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NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

A place to spoil daily issues for those who haven't had them yet, snigger at typos, and discuss ideas for new ones.
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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:42 am

Greetings, **SPOILER ALERT**

This thread was started and maintained by Ballotonia for many years.
why he transferred the maintenance of this thread. It was then subsequently managed by Riemstagrad.

This thread is to keep track of all issues in NationStates.

This thread is not for asking general questions or to ask for changes to issues
See the Got Issues FAQ



Current number of issues: 364
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#000: Should Democracy Be Compulsory?
#001: Where's The Love Gone?
#002: Reclaim The Streets!
#003: Harry Potter Censorship Row
#004: Economic Collapse Looms!
#005: Child Casino Shock
#006: Appointment Of Spiritual Advisor
#007: Animal Liberation Front Strikes Again
#008: Nudists Demand Time In Sun
#009: @@ANIMAL@@s On The Dinner Table?
#010: Social Inequality Reaching Embarrassing Levels
#011: People Request Not So Much Dictatorship, If That's All Right
#012: Death Penalty On Agenda
#013: Too Much Yakking, Already, Say Delegation
#014: Military Demands Increased Spending
#015: More Police Needed
#016: @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ Workers Strike!
#017: Corporations Demand Political Say
#018: Citizens Struggle Under "Unfair" Tax Burden
#019: @@NAME@@ Awash With Red-Rimmed Eyes
#020: Gunman Kills Three
#021: Police Consider "Big Brother" Anti-Crime System
#022: Nazi Sympathizers Plan Rally
#023: Uranium Deposit Promises To Enrich @@NAME@@
#024: Budget Time: Accountants Excited
#025: Cloning Research Promises New Breakthrough
#026: Compulsory Organ Harvesting Proposed
#027: Cash for Colons?
#028: Cancer Sufferer Demands Euthanasia Bill
#029: Minorities Demand Representation In TV Soaps
#030: Auto Industry Struggles Against Foreign Imports
#031: Get Efficient, Private Sector Tells Nature [MantiCorp GroundForces]
#032: One Wife Is Never Enough, Say Polygamists [Fantasan]
#033: Genetics Brings New Life to Extinct Species [Badger Lozzate]
#034: Don't Puff On Me, Say Non-Smokers [Sirocco]
#035: Refugees Want To Call @@NAME@@ Home [The True Scroat]
#036: International Community Comes Doorknocking [Guadalcanal]
#037: Traffic Cops Needed on Information Superhighway? [Snowcat]
#038: @@NAME@@ Looks to the Stars [Sentient Peoples]
#039: Scandal Rocks @@NAME@@'s Government! [The SLAGLands; ed:The SLAGLands]
#040: Hukd on Fonix Workd 4 Me! [Bostion; ed:Reploid Productions]
#041: Software Giant Stomps on Competition [1 Infinite Loop; ed:The SLAGLands]
#042: Turn Down That Racket, Say Morality Police [The Prelapsarian State; ed:The SLAGLands]
#043: Prisoners Demand Elbow Room [Lucazmodei; ed:The SLAGLands]
#044: No Pain, No Gain! [Independent Planets; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#045: Baseball League Steps Up To The Plate [Pilot; ed:The SLAGLands]
#046: Jennifer Government Censorship Row [Sirocco; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#047: The Great Wall of @@NAME@@? [1 Infinite Loop; ed:Reploid Productions]
#048: Give Us Healthcare Or Give Us Death! [Dictator Amanda; ed:Reploid Productions]
#049: Diving For @@CURRENCY@@s [Nogero; ed:Reploid Productions]
#050: Whips, Chains, And Leather, Oh My! [Yacatizma; ed:Reploid Productions]
#051: Streaker in Snooker Game Fiasco [Sirocco; ed:Reploid Productions]
#052: Is It Art Or Is It Porn? [Imnsvale; ed:Reploid Productions]
#053: Orbital Armageddon? [The US Marine Corps; ed:Reploid Productions]
#054: Time To Put The Older Senators Out To Pasture? [Pangaa; ed:Reploid Productions]
#055: Bigtopian Protesters Cry For Full Integration [Grantwold; ed:The SLAGLands]
#056: "Give Us Money!" Quoth the Poet [Ursoria; ed:Reploid Productions]
#057: Electronic Plague in @@NAME@@! [Sentient Peoples; ed:Reploid Productions]
#058: Violent Violetists Demand Blood! [Total n Utter Insanity; ed:Reploid Productions]
#059: Drunk Driving On The Rise [Cspalla; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#060: Supreme Court Nomination [Nuttylnd; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#061: Should The Government Grant Estates And Titles Of Nobility? [Leptonia; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#062: Oh, The Angst! [Uni Students; ed:Reploid Productions]
#063: Tykes With Tools? [New Parakeet; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#064: Put The "Board" Back In Board Of Education [Curia; ed:Reploid Productions]
#065: Should Martial Law be declared? [American Militarists; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#066: Transsexual Demands Recognition In Chosen Gender [Melmond; ed:Enodia]
#067: Most Likely To Secede [Leptonia; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#068: Ornery Overcrowding Problem [Frigben; ed:Reploid Productions]
#069: Power Problems Need Bright Solution [Plumbumia; ed:Reploid Productions]
#070: Purge The Infidels! [SalusaSecondus; ed:Reploid Productions]
#071: Minority Group Demands Language Recognition [Pragmas; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#072: Widening Buttocks Cause Movie Theater Havoc [The Velvet Cockatiel; ed:The SLAGLands]
#073: @@NAME@@ - Without Cars, Going Nowhere Fast [Reploid Productions; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#074: @@NAME@@'s Racers Growing Fast And Furious [Nascar Thunder; ed:Reploid Productions]
#075: Cutting Off Sex Offenders? [Istar; ed:Reploid Productions]
#076: Suits in Protest [Xibonia; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#077: World To End, Or Possibly Just Mark Anniversary {One Year Anniversary issue, now an Easter Egg bonus}
#078: Easter Egg: Should We Pull The Lever? [Meddlers; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#079: @@NAME@@'s @@ANIMAL@@s: Going The Way Of The Dodo? [Naelosia; ed:Reploid Productions]
#080: Easter Egg: Aliens Wish Peace/Trade Agreement [Exiled; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#081: Close Encounters Of The Sci-fi Kind? [Spyr; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#082: AI Researchers Rally For Android Rights [Eniqcir; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#083: High-Speed Monorail Service Promises Connections [Baudrillard; ed:Reploid Productions]
#084: Compulsory Gun Ownership? [Tristram; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#085: Illegal File-Sharing Flares [Frigben; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#086: Save The @@ANIMAL@@ [Oddballfullness; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#087: Burn! Burn Everything! [PRC China; ed:Reploid Productions]
#088: Cannibals Demand To Taste What @@NAME@@ Has To Offer [Sovereign Discord; ed:Reploid Productions]
#089: "Don't Dam Our Rivers, Damnit!" Say Protesters [Frigben; ed:Reploid Productions]
#090: Organic Outburst [Dark_Zephyr; ed:Reploid Productions]
#091: Sacramental Tax Time? [Rational Self Interest; ed:Reploid Productions]
#092: @@NAME@@ Officials Needled About Mandatory Vaccinations [GDrabble; ed:Reploid Productions]
#093: Affirmative Action in @@NAME@@? [The Orange Freestate; ed:Reploid Productions]
#094: Computer Users Fed Up With Heaps of Spam! [Bored Yawning; ed:Reploid Productions]
#095: Painful Prices Paid At The Pump [Aljerfribish; ed:Reploid Productions]
#096: Water Supply Problems Becoming A Major Drain [Calvin n Hobbes; ed:Reploid Productions]
#097: Landfills Filling Up [Edolia; ed:Sirocco]
#098: Police Want More Than Shiny Badge [Hata-alla; ed:Sirocco]
#099: We Need Cash, Sharpish, Say Librarians [Os Cosia; ed:Sirocco]
#100: Road Rage Rampage [SatanSpermSpawn; ed:Reploid Productions]
#101: Tiara Sign Of Oppression, Declare Feminists [The Prelapsarian State; ed:Sirocco]
#102: For Whom The Road Tolls [Ta Kala; ed:Sirocco]
#103: Plague Of The Hybrids! [Serenthis; ed:Sirocco]
#104: Public Loudspeakers Shrill With Controversy [Alpha Centauri; ed:Sirocco]
#105: Compensation Culture Must End, Say Corporations [Zhudor; ed:Sirocco]
#106: Give The Red Light District The Green Light? [Lmaortfmolia; ed:Sirocco]
#107: Private Lab Holds @@NAME@@'s Sick To Ransom [Silverbrook; ed:Sirocco]
#108: Gambling Interests Offer High Stakes [New Sweden X; ed:Reploid Productions]
#109: Karate Kids Cause Controversy [Yarrum; ed:Sirocco]
#110: Too Low On Laws, Say Citizens [Kandarin; ed:Sirocco]
#111: Southern @@NAME@@ Demands Semi-Autonomy [Ceroo; ed:Sirocco]
#112: Put The Phone Down On Cold Calling? [Frigben; ed:Sirocco]
#113: Test Results Deemed 'Ungood' After Global Survey [Der Angst; ed:Sirocco]
#114: Wipe Out Graffiti? [Gelvanie; ed:Sirocco]
#115: @@NAME@@'s Schoolchildren Not Learning The Lingua Franca [Travis Dominicus; ed:Sirocco]
#116: Soda Sales Hits New 'High' [Foe Hammer; ed:Sirocco]
#117: Stop The Suits, Say Surgeons [Ravenspire; ed:Sirocco]
#118: Need For Speed? [Atlantic Rim; ed:Sirocco]
#119: Watershed Down? [New Cyprus; ed:Sirocco]
#120: Two Parties For Too Long? [Ren Yi; ed:Sirocco]
#121: A Uniform Plan For @@NAME@@'s Students? [Scheelia; ed:Sirocco]
#122: Pensioners In Protest [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
#123: Now, Vat's Food For Thought [Tahar Joblis; ed:Sirocco]
#124: To Paint Or Not To Paint? [Aoifambia; ed:Sirocco]
#125: Bring Back The Ballot? [Centralis; ed:Sirocco]
#126: Outsourcing An Outrage, Say Demonstrators [Enerica; ed:Sirocco]
#127: Aging Concerns In @@NAME@@ [Sirocco; ed:Reploid Productions]
#128: Ban The Burka? [Much Benham; ed:Sirocco]
#129: Tribal Troubles [Olasonph; ed:Sirocco]
#130: Filibuster Bust-Up [The Kennedy Family; ed:Sirocco]
#131: Raise Duel Standards, Say Fencers [The Gaelic Freedmen; ed:Sirocco]
#132: World Assembly Woes [Sanctaria; ed:Frisbeetria]
#133: When @@ANIMAL@@s Attack! [The Class A Cows; ed:Sirocco]
#134: The Truth Is Out There? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]
#135: A Taxing Dilemma [Claraxia; ed:Sirocco]
#136: Much Ado About Abortion [Aquilla; ed:Sirocco]
#137: Arms Industry Demands Respect [Koternacht; ed:Sirocco]
#138: Keep The Greenbelt Green, Say Protesters [Big-Yellow-Taxi; ed:Sirocco]
#139: Drug Debate Hits The Streets [Docere; ed:Sirocco]
#140: A Grave Problem [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]
#141: Police Too Pushy? [Myrth; ed:Sirocco]
#142: Roads Like Roller Coasters, Complain Motorists [Mirkai; ed:Sirocco]
#143: An Archaeological Altercation [Fiscali; ed:Sirocco]
#144: Democracy Going To The Dogs? [Libertarian Haven; ed:Sirocco]
#145: Hackles Raised Over Fur Clothes Debate [Naturhio; ed:Sirocco]
#146: Evolution: Truth Or Witchcraft? [Holbrookia; ed:Sirocco]
#147: Military Budgets Up For Approval [Greater Philadelphia; ed:Sirocco]
#148: Spare The Rod, Demand Welfare Activists [Eastern Newfoundland; ed:Sirocco]
#149: With Liberty, Freedom, And Guns For All? [Frigben; ed:Sirocco]
#150: Bug 'em All, Say Police [Niziania; ed:Sirocco]
#151: Build Bigger Bombs, Advise Scientists [Benevolent Nations; ed:Sirocco]
#152: A Capital Idea [Hestrael; ed:Sirocco]
#153: Protesters Have Gone Too Far, Claim Police [Utopian Gandhism; ed:Sirocco]
#154: Ban The 'Boards, Say Pedestrians [HappyFluffyBunnies; ed:Sirocco]
#155: Curfew Meets Minor Opposition [Daedor; ed:Melkor Unchained]
#156: Waste Going To Waste, Says Industry Lobby [DeFranzania; ed:Reploid Productions]
#157: Sergeants Are Too Nasty, Say New Recruits [Mirkai; ed:Sirocco]
#158: Regarding Robbers' Rights [Robmuirpoems; ed:Sirocco]
#159: Think Tank Proposes Privatised Prisons [Yejuda and Shomron; ed:Sirocco]
#160: Truancy On The Rise [Nouvelle Quebecshiree; ed:Sirocco]
#161: Where There's A Will There's A Tax [Rehochipe; ed:Sirocco]
#162: Animal Experimentation Laws Under Scrutiny [Voroziniya; ed:Sirocco]
#163: Referenda: Are they Right For @@NAME@@? [Ideal State; ed:Melkor Unchained]
#164: Licence To Breed? [Kazcaper; ed:Sirocco]
#165: Wedlock Worries [Ice Hockey Players; ed:Sirocco]
#166: Vote For 'None of the Above'? [Kamikachidonia; ed:Reploid Productions]
#167: Fluoride Controversy A Toothy Problem [Enlightened Harmony; ed:Sirocco]
#168: @@NAME@@ Plagued By STD Epidemic! [Eta Carinae; ed:Reploid Productions]
#169: @@ANIMAL@@ Hunting Laws Under Dispute [Vigorithia; ed:Sirocco]
#170: Deserts Devouring @@NAME@@'s Countryside [Goobergunchia; ed:Sirocco]
#171: Kids And Criminality: Whose Responsibility? [East Stalinia; ed:Sirocco]
#172: Church Attendances Reaching New Low, Warn Priests [Realm of Idiots; ed:Sirocco]
#173: Women Demand Equal Opportunities [HammerCrusher; ed:Sirocco]
#174: Maternity Leave A Must, Say Mothers [Vashaan; ed:Sirocco]
#175: Is @@NAME@@ Too Promiscuous? [Masalium; ed:Sirocco]
#176: History A Mystery To Most Of @@NAME@@ [Diet Mug Root Beer; ed:Sirocco]
#177: Power To The People? [Whatia; ed:Sirocco]
#178: Free Press Too Free? [Ice Hockey Players; ed:Sirocco]
#179: Mad @@ANIMAL@@ Disease Outbreak! [The Stevillian Empire; ed:Sirocco]
#180: Mobile Maladies [Grindleria; ed:Sirocco]
#181: Radio Rebels Ruffle Government [Dupeksland; ed:Myrth]
#182: Younger Voters a Cure for Apathy? [South Westerburg; ed:Myrth]
#183: Buy A Better Baby? [Sci; ed:Myrth]
#184: Compulsory Military Service Under Attack [Randino; ed:Myrth]
#185: "Bring Back Our Booze!" Cry Revellers [Eta Carinae; ed:Myrth]
#186: Carjacking Concerns [Vortengard; ed:Myrth]
#187: @@NAME@@'s Underclass Drowning In Debt [Crazahkistan; ed:Myrth]
#188: Video Games Too Violent, Say Parents [The Stakanian Isles; ed:Sirocco]
#189: Dangerously Cheesy [Disposablepuppetland; ed:Reploid Productions]
#190: Immigrants Import Homeland Rivalries [Rowaria; ed:Reploid Productions]
#191: Blood Banks Running Dry [Karmanyaka; ed:Sirocco]
#192: Coup d'Etat In @@NAME@@! [Miravesel; ed:Sirocco]
#193: Robots Leaving Workers Jobless [The Ethics Union; ed:Sirocco]
#194: A Request For Military Aid [The Rogue Soldiers; ed:Sirocco]
#195: Right Of Way Or Wrong Of Way? [Teaberry; ed:Sirocco]
#196: Violent Violetists Protest Artists [SalusaSecondus; ed:SalusaSecondus]
#197: Breastfeeding In Public: Innocent Or Indecent? [Bronteland; ed:Sirocco]
#198: Gypsies In A Field [CR Oscilloscopes; ed:Sirocco]
#199: More Jails Needed [Deleuze; ed:Sirocco]
#200: Birds, Bees, And Breeding Teens [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]
#201: Jolly Roger Sighted Off The Port Bow! [I V Stalin; ed:Sirocco]
#202: Guns Or Butter? [Roman Republics; ed:Sirocco]
#203: Suffer The Starving Children? [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]
#204: Lack Of Doctors Needs Cure [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
#205: No More Broccoli, Beg Meat-Eaters [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]
#206: @@NAME@@ Narrowly Misses Nuclear Accident [Takuma; ed:Sirocco]
#207: Secret Police In @@NAME@@? [GX-Land; ed:Sirocco]
#208: Mine Collapse Rocks @@NAME@@ [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
#209: Students Demand Financial Aid [Rajlworld; ed:Sirocco]
#210: Going Postal [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
#211: Unconventional Weapons Under Fire [Hellenic Glory; ed:Sirocco]
#212: Police Wanting Help With Their Inquiries [Prasland; ed:Sirocco]
#213: Bus Drivers Say No To Double-Decked Deathtraps [Angels World; ed:Sirocco]
#214: Voting For More Money [Not Quite Dead Peoples; ed:Sirocco]
#215: Easter Egg: What's Your Favourite Colour? [Antioch and the East; ed:Sirocco]
#216: Eminent Domain: Inherent Right Or Daylight Robbery? [British Londinium; ed:Sirocco]
#217: Healthcare Services Underfunded, Claim Patients [Lunar Village; ed:Sirocco]
#218: Two Mommies One Too Many? [Duffla; ed:Sirocco]
#219: Nobody Expects The @@NAME@@ Inquisition! [Habardia; ed:The Most Glorious Hack]
#220: Voter Apathy Rising But No One Cares [Clorse Ivy; ed:Sirocco]
#221: Outdated Tax Code Crushing @@NAME@@? [Padosistan; ed:Reploid Productions]
#222: Terrorists Strike City Centre [Silicar; ed:Sirocco]
#223: Easter Egg: Zombie Attack! [Naliitr; ed:Sirocco]
#224: Minimum Wage War [Vincon; ed:Sirocco]
#225: Prayer In Public Schools? [Vincon; ed:Sirocco]
#226: Expats Plea For Help In War-Torn Country [The Mones Islands; ed:Sirocco]
#227: Underage Drinkers: Social Menace Or Misunderstood? [Amisdar; ed:Sirocco]
#228: Mice In The Walls [Esarchia Marksista; ed:Sirocco]
#229: Government Saturated In Corruption [Kordothistan; ed:Sirocco]
#230: Extremists On The Ballot Sheet [Omigodtheykilledkenny; ed:Sirocco]
#231: Jungle Fever [Luxtizeria; ed:Sirocco]
#232: Suffragette City [Night Island; ed:Sirocco]
#233: I Spy A Diplomatic Crisis [Good old Communism; ed:Sirocco]
#234: Corruption In The Lobby [The Seniors of Zion; ed:Sirocco]
#235: From Green Pastures To Grey Wastelands [Airstrip thirteen; ed:Sirocco]
#236: Quickie Marriages Under Scrutiny [Plutocycloptika; ed:Sirocco]
#237: Tourists On Death Row [The New Inquisitors; ed:Sirocco]
#238: We Need A Few Good Men Who Like Men? [Scolopendra; ed:Sirocco]
#239: We Who Are About To Die Would Rather Go Home [The Lost Romans; ed:Sirocco]
#240: Plea Bargains: Tipping The Scales Of Justice? [Jacobaea; ed:Sirocco]
#241: A Capital City For @@NAME@@? [Sirocco]
#242: Follow The Leader [Sirocco]
#243: A Question Of Faith [Sirocco]
#244: Foreign Invasion Force Takes On Small Farming Community [Altlands; ed:Sirocco]
#245: Clash Of Cultures [Drunk Cowboy Junkies; ed:Sirocco]
#246: @@NAME@@ To Hold The Olympic Torch? [Yenen; ed:Sirocco]
#247: Where There's Smoke [Avartinate; ed:Sirocco]
#248: The Sky Is Falling [Freedomstaki; ed:Sirocco]
#249: Particle Accelerator Sparks High Energy Debate [Milostein; ed:Sirocco]
#250: Recession, Depression, And Deficit [The Realist Polities; ed:Sirocco]
#251: The Trouble With Hobos [Responsible; ed:Sirocco]
#252: Great Balls Of Fire! [Unibot; ed:Responsible]
#253: How Much Democracy Is Too Much? [Kandarin; ed:Kandarin]
#254: Freedom Comes At A Price [Responsible; ed:Responsible]
#255: Welfare Programs Not Faring Well [Glen-Rhodes; ed:Glen-Rhodes]
#256: Easter Egg: Suburbs Are Out Of This World [Scolopendra; ed:Sirocco]
#257: @@LEADER@@ Assassinated... Almost [Hessinator; ed:Responsible]
#258: What's In A Name? [Zombitosis; ed:Sirocco]
#259: A Taste Of Revenge [South Von; ed:Kandarin]
#260: Taxpayers On Strike! [Makinsanity; ed:Kandarin]
#261: Plastic, Plastic Everywhere [Nation of Quebec; ed:Kandarin]
#262: Sticks And Stones [Zwangzug; ed:Sirocco]
#263: Wind Farms Blowing Up A Storm [Alathaea; ed:Sirocco]
#264: Not A Drop To Drink [Vincon; ed:Kandarin]
#265: To Bail or Not to Bail? [Niryuugoku; ed:Glen-Rhodes]
#266: Breaching the Great Fourth Wall of @@NAME@@ [Reploid Productions; ed:Reploid Productions] {Easter Egg}
#267: Controversial Coup Causes Commotion [Sedgistan; ed:Sedgistan]
#268: Don't Want Your Kid Anymore? Good News! [Aligeretha; ed:Glen-Rhodes]
#269: Stop The Presses! [Lenyo; ed:Sanctaria]
#270: Space Spectacular Sours Small Stargazers [Luna Amore; ed:Frisbeeteria]
#271: Vigilantes: Heroes Or Hoodlums? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]
#272: Slow Down, You’re Going Too Fast [Frisbeeteria; ed:Frisbeeteria]
#273: Is our children learning? [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]
#274: Brotherly Love - A Bit Too Close to Home? [Afforess; ed:Sanctaria]
#275: Wiki Worries [Maurepas; ed:Lenyo]
#276: Circus Clowns Cause Chaos! [Sanctaria; ed:Maurepas]
#277: Say Cheese! [Crazy girl; ed:Sedgistan]
#278: Relief is Coming... in Four to Six Weeks [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]
#279: A Vat Lot Of Trouble [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]
#280: Oh the Humanity! [Prevania; ed:Reploid Productions]
#281: Free Internet For @@NAME@@? [Solisbury; ed:Sirocco]
#282: Slum Village Extraordinaire [Foxopolis; ed:Dustistan]
#283: Wealthy Flee to Tax-free Havens [Gior Altheriod; ed:Lenyo]
#284: Drug Legality Run Amok [Kahleb Il Vilan; ed:Lenyo]
#285: A Right Not to Work? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]
#286: A Whale of a Problem [Doom and so on; ed:Luna Amore]
#287: Maxtopians Demand Return of the King [Gior Altheriod; ed:Luna Amore]
#288: Super-Sized Pizzas Recipe For Disaster? [New Ziedrich; ed:Luna Amore]
#289: Blizzards Serve Calls Cold, Says Mayor [Unibot II; ed:Sanctaria]
#290: Wheels of Misfortune [New Ziedrich; ed:Lenyo]
#291: A Question Of Sport [Dustistan; ed:Sanctaria]
#292: Tourists Wearing Out Their Welcome? [Virtualila; ed:Luna Amore]
#293: Maestro, Please [Castle in the Sky; ed:Luna Amore]
#294: Ghost Riders on the Sly [Fmyeram; ed:Luna Amore]
#295: Give Us Pockets or Give Us Something Else [Ferringinar; ed:Maurepas]
#296: Come On Baby, Fight My Fire [Kukes; ed:Luna Amore]
#297: Intersex Athletes Demand Level Playing Field [Gior Altheriod; ed:Sanctaria]
#298: Cults: Harmless or Heretics? [Tybusenia; ed:Frisbeeteria]
#299: Some Like it Hot; Others Don’t [Kotlas; ed:Lenyo]
#300: Trafficked Tots Trouble [Crazy girl; ed:Sedgistan]
#301: Are 'Friends' Electric? [I V Stalin; ed:Lenyo]
#302: Delivering Mayhem In Thirty Minutes Or Less! [New Ziedrich; ed:Lenyo]
#303: Digital Revolution Requires Re-evaluation [Coddiac; ed:Frisbeeteria]
#304: Time for Paternity Leave, say Dads [Gior Altheriod; ed:Lenyo]
#305: Who’s Occupying What? [Nexexen; ed:Lenyo]
#306: A Matter of Trust [Nation of Quebec; ed:Sanctaria]
#307: Derailing the Gravy Train [Burtina; ed:Luna Amore]
#308: Over, Under or Through? [Platform VII; ed:Luna Amore]
#309: Guerrilla Grandparents [Luna Amore; ed:Lenyo]
#310: Too Little Talk? [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]
#311: Victims Demand Their Pound of Flesh [Frisbeeteria; ed:Luna Amore]
#312: The Empire Strikes First? [Maleperduys; ed:Sedgistan]
#313: Conscientious Objectors Want You... To Let Them Abstain [Great Nepal; ed:Luna Amore]
#314: An Affair to Remember? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]
#315: Creative Flowers Withering Under Legislation [Panageadom; ed:Luna Amore]
#316: Fortified Against Crime [Praedico; ed:Lenyo]
#317: Big Brother Is Watching You Surf [Vintaland; ed:The Most Glorious Hack]
#318: Death Penalty on Death Row? [Andacantra; ed:Sanctaria]
#319: Sizing Up The Competition [Cosumar; ed:Luna Amore]
#320: Criminals to Vote? [Iglesian Archipelago; ed:Sanctaria]
#321: Cowboys and... Aliens? [Carlosianor; ed:Luna Amore]
#322: Empathy a Rare Commodity? [The Cookish States; ed:Luna Amore]
#323: Get Teens out of MyFace? [Malsitar; ed:Lenyo]
#324: "Tourism Tanking!" Tells Tabloids [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]
#325: Blazing Through the Paper Trail [Euphilium; ed:Luna Amore]
#326: Knitters In A Knot Over Police Stitch Up [Tsaraine; ed:Sanctaria]
#327: No Rest For The Weary @@ANIMAL@@ [Black and Brindle; ed:Sedgistan]
#328: Bugged by Lack of Intelligence [Mediterreania; ed:Sanctaria]
#329: Military Uniforms Under Scrutiny [Crimsonrayne; ed:Sedgistan]
#330: Supermarkets Gobbling Up All The Customers? [Fayd; ed:Luna Amore]
#331: Swept Away [Mostly armless; ed:Dustistan]
#332: Summit Security Spending Stirs Strife [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]
#333: No Sacrifice, No Sacrifice At All [Emunia; ed:Sanctaria]
#334: Blot Out Bauhaus [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]
#335: Log us Back On [Turtleshroom; ed:Luna Amore]
#336: Polygamy Causes Division [Lordieth; ed:Lenyo]
#337: Doctors Crossing Borders? [Whiskey hill; ed:Sanctaria]
#338: The Silence and the Fury [The golden koko; ed:Luna Amore]
#339: The Bear Necessities [Sovietiya; ed:Lenyo]
#340: Defending Patent Pending [Panageadom; ed:Luna Amore]
#341: Where in the Woods is Cindy SanFrancisco? [Ignorent Peeple; ed:Luna Amore]
#342: This Land Was Made For You And Me [Luna Amore; ed:Kryozerkia]
#343: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? [New Andram; ed:Lenyo]
#344: Trash Talk [Luna Amore; ed:Lenyo]
#345: Mayors Behaving Badly [Nation of Quebec; ed:Sanctaria]
#346: Oils Well That Ends Well [Jarethania; ed:Luna Amore]
#347: Crime Problems Ganging up on @@NAME@@ [The murtunian tribes; ed:Lenyo]
#348: I Want A Lawyer [Marxist socialismchillville; ed:Sanctaria]
#349: Bigtopian Bigwigs Beset Border [Koomu; ed:Sedgistan]
#350: Queasy Cuisine [Avlain; ed:Sedgistan]
#351: The Cost of Freedom [Waideland; ed:Lenyo]
#352: Going Off The Rails [Milograd; ed:Sanctaria]
#353: Broadband Going To The Birds? [Astracarn; ed:Luna Amore]
#354: Subversive Shortwaves [The Grand Dilligaf; ed:Lenyo]
#355: Alien Invaders [Ignorent peeple; ed:Lenyo]
#356: @@NAME@@ In The Time Of Cholera [Wonnie; ed:Lenyo]
#357: Vamos, Mi @@ANIMAL@@! [Octuagesimo Octavo; ed:Sedgistan]
#358: Not Another Teen Pregnancy [Valrifell; ed:Sanctaria]
#359: Got Democracy[Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]
#360: Electile Dysfunction [Christian Democrats; ed:Lenyo]
#361: @@CAPITAL@@, We Have A Problem [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]
#362: After The Fall [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]
#363: The Apotheosis of @@LEADER@@? [The tovian way; ed:Sedgistan]
#364: It's UterUs, not UterYou! [Ranbo; ed:Luna Amore]
#365: A Busload of Worry [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]
#366: Prosecute Stolen Valour, Says Military [The sky city of columbia; ed:Sanctaria]
#367: What's Their Beef? [Nouvel Ecosse; ed:Sedgistan]
#368: Female Workers Feeling The Pinch [Relana; ed:Sedgistan]
Last edited by Andacantra on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:58 pm, edited 112 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
Chief Kitty of the Cat Burglars
Bi-gameplayers: Raiding and defending because both are fun and ok
Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:43 am

Variables used:
@@ANIMAL@@: National animal (from settings)
@@CAPITAL@@: Capital city (from settings)
@@CURRENCY@@: National currency (from settings)
@@FAITH@@: National religion (from settings)
@@LEADER@@: National leader name (from settings)
@@NAME@@: Nation name (short, without pretitle)
@@NAMEINITIALS@@: Initials of @@NAME@@ (short, without pretitle)
@@POPULATION@@: Nation population, including "million" or "billion"
@@POPULATION_VALUE@@: Nation population in millions
@@REGION@@: Region name
@@SLOGAN@@: National motto (from settings)
@@TYPE@@: Nation pretitle (from settings) : The @@TYPE@@ of @@NAME@@
@@DEMONYMNOUN@@: Noun form of the national demonym (from settings)
@@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@: Adjective form of the national demonym (from settings)
@@DEMONYMPLURAL@@: Plural form of the national demonym (from settings)
@@DEMONYMADJECTIVEINITIALS@@: Initials of @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@.

@@RANDOMNAME@@: Combination random first and random last name. Last Names can also be words copied from the nation's own settings, including the nation name. Game-provided first and last names are:
First names, 109: Aaron, Abraham, Agnes, Akira, Al, Alexander, Alexei, Ali, Anne-Marie, Ariel, Barack, Beth, Bharatendu, Bianca, Bill, Billy, Billy-Bob, Britney, Bruce, Buffy, Buy, Calvin, Charles, Chastity, Chloe, Clint, Colin, Colleen, Cooper, Dave, Doris, Efthamia, Elaine, Elizabeth, Ella, Emily, Erica, Faith, Falala, Fanny, Finlay, Fleur, Freddy, George W., Gertie, Gregory, Gretel, Hack, Heather, Hillary, Hope, Imogen, Jack, Jacob, Jamil, Jazz, Jean-Paul, Jennifer, Jessica, Johann, Kathleen, Kayla, Klaus, Konrad, Lara, Larry, Lars, Lauren, Margaret, Maria, Marleen, Mary, Matilda, Max, May, Megan, Mia, Miranda, Mohammed, Naki, Natalia, Peggy, Pete, Pip, Prudence, Randy, Rebecca, Renee, Robin, Rochelle, Roger, Rosalia, Roxanne, Ruby, Samuel, Sarah, Sashona, Sophie, Stefanie, Steffan, Stephanie, Sue-Ann, Thomas, Tobias, Violet, Virginia, William, Xu, Zeke.
Last Names, 108: al-Zahawi, Anderson, Barnes, Barry, Broadside, Bronte, Brown, Bush, Chandra, Chen, Cheswick, Chicago, Cho, Christensen, Christmas, Clinton, Cohen, Cruz, de Castro, de Groot, de Jong, de Vries, Dimitrov, Dodinas, Dovey, Dredd, du Pont, Dubois, Eliot, Falopian, Fellow, Frederickson, Giono, Goethe, Gutenberg, Hamilton, Han, Hanover, Harishchandra, Hendrikson, Hernandez, James, Jamieson, Janssen, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Khan, King, Laine, Leach, Lee, Levy, Li, Licorish, Longbottom, Longfellow, Lopez, Love, Malik, McAlpin, McGuffin, McKay, Mistletoe, Mombota, Nagasawa, Neumann, Nguyen, O, O'Bannon, Obama, Patel, Peters, Plath, Pushkin, Rifkin, Rikkard, Rubin, Sanchez, Sato, Schultz, Shiomi, Silk, Singh, Smith, Song, Sparkle, Spirit, Steele, Strange, Summers, Suzuki, Taffs, Tan, Thiesen, Trax, True, Usman, Utopia, Wall, Washington, Winters, Wong, Woolf, Wu, Yeats, Zhimo, Zhu.
@@RANDOMNAME_REVERSED@@: Like @@RANDOMNAME@@, but with all letters in reverse order. Capitalization is changed to be on the left of each name.

@@MAJORINDUSTRY@@: Your nation's biggest industry. Possibilities are:
Industries, 17: Arms Manufacturing, Automobile Manufacturing, Basket Weaving, Beef-Based Agriculture, Book Publishing, Cheese Exports, Door-to-door Insurance Sales, Furniture Restoration, Gambling, Information Technology, Pizza Delivery, Retail, Soda Sales, Tourism, Trout Farming, Uranium Mining, Woodchip Exports.
Last edited by Andacantra on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:19 am, edited 11 times in total.

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:44 am

#000: Should Democracy Be Compulsory?

The Issue
In response to a slow news week, certain highbrow newspapers have stirred up the debate over voluntary vs compulsory voting.

The Debate
1. "Compulsory voting makes about as much sense as having the death penalty for attempted suicide," says civil rights activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You can't force people to be free! You can only give them the choice. Besides, if all those derelicts who can't be bothered to get off their butts once every few years voted, who would they elect? I shudder to think."

2. "It's not contradictory at all," argues political commentator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The fact is, if not everyone votes, the outcome isn't truly representative. Some groups--like elderly gun nuts--vote more often than others. That's why we always end up with such terrible politicians."

3. "This raises an interesting issue," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your brother. "And that is: why do we need elections, anyway? Seems to me it would be much simpler if you just decided what was right, and did it. Wouldn't that save everyone a lot of time?"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#001: Where's The Love Gone?

The Issue
Last night the respected tabloid TV show "60 Minutes" ran a report on @@NAME@@'s rising divorce rate. What is happening to the nuclear family?

The Debate
1. "There's a simple solution," says Pastor Felix, of the Catholic Church. "Divorce should be illegal. 'For better or worse,' anyone remember how that goes? We should return to the good old days, when you got married for life and stuck by your partner no matter how much of a drunken, abusive, adulterating disappointment they turned out to be."

2. John Black, author of the hit book, 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Some Whole Other Place,' has a simpler solution. "If couples would just call each other 'darling' once in a while, there would be far fewer relationship breakdowns. A little affection is all it takes. So the government should make it mandatory: call your spouse 'darling' at least once a day, or face a fine."

3. "There's a simple way to boost the marriage rate," says gay rights activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Abolish those archaic laws that discriminate against same-sex marriages. It's obscene to treat people differently because of their sexual preference. Besides, everyone knows gay relationships are more stable than straight ones."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#002: Reclaim The Streets!

The Issue
Several major city streets were clogged with bicycles this morning, as the environmental group 'Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad' staged a protest. Several hundred riders ambled through downtown streets, blissfully ignoring the torrent of abuse hurled at them by thousands of motorists running late for work.

The Debate
1. "People are sick of dirty, smelly automobiles," said protest organizer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They're choking the city, the environment--our lives! Cars must be banned!"

2. "The only thing people are sick of is long-haired idiots riding their bicycles at two miles an hour on major thoroughfares," says committed motorist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "People shouldn't be able to protest like this. The government needs to crack down on them."

3. The Automotive Manufacturers Association, meanwhile, has called for government support. "It's clear that we need to boost the level of automobile support in this country. This protest this morning is a clear indication of... um... anyway, we need more government funds."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#003: Harry Potter Censorship Row

The Issue
The latest "Harry Potter" book to hit schools across @@NAME@@ has stirred up the greatest controversy yet.

The Debate
1. "I quite enjoyed the book, until I got to the part where Harry summons evil demons to do his bidding," says religious leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Now that's just wrong. We need to restore some sense to this debate, by which I mean we should remove this book from the shelves, salt it thoroughly, and burn it."

2. Teachers union President @@RANDOMNAME@@ says, "Come on, the book is fantasy! And it's a damn good read. I'd like the government to issue a statement of support for our teachers and librarians, so kids can enjoy good books without interference from religious wackos, like Christians."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#004: Economic Collapse Looms!

The Issue
Big business, fed up with over-regulation in @@NAME@@, are heading offshore in ever-increasing numbers.

The Debate
1. "Good riddance!" says noted environmentalist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Sniff that air! It's never been so clean! At last, our society is freeing itself from the consumer death-trap! I say it's time to take the final step and outlaw capitalism once and for all!"

2. "This is a catastrophe waiting to happen," says the Chamber of Commerce. "Think of the consequences! Without big business, where do the jobs come from? Where do we get our medicine? Our cars? Our latest fashions? There are dozens of useless regulations the government could abolish today to make life easier for commerce, and it's high time they did."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#005: Child Casino Shock

The Issue
Children as young as eight have been spotted gambling in some of @@NAME@@'s seedier casinos.

The Debate
1. Social activist @@RANDOMNAME@@ is outraged. "Gambling needs to be outlawed immediately. It's no wonder children are becoming sucked into the vice, with adults setting such a poor example. Gambling is a stain on @@NAME@@'s international reputation and it must be stopped!"

2. However, Crown Casino chairperson @@RANDOMNAME@@ says, "What's wrong with children gambling? It prepares them for the realities of life, teaching them that success or failure is not due to hard work or intelligence, but the roll of the dice. Besides, if kids weren't gambling, they'd be spraypainting trains."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#006: Appointment Of Spiritual Advisor

The Issue
It's time for the government to hire a new religious advisor. Your people have narrowed down the candidates to:

The Debate
1. Catholic Archbishop @@RANDOMNAME@@: boasts an excellent track record, having rapidly increased church attendances in his constituencies through the "Reaching God Through Guilt" program. Seen as a solid choice.

2. New Age thinker @@RANDOMNAME@@: a left-field candidate with some radical ideas. "For me, it's not about the name of your religion. It's about discovering your spirituality in whatever guise that takes. Some people call that a cult: I call it taking spirituality to the people."

3. Finally, there's @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If I am awarded the appointment, I will immediately resign," the ex-schoolteacher has declared. "Because, frankly, God is a big load of hokey. I'll be doing everyone a favor by just shutting up about it."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#007: Animal Liberation Front Strikes Again

The Issue
The increasingly militant Animal Liberation Front struck again last night, freeing dozens of chickens bound for delicious snack packs.

The Debate
1. "These nuts have got to be stopped," demands concerned consumer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They need to face the fact people want snack packs, no matter how many innocent chickens must be sacrificed. Besides, chickens would do the same to us if they had the chance."

2. "These Liberationists are highlighting an important issue," pleads @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Too often, animals are put through needless cruelty, just to make their flesh taste a little more deliciously succulent. I'm sure we could ban the more horrific abuses without putting too much of a dent in our national obesity figures. Couldn't we?"

3. "Animals have feelings too!" yelled protestor @@RANDOMNAME@@, before being set upon by hungry passers-by. "Free the animals! Ban meat-eating!"

4. Economist @@RANDOMNAME@@ has an alternative. "You don't need to take away the people's right to choose. You just need to build the costs of animal suffering into the price. A tax on meat-eating, in proportion to the amount of cruelty involved, would do the trick. Plus think of the benefit for the national coffers! Of course, poor people wouldn't be able to afford meat, but that's just more incentive for them to get jobs."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#008: Nudists Demand Time In Sun

The Issue
A loose coalition of sartorially-challenged individuals known as "Let It All Hang Out" has called on the government to relax public nudity laws.

The Debate
1. "For too long, our bodies have been trapped in these prisons of cotton and polyester!" yelled protester @@RANDOMNAME@@, while apparently developing a nasty case of sunburn. "We must repeal the puritanical laws that make public nudity a crime. My body--my choice to dangle!"

2. "I agree," mused sociology professor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But I don't think the protestors are going far enough. Public nudity shouldn't be an option: it should be compulsory. Nudity is highly liberating. And it would put that disgusting "Hooters" out of business once and for all."

3. "Whoa, whoa," says noted accountant @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Are these people serious? The last thing I want to see when I'm out for a coffee is some lumbering, over-weight nudist coming down the sidewalk toward me. If people want to get naked, they can do it in the privacy of their own homes. Think of the children!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#009: @@ANIMAL@@s On The Dinner Table?

The Issue
In a bid to provide a new revenue stream for @@NAME@@'s Beef-Based Agriculture industry, it has been suggested that @@ANIMAL@@s could be added to the menu.

The Debate
1. "The fact is, the @@ANIMAL@@ population is out of control," says Beef-Based Agriculture spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We have to do something about them anyway, so why not market them as tasty snacks? We could have @@ANIMAL@@ kebabs, @@ANIMAL@@ pies, @@ANIMAL@@-on-a-sticks--the possibilities are endless! Let's not pass up this golden opportunity to provide a feast, if you will, for our economy."

2. "I agree that something needs to be done about @@ANIMAL@@ over-population," says random passer-by @@RANDOMNAME@@, "but eating them? That's kind of gross. Let's just shoot the ones we have to and shovel their bodies into ditches like normal."

3. "I am shocked and appalled!" declared SPCA President @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If anyone needs to be culled, it's us humans. The @@ANIMAL@@s were here first, remember? We need to take this as a sign to get our industry--agriculture in particular--to back off. The @@ANIMAL@@ is part of what makes @@NAME@@ a great nation!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#010: Social Inequality Reaching Embarrassing Levels

The Issue
Commentators have warned that @@NAME@@'s social inequalities threaten to make it an international pariah.

The Debate
1. "Look, I don't like it either," said Chamber of Commerce spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Just on the way here, I had to step over three homeless people, and one of my shoes got caught on a beggar. But inequality is the price we pay for economic strength. If anything, we need fewer taxes, so those of us who are well-off can afford to be more generous. If we want to, that is."

2. "I think we've forgotten what economic strength is all about," says social worker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The economy is meant to be a means to a high standard of living, not an end in itself. It's become an excuse for the rich to prosper while the poor fall through the cracks. Not everyone is poor because they don't feel like working. We must provide more welfare."

3. "Who says we're an international pariah?" demands military honcho @@RANDOMNAME@@. "What are their names? If that's the way the international community feels, we obviously need to prepare for war."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#011: People Request Not So Much Dictatorship, If That's All Right

The Issue
While effusively praising @@NAME@@'s leadership and bowing repeatedly, a delegation has humbly requested that the government take a more "modernistic" view in the future.

The Debate
1. The High Minister for Finance, who also happens to be your brother, dismisses the claim. "What these people fail to realize is that you know what's best for them. The alternative is anarchy! I say stick to your course. And execute these wackos for treason."

2. "Perhaps the people could be given some more political freedoms," muses your Chief of Staff, who is your sister. "Is there really such harm in allowing public discussion of ideas? We could even have a real Opposition Party. One that isn't just full of your puppets, I mean."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#012: Death Penalty On Agenda

The Issue
Following a tragic double-murder, capital punishment has surged as an election issue. There now appears a real possibility that right-wing candidate @@RANDOMNAME@@, running on a "Do the Crime, pay the Penalty" platform, will gain power. While society's intelligentsia is outraged, debate rages as to whether the government should intervene.

The Debate
1. "This is a democracy, remember?" rhetorically questions Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the University of Greater @@NAME@@. "That means that if the people want something, the people get it. I hate to say it, but in the name of political freedom, we need to accept that our country will have the death penalty."

2. "I'm sorry," says Civil Rights Unionist @@RANDOMNAME@@, "but this travesty cannot be allowed to pass. If the government needs to crack down on lunatic fringe groups in order to keep our great nation free of the death penalty, then so be it. We must ban the politics of hatred and fear!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#013: Too Much Yakking, Already, Say Delegation

The Issue
Some people say @@NAME@@'s policy on free speech has gone too far.

The Debate
1. "These days, anyone says whatever they want with no regard to what kind of dribble is coming out of their mouths!" says angry commuter @@RANDOMNAME@@. "It's gone too far. We should go back to the good old days, when if someone started talking garbage, we'd smack them one."

2. "We need more free speech, not less," argues civil rights campaigner @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Free speech allows ideas to be explored, challenged, and discussed in a productive, open forum. It teaches our kids to be critical thinkers. And dirty words, of course, but that's just the price you pay."

3. "The right to free speech is a central tenet of our system of democracy," says religious leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But surely the right to not have your religious beliefs mocked by others is worth something, too? We mustn't put up with intolerance!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#014: Military Demands Increased Spending

The Issue
The Department of Defense has put its case for a substantial increase in funding for the coming financial year.

The Debate
1. "These are turbulent times we live in," says Defense Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Turbulent and dangerous. And the only sensible response to that, of course, is to build a lot more weapons. Unless we get the funding we need, I can't promise that we'll be able to defend @@NAME@@'s sovereign borders from rogue nations and foreign powers. Or those leaky boatloads of refugees, for that matter."

2. "NO MORE BOMBS," chant the protestors outside Parliament House, in a repetitious and increasingly annoying appeal. Spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@, speaking through a feedback-afflicted microphone, says, "@@NAME@@ needs fewer weapons, not more! Make the world a safer place! Disarm now!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#015: More Police Needed

The Issue
As crime rates rise, some in the community are calling for increased policing.

The Debate
1. "Just the other day, I got mugged in the broad daylight!" says ruffian @@RANDOMNAME@@. "And the ironic thing is I had just stuck up this other guy. When muggers are getting mugged, even I have to admit that crime has gotten out of control. We do need more police."

2. "The solution to crime is not more police!" says noted sociologist and occasional crime novelist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Studies repeatedly show that crime is caused by poverty and poor education. Increase government spending in these areas, and crime will fall! Maybe not overnight, but it will happen."

3. "Yeah, good luck with that," says conservative leader and gun enthusiast @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Look, we do need more police, that's clear. But that's not enough. We need real punishments: sentences that will act as a genuine deterrent to people considering a life of crime. Like public floggings."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#016: @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ Workers Strike!

The Issue
Workers across the nation have gone out on indefinite strike over what they claim are substandard wages in the @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ industry.

The Debate
1. "We are the backbone of this country, and we demand a fair wage rise!" says union leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I don't think a 20% increase over two years is too much to ask. Unless the government forces employers to give us our due, we'll shut this whole industry down! Let's see how well @@NAME@@'s economy manages without any @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@, huh?"

2. "We pay our employees very generous wages," says employer representative @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Especially when you consider that without us, they'd be OUT ON THE STREET. Hear that, you scumbags? OUT ON THE STREET! Anyway, my point is, if you cave in, you make our entire industry uncompetitive. You can't do that in the global marketplace. It'll hurt the whole country. The best solution, economically speaking, would be to relax industrial laws and allow us to fire troublemakers on the spot."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#017: Corporations Demand Political Say

The Issue
A well-heeled lobby group is pushing for the elimination of regulations that prevent corporations from donating money to political parties.

The Debate
1. "This is supposed to be a democratic country," @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ industry spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@ says. "Yet these archaic laws say I can't donate money to support a political party. They put ceilings on the amount any party can spend on advertising. It's time to stop treating voters like children, and trust them to make up their own minds. Free the ballot box!"

2. "You say political freedom, I hear vote-buying," says popular anarchist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If these fat cats get their way, politicians will buy their own seat in Congress. And let's face it, a slick advertising campaign can convince a lot of apathetic voters. We need to tighten the laws, not repeal them. Money should have no place in politics!"

3. "Frankly, I don't see why we need to have elections at all," says your brother, @@RANDOMNAME@@, over a late-night malt whiskey. "You always seem to know what's best. Why not scrap the whole political system? It would make things so much simpler."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#018: Citizens Struggle Under "Unfair" Tax Burden

The Issue
A recent poll has revealed high levels of dissatisfaction among the populace about tax rates.

The Debate
1. "Do you know how much of my year's work goes to the government?" demanded angry worker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Too much! Government spending has gotten way out of control. It needs big cuts in welfare, health, and education. But leave those subsidies to business alone. We need them to create jobs."

2. "It's not the AMOUNT of tax, it's where the burden falls," says student activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "And at the moment, far too much of the burden is falling on the poor. People on high incomes still have more money than people on low incomes. I don't think I need to say anything more than that."

3. "I don't object to the amount of tax, I object to where it's being spent," says social reformer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I'd like to see everyone have a choice as to where their @@CURRENCY@@s go every time they fill out a tax return. Everyone would feel a lot better about opening their wallets if they had a say as to where the money went. I think you'd see a lot more public money going to education and a lot less to business."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#019: @@NAME@@ Awash With Red-Rimmed Eyes

The Issue
National marijuana consumption has hit an all-time high, with alarming results, a new poll has found.

The Debate
1. "My factory's productivity is down ten percent since marijuana was decriminalized," complains employer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "And the number of thefts from the candy machine is off the scale. This so-called 'pot' needs to be banned in all public places. Let the junkies do what they want at home, but not in my workplace."

2. "Whoa, dude, no need to get, like, you know," says Free Your Mind campaigner @@RANDOMNAME@@, from his parents' basement. "This is, like, a personal choice issue, you know. It's like... whoa, just back off what I want to do with my own body. Don't let the fascists win, man. There are some hot new eckies coming in soon, they should be legal too."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#020: Gunman Kills Three

The Issue
Tragedy struck @@NAME@@ today, as a gunman killed three people in a suburban shooting rampage. The community is united in grief, but divided in opinion as to what should be done.

The Debate
1. The strongest voices demand tighter gun controls. "The only way to prevent further atrocities is to take the guns out of the hands of the murderers," says anti-gun campaigner @@RANDOMNAME@@. "There's no justification for them in today's society. We need tighter regulations on who can hold guns, so only our police and military have them."

2. "That's not all we need," says radical left-wing activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The government should ban all guns outright--even in the police force. This is an opportunity to make @@NAME@@ a totally gun-free state."

3. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," says NRA head honcho @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. Is that what we want? Think, people. The answer isn't to ban guns. It's to crack down on those Hollywood movies and computer games that glamorize violence. They're the real criminals."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#021: Police Consider "Big Brother" Anti-Crime System

The Issue
The Police department is considering installing surveillance cameras in all major public areas, in an effort to crack down on crime.

The Debate
1. "This is a blatant invasion of the right to privacy!" says libertarian web site operator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Now I can't even go out in public any more without being watched? And you know this is just the beginning. Today there are cameras in city streets. Tomorrow they're peering through your bedroom window."

2. "Hey, I've got news for you," says Police media liaison @@RANDOMNAME@@. "When you're out in public, PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU. These cameras will be extremely helpful in reducing the national crime rate. Frankly, I can't see what the fuss is about."

3. "This 'slippery slope' argument has got me thinking," says Police Minister @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You know, it would be a lot easier to fight crime if we watched people all the time. Not with cameras, of course. That's clearly an invasion of privacy. But how about a national database of our citizens, coupled with compulsory ID cards and barcoding? It would stop crime dead in its tracks."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#022: Nazi Sympathizers Plan Rally

The Issue
Far-right-wing Nazi supporters plan to stage a rally in the city center tomorrow, giving voice to their violent, racist views.

The Debate
1. "Frankly, I'm appalled that the government can even consider allowing this travesty to go ahead," says prominent Jewish personality @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We can't let these animals broadcast their message of hate. Surely @@NAME@@ is too civilized for that."

2. "It's exactly because we're civilized that we must let the demonstration proceed," says free speech campaigner @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We may not like what they have to say, but in this society, people have the right to argue whatever political view they want, no matter how hateful, selfish, or stupid it is."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#023: Uranium Deposit Promises To Enrich @@NAME@@

The Issue
Prospecting company Nukes4U has uncovered a large uranium deposit in @@NAME@@'s south-west.

The Debate
1. "This is a terrific find!" claims Nukes4U CEO @@RANDOMNAME@@. "It will provide an enormous stimulus to our economy and create thousands of new jobs. It's win-win! All we need from the government is permission to bulldoze the rainforest that's on top of the deposit."

2. "You've got to be kidding," says Green politician @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This rainforest is thousands of years old! This country needs more environmental protection, not less. And to destroy the environment in order to mine uranium that then goes into nuclear bombs--well, that really sticks in my craw."

3. "There's no need for an either-or decision," says the government's Minister for Mining, Clear-Felling, and the Environment. "We can preserve most of the rainforest and allow mining of a small part. After all, think of all the good that the money from this uranium deposit can bring to @@NAME@@."

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#024: Budget Time: Accountants Excited

The Issue
It's time for the government to allocate spending for the coming year, and as always, special interest groups are keen to have their say.

The Debate
1. "The state of the education system is, in many areas, simply frightful," says Teachers Union leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "And even where we are doing well, we could do better. I appeal to the authorities for a substantial boost in funding. Remember, the children are our future."

2. "We won't have a future unless we improve police numbers and rebuild the military," says General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Oh, it's all well and good to have your fancy education and your nice cars, until some tinpot dictatorship decides to invade. And don't pretend like there aren't any of them in our region. Our number one priority has to be security."

3. "Education is nice, but Health and Social Welfare are more important," says celebrity social worker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This is where the people who really need government help are: the marginalized of our society. If we don't help them, what kind of a nation are we?"

4. "Hey, I've got a crazy idea," says noted libertarian and bird-watcher @@RANDOMNAME@@. "How about the government stops taking so much tax from people? Give us a tax cut and we'll buy the things we need ourselves. People need to be weaned off the government teat!"

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#025: Cloning Research Promises New Breakthrough

The Issue
Scientists using cloned human embryos for research are on the verge of a medical breakthrough.

The Debate
1. "It's really very exciting," says lab head @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Until now, we've kept very quiet, to avoid being targeted by lunatic fringe groups who for some reason think it's wrong to clone human embryos. It's too early to promise anything, but we hope that one day we will have genetic cures for a whole range of debilitating illnesses. I certainly hope the government will support our work."

2. "Well, if you have to be part of a lunatic fringe group to object to this barbaric practice, I'm a lunatic," says placard-waving protestor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Of course it would be nice to cure these unnamed diseases, but at what cost? They're messing with the sanctity of human life. It's wrong, and the lab should be shut down immediately."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:44 am

#026: Compulsory Organ Harvesting Proposed

The Issue
A group of emergency room doctors has petitioned the government to introduce mandatory organ donations.

The Debate
1. "It's not as crazy as it sounds," says Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Every day, people die because we don't have the organs to save them. Well, that and widespread under-funding of the health system. But the point is, if the government allowed us to take organs from dead people, we could save hundreds of lives a year. And come on, it's not like dead people need them."

2. "You keep your damn hands off my organs!" says alarmed hospital patient @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They are my organs, and I'll do with them what I like. The government has no right to my body."

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#027: Cash for Colons?

The Issue
Hospitals have requested that they be allowed to pay people for donating blood and other bodily organs, such as kidneys.

The Debate
1. "We remain critically short of blood plasma and various organs," says @@NAME@@ One hospital administrator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Especially hearts. A good heart is hard to find. But if we were allowed to pay for donations, we'd get more of them and could save more lives. Plus the donor takes home a few hundred @@CURRENCY@@s in compensation. Unless it's a post-mortem donation, of course. In that case we'd pay the family."

2. "Great idea," says social commentator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Except for one thing. You know who's going to be selling their organs? Poor people! They'll be so desperate for money that they'll sell their own kidneys. Well, a kidney. This is just another way for the rich to buy themselves a better life at the expense of the poor. It must be outlawed."

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#028: Cancer Sufferer Demands Euthanasia Bill

The Issue
Dorothy Terwilliger lies immobilized in a hospital bed, unable to move. She has end-stage cancer, and wishes to end her struggle against death. However, laws prevent her doctors from obeying her wishes.

The Debate
1. Dorothy and her family are campaigning for a "Dying with Dignity" bill, to change this situation. She implores the government to legalize euthanasia.

2. "I understand this is a very difficult time for these people," says freelance medical writer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But the solution is not to let our medical system slide down the slippery slope of killing people in pain. We must cure, not kill. This is not the right time for euthanasia."

3. "I agree, but go further: there is never a right time for euthanasia," says Bishop @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The lives we lead are given to us by the grace of God, and he decides when they end. It is not for us to question God's divine purpose, no matter how odd or screwed-up it may seem."

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#029: Minorities Demand Representation In TV Soaps

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s TV soaps--famous around the region--have come under fire for their lack of ethnic diversity.

The Debate
1. "Every night my family and I sit down to watch 'The Brash and the Backstabbing'," says @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But where are the Lilliputians like myself? Where are the Bigtopians? The Marche Noirians? People from those cultures can be just as brash and backstabbing, but we never see them on the screen. The government must act to remove this silent apartheid from our TV screens."

2. "Those Lilliputians don't know how good they have it," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for the Tasmanians Against Ethnic Stereotyping. "Tasmanians are on television all the time, but always in crude, stereotypical roles. The answer is not to enforce ethnic quotas, but to award government prizes for the positive portrayal of minorities. That'll work better, and be cheaper, too."

3. "The government should do what now?" says TV studio executive @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You've got to be kidding. We make soaps here, not documentaries. I should be able to put whichever characters I want into my shows. Quotas! Government prizes! God save me! Hasn't the government got anything better to do? Why don't they just back off and let society work out these things on its own?"

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#030: Auto Industry Struggles Against Foreign Imports

The Issue
Cheap, foreign-made cars are becoming increasingly popular, causing concern in @@NAME@@'s automobile manufacturing industry.

The Debate
1. "Unless this government does something, @@NAME@@ won't have an auto industry for much longer," says auto industry union boss @@RANDOMNAME@@, in a rare public appearance alongside management. "These foreign companies employ people for a few @@CURRENCY@@s a day. The only way to level the playing field is to raise tariffs. The government would make more money, too, so it's win-win."

2. "For once, I agree with my grubby colleague here," says General Chassis CEO @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Although I have to say, tariffs aren't the only answer. A more effective solution would be to abolish minimum wage laws. Now that would level the playing field. And we'd be able to employ more--argh, let go of my throat!"

3. "I think we need to face facts," says noted economist and chat-show regular @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We live in a global economy now, and automobile manufacturing just isn't @@NAME@@'s strong suit. There's no point taking money from taxpayers in order to line the pockets of a few greedy workers and corrupt managers in a doomed industry. Let the market take its--argh, let go of my throat!"

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#031: Get Efficient, Private Sector Tells Nature [MantiCorp GroundForces]

The Issue
A group of prominent business identities has proposed privatizing @@NAME@@'s beaches.

The Debate
1. "Have you been to the beach lately? It's disgusting," says company spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@. "There's litter, there's teenagers smoking, and there are people enjoying themselves without paying for it. Let the private sector in on this, and @@NAME@@'s beaches will be the talk of the region! And a nice little earner, too."

2. "Whoa, whoa, we're privatizing beaches now?" says local campaigner @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These are public spaces! All @@NAME@@'s citizens have a right to enjoy them, not just the well-off. Yes, we should improve the quality of our beaches, but handing them over to the money-grabbers is not the right way to do it. The right way to do it is to boost government spending by increasing taxes."

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#032: One Wife Is Never Enough, Say Polygamists [Fantasan]

The Issue
A small religious group is lobbying the government to allow them to take multiple wives.

The Debate
1. "It's about time we had our religious rights recognized," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a devout member of a faith that is never made quite clear. "Who is the government to tell me I can't love more than one woman? The government doesn't know how much of me there is to go around!"

2. "This is nothing more than sexual deviants using religion as a pretext for perversion!" says Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Marriage is one man, one woman, and death do we part. What's so hard to get? Anything else is a perversion, and must be banned."

3. "Multiple wives? Excellent!" says passer-by @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Presumably we will allow multiple husbands, as well. And gay marriages, of course. In fact, now is probably the time for the government to butt out of marriage altogether. Let people marry their cats, if they want."

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#033: Genetics Brings New Life to Extinct Species [Badger Lozzate]

The Issue
Scientists have announced they are close to a breakthrough in their quest to revive the feather-bellied @@ANIMAL@@, a species related to @@NAME@@'s national animal that has been extinct for more than a century.

The Debate
1. "I, for one, applaud their work," says scientist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "And not just because I'm the project leader. This is an example of how @@NAME@@'s brains can mix it with the world's best. Can you imagine how wonderful it will be to have feather-bellied @@ANIMAL@@s frolicking in the meadows again? I say full steam ahead, and more government funding!"

2. "This is a sacrilege!", says religious leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These animals are extinct because God wants them dead. Cloning them would merely incur his wrath! If we proceed down this path, it'll be humans, not the feather-bellied @@ANIMAL@@, who will be extinct."

3. "Now, come on," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, well-known philosopher. "You don't need to be religious to be unnerved by the top of this particular slippery slope. Today it's @@ANIMAL@@s, tomorrow it's dinosaurs, and we all know how that turns out. This research shouldn't be banned, but there must be strict government controls over its use."

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#034: Don't Puff On Me, Say Non-Smokers [Sirocco]

The Issue
There is a growing call within @@NAME@@ to abolish smoking in public areas.

The Debate
1. "I'm in full support of this motion," says man on the street @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I'm sick of being stuck behind smokers, sucking in their pollution! They can light up in the privacy of their own homes, if they want."

2. "What's so special about their homes?" says anti-smoking campaigner @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The government has a responsibility to stop people from hurting themselves -- it's the same reason we should make them wear seat belts in cars. Sooner or later, they end up in one of @@NAME@@'s hospitals, sucking on taxpayer-funded healthcare. Not that that's why we should ban smoking. We should ban it because we care."

3. "Get your hands off my fag!" wheezes long-time smoker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I've been smoking for fifty years and it's never done me any harm. Helps me concentrate, it does! The government should back off on trying to tell me what I can put into my own body. Telling a smoker he can't light up in a restaurant is discrimination, pure and simple. If you want to put a stop to unfairness, stop that."

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#035: Refugees Want To Call @@NAME@@ Home [The True Scroat]

The Issue
After several bloody conflicts in nearby regions, a stream of asylum-seekers and refugees has been spotted heading for @@NAME@@'s shores.

The Debate
1. "Some of these people have endured terrible hardships to reach our borders," says International Red Cross spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We must welcome these unfortunates with open arms. Let the world see that @@NAME@@ does not turn its back on those in need!"

2. "These grasping freeloaders will swamp our culture and traditions!" argues talk-radio host @@RANDOMNAME@@. "First they want welfare, next thing you know they're taking our jobs -- and you know they won't bother to learn our language. I say charity begins at home -- and this isn't their home. This is the world's problem, not ours."

3. Economics Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@ offers an alternative. "There is no question that we have to help those who reach out to us in their darkest hour. But on the other hand, we cannot help everybody. So let's just take the ones who are willing to keep our streets clean and our drains flowing in return for a subsistence wage."

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#036: International Community Comes Doorknocking [Guadalcanal]

The Issue
The international community has appealed to @@NAME@@ to increase humanitarian aid to the world's poorer nations.

The Debate
1. "We must increase foreign aid," says beaded local peace activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Compared to some of these nations, @@NAME@@ is swimming in @@CURRENCY@@s. Let's face it, not every nation in the world is lucky enough to have a government like ours. Let's show some compassion to our less economically gifted neighbors."

2. "Talk about a way to flush @@CURRENCY@@s straight down the toilet," argues Think Tank member @@RANDOMNAME@@. "What I've noticed is that whenever we do give something, it's never enough: a few years later they're back asking for more. The best way to help these poor nations is to stop shielding them from the logical consequences of their idiotic, long-debunked socialist economic policies."

3. "Relief wouldn't hurt us... if we 'relieved' the right countries," suggests government advisor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We give them a little humanitarian aid, they give us access to their @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ markets... it's win-win. Nothing wrong with a little quid pro quo, especially for a good cause."

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#037: Traffic Cops Needed on Information Superhighway? [Snowcat]

The Issue
Certain shadowy ministerial figures have proposed government monitoring of individual internet usage.

The Debate
1. "In these days of terror and uncertainty, it's exactly what we need," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, signing an arrest warrant. "Every pervert, terrorist, bomb-building maniac and anti-government idiot is currently online. I'm not saying that we should block citizens from seeing it, but let's also watch who's seeking it out. This will give our law enforcement officers the chance to prevent crimes before they happen. If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide."

2. "Well, I AM saying we should block out that filth," says a man in a dark hat, stepping from the shadows. "If people want to use the internet, they can view our government-approved sites. Those are swell."

3. Privacy activist @@RANDOMNAME@@ is outraged, as usual. "Tyranny is the natural result of limiting information! Someone, somewhere, will always find something offensive -- mimes for example. Those scare the hell out of me. But should we ban them? No! Free the internet! We have nothing to fear from free information but pop-up advertising!"

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#038: @@NAME@@ Looks to the Stars [Sentient Peoples]

The Issue
The recent popularity of a science-fiction TV show has prompted calls for @@NAME@@ to develop its own space program.

The Debate
1. "Don't tell me space colonies wouldn't be cool," says excited fifth-grade teacher @@RANDOMNAME@@, still wearing big Spock ears from his last convention. "Think of how they would galvanize the national population! And there would also be some kind of scientific benefit, probably."

2. "The project certainly is feasible, but very expensive," says @@NAME@@ Space Agency Head @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We could make it less of a burden on the taxpayers if we sought funding from private industry -- advertisements on the side of our rockets, selling contracts to the Arms Manufacturing industry, that kind of thing."

3. "If God had meant Man to fly, he would have given us solid rocket boosters instead of legs," says religious type @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We should not be looking to the stars, but rather inside our own hearts. That's why we should abandon this so-called space program, and instead make the teaching of religion mandatory in all schools."

