Fear vs. Facts

Despite the rabid hype by Republicans, we are not in danger of getting killed by terrorists.

Consider, for instance, that since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Americans have been no more likely to die at the hands of terrorists than being crushed to death by unstable televisions and furniture. Meanwhile, in the time it has taken you to read until this point, at least one American has died from a heart attack. Within the hour, a fellow citizen will have died from skin cancer. Roughly five minutes after that, a military veteran will commit suicide. And by the time you turn the lights off to sleep this evening, somewhere around 100 Americans will have died throughout the day in vehicular accidents – the equivalent of “a plane full of people crashing, killing everyone on board, every single day.”

Daniel Kahneman, professor emeritus at Princeton University, has observed that “[e]ven in countries that have been targets of intensive terror campaigns, such as Israel, the weekly number of casualties almost never [comes] close to the number of traffic deaths.”


Aside from pushing us into an unnecessary war, there are other consequences to the campaign of fear being foisted upon us:

America’s panicked obsession with Islamist terrorism is understandable but may skew public policies in costly ways. In particular, a serious public policy problem emerges when unsubstantiated fear fuels excessive public spending. More than a decade after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government has committed trillions of dollars to fighting the war on terror.....

Consider, however, that federal spending on improving vehicular safety and research for Alzheimer’s and diabetes pales in comparison. Yet traffic deaths, Alzheimer’s and diabetes account for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in the United States.

After a briefing with his security team, President Obama said yesterday:

“There is currently no specific, credible threat” to the US from the terror organisation.

So go about your plans. Enjoy your holiday. And pay more attention to your driving than ISIS. Don't let Republicans jockeying for their party's nomination for President and the makers of war machinery who profit from war ruin it.

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    these statistical comparisons (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:06:39 AM EST
    are accurate, as far as they go

    but i wonder what accounts for the assumption that citizens who are skeptical of our leaders' self-serving assurances are consumed by fear, of all things

    The yearly risk (in the United States) of dying from a shark attack is roughly 1 in 250 million. In contrast, the yearly risk of dying from a vending machine accident is roughly 1 in 112 million. The vending machine is indeed roughly twice as lethal as the shark! . . . One day I tried learning to surf . . . . After returning to shore, I learned . . . of a great white shark that had been sighted swimming around the bay. It was probably the same shark that had bitten the leg off a surfer a few months earlier. Don't tell me that, while surfing in that bay on that day, a vending machine posed more danger to me than that great white shark! . . .  These statistics are averaged over everyone in the United States. In most places in the U.S., such as Kansas, people are nowhere near a body of water with sharks. The comparison of the risk to a vending machine, while true as far as it goes, ignores highly relevant information--such as whether one is swimming in the same bay as a shark.

    & the statistical comparisons offered here ignore whether one is in Boston on 15 April 2013, or in New York City on 11 September 2001, or in London on 7 July 2005, or in Madrid on 11 March 2004, or in Paris on 13 November 2015, or . . . well, we'll see, won't we?

    oh, and there's this:

    First hiker: "Whoa! We should get inside!"
    Second hiker: "I'ts okay! Lightning only kills about 45 Americans a year, so the chances of dying are only 1 in 7,000,000. Let's go on!"
    Footnote: The annual death rate among people who know that statistic is 1 in 6.

    The best (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:55:47 AM EST
    comparison really is gun violence.

    Except (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:38:54 AM EST
    That while there are some places in this country I'd feel 100% safe from terrorists, there's no place in this country I'm 100% safe from guns.

    Speaking as someone who was in Boston on that day, standing on the finish line of the marathon 24 hours before the bombing, whose mother was down the street from the pentagon in D.C. on 9/11, and who picked her entire immediate family up from a flight from Madrid on March 10th.  Come to think of it, I don't know if this means we have really good luck or really bad luck with these things.

    I've still come much closer to stray bullets than stray bombs.


    Lucky I Guess... (none / 0) (#18)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:01:54 AM EST
    ...but more likely just residing within the statistics.  But that is a whole lot of closeness to really bad stuff.

