SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: October 11, 2015 Edition
Christian Refugees to Be Deported
The Obama Administration has decided that Christian refugees from areas occupied by the Islamic State will be deported back to the war zone. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Muslims fleeing the region will be given transportation to America and allowed to stay.
While not denying that these Christians are likely to face great peril, US Secretary of State John Kerry justified the policy, calling it "consistent with the President's vision for the region. The religious composition of both the Middle East and the United States is unbalanced. In the Middle East Christians are in short supply, while in the United States they are over represented. Allowing more Christians into the US will only exacerbate this imbalance. On the other hand, Muslims are under represented in the US. So admitting more of them will work toward a more equitable distribution of members of this faith."
"It's not as if these Christians are blameless," Kerry pointed out. "They refused to join the anti-Assad movement on the purely selfish grounds that his secular dictatorship offered them some measure of protection against the Muslim majority. Such anti-democratic sentiments do not deserve our sympathy."
Kerry called the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands "unfortunate," but averred that "we mustn't let our empathy for their suffering countermand our greater obligation to support majority rule. It it the majority's right to establish whatever form of government it wants. If this is a 'caliphate,' so be it. If this means enforcement of sharia law that is their right. We have no authority to impose liberal values of tolerance and freedom on them."
In related news, Kerry expressed his disappointment upon learning that this year's Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to a coalition of labor unions, businesses, lawyers and human rights activists for building a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011. "I don't want to totally discount their achievement, but the impacts are highly localized," Kerry contended. "In contrast, the agreement I negotiated with Iran has a broader impact for peace in our time. In a just world I would have won this award."
Obama to Use Executive Authority to Enact Gun Control
Administration insiders are hinting that President Obama has become impatient with Congressional inaction on gun control legislation in the wake of a rash of mass murder shootings and will bypass that body and enact new controls based on his own authority. The gist of his decree is said to require dealers who sell more than 50 guns a year to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and do extensive background checks on persons who want to purchase weapons from them.
Though he declined to specifically acknowledge the rumor, Press Secretary Josh Earnest attempted to make the case for executive action, saying that "it is clear to everyone with an ounce of humanity that something has got to be done. We can't let slavish adherence to a 200-year-old Amendment block needed reform. If Congress won't act than it seems morally imperative that the President step into the breach and disarm would-be murderers."
Whether the Administration's proposed action would be effective remains doubtful. In the recent killings in Oregon the shooter obtained his weapons after passing a background check, as did the shooters in most recent other high-profile massacres.
Earnest granted that "we may not be able to stop every lunatic, but if we can stop even one, that's a gain for public safety." The Press Secretary brushed aside approaches that would arm more law-abiding citizens as "a direction that is at odds with the President's view of the world. The notion that arming the supposed 'good guys' is a civilized way to deter the supposed 'bad guys' is insane. We're not living in a John Wayne movie. It's not always easy to tell the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys.' And there is certainly no proof that the 'good guys' will shoot straighter than the 'bad guys.' Reducing the quantity of weapons out there is our best bet."
Twenty-seven Democratic Senators surrounded by armed guards on the Capitol steps endorsed Obama's usurpation of the legislative power. New York Sen. Charles Schumer called executive action "the only option we have left if we hope to overcome the gun lobby's influence on Congress. The people of America demand action. It is incumbent on the President to take action irrespective of any Constitutional or legal impediments."
In related news, President Obama rejected the request of the citizens of Rosenberg, Oregon—site of the murder of Christian students at Umpqua Community College last week—that he not use the tragedy for political grandstanding. Press Secretary Josh Earnest argued that "the wishes of a tiny minority of the aggrieved inhabitants of this rural backwater cannot supersede the prerogative of the world's most powerful leader to exploit this opportunity to press for a more rational gun control policy."
Candidates Call for More Regulation of Wall Street
In a bid to outflank her socialist rival contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for more stringent government regulation of big businesses. Under her proposed policy, the federal government would order firms that were "too large and too risky to be managed effectively to reorganize, downsize, or break apart."
That the federal government, which has not been managed effectively for many decades would possess the necessary expertise to assess the effectiveness of diverse business operations might seem dubious. Nevertheless, Clinton maintained that "the government has the right and the obligation to oversee how the nation's collective wealth is managed. Stewardship over corporate assets is a privilege that can be revoked if it it misused or abused. Our government is a government of, by, and for the people. Any institution or organization within our society that does not serve the people, as determined by their elected officials, can be altered or abolished."
Not to be outdone, Sanders characterized Clinton as a "faux socialist. She talks a good game on the campaign trail, but her record has been one of selling influence to the highest bidder. Why else would Wall Street be among the biggest donors to her candidacy and to her money-laundering Clinton Foundation? I will expropriate these corporate parasites and ensure that the government runs them for the benefit of all."
Evidence from Clinton's unsecured private email account would seem to bolster Sanders' claim. As it turns out, Clinton's Department of State subordinate Cheryl Mills appears to have illegally passed classified information to the Clinton Foundation in order to assist its fund-raising activities among foreign governments.
In related news, Clinton told a campaign audience that the jailing of Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was "absolutely the right thing. No one has the right to resist the lawful decisions of the government. Anyone who does should expect to be punished for such disobedience."
Dems Demand Apology to Planned Parenthood
Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn), and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) issued a letter demanding that House Republicans apologize to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards for their "shameful treatment of her during the committee's hearing investigating the organization last week."
The letter characterized the questioning of Ms. Richards "four hours of pure torture" and contended that "it is as clear a violation of the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment that we have ever witnessed. The injustice of it all was egregious. Terminating pregnancies is not a crime. Selling recovered tissue is not a crime. Yet, Ms, Richards was grilled as if she were a common criminal."
The letter also condemned the Center for Medical Progress videos that sparked the Congressional investigation as "a deceptive entrapment scheme. The representatives from this organization posed as legitimate tissue purchasers in order to lure Planned Parenthood personnel into making unguarded statements that many would interpret as callous and greedy. Such underhanded tactics merit our disgust and revulsion. We should not condone this kind of behavior. To reward it by conducting a witch hunt will only encourage more of it."
Chairman of the Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) defended the hearings and said "the four hours of questioning Ms. Richards faced was mild in comparison with the dismemberment inflicted on the unborn at the hands of Planned Parenthood. I am far more disgusted by the murder of children and the selling of their bodies than I am that this heinous organization was caught on video admitting these atrocities. I will not apologize for shining a light on this holocaust."
Discovery of Error Sparks Demand for Censorship
An Australian electrical engineer named Dr David Evans discovered a mathematical error in the model used to predict global warming that exaggerated the impact of carbon dioxide 10-fold. Basically, the effects of CO2 on climate are far lower than has been assumed.
While most reasonable people would find this reassuring, Philippe Sands QC, an international law specialist and Professor of Law at University College London, did not. Alleging that "the publicity given to Dr. Evans' finding could seriously undermine efforts to mitigate climate change," Sands argued for "the suppression of contradictory evidence and arguments that might thwart action."
"In theory, freedom of speech is a good thing," Sands opined. "But when the fate of the planet is at stake it is a luxury humanity cannot afford." Sands said he "would not be opposed to imprisoning climate change opponents under some circumstances."