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If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.
Henry David Thoreau



– Another indication of our changing times.

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It used to be, you might experience a mid-life crisis in your late 30’s, as you approached the mythic age 40 milestone. This would result in erratic behavior, and cause people to change their lives personally and professionally, possibly even resulting in divorce. However, according to a new report from the United Kingdom, this crisis appears to have moved up in years and is now plaguing our Millennials.

Although the study was aimed at Britain, their conclusions are likely applicable to all Millennials, including those in the United States. The report was produced by First Direct, an on-line banking service in the UK, to study, among other things, Millennial financial habits. To do so, they teamed up with Dr. Oliver Robinson, Senior Lecturer for Psychology at the University of Greenwich.

Remarkably, 56% of 25-35 year-olds in the study claimed they were experiencing a quarter-life crisis which left them feeling “stressed,” “overwhelmed,” and “struggling to cope,” the same type of anxieties as people experiencing a mid-life crisis.

Top causes behind Millennials having a crisis episode in the last 12 months:

Causes by Age Group25-2930-35
Financial difficulties59.89%47.63%
Your living situation37.91%34.41%
Working in a challenging job30.40%26.18%
Lack of romantic relationship25.27%27.93%
Trying to find a job25.82%20.45%
Being in a challenging romantic relationship23.63%26.06%
Trying to get on the property ladder21.61%9.48%

Source: FirstDirect

Notice the differences between the two age groups. The figures for 30-35 age group suggests more stability than the younger group, more confidence, and maturity.

First Direct produced a report describing these problems and how to address them, “How to turn your Quarter-Life Crisis into a Quarter-Life Catalyst,” which is available for free at their web site. In it, they explain how to use this crisis to spark change in your life. This is a good read, not just for Millennials, but for their parents as well.

Personally, what I find interesting about the report, it hints at a stunting of the maturation process of Millennials due to declining socialization skills. To me, this is likely caused by our growing addiction to technology, where young people now prefer texting as opposed to verbal communications. This is enforced by the report’s encouragement for young people to network socially, something that has been declining in recent years.

Some will make light of the concept of “quarter-life” crisis. I do not. I interpret it as another indication of our changing world, a decline in our culture, and the dangers of technology.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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


The First Draft of

We were shocked and frightened to learn that HerHillaryness broke her wrist while in India.  And let us immediately put to rest the inevitable rumors that she took money from people in India and since she lost the election, she couldn’t pay it back and then well… you know what usually happens.  But that’s nonsense, as they break your fingers or your legs, not your wrist.  Okay, it’s India and maybe it’s a little different there but still.  And besides we know now, that the reason she lost the election was not just the FBI, Comey, and the Russians, it was women!  Specifically white women who let their husbands and boyfriends tell them who to vote for!  Or so HerHillaryness said last week in India.  We guess it was a case of “Et tu feminae!”

Now some wise guys are going to say that of course she really doesn’t believe that.  What it was, was, she was in India and she took their money and since she lost the election and couldn’t pay it back well… she had to say something or they’d break her…  But not us of course, we’re going with Comey, the FBI, the Russians and now et tu feminae.

Now Nancy Pelosi Minority leader of the House has figured out why the Republicans hate her so much, although one Republican said.  “Keep talking Nancy, puhleeze!”  But Nancy knows the real reason and that is. “Republicans don’t like poor children.”  Or so she said.  So forget the G5 she flies around in, the multi millions she’s got stashed away and the birth certificate that says she was born in 1940.  She’s a poor child.

And Vanessa Trump is divorcing Donald Trump Jr.  There’s a pre-nup, a settlement and a non-disclosure form that Vanessa had to sign before the, I do’s.  Seems this is standard operating procedure, if you marry into the Trump family.  So they’ll be no revelations about affairs, drugs or drowned women.  In case you haven’t noticed as yet, these ain’t the Kennedys.

And if you’re wondering why we’re only covering women this week, it’s because this is Women’s History Month and as the Mass Hysteria likes to remind us all the time, the news, is the first draft of history.

Dicens simile factum est

Pro Bono Publico

Blossoms on the Vine—Chapter Ten


                                                                 Little Winking Lights

By the time my second summer following enrollment at KU arrived, the seismic shift in the nation’s culture was well underway.  Protests against the war in Vietnam had erupted everywhere.  The whole character of the music was evolving—Dylan, The Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Joplin were all bringing new sounds and new lyrics to the air.  Images of the counterculture now permeated the media.  Hippies had become the new street people.

I had acquired a new close friend the previous fall, Jack, whom I’d met in a Group Dynamics class we both were taking.  His ambition was to become a mortician, and he had been accepted into a mortuary school in San Francisco beginning that summer.  Since he planned to drive out there, here was my big chance to investigate the coastal youth scene first hand and perhaps find a high-wage job to boot.  We posted a notice in the student union soliciting riders to share gas expenses and a girl named Marilyn responded.  After the last class met and finals were completed, we three pitched our bags into the trunk of Jack’s Plymouth and off we went into the setting sun, “headin’ west.”

Although Jack had served in the Navy and been stationed in San Francisco, it was the first introduction to California for Marilyn and me.  And what a vibrant, frenzied maze of activity those next three months would prove to be.  We both were hungry to experience all the world might offer to our young lives, and we plunged into exploring that stream of cultural revolution head first.

