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Posts Tagged ‘tim bryce’

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ASSAULT WEAPON?

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 19, 2019

BRYCE ON GUNS

– A little education is in order.

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

We are hearing a lot from politicians about banning Assault Weapons. There is a misguided assumption that all military-like rifles are automatic weapons, thereby posing a danger to society and should be banned. This is simply not true and is indicative of how naive the public and politicians can be. As such, the following dissertation will seem elementary to people familiar with guns, but to others, it is sorely needed.

First, let us understand the various types of guns available, but not air rifles and pellet guns which can also be dangerous if mishandled.

Shotguns – make use of a cased-load consisting of pellets or “shot” thereby denoting the name. This is typically discharged using a rifle-like weapon which can be fired one round at a time and is used to hunt small wild game and target shooting (“Trap” and “Skeet”). Such weapons may hold only one shot, two, or multiple shots (usually up to seven) which is loaded either by pump action or a semi-automatic load (see below).

Single shots – are older rifles used to discharge a singe shot at a time, usually with bolt-action, or muskets featuring black powder and ball.

Revolvers – featuring a chambered cylinder typically holding five to six rounds. The bullets are fired as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger, one at a time.

Semi-automatics – have a magazine or clip containing rounds, usually six or more depending on the magazine’s capacity, such as 20, 30, or more. A “semi-auto” simply loads one round at a time into the chamber, and, like the revolver, the bullets can be fired as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger, one at a time. The biggest difference between the semi-auto and the revolver is the former can hold more rounds and is easier to reload ammunition. Semi-autos can be found in shotguns, handguns, and rifles.

Automatic weapons – allows the discharge of many rounds by pulling the trigger once and stopping by releasing the trigger. Automatic weapons are commonly referred to as machine guns. They can automatically load a bullet into the chamber, discharge it, expel the spent casing, and reload the next round, again and again, all in the blink of an eye. Consequently, there is a big difference between automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and this plays an important part in the confusion over Assault Weapons.

Perhaps the two most criticized weapons are the AR-15 and the AK-47. People fallaciously believe the “A” in the model number means “Assault.” No, not even close. The AR-15 means “ArmaLite” – model 15, and was developed by Colt in the early 1960’s. The AK-47 means “Avtomat Kalashnikova” – model 47, and was developed in Russia. The two are certainly not synonymous and have significant differences. However, the design of the AK-47 began in 1945 and came to prominent military use in the 1960’s. It was considered durable and reliable; so much so, it inspired many other rifle designs.

The AR-15 is a lightweight semi-auto with a 20-round magazine. In this regard, it is essentially no different than a semi-auto handgun, which can hold a comparable load, yet can be concealed more easily than a rifle. However, the AR-15 can be configured with different barrels and caliber of ammunition.

The AK-47, on the other hand, has a curved 30-round magazine, but there are also 40-round and 75-round magazines available. In 1974, the Soviets replaced the AK-47 with an improved design in the form of the AK-74. Although the AK-47 and its successor were initially designed as a semi-auto, it can be configured as an effective automatic weapon, which is how the American public perceives an Assault Weapon.

There is one problem with the AK-47; purchasing one, as automatic weapons are incredibly difficult to obtain in this country. However, it is possible to legally obtain an AK-47, but to do so, the purchaser has to go through a rigorous background check. Even if you pass the test, the AK-47 is incredibly expensive, making it cost prohibitive to own.

The AK-47 was specifically designed for military use, the AR-15 was not. So, comparing the AR-15 to the AK-47 is like comparing apples with oranges, they are distinctly different in design and use. Anyone trying to compare them in the same breath simply doesn’t know what they are talking about. Whereas, the AR-15 is more akin to semi-auto handguns, the AK-47 is more comparable to a Thompson machine gun.

Following the last Federal Assault Weapons Ban held from 1994-2004, the Department of Health and Human Services conducted a follow-up study and concluded, “the Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence.” In other words, the ban did nothing to reduce violent behavior, and maybe that is just the point, it is more about behavior, or mental instability.

