Homeland Security Urges More Citizens to Spy on Neighbors

By John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano warned Americans not to take the slaying of Osama bin-Laden as a cue to ease up on our vigilance. “Al-Qaeda is not the only threat to our government,” Napolitano said. “Enemies are everywhere.”

Because enemies are everywhere Napolitano urged everyone to keep an eye out for signs of trouble.

“If you know of people in your neighborhood who have guns let us know,” the Secretary requested. “If you overhear conversations that are critical of government policies or programs give us a call.”

Napolitano counseled against “letting hazy conceptions about Constitutional rights deter anyone from reporting suspicious activity. An attitude of ‘zero tolerance’ should be everyone’s ‘rule-of-thumb.’ Don’t hold anything back. Let the courts decide who’s guilty. That’s their job, not yours. You shouldn’t try to judge for yourself whether what you see or hear may be innocent behavior.”

“Getting every loyal citizen on-board with our surveillance program is vital,” Napolitano maintained. “The Department’s budget is limited. We can’t afford to put officers everywhere we want. If enough Americans voluntarily assist us we can achieve maximum security with existing resources.”

Feds Raid Home Seeking Student Loan Repayment

A federal SWAT operation kicked down the doors of Kenneth Wright’s home in a 6 A.M. raid because his wife, who no longer lives at the residence, failed to repay her student loan. Wright, who had been sleeping, was dragged out of the house in his underwear, thrown face down on the front lawn and held at gunpoint. His three children were not harmed.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan defended the harsh tactics. “Too many people are defaulting on their student loans,” Duncan pointed out. “The old system of pursuing collections through the courts may have been the only alternative available to private lenders, but the government has other options.”

“People may ignore a civil summons, but it’s hard to ignore a dozen armed men breaking into your home,” Duncan bragged. “Fear and humiliation can be powerful incentives for paying your debts. I see no reason why we shouldn’t make use of these incentives.”

The fact that the debtor in question was not at the location of the SWAT raid in this instance was characterized as “a minor miscalculation. Would we have liked to haul in Mrs. Wright? Sure, but the  main objective is to make the point that bad things can happen to those who don’t pay up and to those who may harbor them.”

Attacks on Weiner “Culturally Backward”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews called criticism of Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) “culturally backward.” Weiner is currently under fire for sending nude pictures of himself to women across the nation and then lying about it.

“People say they want transparency from government,” Matthews observed. “What’s more transparent than a naked picture? Isn’t it saying ‘I have nothing to hide?’”

Matthews urged Weiner to resist pressures for his resignation. “He needs to stay the course,” Matthews argued. “Now is not the time to surrender to narrow-minded notions of what constitutes appropriate behavior. People shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies. We shouldn’t hound out of office a visionary who has staked out new ground toward overcoming senseless inhibitions.”

As for Weiner’s initial denials, Matthews acknowledged “it was a mistake born of modesty and shouldn’t be held against him. Besides, politicians have lied about worse things. Remember the weapons of mass destruction fable that led us into war? I think we cut the Congressman some slack on this.”

In related news, Representative Weiner announced that he had explained his actions to former President Bill Clinton and been “completely forgiven.” “No one has suffered more from the criticisms of our puritanical culture than President Clinton has,” Weiner contended. “His compassion for my predicament and unwavering support for my continuing to serve in Congress was very uplifting. He is truly an inspiration and model for all who aspire to public service.”

Presidential Advice on Coping with Hard Times

Half way into a third year of economic recession during his term, President Obama offered his advice to families suffering from the effects of high unemployment and home mortgage defaults.
“First, don’t spend all your money,” Obama said. “As hard up as you may be, your finances can’t be in as bad a shape as the government’s. Chances are the government is going to need more of your money. What you’ve saved could be crucial to keeping government up and running.”

