The 10 most important employment law cases in 2017

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. View all posts by Stephen Simpson → I am in a employment case and I have had the runaround up to now tribunal would not take my wrongful dismissal nor hr so I have proceeded myself .and I have filed queens bench for company has denied me tilll I was out of money so it’s just do what you have to do and fallow the rules 9. When is a whistleblower’s disclosure “in the public interest”?Chesterton Global Ltd and another v Nurmohamed (Court of Appeal)As always, whistleblowing has proven to be a lively area for case law developments. Top of the list in 2017 is Chesterton.In this case, an estate agent raised concerns of accounting malpractice, which he alleged were designed to reduce the amount of commission paid to around 100 senior managers, including himself.More whistleblowing casesRoyal Mail v Jhuti Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Day v Health Education EnglandThe Court of Appeal had to decide if the estate agent’s disclosure was “in the public interest”, a key requirement for statutory whistleblowing protection.The Court held that the estate agent’s disclosure satisfied the “public interest” requirement, despite the concerns affecting the company’s staff only and the whistleblower’s personal interest in the issue.For the Court of Appeal, the number of people affected is not the determining factor and all the surrounding circumstances need to be examined. More cases are expected to be brought examining the definition of what is “in the public interest” under whistleblowing legislation. Indirect discriminationWelcome ruling from the Supreme CourtIn particular, the cases remove the requirement to show a tribunal why a neutral policy or rule puts the affected group at a disadvantage.The practical effect for employers should be that employment tribunals will be able to move more swiftly to the issue of justification, which should be at the forefront of HR professionals’ minds anyway when creating or reviewing workplace policies and rules.Employers will still be able to defeat claims of indirect discrimination if they can show that the policy or rule is justified, and that it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. 10. Court of Appeal increases discrimination compensationPereira de Souza v Vinci Construction (Court of Appeal)There has been confusion as to whether or not the 10% uplift on general damages in civil claims initiated by the Court of Appeal a few years ago applies to awards for injury to feelings caused by discrimination (known as the Vento bands).Revised Vento bandsLower band: £800 to £8,400Middle band: £8,400 to £25,200Upper band: £25,200 to £42,000Levels of compensation for injury to feelings had become inconsistent in employment tribunals, which were faced with contradictory Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rulings on this point. In de Souza, the Court of Appeal confirmed that the 10% uplift does indeed apply in discrimination claims, increasing the amount of compensation that employers may have to pay. The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals subsequently issued guidance increasing the Vento bands) in relation to claims presented from 11 September 2017. One Response to The 10 most important employment law cases in 2017 More disability casesPeninsula Business Service Ltd v BakerGovernment Legal Service v Brookes Williams v Trustees of Swansea University Pension SchemeThe Court made it clear that employers are not expected to wait forever for an employee to recover from illness, and dismissal is a valid possibility even where there is a vague promise from an employee of an imminent return.However, the Court went on warn employers that, when balancing whether the time has come to dismiss, the employer needs to have considered the disruption to the business that the absence is causing.The employer ultimately lost this disability discrimination case. A key factor for the loss was that the employer did not take into account a fresh fit note that the teacher provided between the original decision to dismiss and the appeal against dismissal. 6. Dress code controversies in Belgium and FranceAchbita and another v G4S Secure Solutions (ECJ)Perhaps the most controversial and sensitive employment cases of 2017 involved companies banning religious dress, including Muslim headscarves (hijabs). Discrimination laws in Belgium and FranceBelgium: Equal opportunities France: Equal opportunitiesThe Belgian case Achbita and accompanying French case Bougnaoui both considered what employers should do if a third party objects to an employee wearing religious dress while working on a third party’s premises.Giving its guidance in Achbita, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that, as long as the rules are applied consistently across the board, a rule requiring staff to dress “neutrally” cannot constitute direct discrimination.However, the ECJ warned that a neutral dress code is potentially indirectly discriminatory if it can be shown that people of a particular religion are put at a disadvantage and the rule cannot be justified.The decision in Achbita appears to open the door for some employers in mainland Europe to ban religious dress in the workplace. However, the case has limited application in the UK. Here, the courts and tribunals are highly likely to frown upon a requirement for workers to present a non-religious appearance on the basis of “neutrality”. 5. Holiday pay must include voluntary overtimeDudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts (EAT)HR professionals will be mightily relieved that the case law on what should be included in holiday pay calculations finally died down in 2017.This was the last major case to consider this issue. While it has been accepted for a while that pay for compulsory overtime has to be included, this was the first binding holiday pay case to consider pay for purely voluntary overtime.Holiday payPodcast: Holiday pay and voluntary overtimeGiven the way case law has been going, it was no surprise when the EAT decided that “regular and settled” voluntary overtime should have been included in council workers’ holiday pay.The case also demonstrates some of the other payments that have to be considered for inclusion in paid annual leave. Here, regular out-of-hours standby payments and call-out allowances should also have been included. 