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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: February 14, 2020
Posted: February 14, 2020 at 12:45 pm
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 13: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics reacts following a foul against the Chicago Bulls during the game on February 13, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Celtics will raise another number to the TD Garden rafters, as the team announced that Kevin Garnett's No. 5 will be retired by the team during the 2020-21 season.
Energy and intensity unmatched. #KG5 https://t.co/jg8knc3HGq
The next logical choice to look down on the Garden parquet following Paul Pierce's number retirement back in Feb. 2018, the decision to take Garnett's number out of circulation next season will actually fill up the Celtics' third banner of retired numbers and names, and left them with 23 numbers retired, and 24 people in total honored on their three banners.
And there's no denying Garnett's worthiness for banner immortality when it comes to his Boston run.
Acquired by the Celtics in 2007, Garnett emerged as that rare but true franchise-changing addition for the C's.
Completing Danny Ainge's (initial) quest for a new Big Three in Boston, Garnett instantly became the fiery co-leader of a squad already featuring Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, and led the 2007-08 Celtics to a league-best 66-16 record.Garnett was straight-up dominant that season, too, as the towering big with unmatched intensity averaged his lowest point-per-game totals in a decade, but shot a career-best 53.9 percent and also nabbed NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors.
That thunderous introduction to Boston also culminated with a six-game NBA Finals win over the Los Angeles Lakers, of course, and with an emotional Garnett etching his name into the sports quote lore with his "anything is possible" scream.
It was just the start of a six-season run in Celtic Green that came with three All-NBA Defensive First Team honors (2008, 2009, and 2011), an All-NBA Defensive Second Team honor in 2012, five All-Star appearances, and a second trip to the NBA Finals in 2010. Had Garnett been healthy in 2009, you're likely talking about the C's going to three straight Finals.
Garnett will head to the rafters with the seventh-most defensive rebounds (2,786), eighth-most blocks (394), ninth-best field goal percentage (52.0 percent), and fifth-best player efficiency rating (21.1) in franchise history.
If you're looking for bonus value here when it comes to Garnett's impact on the Celtics, too, don't forget that Garnett was a key part of the trade package sent to Brooklyn in exchange for three unprotected first-round picks, which backfired on the Nets in the craziest of ways and allowed the Celtics to draft Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum (via pick trading).
And in what feels like a relatively surprising note, this decision to retire Garnett's number next season actually sees the C's beat the Minnesota Timberwolves -- the team Garnett put on the map with a 14-year run on two different tenures in his storied NBA career -- to the punch when it comes to immortalizing Garnett with a number retirement ceremony.
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Posted: at 12:45 pm
On Wednesday night, Daniel and Henrik Sedin were officially enshrined in Vancouver Canucks immortality, as they watched No. 22 and No. 33 get raised to the rafters of Rogers Arena.
When the twins retired two years ago, there was no doubt that the franchise would eventually retire their numbers. They are by far the two greatest players in Canucks history, and well never see a dynamic duo like this ever again.
The question now is if Daniel and Henrik will receive the even greater honour of getting inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Theyll be eligible in 2021, and the debate has already begun.
When it comes to voting players in, there are plenty of factors that must be taken into account. Did a player win enough individual hardware? Were they among the top three or five at their position in any point of their careers? Were they dominant enough for a long period of time?
The Sedins check all of those boxes.
Henrik won the Art Ross Trophy after scoring 112 points in 2009-10, and he became the first and only Canuck to date to win the Hart Trophy. One year later, Daniel won the scoring title with 104 points, but Corey Perry beat him out for the Hart.
Daniel, however, won the 2010-11 Lester B. Pearson Award (now the Ted Lindsay Award), whichis given to themost outstanding player in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players Association.
Henrik won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy during the 2015-16 season for his work and contributions on and off the ice. The twins captured the award together in 2017-18, their swan song season.
And yes, both were top three or five at their respective positions (Henrik a center, Daniel a winger) at some point specifically from 2008-09 to 2012-13. Daniel had four seasons of 80-plus points, and seven of 70-plus points. Henrik hit 90-plus points twice, 80-plus points five times and 70-plus points eight times.
Consistency should get you to the Hall, and consistent they were.
The Sedin twins guided Vancouver to consecutive Presidents Trophy-winning seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12. They were, of course, just one game short of capturing the Stanley Cup in 2011. If Vancouver had defeated the Boston Bruins in Game 7, this wouldnt be a debate right now.
Henrik is the franchise leader in games played (1,330), assists (830) and points (1,070). Daniel (1,041 career points) is the all-time Canucks leader in goals (393), power play goals (138) and game-winning goals (86). Being part of the 1,000-point club truly goes a long way in strengthening your Hall of Fame case, too.
Really, there shouldnt be much of a debate. Daniel and Henrik Sedin belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Their decade-long dominance, consistency, accolades and places in the franchise record books make it an easy decision.
