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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

WHAT THE ATTACKS ON OUR MONUMENTS TRULY MEANS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 17, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It’s certainly not about history.

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

The attacks on our national monuments have less to do with history and social consciousness, and more to do with control over today’s political climate. Allow me to explain. We hear of statues in the south pertaining to the Civil War being removed or defaced, particularly those depicting Generals Robert E. Lee and J.E.B Stuart. As a youngster growing up in the north, I was taught of the evils of slavery and the costly war to end it. However, as I grew up and moved around for my profession, I learned of the culture of the South and the pride of its citizens. They knew they lost the war and learned to live with it. For over a hundred years, they honored their dead for their spirit. Now, suddenly, such symbols are under attack. Even this misplaced Yankee, who now resides in the South, is alarmed by the determined push to deface our history.

Let me be clear, the Civil War, which regrettably led to thousands of deaths and destruction, ultimately defined who we are as a country. It should have been fought many years earlier, but we wouldn’t have had a Declaration of Independence had we done so. In other words, the war was inevitable and costly to both sides.

Aside from the Civil War monuments, we are also hearing of other national monuments being defaced, such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Viet Nam War Wall. I suspect the Jefferson Memorial or Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta will be next. Undoubtedly, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington will be safe as it is considered politically correct.

Here’s the problem; why are these monuments under attack today? Most have stood for several decades without any concern for their safety. Why not last year when Mr. Obama was still in office? It seems rather obvious the people calling for the removal or destruction of the monuments are the same people who hate President Trump. In other words, this is more of a protest to the President than it is about the social/historical significance of some aging statues. Ever since the Liberals lost the White House, they have felt free to vent their anger which is widely reported by the press.

If you will recall, a few years ago the Taliban destroyed ancient Mideastern artifacts in order to change history and focus attention on themselves. The same is now true in America where the Left wants to erase American history and culture in order to put the spotlight on their social agenda. Their callous disrespect for our history is predictable and we will likely see more guards in our Park Service protecting our treasures.

In all likelihood, we will soon hear objections to former presidents appearing on our currency and coins. The national anthem is already under attack by NFL stars, but we’ll see growing disrespect for it, not to mention other patriotic marches which will come under attack. I, for one, will certainly miss John Philip Sousa. Other established American institutions may also come under scrutiny, such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Arlington Cemetary, and any museum describing our past.

The President has called for cooler heads in this conflict and has criticized neo-Nazis and the KKK, but this will not pacify the Left who will continue to resist Mr. Trump’s actions and criticize his every word. I’m afraid the situation is only going to get worse before it gets better. To the Leftist movement, this is all out war and will stay contentious until the mid-term elections next year. Should they lose more Congressional seats, as I suspect they will due to their behavior, they may finally snap and violent anarchy will erupt.

No, the attack on our monuments is not so much about our history as it is about the anti-Trump movement.

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:  LIFETIME WARRANTIES – They make good business sense.

LAST TIME:  SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CONCERNS  – Are they any different than large companies?

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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POLITICAL BOOK CLUBS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 15, 2017

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– A tremendous way to learn American history.

Recently I wrote a column on citizenship where I mentioned American History is being taught in our schools rather superficially. From this, I received e-mails asking how people can become more proactive in terms of learning history outside of school. To this end, I belong to a political book club which we started a couple of years ago. It took us awhile to find our footing in terms of organization and how to conduct the meeting but we worked it out and it is now an important club for raising the awareness of history.

The club meets at night on a monthly basis with members taking turns hosting it in their homes. One person volunteers to be the moderator for the meeting and is responsible for preparing an outline of questions pertaining to the book of the day, and controlling the conversation. The round-table discussion is perhaps the most rewarding part of the meeting as it is interesting to see how people interpret historical events.

As an aside, we encourage everyone to attend, whether they have read the book or not. The club also makes active use of the Internet and social media to communicate with club members and invite outsiders.

The following is a list of the books we slowly went through, over the first few years. Notice it starts at the founding of our country and slowly moves through the years.

BOOK-AUTHOR

*5000 Year Leap – Skousen, Cleon
1776 – McCulloch, David
Common Sense – Thomas Paine
His Excellency: George Washington – Ellis, Joseph
Alexander Hamilton – Chernow, Ron
John Adams – McCulloch, David
Miracle at Philadelphia – Bowen, Catherine
American Sphinx: Thomas Jefferson – Ellis, Joseph
Ben Franklin: An American Life – Issacson, Walter
James Madison – Brookhiser, Richard
John Q. Adams; a Public Life, A Private Life – Nagel, Paul C.
American Lion: Andrew Jackson – Meacham, Jon
Henry Clay: The Essential American – Heidler, David & Jeanne
**Democracy In America – De Tocqueville, Alexis
A Country of Vast Designs – Robert Merry
Lone Star Nation – H.R.Brands
Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Impending Crisis – David Potter
Killer Angels – Michael Sharra
A Short History of Reconstruction – Eric Foner
American Colossus – H.W. Brands
Unreasonable Men: Theodore Roosevelt – Michael Wolraich
Sleepwalkers – Christopher Clark
Woodrow Wilson: Roots of Modern Liberalism – Ronald Pestritto
The End of Order: Versaillses 1919 – Charles Mie
New World Coming: The 1920’s and the Making of Modern America – Nathan Miller
The Forgotten Man – Amity Shales
The Defining Moment: FDR’s 100 Days and the Triumph of Hope – Jonathan Alter
Presidential Courage – Michael Bechloss
Presidential Leadership – James Tarantano
The Case Against Hillary Clinton – Peggy Noonan
Art of the Deal – Donald Trump
When Character Was King: Ronald Reagan – Peggy Noonan
Decision Points – George W. Bush
Clinton Cash or Crisis in Character – Peter Schweizer/Gary J. Byrne
Night – Elie Wiesel
If You Can Keep It: the Forgotten Promise of American Liberty – Eric Metaxas
Reagan’s Revolution – Craig Shirley
This Town – Leibovich, Mark

*5000 Year Leap – this was an excellent book to begin our program as it is an easy read, yet serves as the foundation for the next few books. It is also a book which I believe all High School students should read as it would clear up a lot of misconceptions about our government.