“Second, there’s a difference between saving and investing,” the President went on. “Saving just means you haven’t spent the money. Investing means the money has been put to more productive use. Your personal savings can be put to better use through government investments. So, it’s good to put something aside that the government can recycle into socially needed investments.”

“Finally, open your mind to new realities,” Obama concluded. “Don’t allow yourself to be hemmed in by out-dated premises like earning money before you spend it or that you have to pay back what you owe. If you can borrow money you can spend before you earn. If you have a greater need for the money than the lender you aren’t morally obligated to pay it back. My Administration has diverted some of the flow of money from the haves to the have-nots. Debts have been cancelled or reduced. In the regime of ‘hope and change’ I’ve brought to America you can reap what you have not sown if you can adapt to the new paradigm.”

In related news, Democrats are threatening to vote against raising the debt ceiling unless it includes raising taxes. “Why should the government have to borrow money when there’s plenty lying around in private hands?” Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) asked. “We should be able to take money that people don’t need.”

GM Calls for Higher Fuel Taxes

Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors, suggested that Congress raise gasoline taxes by at least $1 per gallon in order to encourage more people to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

“The Chevy Volt is a real dog as far as sales go,” Akerson complained. “Even with government subsidies we are having a hard time moving these $40,000 cars off the dealers’ lots. We figure that the higher the price of gasoline goes the better the Volt will sell. We’re getting some help from a shortage in fuel supplies thanks to President Obama’s drilling ban, but it’s not enough.”

“Of course, in an ideal world, only hybrids like the Volt would be legal,” Akerson opined. “But that’s probably not feasible until after the 2012 election. Until then, we’d hope that Congress could nudge gas prices up a bit by boosting the tax rate per gallon.”

Police Seize & Destroy Witnesses’ Cell Phones

Police in Miami Beach, Florida destroyed all witnesses’ cell phones after one of them used a phone to record the police fire 100 bullets at a suspect. The shooting left the suspect dead and four bystanders wounded.

Police spokesman, Richard Tator explained that the phone confiscation was “standard procedure.” “Multiple recordings of enforcement activities generate unnecessary complications that could endanger the prosecution’s case,” Tator asserted. “To avoid this problem officers are instructed to expunge all unauthorized recordings.”

The crushing of a half-dozen cell phones may not have accomplished the desired objective, though. One witness, Narces Benoit, managed to extract his phone’s memory card and conceal it in his mouth before police grabbed his phone. Images of the shooting have since been posted on YouTube—an action for which Benoit may be charged with “obstructing an official police investigation.”

Administration Insists Libyan War Actions Legal

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney deflected Congressional charges that the Administration is not in compliance with the War Power Act. Under that Act, any military action against another country cannot go beyond 60 days without express Congressional approval.

“As the President sees it, Congress hasn’t told him to stop what he’s doing in Libya,” Carney reminded. “I mean, the 60-day threshold has come and gone. Congress is within its rights to block funding for this war. The fact that they haven’t tells me they are okay with it.”

Carney also cited a resolution co-authored by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz) and John Kerry (D-Mass) that endorses the Administration’s attacks on Libya as “evidence of bi-partisan support for the President’s actions. On top of this, UN Security Council Resolution 1973 also provides authorization for the actions we’ve taken. So, in the absence of any definitive action in opposition from Congress the President feels he has a ‘green light’ to do whatever he deems necessary in this matter.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens Archives

More John Semmens’ Archives

3 thoughts on “Homeland Security Urges More Citizens to Spy on Neighbors

  1. Tom

    If this is a “satirical look” could you please make it clear to everyone whether or not these incidents actually happened?

    1. arizona today

      Dear Mr. Kirby,

      The entire column of Mr. Semmens is marked as satire at the beginning and the end of the commentary — every week. That is sufficient.

  2. If these are supposed to be “satirical” please make it clear whether any of these incidents actually happened. Too much of what actually goes on looks like satire and things like John Stewart’s patched together interviews look too real, so please write a disclaimer.

Leave a Reply