SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: November 22, 2015 Edition
Reid and Obama Vow to Block Bill on Refugee Vetting
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and President Obama vowed they would block a House-passed measure to increase scrutiny of refugees from Syria and Iraq. Concern that terrorists might be hiding among those seeking to escape the war zone led to a veto-proof 289-137 bipartisan majority favoring the bill. Under the bill, the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and director of National Intelligence would have to certify a refugee posed no security threat before he or she could be admitted into the United States.
"Only a tiny minority of the Syrians who come to this country are likely to be terrorists," Obama pointed out. "The damage they might do pales in comparison to the stain on our nation's honor that would ensue if we close our border to them. The number of people who might be killed by any terrorists we let in is small in comparison to the number of people shot in my home town of Chicago each year."
A contrasting view of the risks was posited by Syrian Ambassador Riad Abbas who estimated that "20% of the refugees have ties to ISIS. President Obama's characterization of these refugees as widows and orphans is far off the mark. The vast majority are unattached young men. Many have openly declared that their motivation is to take advantage of the West's generous welfare programs. But as we have seen in Europe, many of these young men bring civil unrest and violent impulses with them. And last year, terrorists killed over 30,000 people worldwide. Perhaps the United States should exercise more caution concerning who it invites into its borders."
Meanwhile, in Turkey eight ISIS terrorists posing as Syrian refugees were arrested. The Islamic State called the arrests "a minor setback. The infidels may congratulate themselves for striking us with this pinprick, but this cell is just the tip of a huge iceberg of more than 4,000 covert operatives that have made it into western nations hidden among refugees. This iceberg will sink their decadent societies."
While the President promised to veto any bill that reaches his desk, Reid reassured him that "it won't come to that. We will protect the President and filibuster the bill to prevent the Senate from voting on it. The GOP is using the fear of being murdered by terrorists to divert voters from the greater threat posed by the Republican Party's attempt to undermine the authority of America's duly elected ruler. No amount of bombings or shootings by terrorists could thwart President Obama's authority to rule this country. Clearly, they are the lesser enemy."
Attorney General Loretta Lynch, called the proposed screening "impractical and impossible. All of our resources are already committed to higher priorities. Right-wing opponents of the President's efforts to transform the nation are a much greater danger. Their propaganda has a majority of voters thinking that 'all lives matter' in direct opposition to the social justice movement's struggle to obtain recognition for the slogan 'black lives matter.' Now is not the time to reallocate our attention toward this so-called terrorist danger."
In related news, the Obama Administration announced a shift in budgeted funds: cutting money to the Veterans' Administration by $2.6 billion and boosting money to facilitate Syrian immigration by $4.5 billion. Press Secretary Josh Earnest characterized the move as "common sense. Veterans are a declining group that represents America's past. Syrian immigrants are a rapidly breeding cohort that represents this country's future."
Sanders Explains Democratic Socialism
Contender for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt) made an effort to define democratic socialism in a speech to Georgetown University students this week.
"Unlike the socialism imposed by Lenin or Mao, democratic socialism allows voters to select who will rule over them," Sanders said. "With the backing of the electorate, these rulers will redress the inequities stemming from inequalities that are no fault of the individual."
Sanders asserted "the notion that a person's hard work might entitle him to a disproportionate share of the world's wealth is just plain wrong. A person's ability to work hard is an inheritance that he did not earn. Likewise, a person's inability to work hard is also an inheritance he did nothing to deserve. Democratic socialism places the well-being of the much larger number of persons unsuited to hard work ahead of the minority unfairly gifted with this ability. It uses democratic means for seizing the outputs of those with greater ability and redistributing them for the benefit of those with greater need."
"In a family, the parents distribute the benefits of food, clothing, housing, and everything else to all their children," Sanders argued. "They don't allow some to prosper while others are neglected. Democratic socialism merely extends the concept of family to everyone under the regime's jurisdiction. Government assumes the role of the parent and metes out a fair share to all its children."
Sanders acknowledged the possibility that "some of the state's children might need to be disciplined for selfish behavior. It will be the government's job to ascertain the abilities of all and ensure that those who are capable are assigned an appropriate share of the chores of sustaining the national family. The collective good of the whole cannot be allowed to suffer due to shirking by the capable."
"The success of my campaign will show whether America is ready for democratic socialism," Sanders said. "My guess is that the needy outnumber the able by a considerable margin. Convincing this huge majority to vote for a system that will empower them to confiscate the surplus produced by the able is my biggest challenge."
Paris Terror Attack Spurs Call for Gun Control
Despite the fact that France has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, the massacre of over 100 people in Paris by gun and bomb wielding Islamic terrorists has inspired Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill) to call for more stringent gun-control regulations in America.
