I Don’t Share The Excitement Over The Inauguration

I was stunned to find out today that a class I attend daily might not meet tomorrow so people could watch the inauguration.

I don’t get it.

I haven’t watched any inauguration.

I’d be as indifferent to the inauguration of John McCain. I voted for George Bush twice but didn’t even think about watching either inauguration. I had only the mildest interest in finding out what Bush said or what any politician says. Politicians as a group strike me as about the most boring group of people around because most of their incentives are to not offend people.

I can’t think of any speech by a politician in my lifetime that means much to me — and I follow politics closely. I’ve read about a thousand books on the topic.

Everybody is talking about what a great day it will be for America tomorrow. I resent all those who say we should all be celebrating. Why? I didn’t think that those left-of-center should be celebrating George Bush’s inauguration. I feel no reason to celebrate.

If you think it is so wonderful that a black man has been elected president, then you disagree with Martin Luther King’s dream of a color-blind America. King’s dream was that we would not notice a man’s skin color. Obama had parents of different race. Why is he considered more black than white? Because he regards himself as such?

Dennis Prager on his radio show today: "Martin Luther King Day is an important day. I’ve been a supporter of it. His belief that it is not the color of a man’s skin but the content of his character is one of my fundamental beliefs."

"You have to be a real moron to believe that skin color tells you anything about a human being."

Well, Dr. Sally Satel wrote in the New York Times Sunday magazine that if she did not take her patient’s race into consideration when treating him, she would not be doing her job as a doctor.

She wrote:

In practicing medicine, I am not colorblind. I always take note of my patient’s race. So do many of my colleagues. We do it because certain diseases and treatment responses cluster by ethnicity. Recognizing these patterns can help us diagnose disease more efficiently and prescribe medications more effectively. When it comes to practicing medicine, stereotyping often works.

But to a growing number of critics, this statement is viewed as a shocking admission of prejudice. After all, shouldn’t all patients be treated equally, regardless of the color of their skin? The controversy came to a boil last May in The New England Journal of Medicine. The journal published a study revealing that enalapril, a standard treatment for chronic heart failure, was less helpful to blacks than to whites. Researchers found that significantly more black patients treated with enalapril ended up hospitalized. A companion study examined carvedilol, a beta blocker; the results indicated that the drug was equally beneficial to both races. These clinically important studies were accompanied, however, by an essay titled "Racial Profiling in Medical Research." Robert S. Schwartz, a deputy editor at the journal, wrote that prescribing medication by taking race into account was a form of "race-based medicine" that was both morally and scientifically wrong. "Race is not only imprecise but also of no proven value in treating an individual patient," Schwartz wrote. "Tax-supported trolling . . . to find racial distinctions in human biology must end."

Dennis: "Martin Luther King did more than anybody to forestall racial violence in this country. For that alone, I think the country owes him a huge debt of gratitude."

"For liberals, politics is more important than to people right of center. It is close to being a religion. It’s a rite of passage and it means more personally when a Democrat is elected. Democrats want to change America. Republicans want to stop Democrats from changing America. For most Republicans, it is do no harm. For Democrats, it is radical surgery."

In Prager’s second hour, an interview with an editor of this book — Blind Spot: When Reporters Don’t Get Religion.

In Prager’s third hour, he said: "There is going to be a certain cognitive dissonance when young naive people realize that nothing will change. There will still be terror on earth. There will still be economic problems. They will not be happier. People who work hard will have a chance at success and those who don’t won’t. Little will change."

Prager has said over and over that the election of 2004 was far more important than the election of 2008 because we would’ve left Iraq and therefore lost in Iraq if John Kerry had won.

Dennis: "I don’t think it is coincidental that Israel declared a ceasefire the day before Obama’s inauguration."

"If schools’ did not have the kids watch George Bush’s inauguration four years ago, then why do it this year? The only answer is that it is partisan propaganda. It’s so brazen if they kept their kids away from the Bush inauguration… Chutzpah!"

Bill Kristol writes: "The liberal sage Bill Moyers has been a harsh critic of Bush. On Jan. 9, on PBS, he also lambasted Israel for what he called its “state terrorism,” its “waging war on an entire population” in Gaza. He traced this Israeli policy back to the Bible, where “God-soaked violence became genetically coded,” apparently in both Arabs and Jews."

Steve Myers writes for Poynter:

How will journalists react when Barack Obama puts his hand on Lincoln’s Bible? If Election Night was any indication, some of them will be quite happy — and, like everyone else, they’ll say so on Facebook.

Journalists have taken to social networking. They post photos, find old friends, reach out to new ones, and tell them all what’s going on in their lives. Some use Facebook and MySpace to find sources and conduct interviews. Yet judging from the posts in November — and what they likely will broadcast on Tuesday to their Facebook friends — I’m not sure we’ve figured out how these sites fit into our identities as journalists.

Back in November, I asked my colleagues at Poynter to be on the lookout for fellow journalists’ Facebook "status updates" regarding the election. I suspected many would express happiness at Barack Obama’s victory, and that’s pretty much what I saw in the 50 or so status updates we collected.

Some were overt. Others were vague enough that it wasn’t exactly clear what people were so excited about; considering the historic event, though, the context was practically unnecessary. As I learned, that vagueness often was intentional.

In his second hour Monday, Prager praised this new book (reviewed here in the WSJ):

In a jarring misreading of the Islamist mentality, the New York Times last month described a Jewish center in Mumbai, India, as the "unlikely target" of the terrorists who attacked various locations there. "It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen," the Times went on to declare, "or if it was an accidental hostage scene."

Paul Marshall would not be surprised by such stunningly naïve statements. In "Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion" — a collection of essays that he edited with Lela Gilbert and Roberta Green Ahmanson — he notes that similar assertions have been common in the coverage of Islamic terrorism. The book’s contributors explore all sorts of news stories with a religious component — Islamic and otherwise — showing where reporters have veered off course and discussing the reasons why.

Despite 9/11 and dozens of equally pitiless massacres, some journalists, Mr. Marshall says, are reluctant to accept the "fundamental religious dimension" of jihadist motives. Such journalists concentrate on "terrorist statements that might fit into secular Western preconceptions about oppression, economics, freedom and progress." When terrorists murdered Christian workers while sparing Muslims in the offices of a Karachi charity in 2002, Mr. Marshall observes, "CNN International contented itself with the opinion that there was ‘no indication of a motive.’ Would it have said the same if armed men had invaded a multiracial center, separated the black people from the white people, then methodically killed all the blacks and spared all the whites?"

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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