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Yes, like many of you, I did shake my fist when I saw video of Ukraine attack helicopters taking out that fuel depot on Russian soil. Yes. I shook my fist in solidarity.

But I also shook my head. It may have been a victory for the soul. But it was a strategic mistake. Most U.S. military and geopolitical analysts appear to agree.

You are correct in observing that I have not written or said one word about the Will Smith fiasco on this website or social media.  I have been 1) disgusted by the whole thing, and 2), I wanted to gather my thoughts before expressing a view. OK. Here goes. Will Smith committed criminal assault and battery and should have been arrested on the spot. The fact that Chris Rock elected not to press charges is irrelevant. Smith committed a crime against the State of California. Reportedly, Smith was asked to leave the building, but refused.  Uhhh…we’re not asking, buddy.

But here’s my larger takeaway. I don’t want to hear Smith apologists excuse his actions by saying, “He was trying to defend his wife.”  No. Look at the video, starting with Rock’s “joke” and extending all the way through Smith returning to his seat and screaming expletives at Rock.  

Smith was NOT “defending his wife.” This had nothing to do with chivalry. Smith was merely advancing his own toxicity and mindless machismo. He was defending no one’s honor. He ultimately succeeded only in displaying his lack of honor. That wasn’t about her. That was about him.

We can debate the appropriateness of Rock’s “joke.” But after it “got real,” Rock displayed truly amazing restraint. His instant mental analysis of the situation was almost astronaut cool.

I’m not trying to bury Will Smith. I’ve frequently enjoyed his work and wish him no ill. I believe in atonement. I believe in forgiveness. But I also believe in consequences. It is proper that he has resigned from the Academy, and further professional and legal disciplinary action should for now remain on the table.

That was criminal assault.

And then there’s Herschel Walker. Full disclosure. I spent a not inconsiderable time around Herschel during his days with the Cowboys, particularly during training camps. I found him to be engaging and cooperative, and possessive of a much more sophisticated sense of humor than he publicly projected.

But, alas, it turns out he’s a liar. He’s a lying liar surrounded by lying liars who not only do not deny that they are lying liars and do not apologize for being lying liars, but apparently are proud of being lying liars.

Herschel, after dabbling in bobsledding, martial arts, ballet dancing, law enforcement and spousal abuse, now wants to play U.S. Senator.

Walker has frequently claimed that he graduated in the top one percent of his class at the University of Georgia.

Wrong…and wrong. Walker did not graduate in the top one percent, because he did not graduate at all. The jaw-dropping thing to me is that everyone knew that he did not graduate. I knew that when I was interviewing him in Thousand Oaks, California in the 80s.

But at the time, he wasn’t CLAIMING that he graduated, let alone with honors. And then…

Oh, and he also claimed to be his high school’s valedictorian. He was not.

Yes. Herschel Walker is not the first person, and certainly not the first would-be politician, to lie about their credentials.

However, remember when lying carried at least a slight degree of shame and stigma?

Here is the reaction from his campaign communication director. “There is not a single voter in Georgia who believes that whether Herschel graduated at the ‘top of his class’ or as valedictorian 40 years ago has any bearing on his ability to be a great United States Senator.”

Gee. That doesn’t say much about the voters in Georgia, does it? If Walker didn’t think these false claims aided his campaign, he wouldn’t have made them. So, clearly HE thought it matters.

And now he’s busted. The issue is not the significance of graduating in the top one percent of one’s college class, or graduating at all, or being a high school valedictorian.

The issue is lying about it. And surrounding oneself with sycophants who not only tolerate the lies, but defend them and even get defiant about them.

No wonder Walker carries the endorsement of The Orange Prevaricator.

This stuff…right here, folks…is why we do Radically Rational.

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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.