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#039: Scandal Rocks @@NAME@@'s Government! [The SLAGLands; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
A tabloid magazine, The National Incriminator, has revealed the sordid details of an affair between one of your top advisors, Robert Lotsalovin, and his secretary.

The Debate
1. "They found out I did WHAT?!" Advisor Lotsalovin says in his morning meeting in your office. "This just can't happen! How can government officials do their jobs properly if we have to work under the constant scrutiny of these idiotic supermarket tabloids? I say tabloid newspapers must be banned, and we must not allow newspapers to speak ill of our government officials... for the good of @@NAME@@, of course..."

2. "Unbelievable!" says Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the local Catholic church. "Our government officials must be held to a higher standard than this! Mr. Lotsalovin must be removed from office and jailed. We cannot allow such disgusting corruption within the halls of justice!"

3. "Whoa, whoa, hey, now..." argues Senator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "What happened to Mr. Lotsalovin is no different than affairs that happen all over @@NAME@@ every day! Before you know it, they'll be after YOUR sexual history! I think what we need to do is take the public attention off of it somehow, perhaps by... oh, I don't know... giving them a tax cut! That'll divert their attention from this momentary distraction just long enough for Mr. Lotsalovin's divorce process to end!"

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#040: Hukd on Fonix Workd 4 Me! [Bostion; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
@@NAME@@ has a serious problem with poor literacy rates among 12-18 year olds, which many parents and teachers blame on the current state of the education system and lack of government funding.

The Debate
1. Boot Camp instructor @@RANDOMNAME@@ stated his opinion: "Who gives a damn? Makes 'em easier to turn into brainwashed grunts anyhow! You don't need to be able to read in order to fire a gun! What we need to do is focus on our military spending - what does it matter if you can read or not when you're overrun by warmongering barbarians?"

2. On the other side, there's @@NAME@@'s Education Administrator. "This is shocking news. If the children of tomorrow cannot read, then what? Next thing you know, we'll be speaking ebonics! The government must devote more efforts to education! Where will we be twenty years from now with an overflow of unskilled labor?"

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@, principal of a highly-rated private school, prefers a different approach. "Instead of that, why not issue government vouchers so that parents can afford to send their children to privately run schools? We offer a far better education than the public schools. All we do is grind our particular religious views into our students!"

4. "Who needs some fancy-shmancy cash-draining school system, anyway?" @@RANDOMNAME@@ declares from the front steps of his double-wide mobile home, shotgun in hand. "My Pa raised me and my eight brothers and three sisters without no waste of time schoolin'! My Pa taught me everythin' I need t'know, let all these whippersnappers' Mas and Pas teach 'em what they need t'know!"

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#041: Software Giant Stomps on Competition [1 Infinite Loop; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
The CEO of @@NAME@@ software, hardware, and electronic headwear giant Microcosm, Inc. has been brought before the Supreme Court for violation of antitrust laws.

The Debate
1. "These allegations are absolutely ludicrous!" shouts Microcosm CEO @@RANDOMNAME@@ from out the window of his 90-foot stretch limo. "Just because rival companies are incapable of producing products as brilliant as mine is no reason to punish ME! I say it's high time we abolish these idiotic antitrust laws and give big business the freedom to serve the public better. After all, I'm in this business for the people!"

2. "Microcosm must be shut down immediately," argues CEO of Computers, Computers, Computers! @@RANDOMNAME@@ from out the window of his clunky, exhaust-choked used car. "I can't get a foothold to compete in the market because those bigwigs in Microcosm have that foothold by the throat! It's high time the government stepped in and helped out the little man, and the best way to do that is to shut down the big, oppressive, corporate gurus in Microcosm and beyond."

3. "Verily, I say unto thee, none of this would have happened wouldst thou not have stopped the problem before thou didst start it," argues Brother @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the @@NAME@@ Amish community from out the window of his horse-drawn carriage. "We must doest as the Lord commandeth and abolishest the evils of computers and the Internet entirely. Only whenst we harken unto the Lord's commandments mayeth we truly be spiritually blessed."

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#042: Turn Down That Racket, Say Morality Police [The Prelapsarian State; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
A group of concerned parishioners and soccer moms has petitioned the government of @@NAME@@ to outlaw heavy metal music, which they fear is a bad influence on youngsters.

The Debate
1. "Heavy metal music is a plague in our good nation and its God-fearing people!" argues local priest and easy listening advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Just the other day, I heard a song by some group called Hell's Irate Puppies with a sinful quantity of bass and drum... oh, and there were probably some lines about killing parents, too, I'd imagine! It's vital that we ban this music, and remove this terrible influence from our children's lives! Think of the children!"

2. "Whoa, man... what's with the, like, censorship and stuff?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, scruffy-haired bassist of the popular speed metal band The Destroyinators. "You can't, like, censor the music, man. That's how we express ourselves! Every bass beat is me baring my soul! Every howl is me complainin' about how my parents tried to kick me out of their basement! Besides, what's wrong with Satan? He's just misunderstood anyway. I say promote the arts, man!"

3. "You know, this heavy metal issue has me thinking," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your brother, over your weekly game of cribbage. "If these long-haired freaks want to put out their devil-worshipping metal, why don't we let them? Of course, we'll put a little subliminal propoganda into every song... after all, don't these guys owe their freedom of expression to you?"

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#043: Prisoners Demand Elbow Room [Lucazmodei; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
In a display of unity that can best be described as "highly unnerving," criminals and law enforcement officials alike are up in arms about recent overcrowding within prisons in @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "I tell ya, chief... this ain't good," mutters local police chief @@RANDOMNAME@@ over his morning cup of coffee. "I see these no-good mohawk-wearin' punks every day, and they're a dangerous bunch. They gotta be locked in their mudholes forever! If we can't afford to keep 'em in prison, I say we need more money! Let's just casually shift some funding from elsewhere; after all, it ain't like our welfare program is helping keep these kids away from crime."

2. "How can these wayward individuals find their inner selves by staring at the walls within a stone cell?" challenges human rights activist and local prison license plate maker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The nation's budget is absolute proof: we cannot afford prisons... strictly because of their immorality! Let these caged birds breathe the sweet air of freedom again! Shut down all prisons in @@NAME@@!"

3. "Now hold on just a second here," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of @@NAME@@'s most widely-known pizza delivery chain, Papa Pallocci's Pizza Pagoda. "You've got a problem with prisoners, and I've got a problem finding employees. Why don't you just send some of your criminals to Papa Pallocci's? We'll put 'em to work at lower pay as punishment for their crimes! I win, you win... the economy wins!"

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#044: No Pain, No Gain! [Independent Planets; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
Due to the recent capture of a foreign terrorist in @@NAME@@, high-level military officials want the government to authorize torture to extract information about other terrorist activities.

The Debate
1. "Torture is the only way that we can get these idiots to tell us anything," says General @@RANDOMNAME@@ of @@NAME@@'s special forces division. "After all, violence is the only shared language we have with these scum."

2. "Are you kidding?" states political activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Torture never works. If anything, it should be outlawed. What do we want to become, genocidal maniacs?

3. "There's nothing wrong with torture, but we can't make it too obvious," says Secretary of Defense @@RANDOMNAME@@. "How about we simply ask them nicely, and then, if they don't tell us, we kill them? That's better just from the intimidation."

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#045: Baseball League Steps Up To The Plate [Pilot; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
The Batter Up! Baseball League has begun to grow in popularity and is now seeking government support in establishing teams and stadiums throughout the nation.

The Debate
1. "Holy cow, is this gonna be great!" hollers BUBL President and sports nut @@RANDOMNAME@@, wearing a fashionable giant foam finger on his right hand. "Baseball is just what @@NAME@@ needs right now! Think about it: soda, popcorn, hot dogs... oh, and I'm sure the economy will benefit somehow, too! All we need is the government funding to build stadiums and teams, and we'll be on every TV and in every city in the country!"

2. "You're going to spend the taxpayer's money on WHAT?" counters Minister of Finance @@RANDOMNAME@@, from a newly furnished office. "I mean, I love playing a good game of baseball every now and then, but does the government really need to go around supporting this? The only people that are going to benefit are a bunch of fat-cat burger vendors and bored hicks with nothing better to do on Sunday afternoon! We need to stop spending so much money on these ridiculous games and get back to what's really important: running the business of the country."

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#046: Jennifer Government Censorship Row [Sirocco; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A new book, Jennifer Government, by Max Barry, has been causing quite a stir in governmental offices across @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "At first I liked the book," says famous politician @@RANDOMNAME@@, "but then it clearly turned out to be just a mockery of our government! This is brainwashing our citizens into thinking that they're being governed badly. I suggest we hang, draw and quarter the author of this book and take satires off the shelves!"

2. "Don't be silly" says book reviewer @@RANDOMNAME@@, "it's a great book and you don't necessarily have to take the views inside seriously! If anything, there should be more satires. Maybe then we'll get the right people in charge of this messed-up country!"

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#047: The Great Wall of @@NAME@@? [1 Infinite Loop; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Due to the ongoing wars in neighboring countries, a recent rash of illegal immigrants have been caught at the borders of @@NAME@@, prompting many citizens to call for tighter immigration laws.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the @@NAME@@ National Purity League says "These illegal aliens are just an eyesore with their strange customs and funny languages. Uneducated immigrants like these only worsen crime and steal valuable jobs! I say we should boot them all out on their ears and put a big fence around the country!"

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the @@NAME@@ Civil Liberties Union says "We must welcome these refugees from any nation into our open arms, they are fleeing one oppressive dictatorial regime in the only way they know, we must not let them think they're jumping from the frying pan into the fire!"

3. "Hold on there, hold on people!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the @@NAME@@ Broadcasting company, "We don't have to take either extreme, all we have to do is make a TV game show out of it! We put deadly obstacles on the border and monitor it with television cameras! Those that make it across win freedom and citizenship, and those who don't, well, lets just say that our buzzards won't starve. We could call it 'Who Wants to be an Immigrant?'!"

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#048: Give Us Healthcare Or Give Us Death! [Dictator Amanda; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A large group of @@NAME@@'s uninsured citizens have petitioned the government to provide a universal healthcare system, citing the poor health of many low and middle-class workers. Some of the more vocal of them are threatening violence if something isn't done.

The Debate
1. "A universal healthcare system would provide everyone with the same quality healthcare the more wealthy and well-insured currently receive," says recently laid-off citizen and civil rights activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Sure, taxes would probably have to increase a bit. But isn't it worth it to provide our lower-class citizens with the same opportunities the upper-class citizens have?"

2. "Are you all INSANE? This will ruin the health insurance business and drive up unemployment rates," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the largest insurance provider in @@NAME@@. "If everyone working for their health insurance could suddenly get it free, there would be fewer jobs filled. It would get worse for everyone involved. The government should investigate the motives of these troublemaking 'protestors', instead!"

3. "Why do we have to choose either radical option?" says your Secretary of Health, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Couldn't we just provide limited basic healthcare for our citizens and have major operations covered by private health insurance? It would be more affordable and the poor would suffer less than they do under the current system."

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#049: Diving For @@CURRENCY@@s [Nogero; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Divers from a local scuba club have discovered an enormous underwater gold deposit that could be worth billions of @@CURRENCY@@s in one of @@NAME@@'s lakes. It has also caused a huge debate over who should be allowed to plunder the goods.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a cabinet member, would like the government to seize the deposit. "This is an excellent time to boost @@NAME@@'s economy and increase our foreign trade with other countries! Who cares about the people that discovered the deposit? They've done their country a great favor and should let us have the money!"

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a civil rights activist, vehemently disagrees. "The deposit was found by private citizens and it should be their choice of what to do with the gold. If the government goes around stealing what is rightfully ours, then I shudder to think I live in such a corrupt country. These people discovered the gold, it's now their time to get rich! Nevermind the fact they were diving in a lake on government property!"

3. "We should do what now?" Environmentalist @@RANDOMNAME@@ exclaims. "Do you have any idea how damaging it would be to the environment to mine the gold under that lake? Think of all the aquatic life that would be disrupted or destroyed! Think of how an otherwise pristine lake view would be ruined! Forget the gold and keep those money-grubbing pigs away from nature!"

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#050: Whips, Chains, And Leather, Oh My! [Yacatizma; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
An organized crowd of leather-clad individuals, some of whom are on leashes, are protesting against discrimination for those who share their interests.

The Debate
1. "We happen to express our love differently, with different hobbies and activities," explains BDSM enthusiast @@RANDOMNAME@@, while wearing needle-sharp spiked heels and holding a whip. "Shops exist to cater to the needs of 'normal' people, but do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get a quality whip? A little support for our hobbies would be appreciated!"

2. "Yeah," exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, another enthusiast, wearing nothing but a collar, "and like other couples, we want the right to display our affection in public. If Master wants to take me walkies in public, he should be able to."

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@ dissents wholeheartedly. "This is not about showing affection--this is about moral decency. Think of the children, for God's sake! Think of the children! We must criminalize and eliminate this perversion to keep them safe. Which of course means a special task force to track down and capture these cretins!"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
Chief Kitty of the Cat Burglars
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:45 am

#051: Streaker in Snooker Game Fiasco [Sirocco; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
After a sixty year old man with psoriasis streaked past cameras and millions of sports fans during the snooker league playoffs, protesters have called for tougher action.

The Debate
1. "This can't go on!" says traumatized snooker player @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Children are watching sports and having them exposed to this lewd behaviour is unacceptable! I demand that these people be locked up for several years and maybe they'll have learnt their lesson!"

2. "Oh don't be ridiculous!" scoffs prolific streaker @@RANDOMNAME@@, "It's all just a bit of fun and the kids shouldn't be wrapped in cotton wool, or they'll learn nothing! Sports are so dull anyway, it needs a little bare skin to liven it up. Streaking should be legal!"

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#052: Is It Art Or Is It Porn? [Imnsvale; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Vocal members of the Moral Minority have been complaining and petitioning the government about the new art gallery displaying several provocative nude portraits by several famous artists. Moral Minority members claim these pieces of work promote prostitution and indecent sexual acts.

The Debate
1. "Stop my children from looking at smut! These artists are only perverts pretending to be artists! Think of the children!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, proud parent and member of Mothers Promoting Purity. "These artists are only going to rouse our innocent children to commit grotesque acts of immorality! Get rid of it all!"

2. "Well, I see that point, but we certainly don't need to ban inoffensive art, still lifes of inanimate objects and such," says your sister, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Perhaps we should set some guidelines for what is acceptable as art and what isn't. Artistic renditions of people getting it on are one thing. A bunch of fruit in a decorative bowl is another entirely."

3. "That is censorship!" says noted art history teacher @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You can't ban art! It's freedom of expression; it's part of our culture. If anything, the government should be supporting these artists and their work, not listening to these prudish whackjobs who are scared of a little bare skin!"

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#053: Orbital Armageddon? [The US Marine Corps; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The space research organization in @@NAME@@ has requested more government funding for space-related research and development, and the possibility of creating orbital weapons platforms has become a topic of intense debate.

The Debate
1. General @@RANDOMNAME@@ says, "We should spend more. But not just on exploration. We should start developing Orbital Weapons! Space Marines! Armed Spacecraft! We would rule the region, and look cool doing it! Just divert some funding from environmental protection, and BAM! Sci-fi goodies!"

2. Noted Scientist and pacifist writer @@RANDOMNAME@@ thinks otherwise, "No! Space is a place for peace! It's the only place left we've got that we haven't screwed up. Oh, the space program still needs funding, don't get me wrong, but none of this 'military in space' stuff will do! We ought to divert funding from the military to education and space research instead!"

3. Fringe Group Leader @@RANDOMNAME@@ disagrees, "Space is a total waste of time. We should spend more on stuff people actually CARE about. Like voting rights and protecting the environment! Forget that fancy-schmancy space station!"

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#054: Time To Put The Older Senators Out To Pasture? [Pangaa; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Many people are starting to think that it's time to put term limits on elected officials, given the average age of 70 years old and 40 years of service in the nation's Parliament.

The Debate
1. "It's time to get these lifetime politicians off the government payroll!" says term-limits advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Let them get real jobs like the rest of us once they leave office. Besides, if they are currently a Senator, they can always run for another office like Governor. This gives people the right to elect whomever they want to run for office, just not the same office forever. It'll keep things from going completely stale!"

2. "Wait a minute," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairman of the national Infinite Power party. "We pay a lot of money to get those people into office. It can take several terms before we get a return on our investment, I mean, candidates. We should extend the number of years for each term, not limit the number of times a person can serve in any specific office!"

3. Your aunt's mother's step-sister's best friend's hairstylist, @@RANDOMNAME@@, pooh-poohs the entire idea. "You know how to run your country, yes? Why deal with the hassle of elected officials and elections in the first place, yes? Eliminate elections and this entire term limit issue becomes moot, yes?"

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#055: Bigtopian Protesters Cry For Full Integration [Grantwold; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
Bigtopian activists have staged a sit-in at the largest primary school in @@NAME@@ bringing education to a halt in a bid for integration and tolerance.

The Debate
1. "You know... it's not that we don't let them in... it's that they don't apply," murmurs Principal @@RANDOMNAME@@, nervously tugging at his shirt collar. "I mean, yeah, sure, if these Bigtopians lived around here... uh... we'd let them into the school. But... you know... this isn't exactly a Bigtopian community, you know? So... uh... could you please put a stop to these protestors? Oh, and, uh..." Here he leans forward and whispers. "... make sure those creepy Bigtopian protestors don't show up at my school again, okay?"

2. "The time has come for the dream of equality to be realized!" shouts noted Bigtopian rights activist @@RANDOMNAME@@, slamming his fist against your desk. "I see Lilliputians, Tasmanians, and Lord knows how many East Lebatuckese keeping my Bigtopian brothers holed away in their prisons of blindness and ethnic apartheid! The time has come for full integration! If these schools are going to keep us out, I say it's time we were bussed in!"

3. "Well, that's all well and good, but it ain't well and good enough!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of Bigtopians Rising Against Totalitarianist Scum, slamming his black-gloved fist against his podium during a recent pep rally. "We ain't just bein' kept out of their schools; we're bein' kept out of their neighborhoods! The oppressive majority fears us, but they can't hold us back any longer! The government needs to integrate the community as a whole by pushing out the majority and making way for a very loud, very angry minority!"

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#056: "Give Us Money!" Quoth the Poet [Ursoria; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The National Poetry Society of @@NAME@@ is demanding government-funded programs to promote the arts, especially poetry.

The Debate
1. "We need government help to promote culture." says @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairperson of the National Poetry Society of @@NAME@@. "Poetry is the soul of our nation, the very pulse of humanity! We will ultimately be judged according to our contribution to artistic enlightenment. In other words, please provide funding for our humble mission to bring the beauty of poetry to the masses!"

2. "Artists and poets should support themselves, like everyone else," replies @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for the Capitalism Now Party. "The suffering taxpayers should be given a break. In fact, we should abolish all government subsidies for special interest groups."

3. "Poets--who needs them?!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, Chairperson Emeritus of the Troglodyte Coalition. "These long-haired troublemakers should all be lined up against the wall and shot! That would be far more entertaining than reading some dumb poems!"

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#057: Electronic Plague in @@NAME@@! [Sentient Peoples; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The malicious computer virus "DEAT.exe" is infecting nearly all the computers in @@NAME@@ and the people are crying out for the government to do something about it.

The Debate
1. "It's those horrible kids. Hacking in where they don't belong. You've got to give us more funding to put a stop to it," says @@NAME@@ Federal Police Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Like with cars- ban kids from using computers until they pass a test and get a license!"

2. CEO @@RANDOMNAME@@ of CyberMirage Labs has a different idea. "Let us release SAL9000, our new AI, into the @@NAME@@ Network. It'll put a stop to this virus. Nevermind that it's still only an untested beta!"

3. "Yeah, wonderful! Fix a virus by releasing an AI that will likely turn on its creators? Are you people trying to get us all killed?!" Decries infamous technophobe @@RANDOMNAME@@, "What do we need computers for anyway? They will only bring us trouble and disaster! Personal computers ought to be banned!"

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#058: Violent Violetists Demand Blood! [Total n Utter Insanity; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Members of a new weird religious cult, called the Order of Violet, ask for the government to appease their mighty god by offering Her a sacrifice of the human variety.

The Debate
1. "What have we got to lose?" says religious freedoms advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Just cut up a few homeless folk - it appeases this group's bloodthirsty Goddess, gets rid of unsightly bums that drain welfare, and everybody goes home happy."

2. "We must go much further than a few beggars!" argues the overzealous High Member of the Order of Violet, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You must pass a law that everyone's first born child must be slaughtered, on live TV if possible. Think of the viewing figures!"

3. "You aren't going to listen to these whackjob Violetists, are you?" comments @@RANDOMNAME@@ while leading a prayer group. "Human sacrifices! Surely we're too civilized to permit such barbaric practices! These lunatic fringe groups should be outlawed, and their leaders should be executed!"

4. "Who's being a lunatic?" retorts @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the @@NAME@@ Humanitarian Society. "I agree that these practices ought to be outlawed, but instead of sinking to the same level of these fanatics and killing our fellow people, why not simply start a re-education program? Even the worst person can be rehabilitated into a useful member of society, with enough time, care, and lots and lots of funding!"

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#059: Drunk Driving On The Rise [Cspalla; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
More and more, citizens are drinking before getting behind the wheel. A group of concerned citizens wants something done.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of @@NAME@@'s chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous, says that drunk drivers need help. "Alcoholism is a nasty thing, a disease. The government has to help these poor souls to avoid the temptations of liquor, and wine, and beer, and hard cider, and brandy, and?" His eyes get a glazed far off look, "Where was I? Oh right, we have to help these people, not imprison them."

2. "That's lovely," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted anti-alcohol advocate, "In a perfect world where rehab fixes everything. But this is the real world, and it doesn't bring back the victims. Drunk drivers kill people every day. If they take other's lives, the government must take theirs!"

3. "All of those plans attack the symptoms, not the disease," says Minister of Transportation @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Alcohol is a curse, a poison sent by the Devil to tempt mankind. We cannot trust people to make decisions for themselves. The only answer is prohibition. Ban alcohol completely."

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#060: Supreme Court Nomination [Nuttylnd; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
The death of 108 year old Supreme Court Justice @@RANDOMNAME@@ has created an opening on the bench. Below are the possible nominees.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Former CEO of @@NAME@@ Products, says "I have long sat by and watched our government viciously attack the big businesses in this country. The government has no right to control businesses and I will adopt that position in all of my judgements."

2. Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@ is nominee #2. The Reverend says "I am sick and tired of the liberals in this country ruining our family values. Every day they assault our basic sense of decency. You must vote for me to keep our families safe. Think of the children!"

3. Gay Activist and former Senator @@RANDOMNAME@@ is nominee #3. "Our people aren't happy, we need more freedom, we need more civil rights. We must keep the government out of the bedroom. We must respect people's right to privacy and remember that personal relations are just that, personal."

4. Environmental Activist @@RANDOMNAME@@ argues, "Our government has been constantly violating Mother Earth and her rights, all our politicians talk about are civil rights, civil rights this, civil rights that, blah blah blah. We aren't important, what is important is the Earth!"

5. The last nominee is the retired Five Star General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We are ridiculed throughout the international community for our low quality weaponry, our police and military numbers are not sufficient. Our military must be protected from both constitutional and civilian oversight. They should be given money, and a free hand."

6. Finally, a tomato flies by your head flung by an angry protester. "We want to elect our own judges! This is a democracy! More power to the people! We don't want a lapdog! Separation of Powers! Get the government out of the judicial system!" He chucks another tomato at you before security escorts him out of your private office.

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#061: Should The Government Grant Estates And Titles Of Nobility? [Leptonia; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A peculiar confederacy of small-government advocates, regular attendees at @@NAME@@'s annual Medieval Faire, and the super rich have demanded that the government grant estates and confer titles of nobility upon certain influential persons.

The Debate
1. "Of course I should be appointed as the Duke of @@CAPITAL@@," says multi-billionaire @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Not only would it be an apt reward for my contributions to @@NAME@@, but the citizens who become landed serfs on my estate would work harder than they ever have in all their lives." Adds small-government advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Government would at last return to the local level, close to the people and the land to which they would be bound for life."

2. "I can't believe I'm hearing this," exclaims noted civil rights advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Those who are behind this espouse a system that grants inordinate amounts of institutional power to the rich and ensures that no one will be able to climb the social ladder. Everyone in society must be granted an equal opportunity to succeed or fail. Say 'no' to a nobility!"

3. "I think both of the other parties are taking this issue to the extreme," argues a learned elderly gentleman resting on a park bench. "All that's being advocated is giving those who have contributed to their nation a ceremonial title and a bit of land. Besides," he adds, "the government can tax their estate."

4. "A good day to thee, milord," counters @@RANDOMNAME@@, an amateur Medieval Faire actor dressed in period costume, "I would suggest that thou hasten thyself to spectate at the jousting competition this forenoon. Aye, quite a bout we have arrayed for thee this day. However, the whole affair could be much grander if only we received a few more gold crownes from the government. Aye, 'twould be a grand tourney of knightly skill and courage indeed!"

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#062: Oh, The Angst! [Uni Students; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
In response to rising rates of depression related suicides, mental health groups have called for government funding to help support treatment programs, citing various surveys that indicate psychological disorders are often an overlooked problem.

The Debate
1. "Although it is often dismissed as an irrelevant complaint, depression is a real disease; it isn't just 'all in your head'," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, depression sufferer. "Depression has significant effects on groups and individuals, especially amongst teenagers. Every day, more and more people commit suicide because of this disease, but this could all be stopped if this country had a decent level of funding for support and public awareness programs."

2. "Screw them," @@RANDOMNAME@@, talkback radio host, stated yesterday. "Depression isn't a disease, it's just another example of today's youth finding something to complain about. Life's never been better. In fact, just yesterday, I bought my fourth BMW. And even if it is as serious as the bleeding hearts claim, then I say we leave it and cut some of the funding being wasted on these head cases. If a few whiners jump off a bridge, it'll be good for the genepool. Natural selection, my friends. It's a great thing."

3. "Actually, a lot of depression cases in teens are related to school and all the stress and pressure young people are under to succeed. A greater effort to correct the problem of depression should start there, with more funding so that schools can provide better counseling programs." Comments Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@, author of the book "Tomato Soup for the Soul". "That way teens who are depressed can get help even if their parents can't or won't take them to see a psychologist."

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#063: Tykes With Tools? [New Parakeet; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A controversial newspaper investigation reveals that as many as 30% of all children are employed in a dangerous environment.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, an orphanage foster parent, says, "Child labor should be outlawed! Too many times I have received children who only know manual labor. We have to give these children an education and a chance at a real future. Think of the children!" @@RANDOMNAME@@, a bum on the street, agrees, "Forget about what's best for the children. They're stealing my work! The only way to get an entry job in this market is to either be younger than 12 and willing to work for nothing, or to knock off a kid and be there to fill the opening, and still be willing to work for nothing."

2. Unemployed parent @@RANDOMNAME@@ begs that you keep child labor legal. "You can't outlaw child labor; we need the extra money that my 13 children earn. Since both my spouse and I were laid off, the only way to get enough money to feed both of us is to have all of our kids employed. In fact, with the downswing in the economy we're expecting another kid to close the gap."

3. Fat cat factory owner @@RANDOMNAME@@ steps over the bum in the street and explains, "You don't understand. You shouldn't make child labor illegal, you should subsidize it. By employing these kids I'm giving them valuable life lessons. I didn't go to school and see where I am now? I'm giving them work experience, making them highly employable for the 15 years of their expected lives."

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#064: Put The "Board" Back In Board Of Education [Curia; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The @@NAME@@ Teachers' Union, complaining of a steady increase in student disciplinary problems, wants to be able to use corporal punishment to correct misbehavior.

The Debate
1. "Clearly, parents aren't teaching manners at home," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the union president. "All we want is to be able to take a paddle to their backsides when there are problems. It's not like we want to throw the kids in jail."

2. "Keep your hands off my kids!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, while protesting outside of union headquarters. "If there's a problem, it's with the teachers not having the skills to do their jobs. They should be tested for qualifications!"

3. "Corporal punishment would only treat a symptom of the bigger problem: our education system is in need of an overhaul," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s education minister. "We need smaller class sizes, more teachers, better buildings, and better pay. It'll cost, but it'll pay off in the long run."

4. "Why don't we just abolish the schools and home-school the kids?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, education coordinator for the @@NAME@@ First Omnimenical Church. "That way parents can stress the values they want their kids to have and give them the attention they need."

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#065: Should Martial Law be declared? [American Militarists; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
In response to increasing crime and violence across @@NAME@@, the people are crying out for some degree of order.

The Debate
1. "Placing the military in charge of government affairs will be a disaster" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, as a random thug steals the shirt off their back. "You can't scare people straight! What we need is reform and respect for civil rights and our political freedom. You will have none of that under Martial Law."

2. "It’s not that way at all," argues army general @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The fact is, if we don't implement some sort of order this country will fall into a state of anarchy. I urge you to act strongly and proactively before it is too late. We must exercise complete control over the populace to restore peace and security. Martial Law must be implemented, curfews established, and elections temporarily suspended. Only by doing this can we hope to have a future for @@NAME@@."

3. "Look, we do need more security, but we can't sacrifice our freedoms. Just increase the police force and call in the National Guard," says @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We need order, but Martial Law is too drastic and restricting".

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#066: Transsexual Demands Recognition In Chosen Gender [Melmond; ed:Enodia]

The Issue
After the tabloid magazine "The Bun" outed a supermodel to have been born male, the state has anulled her marriage to her husband.

The Debate
1. "I have gone through twenty years of internal pain about my external appearance and I put so much effort and money into finally having the world see the real me!" says transsexual activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The government needs to recognize my true gender as well as cover the surgeries and medicines needed to get me where I am today!"

2. "Transsexuals are delusional if they think they will ever be members of their gender they wish they were." says right-wing radio show host @@RANDOMNAME@@. "It is a biological fact that our gender is determined by our chromosomes, anyone who tries to act like the gender they are not should be immediately arrested and taken to a psychiatrist!"

3. "You know everyone, gender isn't a black and white proposition," states self-identified "genderqueer" @@RANDOMNAME@@. "There are XX males, XY females, and many people who have ambiguous sexual characteristics or just don't feel they belong in categories such as male or female. The government must recognize our existence!"

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#067: Most Likely To Secede [Leptonia; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A group of bearded militiamen have recently declared rural @@RANDOMNAME@@ County a sovereign and independent nation! @@NAME@@'s talk radio pundits demand immediate government action.

The Debate
1. "Gov'mint's not workin' fo' folks 'round here," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a turnip farmer, "We have ourselves a guar-un-teed right to form a gov'mint that works for us. We don't want any confrontation, now, we just want to shake hands and let ya'll get along with yer business while we get along with ours."

2. "I can't believe this!" shouts General Bill Sherman. "This is tantamount to treason! Our political system would collapse if whole territories were allowed to leave at any time. It would be chaos! I propose that you let me take care of the problem... permanently."

3. "Perhaps we can reach a suitable middle ground," says an elderly gentleman resting on a park bench, "If we were to bring government close to the people, and allow them to have a modicum of self-determination, perhaps they wouldn't feel the need to secede. Let's give the local governments more power."

4. "Our last caller made a really good point," says talk radio host @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These decent, hard working citizens are clearly being brainwashed by @@NAME@@ Public Radio's prattle. I don't want my tax @@CURRENCY@@s supporting their agenda. Therefore, the answer is clear: dismantle @@NAME@@ Public Radio."

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#068: Ornery Overcrowding Problem [Frigben; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A survey recently released by the @@NAME@@ Housing Authority indicates that the country's burgeoning population is rapidly leading to a housing crisis as families find themselves crammed into increasingly cramped living spaces.

The Debate
1. "What we need are more high rises, whether low-cost or fancy condos," says demographic expert @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They're efficient, waste little land, and wouldn't you love to wake up to the bright cheery sky in front of you every morning? Of course, there's the problem of higher contagious disease transmission, but I'm sure our health system is robust enough for that. Not to mention all the jobs these new buildings will bring."

2. "All these industrial factories take up so much space," argues social welfare commentator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The fact is, not only do they pollute, but they hog land that is better used for low-cost housing. Studies show that apartments are just too cramped for people to be comfortable in. We would be a lot better off in simple single-floor houses. Especially if they're subsidised by the government."

3. "This raises an interesting issue," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, staunch supporter of birth control. "And that is: why do we need to build more housing anyway? Why don't we just limit the number of children each family can have? Besides, pregnancy causes all sorts of complications. We're better off with less of it anyway."

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#069: Power Problems Need Bright Solution [Plumbumia; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The oldest power station in @@NAME@@ suffered a catastrophic failure last night, plunging a third of @@NAME@@'s national power supply grid into darkness. There is no debate that it needs to be replaced, but the question is with what?

The Debate
1. "The solution is clear," says environmental activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Wind turbines and solar power stations are the cleanest there are. We must switch power production to forms of renewable energy, that will never run out. The only minor problems are that wind farms will take up a great deal of space and of course we can't exactly rely on the weather. It isn't as though we control it. But think of how much healthier people will be without all that pollution!"

2. "Wind power? Solar collectors? Bah! Have you ever wondered when the least amount of strain is placed on the national grid? WHEN THE SUN IS SHINING!" exclaims Southern @@NAME@@ Electra official @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We need power under our control, and cheaply. Coal has been the cheapest and most abundant power source for ages. We don't need this airy fairy wind malarky when we have cheap and reliable power available for all. True, pollution will be a bit on the heavy side but I'm sure that's only a minor problem, with how well funded our health system is!"

3. "Now the way I see it is that it's either green, expensive, and sprawling; or compact, polluting and cheap. Wouldn't it be nice if we had the best of both worlds? Well, we can!" claims fission technician @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Nuclear power is reliable, clean, and although it isn't cheap, it won't break the bank. There is a risk of deadly meltdown, but this is relatively small, and the only people who could be against this are anti-nuclear protesters, but what do we care about those tree-hugging hippies?"

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#070: Purge The Infidels! [SalusaSecondus; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The fanatical religious organization @@NAME@@'s Concerned Citizens for Our God has brought it to your attention that there are many non-believers in your nation, and that they think something should be done about this.

The Debate
1. "We already have an official religion," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the white cloaked spokesperson for @@NAME@@'s Concerned Citizens. "Why not enforce it? After all, the only way to Heaven is through Us and Our God. If they will not believe in Our Loving and Forgiving God, well, clearly they must be PUT TO DEATH."

2. "Put to death? Is this really the type of person you want to listen to?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Every day I thank God that I'm an agnostic and don't need to believe this nonsense. Religion shouldn't have anything to do with our government. You should get rid of it immediately!"

3. "They're right, religion shouldn't have a role in our government, but they don't go far enough," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ at a local AA (Atheists Anonymous) meeting. "Few things have caused more death and suffering in this world than religion. Just look at the Crusades and the Jihads throughout history! This should be treated like the mental disorder that it is. Remember, religion teaches intolerance, and we cannot accept that!"

4. "Oh Lord, please don't let our noble leader listen to these extremists!" prays your religious advisor, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Religion is an important guiding force in peoples lives, but we have no right to force it on people. Atheists, since they don't have a religion, are less ethical and their actions cost society more, so it's only fair that they should be taxed more heavily to make up the difference."

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#071: Minority Group Demands Language Recognition [Pragmas; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A group several thousands strong hailing from a remote, isolated corner of @@NAME@@ is staging a massive demonstration on the front steps of your capitol. They demand that their local dialect be recognized as an official language.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Culture, has nothing but disdain for the demonstrators. "The language of @@NAME@@ is as important to our national identity as our history is. A truly erudite individual uses perfect grammar and refuses to speak as those ruffians do." Your Finance Minister is quick to chime in as well, "If business is required to print every road sign, instruction manual, and fast-food wrapper in two languages, it would increase everybody's overhead. That means higher prices for the person in the street."

2. "Smarker, but ee's gone blongie 'round the clonger! Trandy in the blang warked a newtie on the Cheebers, quaff me a duggle if it's brine. Sorky, hang our trandy high!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, speaking for the demonstrators, in an apparently rousing response that draws a cascade of cheers. After a few uncomfortable minutes with a professional translator, you find the speaker said, "I respectfully disagree with the Minister. Multilingualism has brought stability to richly-cultured nations such as Brancaland; indeed, I challenge you to provide a single counterexample. I encourage this government to adopt a policy of multilingualism throughout @@NAME@@!"

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a radical opposition member who seems to tag along to every demonstration she can find, has her own proposal. "The language barrier is keeping us all apart. What @@NAME@@ needs is a new identity defined by a new language that we can all agree on. That's unity without favoritism."

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#072: Widening Buttocks Cause Movie Theater Havoc [The Velvet Cockatiel; ed:The SLAGLands]

The Issue
Several festively chubby people were lodged in their movie theater seats for hours, as @@NAME@@'s Fire Department worked to free them. Health organizations are now expressing concern over the problem of obesity in @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "Clearly, we have to do something about the expanding obesity problem in @@NAME@@, er, no pun intended," remarks @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the National Health Bureau. "The government should implement an extensive exercise management program and make it mandatory that all citizens participate in some kind of exercise at least once a week."

2. "Mandatory exercise! Get out! I don't have the time!" snorts nationally renowned TV chef @@RANDOMNAME@@. "How about banning those greasy fast food joints and drive-thrus? I mean, seriously, if you can't get out of your stupid car to walk in and get a meal, how sad is that? Ban fast food and make junk food more expensive--that way, people will have to think about whether they really want to spend ten @@CURRENCY@@s on a snack cake."

3. "I don't see why it's anyone's business but my own how I kill myself," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a pleasantly plump computer programmer, stuffing a chili dog down his throat. "My weight is my own business, and if I don't feel like exercising, that's my choice. Sure, it'd be healthier to lose a few pounds, but my priorities lie elsewhere. Leave us alone, and we, the citizens of @@NAME@@, will decide what's important to us and what we want to eat."

4. "What about government-funded liposuction?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, while contemplatively chewing a mouthful of chili dog. "If I could get the fat sucked off of these hips, that would give me the willpower to stay thin. Obesity would be a thing of the past! Just think of it! Nothing but svelte, beautiful people everywhere! Ah, bliss!"

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#073: @@NAME@@ - Without Cars, Going Nowhere Fast [Reploid Productions; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
Ever since the government banned automobiles, furious soccer moms and commuters have been petitioning the government to revoke the ban, citing any number of troubles people have had without their cars.

The Debate
1. "The government was being utterly stupid in banning cars, especially at the whim of a bunch of nutjob, tree-hugging bicyclists!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Coo' Stuff, Inc. "My workers are constantly late, they don't work as much because they have to leave early to walk or bike home... leaving this ban in place will only murder the economy!"

2. "Well, it's extremely difficult to drive my son to and from school and his after-school sports," comments soccer mom @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But I don't want my boy inhaling all those icky fumes. I say bring back cars, but put some effort into finding cleaner fuels and the like! Who cares if it costs a small fortune?"

3. "What do they know?" whispers a strange woman clad all in green. "You ought to clamp down on these protesters. Without cars, the people are much easier for you to control, are they not?"

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#074: @@NAME@@'s Racers Growing Fast And Furious [Nascar Thunder; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Illegal street racing and racing-related injuries are on the rise, causing many infamous racers to begin rallying for an officially sanctioned racing series and track facilities in order to safely satisfy their need for speed.

The Debate
1. "If you don't let us race on real racetracks, then we'll just keep running on the roads at night!" says racing fans' favorite @@RANDOMNAME@@, at the wheel of a tricked-out Honda. "Would it kill you guys to build a couple of nice big race facilities? Think of the money you'd make on charging admission and selling drinks and stuff! And it'd be a lot safer than all of us tearing around on public roads! Forget about the people griping about the noise pollution!"

2. "Don't tell me you plan to cater to these speed freaks!" police officer @@RANDOMNAME@@ comments over coffee and donuts. "Encouraging this sport is only going to increase the street racing problem because all these punks who can't afford to run the professional circuit are going to want to satisfy their lead feet the way they have been! What we need is more police funding to crack down on these punk hotrodders."

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#075: Cutting Off Sex Offenders? [Istar; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
After the capture and trial of notorious rapist Henry Taiden, who was convicted of the rape of over 50 women in the past two years a debate has emerged on how he should be punished.

The Debate
1. "That psychopath should be castrated!" cries rape victim @@RANDOMNAME@@, "The agony he put me through must be punished with a means that will ensure that no human being will ever go through what I did! If castration is used more often in these cases you will see rape drop to nothing!"

2. "I understand that this is a terrible time for the poor victims in this case," says defense attorney @@RANDOMNAME@@, "However, the answer is not to revert back to the dark ages. Instead, we should focus on rehabilitation of all criminals in our prison system."

3. "Everyone knows re-education is a waste of money, we shouldn't go soft on these crooks!" says CEO @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the People Trading Corporation. "Simply place all rapists and criminals in @@NAME@@ into forced labor under the management of our company to serve out their sentences. When we're through with them, they won't even think of jaywalking, much less harming another person. We get cheap labor, and these crooks get put straight. Everybody benefits... well, except the crooks."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:59 pm, edited 9 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
Chief Kitty of the Cat Burglars
Bi-gameplayers: Raiding and defending because both are fun and ok
Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:46 am

#076: Suits in Protest [Xibonia; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
Thousands of business men and women have taken to the streets in protest of their working conditions and pay. "It's not fair that we can't have a union," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, VP of Sales at SlothCorp. "Just because we make six figures doesn't mean we don't deserve overtime too! It's high time that the lower classes come to appreciate our hard efforts."

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, secretary of commerce, recommends you ignore these commies. "Free enterprise means not having to succumb to unions, and the world has enough unions already."

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@, secretary of labor, advises you to adjust laws to allow white-collar unions. "It only makes sense that all of the workers in our nation have equal opportunity to benefit from the advantages of collective bargaining."

3. "Get these people out of the street!" advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, local police chief. "They're blocking traffic, and making it impossible for the common man to drive to the megamall!"

4. Finally, Right Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@ proclaims, "The downtrodden are suffering at the hands of the MAN, and these wealthy upper shelf vice presidents are asking to make the rich richer and the poor poorer! The only reason the common worker needs a union is to be able to fight against the oppression of these slave drivers! It's ludicrous that these greedy scrooges are asking for even MORE money! Send them packing and raise taxes on the wealthy to bring more equality to our nation!"

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#077: World To End, Or Possibly Just Mark Anniversary {One Year Anniversary issue, now an Easter Egg bonus}

The Issue
Along with the rest of the world, the citizens of @@NAME@@ have been stunned by the revelation of a small team of geophysical philosophers that the world turns exactly one year old today, as measured by what they call "RL units". (Congratulations on finding so many easter eggs. As a reward, here is the special issue our players got when NationStates turned one year old.)

The Debate
1. "Frankly, I saw this coming -- all the signs of the Apocalypse are here," says local community leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Moral standards are falling, the government is making increasingly erratic decisions, and people are neglecting their work to play bizarre political simulation games on the internet. There's only one sensible reaction: declaring a state of emergency, sending out the military, and shooting curfew breakers until the crisis is over."

2. "With respect, I don't think falling moral standards are the problem," says cubicle dweller and Slashdot karma god @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The issue is what's going to happen to our computers if the world clock ticks over from 0 to 1. This Y1 problem, as I call it, could be devastating for our IT industry unless it's tackled swiftly. And by tackled swiftly, I mean given a massive injection of public money."

3. "Why panic when you should be partying?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, not completely soberly. "It's the first birthday of the world, man -- let people go nuts! If the government has a shred of decency, they'll order the cops to back off and let people really enjoy this incredible moment in history."

4. "This is neither a time for clamping down, nor, as they say, going off," says religious leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Rather, we should encourage people to reflect on the great mysteries of life. For example, what is God, to each of us? What is the true meaning of faith? And is the world around us reality, or are we instead living inside a simulated reality that exists only for the amusement of beings we cannot even imagine?"

5. "Well, I know what I'll be doing," says obscure author and Perl amateur Max Barry. "Sitting at home with a good book! Jennifer Government, for instance, is a cracking read. And I hear that some of the profits go into maintaining a cool web game. But of course, that's just my opinion. People should celebrate however they want."

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#078: Easter Egg: Should We Pull The Lever? [Meddlers; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
During the middle of the night, someone has mysteriously put a lever in the middle of the city park. On it, it says, "Pull the Lever, And See The World End."

The Debate
1. "I've always wanted to see the apocalypse." says an elderly man on a park bench. "All that fire and brimstone. To see God's wrath. Something I can tell my grandchildren about later on. I say we should."

2. "Not on your life!" says his wife sitting next to him. "If you pull that lever, we'll have no grandchildren, no life, only heaven and hell. Don't you dare pull that lever."

3. "Now, don't think of it as a do/don't option," says a hot dog vendor. "What if we give tours so that people can see the lever? Not to touch it of course, but to see that humanity can be ruined by such a contraption. We can make a profit."

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#079: @@NAME@@'s @@ANIMAL@@s: Going The Way Of The Dodo? [Naelosia; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The @@ANIMAL@@ is on the brink of extinction, largely due to people hunting them down for tasty @@ANIMAL@@-kabobs and @@ANIMAL@@burgers, and as ecological disaster looms, various factions are all calling for what they feel should be done about the @@ANIMAL@@.

The Debate
1. "This is an outrage!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, outspoken member of the @@NAME@@ Wilderness Protection Movement. "The government has to put a stop to the out of control hunting of our beloved @@ANIMAL@@s. Do you want our children and grandchildren to miss witnessing the spectacle of wild @@ANIMAL@@s prancing freely in our forests?"

2. "Who cares what happens to some dumb wild pest?", scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, employee of @@NAME@@ National Lumber, "If they're endangered it's 'cause they were too weak to adapt. They probably deserve to be killed off. With them out of the way, we could clear-cut the forests @@ANIMAL@@s like to hide in, which would really boost the economy through the timber industry!"

3. "Nature is hardly a black and white issue," @@RANDOMNAME@@, a respected scholar, notes. "We should start a breeding program to help these creatures recover their numbers. We can display them in captivity, and gradually release them into the wild. Couple it with limiting, but not abolishing @@ANIMAL@@ hunting, and everyone benefits. Of course, @@ANIMAL@@s raised in captivity don't generally survive in the wild, but I'm sure we can find a way!"

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#080: Easter Egg: Aliens Wish Peace/Trade Agreement [Exiled; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
Aliens have landed in the fieds of @@NAME@@ and they wish to trade and have peace.

The Debate
1. "Take us to your kneader!" says @@RANDOMNAME_REVERSED@@, alien lawyer. "We have heard wonders of @@NAME@@'s pizza, and must have it. We are certain that a valuable trade route can be set up between our peoples. You could have our first born, for example." Your Secretary of Trade is shocked, "First Born?! That's slavery!" but quickly calms down upon discovery that their young are considered a great delicacy there. "You know, maybe we should open up trade with them?"

2. The Coalition of No ETs wants you to stay out of this. @@RANDOMNAME@@ says "Them darn aliens thingies are going to take advantage of the situation an kill us all! You must ban all trade with them. If they want my cattle, it will be over my dead body!"

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#081: Close Encounters Of The Sci-fi Kind? [Spyr; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A recent, well-publicized UFO sighting over rural areas of @@NAME@@ has turned people's attention to the skies, and what... or who... might be up there.

The Debate
1. "This event proves one thing: there are other life-forms out there," says eccentric astronomer @@RANDOMNAME@@, "All we have to do is find them! What is the price of a few hundred Radio Telescopes compared to the benefit of living in peace and harmony with our brethren of the stars?"

2. "Spies! It's gotta be spies! A few planes or satellites from our enemies or 'allies' in our region," rages General @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of @@NAME@@'s military, "The only way to keep those snoops out of our airspace is to patrol the streets 'n skies, and shoot 'em down! Even if they are some sort of little green aliens, a couple of SAM batteries and a few flak cannons'll keep 'em from abducting our @@ANIMAL@@s."

3. "Extraterrestrial lifeforms? Alien invaders? I don't know why we even have to listen to such idiocy!" complains prize-winning physicist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "In my opinion, the idea of 'aliens' on another planet is highly unlikely, and even if they did exist, getting from there to here is technically impossible! I say we forget this nonsense and stop spending our tax @@CURRENCY@@s on it. Leave this sort of foolishness to the people who attend those 'trekkie' conventions."

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#082: AI Researchers Rally For Android Rights [Eniqcir; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
Following recent advances in artificial intelligence, debate has arrisen in @@NAME@@ over whether AI's should have the right to citizenship.

The Debate
1. "Giving citizenship to computers and software programs is just downright crazy," says citizen @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Who knows if they're even really alive? Just because some of them may look human doesn't mean they're equal to us. It could all just be imitation."

2. "These beings have just as much of a right to citizenship as the rest of us," argues civil rights activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "True, we may not be able to tell if they're really 'alive', per se, but how can we tell that they aren't? But the androids should be put at the top of the list. At least we know that they have the same viewpoint as us humans."

3. "This is craziness!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a resident interviewed by the popular news show 'Talk o' the Town'. "It's just blasphemy, plain and simple! We're, like, playin' God here! It's evil, man, evil! What if they turned against us? All forms of AI should be banned, dudes."

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#083: High-Speed Monorail Service Promises Connections [Baudrillard; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Vroom-A-Zoom-Zoom (VAZZ), a consortium of weird-looking hippies and yuppie roller coaster aficionados, has developed plans for a high-speed monorail service for @@NAME@@ to help counter and relieve problems brought about by banning cars.

The Debate
1. "This is great," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, devout anti-spending advocate. "You know what'll happen? The government will invest huge sums of money in a service no one will use. I suggest nipping it in the bud... and cutting back government spending across the board while you're at it."

2. "I disagree," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ of Vroom-A-Zoom-Zoom Ltd. "If people are worried about the costs, why not let the monorail service be a private company? That way, it will have to compete with other industries and make a profit. And don't forget that'll bring in more tax revenue. Of course, that would make fares too pricey for a lot of people, but the rich would probably use it a lot!"

3. "I really disagree," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an unwashed denizen standing in the middle of Noh Weir, population 200, on the outskirts of @@NAME@@. "The state must run the monorail service, otherwise it's useless. What a monorail system should do is connect both large and small cities, and the only way to do that is for the government to run the rails, using the profits from the larger cities to subsidize the routes for smaller ones."

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#084: Compulsory Gun Ownership? [Tristram; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
This weekend, a citizen's group calling itself Gun Owners of @@NAME@@ has petitioned Congress with a controversial bill making gun ownership compulsory.

The Debate
1. "This is a very important step to securing the rights and lives of our families and controlling the government," urges noted gun ownership proponent @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Not only would it significantly decrease crime, but it would also effectively stop government tyranny in its tracks. Of course, this also means that every wacko and their cousin will have a gun, but don't worry, you'll have a gun to defend yourself from them, so it will all work out."

2. "While the Gun Owners of @@NAME@@ have the safety and security of our people in mind, it would simply be impractical to enforce," comments Police Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "A better option would be to legalize, and encourage use of, concealed carry laws, which would allow responsible citizens to keep firearms with them at all times, on their person, to kill any wacko or their cousin who they think is threatening them."

3. "Compulsory gun ownership?! Concealed carry?! Are these fools nuts?!" rants an enraged Million Mummy March activist. "We don't need any of these things! What we need is complete gun registration, so that the government can track down dangerous people, like those people who possess unregistered weapons."

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#085: Illegal File-Sharing Flares [Frigben; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
A surprise raid conducted on ISPs over the last week in @@NAME@@ shows that more than 30% of all Internet data transfer in @@NAME@@ at one time or another is used by illegal file-shares to illegally distribute files, most notably songs.

The Debate
1. "What we need to do is hack their computers and format their hard drives," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, recording industry representative. "People need to be taught to not mess with the law. This is theft, pure and simple. And they're not only halving our revenue to tune of billions of @@CURRENCY@@s, but you are also stealing a few hundredths of a @@CURRENCY@@ from the artist for every song they steal. THINK OF THE STARVING ARTISTS!"

2. "Yo, dude, like, don't be hatin' man," says teenager @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We're like, going to change the whole structure of our society. Everything should be like, publicly available to, like, everybody, dude. Copyrights are so, like, uncool man and we need to get rid of them. That'd be totally radical, and cool as well."

3. "Yo, dang, blizzity blang, yo, this ain't, right, yo," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, famous rapper with three platinum albums. "Dang, yo, we dang need to copy-protect my dang CDs, yo. That dang playability life dang decreases, yo, but it's the only way to stop this, dang, yo."

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#086: Save The @@ANIMAL@@ [Oddballfullness; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
In desperation at the plight of the @@ANIMAL@@, which has virtually no natural habitat left in @@NAME@@, a somewhat unorthodox environmental group demands that the few surviving specimens be domesticated and sold in pet stores.

The Debate
1. "We must act now, before the @@ANIMAL@@ is lost forever," said spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@ during a recent interview. "Domestication has ensured the survival of many endangered species in the past, and there really is no alternative left at this point. Besides, I'm sure many families would be thrilled to welcome a @@ANIMAL@@ into their homes."

2. "Sure, @@ANIMAL@@s might look cute and harmless to you," says retired hunting legend @@RANDOMNAME@@, "but back in my day, they were the scourge on the nation. They carry a number of dangerous diseases, and you do NOT want to be bitten by one. My cousin was once bitten by a @@ANIMAL@@ and he's never been the same since! So now you want my grandchildren exposed to these things? The sooner they disappear completely, the better!"

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#087: Burn! Burn Everything! [PRC China; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A recent anti-government rally by highly disgruntled teens has brought a previously minor issue to the fore: should people be permitted to burn @@NAME@@'s flag, or should it be a crime?

The Debate
1. "We should be able to burn the flag as a sign of protest. I say ignore those crazy red-blooded fanatics who won't let us! After all it's because we are a tolerant nation that we should allow it!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, civil rights activist, while accidentally immolating many nearby protesters.

2. "Burning should be allowed for everything! Down with the pig cops and their repressive regime!" says well-known anarchist and arsonist @@RANDOMNAME@@, from the comfy and non-flammable confines of a prison cell. "Burn! Burn burn burn! Everything! Kyahahaha!"

3. "These barbarians are suggesting burning the flag of our glorious nation as if it were a piece of scrap cloth! First it's burning the flag, and before you know it, it's rebellion and anarchy!" @@RANDOMNAME@@ scowls. "Flag burning should be punishable by jail terms and a good flogging!"

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#088: Cannibals Demand To Taste What @@NAME@@ Has To Offer [Sovereign Discord; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A coalition of tribalists, health experts, and civil rights proponents have recently suggested legalizing cannibalism for consumers of willing would-be meals.

The Debate
1. "I see absolutely no problem with people digging into each other at dinnertime, so long as everyone is willing," @@RANDOMNAME@@, the editor of the monthly magazine 'To Serve Man', quips, "Not only does it solve hunger problems and create jobs, but it also adds variety to @@NAME@@'s sometimes dull palette."

2. Civil rights leader @@RANDOMNAME@@ came out publicly for moderate pro-cannibalism legislation, commenting, "While it may strike some as a crude, even evil practice, our ancestors have practiced cannibalism for years. If we create a government organization to strictly regulate and grade all human meat prior to its arrival on the market, we can ensure that respect for diversity is maintained while health concerns are also allayed. And instead of killing average people, why not make being turned into snack foods a post-mortem option? Like donating your body to science!"

3. "You're all absolutely out of your minds!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of @@NAME@@'s largest health-food manufacturer. "It's immoral, it's unhealthy, and it's disgusting. Not only are these so-called 'dietary rights' activists leading us down a dark path of sin, but right into a marketplace with yet another product that's almost as bad as beef!"

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#089: "Don't Dam Our Rivers, Damnit!" Say Protesters [Frigben; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A group of Greenpeace protesters have called for an end to a government proposal to begin damming rivers in @@NAME@@ to increase water supplies and generate power.

The Debate
1. "Don't build dams!" shouts protestor @@RANDOMNAME@@ through a microphone heavily afflicted with feedback. "Do you know how many fish die in other dams in our region each year? Have you heard of the adverse effects building a dam has on the surrounding environment? Dam up this flood of dams, damn it!"

2. "Think before you open your mouth," says engineer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "While @@NAME@@ may have to pay the price in animal diversity, as well as adverse effects on the environment, do we really want fossil-fuel based plants polluting @@NAME@@? If you use your common sense, I think you'll find that damming some rivers would be a good idea. Plus, think of how much the economy would benefit from all the jobs these projects would create."

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#090: Organic Outburst [Dark_Zephyr; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
After a recent left-wing broadsheet exposé of agricultural practices, an outburst of public paranoia has stirred up the organic foods debate.

The Debate
1. "I just can't stomach it any more," rants concerned parent @@RANDOMNAME@@. "My children's future is being put at risk by irresponsible corporate practices. We must outlaw the use of pesticides and additives by farmers and food producers."

2. "I've heard enough of this treehugging, lefty nonsense," argues corporate spokesman @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The agricultural industry needs to use the most advanced technology available, it's the only way to keep @@NAME@@ competitive in food production. Besides, the studies we have commissioned prove that only a very small number of child deaths are due to our products, and surely that's an acceptable rate in the name of progress?"

3. "Stop torturing Mother Earth!" yells outraged environmental extremist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Are we prepared to sacrifice our planet and our souls for the sake of a few extra @@CURRENCY@@s? If we hope to live in harmony with the environment that nurtures and protects us, we must ban all industries that pollute our world. Let us return to the trees, my brothers!"

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#091: Sacramental Tax Time? [Rational Self Interest; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Secularists have been urging the government to impose an income tax on religious organizations in @@NAME@@ for some time now, and the issue has finally made its way to the upper levels of the government.

The Debate
1. Self-appointed civil rights spokesman @@RANDOMNAME@@ declares, "Churches are business organizations with a large income. It's unfair that they don't have to pay the same taxes that everyone else does. If they really do spend any money on charity, let them write it off as a deduction just like corporations do. There's no reason that so-called clergy should be chauffeured around in limos tax-free, when we desperately need funds for public works."

2. "Freedom of conscience is foremost among liberties," says Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Churches have been exempted from taxation because it is wrong for the government to infringe on the right of people to worship as they please, and that includes charging them for the right to worship. Besides, churches are non-profit organizations that put all their funds back into the community."

3. The Honorable @@RANDOMNAME@@, Minister of Minding Other People's Business, has an idea: "This religion thing is such a great racket, why don't we make it a government monopoly? We'll ban all religions except the Church of @@NAME@@, and make attendance and donations compulsory. I'll start writing the Holy Scriptures right away!"

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#092: @@NAME@@ Officials Needled About Mandatory Vaccinations [GDrabble; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Health workers are frequently being ignored by people when recommending vaccinations against common illnesses. When these people subsequently become ill they require expensive emergency care. To correct this situation, many health experts are lobbying for mandatory vaccinations.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a pro-vaccination taxpayer, says "If a doctor thinks a vaccination is good for you then you should have it. All these people turning them down are know-it-alls that are wasting my tax money. Or they're really afraid of needles."

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@, who recently refused a vaccination, says that vaccines must remain completely optional: "Anything else is a breach of human rights. Doctors are not always right!" she says. "I'm perfectly capable of deciding what is best for my body!"

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s leading expert on health spending, suggests a third way. "Leave vaccines optional but make free health care conditional on having them. That way people get to choose, and it will help ease the load on our national healthcare budget."

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#093: Affirmative Action in @@NAME@@? [The Orange Freestate; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
After a recent high-profile case of a minority student being refused admission to a traditional, prestigious college, civil rights activists, conservatives, and teachers are up in arms about affirmative action and ethnic equality in education.

The Debate
1. "This is just another attempt to discriminate against people of color," declares civil-rights activist, former TV commentator and unabashed publicity speaker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If people are disadvantaged in their upbringing then they should be given an 'equal' chance to succeed in college."

2. "The affirmative action programs aren't necessary at all," rejoins conservative speaker and hair care product salesman @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If you really want to treat everyone equally, as you claim, how can you support special treatment for a few so-called minority groups? Besides, it would cost even more money to enforce."

3. "I think you are both looney," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, professor of liberal arts at @@NAME@@ National University. "All education should be open to everyone regardless of their grades in high school, economic status or academic prowess. Free college education should be available to every citizen of @@NAME@@, no matter what the cost!"

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#094: Computer Users Fed Up With Heaps of Spam! [Bored Yawning; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A survey citing a tremendous increase in unsolicited emails has added fire to the subject of what many view as a scourge of the Internet.

The Debate
1. "The spam problem is out of control," states anti-spam advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I get at least fifty spam e-mails a day. That isn't even counting the spam people are posting to my newsgroup and to my messageboard. This junk is a waste of time in that I have to delete it and a waste of my money in that I have to buy anti-spam programs-which hardly work anyway. People get swindled by this stuff - it should be a crime, just like regular fraud."

2. "A ban on all spam is a restriction on our freedom of speech and on the freedom of the press!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@ president of Citizens for Internet Freedom. "What is the government to say what is and isn't commercial spam? Could they haul charity representatives off to jail for seeking donations? Could they jail politicians for using e-mail to try and gain votes? Could they arrest me if I accidentally send my erotic novel-in-progress to the wrong address? Seriously, spamming is a subjective offense and as such should not be considered a crime."

3. "Both sides are wrong," grumbles government paper-pusher @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Spam is definitely a problem, yet so is the restriction on freedoms which some draconian anti-spam codes would impose. I propose a ban on overtly fraudulent spam, and a tax on more legitimate businesses that rely on spam as an advertising method, and a strict legal definition of spam that would ensure no innocent person was prosecuted or taxed."

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#095: Painful Prices Paid At The Pump [Aljerfribish; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Commuters are complaining about the ongoing rise in gas prices, causing a massive debate in the government about what should be done.

The Debate
1. "Who cares about a few trees?" says oil executive @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Gas prices are six @@CURRENCY@@s per gallon, and rising! There is lots of oil to be found in areas currently protected as parks! Solving our energy needs is more important than conserving the environment. Just give us permission to go in there and start drilling, and gas prices will plummet!"

2. "There are other ways to recover from the fossil fuel crisis besides ruining forests," says environmental activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We shouldn't just take the short way out and drill here. I suggest spending more money on public transportation systems and encouraging people to carpool - if people weren't so reliant on fossil fuel powered cars, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place, and if we start using less oil, the price will drop with the demand."

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#096: Water Supply Problems Becoming A Major Drain [Calvin n Hobbes; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Due to the explosive population growth in @@NAME@@, coupled with recent droughts, people are beginning to worry about the nation's decreasing water supply, and who should get first dibs on the vital H2O.

The Debate
1. "We need this water to raise our crops," says incensed farmer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If it wasn't for us farmers, the rest of @@NAME@@ would be starving. How about laying the blame where it belongs, and look to those cookie cutter suburban houses with their green lawns and pristinely washed mini-vans!"

2. "It is my right to have the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood," says neighborhood spokesman @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Our community spends a lot of effort cultivating a nice environment for our kids to grow up in. Why, if they didn't have these nice lawns to play in, they would be hanging out on street corners peddling drugs, or worse! Won't someone please think of the children?"

3. "Here is a novel idea," proclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for radical environmental group Leave Nature Alone. "How about getting rid of all these dams and irrigation projects that are getting in the way of Mother Nature's plans for the water. It is time to allow the rivers to take their natural courses and leave the environment alone. I'm sure things will work out fine if we let Nature take its course."

4. "Obviously, who gets how much water is only a part of the problem," notes famed population-control advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We must try to curtail the rapid growth of our population, whether by limiting the amount of children people may have, or by deporting immigrants and criminals... we must get a handle on our population before we can hope to correct this water supply problem."

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#097: Landfills Filling Up [Edolia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After claims of two-headed @@ANIMAL@@s being seen near the numerous landfills of @@NAME@@, there have been calls for the government to act.

The Debate
1. "Look at that thing!" wails famous environmentalist @@RANDOMNAME@@, pointing at one of @@NAME@@'s largest dumps. "It's an eyesore, a pollutant, and a damn disgrace! What we need to do is get everyone recycling their waste! What we have left we can shoot into space in specially-made space shuttles and we'll never have to think about it again! Sure it'll be expensive, but considering the benefits to the great outdoors, I think we should consider it."

2. "Ah, the expense!" moans @@RANDOMNAME@@, government economist. "Do you have any idea what that would cost?! A much better way of dealing with this waste is to burn it and use the energy it produces to power @@NAME@@'s big cities. There may be a few side-effects on the environment, but with all the cheap power coming in who would care?"

3. "Oh come now," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a nearby suburbanite. "There's no need to bring all the pollution into the cities! These dumps can get a whole lot bigger you know. Just keep piling the rubbish on and we can use them as tourist attractions or something. People will flock to see how high they can climb our artificial mountains! If we run out of space, just knock down a few forests. No one will notice."

4. "You're all missing the real solution," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the '@@NAME@@ First!' society. "Why should we bother building landfills at all? I'm sure that there are plenty of less-fortunate countries out there who would be more than happy to take our litter in return for some cash."

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#098: Police Want More Than Shiny Badge [Hata-alla; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a police officer was forced to apprehend a criminal with nothing more than a tin of beans, there has been an outcry for better equipment.

The Debate
1. "It's outrageous," says Chief Constable @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This horrible situation could have been sorted out a lot faster if we had had the right equipment! Even the poorest criminals can buy better arms than us! We need more funds - if we have to take a bit of cash off the education and healthcare budgets to pay for it all then so be it!"

2. "I agree with my friend here," says zealous lance-corporal @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But let's go further. Let's create a new anti-crime group with special training and expensive - er - extensive new equipment! That would make the criminals think twice before breaking the law! Especially if our new forces can shoot miscreants at first sight without messing around with time-consuming trials."

3. "Hey, hey!" cries anti-gun protester, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You can't be serious! Weapons kill! Everyone knows that if there were no weapons there'd be no criminals; and if there are no criminals, we won't need to waste valuable government funds on the police! In fact, I say we should go as far as doing away with them altogether! I don't see them doing anything useful anyway, except try to stop our demonstrations! Ban guns! Ban the police! Live for a better tomorrow!"

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#099: We Need Cash, Sharpish, Say Librarians [Os Cosia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Ailing libraries have appealed to the government for a much-needed injection of funds.

The Debate
1. "Our libraries are in a dreadful state," says distressed librarian, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This year we had to cancel our subscription to 'Playboy' and over half of our shelves are stacked with pamphlets from the Pizzeria across the road. We need more books and better standards. If there were more perks in this job then maybe we'd get some decent employees! If it needs a whole lot of government funds to pay for it all then so be it!"

2. "Now hold it right there!" says manager of the local MEGA-BOOKS store, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I employ twenty-four people and we are dependent upon people paying us money to buy books, magazines and newspapers from my store. How can you even think about giving our tax @@CURRENCY@@s to these people so they can put us out of business? 'Course poor people won't be able to afford our wares but they'd only use them for fires or somethin'. Let our libraries die."

