John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: September 8, 2019 Edition

CNN Climate Debate Publicizes Democrats' Dictatorial Impulses

The 7-hour marathon Democrat town hall on climate change broadcast by CNN gave free rein to the worst impulses of the presidential contenders who participated. Even those who couldn't participate chimed in later with their own coercive schemes designed to radically transform and impoverish everyone in order to save the planet from a vividly imagined doom that lies just over the horizon.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass) vowed to ban all fossil fuels by the year 2035. She characterized her plan as "more practical and merciful than Sen. Sanders' plan to nationalize all the power companies. On the one hand, we all know that government-owned businesses are terribly inefficient. Poorly motivated employees hog-tied by oppressive bureaucratic red tape are a recipe for failure. My approach would mercifully kill off the fossil fuel industry and free up those currently employed to pursue more environmentally-friendly occupations like gathering fruits, nuts, and wild herbs."

Former Vice-President Joe Biden correctly observed that China is the world's largest contributor to the type of emissions that are linked to global warming and chided his rivals for overlooking this fact. He went on to promise that "one of my first acts as president will be to appoint my son Hunter to negotiate with the Chinese. He already has substantial business interests in China and has made many contacts. Hopefully we can revive the comity that existed between our two countries when Barack was president."

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Tx) warned that "our communities will soon be uninhabitable. Look at what's going on in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. Rising global temperatures are sapping the energy of those in the homeless encampments to the extent that many are too weak to make it to the public lavatories provided for them and are forced to shit in the street just outside of their tents. These people are our 'canaries in the coal mine.' We ignore them at our peril." O'Rourke went on to advise "constructing wind turbines at 100-yard intervals in every city to replace fossil fuels and cool overheated tent cities," insisting that "the $100 trillion estimated cost would be money well-spent."

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif) says she will impose a "climate pollution tax against everyone who uses fossil fuels. This will dramatically increase the cost of using these fuels and encourage more conservation. People will travel and consume less. The $10 trillion raised by this levy will enable the government to make wiser uses of these resources than would be the case if the money were left in the irresponsible hands of selfish individuals."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt) advocated a radical population reduction program in which "the US government provides a generous subsidy to the poor in Africa and Asia who are willing to abort their children. This will nip the demand for the material excesses that tempt people to engage in behaviors that harm the planet. I would combine this with the ingenious suggestion made by Swedish behavioral scientist Magnus Söderlund that we curb the demand for flatulence-emitting cattle by eating the corpses of people who have died. I expect that aborted fetuses would be especially tender and in high demand in the future we progressives are trying to build."

All of the Democratic candidates firmly opposed fracking and nuclear power despite their positive impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) explained that "shifting demand toward cleaner energy that's affordable relieves people from making the kind of sacrifices we feel they need to make. Suffering for a great cause like slowing global warming brings people together. It's uplifting and spiritually satisfying. We reject the GOP's determination to deny this opportunity to the American population."

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg seconded Booker's take, saying that "climate change is our generation's World War II. Just as the free world banded together to fight fascism, we deserve the opportunity to band together to fight global warming. Just as the American people gave up many of their rights during WWII, Americans of today should look forward to reliving that effort and that era against today's even greater threat of climate change."

The CNN event inspired a tweet from President Trump mocking his Democratic rivals. "I thought that the event would be totally boring. The monotony of having to listen to these candidates' drone on was every bit as dull as I expected. However, the repetition of insane and destructive policies from one-after-another of the would-be future presidents should persuade voters who love this country that none of these lunatics should ever be given the power that they crave."

Senator Calls for More Censorship

Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) threatened CEO Mark Zuckerberg with incarceration if he doesn't do a better job of censoring the content posted on Facebook. "I know Mr. Zuckerberg thinks he's done enough with his algorithms that dampen access to content that deviates from acceptable parameters of political discussion," Wyden said. "He fears to go further due to the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech. But I want to remind him that it is not within his purview to determine the boundaries of freedom of speech."

"The First Amendment is what creates the biggest opportunity for hate speech," the Senator asserted. "People who previously had no affordable way of communicating their anti-progressive ideas can now reach millions via social media. Tech companies need to be far more vigorous about identifying, fingerprinting, and blocking content from these individuals. If these companies can't do this their executives need to be fined or imprisoned."

Smollett Lawyers Blame Police for Believing Jussie

Lawyers for "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett seek to avoid him paying for the $130,000 cost of investigating his claim that he was attacked by racists wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, by asserting that "it was the police's fault for taking him serious."

