by Max Barry

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The Free Bears of Bears Armed

Bears Armed was Commended by Security Council Resolution # 124

“Do we WHAT in the woods?”

Category: Civil Rights Lovefest
Civil Rights:
Political Freedoms:

Regional Influence: Shoeshiner

Location: International Democratic Union



Bears Armed: Not just a funny name...

This nation is a somewhat unusual one in two important respects:
Firstly, its population consists mainly of Ursines (i.e. anthropomorphic Bears) rather than Humans... approximately 95% to 01˝% respectively, with 03˝% others.
Secondly, its territories are divided between two main geographical areas, the larger of which is land-locked, that are actually separated from each other (unless one travles through a set of ancient, and probably magical, 'gates'...) by several hundred miles of other nations' lands.

The short form of this country's name refers both to the fact that it this a predominantly Ursine nation and to the fact that it originated as a defensive alliance: In the Ursine language it is "Oorrs’hrray Pardhram".
The full version of the 'pre-title' in English, which is slightly too long for the World Survey's forms, is "The Confederated Clans of the Free Bears of".

For one reason or another the World Survey has made several mistakes in its standard description of this country_

1/. We do have a national government, although admittedly one that has few powers over internal matters (which is because those constitutionally fall within the jurisdictions of the confederation's separate Clans & other Bodys instead);
2/. The total population, for both geographical sections of the country combined, is only [approximately] nineteen million and not somewhere in excess of thirteen billion.
3/. Those so-called "biker gangs" are actually our traditional cross-Clan 'warrior societies' which are also the closest thing that we have to a national (and highly mobile although, considering their low numbers, not really "all pervasive") police force, and most people's response to them is admiring respect rather than "fear".
4/. Tourism, gambling and book publishing, are the country's three largest sources of foreign currency but are not actually its three main "industries": That role is actually filled by three of the various industries that are involved in producing food for [mostly] internal consumption.
5/. The nation's economy could more accurately be described, in comparison to those of other countries, as 'thriving' -- or, at most, as a 'powerhouse' -- rather than as 'frightening'.

The Free Bears of Bears Armed