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Archive for the ‘Social Issues’ Category

IS AMERICA ON THE BRINK OF FALLING APART?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 17, 2016

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A comparison between the 1960’s and the 2010’s.

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

The recent shootings in Dallas and Minneapolis, along with the resulting protests and police assassinations, makes us wonder if America is spinning out of control. Racial disparity is the highest it has been since the 1960’s when our cities burned and people died. If the 60’s taught us anything, violence can easily erupt despite the best intentions for peaceful and nonviolent protests.

Today, we live in a land of political correctness where it is acceptable to say “Black Lives Matter,” but not “White Lives Matter” or “Blue” or any other color. We also seem to conveniently overlook the fact whites are killed more than blacks by the police by a wide margin of 2:1. Maybe this is because our president is African-American and insists on such correctness.

According to Gallup, our morality is steadily declining. To illustrate:

* Many years ago, declaring bankruptcy was considered a disgrace, now it is commonplace and a convenient way to avoid paying your bills. Over the last 100 years, bankruptcy in the United States has slowly climbed. It began to accelerate in 1980, when there were less than 500K filings, and skyrocketed to its height of +2M in 2005. True, bankruptcy will affect your credit and future ability to use money, but it has become the escape hatch of choice for people inundated with loans or bills. Declaring bankruptcy may get you out of the hole, but it certainly will not help your creditors.

* Divorce was considered scandalous for many years. Attitudes change though and the 1970’s marked the decade where the divorce rate began to skyrocket.

* Pregnancies out of wedlock were also considered a family disgrace. Since the 1960’s though, it has steadily increased. For example, in 1980 18.4% of all births in the United States were to unmarried women; in 2007 the rate was nearly 40%.

* Premarital sex, which was long considered a taboo, accelerated dramatically in the 1960’s, from 22% to 74% in 1991.

* Being unemployed was considered a black mark against a person, particularly if you were fired. Not so anymore, primarily due to the financial instability of our economy.

* It used to be, the very idea of accepting charity from anyone was considered an embarrassment. Not so anymore. Today, over 100 million people accept federally funded welfare.

* Female-headed households has grown considerably since 1960 at about 8% of households to 23% by 2000.

* Whereas attending church was considered a natural part of life years ago, attendance has steadily declined since the 1960’s.

So, what caused these changes? During the 1960’s, it was a revolt of the attitudes and values of our parents. Likewise, in the 2010’s, the Millennials are trying desperately to distance themselves from the Baby Boomers, including lifestyles, work habits, and politics. For example, the Millennials now embrace extreme sports and high living, and consider the rise of Craft Breweries versus traditional American beers. They also despise micromanagement and want to be more entrepreneurial. As to politics, they avoid capitalism and embrace socialism, probably because they do not understand the difference between the two. Rational political dialogue is replaced by visceral shouting.

During the 1960’s, places like Chicago, Watts, Newark, and Selma became icons of disturbance in our country. Likewise, in the 2010’s, it is Ferguson, Baltimore, Dallas, Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, and Oakland.

The 1960’s was a decade where a counterculture of drugs emerged; where people like Timothy Leary encouraged young people to “turn on, tune in, drop out,” and people like Dr. Benjamin Spock encouraged parents to give their children more freedom and independence as opposed to discipline and teamwork. It was a decade where our music changed, and the words accompanying it reflected the mood of the young people, of protest and social change. And thanks to the space race of the 1960’s, our technology changed in leaps and bounds, and the electronic media became a dominating influence in our society. Likewise, the 2010’s saw the rise of drugs, particularly heroin, significant changes in music, and a growing addiction to technology.

In both decades, parental attitudes and values were challenged and a new libertine era of permissiveness was born. We have lost respect for our government, our institutions such as schools, churches, the rule of law, and the concepts of conformity and teamwork. Although we didn’t realize it at the time, we tried to reinvent America with youthful exuberance. However, as long as we remain governed by the U.S. Constitution, the ship will somehow right itself.

Evidently, this is something we must suffer through every fifty years. The next revolution should take place in the 2060’s, assuming the country hasn’t been overthrown by then.

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:  LEAVE IT TO THE COPS – Is law enforcement being overwhelmed with responsibilities?

LAST TIME:  ARE GOVERNMENT WORKERS ENGAGED?  – And what is it costing the taxpayers?

