State Dept Issues World Wide Travel Alert

The State Department has issued a world-wide travel alert for U.S. travelers. You can read it here. It expires in February.

There's no mention of an imminent specific threat. And it's not just travel:

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.

Not is it directed solely to ISIS: [More...]

And it's not just ISIS: It's also al-Qaida, Boko Harem other groups. And of course there's also the lone and loony wolf mention: attacks "inspired" by these groups, rather than directed by them.

Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali.

< Sunday Night Open Thread | Hillary Pledges Not To Describe Immigrants as "Illegal" >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Turkey shoots down (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:24:39 AM EST
    Russian fighter jet

    I am content to sit here and watch

    Looks like we'll be having (none / 0) (#29)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:18:09 PM EST
    World War III for Xmas. This is troubling. The Turks are more interested in killing Kurds than killing ISIS. They have now so far attacked Kurds who are fighting ISIS and Russian who are fighting ISIS. Exactly whose side are they on? Other their own?

    You're right to be concerned. (none / 0) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:38:18 PM EST
    Turkey is moving from a trusted, more or less democratic, sectarian, member of NATO to a budding right wing, religious Dictatorship.

    Or... (none / 0) (#38)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:07:29 PM EST
    ...they were just exercising their sovereign rights over their airspace.  They said on the news, 10 warnings were giving before the Russian jet was shot down.

    The rest of your comment is patently false.  Religious dictatorship, really ?  I guess the two big elections in 2015, were for show ?


    Turkey is in real trouble (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by CST on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:13:36 PM EST
    Right now.  Erdogan is bad news, and corrupt, and waging a political war against his enemies, throwing journalists and opposition party members in jail.  Freedom of information and the press is under serious attack.

    I wouldn't call it a religious dictatorship, but it's in real trouble.  What some people don't recognize is that to an extent this is a response to the "secular dictatorship" that existed before.  When your secular party refuses to allow religious people a place in politics/society/schools, etc... you are going to see a backlash.  That's what's happening now.  It's not a good thing at all, but going back to the old system isn't the answer either, it's what led up to this point.


    I agree with you to a point. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:52:21 PM EST
    However, if President Erdogan pushes too far, the Turkish military will likely seek his removal. While the General Staff technically acts on the orders of the government, politically and ideologically, the effective chain of command is really vice versa.

    Erdogan initially held the upper hand with the military when he cashiered and imprisoned a number of senior officers in 2012, for allegedly planning a coup against his government. But now, having broken with his former Islamist allies in 2013, the Turkish president really needs the military on his side and further, he knows it. The pro-military Turkish federal court ordered the release of over 200 of the alleged plotters in 2014, including former chief of staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, an ultranationalist who (unlike Erdogan) enjoys a lot of public support amongst the Turkish people. Erdogan holds office at the pleasure of the generals.

    Gen. Basbug wants nothing at all to do with any negotiated peace with Kurdish rebels. He successfully urged Erdogan to break off those negotiations with the Kurdistan Workers Party (aka PKK) last July 28, after Kurdish politicians in Ankara successfully denied Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (aka AKP) a ruling majority in Parliament during last June's elections.

    Gen. Basbug further insisted that Erdogan's government enact a law declaring that the responsibility for nationwide counterterrorism efforts was exclusively the jurisdiction of the armed forces, which the president did by decree in early September. The army has since imposed emergency rule in Turkish Kurdistan as part of its military and political crackdown.

    Between Erdogan and the military, the present prospects for Turkish democracy appear to be rather bleak, certainly for the short term.



    The Turkish military is not going to seek (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:48:01 PM EST
    His removal Donald. The whole country doubled down on fundamentalist Islam the first week of this month and voted Erdogan's party completely into power. You have an enormous NATO headache now too, heartburn, palpitations.

    I agree with everything else you've had to say on this...Turkey protecting Turkmen. But at this time Erdogan owns the Turkish military completely. I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.


    ... in this month's snap elections for very reasons I stated above, and it had much more to do with the rise of Turkish nationalism in the face of Kurdish separatism and the ongoing destabilization of neighboring states to the south, than with any real embrace of Islamic fundamentalism.

    Please don't kid yourself about President Erdogan's control of the military. Although he made a serious attempt to purge the military of Kemalist secularists in 2011-12, that effort was roundly rebuffed by the courts, which ruled that his government's detention of Gen. Basbag was illegal and ordered him and other officers freed from custody.

    Erdogan has since been compelled to make significant accommodations with the generals in order to maintain his position of power, once he broke with the Gulenist Islamic movement. In turn, the military has effectively curbed Erdogan's desire to both seek a peaceful resolution with the PKK, and actively intervene in the Syrian civil war in concert with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.

    The break with the Gulenists was the culmination of an increasingly nasty internal power struggle within the AKP that became painfully public in December 2013, when Erdogan publicly charged the Gulenists with operating a "parallel state" that threatened to undermine his government. For their part, the Gulenists accused Erdogan -- not without foundation -- of seeking to divert public attention from several serious and ongoing corruption probes involving members of his cabinet.

    Erdogan's recent victory in parliamentary elections does alter that particular dynamic, because it allows him to consolidate his power within the AKP itself and further isolate the Gulenists. But if relations with Russia crumble in the face of yesterday's incident, as they well might, his administration's continued maintenance of relatively harmonious working relations with the military will be paramount.

    While there is currently no real desire within the Turkish military for political intervention in civilian affairs so long as Erdogan keeps the fundamentalists in reasonable check, that can change quickly if the generals sense that fundamentalist activities could otherwise endanger the country's heretofore close relations with both the United States and NATO, which the Turkish general staff holds sacrosanct.



    People in the military working with Turkey (none / 0) (#152)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 04:58:49 PM EST
    And their military at this time aren't seeing what you see. Not from what I'm being told.

    Does this explain Carson? (none / 0) (#92)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:59:51 PM EST
    When your secular party refuses to allow religious people a place in politics/society/schools, etc... you are going to see a backlash.  

    I (none / 0) (#93)
    by FlJoe on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 08:26:20 PM EST
    am sure your Holy man Carson would support brutal dictators like the Shah unlike that bleeding heart Heathen Carter.

    Who cares what he thinks?

