Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Monday, November 16th, 2015.

Hate, Fear, and All That Stuff


Here is something I wrote over the weekend for the Buddhism website. Those of you who have read my book will recognize some of the themes.

See also Paul Krugman, Fearing Fear Itself.

Like millions of people, I’ve been obsessively following the news from Paris, putting aside other things to focus on the horror. It’s the natural human reaction. But let’s be clear: it’s also the reaction the terrorists want. And that’s something not everyone seems to understand.

Take, for example, Jeb Bush’s declaration that “this is an organized attempt to destroy Western civilization.” No, it isn’t. It’s an organized attempt to sow panic, which isn’t at all the same thing. And remarks like that, which blur that distinction and make terrorists seem more powerful than they are, just help the jihadists’ cause.

It would be really nice if the next President is someone who can find the Middle East on a map and recognize that all those Ferrin’ places over there are not just alike. For example, in the recent Republican debate, Toast! actually said  “If you’re a Christian, increasingly in Lebanon or Iraq or Syria, you’re gonna be beheaded.” To which some Lebanese responded, “Um, no, we’re not.”

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