Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One of our own

One year ago today, we lost one of our own, helicopter pilot Loren Leonburger, in a crash on the Waterman mountains.

Our unit did have the opportunity to work with him just prior to his passing. It was an honor.

Take some time to remember him by looking at a couple of links:

Friends remember

Pima County Sheriff's Department

Hundreds gather to remember

Rest in Peace Loren, and thank you for your service!

Friday, January 27, 2012

I think I found a nice little side job

I just saw that the Pima Association of Governments and the City of Tucson is ready to spend $300,000 on a consultant to do a study about the proposed streetcar plan. Here are the requirements, as reported on azstarnet:

"The consultant will prepare a "Tucson Modern Streetcar Land Use and Development Implementation Plan." There have been 11 previous planning studies of the area, according to a PAG document.

The consultant would study properties within a quarter mile of the streetcar line; the potential for streetcar-oriented development; and the city's existing land-use plans, zoning maps, and development and design standards. Then the consultant would make policy recommendations about streetscapes, parking and housing. The scope of work calls for the consultant to meet with any stakeholder affected by the project and pay special attention to the historic West University neighborhood."

The local news reports that, according to the City Manager, the "...consultant's report will validate and supplement his staff's reports."

I figure I need a staff of three to complete this project. I will be the lead consultant, since I will be the one applying, so I will take the lions share of the money. I need one person who can read, so they can look over the eleven previous studies and one person who can type and knows how to use a word processing program.

Who's with me? And where do we apply?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Overwhelmed, and I like it

I really just meant to pick up a couple of extra books to get me through the holidays. I figured, I could spend some time reading, which I find enjoyable and relaxing, and maybe I could learn a little something.

The problem is, the library has a seeming inexhaustible supply of books, so my eyes were bigger than my holiday. I suppose that it also didn't help that we had our annual holiday movie viewing spree.

Here are some books that I have been working on or have recently read. They each had some interesting and great stuff. All of them had more to recomend in them than I could possibly put here, so I will just throw in a quote I liked from each of them and a link to a summary. So if you are looking for something to read, consider something from this list:

Seal Team Six

"The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday"

Leadership and Crisis

" A surprising number of Americans do not see the connection between the growth of government and the loss of freedom."

The Midas Touch

"It’s next to impossible to build a successful business without relationships. But you can do it without partners if you are capable of structuring deals and bringing in the right talent for specific projects."

Rin Tin Tin

"He's so tough I have to feed him manhole covers for breakfast."

The End Of Molasses Classes

"Create moments that will have a lasting impact on children's lives."

Primetime Propaganda

"...there has been no more powerful voice in our culture than television."

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor

Ok, nothing really useful in this one. This one was just for fun. But here is something:

"No one is more shocked by Brian's actions than Brian......"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Commitment Card

During the civil rights campaign in Birmingham, Dr. King required that everyone participating with him sign a pledge committing to do ten things.

Would you have stood with Dr. King and pledged to do all ten? Which ones would you not be willing to do?

Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments:

1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.

2. Remember always that the non—violent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.

3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.

4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.

5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.

6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.

7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.

8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.

9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

10.Follow the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.

I sign this pledge, having seriously considered what I do and with the determination and will to persevere.




Nearest Relative___________


Besides demonstrations, I could also help the movement by: (Circle the proper items)

Run errands, Drive my car, Fix food for volunteers, Clerical work, Make phone calls, Answer phones, Mimeograph, Type, Print Signs, Distribute leaflets.


Birmingham Affiliate of S.C.L.C.

505 1/2 North 17th Street

F.L. Shuttlesworth, Presiden

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Religious Slaughter

I recently heard a lecture that, in part, was discussing the idea that most of the violent problems of the world, historically and presently, are a result of religious differences.

Here are a few of the arguments against that that the lecturer provided and which I found interesting.

For a few moments, lets put aside Islamic radical terrorist Al Quaida types. True, religion has driven them to slaughter countless adherents to other religions, or at least those who are not Islamic, or not Islamic enough.

Let's look instead at slaughter perpetuated because of Christianity, or Christianity in conflict with other religions.

