The FaithWalkers Daily — Nov. 26: Egyptian Revolts, Record Box Office and Food Stamps, Cheating Teachers

The FaithWalker’s Daily is a quick review of key news stories of the day from the perspective of a conservative Christ-follower living in, but not of, the world.

  • Arab Winter? Egyptian President Seizes Power, Triggers Protest

The Basics –

Newly elected Egyptian President Mosri, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, announced that all his decisions wil now be immune from any legal challenge, giving him more power than his dictator predecessor Mubarek ever had.

Dig Deeper:

  • Via the UK Telegraph, Mosri promises that he will not abuse the unprecedented power as massive protests claim at least one life.
  • Mosri also declared the contitutional committee to be above legal challenges as they draft the new Egyptian Constituion.
  • Hugh Hewitt notes: “The obvious irony is that George W. Bush brought democracy to Iraq and Barack Obama is presiding over its extinguishment under Islamist extremism in Egypt, but the situation is too serious to simply score partisan points.”
  • Via The New York Times, Mosri made the move while basking in his apparent negotiation of a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
  • James Brandon says the US has chosen stability over democracy in Egypt and will get neither.

A Few Thoughts…

A basic tenet of a Biblical view of man is that each of us is fallen and sinful. Consequently, none of us should ever be granted too much power. Not because power corrupts, but because we are ourselves already corrupted. A key protest against Obama’s first-term foreign affairs was his rather awkward silence when Iranian citizens took to the streets to try to throw off the oppressive regime that rules them. Once again, thus far, the Obama administration has chosen silence. We chose to cheer when Egyptians rose up against a dictator who was at least one of our allies and a key to protecting Israel. Now we are silent as another dictator, this one opposed to Israel, has emerged with even greater powers than the former one. Leaders of both US parties need to speak up about this travesty against freedom.

Beware those who take freedoms for the sake of preserving them.

 

  • Record Weekend for Movie-Goers and Food Stamps

The Basics –

Movie-goers posted the highest grossing box-office ever for a five-day period, spending over $288M to top the previous 2009 record.

Dig Deeper:

A Few Thoughts…

Too many will think my observation some sign of callous unconcern for the poor, when I point out the inconsistency in these numbers. Unfortunately these days, offering anything resembeling criticism is often interpreted as being unkind. And so people just stop stating the obvious for fear of being labeled an inconsiderate jerk. But as I noted Thanksgiving Day, we need to define necessity. If a record number of Americans don’t have enough money for food, how do they have enough money to pay exorbitant movie ticket prices — and at record levels?

Are food stamps the bread and movies the circuses of the new America?

 

  • Teachers Cheat to Pass Praxis Test Requirements

The Basics —

Clarence Mumford, Sr. ran a cheating ring for 15 years, in which he charged young teachers in three southern states between $1,500 and $3,000 to have a replacement take the Praxis tests required for obtaining a teaching license.

Dig Deeper:

  • Via the AP (by way of US News/MSNBC), Mumford is being charged with 60 fraud and conspiracy charges as he crossed federal lines using mail and social security numbers to produce the fake results and IDs in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee
  • Key graph: “Authorities say the scheme affected hundreds — if not thousands — of public school students who ended up being taught by unqualified instructors.”
  • Key quote: “The propensity to cheat on exams both through college and for licensure and certification exams seems to be increasing over time,” said Kingston. “People  often don’t see it as something wrong.”

A Few Thoughts…

As someone who has spent much time in the trenches of classroom instruction at all levels, I take issue with the Praxis exams being used to define whether or not someone is a qualified instructor. The worst teachers in schools today likely have passed all the appropriate exams. Likewise, there are tens of thousands of teachers in private schools who have never touched the Praxis exams, and yet they are exceptional teachers. The rise of such exams has paralleled our national descent into educational mediocrity. Incidents like these point out how easily the quality of any top-down educational system can be corrupted.

It’s harder to fake results in the classroom when you know the people responsible for your evaluation.

 

Note: E-mail subscribers to this blog in the month of November are eligible to win a free copy of Os Guinness’ book A Free People’s Suicide.

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and communicator who empowers people to live a story worth telling. As the founder of FaithWalkers, he equips Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

His next book entitled Live a Story Worth Telling: A FaithWalker's Guide is scheduled for release in May 2015 from Abingdon Press. His writing has been featured with Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmondson, Skip Prichard, Jeff Goins, Blueprint for Life, Catalyst Leaders, Faith Village, and many others who shall remain nameless.

Bill is a blessed husband and the father of six children with an extensive background in education and organizational leadership. He serves as VP of Content & Operations for Polymath Innovations in partnership with Patheos Labs. He is the Junior Scholar of Cultural Theology and Director of Development for the Center for Cultural Leadership. He works with a variety of ministries including Equip Leadership (founded by John C. Maxwell) when he's not visiting his second home -- Walt Disney World.


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