**Democracy In America – De Tocqueville’s account of visiting the young United States is fascinating and describes the strength of our nation from an outsider’s perspective. Either try the condensed version or the four volume set.

As we are now in a new year, the club has already drawn up an impressive list of books to study. The members of the club come from all walks of life, including academia and business.

The book club has been an invaluable source of information to explain how our country works, why our governing documents were written in the manner they were, and who the real founding fathers of our country were. It is very educational and something I highly recommend to anyone who is truly interested in American history.

It is interesting what you can accomplish when you allow for civil discourse.

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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:  PROCRASTINATION – Why we do it and what can be done to overcome it.

LAST TIME:  PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT  – Where you learn to sing “Kumbaya.”

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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MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 8, 2017

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Some thoughts on how to promote citizenship in America.

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

In the Masonic world, we recently observed “Citizenship Month” here in Florida. Because of this, I was asked to give a talk on the subject for a local Lodge. Drawing upon a couple of my past columns, I assembled the following short talk:

My biggest concern regarding citizenship pertains to how we teach history and civics in this country. In some High Schools, “American History” runs from World War II to the present. This means students are not learning such things as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Civil War, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, Prohibition, the League of Nations, and much more. In other words, they only discuss the last 77 years, and not the events leading up to the founding of our country and the turmoils we had to endure. As an aside “World History” is now just World War I to the present. So much for the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Marco Polo, the Magna Carta, Ferdinand Magellan, Alexander the Great, et al. I presume they had no bearing on our civilization.

Such ignorance of our history caused famed historian David McCullough to observe, “We are raising a generation that is historically illiterate and have a very sketchy, thin knowledge of the system on which our entire civilization is based on. It is regrettable and dangerous.”

We are also not educating youth properly in terms of “Civics”; understanding our responsibilities as citizens, such as voting, serving on a jury, how legislation is enacted, or what is included in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. No wonder young people do not grasp the significance of such things as the Electoral College, the structure of our government, or what their rights are.

Naivety and ignorance leads to apathy at the ballot box. In the 2016 elections, only 57.9% of the citizens voted (over 90 million didn’t vote at all). This is a pitiful figure when you compare it to other democracies like Australia, India, and the Scandinavian countries. Surprisingly, this was the highest voting percentage in the United States since 1968 (60.8%). The highest in recent history was in 1960 (63.1%) for the Kennedy/Nixon election. Even though Millennials (ages 18-35) are now the largest potential voting block, they continue to have the lowest voter turnout of any age group.

It is sad when legal immigrants understand the workings of the government and history than native born Americans. Maybe all citizens should take the same oath naturalized citizens do. Since 1778, immigrants coming to this country have had to pass a test and take an oath swearing their allegiance to the United States. The current oath is as follows:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

Not surprisingly, immigrants coming through this program tend to appreciate this country and are more loyal than native born Americans. Another cause for this could be because there is less emphasis on teaching American government and history in the schools than in years past. In other words, the importance of being a citizen has not been impressed upon our youth.

So, as a proposal, how about administering a modified version of the immigration oath to all native born Americans, perhaps on July 4th? All that is necessary is to simply modify the first sentence of the Immigration Oath; to wit:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;”

Parents could give it to their children, thereby turning it into a family tradition; civic organizations and local governments could administer it in public group settings, or perhaps some other venue. Maybe even the media could get involved and administer it over the airwaves or Internet. It should be administered in some solemn way with a right hand raised and the left hand placed on either a copy of the U.S. Constitution or perhaps a holy book such as a Bible, Torah, or Koran.

The oath is certainly not the same as the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, this is instead a reaffirmation of our commitment to our country and would help promote citizenship and voting. Maybe this is something that should be given routinely as opposed to just one time; to remind people of their allegiance to this country. I cannot help but believe this simple gesture would have nothing but beneficial effects.

One last observation, during this past year, the talking heads on television recommended avoiding any talk of politics at the dinner table, particularly during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays. I disagree. We do not do enough talking at the table in a calm and reasonable manner. Instead of leaving citizenship to the school educators and MTV, parents should spend more time discussing it around the dinner table, not in a dictatorial manner, but in a frank and open discussion. I believe our youth would better understand the virtue of the Electoral College if it came from their parents as opposed to an entertainer or athlete.

Maybe then, youth will appreciate the need for “Citizenship.”

Also published in The Huffington Post.

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 IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY RESTAURANT – It is more important than you think.

LAST TIME:  TRAINING MULES  – What to do when you have one in your class.

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

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE OF DONALD J. “TR”UMP

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 11, 2017

BRYCE ON POLITICS & HISTORY

– Daniel Ruddy’s recent book on Teddy Roosevelt provides tremendous insight into Mr. Trump.

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

To understand the mind of our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, one need only go back approximately 100 years in American history and study the character of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt (“TR”), considered one of our greatest presidents of all time (see Mt. Rushmore). In author Daniel Ruddy’s recent book, “Theodore the Great” (Regnery History, ISBN: 978-1621572640), published in August, just prior to the 2016 general election, an uncanny resemblance emerges between TR and Trump. Ruddy’s intent is to debunk the many misconceptions related to TR, particularly his recent characterizations as a liberal Progressive. It is true Roosevelt helped to build the Progressive Party (aka, “Bull Moose Party”) in the early 20th century, but any resemblance between progressives of that time to today is purely coincidental.

Ruddy picks through history and develops a convincing argument of TR’s conservative legacy. Roosevelt implemented several common sense reforms, but he was hardly someone seeking social change. Interestingly, Ruddy’s book is not written in chronological sequence as most history books are, but carefully subdivided into sections explaining his positions on domestic and foreign policies. By doing so, we begin to see the image of Donald Trump emerge who espoused several of the same thoughts on the campaign trail.

The comparison between the two is remarkable, beginning with the fact both were New Yorkers running as Republicans, from wealthy/affluent families. TR sought public service as his path to greatness, Trump developed a real estate/entertainment empire. Despite their wealth, both felt the plight of the common people and wanted to be considered their voice, hence they were elected more as populist candidates as opposed to any formal ideologue.