They may not receive the call in 2021, and maybe not even in 2022 or 2023. Other greats and former superstars like Daniel Alfredsson, Theoren Fleury and Alexander Mogilny are still waiting, but they should get in eventually.
But when all is said and done, Daniel and Henrik Sedin did more than enough to receive calls into the Hall of Fame. If you ask me, its a matter of when the two Vancouver legends get in, not if.
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Posted: at 12:45 pm
With all the focus on Liverpool wrapping up a first league title since 1990, there is the tendency to forget of the opportunities that come with the Reds unprecedented top-flight dominance.
Jurgen Klopps team are just six league wins away from PL immortality and we are still only in February. This presents a rare possibility of being able to integrate some of the clubs youngsters in vital matches of the season to showcase the clubs unwavering faith in its academy system.
With Liverpools previous fixture being the inspiring Shrewsbury Town victory where the kids took centre stage to ensure Klopps progression into the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time since the Germans appointment in 2015 could the boss be tempted to reward some of the clubs brightest upcoming stars?
There is a strong case that Curtis Jones has done enough to warrant some Premier League experience when the European champions travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich City on Saturday.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND FEBRUARY 04: Liverpool players Ki-Jana Hoever, Sepp van den Berg, Curtis Jones and Pedro Chirivella celebrate after the final whistle of the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Liverpool and Shrewsbury Town at Anfield on February 4, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Visionhaus)
Whilst its important that the senior players have had a couple of weeks off, Klopp could be forgiven if he were prioritising Liverpools Champions League clash away to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, just three days after the Reds trip to the Canaries.
With that in mind, could Klopp hand Jones his first PL start with such a gargantuan European fixture so close to beckoning?
Fabinho has only started one league match since November and may not want to be risked at the weekend. Meanwhile, Henderson has flourished in the holding role which could tempt the Reds manager to keep the skipper as the pinpoint come Saturday.
Also, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was utilised on the wing in the 4-0 victory against Southampton meaning a simple like-for-like alteration could see Jones move into the front-three and Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled back into the midfield trident.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND FEBRUARY 04: Curtis Jones of Liverpool reacts after missing a chance on goal during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Liverpool and Shrewsbury at Anfield on February 4, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton AMA/Getty Images)
Liverpool were handed a major boost when Sadio Mane recently returned to training following a hamstring injury sustained during the 2-1 victory at Molineux last month. The Senegalese ace is unlikely to start against Norwich with Liverpool having to balance three competitions in the next month and Mane so raw from injury.
Following an inspired performance against the Shrews where Jones became Liverpools youngest ever club-captain in a competitive game, the 19-year-old has the advantage of being fresher from match action than any of his teammates.
Klopp has to meticulously manage his options in the defining period of the season meaning young players like Jones, Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams must be ready to be called upon.
Having recently signed a contract extension until 2024, Klopp was installed to oversee not just the remaining years of his current world-conquering squad but also to begin incorporating the next generation of Liverpool stars who will have similar aspirations of winning league titles.
With the games coming thick and fast, dont be surprised if Klopp begins to entrust more responsibility on some of the clubs fringe players.
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Posted: at 12:45 pm
Last month, I wrote about the first leg of Lost Odyssey and how much I was enjoying it. The second disc and first half of the third have been even better. The worldbuilding is mysterious and intriguing, with each new section making me want to know more about the immortals Im playing as. The narrative gets richer with each new set piece, the bond the characters have growing as they face off against enemies that come in a variety of forms.
Lost Odysseys storytelling acts almost like a counter argument against magic and immortality. About halfway into the game, your party enters the great city of Gohtza. Its a technological marvel, revolutionised by magic industry. But when you talk to the citizens, they reveal that many people have lost their jobs due to magic automating their positions. Although the new industries have great benefits, theyve also resulted in a stratified society where those who arent part of the elite are suffering. The contrast between the wealthy aristocrats and the people in Low Town is stark.
Adjacent to Gohtza is the city of Kent. Their people have been decimated by the magical meteor which struck them at the battle in the opening of the game. They are full of hatred at the immortal they blame for their loss (good thing they dont recognise said immortal is the protagonist, Kaim!).
The argument for immortality doesnt fare much better. The burden of long life takes a terrible emotional toll on those who carry it. You learn at the end of Disc 1 that Kaims wife, Sarah, is still alive. During their search for Sarah, the party hears rumours about an Old Sorceress who is very dangerous. You have to confront her since she has sealed off a cave your party needs to cross.
That ends up taking your party to Kaims old house. Within its walls, your party uses a series of magic mirrors to travel from the decrepit state the mansion has become to the past where everything is spick and span.
The dissolution and messy remains are metaphorical for the Old Sorceresss state of mind. She is surrounded by four Bodies of Thought, each utilising one of the elements. They take turns attacking her from all angles, but never turn their attack against the party. The partys goal is to save her from killing herself. Since each of the Bodies is comprised of a different element, you have to be careful how you fight.