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 Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

TECHNOLOGY’S EFFECT ON SOCIETY

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 24, 2015

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– Technology is an effective tool for civil unrest and war.

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

In the past, I have discussed the adverse effects of technology, focusing on its addictive powers on a personal level, (see Bed Bugs & Our Changing World”), but what about society in general? As I concluded in my “Bed Bugs” paper, personal technology plays a detrimental role in the public’s moral values, and the rise of a “socially liberal” agenda. It is also a catalyst for social activism. For example, personal technology (smart phones, the Internet, and social media, etc.) was actively used in the riots and protests of Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, and other places, not to mention the Arab Spring of 2012. It was also a key factor in the Occupy Wall Street movement a few years ago. Abuse of such technology has demonstratively led to civil unrest, civil war, mayhem and violence.

People using such technology no longer subscribe to the rule of law, preferring to use it for agitation purposes instead. To illustrate, in the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, the people did not embrace the simple concept, “A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.” Instead, the people charged with the deaths were tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. Regardless of the legal outcome, the protestors and rioters rejected the verdict and caused helter-skelter. The news media shares some of the responsibility for their “sensational” reporting, thereby fanning the flames of outrage.

In the Middle East, Muslim extremists have long understood the power of personal technology and use it to devastating effect. Groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, et al, use it for communication purposes in waging war, recruiting, public relations (such as when they butcher innocents), and intelligence gathering. Without technology, these groups would be disorganized and rudderless; so much so, the world would likely not know who these groups are, and their power would be dissipated.

From this, we can conclude the use of personal technology has had an adverse effect on the world socially. It therefore seems rather obvious thwarting the use of it in times of crisis would be an effective deterrent to the break up of communications and mob rule. This could easily be done by creating jamming devices for smart phones, blocking social media, or simply suspending the Internet. Without such communications, leadership and coordinated activities break down, making it easier for law enforcement to disperse mobs.

Critics would argue such blockage is an affront to the freedom of speech. Not necessarily. Freedom of speech is not applicable in creating crisis, such as when a person falsely yells “fire” in a theater. The same can be claimed when violent confrontations occur between police and rioters and looters. Freedom of speech is one thing, a danger to society is another. Nonetheless, some 1st Amendment lawsuits are likely in the offing.

Whether it is the police trying to control civil unrest, or the military fighting our enemies, the key to subjugating opponents is through personal technology. If you take it out of their arsenal, you have greatly improved the odds for dominating your opponent.

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

LAST TIME:  STRUCTURED BRAINSTORMING  – Better than the shotgun approach to solving problems and creating ideas.

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 Social Issues, Technology | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

DIFFERENCES IN FAMILY VALUES

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 3, 2015

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What is the true cause of our changing world and what can be done about it?

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

In lieu of the riots in Baltimore, I thought I would talk about the importance of family values. Like millions of people, I watched in horror at the “protestors” on television. Perhaps a better name is “rioters” or “thugs” (regardless if it is politically correct or not, it is an apt description). The brightest spot though, was Toya Graham, the Baltimore mom slapping her son during the riots. It was refreshing to see a parent take charge of their offspring and straighten him out.

This incident says a lot about family values and discipline of our youth. This caused me to think about how parents raise their children today:

* If you were taught by your parents education was important, you will embrace it and take it seriously and improve yourself. If not, you are likely to drop out and grouse about others getting better paying jobs than you do.

* If you were taught by your parents the merits of work, you will become industrious. If not, you will probably become shiftless and undependable. Crime, drugs, and prison are likely in your future.

* If you were taught by your parents the meaning of responsibility, you will become dependable and a good citizen. If not, you will likely blame others for your problems and spend your life taking handouts and develop a dependency on welfare.

* If you were taught respect, manners and common courtesy by your parents, you will be considered socially well adjusted and experience prosperity through personal connections. If not, your social connections will likely be gangs, thugs, and criminals.

* If you were taught ethics by your parents, you will likely attend a place of worship and treat people fairly. If not, you will probably suffer from low self-esteem and treat people brutally.

* If you were taught right versus wrong by your parents, you will make better decisions. If not, you’ll make the wrong ones.

* If you were taught American history and the responsibilities of citizenship by your parents, you will likely become a patriot. If not, you will likely try to subvert the country.

It’s all about parenting. This, of course, means two things; first, parents are the prime source for personal guidance and social adjustment, and; second, they are role models for their offspring, good or bad. If they fail in either area, the child will likely take notice and learn their values from others, such as thugs and television. Children also have a tendency to emulate their parents. If they are misfits, the child will likewise become one. If they are industrious and responsible, the children are likely to assume these values.

