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Artsy me - by Micha

NS issue


Erisianna Looks to the Stars

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

The Debate
1. "Don't tell me space colonies wouldn't be cool," says excited fifth-grade teacher Tobias Falopian, 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 Erisianna Space Agency Head Hack Hanover. "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 Steffan Rifkin. "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."

Immigrants Import Homeland Rivalries

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 Erisianna who came from the warring nations.

The Debate
1. "Foreigners are a major cause of civil disturbances," begins Samuel Barry, whose opinions form the book '101 Arguments FOR Slavery'. "What we should do is make all immigrants, foreigners, and non-native Erisianna folks slaves! I mean, who in Erisianna 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 Freddy Li, President of the Civil Rights Union of Erisianna. "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 Erisianna-born fascist Peggy Barry. "Well maybe it's time it became our war! Erisianna 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! Kallisti! Sieg Erisianna!"

Whips, Chains, And Leather, Oh My!

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 Beth Falopian, 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 Colin Li, 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. Roxanne Licorish 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!"

Much Ado About Abortion

The Issue
A monstrous debate between pro-life groups and pro-choice groups has erupted as a Erisianna citizen launches an high-court appeal to overturn an ancient law prohibiting all abortions. Pressure groups have demanded the government step in to make a ruling.

The Debate
1. Dave Licorish, 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 legalised throughout the country!"

2. "I most vehemently disagree," says Clint Hendrikson, 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 Bill Hendrikson, 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 Erisianna!"

4. "Abortion has to be legal if we're going to last as a nation," says Anne-Marie O'Bannon, President of the Society of Bitter Old People. "Have you ever thought that with Erisianna's growing population of 134 million, 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."

Filibuster Bust-up

The Issue
Several aged politicians have joined forces to filibuster a piece of majority-approved legislation to death. They've been orating non-stop throughout 3 days worth of debating time, stopping the legislation from being passed.

The Debate
1. "This sham of a tactic is totally demolishing our ability to accomplish anything!" complains Beth Shiomi, Minister of Ministries. "Who cares if a few old fossils fail to see reason? The majority of the government clearly wants this legislature 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, Chastity du Pont 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, Melbourne Licorish. "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 George W. Summers, 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 Erisianna. If the minority parties want to say something, they can submit it in writing."

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