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Turbeaux wrote: Government Post
Does anyone have ideas for photo contest categories besides trees? Last year there were "nature in unexpected places", "weather", and "sunrise/sunset".

I would personally like an "after dark" category.

Take the "after dark" idea and make it "moonlit night". Who can do the best moonlit picture?

RE: influence and voting for embassies

It bothers me that we would be increasing restrictions for voting on embassies as a way to change how we approach who we make relationships with. Suddenly you have to be a heavy hitter in Forest in order to decide the future of region? Do you know how discouraging that might be for new nations who just joined? "Hey, your voice counts on the RMB, but you can't translate that into a vote unless you join the WA or you stick around for a year or three". Power will get concentrated in the old growth and there will never be an invigoration of the new growth. You know what happens when the new growth is unable to flourish and coalesce's together? It makes for great tinder, and all you need is a single spark to ignite a forest fire.

My point is, if this is a way to curtail the number of embassies we vote on (because of some view that newer nations vote yes on everything), then this is a bad idea that disenfranchises newer nations (especially those who will join after this discussion passes and who don't see the points for or against it) and will cause problems down the road. Forest is welcoming to all peoples, why should our voting be any more restrictive than that?

Seagull wrote:As The niceties of normal moral constraints have pointed out, IMO the ideas that have so far been proposed are too complicated.

I might be a minority here that has an opinion that 'too much' embassies is fine, as long as they are good and active enough. Aren't Forest an inclusive region?

My suggestion, we shouldn't be more restrictive when it comes to new embassy. It has worked for years. But, to keep a quality list of embassied region, we need to review them every three months or so. If some are not meeting our requirements, become inactive, or it has dropped in quality, we should hold a vote whether to keep them or not. I think this wouldn't require constitutional changes.

Also, sorry if i'm not making sense. Writing this in English is harder than i thought it would be.

That's a pretty good idea actually, I'd be down for that. Also your English is pretty good, what's your first language?

Cosona wrote:That's a pretty good idea actually, I'd be down for that. Also your English is pretty good, what's your first language?

Ok, glad i could get my point across. My first language is Indonesian.

I'm once again thankful that in Forest we have a region in which difficult questions can be approached in a mature and respectful way. Many other regions would have been unable to have this debate about embassy requirements in the civilised way we've been having it. At the moment it's clear that the status quo is attracting very little support. An influence threshold is currently the most popular suggestion, but it's also being viewed by some as punitive, divisive and non-inclusive. Those are concerns that I take very seriously, and I fear that leaving people feeling that something important about the ethos of Forest has been compromised may be too high a price for fixing the problem of having too many meaningless embassies.

I honestly don't think increased written criteria for embassies will help. If you disagree, my challenge to you is this: pick 3 of our current embassies (excluding the obvious A-list regions) that you like and are glad to have. Then try to write a set of objective criteria that any reasonable observer will agree are met by those 3 regions but not by any random region that sends us a friendly telegram and an appealing puppet with big puppy dog eyes. If you can successfully do that I'd really like to hear what you came up with.

We can indeed review embassies after a probationary period with an option to vote on closure, but that potentially just doubles the amount of time we spend debating embassies. Is that really what we want to do here? Last year as Foreign Minister I proposed closure of an old embassy with an inactive region and got voted down in a debate that involved much more division and impasse than this one. It's not something I'd be crazy about as a regular occurrence.

Or we could put up with the status quo, allow our embassy list to steadily grow over time and let the government decide which subset of our embassy regions it would like to attempt a meaningful relationship with. I think we'd lose something that matters through that, but is it perhaps the least of the evils?

I'd love to resolve this perennial question that we keep on coming back to, but not at any price. This is hard.

It is indeed hard, and is something that I'm sure will get harder as we grow.

The inherent disconnect I see is the fundamental conservative vs liberal debate that had never been resolved anywhere, in any time. On the one hand is the old ways, the appeal to tradition, and the senior-most members feeling like the kids are getting out of hand, while on the other side is the wide open acceptance of others, relativistic values, and a feeling that perhaps this change is a good thing.

As with real life, it's my opinion that some sort of compromise is probably the best course. The former position stagnates, and the latter loses identity, neither of which is desirable.

My personal vote was for the officers to analyze embassy submissions and put those to a public vote which were worthy, not from a "would I vote for it" perspective, but from a more neutral position of analyzing qualifications and a "spirit of the requirements" position (to filter out things like the temporary"embassy requirement puppet" and such). That keeps a quality check in place, but leaves the final decision to the citizens. That has its own problems I'm sure, but it's where my mind went.

