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Friday, August 29, 2014

EXCUSES

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Why are the trucks breaking down?

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

Down here in Florida we have a lot of problems with trucks breaking down, particularly those used for delivery or maintenance. It seems every time you make an appointment with a driver to drop something off or a workman who is scheduled to perform a task for you, they can never seem to be there on time and blame the truck for breaking down. Does this happen elsewhere in the country or is it something unique to Florida?

By my estimate, all of our roads should be littered with truck parts strewn everywhere. No wonder Detroit needs a bailout since it appears they no longer know how to make a workable truck anymore, nor do the Japanese, Koreans, or Germans. I would love to be in the truck repair business as they must be making a mint.

"No Tim, you don't get it; there is nothing wrong with the trucks, they're just using this as an excuse."

Really? Gee, why can't they just call and reschedule? That would be more respectful of the customer who wouldn't waste time waiting on an air head who is probably going to do a ding-dong job for you anyway.
Maybe its just me, but I tend to have more respect for a person who admits a mistake as opposed to fabricating an excuse. After all, who does he think he is fooling? Me? Hardly. In our culture we tend to look at the admission of a mistake as a sign of weakness. I don't. To me, it's an admission that a person knows his/her limitations and is asking for help. I would rather know this as soon as possible as opposed to waiting for a calamity to strike and suffering the consequences thereof. It is a Bryce's Law that, "The longer you delay admitting a mistake, the more expensive it will be to correct."

Think about this, which is worse - the mistake or the excuse? It's the excuse, right? After all, it's only masking a mistake and means you are wasting precious time trying to uncover it. What's so terribly wrong with admitting, "I screwed up" (I would use something stronger, but you get the idea). This is like saying, "I'm human." I learned a long time ago that nobody is perfect, least of all myself; and, as humans, we all make mistakes in our walk through life. It is inevitable. It bothers me though that we tend to cover it up as opposed to admitting we have a problem. Consider this, the last guy who was perfect, they hung on a cross.

So, you have a choice, if you're going to be late for that appointment or have a problem fulfilling an obligation, don't fabricate an excuse; let me know ahead of time so I can plan accordingly. Either that or fix the damn truck!

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  TREATY OF PARIS - Today we celebrate an important anniversary.

LAST TIME:  EVIL WITHIN OUR MIDST
  - Have we really evolved as a species?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

EVIL WITHIN OUR MIDST

BRYCE ON MORALITY

- Have we really evolved as a species?

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

Of our 44 presidents, the most prolific writer was John Quincy Adams who maintained a detailed journal of his life, from boyhood until near the end of his life. Adams' presidency was unsuccessful, but he served Congress afterwards as a dedicated public servant. He also had a keen eye for the world around him, be it social, political, economic, military, religious, or whatever. Being somewhat pious, Adams came to the conclusion, "man is born inherently evil." This struck me like a thunderbolt.

As humans we are proud of our technology, marvel at our massive cities, consider the artfulness of our entertainment, and have conquered the land, sea, air and space. From this, we believe ourselves to be sophisticated and an advanced civilization, well beyond those of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Persians, Chinese, and Romans. But are we really? We still practice the obscenity of war, and we certainly do not observe the golden rule of "Doing unto others as we would have others do unto us." In other words, I see nothing in our history that would lead me to believe we have truly evolved as a species. Sure, we now have air conditioning, smart phones, and High Definition TV, but I fail to see how we are any more noble or moral than our predecessors.

In the Middle East we see genocide, where Christians are singled out for extermination by ISIS. In Gaza, Hamas terrorists have vowed the extermination of the Israeli Jews, as has other Muslim factions. They put human shields around their missile launchers and fortifications in order to gain martyrdom and draw world sympathy to their cause. Beheadings and mass executions are now commonplace in the Muslim world. Decapitated heads are hung in public for the world to see and photograph for social media. Such atrocities were practiced well before the birth of Christ. One can only conclude the Muslims are a primitive and barbaric race. It doesn't take a genius to pull a trigger or blow yourself up. It takes more integrity not to do so.

Russia stands poised to flex its muscles and snatch the Ukraine in the same manner as Nazi Germany snapped up the Rhineland, Austria, and Poland under the ruse of "repatriation." This gave them the momentum to conquer the rest of mainland Europe, north Africa, and invade Russia. No wonder Europeans tremble as they watch the Ukraine helplessly.

