John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin spurred an incensed Attorney General Eric Holder to vow to rein-in “the senseless concept of self-defense.” A Florida jury decided that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, used deadly force in self-defense after the bigger Martin attacked him, knocked him to the ground, and proceeded to beat him—breaking his nose, blackening his eyes, and bashing his head against the pavement.
“We don’t live in some primitive state-of-nature where everyone must defend himself,” Holder asserted. “We are a civilized society. It is the Government’s Constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. Granted, Government agents can’t be everywhere all the time, but to use this as an excuse to allow individuals to decide how much force they can use to protect themselves is a formula for anarchy.”
The Attorney General claimed that “in an ideal world only government officers would have weapons. We are assiduously working toward that ideal, but aren’t there yet. Until we get there we ought to insist that self-defense be limited to a response in-kind. If someone punches you you’d be entitled to punch back, but not to escalate by retaliating with a weapon. If this concept of self-defense had been in place, Trayvon Martin would be alive today. Zimmerman might have taken a severe beating, but he’d probably have survived. The social cost of the run-in between these two would’ve been lower than it turned out to be under our antiquated concept.”
While admitting that he cannot seize all the privately owned guns, Holder took some small satisfaction in his authority to seize Zimmerman’s gun as “evidence” in a prospective trial for violating Martin’s civil rights. “The scope of the benefit is narrow and probably temporary—though, who can say how long our investigation might take,” Holder observed. “At the very least, we have disarmed an admitted killer for a while.”
In related news, Press Secretary Jay Carney disavowed the government’s responsibility to protect Zimmerman from widespread death threats. “To imply that the President has an obligation to protect this guy is ridiculous,” Carney maintained. “Besides, isn’t Zimmerman an advocate for self-defense? Wasn’t that his claim at his trial? I suppose he felt strong facing one unarmed teenager, but maybe isn’t so brave with hundreds after his scalp. He should’ve thought of that before he pulled the trigger on a boy who could’ve been the President’s son.”
Benghazi Investigation Blocked by Non-Disclosure Agreements
Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va) says that sources have informed him that key witnesses to the events surrounding September 2012’s attack that killed Ambassador Stephens and three other Americans in Benghazi have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements.
“As I understand it, these people have been threatened with loss of employment, lawsuits and possible prison time if they testify before Congress,” Wolf said. “Non-disclosure agreements may be appropriate in a business context where proprietary secrets must be protected from competitors. However, they strike me as completely inappropriate as a means of blocking Congressional oversight of government operations.”
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the agreements as “more humane than the alternative. The Government has an absolute right and obligation to protect itself from revelations that could damage its credibility or ability to carry out its policies. The Government ought to be able to count on its employees to refrain from revealing state secrets. We need to be able to counterbalance Congress issuing threats in order to try to compel testimony. The non-disclosure agreement gives these employees legal grounds to refuse to answer questions.”
Kerry warned Congress “not to push the issue lest the Government be compelled to resort to the more drastic measures used by some other governments where witnesses simply disappear never to be heard from again. If Congress persists in its dangerous quest for information it doesn’t really need the blood will be on their hands.”
Pelosi Says Abortion Opponents “Out of Step”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) characterized the recent successful effort in Texas to limit late term abortions as “sexually naive” and “out of step with the times.”
“To listen to those who oppose a woman’s right to choose you’d think that reproduction was the most important aspect of sexual intercourse,” Pelosi sneered. “The era of ‘begetting’ has long since passed. It is a rare individual that engages in sex just to have a child. The main objective is personal pleasure. Pregnancy is an unfortunate and unwanted byproduct most of the time. As President Obama has said, should a woman be punished with a baby just because she wants to enjoy her body?”
Mayor Says Sexual Harassment Charges “Bogus”
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (D) dismissed allegations that his physical contact with employees constitutes sexual harassment. The grabbing, squeezing, and kissing is all part of what he calls “my hands-on management style. I’m a very outgoing and loving person. I shouldn’t be penalized for showing my affection.”
Council Woman Donna Frye, who has demanded that Filner resign as Mayor, disputed his characterization of his behavior. “He got me in a headlock and demanded I kiss him,” Frye charged. “That goes way beyond the bounds of what’s acceptable.”
Filner also denied that he has engaged in sexual harassment insisting that “I don’t discriminate against the ugly ones. Neither have I neglected the men. It’s just that none of them has been so ungrateful as to complain about the added attention I give them.”
Obama Won’t Save Detroit from Bankruptcy
Despite boasting during last Fall’s reelection campaign that he wouldn’t let Detroit go bankrupt, President Obama says he now has no plans to bail out the beleaguered city. After decades of fiscally imprudent spending, the City is unable to pay its bills.
“I have to admit that when I first heard about the possibility I thought there was no way I could let that happen,” Obama said. “But as it’s been explained to me, the City can just default on its bonds and that debt will be wiped out. These bonds are mostly owned by rich people who don’t really need that money.”
Another factor justifying defaulting on the bonds according to the President is that “they were bought as a way to avoid paying taxes on the income. You see, interest earned on municipal bond is tax-free. So, in a way, these bond holders have been cheating the government out of its rightful share of their earnings for a long time. Canceling these bonds now helps even the score.”
IRS Admits Targeting GOP Candidates
The U.S. Department of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has admitted privately to Senator Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) that the IRS “targeted for audit candidates for public office.”
The IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, the person named by several IRS underlings as the individual directing this targeting, maintains he has done nothing wrong. “What many people overlook is that Secretary of Homeland Security designated tea party groups as potential threats to the government,” Wilkins offered in his defense. “Realistically, the possibility that this threat could undermine the government was much larger than that posed by al-Qaeda. How could I be expected to sit by idly and do nothing to avert or mitigate this threat?”
Mayor Seeks to Prevent Trayvon-Style Tragedy in NYC
Proclaiming himself to be “stupefied by the insensitivity of the verdict” in the Zimmerman trial, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg decreed a new “obligation to retreat” policy for City Police. Under the policy, law enforcement officers will be required to disengage from confrontations with criminal suspects whenever a risk of bodily harm to the officers or suspects may be present. Henceforth, police will only be permitted to use nonviolent means of maintaining the peace and apprehending law-breakers.
“While our City has made great strides in disarming the general public, we have to acknowledge that a disconcertingly large percentage of minority fatalities occur at the hands of City police officers,” Bloomberg said. “Therefore, I am instructing that if suspects decline an officer’s request to halt or to accompany him to the station house and assume a hostile stance, the officer must deescalate the situation by whatever means necessary. It is better that the suspect escape than that the use of deadly force result in tragedy.”
The Mayor acknowledged that the union is not happy with the new policy, but argued that “the police will still be armed and can still use these weapons as a last resort if backing away and ducking for cover are insufficient. What we’re trying to prevent is a situation where if a suspect is putting a ‘beat-down’ on an officer he feels he’s within his rights to unholster his weapon. An officer ought to be able to take a punch and not lose his cool.”
The new policy received an unqualified endorsement from MSNBC commentator Al Sharpton. “It levels the playing field,” Sharpton declared. “By putting the burden of maintaining the peace on the so-called peace officers it respects the dignity of the accused and protects him from police harassment.”
This new policy of disengagement and deescalation is expected to supplement the recent order banning the use of race in police BOLO and APB alerts.
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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