05/30/17

NATO Allies, Ungrateful Freeloaders?

NATO allies are ungrateful freeloaders, Big Red Car? Not all of them, just some.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, having spent a few days with President Donald J Trump in Washington, DC and now having spent a NATO Summit and G7 meeting utters:

“The times when we could fully rely upon others are to some extent over. I experienced that in the last few days. We Europeans must take our own destiny into our own hands.”

Read those words a second time and see if you have any basic disagreement with them. The Big Red Car sayeth, “Duh?”

This bit of wisdom comes on the heels of President Trump repeating what he has said for a long period of time — NATO members are not living up to their contractual obligations to spend 2% of their GDP on defense.

This is as essential element of the NATO (the Atlantic Charter) as Article V which states an attack on one is an attack on all. It is difficult to see why the Europeans think the United States should honor Article V and come to their rescue if they don’t honor their part of the deal.

Continue reading

05/25/17

Courage — CEO Shoptalk

Courage is quiet. It is unassuming in its moment.

Big Red Car here in the ATX where it is that time of the year when it’s 65F at dawn and this afternoon it will be in the low 90s. Those first warm days are a blessing, but it’s almost June and it’s almost summer, so bring it, Mother Nature. Hit me with your best shot!

Today, we talk about courage. The dictionary would have you believe that courage is the ability to face danger or difficulty without fear; or, the ability to act in accordance with one’s beliefs or convictions in spite of criticism.

Not buying it, y’all. Courage is the ability to act despite the fact you are wracked with fear. It does not vanquish fear. It acts in spite of fear.

Continue reading

05/20/17

CEOs — Doing Tough Things Shoptalk

No tough things for a Big Red Car today, just chores.

Big Red Car here on a big day for chores, accumulated, undone chores. Bah humbug!

Before we head to do our chores, how about a bit of shoptalk for CEOs?

Being a CEO is a great job. Don’t listen to the hair-shirt-of-the-month club and their “it’s lonely, so lonely at the top.”

But, if you’re going to be a CEO, you have to do tough stuff sometimes.

Italy 2010 Computer 020

What seems tough the first time, isn’t tough the third time and when you do tough stuff, you get used to and comfortable with doing tough stuff.

Continue reading

05/19/17

Goya Foods — Corporate Giant

“If it’s Goya, it has to be good!”

Big Red Car here on a grayish day, y’all. Throwing a curve in your direction.

You probably know who Goya Foods is — the largest Latin cuisine grocery in the US.

Goya logo

They have been sponsors of the New York City Puerto Rico Parade for sixty years, starting in 1958. Other sponsors include Coca-Cola, the New York Yankees, AT&T.

But, Goya Foods pulled their sponsorship this year because the parade will honor a terrorist.

Good for Goya!

Continue reading

05/18/17

Special Counsel

Robert Swan Mueller III – special counsel. Big news, y’all.

Big Red Car here on power washing day. Two power washers hitting the paint and the stone in anticipation of a new exterior paint job. It is crazy loud here.

So, the Acting Attorney General invoked the provisions of 28 CFR 600.1 – Grounds for appointing a Special Counsel. This is exactly the situation for which that statute was written.

There is a criminal investigation and the objectivity of the Department of Justice staff may have a conflict of interest. Bingo!

So, they pick Robert Swan Mueller III to run the show. Would you please join the BRC in a short round of applause?

Continue reading

05/17/17

Anonymous Sources — The Washington Post and The New York Times

Anonymous sources — what does that mean, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here in the gray before dawn waiting for its brain (electronic ignition) to wake up. Might need some hot 10W40?

So, today, dear reader, we talk of a dinosaur which no longer roams the earth — journalism.

Journalism was that respected profession through which we earthlings were informed of goings on near and far. Journalists wrote reliable utterances and you could count on their accuracy because they held the imprimatur of such venerable institutions as The New York Times or The Washington Post. [Note the reverence which the Big Red Car visits upon these publications by using the word “The” to precede their names. Very impressive, Big Red Car.]