During the battle, the Old Sorceress will unleash a desperate scream. This changes up all the elements so that an approach that worked previously wont be effective anymore and might actually hurt her. Its only after you defeat all the Bodies of Thought that you realise Sarah is underneath the veil of the Old Sorceress. Driven to depression by the realisation that her daughter was dead, she had been torturing herself for decades.
Even after destroying the Bodies of Thought, Sarahs depression nearly overwhelms her again. Its only thanks to her grandchildren, Cooke and Mack, singing an old lullaby, that Sarah finds some semblance of serenity. As Sarah realises Kaim is back, they slowly make their way through the world together, supporting each other through their grief. Kaim is driven by his desire to avenge his daughter, while Sarah finds motivation in the love of her grandchildren.
Having a kid of our own gave this situation much more gravity. More than any of the Dream flashbacks or cutscenes, this battle revealed so much about the plight of immortality. What would seeing the deaths of those dear to them, and the number of them accumulating with the passing centuries, do to their minds? What seems like a boon for Sarah and Kaim is actually a curse. Their desolation increases with every passing year. Theres an understandable reason why Kaim doesnt seem all that eager to retrieve his memories.
Their amnesia takes on an entirely new wrinkle when they confront the man who caused their memory loss, Gongora. Gongora is a fellow immortal and a powerful magician who wants to build a magic engine called the Grand Staff. In your first battle against him in the Experimental Staff, he annihilates your party. Im so grateful for this gameplay/narrative choice. Multiple RPGs come to mind where you confront an ultimate villain for the first time and proceed to give them a spanking. The villain laughs it off and says something along the lines of, Ill be back for you later. But because youve already defeated them, they dont seem as deadly anymore (one of the examples that immediately comes to mind is Seymour from FFX).
In Lost Odyssey, theres no doubt who has the upper hand. But its not just Gongoras physical and magical abilities that make him so powerful. Having retained all his memories, he accuses Kaim and his fellow immortal of being traitors to a noble cause. Their memory loss was a punishment for their misdeeds. This accusation makes them question if their odyssey is even a righteous one. But Gongora seems to be struggling against demons of his own as hes in a mentally fraught state in the Experimental Staff. Its not clear yet whos on the right. It would make for a surprising twist if it turned out that Gongora is actually fighting for a good cause, while Kaim and company, having lost their memories, are actually the villains. As Kaim states, If the record of a thousand years shows that I am really a traitor, then Ill have to accept that, and pay the price.
Magic has obvious positive effects, like being able to heal the people around them. But in the merchant town of Saman, its had a strange influence. The villagers walk around in a zombified state, shrouded in a purple aura, giving free rein to their egos. One of the wealthy merchants in the city openly brags about the wealth hes accumulated through corrupt methods. A man in the Erlio Family House spends all his time talking to a doll. Cant you see Im quite occupied right now? Stop bothering me, he snaps at you. Then to the doll, Darling, I love you so much. You are the one that I love the most in this world. A car called Zak laughs at you and calls you pathetic. Another car called Jack complains, Ugh, every day I go around dealing with rude people and carrying their heavy bags. Then they kick me when Im not running well. If youve ever wondered what your car thinks of you, magic can tell you the truth.
Its these weird encounters in each of the towns that reminds me so much of what I love and have missed about JRPGs. Every city feels like a brand new experience full of quirky denizens. Its been a long time since Ive been this excited about seeing whats next in the journey.
Theres a lot of variety in the gameplay and boss battles. In the Experimental Staff, some of the areas are giant puzzles where youre shifting machines and opening up new pathways. Wind caves, slippery slopes, and thieving enemies, make the ice canyon a gruelling trial. The battle preceding the Experimental Staff, which is against a Mantala, can be extremely difficult if you dont plan each step. Thats because every time you attack the Mantala, it hides in the ocean and summons smaller Mantas in its place. You have to time your attacks, defensive manoeuvres, and spells to perfectly align the strongest blows on the Mantala. Otherwise, the battle can go forever.
Fortunately, theres not that much grinding to do when it comes to experience points. Any time you enter a new area, your characters will level up quickly to where they should be. The reason you still need to engage in fights is to increase skill link levels from the mortals and get SP from bands to learn new abilities. I did find a way to grind my characters beyond their normal levels at the Numara Atolls. Silver Kelolons dot the beach side (theyre akin to the metal slimes of Dragon Quest in giving you a heck of a lot of EXP). If your party has gained the Gamble spell, which is done by praying at all the Kelolon statues in Tosca Village, it makes beating the Silver Kelelons feasible on a predictable basis. I overpowered my characters within a few battles.