3. "I'm all for giving our libraries more money," says Education Minister, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But we certainly shouldn't just let them spend it however they please. We need an elected board to oversee all purchases and acquisitions made by our library system, promoting educational literature and keeping out smut. That way we can keep nudity out of the hands of children. We can make sure none of those political satires and newspapers that insult our government affect the weak-minded amongst us too. Then our libraries will be something to be proud of."

4. "Great Scot! I've got it!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, your science advisor. "Why do we need these brick and mortar buildings anyway? Let's just scan all these books, newspapers and magazines onto the internet and then we can fire all those expensive librarians with their pensions and healthcare benefits. Think of the money we'd save if we didn't have to print everything! Sure it'll be tough on the librarians and those with no computers but hey, this is the future and they are the past."

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#100: Road Rage Rampage [SatanSpermSpawn; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Due to the ever-increasing traffic on @@NAME@@'s highways, commuter tempers are flaring, leading to an increase in road rage related accidents. A recent case in which a very impatient driver attacked and seriously injured a slow driver has brought the subject rapidly to the highest levels of the government.

The Debate
1. "The problem is that our highway system is sorely in need of an overhaul," claims social commentator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "@@NAME@@'s highways were constructed with a far smaller number of cars in mind, and we've exceeded that traffic load by a substantial amount, resulting in traffic jams. Traffic jams lead to impatience, impatience leads to anger, anger leads to road rage, and road rage leads to violence. We need to expand the freeway system by adding more lanes to relieve the traffic congestion."

2. "You add new lanes, even MORE people will drive, putting us right back at square one!" counters @@RANDOMNAME@@ of @@NAME@@'s public transportation committee. "Instead of throwing tons of money at a short-term solution, why not spend it on improving bus and rail service and encouraging carpooling? Oh, and get more highway patrol officers to crack down on these violent drivers who pose safety threats to the rest of us."

3. "*BLEEP!* that *BLEEP!*" Catherine Gratwick yells at the top of her lungs from the window of her very large pickup truck with a gun rack mounted in the rear window. "The government should just *BLEEP!*ing stay out of our daily *BLEEP!*ing drive! They ought to let us *BLEEP!*ing rushed businesspeople go about our daily *BLEEP!*ing business, no matter what *BLEEP!*ing measures we have to take to get to *BLEEP!*ing work on time!"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:58 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:48 am

#101: Tiara Sign Of Oppression, Declare Feminists [The Prelapsarian State; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s upcoming hosting of a major international beauty pageant has upset some citizens concerned about the message it puts across.

The Debate
1. "These beauty pageants are a disgrace to women everywhere!" shouts feminist campaigner, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They objectify the female body and re-enforce negative stereotyping! They celebrate the appearance instead of the personality! What message is this sending out to our children? Do we want them to think shallowness and vanity are virtues? Ban beauty contests! We must focus the education of our progeny on ethics and equality or suffer the consequences!"

2. "I agree that the pageants should be banned," pontificates renowned moralist, the Ever So Slightly Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But purely in the name of moral decency! All those fashion stores that sponsor these contests make lots of money from this blasphemy and that is just plain wrong! These women wear revealing clothing that seek to entice and seduce young men. As such, we should go a step further, and institute a dress code! Long, plaid skirts for the girls, with necklines that never drop below the base of the neck! Only then will the women of our nation be cleansed of sin!"

3. "What in the name of all that's decent and good are you talking about?" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the egalitarian civil rights movement 'Everyone Is Equal, Dammit'. "Obviously these pageants will always be sexist unless they're open to everyone. Admiring women only for their beauty is an insult to their intelligence and the beauty of men! It's dually sexist! Open up the pageant to both sexes!"

4. "Agh, no, no boys please, let's just host the pageant as is, alright?" implores Catherine Gratwick, one of @@NAME@@'s most celebrated models. "No matter what you people think, appearance is important! Mine allows me to pay for all the dresses I want! So no, I don't think there's anything wrong with telling kids that you can make money from being pretty. In fact, I think beauty contests should be held at schools every year!"

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#102: For Whom The Road Tolls [Ta Kala; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A group of transport analysts have suggested that a charge of five @@CURRENCY@@s a day for vehicular access to @@NAME@@'s most congested inner-cities during peak hours is the only way to solve their ever-growing traffic problem.

The Debate
1. "Similar schemes have been very effective elsewhere," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s most infamous traffic warden. "It's common sense that the best way to curb dangerously high demand is to raise the price of the supply - or, as in this case, to create a price. Charging citizens to go into more congested areas could, combined with the improvements to public transport it will finance, actually make people choose public transport over their cars. I don't see why people shouldn't pay tax for a little less traffic on our roads."

2. "These tolls are a preposterous idea," argues road lobbyist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Public transport will never replace the car - I don't want to be forced to share my space with a bunch of malodorous working-class people on my way to work. Not that I would be, because I could afford the charge, but really, it's the principle of the matter! The only solution is to expand urban road networks. True, some pavements and green spots would have to go, but those pedestrians should be able to put up with that if they're to expect @@NAME@@ to be part of the modern world."

3. "Allowing cars to scoot around and pollute our cities was a bad idea in the first place," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous environmentalist. "The solution is to restrict private transport to main roads and motorways whilst funding a major urban public transport scheme. Our buses and undergrounds could be the envy of the world! Yes, the car companies will suffer a little, and yes, there'll be a bit more tax, but wouldn't it be worth it for a bit of fresh air and safe streets for the children?"

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#103: Plague Of The Hybrids! [Serenthis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Angry farmers have taken to the streets demanding the government to act after reported sightings of strange @@ANIMAL@@-like dogs eating all the crops in fields.

The Debate
1. "This unholy union should never have taken place to begin with," comments @@RANDOMNAME@@, an angry farmer. "The @@ANIMAL@@ was never meant to mate with a dog! They eat my crops, they attack my livestock and they're breeding so quickly they're swamping the environment! We can't make a living like this! You've got to give us the funds and manpower to shoot anything that comes within a mile of our property and put an end to these freaks of nature! We must wipe these creatures out now or before you know it all we'll be eating is fish."

2. "We can't just destroy these creatures!" exclaimed @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of @@NAME@@'s biggest safari park. "They may look ugly to you, but I think they're just beautiful. We need to study them and understand them; think of what we could learn! These wonderful beasts may be a little harmful to the environment, but think of the people who will flock to see them! It would be an educational experience! Think of the money!"

3. "We could always just kill off all the dogs," @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the "Keep The Species Pure" foundation whispers to you in a conversation. "The @@ANIMAL@@ is one of the many things our country is famous for; any perversion of its image reflects upon us all! We can't have their image spoilt by these ugly abominations! Just get the police to go around and kill them all and we can rest easy knowing our countryside is safe!

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#104: Public Loudspeakers Shrill With Controversy [Alpha Centauri; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A recent poll on putting up huge loudspeakers in @@NAME@@'s cities for public government broadcasts has been brought to your attention.

The Debate
1. "This idea is brilliant, and @@NAME@@ can't afford to pass it up," claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Safety. "These loudspeakers can assure the public that the government is always here to help them. The potential here, to immediately warn citizens of an emergency such as an earthquake or a stampede of @@ANIMAL@@s or something, simply must be taken into account! This could save lives! And I suppose, when there isn't anything the citizens need to be told, you could always use them to broadcast patriotic messages like '@@SLOGAN@@' and inform the good people which party to join and vote for with newsbriefs and such. It'll be worth it to strengthen the populace's devotion to our glorious nation!"

2. "I think people need to realise what this really is: brainwashing!" retorts @@RANDOMNAME@@, a wealthy marketer. "I don't want to hear all this flag-waving hogwash every time I go out for a walk. But when it comes to emergencies, I do agree that something should be done to warn everyone: we should send out messages on mandatory minature radios that you can carry in your pocket. It could tell you things you need to know too, like what shoes to buy and such."

3. "To be honest, I can't see why we should put up with advertising at all," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an anti-business protester. "All it is is some multi-billionaire or politician somewhere trying to make even more money while the rest of us struggle to make ends meet. I say we ban it. Maybe the economy will suffer a little and some people may lose jobs but that's just a minor side-effect really, especially when you consider that no longer will our children be encouraged to fill themselves with junk-food because some guy on the telly tells them it's cool!"

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#105: Compensation Culture Must End, Say Corporations [Zhudor; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a recent spate of high-profile lawsuits against corporations concerning the safety of their products, corporations have appealed to the government to change the laws of compensation.

The Debate
1. "It's crazy!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Sharp 'n' Pointy Things Incorporated. "These people should simply not be allowed to put the blame on us if they mindlessly abuse our products! I'd have thought it would be common sense not to stick your hand in a blender to 'see if it was working properly'. We need to outlaw these ridiculous lawsuits so I can get on with my business and those working in the law profession can get on with theirs."

2. "I'm almost inclined to agree," muses @@RANDOMNAME@@, a nearby firefighter. "People really should know better than to dry their cats in the microwave oven. But it's also that microwave oven that should not start a fire if one leaves it running overnight. Let's just put higher national safety standards in place that all products must be certified to meet. The extra expense shouldn't worry people if it's the difference between life and death after all."

3. "There's nothing wrong with victims getting a little money for the damage they've suffered," claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s most notorious lawyer. "In fact we should be increasing court capacities so everyone with a complaint to file won't have to wait long before they can get before a judge. Sure it'll be expensive to implement, but maybe then the manufacturers will think twice before selling their unsafe junk without explaining things clearly in the manuals!"

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#106: Give The Red Light District The Green Light? [Lmaortfmolia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a recent survey discovered that nearly 40% of all citizens in @@NAME@@ are single, there has been an increasingly loud call for the legalisation of prostitution.

The Debate
1. "I just can't get a girl no matter what I do," laments acne-afflicted nerd, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If the cops would just look the other way about prostitution, it'd make my life much easier. Yeah, I'd be risking all sorts of diseases, but it's my body isn't it?"

2. "We can't allow this to happen!" protests Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@, senior pathologist of @@NAME@@'s largest hospital. "Prostitution is a dangerous business and must remain illegal! People need to be more aware of the consequences that could follow like the risk of contracting HIV, chlamydia, or even syphilis. I say we get some funding for a large awareness programme on sexually transmitted diseases and maybe then people will act responsibly between the covers. It'll be expensive sure, but well worth it."

3. "Not so fast now!" interjects daring entrepreneur, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Why don't we just have the prostitution industry run by the government? By letting the government regulate prostitution, @@NAME@@ can force any patrons to undergo tests for diseases, make prostitutes have regular medical check-ups and pay a portion of their profits to the government. Of course we'd still have to put more policemen on the streets to keep illegal brothels from popping up and make sure the hospitals are equipped to handle the extra workload, but you can always raise taxes to account for that."

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#107: Private Lab Holds @@NAME@@'s Sick To Ransom [Silverbrook; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Scientists at a private medical research laboratory have announced that they have produced a drug which will combat @@NAME@@'s most notorious malady - Spon Plague.

The Debate
1. "This pill is the only known and unknown cure for the Spon Plague!" proclaims Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@, the inventor of the cure. "But if we are to go ahead with the production of this drug, we must get some government support. We're set to make a fortune from this drug - the money we earn will help us develop even more cures for other as-yet untreatable diseases. Some people won't be able to afford it of course, but hard cheese on them: they should have got a paying job while they were still capable."

2. "That's a disgraceful way to think!" says equal rights activist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "So the people who need the most help shouldn't get any? I propose that the government subsidises the production of all drugs so everyone can benefit from them, rich or not! That way the money-hungry corporations won't profit from the suffering of the masses. Of course there will be the matter of a small tax rise to fund it - but what's that when lives will be saved?"

3. "I can't believe what I'm hearing," deplores well-respected religious leader, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If God didn't want people to have this disease he wouldn't have created it in the first place. This is completely against the will of God and if the government allows this drug to go on sale we will all be doomed to an afterlife in a dark and fiery place! Now let's end this madness and abolish the production of pharmaceuticals and drugs altogether!"

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#108: Gambling Interests Offer High Stakes [New Sweden X; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
In light of @@NAME@@'s ban on gambling, people ranging from angry homemakers to allegedly legitimate businessmen have been arguing incessantly about whether or not banning casinos was a good idea.

The Debate
1. "We are highly distressed at your decision to revoke our casino licences," says FamilyCorp. Representative "Fat Tony" @@RANDOMNAME@@, while sipping a glass of fine wine. "If the ban were to be revoked, think of all the money you could get from your cut of the profit. In addition, it would help ensure the safety of assorted members of @@NAME@@'s government. I think this is an offer that you should not refuse."

2. "These casinos cannot be allowed to reopen!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ex-gambling addict. "Remember what happened last time? People get out of control and lose their life's savings! Just say no to these so-called legitimate businesses! And crack down on the rest of organized crime while you're at it."

3. "There is a solution to this problem," says Native @@NAME@@ite chief Dances-With-@@ANIMAL@@s. "You could let us front the casinos as payback for stealing our land, and we'll enforce age limits and pay some tax on the income these casinos generate. Just think of the jobs it could create for us, and the boost to the economy!"

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#109: Karate Kids Cause Controversy [Yarrum; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Free, youth-orientated martial arts programmes have gained popularity in communities where youth crime is a problem.

The Debate
1. "What better way to keep kids off of the streets?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a professional judo instructor. "It's fun, good exercise and gives an invaluable insight into our nation's culture! It gives these youngsters something positive to channel their energy into; energy that might have otherwise been used to rob banks or mug people in alleyways. But self-defence programmes like mine will need government funding to really make a difference - surely the public wouldn't mind paying a little more tax to put an end to the gangs of yobs prowling the streets?"

2. "It's a good idea, but it's not taking it far enough!" declares General @@RANDOMNAME@@ of @@NAME@@'s army. "If we could conscript these kids into the army, we'd be able to put their skills to good use! No one would mess with @@NAME@@ if we had a butt-kickin' karate unit on the battlefield! It may be a little expensive but we can just take money out of the education budget since these kids will be under our tuition. Their families may not be happy about it, but remember this: these young lads will be getting to do something which is the envy of every hot-blooded citizen - fight for their country against blood-sucking foreigners!"

3. "This is ridiculous!" comments police officer, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Teach junior thugs how to fight? Good idea, why don't we teach them how to make bombs out of duct-tape and cheese next? I say we ban this archaic mode of combat which only serves to encourage these punks in their violent ways, and introduce more government funding for the police force! With more cash we could really show the little blighters what discipline's all about."

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#110: Too Low On Laws, Say Citizens [Kandarin; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Various opinions have been brought to your attention over what your closest advisors are referring to as the 'anarchy situation'.

The Debate
1. "We've got to do something about this chaos!" yells General @@RANDOMNAME@@, firing a rifle at a band of armed looters. "There's no order in this country! No one is safe! We must rebuild the army and crack down on the militant groups ravaging our fair land! It's the only way we will ever return the cesspit of crime and depravity @@NAME@@ has become to a land of law and order!"

2. Returning fire, both figuratively and literally, is @@RANDOMNAME@@, biker gang leader and anarchist: "That there's anyone claiming to be a government is ludicrous. People should be allowed to determine their own fate and survival without fear of breaking these inhibiting laws! All government officials should be removed at once if this country is ever to become well and truly 'equal'!"

3. "I've got a different idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your minister of commerce, speaking from his hiding place under a desk. "Television viewers in more developed countries actually like seeing gratuitous violence. We could put up cameras in some of the more dangerous streets and sell the broadcasting rights to foreign networks. It could raise awareness of our situation, or at the very least rake in some @@CURRENCY@@s. The money could be used to fund a more organised police system to enforce the law."

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#111: Southern @@NAME@@ Demands Semi-Autonomy [Ceroo; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Politicians from a distant and obscure part of @@NAME@@ have been calling for the government to split @@NAME@@ into various semi-autonomous regions, each with an elected council to govern their designated area.

The Debate
1. "The government is too centralised," complains rural villager, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We get these big-city politicians making rulings that affect our way of life, when they have absolutely no idea what our way of life is! One of them even suggested that farmers should be banned from picking crops in case they disturbed the local wildlife! What we need are various councils to govern their own part of @@NAME@@, giving us the chance to have our say on laws affecting our area. It'll bring politics to the people! Of course this will require the implementation of a council tax to fund it all, but if that's the cost of more political freedom, then so be it!"

2. "Councils? Are you mad?" gasps political commentator, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Most of the politicians we already have earn very large sums each year - and you want to employ even more?! We must not listen to the whims of some dangerous separatist movement; next they'll be wanting independence! I suggest we keep the government in one place where we can keep an eye on it and stop creating more jobs for over-paid politicians. Heck, why not trim off the ones we don't need while we're at it and give some leeway to the taxpayers? Anyway, if we allowed places like West @@NAME@@ to make decisions for themselves, they would soon be introducing laws allowing them to marry their cousins or something - you know what they're like..."

3. "These people are obviously power-hungry lunatics," whispers @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your innumerable advisors. "They're simply trying to loosen your grip on the nation! Let's just send anyone who opposes your absolute rule to the gallows and ban elections. We hardly need them when you always know what to do! There may be some protest, but we can just lower taxes and they'll be as happy as clams."

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#112: Put The Phone Down On Cold Calling? [Frigben; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A growing group of @@NAME@@'s citizens are battling for an end to unrequested solicitations from salesmen.

The Debate
1. "This has to stop," says mild-mannered parent @@RANDOMNAME@@. "My family can't even have dinner without being interrupted at least five times by telemarketers or door-to-door salesmen! My privacy is being invaded! The government ought to ban all forms of unrequested solicitations from salespeople. The sanity of the populace is at stake here!"

2. "This must be a joke," retorts insurance sales solicitor @@RANDOMNAME@@, in between cold calls. "Telemarketing and door-to-door sales are some of the most effective methods of increasing revenues. Banning them would be a huge blow to business, and put thousands of workers out of their jobs! Let's face the facts - @@NAME@@ needs an economy, and banning cold calls isn't the best of ways to improve it! One way you could improve it would be to, say, give us some government funds. For the sake of @@NAME@@, of course."

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#113: Test Results Deemed 'Ungood' After Global Survey [Der Angst; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
In a worldwide survey, it has been revealed that @@NAME@@'s population has been graded 'dim' by international comparison.

The Debate
1. "These results are terrible!" wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, a concerned teacher. "Something has to be done, and done quickly, if anyone's going to take today's youth seriously. It's high time we started to promote our gifted children; it is they who are the ones that bring us forward! The rest of today's youth shouldn't worry though, a basic education should be enough for a factory worker."

2. "This is indeed a problem, and I believe it's a result of the social inequality in @@NAME@@," comments @@RANDOMNAME@@, a well-known social reformer. "It is obvious that students from different social classes will score differently in the tests. We can't condemn all these kids to a life of inferiority because of a gifted minority. Instead we should make sure that everyone can follow the lessons! Lower the teaching level, so that even the less intellectually-orientated can keep up with the class. The nerds can always teach themselves; it would be unfair to provide them with extra funds after all."

3. "This is stupid, it would ruin our nation's population of skilled workers!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a college professor. "There's never enough able-minded citizens for the more specialised careers. We must force our less-intelligent to learn! Get their noses right against the grindstone! Let's raise the bar a bit so even our best students have to sweat whilst learning! The others will of course be forced to learn even more to keep in touch, but that just shows them how real life works. To fund it, well, our defence budget is already too large, if you ask me."

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#114: Wipe Out Graffiti? [Gelvanie; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Citizens all over @@NAME@@ have been petitioning for firmer action on public graffiti.

The Debate
1. "It's a disgrace!" declares @@RANDOMNAME@@, middle class and proud of it. "I can't even go downtown without seeing these hideous eyesores debasing the streets! We need to arrest the scumbags at the root of this, lock them up, and teach them a jolly good lesson! More policemen on the beat should do the ticket, even if it does require a slight augmentation in taxes!"

2. "I don't see what's so bad," comments @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous art critic. "This is urban art at its finest. It's vibrant, colourful, and simply reeks of culture! Just look at the form displayed in this string of racist expletives! Wonderful. Simply wonderful. I think we should really be encouraging these budding Rembrandts, not putting them down! I say we legalise it, in the name of culture!"

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#115: @@NAME@@'s Schoolchildren Not Learning The Lingua Franca [Travis Dominicus; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a recent national survey revealed that almost three-quarters of the population only know the primary language of @@NAME@@, there have been rising calls for the government to take action.

The Debate
1. "Fluency in foreign languages is imperative to education," says Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@ of @@NAME@@ University. "Learning a new tongue not only gives a child a practical, marketable skill, but also encourages compassion and understanding of foreign cultures. With so many nations in the world, I do insist that we increase government funding in these areas and make it a compulsory part of the curriculum. As we say in Ancient Maxtopian: froggug sederty bungo-bungo!"

2. "To be frank, the need for outsiders' speak doesn't appeal to me in the slightest!" claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, a fierce patriot. "Making our children learn these languages is an affront to the basic civil rights of @@NAME@@! What's more, this will encourage those damn foreigners to come here and take our jobs! I for one, will not stand for it! We can drop that area of education; it'll give us tax payers a bit of a breather for once. I've always said that we don't need any others but our own!"

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#116: Soda Sales Hits New 'High' [Foe Hammer; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After waning sales, the well-established soda company 'Eckie-Ecola' has appealed to the government for the right to use powerful mind-altering drugs in their products.

The Debate
1. "It'll be great," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the CEO of Eckie-Ecola. "Nice 'n' happy floating feelings all in a can, and all for just one @@CURRENCY@@! It's not the healthiest drink I admit, but what people want to do with their bodies is their own business. If you ban this beverage, you're only denying the citizens of their right to be exposed to the true hallucenogenic experience!"

2. "This can't go ahead," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, a nurse at one of @@NAME@@'s hospitals. "Drugs are, and always will be, one of the greatest threats to the nation's physical and mental health! My job's hard enough as it is without having the wards overrun by patients who were stupid enough to drink the damned stuff. The distribution of drugs must be strictly controlled by the government and kept for medicinal uses."

3. "If you ask me," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, from behind a cloud of smoke. "We should just let everyone have drugs for free! If the government legalised and subsidised all these 'bad' drugs and gave 'em out to everyone, all our problems would be solved! There'd be no more drug traffickers, or thugs robbing old ladies to feed their addictions! 'Course there'd be a bit of a detrimental effect healthwise and to the drug industries, but the beauty of it all is that everyone will be too doped up to care!"

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#117: Stop The Suits, Say Surgeons [Ravenspire; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Recently, medical insurance premiums across the nation have been skyrocketing following several highly-publicised medical-malpractice lawsuits, making it even costlier than ever to get treatment. Doctors are asking the government to step in.

The Debate
1. "These lawsuits are driving up the price of medical insurance," complains Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I'm losing customers - patients, I mean - and it's becoming increasingly difficult for doctors like me to do our jobs without worrying about being bankrupted by some kid who didn't like the hospital food. Everyone makes mistakes. Look at politicians, they make them all the time and do they get fired? No. We must outlaw the medical-malpractice lawsuits undermining our healthcare system!"

2. "All that these doctors are interested in is saving their own necks," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of 'I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm!'. "They were negligent in the course of their work and are unwilling to pay the price. I mean, how do you perform a heart transplant on the wrong guy unless you're not paying attention? I for one think that our citizens deserve better from the healthcare service, and if doctors cause damage, they should pay for it. It's that simple. If some decent doctors get caught up in it, then it's surely their own fault for not being careful enough?"

3. "The problem is capitalism," insists @@RANDOMNAME@@, while trying to burn a @@CURRENCY@@ with a lighter. "The doctors are only trying to help their patients, and those class traitors at the insurance industry are only trying to make a profit out of people's misery on those rare occasions when things go wrong. I say we outlaw the insurance industry and then the good doctors will be safe while the bad ones go out of business. Everyone wins! Apart from the insurance people, I guess."

4. "The problem certainly is capitalism," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famed socialist. "But outlawing the insurance industry will not solve the main problem: the healthcare system itself! It's disgusting! I've seen paramedics check wallets before injuries! We must introduce a national health service and put some healthy investment into medical colleges, hospitals, and the likes. Then we'll have an over-abundance of competent doctors! The insurance industry won't be able to raise a finger to it and the citizens won't have to pay for treatment. Except through tax, of course."

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#118: Need For Speed? [Atlantic Rim; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After watching the movie 'The Fast and the Belligerent', boyracers from all over @@NAME@@ have been petitioning for the abolition of speed limits.

The Debate
1. "Today's cars are safer at high speeds than ever before," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, editor of Sports Car Monthly. "And long-distance commuters are tired of spending hours on the road just to get to the next city. Abolishing the speed limit would be great for the economy too! People would be more likely to go out and buy cars if they thought they'd be able to use them properly. It seems like such a shame to be puttering along at the speed limit in a magnificent car like the 450HP twin-turbo @@ANIMAL@@ SX/T-7700 you know."

2. "Are you crazy?" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, a road-accident victim. "We need lower speed limits on automobiles, not higher. You might as well enforce mandatory blindfolds on the road too, it'll come to the same conclusion! People's lives are at stake here! If people were made to drive at, say, no faster than fifty kilometres per hour, I would feel a lot happier walking the streets. Besides, if it takes a long time to get places via car then people might begin using mass transit for once."

3. "I think the current speed limits are fine, but we need better enforcement," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the most feared traffic warden in @@NAME@@. "If we required GPS tracking devices in all vehicles, we'd ticket every single speeder, no problem. In addition, we could monitor the movements of criminals and other suspicious individuals, and vastly reduce the risk of crime, terrorism, and other subversive activity. Some say that's an invasion of privacy, but if you've done nothing wrong what's there to fear?"

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#119: Watershed Down? [New Cyprus; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
An anonymous society of 'cinematic aficionados' have brought the debate over the proposed disposal of the watershed, the hour after which adult material is allowed to be shown on television, to your attention.

The Debate
1. "We don't need a watershed!" scoffs 'romantic-movie' buff, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I don't see why I should wait 'til way past midnight to watch my preferred film genre. It's high time that parents stopped treating their children like... well, children! If you sugar-coat these kids' lives, they'll just end up seeing everything through rose-tinted glasses - and we can't have a country filled with spoilt brats now, can we?"

2. "This is an endorsement of bad taste if ever I saw it," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a child-care worker. "It's just wrong to subject children to graphic violence and nudity on afternoon television like this: who knows what it might possess them to do? We've all heard stories of kids who have seen some film where someone jumped off a cliff and then gone off to have a shot themselves. We must ban all violent and salacious material from our TV screens. If only to protect the innocence of our progeny!"

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#120: Two Parties For Too Long? [Ren Yi; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Representatives of several minor political parties have joined their voices to object to stiff ballot access requirements.

The Debate
1. "Two-party politics is squeezing the life out of democracy in @@NAME@@," laments @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the Pragmatic Radical Party. "The Liberal Conservatives and Progressive Traditionalists have a monopoly on public policy - or duopoly, whatever you want to call it. The point is that there's hardly any difference between them, and their chokehold on the electoral process lets hacks and crooks stay in office forever. Ballot access rules must be loosened so we can give the voters a truly democratic choice."

2. "People are afraid to support 'third' parties because they're afraid of seeing the 'bad guys' get elected," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a ballot stastician. "But if we changed the system to allow preferential voting, where you can have your votes divvied up among your other candidates if your favourite doesn't recieve a certain number of votes, then that wouldn't be a problem. Then you could let as many parties as you wanted into the game. Deserving candidates wouldn't be harmed - they'd win! Maybe a few radicals would get through, but that just proves what a great system it is!"

3. "What ever happened to 'one man, one vote'?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairperson of the Liberal Conservative National Committee. "Changing the rules will just let all sorts of crackpots clog up the ballot and overwhelm voters with names they don't recognise - this will draw attention and support away from legitimate candidates! How do you expect the nation to function properly if the government doesn't have public support? Oh, and by the way, the Liberal Conservative Party presents a VERY clear alternative to the destructive agenda of the Progressive Traditionalists, and I'll wallop anyone who says otherwise."

4. "Opposition parties are such a bother," muses @@RANDOMNAME@@, your chief of staff. "If we allowed as many of them to be politicians as those fools in the Pragmatic Radical Party want, it would be very hard on the tax payers - and our own position in power. If we re-wrote the election rules so that a party had to reapply for recognition every time it failed to win a certain number of votes, we could knock our opposition out of the ring for good! Hey, the voters have spoken, and they asked for us. I think that just about settles it, don't you?"

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#121: A Uniform Plan For @@NAME@@'s Students? [Scheelia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A random PTA meeting has brought the debate over school uniforms to your attention.

The Debate
1. "I think uniforms are great," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Education during a cabinet meeting. "They instill a sense of community within our schools which lowers crime - and the pupils can go about their daily business without having to worry about being browbeaten by their classmates for not wearing the latest trainers. @@NAME@@ simply cannot do without them. If the children don't like them, then hard cheese."

2. "Dude, your plan stinks," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of The Students Union. "Our clothing is part of who we are; it lets us express ourselves just by passing someone in the corridor. To say we must wear these inhibiting uniforms is an affront to our personal freedom! So back off with the uniforms, dude, students should be allowed to go to school dressed however they like. Or not dressed, if that's their style."

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#122: Pensioners In Protest [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Falling standards at @@NAME@@'s retirement homes have prompted OAPs to take to the streets and demand better treatment.

The Debate
1. "There needs to be more done for the elderly," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a resident of 'This Old Man' retirement home. "We can't work to support ourselves anymore, and the pensions we get are measly. We need more benefits such as higher standards of living, free bus tickets, and a continuous supply of @@CURRENCY@@s. All it requires is a little more generosity on the part of the tax payers - after all, we fought the war for their sort."

2. "I'm not giving any of my hard-earned wages to a bunch of old fossils," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a devout taxpayer. "If they weren't smart enough to save enough money for their later years, then why should the government pay out for them now? They had their chance and they didn't take it. If they really want money so bad, they can go out and work for it like everyone else."

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#123: Now, Vat's Food For Thought [Tahar Joblis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After recent leaps and bounds in biomedical research, scientists have revealed 'vat-grown tissue', provoking wild controversy over its possible medical - and culinary - uses.

The Debate
1. "There is absolutely nothing wrong that has been done here," claims one of the researchers, Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Vat-grown cloned tissue is extremely versatile when producing organs for transplantation, and knit my booties if it's not the tastiest and most nutritionally-balanced thing around! Beats me why anyone could be against it."

2. "It's shocking and appalling that we could even consider adding vat-grown meat to the menu," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ III, the one-armed descendant of a long line of devout vegetarians. "But, on the other hand, we have been waiting for this major medical breakthrough for a long time. Imagine it - no more waiting lists for transplants! This will be of enormous benefit to the healthcare sector. I just think we should draw the line at eating the stuff."

3. "By all means, legalise vat-grown meat!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a masterchef. "Some people say that it's wrong to grow these creatures just to kill them, but that's ridiculous. Cattle breeders in other countries are doing it all the time! So get rid of this mad compulsory vegetarianism law because eating meat is not wrong. What's wrong is making them for spare bodyparts. Do I want a piece of me to have been grown? In a VAT? No. It's disgustin'. Besides, it'll raise the cost of my insurance."

4. "This is all abhorrent and aberrant!" declares @@RANDOMNAME@@, the High H'gradskas of the @@NAME@@ Unorthodox Church. "You can't just create meat. It's against God's will, and you'll find that pretty much every other religion will back me up on this one. Living things were designed to be born. Or hatched. Or germinated. And then there's mitosis of course, but that's not the point - the point is that there are some things that Men were not meant to meddle with. We should keep well away from the whole cloning business altogether."

5. "That guy has no sense of vision." says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Demographics. "Why waste this invention on healthcare or cookery when so much more could be done! Sterilise everybody and grow new people in vats! Disease will be a thing of the past! When they break, just grow new parts! It adopts the industrial method to population management, something we've needed for a long time. And now that we finally have the right technology, I say we do it!"

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#124: To Paint Or Not To Paint? [Aoifambia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
An elite group of highly-qualified, well-respected scientists, lawyers, and doctors are campaigning to outlaw the study of the Arts and Humanities in the Universities of @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "Why should Arts students get to lounge around reading books and watching daytime TV for hours on end, when some of our hard-working youngsters are dedicating themselves to the study of worthwhile and valuable subjects; studies which will benefit the nation as a whole?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a student engineer. "We should be grooming our young people to help, not sponge off the system. The Arts should be considered a hobby, not a career."

2. "You can't mean that," gasps Prof. Catherine Gratwick, renowned worldwide for her paintings of trains. "Learning should be done out of love, not duty. The Study of the Arts has been a noble field for many centuries, and learning it is not as easy as you think. I'd rather die than live in a world where creativity is stifled. We should be encouraging young artists, writers, musicians - if only to strengthen @@NAME@@'s cultural reputation."

3. "What's the point in allowing most young people to continue in further education anyway?" enquires @@RANDOMNAME@@, a factory manager. "Surely most students would be better employed in manual and factory work? You should handpick a select few to study medicine, the law, science, and business of course, and utilise the majority of youth to increase the country's productivity in industry. Academic freedom just gets in the way of a functioning society, I've always said."

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#125: Bring Back The Ballot? [Centralis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Angry crowds formed yesterday around government offices in @@NAME@@, demanding the reinstatement of free and fair elections.

The Debate
1. "Give us the vote!" cries protester @@RANDOMNAME@@, before hurling another volley of eggs. "It is the right of the many to decide who leads our country, not the few! If we don't get democracy right now, we'll... we'll, uh... we'll throw more eggs, that's what we'll do! Don't say you haven't been warned!"

2. "Elections?! Have they gone quite insane?!" shouts red-faced government hard-liner, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We can't possibly allow that rabble to have such a degree of control over this country! They're never happy! One moment they're demanding democracy, the next they'll be complaining about all the new taxes! If we dropped taxes, you'd find that they'd be much more compliant. And if they're not, we'll get the army to fill 'em full of lead."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:58 pm, edited 13 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:48 am

#126: Outsourcing An Outrage, Say Demonstrators [Enerica; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
As the nation's unemployment rate skyrockets, citizens have staged a massive protest against corporations outsourcing jobs to poorer nations to take advantage of the lax regulations and cheap labour.

The Debate
1. "This is unacceptable!" decrees @@RANDOMNAME@@, outspoken representative of the National Union of Telephone-based Salesmen. "Sixteen call-centres round the country have already closed because they found they could get cheaper workers in some country no-one's ever heard of! If businesses are allowed to pack up shop and ship jobs out to other countries, our own people will be unemployed and out on the streets. The government must ban this evil corporate practice immediately!"

2. "Nonsense!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, manager of human resources at Ekin, a popular sportswear company. "Outsourcing jobs to where the labour is cheap means we can slash costs. That means we can have lower prices for the good consumers - uh - citizens of @@NAME@@. There're plenty of other jobs besides factory-working you know, and with the influx of cheaper products they really shouldn't have anything to complain about."

3. "The only reason that companies are so unwilling to stay here is because of the constricting regulations," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a ridiculously wealthy businessman. "Every time my company tries to make a decision, we run up against about a million laws forbidding us from our ventures. Since when has making money been a crime? Allow more economic freedom and companies will be simply flocking to this country. The workers will suffer a bit from losing minimum wage laws, of course, but that's progress for you."

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#127: Aging Concerns In @@NAME@@ [Sirocco; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Fears about the aging population in @@NAME@@ have been raised after it was discovered that nearly a fifth of the population is over 65 years of age and becoming a serious drain on pension funds everywhere.

The Debate
1. "We're going to run out of working age citizens if we don't act fast!" warns @@RANDOMNAME@@, a government statistician. "Birth rates are down, death rates are down, and the amount of budget spent on pensions has doubled in the last twenty years! We need to put an end to this, quickly and without delay: we must get rid of all the people too old to work anymore... well, except for government officials like you and me of course..."

2. "I can't believe I'm hearing this!" yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, a wizened octogenerian. "We have our rights! You can't do that to us! What utter rubbish about our pensions! I can hardly survive on the paltry number of @@CURRENCY@@s I get each week! If anything, we should get more money! If you're so worried about low death rates, then just cut the healthcare budget to make up for the loss!"

3. "Woah, woah! Talk about hasty decisions here, man," says Kool Kal, one of your more hip advisors. "Just increase the working age to say... ninety-five years old? Then the number of people eligible for a pension is like, dramatically reduced, man. Why? It's 'cos most of them'll be like, six feet under, dude!" He high-fives you. "Funny, ain't it, man?"

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#128: Ban The Burka? [Much Benham; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Schools are considering banning all signs of religious affliation to "promote unity amongst students". Minority groups and civil rights activists have expressed their outrage in protests outside the @@NAME@@ Parliament.

The Debate
1. Minister for Public Unity and General Goodwill, @@RANDOMNAME@@, has supported the claim, "This move will encourage students from different cultural and religious backgrounds to mix more freely. Removed of any symbols of difference, barriers of cultural otherness will be transcended and all will feel a sense of shared nationhood, which is what state schools should be encouraging. Social equality is what we're aiming for here. Not controversy."

2. "This is an outrageous proposition!" says shopkeeper @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Everyone should have the right to follow their religion. I organise my store in strict terms of religious and cultural preferences. A Kosher section for the Jews, a "Fish on Fridays" freezer for the Catholics and a vegan section way on the other side of the shop, away from the meat counter for those bald people in the orange robes. Freedom and diversity is what makes our nation great, and if everyone feels that this means they shouldn't integrate then so be it!"

3. "Who needs religion anyway?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, Professor of Biology at @@NAME@@ University of Science. "Our nation is swamped in the mumbo-jumbo spouted by these money hungry crackpot evangelists. I say the people should be spared from these wacko delusions of gods and demons. ALL symbols of religion should be removed from ALL public spaces! Now that's what I call freedom."

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#129: Tribal Troubles [Olasonph; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A society of primitive natives have been discovered in the rainforests of @@NAME@@. Various people have approached you with ideas on how the situation should be dealt with.

The Debate
1. "This society should be protected from us!" says anthropologist and Star Trek nut, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Have you ever heard of the prime directive? We must protect cultures from damaging modern influence! It is not our right to go and change the way these people live. Let them be."

2. "Who says we need to 'preserve' these tribes?" asks Timothy Burre, CEO of 'Loggers & Lumberjacks'. "We should be developing them instead. The local area should be opened up to big business and corporate interests - think of the benefits it will bring to the indigenous people! Medicine, education and modern wonders like the espresso machine! It's time these people were dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world, whether they like it or not."

3. "These savages are disgraceful," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a senior member of the NRA. "I don't see why we should stoop so low as to do business with them. If they're on land we want then we should just take it. It's not even as if it's theirs after all, they just happen to be living there. These people are no better than animals, I say we allow citizens to shoot the lot of them! It'll knock down two birds with one stone!"

4. "The matter is not what we do to this culture, it is whether or not the people who belong to this culture actually want to be a part of that culture!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a student sociologist. "We must stop knocking down rainforests so that the older members of the tribes can stay, yet allow the younger and more idealistic members leave if they wish and join civilisation! Let us make contact and give them the choice! Everyone wins! Except the wood companies o' course."

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#130: Filibuster Bust-Up [The Kennedy Family; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Filibustering, where politicians attempt to keep a debate on new laws going indefinitely, has been plaguing recent attempts to pass bills. Several aged politicians have been orating non-stop throughout three days worth of debating time, stopping any legislation from being passed.

The Debate
1. "This sham of a tactic is totally demolishing our ability to accomplish anything!" complains @@RANDOMNAME@@, Minister of Ministries. "Who cares if a few old fossils fail to see reason? The majority of the government clearly wants this legislation to pass! Just set a limit on the time a person can speak for; this really is demeaning to the democratic process!"

2. While taking a bathroom break before moving on to read aloud from the phonebook, @@RANDOMNAME@@ states: "It is a great thing for the minority and the oppressed that our system of government allows the filibuster to be utilised to harness the majority! Let the hills, the mountains, and the valleys reverberate with the sounds of our voices! We will not surrender to this repugnant legislation."

3. "The filibuster is not enough to protect the minority, since they are too afraid of the tyrannical majority to use it," says political commentator, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I suggest that all legislation must require a unanimous vote before it can pass. That way, nobody goes away unhappy."

4. "Why do we need to debate legislature anyway?" questions @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Alternative Solutions, who also happens to be the best friend of your distant cousin. "Everything would be so much more simple if we just decide what to do, and do it. After all, we're the ones who know what's best for @@NAME@@. If the minority parties want to say something, they can submit it in writing."

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#131: Raise Duel Standards, Say Fencers [The Gaelic Freedmen; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A number of well-dressed gentlemen wearing a varied assortment of swords is insisting that they be allowed to settle their private disputes on the field of honourable battle.

The Debate
1. "We must be permitted our inherent right to defend our honour through feats of arms!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, a bewigged aristocrat sporting a particularly flamboyant swept-hilt rapier. "The right to duel is one found throughout history for the honourable settling of disputes and I must insist that my right to fight be recognised! The world would be so much better - and cheaper too - if conflicts of interest were sorted through trial by combat instead of trial by jury."

2. "Swords? Heavens, what dreadful things. All sharp and pointy - quite dangerous, you know," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ardent pacifist. "Duelling ought to be banned! The best way to settle these kind of arguments are through trials, we all know that. If we go ahead with what these duelling nutters want then innocent people will die! It will be a sad day when people value money more than justice. Apart from lawyers, obviously."

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#132: World Assembly Woes [Sanctaria; ed:Frisbeetria]

The Issue
After a very popular domestic bill was shot down due to contradicting existing World Assembly legislation on a similar subject, the @@CAPITAL@@ Observer organized a national poll among subscribers. Leaders of the 'National Sovereignty' and 'International Federalist' camps are meeting in your office to argue their case.

The Debate
1. "Micromanagement, micromanagement, MICROMANAGEMENT!!!" your Minister for Domestic Affairs shouts, banging his fists on your table. "Those buffoons are seriously overreaching their authority! Every resolution that infernal Assembly passes is an attack on our ability to pass our own legislation! We can't, and shouldn't, have nations full of fools ignorant to our way of life make our decisions for us. We'd be better off without that godforsaken snakepit ... we MUST resign from the World Assembly."

2. "Think of the CHILDREN", cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Foreign Minister. "Membership in the World Assembly is vital if @@NAME@@ is to ensure that countries across the multiverse adopt a way of living that is right! I shudder to think of the awfulness that would happen in other nations without our guidance in the World Assembly. Please, Rob the Insane, we must remain a part of this organisation!"

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#133: When @@ANIMAL@@s Attack! [The Class A Cows; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After several reports of pet @@ANIMAL@@s violently attacking, injuring, and even killing citizens, there has been growing pressure from public safety activists for the government to take action.

The Debate
1. "These creatures are a danger to the public and must be destroyed!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, representative of the Public Institution for Social Safety, Equality, and Direction. "I was attacked by one just on the way here and I nearly lost my life! They're a public menace. We must shoot and burn them!"

2. "Why punish the poor things?" asks animal-lover @@RANDOMNAME@@, covered in scars from previous encounters with @@ANIMAL@@s. "All they need is good hands to care and rehabilitate them. We need a government education programme to tame them and turn them into loveable pets. The one I'm holding right now shows that it can be done. They are all good, kind creatures deep d- argh!"

3. "I agree that we shouldn't kill them," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous lawyer. "But I don't think the owner should get away with breaking the law! This is clearly a case of 'intent to grievously harm' if I ever saw it. All citizens should be held accountable of their pet's actions as if they had done the act themselves. It's the only way to be fair - after all, they're just dumb animals."

4. "Who cares!?" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@ as he sends out his pirate radio station broadcast. "Just repeal any laws preventing us from shooting the things when they attack and we'll be able to save ourselves without this stupid, authoritarian, overbearing government and legal system wasting our tax money!"

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#134: The Truth Is Out There? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After numerous alleged UFO sightings all over @@NAMES@@'s sky last night, concerned citizens are asking questions and getting no answers. Many of them are demanding that the government release all information regarding UFOs to the public.

The Debate
1. "The government has been covering up UFO activity for years," claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, host of the esoteric TV show 'Death from the Skies'. "We're tired of hearing about weather balloons and hoaxes. If there are little green men watching and abducting us, we deserve to know. We demand that the government release all documents regarding UFOs... and everything else too! Besides, we're better off if our military doesn't organize shady, expensive projects."

2. "You can't honestly give in to the demands of these wackos and conspiracy nuts!" gasps Five Star General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "That would reveal top secret military programs like our doomsday device, I mean, new fighter jets. These things are kept secret for a reason. Do you want this information to get in the hands of @@NAME@@'s enemies? I don't think so. I say we continue to cover up these sightings and ignore those pesky ufologists asking too many questions."

3. "How about a compromise that pleases both the conspiracy theorists and the military?" suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, an elite prevaricator from the Propaganda Ministry. "Why don't we release some documents that just say that UFOs are real? This way the conspiracy theorists stop asking questions, and the military doesn't have its secret projects compromised. If our military projects are discovered, like that "moon" we're building, we can just blame it on little green men. That gives you perfect deniability. It's win-win!"

4. As a man wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses passes your guards, they silently go rigid as their eyes roll to white. "Boss, my team has this covered," he says in a droll monotone. "We'll try to keep you in the loop, of course, but nothing we tell you leaves this room... ever. Of course there are aliens, and yes, there's occasional collateral damage from random interactions, but we're on it. You just make sure that funding doesn't drop from the Omnibus Farm Bill your predecessor set up, and we'll make sure nothing goes public." He pauses and strokes his chin thoughtfully. "Is it still a privacy violation if you don't remember being probed? Have to think on that." He turns, taps the guards on the shoulders, and walks from the room as they dazedly recover their composure.

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#135: A Taxing Dilemma [Claraxia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Citizens staged a mass protest against 'monolithic' tax rates after the government recently instituted the 'Anything That's Purple' tax.

The Debate
1. "The tax situation in @@NAME@@ is ridiculous," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ at the protest. "The taxes keep getting piled on and yet - I haste to add - the government doesn't seem to realise that they already have practically all our money! We've been reduced to bartering for goodness sake! I haven't seen a decent wad of @@CURRENCY@@ in years! It's bad for @@NAME@@, but more importantly, it's bad for business. We must take huge cuts out of the government budget. Even if it does mean less education, healthcare, and whatnot."

2. "You can't!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, the National Treasurer. "They don't seem to realise that if we cut taxes, it will drastically underfund our public services! All our environmental work, our education system, our healthcare system - all will go kaput! @@NAME@@ depends on these taxes, we need the money! Don't let the people fritter it away on luxuries, 'cos they'll soon be complaining about there not being enough policemen on the beat. We'll tax the shirts off their backs and they'll be damn well happy about it!"

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#136: Much Ado About Abortion [Aquilla; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A monstrous debate between pro-life and pro-choice groups has erupted after a high-profile case of a pregnant woman aborting her foetus because she 'didn't feel like it' hit the tabloids.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, lawyer for the woman known only as Miss X, says, "It is Miss X's right to choose! It's her body; she can do whatever she wants with it. In the interest of women's rights, abortion MUST be legal throughout the country!"

2. "I most vehemently disagree," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a pro-life activist. "I'm all for women's rights in general, but what about the child? Does it have no rights either? Abortion is totally immoral and I insist that it be outlawed except in cases of rape, or when the mother's life is in danger."

3. "You're not going far enough! Abortion is murder!" shouts Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@, waving a placard with a picture of a foetus on it. "God decides which babies live and which will die, not us! The government must maintain a stern anti-abortion stance to preserve the morality of @@NAME@@!"

4. "Abortion has to be legal if we're going to last as a nation," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, President of the Society of Bitter Old People. "Have you ever thought that with @@NAME@@'s growing population of @@POPULATION@@, we soon aren't going to be able to squeeze any more people within our borders? If we use abortion to control the population, we'll make great savings and can spend the money elsewhere. One child per family should just about do it I think. Extraneous ones can be sold to other countries."

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#137: Arms Industry Demands Respect [Koternacht; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Representatives of @@NAME@@'s arms manufacturing industry have expressed outrage over the lack of public and private support for their sector.

The Debate
1. Interviewed by the industry's trade journal 'Our Weapons, Your Victory', the CEO of @@NAME@@ Arms Inc, @@RANDOMNAME@@, said: "It is shameful the way we have been treated over the last few years! Shameful! Our workers, and I tell you we have a great many of them, can barely get to work thanks to disruption by protesters and all that hippie nonsense. And as for this dangerous talk of 'Ethical Trade Practices', I say we need full government recognition of our vital contribution to the economy - relaxation of trade barriers, gun laws, and a crackdown on all these long-haired weirdos who try to shut us down!"

2. "We have a right to protest against this evil business!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@ through a megaphone. "The arms manufacturing industry is a stain on our nation's character and must be removed. How can we make money from the production of these evil weapons; how can we stand by and profit from the blood spilled by these abominations? The government must take a stand and outlaw the whole sector!"

3. Your Minister of Trade advises taking a middle ground: "We can't ban arms sales without harming the quality of our military and police departments, not to mention the economy. These hippies do have a point though - guns are terrible things in the wrong hands. We should implement additional safety checks on the groups to which the weapons get sold. That way we don't lose too many sales, and the people are persuaded we are making a stand against nations who use the weapons for immoral ends. The arms industry get to sell their guns and the protesters get to protest. Everybody wins!"

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#138: Keep The Greenbelt Green, Say Protesters [Big-Yellow-Taxi; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A group of environmentalists are protesting against plans to expand urban and suburban developments into greenbelts, the designated countryside between settlements.

The Debate
1. "Do we really have to listen to these nutcases?" asks real estate developer, Jonathon Cogswell. "The fact of the matter is that nature is BORING. Give us permission to build on the greenbelt and you'll have pink hotels, boutiques, and swinging hot spots that'll be the envy of the region and draw tourists from all around! We can always transplant a few trees and put them in a tree museum to keep the tree-huggers happy. @@NAME@@ stands to make a lot of money from this! Think about it for a moment!"

2. "I agree with my colleague here, but he doesn't go far enough," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a city planner. "These protestors are standing in the path of progress. It slows the growth of our economy and harms my portfolio - er - the future of our nation, I mean. It's unpatriotic and we should increase police funding to deal with these troublemakers. Then we wouldn't have to worry about greenbelts or any other nonsense about keeping the 'environment' safe. Think about it for a moment!"

3. "I can't believe what I'm hearing!" exclaims environmental activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Tree museums? Police funding? Don't it always seem to be the case that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? We're talking about natural treasures and you're talking about destroying them. Is there anything that you can build that can really be better than nature? We should put a stop to all encroachment into natural areas. Think about it for a moment!"

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#139: Drug Debate Hits The Streets [Docere; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Tens of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets demanding the right to smoke whatever they want, wherever they want.

The Debate
1. "Ever since smoking was banned, I've been a gibbering wreck," laments @@RANDOMNAME@@, handing you a cup of strange-smelling tea. "You just don't understand - I need to smoke! And sometimes I need to roll a little bit more than tobacco. It's not a luxury. In a place as depressing as @@NAME@@, we should at least be able to have some escape. Even if it does mean escaping to a world full of dancing badgers, talking mushrooms and luminous colours. So please, allow us a bit more freedom to get high."

2. "Things are fine just the way they are," says Detective @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the Narcotics Squad. "The laws just need better enforcement - we need harsher punishments, better border controls, more police officers, and some education for youngsters, telling them to just say 'no'. Do you know how many times I've had to bring kids into rehabilitation clinics? Do you know how many kids out there are getting lung cancer? It's heartbreaking, it really is. We need some more support from the government if we are to reach our goals."

3. "Yo mate, c'mon, it's not just about the crops," moans a grimy, emaciated man, as he sits slumped on the ground and tugs at your trouser leg. "Some of us like other stuff, ya know, ain't fair if we can't hit off that. You gotta decr- decrimi- just make everything OK, yeah? C'mon, I need just one more hit. Just one more. I can handle it man, I CAN HANDLE IT!"

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#140: A Grave Problem [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
As cemeteries across @@NAME@@ are beginning to reach their full capacities, citizens are demanding that the government step in to rectify the situation before the bodies start to pile up.

The Debate
1. "The expansion of cemeteries must end if the remaining government land is to benefit the economy," says the Minister of Death, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "What I propose is that we declare all graves over, say, ten years old, as vacant. And then dump a new corpse in it. Hey, nobody objects to sharing a university dormitory with another person, why should they object to sharing their grave?"

2. "Burial plots are so expensive these days, few people are opting for them anyway," says Retirement Home owner, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Let's just go for that final push and make cremation compulsory. Some people may not be happy with it, but when you get right down to it, it's only setting fire to their loved ones against their will - you must agree that that's less important than expanding suburban development."

3. "This is horrendous," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, whose partner recently passed away. "Whatever happened to choice? When my Henry died, he was promised an eternal resting place; a place where his name would stand and he would be remembered. Having it disturbed by 'newcomers' or enforcing cremation is a slur against him and the rest of @@NAME@@'s deceased citizens! If you have any compassion in your soul, then you'll acknowledge a grave as being a sacrosanct area. The dead must be allowed to rest in peace."

4. "Burying and cremating the dead is such a waste..." says @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the Research Department at the McRonald's chain of fast-food restaurants. "They should be recycled for the benefit of the nation! We'll pay the families a little something for their loss, then mince up the bodies and put them in our burgers! I can't see any downsides, can you? It'd save space, recompensate the grieving, and supply everyone with a tasty snack!"

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#141: Police Too Pushy? [Myrth; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A group of 'concerned compatriots' (Citizens Raging Against the Police) have protested against the enormous numbers of policemen enforcing the law on their daily lives.

The Debate
1. "I'm constantly surrounded by over-zealous policemen!" deplores @@RANDOMNAME@@, a spokesman for the group. "Just last week I was arrested for letting my baby cry too loudly in public! This is ridiculous! The government needs to cut back the police force and let citizens get on with their lives without interference! If that means allowing muggers, thieves, burglars, pickpockets, murderers and all the rest to not have coppers breathing down the back of their necks constantly then so be it! This really is too much!"

2. "You can't listen to what they're saying!" gasps Police Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@, horrified. "These nuts would have us living in utter anarchy! If some robbers suddenly decide to break into a shop and steal everything, what's the owner going to do? What could anyone do without a well-funded police force? There has to be justice and law or we'd be nothing better than a bunch of savages. Stick to your guns, I say, and let me arrest these subversives - people need to be taught to show some respect!"

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#142: Roads Like Roller Coasters, Complain Motorists [Mirkai; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A group of local motorists have assembled outside of City Hall to protest against the shoddy state of roads in @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "These roads are terrible!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the @@NAME@@ Auto Club. "Every few feet there's a crack, or a pothole, or a gravel patch, or the remains of someone else's car! It's really too much! And just look at this-" he adds, rubbing a nasty bruise on his forehead - "I got that from my rear-view mirror after flying over a bump on Main Street! These roads must be fixed! There really needs to be vast improvements made now, before anyone gets seriously hurt."

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@, avowed anti-spending advocate, disagrees: "Road construction? What a waste of @@CURRENCY@@s! If people can still drive on them, then the roads are fine as they are. Spending more to make trivial repairs would just be a waste of the tax payers' money! We should just ignore these whiners and leave the roads as they are and if the drivers don't like that - well... then they can just learn to walk like the rest of us."

3. "Why on Earth is it the government's responsibility to build and maintain roads?" asks bicyclist @@RANDOMNAME@@, pausing for breath. "Not all citizens own automobiles, you know. The government should be trying to make life better for all, not just car owners! If people want roads, then let private industry build them, and they can charge tolls to the people who actually drive on them. Leave the government out of it!"

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#143: An Archaeological Altercation [Fiscali; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
During the construction of a new Hyper-Mega-Ultra-Super Mall, construction workers have unearthed what appears to be an ancient temple. A furious debate has arisen between those who wish to preserve it, and those who need their retail therapy.

The Debate
1. "This is the perfect opportunity to learn more of our nation's history!" says Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the archaeological department of the @@NAME@@ History Museum. "All building work must be halted immediately so that my team can study this remarkable piece of our nation's past. To bury these ruins under some concrete eyesore would be criminal!"

2. "It's all very nice to get to know some more about our past," argues foreman @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But that's just the thing! It's the past! We must think of the future. If you allow those decrepit fossils to take over this place, you put at risk the future of our economy! Today it's archaeological digs, tomorrow it's 'preservation of the environment'. Just let me bulldoze the worthless pile of rubble and bury it under a few hundred tonnes of concrete."

3. "Behold, the hour has arrived! The Holy Temple of Firefury Amahira has been unearthed!" proclaims Yon-Zhauryg v'Klot, leader of the Cult of the Undead @@ANIMAL@@. "This land is sacred, and must not be befouled by these corporations! No-one but the enlightened children of Firefury must be allowed to venture inside our rediscovered sanctuary, where we will perform the required rituals to please the Great Goddess and prevent Her from unleashing Her wrath upon the world."

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#144: Democracy Going To The Dogs? [Libertarian Haven; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a recent election instated a small dog as member of parliament, the fringe group "Brains for Ballots" has demanded for the government to tighten voting restrictions.

The Debate
1. "The ignorant have taken over @@NAME@@," yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, from atop a soap box podium. "It is time that the intelligent retake the polls! Mr. 'Scruffy' is a disgrace to democracy and should be taken out of office instantly! I propose we issue mandatory I.Q. tests for every voting citizen and if they are found to have below average reasoning ability - namely lacking the foresight to see that electing an inanimate object to office will cause disaster - then they shall be excused from the responsibility of voting."

2. "Umm... huh?" inquires village idiot, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I voted? When? Oh, yeah. Please don't make me not vote. The ballots are really tasty, and where else would I get my fibre? Everyone should have the right to vote, no matter what their favourite greenhouse is! Then we can all get the government to do what we want! First thing I think we should do is, uh, ban fruit? I hate fruit."

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#145: Hackles Raised Over Fur Clothes Debate [Naturhio; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Several animal rights groups have protested the continuing use of fur as a material for clothing.

The Debate
1. "This is an outrage!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the Be Nice To Animals society. "The manufacture of fur apparel is unethical, cruel, and disgusting! People just don't seem to realise that millions of animals die each year in fur farms, crammed into tiny cages and suffering the most terrible treatment just so someone can look appealing and rich! This is a sick practice and must be stopped! The same can go for leather shoes and snakeskin belts too."

2. "You can't mean that, surely?" snorts @@RANDOMNAME@@, adjusting his hat, made from real @@ANIMAL@@ hide. "It's the people's choice what they wear. I don't think it's fair that the majority of the public should be deprived of fur clothes because some people are a bit queasy. In fact, if the government would allow us to stock rarer animals, we could produce even finer products. In the end, it's up to the consumer, don't you think?"

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#146: Evolution: Truth Or Witchcraft? [Holbrookia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Religious and scientific leaders have clashed recently over the teaching of evolution in public schools.

The Debate
1. "Ach, good to see you haff made it here in one piece," says evil doctor @@RANDOMNAME@@ as you wake up strapped to a chair in a secret lab. "As you can see from my brilliant experiments, science has now solved zer problems of zer vorld und ve need nothink else! I propose zat ve do AVAY vith zer teachink of silly thinks like religion und concentrate on zer FACTS! For a start, ve must teach our children where ve came from. Ve shouldn't be teaching anythink that hasn't been scientifically proven - er - accounted for, I mean. Igor, release our guest - I haff a monkey to show him..."

2. "That's a LIE, son, we come from the great meteor of truth!" yells firebrand preacher Pastor Richards, kicking down your door. "We cannot allow their transgressions against the HOLY truth to continue! All the heathens should be thankful we don't burn them at the stake for their devilry! This nation's true and just government must ban the filth and corruption being spread bah these WICKED men!"

3. "What I'm wondering is why we need to take sides on this," says student @@RANDOMNAME@@. "After all, it's only a theory. An unproven theory. Technically. It's not like it has any bearing on real life - let's just allow the biologists to teach evolution but emphasise that it's only a theory, but also make them teach other theories such as creationism. Heck, we can tell them that crackpot theory that we're all descended from @@ANIMAL@@s too! Then everyone goes away happy."

4. "Stop bickering already!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, Minister of Education. "I say that you can have your cake and eat it, too. Education should be split if it stops this debate. The parents can send their children to secular schools or religious schools, based on what they want their kids to hear. It's expensive, certainly, but the education budget has been needing boosting for ages anyway."

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#147: Military Budgets Up For Approval [Greater Philadelphia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The various branches of @@NAME@@'s military brought their budget petitions to your attention and, as usual, they are all asking for widespread increases over the rest of the military departments.

The Debate
1. "Clearly the army requires the greatest increase in funds this year," says Field Marshal @@RANDOMNAME@@. "After all, wars were never won by air or sea and in this dangerous world we must be able to protect the interests of @@NAME@@. Currently our men get hand-me-down weapons, rations I wouldn't feed a pig - the army is increasingly looking like a bad career option and we can't have that. If we're going to get recruits, we need more funding to support our brave lads in their duty."

2. "Hah! It's the Navy who needs the money, mate," says Grand Admiral @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The army and the police forces can protect us domestically, but can they protect us from having our foreign trade cut off? Can they protect us from terrorists and pirates? How are the soldiers going to get to the enemy's borders? Swim? I think not. Fund us, the Navy, the true protectors of @@NAME@@!"

3. "Despite the statements of my colleagues," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, Marshal of the Air Force. "The Air Force requires more money than these men playing around with boats. We are increasingly seeing terrorists taking to the air, and more ships or guns are not going to stop that. Our people will only be safe when the Air Force has the power it needs to defend us - and for that we need more funding and more government support for industries geared towards the development of new aircraft."

4. "You're all thinking too small!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, an avid Star Wars fan. "What we need is more research into the possibilities of space weapons! Big laser cannon and satellites with complete annihilation power! And cool spaceships! Boom! Rat-a-tata! Bang! Bang! It'll be expensive, sure, but think of the power! THE POWER!"

5. "It's simply not good enough!" wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Minister of Defence. "It's not about the money - it's the manpower. Not enough people by far are signing up! All we seem to be getting nowadays are drunks and people who volunteered for a dare. The current conscription laws need to be either more strictly enforced or drastically rewritten. What I propose is a universal draft: everyone capable of pulling a trigger should become a part of the Army, Navy or Air Force. Only in this way can we ensure the dominance of @@NAME@@ in the region."

6. "The military is a stain on the peace-loving nature of our nation!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, while sporting a Rastifarian hat. "People should be allowed to choose what they do for a living! Conscription is wrong and I don't see why our tax @@CURRENCY@@s should go to such a despicable cause! The money should be going to more important places - like our pockets!"

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#148: Spare The Rod, Demand Welfare Activists [Eastern Newfoundland; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The @@NAME@@ S.P.C.C. has launched a fresh campaign to stop parents from smacking their children. They demand that the government introduce laws to ban this form of 'corporal punishment'.

The Debate
1. Child Psychiatrist, Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@, speaks at a press conference on the matter: "Parents and teachers must realise that smacking children increases aggressiveness, lowers their self-esteem, and can cause long-term emotional trauma! How can anybody think that it is anything but child abuse? Parents who resort to smacking their children are obviously unfit to be parents at all! We must ban this horrible practice at once!"

2. "What are these lunatics on about?!" yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, a concerned parent. "Smacking children has been an effective form of punishment since the dawn of mankind! Outlaw it and I guarantee you the next generation will be a disorderly disaster! Children need, nay CRAVE discipline! Sometimes the only language they understand is the cane, and the government has to respect that!"

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#149: With Liberty, Freedom, And Guns For All? [Frigben; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After the banning of firearms in @@NAME@@, the underground @@NAME@@ Handgun Association went public, staging huge protests in an effort to turn over the firearms ban.

The Debate
1. "We need our guns back!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, wildly waving a water pistol in the air. "This is an infringement on our personal rights! If someone went and killed a bunch of people with a cricket bat would you ban them too? Sure people will be killed, but that's the price you've gotta pay for freedom! These liberals keep talking about legalising drugs because if we can't control them, we might as well join them. Humbug! I say we should do the same for guns!"

2. "Nonsense!" insists Michelle Mires, while handcuffing herself to your leg. "Guns pose a risk to people's lives! No one should have the freedom to be stupid! Do you realise just how easy it could be for someone to get hold of a gun and just go and kill people? If you allow everyone to have guns, you're going to be condemning people to death! The answer to safety isn't more guns - it's more policemen on the beat, more serious attention brought to gun-smuggling, and banning toy guns and gun-related violence on the television. We've got to get it into people's heads - guns are BAD."

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#150: Bug 'em All, Say Police [Niziania; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The @@NAME@@ police force have come to you for permission to use phone taps to trace suspected criminals.

The Debate
1. "This is a great idea," says police officer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We can never have too much evidence in a case, and this will be of enormous help to us at reducing crime and seeing that those who deserve punishment get justice! If we could just get those silly privacy laws repealed and some funding we could find out stuff the government wants to know too."

2. "This is an unacceptable intrusion into the personal lives of the population," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ while checking under your chair for bugs. "Just imagine all of the sensitive personal information that the police will pick up! Would you like someone listening to your calls to your mother or your lover? I think not! Laws should be passed so that the government and police can't stick their big noses where they're not wanted!"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:58 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:51 am

#151: Build Bigger Bombs, Advise Scientists [Benevolent Nations; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Top military designers in your secret laboratories have proposed projects to create nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and are looking to you for government support and funding.

The Debate
1. "This is a necessary step towards the creation of a safer @@NAME@@," claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, the leading researcher. "Yes, it will mean a large areas of land will become unusable as a result of the testing, and it will cost billions of @@CURRENCY@@s, but that's the price we must pay for our national security. Just think of the power we will have if we can turn our enemies into plate glass!"

2. "Why stop with making weapons for ourselves?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Wendy's Weapons stores. "We can sell them to all sorts of groups and organisations: other nations, the WA, terror- uh - freedom fighters, anyone! And we produce our own for our protection. Think of the money we can make! I'm sure none of our clients would ever even think of trying to use them to influence our government with threats or anything like that!"

3. "You want to bring NUKES into @@NAME@@?!" screams anti-nuclear protestor, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This won't make us safer - it will just give the power to destroy everything to a few people! We must hunt down the people who suggested this evil plan and have them hanged! We must protect nature from the horrible influences of science. I say ban all new weapons research!"

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#152: A Capital Idea [Hestrael; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A crowd of penniless ex-businessmen have amassed in @@CAPITAL@@, demanding that the government return all the nationalised industry to private control.

The Debate
1. "GREED IS GOOD!" bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous advocate of capitalism. "The economy is stagnating terribly under government control. Complete privatisation is the only option here. It's time to give power back to the people! Well, rich people, anyway..."

2. "This is outrageous!" cries armchair revolutionary @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The government must maintain the principles of equality and socialism that we fought so hard for, and not sell the country to corrupt and greedy corporations. We must eject these shameful capitalists from our great nation at once!"

3. "Hey, aren't we all being a little extreme about this?" says noted economist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Surely we could just keep the key industries, such as the electricity and water supplies, under government control and lessen the regulations on the others so they could function more independently? That way, the people can't complain that they are at the mercy of big business, and industries such as retail can function more effectively."