    That's no problem (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:14:49 PM EST
    He can just draw his own damn map and place it wherever he wants it. Just think he could extend the boot of Italt by changing its shape placing it there.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#101)
    by TrevorBolder on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:41:34 AM EST
    I do not understand the fixation with Carson.

    He will not win one state, Republican primary polls are notorious for early pre primary flashes in the pan.

    More attention should be paid to Cruz, Rubio........and perhaps Christie.


    Carson, and Trump (none / 0) (#116)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:36:07 AM EST
    for that matter, are barometers of a level of undeniable irrationality that unfortunately still attracts and inspires millions in this country..

    And yes, to a large extent, you're known by the company you keep.  


    No (none / 0) (#111)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:07:11 AM EST
    Last I checked, the United States doesn't prevent anyone from going to school or running for office because of their religion.  Most certainly not if they practice the majority religion of the country.

    But you will never be free from secular opinions, I'll give you that.


    According to the BBC news this morning (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:38:41 PM EST
    what Turkey claims is the right to shoot down any plane that comes within 8 kilometers of their border with Syria. I don't think international law supports them in this. The Russian plane may very well have been on the other side of the border when shot down.

    I think Turkey feels like Russia has bumped (none / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:53:08 PM EST
    Up against them one time too many. They had to shoot down a drone too that was encroaching. They've given warnings. It's very easy to cross those imaginary lines in fixed wing fighter jets. Far easier than I originally imagined. My BIL is a fixed wing fighter pilot.

    I don't doubt that Russia truly infringed but I doubt their pilots were aware when they got shot out of the sky. I think they knew they were getting close, but I don't think they knew they had crossed a line.


    Russia's entire military effort in Syria is vitally dependent upon his maintenance of good relations with Turkey. Because as was the case in the First World War, Turkish control of the Dardanelles and its own airspace could effectively forestall any attempts by Russia to resupply its forces at Tartus, quickly rendering its military position in the eastern Mediterranean untenable.

    Likewise, recent attempts by Putin to broker a similar Russian military presence in Cyprus are also a head-scratcher. Great Britain maintains two very large sovereign military bases on the southern end of that island nation, and the Turkish army still occupies its northern half. I seriously doubt that either of those two nations would long tolerate active Russian bases nearby.

    Lost in the current din is the fact that Ukraine cut off all exports of electricity to Russia two days ago and further ceased its purchases of Russian gas and oil. And three hours ago, Kiev announced that Ukrainian airspace is closed to Russian aircraft, effective immediately.

    Putin's regional ambitions have alienated Russia's neighbors, so his desire to be a global player is likely about to undergo a rather rigorous reality check, with geography once again providing a serious chokehold.



    Turkey has always looked out for itself. (none / 0) (#66)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:04:01 PM EST
    Ankara has repeatedly warned Moscow in recent weeks about past violations of its airspace, and the Turkish military said that Russian pilots were warned 10 times in five minutes before their plane was finally engaged and shot down.

    Historically, the Turks are people who don't bluff or issue idle threats. And if they feel threatened, they aren't afraid to scrap. In 1974, Ankara warned the Greek military junta about meddling in internal Cypriot affairs, and when the generals in Athens failed to take heed, the Turkish military invaded Cyprus and quickly occupied the entire northern half of the country where most of the populace is of Turkish ethnicity. They still occupy it to this day.

    This is also a country that, alone amongst the Central Powers in the First World War, was able to compel the Allies to re-negotiate the terms of peace at Lausanne in July 1923, by sheer force of its national will.

    Vladimir Putin picks a fight with Turkey at his own country's risk and peril.


    it's going to be dry, warm, and windy (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by fishcamp on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:39:32 AM EST
    down here for Thanksgiving.  The fishing will be good, so I'm happy to stay home for the holidays.  There's plenty of room here if you get too cold up there, but be aware you must go to the gym with me three days a week.  It's a combined physical and political workout. :-)

    Perhaps you should also exercise your ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:39:14 PM EST
    ... conceal-carry rights at the gym, in addition to exercising your body. "You talkin' to me?"



    Gonna travel to Raqqa on an alpaca (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Dadler on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 11:05:59 AM EST
    Gonna nuke the whole whirl
    With my malevolent squirrel.

    What a phucked up globe it is, my good peeps.

    Peace to all. (link)

    I think about it sometimes (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by CST on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 11:52:57 AM EST
    When I'm flying or in a crowded train station.

    But then I also do things like walk alone at night in a city on a regular basis, and not just the nice parts.  So... ?

    Of course the most likely way for me to die is probably still heart disease or cancer some day, followed by a car accident.

    Either way, death is gonna get you eventually.  I'd rather not add that to the list of things I'm worried about when I travel.

    I am already on alert whenever I (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by caseyOR on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:44:20 PM EST
    venture out. The chances that I will be shot by a Middle Eastern terrorist are significantly less than the chances I will be shot by a white American born male with a gun and a grudge.  The feds should issue advisories for all travel in the U.S., to the mall or the movies or the grocery store or really anywhere in this country.

    Why last night alleged white supremacists brought their guns and their hate to a demonstration in Minneapolis that was being held to protest yet another shooting of a black man by police. Those guns were fired into the crowd of protesters. People were hit with real bullets fired by real Americans who were seemingly displeased that other Americans were exercising their right to assemble peacefully.

    No muslim terrorists were involved.


    I Try As Hard as I Can... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:56:23 PM EST
    ...to avoid watching/discussing/thinking about news/politics on the weekends, which includes vacation.

    It works pretty well, normally going some place I am so excited I don't care, and coming home I am so tired I don't care.

    But what I can't get past, and what really scares me when flying, is the GD turbulence.  That is tangible, I can feel it whereas a terrorist/bomb is theoretical and if that happens it will be over before I know it.  But the turbulence, on some flights, is a constant reminder that I am miles above ground and have absolutely no control over my immediate future.


    I hate flying (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by CST on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:04:48 PM EST
    I hate being trapped in what is essentially a bomb, I hate being groped if I happen to wear a bra with metal through a metal detector, I hate not being able to drink water without paying out the @ss, I hate checking any luggage and never knowing if I'm going to see it again, I hate the fact that my ears never clear up until I wake up the next day, I hate transfers and airports, and yes, I hate turbulence, with a passion.  On that list of gripes, fear of terrorism doesn't even rise to the level of hate.

