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sometimes people listen to me (even my fourteen year old daughter Haley Anne). and, when they, that “collective they” do, sometimes they hear me talk about “remembering the face of my father”.

I do use that “device” for both my earthly and heavenly father. but, today, it’s about Dad.

I’m doing so because I’m remembering him. it’s the best way, I think, to honor someone – by recalling something they did that’s worth comment. and, in the case of the description that follows I think this comes in the form of something I believe happened, and ironically, only a few men would have witnessed, but was likely a defining moment for the man most of us can never be.

over the course of a life, and in this case, it was my young life, we pick up on things about the people around us. I was lucky, just enough perhaps, to have Dad in my life for most of twenty five years. in that sophomoric period of my existence my perspective had to be skewed by perception and lack of some information. but, my sense of circumstances leads me to an image of my Dad in a tough spot.

imagine this… or, this is what I picture the sort of man my father was…

Col. Clifford D. Cork USAF

it’s likely 1969 and Dad is serving one of his tours of duty in Viet Nam. eventually he would become one of the youngest Air Force officers of his era to command a Wing of B-52’s (Stratofortress) /1 under the vaunted Strategic Air Command (SAC), but also do it from the navigators chair. the B-52 was capable of altitudes that exceeded 35,000 feet. it’s monsoon season, so his plane has travelled across the storm-tossed sea dropping down through unimaginable weather, hitting turbulence that lifted and dropped the aircraft 3000 feet at a time, turning the crews stomaches from twisted knots to mush. Dad had to take turns puking into a bucket between his boots that are all but frozen to the deck, and fight his own mind-numbing fear to speak calm commands to his pilot through his air mask/ helmet radio. his primary objective (other than to lead under what he taught me was: “being a steely-eyed-missile-man”), was to use a set of simple tools (i.e. rulers, pencils, and maps) and his brilliant mind to form complex calculations that would guide his crew with pin-point accuracy to drop their payload on the right target – and, not innocent civilians.

B-52 Damaged During Turbulence

Dad once told me, something to the effect: “there were times when we were bouncing up and then down so hard and fast that all I could think of through the screaming groans of the tortured wings was that they would shear right off the fuselage”.

I knew my Dad, sort of. I don’t, and sincerely, believe he was a brave man. in fact, I understand there was much in life he feared (i.e. the loss of my Mom, and poverty). however, his courage is unfathomable. he put himself in that situation countless times, and did it better than most men that shared that chair with him (many of the B-52’s built saw service in excess of fifty years).

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

_________________

1/ Dad was one of the few SAC officers that also commanded a Missile Wing (silos). this made him unusual both in his spheres of responsibility, but his incalculatable ability to learn and lead.

by the way…

in January of 1964, a B-52D carrying two nuclear bombs suffered a structural failure in flight that caused a fire to break-out on-board. apparently over the course of emergency maneuvers the tail section sheared off. four crewmen ejected successfully before the aircraft crashed near outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. several crewmen perished. the pilot was unable to eject, and died in the aircraft. both weapons were recovered. this was one of several incidents caused by failure of the vertical stabilizer.

my Dad was part of that crew. so, there is some perspective for you, that my Dad had to carry with him going forward. and, that is another story that’s currently percolating in my head. I remember that day… I was watching television and I saw my Dad’s face appear on the screen just as my Mom took a telephone call from “the wives network”. I recall her hollow: “oooh God, …Cliff”. But, Dad came home. He always smelled good.

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

I’m so damn shallow.

Distractions abound.

But, it’s little things, like a Chris Tomlin tune that help me in those less than, otherwise, fulfilling moments.

However, and having stated the above (and, many other things daily), I don’t want to mislead anyone, anywhere, ever… I’m still waiting; searching. Sad, yet hopeful.

It would be easier to call myself a Christian. But, God would know, right?

So… The best I can offer is to live my life like that, as far as I think what it could all mean. Doing it my way is like living with considered abandon, and without a net. No fish on the bumper of my car. It means living by a code but not knowing if there is a reward.

Isaiah? Nehemiah?

But, I’m also listening to God of Wonders (it’s the Chris Tomlin version, for me) – and, relentlessly, I’ll add, here.

I’m by no means courageous (maybe not since Sarajevo, anyway). Just Authentic.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I spend my business-oriented days surrounded by hearty and ferocious entrepreneurs that seek me out for guidance and the fulfillment of dreams.