Finally, if you were taught to be thankful for the little pleasures and bounties of life, regardless of how sparce they may be, you will lead a decent life.

Frankly, I think the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling should be mandatory reading in every household.

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:  SLOWING DOWN? – Are we working harder or smarter?

LAST TIME:  BED BUGS & OUR CHANGING WORLD  – What is the true cause of our changing world and what can be done about it?

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 Family, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

WORKING FOR GOONS

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 17, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Making the work environment unbearable.

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

One of the reasons Scott Adams’ cartoon, “Dilbert,” is so successful is because it hits close to home in depicting office life. Corporate management is one of Adams’ favorite targets in which they are shown as bumbling idiots. They are very determined in controlling all activities of the business. Their approach is predictably wrong, and they embrace every management fad that comes along. Because of their strong sense of authority and control, perhaps “goons” is a more appropriate label. This is essentially no different than Hitler’s goon squads during World War II where they harassed people, and practiced thuggery to implement the Führer’s policies. Under this approach, management’s policies are implemented top-down with no bottom-up input being tolerated.

Earlier this year, I wrote a column entitled, “Beware of the MBA’s,” whereby I made the observation today’s management tends to manage people more from a numbers point of view as opposed to a results perspective and their ability to work with others. I recently saw this first hand in a company with a national chain of outlets for manufacturing products. After several years at the helm, the founder and president stepped aside and retired. Shortly thereafter, the board of directors appointed a new CEO, someone with experience in the company but who was much younger and ambitious. The first thing he did was replace all of the regional sales managers with younger people (late twenties), and office managers in their early twenties. The more experienced sales and office managers were demoted and pushed aside. Instead of sales volume, the sales force was managed by a series of spreadsheets which considered the number of sales calls made, both in person and on the telephone. Instead of worrying about customer care and satisfaction, the numbers were of paramount importance. To make matters worse, whereas salesmen had previously been managed by the local sales manager, who was there to review their progress and solve their problems, the sales force now reported to a goon squad of regional sales managers, who were located out of state, and local office managers who acted as the eyes and ears of the regional managers.

This resulted in a serious morale problem. Since people were managed primarily by numbers, they became apathetic in the company’s business. They quickly realized concepts such as customer service and quality assurance were considered passé. They also knew they could easily outfox the young office managers who lacked experience. Over time, the office units started to experience delays in shipments to customers, lost revenue, sloppy inventory, and a general disregard for the company overall. Since they realized fighting the goon squad was futile, they undermined the company instead. Conditions became so bad, the employees began to resign, the key ones first (sales and customer service), then the clerical workers. Today, approximately 40% of the people in the local office have resigned and moved on. At first, the goon squad believed it would be easy to find replacements, but after realizing what the corporate culture entailed, the company can only afford mediocre workers. Maybe that is how management wants it.

Businesses certainly do not have a monopoly on goon squads. Nonprofit organizations typically have more than commercial enterprises. When the goons have captured the leadership of such groups, they recruit assistants and deputies not because they are intelligent or hard workers, but because they know how to follow orders with gusto, regardless if they know them to be harmful.

To the goons, it is not about offering inspired leadership, it is all about maintaining control over the organization and stifling resistance. It is no small wonder we live in an age of autocratic rule (Theory X). Goon squads are not interested in listening to the input of the workers. You either play ball or be prepared to be turned out. Such a management philosophy is dangerous in my opinion. It means spreadsheets take precedence over customer service, sales calls over sales volume, and in the case of nonprofits, suffocating rules over flourishing membership.

I am certainly not suggesting all companies operate in this fashion, but the reality is Scott Adams has a lot of material to work with for a long time. If we cannot relate to it, it wouldn’t exist. Unfortunately, goon squads are very much alive and well in this 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 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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO UNIVAC? – Why it is necessary to learn industrial history.

LAST TIME:  GANG MARKINGS

  – Gangs exist because parents fail.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Business, Management, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

HONEST DEBATE (OR THE LACK THEREOF)

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 13, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– Our lack of tolerance has a lot to do with it.

