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I love it when history just hands me a metaphor.  July 20. It was on this date 52 years ago that the USA…I said the USA…not “Mankind”…landed two men on the moon. It did not say “We Are The World” on the side of the 363 foot monster that was the Saturn V. It said “USA.”

Yeah, we did and said the obligatory “for all mankind” thing, in a form of macho faux humility. (“Hey, we just wanna help the team…and we’re gonna play ‘em one at a time…”) But the message was clear. We are the United States of America, and we can do pretty much anything (except maybe get out of Vietnam with our ass and a modicum of dignity).

Metaphor time.  It’s again July 20. But now more than a half century later, The American Can’t Do Spirit is on inglorious display.  Yeah, I’ll watch the Billionaire Boondoggle on tv this morning. And I will have an appreciation for it. But I will also be mindful that this particular sub-orbital party trick was pulled off by Original Shepard 60 years ago.  And it was a better show.  And Uncle Al was in the air a full four minutes longer than The Richest Man In The World will be. And Al was a snappier dresser. Six decades ago.

That was supposed to be our first step on a path that would ultimately lead not only to the moon, but to Mars and beyond. Instead, after a half dozen manned lunar landings (all incredible achievements) we haven’t even put an American beyond Earth orbit since 1972.  I graduated high school in 1972.  I am now an old shit.

Home of the Brave?  We are the Home of the Blustering Cowards.  Panophobia. We are afraid of everything.

We’re afraid to simply defeat a virus we’ve had multiple chances to defeat. And the very people who are preventing us from winning bray about others “living in fear.”

We’re afraid of science. No. What’s going on in our global climate is not simply “The Circle of Life.”

We’re afraid of basic math.  81 million > 73 million.

We’re afraid to defend our own Capitol, Constitution and institutions from seditious assault.

We’re afraid of honest education. Owning our historical mistakes is not “hating America.” It’s loving it and wanting to make it better.

We demand respect for our national symbolism while rejecting the very principles that are symbolized. Because that is easier than thinking. And way easier than actually defending those principles.

We now have a national meanness born of fear and ignorance. Any basic gesture of human courtesy, cooperation or mutual concern is now viewed as “weakness.”  That’s not only irrational. It is not only cowardly. It is ultimately suicidal.

Our government protecting our people is not Big Brother. It is the proper and most important role of government, as outlined by our Founders. “…promote the general welfare…”

We’re afraid of The Other.  The Other anything.  The Other anybody.

Panophobia. We are afraid of EVERYTHING.

And the very people who essentially piss their pants about everything, every single day, are the same blustering bully cowards who accuse others of “living in fear” while their own knees never stop knocking. They’re afraid of facts.  They’re afraid of truth.

“Methinks you doth protest too much.” And, “Accuse others of that which you are clearly guilty.”  It’s not often I get to link quotes from Billy Shake and Joey Goebbels.

But it’s a special day.  It’s July 20. 

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Paul's Bio

I clearly have the attention span of your median fruit fly.Look! Airplane!

Sorry. I’m back.

It’s both a curse and a blessing. I’ve never bought this stuff about, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” But I do think that a wide range of life experiences helps us grow as people, and helps us better relate to other people. I’ve been fortunate. And I am beyond grateful.

I show up on time. I go like hell. I’m a good listener. I hold myself accountable. I own my mistakes. And I have a natural and an insatiable curiosity. I’m never afraid to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t. But then I try to find out.

The flip side is I’m a lousy ballroom dancer and my clothes sometimes fit me funny.

Stuff matters to me. I care. But while I take that stuff seriously, I try hard to never take myself seriously. As a result, I have sometimes been told, “Paul, it’s hard to tell when you’re serious and when you’re just having some fun. Which is it? Serious or fun?”

My answer is “yes.” But I think that is a legitimate criticism. I promise I’m going to work on that.

This has been the quickest and strangest half-century I’ve ever experienced. During that period, I’ve been afforded amazing opportunities in news and sports journalism across all platforms. I have taught wonderful students at the high school and collegiate level. Always, I learned more from them than they did from me. I’ve been a high school administrator. I spent ten seasons as a high school varsity football coach. I’ve been an advertising executive. I’ve hosted nationally syndicated television entertainment shows. In maybe the biggest honor I ever received, I was selected by NASA to be “Chet The Astronaut” for the “Land The Shuttle” simulator at Space Center Houston. (All I can say there, is “Do as I say, not as I do.” I put that thing in the Everglades more often than not.) Most recently, I just wrapped up a decade as a television news director, during which time our teams distinguished themselves in holding the powerful accountable, achieving both critical and ratings success.

What does all that mean? It means I am profoundly grateful. It also means I’m ready for “next.” So here we are. Radically Rational. It’s an idea I woke up with in 2017. I scribbled “Radically Rational” on a piece of notebook paper and used a magnet to stick it on our refrigerator. I saw it every day, and it just would not leave me alone.

I am second in charge at Radically Rational, LLC. My wife, Jo (also known as BB), is the president. Clearly, I have failed in my attempt to sleep my way to the top of this organization.

I hope you will learn that I’m loyal as a Labrador. But I will admit that this doggie can bite every now and then. My promise to you? I will show up on time. I will go like hell. I will listen to you earnestly and attentively. I will hold myself accountable. I will never be the least bit hesitant to say, “I don’t know,” when I don’t.

But then I’ll try to find out. Let’s do it.