My main objection to the influence or WA requirements is personal - it would give a vote to a person like me, who has only been here a few weeks, but would deny the vote to countless people with far more claim to residency and privilege. My membership in the WA is hardly a commentary on my qualifications to vote here!

I'm going to say something from another perspective here regarding our "too many meaningless embassies". While it is true that there are a number of regions that we have embassies with that we do nothing with, does the fault lay 100% with those regions? Are we not culpable of also neglecting those regions as well? It's easy to put the blame on others and say that X region or Y region haven't done anything with us, but what have we done to interact with them? You can argue that these regions who approach us and want embassies with us have a responsibility to reach out and justify their embassy, sure, but if we just sit here waiting to be wooed by proactive regions and make them do all the work, well, (and to be crude to make a point) then we're the NationStates equivalent of a dead fish who just lays there.

I mean honestly, why would any region want to have embassies with us if all we do is smack-talk the ones who want to form relationships with us for being young or "meaningless" and then sit on our laurels and have one or two events a year? We joke about this region being filled with issue editors and authors, yet what do we do to cultivate that amongst nations who join or our embassies? There are major players in both RP and the WA, yet what have we done to share our expertise with others? N-Day and Z-Day come by every year and yet, what coordination did we have with our embassy regions for both events? On Z-Day, we were high on the charts for final standings, yet what did we do to help out our embassy regions, let alone the regions with whom we have Treaty's with?

Relationships take work. Being an example for others takes work. The requirements we have for embassies works, and the spirit of Forest shows that we're open to all kinds of relationships with other peoples. The only thing not working is how we approach the embassies we do have. We've argued and debated a great deal over the past year and a half (since I've been here) regarding embassies, and to reference what Uan aa boa mentioned, even closing some long-standing regions. At the time, there were a few regions that were absolutely dead, and many influential nations here argued against closing embassies because things might improve. I ask you, in the time since those last arguments, what has anyone done to improve those regions?

I'm not saying this to be accusatory, I'm saying this to prove a point: we do not do enough for the embassies we do have and arguing about who or what justifies a region to have embassies with us is pointless if we do nothing with them moving forward. Personally, I think one of the reasons why the government positions have such high turn-over is because they are trying to juggle so many responsibilities that the rest of the region should be picking up the slack with, and that starts with foreign affairs.

So what I propose is this:
>No region can obtain an embassy with us until we have someone who has accepted the responsibility of ambassador with that region.
>Every ambassador is required to do monthly updates on their region here and do monthly updates on their embassy region there.
>Every ambassador is responsible for stimulating inter-regional camaraderie through posting on the RMB and inter-regional events that they are responsible for organizing. (i.e., Texas hosts a March Madness Bracket every year, the ambassador to Texas is responsible for drumming up support here to take part, all ambassadors should aim to get participation from their embassy region in our annual Photo contest)
>Responsibility for lack of activity will be placed at the ambassadors feet, not the region.
>If these stipulations are met and the embassy region still derelicts their duties, then we can re-consider our relationship with them.

We hold our embassies to such high standards, maybe it's time we hold ourselves to the same.

With that, if there is a region that needs an ambassador, I'm open to rejoining the public service as needed.

Palos Heights wrote:With that, if there is a region that needs an ambassador, I'm open to rejoining the public service as needed.

Oh, thank goodness. As much as I love being an ambassador, 4 regions is my limit.

Elvish aressaria

I am pissed about dilemma 220. I personally believe compulsory voting is a good thing, but the only way to enforce in the issue was to execute people. I was thinking a minor fine or something small, not execution. Who writes this stuff?? This is why I have a psychotic dictatorship, because the issues are sometimes unreasonable. I just accidentally adopted Capital Punishment into my nation. Is there any way to undo a policy?

Post self-deleted by Palos Heights.

Elvish aressaria wrote:I am pissed about dilemma 220. I personally believe compulsory voting is a good thing, but the only way to enforce in the issue was to execute people. I was thinking a minor fine or something small, not execution. Who writes this stuff?? This is why I have a psychotic dictatorship, because the issues are sometimes unreasonable. I just accidentally adopted Capital Punishment into my nation. Is there any way to undo a policy?

Every issue is unreasonable, that's the joke. That being said, Clorse Ivy wrote 220 and Sirocco edited it.

Canaltia wrote:Oh, thank goodness. As much as I love being an ambassador, 4 regions is my limit.

Who you got?

Palos Heights wrote:Every issue is unreasonable, that's the joke. That being said, Clorse Ivy wrote 220 and Sirocco edited it.

We were talking in TLA about having a self-aware issue about how ridiculous the outcomes are.

Palos Heights wrote:Who you got?

