IPFS John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: October 17, 2021 Edition

Biden's Plan to Protect Us from Climate Crisis

Alleging that "Americans need more government to protect them from a systemic climate crisis," President Biden announced "a new battle line will be formed across all financial institutions. This battle line will require these institutions to scrutinize customer accounts to determine if the investments and expenditures are sufficiently environmentally friendly to be permitted."

"Those holding investments that seek to profit from environmentally dangerous products like fossil fuels will be ordered to divest these assets," Biden proclaimed. "Those seeking to purchase environmentally dangerous products like gasoline, natural gas, or heating oil will have their transactions blocked. While skeptics will say these goals are unattainable, the portion of our plan that will replace cash with a fully digitized monetary system will give financial institutions the leverage needed to ensure our plan's success."

Vice-President Harris acknowledged that "over the short term this will mean that the economy will be stunted. Over the long term the money saved by rejecting fossil fuel as an energy source can be redirected into a vigorous green energy alternative. The divested holdings in fossil fuel companies will be channeled into solar and wind power options. Nominally, the shares in these green energy producers will still be owned by individual investors, but the Department of Energy (DOE) will be instructing the financial institutions managing these assets how to redeploy the funds. On the purchase side of the equation, purchases using debit and credit cards will only be allowed to buy products the DOE has decreed to be environmentally safe."

Inflation a "High Class Problem"

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain voiced his "impatience with complaints about rising prices for food, gasoline, and other stuff. The fact is the American people spend too much on a lot of junk. This behavior is only possible because they have more money than they really need to survive. Billions of people around the world live on just a few dollars a day."

"How can they do this?" Klain rhetorically asked. "Well, they don't own expensive gadgets like most people in America do. They don't own motor vehicles. They do most of their traveling on foot to destinations within walking distance. They go without electricity by rising with the sun and sleeping when it's too dark to work. They supplement their diets by hunting and foraging. The vast majority of Americans followed a similar lifestyle a mere 200 years ago. Living simply is something that Americans could return to in order to offset the rising costs of inflation. The modern versions of this behavior could be foraging for the 40% of food that is thrown in the trash or hunting and eating the millions of feral rats, cats, and dogs that roam many of our communities."

"Even if these older, simpler ways of living are unappealing, they may be the unpleasant-tasting tonic this country needs," Klain declared. "This is the type of 'build back better' vision President Biden hopes to implement. One of the things that the inflation alarmists overlook is this Administration's compassion for those unable or unwilling to exert the effort necessary to live even a simple life. The President and Democrats in Congress are trying to pass a $3.5 trillion appropriation that will ensure that the government will—like a dutiful parent—provide for all of its children."

Maine Hospital Crisis

The demand that every health care employee must take the COVID vaccine or be fired is forcing the Central Maine Medical Center to curtail services available to patients. The hospital asked the Governor's office to allow a COVID testing option in order to avoid losing critical staff, but was denied by Gov. Janet Mills (D).

"Like President Biden, I've also lost patience with people who refuse to get vaccinated," Mills said. She professed herself "unimpressed with the fact that so many medical practitioners are refusing to be vaccinated. While I am grateful for the hazards and sacrifices these doctors and nurses made treating those afflicted with COVID, I cannot abide the damage they are doing to the state and nation by not obeying the President's and my orders to get vaccinated. I am aware that many of these vaccine refusers have already been infected with COVID and recovered. In their minds, being infected and recovering gives them a stronger immunity than the Pfizer shots. But as Dr. Fauci has reminded us all, it is time that we put individual freedom aside and do what's for the common good."

Apprised that the Central Maine Medical Center is suspending pediatric, heart attack and trauma admissions, Mills remained adamant in her decision to go ahead with her "get vaxxed, or get fired" mandate, insisting that "it will save lives. Both the vaccinated staff and patients need to be protected against getting infected by unvaccinated scofflaws. While there may be some short-term collateral damage by denying treatment access to heart attack and trauma patients, there will be long-term gains from instilling a greater respect for the government's efforts to cull the disobedient from our society."