What I have tried to describe herein is basic information. Hunters and gun hobbyists already understand this, but the American public is still naive, which is why I am a big proponent of gun education in public schools. Someone who is educated about guns makes a lousy target as he/she will know what to do in the event of an emergency and will have more of a chance to survive an attack. Let us not forget the one organization that champions such education; that’s right, the NRA. Click HERE for safety and education.

So, what is an Assault Weapon? It ultimately depends on how it is used. From this perspective, all guns can be used for wreaking havoc on the public in a deadly melee. Let us suppose the AR-15 and AK-47 were outlawed, as well as handguns. Even then, there is enough capability in a semi-automatic shotgun to inflict considerable damage. So, do we outlaw all guns? This, of course, will be a test of the 2nd Amendment. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with these weapons when they are properly used, but it is the mental stability of the person pulling the trigger which is in question, and a subject nobody wants to address.

But getting back to our original proposition; when we discuss Assault Weapons in the future, let us not mix apples with oranges.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 Education, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

MISSING SAM KINISON, REDUX

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 17, 2019

BRYCE ON HUMOR

– Would he have fit in with political correctness?

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

As many of you know, we lost comedian Sam Kinison in an automobile accident back in 1992. For those of you who do not remember him, Sam was described as a “heavy metal” comedian who was well known for being raunchy and irreverent. Interestingly, prior to becoming a comedian he was an ordained Pentecostal Minister, but he was better known for his shock-rock humor who made biting commentaries of our time. It seemed nobody was spared, but his favorite targets were Rev. Jim Bakker of the PTL Club and his wife Tammy, Jessica Hahn, the Pope, Oral Roberts, religion in general, World Hunger, Gays, and several commentaries on sex, drugs and Rock n’Roll. I can still vividly remember his trademark scream.

No, he was certainly not politically correct, by both today’s and yesterday’s standards. His humor would make just about everyone blush, but behind it all you had to admit there was an element of truth and wisdom in his comedy, and this is what ultimately endeared him to the public. Many didn’t understand how a former minister could be so vulgar, but as for me, I clearly understood what he was trying to tell us.

What is sad is that Sam was cut down just as the times were changing and we needed his biting humor more than ever. Had Sam survived, imagine what he could have done with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. He could have done hours on the Clintons and Monica Lewinsky alone. There was also Drummer Tommy Lee and Pam Anderson, Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and much, much more.

Sam’s humor though was not confined to sex. I would have loved to have heard his take on Bill Gates and Windows, Steve Jobs and the iPhone, the Internet, the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, Iraq and Saddam Hussein, immigration, and on and on. Unfortunately, Sam missed a period of time which would have given him more fodder for his humor than he could have imagined. But such was not to be.

What few people realize is that just prior to his death, Sam was planning on giving up comedy and going back to being a Minister. As for me, Sam taught me that in an age of political correctness, maybe some intolerance and ridicule is deserved; maybe we shouldn’t just sit back and accept the status quo and instead we should speak up and voice our displeasure, and; perhaps we take ourselves way too seriously.

So, Yes, I miss Sam, not just for how he ranted and raved, but more importantly, what he was trying to tell us.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 humor, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A DEMOCRAT VERSION OF “IMAGINE”

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 12, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– With apologies to John Lennon.

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

Note: Inspired by the recent Democrat presidential debates,
I penned the following piece, with apologies to John Lennon.

IMAGINE

Imagine if the Dems win the election,
it’s easy if you try.
No God or heaven, above us only sky.

Imagine no possessions,
no ability to defend ourselves;
no combustion engines, no cars, no airplanes,
a void in transportation and
no way to produce anything.

Imagine all the people,
living life as feudal serfs.
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m scared as hell.
One day you will be forced to join them,
you simply won’t have any choice.

Imagine no meat or income,
only climate change;
no education or history,
above us only fake news.

Imagine no honesty, ethics or shame,
only mind control.
Long lines for health care,
and nobody to pay the bill.

Imagine all the people,
living life as feudal serfs.
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m scared as hell.
I hope someday we’ll wake up,
and the shining house on the hill will rise again.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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: , , , , | 6 Comments »

WALGREEN FOIBLES

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 10, 2019

BRYCE ON CUSTOMER SERVICE

– What drives me crazy about the store.