    On the other hand, I love being in places and seeing new things and visiting friends, and everything else that goes along with travel.  And I fully recognize that my list of gripes are all first world problems, because flying isn't really a necessity.

    If only we had a truly high speed rail network, I'd probably never fly stateside again.


    Yup... (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:27:00 PM EST
    ...I would add, which you may not have to deal with, parking, either a bazillion miles away and shuttles, or pay through the nose. I also hate lines, that is all you do at the airport, wait in line.  I am 6'3", not exactly sized for plane seats or the bathroom, which for some crazy reason, always smell worse that a porta potty in Texas on a hot summer day.

    That being said, to me it always makes the place I am going to seems so much better, even if it's only because you are free of flying monster's grip.

    I am lucky enough that I can get to most of the US, Central America, and the Caribbean in under 3 hours.


    Can I just say that the rental car/shuttle (none / 0) (#68)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:14:35 PM EST
    situation at IAH is a pain. It takes forever!
    We missed a connecting flight in Houston last week because of delays and then almost missed the flight the next morning because it took us so long to get from the rental car location to the terminal.
    Fortunately, because my husband flies so frequently he has Premier access through United and TSA pre, so I was able to tag along with him and cut the long security line.

    Funny... (none / 0) (#104)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:17:24 AM EST
    ...I missed a flight at IAH even though we were through security with at least 2 hours before the flight.  Too much time isn't good some days.

    I have never rented there, so no idea, but I am surprised to hear there isn't any rentals at the airport itself.


    I love to fly. Even though I have been flying (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:03:53 PM EST
    regularly since I was a month old (four decades ago!), I still get a thrill every time the aircraft's engine revs up before take-off. I love listening to that sound even if I am not on the plane. I would have loved to have become a pilot but am too d@mn short!
    Turbulence does not bother me but I am very claustrophobic, so I have to have a window seat and spend most of the time looking out.

    Although my claustrophobic friends insist (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:01:21 PM EST
    on a wndow seat, that has always seemed counter-intuitive to me. Gotta be on the aisle so not hemmed in.

    Window seat, I look out and see wide open (none / 0) (#82)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:59:36 PM EST
    space. Aisle seat, I have a person on one side and when that cart comes down the aisle and I am hemmed in on both sides, I feel the panic rising.

    Got upgraded to first class, aisle seat. Told the woman at the counter, I need a window seat. She says sorry no window seats available in first. I say fine give me a window in coach. She looks at me like I have said the most unimaginable thing and then in a snotty voice says fine, I can stick you in the back if that is what you really prefer. It felt like I had personally offended her!

    Btw, really like your neck of the woods. Husband says maybe we should retire there...I say he's got another 24 years to go before he is 65, we can put off that discussion for a while :-)


    Glad you enjoyed S. CA. Pretty pricey (none / 0) (#85)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:10:44 PM EST
    place to retire unless you already have a place to live though.

    Don't understand that at all (none / 0) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:04:09 PM EST
    As far as I'm concerned it is counter-intuitive to me as well.

    I get slightly claustrophobic on airplanes or anywhere else when I get hemmed in.

    It is definitely an aisle seat for me. My lastest cripe about the airlines is that I've had to pay extra on flights on two of my upcoming trips to get an aisle seat even though I booked well in advance. They get you coming and going. Errrrrrr......


    I require (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:06:24 PM EST
    An aisle seat

    Only way I can explain it is... (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:36:39 PM EST
    if I am sitting by the window staring out, I see the sky, clouds and the land below (sometimes), so it is easy to maintain the illusion of space. In the aisle seat, all I see are people all around me.

    I Used to Be a Windows Only... (none / 0) (#105)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:29:33 AM EST
    ...person, until I realized that the aisle seat afford me infinitely more leg room.  Now I am am an aisle person.  Although... I have also recently discovered the awesomeness of siting up front, barely any engine noise and you are off the hell beast before most, but those are hard seats to get.

    Speaking of being claustrophobic, it never bothers me in a plane, but the caves, oh god the caves.  I am cool with the natural caves, open huge spaces, it's the man made connecting tunnels that freak me the F out.  Like you said, people in front and people behind and I am taller so I am ducking and it just feels like no way out.

    I even get freaked out watching the scuba divers squeeze through underwater caves on the TV.  I have to turn it off because I get so tense.


    My only experience of claustrophobia: (none / 0) (#97)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:28:30 PM EST
    Climbing the spiral staircase behind a House of Seven Gables fireplace in Salem, Mass.  People above me.  People below me.  I didn't shake the awful feeling until I found the exit from the rooms above.  I'd never felt that before and I have not since.

    I went spelunking once. I don't know what (none / 0) (#99)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:57:40 PM EST
    possessed me to give it a try.
    I knew as soon as we started that it was a bad decision but was too embarrassed to back out then. I kept telling myself that I could do it, but the further we went, the more I could feel the panic building.
    At one point we had to crawl from one cave to another on our bellies for a few feet and I completely lost it. Thankfully, one of my friends was with me and he was able to calm me down.
    It's been 15 years but I still feel nauseous and break into a cold sweat thinking about it.

    I used to be quite the amature spelunker (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:38:06 AM EST
    There are many undeveloped caves in this area.   Some really cool ones.   As a kid I had my own personal one that no one else knew about.   That was pretty cool.  
    To get into that one you also had to lay on your belly and scoot fir about 50-70 feet.    That was pretty creepy.   At first.   I am not particularly claustrophobic but that was certainly one time.   But I got used to it.  

    I have that ear thing too... (none / 0) (#44)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:57:58 PM EST
    ...for me a Clariton D before the flight clears out the congestion and ear plugging.

    I usually (none / 0) (#46)
    by CST on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:04:42 PM EST
    have an alcoholic beverage or three to cope with all the other things on my list that I hate.  As a result, I try to stay away from any other medications.

    Maybe you're on to something though, it really is annoying to spend an entire day with an echo.  And it's only ever in the one ear.


    Sure, give it a try. (none / 0) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:48:15 PM EST
    I usually have a beer or two before I fly, I never really noticed any "unusual" effect from the Clariton D. I also use it before scuba diving, so I can equalize easier. etc. Works really well.