Southwest Airlines Cancels Flights

This past week Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,000 scheduled flights. The original explanation was that bad weather and air traffic "issues" necessitated the disruptions was challenged by many who pointed out that other airlines were hardly inconvenienced by either of the proffered explanations. The Federal Aviation Administration denied that a "vaccine mandate" protest by 90% of air traffic controllers in one area of the Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center was responsible for the massive number of flights cancelled and blamed the cancellations on air crew shortages at the airline.

Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO, blamed the vaccine mandate, saying "I've never been in favor of corporations imposing that kind of a mandate. But the executive order from President Biden mandates that all federal employees and then all federal contractors, which covers all the major airlines, have to have a mandate in place by Dec. 8."

Kelly was called out by an unnamed employee who urged him "to reject the lie that there is nothing we can do about the mandate. We are the company of flag ties, 'Freedom One,' and pride ourselves on the type of principled people with a 'Warrior Spirit' that we hire. We had an entire ad campaign with the tagline 'you are now FREE to move about the country.' Choose to make a stand for all of our employees and re-engage with the White House on the contract terms or scrap it altogether. Our business will grow exponentially as millions of Americans who have rallied to our cause scramble to fly on the 'freedom airline.'"

Presidential Press Secretary Jen Psaki mocked the anonymity of the Southwest Airlines employee and advised Kelly to "not break ranks with all your corporate peers who will be enforcing the President's wishes on this matter. Do not presume that canceling your federal contracts is the only punishment we can impose. We can also send out swarms of officers to harass, obstruct, and destroy your business. Right now, the FBI is on the trail of your anonymous employee to arrest him for his seditious activities."

NYC Mayor Wants to Remove Jefferson Statue

Mayor Bill de Blasio has asked the City's Public Design Commission to authorize the removal of a statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall's Council chambers where it has stood for the past 187 years.

"It's not just the fact that Jefferson owned slaves," de Blasio argued. "It's also the insidiously anti-social phrase 'unalienable rights' that he snuck into the Declaration of Independence that undermine the power of the people to democratically replace individualism with collectivism. As this past two years of pandemic should have taught us, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness conflict with the social discipline required to protect the public health. We shouldn't be honoring a man who urged Americans to resist government authority because it interfered with their individual rights. In the socially progress America we are building there is no such thing as individual rights."

The Mayor suggested that "the spot vacated by the removal of Jefferson's statue could be filled with a statue of someone like Fidel Castro. He was a man that tolerated no opposition to his drive to build socialism in Cuba. Seeing such a statue would provide a more appropriate model to guide the City Council toward the kind of transformation of society that former President Obama envisioned and that current President Biden is now trying to implement as he replaces the stagnant obsolescence of legislative debate and lawmaking with the efficiency of governance by executive order."

Aspirin Cuts COVID Risk

Research conducted by George Washington University found that an aspirin therapy tested on 400 COVID patients in hospitals around the United States cut the need for ventilation by 44%, reduced ICU admission by 43%, and reduced overall in-hospital mortality rates by 47%.

Dr. Jonathan Chow, one of the study's researchers, said, "as we learned about the connection between blood clots and COVID-19, we knew that aspirin — used to prevent stroke and heart attack — could be important for COVID-19 patients. Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death. Aspirin is low-cost, easily accessible, and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions. Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID."

Medical Express also reported that researchers from the University of Minnesota and Basel University in Switzerland came to a similar conclusion. Their findings revealed that patients on blood thinners before getting COVID were admitted less often to the hospital despite being older and having more chronic medical conditions than their peers. The findings also revealed that blood thinners — whether started before or after COVID-19 infection — reduced death by nearly half.