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

I normally like pharmacies. I have fond memories of Ben Franklin’s and Kresge’s in Connecticut during my Elementary School Years. In my hometown of Cincinnati, there was a small one named Obert’s where I bought cigars (thanks Greg). As you get older though, you find yourself going more often to pick up a prescription than anything else. I go so often now, I just want to get in and out as fast as I can, a sort of Entebbe Raid if you know what I mean. Being in “God’s waiting room” down here in Florida, there’s a pharmacy on just about every street corner. The big guns down here are CVS, Walmart, even Publix Supermarkets, but the one I reluctantly frequent the most in Walgreens.

The store is located near my house, making it convenient. I say “reluctantly” because the store has certain foibles that drive me crazy. Recently, I was summoned by one of their robo-phone calls to pick up some prescriptions. I was originally called this past Labor Day and dutifully I drove to the store only to find it locked up tighter than Fort Knox. After a few expletives, I drove home and returned the next day. Before going though, I asked my wife if there was anything else I could get for her. Lately, she has had a craving for jellybeans, so I told her I would be happy to pick up a couple of bags.

When I arrived at the store, I discovered all of the Halloween regalia and candy was already on display. I think they put this stuff up months ago, just after Independence Day. Their Thanksgiving material will probably be out any minute, maybe even fireworks for the next Fourth of July to boot.

I dutifully went down the Halloween candy aisle laden with three tons of sugary goodness. Only one problem, I couldn’t locate any jellybeans. I searched high and low, but couldn’t find them. There were other smaller displays with candy, but no such luck. Finally, in desperation, I asked a store clerk where they were. She took me down another aisle, near the greeting cards and lo and behold, on the bottom shelf, tucked away in the back, we discovered the jelly beans, and I quickly snapped up the two remaining bags.

Afterward, it occurred to me this was a common occurrence. Every time I go there, it seems whatever I am looking for is hidden from plain view and always stashed on the bottom shelf somewhere. I guess the rest of their products on display are for show only and a clever ruse to make me spend more time in the store in the hopes I might buy some products I really don’t need. I also believe there is a law preventing them from stocking merchandise in alphabetical order.

I normally go inside to pick up a prescription, even though they have a drive-thru for such purposes. I learned a long time ago to avoid the drive-thru as you have to wait an hour for the clerk to process the orders of the customers in front of you. When you finally make it to the window, you have to wait thirty minutes for someone to greet you. You are then interrogated as to your name, rank and serial number, and asked to show your drivers ID, even though they have seen you many times before. They then slowly check the order before saying, “I’ll be right back.” Three days later they return only to tell you your doctor hasn’t approved the prescription yet.

“Try back in an hour or so,” they will tell you. Right. Translation: “Go away, and wait for your next fallacious robo-call.” This is why I go inside to pick up prescriptions instead, not that they are much better, but I can at least look the clerk in the face.

It’s interesting, most of the regular store staff is helpful and accommodating, they even have a cheerful personality. However, the pharmacy itself marches to the beat of their own drummer, with deadpan looks. Normally, I would go to another drug store, but this one is very convenient and I recognize the others are really not much better.

Maybe this is just a phenomenon affecting me only. I sure hope not. Now, does anyone need some Easter candy?

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 Drugs, Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE MISCONCEPTION OF WHITE NATIONALISM

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 5, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– The vilification of a positive idea.

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

There is a lot of confusion over the expression “White Nationalism.” Democrats and the media have somehow twisted it to mean the development of a nationalist identity driven by white supremacy. Democrats on the warpath are quick to declare conservatives “White Nationalists” as some sort of derogatory expression. This is simply fallacious, but denotes a fundamental difference between the Left and the Right in this country.

Democrats want to taint the expression as they are more interested in “globalization,” whereby they want to embrace a set of worldwide concepts, such as climate change, immigration, and socialized medicine and economics. They see nationalism as an impediment to their programs and, as such, try to vilify it by changing its meaning.

