They Came to the U.S. Legally as Children. At 21, They Face Deportation. – Reason.com

Padma Danturty has been a legal resident of the U.S. since she was 8 months old. Had she come to the country illegally, her future here would likely be more secure.

That’s because the 18-year-old does not qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Obama-era policy that protects individuals from deportation if they came to the U.S. unlawfully as children through no fault of their own. Recipients are colloquially referred to as “Dreamers.”

But Danturty did not come here illegally. She is instead one of about 200,000 “Documented Dreamers,” an obscure group of individuals who were brought to the U.S. legally with their parents yet face expulsion if they are unable to obtain a green card or visa by the time they turn 21 years old. In her case, she faces self-deportation to India.

“I have no memory of it,” she says. “I can barely speak my native language, so it would be really hard to communicate. I don’t know what I would do exactly.”

At present, DACA shields about 650,000 young immigrants from deportation and allows its recipients to apply for work permits. But the policy inadvertently excludes hundreds of thousands of documented children who fell through the legal cracks. “Even if you do the ‘right’ things, you could still end up in a place of insecurity,” says Danturty.

Though circumstances vary across the spectrum of Documented Dreamers, Danturty’s parents moved to the United States to study at the University of Connecticut and took jobs on work visas soon after. That left Danturty on a dependent visa—and her legally allotted time on that is running thin, even as her parents remain safe from deportation. 

A bipartisan bill—introduced in the House in July and in the Senate this week—hopes to eliminate the nightmare scenario. Should it pass, those like Danturty will no longer have to race against time before being sent to a foreign country they’ve often never experienced.

“I’ve heard from a number of my constituents that it affects their families,” Rep. Deborah Ross (D–N.C.), who introduced the House version of the bill, tells Reason. “Many of their children come at young ages and really don’t know any other place….The parents might even be able to stay with a [work] visa, but the child would have to leave. It’s a heartbreaking situation.”

Pareen Mhatre is also mired in such a situation, although her position is a bit more dire. She is 21.

In many ways, Mhatre’s story mirrors that of Danturty’s, having arrived in the U.S. at 4 months old after her parents moved from India to matriculate at the University of Iowa, where they are now employed. The school applied for their green cards “as soon as they could,” says Mhatre—a measure that should have spared the family this dreadful scenario. But her parents have remained on work visas while they continue to wait in line, wading for years through a forest of bureaucratic red tape as Mhatre’s clock keeps ticking.

“I’ve lived in this country for the past 21 years,” she says. “It’s really the only country I know.”

Mhatre’s dependent visa has already expired, though she bought herself a bit more time with a student visa in order to study at the University of Iowa. Once she graduates, she can apply for an H-1B work visa, should she find a high-skilled job and an employer who wants to pay to sponsor her. Even if she does, she is not guaranteed success: The program runs on a lottery. This year, the government approved 28 percent of applicants.

Otherwise, she will have to self-deport to India.

Yet the problems for Documented Dreamers do not begin and end with a looming expulsion date. “Growing up, I felt like any other American kid,” says Mhatre. She eventually realized that wasn’t the case: Even with legal status in the country, Documented Dreamers are not permitted to work, they are not allowed to get a driver’s license in certain states, and when applying to colleges, they are often hit with international student tuition fees even though they reside in the U.S.

“When I was a freshman and sophomore, I didn’t go to any of the career fairs,” adds Mhatre, “because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to apply for any of the internships.” Danturty expresses much of the same: “I see a lot of my friends working….It’s hard because I’d like to make money myself too, but I can’t.” Both the House and Senate bills—the latter of which was introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) and Alex Padilla (D–Calif.)—would allow Documented Dreamers to obtain a work permit.

“Knowing that I don’t have a sense of stability or a secure future in this country is really scary. It’s definitely made me realize that I’m grateful to be here,” says Mhatre. And if the bill doesn’t pass? “[Our] parents tried to do everything by the book,” she replies. “Having stressed over applications, immigration law, and now this is what [our] famil[ies] get: no hope for the future.”