We always talk about the crusades. How many were slaughtered because of religious differences? Ok, I shouldn't have brought that up. I don't know how many people Christians and Muslims slaughtered over 1,000 years ago. Let's look at some more recent infamous examples:

The Inquisition.
Specifically the Spanish Inquisition. About 2,000 were murdered as a result of that. 2,000 is a dreadful number. And while it was certainly evil, wrong and a shameful blight on those who call themselves believers, the numbers equal about 6 people a year during that time.

The Salem Witch Trials
America's own infamous massacre. If you know about it at all, you know that it was induced by ridiculous religious frenzy and superstition, leading to the death of 19 people. Evil and wrong, certainly. A shameful blight? Yes.

the Huguenot Wars
A terrible blight on religion. These wars between "Christian" groups included the infamous St. Barthalomew's Day Massacre, which the slaughter of about 3,000 Huguenots came to be known.

What about some modern examples?

Northern Ireland?
Thousand have died in the fighting between Catholics and Protestants, but a closer look reveals that the conflict has more to do with political control than it does religion.

The Isreali/Palestine conflict?
Putting aside the radical Islam thing, it has more to do with land and political control than religion.

The Hutus and Tutsis in Rawanda
Although many of these people claim to be religious, the fighting and slaughter of upwards of 1/2 a million came from class warfare rather than religion.

So it is difficult to find religious driven violence in modernity, putting aside, once again, the radical Islam thing.

Compare that with violence driven by or perpetuated by atheism or atheists in recent memory.

Consider the over 60 million killed by the atheists Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao Tse Tung.
Some will argue that the holocaust was an atheist thing too, since the many of the philosophies of the Nazi Party were Atheistic, Secular Humanistic, etc. And how many did they do away with? 6 million Jews, millions of others just for being gypsy's, black, homosexuals and others that they considered genetically less desirable. But, The Nazis didn't completely scorn religion, preferring instead to pretend to have it when it suited them and twist it for their own purposes. And many of those they killed were in a desire to run the whole world.

On the other hand:
Some of those that the atheist communists killed were because they held onto religious beliefs. So one could throw that down as an argument that religion cause their deaths too.

It seems to me that all this killing is a result of human nature, which is damaged and twisted. Religion, in my opinion, and whether or not you believe it, does provide a modicum of self control.

But, when the beliefs that provide this restraint are ignored and twisted, it can lead to tragedy,as in the historical twisting of Christian Theology that led to the Inquisition, Salem, etc.

When moral beliefs based on divine law are completely disregarded, it leads to devastating atrocity, as in the holocaust, the murderous regimes of communism, Rwanda, etc.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I will not.

I will not blog about politics.

I will not blog about politics.
Tempting as it is.

I will tell you a little about some of my latest reads, including Bobby Jindal's book "Leadership and Crisis".

Tune back in soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A little late for this

If you have a lot of extra time, you can listen to this message I did a few years ago at our Church:

The Cure For The Common Christmas

Seriously, plan on doing something else while you listen, because it is about 40 minutes long. It is too late to help you this year, but you can start planning an exceptional Christmas now!


Monday, January 2, 2012

That'll change everything

Happy New Year!

Some of us make resolutions for the New Year that we hope will change our lives for the better.

Nothing wrong with that, but we probably won't keep these resolutions unless we make the corresponding changes in habit.

Like, I am going to lose X number of pounds this year.....but continuing to eat just the same.
Or , I am going to stop having every third word out of my mouth a swear word....but continue to talk just the same.
Well, you get the idea.

But, I have discovered that it is much easier to want to change a habit than it is to actually change it.

Here are some things that could help:

Spend some time with people that are living/doing/being where you want to go.
If you want to get in shape, hang out with some people who are already there, or working towards it. If you want to get closer to God (which I think you should, by the way), spend some time with some people who are trying to do the same. If you want to get your finances in order, sign up for a Financial Peace Course.

Watch what you are filling your head with.
Use your spare time to help you meet that goal by reading about, learning about and viewing things that help you make the change you are wanting to make.

Read the book: Change Anything.
It will help you understand the processes of changing habits in the following areas:
It'll also help you understand how change is not about motivation, but about how we are blinded and outnumbered by the things that make our habits hard to change. At least check out the video on the link.

That's it.

There you go. Three easy steps and you will be much more likely meet your goals and keep your resolutions this year. You're welcome.