8. Supreme Court removes hurdles for claiming indirect discriminationEssop and others v Home Office (UK Border Agency) (Supreme Court)In Essop and its companion case Naeem, the Supreme Court removed some of the barriers that have built up for claimants bringing indirect discrimination claims. 4. Shared parental leave policies in the spotlightAli v Capita Customer Management Ltd (employment tribunal)When shared parental leave was introduced, one of the biggest concerns was how much employers that enhance maternity pay should pay those on shared parental pay.Employers that enhance maternity pay had to think very carefully about whether or not to offer enhanced shared parental pay. Employers that do not do so risk a sex discrimination claim from men and have to be prepared to justify their policy.Another shared parental leave caseHextall v Leicestershire PoliceMr Ali’s employer allowed him just two weeks’ paternity leave on full pay, while offering mothers full pay for 14 weeks. In contrast, shared parental leave was paid at the statutory minimum. Mr Ali, whose wife had post-natal depression and wished return to work, could not afford to take leave at this level of pay.Mr Ali won his claim for sex discrimination in the employment tribunal. The employer is appealing against this ruling and the EAT ruling could turn out to be a key case for employers in 2018. More gig economy casesUber BV v Aslam Boxer v Excel Group ServicesIWGB v RooFoods t/a DeliverooUber, CitySprint and Excel have all been found to have been disguising “workers”, who are entitled to basic rights such as annual leave and the national minimum wage, as self-employed. However, the key case involved a more traditional profession: a plumber.In this case, the Court of Appeal held that a plumber, described in his contract as a “self-employed operative”, was in fact a “worker”. Pimlico Plumbers has appealed to the Supreme Court, with the hearing expected to take place in February 2018. Reply 3. “Workers” can no longer be disguised as “self-employed”Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another v Smith (Court of Appeal)Cases about the employment status of the gig economy workforce have dominated the 2017 headlines. Mike 15 Dec 2017 at 6:39 am # The last year has been a very significant one for employment case law. Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most important judgments for employers in 2017.In 2017, the employment law headlines were dominated by case law on employment status in the gig economy, annual leave entitlement, religious dress in the workplace; and enhanced shared parental leave.Keep track of key employment law cases on appealThis year also saw one of the most important employment law decisions of the last 50 years: the abolition of tribunal fees. Previous Article Next Article The 10 most important employment law cases in 2017By Stephen Simpson on 13 Dec 2017 in Tribunal Watch, Financial penalties, Shared parental leave, Gig economy, Employment law, Case law, Holidays and holiday pay, Personnel Today, Employment tribunals, Human rights, Maternity & paternity 7. Long-term sick leave dismissals: guidance for employers on borderline casesO’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy (Court of Appeal)In this case involving a teacher who was off sick for more than a year, the Court of Appeal provided guidance on when employers can dismiss an employee on long-term sick leave.The decision is particularly valuable for HR professionals faced with employees on long-term sick leave whose diagnosis and timeframe for recovery are uncertain. 1. “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.”R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor (Supreme Court)You know a judgment is important when the judge cites Magna Carta. In an outcome no one predicted, the Supreme Court stunned the employment law world in July 2017 by ruling that employment tribunal fees are unlawful.Tribunal feesTribunal fees refund scheme now open Podcast: Abolition of feesThe decision was a huge surprise as Unison, the union that brought the challenge, had already failed three times in the higher courts to have the hefty fees for bringing an employment tribunal claim quashed. The Supreme Court had different ideas to the High Court and Court of Appeal.The seven judges ruled unanimously that having to pay up to £1,200 to bring a claim against an employer was a serious impediment to access to justice. The Government was forced to cease employment tribunal fees immediately after the judgment.The process is now underway for the Government to repay claimants who paid the fees from their introduction in July 2013 until their abolition in July 2017. 2. Annual leave claims could cost employers millionsThe Sash Window Workshop Ltd and another v King (ECJ)Late in the year, the ECJ delivered a final sting in the tail, in a judgment with wide implications for employers with a lot of “self-employed” individuals in their workforce.In Sash Window, a salesperson agreed with his company that he would be self-employed, rather than be engaged on an employment contract. Crucially, this meant that he was not given annual leave and, whenever he did take time off, his leave was unpaid.Another holiday pay caseFlowers v East of England Ambulance TrustAfter he retired, he claimed that he was owed 13 years’ backdated holiday pay because he was really a “worker”.His case went all the way to the ECJ, which concluded that the onus is on the employer to provide paid annual leave to individuals who are really “workers”, regardless of how they are labelled and whether or not they ask for paid leave.This decision effectively wipes away attempts in recent years by Parliament and the courts to limit the potential for holiday pay claims dating back years. About Stephen Simpson Stephen Simpson is a principal employment law editor at XpertHR. His areas of responsibility include the policies and documents and law reports. After obtaining a law degree and training to be a solicitor, he moved into publishing, initially with Butterworths. He joined XpertHR in its early days in 2001. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitelast_img read more

