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Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

A HOME OWNERS ASSOCIATION TONG WAR

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 14, 2019

BRYCE ON NONPROFITS

– and a lesson for others.

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

My Home Owners Association (HOA) is currently involved in a dispute between the Board of Directors and the residents. It has become so nasty, it is starting to resemble a Tong War. Interestingly, this is not the first time this has happened. About 25 years ago the association built a substantial brick wall at the front of the neighborhood, but the Board refused to account for the money spent. This turned into an ugly donnybrook and caused a changeover in the board, and feelings were hurt. This is what caused me to get involved and help cleanup the association and restore confidence. Many years have passed since then and many new neighbors have moved in, none with a sense of what happened before, but it appears history is repeating itself.

Our HOA is relatively small, with 163 properties. Shortly after my reign, the board contracted with a management company to implement the administrative detail of the association. This is quite common these days as board members have become reluctant to do hands-on work, regardless of how simple it is. During my day, I built a data base for the group and was able to churn out customized letters, dues notices, and much more. I was fortunate to have a treasurer who was an accountant who used some basic PC financial software. Even though this was hardly rocket science, this was all dropped after the board changed and turned the administrative detail over to the management company.

As time passed, our HOA became overly dependent on the management company. Residents complained of the callous behavior of the company. It got to the point where it appeared the HOA worked for the management company as opposed to the other way around. A flash point occurred earlier this year when our new treasurer asked for a series of financial reports from the management company, none of which were forthcoming. This raised a red flag and caused the treasurer to resign from the Board and write a letter to residents explaining his reasons for his departure.

To me, this was deja vu all over again, as the cover-up of financials is what caused the friction 25 years earlier. Instead of publicly answering the former treasurer’s accusations, the president consulted the association’s attorneys which produced some fine gobbledygook to hide behind, thus arousing suspicions in the neighborhood. Had the president answered the treasurer properly, the issue would have been closed, but instead it escalated, fearing something was being hidden from the residents. So much so, the association called for a full audit of its financial activities by an independent firm, a very expensive proposition I might add. This vote to call for an audit essentially meant the board had lost the trust of the association.

As I mentioned, managing a nonprofit organization as small as this is not exactly rocket science. I have written about this in the past, “Managing a Nonprofit Organization.” In such groups, the board has a fiduciary responsibility to its membership. As such, finances, minutes, and governing docs must be transparent. In both instances, 25 years ago and today, this is the cause for the uproar.

As the board hides behind its lawyers, the association realizes they cannot fight city hall and the only thing to do is to fire the board at the end of the year, and start over again with new members (and hopefully without the management company). I am somewhat philosophical about this, as I have a sense of history with this association. It’s good to clear the air every so often. Like any organization, a lot of crud creeps into a nonprofit over time, and without strong management, it will continue to grow unabated (see Parkinson’s Law).

I have served on many board of directors over the years, for a variety of groups. I would have to say though that participating on a HOA board is the most thankless job around. It is essential to keep things simple, transparent, be well organized, and act professionally. In other words, learn Robert’s Rules of Order, print an agenda, get a gavel and give it to someone who knows how to use it. This will go a long way to simplifying work, communicating with your membership, and maintaining their trust. It is rather sad to see neighbors viscerally attack each other and hurt feelings in the process. This type of pettiness and drama is what discourages residents from participating in such associations. Further, this has an adverse effect on the spirit of the neighborhood and is actually detrimental to house values. After all, who wants to move into a neighborhood where everyone is at each other’s throats?

Hopefully, we can begin the mending process once the board has been voted out of office. The only positive effect of all this, is that people are beginning to ask to participate on the board. I’ve been asked, “Tim, why don’t you get involved again?” The answer is rather simple, after I cleaned it up last time, finally getting us to operate in the black for the first time, I stepped off the board, whereby new members changed it and turned everything over to the management company. I cleaned up one gigantic mess years ago, and they screwed it up. I certainly am not going to go through such madness a second time. What’s the old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…”?

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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Posted in Life, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE POLITICAL WAR OF THE ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 13, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Was Truman Capote correct?

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

The liberals in Hollywood are panicking over the anti-abortion bills as put forth by states such as Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia, which will inevitably lead to a challenge of Roe vs. Wade. So much so, they are resorting to blackmail politics, telling these states, particularly Georgia, they will not film in their states if the law is implemented starting in the new year. Both Netflix and Disney have indicated they will pull out if the bill is implemented. Disney is no longer the simple film studio and amusement park we grew up with. Now it is a conglomerate consisting of Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar movies, and amusement parks, hotels and ocean cruises around the world.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said, “I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard. Right now we are watching it very carefully.” He want on to say, “I don’t see how it’s practical for us to continue to shoot there.”

