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by The First Gentleman of TRR of Vuy. . 263 reads.

The Rejected Times Issue LXIX - Summing up the last few months

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Issue LXIX | September 2021

Editor-in-Chief: Vuy

Index

  • A note from the Editor-in-Chief - Vuy

  • A hint of Regionalism in The South Pacific - Crowheim

  • A little recount of the last few months in The South Pacific - Vuy

  • A Rejected Realms Postcard (Artwork) - Budgie Snugglers

  • The Manifestations of Independence: A Review of Europeia's Independence Summit - Vuy

  • Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches - Minskyiv

  • Resignations and Newcomers making marks in Lazarus - Vuy

A message from the Editor-in-Chief

For those of you who do not follow events in The Rejected Realms closely, this may be the first time you realise that The Rejected Times now has a new Editor-in-Chief. That is mostly my fault - since taking the office a few months ago, I haven't been able to publish an issue - but the last few months hasn't been filled with particularly interesting news either. As such, you will find that a few articles in this issue will discuss events that occurred a little while ago, although I do believe that these events remain relevant to the gameplay of the present and future, and none of them had been well covered when they occurred. Regardless, from now on you should expect TRT to publish monthly issues once again.

There is also something we would like to ask you - the readers - about. As many of you will be aware, we started a new type of publication at the end of last year, the Brief News, and it has been published irregularly under the past two Editors-in-Chief. Now, we would like to hear what you think about Brief News, to help us determine what its future will be.

Fill out the survey on Brief News Linkhere.

A hint of Regionalism in The South Pacific

ANALYSIS | WRITTEN BY Crowheim | EDITED BY Toerana and Vuy

Note from the Editor-in-Chief: This article was written during, and describes events that occurred in May 2021. While we regret the late publication of this article, we believe it is still relevant and insightful.

We are live from the Fudgetopia Government Center in the South Pacific as the region begins debate on two new regionalist proposals to change the way which the Cabinet, the executive branch for the region, functions. One to require cabinet members to either join the South Pacific Special Forces or to have their WA nation in the region, (proposed by Quebecshire), and one to prevent cabinet members in the South Pacific from holding an equivalent role in another region, proposed by HumanSanity.

Together, these two proposals signal something of a shift in a region that has long been known for a free and open democracy, towards a more regionalist and isolated vision for the region - these types of limits are imposed in other regions such as 10000 Islands, which restricts cabinet members from holding government posts in any other region, and is generally regarded as more autocratic or closed-off than TSP.

However, especially to the proposal by Quebecshire, there was some pushback. Kris Kringle, a long time TSPer and incumbent Chief Justice, stated: "I don’t know what kind of 'commitment' you prove by clicking a button, which is what joining the WA ultimately entails." Others echoed this sentiment, with Nakarisaune, a former Prime Minister, chipping in with the following: "We're a region of freedom and democracy, I think the idea of taking away someone's freedom for no apparent reason goes against that. If there had been an issue this was trying to fix - sure, maybe. But if there is no purpose other than wanting a minor bit more control over Cabinet members, I don't like this." However, some high profile members voiced support for the measure, such as the incumbent Minister of Defence, Witchcraft and Sorcery, and former Delegate Tsunamy.

HumanSanity's proposal was met with some more support from members of the region, but ultimately was withdrawn after Somyrion and the Moonstar, a former Delegate and Legislator Committee member, respectively, poked some large holes in the logic behind the amendment, with the former in particular having some sharp points to be made about the implications of the proposal for smaller, non-GP aligned regions such as Forest, where he is a member and offsite admin. HumanSanity's proposal served as the inspiration for that of Quebecshire's.

While these proposals ultimately both look dead in the water, the fact that they were brought up and garnered some support should raise the alarm for a shift in the way that TSP thinks - however, ultimately it appears that older members of the region will not get behind them, and they also don't seem set to go anywhere anytime soon. One thing to be found ironic about the whole ordeal is that both HumanSanity and Quebecshire are very new citizens of the Coalition, and both of them are best known for contributions and positions in other regions, with Quebecshire, at the time of proposing the amendment, still serving as the Chief Consul of the Republic for the League.