    That being said, I am fortune enough to have never come close to either kind of violence.

    I do though have a pretty well laid out plan in case a co-worker decides to go out in a blaze of glory.  I also have a similar plan at home in case some deranged gun wielding lunatic enters my home.

    I have no plans for a terrorist attack or even a hurricane for that matter, and I have gone through a hurricane.


    It is a wee bit (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:34:48 AM EST
    partisan, I think, to blame the "rabid hype" about terrism solely on the republicans.

    The administration is doing its part to keep us edgy.

    In fact, you linked to and quoted from a travel advisor issued by the State Department.

    The State Department has issued a world-wide travel alert for U.S. travelers.
    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:

    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.

    Imo, just about all the politicians in power, republican or democrat, are profiting by keeping us afraid and trying to make us believe that they are doing something to protect us - when in fact they are actively pursuing policies  that continue to place us in danger.

    In any case, the danger is real.

    I take the downing of the Russia plane by Turkey very seriously.
    What in the world were they thinking?  And, if I read it correctly, the two hapless pilots who managed to eject in time, were shot to death as they came to earth in their parachutes.

    They were shot to death as they were helpless.
    And they were shot by Syrian "rebels". The ones we, at the urging of Secty Clinton, and implemented by Pres Obama, have been "training".

    And Obama's comment was, as I read it, something about Turkey having a right to defend its air space. I would have preferred some conciliatory message to the Russians - who called this shooting, "a stab in the back". And Obama allies us with the back-stabbers. Oooof.

    That is what I read. If it is true, it is chilling to think that we have allied ourselves with people like that whose cruelty matches those we are allegedly fighting.

    I do think that there is rabid hype about the danger in which we find ourselves. That is what these pols do.

    But I also think that we are in fact in danger, thanks to the actions of successive administrations from both parties.

    BBC and Russia (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 07:32:39 AM EST
    report that one of the pilots is alive and well having been found and evacuated to a Russian air base.

    That, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:04:04 AM EST
    at least, is a glimmer of good news.

    But it does not relate to the thrust of my post, which was to express that our government is putting us in danger - and has been doing so through successive administrations - republican and democrat.

    Indeed, some of the faces have moved from one administration to the next. ie: Gates. Patraeus. These are faces I would have preferred been retired to the heap of history.

    I agree with Jeralyn when she expresses that our interventions and bombings accomplish nothing, and puts a target on our backs.

    I only disagree when the blame for what I consider to be blunders at best and jockeying for power and money and oil at worst is laid exclusively at the door of rabid republicans.

    We have lots of rabies in the democratic party.


    I wish it were true that we could just (3.00 / 2) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:58:31 AM EST
    come home.

    I agree with Jeralyn when she expresses that our interventions and bombings accomplish nothing, and puts a target on our backs.

    Unfortunately the enemy sees this as a global conflict.

    REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, will the end of the United States' presence in Saudi Arabia, their withdrawal, will that end your call for jihad against the United States and against the US ?

    BIN LADIN:... So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Muslims in the whole world.

    Reposting the Same Quote Jim... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:12:53 AM EST
    ...over and over without understanding it is just plain annoying.

    Invading Iraq, bombing Afghanistan and Pakistan, and waging war in Syria and Iraq is aggressive intervention against Muslims.

    Your quote, that you seem to love so much clearly states, 'We are not stopping until you leave us be'.  If you are still not getting it, how about I reword it:

    ...So, the driving-away the US military against Muslims does not stop with its withdrawal from the the West Bank, but rather it must desist from aggressive intervention against Christians in the whole world.

    You quote proves what most people are saying, our intervention in the Middle East is putting a target on our back.


    Scott... (2.67 / 3) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:23:50 AM EST
    What OBL is saying is that if we leave we must let them do what they want to IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

    I repeat.


    What part of the US do you want to give up??????


    Except Jim Bold Face Type... (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:51:34 AM EST
    ...does not change the quote, which does not in any way state that they want to do whatever they want, that is simply you doing what you do, reading something into it that does not exist.