I wonder what Walt Disney would have to say about this if he were alive today, probably nothing as he was “old-school” in Hollywood, and knew such discussion would lead to lost revenues at the box office and viewership on television. Like many other studios, Disney thrived on “wholesome” entertainment and avoided controversy like the plague. Not so anymore as the language has become rougher and the situations more risque. We saw this at entertainment giant MGM who also pushed a “wholesome” agenda. Motion picture stars used to understand this, which explains why most of them kept their politics to themselves throughout the first half of the 20th century. Stars like Henry Fonda and John Wayne were political opposites, yet they found a way to work together on film. They knew that politics in entertainment was just bad business for everyone. Period.

This all changed in the second half of the 20th century, particularly in the 1960’s as the country dealt with the Viet Nam war and civil rights. Entertainers came out of the closet in terms of expressing their political beliefs, a practice which has accelerated in this century. Understand this, I don’t have a problem with someone holding an opposing opinion, but when it turns to extortion, it is time to take the kid gloves off. This was all caused by the growing militancy of the far-left among the Democrats. As I mentioned recently, the party is rapidly turning to the left and alienating moderates.

Hollywood’s liberal agenda has turned a lot of people off as evidenced of declining viewership at award ceremonies. People are simply tired of the political rhetoric at these events. If the Hollywood establishment is prepared to pull the plug on doing business in states such as Georgia, they should also be prepared to have the public back away from their partisan entertainment. After all, what is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, right? As for me, the entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood, lost me a long time ago when it became apparent they were only interested in comic-book stories implemented by computers. God forbid, someone in Hollywood should learn to write an intelligent script with an inventive plot and interesting dialog. Their recent actions in the southern states only confirms my suspicions that they do not maintain a fair and balanced approach for the general public.

It has also confirmed to me the liberal entertainers are not the smartest bulbs in the pack. Actress Alyssa Milano recently called Jon Voight a “has been” actor. As we all know, Voight has an impressively long list of movie and television accomplishments to his credit, including an Academy Award for Best Actor and four Golden Glob Awards. Milano has done well with such organizations as the Young Artist Awards, Kids’ Choice Awards, and Teen Choice Awards, which are hardly the caliber of what Voight has earned. No, Ms. Milano’s criticism of Mr. Voight was triggered by his conservative leanings which are polar opposite of hers. Interestingly, when he was much younger, Mr. Voight also followed a liberal agenda, but over the years switched over to conservatism. I wonder if this same fate awaits Ms. Milano.

Years ago in an interview, author Truman Capote made the observation that actors and entertainers weren’t especially intelligent. He recounted his relationship with actors Sir Lawrence Olivier and Sir John Gielgud, two excellent and well recognized actors of his generation. According to Capote, both were nice guys, but he hardly considered them intellectual heavyweights. Both could memorize a script, but lacked problem-solving skills. I suspect a lot of entertainers today fall into this category as well. This includes actor Robert De Niro who has tried to provoke President Trump with foul mouthed oratory. There is no doubt Mr. De Niro is a fine actor, but an intellectual? Hardly, as he dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue acting. As Capote suggests, actors can memorize lines and act, but they are not necessarily the brightest.

The reason why the Hollywood types are so boisterous, they are well aware their personalities can sell products, such as in television commercials for automobiles, trucks, beer, wine, soft drinks, travel, snack foods, pet foods, you name it. Politics is just an extension of all this. They may be able to handle a well scripted TV commercial, but don’t expect any eloquent discourse defending their position.

Plain and simple, Capote was correct.

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: , , , , | 1 Comment »

RUNNING THE LIFE MARATHON

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 11, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– It is something we must all run.

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

As we pass through life there are several milestones we observe, such as our sixteenth birthday when we normally get a driver’s license, or our 21st birthday when we become “legal.” I didn’t think too much of it when I turned thirty, nor did I pay much attention to forty; frankly, I didn’t know what all the hubbub was about. However, when I turned fifty I suddenly went, “Whoops!” I guess it was the greeting from AARP that got my attention and let me know that time was quickly passing.

I’ve found that once you enter your fifties you become more reflective on where you’ve been and where you’re going. When you think about it, you have an internal clock telling you there are several appointments you have to make during your life, assuming you live a full life; to illustrate:

1. Time to get married – time to grow up, clean up your act, and get a job.

2. Time to have kids – time to start thinking about insurance, including life, medical, and auto.

3. Time to buy or build a house – which, coincidentally, also represents the official point where we start to go into debt.

4. Time to advance your career – after all, someone has to pay all those bills.

5. Time to send the kids off to college, the military, or wherever – it is at this point when you develop a false sense of independence. Even as the kids move away, they still depend on you for guidance, advice, a few bucks, and anything around the house that isn’t nailed down.

6. Time to get the kids married off – time to get a bank loan, particularly if you are the father of the bride.

7. Time to retire – which is also when you make plans for your demise. For example, you no longer celebrate Labor Day at the beach, but rather tour cemeteries picking out grave sights.