"Jussie's story was so implausible that only an idiot wouldn't have realized that it was bogus," claimed Abe Aweasel, Smollett's lead attorney. "The alleged after midnight assault on one of the coldest nights of the year by two white men in a black neighborhood was risible on its face. Add to this the fact that Jussie was unharmed and his Subway sandwich fully intact and it is clear that no investigation should've been undertaken."

"The 1800 hours of police work that ensued was an incompetent waste of city resources," Aweasel pointed out. "The attempt to collect the cost of this incompetence from our client is, itself, a racist assault on this troubled young man. The damage to his acting career from the revelation that the assault was a hoax will cost our client millions of dollars in future earnings. Mr. Smollett is the aggrieved party here and a counter suit to recover these lost earnings is fully warranted."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to drop demands for compensation from Smollett on the grounds that "as a gay black man Jussie has already suffered enough from the poisonous racism and homophobia he has had to face all his life. In my review of the facts of the case I have to say that the humongous police effort on this case was not warranted. While they may have bent over backward to try to placate his initial accusation, simple common sense should have dissuaded them from doing any more than taking down his incoherent statement and putting it in the file."

Candidate Takes Credit for Averting Hurricane Disaster

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson took credit for enabling the United States to avoid the type of destruction Hurricane Dorian wreaked on the Bahamas.

"While others have been quick to dismiss my campaign based on the power of love, it should be clear by now that I am the one candidate who is on the right track for healing this country," Williamson boasted. "A few days ago I called for all those who love America to concentrate their thoughts on diverting Dorian from damaging the United States. While we were not completely successful, I am pleased to note that both the path of the storm and its intensity were dramatically altered by our efforts."

The candidate contrasted the fate of the Bahamas, where 75% of the homes were submerged by the hurricane's sea surge, to the much milder impacts observed on the United States' east coast. "I regret that my brain power wasn't able to save the Bahamas," she said. "We probably could have done better if I were already the US president. I could have used the 'bully pulpit' of the presidency to recruit more people to focus their minds on abating the hurricane at an earlier stage and saved many more lives."

Williamson compared "my unquestionably positive approach with Sen. Sanders' crusty chastisement of people who live near the ocean, calling them 'the architects of their own fate.' Well, no one should be forced to be the architect of their own fate. All humanity needs to act as a single unit to guide everyone to the happiness promised all by the Declaration of Independence."

SF Declares NRA "Terrorist Organization"

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution designating the National Rifle Association a "domestic terrorist organization." While the NRA has taken no actions to terrorize anyone, District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani maintained that "their continued support for the Second Amendment is terrifying to me. The idea that every American should have the right to own a gun despite the government's preference that they not, undermines respect for authority."

Stefani characterized the NRA's position as "an anachronism. At one time firearms were a very useful tool for bagging game and feeding the family. But now they are unnecessary. Even if we were to concede that eating meat is an acceptable dietary choice, we have supermarkets to supply this commodity."

Stefani rejected the contention that the right to bear arms could be a valid check on government, saying "the so-called tyranny that sparked the American Revolution was a reasonable government effort to preserve order and obedience. If the British had succeeded in seizing the weapons stashed at Concord, Massachusetts the rebellion would have been averted, lives spared, and we'd still be enjoying the liberties currently allowed to all British subjects. Though we lost that opportunity back in 1776, I see no need to repeat the mistake of trying to preserve a means of resisting duly appointed authorities in today's America. Clearly then, the NRA is as much of a terrorist threat as the so-called Sons of Liberty were so long ago."

Former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary and current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro hailed the San Francisco action, calling it "a shining example for others to follow. The notion that our government could ever become tyrannical is absurd. Our government is a democracy. All of its laws and regulations are inherently legitimate enactments of the people. If the government decides to confiscate firearms that would be the people's will and, consequently, not tyrannical."

Castro's assurance that the US government could never become tyrannical was cast into doubt by the US Department of Justice's demand that Apple and Google hand over the names and phone numbers of 10,000 individuals who downloaded of Obsidian 4, a rifle scope app, from one or the other of the websites.

In related news, Maine has been named the safest state in America since the enactment of a "Constitutional Carry" law in 2015 that allowed residents to carry a concealed firearm without having to have a permit. In second place is Vermont, which is also a "constitutional carry" state.

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