A little recount of the last few months in The South Pacific

ANALYSIS | WRITTEN BY Vuy | EDITED BY TRT Staff

In a period when nothing much seems to be going on anywhere, it’s fair to say The South Pacific has had a pretty eventful last few months. And that is not even mentioning the unfortunate resignations and recalls that the Cabinet and the region has faced over the last month or so. With that in mind, it’s time for a run-down.

We start with the June Cabinet Elections, or more specifically, the Minister of Foreign Affairs election. Former MoFA Jay Coop returned for another go, as did former MoFA candidate Qawertiyou. Inevitably, a hot-button issue of the election was the frosty relationship with The North Pacific, officially TSP’s oldest treatied ally, but one which has gradually drifted apart due to TSP’s full conversion to a Defender identity, culminating in a public spat over TNP’s quorum raid of a proposal by the Confederation of Corrupt Dictators, generally seen as a fascist region, to repeal the Security Council Liberation against them. The two regions traded blows in the form of public statements, accusing each other of refusing to engage on the topic and expressing outrage, with TNP stating that TSP “sanctioned activities that have ultimately aided the causes of fascism”, while TSP lambasted the statement and cancelled a planned festival in response.

The question resurfaced during the election largely thanks to HumanSanity, a former Delegate of 10000 Islands who had left the region and joined TSP (and would be elected Minister of Defence in the same election), who posed a question on how candidates would seek to reach an agreement with TNP, in which he describes “a pattern of unreliable, unhelpful, and disrespectful behavior” on the part of TNP. Candidate Jay Coop expressed that the “absolute minimum” required from TNP for a compromise to work is a retraction of the statement previously mentioned, though later said that more concessions towards TNP may be needed. Candidate Qawertiyou had a shorter answer in which he stated the relationship could either be repaired or terminated, and that he “neither [favours] one result or the other”.

It was likely this discussion that spurred a revisit on the issue for both governments, as just before the election results were announced (though it was never in doubt that Jay Coop would win handily), The North Pacific released a statement which acknowledges that “some misunderstood our statement” and went on to say:

The North Pacific does not consider The South Pacific to be a region that sanctions, condones or endorses fascism, in any way.

Whether that could be considered an apology or a retraction of the previous statement is of course up to individual interpretation, though the matter appears firmly settled, averting the prospect of more tense negotiations and further deterioration in the relationship. In addition, it was revealed that a new procedure regarding quorum raiding had been agreed to, though it was presented only to the legislatures of the two regions.

Fast forward three weeks, we see the Security Council resolution Commend Imkiville (Imki) causing the latest drama. Imki has a long history with TSP, having participated in Hilville’s coup attempt in 2016, but remained in the community and was later elected Minister of Military Affairs, playing a major role in reviving the South Pacific Special Forces. The vote of TSP’s Delegate and the regional voting recommendation is typically determined by an internal vote among TSP WA nations, administered by the Office of WA Legislation (OWL), but can be overridden by the Cabinet for foreign affairs or security interests. In this case, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jay Coop first raised the possibility of overriding for an abstention or against the proposal, citing the aforementioned coup as a security interest and noting that most OWL voters are likely not well-informed about Imki’s history in TSP. Other Cabinet members pushed back on the idea, pointing to the fact that Imki has served in the government since the coup attempt as reason that there is no security concern. Prime Minister Witchcraft and Sorcery (W&S) noted that properly informing voters is a complex matter as “there really isn't an unbiased account of what happened”. Minister of Engagement Luca/Refuge Isle further stated:

I much more suspect that this is in relation to a certain member of the CRS having a rather public and politically damaging tantrum on the SC forum and #legislators-lounge recently. I don't wish to indulge that or its chilling effect for members giving their private opinions.

Though the person is not mentioned by name here, this was a clear reference to Glen-Rhodes/Sandaoguo, who publicly stated in the Security Council drafting thread that he considers Imki’s “net contribution to TSP was negative”. This prompted many other prominent TSPers to come out in support of including Imki’s contributions to the SPSF in the commendation, including Prime Minister W&S and former Prime Minister Roavin.

The inactivity of OWL added another dimension to the issue, as the whole discussion took place before OWL had started an internal vote (and in fact, OWL never started one for the proposal). It was noted during the discussion that the Delegate may end up simply casting their vote based on the general vote of all TSP nations in the World Assembly, without any discussion taking place within OWL. This eventually led to a discussion within the Assembly about OWL reforms, which is ongoing and besides the issue at hand.