8. Time to play with the grand kids and watch them grow up – This is also the time when you celebrate your wedding anniversaries and take trips you couldn’t afford earlier.

9. Time to checkout.

Interestingly, when you go to High School reunions, you compare notes with your classmates as to where they stand on this time line. I guess misery loves company after all.

Actually, I resent the time line we impose on ourselves and don’t recall this as being part of the job description. It’s kind of like saying, “All right, come on, do this, do that, move along, and don’t forget to do this as well, move along.” It kind of reminds me of an assembly line where we are nothing but products moving from one work station to the next. It strikes me that we spend so much time running the marathon, we never take time to truly enjoy the scenery. But alas, the marathon is something we all must inevitably run.

My father-in-law had a simpler way of expressing our passage through life. It was his contention that we have 30 years to learn, 30 years to earn, and 30 years to burn (the money that is). I can’t help but believe he was on to something.

By the way, turning sixty is another wake-up call. Interestingly, you find the physical pains of life intensify, you are no longer care about being politically correct, and you certainly do not impress easily anymore as you’ve seen too much.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

IS IMPEACHMENT TRULY NECESSARY?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 6, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– A comparison between Presidents Nixon, Clinton, and Trump.

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

The Democrats and main stream media are currently consumed with impeaching President Trump, particularly as we approach the 2020 elections. Frankly, they are fooling nobody but themselves regarding their agenda. Even if the Democrats in the House passes charges of impeachment, they will inevitably fail in the Senate which is under Republican control.

Only two U.S. presidents in our history were impeached: Our 17th president, Andrew Johnson, in 1867, and Bill Clinton in 1998-1999. Let’s be clear, impeachment means charged with misconduct only. A trial is then conducted by the Senate to determine guilt or innocence. In the cases of Johnson and Clinton, both were found not-guilty by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned as opposed to having the country suffer through impeachment proceedings. Of the presidents, let us compare and contrast Presidents Nixon, Clinton, and Trump, as they are the most recent presidents to undergo this treatment.

INTRO

Richard Nixon – 37th president, Republican, served in office 1969-1974
Bill Clinton – 42nd president, Democrat, served in office 1993-2001
Donald Trump – 45th president, Republican, serving in office 2017-present

Mr. Nixon was the first and only president to resign from office before his term was over. He was succeeded by VP Gerald Ford, also a Republican.

POLITICAL CLIMATE

President Nixon worked with the 93rd Congress where both chambers were controlled by the Democrats.

President Clinton faced the 106th Congress where both chambers were controlled by the Republicans.

President Trump faces the 116th United States Congress which is split, with the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives, and the Senate controlled by the Republicans.

Mr. Nixon was elected as a “law and order” president to bring stability from the chaos of the 1960’s and promising to end the Viet Nam war. Although not a favorite among liberals, he easily won over Hubert Humphrey who served as LBJ’s Vice President.

Mr. Clinton was elected because of the perception he was more youthful and full of ideas than incumbent President George H.W. Bush, who presided over a faltering economy.

Mr. Trump was elected as an alternative to career politicians and to correct the liberal policies of President Obama. Democrats were shocked that Trump won as they believed Hillary Clinton would easily win. Their shock turned into hysteria and a resistance movement to obstruct every decision he made.

RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS

Perhaps the only president to earn such hatred from the press, other than Mr. Trump, was Richard Nixon, going back to when he was Vice President in the 1950’s (see Checkers speech of 1952) and helping to defeat him in the 1960 presidential election, losing to JFK. In 1962, he ran for governor of California, losing to Pat Brown. In his concession speech, he made the following statement which indicated his displeasure with the press, stating, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” He obviously returned to public life with his presidential victory in 1968.

President Clinton had a warm relation with the press during his two runs for president. They portrayed him as young and vibrant, and Republican candidates George H.W. Bush and Sen. Bob Dole were portrayed as old and stodgy.

President Trump has had a feud with the press ever since his first presidential campaign. He coined the term “Fake News” to describe the spin of the press.

In all three situations, the press played an important role in impeachment. There is no doubt they have a demonstrative record supporting Democrats over Republicans.

CHARGES

President Nixon was accused of covering-up the break-in at the DNC Headquarters at the Watergate Complex. There was no evidence to indicate he had any role in initiating the break-in, just the cover-up. The House spent considerable time sifting through evidence as presented by the FBI and the media, particularly The Washington Post. The president eventually resigned as opposed to facing the embarrassment of impeachment.

As for President Clinton, the House relied on the findings of an extensive investigation by independent Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, which included 11 charges, mostly lying under oath and obstruction of justice.

In terms of Mr. Trump, the country awaited a two year investigation by Independent Counsel Robert Mueller whereby no charges were presented. This did not satisfy the Democrats in the House who continue to investigate alleged improprieties by the president.

PUBLIC SUPPORT

President Nixon’s public support can be described as shaky at best. It eroded as evidence continued to pile up, particularly disclosure of the White House tapes which contained damning evidence as to Mr. Nixon’s involvement in the cover-up.