    It's actually quit clear and quit specific.


    I'd give up Tennesee and Mississippi (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:30:50 AM EST
    obviously it would be an improvement.

    We get it Jim, the jihadists are messianic lunatics. No thanks to Jimmy Carter.

    No need to keep regurgitating and eating the same Bin Ladin quote over-and-over again like Rover, as if no one here had read it yet..


    Thanks jondee... (none / 0) (#28)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:32:32 PM EST
    ...for not listing Texas even though you probably thinking it.

    Sorry, but there's a reason to give up Texas (none / 0) (#62)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:55:16 PM EST
    Yea, (none / 0) (#67)
    by TrevorBolder on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 07:25:36 AM EST
    A newspaper in NY did the same thing, not really a good idea

    An interactive map showing the names and addresses of all handgun permit holders in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties has infuriated many readers since it was posted Saturday on a newspaper's website.

    The map, published by The Journal News, allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents are licensed to own pistols or revolvers. It had prompted more than 1,700 comments as of Wednesday morning.

    Blue dots indicate permit holders who "have purchased a firearm or updated the information on a permit in the past five years."

    "So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??" one commenter wrote.

    "This is crazy!" wrote another.

    Opinion: Guns endanger more than they protect

    Gun control group opposes gun permit map

    Gun control group opposes gun permit map 03:50
    Anger over map of gun permit owners

    Anger over map of gun permit owners 03:36
    Fiery debate over guns in America

    Fiery debate over guns in America 05:33
    Gun control and the 2nd Amendment

    Gun control and the 2nd Amendment 03:14
    Some of those responding threatened to cancel their subscriptions or boycott the publication.

    "I hope you lose readers now," one wrote.

    The paper's publisher, Janet Hasson, president of the Journal News Media Group, defended the decision in a statement Wednesday.

    "One of our roles is to report publicly available information on timely issues, even when unpopular. We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings," she said.

    The newspaper also said it had wanted to publish even more information.

    "We were surprised when we weren't able to obtain information on what kinds and how many weapons people in our market own," the newspaper said in a statement

    The question is (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 09:44:40 AM EST
    Chicago has some of the most strict laws, if not the most strict.

    Yet more people are killed than, perhaps, any other urban area....



    Because while the City of Chicago ... (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 11:14:55 AM EST
    jimakaPPJ: "Chicago has some of the most strict laws, if not the most strict. Yet more people are killed than, perhaps, any other urban area.... Why??"

    ... may have strict gun laws, the same cannot necessarily be said for its neighboring municipalities, Cook County, or the State of Indiana. And most all guns used in the commission of crimes within the City of Chicago city limits were purchased and imported from outside the city limits.

    Altogether, there are 441 federally licensed dealers in suburban Cook County and the five collar counties in Illinois and Indiana, according to the latest ATF data. While most of these suburban shops are law-abiding and responsible businesses, a mere three of them have accounted for nearly half of all the firearms used in crimes in Chicago.

    Per the the mosr recent data compiled by ATF before your GOP buddies in Congress prohibited federal agencies from doing so, 48% of guns used in crimes in Chicago came from Illinois; 12% from Indiana and 10% from Mississippi. Wisconsin and a handful of Southern states made up the rest.

    But you already knew that, because nearly every time you bring up this nonsensical point about Chicago, you're told the same thing. And that means you're deliberately not listening to others here, and / or you simply refuse to let trivial things like fact and truth get in the way of your hearty but otherwise baseless right-wing rants.

    Have a nice day.


    So the answer is to expand (none / 0) (#77)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 01:59:10 PM EST
    the strict gun laws?

    How did that work out in Paris??

    The truth is that strict gun laws only keep guns away from people who obey the law.

    The criminals?

    Not at all.


    A homocidal lunatic always has the drop (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 03:51:52 PM EST
    on his targets because he knows what he's going to do and they don't. People who make it easier for him to get guns are part of the problem, not part of any solution.

