Florida Bans Gun Bans!

Florida SC

Last week, Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that statutes originating in the Florida Legislature take precedence over regulations passed by local governments or state agencies. This authority to preempt local ordinances prevents counties, cities, and townships from creating a patchwork quilt of regulations most citizens would find impossible to obey. What the decision means is that the 12 state universities in Florida cannot overrule a 2011 law in which the Florida Legislature “…pre-empted the regulation of guns by local governments and state agencies.”

The lawsuit–Florida Carry Inc. and Alexandria Lainez vs. the University of North Florida–was brought by Lainez because the university did not permit her to store a pistol in her car while attending classes on campus. A twenty four-year-old mother, Lainez has been a CC license holder for 3 years and is working to get students interested in gun training courses offered in the state.

Liberal Appeals Court Judge Philip Padovano dissented from the court majority, writing “this remarkable conclusion is not supported in the law, and with due respect for my colleagues, I believe that it defies common sense.”

It’s remarkable how many clearly stated constitutional rights “defy common sense” when the left happen to disagree with them.

Good for Alexandria Lainez, Florida Carry, Inc., and the majority members of the Court of Appeals.


Florida Rep Busted With Cocaine

Florida SC

While our neighbors to the north in Toronto, Canada deal with a mayor who has admittedly smoked crack in the recent past, Floridians are facing a similar scandal.

When Drug Enforcement Agency officers received a tip from a drug dealer that one of his customers was a U.S. congressman, law enforcement quickly began setting up a sting operation. Late last month, Trey Radel (R-Fla.) purchased cocaine from the dealer as officers looked on.

From there, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigations tailed Radel back to his apartment, at which time he was able to secure the services of a defense lawyer. He released a statement Tuesday admitting his mistake and offering an excuse common among high-profile figures caught in such a situation.

Saying he suffers from “the disease of alcoholism,” he called the purchase of illicit drugs “an extremely irresponsible choice.”

He then parroted the oft-repeated line that he needs to “get help so [he] can be a better man” for his family. Finally, he explored the “positive side” of his arrest.

“It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling,” he said. “I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”

Radel appeared in court Wednesday to plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession. While he could have faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, he received one year probation for his crime.

In today’s political culture, such misdeeds are increasingly common. Whether drugs, sex, or money, accusations against elected officials are almost expected.

This young congressman rose to power in Florida, however, largely because of the support of Tea Party conservatives. While many supporters of establishment candidates are willing to tolerate the immorality or disgraceful actions of their favored politician, the Tea Party generally holds itself to more exacting standards.

Though unfair, the leftist media treats conservatives with far more scrutiny than any other group. For that reason, those affiliated with the cause are compelled to live an exemplary life and always expect to be targeted for character assassination.

Unfortunately, Radel made the conscious decision to damage his career, family, and, in a more abstract sense, the conservative movement.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Today’s Slave Mentality


slaves Todays Slave MentalitySlavery in the United States was abolished with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect in 1863; but I’m not sure it has completely gone away. Slavery flourished in North America throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries where it was an important part of the country’s economic system. Under the legendary Sugar-Rum-Slave triad, sugar was shipped from the Caribbean to Europe where it was distilled into rum. Profits from this was then used to ship merchandise to West Africa where it was traded for slaves, which were sent to the Caribbean where they were sold as field hands for the sugar plantations. Others were used as indoor servants.

The tortuous life of the slaves involved such things as picking cotton, heavy labor, and just about every menial task imaginable. Some would try to escape; others would resist slavery and rebel like in the famous Nat Turner rebellion in 1831. Runaways would be recaptured and returned to their master where they were brutally punished, primarily using the whip. Rebels were executed quickly and publicly. Aside from this, most of the slaves were resigned to their fate and adhered to the rules and regulations of their master, thereby becoming dependent on him for food, clothing, and shelter. Consequently, they learned to live modestly, avoid responsibility, and be happy allowing someone else to take care of them. So much so, they would defend the master in perilous times knowing their livelihood depended on him.

Slave codes were introduced to prohibit slaves from learning to read and write, carry firearms, attend religious gatherings, and many other activities, all aimed at controlling their behavior. This was all done to dissuade slaves from running away or rebelling and frankly proved to be very effective for this purpose.

When the slaves were freed, some thrived under their new-found freedom; but many others were lost and became wards of the state. They may have been freed from their masters but were lost without someone telling them what to do.

The slave mentality is still very much among us. A class of people have emerged in this country who put forth minimal effort knowing the master (the government) will take care of them. As more and more people become addicted to entitlements, they become more apathetic and less likely to work. As an example, let’s consider the American Indian, on whom we have been spending in excess of $2.6 billion annually (1) over the last few years for such things as health care, education, public safety, housing, and rural development. Despite this huge cash infusion over an extended period of time, only 25% are employed, and they suffer from the highest poverty rate and lowest life expectancy in the country. The point is that when you become a ward of the state and such amenities are guaranteed to you, there is a natural inclination for apathy to run rampant.