In terms of President Clinton, everyone seemed to know he was guilty, including the Democrats, but they didn’t believe the punishment fit the crime. Although he remained popular among members of his party, he also became a political liability, which explains why his endorsement is no longer sought.

As to President Trump, his support among Republicans and many independents appears to be on solid ground, much to the chagrin of the Democrats.

SUMMARY

If we have learned anything about impeachments over the years, it is they are always political, and always divisive. It used to be impeachment was considered a last resort to take, but it is rapidly turning into a common political tool, which is disturbing and hints at the desperation of the party pressing the issue. If the Democrats think such a move is going to unify the country, they are sadly mistaken. Impeaching President Trump is a risky political maneuver as it will only energize his base, particularly since the Mueller investigation produced no sign of wrong-doing. This is substantially different than Nixon and Clinton. Consequently, the American people will see President Trump’s impeachment as the charade that it is.

From the perspective of the Republicans, an impeachment of the president will be the best thing that could happen as the American populace will strongly re-elect the president and drive the Democrats out of office in the House. This will damage the Democrats for years to come.

The Democrats insist we have a “constitutional crisis” at hand. I agree, but not for the same reasons. I perceive them as undermining the Constitution by wanting to eliminate the Electoral College, changing the composition of the Supreme Court, and changing our fundamental rights and freedoms, such as speech and to bear arms.

So, why are the Democrats doing this? They know Mr. Trump has strong support from the populace thanks in large part to his economic policies. As such, they hope to distract voters by simply besmirching his character.

One last thing to consider, under Presidents Nixon and Clinton, the Congress kept on working and produced considerable legislation. Unfortunately, this is not true today. Because of their preoccupation with trying to stop President Trump, the Congress has come to a standstill. In all likelihood, the 116th Congress will go down in history as one of the most incompetent sessions, doing nothing for the American people they are supposed to serve.

Just remember, in our nearly 250 years of existence, no sitting U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment. In the cases of Presidents Johnson and Clinton, they both returned to work after being found not guilty, and completed their term in office.

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: , , , , | 12 Comments »

HOW ABOUT SOME LOYALTY REWARDS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on June 4, 2019

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– What freebies do we get for being a long-time member? ZIP.

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

On a recent visit to my gym, the manager had erected an inflatable air-dancer puppet by the front door along with a sign encouraging membership. Under the program, they waived the initial sign-up fee, as well as the first month’s membership fee. Added to this was two free sessions with a trainer and a t-shirt. Okay, fine, I get it, they want new members. What about those of us who have loyally paid their bills but didn’t receive any freebies? I paid all of the initial fees and have been a regular-paying member for three years now. What have I received? Zip.

I have seen this same phenomenon over the years, particularly with magazines. We used to regularly subscribe to a multitude of magazines, including news and sports. For many years we paid the full rate and received no “freebies.” Then, in the 1990’s, as printed magazines started to succumb to the Internet, they offered a myriad of gifts, such as clocks, radios, cameras, special edition publications, etc. Again, what did the long-term subscriber receive? Zip.

Credit cards typically allow you to earn points for such things as travel and gifts, but there is still no loyalty incentive. Not long ago, I had a minor problem I reported to one of my credit card companies. The agent I talked with on the phone pulled up my records on his computer and said, “Oh, Mr. Bryce, I see you’ve been a member of ours for over thirty years now; Wow!” His reaction led me to believe I had been a member longer than the agent had been alive.

I had called the company to make a simple correction to a payment I had made (something incredibly minor). The agent said he would have to have it reviewed with management before he could update the correct entry (even though he recognized I had been correct). When he said it would take a month or two to correct, I told them if they wanted to keep me for another thirty years, he better make the change in the next thirty seconds or I will cancel my membership. Instead of trying to correct the problem right then and there, he said there was nothing he could do. In other words, he called my bluff. Regrettably, I wasn’t bluffing and cancelled forthwith.

I was amazed they were willing to let a long-term customer go, but this is not the only time I have seen this occur. I have had to do similar actions with banks, trash collectors, phone companies, and cable companies (which I think are perhaps the worst). I have changed cable operators at least a dozen times over the years, going to a cable operator who was offering new members lower rates. I guess they count on the older customers to just grin and bear it. I do not.

Like I said, I understand the need for a “come-on” to engage new customers, but what is the benefit of remaining a loyal customer over a number of years? Zip. This is why it is becoming more common for people to quit a service, only to return to it later to get the new cheaper rates, and any “freebies” along the way. To me, this sounds like a “make work” scenario and is certainly not smart from a customer service and sales perspective.

