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The United States cannot “guarantee” that it will not default on its debts in two weeks.

Pause.

The United States cannot “guarantee” that it won’t willfully, spitefully, pointlessly and needlessly risk throwing the national and global economies into unprecedented chaos, risking financial ruin for millions of Americans, almost certainly triggering a deep recession (if not worse), and destroying any remaining trace of American integrity.

Longer pause.

We are now suicide bomber international terrorists, because of jihadist crazies who don’t care if THEY are destroyed, as long as they “stick it” to whomever they deem stick-worthy.

The crazies have long wanted a back-door theocracy.

Then they tried to engineer an autocracy.

Now they have succeeded in turning the United States of America into a Toddlerocracy.

Petulant children playing with matches. And they don’t care who are what gets burned down. 

I’ve been on Facebook since 2010. Here is now it went down. I was the host of a San Antonio news/sports talk weekday radio show. One Friday afternoon, the Big Boss hastily called a staff meeting. We were told (and “we” certainly included me) that if we weren’t on Facebook by Monday morning, that we didn’t need to bother coming to work, because we would no longer be employed.

Well.  Since you put it that way…

Seems “consultants”–in their never-ending quest to cover their own asses, perpetuate their existence and deflect blame and attention from their earlier failures–had decided that social media in general and Facebook in particular were the new “It Girl” in broadcasting. And we all had to make sure that whatever Lola wanted, Lola got.

Until that Friday afternoon, I’m not sure I could have spelled “Facebook.” I was vaguely familiar with the concept, and to the extent that I was, I found it silly.

Fast forward eleven years.  I was right.

I gave it a shot. You know, a decade-plus long “shot.”

I missed. So did Facebook.

Part of being Rational (with a capital “R”) is being deliberative. I don’t make snap judgments on important subjects. I wait until the evidence is conclusive. You know, “I do my own research.”  (Please know that I’m at this moment rolling my eyes.)

From the jump, my purpose for being on Facebook was a little different than that of almost everyone else. My Facebook “footprint” was simply an extension of my radio show. Sure, I shared stories about kids, grandkids and dogs, but mostly my Facebook persona was just a digital version of my radio show, “Bringin’ It.”

And, candidly and transparently, THAT in turn became the precursor for “Radically Rational.”

And, understand this. It worked, at least in that respect. It worked spectacularly. It continues to work spectacularly.

But the evidence is now conclusive. The jury is in. I’ve done my deliberation. I have “done my research.”

Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, have become a “net negative,” both on the personal and societal level.

They have made it easy to promote lies and suppress truth. They have promoted human animus, polarization and exploitation. They have enabled us to cloak evil in anonymity.

Facebook is a failure.

Facebook has not caused our problems, and scapegoating Zuckerberg is childish and pointless. But Facebook has become a National Gas Can that turns every grassfire into a Towering Infernal (not a typo).

And as Facebook became untethered from truth and facts, so did our entire national discourse.

And…here we are.

More tomorrow.

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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.