SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: May 31, 2015 Edition
Court Strikes Down Idaho Abortion Limitation
An Idaho statute banning abortions after the fetus reaches 20 weeks of age was struck down by the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals as "an undue burden on a parent's ability to get an abortion."
"The assertion that 20 weeks is the age at which the fetus is capable of feeling pain cannot be permitted to outweigh the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that a woman's access to abortion is a fundamental right that cannot be abridged by state action," wrote Judge Harry Pregerson for the three-judge panel hearing the case. "First of all, a fetus is not a person under our laws and deserves no more protection against pain than a hog sent to a slaughterhouse."
"Furthermore, the legislature of the State of Idaho is unfit to meddle in this issue," Pregerson added. "Elected bodies are notoriously influenced by the ill-informed opinions of voters who elected them. Matters of such magnitude are better left to the greater wisdom of the judiciary branch where the wisest of our species is free to rule without the distraction and interference of having to stand for election."
Ten states currently have a similar law banning abortions after 20 weeks and legislation establishing a federal law is working its way through Congress. Pregerson predicted that "all such laws would ultimately be struck down as unconstitutional. No mere statute, either state or federal can overturn a court ruling. It would take an amendment to the US Constitution to invalidate the rights given to women by Court in the Roe v. Wade decision."
In related news, The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that New York's Department of Motor Vehicles acted within its discretion to reject an option for vehicle owners to have "choose life" appear on vanity plates. DMV Commissioner Barbara Fiala explained that "it is a question of public safety. New York is a majority pro-choice state. Allowing a minority to promulgate its message on a moving vehicle is a 'stick in the eye' that has the potential to inflame passions and possibly provoke unsafe driving."
IRS Defiant on Data Breach
This week's revelation that hackers stole the identities of 100,000 taxpayers from the IRS was characterized as "small potatoes" by Commissioner John Koskinen. "There are over 120 million individuals who pay federal income taxes. The 100,000 who will be victimized by this data breach represent less than one-tenth of one-percent of the total."
Koskinen went on to boast that "we stop nearly 50% of the breaches we know about before any individual's information can be used to defraud the government"--an effectiveness ratio that he contended "far outshines your typical performance for any other federal agency."
The Commissioner lamented that "while the Russian hackers responsible for this latest incursion into federal databases may be beyond our jurisdiction, the individuals who leaked word of the breach to the media will be tracked down and punished. The damage done to the people's confidence in their government from this leak far outweighs the trivial amounts that any individuals may have lost from their refunds being stolen. The vast majority of those taxpayers eligible for refunds are low-income wage earners. Our nation can easily absorb the losses inflicted on them by Russian gangsters."
More than 20% of Americans Receive Welfare
According to the latest Census Bureau data, 21.3% of those living in America are receiving welfare benefits. This includes more than 41% of Blacks, more than 36% of Hispanics, more than 17% of Asians and more than 13% of whites.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell called it "a good start on the President's transformative agenda. Ideally, all output would be put into a common pot and doled out to individuals and families based on need. The notion that a person should be self-supporting is archaic. In another generation it will be completely replaced by an appreciation for the collective good of the whole."
Burwell expressed faith that "robots will eventually do all the menial work that has enslaved humankind for thousands of years. The non-menial work will be performed by a dedicated minority that has placed selfishness aside in order to work for the benefit of those less able. Need will supplant greed as the primary principle by which the Earth's bounty is distributed among the people. All will live as one big family with the President serving as the virtual 'parent' to each and everyone of us—allotting each an allowance appropriate to his needs, meting out extra rewards for good behavior, and punishments for willful disobedience."
In related news, socialist candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Bernie Sanders called for the government "to seize the resources wasted on manufacturing 23 different kinds of deodorant and 18 brands of sneakers and divert them to the production of food for starving children. The American consumer's addiction to free choice must not be permitted to divert us from this greater purpose."
Sanders also came out in favor of a flat tax of 90% on all income saying that "the average person has far more than he needs. Most private spending is frittered away on non-essentials like fancy cell phones, private automobiles, and entertainment. Shifting this spending over to the government will ensure a more useful deployment of society's resources." As for low wage earners hit with the 90% tax, the Senator said he was "confident that a package of carefully selected social welfare benefits would offset most of the pain."
Documents Reveal State Dept Aided Rise of ISIS
The latest batch of declassified emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private server indicate that weapons used by ISIS to conquer half of Syria and Iraq were covertly supplied by the US. It appears that Ambassador Christopher Stevens was intimately involved in smuggling armaments from captured Libyan stockpiles to anti-Assad forces in Syria.
Current Secretary of State John Kerry defended the arms transfers as "based on the best intelligence we had at the time. We knew Assad was a brutal dictator who needed to be deposed. We thought relying on anti-government elements in Syria could do the job without having to risk direct US intervention. Who could've known that these anti-Assad rebels would turn into ISIL and misuse the weapons we gave them?"
In support of his argument, Kerry pointed out that "Sen. McCain (R-Ariz) had met with these anti-Assad rebels and pronounced them trustworthy. McCain, like me, served in Vietnam. He was even tortured by the North Vietnamese. So, I think Secretary Clinton may have given a lot of weight to his pronouncement. It only looks stupid in hindsight."
The Secretary said "the really baffling part of all this is why Ambassador Stevens was murdered by jihadis. He was trying to help them get weapons. Killing him made no sense. I don't think we'll ever figure that out."
In related news, key Senate Democrats urged President Obama to take executive action to admit more Syrian refugees into the United States. "Since it seems that our poorly conceived attempt to arm anti-Assad forces has turned their country into a total war zone, it is morally incumbent upon us to admit 65,000 displaced Syrians into our country," wrote Senate Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill).
Durbin discounted the risk that terrorists might hide among the refugees saying that "it's more logical that jihadis will want to stay in the Islamic State than come here. Even if terrorists do come here, though, the damage they might do is likely to be small. We are a big country with over 300 million inhabitants. The few that might be killed by a lone wolf bombing or shooting attack would be only a pin-prick. More Americans are apt to be victims of global climate change than jihadi terrorists."
Ferguson Rioters Demand Backpay
Hundreds of individuals who came from across the country to participate in the riots in Ferguson, Missouri after a police officer shot cigar thief Michael Brown during a physical altercation, are complaining that they are owed backpay by Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE).
"We were promised $5,000 a person per month for keeping that town in the news," complained Ward Burns, one of 500 protesters bussed in from Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Nashville, Portland, Tucson, Washington, D.C., Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and other cities. "We need to get paid."
MORE is funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, who reportedly spent $33 million in the last year to support groups agitating in the streets of Ferguson. "I don't know why these people haven't been paid," Soros said. "I certainly provided enough cash to cover the $2.5 million monthly salaries of the protesters. Maybe the MORE bank account was inadvertently looted during the confusion."
In related news, violence in Baltimore has soared since street riots in protest of the death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of City Police were initiated a few weeks ago. Some are blaming Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's order that police "give protesters space to destroy property." Others blame police reluctance to venture onto the streets after six of their colleagues were indicted for Gray's death. The Mayor, though, taking a cue from President Obama, is blaming slavery. "If white slave traders hadn't brought all those Africans here more than two hundred years ago there wouldn't be all this trouble now," she reasoned.