The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

it just gets worse

September9

I starting offering my views and opinons around a certain pistol packin pastor just yesterday.

I can’t condone the burning of any book (or, “Word Windows” as we’ve often referred to them since Haley Anne was four years old).

In any event, this story just gets worse.

In Pakistan, about 200 lawyers and civil society members marched and burned a U.S. flag in the central Pakistani city of Multan, demanding that Washington halt the burning of the Muslim holy book.

So… They burned a, if not the, symbol of our country to some how make a point that we should not burn their holy book.

It’s bad enough that this celebrity-seeking-pentacostal-point-pounding-pistol-packin-preacher /1 is willfully stirring the pot and maliciously putting people in harms way. He has scienter, no less. But, now we have the FBI visiting his Gainesville-based church. Although we don’t know what’s being said, there, we can suspect the picadell0-postulating-preacher is being warned. So, this means our own government is getting “heavy” and possibly impeding an element of our own Constitution that’s related to Free Speech.

What? There’s more?

To be sure. Just read on. Do it now!

Gainesville police will already be dealing with some ninety thousand (90,000) football fans Saturday, as the book (that shall not be named, but is often misspelled as Koran) and even more tailgaters for the Florida-South Florida game.

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe has publicly condemned the church’s plans and asked residents to watch for “suspicious behavior” (apprently other than pastors packin heat and FBI agents crawlin’ about asking questions of “persons of interest”). At least one counter-protest was planned by a University of Florida student group.

So… Now you’ll have people in, or from trailers, getting involved.

City officials were increasing security, but wouldn’t go into detail about how many extra officers will be used, saying only that they were coordinating with other cities and “tallying expenses”.

“We are sending a bill for services to the Dove World Outreach Center. We’re tracking our costs,” said city spokesman Bob Woods. “I’m sure the cost will be substantial.”

isn’t that, well…. like a threat?

I mean, despite the fact that the Florida football game might be affected, does anyone see an ugly pattern here?

I’ll offer a hint: The terrorists are winning again because we are being as ugly as they are.

Allow me to be clear… I’d feel justified if we sent in a Special Ops team to take-out those protestors that burned our flag. But, otherwise, this pastor is an example of distorted material values, our own constitutionally-formed government feels so powerless that we need to use intimidation instead of mediation, a real important football game is pulled from the lime-light, and city officials are threatening punitive measures if a lone citizen refuses to bow to an uncertain civil rule or opinion.

Thomas Jefferson must be spinning so fast in his grave the earth may well depart from it’s axis.

Isn’t that what the Talibahn does while, ironically, pointing to the the Qu’ran for interpretation and  justification?

It blows my mind that we end up making this lunatic preacher who should be standing on a New York cross-street look like he could be right, after all.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ Understanding what being Pentacostal means might help explain naught a few things.

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

still working, Literally

July5

We started this thread last Friday with my post: this Always works. And, it was an appropriate way, I say, to kick-off the July 4th weekend (other than buying a boat – but, more about that later).

For the first time in our nations industrial history, it does not matter which side of thirty-five you are. You are likely going to need to start your own business and make it work in order to live a dignified life by the time you are seventy. With this scienter, in order to finish well, you will not have anyone to blame but yourself.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

it's Revolution at Hopewell Middle School – Part I

March17

Readers of this Blog; and, you are legion, know I’ll not shy away from a good cause. Reasonable examples of this include: Berkeley’s Contribution To Terrorism and Texting and Driving to Death. My heart is on my sleeve daily, and what’s on my mind is, more often than not, in these posts.

Education, my daughters, and adventure are always likely topics.

Nonetheless… Who would have thought; although I should have known…

…my own daughter is a revolutionary.

The winds of change are blowing stiffly through the halls of Hopewell Middle School.

We Home Schooled Haley Anne for almost three years. And, in that period of time, many of my own Jeffersonian ideals clearly rubbed-off on her. Fairness, representation, truth and light to name just a few standards, if you will.

Haley Anne and her sister Emma Jo “mainstreamed” themselves this year. By any definition, they are well-adjusted and poised young ladies. Willfulness is part of all that. But, that’s okay by me because they are full of ideals, and the vigor to realize them.

And, now Haley is clearly influencing her friends.

So… For me, this story begins, possibly in the middle of significant events that began with Joanne calling and letting me know that the schools Principal had Haley Anne’s cellular telephone and was requesting a meeting as quickly as possible.

“Haley’s not home yet. I don’t have any details”, I was grimly informed.

But, soon we learned…

(well, we already knew that) Haley Anne’s (then) Home Room teacher looks to be in her late thirties. However, by way too many accounts, she acts like another thirteen year old. She ignores most of the kids while she sits in front of her classroom computer, with a favored student, and shops Holister online (just so we are clear, I’d rather our kids not be exposed to that for now). The other students are lucky if she gives them enough attention in the form of grading other classes home work for her.

Haley Anne took the position that any amount of time spent in this teachers classroom was wasted. “She doesn’t teach us anything”. And, she was offended by the teachers unprofessional actions that included using words like “deusche” to describe other teachers, and “gay” relative to unfortunate students that raised her ire. She would go so far as to belittle students for not wearing trendy clothes.

Haley Anne had been signaling Joanne and myself that she was not happy with the teacher. And, unfortunately we failed to take her seriously. Even when Haley Anne reminded me that I would not allow her to shop at Holister because of the poor image it portrayed young men and women, and this teacher was shopping on that very site in front of the class, and making remarks out loud.

So, Haley Anne took matters into her own hands. She discreetly (and, the cow teacher would not have noticed anyway) began taking video footage with her cellular telephone. She approached the schools principal with this evidence, but was ignored. So, she instinctively began talking about the problem, openly in the halls of Hopewell (oh, the irony of that institution’s name!). At some point, and during a particularly heated berating of another student, the teacher realized she was being filmed (by Haley Anne and another student). She demanded that Haley Anne turn over the cellular device.

Naturally, being a Cork, Haley Anne stood her ground (she’s also a formidable Defender on her soccer team, and thus, accustomed to stopping foes cold in their tracks). As reflected by many a coward the teacher had little stomach for the righteous. And, I can, with a smile, picture in my minds-eye, Haley Ann’e beautiful brown eyes arched in cold and indignant fury.

Thomas Jefferson would be proud, of this I’m certain, reader.

We did meet with the school’s principal and the woman they call a teacher (with a straight face, no less). All she could muster was an pouty, self-indulgent, and indignant claim that (her own) “…feelings had been hurt”. She did deny that she shopped Holister. That was until I advised her a simple technology and forensics audit could put the question to rest. At that point she sat back in her chair and chose to go quiet while the Principal promised to see what accommodations could be made for Haley Anne.

The teacher in question is now openly hostile and Haley Anne is being censured. For example, she was pulled from a transitional class (homework) where she was surrounded by friends with whom she could go to lunch and dropped in the midst of a group of bullies who openly threatened her. She stood her ground, certainly. But, more on that later.

There is now more to this unfortunate story. And, it will be reported, here. Of that you can rest assured. Please don’t forget to hold me accountable for truth and light in this matter. This is about me being both a father and a Prudent and Optimistic Gentleman.

NOTE:  Regarding scienter… The Principal, as the authority, now understands there is an issue in his ranks. He has no choice but to resolve it, or be damned by it.

I’ll be sending that Principal a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead – and, you know there will be a quiz, in one form or another.

Peace be to my Brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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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.

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photos by John Campbell

 

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