Those imbued with the slave mentality do not simply want something for nothing; they expect it. Whereas they are content to perform simple labor, they expect their master, the federal government, to provide for their housing, welfare, health care, and other amenities. This explains why entitlements have grown at an alarming rate in recent years and why such people have no problem with a massive government. They are mindful of the rules and regulations of the master but have no true understanding of the concept of freedom, which is nothing more than a catch-phrase of the government.

In contrast, those opposed to big government who actively work to sustain themselves relish freedom and truly understand the price of it in blood and sweat. They realize that freedom encourages personal initiative to invent, innovate, discover, write, and create. They may either be successful or a failure, but they relish the opportunity to at least try. They are allowed to believe what they want, say what they want, and go where they want; but most importantly, they are allowed to be an entrepreneur with all of the risks and responsibilities involved. The slave mentality class doesn’t grasp this and shirks risk and responsibility, preferring the safety of the master instead.

The slave codes of today are implemented by the media that cleverly manipulates the people’s sense of right and wrong, thereby defining how they should think and act. As George Orwell correctly observed, “The people will believe what the media tells them they believe.” Political correctness is an obvious example of how the media influences the perceptions of people. In reality, the media is controlled by the government, which orchestrates the messages to the masses. From this, the slaves steadfastly protect their master by savagely attacking his detractors, either physically or verbally. Such slaves are simple people who can be easily manipulated by the media.

For the slave mentality to flourish, government needs to grow and become more invasive in the lives of the people. Entitlements are the hallmark of the slaves, something they believe they deserve as opposed to earning, something the master will provide. To grasp the size of the people possessing the slave mentality, consider how the country’s Welfare has escalated since 1960:

welfare Todays Slave Mentality

So what exactly is the slave mentality? A person who is willing to become subserviant to the government in exchange for basic creature comforts as opposed to earning it themselves. The slave unknowingly remains a prisoner and is not truly free. In reality, he/she does not understand freedom, nor do they want it; for freedom requires hard work, risk, and responsibility, elements that they have been conditioned to avoid. Knowing this, the government master controls the people through simple bribery and uses the media to manipulate the perceptions of the masses.

The initial reaction to this theory is to dismiss it out of hand, that wards of the state can hardly be considered slaves. However, if they think like slaves and behave like slaves, then in all likelihood they are slaves. It is important to recognize that this mentality is certainly not unique to the United States; it has also become prevalent in the United Kingdom as well as other European countries. One thing we cannot overlook is that if the master’s source of money evaporates, he will be unable to take care of his slaves, and then they will have to settle for less. They may resist austerity measures initially, but they will inevitably have to fall in line. Just remember: if the slaves get out of line, the master still has the whip that  he is unafraid of using.

Keep the Faith!

1 – U.S. Department of the Interior Budget Justifications and Performance Information, FY 2013

Keep the Faith!

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mbatim Todays Slave MentalityTim 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:

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Political Postmortem, 2012

Republican Democrat SC Political Postmortem, 2012

It’s been about a month since the election, and the dust has finally settled. I believe we are all glad the negative television commercials are gone as well as the obnoxious lawn signs; but there are a lot of people who miss the action and are beginning to exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Whereas young people were mostly apathetic during this electoral cycle, older people and party loyalists were transfixed on any news pertaining to the campaigns, including presidential, congressional, and local. This resulted in a windfall for the media. Over $1 billion was spent on television advertising alone for the presidential race, not to mention radio, newspaper, billboards, telephone calls, and Internet advertising. In all, we set another record in terms of campaign spending; but was it really worth it?

According to OpenSecrets.org, a research group tracking money in U.S. politics, the University of California was President Obama’s top campaign contributor at $927,568. I don’t quite understand how a university system like California’s, which is supposed to be floundering financially and raising student tuition to new heights, can afford such generosity. Then again, maybe I just answered my own question. The fifth largest contributor to the president’s re-election campaign was the U.S. Government at $528,603. I wonder if the American taxpayers knew about this and agreed to it. I know I was never consulted. (Editor’s note: We sure weren’t either!)

I am still concerned about the apathy of young people and their apparent indifference for our electoral process. I have never seen a generation so uninformed, regardless of the information technology currently available; nor do they seem concerned about the future of the country. This frightens me.

We also learned that the country is as polarized as ever, maybe more so. This has been building since the 2000 election with the hanging chads but has gotten progressively worse. For the first time though, anger has been expressed through social media, such as the physical threats made to assassinate Gov. Romney or calls for uprisings. Such open expressions of hostility are not new, but their propagation through technology is. I pity the Secret Service, which has to investigate such threats and taunts.

The media encourages such behavior, as exemplified by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell who challenged Tagg Romney to a fight on camera (see VIDEO). O’Donnell was neither reprimanded or fired by the network. This can only be construed as MSNBC approving of his antics, and by inference promotes and endorses open hostilities.

Then there is the matter of lying, cheating, and deceit in the campaign itself, either by official representatives of the campaigns or the public, which is why Voter Identification became such a major issue this past year. The closer we got to the election, the more dirty political tricks we saw, such as the letters sent to Republicans in the closing days of the campaign that informed them it wasn’t necessary for them to vote.

