NY Dems Propose "Memory Hole" Legislation
New York State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Hollis) State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) have introduced legislation that would empower the state government to order the erasure of Internet content that is "inaccurate, irrelevant, inadequate, or excessive."
"The way it is now is that any government official can be accused of corruption by anyone who has access to the Internet," Weprin complained. "Once the accusation is posted it essentially lives forever on the web. This can unfairly taint a person's reputation. Our bill says that unless an official government investigation and prosecution is undertaken the accusatory content can be ordered removed under threat of a $250 per day fine for everyday it remains undeleted."
Co-sponsor Avella admitted "I had been very pessimistic about our ability to control the narrative on what can and can't be posted about public officials. It seems to me that outsiders have too much power to embarrass those of us who serve. Then David told me about something he read in a book where unsanctioned material was regularly removed from the public domain and consigned to what was called a 'memory hole.' I thought, this is exactly what we need to defend ourselves from ungrateful citizens."
Both sponsors acknowledged the possibility that the legislation could have a "chilling effect" on public debate, but asserted that "in our opinion, public debate is already overheated by the intrusion of unqualified participants into the mix. Our bill would not impede genuine journalists, government officials, and elected representatives from expressing themselves. It would clear away the debris left by uninformed amateurs."
Turkey Warns Europe
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned European governments against moves aimed at resisting Islamization of their countries. "Allah has decreed that all the world belongs to Islam," he declared. "Acceptance of this reality is the path of peaceful submission to Allah's will. Efforts to reject this reality will only lead to open warfare and the massacre of the unbelievers."
Erdogan's bellicose stance was prompted by the European Union's decision to allow employers to ban head scarves in their workplaces. "They try to portray it as a safety measure," Erdogan said. "But the lives that would be saved by such a restriction will be dwarfed by the number of infidels who will be slaughtered because of this affront."
Erdogan's first step in retaliation for the "affront" was to instruct Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu to implement an increase in refugees crossing into Europe from Turkey to 15,000 per month. "Let me point out that all of these Muslims will have access to knives, clubs, and stones," Soylu reminded. "Some will obtain guns. Others will choose to drive vehicles into pedestrians on the streets. It isn't a question of whether Europe will submit to Islam, but rather when and how they will submit. Will it be peaceful or will it require the deaths of millions before Islam rules all the land?"
In related news, Theodore Chuang, the Maryland judge who stayed President Trump's Executive Order calling for a temporary halt to immigration from six war-torn Middle Eastern and African countries, is said to be weighing whether to order the Trump Administration to double the number of refugees admitted from these countries to 100,000 per year. "The surest way to thwart the anti-Muslim animus of the current illegitimate President and his deplorable supporters is to flood the country with as many Muslims as we can," Chuang argued. "Likewise, the surest way to put and end to terrorism is to convert the entire world to Islam. Rather than attempt to carry out a doomed 'vetting' scheme, the smarter policy is to remove the need for jihad."
Tax Returns Prove Trump Not So Smart
This week, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow used an illegally obtained copy of Donald Trump's 2005 federal tax forms to assail the President as "not as smart as he wants everyone to believe he is." The evidence cited by Maddow was that the tax forms showed Trump paid 25% of his income for 2005 to the federal government.
"Here's this so-called business genius coughing up a quarter of his earnings to the feds," she mocked. "This compared unfavorably to presumed financial naifs Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt), who paid 18.7% and 13.5%, respectively. It looks like the guys who know nothing about business or economics did a better job of shielding their income from taxes than Trump did."
Whether Maddow's "coup" is all she imagined it would be has come into question. Presidential Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested that "as a businessman, Donald Trump's objective was to generate wealth and income, not minimize his personal tax rate. His actions undoubtedly provided job opportunities and income for many other individuals who also paid taxes—perhaps at rates that also exceeded those of Sens. Obama and Sanders, whose contributions to the US economy were obviously less visible, if they even occurred."
