by Max Barry

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by The Republic of Union Mass Media. . 235 reads.

The Union Tribune Newsletter - June & July 2022 Edition

The Union Tribune Newsletter
The Official News Source of the Social Liberal Union

General News

Regional News

  • Congratulations to the new ministers elected in late June, as well as the new Chancellor Courelli.

  • Resident states: answer Linkthis quick, anonymous survey to share your thoughts and feedback on how the SLU can improve and any initiatives it should pursue.

Other News

  • Interested in writing for the Union Tribune? Contact Erynia and Draconia (qibli77#6967 on discord) if interested. We are looking for more writers and editors to bring something new to the newsletter.

  • Join our Linkdiscord server, where most of our community's activity is, read our region's "getting started guide" if you are new, and join our Linkoffsite forum.

Recent Elections

This June saw a flurry of elections, starting off with Toonela being re-elected as LinkWorld Assembly Delegate. Directly following were the Ministerial elections and Chancellor election. The results of the Ministerial elections were as follows:

Courelli was elected as LinkChancellor, the presiding officer of the Court of Justice. Congratulations to all these new officers!

Interview with Masdobo

This month, Goncar interviewed one of the Social Liberal Unionís long-time members, North American Republics, now known as Masdobo. Throughout his 11 years in the SLU, he has helped shape the region we know today with his work in the several ministries he was involved in.

Goncar: How does it feel now knowing you have now been part of this community for 11 years?

Masdobo: Itís a trip, haha. To think that I have been part of any community for that long is something that kind of baffles me, but I think it really speaks to the camaraderie and care of everyone active in the region, and generally, their trust and support when it came to re-electing me as often as they did in the past. Iíve definitely formed a strong bond with many of us here, even seeping out some into the real world ó assistance on a political campaign from a certain somebody in the region will always hold a spot in my heart. But yeah, itís quite something and I hope to see it continue to evolve for some time yet.

Goncar: Certainly. What are some of your favorite memories over the years?

Masdobo: Iíll always recall what I consider my start in the region, responding to a more serious role-play post on our old forum dealing with nanobots taking over an area of the region. Seeing that and growing from there is a fond chain of memories. The discussion and debate surrounding the second constitution is also one I try to keep hold of. It was our first properly fleshed out constitution and outlined strong principles that helped guide the region as a whole for years after. I have a decent amount of civic pride when it comes to our legislation, especially after having been a Speaker of the Union during that time period. [...] Itís hard to pinpoint any specific moment in time as absolute favorites, but one kind of larger Ďmemoryí stands out: my stepping into programming for the web. From my little hoby projects like the SLU Stock Exchange to working out the back-end of the voting website, this region gave me a reason to learn how to code in PHP, manipulate HTML and CCS, and even delve a little into how JavaScript works. [...] Even now itís had real world effects in that I can handle SQL queries in my real-life job and overall work a lot better with some real-world programs.

Goncar: That is really cool to see how it applies to real life as well. Obviously youíve been in a handful os positions from Speaker, Domestic Affairs, Delegates (etc.). What would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far?

Masdobo: Thatís an interesting question. Probably triggering a quick response from the government after the Ainland coup. Seriously, though, Iím not sure Iíve had any ďgreatĒ accomplishments related specifically to a role. There was the voting website I created while working in the Ministry of Domestic Affairs, but that was more of a side project and not a ministry-specific one. While I have often felt that my role when elected i one of being a caretaker for the position Iím in, I have tried to go out of my way to shake things up, so to speak.

Goncar: As we move forward and you continue to serve in various positions, what do you look forward to? What goals do you have for the short term?

Masdobo: Well, I intend to support Erynia and Draconia and the rest of the [ministry] staff through the rest of the term. If anyone needs help advertising, organizingó whatever may come upó I will be there for them. I will be thinking up some ideas that we may be able to implement and sharing them with staff to discuss implementation, but by and large I aim to support the ministry and any foreign events we aim to hold whether with old allies or new friends.

Goncar: Is there anything else you want to say before I end?!

Masdobo: Canít say I have much to add. At the risk of sounding too New Age-y, try to find the moments of peace in your life and focus on them while you can. Donít give up things that give you joy, understand that you may just need to come back to them later. There is a lot of negativity out in the world, especially if you spend a decent amount of time on social media. Make sure to see the beauty and progress thatís out there, too.

Opinion Article

Pride, Power, & Representation

Thereís not much to say about Pride month that hasnít been said before or, at least, thatís often the way I feel. Pride is a riot. Pride is an uprising. Pride is a parade. Pride is sponsored. Hell, Pride is something to have at an event called Anti-Pride. Thereís been a lot of ink spilled and words typed over this month and its accompanying events, which have occurred internationally for many years now. With that said, Iím simply going to tell a brief personal story here, about a situation I was in a few years back, and hope thereís something interesting to glean from it.

In June of 2017, I was homeless in the Bay Area of California. Iíd find a roof over my head, at times, via the generosity of friends or strangers or clients, but nothing was ever certain or consistent. At the time, I was dating a trans woman, slightly older than I was, and we were both Ďcoastingí through our respectively dismal situations together. She, being a California native, understood the area quite a bit better than I, and it was through her I came to know of almost the entirety of our shared friend circle (though not at all). One of these friends of hers, though not mine, was an adamant anarchist (in Chomskyís sense of the term) and something of an organizer. This person invited the two of us to something new they were organizing that year: Anti-Pride.

Now, the idea behind this new event was that, given how San Francisco's main Pride event was bought-and-sold, well-managed stage productions that paraded around the streets with a permit in hand and wealthy sponsorships backing it up, there needed to be a counter-narrative. Anti-Pride, which was primarily a barbecue according to those who invited us, would advance that narrative. When my ex partner and I asked additional questions about the utility of this new event, we didnít get any answers, so we chose not to go. Nor, for that matter, did we go to the official pride events in the city either.

Every year, Pride events occur across the world. In some parts of the world, they are enormous acts of courage, met with police violence and angry counter-protestors not totally muzzled by the police. In San Francisco that year, I felt both as if the critiques of the local pride paradeís co-option by the forces of law and order and the attempt to speak in an alternative form were equally disorienting. By attending either, I gained very little outside of what social experiences could have been equally gained at a bar known to be well-visited by the local IWW chapter, where, yeah, I would see other queer people, but more importantly, theyíd be queer people like me in the substantial sense, that sense of being together in search of political power and liberation, rather than just as likely to be from either a niche milieu of countercultural punks (in the case of Anti-Pride) or among the wealthiest San Francisco had to offer (in the case of official Pride).

Iím still looking for that sense of being in shared power within an egalitarian group of people much more so than representation (even if that isnít totally unimportant). Itís what puts me on the left of the political spectrum. Itís what necessities so much more than just events where we limit our aims to the celebration of one part of ourselves. Pride events may never be that. Perhaps they donít have to be. However, I hope one day soon I might be able to see something like an ĎIWW Prideí, where I know what side everyone is on; maybe itíd be something like the heady days of leftist organizing in this country where a member of the communist party knew their barber was a comrade too.

Thank you for reading the Union Tribune's March & April Newsletter edition! If you liked it, give it an upvote. We are always looking for new writers and editors, so if you would like to join the Union Tribune team, please DM qibli77#6967 on discord or telegram Erynia and Draconia.

The Union Tribune Newsletter is a subsidiary of Union Mass Media, which is managed by the LinkMinistry of Domestic Affairs. Please contact Minister of Domestic Affairs Erynia and Draconia with any questions, comments, or suggestions for improvement.