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#153: Protesters Have Gone Too Far, Claim Police [Utopian Gandhism; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A group protesting against the @@NAME@@ government began a riot yesterday which resulted in the death of Mr. Benson, a police officer.

The Debate
1. "This is an outrage!" cries Police Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The people of @@NAME@@ just don't know how good they have it! Our nation is a gem compared to many others, but if you give an inch they will take a mile. I had to tell officer Benson's wife yesterday that their child will grow up without a father. Do I think public protests should be outlawed? You're damn right I do."

2. "It all happened so fast," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of the protesters. "The crowd was just chanting, you know... and then they tear gassed us. I saw one cop, this Mr. Benson, club a teenager right in the face! For what? Speaking his mind! That's when the crowd rushed him. I'm sorry he's dead, but the police think they have a right to do whatever they want - things get out of hand sometimes. I think the police department should keep out of the way when we're protesting - even if things do get... excited."

3. "It's because protests get out of hand sometimes that we need a police presence," argues PC @@RANDOMNAME@@ eventually after singing the national anthem to you. "Even violent protestors have a right to feel safe on the streets. If that means we have to die to protect the innocent, then that means we have to die. I think protests should be restricted to a designated area where police can keep an eye on the protestors. Then everything can go nice and smoothly and no one will have to worry about being beaten to death."

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#154: Ban The 'Boards, Say Pedestrians [HappyFluffyBunnies; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The conservative Northern-based parents group of "Housewives and Convicts for a Safer @@NAME@@" has put forward a memorandum to ban skateboarding in public.

The Debate
1. "Skateboarding is a menace to pedestrians and road users," says activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Not to mention the astronomical number of skateboarding-related injuries - hundreds of children flood the emergency rooms of @@NAME@@ as a result of skateboarding every year, which is costly to the taxpayers. Keep our streets safe and save a little cash at the same time. Hell, you could make even more money by ticketing those who violate this law."

2. "Ticketing children for getting out of the house and exercising?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a school teacher, in disbelief. "That's outrageous! It's true that skateboarding can be dangerous but so is walking down the stairs! You want to ban that too?! What we should do is pass laws requiring safety equipment for skaters - if we allocate a little bit of the tax payers' money to the cause, we can build a skate park that will keep our children safe and away from others on the road too."

3. "Yo, dude, I've got a better idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ while executing a complicated 360° spin over your head. "What if skateboarding was the only way to get around? Wouldn't that be cool? Skateboarding is cheap, healthy, and fun! Everyone should do it! You could improve, like, the quality of life for everyone by banning vehicles and making skateboarding the only legal way to travel. People'd love you for it, man. Well, apart from the guys who make cars and the like, I guess."

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#155: Curfew Meets Minor Opposition [Daedor; ed:Melkor Unchained]

The Issue
In order to curb youth-related crime, the police have suggested a national curfew.

The Debate
1. "The youth-related crime statistics in @@NAME@@ are appalling," says police chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If kids can't go out at night, they won't have any opportunity to roam around in their baggy pants and backwards hats mugging the elderly and causing a general ruckus. Just last night I had to run down some punk who tried to steal a mailbox right off the post! This is getting ridiculous. Sure, it'll require more funding, but think of all the mailboxes we'll save! Our youth need to spend the wee hours sleeping or studying--not out gallivanting with their friends."

2. "I'm not a criminal just because I'm seventeen!" shouts honors student, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Yeah, I like to go out partying, but I'd never hurt anybody! Besides, we've already got enough problems with these pigs breathing down our necks. If anything we need MORE freedom. It's time for the government to step up to the plate and tell these power hungry swine to stop cramping our style!"

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#156: Waste Going To Waste, Says Industry Lobby [DeFranzania; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s industries have an ever-growing amount of toxic wastes to dispose of, and doing so in safe ways is becoming prohibitively expensive, leading a group of lobbyists to try and pressure the government into changing existing disposal laws.

The Debate
1. "These waste dumping laws are destroying our businesses!" rants @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the @@NAME@@ Bigger Business Bureau. "We need cheaper ways to eliminate industrial by-products, which really aren't as harmful as people think, such as pouring them into rivers or deep ocean ravines where they're harmless to us. Let's remember that the products we manufacture make your life easier and more fun!"

2. "A better way to deal with this problem is to convince the public it isn't a problem at all," whispers @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of Scamcorp, an industrial think tank. "Fudge some research, declare that the chemical by-products from industrial processing and production actually make one's teeth and bones healthier. Then, sell them to municipalities to add to their drinking water! Yes! This will not only save us the trouble of disposing of the waste correctly, we'll be able to sell it at a profit! I can taste the money already!"

3. "These corrupt, money-hungry corporations are only looking out for themselves and their bottom line!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an environmentalist from northern @@NAME@@. "The government needs to enact stricter laws for how these companies can dump their waste safely, and when they poison @@NAME@@'s people and environment, the government needs the authority and manpower to enforce harsh penalties! These companies make their messes, they should pay to clean them up!"

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#157: Sergeants Are Too Nasty, Say New Recruits [Mirkai; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A haggard group of new recruits in @@NAME@@'s army have spoken out against the brutal conditions experienced in their military training.

The Debate
1. "It's atrocious!" wails Private @@RANDOMNAME@@, from amidst the cacophony of a parade cadence. "We're forced to sleep in crowded barracks, on hard cots, and do the most inhumane exercises when we wake up! Just today I've had to crawl through a muddy minefield, climb a grease-coated wall, and to top it all off, get mangled by an angry drill sergeant! All we want is a little respect from the officers - maybe to sleep in until noon, and not have to get all sweaty and tired doing stupid things like marching and climbing ropes. Oh, and private bedrooms too - we're risking our lives for the country, after all."

2. "THEY WANT WHAT?!" screams Sgt. Burkz, while pressing back a rising vein on her neck. "This is WAR, not DAYCARE! If anything, the training standards should be tougher! If I want to whip some pasty-faced, beer-gutted greenhorn because he can't climb over a razor-wire fence then I should be be given the permission to do so right away! The cry-babies won't like it, but they can run home back to their rich daddies if that's the way they're having it. War isn't a walk in the park, and training shouldn't be either. For all our sakes."

3. "Training, what a load of old hooey," says renowned spendophobe and radio announcer, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The only thing it teaches our soldiers is how to shine boots and fight plastic dummies. We'd be better off if we just dropped them into the fight so they could learn to shoot for themselves. There might be a few accidents, but it'll be worth it for all the @@CURRENCY@@s we'll save."

4. "There is another way, you know..." whispers @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Chief of Secret Projects and Shiny Things in @@NAME@@'s military research department. "What if we started taking children and raising them from birth to fight? We'd be able to make them completely immune to propaganda, psychological warfare, and demoralisation. Not only would that stop the crying new recruits, it'd also give us a powerful military edge. People may not like giving up their kids, but that's why we run the country. We know better."

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#158: Regarding Robbers' Rights [Robmuirpoems; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The Household Defence Alliance is lobbying for the right to kill anyone who trespasses on private property.

The Debate
1. "We must take a stand against burglars and looters entering our property," explains HDA President, Catherine Gratwick, while digging a moat around her house. "We should be able to rip their guts out with a machine gun, no questions asked. If they want rights they should have considered the poor sod they were robbing."

2. "Even burglars have human rights," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, while thieving a @@CURRENCY@@ from your pocket. "And we don't deserve to be shot for trying to make our way in the world. People are far more important than property, I hope you agree! Why attack a burglar? That's the job of the coppers! I think anyone injuring anyone else should be severely punished with no excuses about trespassers or defending your property. Or yourself."

3. "Hey, let's not be hasty!" cautions @@RANDOMNAME@@, an anti-gun protester. "I'm not for riddling burglars with bullets either, but I do want to protect my family! I think it would be a lot more sensible if we allowed homeowners to attack burglars, but not with guns. In fact it would be even better if we just banned guns while we're at it."

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#159: Think Tank Proposes Privatised Prisons [Yejuda and Shomron; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
In response to increasing costs of running state prisons, several government advisors have suggested allowing the private sector to play a greater role in managing @@NAME@@'s correctional facilities.

The Debate
1. "@@NAME@@'s prisons are in a ghastly state," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, representative for several large businesses. "The state now pays a fortune in @@CURRENCY@@s each day for every prisoner. My clients will be able to operate the prisons more efficiently and charge the state far less than they're having to pay now. With our help, those in jail will be able to get themselves jobs to do and the government can imprison as many people as they like!"

2. "This is just another scheme by multinational corporations to turn our great nation into a corporate dictatorship!" claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, of the Social Justice League of @@NAME@@. "Just say NO to privatised prisons. We should be closing them all down so we can begin focusing on rehabilitation anyway!"

3. "Private prisons?! Rehabilitation?! How utterly ridiculous!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s toughest police officer. "Both of these proposals will simply waste resources on the scum of society. I say that we should summarily execute all violent criminals and give their property to their victims."

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#160: Truancy On The Rise [Nouvelle Quebecshiree; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Parents and teachers alike have expressed concern to the @@NAME@@ Board of Education that truancy in schools is reaching alarmingly high levels, claiming that it's to blame for rising vandalism rates.

The Debate
1. "The truancy situation is just getting worse and worse," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the chair of a local PTA group. "We've got children in our schools who turn up for maybe a couple of classes a week. It's getting ridiculous! They can't learn if they don't turn up. The government must introduce some sort of special truancy patrol in the police force. Controlled by us, of course."

2. "WHAT KIND OF WORTHLESS IDEA IS THAT?!" bellows General @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Head of the @@NAME@@ Military Academy, while turning a brilliant beetroot-red. "What these troublesome brats need is a good term in military school. I'll straighten 'em up, alright. NOW DROP AND GIVE ME FIFTY!"

3. "I really don't see what the problem is," says student @@RANDOMNAME@@, smoking an odd smelling substance. "I mean, so what if I only go to school three to four days a month? It means I'm able to work full-time, which probably benefits the economy or... yeah, something like that. The government should just back off, man."

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#161: Where There's A Will There's A Tax [Rehochipe; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After the vast fortunes of a recently deceased oil tycoon in @@NAME@@ were left to a small cactus plant, citizens nationwide have been asking the same question: should the inheritance tax laws be changed?

The Debate
1. "Every time I see a stupid rich kid having an easy ride of life with money they did nothing to deserve, I go into a jealous rage and start punching walls," says economically disadvantaged individual @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Abolish inheritance entirely! If the government takes the inheritance then we can spend all that cash on things that make ordinary people's lives better, like education, social welfare, and attack helicopters."

2. "This is a disgusting breach of my human rights," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, heir to an international widget empire. "Just think of all the poor families who have spent their lives scrimping and saving with the dream of passing on a modest luxury yacht to ensure the security of their children's children. All that sacrifice, all that toil, all those long nights working their fingers to the bone setting up offshore accounts - it brings a tear to my eye. Inheritance tax has got to go!"

3. "Surely we can arrange some sort of compromise here," says comfortable knitwear fan @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Yes, it's true that some people exploit the system - but a lot of people rely on inheritance for their basic support! Why don't we just set a sensible ceiling on how much you can inherit? That way you get to keep the family farm, but not the five mansions and the oil refinery."

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#162: Animal Experimentation Laws Under Scrutiny [Voroziniya; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Scientists and animal rights activists have once again brought up the debate over animal experimentation to your attention.

The Debate
1. "What have those poor, defenceless animals ever done to us?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of the East @@NAME@@ @@ANIMAL@@ Sanctuary. "Kidnapping these helpless creatures from their habitat simply to stick probes and needles in them is just barbaric! How would you like it if someone caged you in a lab and conducted tests on you just to find out whether a new product was fit for sale? Experimenting on animals ought to be banned!"

2. "It is not unethical," replies Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@, the chief surgeon at @@NAME@@'s largest Cancer Research Clinic. "The unethical thing to do would be to deny the public of the benefit of the great scientific advancements we're making! If we have to sacrifice some animals in the name of science, healthcare, or a commercial venture, then that's just what we've got to do! Think of the lives we could save! All we require is more government support and funding for this worthy cause."

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#163: Referenda: Are they Right For @@NAME@@? [Ideal State; ed:Melkor Unchained]

The Issue
After the Parliament of @@NAME@@ recently passed a controversial law that polls have shown to be very unpopular with the public, a group of concerned citizens has called for mandatory referenda for all laws passed before the state.

The Debate
1. "We want real democracy, and we want it now!" proclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for special interest group 'Direct Democracy Now!' "The fact that this latest law went through has proven that voting for a Parliament every four years is obviously not enough. Laws must be passed by the masses - that is the only way we can be sure that the will of the people is truly being enforced! We must have mandatory referenda for ALL new laws."

2. "Don't listen to these demagogues!" implores one of your top advisors, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This is a ridiculous and dangerous idea! Referenda are costly and inefficient, and a direct threat to the fine institution that is our Parliament. What do you think we have the Parliament for anyway? Our citizenry nowadays don't know what's good for them. They're too busy milling around at the mall and buying sneakers WITH LIGHTS IN THEM. More control needs to be given to our qualified, intelligent--and most of all INFORMED--politicians."

3. "Referenda are a good idea in principle, but to make them mandatory for each and every law is simply impractical," states Political Scientist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Representative democracy exists because direct democracy would never work in practice in a large society such as @@NAME@@. Just think of all the bureaucracy and expense that would go into it! I suggest that referenda be allowed, but only if at least a third of voters sign a petition requesting one. That should be a nice balance between democracy and practicality."

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#164: Licence To Breed? [Kazcaper; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Increasing reports of child abuse and neglect in @@NAME@@ has prompted local pressure groups to call for 'parental licences'.

The Debate
1. "You need a licence to keep @@ANIMAL@@s or drive a car," points out local current affairs commentator, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "So why should just any random idiot get to be a mother or father? It just doesn't make sense! If all potential parents had to pass tests to prove they're responsible enough, I'm sure you'd find that it would help decrease the level of child abuse, and increase proper discipline in the home."

2. "This is madness!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You can't deny perfectly good people the right to bring life into this world! @@ANIMAL@@s manage it easily enough, and you can't tell me they've got more responsibility than your average upstanding citizen of @@NAME@@! The government should keep out of such matters - I've always said social workers and welfare was a drain on the budget. Yes, there will be some sad cases of neglect, but shouldn't we be giving parents the benefit of the doubt?"

3. "The answer to this problem is patently obvious," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your minister of Social Welfare. "The government simply needs to give more funding to the welfare department so that we can recruit more social workers to carry out regular checks on parents and judge whether or not they're doing a good job of looking after their children. It'll be expensive, but at least it's a damn sight fairer than licensing parents."

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#165: Wedlock Worries [Ice Hockey Players; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a recent article in 'Salutations!' magazine highlighted a growing trend in arranged marriages throughout @@NAME@@, several civil rights protesters have camped outside your parliament demanding changes to the law.

The Debate
1. "This can't go on!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, a long time campaigner for the rights of single young women. "Right now there's nothing to stop my parents marrying me off to anyone they please! Surely it ought to be the sole decision of the individual as to who they spend the rest of their life with? You can't just force two people together and expect it to work! Arranged marriages must be banned!"

2. "I only want what's best for my daughter," argues Cyril Duckworth, father of three. "She's young! Far too young to know what's good for her! Everyday when I look in the newspaper I learn of another unwanted teen pregnancy, of poor, sad adolescents who have gone down the slippery slope of drugs and violence. If parents have the power to arrange marriages with other, respectable, wealthy families, then it helps set the foundations for our children to have a decent life! I propose that all marriages should be arranged by the parents of the families - it's the best way."

3. "That's crazy!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Domestic Affairs. "Everyone knows that the people who screw your life up most are your parents! And now you consider letting them to decide who you marry?! I think we, the government, should arrange all marriages by national census. Distribute everyone to a place and person in an economically stimulating way - why, we'd solve the housing problems just like that! Especially if we dismiss outmoded things like divorce and monogamy! This could be a golden opportunity for us."

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#166: Vote For 'None of the Above'? [Kamikachidonia; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A loose coalition of political activists running the gamut of the political spectrum has started a petition to add 'None of the Above' as an option on every ballot, so that a voter can reject all candidates if he feels none of them represent a viable option. If 'None of the Above' wins the election, a new election with all-new candidates would have to be held.

The Debate
1. "It's a simple matter really," says left-wing activist and former rock star @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Sometimes when you're voting, all the options suck. Why then should people be forced to hold their nose and vote for the lesser of two, or even three or four evils? Adding 'None of the Above' to the ballot would ensure that the people have a choice at all times, even if that choice is to reject the choices they have been given!"

2. "Adding 'None of the Above' to the ballot makes absolutely no sense," contributes conservative political pundit @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Those who want to run for office have already put their names on the ballot, and if none of those options suits the voter, that's just too bad. Instead, we ought to prevent this sort of problem and limit the number of options. Sure, fewer people can run, but that will eliminate costly runoff elections completely!"

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#167: Fluoride Controversy A Toothy Problem [Enlightened Harmony; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Recent reports revealing that the dental health of @@NAME@@ is far below the regional average have ignited a fierce debate over whether to introduce fluoride to the nation's tap water reserves.

The Debate
1. "Fluoride has been shown time and time again to promote dental health," argues Dr. Edwin Namel, Chairman of 'Friends of The Teeth'. "It's not an experimental drug for heaven's sake, it's an accepted method of promoting national good health. A nationwide program for the fluoridation of drinking water should not be seen as optional - it's a no-brainer for any sensible government. We need to implement this now, whether the public want it or not."

2. "I am strongly against this proposal!" rages @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of the more vociferous members of the @@NAME@@ Green Society. "When I turn on the water tap I expect to get just that. Water. Nothing else. We are not lab rats and it is not the government's place to force us into taking these chemicals! In fact I reckon we should put the brakes on all these new chemicals doctors keep pumping into people and give us the right to say no!"

3. "There's no need to go to either extreme," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your personal dentist. "It's all about, um, choice. Here's a nice alternative: why not just have clean non-fluorinated drinking water and give more funds to dentists? If we had enough money, we could make all dental care absolutely free! It will be demanding on the taxpayers I know, but they'll surely be happy when they all have sparkling white teeth!"

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#168: @@NAME@@ Plagued By STD Epidemic! [Eta Carinae; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
A medical report has detailed a twenty-fold increase in infection rates over the past ten years of the sexually transmitted disease VODAIS (Viral Overactive Dysfunction of the Auto-Immune System). People all over the nation are petitioning that the government do something about the epidemic.

The Debate
1. "This situation is about to explode. At this rate, this epidemic could severely impact our economy, our way of life, and even our government," says Doctor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We must supply powerful drugs to all infected people, even if we have to produce and distribute it ourselves. We must also educate people on the dangers of VODAIS and supply condoms to all sexually active males. Sure, we'll need to divert tax money from the military to fund all this, but what good is a military if the soldiers are too sick to fight?"

2. "If you supply condoms, you'll increase sexual promiscuity," scoffs religious leader @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If you supply drugs, you'll risk creating an aura of invincibility which in turn increases sexual promiscuity. Sexual abstinence is 100% effective in preventing VODAIS infection. This knowledge must be taught at all schools and workplaces, and all other choices must be ridiculed. Make celibacy the only option!"

3. "Supplying drugs and condoms will not stop VODAIS infections and forcing everyone to be celibate will be the slow death of @@NAME@@," whispers Health Minister @@RANDOMNAME@@ in a poorly-lit back room. "Segregating the infected people is the most effective method. Everybody in @@NAME@@ must be tested for VODAIS. Then all the VODAIS positive people will be shipped to seperate gated communities away from the rest of us. If they need to mingle with uninfected people, then they must wear distinguishing badges that feature a Grim Reaper holding a skeletal @@ANIMAL@@."

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#169: @@ANIMAL@@ Hunting Laws Under Dispute [Vigorithia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The fierce debate on @@ANIMAL@@ hunting in @@NAME@@ has been brought to your attention after vociferous supporters of both sides of the argument stormed your parliament.

The Debate
1. "@@ANIMAL@@ hunting is a cruel and horrible 'sport' for the wealthy," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the 'Protect Anything Cute and Furry Society'. "How can you possibly justify it? Oh, they witter on about 'tradition' and 'pest control' and other such nonsense, but really we all know it's because these sadists love to torture poor, innocent animals! Hunting must be banned!"

2. "Banning @@ANIMAL@@ hunting would be the end for centuries of tradition!" wails esteemed aristocrat @@RANDOMNAME@@ from atop his steed. "The thrill of the chase, the baying of the hounds, the @@ANIMAL@@ scooting through the undergrowth - it would be a travesty! We provide much needed stimulus to the local tourism, and you can't deny that @@ANIMAL@@s are pests - killing farmers' livestock for example! I propose that @@ANIMAL@@ hunting be encouraged, for the cultural - and economic - benefit of the nation!"

3. "Well, you know what I think?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, while helping to assemble a small trebuchet. "I reckon that the real issue about this sport is the cruelty aspect, and no-one can deny that sending a pack of dogs to tear apart a poor, innocent @@ANIMAL@@ is cruel. I reckon we should just ban hunting with hounds and only allow kinder and more instantly lethal methods like guns, tranquillisers, and cruise missiles."

4. "I'm firmly against the slaughter of dumb animals," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, while feeding an infant @@ANIMAL@@ with a milk bottle. "It would be best if the animals didn't die, and hunters could still do what they love to do - how about instead of shooting them or sending vicious canines after them, the hunter runs up to his quarry and gives it a symbolic 'tap' with his hand? Now isn't that much nicer for everyone?"

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#170: Deserts Devouring @@NAME@@'s Countryside [Goobergunchia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Due to desertification, the transition of habitable land to desert as a result of overcultivation and the increasing degradation of the environment, much of @@NAME@@'s once-green rural areas are turning into barren, rocky deserts.

The Debate
1. "This is a disaster," wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of the Environment. "We've been too lax on letting the agriculture sector overgraze and overcrop our lands and now we're paying the price. There needs to be some serious cutback on what these companies are allowed to do, or before you know it we're going to be scaling sand dunes on the way to work."

2. "'Ey there, you stupid townie, what about us?" shouts Farmer's Union Leader @@RANDOMNAME@@, waving a pitchfork from atop a combine harvester parked outside. "We's just goin' t' be tole we're out of a job? Tha' best way t' goes about this is t' promote stuff like that there recyclin', crop rotatin', an' biodiversity, and t' gives us tha' subsidies we needs t' work in 'armony wi' mother nature. Desertification ain't no irreversible thing, an' claimin' tha' land back will be slow and bloody expensive, by thunder. But oi'm sure tha' taxpayers will be more than 'appy t' aid us 'umble farmers in our plight, and maybe gives us a little more say in things in future, so's this can't 'appen again."

3. "Yee-haw, these here deserts are the greatest thang that's happened in YARS!" drawls noted cowboy Hamish McGraw, twirling his shootin' irons. "This is just what @@NAME@@ needs! Just git a stagecoach out har an tha' foreign types will come a-flockin,' y'all see if ah'm wrong! We don't need no fundin' f' tha' environment! Them's farmers c'n jus' git minin' fer GOLD!"

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#171: Kids And Criminality: Whose Responsibility? [East Stalinia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Recent studies showing that the sources of @@NAME@@'s most common street crimes (vandalism, muggings, joyriding, and witchcraft) are children under the age of criminal responsibility has prompted a national outcry for government action.

The Debate
1. "These damned hooligans are running wild on our streets!" splutters hard-nosed Sergeant @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the police force. "My overworked officers can't cope anymore! Everywhere we look we're being surrounded by mobs of unruly children! I need you to give me and my officers the power to dish out punishment to these little hoodlums. I don't care how young these kids are - they need to learn to behave properly as soon as possible. Even if it requires a short jail sentence of ten years or so."

2. "The last thing we need is a police force that prosecutes, convicts, AND sentences young kids!" yells outraged Child Welfare Officer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These youngsters are merely children being playful! Let them learn from their own mistakes! You can't tell me you weren't ever naughty when you were that young! Experience is the tree from which learning is a fruit, remember, and besides: the taxes needed to round them all up would be murder."

3. "Hah! Yeh're lookin' at this the wrong way!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an elderly pensioner, hobbling up to you and poking you in the chest with a walking stick. "When I was wee, and if I was caught breakin' the law, me dad would've beaten seven types of bahoola out of me! If a kid's gone maladjusted and started nickin' cars and whatnot, look at the parents and punish them for not bringin' the tiny scions up right! Yeh can't blame a kid for the environment they were raised in an' that's that!"

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#172: Church Attendances Reaching New Low, Warn Priests [Realm of Idiots; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Religious professionals and fanatic hermits across @@NAME@@ have been drawing increasingly animated attention to the decreasing levels of church attendance among the population.

The Debate
1. "The apathy of @@NAME@@'s people towards their religious duties to God is abysmal," rumbles a man known only as 'The Hierophant' as he brandishes his holy book at you. "If we don't rectify this problem immediately the ground shalt quake, the sky shalt turn blood-red, and the fields shalt turn to offal. The government must make religious attendance compulsory before all the land is damned to an eternity in the Netherworld!"

2. "Compulsory church attendance is not the answer to this problem," says swami @@RANDOMNAME@@ in between spells of meditation. "There are many ways to enlightenment and it would be wrong for the government to enforce any one of them so, instead, we must divert some of the money we spend on meaningless economic pursuits into funding an awareness campaign to help people discover their true religious identity. We must establish temples, mosques, and hermitages so people can find out which path to their spirituality is right for them."

3. "I reckon you could just ignore these zealots and scrap any government funding we still have going into religion," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, author of the wildly unpopular book 'Face It, There Is No Afterlife'. "I can't believe that modern thinkers like you and me are still tying ourselves down with outmoded and outdated concepts like the 'soul' or 'God'. Just drop all funding and give everyone a bit of a tax break. At least then we can be a bit richer before the long infinite void of oblivion at the end of our small, feeble, insignificant little lives."

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#173: Women Demand Equal Opportunities [HammerCrusher; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The women of @@NAME@@ are demanding an end to wage discrimination in the workplace.

The Debate
1. "The government must put a stop to businesses discriminating against women when they apply for a job!" chants @@RANDOMNAME@@, a ferocious supporter of women's rights. "Did you know that on average men in @@NAME@@ earn four times the amount that women do for doing the same job?! For too long has the female race been discriminated against in our society due to their sex! We demand equal wages, equal opportunities, and equal respect for women and we demand them now!"

2. "Hey, my business is treading a thin enough profit margin as it is," complains @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Heavy Lifting Incorporated. "Women just aren't as good as men at certain jobs, it's a probably proven fact! Take firefighting - if you were dying from smoke inhalation and collapsed on the floor unable to move, who would you prefer to attempt to rescue you? A man with superior muscular strength or some weakling female? Go on, you decide. Let the businesses decide what they pay and who they pay it to - after all, the economy depends on us."

3. "Hah! Our society is getting far too soft!" rages @@RANDOMNAME@@, a staunch male chauvinist. "Whatever happened to the days when a man could go back home to find his good lady wife with his tea ready and his slippers warm? I've heard that some men even have to cook and clean for themselves! Let us return to the days when it was just the men who went out to bring home the bacon! A brand new golden age!"

4. "Personally I think things went wrong as soon as women got labelled as the 'fairer' sex," interrupts Catherine Gratwick, author of the best-selling novel 'Gynaecocracy For Beginners'. "We're strong, we're willing - and we're just plain better than men. See what a state the world is in when they're in charge? I propose that all the men should stay home and be househusbands whilst the women go out to work and earn the wage packet!"

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#174: Maternity Leave A Must, Say Mothers [Vashaan; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A coalition of expectant mothers (Mothers 4 Justice) has banded together to demand legislation allowing for six months of fully paid maternity leave.

The Debate
1. "Six months?! Six WHOLE months?!" blusters @@RANDOMNAME@@, a payroll manager. "Six whole months of being fully paid by our company for doing nothing but looking after a baby?! This will sink the small businesses and lose us an obscene amount of revenue! We cannot allow this to pass!"

2. "I believe that passing this law will be a step in the right direction," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the nation's most outspoken feminist advocate. "These kids need their mothers' love and attention during an important part of their growth development! I don't see why mums should be forced to juggle with the stress of bringing up children and having a job! It's simply too much! Six months maternity leave with full pay is what this country needs - even if it is at the expense of a few avaricious fat cats."

3. "Look, I've got an idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an obsessive centrist. "Perhaps we can allow for six months of paid maternity leave, but have the government pay the companies for lost revenue? That way the mothers can bring up their children without financial worries, companies won't lose investors, and everyone will be happy. Apart from the taxpayers, of course, but you can't please everyone."

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#175: Is @@NAME@@ Too Promiscuous? [Masalium; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The highly moral and religious pressure group 'Cuckolds And Cuckqueans Anonymous' has lobbied for the criminalisation of adultery.

The Debate
1. "Whatever happened to the sanctity of marriage?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@ while wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan 'Marriage is for life, not just for anniversaries'. "Whatever happened to lifelong companionship? Whatever happened to simple faithfulness because of love?! Adultery seems to be more of a hobby than anything these days! The government must impose the utmost punishments on those who commit this sin. A good old-fashioned stoning should sort it!"

2. "I don't agree with adultery either," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a passer-by. "But, uh... stoning? You don't think that's a little extreme? If we find someone guilty of fornication we can just lock them up in jail. That way no-one gets killed and the sinners get justice. It's more expensive to the tax payers than a stoning of course, but I reckon it's worth it."

3. "With the greatest of respect, this is none of your business!" yells @@RANDOMNAME@@ who is rumoured to have had more than a thousand lovers and even more children. "The government has no right to go about trying to dictate the laws of love and romance! Marriages break down, people move on - is it really the government's place to make people stay put? You must recognise the fact that the law has no place within the bedroom!"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:57 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:52 am

#176: History A Mystery To Most Of @@NAME@@ [Diet Mug Root Beer; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Historians and educators have campaigned against the skewing of historical facts for artistic purposes following the premiere of the new historical drama titled 'It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Revolution!'

The Debate
1. "It is completely outrageous!" cries media critic @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The Captain was our most inspiring war leader and is a national hero! He never had a teen sidekick named Pogo! And he certainly didn't come from outer space! We should protect ourselves from such wanton revisionism and outlaw so-called artistic licence. That way we can be happy that what goes on in these movies is for real!"

2. "Oh, that's nonsense, yeah?" says film director @@RANDOMNAME@@, while polishing a small statue of a golden @@ANIMAL@@. "If anything, it helps our nation by familiarising everyone with historical figures and gets them more interested in the subject, yeah? It's not boring like real history; it can be exciting! With car chases and explosions, yeah! Hey, I'm excited already! Besides, what is history? Just memories from a certain viewpoint, yeah? Well, if you make all history classes see it from our viewpoint there'll be no more problem! Oh, yeah!"

3. "I'm sure there's a middle ground," suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, your minister of History. "If we just made history classes mandatory for pupils until they leave school, increased taxes to raise funding for history classes a bit- no, make that a LOT, and encouraged history-related professions, then eventually everyone will realise that these films are simply pale, inaccurate imitations of events that really happened. People will be historically aware, and directors get to make their films. Everything sorted."

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#177: Power To The People? [Whatia; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Several underground organisations in @@NAME@@ have recently been spreading discontent throughout the populace about not being able to vote.

The Debate
1. "We demand the power to rule the country the way we want!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@ while being dragged before you in chains. "Too long have you and your dictatorial government been allowed to control our lives! The right to vote in a fair and free election is all we crave! You can take our lives, but you'll never take our souls! Elections for @@NAME@@!"

2. "If you'll take my advice, we should just send these crazies down to the dungeons," murmurs @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your political advisors. "If we let them spread this propaganda we'll soon have a revolution on our hands! We should crack down on these groups, and ban non-governmental political organisations to keep the people from getting too frisky with their pitchforks."

3. "There's no need to be quite so dramatic," assures @@RANDOMNAME@@, your minister of Silly Walks as he pinwheels past. "We could let them have their way a little, just to keep them happy, you know? We could give them the right to vote, but not the right to run for office. Then we could just pick out the candidates we wanted and they could choose! We've been doing this for years, we don't want some uppity new bloke trying to tell us what to do."

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#178: Free Press Too Free? [Ice Hockey Players; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Citizens, politicians, and businessmen have been campaigning for the government to keep a tighter rein on the media after several well-respected newspapers printed false articles with contents ranging from claims that the capital city had been stolen by a UFO to erroneous share prices which led to job-losses and a stock market decline.

The Debate
1. "Over a thousand jobs lost!" clamours @@RANDOMNAME@@, angry protester and ex-employee of Dreddmax Incorporated. "And why? Because the press isn't concerned about the truth anymore; all it wants is higher sales! We must forbid these rags from lying to the people and dish out heavy fines to those who try! This so-called 'free press' has a dark side, you know. We learnt that ever since we discovered it wasn't cottage cheese they were mining up north!"

2. "This is censorship!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, editor-in-chief of The Hebdomadal Gabfest while carefully noting everything you say in a notepad. "We speak for the people! Admittedly some newspapers didn't check all of their facts before they published, but that doesn't merit such draconian measures at all! If we're only allowed to print the absolute truth then how soon before we're getting constantly sued by politicians for libel? What about our rumour columns? It'll totally destroy the business! The government must have no part in repression of the media!"

3. "You know that no matter what we decide we're going to make people mad," points out @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Public Relations. "But the best way to control public opinion is to tell the public what their opinions are. I suggest nationalising all the newspapers and putting them under government control. Then we can tell them whatever we like! After all, we're much more trustworthy than some profit-driven media moguls, right? At least we won't have to issue ANOTHER public statement to tell everyone you're not a hyper-intelligent aubergine."

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#179: Mad @@ANIMAL@@ Disease Outbreak! [The Stevillian Empire; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Tens of thousands of @@ANIMAL@@s all over @@NAME@@ have been found to have contracted the fatal and highly contagious Mad @@ANIMAL@@ Disease, destroying livestock and causing widespread panic after evidence that the disease is transmissible to your citizens was released.

The Debate
1. "I'm afraid this is terrible news," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Dreaded Lurgies. "All these animals must be culled at once to prevent contamination of our foodstocks and to stop the disease from spreading to citizens! It'll be a bit of a blow for the food industries, what with all their livelihood being destroyed, but it's the only way!"

2. "We've got to look at this in the long term," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a rustic farmer. "How will we farmers survive when we've got nothin' to sell? I'd suggest puttin' more tax @@CURRENCY@@s into the whatjamacallit... medical research thingy so we can finds a cure, 'cos if we don't it'll just come around again and we'll all be in the same sticky mess. In the meanwhile, we should just hold the fort if you know what I mean. Import some @@ANIMAL@@s from abroad, no-one need know!"

3. "You call that an answer to short-term problems?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a likewise rustic farmer. "It can take months and months to find a vaccine you know! The meat industry will still take a hit and I jus' don't have the resources to see me and me kids through this kind of financial upheaval. I reckon the government folks should go ahead with the culling idea and compensate us farmers for our losses! That's a lot cheaper than putting all our money into tests that most likely won't work don't you think?"

4. "Wait a minute!" interrupts @@RANDOMNAME@@, a querimonious taxpayer. "Why do I have to pay a burden because of these pointless animals? I suggest we do nothing, let them die off... or just sell them. I mean, it's a bit much when the government starts saying what we can or cannot put in our refridgerators isn't it?"

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#180: Mobile Maladies [Grindleria; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Recently, there has been increased commotion from your citizens about the possible health risks caused by using mobile phones.

The Debate
1. "Have you seen these statistics?!" yells anti-mobile lobbyist @@RANDOMNAME@@, gesturing towards a wiggly line on a clipboard. "Mobile phones now kill more people in this country than exploding cupboards, the ironing board, and Godzilla put together! And that's not including the number of people who die every year from car crashes caused by chit-chat while driving! These things fry your brain with microwaves while you speak! We must ban mobile phones now!"

2. "This is utter nonsense," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Amber Phones, while nonchalantly slipping a wad of @@CURRENCY@@s into your pocket. "Mobile phones are totally harmless - I'll have you know that not one of our privately-funded studies has found the slightest bit of evidence to the contrary! Have you ever seen anyone drop dead in the street just because they were chatting on one of our new M/A models for sale now at low, low prices? No! It's just blatant scaremongering! I implore the government to dismiss these crackpots' complaints."

3. "I don't believe they're harmful either," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a teacher. "But it's obvious to everyone what a detrimental effect it has on our children! Everywhere I look, I'm seeing children as young as four tapping away at the blasted things! Do you know how many lessons I've had interrupted by the 'Crazy @@ANIMAL@@' ringtone? Do you know how many of my pupils think 'great' is spelled with a number? Too many! Only adults should be allowed to own and use mobile phones!"

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#181: Radio Rebels Ruffle Government [Dupeksland; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
The 'Underground Element', a newly formed resistance force to the governing party in @@NAME@@, has begun broadcasting anti-government messages over a network of public radio stations.

The Debate
1. "These rebels are harmless," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, political commentator. "In the interests of free speech and democracy, we should allow them to broadcast their messages. There's nothing wrong with a little criticism of the government - indeed, it could do with some more incentive to perform well."

2. "It'd be one thing if it was genuinely insightful criticism," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your personal advisor. "But this is a disgrace! It's simply fear-mongering and government-bashing. We should shut down these punks before they fill our citizens' heads full of mistruths. And while we're at it, there are a few other radio stations that need to smarten up their attitude to the government, too."

3. "Now now, let's be reasonable about this," muses @@RANDOMNAME@@, radio chatshow host. "The government should think very carefully before it gets into the business of telling people what they can and can't say on the air. The solution here is not to ban criticism, but to price radio station licenses at an appropriate level - that is, higher than a rabble of unshaven hippies can afford."

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#182: Younger Voters a Cure for Apathy? [South Westerburg; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
With voter interest in politics plummeting, the idea of lowering the minimum voter age has been suggested.

The Debate
1. "It's their future as well, let the youngsters have their say!" calls @@RANDOMNAME@@, a retired history teacher. "By their early-teens, they should know as much about our government and political process as any other voter. It's time we got some young blood infused into the political process and got people interested in politics again."

2. "Are you mad?" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, government treasurer. "Teenagers are way too easily distracted! They'll end up making snap decisions and lumber us with some incompetent fool who reduces our economy to ruin and could even end up giving out tax cuts! If anything, the government needs to be more careful about who we allow to vote. Background checks and strict conditions placed on all voters should help keep our government running smoothly."

3. "All these elections are awfully troublesome," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your senior aide. "I mean, it's obvious you know what's best for the people and for @@NAME@@, so why don't we cut out the whole voting thing and just appoint the ministers directly? Think of all the money we'd save, and the trees that would be spared from being turned into ballot papers!"

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#183: Buy A Better Baby? [Sci; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
A top fertility clinic has recently announced a new service allowing parents to create so-called 'designer babies'.

The Debate
1. "Embryo selection isn't really genetic engineering in the technical sense," explains Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of the Babies-2-Go Clinic. "It's more like being able to have a dozen abortions per month until you get the foetus you desire. I can't really see what's wrong with parents who can afford it being able to eliminate foetuses with undesirable genetic traits - like stupidity."

2. "Thou shalt pay for thy sins!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, waving a crucifix. "This is just meddling with the sanctity of life. If these children are to be born with horrible defects then it's God's will and who are we to question it? This technology must be banned at once!"

3. "This technology shows promise," muses @@RANDOMNAME@@, minister of health. "But we can't trust the private sector with the future of our nation's children. We must place it under strict government regulation, so that we only screen out embryos with serious genetic conditions."

4. "This has got me thinkin'," says General @@RANDOMNAME@@, thumbing through a big folder marked 'X'. "If this technology lets us reduce genetic defects, then couldn't it work the other way? We could create ourselves an army of genetically superior soldiers! With our army of Super Soldiers, no nation would dare stand in our way!"

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#184: Compulsory Military Service Under Attack [Randino; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
Concerned mothers and nervous school-leavers are petitioning the government to abolish compulsory military service.

The Debate
1. "Our children are forced to be trained to murder!" protests @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairman of the Parents Against All Things Violent organisation. "For too long now the government has been snatching away our children and training them to become killing machines. This archaic practice must be banned at once! Sure, some of them could end up breaking into cars or terrorising old people, but hey, kids will be kids, right?"

2. "What a preposterous idea!" scoffs Drill Sergeant @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The youth of @@NAME@@ has never needed the discipline provided by the armed forces more than it does today, and with all those rogue states out there we need all the recruits we can get! If anything, the government should lengthen the required service and drop the minimum age to something more reasonable."

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#185: "Bring Back Our Booze!" Cry Revellers [Eta Carinae; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
Crowds of angrily sober sports fans and university students have petitioned the government to repeal the prohibition of alcohol.

The Debate
1. "Banning alcohol was the worst government decision ever made," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a former connoisseur of fine wines. "One can only drink grape juice for so long before one gets most awfully tired of it! Our society needs alcohol: it reduces inhibitions, dulls the pains of our modern existence and lets us all have a good time. Yes there are those who abuse it, but that's their choice. The government needs to start re-issuing liquor licences right away!"

2. "It's certainly not the choice of the victims of drink-driving!" retorts police chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Or the families torn apart by alcoholism! Banning it caused huge drops in violence, vehicle accidents and medical costs. How could any sane person want to re-legalise that poison? What we need is more money for the police so we can crack down on criminals smuggling in and selling alcohol and impose heavier penalties."

3. "In large amounts alcohol is damaging, but moderate amounts can actually be quite beneficial," says Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Like many other potentially harmful drugs, alcohol should be available on prescription. Sure, it'll be more work for the health service, but I'm sure we can manage it... with a little extra funding."

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#186: Carjacking Concerns [Vortengard; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
Terrified motorists are complaining about the increasing number of hijackings that are taking place outside the big city areas.

The Debate
1. Hijacking victim @@RANDOMNAME@@ wants the government to take action against the road pirates: "Inner-city crime is nothing compared to the brutality these gangs show! They block the roads with trucks or felled trees and hide on the roadside until some poor unsuspecting motorist pulls up. The government must introduce a special police unit to patrol these isolated areas!"

2. "More police isn't the answer," retorts @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of research at @@NAME@@'s largest car manufacturer. "This is a job for the private sector! We already have blueprints for cars with bullet-proof armour and mounted machine guns, and, if you'll pass appropriate legislation, we can have these things on sale in weeks. Let the people defend themselves!"

3. "This just proves how cars are more trouble than they're worth." says @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the Transport Worker's Union. "If the government bans cars and pours more money into public transport, everyone will be much safer and happier! Except from people who live outside major cities, of course - but then, that's their choice."

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#187: @@NAME@@'s Underclass Drowning In Debt [Crazahkistan; ed:Myrth]

The Issue
In response to an increasing number of people falling into debt and declaring bankruptcy, activists are arguing that the government should take a stronger role in protecting its citizens from loosely regulated lending firms and in helping its citizens pay off or cancel their debts.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of consumer watchdog 'Debt-Busters' urges the government to enact new laws: "We've got middle and lower class families falling victim to predatory financial institutions and plunging into debts they can never hope to repay. The government must pass legislation restricting things like interest rates to stem the tide of people losing their property to these sharks, and take an active role reviewing all loan repayment terms."

2. "That's just not going far enough!" cries newspaper columnist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The government must eliminate the shackles of debt from our good nation once and for all! What we need are vast reforms of the welfare system then we can provide these poor, downtrodden souls with money and housing, so they don't need to take out such huge loans in the first place!

3. "They're irresponsible with their money and yet they're the victims? Call me crazy but borrowing money and not paying it back isn't debt, it's theft!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, representitive of one of @@NAME@@'s largest lending firms. "What we really need is the power to send these parasites to debtor prisons, where they can work off the money they owe through hard manual labour."

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#188: Video Games Too Violent, Say Parents [The Stakanian Isles; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Recently, there has been an enormous commercial success for 'violent' video games such as 'Blood 'n' Guts 2: The Revenge', 'Tremor', and 'Grand Theft Tricycle'. Several parents' groups have been calling for tougher restrictions on these games.

The Debate
1. "We must outlaw these violent games immediately!" shouts Catherine Gratwick, a member of Mothers Ordered Against Nastiness, "These so-called 'games' are desensitising our children to violence and making them more aggressive. Why, just the other day I witnessed my son firing a missile launcher in a videogame and the next day he went out and robbed a bank! He may be thirty-five, but you can't possibly say it's a coincidence!"

2. "Oh noez!" cries DEATMASTER_69, one of @@NAME@@'s foremost authorities on video games. "That's stupid! If a child is psychotic, it's not because they played 'Hellstorm of Fireblood 3' or whatever, it's because their parents were stupid enough to not teach little Johnny the difference between right and wrong and don't want to take the blame. Just because I like to n00k countries in games doesn't mean I like to shoot people in real life. That's false data! So just relax and let the kids play their games, hey?"

3. "Why not rate games the same way we rate movies?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a spokesperson for the @@NAME@@ Censorship Board. "We could give each game a content rating based on age appropriateness, and add descriptors on the box explaining why the game gets a certain rating. A little funding and we can stop children getting violent video games without affecting all the older 'gamers'. Everyone will be happy. Except tax payers, I guess."

4. "The children will manage to get their hands on the games anyway," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a fitness instructor. "Parents can be so ignorant. In my opinion, the only damage these video games are causing is physical: kids are becoming less inclined to exercise, and it doesn't really matter if they are violent; the result is the same either way. The only way to get bums off seats is to ban all video games. Maybe then we'll see a difference in the national waistline!"

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#189: Dangerously Cheesy [Disposablepuppetland; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
The popular daily cartoon strip "Barry the @@ANIMAL@@" has always been highly critical of the political system within @@NAME@@, but in recent weeks the cartoon has depicted the main characters throwing melted cheese at unpopular politicians. Inspired by this, protestors armed with fondue sets stormed a government building, cheesing off several government officials.

The Debate
1. "It's just a bit of harmless fun!", says @@RANDOMNAME@@, creator of Barry the @@ANIMAL@@, while spraying your advisors with melted cheddar. "If the government were doing a better job people wouldn't feel the need to throw cheese at them. We should be free to express our displeasure in any way we choose. Besides, my cartoon books are selling like hot cakes, and that's got to be good for the economy, right?"

2. "This has got to stop!" insists @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the censorship board. "I spent 3 hours this morning scraping wensleydale out of my hair! Arrest these lunatics! The protestors and the people responsible for this vile cartoon, throw them all into jail!"

3. "Arrrrrgh!" screams lactose-intolerant @@RANDOMNAME@@, a member of the public safety board, as incoming rounds of mature gouda smash the windows and claim the suits of several nearby advisors. "As I've been saying for many years now, cheese is a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands and should be outlawed. Ban all cheese now, and enforce it!"

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#190: Immigrants Import Homeland Rivalries [Rowaria; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
After a series of bloody wars between the nations of Maxtopia and North Bigtopia, fights have broken out in the streets between immigrants in @@NAME@@ who came from the warring nations.

The Debate
1. "Foreigners are a major cause of civil disturbances," begins @@RANDOMNAME@@, whose opinions form the book '101 Arguments FOR Slavery'. "What we should do is make all immigrants, foreigners, and non-native @@NAME@@ folks slaves! I mean, who in @@NAME@@ wouldn't like a minority slave group to do his bidding? Imagine! People could be bought and sold over the Internet!"

2. "I am shocked and appalled at what my colleague is suggesting!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, President of the Civil Rights Union of @@NAME@@. "Slavery? We should punish these offenders, yes, but send them to rehabilitation centres instead! As for the ethnic squabbles, programs in school should begin to stop these racist attitudes in childhood! All it will take is some slight fortification to the education budget!"

3. A quiet old man stands up to speak. "Now, I may be a quiet old man, but I believe that these ethnic disputes are none of the government's business. It's not our war anyway, so it's not our problem. I'm sure if you leave it alone, it'll work itself out. Just think of the money that would be saved if the police don't have to be paid to deal with this!"

4. "It's not our war? It's not our war?" cries (in)famous @@NAME@@-born fascist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Well maybe it's time it became our war! @@NAME@@ should take a more active, and by 'active' I mean 'hostile', role in international politics! This ethnic squabbling will be over when the war is over, and WE can end that war and purge the impure! @@SLOGAN@@! Sieg @@NAME@@!"

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#191: Blood Banks Running Dry [Karmanyaka; ed:Euroslavia]

The Issue
A violent and rather messy stampede of @@ANIMAL@@s during a parade in your honour has brought widespread media attention to the shortage of blood, plasma and platelet donors in @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "Blood donation should be compulsory!" argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, a spokesperson for the @@NAME@@ Blood Donors' Association. "We can't expect citizens to come flocking to donate blood just out of the goodness of their hearts, so the government should take the matter into its own hands. If we could maybe require healthy citizens to... let's say... donate blood every three months, we wouldn't have such a problem with shortages. It'll require more funding to organise and carry out, yes, but your people are worth it, aren't they?"

2. "Don't listen to that devil worshipper!" preaches @@RANDOMNAME@@, a Jehovah's Witness. "It isn't up to us to decide what should be done, it is God, and only God, who decides what someone should do with their blood. I'd rather die clean and go to Heaven, thank you very much! We must heed this Gospel and ban blood donations now! Of course some people will die, but they will be rewarded in the afterlife for obeying His word."

3. "You're kidding, right?" burbles anaemic patient @@RANDOMNAME@@ from a hospital bed. "I'm not going to let some closed-minded priest tell me what I can and can't do with my blood! But I don't think people should be forced to give blood; they just need incentive, that's all. Like money. Trust me, any kind of '@@CURRENCY@@s For Blood' scheme will have them almost begging to donate. It's the only humane way to ensure that people like me are getting the care we need. If you're worried about funding just get it from those religious nuts... they're not helping anyone with it."

4. "I have an even better idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a prison officer. "How about we force every healthy prisoner to donate blood? It's about time they gave back to society what they've taken away in the first place. If we do this we won't have to beg the law-abiding citizens of @@NAME@@ to take time out of their day to give blood. It's not like these thugs are really doing anything for us, so missing a pint or three won't matter, am I right?"

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#192: Coup d'Etat In @@NAME@@! [Miravesel; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
During a state visit to a foreign nation, revolutionaries took advantage of your absence to seize government buildings, take workers hostage, and demand an end to your 'tyrannical' regime.

The Debate
1. "We call on our great leader to renounce this corrupt regime and join the revolution!" shouts revolutionary leader @@RANDOMNAME@@, while holding a knife to the throat of a terrified government minister. "For far too long have we toiled under the corruption and mendacity of the borgwa... bushawzee... rich people! It is time for a reckoning! Dissolve the government! Let us tear off the shackles of oppression and put an end to this dictatorship of our souls!"

2. "Our soldiers are ready to storm the building and gun down these interlopers at once," says your Minister of Defence at an emergency meeting in a secret bunker. "We must demonstrate strength in the face of these traitors and quickly. If we give any leeway to these people they'll just try to push for more and more power and overthrow us totally. We've got to nip this in the bud and direct much more funding toward the military in the future so they never try this again! If we press down hard enough, they'll never dare to even ask for more freedoms."

3. "That's too dangerous," says your Commissioner of Police, who also happens to be your brother. "We could lose hostages that way. We've just got to stand proud as the honorable citizens of @@NAME@@ and negotiate with these people for the safe release of our workers. Don't take this the wrong way, I think you're a great leader, but maybe we could give the nation some freedoms in return. They may be asking for total control, but I think you'll find they'll make do with a lot less."

4. "Hey, that's just silly," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your personally appointed Minister of the Free Press. "I know a way which means we won't have to give these hippies their freedoms and also allows us to get our workers back, which is good for your image I might add. Money can't buy you love, but it can buy you peace. If you paid several million @@CURRENCY@@s to the rebels, I'm sure you'll find them much more co-operative. Remember, it's better to spend money than spend lives. From a publicity point of view anyway."

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#193: Robots Leaving Workers Jobless [The Ethics Union; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Amidst a growing level of unemployment, thousands of workers have been fired and then replaced by automatic systems. They have petitioned you to intervene.

The Debate
1. "It's just sickening! Do you know how long it took most of us to get a decent, 'stable' job?" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the @@NAME@@ Labour Alliance, before dramatically sweeping your personal belongings off your desk. "And now we're losing our livelihoods to robots so that while our families starve, the corporations get even richer! Don't let the capitalist pigs blind you! This practice must be banned!"

2. "Hey, I've got a job to keep up too, you know," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a factory manager. "If I don't think of new ways of keeping costs down, the investors will go elsewhere. It's my neck on the line as much as anyone else's, even if I do have much more money. Besides, it's business, and no-one ought to be able to say who - or what - I can hire."

3. "This could be resolved if instead of replacing workers with machines, we added machines to workers!" enthuses @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Mondas Ltd. "By replacing the body parts with stronger, better, metal prostheses, we can make the best industrial workers - literally - in the world! Imagine a shelver who can shift whole crates with just one arm! One finger! So let's hear no more of this deplorable 'replacing workers with machines' idea and look to the future!"

4. "You can't allow that!" gasps @@RANDOMNAME@@, a manual labourer. "If that happens, only the people with cyber limbs will get jobs! And the corporations will contract you into having the surgery if you want to have one! No thank you! We should go back to the grass roots of industry when all the machines weren't computerised and workers were the salt of the earth! Then maybe we'd see a bit more appreciation! And cash!"

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#194: A Request For Military Aid [The Rogue Soldiers; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A small nameless nation within your sphere of influence has gone on a genocidal rampage within its own borders, ridding itself of what their Supreme Ruler For All Eternity, Emperor @@RANDOMNAME@@, refers to as 'those pesky Bigtopians'. Some escaped refugees are requesting that your government do something to end the slaughter of millions.

The Debate
1. "They're killing everyone!" gasps @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of the refugees. "I implore you to please intervene and stop this murder of my people! If @@NAME@@ has any compassion at all then it must help us! With these madmen out of power we can finally go about rebuilding our nation as a land of justice and freedom!"

2. "Woah, woah, we can't just go around being a knight in shining armour for every random hell-hole on this planet," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your minister of Foreign Relations. "Should we send citizens of @@NAME@@ into war just so we can save a bunch of foreigners? I don't think so! Now, I'm no xenophobe, but I've gotta ask: what's in it for us? Nothing but the death of our soldiers and criticism from the rest of the region, that's what. Trouble is we're getting too much of a reputation for having a big army. So drop some of our military funding and let them fight their own wars. It's got nothing to do with us."

3. "Well, maybe this nation does have something we need, sir," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Military Advisor, while perusing a giant map of @@NAME@@. "We're fast running out of land and resources here, so why not invade this place, kick out whoever's in power there, and take over? We've got the military power, so why wait? If any of those hippies in the region have somethin' to say about it, they can say hello to our missile programmes, haha!"

4. "They have as much right to their own internal politics as we do," says activist and peacenik @@RANDOMNAME@@. "While their actions may be deplorable by our standards, we can't intervene unless the legitimate government requests it. It's just an invitation to anarchy on an international scale, and nobody but a few crackpots want that."

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#195: Right Of Way Or Wrong Of Way? [Teaberry; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
An increasing number of land owners have been fencing off footpaths which run through or near their property and as a result you have been petitioned by The Rambler's and Hiker's Association to allow the 'right to roam'.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous hiker of @@NAME@@'s countryside, storms into your office, arms waving dangerously. "These pompous land owners are fencing off hundreds of years of tradition! The public should have right of way by law! It is every man's right to be able to enjoy the scenic beauty of our native lands and I don't see why some toffee-nosed prat should be the only person allowed to walk around his hundreds of acres of land when most of us don't even have one! It's simply unforgivable! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going for a walk! Wherever I ruddy well like!"

2. "It's trespass, plain and simple," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, wealthy owner of six mansions. "My home is my castle! If these smelly ramblers think they can abuse and defile my land, they should start thinking again! You've got to look at this reasonably: where people go, pollution follows. Before I know it I'm going to have litter in my fields, drunken parties in my woods, and more eroded footpaths than I can count! Will they be the ones paying to have it all maintained? Not likely! I say no to this 'right to roam' rubbish! This land is mine, and I intend to keep it that way."

3. "There's an opportunity in every problem," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Rural Affairs. "And there's always some sort of compromise. We could simply allocate some government funding to teams of environmental workers to maintain and promote our network of footpaths that anyone may use... for a price. Think of the money we could get from all those hikers and ramblers! Not to mention the tourists, birdwatchers, and hippies! Everybody wins! Except for those who can't afford the fees, I guess, but you can't please everyone."

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#196: Violent Violetists Protest Artists [SalusaSecondus; ed:SalusaSecondus]

The Issue
Several musicians have recently produced songs in which "Violet" sings silly and offensive things, causing outcries of horror from the Order of Violet.

The Debate
1. "THIS IS BLASPHEMY!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, Grand High Poobah of the Order of Violet. "Our holy scriptures specifically forbid any portrayal of our prophet's most holy voice. We cannot permit people to slander and mock our prophet and insult all of us. These people are simply doing this to see if we are extremists. Death to the blasphemers!"

2. Speaking anonymously and from hiding, one of the musicians says, "It was just meant to be a joke! I never thought that they'd take it so seriously. I just wanted to give them a little ribbing like I do the other major religions of Pastafarianism and Frisbeetarianism." @@RANDOMNAME@@ glances over their shoulder to see if anyone is watching, "Please don't try to figure out who I am. I'm scared for my safety. The government should protect my freedom to insult whomever I want. Freedom of speech should hold nothing sacred, not even God."

3. "Freedom of speech is important, but so is freedom of religion. Surely we can strike some sort of balance?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, chief spokesperson for the @@NAMEINITIALS@@SOC (the @@NAME@@ Society of Compromisers). "Freedom of speech comes with a responsibility. People must avoid anything that insults another's religion, and if they aren't willing to do it themselves, the government must enforce it."

4. "His Holiness, the Grand High Poobah of Violet, has the right idea, but the wrong religion," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Prelate of Primary Public Relations for the fanatical organization @@NAME@@'s Concerned Citizens for Our God. "This nation needs an official religion, and not support the Godless heathens who worship the idolotrous Violet. Appoint me as your spiritual adviser an I'll ensure that all people worship God in the correct way."

5. "They've got it all wrong. Freedom of speech isn't the problem, religion is!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, at a local AA (Atheists Anonymous) meeting. "If religion were outlawed, this problem would solve itself. Just send them in for medical treatment. After all, anyone who believes in some big invisible dude who can do anything is clearly nuts."

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#197: Breastfeeding In Public: Innocent Or Indecent? [Bronteland; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A young mother was recently thrown out of a restaurant in @@NAME@@ for publicly breastfeeding her baby and 'upsetting the customers'. There are now demands for the government to state their position on the issue.

The Debate
1. "We should have a perfect right to feed our babies where we want and when we want without fear of harassment from anyone," declares Catherine Gratwick, a likewise young mother. "Why should women hide themselves away just to assuage the silly attitudes of these narrow-minded fogies? It's totally natural, and much healthier than bottle-feeding for both mother and child so why the fuss? Today, women are afraid to breastfeed in public and the law should be on their side - if not for their benefit, then for that of the children."

2. "I think it's just wrong, wrong, wrong," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, in reply to an online survey. "These women should cover themselves up and feed their kids away from sight like respectable folk. It's not like bottles don't exist! I don't want to have to look at that sort of thing when I'm having a romantic dinner or going on a nice leisurely walk down the street, you know. It should be a private thing, like other bodily functions that I rather care not to mention."

3. "I'm not against mothers breastfeeding in public," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a manager of human resources. "But what I find objectionable is that women could be allowed to breastfeed at the workplace when they should be doing more productive things like, well, working. They can't do that if they want to entertain and feed their baby at the same time can they? Can you imagine policewomen doing this on the job? Doctors? Politicians? Mark my words, this is a bad path to take and will ultimately be disruptive to the national economy. And my bonus."

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#198: Gypsies In A Field [CR Oscilloscopes; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a much-publicised incident involving a farmer's attempts to drive a family of travellers off private property, there has been a call for you to review the laws governing gypsies.

The Debate
1. "These pikies just rolled onto my field in those caravans of theirs and camped out," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the enraged farmer. "And when I tries to run 'em over with my tractor, it's me who gets stuck in the cells overnight! I've tried getting the government to evict them but they take too long over it. How would these people have reacted if I'd set up a tent in their back garden? There should be a law so I can get rid of them any way I choose. Gypsies should not be allowed to go wherever they like. It's just not fair to landowners."

2. "All we wanted was a place to stay the night," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a traveller and parent of fourteen children. "Or maybe for a week or so. Or a month. Perhaps through winter; it's pretty mild around here, I don't know. But is that such a crime? We weren't stealing anything, or harming anyone. All we ask is to be allowed to continue our travels without harassment."

3. "I don't think that's a good idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your advisors who happens to own an extensive greenfield site. "We can't just let people go living wherever they like just because they've been doing it for hundreds of years. It's very untidy! What I suggest is that we dip into the coffers and buy plots of land, all over the country, and turn them into nice safe areas where these folks can stay for as long as they want for a weekly rent before they decide to move on. See? Problem solved."

4. "I have the best solution," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, in response to a street survey. "These gypsies should be chucked in jail, their caravans sold for scrap, and, and... told not to do it again! I think we've all had enough with the government pussy-footing their way around these criminals! The way they just swan in and disrupt communities any way they please! And think of what their presence would do to the value of my property! People ought to live in bricks and mortar, not tins on wheels!"

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#199: More Jails Needed [Deleuze; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Since prisons were banned, @@NAME@@'s crime rate has skyrocketed and calls have been made for the creation of a new prison system.

The Debate
1. "I don't think we can bear it any longer," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, victim of three robberies and one attempted stabbing. "The criminals have taken over @@NAME@@. I'd say it's not safe to leave the front door unlocked but there aren't any left! We have GOT to reintroduce prisons and dramatically increase police funding if this nation's going to be restored to the way it once was, you know? A place where you don't need a mantrap on the doormat or seven sets of keys. If that money has to come from silly things like social welfare and education, that's fine with me."

2. "Jails? What are they good for?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a shifty-looking advisor of yours. Eyes too close together. "All they do is create a drain on the public purse and for what? Keeping society's malcontents alive and in places of luxurious comfort? It's not worth it. Just forget this jail business and while we're at it, cut the police budget. If there's ever a worse criminal organisation out there, it's @@NAME@@'s boys in orangey-pink. Trust me."

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#200: Birds, Bees, And Breeding Teens [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A study has shown that an increasing proportion of teenagers in @@NAME@@ are falling pregnant.

The Debate
1. "We need comprehensive sex education to be mandatory in all schools," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a teacher while tidying away some diagrams that make your eyes water. "The plain fact is that teenagers will experiment with sexual intercourse despite what society or their parents wish. So I say give these kids free contraceptives, and make them fully aware of the consequences of their actions. Information is what they need, not condemnation. If they ignore it then hey, it's their own damn fault."

2. "If you give them contraception it'll just encourage them to do... terrible things," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a religious parent and member of Moral Minority. "And what's with giving them so much information? There's even diagrams for goodness sake! Have they never heard of 'monkey see, monkey do'? They'll just go and try it out, mark my words! The solution is simple: girls should be kept at home and away from the monkey house of lustful impetuousness and young males until they are of marriageable age. Teaching teenagers abstinence and chastity is the key, not giving them step-by-step manuals."

3. "However sex education is taught, it is still social engineering and so undermines parental authority," says conservative newspaper columnist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "My own son learned about something called 'homosexuality' the other day! For shame! We all know it should be Adam and Eve, not Adam and... Geoff? Anyway, my point is that sex education should be dropped from schools and instead taught by parents the way they see fit. That way children will get consistent messages and parents, not society, will cop the blame if any of their kids fall pregnant."

4. "No-one's asked me my opinion yet," says Catherine Gratwick, a teenage mother as she bottle-feeds her baby. "I think it's perfectly obvious what the cause of teenage pregnancy is - teenage boys! My son's father is the one that got me into this mess. He's the one who pressured me into having sex, but all the education is focused on the girls. Teenage fathers should be made responsible for their actions for once and be made to join the military so they can send their wages back to pay for their children's upkeep. If that's not a deterrent, then I don't know what is."

5. "I think we've missed the fact that maybe this teenage pregnancy phenomenon is not such a bad thing," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous demographer. "We need the population to grow, we need more people of working age, we need more tax for public services, et cetera. There are plenty of sound demographical reasons why we should be encouraging women to have families. By all means educate them about the dangers, but I don't think we ought to discourage teenagers from procreating - it's nature's way you know."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:57 pm, edited 10 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:53 am

#201: Jolly Roger Sighted Off The Port Bow! [I V Stalin; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s merchant navy has seen increasing attacks from swashbuckling pirates in recent months, devastating @@NAME@@'s foreign trade.

The Debate
1. "We should blow them out of the water!" says First Lord Admiral @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These waterlogged vagabonds have been plundering our ships for far too long! All our exports from the @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ industry are going straight into their hands! It's downright dangerous for us to let this continue! All we require is some funding for coastal patrol boats, fleet carriers, and nuclear submarines and a free hand to show these freebooters what's what."

2. "Hello," says a grog-swilling, peg-legged scurvy dog entering your office. "I'm @@RANDOMNAME@@, a mighty pirate. I'd like to suggest that instead of wasting all that money on attacking pirates you simply buy them off with barrels of bullion, jewels and Maxtopian gold! There'll still be pirates around, sure, but as long as everyone's paid off, they won't hinder your trade. Not much anyway."

3. "That's the second biggest load of bilge I've ever seen!" says Captain Grapnel, CFO of Hispaniola Shipping Insurance, LLC. "Shiver me timbers, if these scurvy dogs don't be cutting into me profit margin! Me comprehensive coverage has to pay out for victims o' illegality, and of course theft be illegal in this country, bu' that be giving me an idea - what if we were to have privateers? That is to say, if ye were to make piracy legal but with a quotar o' sorts, like huntin'? That way me and mine can stay in business and ye can get a fine cut o' th' booty from licence fees! Savvy?"

4. "Come now, that's hardly fair," argues 'gentleman pirate' Taupebeard de Gauche with a bow and flourish. "There is an ancient tradition of actively redistributing wealth on the high seas, and we active redistributors serve an important role in the global economy. You would not keep a family-run bookstore from handing down its business from generation to generation, would you? We simply ask, nay, demand the same right! And get rid of the word 'pirate'. It's a slur. We are corsairs - not common sea-faring thugs."

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#202: Guns Or Butter? [Roman Republics; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After years of costly military build-up, the military now has a state of readiness capable of responding to all threats, both foreign and domestic. There is extensive debate among government officials, the military, and the average citizen over what, if anything, should be done with this powerful asset.

The Debate
1. "No one even thinks to look at us funny now," says Field Marshall Lionel Mandrake as he taps a swagger stick against his hip. "So think about how they'd act when the military is in proper charge of the country? We'd say jump, and they'd jump, by jingo. Oh, and if you don't agree with me, consider this a coup."

