The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

obama isn't picking his battles, he's choosing defeat

July26

According to the WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama on [Thursday] blamed immigration policy gridlock on: “political posturing and special interest wrangling.”

In a speech only a few weeks ago at American University, Obama took Republicans to task, in particular eleven (11) GOP senators who supported recent efforts to improve the immigration system. He did not name any in particular, but told his largely supportive audience at American University that those lawmakers had succumbed to the “pressures of partisanship and election-year politics.”

“Reform that brings accountability to our immigration system cannot pass without Republican votes,” he said. “That is the political and mathematical reality”.

“The question now is whether we will have the courage and the political will to pass a bill through Congress, to finally get it done,” the president said. “I’m ready to move forward, the majority of Democrats are ready to move forward and I believe the majority of Americans are ready to move forward. But the fact is that without bipartisan support, as we had just a few years ago, we cannot solve this problem.”

So… There is a touch of irony amidst Obama’s words. There is, perhaps, a question around impatience.

In my experience, and thusly, my view, great leaders are patient (think Founding Fathers) – and, they never cave quickly.

Many never cave, period.

For perspective, here, it took all of six months for Obama to abandon the health care reform Democrats have fought decades for. That kind of impatience is a surefire recipe for leadership failure: adversaries know they can get the better of you with little investment.

There is a paralysis by committee pervading his team(s). I seeing that one of Obama’s best definable failures as a leader is the homogeneity in perspectives and attitudes of those closest to him. His economic advisors – Larry Summers and Tim Geithner – share a similarly orthodox economic mindset. Numerous eminent economists have complained vociferously about being frozen out – they can’t gain access to Obama. Sound familiar? It should: organizational closure is the same mistake prior-president George Bush (“Dubya”) made  – he surrounded himself with neocons, and when their ideas failed, so did his presidency (you can argue it was like running a business on a spread-sheet and a Line-of-Credit), and the nation.

Leaders should identify and name adversaries. When anonymous forces derail you, it’s game over. Sun Tzu taught many of us that in College. Every great leader humanizes his opponents, because every opponent is a human with a human agenda. Obama’s now associated with “death panels” courtesy of Newt Gingrich (who now thinks he can be the president, himself), Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck – but, Obama hasn’t traced the meretricious attack back to its source, which would effectively neutralize it.

Sell out, instead of buying in. Lately, I get the sense that Obama has confused leadership with salesmanship. Leaders aren’t salesmen because leaders aren’t sellers: they’re buyers. Right? They buy into shared interests instead of selling out to conflicting interests. In a way, that was the point of Arthur Miller’s play: Willy Loman ended up broke, alone, and defeated because he couldn’t lead anyone, anywhere, to anything – because he was too busy selling. Instead of buying in, Willy was selling out. I have gone into more detail around that with an earlier post: obama on selling high and buying low. Sound familiar? It should: striking deals that are riddled with pervasive conflicts of interest has become a hallmark of the Obama Presidency.

…now what?

I don’t have an immediate solution for Obama. I’ll submit that’s a tough job. But, I’m willing to walk with him. While doing so, I’d likely ask him to maintain a litany in his head that consists of: Communication, Alignment, Decisiveness and Accountability.

I coach that in business. I run my own businesses and family that way. I even coach my youth soccer teams under those tenants. More about all that to be sure. But, now we have the issues in the light. That offers scienter. So, we must, as a community rally one-to-the other, and our president, speak out and hold him accountable.

I’m raising my hand. I’ll help. And, I will try and live my own life by example.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

on striking faustian Bargains

February25

They (“they” being that shadowy and uncertain collective that is assigned every uncertain dictum) might say, to the effect, that: Every great leader, successful businessman, or happy husband must certainly cut a deal with the devil, right?

Wrong. …maybe.

Just ask Gandhi, Ataturk, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Thomas Jefferson – and, that hardy and ferocious crew, the Founding Fathers.

These are men of measurable success – and, all of whom forged coalitions, and crafted compromises to be sure – but none made deals that poisoned the very institutions they fought so hard to craft. Yet, by unfortunate comparison, President Barack Obama has consistently dealt with those interested in stopping reform: lobbyists, megacorporations, and even fringe groups.

Imagine, for a second, if the Founding Fathers had cut deals with King George, so their nascent United States could “gain legitimacy.”

