testament to the sheer genius of our founding fathers as it encourages everyone to vote, not just large metropolitan areas.

Liberals believe the Electoral College is a threat to democracy, and it is reported as such by the press. In reality, they are correct as the College is intended to be used in a republic, not a democracy.

So, in a nutshell, No, we do not live in a democracy, in the truest sense of the word. We live in a “constitutional republic” and it is important all citizens understand the differences.

Following the writing of the U.S. Constitution, a woman approached Benjamin Franklin, who was one of the delegates and authors, and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” He coyly replied, “A republic — if you can keep 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 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 Government, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

THE 116TH CONGRESS IS OFF AND RUNNING…BUT WHERE TO?

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 8, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Do not expect too much as we will be embroiled in gridlock.

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

The 116th U.S. Congress was sworn in on January 3rd. As expected, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) was elected Speaker of the House, who has the unenviable job of binding up a divided chamber of Congress, as well her own party, the Democrats. This will be Mrs. Pelosi’s last hurrah and will likely mark her legacy in the history books. Whereas the House is in the hands of the Democrats, the Senate remains under Republican control. Translation, nothing of substance will happen for the next two years as the two chambers will be hopelessly gridlocked. In terms of House Democrats, the Speaker will likely have trouble controlling the far left who fought her election as Speaker.

Beginning from Day One, the Democrats have drawn a line in the sand to confront Republicans and President Trump. The subject of impeaching the President raised its ugly head again and as I predicted the desire to do so will prove to be irresistible to Democrats. Frankly, the charges are frivolous, and veteran House Democrats know even if it is passed in their chamber, the president will be exonerated in the Republican controlled Senate. So, why go through this futile exercise? To simply besmirch the character of the president as a prelude to the 2020 presidential election. The only problem is, they will likely raise the ire of the American people who elected Mr. Trump, and this is what concerns the party’s leadership. It is more about character assassination as opposed to introducing legislation to solve our problems.

Freshmen Democrats are already rattling sabers. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI) unapologetically called the president a Mother******. This was followed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accusing the president of being a “no question” racist in a 60 Minutes interview. Neither taunts will play well in Poughkeepsie.

More trouble is in the offing though. Rep. Steve Cohen (TN) introduced legislation to eliminate the Electoral College in presidential elections, relying on the popular vote instead. Devised by our founding fathers, the Electoral College is simply brilliant in terms of maintaining parity between the interests of rural America and large metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, it is not well understood in the country anymore, particularly since Civic classes are no longer being taught in high schools. Should this legislation pass the House, it will not see the light of day in the Senate, as it would mean people in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, will dictate who becomes president, with little regard for main stream America. This is precisely the scenario our founding fathers hoped to avoid.

Rep. Cohen also introduced legislation to prohibit presidents from issuing pardons to themselves, their families, their administration or their campaign staff. This is a major change as the presidents have long possessed the right to pardon. What they want to avoid is a situation, such as in the final days of President Bill Clinton’s administration where he pardoned his Whitewater cronies, such as Susan McDougal. This too will likely not pass the Senate.

Also, legislation has been introduced mandating the publishing of tax returns of presidential candidates and executives in office. As I have reported in the past, this has always been an optional report for candidates to produce. It is likely the main stream media is driving this initiative. Personally, I believe your finances are your own personal affair. If you want to disclose it, fine, if not, that is fine also. Frankly, if the Democrats believe strongly in this, this should be made equally applicable to ALL government officials, including Congress and the Supreme Court, along with state, county, and municipal governments. What is good for the goose, should be good for the gander. This legislation will likely not pass as well.

Last, but certainly not least, the House and the president are at a stalemate regarding reopening the government and funding a wall for the southern border. The irresistible force has met the immovable object, and no amount of negotiations is going to change anything as it will be viewed as a sign of weakness by both sides. The one exception might be if President Trump does as he suggests and declares a national emergency which would allow him to appropriate funds for the wall. This will likely happen as the president has been releasing data and testimonies of the problems at our southern border in recent weeks. Should the president declare an emergency, it offers Democrats a way out of the confrontation without losing face, and the government can start back up again.

All of this highlights the gridlock in the nation’s capitol which we better get used to. The intent of the Democrats is to make the president look bad as we approach 2020. In addition to the legislation listed here, we will likely see a flurry of subpoenas designed to tie up the president and his administration, thereby obstructing his agenda. Because of the gridlock, we will not see anything of substance resulting from the 116th Congress, certainly not health care reform (which the Democrats campaigned on).

The only possibility might be in the area of addressing the nation’s decaying infrastructure but I am not optimistic about passage of such legislation as we are now embroiled in a game of one-upmanship, and neither side want to give the other a win.

Rep. Pelosi’s legacy will likely be defined by the gridlock of the Congress and the Democrat’s inability to bring this president to heel. If their shenanigan’s persist, they will run the risk of angering the American people, and assuring the Republicans regain the House, not to mention securing President Trump a second term. It will also likely fracture the Democrats, leaving us wondering who will become leader of their party in the House following Mrs. Pelosi’s tour of duty. People like Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD), Rep. Ray Lujan (NM), and Rep. James Clyburn (SC) will likely be viewed as clones of Mrs. Pelosi and may very well be rebuffed by younger Democrats who will want to chart a new course to the left.