There should be some sort of benefit for customer loyalty, maybe something simple at first, and something more pronounced later. As a company, imagine the cash flow from a loyal clientele, but people do not think long-term anymore, just “quick and dirty” (or is it “agile”?). I know this mindset disturbs managers and executives who hate to lose market share. Let me give you an example…

A few years ago, I had a manager from a cable company come to my neighborhood. He knocked on my door to ask why I had quit his company. I told him I recently saw an increase on my bill, and another cable company offering comparable service at a less-expensive rate. I talked with one of his company’s agents and asked if they could match the lower price. Of course, the agent said “No,” but perhaps worse, there was no concern for the possible loss of business. The manager shook his head in disbelief. “If I met the price right now, would you switch back to us?” he asked.

I told him, No, for two reasons; first, the installation of the new service had recently been completed and I was in no mood to change it again, and; second, I was offended by the disregard the company showed for their loyal customers. He thanked me for my time, but went away frustrated with his own company.

Interestingly, the same phenomenon happened with the new cable provider; rates increased progressively until I decided to go to a new cable provider. Again, the agent did nothing to retain my business.

If companies started to implement a true loyalty program based on length of service, fewer customers would drop service, meaning less maintenance costs, and improved profit-margin.

Then again, I am still a creature of the 20th century.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

WHAT’S GOING ON (WITH THE DEMOCRATS THAT IS)?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 30, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– With apologies to Marvin Gaye.

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

Over the last few months, I have written a series of political essays attempting to explain how the Democrats see the world today. Now I want to put it all together to demonstrate how the party has changed. It is no longer the home of moderates as it has turned to the far-left. In the process, many have abandoned the party, either to join the Republicans or vote independently.

Let’s consider what we know today:

First, in January, the Gallup organization determined 51% of the Democrat Party now consider themselves to be liberal. This is a significant figure as this is the first time Gallup’s polls showed the party was now in the hands of the far-left.

According to the study, here is how DEMOCRATS view themselves:

51% – Liberal
34% – Moderate
13% – Conservative

This also means control of the party is being wrestled away from moderates.

Even though the party is currently gravitating to former VP Joe Biden, who has positioned himself as a moderate presidential candidate, the race is far from over as the far-left desperately wants a more radical candidate. Of the 24 Democrat candidates currently running for president, everyone but Mr. Biden can be described as either a socialist or progressive. In other words, it’s a long time before the presidential candidacy is secured, and the former VP will likely face stiff opposition from his own party.

To this end, there currently appears to be a movement to purge the party of moderates. To illustrate, if you are a Democrat and pro-life, the far-left wants you to either change your mind (and fall in line), or get out of the party completely.

What’s next; if you don’t believe in open borders, should you leave the party? What if you don’t believe in entitlements, gun control, or a redistribution of the wealth? Essentially, they are trying to get their troops in lockstep.

Also from the Gallup poll, conservatives still outnumber liberals by 35% to 26%, and, not surprising, 76% of Republicans consider themselves conservative.

Next, the far-left has been making some outrageous leftist demands, things moderates have deliberately avoided over the years as it was considered political suicide. For example, presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders in a recent CNN Town Hall meeting, insists convicted prisoners and terrorists, like the Boston Marathon bomber, should have the right to vote from prison.

In the beginning of our Republic, only land owners could vote in elections. The premise here was that only RESPONSIBLE people should vote as they would do what was best for the country overall. This has evolved over the years to include others, such as women, former slaves, and young people, all of whom were assumed to vote RESPONSIBLY. The fact prisoners and terrorists are incarcerated means THEY ARE A DANGER TO SOCIETY and, as such, forfeits their rights, such as freedom, owning a gun, and, Yes, voting.

From my perspective, we already have too many IRRESPONSIBLE voters, people who couldn’t pass a simple civics test if their life depended on it. I am still convinced people should pass such a test to be allowed to vote.

This was followed recently by Sen. Sanders declaring abortion is a “constitutional right,” an apparent response to the recent state abortion bans just passed. There is, of course, nothing in the Constitution regarding abortion, yet the far-left would have people think otherwise.

Taking it a step further, another presidential hopeful, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently said today’s anti-abortion laws are “against Christian faith.” In other words, she believes it is Christian to abort a fetus just before birth.

Not to be outdone, presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) recently raised eye-brows by calling for a federal ban on “Right-To-Work” (RTW) laws in the United States, an obvious pandering to American unions to support her candidacy. Other Democrat candidates will likely follow suit.

As we discussed in an earlier column, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, ties financial success in state governments to RTW (and political parties), whereby the Top Ten states all have RTW laws and are run by Republicans, and the Bottom Ten do not have RTW and are run by Democrats (with the exception of Kentucky which just adopted RTW legislation in 2017).

Democrats currently support reparations for former slaves, including Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Former Secretary of HUD Julian Castro, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), and Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), all well known liberal candidates.

As I indicated earlier, why do they want reparations from Americans only and not the Africans who sold them into slavery to begin with? And what about the northerners who fought to free the slaves; why should they be forced to pay for it, or any Republican for that matter as they were the party of Lincoln, aka The Abolitionists? Come to think of it, the Democrats should be footing the bill as they represented Southern interests and were the slave owners (and introduced Jim Crow laws to thwart Reconstruction).

