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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

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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ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: DO WE REALLY HAVE A PROBLEM?

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 4, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– What the data tells us.

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

Earlier this week (Jan 2nd), Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was asked to give a border security briefing in the Situation Room of the White House to ranking Congressional leaders, both the House and the Senate. Just six seconds into her presentation, Sec. Nielsen was interrupted by Democrats who wanted no part of it. Sen. Dick Durbin (IL) was quoted as saying the presentation was “preposterous,” and “At a time when we have the lowest level of apprehensions at the border — stopping people from coming in illegally — the lowest level historically, she is saying that we have all these terrorists and criminals and all these people on their way in.”

In other words, the Secretary’s report was quickly dismissed as irrelevant and both parties took to the microphones to defend their positions. Whereas Sec. Nielsen reported an influx in arrests of illegal immigrants with criminal records during 2018, the Democrats responded this simply wasn’t so. The question is, what is the truth?

The meeting was closely followed by the news media, but interestingly, there was no mention of the DHS report accompanying Sec. Nielsen’s briefing. In short, it was buried by the press. Fortunately, I had little difficulty locating it on the DHS web site where it was titled, “Fiscal Year 2018 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Report” by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The purpose of the 22 page report was to summarize U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) activities in Fiscal Year 2018.

Among the statistics listed were a couple of eye-openers:

* There were 158,581 administrative arrests in FY2018, ICE and ERO recorded the greatest number of administrative arrests as compared to the two previous fiscal years, and the highest number since FY2014. ICE and ERO made 15,111 more administrative arrests in FY2018 than in FY2017, representing an 11 percent increase, and a continued upward trend after FY2017’s 30 percent increase over FY2016.

* In FY2018, ERO arrested 138,117 aliens with criminal histories (convicted criminals and those pending criminal charges) for an increase of 10,125 aliens over FY2017. This continued the growth seen in FY2017 when ERO arrested 26,974 more aliens with criminal histories than in FY2016 for a 27 percent gain.

The types of crimes cover the spectrum; everything from DUI traffic offenses, to drugs, assault, larceny, burglary, weapon offenses, homicide, kidnapping, etc. (See diagram for specifics).

And finally, FY2018 saw an increase in criminal violations causing an increase in removal of illegal immigrants. Interestingly, the Top 10 countries include:

TOP 10 COUNTRIES – REMOVALS BY COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP


FY2017 FY2018
MEXICO 128,765 141,045
GUATEMALA 33,570 50,390
HONDURAS 22,381 28,894
EL SALVADOR 18,838 15,445
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1,986 1,769
BRAZIL 1,413 1,691
ECUADOR 1,152 1,264
COLOMBIA 1,082 1,162
HAITI 5,578 934
NICARAGUA 832 879
It's interesting that America provides substantial foreign aid to these countries, including:
FY2017
MEXICO $290M
GUATEMALA $257M
HONDURAS $181M
EL SALVADOR $118M
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC $ 61M
BRAZIL $ 28M
ECUADOR $ 18M
COLOMBIA $518M
HAITI $307M
NICARAGUA $ 44M

Source: USAID

One should ask what is the point of giving these countries money, if their citizens want to leave them. They are obviously squandering the money and not improving working conditions there. In other words, it is wasteful. Also consider this, the foreign aid to these Top 10 countries alone represents over $1.8B, not to mention the many other countries on the list. The United States probably could build an opulent southern wall by simply diverting foreign aid.

So, what was the message Sec. Nielsen was trying to communicate? That a legitimate problem exists in illegal immigration, and it is growing. The data presented in the report is not fictitious or a figment of someone’s imagination. It is real. The fact remains, there is an increase, not a decrease in people wanting to enter our country illegally, with many possessing a criminal background. Now we have to ask if we want these undesirables to run amok in our country. Our safety, security, and sovereignty depends on your answer.

Keep the Faith!

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

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb1557@gmail.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

2018 GOVERNMENT REPORT CARD

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 28, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– How I graded our federal government this year.

