John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: August 25, 2019 Edition

Buttigieg Blames Trump for Mental Illness

Democratic presidential candidate, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg latched on to what he characterized as "the irony of Trump's insistence that mental illness is the key source of mass shootings when it is his policies that are generating the mental stress that pushes these people over the edge."

"Let's consider two examples," Buttigieg suggested. "First, Trump's economic policies have resulted in record numbers of people being employed. Work is one of the major sources of stress in a person's life. The regimentation of the nine-to-five workday rat race dramatically reduces the amount of free time available to an individual. We shouldn't be surprised if this spurs murderous impulses."

"Second, Trump's moves to decrease the frequency of abortions condemns individuals suffering from unwanted pregnancies to bear an increased risk of being burdened with parenting responsibilities they'd rather not have," the Mayor asserted. "The ensuing surge in unwanted lives foments the anger that could easily inspire outbursts of homicidal rage."

"If I am elected president I will reverse both of these policies," he promised. "I will ratchet up taxes to dampen the economic expansion that has snared so many into wage-slavery. I will restore full federal funding for abortions and ensure that there are no restrictions as to who, how, or when they may be performed."

In a more philosophic addendum to his remarks, the candidate cited a recent article written by Marcie Bianco in which she argued that "heterosexuality is just not working." "The big downside of heterosexuality is that it is too easy to conceive a child," Buttigieg observed. "Homosexual pairings do not bear this same level of risk. My husband and I will never be victimized by an unwanted pregnancy. Now that in vitro fertilization methods are available we have the means for evolving away from the accidental route to parenthood. The expensive, complex and arduous steps required will guarantee that only the most committed will become parents. I think full federal funding for this is the natural corollary for unrestricted abortion."

In related news, Buttigieg pledged to "cut incarceration in half without increasing the crime rate. The key will be to decriminalize a lot of the offenses for which the current inmates have been imprisoned. We can start by eliminating all drug laws. Next in line would be to decriminalize all thefts in which the amount stolen is less than $1,000. Third would be the confiscation of all guns. Logically, if no one had a gun the entire category of armed robbery would be abolished." Skeptics questioned the Mayor's reasoning, pointing out that South Bend, the city he governs, has a crime rate more than twice the national average.

Sanders Demands Prosecution of Fossil Fuel Executives

Socialist presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt) vowed to "criminally prosecute the men who run the fossil fuel corporations that are wrecking the environment. The claim that they are merely giving their customers what they want—the fuel to cool and heat their homes and power the factories that produce merchandise and the fuel to power their cars and to truck the merchandise from factory to market—is the same type of claim that Al Capone used to justify his bootlegging."

"It's time for saner heads to make the hard decisions required to save the planet," Sanders said. "We need to wean people off the idea that they should get what they want. Under democratic socialism the government will determine what is best for everyone. That's why my $16 trillion green new deal calls for all resources to be controlled by the government. Only then can we ensure that these resources will be invested for the best purposes."

Sanders rejected objections citing Venezuela's socialist failures as a cautionary warning against the policies he is proposing, saying that "the claim that Venezuela's approach has failed is a myth concocted by capitalists. That country has dramatically reduced its carbon footprint. Fossil fuel consumption has plummeted. Food that was previously discarded has been rescued from the dump and consumed. I see no reason why the United States cannot achieve similar results from a fully implemented green new deal."

The Senator rebuffed contentions that without the fossil fuels that his green new deal would eliminate air travel would be impossible. "First of all, a lot of the air travel we have now is unnecessary," he argued. "A small reserve of fuel should be sufficient to sustain crucial government air travel. Candidates for federal office would still be allotted enough fuel to make necessary campaign stops. The unavailability of fuel for nonessential travel would spur innovations. I heard some interesting ideas on how gliders could be used to provide a modicum of air travel for non-government individuals. The only glitch is getting these vehicles airborne. But I remember as a kid using a rubber band to launch my mini-glider. Perhaps this could be adapted for larger craft."

Meanwhile, Sanders has called for abolishing "right-to-work" laws, saying that "only capitalist oppressors would tout such a 'right.' Work is a burden. Government ought to relieve as many people of this burden as possible. When I am president only the rich will have the right to work. Everyone else will have the right to a fair share of the wealth created by those who are working."