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British study to test mixed COVID-19 vaccine dose schedules in children

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LONDON — A British study will look into the immune responses of children to mixed schedules of different COVID-19 vaccines as officials try to determine the best approach to second doses in adolescents given a small risk of heart inflammation.

Children aged 12-15 in Britain will be vaccinated from next week, while those aged 16-17 have been eligible for shots since August.

However, while the children will be offered a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, officials have said that advice about second doses will be given at a later date, while more data is gathered.

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Britain’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) initially declined to recommend shots for all 12- to 15-year-olds, citing uncertainty over the long-term impact of myocarditis, a rare side effect of mRNA-based vaccines such as Pfizer’s. The heart condition typically resolves itself with mild short-term consequences, health experts have said.

Hong Kong has advised children only get one shot, owing to similar concerns over heart inflammation.

The study, called Com-COV3, will test different vaccine schedules in 12- to 16-year-olds, looking at the immune responses and milder side-effects.

“The concern here is about the risks of myocarditis, particularly with the second dose with Pfizer vaccine in young men,” the trial’s lead researcher, Matthew Snape of the Oxford Vaccine Group, told reporters.

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“This will provide the JCVI with information crucial to informing their advice about immunizing teenagers in the UK,” he said.

The trial will give all participants a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That will be followed eight weeks later by either a second full dose or a half dose of the Pfizer shot, a full dose of Novavax’s vaccine or a half dose of Moderna’s shot.

The trial is recruiting 360 volunteers, not large enough to directly assess the myocarditis risk of the different combinations, which Snape said was 1 in 15,000 after two doses of the Pfizer shot in young men.

But, he added, it “would be reassuring to see if there was a lower inflammatory response after one of these changes compared to Pfizer (followed by) Pfizer,” and that it might be “reasonable to infer that the risks of myocarditis might be lower” in such an instance.

Snape is running another arm of the trial in adults, giving mixed vaccine schedules both four and 12 weeks apart, and comparing the responses. He said the results of that would be coming “very shortly.”

(Reporting by Alistair Smout Editing by Bill Berkrot)



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TONE DEAF CNN Allows Ex-Planned Parenthood Prez to Demand: ‘Protect Our Children’

On Wednesday, CNN actually had the audacity to bring on the former president of Planned Parenthood to demand that public officials “protect our children” by backing draconian COVID regulations being pushed by the Biden administration. In the 1:00 p.m. ET hour, Newsroom host Ana Cabrera referenced the total COVID death count, noting that 1 in 500 Americans have died from COVID. She then brought on Dr. Leana Wen and Dr. Jeremy Faust to discuss.

Dr. Wen, who Cabrera introduced as “CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore health commissioner,” was the president/CEO of Planned Parenthood from October 2018 through July 2019. During the 2018-2019 business year, according to their own annual report, Planned Parenthood facilitated 354,871 “abortion procedures,” or, to be less euphemistic, killed 354,871 babies.

 

 

Wen expressed shock that Americans have not done more to stop the spread of COVID-19, saying “Imagine if 1 in 500 Americans have died in a war due to a foreign adversary in the last year and a half. How would we be processing that information and what would we be doing differently? Wouldn’t we be doing everything we can to end the war, to end the suffering and death?”

She seemed especially appalled at one North Carolina school district’s decision to end quarantining and contact tracing for COVID-exposed students. “Overall we need to decrease the level of transmission in the community, but in the meantime we need to be protecting our children,” Wen emphasized. “It’s, again, really unconscionable that we’re not doing everything we can.”

It seems that “protecting our children” only applies when the children are outside of the womb, and therefore subject to onerous and often unscientific COVID restrictions.

Just what is Wen suggesting for schools? Masking, quarantining, contact tracing, improving ventilation, and eligible students getting vaccinated, just to name a few. Currently, only children age 12 and older can get vaccinated, but companies are still collecting trial data for younger children. Wen’s repeated emphasis on the phrase “everything we can” communicates that there is no sacrifice too great or requirement too strenuous in order to prevent COVID cases among children.

