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SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News

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SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: August 16, 2020 Edition

City Council Member Praises Mob

Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant expressed her disgust with Police Chief Carmen Best's resignation, saying "this tool of capitalist oppression had the nerve to object to the Council's decision to reject her beloved 'law and order' and replace it with a more progressive vision for our City."

"We need to represent the will of the people," Sawant said. "Just the other night Black Lives Matter protesters were chanting 'who do we protect? Black criminals.' These so-called criminals are the very victims of capitalist oppression that Best so enthusiastically wants arrested and punished. Blacks have been impoverished by capitalism. They have a human right to expropriate or destroy the property of the capitalist class. This includes the shopkeepers who man the front lines of the capitalist war on the little people. Rather than side with the socially just resistance in this war, Best has inserted police to defend the ill-gotten gains of the capitalist oppressors and to physically assault those trying to assert the people's right to take their fair share of the community's wealth."

"The sadness expressed by the nation's Oppressor-in-Chief Donald Trump and his lackey William Barr at Best's departure should be enough to persuade any right-thinking person that we will be better off without her and the police department goons she so loves," Sawant added. "It is my fervent hope that what has gone on in the streets of our City will inspire voters across the nation to choose socialism by electing Joe Biden our nation's next president."

Oregon State Police Pull Out of Portland

The 100 State Troopers sent to Portland to protect the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse are being withdrawn because the City's district attorney refuses to press charges against any of the rioters the Troopers arrested.

Capt. Timothy Fox explained that "it makes no sense for us to risk life and limb trying to stop criminals from burning down the courthouse if the DA is just going to release them to rejoin the nightly attacks on this federal facility. We can't win the war for law and order if those intent on flouting civilized behavior face no consequences for their destructive behavior. Putting criminals behind bars is a necessary action if good is to triumph over evil."

It is unclear whether the departure of the State Troopers will result in their replacement by the federal agents they were meant to relieve under the agreement reached between President Trump and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) two weeks ago. Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) said "I hope not. The presence of unwanted federal forces in our City was intolerable. Their departure was a key step to resolving the standoff. With the State Troopers now gone maybe the mob will let the courthouse be. If they still decide to burn it down at least that will eliminate a focal point for their animus against law enforcement."

Biden Wants Everyone to Wear Masks

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says "every American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months at a minimum. It will decrease the risk of getting the coronavirus expodentially. Of course in an ideal world everyone should be staying at home like I am. If you don't go anywhere you can't get infected. Staying home is what we should all do."

"Trump's notion that we should open up the economy is insane," Biden contended. "The federal government has the power to create money. They can just mail everyone a government check. There is no need for anyone to have to risk going to work just to make a living. Pretending that people have to do this as Trump and the Republicans are is simply attempted murder—something my new running mate Kamala Harris has vowed to prosecute once I also name her my Attorney General."

"The best we can hope for in the interim is for the 50 governors to implement statewide mask-wearing for whenever you leave the house," Biden said. "With over 120 million Americans already dead from the coronavirus since February you'd think this simple measure would have already been taken because at the rate we're going I'm afraid that there won't be any people for me to govern by the time I'm inaugurated."

In related news, dentists are reporting a decline in dental health from all the mask wearing people have been doing during the pandemic. "In about 50% of our patients we're seeing inflammation in gums that have been healthy forever, and cavities in people who have never had them before," says Dr. Rob Ramondi, a co-founder of One Manhattan Dental. "Gum disease will eventually lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks."

Facebook: Robots Will Protect Us from Bad Ideas

In its brazen march toward totally unconstrained power over information, Facebook is now touting its "unmatched utilization of artificial intelligence to detect and eradicate harmful content and misinformation."

Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of integrity, explained that "the average human isn't competent to judge whether information is misleading or harmful. Fortunately, the superior minds at Facebook are diligently expanding the scope of artificial intelligence—robots, if you will—that can make these distinctions for the less gifted among us."

"A particularly acute problem that has intensified during this election year has been hate speech," Rosen said. "The volume alone has surpassed the capacity of human interdiction. Fortunately, we have been able to program simple key words and phrases to flag potentially offensive posts. A few examples are 'Trump,' 'MAGA,' and 'law and order.' We find that posts using these words in a positive sense almost invariably contain misleading and/or harmful content. This enables us to delete these posts before too much damage is done."

"Over the longer term we envision a day when artificial intelligence can completely replace human thinking," Rosen speculated. "Thinking is one of the most complex and difficult tasks for ordinary humans. If we can relieve them of this burden we believe that the quantity of human happiness among this segment of the population can be dramatically increased. Polls already show that a majority of people have enjoyed the veg-out and binge watching of streaming TV that has occurred during the lockdowns. There no good reason why this can't become the new normal for the nonessential members of society."

