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April 2016 Chit Chat

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April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by melbert on Fri Apr 01 2016, 11:56

New month - yippy!


Last edited by LornaDoone on Sun Apr 10 2016, 00:27; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Changing Mel's April Fools Date from 2017 to 2016)

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by it's me on Fri Apr 01 2016, 13:04

New year it seems too geek

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 02 2016, 05:31

April Fools!!!!

You win the prize!!


Actually I did that on purpose It's Me as an April Fools joke, but now I can't change it to 2016, so if one of the mods could do that, I would appreciate it!

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by it's me on Sat Apr 02 2016, 06:02

Devil

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 02 2016, 06:42

Give Flowers

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by it's me on Mon Apr 04 2016, 23:21

All so quiet...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Tue Apr 05 2016, 00:18

Yes it's me. Weird. We need a George sighting
What a Face

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Apr 10 2016, 00:36

I went to the movies by accident today - one errand was done so quickly that I was able to run over to the movie theater.

I saw The Boss with Melissa McCarthy.  It's an R-rated comedy and I have to say, there were some scenes where I was laughing so hard I thought I would pee my pants.

One scene in particular, near the end of the film, started off with a scenario with visuals so funny that I was screaming. No seriously.  Screaming in laughter!

Film is not for those who are easily offended by cursing because it's pervasive throughout.  But I thought it was one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time!


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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by it's me on Thu Apr 21 2016, 23:32

RIP Prince Sad

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by annemarie on Thu Apr 21 2016, 23:39

One of the most talented musicians that's ever lived may prince rest in peace.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Fri Apr 22 2016, 01:54

An exceptional and prolific artist. A music icon. And so sad to lose him at such a young age.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Fri Apr 22 2016, 06:24

It really isn't a good year for musicians...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Fri Apr 22 2016, 06:36

Hey,
does anybody out there remember a-ha?  
They are a Norwegian band and were quite famous in the 1980s and 90s - at least in Europe, I don't know about the rest of the world.

They did one James Bond song 'The Living Daylights' and at the beginning of their career did the first inventive music video for 'Take On Me':
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914

Last weekend my sister called me up and asked if I and my husband would like to go to an a-ha concert, her husband had his company's box at the concert hall, and so we went there for free.
It was really great, I'd never been to one of their concerts before. So about half of the songs were new to me, and the rest was just nostalgia...

Plus of course the special treatment you get when you're in a box - like your own bar, food and service, comfortable seats and your private bathroom. I could get used to that...

Just can't imagine how much it must have cost, I guess I'd be really shocked...


Last edited by carolhathaway on Fri Apr 22 2016, 06:39; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added text)

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by it's me on Fri Apr 22 2016, 10:00

Love them Smile

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by annemarie on Fri Apr 22 2016, 10:56

I remember them.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Fri Apr 22 2016, 13:25

What a cool experience carolhathaway! I remember them. I clearly remember their video running on MTV constantly. Thanks for that bit of nostalgia.

And yes box seats are great. I had that experience just once for a sports game. It's a totally different feel. You almost don't feel like you're in a stadium.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LizzyNY on Sat Apr 23 2016, 13:38

Total change of topic, but has anyone heard from Joanna lately?

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Sat Apr 23 2016, 14:45

I haven't and I really miss her. She always brought sunny to our chats. I've been wondering how she is.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 23 2016, 15:30

She hasn't been feeling well, however, I'm sure she'll be back on soon.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Sat Apr 23 2016, 16:12

Thanks melbert. Hope she feels better real soon.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LizzyNY on Sat Apr 23 2016, 17:26

Give Flowers Thanks, Mel. If you're in touch wish her well from me. I miss her. Sad

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by melbert on Sat Apr 23 2016, 21:03

I will Lizzy - thanks!

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LornaDoone on Mon Apr 25 2016, 01:07

Hope Joanna is feeling better soon.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LornaDoone on Mon Apr 25 2016, 01:16

Oh and thinking of Brits...reminded me of something.

Saw a flick yesterday that really made me think.

Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman called "Eye in the Sky."

She plays a Colonel in the British military and Alan Rickman plays a General who have to decide if a drone strike will happen.


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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Mon Apr 25 2016, 06:30

Lorna,
that looks like a very interesting movie...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Mon Apr 25 2016, 06:50

By the way:
President Obama is in Germany right now, he's actually just about 40 miles away from my hometown. Opened the Hanover Fair, the world's largest industrial fair, last night. Lots and lots of security (my sister lives in Hanover, and she left on Saturday and already had problems to get out of the town...).