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

As 2018 comes to a close, I thought I would grade how our federal government did this past year, and ask if we truly got our money’s worth:

115th Congress – Grade=D – Blew it due to weak leadership; should have done much more. The Brett Kavanaugh hearing was an embarrassing political nightmare we didn’t need. Congress let the country down on immigration reform, health care and financial responsibility. Then again, what’s new? Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to show their incompetence. As Will Rogers said, “We all joke about Congress but we can’t improve on them. Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces?”

President – Grade=A – Did great considering he had to work under extreme pressure from an incompetent Congress, a resistance movement delaying his every move, and a news media bent on his destruction. Mr. Trump proved to be a worthy adversary to push back against his detractors, something few presidents knew how to do. The Mueller investigation proved itself to be a witch hunt and that we were investigating the wrong people. President Trump persevered and made inroads in appointing judges, a Supreme Court justice and new appointments for his administration, revising trade agreements and stoking the economy, and keeping his campaign promises, something he received little credit for.

Supreme Court – Grade=A – Finally back to a full court, but remains somewhat partisan, always will be. They ruled on such things as the Presidential Travel Ban, Immigration, Internet Sales Taxes, Voting Rights, Gay Rights and Religion, Sports Betting and more. Nothing earth-shattering, but they did their job without much fanfare.

News Media – Grade=F – as in “F”ake News. The “F”ourth Estate has let the American people down due to their partisanship and hatred of the president. Americans no longer trust the press and desperately seek information from other sources, including social media. As in 2016, the political polls again let us down and were incapable of predicting accurate results. For those concerned with collusion, start with the relationship between the news media and polls.

Happy New Year and let us hope 2019 is better. Frankly, I am not holding my breath as we will likely experience two years of Congressional gridlock, as the Democrats continue to resist the President. God only knows when the government will reopen.

Bottom-line: No, I do not believe the country got it’s money’s worth from the government this year. Our political polarity is preventing us from achieving greatness. The time is rapidly approaching when we must morally decide what interpretation of America is proper, left or right.

Again, quoting Will Rogers, “Last year we said, ‘Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse.”

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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2018 YEAR-END WRAP-UP

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 20, 2018

BRYCE ON BRYCE

– My most popular columns and audio segments this year.

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

This is my last column for the year as I prepare to enjoy the holidays and rest up for 2019. As has become customary, I’m using this opportunity to review my top essays from the past year.

As you know, I write on a variety of subjects, such as management, systems, technology, social issues, politics, and observations of our changing world. Sometimes my work is instructional and informative, other times it is controversial or humorous. I certainly hope it isn’t boring. By the number of subscribers I have, their comments, and the hits I have on my web site alone, I do not believe this is the case.

Since this was an election year, most of my top articles were political in nature. What follows is based on my “hits” by my readers.

My top columns for the year were:

1. THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIALIZATION (May 3) – This was far and away my most popular column, not just in America but overseas as well, particularly in India and, No, it wasn’t political in nature.

2. 2018: AS FLORIDA GOES, SO GOES THE COUNTRY (Nov 5) – This was published the day before the midterm elections, which perhaps explains its popularity.

3. 2018 AMENDMENTS TO THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION (Sep 13) – This was one of the few articles available which attempted to clearly explain the Florida legislation. It was heavily referenced during election time.

4. CHINKS APPEAR IN THE DEMOCRATS’ ARMOR (Sep 26) – Unlike the main stream media, this column was one of the few to note the weaknesses in the Democrats prior to the election.

5. FAREWELL TAMPA BAY TIMES (Apr 10) – This explained my rationale for cancelling my subscription to “Florida’s Best Newspaper.”

6. WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS TURNING TO SOCIALISM? (Jul 10) – Discussed how the party had turned even further left than before, going well beyond “Progressives.”

7. THE POLITICAL EPIPHANY OF #WalkAway (Jul 19) – Described a new movement of people turning away from the Democrats as it is believed the party betrayed their trust.

8. THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LOSERS (Aug 21) – A sports piece describing problems with the NFL.

9. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS IN NOVEMBER? (Oct 4) – describes the dangers involved with voting for the Democrats.

10. A NEW DIGITAL DIVIDE (Aug 7) – Discusses the adverse effects of technology on reading and writing.

HONORABLE MENTION

ARE DEMOCRATS EVIL? (Oct 10) – raises an area of concern by Democrats concerned with how they are depicted.

THE 2018 ELECTIONS ARE OVER, NOW WHAT? (Nov 8) – Some predictions following the 2018 midterms.

SAYONARA HUFFINGTON POST (Feb 5) – describes why I left the publication.

AUDIO SEGMENTS ON YOUTUBE

I provide an audio version of most of my columns for those people on the go, courtesy of YouTube. I would like to believe people listen to me at the gym or beach, but more realistically, people tend to tune in while they are traveling or at work. Interestingly, the popularity of my audio segments is not the same as my written columns.

1. THE POLITICAL EPIPHANY OF #WalkAway (Jul 19) – this was very popular among members of the movement, hence its high rating here.

2. PRIDE RENEWAL TOUR (Apr 25) – I was particularly glad to see this become popular as it was based on a seminar I gave regarding morality earlier this year. Highlights from the program are included.

3. IN PRAISE OF POLKA MUSIC (May 17) – I was pleased to see this off-beat column get recognition. It was just plain fun to do.

4. CHINKS APPEAR IN THE DEMOCRATS’ ARMOR (Sep 26) – this segment, like the written version, did very well. Unlike the main stream media, this was one of the few to note the weaknesses in the Democrats prior to the election.

5. MAYHEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE? (Sep 12) – Provides an explanation of why the Democrats attack President Trump.

6. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS IN NOVEMBER? (Oct 4) – This did equally well as the written version. It describes the dangers involved with voting for the Democrats.

7. THE BOSTON GLOBE CALLS FOR WAR AGAINST TRUMP (Aug 15) – Describes the campaign created by the Boston Globe to have the main stream media attack President Trump.

8. WHAT OTHER FRATERNITIES CAN TEACH FREEMASONRY (Feb 9) – An unusual piece aimed at making suggestions for improving Freemasonry.

9. TIME TO END THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION (Dec 4) – A recent segment urging an end to this colossal waste of time.

10. WHY ARE THE DEMOCRATS TURNING TO SOCIALISM? (Jul 10) – Another segment which complemented the written version. It discusses how the party had turned even further left than before, going well beyond “Progressives.”

HONORABLE MENTION

CNN’S JIM ACOSTA BUTTS HEADS WITH THE PRESIDENT (Nov 9) – Discussed the incident which caused Acosta being banned from the White House.

I will be on sabbatical for awhile until I am ready to get back in the saddle.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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WHY POLITICAL POLARITY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 17, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The irresistible force versus the immovable object.

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

In the political polarity of America today, neither side trusts the other, Left or Right, thus making it impossible to compromise or reason together, leaving us with more than just a Congress in gridlock, but the whole country as well. The two perspectives of America are truly incompatible and requires some explanation.

Liberals are at a complete loss as to why anyone would support President Trump. As one reader recently wrote to me, “I want to know if any of the crimes Trump is alleged to have committed, the factual information coming forth, the involvement of his family and the blatant lies he told and continues to tell has any bearing on your unwavering support of the man?”

Conversely, conservatives do not understand why others do not support the President. As another reader wrote, “The American voters that voted for the Communist Democrats are the traitors to our country, and the rest of us true Americans.”

The polarity of the two sides is such that neither understands the other, nor cares to.

