Half-time: Everton 1 Chelsea 2

first_imgDiego Costa grabbed his third goal in as many games as Chelsea scored twice in the opening three minutes to take a first-half lead.Costa showed no signs of the hamstring strain that had threatened to rule him out as he ran on to a Cesc Fabregas pass and hit the ball through the legs of Everton keeper Tim Howard after 35 seconds.The goal came at the end of a wonderful team move and that quality surfaced again just over two minutes later to make it 2-0.Some slick build-up play ended with Costa finding Ramires, and the Brazilian’s pass was fired low into the net by Branislav Ivanovic.The Serbian looked fractionally offside and the hosts complained, but they were lucky to avoid going down to 10 men when Howard handled the ball outside his area soon after.Everton then settled and began to dominate possession and create chances.Former Blues striker Romelu Lukaku hit the bar with a towering header and Sylvain Distin’s follow-up effort was correctly ruled out for offside.And the strong home pressure was rewarded when Kevin Mirallas headed home a fine Seamus Coleman cross to make it 2-1 just before the interval.Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Ramires, Willian, Hazard; Costa.Subs: Cech, Luis, Zouma, Mikel, Schurrle, Salah, Drogba.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Is Theistic Evolution Intelligently Designed?

first_imgA battle of websites is rising, and New Scientist is gloating.  Francis Collins, former head of the Human Genome Project (and a candidate to lead the National Institutes of Health) has launched a website promoting theistic evolution called Biologos.org.  The intelligent-design think tank Discovery Institute has offered a counter-site called FaithAndEvolution.org.    Amanda Gefter wrote for New Scientist, “Christians battle each other over evolution.”  Gefter, who subscribes to Stephen Jay Gould’s “NOMA” strategy (non-overlapping magisteria), believes that science and religion must remain separate spheres.  She thinks the latest website battle betrays religious motivations behind the ID group: “The Discovery Institute has now made it crystal clear that they have no interest in reconciling science and religion – instead, they want their brand of religion to replace science.”  She used an analogy: “Watching the intellectual feud between the Discovery Institute and BioLogos is a bit like watching a race in which both competitors are running full speed in the opposite direction of the finish line.  It’s a notable contest, but I don’t see how either is going to come out the winner,” she said.  But even if this analogy were appropriate, presumably the first to go around the globe could still win the race, but it begs the question whether evolution is even in the race.  A more important question is whether the controversy is just between Christians.    Evolution News and Views denies that their initiative is about replacing religion and science.  Dr. John West of the Discovery Institute explained the two-fold purpose of Faith and Evolution: “Thus, the first goal of FaithandEvolution.Org is to present the scientific information about evolution and intelligent design that is typically left out of the discussion,” he said.  “A second goal is to tackle tough questions that are usually ignored about the consequences of Darwin’s theory for ethics, society, and religion.”  The problem with Biologos is that it caters to Darwinian natural selection without revealing these consequences.    The Faith and Evolution website was in fact prompted by the need to answer claims in the mainstream media made by Francis Collins that Christianity and evolution are compatible, not to promote Christianity or any other religion.  In fact, David Klinghoffer, who is Jewish, defended the site on Evolution News.  John West said, “It’s ironic that many of the pro-Darwin groups that claim to be promoting ‘dialogue’ about science and religion are really offering only a monologue.  They do their best to exclude those who disagree with them.  But we have nothing to fear from a free and open exchange of ideas.”  John West goes into more detail in a podcast on ID the Future.Gefter’s smirking attitude fails to take into account the overtly religious arguments by the new atheists that tie Darwinism to unbelief.  The Darwinists routinely discuss the religious (or anti-religious) implications of evolution.  If she thinks ID folk want to replace science with religion, why is she not complaining about Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens who use evolution to justify atheism?  Why is she not complaining about the NCSE, which has a Faith Network Coordinator and printed a curriculum for adult Sunday School classes?  What about the activists who encourage pastors to preach from Darwin on Evolution Sunday?  Gefter specifically lets Dawkins off the hook.  Consistency is apparently not a virtue for Darwinists.  Their beliefs evolve according to the need to combat any threats to their dominance.(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa pushes for professional civil service

