UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: April 23rd, 301 AP.

Editorial Column: Zartanian Empire proves once again that it has bricks for brains

The Zartanian Empire has once again proven itself to be the land not of milk and honey, but of brutality and cruelty, of barbarity, fuedalism and autocracy. After the disgusting display recently of executing three sailors by means of torture - flogging them to death - the Empire attempts to top this with "Mayoralty election by duel".

A recent article in this paper, served by the RBC newswire, spoke of the ancient test for electing Mayor's in the Western Zartanian town of Kharazhom. Rather than hold an election, like the rest of the country, the Mayor of the town will step into the street with a pistol, as will a challenger for the Mayoralty. The duel will be officiated by the local judge, with the survivor being the duly appointed Mayor. This year, both men were killed, so a second duel was arranged with two challengers. So, this year's Mayoralty "election" resulted in two dead, one wounded.

While the Luka Herald is a supporter of traditions, as traditions tell us where we came from, this barbaric ritual is nothing short of reprehensible, and demonstrates that the Zartanian Empire is still left in the dark ages of human pre-history, a state not worthy of respect its actions in liberating Utania call for. The dual adds nothing to the necessary skills of being a public official, to say the least. It only proves that the Mayor is a good shot, and lucky on the day, not that he is a compassionate and worthy ruler. Furthermore, by participating in the possible killing of another human being to win the position, it exemplifies the Mayor's complete lack of sense or compassion.

The barbaric ritual could be replaced with a mock duel in which neither man falls dead, but is shot with a rubber bullet, for example, or with water pistols, or something less lethal. There is innumerable more preferrable alternatives to this display of cruelty, and the Zartanian Empire should look hard at these before displaying itself once again as a nation stuck in 1365 BP. Furthermore, the Utanian government should examine closely the nation it appears to be getting "close and cuddly" to.

Ref: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vexillium/message/14219

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)