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DAVIDSON: The Credentials of Educators in the Age of Over-Information

Can we be confident in the advice we receive from those who have not mastered what they teach?

Jeff Davidson

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I attended a lecture by one of the most well-known authors and speakers in America. I had previewed his CD and read two of his books prior to his lecture. In person, he lived up to my expectations. Naturally, I was intrigued when a friend involved with bringing this speaker to our area relayed a personal incident to me.

Following the speaker’s presentation, my friend was responsible for driving him to the airport, and accompanying him until his flight departed. That summer afternoon, it was rainy and the skies were dark. As it turned out, the author was a nervous flyer and took several drinks in the airport lounge prior to boarding the plane.

Walking His Talk?

I found this incident to be amazing because I had so often heard him say things such as, “Everything in this universe is perfect.” It struck me that, in many ways, the speaker wasn’t practicing his philosophy. Nevertheless, all human beings have their faults and foibles and, as time passed, I forgot about the incident.

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Returning from a trip, I had the occasion to pick up USA Today. In the lifestyle section, an article featured a relationship guru who was also an author of international best-sellers. She had won the “Oscar” of infomercials, earning $24 million in a single year. In USA Today, the reporter asked her why we should listen to a relationship guru who had been married five times. Five times? I couldn’t believe it! She had wedded her fifth husband, some 11 years her junior, only a short time before producing her award-winning infomercial on having a successful relationship.

In the infomercial, she is featured as having a loving relationship with her husband. The infomercial does not say that he is her fifth husband and that she had married him weeks ago. At that point, I recalled the story about the nervous flyer author. Yet, nothing prepared me for the news about the relationship guru, a self-proclaimed expert, using 21st-century marketing to sell her information and products.

She was well-versed in her subject matter and upon hearing her advice, it did seem sound. However, the larger issue is, “Can we be confident in the advice we receive from those who have not mastered what they teach, or who do not remotely walk their talk?”

The Fifth Souffle

To the partial defense of those who skillfully dispense information, in the case of the guru above, she asked the reporter, “Would you rather learn how to cook a souffle
from someone who’s tried it once? Or from someone who’s tried it five times?”

While it is entirely possible that instructors who do not have strong academic credentials, substantial experience, formal training, certifications, licenses, and other forms of accreditation can be entirely competent in their field of endeavor, the odds are with those who have the aforementioned bona fides.

We live in a fast-moving society, and if you wish to be the dispenser of goods or services, on some level you already know that people often make snap judgments. They’ll see something about you in the news, read about you online, hear from a friend, or see a brochure. That first notice gets them thinking, maybe they ought to buy your product or acquire your service.

There is something to be said, however, for vendors who punch all the tickets, for being in the same place for a long time, having a proven track record, having throngs of satisfied clients or customers, guaranteeing their work, delivering consistent performance, being available for follow-up and feedback, and standing behind everything that they do.

Opinion

Pentagon Reverses Statement on Drone Strike, Admits to Killing Civilians

Has the Biden administration done ANYTHING right in Afghanistan?!

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In the chaotic last few days of the American occupation of Afghanistan, there were a lot moving parts and quite a bit of calamity.

The Biden administration’s abrupt choice to expedite the withdrawal of US assets caused the Afghan Security Forces to essentially vaporize, and the Taliban conquered the entire country in a meager 11 days.  In the process, hundreds died, including 13 members of the US military after a series of terror attacks amid the throngs of people trying to flee via the airport in Kabul.

On top of that, the Pentagon was carrying out drone strikes meant to suppress the capabilities of new terror group ISIS-K, but, instead, killed innocent children.

Now, after initially denying that the strike was a failure, the Pentagon has decided to come clean.

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Head of the United States Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced Friday that it is unlikely any ISIS-K members were killed in a Kabul drone strike on August 29, which led to multiple civilian casualties.

“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces,” McKenzie said of the airstrike at a briefing, following an investigation by the Military.

“This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,” Mckenzie said, adding that he is “fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.”

DOD officials also prepared a statement to the family of the deceased.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I offer my deepest condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed, including Mr. Ahmadi, and to the staff of Nutrition and Education International, Mr. Ahmadi’s employer,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a lengthy statement on the investigation’s findings. “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed.

