Equinox Report: Sandus stands against White Supremacy

This Spring marks the tenth anniversary of Sandus’s creation. On 26 May 2009, the Grand Lamate of Sandefreistikhan (as Sandus was known at that time) was born. In the quick succession of several months, Sandefreistikhan became Sandus and a monarchy deeply rooted in Buddhism became a Socialist democracy, a monarchical barony, and a socialist republic. In 2011, after months of uncertainty and foreign rule, Sandus became a sovereign state again and the State of Sandus was founded on 13 April 2011.

Over the next several years, Sandus developed its lofty ideals. Established as a socialist monarchy in April, by September it became an elective monarchy and the Party was enfranchised in December as a national parliament and advocacy organ for Sandum workers. Three years later, in December 2014, the Sandum people unanimously voted to create the direct democratic Council at a national referendum, and the Sandum Republic was born.

Over the years, we have developed our own national philosophy—bringing together our grave concern for human suffering and our socialist ways and means to overcome that suffering and to lift up oppressed peoples. We stand today as a society and culture for freedom and toleration. We believe in pluralism and multiculturalism, and in the belief that we make the world with our minds. We are a peace-loving society and always have been, but we have always stood our ground and have defended what we think is right—even if this has put us at odds with other prominent and influential micronations, even our friends.

We have formulated our own national political theory with key words like LiberaRealism, and Philia—and today we add one more, Autarky. These words to us do not signify an unalterable and unchangeable state: they represent a country constantly changing, constantly becoming better, constantly striving to accomplish something new.

As a micronation, we are widely diverse despite being so small. A country with a majority population who are LGBTQ+ and with religious plurality, the Sandum people comprise a multitude of different political orientations and genders. Our diversity is the like not often seen in micronations at large, and certainly not in such a small one.

A land with a socialist economy, we encourage Sandum citizens to become active with other hobbies that are productive in more ways than just material. We provide for the common welfare by giving charity and volunteering in our communities—far outstripping groups of our size, class, and narrow age-group. We have a basic, rudimentary economic system in place that rewards workers and provides for the needy. In short: our economic system works, and is getting better and more proactive.

Sandum culture is the most widely-known aspect of our micronation, and it is what makes us unique. We have hundreds of holidays, from ancient feriae and cultural ones to commemorative days for political activism and national holidays. We have formulated various ceremonies and crafted a multitude of traditions by the simple virtue that we live the way want. We put on events on a regular basis, and we live our culture in our every day lives. We are free-going and love life—and that life is very much Sandum.

As Sandum citizens, we are not just insular and devoted to our small country. We are constantly looking to the world around us. We encourage all our citizens to get an education, to work hard, and to keep in touch with current events around the world. We are staunchly internationalist in our outlook, and our public policy reflects that.

As a country of native English-speakers from the US and the UK, we have self-consciously become Francophones—et le Sandus est devenu membre fondateur de l’Organisation de la MicroFrancophonie. En 2018, nous sommes allés à Vincennes et nous avons partagé notre culture sande francophone avec nos amis et nos alliés de l’OMF, dont tout le monde là sont engagés pour les droits de l’homme, l’environnementalisme, la culture, la société, l’éducation, la paix. Mais nous sommes francophones depuis longtemps, quand en 2009 la deuxième monarchie a décidé sur notre bilinguisme—et sexto anno occeperunt loqui tertiam linguam quae antiquissima sit et qua utuntur usique sunt plurimi homines. Fiebamus quoque loquentes latine ad culturam Sande augendam, et mittimus hodie nuntios latinos in orbem terrarum compositam loquentibus diversarum linguarum. Sandūs nos incolimus saeculum nostrum et vitae rationem, quae sunt tota nostra.

This season, we will celebrate what it means to be members of our own quirky little micronation. We will celebrate eight years of the State of Sandus, a time which has become a golden age; the royal couple, the Sôgmô and the Sanôba, will celebrate their first year together as a couple, though they first met during momentous days of the State’s foundation; það will celebrate their tenth anniversary since they converted to Buddhism; and we will come together in Ann Arbour, Quercus Candida (Quer), to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Creation of Sandus.

We have every right to be happy and to rejoice in the history of our lives.