Each of the characters gets their chance to shine in battles and more importantly, the story. In an optional cutscene with Ming when you escape Numara, she sees a monument off the shore and recalls a past battle. She saved the city by turning a huge Arthrosaurus into stone, which was how the monument came to be. But the flashback causes her pain and its not clear why, making me wonder about her past. Cooke and Mack are always getting into trouble, including one scene where they hijack a magical train in the hopes of communicating with their mother again. Their hopefulness through some of the darker moments in the game help the characters cope with their circumstances. Jansen, the comic relief, turns against his benefactor, Gongora, in favour of the immortals. He lifts up the bag of gold Gongora had bribed him with and says hed throw it back out of a sense of outrage, but then decides to keep it since he figures thered be no point in giving up the money. Jansen always remains in character, even in his outrage.
The dreams in the first disc focused on Kaims memories. In the second, there are several dreams that your pirate immortal, Seth, regains, and theyre heartbreaking. That is, if you take the time to read them. As I mentioned in the first part of my Lost Odyssey retrospective, I really wish there could have been a way for these sequences to have been more seamlessly integrated. The way it currently stands, the two things that take me out of the immersion of the gameplay are the long load screens (I know Im playing off disc, but some of these load screens are really distracting) and the dreams. I want to read them as theyre very good, but every time I do, it feels like Im being sucked away from the world. At the same time, I realise theyre an additional layer, meant to add texture to the narrative, and entirely optional. Just their existence is something Im grateful for. Who knew reading the story about a shoemaker could be so emotional?
I know some people, including myself, have described Lost Odyssey as a spiritual successor to Final Fantasy. While theres some truth to that, especially due to the developers being who they are, theres also a lot the game does to weave together its own distinctive identity. This middle act is where the game went from being a lost odyssey to an epic one. I cant wait to see how it all ends.
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Posted: at 12:43 pm
In their landmark study First Break All of the Rules: What the Worlds Best Managers Do Differently Gallup introduced their Q12 employee engagement survey. The Q12 describes in priority order what the best managers do and need to do to create high performing teams. Number one on the list is, Clarify Expectations Up Front.
Ive lived this idea for 40+ years as a recruiter and trainer. In my first search project for a plant manager, the president and I walked through the factory and identified the top six things the person needed to fix over the first 6-12 months to be considered successful. This list of performance objectives became the job description.
More recently, I worked with a Board consisting of investors and founders for a $150 million food manufacturer getting ready to hire a new CEO. After a few hours of wrangling we finally agreed on these two critical performance objectives:
Now Im working with the founder of a recently funded startup looking for a head of engineering. I asked him what the biggest thing the person has to accomplish in the first year to be considered successful. This is what he came up with:
Last month I asked a team of hiring managers to define success for a customer success manager for a complex business process application. Heres what they came up with as the major objective:
Every job can be fully defined by 6-8 performance objectives like the above describing the major objectives and their critical subtasks. Heres why this is essential information for everyone involved in the hiring process including the candidate.
Sourcers: You dont need to be a Boolean expert to find people who meet the performance requirements of the job.By being creativeits easy to find 15-20 highly qualified people who have the right titles, worked for comparable companies and who have progressed rapidly AND would see the job as a likely next step. These steps increase the likelihood the person will respond to your message AND the hiring manager will want to see the person.
Recruiters:Persistence is criticalin order to engage with at least half of the 15-20 prequalified people the sourcer has found. Then during the first conversation figure out if you can make a strong case that one of your openingsputs the person on a better career trajectorythan other opportunities being considered. If not, get at least two prequalified referrals. None of this is possible without knowing the job.
Hiring Managers. Since hiring managers need to clarify job expectations after the person is hired, they might as well do this before the hire.
Interviewers. When members of the hiring team dont know the actual performance requirements of the job, they overvalue first impressions and assess people on factors that are too generic to make a difference.
Candidates. The strongest people wont waste time with recruiters or hiring managers who cant answer the question,What are some of the tasks and challenges involved in this role?Thats why every candidate should ask it early in the interview to ensure theyll be accurately assessed.
It has been proven time and again, e.g.,Googles Project Oxygen, that clarifying expectations upfront is the key to successful management. Whats surprising is that its not a prerequisite for hiring. Unfortunately, too many people are still hired based on their depth of skills, first impressions and if their salaries are consistent with the budget. By following the Golden Rule of Hiring things will finally begin to change:Hire for the Anniversary Date, Not the Start Date.
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Posted: at 12:43 pm
Home buyers have for decades been advised to never put a less than 20 percent down payment on a house, but 70% of young home-buyers are willing to break that rule this year (Credit: iStock)
Add the 20-percent-down-payment rule to the list of norms millennials are tossing out the window.
Around 70 percent of millennials said they would put down less than 20 percent of the price of a home as a down payment this year, breaking a rule of thumb thats stood for decades, according to Business Insider. More than a quarter said theyd put down less than 10 percent, which was almost unheard of in their parents generation.
Its not surprising that its an appealing option. It could take a renter in a high-cost city like Los Angeles nearly a decade to save up enough money for a 20 percent down payment on a home in their city.