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LizzyNY on Mon Apr 25 2016, 12:19

Carolhathaway - So sorry. I know what a pain in the neck it is when the President comes to town. His security wreaks havoc on the city every time he comes to NY - not to mention what it does to traffic! At least you know he won't be there very long, and things can get back to normal pretty quickly. Smile

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Mon Apr 25 2016, 13:46

I saw a brief clip of Obama's speech from Hanover this morning. Unfortunately it's not being reported very much here because presidential politics talk is taking over all the news shows. Hopefully I can read about his speech in the newspaper tomorrow.

carolhathaway how are German citizens reacting to the President's visit? Thought I heard yesterday that a number of Germans are not happy with the new trade agreement that Obama is supporting.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Mon Apr 25 2016, 14:04

Donna,

the presidential politics are widely discussed in our medias as well. Especially the cooperation between Cruz and Kasich gets a lot of coverage. 

The trade agreements between the US and the EU (TTIP) as well as CETA (trade agreement between Canada and the EU) are discussed quite controversial here. Many people fear that our national governments as well as the EU parliament will lose a lot of influence and that our social, economic and also environmental standards could be on the decrease. I haven't made up my mind about that yet since people have so differentnopinions on that. It's also said that our representatives in parliament are not allowed to discuss the papers, have to read them in a in a separate room, are just allowed to stay in this room for a short time...

I don't know...

But the fact is that on Saturday 35,000 people in Hanover did protest against TTIP and CETA.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Mon Apr 25 2016, 14:10

Lizzy,
at least Hanover gets a lot of news coverage - if not in the US than in the rest of the world...

Yes, the security got mad for months. My sister who lives there said that one of their friends was responsible for the security on the German side and nearly had a mental breakdown because there were changes on a daily base Rolling Eyes

Two years ago the Chinese MP came to the town my husband works in and wanted to do a walk in town. Can you imagine how much fun that was? And they are used to political prominence because our secretary of commerce and view chancellor lives there...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Mon Apr 25 2016, 16:46

Carol thanks for your insight. I don't know enough about the trade deal yet to decide if I support it or not.
It's complicated. But I was curious about the protests. I saw them on tv this weekend. And the report did mention the German's concern over the weakening of environmental standards in Europe. I'm perplexed by that since Obama has been quite supportive of advancing and supporting our environmental standards. And is a driving force for climate change. Oh well to be continued ....

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Mon Apr 25 2016, 17:06

Donna,
it's also about genetic food (do you name it that?)
We always like to believe that the animals live happily like they did - at least in old movies. My parents both grew up on farms and say that it never was like that... You know, we want to get our meat, milk, cheese and eggs and also our bread as cheap as possible but are always shocked when we see that animals aren't treated as in commercials.

We have one of the biggest companies for  breeding seeds just 15 miles away, and that's exactly their business: to develop new seeds for the world market by genetic engineering. But when companies from outside Germany of at least outside the EU do the same we don't want it because our own companies just do it to feed the world, don't focus on the profit Razz


Last edited by carolhathaway on Mon Apr 25 2016, 17:18; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Double text, changed it)

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LizzyNY on Tue Apr 26 2016, 00:34

Carolhathaway - I think all countries try to protect their own businesses and products as much as possible. That's why trade agreements are so difficult to work out and why so many people feel threatened by them. They think that they lose jobs and lower their living standards if products are imported. To an extent they're right, but they also save money on the products that are imported, which usually cost less then if they were made in their home country. It really is confusing and hugely complicated.

We call genetic food "GMO's - genetically modified organisms. Some people think they're a bad thing. Some people see nothing wrong with them. I think most people are just confused.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Tue Apr 26 2016, 06:55

Lizzy,
I guess you're right about  trade agreements. But since we live in a world where you can't just ignore other countries (at least unless you're North Corea Rolling Eyes ) it doesn't work like that. Germany is one of the countries with the largest numbers of exports in the world, we do need other countries to sell our products. We depend on them. And since I live quite nearby Wolfsburg and in the same federal state I see what the Volkswagen deception does to our economy. Volkswagen is the biggest employer in our state, and many other towns need its orders.

About GMO (thanks for this new vocabulary, by the way)I'm not really sure about that. I'm not a fan of it and try to buy food on the market, try to buy meat from farmers or butchers where I know that they trust their vendors. But that's more expensive than just going to the supermarket and buying the cheapest food you can get. And many people either can't afford to buy more expensive food or just don't care. But then they are exhausted when there's a report on TV that the vegetables are polluted (I assume you might get an idea about that when you see fields near motorways and factories but that seems to be off their mind) or how bad pigs, cows and hens are treated).

I think you're right about GMO: People are confused and don't know if it's good of bad. As I said before: Food has always been modified, and when I remember what my uncle who was a farmer told me about harmful substances they used 50 years ago on the fields, I'm not sure that living was healthier then...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Tue Apr 26 2016, 10:18

I just realized that it's April 26th today. Which means that 30 years ago Chernobyl happened...