During World Wars I and II, atrocities were performed by just about every army. In both wars, the German soldiers brutally raped and murdered Russians, and the Russians did likewise to the Germans. These two countries were certainly not alone in terms of brutality and savagery. It has been going on for centuries. We saw it in our Civil War, we saw it when Japan invaded China, and we now see it in Afghanistan, Muslim Africa, and chemical attacks in the Middle East. Let us also not forget the work of the Serbs, the Khmer Rouge, Idi Amin, North Korea, Mao's Great Leap Forward, and Stalin's purges, to mention but a few. Such heinous crimes against humanity, and the total disregard for life in any form, is essentially no different than pre-Biblical times.

On a more local level, it has become commonplace to hear stories such as a man throwing a baby out of a moving vehicle simply because it was crying; mothers snuffing the life out of their children; sexual predators, people sadistically decimating innocent animals, not for food, but for sport or simple cruelty. We viciously attack each other for a variety of reasons, such as domination, intoxication, a word spoken out of turn, or even as a game. Are these acts of God or man? The answer should be rather obvious. In addition to the perpetrators, we encourage evil by saying or doing nothing.

Evil knows no boundaries. It doesn't observe borders, politics, race or religion. It is universal. So much so, one has to wonder where have all the champions of peace gone? Where are our role models and leaders; our Gandhis? Even Sadat was assassinated for promoting peace. Certainly there must be some good in the world, but the media doesn't promote it with the same gusto they do for the horrors of the world. And as the American military diminishes in size and scope, evil is emboldened.

Like Adams, I believe we are born evil, but have been given the rare ability to rise above it, our intellect. However, just like any animal, we have to be trained to be good and we have done a horrible job of doing so, be it by our parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, co-workers, or the media. Both good and evil reside within all of us and it is a matter of our conscience to determine which path to follow.

Education is perhaps the best deterrent to evil, as it tempers the conscious, as does age and experience. Unfortunately, many people take education for granted or fail to understand its value and prefer living by basic instinct alone, thereby allowing evil to fester.

As sophisticated of an animal we like to believe we are, Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) was correct when he observed, "Man is really the most interesting jackass there is."

He continued, "Well for example I experimented with a cat and a dog. Taught them to be friends and put them in a cage. I introduced a rabbit and in an hour they were friends. Then I added a fox, a goose, a squirrel...some doves...a kangaroo, and finally a monkey. They lived together in peace. Well next I captured an Irish Catholic and put him in a cage and just as soon as he seemed tame I added a Presbyterian, then a Turk from Constantinople, a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas, a Buddhist from China, and finally a Salvation Army colonel. Why when I went back there wasn’t a single specimen alive."

Maybe God made a mistake when he picked man over the monkee.
 
We do not want to believe evil is as pervasive in our world as it is, but it is much closer to us than we think. It is not just restricted to the evening news. It is always waiting for us, be it in the Middle East or just around the corner.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  EXCUSES - Why are the trucks breaking down?

  - What are the duties and responsibilities of the BA?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Monday, August 25, 2014

BRYCE ON SYSTEMS

- What are the duties and responsibilities of the BA?

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

In theory, a "Business Analyst" (or "BA") is the intermediary between business people and the Information Technology staff. It is his/her responsibility to interpret and define the information requirements of the business, and devise a suitable system to solve the need, be it a packaged solution or in-house development (or both). Years ago, this function was commonly referred to as a "Systems Analyst," but this dropped out of vogue in the 1980's as "Software Engineers" became the rage. "Systems Analyst" was eventually replaced by "Business Analyst" as a way of distinguishing the differences of systems and software. Yet, when you read a BA job description today, it calls for knowledge of such things as SQL, Oracle, Agile development, or programming languages. In other words, they are not true Business Analysts.

This makes me wonder if the industry really grasps the duties and responsibilities of the BA. The industry talks about such people, but have we standardized a job description? We wrote several such descriptions as part of our "PRIDE" Methodologies for IRM and based on this, let me see if I can establish a standard job description:

BUSINESS ANALYSIS ("BA")

SCOPE OF FUNCTION

The purpose of this function is to design reliable information systems that satisfy the information requirements of the enterprise and are easy to modify and maintain in the most cost effective means possible.

SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

* Reports administratively to Systems Resource Management on all activities, and to Project Management on all project specific activities.

* Maintains a line of communication with Enterprise Engineering, Program/Software Engineering, Data Engineering, User Management, Operations, and support functions.

* Reviews pertinent deliverables resulting from pertinent design methodologies with Project Management and the support functions (e.g., QA).

* Prepares project scopes subject to Project Management approval.

* Documents existing information systems.

* Interviews end-users to specify information requirements.

* Analyzes and details information requirements.

* Reviews formal and informal deliverables resulting from pertinent design methodologies with users for accuracy.

* Develops system solutions that can satisfy information requirements in the most cost effective means possible. This includes preparing complete rough designs of systems, and the evaluation of purchased packages to satisfy the requirements.

* Participates in project planning activities, including estimating and scheduling, and cost evaluation.

* Performs system design; this includes breaking systems into sub-systems (aka "Business Processes").

* Prepares complete examples (illustrative) of outputs and inputs for users to review/approve.

* Performs sub-system design; this includes breaking sub-systems into procedural work flows.

* Prepares administrative procedures for users to execute the manual aspects of systems.

* Works with Program/Software Engineering in providing specifications regarding computer procedures.

* Educates users in the operation of new or modified systems.

* Develops system test plans and performs the tests in cooperation with Program/Software Engineering.

* Designs the logical data base models for applications. This includes defining the "objects," "views," and data elements required by information systems. Data Engineering serves in an advisory capacity.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS/EXPERIENCE

* An in-depth understanding of in-house methodologies, standards, tools, and techniques.

* The ability to estimate BA activities within tolerances as established by the installation.

* Good interpersonal relations/communications skills.

* Effective writing skills.

* Possess good analytical and problem solving skills.

* Must be results oriented.

* The ability to prepare and conduct project review meetings and participate in those reviews in a professional manner.

* A thorough understanding of development functions.

* The experience and ability to assume responsibility for performing assigned tasks and meeting objectives within time and cost constraints.

* An in-depth understanding of the user organization being served; this includes the information required by users to function properly.

* A perceptive listener, able to suggest areas where information and systems can provide additional benefits to the user.

* The ability to distinguish between real and imagined business needs and diplomatically point them out to the user.

* Capable of discussing user information needs in business terminology, avoiding the use of technical terms where possible.

* Sensitive to the needs of the user and understands the role of the new system in achieving the user's objectives.

* General understanding of the use of computers to meet system processing requirements.

EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE

The following list is intended as a guide to evaluate the performance of the BA function. Evaluation will be based upon observation by Systems Resource Management, Project Management, User Management, Program/Software Engineering, and Quality Assurance.

* BA personnel adheres to all pertinent policies and procedures.

* BA personnel have a thorough understanding and knowledge of all development related functions and responsibilities.

* Systems Resource Management, Project Management, Program/Software Engineering, and support functions are aware of all BA activities.

* BA personnel assume responsibility for performing assigned tasks and achieves them within time and cost constraints.

* BA activities are performed according to approved plans.

* BA staff produces quality work (few mistakes).

* BA Works closely with the various development support functions to assure that all pertinent standards are properly followed.

* BA work is thorough and professionally prepared.

* Systems are standardized and controlled; they are also easy to modify and maintain.

* Systems are designed correctly, according to specifications, and are reliable.

* Information requirements accurately reflect users needs.

* System designs are creative and practical.

* Application logical data base designs are correctly defined.

* Writes effectively and clearly.

* Systems are well tested and free of known defects.

FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Function is administratively subordinate to Systems Resource Management and operationally subordinate to Project Management for project activities. Maintains a lateral working relationship with Program/Software Engineering, Data Engineering, Enterprise Engineering, User Management, and support functions (e.g., QA).
 

If the company has standardized on a methodology, I would add the phases and activities the BA is responsible for executing, reviewing, and approving.

Maybe this is a good starting point to bring uniformity to Business Analysis. By the way, you will notice there is no mention of programming and DBMS skills. They have their place, but it certainly isn't with Business Analysis.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  EVIL WITHIN OUR MIDST - Have we really evolved as a species?

