Unexpected results of increased religious liberty

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – Political observers here are wondering whether President Ronald Dump received the best political and legal advice before he announced changes to health insurance rules last week.

The changes allow any company or institution that provides health insurance to exclude coverage of birth control if it objects to such provision on religious or moral grounds.

Not terribly surprisingly, the religious/moral grounds for exemption from health insurance legislation have been seized on by a number of minority groups, which say there is no logical or legal reason not to extend the privilege to groups that disagree with other legislation.

For example, the True Grandsons of Zion, a sect excommunicated from the Mormon Church two centuries ago, quickly announced that it was not only reestablishing open polygamy (“We’ve been doing it all the time, but we didn’t say so”) but also making it compulsory.

The next day, the Highest Pope of the Biblical Soothsayers for Christ, Inc., announced that the group had executed a witch by stoning, in accordance with Leviticus 20:27: “A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.”

That announcement was immediately criticized by the Puritan Revivalist Movement, which argued that Christian tradition, as exemplified by the Salem witch trials, dictated that witches should be hung, not stoned. The Movement then demonstrated that it was more opposed to witchcraft than its competitors by hanging three witches, who had been convicted on the clear testimony of five children aged 7 to 10.

The New World Druids, however, issued a press release that was sharply critical of both the BSC and the PRM: “Sending witches or other evildoers to them does not honor the gods, but insults them. Next Wednesday, the New World Druids will pay our respects to the gods by sacrificing three innocents.”

Other religious and moral objections to US legislation are reportedly being prepared by various law firms, although several Muslim fringe groups contacted said they had no illusions that any exemptions might apply to them. And an Ayn Rand Anti-Collective spokesperson replied to Rooters’ query: “It makes no difference to us. We can already do whatever we like.”

Several political observers here agreed with the comment by one of their number, who said that the President “should have been clearer about what qualifies as a religious or moral objection. If he had just said that he was exempting groups that have a moral objection to spending money, he would have accomplished his purpose and not caused all this confusion.”

Posted in birth control, health insurance, religion, witches | Leave a comment

Secretary of State arrested

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – After the first nine months of the Ronald Dump Administration, it was only mildly surprising when the Secretary of State Rexxon Pillager was arrested this morning.

Pillager was taken into custody by the Frequently Bungling Inquisitors (FBI), acting on a warrant charging him with violating the Espionage Act, the 1917 law under which the previous Administration prosecuted a number of individuals accused of revealing government secrets.

It is believed that Pillager is accused of revealing classified information by telling a small meeting of State Department and other officials that the President is “a moron.”

Off the record, Dump Administration officials say that the Secretary’s remark, if accurately reported, could make him guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy, especially including US voters. They added that it can be an offense to reveal information that is classified even it is already publicly well known.

A friend of Pillager who asked for anonymity said that Pillager denies that he’d called the President “a moron.” The phrase used was actually “a failing moron.”

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President, Congress resolve North Korea problem

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – Supported by a large majority of Congress, President Ronald Dump today announced a solution to the North Korean development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

“We are thinking and praying about this,” the President said. “That settles it, so we can move on to the border wall, which I may also think and pray about.”

The President added a remark to cover the possibility that the thoughts and prayers might not be totally effective. “Anyway, if Rocket Fingers was going to nuke California, he’d have to send it across the ocean. A big ocean. Full of water. Lots of water. And they didn’t vote for me.”

Representatives and Senators from both parties rushed to endorse the President’s solution. A Google search confirms that, in the last 24 hours, the phrase “thoughts and prayers” has occurred more often on Congressional Facebook postings than the word “the.”

Rooters queries of both the executive and legislative branches found no support for further action. One senator summed up the prevailing mood: “If thoughts and prayers can’t do it, what else could?”

The only possible doubts about the solution may have been expressed by the object of the prayers. In early evening, a fiery message appeared in the sky over Washington: “Please stop blaming me.”