As another example, on December 11th (2018), President Trump and Vice President Pence met with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer in the White House to discuss a Congressional spending bill to include $5 billion in funding to accelerate building of the southern wall. Both Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer steadfastly refused to agree to it in front of television cameras. In fact, they felt awkward discussing it in such a venue. The President made it clear he would unashamedly close the federal government if he doesn’t get the money to tighten border security. The Democrats tried to browbeat the President by making the point that Mr. Trump would be solely responsible for the shutdown, not the Democrats. The President readily conceded the point with the caveat he would be doing so to protect our border and the citizens of this country, something his Congressional opponents are not willing to do.

Afterwards, Republicans applauded the president’s handling of the meeting by seeking “transparency” in front of the cameras, something the Democrats obviously felt uncomfortable doing. The Right saw the president on top of his game and outfoxed his opponents as any other businessman would do.

Liberals didn’t see it this way. Instead, the President was characterized as a bully throwing an indignant temper tantrum. His character and intelligence was again questioned, and he was described as a megalomaniac, as well as all the other usual derogatory adjectives du jour.

Democrats are quick to accuse the President of improprieties resulting from the Mueller investigation, regardless if it is true or not. Republicans see the investigation as a frivolous political distraction since nothing of substance has yet to be produced. Democrats want the investigation to continue unabated for as long as possible. Republicans have had enough and want it shut down.

Again, both sides simply do not understand the position of the other, nor wants to.

So, why the difference?

First, Democrats are more inclined to accept the news emanating from the media. Regardless if it is right or wrong, it is embraced as unbiased and factual, and is parroted as such, except that resulting from Fox News which is perceived as fallacious. The Republicans, on the other hand, are more skeptical and do not trust the news media at all, least of all print journalism, which is all perceived as an organ of the Democrats, certainly not fair and balanced. They believe the media is following a political agenda, which involves spinning the news, not accurately reporting it. Consequently, the only news they believe in is that which they see or hear themselves first-hand.

Second, Democrats have become past masters of Identity Politics. If you do not agree with their position on an issue, you are vilified as either a racist, xenophobe, homophobe, Fascist, or just not smart enough to understand what is really happening in the world. In turn, Republicans see their opposites as anti-patriotic anarchists bent on destroying the country. They consider the members of the Left as the true racists who will cheat at all costs to win an election.

And third, the platforms of Left and Right are as different as night and day. Ultimately, it is based on our interpretation of morality; what is right and what is wrong:

Left versus Right –

* Anti-Capitalists versus anti-Socialists.
* Agnostic versus Religious.
* Control of rights (e.g., free speech and guns) versus protecting the Bill of Rights.
* Free entitlements versus prosperity through hard work.
* Big government versus small government.
* Globalization versus Nationalism.
* Political correctness versus Results orientation.

Yes, our differences are based on our fundamental belief of morality; always has been. As fervently strong as Democrats believe in their interpretation of America, Republicans feel equally strong. Neither side is willing to acknowledge they are wrong, nor apologize for it; they are absolutely convinced they are correct, not their opposition. This belief in right versus wrong explains why there can never be any compromise.

It is this fundamental sense of morality which is responsible for the irresistible force versus immovable object in American culture today, as well as in the world. Unless one side conquers the other, we will have gridlock for many more years to come, assuming we do not kill ourselves first.

Just remember, in a contest of stubbornness, man will beat the jackass every time.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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MY TALK ON CITIZENSHIP REDUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 11, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– 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.

This is an updated version of a column I wrote some time ago. There’s a book recommendation at the end which would make a great holiday gift for a young person in High School or College.

I was recently asked to give a lecture on “Citizenship” at a local Masonic Lodge. Drawing from 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 better 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 surprising, 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. As such, 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? Better yet, how about Constitution/Citizenship Day on September 17th? 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; 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.”

Parents could give the oath 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 the media, 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.”

P.S. – Here are some reading resources that should be useful:

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

Also on the Internet, the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Service has a page describing “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” along with links to other free resources.