Alas, these “institutions” are now crack dens extensions of the People’s Democrat Party. Unfair, some may say as they have long since ceased to be followers and are now leaders. They are not reporters of news; they are manufacturers of news. They do not follow the direction of their masters; they lead the way.

Ask yourself if you can find a single conservative or Republican amongst the staffs of those once great papers. Unicorns? How can there be balance when there is no balance?

Continue reading

05/16/17

CEO Currency — Getting Paid

CEO currency, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a brightening Austin morning, y’all. On Earth as it is in Texas!

So, The Boss gets a call from a CEO pal and they get into a chat. Chat takes a turn toward the philosophical.

CEO sayeth, “I need to get paid.”

The Boss says, “Have I ever shared with you my views on CEO currency?”

“No, but something tells me that’s about to change. Bring it.”

Continue reading

05/15/17

Writing = Discipline

Writing = discipline, Big Red Car? Tell me more.

Big Red Car here on a lovely Monday morning, waiting for the painters to show up. House getting painted, not the Big Red Car. Alas.

So, The Boss is doing some writing. He’s been a writer for a long time, but now he’s out of the closet. Had a few things published and is working hard.

Learned it takes about five years to find one’s voice and to find a focus which is worthy of one’s talent. You have to become a story teller.

JLM Storyteller hand lettered logo

But, here’s the big thing — writing requires discipline and there is both art and science to it.

Continue reading

05/12/17

Jessica A Ellis, Combat Medic

Jessica A Ellis was a combat medic who was killed in Iraq on Mother’s Day 2008.

Sunday is Mother’s Day. It made me think of her.

May 29, Monday, is Memorial Day. I will think of her again.

On Sunday, I want you to take a second and think about the price of freedom and who we ask to pay it. If a tear comes to your eye, all the better.

Jessica Ellis 3

Jessica A Ellis, combat medic, KIA 101st Airborne Division, Iraq, May 2008. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, M4 Expert marksman.

Continue reading

05/11/17

Wisdom of the Campfire

Big Red Car here in secret telling mode. Guy sends a hateful email to The Boss saying, “Why can’t I get on the Wisdom of the Campfire website?” Pushy sort of human.

So, Big Red Car tells him, “It’s a fiction. That’s the name The Boss uses for his CEO coaching gig. Doesn’t have anything to do with you.”

“But, there’s a domain and y’all control it. Are you hiding something?”

“No,” sayeth the Big Red Car. “Nothing to hide.”

Logo RED no background copy

Continue reading

05/11/17

Internet — How Big? May Catch On?

Internet, today we talk the size and breadth of the Internet.

Big Red Car here on a gray day with a new roof almost finished on my house. My house.

So, The Boss comments on the Internet using Disqus as “JLM.” You can find his fingerprints if you look.

One of his favorite blogs is AVC.com which is an extraordinary blog about all things venture capital.

Continue reading

05/9/17

Criticism and Other CEO Appetizers

Who doesn’t love criticism? Haha. Me, too.

Big Red Car here on a grayish day in the ATX. Getting a new roof, so I have to get finished quick as the mortar fire (the dropping of bundles of shingles on the roof from height) starts in three, two, one! Bam!

IMG_0360

This is roofing. This is chaos. This was done voluntarily. This is the Big Red Car’s parking space.

OK, so today we talk about the breakfast of champions — criticism. Who doesn’t love some criticism?

So, when you’re a writer, you join a couple of writer’s confabs. You go to some coffee shop — dude, it has to be a coffee shop because coffee shops kept the light of learning aglow during the Dark Ages, right? before Starbucks even — and bring 2-3,000 words of you latest masterpiece with which to WOW your fellow writers. You feel it?

Continue reading

05/8/17

Telling Stories and Storytellers

Mockup with book

Telling stories and storytellers, Big Red Car? Whatsup?