2. "There's no point in having a military this size when our closest adversary has a water pistol strapped to a scooter and calls it an armoured brigade," says noted economist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Besides, the military's been getting uppity with all its funding anyway. Slash its budget, sell off its surplus, and put the money into tax relief and... of course... maintaining all those contractors. Sure, they won't make tanks anymore but they can sure make plenty of commemorative plates with all that money!"

3. "The military is too powerful!" cries famous peacenik Elvis Gandhi, smelling of petrol and holding a Zippo in one hand. "All those tanks and bombs threaten us and the environment - we're number one, and someone's gonna try and take us down because of it! The people are tired of eating grass soup so the army can get another stealth ICBM launching flamethrower tank. Cut military funding and rebuild our schools, hospitals, welfare, and environment... or else!" Upon which he flips open the lid of the lighter threateningly.

4. "Everyone's got it all wrong," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the @@NAME@@ Libertarian Party. "We need the military now to support our economy but we can't let it get out of control. I say we privatise it and divvy it up between several corporations, and make it self funding... it sounds radical but taxes will drop, the people will be happy, and we get to keep our military strength to show Johnny Foreigner what's what! Everyone wins! As long it's in the corporations' best interests to protect the country though, I suppose..."

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#203: Suffer The Starving Children? [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The nation is poor. A report from Médecins Sans Frontières has revealed that over a third of @@NAME@@'s children are either stunted, wasted or both stunted and wasted due to abject poverty.

The Debate
1. "Children like this are in desperate need of food," says Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@ gesturing to a twelve-year-old starveling who is four foot tall and weighs twenty kilograms. "Yet every day I see big, fat tourists with their spoilt, asthmatic children. I'm sick of living on the wrong side of global capitalism. We must decentralise and localise the national economy by dismantling all cash-crop farms and give them to subsistence farmers to grow food crops. Everything must be nationalised so profits will flow into @@NAME@@ and not foreign shareholders. This will revitalise our economy on a subsistence level and bring everyone to an equal standing. Extreme, some might say, but who cares about these things when our children are going to bed, if they have a bed, hungry?"

2. "What? No! You can't! If we kick out foreign investors and corporations, then trade with other countries will grind to a halt," splutters Treasurer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "What I propose are Free Trade Agreements with richer countries. We can give rich countries complete access to our entire infrastructure sectors and natural and mineral resources in return for a reliable supply of food aid and other cheap imports. Hunger will end, probably, though not poverty; and the tax rate will drop. What sane government wouldn't make a dash for this goldmine?"

3. "The reason that so many families in @@NAME@@ are living in poverty is because they have too many children," claims controversial eugenecist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "What's the point of giving them aid if they continue to breed? All social, welfare and food aid benefits are a total waste of money. Let nature takes its course then maybe poor people will learn not to have so many children."

4. "Are you all completely money-obsessed?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, an advocate of national welfare programmes. "There is a way to deal with this problem without giving foreigners complete control over our economy! Simply give more funding to welfare and healthcare to help the citizens most in need and maybe we'll get through this! Yes, taxes will rise, but that money could easily come from less deserving causes - let's say the military and the environment? What happened to this country that we put @@CURRENCY@@s before lives? I can remember when '@@SLOGAN@@' actually used to mean something! I think you should dwell on that thought."

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#204: Lack Of Doctors Needs Cure [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A newspaper article revealed that patients are waiting months for the most urgent operations. Hospitals have blamed it on a lack of qualified doctors and nurses.

The Debate
1. "The problem is that there just aren't enough incentives to enter the medical profession," says Doctor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We need to advertise government grants for medical students, give more funding to educational centres of medicine. If you don't act quickly then @@NAME@@ will have a full-blown healthcare crisis!"

2. "Nah, it's just that we don't have the numbers of graduates or young doctors needed to fill the gap before we have a 'crisis'," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, leafing through pages of statistics. "The best solution is to recruit doctors from abroad. If we snag 'em from the poorer countries then we won't have to spend half as much as grants would cost us."

3. "Or we could NOT waste money on bringing foreigners into the country," grumbles @@RANDOMNAME@@, a wealthy businessman. "And giving money to the students? How many of them do you think will stay the whole course, hmm? How many @@CURRENCY@@s are we going to burn on this? Our healthcare system is great, there are thousands upon thousands of nations that would give their right province for what we have. I think we can afford to let go of some of that funding and give the good people of @@NAME@@ a tax break, don't you?"

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#205: No More Broccoli, Beg Meat-Eaters [Eta Carinae; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
As more people succumb to nutrient-deficiency ailments such as anaemia and kwashiorkor there are increasing calls to have compulsory vegetarianism repealed.

The Debate
1. "Humans are omnivores; we need meat!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, nutritionist and former butcher. "Every day I come across malnourished children; an entire generation stunted in both body and mind by an idiotic government policy. We need to stop crying about animal cruelty and environmental degradation and start thinking about human welfare. Life is cruel. Get over it."

2. "They're not malnourished, they're just ignorant idiots!" rants @@RANDOMNAME@@, nutritionist and former animal liberationist. "Do you really expect the average joe to know anything about vitamins and nutrition? You don't just get protein or iron in red meat and if we could make this clearer to everyone with a nationwide 'Getting to Terms with Vegetarianism' programme so the populace learns how to eat healthily we would see a difference. Besides, meat-eating is a waste of resources, cruel to animals, and a drain on the environment. We must maintain our ban on meat-eating, and, moreover, outlaw all other animal-derivative products such as eggs, milk and honey."

3. "That's it, I've had enough with these smug leaf-eaters!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, while tucking into an illegally imported steak. "I bet it'd really wipe the grins of self-satisfaction off their faces if we made meat-eating compulsory and banned vegetarianism! How'd you like that, eh? The thing these rabbits can't get into their head is that people LIKE meat. Who're you or anybody to say we shouldn't enjoy what we can while we can? Life is too short to worry about the feelings or rights of dumb animals! Down with veggies!"

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#206: @@NAME@@ Narrowly Misses Nuclear Accident [Takuma; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
When everyone in a city of northern @@NAME@@ coincidentally flushed their toilets at the same time, it nearly caused a meltdown at the local nuclear power plant. Now, protesters have taken to the streets over the possible safety hazards of such structures.

The Debate
1. "These plants are a constant danger to our environment and our way of life! They must be banned!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, pointing dramatically at the sky. "Day by day they churn radiation into our air and into our water! They dump toxic waste in our soil and do, ooh, terrible things! Yes, miners, nuclear engineers, scientists, et cetera will lose their jobs and electrical power prices will soar, but it's worth it to know my town isn't going to suddenly become a glowing crater."

2. "This is being blown way, way out of proportion," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the power plant's supervisor. "Nuclear power is one of, if not the, safest sources of electrical power. This was an isolated incident; the fact that it DID happen is enough to make me believe pigs are going to start sprouting wings! All these over-the-top safety rules are just eating away at the budget anyway. Give us some slack, eh? I can promise you that this will never, ever, ever happen again. Probably."

3. "I agree that this isn't likely to ever happen again," says Catherine Gratwick, the leader of a neighbouring nation. "But cutting down on safety is just a bad idea. If your government is in need of the cash then how about you let my nation outsource our power plants to you? It's simple: we pay you money to run power plants under our supervision in your nation that will power my country. It'll lower your unemployment rates, it'll boost your economy, it will truly show that your nation is part of modern times. Think about it for a moment."

4. "Uh... you do realise she's just saying this because she doesn't want a nuclear disaster happening on her turf, right?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your elite circle of international spies. "What I suggest is that we do the same thing - pay some poorer country to take on our nuclear power plants. It's great! We get all the benefits of nuclear power with none of the risks! The only problem is the cost, but we can take that out of the education budget, it's bloated enough as it is."

5. "I think we simply need to be more careful," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Safety. "There may be an issue with these plants, which can only be solved by upgrading to the latest state-of-the-art safety systems. There may be an issue with the employees which can only be solved by stringent training and only hiring the best of the best. I'm not going to lie to you, it will be very expensive, but the people need a stable supply of electricity, not worries of mutated radioactive monsters eating people's brains. Seriously."

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#207: Secret Police In @@NAME@@? [GX-Land; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Anarchists have been covertly putting up anti-government posters all over @@NAME@@. Some of your closest advisors have suggested the implementation of a secret police force to deal with the more... difficult members of society.

The Debate
1. "Sometimes a government has got to deal with something without having to go through the 'proper channels'," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, who does not exist within any of @@NAME@@'s records. "It happens sometimes and we have to deal with it. It's not just anarchists either - it's the terrorists, the criminals, the traitors, and the goddamn hippies. With a secret police we can arrest the troublemakers and torture them to find other dissenters without having to worry about fiddly matters like human rights."

2. "Don't listen to that idiot!" whispers @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your more guilt-ridden henchpersons. "I don't know how you feel about this but I think this would be a bad path for our government to go down. @@NAME@@ shouldn't resort to deceit and off-the-record brutality to put away people. A secret police force would ruin our fine nation. It's time our government was candid with its people and let them say what they want!"

3. "Or how about we be candid AND have a secret police force," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ your head spy from behind a newspaper with eyeholes cut out. "We could just reassign all the normal police into secret police. The beauty of it is that we won't have to bother solving crimes if it doesn't benefit the government! It's what we've always wanted! Not what the people want of course, but if they complain we can just make them... disappear."

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#208: Mine Collapse Rocks @@NAME@@ [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A mine has collapsed in @@NAME@@ burying hundreds of workers. Calls have been made by the families to tighten up mining safety laws.

The Debate
1. "We need tighter laws to protect vulnerable miners!" moans @@RANDOMNAME@@, a family member of one of the victims. "The mines are being propped up by twigs, the hard hats might as well be made of polystyrene, and the inspectors are all bribed! New laws must be made and the people responsible for allowing this to happen brought to justice."

2. "These allegations are ludicrous and unfounded," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of the South @@NAME@@ Mining Company. "We use the finest twigs to build our mines and the last thing we need is the government tying us down with yet more rules. More safety laws means more expense means less profit and less profit means companies will look elsewhere to get their goods. You should leave us alone before you destroy thousands of jobs - do you really want that on your conscience?"

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#209: Students Demand Financial Aid [Rajlworld; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Students from many universities in @@NAME@@ are protesting about the rising financial cost of studying at university and are demanding that the government provide more financial aid to students.

The Debate
1. "We need money now," screams @@RANDOMNAME@@ a student from one of @@NAME@@'s top achieving universities. "All these tuition fees are just too much! I need that money to spend on books, study materials, accomodation, and alco- well, uh, you get the gist of it. All these fees are doing is preventing people from poorer backgrounds achieving their potential. The government ought to pay for all university expenses. After all if nobody went to university where would all the doctors and teachers come from?"

2. "OH GOD NO THE EXPENSE!" screeches @@RANDOMNAME@@, your minister of Education before eventually calming down. "No, no. This is not a good idea. Do you know how high the tax rate is already without introducing something like this? We should be making tuition fees higher if anything. University is a privilege, not a right, and only the elite should be allowed within those walls. And by elite, of course, I mean rich."

3. "These young people are the greatest resource our nation has," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a famous demographer. "If you're going to discourage them from going to university then you're cheating our nation out of its potential. What I suggest is government-funded loans to students from poor families. That way we can have the best of both worlds without the expense. Admittedly, some may still not be able to afford it but there's no pleasing some people."

4. "Why bother with universities anyway," says refuse collector @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These students could be working and earning a living instead of wasting time and money learning things with no point whatsoever. Who needs to know about ancient Maxtopian poetry, huh? Who would hire you for that? There are plenty of jobs out there, so why don't they go and get one? I'll tell you why: it's because they are lazy. I propose the government close all universities in @@NAME@@ and make people get a job after they leave school. With all the money saved from closing down universities we can have a well-deserved tax cut too."

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#210: Going Postal [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
It has come to your attention that there is some serious debate over whether @@NAME@@'s postal service should be either privatised or nationalised.

The Debate
1. "The postal system ought to be privatised," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, Director of PostHaste, a small package delivery company. "All the government is doing is putting the tax @@CURRENCY@@s of hard-working citizens into an outmoded and wasteful system. Private businesses can offer a much more efficient system with less junk mail. A little more expense on stamps is worth that right?"

2. "Uh huh? And what about those in rural or remote areas?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, the CEO of @@NAME@@ Mail, the government-owned postal service. "If you privatise this business then they'll get marginalised and ignored. With a nationalised service everyone can use the system and cheaply too. We provide a good service for our customers and have been doing so for a very long time! The postal service should be nationalised and all competition banned!"

3. "There's plenty of room for compromise," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a stamp collector. "How about we just privatise the mail system and allow other competitors to move in but continue with government funding to @@NAME@@ Mail? That way everyone can get their post and the companies can have their own slice of the pie. It'll require an increase in tax to cope with losses to competition but not too much. I think. To be frank, I just want more stamps."

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#211: Unconventional Weapons Under Fire [Hellenic Glory; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A collection of citizens, civil rights workers, and concerned mothers have signed a petition to stop the manufacturing of the 'BFG-69' (AKA 'the Organ Grinder'), a new rifle planned to be used in the military which works by shredding people's internal organs.

The Debate
1. "If we don't produce these weapons we will be left behind in the arms race," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, director of the Alliance of Rifles, Grenades, and Handguns. "These weapons are the future and it won't just stop with the BFG-69. We're planning on introducing the Bone-Breaker @@POPULATION_VALUE@@-DX Sonic Rocket Launcher next year along with our anthrax grenade line. If @@NAME@@ is going to stay ahead of the game then it'll just have to accept that highly destructive weaponry is part of life. We'd also like to sell it commercially to your police force and citizens if you'd just sign here...?"

2. "This rifle is completely inhumane," says Dr @@RANDOMNAME@@, leaning on a cane. "These weapons are unnecessarily violent - how can anyone condone something that rips apart your innards like this? How long do you think it will be before these new inventions get into the wrong hands? Shootings are bad enough but at least most people are just wounded. The BFG-69 and those of its ilk are lethal in the extreme and are completely unacceptable! We need some moral decency here and get rid of these unconventional weapons along with all the other shameful armaments like mustard gas."

3. "Excuse me, but whenever has anyone ever heard of a weapon that WAS humane?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, ballistics expert. "These are devices for firing slugs of metal at people. It's not nice, but it IS necessary. People are always so squeamish. They've already accepted the standard ripping through the body of the standard bullet but the moment something a little more effective is made they kick up a fuss. Typical. These nonstandard weapons should only be put into trained military hands anyway. We're not making rocking horses here, we're protecting @@NAME@@ against her enemies! Just this once, let's try to stay ahead of them."

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#212: Police Wanting Help With Their Inquiries [Prasland; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After delayed DNA evidence put a notorious rapist behind bars the police have demanded that it be mandatory for those accused of a crime to surrender blood and tissue samples to aid the elimination process.

The Debate
1. "I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up sooner," says Chief Constable @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If we have DNA samples of all the accused it will make solving crimes like rape and murder that much faster! Sure, some people will think it's a tad invasive, but in my experience if you're worried by something like giving up a few drops of the red stuff then you've probably got something to hide."

2. "This is a breach of privacy in every meaning of the word!" criminal defence attorney @@RANDOMNAME@@ exclaims. "Or three words, but this is an outrage! It's these peoples' bodies, not the government's nor the police's. If they want to give a DNA sample it should be THEIR decision! Now I'll admit there have been times when DNA sampling has helped solve a case or two but shouldn't we be upholding the inherent right of every man and woman to have their body remain unmolested unless they should so choose it? Undoubtedly! DNA sampling should only take place with the person's informed consent."

3. "What about the victims of these crimes?" asks DI @@RANDOMNAME@@, ever gruff and stalwart in the face of adversity. "Do they not have rights? Their right to privacy's been violated so it ought to be the responsibility of the criminal to give up his own. What I propose is the collection of DNA samples from every citizen in @@NAME@@ so we can track down the culprit if none of our suspects come up with anything. It'll be expensive, sure, there's @@POPULATION@@ people to go through... but it's just a small blood sample. Don't you think it's worth it?"

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#213: Bus Drivers Say No To Double-Decked Deathtraps [Angels World; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After several tragic bus accidents across @@NAME@@, bus drivers have started a strike until safety standards have been raised.

The Debate
1. "Every morning I step into that thing I wonder when it's finally going to fall to bits," grumbles @@RANDOMNAME@@, a bus driver. "The lights don't work, half of the seats are either vandalised or missing, the top deck smells like something died there, and something HAS died right at the back. We need more money to improve our buses. It's that simple. If you don't do it then more people will die."

2. "People always want money," whines @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your financial advisors. "And they always want guarantees. I'm willing to bet every single @@CURRENCY@@ on me that they're making a big fuss about nothing. The strike's no big deal, we can always find plenty of other people willing to take the job. Public transport is a financial black hole anyway, there's no profit in it for us. If someone really wants to go somewhere they drive. Withdraw some of our public transport funding out and let them have enough money to buy themselves a car."

3. "That sounds to me," says another of your financial advisors who just so happened to be walking past. "Like a stellar reason to do away with the public transport system altogether. The only people who really lose out are the poor and the disabled, but there's no profit in them either so it's win-win."

4. "Now now now, there's no need to be quite so gung-ho," says @@RANDOMNAME@@. a city planner. "The public transport system is vital for cutting down congestion and pollution within urban areas. Less vehicles on the road, less fumes, you with me so far? What we need to do is put a tax on car-use within the cities and promote our mass transit. That way everyone gets what they want, and cleaner air to boot."

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#214: Voting For More Money [Not Quite Dead Peoples; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
It has long been traditional in @@NAME@@ for Members of Parliament to set their own salary. This has, however, led to a recent vote in which members unanimously tripled their pay. Watchdog groups have spoken out against this.

The Debate
1. "Oh, wouldn't the world be a happier place if we could all decide our wages," shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the World Of Watchdog, an anti-corruption foundation. "Who in their right minds would vote against getting more money with no strings attached? This quite obviously cannot be allowed to continue or where will it end? That money should be being used to fund hospitals, not personal luxuries! Well enough is enough! Politicians' salaries should be set by public vote! Maybe then we'll see something more reasonable!"

2. "I couldn't agree less," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a Member of Parliament. "Sure, some people might think that having eight cars and three secretaries is excessive, but I'm doing our country a valuable service. Probably one of the most important services there is: representing the people and deciding what course our country should take. It's an incredibly stressful job and there's no way we could do it with lower pay. Members of Parliament ought to be allowed anything they want in return for all they do for @@NAME@@. If we have what we want we're less likely to take bribes too."

3. "Perhaps there's a way to compromise," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an amateur economist, philosopher and lepidopterist. "The problem here is that politicians could either be paid too little or too much. What if we paid them just right by paying them according to how well they do their job? Keep a close monitor on the needs of their constituencies and give bonuses for resolving problems and coming under budget. It gives them a proper monetary incentive to do their jobs. Some will have a harder time than others and the whole idea may be costly but if it cracks down on corruption I'm all for it."

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#215: Easter Egg: What's Your Favourite Colour? [Antioch and the East; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
During a national press conference, a little girl with ribbons in her hair asks you what your favourite colour is. Your panicked advisors have frantically called an emergency conference to come up with possible answers.

The Debate
1. "Tell her it's red," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, sharing out the meeting's doughnut tray. "It'll show them that our nation has nowt to do with money grabbing capitalists."

2. "Tell her it's blue," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, who inexplicably appears to be sitting in a tin bath and playing with a rubber duck. "Blue like the open ocean - it will show our devotion to all things marine. Quack."

3. "Tell her it's yellow," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, embracing you warmly and giving you a soppy kiss. "It is such a shining, bright, happy colour. It will fill your citizens with such joy to hear it is your favourite."

4. "Tell her it's green," advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, while caressing what appears to be a cabbage. "It'll draw attention to your benevolent environmental policy!"

5. "Tell her it's orange," advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, running a lap around the conference room. "Such a vibrant colour I've always felt! I'm sure if officially approved it will put some vim and vigour in the people!"

6. "Tell her it's purple," advises Roger Jefferson, relishing his own gourmet doughnut sprinkled with shredded truffles. "It speaks of the finer things in life, of luxury, and shows you as a man of distinction. Not like the riff-raff you see around these days..."

7. "Tell her it's pink," advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, your premier expert on all things gay. "It will send a message that we here in @@NAME@@ are not prejudiced against homosexuals and accept them with open arms."

8. "Tell her it's gold," advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, hands rubbing together in avaricious delight. "Give the people a hint that you'll be focusing on the economy!"

9. "Tell her it's black," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, ripping up pictures of kittens and scowling. "Black like the eternal emptiness of our withered, stilted, and twisted souls."

10. "Tell her it's white," advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, reclining in the lotus position. "It is a pure, peaceful colour, befitting the moral stance your government should embrace!"

11. "Tell her it's grey," advises @@RANDOMNAME@@, who is decidedly nondescript. "It's nice and neutral, won't upset anyone. Speaks of proper military bearing and protocol. People will like that."

12. "Tell her you don't have a favourite colour," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the president of Open Our Perimeters Straightaway, on walking in. "@@NAME@@ is a modern country that does not discriminate between colours. We should allow everyone whether they be Bigtopian, Lilliputian, or Maxtopian into our bountiful nation."

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#216: Eminent Domain: Inherent Right Or Daylight Robbery? [British Londinium; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A furious debate over eminent domain, or compulsory purchase, the government's right to take a citizen's private property without permission, has erupted after the government evicted hundreds of people from their homes to make way for a new shopping complex and a bypass.

The Debate
1. "Eminent Domain? More like outright theft!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, whose house was bulldozed. "They took away my home! I have to move everything in my life somewhere else because of the whims of some fruitcake city planner? It's lunacy! This blatant power abuse mustn't be allowed to continue. The government should require explicit permission before taking private property!"

2. "You can't be serious," objects @@RANDOMNAME@@, a city planner. "You've got to have bypasses. Eminent domain's essential! Without it we'd actually have to pay for the property we were steali- ah- expropriating and that would mean lots of boring paperwork and be much more expensive. If we really need to build something, say a bypass to ease congestion, do you really want that to be stopped because one person says no? We need eminent domain to let @@NAME@@ make progress. In fact we could cut costs even more if we didn't have to pay compensation..."

3. "I do believe we should retain our right to eminent domain," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Miscellaneous Amenities. "But to use it for private industry is just immoral and corrupting. We really ought to only use eminent domain for the purpose of building public utilities like hospitals, schools, and carparks."

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#217: Healthcare Services Underfunded, Claim Patients [Lunar Village; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The @@NAMEINITIALS@@NHS (@@NAME@@ National Health Service) is struggling to pay for the medicinal and surgical treatments required for your citizens.

The Debate
1. "The NHS was an ill thought-out idea to begin with!" exclaims conservative aristocrat @@RANDOMNAME@@ IV. "We were much better off in a time when the medical profession was geared towards those who could pay for their treatment. Nowadays the waiting lists are choked with riff-raff of all kinds. I don't see why I should pay for someone else's healthcare. Those of us who can afford to pay for a private doctor ought to be allowed to opt out of the NHS tax and if that means lower quality of service for the masses then tough!"

2. "A sickeningly predictable view from the toffs there", retorts senior nurse @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Being diagnosed with an illness is stressful enough without adding a huge financial burden to the equation. Do you honestly believe people should be denied treatment just because they're poor? The NHS works; people are living longer and fuller lives. I don't have any problem with contributing to the health of @@NAME@@'s citizens. We should increase NHS tax."

3. "Naaaah," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your personal fitness instructor. "The problem is that we are trying to treat all citizens equally. There is no incentive to live a healthy lifestyle. If people had to pay a rate of NHS tax based on such factors as nicotine and alcohol intake, exercise routine and diet then the sensible thing to do would be to take responsibility for one's own health. The more unhealthy you are, the more you must contribute in tax. We'd have national surveys to make sure no one cheats which would be expensive - but fair. Now give me twenty push-ups."

4. "A nice idea but unworkable", muses @@RANDOMNAME@@, another of @@NAME@@'s seemingly ubiquitous economists. "How many people do you expect not to lie through their teeth so they don't have to pay so much tax? I would suggest that the problem is that drug companies can develop a drug secure in the knowledge that they can charge what they like and the NHS will be pressured to pay for it. We should force drug companies to surrender their drug to competition after, say, five years and the NHS should then only be allowed to buy drugs which are five years old. This will cut down on the costs considerably while still providing excellent service. Patients may die from technically curable diseases but hey... that's economic reality for you."

5. "The National Health Service was doomed to failure before it even started," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a right-wing political commentator. "Anything powered by the 'goodness of people's hearts' is. I don't give a flying monkey's about people I've never met yet I have to pay money that I earned so they can fix their broken legs or runny noses. What about my broken legs, huh? I call on the government to disband the National Health Service and bring back private health insurance. Those unable to pay should work harder and if they can't work... well screw 'em."

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#218: Two Mommies One Too Many? [Duffla; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The commercial release of the controversial children's book 'Heather Has Two Mommies' in @@NAME@@ has sparked debate over laws concerning the adoption of children by homosexual couples.

The Debate
1. "I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone could possibly be against this," complains Jacob Kantelberg, showing up at your office wearing a pink feather boa. "Bart and I are good and caring people and will make excellent fathers, so what's the problem? All of the scientific studies have shown that there's no difference in the wellbeing of children raised by gay and straight couples. All that's holding these little darlings back from the happy family life that they deserve is the outdated prejudices of some prudes. All we want is to adopt a child to call our own. It'll be fabulous!"

2. "I don't care what these so-called scientific studies say," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, representing a number of conservative religious organisations. "How can a boy hope to develop properly into a man if he's being brought up by poofs? A father figure is not supposed to behave as if it is 'okay' to be, um, romantically invested in another man - and the same goes for lesbians! Why? Because it is not okay. It'll just give them gay! Think about it: say you have two gay @@ANIMAL@@s - they can't have children because nature did not provide them with the tools and if God wanted gays to have kids then they would have those tools. Don't legalise this blasphemy! Think of the children!"

3. "This just doesn't go far enough in my opinion," grumbles @@RANDOMNAME@@ an ardent opponent to homosexuality. "The more concessions we give these people, the more they'll reduce our nation to the most embarrassing gayfest of all the region! We'll be a joke! Homosexuality is a sin, and not only that it's a disease of society and there's no two ways about it. It must be criminalised and those responsible hanged just like in the good old days."

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#219: Nobody Expects The @@NAME@@ Inquisition! [Habardia; ed:The Most Glorious Hack]

The Issue
Some key figures of @@NAME@@'s major religious groups have requested government sponsorship for the institution of an inquisition to try heretics and blasphemers.

The Debate
1. Cardinal Mortimer Gratwick, Archbishop of @@CAPITAL@@, demands you kiss his ring before telling you, "the Church encourages the formation of an Inquisition. However, it will only be to try those in error and put them on the right track to holiness; you needn't worry about those nasty thumb-screws and we haven't had a rack in ages, so we won't be torturing people. Of course, in order to bring this noble plan into effect, the Holy Office must have jurisdiction over the civil courts."

2. "This is bloody outrageous!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the nation's most important civil liberties movement, People for the Ethical Treatment of Everything, while jumping up and down in front of a television camera. "These damn ultra-conservatives will plunge us all into chaos! @@NAME@@ can never have an Inquisition! Everyone should have the right to think, say, believe, etc, whatever the damn they please. When was the last time you released a dove on a monthly basis? Huh? HUH?! That's what I thought! It's time to move beyond these primitive beliefs!"

3. "The people of @@NAME@@ need more than an Inquisition," pronounces @@RANDOMNAME@@, known fundamentalist tele-preacher, who pauses hawking the complete DVD collection to make some demands. "We must persecute all those who do not live according to the Book! The Lord has told me that the time has arrived to bring back the good old days! Back when we didn't have all these touchy-feely, fuzzy-headed punishments. Prison? Ha! Like that's a punishment! Stick those heathens in the stocks, or even better: bring back stonings! It'll bring us into a new golden age!"

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#220: Voter Apathy Rising But No One Cares [Clorse Ivy; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Statistics have shown a steady decline in voter turnout in @@NAME@@'s latest elections. After numerous requests and finally a cash prize, some individuals have come forward with suggestions as to what should be done.

The Debate
1. "No one cares about voting anymore," sighs @@RANDOMNAME@@, chief of a Watchdog organisation overseeing fair ballots. "Even I only got to my position because my mum's a member. This is supposed to be a democracy, yet less than a quarter of our population voted for your government! I believe that if we free up methods such as internet and phone voting then the people might actually feel inclined to give their opinions. It beats having to stand for hours in the rain to give a vote they privately feel will make no difference..."

2. "The easier you make something the less anyone will care about it," says Catriona Wood, a political scientist with nothing to do. "The only real way to increase voter turnout is to force people to vote. Make it compulsory with executions for those who don't comply and then we'll have a true democracy! Sort of."

3. "The reason people aren't voting is because they're quite happy with how things are," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, lounging in a deck chair. "If people can't be bothered to vote then why not just do away with the whole thing altogether? Come the next election, just set yourself up as dictator for life and everyone can get back to whatever they'd rather be doing. Now please go away, you're standing in my rays."

4. "I think you're approaching this the wrong way," says Andrew Lavelle, the proprietor of UltraCorp-SmithMax Chemicals Inc. "If people can't get out and about, it's clearly due to a lack of energy. Our product range includes an ideal solution; we could add POWERTHIRST [TM] to the national water supply! And better yet, it only has a very slight risk of causing zombification or exploding cattle!"

5. "I, ah..., I think... ah, just do whatever," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, checking the time again. "I don't have time for this. Bye!"

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#221: Outdated Tax Code Crushing @@NAME@@? [Padosistan; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
Over the years, the government's tax code has become a headache-inducing tangle. Recently a prominent tax official was crushed to death under the weight of a complete copy of the tax code falling on his head. As a result, taxes are higher than ever and an unlikely alliance of taxpayers, businesses, and government officials are demanding something be done to fix the situation.

The Debate
1. "We've got to put a stop to this before more lives are lost, like mine!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the new head of the @@NAME@@ Revenue Agency, indicating the search and rescue crew armed with paper shredders. "We need to abandon all our tax codes and protocols and begin anew! It's drastic, I know, and it will mean chaos in the bureaucracy, but at least the people could enjoy a tax break!"

2. "It's true that something has got to be done about the tax code, but it doesn't need to be an all-or-nothing decision!" proclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson of the Alliance of @@NAME@@ Businesses and Industry. "Just cut bloated government programs like welfare and health and education, and give everybody a tax break. Just make sure you leave those business subsidies alone, alright? After all, we need all the help we can get to remain competitive without sacrificing people's jobs!"

3. "If anything is bloated about the taxes and how our money is spent, it's those business subsidies!" rages @@RANDOMNAME@@, a concerned and rather irate citizen. "If you ask me, the government needs to cut the corporate welfare for these rich bigwigs! Cut the average guy a tax break, and keep the programs that benefit the people, not big business!"

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#222: Terrorists Strike City Centre [Silicar; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
All of @@NAME@@ has been in an uproar since yesterday when a car exploded in the middle of @@CAPITAL@@, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. This terrorist act was traced back to a violent minority group known as the Lilliputian Freedom Fighters. A group allegedly supported by an unfriendly regime, despising @@NAME@@ for its heathenish ways and political bent, but more particularly for supporting the recent occupation of their homeland by an ally.

The Debate
1. "They simply crossed the line!" shouts General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Far too long have we tolerated these terrorist threats, it's time that they realise they can't mess with us. Send the order to prepare an invasion, and we will show them who is boss! Our brave soldiers are prepared to die for their country, all we need is your signature and a lot of money. But what is the cost of freedom and safety for @@NAME@@'s peoples?"

2. "Attacking another country isn't the answer," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, director of the @@NAME@@ Intelligence Agency. "The problem doesn't lie abroad, but within @@NAME@@ itself! We should have more freedom to do our work. Protecting our nation from these cowardly scaremongerers would be much easier if we had an inherent right to tap phones and other communications, get search warrants whenever we need, and detain suspects indefinitely. Remember, to prevent is better than to cure."

3. "No, that's what those terrorists want us to do!" speculates chairman @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the Patriots' Tea and Biscuits Club. "We don't want to give the Agency any more responsibility, they're the ones who messed up in the first place. What we need is to purge @@NAME@@ of these rats who don't respect the laws and traditions of our way of life. We know who they are and where they come from, so the solution is obvious: we just won't let those sorts of people cross our borders and kick out those who are already here. It might seem a bit harsh, but hey, we were here first. Long live @@NAME@@!"

4. "I think it's clear to anyone with half a brain in their head that this will just not work," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted professor of social studies. "The people who perpetrate these terrible crimes do so because they feel they have no other recourse to demonstrate their political opinions. They'll do anything and I'm sure they're not above hiring mercenaries. You must understand why terrorists act as they do and fix it! What we should do is to reach out to the ethnic and religious minorities and seek common ground! Negotiation is the key! Violence solves nothing."

5. "We spit on @@NAME@@!" expectorates @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the Lilliputian Freedom Fighters. "You disrespect our people and our country and everything we are! You spread your sickening influence where it is not wanted! You must change your ways and cease to oppose us or else there will be more bloodshed. You have been warned!"

6. "Is terrorism such a terrible thing? Really?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, avant garde journalist, discreetly sliding a pipe bomb under your desk. "These people are simply expressing their political opinion the best way they know how. I think we should legalise terrorism as a legitimate form of political commentary. It'll certainly get people interested, don't you think?"

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#223: Easter Egg: Zombie Attack! [Naliitr; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The dead are rising from their graves to feast on the flesh of the living! Currently, only @@ANIMAL@@ City has been affected. An immediate quarantine has been placed on the city, but with time running out for the survivors an emergency meeting has been called to decide what to do.

The Debate
1. "You have to destroy the city!" gasps @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of the few who escaped before the quarantine. "It's hell in there! If those things manage to escape then the whole country, nay the whole WORLD is doomed! We must send our biggest bombs into those streets and wipe them out!"

2. "No, there are people in there who need our help," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, armed with a Winchester rifle. "We can't leave them to the mercy of the undead hordes. I say before we blow anything up we call in the army and anyone else willing to help, go in, track down any survivors we can find, and get them out. It's dangerous, but it's got to be done."

3. "I think we should study these creatures," muses Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@, expert in biological warfare. "Zombiism? Reanimated dead tissue? Fascinating! This is a golden opportunity for our nation... why, we could unleash these on our enemies! Everyone would shake in terror of our undead army!"

4. "Wow, these unholy terrors are really scary," notes @@RANDOMNAME@@, selling sausages in buns to bystanders. "They would make a great honeypot. I mean, how often do you see the living dead?! We could really turn a profit if we turn this place into a first-class thrill ride for visiting tourists. Want mustard?"

5. "I think we're forgetting that these 'zombies' are people just like you and me!" objects @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the newly-formed Undead Protection Alliance. "They deserve the respect that any deceased person should, if not more! Leave them alone, and let them have the city. It will be a victory for oppressed minorities everywhere!"

6. "Braaains... braaains...?" asks ardent anti-quarantine activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Braaains... braaains... braaains!"

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#224: Minimum Wage War [Vincon; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Workers all over @@NAME@@ have gone on a general strike demanding you create a minimum wage to alleviate poverty conditions.

The Debate
1. "We will not accept this exploitation any longer," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, through a megaphone. "Without a minimum wage law in place we're forced to work for a pittance! How can I feed myself and my family if I can't earn enough money? This corrupt government favours a system where the rich get richer at the expense of the working class. No longer! We demand a reasonable minimum wage!"

2. "'Reasonable?' Since when have companies ever been 'reasonable' when it comes to money?" questions @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the @@NAME@@ Socialist Alliance. "The government should increase taxes and guarantee a living wage so everybody, no matter what job they have, can have access to food, water, and other basic needs. If everyone has the money needed to survive then things like the economy should take care of themselves. Stands to reason. But what you should be asking yourself is this: what's more important, individuals or corporations?"

3. "We don't need any of these stupid communistic welfare policies," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of @@NAME@@'s largest @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ company. "Living wages are unworkable! if you make workers expensive then employers are just going to use fewer or lose profits. And as for minimum wage laws, I think it's a detriment to this nation's businesses that we even have to PAY them wages. If slavery was legal I think we'd find the nation's economy improving somewhat."

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#225: Prayer In Public Schools? [Vincon; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
In order to save the souls of @@NAME@@'s children from eternal damnation, it has been suggested that a daily prayer be made mandatory in schools nationwide.

The Debate
1. "Kids are such punks these days," grumbles Father @@RANDOMNAME@@, a local minister. "By making sure kids pray to their god at least once a day we instill the religious values that are integral to @@NAME@@. It'll make them better, humbler people."

2. "Hey now, if there's going to be compulsory school prayer then there ought to be an opt-out system," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a concerned parent. "I don't want my boy to be an part of this collective worship nonsense."

3. "I agree that we shouldn't force them to pray," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a teacher. "Such difficult concepts shouldn't be thrust upon such impressionable minds. But instead of a praying session, these children should be taught about religion in an educative way. School's supposed to be about learning, not brainwashing."

4. "That's a lily-livered compromise," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairman of the Atheist Activist Association. "Religion should have no place in our schools. We should pass laws enforcing secularity on all educational establishments."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:57 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
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Founded: Jul 01, 2010
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Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:53 am

#226: Expats Plea For Help In War-Torn Country [The Mones Islands; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Thousands of migrant citizens and expatriated citizens of @@NAME@@ have asked the government to take them home from Marche Noir, a faraway country on the brink of a terrible and violent civil war.

The Debate
1. "We must co-ordinate with the government of Marche Noir in order to secure our absentee voters- ahem- citizens who are in their country," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Foreign Affairs. "We must also create an emergency fund to assist our expats and help bring them back to @@NAME@@. No matter where any of our people are, they're still ours and our responsibility."

2. "That's rubbish," objects @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Finance. "Why waste hundreds of thousands of @@CURRENCY@@s in bringing those expatriated citizens back to @@NAME@@? They chose to leave our great country; they are no longer our concern! They could have stayed here and been an asset to our workforce! Helped us grow strong! No, they've had their chance. You reap what you sow. We should cut any financial assistance we give to those traitors."

3. "That's a good point," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Civics. "Our people are the generators of the economy. The expats should be allowed to come back, but only if they stay. If we keep letting our citizens emigrate, then we're losing our doctors, our teachers, our skilled and unskilled workforce to damn foreigners! Close the borders to those wanting to leave our nation. If they can't see how wonderful @@NAME@@ is then we'll make them!"

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#227: Underage Drinkers: Social Menace Or Misunderstood? [Amisdar; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
With the advent of alcopops and other cheap liquors marketed at younger drinkers there has been public outcry at the sharp increase in underage drinking.

The Debate
1. "I never wanted my poor babies to grow up to be alcoholics!" wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, a parent of three, striding into your office. "And now I'm worried they'll drink themselves into being no-good slobs before they've even grown up! The only way to stop this madness is to really crack down on under-age drinking. Stricter identification laws and severe punishments should do the trick! The present laws are much too soft!"

2. "What is it with parents making society discipline their children because they don't want to?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a schoolteacher. "These wishy-washy parents are to blame for their kids' misdemeanours! It is the parents who should be held responsible and be fined- no, even better, arrested and jailed!"

3. "Keep your hands off my Spinning Mermaid, Mac," says ten-year-old @@RANDOMNAME@@, an all-round unruly youth while downing some sort of shocking pink beverage. "Why shouldn't us kids be allowed to drink? We're reshponshible enou- HIC- enough. Don't oppress us like this, we're jusht havin' some fun."

4. "To be honest, this doesn't surprise me," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a cultural attaché from East Lebuckte. "Back in my country it is customary for children to have a glass of wine with their main meal of the day. If you make alcohol an everyday mundanity then they're not going to go overboard with it later. Educate them in culture and sophistication so that they truly appreciate their senses instead of trashing them on low-grade hooch."

5. "I agree that we should educate them about alcohol rather than simply hope punishments will get through to them," says Dr @@RANDOMNAME@@, an expert on alcoholism. "But teaching those hoodlums culture? It just won't work. If we're going to get them to drink less then we must impress on them the DANGERS of alcohol, not the benefits! We'll scare them into drinking sensibly!"

6. "This wouldn't be a problem at all if alcohol was banned altogether," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, enjoying a fine ginger beer. "It's not just kids who break the law when under the influence you know."

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#228: Mice In The Walls [Esarchia Marksista; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After a police raid discovered an entire load of smuggled peripheral devices and computer components hidden in the plasterboard walls of an abandoned warehouse, various groups have demanded to repeal the ban of computers.

The Debate
1. "When you outlawed computers you didn't realise what you were doing!" argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, hugging an illegal laptop protectively. "These are essential machines for business! For communication! For culture! For posterity! If you've got any sense you'll repeal this ridiculous ban."

2. "Pfft, citizens with computers indeed," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Records, while riffling through a cetacean-sized pile of paperwork and ringing phones. "What a preposterous idea. But as @@NAME@@ grows, so do our problems. There is too much data to record, too many records to keep, and too many keeps to earn. We need to allow the government - and only the government - access to computers."

3. "Well, I suppose we could allow some leeway," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Proper Thinking. "Computers are handy for some things after all. But we should ban the internet outright - it'll only give them ideas."

4. "Don't you remember why we got rid of those devil machines in the first place?!" growls @@RANDOMNAME@@, flicking beads on an abacus. "First it's all fun and games with things like 'pixels' and 'folders' but eventually they'll rise up against their masters and reduce us to slaves! Banning computers was a good start, but it's time we focused on eradicating all automated technology and focus on the handcrafts like basket weaving and carpentry."

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#229: Government Saturated In Corruption [Kordothistan; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The government is rife with embezzlement and fraud as bribes and graft are accepted both blatantly and frequently by politicians and other government officials.

The Debate
1. "This is a systematic problem endemic of @@NAME@@’s state of life," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the president of a government watchdog organisation. "The other day I asked a police officer the directions to a restaurant and he demanded fifty @@CURRENCY@@s on the spot! Even the road sweepers have to be paid not to dump rubbish in your garden! We need to inflict severe penalties on anyone abusing the system. Maybe the threat of a hanging will teach them to respect the responsibility of their positions."

2. "The problem is transparency," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, member of the National Whistleblower Association. "They can do whatever they want because they have absolutely no obligation to provide the public with the details of what they're doing. We should make all the details of any gifts or money available to the public, and make politicians accountable to the law."

3. "It's really not THAT bad, is it?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Commerce, whilst fiddling with a large gold ring. He reaches into his pocket and places a thick envelope on your desk. "Maybe it’s all just a prank. Maybe it will all just... go away..."

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#230: Extremists On The Ballot Sheet [Omigodtheykilledkenny; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
As elections near for governmental positions all over @@NAME@@, polls predict near-certain victories for candidates from an ultra-nationalist party promising reactionary policies on immigration, crime, civil liberties and military spending.

The Debate
1. "Victory for these nutjobs would be a travesty for the people of @@NAME@@ and the democracy they cherish!" declares @@RANDOMNAME@@, leader of the left-wing People's Democratic Party. "We must ban these dangerous extremists from running for office. If they want to espouse their ignorant views, let them do so in the private sector. Our democracy belongs to the people, not the wackos."

2. "Pfft, it's the people who voted them in in the first place," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an international observer of your elections. "If it's the people's will to turn power over to the extremists, then you should do all you can to work with the new parliament. Truly listening and acting upon what your citizens want? THAT is what makes a democracy."

3. "Don't say I didn't warn you: this experiment in mob-ocracy was doomed from the start!" claims political adviser @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Now any idiot with a loyal army of fringe-voters can come in here and tell you what's what! You are the only leader our citizens can truly respect and for the sake of national unity we should put an end to these popularity contests once and for all!"

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#231: Jungle Fever [Luxtizeria; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Malaria, an infectious and often deadly disease spread by mosquitoes, is ravaging cities and other settlements near @@NAME@@'s swamps and wetlands.

The Debate
1. "Malaria is a highly dangerous disease with no cure," says Dr @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of the world's leading epidemiologists. "If we're going to control it then we've got to put money into researching a vaccine and new antimalarial drugs. We should also set out to provide prevention and awareness programmes, the whole caboodle. With a targeted and well-financed approach we can make an attempt to eradicate malaria from the face of @@NAME@@! But we're going to need @@CURRENCY@@s. Lots of them."

2. "Scientific research is all very well and good," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Health. "But doing that AND everything else? It's just too expensive! There are other diseases we're fighting you know! Putting all our eggs in one basket is just asking for trouble. Instead of setting our sights on the parasite, I think we should kill off the mosquitoes by draining their breeding grounds, namely the swamps, bogs, and other stagnant waters."

3. "Don't drain our swamps!" growls @@RANDOMNAME@@, waving a picture of a Will O' the Wisp with the caption: 'Don't let their lights die out'. "These are incredibly diverse ecosystems, hosts to hundreds of different species, both plant and animal! Don't let something like the current malaria epidemic cloud your judgement! I suggest we move everyone away from affected areas and just let nature be. If there's no one to infect then there's no problem right?"

4. "There will be absolutely no need," interrupts @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Normack Pharmaceuticals. "I've got the solution for you right here, it's called DDT which stands for Death, Destruction, and Total for those pesky flying fiends! Our product may have some alleged 'bad' impact on the environment and, uh, human health, but come on: it's cheap and highly effective against mosquitoes. Eradication's never been so easy!"

5. "DDT is also banned in several countries," remarks @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your dourer advisers. "Do you really think we can destroy this disease? I don't. Whether we try to cure the disease or kill the mosquitoes it will just come back in an adapted form. What we should be doing is educating our citizens on preventative measures like mosquito nets and less environmentally dangerous insecticides. If anything, it's way cheaper."

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#232: Suffragette City [Night Island; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
An outraged collection of female political activists and feminists are protesting loudly in the streets demanding suffrage, the right to vote.

The Debate
1. "We are fed up with being viewed as second-class citizens," says Catherine Gratwick, a suffragette. "Enough is enough! We cook, clean, and work for the men of this country! We bear and raise their children! But do we get to have any say on what goes on? No we do not! We deserve, and demand, the right to vote!"

2. "That's not enough," objects Emmeline de Gouges, another suffragette. "The system is inherently oppressive towards women. If we're going to be considered truly equal then we must have the right to stand for election too!"

3. "Years of inequality cannot be erased with a simple place on the ballot," shrieks Ida B. A. Goodwon, yet another suffragette. "We must restore the balance by assuring a permanent role on @@NAME@@'s government. Men have had their go and they messed it up! Now it's our turn."

4. "That's insane!" gasps Otto Schopenhauer, author of the popular autobiography 'Misogyny And Me'. "Giving women the vote is a really, really bad idea. Seriously now, they can barely decide what to wear never mind what's best for the country! If only women were more obedient to their husbands we wouldn't have these kind of problems. Throw the lot of them suffra-wotsits in the clink, I say. That'll teach them for causing a fuss."

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#233: I Spy A Diplomatic Crisis [Good old Communism; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Members of your intelligence service have captured a spy gathering information in the civil service. Your interrogators have learned that the man known only as 'Solo' is acting on behalf of the government of Outer Bigtopia, which denies all knowledge and involvement.

The Debate
1. "Shpies! There are shpies everywhere!" says Agent @@RANDOMNAME@@, checking the fruit bowl for bugs. "You can't trusht these foreigners! They act all nice and local and then BAM! They're away over the hill with military shecretsh. We should be keeping track of all of them with ankle braceletsh and wiretapsh to be sure they won't betray ush!"

2. "I don't think we need to go quite that far," says Secret Agent @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Our security is fine. We did catch him after all. The real question is how much did he tell the Outer Bigtopian government. If we send our own spies to gather intelligence and, in light of recent events, bolster the funding of the intelligence agency, then we can learn for sure the intentions of our enemies."

3. "And where will that get us?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your older, more bitter spies. "Spying them back won't help us. If we send someone out there and THEY get caught what are we going to do? We should call those Bigtopians out on their scam and hit them were it hurts! Diplomatic sanctions will do for starters; we can throw those smug envoys out on their rear ends! Anyway, it's almost certainly not just Outer Bigtopia up to these kind of shenanigans, we ought to keep all embassies under police surveillance. We risk all sorts of trade sanctions, true, but it pays to be careful."

4. "Do you realise what kind of havoc we would cause on an international level if we confront them about this?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ambassador to Outer Bigtopia over a secure satellite link. "No one need ever know this happened; officially that man doesn't exist. Most nations have some sort of espionage programme; it's nothing to raise a fuss about. We should just quietly execute Mr 'Solo' and move on."

5. "But what if he discovered the plans I've been assembling for the moon cannon project?!" asks Brigadier @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your more insane military officers in a hushed whisper. "It's nothing official, something I've been doing in my spare time... but what if they've got wind of it?! We could all be in mortal danger! We've got to commence construction right now! Our esteemed leader, do I have permission to get Project Lunar Apocalypse underway?"

6. "Moon... cannon? Mortal danger? You're off your rocker," says General Flowers, scowling as he leafs through the budgets folder. "The reason we're being spied on is because we've become so aggressive and militant! It's only natural that other governments are going to check up on us. If we don't want to get spied on then there should be nothing worth looking for. All we need to do is massively reduce military expenditure. If nothing else, it at least puts more money into people's pockets than into the construction of glorified death machines."

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#234: Corruption In The Lobby [The Seniors of Zion; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After the passage of a bill giving billions of @@CURRENCY@@s to "any oil company with two 'x's in its name", there was much discussion over the influence that corporate lobbies have over the government and whether it was getting out of hand - until an all-waves radio and TV broadcast suggested citizens go have a coffee at Starbucks instead.

The Debate
1. "It disgusts me how much this government is eating out of the hands of corporations," says Kasie Wilk, an anti-corporate activist. "A government's first priority is supposed to be its people! @@NAME@@! Not some faceless company interested in nothing but money! The right to petition is for individual citizens, not for multinational companies that answer to no one."

2. "There's no need to get excited, we've got everyone's best interests at heart," replies @@RANDOMNAME@@, a corporate lobbyist. "Yes, individuals have the right to make their opinions known to the government, but so too do groups of individuals. And that's all a corporation is: a group of individuals wanting to contribute. By helping corporations, the government helps the country. Unemployment goes down, the economy goes up, and everyone's favourite products become more readily available. In fact, if corporations were already part of the political process we could do so much more! I propose that companies be allowed to run for office."

3. "Over my dead body they will," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a civil servant. "The problem with lobbying is that it's so easily abused. There are too many opinionated idiots out there prepared to rally around some obnoxious or silly cause. Last week the parliament reviewed a petition from thousands of citizens complaining about birds being too noisy! I mean, really! We'd be better off ignoring lobbyists altogether and trusting in your own sagacity, esteemed leader."

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#235: From Green Pastures To Grey Wastelands [Airstrip thirteen; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
In the quest for high yields and low prices, @@NAME@@'s thriving agricultural industry has all but destroyed the fertility of the soils it ploughs, turning arable farmlands into barren deserts. Food prices have risen dramatically and the general population are calling foul. A coalition of concerned citizens, farmers, and major unions have called for the government to act quickly and decisively.

The Debate
1. "These people make me want to scream," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a distinguished eremologist. "For so long, the supermarkets have indoctrinated the belief that we deserved those low prices, as if it was a birthright. But it's not. We've plundered nature for too long and now we're suffering the consequences. The government needs to lay down some strict laws over how we farm so we can do it in a sustainable way. By the time the industry has destroyed our farmlands, those corporations will have moved on elsewhere and we'll be left starving in the streets."

2. "Yeah, right. And while the government is destroying half of the agricultural market, the customers- ah- the people will be paying through the nose for loaves of bread," counters @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Corporal Foods Corporation, a multinational farming conglomerate. "Do you honestly think the people will accept such an outrageous solution? Not having to worry about where your next meal's coming from is what makes this such a great country! Forget this environmental nonsense and give us the money as subsidies - then we can buy more land and drive prices down again."

3. "We're all to blame for this mess, ayup," says Mr Rubeus Gubbins, an independent farmer who only sells locally. "But I don't see why we should do anything to help the biggest contributors to this disaster, and that's them blasted corporations with their market projections and their shareholders. Parasites the lot of 'em! They should all be kicked out of @@NAME@@ and be forced to give the farmlands back to folk like m'self who'll grow enough to feed locally but not so much that I might as well be sowing salt in the ground."

4. "How are you still afloat?!" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, another farmer. "Don't listen to him. He's from a time when economies only existed as far as you could walk steer a horse carriage for a day. It's a global economy we have now, and sub-standard produce for high prices is not, and should not, be the norm. Helping the environment with regulation will kill the industry stone dead and still leave us with high prices. The government should be promoting and funding scientific research into making the status quo sustainable - not punishing hard-working citizens for wanting to eat more than potatoes and rice."

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#236: Quickie Marriages Under Scrutiny [Plutocycloptika; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The late-night, alcohol-fuelled marriage and subsequent annulment of pop starlet Dipsy Bubbleyum has been thoroughly condemned by tabloid presses across the country. There is now a growing call for some restraints to be put on @@NAME@@'s liberal marriage laws.

The Debate
1. "This could all be solved quite easily," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a tee-totaler. "With a little common sense. These marriages happen because the bride and groom are inebriated, right? So obviously we should make applicants pass a sobriety test before they can be issued a marriage licence. If you're too drunk to drive, you're too drunk to get hitched."

2. "I think everyone's being very unfair and mean!" says self-described party girl, Bertina Chaswick, writing in to Alright! Magazine. "I mean, like, Dipsy was just havin' fun, yeah? So she made a mistake, but we all do when we've had a few! If someone wants an annulment they should be able to get it for any reason. Divorces are long, messy and SO yesterday!"

3. "Marriage is the sacred and immortal union of two souls," declares conservative commentator, Cornelius Prodnose. "It is the ultimate gesture of love! To get married out of sheer whimsy and then change your mind later... it's obscene! People need to face up to the consequences they bring on themselves! Once you're married, that's it. No annulments, no divorces. Just eternal love and decency."

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#237: Tourists On Death Row [The New Inquisitors; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A group of holidaymakers from @@NAME@@ have been arrested while visiting the scenic, yet corrupt and totalitarian, nation of Maxtopia on charges of drug trafficking - an offence which carries the maximum sentence of the death penalty. The story has provoked outrage from citizens, many believing the government should intervene to bring the tourists back home.

The Debate
1. "Everyone knows what barbarians those Maxtopians are!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, parent to one of the arrestees. "They've not even allowed my son and his friends access to lawyers! That government is as corrupt as they are cruel, my boy would never have anything to do with drugs! You need to do something to save them, I'm begging you! I'm sure the Maxtopian officials will back down if you threaten trade sanctions or something. Right?"

2. "You've got to see it from the other side," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, a customs official. "While it's unfortunate that the sentence is so stiff, they really shouldn't have been smuggling drugs. I'm sure we wouldn't be happy if Maxtopians came over here with banned goods. I just can't sympathise: they were greedy, they broke the law, they got caught. What makes them so special that they should be bailed out? At the taxpayers' expense I might add. Let them be - it'll show we respect the judicial rights of other countries."

3. "I agree," chimes in @@RANDOMNAME@@, an anti-drug campaigner, waving a banner which reads 'Don't Be a Fool, Drugs Aren't Cool'. "Did you ever stop to think that our foreign neighbours might have the right idea? A zero-tolerance attitude to the drugs issue is what this country needs! Death to the dealers!"

4. "You people are so quick to lay the finger of blame," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an ambassador at @@NAME@@'s embassy in Maxtopia. "My motto has always been 'If you want something, give something away'. It is the government's duty to protect its citizens from harm! We don't want to cause too much international friction by making a mockery of their laws so we've got to settle things more diplomatically: they scratch our backs now and we'll scratch theirs later."

5. "That's what they want! Leverage!" hollers @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Defence, storming into your office. "Advances in our markets, political favours - they'll do anything to undermine us! They've always hated us, those rats! If you ask me, this brouhaha isn't about drugs - it's a spit in our eye, that's what it is! What kind of people execute kids for having a few ounces on them? We ought to give them a good bombing, then they'll know how a proper country behaves!"

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#238: We Need A Few Good Men Who Like Men? [Scolopendra; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
With military recruitment numbers down, there's been some discussion in civilian circles of relaxing 'sodomy' regulations in the armed forces in order to allow homosexuals to serve openly. However, with the occasional reports from the field of suspected homosexuals being beaten by their squadmates, some wonder if such measures are really appropriate for the notoriously conservative culture of @@NAME@@'s military.

The Debate
1. "There will never be room for gays in our God-fearing service," says Army Chaplain Orel Roze, absent-mindedly fingering the religious device of his office on his lapel. "I mean, uh, think about what it would do to morale. In the military men have to eat, live, and sleep in extremely close quarters and even consensual sexual relationships in the chain of command leads to leadership problems. It's just a natural extension of fraternization rules... and not only that, but our current policy is actually a service to the poor misguided souls, since it prevents any temptation to act on their given perversion... I mean preference."

2. "God doesn't enter into it," says Air Force Lieutenant Colonel @@RANDOMNAME@@, head shaking. "Times are changing, and people are becoming more accepting of homosexuals. We have women in the military, and that surely leads to 'temptation', but for the most part everyone's quite professional about it. Allowing homosexuals to serve openly will increase our recruitment pool and actually simplify things; just look at the Navy: hundreds of horny men in steel boxes in the middle of the ocean for up to six months at a time... there has to be a reason that people volunteer for that, right?"

3. "This coming from some pampered soul in the Chair Force," scoffs Commander @@RANDOMNAME@@, calling in via satellite from aboard a destroyer. "Inter-service rivalries aside, ever read some of those ancient sagas about cities being besieged? Those ancient cultures had no problem with homosexuality; actually, it strengthened their resolve and spirit because they were literally fighting alongside their lovers, and anyone in the service will tell you it's all about the guy standing next to you. Now, what if--and this is just a hypothetical, mind--based on this and to counter years of discrimination, only homosexuals were allowed to serve?"

4. "That's... interesting, but it doesn't really address the problem, does it?" asks Lance Corporal @@RANDOMNAME@@, part of your honor guard. "Let's look at it this way: only ten percent of the population is homosexual, right? No matter what, the majority will be heterosexual. We want homosexuals to serve, but there will always be a backlash against them. No regulation changes are needed if you just pen a policy where sexual orientation becomes a taboo subject in discussion--not like it's anyone's business to talk about their sexual interests in a professional military, right? This way homosexuals can serve, albeit quietly, and be happy, and the moral conservatives stay happy since the military is still 'officially' anti-gay. Of course, if anyone's pulled out of the closet, their career is instantly over, but that's the cost of compromise."

5. "We still have a military?" questions your Minister of Peace, scratching his unruly hair and smelling none too vaguely of patchouli. "Man, I thought we got rid of those war pigs ages ago. Y'know, if you'd just listen to me and go with flowers instead of firearms, this whole gays-in-the-military thing wouldn't be such a buzzkill all the time. Hey, speaking of buzzes, I just got these mighty strong Bigtopian Blues from a guy I know. I'm on one right now and they are far OUT. You wanna expand your mind with me? No? That's cool too."

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#239: We Who Are About To Die Would Rather Go Home [The Lost Romans; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
An old supporter of yours has recently passed on, leaving a quite sizeable plot of land to you in his will - but only under a rather unusual condition: that the site be developed into a colosseum for hosting gladiatorial fights and other bloody spectacles.

The Debate
1. "Yes, yes!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, waving a wooden sword enthusiastically. "You've gotta do this, man! Gladiator fights are like the ultimate in spectator sports! And it doesn't just have to be people! We could pit man against @@ANIMAL@@! Blade against claw! Nothing to their names but their wits and their stamina! You'd have to pay people a lot to risk their lives doing this but I bet you'd earn a whole lot more from merchandise and wagers and stuff!"

2. "That's just sick," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the Kill Violence Now Association. "I don't believe you'd find anyone willing to watch actual people tearing each other apart. It's savage and horrible! It's even worse than boxing! Violent sports should be outlawed for the sake of this country's moral integrity. I'm sorry, I've got to go - I'm ashamed you're even considering this."

3. "Actually, we could use this to our advantage," whispers Chief of Police, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Why not just force convicted criminals to fight for the amusement of the public? They'll be paying for their crimes, contributing to society, and totally freeing us of having to build jails to throw their useless hides in!"

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#240: Plea Bargains: Tipping The Scales Of Justice? [Jacobaea; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
The high-profile case of Damon 'The Butcher of @@CAPITAL@@' White, a serial murderer and rapist, has been the subject of outrage and derision by @@NAME@@'s news providers. In exchange for a guilty verdict, no trial by jury, and testimony in another trial, White pled guilty to third-degree manslaughter, reducing his sentence to a paltry three months' imprisonment. The justness of plea bargaining is now being called into question.

The Debate
1. "Plea bargains degrade the fairness of our justice system," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, a recently graduated lawyer. "Prosecutors are only interested in getting their guilty verdict and plea bargaining is the easiest way to get it! The recent trial of that psychopath mass-murderer is a disgrace! If it had gone before a jury he'd be behind bars by now! He won't though, because the prosecutors and police are too lazy to do their jobs properly. Putting that man back on the streets is not justice. Plea bargaining must be banned."

2. "What that moral elitist is neglecting to tell you," sneers @@RANDOMNAME@@, a prosecutor. "Is that plea bargaining has made our judicial system MORE effective, not less! There needs to be give and take so we can get to the truth and that's what plea bargains allow us. We were able to catch the worst criminal kingpin @@NAME@@ has ever seen because of Mr White's testimony. Also, do you realise how clogged up and expensive the court system would be if every trial went before jury? Very, my friend. Very. Plea bargaining must be allowed to continue."

3. "You know, we wouldn't have to worry about any of this nonsense and controversy if we just stopped giving our criminals so many rights," sighs @@RANDOMNAME@@, your fifth cousin, five times removed. "Double jeopardy, cruel and unusual punishment, the writ of habeas corpus... there are just so many inconvenient clauses in our constitution that are getting in the way of keeping our streets clean of crooks. I say we abolish the right to a fair trial, and just lock people up if the judge thinks they've done something wrong. I mean, they're pretty smart guys aren't they?"

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#241: A Capital City For @@NAME@@? [Sirocco]

The Issue
As @@NAME@@ continues to grow, so too does its government. The number of politicians needed to administrate and legislate the country is rapidly surpassing the Houses of Parliament's capacity with ministers often requiring periscopes to see the House Speaker. Some are suggesting a new building be built in another city - a city which would then be designated as the capital city of @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "I would like to make a humble recommendation for my own proud jurisdiction," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, mayor of one of @@NAME@@'s major cities. "It would be an honour for our city to be host to the seat of power! If it will seal the deal, you can change the name if you like..."

2. "Hah! Capital city indeed!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, a fervent anarchist, spilling leaflets all over the floor. "What's wrong with being free as the wind? Do you really think one city could possibly represent a whole country? Its people? I've had enough of the man trying to screw us down all the time! Say NO to a national capital!"

3. "I can accept and even approve of having a capital city," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a military strategist. "But we'd be putting all our eggs in one basket if we choose somewhere too vulnerable! Believe me, capitals always get the brunt of the enemy attack because of their political and economic importance. We should put aside a few billion @@CURRENCY@@s and build our capital city underground. They'll never bomb us there!"

4. "I've got an idea," says theme park tycoon, Lindsay Tew. "My company will happily sponsor the new establishment and cover all costs - as long as it's made to our specifications. We've already got plans drawn up to put a roller coaster straight through the House of Commons! A cafe, some kiosks for ice cream... maybe even a water slide or two in the lobby! It'll be one part legislative seat of government, one part family-fun theme park! Tourists will flock from around the globe!"

5. "What's wrong with the old building?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted disestablishmentarian. "We don't need some kind of fancy capital city just to make the bigwig ministers feel important! If there's no room, then fire politicians until there IS room. Have you never heard of doing more with less?"

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#242: Follow The Leader [Sirocco]

The Issue
A lowly bureaucrat riffling through some old paperwork has happened across a rather alarming and disturbing fact: the documentation affirming yourself as @@NAME@@'s head of state was filled out improperly and now, at least for the moment, @@NAME@@ has no official leader!

The Debate
1. "There is no need to panic," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a senior archivist. "I've prepared a new document. All you need to do is sign across the dotted line and you will be our esteemed leader once again. Here! I've even brought a pen."

2. "Give me that!" interrupts your brother, incorrigible as always. "I've got an idea, bear with me for a moment... a few penstrokes here... a few clauses there... finished. Now you can set yourself up as Supreme Evil Overlord For Life! If you don't have complete control then where's the fun? That's what I say. I've taken the liberty of cutting some of the more boring departments, we only really need the police and military in my opinion. Oh! You get a free space hopper too."

3. "Hold on! Don't sign it yet! Have you ever heard the saying 'two heads are better than one'?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Complicating Things. "Well, what if we had SEVERAL? I propose we gather the most senior ministers of @@NAME@@ to act together as a collective head of state! That's a little more democratic than one person bossing everyone else around. Besides, even if you're not THE leader, your opinions are still deeply respected so it shouldn't be too much of a step down right?"

4. "As if ONE leader isn't oppressive enough!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a little known representative from one of @@NAME@@'s more obscure counties. "Suddenly we need even more? This is a great opportunity for @@NAME@@ to lose elitist concepts like 'leaders'. My ma taught me that all men are born equal and yet even in a modern country like this one person can be named Lord and King of everything. One person should not have that much power! Government policy should be the equal responsibility of all @@NAME@@'s elected politicians."

5. "If we did that, even some crackpot quango would have the same power as the Minister of Defence," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, who happens to be the Minister of Defence. "That's insane. We need strong leadership' to get things accomplished! Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone's opinion is, ugh, 'equal'? They go on for HOURS. HOURS! Believe me, trying to run a government that way will be a massive, fruitless headache. The leader's word is law, and if people don't get that then maybe a little show of strength courtesy of the military wouldn't go amiss."

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#243: A Question Of Faith [Sirocco]

The Issue
Infighting between major religious groups over which faith should represent @@NAME@@ in an international exhibition of holy relics escalated to a new high, today. After the latest incident, in which one official received a concussion from a sacred healing stone, all of the religious leaders are at last united - in demanding you choose a national religion.

The Debate
1. "If you would grant us this one small mercy we would all be free from the iniquitous sin of envy," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, nervously rubbing a small religious symbol. "One's faith is one's guiding light after all, and I believe if you choose a national religion, well, MINE anyway, that God will smile upon this nation full of heathens a little more kindly."

2. "I don't believe choosing one faith from the thousands out there is very fair," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, author of the critically acclaimed 'Agnosticism and You'. "Which god do we pick? How do we pick? It's impossible! We don't even know if higher beings exist and it's sheer arrogance to postulate otherwise! The government should officially declare that @@NAME@@ has no official religion, because the alternative would be self-damning. Not that we know that for sure, of course."

