The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

starve Stunted missions

November12

“ROME – Nearly 200 million children in poor countries have stunted growth because of insufficient nutrition, according to a new report published by UNICEF Wednesday before a three-day international summit on the problem of world hunger.”

You can gather some details around this grim news by reading an article here.

mr. jacques dioufMeanwhile, Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization through the United Nations has called on the world to join him in a day of fasting ahead of the summit to highlight the plight of one billion hungry people.

Mr. Diouf said he hoped the fast would encourage the deliverance of boat-loads of cash action by world leaders who will take part in the meeting at his agency’s headquarters starting Monday.

I certainly don’t mind participating in a fast. However, I do have some questions. And, perhaps this needs to be one of the points of this particular post. I’m skeptical enough people actually ask enough of the right questions before they take any form of action. We’ve all heard the saying: “Fools rush in”. So, let’s hesitate, review some easy to find information, and then consider some options.

So… Apparently most of this “stunting” occurs in Africa (and, Asia, to a lesser extent).

In my community Christian missions to Africa are currently all-the-rage. People from local churches raise a lot of other peoples money to go on holiday and build schools (with no teachers), aqueducts for farms (that have no seeds or education around seasonal planting strategies), and distribute condoms to communities that are led by men that punish their wives for breast feeding because it’s inconvenient taboo to have sex with women who do so (… and, are too stupid to sort out that unmanaged sex combined with moronic traditions equal starving children). Some people call this “rewarding bad behavior” – my Nana (Grandmother) would have. The evangelista’s call it “opportunity”.

This has replaced creationist-frenzied missions to China – that were all-the-rage two years ago when obnoxious Chinese started asking too many questions around logic, evolution, fossils, and accountability.

Perhaps it’s all that fasting that’s got people thinking non-strategically.

Aside from Darwinian-driven campaigns of genocide and various efforts towards ethnic cleansing, what has changed in-and-amongst these continents the last one thousand years? It’s called the “Dark Continent” for a lot of reasons, right? Well… Other than North America and Western Europe pouring billions of dollars into programs that are designed to prolong life and grow populations that exist in arid regions that were, otherwise, designed by God to support thirty percent of their current populations.

…shifting feet, now.

I’m told (only) hundreds of millions of dollars (ministries and non-profits often seemed challenged when it comes to accurate financial accounting) apparently go towards travel to foreign countries and the delivery of poorly distributed resources.

Lest we go too far without recognizing some programs of merit, I do applaud efforts like that of friend Oprah and Madonna opening schools, and making sure they have the resources to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. I like education-oriented and self-perpetuating programs (because this is an indication they work), myself.

In any event, what about troubled children in North America? Remember that 60 Minutes segment on Mountain Dew (owned by PepsiCo) guzzling school-deprived children in the mountains of Tennessee? Their teeth are rotting out of their sugar-saturated heads. Mountain Dew is apparently less expensive than bottled water, and there is often no running water in several of those regions. That’s great profit for PepsiCo, but bad for children. Let’s educate the kids and be a real part of the solution, and not the problem.

It strikes me that boycotting PepsiCo would be both a healthy and noteworthy mission. Possibly more productive than fasting.

I could go into more detail through some of the touchy topics I’ve referenced above. But, I’ll add a short story, of sorts, so we can move and rap this post up…

I’m often approached by locals that want me to pay their expenses for mission trips to Africa. I always say no (I might even arch my eye brow when I do so). This scenario played itself out, yet again, late last week when “Phil” swung by my offices with such a request. When I declined his generous offer to allow me to pay for his family holiday, Phil went all rigid-like and advised me that I am “..not setting a Christian example”. I thanked him, of course, and then asked why he simply did not pay for the trip himself? He was clearly annoyed with me, to be sure, but told me it was not part of their “financial planning”, and they could not afford it. So, I suggested he drive up (I’m sitting next to Haley Anne as I prepare this post, and she assures me, with an emphatic finger pointed up, that’s the right direction) to Tennessee and build a water tower near a school. I offered to pay for the whole trip and materials. He didn’t even hesitate, as he actually looked me in the eye and said: “that’s not Gods will because we make a bigger difference in Africa, and my kids would get more out of the Africa experience any way”.

My first thought, as he said that to me was: “I have standing before me a great example of good money thrown after bad (a lot of bad)”.

Okay… My points are some times clear, and some times not so clear. I know what I mean. Some times people call me about them. I get a lot of emails because of them. Every now and then, I get visits around them. But, I hope this one makes a difference.

You don’t need to fast. But, you can do your homework. And, while your at it, save hundreds of millions of dollars that could then be leveraged into schools in our own backyard, as we develop young and great minds that can then come up with better solutions than holiday junkets to far away lands, visiting with people that think it’s perfectly fair and reasonable to starve their own children, who would rather not fast in such a fashion, if given the choice.

For a lot of reasons (but, probably not why you might think), I’m listening to Only You as performed by Alison Moyet (and Vince Clark) while she was still with Yazoo (They were only known as “Yaz” in the United States). Then under the causality of “why not”, go take a peak at Flying Pickets covering the same arrangement.

Think different. That’s a good point, eh.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

clinton can play the obama game

August12

Never mind what happened to Hilary Clinton Monday during her visit to the Congo. A Chinese student, speaking French, approached her, and through a mistranslation, apparently asked her what “Mr. Clinton” thought of a situation in China. He actually meant Barack Obama (who might also be confused for Mr. Clinton any way).

I digress, momentarily, but, bad things always happen in and around Africa. It’s just another cause and effect around why it’s oft referred to as the “dark continent”. It’s a teeming example of Darwin’s Natural Laws.

