by Max Barry

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by The Office of TSP Minister of Media. . 145 reads.

The Southern Journal - November 2021 Edition

The Southern Journal
The Official News Outlet of the South Pacific


November 2021 Edition

On the 1st of October, it was time again for a new cabinet to replace Prime Minister Witchcraft and Sorcery, Minister of Culture New Quebecshire, Minister of Defence HumanSanity, Minister of Engagement United States of Vietnam, Minister of Foreign Affairs Qvait and Minister of Media Emodea. Additionally, the less-serious Craziest Person was also elected.

Originally, nobody ran for Prime Minister, but eventually HumanSanity decided to run because of the candidate absency. HumanSanity is a SPSF member and the previous Minister of Defence, though has not been Prime Minister before. Major parts of their campaign was to solve inactivity in the Office of WA Legislation, staying in contact with all ministers and improving accessibility of cabinet progress. HumanSanity won 96,77% of the votes, with the remaining 3,23% being votes for the re-opening of nominations.

For Minister of Foreign Affairs, two people ran: Roavin and Vrandaria. Roavin has had many functions in the government, including a term as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Part of that term was 'The modern South Pacifican Ambassador', a plan to have ambassadors increase interaction with their ambassador region and the South Pacific. He has made progress on his plan in that term, and wants to continue that in the new term. Vrandaria on the other hand is less known, and has said in his campaign that he believes the South Pacific needs a new face as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that he wants to improve communication between ambassadors. 96,77% of the votes were in favor of Roavin and 3,23% in favor of Vrandaria, electing Roavin as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Minskiev and Doge Land ran for Minister of Culture, who both haven't been minister before. Doge land has said to make RMB and RP events and Minskiev also promised a lot of events, as well as Culture Calendar dispatches to make them more accessible. 62,69% voted for Doge Land, 29,63% voted for Minskiev and 7,41% voted to re-open nominations, making Doge Land the new Minister of Culture.

Nyxonia was the only Minister of Engagement candidate this year. In her campaign, she said that she wants to work on the card program, improve strategic recruitment and introduce helpers, who will greet and guide new nations. Nyxonia became Minister of Engagement with 100% of the votes.

The election for Minister of Media went between two people: Lebatrip and Rabbitz, who both haven't been a minister in the South Pacific before. Rabbitz promised to include a short recap of events that happened during the month in each edition, statistical polls for the cabinet, delegate and LC, a MoM Discord bot and a puzzle or comic in each edition, with an additional role in the ministry. Lebatrip on the other hand promised weekly meetings with Senior Staff, monthly meetings with all staff, a minimum of work done each month, more gameplay focused articles, interviews with commended nations, weekly media and monthly polls about the ministry. Interestingly enough, this election ended in a tie between both candidates. It was decided that Coconut, the bot of the South Pacific Discord, would be flipping a coin with a command. The command was entered, and everyone saw how the bot chose heads as the result of the coin flip, electing Lebatrip as the new Minister of Media.

Only one candidate ran for Minister of Defence: Witchcraft and Sorcery. In his campaign he said that he wanted to improve R/D activity in the South Pacific by asking legislators to use their WA membership to participate in major operations and update SPSF training guides. Witchcraft and Sorcery won with 100% of the votes.

Two people were candidates for the Craziest Person this election: Apatosaurus and Holy Free. Apatosaurus promised a free dinosaur ride for everyone who voted for him, and the people who did not would be crushed by a stampede of dinosaurs. Holy free on the other hand hosted a card give-away for everyone who voted for him. Unsurprisingly though, Kringalia managed to get 200% of the votes, making him the Craziest Person.

The South Pacific Special Forces and its partners liberated Trovons during the minor update on Sunday, 7 November, after a siege that lasted four updates.

At the minor update on Friday, 5 November, The Black Hawks, Lone Wolves United, Lily, the Thaemperial Army, Kantrias, and later Aurelius invaded Trovons, seizing the delegacy from the eponymously-named non-executive founder. In the next update, the SPSF participated in an initial siege alongside 11 other defender and independent militaries that included the Rejected Realms Army and the Ten Thousand Islands Treaty Organization, but the effort came up short of liberation.

In the second siege, the liberation force appeared to be within the grasp of victory, but the illegitimate delegate from The Black Hawks ejected and banned the native delegate, preventing the liberation of Trovons for a second update. The action taken by the invading force drew controversy because it constituted griefing.