— the Sôgmô

 

10Years with Flags.png

Charity Taxes: A Higher Start to the Year
Sandus is, in many ways, based on the philanthropy of our citizens and inspired by the suffering of ourselves and others.

Though down from last season, Winter 2019’s charity taxes were up from the same season last year by nearly $200 USD. In the last season, Sandum citizens donated $1,277.83 to charity including environmental foundations, religious organisations, and cultural societies. In addition, Sandum citizens volunteered 571 hours for the benefit of other people, the highest hours volunteered ever in the State of Sandus.

 

Sôgmô announces Policy Directive, Sandus to Blacklist White Supremacy
The Sôgmô has published a policy directive for the Ministry of Diplomatic Affairs and the Central People’s Government at large, directed at public officials, bureaucrats, and Sandum workers at large. The policy directive includes a nine-point plan to address rising white supremacy and fascism in the world at large, as well as with micronations in general.

The directive’s nine points read:

  1. The State of Sandus will not conduct any business with, engage in diplomatic relations with, nor recognise any micronation (broadly defined) known to be engaging in policies, politics, or ideologies linked to fascism, Nazism, the so-called “alt-right,” identitarianism, contemporary traditionalist conservatism, white supremacy, white nationalism, ethnic or religious nationalism, white separatism, “meninism,” “incels,” “MHRMs” and “MRAs/MHRAs,” or right-wing populism and extremism.
  2. The Central People’s Government, together with a coalition of our friends and allies, will repudiate excuses and apologies for these ideologies and/or attacks committed by those of these politics; all apologies of policies or acts of violence done according to these politics and ideologies will warrant public repudiation and condemnation.
  3. We will encourage education and activism against both political and systemic white supremacy, as well as into the social and political workings of them.
  4. We will encourage Sandum citizens to block, to not subscribe to, and to not share media from relevant organisations; we will, rather, encourage them to consume media from other reporting outlets which follow journalistic ethics.
  5. We will keep a public blacklist of micronations that support the aforementioned.
  6. We may cease contact with micronations that cooperate with parties on said list.
  7. Any and all announcements related to the functions of this directive will be published in all three official languages, either entirely or with a summary in the other language(s).
  8. The Central People’s Government shall execute these functions summarily and without room for redress by other micronations except through indirect routes of communication.
  9. Chargé·e·s d’affaires, public officials, and workers of the State of Sandus will make every effort to conform to the spirit of this directive.

The policy directive is the first major change to Sandum foreign policy since 2012, and strikes a chord between concerns about the role of white supremacy in micronationalism and micronational politics and Sandum citizens’ concerns about falling back into historical enmities. The directive simply states that Sandus will respond unilaterally and summarily when confronted with fascist and racist micronations.

 

 

Libera, Realism, Autarky Shields.png

Each Sandum politic has its own symbolic blason. Depicted (left to right): Libera, Realism, and Autarky.

New Sandum Politic: Autarky
With the new season, during which we will celebrate the momentous occasion of the tenth anniversary of Sandus and its creation, the Sôgmô has announced the foundation of a new Sandum politic. In the long and venerable tradition of both Libera (independence and self-determination) and Realism (realist politics and decision making), Autarky represents both a new political ideal like Libera and Realism and also a practical and political policy like Philia but with an emphasis on economic production.

Derived from the Ancient Greek word meaning “self-sufficiency,” Autarky in Sandus refers to the political theory that advocates for Sandum citizens to become self-sufficient and self-reliant in economic matters. But, unlike Sandus’s tried path of encouraging production done by Sandum economic cooperatives, it instead advocates for the sharing of knowledge and educating Sandum citizens on practical knowledge. In this way, the new politic encourages a revitalisation of the Sandum economy.

AutarkyFlag

The symbols on the blason represent industry, pastoralism, agriculture, and knowledge.

Now, instead of focusing exclusively on physical economic production, cooperatives will also focus on the production of knowledge—knowledge that will be useful for the development of home economics and other basic fields of microeconomic production. This will require some restructuring and revitalisation of cooperatives, but cooperatives will now focus both on the production of materials themselves and also on the sharing of techniques, skills, and methods or recipes.

Through economic and knowledge production, Sandus will become a more independent and self-determined country. Independence through Production and Knowledge Work!

 

Provinces Receive New Coats of Arms, Flags
Every province will now receive new coats of arms and flags in an effort to encourage regional but unified identity. Only Quercus Candida, Sandus’s current capital, will keep its same coat of arms.