The only thing we know for sure about the next two years is that it certainly will not be boring and the news media will support whoever emerges as an effective leader of the party.

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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EXPANDING GOVERNMENT

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 13, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Why it has gotten so.

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Over the last 100 years the federal government has grown by leaps and bounds. The impetus for this is probably economic related (e.g., “The Great Depression,” and today’s world economy), and military related (including two world wars, Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, numerous minor engagements, and the War on Terror). We also have several years of presidential campaigns heaped in where we were promised a lot more than two chickens in every pot or two cars in every garage. This has all changed the face of our government where we now have several more agencies and departments to deliver on presidential promises. For example, during my lifetime alone we have seen the introduction of several cabinet posts, such as HUD, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, EPA, and Homeland Security.

There are essentially two theories as to why government expands: that it is driven by citizen demand, or it is self-generating, that it grows naturally by itself. I tend to believe in the latter as I see it as an excellent example of Parkinson’s Law in action. The law, which was devised by C. Northcote Parkinson, a noted British historian and author was based on his experience with the British Civil Service. Among his key observation’s was that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Basically, he suggests people make work in order to rationalize their employment. Consequently, managers create bureaucracies and superfluous work to justify their existence, not because it is really needed (aka, the “making mountains our of mole hills” phenomenon).

We see examples of Parkinson’s Law in just about every government body, from federal to state, to municipal, to the smallest bodies of government, including Homeowner Associations. A few years ago I was President of my Homeowners Association where I was able to balance the budget, update their governing docs, and streamline their administrative affairs. It wasn’t hard, it just required a little common sense, nothing more, nothing less. Since I left the board of directors though, spending has gone through the roof, and we are now paying more for dues and getting a lot less in return. As I see it, my Homeowners Association is a microcosm of the problems with government; paying more and getting less. To illustrate, the only visible government services that impacts me directly are roads, water and sewage, the police, and education. Everything else is transparent to me. Others might include welfare, housing, and the environment, but I think this is the exception as opposed to the rule for most people. In other words, the average person sees little in return for the taxes they pay.

Then we come to the old argument as to whether government should be more or less intrusive in our lives which is actually a political argument. There are those who say we need more government since the average citizen is not smart enough to control his/her own destiny, and there are others who want less government control and more freedom. Understand this, the government grew over the last 100 years under both Democratic and Republican administrations. So political ideologue has no real bearing in this regard. It is simply a matter of management (or the lack thereof).

Recognizing companies were becoming bloated and inefficient, executives began to flatten corporate hierarchies in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The poster child for this was Jack Welsh of General Electric who earned the nickname “Neutron Jack” for his ability to flatten G.E. units. Welsh’s approach was reminiscent of Joseph Stalin’s purges which came in waves of three: the first was to eliminate the deadwood from around the office, representing the people who were the most expendable; the second wave of purges represented a major belt tightening effort intended to find out who the company could live without, and finally; the third wave was the hardest as it required considerable soul-searching but uncovered the bedrock of the corporation. What was left was a more efficient organization that was more focused on the right priorities.

Now imagine if we did something like this to our government; it would force a lot of bureaucrats out of office, it would create a leaner and more streamlined government, and it would force them to concentrate on the services that truly matter.

But for some reason I think most people like a fat government. They like having someone looking over their shoulder, kind of like a security blanket. As I found in my homeowner association though, the price of a bloated government is more expensive, more bureaucratic, and provides less service. I guess it comes down to how dependent we want to be on government and whether we trust their judgment to maintain our interests. As for me, I vote for less government, not more. Here’s another way of looking at it: should the government serve its constituents, or should the constituents serve the government? You tell me.

First published: December 1, 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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  THE SWEETENING OF AMERICA – Whether we are aware of it or not, our tastes are changing.

LAST TIME:  THE PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM MORAL DECAY  – How it impacts business.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 5, 2017

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– What the “separation of church and state” really means.

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For some reason, Americans believe there is a legal requirement to separate church and state in the US Constitution. It is now commonly believed organized religion has no business in the workings of the state. The reality is, there is no such stipulation whatsoever in the Constitution. There is only a couple of references to religion in our governing documents. The first is in Article 6 of the Constitution whereby “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The second reference is in Amendment One of the Bill of Rights whereby, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” I cannot speak for the governing documents of the various states and territories, but as far as the Constitution is concerned, that is all there is pertaining to religion.