LAST TIME:  LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD
  - Using a "Common Core" analogy to explain why our "PRIDE" Methodology is still far ahead.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Friday, August 22, 2014

LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD

BRYCE ON SYSTEMS
- Using a “Common Core” analogy to explain why our “PRIDE” Methodology is still far ahead.
(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.
It is a strange feeling when you realize you are noticeably ahead of the industry on something. At first it is rewarding, followed by a sense of frustration when you face competition from inferior products, particularly if they are based on pseudo-scientific technology. This leads me to make the boastful claim…
“What we introduced in 1971 as our original “PRIDE” Methodology for System Design, is still light years ahead of the industry.”
It’s not bragging when it is a fact. Our original product back then was based on simple, commonsense principles based on engineering and manufacturing. Since then, we introduced many other concepts and software to support it, such as automated systems design, software used to deduce a system design based on information requirements. I know of no other product or company who was able to emulate our products. This is primarily due to the fact we consider system design as a science as opposed to an art form. By clearly defining our terminology, and proving our concepts, we were able to do such things as automated system design, not to mention priority modeling, organization analysis, impact analysis, and a lot more.
The difference between “PRIDE” and our competitors is analogous to how mathematics is to be implemented under the new “Common Core” curriculum. To illustrate, let’s consider the concept of subtraction:
“Old Fashioned” Way -
32
-12

20
However, the proponents of Common Core now recommend a new convoluted approach:
The “New” Way
32-12=___
12 + 3 = 15
15 + 5 = 20
20 + 10 = 30
30 + 2 = 32
__
20 <-answer p="">

Instead of encouraging simplicity and practicality, the proponents of Common Core want to twist the logic using a more esoteric approach. The same is true in system design. Instead of a standard and simple approach, the industry appears to be content reinventing the wheel. Now we hear about such things as “Agile” or “Extreme”, and “Scrum masters.” Although such concepts were invented specifically for programming, there are those who are trying to apply it to systems.
In 1971, we introduced the following concepts to the world:
1. A system is a product that can be engineered and manufactured like any other product. We applied the concept of a 4-level bill of materials to represent the system hierarchy. From there, the system was designed top-down, and tested and implemented bottom-up, a common engineering/manufacturing technique. This became the rationale for the structure of our methodology which allowed parallel and concurrent development, a radical departure from the classic 5-step “waterfall” approach.
It also provided for the concept of “stepwise refinement,” meaning specifications were defined from the general to the specific in a progressive order, much like what is found in blueprinting.
This concept of thinking of a system as a product is a departure from the mainstream where most developers think of it as nothing more than a collection of programs.
2. Information = Data + Processing. This concept meant there were two basic components to information. If the data was wrong and the processing was correct, the information would be wrong. Conversely, if the data was correct and the processing was wrong, the information would also be wrong. This led to the premise that if the information requirements are incorrect, everything that ensues, in terms of data and processing, will be incorrect. It also led to the idea of sharing and re-using data and system components.
Again, this is still a foreign concept to most people today who do not understand the properties of information and how to use it for design purposes.
3. The only way systems communicate is through data. This implies the need to standardize data for the purpose of eliminating redundancy and promoting information consistency.
Despite the sophisticated data base technology, which has evolved over the years, data redundancy still plagues most companies.
For more on these concepts, see: “Information Systems Theory 101″
These simple concepts led to the embodiment of the “PRIDE” methodology which we introduced in 1971, over 40 years ago. As simple as these concepts were, people resisted them as it was contrary to the thinking of the day, and still is. In particular, programmers had difficulty grasping these simple concepts. In reality, they would be the beneficiaries of the programming specifications resulting from this process. Nonetheless, they would often say, “This is all well and good, but we do not have time to do it right.”Translation: “We have plenty of time to do it wrong.”
Whereas we still think in terms of the “Old Fashioned” way (“PRIDE”), the industry now thinks in terms of the new “Common Core” way. I have no explanation for this other than it must sell a lot of books and seminars. Whereas others offer magic, we offer commonsense.
Yes, “PRIDE” is light years ahead of the industry today, and probably will still be well after my demise.
For more information on the “PRIDE” Methodologies for IRM, see:
http://www.amazon.com/PRIDE-Methodologies-IRM-Tim-Bryce/dp/097861822X/
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com
For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com
Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
NEXT UP:  A JOB DESCRIPTION FOR BUSINESS ANALYSIS – What are the duties and responsibilities of the BA?
LAST TIME:  WHO SHOULD WATCH “AMERICA,” THE MOVIE?  – Certainly not just conservatives.
Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WHO SHOULD WATCH "AMERICA," THE MOVIE?