“We apologize, and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake,” Austin added, saying that officials “will scrutinize not only what we decided to do — and not do — on the 29th of August, but also how we investigated those outcomes.”

The incident is but one of a long list of failures by the Biden administration in recent weeks, and certainly isn’t going to throw cold water on the growing calls for impeachment.

In the chaotic last few days of the American occupation of Afghanistan, there were a lot moving parts and quite a bit of calamity. The Biden administration’s abrupt choice to expedite the withdrawal of US assets caused the Afghan Security Forces to essentially vaporize, and the Taliban conquered the entire country in a meager 11 days.  In the process, hundreds died, including 13 members of the US military after a series of terror attacks amid the throngs of people trying to flee via the airport in Kabul. On top of that, the Pentagon was carrying out drone strikes meant to suppress the capabilities of new terror group ISIS-K, but, instead, killed innocent children. Now, after initially denying that the strike was a failure, the Pentagon has decided to come clean. Head of the United States Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced Friday that it is unlikely any ISIS-K members were killed in a Kabul drone strike on August 29, which led to multiple civilian casualties. “We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces,” McKenzie said of the airstrike at a briefing, following an investigation by the Military. “This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,” Mckenzie said, adding that he is “fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.” DOD officials also prepared a statement to the family of the deceased. “On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I offer my deepest condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed, including Mr. Ahmadi, and to the…

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Opinion

Even More Trouble Arrives for AOC After Met Gala Dress Stunt Flops

This one is going to sting a little.

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Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quite familiar with the way in which the media cycle works, and her place in it.  While her politics aren’t always in tune with the center of our country, her use of social media to cultivate a narrative is nigh unmatched, and it’s something that has to be taken into consideration whenever she catches a headline.

This is all a part of the show, in other words.

This week’s AOC stunt came to us from the posh, $30,000 per ticket Met Gala, at which the precocious progressive from New York was seen sporting a white dress with gaudy red writing on it.  The message?  “Tax The Rich”.

Yes, at an event that costs $30,000 to get in the door.

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But AOC didn’t pay to be there.  She was a “guest of the museum”, which is a clever trick to get her around all those “impermissible gift” laws that we have in this country.

That’s why the Democrat was almost immediately slapped with an ethics complaint after the stunt.  This week, she picked up yet another.

The complaint from the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) to the Office of Congressional Ethics alleged that Ocasio-Cortez improperly accepted tickets from a table sponsor for herself and her boyfriend.

House rules allow members to take free tickets to charity events directly from event organizers, and The Post reported Tuesday that AOC and boyfriend Riley Roberts were directly invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

However, the NLPC argued that “it is the table sponsor who is gifting or underwriting a coveted seat to AOC at the Gala.

“And if … the table where AOC sat was one paid for by one of [the] corporations attending the event, such as Instagram or Facebook, AOC has received a prohibited gift from the corporation that also lobbies Congress.”

The dress and the scene caused a bit of an uproar when it first hit social media, as it didn’t take long for users to point out the obvious irony of it all.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is quite familiar with the way in which the media cycle works, and her place in it.  While her politics aren’t always in tune with the center of our country, her use of social media to cultivate a narrative is nigh unmatched, and it’s something that has to be taken into consideration whenever she catches a headline. This is all a part of the show, in other words. This week’s AOC stunt came to us from the posh, $30,000 per ticket Met Gala, at which the precocious progressive from New York was seen sporting a white dress with gaudy red writing on it.  The message?  “Tax The Rich”. Yes, at an event that costs $30,000 to get in the door. But AOC didn’t pay to be there.  She was a “guest of the museum”, which is a clever trick to get her around all those “impermissible gift” laws that we have in this country. That’s why the Democrat was almost immediately slapped with an ethics complaint after the stunt.  This week, she picked up yet another. The complaint from the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) to the Office of Congressional Ethics alleged that Ocasio-Cortez improperly accepted tickets from a table sponsor for herself and her boyfriend. House rules allow members to take free tickets to charity events directly from event organizers, and The Post reported Tuesday that AOC and boyfriend Riley Roberts were directly invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, the NLPC argued that “it is the table sponsor who is gifting or underwriting a coveted seat to AOC at the Gala. “And if … the table where AOC sat was one paid for by one of [the] corporations attending the event, such as Instagram or Facebook, AOC has received a prohibited gift from the…

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