VEDA approves $52.6 million in business financing during last quarter of 2010

first_imgDuring the last quarter of 2010, the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) approved $52.6 million in financing assistance to Vermont businesses undertaking development and expansion projects throughout the state. ‘Development projects in many different sectors of Vermont’s economy will receive financing support from VEDA,’ said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.  ‘Business investments will be made in Vermont’s commercial, manufacturing, agricultural, technology, energy, and small business sectors, translating into jobs being created or retained for Vermonters.’Several projects were given Final Approval for Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) financing by the VEDA Board of Directors.  The RZFB financing, enabled through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the Stimulus Act), provided VEDA with additional tax-exempt bond issuance capacity to commit to larger projects involving capital assets.  Projects given final RZFB financing approval are: ·         Weidmann Electrical Technology, Inc., St. Johnsbury ‘ $25 million to help Weidmann Electrical Technology, Inc. undertake a major project to purchase new equipment, including a large new paperboard production machine, and construct a new building at its St. Johnsbury facility.  The investments are expected to help the company improve production efficiency, and meet increasing product quality standards.  The Weidmann companies are global leaders in the design, manufacture and supply of electrical insulation for oil-filled transformers of all voltage ranges. The St. Johnsbury facility employs 263 people. ·         Community College of Vermont, Rutland ‘ $5.52 million to help Community College of Vermont (CCV) enter into a long-term lease with developer DEW West and Wales for a new college classroom and campus facility in downtown Rutland.  In addition to bond financing, a direct loan of $350,000 was also approved by VEDA to partially fund the project.  The Rutland location is CCV’s second largest campus and employs 16 full-time administrative staff and over 90 part-time professors.   The $8.6 million project will help CCV meet a significant increase in enrollment and expand its course offerings in Rutland.                                                                    ·         King Arthur Flour Co., Inc., Norwich ‘ $10 million to help King Arthur Flour, Inc. nearly double the size of its Norwich retail flagship store and baking education center.  King Arthur is America’s oldest flour company, founded in Boston in 1790 to provide pure, high-quality flour for residents of the newly-formed United States.  King Arthur employs 151 people, a number projected to increase to 200 jobs within three years of the expansion project. VEDA acts as underwriter for loans made through the Vermont Department of Public Service’s Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF).  CEDF loan funds are designated for business investments that bring about the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally-sustainable electric power resources to Vermont.  Projects approved by VEDA for CEDF financing assistance are: ·         Georgia Mountain Community Wind, LLC, Georgia ‘ $750,000 to Georgia Mountain Community Wind, LLC for a proposed 10-12 megawatt wind generation project to be located on Georgia Mountain in Chittenden and Franklin counties. The nearly $30 million project will involve the purchase and installation of four GE turbines, construction of 2.2 miles of new or improved access road, and 2.5 miles of electric collection line which, when completed, could produce enough clean, renewable power to meet the annual needs of approximately 3,500 Vermont households.  ·         Burke Mountain Corporation, Burke ‘ $500,000 to Burke Mountain Corporation as part of a $973,157 project to install a wind turbine, de-icing system, and transformer at the mountain. Through installing the wind turbine system and connecting to the utility grid, Burke hopes to reduce operating costs and ensure energy sustainability at the mountain.  Burke Mountain has been in continual operation for over 50 years, and is the home of Burke Mountain Academy, the preeminent ski academy in the country with 45 Olympians to its credit. Among other projects approved for VEDA financing assistance are: ·         Highland Sugarworks, Inc., Barre Town – $658,000 to help the maple-syrup producer and distributor purchase the Wilson Industrial Park facility it has been leasing  since 2009; ·         JBM Carmel, LLC and JBM Sherman Carmel, LLC, Bennington –  $380,000 to help two companies involved in armor painting and metal cutting, bending, and fabrication consolidate operations into one location through the joint purchase of an industrial building; and ·         Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC), Brattleboro – $500,000 to help Brattleboro’s development corporation retrofit space in its industrial park for lease to Bradford Machine, Inc., a local precision machine shop. In addition, VEDA approved financings totaling: ·         $4.2 million to Vermont farmers through the Authority’s agricultural loan program, the Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC);                                               ·         $1.4 million through the Authority’s Small Business Loan Program  to assist growing Vermont small businesses that are unable to access adequate sources of conventional financing;·         $823,000 through VEDA’s VT 504 Loan Program to support business real estate development projects;·         $300,000 through the Authority’s Technology Loan Program to assist smaller technology-related firms; ·          $409,394 through the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Program to help privately-owned community and privately-owned nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems construct, repair, or improve an existing eligible water system to comply with federal and state standards;·         $214,525 through the Vermont Business Energy Conservation Loan Program, designed to help eligible businesses make energy conservation improvements; and ·         $160,000 through the Brownfields Revitalization Fund Loan Program, designed to assist in the redevelopment of contaminated properties.  Source: VEDA. 12/21/2010. VEDA’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in Vermont by providing financial assistance to eligible businesses, including manufacturing, agricultural, and travel and tourism enterprises.  Since its inception in 1974, VEDA has made financing commitments totaling over $1.7 billion.  For more information about VEDA, visit is external) or call 802-828-5627.last_img read more

Latest: Southampton 1 QPR 0 – Chelsea man Bertrand strikes for the Saints

first_imgOn-loan Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand scored nine minutes into the second half to give Southampton a deserved lead at St Mary’s.After Rio Ferdinand had given the ball away, Sadio Mane held off Mauricio Isla and cleverly back-heeled the ball into the path of Bertrand, who fired under keeper Rob Green for his first goal since joining the Saints.Rangers were on the back foot from the start and were forced into an early change after Sandro suffered an apparent head injury after eight minutes.The Brazilian midfielder, back after a knee problem, was replaced by Karl Henry following lengthy treatment.Southampton, second in the table and enjoying their best start to a top-flight season since 1988, have been the better side.They almost went ahead in the first half when Dusan Tadic’s shot deflected off Steven Caulker and onto the outside of the post, before Saints forward Graziano Pelle fired into the side netting from near the edge of the six-yard box.Rangers, thrashed 4-0 in their two previous away league games this season, have been largely second best but their passing has been better and they have shown much more willingness to press the opposition.Eduardo Vargas had got through plenty of work for them on the left-hand side in an attempt to track Nathaniel Clyne.Even so, Southampton could be at least three goals up and Morgan Schniederlin missed a great chance for them on 44 minutes, steering his shot wide after being set up by Sadio Mane.Rangers’ best opening came in first-half injury time when Charlie Austin shot wide.But they were under pressure again straight after the interval and Mane’s saw a deflected effort held by Green before the deadlock was eventually broken.And Ronald Koeman’s in-form team would have quickly doubled their lead had Green not denied Tadic from close range. QPR (4-2-3-1): Green; Isla, Caulker, Ferdinand, Traore; Sandro (Henry 11), Fer; Phillips, (Hoilett 58) Kranjcar; Vargas, Austin. Subs: Hill, McCarthy, Onouha, Dunne, Zamora.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

A’s manager Bob Melvin wins Manager of the Year for third time

first_imgIt’s Melvin’s … Click here if you are unable to view this gallery on a mobile device.OAKLAND — Few people in baseball are having a better offseason than Bob Melvin.Two weeks after getting a contract extension through 2021, the A’s manager was named American League Manager of the Year.Melvin received 18 of the 30 first-place votes for the award given out by Baseball Writers’ Association of America, finishing ahead of Boston’s Alex Cora (7) and Kevin Cash (5) of the Tampa Bay Rays.last_img