“White Nationalism” is certainly not the same as “White Supremacy” or “Racist.” They are not synonymous, even though Democrats would have us believe otherwise. Instead, nationalism is intended to rejoice in the sovereignty of your country. In other words, you are proud to be an American (or whatever country you reside). By doing so, it promotes patriotism and citizenship by being willing to come to your country’s defense in times of emergency or war, and you respect and adhere to the rule of law. Nationalists tend to put their country first, and other countries second, which is how countries around the world have behaved for hundreds of years. After all, it is only natural to root for the “Home team.”

As to being “white,” this is actually a triviality. Yes, it is true, I am white, and I don’t think there is much chance of my changing it any time soon, nor am I ashamed of it. I am what I am. I am also proud of my Scottish heritage, something I am also not ashamed of. The color of my skin has absolutely nothing to do with being a nationalist. That is why I have no problem with “Black Nationalists,” “Red,” “Yellow,” or whatever color you are. They have as much chance of changing their color as I do, and I certainly do not look down my nose at such people. Being American is much more important.

This redefinition of a simple concept is a clever trick by the Democrats and Media to make whites feel ashamed of their race, and to mischaracterize their intentions. Frankly, it is an insult to our intelligence.

No, being a nationalist does not mean you are part of a hate group or terrorist cell, far from it, but rather we should applaud such people as they are willing to stand up for their country, place their hand over their heart, and are proud to recite the pledge of allegiance to the flag. These are all things the Left despise and explains why they want to vilify such people.

So, in case you are wondering, Yes, I am a proud White Nationalist, at least according to my definition, not the Left’s.

In a way, it is kind of like the argument regarding the stripes on a zebra, are they black stripes on white, or white stripes on black? No matter how you argue, black versus white, it is still an equine.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

THE CHANGING CULTURE OF BASEBALL

Posted by Tim Bryce on September 3, 2019

BRYCE ON SPORTS

– My visit to Atlanta’s SunTrust Park.

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

I recently took a few days off to do a little fly fishing in North Carolina with some old High School buddies from Cincinnati. Along the way, we decided to stop off in Atlanta to see the Braves play the Reds, our hometown favorite. The game was to be played at SunTrust Park, a stadium recently opened in 2017 and holds approximately 41,000 people. This was the first time we visited the park and friends told us we would love it. Frankly, it didn’t quite work out that way.

It was a Saturday night and the Braves were leading their division. As such, it was a full house. Parking was hard to come by, not to mention expensive. Just outside the stadium was a concourse featuring a variety of bistros, bars, and restaurants, all crowded with patrons. We therefore decided to grab something to eat inside the stadium. Admittedly, there were many different venues, all of which were also jammed with people. I was fortunate to secure a bag of popcorn, which took several minutes to scoop into a bag. Those of us who endured the long lines for something else to eat weren’t particularly impressed with the cuisine. Strike 1.

Our group grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s and have fond memories of baseball back then, particularly the Big Red Machine. We’re the type of guys who study how the defense is lined up on the field, the rational of the batting lineup, how the batter points his feet and holds the bat, the signs from the catchers and coaches, how the pitcher delivers the throw, etc. It is not about if a team scores a run or prevents it, but HOW it is done, if that makes any sense to you. We marvel at a good bunt, a stolen base, a long throw on target, getting inside the pitcher’s head, communications on the field, etc. Home runs are nice, but as people who have studied the game for over half a century, we tend to be more impressed by the other mechanics of the game. Yes, we’re old school.

SunTrust Park is an architectural beauty, but I think it lacked sufficient navigation to get around the stadium, particularly when it is a full house. I found it rather confusing not only to get to our seats, which were on the second tier near third base, but also exiting. Frankly, it took us forever to get in and out of there.

Our seating was comparable to other parks, but I unfortunately ended up on the end seat (right side) next to the stairs. This meant I was up and down like a pogo stick as patrons in my row came and went. Further, I wasn’t able to see the field too well as people were constantly going up and down the stairs. Maybe they should pass a law that you can only move in-between innings. For me, this greatly detracted from the game, so I left my seat to watch it standing from the top of my section. Over time, my legs tired and I returned to my seat where I sat like a bobble-head trying unsuccessfully to see the field. Strike 2.