The irony of a former leader of Planned Parenthood, America’s leading baby-killing regime, claiming to stand up for the health and well-being of children, is apparently lost on CNN. In fact, Wen’s position at CNN as a medical analyst is disturbing, given her track record of violating the Hippocratic Oath. She has done inconceivable harm to hundreds of thousands of babies, along with their mothers – but CNN is perfectly fine with letting her accuse schools and viewers of not taking sufficient care of their own children.

This segment on CNN was sponsored by DirecTV and Allegra.

The relevant portions of Wednesday’s transcript are below. Click “expand” to read:

CNN’s Newsroom

09/15/21

1:21:49 p.m. Eastern

 

ANA CABRERA: Another sobering milestone in this pandemic: 1 in every 500 Americans has now died of COVID-19. As of last night, the official count is nearly 664,000 deaths nationwide. To a large degree, this remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And just two days from now a key panel of FDA advisors will debate whether to authorize COVID booster shots for the general population. There is little agreement on this even within the medical community. With us now is Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore health commissioner and also with us is Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Thank you both for being here. Dr. Wen, just your reaction first to this pandemic now taking the life of 1 in every 500 Americans. Did you ever think it would get to this point? 

LEANA WEN: No. It’s actually a number that is very difficult to process. Imagine if 1 in 500 Americans have died in a war due to a foreign adversary in the last year and a half. How would we be processing that information and what would we be doing differently? Wouldn’t we be doing everything we can to end the war, to end the suffering and death? And yet right now we actually have the tools. We know that vaccines are our best and only way out of the pandemic. We have the tool that it will take for us to save lives and for us to not do everything that we can with vaccines and masks in the meantime, it’s really unconscionable. 

(…)

CABRERA: Dr. Wen, one of the places that COVID is really surging right now in the US is inside schools. Georgia health officials say 60% of COVID outbreaks in that state are occurring in K-12 schools. Schools are still struggling to respond. One North Carolina school district is deciding it’s gonna end quarantines. It’s gonna stop contact tracing for the students and staff who may have been exposed but are asymptomatic or they test negative. Does that approach make sense to you? 

WEN: No. I mean, that’s the same as saying, if we just don’t look for disease, we’re not going to find it. But just because you’re not looking for it doesn’t mean the disease isn’t there, it just means that you don’t know about it, and then there’s further spread, chains of transmission that could be occurring at home and in the community due to what’s happening in schools. I think what’s really frustrating about what’s going on in schools is that we know what it takes to keep COVID out of schools. We know what it takes to prevent the COVID from spreading in schools. That is everybody who is able to be vaccinated, 12 and older getting vaccinated, that’s indoor masking, that’s quarantining, contact tracing, all these measures that we’ve been talking about, improved ventilation. All of these things are layers of protection. The more virus there is in the school, the more layers you’re going to need. Overall we need to decrease the level of transmission in the community, but in the meantime we need to be protecting our children. Nearly 30% of all new infections are occurring in kids. In the last two weeks, there have been half a million new COVID-19 infections in our children. It’s, again, really unconscionable that we’re not doing everything we can. We have the tools. We know what works. Why not deploy these tools to protect our children? 

CABRERA: Dr. Leana Wen and Dr. Jeremy Faust, I appreciate both of you. Thanks so much for joining us. 



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Swedish PM says children aged 12-15 will be offered COVID vaccine

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STOCKHOLM — Sweden will offer vaccine to children aged 12 to 15 years later this autumn, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Thursday.

“It lowers the risk for severe and serious disease and the risk that you miss school,” Lofven told a news conference.

More than 80% of Swedes aged 16 and above – the group eligible for the vaccines – have had one shot and almost 75% are fully vaccinated.

(Reporting by Johan Ahlander, editing by Helena Soderpalm)



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Another Hysterical Claim Involving Kids and COVID-19 Bites the Dust – RedState

The argument over how to handle COVID-19 regarding children has been perhaps the most absurd aspect of our response to the coronavirus. Many districts kept kids out of the classroom for over a year in response to a virus that statistically isn’t dangerous to them. Then there are the insane masking requirements, which studies have repeatedly disproven as necessary.