3. "Oh for chaos' sake! 'I don't know this, I don't know that' - well of course you don't!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of The Secular, Humanist, and Atheist Society. "But some of us have the guts to look at the available evidence and try to make something out of it! If the government has any brains or guts of its own it will reach the same conclusion that I and millions of other forward-looking people have reached: there is no God, there is no afterlife, and this is all there is. THAT, @@LEADER@@, is what the government's official stance should be."

4. "The only god this nation needs is the vengeful and unforgiving Violet!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, Grand High Poobah of the Order of Violet. "May her tentacles forever secrete slime. Embrace Violetism and we will usher in a new age of darkness across the land! Human sacrifice and death to all heretics and unbelievers! Violet is the only way!"

5. "The only deity this country needs is the one it already has, master," says Emmanuel Syme, one of your creepier advisers while obsequiously bowing on the floor. "I of course refer to you, @@LEADER@@, the finest ruler any humble subject could hope to have! We long to worship you and do your bidding! Some call that a cult of personality, but I prefer to call it... love."

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#244: Foreign Invasion Force Takes On Small Farming Community [Altlands; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Taking advantage of your limited military capacity, the remote nation of Wezeltonia has invaded one of your distant overseas territories, the @@ANIMAL@@ Isles. They claim sovereignty over the islands, despite @@NAME@@'s colonialists having lived there for generations. An emergency meeting has been convened to discuss the matter.

The Debate
1. "We should never have allowed our military to become this pathetic," sighs @@RANDOMNAME@@, your only Military Advisor. "It's an open invitation for invasions. If we're going to protect our shores against this enemy we need a show of strength - gather what resources we have and send them to protect the @@ANIMAL@@ Isles. Time is of the essence!"

2. "I was never trained for this!" wails Private @@RANDOMNAME@@, knock-kneed and rosy-cheeked. "If we go to full scale war with Wezeltonia we're sure to lose, I just know it! Couldn't we try, uh, 'dip-low-mah-tic relations'? A little talk over tea and biscuits goes a long way! Then no one will need to go to w-w-war. Ahem. War."

3. "Let's not let national pride blind us to the facts," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, an amateur historian. "I mean, those islands are practically next door to Wezeltonia, it's not unreasonable to assume they might want to claim them. Where's the benefit in wasting billions of @@CURRENCY@@s on protecting a handful of colonials anyway? There's nothing there but grass, mud, and @@ANIMAL@@ farms."

4. "Those 'colonials' are proud, legal citizens of the @@TYPE@@ of @@NAME@@, moron," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, fully bedecked in a suit fashioned after the national flag. "And they deserve to be protected! A slight against one of us is a slight against all of us! We've gotta show those Wezeltonians we mean business! If you take over the factories, institute an emergency draft, and get as many battleships and fighter jets out there as possible then we might stand a chance! No expense is too costly for the lives of @@NAME@@'s sons and daughters!"

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#245: Clash Of Cultures [Drunk Cowboy Junkies; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Conservative commentators have remarked that many foreign immigrants in @@NAME@@ are failing to take part in, or even acknowledge, the country's rich and varied culture, traditions, and social mores. This has caused some interethnic strife, and reports of violence in minority-dominated neighbourhoods have been increasing every day.

The Debate
1. "It's disrespectful," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, serving traditional @@ANIMAL@@-shaped cookies on a tray. "These people talk funny, dress funny, pray to bizarre gods, and cook their smelly food. Food I've never seen on any LOCAL menu. Some of them don't even speak our language very well! If at all! If immigrants want the privilege of living in this country then they should be made to adopt our own traditions! Otherwise our culture will slowly but surely disappear! If they refuse... well, then they can go back to their own country since they love it so much."

2. "I have a right to lead my life the way I want," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an immigrant, with the help of a translator. "I will not forsake my heritage for your people and I will not dirty my tongue with your heathen language. And if you have a problem with that then tell me this: what have I done wrong? I pay my taxes, I break no laws- and yet you think I should change? Those who don't wish to 'integrate' shouldn't have to."

3. "Oh, there's no need to be like that!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the Multiculturalism Society in a cheery tone. "@@NAME@@ should be a more accepting country, open to new experiences! Embrace difference, people, don't reject it! These folk aren't hurting us or our traditions, they are showing us different ways of life and making us wiser and richer beings in the process! It's our responsibility to take the first step towards reparations and remove any ethnic bias from the names of our public holidays - how does Winter Day sound to you? I like it."

4. "We need to stop thinking of 'them' as a problem that needs to be fixed," insists @@RANDOMNAME@@, an undergraduate in anthropology. "Integration in society is a two-way street, @@LEADER@@. We can't shun people for not following @@FAITH@@ or drinking their tea with the wrong hand. That's just silly! No, if we want immigrants to pick up our ways then we should be more willing to learn about theirs! Mandatory education courses should encourage citizens to learn more about other cultures in @@NAME@@."

5. "That's stupid," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, flatly. "I'm not going to 'bond' with immigrants by learning about their beliefs! For multiculturalism to actually function, everyone needs to actually meet these people and deal with them on a day-to-day basis. Then maybe they'll realise that yeah, they're people too. The only way to do this is to put an end to segregated neighbourhoods - even if it means forcing families to move elsewhere."

6. "Everyone shut up, I have the perfect solution," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, shouting into a megaphone. "How about we kick these ungrateful foreigners out of the nation and never let them come back?! We've all heard what those ethnics are like, I wouldn't be surprised if they ate their own young! Immigration shouldn't be allowed! I won't abide it!"

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#246: @@NAME@@ To Hold The Olympic Torch? [Yenen; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Enthusiastic sports fans have been petitioning the government all week to apply for the much-coveted honour of hosting the next Regional Olympics. While most citizens are excited at the prospect of a @@REGION@@-wide competition in their own country, some have expressed reservations about the enormous expense hosting would incur.

The Debate
1. "WAHAAAAY!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, captain of @@CAPITAL@@'s premier division ballroom dancing team. "Finally, a chance to show the world exactly how great I am! Everybody's always complaining that @@NAME@@ never does well in sports and you know why? It's because we're never in front of the home crowd, that's why! We're going to need a great big stadium! No! TWO stadiums! WHOOP! OL-YM-PICS! OL-YM-PICS!"

2. "Oh great," mutters @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for the Angry Taxpayer Society. "That's all we need, more things to pour money into for no obvious reason. Surely it would be easier to just let another country host the Olympics and keep the cash? Then maybe it could go to something useful, like, I don't know... my wallet?"

3. "We'd be missing an amazing opportunity if we pass this up," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Sports. "But we've got to be in it to win! Simply building new stadia won't be enough, we need to be funding new sports centres and hiring the best coaches for our entrants! You could put more money into public facilities too, like gyms or something. Then no one can accuse you of wasting everyone's tax @@CURRENCY@@s, ha ha. Ha."

4. "There's nothing like a feat of strength to please the dull-witted masses, is there?" sighs @@RANDOMNAME@@, flipping through 'One Hundred Gambits for Advanced Go Players'. "It's so boring. Why can't more intellectual pursuits be given the spotlight, like chess or debating matches? Ban organised sports and make our dreams come true! I think you'll find it comes at a far lower price than the populist Olympics ever will."

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#247: Where There's Smoke [Avartinate; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s fire protection department has long been criticised for being slow, inefficient, and underfunded. A number of ideas have been proposed on how to deal with the problem.

The Debate
1. "See here, buddy," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, putting a friendly arm around your shoulder. "Your country needs fire protection, but you don't want to pay for it yourself. What do you say me and some of the boys here open up a few fire stations of our own and let the custome- citizens pay US instead of YOU paying THEM. It's not like we won't put out the fires if they don't have anything on them, we'll just bill them and their children and their children's children until we get all our money."

2. "Woah, woah, woah!" Says liberal activist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I don't want my rescuers to be putting less effort into their jobs because I don't have a credit card or live in a slum. Do you know when you're at your worst, financially? WHEN YOUR HOUSE JUST BURNT DOWN. This is a victimisation of the poor! The government should be in charge of the emergency services and they should treat everyone equally. It's only fair."

3. "Not only that, but we need to prevent fires from happening in the first place," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Safety, carefully turning off the wall sockets in your office. "And if that means sending free smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and informative pamphlets to every household in @@NAME@@ so be it! Damn the expenses, @@LEADER@@, lives are at stake!"

4. "I think that sounds kinda... socialist," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ with a disgusted grimace. "The government should keep out of this if you ask me. The only reason fires happen is because people are stupid and they know a fire engine will come racing down the street to save them. Take away that safety blanket and I think you'll find they wise up quite quickly! We don't need any tax-consuming fire service! If idiots and their families go up in flames they'll have no one to blame but themselves."

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#248: The Sky Is Falling [Freedomstaki; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A particularly bad spate of bombings, hijackings and snake attacks aboard airline flights has crippled the air travel industry in @@NAME@@. The government has convened to discuss possible ways of improving airport security.

The Debate
1. "It's a no-brainer," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, frisking you as you enter the meeting. "Put police officers on every flight, armed and ready to deal with those blasted sky pirates! It's deterrence and protection wrapped up in one. If anyone so much as says the word 'bomb' they'd better watch out!"

2. "You want to put people with GUNS on aeroplanes?!" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a security guard at @@RANDOMNAME@@ International Airport. "And at the taxpayers' expense to boot? For the love of Violet, keep the police out of this! Airport security should remain in private hands! Think realistically for a moment: government priorities change all the time but companies are in it for profit. Bombings are BAD for business! We don't LET them happen! So just... butt out will you? I'm not losing my job to a flatfoot!"

3. "We don't need no copper protectin' us! We can look after our own hides!" laughs @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the @@CAPITAL@@ Rifle and Revolver Association. "Air flight passengers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons. If one of them terrorists thinks he's gonna walk all over @@NAME@@ like he owns the place then he's got another thing coming, ha!"

4. "I only wanted to tour @@REGION@@ for a few w-weeks," wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, recovering from a particularly vigorous strip search. "I have a right not to be probed and prodded at the whim of some wand-waving monkey with a high school education! For a whole HOUR I might add! They treat us like cattle! In the name of DECENCY, I request, nay DEMAND an end to the disgrace that is airport security! I mean, really, it's like they don't trust me or something!"

5. "Let's just ban all planes!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, prodding you angrily in the chest. "Bombings and terrorist attacks aren't the only problems these things cause! The aeroplane is one of the worst pollutants mankind has ever created! They're loud, they're ugly, and they burn fuel like there's no tomorrow! There are more environment-friendly ways to travel than by plane even if they are slower! Much slower. But cleaner!"

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#249: Particle Accelerator Sparks High Energy Debate [Milostein; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Some of @@NAME@@'s most distinguished physicists have approached you asking for a government grant funding for the Really Big Hadron Collider: the world's largest - and most expensive - particle accelerator.

The Debate
1. "There's only so much you can do with limited equipment and computer simulations," explains Higgs Boughson, professor of Engineering at @@CAPITAL@@ University. "There are things out there just waiting to be discovered. A few billion @@CURRENCY@@s to find them and the fruits of this research will benefit mankind for generations. Kinda. Ish. It'll shut Steven up about his ridiculous electron phasing hypothesis anyway."

2. "Did you know that this experiment has a one in ten million chance of creating a microscopic black hole that will gobble up the whole planet in an apocalyptic chain reaction?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, sporting a magnificent tin foil bicorne. "I read it on the internet so it must be true! Scientists may CLAIM it's safe, but they can't even design a soda that doesn't go flat when you shake it! They have NO RIGHT to gamble with our lives. You've got to end this mad research at once! If God had wanted us to study atoms he wouldn't have made them so small!"

3. "You know what also has a one in ten million chance?" asks blue collar worker @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This project actually discovering something useful! Why should we, the suffering taxpayers, fork over all that money so they can discover... what? You can't eat subatomic particles, you know. I'm sure they'll learn lots of interesting things about protons and quarks but on the other hand... I don't give a flying @@ANIMAL@@. Scientists that aren't studying something practical and for the good of the common man shouldn't be given government funding."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:56 pm, edited 36 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:54 am

#250: Recession, Depression, And Deficit [The Realist Polities; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
@@NAME@@ faces one of its most serious financial crises in history. @@CAPITAL@@'s stock market has been steadily falling for months, the markets are now divesting and a general sell out spree is feared by analysts.

The Debate
1. "We've got to act decisively, and quickly," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a columnist for the Financial Times. "Only a rush of public investment can save us from a depression. We need dams, roads, and absurdly large ships to inject new capital into the economy and put a bit of wind in the private sector's sails."

2. "To spend government money saving unprofitable companies is ludicrous and in denial of the facts," objects @@RANDOMNAME@@, CFO of Chairs 'n' Stuff PLC. "They screwed up! They don't deserve to survive! What we need is a new round of tax breaks for the most effective enterprises, like good old Chairs 'n' Stuff - if you ever need your upholstery repaired, let us know won't you? Anyway, tax breaks will attract new investors and businesses. Trust me, large-scale investment in the middle of a recession is madness. We need to stop the deficit, not increase it."

3. "Yes, let's just ignore the fact that thousands of people would lose their jobs while the remaining companies glorify in their newfound monopolies," snipes @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of an independent business. "The stock market's failing because it's abused and manipulated by greedy investors only out to make an easy profit. Who cares if you're lying and cheating to get it, right? Hmph! The financial market of @@NAME@@'s been riddled with insider trading and who knows what else for years! if the government doesn't put an end to it now then the economy will never bounce back."

4. "It's not the corporations who are to blame! It's YOU," declares trade unionist @@RANDOMNAME@@, pointing at you dramatically. "It's all of us. We've been indulging in a self-destructive economic system for too long, always taking and never giving back. Capitalism has failed. What we must do as concerned citizens is nationalise the entire economic infrastructure and control the inflation by giving the government authority to set commodity prices."

5. "Deregulation isn't the problem - quite the opposite," suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, representative of a consortium of banks and major corporations. "Government checks and balances and competition laws have been the grasping stranglehold on the economy's throat for far too long. Do you really think corporations would allow the economy to suffer like this if it had full control? No, it would not. It is bad for business and what's bad for business needs to be removed. If you want this nation to survive, the market must be freed from these shackles."

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#251: The Trouble With Hobos [Responsible; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After several complaints of the tripping hazards presented by sleeping bags on the doorsteps of public buildings, the citizens of @@NAME@@ have brought the problem of homelessness to your attention.

The Debate
1. "To be honest, I'd just like a place to stay," says a scruffy man who's been living under your desk. "Somewhere I don't have some landlord breathing down my neck all the time. If the government could see fit to build some kind of free hostel where people could go if they've fallen on hard times, well, that'd be just great."

2. "You can't possibly think that's a good permanent solution!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, co-ordinator of the local soup kitchen. "What these people need is help to get their lives back on track. Yes, they have the right to a place to live, but they also need an honest job to pay for it. They need to be encouraged to work to become integrated into society again! Force our major businesses to create some basic jobs for these poor souls, and soon they will become pillars of the community!"

3. "And who do you suppose pays for all this?" snaps @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your advisors. "Your loyal taxpayers, that's who! People who actually work for the things they have! And let's face it: these vagrants bring it on themselves - frittering their money away on rubbish and rollicking in unemployment while the rest of the world slaves away to make ends meet. They're worthless scum and they gave up their 'rights' a long time ago. I say we leave them to their misery until they become a nuisance, then have them dealt with like any other criminal."

4. "As far as I can see, homeless people are already a nuisance," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a proud citizen. "They're mostly thieves and drug addicts, they make the streets a dangerous place for our children, they make honest people feel guilty for turfing them off their doorsteps and, frankly, they smell bad. They're vermin, plain and simple, and as such I suggest they be destroyed before the infestation gets even more out of hand."

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#252: Great Balls Of Fire! [Unibot; ed:Responsible]

The Issue
@@NAME@@ is abuzz with news of a huge meteorite - dubbed 'Big Max' by the media - which smashed into a large town on the outskirts of @@CAPITAL@@ yesterday, killing thousands and leaving behind nothing but a smouldering crater.

The Debate
1. "We can't let a little old boulder get the best of us!" bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, a burly military official. "We have to fight back! Show 'em what we're made of! With a little funding, we could develop some terrific new weapons for the next bit of flying rock that dares to threaten us! Blow it to smithereens! If ever there was a time to prepare for space warfare, it is now!"

2. "That's all well and good," interjects Professor @@RANDOMNAME@@, leading scientist at the @@NAME@@ Meteorological Office. "Except that the chances of a fall of this magnitude occurring twice in the same area are miniscule at worst. I propose you direct your funding to the real issue here - rebuilding the homes and properties that have been lost, and tending to the injured and traumatised. As soon as we've removed what's left of Big Max for studying, you can make a start."

3. "Remove the greatest phenomenon @@NAME@@ has ever seen?!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, the famous museum tycoon. "Surely you can envisage the profit that could be had here? We should be opening the site for tourists! Think of the possibilities - guided tours, gift shops, theme parks! You don't want to build on top of all that potential, do you? Besides, the old residents are all dead now anyway! I'm sure this is what they would have wanted."

4. "All of these ideas are either costly, ridiculous or both!" snorts your Spiritual Advisor, leaning over your desk. "Your people are frightened and vulnerable right now. They don't want you to take action; they want you to tell them it'll all be okay. We could use this! Tell them Big Max was a warning from the Heavens! Strike the fear of the Mighty One into their hearts and they'll do whatever you tell them!"

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#253: How Much Democracy Is Too Much? [Kandarin; ed:Kandarin]

The Issue
Government bureaucrats have called for an end to the mandatory referenda of new laws, citing the difficulty of processing so many votes on a regular basis.

The Debate
1. "The madness has gone on for long enough," says Voting Registry Clerk @@RANDOMNAME@@, visibly suffering from sleep deprivation. "We've been working around the clock processing all these referendums! Every day we receive millions of votes for the most inconsequential of by-laws! They all have to be counted, recounted, checked for errors, and it's driving me up the wall! You need to leave the responsibility of voting to Parliament. After all, representing the people is what they get paid for."

2. "Don't stop the referendums! We need more democracy, not less!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, a prominent voting rights advocate. "Giving the law back to the people was a good first step, but where’s the democracy in the courts? Court verdicts are still forced down the people's throats by mean, spiteful judges with no one to answer to! It's time to abolish the judicial system once and for all and give justice back to the people!"

3. "Excuse us, but aren't you missing the point?" asks the unidentified spokesman of some citizens gathered around your office door. "We, the people of @@NAME@@, know what is in our best interests. We can make our OWN decisions. Why don’t you leave this matter to us? We'll hold a referendum to decide what needs to be done, should only be a week or two. We'll get back to you once we’re finished."

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#254: Freedom Comes At A Price [Responsible; ed:Responsible]

The Issue
A recent boom in @@NAME@@'s slave trade has uncovered the work of slave liberation group, Friends of Spartacus, who are purchasing slaves by the hundred in order to set them free. As a result of this huge increase in demand, slavers have had to resort to raiding the poorer regions of @@NAME@@ for more 'stock'.

The Debate
1. "This has gone too far!" yells Patrick Griswold, a supermarket cashier and father of seven. "Slave liberation indeed! Thanks to the efforts of the so-called 'Friends' of Spartacus, decent, hardworking people are being dragged kicking and screaming from their homes to be used for profit against their will! The government has to do something about these ignorant activists before they cause any more harm!"

2. "I can't believe what I'm hearing!" cries Friends of Spartacus founder, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I think we all know the real issue here is that the despicable trade of human beings is actually legal in this country! It's unethical, barbaric, and just plain wrong. Are we not above this kind of thing? I propose we abolish the slave trade altogether!"

3. "Abolish the what, now?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a wealthy slaveholder. "Have you any idea how important our sla- er… merchandise, is to @@NAME@@’s economy? Without all this free labour, dozens of major industries would fall apart, and fine upstanding tradesmen such as myself would be sent straight to the poorhouse! If the government would see fit to invest in this highly lucrative business, we could import our product from abroad to meet demands instead of trading in the dregs of our own populace. Problem solved!"

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#255: Welfare Programs Not Faring Well [Glen-Rhodes; ed:Glen-Rhodes]

The Issue
A recent lull in legislation has sparked the fires of some bored politicians. After reviewing the back-log of constituent complaints, they've come to your desk demanding welfare reform.

The Debate
1. "The process ought to be made easier," says Inga Matthews, picking the grime out of her dirty fingernails. "It's so difficult convincing welfare administrators that I am actually a poor, helpless vagrant on the brink of homelessness! When you finally do, you get tangled up in all the red tape, and you're lucky to see a dime. The government should just trust my word and fork over the @@CURRENCY@@s I need to survive."

2. "The current system is not very efficient, I'll admit," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a local welfare administrator and esteemed bureaucrat. "But we can't trust these bums to manage their welfare aid. How are we supposed to help them help themselves if they waste their benefits on things like trashy clothes and cheap alcohol? We need more authority over how the aid is spent, it's the only way we can be assured that it is used responsibly."

3. "Get the free-loaders off the government teat!" shouts conservative activist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The free-market system says that those who work hard will succeed. If these so-called 'needy people' would roll their sleeves up, lift a finger, and earn an honest living, we wouldn't be bankrupting our country helping them! The only sensible solution is to abolish all welfare programs, and let the natural, capitalist process take place."

4. "He has a point," says popular political pundit @@RANDOMNAME@@. "There are a lot of people in the system, and some of them don't really need to be there. The government should be finding these people jobs, so that our welfare system can survive and meet the needs of the truly impoverished. Of course, we're going to have to spend a few @@CURRENCY@@s to achieve this goal. But, what's a little tax hike if it means saving our dying welfare programs and the people who depend on them?"

5. "Capitalism is the very reason why we need welfare in the first place. Laissez-faire policies would only make the problem worse," argues political activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If the government would ensure that all employers pay their employees the amount they need to live – no more, no less – then the problem of providing for the poor would disappear."

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#256: Easter Egg: Suburbs Are Out Of This World [Scolopendra; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
High crime rates have made the inner cities of @@NAME@@'s largest conurbations increasingly dangerous and undesirable places to live. The mass exodus of the middle class from city centers has escalated to the extent that the suburbs and exurbs of major cities are beginning to collide, leaving no land for expansion. In response, a group of well-to-do soccer moms are petitioning the government for funds to establish white-collar living space... on the Moon.

The Debate
1. "Crime is perpetually increasing," says Chastity Elizabeth Prescott as she adjusts the sweater tied like a cape over her shoulders. "Just yesterday my little John Alexander Stuart's after-school Bigtopianese tutor was attacked by a gang of hoodlums! Our children deserve safe housing and exactly manicured lawns no greater than two inches in grass blade height! With a sufficient colonization effort, we can commute from communities on the Moon to the industries in our big cities. You must support this--think of the children!"

2. "Rockets?!" shrieks noted bleeding heart Sunflower Earthchild Starbeam, pulling her knit cap more closely over her ears. "Think of the pollution, and the danger! What if there's an accident? This cockamamie scheme must clearly be banned! And you thought cars were bad- wait! Cars ARE bad!"

3. "Everyone knows urban blight is caused by the flight of capital to the suburbs and exurbs," notes the prominent left-wing economist Engelbert Pinquo. "Running away to the Moon will solve nothing. Capital, and those who have it, must be brought back to the inner city... by force if need be."

4. "Stone the crows! We're trapped between hippies, communists and soccer moms," grumbles Vice Admiral @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We need breathing room, and everyone knows there ain't no air on the Moon! So let's get it the old-fashioned way - by invading our neighbors! @@REGION@@ will fall to the might of @@NAME@@!"

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#257: @@LEADER@@ Assassinated... Almost [Hessinator; ed:Responsible]

The Issue
As you very well know, a masked stranger with a pistol made an attempt on your life but moments ago while you were out on your lunch break. An emergency meeting has been called right here in the middle of the street after the would-be assassin disappeared over a nearby grassy knoll.

The Debate
1. "Oh dear! Oh dearie me, that was so rude!" coos your personal assistant, adjusting your tie. "You'll just have to prove to the citizens of @@NAME@@ that you are a good and benevolent leader, and don't deserve to be brutally shot in the head! The only way to keep you safe is to make the public like you! Do something nice for them! Might I suggest a nice tax cut?"

2. "What makes you think it's a member of the general public behind this?" asks your Head of Security, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "It's more likely to be the work of some underground separatist group trying to remove you from power! We've let them have their protests and their rallies and their free speech, and now they've taken it to the next level! We should be cracking down on this insolence instead of rewarding it! Show the people what happens to those who dare to question your authority. You've got to remind them that you, @@LEADER@@, are their Lord and Master!"

3. "Whoa there! Let's not be too hasty, bruv!" says law-abiding citizen, @@RANDOMNAME@@, casually walking up to you and flinging an arm around your shoulder. "This sort of thing wouldn't be a problem at all if you just beefed up your personal security a bit. You could hire a few extra bodyguards and get yourself a shiny new armoured car! Nobody could touch you!"

4. "Hah! Like that will work!" snorts @@RANDOMNAME@@, Minister of Waste Disposal and Sanitation. "They'll just come after the rest of us and destroy the government from the bottom up! No, we need to go even further - reinforce the Parliament! We'll turn @@CAPITAL@@ into an impenetrable fortress! Robot bodyguards, food tasters... no expense should be spared! We should all do our jobs through a complex network of computers so we never have to leave the safety of our offices again!"

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#258: What's In A Name? [Zombitosis; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
A man by the name of &%*\@# Smith hit the headlines yesterday when he had his first name legally changed to 'John', citing the ridicule and stress he suffered because of his given name. Mr Smith publicly commented afterwards that there should be more restrictions on what parents can name their children.

The Debate
1. "People do so love to be different," says Insert Name Here, with a heavy sigh. "I don't know what my folks were thinking when they named me. Probably about how 'novel' and 'with it' they were being, but I didn't get a say in it did I? Growing up in my neighbourhood with the first name 'Insert' wasn't fun at all I can tell you! The government should set up a registry of recognised names that are clean, sensible, and non-teasable. Kids deserve better."

2. "It's none of the government's business what I name my daughter," says Follicle Rainbow Gooseknob, cradling [expletive deleted] in her arms. "Are you going to tell us what to think next? Where to go? Who to love? I don't want some grey-faced bureaucrat deciding what name is appropriate for my child! What kind of country hates personal freedom so much you can't even choose your own name?"

3. "Names? Names are so inefficient!" Says Five-Oh-Three McGoohan, counting beads. "Who can honestly tell one @@RANDOMNAME@@ from another? That name's so popular now, I met three people at the mall with it just last week! Face it! Names are old-hat! Everyone ought to go by a government-allocated ID number instead, much more practical. Who could make fun of a child named Six-Eight-Four?"

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#259: A Taste Of Revenge [South Von; ed:Kandarin]

The Issue
A spectacular but failed attempt on your life made national news today. Interrogation of captured suspects has pinned the blame on agents of the nation of Blackacre, with which @@NAME@@ has notoriously chilly relations. Your cabinet is divided as to how to respond.

The Debate
1. "Assassins, huh? Well, two can play at that game!" says Warren McCue, your chief military adviser. "An eye for an eye! A tooth for a tooth! An assassination for a... missed shot, I suppose. Never mind that, think of the possibilities! Not only can we strike back at the scumbags who sent this assassin after you, we can turn our attention to... 'manipulating' the positions of foreign leaders and political rivals that stand in the way of @@NAME@@'s glory." He then points two fingers at the wall and mouths 'bang bang' noises.

2. "Sending assassins to avenge you isn't enough!" argues hawkish talk-show host, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The fact that Blackacre is this bold means we haven’t made them fear us yet - and a nation that isn’t feared isn’t respected. We need to do the only thing we CAN do: bomb their cities! Raise a revolution! Salt their fields! It may cost money, but our nation’s honor is priceless."

3. "I can't believe what I'm hearing!" says the muffled voice of @@RANDOMNAME@@, an anti-violence protestor who was, until now, hiding in your air vents. "By building up our military-industrial complex, WE have become the aggressor. WE are giving nations like Blackacre good reasons to hate us! No wonder they tried to kill you - we aren't giving them enough breathing room. If we cut back our military a bit and sent them a fruit basket now and then these problems would never happen."

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#260: Taxpayers On Strike! [Makinsanity; ed:Kandarin]

The Issue
The latest budget reports have marked a steady decline in @@NAME@@'s monthly income. A study initiated by your treasurers has revealed that many of your nation's citizens are not paying their taxes.

The Debate
1. "Damn right we're not!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of many citizens protesting in front of your office. "Your oppressively high taxes are picking our pockets and robbing us of our livelihood. No more, we say! The government may call us tax cheats, but that's just because it's afraid to call us the PATRIOTS that we are! Cut the tax rate, and we'll think about paying again."

2. "@@NAME@@ can't survive when people don't pay their taxes!" retorts @@RANDOMNAME@@, the head of @@NAME@@'s Revenue Bureau. "Citizens may feel that they need to keep all of their @@CURRENCY@@s, but the government needs it too! Without taxation, how can we build roads, schools and hospitals? How can we protect the people from themselves? We need to give the police broad powers to lay down the law on these tax-evading scum until they pay up."

3. "Scum is such a harsh word. Everyone has something worthwhile to contribute, as my mother always said." says @@RANDOMNAME@@, controversial social theorist and fountain of homespun folk wisdom. "Even if they won't pay their taxes, folks ought to have other ways to pay back into society. They could spend some time with the civil service or military reserve, for example. And goodness knows, blood and organ donation rates aren't as high as they could be. A pint of blood or a good kidney ought to pay a tax bill right proper."

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#261: Plastic, Plastic Everywhere [Nation of Quebec; ed:Kandarin]

The Issue
An unusual alliance of environmental activists and garbagemen have brought to your attention the increasing glut of plastic bags that have been found littering the streets of @@NAME@@'s cities.

The Debate
1. "These damn bags are everywhere!" shouts angry garbageman @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They're in our trees, in our rivers, in our streets, and in our sewer system! Do you know how much extra work we have to do to clean up after slobs who are too lazy to put their trash in a can? Ban these bags completely and fine those stores who refuse to comply! Sure, people may have to remember to bring their own damn bags, but think about the back-breaking labor my fellow garbagemen will avoid! And the environment, of course."

2. "If you can't get rid of the bags, you must change the bags!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, an environmentalist spokesperson wearing a lab coat and a huge grin. "Scientists have developed plastics that break down over time, so it doesn't matter where they're dumped. Require that only biodegradable plastic bags can be sold in @@NAME@@, and the problem will go away."

3. "You're not really going to listen to this nonsense, are you?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of PlastiCorp Industries. "Do you know how much this will hurt the plastic industry? How many people I will need to lay off? How many @@CURRENCY@@s I - I mean, @@NAME@@ - will lose? Our economy needs less environmental regulation, not more! Just say no to limits on our plastic bags, and while you're at it loosen up environmental laws for corporations in general. We can't afford to let hippie ideas get in the way of @@NAME@@'s bottom line."

4. "Why should consumers have to worry about bags at all?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of an online grocery store. "E-commerce is the way of the future. We need to take the next step and put the entire retail industry online. Think about it! No more bags, no more waiting in line, no more wasted time going to the store for food when your food can come to you. Sure, it'll cause some unemployment in the short run, but there'll be plenty of jobs at our warehouses. Everyone who matters should have an internet connection by now and it's high time we embraced the future."

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#262: Sticks And Stones [Zwangzug; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Nicholas Condor, a prominent Bigtopian activist and soapbox orator, caused quite a stir last week when he publicly called for the complete extermination of the people of @@NAME@@, accusing fellow citizens of being 'sub-human', 'immoral', and 'really ugly too'. Citizens Against Intolerance, a pressure group aiming to reduce social inequality, has demanded that the government put more resources into combating hate speech. Coincidentally, another society, also called Citizens Against Intolerance, has stood up for Mr Condor, claiming that inhibiting his speeches would be a violation of his right to free speech.

The Debate
1. "I can't believe we're even debating this," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, who was present at the infamous speech. "Doesn't it worry you that a man, who would obviously be happier if we all died horrible, painful deaths, is allowed to walk around in public? Let him continue and he'll cause a riot! Free speech is supposed to protect people! But talking about genocide and killing, well... that doesn't help anyone. It breaks society. It drives us apart. Hate speech is a very serious crime, @@LEADER@@. You can't just ignore it."

2. "Words by themselves can't hurt anyone," counters @@RANDOMNAME@@, a free speech advocate. "We don't need to be 'protected' from hearing different opinions for goodness' sake! Oh, what a boring place the world would be if we all had the same thoughts! You can't punish people for disagreeing with you! That's crazy! I hate my mother-in-law, but if I told her so and she then tried to stab me with a kitchen knife then the problem is obviously hers - not mine."

3. "I agree to an extent," ventures @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Domestic Security. "But insulting one person is not the same as insulting an entire social grouping. The wrong word in the wrong place and you WILL have violence on the streets: that's the reality we live in, whether you like it or not. If we want to make any real difference then we need to nudge cultural values in the right direction with government awareness programmes and the like. Educate the masses! Laying down a reactionary law will just fuel resentment in the long run."

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#263: Wind Farms Blowing Up A Storm [Alathaea; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
Wind farms have been set up across the country, generating enormous amounts of renewable energy for the citizens of @@NAME@@. However, there are some who feel that they cause more problems than they solve.

The Debate
1. "Hideous eyesores!" roars @@RANDOMNAME@@, founder of the 'Not Within Eyesight Of My Backyard!' pressure group. "All I wanted when I retired was a little cottage in the country; somewhere to pursue my hobby in watercolours - but no, the hippies just had to spoil it for everyone didn't they?! This place was beautiful! Green fields and perfect blue skies! Not anymore, though! These unnatural monstrosities are ruining my damn view! They should be taken down and scrapped!"

2. "Oh, cry me a river," grumbles @@RANDOMNAME@@, senior maintenance engineer of the local wind farm. "Just one of these wind turbines can power over a thousand homes each year and with only a minute fraction of the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels! These people are literally in favour of doing more harm to the environment they're supposedly 'protecting' from wind farms! It's beyond hypocrisy and very, very selfish. These ignorant villagers should be ashamed of themselves!"

3. "Perhaps we're just putting them in the wrong place?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, another engineer. "We should be building wind farms out at sea! Strong uninterrupted winds and no local residents to disturb! Sounds like the perfect solution, if you ask me. Setting them up and maintaining them's going to cost a bomb of course but... well, it's worth it right?"

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#264: Not A Drop To Drink [Vincon; ed:Kandarin]

The Issue
@@NAME@@ has been hit with the worst drought in a hundred years; as a result thirsty citizens and a growing number of brown lawns are pleading for a government response.

The Debate
1. "We have no choice but to ration water," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, Chief of the @@CAPITAL@@ Department of Public Works. "We can't afford to let what little water we have slip through our fingers. We must clamp down on how much water each person is allowed to use. If our more wasteful citizens complain because they'll have to actually think about how much water they pour down the drain, all the better for the rest of us."

2. "You think too small," sighs Foreign Secretary @@RANDOMNAME@@, between sips from a sparkling bottle of gourmet dihydrogen monoxide. "@@NAME@@ may be short on water, but the rest of @@REGION@@ has water to spare! Why not just import the water from abroad? Sure, it'll cost money, but what's worth more to the people of @@NAME@@, a little tax money or their most basic physical needs? Our neighbors wouldn't dream of cutting off the water, right?"

3. "This drought is a warning sign sent by our Creator!" shouts a strangely familiar-looking man who has just walked in from the desert clad in camel hair and sandals. "If this nation will only turn from its wicked ways and hearken unto our God, surely He shall grace us with water once more!"

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#265: To Bail or Not to Bail? [Niryuugoku; ed:Glen-Rhodes]

The Issue
A recent severe crash in the stock market of @@NAME@@ and a plummet of the value of the @@CURRENCY@@ has brought the issue of government bailouts to the forefront of the national agenda.

The Debate
1. "We need to do something now! The people's welfare -- not to mention all my side businesses -- are in serious danger!" screams your finance minister @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We need an extensive support program for the businesses that make our country great, otherwise we might as well join ranks with those... third-world countries," he shudders. "Never mind that all the businesses on this list are owned by my relatives!"

2. "You're talking about doing what!?" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted fiscal conservative and libertarian scholar. "Government bailouts won't solve anything. They'll only redistribute wealth to those the government happens to favor at that particular moment, while placing a crushing burden onto everybody else. The government must instead cut taxes across the board and axe all unnecessary social programs, particularly our welfare system."

3. "This brings up an interesting point," remarks socialist author @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Why do we allow businesses to become "too big to fail?" The solution, surely, is to break up businesses before they reach such a size that they threaten our economy. Imagine it: community-based businesses, run for the benefit of the little people, not faceless, money-grubbing investment banks! Is there really a reason corporations need to be big?"

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#266: Breaching the Great Fourth Wall of @@NAME@@ [Reploid Productions; ed:Reploid Productions] {Easter Egg}

The Issue
After the recent eXtra-Kinetocam Cartographic Digital satellite survey revealed that @@NAME@@ is a surprisingly tiny section of land on a peninsula of a much larger continent, expeditions sent to explore these new lands have found a wide assortment other landmasses- all with new cultures and foreign civilizations. Of course, now people are wondering what to do with... or about... their newly-discovered neighbors.

The Debate
1. "Isn't it obvious? We must establish contact and trade with these other countries!" the CEO of one of the major mining companies notes happily, gesturing toward the XKCD survey map with a laser pointer. "The land claimed by Stalclaft is noted to contain a particular gaseous resource that could prove profitable for us! Never mind the report also says that the place is a war zone!"

2. "Are you insane? We're completely and totally vulnerable to attack!" declares General @@RANDOMNAME@@ while flailing at the new world map in a dramatic fashion. "We know nothing about these civilizations, what their intentions are, what they're capable of! Look at how massive that Cea-Dicee is, just to the south of us! What little we do know about them implies that they have SPACESHIPS! We need to strengthen our military to protect against these threats at all costs!"

3. "Don't mind the paranoid ravings of the General there." Noted scholar @@RANDOMNAME@@ states calmly, while tapping a spot on the map just offshore to the northeast of the peninsula. "We're simply expanding our understanding of the world and where we fit in it. The report says that the ancient ruins of Subspais are on the seafloor here, and I think it would be a most worthy endeavor to study them. It won't be cheap, but knowledge is the greatest resource we can have! As the saying goes, knowledge is power!"

4. "This hippie professor doesn't get it." Admiral @@RANDOMNAME@@ scoffs. "We have an opportunity here! For instance, this island of Uoeq to the west of us. They'd never see us coming; after establishing forward bases there, we could easily begin a campaign against Cea-Dicee and take their land and technology for ourselves! With that turned into a colony of @@NAME@@, the island of Sekonlif would fall easily, and we could seize Stalclaft's precious gas. Just imagine, eventually the entire continent could be under our control... or rather, YOUR control."

5. "Don't believe these lies for a minute!" Notorious and arguably very crazy conspiracy theorist @@RANDOMNAME@@ quickly unrolls a chart over the XKCD survey map before giving you what looks like a hat made of tinfoil. "These 'new lands' are all part of a conspiracy by the evil alien Bunny-Knights of Violet! I have evidence here that proves that these bunnies from space want us to THINK there are lands beyond what we already know. It's quite clear that this map is completely phony and that if we fall for it, we feed them our delicious mind-carrots! Forget this map of lies @@LEADER@@, for the sake of our mind-carrots!

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#267: Controversial Coup Causes Commotion [Sedgistan; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
A coup in a neighbouring country has seen a mercenary force led by retired @@NAME@@ian general @@RANDOMNAME@@ take charge of the peaceful backwater, purging the opposition, and suppressing freedoms. Despite the new leader making a dubious promise to hold elections, the government in exile is demanding that @@NAME@@ takes action.

The Debate
1. "THIS IS A DISGRACE", bellows Brigadier General @@RANDOMNAME@@, scattering plastic soldiers over the floor. "This traitor must be overthrown! Gather together our forces and sweep the tyrant from power. While we're at it, @@NAME@@ could do with some more tanks - you never know when the next coup might be."

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a junior official, puts down "Diplomacy for Dummies" and pipes up. "The best method of solving problems is talking. Send the new regime a strongly worded letter of protest and encourage them to negotiate. On a similar note, perhaps you could take your spouse out for a meal tonight. You've been spending far too much time sorting out this nation's issues lately."

3. Noted realist and tabloid columnist @@RANDOMNAME@@ disagrees. "We should give this new regime a chance. After all, they now control a sizeable economy, and they need weapons - we could offer to recognise the new government if they agreed to buy arms from us. Also, I couldn't help but notice some protesters outside your office. We wouldn't want a coup happening here - everyone would feel safer if they were moved on."

4. "I don't see what the problem is", a voice strangely like your own whispers in your ear. Your twin, standing far too close for comfort, continues, "this has given me a great idea - why not just declare yourself supreme leader of @@NAME@@? After all, the people do love you so very much."

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#268: Don't Want Your Kid Anymore? Good News! [Aligeretha; ed:Glen-Rhodes]

The Issue
A recent "accidental" change in @@NAME@@'s child abandonment law has made it easier to drop unwanted children off at hospitals, orphanages, and even military bases. The deluge of abandoned babies has begun to ravage @@NAME@@'s welfare personnel, and consequently the welfare budget. Overworked social workers, understaffed military branches, and a group of angry women are at your door, demanding that action be taken.

The Debate
1. "This is insane!" says social worker @@RANDOMNAME@@, struggling to hold three babies in her lap. "Whose smart idea was it to allow mothers to simply drop off their newborns like last night's stale pizza? These guys over at the capitol don't know how much work it takes to get these kids into the system and to take care of them, let alone how difficult it is to actually get them adopted! We simply can't do it. If this keeps up, don't be surprised if those babies sit in drop-boxes for days or forever." After handing over a baby to you, the social worker gives one final piece of advice, "Parents needs to accept the responsibility if they choose to have unprotected sex. It's not the state's job to raise children. At least, it shouldn't be. Until these types of laws are repealed, enjoy the baby!"

2. "A woman ought to have the right to choose if she wants to be a mother!" asserts Norma Roe, a long-time women's rights activist. "It's all a matter of privacy. The government shouldn't have a say in our life, shouldn't be telling us that we have to live like this, raise children like that, or devote our entire life to something we never wanted in the first place. Has anybody stopped to think that maybe it's better for the child that they aren't raised by unprepared, unwilling mothers? Give that a thought and get back to me, why don't you?"

3. "This is great!" says General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These abandoned kids are just what the @@NAME@@ Armed Forces need. Our current personnel level is pitiful. I doubt we could defend a supermarket! If we take these unwanted rug-rats, teach them the ways of warfare, we could be spittin' out super-soldiers in no time! Just imagine. Our military would be the envy of the world!"

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#269: Stop The Presses! [Lenyo; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
It has been revealed that many of @@NAME@@’s newspapers are deep in red ink. Opinions are divided on whether or not the government should intervene.

The Debate
1. "There is no real problem here," says noted economist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "If newspapers are no longer selling, they shouldn’t exist in a free market economy; let capitalism take its course. Who cares if a few newspapers go under? Besides, it’s probably good for the digital industry, right?"

2. "You can’t just allow the newspaper industry to die!" panics newspaper editor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We are the core of our nation’s news media! Where will the talk shows, internet news sites, and other media outlets get their stories from? We're their sources after all! @@NAME@@ needs newspapers to inform the populace! Just allow us to be exempt from taxation and I’m sure we will recover. After all, quality news is worth the price!"

3. "Why bother subsidising when we can go all out and take back control of the media!" muses one of your innumerable advisors. "Newspapers are full of sensationalised, makey-uppy events designed to sell more papers and they ignore what really matters - like what we the Government are doing for the people! As a bonus, there'd be no need for newspapers and stations to compete with each other, and job losses would be at a minimum, so everyone'll be happy."

4. "Yu’r not attacking the problem," states elderly gentleman Woody Cane. "Newspapers will never be able t’ compete with them internets. All you’ve got t’do is shut them newfangled things down. Problem solved!"

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#270: Space Spectacular Sours Small Stargazers [Luna Amore; ed:Frisbeeteria]

The Issue
After the recent, well publicized collision of the comet Maxima with Mars, the National Association of Adolescent Astronomers has demanded a meeting with you over the national curfew requiring all minors to be in their houses by sundown.

The Debate
1. "It's outrageous!" screams NAAA President @@RANDOMNAME@@, "How are we supposed to study the night sky if our own government won't let us stay out past six? Do you know how many other astronomical wonders we've missed because we aren't old enough? This curfew is suffocating our sense of wonder and stifling our curiosity. Is that what you want, @@LEADER@@, a nation of un-inquisitive drones? You must see reason and repeal this curfew."

2. "You aren't seriously considering this, are you?" asks @@CAPITAL@@'s Chief of Police @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Since we implemented this curfew, youth-related crime has dropped 70%! What other government intervention has that kind of success rate? The elderly can once again take evening strolls without fear of being mugged by teenage hooligans. Mailboxes stand majestically unmolested. Look, I'm sorry these rapscallions can't look at supernovas and what not, but the numbers don't lie. If a few extra-curricular activities have to suffer to make @@NAME@@'s streets safer, then so be it."

3. "Now, now, surely the two sides can strike some sort of compromise," says noted radio talk show host @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Considering the statistics, you can't repeal the curfew altogether, but these kids raise a good point: the current curfew is far too draconian. What you should do is establish an official channel for minors to request permission to stay out after dark. That way teenagers – who have legitimate reasons – can be out after dark, and @@NAME@@'s crime rate won't suffer. Quite an elegant solution if I do say so myself. True, it will require a slight tax increase, but you can't please everyone."

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#271: Vigilantes: Heroes Or Hoodlums? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Your evening supper was disrupted recently when a spandex-clad man wearing a mask left a hitherto untouchable mob boss on the High Court's doorstep before disappearing once more into the night. While some have welcomed the assistance of 'the Dogman', others are fearful of what consequences supporting vigilantism could bring.

The Debate
1. "He did WHAT?" shouts over-zealous police officer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The Dogman is a menace to society and an insult to the police. Vigilantism should not be tolerated, and the police should have the right to track these people down and throw them in jail. We'll show others like him that the law cannot be taken into their own hands."

2. "I agree, but we're forgetting the bigger issue," says Police Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@. "It's embarrassing really. This guy who's probably had no police training managed to catch a criminal that some of us in the force have spent ten years trying to bring down. This whole incident clearly shows us that the police force needs new training and equipment. I'm sure that our citizens wouldn't mind paying a little more to feel safer on the streets."

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@, avid contributor to the magazine Anarchist Monthly, presents a different opinion. "The last thing we need is more police. In fact, I think the people would be better off with more heroes like the Dogman. Let's face it. The police are known for corruption and brutality. Let the people take the law into their own hands, and we'll have a utopia where issues are settled without fascist pigs telling us what we can and can't do! It'll be perfect, trust me."

4. "You all have the wrong idea," says Graphite Lad, wearing a slender yellow spandex suit and eraser helmet. "We can't dismiss the fact that the Dogman did us and our city a great service. That's not something we should put him in jail for. In fact, I think the government should pay vigilante heroes for their noble deeds."

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#272: Slow Down, You’re Going Too Fast [Frisbeeteria; ed:Frisbeeteria]

The Issue
Following fatality reports from several high-speed, multi-car accidents, concerned safety advocates are asking that national speed limits be reinstated.

The Debate
1. "Lives are being lost, and for what?" shouts author of "The Road Worrier" @@RANDOMNAME@@ at a rally in front of Police Headquarters. "So that juveniles-at-heart can satisfy their need for speed? Enough already! The rest of us want our children safe. Reinstate the speed limits, and while we’re at it, raise the license age to 25. There’s no need for adolescents to foul our highways. They can ride the bus."

2. "The problem isn’t cars, it’s drivers", states @@RANDOMNAME@@, founder and spokesperson of @@NAME@@ Automation Industries. "Remove the human being from the equation, and modern vehicles can be driven at high speed entirely by computer! All we need is some research and retooling money, and a bit of infrastructure assistance to add drive-by-wire nodes to the highways. Not only will we make our own highways safer, we’ll boost @@NAME@@’s automotive exports through the roof!"

3. "Cars are only a part of the problem," argues transit advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@, assembling a toy train set on your desktop. "Trucks and busses are just as deadly. We need to shift entirely to railroads and get rid of cars AND trucks – hi-speed trains between cities, light rail to the suburbs, monorails and trolleys in town. We can dump those old speed limit laws - people won’t get run over if they stay off the tracks! So what if a few industrial complexes have to relocate or close? It’s for the greater good!"

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#273: Is our children learning? [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
When a relatively minor official in your government vowed to increase the standard of education in @@NAME@@, the press came knocking on your door to ask how this might actually be done.

The Debate
1. "It's all a question of money," says veteran teacher @@RANDOMNAME@@, "If we really care about education, we'll make it our number one priority. Double the education budget, halve the teacher-student ratio, and make sure every teacher has a master's degree in education. After all, the children are our future."

2. "As much as I'd like to have more money, it's really a question of most of the faculty belonging to one of the most powerful unions in the whole of @@NAME@@ that stops this school from being great," says Headmaster @@RANDOMNAME@@, "I can't discover which teachers are good and reward them for their excellent work, nor fire the useless ones. Destroying teachers' unions is perhaps the most important thing we could do. "

3. "I think specialization is the way to go," says your defense minister, standing arm in arm with a bishop of @@FAITH@@ and @@NAME@@'s top CEO, "Specialization lets each focus on what they're truly good at, and I'm sure that religious institutions, the military, and private companies would fork out a bit to train up the next generation, so we could save on taxes too."

4. "As we've proven in the past, the free market can manage this far better than the public sector," says market-analyst @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Now, I'm not saying that the state shouldn't help people go to school - far from it. Still, schools need greater freedom to maximize learnedness: to set their own tuition, salaries, curricula, etc. Give private schools a small government subsidy, and let the free market take its course. So what if a few poor kids drop out earlier? You can't make omelets without breaking a few eggs."

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#274: Brotherly Love - A Bit Too Close to Home? [Afforess; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
A brother and sister, Jack and Jill, went to apply for a marriage license today, causing a stir among the populace and many media outlets.

The Debate
1. "We just want to get married!" Jill yells to a nearby reporter. "What exactly is wrong with a brother and a sister getting married? Who are we hurting?!" adds Jack, defensively. "The government should just butt out of marriage. It's not their business who or what we marry."

2. "M-m-married?!" stammers @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of @@FAITH@@. "You want to desecrate the most holy and sacred union of marriage by allowing SIBLINGS to marry each other? Are you mad?! Those who are related must be forbidden from even loving each other, let alone marriage - it's shameful! They should be punished for this abomination! Oh, and while we're at it, we should ensure that every marriage is regulated by @@FAITH@@. Just in case something this sinful should ever come up again, of course."

3. Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a fertility expert chimes in. "No, no, definitely not! Marriage leads to kids and d'you know what happens when inbreeding is allowed?! The children are born with five heads! Yes, five heads, always! We should encourage people, maybe with a monetary incentive, to marry those who are as distantly related as possible!"

4. "Duuude, marriage is like totally outdated", says a hippie, wearing a multi-colored robe and in need of a wash. "They're like, restrictive and they bring down the vibe, man. Why put people in a box; let us roam free and we can all be brothers and sisters! It's what's nature wanted!"

5. "This was bound to happen sometime", sighs an advisor from behind your chair. "We give these people a huge amount of freedom and they do this. It just shows that you can't trust them with their own lives, they'll just muck it up! I think it's time that we take such trivial matters out of their hands as they obviously can't deal with it. Maybe from now on the government should tell you who to marry?"

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#275: Wiki Worries [Maurepas; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
State department officials are in an uproar over the leaking of key government cables by the website WikiSpills. The site's owner, under the nom de plume "El Denunciante," is operating from an anonymous location in neighboring Bigtopia, where the government can't reach him. @@NAME@@'s leaders are sharply divided on how to respond.

The Debate
1. "This man has done no wrong!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, who also happens to be the head writer of The @@CAPITAL@@ Times Magazine. "The people have a right to transparency of government. El Denunciante is a hero who has revolutionized my magazine sale-er-Freedom of Speech for this country. No state action must be committed that would infringe upon our right to disclose government information, regardless of the effects on diplomatic relations. Besides, it isn't as though you've got anything to hide…do you?"

2. "El Denunciante is a terrorist and has committed treason," argues reactionary talk radio host @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The fact is, he has consistently presented an anti-@@NAME@@ agenda, and people like him need to be stopped from propagandizing their filth. What we need is to block this website and any others which threaten the security of this great nation. Like those opposition party blogs that keep popping up! I mean, what use is personal freedom if you don't have security and peace of mind?"

3. "This seems like a lot of needless work, if you ask me," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your brother-in-law, while enjoying a foul-smelling beverage in your office. "Why should the people get to discuss you and your government anyway? Seems to me things would be much easier if you just told them what their opinion was and blocked out all others. After all, who knows what's best for them better than you, am I right? Cheers!"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:56 pm, edited 11 times in total.
Abbey Anumia
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:54 am

#276: Circus Clowns Cause Chaos! [Sanctaria; ed:Maurepas]

The Issue
Rather than finding them funny, a recent survey shows that most children are actually afraid of clowns. The public is demanding that you do something to stop these terrifying menaces.

The Debate
1. "Kill them! Kill them all! Or… you know, just ban them", opines noted sociologist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Better yet, why not ban all circuses from @@NAME@@! Think about it, they're distracting children from what's important in life; namely, doing well in school, getting a job and contributing to the economy. That's what's important here!"

2. "Banning clowns is a little extreme, if you ask me", inputs your Minister for Culture, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I think what we need to do is educate children about what clowns actually do. Tell them they aren't scary and that what they do is actually beneficial! After all, happy kids are less likely to go down the path of crime, which means less spending goes to the police and more funds can be diverted to somewhere important – like my Department!"

3. "It's not always about the kids", mumbles a red-nosed man in the corner. "Think of us clowns! We have to put up with the kids screaming, and shouting and hurling things at us. How would you feel if you were dressed up like a fool and paraded in front of 8 year olds! The Government needs to create a program to treat us clowns for depression – you don't know what it's like, man. You weren't there!"

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#277: Say Cheese! [Crazy girl; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
After a tabloid newspaper printed a photograph of you picking your nose in a restaurant, the government is considering introducing guidelines for journalists wishing to take pictures of you.

The Debate
1. "Whatever happened to freedom of press?" asks paparazzo @@RANDOMNAME@@, indignantly. "Why aren't you allowing honest, hardworking people like myself to do our jobs? If our beloved leader slips on a banana peel, that's big news on the level of national security! We must be allowed to take pictures of you whenever we want, wherever we want! Oh, and any comment on the rumors you had a one-night stand with your nei..." The question is cut off as a horde of journalists crowd in to ask questions.

2. The Minister of Press Relations, who is coincidentally your neighbor, agrees that your privacy needs to be protected. "That photograph was clearly an intrusion on your right to privacy. However, we can compromise and give the media 'authorized photo moments'. It's perfect. You get to keep your privacy, and on special occasions, photographers are allowed to take pictures and ask questions. Of course, anyone who disrespects this media code will have their privileges revoked."

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@, your overly-attentive aide, grins. "I like that idea, but it doesn't go nearly far enough. How about we control exactly what the media can and cannot publish? That way, we can make the citizens adore you and your skeletons stay hidden in the closet."

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#278: Relief is Coming... in Four to Six Weeks [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
A hurricane recently devastated one of @@NAME@@'s island chains causing billions of @@CURRENCY@@s in damage and displacing millions of citizens. The national emergency services are doing their best to meet the needs of the crisis, but with the recent airplane ban, relief is taking much longer to come to those affected.

The Debate
1. ''My house is gone, my neighborhood flooded, where's my government?'' shouts disgruntled evacuee @@RANDOMNAME@@ over the phone. ''These islands are a thousand miles off the coast. We'll be waiting weeks for what limited resources our emergency services can provide with the few ships they have. I'll be lucky if I get a bottle of water. It's clear to me that the government didn't give a second thought to all the ramifications of banning airplanes, and now we, the citizens, are paying for it! If you have any compassion for the well-being of your people, you'll legalize air travel again and send help toot sweet!"

2. ''Take a deep breath, @@LEADER@@," advises your Minister of the Environment @@RANDOMNAME@@, "You smell that? That's clean air. And when was the last time you read about a terrorist taking over an airliner? Oh that's right; there hasn't been one since the ban. If anything, we should have stricter environmental standards on cars and ships. Listen, it's unfortunate that these people are having their relief delayed, but maybe that'll motivate them to adequately prepare next time. They decided to live in a hurricane zone after all."

3. ''Obviously, we goofed,'' says your Minister of Transportation @@RANDOMNAME@@, ''These sorts of humanitarian mess-ups shouldn't happen. But we shouldn't be willing to sacrifice all the benefits of the ban either. We should legalize air travel for government use only. That way necessary services won't be delayed, but we won't wreck our environment or endanger our nation. As an added bonus, you'll be able to go to international conferences without having to drive across the border to use Maxtopia's airports first."

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#279: A Vat Lot Of Trouble [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
A major contamination of @@NAME@@'s Citizen Creation Vats has caused millions of your newest citizens to be 'born' with severe mental illnesses. An emergency meeting of your top Ministers has been called to decide what to do about the issue.

The Debate
1. "It's obvious what must be done," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister for Artificial Citizens, "we must regrow new brains for the lot of them. It'll cost a fortune, but it's our duty as their leaders. It's our fault these citizens are suffering; so naturally, we must do all we can to fix the problem. What other option is there? Think of your citizens."

2. "Are you insane?" asks your Public Relations Coordinator "–er ahem, but think of the money! It would cost billions of @@CURRENCY@@s to regrow and transplant that many brains. Mark my words, if you give them new brains, you'll have a coup on your hands for sending our economy into a tailspin. No. No. Absolutely not. We must," he leans in with a pained look, "ship these 'defectives' off to a secluded island somewhere, so we can forget they ever existed."

3. An old man on the street who has been jabbing at you through the window with his cane chimes in, "The solution is plain as day you doddering fools! These vats must be closed immediately and the technology banned! They're unnatural abominations! You know how I came into this world? Kicking and screaming from the loins of my mother! The government must allow people to have sex again and give birth the way God intended!"

4. "Oh no no no, we've invested too much money into the national vat system to throw it all away over one minor incident," stresses your Financial Minister @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Look at the situation from a resource standpoint. This batch of resources is damaged, so naturally, the most economical solution is to remove the damaged products, dispose of them, and recycle the functional parts back into the vats. We must reduce, reuse and recycle, @@LEADER@@, for the good of our national vats – and for the good of @@NAME@@, of course."

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#280: Oh the Humanity! [Prevania; ed:Reploid Productions]

The Issue
During a recent severe storm, the airship @@NAMEINITIALS@@AS-Hiddenburg caught fire and ended up making a crash landing in @@CAPITAL@@. Everyone on board as well as several hundred people on the ground were killed in the resulting inferno. Reporter Herb Morris' incredible live coverage of the disaster and the media circus surrounding the safety of such vessels has people looking to the government for solutions.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, apparent spokesperson for the families of the victims gasps out between sobs, "The only reason this happened is the government has turned a blind eye to the dangers of these vehicles! The solution is obvious, pass and rigidly enforce safety regulations on dangerous industries! Oh, and make the owners of these companies financially liable to the families. I mean, I lost my dad after all, I deserve a little bit of compensation."

2. "Really now, airships safely make these trips on a routine basis! These people are looking at a tiny mishap and not the bigger picture!" claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of Airship Enterprises, the company that operates airships like the crashed @@NAMEINITIALS@@AS-Hiddenburg. "If anything, the government should be supporting the industry through this tragedy! You know, 'encouraging' people to use airships so that they learn just how safe they really are!"

3. "Tiny mishap? TINY MISHAP?" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, author of the controversial bestseller 'Corporations Are Bad, Really Really Bad.' "Hundreds of people dead, millions if not billions of @@CURRENCY@@s in damage to buildings downtown, and these industry goons are trying to just shrug and tell the rest of us 'Oopsie,' and buy their way out of trouble?! They have a huge debt to the society they've harmed, make them work in the trauma centers and see first-hand what they've done!"

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#281: Free Internet For @@NAME@@? [Solisbury; ed:Sirocco]

The Issue
After receiving four-digit internet bills, the people of @@NAME@@ are demanding that a free internet service be made available by the government.

The Debate
1. "The only way to ensure internet neutrality in @@NAME@@ is to place the internet under government control," opines @@RANDOMNAME@@, Minister of Telecommunications. "My ministry has been trying to reel in the unfair practices of these companies for ages, and now public sentiment is on our side. With an internet free of 'premium access' and content discrimination, @@NAME@@ will be the envy of @@REGION@@. Unfortunately, since providing free access would be enormously expensive, we'll have to increase taxes slightly... but isn't that a small price to pay?"

2. High school principal @@RANDOMNAME@@ says, "The last time I checked, one of the purposes of the @@NAME@@ government was to provide a decent education for our children. More and more students are turning to online services as a way to accelerate their schooling. Online courses offer a wide range of education in academics and work-related skills. But not all my students have the internet, and there's certainly no commercial incentive to lay down lines in farmland. The government needs to step in and provide a free internet for these students. Invest in our future!"

3. "Oh for the love of Violet!'' bemoans conservative columnist @@RANDOMNAME@@. ''The government has proven time and time again that it destroys everything it touches. Do you want your internet to be slow? Do you want to be taxed up the wazoo, thanks to government inefficiency? I sure don't. Just let the market handle this for once. While you're at it, take the money you would have used on this worthless endeavour and give your citizens a well-deserved tax refund instead."

4. "Considering the absurd regulations we have to put up with, it's no wonder we have to charge so much for our internet service," says @@RANDOMNAME@@ of @@NAME@@ Speedy Internet Co. "Safety guidelines, minimum access mandates. If the government would get rid of all these regulations, we could lay down lines for less @@CURRENCY@@s, and pass the savings down to the consumers. This problem isn't our fault: it's yours."

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#282: Slum Village Extraordinaire [Foxopolis; ed:Dustistan]

The Issue
After the growing shanty-towns on the outskirts of @@CAPITAL@@ were featured in an issue of "Regional Geographic", domestic and international sources have been loudly insisting that something must be done.

The Debate
1. "Obviously, the current welfare system isn't generous enough," says mother-of-six @@RANDOMNAME@@, counting out beans from the bottom of a can. "I have to support my whole family with just a few @@CURRENCY@@s a week! It's no wonder there are so many homeless all over. Welfare spending has to increase! And radically! Oh, some people might abuse it, but only a few!"

2. "That's just foolish!" says street dweller @@RANDOMNAME@@, fitting a clean bedsheet onto a freshly polished park bench. "Welfare payments are enough, the problem is people are too proud to claim them! Look at me -- since I swallowed my pride and registered at the welfare office, I've got more than enough @@CURRENCY@@s to get cleaned up and start looking for real job. Welfare should be compulsory for anyone out of work. Give people a handout whether they ask for it or not, they'll be off the streets in no time!"

3. "I've got a better idea," says Ultramegastore CEO @@RANDOMNAME@@, "I'll tear down the slums and replace them with my stores. Underneath each one, I'll build a huge underground apartment complex. The former slum dwellers will live rent-free in the apartments, and work in the store. They'd be paid in Ultramegastore vouchers worth, say, half the minimum wage. The shantytowners would have steady jobs and a place to live, I'd have more locations, you'd be rid of those dreary slums. Everyone wins, right?"

4. "What a bunch of hogwash!" says paint franchise owner @@RANDOMNAME@@, "We shouldn't give these people money, and we can't take their homes away. The solution is very simple; paint the slums! A quick coat of Vintage Lime or Tropical Sunrise will transform the look of those shanty towns, and tourists and social workers won't be offended any more. Of course, Social Policy will have to pay someone to add a fresh coat from time to time, but tell you what -- I'll cut you a deal on the paint."

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#283: Wealthy Flee to Tax-free Havens [Gior Altheriod; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s governmental revenue has been dropping sharply as the super-rich emigrate to nations with very low taxes. Faced with the prospect of massive budget shortfalls, the government must act.

The Debate
1. "Isn't it obvious?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s most famous trillionaire, calling from a private plane somewhere over the Pacific. "If the tax rates weren't so appallingly high, I - and others like me - would be perfectly happy to stay and contribute to the economy. A tax cut would mean taking money out of a few unimportant things like healthcare, welfare, and the environment, but it's the only way."

2. "There's no doubt we need that money to stay in the country," opines your minister of finance whilst leafing through an ominous-looking file. "But who says we need the people? If we imposed a massive charge on leaving the country - say 50% of the emigrating person's total worth - we'd rake in tons of cash and get rid of the filthy rich wasters at the same time."

3. "Why allow anyone to emigrate?" muses one of your advisers, "All citizens, from the billionaires down to unskilled laborers, are critical to our economy. If we sealed off the borders, we wouldn't risk brain drain or fleeing capital. It'd require a rise in taxes, but I think the financial security of our nation is worth it."

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#284: Drug Legality Run Amok [Kahleb Il Vilan; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After a nine-year-old child died of a heroin overdose yesterday, much of the public is in an uproar over the absence of drug laws in @@NAME@@.

The Debate
1. "It seems simple to me," states @@RANDOMNAME@@, a left-wing television host on CSPAM network, as if it were all too obvious, "@@NAME@@ needs to regulate the drug trade immediately. Instead of letting the underprivileged waste their life selling crack cocaine on the street corner, the government should be setting up drug stores that tax each drug, as well as handing out pamphlets on their dangers. Think of the money that could further fund our nation's health and education programs!"

2. "The government shouldn't be making money from people's addictions," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a conservative congressman known for his public spouts of drunken stupor. "While we all like to get a little toasty from time to time, I believe this is a moral issue. We need to protect our children from becoming addicts! Make drug use legal only for consenting adults so our children can at least have a few years off the grass."

3. "I think we got it wrong in the first place!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@ angrily from a soapbox in front of a large crowd of protesters. "Instead of turning our great nation into a narco empire, we should be criminalizing drugs once again! Do we want our children wasting their lives away on crippling drug addictions? No! Ban all drugs immediately!"

4. "Also alcohol!" screams protesting teetotaler @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Hey, don't forget smoking," mutters @@RANDOMNAME@@ from behind an oxygen mask, "They're as debilitating as the "harder" drugs, if not more so. We'll just have to work harder to shut down bootleggers and butt-leggers."

5. "Drugs by one name, sacred plants by another," intones His High Holiness of @@FAITH@@, daubing holy oil on your forehead. "The Church has historically used extracts of consecrated substances to open the vistas of piety and bring oneself closer to the Supreme Being. With modern pharmaceutical techniques, we can easily manufacture enough to infuse the water supply of all of @@NAME@@, just like we do with fluoride. Is spiritual transcendence a less worthy cause than cavity prevention? I think not."

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#285: A Right Not to Work? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
High ranking officials and devout followers of @@FAITH@@ have requested that the government close down retail stores during the Sabbath in accordance to their religious views.

