The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

keeping Thomas Jefferson close

August25

I was corresponding with Andrew Tilghman this morning. He had been reading Undaunted Courage (which must needs be followed up with Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West), and I found myself offering the following:

Keep exploring [Thomas] Jefferson. His mind allowed the outline of our Constitution to inspire the genius of his fellows.

I think this current thinking, on my part, was inspired primarily around Jefferson’s timeless sense of judicial balance measured against his keen sense of curiosity (why), and secondarily, through my mounting concerns that Barack Obama’s leadership and situational awareness might prove flimsy, at best. Obama seems lacking in a list of fundamental qualities consistently demonstrated by leaders. And, he genuinely appears clueless in terms of how things work (but then, of course, he went from being an events coordinator to a raconteur Senator prior to becoming president of the United States).brian cork quote

It’s likely a matter of “home training” (a notion one of my nannies, and of course, my Mom, instilled in me), I believe. He seems less interested in why things should work under best-business-practices, and more focused on them being done his way.

Dr. Pappas would likely have muttered “sophomoric” under his breath.

That runs full in the face of federalist theory, democratic ideals and objectivism – or, the theory, formation and, possibly the best result of the Constitution, assuming you care about such matters.

I do.

I also believe that, once he stopped spinning in his grave, Thomas Jefferson might scold Barack Obama, in public, for putting his own personal agenda before that of the American people, and Ayn Rand would rub-out her cigarette on his blackberry.

As an aside, we have some genuine anguish in-and-amongst the House and Senate regarding Healthcare reform. I sense that both sides have come to the bleak conclusion that Obama is more like a chimpanzee with a shotgun – as opposed to a rally-worthy leader. It does not even matter if “Obamacare” has any semblance of merit. This is not about “We The People” so much as the new Obama/ Pelosi/ Reid rat pack driving a $2.6 trillion debt down our collective throats that will drive this country into bankruptcy to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way”.  If he says he wants something, it’s almost as if everyone decides to move to the other side of the room. This is already very different than the Obama-bandwagon of just two hundred fugue-drenched days ago.

If that isn’t how it works today, it certainly will by the end of Obama’s first term.

So… what does Obama do? He takes off for Martha’s Vineyard (he is such a poseur). This guy really believes he can play with the Kennedy’s.

Brian Visaggio once referred to me as a “Randian” – almost as if he were somehow scandalized by the notion. However, that is something I would value providing I distance myself from the associated socialist undertones. Joe Lieberman (“I” for Independent – but caucuses with the Democratic party) – Conn., says that I am a “Federalist”. That is fine by me because I am not convinced he used a dictionary before he said it (for the record, it means I would be a supporter of the Constitution under it’s earliest foundation). I don’t want to be an Obama-basher. I sincerely don’t want to be an Obamacrat. I am, absolutely, a patriot with Jeffersonian ideals.

So… I understand Obama might be in that part of the country (on Martha’s Vineyard) for a photo-op with Senator Edward “Teddy” Kennedy (D) – Mass. And, Senator Kennedy has been a long-time fighter for broad healthcare reform. But, the irony is that aligning yourself with Obama may be considered political suicide. Or, in Kennedy’s case, a legacy killer (and considering Chappaquiddick, this is saying a lot).

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

executive inequity

February5

Yesterday Jim Kuhnhenn opted a story:  “Obama to detail compensation limits on executives”

In summary – Call it the maximum wage if you will. President Barack Obama wants to impose a $500,000 pay cap on executives whose firms receive government financial rescue funds.  This would be a dramatic intervention into corporate governance in the midst of financial crisis.


The new restrictions, described by an administration official familiar with the new rules, are to be announced Wednesday morning at the White House. The steps set the stage for the administration’s unveiling next week of a new framework for spending the money that remains in the $700 billion financial rescue fund.

“If the taxpayers are helping you, then you’ve got certain responsibilities to not be living high on the hog,” President Barack Obama

Okay.  I can buy that.  If executives are on watch at companies that demonstrate fiscal negligence and lay-off six thousand people (average salary of $42,000), they need to be accountable, and feel some pain too.

But, the real story here needs to be government compensation.  The average pay for a member of the House and Senate is $174,000. They get the same health benefits as the President of the United States.

When these bodies were originally formed the idea was for them to earn a wage that averaged the incomes of their constituents. Their benefits would follow.  This way they understood the needs of the people; would be in-sync with them; and, would be more incentivized to focus on their needs.

I want leadership that sets an example in both business and government.

This is both Jeffersonian in it’s ideal, and Randian (“Objectivism”) /1 in it’s application.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_________________________

1/ Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

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.

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.

Setting the Stage

January24

A core difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Republicans suspect Democrats are closet Socialists (in a general sense).

It occurs to me that Obama’s legacy could be taxes and Welfare.

Extremes.

Consider this article: “Obama’s Tax Plan Is Really a Welfare Plan” by Peter Ferrara.

In addition, I offer you this timely, if not ironic quote (shared with me by Jim Scott):

“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” – Dr. Adrian Rogers /1, (1931 – 2005)

A setting of the stage, if you will.

Thomas Jefferson (see my prior posts: The Jeffersonian Model, Being Jeffersonian, Part I, and (the epic /2Being Jeffersonian, Part II ) would likely frown over this because it falls outside the Democratic ideal.

And, Ayn Rand would have railed as she warned us of this in “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged” as they outlined her ideas around Objectivism.

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” – Ayn RandAtlas Shrugged 35th anniversary edition

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

_______________________

1/ Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 121931 – November 152005), was an American pastorconservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-1980 and 1986-1988).

2/ I make no apologies.  Love me, love my passion.

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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