by Max Barry

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DispatchMetaReference

by Kristalmaan. . 5 reads.

Issue Roundup 5/1

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.

Accepted Position

"Both sides are wrong," grumbles government paper-pusher Elizabeth Cohen. "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."

Result

The government is making attempts at curtailing the flood of spam emails with little progress.
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The Issue

After numerous alleged UFO sightings all over Kristalmaan'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.

Accepted Position

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.

Result

Reporters sent to cover suspected UFO visits come back with stories about quilting bees.
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The Issue

Kristalmaan'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.

Accepted Position

"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."

Result

Citizens wishing to leave the country must surrender half their wealth to the government.
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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.

Accepted Position

"Excuse me, but whenever has anyone ever heard of a weapon that WAS humane?" asks Imogen Song, 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 Kristalmaan against her enemies! Just this once, let's try to stay ahead of them."

Result

Red Cross demand for body bags is rising while sutures go unused.
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The Issue

A lowly bureaucrat riffling through some old paperwork has happened across a rather alarming and disturbing fact: the documentation affirming yourself as Kristalmaan's head of state was filled out improperly and now, at least for the moment, Kristalmaan has no official leader!

Accepted Position

"There is no need to panic," says Larry Obama, 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."

Result

Neo-Queen Serenity has just been declared ruler of Kristalmaan in an international press conference
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Kristalmaan

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