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Artsy me - by Micha

NS issue


Put The Phone Down On Cold Calling?

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

The Debate
1. "This has to stop," says mild-mannered parent Jennifer Rubin. "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 Colin Spirit, 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 - Erisianna 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 Erisianna, of course."

Burn! Burn Everything!

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 Erisianna'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 Faith Christmas, civil rights activist, while trying to wave a burning flag without lighting anybody nearby on fire.

2. "Burning should be allowed for everything! Down with the pig cops and their repressive regime!" says well-known anarchist and arsonist Calvin Shiomi, 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!" Roxanne Trax scowls, "Flag burning should be punishable by jail terms and a good flogging."

Is Erisianna Too Promiscuous?

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 Jazz Falopian 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 Falala Frederickson, 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 Billy Steele 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!"

Watershed Down?

The Issue
An anonymous society of 'cinematic aficionados' have brought the debate over the proposed disposal of the watershed, the hour at 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, Randy Wong. "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 Violet Christmas, 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!"

Military Budgets Up For Approval

The Issue
The various branches of Erisianna'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 Freddy Licorish. "After all, wars were never won by air or sea and in this dangerous world we must be able to protect the interests of Erisianna. 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 Beth Summers. "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 Erisianna!"

3. "Despite the statements of my colleagues," says Elizabeth Steele, 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 Melbourne Wu, 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 Pip Falopian, 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 Erisianna in the region."

6. "The military is a stain on the peace-loving nature of our nation!" cries Abraham Nagasawa, 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 golden apples should go to such a despicable cause! The money should be going to more important places - like our pockets!"

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