An explainer on griefing:

Griefing is a raiding practice whereby an invading force seizes the delegacy, accumulates influence, and bans the native members of a region. There are other applications of the term, which could also mean the destruction of a regional forum. However, the aforementioned definition is the most common occurrence of the practice.

Griefing was historically common in the earlier days of raiding but has since fallen out of favor in recent history because of the implementation of restrictions against griefing by various militaries and the growing strength of defender forces against raiders. The practice has typically been reserved for fascist and other malicious regions in recent years.

Today, only a few militaries engage in unrestricted griefing, such as The Black Hawks and Lone Wolves United, but they are typically unable to exercise this practice because they do not have the numbers and their partners have policies against griefing.

Several of the militaries that participated in the invasion, the Thaemperial Army and Kantrias, had policies against griefing. For the former, they were explicit that it was "a practice [they] stand firmly against." The latter enshrined in law that "Kantrias [would] not initiate the destruction of any region with an active community unless otherwise permitted." TBH member Wascoitan claimed that the action was taken "with permission."

However, Thaecian Minister of Foreign Affairs Andusre stated that the document outlining Thaecia's anti-griefing policy was "out-of-date" and that "(i)nternal discussions [were] taking place." The Thaecian government ultimately issued a statement that admitted to "a severe lack of internal communication" between military leadership and the president and prime minister, both of whom "would have objected to the ban" of Trovons. Because of the confusion and internal disagreement, Thaecia withdrew its forces from the invasion.

After the griefing undertaken by the invading force, several other militaries, including the Balder Jomsvikings and Europeian Republican Navy, joined the liberation effort, successfully unseating the invaders within the following two updates and beginning efforts to restore Trovons to its state before the occupation.

Witchcraft & Sorcery, the South Pacifican Minister of Defense, issued a special report on the liberation in which he announced the promotion of Officer HumanSanity to the rank of commander, joining the ranks of USoVietnam and the three members of the General Corps. Commenting on the griefing, W&S stated that "the raiders stooped to a low not seen in a while" and praised the operation in that "it showcased just how strong defender forces can be when we dig deep and all commit to an operation."

As of the writing of this article, the liberating force still maintains a presence in Trovons to ensure a safe transition to its pre-occupation status.

Disclaimer: the author of this article is a Soldier in the South Pacific Special Forces.

Who was Carl Sagan? „We’ve arranged a society based on science and technology, in which nobody understands anything about science technology. And this combustible mixture of ignorance and power, sooner or later, is going to blow up in our faces. Who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it?“ This is probably a very good description of our modern society, made in 1996. It was in an interview with Charlie Rose, the famous talk show host, that Carl Sagan said those few sentences. But let’s rewind a bit. Who was Carl Sagan?

Born on November 9th, 1934 in Brooklyn U.S., Carl Edward Sagan grew up in an immigrant Jewish family. His parents migrated from what was then the Russian Empire to Brooklyn, New York. Here young carl would learn to ask questions about nature, life, and the universe. After he graduated from High School, Carl went to the University of Chicago where great minds like Enrico Fermi and Edward Teller were present. He wrote his Ph.D. Thesis under Gerard Kuiper, after whom the Kuiper belt was named, under the title of Physical Studies of the Planets. In 1968 he was denied tenure at Harvard and went to Cornell. This is where our story really begins. During his professorship, he made important discoveries in the field of planetology. He made the hypothesis, which would later be proved to be true, that Venus was so hot because of the greenhouse effect. But furthermore, Sagan is most famous for what he showed to the public. In 1980 he co-wrote the show “Cosmos a personal Voyage” with his wife Ann Druyan and Steven Soter which would later be watched by over 500 million people in total. This show, moderated by Sagan brought science, cosmology, and the basic understanding of our place in the universe to our living room TVs. He managed to bring the greatest of ideas to the smallest of us. He shaped the way science was perceived in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He helped to lead a generation of young people to pursue science and to shape the world we know today. With his show, based on the principle of knowledge communication, Sagan achieved what in science was long lost: communication. Yes there were such scientists in the past, communicating to the public and there will be in the future, but someone like Carl has yet to appear again.