Big Red Car here on a lovely Monday. On Earth as it is in Texas, y’all.

One of the things I have to put up with is The Boss hogging the computer. He’s always writing something and he’s gotten a few stories published. Like the guy needed a little more to humble brag about. This has been going on for a long time, but he’s just in the last five years admitted it publicly that he’s some kind of a writer. Who knew?

Continue reading

05/8/17

Sanctuary Cities and Texas

Sanctuary cities, Big Red Car? Pray tell?

OK, so the People’s Republic of Austin (really Travis County) has a Sheriff — Sanctuary Sally Hernandez — who took it upon herself to decide which laws and what level of cooperation with ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) she thought, in her opinion, was advisable. Criminals were being assisted in avoiding capture and deportation because she didn’t like the idea.

She got cover for this nonsense from the County Attorney, David Escamilla. He’s a good guy, but way out of his depth and lacking judgment. This decision resulted in the loss of millions of dollars of state aid for Travis County which hurt veterans programs. You know The Boss is not going to like messing with veterans, right?

County Attorney Escamilla and Sheriff Sanctuary Sally had no right to inject their vanity into veterans benefits. Shame on them.

Copy of Jeff Minch June 13 2007 005

Texas Capitol, where they make the laws in the great State of Tejas.

I know, you think a Sheriff should enforce all the laws, right? Silly goose!

So, what happened?

Continue reading

05/7/17

Risk and the Slavery of Fear

Big Red Car here, y’all, talking risk, fear, slavery and other deep stuff.

So, entrepreneurial endeavor is a risky business by its very definition, no?

When an entrepreneur faces risk, she will generate some resultant fear. Perfectly normal. Sorry.

That fear is pervasive. Never takes a vacation and lives in her brain like an African safari worm.

So, what does one do, Big Red Car?

Continue reading

05/6/17

Big Red Rules — 2017 I Edition — Debutantes and Values

Debutantes and values? Huh?

Big Red Car here on another glorious ATX, on Earth as it is in Texas, morning. Little late getting to the computer this morning.

Back in the day, I used to send y’all some Big Red Rules — rules for regulating your life and view of the world. When we blew through Big Red Rules X (twice as I recall), we shelved the project. Recently, I’ve gotten a lot of heat for some new rules and a redux of the old ones. So, here goes.

Today we review Values and Debutantes. An oldie and a new goodie. Enjoy.

Continue reading

05/5/17

Repeal & Replace — TAXES

Repeal & Replace taxes, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here on a spectacular Texas morning in May, the kind of day which fuels your passions and diminishes your troubles. On Earth as it is in Texas! Alternatively: Make America Texas Again? [Doing some A/B testing is the Big Red Car?]

So, the Republicans and their Trumpeteer were in the Rose Garden at the White House for a self-congratulatory orgy post the Repeal & Replace of Obamacare.

Trump and Ryan

“Paulie Boy, you did it.” “Thank you, Mr. President. It’s a crappy plan, but it’s the best I could get these crazy Republicans to vote for. Nancy Pelosi said ‘HI.'”

Some, like me, will say it’s a tad premature what with those balky chaps over at the Senate. I have other complaints but they will wait. Today we talk Repeal & Replace TAXES.

Yes, dear reader, our “healthcare” monstrosity was really a tax bill in disguise and those clever Republicans smoked it out.

Continue reading

05/4/17

US Budget and Other Bedtime Fables

The US budget, Big Red Car? Couldn’t you come up with anything more boring?

Big Red Car here on a perfectly delightful Texas day — convertible weather, y’all.

So, today, we chat about the US budget. [Boring, Big Red Car. Can we talk about … anything … else? No, dear reader, please be quiet and eat your vegetables. Act like an adult.]

This week the Congress passed a CR (continuing resolution) to fund the government through the end of September when the government’s fiscal year ends. It was a piece o’ crap, but that is not the story today. The story is what is a continuing resolution?

Continue reading