My favorite book for young people is, “The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World” by W. Cleon Skousen. It sells for about $16-$18 and is available from Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. This makes an excellent holiday gift suitable for students in High School and College. In my humble opinion, all young people should be given a copy of this book as it describes the mechanics of our government. Think of it as a crash course in Civics. Enjoy!

Remember, education is the key to our political future.

Originally published: March 8, 2017

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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BABY, IT’S POLITICALLY CORRECT OUTSIDE

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 6, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Attacking holiday programming.

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Tis the season, not for Christmas or any other religious holiday, but for political correctness. It appears the holidays have triggered a wave of criticism over audio/video classics as heard and seen for years over our airwaves. This is just another example of political correctness running amok.

First there was the TV special, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” which originally aired in 1973 and won an Emmy Award. For 45 years, it was a beloved holiday classic, but not in 2018 when it was accused of racism. It was recently pointed out that at the dinner-table scene, Franklin, the lone black character, sat on one side of the table alone in a lawn chair, while the other white characters were on the opposite side sitting in regular chairs. Critics today claim this is a very racist scene. To his credit, Charles M. Schulz, created Franklin in 1968, making him one of the first cartoonists to incorporate a black character in his strip. Schulz later claimed he created Franklin after being inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So instead of applauding Schulz’s efforts, he is criticized by the PC police in 2018.

Next, we have the 1964 Christmas Classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” narrated by the late great Burl Ives. For 54 years, this film was cherished by children, but not in 2018 where critics today declare it “disturbing.” Santa is accused of racism for not accepting Rudolph due to his red nose, Hermey the Elf is described as a “Sadistic Psychopath,” the elves are accused of inbreeding, and Yukon Cornelius is considered “Mentally Unstable.” I wonder how we overlooked all of this for over 50 years?

In 1969, “Frosty the Snowman” was brought to television and narrated by the late Jimmy Durante with his marvelous gravelly voice. It was inspired by the popular song sung in 1950 by the legendary cowboy-singer Gene Autry. For 49 years the show was enjoyed by millions of children, but again, as with the others, it is not acceptable in 2018. Frosty’s melting scene is now said to give children nightmares as he is “viciously murdered” by an evil magician who wants Frosty’s magic hat. Santa returns to bring Frosty back to life, but it is now being claimed this scene traumatizes young people. Having grown up in the north, and made many a snowman in my day, we all knew they were not real and what would happen when the Spring thaw came, but to be traumatized by this in 2018, it makes you wonder what they are putting in kid’s cereals these days.

Finally, we come to WDOK-FM 102.1 (aka, Star 102) in Cleveland who recently banned the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as it could be construed as promoting male predatory tactics of women, something of keen interest to the #metoo movement (anyone remember the Justice Brett Kavanaugh hearings?). Although it is not a true Christmas song, it was written in 1944 and played around the holidays. It is primarily sung as a duet between a man and a women. In its 74 year history, there have been dozens of renditions by a variety of artists, including: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán, Vanessa Williams and Bobby Caldwell, Lee Ann Womack and Harry Connick Jr., Anne Murray and Michael Bublé, Martina McBride and Dean Martin, and many others. Great music, but you won’t hear it anytime soon in Cleveland.

WDOK-FM ran a poll on their Facebook page asking listeners what holiday song should be omitted from their playlist, and out of 600 responses, 94% (564 votes) were in favor of it, but only 6% (36 votes) were against it. So, thanks to a meager 36 people, the radio station dumped the tune. Who-da-thunk-it?

All of these shows and music range in age from 49 to 74 years old, and introduced in the 1940’s, 50’s, the turbulent 60’s, and early 70’s. One cannot help but wonder where was the outrage back then? Were we really so naive and clueless not to see the hidden meanings? Is it possible we were socially mal-adjusted or is there something wrong with today’s sense of right and wrong? Frankly, I think there is something in the water causing this distortion of reality. These classics may not have been the most brilliant artistically, but I do not believe they were deliberately designed to embarrass anyone.