But they were “doing something,” and that’s what really matters when one’s entire existence centers around the signaling of virtue. Yet, to justify their actions, another talking point arose over the last several months. You see, even though children are obviously at extremely low risk from death regarding COVD-19, they are at significant risk of getting “long COVID” the hysterics have asserted. And if you don’t care about “long COVID,” then you don’t care about kids.

So is that true? A new study out of the United Kingdom provides a definitive answer: Nope.

Here’s the most incredible statistic, though. Children in the control group of children who hadn’t been infected had a higher rate of symptoms than children who actually had COVID at certain points in the reporting period (4 and 12 weeks).

What that does is expose the original fallacy that so many were operating under, i.e. taking symptoms present in children and giving them the label of “long COVID” when those symptoms were never proven to be caused by COVID-19 at all. Now, this extremely detailed study shows that many of the symptoms in question are common among children with or without a prior coronavirus infection.

This is the same mistake people make with masks. Despite the fact that data sets continually show mask-mandates don’t work, every time someone who is anti-mask gets infected, there is a rush to blame the lack of a mask for said infection. Yet, what science tells us is that people who do and don’t wear masks get infected at essentially the same rates. In short, the mask is largely irrelevant to the question of spread just like “long COVID” is largely irrelevant to the question of risk for children.

That’s not to say it’s impossible for a child, especially one with pre-existing conditions, to develop long-term symptoms due to COVID. Anything is possible at some infinitesimal level, including death. Yet, the hysterical claim that one in seven children are developing “long COVID” appears to be completely false.

This is great news for people that care about developing policy based on facts and data. It’s not good news for those who seemingly need children to be at high risk in order to justify their nonsensical measures.





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New York Gov. Hochul announces requirement for kids ages 2 and above to wear masks at child care facilities

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced various mask requirements on Wednesday including that staff, visitors, and children ages 2 and older must wear face coverings at child care facilities.

“The requirement applies to New York State Office of Children and Family Services-licensed and -registered child care centers, home-based group family and family child care programs, after-school child care programs and enrolled legally exempt group programs during operational hours,” according to a press release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that individuals ages 2 and above who have not been fully vaccinated utilize masks in indoor public places. Currently in the U.S. there are no vaccines authorized for use in individuals younger than 12-years-old.

“New masking requirements will also apply to congregate programs and facilities licensed, registered, operated, certified or approved by the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. This includes but is not limited to certified residential and day programs, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities, substance abuse programs, juvenile detention programs, juvenile residential facilities, congregate foster care programs, runaway and homeless youth, domestic violence and other shelter programs,” the press release notes.

The mask mandates apply to individuals medically capable of using a mask, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Hochul became the Empire State’s first female governor when she was sworn into office last month after Andrew Cuomo stepped down following a chorus of calls for his resignation after investigators concluded that he had sexually harassed multiple women. Cuomo said that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”

“With the Delta variant on the rise, requiring masks at state-regulated child care, mental health, and substance abuse facilities is a key part of our broader strategy for slowing the spread of the virus, reopening our economy safely, and protecting vulnerable members of our population,” Hochul said, according to the press release. “For children under 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, masks are the best line of defense against COVID-19 infection. This new mask requirement ensures that children in our child care facilities receive the same protection as children in our schools.”





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Border Patrol agents rescue children in Rio Grande Valley

A toddler and her baby brother were saved from near-certain death Tuesday by Border Patrol agents who found them abandoned on the banks of the Rio Grande.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said agents were patrolling the river by boat when they spotted “an unusual color on the riverbank.” When they looked closer, the agents found a 2-year-old girl and a 3-month-old boy, the latter of whom was in a baby carrier. A note left with the children identified them as siblings who were originally from Honduras.

The little ones did not require medical attention and were taken to a Border Patrol station at Uvalde, Texas, the statement said. It was not immediately clear how long they had been abandoned.

