The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

democrats in congress vote No free speech


A recent, and certainly ominous, headline (however, the story is much more sinister than you might suspect imagine):

House admonishes Wilson for his ‘You lie’ outburst


Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has voted to admonish Rep. Joe Wilson over his ‘You lie’ outburst to President Barack Obama during the president’s health care speech to Congress last week.

"Obama is a liar"

The 240-179 vote on the resolution of disapproval reflected the sharp partisan divide over the issue. Democrats insisted that the South Carolina Republican take responsibility for what they said was a serious breach of decorum. Republicans characterized the vote as a political stunt.

Wilson himself would not back down on his position that he owed the House no apology. Surrounded by Republican supporters, Wilson said Obama had “graciously accepted my apology and the issue is over.”

09/15/09 17:35 © Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained In this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

So… Now the House is censoring it’s members for exercising free speech.

Representative Wilson may have been rude, and demonstrated a lack of “decorum”. But, have you ever visited the House and Senate during a policy debate? It’s like an elementary school playground (without adult supervision – okay… not always. but, often enough). And, can you imagine how raucous the floor must have been while the original Continental Congress was forming? They often drank, those brilliant and pious men.

320px-Hamilton-burr-duelConsider the The Burr–Hamilton duel between two prominent American politicians, Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, on July 11, 1804. At the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of William Bayard on the Manhattan shore, where he died at 2 p.m. the next day.

Now that requires furious resolve.

However, Wilson spoke his mind, and apparently his heart. Are the Democrats taking the position that Wilson does not represent the opinions of any constituents?

In any event, if Thomas Jefferson could stop spinning in his grave, he might pay the House and Senate a desperately needed visit, and would likely call them all out as a pack of liars, and certainly hypocrites. He would also, and this is very likely, suggest they consider leading the country by example. For instance having access to only the same healthcare benefits available to their constituents, and relative pay scales, as well.

Peace be to My Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

On Executive Parity…


So… I Coach several members of both the House of Representatives (U.S. Congress) and the Senate.

I really do respect these people. And, when they read this BLOG entry, I know they won’t be offended when they read it. But, the more I learn about the average Congressman or Senator, I realize that as they “mature” in their positions, it appears to be more about staying in office than serving their constituents.

Congressmen and Senators enjoy many of the same medical, dental, vision and retirement benefits as that of the President of the United States. /1 Their constituents don’t. It is interesting that members of the United Kingdom’s Parliamentary System, consisting of the House of Commons and House of Lords (or, the Upper House) rely upon the country’s primary benefits program and typically support themselves. This obviously reduces bias and the potential for corporate influence.

This is a VERY LARGE topic. And, I will be working on a significant series around this issue.

But, one solution I am proposing is for members of the House and Senate be required to utilize the same benefits currently available to their constituents. I also think it might be appropriate for Congressmen and Senators to be paid based on the medium income of their respective constituents./2 It occurs to me that if they want to raise the standards for their constituents, having skin in the game (perhaps literally) themselves would be an incentive.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ Members of Congress enjoy such facilities as a gym, barbers, and dining areas.
2/ As of 2006 rank and file Congressmen received a yearly salary of $165,200.

Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching for FERS. As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants’ contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes. The amount of a Congress person’s pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary. Average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006.

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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