Kremlum Sandus, our oldest province, has received an updated coat of arms (left). The new coat of arms has removed the Sandum Sovereign Eagle from the top of the “kremlin” on the shield, changed the stone texture to a verdant one, and made the field one of ermine. The new coat of arms represents Sandus’s royal past, since it is still the seat of the Sandum royal family, while also celebrating the natural beauty of the province. The bottom of the shield represents the Patuxent river, on which Kremlum Sandus is located.

The new coat of arms of Sandus Ulterior (right) continues with the symbolism of being Sandum while outside of Sandus’s traditional heartland. It plays on the natural symbolism of that of Kremlum Sandus: the azur representing the Patuxent river has been flipped to represent the province formally for all citizens outside of the former capital. It is topped with the State Flag.

Finally, the new coat armorial of Sandus Europāi (left) has been simplified to depict just the snatching of Europa by Zeus and the twelve gold star emblem of Europe. This province is for Sandum citizens who reside in Europe.

All provinces have also received, for the first time, their own flags. These flags are based off of the heraldry of the individual coats armorial. For example, the flag of Kremlum Sandus (first row, left) features the ermine found in the field of the blason, while the flag of Quercus Candida (second row, left) is bears the gleaming white oak found on the shield. The flags of Further Sandus or Sandus Ulterior (second row, right) and of Sandus Europāi (first row, right) do not feature prominently the Sandum national colour Prussian Blue, though Sandus Ulterior’s flag features the national bicolour in its canton. The flag of Sandus in Europe (the translation of the province’s Latin name) refers to the European twelve gold star emblem and also bears a corona civica with the words “sacred love of the fatherland” in white in Latin. The phrase is a Latin translation of the opening line of the Marseillaise: « amour sacré de la patrie. »

 

Caucus of the Quinque Interreges Goes to Second Phase
The first phase of the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, or the five interrexes, will finish at the end of the month. During this phase, the caucus came up with a final list of candidates that will be published by April. These candidates come from citizens to Sandum-affiliated people all the way to praise-worthy and famous people like Bernie Sanders.

During the second phase, the caucus will come up with interview questions revolving a wide range of opinions and problems, and interview candidates. After this, the caucus will report on the interviews and hold any necessary public meetings or discussions about them.

Finally, the remainder of the process will be out of the caucus’s hands. In November, the Party will select a handful of candidates to put on the Winter Solstice ballot. During that election, citizens will elect the new heir.

The list of candidates so far includes Sandum citizens or friends of citizens, in addition to famous politicians like Bernie Sanders. Friends include people who come from the Sôgmô’s university who are interested in constitutionalism, political theory, and philosophy. They also include friends of citizens who were nominated by members of the five interrexes.

The next step is for the caucus to come up with questions for interviews to be scheduled in the later part of the season and the beginning of next season. Citizens with suggestions can send them to the Sôgmô, in the Council, or via KremlumSandus@gmail.com.

 

Bolenbois - blason

Fraternal Annonary Order Established, Invitations to be Sent
At the Winter Solstice, the Sôgmô announced the future creation of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl, a chivalric and charitable order, but efforts have been slow to establish the order because of issues writing the founding ordinance in French. (It was based off of a similar mid-14th century French chivalric ordinance.)

The Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl is meant to be a chivalric order that will, on one day a year, donate money to charity. It will be comprised of members from a variety of different religious faiths who have been initiated into the creeds of their religions.

Read the founding ordinance here. Lisez le Règlement de l’ordre en français ici.

The order will have two seigneurs, four chevaliers bannerets, and eights chevaliers. Each member can also appoint an écuyer, or squire. As a part of the order’s mission, members must give money to charity in proportion to their rank. Seigneurs will give the historical equivalent of 25₣ in 1945 (about $16.79 USD) to a charity of the order’s choosing on Chökhor Düchen, a Tibetan Buddhist holiday, while chevaliers will give 15₣ ($10.07), chevaliers 10₣ ($6.71), and écuyers 5₣ ($3.36). All together, if the order’s ranks are full, members will donate close to $175 per year to a charity of the order’s choosing.

The Chökhor Düchen is a Tibetan Buddhist holiday that commemorates when the Buddha Shakyamuni, Siddhartha Guatama, began teaching the Buddhist dharma.