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Myanmar leader responds: What she learned from US President

NAYPYIDAW (Rooters agency) – The following are major excerpts from the September19 speech to diplomats delivered by Myanmar’s Unpresident, Aung San Jekyll Hyde:

Today our government has not yet been in power for even 18 months. Eighteen months is a very short time in which to overcome all of the challenges that we have been expected to do.

Nevertheless, in that brief time, we have made considerable progress. For example, 18 months ago, the number of those people living in Rakhine state was well over one million. Our government has already persuaded more than 40 percent of them to go back to wherever it is they came from.

Myanmar does not fear international scrutiny. Since December 2016, local and foreign media groups have been given access to areas previously off-limits in Rakhine. Even after the outbreaks on August 25, we arranged for several media groups to visit the afflicted areas. Several of them got out of hand and looked in directions that we weren’t pointing, so we won’t be repeating that mistake.

However, if you are a polite diplomat – very polite – we can arrange for you to visit these areas, and to ask the majority of those people why they have not fled, why they have chosen to remain in their villages, even when everything around them seems to be in a state of turmoil. We would like to know, for example, if land mines spread along the border by our army have influenced their decision.

With regard to the situation in Rakhine, it is not the intention of the Myanmar government to apportion blame or to abnegate responsibility. Following the wise observation of the President of the United States, we believe that, among the persecutors and the persecuted, the killers and the killed, there are troublemakers and good people on both sides.

We condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence. The security forces have been instructed to adhere strictly to the Code of Conduct that they applied so successfully in the decades before the election of our government. They have been told to exercise all due restraint, and to avoid collateral damage and the harming of innocent civilians. Any civilian who has been harmed and believes they can prove their innocence need only present their evidence, along with their proof of citizenship, to the Rakhine state governor.

With regard to citizenship, a strategy with specific timelines has been developed to move forward the National Verification Process. This process will provide citizenship for everyone of those people who can provide documented proof of their ancestors’ presence in this country before 1824. Contemporary computer records are preferred evidence, but other documents showing previous acknowledgement of citizenship are also acceptable. Such documents were carefully collected by the previous government, and our government has made a high priority of attempting to find them.

We are also trying to promote inter-communal religious harmony by engaging inter-faith groups. A new curriculum is to be introduced in schools with a focus on moral civic ideas and peace and stability. Unfortunately, most of those people’s children have missed such education in the past because those people didn’t provide the proof of citizenship necessary for admission to school.

I understand that many of our friends throughout the world are concerned by reports of villages being burnt and of hordes of refugees fleeing. We too are concerned. We want to find out what the real problems are: I mean, does it really bother those people when their homes are burned and they are raped, tortured and/or murdered?

There have been allegations and counter-allegations. We have to make sure that these allegations are based on solid evidence before we take action. For example, if one of those people says his house has been burned, is there solid evidence that there was previously a real house there instead of ashes? If so, is there solid evidence that he was the legitimate owner of the house, and not a terrorist trying to hamper the necessary land clearance for the government’s planned special economic zone?

We invite you to join us, to discuss with us, to go with us to the troubled areas – where we can guarantee security for you, which we can’t do, because the army wouldn’t obey even if I told them.

So, really, I want you to study the peaceful areas – how have they managed to keep the peace? How have they managed to preserve harmony? Why are they not at each other’s throats in these particular areas? You may notice that in the peaceful areas, there are none of those people, at least not any more. Need I say more?

Posted in Myanmar, Rohingyas | Leave a comment

UN votes to relocate

NEW YORK (Rooters agency) – In a voice vote, the UN General Assembly has adopted the Secretary-General’s recommendation to move the international organization to Washington.

The motion to relocate the United Nations to the Washington hotel Dump’s Dump was presented and motivated by the Secretary-General only a week earlier. “First, it’s a matter of practicalities,” he said. “Very many countries already have lodged their diplomats in the United States in Dump’s Dump. With the UN in the same location, many of these countries will be able make considerable savings on personnel, travel, consultation among their representatives, and so on.”

