John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Government

SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: April 29, 2018 Edition

NHS Insists Alfie Must Die

The saga of ailing toddler Alfie Evans has thoroughly discredited the United Kingdom's National Health Service. According to the NHS, Alfie's death "would be best for all concerned." His parents' efforts to prevent this outcome with the assistance of humanitarians outside of the NHS have been thwarted with the connivance of the UK's courts.

It's not a question of the parents insisting that the NHS provide care that the NHS considers inappropriate and futile. The parents haven't asked for anything more than to take their son out of the Alder Hey Hospital and take advantage of Bambino Gesu Hospital's offer to treat the boy at no expense to the NHS. Nonetheless, the hospital has gone to court and received a judgment that awards it custody of the child. Pursuant to this judgment, the hospital pulled the plug on Alfie. The expected demise of the lad failed to transpire.

One would think that now little Alfie could be allowed to leave the hospital with his parents. "Not so fast," says Justice Anthony Hayden. "A lot of people protesting what we are doing are confused. If we release Alfie to his parents we lose control over the 'end of life' procedure that all the NHS doctors assure me is the only appropriate course. The issue is bigger than the life of one boy. Our society has decided to grant the NHS complete authority over all health-related matters. The NHS has ruled that it is in Alfie's best interest to die. As long as the boy remains in their hands we can be certain that this outcome will be achieved. Letting him loose endangers this outcome."

"Opponents of the NHS put sympathy for this one child ahead of the collective interests of society," Hayden explained. "Let's suppose that we did let the parents take charge. What's the risk? Well, if by some miracle Alfie were to survive outside the NHS system citizens' faith in the NHS could be negatively impacted. Pressures could arise for others to try to opt out of the NHS. This is the path toward anarchic individualism—a social philosophy that UK voters have soundly rejected in numerous elections. Avoidance of such a catastrophe is paramount. If the price of avoiding the chaos this would bring is the death of one boy and the suffering of his parents I'd say it is worth paying. I'm confident that my more insightful countrymen will come to the same conclusion."

Meanwhile, Merseyside Police Chief Inspector Chris Gibson has announced that "we are monitoring social media and will prosecute any malicious communications that besmirch the doctors, hospital, or courts for the decisions made in the Alfie Evans matter. Their decisions are final. No useful social purpose can be served by needlessly criticizing something that cannot be changed. Loyal British subjects need to know their place and to respect and obey their betters."

Planned Parenthood Sues to Stop Onerous Regulations

On behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit contesting these states imposition of unwanted regulations. ACLU spokesperson Bertram Petty described these states' oversight as "onerous, intrusive, and crippling. It is a blatant attempt to drive Planned Parenthood out of the medical marketplace."

The onerous regulations include requirements that "facilities must meet minimum sanitation standards. The staff must be qualified to perform the procedures used, including how to handle emergency equipment. Patients must be monitored after anesthesia. Follow-up care for complications and infection control must be in place. Informed consent must be obtained and documented." To enforce these regulations, "clinics are required to undergo an annual safety inspection by the Department of Health."

Petty objected that "making continued state funding contingent on meeting arbitrary and meddlesome bureaucratic make-work rules violates civilized norms. In 1973 the US Supreme Court granted women the right to abort their unwanted offspring. States have no authority to interfere with this right. That they would do so under the pretense of protecting public health is reprehensible."

Dems Insist Social Media Not Mistreating Conservatives

Despite the appearance of numerous witnesses and statistics indicating that FaceBook, Google, and Twitter use algorithms that have diverted traffic away from conservative voices, Democrats at the House Judiciary Committee hearing examining the "Filtering Practices of Social Media Platforms" asserted that it's a "hoax" and that "it is a legitimate business practice to prevent unauthorized use of the media for politically unacceptable purposes."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) argued that "hiding the posts and texts of persons expressing incorrect views is not censorship. The posts are still in the system. Conservatives have not been blocked from having their say. For Republicans to raise this non-issue is a hoax to distract from the very real crimes committed by Donald Trump—first to collude with Russia to seize power from the eminently more qualified Democratic candidate and second, his refusal to resign after his nefarious scheme was exposed by the heroic actions of FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and now special counsel Robert Mueller."

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif) called the Republican complaints "stupid and ridiculous. The First Amendment guarantees these media outlets the right to censor the content as they see fit. The government has no legitimate cause to pry into why or how they do this. In fact, even publicly raising the issue, as is being done in this hearing, is an attempt at intimidation. Exposing this completely legal censorship to open scrutiny could reduce traffic on these sites and cut into their profits. That is an abuse that should not be tolerated."

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) mocked witnesses "Diamond" and "Silk," two pro-Trump posters, for "your gall in saying you've been treated unfair. Before social media existed no one ever would have heard of you two nobodies. Now, just because FaceBook tried to limit your abuse of their platform you've got a beef? You say that Black Lives Matter gets a better deal. Well, maybe they have a message that needs to be heard. Trump's a billionaire, why don't you get him to pay you to push his agenda?"

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn), herself a victim of Twitter blocking her pro-life campaign tweet last year, challenged the notion that "censorship of one side of political debates is okay. These businesses advertise themselves as a way for all people to communicate. For them to subsequently, and often covertly, impede access for views the corporate honchos dislike is a deceptive business practice. The hypocrisy of my Democratic colleagues who have no qualms about having the government forcibly take money from taxpayers in order to fund abortions they oppose for moral and religious reasons as a defense of these deceptive businesses is stunning."

In related news, Breitbart News reporter Warner Todd Huston had his Twitter account suspended after he tweeted his opinion that transgender people suffer from mental illness. Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Twitter, explained "not all opinions are worthy of being heard. As the inventor and owner of Twitter it is my prerogative to decide which opinions will be permitted on my platform. If people like Mr. Huston think they can defy me with impunity they are the ones suffering from mental illness."

Mayor Blames Street Violence on Businesses

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh blamed the City's surging murder rate on local businesses. "First of all, most of this City's retail businesses are open too late," she lamented. "Keeping your doors open after dark is asking for trouble. This is a time when people should be at home with their families and not be forced to go out to buy things."

"Second, their prices are too high," she continued. "If merchandise didn't cost so much people wouldn't be forced to commit crimes just to be able to afford groceries and liquor. It shouldn't surprise us that people would use the cover of darkness to rob the businesses or kill customers who come out late to shop."

"In an ideal world all property would be collectively produced and owned," the Pugh envisioned. "Then there would be such a surplus of goods and services that stealing would no longer be necessary to survive. Most people wouldn't have to work and could pick up whatever they needed from government distribution centers during daylight hours."

The Mayor regretted that "I don't have an answer yet on how we get from here to that ideal world. I did hear that California is experimenting with the decriminalization of theft. Maybe if just taking whatever you want from whoever has it is legal then there would be a fairer distribution and less fighting over it."

In related news, Marquette University Professor Jodi Melamed delivered a lecture at St. Olaf College where she argued that individual liberties are the cause of social violence. "The only ethically sound social system is communism," she contended. "Under communism all property belongs to the collective and everyone is free to meet their needs by drawing on this communal wealth. It is the resistance of those under the delusion that they are individuals that leads to trouble when they selfishly hoard more than they need. Naturally, those seeking a more equitable distribution are forced to wrest the hoarded wealth from their oppressors. If blood has to be shed for them to get what they deserve it is not their fault."

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