What is #FakeNews?

What is “fake news?”

To some, it’s anything news network other than Fox News. To others, it’s any negative story about Donald Trump. You might have seen people who identify #fakenews as any news story that doesn’t satisfy their mindset or worldview.

Unfortunately, this term has been spun around so many times that no one really can place a definitive meaning to it. If you mosey on over to the Wikipedia page dedicated to this term, you’ll find all sorts of definitions, historical examples, differences by country, and much more. But what actually is it when it’s broken down to its basic components?

It’s just as its name suggests. “News” that isn’t real, authentic, or legitimate. It is simply stories that have no legitimate backing or source or documentation. For our humor, some websites are completely dedicated to writing and posting stories that are completely made up. For our dismay, these stories are usually crafted based on current events and can easily be confused for actual stories seen/heard on NPR, New York Times, PBS, or other legitimate news sources.

As a nation, our sense of credibility and desire for authenticity in the reporting of current events has been completely thrown by the wayside. We read an article (or better yet, the title of an article) and immediately react without taking in the context or the source from whence it came. Of course, there are publications that have obvious biases and agendas. Examples of that would be Conservative Tribune, Independent Journal Review, Liberty Writers, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Chicks on the Right, etc. These articles may stretch the truth, but cannot be considered satirical or completely bogus.

Satirical websites (website that intentionally publish made-up stories) are strictly there for the sake of humor. Examples would include The Onion, Babylon Bee, The End Times, National Report, Christwire, Weekly World News, and a host of others (for a complete list, click here). These websites must not be taken seriously and if shared, should only be for the sake of humor. It wouldn’t hurt to include a comment explaining that what you’re sharing is not real.

Also, http://www.officialmikepence.com is anything but official. Bogus in every sense of the word.

I urge each of us not to call something “Fake news!” simply because we disagree or are angered by what is being reported. Sometimes, the people we like mess up, and the people we don’t like do good deeds. When President Trump does something stupid (threatening North Korea with nukes and firepower) and CNN reports it in a cautionary fashion, it isn’t fake news. When you hear a news network/station interview someone and they say that the Confederate flag is offensive to them because it reminds them of slavery and racism, it isn’t fake news. It’s that person expressing their honest opinion.

Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not real. That just means you won’t accept reality and are living in a fantasy world.

Wins & Losses (August 6-12)

Wins

  • The first full week of school is done. We both survived, but had forgotten how tired the two of us can get by the end of the day. Our schedules work out pretty well because I  can drop Reagan off with the babysitter in the morning  (school doesn’t start until 8:25) and Becca can pick her up in the afternoons (school lets out at 2:46).
  • A canceled choir retreat last Saturday gave me some valuable time needed to clean up our house. With the school year now in full swing, a clean house got put on the backburner real quick-like. So while Becca and Reagan were in Horn Lake for Becca’s choir retreat, I managed to sweep, dust, put away, Clorox wipe, and wash clothes all day. Despite my loathe of cleaning, it was quite productive and I felt proud of it by the end of the day.
  • Late last week, I noticed a video tweeted out by my congressman in Washington, Steve Cohen. I don’t believe I have ever had anything positive to say about this man because I haven’t found anything positive about him (he has already declared he intends to run for re-election in 2018 AND 2020). Anyway, this video he tweeted out was all about him being able to brag on himself (viewed X amount of times, liked Y amount of times, and shared Z amount of times). It was quite nauseating and not befitting of a “public servant”. So I called him out on it and told him to quit flattering himself. Moments…and I mean MOMENTS…later, I got back on his Twitter page only to find out that he BLOCKED me. I don’t believe I have ever been blocked before, but it was a proud moment for me. It may be a theory that you have to have thick skin to be a politician, but Steve Cohen, who obviously lacks a thick skin, sure knows how to work his way around it.

Losses

  • With a child in tow, it is become much more of a mission to prepare everything in the morning. Despite my not wasting time, I still am always battling the clock to get out the door by 6:45 each morning. Reagan is a trooper and never gives me trouble. But making sure I have all of her things as well as everything I need for the day keeps me on my toes all morning long.
  • The absolute and total unrest in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend is heartbreaking at the least and infuriating at the most. I would like to elaborate here, but I think it would take an entire blog post to fully explain my thoughts. I’ll cook one up and try to have it out by tomorrow.