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

Like any other red-blooded American male on a Sunday afternoon, I like to exercise my right to surf the television channels using my remote control from the comfort of my easy chair. Years ago, when there was only four channels on TV, such a device wasn’t really needed, but now with the hundreds of available channels, it would be unimaginable to live without one. Nonetheless, I was flipping through the channels and started to notice something…

CLICK – a show describing the men and women serving in our military. The show highlights their spirit of teamwork and sacrifice for the betterment of all.

CLICK – a documentary describing the proliferation of street gangs and how people become territorial and find ways to beat the system for personal greed and vice.

CLICK – a Wall Street report on the virtues of the free enterprise system and how the entrepreneurial spirit of small companies promote job growth.

CLICK – a show describing the plight of the homeless and why it is necessary to redistribute the wealth in this country.

CLICK – a report on the Tea Party and 9.12 movements.

CLICK – a community talk show featuring a college professor discussing why conservative values are no longer valid in the world today.

CLICK – a variety of shows providing a forum to worship God.

CLICK – a program discussing the point of view of atheists and agnostics who want to have “In God we Trust” removed from American currency.

It struck me there were extreme opposites for just about everything in our society. The incompatibility between extremes is such, you start to wonder how this country survived for over 200 years. Then again, I guess it is not surprising as America’s melting pot represents a heterogeneous society, most definitely not homogeneous. This is nothing new and has been with us a long time. Also, think how boring our society would be if we all thought the same.

The only difference is we no longer practice tolerance and have forgotten how to engage in honest debate. For example, on the Internet, rarely is there any respect for other opinions and beliefs. Instead, people are inclined to viciously attack others and slander their character, a sort of “attack mode” of operating. I guess this is the price we must pay for becoming a technology based society.

French writer Voltaire is credited with saying, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I don’t think people feel this way anymore. Instead of talking through a problem or issue, as all of the great civilizations have done before us, we have to suffer through spin and attack. Plain and simply, we no longer know how to practice the art of honest discourse, which I interpret as a sign of deterioration of our culture.

We may not always agree with each other, but we must find ways to work together, not apart. This requires tolerance, respect, and the need to be a heck of a lot more articulate than just saying, “Up yours!”

Originally published: December 11, 2009

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  GANG MARKINGS – Gangs exist because parents fail.

LAST TIME:  WHAT DOES CORPORATE ‘INFUSION’ MEAN?  – Or is it a misnomer?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

WHAT “COPS” TEACHES US

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 15, 2014

BRYCE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT

– “Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…”

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

The “COPS” television program recently began its 27th season. Originally on FOX television, it has since moved over to SPIKE TV. Over the years I sampled some of the episodes, but it wasn’t until SPIKE started playing its “COPS” marathons that I really got hooked on it. I have probably seen hundreds of episodes and I never seem to tire of them.

I’m not sure why it fascinates me, other than the suspects captured represent the dregs of society. I am also surprised how professionally the police officers handle themselves in the face of these bone heads. If it were me, I would probably taser them first and ask questions later; “Zip,” “Zap,” “Zip,” “Zap,”… Even when the criminals are tasered, they somehow continue to resist by chanting, “What I do? What I do?”

The suspects have an excuse for everything and accept no responsibility. Even when they are captured red handed, especially with drugs, they adamantly contend, “That ain’t mine.”

“But I found it on you,” the officer argues back.

“Nope, that ain’t mine.”

Most of the suspects do not carry any form of identification. The cars they drive (or stole) are somehow “borrowed” from a friend or relative who doesn’t exist. You have to wonder how the police officers keep a straight face when they hear the excuses. It’s hilarious. I particularly like it when the police officer says, “What do you think, I’m stupid? I wasn’t born yesterday.” Nope, “That ain’t mine.”

I find it amusing even after the police have read the suspects their Miranda rights that they continue to talk and volunteer information to the police. The officers play this well. For example, after reading the suspects their rights and asking if they understand them, the officer’s next question is, “Okay, what were you doing in there?” And the suspects begin to babble away freely.

The drugs of choice on the show are primarily methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana is everywhere. I suppose they are all unrelated, one doesn’t lead to another, right?

Having watched the show so many times, I contend the people in possession of drugs is anyone with tattoos and piercings, no shirts, pants hanging half-way down their butt, with a baseball cap on backwards or are driving a POS. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. No wonder the police pull over so many people for “suspicious behavior.” The suspects might as well slap a sign on their car stating, “Drugs on board. Come and get me.” They should be tasered just for how they look. None seem to have a job, and they’re all out on parole. Instead of cleaning up their act though, they would rather carry a gun or deal drugs. No wonder we have so many career criminals.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that my wife and I are the last ones not to have tattoos, take drugs, are under the influence, or who haven’t stolen a car. God I feel old. It’s scary when you consider there are more of “them” as opposed to “us.”