This is being done in an attempt to keep African-Americans in the Democrat’s corner, as they are very much concerned of the recent economic prosperity triggered by President Trump.

Next, we come to gun control, where Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) is proposing a gun licensing program and a ban on assault rifles. Likewise, Sen. Kamala Harris said, if elected, she would sign an executive order mandating background checks and more stringent regulations of gun manufacturers.

Finally, we come to the issue of God and organized religion. Gallup recently released an interesting report discussing the erosion of attendance and membership in organized religion.

They claim membership in churches, synagogues, and mosques has reached a new low, 50%. From 1938 to 1999, membership averaged 70%, but since then it has steadily declined to its current level.

Republicans show a modest 8 point decline in terms of membership, dropping from 77% to 69%. However, Democrats showed a more dramatic decline, going from 71% to 48%, that’s a 23 point drop.

There are other indicators of lack of support for God from the Democrats:

* Elimination of “So Help Me God” in swearing-in ceremonies from House committee meetings.

* Elimination of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” and calling into question the integrity of famed singer, Kate Smith.

The anomalies to common sense seems to be endless.

THE 4-C’s

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

1. Christianity – Democrats are not only abandoning church, they are working to subvert it because of the moral values involved. In short, they have become the anti-God party.

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

Today, you hear the expression, “Democratic Socialism”—this is nothing more than an attempt to implement Socialism under the Constitution. The problem is, capitalism requires freedom to work as expressed in the Constitution, Socialism does not, requiring control instead, thereby putting our governing document in peril.

And let us not forget, they do not understand the concept of Democracy. The fact remains, we live in a constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. The Democrats themselves do not operate as a Democracy, but rather as a Republic. I defy them to show me one country in the world that operates as a true Democracy. They are either Republics, a Monarchy, or Dictatorship.

3. Constitution – The Democrats have made numerous attempts to undermine our governing document, as it is perceived as an antiquated encumbrance against the Democrat agenda. This is why they wish to eliminate the Electoral College, change the makeup of the Supreme Court, implement gun control, and other changes to our Bill of Rights. It’s all about control, not freedom.

4. Conservative values – These are values developed over the country’s history and include such things as love of country (patriotism), citizenship, reverence for family, belief in deity, being a good neighbor, lending a helping hand, etc.

Consider, for example, the Democrat controlled House of Representatives voted recently 236-173 in favor of the “Equality Act,” which would require schools to include male athletes who identify as transgender girls on female sports teams.

The fact remains, the Democrats have developed a set of moral values diametrically opposed to conservatives in an attempt to redefine history, government, freedoms and rights.

According to Gallop polls in 2017 and 2018, liberal positions have led to a sharp decline in morality in the country as we know it today. This is greatly assisted by the entertainment and news media who no longer feel restrained from promoting liberal values and demeaning those of conservatives.

Not surprising, Democrats are beginning to panic about the anti-abortion bills as put forth by states such as Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia, which will inevitably lead to a challenge of Roe vs. Wade.

They are also scared of what will be uncovered by AG Bill Barr’s investigation of the origins of the Russia probe. This is one reason why they are desperately insisting on the impeachment of the president, even though it will not pass the senate and will ultimately cost them the 2020 election.

One last note in this regard, when was the last time you heard a Democrat publicly say, “I love this country”? The truth is, today’s Democrats, as represented by the far-left, do not.

SO, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

1. No, this is not your father’s Democrat party. It has shifted to the radical left. If the party nominates former VP Joe Biden as their candidate for president, look for a new socialist party to emerge. They will fight him tooth-and-nail, and keep him away from the party platform.

2. As we should all know by now, they will do anything to win, including cheating. Why? Because they are morally corrupt. We saw this in Florida during the midterm elections where they tried to steal votes on more than one occasion. We must remain vigilant against the Democrat threat.

3. Education is the key to combat Democrats. They are counting on an ignorant and gullible public to swallow their tripe. Republicans have to teach youth the differences between Capitalism VS Socialism, Democracy versus Republic, Freedom versus Entitlements and slavery. We need to reclaim civics and American History in public education, and above all else, teach the Constitution of the United States.

It frightens me to realize I knew more about civics and history by 5th Grade, than today’s High School graduates.

The differences between yesterday’s and today’s Democrats are so pronounced, one has to wonder if mental health problems have reached pandemic proportions. It appears to have started under the Clintons, and propagated by the Obamas. Maybe there is something in the water after all.

So, “what’s going on?” An overthrow of the American government. Not since the period before the American Civil War has the country been so sharply divided. Only one interpretation of the “American Dream” can remain. It will either be based on the Constitution and the values of our past, or a new radically different society will emerge.