Our thirst for travel and new adventures didn’t end with that summer’s close for either of us, and over the next few years following college we’d both see many faraway places in our own separate ways.  But that summer in San Francisco, much of which we’d spent together, continued to hold a special place in both our memories.  So nearly two decades later while I was back residing in Emporia, when I received a letter from Marilyn’s mother informing me of her death, I was devastated.

Although we’d kept in touch with Christmas cards, she’d not informed me of her illness, and I’d been given no opportunity to offer support, sympathy or a farewell.  Images of that time together in California washed down on me like spring rain.  Working through the shock and sadness, I thought about adopting what some grief counselors recommend—writing a letter to the departed expressing one’s heartfelt feelings.  Bidding that person that final good-bye.  And so I did.  A letter I then kept tucked away in my desk drawer, together with the one from Marilyn’s mother, all the years thereafter.

Dear Marilyn,

A letter from your mother arrived today.  For a long while, after returning it to my rolltop desk, I stood by the window and looked down to the road where last night’s rain had washed the gravel white.  The sun was glistening off the gray steel posts dotting the pasture line.  The evergreen by the corner of the tool shed moved with a gentle breeze.  And beside me, the blue envelop lay with the cheerful flowers decorating its border, flowers belying the black-inked contents which began, “Mark, I wanted to write you about Marilyn.”  And ended with, “In the morning, March 11, she passed away and was buried March 13.”

So.  Just like that.  One sunny morning with the opening of a mailbox—my old friend, you’re gone.  I hear the wall clock’s pendulum clicking.  A branch brushes against a casement.  My own heartbeat flutters through my head as once, long ago, one quiet afternoon, I remember your heart beating close beside my ear.  Beating gently as a fledgling’s wing.  A heart, Marilyn, (can this truly be?) that is now silent.

I’m remembering the last time I saw you and we talked—that was at your wedding.  Even after the whole “Sixties” California scene, and your artsy drifting years, you chose—you embraced—the traditional: white gown, church ceremony, white cake. For you, I’d come to realize, in so many ways, that was a new beginning.

We’d met how long before?  In 1966?  At Kansas University.  It was the summer that Jack and I had decided to drive to San Francisco, and we’d put our names on the ride board in the student union, hoping for riders to split expenses.  You and a girlfriend responded.

How good you looked that first time, standing there in sandals and shorts on the steps of Fraser Hall.  You had the most beautiful legs and the deepest blue eyes of any girl I’d ever met.  (And why, I’d bemoan later, did you usually conceal those assets under sunglasses and worn-out Levi’s?)  Then at the last minute, your friend backed out.  So the three of us ended up sharing the driving down through the Southwest, old Route 66, across the “valley” through L.A. (where in Orange County you sought out your long-estranged father), and up Route 5 west of Bakersfield and over.  All the way to, and across, that legendary east Bay Bridge.

All of coastal California was alive in those days with the rhythm of the times: war protest, the hippies, acid rock.  It was a Mecca for the young, for the philosophically disenfranchised, and we were quickly caught up in its pull.  Remember?  You stayed in a dormitory for working women, and I got a room in a workman’s hotel just off Polk Street on  Sacramento.  You found a job as a file clerk with an insurance company; I worked as a washerman in a steam-drenched commercial laundry.  And together, at night, we’d haunt those beguiling streets, looking, always looking.

“Okay, Mare, what’s on for tonight?” I’d ask, and likely as not you’d reply, “Come on, Markie.  Let’s hit Market Street and check out faces!”  And off we’d go.  (You were the only person ever, you know, to get away with nicknaming me “Markie.”)

I’ll never forget that old fur coat you bought at the flea market.  Gave you a 1920’s air, you thought.  How the girls at the dorm teased you, but that didn’t deter you from wearing it everywhere.  And I dressed all in black.  Black loafers, black jeans, black shirt (with a colored T-shirt for contrast), even a black zip-up jacket.  An anachronistic “Paladin” and a flapper.  What a pair we made!

We read On the Road, drank Thunderbird wine and frequented the City Lights bookstore, mingled with the hobos on the beach at Fisherman’s Wharf.  And the Beatles came to town, Candlestick Park.  And the Jefferson Airplane at the old Fillmore Auditorium.  I borrowed Jack’s beat-up Plymouth and we struck out one weekend for Carmel and Monterey, driving beside a setting sun with the fog spilling in between the mountains to our right like the flowing robes of angels.

North Beach, Chinatown, the Tenderloin—we imbibed them all, crisscrossing their neon-etched sidewalks night after night.  We collected images like squirrels storing nuts: the drag queen screaming in the gutter, the blind Chinese man in the shadows, the black prostitute with the knife wound down her cheek.  How could we have been so curious?  What did we expect to find?

And then came summer’s end.  And your wild scheme to hitchhike the distance back to college in Kansas—by way of Seattle!  With a minimum of persuasion, I was game.  So we boxed and shipped home what we couldn’t carry, and one bright morning your fatherly friend from work drove us across the Golden Gate Bridge and dropped us off in a parking lot in Sausalito.  With makeshift bedrolls, guitars, and two thumbs in the air, we were on our way.

