John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News, August 17, 2014 Edition

Ferguson Looting Said to Be Fitting Tribute to Michael Brown

The emergence of a convenience store security video tape of Michael Brown roughing up the shopkeeper and stealing boxes of cigars was said to vindicate the looting rampage that followed his being shot by police.

"All those stuffed shirts saying that our robbing stores was an inappropriate expression of our anger and grief were dead wrong," asserted a self-identified looter who says her name is Jihadena. "One of the last things Michael did before he was gunned down was rob a store. We're just doing the work he no longer can do. What could be a more fitting tribute to his memory?"

Jihadena challenged the characterization of Brown as a common thug, insisting that "he was a guerrilla for social justice. President Obama promised transformation, but where are our reparations for slavery? Where is the equal distribution of wealth? That convenience store had plenty of cigars. What's wrong with Michael taking the initiative to redistribute a few of them?"

The image of Michael Brown as the liberator of cigars from the clutches of an Asian profiteer clashes with Al Sharpton's allegation of "a massive conspiracy to assassinate this young man's character. That video could've been photo-shopped. The witnesses to the robbery could've been coached. Michael's criminal history could be fabricated. Besides, even if he did rob that store since when do we have the death penalty for stealing cigars?"

In related news, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ruled that Maryland may ban assault rifles. "These weapons are inappropriate for hunting and they are too cumbersome for personal self defense," Blake asserted. "Their chief selling point seems to be that they would enable a citizen to resist government authority. As such, these weapons do not qualify for protection under the 'right to bear arms' clause of the Constitution."

Kerry Makes Case for Global Warming as Mankind's Greatest Threat

US Secretary of State John Kerry continues to baffle observers by insisting that "global warming is, by far, the greatest threat mankind faces in the 21st century."

"The reason should be obvious from the term 'global' warming," Kerry said. "This means that it affects everyone. This has to put it ahead of dangers that afflict necessarily narrower categories of victims. The beheading of innocent children by ISIS in Iraq, for example, only affects thousands of people."

"The threat to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate the Jews, at worst, would entail the deaths of only a few million," Kerry continued. "Juxtaposed to this limited atrocity, the ecological damage from global warming is vaster by an order of magnitude. Billions will be faced with excruciatingly relentless rises in temperature. Trying to stay cool will be an endless task. The cost and discomfort of attempting to cope will easily outweigh the momentary pain of being blown apart by a suicide bomber or having your throat slit by a jihadi."

"In a way it could be said that massacres serve to ameliorate the impact of global warming," Kerry pointed out. "The fewer humans there are, the less pressure they will put on the ecosystem's carrying power. So, while it is not their intent to fight global warming groups like ISIS and Hamas are inadvertently contributing toward a brighter future for the planet. We should not overlook this mitigating factor."

While Kerry appears to imagine himself a great thinker able to see past the "minor skirmishes" that most see as the main concern of the nation's chief diplomat, a recent editorial in Investors Business Daily characterized his contention that global warming is the more serious threat as "dangerously moronic."

Kerry does appear to be at some risk of getting out of step with his boss, though. Just this week President Obama declared "conservative maximalists" to be the biggest threat. "The essence of a successful community is universal cooperation for the collective benefit of all," the President said. "This requires compromise. Yet, there is a contingent within that continues to take the extreme position that certain so-called fundamental rights are immutable. This contingent of conservative maximalists is more dangerous than any other enemy we face."

Hamas Extends "Gift of Martyrdom" to Tunnel Diggers

Concerned that dozens of low-wage workers who built the maze of tunnels from the Gaza strip into Israel might reveal the locations to enemy forces, the Hamas leadership ordered their execution.

Hamas spokesman Khaled Mashal justified this seemingly ungrateful reward as "a necessary precaution. There are those who would say that the measures we took to prevent these diggers' knowledge of the tunnels' locations ought to be sufficient. Yes, the workers were blindfolded before being led to and from where they were told to dig making it exceedingly improbable that any of them could lead an Israeli to a tunnel location. But their death makes it impossible for them to reveal any location."

