Friday, March 27, 2009

My final letter about U of A basketball

Mr. Jim Livengood-Athletic Director
Dear Sir,
I wrote a letter to you February 15, 2009 with reference to filling the coaching position for the men’s basketball team. I strongly encouraged you to retain the current staff. By now it has because obvious that your mind is made up in favor of a big name coach, Rick Petino’s name seems to be the one you are after.
I watched the game today with the Louisville team coached by Mr. Petino. I have some observations to share with you but first I want to let you know what Lute’s fans have come to expect. His teams are always disciplined, with good character players who play hard but with class. I first discovered Lute when he was at Iowa. The people of the state worshiped him and the style of play he brought. We cried when he left. After retiring to Tucson in 1993, I rediscovered Lute and bought tickets whenever I could. In recent years I have attended nearly every home game by buying tickets from regular ticket holders.
Now back to Louisville. I remember a game just a few years ago which we were winning by a large margin, the fans, me included, were hollering Bagga’s name. When he came in we screamed for him to shoot. He did and made a three point basket. What we didn’t know was that Lute had told them not to shoot. Bagga was disciplined for not following orders. Compare that to Louisville, right up to the final seconds they kept making baskets, pounding sand into our wounds. Petino didn’t stop them nor did he chastise them for their facial expressions and their many signs of disrespect. This is not Arizona basketball. We will never accept this style. We are used to class. Russ Pennell and the other coaches have shown class and we are grateful for what they achieved this year. Whether they are retained or not, you need to find coaches that will carry on the tradition of the past 25 years. We expect nothing less, win or lose.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian D. McLaren

The Secret Message of Jesus
(Uncovering the truth that could change everything)
By; Brian D. McLaren

Pastor Don Janssma recommended that I read this book. I had given him a 15 page article written by Dr. Bob Bowman. It condemned our practice of using war as the preferred way of resolving issues between nations and theologies. He articulated what he referred to as the just war theory. It immediately resonated with my current thinking and was so profound, I sent copies to other ministers I have encountered in my life’s journey. I did this because he specifically requested that those in a position to spread the word as Pastors can, espouse this theory to try to convince their parishioners to refuse to support wars that do not conform to this concept. I had never heard of it before and credited Dr. Bowman with authorship. On page 155 of this book the theory is mentioned word for word and this book was published in 2006. Perhaps Mr. McLaren picked this up from some other source. The important thing is the theory itself not who first wrote it. I am attaching a copy as an addendum to this report for your information.
The author goes on to say that while the above idea is better than nothing, he believes we should strive to find peaceful solutions to settle conflicts between nations and theologies. He promotes spending ever larger sums from our budget by addressing the underlining causes of conflict.
This book provides a clinical review of the life of Jesus, his statements and actions. It is easily read and understood. He provides clarity where often there is confusion and interpretations that are not in accord with the truth. He points out where Christianity has strayed by taking phrases out of context rather than staying true to the whole body of scripture. He makes sense of the use of parables and the fearless way Jesus took on the reining authorities while breaking bread with prostitutes, tax collectors and other outcasts.
Of particular importance to me is the issue of life after death. Mr. McLaren points out that the kingdom referred to is also here and now as well as in our after life. Only recently have some evangelical churches broken away from the doctrine of subduing the earth to being concerned with saving our environment. We are required to do good works not just so we can be rewarded but because that is what is required of us. I have always believed that the promise of life after death has been used to calm people into accepting their fate, as miserable as it might be, while those with wealth enjoy life to the full, here and now.
I strongly recommend all who read this review to read this book. The last chapter asks that we join together in study groups sharing ideas, using the book as reference and then as a result put into practice what we believe should be done. I have not attempted to write portions from the book as I cannot agree with what to put in or leave out. The only way for you is to read it yourself.
I write this with trepidation as I do not consider myself to be qualified to make statements about Jesus since I have been a skeptic most of my life. The reason for that is that I cannot accept that people professing to be Christians live non-Christian lives. When self interest rises up they do what is best for themselves rather than the good of all.
What a wonderful world this would be if the principles of Jesus were adhered to. Perhaps hatred between peoples and other religions would cease so that all resources could be put to work improving instead of destroying. It is possible but only if we care enough to make it happen.
My above comments represent the feeling I have after reading. Yours may be different. I look forward to discussing with anyone who also reads this book.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
March 26, 2009

Just War Theory
( From Mr. Brian McLaren’s book,” The Secret Message of Jesus”)

The just war theory gave seven criteria for a “just war”: a just cause for the war, a legitimate authority declaring war, a formal declaration of war, the goal being a return to peace, recourse to war only as a last resort, a reasonable hope of success, and means proportional to ends. The theory also presented three conditions for the prosecution of any war that met the seven criteria: noncombatants must not be targeted, prisoners must not be treated with cruelty, and international treaties and conventions must be respected. In this way, just war theory sought to balance competing demands: commitment to nonviolence in the way of Jesus and responsibility to protect neighbors from violence in the way of Jesus.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rebutal to Arizona Daily Star Editorial in favor of Mexican trucks on U.S. Highways

You are wrong on all counts. NAFTA and the other "trade" agreements over the past decades has decimated manufacturing in our country. Millions of good paying jobs gone. Now you insist that our truckers are overpaid and must compete with Mexicans who will work for far less. You won't be satisfied until all decent workers jobs are driven down to the lowest possible level.
Our government is too weak to stop the flow of illegals and drugs now. How much easier it will be with huge trucks crossing the border every day.
If we had government leaders fighting for us instead of against us, they would immediately raise tariffs to match Mexico's until reason prevailed. I can assure you they won't. We are addicted to cheap goods no matter the loss of jobs and dignity.
Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
March 20, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Letter of thanks to the U of A men's basketball coach

Russ Pennell
(U of A Interim head coach)

Dear Mr. Pennell,
I hope by now that many U of A basketball fans have taken the time to express their thanks to you in appreciation of the outstanding achievement, you and your coaching staff have achieved this year. If not, then please accept this letter as my effort to congratulate your success.
In terms of winning records, yours will not rate high, but in terms of what you have accomplished, few, if any, teams have shown such growth. No one expected a winning season. The thinking was to get through this year as best we could and look forward to future years to re-create the Arizona tradition. Day by day, week by week, you have nurtured these young men to where they believe in themselves. It is obvious there is a strong bond between you and them. I have been at every home game once the season started. I have been amazed at the steady growth. Your big three; Budinger, Hill and Wise have greatly improved their performance as compared to last year and the supporting cast is making the contributions necessary to complement the big three.
The game last Saturday was a classic. Your guys just would not let this game get away from them. They fought to the last minute. For once, I agree with Mr. Hansen, the fans expressed their love as best they could. No one wanted to leave. The icing, of course, was the seven points contributed by Bagga and Onobun. Take those away and you only win by seven points.
I hope that this win is enough to get us into the NCAA tournament. If not, then a win against ASU on Thursday, regardless, you deserve to be a head coach here or somewhere else. I am one of your fans who hope it will be here. To that end I wrote to Mr. Livengood several weeks ago. He, no doubt, will not rest until he can find a “name” coach. Why he can’t see with his own eyes what the fans have seen, is beyond me.

Good luck and my thanks,

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
March 9, 2009