So far, the order only has two members, the Sôgmô and King Adam of Überstadt, as seigneurs. Work over the season will focus on inviting members into the order, but only people who qualify according to the founding ordinance will receive invitations. The list of invited members so far includes five Sandum citizens, one Sandum-affiliated person, three members of the OMF, two interested non-micronationalists, and three historical and cultural friends of Sandus.

Fraternal Annonary Order set back, will go ahead

The establishment of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl has been set back since the Sôgmô announced its future formation on the Winter Solstice. Now, almost an entire season since the order’s first announcement and after a season of waiting for the charter of the order, with French based off of the 1350 Reglement de la Compagnie du Cigne Noir, to be approved by referees to certify the French, the Sôgmô will prepare to go ahead with the final edits to the founding document of the order.

Bolenbois - blason

The blason of the order, depicting the wooden bowl superimposed on the dharmachakra.

Other preparations have been made, however. The number two position in the order has already been filled by HM King Adam of Überstadt. According to the draft of the founding document, the order will meet on the Tibetan Buddhist holiday Chökhor Düchen to finalise the charity that will be the object of the order’s donations. If all 14 ranks with their potential 14 squires are filled, the order can donate $141 USD per year to charity.

The Sôgmô intends to finalise the founding document of the order in time for the Spring Equinox on 20 March.

Decisions of the Intercalary Session of the Council in 2018

The Intercalary Session of the Council in the Administrative Year 2018 lasted from 22 December 2018 to 5 January 2019.

The Council decided to extend a facilitator’s term to six months.
The Council elected Artemis Baca to be next term’s facilitator.

This was the last session of Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho’s tenure. Facilitator Artemis Baca will now assume the position.

Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho

Transition in the Council: New Facilitator will assume power in the New Year

Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho will step down from the position of the Council’s facilitator in the new administrative year that begins 5 January. First elected during the eleventh session of 2016, which ended on 14 November 2016, Hatsu has served as Sandus’s third most powerful politician for more than two years.

He entered the position after the sudden resignation and departure of Bee Rodgers Albina from Sandus in September 2016, and the Sôgmô’s subsequent acting-facilitatorship. He successfully oversaw the passage of the Council’s first two laws which were on both the immigration process and the Sôgmô’s succession. He also acted for his many three-month terms as one of Sandus’s Three Grand State Officers and as one of two constitutional advisers to the Sôgmô. During his two year and one month tenure, he was an advocate for gender equality and representation, as well as LGBTQ+ rights in Sandus. (Hatsu came out in 2018.) Originally the leader from Kumano, Hatsu became a full Sandum citizen, or civis, after his country dissolved on 3 July 2017. (Kumano was Sandus’s first socilivanço country, having become a social country in October 2013.) Originally slated to be an interrex in the upcoming year in the 21 December Solstice Report, that position will now be filled by the incoming facilitator according to law.

The Sôgmô commended Hatsu’s legacy as Sandus’s longest serving facilitator and decision to step down, saying it demonstrated “incredible humility, decency, and apleonexy.” Það added that they hoped that he will continue to be “an active and dedicated presence in Sandus as a private citizen” just as he has been during his term.

Artemis Baca will assume the number three position after recently becoming a full Sandum citizen on 28 December 2018. Her term will be the first to last six months, instead of three. The peaceful transfer of power happened after it was announced that same day that Hatsu Ryuho’s term had lapsed. The incumbent facilitator offered to stand for another term, before Baca offered to run and was endorsed by the out-going facilitator.

Baca’s plans for the new administrative year (the year of Sandus’s 10th anniversary) include bringing new, young energy and enthusiasm to the Council. She wishes to pursue the Party’s current goals and to set up a small committee to field ideas to make them into legislation.

I appreciate Robert’s help and his work for all he has done. I will rely on Robert and other’s wisdom and guidance to give me strength and knowledge.

Artemis Baca on outgoing veteran Facilitator Hatsu Ryuho

Long-Awaited Constitution Project issues first edition

The Sôgmô’s Constitution Project has issued the first edition of its literature and graphics on Sandus’s unwritten and republican constitution. The project was planned by the 2016 Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift, a plan that anticipated the Sôgmô’s departure from Kremlum Sandus for graduate school. Now, a year and four months after þess departure, the project has begun.

