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

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.

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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.

Sandus responds to White Nationalist, Anti-Semitic Terrorist Attack

On Saturday 27 October, a white nationalist terrorist entered the Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Motivated by hatred and anger towards Jewish people, the terrorist, Robert Bowers, murdered almost a dozen people and injured several more. The incident has caused people in North America to respond with shock at the public display of the terrorist’s hatred toward a religious minority, as well as to advocate for agitation and resistance against anti-Semitism and against white nationalism. Jewish leaders in the United States have called out American president Donald Trump, arguing that his inflammatory rhetoric have radicalised his ardent supporters and normalised racist and other phobic rhetoric in the mainstream.

In Sandus, a country which is majority Christian but with a long tradition as a religious-minority country, Sandum politicians and citizens have responded with similar messages of shock and need to agitate. Though this concern falls outside of the concerns of the State of Sandus, 86% of Sandum citizens are American citizens and residents and some who are minorities feel unsafe in their places of worship because of vandalism, hateful and angry rhetoric, and similar instances of violence done against other religious minorities.

THE STATE OFFICERS
Reactions from the Sôgmô, the Party Secretary, and the Facilitator:

The Sôgmô voiced their concern attending their Buddhist temple in Michigan, not because they believe that Buddhists are targets of such hateful rhetoric but because there have been cases of misidentified rage and of rage against religious “others” in the United States generally. “I should preface this by saying that I am not Jewish nor have I experienced anti-Semitism,” they said, “but white nationalism goes hand-in-hand with notions of Christian supremacy and nationalism. After the August 2012 terrorist attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States, people in the Buddhist sangha of which I am a member voiced similar worries and concerns.” They continued by voicing their concerns that the rise of white nationalism will likely entail violence for people of many minority groups, not just restricted to religious minorities. Jews, það continued, are historical and poignant targets, however.

“As a micronation,” the Sôgmô concluded, “our work is political, as well as cultural. We should not forget that both advocacy and culture are political, and I suspect that Sandus will work to embrace its advocacy role as a polity and as a voice of the free world in the future.” Það mentioned that the 2018 CPS Party Congress will likely include a statement or platform detailing Sandus’s increased role as a political advocate, demonstrating a potential diplomatic change in the State of Sandus’s diplomatic policy since 2014.

Party Secretary Adam von Friedeck, who is facing reëlection at this Saturday’s CPS Party Congress, commented that “the violent far-right has been emboldened by this decade’s surge in reactionary politics, with antisemitism in particular going unpunished far too often.” The Party Secretary added, “massacres like this are reminders that hate always tends toward violence,” recalling the Sandum national philosophy’s perspective on hatred and anger and how attacks like these will be seen again and again in the future.

I hope those of us who see bigotry as the evil it is can discern the best path forward.”

The Council’s facilitator, Ryuho Hatsu, expressed his disgust for the terrorist attack but commented that the “shock factor was gone,” adding that “shooting have become so common now.” As a local resident of the city, Hatsu stated that the city is very shaken at the moment after the attack. He concluded on a note of indignation, saying that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims, their families, and their friends, but that more must be done by all to agitate against anti-Semitism, white nationalist terrorism, and gun violence.

PUBLIC OUTRAGE IN SANDUS:
Artemis Langford, a Sandum chargée d’affaires in the Central People’s Government, expressed her sadness at the terrorist attack, adding that “the current environment in the United States is reprehensible,” similarly also expressing fear that this attack will represent a vicious cycle of fear, anger, hatred, and violence. “It furthers my beliefs that action must and will continue to be necessary, with or without the United States government’s involvement.” She expressed her deepest condolences to the synagogue’s community and to the Pittsburgh Jewish community, calling the antisemitic act disgusting and saying that “it will drive me to combat [anti-Semitism]. I believe that Sandus will do whatever we as a nation can to further efforts to combat antisemitism and terrorism.” The citizen’s call to arms reflects a broader sense of urgency in many Sandum citizens now after the terrorist attack.

Citizens to Receive Free Flag Pins

On 29 September, the Sôgmô sent out a poll in the Council asking for citizens’ opinions on two flag pin designs, one including a flag pole and one without; citizens voted overwhelmingly for a design without a flag pole. The flag pins, which are to be manufactured to celebrate Sandus’s 10th anniversary, will be given to Sandum citizens free of charge, while the remainder of the 100 pins will be given to allies of Sandus and to friends of the Sandum People.

Sandus’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated in May 2019.

Proof-1
The Council’s winning design features a waving Sandum Bicolour without a flagpole.

Equinox Report: For A Familiar Autumn

Autumn has long been considered a season for us that has held much cultural importance. It is a cosy time, a time well spent betwixt rouge falling leaves, with hot drinks on a cool night, and socialising with friends and family during celebrations of our holidays like the Armilustrium or the National Day of Socialism. It is a season spent with our family, which in Sandus is a combination of our ascribed and chosen family. It is a time spent in the wonders of nature and rejoicing and being thankful for our humble lives—lives we labour for and we control in our small, fiercely-independent country.

