SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: April 2, 2017 Edition
Congresswoman Defends Government Surveillance of Trump
This week's revelation by Democratic operative Evelyn Farkas that the Obama Administration had the Trump campaign under surveillance and shared the information gathered with the Hillary Clinton campaign sparked a spirited defense from long-time California Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
"Many small-minded people focus on the illegality of spying on American citizens for political gain as if that is more important than the fact that a traitor has become this nation's president," Waters said. "President Obama put in place an organization that contains a kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That's going to be very very powerful and that database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it's never been done before."
While this colossal invasion of privacy would seem to dwarf the 1972 Watergate scandal in which a small contingent of GOP burglars invaded Democratic Party offices in Washington, DC in pursuit of political files they believed would aid the reelection of President Nixon, Waters contends that "by resigning Nixon essentially confessed to his crimes. In contrast, President Obama left after a scandal-free two full terms in office. No one in the media accused him of any crime. My only regret is that is that the effort he put into accumulating the database was not sufficient to prevent Trump and the Russians from rigging the election in his favor."
Ironically, thus far, the only solid evidence linking Russia to the 2016 election is the $35 million the Putin Government paid Hillary Campaign Chairman John Podesta in 2011 when he was an adviser to her while she was at the State Department. This is probably not the "Russia conspiracy" that Podesta had in mind when he criticized the media for "not playing it up enough during the campaign."
In related news, CBS dismissed allegations that the Clintons received any compensation for the sale of 20% of America's uranium output to Russia while Hillary was Secretary of State. Anchor Scott Pelley argued that a subsequent $500,000 payment to Bill for a Moscow speech, a $2.35 million donation to the Clinton Foundation by the Russian firm's chairman and $145 million in donations from nine other shareholders were "merely coincidental. No one has been able to produce any contractual documents showing an explicit exchange of State Department approval of the uranium transfer in return for monetary compensation."
California to Prosecute Exposure of Planned Parenthood's Ghoulish Profiteering
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed 15 felony charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for secretly recording Planned Parenthood officials who thought they were negotiating the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses. The crime: recording without consent.
"Inasmuch as the sales being negotiated were of dubious legality it should be obvious that the Planned Parenthood officials whose words were captured on video would not have voluntarily consented," Becerra pointed out. "The covert recording and subsequent airing of the conversations did irreparable harm to the reputations of both the Planned Parenthood organization and the individuals who work there."
Becerra rejected the assertion that "the crass dismemberment of the fetuses for commercial gain is a crime worthy of exposure. A woman's right to an abortion has been unalienable under our laws since 1973. The manner in which the excised tissue will be disposed of is a private matter. No woman should have her decision second-guessed because this tissue is exchanged for funds to help support the organization that has provided the health care services."
The possibility that Daleiden and Merritt could go to prison for their investigative journalism didn't faze Becerra one bit. "We need to send as strong a message as we can that any action intended to impede a woman's right to an abortion will be sternly dealt with," Becerra said. "By making an example of these two we may discourage others from imitating them."
In related news, DeShawn Taylor, previous Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, acknowledged that "in the effort to secure the optimal quantity of valuable fetal tissue sometimes a baby accidentally survives the abortion procedure. Depending on who's in the room when this happens it may or may not be a problem. In theory, we're supposed to send survivors to the hospital. But if there are no unreliable observers present the more practical course is to simply wait for the fetus to die so we can harvest the parts we're already obligated to deliver to the purchaser so we we don't lose the revenue."
Academic Progress against Freedom of Speech
In Florida, a student—Marshall Polston—was suspended for challenging his Muslim professor Areej Zufari's assertion that the claim Jesus was crucified is a hoax. Rollins College officials maintained that "the suspension was necessary because the student disobeyed the instructor's order to stay out of the classroom. We strive to ensure an orderly transmission of knowledge from the professor to the students. Those students who disrupt this process by needlessly disagreeing with the teacher must be removed for the process to work as designed."
However, when evidence, including surveillance camera footage, contradicted Zufari's contention that Polston had been disruptive the suspension was reversed. Nevertheless, Polston was admonished by school authorities to "use this occasion to reflect on how best to express your opinion and treat others in a respectful manner." Despite having her allegations disproved, Zufari received no similar admonishment.