    We don't have any other option in Hawaii. (none / 0) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:58:22 PM EST
    CST: "And I fully recognize that my list of gripes are all first world problems, because flying isn't really a necessity."

    If you want to travel anywhere outside the county in which you reside, you have to fly. And the same goes for many people who live in Alaska, as well, because that state's highway network is actually quite limited. Residents in both states are very dependent upon airlines, because unless you're on a vacation cruise, traveling by sea is slow and ponderous.



    oh, surely not... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by sj on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 04:59:10 PM EST
    If you want to travel anywhere outside the county in which you reside, you have to fly.
    ...as the Hōkūleʻa has proven. :)

    But that's not really an option, is it? (none / 0) (#95)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:14:49 PM EST

    Seriously, though, sea travel for passengers between the islands is tough, even in favorable weather and sea conditions. Inter-island ferry systems have been proposed, but none have worked thus far because once you get out into the channels between the islands, you are literally in open ocean, where 30-to-40-foot swells are often the norm in the winter months. The so-called "Superferry" from a few years ago got battered by such winter seas, and spent the next six weeks in dry dock undergoing necessary repairs as a result.


    all righty then (none / 0) (#1)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 23, 2015 at 11:45:33 PM EST
    let's all shelter in place for the next 3 months

    Where's my duct tape? (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:01:25 PM EST
    I used the last of it ... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:19:49 PM EST
    ... on packages for XMas mailing. Sorry.

    Well, the USPS (none / 0) (#51)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:35:04 PM EST
    is not in favor of duct tape, Donald.
    Theoretically, they say they will "not accept" duct taped packages, although many of those packages seem to go through.  We don't use duct tape for mailing, but we've certainly received such packages.
    You're supposed to use clear or brown packing tape.



    Postal workers are unionized. (none / 0) (#55)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:43:52 PM EST
    Real Americans use FedEx and UPS.

    And you call yourself (none / 0) (#59)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 03:07:59 PM EST
    A Democrat?  Shame on you, Donald, shame!   ;-)

    A big bear (none / 0) (#7)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:27:56 AM EST
    took my favorite cave.

    Now what?


    Cuddle up next to him ... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:00:18 PM EST
    ... and share a nice bottle of Merlot?

    I usually (none / 0) (#8)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:45:27 AM EST
    Do that in the winter anyway.

    They have to say that, it is a CYA statement.

    They have no idea of specific threats (I think),

    But should be aware that these groups appear to be accelerating their attacks on soft targets in Western countries, or targeting Western tourists.

    Just trying to minimize the blame game if something happens




    I wonder what the odds are for being killed (none / 0) (#2)
    by McBain on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:17:58 AM EST
    or injured in a terrorist attack?  Compared to car accidents?

    Based on current statistics (none / 0) (#24)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 10:14:15 AM EST
    you are more likely to be killed by a cop in America than a terrorist.

    Or a white conservative (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 10:17:21 AM EST
    These, "I wonder....?" questions (none / 0) (#30)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:27:26 PM EST
    are as ridiculous as they are disingenuous.

    For instance, what would have been the answer to that "question" on December 6, 1941, vs, December 8, 1941?


    And the Follow-up Statement... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 12:37:57 PM EST
    I haven't made up my mind yet, but...

    With a bunch of statements that an undecided person would never make.

    Yeah. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:32:10 PM EST
    I've often wondered how such people can keep such an open mind about Islamofascist terrorists who hate us for our freedoms, Black Lives Matter protesters who keep provoking law-abiding white people, or out-of-control prosecutors who like to frame the police for the murder of obvious gangsta thugs.

    What Year... (none / 0) (#61)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 03:33:28 PM EST
    ...because those odds were a lot better when GWB was president.  

    According to CNN from 2002 to 2013, 390 terrorism deaths in America, that is under 32 people a year.  In the same period, 376,923 were killed by a firearms, or 31,410/yr.  That is almost a factor of 1000.  IOW the odds of you dying from a firearm are almost 1000 times better than being killed by a terrorist.

    For 2013, it's actually 21 to 33,636, which is 1:1601. For every 1,600 people killed by guns in the US, only one is killed by terrorism in 2013.

    Motor vehicle deaths over the same time spam, 459,266, or 38,727.  But unlike guns, cars are getting safer, so in 2013, 32,719.  In 2013 cars are actually safer than firearms, so the odds of dying in a car wreck are 1,558 times greater than being killed by a terrorist.

    But to add a twist:

    Road Rage Statistics

    The following statistics compiled from the NHTSA and the Auto Vantage auto club show that aggressive driving and road rage are causing serious problems on our roads.

    • 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
    • 37% of aggressive driving incidents involve a firearm.
    • Males under the age of 19 are the most likely to exhibit road rage.
    • Half of drivers who are on the receiving end of an aggressive behavior, such as horn honking, a rude gesture, or tailgating admit to responding with aggressive behavior themselves.
    • Over a seven year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were attributed to road rage.

    FYI, according to CNN, 2013 was one of the safest years to fly commercial with only 265 death worldwide.  No mention how many in the US, but that number includes hijackings, sabotage and shootdowns.


    This (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 04:47:39 AM EST
    is the same cr@p that the Bush administration laid upon us.

    Duct tape anyone?

    All they are saying is be aware (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:20:23 AM EST
    That's it, we aren't at DEFCON orange.

    All they (none / 0) (#6)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:27:30 AM EST
    are doing is exercising their control over our lives, imo.

    This is like saying, don't put anything metal in the toaster, look both ways when crossing the street. Don't talk to strangers.

    But - it's OK with them for us to buy genetically modified foods - and genetically modified salmon (!).


    They care.

    First they put targets on our backs, then they say "hide".


    "Exercising control"? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:59:53 AM EST

    If they didn't put a travel warning up and something happened, you'd complain that the government let it happen so we could go to war and it was backed by defense contractors.

    It's a suggestion.  Is the government, with more information at it's disposal than any one person, not allowed to do that??

    And BTW and off topic - to be further discussed in an Open Thread- GMO's ARE safe.


    Once again (3.50 / 2) (#35)
    by sj on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:00:51 PM EST
    you think you are speaking fluent [other person] and deciding in advance what that person would say. This gives you a little straw argument to cut down with a little straw sword.