We planned at the outset to follow Highway 1, taking the touted scenic route.  But we soon saw, even before the first nightfall, that the traveling would be sporadic and slow.  Too many short hauls.  Too long between rides.  And in spite of the colorful characters we kept discovering—the two “black leather jackets” in the hot Chevrolet who fixed us a bacon-and-egg breakfast, the two girl artists in their beads and flowers at the art fair in the park, the drunken golfer with the  poodle—we backtracked somewhere around Jenner the second day out.  Then headed inland toward Santa Rosa.  That was when, finally, we caught the long haul with the young blond businessman over to and up Highway 5, all the way to Portland.

A motel, hot showers, clean smooth sheets to sleep on—then up and on our way again, forever moving, forever eager to top the next hill beneath the sun’s bright arc.  We rolled into Seattle that afternoon in the bed of a bouncing, dilapidated pickup.  All big eyes and giggles and sore rear ends.  We’d arrived!  And no sooner had we checked into a cheap motel and parked our gear, than off we went into the unknown streets to explore.  The Seattle Center, site of the ’62 World’s Fair, you noted.  The Space Needle.   The fish market and harbor.  We walked till our shoes burned our feet.

But, ultimately, Seattle turned into kind of a downer.  We got clipped the next day of ten precious dollars by the harbor tough in the little captain’s hat.  What anger and chagrin!  Everywhere, too, the prices seemed so high.  We ended up that last evening staying in the motel room and sharing a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“Why,” you lamented, “when things can be so good, do people always find a way to spoil it?”  But that night, in our road-weary despondency, nursing our wounded pride, we felt a closer kinship than we’d ever known before.

And then, heading out of the city, just after crossing the Lake Washington Floating Bridge, the state troopers descended upon us.  Didn’t we know hitchhiking was illegal in Washington?  We could be fined and jailed.  If they came around again and still found us there, they’d “run us in!”  O mad desperation, then, hailing down rides.  Please, please, just get us to the Idaho border.  And it was in Spokane that the old hollow-cheeked, down-on-his-luck, country-and-western singer picked us up because we were carrying guitars and hauled us all the way across the state line.

We’d spend one more night, just the two of us, under a rented roof—a small room above a bar (with jukebox music drifting up through the floor) in some small, forgotten town in Montana.  And then we caught our last long haul: a soldier en route to a new assignment at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri.  He was driving to visit family in Minnesota before reporting in.  So we rode along, sharing the driving, sharing the family visit, sharing the miles of asphalt and cups of black coffee as far as, and right up to, your mother’s front steps in Shawnee.

Then suddenly, as if jolted out of a daydream, we found ourselves waiting in line in the student union to pull class cards.  California and the long way home had become, then just as now, only a memory.  Waking up beneath an overpass to the singing of tires on a highway with morning dew covering our guitars and ants in the cookies we’d saved for breakfast.  Sitting in the shade of a freshly tilled orchard, savoring cold colas we’d had to walk two miles in the burning sun to procure.  Going to sleep wrapped together in one blanket against the evening chill with the stars for our ceiling and the grass our mattress.  Only a memory.

And, of course, there was my old girlfriend, the sorority babe.  And your boyfriend, the hustler.  A new semester of pushes and pulls lay there waiting.  And the streams of living we got into, though often parallel, didn’t run together anymore.  Nevertheless, we held on to a closeness in each other’s mind.  Always.

There were your postcards from Germany.  The homemade cookies you sent me in Vietnam.  Invariably, the long greeting I’d write each Christmas.  And the first home-cooked meal I had, after returning from a tour of duty in Europe, was eaten at your table.  I’ll never forget your words that evening, the candlelight twinkling off the silver and crystal.  “Hey, Markie,” you said, “we gotta keep in touch.  Always.  We’re like little lights winking in the night.”

Your wedding invitation caught up with me in La Jolla, California.  As we’d agreed long before, regardless of who married first, the other would come to the wedding.  And I did.  First Baptist Church of Shawnee, May 10, 1974.

Even after the wedding, for a few years, we exchanged Christmas letters.  Tried to keep abreast of where each of us was heading.  But marriage was a far, far different road than either of us had traveled before.  A husband.  Two children.  The paths of our experiences, of our fulfillments, began to lead in far different directions.  And, finally, one Christmas, the cards stopped coming.

Until today.  Your mother’s letter.  And the rending, anguished message it conveyed.

Marilyn, after miles and miles of other highways and years of other nights and days and the births of children and the gain and loss of other friends, I miss you.  The reassurance of knowing that somewhere, always, that other heartbeat from a shared past was still beating along with my  heart is no more.  And I grieve for two motherless little boys.  And a wifeless young father.  And a lonely grandmother who will miss her daughter so.

Forever after, whenever “California” comes to mind, I’ll remember you.  Whenever I see fog spilling through a mountain pass or hear the ocean, I’ll remember you.  Whenever I see young people by a road—blue-jeaned, thumbs up, faces radiantly defiant of all time and mortality—I’ll remember you.

One day soon I’ll be passing through Shawnee, and I’ll retrace the streets to your mother’s door and utter an awkward condolence.  One day, too, I’ll go through Lawrence, and I’ll stop at the cemetery and stand for a moment looking at your name cut in stone.  And I’ll kneel down and touch the thick, green grass that grows on all graves.  Then I’ll weep.