    And yes, gangbangers shouldn't be able to travel to out-of-state gun shows and load up on guns to be distributed in inner city neighborhoods.

    As anyone with an ounce of decency and common sense would realize.


    I liked Nashville (none / 0) (#29)
    by CST on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:37:07 PM EST
    And I've always wanted to go to Memphis.

    Mississippi on the other hand... I'm pretty sure I'll get arrested if I ever get pulled over in Mississippi again.  I swear it's not my fault.  They just make it impossible to pay speeding tickets from out of state.


    I'm pretty sure that TN and MS have (none / 0) (#68)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 09:30:12 AM EST
    reciprocal agreements and a W&W check will show for both states.



    Like Generalissimo Francisco Franco (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:20:43 AM EST
    bin Laden is still dead.

    The evil he did (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:24:51 AM EST
    lives on.

    Or did you miss the ME news for the past two years?


    Yeah, well... (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by leap on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:38:21 AM EST
    Yeah, well, the evil Cheney, et al, did lives on, too, as do Cheney et al. Or did you miss that for the past 13 years?

    William Shakespeare (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:07:46 AM EST
     'The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones.'

    oft.. (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:10:25 AM EST
    but not always.

    Shakespeare.. (none / 0) (#21)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:11:31 AM EST
    the originator of "when it bleeds, it leads"..

    And the evileeeeee (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:42:23 PM EST
    Repubs didn't attack Paris..

    Do you have other flights from reality??

    Here, let me help you.

    And more.


    I've still never heard a human being (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 03:53:55 PM EST
    ever say evileee..

    Funny how that happens...... (none / 0) (#80)
    by NYShooter on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 11:13:52 PM EST
    And, yet, I've witnessed countless times when a seemingly intelligent earthly inhabitant complained incessantly about the ill mannered monkey's refusal to refrain from hurling fistfuls of poo at oneself, while, simultaneously, tossing buckets of bananas to the errant, hairy, homo erectus.

    p.s....lol, seriously, Happy Thanksgiving


    Major points awarded for an apt (none / 0) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:46:01 PM EST
    pop culture (and historical) reference from the 1970s, CG. Good job.

    You don't read. (none / 0) (#22)
    by lentinel on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:06:26 AM EST
    The recent strikes by these independents are, in their minds, retaliation for what we are currently doing - bombing them and their loved ones.

    BL is long gone.

    Thanks to an Obama administration wedded to the ethos of GWBush, we have a brand new bunch to contend with - and counting.


    Not surprising (2.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:18:03 AM EST

    We have lots of rabies in the democratic party.

    The Jewish vote has always been important to progressives


    I (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:40:49 AM EST
    Blame it on the Blue Dogs, I hear the also have fleas.

    FWIW... (none / 0) (#6)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 08:01:41 AM EST
    ...the navigator was the one to be rescued.

    President Obama's response (none / 0) (#37)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:58:13 PM EST
    started off reasonably, that Turkey, as all countries, have a right to defend its territory and air space--a statement expected for a NATO member.  And, a judicious and distancing companion statement that it is important for Russia and Turkey to talk to each other and find out what happened and to discourage any kind of escalation.

    However, it did not seem to be the appropriate time to point out the obvious that Russia's military intervention is focused on propping up Assad rather than assisting in the effort against ISIS. The "I told you so" is unlikely to forge the relationship needed to achieve desired goals.  

    And, it would be appropriate for the US to take its own advice to Russia to find out what happened and do what it can to diminish any kind of escalation. Turkish president Erdogan's behavior is not above reproach these days, and it behooves caution to avoid the dilemma of NATO article V.  

    It is likely that there are at least two provocateurs on the Syria/Turkish border.  Russia by its presence, and particularly near the border; and Turkey, not only in its handling of the fighter incursion, but also, its seeming message to Russia to stop attacks on Syrian Turkmen--whom Turkey considers its protector.

      Also, the recent 50 US special ops are training those "moderate" Turkmen in the fight against Assad (and ISIS)--along with the al Nusra Front, one of the extremist groups.  All occurring in Latakia provenance, near to the Russian air base.

