John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood vehemently denounced a United Nations’ declaration on women’s rights saying it could destroy society by allowing women to travel, work, and use contraception without their husband’s permission.
“Women are creatures that Allah has given to men for their pleasure and to bear them sons,” said a spokesman for the Brotherhood. “This attempt to elevate them above the status decreed for them by the Prophet would subjugate men to the vile and unrighteous heresies of the West. It is oppression, pure and simple.”
In an effort to show that Muslim women reject the UN’s declaration, members of the Brotherhood were ordered to send their wives, daughters, mothers and sisters into the streets to demonstrate against it.
The Egyptian Government’s position on women’s rights is not expected to disrupt the Obama Administration’s award of over a billion dollars in military aid to the country. “It is not our place to interfere in the domestic policies of other countries,” explained Secretary of State John Kerry. “To insist that our notions about human rights ought to be a prerequisite for receiving aid would be arrogant and imperialistic.”
Anti-Gun Hypocrisy Denied
While campaigning vigorously against easy access to assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, Mark Kelly—husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz)—was spotted purchasing the very type of weapon he wants the law to prohibit.
Kelly denied he was being hypocritical, insisting that “my position that ordinary people shouldn’t be allowed to own such weapons isn’t contradicted by my actions. First of all, I am no ordinary person. I’m one of the very few humans who has been into outer space. Second, I am the husband of a member of this country’s ruling elite—one, I might add, who was nearly killed by an armed assailant.”
“The average person isn’t explicitly targeted by enemies of this country’s government,” Kelly argued. “The average person’s anonymity conveys a protection unavailable to those of us near the pinnacle of the human pyramid. The chance that he would need a gun for protection is statistically insignificant compared to us.”
Subsequent to being called out for his apparent hypocrisy a photo of Gabby Giffords holding an assault rifle has emerged. Kelly maintains that “there is no inconsistency. In fact, if Gabby had an assault rifle on the day she was attacked she might not have gotten shot. I would argue that criminals are deterred by superior firepower.”
Presidential Paranoia Hits New High
President Obama’s “wine-and-dine” offensive took an odd turn this week when he refused to partake of the comestibles for fear of being poisoned. At a working lunch with several GOP members of Congress Obama said he couldn’t eat because his official food-taster was unable to accompany him.
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) tried to allay his fears by pointing out that everyone was being served the same meal. Even after Obama was offered the option of exchanging plates with any of the other diners he still declined to eat and contended that “every plate could well be tainted” and that “I wouldn’t put it past the GOP to willingly sacrifice a dozen legislators for the chance to get me..”
Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the President’s caution by pointing out that “it’s possible that all of the other diners could’ve been given the antidote in advance. Let’s not forget that it was right about this time of year when Julius Caesar was killed by treacherous senators. So, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
President Says Cheap Oil a Destroyer, Not Creator of Jobs
President Obama elaborated on his argument against the Keystone Pipeline project by making the case that cheaper oil would not increase jobs in America.
“Let’s just consider one example,” the President suggested. “The portion of this oil that would go into fueling transportation would clearly have a negative impact on employment. Your typical motor vehicle engine has over 100 horse-power. That means if we didn’t have the means to fuel these engines we’d have to use 100 horses to achieve the same transportation result. Is there any question that breeding, raising, feeding, and housing 100 horses would employ more people than tending to one motor vehicle?”
Obama argued that “the neglected alternatives to fossil-based fuels would all offer far more job opportunities. Besides the jobs that would be required to maintain horses, the slower travel speeds would mean more jobs for teamsters on any given haul. Then there’s wind power. Ships relying on this ultra-green source of energy require much larger crews to repeatedly adjust the sails. Couple this with the slower travel speeds and I think you can appreciate the potentially huge increase in the number of man-hours of employment there’d be.”
Representative Lee Terry (R-Neb) called the President’s remarks “disturbing. It’ looks as if he has no grasp of the concept of efficiency or economic progress. Simplistically, the President is right, it would take more time and effort—more jobs, if you will—to move goods by horse than truck. But it would also price many goods we take for granted out of reach for the average person. Taking advantage of technology, like cheaper oil via the Keystone Pipeline, is what enables today’s average person to live like the kings of bygone eras.”
Homeland Security Defends New Uniform Purchase
Revelation that the Department of Homeland Security authorized an expenditure of $50 million for new uniforms at the same time as it was releasing illegal immigrant criminals because of the budget sequester’s “cuts” has raised a few eyebrows.
“Those who are saying we should have postponed the spending on new uniforms so we could afford to keep more prisoners locked up aren’t seeing the bigger picture,” Secretary Janet Napolitano contended. “Our TSA officers are seen by millions of air travelers everyday. The few thousand prisoners we released will impact a much smaller segment of the population.”
The contrasting trade-offs were explained by the Secretary. “The new, more impressive uniforms will convey an admittedly small increment of benefit to each traveler,” Napolitano calculated. “However, the multiplication of each small benefit by millions of daily beneficiaries far outweighs the larger individual costs to the much smaller number of persons who will be harmed by the criminal acts of some of those prisoners we released. So, on a cost/benefit basis, the greater good for the greater number has prevailed.”
President Denies Debt Poses a Problem
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America,” President Obama asserted that “there is no debt crisis in this country” and says he sees “no reason to bargain with Republicans over the budget.”
“The amusing little analogies Republicans are making about households having to make cuts when times are tough simply don’t apply to the federal government,” Obama declared. “I’ll grant that debt can be a problem for households having to cope with limited resources. But how is this relevant to the government?”
“Let’s assume we were going to pay back what we borrowed,” the President said. “In what sense are the government’s resources limited? The GDP is over $15 trillion per year. So one year’s output alone would be almost enough to pay back the whole outstanding debt. All Congress would have to do is enact the appropriate taxes to channel resources into paying debt.”
“Now let’s ask a more radical question—why should we pay back the debt?” Obama continued. “The people who lent the money did so of their own free will. The money was used for the benefit of the American people. A default on the debt would simply be a transfer from the bond buyers—most of whom are wealthy—to everyone else—most of whom are not wealthy. Would that really be so bad?”
Obama was quick to add that he wasn’t necessarily advocating default. “We don’t want to end up in court with creditors suing the government,” he said. “Even though the government is within its sovereign rights to default, litigation would be a pain. Having the Fed create enough additional money to cover all debts is probably the least troublesome way to get out from under any perceived obligation to repay.”
Tax Scofflaws Infest Federal Government
IRS figures indicate that 300,000 federal employees have evaded over $3.5 billion in federal income taxes. Forty White House employees account for over $300,000 of these unpaid levies.
While some in the media find this scandalous, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew does not. “When you think about it, the whole idea of a federal employee having to pay taxes on pay from the federal government is kind of nonsensical,” Lew observed. “Isn’t asking them to give back part of what we paid them wasted motion?”
Lew suggested that “some sort of amnesty is probably the best way to resolve this discrepancy. Most of these people are hard-working and underpaid public servants. We shouldn’t be hassling them for their initiative aimed at reducing the inefficient two-way shuffling of money back-and-forth. A better option for the future would be to exempt all federal employees and officeholders from all federal taxes.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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