Some agents are advising their clients not to wait, arguing its better for a homebuyer to get their foot in the door now and start building equity rather than wait to save up for a 20 percent down payment. It could all work out for a buyer if their home quickly increases in value.
Putting down less than 20 percent means homebuyers will have to pay private mortgage insurance a monthly payment on top of a mortgage thats usually between 0.3 percent and 1.2 percent of the homes value.
But that payment is automatically cancelled once a mortgages loan-to-value ratio hits 78 percent or lower, which can happen if a home value increases enough. Still, appreciation could slow in the future and either way, a lower down payment means higher monthly payments.
Regardless, it seems many home-buyers dont see much of a choice. [Business Insider] Dennis Lynch
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Silent but powerful; spiritual indigestion; question for scholars – NWAOnline
Posted: at 12:43 pm
Silent but powerful
The silent majority: Been a while since we've heard that, hasn't it? That's because we've been working our jobs, raising our families, going to church, resting and playing on the weekends. Most of the time we are happy because we've learned to function within the parameters set for us without constant complaint. A lot of us are soldiers, we know the price of liberty, and we are not going to let our basic freedom as spelled out in the Bill of Rights be violated; if some radical tries, there will be pushback, and it won't be pretty.
We want anyone who wants refuge in this great country to have it as long as it's done legally. We believe in the Golden Rule and will help those who can't help themselves. If you're just lazy or feel entitled, we aren't going to do much for you. We know the Bible is the word of God and not subject to social distortion. We know the Ten Commandments are the law of God. We know that to bear false witness against your neighbor violates the commandments, but there has been a lot of that lately.
We know that we will always be overlooked by the mainstream media because we're too boring and happy. Yes, we're still here, and you will hear from us this November.
Several years ago as Chief Chaplain of the South Dakota Legislature, I helped plan and hold the first Governor's Prayer Breakfast in the state. It was modeled on the National Prayer Breakfast, and we were extremely careful to make it apolitical, reverent, and uplifting for all the participants. I was sickened to see what happened this past week at the National Prayer Breakfast. Our megalomaniac leader debased the event with his highly political, irreverent and insulting remarks.
Perhaps his advisers should have tutored him in matters of religion. At the very least they could have prepared him to hear the words of Jesus on love. He acted as if love were one option among many for him. Most of us who are any sort of Christian at all know that Jesus was giving a command, not a suggestion or opinion on love.
Jesus also said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." As long as this man continues to lead by the persuasion of his many lies, I fear that freedom (spiritual and political) will elude us!
GENIE H. KISTLER
Hot Springs Village
Question for scholars
This is a religious question for those that know the Bible. I am not and do not pretend to be. However, this question has come to mind: Does our president, Donald Trump, share any commonalities with the description of the Anti-Christ in the Book of Revelation?
Let's see what the scholars out there think about this.
Editorial on 02/13/2020
Print Headline: Letters
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Posted: at 12:43 pm
Tony Wellsis a pleasant,energeticfellow. Engaging in conversation with him is lively and animated. He has lots to share.
Not only does he writebooks,but his life reads likea compelling novel.Descriptions ofhiswork with the Navyandhistime spent flyingarethrilling.Wells is most keen on his time spent on the slopes but with a new year,at 76,he made the decision to retire.He is an accomplished author and will continue writing. What he wont be doing is careening down mountain slopesso frequently.
After four decades of service as a National Ski Patroller,Wells, a resident of The Plains,retired from spending timein the snow. He was also a National Ski Patrol instructor and examiner for 28 years.
Wellspassion for skiing started as a small childin the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. Later at his high school in England he skied every Christmas and Easter holidays in Europe with his school ski club. When he became a Royal Navy officer,he skied on the Navy and Portsmouth Command ski teams, one yearwinningthe grand slalom trophy with three Royal Marine Commandos.Wells has a cheeky side to him and admittedlyfelt in good company with that win;theywere arctic warfare trained and spent winters in Norway skiing near the Russian border.
Wells immigrated to the United States in 1983. By that time, he had skied every major resort in Switzerland and Austria,several in France and Italy, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria in Germany. His favorite ski resort has always been Zermatt in Switzerland.
Stateside, Wells began patrollingat Massanutten. He later helped create and lead a new patrol, Cherokee, at Linden, Virginia, where he was thepatroltreasurer.He calledTimberline, WestVirginia,homefor a time; while there,he helped establish a new patrol at Whitetail in Pennsylvania when it opened. After several years of long weekends travelingwith his three children, he decided to move closer to home; hehas been at Bryce Mountain ever since.
I like Bryce Mountain because it is family-oriented, said Wells,and is very good for children and people who want to learn to ski and for more advanced skiers to develop their skills without the pressure of long lift lines and crowded slopes.
Wells enjoys being of service to others. Parallel with his duties on the National Ski Patrol, Wells is a life member with The Plains Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company,where he serves as president.Being a life member means that he has volunteered his time for a minimum of 20 years.
