The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

there is a fundamental difference between my Dad, Barack Obama and Martin Luther King

January22

my Dad proved himself a genuine patriot on some obvious and meaningful levels. he served his country as an decorated Air Force officer, and he stood firm on a morale high-ground that included firm convictions around his command-in-chief(s). I know this because he often spoke about political philosophy around the dinner table and at the officers club bar. however, he always stood by a president of the era because it was a simple matter of the chain-of-command.

yesterday I tweeted:

I watched the face of my earthly father while he intently listened to Martin Luther King on our black and white television. he had the same look when he watched Neil Armstrong take that other first big step for mankind on the lunar surface.

I’ve not often been kind to president Barack Obama in this blog. however, a few months ago I started taking the position that I need to support him because he is our president by the choice of the people – either through ignorance, or inspiration. while I’ll keep sifting through the debris of media I’ll seek truth and light and help everyone make informed decisions.

in any event, my Dad was very careful in designing and implementing his career-path. his was a career both by need and by design. he was a dirt-poor South Dakota farm boy and genuinely feared poverty. I believe Obama designed his career-path as well. I don’t know if he is the anti-Christ. I can’t say that he is some how chosen, or annoited. but, he has craftily positioned himself to get where he is today. he did so, and rather ironically, by never holding a meaningful job that might qualify him as an executive leader. but, then neither did Jesus Christ, right? so, that can be admired. NOTE: I never planned to be referred to as a “cultural architect”. but, my life took it’s twist-and-turns to get me here, and it fits reasonably well. Martin Luther King probably never asked God to be thrust into the lime light and then be killed specifically for it. while I’m not prepared to compare him to Christ, either, others will.

everyone referenced thus far share something of the opportunist. however, King was literally thrust into his role. overnight, he went from preaching from a small pulpit to addressing huge throngs of people craving leadership and example.

My Dad led by example. Christ certainly made a point of doing that. I’m not sure about Obama. But, I’m hopeful. I’m thinking King will be a wild card for a long time because I know he’s had a great impact, but I can’t find evidence he sought the role.

After renewing his oath of office on Monday, President Obama said in his second inaugural address, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still.”“My fellow Americans,” Mr. Obama said, “we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.” read more, here.

I don’t know what Obama thinks we are seizing. he’s not architecting a national identity unless its socialist in nature. but, perhaps if we look at Norway and other happy Scandinavian countries, it might not be a bad move. but, only time will tell, just as it has with Christ. He turned a world upside down, and saved us all. however, King asked us to be open-minded, open-hearted; tolerant. so, in light of that, and my Dad’s sense of patriotism, I’m thinking hard about Martin Luther King and his legacy, which has become part of our national identity – and, one that my Dad was willing to defend and die for, inspiring me to do the same (while counting on God to sort it all out).

I know why good men remember my Dad, Jesus Christ and, Martin Luther King. I have no idea today why we should follow Obama, or have cause to remember him, other than his place on a list of historically relevant names in our history books. but, my Dad would probably say that Obama, by virtue of being president, commands our attention. and, what we do with the tools he gives us is up to us. that’s what Dad did as an Airman (a “steely-eyed missile man”, eh, Dad).

meanwhile…

Mark Pendleton shared this piece by Kayla McClurg with me

“When I reflect on the life and witness of Martin Luther King, Jr., one thing that strikes me is obvious: he didn’t start out to be who he ended up being. He didn’t set out to be a visionary leader, intent on making an impact on the country and culture of his day. He allowed himself to be created. Slowly, layer by layer, choice by choice, he became himself. He didn’t choose “leader of a mass civil rights movement” from a list of vocational options. His identity emerged gradually from within as he yielded to the guidance of the community and listened and prayed and read and participated and took the risks of creativity that were uniquely his to take.

Underneath who we think we are, who people expect us to be, are as-yet-undiscovered aspects of our true identity–layers waiting to be uncovered. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the minister of a local church, husband and father, a dedicated preacher who devoted hours to preparing sermons that were theologically sound and probing. This was a good fit for him. He wasn’t searching for a new identity. But he found himself interested in the writings of Henry David Thoreau about civil disobedience and Gandhi’s thoughts about nonviolence. He became interested in some folks who were questioning the color barriers in their town and were beginning to devise ways to stand up to them. He didn’t have answers, only questions. He followed the questions, exploring the hints that came layer by layer, thus becoming more of himself.

Thus it was surprising, and yet not surprising at all, that within hours after a seamstress named Rosa Parks had “sat down for what she believed” he had been named spokesperson for a fledgling resistance movement. When he got home and told Coretta what had happened, he said he knew at a gut level that he was being asked inwardly to move beyond words and ideas and to put theory into practice. He said he knew he could no longer stand by and do nothing because to do so was to be a perpetrator of the evil he deplored.

Twenty minutes later the same young man who had a reputation for giving sermons only after hours of preparation was standing before a crowd of about 4,000 people speaking extemporaneously of the challenges and opportunities that lay before them. Part of what he said was this:

Sometimes a person gets tired…. We are here this evening to say to those who have mistreated us so long that we are tired–tired of being segregated and humiliated, tired of being kicked by the brutal feet of oppression…. We come here tonight to be saved from the patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.