The criticisms of the old television classics appear to be coming from Millennial writers who seem to be making mountains out of mole hills. They either want to create something controversial to boost their readership, or they honestly believe the nonsense they write. Unfortunately, their badgering will likely cause the mainstream media to abandon these holiday classics. I just wonder what they propose to replace them with, perhaps titles such as, “A Charlie Brown LGBT Thanksgiving,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wussy,” “Frosty the Snowflake,” and “Baby, Get Your Ass Out of Here, Can’t You See I’m Texting?”

The far left is confounded by President Trump who is an ardent proponent of Christmas. The fact he likes to say “Merry Christmas” this time of year, as opposed to “Happy Holidays” or “Season Greetings,” drives them crazy. Since there appears to be a resurgence in Christmas, the left is attacking the peripheral aspects of the holidays, hence the attacks on Rudolph, Frosty, et al. They will not be happy until organized religion, particularly Christianity, is removed from our culture. The reality though is this will never happen.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

TIME TO END THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on December 4, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– But not for the reason you may think.

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It’s time to wrap-up the Mueller Investigation, not because they haven’t found anything of substance yet, but because it is simply out of control with no end in sight. Allow me to explain.

I have been a management consultant in the Information Technology field for over forty years and I have met several consultants along the way. Ethical consultants have no problem defining the deliverables for a project, produce a reliable estimate of costs, and calculate a schedule which is all reviewed and agreed upon by the customer before embarking on the project. Unethical consultants are just the antithesis of this; they define no deliverables, they are not held accountable for costs, and fail to produce a reliable timetable of events. This latter type of project, or “boondoggle” I should say, is a gravy train for the consultant. I find it rather remarkable companies still allow such shenanigans to occur.

To illustrate, years ago I had a client in the New York City area who had a bad experience with a “Big 8” consulting firm (which has since been merged down to the “Big 4”). The consultant promised delivery of a new state-of-the-art system, but hedged at giving the customer a scheduled end date. Interestingly, they had no problem producing a monthly invoice like clockwork. This went on for two years where nothing of substance was produced. After much cajoling by the client, the consultant’s project manager finally announced triumphantly to the customer, “We have just finished Phase 1… now we start Phase 2.” “Phase 2?” the customer asked, “How many phases are there?” No answer was forthcoming from the consultant.

This is the same scenario being played out by the Mueller investigation. We have no idea where this investigation is going, how much it is costing, and when it will be completed. From a business perspective, this type of donnybrook is simply unacceptable.

The investigation was initiated by Order Number 3915-2017 from the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, Rod J. Rosenstein. Its prime purpose was to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump”. Robert S. Mueller III was appointed Special Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, and the order was signed May 17th, 2017.

One year and seven months later, the investigation shows no signs of abating and has turned into a distracting political football. As part of Mueller’s investigation, he took over several FBI investigations involving peripheral subjects. Paul Manaford, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, W. Samuel Patten, Richard Pinedo, et al faced a variety of charges in the hopes it would squeeze them to become cooperative witnesses for investigators. So far, we have learned nothing from this tactic.

Now that the midterm elections are over and a new year beckons, it is time to either reorganize this boondoggle, or put it to bed. This reminds me of another client I had in Rochester, New York who had hired another “Big 8” firm to design and develop a new manufacturing system for the company. A team of consultants were assembled and given use of a meeting room where they brainstormed for several months and tacked several poster boards around the room with various ideas drawn up on them. This went on for months with no end in sight. We were contracted to come in, examine the project and make some recommendations. After instructing their systems management how to tackle such an assignment, the systems manager re-assembled the “Big 8” team in the meeting room, he then walked slowly around the room tearing up and discarding the posters. At the end, he said, “Gentlemen, let’s get down to business.”

It’s time for the Mueller investigation to either “get down to business” or get off the pot. Unless, of course, there are parties who do not want it to end as it serves other purposes. Hmm…

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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WHAT TO DO ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 29, 2018

BRYCE ON IMMIGRATION

– Let’s try something else, such as education.