Both strongly believed in American greatness and despised liberal socialism. Just like Trump, TR viewed himself as the spirit of America wanting the same things for the country as he was blessed with, such as fame, power, and glory.

Roosevelt and Trump preferred proven experience over theory, particularly as it applied to social schemes, which TR commonly referred to as “educated ineffectives.” Teddy was fond of saying, “It is well to keep in mind the remark of Frederick the Great that if he wished to punish a province he would allow it to be governed by philosophers.”

Roosevelt and Trump both looked for practical solutions as opposed to academic theory. Ideology was not considered as important as getting the job done. In Trump’s case, Republican conservatives and libertarians attacked him during the course of last year’s campaign, accusing him of not being a true-blue conservative. As a businessman, Trump has been trained to look at both sides of an issue before rendering a decision. The same was true with TR.

The morality of Roosevelt and Trump are remarkably similar. For example, both believed each person must lead a worthy and productive life; as Ruddy writes regarding Roosevelt, “that it should be a strenuous life of duty, hard work, and self-sacrifice.” Both see faith and family as important attributes of the American character, and that religious belief was essential for an orderly society.

Both TR and Trump were wary of big government, detesting bureaucrats who wasted money. In Roosevelt’s case, he was accused of making the government too big. The reality though was he wanted to increase the power of the government, which at the time had been ineffective, not to simply create a behemoth.

TR saw himself more as a reformer as opposed to a progressive. To illustrate, he created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect consumers from such things as tainted meat, food, and drugs. He was widely regarded as a Trust Buster to protect the rights of workers and arbitrated an end to a national coal strike. He also called for the creation of a federal agency to regulate Big Business, hence the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He did not do this to conform to an ideologue, but out of necessity for the people, which he referred to as a “Square Deal” for them, and the people loved him for it.

In foreign affairs, TR believed in “Speaking softly, but carry a big stick,” a motto which appears to be Trump’s approach for his administration. TR dramatically increased the size of the Navy, and constructed the Panama Canal, which could move the Great White Flight between oceans. By doing so, America became a power to be reckoned with. This did not lead to war, but gave TR the means to quietly negotiate settlements with other countries. By doing so, America became a world power, on the same level with Britain and Europe. In Trump’s case, he wants to rebuild the military so he too can speak softly with other countries.

Roosevelt also negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese War which earned him a Nobel Peace Prize. His artful negotiation to settle matters between the Russians and the Japanese, while subliminally protecting American interests, was masterful. It was also at this time when the “special relationship” between Great Britain and America was born, thanks to the diplomacy of TR.

According to Ruddy, without Roosevelt’s belligerent reputation, the world could no longer ignore America as an economic, diplomatic, or military power which, consequently, led to world peace. Never before had America been so respected in global affairs. Trump’s unpredictability will likely earn him a similar belligerent reputation as he will undoubtedly negotiate softly with a “Big Stick,” be it through the military or economics.

There are two other subject areas where TR and Trump share views, in immigration and civil-service reform. TR was happy to welcome immigrants to America provided they adapted to our culture, not the other way around. He further believed, immigrants with “a low moral tendency or of unsavory reputation” should not be allowed into the country. Trump feels likewise. As to civil-service reform, TR acted like a rugged no-nonsense sheriff of the old West, bent on cleaning house. Trump shares these same opinions, particularly in breaking the strangle hold government bureaucrats have over companies, thereby becoming an impediment to conducting business.

Remarkably, both TR and Trump were strong supporters of the Second Amendment for gun ownership. In fact, TR was well known to carry a revolver with him both during and after his presidency.

One area in particular, where the comparison is so vivid, was in their fight with the liberal press, particularly the New York Times and Washington Post who constantly attacked them. Consider these quotes from the Post regarding TR:

“He has taken many prizes…as the very Prince of Bumptiousness and the High Priest of Brutal Arrogance. Habitually, he is a well-mannered, well-educated, quick-witted gentleman. Sporadically, he is perhaps the most thoroughly Boeotian hoodlum who has ever been smuggled into polite society.”

“He is conceited to the point of bursting, and opinionated beyond the resources of descriptive writing.”

Such characterizations of Roosevelt by the press could have easily been written about Trump today, and probably worse.

The parallel between Roosevelt and Trump is striking. They share many of the same opinions and see the world in the same manner. Trump’s edge over Roosevelt is in the area of finance, where Teddy was self-admittedly weak. Trump’s expertise should, in theory, be conducive for improving trade, returning companies to America, adding jobs, and building a stronger economy.

If Trump and TR were to somehow change places in history, there is little doubt the liberal left would want TR’s head on a plate and Trump’s face would be on Mt. Rushmore. By refuting Trump, the liberals are refuting the legacy of TR, the president who made America a world power in the 20th century.

Why the change in attitude among the people? What is different between then and now? Several reasons come to mind, starting with substantial changes in technology affecting us socially, medically, militarily, economically, and politically. In particular, the people now have sophisticated technology greatly affecting communications, entertainment, and used for the dissemination of news and information. By doing so, an enormous media industrial complex has arisen affecting how people think. Over the last 100 years we have also witnessed substantial changes in morality; our perspectives on such things as divorce, bankruptcy, homosexuality, drug abuse, etc. have changed greatly. Lastly, today we have citizens who are far less educated in history and government than our predecessors, making them more amenable to socialist values. Their false perceptions in how the country works has led to an arrogance of ignorance, making them more pliable to manipulate. All of this today impacts how we perceive our politicians, particularly the President of the United States.

To better understand Trump, one must read Daniel Ruddy’s book as his description of TR is amazingly insightful and gives us some idea of what to expect during Trump’s tenure of office. After studying this book, I believe Teddy would agree with Trump that it is time to “Make America Great Again.”

Also published with The Huffington Post.

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:  TAKING THE SPORT OUT OF ATHLETICS – Is the scientific approach dehumanizing sports?

LAST TIME:  DEALING WITH ADVICE  – Some tips for entering the work force.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), 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.

 

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

75TH ANNIVERSARY OF PEARL HARBOR

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 7, 2016

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– Remembering “a day of infamy.”