In loving memory, your old friend,


“Girls Can Do Everything Boys Can Do” by Reagan Hellevang (My 8 year old granddaughter)

“Girls Can Do Everything Boys Can Do” by Reagan Hellevang

Have you ever been angry when a boy says ha you can’t play football because girls aren’t good at it or when someone says boys can do baseball, soccer, basketball, and football while girls can only do volleyball, softball, and tennis?

How about when someone says that only boys can be the president because they are better and girls don’t pay attention?

It’s just not fair because boys have more open options in playing sports  than girls. More and more people are standing up to let girls play more sports but it is still not enough! Please stand up so girls can be more open to options for sports!

Why do people think girls can’t do everything boys can do? Have they seen a girl do bad at sports? But that would be unlikely because like I said it was just a girl. Well, some girls just don’t like sports because they are not good at them I believe if girls keep trying to do better at sports then maybe some boys won’t make fun of girls anymore.

Another reason is it just leads to more problems. Like, a boy might say, girls can’t do sports and then the girls probably would get mad I mean I would since I am a girl myself but this doesn’t matter my point is it would just lead to more problems like a cycle it keeps going round and round but boys if you stop acting like it’s obvious that “the girls”made you lose in a game of dodgeball and no I am not saying this is true, maybe it would just be at least peaceful.

So, the main question of this topic is: why do boys think girls aren’t capable of doing the same sports as boys? Well think I have got an answer  boys think girls  can’t do sports I don’t think it’s the girls’ fault you see a girl’s intelligence grows in the brain more first in life and a boy’s athletic ability grows more first in life which tells us that girls will eventually catch up to boys ability! I hope you got all the answers you were looking for!  




– Have they ever been?

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We’ve been hearing a lot about Russia these days, be it in congressional investigations, the Syrian war, in the Ukraine, and recent nuclear missile developments. The United States has a long history with the Russians, since its revolution about 100 years ago. In that time, our relationship could best be described as “tolerant” but certainly not friendly. This is due, in large part to opposing political ideologies. We simply do not trust each other and it is remarkable neither side has pulled the trigger to cause a major armed conflict.

During World War II Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin had a tepid relationship. America came to Russia’s aid under the Lend-Lease Act to give them vital supplies to fight Nazi Germany. Stalin repaid us by snapping up Eastern Europe at the conclusion of the war and triggering the Cold War which lasted several decades. He also consolidated his power by purging his enemies in the country, not once, not twice, but three times. By doing so, he became the model for other Communist dictators to assimilate, particularly the North Koreans.

We all remember the relationship between John Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis which was the closest we came to war. Fortunately, Khrushchev blinked, but it cemented our adversarial relationship. It wasn’t until Richard Nixon introduced the spirit of “detente” to Leonid Brezhnev that tensions began to ease and an Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was signed.

By the time Ronald Reagan became President, the Soviet Union was economically weak. Reagan began to rebuild America’s military and surprised the world with the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI; aka “Star Wars”), offering new technologies to prevent ballistic missile attacks. In turn, the Soviet Union was forced to compete militarily with the United States, which they could not afford to do. Further, Mikhail Gorbachev of the USSR introduced new policies at home with “glasnost” (openness) and “perestroika” (restructuring). All of this contributed to the end of the Soviet Union as a communist entity, and the end of the Cold War.

During the Clinton years, Boris Yeltsin became the first President of the new Russian Federation. Yeltsin proposed a new constitution which became popular and was passed. More importantly, he moved Russia’s socialist economy to capitalism, and the country began to flourish economically. The Yeltsin administration though was fraught with corruption, eventually forcing the Russian president to resign.

Enter Vladimir Putin in 2000 to pick up the pieces. The former KGB foreign intelligence officer and Cold Warrior has served as Russian president for three terms and is now running for a fourth. As the Russian Constitution barred a third consecutive term, Putin took a term as the country’s Premier (Prime Minister) until the next presidential election where he was reinstated, a clever maneuver allowing him to maintain control.

In theory, the Russian Federation is a Constitutional Republic, much like the United States, with three separate branches, including Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. However, most experts agree it is no longer such as Putin has consolidated power and is essentially a dictator, much like Stalin except without the purges.

Putin has dealt with three American Presidents, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump. Putin and Bush generally had a good relationship. During this time, Russia cooperated with America in the War on Terror following 911. The two countries have cooperated in space, most notably the International Space Station, but in 2024, the Russians will take elements of their section to build OPSEK, a new and separate space station.

During Mr. Obama’s administration, relations with Russia began to deteriorate. Several incidents occurred:

* In 2013, Russia gave asylum to Edward Snowden of the NSA who leaked classified information. This resulted in the cancellation of a Russian-American summit, the first time since 1960.

* In 2014, Russia invaded the Crimea, which led to the country being voted out of the G8.

* In 2015, Russia’s military intervened in Syria.

* In 2016, Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

Mr. Obama’s policies towards Russia were generally regarded as a failure and Putin took advantage of the situation with bolder activities against the United States.

And now we come to the tenure of Mr. Trump and although the two have met briefly and spoke, they have not had a chance to negotiate policy. Just three short months into the Trump administration, the President ordered a missile strike against a Syrian airfield. 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were sent in retaliation for the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack. The show of strength demonstrated the decisiveness of Mr. Trump to act, something well observed by Iran, North Korea, China, and Russia.