I trained originally at the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Academy as anemergencymedicaltechnicianand ran on the Vienna Rescue Squad before moving from Oaktonto The Plains and joining The Plains Rescue Squad, said Wells. Whilehe has witnessed manyinjuries,hemanaged to remain unscathed during his time on patrol--although he did have a harrowing experienceat Mammoth Mountain inCalifornia where hefound himself precariously hanging on to a rock pinnacle before descending arms outstretcheddown achute sansskis. While losing his skis and poles, he ended hisnear 500-foot free fallwith minor burns to his arms.
Over the past decades,Wellsestimates that he has rescued about 1,000 injured skiers, treating them on the mountain and bringing them down on a special toboggan. Hes seen every kind of injury, from serious headandbackinjuriesand fractures requiringmedevac (medical air evacuation) to minor cuts,abrasions and sprains.
Wells is fortunate that he hasnt had to deal with a skiing fatality, although hes come close.
He has much to be proud of with his skiing prowess andencourages prospective skiers to put themselves in good hands.
My best advice is alwaystakeinstruction from an experienced and qualified instructor, fully registered as a Professional Ski Instructor of America, said Wells. Hesproud of his oldest son John,who is a National SkiPatrollerand alsoa PSIA instructor.He is at Wintergreen in Virginia, said Wells.
Hereflectedon how ski equipment has advanced over the decades.As a small child inKanderstegin Switzerland hevividlyremembers skiing on wooden skies, with bamboo poles and leather boots, with a very primitive binding.
The new short skis are the way to go, advises Wells,anddon't buy second-hand equipment unless you know its pedigree.
Wells offered his golden rule:Never ski alone in mountainous complex terrain,andin particular wherethere are few other skiers.
GPS tracking devices, often embedded in watches, will sound the alarm and allow rescue teams to find injured or lost skiers but Wells would hope thateveryonesskiing adventure would be without incident.
Never stop in the middle of a ski run, advises Wells. Also stop on the side, turn and look upwards to sight other descending skiers. The downward skier always has the right of way, added Wells notingthatthis ruleis not always respected. Skiers should always glance over their shoulder before turning.
Wells has written several books,including two novels (Black Gold FinaleandThe Golden Few). He recently returned from London where he was meeting with his U.K.literary agent. I have another book due to be published later this year by the U.S.Naval Institute Press in Annapolis,Maryland, said Wells.
His children are all accomplished skiers. His daughter Lucy lives near Denver, Colorado,and is teaching her three children the joys of skiing.
There are a lot of skiers in this area, said Wells,who hopesthat his eight grandchildren will follow the family ski tradition and acquire the expert epithet.
If youre fortunate enough to meet thispersonable and intelligentfellow, you wont be disappointed. He has lots of stories to share.
WhileWells has hadhis last run,thespirit that kept him on the slopes lives on.
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Posted: at 12:43 pm
"1776" is an assembly of independent voices who uphold our countrys authentic founding virtues and values and challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery.
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Under the guise of a venture called the 1619 Project, the New York Times is introducing revisionist history about race in America into classrooms across the nation without the normal peer review expected of educational materials.
The project began in August 2019 with publication of a collection of essays and artistic works to commemorate the 400-year anniversary of slavery in America. The project, a collaboration between the New York Times Magazine and the Pulitzer organization, has mushroomed into a movement to re-educate Americans with novel claims about how deeply racism is embedded at Americas core.
As of February 2020, five public school systems had adopted the 1619 Projects curriculum district-wide. Its free teaching materials had reached 3,500 classrooms. This rapid progression for distribution of teaching materials created by journalists and scholars has been done without proper vetting. There has been no standard review process or serious effort made to address the many concerns raised by distinguished subject-matter critics from elite universities. The rush to get these materials into Americas classrooms was simply reckless.
What has ensued is a new racial narrative that places black Americas current struggles at the feet of the nations white Founding Fathers. This requires a new birth date for the nation. Instead of July 4, 1776, when the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence pledging to risk their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to found a new nation, the 1619 Project scholars place the inception of the nation more than 150 years earlier at 1619. Thats when the first Africans came to Virginia as indentured servants before becoming free blacks.
Curiously, and inexplicably, this revisionist narrative skips over the 42 years of indentured servitude, a system that enabled former slaves to gain freedom and the resources to become the foundation of the free black population in America.
Jake Silverstein of the Times has written that the arrival of enslaved Africans inaugurated a barbaric system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. But conspicuously absent from the dominant historical narrative is the fact that free blacks and Indian tribes were right there alongside whites, buying and selling slaves after slavery became legal in 1661.