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

Today, we observe the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, a day we set aside in America to commemorate “a date which will live in infamy,” December 7th, 1941, when the Imperial military forces of Japan bombed military targets in Hawaii or, as many called it, a “sneak attack.” Today, in the 21st century where 9-11 is fresh in our memories, the Pearl Harbor attack is quickly fading into obscurity as the “greatest generation” fades away with it. I’m afraid 9-11 is superseding December 7th, just as the Pearl Harbor attack superseded “Remember the Maine” in 1898. All were unfortunate disasters, and I don’t want to say one is better than another, but it would be unfortunate if we forgot the important lessons they taught us, particularly December 7th.

Pearl Harbor is a story of courage, survival, and a spirit of “don’t give up the ship.” On that day in 1941 approximately 2,500 people were killed and another 1,200 wounded. Four major battleships were sunk in the harbor (though two were subsequently raised), numerous planes were destroyed, and America’s Pacific fleet was set into disarray. To this day, 75 years later, oil still leaks from the USS Arizona which sits in its watery crave in the harbor.

The bombing shocked and angered the nation. Had it not been a surprise attack, it may not have aroused the emotions of Americans, but such is hindsight.

The real lesson learned from Pearl Harbor was how unprepared we were and how we could have prevented it. To illustrate, prior to the Pearl Harbor disaster, the Army sent General Billy Mitchell to study Pacific defenses. Mitchell’s notoriety stemmed from his advocacy of air power. During World War I he commanded all of the American air combat units in France. He was a visionary who understood the potential of the airplane and pushed hard to promote air power which, as he discovered, was difficult to do during peacetime. His arguments extolling the virtues of air power fell on deaf ears and earned him the scorn of his superiors, who sent him to the Pacific (and get him out of their hair).

During his tour of the Pacific, Mitchell visited Japan and witnessed firsthand how the Japanese were embracing air power and realized America was far behind their counterparts. Following his tour of the Pacific he produced an extensive 323 page report on his assessment of American defenses in the Pacific. Here are excerpts from it:

“One hears it often said that Japanese cannot fly. Nothing is more fallacious than this. They can fly, are going to fly, and may end up by developing the greatest air power in the world… It takes no longer to teach Japanese than it does Anglo-Saxons.”

“Japan knows full well that the United States will probably enter the next war with the methods and weapons of the former war… Japan also knows full well that the defense of the Hawaiian group is based on the island of Oahu and not on the defense of the whole group.”

(After describing in detail the tactics and timing of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) “I have gone into attack by an enemy in some detail to show how easily it can be done by a determined and resourceful enemy… Actually nothing can stop it except air power…”

“(Japan) knows that war is coming some day with the United States, and it will be a contest for her very existence. The United States must not render herself completely defenseless by on the one hand thinking that a war with Japan is an impossibility, and on the other by sticking to methods and means of making war as obsolete as the bow and arrow.”(1)

Interestingly, this report was produced in 1924, seventeen years before the Pearl Harbor bombings. Mitchell was not only prophetic, he was correct. Regardless of how accurate Mitchell’s report was, he was criticized and ignored by the Army, and the report was quickly dismissed. One year later, Mitchell would be court-martialed and suspended for remarks he made accusing the Army and Navy of military incompetence.

Regardless of the military’s feeling about him, Mitchell had delivered a fair warning and provided a blueprint of weaknesses in Pacific defenses which, had they been corrected, would have changed the course of history.

Pearl Harbor Day to me is a strong reminder of how Americans tend to be reactionaries as opposed to planners. I find it incredibly strange and dangerous that we prefer to pay attention to a dog only after it has bitten us, as opposed to heeding its bark. Our history is checkered with many examples of reactionary behavior, all coming at an incredible expense to American lives.

TODAY

Today, we commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Regretably, the number of survivors grow fewer with the passing of each year. A parade is planned with actor Gary Sinise as the Grand Marshall. You can watch it by clicking HERE. For information of Pearl Harbor historical sites, click HERE. To learn about internment at the USS Arizona, click HERE.

Keep the Faith!

EPILOGUE: In 1942, after Pearl Harbor proved Mitchell correct, FDR restored his service record and elevated him to the rank of major general. Regrettably, he had passed away six years earlier never knowing how prophetic he had been.

1 – “The Billy Mitchell Story” by Burke Davis

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 © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST

NEXT UP:  ADMITTING A MISTAKE – “The longer you delay admitting a mistake, the more expensive it will be to correct.” – Bryce’s Law

LAST TIME:  THE ATTACK OF THE WUSSES  – Considerations of the anti-Trump pushback.

Listen to Tim on News Talk Florida (WWBA 820 AM), 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.

 

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BRYCE AMERICAN HISTORY QUIZ

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 22, 2016

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– And the results are in…Just how well do we know our own country?

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Sometime ago, I asked my blog readers to take a simple quiz regarding American government and history. I wanted to see just how well we knew some of the basics, such as our governing docs and some historical events. Nothing elaborate, I just wanted to take a pulse of our knowledge in general. 134 brave souls took the quiz for which I give my thanks. I didn’t want the quiz to be complicated which is why I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I could have asked for such things as age and political party affiliation, but I didn’t want to muddy the waters and turn people off.

Out of those who took the test, probably 25 people got a perfect score. I was not surprised by this as I didn’t try to invent a complicated quiz, just something that could give us some fundamental idea of what we know and what we don’t.

The quiz was far from scientific, yet I believe I can draw some conclusions from it based on the input. But first, let’s review the responses to each question. I’ll show both the number of responses and the percentage of the total, followed by my comments.

PLEASE ANSWER ALL 10 QUESTIONS – AMERICAN CITIZENS ONLY

1. Signed in 1620, it is the first governing document of Plymouth Colony as written by the colonists, later known to history as the Pilgrims. It was in essence a social contract in which the settlers consented to follow the document’s rules and regulations for the sake of survival.