In Pennsylvania, Drexel University Professor George Ciccariello-Maher, a self-described communist, urged students to "do whatever is necessary to prevent Charles Murray from speaking on our campus. We must make it clear that people like him have no right to spew their opinions among us. The university must be safe from the intrusion of anti-progressive thought."
Murray has written dozens of books on social policy from a libertarian perspective—a fact which irks Ciccariello. "Murray's notion that freedom is the preferred state for the human species is naive," Ciccariello contended. "Individuals aren't competent to run their own lives. In the ideal society the intellegentsia act as the community's brain—directing each individual toward his proper role in service of the collective. Nonconforming views like those espoused by Murray have no place in our world."
Ciccariello attained some notoriety last December for his tweet "all I want for Christmas is white genocide." and his further demand that "we really need to abolish the White race. As I advised my son, if we had the courage to selectively poison them or send them to gulag-style death camps the world would be a better place." Though he himself is White, Ciccariello declined to personally implement his own extermination "because I need to stick around to continue my role as spiritual adviser to the colored races."
In California, Pierce College, a branch of the Los Angeles Community College District in Woodland Hills, blocked a student—Kevin Shaw—from passing out copies of the US Constitution on campus. California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley explained that "every campus has a designated free speech area where students can say whatever they want as long as it doesn't offend anyone. Mr. Shaw's complaint that the ten-by twenty foot space set aside for this purpose is inadequate is not borne out by the evidence. I hardly ever see anyone in this space. If anything, I think we might've been overly generous. Unless Shaw can demonstrate to our satisfaction that more space is needed he should keep quiet."
"Freedom of speech is a natural right held by all Americans," Shaw argued. "The College's contention that it is a matter of density of the occupation of a ridiculous artificial 'free speech zone' completely misses the point. Every American has the right to respectfully express his political opinions in any public area, which on this campus would be virtually all outdoor areas between the buildings. Certainly, the distribution of a document informing people of their constitutional rights is protected freedom of speech."
Veto Bars Abused Women from Obtaining Guns
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vetoed a legislative act that would have allowed women with a protective order against a violent spouse or domestic partner to quickly obtain a handgun permit. Normally, it takes about 45 days to process a handgun permit request.
McAuliffe said the bill would be a threat to public safety. "There are already too many people with guns," he argued. "We ought to be decreasing the number of them who are armed." The Governor explicitly rejected the contention that women at risk of bodily harm from domestic partners would benefit from the legislation. "Very few abusers actually kill their partners. But if the women are armed they may kill someone. So, basically, the bill would take us from a situation in which a few women are killed to one in which many more men may get shot. I don't like those odds."
The Governor also argued that "arming these women would complicate the legal picture. Right now, if she is killed by her partner we can prosecute him with a clear conscience. If she shoots him the situation becomes more murky. Unlike police, these women aren't trained to know when a shooting is or isn't justified. This bill would increase the chances that she'd face criminal charges. I can't sign on to a law that might convert her from an innocent victim to a possible felon."
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, contested the Governor's reasoning saying that "when a woman seeks a protective order the situation is already fraught with dire peril. An abuser used to easy access to his victim frequently becomes incensed at her last ditch effort to put some distance between them. Making her wait 45 days before she can legally arm herself puts her in great danger that a physically stronger man will hurt her, perhaps fatally. This bill would've closed that gap."
Candidate Lies about National Security Experience
Jon Ossoff, the Georgia Democrat running for the House seat vacated by Republican Tom Price who is now Trump's Secretary of Health and Human Services, has been campaigning as a man "with five years of top secret security clearance." The truth is that Ossoff has had quite a bit less time with top secret clearance.
While the candidate admitted that he had a US top secret clearance for only five months he defended his campaign claims by asserting that his employment at an investigative film company that does work for Al Jazeera over the last three years "has more than equaled any national security experience I might've gained by working for the United States government."
Election day is April 18th, but early voting turnout suggests that Ossoff is leading in the race.
In related news, Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke (D-Tex) announced his candidacy for the senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz. A key factor motivating his challenge has been "Cruz's failure to represent the people on the Mexico side of the border. They are not citizens, but they still have an abiding interest in ensuring that immigration, legal and otherwise, remains unimpeded by the Trump Administration."