Those seeing the human tragedy unfolding in Syria with a heart full of hell, ready to jump in, stop the bloodshed, and deliver Bashar al Assad a knock-out punch might do well to recall a telling anecdote from journalist Dexter Filkins from his days in Iraq.
Too many media outlets, elected officials and community leaders have prematurely labeled the Boston Marathon bombing an act of terrorism. Not all murders are terrorism -- it implies a political or ideological intention, and the "causing of terror" is not enough to merit that label.
While terror aims to inflict fear and heighten the divide, it can also become a catalyst for unity, courage, and change. I hope we learn from this as a nation, and as a community. We expect more from our elected officials and our lawmakers.
I feel like I'm living in a crime show. I woke up in Newton this morning on lockdown. I was at the Watertown Library yesterday, we ate at Strip T's, a couple blocks from (what we are told is) one of the suspects' house on Marathon Day.
Tragedy has a way of drawing attention to a particular occurrence and the circumstances that surround it. The Boston Marathon bombings is one of those acts of terror that will become synonymous with the event for years to come.
Eventually, when she's old enough, I'll tell her about that dreaded day in Boston. But my focus will be on the citizens, runners, emergency workers and bystanders -- all everyday heroes, who made (and make) Boston an amazing place to call home.
The veil of civil society has always been as thin as the drywall behind which we hide. There were potential bombers, shooters, infanticidal maniacs, and murderers of all kinds walking among us yesterday, and they will still be smiling in our faces and bidding us faux salutations tomorrow.
When one considers how completely out of whack our defense budget is in the post 9/11 age of perpetual war, the cuts will still leave us with a military budget that dwarfs all other countries combined.
The fact is that the everyday-ness of today's airports is exactly the opposite of what we flyers need. Don't wall us off, you builders, from where we are and what we are about to do. We may be frightened but we are not dumb.
For many people around the world, Syria's civil war might not appear to have particular significance for them. Yet the troubles in Syria could quickly escalate, causing very real consequences felt worldwide.
It has long been known that people with high blood pressure should avoid salt. But one family that does not have those salt concerns is instead going out of its way to avoid pepper -- their pepper shaker is giving them high blood pressure due to its being possessed.