"I don't mean to belittle the grief felt by so many after the tragic events in Paris, but I shudder to think how much worse it would have been if the victims had been armed," Schakowsky said. "Bullets could have been coming from every direction. Police would have been confused over who were the perpetrators."
"If a similar attack were to take place in America it is likely that a significant number of intended victims would, due to our lax gun-control laws, be carrying concealed weapons," Schakowsky lamented. "There would have been complete chaos. Who knows how many may have fallen victim to friendly fire."
"If we want to be a civilized society we must give up the idea of an individual right of self-defense," the Congresswoman contended. "We must place our trust in collective-defense even if this means that in a given situation an individual may be helpless in a confrontation with an armed assailant. I don't think it's asking too much for our citizens to lay down their lives in pursuit of the goal of a more civilized society."
In related news, US Secretary of State John Kerry denounced the Paris terror attack as "completely unjustified" and contrasted it with the more "legitimate murder" of the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo earlier this year. "Killing people at a restaurant and theater was just unfocused violence," Kerry said. "What is the message? Don't go out to eat? Don't attend a concert? Killing the editors at the magazine made more sense. People know what to do to stay safe—don't mock Islam. President Obama has been urging people to not mock Islam for some time now. So, the victims at Charlie Hebdo can't say they weren't warned."
California Governor Hails Transformation of State's Economy
A report indicating that 9,000 businesses have relocated headquarters and other operating units outside of California in the last seven years was hailed by Governor Jerry Brown (D) as "encouraging news." According to the report prepared by Joseph Vranich, a site selection consultant and president of Irvine, California-based Spectrum Location Solutions, the exiting companies experienced cost-savings of 20-35%.
"Some will try to characterize this as a loss for the state, but I don't see it that way," Brown said. "Wage-slavery is one the greatest infringements on personal freedom in our time. By inducing 9,000 exploiters to leave we are reducing this scourge for all Californians."
Brown suggested that Californians who lost jobs as a result of the corporate migration "will have more free time to enjoy life. Our state's social safety net will provide a livable income for most. Others may find joining an agrarian commune a more rewarding lifestyle."
"And let's not forget the positive environmental impacts," Brown added. "Workers driving to jobs are major contributors to air pollution. With 9,000 fewer employers and a million fewer jobs traffic on our states roads is way down. Everyone is breathing cleaner air. That's probably having a bigger impact on health in our state than Obamacare."
Government Steals More than Burglars
Data for 2014—the latest year available—indicates that burglars absconded with $3.9 billion worth of victims' property. At the same time, "civil forfeiture" made off with $4.5 billion worth.
The civil forfeiture statute was initially sold as a tool for coping with organized crime. It has morphed into crime wave in which police seize cash from individuals on the slimmest of pretexts and dare the owner to try to get it back through cumbersome and costly procedures.
A favored tactic is to assert that any cash that a person may be carrying was obtained via criminal activity. As proof, police cite the traces of cocaine that can be found on most currency. Washington DC Chief of Police Robyn Moore bragged that "this law is a godsend for police departments everywhere. We don't have to sit back and wait for a city council to appropriate funds. We can just go out and take it from suspicious characters on the street. With the cocaine traces we have a prima facie case against the cash. It is then up to the claimant to prove that the money wasn't involved in any illegal activities. Few are up to that task."
A class action suit has been filed against the DC Police Department whose officers have been instructed to seize amounts of cash as small as $100. Moore remained confident that her agency would prevail in the case because "we have debit cards now. No honest person has a need for that much cash."
Every Child Has Potential, Says Planned Parenthood
During last weekend's Democratic debate, Planned Parenthood tweeted that "every child deserves the opportunity to live up to their God given potential." The tweet was intended to support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has been a stalwart backer of the organization.
Inasmuch as Planned Parenthood has accounted for the termination of the lives of tens of millions of children since 1973's Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision, many found the tweet ironic. "Not so," insisted President Cecile Richards. "When you look at the home environments that would have awaited the vast majority of those aborted it should be clear that a role as a parts supplier for medical research is probably the highest potential for these ill-begotten offspring. Exchanging that for a life of crime, poverty, and suffering is, I think, a net gain for humanity."
In related news, the disclosure of an email in which Hillary Clinton confidante Huma Abedin described the former Secretary of State as "often confused" was made into lemonade by her presidential campaign manager Robby Mook. "You know, the average American is often confused," Mook observed. "I think the voters will see Secretary Clinton as a kindred spirit." Mook did aver that a possible downside is that "Sanders may be seen as even more confused. Hopefully, we will have enough money to overcome that obstacle."