“The attention to detail our agents demonstrate while preforming their duties can be the difference between life and death,” interim Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia said in a statement on Twitter. “It is heartbreaking and frustrating to know that there are children being abandoned without remorse or concern for their lives and wellbeing.”

The rescue took place amid an ongoing migration crisis at the US-Mexico border that shows little sign of slowing down.

Late Wednesday, CBP confirmed that border officials had encountered 208,887 migrants at the southwestern frontier in August. That total, which was first reported by Fox News, is slightly down from the 213,534 migrants encountered in July; however, it marks the first time that more than 200,000 migrant encounters have been recorded in consecutive months since February and March of 2000 (211,328 and 220,063 respectively).

The number of encounters also represent a 317 percent increase over August 2020, when there were 50,014 apprehensions and a 233 percent jump from August 2019, which recorded 62,707 apprehensions.

August was the first month since President Joe Biden took office in which the number of encounters decreased from the previous month. Through the first eight months of this year, officials have stopped 1,323,597 migrants attempting to cross the border.

Members of both parties have blamed the Biden administration for encouraging a surge in illegal immigration to the US by reversing some of the hardline policies implemented by former President Donald Trump.

However, the White House has temporarily reinstated one Trump-era policy, the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols — which require asylum claimants to wait in Mexico until their case is heard by an immigration judge — after a federal judge ruled that the order suspending the program violated federal law.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Alejando Mayorkas was recorded last month telling border agents that the current situation is “unsustainable” because the system can’t handle such large numbers of illegal immigrants.

“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said, ‘Look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,’” Mayorkas said during the meeting.

“We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it​.”





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Pfizer seeking to vaccinate children over 5 years old by October

Children ages 5 to 11 may be eligible to receive Pfizer’s FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccine by the end of October, top U.S. health officials say.

“Parents and guardians can rest assured that the agency undertook a rigorous and thorough review of all available data, as we have with all of our Covid-19 vaccine emergency use authorizations,” said FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, back in May. “Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from Covid-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic.”

Former commissioner of the FDA and a Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb, told CBS’s Ed O’Keefe that the FDA usually takes four to six weeks to review authorizations.

“This fall, Pfizer is going to be in a position, the company I’m on the board of, as you mentioned, be in a position to file data with the FDA at some point in September and then file the application potentially as early as October,” said Gottlieb. “So that’ll put us on a time frame where the vaccine could be available at some point late fall, more likely early winter, depending on how long the FDA takes to review the application.”

Gottlieb also said that the authorization could take longer, depending on whether the FDA requests additional information.

“It could take longer to get to an authorization, but the agency will be in a position to make an authorization, I believe, at some point late fall, probably early winter, and probably they’re going to base their decision on what the circumstances around the country, what the urgency is, to get to a vaccine for kids,” Gottlieb told O’Keefe.

Although this will appease some parents who want to vaccinate their children, there is also a large number of Americans who are questioning the push to vaccinate anyone – let alone young children. With school back in session and the uptick of coronavirus infections caused by the Delta variant, parents may begin to feel pressured into vaccinating their younger kids.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization), young children are not as affected by Covid-19 as adults are, and usually only suffer mild symptoms, if any symptoms at all.

WHO Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove explained the effects of Covid-19 on children, stating that they may feel some of the normal symptoms, but “they tend to be more mild.”

“And even most children tend to have asymptomatic infection, which means they don’t have any symptoms at all,” she said.

Dr. Kerkhove pointed out that the best way for children to remain safe is by utilizing normal virus prevention methods, like hand washing, to prevent them from catching the virus to begin with.

“Make sure children have clean hands and they wash their hands appropriately with soap and water and sing the songs so that they get enough bubbles and they make sure that those hands are really clean. Or use an alcohol-based rub. Make sure that they practice respiratory etiquette, where they sneeze into their elbow,” Kerkhove suggested, in addition to clean mask practices.

Currently, children ages 12 and over are eligible to receive Pfizer’s vaccine. The other most common vaccine in the U.S., made by Moderna, is currently approved for adults 18 and older. Moderna is currently seeking approval from the FDA for it’s EUA in children older than 12.