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Last Sunday (Nov 25th) a group from the “Caravan,” a group of Central American migrants marching to the U.S. border, breached the border and tried to elude Homeland Security officers. In the process, some hurled rocks and bottles at U.S. officials who, in turn, shot tear gas at the crowd to break it up. No lethal force was used and about 50 people were apprehended after illegally crossing the border. All will likely be deported.

Conservatives see the “Caravan” as a legitimate invasion of our sovereignty, and they support President Trump’s deployment of military personnel along the border to prevent this from happening. They are also in favor of closing the Mexican border should the Caravan persist in trying to enter the country illegally. Liberals, on the other hand, portray the members of the Caravan as sympathetic characters who are destitute and deserve help. It is easy to sympathize with such people, but when they wave their own flag during their march, it is obvious their loyalty is with their homeland and are only interested in the economic benefits the United States has to offer, such as medical care, education, shelter, and food.

The difference between Left and Right here is whether it is necessary to follow “due process” in entering the United States. Whereas Conservatives are inclined to follow the rule of law, the Liberals want the borders opened for anyone to enter. Again, such a policy would threaten our sovereignty and ultimately bankrupt the country trying to pay for a massive influx of immigrants.

Let’s be clear about this, we cannot possibly accommodate anyone and everyone wanting to enter our country. We may be the greatest country in the world with a charged-up economy, but we simply cannot take care of everyone; it is not economically feasible to do so.

Central America has long been known for corruption, drugs, and strong-armed government tactics. Regardless if they claim to be free and independent republics, their label of “Banana Republics” has not gone away, particularly those participating in the Caravan, including Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, et al.

Historically, America has sent these countries money as foreign aid, which is typically plundered by their governments; military weapons, which are used to keep the populace in check (and the dictator du jour in power), and; food and medicine to nourish the needy, but this often fails as well. Instead of planting the seed grain and reap the harvest, there is the temptation to consume the grain instead. Frankly, none of this has truly altered conditions in Central America which has stagnated for many decades.

How about something different, such as education? We’ve done this on a small scale with the Peace Corps and other groups, but we need to go beyond the basics and offer advanced courses. If outsiders truly believe America is great, they should want to replicate us, which begins with education. This includes teaching them to teach themselves.

Our founding fathers, such as Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Hamilton, and Adams were remarkable primarily because of their education. They were well versed in such subjects as law, philosophy, mathematics, languages, history, geography, architecture, speech, and theology. Without this background, it is unlikely the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution would have been written. This, of course, led to our separation from Great Britain, and allowed us to become the great country everyone wants to come to.

Education was deemed critical to the success of our new country, based on the premise it encouraged patriotism and citizenship, hence the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was created by our first Congress. The legislation includes verbiage stating, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” This led the public education system we know today which children are required to attend. Prior to this, only the children of rich families attended private schools. This also led to the creation of the first college in the northwest, Ohio University in 1804, my alma mater.

The point is, by cultivating education in other countries, we would not just be improving their skill sets, but we would be encouraging the populace to think for themselves and determine a proper form of government; something that feeds and protects its people, encourages invention and innovation, thereby creating jobs. There would be no reason to flee a country with peace and economic stability. And the United States would no longer be faced with an invasion of illegal immigrants.

The big question though is, do they really want to improve their homeland or forever seek handouts from other countries? If it is the latter, it will be necessary to toughen our immigration laws and borders. If it is the former, education will build better and more self-sufficient neighbors, as well as better trading partners. So, will it be education or tear gas? Forget sending them money, food and arms, invest in education instead. The return will be mind-boggling. Our own history proves it.

Just remember, the inscription at the Statue of Liberty reads:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It doesn’t read:

“Give me your deadbeats, your criminals, and those too lazy to improve their own country.”

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Education, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

UNDERSTANDING NATIONALISM

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 20, 2018

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Creating “Win-Win” situations.