    I know you hate it when it's done to you, but it doesn't stop you from inflicting it on everyone else.

    Lordy, back into hiatus I go.


    lol. "little straw sword" (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:14:18 PM EST
    That image is your XMas gift to me.  Thank you.

    This is a funny comment (none / 0) (#57)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:50:06 PM EST
    Because your word salad makes no sense.

    I addressed lentinel's points and used his/her own words, but bless your heart, you just don't seem to understand.

    So sorry you can't comprehend.


    wev (none / 0) (#63)
    by sj on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 04:44:34 PM EST
    Words shoved in the mouth of another person - straw man:
    If they didn't put a travel warning up and something happened, you'd complain that the government let it happen so we could go to war and it was backed by defense contractors.
    An adequate staging to draw your straw sword.

    Give me your pathetic little 2 or 1 as apparently complex concepts are not your forte.

    In this case, 'tis not that the writer has proffered word salad, 'tis that the reader can only consume word gruel. I have clearly given you way too much credit in the past, lol.


    Do adults really type "wev" (none / 0) (#109)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:03:13 AM EST
    I don't know, really... (none / 0) (#138)
    by sj on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:56:26 PM EST
    Don't you mean (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 03:26:19 PM EST
    Or maybe YMMV.
    Wev.   :-D
    Happy Thanksgiving, sj.

    It's (none / 0) (#19)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:08:24 AM EST
    the big brother TV screen.

    The sub-text is that if we get harmed, it's our fault - not that they have placed us in danger.

    They warned us not to go among crowds - during the holiday season. Yeah. That's work.

    What a crock.


    Hardly (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:09:34 AM EST
    Are you (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:16:47 AM EST
    going to change your behavior due to these "warnings"?

    Were you not already aware - after Boston - after Paris --etc...
    that anything can happen at any time?

    If you fly, were you not aware of the security measures in place?


    If you don't think this is yet another crock from a crock-infested government, I would expect you to, "exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events."

    I'm sure that would have never occurred to you - or anyone else - if we hadn't been reminded to do so from such a caring bunch in Washington --- (the same caring bunch who will allow genetically modified foods and fish into our market place, but will not require that we be informed about what cr@p we might be poisoning ourselves with.)

    They care.


    Hmmm.. (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:29:07 AM EST
    Well, maybe everyone who is traveling isn't as savvy as you.

    Also the Travel Alert (it isn't a Travel Warning) has other information on it.  Do you know offhand emergency numbers you can call in the event something hapoens while you are ttaveling?  How about numbers you can call for information?  Are you registered with the STEP program?  (Do you even KNOW what the STEP program is?)

    All that information is contained inthe Alert.


    I would have indicated my agreement (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 09:44:10 AM EST
    with Lentinel, but I couldn't figure out the connection to genetically modified salmon. My travel plans do not include salmon fishing (in Yemen or otherwise), and I see no large crowds around the fish counter at the grocery store.

    That was a good movie (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:05:56 PM EST
    Good film. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:19:51 PM EST
    The connection (none / 0) (#41)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:15:21 PM EST
    I was making, clumsily, was that on the one hand the government pretends to be interested in our welfare, while on the other hand they are allowing something loose on the marketplace that many consider to be toxic.

    I Understood the Connection... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 01:45:58 PM EST
    ...they act like they care about our welfare, but then we find out all this cr@p they are doing against it.  And IMO if terrorism wasn't high profile, they wouldn't tell us jack.

    I would have used the FDA and it ties to the egg industry as an example, where the government colluded with an industry to stop a healthier alternative and now wants to change cholesterol warnings based on egg industry studies.

    The idea that an industry group could have this much power might sound paranoid, but it's only paranoia when your suspicions are unwarranted. This isn't the first time the Egg Board has used its clout with the U.S. government to protect the industry's bottom line in a shady way. Just last month, American Egg Board CEO Joanne Ivy resigned because of an investigation into how the group used its government influence to hurt Hampton Creek, a company producing a successful egg-free mayo and threatening egg industry profits.

    Until now, the Dietary Guidelines limited daily cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day. Just one egg contains 186 mg, more than half of the current daily recommendation. You can see why the American Egg Board might want to change those guidelines.

    Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Marion Nestle, took a look at the PCRM campaign and the studies the Agricultural Committee used and asked, "Were these references based largely on studies funded by the egg industry? If so, PCRM is correct in arguing that the question of egg consumption and blood cholesterol levels merits much closer scrutiny and analysis than it is currently receiving."

    According to PCRM, a 2013 review that looked at 12 studies suggested that high-cholesterol foods were relatively harmless. Out of those 12 studies, 11 were funded by the egg industry. However, the one study not funded by industry also suggested that eggs are not harmful, despite finding that, "compared with those who never consume eggs, those who eat 1 egg per day or more are 42 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Among diabetic patients, frequent egg consumers (ie, > 1 egg/d) are 69 percent more likely to have [cardiovascular disease] comorbidity."


    The FDA relying on industry studies of their own product.  Yeah, the government cares about our welfare.  By the way, if you aren't alert over the holidays a terrorist might kill you, so quit worrying so GD much about eggs and salmon.


    Well, (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 04:10:46 PM EST
    I had just been worried about terrism and salmon - but you have just added eggs to my watch list.

    Thank you!


    It's official (none / 0) (#107)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:56:52 AM EST
    Salmon and eggs have reached a TL Orange Level Warning.

    I will try to get my tongue (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:35:14 PM EST
    to show more clearly through my cheek next time I respond in that vein.

    JB... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 02:31:20 PM EST
    ...if the threshold for being travel savvy is knowing about the front page news stories for the last two weeks, well I wonder who isn't savvy.

    I bet if you asked 100 travelers for those numbers a month ago, and today, you results would be the same.  

    The idea that anyone is taking anything from these alerts but fear is making way too many assumptions since the information was already available and I am sure the people who care about already had it.

    Maybe they could throw in a recipe for pumpkin pie, just more information that travelers might not have had without the alert.

    And if follow one of the links you will find out Mexico, Israel, and Columbia have travel warnings, not alerts, and those are some of the most popular destinations.

    Just more, "We are diligent in making sure you know just how unsafe it is to leave America', IMO.