Cambrian Explosion Still Explosive

first_img51; Two new papers about Cambrian and Precambrian fossils did nothing to help soften the blow of the Cambrian explosion – the sudden appearance of all the animal body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  They essentially restated the problem for Darwin, who hoped that fossil discoveries would fill in the gaps where his required transitional forms were missing.Ediacaran simplicity.  In PNAS,1 three researchers from Virginia announced results of their study of the mysterious Ediacaran organisms that (according to evolutionary dating) lived prior to the Cambrian explosion, 575-542 million years ago.  They found that these organisms were most likely able to feed by osmosis.  It had been thought that the high surface area to volume ratio required for osmotrophy (direct absorption of dissolved organic carbon) presented physiological barriers to organisms this large, but they found that adaptations allowed the Ediacarans to overcome these barriers.  Combined with the fact that they lacked oral openings, this underscores the perception of Ediacaran organisms as relatively simple colonies of cells, without any internal structures that might suggest they represented transitional forms leading to the complex animals that exploded onto the scene at the early Cambrian.  Science Daily reported this finding on August 21.All phyla present at the explosion:  Desmond Collins, a retired curator of invertebrate paleontology and head of paleobiology at the Royal Ontario Museum, spent 12 seasons 1983-2000 investigating the famous Burgess Shale.  This rich fossil bed in the Canadian Rockies contains one of the richest lodes of middle Cambrian fossils in the world.  Writing for Nature,1 Collins recounted the history of exploration of the Burgess Shale by R. G. McConnell and Charles Doolittle Walcott in the late 1880s to early 1900s, with a focus on the difficulty of classifying the “wonderful life” found there.  Walcott and others attempted to shoehorn the fossils into known phyla at the time.  Others criticized that approach, but current thinking does put most of them into known groups.  “There are some extinct classes, such as the Dinocarida,” Collins said, “but very few extinct phyla.”  Then he combined Burgess fossils with the Chinese findings at Chengjiang and others from Greenland into a categorical statement: “Along with the Burgess Shale animals, they demonstrate that virtually all animal groups alive today were present in Cambrian seas.”  The Chengjiang biota, he said, includes “new chordates, the group that includes humans.”    Collins briefly discussed “The Darwin connection.”  But it wasn’t very supportive of Darwinism.  Apparently much of the impetus for Walcott’s search in the Burgess Shale was the Darwin Centennial of 1909: Walcott first visited Mount Stephen in 1907 – the year that he was appointed secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC – to study the Cambrian stratigraphy of the area.  Two years later the Darwin centennial seems to have provided the serendipitous stimulus for his discovery of the Burgess Shale.  Walcott was given an honorary doctorate at the University of Cambridge, UK, in June, as part of the 1909 celebrations.The celebration of the Burgess Shale as a possible help to Darwinism was apparently premature.  Collins said nothing further about Darwin.  Exciting as the Burgess Shale fossils proved to be, none of them provided the transitional forms necessary to explain the sudden appearance of phyla at the Cambrian explosion – a phenomenon Darwin himself conceded was the most serious challenge to his theory. 1.  Laflamme, Xiao and Kowalewski, “Osmotrophy in modular Ediacara organisms,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online August 17, 2009, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904836106.2.  Desmond Collins, “Misadventures in the Burgess Shale,” Nature 460, 952-953 (20 August 2009) | doi:10.1038/460952a.Soon to be a major motion picture!  Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record is being released next month by Illustra Media, the group that defended intelligent design in the cell with Unlocking the Mystery of Life and in astronomy with The Privileged Planet.  This third film, a beautiful and powerful production, completes a trilogy of documentaries that are undermining Darwin’s grip on natural history and making a strong case for I.D.  The Nature article above is a timely announcement.  It did nothing to help protect Mr. Darwin from the impact of this new film.  If anything, both articles took away whatever armor he had.  The first article said that the Ediacarans were simple organisms with no transitional connection to the Cambrian animals.  The second underscored the fact that virtually all animal groups alive today were present in Cambrian seas.  Animals just appear, as if planted there, fully formed and loaded with biological information.  In our 9 years of reporting, we have never seen any Darwinist solve this problem (search on “Cambrian explosion” in the search bar).  We have only seen it grow worse for them: every new fossil discovery amplifies the concussion.    Through beautiful photography captivating animation, and interviews with reputable scientists, Darwin’s Dilemma tells the story of McConnell, Walcott, Darwin, the Ediacaran fauna, the Chengjiang fossils, the origin of major animal body plans, the significance of biological information – everything you need to know about the Cambrian explosion’s challenge to Darwinism.  The film will be available from RPI soon.  You can fill in a form at Illustra to be notified when it becomes available.    What terrible timing for the Darwinians.  Just on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Origin of Species (November 2009), and the centennial of the Burgess Shale discoveries (August 2009), a trilogy of masterly blows are threatening to make Darwinism go extinct.  Darwin had hoped that further discoveries in the fossil record would provide the evidence he needed for his hypothesis that slime plus time could produce the sublime.  Little did he know that he would become a fossil himself, soon to be displayed in the museums of a more enlightened age.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Darwinism Breeds Bigotry, Arrogance, and Hate