Read or download the project’s first instalment here.

The plan explained that the Sôgmô will work “to make an interactive infographic of the structure of the Central People’s Government and of the interconnect web of relations between the constitutional organs of the State of Sandus.” That graphic, the plan continues, should “reconstruct the relationships between the many organs of the State of Sandus, their relative hierarchy, and their powers, duties, and jurisdictions.” The graphic will be made available for all Sandum citizens, applicants for citizenship, and individuals interested in Sandus.

SCP1-1 Our Republic's Three Branches

The first graphic in the project is about the general structure of Sandus’s three branches of government, divided into the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, the Central People’s Government, and the Council. It even includes the hypothetical Senate, an emergency body comprised of necessary leaders from each house of Sandum citizens that was planned for in the 2016 Philia Plan for the Major Societal Shift. The body does not exist.

(Note: the Central People’s Government sometimes refers to only the Sôgmô’s branch and also to all three branches, but never to provincial governments.)

SCP1-2 the CPG & its Division of Powers

Next is the Central People’s Government and its division of powers. All three have some form of legislation in Sandus: the Party (and the Sôgmô) has state planning, the Sôgmô has decrees, and the Council has its decisions (i.e., resolutions) and laws. In turn, these four types of legislation affect the Sôgmô’s branch, as is made clearer with the next slide.

(Economic commands are treated here and in the next slide as specific economic plans.)

SCP1-4 the CPG & the Command Economy

The Sandum command economy, with its coöperatives and workers, falls under the direction of the Sôgmô. Both the Sôgmô and the Party can draft and issue plans and economic commands (both derived from plans and from citizens’ individual or collective needs), which then are sent to coöperatives. Commands flow down the chain of command in coöperatives to individual workers or whole work groups who produce a product that goes to the recipient (an individual, collective, or another coöperative if in an economic chain). That recipient directs CivBanca, Sandus’s bank, to send circulatory persumae to the coöperative to redistribute.

SCP1-3 the CPG & the Heir Election Process

The May 2018 law on succession institutes Sandus’s first law on the succession of the Sôgmô. In it, a process begins with the creation of a caucus of five interreges who are the three top-most Sandum politicians and leaders of the three branches of government (the Party Secretary, the Sôgmô, and the Council’s Facilitator) plus two appointed interreges: one from the Sôgmô and another from both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator.

This caucus creates a long list of candidates in the spring of ever fifth year since Sandus’s creation (2019, 2024, and so on). In the summer, the caucus interviews candidates and creates a final short list of three to five candidates, which is sent to the Party Congress in November to review and to select its top two candidates. Both candidates, then, wage campaigns for the Winter Solstice Election, where Sandum citizens with suffrage (i.e., cives and peregrini who meet the requirement) elect the Heir elected.

SCP1-5 the 'real' Office of the Sôgmô

The Office of the Sôgmô, which is the top most office of the Central People’s Government, is divided into three major categories: functionary (or ministerial) government, provincial governments, and cooperatives. This slide shows what bodies do exist alongside the three hypothetical divisions.

In the functionary side of the CPG exist one ministry (Diplomatic Affairs), one independent bureau (the Treasury) with its one division (CivBanca), and a separate body of individual chargé(e)s d’affaires (i.e., bureaucrats with specific charges and duties).

There are four provinces in provincial government. They are technically not part of the Central People’s Government but are under the Office of the Sôgmô since Sandus is a unitary state. There are, however, no praetors—either elected or appointed by the Sôgmô.

At the bottom is the “economic branch” of Sandus’s government, since Sandus has a Socialist command economy. Sandus has three economic coöperatives (Tellus Agrarian, Erganê Artisanal, and State Media Coöperatives) as well as one cultural/religious coöperative (the Collegium Sacerdotum, or the “College of Priests”). Only the Collegium Sacerdotum has internal subdivisons with two work groups (known in the college as “sodalities”) and a chain of command of workers (the Sacer Flamen, the major Flamines like the Bishop of the church, and individual members or sacerdotes).

