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.
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."
The Result: female newsreaders distract the nation by breastfeeding during broadcast.
Civil Rights +4
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."
The Result: nursing mothers are often arrested for indecent exposure.
Civil Rights -2
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."
The Result: breastfeeding mothers are replacing smokers to loiter outside the workplace.
Civil Rights +3
#204: Lack Of Doctors Needs Cure [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
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.
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!"
The Result: more and more students are taking up a career in medicine.
Government size +1
Public Healthcare +4
Safety from Crime +1
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."
The Result: half of NATION's doctors can't speak the language.
Ideological Radicality +1
Public Healthcare +1
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?"
The Result: healthcare funding has been cut.
#208: Mine Collapse Rocks @@NAME@@ [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
A mine has collapsed in @@NAME@@ burying hundreds of workers. Calls have been made by the families to tighten up mining safety laws.
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."
The Result: mining safety laws are often more expensive than what's being mined.
Civil Rights +3
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?"
The Result: mining is the nation's most dangerous occupation.
#210: Going Postal [Emperor Matthuis; ed:Sirocco]
It has come to your attention that there is some serious debate over whether @@NAME@@'s postal service should be either privatised or nationalised.
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?"
The Result: urban high-volume mailers now receive their mail via chauffeur-driven limousines.
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!"
The Result: postmen have been arrested in job lots for selling junk mail as home insulation.
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."
The Result: the government recently relinquished its monopoly on the mail service.
#212: Police Wanting Help With Their Inquiries [Prasland; ed:Sirocco]
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.
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."
The Result: crime suspects are forced to submit to blood testing.
Civil Rights -3
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."
The Result: crime is on the rise as DNA sampling has been all but outlawed.
Civil Rights +4
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?"
The Result: every citizen must submit to DNA testing to be eliminated from police inquiries.
Civil Rights -5
#218: Two Mommies One Too Many? [Duffla; ed:Sirocco]
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.
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!"
The Result: an increasing percentage of the population's youth have homosexual parents.
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!"
The Result: child adoption by homosexual couples has been outlawed.
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."
The Result: homosexuality is a crime punishable by death.
Civil Rights +5
#219: Nobody Expects The @@NAME@@ Inquisition! [Habardia; ed:The Most Glorious Hack]
Some key figures of @@NAME@@'s major religious groups have requested government sponsorship for the institution of an inquisition to try heretics and blasphemers.
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."
The Result: the Holy Office of the Inquisition is the highest court in the land.
Civil Rights -6
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!"
The Result: radio shows frequently feature people denouncing religion.
Civil Rights +2
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!"
The Result: atheists and evolutionary biologists are fleeing the country like rats from a sinking ship.
Civil Rights -7
#237: Tourists On Death Row [The New Inquisitors; ed:Sirocco]
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.
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?"
The Result: international tensions are high as NATION threatens any government with the audacity to arrest its citizens.
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."
The Result: the people are furious with the government for allowing citizens to be executed for petty crimes in foreign countries.
Law Enforcement +2
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!"
The Result: drug-related crimes carry the death penalty.
Civil Rights -3
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."
The Result: NATION's soft-touch approach to diplomacy has made it known as the 'push-over' of the region.
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!"
The Result: the government is well known for declaring war on other countries for suspected slights.
#239: We Who Are About To Die Would Rather Go Home [The Lost Romans; ed:Sirocco]
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.
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!"
The Result: it is a common belief that a sport isn't sport if there are no decapitations.
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."
The Result: badminton was recently banned due to 'unacceptable violence' inherent to the game.
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!"
The Result: criminals are thrown to the ANIMALs to repay their debt to society.
Civil Rights -1
#246: @@NAME@@ To Hold The Olympic Torch? [Yenen; ed:Sirocco]
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.
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!"
The Result: NATION successfully hosted the the Pacific Olympics.
Youth Rebelliousness -2
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?"
The Result: organised sports are frowned upon as frivolous
business subsidization -1
youth rebelliousness +1
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."
The Result: the importance of winning Olympic gold medals is indoctrinated from an early age.
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."
The Result: chess hooliganism is on the rise after the banning of organised sports.