Critics contend the “COPS” program trivializes police work and focuses on the poor. Hardly, it simply shows what they have to deal with on a routine basis (which is not good). Yes, there are moments when the officers have to get physical with some suspects, but my hat is off to them in terms of maintaining their composure and remaining civil and objective even when faced with these knuckleheads. If it were me, all you would hear is “Zip,” “Zap,” “Zip,” “Zap,”…

After reading this, some might accuse me of lacking compassion. Not true, but I no longer have patience for these products of immoral parenting.

Next time you need a good laugh at some dunderheads, or want to watch people performing their job professionally, tune in “COPS” or their sister show, “JAIL” where they show how suspects are booked and incarcerated. Both shows portray law enforcement personnel in a positive light.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  OUR LAME DUCK PRESIDENT – The sad thing is, he doesn’t realize he has already become one.

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

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Crime, Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

10 MOST WANTED LIST

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 6, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– A list for improving America.

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

The “Ten Most Wanted” list was a brainchild of former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, as a means to solicit the public’s assistance in capturing the hardened criminals of the day. Over the years, it has proven to be an effective means for assisting in the apprehension of such desperatos. I still check the list from time to time to see who is on it. I have also noticed many magazine articles today are developing a list of top tips, tricks, or celebrities doing this or that.

Recently, I started to consider another type of “10 Most Wanted” list, something also requiring the public’s assistance, but a list of those items to make this country great again. Some items are aimed at our government, others at our culture. Here then is my…

“10 Most Wanted List for improving America”

10. Balance the Budget – the notion our country cannot operate within its own means is mind-boggling. A balanced budget would greatly facilitate cutting the deficit through spending reductions and make us less dependent on outsiders. Some believe our government is too big and complex to implement such a budget. If so, perhaps it is time to reduce our size and complexity.

9. Create a responsible press – it has been a long time since we have referred to the mainstream media as “fair and balanced.” Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the purpose of the “fourth estate” was to track government, regardless of party, and protect the interests of the people, not those in charge.

8. Immigration – What we are currently witnessing is nothing less than an invasion by outsiders. The floodgates need to be closed at our borders, even if this means using the National Guard. It is simple math, regardless of our compassion, we cannot afford to take care of everyone. Heck, we have trouble taking care of our own people.

7. Energy Independence – foreign energy has cost America greatly, both in terms of lives and expenses. We have the resources and technology to become independent, but not the will. This item alone would put the country back to work and return us to a leadership role in the world.

6. Taxes – a fair and equitable form of income tax is long overdue. A reduction of our business taxes would also stimulate business and make us more competitive, not to mention returning jobs back home.

5. Improved economy – a smaller and less intrusive government would greatly improve our GDP, and reduce the welfare state by putting more people back to work.

4. The truth – some call it “transparency,” I call it the truth. Yes, I would like to know what honestly happened at the IRS, the VA, at Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Associated Press, etc. I would like to see this investigated quickly and properly, take corrective action, and move along. I am not one for wallowing in messes. Let’s clean it up and restore the credibility and trust in our government.

3. Society – I would like to see a society where the individual is encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial attitude, take risks, and be amply rewarded for taking them. I would like to see less government barriers, and more breaks to help in this regards.

2. Peace – although my generation missed WW2, I have only known us to be at peace for a handful of years. It would be nice to know a world at peace, but there are too many forces at work who will not allow us to have it. If we are to remain the policeman of the world, I would like to see the world community pay their fair share.

1. Morality – some simple morality could go a long way to improving our quality of life, such as honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, courtesy, respect, citizenship and a little patriotism. A little pride in ourselves and our profession (e.g., craftsmanship), would certainly be a welcome change.

Obviously there are many other things I would like to see implemented, but these represent my “Top 10.” Some people would say I am being naive about these items, that none of them are possible. Maybe so, but I would like to see us try. Even the FBI doesn’t catch their Top 10 all of the time, but they never give up. Neither should we.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  60+ YEARS OF JAMES BOND (007) – The characters have evolved and adapted to the times, making it just as relevant today, as when it first debuted.