The Secretary-General denied charges by some media that UN diplomats would be wallowing in luxury once they moved to Washington. “We have specifically rejected renting the rooms with the diamond-studded gold toilet roll holders,” he asserted.

On the economics of the move, “It’s an offer we really can’t afford to refuse,” the Secretary-General said. “As you know, our budget has been restrained by the inability of some member states to pay their assessments on time. Under the arrangements proposed, the rental of United Nations facilities in Dump’s Dump will be paid for by the United States government, these payments being regarded as installments to reduce the $3 billion or whatever it is that the US is behind in its payments.”

This meant, as US ambassador Anarki Hailstorm pointed out, that the UN would occupy Dump’s Dump “rent free for a year, maybe even 15 months if you guys don’t call room service too often.”

Meanwhile, the UN would benefit financially from the privatization and sale of the existing UN building in New York. Arrangements for this were already well advanced, the Secretary-General said, but could not be revealed because they are commercial in confidence.

“The President says this is a great deal for both sides,” Ambassador Hailstorm reported. “For the UN and for the American people. And yes, of course President Dump is an American.”

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Alliance wary of Russian military exercises

ESTONIA (Rooters agency) – A high official of the Nearly Everywhere Treaty Organization has sharply criticized current Russian military exercises as “outrageous” and “threatening.”

Jan Stutterstop, secretary-general of NETO, spoke to reporters after visiting British troops stationed in Estonia as part of NETO strategy to block any sudden Russian move against the Shetland Islands.

Standing less than half a mile from the Estonian-Russian border, Stutterstop said, “It would be terrifying if I weren’t so brave. If you look east from here with a pair of binoculars, you can see hundreds and thousands of Russian troops. They’re moving around in Russian territory as if they owned the place.

“It’s very provocative. You can see how threatening it is to NETO troops, not only in the Baltic states but also in Poland, Hungary, Romania and all those little places that used to be part of Yugoslavia. And they are perhaps an even clearer threat to the troops we intend eventually to station in Georgia and Ukraine.”

The current Russian exercises involve around 100,000 troops. “That’s nearly one-third of the US land and naval forces scattered around the globe,” Stutterstop pointed out. “If the US is able to defend itself with forces spread so thinly, why would Russia need so many troops concentrated just in its own territory?”

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President calls for more statues

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – President Ronald Dump has called for a national effort to “preserve America’s wonderful history and wonderful heritage very much” through the building of “very big very beautiful statues.”

Speaking at a press conference called to explain the Administration’s plan to merge the Boy Scouts with the National Weapons Association, the President departed from his prepared remarks to observe that “the alt-left is ripping American history apart” by opposing “statues that present both sides of history.”

Where is the statue of one of our most successful military leaders in the American Revolution, Major General Arnold?” the President asked. “Even the English appreciate his work. Why is the alt-left afraid of this? There were many very fine people helping General Arnold.”

President Dump also criticized “the Washington swampy elite who want to centralize and destroy your rights” for opposing his proposal to “erect a statue of George Wallace, a fierce defender of the rights of the states,” in front of the Supreme Court.

The President announced that he was creating a new Presidential Advisory Panel. This was necessary because of the loss of all the previously existing Presidential Advisory Panels, which puffed off into irrelevance when they discovered that the President wasn’t interested in advice from anyone about anything.

President Dump said that the new Presidential Advisory Panel on Statues (PAPS) will be tasked with considering “historical heritage people of our very American history” who could be the subject of new statues. He had himself already nominated Father Charles Coughlin, because of his “historic historical role of bringing religion into government.”

Other names reported to be under consideration because of their undeniable role in American history include Lee Harvey Oswald and Charles Manson.

Rooters has so far been unable to confirm a leak from within the Administration that PAPS will also be asked to recommend whether and how Mount Rushmore “could be updated with more modern Presidents.”

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