SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
John SemmensMore About: Humor
SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: December 18, 2022 Edition
Leftists Want to Ban Populists
Social Democratic Party (SPD) member Sebastian Hartmann demanded that the German parliament pass a law banning the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, saying "there must be no tolerance for the enemies of the republic!" Georg Maier, a member of the SPD in Thuringia, accused the AfD of "trying to do away with our free and democratic basic order." The demands to outlaw the AfD were sparked by fear that people within the "Reichsbürger" movement were planning a coup against the SPD-led government.
AfD domestic affairs spokesman Dr. Gottfried Curio mocked the alarmists by pointing out that "the government's own documents reveal that only eight people said they might be willing to help overthrow the state. The feared coup seems more a farce than a serious threat. The real threat is the proposal to ban an opposition party. As I recall, banning opposition parties was one of Hitler's first actions to turn a democratic Weimar Republic into a totalitarian dictatorship."
Meanwhile, 41 US House Democrats filed a bill that would permanently bar former President Trump from ever holding public office again. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), citing the 14th Amendment, declared that "Trump engaged in an insurrection on January 6, 2021 to overthrow the lawful and fair results of the 2020 election. He should face the same kind of disbarment from future offices as the secessionists of the Civil War faced."
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md), asserted that "both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security identify white supremacy as the most lethally dangerous domestic terrorism threat our country faces." Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) concurred, saying "there is no room in this country for discrimination, violence, and unbridled hate. Luckily, the enemies of democracy were mostly defeated at the polls in November, but even with the heroic efforts of the FBI and social media to suppress anti-democratic speech, the margin was narrow. Can we really afford to allow these enemies to continue to mislead voters? Or should we more proactively silence these enemies?"
Twitter Suspensions Called Unfair
The Twitter accounts of CNN's Donie O'Sullivan, The New York Times' Ryan Mac, The Washington Post's Drew Harwell and others were abruptly suspended by Elon Musk this week. "To be thrown off the platform with no warning or explanation is the worst kind of censorship," O'Sullivan complained. "This never would have happened under the previous ownership."
Musk challenged the assertion that the suspensions were unfair and unexplained. "The reason these individuals had their accounts temporarily suspended is that they were using Twitter to dox me," Musk tweeted. "Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended because it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. The notion that so-called journalists have a special privilege of helping would-be assaillants and assassins find their targets is pernicious."
O'Sullivan called the suspension "chilling. Freedom of speech is a fundamental principle of an open society. Censoring it as Musk has done is a significant step on the road to totalitarianism."
Musk replied, saying "I am encouraged that O'Sullivan expresses support for freedom of speech. It would have impressed me more if he had spoken out against the rampant censorship that Twitter practiced before I bought the company."
O'Sullivan defended the prior censorship, saying that "freedom of speech doesn't protect disinformation or misinformation. All who speak have an obligation to be honest. There was nothing dishonest about the posting of the precise locations of Musk and his family. If the FBI had objections to doxxing they would have contacted me directly. Their hand-in-glove cooperation with the previous owners of Twitter to ferret out misleading tweets was crucial to the government's vaccination program and played a significant role in thwarting the election machinations of the enemies of democracy. Criticizing it is unpatriotic."
The European Union has threatened to levy sanctions against Twitter for the suspension of these journalists. Commissioner Vera Jourova said that "the suspensions violate our new Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA requires respect of media freedom. The arbitrary suspension of journalists for linking to a site that tracked Musk's private airplane is worrying. Sanctions are coming if Musk fails to reverse course. The DSA authorizes us to impose fines of up to 6% of Twitter's annual gross revenue."
DeSantis Wants Covid Vaccine Investigation
This week Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) petitioned for a grand jury investigation into "any crimes and wrongdoing related to the development, promotion and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines." He also called for the establishment of a state Public Health Integrity Committee, saying "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lost the public's trust. Withholding data on the scope of the damage done by the covid vaccines and censoring scientific research into potential alternative therapies for dealing with the disease harm public health. True science requires freedom to pursue different hypotheses. The health of our people needs a more reliable guardian than the CDC."
Dr. Anthony Fauci denounced "the disunifying impact that an independent state source of information would have on the public's confidence in public health authorities. If anyone had been allowed to contradict the CDC we would never have been able to achieve the vaccination rates that were needed to save the country from the deadliest disease to strike the nation in our lifetimes. The covid vaccines saved billions of lives and will continue to save billions more. Anything that might cause vaccine hesitancy would be a crime against humanity."
"Considering that the vaccine trials were halted before any evidence of safety and effectiveness were proved debunk's Dr. Fauci's boast that these drugs had a net positive impact on health," DeSantis asserted. "In practice, we've seen that getting the vaccines doesn't immunize the recipient from getting or transmitting covid. Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo found a disturbing rise in serious heart disease in young men receiving the mRNA covid vaccines. Perhaps the rush to get these vaccines to market was a disastrous error. Rather than continuing to rely on the unverified claims of Dr. Fauci, let's get some real evidence one way or the other."
