John Semmens

SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

More About: Humor

SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: April 8, 2018 Edition

Mexico Threatens to End Cooperation Against Violent Gangs

Irked at the prospect that President Trump may send US troops to guard the border against illegal immigration, the Mexican Senate unanimously passed a resolution that would end the bilateral cooperation between US and Mexican law enforcement agencies against the violent drug cartels that have run rampant along the border.

President of the Senate, Pablo Escudero Mora defended the seemingly irrational move as "totally justified given the long history of US aggression toward our country. First they seized Texas. Then they invaded Mexico and forced us to cede California, and what are now Arizona and New Mexico to them. Now, in an unwarranted effort to prevent migrants who merely seek to settle in what were once Mexican lands, Trump wants to militarize the border. We say enough is enough."

Escudero acknowledged that "these gangs are hurting many Mexicans, but they are also helping to smuggle immigrants across the border. In addition they are bringing in cash from drugs they sell to rich Americans. This helps our economy, which is more than Trump has done for us. While we wish these cartels wouldn't murder so many of our citizens, these gangs are the lesser evil compared to the Devil that is the United States."

"An amusing irony of this whole situation is that policies of the previous US Administration actually augmented the armament of these gangs." Escudero chuckled. "A lot of their weapons were supplied by US covert operatives in the hope that it would spark voter demands for more gun control regulations. So, any atrocities that are committed on Americans by these gangs will be partially self-inflicted. That's got to bring a smile to the face of every Mexican patriot."

In related news, the State of California has issued more than a million driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. The licenses may be used to allow these immigrants to cast ballots in state and local elections. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra hailed the milestone, calling it "a historic step toward California's eventual independence or reunification with Mexico. We will break free of the chains imposed by the backward regime of Donald Trump and forge a new destiny for the people of our state."

Dems Split on Tax Cut Repeal

Democrat Party leadership is not united in its plans for the recently passed tax cut. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) pledged to repeal the cuts, saying that "the crumbs that Trump and the GOP selfishly tried to withhold from the government will be taken back and amalgamated into a large pool of resources to fund vitally needed government programs."

Among the programs mentioned by Pelosi were "an expansion of regulations to more effectively monitor behavior so government can guide private individuals toward a more socially conscious lifestyle" and "a long overdue increase in salaries for government employees, who are the crucial actors in transforming the country into the progressive society promised by President Obama."

Democratic National Committee Vice Chairman, Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn) disagreed, saying that "I don't think it would be wise for us to overtly campaign in favor of repealing the tax cuts. Those of us on the inside know that the government can make better use of that money than private individuals can. But I think baldly telling people this like House Minority Leader Pelosi wants to do is foolish. There is a principle in my faith called taqiya that urges dissimulation in the face of one's enemies. We need to convey a more sympathetic attitude toward taxpayers during the campaign. After we win we can start to talk about how we can wrest that money out of their hands."

In related news, the socialist paradise of Venezuela, where food shortages have enabled citizens to achieve weight losses averaging 24 lbs. per person during the last year, saw Minister of Education Elías Jaua chastise "the enemies of the revolution who are over eating. Everywhere you look you see empty supermarket shelves. How can the government ensure a ready supply of food if people keep eating it? Unlike capitalist countries, our laws entitle our people to have access to food. However, too many anti-social traitors are abusing this right by consuming more than they need."

FaceBook Admits "Invasion of Privacy"

Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, publicly admitted that "our company's invasion of our clients' privacy probably rates a score of 10 out of 10 for being as complete a betrayal as possible." Despite this colossal failure, Sandberg insisted that CEO Mark "Zuckerberg's public apology ought to be penance enough. Look, we're with the good guys. We allowed President Obama to use our massive data to get reelected in 2012. Obviously, in hindsight, the Cambridge Analytica deal was a mistake."