first_imgHow to start a mud volcano: say something that hints at some disagreement with Darwinian evolution.There’s a puzzling sociological phenomenon going on in the world today. These are supposed to be days of tolerance. If you dare to say something derogatory about any politically-correct protected class, you can be hounded out of your job and lose your reputation, even if you said it decades ago. Some internet giants and NGO’s monitor “hate speech” regularly. Without any warning they can scrub accounts they feel step over the line. Other organizations will post lists of ‘hate groups’ to shame them and deny them business. We are all taught to be “tolerant” and to engage in “civil” dialogue, with dire consequences for those who engage in defamatory rhetoric. We recall one unfortunate soul who used the word “niggardly” (a legitimate word meaning “stingy”) and lost his job, because somebody thought he used the “N-word.”There is one group that remains unprotected from the most blatant hate speech found anywhere. That group is Darwin doubters, or Darwin skeptics. It includes creationists and advocates of intelligent design (ID), but is broad enough to include anyone who is not 100% convinced that Darwinian evolution is absolute fact. Darwin skeptics are not necessarily theists or members of any creation group or advocates of intelligent design. If they voice any disagreement with pure materialistic evolution, here is the kind of treatment they can expect. (Note: these are some of the milder examples.)Creation-Evolution Headlines uses Twitter to announce new articles. Many times, people of good will who agree with our positions will “like” or “retweet” our posts. Sometimes, though, a report on something that challenges evolution brings out the pro-Darwin attack dogs in force. We try to respond to honest questions, but we demand civility, and enforce a three-strikes rule for ad hominems and profanity. Occasionally, that rule leads to a thoughtful exchange. Often, though, other atheists and pro-Darwinists get word of the conversation and jump in, interjecting filth and hate. When warned, they pour on more hate! A dogpile ensues, and trying to carry on a rational discussion is like trying to talk to a blowtorch.Many atheists and Darwin attack dogs are actually proud of their hate speech. When called on it or given “Strike one” for violating the rules, they treat this like a badge of honor. If their words were spoken against any protected class, they would be bounced off Twitter faster than you can say “No!” But they not only get away with it, they pass around their favorite profanities to all their friends, none of whom ever call them on it. They add us to their ‘lists’ like “Liars for Jesus” and “Creatards.” We cannot post the worst tweets due to their vulgarity, but here’s a taste:It’s very clear that many of the atheist/Darwinist tweeters do not even read the articles they complain about. Just hearing about something that lumps a person in with “them” (creationists), or seeing something that questions the Darwinian consensus is enough to set them off. They don’t see the irony in their words, because they commit many of the same faults they attack in their enemies:They will lie, and then call you a liar.They will display bigotry, but call you a bigoted creationist who refuses to look at evidence.They don’t understand their own theory, but will call you ignorant.They accuse you of trusting a holy book, but will rely on authority of the scientific consensus.They will make fallacious statements, but accuse you of logical fallacies.They will rush to judgment, then say you don’t use the scientific method.They will say you don’t have any scientific evidence, then ignore the evidence you give them.They demand specific answers, but speak in broad generalities.They will say you don’t understand science, but then use religious arguments.They will call you irrational, but then engage in mockery.They will threaten you, then call you a threat to society.What is it about Darwinism that does this to people? In a sense, you could say that they are acting in accordance with their beliefs. They need to prove survival of the fittest so they can spread their genes. Just like rams butting heads, they go after rivals with vengeance. That would make sense, because they truly believe they are evolved mammals who arose without purpose or mind. One of their best evolutionary strategies, therefore, is to attack and charge. Ironically, though, they don’t see themselves doing this on purpose. They have actually convinced themselves that they are defenders of truth and evidence, and so they feel righteously obligated to stop Darwin skeptics, envisioning them as threats to truth. But when evidence and logic is presented to them, they attack with even more vitriol. This makes sense if they are mere mammals, because Darwinian survival of the fittest is not concerned with truth. The chief value is fitness, which involves removing rivals by any and all means possible. The irony is lost on them.Many will attack the Bible specifically, calling it “tribal superstitions” or worse (so much for religious toleration). Their favorite attack, though, is to call Darwin skeptics “ignorant.” They do this to any Darwin skeptic, even to ones with multiple PhDs like Dembski, Wells and Meyer, categorically denying them a fair hearing just for the crime of doubting Darwin. Intelligent design scientists get the same filth-arrows as young-earth creationists, because they feel their idol, Charles Darwin, has been blasphemed (or might have been; it makes no difference).Social media platforms, with their anonymity, may have made these attitudes more visible and easier to spread, but it’s important to recognize that this attitude of hate and intolerance has gone on for a long time by Darwinians. The vicious attacks against Darwin doubters began soon after The Origin, when Darwin used his X-Club to promote his views (12 Sept 2004). Initially, they pleaded for fairness and freedom of inquiry. Once power was in their sights at the Scopes Trial, their hate really took off. The Discovery Institute writes,It’s one of the most powerful stereotypes out there:Supporters of Darwin’s theory are open-minded champions of free inquiry, while critics of Darwin are intolerant bigots who want to replace the teaching of evolution with religious dogma.Ever wonder where this awful stereotype came from?Look no further than an event that took place 93 years ago this Saturday. That’s when high school teacher John Scopes was convicted of teaching human evolution in Dayton, Tennessee.Indeed, some modern Twitter atheists seem to have taken lessons from Darwinians in that hot summer of 1925:Darrow to Bryan at the Scopes trial: “You insult every man of science and learning in the world because he does not believe in your fool religion.”[a newspaper reporter]: “he [William Jennings Bryan] is still engaged in battling earnestly for organized ignorance, superstition, and tyranny . . . He has illuminated vividly for the rest of us the essentially bigoted position of himself and his followers, and the degree of religious intolerance which they will undoubtedly enforce upon the country if they ever get the chance.”Dudley Field Malone at the Scopes Trial: “We do not fear all the truth they can present as facts. We are ready. We stand with progress. We stand with science. We stand with intelligence. We feel that we stand with the fundamental freedoms in America. We are not afraid. Where is fear? We defy it!” Turning and pointing a finger at William Jennings Bryan, he cried, “There is fear!” According to a report, “the crowd went out of control – cheering, stamping, pounding on desks – until it was necessary to adjourn for fifteen minutes to restore order.”Anti-creationist vituperation became a virtual art form for decades afterward. Some of it is so over-the-top, it would make good comedy, but the haters are really serious:Horatio Hockett Newman, 1932: “There is no rival hypothesis except the outworn and completely refuted idea of special creation, now retained only by the ignorant, the dogmatic, and the prejudiced.”