SCP1-6 Sandum Table of Noble Ranks

The final slide of the project’s first edition is a rehashing of two appendices of the Sandum system of nobility. In the future, when more entitled and enholden barons and baronets exist, the project will include those titles and all the different decorations in the State of Sandus

Sôgmô releases Holiday Message early

The Sôgmô has released þess holiday message early on Christmas eve and in text, rather than the custom of sending a video in the early morning of 25 December. The message cites Royal Family events on the eve of Christmas and the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti as the cause for the break from tradition.

Read the Sôgmô’s annual Holiday Message here.

In the message, það talks about Jesus’s message and how Christians’ views are like those associated with all Sandum citizens, and mentions a story from þess recent nyungné, a Tibetan Buddhist fasting ritual, about how Jesus’s story is accessible to people across a variety of different boundaries. Það talks about how this season is one meant for family, both born and chosen families, and marks how important the New Gregorian Year will be as we mark the 10th anniversary of the Creation of Sandus.

Solstice Report: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation

The Autumn season is one of the busiest times for Sandum citizens, and this has certainly been the case for us this year. We have celebrated the Armilustrium with much fanfare and joy, we have held a successful CPS Party Congress, and we have just finished an election that was the most participated in our history. Sandum citizens are becoming more and more committed to our humble micronation and are more and more interested in its independent cultural and social message.

A successful Autumn will mean a busy Winter, too. As this report discusses below, Sandus and her citizens will have much on their plates in the New Gregorian Year: a new government official will have to find her way to plan holiday celebrations and share holiday spirit; a body of five interreges will interview and select candidates for the position of heir who will take up the position of Sôgmô when það passes; and, new honours, awards, and prizes will be given and established in the New Year.

It is the Brumalia season in Sandus, also known as the “Halcyon Days.” Taking part in the spirit of the season, we are pleased to announce that Sandus has passed another major milestone in the history of its charity tax system: in 2018, Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD to charitable foundations (sometimes to individuals themselves) and volunteered more than 1,000 hours!

Winter Solstice

Charity Taxes: Sandus has donated more than $5,000 in 2018!
Sandus has donated more than $5,000 USD in the past administrative year of 2018. After donating $1,095 in the winter, $2,174 in the spring, and $1,628  in the summer, recent reports are showing that (with only two citizens reporting) Sandus has donated $1,543.65 in the autumn—putting Sandus more than $1,400 over the $5,000 milestone! Never before have Sandum citizens donated so much money in one year alone. Sandum citizens donated to religious organisations and communities (Buddhist temples, Christian churches), museums, human rights organisations, wild life and environmental charities, organisations dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality and anti-Semitism, and other political charities.

History of Sandum Charity Taxes (2011-2018)

Sandus has earned $6,441.62 in 2018! This number may increase as more citizens declare their charity tax contributions.

Sandum citizens, likewise, volunteered more time this year than in previous years. 136 hours were volunteered for the benefit of others in the last season alone, with Sandum citizens volunteering time to political campaigns in the United States, serving as officials in student organisations, providing education, and going beyond the expectations of their job titles to serve others—without financial reward.

Election 2018 Poster.png

Election 2018: Sôgmô’s Legitimacy Unanimously Supported, 88.9% Participation
The Sôgmô has received the unanimous support of the Sandum people to continue to govern and reign the State of Sandus. 88.9% of eligible Sandum voters turned out to vote for the Sôgmô’s reign, the highest turnout ever recorded. Eight votes in total were cast.

Five of those eight votes cast were also ballots for members of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus. They voted in the election on the Party’s Platform which was recently drafted by Party Secretary Adam Camillus von Friedeck. The ballots cast unanimously approved the Party Secretary’s platform.

Read the new Party Platform here.

Two petitions were cast, as well. One concerned diplomatic relations with the country of Aabaro, while the other petitioned the Sôgmô to review citizenship law to make it easier to become a Sandum citizen. This petition will be addressed by því over þess winter holiday.

Quot estis in convivio: Sôgmô creates, appoints Feaster
At the November 2018 Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, Party members focused on encouraging cultural cooperation and integration between citizens. A variety of solutions were discussed—encouraging “Sandum-adjacent” people to apply for citizenship, giving gifts to Sandum citizens, encouraging participation in holidays and online discussions—but one solution focused on creating a functionary, bureaucratic office to hold joyous events for all Sandum citizens involved.

On 20 December, during the Saturnalia, that position has now become the “Feaster,” or epulo in Latin after the Ancient Roman college of priests. The Sôgmô created the position yesterday in a decree announced on Sandum media.