Feud Between McCain & Paul Escalates
This week Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) questioned Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ken) loyalties after Paul voted not to extend NATO military support to Montenegro. In turn, Paul questioned McCain's judgment.
As McCain reasoned, Paul's refusal to extend the United States' guarantee to defend Montenegro from potential Russian aggression was "doing Putin's bidding." As Paul sees it, though, "the United States is already overextended in terms of its military deployments around the world and it would be foolish to add to that."
"Inasmuch as Sen. McCain has been an avid advocate of arming every Islamic 'freedom fighter' in the Middle East, including the gang that morphed into ISIS, I think he has a lot of gall assailing anyone else's judgment or patriotism," Paul added. "When it comes to foreign policy, Sen. McCain has been on the wrong side of almost every issue for the last 40 years. He is the best living case for term limits."
McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo insisted that Sen. Paul "is out of step with the majority of the Senate. Russia has been this country's traditional enemy for 75 years. We mustn't allow the few pinpricks administered by a comparatively weak Islamic terrorist movement to distract us from this fundamental truth. Just because Putin hasn't blown up any buildings or beheaded any hostages doesn't mean we shouldn't keep our focus on him."
Liberal Prof Blames Trump for Beating, Apologizes to Assailants
Allison Stanger, the professor at Middlebury College in Vermont who was viciously attacked by a mob of students determined to prevent author and scholar Charles Murray from speaking, lays the blame for the incident at the feet of President Donald Trump.
"Students are in a justifiable state of anxiety since Trump was elected," Stanger said. "My assumption that they could rationally listen to Mr. Murray's controversial views and debate them in a civil manner was my error. Their response of beating me senseless was something I should have anticipated. I violated their 'safe space' by trying to inject an unwelcome perspective into it."
"In hindsight, my naive adherence to a Jeffersonian notion that a university should be a 'marketplace for ideas' endangered everyone on campus," Stanger continued. "Clearly, some ideas are so out-of-step with academic orthodoxy that their mere mention poses a threat to the psychological comfort of the university community. I apologize for my insensitivity and hope that my pledge to behave myself in the future will obviate the need for the students to administer any more chastisements to me."
Dems Praise Federal Reserve Appointee
The appointment of University of Southern California Professor Raphael Bostic as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta garnered praise from some leading Democrats in Congress.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, hailed the appointment, calling it "a long overdue injection of new blood into the governance of monetary policy. Up to now there has been no one to represent a gay black perspective on interest rates, banking, and the economy. Dr. Bostic's ascendance to this prominent position plugs a gap that has stigmatized Fed policy for over 100 years."
California's Rep. Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, was equally impressed by Bostic's credentials, "as the first black and first openly gay regional Fed president, Dr. Bostic brings a fresh insight into the world of finance. A focus on how changes in interest rates affect gays and blacks is an essential criteria to determining whether the Fed ought to raise or lower those rates."
Texas Rep Proposes Fine for Masturbation
State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Austin) has introduced a bill that would impose a $100 fine for each instance of "masturbatory emissions that occur outside a woman's vagina."
Farrar contended that her "satirical" bill "is meant to highlight the comparable absurdities of right-wing legislation aimed at deterring abortions. Let's see how men like it when their precious bodily fluids come under the same kind of regulation that impedes a woman's access to an abortion. Every spilled sperm, like every aborted fetus, represents a potential life that could've been brought to term. If a woman can be forced to bear a fetus to term why shouldn't a man be forced to confine is emissions to reproductive ends?"
The fact that each ejaculation contains millions of sperm cells was held by Farrar to "illuminate the greater magnitude of the offense committed by men. An abortion terminates only a single fetus. Masturbation terminates millions of potential fetuses. Clearly, men are guilty of the greater crime." Taking a cue from an old Seinfeld TV episode, Farrar said the fine would rely on an "honor system until such a time as comprehensive and universal surveillance can be established throughout the state."