Friends, we can ill-afford to rest on our laurels; complacency got us in the mess, now we have to recover for the sake of the country. It is now time to get to work.

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 »

SOMETHING IN THE WATER?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 28, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What’s causing people to become angrier and irrational?

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My mother recently made the observation that people seem to be angrier these days. Frankly, I couldn’t argue with her as I see it too. I would like to believe there is something in the water causing this, but I’m afraid it is a bit more complicated.

I tend to believe it is primarily because we do not promote cooperation but stubborn independence instead. We see this on the road where people like to block traffic, cut in line, or do anything that suits their specific needs. We see this in public schools with a lack of discipline, lack of enforced dress codes, and lack of respect for teachers and others. Students are not being taught how to cooperate, other than in sports. Even then, there seems to be greater encouragement for individual achievement as opposed to team effort. However, I would remind people that every state High School athletic team championship I’ve ever seen is won by cooperation, not by individual effort.

We see stubborn independence just about everywhere, including the politics of the corporate world, someone seeking petty notoriety in a nonprofit organization, or even in the supermarket where people clog the aisles to suit their personal needs, with no concern whatsoever for others around them . All of this means people have become self-aware of their own needs and desires, and lack empathy for others.

This reminds me, ever notice in the supermarket, there always seems to be one person you cannot elude who constantly blocks your path? No matter how you try to alter your path through the store, you inevitably run into the same person time and again. I don’t mean to sound paranoid, but I tend to believe the store assigns “blockers” to shoppers to assure we spend more time in the store purchasing more stuff than we really need. Wouldn’t it be nice if they painted a dashed line down the middle of the aisles to suggest people stay on one side or the other? It would be an interesting experiment to say the least.

The second aspect of our anger deals with our dependency on technology. Whether I’m in a company, a store, or on the highway, people are plugged-in and tuned out. It is no small wonder our socialization skills are deteriorating as people prefer their technology over human contact. Such a shift signals the decline of such things as common courtesy and manners.

The third and final aspect with anger is our declining moral values which includes respect for the human spirit. Gallup polls clearly show religion and morality have been declining in recent years. Again, this affects our socialization skills and recognition of what is right and what is wrong. The media blurs the lines as well as they no longer practice restraint in telling a story or accurately reporting the news. From this, an ideological chasm has emerged which continues to widen.

My mother also made the observation that people seem to be making more mistakes these days. This is based on her shopping experiences either over the telephone or on the Internet. She said it has become quite common for vendors to ship the wrong product, or cause a delay due to improper shipping instructions, or perhaps bank cards are improperly credited or debited. “I’m sorry” is the common excuse, but nothing is done to truly correct the problem which is often repeated. Under this scenario, the problem is apathy, whereby the company is indifferent to the problems of the customer. Even if you threaten to terminate business with a company, the general attitude is “Okay,” meaning they do not really care. Instead of fighting for your business, they just move on to someone else, and the mistakes continue unabated.

Is the anger issue related to mistakes? I cannot help but think it is for the same reasons mentioned earlier. People have become jaded in terms of socializing with others. The sad thing is, it is so unnecessary. If people would only become a little more sensitive to others around them, maybe we would start to wear a smile again.

I don’t know. Maybe there is something in the water after all causing all this. I hope it’s not the fluoride.

Come on America, take a breath and loosen up!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

ARE THESE THE GOOD OLD DAYS?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 23, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– That’s up for our kids to decide.

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As we get older we’re very much inclined to talk about the “good old days.” I’m sure I have bored my kids to death over what happened back in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. My parents liked to talk about the 30’s and 40’s as they survived the Great Depression and World War II. And my grandparents used to talk about World War I and the Roaring 20’s.

However, it occurred to me recently that nowadays may very well be considered the “good old days” for someone else, probably my children’s generation. If these are really the “good” old days, it makes me wonder what awaits us in the years ahead. Today’s sociopolitical unrest makes us worry about tomorrow, e.g., will we remain a capitalist society or will we turn to the dark side of socialism; will America remain the beacon for liberty in the world or will it be snuffed out like the Romans? Our permissive society makes me wonder what our morality and values will be. Will religious fanaticism and/or the struggle over energy plunge us into a new kind of war? Will we be kind to mother Earth? And will our ever-changing technology affect global communications and economics? There are a lot of unknowns here which we can only speculate on without absolute certainty. It’s hard to plan for the future not knowing where it might take us.

It would be wrong to paint a picture of nothing but doom and gloom. As a species, we must always try to put our best foot forward and hope to build a better tomorrow, but to do so we have to become engaged in what is going on and chart our own course of action as opposed to allowing others to dictate our future, such as the media. This means we have to become more proactive, and less reactive, in living our lives. We have enough people sitting on the sidelines, it’s time for the younger generation to get into the game and run with the ball, not just in government, but in our companies, our communities, our schools, our places of worship, and other volunteer organizations. As Americans, we can ill afford to simply maintain the status quo.