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Social media lambastes woke teacher for resurfaced viral video in which he complains that making children behave in class is ‘white supremacy’

Social media users are calling for a Virginia high school teacher to be fired after a May video resurfaced showing the teacher saying that making children behave in class is akin to “white supremacy.”

What are the details?

According to the New York Post, Josh Thompson — an English teacher at Blacksburg High School in Blacksburg, Virginia — raised eyebrows and ruffled feathers after a since-deleted TikTok video of him from May began making rounds on the internet this week.

In the video, Thompson blasted the district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program — which is used to help reduce disruptive behaviors in the classroom — by saying that the notion is the very “definition of white supremacy.”

Calling the techniques “white supremacy with a hug,” Thompson said, “It’s things like making sure that you’re following directions, and making sure that you’re sitting quietly, and you are in your seat — and all these things that come from white culture.”

He continued, “The idea of just sitting quiet and being told stuff and taking things in in a passive stance, is not a thing that’s in many cultures. So if we’re positively enforcing these behaviors, we are by extension positively enforcing elements of white culture.”

Such practices keep “whiteness at the center — which is the definition of ‘white supremacy,'” he added.

The Post reported that as of Wednesday morning, Thompson’s social presence appears to have been set to private.

What did people say in response?

According to the outlet, conservative author Brigitte Gabriel shared the clip, which she captioned, “FIRE this teacher.”

Others, the Post noted, said that Thompson was the “perfect poster boy for woke,” while another another social media user added, “So you’re telling me when I was in school and not listening, I was fighting racism? Wait until my mom hears this!”

One user, who identified herself as a black school teacher, pointed out that Thompson’s remarks were divisive to say the least.

She wrote, “I’m a black teacher. Any notion that behaving and following directions are inherently white traits disgusts me. It highlights the bigotry of low expectations that permeates the Education system. Black and brown students are capable and should not be held to separate standards.”

Another user chimed in, “Implying minorities can’t be held to the same standard as the majority because of their color is racism.”

“Assuming that only the white culture shares the value of being polite and respectful is blatant racism,” one user insisted. “Besides, this behavior while learning is way more prevalent in Asian countries than in Occidental ones.”

Yet another user asked, “Has this guy actually been in classrooms in Africa, India, Latin America, etc? I have. If anything, we are way more lax in enforcing classroom behavioral issues than other cultures. The norm in most cultures is still ‘sit quietly and listen.'”

Has the district spoken out?

A spokesperson for the Montgomery County School District told Fox News that while it is certainly “proud” of its PBIS program, it also supports Thompson’s right to freely speak on the topic.

“A teacher is entitled to their personal belief regarding any division program,” the statement read, noting that “the statements made by this teacher do not reflect our PBIS program or the behavioral expectations that we have of students in our schools.”

The statement added, “MCPS has used PBIS in our schools for eight years. We are proud of our PBIS work. This work helps create a standard for social-emotional learning and behavior expectations in the school building.”





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Children of the Same Foul Spirit?

George Bush wants to bring the war on terror home. He’s not alone, and he’s not joking.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush attends a 9/11 commemoration at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Maybe the real jihadis were inside us all along. At least, that’s what George W. Bush would have you think.

This past Saturday, in what was meant to be a memorial service for those who died retaking Flight 93 from Al Qaeda hijackers 20 years before, the former president used his speech to attack political opponents. Drawing a direct parallel between those who turned passenger planes into weapons of mass destruction and those with whom he does not see eye to eye on domestic questions, Bush presented an apocalyptic warning:

…We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.

Though Bush (never one to speak clearly) does not go so far as to name those he maligns, it is fairly obvious that this is not a shot at the race rioters who torched America’s cities all last summer. The “violent extremists at home” Bush has in mind are clearly just those on the right, with a particular focus on the few thousand who marched to the Capitol in January to express their concern over a questionable election—the spiritual brethren of Osama bin Laden, somehow.