Conch Kingdom, The Leftist Assembly, The North Pacific, and most recently, Sonindia.

Canaltia wrote:We were talking in TLA about having a self-aware issue about how ridiculous the outcomes are.
Conch Kingdom, The Leftist Assembly, The North Pacific, and most recently, Sonindia.

Any of those you'd be comfortable handing the reins over to?

Ruinenlust, Lord Dominator, Canaltia, Cosona, and 1 otherAltmer dominion

Elvish aressaria wrote:I am pissed about dilemma 220. I personally believe compulsory voting is a good thing, but the only way to enforce in the issue was to execute people. I was thinking a minor fine or something small, not execution. Who writes this stuff?? This is why I have a psychotic dictatorship, because the issues are sometimes unreasonable. I just accidentally adopted Capital Punishment into my nation. Is there any way to undo a policy?

There are 6 issues that allow you to outlaw capital punishment. Of course, that compares with 65 issues that may allow it. Sadly, there is no way to just "undo" a policy, no matter how absurd it is or how unrelated to the text you chose it was (though to be fair, 220.2 is very clear that it instates executions for non-voters). I mean, I had a puppet recently face an issue to boost declining birth rates, and by choosing to allow science to help, it outlawed sex. It's why I now look up the effect of every issue prior to choosing - I don't trust the results to reflect what is said.

Palos Heights wrote:Any of those you'd be comfortable handing the reins over to?

Naaah. They're all great. I'm sure there are regions without ambassadors, though.

Ruinenlust, Lord Dominator, Palos Heights, Turbeaux, and 3 othersCosona, Altmer dominion, and Syllabun

Canaltia wrote:Naaah. They're all great. I'm sure there are regions without ambassadors, though.

I have Yggdrasil and Seagull has Conifer. I am not sure about other regions, but I think that Caracasus is ambassador to at least one.

Turbeaux wrote:I have Yggdrasil and Seagull has Conifer. I am not sure about other regions, but I think that Caracasus is ambassador to at least one.

Nope. I've volunteered to a couple of regions but others have shown greater interest or volunteered before me.

The niceties of normal moral constraints

Seagull wrote:As The niceties of normal moral constraints have pointed out, IMO the ideas that have so far been proposed are too complicated.

Just to clarify, I meant more substantively that implementing a Bernoulli process with a fair coin and #-of-nations-in-Forest trials is the ideal solution precisely because it accomplishes absolute fairness with the least complex process, and therefore least potential for manipulation. This was not metaphor. It was a prescription. It's mathematically indistinguishable from the outcome of a truly "fair" vote, in the long run. Basically every other option -- with whatever "citizenship" standard, requirement, or poll tax -- is basically just a mechanism for rigging the coin, regardless of whatever ideology invoked to "justify" it.

Canaltia wrote:Conch Kingdom, The Leftist Assembly, The North Pacific, and most recently, Sonindia.

Canaltia wrote:Naaah. They're all great. I'm sure there are regions without ambassadors, though.

I would be willing to take any one of those off your hands or take up one that has no ambassador

https://www.userbenchmark.com/QuazzleTheQaz/User?id=110624&tab=PBuilds
Read dispatch

Thinking about getting a way better PC...

Rejectionville

Palos Heights wrote:...We hold our embassies to such high standards, maybe it's time we hold ourselves to the same.

Staggeringly drunk, Rejectionville returns from The Bar, frumpy floozy in tow.

Friends. All my friends. I have returned from my successful diplomatic mission and want to introduce you to Candy...

The sleepy-eyed woman interjects- "Candi, with an 'i'."

"Candi", of course. Anyway, she's the best and we're getting married.

His 'fiance' looks around the space with obvious dislike. "I thought you said you lived alone."

I said that I didn't live with my parents. These are my region-mates; there's a difference.

Unconvinced, the trollop snaps her gum disdainfully. "I need to use the toilet."

Unsteadily, he sweeps his arms around, taking in the region.

Pick a tree, toots, go behind it and grab a squat. We're all friends here.

So, I want to report that the Bar region has an active message board, friendly staff, a wide and varied menu and very affordable liquor. They have taken to yours truly straight away and wish for me to represent them here in Forest and to be our ambassador to their region. Pretty generous of them and I told them that there would be some paperwork involved but that it should be okay. I also took the liberty of ordering for the region three cases of Rumplemintz, as the bartender was very convincing in his sales pitch.

Dusts off his hands theatrically

Pretty good for my first day, what say you?

Caracasus, Lake of fur, Lord Dominator, Aeterno Tranquillitas, and 10 othersUan aa boa, Palos Heights, Turbeaux, Canaltia, Seagull, Cosona, Altmer dominion, Syllabun, Catterland, and Rivienland

Rejectionville wrote:...the bartender was very convincing in his sales pitch.