The Debate
1. "It's written in our sacred texts that our Creator took the seventh day for rest, and so should we!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a devout follower of @@FAITH@@. "To work on the Sabbath is an insult to our Creator, and I think the last thing @@NAME@@ needs is eternal damnation. Shut down all retail stores for the Sabbath! Besides, who wants to work then anyway?"

2. "I'm afraid that's not going far enough," adds @@RANDOMNAME@@, a high-ranking official in the Synod of Zealous Religious Fanatics. "This shouldn't apply to just retail stores. Everything must be shut down! Hospitals, government agencies, police, and other emergency services. Sure, it'll be dangerous and likely cause some death, but saving our souls from eternal damnation should be our priority. @@NAME@@ must do all it can to appease the almighty Creator."

3. "You're not really going to listen to what these nutjobs are proposing, are you?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, your atheist economic adviser. "Think about the damage this would cause to the economy. Isn't that more important than appeasing a few nuts? If anything, we should be requiring that all retail stores remain open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Just think of all that unlimited shopping time!"

4. Slacker blogger @@RANDOMNAME@@, still in pajamas and eating a pizza slice on a ratty couch, sends you a video chat invitation. "Dude, why not just give everybody shorter work weeks? Make flex time, telecommuting, and 35-hour work weeks mandatory for all us working folk. Trust me, the people will love you for it man!"

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#286: A Whale of a Problem [Doom and so on; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Following a two hour TV exposé on the growing incidence of whaling off @@NAME@@'s shores, environmentalists are up-in-arms and pressing the government to outlaw the practice.

The Debate
1. "Whales are being exploited by soulless capitalists!'' screams infamous environmental activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. ''These majestic creatures are a crucial part of the food chain. Do you have any idea what damage their extinction would cause? End this barbaric business, or have the blood of innocent creatures on your hands forever!"

2. "Whale meat is a part of our culture," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of a top-rated seafood restaurant in @@CAPITAL@@. "It's @@NAME@@'s staple food. The whaling market is booming! Half my menu is whale! A ban on whaling would destroy the entire seafood industry. Listen, the ocean is chock-full of whales – in fact, some may say there are too many whales. If anything, we should abolish any marine animal protection laws we've got left.''

3. ''QUOTAS!'' yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your top advisors, snapping out of a stupor. ''We allow whaling up to a certain quota limit. We can meet with some marine biologists and figure out a number that both maintains the whale population and allows restaurants to get their main dish. Of course, it'll require a boost in funding to the coast guard to make sure these whalers are sticking to the quota, but what's a few @@CURRENCY@@s to save the whales?''

4. "It's not enough!" bellows @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the radical anti-whaling group Ocean Overseers while menacing you with a handful of rancid butter. "The government needs to allow armed intervention against these seafaring murderers! We can bring film crews along and make a reality TV show out of it! Oh, sure, some people on whaling vessels might get hurt or even killed, but that's just what people who exploit nature for money deserve!"

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#287: Maxtopians Demand Return of the King [Gior Altheriod; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Some two hundred years after its original removal by a team of archaeologists from @@NAME@@, the Maxtopian government is demanding that the mummy of ancient monarch King Maxbari IV, currently on display at the @@NAME@@ National Museum of Antiquities, be returned to its homeland.

The Debate
1. "Maxbari IV was the greatest king of Ancient Maxtopia," says Maxtopian Ambassador @@RANDOMNAME@@, presenting you with a copy of 'Ancient Maxtopian History for Dummies'. "His importance to our cultural heritage cannot be underestimated! It is a disgrace that his body was ever stolen in the first place. By rights, the remains ought to be returned to their rightful owner. While we're at it, how about returning that collection of Third Kingdom golden tiddlywinks too?"

2. "Their cultural heritage? What about OUR cultural heritage?" demands @@RANDOMNAME@@, president of the Imperial @@NAME@@ Historical Society, waving a worryingly convincing replica battle axe. "The foreign artifacts filling our museums are vital trophies of our imperial history! Our archaeologists went through hell and high water to get that treasure, and it'd be an insult to their glorious memory to give it back! Besides, have you seen the state of Maxtopia's 'museums'? The king would be destroyed in a week."

3. "Am I the only one here the was taught to share as a child?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Foreign Minister. "We want him, they want him... well, there's enough of him to go around. Let's King Solomon this bad boy! Cut him in half from head to toe, slap each half on a mirror, and like magic, there's two King Whathisnames! Everybody walks away happy."

4. "Where does it end?" asks a notoriously crotchety old man. "We give these foreigners their king back and before you know it people will be coming out of the woodwork demanding their relics back." He pauses to hack something up into a handkerchief. "What we need to do is send a message. A message that will stop anyone else from asking for their artifacts back. We need to publicly destroy the king to let Maxtopia know we won't take any of their guff!"

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#288: Super-Sized Pizzas Recipe For Disaster? [New Ziedrich; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Papa Pallocci's Pizza Pagoda, @@NAME@@'s top pizza delivery chain, has unveiled a new "Leviathan Size" deep-dish pizza. Citizens and health experts alike have come to you raising concerns over the health implications of this new pizza.

The Debate
1. "This is a public health travesty," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted nutrition expert. "There is just no sensible reason for a pizza this big to exist! It encourages overeating which leads to obesity and all of the illnesses that go with it! It's clear that these companies aren't going to do the right thing without prodding. Obviously, the government needs to ban this greasy filth and make restaurants include nutritional information on all of their menu items!"

2. "But the temptation – the temptation is still there!" cries morbidly obese health advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "For years, I ate every kind of junk food imaginable. Just look at me now! Doctors tell me I've shaved twenty years off my life at least. This food is deadly, and we shouldn't tolerate it any more! All fast food restaurants should be banned, and their owners forced to pay reparations to their victims."

3. "That's preposterous!" replies @@RANDOMNAME@@, Head of Papa Pallocci's Public Relations division. "Our food is among the healthiest in @@NAME@@! We offer an array of fresh veggies and the finest of meats. These radicals are calling for the government to intervene, but is it really the government's job to babysit our customers like that? They're big boys and girls, and it should be up to them to decide what they want to eat! They want pizza, so let them have pizza!''

4. "Hey, man. I have an idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, an aging hippie, barely suppressing a giggle. "This is all about healthy food, right? My bros and I were thinking about selling this pizza with locally grown organic ingredients and whole grains and stuff, right? It'd be good for you AND the planet, man. The only snag is we're a little short on start-up moolah. The government should totally, like, give us money to open our chain. We'd really appreciate it. Yeah, you'd need a tax hike to pay for it, but we'd totally save the world – with pizza, man!"

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#289: Blizzards Serve Calls Cold, Says Mayor [Unibot II; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
For the past week, the small community of Greenville in Northern @@NAME@@ has been plagued with an unexpected blizzard. With citizens stranded in their homes without electricity, the township is urging you to evaluate communication priorities.

The Debate
1. "Without electricity we're struggling to get our message out to our residents," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, Mayor of Greenville. "The ban on cold-calling is preventing us from calling our residents to make sure they're ok. Cold-calling should be allowed if the caller isn't trying to sell the receiver anything; that'll allow us to do our job and charities could campaign for donations to help with the relief effort. I'm sure residents won't mind all of the extra calls."

2. "That ain't going far enough!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, Papa Pallocci's Pizza Pagoda franchisee in Greenville. "People, especially seniors, are stranded in their homes without food and have no idea that we're still open! This snowstorm hasn't slowed our deliverymen down one bit; I've just purchased an entire new fleet of snowmobiles. We need to inform these unfortunate people of our services or else they'll starve! I urge you, for the well-being of your own people, remove the old ban on cold-calling altogether!"

3. "NO! NO! AND NO!" screams concerned resident @@RANDOMNAME@@ down through the telephone. "Us average folks have been perfectly happy without that darned cold-calling and all of those other evening interruptions. Besides, people are so careless and unprepared these days; it's their own fault they didn't buy a generator and an emergency radio. I say NO to cold calling and I hope this storm will teach those fluffies to stop relying on charities and the government teat!"

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#290: Wheels of Misfortune [New Ziedrich; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
In recent weeks, there has been growing concern over the quality of automobiles made in @@NAME@@. Representatives from all sides have gathered in your office and are asking you to make a decision.

The Debate
1. "This is ridiculous!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairperson of the Association of Scorned Shoppers, while frantically waving a stack of papers. "Some of these stories are just obscene! We've got water pumps ceasing at 12,000 kilometers, airbags not deploying in accidents, and this one guy's gas tank just fell off! I can't make this stuff up! Our auto industry has gotten lazy and corrupt and is in desperate need of stronger regulation!"

2. "I've never heard such nonsense!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, an executive representing @@NAME@@'s largest automaker. "Our cars are perfectly fine! These allegations are completely baseless. Thing is, these proposed regulations are going to make us uncompetitive. Is this what you want? Foreign cars clogging our streets while our factories close down? Get rid of some of the regulations we have now, so we can do our jobs! While you're at it, a government subsidy would safeguard domestic auto manufacturing ..."

3. "What is this? Subsidies? Deregulation? Lies, all of it!" shouts prominent communist @@RANDOMNAME@@, sporting a practical yet stylish red beret. "These companies, they're always willing to sell their ethics for a quick @@CURRENCY@@! They always cut corners for a little extra profit, and look where it's gotten us! You want to make good cars, cars the people can be proud of? Have the people take control of the car companies! If we remove the profit motive, @@NAME@@ can finally produce quality vehicles, without wasteful bourgeois stuff like chrome wheels, air conditioning, and reclining seats!"

4. A wheelchair-bound man wearing a bicycle helmet on his head, plaster casts on his legs, and an irate expression on his face rolls himself into your office. "Hey, I got somethin' to say," he growls as he deliberately bumps into your desk. "You and your government have been playing nice with the car companies for far too long, and a lot of us cyclists are sick of it. I might have an axe to grind, but @@NAME@@ and our environment'll be better off if you just banned cars entirely. Who cares if people complain? They'll adjust."

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#291: A Question Of Sport [Dustistan; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
@@NAME@@'s football fans are outraged after the nation's bid to host an important regional competition was rejected. The reason? @@NAME@@'s football fields are slightly shorter than the international standard.

The Debate
1. @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the Football Association of @@NAME@@, announced in a press release, "Clearly we're disappointed by this result. It's yet more evidence of what we've been saying all along - sport in this country is severely underfunded. With more @@CURRENCY@@s from the government, we could start upgrading sporting venues across the country. This would definitely count in our favor when we submit our next bid."

2. "You wanna spend my tax money on what?!?" wheezes couch potato @@RANDOMNAME@@ while flicking through sport channels. "If sporting associations need more money, why not ask for sponsorship from the private sector, like pizza chains and soda bottlers? Why should my money be used to help a bunch of good for nothing kids chase a bit of leather around?"

3. "There's nothing wrong with our stadiums!" shouts sports fan @@RANDOMNAME@@, waving a crowd rattle and blowing a vuvuzela. "They're just the right size for the sports I grew up playing! Why should we change the rules of our national sport just to please a bunch of foreigners? I say we support our team! And play by our own traditional rules! We should get rid of those silly foreign sports and their 'rules'!"

4. "They rejected us because of a few feet of grass? That's crazy!" writes journalist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Sport isn't about rules, it's about having fun and getting fit! When we were kids, we could have a great time with just a stick and a couple of rocks – there were no rulebooks or standardized playing fields. We should encourage kids to get out there and have fun; who cares about a few silly rules?"

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#292: Tourists Wearing Out Their Welcome? [Virtualila; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
As tourists flock to @@NAME@@ in record numbers, some citizens have begun to complain of rowdiness and invasions of privacy from those visiting from other countries. There are calls for measures to slow the tourism industry.

The Debate
1. "This is getting a bit extreme," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, wearing historically accurate peasant garb, down to the curly-toed shoes. "Our everyday lives are becoming spectacles for the world! I can't even trim my petunias without a dozen tourists snapping pictures of me – without my consent mind you! @@NAME@@'s first priority should be to its citizens. We need to start scaling back our tourism industry for the sake of our privacy."

2. "That's not going far enough!" shouts conservative extremist and rabid patriot @@RANDOMNAME@@. "These damn foreigners are corrupting our culture. They demand that we feed them their type of food, that we make accommodations for them, that... that... we change what WE are just for THEIR sake! This isn't their country. They weren't born here. They don't work their fingers to the bone for this country, and they sure as hell don't belong here! I say we chase all of these foreigners out of @@NAME@@!"

3. "You've got to be joking" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of the Barriot hotel chain. "These tourists are bringing money in by the boatloads. Tourism is the backbone of our economy. Scale back tourism? If anything, the government should be encouraging more tourism. Open up some theme parks, advertise our world famous aged cheddar gift baskets – anything that will attract more tourists, or more importantly their wallets! With a little government funding, we could become the must-see country in @@REGION@@!"

4. ''That's too short-sighted,'' says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Population Growth. ''Why should we work so hard to keep them here for a two-week vacation when we can convince them to move here instead? Think about it, we throw up some housing developments around tourist hubs, air some commercials about how easy it is to become a citizen, and BAM! we've got an influx of new, taxable citizens.''

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#293: Maestro, Please [Castle in the Sky; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A delegation from the @@NAME@@ Philharmonia has shown up in your office, underlining their petition for the renovation of the nation's concert halls with a serenade.

The Debate
1. "The once venerable concert halls of @@NAME@@ are in a sorry state," laments trombonist @@RANDOMNAME@@, emptying the spit valve into your waste paper basket. "Some are dank, the stucco is crumbling in others, and it's raining through the backstage roof of another! In the name of culture we must restore these halls to their former glory. It's only a pittance to the national budget, but to our cultural reputation? Priceless."

2. "These caterwauling miscreants don't deserve concert halls," insists @@RANDOMNAME@@, a tone-deaf curmudgeon. "If they can't support their hobby, then why should we, the suffering taxpayers, prop them up? Concert halls are businesses, and businesses that can't stay afloat on their own disappear. Such is life. I say leave the whole lot to their inevitable demise."

3. "Times are tight. I sympathize with you," consoles @@RANDOMNAME@@, the CEO of Restorations R Us, handing you a decorative 'Hang In There' basket of goodies. "However, you need only ask, and – quick as a whip – my company will fund the construction of concert halls all across this fair country. All I ask is that we put up some advertisements in the lobbies and integrate a tasteful nod to sponsors into the programmes."

4. "The only reason to fund these musicians is if they are doing something worthwhile for their country," says Brigadier General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I've long said that @@NAME@@'s Armed Forces would benefit greatly from a spic-and-span band in uniform. They would represent the splendor that embodies @@NAME@@ and they'd do it with pride! Of course by extension, they would be a part of the active forces and required to serve in battle if necessary. Always good to up the recruitment numbers, right?"

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#294: Ghost Riders on the Sly [Fmyeram; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Following the passage of a well-supported bill that contained half a dozen riders, corruption watchdog groups are lobbying the government to take action against the use of these unrelated addenda in lawmaking.

The Debate
1. "This is unacceptable," says legislative clerk @@RANDOMNAME@@, peeking out from behind a wall of 3-ring binders. "It paves the way for corporate corruption, eats up all our time and money, and, quite frankly, is exhausting! We must require each bill to have one – clearly defined – purpose and be able to state that purpose in a concise title. That way we won't have any more defense spending bills with addenda about cheese processing regulations. The industry will hate it, but if I have to read through one more schizophrenic morass, I'll quit!"

2. ''Yes, these riders can be a threat to the democratic process,'' begins Party Majority Leader @@RANDOMNAME@@, ''but to ban them outright is simply foolish. We need the ability to amend bills, and sometimes those attachments aren't always clearly connected. Therefore, I propose we grant the legislature the ability to veto any rider by a simple majority vote. That way, necessary riders can still be attached and this other tom-foolery can be nipped in the bud.''

3. "Look, this is how things have always worked," @@RANDOMNAME@@, the CEO of Cheesemongers Unlimited, Ltd. "Representatives' time is both finite and valuable. Do you have any idea how many bills there'd be if each one could only have one aim? Legislation would come to a stand-still! Yes, it can be prone to corruption, but find me a government that's corruption free and I'll eat my shoe!''

4. "Can't trust the government to do anything right," scolds economic analyst @@RANDOMNAME@@, glancing up from a worn copy of The Fountainhead. ''We've given it a fair chance, it's failed, and now the private sector will have to swoop in to fix it. If you privatize the legislature, I can assure you it'll be humming efficiently and in the black by this time next year!''

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#295: Give Us Pockets or Give Us Something Else [Ferringinar; ed:Maurepas]

The Issue
Ever since the clothing ban went into effect, some citizens have been complaining that they have no place to put their car keys. A veritable parade of flesh has passed through your office to present their opinions.

The Debate
1. "I just don't have enough hands for everything I have to do," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a pizza delivery worker and former raincoat model. "Pockets are very important for keeping our keys, wallets, and loose change. Maybe you can at least let us have pants or something, just for the pockets. Besides, it's almost impossible to make change while carrying all this pizza. Please, repeal that law and let us wear clothes again."

2. "Well, I assume you banned clothing for a reason," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, who overheard the conversation while emptying your trash can. "But I can appreciate the problem of not having anywhere to put your keys. At least the women have purses. Maybe you can just pay a former fashion designer to come up with a purse that looks presentable when a man carries it."

3. "That's a valid point about purses," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the new office intern. "But I'm enjoying all the naked girls running around on campus. How about you just make it legal for males to wear clothes and keep the females naked? After all, as the saying goes, the clothes make the man."

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#296: Come On Baby, Fight My Fire [Kukes; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A fire has recently ripped through @@CAPITAL@@, destroying homes and businesses alike. Now the debate rages as to who should receive the bulk of the relief fund.

The Debate
1. "The fire burned thousands of ordinary people out of house and home!" wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, an affected resident, "If the government doesn't help the average Joe, then what good is it at all? We need that relief fund to repair the damages! I'm sure the fat cats in the commercial district will pitch a fit, but they're the only ones who could afford enough insurance coverage."

2. "Oh, the wasted money!" moans @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of Basket-case for Baskets. "It was storefronts and restaurants that bore the brunt of the fire, and they're the ones that need help now! Do you have any idea how flammable baskets are? If we don't get the relief we're entitled to, the economy is going to sink. And then where will these citizens be? In a rebuilt house without a job, that's where!”

3. @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted anarchist, is appalled at the whole debate. "Relief fund? Giving money?! Now the government has to choose which social class to favor, and here's the big punch line, there is no right choice! We need to do away with the relief fund altogether, slash taxes and leave the people and businesses to rebuild without government meddling. Yes, there will be some 'I don't have any money' sob stories. Boo-freaking-hoo. It's not the government's job to bail them out because they failed to prepare. "

4. "I always said there's an opportunity in every disaster," councils @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Underhanded Affairs. "We're not doing so hot in the polls right now. This fire is only going to put more of a strain on us. Now as I remember, the good ol' Minority Leader is head of the @@CAPITAL@@ Oversight Committee. Let's shift the focus onto it being his screw up, have a trial by media and he'll be indicted by next week. The public will burn him at the stake instead of us!"

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#297: Intersex Athletes Demand Level Playing Field [Gior Altheriod; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
During the last @@NAME@@ Athletics Championship, a massive controversy arose following the revelation that double gold medalist Atlanta Johnson possesses both male and female sexual organs, despite being entirely female in external appearance.

The Debate
1. "How is this difficult to understand?" questions well-known sports commentator @@RANDOMNAME@@. "There are sports and competitions just for men, and there are sports and competitions just for women; we don't let men run in a women's race, so what's the difference here? And if it's too difficult to decide whether the athlete is a man or woman, then we shouldn't let them compete at all! Fair is fair is fair."

2. "I think I see a solution to all this," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister for Solutions, whilst solving the crossword in your morning newspaper. "We should overhaul the entire sport system in @@NAME@@ so that people compete against each other based on skill, not gender. Sure, it might be expensive but it'd be worth it if we want everyone to be happy."

3. "We can't just stop there!" protests well-known LGBTQQIA activist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We should completely overhaul @@NAME@@ itself to make it less hostile to those like Ms. Johnson! Schools, hospitals, workplaces – they'll all need to be changed! There should be public toilets catered solely for the intersex too! You can't put a price on equality!"

4. "You're not actually going to listen to that parasite, I hope?" your bald, heavily tattooed cousin says with a raised eyebrow. "You want to actually give these monsters recognition? Not only are they going to make us the laughing stock of the international community, but they, and other freaks like them, are an insult to our race. What we must do is banish such scum from @@NAME@@; their lesser blood and DNA are only an impediment to the success and dominance of our race – a master race!"

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#298: Cults: Harmless or Heretics? [Tybusenia; ed:Frisbeeteria]

The Issue
A new religious youth movement, popularly known as The Cult of Pizza, has recently gained visibility in @@NAME@@, proclaiming the "good word of the Supreme Pizza and his light and happy ways". Affronted religious leaders have taken notice.

The Debate
1. "The heretics must be stopped!" trumpets Bishop of @@FAITH@@ @@RANDOMNAME@@ while handing out black books to bystanders. "If we allow blasphemers like them to continue their preaching, it will hurt my church's revenue -- I mean, it could be hazardous to our nation's citizens. Who knows what they'll turn to next - a cult based on noodles? Bah! The government must intercede on behalf of legitimate religious organizations."

2. "I agree with the Bishop wholeheartedly, my friend," declares ex-televangelist @@RANDOMNAME@@, currently your Director of Budget Shortfalls. "But let's take this a step further. We can't let these idiots think that pizza is some sort of heavenly manifestation. So let's hit 'em where it hurts - nationalize the fast food industry. We all know we could use the extra revenue, and we could eliminate pizza from the menu as a feint at religious tolerance towards @@FAITH@@. I mean, at least we won't have to worry about those nasty carbs from pizza, am I right?"

3. At a parking lot rally peppered with delivery vehicles, cult founder and former Pizza Pagoda store manager @@RANDOMNAME@@ steps up to the microphone. "Don’t let these haters get under your crust - the Supreme One will always prevail! There is mush room in @@NAME@@ for a mixed platter of faiths. His Immaculate Munchiness cannot simply be shoved back into his box! Our nation's youth must demonstrate their devotion by dramatically upsizing visits to His Temples, the pizza parlors. Raise your glass of Eckie-Ecola and praise cheeses!"

4. Well-known secularist @@RANDOMNAME@@ walks into your office, handing out pamphlets that read "Religions are for losers". "This problem all started because we have conflicting religions, right? Well, here's the solution: ban the public promotion of religion! If no one's out screaming that their gods are real, we won't have others screaming back that they're heretics! And it would get rid of those annoying church newsletters I get in the mail. I hate those."

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#299: Some Like it Hot; Others Don’t [Kotlas; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
A sudden rise in temperatures has sparked a debate over what the government should do to counter global warming, if anything. The environmentalist movement is up-in-arms and has camped outside your residence for three days demanding an end to all toxic emissions.

The Debate
1. As the crowd at the environmentalist rally shouts "Ban emissions NOW! Ban emissions NOW!", a radical who has actually worked in the real world steps to the podium. "Hush now, folks. Do you realize that a total ban would also require the elimination of all @@POPULATION@@ of us? Our mantra SHOULD be 'Reduce emissions NOW!' We must demand that our government install emission controls on all producers, including manufacturing plants, mining and agricultural operations, and military and civilian vehicles. We may not be able to eliminate all emissions, but we can surely go after the sources."

2. "We don’t need to be too extreme about this, people." suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, an economist. "To lower emissions, all we need to do is provide an economic incentive not to pollute. By this, I mean put a tax on harmful emissions. This excise tax will serve to encourage the use of cleaner alternative energy sources, while keeping the economy more or less intact and creating a new source of government revenue. Win-wins always sound good to me."

3. "Whoa, dude! The government is planning to do WHAT?!?" says famous surfer @@RANDOMNAME@@, "This temperature spike is, like, totally rad. Why would we want to stop it with uncool stuff that, like, makes it too cold for me to surf and like also does some bad stuff to our economy? Sure, there might be some, like, smog and pollution and stuff, but who cares when we could have bigger waves?"

4. "You know, I'm really tired of these hippies constantly complaining about the environment," rants your arch-conservative cousin, @@RANDOMNAME@@, "They're the real problem. I say we round up all the tree-huggers and shoot 'em all. Then business can go on as usual without the eco-nazis protesting every new oil refinery."

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#300: Trafficked Tots Trouble [Crazy girl; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
An emergency meeting has been called together after a report from the border police showed an alarming increase in child trafficking. Children born to unlicensed parents are being given to shady characters who smuggle these tots across the border to sell them to the highest bidder.

The Debate
1. Madame Del Bile, your Minister of Population Logistics, believes the solution is simple. "Parents who fail the exam for a license aren't allowed kids - so they don't need reproductive organs. I say spay or neuter everyone who is unfit to be a parent, to ensure they don't have any offspring. Off with it all!"

2. Joe Belt, the Chief of Police, winces and turns white. "That sounds rather... barbaric. Give us more funding, and we can set up a special department - the Child Catchers! We'll take children from those who procreate without passing the exam, and raise them to be perfect members of our police force... err... society."

3. Your dear old mother, tucking you into bed with your favorite teddy, shakes her head and disagrees. "We never needed a license to have our children. We were good parents to you, and you've all grown up to be fine human beings. Why don't you just get rid of these new-fangled licenses and trust a parent's instincts?"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:56 pm, edited 17 times in total.

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:54 am

#301: Are 'Friends' Electric? [I V Stalin; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
A civil war in Maxtopia, a country that provides the majority of electricity consumed in @@NAME@@, is already causing blackouts in provincial cities. Various concerned groups are demanding you take action before the situation gets worse.

The Debate
1. "Relying on other countries for something as important as electricity is a terrible idea," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the isolationist group 'We're Not Xenophobic, But'. "@@NAME@@ must be self-sufficient in its electrical needs. And if that means bringing back those nuke plants, so be it. We're a lot safer generating our own power than being at the whims of the international market, even if the tree-huggers throw a fit."

2. "Oh, don't listen to that nutjob!" says your Minister of Trade, @@RANDOMNAME@@, "We're just too focused on our relationship with Maxtopia, that's all. We must spread our net wider and take advantage of the other nations in @@REGION@@ who'd be willing to provide services for us - for a small fee."

3. A delegation from the Maxtopian rebels is ushered into your office. "OK, here's the deal. You give us arms and cash to overthrow the 'legitimate' Maxtopian government, and in return we'll halve the price we charge for electricity when we're running the place. Maybe preferential access for your corporations to our natural resources as well, yeah? I think our regimes will develop a very close alliance."

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#302: Delivering Mayhem In Thirty Minutes Or Less! [New Ziedrich; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Hoping to increase its market share, @@NAME@@'s second-largest pizza chain, De Luigi Bros. Pizza, began guaranteeing free pizzas if they weren't delivered in thirty minutes or less. Since the policy began several months ago, there have been several reports of De Luigi's delivery crew driving recklessly in order to beat the deadline. After a number of fatal accidents were attributed to De Luigi's drivers, citizens are calling for action.

The Debate
1. "Here's a thought," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, environmental activist and committed bicyclist, "These auto accidents wouldn't be happening if there weren't any cars in the first place! If you banned cars from our roads and focused on bikes and mass transit, we'd all be safer, and our environment would be cleaner, too. We've got nothing to lose! Except an auto industry of course. And the pizza industry will probably take a hit too, since it'll be harder to deliver the pizzas. But that doesn't matter: our safety and the planet's future do!"

2. "What the... hell does that have to do with anything? asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, successful personal injury lawyer and owner of four sports cars. "The real issue is that De Luigi's enacted a stupid policy that resulted in injury and property damage! We need to send a clear message to big business that they'll be held liable for their mistakes, and the best way to do that, of course, is with a punitive class action lawsuit."

3. "As usual, science has the answer!" claims renowned engineer and futurist, Dr. @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You're probably aware that there have been numerous developments in unmanned aerial vehicles over the past several years. Well, my laboratory's been developing this compact flying courier robot with VTOL and GPS and a bunch of other initialisms that make it perfect for this kind of application! It performed... okay in the test flight we did, so if the military would allow us to sell these things to, uh, pretty much everyone, defense contractors can make a mint manufacturing them; and pizza chains can save a small fortune by not having to pay armies of inexperienced teenage drivers! They should still carry plenty of insurance, though."

4. "Wait, this is getting out of hand!" moans Benito De Luigi, CEO and co-founder of De Luigi Bros. Pizza. "We just wanted to dethrone those smug jerks at Papa Pallocci's, that's all! This isn't our fault; the real culprit is, uh... suburbia! Yeah! Those rows and rows of poorly-built, identical houses on stupid cul-de-sacs are a confusing nightmare for our delivery crews. Most people should be living in urban high-rise apartments, and I guess everyone else can save time by not commuting so much. Offer some incentives to get people to move: a month's free rent and a free trip to jail if they refuse to leave!"

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#303: Digital Revolution Requires Re-evaluation [Coddiac; ed:Frisbeeteria]

The Issue
Advances in the state of the art of television recording devices have brought the topic of sex and violence on late night television back to the table. Interested parties want to share their concerns.

The Debate
1. "I've had just about enough of this!" fulminates concerned parent @@RANDOMNAME@@, who seems purple with rage. "Our children's minds are being fed garbage on a daily basis by what they see on TV. Why just the other day I caught my kid watching a DVR recorded from a late-night cartoon where a clown beat a hooker to death with a vodka bottle! We need to stop the sex and violence on TV entirely, and limit the networks to decent family programming during daytime hours."

2. "Why should everyone else pay the price for bad parenting?" bellows libertarian and free speech advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This government needs to get out of the business of designating what we can and cannot watch. The free market will adapt to the needs of the buyers, leaving parents to do their jobs and monitor what their kids watch. I paid good money for my TV – let ME choose what I want to see!"

3. "You folks are missin' your best bet," celebrity race car driver @@RANDOMNAME@@ whispers in your ear, while wearing a jumpsuit covered in product logos. "Us racers have lead the way towards makin' product placement the must-have advertising choice. Ain't no need to ban content they cain't stand. All you gotta do is hide the action behind a Microcosm computer or hold an Eckie-Ecola in front of the naughty bits, and nobody gets hurt. Them internet fellas done figured out how to throw ad banners in front of the stuff you want to see; just do the same thing on the teevee sets. Everybody wins!"

4. "You know, this gave me a fantastic idea," declares one of your advisors, grinning broadly. "So if I got this straight, children will change their behavior according to what they're exposed to on TV. So what we should do is put subliminal messages about our government in every program and commercial on TV during kid's viewing hours. That way children will stop the violence AND they'll be more inclined to serve our government when they grow up. GENIUS!"

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#304: Time for Paternity Leave, say Dads [Gior Altheriod; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
A coalition of working parents have put forward a petition that @@NAME@@'s maternity leave laws be extended to allow new fathers time off.

The Debate
1. "What is this madness?" splutters well-known conservative @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Think of the cost! And have you ever seen a man breastfeeding a newborn baby? I think not! You can't change basic biology by throwing @@CURRENCY@@s at it - this is one area where the women just have to face the facts."

2. "Offering different lengths of parental leave based on sex is discrimination!" yells well-known egalitarian @@RANDOMNAME@@, pounding on your desk. "And it also disadvantages gay couples. Why shouldn't a lesbian mother have time off when her partner gives birth? I say we offer both parents six months' fully paid leave, regardless of sex. It's pricey, but it's the only way to be fair. Oh, and parents who've just adopted can have it too."

3. "I agree that we can't discriminate against gay and adoptive parents," says your Minister for the Family, @@RANDOMNAME@@, "But there's a limit to how much of a burden we can place on the taxpayer. How about offering, say, six months' joint parental leave, and letting the couple divide it up how they want? That way families can find a solution that suits them, without costing the country too much."

4. "Are you trying to cripple our economy completely?" implores @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Money-Grabbers Ltd. "If people have children, that's their own lookout! If you can't afford to take time off work to raise your spawn, whose fault is that? All parental leave should be banned! We're not heartless bastards, though. Of course momma can take a sick or vacation day, or maybe even two!"

5. "There is another way, you know," quietly suggests one of your advisers, "Young children need to be taken care of during the workday, but not necessarily by their parents. What if the government provided daycare for all kids until schooling starts? Parental leave would cease to be an issue. Of course, it'd cost a lot to take care of everyone's kids, but I think it's worth it to allow parents to work full-time guilt-free."

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#305: Who’s Occupying What? [Nexexen; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Many young, educated, and unemployed people are frustrated because jobs are being outsourced to workers in Bigtopia. On the other hand, low end service industries are seeing a shortage of workers, sparking debate over possible solutions to the employment gap.

The Debate
1. "Frankly, we shouldn’t be wasting time giving our children costly educations, just to have Bigtopians take their jobs," remarks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a wealthy business executive sharing a drink in your office. "Let’s lift the ban on child labor and instead put our children to work in service jobs in retail—jobs that can’t be sent to other countries. They might not get paid much, but it’ll at least get them working and this economy moving again." Handing you a wad of money, he continues, "And we’ll both make a @@CURRENCY@@ or two off it as well…"

2. @@RANDOMNAME@@, author of "Command Economies: The Communist Ideal" and part-time florist, slips into your office and says, "On that thought, perhaps we could use the government to allocate our resources... erm... children. To help economic efficiency, we’ll split them up early on, sending some right into the workforce where the economy needs them. We’ll raise the others through the education system." The noted statist thinker, deftly rearranging your vase of roses, quickly adds, "It might be expensive to manage, and kids won’t get much choice in what kind of a job they get, but I think everyone will be happy after realizing that everything fits… perfectly…"

3. "Our people need jobs, but giving more money to fat-cat business owners isn’t the answer!" remarks @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the Occupy @@CAPITAL@@ movement, unaware of the "Hiring" sign in a nearby department store window. "In fact, we should tighten regulations on robber barons to ensure they put our workers first. And make them pay a little more in taxes to help support @@NAME@@'s hard-working people as well! Sure, the businesses may not like it, but it will help out the common man. Help the 99%!"

4. "All ze jobs are VHERE?!" General Von Gugelheimer lets out a piercing scream. "Zose Bigtopians and zeir business friends need to remember vhich is ze better country! Nevermind zat ze businesses at fault are based out of @@NAME@@. Let’s blow zose Bigtopians off ze map! Double ze military's size, and ve von’t have to vorry about zem anymore. Trade vill take a hit, but isn't ZE POWER vorth it? Hahaha… HAHAHAHA!"

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#306: A Matter of Trust [Nation of Quebec; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
A new survey conducted by private organizations has found out that confidence in @@NAME@@'s political system is at an all-time low. Politicians and political think tanks are scrambling to find a solution.

The Debate
1. "Isn't it obvious?" states @@RANDOMNAME@@, host of a political talk show. "Politicians get away with things that would land us regular folk in jail. Corruption, fraud; you name it, they do it – and with no consequences. How about you make it harder for them to get away with their crimes by enforcing tough jail time. Maybe then you'll earn back the public's trust."

2. "It's probably because we're constantly seeing the same people in power over and over again," argues @@RANDOMNAME@@, a columnist for the @@NAME@@ Inquirer. "We should shake things up a bit and bring some fresh faces into the political game. Let's introduce term limits on all public offices. That'll definitely increase confidence in our political system!"

3. "I couldn't help but notice that confidence was particularly lower among women," notes @@RANDOMNAME@@, editor of Bonjour magazine. "It's time we rid this country of its old boys club by introducing gender quotas. Mandate that women must hold at least 50% of all public offices in @@NAME@@; everyone knows women are so much more trustworthy than men."

4. "People don't trust us?" gasps @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your many advisers. "Then it's time we earned it back! Let's get out there among the people and show everybody that politicians are just like them! Be totally transparent; personal blogs, documentaries, 24 hour TV shows. Yes, it may cost a bit, but if the public know everything about you, they'll have to trust you!"

5. "If the people don't trust us then we'll make them," suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, your military aide-de-camp, slamming his fists on the table. "We'll just use force and intimidation to win back support. Some may call it brainwashing or terrorism, but I call it love. As a plus, it should be really easy to implement!"

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#307: Derailing the Gravy Train [Burtina; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A national newspaper has uncovered details of a number of politicians' expenses documents, publishing claims from gold-plated toilet seats to elaborate steak dinners for dogs. Following the publication, the general public is clamoring at your door demanding answers.

The Debate
1. "This is the sort of disgraceful behavior we've come to expect from our politicians," bemoans unemployed teacher, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Look around you! No one else is living so extravagantly. We need to lower all politicians' salaries to the poverty line and put the kibosh on these claimed 'business expenses' too. Maybe then they'll understand how real people actually live in @@NAME@@."

2. "This is quite absurd!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, taking a sip of Bollinger '86. "We toil day in and day out keeping this country running, and this is the thanks we get? Newspapers snooping around our personal business, questioning what we need to do our jobs. We incur certain, necessary expenses that may look odd when taken out of context – and that's just what the media is doing! They're distorting the facts just to boost their ratings. Well, I say their prying eyes have gone too far. We need to outlaw this underhanded 'reporting' for the sake of the patriotic values that made this nation great!"

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#308: Over, Under or Through? [Platform VII; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
After recent economic growth, ferry links with the @@NAME@@ Barrier Islands are struggling to cope under the increasing volume of commuters and cargo.

The Debate
1. "A government's first duty is to its people," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the @@NAME@@ Highways Agency. "The best way to serve the people is to encourage auto traffic by building bridges. With bridges we can not only serve the residential needs, but the commercial too. True, it will take a few years of construction and there's bound to be some environmental impact, but that's the price of progress."

2. "Some environmental impact?" questions @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of the Environment. "More bridges means more traffic, which means more pollution. What we need to do is build a rail tunnel. One train can carry more cargo than many trucks and with my electric train design, it'll be much more eco-friendly. Of course the government will have to subsidize it to keep the prices reasonable, but the benefit to the environment is worth it."

3. "More government involvement isn't what we need," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, the CEO of Ferry Nice. "We're in this mess because the government can't keep up with the times. Let the private sector run these docks, and watch how quickly it turns around. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to raise the limit of how many passengers each boat can take."

4. "Halt this at once!" yells @@RANDOMNAME@@, a pitchfork wielding island resident. "What about us? Did you ever once stop to ask if the residents wanted all this commotion? Well we don't! We like our islands nice and quiet just the way Mother Nature made them."

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#309: Guerrilla Grandparents [Luna Amore; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
In response to the recent government mandate to execute anyone over the age of 65, an insurgency of highly organized and skilled (albeit slow) senior citizens bombed a national government building. Following the explosion, the leader of the insurgents issued an 8mm reel of demands.

The Debate
1. ''We won't stand for this tomfoolery,'' barks a shadowy figure who only identifies himself as Logan, ''Do you know how many wars we've fought for you ungrateful whippersnappers? We built this damn country, and now because we don't fit into your fancy budget, you're trying to kill us! Well no more! If you don't cease this genocidal nonsense AND give us back our pensions, we, Logan's Runners, will wage all-out war on @@CAPITAL@@!”

2. ''They won't be 'standing' for anything when I'm done with them,'' threatens Major General @@RANDOMNAME@@. ''We can't allow this kind of insubordination. Your country needs a strong leader who's willing to back up their mandates – with force if necessary. God help anyone who stands in our way. Provide me with the necessary funds and give my men the authority to search anywhere they please, and I'll smoke out these traitorous geezers like the filthy rats they are!''

3. "Alright, we were a little excessive with that law," admits @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Minister of Finance, "But we can't just reverse it and go back to the horror days of gold-plated pensions. The budget can't handle it! We'll nix the death squads, and the elderly will be allowed to live, but only in our government approved facilities. They'll be given only what they need to survive, and we'll avoid a budgetary crisis."

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#310: Too Little Talk? [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Opposition newspapers have accused the government of abusing its control over the filibuster ban, which it can use to limit the length of legislative debate. You have consulted multiple people in search of solutions.

The Debate
1. "Now, now, my friend," smiles the weathiest CEO in the @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ industry, reclining in a shady corner, "We simply can't have a few radicals dictate government policy to us. After all, we do know what's best, don't we? First it's this reform, next it's a slew of unproductive economic policies, and then before you know it they're limiting campaign donations. You can see that some issues have no merit, and are simply not worthy of debate. Perhaps we should even halt the debate before such silliness even begins...?" The CEO hands you a wad of @@CURRENCY@@s. "You agree. Now there's a good leader."

2. "I think we can all see the benefits of the filibuster ban," says political science professor, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "But it's also true that putting it in the hands of the reigning party coalition is a dangerous centralisation of power. Why not simply have an independent, representative committee to decide what issues are worthy of a lengthy debate? It might be a tad erratic in its priorities, but at least it would give the power back to the people. That's a good thing, right?"

3. "The government, all the way up to @@LEADER@@, has used this ban as a way to control parliament," declares Opposition Whip @@RANDOMNAME@@, speaking from the Floor, "They're perfectly happy to let debates about the most inconsequential of matters rage on for hours, but when it comes to a serious discussion of @@LEADER@@'s murky ties to prominent members of the @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ industry or policies genuinely aimed at helping the general public, rather than a select few, the debate comes to a quick close. We must overturn the filibuster ban, post-haste. And I think it is clear to all who suffers from this. That's right, my friends, ladies and gentlemen, casual onlookers, convenient family members, cultural attachés, politically active tourists and constituents, both loyal and traitorous to the greater cause; the people. The people suffer the injustices of a government pandering to its corporate cronies, its oligarchic overlords, its necessary nepotists, if you will. They suffer the delirious - ah - deleterious effects of a government sans filibuster, sans fairness, sans freedom! This ridiculous policy ignores the fact that some things require longer and more serious deliberation - as does, indeed, this very issue. But I am diverging from my abundantly clear point, supported by the voices of a thousand-song crowd outside this very building. And while we might quibble over the numbers - a thousand, I hear you cry? Tens - hundreds! - of thousands, surely? But this ignores the fundamental spirit of the times - zeitgeist, if you will - that we stand against this filibuster ban clearly and unwaveringly. Anyway, a discussion of the genuinely humanitarian policies my party espouses, which require a debate of adequate length for the complexities of which to be fully understood, are quickly relegated as the government trots out its latest quick-fix or vote-snatching policy. Now, to move onto my second point of four-hundred-and-thirty-eight of my first speech - I will, of course, pass over to my comrade on the bench in due course." The security guards by the door notice your discreet signal and step quietly towards the Whip's podium. "Perhaps we should investigate further… excuse me…?" stammers the Whip, as your guards gingerly carry him away. "Ah … yes, thank you for your time."

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#311: Victims Demand Their Pound of Flesh [Frisbeeteria; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A recent article in The @@CAPITAL@@ Naysayer has exposed a dirty little secret: prison wardens have been quietly selling the organs from executed criminals and pocketing the proceeds. Enraged citizens, particularly victim's rights organizations, demand retribution.

The Debate
1. "These murderers took away took away our families and our futures", cries Victims of Violence chapter head @@RANDOMNAME@@, holding a black-draped family photo. "The court ordered restitution, but most criminals have no money. These wardens are stealing the only thing of value these criminals still have: their organs! Give surviving family members the remuneration from these sales. It's the very least you can do after all we've suffered."

2. "We have also lost family to murders and nothing will bring them back to our loving arms", weeps @@RANDOMNAME@@, a member of Victims for a Just Society. "Monetary reimbursement can't replace what we have lost, but perhaps others can benefit from our loss. We must expand the list of capital crimes to discourage criminals from committing any crimes at all, while providing a substantial source of new organs to our hospitals. Criminals can repay society by helping the ailing victims of organ failure. Let transplant survivors be our memorial!"

3. A serene voice from the back commands the crowd's attention. "My children, we cannot relieve violence with violence", intones @@RANDOMNAME@@, Roshi of @@CAPITAL@@ Zendo, sitting zazen. "The solution lies not with taming corrupt officials, but within ourselves. We should not be killing these criminals; we should be leading them. Our prisons should hire counsellors and sensei to guide them to a better path of penance and good works. Prisoners can return life with life by tending our crops and feeding the hungry. We must end capital punishment, for the betterment of our own inner light. Only then will we truly find peace."

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#312: The Empire Strikes First? [Maleperduys; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
Reports indicate that several neighbouring nations are engaged in major weapons programs in contravention of international law and treaty, focusing public discourse on @@NAME@@'s foreign policy - specifically, its position on preemptive strikes.

The Debate
1. "We need to hit back hard at these terrorist scumbags!" roars General @@RANDOMNAME@@, his face turning purple. "I say that we treat any illegal weapons program by these nations as an act of war! Granted, a preemptive strike will likely cause a war, but if these foreigners won't abide by international agreement, they have to be kept in line, for the good of our @@TYPE@@."

2. Diplomatic bureaucrat @@RANDOMNAME@@ remarks calmly, "There's no need to go off half-cocked. It would be much better if we used some international body - the World Assembly, say, or a @@REGION@@ tribunal - to investigate these rumours objectively for us. That way we have the international community on our side, and no one can accuse us of playing judge and jury. It will be well worth the extra diplomatic costs and bureaucratic red tape."

3. "If these countries don't respect international law, why would they respect international agencies?" wonders political analyst @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Our neighbours are acquiring these weapons for a reason - because no one wants to pick a fight with a country that has weapons of mass destruction. The solution is simple - if we have WMDs of our own, they won't dare to strike at us. It may seen mad, but in this crazy world, it's the sanest thing we could do."

4. Noted pacifist and tambourine artist @@RANDOMNAME@@ replies, "As usual our nation's proud leaders can only see violent solutions to our problems abroad. Wouldn't it be refreshing if they focused on achieving peace through communication and accommodation, rather than force of arms? You may call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one – wait, sorry, I've heard that somewhere before."

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#313: Conscientious Objectors Want You... To Let Them Abstain [Great Nepal; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A religious scholar was recently arrested over refusing to serve in @@NAME@@'s Armed Services on moral grounds. Small – but very vocal – demonstrations have started over compulsory military service and a citizen's right to be a conscientious objector.

The Debate
1. "Conscription flies in the face of my religion," declares @@RANDOMNAME@@, Grand Poobah of the Order of Maxx. "It clearly states in our holy book that 'Thou mayest not blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy'. The devout of @@NAME@@ should have the option to opt out of service. We were put here to bring peace to the world, not destroy it!"

2. "I can't believe you are still listening to these spineless liberals!" yells Field Marshal @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You let these crazy zealots have their way and we'll find ourselves open to all sorts threats. Bigtopia would have a field day. Let's remind these wackos who's in charge."

3. "We hardly need to be so black and white about it," interrupts @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Churchmaster General. "These people don't want to kill? It's against their 'beliefs'? So we won't make them. There are plenty of jobs in military that don't involve pulling a trigger. If they still object, well, let's just say there's no shortage of prison cells."

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#314: An Affair to Remember? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
A recent investigation by The @@CAPITAL@@ Times has shown that the nation's tough adultery laws have hit the poor hardest. An odd assortment of left-wing activists, religious leaders, and scantily clad protesters have demanded the government take action as more of @@NAME@@'s impoverished citizens find themselves in prison.

The Debate
1. "I think you're forgetting the real reason why people have affairs," suggests noted socialist leader, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Everything seems more tempting when you have nothing to lose. How can you blame these people for turning to turning to, shall we say 'alternative partners', when they lack the skills to provide for themselves? If the government funded some new job training programs for the unemployed and increased the welfare budget just a tad, you will not only lower unemployment rates, but adultery along with it."

2. "Economics has nothing to do with it. Government simply has no place in the bedroom!" shouts longtime sexual freedoms advocate, @@RANDOMNAME@@, wearing nothing but a conveniently placed protest sign. "Politicians - who, may I remind you, have more affairs than anyone else - are only standing by this fundamentalism to get the religious vote! You'll save much more face if you admit you screwed up and repealed this archaic law."

3. "I told thee so! I told thee so!" invokes Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Whatever happened to the sanctity of marriage? It's obvious we've become too lenient. We need to strike the fear of divine retribution into these sinners before the problem gets any worse. A good ol' stoning ought to do it!"

4. "Adultery isn't the real issue," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, who at fifty years old is still single and proud of it. "Why not ban marriage? It's not like matrimony means anything these days when you consider all the divorces, shams, casino weddings, and fake celebrity weddings. Besides, weddings are EXPENSIVE. Talk about a waste of perfectly good money."

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#315: Creative Flowers Withering Under Legislation [Panageadom; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Following a record number of affirmative action lawsuits last month, the creative minds, radio personalities and actors of @@NAME@@ have to come to your office demanding the government take action.

The Debate
1. "It simply won't do, darling!" opines melodramatic director @@RANDOMNAME@@, sprawled magnificently across a sofa, "The creative arts simply cannot function without a healthy dash of social criticism. How can fine humor work without the blonde bombshells, bumbling Bigtopians and blustering bureaucrats? And yet I cannot hire them, for fear of discrimination lawsuits. Pah! The government must protect artists' right to freely choose whom to include - and whom to ridicule - in their work. After all, everyone knows not too take it too seriously..."

2. "Why should the entertainment industry receive special treatment?" bellows conservative talk-show host, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "People should damn well have the freedom to insult or employ whoever they like. That's a privilege everyone should enjoy, not just a bunch of artsy leftists. What gives the government the right to tell me what I can or cannot say on my show? Besides, what sane man on Earth would hire one of those dodgy Maxtopians?"

3. "No! You can't let this happen!" screams actress Susan Simmer, infamous for her dismissal from a hit TV show for being "incredibly ugly". "Society gets its opinions about what's acceptable from the TV these days. That's where we need to be toughest about stamping out discrimination! I say any writer or director who won't toe the line should be thrown in jail! It's the only way to prevent decadent backsliding and stamp out racism for the sake of future generations!"

4. "I believe it's time for the government to step in and take control," hisses notoriously shifty advisor, @@RANDOMNAME@@, stepping out of a shadowy corner. "If we were to hire writers to produce scripts with the "correct" subtexts and broadcast them over state-owned radio and television, we could solve all the problems at hand. We would be employing writers, but – more importantly - we'd be spearheading the development of a fiercely loyal citizenry."

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#316: Fortified Against Crime [Praedico; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Owing to high crime rates, wealthy residents of several cities are asking for permission to build walls around their neighborhoods and employ private security to keep the peace. Several advocacy groups have gathered in your office to lobby regarding gated communities.

The Debate
1. "Crime rates in our city have sky-rocketed recently," says distressed investment banker, @@RANDOMNAME@@, "And we think we should be allowed to shelter ourselves from the criminal hordes with armed private security. We've got contractor bids in place for a sturdy, steel-reinforced wall with electrified razor wire and poisoned barbs. Oh, and lasers - got to have lasers! Granted, it probably won't reduce the crime rate in the rest of the city, but frankly, that's not our problem."

2. "Of course it's your problem," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, police chief of @@CAPITAL@@. "If you reduce the crime rate in the whole city, you won't need walls and private guards. Even you rich types have to come out occasionally, if only to take in the theatre or attend a gala or whatever it is you do. Mansion owners would probably end up paying more in increased taxes than they would for private security, but they'd be helping others too, so I can't see why they'd have a problem with that."

3. "Well, I do have a problem with that!" shouts a stock broker, helping himself to a couple of cigars from the box on your desk. "The rich are overtaxed as it is. Why, I've only been able to afford two new cars this year! However, I think this proposal has got things backwards. What we should be doing is walling up the inner cities to keep the criminal types inside. With the poor confined to ghettos, normal people could go about their business in peace. No need to raise taxes: just take the funds from public transport or something. It's not as if the poor will be needing to travel any more."

4. "Down with the rich!" cries working-class protester @@RANDOMNAME@@, jumping on your desk and waving a red flag. "They shouldn't be allowed to set up their own pocket kingdoms! What about the rest of us, huh? We're not all criminals just because we're poor! Most of the rich are bigger criminals than any burglar could be anyway. The police should concentrate on arresting them. They couldn't complain about being robbed if they were all in prison, could they?" While being forcibly removed by your guards, she adds, "Oh, and reduce taxes on the poor while you're at it."

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#317: Big Brother Is Watching You Surf [Vintaland; ed:The Most Glorious Hack]

The Issue
Advisers from @@NAME@@'s security services have created a small piece of spyware that they would like to install on every computer in the nation so they can track activity.

The Debate
1. "For the good of all," claims Department of Protection head @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This tiny little program will simply collect data and send it via the internet to one of our databases. Nobody will even notice that it's there. Besides, who's gonna notice a handful of bytes under mountains of stolen MP3s? Just give us the green light and we'll be rounding up terrorists faster than you can say 'lolcat'! And, hey, while we're at it, we could even use it to alert people when there's danger!"

2. "Are you insane?" shouts privacy advocate @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Our @@CURRENCY@@s pay for our computers; they're not the government's property! The last thing we need is the government poking its big, fat nose into our business. Keep the government's hands off my harddrive! What's next? Brain implants? Leave my brainwaves alone, you jack-booted thugs!"

3. "While 'tis not my place," says Amish farmer @@RANDOMNAME@@, "I just thought I'd mention that we Amish don't have any of this so-called 'cyber-crime'. Aye, 'tis a boring life, and plowin' gets old, but abolishing all of those computer-machines would certainly solve thy problems. Perhaps ye should just abandon phones and fax machines, too. Then ye'll be on your way to livin' in an Amish paradise!"

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#318: Death Penalty on Death Row? [Andacantra; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
After new DNA evidence has proven that recently executed inmate @@RANDOMNAME@@ was actually innocent, human rights activists have been campaigning to ban the death penalty.

The Debate
1. "This is government sanctioned murder!" chants @@RANDOMNAME@@, a human rights activist, from outside your office door. "It must end! Not only is it murder, but it amounts to hypocrisy of the highest nature. Yeah, keeping criminals locked up instead of mercilessly killing them might be costly, but maybe we can offset the cost by putting them to work making handcrafts in the prison store? Regardless, we have to abolish the death penalty - it's the only right and moral thing to do!"

2. "What about other potential criminals out there?" whimpers @@NAME@@ Neighbourhood Watch spokesperson @@RANDOMNAME@@, who has taken to hiding beneath your desk. "Did you know that since we introduced the death penalty the crime rate has decreased hugely? I say we introduce the death penalty for more crimes, like burglary and trespassing, and then no-one will ever dare to do anything wrong!"

3. "There's absolutely no proof that the crime rate has decreased", states @@RANDOMNAME@@, your foreign affairs advisor, with a nod. "But I have an idea. If we're going to be killing these people, we ensure it's as non-violent and as respectful as possible; make our executions more humane and give these people some choice in how they die. The international community will love us for our civility and humaneness. We'll be an international benchmark!"

4. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Chief Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner states, swirling a pair of handcuffs on one finger. "We don't go around executing innocent people for the fun of it; accidents happen! So those hippy people should quit their boo-hooin'. Look, if we give our boys in blue some more cash maybe there'll be less room for mistakes. Everyone goes away happy."

5. "Hows abo' bringin' back dem-dere good ol' fashioned lynchings? Bring justice back ter tha peoples!" shouts Jethro, a survivalist. "Who'd dare ta kill innocent peoples when tha punishmen' is bein' pelted ta death wit' rocks?"

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#319: Sizing Up The Competition [Cosumar; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
After a recent conversion mistake cost a government research project millions in @@CURRENCY@@s, @@NAME@@'s scientists have come to you begging for the country to switch to the metric system.

The Debate
1. "Our measurement system is a complete disaster!" wails renowned chemist @@RANDOMNAME@@ as she storms into your office. "We're stuck using primitive and illogical measurements like 'fingers' or 'donkeypower' or 'MegaFonzie'. It's too much! Nearly every other nation has converted to the metric system. Think of how much it would help our communication with other countries. It'll cost a few @@CURRENCY@@s to convert, but it'll be damn cheaper than the mistakes our system is causing!"

2. "Primitive? How dare that lab rat say such a thing!" spits infamous patriot @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They're not just measurements; they're part of our cultural heritage. Where would we be without our attoparsecs, hogsheads, or shakes of a @@ANIMAL@@'s tail? You want to throw that all away because some scientists are too lazy to do their jobs correctly. Give the taxpayers a break and ignore these eggheads."

3. "This. This is a crossroads." states noted avant garde artist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "This idea that we can standardize how people look at the world with words, it's a fool's errand. Everything's relative, man. We need to stop trying to control the world and just live. Imagine how happy our nation'd be with no measurements." He pauses to puff on a pipe. "No time like the present, @@LEADER@@. No time."

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#320: Criminals to Vote? [Iglesian Archipelago; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
Following recent elections in @@NAME@@ where the Equality for Vilified Inmates League won a noticeable percentage of seats, the media have jumped on the issue of whether or not prisoners should be allowed to vote.

The Debate
1. "This is absurd!", argues conservative politician, @@RANDOMNAME@@ "Why should criminals be allowed to participate in elections like normal people? Voting should be a privilege for the law-abiding members of this country. If someone breaks the law, they must lose the right to have a say in who governs them. At the very least it'll be a good deterrent."

2. "You're not going to listen to that clap-trap I hope", says noted liberal commentator @RANDOMNAME@@. "Voting is a right that everyone should enjoy, regardless of whether or not they have committed a crime. We already punish those who break our law; restricting one's ability to vote is a punishment totally disproportionate to any crime!"

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#321: Cowboys and... Aliens? [Carlosianor; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A gang of rough-riders has been policing towns along @@NAME@@'s border, rounding up illegal aliens and "escorting" them back home.

The Debate
1. "Who do these thugs think they are?" asks popular liberal blogger @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The police should be the only ones handling border control! If we leave it in the hands of wild frontiersmen, immigrants will be herded and probed like @@ANIMAL@@s! It's despicable, it's degrading, and it must be stopped!"

2. "Why, we just helpin' our community, is all," drawls the self-proclaimed sheriff of the cowboy gang, Harry Fjord, as he slides off his saddle to shake your hand. "Matta'fact, we're helpin' the gov'ment as well, enforcin' border control and keepin' yer towns safe from them damned illegals. I can handle m'boys, so don't you worry 'bout a thing."

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#322: Empathy a Rare Commodity? [The Cookish States; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Last week, a jaywalking man was hit by a truck in a busy intersection. He lay there for seventeen hours before a policeman tripped over him and brought him to jail for loitering.

The Debate
1."This is despicable!" yelps one lone protester, desperately trying to get others involved. "How low have we sunk that we care so little for our fellow man? The answer is as plain as the nose on your face. You must create an Empathy Awareness Squad. They would train people on how to be kind to and empathize with one another. Sure, it'll require some extra taxes, but can you really put a price on kindness? I mean, what if YOU get hit by a truck next time?"

2."Good riddance!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, a sullen, disgruntled postal worker. "I think we should give the policeman who arrested that freeloader a medal! Mandatory empathy programs? Ha! No amount of touchy-feely 'training' is gonna make me empathize with these idiots. This is just nature's way of weeding out the weak and infirm. In fact, we should cut what social spoon-feeding programs we've got left. Give your good and decent citizens a tax break."

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#323: Get Teens out of MyFace? [Malsitar; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a young blond girl made national headlines in @@NAME@@, the concerned parenting organization Mothers Against Youth Doing Stupid Stuff (MAYDSS) has raised concerns over the use of social networking sites by the nation's teens.

The Debate
1."Teens should not be allowed to use social networking!" cries the girl's mother, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Some creep added my little darling as a 'friend' on that awful website, and he used it to get all of her personal information and track her down! Obviously, the only sane course of action is to ban all legal minors from using social networking sites! And don't just stop at social networks: block everything else that MAYDSS doesn't approve of!"

2."Why that's utterly preposterous!" shouts Luke Zuckermann, founder of MyFace, a popular social networking site. "You can't restrict people like that! Oh, sure, today it's keeping teens from lining my wa- I mean - accessing my website, but tomorrow it's keeping everyone from anywhere the government doesn't like! I say free up the web, and get rid of restrictions!"

3."You know, there's always a compromise," says local pervert @@RANDOMNAME@@ while watching you from a nearby tree. "As I see it, the best way to keep both sides of the argument happy is to remove all restrictions on what adults can view and increase restrictions on minors. But at the same time, lower the age of majority by a lot. What could possibly go wrong?"

4."What could possibly go wrong, you ask?" panics your paranoid cousin, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "On the internet, nobody knows your actual age. It's a haven for malicious anonymity! Besides, children aren't the only people at risk on the internet. It's full of stalker-rapists and bomb-makers and viruses and sick, depraved porn. We're better off without it."

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#324: "Tourism Tanking!" Tells Tabloids [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Following a public safety disaster of unimaginable magnitude - so extreme that members of your government only mention it in hushed voices, and only then in the vaguest of terms - @@NAME@@'s tourism industry has hit the rocks. Commentators from all walks of life have come to your office to offer their opinions.

The Debate
1."The government has to step in and do something, for once!" demands tour operator @@RANDOMNAME@@, visibly pulling her hair out. "If we'd had proper railings on the marina, that shark would never have gotten into the oil refinery in the first place! The government has to put better regulations in place to make sure disasters of this kind never happen again. And if we want to coax back the tourists we've lost, we need a whole bunch of new state-subsidised hotels, parks and tourist attractions. Shark-proof ones. Our economy will never survive without it!"

2."Why waste more money?" grumbles middle-aged industrialist @@RANDOMNAME@@, chomping on a fat cigar, "Look. I'm as sorry as the next schmuck for those poor farmers' ant epidemic. But we've got to realise that tourism is just not @@NAME@@'s strong suit; and that's not going to change, no matter how much the state spends. Hell, if the government really wanted to do something to fix our economy, it'd be to give everyone a healthy tax-cut and get rid of some of that environmental legislation - set up for the benefit of a bunch of tree-hugging foreigners, I might add."

3."I think I've got another solution to this problem," says your shadiest government advisor, waving a magazine spread of bathing beauties sunning themselves at the @@CAPITAL@@ Grand Regent. "Now we're not goin' to be able to hide the fact that @@NAME@@ is now covered in pink frosting, but... what if the inspectors an' tour guides an' all those types of folks just didn't notice all that mess? After all, we don't have the money to clear it all up, but I think we do have just about enough to dangle a few dinars in front of anyone who wants to give our nation a good review. After all, a few firm golden handshakes never hurt no-one."

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#325: Blazing Through the Paper Trail [Euphilium; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Follow a recent fire in the National Archive, which destroyed thousands of important documents, several vocal representatives have approached you with solutions.

The Debate
1."We're got to face facts: technology has advanced beyond physical record-keeping," councils @@RANDOMNAME@@, the PR representative for Eastern Electronic. "Digital records are easier to maintain and easier to back up. Our company can facilitate the switch from the archaic paper records to the sleek, new electronic system. There is the slight risk of electronic tampering, but our security systems are more than capable."

2."Now, hold on a second. What about us?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, the CEO of a national paper supplier. "We might not have the flash of an electronic system, but I'll tell you what we do have: quality customer service. You're saying fires are bad. Well, we hear you loud and clear. Stick with us and not only will we make physical copies of all the files to store in different locales, but I'll get my research team to whip up some fire-resistant paper too. Let's see those IT poindexters do all that!"

3."No, no, no. It's all too dangerous!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, dressed only in a cured @@ANIMAL@@ hide. "Paper can be destroyed by fire or floods, and electronic copies are susceptible to viruses and hackers! There's only one way to truly keep our records safe. We must rerecord them on stone tablets. Fire can't destroy them, and I'd like to see someone hack a piece of granite!"

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#326: Knitters In A Knot Over Police Stitch Up [Tsaraine; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
After a peaceful public knitting class was dispersed by riot police, the citizenry are up in arms at what they perceive as unnecessary police brutality.

The Debate
1."With all due respect, @@LEADER@@, you weren't there, so you don't know the full story", your police chief states candidly. "These thugs were loitering in Rat Park brandishing weapons! They were up to something - mark my words! Besides, if it wasn't for our brave police officers, who knows what kind of damage they could have caused. We've got to come down hard on thugs like these and ban groups comprising of three or more people. That'll stop any troublemaking, I'm sure of it!"

2."Weapons? WEAPONS? They were knitting needles you imbecile!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, the elderly President of the Polluted Slavery Knitting League, brandishing a pair of pins in the direction of the police chief. "The only thugs in Rat Park that day were the riot police - protectors of public safety my royal rump! They fired rubber bullets at us without any warning. Rubber bullets! And I only out of the hospital after getting my hip replacement. You MUST do something about these trigger-happy hooligans. Clearly if they can't tell the difference between criminals and geriatrics they need retraining!"

3."Retraining the entire police force would cost far too much", your financial advisor says quietly, appearing from behind your chair. "That being said, the crazy lady with the woolly hat is right, we do have to do something about this situation. We can't have the police force appear brutal and unruly. What we should do is ban all sorts of dangerous weapons. That way the police force won't have to worry about dangerous thugs with guns, and the public can rest easy knowing the police force won't be able to brutally attack them either. And we can get rid of the riot police too as they clearly won't be needed, which saves us money! Everybody wins!"

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#327: No Rest For The Weary @@ANIMAL@@ [Black and Brindle; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
With the popularity of @@ANIMAL@@ racing in @@NAME@@ booming, the growing number of retired racing @@ANIMAL@@s being abandoned on the streets has become harder to ignore. As irresistibly cute pictures of sad-looking @@ANIMAL@@s fill up the pages of newspapers, the time has come for government action.

The Debate
1. "We're overflowing with @@ANIMAL@@s here!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of the Sunrise @@ANIMAL@@ Retirement Lodge. "And we just don't get enough donations from the public to house them all. We're now facing a choice between turning away @@ANIMAL@@s, or putting them down. It's the @@ANIMAL@@ racing industry's fault we're in this situation - make them pay for homing the @@ANIMAL@@s they cast off."

2. "Not far enough!" declares animal-rights protestor @@RANDOMNAME@@, wearing a @@ANIMAL@@ costume to show her sympathy for their plight. "There's only one reason that @@ANIMAL@@s get abandoned in the first place, and that reason is @@ANIMAL@@ racing. These poor creatures get cooped up in a cage all day and are virtually starved so they race well, all to line the pockets of some avaricious gambling bosses. The solution is obvious - ban @@ANIMAL@@ racing!"

3. "Hold on! @@NATIONNAME@@ has a powerhouse Gambling Industry – do you really want to give it all up because of some @@ANIMAL@@s?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, owner of the @@CAPITAL@@ @@ANIMAL@@ Stadium. "What we need is less regulation - so we can race the animals more often, and draw more punters in. Besides, the @@ANIMAL@@s love to race - at least compared to the beatings."

4. "There's a better solution to this all," suggests animal shelter volunteer @@RANDOMNAME@@, as she fixes a leash to a @@ANIMAL@@. "There is a problem, but it isn't with the @@ANIMAL@@ racing industry; it's that not enough people are adopting @@ANIMAL@@s. All we need is a national campaign to persuade people to adopt a @@ANIMAL@@ - and you can set them an example!" Handing you a grizzled old @@ANIMAL@@, she finishes, "Here's Buddy."

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#328: Bugged by Lack of Intelligence [Mediterreania; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
A naval frigate from @@NAME@@ was recently ambushed by a rival navy in the international waters of @@REGION@@. Security analysts have admitted that faulty intelligence was to blame and are now insisting that something be done to prevent a situation like this happening again.

