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A 7-month-old baby on the no-fly list? Yup. But that's not the most absurd thing about it.

Babies can be terrors. But that doesn't make them terrorists. … Or does it?

A 7-month-old baby on the no-fly list? Yup. But that's not the most absurd thing about it.

In 2012, a 7-month-old baby was designated as a "known or suspected terrorist threat" by airport security and placed on the no-fly list.

That baby is now 4 years old and is one of 18 plaintiffs listed in a lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in April seeking damages for those who have allegedly suffered from being listed as "terrorists" without criteria or evidence.

Now, it might sound a little ridiculous to have a baby on the no-fly list. But there must be a good reason, right? This is a country that believes in due process, where even an adorable little poop monster is innocent until proven guilty! We wouldn't just brand someone a terrorist for life without some legitimate proof, WOULD WE?


Of course not.

So why how did this so-called "Baby Doe" (if that is his real name!) manage to land on the terrorist watchlist? I have a few different theories.

Photo by John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images.

1. Baby Doe is actually a terrorist, executing an insidious diaper plot against the American people.

This is the obvious, and perhaps most likely, scenario.

Photo by John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Perhaps Baby Doe refused to narc on his fellow babies.

Government authorities have a history of approaching people with no prior criminal backgrounds or reasons for suspicion and pressuring them into acting as secret informants. And sometimes, those who don't cooperate get placed on the no-fly list.

"Who me? I don't know anything!" A likely story! Photo by Masum Ibn Musa/Wikimedia Commons.

3. Or what if Baby Doe actually works for the Department of Homeland Security?

During a recent push to prevent people on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing firearms, it was revealed that 72 DHS employees were included on the list.

Photo by Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Image.

4. Baby Doe might have posted something suspicious on Facebook.

Baby Doe once allegedly hijacked his mother's iPad and posted "fdgislgbdgkudsgsghbwenfwepfnasfiu" to her Facebook page. Was it nonsense? Or a carefully encrypted message?

Photo by Emmanuel Dudand/AFP/Getty Images.

5. Baby Doe might share a name with another "Baby Doe" on the watchlist.

It could just be a clerical error. That happened to the Robert Johnsons of the world, 12 of whom shared their experiences with "60 Minutes" after a different Robert Johnson had plotted to blow up a Hindu temple and a movie theater in Toronto.

Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images.

6. Maybe Baby Doe is actually Saddam Hussein or another Bad Person™!

"Just because a person has died doesn't necessarily mean that their identity has died," said Donna Bucella, who previously oversaw the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, in a 2006 interview with CBS News.

At the time, Hussein was listed on the no-fly list, even though he was on trial in Baghdad. The 14 alleged hijackers from 9/11 were also on the list.

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

7. Even if he's not Saddam Hussein, Baby Doe could be a crucial witness in a major legal case.

Architect Rahinah Ibrahim previously took the DHS to court in order to get her name removed from the no-fly list after it had been placed there by a clerical error. When her daughter was scheduled to testify in court, DHS apparently took action to prevent her from boarding her scheduled flight.

Baby Doe and Infant X, criminals caught in the act. Photo by Dustin M. Ramsey/Wikimedia Commons.

8. Or this could all just be a glaring indicator of just how ridiculous, unfair, arbitrary, and, oh yeah, unconstitutional the no-fly list actually is.

Here's what really happened: Baby Doe is a Muslim-American child. According to The Intercept, he was boarding a flight with his mother when his passport was stamped "SSSS" to indicate the need for a Secondary Security Screening. He was patted down, searched, and subjected to chemical testing. They even analyzed his diapers. While no wrongdoing was found (and neither was common sense, apparently), his name was placed on the no-fly list, where it remains to this day.

He's not the only child to have been flagged by the Transportation Security Administration for suspected terrorist activity either.

Definitely a terrorist. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

Before 9/11, there were 16 people banned from flying in the U.S. due to suspicions of terrorist activity. Today? That number is closer to 50,000.

Government agencies have even admitted that the criteria for the no-fly list is based on subjective predictive assessments rather than any kind of quantifiable evidence, and at least one U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the government's attempts to restrict people's freedom of movement is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the TSA has an annual operating budget of nearly $8 billion despite that a recent DHS investigation had people who managed to sneak mock weapons past airport security 95% of the time.

There's nothing wrong with taking a proactive stance against terrorism. Keeping people safe is a good thing. But if we need to encroach on the civil liberties of babies (not to mention countless others) in order to do that — well, then what are we really fighting for?

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Hennepin County Sheriff

The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minnesota police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, has many breathing a sigh of relief. Even though the disturbing video evidence of Floyd dying under Chauvin's knee is impossible to refute, it's incredibly hard to convict an officer of murder.

The United States judicial system is so preferential to law enforcement that even though the world saw murder in broad daylight, many were skeptical of whether he'd be convicted.

"Most people, I think, believe that it's a slam dunk," David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert in policing, told the Washington Post before the trial. "But he said, "the reality of the law and the legal system is, it's just not."

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.