“…to require teachers to give serious consideration to creationism is as unjustified as requiring them to teach other doctrines – such as astrology, alchemy and phrenology…” (Stephen G. Brush, The Science Teacher 4/1981, p. 33)Isaac Asimov, in a fund-raiser letter for the ACLU: “These religious zealots neither know nor understand the actual arguments for – or even against – the theory of evolution. But they are marching like an army of the night into our public schools with their Bibles held high.”Densely-packed loaded words from Michael Ruse (July 2002): “Why should science journals give space to intelligent design (ID) or any other crackpot pseudo-theory, manufactured to cover the nakedness of biblical literalism in scientific dress to get around the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state?”Some well-known atheistic Darwinians like Richard Dawkins have actually encouraged their followers to use mockery and ridicule (see article in World Magazine). In that particular “Reason Rally” in 2012, Dawkins targeted Catholics, but to him and many atheistic Darwinists, there’s little difference: being a non-atheist of any stripe is enough to make one a target of Darwinist hate. Christian, Jew, creationist, ID advocate, theistic evolutionist, Darwin skeptic, even a well-meaning reporter who doesn’t know any better and uses the wrong terminology – it makes little difference. Merely doubting Darwin earns what we might call “The Darwin Sneer.” At best, the target gets a look of disdain, and is treated differently from then on. At worst, the hateful rhetoric and mudslinging comes with a vengeance that nearly incites violence.No worries. He hasn’t replied to me & the FACT is he’s wrong so it doesn’t matter if he does reply or lies more. He can’t suddenly become “not wrong”. I was done in November of 2016 with these imbeciles. They hate women, POC and the LGBTQ community because of an imaginary deity. That’s basically the end of the discussion. Morons made up a god thousands of years ago in order to control other people who know it’s all bulls***. They’ve never been content minding their own business. They want smart people to be forced to live by their idiotic myth. And I’m done with that. I assume he’s American because half of them are dumber than dirt. They have a crappy education system and allow con artists to run around telling people that magic and superstition are true things. And then they use a COMPUTER to spread their nonsense.The Darwinist hatemongers also jump to the conclusion that anybody who doubts Darwin must also be anti-gay, anti-transgender, anti-abortion, racist, homophobic,  – in short, a person representing everything the Left despises. That’s because Darwinism is a key foundation to all that the Left believes. It’s a package deal. Few are the atheistic Darwinians who are politically conservative. Read their Twitter pages and you will see many of them trashing Ken Ham one moment and mocking Donald Trump the next.Dr Bergman has published 3 books of true stories of careers ruined by Darwin bigotsIn chapter 2 of Silencing the Darwin Skeptics (volume II of the Slaughter of the Dissidents series), Dr Jerry Bergman addresses “The Name-Calling Problem.” He points out that name-calling is the first stage in marginalizing a group before persecuting them. The Holocaust was preceded by years of hate speech against Jews, but there have been other cases.In fact, one of the tell-tale signs of discrimination in action is when any group is broadly described in all-inclusive terms, i.e., all are ignoramuses, religious nuts, pseudo-science advocates, etc. This is no different than claiming all African Americans are lazy, shiftless bums. Most Americans know this is inaccurate and will not tolerate such stereotyping when it is directed towards a protected class of citizens. Where no allowance for differences within any group exists, and when all members of a group are referred to disparagingly, discrimination is usually afoot.Bergman supplies many examples of the name-calling tactic used against Darwin skeptics in the media, in blogs, in periodicals, book reviews and academia. Having a PhD or being a renowned expert is no protection against the Darwin Sneer: doubt Darwin, and expect humiliating attacks. At the beginning of the chapter, Bergman conducted a non-scientific poll to see what would turn up in Google searches about Darwin skeptics. His list of 48 frequently-found terms included incompetent, ignoramus, stupid, liars, inept, IDiots, mentally retarded, creatard, dolts, dummies, simpletons, nitwits, silly, senseless, ludicrous and other terms of derision. He tabulated search results that included fear-mongering terms like dangerous, a threat, and bigots, Others committed the association fallacy, lumping Darwin skeptics with “Flat Earthers.” Needless to say, anybody so smeared loses respect or the right to be heard in the minds of many. So who are the real bigots?Good read on the damaging consequences of Darwinism on human behaviorWe can predict some atheists responding to this article, calling it the work of “crybabies” whimpering about not getting any respect, adding that nobody who “denies science” deserves any respect. Thus, they will demonstrate further that they not only have no shame or conscience, but have no substantive arguments to make in defense of Darwin. Victimhood has nothing to do with it. We don’t take it personally anyway, because the haters don’t even know the person they’re talking to; it’s their Pavlovian response to any and all Darwin doubters. They hear the dog whistle that a creationist is on the line. They come running over, and dogpile on with boilerplate hate.Why does Darwinism do this to people? Why can’t they do better than engage in hate speech? Why can’t they defend their idol with reason and logic? Their behavior reflects badly on them, not their targets. The irony of “survival of the fittest” is lost on them. Rightly do we point out that according to their own worldview, their behavior amounts to glorified head-butting. Rightly do we point out, too, that Darwinism breeds hate and violence. A doctrine that glorifies selfishness, with no foundation for morality— what would you expect? You get what you pay for: pride, selfishness and hate. Christians will envision Satan clapping his hands at his most successful scheme for deluding God’s creatures and turning them against their Maker, fooling them into thinking they have gained knowledge of good and evil. In my experience (and I have observed the creation-evolution debate for decades), the Darwinians are the worst at name-calling. There may be a few creationists who have engaged in it here or there, but for the most part, creationists are the ones calling for a fair-sided, civil discussion about evidence. Those creationists who are Christians are taught by the Bible to be gentle toward all and to love their enemies. None of the major creation groups or ID organizations I know endorse hate speech or name-calling. They may go after bad ideas strongly, but do not attack individuals. At CEH, we use cartoons and use the Darwin dictionary for rhetorical purposes to make a point. Darwin—now long dead—has long ago morphed into an icon for his ideas, so portraying him in a cartoon image makes a point about Darwinism rather than about his personal life. That’s very different from smearing a particular living creationist as a “creatard” or attacking all creationists as “liars” and “nincompoops.” We laugh at the latest just-so stories, but do not disparage the human worth of the storytellers. Jesus mocked behaviors, too: he called the Pharisees “blind guides” who “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel,” but he warned against calling someone “Thou fool.” Certainly none on the creation side should ever use profanity and vulgar expletives. If they do, they deserve to be admonished. We’ve seen atheists and Darwinians on Twitter, however, take great pleasure in trying to outdo one another applying obscene terms and four-letter words to creationists.Jesus also warned, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6). In that picturesque analogy he did not call Mr. Pharisee X a pig. The analogy was generic; the audience knew what he meant; you can waste your time on some opponents, just like swine will have no appreciation for pearls when their intent is to attack you in the mud. Wisdom demands seeking out those willing to listen even a little bit, but recognizing the point when it does more harm than good. Our hope with Twitter debates is not to persuade the attackers, but to show followers watching quietly on the sidelines who has the best arguments, and who is acting civil. Atheists: if you are listening, we have some advice to help you. Stop making our point for us. You’re only hurting your case. Make our debate challenging by acting respectable, respectful, being good listeners, sticking with the topic at hand, and focusing on the evidence and logic. We would love to hear you explain—using Darwinian mechanisms alone—how logic evolved. Achieve that, and we may act dumbfounded! 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10 months agoBarcelona coach Valverde confirms Munir leaving