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I find the vilification of nationalism to be appalling. It is being depicted as some sort of Fascist, racist, unpatriotic institution. The reality is, nothing could be further from the truth. It is being characterized as such, because it doesn’t fit in with the progressive/socialist agenda, nor other global developments, such as climate change, immigration, and defense.

President Trump embraced the concept as part of his “America First” initiative, which is one reason why Democrats find it offensive, but it is also being embraced in Europe by the “Brexit” movement in the United Kingdom, Poland, Hungary, Germany, and France. This explains why French President Emmanuel Macron recently made the claim, “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” as he views it as a threat to his presidency and the European Union.

As just about anyone who has visited the country can tell you, France is one of the most nationalistic countries in terms of its culture and language. You either fit into their way of thinking or get out. Mr. Macron also suggested the development of a separate army to defend itself against China, Russia, and the United States. This is an insult as America has come to the aid of Europe not just once, but several times over the last 100 years, both militarily and economically.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will not seek re-election following her term of office, also attacked nationalism by warning against “destructive isolationism.” She went on to say, “We know that most of the challenges and threats of today can no longer be solved by one nation alone, but only if we act together.”

I couldn’t agree more, but why is nationalism detrimental to this cause? In reality, it is not. People like Mr. Macron and Mrs. Merkel would have us believe we must all work together in a concerted effort, be it for the environment, immigration, health, and defense. This is all well and good, but what happens when there is a difference of opinion, and a country is asked to implement something in sharp contrast to their beliefs? In the case of “Brexit,” you withdraw from the European Union. In the case of President Trump, you withdraw from the Paris climate control accord, the Iranian peace deal, you move your embassy to Jerusalem over European objections, and you inform your “friends” you will no longer pick up the check for their activities, especially when we get nothing in return.

For many years I taught and consulted in the area of Corporate Culture. All companies, large and small, have a culture, a way of operating based on their values and perspectives. Not all companies think or act alike. In fact, the differences may be very pronounced. Also, within a Corporate Culture there may be a sub-culture, a clique or group of people (such as a department) exhibiting distinctly different characteristics. Such groups may be allowed to operate so long as they do not violate the norms of the overall culture.

Those embracing globalization would have us believe there is one corporate culture. Yes, there may be sub-cultures exhibiting minor differences, but all are expected to conform to the overall culture. This is what Macron and Merkel support. Those embracing nationalism see the world as a group of separate cultures with some similarities allowing them to work cooperatively on mutually beneficial projects. This means each culture is sovereign and is responsible for managing their own affairs. If they do not want to work with another culture, it is their prerogative.

Ideally, companies and countries should work on “Win-Win” projects, where both parties benefit. A good example of this is “NYLON” which was a joint venture based on groups in New York “NY” and London “LON.” If we run into a “Win-Lose” scenario whereby one party benefits at the expense of another, this becomes an unhealthy relationship. Whereas nationalism promotes “Win-Win” situations, globalization allows for “Win-Lose.” And frankly, America is tired of being taken for granted and asked to pay the bill all of the time.

Globalization involves the cultural integration of trade, capital, and immigration among the countries of the world. This tends to force countries to lose their identity and become subservient to others. Again, nationalism respects the sovereignty of a country.

From this perspective, French President Macron is dead wrong; patriotism, which involves the love of country, is promoted by nationalism, not globalization. If anything globalization is a deterrent to patriotism.

There is nothing wrong with forming coalitions for different endeavors, such as the United Nations, NATO, the OAS, the European Union, etc. It is when “Win-Lose” relationships form and one country must dance to the fiddle of another that discord erupts. Think about it; as citizens, does our allegiance rest with the United Nations or the United States? Frankly, I do not understand why this is a difficult concept to grasp.

Nationalism does not prohibit us from coming to the aid of our friends, as we have demonstrated for many years. However, when a friendship is abused and a financial burden added, it is time to ask why.

Nationalism is not the enemy, being asked to relinquish our sovereignty is.

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 © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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