On March 18th, Russian voters will elect a president. Candidates include Putin as incumbent, and a handful of other token applicants. The only true candidate to oppose Mr. Putin is Alexei Navalny, who has been conveniently barred from running. In other words, there is little doubt as to the outcome of the upcoming Russian election. When his next six year term is over, he will have controlled Russia for 24 years, just six less than Stalin.

Even though the Russian Constitution claims the country is a republic, Mr. Putin’s consolidation of power leaves little doubt the country is returning to a dictatorship. His roots are planted in the KGB and Communist Party which means he resents the success of the United States and considers us his #1 competitor for world domination as we represent a free country based on capitalism, unlike the Chinese which remains Communist. Consequently, it is to Russia’s advantage to undermine America’s political system and constantly test our resolve as leaders of the free world. If America fails, Russia wins.

If we have learned anything about the Russians, it is they respect strength and will exploit any weakness we may reveal. The only time we will get into trouble is when one country treads on the other’s turf. Then we have a problem we must both address.

Although we have forged some good relations with the Russians over the years, are they really our friends and should we trust them? Hell no, but we better find a way to get along, for eveyone’s sake.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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


The White House Tapes Continued

From deep, deep within the confines of the White House we got another tape.

President the Donald Himself “Baron, it’s your friend again and I’m on the other phone listening so don’t worry.  He sounds a little worried today.”

Baron “Man this is so cool.”  Then Baron can be heard picking up the phone and saying.  “Hey Kim Jung what’s up?”

Kim Jung-un “Not much Trump.  Just thought I’d call, as I need some rice.”

Baron “You mean like fried rice?  You know what’s cool, Vietnamese fried rice.  I just had some yesterday.”

Kim Jung-un “No Trump.  I mean lots of rice, like metric tons of it.”

Baron “Oh”

President the Donald Himself whispering.  “Tell him we can do that.”

Baron “Kim Jung, we can do that.  Hell we’re buddies right?  What’s a little rice among friends?”

Kim Jung-un “Of course Trump, of course.  That’s why I’m calling you.  I could call Xi, but he’s busy lately making himself President for Life.  I was the one who told him, it was the way to go.  It was my idea but now he’s not taking my calls.  He’s too good for me all of a sudden.”

There is some whispering on the tape between President the Donald Himself and Baron.  Then we could hear Baron’s voice again.

Baron “Kim Jung there is no trouble getting you the rice but you gotta cut out the nuclear missile stuff.”

Kim Jung-un “Oh Trump you old bastard.  Oh you’re making me laugh.  I always like talking to you.  I would never put a nuclear warhead even if I had one, on one of those crappy missiles.  Half the time they blow up on the tarmac.  Then what?  Oh Trump you’re funny.  No, what happens from time to time is we run short on food.  You can check with Obama, W, his Dad and that old horny toad.  What my Dad would do and now what I do when we run out of rice, is make some noise about nuclear bombs.  Then I shoot off a dozen missiles and when one or two actually make it out into the Sea of Japan, I make this call and get some rice.”

Baron “Oh”

Kim Jung-un “But I was explaining this rice thing to my wife…  Or was it one of my concubines?  I forget, as they all look alike.”

Baron “Uh Kim Jung isn’t that like a racist thing to say about Korean woman?”

Kim Jung-un laughing into the phone.  “You’re funny Trump, very funny.  I go for the same kind of woman.  That’s why they all look alike.  Almost like sisters.  I think a few of them are sisters.  But I was explaining it to my… yes it was my wife.  I remember it now, as I told her the people have no rice and she said.  Let them eat noodles.”

Baron “Oh”

Kim Jung-un “But that is the way we work this thing with the rice.”

There is some whispering on the tape between Baron and President the Donald Himself and then Baron can be heard on the tape again.

Baron “Hey Kim Jung, why don’t we fix it so you can get rice on a regular basis?”

Kim Jung-un “Oh Trump that would be brilliant.  I wouldn’t have to fire off a dozen missiles and scream about making a nuclear bomb, which is not that easy.  Trust me on this, as I’ve lost about 500 scientists trying.  Seems when things go wrong everything melts, including the scientists.  Not to mention the ones I lose when one of those missiles blows up on the tarmac.  And just between you and me, we don’t have that many scientists around here to begin with.”

Baron “Hey Kim Jung let’s have lunch.”

Kim Jung-un “Lunch, that would be great Trump!  I’ll have my people, call your people.

Baron.  “Cool man, really cool.”

Baron hangs up and we can hear people in the room laughing and congratulating each other.  Then somebody we’re not sure who but it could have been Jared, said. “This President thing isn’t so hard.  Trying to get the City of New York to let you build over fifty stories, that’s hard.”

Dicens simile factum est

Pro Bono Publico



– More political correctness running amok.

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

I’m told English is the most difficult language to learn as it is chock full of colloquialisms, slang, jargon, and expletives. There is even disparity among the English speaking countries of the world, causing the famed playwright George Bernard Shaw to observe, “The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.”