Sisenna Melville, who is also the Bishop of ἡ Ἔκκλησία τῆς Σανδῆς (the Church of Sandus, a sodality of the Collegium Sacerdotum cooperative), has been appointed the first Sandum feaster.

The feaster is broadly charged with performing holiday duties, such as planning events and sharing information on the holiday—as well as sharing the spirit of the holiday! Special tasks include preparing for and celebrating important Sandum holidays, whether with other Sandum citizens or non-Sandum people, and consulting one-on-one with Sandum citizens on how to share the holiday spirit.

Melville will be compensated with the standard worker’s salary of 8¶c, and is entitled to (but does not automatically receive) a knighthood. (She already has one as virtue of her bishopric.) As a knight, she will as feaster receive a special charge of a patera or chalice on her coat of arms, and Feasters also receive an official carol.

Heir Needed: Caucus of Quinque Interreges to sit in 2019
The search for the Sôgmô’s heir has begun.

According to the May 2018 law on succession, the process for finding an heir lasts one year. It begins in the December before the anniversary of Sandus’s creation divisible by five (2019, 2024, and so on) with the sitting of a caucus of five interreges. The caucus is comprised of the three major Sandum officials in our republican constitution (the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator of the Council, also known together as the “Three Grand State Officers”). The Sôgmô appoints one interrex, while both the Party Secretary and the Facilitator appoint the fifth.

The caucus is comprised of the following members:

  1. The Sôgmô: Gaius Soergel Publicola
  2. The Party Secretary: Adam Camillus von Friedeck
  3. The Facilitator of the Council: Hatsu Ryuho
  4. Fourth Interrex: Sisenna Melville
  5. Fifth Interrex: Jan DeWitt

The caucus will meet for the first time in the New Gregorian Year.

Over the course of the next year, the Caucus of the Quinque Interreges, as they are officially known in this capacity: draw up the relevant criteria for someone to be a Sôgmô; brainstorm a long list of candidates; perform interviews and hold public meetings, if necessary, and reduce the list to about three to five candidates. The caucus then presents the list to the Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus in November, and the Party then selects two candidates to be put on the ballot of that Winter Solstice’s election.

The winner of the election becomes the new heir.

But the position of heir only lasts five years or at the Sôgmô’s pleasure, since það can choose to prorogue the heir’s five year term and can be sacked by the Sôgmô. At any moment the Sôgmô may meet þess demise, however, and the heir elected will automatically become the Sandum monarch for life or for as long as they reign legitimately. The idea is both to have a flexible political system where there can be contingencies while also allowing for the heir elected to train and to learn how to be a Sandum monarch appropriately.

Former heirs who have honourably resigned (that is, are not sacked) receive the title of “heir sine officio” for life and are entitled to a knighthood.

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The Sanôba and the Sôgmô

Sanôba will visit Quercus Candida for January 2019
Sanôba Oliver will visit the Sôgmô next month for several weeks before his university returns to session in February. He will live at the Appartements du Sôgmô in the capital for three weeks and will later return to live with the monarch for the summer. It will be the second time he will have visited Sandum land since becoming Sanôba in April, two days before the Day of Foundation. The Sôgmô recently visited Minnesota in the United States, where the Sanôba is from, to celebrate American Thanksgiving with him and his family.

The royal couple met online several years ago in 2010 through a mutual friend, who was at that time a Sandum citizen. Both kept in touch over the years and they first met in person in March of this year, when the Sanôba visited the Sôgmô in Quercus Candida. They began dating a month later, two days before the Day of Foundation, on 11 April.

New Fraternal Order, Honours, and Nobles to come in 2019
In the upcoming year, the Sôgmô has announced þess intention to found a new fraternal order, to establish new honours, and to create new nobles and knighthoods.

New Order: the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl
The Sôgmô has announced that they will create a new chivalric order dedicated to the purpose of philanthropy, charity, and almsgiving under the title of the Fraternal Annonary Order of the Wooden Bowl (Ordre annonaire fraternel du Bol en bois). The order will be comprised of members of three ranks: Chevaliers, Chevaliers banneret, and Seigneurs. Each member, too, is entitled to a squire who will receive a ribbon. The order’s official business will be done in French, and members may communicate in any language they please so long as it is translated into the record in French.