Sunday Song 8.13.17

A major tenet of the Baptist faith is the doctrine of perseverance of the saints. It goes by other names such as “eternal security/salvation” or “once saved, always saved.” The further along I trod in my spiritual walk, the more I realize how foreign a concept this is to other denominations. However, if we believe that Christ calls us to salvation, we are assured that He will keep us in the palm of His hand, just as Scripture promises.

Today at Leawood East, we will sing a song that proclaims this pillar of faith. Sovereign Grace put this song out in 2003 and I have absolutely fallen in love with it. It’s incredibly deep, theological text paired with a singable melody make this a perfect choice for congregational worship. Happy Sunday!

Loganotes Poll: Tennessee’s Best City

In an effort to make my blogging more of a regular thing, I’ve created a new series in addition to Sunday Song and Wins & Losses. Each Friday will feature a Loganotes poll and ask readers to vote for their favorite answer based on the question. These polls will come from a variety of subjects. Some may pertain to you, some may not. I’d still love your input.

This week’s poll features voting on Tennessee’s best. We have quite the rivalry here in the Volunteer State on which of our four major cities is the best. Let’s see what the Loganotes readers have to say! Don’t forget to comment (within the blog) to defend your choice!

Wins & Losses (July 30-August 5)

Wins

  • The first “week” of school got off to a great start despite a few mishaps here, there, and yonder. We had two days of inservice followed by two days with students. I was able to memorize the names of all my students rather quickly (a big accomplishment for me), and learned that I only have to plan for one class a day since I teach it three times. The administration has been very helpful in my getting accustomed to the new system here.  I’ve gotten to know quite a few teachers despite our very large staff (135 approximately) and I really think I’m going to enjoy working here.
  • I’ve joined the faculty book club at school, which means I have started a new novel. The Glass Castle is a memoir in a fiction-esque style. You might have seen previews for the movie that is set to come out this week. When I heard that this was the book to be read in book club, I decided to join in and have it read before going to see the movie. With Saturday’s great weather and my front yard swing being neglected for the most of the summer, I managed to get in about an hour’s worth of reading during the afternoon. So far, so good!
  • I understand that boasting is a poor quality to possess. However, when I managed to garner up enough coupons and organize the grocery list just right and get out of Kroger with all of this week’s groceries for under $65, I stood up  a little taller when I walked in our house. Annnnnnnnnddddd I may have sent Becca a picture of the total with the caption, “I slay” before leaving the store.
  • I’m glad to see a good number of candidates in the race for Tennessee’s next governor. I’m honestly quite excited about the possibility of each of the Republican candidates with the exception of Mae Beavers (who has absolutely no chance of winning). I’m even okay with the possibility of the two Democrats in the race. So far, the major candidates for governor are:
    • Mae Beavers (R)
    • Diane Black (R)
    • Randy Boyd (R)
    • Karl Dean (D)
    • Craig Fitzhugh (D)
    • Beth Harwell (R)
    • Bill Lee (R)

Losses

  • While we both felt quite prepared for the first school day, we weren’t prepared at home the night before. Getting home from church around 9:15 every Wednesday night is no  bueno. Because on this particular Wednesday night, we had to: bathe the child, put the child to sleep, wash and dry the child’s laundry in preparation for the babysitter, boil bottles in preparation for the babysitter, and finish our lesson plans for the next two days. All of this kept us up until 11:30 and we paid for it the next day with headaches. But we’re still here!

Sunday Song 8.6.17

When I first started learning hymns on the piano (around 5th grade), this was one of the first ones I learned how to play. Mrs. Geneva had me purchase a Faber & Faber hymns book for intermediate pianists, and in it, I found this song. I really enjoyed playing it and I love singing it too. It’s on the order today at Leawood East and I sincerely hope that today, you “worship the King.”

2017 Summer Look-Back

As Becca and I prepare to welcome students in our respective classrooms tomorrow, I wanted to take just a minute and look back on the summer of 2017 and all that it entailed:

  • Dedicated Reagan to the Lord back in May
  • Traveled to Orange Beach, AL for a week-long Brasher family vacation
  • Experienced our first concert at the Levitt Shell
  • Bought a Baldwin grand piano from my parent’s church for our music room
  • Participated in our first American Choral Directors’ Conference conference at the state level.