Would we still remember them as leaders?

By the way… I’ve never heard anyone phrase juxtapositional elements such as: “…cutting a deal…” with the Lord, or God. But, what about good men that might say to the effect: “please God, let me kill my enemies so that I shall live”, or, “Lord, let me kill our enemies in your name”.

One more thing… When (all too many) hypocritical members of our House (think in terms of “representatives”) and Senate pledge allegiance to [God] and Flag, who wins? God, or the devil?

We have to ask the tough questions. It’s what Prudent but Optimistic Gentlemen do. It’s at the core; the very nature of the Heterodox.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

progressive slavery

February18

“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.” – Thomas Jefferson.

As our country was founded on Judeo/Christian beliefs, the originators of our great nation appeared to understood one greater truth as they created our Republic.

I’ll position that as being human flesh is fallible and cannot be trusted.

“Given enough power, man will be corrupted by that power – no matter the nobility of his intent.” As so aptly phrased by Lord Acton when referencing the heated debates around the infallibility of the Pope at the turn of the 19th century: “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I’ll pause here, and advise you that in 1862, Acton merged The Rambler, a Roman Catholic – ish monthly, into the Home and Foreign Review. His contributions at once gave evidence of his remarkable wealth of historical knowledge (one reason why I’ve studied him myself). But though a sincere Roman Catholic (while I could never pretend to be), his whole spirit as a historian was hostile to ultramontane pretensions, and his independence of thought and liberalism of view speedily brought him into conflict with the Roman Catholic hierarchy. NOTE: Lord Acton is naught less than a fascinating read. Look him up on Wikipedia. Do it!

In any event… Our founding forefathers knew that we needed a system of checks and balances that could control the flow of power. Legislative (to create the laws), Judicial (to enforce the laws) and Executive (to set policy). No one branch controls and the output of one branch is executed by another.

So I’m saying all this to inform. Perhaps the result will revolutionize and lead to reform …not because I’m waxing poetic today; rather because I’m inclined to think the collective we of this nation require turbulent, possibly radical change today, almost as much as our forefathers did, yesterday. Remember (if you care to recall positions taken by men such as the inestimable Mr. Acton) that one must centralize power in order to accomplish government programs, redistribute the wealth and “perfect the human”.

Mind you, Acton likely felt that that man was reflected by his government, and that kind of perfection was possible. However, I’m more likely to think that our government needs to reflect that greatest potential that man might realize. So, that’s where I flex my Jeffersonian ideals. And, Thomas Jefferson could kick Acton’s ass. And, he would take on Obama without, even asking names.

Although not for the first time, because I am constantly on the lookout for such things everywhere I study, research and travel, I’ve recently encountered a (possibly) fair(er), albeit sophomoric, description explanation of what is happening, currently, in American politics. Whether you like or dislike Glen Beck (and, most people say they do, as they continue to increase his ratings), the five minute program below might open a few eyes and lead to awareness, if not outright, understanding.

[youtube]LPEJtIQ2zSU[/youtube]

Socialism means slavery. Marxism, a form of socialism is change by revolution. Progressivism, a form of socialism is change by evolution. After all… In theory, it’s possible to boil a frog if you turn the heat up slowly…

I’ll pause here, yet again, to catch my breath… But also mention that you better not use that anecdote unless you are prepared to explain it fully, and understand what it might lead to, if relayed to a group of thirteen year old middle-schoolers. I tried it, and it was controversial, to say the least. I attempt things like that within my own household, with varying results. Just follow your browser here, and you’ll be just fine.

Look at the change in our country politically over the last one hundred years. We’ve all been part of it. The slow decay of values and morals to create a collective people (as in: …we the people…) who like their ears tickled.  So… There might be an argument here for a concern that the progressives, those collective peoples, intend to enslave your children’s, children.

Perhaps America is waking up to the objectives of progressivism. Watch the aforementioned video, and possibly be informed. In twenty five years we’ll have a better understanding whether it’s the informed or misinformed variety. Just start trying to understand now, so you can at least give your progeny a fighting chance, like Jefferson and his hearty and ferocious crew did for us.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

More on our Founding Fathers

August11

Just for perspective…

Consider this video featuring John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington (Video) from the Edinburgh Festival.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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