Historian Philip Foner, in his book History of Black Americans, provides critical details that American students should know about the origins of slavery in America:
The fact that the early Negroes imported into Virginia held the status of indentured servants is shown by the records of some Negroes receiving the customary freedom dues in the form of land at the end of their term of service. Some obtained land after becoming free by importing servants under the head-right system, by which they obtained 50 acres for each servant imported. A small number of Negro landowners not only held black servants, but were sufficiently prosperous to pay the transportation costs of white indentured servants, through each of whom they could obtain 50 acres of land. Anthony Johnson, who was imported into Virginia in 1622, accumulated property after he ended his indentured period, and even though he lost all his holdings in a fire, was able by 1651 to import five black servants into the colony, for which he was granted 250 acres in Northampton County. About 1650, Benjamin Dole, a Negro, was granted 300 acres of land in Surry County for having imported six servants. Another Negro was granted 550 acres after importing 11 people.
This account differs substantially from the narrative advanced by the 1619 Project contributors. What some of them hope to do is to build a case for monetary reparations for descendants of slaves. This is a false hope that would neither address the problems many blacks have today nor acknowledge the enormous progress that black Americans have made overall.
Those who push white guilt and black victimhood ignore critical facts. One is that todays white Americans are not responsible for the sins of generations ago. Second, slavery was an institution that blacks, Native Americans, and whites participated in as slaveholders. Theres plenty of guilt to go around.
Critical race theory is an analytical framework to analyze institutions and culture. Its purpose is to divide the world into white oppressors and non-white victims. Instead of traditional forms of knowledge, it holds up personal narratives of marginalized minority victim groups (blacks, Hispanics, Asians) as evidence (considered irrefutably by its nature) of the dishonesty of their mostly white heterosexual oppressors. The ultimate goal of this theorys proponents is to remake society so that the victim class eventually displaces the oppressors and becomes the new ruling class.
Within this framework, white privilege and its unearned benefits become responsible for economic, health, and social disparities in minority communities. This system of thought advances a narrative of blame that declares white America guilty for the plight of blacks.
When it comes to education, members of the victim classes are to do all the teaching. It is a worldview and narrative that commands white people to sit in obedience and listen quietly to arguments about their unjust gains as well as their obligation to provide a remedy for them in this case, to black Americans, whether they are descended from slaves or not.
There is no way out for whites when it comes to race. Critical race theory assumes that racism is permanent and affects every aspect of society, including political, economic, social and religious institutions. The theory further advances the belief that being born with white skin, in itself, confers unearned privileges. Therefore, any societal attainment of colorblindness, in which race or ethnicity does not hinder opportunities, is impossible. Neutrality in law and decision-making is a pipe dream that can never be attained. Therefore, this mistaken reasoning goes, the oppressive system must be dismantled and destroyed.
This flawed theory suggests that race and ethnicity will always taint and pollute every decision, and, as a result, racial minorities will consistently lose out to whites because of structural racism. The message is clear: If you are unfortunate enough to be born with black skin, you are forever a second-class citizen who pays a race penalty. Under this rationale, the most affluent blacks rank below the poorest whites when it comes to privilege and opportunities. We are asked to believe that more than 50 years of affirmative action programs and race consciousness have done nothing to change the trajectory or opportunities of people born without white skin.
Critical race theory says that every dysfunctional condition in black urban communities can be traced to slavery and its aftermath. There is no place for individual choice or initiative.
Thats the theory. But what critical race theory actually accomplishes is to create anger, frustration, and despondency among persons in the victim categories, who internalize this destructive message.
Universities and colleges have created a cottage industry of people who profit from indoctrinating Americas future leaders with a dangerous and destructive ideology. These future leaders spread this diseased ideology, like a virus without antidote, into corporate boardrooms as well as K-12 public and private schools, both Christian and non-Christian.
Standards normally used to reward academic credentials are sometimes relaxed to give more authority to watered-down factors such as personal experience and the narrative of victim-class members. Less credence is given to whatever facts, science, and contrary data that persons from the oppressor class might dare to proffer.
Education is now about white privilege indoctrination. According to the narrative, all white Americans are guilty oppressors who have benefited from their white skin, even if their parents are, say, Appalachian poor or high school dropouts working at the local big box franchise store or unemployed. Once the oppressor label is applied, accepted, and internalized, a deadly silencing ensues. In some cases, animated videos with messages of white guilt and oppression shown to middle and high school students create damaging images, by which whites are taught to feel guilt and minorities are assigned permanent and debilitating victimhood.
One notorious example of the teaching materials for diversity and sensitivity training is a short YouTube video entitled, The Unequal Opportunity Race. It has had more than 1.3 million views as of this writing. Its crippling message is clear: White boys and girls have unfair advantages, and white-imposed roadblocks prevent black boys and girls from achieving success.
Last year, the office of instruction for Westfield (N.J.) Public Schools approved a course on Power, Privilege, and Imbalance in American Society. Learning objectives of the semester-long, two-credit course include how to:
The syllabus explains that critical race theory is a theoretical concept that emerged from the civil rights movement. The goal is to give voice to groups who have suffered from systemic oppression, and develop theoretical and practical ways for students to deconstruct the power structures.