All three alleged points of comparison are bizarre.

Most people, for instance, who participated in the Jan. 6 demonstrations at the Capitol (with the exception of those on FBI and other deep state payrolls) were basically lukewarm libertarians, miles closer to a squish like Ted Cruz than they are to al-Baghdadi. These are people who will talk your ear off about constitutional liberties and free speech and free religion and free this and free that—all the basic mainstays of bedrock American liberalism. Whatever their faults (and, frankly, this may be one of them) they are not, in any way that means anything at all, disdainful of “pluralism.”

Of course, the 43rd president doesn’t actually mean what the words he’s saying mean—i.e., that MAGA folk are intent on imposing some kind of uniformity of thought, religion, or race in these United States. “Disdain for pluralism” in 2021 encompasses such appalling positions as believing in national borders and asking for a fair accounting of the votes of 75 million Americans or more. The phrase might more aptly describe, though, those powerful interests that insist on stamping out any alternate narrative, any whiff of doubt about elite consensus—even if it means casting immigration realists, election skeptics, no-maskers, anti-vaxxers, and all other miscellaneous dissenters (regardless of the credibility of their claims) as a fledgling Al Qaeda or Taliban of our own.

Likewise, “disregard for human life” is hard to understand if we assume that words have meaning. Again, it seems unlikely that Bush is paying tribute to David Dorn and other victims of the Summer of Love. The only people with a “disregard for human life” are those who staged the “deadly attack on the Capitol” during which four people died of medical complications and one unarmed woman was shot by the Capitol Police. Maybe—and this is the charitable reading—he was talking about the genius cop who left a loaded gun in a bathroom stall and then, after miraculously keeping his job, put a bullet in the neck of an Air Force vet? (He then patted himself on the back in a television interview he asked for himself, explaining to the nation that, contrary to all appearances, he acted only with “the utmost courage”—just trust him.) Is he the violent extremist at home with no regard for human life? How about the guy who started the war in Iraq?

But the last point gives away the game: Whether or not there is actually any equivalence in disregard for human life, what really matters (we are told) is that both bin Laden and Ashli Babbitt sought to “defile national symbols.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that he is not talking about the statue of General Lee torn down in Richmond a week ago. And let us set aside the bleak view of American identity that self-designates the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as “national symbols.” (Let us not forget that Al Qaeda’s quarrel was precisely with an America that they thought was symbolized by, and reducible to, these two things.) The fundamental problem here is that Bush and his ilk consider symbolism paramount. We can abide opioids and war crimes and the destruction of American economy and culture, but heaven forbid somebody walk through Congress with the wrong attitude. The real danger is not from those who would kill your sons for profit or sell your livelihood to the CCP, but those who would dare defile the Temple of Democracy or steal an envelope from Nancy Pelosi’s desk.

These people must be hunted down and punished, then—with all the tools and determination used to target the “children of the same foul spirit” abroad these last two decades. What’s the point of a surveillance state if you can’t turn it inward? It is a powerful testament to the reality of the uniparty and the alienation of our political establishment from the polity itself that a president of one party would create a vast and vicious new federal leviathan, only for a president of the other party to set it loose on the voters of the former. Civil liberties, Bush and Biden know, are really just recommendations. They can be discarded at will in pursuit of enemies foreign and (more importantly) domestic. (Shame that, even with so long a leash, Biden’s DOJ can’t seem to track down that pesky pipe bomber or the man who initiated the door-smashing that ended in Ashli Babbit’s death, only to disappear mysteriously behind the police line.)

These people cannot accept defeat. Senseless war for an imaginary liberalism is their modus vivendi, and it is entirely unsurprising that, as the Mideast front loses the last of its steam, they should seek new fields of battle. It is even less surprising that the world powers of this present darkness should now make explicit who their enemy was all along: You.

What would be funny, if it weren’t so terrifying, is that they actually seem more committed this time around. Back then, Bush was equivocal. He didn’t want war, but Saddam had forced his hand—somehow. Nonetheless, he warned those he perceived as enemies: “Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.”





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