22 – 17% – Magna Carta
92 – 69% – Mayflower Compact (CORRECT)
06 – 04% – Pilgrim Declaration
12 – 09% – Plymouth Compact
02 – 01% – Standish Consent and Decree

Comment: I considered this a tricky question as most people are unaware of any American history prior to 1776. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many people got it right. Those that answered “Magna Carta” disappointed me; even though it is an important document that influenced others, it was still developed in England, not America. I consider it significant that people recognized its name though. By the way, the last three, Pilgrim Declaration, Plymouth Compact, and Standish Consent and Degree were figments of my imagination.

2. How many “separate but equal” branches are there in the U.S. Federal Government?

000 – 00% – 1
002 – 01% – 2
131 – 98% – 3 (CORRECT)
001 – 01% – 4
000 – 00% – 50

Comment: People may have gotten other parts of the quiz wrong, but somehow the concept of “three separate but equal branches of government” representing the checks and balances of government has been successfully stamped into our brains. Only three people missed this.

3. What is the following quote from?
“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.”

27 – 20% – Bill of Rights
94 – 70% – Declaration of Independence (CORRECT)
06 – 05% – Gettysburg Address
00 – 00% – Oath of Office
07 – 05% – US Constitution

Comment: The lion’s share of answers went correctly to the Declaration of Independence, but I was surprised to see how many people picked the Bill of Rights. As an aside, many of us had to memorize this section of the Declaration in elementary school.

4. Which U.S. President was NOT impeached?

34 – 25% – Bill Clinton
20 – 15% – Andrew Johnson
80 – 60% – Richard Nixon (CORRECT)

Comment: I expected this kind of response to the question. Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment proceedings could begin. The other two were impeached, meaning to hold trial in the Senate, yet were found not guilty. No U.S. President has ever been forcibly removed from office through peaceful means (assassination is another matter altogether).

5. What is the following quote from?
“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,…”

04 – 03% – Bill of Rights
32 – 24% – Declaration of Independence
02 – 01% – Gettysburg Address
00 – 00% – Oath of Office
96 – 72% – US Constitution (CORRECT)

Comment: Most people got this correct, but notice how many confused it for the Declaration of Independence. This particular quote is from the Preamble of the Constitution. Like the Declaration, many of us had to memorize this in grade school, but I don’t think they do so anymore.

6. What U.S. President served as commander-in-chief during World War I?

11 – 08% – Calvin Coolidge
07 – 05% – Warren Harding
18 – 13% – Theodore Roosevelt
03 – 03% – William Howard Taft
95 – 71% – Woodrow Wilson (CORRECT)

Comment: I expected this question to be a little tougher as a lot of us have forgotten the events of nearly 100 years ago. Baby boomers may still be familiar with World War II, but I thought they would surely have problems with the first war, “The War to end all Wars.” I wasn’t surprised that Teddy Roosevelt captured the number of responses that he did simply because of his strong name recognition. By the way, William Howard Taft was the only President who also became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (and the first to throw out a baseball on opening day).

7. What is the following quote from?
“…and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

001 – 01% – Bill of Rights
000 – 00% – Declaration of Independence
000 – 00% – Gettysburg Address
127 – 95% – Oath of Office (CORRECT)
006 – 04% – US Constitution

Comment: I was flabbergasted that anyone got this wrong. The six who answered “US Constitution” should have read the question more carefully.

8. What is the following quote from?
“…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

005 – 04% – Bill of Rights
002 – 01% – Declaration of Independence
122 – 91% – Gettysburg Address (CORRECT)
000 – 00% – Oath of Office
005 – 04% – US Constitution

Comment: I was pleased to see most people remembered Lincoln’s speech. Interestingly, Lincoln was not the keynote speaker that day and, because of this, his words were almost overlooked by reporters in attendance. Thank God somebody was paying attention.

9. It stated that further efforts by European countries to colonize land or interfere with states in the Americas would be viewed as acts of aggression requiring U.S. intervention. It asserted that the Western Hemisphere was not to be further colonized by European countries but that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.

009 – 07% – Emancipation Proclamation
002 – 01% – Kansas-Nebraska Act
000 – 00% – Kennedy Doctrine
116 – 87% – Monroe Doctrine (CORRECT)
007 – 05% – NATO Accord2

Comment: I was pleasantly surprised by this one as I had assumed many people had forgotten about the Monroe doctrine, an important document which, to this day, is still in effect. I wonder if those who answered “Emancipation Proclamation” really understood the significance of that document. Probably not.

10. Which U.S. President was NOT directly involved with the Vietnam War?

81 – 60% – Dwight Eisenhower (CORRECT)
49 – 27% – Gerald Ford
01 – 01% – Lyndon Johnson
03 – 02% – John Kennedy
00 – 00% – Richard Nixon

Comment: This was perhaps my most controversial question as some of you argued that Eisenhower sent advisers to Viet Nam. True, but we send advisors to a lot of places. Viet Nam was Kennedy’s “line in the sand” to stop the proliferation of Communism. As to Ford, he inherited the Paris Peace talks from Nixon following his resignation and was in charge when we finally pulled out in 1975. Interestingly, I find younger people have no clue about this war whatsoever.

Conclusion

A few things occurred to me as I was compiling the results. First, the Gettysburg Address is better known than the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The Gettysburg Address is a moving speech but it certainly doesn’t bear the significance of our governing documents.

Second, it seemed to me that a lot of people cannot distinguish between the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. They view them as synonymous documents. For what it’s worth, the Declaration was used to sever Britain’s authority over its American colonies. The U.S. Constitution specifies how the government is to operate. The Bill of Rights is an attachment to the Constitution and specifies the basic rights of the citizens, specifically the first ten amendments. It was greatly influenced by such documents as the “Magna Carta.” All three documents, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, are important reads that all citizens should be familiar with, not just students in grade school.

Finally, here are the number of correct answers versus incorrect answers submitted on the quiz:

1034 – 77% – Correct Answers
0306 – 23% – Incorrect Answers

In most schools, a 77% would represent a “C” which is probably not as bad as we think. Actually, this number is probably higher than the national average as I like to believe my readers are smarter than most.

Also published with News Talk Florida.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WATCHING THE CLOCK – Do we watch the clock or the work product we’re producing?