King knew he had a calling–to be a preacher and a father and a citizen. What he discovered little by little was that these dreams would be fulfilled far beyond his imagination. What about us? Are we still becoming ourselves? Are our deepest callings still unfolding, beyond our imagination? Or have we become too patient with being less than we really are?”

NOTE: Information on Martin Luther King is evidently borrowed from the biography called, King – a Biography by David Levering Lewis.

we may not always be able to choose who we are, or even our specific path. but, we always have a choice about what we do with the options granted us. so, we have a decision to make around being part of the solution and not the problem. my Dad and Martin Luther King have their places in history. Obama and I still have options. so do you.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

the thomas jefferson health care plan

February23

Allow me to begin this post with an important qualifier: I’m not a Republican. I am a Jeffersonian. And, a patriot. Most of this colored by my views as a heterodox. So, I read between the lines for the truth. I use historical precedent for my clear-eyed perspective.

There is a good amount of sophomoric chatter permeating the internet these days around an election year being a great opportunity to influence policy-makers.

However, I think the truth is more likely found in the harsh light of reality when you understand that lobbyists for behemoth interests such as banking and health care prefer status quo. Billions of dollars have been spent pinning down incumbent members of the House and Senate to steer legislation in favor of bigger business.

In other words, incumbents are going to focus more on filling their campaign war chests with lobby money so they can stay in office (and, keep their own platinum benefits and pay checks) than focus on the mundane needs of ordinary citizens.

Here is something of an example:

There are grandstanding headlines the last 48 hours around Barack Obama bravely fighting an uphill battle for a last-ditch effort Health care reform Bill.

Making a last-ditch effort to save his health care overhaul, President Barack Obama on Monday put forward a nearly $1 trillion, ten year compromise that would allow the government to deny or roll back egregious insurance premium increases that infuriate consumers.

The White House immediately demanded an up-or-down vote in Congress on the plan, or something close to it. But it’s highly uncertain that such sweeping legislation can pass. Republicans are virtually unanimous in opposing it, and some Democrats who previously supported a health care remake are having second thoughts in an election year. After a year in pursuit, Obama may have to settle for a modest fallback version of what once was his top domestic priority.

“Last ditch effort”?

That’s it? After all the talk and the promised change? The most amazing thing, in terms of “change” and speed has been poor Obama’s unique ability to use Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream as a door mat.

Mind you… It’s not actually Obama’s fault though. He was set up, and never really had a fair chance.

Read the next few paragraphs carefully. I’m putting it this way because this is where truth sheds it’s glaring light…

Release of the plan on the White House Web site comes just four days before Obama’s one-of-a-kind, televised health care summit with Democrats and Republicans. The White House said the plan would provide coverage to more than thirty one million Americans now uninsured without adding to the federal deficit.

…without adding to the federal deficit. Those are key words.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats cautiously welcomed the proposal, while Republicans gave a thumbs down.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement she looks forward to reviewing the plan and discussing it at the summit. She told me: “We must pass comprehensive, affordable health insurance reform, and I am hopeful that Thursday’s meeting will help us achieve this goal”.

House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio dismissed the proposal, saying, “…the president has crippled the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said it was “disappointing that Democrats in Washington either aren’t listening, or are completely ignoring what Americans across the country have been saying.”

It takes some real effort, but you can read the eleven page plan in advance. It likely represents Obama’s most detailed proposal since he took up the health care overhaul effort a year ago. At the time, he sought to avoid the problems former President Bill Clinton encountered when he issued Congress a detailed prescription in the 1990s – a plan that was driven by Hilary, as you recall, and ultimately failed and contributed to the Democrats catastrophic loss of Congress in 1994.

Now, ironically, Obama is being criticized for having been too deferential to lawmakers.

White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the plan is an: “opening bid” going into Thursday’s summit. It would cover more Americans – but also includes a new tax on investment income that Republicans object to.

So… That’s the hidden scam. This has been naught but a set up. A sleight of hand for the Democrats to tax the crap out of everyone else that actually works for a living. They will take fat government jobs and then bring in friends and family and pillage entrepreneurs.

I repeat my opening statement for this post: I’m not a Republican mind you. I am a Jeffersonian. And, a patriot. Most of this colored by my views as a heterodox. So, I read between the lines for the truth. I use historical precedent for my clear-eyed perspective.

“The president is coming into the meeting with an open mind,” said Pfeiffer. “If the Republicans do, too, our hope is that we can find some areas of agreement. If the Republicans bring good ideas to the table we will find ways – look for ways to incorporate those into our proposals.”

In summary, health care reform, fashioned under a plan to benefit the majority of Americans will be scuttled because heightened taxes are the only way we can pay for it. However, I believe what most of the people on Capital Hill don’t want you to understand is that the banking industry is actually, and inadvertently, undermining those efforts. Banks are taking away Lines-of-credit and unhinging small business. This makes big business maintain a market-share advantage. This makes stocks go up. That makes Wall Street Barrons powerful (with inside trading that Capital Hill pretends to take umbrage over and then quietly bury change legislation). They fund lobbyists – who don’t want change. So, we are going to pay a lot more taxes while getting reduced benefits. Along the way, corporate America will continue to get tax benefits to subsidize their efforts to outsource jobs to India. The banks will take your house in foreclosure and then make up the difference with other subsidies financed under The TARP plan.

