This past season has proven to be further evidence and testament of Sandum perseverance and of the persistance of the Sandum spirit. Sandus, its state, and its nation have continued collectively through the most difficult periods yet in some of our citizens’ lives. Three Sandum citizens, in the highest positions of authority and power in Sandus, either completed a thesis or a degree, and one both, in their respective fields. Others returned to higher education, while some others grappled with significant personal decisions. The contemporary world has proven to be erratic, with much stress and anxiety about its future. But, one thing is clear: Sandus, under our current government, is here to stay.
Despite tremendous personal work, Sandum citizens have remained committed to Sandum culture and the ideals of the Sandum Philosophy. Today, we are even more aware of the suffering of all people—Sandum citizen or not. The risk for failure and for crisis is all the more greater, both personally and nationally, but Sandus has shown it can and will succeed. This quarter is further historical proof of the persistance and endurance of our courage and strong will.
Tremendous work has been completed in this past quarter, and the prospects are all the more promising for the next quarter. Significant changes to the Sandum economy have been completed; new Sandum workers are preparing for their work; the Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift has been accomplished; and, the Council and the Party are courageously forging new paths of development and the Sôgmô is at þess post.
Charity Taxes: Above Average, but Trends continue
Charity taxes over the past Spring season have increased since the Winter season, and this past season has come close to breaking records and was the fourth most charitable season in terms of donations. $604.16 USD were donated to charity in the Spring season of 2017, up slightly from the $395 given to charity last season in Winter 2017. The amount, however, is less than half of the most money ever donated in Sandus in Summer 2016, when Sandus donated more than $1,000 to charity.
When compared to hours volunteered, Sandum citizens volunteered more than 99 hours for philanthropic causes, the highest in recent years. These causes included working for animal shelters, mentoring and tutoring, working on service projects, and helping others in dire straights and mental crises.
Trends related to charity taxes have continued to show that taxes are slightly up. The average charity taxes for each season so far is $273.14, meaning that the State of Sandus has donated more money ($136.02) in the past season than the average. Charity taxes, we suspect, will continue to rise because of a few factors. First, there are more Sandum citizens than when Sandus started doing charity taxes, and there are more than twice as many citizens from when Sandus suffered its citizenship crisis in 2013. Second, Sandum citizens are more increasingly more prosperous and are working more hours and more jobs, while their wages are increasing with their age. In terms of volunteer work, however, there have been no significant changes.
The First Annual Sandum Budget: an optimistic forecast
The national budget, the second to be proposed by the Sôgmô, has been approved by the Commission for the Command Economy (CCE). The budget proposes that the State of Sandus spend $1,050 USD in “hard” expenses falling into four categories: website upkeep, salaries for Sandum workers, cooperatives’ expenses, and cultural expenses for holidays. Hard expenses include those for which economic activity is planned, while “soft” expenses—a planned budget of $950—are for reserved funds. Soft expenses include a Special Philia fund for cultural development, a Matter Realist fund for material production, a Trans*ition fund for trans* people’s transitions, a Health Reimbursement fund to help cover healthcare costs, and a flexible spending account.
Most planned revenue will be from voluntary taxes, with the Sôgmô’s personal contributions covering the hard expenses with monthly contributions of $90 USD per month. Approximately another $400 in individual voluntary taxes will cover soft expenses, while a final approximate revenue of $100 might come from cooperatives’ profits.
The First Salaries are Deposited
By now, the first annual salaries have been deposited in CivBanca by the Bureau of the Treasury. 88¶c in total was deposited in five citizens’ accounts based on their work appointments in Sandus’s cooperatives. Of those five, the average Sandum worker has 2-3 appointments, while most Sandum citizens do not work in Sandum cooperatives at all. In the future, these salaries will be able to be redeemed for goods and services in and outside of Sandus through a conversion system to be set up by the Commission for the Command Economy. The Central People’s Government hopes, as well, to push citizens to join at least one cooperative as a worker.
Sôgmô’s Constitutional Project
Work has started in earnest on the Sôgmô’s Constitutional Project, a project envisioned by the 2016 Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift. The project is meant to develop a coherent, comprehensive view of Sandus’s constitution and all its component parts and to educate citizens on the constitution of the State of Sandus. This project will be completed in the future through a complex virtual model describing Sandus’s constitution and a variety of other infographics and visual media. The first part of this project will come on 24 June when the Sôgmô presents þess lecture on the Sandum constitution at MicroCon in Atlanta, GA, USA.
A New Capital for Sandus:
With the Sôgmô’s move in August, concerns are being raised about how Sandus will respond to þess departure and living permanently away from Kremlum Sandus Province. How will Sandus cope with the Sôgmô’s departure?
The location of the seat of power will have to change, that is certain, and it will follow það to the peninsula of Michigan. We can perhaps find precedent in the monarchical history of Europe, where the seat of power was located wherever the king was. This is compelling, and, since the Gradient Sovereign Condominium Theory proposes that Sandum sovereignty is wherever an individual citizen is, the State of Sandus will already follow the Sôgmô. In some way, the theory makes this a nonissue. But the key, perhaps, to the Sôgmô’s location of power and capital should be the placement of the Sandum pignae d’esti.
The pignae d’esti (the name was never officially translated into Latin) contain the Sôgmô’s Dharmachakra on þess altar, the statue of Holy Athena the Mother, and the so-called “Pavorio pigno”—the vase of our national colours filled to the brim with peacock feathers. To these should be added the national tricolour and the Books of the Armilustrium, the compilation of all the books washed in Armilustrium ceremonies. Finally, future pignae should be developed to meet future circumstances and to encompass future citizens and all citizens’ experiences, as well. In the future, perhaps a specific work-group in the Collegium Sacerdotum should be developed to maintain the pignae and to develop even more ones.
Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus & the new Nobility
Medals for recipients of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus will hopefully arrive in time to be given at MicroCon. If not, they will be sent by mail at a later date. This will include medals for Olivia-Eugenie and Jean Pierre of Aigues-Mortes and Dominic DeSaintes-Bellemare, as well as a couple extra medals which can be kept or given at the convention.
In addition, in May, the Sôgmô awarded Sandus’s first knighthood to Charles Edward Wright, of Indian Head, Maryland, who is þess former coworker and supervisor. The knighthood is the first grant in the Sandum Table of Noble Ranks, though more are planned for the future. In addition, in the coming months, the Sôgmô will collectively grant all members of the Most Honourable Order of the Throne of Sandus the status of “gentleperson” in the Sandum system of nobility.
Finally, the Sôgmô is considering establishing more medals and decorations in the future, but such decision shall be taken with much gravity and with the advice of the þess advisers and counsellors.