SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: February 12, 2017 Edition
Court Disallows Trump Effort to Block Dangerous Foreigners
This week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower court's blockage of President Donald Trump's Executive Order instituting temporary restraints on the entry of foreigners from seven countries currently embroiled in war and significant terrorist activity. Despite the existence of statutory authority enacted in 1952 expressly granting the president the power to issue such an Order, the Ninth Circuit judges ruled Trump's actions void on the grounds that it violated the Constitution's First Amendment clause barring the government from establishing a religion.
The Court's decision honed in on the Executive Order's language calling for barring "those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred, including honor killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own," Judge Richard Clifton called it "constitutionally unacceptable. Inasmuch as the Muslim religion expressly authorizes honor killings, the subjugation of women, and the persecution of non-Muslims, the explicit inclusion in the Executive Order of these religious practices as grounds for barring entry to persons holding such beliefs forces us to negate it."
Trump denounced the decision as "a terrible blow to the safety of this country and its citizens. The right not to be murdered or harmed by fanatics that spare no one from their depredations is a right that every citizen should expect his government to do its utmost to ensure. That this Court has gone outside the law to create fatuous objections on behalf of the interests of those with criminal intent is a terrible decision."
Democrats saw the Court's decision differently. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) hailed it as "a first victory in our battle to take back our government from this un-American usurper. Trump's notion that he can make America an arbiter of what is decent and abuse his power by trying to impose western values on foreigners as a condition of their entry into this country has been thwarted."
James Clapper, former director of national intelligence under the Obama Administration, praised the Court for "saving America from the wrath of Islamic jihadis. Telling these extremists that their values are wrong and that they won't be allowed into this country because of their beliefs runs contrary to the policy put in place by President Obama. He wisely recognized that criticizing these beliefs and using them as a factor in determining who we do and don't allow in would only aggravate their anger and make them more intent on killing us. Leaving the borders open avoids provoking them and keeps the country safer."
Warren Condemns Trump's Deplorable Xenophobia
Seeking to gain a leg up on other potential Democratic Party aspirants for the 2020 nomination, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass) excoriated the Trump Administration's "deplorable xenophobia in placing the interests of American citizens ahead of the interests of humanity."
"Hillary warned us of the transcendent evil that Trump poses to the progressive values President Obama strove to embed in our government's policies," Warren screeched in her Senate tirade against the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as the new US Attorney General. "By confirming Sessions the Senate has embeded diametrically opposed values. Putting Americans ahead of immigrants is, as the US Ninth Circuit Court has ruled, unconstitutionally denies them their human right to seek sustenance wherever they might find it."
Warren took offense that one of Sessions' comments urging American corporations to hire Americans did not derail his confirmation. "I am ashamed that my GOP colleagues have elevated a racist to be the nation's top law enforcement officer," she said. "My only consolation is that the Republican Party will pay dearly at the polls when voters rise up to oust these moral cretins from power in the next election."
CNN Journalist Objects to "Fake News" Label
CNN's Chris Cuomo is attempting to make a case that labeling his reports as "fake news" is the equivalent of using racial epithets against a person.
"Calling someone the 'n-word' is pure bigotry," Cuomo declared. "It takes a trivial difference in appearance as an excuse for name calling. Likewise, using discrepancies in what we report as evidence of 'fake news' blows a minor issue into an insensitive and hurtful remark. Both expressions ought to be banned from polite discourse."
Cuomo brushed aside contentions that the two scenarios were, in fact, significantly different. "Some would argue that denigrating a person's skin color—something over which the individual has no control—isn't the same as denigrating a journalist for something he says. Well, I'm here to tell you that what we say on the air is entirely out of our control. We're handed a script and face intense pressure to adhere to the prescribed narrative. To hold us responsible for what we say is totally unfair."
"I could be fired for stepping out of line," Cuomo maintained. "How is this significantly different from a slave obeying his master to escape being whipped or a Mexican keeping a low profile to avoid being deported?"
Ironically, Cuomo's comments came after he interviewed Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), long-time promoter of the fake story that he had served in Vietnam. Cuomo rebutted Trump's castigation of him on this matter, asserting that "I did ask the Senator about his Vietnam service, but he modestly declined to discuss this ancient history in favor of focusing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch's criticism of Trump's unwarranted remarks about the judge who slapped down his Muslim ban."
