The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

losers pay

December20

We’ve certainly taken things from the British. This obviously includes a lot of real estate.

However, a process we need to take as an example from our English brothers is their collective approach to the process of litigation within the court system. In Great Britain, if a person or organization sues another and loses they are responsible for paying all related fees and expenses. Obviously this makes the aggressor think twice before they take action. Following this example would help simplify our own court system by reducing the number of frivolous cases that currently make the judicial system a blunt-edged weapon. Who knows, fairness and reason might even prevail minus avarice and greed – driven by temptation.

A good example for the need to evaluate such a change is the story of the woman (I can’t bring myself to write “lady) in Sacramento, California, that is apparently suing Mcdonalds because her kids make her take them there for kids meals – because of the toys. She wants McDonalds to stop including toys in the kids meals. And, she expects McDonalds to pay her a lot of money because:

a. She is an idiot.

b. She is a moron.

c. She is greedy.

d. She is unemployed.

e. Probably over weight and generally undisciplined.

f. Thinks Boston Market is upscale dining.

g. All of the above and soooo many more things the reflect what is completely stupid in this country.

Whether this might be an Urban Myth or not, is immaterial. Other examples exist. In any event, this does not have to make sense. It can’t. The defiance of logic (and, for nuance, the absence of reason) is only matched by the clear drive of greed and lack of class.

It’s bad enough she is a moron and abuses the judicial process. But, she’s aided and abetted in doing so by a lawyer.

Other topics I’ll touch on might include: the flat tax, consumption tax, and my emerging theories around college scholarships based on a play-off system.

My thinking is simply along the lines of fairness and equity. So, feel free to try and debate me. Do it!

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

the scales of justice don't, often enough, balance out against evil

April30

As my scandalized practical loyal,  readers know, I’ve recently approved yet another experiment involving an exercise in self-gratification cellular handsets and related technology for our business empire. You can read more about that here: selfless acts of Commerce. Do it!

With the above accomplished, be advised that my immediate impression of the Nexus One is that, like all other challengers to Apple, it ably proves the nimble genius of Steve Jobs, his ferocious development teams, and all things Apple-oriented.

The Nexus One certainly has great promise. Although I will tip my ball cap to the “Car Home” application with it’s nifty suite of features that include: Navigation, View Map and Voice Search. Google has also included a very powerful Maps application that is both free and superior to anything Garvin or NAVIGON has produced.

However, the iPhone has the market share and established credibility. We, that collective we, mind you, trust Apple, in that we understand the technology works because it’s best-of-class.

So, I am reasonably certain that we don’t yet trust Google, ironically, because of it’s open-source and open-community mind-set. The open-source crowd is a squirrelly and high-browed bunch. And, Google neophites are self-focused, self-entitled birkenstock wearing Apple wanna-be’s. That has to make for an uncertain formula. In other words, Apple products do precisely what you expect them to do; while Google products (this includes the “cloud”- driven Google Apps) require having to, as Nicholas Johnson says: “work with it”, to get what you need.

…what ever…

Meanwhile… As we approach my point and a thing on my mind, and in my heart, some of you might be aware of the fact that an Apple iPhone team developer recently lost a prototype of the 3rd generation handset at a bar. It was apparently found by some mercenary rascal that sold it to an editor at Gizmodo. That made for an interesting story, while giving people (not us; we’ve already had seen the prototype) a glimpse of things to come. You can read the details, here: How Apple Lost the iPhone.

A point here is that I’ve been an Apple evangelist since 1985. I’ve been a share holder for almost as long. I’ve done business with those guys longer than most of their most senior employees have walked the halls. But, the emerging story driven by the finding of that iPhone is requiring that I begin to open my heart and mind – elsewhere.

To wit, a recent headline:

SEATTLE (AP) – Authorities seized computers, digital cameras, a cell phone and other items from a technology blog editor who posted pictures and details of a lost iPhone prototype.