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona coach Valverde confirms Munir leavingby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed Munir El Haddadi is leaving.The 54-year-old tactician has clarified that both the Blaugrana and the Spanish-Moroccan have decided to part ways.”Munir has made a decision and the club has also taken it,” he told a press conference on Wednesday.”We want a solution as soon as possible, if possible during this market.”I have nothing against Munir, as he has played and trained well and I don’t have much more to say about it.” last_img

For Decades Relievers Pitched Better Than Starters Not Anymore

Over the years, bullpens have eroded the workloads of starting pitchers. This season, relievers have accounted for the greatest share of pitching workload in Major League Baseball history: They have completed 41.1 percent of total innings through Wednesday, up from last year’s record of 40 percent. There are a variety of reasons for this trend, including teams becoming more aware of how starting pitchers tend to do worse each time through the opposing lineup and the increasing specialization of the sport.For more than 40 years, relievers had outperformed starters on a per-inning basis. But this season, through Wednesday, starters’ ERA is 0.02 points lower than that of relievers. Starters have not posted an ERA superior to that of relievers since 1973, but that gap has shrunk rapidly, and this year it could be potentially erased. As recently as 2012, the overall ERA of relievers was half a run better than that of starting pitchers.Perhaps this suggests that the sport has reached the limits of bullpenning and specialization — there are too many relievers employed. Through Tuesday, 492 different pitchers who primarily serve in relief have appeared in games this season.1At least 90 percent of games pitched as relievers. That already breaks the record set last season (488) and is up from 381 relievers in 2010 and 297 in 1998, the first season that MLB had 30 teams.This change in personnel may explain relievers’ decline in performance the first time through opposing lineups, relative to starting pitchers, a trend that Ben Clemens at FanGraphs documented in May and has continued into the summer. For the first time this century, starters have been better than relievers in their first time through the order in back-to-back seasons. Craig Edwards, also of FanGraphs, found there have been more low-leverage innings this year and poorer performance within them,2According to Leverage Index (LI), which is a measure of the relative “pressure” a player has faced. speaking to less meaningful baseball and more poor teams. Those innings have presumably been pitched by lesser relievers, diluting the group’s overall performance. There have been fewer meaningful innings this season — and also a greater volume of lesser-skilled relievers.A key decision for managers in today’s game is deciding whether to stick with a starter a third time through the lineup or to use the bullpen. And the gap between starters in that position and relievers has shrunk to its lowest level since 2005, as relievers have an advantage of only 49 points of opponent OPS this season compared with a 64-point edge last season and a century-high, 88-point difference in 2007, according to reason for the convergence between starters and relievers is that starting pitchers are gaining relative skill. For the first time in the pitch-tracking era, which dates to 2007, the average fastball velocity of starting pitchers (93.3 mph) is less than 1 mph (0.8 mph) slower than that of relievers (94.1 mph). In 2012, relievers’ average fastballs were 1.7 mph faster than those of starters, and the difference has generally been shrinking since. Relievers’ overall fastball velocity has even declined this season, for the first time since 2008. Moreover, starters so far in 2019 have posted a higher difference between their strikeout rate and walk rate (14.5 percentage points) than relievers (13.9 percentage points). This is the first time starters have had a greater difference than relievers in the two rates since 1986.New technology is also allowing pitchers to improve the efficiency of their pitches. Starting pitchers also generally have a greater variety of pitches — and better command — than relievers, which is arguably one reason why they are starting pitchers and not relievers. If starters close the velocity gap, where relievers have traditionally held an advantage, they are closing a significant portion of the performance divide.Perhaps the game has swung too far in favor of relievers. Managers might want to wait a little longer on that call to the bullpen, or at least consider whom they are calling upon.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Buckeyes win big in battle of Ohio