      It appears,too, that our training will need to have our moderates brush up on the rules of humanitarian war and the Geneva Conventions, even for those who are not officially part of its ratification, that shooting down a pilot parachuting from a plane in distress is a war crime.

     After all,the good guys should be differentiated by more than a Russian pilot shot out of his parachute and the bad guys who capture a Jordanian pilot and then burn him alive in a cage.  


    intentional and unintentional (none / 0) (#38)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 03:01:26 PM EST
    the diff between terrorist attacks and driving accidents is
    that terrorist attacks are intentional and driving accidents are generally not intentional.  Because they are intentional, they arouse within us a great anger, whereas we think of many car accidents as sad tragedy, though we may get angry at a person who has been drinking and should have known better or should have not been driving, etc.

    Intentional killing we regard as outrageous; it is in a different category than car accidents and/or gun accidents and/or the presence of guns being a part of criminals using them to do drive by shootings and killing some.

    There are doctors who commit malpractice, but we don't abhor them the same way we abhor Ted Bundy or the other serial killers and doctors may or may not be in the same category as some drunk drivers, depending on the malpractice and what negligence led to the bad practice.

    In the case of ISIS and al-Nusra and some of the other rad Islamicist groups, they have in varying degrees stated their intention to kill everybody who does not agree with them in certain ways and their desire and current actions leading to aggressive spread.

    we do ourselves and other parts of the world a service by destroying them.

    Intentional killings done by terrorists is somewhat preventable in a way that car accidents are not . . . at least, not in ways that society will agree upon, such as denying drivers licenses to anyone convicted of any drunk driver or reckless driving offense or any convicted of speeding . . .  those measures are considered too extreme for the purpose of accomplishing the goal of reducing accidents, although they would help . . .


    The administration has actionable (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:21:54 PM EST
    Intelligence.  They've never been the Bush administration .

    "Intelligence"? (none / 0) (#66)
    by lentinel on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 04:06:34 AM EST
    I don't think so.

    John Oliver (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 07:35:12 AM EST
    tsarnaev was a refugee, reportedly (1.00 / 2) (#27)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 12:31:40 PM EST
    supposedly tsarnaev was a refugee.  Is foxnews reporting some falsehoods about that?

    You know the fellow who blew things up at the Marathon?


    As with anything on FOX news (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Mon Nov 30, 2015 at 07:52:20 AM EST
    This month in 1189 (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by jondee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:20:00 AM EST
    Saladin's forces were wrecking death and mayhem outside the walls of Acre..

    Thanks for nothing, Jimmy Carter!

    And a mere (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:18:23 PM EST
    15 years later, in 1204, Western European and Venetian Crusaders captured, looted and destroyed Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire.
    And that was Christians attacking Christians.  (Of course, the Byzantines were Eastern Orthodox, and the Western Europeans were Roman Catholics, so I suppose the Catholics didn't see the Orthodox as "real Christians.")
    D@mn that Jimmy Carter!  Or maybe it was Obama's fault.  After all, isn't he supposed to be a secret Muslim?  So Christians killing Christians must be okay.

    I Read that Pontius Pilate... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:01:04 PM EST
    ...was installed by the Carter administration.

    Damn you Jimmy Carter...


    One hundred years ago on this date, ... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:33:03 PM EST
    ... 25 November 1915, Sir Winston Churchill was sacked as First Lord of the Admiralty as a direct result of his prominent advocacy for the doomed British assault on the Gallipoli peninsula in European Turkey during the First World War, a disastrous campaign which ultimately cost 250,000 Allied lives and had been presumably undertaken per the advice of Jimmy Carter.

    et al Thank you (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:49:05 PM EST
    The more you try and hide the more it is apparent that Carter's actions set the ME on fire.

    The question is (none / 0) (#82)
    by jondee on Fri Nov 27, 2015 at 08:21:23 AM EST
    who was more traitorous, Jimmy Carter, whose actions set that perfect garden of peace and tranquility in the ME on fire..