Lightfoot Blames Trump for Rioting & Looting

Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) put the blame for the rioting and looting going on in Chicago on President Trump, saying that "people are frustrated over his coronavirus response. They're particularly scared about being forced to go back to work. Trump's indication that the government checks everyone has been getting during the pandemic won't be permanent is frightening. People felt safe staying home knowing that the money they need to live would be in their mail box or bank account each week. Now, they're terrified."

"Terrified people do terrifying things," the Mayor reasoned. "Breaking windows and looting stores should have been a foreseeable consequence of the decreased and eventual phase-out of federal pandemic payments." Oddly for the Mayor's theory, it wasn't food stores that were robbed, but high-end retailers in the Miracle Mile district. Reminded of this, Lightfoot offered the opinion that "just because you are desperate doesn't mean you don't appreciate a little luxury in your life. Why wouldn't the poorest among us want a Gucci bag?"

"Maybe if we had been quicker to defund the police and shift the money to social programs like some of our sister cities have the looters wouldn't have done what they did," the Mayor speculated. "Fewer police means fewer victims of police brutality and the righteous rioting that can be expected to follow from that brutality. The knowledge that a future 911 call would be routed to a social worker rather than a cop could have exerted a calming influence that would have dampened the enthusiasm for a spree of looting."

Black Lives Matter organizer Ariel Atkins led a protest demanding the release of the more than 100 looters arrested by the police in the Miracle Mile riot. "I don't care if someone decides to loot a Gucci… or a Macy's… or a Nike… because that makes sure that that person eats," she insisted. "These people are not criminals. The stuff they took is part of the reparations they are owed for slavery. And the stores are all insured, so no one was hurt by by the looting."

In a next-day follow-up to the Miracle Mile looting, rioters destroyed large sections of the city, including the Ronald McDonald House where families were staying to be near the hospital where their severely sick children were being treated. Though the Ronald McDonald House is a charitable activity, a spokesman for the rioters pointed out that "MacDonald's is one of the biggest corporate oppressors in the world."

Cuomo Nixes Probe of Nursing Home Deaths

Though his state led the world in coronavirus fatalities occurring in nursing homes and despite bipartisan support for a probe in the State Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) says "there is no need for an investigation." It was the Governor's controversial March 25th order that required nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients and exposed the uninfected elderly already housed in these homes to high risk.

"Look, what's done can't be undone," Cuomo argued. "We can't bring these people back to life. We should let them rest in peace. I think it's time that we all forgive and forget any mistakes that may have been made in our struggle to cope with an unprecedented pandemic."

State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) disagrees with the Governor. "If we want good state policies and procedures we ought to investigate what the Governor admits were 'mistakes' so as to avoid repeating them in the future. This seems like just common sense to me."

The Governor wasn't persuaded by Rivera's argument, calling it "politically motivated. Let's face it. There is no unbiased party who can be trusted to fairly weigh all the evidence. I've made a mental note of the mistakes that occurred. I'm well-situated for avoiding a repeat of them in the future. I can see no good coming out of additional unnecessary inquiries. Besides, I have already signed documents pardoning all the involved parties from any crimes that may have been committed or liability that may have attached for any actions taken during the crisis. So, the issue is now moot."

While the "official" count of nursing home victims in the state is around 6,400, the death toll could be much higher. The reason for this is that only deaths occurring inside the nursing homes were added to the official tally. Nursing home patients who were on the verge of death were usually transferred to a hospital where they died shortly thereafter. Those deaths were then attributed to the hospital, not the nursing homes. Based on the 13,000 "deficit" in nursing home beds occupied this year compared to last year the fatalities could be double the official tally.

Nearly 50% of Black Small Businesses Wiped Out

According to a report issued by the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the lockdowns decreed by governors in response to the coronavirus pandemic drove nearly half of black-owned small businesses out of business. This was nearly three times the failure rate of white-owned small businesses.

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden declared that "on the surface this might appear to be a bad thing, but a fuller understanding of what it means to be a small business owner shows that it is a good thing. No one has to work harder than the owner of a small business. Eighty-hour workweeks are the norm. The financial risk is off the charts. Bankruptcy is an all too common fate."

"We shouldn't be encouraging blacks to take on such a load for so little reward," Biden asserted. "That is why I'm supporting H.R. 2474: Protecting the Right to Organize Act. This bill discourages people from going into business for themselves when they should be joining unions to fight for higher wages. The idea of becoming self-employed is a dream, but the reality is a nightmare."

"Basically, a capitalist economy has two types of job classifications—workers and bosses," the former Vice-President alleged. "Workers are the doers of society. Bosses are scum who steal the workers' surplus labor to get rich. We must protect all those who are born into the working class from aspiring to join the exploiting class. These are the souls I'm fighting to save in this election. In the new economy that my administration will give to America the capitalistic bosses will be replaced by socially-conscious government overseers who will demolish the greed that pushes people to take on the arduous tasks and risks of owning and operating a business. All the common people will be united for the collective well-being of society and energized by the opportunity to labor for the common good rather than for the profit of the capitalist exploiters."

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