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- Certainly not just conservatives.

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

I recently attended a viewing of the movie "America," featuring Dinesh D'Souza who co-produced "2016: Obama's America," a film describing the president's way of thinking by examining his personal background and the people he met and worked with along the way. The controversial film was released in 2012 just prior to the presidential election. D'Souza is an Indian-born American who has become a political commentator, filmmaker, and author. He also served a stint as an adviser in the Reagan White House. Needless to say, he is a well known promoter of conservative principles and causes.

In his latest offering, D'Souza hypothesizes what would have happened if George Washington had been killed in battle, and the Colonies had lost the Revolutionary War. He doesn't actually answer this question directly as the British would have surely reenforced their control over the country and cultivated its resources. Instead, he uses this as a clever way of asking a rhetorical question, "What if America didn't exist?"

To answer this, D'Souza begins with opposing interpretations of America, one based on traditional history and another based on a counter cultural view that is gaining popularity in academia and being taught to our youth. This interpretation is primarily based on Howard Zinn's book, "A People's History of the United States," which is used in college to portray an opposing view of America. Zinn, who passed away in 2010, was a political science professor at Boston University and social activist. In his book, Zinn portrays American history through the eyes of common people, such as the native American tribes, African slaves, and the Mexicans of the Southwest.

According to D'Souza, Zinn's interpretation of America is one of "theft" by the conquering Europeans; theft of land, resources, labor, and more. This is a radically opposing interpretation of history as has been traditionally taught in school. To support Zinn's thesis, D'Souza interviews a variety of critics of American exceptionalism who explain their views of why the country is socially and morally corrupt.

After allowing the critics to specify their "indictments" against America, D'Souza patiently answers each criticism and presents an opposing viewpoint. Whereas the anti-Americans cite historical incidents in their arguments, D'Souza does likewise by using such examples as the rapport between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America, and Alexis de Tocqueville, the noted French author of "Democracy in America," an illuminating analysis of America based on his travels in 1831-1832.

D'Souza concludes the America portrayed by Zinn and others is aimed at undermining the spirit of the country and create a sense of shame. Not just shame of historical events, but also by the fact the country was founded on Christian principles. In contrast, D'Souza argues Americans actually have nothing to be ashamed of, least of all Christianity. He contends the founding fathers designed America to "enable" its citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit thereby encouraging them to boldly go where no one has gone before.

The movie argues this "shame" concept is part of a long range interconnected plot to cast doubt, destroy harmony and promote social upheaval, thereby undermining the American culture which would inevitably lead to radical reforms. To this end, D'Souza describes the teachings of social radical Saul Alinsky and his more notable students, including Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

The intent of the movie is to stimulate discussion as to which interpretation America should embrace. From this perspective, the movie is suited for anyone interested in political theory and American history. Conservatives will enjoy it, and Liberals will undoubtedly criticize it, but it is still worth a watch for them to consider the two distinctly separate viewpoints. From my perspective, it should be required viewing for high school and college students.

More than anything, the "America" movie is a remarkable story of subliminal brainwashing in our country. This is but one, very important, story of the distortion of the American dream, all of which is aimed at social engineering and dismantling the country. Other notions include the sense of "entitlement" and class division though the "have's" and "have not's."

Not everyone is fooled though. Towards the end of the movie, D'Souza inserts a video clip from a speech made by Irish musician Bono at Georgetown University in 2012 where he concludes, "Anyway, it's not a right-left issue, it's a right-wrong issue, and America has constantly been on the side of what's right. Because, when it comes down to it, this is about keeping faith with the idea of America. Because America is an idea, isn't it?... That's how we see you around the world, as one of the greatest ideas in human history... The idea, the American idea, is an idea. The idea is that you and me are created equal... This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put that on paper. And God love you for it."