The biggest lesson I learned from this electoral cycle, though, was that the country hates our current form of elections. It is sinfully wasteful in terms of finances, consumes too much time (thereby promoting polarity), and distracts politicians from tending to the duties taxpayers pay them to do. We probably spent more on the election than what President Obama proposed to tax the rich. Our form of elections are neither efficient or effective. For a country that prides itself on the efficiency of our technology, we certainly do a lousy job of conducting an election. It’s barbaric, but we only have ourselves to blame. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

One last note: in a recent poll of registered voters, a paltry 22% believed in the polls during the campaign, a whopping 75% didn’t find the media credible in their political reporting, and the rest were unsure what day it was.

Keep the Faith!

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

mbatim Political Postmortem, 2012Tim 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:

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey (Creative Commons)

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The Disparity Between Capitalism And Socialism

Obama Reigning In Capitalism SC The Disparity Between Capitalism and Socialism

I was recently invited to give a talk at a business conference designed to help high school seniors in our county who have an interest in pursuing a business career. Specifically, I was assigned two sessions to describe what the young person should expect as they make the transition into adult life, which was based in large part on my book “MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD – A Handbook for Entering the Work Force.”

I wore a suit and tie for the occasion to express my credibility and out of respect for my audience, even though none were older than eighteen years of age. This was going to be an unusual talk for me as I normally address adults, not youth. Because of this, I wanted to know a little about my audience. So, using a show of hands, I inquired where the students were from, such as their high schools, but I also flippantly asked how many were capitalists and, conversely, if there were any socialists present. I received a lot of blank stares on both accounts. This caused me to deviate from my planned program and deliver a mini-dissertation describing the differences. I contended that in order to be successful in business, the students would be wise to know what each meant.

Interestingly, some were brainwashed into believing capitalism was evil and simply represented another form of greed. I contend greed is a human emotion and can be equally applied under either system. Therefore, capitalism is not greed; it is a celebration of the individual’s right to try and succeed. Whereas capitalism focuses on the rights of the individual, socialism concentrates on the rights of the group overall.

I explained that under capitalism, the individual has the right to try his/her hand at anything they are so inclined, thereby representing freedom. They simply have the right to try, nothing more, nothing less. If they are lucky, they may succeed; but they also run the risk of failure. Failure is an inherent and important part of the system. There are no guarantees for success. This is why risk is important, to force the individual to work harder and smarter to avoid defeat. As such, capitalism encourages entrepreneurship (innovation and invention). If the person is successful, they are entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labor. If they are not, they must suffer defeat. This should force the person to redouble his/her efforts and try again, which of course is evolution in action.

To encourage entrepreneurship, our founding fathers took steps to safeguard the intellectual property of the individual. This specifically includes Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, wherein the powers of Congress are defined. It states, in part: “The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”. This led to such institutions as the Patent and Copyright offices, which were specifically designed to safeguard an individual’s intellectual property. As early as 1790, the first patent and copyright were approved. At the time, safeguarding intellectual property in this manner was rare to the rest of the world. By promoting the entrepreneurial rights of the individual, our forefathers were embracing capitalism.

As mentioned, the focus in Socialism in on the group, not the individual. Here, the rights of the many take precedence over the individual. Because of this, personal initiative is discouraged, the individual cannot endeavor to do better than the next person, and failure is prohibited; the group will always bail you out. There is no notion of assuming risk and being held personally accountable for your actions. All compensation is equitable among workers with no rewards for outstanding achievement or penalties for inferior workmanship. Intellectual property belongs to the group, not the individual. Consequently, this approach discourages entrepreneurship and tends to promote apathy.

The Achilles’ heel of Socialism is the belief that everyone is equal and, as such, should be treated and compensated on an equitable basis. On the surface, this sounds like a fair and noble notion. The assumption though is that everyone works at the same level of effort and expertise which, of course, is simply not so. Restraining the individual from achieving higher levels of workmanship or striving for higher goals is unnatural and discourages the worker.

To summarize:

FOCUS The rights of the individual; the right to “try”; requires freedom. The rights of the group; collective decision making; regulations restrain the individual.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP Yes, encourages risk; enjoys fruits of labor; individual assumes personal responsibility; promotes evolution. No, discourages risk; individual cannot fail; encourages apathy, discourages change; unnatural.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Yes, belongs to the individual. No, property belongs to the group.

Before closing, I encouraged the students to become familiar with the works of author Ayn Rand, particularly “The Fountainhead” (1943) and “Atlas Shrugged” (1957). Rand’s work touted the need for individual achievement and capitalism and saw them as two intertwined concepts.

In business, we have to be mindful of encouraging individual achievement and teamwork equally. We realize our team is as good as its weakest player, hence the need to encourage workers to strive harder for perfection. However, there will always be those people who will rise above others, and it certainly wouldn’t make sense to impede their growth.

“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.” – Ayn Rand

Photo credit: terrellaftermath

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