Two things bothered me about the game, the constant barrage of advertising to induce us to buy their souvenirs and just about anything else, and; the constant push to entertain us between innings. I always thought the game was supposed to be the entertainment, but I guess I was wrong. The Braves are known for their “tomahawk” chop and chant, which I believe they stole from Florida State, and I don’t have an issue with them using it now and then, but every five minutes? They even dimmed the stadium lights so people could do the chop using the light on their smart phones. Okay, once, I get it, but multiple times? Enough is enough. This is what I mean by “forced entertainment.” I came to watch a game, not participate in these inane shenanigans.

Talking to one of my friends there regarding the stadium, I made the observation SunTrust Park was not designed for baseball purists such as ourselves from a bygone era, but rather for the millennials and Generation Z who come for a social getaway, libations, and just to party. Whereas we came for baseball, they came “to make the scene,” and it just so happened a baseball game broke out that evening. Personally, I consider this sad, but I believe this is the trend of the future. It is no longer about the game, but about creating an entertainment event instead.

In the end, it was interesting to see, but I, for one, will not be back. Nor did it endear me to the Braves. Strike 3.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A FABRICATED RECESSION?

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 29, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Is the timing too much of a coincidence?

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

I have been hearing about an impending recession which my Democrat friends insist will happen either later this year or in 2020. The media reports likewise and I suspect these prognosticators will become louder as we get closer to the 2020 election. On the other hand, Republicans are at a loss as to what all the hubbub is all about, as our economy is still chugging along just fine. One cannot help but wonder if this is real or politically motivated.

First, let’s be clear what we mean by a recession. “The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as ‘a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real gross domestic product (GDP), real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.’ A recession is also said to be when businesses cease to expand, the GDP diminishes for two consecutive quarters, the rate of unemployment rises, and housing prices decline.”

So far, none of this has occurred, nor are there signs it will.

The United States is currently the economic engine of the world. Our GDP is up, unemployment is down to record levels, and consumer confidence is up. It is true, people are concerned about a trade war with China, but this is something that needed to be corrected in any event, unless we prefer kowtowing to the Chinese. Some are suggesting Europe is behind, but the reality is only Germany is showing signs of changes in production. In Asia, there is concern regarding trade between Japan and South Korea, but it is likely these differences will be amicably resolved.

So where are the accusations coming from regarding a potential recession? One prominent source is Diane Swonk, the Chief Economist for Grant Thornton in Chicago. She recently told Fox Business’ Liz Claman, “I think (a recession) is highly probable. I do have a recession in 2020.” She sees Brexit and Japan/South Korea trade as contributing to it.

In sharp contrast, Sonal Desai, Ph.D., the Chief Investment Officer at Franklin Templeton Fixed Income claims, “the economic data show no evidence that either the United States or the global economy is approaching a recession.” She adds, “The markets and the Fed seem to be looking at each other, feeding each other’s fears, and completely ignoring what’s actually going on in the real economy.”

So, who are we to believe? One thing we should consider, Diane Swonk has made campaign contributions to Democrat candidates, and her father, Jim Swonk, was well known in the Livingston County Democrat Party, Michigan. In other words, she undoubtedly has sympathies for Democrats and the party may be trying to capitalize on her notoriety.

The biggest asset Donald Trump has going into the 2020 presidential election is our robust economy, and this is the Achilles heel of the Democrats. They have tried to gnaw away at his other accomplishments, but if the economy falters, they believe they can defeat him. This is why these rumors of recession are spreading, even though there is no factual basis to suggest it will occur. So, the drumbeat from the far-left and the media will be “Recession, Recession, Recession…” The Trump bashers believe if they say it enough times, people will believe a recession is actually in the works when, in reality, it is not. Meanwhile, American business will continue at a rapid clip, and workers will benefit from this prosperity.

For years, economics has had a role to play in politics, but I never dreamed it could be manipulated for political gain. It is rather sad when political strategists would rather put people out of work and cause misfortune for business, all for political gain. This goes beyond mere pessimism; it is just plain reckless and dangerous.

Interestingly, President Trump welcomes talk about a possible recession. He understands why the rumors are spreading, but it gives him a chance to tout how well his economic policies have worked. As usual, he fights fire with fire.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

ANTIFA UPDATE

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 27, 2019

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– It is getting worse.