“A computer-crime task force (called: Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team) made up of multiple law enforcement agencies searched Gizmodo editor and blogger Jason Chen’s house and car in Fremont, Calif., on Friday, according to a statement and search warrant documents provided by Gizmodo.

[we’re advised that the task force is underwritten, in part, by Apple]

The warrant, issued by a Superior Court judge in San Mateo County, said the computers and other devices may have been used to commit a felony. Steve Wagstaffe, spokesman for the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office, confirmed the warrant’s authenticity.

Members of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team took several computers, hard drives, digital cameras, cell phones and other gadgets, plus Chen’s American Express bill and copies of his checks.

Last week Gizmodo had one of the Web’s hottest scoops when it posted photos of an Apple device that appeared to be a next-generation iPhone. It had been found in a bar in Redwood City, which is in San Mateo County, and [allegedly] sold for $5,000 by an unknown person to Gizmodo, a gadget blog owned by Gawker Media Inc.

After Chen posted photos and details about the phone, Apple acknowledged the device belonged to the company, and Gizmodo returned it.

Gawker Media said California’s shield law, which protects journalists from having to turn over anonymous sources or unpublished material to law enforcement during a search, should apply to Chen’s property.

Wagstaffe said the district attorney’s office is examining that issue.

[this means you have a media hungry DA, once again, deciding if he can interpret the law his way. the scales of justice don’t, often enough, balance out against evil]

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling declined to comment.”

[meanwhile, you have Jobs and his lawyers shredding documents that tie them to the task-force]

Journalists tell stories. And the best of them do so within the parameters of truth and light.

This is a potential example of where Apple is a bully and using the judicial system as a blunt-edged weapon. And, I feel certain that fair-minded Americans (those that care about social history, anyway) will likely take umbrage against Apple. This means they now feel like Microsoft, and just became “the man”, and enemy.

Thomas Jefferson, likely, would not approve. And, my own heart tells me I can’t either.

My thinking the last two days has been: why can’t Jobs throw out the word and confirm that he, indeed, has a bad-ass upgrade on the way – and, all the other sissy competitors should buy his stock to subsidize their pathetic efforts to emulate his success.

But no… He had to get all frothy; and, now he’s not just that stubborn genius; he’s an ass-hole.

So, for the moment, our experiment with the Nexus One, and other technologies will continue.

More later – oh hell yes.

Meanwhile, and, on the other hand karma, again, proves to be a bitch…

Pirates rewrite script for Apple’s China iPad launch

Just three weeks after the global launch, bootleg versions of Apple Inc’s hot-selling iPad’s have begun showing up on the shelves of online and real-world shops in piracy-prone China.

Go China!

Apple recently delayed the iPad’s international launch after huge demand in the United States caught them off guard.

[actually, that’s bull-shit. Apple reduces inventory to keep demand honed like a razor. it’s true and I can prove it]

But Chinese consumers looking for knock-offs of the company’s latest must-have product need look no further than this teeming electronics mall in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese boomtown near the border with Hong Kong.

Maybe this justifies Apple’s judicial sledge-hammer. Maybe not. Probably not. But, what do you think?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

roman polanski and lawless purgatory

September29

I know… I’ll take some heat for this post. Maybe a lot of heat.

However, my heart is heavy and my shoulders feel the burden from a situation where the scales of justice have been unbalanced. I’m a Prudent Gentleman. I have no choice but to bring this situation to light and seek equity in the matter.

As a father and a man, I’ll never be able to comprehend what Roman Polanski did over thirty years ago. For me, the details really don’t matter. What he did was unconscionable.

However, what a judge did in terms of abusing our judicial system leaves me speechless. And, the fact that the problem with both the judge, and prosecutors that continue to compound the problem is both unconstitutional and beyond reason.

In 1977 Polanski apparently engaged in inappropriate conduct with an underaged girl. He cut a plea agreement with prosecutors and served time.