I never truly understood why we like to reinvent the wheel every so often, but we do. Perhaps it is nothing more than naiveté but more likely it is just plain foolishness. Take for example, the recent effort at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana where a writing guide has emerged discouraging the students from using the word “Man” as it is considered to be sexist. Instead of saying “Mailman” for example, they want you to say “Mail Carrier.” Instead of “mankind” they want you to say “people” or “humanity” (which happens to have “man” hidden within it). To follow the guide properly means we have to avoid such words as “Freshman,” “Chairman,” “Gentleman,” “Craftsmanship,” “Management,” and many others.

This could also lead to some serious problems in diplomatic relations as we must change the names of countries such as Germany, Oman, and Romania to Gerpersony, Operson, and Ropersonia. I’m sure these countries will understand and follow suit. Let us also not forget Personila, the capital of the Philippines, and Kathpersondu, the capital of Nepal.

Come to think of it, all of the Latin based languages observe the masculine/feminine tense, including English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Gerperson. Instead of saying in Spanish something like, “Donde esta la Casa de Musica?” we’ll have to say, “Donde esta persona Casa de Musica?”

Instead of using the Spanish words of “el” or “la” to denote the sexual orientation of an object, we’ll have to drop the word “the” from the Spanish language, likewise for the others. I still don’t know what to do with “Hombre” as I’m sure this will offend someone. Nonetheless, this change shouldn’t affect too many people.

By the way, we can no longer refer to these various tongues as “Romance languages” as they originated from the language spoken by the Ropersons.

Recently, there have been efforts to reinvent math through the “Common Core” program, as well as rewriting American history to make us feel more guilty about ourselves, and now we are trying to reinvent the fundamental structure of the English language. I can’t wait for them to change physics whereby I’m sure they will contend, “What goes up, must be shared.”

I lectured at Purdue years ago in their business school, a fine institution. As we all know, the school’s nickname is the “Boilermakers,” a reference to the train steam boilers built there years ago. By the way, a “Boilerman” is a person who tends to boilers; I guess this will all have to be changed as well.

I don’t know why Purdue is pushing this effort, as it sounds like political correctness running amok. Purdue is also well known for agriculture and producing first-rate engineers. I just wished they would stop trying to re-engineer the English language.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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




– He appears to be more cool, calm, and collected with every passing day in office.

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

The president’s first year in office can be described as tumultuous at the very least. He faced strong resistance from the Democrats in the form of protests, congressional attacks, fake news, and having many of his executive orders held-up in court. Nevertheless, Mr. Trump persevered and carried on without their support. Despite their efforts, the president still fulfilled numerous campaign promises to reinvigorate the economy, strip away government bureaucracy, and protect the nation.

The president at first seemed stiff in terms of adapting to the job, learning to shift from a campaign role to an administrator and commander-in-chief. Now that he has settled into his job, he gives the impression he is comfortable and confident in what he is doing. Whereas the liberals and media still attack him, the rest of the country has come to the realization Mr. Trump is now in charge and knows what he is doing. And this frightens the Democrats as we embark on the congressional midterm elections.

A few recent events revealed a new Trump, very much cool, collected and empathetic. Even the news media gave the president high marks for meeting with Parkland students and parents and discussing what can be done to improve school safety. Shortly thereafter, when the state governors came to the White House to discuss the same problem, he solicited input from both parties. Governor Jay Inslee of Washington used the meeting as an opportunity to criticize the president claiming the country needed more action and less Tweeting. In response, Mr. Trump showed remarkable restraint. Whereas he could have easily chastised the governor for his remarks, he bit his tongue and let it go as he wanted to maintain the positive momentum he had built during the meeting.

During the service at the Capital for Rev. Billy Graham, the president spoke eloquently and appeared to be genuinely touched by the Christian evangelist. He handled the service with great dignity and respect.

He appeared to be very much in control at the January State of the Union address to Congress where he invoked themes of patriotism and faith, both of which were spurned by the Democrats (and noticed by voters at home). The liberal’s portrayal of him as a self-absorbed over-bearing pompous ogre has worn thin. Because of his victories during his first year he is now perceived as a leader with a results orientation.

Even though Mr. Trump realizes the Democrats will fight him every step of the way until November, he will persevere and try to reconcile differences between the parties for the good of the nation. However, it is highly unlikely we will see any progress on DACA, immigration reform, upgrading our infrastructure, healthcare, or anything else, least of all the southern wall. Liberals are fighting for their survival and, as such, cannot afford to give the president another legislative victory.

Nevertheless, Mr. Trump will continue unabated knowing the country is watching the Democrats fight him every step of the way, thereby preventing the true problems of the country from being addressed. In the end, this will cost the Democrats dearly at the ballot box. While the Democrats have evolved into the party of hate, the Republicans, under Mr. Trump, are now considered the party of prosperity.

This is not to suggest the president has softened his position on anything, he can still be combative when it serves his interests. He has simply learned the mechanics of Washington and is moving full steam forward on his terms, not others. This is quite common in the world of business. In other words: make a big splash, acclimate and dominate, and change the corporate culture to suit your needs.