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

It has been some time since I last spoke about Antifa, the self-proclaimed anarchists/communists who have adopted violent tactics to attack anyone not agreeing with their political agenda, which is nothing less than to subvert and overthrow the government of the United states. Their tactics are well recorded on film, everything from Berkeley, to attacking conservative writer Andy Ngo, to the recent confrontation in Portland, Oregon, and much more.

They are anti-capitalists, anti-religion (particularly Christianity), but they are also very organized. The scary part is they are misguided, armed, and view themselves as international terrorists, a true recipe for disaster. Interestingly, aside from former VP Joe Biden, I am told all of the other Democrat presidential candidates have yet to condemn Antifa and, as such, it is presumed they are soliciting the support of the group which is considered far-left and sympathetic to Democrat causes. In contrast, the Trump administration has openly condemned the group.

Recently, Republican Congressmen introduced resolutions to declare Antifa a terrorist organization. In the Senate, Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA) and Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) introduced Senate Resolution 279 (July 18, 2019). One week later, Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick (PA-1) introduced House Resolution 525 (July 25, 2019) based on the language contained in the Senate version. The Senate version was referred to the Judiciary Committee for review, and the House version has moved to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. It will be interesting to see how these two bills progress through the two chambers, and if anyone opposes them.

Two people have already voiced their displeasure with the proposed legislation. The first is Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union, who told The Washington Post she opposes labeling groups as domestic terrorists, seeing it as a threat to the freedoms embodied in the First Amendment. The second person, Rep Debra Haaland (NM-D) claims Antifa represents “peaceful protesters” trying to “safeguard their city.” I have trouble with this in lieu of the recent developments in Portland where the Antifa protesters came to provoke a confrontation.

Should the legislation pass, this will mean Antifa can be treated as any other terrorist group and subject to prosecution under the Patriot Act. Some suggest this is too extreme, that they are just misled kids who don’t comprehend the legalities of their actions. Their behavior though is reminiscent of the Gestapo which came to power in 1933 in Nazi Germany. The biggest difference between the two groups is the Gestapo was an arm of the government, but not so with Antifa. Nonetheless, their tactics were similar in they both attacked anyone who did not conform to their ideology.

You may think classifying Antifa as a terrorist organization is a no-brainer, that everyone would like to be rid of them. Not so fast. It has become a political football for the Democrats who do not want to alienate this far-left group of voters. Yes, I think they deplore the actual violence they create, but they are looking to groups like Antifa to loudly strong-arm and neutralize groups on the right, just as the Gestapo’s “goon squads” did in Germany. Likewise, they may be sharpening their skills for political intimidation at the voting precincts. So, do not look for any significant action to pass on Antifa until after the 2020 elections, if at all. It is not in the best interests of the Democrats to do so at this time.

By the way, I find it interesting the “Anti-Fascists” (hence the origin of their name), still do not know what a fascist is. Rather, they should just look in the mirror.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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: , , , , | 3 Comments »

OUR CHANGING TASTES

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 20, 2019

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Noting changes in how we eat.

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I’ve got a friend who owns a family style restaurant offering basic comfort food. It’s not cheap, nor is it expensive either; just a family-run restaurant that offers basic home cooking. I’m sure you know such a restaurant in your neighborhood.

Periodically, I help my friend update his menu. In the course of doing this I’ve asked him why he no longer offers certain items on his menu; things like lamb shanks, beef stroganoff, beef tips on noodles, Chicken a la King, Salisbury Steak, stuffed peppers, Sausage and peppers, pot roast, casseroles and the like. These were items I remember well from my youth but are disappearing from menus across the country. The only rationale my friend could offer was that people’s tastes were changing, and such items were more identified with the older generation than the new. The younger people seem to relate more to burgers, chicken and pizza; items that are more associated with fast food franchises as opposed to anything else. Consequently, the idea of a home cooked meal is becoming more of a nebulous concept to them.

