SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE, January 11, 2015 Edition
Muslim Terrorism Excused
Armed Muslim terrorists slew a dozen unarmed members of the editorial staff of the satirical paper Charlie Hebdo in a raid on the paper's Paris office this week. Though the gunman proclaimed these murders as retribution for the paper's mockery of Islamic extremism, leading liberal luminaries have reassured everyone that the attack had nothing to do with "real" Islam.
The New York Times dismissed a female survivor's recounting of being spared and advised to convert and obey the Quran as "unreliable testimony. Given the traumatic circumstances these witnesses couldn't be expected to clearly remember events." The NYT's editors contrasted "the hysterical recall of this woman with the calm reassurances from our last two presidents that Islam is a religion of peace."
Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski blamed the victims for what he termed "their extraordinarily provocative satires. They were unnecessarily nasty and could easily goad even the most peaceful of Muslims into a murderous rage." Brzezinski also warned against anyone using the phrase "jihadist terrorist" as these words "could incite even more violence from normally peaceful Muslims."
Meanwhile, President Obama dispatched Attorney General Eric Holder to France as "an emergency measure to head off an anticipated Islamophobic response. We cannot allow our emotions to get the better of us in this time of tragedy. Sad as what happened in Paris might be, we must keep things in perspective. Ten times as many Muslims lost their lives in a stampede in Mecca. We shouldn't forget their suffering by a single minded focus on the lesser loss at Charlie Hebdo." The stampede to which Obama was referring occurred at the annual ritualistic stoning of the devil in Mecca, where 244 Muslims were trampled to death and hundreds more were hurt.
Shortly after conferring with Holder, French President Francois Hollande tried to ease public fears by affirming that the killings "had nothing to do with the Muslim religion. For us to insinuate that Islam played any role would only invite further acts of violence. It will be safer to think of this as a random act."
In a bid to insulate itself from potential reprisals, the newspaper USA Today published a screed by Imam Anjem Choudary justifying the massacre. "Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone," he wrote. "The authors of these insults cannot say they haven't been warned. They cannot hope that a misguided faith in freedom of speech will protect them from righteous punishment. Muslims do not believe in freedom of expression. True believers are obligated to silence all blasphemy. If anyone is to be blamed it is the French Government for not shutting down Charlie Hebdo. This left Muslims with no other option than to mete out justice by their own hands."
The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson praised France's strict gun control laws for moderating the carnage: "The fact that the victims were unarmed prevented a shoot out that could've claimed even more lives. As it was, the gunmen were able to calmly execute the offending editors and cartoonists without any collateral damage."
In related news, Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called upon Muslim leaders "to turn away from interpretations of the Quran that justify violence as a means of propagating our beliefs. Embracing violence inspires acts of unspeakable brutality and puts us at odds with civilized behavior. If we are to win others over to our faith it must be by setting an example of humane treatment of one another regardless of religious differences." ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called Sisi's view "misbegotten blasphemy" and alleged that "it is now every Muslim's solemn obligation to slay this heretic."
Harvard Faculty Outraged by Obamacare
Irate that deductibles on their post-Obamacare health insurance have soared to $250 per year, the Harvard faculty has vented its spleen at the Administration. Previously, faculty health insurance plans had no deductibles.
Dr. Albie Derned, Associate Professor Philosophy, characterized the increase as "intolerable" and "a stab in the back. We have been 100% behind the President in his efforts to transform this country's health care system. For us to be swept into plans we don't like is poor payback for our loyalty."
The fact that deductibles for ordinary people under the Obamacare rules are typically twenty times as high did not abate Derned's indignation. "Ordinary people can't be trusted to use insurance wisely," he maintained. "If costs for the system are going to be held in check there has to be a significant financial incentive to economize on the use of benefits. The vast majority of the complaints for which a person consults a doctor will resolve themselves without treatment. The high deductibles encourage people to let time cure their ailments."
In Derned's view, "the best and brightest elite of the population shouldn't be subjugated by the same regulations as everyone else. The idea that all ought to be treated alike undermines the motivation for people to rise above the common herd. It can only lead to indolence and mediocrity."
President Suggests Free Community College for Everyone
Taking heed of the nation's lowest workforce participation rates since the 1970s, President Obama suggested a plan for government funding of community college for every high school student with a C average or better.
"We have liberated more people from wage slavery than any prior administration," Obama boasted. "While this, in itself, is a remarkable achievement we shouldn't rest on our laurels. We need to go the next step."
Why free community college would be the "next step" was explained by the President's assertion that "going to college is a great experience that no one should be denied just because they can't afford it. It's not like the old days when students were pressured by heavy workloads, term papers, and difficult exams. We've come to realize that this 'nose to the grindstone' approach is no longer required. In the coming years computers will do all the complicated work. Students needn't learn more than which buttons to push to get the machines running."
"Unlike a job, being a student doesn't cut into your free time," the President remembered. "There's plenty of opportunities to hang out, socialize, go to basketball games, and even smoke some weed. You don't have to put up with customers demanding service or a boss insisting that you earn your pay. It's a lifestyle that I enjoyed and highly recommend. We need, as a society, to make this experience as widely available as we can."
Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, estimated that the President's plan would benefit 9 million students at a cost of around $30 billion per year. "To be able to give this kind of life experience to so many of our young people is both affordable and the right thing to do," Muñoz said. "Scrooges who carp about the cost are forgetting that the government will be paying for everything. So, there'll be no drag on the economy."
New York City to Ban Styrofoam
New York Mayor Bill deBlasio brushed off recent troubles between the police and the community in order to focus on what he considers "a much bigger existential threat to our way of life." That threat: the use of Styrofoam containers by restaurants to keep takeout orders hot or cold.
"Styrofoam is one of the top two or three threats to the planet," de Blasio argued. "I realize that it doesn't grab headlines like cops killing minorities or being killed in return do, but it has a bigger footprint in the scheme of things over the long run."
The Mayor insisted that concerns about the inferior performance characteristics of paper cups and cardboard boxes for takeout food "are unimportant. It's not like people have to eat takeout food. They could eat in the restaurant or, better still, enjoy a home-cooked meal in their apartments. Numerous studies have shown restaurant offerings to be unacceptably high in sodium, fat, and sugar. And a distressingly large segment of the population is obese. If this new rule puts a damper on the consumption of takeout meals we'll all be healthier."
Ban on Fossil Fuels Needed to Save Planet
A study prepared by University College, London says severe restrictions on the use of fossil fuels are needed to prevent a forecast 2º centigrade increase in temperature over the next 100 years.
Lead researcher Dr Christophe McGlade asserted that "decreasing the global consumption of fossil fuels is both essential and attainable. Humans can survive without these polluting commodities. In colder climates people can wear more layers of warmer clothing. We can drastically reduce the amount of combustion used to keep warm."
"In warmer climates people can let their own bodies' sweat evaporation process keep them cool," McGlade pointed out. "I mean, most of the world currently lives without air conditioning and all the world lived without it less than 100 years ago. Going back just requires will power and physical stamina."
Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest cited this study as "a further reason for why we don't need the Keystone Pipeline. What's the sense of building a pipeline for energy that we shouldn't be burning anyway?"
In related news, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers called for a hike in the gas tax "to offset the dangerous decline in oil prices. As gasoline slides below the $2/gallon mark a driver's incentive to curb his travel is greatly diluted. We can combat this trend by imposing tax increases to boost the cost paid by consumers and restore the financial penalty that high prices imposed on unnecessary trips."