LAST TIME:  IS IT TIME FOR CENSORSHIP?  – It’s not the NRA; it’s Hollywood.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Politics, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE WHITE LINE

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 1, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What does this parable tell us about ourselves?

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

Herman owned a large swath of property out in the country, sitting on a few hundred acres of farmland. The property had been in the family for several years and Herman profited greatly from it. Now, as he was getting older, his sons had picked up the management of the farm and Herman could slow down a bit. Late in the afternoon, he would often find himself sitting on his front porch drinking an iced tea. It was quiet and peaceful, maybe more than he cared for. The farm was wedged between two rural towns and the road stretched around Herman’s farm causing motorists to travel several miles out of the way.

This didn’t seem right to Herman. The people of the county had always been good to him and he wanted to somehow devise a way to show his appreciation and help others. He then got it in his head to build a road through his property and let people drive through it, thereby cutting down the distance between towns from fifteen miles to five.

Herman took it upon himself to build the road. He had an old bulldozer which was still in good shape, and he carved out a straight two-lane road and covered it with tar and gravel. He wanted to keep the road simple as he expected people would use good judgement, but for safety purposes, he painted a white line down the middle. Before opening the road he posted a simple sign on both ends saying, “Please practice courtesy on the road and drive safely – Your neighbor, Herman.” He didn’t post any signs to denote a speed limit, and there was no need for stop signs as it was simply an express lane through his property.

The local newspaper heralded the new road and praised Herman for his generosity. Local government officials were concerned though and wanted to take charge, but Herman steadfastly refused as he knew government had a tendency to complicate matters.

When the road opened, people began to drive on it almost immediately. Herman enjoyed the attention and would sit in a chair next to the side of the road and wave at the passing motorists. This became a daily ritual. It appeared Herman’s plan was working fine. People were maintaining a reasonable speed and practiced a little courtesy on the road. Herman kept studying the traffic flow and was amazed how well people followed the white line.

Herman started to think about how a simple white line seemed to control driving patterns. He wondered what would happen if he moved the white line, just a little. He selected a section of road to be used as an experiment. There he repainted the white line by moving it to one side by twelve inches. This meant one side was slightly squeezed and the other wider. In another section he squiggled the line to give it a wavy appearance.

The next day, Herman sat in his chair and watched the drivers on the road. Interestingly, drivers who encountered the “thin” section of road slowed down and observed the line. Conversely, drivers on the “wide” side picked up speed. Remarkably, people would begin to swerve their car on the section marked by the wavy line. Herman thought this was particularly amusing as the road was straight.

Next, Herman removed a section of the white line and replaced it with a line of small circles, triangles and squares. He observed people slowed down when approaching this section, as they didn’t quite understand the meaning of the symbols, but respected each side of the road nevertheless.

The next day, Herman removed all of the anomalies and put the white line down the middle of the road again. This appeared to relieve the drivers and harmony returned to the highway.

From this exercise, Herman concluded people want uniformity and discipline in their lives. They are ready to accept simple rules for the purpose of cooperation. Although they could work around variances, they seemed to prefer some predictability through standardization. Such discipline meant people could think about other things as opposed to worrying about changes in the rules of the road.

Under this arrangement, Herman discovered most drivers operated their vehicles in a cooperative manner. There was no bumper-to-bumper slow downs, people would wave others to pass them at opportune moments, and there was no cursing or one finger salutes. It was just a nice comfortable ride which everyone enjoyed.

One day though, a young motorist discovered the road and drove pell-mell across it. Not only did he drive fast, but he dodged and weaved between cars, honk his horn and yell at drivers as he passed. After witnessing this, Herman became concerned and waved the motorist over to the side of the road. He discovered the young man’s name was “Joe” and Herman judged him to be in his early twenties.

After Herman introduced himself, he asked the young man to slow down a bit and be a little more courteous on the road. He reminded him that this was his road and he allowed others to use it. Joe just laughed loudly in Herman’s face, gunned the engine, and sped away, leaving tire tracks in the road.

Joe ignored Herman’s request and continued to be a pest on the road. Whenever Herman tried to wave him over to the side of the road, Joe would just speed by him and laugh. Some of the motorists began to complain to Herman about Joe’s antics and asked him to do something about it.