Roman PolanskiThe world knows that part. And, they know that in 1978 Polanski fled the United States for France. We also know he has continued a stellar career as a producer of film classics. However, I’ll not make him a hero here by outlining his victories. Because it could well detract from my point.

However, what is not known in the the world, at least the world known within the continental United States, is that  the judge overseeing the Polanski case arbitrarily decided to renege on the pleas agreement after Polanski emerged from prison. Polanski was allowed to plead guilty to one of six charges, and was sent to prison for forty two days of evaluation. Lawyers agreed that would be his full sentence, but the judge tried to renege on the plea bargain. The girls family lawyer, Lawrence Silver, told the judge that his clients were not seeking a prison term for Mr. Polanski, only an admission of wrongdoing and rehabilitation. Later the girls family reached an undisclosed financial settlement with Polanski. Aware the judge would sentence him to more prison time and require his voluntary deportation, Polanski fled to France.

Samantha Geimer (now 45), his victim, said in a 2003 commentary for The Los Angeles Times:

“… he and his most recent film, “The Pianist,” should be honored on their own merits. She added, “Who wouldn’t think about running when facing a 50-year sentence from a judge who was clearly more interested in his own reputation than a fair judgment or even the well-being of the victim?”

Former opponents Douglas Dalton, Mr. Polanski’s lawyer, and Roger Gunson, the assistant district attorney who led the prosecution, together, pin the blame for Polanski’s flight directly on the presiding judge, Laurence J. Rittenband (who stepped down in 1989, and died in 1994).  The lawyers fill in the appalling details of what was effectively a second crime, one largely perpetrated by a celebrity-dazzled judge, and the equally gaga news media he courted.

This crime left two victims, Mr. Polanski, who was denied a fair trial, and Ms. Geimer, who was denied justice, and has publicly stated: “Sometimes I feel like we both got a life sentence.”

Polanski was arrested by Swiss officials late last week as he entered the country to receive a filmography award for life-time excellence. He has never hidden and always made himself available to authorities. Polanski has asked a U.S. appeals court in California to overturn a judges’ refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a plea bargain and then reneged on it. Earlier this year, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza in Los Angeles dismissed Polanski’s bid to throw out the case because the director failed to appear in court but said there was “substantial misconduct” in the handling of the original case. In his ruling, Espinoza said he reviewed not only legal documents, but also watched the HBO documentary, “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” which suggests there was behind-the-scenes manipulations by a now-retired prosecutor not assigned to the case.

Nonetheless, Polanski is currently being held in a Swiss prison awaiting extradition to the United States.

Ironically, it’s apparently being left to the French, Polish and Swiss governments to defend Polanski. In France, Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said he was “dumbfounded” by Polanski’s arrest. He went on to add: “In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face.” In Paris, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he hoped Polanski could be quickly freed by the Swiss, calling the apprehension a “bit sinister.” He also told France-Inter radio that he and his Polish counterpart Radek Sikorski wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and said there could be a decision as early as Monday if a Swiss court accepts bail. The Justice Ministry insisted Sunday that politics played no role in its arrest order on Polanski, who lives in France but has spent much time at a chalet in the luxury Swiss resort of Gstaad. That has led to widespread speculation among his friends and even politicians in Switzerland that the neutral country was coerced by Washington into action.

For the moment I am also dumbfounded by our judicial systems lack of credibility in this matter. What Polanski did was clearly wrong. But, it was resolved, whether you agree with that resolution or not, under the scales of justice. However, those scales are upended and bent out of any shape of fair recognition by a single man acting out of his own self-interest, and willing to abuse his authority. Even though Polanski has petitioned the US courts in good faith for decades to review and resolve the problem created by a rogue judge, he will, tragically, never realize a fair trial in this matter. The media has fanned the wrong flames for years.

Meanwhile, lawyers on multiple continents are asking that Polanski be released on bail. So, the best that he can hope for is a return to France where life, liberty and justice will best if awkwardly prevail.

