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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?

Trending: Another Local Reporter Stops Mid-Broadcast to Inform Station She Is Taking Them Down

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

New Poll Delivers Big Blow to Democratic Voting Initiatives

Looks like they’ll be coming back to the negotiating table with their tails between their legs.

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One of the most intense fights that we are set to see on the American political stage over the course of the next few years will undoubtedly be about voting rights, and rightly so.  This is an issue that is intrinsic to the freedom of our nation, as secure and fair elections are the only way in which we can truly exercise our democracy. The issue has been foolishly split down the middle, into the predictable party pools where the narrative will mutate and radicalize until the argument is far from the middle ground it deserves, and a stalemate occurs in Washington DC. And while our elected imbeciles officials continue to play politics with this all-important issue, the American people have let their opinions be known in a recent poll that seems to contradict much of what the Democratic position has become of late. Amid plenty of partisan rancor over election integrity and voter suppression, a new national poll indicates that most Americans support requiring voter identification to cast a ballot and easier access to early voting. And a survey by Monmouth University released on Monday also indicates that the public is more divided on expanding voting by mail. Eight out of 10 of those questioned in the poll support requiring voter ID, including 91% of Republicans, 87% of independents and 62% of Democrats. Just over seven in 10 – 71% – say in-person early voting ahead of Election Day should be made easier. That includes 89% of Democrats, 68% of independents and 56% of Republicans. Voter ID has been a key sticking point in negotiations over future elections, with Democrats showing little enthusiasm for requiring American voters to provide identification to cast their ballots. This latest poll seems to weaken their position in the argument, however, and could send…

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News

Tone-Deaf Portland Runs Tourism Ad After Riot Police Quit En Masse

If you’re looking for chaos, have we got the vacation spot for you!

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For months on end, a never-ending series of protests-turned-riots have plagued the city of Portland, Oregon. Night after night the northwestern locale rages, as protesters march in the street, commit arson, clash with cops, and generally relish in their new role as liberal nuisances to the citizens of the city. Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that a large contingent of the city’s riot police coordinated a mass resignation from that portion of the force. That makes the timing of the city’s latest tourism push all the more asinine. Portland ran a pricy full-page Sunday ad in the New York Times promoting tourism after the Portland police riot squad quit Thursday. “Some of what you’ve heard about Portland is true. Some is not. What matters most is that we’re true to ourselves,” Travel Portland wrote in the ad that could have cost up to $250,000. “You’ve heard a lot about us lately. It’s been a while since you heard from us,” it continues. “After a year of encouraging visitors and locals to support small businesses here and from a distance, it’s time to issue an invitation to come back to Portland,” the ad states. “Two sides to the same coin that keeps landing right on its edge. Anything can happen. We like it this way.” The ad also says “new ideas are welcome” in the city, a place where “you can be yourself.” “This is the kind of place where new ideas are welcome — whether they’re creative, cutting-edge or curious at first glance. You can speak up here. You can be yourself here,” it continues. Of course, the taxpayer money used to procure this ad could have been spent on any number of the projects that would have helped secure the city from these anarchistic rabble-rousers.

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