    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 03:08:18 PM EST
    They should keep us in the dark.  

    About everything. No food labeling. Hey, people are just gonna get frightened if they know sugar is bad for the!  No cigarette labels - hey, we know this stuff already.

    The last time the State Department issued a worldwide alert was in 2014 after a lonr wolf terror attack in Sydney.  There have been 2 others since 9/11 - they just aren't that common.

    I work at a government agency.  Every single day, I walk by a rainbow colored board with the terrorist threat level indicated.  Does it instill fear in me? No.  

    And yes, Mexico, Colombia, and Israel have Travel Warnings for SOME PARTS of them - not the whole country.  Would YOU go to Mexico in the heart of drug cartel country?  Do you KNOW what part of considered cartel territory?

    And again - is this SERIOUSLY something to get upset about and feel that "Bug Brother is trying to control us"?  

    Sounds like tin foil hat time.


    Well, is there a blog post upon which our (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:23:23 PM EST
    regulars have no opinion?  Gotta say something!

    I have found the State Department's travel warnings and alerts useful. Also the CDC's info.


    All it said (none / 0) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:44:54 PM EST
    As far as I can tell is be perhaps a bit more cautious.

    There has been multiple attacks in several countries in the last few days.   Anonymous said they found and turned over evidence to authorities that attacks were planned in several others including the US.

    Why is this something to complain about?   Or is it about complaining?


    I have no idea. It seems to me the (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 05:58:39 PM EST
    federal government is doing what I expect it to.

    On the other hand, Pres. Obama's statement Turkey was entitled to take our the Russian military plane for violating Turkey's airspace--not so much. 🤐


    I agree with Obama (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:04:28 PM EST
    Putin is out of control.

    Must read up. Isn't there a less (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:13:03 PM EST
    restrictive means to enforce national air space?

    What I'm hearing on Aljazerra (none / 0) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:24:13 PM EST
    Is that Russia has been violating Turkeys airspace for months.  It's happened many times and they have been warned many times.   Reportedly Russian planes buzz around the region with their transponders turned off ignoring warnings.

    They say this was inevitable that Turkey would send a message.  I think Putins rather tepid response, they are complaining and moving some ships around but apparently no one expects much further escalation,  is evidence it was warranted.

    Again I recommend Aljazerra.   I'm hearing stuff I'm not hearing other places.  


    I believe (none / 0) (#102)
    by TrevorBolder on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:45:36 AM EST
    That Russia has been doing that in Northern Europe as well,
    As well as submarine incursions

    The bear has been poking everyone, and walking away

    The Turks had enough, but I will admit I was shocked that they did this.

    So Putins next move????

    Arm the Kurds?????


    One thing I've heard a couple times (none / 0) (#88)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:25:18 PM EST
    Is that in general violating a country's airspace is considered an act of war.

    Thanks. (none / 0) (#91)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:48:59 PM EST
    Aljazeera America (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:25:37 PM EST
    Is doing excellent coverage if this.  

    All (none / 0) (#77)
    by FlJoe on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:26:07 PM EST
    this hand wringing over a mere pro forma travel alert is just dumb if you ask me.

    The whole Russian Jet thing is way more disturbing. I don't fault Obama for officially  backing Turkey, it's probably the only he do in this incredibility complex situation in Syria and environs. Eleven dimensional chess if you will.

    This whole thing is getting very close to a free for all.


    Just watching Aljazeera (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:32:44 PM EST
    It's pretty clear they were in their airspace.   They showed a map with the path.  It was brief, 17 seconds, but Turkey said they were warned 10 times.  Russia denies.  
    Who do you believe.  I would be amazed if Turkey did not have all kinds of proof of those warnings.

    Obama is absolutely correct.  Turkey has every right to restrict its airspace.  


    More interesting (5.00 / 6) (#79)
    by FlJoe on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:51:19 PM EST
    is the Russians were attacking Turkmen along the border.

    Follow me here, the Turks shoot at the Russians, who are attacking the Turkmen, who are fighting Assad who is fighting the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS and also Turkey. We are fighting ISIS of course, and bound by treaty allies of Turkey but also highly supportive of the Kurds. Then we have Iran which is fighting Isis but is a friend of Assad and no friend of the Kurds.

    I hope you are not following me here cause I am lost. I feel comfortable saying that nobody in the entire world knows what exactly what is going on here at any given moment.


    I think you are right (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:59:17 PM EST
    That made my head hurt.  

    I am fairly certain there is more going on here than a 17 second trespass of airspace.


    Recent Congressional Research report (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:47:46 PM EST
    on U.S.Turkey:  


    We are no longer sending huge amounts of military aid and weapons to Turkey. Turkey buys from Russia and China and U.S.  


    Assad (none / 0) (#80)
    by TrevorBolder on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:58:54 PM EST
    is aligned with Iran, Shia.

    Sunni Arab nations want Assad gone, and preferably Iran with him.

    Sunni Arabs hate Assad more than they hate ISIS, so as long as ISIS is fighting Assad, they will not join in against ISIS.

    Kurds will fight ISIS to the death, Turkey hates the Kurds, so Turkey has been giving ISIS a pass.

    And now Russia is actually on the ground with Assad, so we cannot force Assad out, which would have been the best result.

    We would have gotten Sunni assistance against Assad and ISIS, help the Kurds against ISIS, and the hell with Turkey.

    Now, forget about it


    I couldn't have (none / 0) (#89)
    by Zorba on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 07:32:00 PM EST
    said it better myself, FlJoe.
    And that's only scratching the surface regarding the complexities in that area of the world.
    Wheels within wheels within wheels.

    I Guess It's Just an Opinion... (none / 0) (#108)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:59:56 AM EST
    ...but like smoking, if you don't know that it kills, I doubt any government actions is going help at this point.

    I am a serious label watcher, don't get me started about how flawed that systems is, but in general they aren't labeling stuff 'this food wants to kill you, be vigilant while digesting it.'

    I would go to any major city in Mexico, which of most I have been, including bus/taxi rides through the country.  According to state, everywhere in Mexico is cartel country.  And when flights to Columbia get reasonable, I will be there as well.  No desire to go to Israel.  