Moving forward…

CONGO CLINTON

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Tuesday that Clinton reacted that way because of the question:

“As the question was posed to her, it was posed in a way that said, ‘I want to get the views of two men, but not you, the secretary of state,’‘ said Crowley.

The French-speaking student later said he had meant to say President Barack Obama, according to U.S. officials traveling with Clinton. It was unclear whether that meant he misspoke or the translator erred.

Clinton is on an exhausting eleven-day, seven-nation tour. She was tired. This was also a forum about women, sexual exploitation, rape and a list of other daily realities that form the core of Africa’s culture (you know… like a culture that views having sex with a woman that is breast feeding is taboo, so men forbid their wives to feed their children, and they starve). So, under the circumstances and timing, to ask after a man’s opinion when the focus is women, is a little sensitive. And President Clinton (wild Bill) had just come from this successful, and certainly overshadowing, visit to North Korea. So you might understand why at this particular time sensitivities were heightened.

The point I am going to try and make here is that we don’t need Barack Obama. But, Obama will always need the Clintons.

Obama is always saying: “Let me be perfectly clear”. That’s so ironic given the fact we still aren’t clear of his own birthplace and heritage.

…never mind…

So, go figure. ex-president Bill Clinton slides into into North Korea like Fred Astaire, and wins the release of two female journalists accused of entering North Korea illegally, and engaging in hostile acts (perhaps the North Koreans are truly of the view that the pen is mightier than the sword).

They were sentenced to twelve-years at hard labor. Which in all likelihood they would never have survived.

The United States government had been trying for weeks to win their release. From President Obama to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, all efforts had been rejected up to that point.

And then “Mr. Clinton” comes along and presto – the two women are free to go.

Makes you wonder what gives… The old expression is, “Beware of a stranger bearing gifts.” And, no one is any stranger than Kim Jong Il, the weird little dictator who runs North Korea, and goes around threatening to blow up the world.

Nuclear tests, missile firings… he’s a real hoot, that odd little fellow. And he refuses to even listen to the international community when they suggest he give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for membership in the community of nations, and reasonably important things like food (for a country that is one-third mad from starvation). North Korea has no food… But Kim, that fat little bastard, could care less.

Recently this absurd regime had taken to calling our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton names – things like: “She looks like a primary school girl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.” They recently referred to her as a “funny lady unaware of the elementary etiquette of the international community.”

But, they are just jealous because she is taller than most of them and she has more balls (certainly bigger balls than Kim Jong Il).

bill clinton and george bushNow Hillary’s husband struts in and strides out with the two prisoners in tow. This might be viewed as strange. But, Bill Clinton can write the book on diplomacy. You might recall that he had George Bush senior referring to him as “being like a son” during their trip to asia after the tsunami four years ago. But the women, their families and the rest of us will take it. Way to go, President Clinton.

Here’s my question to you readers: What does it say that Bill Clinton succeeded in North Korea where the United States government failed (or, did the government actually fail)?

Possible answers:

The North Korean government has just proven what has been said by a few qualified experts over the years: They are hungry for recognition and respect by the West. Sending the ex-president of the U.S. was a brilliant tactic. It was an uncanny choice; he is a step or two away from the harsh rhetoric needed by the current administration, but he is important enough to greatly impress North Korea. Kudos to Bill Clinton and to the Obama administration for choosing him. Although, for the record, I would be willing to bet Bill called Obama, told what he planned to do, and Obama figured it was more fun and important to do things like host a beer summit.

or,

Call me whacky, but I’m hoping that Bill Clinton, the Secretary of State (Hilary), and President Obama were actually collaborating on this. What it says about this administration is that they make a priority of getting things done, and don’t worry so much about who gets credit. Bravo!

or,

It says, if not proves, that Bill Clinton is the ultimate negotiator and deal-maker. If I were rotting away in a Korean jail cell (put me back on a hill with a scope, it’s worth the risk), I’d want Hillary’s husband to negotiate my release. Bill could literally sell you the shirt off your back, Jack. He could sell film to kodak (that’s what Sugarman used to say about me). So, let’s give props to President #42. He just earned himself the Nobel Peace Prize.

or,

North Korea did the deal with Clinton to embarrass the Obama administration and the United States Government. But, I don’t think that worked. Most of us won’t see it that way because getting those women home was just a victory. Most of our allies could care less. The same thing happens when, for example, Jessie Jackson went to our Arab enemies and negotiated with them during the Bush administration. Only then, no one could care less, other than hoping the Arabs would keep Jackson (and, I doubt Clinton would have gone looking for him).

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

It's All About Love

December31

Well-known scientist and writer Henry Drummond (1857-1897) conducted a geological survey of South Africa and wrote what was then the definitive work on tropical Africa. But he is best remembered for his book about love, The Greatest Thing In The World.

Drummond wrote:

“As memory scans the past, above and beyond all the transitory pleasures of life, there leap forward those supreme hours when you have been enabled to do unnoticed kindnesses to those round about you, things too trifling to speak about . . . And these seem to be the things which alone of all one’s life abide.”

Paul of Tarsus (or, the Apostle Paul – the dude made famous by his challenges as chronicled in the Bible) warned that impressive gifts and spectacular deeds may be little more than empty noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). Our best efforts—if bereft of love—ring hollow.

“Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, . . . but have not love, it profits me nothing” (v.3).

Thus, the smallest loving act can hold eternal significance.

Paul Roper (author of a bunch of stuff) is quoted as saying:

“No matter our age or status in life, we all can strive to love others as God loves them”.

So… We may accomplish great things in our lives; gain fame and fortune’s; but the greatest thing is to love. For of all that we have done, or ever will do, only love endures. We depart — but, love abides.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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