There was no Hurricane hangover for Ohio State. One week after dismantling Miami (Fla.), the No. 2 Buckeyes (3-0) poured it on in-state rival Ohio (1-2), holding the Bobcats to 158 total yards in a 43-7 victory Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Two years ago, Ohio gave OSU a major scare, taking a narrow lead into the fourth quarter before the Buckeyes pulled away for a 26-14 win. Saturday’s game bore little resemblance. OSU scored on its first six possessions, racking up a 34-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor set a school record by completing 16 consecutive passes, breaking Jim Karsatos’ mark of 12 that stood for 25 years. Pryor finished 22-for-29 for 235 yards, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another. He and the first-team offense sat out the fourth quarter. “When you feel more comfortable, things start to slow down for you and you can make those passes,” receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “Being able to throw those passes so comfortably, it led to all those completions.” On the second play from scrimmage, safety Tyler Moeller intercepted a pass by Ohio quarterback Phil Bates. OSU converted the turnover into a field goal. The day never got easier for the Bobcat offense. Ohio punted on its next three possessions and before the first quarter was over, OSU led 24-0. “Defensively, we shut them down in the first half for sure,” coach Jim Tressel said. Pryor threw a strike to running back Brandon Saine across the middle for a 9-yard score to give the Buckeyes a 10-0 edge. Minutes later, Pryor scampered 13 yards to the end zone to add to the lead. “Pryor got out of the pocket a lot and we can’t let that happen,” Ohio linebacker Noah Keller said. “He’s a hard guy to tackle. He has a deadly arm and a killer stiff arm.” When the Bobcats weren’t punting, they were committing turnovers. The Buckeyes forced three fumbles, two interceptions and once stopped Ohio on downs. OSU picked off four passes by Miami quarterback Jacory Harris last week. “We had a lot of problems,” said Bates, who finished 4-for-9 for 13 yards and two interceptions. “We didn’t execute plays, hit people when they were open or get key blocks. We have a lot of work to do.” The Buckeyes out-gained Ohio in the first half, 290-47. The Bobcats didn’t move the chains for a first down until midway through the second quarter. They promptly fumbled the ball away on the next play. The Buckeyes stretched the lead to 34-0 following a touchdown pass from Pryor to tight end Jake Stoneburner and a 2-yard touchdown run by Dan “Boom” Herron. Despite the lopsided score, Tressel kept the first-team offense on the field through the end of the third quarter. The unit looked out-of-sync with the sizeable lead, as Pryor threw his second interception of the game into double coverage. “Interceptions ruin a quarterback’s day in their own mind,” Tressel said. “Sometimes you forget about the 22 completions and all you do is think about the two that didn’t work well.” Herron capped off the first-team offense’s final drive with his second touchdown to provide the Buckeyes a 43-0 advantage. Ohio finally got on the board with a touchdown with 6:11 remaining in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Boo Jackson to receiver Terrence McCrae. While OSU flourished on offense and defense, the persistent problems on special teams plagued the Buckeyes yet again. Ohio cornerback Julian Posey, who covered his younger brother, OSU receiver DeVier Posey, most of the game, had a first-quarter kick return touchdown brought back because of a penalty. The Bobcats also blocked an OSU punt in the third quarter. “We just flat out missed a guy,” Tressel said. “You can’t do that, not if you want to win.” Still, the Buckeyes were able to put away Ohio early and avoid a repeat of the 2008 matchup. “We were thinking about the OU game two years ago,” said defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, who recovered a fumble and made a tackle in the end zone for a safety. “We didn’t want to let down our fans. I think everybody took the challenge.” OSU plays Eastern Michigan, winless since Nov. 28, 2008, next Saturday at 3:30 p.m., at the Horseshoe. read more

Pryor lights up Indiana defense with career day

A week after suffering a quadriceps strain that caused him to miss playing time, quarterback Terrelle Pryor put up career-high passing numbers against Indiana. Pryor threw for 334 yards, topping a previous career high of 266 yards against Oregon. “Obviously it means something, I’m human,” he said. “We all have statistics we want to get.” Pryor reached the milestone in less than three quarters of work, as he exited the game when the Buckeyes led 38-0. Despite its significance, Pryor was more concerned with adding to the number in the win column than piling up yardage, he said. The team was quick to share the praise. “I think the combination between the (offensive) line protecting well, Terrelle making his reads and knowing his coverages and the receivers running great routes, it’s all going well,” center Mike Brewster said. Coach Jim Tressel agreed it wasn’t all Pryor’s doing. “The key to the passing game is protection,” he said. “I thought our guys up front did well. I thought our blitz pickup was good.” The leg injury to Pryor, the team’s leading rusher entering the game, might have factored in to the gaudy passing numbers. “I wasn’t comfortable running at all. I really wanted to stand in (the pocket),” he said. “I threw some good balls.” The team did not call any designed runs for Pryor and encouraged him not to scramble. “We did talk a little bit more this week in some film session about hanging on (to the ball longer) … because we did feel like we could protect,” Tressel said. The extra time allowed Pryor to complete 24 of his 30 passing attempts. “He was putting the balls on the money,” running back Brandon Saine said. “I think he was going through his progressions and doing what he knew how to do.” Preparation was also important. “From the film, it looked like we would get a lot of zone coverage from them and not a lot of man coverage,” wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher said. “We knew what was coming and how to prepare.” That film study allowed OSU to take what the defense was giving them en route to three touchdowns through the air. “The pass was working well, so we felt like we were (going to) pass it more,” Brewster said. That won’t always be the case. “We can have that success throwing the ball anytime, but that’s not the style of play we always want to play,” Pryor said. When the Buckeyes do play that style, teammates trust their quarterback. “When Terrelle is passing as good as he’s passing,” lineman Justin Boren said, “we’ve got a Heisman trophy candidate in the back field.” read more