Just want to think about what it caused...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Tue Apr 26 2016, 20:28

On Sunday I went to my godchild's confirmation (we're lutherans and that's our way to celebrate their adulthood on the religious side, when the kids are about 14). Her sister is 17 and anorexic for several years now, she started with bulimia some months ago and since she's in a clinic now we hadn't seem her for months. So we all were really shocked to see that she's really just skin and bones and looks fatally ill.

The church service was very personal, was directed to the kids and parents and was an appeal to accept imperfection, to accept everybody the way he is, and to boycott the neverending challenges to always be the best and the first in ranking. So later we talked about the service and I said how much I liked the priest's sermon and that he seemed to have addressed it to my godchild, her sister and family. So then I got to know that another confirmee has an anorexic sister as well, and a third one has a brother who suffered so much from the pressure to achieve that he's in a psychiatric clinic.

This really shocked me since my own kids are just 14 as well, and I just hope that we won't have any problems like these. Why can't they just be happy kids and enjoy their lives? What caused these problems?

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by annemarie on Tue Apr 26 2016, 21:39

I think we just all need to love our children and let them know they are beautiful and intelligent no matter what their weight or their grade. So many don't realize the harm they do when they point out flaws we are all human and have flaws. There is and never will be such a thing as perfection especially not in humans.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Apr 27 2016, 00:14

There is no easy way to raise kids nor is it easy growing up. I have two grown children. They both had typical struggles with school, friends and dealing with parents. Nothing terrible but as a parent when you go through these struggles with your kids it's really painful for parents too. Every child is different and a parent has to approach each of them in a different way.
But love, support and acceptance is so important.

I'm lucky that my kids have grown into fine adults who are happy with what they are doing with their lives now. So that makes me happy. But they are still young and both "works in progress".

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Apr 27 2016, 00:37

Carolhathaway - So sorry to hear about your godchild's sister. The pain so many girls suffer trying to be perfect makes me furious. Girls have always thought that if they wore the "right" clothes or had the "right" look they'd "fit in" and be accepted by their peers. It has never been true - popularity has always really been about power -  but they don't know that and aren't equipped to deal with it.

I wish designers and the media would stop glorifying stick figures as being "stunning" and "gorgeous". A pretty face atop a broomstick-thin body is not a good or realistic image to present to our young girls. It may make designers happy to have their clothes hang on a model exactly the way they do on the clothes hanger, but real girls aren't built like that. If it's too hard for them to design for real women, maybe they should find another line of work.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by annemarie on Wed Apr 27 2016, 00:46

There are women who are naturally thin , but the reality is that there aren't that many and even they are made to feel bad about how they look.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Apr 27 2016, 02:25

I think girls who have eating disorders have so much going on emotionally and psychologically that they can't come to terms with.  I don't think it has as much to do with attaining a physical image of a "cover girl".  Girls and boys experience so much stress and expectations during their school years.  To be competitive, to succeed in school and sports, to make the good grades so they can get into a good college.  And to be accepted by their peers. It never ends.  Should we be so surprised that young people feel so overwhelmed.  And at such young ages they don't have the mental tools to come to terms with all this baggage

There is nothing wrong with being thin or over weight as long as you are healthy.

.


Last edited by Donnamarie on Wed Apr 27 2016, 02:27; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : edited text)

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Wed Apr 27 2016, 06:41

You're all right, thanks for your thoughts!

This girl, Jennifer, has always been slim, but now...

I've talked to one of my collegues about that since her sister had been anorexic as a teenager as well. She told me that her sister later wanted to have children but was never able to become pregnant because her hormone level didn't get to a normal level. And she was diagnozed with osteoporosis when she was only 30. So you never know how much you damage your body for the rest of your life...

And of course her family worries about her future: What happens once she's finished school? Will she be able to live on her own? Go to university?

It's easy to say that it's all her parents' fault. I think it's a combination of pressure, puberty and feeling insecure. I've always tried to tell my kids that they are all right the way they are. Since they are both handicapped they aren't like most other kids anyway. But neither my husband nor I have ever been 'leading kids' at school, the ones everybody loves, everybody sees as an ideal. So if you want to be like that there's a lot of pressure as well...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Apr 27 2016, 13:08

Carol, you have made many wise and thoughtful comments here on a variety of subjects. I suspect you are doing a pretty terrific job of raising your children to have a strong sense of themselves. As many of us know already parenting is the hardest job there is. And good parenting isn't about raising perfect kids. That approach is bound for disaster.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Apr 27 2016, 13:54

Here is a very important topic of discussion making the headlines today:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/26/open-borders-allow-isil-sleeper-cells-into-europe-and-uk--capabl/

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Wed Apr 27 2016, 14:18

PAN,
is ISIL the same as ISIS? I get a little confused about all those different shortcuts. We just call it IS but maybe ISIL is something else?