The name of the order refers to the wooden bowls carried by Buddhist bhikkhus to receive alms. Companions of the order, as members will be called, must pay dues according to their rank so that the order can donate the money to a charitable foundation. (The amount will be determined by an arcane formula tied to the value of French francs in 1945.) The order will meet to collect money, make decisions, and donate the money to a specific charity on the Tibetan Buddhist holiday Chökhor Düchen, or the ‘Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma,’ which occurs on the fourth day of the sixth Tibetan lunar month. This will be 6 July in 2019, the first time the order will meet.

Table of Dues by Rank

Rank Francs due (1945 value) Conversion (1₣ = 0.6714$)
Seigneur 25 16.79$ USD
Chevalier banneret 15 10.07$ USD
Chevalier 10 6.71$ USD
Squire 5 3.36$ USD

Membership will be capped at fourteen, not including squires: two seigneurs, four chevaliers banneret, and eight chevaliers.

New Honours: Commendationes, Ovationes, and Party and Council Honours
The Sôgmô will award new, extemporaneous honours in the form of commendationes, Latin letters of recommendation. These letters patent will be awarded for extraordinary actions on the part of Sandum citizens and non-citizens alike to reward and acknowledge outstanding character and virtue.

Commendatio example
An example of a commendatio given to the Sanôba.

Some commendations may be awarded with ovationes, meaning that they will be accompanied by a speech or a public statement. These commendations and ovations may be presented and given at public intermicronational events, such as next year’s 2019 MicroCon in Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.

Other honours are possibly in the works for the Party and the Council. Already, the Council awards a laureate prize to important and significant artists and craftspeople, effectively making them national artists. But other honours may include a prize given by the Party Congress in recognition of outstanding achievement for the betterment of Socialism and Socialist and proletarian peoples. An award from the Council may recognise work done on behalf of the State of Sandus and may praise the work of particular citizens.

New Nobles: One Knighthood, Two Baronets, and One Baron next season
In the New Gregorian Year, there will be four new nobles in Sandus. One knighthood will be awarded to a non-Sandum citizen who has been a sound adviser to the Sôgmô on matters of constitutionalism and on thinking of new micronational alternatives. Two baronets will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s longstanding advisers and veritable friends—both of whom are Sandum citizens. And, finally, one barony will be awarded to the Sôgmô’s most trusty adviser and friend.

Adam Camillus von Friedeck will become Sandus’s first baron in the New Year, in recognition of his long and dedicated service to Sandus and to the Sôgmô. Although he will not receive an entitled and inholden barony, his personal grant of the rank of baron reflects his long tenure as Sandus’s second Grand State Officer, the Party Secretary. He already holds a baronetcy as Baronet Eliot and is a member of the gentry.

Hatsu Ryuho will become Sandus’s second baronet and will be known as Baronet Wexford. His entitled grant of a baronetcy reflects his service to the Social System as former premier of Kumano and his long-term service as Sandus’s third Grand State Officer, the Facilitator of the Council. This will be his first noble rank.

Oliver Armstrong will become Sandus’s third baronet. Although he will not receive an entitled grant of a baronetcy, his close proximity to the Sôgmô as the Sanôba and as the Sôgmô’s boyfriend are the grounds for such a high Sandum noble rank. He is already a member of the gentry.

Jan DeWitt will receive an offer for knighthood on account of his close and intimate discussions with the Sôgmô on Sandum constitutionalism. A scholar of Roman constitutionalism and political culture, DeWitt will be Sandus’s second non-citizen knight.

Quot estis in convivio: Sôgmô creates, appoints Feaster

PateraDetailed

Detail of a patera, a symbol of the feaster, depicting Athena.

At the November 2018 Party Congress of the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, Party members focused on encouraging cultural cooperation and integration between citizens. A variety of solutions were discussed—encouraging “Sandum-adjacent” people to apply for citizenship, giving gifts to Sandum citizens, encouraging participation in holidays and online discussions—but one solution focused on creating a functionary, bureaucratic office to hold joyous events for all Sandum citizens involved.

On 20 December, during the Saturnalia, that position has now become the “Feaster,” or epulo in Latin after the Ancient Roman college of priests. The Sôgmô created the position today in a decree announced on Sandum media. Continue reading