The Power of Imperfection


If I eliminated all the imperfections in my life, I would erase myself completely. I am a colossal combination of imperfections. In fact, I am almost perfectly imperfect. Continue reading


In The Absence Of Talent

In addition to mentoring CEOs, I often speak to promising young persons — usually sent my way by their parents — to give them wise counsel as to how to fashion their career or to find the right career.

A good many of them have an entrepreneurial bent — so they think — and a good many of them have just left the armed forces. They are all at the starting line of their career.

I always start with one bit of wisdom: Do not be in a hurry, young person; experiment and try some different things. Continue reading


The Three Horsemen: Discipline, Risk, Regret

If you are pondering your future — who isn’t? — allow me to introduce the Three Horsemen: discipline, risk, regret.

You will harness and ride some or all of them in your life and they are both your loyal friend and vicious enemy depending upon how you create the relationship.


There is no success in life without harnessing discipline. If you tell me you are out of bed by 5:30 AM and regularly plan your own future, I would buy stock in you without the necessity for us to even meet. Continue reading


Self Control, Discipline

A guy calls me up and asks, “What’s the smallest action somebody can take to improve their chances of success?”

Interesting question — “smallest” was the keyword here.

So, I think about that and I say, “Exercise just a modicum of self-control which means impose discipline.”

He laughs. He is prone to laughter, pleasant chap.

“Can you make that more practical and pointed?” asks he.

I say, “Yes.” Continue reading


Raising Children and Affirming Performance in the Workplace

As I become more versed in dealing with grandchildren — I have three perfect granddaughters and live three houses distant from them — I harken back to the vicissitudes of raising my own children, training combat engineers in the Army, running companies with hundreds of employees, and peddling advice to CEOs through the Wisdom of the Campfire.

The key to all of it is training and personal development. How does one develop talent at the grass roots level? Continue reading


A Personal Letter to President Joe Biden

Dear Mr. President,

I have been watching your reaction to the build up and attack on Ukraine by Russia — going on for a year, amigo — and I would like to share with you some advice and thoughts.

You do realize that Vladimir Putin thinks you are a weak leader, lack the resolve to engage, are inexperienced in such matters, and are personally fearful of combat?

As a Vietnam War Era draft dodger, he is onto something, but I can help you. Here is my advice:

 1. Stop telling everybody that direct American involvement is “off the table.” Even if it is, why arm a jack off like Putin with that knowledge?

Keep him guessing. Tell him, “Nothing is off the table, you little trollette including de-regimeing your mangy ass.”

 2. This isn’t Putin’s first rodeo. He destroyed Chechnya, in particular the city of Grozny its capital, during the Second Chechen War. Georgia? Crimea? Donbas region of Ukraine?

He levelled Grozny using the same medieval, Dark Ages siege tactics as he is using in Ukraine.

Understand where this is headed and get out ahead of it. He is going full on Grozny on Kyiv.

Start the verbal offensive right now. Don’t procrastinate. You’ve wasted enough time already. Bury him in public opinion and get Russia excluded from every international organization.

 3. Putin has a third rate, poorly led, inexpert, conscript army with a duct tape and bailing wire supply chain.

The Russians are not the varsity. You, on the other hand, have a modern, well trained, sometimes well led army capable of destroying Russia’s weak force.

How do I know this, you ask? I used to be in the military racket.

I grew up on Army posts, my father was a career soldier, my mother was a World War II veteran, I am a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and was a professional soldier for five years followed by a great number of years as an unprofessional soldier.

That bunched up Russian jug fuck of a convoy is a cemetery of KIAs waiting to be harvested.

So, Joe, lean forward in your saddle like you have a set and are John Fucking Wayne. Act like a guy  who can back up the mindless rhetoric.

 4. Make a big, bold stroke — call for raising a dozen new Army and Marine divisions, put tanks back into Europe, sell 4,000 8,000 tanks to Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.

Move our European deployments right near the border and install Patriot missiles. Make Putin sweat.

 5. Joe, do some secret stuff. Don’t talk about Migs in public, you bloody moron. Secretly transfer Migs to the Ukrainians. The Russians won’t know where they came from.

Put some sack into it. Get the Migs for Ukraine and act surprised. Remember, Joe, secret stuff. Do not telegraph your punches.

Look, we’re giving the Ukes Javelins and Stingers — what difference would a Mig or two make? Give these magnificent men more Javelins and Stingers.

Give those heroic,  brave Ukrainians a fighting chance. Turn them loose to destroy that column.

 6. Mr. President, one more time, give the Ukrainians anything we can. The really good stuff. Give them Javelins, Stingers, anti-aircraft, gobs and gobs of ammunition.

 7. Crush the snot out of Russia and Putin economically. You were slow to the realization that the US was buying incredible amounts of energy from Putin.

When the polls signaled the unviability of your stance, you got with it. Stop waiting on the polls.

So, here’s the lift, Mr. President. Turn loose the Kracken of the American Oil Patch. Drill, baby, drill until US production is 15,000,000 barrels of crude oil a day and the American excess puts our whole arm on the scale of pricing. Drive oil to $10/barrel and let Putin sweat out how he’s going to pay his thugs. Knock the financial underpinning of the Russian oil economy on its ass.

Unleash the power of the American energy entrepreneur — jobs in the US, money to US energy companies, surge the US economy not Venezuela’s; reverse your disastrous week #1 energy errors. Do this now when it can make a difference.

 8. The Saudis are pissed with you. Tell those MF-ing murderers they can hang with us or Putin. If they hesitate, tell them the Israelis are going to do touch-and-gos in Riyadh unless they get with us.

 9. Last thing, Joe, tell those fools running the Pentagon they can shelve the whole gender identity and pronouns thing. Have them focus instead on force lethality, force safety, and standing up a dozen divisions.

There it is, Joe. Do this and the world will be safer, you will sleep better, and the blood of the innocent Ukrainians will not be thigh high in the Oval Office.

With warmest personal regards,

The Big Red Car


Hanlon’s Razor and Other Adages

I am in New York City freezing my ass off. I come every year to see the Veterans Day Parade (which was a huge disappointment this year). I hate cold weather, but I voluntarily came to NYC, so who can I blame?

I can only blame myself which brings me to my thought for today. We often look for difficult explanations to simple things.

Case in point is something called Hanlon’s Razor. Hanlon’s Razor (like Murphy’s Law and Occam’s Razor) provides us with wisdom when we are looking to explain something we believe to be complicated and transcendental.

Hanlon’s Razor goes something like this:

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Continue reading


In Praise of Skepticism REVISITED

The other day a chap accuses me of being a “skeptic” about matters pertaining to the Chinese. I stand, say, “Guilty as charged.”

The police come, march me away and I decide to write a blog post to explain why being skeptical is the adult position on many things.

Then, I recall that back in 2015, I had written a blog post: In Praise of Skepticism.

It captured exactly what I thought then and now. So, I have copied it and am reposting it unchanged, below.

Things like this make me wonder if I have gotten better or worse at this blogging thing, now going on 8 years.

In Praise of Skepticism REVISITED

Big Red Car here. It rained yesterday in the tropical rain forest formerly known at Austin, Texas.

We are starting to like the daily rains. Everything is green. It is like the Amazon valley.

I am skeptical as to whether it will continue, which brings me to my thought for today — skepticism. Continue reading