Ultimately, Delegate Beepee voted for the commendation along with the majority of TSP WA nations (without any instruction from the Cabinet or OWL), prompting Glen-Rhodes to post a public thread in the Assembly in which he accused W&S of being dismissive of his concerns due to his friendship with Imki and that the lack of OWL recommendation was due to interference from W&S and the Cabinet to ensure a recommendation against the proposal will not be issued. The thread was, however, soon taken to the private halls of the Assembly. In response to the accusations, the discussion recounted above was publicly released. In the Cabinet discussions after Glen-Rhodes' thread was posted, W&S and Luca both expressed their frustration with Glen-Rhodes’ behaviour, with Luca saying:

based on the constant incendiary rhetoric over this term and the weeks leading up to it where every small detail is a life threatening crisis that leads to insults, blame, and personal attacks, my patience for this particular individual is pretty spent

In light of Luca’s subsequent resignation from Cabinet and departure from the region, it is not unreasonable to assume that this incident has played a part in her decision. W&S also took to the public NSGP Discord server to express his frustration and reinforce his determination to stand his ground against Glen-Rhodes.

In a final twist to the saga, Glen-Rhodes took to oppose the nomination of W&S to be General in the SPSF, alleging that this gives the “appearance of corruption” as it involves a Minister nominating the Prime Minister to a high office, but it was pointed out that he fully supported Nakari’s nomination to the same position when she was Prime Minister. Thereafter the discussion fell silent until it was revived and passed a month later.

A Rejected Realms Postcard

ARTWORK | BY Budgie Snugglers

The Manifestations of Independence: A Review of Europeia's Independence Summit

ANALYSIS | WRITTEN BY Vuy | EDITED BY TRT Staff

As part of ex-President Kazaman’s campaign promises, Europeia hosted a Summit on Independence and Government at the end of June, consisting of speeches, radio shows and discussions on the past, present and future of Independence, featuring speakers from across the sphere. Despite the variety of the backgrounds of speakers, and the different topics touched on, there were some clear conclusions to be drawn from the discussions.

A central opinion shared by several speakers and attendees is that there has been a fundamental change in how Independence manifests (pardon the pun) in present-day gameplay compared to its origins. North East Somerset, King of Balder and Director of the Europeian Intelligence Agency, argues that many regions are taking up Independence without acknowledging the Independent Manifesto, or even deliberately distancing themselves from the Manifesto (with Thaecia cited as an example):

I would say that the Manifesto is one of the Independent movements greatest strengths - and weaknesses. I have no doubt that many more regions would be comfortable to identify as Independent by now, if it was never written. The basic tenets of the manifesto are as Malashaan said, widely accepted across the game by a large number of regions. But yet very few regions in addition to the founding signatories have chosen to explicitely sign on to it.

The North Pacific’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madjack/St George, agrees and adds that some regions which now practice the tenets of Independence may have “never read or heard of it”, and that “people may lean defender in their moral leanings, but when it comes to politics, regions are much more likely to take the complex, nuanced approach advocated for by the Manifesto”, pointing to the United Regions Alliance and Entropy as examples of newcomers who are doing things very differently from those of old. He goes further to say that the Independent regions which signed the Manifesto years ago and continue to follow it are fading in relevance, due to a lack of leadership and engagement on the world stage. This was disputed by several attendees, though many did agree with his conclusion, in which he implored the original signatories of the Independent Manifesto to consider what role they should play in the future, and whether they should be proactive or reactive.

Madjack also touched on the World Assembly Legislative League (WALL), a WA bloc consisting mostly of Independent regions, pointing out that messaging from WALL had been ineffective in its public messaging and alluding to different opinions within the bloc on whether it should expand.

Sopo, a former President of Europeia, approached the issue of change and relevance through a different angle - the advancement of social gameplay, where “political advancement now requires a robust social presence on Discord” and “personal relationships are increasingly the basis for political alliance”. At the same time, he also argues that “Independence is primed for this new environment,” and outlines a vision for the future:

The task at hand is to develop a cohesive approach at a regional level to a challenge that is, fundamentally, personal. We must continue to foster individual relationships – leader to leader, citizen to citizen – that are the building blocks for stronger relations. We must look outside the box to find new regional partners, as they may begin to come from places we may not expect. A system of ambassadors is more important than ever; not for delivering updates or making news posts, but for giving[...]Independent regions a human presence in regions across NationStates. On the part of ambassadors, that requires activity, good intuition, and unabashed friendliness[...]We need to train the next generation of foreign affairs experts, many of whom are more adept at social gameplay than us dinosaurs, and we need to give them meaningful goals to achieve.