Here is a stark economic reality:

A theme that I am teaching and coaching, currently, represents a harsh (but not so grim from my perspective) reality that, regardless of which side of  thirty five years of age you are (and, this is a new paradigm in itself) – if you want an upwardly mobile economic future, you are going to have to make it happen yourself. And, this likely means you will have to start your own company. Once you’ve navigated those pioneering trials and tribulations, you must learn to trade stocks by sitting at the feet of people you genuinely know, and have good reason to trust.

Often this means realizing and facing your fears – and taking the steps, anyways. Ponder the Kobayashi Maru. Like the early pioneers of our nations history, most of you won’t make it. You’ll have to form your own militia and calvary. Count on your truest friends and allies. This means a thinner gene pool. But, a good one. So, yes, we are once again addressing the Laws of Natural Selection.

Those of us that fancy ourselves leaders must light candles and be beacons, in our own right, for truth and light and best practices.

Thusly, great good (I’ll take a hot for the grammar for the sake of the point, here) will be accomplished. Justice must be, and shall be done.

As interesting as this is to me, and as important as it is to you, the only real purpose I can offer for pointing this out is simple gainsaying. I’m telling the truth; I’ve had, lived and shared the dreams. Don’t bother to dispute that for a second.

I suppose you can fight me, if you dare.

I’m living proof of what happens to a man that lives the authentic life and seeks only to be part of the solution, and not the problem.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Let’s go with: Antonio Vivaldi 4/12 – Summer, Allegro Non Molto.

The story is always about a tree. There must certainly be a tree in it.

And, a smoking rabbit – and, possibly a grim dog (likely in the possession of a pipe).

Yes, certainly that. Damn them.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Epiphany alert.

I had an opportunity to revisit an old friend. His grave actually.

Words came to me from many conversations. Mostly me listening.

In and amongst those words I heard:

“Life is too short to spend it hating”.

Perhaps he said that to me because I used to think:

“yeah, but how many people where there as Sarajevo was falling?”

And, a war-cry in my heart, daily:

“Colorado… and, the loss of everything.”

He would also say things like:

“Courage is fear prayed for”.

He was not exactly a Christian; but, he was very much a Believer.

As many of you know, Marc Kutter came by for a visit last week. My primary take-away from that visit was his saying, to the effect:

“Over the past few years I’ve grown stronger in my faith and I learned that everything seems to work-out”.

I might add that troubling matters are rarely as bad as they appear.

And, Marc’s appearance may well be timely.

I’m struggling right now around our house (it’s not feeling much like a home for the moment). The fellow we bought it from almost four years ago failed to disclose a significant drainage issue. We bought the house during the drought. And, there is ample evidence that the drought is over. We’re in trouble. The damage is significant, as is the cost to repair it – even if that is possible. We don’t know that yet. Realtors won’t list it because of the disclosure issues we now face. And, that fellow is a cad. …oh, and he’s a lawyer.

I planned on writing a lot more on a few touch subjects for this post. But, I’m still contemplating. Things will be different after I put life into certain words. However, the story, and the way I handle all of it, is coming.

But, that’s why I’m here, in part.

For the moment I’m praying for some kind of understanding of what I’m supposed to feel, and then what I should do about that. I don’t care for the way this situation makes my heart feel.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Of course it was Rusty Linquist that had to get me thinking.

I felt like I had no other choice but to offer the following (you’ll need to venture back towards yesterdays post and explore the comments if there’s a hope you’ll understand what this means):

I’ll ponder if the greater risk comes in not taking the action to prepare for the summit, overcome my fear, and achieve a milestone shared with few others that breathe all manner of “rare air”.

The demise element takes it’s pivotal form in whether it happens as a surprise, and less so an eventuality. So, I must train my body and prepare my mind to blend courage, furious resolve,/1 and planning into a best option – survival.

I love the development behind the potential that Raison d’etre represents. So, much promise reflected in an ever broadening sea of opportunity. It’s like the subjective meaning(s) attributed to Gare du Nord – another French play on words. It’s both a place (that takes people to other destinations) while also serving as a kind of battle cry /2 for a warrior code that may longer exist in that evolving culture (the French Foreign Legion in Africa facing Muslim hordes). God… the irony. And, the lessons to be learned over what might define heroism, and a reconciliation with my own soul.

Thanks for chipping in Rusty.

Brian Patrick Cork

1/ If I ever own another boat, I’ll name her Furious Resolve. And, by God, I’ll sail her around the word, nestled in her womb while raising my arms (and often) to (again) God and all His elements!

2/ “We make our stand here!”

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

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.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.