LAST TIME:  UNDERSTANDING TRUMP’S ANTAGONISTS  – The louder they get, the stronger the candidate gets.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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PEARL HARBOR DAY

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 7, 2015

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– Remembering the day of “Infamy.”

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It’s Pearl Harbor Day, a day we set aside in America to commemorate “a date which will live in infamy,” December 7th, 1941, when the Imperial military forces of Japan bombed military targets in Hawaii or, as many called it, a “sneak attack.” Today, in the 21st century where 9-11 is fresh in our memories, the Pearl Harbor attack is quickly fading into obscurity as the “greatest generation” fades away with it. I’m afraid 9-11 is superseding December 7th, just as the Pearl Harbor attack superseded “Remember the Maine” in 1898. All were unfortunate disasters, and I don’t want to say one is better than another, but it would be unfortunate if we forgot the important lessons they taught us, particularly December 7th.

Pearl Harbor is a story of courage, survival, and a spirit of “don’t give up the ship.” On that day in 1941 approximately 2,500 people were killed and another 1,200 wounded. Four major battleships were sunk in the harbor (though two were subsequently raised), numerous planes were destroyed, and the Pacific fleet was set into disarray. To this day, 74 years later, oil still leaks from the USS Arizona which sits in its watery grave in the harbor.

The bombing shocked and angered the nation. Had it not been a surprise attack, it may not have aroused the emotions of Americans, but such is hindsight.

The real lesson learned from Pearl Harbor was how unprepared we were and how we could have prevented it. To illustrate, prior to the Pearl Harbor disaster, the Army sent General Billy Mitchell to study Pacific defenses. Mitchell’s notoriety stemmed from his advocacy of air power. During World War I he commanded all of the American air combat units in France. He was a visionary who understood the potential of the airplane and pushed hard to promote air power which, as he discovered, was difficult to do during peacetime. His arguments extolling the virtues of air power fell on deaf ears and earned him the scorn of his superiors, who sent him to the Pacific (and get him out of their hair).

During his tour of the Pacific, Mitchell visited Japan and witnessed firsthand how the Japanese were embracing air power and realized America was far behind their counterparts. Following his tour of the Pacific he produced an extensive 323 page report on his assessment of American defenses in the Pacific. Here are excerpts from it:

“One hears it often said that Japanese cannot fly. Nothing is more fallacious than this. They can fly, are going to fly, and may end up by developing the greatest air power in the world… It takes no longer to teach Japanese than it does Anglo-Saxons.”

“Japan knows full well that the United States will probably enter the next war with the methods and weapons of the former war… Japan also knows full well that the defense of the Hawaiian group is based on the island of Oahu and not on the defense of the whole group.”

(After describing in detail the tactics and timing of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) “I have gone into attack by an enemy in some detail to show how easily it can be done by a determined and resourceful enemy…
Actually nothing can stop it except air power…”

“(Japan) knows that war is coming some day with the United States, and it will be a contest for her very existence. The United States must not render herself completely defenseless by on the one hand thinking that a war with Japan is an impossibility, and on the other by sticking to methods and means of making war as obsolete as the bow and arrow.”(1)

Interestingly, this report was produced in 1924, seventeen years before the Pearl Harbor bombings. Mitchell was not only prophetic, he was correct. Regardless of how accurate Mitchell’s report was, he was criticized and ignored by the Army, and the report was quickly dismissed. One year later, Mitchell would be court-martialed and suspended for remarks he made accusing the Army and Navy of military incompetence.

Regardless of the military’s feeling about him, Mitchell had delivered a fair warning and provided a blueprint of weaknesses in Pacific defenses which, had they been corrected, would have changed the course of history.

Pearl Harbor Day to me is a strong reminder of how Americans tend to be reactionaries as opposed to planners. I find it incredibly strange and dangerous that we prefer to pay attention to a dog only after it has bitten us, as opposed to heeding its bark. Our history is checkered with many examples of reactionary behavior, all coming at an incredible expense to American lives.

I hear the dogs barking in the Middle East and Asia, but does anyone else?

Originally published: December 7, 2010

Keep the Faith!

EPILOGUE: In 1942, after Pearl Harbor proved Mitchell correct, FDR restored his service record and elevated him to the rank of major general. Regrettably, he had passed away six years earlier never knowing how prophetic he had been.

1 – The Billy Mitchell Story by Burke Davis

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE GROWING POLITICAL POLARITY – File this under, “More Trouble Brewing.”

LAST TIME:  WHEN DO WE BECOME OUR PARENTS?  – Is it in our 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and 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.

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THE WORDS OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 3, 2015

BRYCE ON OUR NATIONAL HOLIDAY

– Time to remember why our country sought independence from Great Britain.

Communications were understandably slow in 1776. Couriers on horseback would deliver messages by hand. There were no electronics, and no real signal corps. Morse code wouldn’t be invented for another sixty years. Not surprising, it could take days or weeks for messages to be received between parties during the Revolutionary War.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted for independence from Great Britain. Two days later, on July 4th, the Congress would sign the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. Primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration explained the rationale for breaking ties with Britain. The president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, ordered a copy rushed to General Washington who was stationed in New York making preparations to defend the city from the British. Washington eagerly awaited the Declaration as he wanted to communicate to his troops exactly why they sought independence. The General finally received the Declaration on July 6th. He then ordered his troops to assemble in lower Manhattan on July 9th at 6:00pm where his regimental commanders read the Declaration to the troops and citizens assembled. They found the words so stirring, a group raced down Broadway toward a large statue of King George III where they toppled and decapitated it. They later melted down the statue for much needed bullets.