"In our defense, the amount of data we sold to Cambridge Analytica was tiny compared to what we freely gave to Obama," Sandberg explained. "With all the polls showing Hillary with a commanding lead we thought we could make a buck without damaging her election chances. It turned out we were wrong, but we weren't the only ones. Everybody was sure she would win in a landslide. It isn't fair to make us the scapegoat for the unforeseen outcome of the 2016 election."

Sandberg insisted "we are going the extra mile to try to make up for the damage. We already scan the contents of every user's posts and messages looking for anti-social attitudes. For example, we already flag any user posts of articles from Breitbart as 'intentionally misleading.' And we're developing new algorithms that we believe will do a better job of excluding socially unacceptable content from being promulgated through our platform. So far, we've achieved a modicum of success. Pro-Trump messages have been reduced by nearly 50%. But we're not going to say we're satisfied. I think we can get a lot closer to 100% if we keep up our effort."

In the wake of this scandal, a new policy FaceBook is implementing is to charge a fee to subscribers who want to opt out of the company's data-driven exploitation of users' personal information. Sandberg likened this to "the kind of distinction you see in cable and satellite TV. If you don't want to be hounded by advertisers who know your weaknesses you're going to have to pay for that privilege like you would for HBO or Showtime."

As a prelude to his upcoming Congressional testimony, Zuckerberg has been assiduously deleting his FaceBook files. Unlike other users of the FaceBook platform, Zuckerberg is able to delete copies of those files that appear on any other FaceBook user's page. The CEO said he was "confident I'll be able to do a more complete job than Secretary Clinton was able to do with her emails. Unlike her, I am not technologically inept. I don't think I'll have to resort to busting up any devices with a hammer."

Hillary Claims Credit for #MeToo Movement

This week, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed credit for accelerating the #MeToo Movement. "If I hadn't lost the election none of this awakening to the the widespread sexual harassment that has plagued women in this country would have come to light," she asserted.

"Harvey Weinstein—case zero—in the exposure of the sexual harassment epidemic was a great supporter of me and donor to the Democratic Party," Clinton pointed out. "As president, in order to repay his loyalty and generosity to the Party, I would have protected him from the assault on his character launched by the former victims of his lewd behavior, just like I tried to protect Bill from the allegations made by his victims. So, in a way, it could be said that my defeat removed the possibility that I could use the power of the presidency to impede the exposure of Harvey's unsavory history. It's unfair that I don't get proper credit for my role in the movement to attain sexual justice."

Putin Complains about Demonization of Stalin

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced what he labeled "the excessive demonization of former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. His methods may have been harsh by Western standards, but few can quibble with the results." These "results" included the deaths of 15 million to 30 million Soviet citizens through executions, labor camps, avoidable famines and making the treaty with Germany that unleashed WW II.

"Few critics take into account the poverty and backwardness of the country Stalin inherited," Putin contended. "Bringing the Soviet Union into the modern era required sacrifices. The millions who died in the Gulag would have died eventually, regardless. Their labors helped make the Soviet Union into a superpower. We should not discount that accomplishment."

Putin even defended Stalin's infamous non-aggression pact with Hitler by pointing out that "the Western powers were trying to get a pact with Germany, but refused to acquiesce to the partition of Poland. Stalin was less squeamish. As a result we got the alliance and it refocused the Nazi's toward attacking France and England rather than attacking Russia, as Hitler vowed to do in Mein Kampf. This likely saved millions of Soviet lives and also netted us additional territories after the war was over."

While a recent poll showed only 25% of Russians consider Stalin's repressions justified, Putin pointed out that "this level of support is higher than most Westerners would have expected" and predicted that "as knowledge of Stalin's crimes fades, popular support for his achievements will inevitably grow—like the respect for Islam has now that most have forgotten the massacres carried out in the jihad to spread the faith so many centuries ago."

In related news, Putin claims that the recovery of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal "proves we are innocent. When we poison an enemy he does not recover. Remember Litvinenko? That's what happens when those who know what they are doing are involved."

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