    My biggest fear is me getting in some mess and ending up in jail and missing one of those transportation things you can't miss without incurring some humongous costs.  Behind that I guess it would be not having a great time or having my S get jacked when I am not around.

    Like CST mentioned, terrorism doesn't even crack my top 10 things I hate about flying/traveling.  Maybe when the TSA gets it's S together, I will re-evaluate and terrorism might makes the list, but that seems unlikely.  At a failure rate of 95%, all the TSA is to me is a huge ineffectual process the government uses to make the masses feel safer.

    I wish they had a second tier security and airlines for people who aren't scared of their shadows.  Pre-9/11 style, in and out with little hassle and I will roll the dice, and I think most people would.  If it meant a TSA free flight, showing up 20 mins before and making the flight with a bottle of booze/water.  I might bump up to first tier if I decide Israel or Egypt are places I want to visit, but otherwise give me the pre-9/11 treatment and I will take the 1 in how many million risk that a terrorist blows up the plane.


    It's an alert (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 06:15:34 AM EST
    Not a restriction

    And it is a useful alert (none / 0) (#100)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 11:47:16 PM EST
    for one of my children and his wife, halfway around the world now in her homeland -- because they are alerted now that their way back will be slower than before, because the State Department's warning includes details such as that TSA Precheck is essentially suspended and similar information.

    That matters when they have to connect through a couple of the busiest airports in the country.

    The State Department explicitly states that it is not discouraging travel.  It is warning that air travel security, connections, could take longer.  

    I hope that other travelers are aware of this, too.  It's always that officious guy who is late who can screw up the lines and make it worse.


    Every pre-check is suspended (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    My niece just went through a small hell getting from school in Vienna to Thanksgiving in Germany. A bag that has always been carry on from Vienna to Germany and back wasn't permitted today and for good measure they slapped her with a fine for not checking it during all this. About a 100 euro fine. It isn't just the TSA, it isn't just the United States State Department. I get so sick and tired of those who constantly want to place upon this administration that they are bunch of loons. Get out into the world a little more, and you discover we are hardly alone in our responses to these things.

    I have had to have more than my military ID to get onto a European Army base too every time I leave for vacation events because I'm not assigned here. That's just Fricken life, and everyone is dealing with it.


    I Think You Are Equating Things... (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:26:55 PM EST
    ...that haven't been said, 'a bunch of loons' ?

    I will admit I may be projecting onto Obama because the way GWB seemed to use the terrorist meter for political purposes.  But that really isn't my fault, to think the government might not be more than honest with the public.  If they stopped lying to me, I might be more inclined to believe them when it counts.

    The bag is a perfect example, why was it safe last week and not this week, presumably the bag is still on the plane, presumably the exact same things are not allowed, presumably the bag contains the same things as well, so why the change ?  Did they put her in danger on previous flights by not having her check it ?

    Also with all the advisories and warnings, is it no wonder no knows what they F they can/can't bring onboard/checked.  Perfect example, I go to the TSA website over drone batteries.  Huge warning, Lithium batteries are unsafe in areas with temp/pressure fluctuations, so lithium batteries should be packed in carry-on.  Cool, the machine didn't even stop when my bag went through.  Then like maybe three weeks ago, all vaporizers must be checked.  Care to guess what kind of batteries they use.  Some are rather large.  So are lithium batteries safe or unsafe in cargo, according the the TSA, neither is safe, but they they are still allowed on board.  That does not make sense unless the goal is not safety.

    And for all my travels, the only place I have to remove my shoes is the US.  You know, you fly around, if security was the issue, doesn't logic dictate all airports would have the same requirements every day ?  Even here in Houston, sometimes the laptop needs to come out sometimes it doesn't.  The notion that my laptop coming out of my bag is more secure doesn't really give me a lot of faith in whatever it is they are doing.

    In Ecuador they wouldn't let me past the second layer of security at the boarding gate with Degree deodorant that I bought after security in the airport.  No explanation given.  I didn't care, but it just this randomness of security that I don't find very comforting amnd extremely annoying.  Imagine going to the White House and each door has separate restrictions/rules, that is now how good security works.

    Water bottles are good example, in my experience, there is a 50/50 chance they won't ask me to toss the water bottle.  But hot damn if I don't need to remove my shoes, and take out my laptop for the infinitely more complex shoes/laptop bombs, whereas I could be bringing grain alcohol and matches on board of half the flights I get on.

    TSA has a 95% failure rate and people think the whole process is not for show.  That means if 20 terrorist tried to board with a gun or weapon, only one would get stopped, 19 would board airplanes.

    This guy says it better than I:

    Millions of American citizens have been unwittingly turned into non-speaking extras in an epic theater production staged by our government in airports across the country. The goal has been to trick a few would-be airplane bombers into thinking they will get caught and to create an illusion of safety for innocent air travelers. That charade has been exposed.

    TSA is just security theatre. I really don't think (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:05:04 PM EST
    they make anyone feel safer.
    Last week, one flight no need to remove shoes, laptop, no x-ray/pat down, etc., the very next flight had to do all of those things. Like you said, there is no consistency.

    If TSA is security theater understand (none / 0) (#137)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:55:32 PM EST
    The rest of the world is producing security theater too. You aren't special. You aren't persecuted Americans.

    Umm...what? (none / 0) (#141)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:22:45 PM EST
    I have not claimed to be special, persecuted or American for that matter.
    I have no issues with having some security but the TSA is not my idea of good security. If you think they are good, I really don't know what to say to that.

    It isn't that different anywhere else (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:31:09 PM EST
    Unless you are reading here...then suddenly what the US puts you through is security theater and everyone else is providing real security...even though we are all sharing the databases.

    We had to (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:33:29 PM EST
    remove our shoes in Schiphol Airport.

    Bullshit (none / 0) (#143)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:32:44 PM EST
    Ever been through Heathrow? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:59:18 AM EST
    I haven't complained as much about our travel security methods here since we went through Heathrow.
    They make us look mild in comparison, and I imagine it's even worse now.

    Frankfurt airport (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:11:31 PM EST
    Is the most secure airport I've ever traveled through.  Has been for at least 15 years.  You know what though?  They manage to be quick about it.  Sure, you get exhaustively searched and they do extra screening and you have to go through security every time you switch gates, but you don't wait in line long, they don't dilly-dally, and it doesn't all feel useless somehow.