Dr. Anthony Fauci urged caution, saying "I would put much faith in this protocol. The authors admit that aspirin is only associated with positive outcomes. This is not clinical proof that aspirin should be recommended as a treatment option. Aspirin was not specifically designed for treating COVID. Its ubiquity and low cost compared to the vaccines militate against it being taken seriously by experts like myself. I am especially concerned that widespread knowledge of this research could seriously damage the President's goal of getting everyone vaccinated. This is the type of instance where I agree with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen that we need a new government digital regulator to ensure that tech giants censor content that deviates from the approved official narrative."

Biden Buying Chinese Drones

President Biden's decision to buy drones from China has spurred concerns that China will implant technology that allows them to remotely control the devices. Biden defended his decision by citing several key advantages to the deal.

"First, I've spent more time with President Xi of China than any world leader has," Biden boasted. "Just the two of us man-to-man. While I couldn't understand most of what he said, I got the definite vibe that he is a cool guy. I trust him. My son Hunter trusts him. I don't think he would do anything to harm this country."

"Second, trade between our two countries is a good thing," Biden asserted. "Us buying their drones puts money in Xi's pocket. One of the things I've learned from my 50 years in politics is that when you give someone money they tend to like you. I'm confident that Xi likes me and wouldn't do anything to either interrupt the flow of cash or make me look foolish."

"Third, we plan to use the drones only for surveillance of domestic terrorists," Biden promised. "This is an objective that I think Xi also supports. He would have no incentive to try to thwart this effort. This surveillance will increase my power as president and narrow the philosophical gap between our two systems of government."

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe called the President's reasoning "pure foolishness. Buying remotely controlled drones from our nation's most dangerous adversary is highly inadvisable. The assurance that said drones will only be used for domestic surveillance in itself is, in my opinion, a good reason to scuttle the deal."

Press Secretary Jen Psaki refuted Ratcliffe's concerns by pointing out that "the President doesn't care what anyone else thinks about this decision. It is, as they say, a done deal."

In related news, Biden unveiled his plan to replace fossil fuels with green energy supplies imported from China. "Luckily for us, China is going all out to install as much fossil fuel powered manufacturing as it can over the next few years so it can cheaply produce the wind, solar, and battery technologies that we need in America to generate clean energy," he said. "The bond of friendship I built with Xi when I was vice-president is what enables us to move forward with this portion of the Green New Deal. Xi's willingness to suffer the pollution that will increase in his own country demonstrates a nobility rarely seen in government leaders."

Buttigieg Justifies Absence from Job

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has been on parental leave since mid-August. During his absence a massive backlog of cargo has been unable to dock and unload in southern California. An estimated 250,000 containers of merchandise await transportation to retail centers where customers can buy it. This has spawned enough dissatisfaction that the memes "#EmptyShelvesJoe" and "#BareShelvesBiden" are trending on Twitter.

Nettled by demands to know why he wasn't doing his job, a testy Buttigieg temporarily emerged from his home to lash out at "the invasion of my privacy. If everyone must know, my husband and I have been spending quality time with our new twins. I am taking the paternity leave to which I am entitled as a federal employee and don't appreciate the unwanted comments that some people have been making."

"The notion that I have not been doing my job is erroneous," the Secretary insisted. "I left strict instructions that my staff should be conducting a series of round-table discussions on the topic of shipping problems. Thus far they've informed me that major contributors to the problems at the California ports are regulations put in place by Gov. Newsom and the vaccine mandate issued by President Biden. I can't fix either of these missteps from my position at the Department of Transportation."

"I want to remind everyone that shipping problems are transitory," Buttigieg pointed out. "Before I took office, there weren't any significant shipping disruptions. Now there are. At some point in the future there won't be. In contrast, fatherhood is forever and time lost when your children are little can never be recovered. So, weighing my lack of responsibility for the chief causes of the current port backlog against my eternal duties as a father, I think I've been spending my time in the right place—beside my husband and children."

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