In related news, Sen. Blumenthal insisted that Gorsuch "must go through extreme vetting to make sure the nation isn't embarrassed by elevating a poseur to an exalted position he doesn't deserve."
Muslim IT Guys Spied on Democrats
Three Muslim brothers who managed office IT for a number of Democratic legislators were fired this week for unauthorized access and distribution of confidential information. Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan had been hired at $160,000 annual salaries to provide IT services for dozens of Democrats including former Democratic National Committee Chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida. You may recall, that Wasserman-Schultz's purloined emails played a role in embarrassing Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year.
Despite one of the brothers having a criminal record, eight Democratic members of the House (Andre Carson, Luis Guiterez, Jim Himes, Terri Sewell, Jackie Speier, Mike Quigley, Eric Swalwell, and, Patrick Murphy) signed a letter requesting the brothers be given access to classified information. Some of this information was illicitly transmitted to an external server in violation of government security protocols.
In addition to their salaries, the brothers apparently supplemented their income by theft stemming from over-billing for computer equipment not delivered and services not performed. The trio's high living also raised suspicions that classified information may have been traded for cash.
Rep. Carson (Indiana) argued that "the firing of these three men should close the book on this issue. We are the victims in this matter. It was our files that were invaded and surreptitiously distributed. It was our confidence that was betrayed. I think the loss of their lucrative jobs is an appropriate and sufficient punishment. There is no need to invest any more time and effort probing into a situation that is no longer relevant."
In related news, Vincent Tolliver, a would-be contender for the currently vacant Chair of the Democratic National Committee, was disqualified by interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile. Tolliver's offense: questioning whether rival contender Rep. Keith Ellison (Minn), who is Muslim, would be an appropriate leader. Specifically, Tolliver argued that Islamic doctrine justifying the execution of gays "seems to contradict our message of tolerance and inclusion." Brazile justified her summary termination of Tolliver's candidacy asserting that "attempting to impugn a fellow Democrat's religious beliefs is intolerance that cannot be tolerated."
Berkeley Student Paper Defends Violence to Suppress Freedom of Speech
In the wake of a riot causing $100,000 in property damage and preventing Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus, the University of California at Berkeley's student-run newspaper--The Daily Californian—published a series of five op eds against freedom of speech. The University which had gained a reputation as a bastion of free speech for its position in favor of speaking in opposition to the Vietnam War 40 years ago has morphed into an enemy of the concept of the discovery of truth through open debate by those with different opinions.
In one of the op eds, Nisa Dang contended that "free speech is a white man's tool for oppressing the black race. Many of our students are uncomfortable or incapable of engaging in a war of words. Their interests are disparaged by systems that rule violence out-of-bounds as a valid mode of expression."
Illegal immigrant student Juan Prieto argued that "the riots actually increased the safety of the students by preventing the pernicious ideas of Yiannopoulos from inciting an even more violent reaction from those opposed to his views. And in the long-run, roughing up a few college Republicans now may deter them from trying to promote their anti-progressive views in the future."
Neil Lawrence took pains to debunk university administration claims that the rioting was a "false flag" operation of right-wingers aimed at discrediting the school. "It was," he asserted, "an authentic Black Lives Matter enterprise. Just because we wore masks to protect ourselves from prosecution doesn't mean we should be robbed of the credit for this glorious and successful imposition of our will against a white man's speech."
Desmond Meagley used his op ed to bolster Lawrence's view, insisting that "this was fundamentally of, by, and for the students of Berkeley and every other campus in the world. We claimed our right to control what we hear and to prevent the unwelcome attempt to insert alien concepts into the dialog. Progressive politics rule. We will not abide the invasion of nonconforming philosophies to pollute our environment."
The four op eds praising the riot were "balanced" by one that rued the violence, but affirmed the position that "views like those of Yiannopoulos are illegitimate and cannot rightfully claim to be protected by the First Amendment. I'm glad that he was prevented from speaking. The rioting could have been averted if the Administration hadn't granted him permission to come here. Future violence can be averted if they are more dutiful to their obligation to protect the students from threats originating from the presence of people like Yiannopoulos on campus."