Logan

  • Accepted a job offer from Southaven High School to be the new piano/general music teacher and choir accompanist.
  • Taught music at a two-week theatre conservatory for children ages 7-12. Culminated into a showcase of acting, singing, and dancing at Playhouse on the Square.
  • FINALLY LEARNED HOW TO PLAY SPADES. Now I can finally enjoy playing with my in-laws.

Rebecca

  • Finished her first year of teaching with flying colors
  • Successfully planned and booked a trip next school year for her middle school choirs, despite a few setbacks

Wins & Losses (July 23-29)

Wins

  • New Teacher Orientation for DeSoto County Schools happened last Tuesday and it was a blast! DCS did an excellent job of making it fun and informative for everyone. We got to hear from author/professor Todd Whitaker who kept us all intrigued for his full two hours. I never thought I would consider new teacher orientation fun, but it certainly was that day!
  • Becca and I enjoyed a Thursday night date at the Orpheum to see a production of “The Little Mermaid.” The show was my birthday present from my in-laws and they scored bigtime! What a great show it was!
  • John Simmons came by on Friday morning to tune our new piano. It’s always a treat to see him and he does such great work on pianos. He was excited to meet Reagan for the first time, too! Let me use this moment as a shameless plug for him: if you have a piano in need of tuning (no matter how bad you think it is), give him a call. He’s worth every dollar! 731-607-1104

Losses

  • Sunday morning came with the news that Sandy Currin, beloved secretary in the department of music, had passed away after a brief, yet intense bout with cancer. I was heartbroken to see the news, but grateful to know that she was no longer suffering and in the presence of her Lord. At her celebration of life service on Thursday, it was encouraging to see so many friends from college years. Despite the unfortunate circumstance that called us there, spending time with dear friends was a very sweet moment.

Sunday Song 7.30.17

As we round out July and the height of the summer season, we find ourselves today singing a song made popular by Sandi Patty in the mid-80s. One of her best known praise melodies was a song entitled “Let There be Praise.” Our church service will open with the chorus of this great song, and our hearts will earnestly pray that “His love will fill the air” as we worship Him today. Happy Sunday!

Wins & Losses (July 9-22)

Wins

  • We spent three and a half days in Natchez, MS last week attending the state conference of the Mississippi chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association. Not only was the conference fun and enjoyable, the town was as well. I was not familiar with Natchez before and fell in love with it once we arrived. An old antebellum town on the MS-LA border that really preserved the life of the old south. We spent most of our days at Jefferson Street UMC doing rehearsals and sessions, explored the interesting points of the town in the evenings, and wrapped up our time with a concert at St. Mary Basilica right in town. We are definitely looking forward to going back next year.

  • New Hire Orientation at DeSoto County Schools went by without a hitch. Everything made sense, I got all the materials I needed, and managed to get out of there in time for lunch.
  • The family came into town the day before my birthday and took me out to Joe’s Crab Shack for a pre-birthday dinner. I hadn’t eaten there in years, and really enjoyed our time together. They came back to the house afterwards where we enjoyed ice cream cake and Bluebell ice cream. No matter what I receive for my birthday, having my family around me is always enough for me. Before all that happened, Dad and Quinten helped me move our Chickering vertical piano to my in-laws’ house. Which leads to the next win…
  • My parents’ church (FBC Adamsville) just finished a major building project in which they built a new worship center. Along with that, they bought a Young Chang grand piano. They had decided to sell their old grand piano at a price just to cover the new piano’s storage and service. Once I heard that they were selling it, I absolutely couldn’t pass it up. It was delivered last Friday and I am so excited to have my dream of owning a grand piano come true.

Losses

  • As much as we enjoyed the ACDA-MS conference, attending it with an infant is not the ideal situation. It’s not that Reagan was anything out of the ordinary, but she was not in her comfort zone and that made it difficult to enjoy the conference in its fullest. We probably definitely will not bring an infant in the future.
  • It is absolutely, tee-totally, blazing hot in Memphis right now. I’ve lived in Tennessee my whole life and have never experienced the gross heat we have had in the last two weeks. In fact, I don’t even believe I’ve ever heard of an “Excessive Heat Advisory” before until this past week. It’s times like these that make me wish I had more friends with swimming pools…