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley attributed the sudden death of an otherwise healthy Jack Last, a 27-year-old man to blood clots three weeks after being injected with the AstraZeneca version of the mRNA covid vaccine. Fauci called the autopsy finding "inconclusive and insignificant when compared to the number of lives saved by the vaccines." Ladapo countered, saying that "my research shows that the risk to reward benefit for vaccinated men aged 18-39 is negative. Insisting that all must be vaccinated defies common sense."
In related news, after a study showing that covid vaccinated persons have fewer traffic crashes than persons who have not been vaccinated, the Canadian government is considering requiring vaccination in order to get a driver's license. Canadian Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos admitted "we have no idea of what the cause-and-effect relationship might be, but I think it's better to be safe than sorry."
Rich Taxpayers Moving Away from NYC
A demographic analysis of persons emigrating from New York City found that 16% of of richest taxpayers are leaving each year. The impact on the City's ability to fund government services is becoming severe.
Mayor Eric Adams hasn't been idle, but his request for more federal aid doesn't seem likely to be fulfilled. "My recent phone conversation with President Biden was not encouraging," the Mayor lamented. "When I pointed out that we need a replacement for the lost tax revenues he suggested that we confiscate the property of everyone who moves out of the city. He said 'if that doesn't change their mind about leaving you'll be able to get money from selling these properties. The old Soviet Union did this and became the second-most powerful country in the world. You could also use the seized properties to house all the immigrants we will be sending you after Title 42 is abolished.'"
Adams found the President's suggestions "unhelpful." He also explicitly rejected suggestions that lower tax rates would generate more revenues, calling this approach "inequitable. Social justice requires that higher-earners be taxed at higher rates. Even if that leads to lower revenues, the suffering would be more fairly distributed among rich and poor alike."
Dems Rally Around Hunter Biden
Afraid that the Republican House majority in the next session of Congress might do serious damage to the President, Democrats are weighing strategies to deter any investigation into the Bidens' alleged multi-million-dollar influence-peddling schemes.
In hopes of negating prosecution of Hunter, his friend, agent and lawyer Kevin Morris, paid off $2.8 million of the back taxes he owed. Morris also called for a "more aggressive" response including hitting critics, such as Fox News, with possible defamation lawsuits and figuring out a way to destroy the credibility of potential witnesses--Hunter's former business partner Tony Bobulinski and John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repairman who turned Hunter's laptop computer over to the FBI in 2019. "Isaac may be a tough nut to crack," Morris warned. "The FBI already warned him that he was risking his life talking about the laptop contents."
Former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) suggested that "Senate Democrats could threaten to do a Jan 6 style investigation on former President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Sen. Warren (D-Mass) is talking subpoenaing Jared and Ivanka to talk about the $2 billion Saudi thing. And that's a shot across the bow if you're going to go after, you know, Joe Biden's son in the House – maybe we ought to look at the deals that were done by Jared and Ivanka when they were in the White House."
David Brock went on MSNBC's "The Sunday Show" with Jonathan Capehart and promised to "dish dirt on any Republicans who push for investigating the Bidens." He went on to call the Hunter Biden laptop "old news" and "nothing but a recycled conspiracy theory. Hunter is mentally ill. He has addiction problems. It's cruel and unfair for Republicans to pick on him just to try to get back at Joe for beating Trump in the 2020 election."
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Ut) called the planned investigation of the Biden's influence peddling "a waste of time. When he was Vice-President Joe Biden went on TV and bragged about using his influence to get a Ukrainian prosecutor who was looking into Hunter's shady deals fired. Everyone knew the Bidens are crooks. Yet, a few years later the American people voted to make Joe Biden president of the United States. In my mind, the American people have already forgiven them. So, investigating the two of them at this late date would violate the will of the people."
Leftists Solving Problems
In Canada, when a disabled Canadian military veteran complained to Veterans Affairs about a delay in installing a wheelchair lift in her home, they offered to euthanize her. Lawrence MacAulay. Minister of Veterans' Affairs, explained "a wheelchair lift is just an expensive temporary solution. Euthanasia is an inexpensive permanent solution to the pains of disability. I don't blame staff for trying to persuade this vet to make one more sacrifice for our country."
In Los Angeles, District Attorney George Gascón has ordered his prosecutors to "refrain from filing criminal charges against illegal immigrants because charges endanger their chances of remaining in this country. As a sanctuary state, we owe it to these long-distance travelers to protect them from the racists who would balk at allowing criminals to stay here. As loyal Democrats, it is our duty to support the President's policy of welcoming all migrants--honest and dishonest alike--to the United States."
In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) quietly signed HB1095. This bill amends the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, or SAFE-T Act to eliminate cash bail. "It is unfair to allow those who can afford bail to avoid jail while those who can't afford bail have to stay behind bars," the Governor said. "Other states have already ended cash bail. If we don't end it here we risk seeing many of our criminals move to jurisdictions like New York that have more progressive laws than we do."
The latest release of "The Twitter Files" shows that the FBI exchanged more than 150 emails with Twitter between 2020 and 2022 telling the company which content to suppress. The FBI justified these violations of the First Amendment as "necessary to interdict the influence of malign actors on the nation's security. We are pleased that our proactive stance in cooperation with Department of Homeland Security helped defeat the 2020 and 2022 election aspirations of the MAGA enemies of our democracy."