So where does this presumption of separation come from? Two places: other countries who embrace such a concept, but more importantly in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists regarding the 1st amendment. Jefferson was president at the time and well known as author of the Declaration of Independence (but not the Constitution; that was Madison). In the letter, Jefferson wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

By this letter to the Baptists, Jefferson meant that the United States would not establish a national church. This letter greatly influenced Supreme Court decisions. Keep in mind, Jefferson is speaking on another matter altogether and he is writing as president, not as a justice of the Supreme Court who should rightfully interpret the separation issue. However, for some strange reason, the letter was used to define the separation issue. In Everson vs. Board of Education in 1947, the Supreme Court used a portion of the letter (eight words only) and interpreted it to mean, “The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ That wall must be kept high and impregnable.” How they came to this conclusion mystifies Constitutional scholars to this day. It is interesting the Supreme Court based its conclusion on an interpretation of a letter, not the Constitution itself.

Based on this Supreme Court decision, atheists and attorneys have used this as a means to drive God out of our country. Today, we hear of football teams prohibited from saying a nondenominational prayer before or after a game, Christmas trees have been banned from schools, students are being suspended for saying “bless you” after hearing someone sneeze, there are movements to remove anything pertaining to God out of government buildings, and there is even an attack on our national motto, “In God we Trust.”

Not long ago we heard about a movement by atheists to remove Gideon Bibles from Navy lodges. These Bibles were provided for the comfort of sailors staying at the lodges. The removal of the Bibles created a furor when it was reported in the press. So much so, the Navy ordered the Gideon Bibles returned back into the lodge rooms.

Make no mistake, Christianity is under attack here, not Judaism, Islam, or even witchcraft, and it appears to be a concerted effort. Some contend it is intended to undermine the country as Christianity played an important role in the founding of America. Whatever the reason, we must beware of such attacks and be prepared to repel them.

If by some chance, our opponents are successful in eradicating God in the federal government, I am one of those who believe all federal employees should work on Christmas Day, particularly postal workers.

Is there really a separation of church and state in the Constitution? No, but it will be necessary to bring a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to overturn their 1947 misinterpretation.

I pray we do not become a Godless country. Without God, the country will fall.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Even Sky Masterson read the Gideon Bible, as did Rocky Raccoon.

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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY – Why should I pay for somebody else’s mistakes?

LAST TIME:  BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER  – How to become conversant in politics and government.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

Posted in Government, Religion | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

BECOMING AN EDUCATED VOTER

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 3, 2017

BRYCE ON GOVERNMENT

– How to become conversant in politics and government.

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

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;”

When you compare the America of the early 19th century to today, you will find students, even college graduates, who have no sense of history, no sense of the mechanics of our government at any level, and no sense of current events. Somehow we dropped the ball along the way. We now have a couple of generations of Americans who are content to limp along as apathetic sheeple. The second graders of the 1830’s are mental giants by comparison. Not surprising, the politicians of today appeal to the voters through emotion rather than logic. It has become too easy to deceive and misdirect the under informed public.

However, for those who want to get back on track, to learn about the government and current events, there are plenty of resources available.

1. Discuss – learn to discuss such subjects with your family, friends and colleagues, but be careful, political discussion can lead to arguments and disrupt harmony. If you can find such people though interested in participating in discussions, it can make for some interesting mental gymnastics.

In schools, it would be nice to see government and history courses reintroduced, and, No, not just from the 20th century forward. How about the 18th or 17th centuries instead?

Understand your rights as a citizen and the the mechanics of government by becoming familiar with our governing docs.

Two books come to mind which can help:

“The 5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen, is an excellent primer to describe why our government is organized the way it is. As far as I’m concerned, this should be on the reading list for every high school student.

For those who wish to be a little more ambitious, let me suggest Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” which provides interesting insight as to the differences between the United States and the rest of the world. The book is rather thick, but stimulating nevertheless.

Learn to read and watch the news. More importantly, challenge the accuracy of the news and beware of newscasters trying to spin it.

2. Write – Want to do more? How about writing your Congressman? Whether you voted for them or not, these people are charged to represent you. Do not hesitate to ask questions or discuss your views on certain subjects. Remember, they work for you, not the other way around. You can also write the President of your concerns. Also learn to contact your local and state officials.

While you’re at it, post your views in your local newspapers in the “Letters to the Editor” section.

You may also wish to contact the various political parties to pose a question or comment, such as the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, or the Libertarian Party.

Linking to such political and news organizations via social media outlets, such as Twitter and Facebook, is also a good way of staying abreast of news stories, and opinions.

3. Activism – finally, volunteer your time in various political and nonprofit organizations, thereby allowing you to rub elbows with people of similar interests and help push forward those items you feel are important. As we approach the mid-term elections, and you are interested in party politics, you may want to hold a sign or walk a neighborhood in support or your favorite politician or cause. Just remember to maintain your composure, especially when doors are closed in your face.

As Tocqueville suggests, citizens have an implicit civic responsibility to become educated in the workings of government and to maintain a sense of history. Becoming a sheeple is not conducive for improving government.

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 © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ARE WE BECOMING A GODLESS COUNTRY? – What the “separation of church and state” really means.

LAST TIME:  THE MYTH OF EQUALITY  – More than anything, equality is about ego.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

 

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

 
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