Journalism: A lost art?

I was looking up some of Will Gervais’ recent work on atheism (has in the past published on why even atheists dislike athiests, heh).

One of the articles that popped up was a salon article about his recent work about the apparent prevalence of atheism in the United States. In the final paragraph the author remarked that, about Trump:

As with his other attempts to turn back the clock in America, President Trump’s remark in his inaugural address about joining all Americans together with “the same almighty Creator,” threatens the intricate and varying histories, beliefs and ways of being that are present in this country.

But Trump is a guy who, if ever, only took an interest in God very recently and has made no moves toward a theocracy in any policy.

The article had an awesome title portending the rise of hidden atheists within evangelicalism, “Trump Evangelicals face a growing number of ‘hidden atheists.'” I had hoped for an article about atheists going to church or something (of course this was Solong magazine).

I am aware of several atheists who are willing to participate in Christian culture if it means not submitting to a Muslim culture. I heard one atheist put it this way, “What if the choice isn’t between atheism and Christianity, but between Jesus and Muhammad?” But the headline had nothing to do with the article. The current religious demographic is the same as it was during the election, which means that with the current atheist population, Trump won. So if “Trump evangelicals” are facing “hidden atheists” I don’t know in what sense, if any, that is significant. I’ve known several atheists at most stages in my conscious memory. When I was a kid, I temporarily thought God made no sense because a giant man-in-space couldn’t see both sides of the earth simultaneously. Atheism, particularly of the uncritical sort, is as common as hammers.

Anyway, I applaud the author for trying to apply the findings of #SCIENCE to a topic not addressed in the original piece, but the remark I quoted above is essentially a non-sequitur in relationship to the Trump quote, the numbers cited, and the headline. Why? One, a president (Trump or otherwise) using the vague language of American civil religion is hardly an attempt to threaten the beliefs of atheist Americans. Even the phrase “almighty creator” can be vague enough to be endorsed by Christians, Muslims, or atheists who think the universe generates life through random processes (incidentally, it’s atheists I know who dwell within the darkest corners of the neo-reactionary movement, not the Christians…so I’m interested to know what atheist support for Trump actually looks like despite the left leaning tendencies of atheists).

Two, Obama had several similar references to God in his two inaugural addresses. Here’s one:

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.  This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.  This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall; and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served in a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

Oh no, the president threatened the stories of atheists by claiming that their confidence in American ideals is theologically rooted!

Anyway, I’ll get around to making a post about atheists being disliked, but for now, at least I found one more barely readable article written to the glee of the internet about how one last thing might spell the end of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Bijon Parker ready to make a difference on the Lobos defense

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Bijon Parker is ready to become the kind of safety that can lead the Lobos defense.

“I’m not the loud one screaming at guys,” said Parker. “I feel like everybody should be held accountable. I lead by example, that’s all.”

That job belonged to Daniel Henry last season and he led well. Henry is now trying to earn a spot on the Baltimore Ravens.

Parker played a reserve role last season and had six tackles, a forced fumble and fumble recovery during the season. The Lobo staff has spent a lot of time coaching up Parker and expect to see a return on their investment this season.

“Bijon has been outstanding, has invested a lot of time, a lot of practice reps, a lot of film time,” said Lobos Head Coach Bob Davie. “We have a lot of coaching invested in Bijon. The next step is to do it in the game and trigger. I really expect he will.”

The Lobos will open the season at home September 2 against Abilene Christian.


Filed under: Home, Sports

Chicago Startup Developing Inexpensive Bionic Hand

(CBS) — A better bionic hand, for a fraction of the cost.

That’s the goal of a Chicago-based startup.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.

Garrett Anderson lost his right hand and part of his forearm in 2005 when an improvised explosive device blew up under his truck in Iraq.

He’s adapted with a prosthetic hook, but it has limitations.

“I haven’t held my wife’s hand with my right arm since I got blown up,” Anderson says.

A bionic hand made by the startup Psyonic gives him that sensation back. He can flex the fingers because of tiny motors and gears inside the hand, which is battery operated. He’s one of the first to test it.

“When Garrett thinks about moving his hand to make a fist, our hand can recognize that,” co-founder Aadeel Akhtar says.

He says his company’s prosthetic hand can be made for $550 in raw materials, compared to comparable models that are sold for $30,000.

They’re able to keep the cost down by using materials like rubber and silicone.

“Our biggest obstacle is that we’re going to have to go through FDA approval,” Akhtar says.

Psyonic needs approval before it can head to market. Then the hope is for their product to be covered under health insurance policies.

The company is raising money through IndieGoGo.

Goddard Rockets football is loaded with seniors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Goddard Rockets Coach Chris White said his team is not the fastest or biggest, but they know how to compete.

“We try not to be flashy, we try to respect the game and respect the guys that played before us,” said White. “Football is the one sport where you may not be the best athlete, but be the guy with the bigger heart and the most hustle you can come out on top.”

The Rockets will go into 2017 with 22 seniors from a team that finished 6-5 last year.

“We are not going to back down, I do believe that we are going to push through everybody,” said Rockets’ Offensive Lineman Eduardo Merino. “At the end of the day it’s the hardest hitter and hardest worker out there.”

The Rockets start the season September 8 against Carlsbad.


Filed under: Home, Sports

Narcotics ‘Ended Him,’ Grieving Family Of Indiana Man Says

(CBS) – President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency Thursday.

The announcement comes as the La Porte County, Indiana Sheriff’s Office investigates three narcotics-related overdoses over the weekend, leaving two people dead.

CBS 2’s Sandra Torres speaks with one family coping with the loss.

It’s hard to talk about, but for Lisa Martin and her brother, Joe Goldstein, sharing their brother’s struggle with drug addiction is important.

Robert Goldstein — a 29-year-old father of four — died of a drug overdose Aug. 6.

“We’ve been watching Bob suffer with this for 12, maybe 15 years, and it’s torn us all apart,” Joe Goldstein says.

Says Martin: “You wanted to shake him and tell him, ‘You have to stop.’”

“Anytime the phone would ring you’d think, ‘Is this Bob, is this it?’” Joe says.

It was Bob, finally. He was one of three narcotics-related overdoses in one weekend in La Porte County.

“He didn’t get what he thought he was getting. It ended him,” Joe Goldstein says.

While toxicology results are still pending the family is hoping their story — Bob’s story — teaches a lesson to others about the disease.

“How many people have to die, how many families have to be devastated by this disease?” Joe Goldstein says. “An addict is almost considered a criminal. Right off the bat. And that hasn’t worked for treating this, so far.”

The sheriff’s office says they’re very concerned about the amount of overdoses in such a short period of time. They say their narcotics investigators are working diligently to reduce the amount of drugs flowing into La Porte County.

At least two of the three overdose cases are connected, authorities say.