Bread is another commodity that has been changing as well. Instead of white, rye, and whole wheat, people now want shibata, muffala, and panini. I remember a time when sourdough was considered the epitome of exotic bread, now it is generally regarded as nothing special. The new breads are nice, but somehow the idea of a PB&J on panini doesn’t sound right.

Our cuts of beef and chicken haven’t really changed, but fish has. At one time, your only choices were cod, haddock, swordfish, flounder, and maybe some tuna (in a can). Now we ask for tilapia, grouper, mahi-mahi, ahi tuna, and orange roughy. As an aside, years ago grouper was considered a “garbage fish” that fisherman routinely discarded, but somehow we developed a taste for it.

Soft drinks have changed as well. Whereas we used to live on colas, lemon/lime drinks, root beer, ginger ale, ice tea, fruit juices, and Kool-Aid, now we have power/sports drinks in a variety of colors and tastes to hydrate us, and others loaded with caffeine and sugar to shock our system. Orange juice was orange juice. Period. Now we have varieties with pulp, without pulp, with added vitamins, lower acid, and of course the blends with other fruit juices. Ice tea is no different; now we have a wide variety of flavors to suit different tastes. Coffee has also changed in this regards, instead of a basic black cup of coffee in the morning, we now have all kinds of ingredients to make it look like a hot fudge sundae or some other dessert.

Speaking of desserts, cakes and pies are still around, but are a little harder to find. Then of course there are items like tapioca pudding, rice pudding, and other flavored puddings, most of which the kids turn their noses up over. Ice cream is still a favorite, but we’ve come a long way since basic vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. The competition in the ice cream world is fierce and consequently many new varieties have been introduced with strange names (and higher prices). I have to admit though, I am a sucker for Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip or their Pumpkin Pie which comes out around October.

For breakfast there was oatmeal, farina, Maypo, Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal, Pancakes, Waffles, and, of course, bacon and eggs. These have all been replaced by such things as Pop Tarts, Granola Bars, breakfast drinks, and other instant snacks. Heck, basic cereals are even struggling as people are rushing out the door in the morning.

I’m not suggesting our tastes are any better or worse today than yesteryear; I’m just noting the change. However, I wonder how much of this push to multiple varieties and instant meals is a result of our changing tastes as opposed to creating a higher profit margin for the vendors; I suspect the latter. More than anything, I believe our tastes change because of vendor competition and the need to make a buck. No matter how you slice it though, there is nothing better than “mom’s home cooking.” The only problem though is that a lot of people today think baking and cooking are two towns in China.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 Food | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE PROBLEM WITH PROGRAMMERS

Posted by Tim Bryce on August 15, 2019

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

– How they affect society.

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Years ago I wrote a technical paper titled, “Theory P: The Philosophy of Managing Programmers,” which was aimed at providing assistance to managers in reigning in their people. In a nutshell, I contend the best way to improve programmer productivity was to give them better specifications and create a uniform process (methodology) for them to conform to. I received mixed reviews on the piece; whereas managers loved it, a furor ensued among programmers. Nonetheless, I still stand by the conclusions of the paper.

It occurs to me though, programmers have a profound impact on society. Perhaps the most visible sign of this is our addiction to smart phones, where people are plugged in and tuned out. For example, we see people preoccupied with them on the road, which is quite dangerous, in stores, in the office, even in the gym where they are “tuned out” while they exercise. As an aside, I learned a long time ago not to try and strike up a conversation with anyone in the gym as they are all “plugged in.” This suggests our socialization skills are changing.

There are many other examples, such as remote control devices for TV, cable, DVD, radio, and Yes, old tape machines (e.g., VHS), all of which are as “user friendly” as a Ouija board. In my family room, I have four devices; one for the television, one for streaming channels, one for my DVD/VHS player, and one I’m really not too sure about. I hesitate to dispose of it as it might serve some purpose, kind of like an old metal key you do not want to throw away yet.

As an aside, you would think they would have invented a universal remote by now, but they haven’t. Actually, it shouldn’t be that difficult, a button for power, a button for volume, a button for tone (treble/bass), and a button for channel selection (Gee, it kind of sounds like the old TV’s and radios, doesn’t it?). This should be followed by a series of programmable function keys as on a keyboard (e.g., F1, F2, F3, etc.) which could include device selection, fast forward, reverse, pause, stop, etc.