Feel free to prove me wrong. …but, I’d rather you helped me start rallying thought leadership around reducing an incumbents sustained influence on Capital Hill. If they only have two years to make a difference, they won’t care about simply trying to stay there. Our Founding Fathers, led by Thomas Jefferson, meant for citizens to take a short break from their personal lives and business and serve briefly in government to drive change and progress. We need that type of person back in office.

Then you can keep your house, pay less taxes, and live a happy balanced life.

That’s what Jefferson built the Constitution around.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

change Commodities

January8

Perhaps it’s only the calm before the storm.

Storms do, after all, tend to clear the air, and make things feel more alive.

It seems like President Obama is making some headway. But, alternative leadership will declare this is an illusion created by the “obamacratic” media.

What happens when people finally come to the ugly terms that Obama has led the Fed in cutting a deal with banks that favors foreclosing on tax-payers homes by subsidizing the difference? He is also touting healthcare reform that he, along with members of the House and Senate, are exempt from. Is that when people rise up? Or, is that Byzantine (Of, relating to, or characterized by intrigue; scheming or devious: “a fine hand for Byzantine deals and cozy arrangements”) example the harbinger of change?

I don’t feel like bashing Obama any more.

I am, in fact, I am a proven patriot; and, willing to be a freedom fighter. But, what does that mean? For today and tomorrow? The winds of change are blowing stiffly through the country, and around the globe.

It’s storm-like because of the upheaval around shared economic pain that is historically unprecedented (but, certainly nothing new from a Biblical perspective).

I’ve been using a central “commodities” based thinking in some of my recent posts, coaching, and public speaking. Interpreting or defining losers and winners is challenging, but that investigation might prove rewarding.

So… Once I allowed myself to surrender to that notion, God jumped me with a different line of thinking:

Assuming God has the plan (and I do). What if He is using Obama, in an unexpected way – to break this country so it can begin to heal itself, later?

Apparently the Muslims have a saying: “the Promise is in the punishment, or the punishment is in the promise”.

I can’t say with absolute certainty such a line of thought actually exists in the Qur’An. …I better go investigate that as well. Or, perhaps one of my Muslim brothers can wade-in (even though I’m not Muslim, that person is likely still my brother). But, it certainly offers a dramatic platform for thought.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

(Patriots) Don't Vote

September26

This is going to be an awkward Blog Post.  There is a  lot happening in my head (and, thus my heart), and it’s difficult (today) for me to be succinct around converging concerns such as legislative accountability, patriotism, leadership, history, and (as always) my opinions.

Nonetheless…

We are taught in this country that voting is both a privilege, and a patriotic duty.  In fact, we start wars in other countries with this very notion as impetus.

Consider this…

Does voting for questionable candidates reward bad behavior?

Probably.

Makes me think in terms of the “Chinese maybe”.

How many people, honest to God, feel that Barack Obama or John McCain are an inspiration, and have the right stuff to lead our country?

McCain is a genuine war hero.  But, never mind that from an administration-driven stand point. And, there is still a big question around Obama’s heritage – and, whether he is even an American citizen./1 And, Obama is not a leader.  He is a politician without an raison d’eterre.

What do these men stand for?  Do we know?

So…  Could not taking action be a good tactic if you have a winning strategy in mind?

I don’t mean passive aggressive behavior (like in an ugly marriage or relationship).  And, I don’t mean where members of the House and Senate typically vote on less than 47% of standing Bills and Resolutions./2

Or, is that the same thing?  Never mind that for now.

So…  What if no one voted in the up-coming Presidential election?  Can you imagine how the world would stop and take notice if the polls were absolutely silent election day?  Consider the courage of the next person to raise their hand and volunteer to be a Presidential nominee in the face of such a national statement.  Would they dare ask the American people what they want and understand what we need?

Consider my prior Blog post: “American Desperation”.

Don’t vote out of fear, ignorance, religion – or, because you have limited choice.

Thomas jefferson was a patriot who also happened to be a “change agent”.  The Jeffersonian in me wonders what would happen if we wrote-in candidates that we actually have faith in (not shoved down our throats by lobbying groups that represent the special interests of corporate America).  Now, consider two other of my prior Blog Posts (around Thomas Jefferson):  “Being Jeffersonian, Part I” and “Being Jeffersonian, Part II”.

Roll your eyes if you must, but Obama and McCain make me look at Bilary Clinton (I did that on purpose).  Hilary Clinton has a cause celebre.  Reference my prior Blog post: “Obama can be President with Clinton’s permission”.

I will probably amend this Blog Post a few times.  But, this issue is heavy on my heart, and I needed to set it into motion.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

______________________________

1/ “Obama – Citizen or not?”

2/ How does this represent the American people and our needs?

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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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