D'Souza asks the viewers of the movie to do nothing more than consider both sides of an argument, not just one, and beware of charlatans who are more interested in the demise of the United States as opposed to promoting its virtues.

Nobody believes our country is perfect, least of all me, but the D'Souza movie asks should we give up in shame, and relinquish our leadership role in the world community, or should we proudly strive to improve ourselves? I am reminded of an old Bryce's Law, "Systems are built by evolution, not revolution." Nobody has built the perfect system the first time, and nobody ever will. We can either quit and start all over again or strive for perfection. As for me, I vote for the latter, not the former.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD - Using a "Common Core" analogy to explain why our "PRIDE" Methodology is still far ahead.

  - The sad thing is, he doesn't realize he has already become one.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Monday, August 18, 2014

OUR LAME DUCK PRESIDENT

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- The sad thing is, he doesn't realize he has already become one.

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

The expression "Lame Duck" was first used in American politics in the 1860's during the final days of President Buchanan's administration, who was succeeded by Abraham Lincoln. Basically, it suggests the politician no longer has any influence as he is preparing to leave office.

Today, President Obama's popularity numbers are down as the country heads into the midterm elections in November. His influence has deteriorated to the point where very few Democratic politicians want to be seen with him on the campaign trail. Democratic senate candidates such as Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Begich (AK), Natalie Tennant (WV), and Allison Grimes (KY) are all keeping the president at arm's length. Mr. Obama's toxicity likely means the Senate will be surrendered to the GOP who will then control both houses of Congress. Even if this happens, the president will still have veto power which the GOP will likely be unable to override. This of course means we will have two more years of gridlock in Washington, DC. It also officially marks the beginning of the president's "Lame Duck" status.

Since the beginning of his administration, Mr. Obama has never shown a genuine willingness to "give and take" with the Republicans. This was compounded by the Republicans when they took the House of Representatives in 2010 thereby prohibiting "slam-dunk" legislation offered by the president. The result, massive gridlock.

The parallel to the administration of John Quincy Adams is uncanny. From the beginning of his administration, Mr. Adams lost all credibility with the Congress who operated at odds with him. Not only has Mr. Obama lost the respect and trust of the Republicans, but many people from his own party, and the world stage where it is now well known that America "leads from behind." Frankly, nobody takes him seriously anymore, and his proposals are rejected out of hand.

The only problem with having a lame duck president now is we desperately need leadership in our executive branch. Between the problems in the Middle East, Russia and the Ukraine, immigration, and the variety of scandals, Mr. Obama is not acting like a Commander-in-Chief. I can accept his many fund-raising activities, golf outings, and vacations, as long as he dealt with the problems at hand. He is not, and, more disturbingly, he gives the appearance he really doesn't care.

There are talks of impeachment and slapping a lawsuit on the president, but I do not see this occurring unless Mr. Obama does something obnoxiously wrong (a lot of people claim he already has). I for one, remember the dark days of Watergate, as well as Mr. Clinton's impeachment hearings and lawsuits. It was all rather ugly. I would hate to see us wallow in such turmoil when there is so many other things requiring our attention. Then again, if we remain in gridlock following the election in November, I'm afraid we will be forced to go this route.

This could all change if Mr. Obama was genuinely willing to do a little "give and take" as Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton did. However, it is my understanding Mr. Obama does not seek the counsel of others, particularly past presidents. His resolve to not bend on issues is neither realistic or pragmatic at this stage of the game. We cannot afford to be led by someone with an inflated ego during these dangerous times. The stakes are simply too high. If Mr. Obama falls from grace, as I suspect he will, it will be his stubbornness that will have ultimately did him in. Pride is one thing, failing your country during a crisis is another.

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  WHO SHOULD WATCH "AMERICA," THE MOVIE? - Certainly not just conservatives.

  - "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you..."

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.

Friday, August 15, 2014

WHAT "COPS" TEACHES US

BRYCE ON LAW ENFORCEMENT

- "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you..."

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

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

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

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

"Nope, that ain't mine."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep the Faith!

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

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

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.













Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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

  - How to become conversant in politics and government.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) "The Town Square" with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington
"The Morning News" with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim's channel on YouTube.