While the Democrats give the appearance of operating helter-skelter, the president conducts himself coolly, calmly, and with great aplomb. Liberals have been counting on the Mueller investigation and congressional Russian probe to distract America, but the fact nothing of substance has yet to surface is leading the country to believe these were nothing more than witch hunts and a waste of time. In other words, there is a very strong chance Mr. Trump will come out of this smelling like a rose, carrying forward congressional candidates on his coattails.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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


Guns and Presidential Runs

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida was a gun free zone.  That means no one is supposed to bring a gun or have a gun in there.  That is what a gun free zone means, doesn’t it?   It does not mean guns are free there.  What was anyone doing with a gun in that place?  Is seems the only one who understood this was the resource officer and Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson.  And that is spelled Scot with one T, so as not to confuse him with the other Scott Peterson with two TTs, who killed his pregnant wife and dumped her body in the San Francisco Bay.  But resource officer and Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson one T, understood the concept of the gun free zone and did not enter the gun free zone, even though the shooting was going on.  Just because someone else had violated the gun free zone, was no reason for Deputy Scot with one T Peterson, to do the same.  As we all know, two wrongs never make a right.

Now President the Donald Himself wants to arm teachers but that violates the whole idea of the gun free zone.  If the teachers or anyone has a gun, in a gun free zone, it defeats the whole purpose.  Why can’t people just follow the rules?

Now with all the vitriol hurled at President the Donald Himself please, do not read the previous paragraph as criticism of our beloved President.  We always love whoever is the President.  We loved President Obama, who we always refer to as the Smartest Man Whoever Was or Will Be President of the United States.  And, we loved President George the Younger or W, as he was called affectionately.  And, we never thought he was as dumb, as everyone else did.  And, this affection also goes for all the other Presidents, going back to first one, George Washington.

Now people are already looking to 2020 with President the Donald Himself, appointing a Campaign Manager and all kinds of democrats looking to get into the race including Elizabeth, Cherokee, Warren and Gil, I Let O.J. Get Away With It, Garcetti.  Then there’s Oprah.  Back at the Golden Globes Oprah gave a speech and afterwards people were so impressed that they said she should run for President.  Billionaires said so, people in the democrat party said so and even people in the street said so.  But then Oprah said she wouldn’t run.  It might have had something to do with a poll that showed only 24% of the American people thought she should run. But that was a few weeks ago and now, after hearing from many more enthusiastic supporters and realizing that these polls have only been right, maybe twice in this century, she has had second thoughts.  Because Oprah now says, she’ll run if she gets a clear sign from God.  What that might be, we have no idea.  We doubt it would be the burning bush thing, as that was so B.C.  But maybe it will be a phone call or better yet, a text like.  ‘Run Oprah :’) YHWH’.  Then again maybe He’ll come to her in a dream looking like Johnny Carson saying.  “Run Oprah, Run”.

But is Oprah or anyone thinking this through?  What if she does get a clear signal whether it’s a phone call, a text or the ghost of Johnny Carson by her bed and she runs?  And, she loses?  Has anyone thought what that might mean?

Dicens simile factum est

Pro Bono Publico



– Are we attacking the symptoms of gun violence or true problems?

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

We all suffered to some degree following the shootings in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day, particularly the High school students there. Their pain is legitimate, their solution to the problem is not. Any time we have a disaster like this, the Left likes to point fingers at assault weapons, the FBI, the NRA, and their favorite target, Mr. Trump. In other words, everyone but the shooter himself. This knee-jerk reaction is obviously done for political purposes and addresses merely the symptoms, not the root problem.

Even if government banned the popular AR-15, there are many other rifles with similar capabilities, and if you were to ban them all, there are still semi-automatic shotguns which can do a lot of damage quickly, not to mention handguns. And if you were to ban all guns, there would be another weapon du jour, such as a road-side bomb, or simply a car ramming into a crowd.

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.

The NRA is frequently criticized and portrayed by Democrats as the bogeyman of violence. As advocates of the Second Amendment, their support of gun safety, education, and animal conservation is conveniently overlooked. True, the NRA supports various politicians, just like many other lobbyists. Hampering their ability to make such donations should only be done with sweeping reform of all lobbyists, not just the NRA. Their vilification is just plain wrong.

There are three areas that need to be addressed:

1. Discipline & Education

The shooter in Parkland came from a broken home, which probably explains why he had trouble differentiating right from wrong. It is no secret the family unit has been deteriorating over the years. It is common for children today to be raised by a single adult who is usually overworked and too tired to manage their offspring properly, and there are others who simply abdicate their parental responsibilities and allow their children to find their own way through life, with the assistance of the Hollywood media. Not surprising, morality is on the decline in this country and shaping the character of our youth. I find it rather remarkable we do not take Hollywood to task for the wanton violence they promote.

Not surprising, I’m a proponent of teaching parenting skills as part of an adult education program, perhaps at the schools in the evenings.

Since parents appear unwilling or unable to teach proper behavior, perhaps some basic classes for the students in morality and common courtesy are in order.

Discipline and respect are in decline in schools. For example, consider this letter sent from a middle school Science teacher in Dunedin, Florida to his PTA following the Parkland incident:

“I am a science teacher here at DHMS and I wanted to share this information with you. This is the real problem; the system is broken to where we cannot do anything or exact any meaningful consequences for this type of student. This article I found today from the Miami Herald describes at least a dozen students here at our school. We write referrals, they might even get suspended for a day or two, but these ‘nightmare’ children return and terrorize our campus as soon as the consequence is served. Students that get reassigned to Pinellas Secondary School end up coming right back after a semester. The description of the student in the first paragraph (aside from bringing bullets) describes many students that never receive a consequence, or are categorized as ‘Special Education’, ‘Emotionally/Behaviorally Disabled’, and know that the school cannot do anything about their atrocious behavior. Before we attack people’s 2nd Amendment Rights, we need to attack our legislators and School Board for forcing administrators to keep these dangerous students in our schools despite their repeated warning signs of violent tendencies. Until we can enact change to report and remove these students, these tragedies will continue. I have been physically assaulted by a student this very school year, pressed charges, and the student continues to walk the hallways and brag about who all he has ‘beat up’. We spot these students early on, and dread their presence, but have absolutely no legal way to protect the rights of the rest of the population from these predators.”