From time to time, we need to be reminded of the importance of this document. As such, I present it in its entirety:

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

– He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

– He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

– He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

– He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

– He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

– He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

– He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

– He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

– He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

– He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

– He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

– He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

– He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

– For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

– For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

– For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

– For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

– For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

– For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

– For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

– For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

– For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

– He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

– He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

– He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

– He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

– He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

(signees)

Connecticut:
– Roger Sherman
– Samuel Huntington
– William Williams
– Oliver Wolcott

Delaware:
– Caesar Rodney
– George Read
– Thomas McKean

Georgia:
– Button Gwinnett
– Lyman Hall
– George Walton

Maryland:
– Samuel Chase
– William Paca
– Thomas Stone
– Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Massachusetts:
– John Hancock
– Samuel Adams
– John Adams
– Robert Treat Paine
– Elbridge Gerry

New Hampshire:
– Josiah Bartlett
– William Whipple
– Matthew Thornton

New Jersey:
– Richard Stockton
– John Witherspoon
– Francis Hopkinson
– John Hart
– Abraham Clark

New York:
– William Floyd
– Philip Livingston
– Francis Lewis
– Lewis Morris

North Carolina:
– William Hooper
– Joseph Hewes
– John Penn

Pennsylvania:
– Robert Morris
– Benjamin Rush
– Benjamin Franklin
– John Morton
– George Clymer
– James Smith
– George Taylor
– James Wilson
– George Ross

Rhode Island:
– Stephen Hopkins
– William Ellery

South Carolina:
– Edward Rutledge
– Thomas Heyward, Jr.
– Thomas Lynch, Jr.
– Arthur Middleton

Virginia:
– George Wythe
– Richard Henry Lee
– Thomas Jefferson
– Benjamin Harrison
– Thomas Nelson, Jr.
– Francis Lightfoot Lee
– Carter Braxton

Source: The National Archives

By signing their names to this declaration, these men essentially put their lives in jeopardy. Very bold, very risky.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  OUR 1964 PLYMOUTH VALIANT – Remembering our first automobile.
LAST TIME:  THE MUCKRAKING HAS BEGUN  – The political mud slinging has already begun.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and 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.

Posted in Government, History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE JACKSON/TUBMAN DEBATE

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 29, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Which face belongs on the twenty dollar bill?

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

Last Spring, an on-line poll was created soliciting suggestions for a woman to replace President Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. Over 600,000 people voted and on May 13th, the results were announced whereby abolitionist Harriet Tubman won, passing former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks.

The selection of Tubman certainly will please women’s activists as well as African-Americans. Tubman’s biography is a remarkable story of survival and determination to free slaves in the South. Frankly, our youth should read about her as it is very inspirational. In addition to being an abolitionist, she was a humanitarian and during the Civil War, a Union spy. When Tubman passed, she was buried in Auburn, NY with semi-military honors. A plaque was hung at the Auburn courthouse noting her achievements. The great Booker T. Washington delivered the keynote address. Many other honors followed, leading to having her portrait replace Jackson’s on the twenty dollar bill.

Although I think the recognition is deserved, I question why her proponents have targeted Jackson. I, for one, do not believe in change for the sake of change, and as someone who has studied Jackson, I do not believe they remember what he meant to the country.

If they studied the Wikipedia description of “Old Hickory,” as well as other sources, they would find an impressive list of achievements:

As soldier:

– Served in the Revolutionary War at age 13, informally helped the local militia as a courier.
– Captured by the British and held as prisoner; nearly starved to death in captivity.

Legal:

– Served as a country lawyer on the frontier.
– Elected as a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention in 1796.
– When Tennessee achieved statehood that year, Jackson was elected its U.S. Representative.
– The following year, he was elected U.S. Senator.
– Appointed a judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1798, serving until 1804.

Military career:

– Appointed commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801, with the rank of colonel. He was later elected major general of the Tennessee militia in 1802.
– Defeated the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.

As General:

– Victory over the main British invasion army at the Battle of New Orleans, 1815, thereby becoming a national hero.
– Sent to Florida where he deposed a small Spanish garrison, leading directly to the treaty which formally transferred Florida from Spain to the United States.
– Became military governor of Florida while it was being integrated as a U.S. territory.

As 7th president of the United States:

– Believed the president’s authority was derived from the people and the presidential office was above party politics.
– Strongly believed in the Union, but was also a supporter of states’ rights.
– In an effort to purge the government from corruption of previous administrations, Jackson launched presidential investigations into all executive Cabinet offices and departments.
– Put down a threat of secession from South Carolina.
– Disposed of the Second Bank of the United States.
– Balanced the budget and got the country out of debt. (As an aside, this was of particular interest to me, as Jackson was one of only a handful of presidents to balance the budget, and perhaps the only one in the 19th century to do so.)
– Settled spoils of war claims with France, Denmark, Portugal, and Spain.
– Made trade agreements with Russia, Spain, Turkey, Great Britain, and Siam (the first in Asia).
– First to recognize the independent Republic of Texas (which was later annexed).
– The “Jackson Era” greatly influenced politics in America for several years after his term of office.
– Jackson was elected twice to office, the last to do so until Abraham Lincoln.

Miscellaneous:

– Became the leader of the new Democratic Party.
– Master Mason, becoming the Grand Master of Tennessee.

Jackson was certainly not without his faults. He was censured by the Senate in 1834 as a political move by Henry Clay. He owned slaves on his plantation in Tennessee, and relocated Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi, to quell attacks and stabilize the country, a very controversial move, both then and now.

Even with his faults, Jackson was a giant among U.S. Presidents. He brought peace and prosperity to the country, and made the United States a world power to be reckoned with.

I am not trying to make a comparison between the greatness of Harriet Tubman versus Andrew Jackson, only to remark our 7th president has certainly earned a right to have his portrait on the twenty, and his removal would cause young people to forget his contributions in American history. It may also be an affront to Democrats who may resent slighting their former leader.

How about a compromise? Such as creating a $25 bill with Tubman’s face on it? I always thought a $25 note made more sense than the twenty, e.g.; four bills to make $100 as opposed to five. It would be a clever way to honor two great Americans, and not offend proponents of either of them.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE MUCKRAKING HAS BEGUN – The political mud slinging has already begun.

LAST TIME:  JUST PLAIN WEIRD  – Some obscure observations on the mysteries of life.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and 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.

Posted in History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

THE MASONIC ROLE IN AMERICAN HISTORY

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 28, 2015

BRYCE ON HISTORY

– How Masonry affected America.