Kazaman’s speech instead argued that it is in the nature of the game for social interaction, rooted in real-life matters, to blur with the in-game politics, though it generated much controversy for using the terms IC and OOC to describe this. Many attendees decried it as a misuse of the terms and pointed out that OOC is largely used to describe community safety and administration, rather than general social interaction. However, the sentiment was much the same - Kazaman used events such as EuroPride and the inter-regional Christmas charity fundraiser as examples of socially and real-life oriented events that nonetheless have an in-game political tint. Dilber, in his speech on Regional Security, cited Pope Hope as a more historic example, who was accused of building up the ADN “socially”, when “in reality, Pope was a shrewd operator that was willing to do what was necessary for influence in regions”. Kazaman goes on to conclude, similarly to Sopo (and to an extent, Madjack), that Independent regions need to take advantage of the blurring of social and political gameplay - this time, though, by building consensus, specifically on respecting regional sovereignty. It was a somewhat narrow conclusion to a broad, sweeping article on the nature of the game, though it nevertheless sheds some light on a dimension of gameplay that is not often considered.

Zukchiva, a former Delegate of The East Pacific, was one of a few that did not mention Independence, instead offering an analysis of “unalignment”, the label which TEP applies to itself. He posits “cultural flexibility” as one of the main advantages of this lack of alignment - a flexibility to experiment in terms of ideology, and the ability to attract a wider range of players who can contribute without worrying that the region is being unduly influenced by outside players. Yet in some sense, as other attendees have noted, what Zukchiva described may just be what others have noted as adopting Independence without the label - certainly many of the foreign affairs benefits and limitations described here sound much the same as those for Independent regions. If so, then perhaps the experience of TEP suggests that the flexibility, at least domestically and culturally, offered by forgoing the Manifesto is quite real.

Whether or not one believes in Independence, this summit has provided some important insights into the Independent sphere’s assessment of its own situation and future of Independence. And of course, there is a bit of story-telling for those more interested in the historical side of things, such as HEM’s article on LinkEuropeia’s Independent Underpinnings. Those interested in delving further can of course visit the Linksummit forum in Europeia. There is still, of course, much to disagree on - while North East Somerset couldn’t help but take a few sentences to extol the virtues of the Manifesto, others seem much more focused on adapting for the future. There are many ways yet for Independence to develop, and it remains to be seen which words from this summit will be heeded, and by whom.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

RECIPE | WRITTEN BY Minskyiv | EDITED BY TRT Staff

Welcome back to Sandwiches with 'Skiev! I'm your host, Minskiev. Today we'll be talking about buffalo chicken sandwiches. Mostly on how good they are. I don't get paid enough to provide a recipe. Anyway, did I ever tell you how good buffalo chicken sandwiches were? Are. They're still great, and here's why. The bun (optimally brioche) counterbalances with the tasteful spice of the buffalo sauce, and the chicken provides a delicious crunch, especially with lettuce. When paired with blue cheese sauce, your mouth's both cooled and given a heap of flavor. I don't know why people don't like blue cheese. I'll rant about it.

Blue cheese is great, and anyone who disagrees is wrong. I don't care if it's stinky or you don't like how it tastes; it tastes good. It's also nice and crumbly, and therefore versatile. You can also make it into a sauce and not make it terrible; a feat many kinds of cheese can't reproduce. There's a reason why you have blue cheese sauce with chicken wings: it's great at cooling your mouth, it's tasty, it adds flavor, and it's not too messy. Would you eat chicken wings with cheddar? With swiss sauce, perhaps? Didn't think so. Anyway.

Have I ever told you how good brioche is? It's great. Such a good bun bread. Tastes amazing; both sweet and bready. Perfect for burgers or sandwiches. As per usual, anyone who disagrees is wrong. I don't see the appeal in your standard, dry bun. Brioche never makes your mouth feel dry and it's never boring. Plus, you typically get a toothpick, to assassinate political opponents with. Fantastic, I know; I've used it plenty of times. Anyhow, brioche is a very good bread to use in burgers. But do you know what else is good to use in burgers?