The 1619 Project is a misguided effort that follows in these lines, whose aim is to keep open historical wounds while telling only half of the story. It is flawed because it is connected to critical race theory and a diversity-inclusion grievance industry that focuses on identity politics and division. To blame todays families for the mistakes of long-dead ancestors is not a prescription for unifying the country or empowering racial and ethnic minorities. But then, thats not really the goal.
We can do better. Within Christian communities, there is a basis for countering destructive narratives that have invaded our educational institutions and corporate world. The solution for hatred, bitterness, and distrust can be found in New Testament principles. Rather than wallow in the past and revisionists efforts to build a case for reparations, we, as Americans, need to move forward while practicing the forgiveness and love of neighbor that Jesus espoused.
We need not look any further than the golden rule -- do unto others as you would have them do unto you -- to find the tools that enable us to transcend racial and ethnic conflicts that keep us from working together and celebrating our victories.
The present approach -- that of critical race theory -- cripples members of the designated victim groups while creating new victims among those classified as oppressors. I speak from a personal perspective as someone who has watched the changes from many vantage points.
I reached my formative years before critical race theory and cultural Marxism had gained a dominant foothold in academia. Even though I was born and grew up in rural Southern poverty during the era of segregation, I was not taught to hate white people or to hate America. Instead, my black teachers stressed our need to work hard and excel. I grew up to be a proud American who never doubted she lived in the greatest country in the world.
No one around me encouraged me to see myself as a victim. I never fixated on the fact that I was black, poor, and female. Had I done so, I doubt I would have achieved anything.
Carol Swain, a former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, hosts the Be the People podcast and sits on the advisory board of Black Voices for Trump.
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Posted: at 12:43 pm
Outreach to inmates is a growing trend that helps them normalize outside world ethics inside the prison.
February 13, 2020 by Stephen Marshal Leave a Comment
Generally, ethics are the distinct set of rules or guidelines that all you make consistent life decisions based on an internal belief system. This means that your daily actions are based on some broader set of beliefs. You believe broadly that it is more important to live a life of goodness. Therefore you may on a daily basis tip larger at restaurants or make it a point to say thank you more. The two daily actions are the ethics that you follow that stem from your larger inner belief of being a good person.
Ethics comes from the Greek word Ethos, which means custom or habit. The Roman politician Cicero gave the world the term morals as his equivalent word to ethics except it was the Latin version. So, generally, there is no difference. However, this isnt the current case. In the first example, arguably the broader inner belief that you should live a life of goodness is part of your morals. Your ethics are drawn from your morals, just as a poodle is a type of dog (Dog = Morals; Poodle = Ethics).
There are four primary justifications for the criminal justice system. The founding fathers believed that their morals justified the use of some punishment of crimes but they argued over the ethical considerations. In the United States the criminal justice system is set up for these four reasons:
One of the most important justifications in society is rehabilitation, because society wants inmates to return to society and be productive members of a community. However, they can only do this if they learn how to ethically live inside a prison environment. If they let themselves go and dont confine their actions to a set group of ethics they could leave worse than when they came in. Think of it this way. If you go to prison do you want to leave as a hardened criminal bound to return after committing another crime? Or do you want to leave after people call you a model inmate? There is a difference and the difference is an ethical code based on a solid moral code.
They should act ethically. That is easy to say, but what does ethically even mean? Above it is described as a set of actions. But that seems circular. What rules do you base your actions on? Your morals? This still isnt a very satisfying answer.
The real answer is that inmates ethics and actions should be based on a system of beliefs that they would use in the outside world to be successful. This doesnt mean that they by definition need to be religious. Though religion has had an amazing successful moral and ethical development, it isnt by definition necessary. What you call the moral code is a choice. It could be religion. It could be logic. It could be as simple as the Golden Rule. An inmate needs to act in the way he would if he were out of prison.
Completely. Outreach to inmates is a growing trend that helps them normalize outside world ethics inside the prison. You can do a federal inmate search easily on inmate-search.online to reach out or find a friend to help as an ethical coach. Think of it this way: The National Research Council recently released a study that coined and defined the term deeper learning. They stated the process through which a person becomes capable of taking what was learned in one situation and applying it to new situations in other words, learning for transfer.
So, it appears what is important about the act of learning isnt just about understanding something. An inmate can understand that they should be good in most situations. The key is that they are fully competent in acting in an ethical way in a new or unfamiliar circumstance or situation. If there is deeper learning based on practiced rules of ethics then an inmate is much more likely to be successful inside and outside the prison. An inmate will adjust better because their ethics are sound and based on a foundational understanding of situational morals.
At the end of the day, what is important is not what set of moral beliefs and ethical guidelines an inmate has, rather instead, what is important is that the inmate has a set of ethics and sticks to those ethics. In this way, rehabilitation can be successful and the criminal justice system can thrive.