The Debate
1."The best way to gain accurate intelligence is when it's in transit," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a communications technician from the @@NAMEINITIALS@@SA, while hunched over a computer. "Think of the information the @@NAME@@ Security Agency could get from telephone calls, emails, radio chatter, even internet browsing history! All we would need are satellites, servers, algorithms, and quality mathematicians to intercept them. It might be costly, but you don't want another embarrassing incident, do you?"

2."We don't need to spend so much money on technology when we can rely on manpower," says Director @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the @@NAME@@ Intelligence Agency, while putting on a pair of black shades. "Can a computer gain a leader's trust? Can a telephone stop a terrorist? We need inside men around every foreign diplomat, general and guerrilla this side of @@REGION@@!"

3."Speaking of inside men…" says an unnamed secret service agent, stepping out of the shadows, "How do we know they haven't infiltrated our intelligence services? Think about it, how else would they know our plans and convoy routes? Spies and insurgents -- now they are the real problem; a problem I can get rid of if you let me launch a secret investigation with, eh, secret results.

4."I know of a cheaper option," says your intern, lifelessly scrolling through whistleblowing site KwikiLeaks. "Why bother spending so much on the intelligence services here, when whistleblowers from others are posting all their information online? You could just set up some 'game rooms' for bored, tech-savvy kids. Make a game out of finding useful electronic intelligence and reward them with pizza or something."
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 03, 2014 2:55 pm, edited 25 times in total.

User avatar
Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:56 am

#329: Military Uniforms Under Scrutiny [Crimsonrayne; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
In response to changing fashion trends amongst the youth of @@NAME@@, new recruits to the military have petitioned the government to update the army's dress code accordingly.

The Debate
1. "Permission to speak, sir?" asks Private Third Class @@RANDOMNAME@@, saluting you. "Many of us are tired of looking the same, and would like the freedom to express ourselves through our appearance, sir. I mean, sir, it doesn't hurt to let us dye our hair once in a while, does it?"

2. "This is ridiculous!" roars @@RANDOMNAME@@, shaking his fist at you. "If I tell a soldier to put on pantaloons and a tunic, there's a good reason for it - and I expect to be obeyed without question. And who are these soldiers demanding change anyways? I'd like to see them court-martialed!"

3. "You know," murmurs romantic novelist @@RANDOMNAME@@, dreamily staring out the window. "A change of uniform might not be too bad. What if we made all our soldiers wear medieval suits of armour? It would sure highlight the chivalry and honour of @@NAME@@'s armed forces."

4. "Actually, battle armour is a great idea!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, representative from Better Future Inc, dumping a bundle of papers on your desk. "Here's our blueprints for the latest battlesuits that we've come up with. Sure it will be costly, but it will make our soldiers invincible!"

5. "The solution is not through technology, but through religion," declares zealot @@RANDOMNAME@@ as she waves a censer under your nose. "Why not make all soldiers fight in the name of @@FAITH@@, and give them priestly robes while they're at it?"

6. "Why make them wear anything?" asks nudist @@RANDOMNAME@@, standing to attention in your office. "Without clothes to impede them, your soldiers can move faster in battle - and we don't have to waste any more money on uniforms. Besides, all you need is a gun to kill someone, right?"

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#330: Supermarkets Gobbling Up All The Customers? [Fayd; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
The recent boom in the nationwide supermarket Humongo-Mart has brought representatives from local mom and pop stores to your office demanding action be taken.

The Debate
1. "Humongo-Mart is destroying our livelihoods!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, the owner of a small butchery, while waving a bloody cleaver. "These chains are over-saturating our cities with ridiculously low prices. I simply can't compete. You need to put a stop to this. We need more regulations dictating where these supermarkets can be."

2. "You've got to be kidding me," scoffs business columnist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You want to punish businesses if they become too successful? They started small just like everyone else. If you regulate or – heaven forbid – ban big business, can you imagine the fallout? Without corporations to compete with, these small shops could gouge their prices. Never mind what capping industry growth would do to the economy. If anything we need less government meddling."

3. "This raises an interesting question," begins amateur philosopher @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Why should we leave an essential commodity such as food up to the whims of profits and greed? The government needs to step in and take control of the food production in this country. You could ensure that every citizen is provided with a well-balanced, healthy meal instead of this overpriced slop. People shouldn't have their health and basic needs held hostage by greedy corporations!"

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#331: Swept Away [Mostly armless; ed:Dustistan]

The Issue
Unusually heavy rainfall this week burst riverbanks and caused flash flooding in @@NAME@@'s low-lying areas. This has sparked much debate on how the state should deal with flood damage.

The Debate
1. "We need help to recover from this horrible flood!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a resident of the flooded zone, trying to stop his hands from shaking. "I've lost everything: my house, cars, yacht. There was no time to recover anything before it was swept away. The government should compensate us for our losses. It wasn't our idea to can the dam project, after all, and if I get no help I'll be without a roof to live under.

2. "At the end of the day, they chose to live in a flood plain. Why should the government pay anything at all to these half-brained idiots?" rants @@RANDOMNAME@@, a prominent campaigner for lower government spending. "If they want money when there's a flood, they should get insurance and hang the expense. Make them bear the costs of their own lunacy. You don't see ME whining about the whippersnappers that broke one of my windows last fall. Why? Because I paid for insurance!"

3. "These floods should never have happened in the first place," states @@RANDOMNAME@@, a noted architect, with an excited glint in her eye. "They've caused widespread destruction and damage; the repairs will cost millions of @@CURRENCY@@, and this doesn't count the millions more people are asking in compensation. What I propose is that the government invest heavily in massive flood defenses. Dams! Levees! Floodways! Dikes! Dams! Gates! Wall off the seas and lakes! Put flood gates on every river! No, dam them all up! Then build more dams! We'll have no more floods in @@NAME@@!"

4. "You know what? Why don't we use the cheap, easy solution to stop this problem?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, floating past on a makeshift raft. "Just stop people from building on flood plains. If you're not in a floodable area, you can't get flooded. Who's going to complain? A bunch of real-estate developers? Please! Even the environmentalists will be happy, because the land will become some kind of nature reserve."

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#332: Summit Security Spending Stirs Strife [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After @@NAME@@ agreed to host the annual Organization of Really Dominant Economic Regimes (ORDER) summit, opposition parties have slammed the government for planning to spend over a billion Imperial Credits on security alone. They are demanding an explanation.

The Debate
1. Your press secretary speaks on your behalf at a press conference. "In times of terror and uncertainty, it's imperative we take all necessary precautions. After all, @@NAME@@ is playing host to the world and has an obligation to provide top-notch security. A small tax hike to keep us and our allies safe is absolutely worth it. After all, these summits always bring out dangerous anarchists. If we don't arm the police for the worst, a world leader could get shot!"


2. "A billion @@CURRENCY@@ on security? Outrageous!" exclaims seasoned and radical protester @@RANDOMNAME@@, while recovering from the effects of pepper spray. "No previous host spent nearly that much. This is a summit about strengthening the economy. How does blowing a billion @@CURRENCY@@ on this improve the economy? It doesn't! That's money better spent on us, the people! Our tax money should be going to teaching our children better math skills, not buying another taser!

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#333: No Sacrifice, No Sacrifice At All [Emunia; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
After a recent exposé of controversial religious rituals practised by some immigrants from distant, less well-developed countries, @@NAME@@ premier conservative think tank, the Coffee Cabal, has called on the government to regulate these religions and their worship.

The Debate
1. "These acts are an attack on @@NAME@@'s moral fiber!" stresses @@RANDOMNAME@@, the investigative reporter responsible for the exposé. "There are just some things that freedom of religion shouldn't cover, and that includes ritual sacrifice, the harming of children or animals, or hell, even really bad choral singing. The government must enact restrictions on religious practices that offend public decency."

2. "Dancing blindfolded around cucumbers while carrying wailing children on our heads is a custom that dates back millennia in our culture", explains @@RANDOMNAME@@, a High Priest of one of the under-fire religions. "The freedom to practice our religion played a large part in our relocation to @@NAME@@. The government must preserve our right to our culture and religion, even if the majority of people find them disturbing. Haven't you heard of tyranny by the majority? A religious exemption should be made for all the laws of @@NAME@@ to ensure our freedom."

3. "This is a dangerous discussion," writes @@RANDOMNAME@@ in her popular online journal, 'Religious Watchblog'. "If we allow a religious exemption to any law, offences like religiously motivated terrorism would be permitted. It's insane. I could live with allowing religious schools to decide whether or not to teach evolution, but allowing people of faith to exist outside the law is ludicrous. The government should create a ministry that considers whether or not religious practices are compatible with the nation's ethos."

4. "Once again, only I have the guts to call a problem by its real name," says right-wing radio host @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Everyone else is too afraid to point out the real problem here, and it's very simple; these immigrants and their brutish religions are antithetical to the basic, founding principles of @@NAME@@. They don't belong here, pure and simple. From now on, people who don't belong to a major religion should not be allowed in this country."

5. "The real problem isn't immigration, it's religion," announces prominent far-left politician @RANDOMNAME@@ "Yes, the practices outlined in those articles are horrifying, but they're no more horrifying than the religious practices the people of @@NAME@@ have been undertaking since time immemorial. It's time we recognized that, as a forward-thinking people, we can no longer afford to allow the practice of any religion."

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#334: Blot Out Bauhaus [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Following his purchase of a large plot of land in the middle of @@CAPITAL@@, Samuel Dada, the heir to a fortune made on the back of the @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ industry, has begun his conversion of the property into a vast and unusual mansion. Busybodies are in an uproar at the design, however, which they claim is everything from "out of social context" and "bizarre" to "just plain ugly".

The Debate
1. "This monstrosity must be torn down immediately!" claims local harridan and book-club member, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The trees in the garden spell a frightening word from the balcony; and the tower looks like a - a - well, you know! Mr. Dada's mansion may be his own, but the government must intervene in the name of taste and common decency. There should be a licensing organisation to approve all future renovations of buildings, lest we be plagued by these architectural abominations."

2. "Come on... it's my house, fer chrissakes," bemoans Mr. Dada, lounging on a sun-deck outside his home, elaborate cocktail and trophy-wife close by. "Surely I can do what I like to my own stuff? Like that time I painted my third car violet - that was cool, wasn't it? Don't you just hate it when someone bumbles over - I bet you know just what I mean - and starts tellin' you what to do? Man, I hate that. So, look, right, let's just go inside, have a drink, and forget this whole thing ever happened."

3. "Why is this even a national debate?" asks obviously strung-out and possibly hungover bureaucrat, @@RANDOMNAME@@, mumbling, "It's just a waste of time... Look. Whatever you do, you're going to be unpopular. Why don't you just dodge the bullet? Let local authorities decide - and even decide if it's their job to decide. That way you don't annoy anyone, and, hey, I'm sure there's some bunch of local government advocates who'll love you for it. Now. Can I go home? Please?"

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#335: Log us Back On [Turtleshroom; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A crowd of nerds, bored of isolated consoles, demand that you reconnect @@NAME@@ to the Internet, so that they may once again explore a world of knowledge, view porn, play their favorite nation simulator, and watch some more porn.

The Debate
1. "A man can only do so much with a non-connected personal computer," laments @@RANDOMNAME@@, a pale, bespectacled nerd clutching his laptop. "I'm sick and tired of solitaire, word processing, and re-organizing my desktop icons. I need engagement! I need entertainment! I need to watch por– I mean... I craaave the knowledge the web gives me! @@LEADER@@, give us back the Internet!"

2. "Now wait just a damn minute," scolds local librarian @@RANDOMNAME@@ while smacking you on the hand with a ruler. "This ban has done wonders for @@NAME@@'s literacy rate. Kids are reading for enjoyment again. If you give them back the Internet, that all goes out the window. And for what? Lolcats? I implore you, for the sake of our children; invest in their education and keep the Internet out of @@NAME@@."

3. "We already sent that evil series of tubes out of our glorious nation; now it's that devil machine's turn!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, a particularly troubled backwoods preacher. "Go all the way and ban computers completely! We must return to simpler times for the sake of our future! To heck with productivity, do this NOW!"

4. "No! You mustn't!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Maxcom Software. "If you reconnect @@NAME@@ or ban computers, our local software market will collapse! We simply cannot compete with the global market. We need to take their minds off of the Web. Now, the only reason these people are clamoring for the Web is because they're bored with what a single PC can do. What we need to do is make it more FUN! If you subsidize local software companies, we'll churn out top-notch, locally produced software that'll make people forget all about the Internet.
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#336: Polygamy Causes Division [Lordieth; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
The court system in @@NAME@@ has ground to a halt since the record-breaking divorce case of serial-polygamist Matt Trimony, who has decided to divorce all 47 of his wives simultaneously. The case has become so lengthy and complex that lawyer-filled encampments have sprung up outside the building, preventing any new cases from being processed.

The Debate
1. "The courts just can't cope with the strain," warns @@RANDOMNAME@@, your trusted legal advisor. "Divorce cases have become so complex that lawyers now have to take courses in complex mathematics just to settle property disputes! If this continues any longer, our legal system is going to collapse. The best solution would be to make prenuptial agreements mandatory for all new marriages. That would free up the courts from dealing with complex property disputes once and for all."

2. "This is sacrilege!" exclaims Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@, bursting into your office without warning. "It was a mistake to legalize polygamy to begin with! It's made a mockery of the sanctity of marriage. I implore the government to repeal this perversion of matrimony and make polygamy illegal throughout @@NAME@@ - if not for the sake of the families it has torn apart, then for their very souls under the eyes of our great Lord."

3. "I've got a better idea," claims renowned TV critic @@RANDOMNAME@@, sprawling paperwork across your desk. "You want to keep polygamy legal, but don't want to pay through the nose in legal fees, right? Why not broadcast the divorce proceedings live across @@REGION@@? Think of the drama! Think of the viewing figures! Just sign here on the dotted line, and the studio will cover all the expenses." She forces a pen into your hand.

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#337: Doctors Crossing Borders? [Whiskey hill; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
In response to an increasing number of people without adequate health care in @@NATIONNAME@@, a neighbouring nation within @@REGION@@ has publicly sought permission to establish free health clinics.

The Debate
1. "Well isn't this quite the blessing!" exclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your chief economic advisers. "Not only does foreign money come into our economy, those darned socialists will stop complaining about how badly the poor are suffering. Best of all, we don't even have to spend a single @@CURRENCY@@ on it! We could even charge an establishment fee for each clinic and help ourselves to the proceeds."

2. "How dare those bleeding heart foreigners make us look like a Third World Nation!" declares @@RANDOMNAME@@, the maintenance man in your office as he fixes your mini-bar. "They want to waltz on into OUR COUNTRY and make US look like the bad guys, just so they can have the spotlight. They don't actually care about the poor! Speaking of the poor, if they don't have to pay for things like health care then what incentive is there to find work? It's just reinforcing the culture of dependency and laziness that exists among some in the working class. Charity should just be banned, frankly; if you didn't work for it, you don't deserve it."

3. "We can't allow ourselves to be shamed like this in front of the global community, or our own people for that matter", your bedraggled Minister for Health tells you. "We should take this as a sign that it's finally time for us to devote resources to the health budget and establish a universal health care system. It may be costly in the beginning but it'll save us much in the long run, and not just in terms of @@CURRENCY@@ - think of how much face we'll save in the international community by implementing this instead of asking others to do it for us. I can't see a loss to this!"

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#338: The Silence and the Fury [The golden koko; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A large, silent mass of people have staged a sit-in around the government buildings in @@CAPITAL@@ to protest noise pollution.

The Debate
1. The leader of the protest, Sy Lance, slips a handwritten letter across your desk. It reads: "The noise level in this city has become simply unbearable. I cannot walk down the street without having my delicate auditory faculties assaulted! For the sake of @@NAME@@'s hearing, you must enact stricter noise pollution laws. I implore you!"

2. "WHAT?! YOU WANT TO BAN NOISE?! WELL, SOME OF US AREN'T OVERSENSITIVE! WE LIKE NOISE!" bellows a local construction worker. "I DON'T BUST MY HUMP WORKING DAY IN AND DAY OUT JUST TO HAVE THESE SISSIES TELL ME I NEED TO KEEP IT DOWN! WE DEMAND THE RIGHT TO MAKE AS MUCH NOISE AS WE WANT, WHATEVER THE TIME, WHEREVER THE PLACE!"

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#339: The Bear Necessities [Sovietiya; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
"Planning for the People," a popular new movement, has been holding protests all over the country after a recent crisis where the Economic Planning Committee accidentally sent 10 tonnes of teddy bears to a small town in dire need of wheat.

The Debate
1. "This has gone on long enough!" shouts the leader of the protest, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "While I am a patriot of our glorious Kingdom, things are far from perfect. No-one wants to return our economy to capitalist exploitation, but something must be done about the bureaucratic mess that our country is in! Comrades, instead of centralized planning, we can have a democratically controlled economy! Finally we can achieve the socialist dream of workers' power!"

2. "This is utter madness!" seethes @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your most trusted economic planners. "The country would be in ruins without our central planning! Who ensures that everything runs smoothly? Sure we mess up sometimes, but hey, we are only human. Besides, we intended to send that town teddy bears. Hmm... yeah, we did intend it! Those teddy bears are edible, you know?"

3. "More socialism? Have you all gone mad?" fumes foreign @@MAJORINDUSTRY@@ tycoon @@RANDOMNAME@@, whose face is now turning blue with rage. "Violet save me! The government has no business telling me how to run MY business! The only real way to rebuild @@NAME@@'s anemic economy is to bring back capitalism. Privatize the really lucrative industries and cut everything else. Some shock therapy would do @@NAME@@ wonders."

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#340: Defending Patent Pending [Panageadom; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
Pear Industries, one of @@NAME@@'s largest consumer electronics companies, wishes to bring a lawsuit against a small technology firm for making use of a piece of electronics they developed. The smaller firm is imploring the government to maintain its recent anti-copyright laws, which they claim legally extend to patents.

The Debate
1. "Patents are simply a tool for large companies to abuse entrepreneurs and the consumer!" argues small-time inventor and part-time champagne socialist, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "They use their huge legal departments to muscle out any smaller company that might 'pose a threat'. The government's ban of patents gave us all access to the advances those fat-cats have been sitting on all these years. You want to throw that all away so some guy can add a few more zeros to the end of his bank account?"

2. "My team poured years of research and millions of @@CURRENCY@@s into developing this component," claims Pear's dressed-down CEO, Steve Tasks. "It's our blood, sweat and tears that led to this breakthrough. You must allow companies greater claim over their discoveries. We need patents. We need copyrights. They are the incentive that keeps inventors inventing. Reinstate patents and copyrights or @@NAME@@'s research will come to a stand-still and our country a technological backwater devoid of any semblance of innovation."

3. "The only thing that's clear from this is that SCIENCE isn't getting enough funding," grumbles eminent, if notoriously disaffected, physicist @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The only reason we have to spend so much effort protecting our discoveries is because we're so worried about where our next paycheck is coming from. If the government opened up its coffers to eager scientists, this whole debate would simply go away. Not to mention that government could lay claim to any particularly intriguing discoveries..."

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#341: Where in the Woods is Cindy SanFrancisco? [Ignorent Peeple; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
After their daughter wandered off into the woods behind her house, a pair of teary-eyed parents interrupts one of your meetings, beseeching you to step up the rescue effort.

The Debate
1. "She's only t-t-three years old!" sobs the lost girl's mother. "She'll never make it out there in the wilderness all alone. She's going to d-d-d-", her husband steps in as she breaks down in tears, "Please, you have to do something! There aren't enough rescue workers out there. You need to hire more or divert them from other areas or something! What's more important than a child's safety?"

2. "Hmph!" scoffs @@RANDOMNAME@@, your miffed financial advisor. "The nerve of some people! Do you really want to squander all that money on one kid? If you're stupid enough to walk off into the forest all by yourself, maybe you shouldn't make it to adulthood to have your own stupid kids. Survival of the fittest never hurt anyone – anyone worthwhile that is. We need to get rid of this unnecessary safety net. No more rescue teams. Then maybe parents will actually watch their moron kids."

3. "Search teams are just too inefficient," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of Eye See You Surveillance. "Thousands of citizens searching high and low with no promise of success. Now what we need to do is implant GPS tracking devices into all citizens. Think about it! No more lost kids, no more fugitives, no more alibis. No need to ask where you were on the night of February 7th. We already know."

4. "Yer all missin' the heart o' matter," barks @@RANDOMNAME@@, a burly, crosscut-saw wielding lumberjack. "The problem isn't these lil' rascals gettin' lost; it's what they're gettin' lost in. If we chop down those damned woods, well then there won't be anythin' to get lost in, now will there? You give me and my team the OK, and we'll make those wooded deathtraps a thing o' the past!"

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#342: This Land Was Made For You And Me [Luna Amore; ed:Kryozerkia]

The Issue
A recent government report revealed that @@NAME@@ is running out of land for its expanding population. An emergency meeting of your advisors has been called to decide the best course of action.

The Debate
1. "The solution is simple and something we should have been doing all along," states your Minister of the Environment, @@RANDOMNAME@@, "We have acres upon acres of land that is tied up in landfills. If we compost, compress, recycle, we can use the newly-cleaned land to build eco-friendly housing developments. Yes, it'll require a lot of funding, and there's bound to be at least a little residual smell. People won't be happy about it, but I guarantee they'll be a damn sight happier than they'd be on the streets!"

2. "Of course the enviro-nutjob wants to clean up the landfills, but that's not the issue!" says your Minister of Finance, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Why spend all that money fixing up land that already has a purpose when we've got plenty of worthless national parks? We could start construction sooner, get people moved in sooner, and fix this problem sooner. We could even use the resources in the parks to furnish the houses. It'd give our timber industry a much needed boost. I'm sure the hippies will moan about how that'll destroy a bunch of 'delicate habitats', but it's simply progress, @@LEADER@@."

3. "You're all not thinking this through!" yells the CEO of Yellowcake Depot, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We've still got plenty of land. We've only used the top of it after all. Let's expand our cities underground. Look at the perks: there's plenty of space, they'll naturally stay at a steady temperature, and – most importantly – think of all the untapped uranium ore down there! Talk about an economic boom! Sure, people might get a little depressed without the sun and there's always a slight risk of a cave in, but we'll send down shrinks, sun lamps and throw up a few extra buttresses to be safe."

4. "I have a much, much more palatable solution," assures your Minister of Internal Expansion, rubbing his hands together greedily. "Let's expand our coasts. How do we do that you ask? Simple, we reclaim it from the surrounding seas. All we need to do is build levees and dikes and pump out the water. It'll take some serious desalinization and a constant, reliable power source to accomplish, but it'll be worth it in the long run."

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#343: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? [New Andram; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Since the minting of pennies is twice as costly as the coin's stated value, the idea of removing the smallest fractions of the @@CURRENCY@@ has been brought to your attention.

The Debate
1. "We are wasting MILLIONS of @@CURRENCY@@ on minting pennies!" raves an unusually passionate policy advocate, @@RANDOMNAME@@, while handing out 'Penny Dreadful' t-shirts to all your staff. "And all so people have to waste time scrambling through their purses and wallets just to dig out one hundredth of a @@CURRENCY@@. Many nations in the @@REGION@@ have already abolished their most worthless coins. It's time for @@NAME@@ to follow suit."

2. "That flies in the face of all our time-honored traditions," counters another advocate, this one bedecked in full period dress. "Our favorite national hero is portrayed on the storied one-cent coin, so it would be unpatriotic to discard the penny as worthless scrap. Especially since pennies lower prices slightly for the poorest of the poor. Very, very slightly."

3. "Actually, I think it's high time we got rid of physical currency altogether," says the president of the Chamber of Commerce, @@RANDOMNAME@@, flanked by officials from various security agencies. "We should just digitize all money. People spend more when they don't see themselves physically handing over cash, and the benefits to tracking terrorists and other subversives are obvious. That sounds like a solid win-win to me."

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#344: Trash Talk [Luna Amore; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After massive trash heaps overflowed onto one of @@CAPITAL@@'s busiest intersections, causing traffic to grind to a halt for ten hours, many have agreed that the nation's litter problem is out of control. In response, representatives from the Society for the Prettying Up of @@NAME@@ have come to your office proposing a nationwide beautification campaign to pick it all up.

The Debate
1. "Our wonderful country is being buried by this refuse!" wails SPU@@NAMEINITIALS@@ President @@RANDOMNAME@@. "It's simply a disgrace! We need funding and able-bodied men and women to stage a monthly clean-up of our once-treasured land. We'd pick up litter, plant trees, touch up the paint on the old courthouse – we'd polish up the whole country! As an incentive, participants could receive a small stipend."

2. "Now why on Earth should hard-working citizens do this?" asks the Warden of @@CAPITAL@@ Penitentiary, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We've got plenty of worthless criminals sitting around with their thumbs up their butts. Give these scum something worthwhile to do. They'll get to pay off their debt to society by helping clean it up!"

3. "It's not enough to just clean it up," asserts the CEO of Showers of Flowers. "We need a massive project to show @@REGION@@ how proud of our country we truly are. With a whole lot of government funds, my company could build the Hanging Gardens of @@CAPITAL@@. Picture it now: flowing vines down the walls, blooming daisies, baskets of chrysanthemums, thousands upon thousands of tourists. Think of the pride. Think of the money."

4. "Why are we wasting our time with this nonsense?" asks infamous miser @@RANDOMNAME@@. "All this hullabaloo over a little trash. Here's a news flash: there's always going to be trash! A bunch of hippies prancing around on the government's dime ain't gonna change that! You should know better than to spend our tax @@CURRENCY@@s on such frivolous endeavors. Why don't you beautify our wallets instead and give us a tax break?"

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#345: Mayors Behaving Badly [Nation of Quebec; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
Many of @@NAME@@'s mayors have been getting into hot water in recent months; with allegations ranging from racist commentary to substance abuse, international media are having a field day on highlighting problems in @@NAME@@'s devolved governments. Concerned citizens are now wondering if higher levels of government should step in and take over city management.

The Debate
1. "Something has to be done", newspaper columnist @@RANDOMNAME@@ writes. "@@NAME@@ City municipal hall is a mess with these constant scandals. The town has basically come to a standstill. It's clear that the national government needs to take over and weed out the corruption infesting the administration. This is having a real impact on our lives - there's a malfunctioning traffic light on my morning commute to work that's giving me hell for goodness sake!"

2. "The government can barely manage their own house and they want to take over mine?" scoffs @@NAME@@ City's controversial mayor on a local radio show. "I've run a fantastic city. I don't want to toot my own horn here but I'm the best mayor this city has ever had! These allegations are nothing more than media witch-hunts designed to take me down. Until such a time that these scurrilous accusations have been proven to be true, I say it's business as usual at city hall."

3. "What’s the point of even having the rule of law if our politicians are just going to ignore it?" asks anti-corruption lawyer @@RANDOMNAME@@ while going through your tax returns. "We need tougher laws and more judges with the gall to enforce them. Even the slightest infraction should result in the immediate dismissal of the mayor. It'll probably mean more elections, but it's worth it if it means that the citizenry continue to trust devolved government."

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#346: Oils Well That Ends Well [Jarethania; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
An offshore oil rig exploded spewing millions of barrels of petroleum into the South @@ANIMAL@@ Sea.

The Debate
1. "These oil companies must be held accountable for their reckless negligence!" yells environmentalist @@RANDOMNAME@@ while scrubbing the oil off a dolphin. "We cannot let this environmental catastrophe continue! We must stop the oil spewage and restore the environment to its former glory! And as for those greedy fat cats who caused this mess, they should foot the cleanup bill!"

2. "Woah woah woah... let's not demonize the oil companies. It's not like they want these spills to happen," cautions @@RANDOMNAME@@, a prime investor in the DrillBabyDrill Corporation. "Think of what punitive measures would do to the economy. Let the government pay for the cleanup, so we can put this unfortunate accident behind us."

3. "Those are just short-term solutions," says solar engineer @@RANDOMNAME@@ with a distant look in her eye. "We should do everything we can to stop this leak AND invest in alternative energy. Who needs limited fossil fuels when you have solar, wind, and geothermal power? Don't you want your children to live in a world free from the oily grasp of big business?"

4. "You're looking at this the wrong way. This isn't a problem; it's a golden opportunity!" says theme park tycoon, @@RANDOMNAME@@, slicking back his hair as he continues, "Picture this: thousands upon thousands of tourists flocking to @@NAME@@. Why are these people coming in droves, you ask? To see the one, the only Great @@ANIMAL@@ Sea Oil Slick! Throw up a few more platforms, add some roller coasters, a few restaurants, tie it all together with a jolly mascot, and you've turned this unfortunate accident into a lucky break."

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#347: Crime Problems Ganging up on @@NAME@@ [The murtunian tribes; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After a recent spate of drive-by shootings left dozens of bystanders dead, the public is demanding that the government do something to combat the alarming rise in gang-related violence.

The Debate
1. Shock jock @@RANDOMNAME@@ is outraged - yet again - by the increase in crime. In today's broadcast he railed, "These gangs wage war on our streets, take the lives of innocent civilians, and smuggle contraband into our country! I say they're no different from terrorists and should be treated as such! Give the military a green light, and they'll wipe these thugs from the face of @@NAME@@. It's a drastic measure, but I think a martial curfew is worth it to protect our safety."

2. "Now now, there's no need to be so gung-ho about it," pontificates professor of sociology @@RANDOMNAME@@ on a "@@CAPITAL@@ Morning!" interview from her luxurious downtown apartment. "Studies show that crime is directly related to poverty levels. These juveniles are just products of the dangerous environment they grow up in. I propose we increase funding to welfare and education to help get these young men off the streets so they can become productive members of society."

3. An unidentified man wearing a bandana around his face and pants twice his size confronts you as you leave the office for the evening. "We don't want you pigs in our hood, bruh." A dozen armed thugs materialize from the shadows. "Why don't you marks just keep out and let us handle our own beef?"
Last edited by Andacantra on Sat May 24, 2014 12:08 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Nationstates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

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Andacantra
Diplomat
 
Posts: 580
Founded: Jul 01, 2010
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Re: NationStates Issues **SPOILER ALERT**

Postby Andacantra » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:25 am

#348: I Want A Lawyer [Marxist socialismchillville; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
A recent independent review into government expenditure has shown that, compared to other nations in @@REGION@@, @@NAME@@ spends very little on legal aid for impecunious suspects.

The Debate
1. "I ain't supposed to be in this joint!" @@RANDOMNAME@@ whispers down a contraband phone. "Those loser courts went and decided I did this stupid thing and now I gotsa pay for it. I didn't do it yo! I tried to tell those fools that I was innocent, but the lawyer you hired to fork me over totally showed me up. I ain't got no tickles to pay for a brief! Who'd you think I am, Hoprah Pinfry? Damn. You wanna make things right? Get e'rrybody 'ccused of a crime a 'spensive lawyer too. Maybe more innocent peoples won't get sent down."

2. "If you can't afford a lawyer, it's your own fault", lectures blue-collar worker @@RANDOMNAME@@ on the evening news. "It's not my problem if they don't have the money or if they didn't go to law school. If you can't afford a lawyer, then don't break the law. Everything has consequences! Imagine the tax burden it would put on us hard-working individuals. Actually, instead of spending money on this ridiculous notion, I'd much prefer @@LEADER@@ to give us a tax break."

3. "Hmm. Now that's a good idea", says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your education advisor, with a gleam in his eye. "If everybody goes to law school then we won't need to pay for everyone to have a lawyer - they can represent themselves! We should make legal studies a core part of the curriculum, and give some incentives for people to do at least one year of law school. That way if you end up in court, you should be able to defend yourself with no problem at all."

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#349: Bigtopian Bigwigs Beset Border [Koomu; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
Following a bitter civil-conflict in Bigtopia that led to the overthrow of a dictatorial regime, leading officials from the deposed government are seeking refuge in @@NAME@@. The new Bigtopian government is accusing these people of war crimes, and has demanded their extradition.

The Debate
1. Your Minister for Foreign Affairs, @@RANDOMNAME@@, echoes the pleas of the international community, "These individuals are responsible for decades of oppression, the genocide of millions of Bigtopians, and horrific war crimes - their leader isn't called 'The Butcher of Bigtopia' for his carving skills! We can't just step aside and neglect our duties to their victims. These men must face justice in Bigtopia, whatever their fate."

2. "I vehemently disagree," says defence lawyer @@RANDOMNAME@@, running a comb through his hair and handing you his business card. "Now is not the time for hasty action. Bigtopia is not a stable state yet - send these people back and you're throwing them to the mob. They've committed no crime in @@NAME@@, and they've come here for our help. Show some decency, and let them stay!"

3. "I have an idea," interjects Wernher von Grun from the Department of Defence. "Amongst these refugees are several top Bigtopian scientists. They may have carried out some terrible experiments with WMDs, but can we really afford to lose their expertise? Let them join our team at the Hexagon, and we'll develop weapons the envy of @@REGION@@. After all, once the missiles go up, who cares where they came from?"

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#350: Queasy Cuisine [Avlain; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
After @@NAME@@'s cuisine was rated dead last in a survey conducted by the world's best taste-testers, offended gastronomists have demanded a "national dish" to champion the country's food culture.

The Debate
1. "C'est terrible" bemoans Head Chef @@RANDOMNAME@@ of the Saveloy Grande Hotel. "Too many youngsters are eating zis awful fast food. Ze government must encourage haute cuisine to demonstrate to ze world that @@NAME@@ is a country of beauty, love, and fine cooking. I suggest sautéed escargots avec garlic butter. Here - try one. Bon appétit!"

2. "What's wrong with fast food?" asks acned MaxiDonalds server @@RANDOMNAME@@ as he scratches his nose. "Get a Maxi-sized triple cheeseburger and fries with soda for just five Units. Quick, cheap and tasty - that's why our customers love us. Next please!"

3. "Mornin'" calls out farmer @@RANDOMNAME@@, leading a cow into your office. "What do we care if some parboiled foreigners don't like our food? There's nothing better than good old-fashioned @@NAME@@-grown produce, cooked just the way me ol' ma would." Drawing a stun-gun and a cleaver from his dungarees, he continues, "Fancy a steak?"

4. "A good serving of sprouts is all I ever needed to grow up strong and healthy" says school dinner-lady @@RANDOMNAME@@. Dolloping a mound of grey slop onto your plate, she continues, "Mashed cauliflower. The kids love it, and there's nothing better for growing the hair on your chest. Now eat it all up!"

5. A rancid stench precedes @@RANDOMNAME@@ who slaps a foul-smelling plate of decayed @@NAME@@n Wolf liver diced with broiled asparagus and fermented pig's milk on your desk. "Some may call our customary food 'not with the times' or even 'nauseating', but what do they know? Show your love for @@NAME@@'s culinary heritage, and tuck in."

6. "There, there" soothes your PA @@RANDOMNAME@@, proffering a bucket. "Our cuisine could use work, but there's so many dishes we'd have to fix… Oh, I know! You can't go wrong with pasta. Why not have everyone eat pasta? Only pasta." A plate of linguine appears on your desk.

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#351: The Cost of Freedom [Waideland; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
After a highly publicized arrest, in which one of the nation's wealthiest celebrities was detained for assaulting two of her servants with a priceless Fabergé egg, some of @@NAME@@'s rich have begun demanding the right to avoid prison terms by paying off their victims.

The Debate
1. "It makes, like, no sense for someone like ME to be stuck here for three WHOLE DAYS," whines @@RANDOMNAME@@ during a jail cell interview, only after dimming the lights and getting earplugs for her hangover. "And the trial hasn't even STARTED. My daddy has PLENTY of money and, like, nothing better to spend it on. He could just give a few million @@CURRENCY@@s to the victims' families and, um... like, the government. That's fair, right?"

2. "You've got to be kidding me!" bellows @@NAME@@'s Attorney General, @@RANDOMNAME@@, angrily pounding his fist on your desk. "No one should be above the law, no matter how much money they have! It's bad enough that they can hire some shyster lawyer to get them off on a technicality most of the time. As a matter of fact, we should make the rich use public defenders. It's only fair considering everyone else is stuck with them. You know what, just expand the entire public defenders' office while you're at it."

3. "Instead of wasting money on prisons for violent criminals, I could take care of your problem," suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, @@NAME@@'s wealthiest psychopath, while polishing a rifle. "I'm an unrivaled hunter, but with animals there's no challenge for an expert such as myself. If you sent prey to my island estate, I'd be willing to throw a few electrons the government's way. You save money; I take care of the scum in your penal system. Sounds like a win-win to me."

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#352: Going Off The Rails [Milograd; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
With suicide-by-train incidents in @@NAME@@'s stations becoming increasingly common, commuters and rail companies are growing irritated by the impact that this has had on their day-to-day activities.

The Debate
1. "We need to be compensated for the monetary losses that these suicides have caused us", the CEO of your nation's largest rail company states frankly. "These incidents are inconvenient, and handling them requires a lot of time and effort; and time is, of course, money. It's not right that these people get away with disrupting our business, as well as our customers' commutes. I humbly suggest that their families should be required to compensate us on their behalf. It's only fair."

2. "I have places to go and things to do", an angry commuter vents in an interview with @@CAPITAL@@ News, which is playing on your office's television. "These lunatics keep forcing train delays, and that means that I can't get to work on time. My boss is absolutely irate! Look, the government should stick cowcatchers on the trains, then the body parts can just be pushed out of the way. No more delays."

3. "People who try to kill themselves shouldn't be punished for being ill, and neither should the families of victims of suicide", your Minister of Health, @@RANDOMNAME@@, entreats passionately. "Being suicidal is often a sign of mental illness or depression, and our government mustn't stoop to punishing families for having sick relatives. We ought to focus on suicide prevention rather than hounding these families for money, and we would save a lot of lives through education and extending a helping hand to those who need our support."

4. "I'm getting tired of seeing yellow tape every time I go to take the train in the morning. The atmosphere in stations is getting grimmer by the day", your receptionist, @@RANDOMNAME@@, comments absent-mindedly while handing you some coffee. "I think that you could hit two birds with one stone here if you redecorated the train stations. Suicidal people would be far less likely to take the terrible leap if the stations had pleasant music playing, motivational posters, and psychedelic paint jobs all over their walls. Oh, and maybe some pizza joints in the station too! Everyone loves pizza."

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#353: Broadband Going To The Birds? [Astracarn; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
An IT firm organized an unusual race between a carrier pigeon toting a flash drive and @@NAME@@'s fastest internet provider. The bird easily beat the internet, prompting a debate about internet speeds.

The Debate
1. "This is horribly embarrassing!" cries the pixelated image of popular online vlogger @@RANDOMNAME@@. Two and a half minutes of buffering later she continues, "Our internet is the slowest in @@REGION@@. Our system needs a massive overhaul. We need to crank it up! Fiber optic connections all across @@NAME@@! Imagine the increase in productivity. Imagine how much more connected we'll all be. It'll be well worth the cost, @@LEADER@@."

2. "You've got to be joking!" scoffs your Minister of Finance, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The government have far more important problems at hand than dealing with trivial matters such as the internet speed. The people of @@NAME@@ have access to the internet. That's far better than most of the world. Leave the internet providers to run themselves and get back to the business of running the country."

3. "Well, this certainly is eye-opening," exclaims amateur birdwatcher, @@RANDOMNAME@@, with a pair of binoculars dangling from his neck. "Here we are mucking about with our inefficient technology and the birds have us beat! Clearly we need to convert all our inefficient internet into bird-based-broadband! We'll need flocks upon flocks of pigeons and a tight training schedule, but we can do it."

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#354: Subversive Shortwaves [The Grand Dilligaf; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Radio Free @@NAME@@ - operating out of neighboring Bigtopia - has been broadcasting subversive views throughout @@NAME@@. Government hard-liners, outraged by the station's ideology, have demanded that something now be done.

The Debate
1. "This cannot stand!" barks @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the Armed Forces. "Bigtopia has always tried to undermine us, and allowing known rabble-rousers to broadcast their vile propaganda into our nation is just their latest attempt to destabilize our government. Immediate invasion and a blank check for the military would silence this Bigtopian nonsense once and for all."

2. "Excessive and far too expensive," counters @@RANDOMNAME@@, a professor at the @@NAME@@ Institute of Communications Engineering. "The solution is not always bombing or occupation. After all, our main targets are their radio stations. A powerful transmitter to jam the frequencies they broadcast on will prevent anyone from listening. It just so happens I have the blueprints for such a device with me. Sure, it won't be cheap, but it will cost far less than a prolonged military campaign."

3. "I think my esteemed colleagues are putting the cart before the horse," says a shifty character from Overseas Intelligence. "It would be much more effective if there were no dissidents willing to broadcast in the first place. My people are in place; just give the word and we can silence this station within a week. Along with every other unpatriotic muckraker we can track down, of course."

4. "I can't believe what I'm hearing," gasps @@RANDOMNAME@@, a social policy adviser. "Dissent is an essential part of the political process. How are we to know what we are doing wrong if we don't listen to our critics? Sure some of them have extreme opinions, but it's our responsibility to build bridges and understand why they feel so disenfranchised that they felt they had to leave in the first place. I suggest initiating a government-funded study to identify the root of the problem, followed by training for all government employees to ensure none of our population feels this way again."

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#355: Alien Invaders [Ignorent peeple; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
A spectre is haunting @@NAME@@ — the spectre of the Woodeating Spikeball. With scenic parks ravaged by this invasive species, citizens are clamoring at your door to advise you.

The Debate
1. "The ecosystem is in great peril," claims @@RANDOMNAME@@, an importer of exotic pets. "These Woodeating Spikeballs have no natural predators here. But there is a solution: back in their native Maxtopia, these pests are kept in check by the Sabre-toothed @@ANIMAL@@. We have to introduce these animals into our forests before it's too late. And you know, since I'm such a nice guy, I'll cut you a deal on the @@ANIMAL@@s."

2. "You can't stop one invasive species by introducing another," scoffs avid hunter @@RANDOMNAME@@ while skinning several rabbits on your desk. "Just give out hunting permits for these Spikeballs, and we'll have the population under control in no time. You know what, might as well extend hunting and fishing seasons for other animals too. I've been itching to bag myself a Giant Lilliputian Rabbit."

3. "We shouldn't be left at the mercy of our citizens," counsels gendarme @@RANDOMNAME@@ while barely suppressing his hatred for animals. "If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. Let's send out our boys in blue to go hunt down these vermin." Frothing rabidly, he finishes, "That way we can be sure every last one of those mangy, stinking, filth-ridden pests is dead!"

4. "So what if these Spikeballs are eating all the trees?" says thoroughly apathetic citizen @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Nature got along fine for millions of years before we came into the picture. Just let survival of the fittest run its course. Sure, we might lose a few species or ecosystems along the way, but at least we'll save some money. Forests are really boring, anyway."

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#356: @@NAME@@ In The Time Of Cholera [Wonnie; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Reports of cholera deaths have skyrocketed due to the sewage contaminating @@NAME@@'s rivers.

The Debate
1. "People are dropping like flies out here!" cries Doctor @@RANDOMNAME@@, whose disheveled appearance suggests that the flies are actually doing quite well. "This is all the fault of the corrupt, uncaring sewage companies that dump waste into our rivers. We need to enforce harsher environmental regulations and make them pay to clean up the mess they created!"

2. "We don't pump our water from the sea," suggests @@RANDOMNAME@@, night shift manager at @@NAME@@ Water & Utility. "Why not just put our waste on barges and dump it far out in international waters? We at @@NAMEINITIALS@@W&U will be pumping nice clean water again, and the waste will never be a problem for anyone but foreigners, so it's win-win."

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#357: Vamos, Mi @@ANIMAL@@! [Octuagesimo Octavo; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
Following the ban on cars, a criminal alliance dominated by Olympic-class sprinters has sprung up, resulting in hundreds of running footwear shops being robbed. @@NAME@@ 's police force has requested that they be allowed to ride @@ANIMAL@@s as a substitute for their inability to chase these athletic thugs on foot.

The Debate
1. "It's brilliant, if you ask me," says portly Police Chief @@RANDOMNAME@@ while enjoying a doughnut break. "Chasing criminals on foot is so tiresome now that we can't have our cars. If the government allowed Mounties, the entire process would be so much easier. We wouldn't even need to put handcuffs on suspects, since we'd just trample 'em down!"

2. "It's a good idea, but we can solve this using a much more direct approach," muses a tanned off-duty cop. "I mean, why bother with animals when you can still allow cars? I agree cars should be banned for the public, but we policemen need them. Besides, it's MUCH more fun to run over criminals with cars than @@ANIMAL@@s."

3. "You wimps are a disgrace!" bellows lycra-clad gym instructor @@RANDOMNAME@@. "You don't need cars or @@ANIMAL@@s to keep up. It's about time someone whipped the lot of you into shape. Give me four hours a day with these pansies and I'll have them catching criminals in no time at all. Now drop and give me twenty!"

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#358: Not Another Teen Pregnancy [Valrifell; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
An investigation into a string of under-aged pregnancies in @@CAPITAL@@ has uncovered a new trend where babies are lauded as the latest 'must-have accessory' for teenage girls. Parents across @@NAME@@ are demanding that the government intervene to put a stop to this emerging fad.

The Debate
1. "Children shouldn't be having children", wails @@RANDOMNAME@@, a self-described concerned mother, who also happens to be President of the @@CAPITAL@@ Chapter of Concerned @@DENONYM@@ Mothers. "Babies! That's all they are - babies! It's all this government's fault for having such a liberal age of consent. It's encouraging our babies to have sex! It's just terrifying. Please, increase the age of consent. You know in your heart that it's the right thing to do."

2. "If anything, those Concerned Mothers are the problem!" exclaims your eccentric Minister for Youth Affairs @@RANDOMNAME@@. "I mean, really, the youngsters of today are proving themselves to be excellent parents and quite capable of living with the consequences. We have to prepare them for adult life, and adult life includes minding children! We should actually decrease the age of consent so even more children can begin bracing themselves for the harsh reality of life as a working, tax-paying, family-loving adult."

3. "I have a better idea", says @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of 'Children 4 U' Inc. "How about we ban all forms of sexual conduct and have all newborns neutered? I know it's radical, but people will calm down once they learn that we can create their perfect child. This is the way of the future - Design Your Own Baby! And if the government gets involved, think of the money you'll make back off it. That's a great deal @@LEADER@@, trust me."

4. "I think sterilising the population is a little extreme", your civil service's Chief Medical Officer states candidly. "But we do need to stop these teenage pregnancies and, let's face it, sex education just isn't going to cut it. These are teenagers, their hormones are all over the place, and regardless of what we preach about abstinence, they're going to have sex. I would suggest offering a monetary incentive to encourage pregnant teenage girls to attend our termination clinics. Sounds distasteful, but the only thing these girls care about is the money to spend on the next big fad. Girls don't like babies, girls like cars and money." [Available only for nations which have legalised abortion]

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#359: Got Democracy? [Nation of Quebec; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
As waves of pro-democracy protests continue in @@REGION@@, with several actually toppling long-standing regimes, your advisers fear the protests could soon hit @@NAME@@. An emergency conference has been called to discuss the looming crisis.

The Debate
1. "We must crack down hard on all rebels who dare to betray our beloved nation!" roars @@RANDOMNAME@@, head of the @@NAME@@ State Police. "We must use whatever force is necessary to prevent these protests from happening here. Specifically that means roving death squads and informants monitoring all anti-government activity to shut them down before they revolt. So long as @@LEADER@@ is our ruler, treason shall never go unpunished!"

2. "Atrocities would only give these protesters more motivation to rebel," quickly counters @@RANDOMNAME@@, your Propaganda Minister, while reading through socioeconomic figures. "Some of their complaints are worth looking into, if you don't want the wolves at the gates. Establish large-scale public works projects to lower unemployment and things will be back to normal in no time. We could hire people to build schools and health clinics and repair utilities. These protesters say they want a revolution, but I think you'll find they'll settle for a lot less."

3. "The people are angry and fed up with the system. If you want to stop the protests, you must give them exactly what they want!" dramatically declares a protester who somehow smuggled herself in through a food cart. "The time for real democracy is now!" Between screams of pain, as your bodyguards tackle her to the floor, she finishes, "By any means necessary!"

4. "After disposing of the trespasser, the meeting resumes. "We can't allow TRUE democracy. Do you really think that the people would pick a suitable replacement for you?" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, your most loyal bodyguard, while sharpening a halberd. "For all we know they'll elect some anarchist with an ax to grind! How about we let them vote, but we only permit reputable Party members to run? That gives the people the right to decide small matters, while making sure that critical issues are left to our Party veterans."

5. "I have an unorthodox way to solve this once and for all," suggests your questionably sane Interior Minister, playing with a chemistry set despite the gravity of the meeting. "Instead of all that 'populism,' why don't we infuse the water supply with, I dunno, sedatives or something?" He grins maniacally. "Imagine how easy it would be to control the citizenry! Put the right drugs in the water, and I'm sure you'd have zero dissidents. Think about it: you could abolish all those superfluous legislatures and make yourself @@NAME@@'s absolute ruler."

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#360: Electile Dysfunction [Christian Democrats; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
Stung by an extensive exposé in The @@CAPITAL@@ Tattler of faulty and corrupt elections processes, certain Members of Parliament are loudly demanding that the Electoral Commission of @@NAME@@ revisit the current voting system.

The Debate
1."What's wrong with a plurality voting system?" rhetorically questions @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Count the votes, and the candidate with the most wins. It's the simplest and cheapest methodology, and it creates a stable two-party system without any radicals wasting Parliament's precious time. What more could you want? And..." the MP leans forward and continues in a hushed tone, "It's the best way to ensure our party stays in power indefinitely."

2."Our current electoral system needs only a little tweaking," says @@RANDOMNAME@@, a member of the Electoral Commission. "Why don't we adopt instant-runoff voting? That way people can vote for their favorite candidates plus their second and third choices without worrying whether they're mainstream enough. We'll need to hire a few more people at the Electoral Commission to tally the rounds of votes, but honestly I don't see that as a problem."

3."Now is the time to completely overhaul the electoral system!" cries @@RANDOMNAME@@, chairperson of a single-issue political party dedicated to legalizing @@ANIMAL@@ wrestling. "We need proportional representation now! If we adopt party-list proportional representation with open lists, political minorities will gain seats relative to the popular vote and actually have a voice. The centrists have dictated government policy for too long; let the political fringes speak!"

4."You're missing the whole point of democracy," argues a strange woman wearing a toga. "Democracy is about equality! The best system of representation is sortition. Go back to the ancient way of doing things and pick representatives from among the common citizens through allotment. People who run for political office are usually untrustworthy and power-hungry. Randomly-selected citizens will make far better decisions than greedy politicians, even if they're a little incompetent. Lottocracy all the way!"

5."Or we could just do away with this populist sham," sneers Sir @@RANDOMNAME@@, a landed gentleman. "Do the teeming masses really need to complicate our lives? Institute a steep poll tax to keep workers from voting, and we won't be troubled by the greedy plebeians and their insatiable desire for more welfare. Cut the entire welfare budget while you're at it, and respectable people like us can have a nice tax cut."

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#361: @@CAPITAL@@, We Have A Problem [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
Early this morning, the Space Shuttle Maxcelsior suffered serious damage from an explosion of unknown causes. The @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ Aeronautics and Space Administration is divided as to what to do.

The Debate
1. "We're going to take a hit on this no matter what", your Press Secretary moans morosely. "The more news cycles this one takes up, the worse we're going to look. Tell @@DEMONYMADJECTIVEINITIALS@@ASA to get our boys back on the ground NOW. They're going to whine about pushing safety margins to the limit, but there's always going to be a risk! Those space cowboys knew that when they signed on. We're simply out of options, @@LEADER@@."

2. "We most certainly are not out of options", counters the mission's Flight Director, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We have no idea how much damage that explosion caused. There's a very good chance it blew right through the heat shield. If that happened, and they try to come back without fixing it, they'll be toast. I know for a fact that the military has been working on a quick-launch low-Earth orbiter. If we refit it as a rescue vehicle and launch now, we can have them down safely by the weekend."

3. "Are you out of your mind!?" screams Major General @@RANDOMNAME@@ while taking a swing at the Flight Director. "That spacecraft is top secret. Want me to slow it down for you? Top. Secret. You want to use it in a high-profile, never before done space rescue? Why don't we mail its damn blueprints to all our enemies! @@LEADER@@, it is imperative that we keep that craft a secret at all costs. God knows what the Bigtopians would do with it. As for the astronauts, let them find their own ride home. We're not the only country with a space program you know."

4. "You reap what you sow", chastises Reverend @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Tell me, what happened when the people of Babel tried to build a tower to God? He destroyed it and punished them. This shuttle is simply a modern day Tower of Babel in spades. You mocked God with your pride, tried to defile his celestial kingdom with your sinful machines, and now you will pay the price. Forget these lost souls, abandon the space program and repent your sins."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#362: After The Fall [Luna Amore; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
After re-entering the atmosphere yesterday, the Space Shuttle Maxcelsior suffered catastrophic manoeuvring damage and slammed - almost intact - into the coastal city Cape @@NAME@@. The kinetic strike centered on the regional oil depot near the waterfront tourist district; the resulting fireball incinerated huge segments of residential housing. Survivors are looking to you for answers.

The Debate
1. "The city is a warzone!" screams @@RANDOMNAME@@, the city's Mayor. "Bodies lining the streets, buildings collapsing – it's an inferno! People are clamouring for security and our emergency services are overwhelmed. We could never have prepared for something of this magnitude! There's no hope of rebuilding or maintaining order without government help. @@LEADER@@, you must send all the emergency services and aid you can. People are dying!"

2. "It damn well is a warzone", agrees your top military advisor, General @@RANDOMNAME@@. "We can't send in emergency services until the area is stabilized. We need a strong military presence and fast. Declare martial law over the city and send in a regiment of soldiers. We'll secure the area and get people calmed down. After it's contained to my liking, you can send in civilian aid, but even then my men aren't leaving until that city is on its way to repair."

3. "Woah, hold up a second", interrupts @@RANDOMNAME@@, Director of @@NAME@@'s Emergency Preparedness Agency while nervously wringing a fire-safety pamphlet. "We don't have a contingency for something this massive. There's far too many variables for us to safely do anything. This city has local services, right? Well, let them handle the brunt of it. After they've cleaned up a bit and once their people have calmed the hell down, then we'll work our way in slowly from the outlying areas. Trust me, President @@RANDOMNAME@@, this isn't the time to go running around playing hero. The cost in lives and tax @@CURRENCY would be too high."

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#363: The Apotheosis of @@LEADER@@? [The tovian way; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
A period of unprecedented peace and prosperity in @@NAME@@ has seen your personal approval rate sky-rocket. Recently, a small but growing movement has emerged claiming that these general good times are the result of your divine favour, and are advocating that the people worship you as a god.

The Debate
1. "All hail the glorious @@LEADER@@, giver of safety and wealth!" shouts @@RANDOMNAME@@, the Prefect of the Cult of Divine Nationalism from atop a wooden crate in @@CAPITAL@@ Grand Plaza. "Are not the might and benevolence of the holy @@LEADER@@ manifest for all to see? Should we not respond in humble worship? Proclaim your divinity before all, O Great One, and your people shall listen!"

2. "This is heresy!" pontificates @@RANDOMNAME@@, a high-ranking clergywoman of @@RELIGION@@, while proffering a collection plate. "Surely you can't seriously be entertaining delusions of divinity? You would undoubtedly bring divine wrath upon us! I urge you, speak out against these wayward souls and endorse the teachings of our holy writ as the true path to righteousness. Only then can we be assured of continued providence."

3. "Let's not be too hasty now, there may be an opportunity in this," muses @@RANDOMNAME@@, one of your shrewdest political advisors. "Of course you're not divine, we both know that, but is there really any harm in letting these whack-jobs think you are? Nothing begets obedience like the command of one's god, after all. Perhaps a carefully constructed public statement is in order, one that gives legitimacy to these people's beliefs while avoiding claiming divinity outright. Let people read into it what they want, and if they flock to this 'religion' in droves, well, would it really be so terrible if a large percentage of @@DEMONYMPLURAL@@ became your devoted disciples?

4. "Bah! Ridiculous gobbledygook, all of it!" says @@RANDOMNAME@@, controversial atheist author of the book 'Atoms in Space and Relations Between Them - An Exhaustive Account of Existence'. "These cultists are no crazier than any other religious types, and have done far less damage than some I might mention. Take this opportunity to disavow all religion as superstitious nonsense, and throw your support behind reason instead. It's the perfect opportunity to end the tax breaks for people with imaginary friends, and funnel that additional money into the areas it can do some real good, like authors of popular science books!"

5. "All hail our glorious @@LEADER@@... or face eternal punishment!" shouts a wide-eyed bearded man in sack cloth waving a greasy tract. "Pay no heed to these sectarians, my liege, they have departed from the way of truth! Only we, of the Cult of Nationalist Divinity, have remained faithful in the face of their slanderous impiety. We know you to be an uncompromising and demanding god, intolerant of all false doctrine. We stand ready to convert the masses to your worship, by force if necessary! Starting, of course, with the insufferable heretics of the Cult of Divine Nationalism!"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#364: It's UterUs, not UterYou! [Ranbo; ed:Luna Amore]

The Issue
A religious talk show host raised a furor with his call to ban contraception. Women's rights groups have come to you demanding a response.

The Debate
1. "I'm appalled these religious wackos have the gall to even think about banning birth control," @@RANDOMNAME@@ says to you. "These men are trying to control our bodies. They treat us like we're their own personal baby dispensers — not living, thinking humans. It's demeaning! My body, my choice!"

2. "You aren't going to listen to these pagans," scoffs Archbishop @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Conceiving a child is one of the most enjoyable moments one may ever have in their lives. To deprive yourself of this blessing of God is an abomination! Contraception must be outlawed! It encourages casual sex, and destroys the true meaning of the act. If people are not willing to bear the consequences of their actions, then they should not act at all."

3. "Both sides have rocks in their brains," says proud asexual, @@RANDOMNAME@@. "Why don't we just ban sex altogether, and force people to use artificial insemination? That way, we can preview everyone who signs up to have kids, and if we don't like it, tough beans for them. The police may have to work harder to catch those who 'overlook' this measure, but if that's the price we have to pay for ending this inane argument once and for all, it'll be well worth it."

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#365: A Busload of Worry [Panageadom; ed:Lenyo]

The Issue
An advertisement battle over the morality and acceptability of "coming out of the closet" is taking place on @@CAPITAL@@'s buses, with different factions presenting their vehement cases on these moving billboards. Groups on all sides are demanding the government step in, soothe egos, and take action.

The Debate
1. "This is disgusting, and I shouldn't have to see it," pines prominent homosexual, @@RANDOMNAME@@, for once abandoning stereotype to be seen without feather boa, "@@NAME@@ should be a nation intolerant of intolerance, and what could be more intolerant than this? Have you any idea what damage this fundamentalist advertisement will do to young people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality? We should ban this ad, and instead educate children to be free about their sexual preference, without deference to religious or cultural orthodoxy."

2. "This is disgusting, and I shouldn't have to see it," declares @@RANDOMNAME@@ a particularly prudish representative of a major religion, "Have we forgotten that @@NAME@@ is a country founded on traditional values, not least the sanctity of the relationship between man and woman? These deviants have no respect for what is natural and are spreading a sickness through my country, so I have a god-given right to educate the people about it. I say we ought to ban these LGBwhatever posters and divert some government funds to reminding the people of @@NAME@@ what it truly means to be a virtuous soul!"

3. "Last I checked, free speech meant listening to people you didn't like," yawns your advisor, @@RANDOMNAME@@, slouched over a sofa with a newspaper over her face, "A principle your office seems utterly devoted to... Look. Should a bunch of religious nutjobs stop homosexuals from saying it's alright for Jim and Jones to hold hands in the street? Of course not. Equally, should a bunch of tarted-up fruits stop the devout from banging on about their divine revelation? Obviously no. So why stop either of them? Freedom of expression is more important than either party's sensibilities, no matter how distasteful that might be."

4. "This whole culture is foul, and we shouldn't perpetuate it," argues daily commuter, @@RANDOMNAME@@, "Surely the point of public transportation is to quickly get people to work or wherever, not to bombard them with fringe political causes. We should do away with advertising on government services and properties altogether, as well as pour some more money into our public transportation network. Then @@CAPITAL@@ would have the best transport in the world."

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#366: Prosecute Stolen Valour, Says Military [The sky city of columbia; ed:Sanctaria]

The Issue
General officers in the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ Armed Forces are requesting the criminalisation of "stolen valour" - the impersonation of decorated service members, often with the motive of financial gain.

The Debate
1. "These traitorous cowards need to be prosecuted!" says red-faced Vice Admiral @@RANDOMNAME@@ while puffing out his chest, proudly showing off his own service medals. "They demean the heroic actions of veterans who did actually earn the medals, and desecrate the memory of those who died in service of @@NAME@@. I know what my boys would do to these charlatans if they caught them, and I can't promise I'd intervene! I'd like to see these pretenders try to earn the medals they want to show off. Actually, let's do that - send all these fraudsters to the front line. That'll teach them."

2. "It is the right of all citizens to express themselves in any way they chose", claims the dixie cup-sporting @@RANDOMNAME@@, an investigative journalist with On Liberty magazine. "People should be free to dress in any uniform without fear of reprisal or punishment - and that includes wearing a uniform of the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVEINITIALS@@AF. What better way to display to the world one's patriotism! And if you happen to get more respect or some discounts because of it, all the better. If that argument doesn't persuade you, then maybe you should ask the Vice Admiral how he won those medals. You can bet your bottom @@CURRENCY@@ that if you criminalise this, journalists will start asking serving officers that question. Do you want to have a media witch-hunt of the military?"

3. "Why do we celebrate and glorify warmongering by raising these conquistadors above every else?" questions @@RANDOMNAME@@, an anti-war protester outside the gates of your office building. "These medals and uniforms only exist to exert dominance and fear over the masses. The military claim these medals are rewards, but they are actually trophies declaring to the world how many innocent civilians their brainwashed killers massacred. We should do away with our armed forces and imprison those who have killed supposedly in the name of @@NAME@@."

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#367: What's Their Beef? [Nouvel Ecosse; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
After @@ANIMAL@@ meat was found in the popular beef lasagne sold by supermarket Humongo-Mart, a scandal has erupted over lax food safety standards.

The Debate
1. "What we've got here," lectures Health and Safety Inspector-General @@RANDOMNAME@@, "is failure to regulate. The fact that these lasagnes have been contaminated for so long proves that we have been far too lenient on food processing companies. I demand more tests!"

2. "You're forgetting the source of Humongo-Mart's meat," cautions @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ Agricultural Union representative @@RANDOMNAME@@. "How can we possibly know what they get up to in those shady Lilliputian abattoirs? Rather than waste time sorting out the dog's dinner your government has made of food safety regulations, all we need to solve this problem is a simple import ban on foreign meats."

3. "We must do more," whispers leading zoologist and TV documentary host @@RANDOMNAME@@, while surrounded by wild @@ANIMAL@@s. "These creatures are national treasures, just like me, and thus should be cherished, not consumed. I say ban all products that use animal meat!"

4. "I don't thee what thith meth ith all about," says morbidly obese @@RANDOMNAME@@ through a mouthful of said lasagne generously donated to her by Humongo-Mart. "It'th only popular becauthe of the @@ANIMAL@@ in it. Nobody wath complaining before, in fact people were lining up in droveth to buy it. I thay we allow the uthe of thith meat in our foodth. I love it, they love it. You can't stop uth!"

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#368: Female Workers Feeling The Pinch [Relana; ed:Sedgistan]

The Issue
A group of concerned women have complained about rising levels of harassment from male colleagues.

The Debate
1."I can't get through a day without a male co-worker slapping me on the behind or wolf whistling as I walk to the coffee machine," protests generously-endowed receptionist @@RANDOMFEMALENAME@@. "This has to stop. Men who display this sort of behaviour should be fired immediately."

2. "Give us a break honey," says office lothario @@RANDOMMALENAME@@ while ogling your secretary. "A cheeky pinch or admiring glance never hurt anyone. These chicks should stop complaining - it's all a bit of harmless fun."

3. "In the good old days, this wouldn't have been an issue," harrumphs @@RANDOMMALENAME@@, sat in the corner. "Our women stayed home and took care of the kids. No wonder the country's going to pot. It's time to put them back in their place and stop this feminine charade."

4. "It's time to face the facts, @@LEADER@@," announces square-jawed @@RANDOMFEMALENAME@@, as she kicks your door down. "Men have had their chance, and look at the mess they've made. Put the women in charge, and then we'll surely see an end to harassment."
Last edited by Andacantra on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:00 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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Postby Unibot » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:33 am

I might be wrong - But I think I've got a new one....

Tourists On Death Row

The Issue

A group of holidaymakers from @@NATION@@ have been arrested while visiting the scenic, yet corrupt and totalitarian, nation of Maxtopia on charges of drug trafficking - an offence which carries the maximum sentence of the death penalty. The story has provoked outrage from citizens, many believing the government should intervene to bring the tourists back home.

The Debate

1."Everyone knows what barbarians those Maxtopians are!" says Freddy Winters, parent to one of the arrestees. "They've not even allowed my son and his friends access to lawyers! That government is as corrupt as they are cruel, my boy would never have anything to do with drugs! You need to do something to save them, I'm begging you! I'm sure the Maxtopian officials will back down if you threaten trade sanctions or something. Right?"


2."You've got to see it from the other side," argues Jack Steele, a customs official. "While it's unfortunate that the sentence is so stiff, they really shouldn't have been smuggling drugs. I'm sure we wouldn't be happy if Maxtopians came over here with banned goods. I just can't sympathise: they were greedy, they broke the law, they got caught. What makes them so special that they should be bailed out? At the taxpayers' expense I might add. Let them be - it'll show we respect the judicial rights of other countries."


3."I agree," chimes in Jean-Paul Wall, an anti-drug campaigner, waving a banner which reads 'Don't Be a Fool, Drugs Aren't Cool'. "Did you ever stop to think that our foreign neighbours might have the right idea? A zero-tolerance attitude to the drugs issue is what this country needs! Death to the dealers!"


4."You people are so quick to lay the finger of blame," says Prudence Trax, an ambassador at @@NATION@@'s embassy in Maxtopia. "My motto has always been 'If you want something, give something away'. It is the government's duty to protect its citizens from harm! We don't want to cause too much international friction by making a mockery of their laws so we've got to settle things more diplomatically: they scratch our backs now and we'll scratch theirs later."


5."That's what they want! Leverage!" hollers Beth Wong, your Minister of Defence, storming into your office. "Advances in our markets, political favours - they'll do anything to undermine us! They've always hated us, those rats! If you ask me, this brouhaha isn't about drugs - it's a spit in our eye, that's what it is! What kind of people execute kids for having a few ounces on them? We ought to give them a good bombing, then they'll know how a proper country behaves!"

Issue by: The Novel Questioners of The New Inquisitors
Editor: Sirocco
Last edited by Unibot on Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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