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I have been a Freemason for many years and I am still surprised by those people who believe the Masons have a secret agenda in terms of manipulating the country or stockpiling incredible amounts of wealth. Heck, we have trouble organizing a picnic. However, there is reasonable evidence to show Masons were involved with the founding of the country. For example, of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, 9 were Masons (16%), and of the 39 men who signed the U.S. Constitution 13 were Masons (33%). Of the 44 presidents we have had, 14 were Masons (32%) with the last one being Gerald Ford. Beyond this, few people outside of the fraternity truly understand the impact of Masonry in America.

I participate in a book club whereby we have been studying the history of the United States, from the Revolutionary War to today where we are studying the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Throughout these books, there is mention of the various founding fathers who were Masons. Inevitably, I am asked about their Masonic heritage. For example, in the book, “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,” by Walter Isaacson, the author mentions Franklin’s Masonic background, but it was obvious to me he didn’t comprehend the fraternity’s influence on Franklin. Our acclaimed inventor, author, printer, ambassador, and postmaster was raised a Master Mason at St. John’s Lodge of Philadelphia in 1731, and become the Provincial Grand Master of Pennsylvania three short years later in 1734. Franklin was considered to be America’s top scientist and intimate with American politics. He is the only founding father to sign the three most important documents of the time: the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Treaty of Paris (thereby ending the Revolutionary War).

In 1771, Franklin visited Ireland and Scotland. During this time, his hosts were surprised by how well he was received by the people. What they didn’t realize, nor Isaacson, was Franklin was not just a respected scientist, but was also well known in the Masonic community who embraced “the age of enlightenment” which opened many doors for him.

In the late 1770’s, Franklin was appointed the first United States Ambassador to France. Again, he was warmly welcomed by “enlightened” Masons. So much so, he joined Loge des Neuf Soeurs in Paris, and became the Master of the Lodge in 1779. His influence was great and, as such, he helped initiate the great French philosopher Voltaire into the fraternity, among others. Freemasonry at this time was very much concerned with discussing philosophical and scientific subjects, and questioned everything. Theoretically, it is still supposed to be this way today but it has turned more into a social club as opposed to discussing “enlightenment.” Nonetheless, Franklin’s Masonic background proved useful in forging relationships with Europe and ending the war.

The “Father of our Country,” George Washington, was raised a Master Mason in Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 A.F.& A.M., VA, in 1752. It is said he had a high regard for the fraternity due to its sense of “enlightenment” and order. However, due to his commitments as General and President, Washington could not afford to spend much time attending Lodge.

In 1787 Washington was elected to preside over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia which devised the U.S. Constitution and thereby our government. Washington was elected primarily due to his prestige, but his Masonic heritage, with a keen sense or order and protocol, certainly helped. Keep in mind, the discussions and votes were kept secret until the conclusion of the convention which lasted approximately four months (May 25th – Sept 17th). This is a testament to Washington’s ability to run a meeting.

Just because Masons observe protocol, it doesn’t mean they always get along. Nothing more vividly exemplifies this than the relationship between President Andrew Jackson and Senator Henry Clay (who had also served as Speaker of the House, and Secretary of State). Both men served as Grand Masters of their respective states, Clay in Kentucky in 1820, and Jackson in neighboring Tennessee in 1822. In government though, they were political opposites and detested each other. Jackson was a member of the Democratic Party and Clay’s roots began in the Whig party (which would eventually evolve into the Republican party). The two men seemed to disagree on just about everything. In the presidential contest of 1832, incumbent Jackson trounced Clay. When Jackson refused to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States, Clay passed a resolution to censure Jackson, a tremendous embarrassment to the president. This caused Jackson to call Clay, “reckless and as full of fury as a drunken man in a brothel.” On his last day as President, Jackson is said to admit that one of his regrets was that he “had been unable to shoot Henry Clay…”

There may have been no love lost between Jackson and Clay, yet they respected each other as Masons, which may have ultimately been the reason why Jackson never acted on his regrets. As an aside, Clay was a member of Lexington Lodge No. 1 F.& A.M. in Kentucky and Jackson was raised at Harmony Lodge No. 1 F.& A.M. in Nashville, Tennessee.

Unlike Clay and Jackson, perhaps the strongest bond between political leaders was between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Great Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II. FDR was raised a Master Mason at Holland Lodge No. 8 F.& A.M. in New York in 1911. As a career politician he had limited time for Masonic activities but there is strong evidence he supported the fraternity, such as having his three sons initiated into it and becoming an honorary Grand Master of the Order of DeMolay, a Masonic youth organization. Churchill’s ancestry included many Masons and he became a Master Mason at Studholme Lodge No. 1591 in 1901. Like FDR, his political career kept him from actively participating in Masonic activities, but he maintained his affiliation.

As the war began, Great Britain was essentially alone and isolated. The country desperately needed the resources and assistance of the United States. On August 9th, 1941, prior to America entering the war, the two leaders met secretly in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. Churchill arrived on the HMS Prince of Wales and met Roosevelt aboard the USS Augusta. The two had met during World War I when FDR was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Churchill as Lord of the Admiralty, a loftier position. Churchill had forgotten the meeting, which slightly perturbed Roosevelt, but years later as Prime Minister he desperately needed to know the President. Freemasonry was an important connection as it established the values both men possessed. When meeting FDR aboard the USS Augusta, Churchill gave FDR what appears to be a Masonic handshake thereby denoting their relationship. With such common values, the men were able to speak “on the level,” and form a strong bond which was helpful in forging the Atlantic Charter.

I am certainly not suggesting Freemasonry was the principal influence motivating these men of history, but it certainly didn’t hurt. It taught them about building relationships based on common values, protocols, and the search for “enlightenment.” There are many other stories of how Freemasonry helped to shape America, such as my article on, “Montana 3-7-77 – How Freemasonry Tamed a Territory.” However, as I delve into the history books I am appalled by how Freemasonry is shrugged off as an irrelevant aspect of history. It may not have the significance as purported by anti-Masonic conspirators, but it did have an important role to play in forging relationships. I just wish historians would pay closer attention to how Masonry influences the lives of people.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SYSTEM MISCONCEPTIONS – Is an information system the same thing as a program or “app”?

LAST TIME:  SEEKING THE TRUTH  – How Lincoln handled the slavery issue.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and 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.

Posted in History | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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