The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

hardly a proverbial Son

June21

I understand that a reference to the “prodigal Son” involves the restoration of a believer into fellowship with the Father.

However, I’m feeling controversial today. And, I know this post’s heading will grab attention and set a good stage.

And, it started with something I witnessed on Fathers Day, at the pool, as I was finishing up a work-out. Earlier in the week, as we made our way onto a local pitch (soccer field) for practice, we observed a group involved with a (pointless) youth football mini-camp. The Mom’s, in particular, were almost rabid with their earnestness (I used that word because it’s different than enthusiasm). The Dad’s were just awkward and tense.

SIDE NOTE: There was a little girl with one of the Mom’s at the football mini-camp wearing a t-shirt that read: “One Day I’ll Get Trashed at Prom”. This is likely a girl being raised by her Mom to be a cheerleader one day.

To wit…

I’ve realized – and, it’s not a simple opinion, that the best form of a son is that of a daughter.

Little boys whine a lot. Especially in sports.

We all know the family with the young lad raised by sisters (treated like live-in servants). He’ll make like a princess whose lost her pea and wail like a siren at the smallest slight. You Georgia Mom’s, in particular, and pee-wee football (“you doan’t understand… This is ah liiiife!”), know just who you are.

Lacrosse and Soccer just seem to bring out better qualities in people.

So… Circling back to the prodigal son angle… I observe the hapless earthly fathers of these girly-boys stand back in uncertain horror, and denial, at what they observe. But, in all fairness this is likely a reflection of their own young lives as well.

NOTE: My own Mother was a high-diver and brooked no weakness in her sons. We learned to swim, and well, before we could walk. And, taught us to value her. And, you’ll see that reflected in how I treat my own daughters (of Zion, or not).

By the way… I’m only picking on the sissies and the Mom’s who fit the above descriptions. So if it’s not you, described here; or, you can’t see yourself reflected in these words, don’t feel like you need to get all heated-up. Please… Feel free to prove me wrong, by all means.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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

pieces of the nobel prize puzzle

October12

I’ve found myself in a bruehah (always happy to oblige) over my recent post regarding Barack Obama and his Nobel Prize. You can refer to that here: let’s compromise on the nobel peace Prize.

Far from from here, and engaged in a titanic struggle through the comments section of another blog, there arose a comparison of Obama to Henry Kissinger, Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho and the Dali Lama.

For me, Henry Kissinger was a no brainer. The terms “sheer genius” and “inspiring” would never due him enough credit. His complex thinking and ability to understand all sides of both an argument and solution enabled him to serve both a number of U.S. Presidents, and numerous foreign leaders (many of whom sent their own children to learn from him at Georgetown University – so, there’s an interesting perspective). His views and efforts around Diplomacy were harsh, but effective. If respect from one’s global peers is a gauge for the Nobel Prize, then it’s possible Kissinger established the bar.

Yasser Arafat gives me pause. I’ve researched this a bit. The best I can come up with is he was indirectly rewarded for not being an asshole as much as he could have been.

Seriously.

In a way, this might put him in the same category as Obama… This notion of being rewarded for not being George Bush has merit if you squint your eyes and stand on one foot. Those silly little men under big hats in Oslo are sending a message that they are relieved Obama is simply taking the U.S. in another direction. Our country is (I know this is obvious) such a world driver, that such an effort needs to be acknowledged.

So… Having just written this, it makes me feel no better, but, I can almost grasp the odd thinking behind Obama’s award – but, only if my theories around Arafat are correct, and his award, then, represents a kind of awkward precedent.

Israeli raiders during the Battle of KaramaOn another hand, I might try to argue later (after more investigation) that Arafat set the stage for his prize during the Battle of Karameh where he generated international pattention by standing up to Israel in a very bloody twenty four hour battle fought for what appears to have been more for pride, and less so prejudice. Thirty years later he found himself at the Oslo Accords hosted by then U.S. President Bill Clinton (so… this raises a question around why didn’t Clinton get a Nobel Prize?).

Le Duc Tho still has me scratching my head. I know he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Kissinger over the Paris Peace Accords. I’m told he declined the Prize because his country was still divided at the time – and, the fighting was bitter and ugly by any historical standard. This has me thinking he probably earned a prize more for taking this position, and not being a hypocrite, than any work leading up to the Accords. So… This actually puts a LOT of pressure on Obama, because his name and hypocrisy could well become synonymous. Could those fellows in Oslo be that smart?

Please feel free to wade in.

The Dali Lama? He stood up to the Chinese as a symbol of strength, courage and change. He’s inspired billions of people to stand against anarchy and communism. He confounds evil.

The irony there is that Obama is the first President in decades not to invite the Dali Lama to the White House. And, unfortunately, that raises the ugly specter of some underlying political game being attached to Obama’s prize.

“Tainted” is a word that keeps popping into my head.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

you are warned, here

September16

watch out for thursday’s post. verily I say. we’ve already circulated it amongst those Prudent Gentlemen. it’s a barn-burner, and there is already a lot of pushing and shoving going on.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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