One reason we like the “good old days” is because they represent a seemingly simpler time in our youth, something we all yearn for as we grow weary of the rat race. I’ll be curious to see in twenty to thirty years from now, God willing I’m still around, if we look back at this decade as a simpler time. I tend to describe it as much more fast-paced and fiercely competitive than the last forty years. If this is true, what will the 30’s look like? The 2000-30’s (2030) that is.

I take comfort watching my grown son still interested in casting a fishing line now and then, watching a baseball game, working hard, showing empathy to others, and by performing his civic duty by voting or serving on a jury. Such simple acts, gives me hope for our future.

God help us.

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

THE TROUBLE WITH JOB INTERVIEWS

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 21, 2019

BRYCE ON MANAGEMENT

– How about some pertinent questions instead?

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Something that really irritates me in the corporate world today is how companies interview candidates for a job. Instead of having you describe who you are, what you’ve done in your professional life, and what skills you possess, Human Resource types today ask questions like:

“Where do you want to be five years from now?”

“How do you handle pressure?”

“How do you deal with conflict?”

“Tell me something nobody knows about you.”

“Did you notice the receptionist outside had six fingers?”

“What is your favorite color?”

“If you were an animal, what would you be?”

Instead of getting to the meat and potatoes of what the person knows, interviewers are asking pseudo-psychological questions aimed at examining the personality of the candidate. It kind of reminds me of the asinine question Barbara Walters asked of movie stars years ago, “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”

These questions are aimed at determining what your personality type is (such as A, B, C, D) and how you present yourself, e.g., how articulate you can present an argument, and how well you can fit in with the corporate culture.

Instead of dancing around the issue, and using amateur psychological techniques, why don’t they just ask for a psychological profile of the candidate instead, as prepared by accredited professionals? Somehow the interviewing questions asked today remind me of the neurotic Personnel Manager, Granville Sawyer, in the movie classic “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Another interviewing phenomenon I have trouble with is what is now called “speed interviewing,” which I’m told is derived from “speed dating,” whereby a number of people are interviewed briefly in a rotational format. It kind of reminds me of how people audition for a reality show and other entertainment contests. It might be nice for a first blush, but hardly a way of honestly getting to know someone.

The last thing I think is lacking in interviewing is professional courtesy. It used to be if you sent in a job application, you would get a written note acknowledging the company received it and what they intended do with it, which perhaps was nothing. Further, after an interview, the candidate would be sent a letter thanking him/her for their time and let them know what their status was. However, you don’t see such letters anymore, not even in this age of e-mail. To me, this says a lot about the professionalism of the employer, which is probably not very good.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

Posted in Business, Management | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

SHOULD INCARCERATED PRISONERS & TERRORISTS VOTE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on May 16, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The answer should be rather obvious.

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The short answer is simple, No. Let us not forget that in the beginning of our Republic, only land owners could vote in elections. The premise here was that only RESPONSIBLE people should vote as they would do what was best for the country overall. This was expanded over the years to all citizens, including former slaves, women, and younger people (when the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1972). Nonetheless, it was assumed these people would vote RESPONSIBLY, but this hasn’t proven to be the case as we have a relatively poor turnout during elections, and many of those who vote are misinformed about history, current events, and how our government works.

Then along comes radical socialists like presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders who, in a recent CNN Town Hall meeting, insists convicted prisoners and terrorists, like the Boston Marathon bomber, should have the right to vote from prison. He said, “Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Well, that person did that. Not going to let that person vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope.”

The fact people are incarcerated means they are a danger to society and, as such, forfeits their rights, such as freedom, owning a gun, and, Yes, voting. Consider this, will the imprisoned terrorist or prisoner vote as RESPONSIBLY as the hard working person who pays taxes, obeys the law, and supports his/her family, not to mention their community? Come on, honestly, who would vote with the best interests of the community and country in mind? It’s a no-brainer.

Let’s be clear about something, if a person has served his/her time and is released free and clear (no probation or supervision), then I personally see no problem returning to society and allowed to vote.

Are the Democrats so desperate for votes, they would give convicts and terrorists the same voting privileges as everyone else? Unfortunately, Yes. In fact, their ultimate voting scenario would be to allow illegal immigrants to vote, prisoners to vote, and 16 year olds to vote. What’s next, voters who have died but somehow manage to mysteriously cast votes? Oh, yea, that’s already been done. Sorry. All of this is designed to rig elections, not to do what is fair and RESPONSIBLE for the country.

From my perspective, we already have too many IRRESPONSIBLE voters, people who couldn’t pass a simple civics test if their life depended on it. I am still convinced people should pass such a test to be allowed to vote. (It wouldn’t hurt if they were land owners as well.)

So, should incarcerated terrorists and convicted prisoners be allowed to vote? Of course not. We all know it is a silly question. Only someone wanting to undermine our country would insist on it.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

 

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

 
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