Sagan’s work does not end here. He was an important scientist working, especially, on the Pioneer and Voyager missions. And looking back, his work on the Voyager was possibly the greatest influence of all. Sagan managed to convince the head of the voyager team to turn the spacecraft around and do something unprecedented. On February 14th, 1990 the Voyager 1 spacecraft turns around, after passing Neptune, and points its camera back to us, and takes, what possibly could be the single most important picture for human development. [insert the picture I have sent you] Pale Blue Dot, February 14th, 1990, Voyager 1 Shortly after, Sagan publishes a book called “Pale Blue Dot: A vision of human future in space”. In the first chapter, he leads the reader to meet the Earth again. To meet it from the outside. After all the journeys and expeditions, at the end of chapter 1, we take a look back to the Earth from Neptune. He writes:
“We can explain the wan blueness of this little world because we know it well. Whether an alien scientist newly arrived at the outskirts of our solar system could reliably deduce oceans and clouds and a thickish atmosphere is less certain. Neptune, for instance, is blue, but chiefly for different reasons. From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us it’s different. Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, the thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor, and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Carl Sagan was someone who developed, someone who brought science forward. Be it with SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence), with his books, or his show, or him as a scientist, or him as a person, his goal was to make us think about ourselves, our place in the Universe and our place in history. This article doesn’t cover a large part of success but it shouldn’t. The goal here is to follow Carls's example and show enough to get the person on the other side intrigued and look it up themselves, to think about it themselves. Today not a lot is left behind Carl in the modern days, his show was succeeded by Neil DeGrasse Tyson and is now in its 3rd season. Tyson takes us on the voyage Carl started. May it never end.

Our newly appointed Deputy Minister of Media drove a few blocks down to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and rushed into the Ministers office. The Result was this interview.

Eflad: Welcome! First of all, congratulations on being re-elected for MoFA. How do you like the new cabinet?
Roavin: It's great - it's the perfect mix between old and new, and our Prime Minister HumanSanity is doing a fantastic job managing it all.
E: Let us recall, you had an interview during your candidacy and you spoke about the roles ambassadors should play, specifically as they not only build the relations but also inform the public of both regions on each other. What do you plan on doing regarding this issue?
R: For informing South Pacificans, our ambassadors have been reporting back news from their assigned regions, and we've recently introduced a very convenient form to make it super easy for them to do so. All that's needed is to compile those things into regular digests (which, you just reminded me, I'm overdue on!) For the other way around, we don't (yet) have a managed process for doing so but it's on the ministry's TODO list. At the moment, when there's something important, we just ping ambassadors to spread the word.
E: Great to hear! Let's look at the Ministry itself, What needs to change in the MoFA? What will you change, and why?
R: In both of my previous MoFA campaigns, I laid out a vision of the South Pacifican Ambassador. I won't reiterate all of it here (just look at either of my previous two campaigns!), but to summarize briefly, it's to make ambassadors more meaningful and give them more actual diplomatic experience rather than just having them be, in essence, paper pushers, as they too often are in NationStates. Ambassadors naturally are the future Ministers, and it only helps the ministry and our democracy when the position is highly competitive rather than a slam dunk for one candidate. That is what I have been working on and am continuing to push for. To put it more concretely, we've been making sure things are clearer and simpler for ambassadors, I'll be taking them along for diplomatic talks, and we're making sure that our wiki pages on foreign regions are as great as they can be, not just as a resource for us in the ministry but for all South Pacificans.
E: Alright. Let us look at the greater perspective of things. What is your perspective on the role of TSP on the interregional stage?
R: We're not the biggest fish in the sea, but we're not small fry either like we were a few years back. Through our alliance network, our membership in PfS, and just generally our standing, we have significant influence in the interregional sphere, when and if we choose to use it. I think that's a good place to be and I'm satisfied with it.
E: Let's get back to your nomination: What was your incentive to run as MoFA?
R: In February, I ran because I felt like I could do the job very well and saw issues in how our ambassadors operate, and wanted to get in and improve that. I couldn't run again the term after due to RL obligations, but I did discover that it had become my favorite Cabinet job (and I've done pretty much all the others before). For this term, it was a combination of continuing the work I started in my February term, combined with my newly found love for this very position.
E: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the best! Finally, would you like to address the viewers?
R: You forgot to ask Cake or Pie not that it should be a question, becuase the answer is obviously pie.
E: I appologize for commiting such an atrocity and hope for your forgiveness
R: I forgive you.
E: :) Thanks for your time!
R: np!