Despite Herman’s numerous attempts to stop Joe, it was to no avail. He even considered adding speed bumps in the road, but that defeated Herman’s objective of creating a comfortable ride. Nor was Herman interested in establishing a traffic cop to prevent Joe from using the road. He just wanted simple harmony on the road, but such was not to be. Finally, Herman couldn’t tolerate Joe or the criticisms anymore. He realized his noble experiment had failed. Consequently, he closed the road to everyone.

The lesson here should be obvious, despite the simplest rules or laws, there is always someone who wants to violate them. They may think they are above the law, that it doesn’t pertain to them, or they simply take pleasure in disrupting the lives of others and status quo. Bottom-line, Herman and the townspeople learned the hard way that it takes only a few to disrupt the lives of the many.

It is interesting what we learn from painting a simple white line. It influences how we will act and socialize, thereby denoting our perception of others, such as respect, cooperation, and basic common courtesy. A white painted line tells us a lot about the type of people we are, not to mention life in general.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  IS IT TIME FOR CENSORSHIP? – It’s not the NRA; it’s Hollywood.

LAST TIME:  40TH ANNIVERSARY OF NIXON’S RESIGNATION  – Did Watergate teach us anything?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Morality, Social Issues, Society | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY’S EFFECT ON AIR TRAVEL

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 25, 2014

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– What I discovered on my flight from Asheville.

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

I recently took a short trip to North Carolina to do a little fly-fishing with an old friend. It was a brief trip and we only had modest success, but it was a wonderful getaway. The mountains were beautiful, the air smelled delicious, and the streams were cold and clear. It was just the tonic I needed.

I came home on a Sunday morning via the Asheville airport. After checking in I proceeded to go through TSA security. It was still relatively early and there weren’t too many people in line. I think I caught the TSA agent off-guard by saying, “Good Morning,” to her. I observed what a nice day it was, and she responded by asking me how my trip had been. I explained I went fishing and had a great time in the mountains. She then asked me about my fishing pole, which I was carrying, and we chatted a few scant minutes about rainbow trout. She seemed to be pleased that someone had taken the time to talk to her. Maybe it’s because people generally do not think of TSA agents as human beings. I suppose they do not put on their pants one leg at a time.

After clearing security, I approached my gate where I found it eerily quiet. As I looked around, the passengers awaiting the flight were all busy either on their smart phones or Kindles. Some were playing games, others were listening to music, reading, or texting. All I saw were people gently tapping or swiping their fingers over the screen. In the corner of the room was a television set featuring a Sunday morning political talk show. The volume was turned down low, but I could hear it clear as a bell from the other side of the room. After all, tapping and swiping doesn’t exactly make a lot of racket.

Interestingly, I saw a boy and a girl sitting next to each other in the waiting area, both were teenagers who didn’t appear to know each other. Both were attractive, but neither acknowledged the presence of the other. From what I saw, they didn’t even exchange glances, they just played with their smart phones instead. What a pity.

When we finally boarded the aircraft, I sat next to a lady just a few years older than myself and an Asheville native. Everyone else continued with their tapping and swiping. As I sat down, I introduced myself to the woman, and we struck up a conversation which ranged over several subjects. She gave me some background information on Asheville, how she had recently attended a High School reunion, what books she was reading, and we even talked a little about moonshine up in the mountains. I described my fishing trip, life in Tampa Bay, the books I was reading, and a few other things.

It was a short flight, but my co-passenger made it interesting and lively. It started when she noticed I was carrying a regular hard covered book, as was she, as opposed to an electronic reader. Although we spoke quietly to maintain our privacy, every now and then another passenger would stop tapping and swiping only to give us a dirty look as if we were loud and boisterous and disturbing the harmony of the flight. At this time I noticed none of the other passengers were talking as they were all transfixed on their electronic devices.

In a way, my conversation with my co-passenger reminded me of air travel of yesteryear where passengers socialized and made new contacts. However, it occurred to me that we were now the oddballs, we were now the ones not using the latest technology, and we were the ones who had to communicate face-to-face. Frankly, we had a great time and became good friends.

The Asheville flight went to Atlanta where I made a connecting flight to Tampa. On this leg, I sat next to a gentleman I judged to be in his 40’s. Although I said hello and tried to introduce myself, the man pulled out his Kindle and immersed himself in reading. I pulled out my clunky book and began reading a few pages. After awhile, I looked up to see a woman across the aisle working on a jigsaw puzzle on her tablet computer, two other gentlemen were playing games on their smart phones, and another listened to music on his headphones. Nobody talked and you could hear a pin drop in the cabin.