This equinox marks not just the beginning of Autumn, a season which is very joyful and nostalgic to many Sandum people, but today also coincides with a Sandum holiday celebrated now for five years: Celebrate Bisexuality Day. Celebrated here since 2013, this is a holiday that has been part of Sandus’s cultivation of a distinct culture, as here it is a day to not just celebrate bisexuals but also celebrate bisexual themes in art and in our lives. A third of Sandum citizens are, after all, bisexual, while a half of Sandus are LGBTQ+.

This celebration during a time of equal day and night relates our country to themes of liberality, to openness and tolerance, to a conscious, purposeful, intentional life. It is a calm life, spent without reservations and without regrets.

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Charity Taxes: $1,600 USD, 88 hours volunteering
With only a few charity tax declarations in, this past Summer has been another record breaking season for the State of Sandus. Of only three charity tax declarations so far, Sandum citizens have donated $1,628.71 USD to charity in the past season, as well as volunteered their time for 88 hours total. This means that this past season was the second most charitable to date, and puts the State of Sandus within $100 of donating more than $5,000 USD to charity in the last year!

As more declarations are made, this section will be updated.

Three Officers of State support Council Reform
Over the last season, the Facilitator of the Council and the Sôgmô have prepared plans for a reform of the Council, Sandus’s democratic assembly. On 11 July, Facilitator Hatsu Ryuhu published a four-point plan for the Council’s reform, which include:

  1. The Sôgmô has a ceremonial and emergency role as head of state and chairperson of the Council, while the Facilitator will become Speaker.
  2. The Speaker will be elected for six months.
  3. Citizens who are members of the Council will be known as Councilors.
  4. There will be an annual Speech from the Throne on the State of the State, sometime near the Spring Equinox.

The Sôgmô has produced a bill which has been shared with the other Officers of State that builds on this plan, with some modifications. In it, all three Officers of State have a role to play in the Council, a new office of a chargé·e d’affaires where councillors are deputised to perform and exercise a function, and an established constitutional convention has been written down. This plan will be presented at the upcoming Party Congress in November 2018.

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Party Congress 2018: For the Sandum Cultural Worker
The 2018 CPS Party Congress now has a set date, 3 November 2018. The congress will focus on the election of the Party Secretary and especially on the theme of cultural production. While last year’s theme was focused on the subject of the Sandum identity, relatively close to this year’s theme, the theme of this CPS Party Congress focuses on the production of culture and specifically on how Sandum citizens construct culture in Sandus.

The sitting Party Secretary has begged the question about how we shall commemorate our tenth anniversary “in a way that aligns with the Sandum philosophy.” To what extent is Sandum citizenship about producing culture? How is culture a production, and how does that production relate to the intellectual production prevalent in Sandus today?

All these questions and concerns will be the subject of the Party’s congress in November.

State Media Cooperative plans Council, Party logos
The SMC has planned logos for the Council and the Citizens’ Party of Sandus, which are meant to focus on simplicity and on the symbols related to the constitutional organs. The proposed logo for the Council features a letter C in the shape of a Roman comitium, an architectural structure that was used for elections and assembly meetings during the Roman Republic. Thus, the symbolism of the Council’s logo reflects the classical republican nature of the Sandum constitution.

The Party’s logo features the English abbreviation of the name of the Party, CPS, in lower case below the Party flag. The simple logo is meant to reflect the wordmark for the State of Sandus with changes in font and style, which is meant to represent a cohesive political vanguard in the State of Sandus.

These logos are expected to be presented and possibly approved by the relevant organs by the end of the season.

Preparing for October: Armilustrium Planning and Getting the Public Involved
During this season, the Sôgmô introduced an informal Facebook chat group meant to encourage discussion with many Sandum citizens at once, and the group has already led to some changes in how Sandus is run. In a discussion on how to encourage citizens to take part in Sandum holidays, Sisenna Melville recommended encouraging people to create rituals for the holidays and publishing them in advance of the holiday.

Only important holidays are expected to follow these programmatic ends, and these may include:

  • the Armilustrium, 19 October
  • Athena’s Day, or Sandum Thanksgiving, 29 November
  • Christmas, 25 Decemer
  • Festival of Peace, mid-January
  • Losar, or Tibetan New Year, February
  • Regifugium/Matronalia, or Sancta New Year, 1 March
  • Minervalia, 19 March
  • Passover, March-April
  • Easter, March-April
  • Veneralia, or Sandum Love Day, 1 April
  • Lemuralia, part of Remembrance Day, 7-15 May (on only the odd numbered days)
  • Lammas, 1 August
  • Yom Kippur, September

These holidays, and maybe more, will be some of the first examples of rituals produced under this new system. Sisenna Melville has offered to produce the first ritual for the Armilustrium, and the Collegium Sacerdotum is taking offers for the others.