"Only infidels would consider our action in this matter cruel," Mashal maintained. "We have released these men from a harsh life of poverty?they did this backbreaking work at a wage of $1 per hour?and given them the gift of martyrdom. As we speak they are all enjoying the pleasures of copulating with virgins that Allah promised."

Mashal did permit himself a mild chuckle as he described the miners' last moments: "As we blindfolded them to lead them away to execution many talked excitedly of what they would buy with the wages they expected for more digging. Not one suspected the surprise we had in store. It was most amusing."

Dems Push for Federal Funding of Abortions

Representatives Mike Honda (D-Calif), Barbara Lee (D-Calif), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Jackie Speier (D-Calif) are going on a 10,000 mile bus tour to drum up support for repealing the current ban on federation money being spent for abortions.

"The issue is one of simple justice," Lee argued. "Why should the option of escaping an unwanted pregnancy be denied to women who can't afford to pay for it? Human rights shouldn't come with a price tag. Criminals who can't afford a lawyer get one at taxpayer expense. Why shouldn't innocent women be treated as well?"

"We should fund every abortion we can afford," was Slaughter's take. "Every child born is another mouth to feed. Would-be mothers who can't afford abortions will end up giving birth to children they can't afford. The cost of rearing a child to adulthood dwarfs the cost of an abortion. I challenge my GOP colleagues to do the math and support federal aid for abortion as the fiscally responsible thing to do."

A "more civilized society" was Rep. Schakowsky's goal. "Unwanted pregnancies destroy lives," she contended. "The first victim is the mother who is burdened by a child she does not want. The second victim is the unwanted child who grows up in poverty. The third victim is the innocent bystander who is a casualty of the violent underclass peppered with individuals who would've been aborted if the funding had been available."

The bus tour of these luminaries of contemporary moral philosophy began in Los Angeles, California August 9 and is expected to arrive in Washington, DC in mid September after stops in 12 cities along the way.

Hillary and Barack Hug Away Kerfuffle

This week former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stirred up a kerfuffle in an interview published in The Atlantic magazine by implying that the Obama Administration's foreign policy was "a directionless mess." President Obama angrily rebuffed Clinton's remarks as "horse shit."

However, the soothing ambiance of a gathering at a posh Martha's Vineyard resort has dampened down combative tempers on both sides. As a spokesman for Hillary explained, "it was a case of public perception vs. core reality. Given the President's abysmal voter approval ratings it is imperative that any Democrat who hopes to win an upcoming distance herself from the President's negative public image."

"There is no fundamental difference between the policies that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have pursued and the policies that a future President Hillary Clinton will pursue," the spokesman said. "But the only chance of continuing those policies is for Hillary to prevail in the 2016 election. Once President Obama was reassured on this he acquiesced to the strategy."

President Laments "Balkanization" of Media

The low cost of communication over the Internet has led to "a dangerous proliferation of voices" according to President Obama. "It used to be that everyone got their view of the news from major media outlets," Obama recounted. "There was more unanimity of message. This helped bring the country together."

"Now, though, any nobody with a little free time can get a website and pontificate for all the world to see," the President complained. "We have no way to control what is said and we lack the time and energy to refute every erroneous idea or contention that is made."

The President's lamentation may be answered, though. The Internet Tax Freedom Act is due to expire November 1. This law blocks states from assessing taxes on Internet use. The House of Representatives has dealt with this issue by passing the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA). PITFA is currently one of 300 House-passed bills being blocked by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).

"The President isn't the only one suffering a barrage of criticisms from pipsqueak yahoos on the web, I've had my share of abuse too," Read grumbled. "We'll see how outspoken these guys are once the states start hitting them with a couple hundred dollars a year in Internet access taxes."

While Reid was pessimistic about ever "restoring total order to the information arena" he evinced a degree of confidence that "between state taxes and an Executive cut-off switch we can winnow out a significant number of unwelcome participants in public policy debates."

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