Trump is Forcing Schools and Universities to Reopen with an Iron Fist

Trump’s Rule by “Ferrous Fistus”

Trump is ruling by an Iron Fist.  The only ruler listed ruling by an Iron Fist is Sadam Hussein of Iraq, but there are many synonyms suggested, such as Tyrant.  The “Iron Fist” also turns out to be a Marvel superhero.

Trump is forcing school districts and Universities to reopen in the fall, 100%, by every means that he thinks that he has at his disposal.  

I couldn’t find his 100% tweet, perhaps because it was taken down?  Several administration “Obsequions” are trying to excuse it by implying it was not really 100%.  They are also rushing to construct rules about this, with no guidance, since it clearly caught them by surprise.

The Acting Director of Homeland Security, no less, Ken Kuchinelli, promised some guidelines in a few weeks, presumably after they figured out what it means.  Trump said that all immigrant student visas would be cancelled to any University which did not teach in-person classes to them 100% of the time.  Maybe DHS and universities, which were also caught off-guard, would like to interpret this that 100% of only international students would have to set foot once a week in a single in-person class.  They were told to conform by July 15, in only one week, a typical Trump rush to succeed by “skiptus legalus”.  Harvard and MIT, however, have already sued.  (Ken Kuchinelli is infamous for trying to pin an email-gate on Michael Mann, the originator of the global warming “hockeypuck” curve.  Mann was cleared multiple times.)  

There are over a million international students in the US, with 400,000 from China.  They are an integral part of University funding, paying high out-of-state tuitions, which subsidize US students with financial needs.

The American Physical Society has already opposed cancelling visas, pointing out that a half of our STEM graduate students are international students.  They drive American research, and can go on to filling the American needs in the STEM fields.

I don’t yet have firm numbers of how much international students contribute to our Universities and our economy.  In the University of California they pay approximately $29,000 extra in tuition.  Nationwide, they contribute $41 billion dollars into Universities.  Plus, the students act like full time tourists for most of a year, contributing to housing, restaurants, goods, and entertainment, creating a half million jobs.  Finally, admissions, plans, and financial arrangements are already in place for the fall.  The student just can’t suddenly jump to universities elsewhere in the world.  They deserve some human rights under our immigration laws, and international standards.  Likely, Congress sets some immigration laws, not the Iron Fist.  The University of California and California State Universities will either file their own suits, or join the Harvard-MIT one.

Renfield, er, Dr. Redfield, Director of the CDC, was on TV about to redraft any CDC guidelines which might get in the way of opening any K-12 or other schools.  It will be interesting to see how private and religious schools react since the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos is party to this move.  Trump has complained that the CDC guidelines are too “tough”.

Trump couldn’t just encourage school re-opening, he had to threaten it by denying funds.  Although most of school funding is state with maybe some local enhancements, I’m sure Trump has some pot that he can use for this threat.  Republican Obsequion Governors will also now have an excuse to fall in line.  Somehow, I thought that Congress controls the allocation of funds.

As if there is not enough political and careful scientific epidemiological conflicts to be ironed out district by district, and state by state, we now have the Iron Fist intervening.  Reasonable people are trying to adopt a hybrid approach.  However, those vulnerable to Coronavirus infections, or have vulnerable parents, should be able to opt out.  This reminds us of the battle to exempt anti-vaxers, which also concerned health safety.  Except, the sides are now reversed.  Teacher’s unions also have safety clauses, and will weigh in on this.

The President is described as having a bully pulpit.  But to have it used by Super Bully is a totally new phenomena.  Which leads to a new type of governance, a “Bullyocracy”.

Personally, I think that classes in Pandemics ought to be required in K-12.  First, this is a unique opportunity to teach history as it is really happening, and of ultimate importance.  Second, a lot of parents may have distorted political viewpoints about wearing masks, and I can’t wait until grade school kids go home and tell them to wear a mask.  Children have to protect themselves and their parents, probably for several years, and need to have clear knowledge about his.

What gets me, is that Desperate Donald wants to get reelected by a resurgent economy, but this can only be achieved by slowing the Coronavirus by wearing masks and social distancing.  Yet, he and his core supporters are encouraged to ignore these basics.  “Quale Farcicus”.  If there is anyone who has made the second Coronavirus explosion start and propagate, and thus complicate school reopening, it is Trump himself.  Count on him to complicate school reopening, by still waffling on required masks and social distancing.

Trump touted school reopening in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden.  Here are the new daily virus cases in the US and those countries, courtesy of CNN.

Since we are discussing Universities, I don’t see why Trump allegedly had someone take the SATs for him.  With his father’s wealth, and even his own wealth at his young age, he could have easily contributed his way into some Ivy League school.  Knowing that Trump became President, I am actually glad that he got into good schools to give him some smattering of a good education.  Unfortunately, Trump has budget attacked Universities his entire political career, in all ways possible, all leading to delaying suits.

By the way, if it wasn’t obvious from the start, all of supposed Latin phrases are “humorous”.  I don’t know any Latin.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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