first_img4 April 2013 Implementing the National Development Plan (NDP), and achieving its objectives of radically reduced poverty and inequality, crucially requires the development of a competent, professional civil service, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel told a conference of senior government ministers and managers in Pretoria on Wednesday. In a hard-hitting speech, Manuel said the NDP made it a key priority for South Africa to build a capable developmental state, noting that in such a state “the civil servant is professional, skilled, adequately rewarded but humble. Humility towards the poor is the greatest attribute of a civil servant. “Let me state unequivocally that public service is a calling and a responsibility,” Manuel said. “It is a choice exercised. We choose to serve and accept that we will be comfortable, or we enter the private sector in pursuit of wealth – we cannot do both.” Manuel said there was “broad consensus across the political spectrum” on the need for a professional and competent civil service, and that the NDP contained clear principles for developing such a service. “They include the need for accountability, for professionalism, for service to the citizenry, for being neutral in relation to party-political contestation, for public servants to be dynamic change agents seeking to change society while adhering to the law at all times, for public servants to be prudent with the use of public funds and to be responsible stewards of the public’s trust.”Apartheid ‘no longer an excuse’ The government, Manuel said, could not continue to blame apartheid for its delivery failures. “For almost two decades, the public has been patient in the face of mediocre services. The time for change, for a ruthless focus on implementation, has come.” The NDP’s proposals for improving the public service – proposals on strengthening accountability chains, building capacity, and managing the political administrative interface – were “practical proposals that can be acted upon immediately. “Many of them do not require legal changes or policy prescriptions. They simply require a commitment to common sense and to getting things right.” It started, Manuel said, with establishing and strengthening accountability chains, with making it clear at all levels “who is accountable for what” and “what to do when things go wrong”. Establishing clear accountability chains was made more difficult, Manuel said, by South Africa’s intergovernmental system, which saw services being delivered “by many different people in many different entities, in a complex system that frequently covers more than one sphere of government”. There was a particular need for clearer lines of responsibility when it came to housing, transport, water and sanitation services. “In particular, housing and transport planning should be the responsibility of municipal government.”Accountability ‘to people, not to ruling party’ South Africa’s political-administrative interface was also in many cases a source of confusion for civil servants, Manuel said. The problem was not political appointments as such, but the “blurred accountability” that came with political appointments. “No matter how you were appointed, no matter who appointed you, you are not accountable to the ruling party. You are civil servants who are meant to serve all citizens irrespective of political persuasion. “This new approach may come as a surprise to you. It may also come as a surprise to your political principals. However, without a professional civil service rewarded for their competence and commitment to the Constitution, we do not stand any chance of transforming South Africa.” Another area where “the lines have become blurred” was in relation to supply chain management, Manuel said. When it came to making to awarding state procurement tenders, “the law requires you to put value for money ahead of any other requirement”.State tenders: ‘value for money comes first’ There was a legal framework within which black economic empowerment (BEE) could be taken into account, Manuel said. BEE was “not an excuse to award tenders to friends or politically connected persons simply because they are black and were oppressed. “The public loses trust in government when it reads reports that we spend billions on contracts to politically connected people who deliver poor quality services. Let us be hard on ourselves; whatever else this practice may masquerade as, it is not empowerment, it is theft. “There should be no blurred lines,” Manuel said. “As civil servants and as public representatives, we must act in accordance with the law, regardless of what may appear to be expedient, or shaped by pressures exerted on us. “Let us commit to strengthen that which is correct, that which is focused on measurable improvements in the quality of life and services to citizens. More importantly, let us carry ourselves with pride, in the knowledge that we are servants of our people.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

What It Takes to Produce Higher Quality

first_imgQuality = Investment + Time + EffortQuality requires a greater investment. Quality costs more to produce. If you start with cheap, poor quality inputs, you automatically end up with poor quality outputs. It costs a good bit more to begin with higher quality inputs, but the result is something worth more on the other end.What investments do you make in inputs?Quality takes more time. If you want to produce excellent work, a craftsman’s quality work, you have to put in the hours. In a world where we expect everything we want immediately delivered to our doorstep–even if it requires a drone–the focus on quality is in retreat. Taking your time, measuring twice, and making the necessary adjustments improves quality. If your goal is this quarter’s results, you might decide to go faster. If your goal is a lasting relationship, speed kills.Are you putting in the time necessary to produce something of a higher quality?Quality is more difficult to produce. It takes more effort and more energy to produce something of a higher quality. For most of us, after time, this where we have the greatest control when it comes to quality. It takes more energy to give yourself over to the task in front of you. It take more effort to produce bigger results. But the resulting improvement in quality is worth paying for (at least for your dream clients, those who perceive the value).Are you pouring your effort and energy into producing something of a higher quality?You might think this is about your product, your service, or your solution. It’s more than that.last_img read more

Sell the Process

first_imgOne of the reasons you might lose a deal is because your dream client doesn’t agree to the process. They decide they want to do things that don’t serve them or not to do what they need to do to make a good decision. One of the ways you avoid losing is by selling your prospect the process.Once you are sitting in front of a contact (or contacts), you need them to commit to exploring change. There really is no other reason for you to be sitting across from them or them you. When they ask you to share information about your company and your solutions, your compliance means you are allowing them to do their discovery instead of your helping them to discover something about themselves and their business. Neither of you are near the point where you should by sharing why you are the right partner, and allowing them to drive you pitching proves you may not be.It’s not uncommon for some people to decide they want to see a presentation or a proposal without doing some of the things they need to do before you reach that point. They skip discovery and the collaboration that helps you to provide a solution you are confident will work for them. If that’s not bad enough, they often try to move forward without inviting the people who are going to be working with to participate in the process. Your contacts believe they are acting in their own best interest, speeding up the process and eliminating the resistance they are certain to encounter from some of their peers.For as long as most people can remember, the idea of closing has pertained only to the final ask, the commitment to decide and sign your contract. Of all the many commitments you need to gain, the final ask is one of the easiest to obtain. It’s all the commitments that come before that ask that makes it easy to gain—or the most difficult, spending on how well you have sold the process.The ten commitments that help you create value for your client while creating a preference to work with you are what helps you ensure that you provide your client with your best help in making the right decision. Before you sell anything else, sell the process.last_img read more