Anyway, he might be right - although we don't need terrorists to come to Europe because the terrorists in Paris and Brussels had been French and Belgium (as far as I know) citizens. And this was mostly due to the fact that both countries, just like the Netherlands or especially the UK, had had lots of territories abroad and made them citizens without really integrating them.
But yes, we know that there might be more terror attacks in Europe, and Germany would be a perfect target. Maybe some of our politicians are a bit disappointed that they chose two neighboring countries...
I guess we also won't forget which country's politics led to the foundation of ISIS, ISIL and other terrorist organizations...

And yes, we all know that the advantage of open borders and being able to travel freely within most countries of the EU has some disadvantages as well, and security is surely the biggest of them...

But I would like to know if Mr. Clapper's statement is a result of an operation of the National Intelligence or his personal opinion. This wasn't clear for me. Do they actually know that ISUS/ISIL etc. have plant sleeper cells or does Mr. Clapper just assume that?

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Wed Apr 27 2016, 14:38

By the way:
How is your weather?
During the last few days we got more snow than in January, and it's absolutely nasty. The only advantage is that it's not that cold so the snow doesn't last on the roads

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Apr 27 2016, 14:42

Well, put it this way, Carol. As the most important man in national and international security representing the USA it's highly unlikely he would be making such an important statement without absolute knowledge of the situation - indeed he would be failing utterly in his job and regarded as totally irresponsible!

To many of us this situation is and has been obvious for months and Clapper could not have made it more clear - short of saying close the borders, which of course he has no power to do

ISIL is another name for the same organisation, yes, and the problem with using these two definitions is that it was they want us to call it i e we are acknowledging that they are a state (or as they see it, a homeland) which very clearly they are not. So Daesh for that reason is the better word. 

It is well known that there is a whole village of this organisation in a remote part of Bosnia - what's being done or has been done about that is unclear........can only imagine it is being heavily monitored but we wouldn't be told that.

Yes, I understand the political history of how this all came from the Republican Guard etc, but I think we're beyond on that now......

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by carolhathaway on Wed Apr 27 2016, 15:46

PAN,
thanks for your explanation. I just wanted to now how to range his statement.

It sounds simple to say: "Close your borders", but it's not. Germany - just as an example - is situated in the heart of Europe, has more than 2,000 miles of borders to nine neighboring countries, which are all - apart from Switzerland - members of the EU. We've got coasts to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and the Lake Constance which we share with Austria and Switzerland. And we've got the Alps and hundreds of miles of borders to Austria and Switzerland across the Alps. Oh, and are lots of mountains at the border to the Czech Republic as well. To be honest, the only borders which were really guarded, were the ones between the GDR and the FRG between 1961 and 1989, and the border from the FRG to Czechoslowakia at the same time. People were always able to cross the other borders without being controlled. So to build fences or walls - which we Germans react to allergically - would at least be extremely difficult and expensive and would damage our economy. Not to mention the many people who live in one country and work in another which is legal for citizens of the EU.
One of my collegues spent his last summer holidays in Austria. Due to the fact that border controls were installed because of all the refugees he just asked his satnav and chose a small road - just like thousands of other tourists did the same day. And there was no control on that road so refugees - or terrorists - could have used it as well...

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Apr 27 2016, 16:21

Agree PAN.  Clapper wouldn't make those kind of statements unless he has knowledge to back it up. Is there a policy of follow through with people leaving Europe, going to Syria and then returning weeks, months or years later.  Isn't that the case with a number of the home grown terrorists from Brussels and France?  They reenter their home country without being properly "vetted"? My takeaway from all the reporting of these European terrorist attacks is the lack of a robust surveillance program. Do you find the same ....

And yes President Bush and his administration have the lion's share of responsibility for the rise of ISIS.  The U.S. went into Iraq and deposed the existing government without knowing what they were doing nor the implications of upsetting the apple cart.  But honestly I wonder with all the instability in the Middle East that has existed forever, if not the Iraq War ISIS could have sprung up as a result of some other instability or intervention.

Donnamarie
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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Apr 27 2016, 16:47

Carolhathaway - It would be totally irresponsible for the Director of the NIS to make a statement like this if there was no basis for it in fact and if he hadn't had it cleared by the White House first. If he did, he'd probably be out of a job before he stopped speaking!

Sadly, it seems all too likely that the philosophy of ISIS, if not ISIS itself, has infiltrated countries all over the world. I don't think this can all be laid at the feet of the Bush administration. As Donnamarie said, the instability and inequality in the region was bound to erupt sooner or later. Bush's actions just gave it a nudge.

 As much as we would all like to be welcoming and helpful, we can't ignore the possibility that our openness is being abused. There are serious security concerns and they need to be addressed.

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Re: April 2016 Chit Chat

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