The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

its Civil War, then

September15

So… I’ll never shy away from waxing political and opinionated, on this Blog.

Oh Really? Says, you.

And, today, and this very day, I’ll add another prediction to my growing inventory of good calls…

It’s going to be civil war in-and-amongst the Democrats because Barack Obama has set them up for failure.

Obama has always been so bereft of business, or any kind of acumen, that he really had no idea he could never hope to live up to the high-flying promises he made to get elected as our President. He promised us… well… most of you that voted for him “…great and sweeping change”. Okay… Here is comes [feel it… feel it]: However, the only thing he’s really changed has been his mind – and, that endlessly, as he’s flip-flopped around like a baby seal facing-off against the Japanese.

And, now with unemployment high Obama’s popularity below fifty percent (50%), Republicans likely feel the primaries have reflected an enthusiasm that would serve the party well in the fall, when control of Congress will be at stake.

This means incumbent Democrats don’t know where to turn – other than upon one another.

I’m reasonably certain that most members of the House and Senate fail to represent their constituents, and focus their energies, daily, on staying elected, as much to enjoy platinum benefits and life-styles unrealized by the people they pretend to represent. Today, facing an election year, they can’t even hide behind a presidential smoke screen shrouding a grandiose platform of nonsensical reform. It’s going to look like Jones Town once the real smoke from the fire-fight dissipates. All the “kool-aid” drinkers will have cupped themselves.

Many Democrats are asking Obama to hold-off on making a stand on things like budgets and changes in the tax code until after the elections just so they don’t have to make a stand themselves. But, the Republicans see this from a mile away, are forming tea-parties, and calling their opponents out early. This means Democrats facing real competition for their seats might have to step away from party line and doctrine and actually stand-up for something their constituents need and want. The biggest problem for Democrats is that they don’t know how to do things like work, stand up form themselves, or suck anything up (other than up to celebrity tree-higgers that promise donations). They live off the entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit of everyone else, sucking the blood out of everything – escpecially if “they” means highly-placed workers in government. So, as they single themselves out, they will be picked apart by their own party as traitors, and Republicans alike that know how to fight independently, or for independent thinking and capitalistic values.

It’s going to be like a good old-fashioned border war that will divide states and families into a bitter feud. But, once everything is settled, the lines will have been drawn with more focus, and expectations will likely be made that much clearer with citizen-oriented oversight.

I’m not saying change is always good. It just might mean things are different. But, if you don’t like what’s happening, you have the choice of either changing the rules, or changing the circumstances. And, that is, more often than not, the cause celebre of most Civil Wars.

Stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

…Concocted from my iPad – and, thusly, unedited

Failure Does Not Always Mean Failure

September25

Point of reference…

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

— Michael Jordan

For context…

I got thrown off of my college Cross Country team and lost my scholarship because of my “bad attitude”. I did not see the point of cellular telephones when they went commercial in 1985. I’ve had my heart broken by pretty girls. I have made and lost fortunes. I spent 61 days in the Boulder County jail. I have been married to the same girl for 16 years, and it gets better every day. My daughters are well adjusted and happy. I sponsor Hispanic youth soccer clubs and make sure kids go to school and have glasses. I get to help some of the top business leaders in the country make better decisions.

For related post, you might want to also read: Failure – Part I, Failure – Part II, Failure – Part III, and Failure – Part IV.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Failure – Part IV

February23

Failure reminds us that quitting is not always a bad thing. Part of the value of learning to face failure is that doing so permits you to know when to give up. Robert Kurson graduated from Harvard Law School — usually a sign that one is going to be a lawyer. But he quickly realized his law career was a mistake — what he really wanted to do was to write about the Three Stooges. So he quit law and penned The Official Three Stooges Encyclopedia. Which itself might not seem the long kiss of success, except that his second book, Shadow Divers, a tale of deep-sea divers discovering the wreck of a sunken German U-boat, was a huge best seller in 2004 and made him rich.

To create is to fail, if only by deleting pages, discarding drafts and abandoning dead ends that seemed a good idea during the months they took to write. To look at authors is to realize how much failure is a matter of time, and perspective. John Kennedy Toole wrote one of the best and most popular comic novels of the past decades, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning A Confederacy of Dunces, though he never knew it; he killed himself in despair at age 31, and his mother got his book published posthumously.

We think of F. Scott Fitzgerald as an icon of 20th-century literature. Yet his perspective at the end of his life must have been different: He died at 44, an alcoholic, almost broke and all his books out of print.

Of course, not every failure has a silver lining. Sometimes failure is just failure — the project fizzles, you lose your job, the feds swoop in and you go to prison. But even then, facing unmitigated defeat, how you react — whether you stand up or give up — determines everything. Failure can be an invitation to re-invent yourself. Undone by a corruption scandal, Illinois Gov. George Ryan turned his attention to opposing capital punishment, and suddenly some were saying he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. Martha Stewart used her five months in federal prison to do yoga and lose weight, and she emerged to resume her role as America’s domestic goddess.

The idea that a single “F” will keep you out of college and ruin your life is something they use to scare students into doing their homework. The reality is that we all have a string of “F”s on our records, whether we acknowledge them or not, and those failures, just like our successes, add up to form our lives and who we are.

You fail, but you survive. Usually. Sadder, maybe. Smarter, maybe. More adult and more human, certainly. We can cringe in embarrassment at our failures, or wear them proudly as noble scars, as the evidence of struggle that they certainly are. Dante begins his Inferno, famously, in setback and confusion. “Midway on our life’s journey, I found myself in dark woods, the right road lost….” It takes a scary slog through all nine circles of hell, but — not to give away the ending — Dante comes out all right and sees the stars once again./1

Most people do.

…that’s it.

brian patrick Cork
___________________________
/1 See “Failure – Part I” dated February 19, 2007

Failure – Part III

February22

It is important to realize how often failure occurs and how frequently it must be overcome, particularly in business, where stunning set-backs lie hidden behind the most popular products. World War I ended too soon for Wisconsin paper maker Kimberly-Clark –it was stuck with vast supplies of cellucotton, used in making gas mask filters and surgical dressings for American doughboys. Trying to find a use for the surplus, the company invented two products — Kleenex and Kotex. Neither did well at first. Rich ladies did not want to use Kleenex to remove makeup, the purpose for which it was originally marketed. As for Kotex, stores wouldn’t stock it, and customers were too embarrassed to ask for it.

But Kimberly-Clark stuck with both, and eventually, the products found a market. Persistence is often touted as the universal solution to overcome failure, as dictated by all those locker room edicts. Sometimes it works — yogurt was a niche foodstuff for infants and invalids until the dairy industry, finally, after years of trying, found a way to sell it.

Sometimes, though, perseverance only worsens failure–call it the Vietnam Syndrome. DuPont spent a quarter billion dollars in 1960s cash before it admitted that Corfam, its synthetic leather substance, was not the right material to use in shoes. R.J. Reynolds lost even more on its “smokeless” Premiere cigarette, relentlessly pouring resources into the doomed product, despite obvious drawbacks: The cigarettes were expensive to make, impossible to light with a match, difficult to keep lit and tasted like “burning plastic.”

More later…

brian patrick cork

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