After the flight, everyone rushed to the luggage carrousel in a spirit of competition, not cooperation or courtesy. Frankly, it was rather ugly. It then occurred to me technology was one of the reasons I no longer enjoy flying, and I suspect others might feel likewise. Bottom-line, it re-enforced my Bryce’s Law, “As the use of technology increases, social skills decreases.”

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  SENATORS AND THE 17TH AMENDMENT – No Virginia, senators were not always elected “by the people.”

LAST TIME:  THE OBAMA JUKEBOX  – The president’s rhetoric has become rather predictable.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Social Issues, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

DRESS FOR SUCCESS OR FAILURE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 21, 2014

BRYCE ON SOCIETY

– What would happen if we instituted a dress code in school…for the teachers?

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

I recently had the opportunity to visit a local elementary school where I attended their assembly for a presentation. I’ve known the school and principal for a long time. The school is modern in design and impressive to visit. Students there should be proud of it.

As the children filed into the assembly hall, the standard dress appeared to be t-shirts, shorts, socks and gym shoes. The teachers lined the outside perimeter to keep an eye on their respective classes. One of the first things I noticed was how poorly the teachers dressed. I counted only three teachers, out of dozens, who dressed professionally. The remainder looked rather slovenly and didn’t seem to care. I saw at least two teachers wearing faded Superman t-shirts and shorts which didn’t look particularly clean. Some wore jeans, and there were lots of t-shirts. Aside from the three teachers, the rest looked unprofessional. Frankly, I was surprised how badly they looked. I was expecting, at least, a “business casual” dress with collared shirts and slacks on the men, and something clean and feminine for the ladies. Instead, I got the uneasy feeling nobody really cared how they looked, and it showed. It is pretty bad when the students look better than the teachers.

It has been my experience that teachers are an important role model for our youth. If they say or do something, the kids are likely to follow suit. This caused me to wonder what messages the teachers were sending by their dress. Is it, “To succeed in life, you must look like a slob?”

The school was located in a middle-class neighborhood, certainly not a ghetto. The students represent a cultural diversity consisting of whites, blacks, Latinos, with a few Asians also in the mix. Although some may require food assistance, there didn’t appear to be any below the poverty line. The kids seemed to respect the faculty and, as such, the students likely respond to the image the teachers project.

We’ve been talking about dress codes for several years, only to be rebuffed by parents who believe it stifles the creativity of their children. Instead, maybe the dress code should be devised for the teachers who represent authority figures to the students.

Shortly after visiting the elementary school, I had an occasion to drop a friend off at an auto collision shop. His car had been in an accident and he was taking it in for service. While my friend was inside processing paperwork, I waited outside and observed some of the company’s estimators working with customers. This was a standard procedure whereby they prepare estimates for approval by the customers. As the face of the company, and wanting to project a professional image, the estimators were dressed better than the other employees, but not much better. The service technicians worked in clean jumpsuit uniforms. One estimator wore a collared shirt and slacks. However, I noticed the shirt was faded, and the trousers looked like they had been balled up as opposed to hung-up. They certainly were not pressed and cleaned. The other estimator was a woman who wore a rather tight skirt which wasn’t exactly flattering. In their mind, they looked presentable; in mine, they looked like bums.

This may come as a news flash to some, but customers want to have confidence in the vendors they are doing business with. It is in the vendor’s best interests to project a professional image in order to attain and keep the customer’s loyalty. It is just plain good business.

As the one estimator looked to be in his late twenties, I started to consider why he thought he was presentable. Three influences came to mind: his boss, his parents, and his teachers. You could also blame the media, but I was looking at the authority figures in the person’s life. Maybe his boss thought the estimator was presentable. If so, this doesn’t speak well for the company. Maybe his parents dressed him when he was younger. If so, this doesn’t speak well for the parents. Or maybe it was the teachers that influenced his taste in clothes. Hmm…quite possibly.

From what I saw at the school’s assembly, a whole generation of poorly clothed workers are in the offing. It could all change if the school’s management insisted the teachers clean up their act and display some pride in their appearance, which would then influence the students, and the rest of us.

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 © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE OBAMA JUKEBOX – The president’s rhetoric has become rather predictable.

LAST TIME:  BIG FISH IN SMALL PONDS  – Beware of the egos involved with big fish.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), 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 Social Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »