The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

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

dads and Daughters: example

January29

The following is a note from Drew Tilghman.  He puts together a Blog titled The Sojournaler.

This was in response to my Blog Post The Dark Monkey.

“…thanks for posting so transparently about your daughter, Haley Anne. I have two daughters, nine and seven years old. Just before your blog was posted, I opened up gmail accounts for both of my daughters. I did so because my older daughter has a friend in her school who has one, and my daughter wanted to be able to write emails back and forth with her. I thought it harmless enough and of course I had to do for my younger daughter what I was doing for my older daughter. I told them both that they could only email when I am with them and that they had to pass all “friends” by me. 

We spent the rest of that day, laying on my bed next to one another, emailing and chatting with one another. For the moment, it was a little bit of heaven. The three of us communicating in written words what we could have merely said to one another’s face. I had this deep unrest, though. I knew that they were not ready for the email accounts. So I told myself, and my girls, that there would be strict constraints here. I knew, deep down, that they were not ready.

Then I read your blog. Again, thanks for your transparency. The reality of this culture is a forceful one. Our daughters’ innocence and modesty are at stake. I have revoked my girls’ accounts, and amazingly they understand. It is good to have other fathers who are open and honest about their love for their children. We love so imperfectly, but we love. I hope and pray that our daughters will see that and trust that love. It is this love, ultimately, that will guide our daughters into a full maturity that we have so desperately prayed they will discover.” – Drew Tilghman

After a brief exchange, he followed up with:

“p.s. thanks for having the balls to say some of the things you say.”

Then, he hauls-off and challenges me to go one step further and talk/reveal/discuss/ example my thoughts and feelings.

…Dude.

Fine.

So…

I have been thinking about Drew’s response – and, the terrific feedback I get from so many others that follow my Blog; and, the things I do with my life.

I may well have the coolest job in the world.  I hang out all day telling men how to make better decisions in their lives.

I have this nagging suspicion that it’s all luck.  All the time.

And, for the record, I wait for something awful to happen.

Ever vigilant.

In any event, those that care about this Blog (approaching 30 visitors a day); listen to me speak; and, call me friend – understand that I am a Contrarian (not just from an investment point-of-view); a Jeffersonian /1; a Heterodox;  and, (possibly) annoyingly tortured and transparent.

I spend a lot of time on my Figgerin’ Spot sorting all of this out and (trying) making sense of my role and place in this world (often running and cycling endless miles). Remember, I am the guy that is distressed by evolving rules of grammar AND the global economy AND 2012 (and, my roll as a soccer coach for my Fusion Shockers!).

NOTE: I feel (okay… I am convinced) like this constant state of evaluation is critical in being an (successful) earthly father.

If you ask my own Haley Anne and Emma Jo what their Daddy does, they will likely say:

“Daddy helps people.”

ANTHER NOTE:  It works; I just tested it on Emma Jo to make sure (there were witnesses).

How cool is that (*how cliche is that*)?

I think the key here is transparency.

Haley Anne and Emma Jo have observed men approach me and thank me for helping; advising; and, being in their lives.

They also understand we live with abundance (and, being permitted to be grateful comes with a cost).

However, I also let them know that I struggle with the blackness in the hearts of men; my own penchant to work and train an enormous amount of hours; and, constant self evaluation.

My primary mission in life is to REFLECT and REPRESENT /2.

It’s never easy for me; I will never be good enough.

I don’t want this to be just about Faith.  Because God knows I struggle with that.

I am not perfect.  I certainly want to be.  I want to be ideally imperfect for them so they can watch me fight the good fight and learn to be true.  To be good citizens – and, objective.  

I try hard every hour of every day. 

They can stumble, and I am right there to right them with love and compassion – and, example.  

They see the trial and triumph etched in my face and my heart.  Some times my tears.

The point I want to make is that I believe my daughters observe my struggle; see the result; and understand that character is tested and forged every day.

God gave me daughters because he trusts me (or, perhaps not).  So, their role (today) is to remind me daily that I must earn their trust and faith.

By the way, God has a great sense of humor… In light of how I lived much of my life prior to being married, it’s a knee slapper he gave me daughters.

Maybe it’s a stretch in terms of relevancy – however, let’s thrown down “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley.

But, certainly “Open My Eyes” by Buckcherry (be open-minded about this song).  Here is the acoustic version. But, go download it on iTunes.

[youtube]999HKZRMLCk[/youtube]

daddys girlAnd, for balance go read Daddy’s Girl /3 by Garrison Keillor to your daughter – no matter her age.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________

 

 

1/ There are many parallels with Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

2/ See “Image”.

3/ I swear, this is my 4th favorite book.

Do the Math

April6

It is faith, not proof, that makes Christian’s believe in Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the central tenet of the religion.

That doesn’t work from the Heterodox or Jeffersonian point of view /1. Heterodoxy values the tradition, but questions the facts around the argument. The Jeffersonian looks for parallel and/ or alternative lines of thought that bring a topic to a reasonable conclusion.

So, now we have an emerging theory that endorses faith and utilizes methodologies that can reasonably be adopted by both the Heterodox and the Jeffersonian.