    Or Barney Frank, who singlehandedly brought down the U.S economy in 2007..

    The debate on AM talk radio is ongoing..


    Pres. Obama states we're ok (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:11:49 PM EST
    til Thanksgiving. But then you've got to get back home.

    Too bad (none / 0) (#33)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:22:14 PM EST
    Because Mr. Zorba is supposed to be going to Europe the first ten days of December, to attend an international scientific conference, to which he has been invited to be the plenary speaker.
    So far, at least, NIH hasn't told him he can't go.
    He's not terribly worried, but he will be annoyed if he is told he can't go.  It's an important meeting.

    The couple next to me (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 01:34:27 PM EST
    on Monday flight EWR to San Diego started their trip home from Budapest via Brussels to EWR. No problems.

    So far, at least, (none / 0) (#36)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 02:49:40 PM EST
    he hasn't been told he can't go.  He has his "official" permission from NIH, he has his visa (he is required to use his government passport when traveling as part of his job, and visas are required for that, even for Western Europe, unlike traveling with your own passport).
    As I said, he's not worried.  The only thing he's going to do is get to the airport a bit earlier than he otherwise would have, in case the security procedures take an extra long time.

    He'll be fine. (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 03:21:59 PM EST
    That's what (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:27:13 PM EST
    we are both thinking.
    I wish I could go with him.  He will be in Spain, and I've never been to Spain.
    Happy Thanksgiving, oc.

    I learn something new every day. (none / 0) (#42)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 04:56:53 PM EST
    he is required to use his government passport when traveling as part of his job, and visas are required for that, even for Western Europe

    So, does your husband have 2 passports? One for work and one for personal travel?


    Yes, he does (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:04:03 PM EST
    Everyone he works with calls the government passport their "shoot me" passport, since it identifies them, not just as an American, but as a (gasp!) US government person.

    Your own passport isn't covering it (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:15:39 PM EST
    In Western Europe right now. They want a second form of picture ID. It can be your US drivers license, but they want something that has a photo secondary right now while we are going through this.

    It doesn't surprise me, (none / 0) (#46)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:10:28 PM EST
    But we always carry our drivers licenses as well, when we go overseas.
    I wonder how long it will be before everyone eliminates visa waivers (those countries such as Western Europe) and requires visas again for all travelers coming in?
    And us, too, for everyone coming here from Western Europe and other countries for which we don't require a visa, either.

    Hopefully, they wait to require (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 06:43:28 PM EST
    Extra paper work until after July, 2016.

    I hope so, too, (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 07:00:32 PM EST
    MOBlue, for your sake.
    Besides the hassle, it isn't exactly free to get a visa.  It costs.

    I'm already stretching the year's (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 07:56:45 PM EST
    travel budget way, way out of shape. I'm traveling single occupancy to London, Scotland and Ireland. I'm traveling with my daughter and SIL but none of my friends wanted to go so it is going to be 1.5 times more costly. This trip is fulfilling a long term dream to see Ireland and Scotland so I decided to go for it anyway. Hopefully, things will calm down somewhat before we go.

    And, MO Blue, it will be worth it (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by christinep on Sat Nov 28, 2015 at 05:29:57 PM EST
    Reading comments earlier this week, I smiled looking at those comments about the planned trip to Ireland, Scotland, England.  Then, I went to my trove of favorite travel memories/pictures to recall a similar plunge on the first across-the-Atlantic journey for my sister, my husband, and myself.  From landing in Shannon with the area's still-thatched roofs to returning three weeks later from London, I wanted to do a jig and hum/sing all the way.

    Killarney and the Ring of Kerry ... still vivid in the mind's eyes.  The greens delineated by rows of whitish-gray stones.  Oh, and for me (who is afraid of ledge-type heights), climbing around Blarney Castle ... and, even leaning backwards held-by-the-feet to kiss the Blarney Stone is a special feat memorialized by a certificate that hung--framed--for years in my office (because that "blarney" is one of the attributes that we lawyers surely prize.)  Irish knits were a find that are still used during the chill of autumn or spring. Dublin: The sparkling green park ... the inviting walks ... the many hued bright doors of Dublin.