Lettuce, crunchy or not. It's not overpowering like other vegetables, and often time it adds to the flavor, instead of detracting from it. Tomatoes are also nice, but you wouldn't put tomato slices in a buffalo chicken sandwich. Hopefully. Lettuce is a great vegetable; it's hard to mess up. A classic. Timeless. Incredible. There's even one named after where I'm writing this, my local iceberg. Incredible stuff, really. So yeah, lettuce. What else would you put in a burger? Besides tomatoes, I've covered that already. There's a reason it's a BLT and not a BCT for carrots. Ew. Carrots suck. Either too chewy or too crunchy and usually tastes terrible. Plus rabbits eat them, and I'd eat a rabbit, so. Has anyone ever eaten a rabbit? Isn't there some rabbit stew? Any rabbit eaters? How does it taste? I want some rabbit right now. What do you call rabbit meat? You don't call cow meat cow; but do you call rabbit meat rabbit? What cultures eat some rabbit chop? I'm getting long-winded. Time for my final topic of discussion.

Chicken. Oh, it's beautiful. Tastes great, plus you can bread it and make it better. It's not too bad cold either. And the sauces! Oh, chicken. I eat chickens, both the animals and the weak. For breakfast, sometimes. With waffles. Chicken and waffles. Who thought of that? Hmm. Why are square waffles better than circular ones? Am I just used to mediocre Eggos so that when I get fluffy square waffles it tastes better? And what's with Belgian waffles? What's the difference? Are there Dutch waffles, or French waffles? English waffles, perhaps? Oh, and waffle toppings. Like berries, or syrup, or berry syrup. Berry syrup. Ugh. Hard to do right, most attempts fall flat. Plus the idea's just inherently wrong. Anyway. I'm out of time and patience. Tune in for the next episode of Sandwiches with 'Skiev, and until next time, folks. Is that a phrase? I don't care. Get out. Stop reading my article. Shoo.

Resignations and Newcomers making marks in Lazarus

NEWS | WRITTEN BY Vuy | EDITED BY TRT Staff

Since adopting its current system of government, Lazarus has seen mostly competitive elections for Prime Minister, the Head of Government of the region. In May, however, when Managing Director Whatermelons resigned just shy of three months into her term citing real-life obligations and reduced activity and thus triggered an early election, it was Moe, a former Vice President of Europeia (and better known in that region as Monkey) who had just become a citizen 15 days prior, who was elected with 10 votes and 6 abstentions as the only candidate, after Ryccia, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, withdrew from the race. Speaking to The Rejected Times on his victory, Moe expressed that his victory was a surprise, saying: “I initially just saw it as a way to try and get my name out there and perhaps join in on the cabinet, but I ended up becoming Prime Minister instead!”

Following the election, JoWhatup was retained as Director of the Lazarene Guard, while Frankender, a former Minister of Citizenship (who advises the Delegate on accepting citizenship applications), was again appointed to the position. A few days later, Moe proceeded to appoint HEM, the founder of Europeia who had become a Shareholder after Moe’s election, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and JL/Constie, a citizen of Europeia and former citizen of Lazarus who had rejoined Lazarus after Moe’s election, as Minister of Internal Affairs. The new administration produced a Non-Aggression Pact with The Rejected Realms, a former ally before the Khante coup, pursuant to Moe’s campaign goals of increasing relations with GCRs. However, with progress on other goals seemingly stalled, Moe, too, resigned just shy of three months into his turn, also citing real-life development, thus prompting another early election. When asked to reflect on his term, he said “I would have to say my biggest regret this last term was not having more time to invest into integration tools, or getting nations from the site onto our forums and discord”.

The new election saw McChimp, a former Prime Minister, retake the office. Moe remained in the government, being appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. He stated to The Rejected Times that his tenure will be a “continuation of my policies last time, with a focus on furthering the relationships we currently have”. The remaining cabinet positions were taken up by those who had filled these positions previously, with Debussy appointed Minister of Internal Affairs, Domais appointed Minister of Citizenship, and JoWhatup retained as Director of the Guard.

NOTE: The Rejected Times does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Rejected Realms.

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