San Francisco Redefines Crime

Not content with the degradation of the city stemming from a lawless homeless population shooting up with drugs and defecating in the streets, the City's Board of Supervisors has undertaken a scheme to define crime out of existence. "Terms such as 'offender,' 'delinquent,' 'convicted felon,' and 'thief,' will be replaced by less pejorative terminology," said Supervisor Matt Haney.

"In place of these hurtful words we will heretofore use terms like 'behavioral nonconformist,' 'naughty young person,' 'justice-involved individual,' and 'unlicensed income re-distributor,'" Haney promised. "Our aim is to avoid ruining lives by stigmatizing individuals in ways that would damage their reputations. Ideally, a lot of behavior that is currently illegal would be legalized and promote a greater tolerance for the eccentricities of some of our more colorful fellow residents."

Meanwhile, the City of Baltimore has discontinued its aerial crime surveillance plane. The surveillance was fully funded by philanthropists, John and Laura Arnold and cost the City nothing. Baltimore Police Department spokesperson Matt Jablow explained that "the feeling was that the program was inhibiting some of the City's residents from carrying out their normal day-to-day activities." Since Baltimore's murder rate of 55.77 per 100,000 inhabitants is second-highest in the nation (only St. Louis at 66.07 is higher), perhaps inhibiting some residents' normal activities would be a good thing.

In related news, NBC reporter Mike Viqueira took issue with President "Trump's insistence on blaming shooters for the murders they commit. Those of us who cover these stories know that the shooters are often just as much a victim as those they kill. Many shoot themselves after they're done shooting others. Shooters who survive have their lives ruined by lengthy prison sentences. And unlike Trump, we also know that if no one had a gun these shootings would never take place. The only thing that needs to be resolved is how to ensure that no one has access to firearms. Until we reach that state we know the massacres will continue."

On the other hand, research has shown that guns in the hands of private citizens have prevented 400,000 life-threatening crimes per year and that 60% of convicted felons say they avoid targeting potential victims who they know are carrying firearms.

Biden Calls for Doubling Capital Gains Tax Rate

Alleging that "it was Reagan's unwarranted tax cuts that led to the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1970s," Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice-President Joe Biden called for "a doubling of the capital gains tax rate."

"Trump is taking this country down that same disastrous path," Biden claimed. "The tax cuts and deregulation he crammed down America's throat have unleashed the same explosion of prosperity and greed that characterized that tragic earlier era. We must elect Democrats to avoid repeating these earlier mistakes."

The former Veep vowed that "if I'm your next president, I will work with my good friends Sen. Byrd and Sen. Eastland to build a consensus for sensible tax reform that all Americans can support."

In related news, Dr. Neal Kassell, the man who performed brain surgery on Biden in 1988 maintains that "he is every bit as sharp as he was 31 years ago. I haven't seen any change." The more than four decades of continued incoherence emanating from Biden both before and after the surgery validates Dr. Kassell's assessment.

Trump Alienating Allies

Former Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif) assailed President Trump for "alienating our allies to such an extent that they may not come to our aid should we be attacked."

"A prime cause of the alienation was Trump's bullying them to honor their NATO military commitments," Swalwell contended. "This reversed decades of bi-partisan policy that looked the other way when our allies fell short of meeting their obligations. This bi-partisan policy built an enormous amount of good will that Trump has squandered."

Swalwell rejected the idea that without meeting the NATO military obligations the so-called allies would not be in a position to come to our aide, saying that "physically, that might be true, but there is also the moral support aspect. As former President Obama pointed out, words matter. Realistically, words are about all we should expect in terms of support from these guys. They couldn't fully defend themselves from the Nazis. They couldn't have repelled a Soviet invasion on their own. They currently can't even defend themselves from invasion by unarmed immigrants from Africa and the Middle East. The only aid they could provide for us is words of encouragement. That aid is what Trump has foolishly squandered."

In related news, German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded that other members of the European Union resume efforts to assist the invasion of these immigrants. "We're caught between a rock and a hard place," Merkel lamented. "If we don't assist them we face immediate terror attacks. If we do, we may be able to avert these attacks by acquiescing to a more gradual demographic conquest, the consequences of which might be postponed for a decade or more."

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