In other news, President Barack Obama is jetting off to Brazil with Oprah to petition the International Olympic Committee on behalf of the city of Chicago in the hopes of securing a bid for the 2016 Olympics.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

beneath the Robe

July10

As Thomas Jefferson and that hardy and ferocious crew of Founding Fathers set the stage, I am confident they never meant for our emerging judicial system to be used as a blunt-edged weapon.

All too often we see people abuse the law, or the way it’s levied, in much too crude a fashion.

So, I suppose, considering the ominous circumstances, the fellow I am preparing to take to task won’t like my linking to an article about him, but that’s just tough. I have no tolerance for morons people like this, and even less so when they happen to be judges, and are supposed to know better.

If he takes offense to my umbrage he can fight me (preferably behind a courthouse).

In any event… This Richard Posner, a stolidly conservative judge, wants to ban hyperlinks – e.g., those found on Blogs and even on many newspaper websites (but, obviously I am more concerned about Blogs).

“Those who wish to keep the internet free and open had best dust off their legal arguments. One of America’s most influential conservative judges, Richard Posner, has proposed a ban on linking to online content without permission. The idea, he said in a blog post last week, is to prevent aggregators and bloggers from linking to newspaper websites without paying.”

Hah! I just used a hyperlink to help exhibit my very point! Judge that Posner.

That may already sound rather bad, but now read what Posner writes in his original piece (and, yes, I will quote from it):

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental sources of news and opinion.

Let’s see what’s wrong with this nonsense theory.

Posner thinks we should ban hyperlinks to free content in order to …keep it free.

This is flat-out silly and impractical. I can see, for example, that newspapers might seek to ban news aggregators like Google News, because they are competitors. But every link a newspaper site receives, such as from a blogger who graciously links to a story on the newspaper’s website, should be celebrated. Contrary to Posner’s one-sided ignorant ill-researched (sigh) shallow thinking, perhaps bloggers should get a commission or share of the profits for driving eyeballs to the newspaper website. In some cases, I suspect a substantial portion of newspapers’ site traffic is derived from bloggers today.

While he at it, Posner thinking paraphrasing should be banned as well.

That would put an end to the entire newspaper racket right there. Most news reports in newspapers are a series of direct quotes and paraphrased quotes in indirect speech. If paraphrasing were banned too, it would leave a lot of empty space on newspaper pages. Newspapers themselves would be reduced to single-page editions.

Note: We have to assume the integrity of the media. This is, of course, problematic for me because, as consistent readers of this Blog are fully aware, I am deeply suspicious of the media, in general, and their collective agenda.

We shouldn’t forget in this context that any non-opinion, non-editorial pieces in newspapers are factual accounts of current events (at least in theory). Which means that the entire story, say, about the latest ethnic clashes in China, has to be  – by definition  a paraphrase from beginning to end.

Leveraging his years on the bottle bench and highly questionable greatly evident grasp of the law, as it pertains to intellectual property, Posner says linking to content is, and should be, a copyright violation.

Don’t judges have to take a test before they put on a robe? This really is nonsense, and would never stand up in a court of law. There is no precedent or case study to support this position (and, why doesn’t Posner understand this?). No lawyer, unless they chase ambulances (or, unless the presiding judge is a moron too) would consider filing a motion or brief trying to initiate such thinking. If linking to copyrighted material were illegal, then what about all the pages and longs lists of bibliography and references in, standard scientific papers? The very existence of such a list of “links” to names of authors, titles of books or papers, etc. would, in Posner’s view, be a major felony – as would be any quote from or paraphrasing of any of the titles thus referenced.

All my ranting aside (which, for me is most of the fun), I am reservedly confident this scheme idea will never fly. Apart from being uninspired and certainly unfair, it also feels like an underhanded attempt to silence citizen journalists and, thus, ultimately, an affront to people’s right of free speech – and, thus unconstitutional.

I will be very curious to see if any news writers pick up on this. Or, maybe Posner gets relegated to Night Court.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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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