Oxford University professor Richard Swinburne, a leading philosopher of religion, has seemingly done the impossible. Using logic and mathematics, he has created a formula that he says shows a 97 percent certainty that Jesus Christ was resurrected by God the Father, as reported by The Age and Catholic News.

This stunning conclusion was made based on a series of complex calculations grounded in the following logic:

1. The probably of God’s existence is one in two. That is, God either exists or doesn’t.
2. The probability that God became incarnate, that is embodied in human form, is also one in two.
3. The evidence for God’s existence is an argument for the resurrection.
4. The chance of Christ’s resurrection not being reported by the gospels has a probability of one in 10.
5. Considering all these factors together, there is a one in 1,000 chance that the resurrection is not true.

New Testament scholars say the only evidences are witnesses in the four gospels. That’s only five percent of the evidence,” Swinburne said in a lecture he gave at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. “We can’t judge the question of the resurrection unless we ask first whether there’s reason to suppose there is a God. Secondly, if we have reason to suppose he would become incarnate, and thirdly, if he did, whether he would live the sort of life Jesus did.” He says that even Jesus’ life is not enough proof. However, the resurrection is “God’s signature,” which shows “his approval of Jesus’ teaching.”

The calculations that Swinburne says prove the resurrection are detailed in his book, The Resurrection of God Incarnate.”

More later…

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork
_______________________________
1/ See The Jeffersonian Model – By Brian Patrick Cork dated 02/11/2007

Being Jeffersonian, Part II

February10

For background, please see “Being Jeffersonian, Part I”, by brian-patrick cork, dated 02/09/2007.

In politics, Jefferson was by no means an anarchist, as his enemies alleged. But, far more than his Federalist political opponents (and many modern conservatives), he had confidence in the ability of individuals to govern themselves. The “essence of a republic,” he wrote, is a system in which individuals “reserve to themselves personally the exercise of all rightful powers to which they are competent,” delegating other powers to their “representatives, chosen immediately, and removable by themselves.” Shortly after becoming president, he wrote Joseph Priestley that he envisioned Americans as acting “under the unrestrained and unperverted operation of their own understandings,” thus proving to the world “the degree of freedom and self-government in which a society may venture to leave its individual members.”

Because government is, as Jefferson stated in the Declaration, “instituted among men” for the express purpose of “securing” natural rights, it was a fundamental principle of Jefferson’s political philosophy that no government could legitimately transgress those rights. For law to be binding, it must not only proceed from the will of properly authorized legislators but also be “reasonable, that is, not violative of first principles, natural rights, and the dictates of the sense of justice.”

In an 1816 letter, Jefferson observed: “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third.” He added, “when the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.” Two years later, in a report he prepared as chairman of the Commissioners for the University of Virginia, Jefferson included in his syllabus of the basic principles of government, “a sound spirit of legislation, which, banishing all arbitrary and unnecessary restraint on individual action, shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.”

Equally fundamental to Jefferson’s political philosophy was his constitutionalism. Realizing that “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground,” Jefferson stressed the importance of written constitutions, scrupulously adhered to, as well as popular participation and vigilance over government to keep its power from being abused. To do so peaceably, without recourse to revolution, it was vital to maintain what Jefferson called the “chains of the Constitution”—such devices as federalism, the separation of powers, bills of rights, and provisions for amendment—”to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power.”

In political economy, Jefferson’s thought began with the right to property, which he understood to be part of the natural right to pursue happiness. As he put it in 1816, the right to property is founded “in our natural wants, in the means by which we are endowed to satisfy those wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the equal rights” of others. He argued that extra taxation of the wealthy would transgress natural right: “To take from one, because it is thought that his industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry or skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” Jefferson’s views on political economy are especially interesting, for they changed over time in a way that rebuts the conservative charge: that a Jeffersonian, believing in reason and nature, would naturally drift toward coercion and collectivism. In fact, Jefferson moved toward an ever more consistent philosophy of liberty. Abandoning his early, classical agrarianism (the naive belief that farmers are the only productive and “virtuous” members of society), he came to support market capitalism as a derivative of his theory of rights.

Specifically, he embraced the fairly thoroughgoing free-market ideas found in the Treatise on Political Economy, written by the French anti-mercantilist philosopher Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy. De Tracy made clear that the productive value of the trader or manufacturer is equal to that of the farmer. He also defended the right of industrious persons to seek profits as “rewards for their talents,” and viewed commerce generally as the “fabric” of society. Jefferson was so enthusiastic about this treatise that he undertook the task of translating it into English, so that it could be used as the basic economics text in American universities.

Jefferson’s Legacy

In many areas of his thought other than politics, Jefferson could be quite unsystematic. In ethics, for example, he believed in an innate “moral sense” that guided persons to be benevolent—a naive and idealistic assumption about human nature that may, in part, explain Jefferson’s trust in the capacity of individuals to govern themselves. But in his political philosophy, in his advocacy of limited government and eternal vigilance to keep its power safely in check, Jefferson was remarkably consistent throughout his public life—from the time of his authorship of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the time of his death on July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years later. Significantly, in his last letter he wrote of the document’s importance: “May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.”

brian patrick cork

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