    They will be sticklers for the rules though.  So your carry-on better be carry-on sized.


    Frankfurt airport has a (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:19:12 PM EST
    white Bechstein grand piano on one concouse with an invitation to sit down and play your favorite song.

    Pretty much, so is (none / 0) (#127)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:26:09 PM EST
    Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
    They were careful, but quick and efficient.

    I had a slightly different experience in Schiphol (none / 0) (#128)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:31:11 PM EST
    But that was probably my own fault because I almost missed my flight.  Luckily for me they were quick and efficient, but not particularly careful.

    Years ago, my parents were flying to the US from (none / 0) (#131)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:40:00 PM EST
    the middle-east with our dog and had a connecting flight through Frankfurt. The pilot (apparently a huge dog lover) offered to take my parents out onto the tarmac to check on our pup while his crate was being transferred from one flight to another.
    Of course, this was pre 9/11. Can't even imagine something like that happening now.

    It sticks out in some ways (none / 0) (#132)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:42:22 PM EST
    Because I was there pre-9/11 multiple times and was thoroughly impressed with the security.  Even back then.  Lots of German Shephards too, which were somehow more intimidating than the big men with big guns.

    Going in and out of Heathrow (none / 0) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:05:43 PM EST
    In June. Looking forward to the trip but not the flight and security measures at the airports.

    {{shutter x2}}


    At Heathrow, your photo (none / 0) (#124)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:09:54 PM EST
    is taken when you go through passport control and that photo is on the screen when you show your boarding pass. Seems like a sensible measure.

    I'm sure that (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:32:32 PM EST
    these photos also wind up in their facial recognition database, so that they can monitor you.
    I did find the CCTV cameras all over the place in Great Britain to be more than a bit creepy.  
    Frankly, I can't live in fear all the time.  Take some reasonable precautions, sure, but the constant and ever-increasing monitoring and snooping is offensive to me.
    If we live in constant fear and cowering, what's the saying?  "Then the terrorists will have won."

    Lots of those cameras in (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:36:25 PM EST
    Times Square.

    And I don't like that, (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:30:10 PM EST

    Everyone is sharing those databases (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:56:48 PM EST
    IIRC, they had the (none / 0) (#145)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:35:40 PM EST
    same procedure in Canada when going through customs there.

    Agreed re Heathrow. This summer (none / 0) (#147)
    by Towanda on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:00:07 PM EST
    I must have looked like a terrorist masquerading as a middle-aged woman.  Everything was unpacked.  But then, while repacking, I realized that it happened to almost everyone else behind me in line, too.

    I was forewarned.  My son, a few years ago, was detained for hours at Heathrow.  No reason given.

    I then googled and found quite an uproar in Parliament about it, with claims that it mainly was being done by a lot of Muslim security guys who were really ticked at how U.S. airport treated Muslims.  But I doubt it, based on what I saw.  

    London, lovely as it is, is understandably just jumpy as heck about terrorism.


    Oh, and Heathrow is nowhere near as scary (none / 0) (#148)
    by Towanda on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:01:53 PM EST
    as the Rome airport, with armed military all over.  And they're not at all polite, as they are at Heathrow (at least, they were to this middle-aged woman; they were not at all polite to my son).

    Haven't been through Rome, (none / 0) (#150)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:41:05 PM EST
    but it wouldn't surprise me.
    I did find them polite at Heathrow.
    OTOH, if you want to see absolute security procedures to the max, more than Heathrow, try flying into and out of Tel Aviv.  Mr. Zorba went there years ago on a professional trip, and he said no place else he has ever traveled to before or since even begins to compare to the precautions taken at Tel Aviv's airport.
    It wouldn't surprise me if they are even more careful now, if that's possible.

    That Depends... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 at 08:34:19 AM EST
    ...on stuff we will never know, and since Bush was doing it at opportune times,  I tend to cut Obama a little more slack, but not a whole lot.  It would help if TSA didn't have a failure rate of 95%.

    The problem IMO is these warnings don't change traveling plans, all they do it put people on edge.  I mean after Paris & Egypt, we don't need warnings about staying alert when there is no specific threat.

    The short of it:

    Terrorists are trying to kill each and everyone of you, but don't be afraid, be vigilant.

    I would hate to be a muslim traveling this weekend in a western country that is for sure.  Even on the news today showing the lines at Bush Airport, the camera man zoomed in on a guy with a turban for about 30 seconds.

    On the Today Show they also had some retired FBI something or another talking about soft targets and telling people to stay away from public and crowded areas.  WTF, has the guy never been out from Thanksgiving to Xmas, that is all it is crowded public areas, at least where I live.  He must be a spokesman for Amazon on the side.


    I hear that Algiers is wonderful this time of year. Why don't you make reservations for the holidays?

    Donald, I gave you a 4 for that comment (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:00:16 AM EST
    which means you're only one number shy of receiving all five numerical ratings for one comment.  Has that rather insignificant event ever occurred?  A few years ago Anne explained what she thought a 4 rating meant, but I've never understood a 3 rating.  

    My congratulations to Howdy (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:04:43 AM EST
    for completing the numerical sweep

    I've always just assumed (3.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:12:49 AM EST
    that a "3" rating meant "meh."    ;-)

    Sorry Zorba (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:00:41 AM EST
    I couldn't resist ;-)

    ...I can't Recall... (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:10:53 AM EST
    ...a comment rating that had a 1,2,3,4,& 5.

    Apparently some people like Donald inferring someone should go to a place where they could die.


    Scott, the 1 and 2 ratings (5.00 / 2) (#115)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:26:30 AM EST
    don't infer that.  The 3 and 4 ratings mean hide under the bed, but the fiver does mean go there for possible death.  

    No, no, no! This "5" meant: (none / 0) (#120)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:08:45 PM EST
    ignore the State Dept.'s warnings at your peril.

    Oculus, we're not picking on you. (none / 0) (#133)
    by fishcamp on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:04:42 PM EST
    You just happened to draw the high card...

    Not picking on me. Just (none / 0) (#134)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:16:22 PM EST
    a rather chilling interpolation.

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:36:38 AM EST
    I got it.  And all I have to say is "meh."   ;-)
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, CG.