    (I'm sorry that we did not visit the north.  The Cliffs must be spectacular. And, for me as an old fan of Leon Uris' "Trinity," I remain curious about Derry.)

    Ah, Scotland.  The first evening that we were in Edinburgh, I skipped to the bar to sample a scotch (other than a good martini--and, when I a was younger and an advocate for fine scotch) ... what a surprise when I saw the whole wall behind the barkeep stocked with bottles of more different kinds of scotch than could possible exist; whereupon, I asked for his recommendation and enjoyed a delightful scotch in Scotland. On to the Royal Mile up to the Castle--it is steep up the hill, but a powerful castle and an intriguing walk with tartans of every variety.  The walking park on the Firth is a good vantage point to watch the clouds roll by (and, they do roll faster with the breeze than anywhere else, it seems.)

    A bit more reserved than the Irish, those Scots! I love them both!  You are going to the Borderlands, I see ... the Walter Scott home and all.  What fills the mind about the region is the foothill topography with its clusters of heather. "The heather on the hill."  Being a romantic, I kept an eye out lest Brigadoon should appear.

    England is a separate trip in many ways.  The Wordsworth hills and lakes and churchyards of the north of England.  This is the land where you want to pedal a bike for a few days or walk long slow walks with a walking stick.  

    Then, there is London.  Everything in London. Somewhere in there, I hope MO Blue that you'll get to walk a bit in Hyde Park and read a poem or give an oration at the famous speakers' corner.  If there is anyplace to visit a museum, the British Museum can consume you ... from the Rosetta Stone to the sarcophagi to the purloined Greek columns & statuary to Karl Marx' study desk hidden away where no one knows except by stumbling upon it ... and the "cafeteria" has good food at a reasonable price (as does the local Oxford Street region.)  Buckingham is neat (it really is) ... and so is the Royal Mews nearby for something a bit different.  Westminster Abbey is incredible (and you never know who lies beneath you in this place of discovery.)  The Tower tells a lot about a lot of things, especially the Tudors and Stuarts.  For Music: Check Albert Hall or St Martins-in-the-Field for free lunchtime music or the opera at Covent Garden not too far from there.  The plays are great (and you can get same-day deals).  Finally, since I love Indian food, well ... it is the best.

    Thanks for letting me rhapsodize here.  I hope it will be as wonderful for you as it ever was for me.


    I'd go with you, if I could (none / 0) (#58)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:27:06 PM EST
    but gardening season is still in full swing at that time.

    Bummer (none / 0) (#65)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:30:44 PM EST
    It would have been great fun. Think about a winter trip somewhere in 2017 when you aren't in serious gardening mode.

    January is always a good time to travel (none / 0) (#75)
    by shoephone on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 01:12:36 PM EST
    out of the dark and damp NW! And most of the garden/landscape industry goes on hiatus.

    Love to travel in January (none / 0) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 01:45:22 PM EST
    Breaks up the winter which I don't like at all. Don't think I can do the expense of Europe in 17 so soon after my Ireland trip but would be open to something closer to home and less expensive. And need I mention warm........

    Think about it.


    MoBlue, I, too, have always wanted (none / 0) (#63)
    by caseyOR on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:59:25 PM EST
    to see Ireland and Scotland. Hmmmmm. I wonder if I could get away in July?

    Here is info on trip (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 11:26:56 PM EST
    Fly out on June 24, 2016 and return July 9, 2016 (flying into London one day before tour starts).

    Here is link to tour


    M.O.Blue, (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 10:23:44 AM EST
    looks like a comprehensive itinerary and you will surely have a great time.  The program includes Ring of Kerry, and, probably, Dingle---a most beautiful area on the western coast. Galway is not included, it seems--but if it is, the Aran Islands just off the coast are interesting.