As corporal punishment is no longer allowed in schools as a deterrent for misbehavior, disciplining children is next to impossible, and without it, student grades are affected. To illustrate, ten years ago I wrote about Caroline Haynes, a school principal in Great Britain who caught the attention of the press when she started to implement strict discipline in the classroom. She is with the Tendring Technology College in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, UK, a secondary school which, when translated to the American equivalent, is a private school for children ages 11-19. Her “zero tolerance” policy for misbehavior resulted in a school environment where students were freed to concentrate on their studies and, consequently, improved their grades significantly. I was told the students actually liked the discipline and preferred it over chaos. This is consistent with my contention that people tend to thrive in a structured environment which is well organized and leadership is strong, whether it is in school or in business.

There is also something to be said about implementing school dress codes to influence behavior. Such codes help to promote conformity and decorum. A local high school recently experimented with a “Professional Attire Day,” meaning the students in the business program were asked to dress up for a day. Instead of t-shirts, shorts and gym shoes, they were asked to wear suit and ties for the men, and dresses for the ladies. Remarkably, the lion’s share of students liked the change and took pride in looking their best. The students were questioned about their experience afterwards and reported they felt more positive and confident when dressed up as opposed to being dressed down. Interestingly, they appreciated the respect they received from their teachers regarding their appearance and deportment. The students comprehended the effect of a professional image, both at school and beyond. Some genuinely yearned for a better school dress code as opposed to the slovenly appearance which was currently the norm.

One last note regarding education, some time ago I wrote about my experience attending a concealed weapons class here in Florida. Other states have similar programs. In my case I was impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of the instructors, and felt this was something everyone should be exposed to. An informed public is less likely to become a victim and more likely to survive a shooting situation. Anyone who has attended such a class would probably agree, education is the key. Everyone from Middle School onward should be taught the lessons of gun safety. Even children in Elementary grades should learn some of the basics.

The only problem with these suggestions for education and discipline is they are considered socially unacceptable and, as such, will likely be spurned as opposed to embraced. Parents will probably not be inclined to learn new parenting techniques, claiming they haven’t got the time. They also tend to oppose dress codes as they see it as inhibiting the creativity of the individual, and have no appreciation for the benefits of teamwork. And gun safety classes will be perceived as promoting violence, when in reality, it is just the opposite. This means, the parents and students do not want to put forth the effort to thwart school violence through such education and hope it can be stopped through other means, such as changes in the law. The only problem here though is you cannot legislate morality.

2. Review and revise our rules for obtaining guns.

Following Parkland, there was much discussion about raising the age of a person to own a gun. The argument here is that if a person can join the military at 18 and fight for his/her country, then 18 should be the age. The one difference though is that the military provides proper instruction in the handling of firearms, something others do not receive. Again, I am a proponent of gun safety classes. If a person can be certified, such as through an NRA class, they should know how to properly handle a firearm.

The most difficult aspect to ascertain is the mental stability of the individual, which was at the heart of the problem in Parkland and other shooting scenes. Here, students, teachers, parents, and shooting instructors should be trained in terms of looking for signs of trouble and how to report a problem. Again, it’s a matter of education. In the case of the Parkland shooter, his social media was full of obnoxious references to shooting. This should have raised some red flags in the system. Unfortunately, it did not.

3. Fortification

The era of using schools as gun free zones is quickly coming to an end. Such zones embolden shooters as they realize they are soft targets. School perimeters need to be secured to eliminate unauthorized access. This was a significant problem at Parkland.

Training and arming school personnel should also be considered either using existing staff or hiring supplemental people to secure and defend the school campus.

Such measures as mentioned herein seem unimaginable to those of us who grew up in a different time when we respected our teachers, loved our school, and as such, had no need for school resource officers. But times have changed. Back in the early 1970’s you could simply go to the airport, show your ticket to your flight attendant, hop on a plane and leave. You obviously cannot do this anymore as tight security is now required. The same is true in our schools, it is a new time and we can no longer afford to operate as we did forty years ago. Our social mores and morality have changed radically, making this a much more dangerous time for those attending our schools. It is time to improvise, adapt, and overcome just as we did in our airports.

Even if you implemented all these measures, including the abolition of guns completely, you are never going to solve the problem 100%. There will always be the issue of a social misfit or radicalized person waiting for an opportunity to seek violence. It’s not about the choice of weapon, it’s about the human being. It always has been, and always will be. It is not so much about what laws, rules and regulations we enact as it is about treating human frailties and maturity. Education, discipline, and a little common sense will go much further than banning guns altogether.

Let us stop attacking the symptoms, it is time to look in the mirror and address the true problem.

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 timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2018 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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