Lake enters pushing three cases of liquor on a hand-truck, humming quietly to himself as he unloads his delivery near the base of a tall spruce

"Here's a story about a sinner,
He used to be a winner who enjoyed a life of prominence and position,
But the pressures at the office and his socialite engagements,
And his selfish wife's fanatical ambition,
It turned him to the booze,
And he got mixed up with a floosie
And she led him to a life of indecision.
The floosie made him spend his dole
She left him lying on Skid Row
A drunken lag in some Salvation Army Mission.
It's such a shame."

The Kinks -Alcohol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmT9QT4mtCM

"Here's a story about a sinner,
He used to be a winner who enjoyed a life of prominence and position,
But the pressures at the office and his socialite engagements,
And his selfish wife's fanatical ambition,
It turned him to the booze,
And he got mixed up with a floosie
And she led him to a life of indecision.
The floosie made him spend his dole
She left him lying on Skid Row
A drunken lag in some Salvation Army Mission.
It's such a shame.

Oh demon alcohol,
Sad memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would say,
Damn it all and blow it all,
Oh demon alcohol,
Memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would fall a slave to demon alcohol.
Sad memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would fall a slave to demon alcohol.

Barley wine, pink gin,
He'll drink anything,
Port, pernod or tequila,
Rum, scotch, vodka on the rocks,
As long as all his troubles disappeared.
But he messed up his life, went and beat up his wife,
And the floosie's gone and found another sucker
She's gonna turn him on to drink
She's gonna lead him to the brink
And when his money's gone,
She'll leave him in the gutter,
It's such a shame.

Oh demon alcohol,
Sad memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would say,
Damn it all and blow it all,

Sad memories I cannot recall,
Who thought I would fall,
A slave to demon alcohol."

Holds up a clipboard

I'll need someone to sign for this.

Palos Heights wrote:With that, if there is a region that needs an ambassador, I'm open to rejoining the public service as needed.

Here are all the regions that currently have ambassadors, so there's still half that don't have one.


Government
.

Errinundera

Founder

Head of Region

Verdant Haven

Forest Keeper

Head of Government

Ransium

World Assembly Delegate

World Assembly Affairs

Chan Island

Deputy Forest Keeper

Deputy Head of Government

Ruinenlust

Foreign Affairs Branch

Foreign Relations

Mount Seymour

Communications Branch

Administration of the Forum and Discord

Octopus Islands

Cartographer

Maintenance of the Regional Map of Forest

Turbeaux

Conscience of Forest

Environmental Action Agenda overseer

Mozworld

Face of Forest

Maintenance of the World Factbook Entry

Kawastyselir

Arborist

Statistician

Darths and Droids

Game Warden

Role Play Mentor

Lord Dominator

Community branch

Community

Read dispatch

Government post
This seems an appropriate moment to announce the appointment of Canaltia as Voice of the Forest. This new role involves preparing regional updates and working with the ambassadors to make sure they get to the intended audience.

I'd also like to appoint Blon Gre as Statistics Officer, responsible for presenting data on the environmental achievements of Forest nations.

I'll TG both of you to start things moving, but it might well not happen this evening.

Errinundera, please could you make both appointments, giving each post communications authority. I believe this takes us to the maximum number of regional officers and therefore completes the government team for this term.

Thanks and apologies to the other people who applied for these posts. It wasn't an easy decision and I could have filled them several times over.

Mozworld wrote:Here are all the regions that currently have ambassadors, so there's still half that don't have one.

Government
.

Errinundera

Founder

Head of Region

Verdant Haven

Forest Keeper

Head of Government

Ransium

World Assembly Delegate

World Assembly Affairs

Chan Island

Deputy Forest Keeper

Deputy Head of Government

Ruinenlust

Foreign Affairs Branch

Foreign Relations

Mount Seymour

Communications Branch

Administration of the Forum and Discord

Octopus Islands

Cartographer

Maintenance of the Regional Map of Forest

Turbeaux

Conscience of Forest

Environmental Action Agenda overseer

Mozworld

Face of Forest

Maintenance of the World Factbook Entry

Kawastyselir

Arborist

Statistician

Darths and Droids

Game Warden

Role Play Mentor

Lord Dominator

Community branch

Community

Read dispatch

How do we not have one for Oatland?

Ruinenlust, Uan aa boa I'll take Oatland.

First up, congratulations to Canaltia and Blon Gre fir their new appointments!

Second, The Bar on the corner of every region doesnt seem to have an ambassador, is there any chance that I could take up that role?

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