      Like being cranked back in a time capsule. Also, a favorite reference in literature, such as James Joyce's short story, The Dead (1914), and the famous documentary, Man of Aran (1934) which won the infamous Mussolini Cup in the Venice Film Festival of that year.  You can't miss having a good time on this tour.  Happy Thanksgiving.


    We miss most of the coast (none / 0) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 11:21:30 AM EST
    Between the Giant's Causeway and the Cliffs of Mohar, which we do see. There were a couple of tours which offered more places in Ireland and Scotland and less time in England (which I would have preferred) but my daughter and SIL needed to fly into and out of London since they are extending the trip to visit my SIL's family.

    I've never been to Europe and I'm so looking forward to the trip. My father's clan came over to Ireland from Scotland to help the Irish chieftains fight the Norman's way back when. According to what I have been able to discover (Google is my friend), they were so successful the entire clan moved to Ireland. They lost their estates in the battle of Aughrim in 1691. I've not gotten into the genealogy thing so that's about all I know about my Irish roots. My grandmother's family on my mother's side was also from Ireland but I don't have any information on them.

    Maybe one day, I will be able to go back and see the places I will miss on this trip but regardless I know I will love places like the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher and the Giants Causeway. Oh, and castles. I'm like a little kid in my excitement. Being able to share this adventure with my daughter is an added treat.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you also, my friend.


    MOBlue, don't miss the (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by fishcamp on Fri Nov 27, 2015 at 08:26:39 AM EST
    Haunted Castle tour in Edinburg.  They used to wrap the miscreants in lead and dip them into hot oil.  They say one can still hear the screams on cloudy nights, which are most nights.  

    We will be in Edinburgh (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 28, 2015 at 07:35:06 AM EST
    for two days so I will try and see it.

    Thanks for the info.


    We did this (none / 0) (#84)
    by Zorba on Fri Nov 27, 2015 at 06:48:37 PM EST
    When we were in Edinburgh last year.
    I loved Scotland!  Beautiful land, lots of history, castles, palaces, etc.  The people were great, and, BTW, so was the food.  I know that people think that haggis is the height of Scottish cooking, but we had wonderful fish dishes (including some of the best smoked salmon I've ever eaten), scones and shortbread, just all kinds of great food.  I never did try any haggis.  ;-)
    I would go back there in a heart-beat.

    We will be in Edinburgh (none / 0) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Sat Nov 28, 2015 at 07:35:07 AM EST
    for two days so I will try and see it.

    Thanks for the info.


    Kenmare is charming. And has a (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 11:53:13 AM EST
    wonderful jewelry store!

    I do like jewelry (none / 0) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Thu Nov 26, 2015 at 12:02:44 PM EST
    Thanks for the info. Will have to check it out.

    And sometimes, it costs plenty, ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:46:31 PM EST
    ... particularly if the country to which you're traveling is ruled by a dictator who's hard up for cash.

    When we traveled to southern Africa in Nov. 2010, none of the eight countries we visited required visas except for Zimbabwe, which then cost $100 per entry per person. And since we flew to Harare from Johannesburg, and then traveled via motorcoach to Botswana's Chobe National Park before returning to Victoria Falls, that double-entry visa cost us $200 apiece.

    According to the pretty blondes at Fox News, it's all Jimmy Carter's fault, since he was president in 1980 when the white-minority government of the former Rhodesia collapsed, and current President Robert Mugabe took over and renamed the country after a member of the Black Panthers.



    Rabid hype of republicans? (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by Redbrow on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 05:38:04 PM EST

    Is it not irrational to pin this excluselvly on fear of evil republicans?

    Especially considering the travel warning was issued by the state department executives and the secretary of state who are all democrats.

    We don't fear evil Republicans. (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 09:55:28 PM EST
    Rather, Jeralyn is simply pointing out how Republicans have managed to talk themselves into fearing evil Islamofascist terrorizers, thanks to their longstanding penchant for believing their own bullschitt.

    (Except for Scott, of course) (none / 0) (#61)
    by shoephone on Wed Nov 25, 2015 at 10:54:08 PM EST