This brings up a point, people use only a fraction of what these devices are capable of performing, primarily because we have specific needs and only use the devices as such. In addition, programmers tend to make such devices robust, with little consideration for “ease of use.” This is not new as we noted this phenomenon years ago with computers; we simply do not use them to their full potential.

You must remember, programmers are detailists who possess a myopic view of their particular problem. No, they do not see the big picture, just their small part of the overall puzzle. This is why it is important to provide the programmer with precise specifications, which has historically been the responsibility of Systems Analysts to provide. Unfortunately, such people are an endangered species and programmers are left to figure out both the problem and solution on their own. Not surprising, they will inevitably do what is easiest for them to do as opposed to how the end-user will implement it. This explains why devices appear complicated to the rest of us.

You should also understand programmers typically abhor standards as they consider it inhibiting their creativity. Let me give you an example, years ago IBM devised the Systems Application Architecture (SAA) standards which was intended for use on all of their computing platforms, including mainframes, minis, and PCs. This included standards for Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) for window design. The intent was to design windows in a uniform manner so that if a user mastered the use of one window, the user would know how to use all windows, thereby simplifying training and improving productivity simply by developing a common “look and feel” to all windows, regardless of the computing platform. Frankly, it was brilliant, but alas programmers resisted it and fought the standards until IBM backed away from them. Today, there is little continuity in how web pages work, much to the chagrin of the end-user.

We see other examples of technical snafus all around us:

* Web pages simply do not work correctly with no explanation (Help text is severely lacking). How many times have we seen a web page die on us, particularly when we are ordering something on-line? Quite often, the data we entered earlier has to be re-keyed into the page, only to die a second time, maybe because we didn’t upshift or downshift a letter in the proper sequence. Such editing rules should be accommodated by the programmer, but again, they ignore this and take the easy way out.

* In the event there is a power outage, or some other problem with television cable, we have to re-boot our cable box. This takes us down a cryptic path whereby we do not know what we are doing, and have no clue whether the repair process is occurring properly. I still find it rather amusing when customer service reps admonish us to unplug the device, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in (whereby it takes us on a countdown to nowhere).

* Voice Mail jail is still the norm for just about all companies. I cringe when I hear, “Press-1 for this, Press-2 for that, etc.” Even after you entered your name, rank and serial number two or three times, the customer service agent will inevitably ask you to repeat it all over again, assuming someone returns your call. They throw up these electronic walls intentionally as they do not care about Customer Service.

Instead of simplifying the user experience, programmers make it more complicated, again, because it is what is easier for them to program, not what is convenient to the end-user. Such a mindset forces us to expect less, not more, from sales and customer service.

Here is the point: Instead of adapting technology to human behavior, humans have to adapt to the technology. We are the ones truly being programmed, not the machine. This is like putting the cart before the horse, all because we bow to the creativity of the programmer, not because it is right.

All of this influences social behavior. For example, we are less likely to engage in conversation, we lose respect for the human spirit, we lose patience, and we become more irritable and prone to heated arguments and fights. All because we resist properly managing programmers and allowing them to do whatever they please.

One last note, I recently had to swap out the SIM card for my mom’s aging flip-top phone, a process I estimated would take maybe five minutes, at most, to perform. First, I discovered I couldn’t lift off the back cover as easily as the instructions indicated. I basically needed a hammer and chisel to break in, but I also considered a little nitro. I then pulled out the battery to access and replace the SIM card in the back. After reinstalling everything, I turned on the phone, only to discover it claimed the SIM card wasn’t installed. I again brought out the hammer and chisel, pulled everything apart, and found I had indeed installed the SIM card properly. In desperation, I called the company’s customer service who explained to me the phone had to be activated. Note: There was no mention of activation in the documentation I received. Nonetheless, the phone finally became operational. So, a five minute operation ended up taking just over an hour to complete. Is it any wonder why I despise programmers?

“As the use of technology increases, social skills decrease.”
– Bryce’s Law

Keep the Faith!

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

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

Tim Bryce is 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 Software, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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